Tuesday:) Today, Say Happy Birthday to Elvis

9 Jan

“I don’t mind getting older; it’s a privilege denied to so many!”

― Chris Geiger, The Cancer Survivors Club

WHO DOESN’T LOVE ELVIS!!!!!!

Happy Birthday, Elvis! Here are some facts about The King in honor of his 84th birthday

POSTED 10:48 AM, JANUARY 8, 2019, BY CNN WIRE, UPDATED AT 03:26PM, JANUARY 8, 2019

American singer Elvis Presley performing on tour. (Photo by Courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer/Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images)

Here’s some background information about Elvis Presley, one of the biggest-selling musical acts of all time, with more than a billion records sold worldwide.

Personal:

• Birth date: January 8, 1935

• Death date: August 16, 1977

• Birth place: Tupelo, Mississippi

• Birth name: Elvis Aaron Presley

• Father: Vernon Presley

• Mother: Gladys Presley

• Marriage: Priscilla (Beaulieu) Presley (May 1, 1967-October 9, 1973, divorced)

• Children: Lisa Marie, February 1, 1968

• Military service: US Army, 1958-1960

Other Facts:

• Nominated for 14 and won three Grammy Awards and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

• Starred in 31 feature films and two concert documentary films.

• His American sales earned him gold, platinum or multi-platinum awards for 150 different albums and singles.

• During his “concert years” from 1969 to 1977, Elvis gave nearly 1,100 concert performances.

• Elvis had 18 No. 1 hits in the United States from “Heartbreak Hotel” in 1956 to “Suspicious Minds” in 1969.

• Elvis is the only solo performer to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll, Country, and Gospel Halls of Fame.

• Col. Tom Parker, Elvis’ personal, business and financial manager, handled Elvis’ entire career from beginning to end.

• Approximately 500,000 people visit Elvis’s home, Graceland, each year. Graceland was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991 and became a National Historical Landmark in 2006.

Timeline:

• 1953 – Meets producer Sam Phillips.

• 1954 – Records “That’s All Right,” at Sun Records in Memphis, his first hit.

• 1956 – Makes his television debut on “Stage Show.”

• 1956 – Has his first No. 1 single with “Heartbreak Hotel.”

• September 9, 1956 – Appears on “The Ed Sullivan Show.”

• November 15, 1956 – First movie, “Love Me Tender,” is released.

• March 1957 – Purchases Graceland for $102,500.

• December 20, 1960 – “Flaming Star” is released, Elvis’ only non-singing movie role.

• February 29, 1968 – Wins a Grammy in the gospel genre for Best Sacred Performance for “How Great Thou Art.”

• December 3, 1968 – The television special “Elvis” airs. It is later called “The ’68 Comeback Special.”

• December 21, 1970 – Meets with US President Richard Nixon at the White House.

• August 28, 1971 – Receives the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

• March 3, 1973 – Wins a Grammy in the gospel genre for Best Inspirational Performance for “He Touched Me.”

• 1972 – Has his last US Top 10 hit in his lifetime with “Burning Love.”

• January 14, 1973 – Elvis’ television special, “Elvis: Aloha from Hawaii – Via Satellite,” is seen in 40 countries by 1 billion to 1.5 billion people.

• March 1, 1975 – Wins a Grammy in the gospel genre for Best Inspirational Performance (Non-Classical) for “How Great Thou Art.”

• June 26, 1977 – Performs his last concert, in Indianapolis.

• January 8, 1993 – The US Postal Service releases an Elvis commemorative postage stamp. More than 500 million are printed, three times the usual print run for a commemorative stamp.

• 2002 – A remix of Elvis’ song, “A Little Less Conversation,” reaches the Top 10 in music charts around the world.

• August 11-19, 2007 – First annual Elvis Week. Tens of thousands attend the festivities at Graceland celebrating the 30th anniversary of his death.

• October 31, 2018 – Forbes names Elvis number two on its top-earning dead celebrities list, with an estimated $40 million in earnings.

• November 16, 2018 – US President Donald Trump posthumously awards Presley the Presidential Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor — along with six others, including baseball phenom Babe Ruth and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

8 Jan

“They say I’m old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!”

― Dr. Seuss

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Another great week. One minute I’m in Chicago, the next I’m back in McKinney. No, it’s not time travel, but I sure would love that. It was wonderful to be with family and friends. All I can say is… I am blessed.

It’s a new year. It’s a great time to start fresh. I’m hoping to make this the best year ever. Wishing the same for you.

Sunday Sermon, Some Firemen, and Some Long Distance Gamma Time

7 Jan

“Yes I am weird, weird is good. Normal is overrated.”

― Mad-D

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It felt good to think that I was getting back to normal, then I realized, I was never normal to begin with. No where to get back to. I hit the ground running when I got home after being gone almost five weeks. Now, back to my old routines, errands, laundry, housework, friends, dog sitting, church, walking, and so much more.

Dog sitting, and of course, dog walking.

It was nice to see the sunrise, then see the sanctuary of St. Gabriel’s again. Greeting before 9 o’clock Mass, was good and back to normal. Lots of hugs and wishes for a Happy New Year. Sundays are a day of joy. The Knights of Columbus hosted a pancake breakfast afterwards. Nice.

Today’s Gospel was the story of the Magi or Three Wisemen. I always called them the Three Wise Guys. A little Catholic humor.

Gospel

MT 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,

in the days of King Herod,

behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,

“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?

We saw his star at its rising

and have come to do him homage.”

We all know the story. Herod didn’t like this. He told the Magi to let him know when they find the child so he could pay homage. But, after they found the baby and family, offering gifts and homage, a dream warned them not to return to Herod.

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After the pancake breakfast, a quick stop at Sprouts, as my tradition, for some much needed fruit and vegetables. Then, scurry home and take Bella for a walk. Later, a walk around the neighborhood, with a stop to visit Mr. Larry and Miss Sandy.

When I got home, time to make the brownies. A batch for tomorrow and a batch, hot out of the oven to take over my friendly firemen over at Station 9. I think maybe they were missing me. (At least my brownies.) I showed them a bunch of baby pictures.)

Hamming it up for Miss Toni. I got to see their Christmas tree and decorations, still on display. My hand-painted ornament was in a prominent location. It was a nice visit. I like having my firemen family, too.

Later in the afternoon, I was able to FaceTime with my grandchildren. Gosh, I miss them. Belle was sweet and talkative. She had all her baby dolls lined up, taking care of them, and arranging them.

Then it was time to say goodbye and blow kisses to Gamma. Melt my heart.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmGMy5v9tiA

It was a wonderful Sunday… even if the Bears lost and choked and hit the uprights. It’s just a game.

Saturday:) Celebrating Stephen and Bonnie

6 Jan

“A circle has no end, no beginning, and can hold within itself all the love and devotion shared between mates. Let the rings you exchange now guide you in your life together and show you the way to everlasting love.”

― Stacie Simpson

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This afternoon, friends and family gathered to celebrate the marriage of Stephen and Bonnie. It was a beautiful ceremony, with two young people exchanging vows and promises. I don’t know what it is, but I ALWAYS cry at weddings. Happy tears.

Stephen is the son of my friends Karen and Brad. I was honored to be invited to share this special day with them. Friends, Lynne and Charlie, picked me up. It’s always nice to celebrate with friends. Plus, the reception was somewhere in Celina, off the beaten path, and I am directionally challenged. I was grateful and relaxed not having to drive. Plus, I could have a drink. Yay!

Lynne and Karen, girlfriends forever.

When we got to the reception, we were pleasantly surprised when a Mariachi band began to play.

Other friends.

Our friend Sara sat with us. We still laugh about Sara connecting with my cousin Tony on Facebook. She saw a comment on my Facebook page from a Tony Hernandez and mentioned that she went to school with a guy with the same name. I said, he lives in Kansas, so probably not the same guy. Turns out they were very good friends and went to the same high school. Small world. Then, they reconnected on Facebook. Cool!

Weddings are always a wonderful reminder of love and a promise for the future.

A very special day, a special celebration. Congratulations Stephen and Bonnie.

Friday Friends:) YAH YAHs~ Young At Heart Artists

5 Jan

“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.”

― Franz Kafka

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Back in the saddle, back to my routine. I got up, had a cup of tea, checked my emails, then off to the store. The first Friday of the month, I volunteer over at Towne Creek Senior Apartments. On that day, I go to the store and decide what I’ll prepare for our feast. Today, I bought 2 pizzas, red velvet cake, salted caramel ice cream, ginger ale, and fixins for popcorn/pretzel, peanuts/goldfish snack mix.

First, I picked up a prescription, went to the bank, stopped at Papa Murphy to say hi to Miss Karri, then the grocery store. On the way home, I picked up Bella at Mr. Mike’s, so I could doggie sit a couple of days. I walked the dog, then packed up art supplies for Towne Creek. We were going to work on painting glass bowls for the Empty Bowls charity event coming up.

We had fun painting our bowls. While they were finishing up the first layer of paint, I turned on the oven to bake the pizzas. The smoke sector started blaring when I put the pizzas in the oven. Miss Katie and I took some cardboard and started fanning at the ceiling. The chirping stopped. Darn, maybe those cute firemen would have had to make a quick visit. We had plenty of food to share.

We gathered our hands and said a prayer of thanks. We ate our red velvet cake and ice cream first. Life is short, eat dessert first. We also had a champagne toast to the new year. Of course, it was only ginger ale, but the cute plastic glasses made it feel like real champagne.

My lovely artist friends make me feel so loved and so important. I even have them trained to say…”Toni is …AMAZING!” The cool part is, they actually think so. How blessed am I? After we cleaned up and packed up, I went upstairs to visit with Miss Nelma who couldn’t make it down. Her doctor ordered total bed rest. I took her some food, showed her a zillion baby pictures, and photos of our painting project. We had a nice visit.

Another day to be thankful for.

Black Russian Friday… as soon as I post this. Cheers!!!!

Thankful Thursday:) Home Safe and Sound

4 Jan

“When you’re safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you’re having an adventure you wish you were safe at home.”

~Thorton Wilder

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It always feels good to be back home after a long trip. It’s good to sit in your kitchen, get back to your favorite tv shows, not live out of a crammed suitcase, and sleep in your own bed. It’s a good thing, but I’m not sure if leaving the warmth of family and friends outweighs returning to your comfortable routine.

Being a big Star Trek fan, I wish I could just beam back and forth from Chicago to McKinney. Until that day comes, I’ll just have to savor all the special times and memories.

I am thankful for my wonderful family. I am thankful for my sister who took such good care of me, drove me all over town, fed me, and even gave up her bed for me. I am thankful for God sending us a beautiful new baby girl, my second grand-daughter to love and smother with kisses. I am thankful for my son and his beautiful wife for their unconditional love and hospitality, and sharing their growing little family with Gamma. I am thankful for my dear old friends that I was able to visit with and who came to visit me. Although I didn’t get to see him, I am especially thankful for my strong, smart and caring son Matt, who takes care of me from afar. So much to be thankful for.

It was a bitter-sweet day as my sister drove me to the airport. The weather was questionable, and my flight was delayed several hours, then updated to less than an hour delay. The flight was smooth and it was a great big 787 with little tv screens at each seat. I played Trivia, Sudoku, and solitaire. Cool!

My friend Mary picked me up at DFW, after circling, then parking, and racing around looking for me, she found me at baggage claim.

I’m back in McKinney, missing my family, but happy to be home safe and sound.

Thankful Thursday…thankful every day.

Wednesday:) What’s Your Word for 2019?

3 Jan

I am AMAZING, and I am smart.

I love to bake, and I love my art.

Writing every day renews my soul.

Walking each day, a personal goal.

Strangers I meet will become a friend.

My gifts and my blessings have no end.

I am AMAZING, you already know.

I am AMAZING because I said so.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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This is a brand new year, and time for a brand new start. Each New Year’s Day, people all over the world make resolutions, set goals, and make plans for a better year. These don’t always last too long, do they?

Yesterday, I wrote about counting your blessings, and writing down the blessings and wonderful things that happen to you. Then, you put the slips of paper in a jar all year round. January 1st of the next year, read all your blessings. Keep the blessing jar in sight at all times and it will be easy to keep up with.

Another thing so many people do January 1st is to pick a word for the year. You pick a word that you want to be, or something you want to do or become. Pick a word that inspires and motivates you. Choose a positive word with wonderful energy and power. It’s like your mantra. Every day, think about your word. Become your word. It can be a new word or one you’ve used before. Define your word, envision it, and live it.

It is suggested that you pick your word. Look up the definition. Have the word become a part of you. Have your word written somewhere you can see all the time. Say your word out loud every day.

WHAT IS YOUR WORD FOR 2019?

I chose my word right away. It’s a word I’ve used before and I’ll use it again. It might be my forever word…

AMAZING

I am AMAZING! Whenever I wear this leather cuff, I tell people, “Look! I am amazing, and I have a bracelet that says so.” (I made this bracelet in a leather tooling class.)

amazing FL adjective

Definition of amazing 

: causing astonishment, great wonder, or surprise

an amazing story of personal bravery and survival

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I like this definition and example. Causing astonishment, great wonder, or surprise. An amazing story of personal bravery and survival. Yep!

So, what is your word???? Pick a word. Share your word. Live your word.