Tag Archives: humor

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tasty Chocolate Snack Mix

19 Dec

“You don’t have to settle for what life has mixed up for you. Make your own mix.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I’m not a huge fan of the pre-made Chex Mix Snacks. They’re kind of salty and make you thirsty. And the biggest drawback is… there’s no chocolate. What kind of snack has no chocolate? I think Chex makes one, but I’m sure it’s pretty pricey. So, I decided to just make a mix with the things I like, including lots of chocolate.

I bought a big box of chocolate Chex cereal. It wasn’t all chocolate, but also had some regular plain squares. Plus, the box said gluten free. I was excited to get free gluten in my box, but, as hard as I looked, I couldn’t find the free gluten as promised. I thought it would be like a little package of gluten, like the toy in Cracker Jacks. What is gluten, anyway? And why are they always giving it away for free! (OK! You know I’m just joking here, right?)

I melted some semi-sweet chocolate chips with about 1/2 tsp. Of oil in the microwave, stirred then drizzled over the Chex, mini pretzels, and peanuts. I was going to add some popcorn, but I ran out of room. I baked this in the oven at 350 for about 10 minutes, not long.

I put the mixture in a big bowl and mixed it up. The warm chocolate coated well. It made a huge amount. Enough for sharing.

Then, I had a little left over melted chocolate. Well, we couldn’t have that. So, I dipped a few pretzel rods, just for fun. A tasty treat for watching “Murder She Wrote” re-runs or non stop Hallmark Christmas movies.

I had a pan of brownies baking at the same time, but that’s old hat and not worthy of mentioning. It was one of those chocolate kinda days.

So, if you can’t find exactly what you like in life, make it yourself.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Gettin’ ‘Er Done

28 Nov

“You know that wonderful feeling of accomplishing all your goals and checking off all the things on your to-do list? Yah…me neither!”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Today, all the stars seemed to align and I got a lot of tedious and long overdue tasks accomplished. Of course, there is always so much more to do, but it was a good day.

I woke up at 6:58 am, just two minutes before my alarm was set to squeal. I was just in time to turn it off and reset it for 8. It was cold and windy, so I decided to skip zumba and just take the dog for a long walk. I was meeting Mary from church for coffee at 9:30. She is not only my good friend, but also my annulment advisor. We’ve been working on getting all the paperwork and documents together for well over a year and a half. I’m the one who procrastinated filling out all the tedious forms and answering 22 pages of difficult questions. Mary just needed to check and comment. We’ve met many times to go over things, and she kept nudging me to get ‘er done.

It felt like such a weight off my shoulders. All the hard part is done, and Mary took the fat folder and will submit the forms. Then, we just wait. For those of you non-Catholics, according to the church, although I have a civil divorce decree, in the eyes of the church, I am still considered married. I don’t want that. I can’t live with that.

After we chatted and exchanged Christmas gifts, I ran over to the store and visited with Miss Karri over at Papa Murphy’s pizza. Next stop, the dreaded Social Security Office. I was there yesterday, and they said I needed more time to fill out paperwork to receive social security benefits, so come back tomorrow. It was already 3:30 and they closed at 4. Lucky me.

Today, I got there at 12:30 and only had to wait…. 3 hours. (Sarcasm) For a while, I thought they forgot about me. I wasn’t the only one dozing off between staring into space and the listening to the mean security guard shouting, “Silence your cell phones, stand away from the door, don’t lean on the counter, lower your voice!!!”

The good news is, I’m all set, and in January I’ll be receiving a social security check. Between that and my shiny blue medicare card, I’m officially OLD.

When I got to my car, I realized that I hadn’t eaten in about 20 hours, so I rummaged all around and found a solitary cracker. That’s it, but it helped. I stopped at the book store and found a cute Disney book for my granddaughter. Then I stopped for gas at Walmart. I was so excited because the price has really dropped, AND I used a gift card that reduced it 3 cents more.

I came home, fed and walked the dog, and did a few chores and paid a few bills. I was so wound up and pleased with my accomplishments that I forgot to eat. I looked in the fridge and decided to make a cucumber salad, quick and easy.

Literally, I just peeled and cut up a cucumber and put some ranch dressing on it. I’ve got so much more to get done before the day is over. Ah, but it was a wonderful productive day. I’m just gettin’ ‘er done. Life is good.

Tuesday:) Tapping St. Francis

21 Nov

“It is no use walking anywhere to preach unless our walking is our preaching.”

~Francis of Assisi


As you may already know, I walk pretty much every day, all year round, in the horrendous summer heat and in the biting bitter cold. That’s just what I do. I’m a creature of habit, this morning, I said, “OK Google, what’s the temperature?” I’ve got one of those cute little thingies that you talk to. She said, “The current temperature in McKinney is 48 degrees.” I tell her thank you and say out loud,”Not too bad,” But, when she says 32 degrees, I do not thank her and a few expletives are uttered,

I always like to know how to dress for my morning walk. Today required a sweater, hat, gloves, and my warm Norte Dame jacket. I observe many traditions, silly and otherwise. One thing I do on my walk is, when I pass by Miss Bernadine’s house a couple of blocks away, I stop and pat the head her St. Francis statue that sits in her front flower bed. He also holds three small birds in his hand. I give each a tap, one, two, three.

Today, I laughed out loud when I went to pat St. Francis. Miss Bernadine had put on his warm winter hat and coat for the winter. A couple of years ago, I had made a joke about how poor St. Francis might be getting cold out there and he should wear a Santa hat. So, now when the weather gets cold, this is what she does. Isn’t he cute?

I just giggled and patted him on the head. A couple of the birds were tucked under his warm coat, so I didn’t disturb them.

A few blocks later, I sensed a shadow flutter by my face, maybe a falling leaf. Nope, it was a butterfly, and it fluttered past my face and legs as I walked. It’s too cold for butterflies. My angel perhaps.

Then, not to be incomplete, I found yet another lucky penny in the street when I crossed the road. All my blessings, my signs, and another beautiful lucky day.

As St. Francis said, let your walking be your preaching. My interpretation… live by example, not by preaching.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom

8 Nov

“When the going gets tough, the tough bake brownies. That pretty much cures anything.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


My friend, Miss Pat, posted on Facebook last week that Kroger had brownie mixes on sale, with store card for… wait for it… 79cents a box. Be still my heart. She also posted that everyone better get to the store before Toni buys them all. Hmm? Why would she say such a thing?

Funny, as I’m writing this, I have two more batches in the oven. Hold on. I’ll go take a picture…. I’m back…

I’m going to take some for my church group tonight at 7. They’ll still be warm. It’s after 6 already. Then, I’ll have some for tomorrow’s karaoke potluck at the VFW.

I think I’ve gone through 8 boxes in the past week. Every time I bake for an event, I bake an extra batch for my firemen at Station 9. I asked them yesterday if they were getting tired of my brownies yet. They said, “NO MAM!We gobble them up and we don’t leave any for the next shift.” Aw, high praises. I also asked them if they’d save my container, and that I’d swap it out for a new one with more brownies or cookies. I go through a lot of containers too. They were happy to oblige.

Now, you see why I was so excited about the sale. I didn’t buy all of them on the shelf. But, I did take all the dark fudge chocolate boxes, leaving the milk chocolate ones for the less discerning bakers.

That should last me till Christmas…I hope.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?~ Chicken Pot Pie Pasta

24 Oct

“When you can’t decide what to cook, open the freezer and the pantry, just throw it all in a big pot and hope for the best.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Well, so much for the sunshine. I needed my raincoat and umbrella for my morning walk. Seeing as I’m stranded here all afternoon, waiting for Joplin’s AC and Heating to come for my fall check up and filter change, I’ll do a little painting and have some of my homemade Chicken Pot Pie Pasta.

This is how my brain works when I cook. (No recipe was harmed in the making of this concoction.) I open my overstuffed freezer and fridge and see what I have.

Sunday, I bought some fried chicken, on sale, of course. I only ate one piece, so the rest was in the fridge. Hmm, chicken soup maybe? So, I peeled off and discarded the crunchy skin, and threw the meat in a big pot to boil while I went for a long walk. When I came home, I scooped out the chicken to cool while I diced up and threw in carrots, onions, celery. Let’s see what’s in the freezer? Several small bags of diced red pepper, green pepper, some spinach, and more onion. All small leftovers waiting for a new-over. Ooh, a bag of frozen peas. I needed to get a second big pot to divide and conquer.

Let’s see what’s in the pantry? A couple of cans of corn, 3 cans of cream of chicken soup, and two boxes of mini penne pasta. While all the veggies cooked, I peeled all the meat from the cooled chicken bones, diced that up and added to the soup. Because it started looking like the inside of a chicken pot pie, I added three cans of cream of chicken soup. Now, if I just had a pie crust the size of a laundry tub, I’d make a big pot pie. Nope!


I let that simmer several hours while I procrastinated on Facebook. Then, I got out yet another big pot and boiled the mini penne pasta, drained, and added to the mixtures.

After it cooled, I got out all my plastic containers and started filling them up, sprinkling a little Parmesan cheese on top. Now, what to do with all this yummy food?

I took four containers and four turkey sandwiches to Miss Nelma over at Towne Creek when I visited her the other day. (She’s feeling a tiny bit better now and has a little appetite.) that should last her a few days. I took one container to Miss Kathy across the street, one over to Mr. Danny around the corner, and I put two in Mr. Mike’s freezer. I ate a big bowl yesterday, and only have two containers left in the fridge. I’ll have some for dinner today. Maybe sooner than later. All these pictures are making me hungry.

(Disregard all the beer on the side. Some of those bottles have been in there a couple of years. Does beer go bad?)

So, that’s my un-recipe for chicken pot pie pasta.

Theme Song Thursday:) Here Comes the Sun…NOT!

18 Oct

“The rumors of the sun making a brief appearance in North Texas have been greatly exaggerated.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


This morning I woke up at the crack of noon…just kidding, I woke up around 9, but I went to bed at 2:30 am, so I just lolligaggled around till noon. (Is that a real word? Spellcheck didn’t like it.) To quote a line from a Santana song, “Evil Ways,”…”My house is dark and pots are cold.” It’s been rainy and gloomy and cold all week, actually a few weeks. My house is dark and I guess my pots are cold. I really don’t have any pots. We went from the scorching heat of summer to instant fall.

I made a cup of hot tea and sat with my iPad, checking my emails and Facebook. One of my friends posted that the sun was out. Oh man! I looked out the window. It wasn’t too dark, there was no pelting of rain. Promising. Hope springs eternal. I posted on Facebook that I heard a rumor that the sun was out, so I was going for a walk.

Optimistically, I put on my gym shoes and grabbed my sunglasses and scurried out the door. I never did see the sun, as it was veiled in whitish grayish streaks of clouds.

Instead of being disappointed, I thought, “At least it’s not raining!” Now, that’s a glass half full or all the way full kinda attitude. As I strolled under the trying-to-come-out sun, I sang an optimistic song. The power of positive thinking, or positive singing.

“Here Comes the Sun…”


My weather alert on my phone just dinged this very second, “A brief rain shower will begin around 5:06.” It’s been dinging all week. ENOUGH ALREADY!!! I better keep singing…Here comes the sun…da da da da…here comes the sun.. Everybody sing along with the Beatles.

Soggy Saturday:) SEW WHAT!

13 Oct

“When I couldn’t draw, I took a drawing class. When I couldn’t cook, I learned from my mother. When I couldn’t sew on a button or hand stitch a hem, I just asked my mom or my sister or a friend for help. I’m SEW BAD!

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


On this dreary soggy Saturday, I was thinking about what I was going to write about today. So, I did what I always do when I need to think. I went for a walk. It was only drizzling a little bit, so I put up the hood on my raincoat, grabbed my umbrella and went for a walk. I stopped by Mr. Larry’s and Ms. Sandy’s house a few blocks away, and I knew they wouldn’t be sitting in the garage, so I called on the phone. They didn’t answer, but the garage door opened up a few seconds later. They saw me. It was only about 10 am, so it was too early for a beer…darn. We sat and chatted a while about neighbors and news and old age health issues, etc. Suddenly, the rain came pelting down like crazy.

We sat there a long while, and it never did clear up. About an hour passed, with no end in sight, I pulled up my hood and opened my umbrella and said “adieu.” Actually, I don’t speak French, I just said that I needed to go. I was offered a ride home, but my sneakers were already soaked and I was pretty damp. By the time I got home, I was drenched.

The good news was, just as I approached my front door, my phone rang. My friend Sherri Murphy asked if I’d like to go with her to the Flower and Bulb Sale at Myers Park. I said sure, and when she asked how soon I could be ready, I said that I just had to peel off my sopping wet clothes, put on dry clothes and find a pair of shoes in the driest condition. Did I mention it’s been rainy a lot? All my shoes are wet.

We had fun looking at all the different flowers, shrubs, plants and bulbs. I didn’t buy anything, because if you know me…I kill everything green. I have a black thumb. I can paint a flower, I just can’t grow a flower. After the sale, we had a yummy lunch at Taqueria Hernandez on Tennessee. It’s Mexican food, but I laugh and just call it “FOOD.” I’m Mexican…little joke, there.

Now for the SEWING part of the story. I never did learn to sew when I was growing up. Both my sisters could sew up a storm and could create any beautiful outfit without blinking. Mom didn’t even use a pattern. She would just look at something, cut out some fabric, and a few minutes later, it was done. When my kids were small, Mom would come to visit for a few days, and in the closet of the guest room would be all my mending needs, hemming, buttons, tears, etc. I kept her pretty busy.

This is how I mend today…

My black slacks that I wear to church. The hem came undone, and I was running late for church. That was a year ago.

This blouse needed a couple of stitches. Well, I don’t own turquoise thread. Who has turquoise thread?

SEW WHAT!!!! That’s what God made safety pins for. I would have used glue, but it might have come out in the wash. I’m not lazy, I’m just creatively resilient and clever.