Archive | August, 2016

Thursday:) This Is My Little Town~ McKinney

12 Aug

“I live in my own little world. But its ok, they know me here.” ― Lauren Myrac


This morning was the first Art Club of McKinney meeting  after our summer break. I love the August meeting because it’s Show and Tell day. Each member or guest introduces themselves, tells what art mediums they use, and brings some examples to talk about. A few of my favorite artist friends…

After our meeting, a large contingent from the meeting went over to The Pantry Restaurant    On the square.for more food and socializing. There’s always a little shopping on the way back to your car.

I always stop at the Visitor’s Center to say hello to Miss Beth. She’s such a sweetie and always has her finger on the pulse of McKinney. If Miss Beth doesn’t know about it…it ain’t happenin’.

This is not a natural stance. I make her pose this way…my open arms request. It’s an inside joke. 

My good friends at Sweet Spot Bakery are always baking up something sweet and special. 

It’s difficult for me to resist a quick stop at the Samaritan Inn Thrift Store on my way home. I generally find several treasures. A beautiful hand painted ceramic plate, two pale pastel purple wine glasses to paint, and a lovely glass candy dish. (My buddy, Miss Bella, looking on in admiration of my bargain hunting skills.)

I stopped to visit my neighbor, Diane, before rounding the corner home. My good friend, Karen, stopped by this evening to drop off her little fishy, Baby. I’m fishy sitting for her for a couple of days. I am the “Pet Whisperer” of McKinney. Dogs, cats, now fish. I’m amazing!

So many friends, so many things to do, this is my little town. I love it here!

“I live in my own little world. But its ok, they know me here.” 

― Lauren Myrac

Oh yes, it was pretty hot here today. It’s Texas…it’s summer…it’s hotter than 

H-E- double hockey sticks.

Wednesday:)What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni…Brownies?

10 Aug

“The measuring and mixing always smoothed out her thinking processes – nothing was as calming as creaming butter – and when the kitchen was warm from the oven overheating and the smell of baking chocolate, she took final stock of where she’d been and where she was going. Everything was fine.” ― Jennifer Crusie, Maybe This Time


Yesterday was a busy baking and shaking kinda day. I went to Zumba, (that’s the shaking part), came home and walked about two miles in the scalding Texas heat, took a quick shower, met some friends for lunch, stopped at the Dollar Store, went over to the county office to get my vehicle registration sticker, wrote my blog, baked a batch of awesome brownies, drove over to the historic district for our monthly McKinney Creative Community meeting, arrived home just before dark, went for a very long four mile walk in the dark with my neighbor, called my sister, took another shower, THEN collapsed on the couch with my iPad and several tall glasses of ice water till nearly 2am. Are you exhausted just reading all that? Thank goodness I don’t have a job. That would interfere with my activities a d social life.

But, I do enjoy cooking and baking. I made my special marshmallow/chocolate chip brownies. And, of course, I always make a funny face in the bowl before I stir up the ingredients. When I post the funny face on my Facebook page, it reminds the local artists that our meeting is that evening. Everyone loves my brownies, so it’s a good advertisement for the group.

I’ve been making funny faces in my mixes for many years now. Always a blast, and always a challenge to come up with a different look.

The end result is always yummy.

After I cut the small squares for our meeting,  I took a couple over to my neighbor Diane, because it was her birthday, and a couple to Melody around the corner. It was her birthday too. So many friends. So many birthdays. So many brownies!

Tuesday:) Toni’s Tip of the Day About Teasing

9 Aug

We have much to learn by studying nature and taking the time to tease out its secrets. ~David Suzuki


Teasing isn’t always a negative thing. Sure, sometimes people tease you about things that hurt your feelings, but I like positive teasing. I always tease my friends when they something like, “I’m making a pot roast for dinner.” I reply with, “I’ll be by around 7.” 

After our fun girls’ weekend at Crescent Moon Lodge, Sherri Murphy forgot to grab her hand painted wine glass that she worked on Saturday. The back seat was piled high with luggage,McCarthy, paints, a cooler, and various bags from shopping in Paris. (Yes, Paris…but Paris, TX)

When I got home, I realized that her beautiful wine glass was in my car. I texted that I could drop it at her house after 5:30 Mass. It was on the way home. She said that would be fine, and I said something like, “Then, I’ll be in time for dinner.” Sometimes I’ll tease her and text her asking, “Are you home? Sherri usually replies, “Yes, where are you?” Then, I giggle and say, “I’m in your driveway.” She walks to the front door and there I am.

Sunday, after church, I stopped by Sherri’s with her wine glass so she could show her husband, Michael, her adorable wine glass. They invited me in. There on the dinner table was a place setting of food waiting for me. They asked, “Aren’t you staying for dinner?” Holy cow! I was just teasing, BUT…I guess they thought I was serious. More likely, the Murphy’s are just extremely hospitable and generous folks. I’ll have to remember that trick next time I’m hungry, don’t feel like cooking, or run out of groceries at home. GOOD TIP!

Although I was teasing, Sherri sent me home with a plate of yummy ribs, roasted potatoes, a roll and a bunch of Rollo Candy pretzel snacks. (There were a lot more on the plate before. I have no idea where the rest went???)

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek with My Peeps

9 Aug

“A girls’ weekend is a nice way of saying, hold onto your hats, kick of your shoes, and let’s party…in a delicate refined kinda way. NOT!”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


It was a great week, but the highlight was my weekend with some great friends and fabulous artists. Great food, fun, art, conversation, but most of all…LOVE. You can’t beat that.

Sunday Sermon and Simply Sensational Art With Friends

8 Aug

“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” 

― H. Jackson Brown


Today’s Gospel according to Luke: Was the story of Jesus telling the parable of the servants needing to be prepared for the master to return at any time. “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.”

My take on it…You can’t expect to get to heaven by deciding last minute that you are repentant, or doing good deeds late in life or being generous only if you have extra or if someone is watching, or being kind and generous only when it serves a purpose. You have to be good, honest, loving, “vigilant” at all times. That’s what makes you a “good servant” of the Lord.


Now, the fun art with friends part. Several of the ladies on our retreat at Crescent Moon Lodge did some painting, drawing, sketching, etc. on their own.

Sherry worked on her Santa’s. She is the queen of Santa painting. (She’s amazing!) I was painting some notecards/envelopes with bluebonnets, the Texas state flower.

I taught some of the other gals how to paint easy one stroke bluebonnets.

Michele was a natural. She painted this in about ten minutes…first try.

After our absolutely divine dinner, we painted wine glasses. I gave them a few instructions, but everyone pretty much did their own thing and they came out great. Dip dot daisies are the easiest. No skill required.

It was a wonderful weekend with wonderful artistic friends. We are going to have to do this more often. As Molly said, “How about next week?” Too bad the lodge gets booked up pretty fast. 

Thanks girls for such a fun weekend of laughter, friendship, stories, crying, giggling, and last but not least…feasting with the greatest meals imaginable. Thanks David and Michele Bernard. You two ROCK! 

Saturday:) Some More Fun Stuff from Oklahoma

7 Aug

“Great friends, great food, fun crafts, and lots of wine, it doesn’t get better than that.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I tried to post this yesterday, but the wi-fi signal gods were not cooperating. Today, I  tried many, many times. Even my texts failed to send, but at 2am, I heard a ping. Yeah! I got up to check, but my phone informed me…message failed. Well, thanks for telling me. I guess, sometime between 4 and 5, a couple of things went through. But, unfortunately, not my post. (At least I don’t think so.)

Michele said perhaps if I stood outside on the magic rock, hold my hands up in the air, and say a special chant to the wi-if spirits, I might find a signal. It didn’t work…but I tried.

“Please, Wi-Fi spirits, allow your magical powers to enter my unworthy digital devices that I might share my adventures with the world. P.S. I’d like to be able to send a text, too.”

My chant didn’t work, so I’m catching up on Saturday’s sensational adventures at Crescent Moon Lodge and the fantastic food prepared by Chef David Bernard, from Be prepared to be jealous. Three marvelous meals with snacks and beverages in between. All homemade and baked on the premises. Several times I exclaimed, “Oh my, we have to eat again?” (FYI-they cater.)

That’s just a sampling of the fabulous food and friendship. Sunday’s post will be the fine art and friendship.

Friday:) From Paris to Oklahoma

6 Aug

“Everybody needs some quiet time alone. Then, sometimes you need a rowdy, fun, creative girls weekend with lots of cheap wine and great food and great friends.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


How often can you can say, “I had lunch in Paris today?” A girls weekend started of with a stop in Paris for lunch…but Paris, Texas. 

A lovely lunch at the Paris Bakery Cafe and shopping on our way to Crescent Moon Lodge in Oklahoma.

Internet connection is terrible. I can’t post any more pictures. Dang!

Photos won’t publish! Yikes! Hoping for better luck tomorrow. If not, I’ll catch up on Sunday.

Friday:) From Paris to Oklahoma

6 Aug

“Everybody needs some quiet time alone. Then, sometimes you need a rowdy, fun, creative girls weekend with lots of cheap wine and great food and great friends.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


How often can you can say, “I had lunch in Paris today?” A girls weekend started of with a stop in Paris for lunch…but Paris, Texas. 

A lovely lunch at the Paris Bakery Cafe and shopping on our way to Crescent Moon Lodge in Oklahoma.

Internet connection is terrible. I can’t post any more pictures. Dang!

Photos won’t publish! Yikes! Hoping for better luck tomorrow. If not, I’ll catch up on Sunday.

Thankful Thursday and the Ten Thousand Dollar Tooth

5 Aug

“Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.” ― Thomas Goodwin


It was a whirlwind of a Thursday. Every morning, before my feet touch the floor, I think of at least one thing that I’m thankful for. Being most reluctant to get out of bed, I often have time to linger, thinking of more than one. You should try it. Say it out loud, or repeat it in your mind. It’s the perfect way to start the day.

This morning, I was thankful for the morning sun peeping through my window, the special emails that greet me each morning, the ceiling fan and air conditioning that keeps me comfortable in the terrible Texas heat, and the prospect of getting out for an early morning walk. I popped out of bed before 8am, sun glasses, sunscreen, and a smile. It was already in the upper 80’s, but there was a slight breeze. The cute little duck family at the pond waddled up to say hello. Granted, they probably thought I had some food for them, but I said hello and apologized.

I managed to walk 2.8 miles before rushing home to shower and out the door for my dentist appointment. FINALLY! The last step for the TEN THOUSAND DOLLAR TOOTH! 

This poor tooth first had a crown, then a root canal, then when it still hurt, I was told I needed an extraction and implant with a new crown. Yep! About 10 K for one stinkin’ tooth. 

I’m smiling, but that’s because I finished paying for it on my last charge. I was going to do landscaping this year, instead I got a new tooth.

See, 10K tooth!!!

After my triumphant tooth adventure, I drove over to the square to visit with Miss Kathy and Miss Elizabeth at Sweet Spot. A couple youngsters were eyeing the cookies, cupcakes and ice cream. I asked them if they’d like some ice cream, and of course, they said yes. I know their father, and he was sitting talking to friends, and I knew it would be ok. They were very appreciative. 

After the visit, I drove obverse to Good Year to get my car inspected before my expiration, So I can get my vehicle sticker later.  They said it would be an hour wait. I walked over to Taco Bueno too get an iced tea. I took out $2, and asked the young man for a small drink. He handed me a cup and said, “No charge Mam. It’s just a drink.” Well, that was so nice.

I asked his name. It was Chad. I said, “Thanks Chad. You are bpbery kind.” Then, I thought to myself…hmm…I did something nice, buying the kids ice cream, then, Chad does something nice for me.” Random acts of kindness.

A quick stop at the car wash. I even vacuumed the interior mats. How lucky to have a nice car, all paid for, and the gas tank full? 

My car was ready when I walked back. I stopped at the store on the way home because I was out of ice cream…oh no! 

Look how healthy! Organic spinach and chocolate ice cream. They counter balance each other.

When I got home, I had a little ice cream because I didn’t want that melted part to leak in the freezer. I had to help make room for expansion of the melted ice cream. My personal tradition. 

I went for a long evening walk when the sun started to set and a gentle breeze lessened the heat of the day. My total steps for today…5.7 miles. Pretty darn good for an old lady with a bad knee, bad feet, and a new tooth, on a hot Texas night. While I walked, I thought, “Look at me. I can do anything. I’m aazing.” I’m also very modest. Not! I was rewarded with a glorious sunset.

These are all the things I am thankful for today. That’s a lot! I have so many! That’s just one day! How lucky am I? What about you?

Give it a try. Wake up every day and think of the things you are thankful for. Then, end each day recounting your blessings. You’ll be amazed.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?

3 Aug

“You can express your love with words, or with homemade brownies. I choose to do both.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


What’s cooking? Why brownies, of course, my favorite way to say I love you. I’m going to my DAS Divorced And Separated support group tonight, and I like to bring brownies or cupcakes. But, it also gives me a good excuse to share with a few other neighbors. 

Yesterday, when I went over to Diane’s house for National Night Out, her husband asked, “Where are the brownies?” Oops! He’ll get some tonight.

Of course, I had to start  with my traditional funny face in the mix. (Look closely. Chocolate chip nostrils.)

Then, I decided to jazz it up with some marshmallows, chocolate chips, and cut up Milky Way candy bars.

Doesn’t that look yummy?

And they taste yummy too. The marshmallows got a little toasty like s’mores. Combined with all the chocolatey goodness of the chips and candy, mmmmm. Now, that says LOVE!