Archive | January, 2016

Saturday:) Sturdy Shelves, Stubborn Streaks, and a Sunset

24 Jan

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” ― Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice


This morning, I got up early to take Bella for a walk before going to writing group. I didn’t have anything to share or that needed critiquing, but I enjoy the comraderie of the group of wonderful writer’s and friends. Aelle paid me the nicest compliment. She said, “Toni, when are you going to work on your novel? I read your blog, and you are a wonderful writer.” Good question! I guess it’s part of my stubborn streak. Until my mind and soul feel at peace, I don’t want to write something that isn’t coming from my heart. But, perhaps that’s what I need to write about.

Now, what does that have to do with sturdy shelves, you ask? It’s all part of getting organized, my life, my mind, and my “crap/craft room.” Pardon my French. I was talking to Sherry the other day about organizing craft rooms, and decided if I had another wall of shelves, I could display and organize better. I went to Home Depot and bought four more shelf units. AND, ta-da…they were on sale. Even better.

I managed to get all four units in a big shopping cart, with two inside the cart and two dangling precariously off the bottom. Of course, there was no clerk to help lift them or offer to help me out. I am a sturdy stubborn woman, and I intended to tackle it by myself. But, after paying, as I was teetering across the parking lot, a kind gentleman offered to help me. He grabbed the two bottom shelves as they slipped off the cart and into the street. He said, “You steer and I’ll follow.” Then, to add to my damsel in distress blonde moment, I forgot which aisle I parked my car. I was close, but turned the cart one aisle too soon , and we had to remove and carry each unit across a wide curb to my trunk.

I was pleased to find that chivalry is not dead, and there are still considerate, kind, and helpful people still on the planet. I thanked the gentleman and drove away thinking, he’s probably still shaking his head saying to himself, “Spacey woman!” 

You’ll be pleased to note that I managed to remove all four shelves from my car all by myself. Now, it might be quite a while before I muster up the energy to tackle the organizing. That will be another story.

I got home just in time to capture another glorious sunset on my evening walk. And the moon…oh my…the moon was spectacular.



Friday:) From Last Night’s Friendly Rodeo to the Fiery Friday Sunset

23 Jan

“As long as you keep on walking on the old paths, you will never have footprints on the new paths!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan


I’ve been “walking on old paths” for many, many years, but must admit that lately, my footprints have been on many new paths. As, promised, I wanted to share a few photos from the Fort Worth Rodeo Shoot Out from last night.

“This ain’t my first rodeo!”    Well, yah…it was! New paths to travel. 

First of all, y’all gotta wear some boots if y’all are goin’ ta the rodeo.

Then y’all gotta get a burger and cheese fries at the RODEO GOAT before the event. Sooooo good!

A lot of pageantry and patriotism, a Texas tradition.

It’s all a big blur. The riders, Broncos, and Bulls move so fast…impossible to get a photo. Each event is over in seconds. I found myself holding my breath and grabbing my chest as each rider got flung and bucked and thrown to the ground. 

It was a fun evening with my dear friend Sherry, her momma and daddy, and sister and other kin. (Don’t I sound all Texan like?) I was exhausted just from watching all the Cowboys, men and women ride and race and fall and chase.

To contrast the excitement from last night, here are a couple of tranquil firey sunsets from this evening’s walk.

 These sunsets are also from my new path, my new life, my new journey.

Theme Song Thursday:) “Cowboy Up”

21 Jan

“Sometimes life is like the rodeo. You just have to hold on tight and pray you don’t get thrown off before the final bell.”

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“Cowboy Up. It was the slogan of the Pro Rodeo Tour, the slogan of bull riders and rodeo competitors at every level of the game. No matter how hard the hit, whatever the level of injury, a cowboy didn’t stay down. he got up and shook off the pain…’Cowboy Up’ the words had come to define the cowboy mentality, the rodeo way of life. Riders had two choices: Cowboy Up or go home. If cowboys didn’t look past their injuries, the rodeo would no longer exist. Everyone rode hurt; it was the nature of the sport.” 

A Thousand Tomorrows


My dear friend Sherry Joplin invited me to go to the SW Expo & Livestock Show in Fort Worth. In other words…the rodeo. This was my birthday gift, along with a cute cowgirl type bracelet. I’m looking forward to a great evening of new adventures and laughter with a great friend. I’ll take pictures to share tomorrow.  Yee-haw!



Wednesday:) What Do You See? I SEE FACES!

21 Jan

If you always walk with a smile on your face, you will always see a face with a smile wherever you go.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis



I’ve been known to see faces in the strangest places. I see faces in the clouds, very typical, but I also see faces in my brownie mix, not so typical. I see faces in oil spots on the street, weird, and today I saw faces on the plastic water reclamation receptacles. Crazy! Some fallen leaves and sprigs had fallen on top of the circles, and with a little arranging, they came alive with a smile.

Now, you see those cute faces too, don’t you? I see you smiling!

Tuesday:) Tales of a Talisman

20 Jan

“If you don’t believe in luck, you won’t have any. If you don’t believe that dreams can come true, they won’t. You are what you believe.

~Toni Amenta Andrukaitis


“All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail. That is the talisman, the formula, the command of right-about-face which turns us from failure towards success.”

Dorothea Brande


The definition of a talisman is described below. I find lucky pennies or lucky feathers, and I use them  as a personal talisman. I always seem to find them when I need them. For me, the penny symbolizes, not wealth necessarily, but that things will be OK and will work out for the best. I feel that the feather represents the wings of courage, the ability to fly and soar when I might be feeling sad and earthbound, perhaps even angel wings guiding and protecting. A talisman is only what you make of it. Magical powers.


tal·is·man\ˈta-ləs-mən, -ləz-\noun

: an object (such as a ring or stone) that is believed to have magic powers and to cause good things to happen to the person who has it

Full Definition

1 : an object held to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune

2 : something producing apparently magical or miraculous effects


This afternoon on my walk, I found a lucky feather almost hidden in the thick winter  grass. I needed the reassurance of the feather talisman today. I found it. It was a good day.

“If you don’t believe in luck, you won’t have any. If you don’t believe that dreams can come true, they won’t. You are what you believe.
~Toni Amenta Andrukaitis

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

19 Jan

“Every morning we begin our new life with new joy. So let it be beautiful.” ― Debasish Mridha


This week was filled with old friends and new life. My friend, Debbie, came for a visit. It was fun to reminisce, walk, shop, go to church, and eat vast quantities of food. Then, Sunday, I attended two baby showers, and the excitement of the soon-to-be moms, and the hopeful promise of new life, is very uplifting. Sometimes we just have to sit back and watch in wonder at this thing called life.


Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

18 Jan

“I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.” 

― Mitch Albom, For One More Day


Today’s Gospel was about the wedding feast at Cana where Jesus turned the water into wine. His mother, Mary noticed the wine was almost gone and she asked Jesus to intercede.Jesus told his mother, “My hour has not yet come,” but he did as she asked.

My take on it… Always do what your mother asks you to do. I’m just speaking as a mother.


During the Mass today, there was also a baptism for a baby girl. The congregation welcomed the baby into the Catholic Communty with prayers and a round of applause.

Again, an example of parents teaching children, building them and sharing their faith through example.

Speaking of babies, I had the privilege of attending two baby showers today. Two young mothers excited about bringing a new life into the world. People gathering to support and welcome a child, a child who will be loved and cared for by many.

   Mandy was delighted with the many friends who came to welcome little Aria. I just loved all the “ooohs,” and “ahhhs” from friends and family.

  Mandy and her sweet mamma, Sherry. Three generations of beautiful girls. (One waiting for arrival.)

Then, off to Sweet Spot Bakery to celebrate Kaylyn’s soon to arrive little boy. We played baby bingo and other games, had some great snacks and had some yummy cake made by mamma, Elizabeth.

Kaylyn performing a C-section on the cake. 

We played the “guess how wide Kaylyn’s tummy is” by cutting off a ribbon length to our guessed estimate of her baby waste. Makes you realize how big a tummy can get.

It was a busy day with babies and babies to be, and mothers and mothers to be be. But, one thing is a common thread, ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR MAMMA! 


Mom is always right! “You hear that, boys?”