Tag Archives: family

Toni’s Extrovert Diaries ~T.E.D. Talks and Walks and Sunday Sermon

29 Mar

“The difference between an extrovert’s and an introvert’s story is about five hundred words per minute. Ask me how I know?”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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An early morning walk around the neighborhood this morning was a perfect start to my day. I always start my by counting my blessings and not my troubles. A beautiful sky, singing birds, and the lush green growth of Spring add to the count.

My traditional Sunday begins with greeting before 9 o’clock Mass, but today greeting Mother Nature preceded my live streaming view of Mass at St. Gabriel with Father Robert and Father Don. I enjoy following along, reciting the prayers and singing along with the hymns. Plus, I was sitting on the couch with my feet up, no kneeling. (Bad knees.)

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. Martha and Mary were sad that Jesus did not come when their brother was ill, but believed that he would rise on the resurrection of the last day. But, Jesus proved with His Father’s power, that Lazarus could rise even after four days in the tomb.

My take on it…. anything is possible with faith.

“Did I not tell you that if you believe

you will see the glory of God?”

So they took away the stone.

And Jesus raised his eyes and said,

“Father, I thank you for hearing me.

I know that you always hear me;

but because of the crowd here I have said this,

that they may believe that you sent me.”

And when he had said this,

He cried out in a loud voice,

“Lazarus, come out!”

The dead man came out,

tied hand and foot with burial bands,

and his face was wrapped in a cloth.

So Jesus said to them,

“Untie him and let him go.”

But, this Extrovert missed the stopping at McDonald’s with friends after church, then picking up a few groceries at the store, and maybe a stop to visit a friend or two.

I’ve been trying to make some calls to old friends and family that I haven’t talked to in a while. Here’s a good tip. Make a list of people you miss, but always forget to call. Then, call one or two every day. That’s a VERY long list for extroverts who have a lot of friends. Life is short, my friends. Tell people you love them.

I’m still watching a lot of Hallmark, BUT I’ve been recording some movies to watch when I overdose on schmaltzy Hallmark movies. Today, I’m binge watching STAR WARS movies. It’s like Hallmark but with light sabers.

A few more afternoon and evening walks, a few more chirping birds, and another slow “sheltering in place” Sunday.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

24 Mar

” If you think this week was boring, wait till next week.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Today, I didn’t get out of my jammies till 4 in the afternoon. The sad part is, I really didn’t need to change because I didn’t go anywhere and no one came over. The mail is still out there in the mailbox. I was going to eat some lunch around 5 pm, but I got distracted calling family and friends. Then, I listened to a webinar on writing at 7 pm, talked to my son, and called two of my Tias that I haven’t talked to in years.

While we are going through all this mess, I think it’s a good time to call friends and family that you haven’t talked to in a while, and just say, “I love you.”

Well, it’s after 10 pm, I still haven’t eaten all day except for a few handfuls of mixed nuts, (sounds like my autobiography- mixed nuts) and drank about ten cups of tea. I’m not sure if I’ll eat something or just have a glass of wine, watch tv, and forget food. The latter sounds better.

Here’s my week in a peek… next week will be even more exciting…NOT!

Another week…another peek.

Have a good week, my friends. Stay safe and go wash your hands!

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

23 Mar

“Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

~ Mark Twain

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Today is the Fourth Sunday in Lent, it is the Second Sunday of watching Mass on my iPad, and the First Sunday of celebrating Mass with St. Gabriel under the covers in my pajamas. Very strange.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus healing a man blind from birth. In those days, the blind and deaf were thought to have sinned or their parents had sinned, thus the punishment. Jesus disputed that idea and healed the blind man. The Pharisees and the Jews did not believe this miracle, and questioned the former blind man twice. The man was convinced that Jesus was the Son of Man sent by God.

Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.

We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day. Night is coming when no one can work.

While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”

When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes,

and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed, and came back able to see.

The Pharisees still questioned this miracle.

Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”

Some of the Pharisees who were with him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not also blind, are we?”

Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you are saying, ‘We see,’ so your sin remains.

My take on it… Sometimes those supposedly wise or intelligent people who question everything unless it is proven to them, those are the ones who miss out on what is truly important. Blind faith is an appropriate concept. We don’t need concrete proof to believe in God. We just need faith.

I am thankful that we can continue celebrating the Mass together, thanks to Father Don and all the St. Gabriel staff.

During these stressful times of confinement and confusion, it’s good to focus on our blessings and not dwell on our hardships. “Instead of stressing, count your blessing.”

I spent a lot of time on the phone in a group FaceTime with my girlfriends, laughing and sharing stories. I checked in with friends and family, and my son and his little family sent lots of photos of the babies to keep grandma entertained.

Then, there was a lot of time on Facebook sharing uplifting stories, pictures, and funny jokes. Even if we can’t hold each other close in person, we can hold each other close in our hearts.

Be safe, healthy, and happy my friends, and most of all, be kind. If you are lucky enough to be confined with your family, hold them close and appreciate your blessings. “Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”

Happy Sunday. ❤️🙏

Throwback Thankful Thursday:) My Sister, JoAnn and Women’s History Montho

12 Mar

“The success of every woman should be the inspiration to another. We should raise each other up. Make sure you’re very courageous: be strong, be extremely kind, and above all be humble. ”

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With March being Women’s History month, I thought it only appropriate to recognize the women in my life who have made a difference in making this a better world. Of course, the most important influence in my life was my mother, Trini Armenta, who was an inspiration and role model for, not only her own children and siblings, but for everyone who came to know her. In her own way, she played an important role in making the world a better place by raising her daughters to be strong, hardworking, talented and courageous women.

By her example of strength and tenacity, she was an inspiration for my sister, JoAnn Armenta, who pioneered and persevered her way through a male dominated field many years ago. Jo Ann is my inspiration of what a strong independent and determined woman can achieve.

Jo Ann Armenta was the very first Latina Illinois State Trooper, serving her community from 1979 until her retirement well over twenty years later. She blazed a trail for other Latinas, and all women for that matter, in the field of law, enforcement, back in the day when women were still expected to be home cooking dinner for their husbands, and raising a brood of children.

I can’t imagine how tough it was to get through the grueling training and studying to become a State Trooper, much less dealing with the less than generous or cooperative male counterparts who outwardly showed their disrespect for women “on the job.” Jo Ann never backed down from any challenge and never let her gender dissuade her from being the best State Trooper that she could be. That is inspirational, and that determination has never ceased.

Jo Ann Armenta’s photo may never grace the cover of any magazine, nor will she be recognized in a book or on the news as an outstanding woman in history, but she, like many other women just like her, have paved the way for all women to step up, step forward, and make a difference.

This tenacious woman still carries on her legacy through her generous support of Latina women in her community by sponsoring scholarships to college students, serving on the local library board, she has volunteered with the Salvation Army, and currently has spearheaded the CHEF program, Community Harvest Educational Foundation, whose goal is to bring healthy nutritious food and lifestyle awareness to the community. These are just a few of her many accolades and accomplishments.

Jo Ann Armenta may not be mentioned in any history book, but in “my book,” she is worthy of outstanding recognition for Women’s History Month.

Toni’s Week in a Peek

11 Mar

“Life is like buried treasure. You never know what you’ll dig up.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I usually designate Monday for Montage Monday and my week in a peek, but yesterday I wrote about our wonderful monthly McKinney Creative Community potluck gathering at The Cove.

My week in a peek….

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

27 Jan

“The past is behind: learn from it. The future is ahead: prepare for it. The present is here: live it!”

<Thomas S. Monson

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A cloudy misty morning later gave way to a lovely sunny Sunday. After an early morning doggie walk through the park, it was off to church to greet before Mass. It’s always wonderful to shake hands and share hugs. I ran down the hall to the east doors to meet the lovely ladies on the Chateau Senior Living bus. Oh, the smiles.

Today’s Gospel was about Jesus, after hearing of the arrest of John, He left Nazareth and went to live by the sea, fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah…

Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
the way to the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles,
the people who sit in darkness have seen a great light,
on those dwelling in a land overshadowed by death
light has arisen.

From that time on, Jesus began to preach and say,

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

My take on it… We gotta be prepared folks. You never know when your last day is. Live life to the fullest, enjoy, share, love, be kind, be a friend, be the best you can be.

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After Mass, I stopped for coffee with Mr. Jerry, then I went over to Tom Thumb for some groceries. Such a sale! A dozen eggs, 29 cents each, limit two. A pound of butter $1.99 limit two, a package of bacon 99cents limit two. Who needs more than two? Of course, the butter and eggs I’ll give to Miss Pat, the cookie lady. She goes rough that stuff like … butter.

After the store, I stopped at Sprouts to pick up some vegetables and fruit. Then, I invited myself over to Lynne’s house for a short visit. I was just down the street and did a drive by.

Fire Station 9 was my next stop. I had some brownies to drop off. They’re always glad to see me. Smile…

Home to walk the dog and catch the sunset.

A little FaceTime with the cutest granddaughters in the whole wide world.

A few phone calls. Debbie called and we did some catching up. Then, I called Helene to see if she was feeling better. Then, last but not least, a long phone call with my Matt in California. The perfect ending to a great day. I am blessed.

Sunday Sermon, a Sunset, and Some Other Stuff

20 Jan

“Every day is a good day. There is something to learn, care and celebrate.”

― Amit Ray

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A glorious Sunday morning, a little cool, 34 degrees, but I was happy because it was sock monkey hat weather. A lot of hugs and handshakes greeting before Mass. I always look forward to Sunday morning.

Today’s Gospel was the story of John the Baptist seeing Jesus walking towards him and proclaiming Him the Son of God.

John testified further, saying,

“I saw the Spirit come down like a dove from heaven

and remain upon him.

I did not know him,

but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me,

‘On whomever you see the Spirit come down and remain,

he is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’

Now I have seen and testified that he is the Son of God.”

My take on it… John the Baptist believed that a savior was coming, and that a spirit like a dove who came down upon Him was the sign and was proof to John that Jesus was the Son of God. Faith is a very powerful thing. We aren’t always given a sign or miracle to substantiate our beliefs, but some of us have. I truly believe that if you believe, you will receive. I’ve experienced a few miracles in my life.

After Mass, Jerry, Helene and I stopped for coffee and conversation, then a quick stop at the store.

Another birthday celebration planned for the afternoon with my friend Zelda. Nom Nom was my lunch choice. Normally we go to Olive Garden, but we were thinking something different. Can’t beat Nom Nom for great Mexican food that you pick and choose every item in your meal.

The next stop was a movie. There aren’t too many good movies out there that one of us hasn’t seen already. Zelda suggested “Just Mercy.” At first I poo-pooed the suggestion because it sounded sad, but I thought I’d give it a chance, seeing the alternatives were slim to nothing. I was so glad we decided to go see it.

We were both pleasantly and positively surprised. It was kind of sad in the respect that such tragedies and travesties of justice have, and still take place in our country. But, this was based on a true story, and it gives us hope that there are still some good honest caring people in the world. I give it 4 stars **** out of 5. It was a little long in some stretches, but on a whole, very entertaining.

When I was at the movies, there were no less than 10 or 15 buzzing texts on my phone. Only one was from my son Joe, seeing if I wanted to FaceTime with the girls. Missed it. Oops! When we walked out of he theatre, the flaming sunset was blazing in the sky. Look at these colors! The actual colors! Picture perfect.

When I got home, I was able to FaceTime with Belle, but the baby was already asleep. We had a nice conversation, always ending with “Bye, bye. Love you.” Perfect ending to another perfect day. Feeling blessed.

Happy Sunday, my friends. 🙋