Tag Archives: family

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

19 Nov

“Live your life the right way, and the blessing will come.”

~Chris Mullin


Another fun and busy week. I’m feeling especially blessed, spending time with good friends, phone calls and FaceTime with my sons and family, time with amazing artists, beautiful weather, and living life to the fullest. Life is good.

A week in a peek…

Wednesday:) When Artsy is in Your Blood

7 Nov

“When you’re an artist, there’s no such thing as free time. If you’re not creating something, you’re busy thinking about the next creation.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


My last day back home visiting with my sister, I asked her if there was anything I could paint or make for her before I left. She loves my hand painted notecards, and loves giving them to her friends. So, I went down in her basement, where she has been kind enough to store all kinds of art supplies, paints, and brushes for me. I have several designated shelves with my art supplies.

She had some blank notecards and envelopes that were just perfect for painting. I took over half of her dining room and started my assembly line painting. There are several steps, and I always paint the envelopes too. A couple of hours later, a dozen notecards were painted and ready for distribution.

I think handmade or hand painted things are the best. Don’t you?

Tuesday:) Travels With Toni

5 Nov

“There’s no place like home, but sometimes you have several places that you call home.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


This morning’s adventure started before 5 am. I had an 8 am flight from Chicago to Dallas. My sister was kind enough to wake before the crack of dawn to take me to the airport before 6. Traffic was pretty busy at 6am. So many people rushing off to work.

Although I say there’s no place like home, there are so many places that are home. When I’m in McKinney, I tell my friends that I’m going back home to visit family and friends. When I leave Chicago, I say I’m going home and back to my house and friends and old routine. I’m home at my sister’s. I’m home at my son’s. I’m home when I’m at a friend’s house. I guess it’s true. “Home is where you hang your hat.” (Even your Grinch or sock monkey hat.)

My flight was only delayed about half an hour. I sat patiently by the gate, along with hundreds of other passengers. At one point, a little boy shrieked out to his dad, “My nose is running!” Dad, being a man, didn’t have a Kleenex, so he used his fingers and wiped the kid’s nose. Mom looked over, mortified, and searched through her bag for a Kleenex, to no avail. I quickly dug into my purse and took out a new travel pack of tissues and handed it to the appreciative mom. She tried to return the remainder, but I told her to keep it, and she’d probably need more in a minute. She thanked me. (Moms have to look out for one another.)

O’Hare is a super busy airport. I decided to get to the restroom well before boarding, to allow for distance. I was getting ready to wash my hands when I saw a familiar face reach over to hug me. It was Louise. My friend Vicky’s sister-in-law or something like that, a close relative of hers who I probably haven’t seen since one of the weddings or birthdays many years ago. But, through the magic of Facebook, we all get to keep in touch. So, of course, I said, “Let’s take a selfie.” O’Hare Airport restroom selfie…

Back to the gate and all the hurry up and wait routines.

The flight was packed, but managed to arrive on time. I spent most of the two hours trying to keep my eyes open while watching the movie “Coco” on the tiny screen. I think I nodded off more than watched, having had only about four hours sleep.

Helene arrived early and was waiting by baggage claim while I was outside in the drizzle texting her whee I was. I told her to come late so she wouldn’t have to wait. We kept texting, I’m upstairs, no I’m downstairs, and missing each other. Finally, I said stay still, I’ll come find you. I put in about 2 1/2 miles just airport walking today.

We stopped for lunch on the way home. I was hungry and tired. When I got home, I quick like a bunny, found my voter registration card and went to the college to vote. Last day today.

On the way home, I stopped and picked up Bella, my canine companion. She was happy to see me.

I took her for a walk in the park, then went over to Kathy’s to get all my mail. Lots of bills and statements and flyers and so many Medicare and supplemental advertisements.

Instead of taking a rest, I’m off to have dinner with friends, because…. There’s no place like home.

Happy Tuesday, my friends.

Montage Monday and a Little More

4 Nov

You have to squeeze every creative moment and be grateful.

Erica Durance


A week in a peek…. a fun, busy week with family and friends.

My last full day in Chicago/Elgin. My sister and I couldn’t decide what to do today. It was too chilly and damp for an all day outdoor excursion. We did rake the entire front yard this morning, and put all the huge piles of leaves by the curb just in time for the city leaf collection truck to suck them all up.

After much pondering, we decided to take a drive over to St. Charles or Geneva. But first, where to go for lunch? We drove around Elgin, but couldn’t decide. Then, she had an idea. How about the buffet at the Grand Victoria River Boat Casino? Well, someone up there was looking out for us. The buffet wasn’t open on Monday, so we went to the little restaurant across the way. The place was empty.

Uh oh! This was almost as decadent. Patty melt and fries.

Neither Jo Ann or I are big on gambling. So, we’re probably the only people in the history of the gambling riverboat that ever just came for lunch and left without putting a single penny into a slot machine. We saved a LOT of money by not gambling and throwing away our money.

After our healthy lunch, (not) we drove along the river towards St. Charles and Geneva. There were beautiful houses/mansions along the river. Nice drive.

For excitement, we stopped at a drive through car wash on the way home. Doesn’t get more exciting than that.

Feeling full and guilty, we took a nice little walk when we got home. That was my mundane Monday.

Happy mundane Monday, my friends.

Saturday:) Just Some Silly Stuff

3 Nov

“When you’re not sure what to do with your day, just be silly.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It was a lazy Saturday. My sister and I just sat around the house most of the morning. We finally decided to go outside for a walk. Well, that didn’t turn out so well. The wind had kicked up and it was freezing out there. We did manage to walk a few blocks, then scurried home. But, we did rake and sweep some leaves that were covering the entire sidewalks and drive. I was in charge of the stairs. The leaves looked so delightful hiding in the corners of front steps, so I had to take a picture.

We finally got up the energy to get out of the house to run some errands. Our first stop was The Dollar Store. Who doesn’t love The Dollar Store. We found all kinds of treasures and a cart load of totally impractical unnecessary items. But, guess what? They were only a dollar!

I was remembering how we used to take Mom to this store and she loved picking out little treasures to give to her lady friends, or to make some craft project. Just as I was reminiscing, I looked down and found a lucky penny. Thanks Mom. Pennies from heaven.

While I was being silly, I saw this can of mackerel on the shelf. Laughing to myself, I picked it up the can to show my sister, and I said, “Look! Mackerel! I’m going to take this to church tomorrow and ask Father to bless it. Then, it will be……wait for it….. HOLY MACKEREL!

Yah! I know. I’m a nut. After this adventure, we drove over to Walmart to buy even more unnecessary items. Well, some were useful, but not many. Killing time can get expensive.

She bought me this cool Grinch sweatshirt for the holidays. It will match my Grinch hat that I have at home. Plus, it describes my personality quite well. “Naughty.” (Just kidding… I’m about as straight laced as a cloistered nun at the convent.-almost.)

By the time we got home, I was pretty hungry. It was after 6pm and all I had to eat all day was a peach and some tea. I warmed up some more tea. I’ve been drinking gallons of hot tea with lemon and honey for my cold/sore throat. Then, I grabbed a piece of Vicky’s delicious homemade baklava. (I always say to myself, “Darn you, Vicky Hodi!) Perfect! Just what the doctor ordered.

Now, the day is almost over. Time to relax, put my feet up, and maybe watch a movie. What I hard life I lead. Happy Saturday, my friends.

Don’t forget to change your clocks for Daylight Saving Time! Personally…IT AIN’T SAVING NOBODY NOTHIN’. I hate change!

Friday:) From Here to There

2 Nov

“Your whole world can change in an instant. Savor every moment.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


When everything was covered in a blanket of snow for Halloween yesterday, I thought how much the weather changed in just a matter of a couple of days. One day, I was playing outside with my granddaughter, splashing in the puddles and tossing the bright red fall leaves up in the air. Then, suddenly, she’s bundled up in snow pants, boots and mittens, making a snowman. It’s all fun and games when you’re 2 1/2. I’m getting too old for that nonsense.

Here’s that beautiful tree that was bursting with red-orange leaves just a couple of days ago. Look how sad it is now.

I’m glad that I can celebrate all the changes in life that come my way. All that matters is that I have the greatest family and friends to celebrate with.

Happy Friday, my friends.

Thursday:) This is Halloween in Chicago

1 Nov

“When the weather doesn’t cooperate for Halloween, build a snowman.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I almost forgot how erratic and annoying the Chicago weather can be in October. We woke up to even more snow this morning. So, instead of going trick or treating today, my little grand-daughter went out with her daddy to build a snowman.

“Oh no, Gamma! So much snow on the trees.”

I walked the dog this morning. A little different than my McKinney Texas walks. Yikes!

But, the girls did have a dress rehearsal last night, so I did get to see how cute they would have looked if they did get to go out for Halloween.

Better luck next year!

Happy Halloween my friends. Now, I should go dig into all that leftover candy that didn’t get dispersed.