Archive | October, 2015

Friday Fun in the Kitchen:) Bakin’ and Dancin’

30 Oct

Nothin’ says lovin’ like somethin’ from the oven while you’re dancin’ in the kitchen.

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It’s been a dreary rainy day all day. I didn’t even set my alarm to go to Zumba this morning. I loligaggled all day, then decided to bake my Halloween mini cupcakes. The radio was on, so I just started dancing whenever a great classic oldie came on. Who needs Zumba? Well, I do, but I can take a day off and dance in my kitchen.​

First, make a funny face with the batter. Then dance in the kitchen.

Then bake the cupcakes using marshmallows and chocolate chips. Then dance in the kitchen.

Then frost and decorate the cupcakes….and yes, more dancing in the kitchen. Disperse to friends and neighbors. 

Theme Song Thursday:) Up, Up,,and Away

30 Oct

Usually, we find it difficult to control our mind, it seems as if our mind is like a balloon in the wind-blown here and there by external circumstances.

~ Kelsang Gyatso


This morning on my way to Zumba, I was stopped at a red light, when all of a sudden, I looked up and saw a hot air balloon. It was big and bright and pretty darn close to the street. Then, of course, this song popped in my head. A perfect theme for Thursday. Luckily my phone was handy for a photo op.



Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom

29 Oct

“The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become.” ~ Jim Rohn***********

Yesterday, I had the great pleasure of joining a few local artists at SPARC. Artist/potter, Laura Canfield has been hosting clay pot throwing and creative glazing in preparation for next year’s Empty Bowls fundraiser. I enjoy the impromptu process of decorating a bowl with glaze, knowing that it will find its way to good home, and the money raised will help,feed the hungry.

Laura has been donating her time and talents to the community for many years, as have dozens of local artists. I feel blessed to know these fine folks and be part of this creative and sharing community. They all love what they do and always happy to share.

These bowls will be bold, beautiful, and shiny once they have been kiln fired. 

Here’s one that I glazed last month.

I love being an artist and a writer. I get to create beautiful works of art, then I get to write about it. Doubley blessed. 

“The major value in life is not what you get. The major value in life is what you become.” ~ Jim Rohn

What have you become?

Tuesday: Toni’s Tip of the Day

28 Oct

12% of people with glasses wear them as an attempt to see better. 88% of people with glasses wear them as an attempt to appear smarter.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana


My tip of the day… If you have one or more huge fire ant mounds in your yard, make sure you look for your glasses and put them on before you spray them and the entire perimeter of your house with fire ant killer. 

Why you ask? Because this is how I tried to kill the fire ants. 

If you look closely at the label…WEED & GRASS KILLER. Can you see the huge mound of fire ants? They were laughing at me. The good news is, I killed a lot of weeds and grass all over my yard. And then…I put on my glasses and found the correct spray in the garage. 


Just Another Manic Monday

27 Oct

Hey, I know it’s Monday, but it’s also a new day, a new week, and in that lies a new opportunity for something special to happen. 

~Michael Ealy


My Monday started out with a crazy wild 1 hour kickboxing class. Then, home for an hour walk/run. When I came home and looked out the window, I saw a huge ant hill in the back yard…fire ants. Yikes! So, out with the spray and granules and checked the front and back yards…more mounds all over. After several days of clouds and rain, the sun was out, the weather cool, and my spirits uplifted. 

I didn’t feel like taking over the world, but I felt like going to a movie. My bucket list had go to a movie alone on it, and I did that once already, so I figured twice would be twice as good. So, I went by myself to see “Bridge of Spies.”

It was somewhat entertaining, but a little slow for my tastes. I almost dozed off. Still glad I went though. 

When I left the movie, it was after 5:30 and I totally forgot that I wanted to go vote in the early voting elections, so I raced to the library to get there by 6. I stopped and chatted with a woman named Kelly outside  afterwards who had a Vote No on Prop 5. (That’s to stop the monster parking garage in the entrance to the square.)

If you don’t vote, don’t complain about how your city and country is run. 

I didn’t take over the world today, but I voiced my opinion. 

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

26 Oct

“Your prayers will certainly be answered. Everyone who asks receives.” 

― Lailah Gifty Akita, Beautiful Quotes


It was a chilly dreary cloudy morning, but it’s Sunday. I love Sunday. I’ve been signing up to be a greeter before 9 o’clock Mass.  So, I got up early, curled my hair, put on a bright red sweater, matching red lipstick, and my red  jacket to brighten my spirits. When I held the door open and said, “Good morning” to everyone, I was greeted with smiles and enthusiastic replies. When you feel like a bright red ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, it’s contagious. Really! Try it.

Today’s Gospel was about the blind man who asked Jesus for help. Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” Here’s my take on it…You can’t get your prayers answered if you don’t pray. You can’t get what you want if you don’t ask. 

My prayer is always the same. “Lord, thank you for your continued strength, and please grant health and happiness for my friends and family.”  I’m doing pretty good so far. 


 Gospel.      Mark 10:46-52
As Jesus was leaving Jericho with his disciples and a sizable crowd,

Bartimaeus, a blind man, the son of Timaeus,

sat by the roadside begging.

On hearing that it was Jesus of Nazareth,

he began to cry out and say,

“Jesus, son of David, have pity on me.”

And many rebuked him, telling him to be silent. 

But he kept calling out all the more,

“Son of David, have pity on me.”

Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called the blind man, saying to him,

“Take courage; get up, Jesus is calling you.”

He threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. 

Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” 

The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.” 

Jesus told him, “Go your way; your faith has saved you.” 

Immediately he received his sight

and followed him on the way.

Even a cloudy dreary day can’t  get me down. I’m the lady in red.  

This is from last year, (photo by Michael Murphy) but this is how I feel when I’m dressed in my red happy clothes. 

Saturday: Some Scary and Spooky Stuff

24 Oct

October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins…. Merry October! ~Rainbow Rowell

One of the nice things about walking every day is, I get to see all the fun holiday decorations in the neighborhood, and occasionally chat with neighbors along my route. Christmas is great, but very traditional. Now, Halloween is fun and people get very creative with their decorations. I only snapped a few pictures, but I really should have gotten the house with two life-size skeletons scaling up the front of the house or the giant spiders.  

I also like all the fun food you can make. So many clever ideas. 

My mini cupcakes were pretty blah compared to those above, but everyone liked them. I’ll be making more next week. Maybe try something new?

So, have a safe, scary, and spooky Halloween next week if I don’t talk to you before then.


Friday: Food Frenzy and Famished Friends

23 Oct

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” 

― J.R.R. Tolkien


When I bake, I bake a lot. When I cook, I cook a lot. It’s not that I eat a lot, or  even  bake or cook often, but I have a lot of friends that I enjoy sharing food with when I do get in the mood.

My latest cooking marathon was making a huge pot of potato soup. When I say huge, I mean gy-normous.The weather finally cooled off a bit and the dreaded drought has lifted. So, off I went to the store to get the fixins. Oh no, the ten pound bag of potatoes was on sale for $2.94! Holy cow! That meant I had to get out the “big red pot” for this marathon.

If you’d like the recipe,well, you can’t have it! I don’t use a recipe. I just throw stuff in that I like and keep adding and tasting until I’m happy. It’s pretty easy to make because I use a lot of canned ingredients, but I doctor it up with fresh things and LOTS of potatoes. Remember, I had ten pounds. I boiled about eight or nine pounds because that’s all that fit in the pot, then diced up two big onions and sautéed in a stick of butter in “big red.” Then added about 1/2 a cup of flour, stirred in 4 cans of chicken broth, then started adding all the other cans of cream of chicken soups and corn and chiles. 16 cans of stuff in all. (See big red in the background?)

It was a two big pot endeavor. I also threw in about 1/4 cup of hot salsa I had left over from Taqueria Hernandez. The soup turned out a bit spicey…but I loved it.

Of course, I packed up a few containers to share with friends. What’s the use of going to all that trouble if you can’t share. Food that is made with love is meant to be shared with loved ones.

Come on over, I still have some left…and it’s Black Russian Friday! A two-fer.


Thankful Theme Song Thursday

23 Oct

Rainy days should be spent at home with a cup of tea and a good book.” ― Bill Watterson


Today, I am extremely thankful for the glorious rain that has finally graced the skies of north Texas. The thirsty earth is soaking up every delightful drop. The rain didn’t start until late afternoon, so I was able to get to my Zumba class in the morning and go for a long walk/run. I visited with friends, and had a late lunch with Lynne when I dropped by her house. Good tip: visit friends at lunch time and you just might get invited to stay for pizza.

Therefore, I am signing the praises of the well needed rain. Everyone…sing along!

I actually cranked up the radio and was dancing in the kitchen. Not exactly a rain dance, but rather a thankful for the rain dance.


Wednesday:) Whimsical Wine Glass Workshop

22 Oct

” You must either modify your dreams or magnify your skills.”Jim Rohn


One of my favorite things to do is share my blessings and talents with others. Last night, I had the pleasure of teaching a wine glass painting workshop at Lone Star Wine Cellars on the square. Deanna Ross, the sweet proprietor, is also a friend and a very talented wine glass painter in her own right.(I believe she had an excellent teacher..ha, ha, personal plug.)

My absolute favorite part of the process is seeing the pride and smiles of the ladies when they’re done and they sit there admiring their finished masterpieces. I always say, “I’m not a great artist, but man… I’m an amazing teacher.” Very true, modesty is not one of my virtues. I think the secret is cracking jokes and making everyone feel relaxed. Then the most important aspect is telling everyone what a great job they did, and it isn’t a lie because everyone creates something fantastic.

See for yourself.

Now, each lady has a pair of fun handpainted wine glasses that they can brag about. All their friends will be impressed, and if  lucky, will receive one as a gift. 

I’ll have another class at Lone Star Wine Cellars on Nov. 17th, but I can also do a workshop for interested groups in your home or mine. Just give me a jingle.