Tag Archives: Storms

Saturday:) St. Francis vs Hail Storm

21 Mar

When you go through storms in your life, you can either be pitiful or powerful, but you can’t be both. Your attitude determines your victory…
Nishan Panwar


We had a couple of severe hail storms and frigid temps in the last couple of months. Now, with Spring finally here, I went out in my back yard to see how many shrubs, plants or bushes I may have lost. I’m afraid a few didn’t make it.

I usually say a little prayer to St. Francis to protect the creatures great and small during a storm, but I failed to say a prayer FOR St. Francis. I have a very old plastic statue out in my back yard. My mom gave him to many years ago, and he has traveled with me from home to Home. He has weathered many storms.

As you can see, poor St. Francis has sustained a serious head injury, brain damage, perhaps a concussion.

Now, the decision is, do I attempt brain surgery or should I purchase a new St. Francis?

Friday:) Friends, Fierce Storms, and My FireFighters

31 Aug

“There is peace even in the storm”

― Vincent Van Gogh


I started out the morning with a fun Zumba class at the YMCA. Always great to start your day with dancing and music. After class, I stopped at McDonald’s with Doug for a quick breakfast. The skies were getting really dark. I was going to stop at the store, but then I decided to go over to St. Gabriel’s for Adoration instead. The second I walked out of my car into the chapel, the skies opened up and the thunder boomed. Good timing. What better place to wait out the storm than in the chapel for Adoration.

It was a three rosary storm, about an hour and a half. The rain was pelting against the windows and the thunder boomed, but it was surprisingly calm and peaceful inside.

The rain let up, and I scurried home. I decided to go for a walk around 7, as the temps cooled into the 70’s and it was gorgeous out. I only got as far as a block away. Mr. Vince and Miss Bernadine were sitting in their driveway and invited me to set a spell. Well, the spell lasted till well after dark. Thus, I didn’t get much of a walk in, but nice to chat and catch up with neighbors.

Now, for my firefighter friends. After my big party last Friday night, I had all kinds of food and baked goods to take over to Station 9 Saturday morning. I always make extra, just for that purpose. It was so funny. I had just pulled into the driveway when the fire truck was pulling out. The truck stopped behind me and the captain opened the door and said, “Hi Miss Toni. We’ll be right back. You can leave it by the door.”

I stopped by a couple hours later because I was making myself some lunch and totally forgot to take them some guacamole to go with the chips, salsa and nacho cheese.

Later in the week, I stopped by with some of Miss Pat’s cookies and some of my brownies for Station 9, and to pick up my previous containers. They had some visitors from other stations.

Then, a stop at my old original Station 5. This was my go to station when I first moved to Texas in ’04 until I moved a little north and the new Station 9 was built last year. I try to get to both stations when I can.

Captain Novatzyk at Station 9, walked me back to the door the other day, and she thanked me for all the visits with food and brownies. She said they really appreciated the thoughtfulness. I told her, “You all are like my family, and I appreciate all you do.” How blessed am I to have such a fine extended family?

Saturday:) Some More Baking, Storms and My Silent Sanctuary

22 Jun

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”

― Ansel Adams


I stayed up till after 2 am baking my mini cupcakes. I like to do the baking part the night before, but I prefer to frost them right before I need to deliver them, so they’re fresh. I hate dry crusty frosting, don’t you?

I was baking for St. Gabriel’s big Casino Night fundraiser tonight. The Women’s Club sent an email requesting baked goods. Say no more. But also, as is my tradition, when I bake for one thing, I also make extra for my firemen.

I didn’t set an alarm or have an early agenda, so I woke up, and took a short walk, less than two miles. It was already pretty darn hot. Google said, “The temperature in McKinney is 95, but with the humidity and heat index, it feels like 105.” Yikes!

I came home, drank a lot of water, then proceeded to frost and package up the mini cupcakes. These are my favorite. Chocolate with a cherry from pie filling hiding inside.

My first stop was Fire Station 9. They really appreciate my sweet treat drive by visits.

Then, off to church with two containers. When I got to the community center, there weren’t too many cars and the inside looked dark. But, the door was unlocked and I saw four men sitting at a distant table. All the other tables and chairs were set up and ready for the big event later. One gentleman came over and said,”Thank you,” when I said I had some cupcakes.

The bottom of the foil pans didn’t feel that sturdy and the plastic covers kept popping off. For some reason I said, “CUIDADO!” when he picked up the containers. I’m not sure why? Maybe he looked a little Hispanic, it just slipped out. And that means “Watch out,” or “Be careful,” in Spanish.

Without skipping a beat, he responded while juggling the flimsy aluminum pans, “Muchisimas gracias.” OK! He spoke Spanish. Phew!

I decided to stop in the adjoining sanctuary just a few feet away. It was Saturday afternoon and no one else was around. I love having the entire silent sanctuary all to myself. And, our beautiful new church is like an amazing old European Cathedral. It’s very quiet and peaceful and I feel like I’m alone there, talking to God, and He’s listening to only me. I’m pretty sure He is.

When I got home, it was a little overcast and they were calling for big storms, so I figured I’d try and get a little more walking in. When it’s hot, I prefer to take several short walks instead of a long one. A couple of times, I over did it and had to sit under a tree to catch my breath when I got light headed. Not good. I managed to get 3.5 miles total in today.

I barely got home when the skies opened up. A nice refreshing rain. The temp is 78 now instead of in the 90’s.

So, a very nice Saturday so far. I have dinner plans at Miss Pat’s and then we are off to the Performing Arts Center on the square for a concert at 8. What a perfect day.

Happy Saturday, my friends.

Friday:) Food, Fun, and Some Not So Friendly Skies

20 May

“Thunderstorms are as much our friends as the sunshine.” 

― Criss Jami, Killosophy


It’s funny, when someone asks me if I like Mexican food, I say, “We just call it food. We’re Mexican.” Maybe a little bit of a joke, but it’s mostly true. Pretty much anything tastes great when placed in a tortilla. Don’t even get me started on avocados.

Road trip fun…

Not so friendly skies…

Sunday Sermon, Stormy Weather, Blogging From the Bathroom, and Other Stuff

27 Mar

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.” 

― Haruki Murakami


A beautiful sunny Sunday morning. So many smiles and morning greetings before Mass. Today’s Gospel was interesting. It was the story of Jesus bringing sight to the man born blind. He spat on the dirt, made mud, and anointed the blind man’s eyes, telling him to go wash his eyes. He told everyone about the miracle and they didn’t believe him. 

“The man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyesand told me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash..’So I went there and washed and was able to see.”

Back in those days, people believed that illness, blindness,  and other physical disabilities were caused because of sin, something done by the person or passed down from family sins. They also felt the wealth and good health was bestowed to only good righteous people. Jesus said that wasn’t true.

“Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.


My take on it…. there are many thoughts that cross my mind. The clay or mud that was made to cure the blind man was made from the earth or dirt, we are made from dust and shall return,  and His saliva was the faith. Then, if you believe, your trials will be washed away. Symbolism at its finest. Also, it makes me think and reinforces that illness, blindness, physical problems, poverty, and other tribulations are not curses from God. He helps us deal with them. 

There are many good, kind, generous, and loving people who are poor, sick, or have had to carry a heavy load. There are many bad, evil, selfish people who are rich, powerful, have good health, and an easy life. It’s what you do with your life that counts at the end. 


After Mass, a quick trip to Sprouts, almonds, papaya, peppers and other fun stuff on sale. Yay! When I got home, I decided that almost falling asleep and nodding off at Mass wasn’t good, so Bella, my doggie companion and I took a nice afternoon nap, followed by a long walk. It was 80 degrees, sunny, and gorgeous out. I took her home then continued my walk. She was too hot. I stopped to chat with neighbors along the way and,…low and behold…Mr. Larry and Ms. Sandy were in the garage. I was forced, against my will,  to stop and have a beer. The clouds started rolling in and the sky turned grey. I scurried home, fed Bella and took her for another walk before the scary stuff rolled in.

The calm before the storm. 

The storm rolled in. I wrote this poem.


Distant thunder drawing near.

Tornado watch announced, I hear.

A clash of thunder, a flash of light.

It’s bound to be a bumpy night….

It was….

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Somewhere around 8p.m. The thunderstorm started. The television shows were interrupted to show where the danger was. A short time later, the tornado siren warned to take cover.

Bella and I took pillows, blankets, a flashlight, and of course my iPad into the bathroom for safety. We are sitting here now, as I finish this post. BLOGGING FROM THE BATHROOM…hmm….could be a new exciting blog idea. Maybe not.

Well, it’s 9:40 now. It seems to have passed, but the hail pelting against the windows earlier was pretty scary, I sure hope that was the end of that. 

Happy Sunday, y’all. I hope everyone is safe and sound. 

Saturday:) From Sunny Skies To Severe Storms~ All In A Day

10 Jul

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” ― Rabindranath Tagore


It was already scorching hot this morning, narely a cloud in the sky. When I went for a short morning walk with Bella, I tried to stroll under the shady trees to avoid the heat.

Then, time to test out the old knee with a Zumba class. I hadn’t been to class in a few weeks, and I did pretty well, mostly because I avoided the twisty jerky motions and jumping jacks. Not too bad.

Dr. Bridwell had mentioned that the exercise bike, walking and swimming would be good exercise. Well, two out of three. (I don’t do water.) So, I rode the bike a few miles, 4.29 miles, 25 minutes. Then, I got off the bike, stretched a little, then walked up the five steps.Yikes! The knee gave way. Maybe I over did it? I rested it and massaged it a few minutes, then it was ok.

Nothing on my agenda, no plans, so I stopped at McDonald’s for an iced tea, check emails, and people watch. I do some of my best thinking that way. I pretty much had the place to myself.

The afternoon brought a few clouds, then a few more, then kaboom, the skies opened up. It was a well needed rain, but the severe weather closed airports and delayed flights. Poor Mr. Mike got diverted to Houston, and little Bella gets to visit a little longer.

I sit here, with open windows, a gentle breeze, and the fresh scent of rain quenching the thirsty earth. All is calm.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Sunday Sermon and Stormy Skies

30 May

When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.~Haruki Murakami


It was cloudy his morning when I drove to church, but the rain held off. 

Today was the Feast of Corpus Christi, celebrating the solemnity of the belief in the body and blood of Jesus in the Eucharist. The Gospel was Luke 9:11-17 about the five loaves and two fish feeding the crowds. More miracles, more bread. My take on it…The symbolism of feeding the body and soul. 

After Mass, I stopped at my friend Jerry’s house for tea and conversation. He has a wonderful collection of artwork and sculptures. We sat out back, the sun came out, it was a beautiful afternoon. 

I stopped at Walgreens to upload some photos of my trip. (No selfie control) It took me quite a long time to figure out the kiosk and editing stuff, but I did it. Yay! I’ll pick up 227 tomorrow. 

When I went for my evening walk, it was sunny and warm, but off in the northwest, it looked a little dark, followed with a distant sound of thunder. A few minutes into my walk…….

A scary stormy sky. I stood and watched in amazement, took pictures, then scurried home when the rain and lightning threatened harm. 

“I walked through the storm and I learned.”


Theme Song Thursday:Stormy Weather

21 Nov

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
It was a beautiful day today. But, a storm is on the way. Here is the calm before the storm.

A beautiful sunset on my evening walk.

Here are the clouds rolling in. We can use the rain, for sure.

Don’t know why there’s no sun up in the sky…stormy weather. A classic.

Waiting to come out of the storm.


Theme Song Thursday: Every Storm

4 Apr

“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about.”
― Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
Rain, hail, lightning bombarding McKinney right now. I was out having dinner with Miss Eleanor and Karen. My friends Lynne and Linda texted me to see if I was aware and home safe. (FRIENDS!) I got home just minutes before all H-E-double hockey sticks broke loose. Tornado sirens started blaring and I headed for cover. No basements here in Texas, so an interior bathroom and some big pillows are my only security.

I’m writing this blog, watching intermittent CBS weather as the tv signal goes in and out, ready to jump into the bathroom any second. A minute of the storm out my window.

9 pm. Tornado and severe storm warnings over! Good news!


“Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)”

Oh so your standing in the middle of the thunder and lightning
I know you’re feeling like you just can’t win, but you’re trying
It’s hard to keep on keepin’ on, when you’re being pushed around
Don’t even know which way is up, you just keep spinning down, ’round, down…

Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain

So hold your head up and tell yourself that there’s something more
And walk out that door,
Go find a new rose, don’t be afraid of the thorns
‘Cause we all have thorns
Just put your feet up to the edge, put your face in the wind
And when you fall back down, keep on rememberin’

Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain

It’s gonna run out of pain
It’s gonna run out of sting
It’s gonna leave you alone
It’s gonna set you free
Set you free

Every storm runs, runs out of rain
Just like every dark night turns into day
Every heartache will fade away
Just like every storm runs, runs out of rain

It’s gonna set you free,
It’s gonna run out of pain,
And set you free



Tuesday: Tips and T-Storms

22 May

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship.”

Crazy weather here in North Texas today, but nothing compared to the devastation in Oklahoma. Mother Nature is not always kind. This morning the skies were clear, and it was so warm and muggy that you could perspire just standing still. I was already sweating before I walked in the door at the Y for my 8:30 Zumba class. The hour long class didn’t kill me, (I always consider it a plus when I live through an entire class) so I asked a few of the gals in class if they wanted to stop at McDonald’s afterwards. (Tip: Take time for friends.)

We were laughing so hard and talking so loud that when the manager came over to our table, I thought for sure he was going to ask us to leave. He crouched down next to us and said, “Ladies, whatever your doing, keep it up. You’re having such a good time!” (Close call!) We told him if we got too loud, he could banish us into the kiddie play-land. He laughed and shared a story about how he got stuck at the top by the climbing slide when he tried to rescue a little kid. (Tip: If you’re gonna be rowdy, make friends with the manager.)

The dark clouds started rolling in fast, so we left our laugh-fest and headed home. A about an hour later, the skies opened up and all H..E..double hockey sticks broke out. (Tip: Make sure you have one of those severe alert weather radios and fresh batteries.)


Rain pelted at the windows and the wind whipped the trees all around. The power didn’t go out here, but a few miles away, trees were toppled over and power lines snapped. After a few hours of torrential rain, the clouds drifted away, and the birds chirped a happy song. Oh yes, the dogs were happy to be back in the family room watching TV, and not huddled in the bathroom. (Tip: The doggies get scared too. When they jump in your lap, give them a little love and reassurance.)


When all is said and done, any time you survive a storm…it’s a good thing.