Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

23 Oct

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us.”

~Joseph Campbell

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A busy week, with too much rain and too many things to do. Friends, family, firemen, fumbling with a dead battery,

and finding my umbrella. Not the life I planned, but let’s see what’s waiting around the corner.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

22 Oct

“Being different is dangerous in a world that requires conformity”

― Jonathan Cardon

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Wow! Two beautiful sunny days in a row. Be still my heart. But, I’m not giving up on construction of the ark quite yet. Looks like more rain and cooler temps later in the week.

This morning as I greeted at the door, everyone was in such a wonderful mood. Many hugs, handshakes and smiles were shared. Liam rushed up to the door and checked my pockets for his Matchbox car. Little Avery always gives me a big smile when she receives her little gift.

Today’s Gospel was the story of James and John asking Jesus if they could sit one at the right and the other at the left when He is in His glory. He basically told them that they had no idea what they asked, and that special treatment really wasn’t His to give.

“Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you will be your servant;

whoever wishes to be first among you will be the slave of all.

For the Son of Man did not come to be served

but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

My take on it… those who always have to be first, have to have the best of everything, need the glory and the power, those people who only have demands but never give of themselves, those are not the ones who will be rewarded at the end.

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After church, I stopped at the grocery store for a few things. Don’t ask me why, I really don’t need anything, but needing and wanting are two different things. When I got home, I made some pasta to add to my soup, and that’s another long story for another day. I went over to the Square for a couple of hours to visit with friends. Afterwards, I stopped to visit Miss Nelma over at Towne Creek.

Miss Nelma has been pretty sick for several months. I thought some homemade soup and a visit would cheer her up. I called her and asked if she would be home later so I could visit. She was delighted. I said, “I just wanted to make sure you were home and not out dancing or scuba diving or something.” She laughed. When last I saw her, she was hooked up to her oxygen tank. I brought soup and sandwiches and we hugged and laughed and had a wonderful visit.

Before I left, I got a text from my neighbor Kathy, asking if I’d like to meet her around 6ish for dinner at Nom Nom. Well, of course. I just had lunch, but dinner sounded good. (I brought most of it home.)

My day was pretty much, leave the house at 8:15 am, run around, spin my wheels, and walk in the door at 8:15 pm. Now, that’s a good Sunday. I’m a happy gal.

Saturday:) Sunshine, Sanctuary, Sprouts and Stranded

21 Oct

“Construction of the ark has been delayed because of an U.S.O. sighting~ an Unusual Strange Orb in the sky~ the sun.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“Don’t let yesterday’s storm keep you from enjoying today’s sunshine.”

― Matshona Dhliwayo

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The sun finally made an appearance for the first time in a very long time. It felt so strange to grab my sunglasses and walk with the sun warming my face.

I needed to go to the bank and run some errands. I was so close to St. Gabriel’s, so I decided to stop in a few minutes to light a candle and say a special prayer. There was some kind of small service going on. I thought that maybe in was a couple’s workshop or something. Audrey, the events coordinator was by the door. She asked if I was there for the funeral. I told her I just wanted to light a candle. She said the candles hadn’t been replaced and none were available, but I was welcome to stop in or go to the chapel. I decided to just sneak in the back and listen to Father Don’s Gospel reading and homily.

Kneeling in the back, listening to Father’s words, I got a bit teary eyed. He spoke about the man who had passed away, and about the legacy he left to the world. Father spoke about how sometimes the legacy we leave is not monetary or tangible, but how we influenced the people around us. It’s how much we love and are loved. Those are the true measures of a life well lived.

It’s funny, last Sunday when I stopped for coffee with Mr. Jerry after church, I asked him if he thought I was goofy. He said I was very sweet and kind and generous. Then he joked and said, “But, there is that time you crashed that funeral at St. MIchael’s.” In my defense, it was Ash Wednesday, and I thought it was a regular Lenten service. I smiled and thought, well, here I go again, crashing another funeral. At least this one was in English.

Afterwards, I stopped at Sprouts to pick up some vegetables to make a big pot of chicken soup. I bumped into my friend Deborah Ricci. She was sharing info and samples of natural and healthy skin products. We chatted and I showed her grand-baby pictures. Good to catch up.

Well, I put my groceries in the car and went to start it up…. dead as a door nail. It wouldn’t even turn over, just red lights flashing on the dash. No, I hadn’t left any lights on or anything. When I got my oil change last month, the guy did say that my battery was low and he tried to talk me into a pricey battery. He had already talked me into a pricier oil change and changing a couple of filters, so I really didn’t believe him.

I called AAA service. They said it would be an hour and twenty minutes. There was a Dunkin Donuts across the parking lot, so I walked over and asked for the gooiest filled donut to drown my sorrows. As I waited, I received several texts from friends Jerry, Bob, and Doug, who were watching college football, bantering back and forth about the games. Doug was at a bar with friends, Bob was sitting at home with candy and Jerry just got home from his grand-daughter’s cheerleading practice. I said I was drowning my sorrows at Dunkin Donuts with a dead battery and waiting an hour for AAA.

Jerry texted that he could be there in five minutes. Before I could reply to say that wasn’t necessary, he texted, “I’m on my way.” The funny part is, just as I read the text, a song playing in the restaurant said, “I’m on my way.” I laughed out loud, and also thought, how lucky am I to have such nice friends.

Jerry arrived in five minutes and sat with me while I waited. I said maybe I was being punished for crashing another funeral. He laughed. Then, he drove me back to my car when the AAA guy called to say he’d be there in five minutes. The young man was very sweet. His name was Fernando, and we chatted about his unusual name and other family names and how some cars have batteries hidden or buried under all kinds of stuff. He checked the battery, and it was extremely low. He jumped it and it started up right away. But, I asked if he could just replace it because, the way my luck was running, it would die again before I could get it to an auto shop. So, he put in a new battery.

Poor Jerry was missing his beloved Michigan game, but he said he’d probably get home before the final. Now, that’s a real friend. I’m very blessed.

So, that was my strange Saturday. I got my sunshine, but I had to weather the storm.

Friday:) Faces, Places, Fishing, Friends and Firemen

19 Oct

“It’s been raining so much that I’ll be able to go fishing from the upper deck of the ark I’m building in the backyard.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Here’s the cutest face that I’ve ever seen. My grand-daughter gets cuter by the day, and she looks so much like my angel mother.

The rain hasn’t slowed down, nor is there any end in sight. I haven’t actually started building the ark, but a canoe might come in handy soon. Plus, I don’t eat fish, so I won’t be fishing either. But, seriously, prayers and good thoughts for all those really under water and in harms way right now.

Last night, I went over to the VFW for karaoke night with a bunch of friends. It wasn’t very crowded, so I got to sing a lot of songs.

It was still raining this morning, and I was tired from all my late nights painting, writing and watching endless episodes of Murder She Wrote, so it was 11 am before I slithered out of bed. I said, “OOOH, if I get dressed really fast, I can get over to the 11:30 Zumba class.” So, I scurried. It was a good class and great workout. It helped ease the gloom of day.

On the way home, I stopped at Fire Station 9 with some brownies for the guys. They must have been doing some training because there were several trucks from other stations. If I would have known, I would have brought more, but I’m sure they appreciated the thought.

Happy Friday, stay dry, and cheers. It’s Black Russian Friday.

Theme Song Thursday:) Here Comes the Sun…NOT!

18 Oct

“The rumors of the sun making a brief appearance in North Texas have been greatly exaggerated.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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This morning I woke up at the crack of noon…just kidding, I woke up around 9, but I went to bed at 2:30 am, so I just lolligaggled around till noon. (Is that a real word? Spellcheck didn’t like it.) To quote a line from a Santana song, “Evil Ways,”…”My house is dark and pots are cold.” It’s been rainy and gloomy and cold all week, actually a few weeks. My house is dark and I guess my pots are cold. I really don’t have any pots. We went from the scorching heat of summer to instant fall.

I made a cup of hot tea and sat with my iPad, checking my emails and Facebook. One of my friends posted that the sun was out. Oh man! I looked out the window. It wasn’t too dark, there was no pelting of rain. Promising. Hope springs eternal. I posted on Facebook that I heard a rumor that the sun was out, so I was going for a walk.

Optimistically, I put on my gym shoes and grabbed my sunglasses and scurried out the door. I never did see the sun, as it was veiled in whitish grayish streaks of clouds.

Instead of being disappointed, I thought, “At least it’s not raining!” Now, that’s a glass half full or all the way full kinda attitude. As I strolled under the trying-to-come-out sun, I sang an optimistic song. The power of positive thinking, or positive singing.

“Here Comes the Sun…”

https://youtu.be/xUNqsfFUwhY

My weather alert on my phone just dinged this very second, “A brief rain shower will begin around 5:06.” It’s been dinging all week. ENOUGH ALREADY!!! I better keep singing…Here comes the sun…da da da da…here comes the sun.. Everybody sing along with the Beatles.

Wednesday:) Walk Softly and Carry a Big Umbrella

18 Oct

“When the going gets tough, the tough go for a walk in the rain.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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It has rained almost every day, on and off all week, mostly on and not so much off. I hate to miss my walks, so I just grab my big Norte Dame umbrella and walk in the rain.

Needless to say, I didn’t run into any other walkers out there tonight.

Even though these endless rainy days could be depressing, I don’t let it get me down.

Ah oh! A show tune coming on…”Rainy Days and Monday’s.” I’ll have to sing that tomorrow at karaoke.

This morning, my friend Diane and I went to the movies to see “A Star Is Born.” Very good, pretty sad, great singing and acting. (Spoiler alert) A few tears at the end. Good movie for a dreary day.

With all this rain and dreariness, a good tip to avoid the blues is keep busy and keep moving.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tasty Tip of the Day

16 Oct

“If your food is colorful and beautiful, it’s going to taste wonderful, too.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I’m not a super big bagel fan, but I saw these yummy looking asiago cheese bagels with jalepeños the other day at Tom Thumb, and they were…yes, you guessed it…on sale.

I’m not a vegetarian, but I probably wouldn’t have a problem with it because I’m not a huge meat eater. But, I could never be a vegan. Me NEED cheese and ice cream! So, most of my meals are meatless, but there’s always cheese around somewhere.

For three days in a row, I’ve had a toasted bagel with a little melted cheese, avocado, tomato and spinach. Today, I ran out of tomato, so I put some thinly sliced cucumber. YUM!

Remember last week when I bought all those avocados on sale? I’ve been eating one every day, either on my bagel or in a salad. And spinach… I could eat baby spinach every day too. Hmm…I think I do.

Then, when I prepare my delicious, nutritious and yummy bagel sandwich, I always make sure it looks pretty too. Isn’t that pretty?

I drizzle a little ranch dressing that I dilute with apple cider vinegar for a little tang. Voila! A colorful, beautiful, tasty quick, easy, nutritious and inexpensive meal.

So, that’s my tip. Enjoy preparing your food, enjoy eating your food. And enjoy your life.