Archive | November, 2017

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.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Hand In The Rio Grande

22 Nov

“You can’t go home again, or can you?”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

A scenic drive, glorious sunsets, and a feeling of ancestry, all makes for a wonderful trip to Big Bend National Park.

My heritage is Hispanic, although most people wouldn’t guess it. My mother was born in Chicago and my dad in Amarillo. Dad always boasted of being a Texan, even though he probably only lived in Texas a few years as a child. But, my grandparents were born in Mexico.

This afternoon, when we hiked up and down a rugged trail to get to the Rio Grande, with Mexico just a few feet on the other side, I thought of my ancestors. Way back when they came to the states, there were no boarder guards and presidents talking about building walls. And, I bet a few of my earlier ancestors were here before the Rio Grande was the border. It was their home, too.

So, when I got down to the river, I put my hand in and touched the cold water of the Rio Grande. There was a man playing a guitar and singing on the other side of the shore. I sang along to “Cielito Lindo.” It’s one of my favorites. If you’re not familiar, it’s that “ay, ay, ay, ay song,

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

21 Nov

“Adventures begin in your own back yard. But, an occasional road trip every now and then is fun.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


A week in a peek.

Internet is sucky here in Big Bend National park, so we have to walk across the street in the dark or try and get a signal. If this posts… it worked. Cross your fingers. Here we go.

Sunday Sermon and Some More San Antonio Missions

20 Nov

Make your life a mission – not an intermission.

~Arnold H. Glasow


This morning, we attended Mass at the San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio. It’s a beautiful ornate church, complete with gold gilding, statues, carvings, and pius atmosphere.

Today’s Gospel was the parable of the talents. A man gave one servant 5 talents, another 2 talents, and the third 1 talent. When the master returned, the men given 5 and 2 talents doubled their money while the man given 1 buried his. The master was pleased with the first two and rewarded them, and the last, who buried the money was scorned and cast out.

My take on it… here the term talent refers to money, but we could relate it to talents or gifts. God may give some people more gifts or talents than others, but we are obliged to use our gifts, share them, make them grow, and use them to the best of our ability. If we waste our talents and are lazy or selfish, we will not be rewarded in the end.


Now, for the lovely historic missions.

The four southernmost Spanish colonial missions—Concepción,  San José, San Juan and Espada  —are included in the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which officially opened in 1983. These four missions, along with the Alamo, have been named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO). Land for the Historical Park was donated by the city, county, state, Catholic Church and San Antonio Conservation Society. The missions are walled compounds encompassing a church and buildings where the priests and local Native Americans lived and worked.

Mission Concepcion.

Mission San Jose

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission Espada

My mission was to see all the five historical missions in San Antonio. Mission accomplished.

I lit a candle and said a fervent prayer for friends and family. If you are reading this, you are in my prayers too.

Saturday in San Antonio

19 Nov

Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.

~Benjamin Disraeli


What should have been a 4 1/2 hour drive from McKinney to San Antonio tuned out to be over 6 hours. Between road construction and a few roadside accidents, traffic went from Indy 500 Speedway at 80/85 mikes mph to crawling parking lot speeds of zero. I drove the first leg of the journey, but started getting drowsy after a couple of hours. It was sunny and I’m not the world’s greatest driver. I pulled over at a Love’s gas station so Jim could drive, only to find out it was brand new construction and not open yet. So we just did a quick driver switch. We stopped a few mikes down the road to stretch our legs and get a Coke at McDonald’s. It was closed and under construction. Yikes! Strike two. Two for two. I said with our luck, San Antonio would be closed and under construction. It wasn’t.

The Cathedral of San Antonio by day and by night. We will go to Mass here in the morning.

Strolling Market Square and dinner and margaritas.

And of course, it would not be a trip to San Antonio without the famous Alamo.

Let’s see what tomorrow has in store. Every day is an adventure.

Friday:) Fun Fast Food At Home

18 Nov

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”



The only thing better than good food, is yummy food you can fix really fast. I bought some tostada shells the other day ay Winco. They were so darn cheap, I think 99 cents or even less. I popped a couple in the toaster oven with some shredded jack cheese, until melted, threw a little spinach, then sliced up an avocado, (on sale 69 cents), voila, avocado tostado in five minutes. I also diced up a cucumber and a few tomatoes that I keep in a container with some Italian dressing. I scoop some of that on a bowl of baby spinach for a fast yummy salad. There’s enough for a couple of more days.

With all this extra free time, I have more time to enjoy Black Russian Friday.

Theme Song Thankful Thursday:) It’s A Good Day

17 Nov

On a bad day, I have mood swings – but on a good day, I have the whole mood playground.     

Charles Rosenblum


When I read these great quotes, I think, why didn’t I think of that?

I had a pretty good day. An easy going, my slip not showing, the rooster crowing, the sky not snowing, my car not towing, just to-and-froing kinda day. When you’re thankful for the little things in life, you receive great big blessings. I am very blessed.

I see beauty every day.

I had lunch with my friend Diane and found a lucky feather in the parking lot.

I spent the evening singing karaoke and dancing with friends.