Archive | February, 2016

Theme Song Thursday:) If I Had a Hammer

19 Feb

“Life is all about building. We build relationships, a family, a home, and a better life for ourselves and others. Never put down your hammer, even when things get broken.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis
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“Sometimes while you are so passionately busy building, there will be others as busy destroying. Do not stop. One day you will notice how high above you get, and how down below they end up” 
― Sameh Elsayed

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This morning, I went to Zumba, went for a long walk, then decided that today was the day. Enough procrastinating! I was going to work on organizing my “craft” room. I call the room something else with a similar spelling, you know what I mean. I bought four sturdy plastic shelves months ago, and all I got accomplished was hauling them up the stairs. 

I figured if I tried to devote at least one hour a day on organizing, that maybe in a hundred days, I’d be done. (I have a lot of stuff. Very good, important, artsy stuff.) I climbed up the stairs around 3:30 and dragged the first unit into the middle of the floor and started to assemble. Four hours later, with a sore shoulder from pounding, dragging, lifting, and organizing, I managed to get all four shelves assembled, my long work table boxed up, ornaments put away, and glassware arranged. Now, I’m exhausted and hungry.

   
 
These three shelves were already there. Now, I need to organize a zillion bins onto the four new shelves. Perhaps another day, or month, or year. 

  
 

  
I’m building something new. Very symbolic!

Wednesday:) What Horsing Around Looks Like

18 Feb

Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
~W. C. Fields**********

What a wonderful Wednesday. No alarm set, a cup of tea, talk to Mom, a long walk, then an even longer lunch at Snug with my friend Linda. It was a gorgeous sunny day on the Square. After lunch, I visited with Kathy and Elizabeth at Sweet Spot Bakery. 

The mounted patrol always passes by the bakery back door because Ranger and Ontario know that Miss Kathy has special treats for them.  

 
  
Just one of the many sights that makes McKinney a fun place to live or visit.

  
Good horse sense.

  
A small town with a big heart and great people.

Tuesday:) Time For Tunes and a Tank Top Kinda Day

17 Feb

“To be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.” 
― Osho

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Do you love life? What do you do to enhance its beauty? What do you do to bring pure joy into your life?

Music, movement, dance, singing, creating art, and writing, all these things bring me joy. I take classes at the McKinney YMCA, usually kickboxing Monday and Friday, then Zumba Tuesday and Thursday. The music, movement, and dance is sheer exhilaration. Walking every day and taking photos are good for my soul. Then, I love to write. I write this blog, I write poetry and stories and letters and emails. Sometimes I paint, teach others to paint, and share my artwork with others. When I hear music, I dance or I sing, or both. 

Yes, I’m in love with life. So many things to love, so many things to do, so little time. 

A short snippet from Zumba class today. So, “Shut up and dance with me.”

After a long afternoon walk, I parked my bottom in a chair, sat in the sun, and watched the world go by.

  
  
A beautiful tank top kinda day.

Montage Monday and My Magnificent Sunset

16 Feb

A photo cannot capture that breathtaking feeling you get when you see a magnificent sunset, but it’s with a try.

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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My day in a nutshell…

  
I got up early to feed my doggie house guest, Miss Bella, and let her out. Went to my 8:30 kickboxing class at the YMCA, and it always kicks my butt and makes my brain work overtime, but I love it. Came home and took Bella for a long walk, lunch, emails, clean kitchen, procrastinate on Facebook, tinker on the piano, feed Bella, another walk, sit outside in the sun, more procrastinating, another quick walk to the pond to capture the glorious sunset…now, bore you with my day, and my week. I think I need a glass of wine!

Montage Monday…a week in a peek.
  
Now, for my magnificent sunset.  

   
Wouldn’t you agree?

Sunday:) St. Valentine and Other Stuff

15 Feb

“If I have not been both soothed by love and on the opposite extreme left devastated by it, I will never understand its power nor respect its majesty.” 

― Craig D. Lounsbrough

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An early morning, greeting before 9 o’clock Mass, hugs,smiles, and Valentine’s Day wishes. Then, a nice service with the children’s choir. While Mary and I were saying, “Happy Valentine’s Day,” at the door, a gentleman said, “Do you know the story of St. Valentine?” I sort of remembered that it wasn’t such a happy story…

(Wikepedia) 

Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine,[1] is an annual holiday celebrated on February 14. It originated as a Western Christian liturgical feast day honoring one or more early saints named Valentinus, and is recognized as a significant cultural and commercial celebration in many regions around the world, although it is not a public holiday in any country.
Several martyrdom stories associated with the various Valentines that were connected to February 14 were added to later martyrologies,[2] including a popular hagiographical account of Saint Valentine of Rome which indicated he was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who were forbidden to marry and for ministering to Christians, who were persecuted under the Roman Empire.[3] According to legend, during his imprisonment, Saint Valentine healed the daughter of his jailer, Asterius,[4] and before his execution, he wrote her a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.[5

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After Mass, a stop at Sprouts for some dark chocolate covered cashews and almonds, on sale, of course, then walk my little house guest, Miss Bella. 

 

I still had some left over brownies and cookies, so I shared with several neighbors.

  
   
Mr. Larry was outside working on his car. He always stops what he’s doing for a chat. 

Valentine’s Day can be an exciting, romantic day or a sad and lonely day. It’s just a day, a day like any other day. Share, love, and be a good person. That’s how every day should be.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends! 

  

Saturday:) Seriously Hacked and Stressed

14 Feb

The Internet is like life. Just when everything is going great, you get hacked.

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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“Human Stupidity , that’s why Hackers always win.” 

― Med Amine Khelifi

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Early this morning, I was awakened by several texts and instant messages from friends telling me that I was hacked. Later, I had dozens and dozens of email and even more comments on Facebook, telling me that I was hacked. I’m not really stressed. I guess this happens all the time. I just feel bad for my friends, and hopefully no one fell for the obvious ruse.

Fortunately, all my close friends and family know that I seldom ever leave McKinney much less lose my luggage and passport while traveling to the Philippines. Although, several friends said they were ready to fly over there and come to my rescue. Heck, when someone suggests going to lunch in Plano or Allen, some fifteen minutes away, they know I will either decline or have to use my google map nav system to get there. I DON’T LIKE TO TRAVEL!!! I AM DIRECTIONALLY CHALLENGED!!!

So, if you received an email from me requesting money be sent to the Philippines, please disregard. But, cash, checks, money orders, gift cards, chocolate candy grams, and jelly of the month club subscriptions may be sent to my home in McKinney. Thanks! Be safe out there!

  

Friday:) Fabulous Friday, More Friends, and More Firemen

12 Feb

“I’m glad Friday only comes once a week. I don’t know if I could handle all this fun every day.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrkaitis

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I’m going give a recap of last night’s painting party at my house. Ten fabulous ladies came by for my first inaugural wine glass painting party at my house. My dear friend, Linda Grossman, and my new dear friend, Michele Burke, invited friends for a painting demonstration and glass painting party. They brought all kinds of snacks, and drinks, and wine, of course. We chatted, visited, ate, then got down to the serious business of painting. O.K., there was nothing serious about it. I had to use my loud teacher voice, a few whistles, and nearly had to threaten the time out chair for the more boisterous. 

About four hours later, everyone learned some new painting techniques, and went home with two lovely hand-painted glasses. Some painted grape clusters, others, bluebonnets, some abstract, and a variety of endeavors. Everyone’s looked different and unique, not like those everyone do the same, paint by numbers type painting classes. All the gals had a good time.  

    
   
Julie B. Posted her beautiful glasses on her Facebook page, complimenting the talented teacher. (That would be modest me.) Didn’t she do a wonderful job?

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So,this morning involved a little more clean up, a butt kicking kickboxing class at 8:30, a stop at fire station #5 to take some brownies and cookies, but all the trucks wer out. I left the container right outside the truck bay where they could find it.

  
 
When I got home, I went for a long walk, dropping off more brownies and cookies, some for Diane, a couple for Mr. Mike, and some for Michael and Derrek at the model house sales trailer. Michael gave up sweets for lent, so Derrek had an extra big smile. Later, I boxed up a few more treats for the two little boys across the street. The dad, Brad, is a fireman, and his pick up truck was outside. I didn’t want to ring the bell in case he was sleeping, so I left the container on top of the truck where he’d see it. I also put two little match box fire trucks inside for the boys who will be thrilled when they get home after daycare. 

  
The sun is shining, it’s 69 degrees, I walked for about 1 1/2 hours, I just ate lunch out in the sun, I’m catching some rays while I’m writing this, life doesn’t get much better than this.

Happy Friday from beautiful McKinney Texas, y’all.

 
   

  

Theme Song Thursday

12 Feb

“Art isn’t what you want others see, but rather what you want them to feel.”
~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis
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A fun day at the The Art Club of McKinney monthly meeting. Maureen Brouillette was our guest artist, who was kind enough to critique and give great advice to over twenty artworks brought in by members.

   
   
I’m making this post short because I have ten girlfriends coming over to paint wine glasses in ten minutes…more on that tomorrow.

 I made brownies. 

I’m just posting this at 10:45 because my iPad wouldn’t upload and the ladies arrived. 

Here’s the cute part…Sherri Murphy just called me because she was going to bed and didn’t see my blog post, and she was worried about me. Was that sweet or what? My sister does that too. 

I’ve got the greatest friends and family. 
   

Wednesday:) Why, What’s That On Your Head?

11 Feb

“All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one’s heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.” 

― Cormac McCarthy, The Road

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Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of lent. A day that we literally wear our hearts on our sleeves, or more like on our foreheads. A day to think about mortality, about what is really important in life. When I knelt to pray, I once again gave thanks and asked for continued strength. I prayed, “Change my heart.”  This made me think of one of my favorite hymns, “Change our hearts.” Well, guess what was the opening hymn. Yep, “Change our hearts.” This happened to me once before, over a year ago, and I sang and I cried. Today, I sang and I smiled. I smiled because my heart is changing. The pain of betrayal and anger is still there in my heart, but it’s softer now. A tiny bit softer. 

When I was at church with everyone else, it wasn’t unusual, but after Mass this morning, I needed to stop at the bank and the grocery store. At the store, I totally forgot I had ashes on my head because, well, I didn’t see myself. But, when people gave me a strange look, or a double take, then I remembered. At the bank, Independent Bank on Virginia, the girls there all know me. They just said, “Hi, Miss Toni. You just come from church?” I don’t even need to show a card or punch a code, they just type my name in on their screen, and take care of my transactions. That’s what I love about my town.

(AN EXPLANATION OF ASH WEDNEDSAY CATHOLIC TRADITION:)

St. Anthony Messenger

By Susan Hines-Brigger

Ashes to Ashes

If there ever is a day of the year when you can spot Catholics at a glance, Ash Wednesday is it. It is the one time when Catholics literally wear their faith on their foreheads. In fact, Masses on Ash Wednesday are better attended than Masses on most holy days, except Christmas.

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent for Catholics. The ashes we receive on our forehead in the shape of a cross serve as an outward sign of our sinfulness and need for penance. The ashes also symbolize our mortality, a reminder that one day we will die and our bodies will return to dust. Hence the traditional words, remember that thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.
The tradition of receiving ashes has its origins in the Old Testament, where sinners performed acts of public penance. It was Pope Urban II who in the 11th century recommended that all Catholics take part in the practice of receiving ashes on Ash Wednesday. In the 12th century it became customary that the ashes used on Ash Wednesday were made by burning the previous year’s palm branches.

Ash Wednesday is also a day of fasting and abstinence for Catholics. According to Church law, Catholics older than the age of 14 are supposed to abstain from meat. In addition, those between the ages of 18 and 59, not including pregnant or nursing mothers, should eat only one full meal. Smaller amounts of food�not as much as a full meal�may be eaten in the morning and either at lunchtime or dinner, depending on when you eat your full meal.

 

   

Tuesday:) Tea and Tour at Chestnut Square

10 Feb

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated yo the ceremony of tea.”

~ Henry James

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A wonderful tea, your and fashion show at historic Chestnut Square in downtown McKinney. Thank you for the invitation, Sherri Murphy! 

  
  
Some good friends and new friends. 

  
Our hostess Sherri and our tour guide John. 

   
    
  

We were schooled in many things today. An interesting and fun afternoon.