Tag Archives: sunsets

Wednesday:) Where Ya Been Miss Toni

23 Nov

“You know you’re having a great adventure when you can’t get WIFI or cell phone reception.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Well, yesterday I wrote about my adventures at the Rio Grande, thinking of my ancestors and the people on the other side of the river.

Today, I want to share just a few photos from Big Bend National Park. I have a few hundred, so I’ll spare you the ordeal of sifting through them all.

I’m back in McKinney, with WIFI and cell phone reception. Yay!

The highlights. These are probably the ones I’d like to paint in watercolor… next chance I get. I took my paints with me, but didn’t get around to painting. My New Year’s resolution.

Some gorgeous scenery, glorious sunsets, and desert beauty.

Saturday at St. Gabriel’s Holiday Boutique and a Sunset

5 Nov

“We fellowship with God when we fellowship with people” ― Sunday Adelaja


Today was St. Gabriel’s Holiday Boutique. It’s always a wonderful combination of fabulous crafters and devoted volunteers. The Women’s Club and Knights of Columbus organized, set up, cooked and prepared for this annual event. I ran into a lot of good friends and found many treasures for my holiday gift giving. 

The first encounter was my friend Mary and her lovely daughter and family. Mary and I greet at the door before 9 o’clock Mass pretty much every Sunday. We had lunch together, and the Knights of Columbus started preparing food and arranging tables around 5 am. 

I hadn’t seen my good friend Bonita in quite a while. She was volunteering with the crafting women’s group. Always a big smile and a hug.

Gosh, I haven’t seen Paula since last year’s Boutique. We used to play tennis together. I haven’t played in years. She is an amazing player. I’m an old has been. She makes lovely jewelry with sports teams and local scool logos and mascots. 

Another fun friend, Krys, sews, knits, crochets and creates beautiful craft items. I picked up a little treasure for my Baby Belle. Krys was another friend who used to come and volunteer with me at Towne Creek. She taught the ladies origami and jewelry making and many other crafts that I have no talent for or ability. 

I came home with a big bag of treasures, not to mention a dozen tamales that the Knights were selling on the way out. 

It was a beautiful afternoon and evening. I made sure to stop inside the sanctuary and light a candle before I drove home, with a special intention and a heart filled with gratitude.

On my evening walk, I stopped at my neighbors open garage and joined Mr. Larry and Miss Sandy for a beer and conversation. The sunset blazed orange and gold in the western sky, reminding me of my blessings and the glorious scenery that God paints for us every day. 

This is my sunset….

Friday:) From Sunrise to Sunset

14 Oct

“A sunset will color your dreams.And a sunrise will color your smile.

It’s all God asks.” 

― Anthony T. Hincks


(A picture’s worth a thousand words. Two pictures tell an entire story.)

To color my smile.

To color my dreams.

Happy Friday…

Sunday Sermon and a Sunset

17 Sep

“Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.” 

― Will Smith


Another beautiful Sunday morning greeting parishioners at St. Gabriel’s. I actually remembered to wear my name tag today, and more and more people are saying, “Good morning, Toni.” I’ve been learning more names and giving out more hugs and handshakes,too. The new church building is coming along.

Today’s Gospel was another story about forgiveness. ( Is somebody up there trying to tell me something?) Peter asked Jesus about forgiveness. 

Gospel MT 18:21-35

“Peter approached Jesus and asked him, “Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive? As many as seven times?”  Jesus answered, “I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times. That is why the kingdom of heaven may be likened to a king who decided to settle accounts with his servants.”

When the servant who owed a huge amount of money to the king begged for mercy and not to be sold, along with his wife, family and possessions, he begged… “Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.” The king forgave him his debt. Later, that same man came across a fellow servant who owed him a small amount of money, and instead of forgiving the other man’s debt, he had him imprisoned. When the king heard this, he summoned the man and said, “You wicked servant!” And he asked why he couldn’t forgive his fellow servant a small debt after being begged, when he had forgiven his huge debt. The king was angry and had the man tortured.

My take on it…well, first of all, these Gospels lately have been hitting home. I’ve been working on this forgiveness chapter in my life, and I’ll admit, I’m not totally there yet. Here’s my dilemma. In all these verses and Gospel readings, someone is begging for forgiveness. And yes, we are told that God will forgive us anything if we ask Him. But, they ASK! I keep reading quotes and have people telling me that I need forgive,  even when someone doesn’t ask for forgiveness. You do it for yourself. I STILL DON’T GET IT! 

I had this discussion with friends just a few days ago. My philosophy is actions speak louder than words. I don’t have to say the words, “I forgive you,” and I still can go on with my life, without hate or anger, be the best person I can be, and have a good heart. But, unless I am asked to forgive someone or some offense, there’s no point saying the words. If they don’t even think they’ve done anything wrong or have harmed you in any way, there’s no point. It means nothing to them, so it means nothing to me.

If you ask God to forgive you, He will. That’s why He’s God and we’re just human. He knows what’s in your heart. I have asked God for forgiveness and strength, and I believe that has been granted. But, He also will NOT forgive an evil person with an evil heart. They will be punished.  Do you see the point now? You have to sincerely ask? You have to change your ways and change your heart. It’s not a free pass to do what you please.

Okay, now on a brighter note.🎼 After Mass, the Knights of Columbus had free donuts outside at a couple of tables. There was a small donation jar. I walked over, slightly tempted, as I hadn’t eaten since lunch yesterday. But, I’m not a huge donut fan, even chocolate. So, I just put a dollar in the jar and said, “I’m saving the calories. Thanks for all you do.” Then, off I went to Sprouts.

Did I mention I was hungry? Uh oh! Sprouts had dark chocolate covered almonds on sale for ONLY $2.99 a pound. My downfall! That’s insane! I’m insane! I bought many pounds. I’m too embarrassed to tell you how many. I’m glad I passed on the donuts.

But, before you judge me too harshly, I did buy some apples, peaches, green peppers, tomatoes, and blackberries. It looks like a lot, but I like to share with my friend, Miss Eleanor. She can’t get out to the store much.

It’s been a good Sunday. I’m going to post this and go out for a nice long walk. It’s still kinda hot out there, so I may have to stop for a beer if Mr. Larry’s garage is open. 

Here’s my sunset from last night…

Friday:) Friends, Feathers, and a Fiery Sunset

5 Aug

“Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul 
And sings the tune without the words 

And never stops at all.” 

― Emily Dickinson


The first Friday of each month is my volunteer day over at Towne Creek. My morning starts out gathering art supplies and preparing a project. Then, I go to the store to shop for feast supplies. I always provide a fun lunch with snacks and dessert. Today, the plan was hot dogs, chips, pizza, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream floats. While I was at the store, I texted Mr. Mike to see if he wanted any frozen pizzas on sale. He said sure. (He eats a lot of frozen pizza. I’m an enabler.)

I stopped by Papa Murphy’s Pizza next to Tom Thumb to say hi to Miss Karri, and then hugs and chats and laughing.

Walking through the parking lot, I found a lucky feather at my feet. A good sign. I like to think it’s someone up there saying, “Good job. Enjoy your day.”

I dropped off ten pizzas at Mr. Mike’s down the street. Hopefully that will last him a couple of weeks. When I got home, I was starving. I realized I hadn’t eaten a real meal since Wednesday, so I grabbed my left over burrito in the fridge and warmed it up in a pan. While it was heating, I finished gathering my art supplies. 

I do this all the time! I got so wrapped up with something else, and forgot the pan on the stove until my nose informed me something was burning.

Oh no! The good news is, I had more tortillas, so I scraped off the burnt part and warmed a new  tortilla, watching more carefully this time. I snarfed down my slightly singed lunch and scurried off to Towne Creek.

The ladies were happy to see me, and we worked on our project and I prepared our feast. Miss Eleanor played piano for a while, then we enjoyed ice cream floats and conversation. It was a good day.

I got home in time for my evening walk. My favorite part of the evening is capturing the fiery summer sunset.

Saturday:) Some Spectacular Sunsets

29 Jul

“A large drop of sun lingered on the horizon and then dripped over and was gone, and the sky was brilliant over the spot where it had gone, and a torn cloud, like a bloody rag, hung over the spot of its going. And dusk crept over the sky from the eastern horizon, and darkness crept over the land from the east.” ― John Steinbeck


It’s just past midnight, so it’s officially Saturday. I decided to write my Saturday post early. I won’t be able to write it later. I’m sitting on the sofa, my iPad on my lap, and my Black Russian by my side. In just a few hours, I’ll be going to my first CHRP Women’s Retreat at St. Gabriel’s. CHRP stands for Christ Renews His Parish. The CRHP retreat is an opportunity to rediscover, renew, revitalize or intensify your faith in Christ. It is also a time of prayer, reflection and fellowship with fellow parishioners from the St. Gabriel’s community. 

Instructions for the two day retreat are, no cell phones, iPads, books, or electronic devices. Leave your wallet and valuables at home, and get a ride to church. All meals will be provided. It’s kind of exciting and mysterious. I’m venturing out of my normal comfort zone. I don’t do unknown or change very well. Here I go. It will be great.

Here’s what I’d like to share today, because heaven forbid, I should miss a day writimg my blog. I don’t want to break my streak.

 I’m a big fan of the glorious Texas sunsets. Almost every evening, I scramble out the door for my walk and a chance to capture the sunset, my favorite time of day. 

Just a few of my favorites.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

24 Jul

“The heartiest flowers thrive best amongst the weeds.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

“This garden is your life. Of course, there are the occasional weeds—but more than anything, this garden is filled with so much life!” 

― Seth Adam Smith


Sunday again, another hot steamy Sunday, but it’s always cool inside St. Gabriel’s, and a lot of cool people, too.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus telling the parable of the the kingdom of heaven being like the man who sowed seeds in his wheat field, and his enemy sowed weeds. His servants asked if they should pull the weeds as they grew. 

“He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds you might uproot the wheat along with them. Let them grow together until harvest; then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning; but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘”

My take on it…there are good and bad people in the world. In the end, God will separate the wheat from the weeds, the good from the bad. The weeds will burn, (bad people) the wheat will be safe in the barn.(good people) The heartiest flowers thrive best amongst the weeds.

A spectacular McKinney sunset.