Tag Archives: photography

Wednesday:) What Wonders I See On My Walk

23 Jul

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”

― W.B. Yeats


Every day is filled with wonders. I like how Yeats said the world is full of magic things. It certainly is, and we need only open our eyes.

I generally walk the same well worn path pretty much every day, and have for nearly six years, and I never get tired of the sights and sounds. I don’t wear headphones or listen to music. I just appreciate the beauty of each new day, especially the sunsets.

Today, there were a LOT of bold bunnies hopping around in my front yard. They gave me one of those, “What are you looking at?” glances. Yes, very bold, and they didn’t mind posing for a photo op.

When I was over by the pond, there was a baby bird huddled by a curb. I leaned over to see if it was dead or alive or had a broken wing, as it didn’t move. I had a newspaper, so I tried to scoot the little thing onto the paper so I could place him in a safer location. He wriggled and hopped a little, so it was still alive. Good news. THEN, Mamma bird came swooping down at me out of nowhere, squawking and dive bombing me at a frantic pace. Basically, she said, “Get away from Junior or I’ll peck your eyes out, lady!”

I took the hint and backed away, while she flew over to watch me from a nearby mailbox. Junior hopped and fluttered across the street, then back and forth. Obviously, he couldn’t fly yet, but was out for an adventure, so Mamma was on high alert.

There are always great skies and sunsets and birds chirping and kids laughing. I appreciate the sights and sounds of my wondrous walks.

Friday:) Fiery Hot Texas Days, Friends, and a Fabulous Sunset

18 Jul

“If these Texas days were any hotter, I would think I died and went to the opposite of heaven. Just sayin'”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It was another scorcher here in North Texas. It was soooo hot, the farmers were feeding their chickens ice chips so they wouldn’t lay hard boiled eggs. (I borrowed that from somewhere?) when I went outside early this evening, around 6, the heat and humidity crushed my chest like an anvil weighing on it. I only stayed out about 15 minutes, and decided to postpone my long walk until right before sunset. That’s my favorite time anyway.

I went to Tom Thumb this afternoon and picked up a few great sale items, which always perks me up. Then, I made some phone calls, and talked to my best friend from back home a while this evening. It was good to catch up. Also, I got to FaceTime with the most adorable granddaughters on the planet. Thank goodness for technology.

I’m sure, like most of you, the extent of your activity and communication these days is done via some electronic device. That’s why it’s good to revel in the beauty of nature once in a while. I need this at least once a day. Here is my sunset from tonight. Yes! Amazing!

I walked 2.2 miles and admired and appreciated every second.

Now, for my Friday night tradition. Black Russian Friday. Cheers, my friends!

Montage Monday~ A Week In A Peek & A Magnificent Sky

7 Jul

“Your Monday morning thoughts set the tone for your whole week. See yourself getting stronger, and living a fulfilling, happier & healthier life.”

– Germany Kent


I like this quote. It’s true. You set the tone for your day every morning when you wake up, and Monday sets the tone for the week. Of course, unless you’re like me and you wake up and have no idea what day it is. Thank goodness for my iPhone that doubles as my alarm clock, calendar, appointment book, news reporter, social director and all around lifeline to the world.

Happy Monday, my friends. A week in a peek…. with a really cool eerie stormy sky photo from my back porch.

I just love the paintings that God creates in the skies every day. He’s a pretty good artist, wouldn’t you say?

Saturday:) Sights and Sounds and a Sunset

21 Jun

“A day spent without the sight or sound of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, or the search of truth or perfection is a poverty-stricken day; and a succession of such days is fatal to human life.”

Lewis Mumford


Last night, when I went for my late evening walk, the looming dark clouds were rolling in. It stormed during the night and through the early morning hours. The wind rattled the windows and thunder lit up the sky. Cool!

This morning, the sun was out, and the cooler temps busted out into the mid 90’s later. So, I took several shorter walks, and I’ll probably get out one more time before dark. Love my sunsets.

I stopped past Miss Bernadine’s house, and I gave St. Francis his mandatory pat on the head. Got to!

A couple of little butterflies fluttered around me on my evening walk. And, since I’ve been challenging myself lately, I tried

another challenge today. I finished a 5 Day Meditation/Writing Challenge. Then, I signed up for a Coursera on-line course offered by Yale called, The Science of Well-Being. It’s long and involved, but I’m up for the challenge, and part of the homework is challenging yourself.

Today, instead of my usual 2 or 3 mile walks, I decided to shoot for at least 10,000 steps. When I reached that goal, I walked a little more. Amazing! (Yes, I am,)

Then, a beautiful sunset to end my day.

Happy Saturday, my friends.

Friday:) Four Fiery Sunsets From My Walk and 5,000 Steps

6 Jun

“If there’s no challenge in your life, then there’s no enjoyment in your life.”

― David Tian Ph.D


Wow! It was a really hot day today. I asked my Google assistant (little round talking thingy) OK, Google, what’s the temperature? She said, ” In McKinney, the temperature is 86 degrees, it with the heat index, it feels like 105 degrees.” Well, that made my decision of not going out for a walk until sunset.

Now, here’s a question for you? Do you ever give yourself these little challenges, like I’m going to do so many push ups or sit ups, or get the kitchen cleaned before watching tv? Little challenges. Well, I couldn’t do a single push up if my life depended on it, but I make other self-challenging goals. I try to get out every evening to take pictures of the sunset, often driving home really fast to get out for my walk. (Like today)

Tonight, as I was making loops around the neighborhood pond, I took a picture after each loop, from the same spot, capturing the stunning setting sunset.

Another challenge I make is trying to walk every night and increase my step count. I have that heart ❤️ thingy on my phone that counts my steps, so tonight when I looked at the count, it was around 3,000. So, I told myself, I’m going to get at least 4,000 before I go home. Now remember, it was still hot out there. I checked after a few more loops and I was almost there. Guess what, I’m going to try 5,000 steps. I sometimes push even a little more. It felt good to accomplish this little goal. 👍🏼

Now, for my last challenge and tradition. YEP! It’s Black Russian Friday.

CHEERS!!!!! Happy Black Russian Friday, my friends.

Sunday Sermon, A Spectacular Sunset, and Other Stuff.

1 Jun

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Yet another Sunday morning Mass in my pajamas. This is getting too easy. I was thinking that when we finally get back to normal, we should all go to church in our pajamas, just for old times sake, or for us old timers who actually will forget to put on clothes.

Today’s Gospel on this Pentecost Sunday was the story of Jesus appearing to the disciples who were scared and hiding in a locked room. He said, “Peace be with you,” and showed them His wounds, so they would believe it was Him.

“The disciples were filled with joy at seeing the Lord,

21 and he said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. ‘As the Father sent me, so am I sending you.’

22 After saying this he breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit.

23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you retain anyone’s sins, they are retained.”


My take on it… Jesus proved to the disciples by showing them His wounds that it was really Him. Sometimes we are also scared and hide from the world’s realities. Jesus gave them the gift of the Holy Spirit and told them that He was sending them out into the world to preach His word. We are ALL called to continue the work of the disciples. During these very trying times, between the pandemic and civil unrest, we may be scared, but need to hold our beliefs strong and show through our examples and actions the faith that guides us. The TEN COMMANDMENTS boiled down to two: LOVE GOD and LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

As Jesus said to his disciples…”PEACE BE WITH YOU.”

Sunday is usually a pretty lazy day for me. Oh wait… every day has been a pretty lazy day. I did get out for a couple of walks. Of course, my late evening walks right before sunset are the best. Tonight did not disappoint.

When I got home, I went out back to water some plants when I saw a spectacular sky. I ran out the front door for a better view. Look at these snaps right outside my door.

Wow! Only God could paint such a masterpiece. I really should try to capture some of these in watercolor or on canvas.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

50th Anniversary of Earth Day~Love Your Planet

23 Apr

“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”



Earth Day is an annual event observed on April 22 in order to promote awareness about the environment and teach people to embrace nature. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the celebration which was founded in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a senator from Wisconsin.

This year’s theme is climate action.


The best way to celebrate Earth Day is to appreciate your little part of the planet every day. Everyone can pitch in by recycling, picking up trash, planting trees, flowers, vegetables, etc, but most of all… appreciate what Mother Nature has to offer.

I thought I’d share a few pictures of my little corner of the world. I marvel at every sunset, and I rejoice in every songbird.

Happy Earth Day

Saturday:) Super Lazy Saturday and a Sunset

1 Sep

“Progress isn’t made by early risers. It’s made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.”

― Robert Heinlein


Sometimes you just need a day to catch up on your sleep, sit around most the day, and just do nothing productive. I was going to sleep late, but I remembered that I needed to pick up Bella from Mr. Mike’s. He was leaving for the airport around 5 am, so I wanted to pick her up before 8. Ha! Here’s the plan. I picked her up, walked her, then we went back sleep till after 11.

We sat around, watched tv, and took a couple little walks. Well, it was getting warm again, so she took little walks and I took a couple of longer ones afterwards,

alone. I guess I wasn’t super lazy, but I don’t count my walks as productive. But, I did get 4.7 miles walking in, just no housework.

Summer is fading into Fall, and the sunsets are earlier every day. I’m not looking forward to changing the clocks back and losing another hour in the Fall. Chasing the sunset…

Happy Lazy Saturday, my friends.

Wednesday:) What Ya Been Up To, Miss Toni?

15 Aug

“I’ve been busier than a horsefly at a rodeo.”

~Toni Andrukaitis and maybe someone else


I’ve used this quote before many times, and I thought I made it up many years ago. I just Googled it again to see who may have said it originally, but the only name that comes up is mine. So, maybe I’m not the first one who said it, but I’m on Google’s short list.

Since I’ve gotten back from my wonderful relaxing vacation in California, I hit the ground running. Yesterday, I had my complete air conditioning system replaced. I wasn’t the busy one, but these poor young men spent well over 8 hours in the unbearable heat outside and in the attic. A big thank you to D and Brandon from Bill Joplin’s AC and Heating. I got a photo before they were drenched.

So, today I am cool and well, I’m just all around pretty cool! I got up and went over to pick up Bella, my little doggie buddy that I keep an eye on when Mr. Mike travels. It rained last night, so it was cool this morning. After our walk, I did my own solo walk of a couple miles.

I went over to the Independent Bank to take care of something that I could have done online, but I rather deal with people face to face. Plus, they know me there, and they say, “Good morning, Miss Toni.” And I say, “Hi, Miss Monica. How are you?” You don’t get that online. (Monica and Amber)

Then, my friend, Linda Grossman, (World’s Greatest Realtor) and I were texting and she asked what I was up to, so we met for lunch. She’s been super busy, (because she is the World’s greatest realtor) but we hadn’t seen each other in a while. She needed a little break and catch up time.

What else did I do? Oh, I returned something at the store, dropped off some brownies at Fire Station 5, then came home and walked the dog. The garbage truck was coming down the street, so I chased him down a couple houses to give him a cold Dr. Pepper. He’s fast. It was really hot out there.

It was after 6 pm, and I wanted to go visit Mr. Jerry over at Baylor Hospital. He was doing a little better this evening after having a rough morning. (If you can say a little prayer for Mr. Jerry?) I stopped in the chapel on the first floor on my way out.

Then, off to our St. Helen’s support group at church at 7. I got home a little before 9, then remembered when I saw mine, that Mr. Mike‘s garbage cans were still out. I scooted over there to take them in his garage. The moon was so big and beautiful. I had to stop and take some pictures. Isn’t that grand!

Home to walk Bella in the park in the dark with a big flashlight. She loves the park. I came in and started writing about my adventures of the day. Are you exhausted yet? I am. But, this was just a wonderful busy day in my wonderful busy life. I am blessed with so many friends and daily blessings.

Happy Wednesday, my friends.

Theme Song Thursday:) The Road Less Traveled

25 Jul

“There are no wrong turnings. Only paths we had not known we were meant to walk.”

― Guy Gavriel Kay



Speaking of walking, I got up fairly early (for me) and went for a walk. In the summer when it’s hot outside, I have a regular walking route. I walk mostly on the other older side of the subdivision where they have taller, more mature trees that provide shade and relief from the oppressive sun. I also don’t walk as many miles in one shot.

This morning it was barely 80 degrees, so I decided to take a longer different route.. the road less traveled. As I turned the corner past the houses that I hadn’t seen in quite a while, I thought to myself, “Let’s see what adventure unfolds on this path.” Well, the words were barely out of my subconscious when I saw a gorgeous butterfly perched on a purple sage bush. I giggled out loud and realized that I was meant to walk down this way today. I said good morning, took a picture, admired her for a while, and went on my way.

As I walked, I appreciated the canopy of trees that partially shaded my trek. It was warming up already. About a mile later, a lovely dragonfly sat sunbathing on the sidewalk, and didn’t even budge for his closeup photograph.

When I checked my phone app for my steps, it said I’d only walked 1.5 miles. Hmm? I could do better than that on such a lovely day, so continued on. Well, I’m glad I did because I found an old rusty screw in somebody’s driveway. Thus again, saving the world from flat tires.

By the time I got home, I had walked 2.4 miles. I saw beautiful sights and sounds of nature, saved a neighbor from a flat tire, and all by taking the road less traveled.

My day didn’t end there. Quick summary… I vacuumed the carpets, made myself some lunch, went to GoodYear for my vehicle inspection, sat at NomNom with an iced tea and a book while I waited an hour for the inspection, stopped at church for Adoration and prayed the rosary, ran into Helene and made plans to meet for dinner, and all this before 4 pm. We will have dinner at Delaney’s at 6:30 before Karaoke at 7:30. Then, I’ll come home around 10, and either collapse, or hang some pictures that have been impatiently sitting on the floor for weeks.

Well, it’s almost 6. I better get a move on.

Have a wonderful Thursday, my friends. And, I hope that every now and then you decide to take the road less traveled.