Archive | February, 2017

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

28 Feb

“Time is standing still, but we are running away from it and complaining that time is slipping away from us.” ― Debasish Mridha


A good week, visiting with friends and spending time with the four-legged kind of friends at the Krewe of Barkus Parade. Time never stands still, but I’m still standing. Well I’m not actually standing. I’m always running around doing something,

A week in a peek.

Sunday Afternoon in the Park:) McKinney Krewe of Barkus Dog Parade

27 Feb

“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.” ― Milan Kundera


I was honored to be one of the judges for the 15th Annual Krewe of Barkus Mardis Gras Dog Parade on the square. Lynne, Jessica, and I had a tough time deciding winners among the many fabulous entries. The founder and talented energizer bunny, Blynda Christian, works diligently with the city and business owners of McKinney, to put on an amazing family and dog friendly event.

Me, Blynda, and Lynne.

Now, for some of the winners. The theme this year  was famous or should we say, infamous villains. Owners and pets alike dressed up, many with homemade costumes, many creative floats and props. It was a fun afternoon.

The Best of Show Winners. The Valencia family. They always go all out creating costumes and floats. 

A generous donation was made to the McKinney PD K-9 unit. Accepting was Randy Pogue (L) and Mayor Brian Loughmiller. (R)

A few more winners…

There was a great turn out, despite cloudy threatening skies and cool temperatures. The street was blocked off and hundreds of spectators lined the parade route.

McKinney, Unique by Nature, the city’s motto and true definition of the town and the people.

Sunny Saturday on the Square and Elsewhere 

26 Feb

“Some people are so much sunshine to the square inch.” 

― Walt Whitman


We went from 89 degrees a couple of days ago into the 30’s. I’m sure your weather has been just as erratic. My sister said it was snowing in Chicago, when they 70’s not long ago. A weather rollercoaster.

I walked my little doggie friend this morning, and I was all bundled up with hat and gloves. But, the sun was shining. That makes it all better. I met up with my neighbor, Diane, walking her dog. We made plans to go to the square for lunch and enjoy the afternoon.

Now, the big decision…where to go to lunch? So many choices, so little will power. We decided on Square Burger. No! The burgers are NOT square. It’s a burger place on the corner on the square. And like all the other millions of people blogging and sharing on Facebook, I’m going to show you my lunch. How else would you know what I had for lunch, right?

A mushroom burger with bacon and all the fixin’s and sweet potato fries. I still have a bowling ball in my stomach some eight hours later. Next time I’m just getting the fries. Soooo good!

After lunch, we decided to stroll around the square. All of a sudden, I heard from behind me, “Hi Miss Toni!” It was my friend Sherri. We’re always bumping into each other. Then, we have our signature pose…open arms raised in greeting. Diane took our commemorative photo.

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor…do you hear Mr. Rogers singing along?

The sunshine and cool breezes beckoned another walk along the pond. It was a grand sunny Saturday. I hope yours was grand too.

Friday:) Four Funny Females and a Sometimes Humorous Human (Me)

25 Feb

“Feminine intuition is a fiction and a fraud. It is nonsensical, illogical, emotional, ridiculous, and practically foolproof.” 

» Harry Haenigsen


Last Saturday, I had the honor of being an usher at MPAC, McKinney Performing Art Center,  for the Four Funny Females comedy show. My friend, Laura Bartlett, is the producer and one of the hilarious ladies who can make an audience cry with laughter at every performance. 

If you haven’t caught a performance, there’s another one coming up March 4 at 8pm at MPAC. I don’t think it’s sold out yet, so get your tickets soon.

The neat part of being an usher is all the people watching you get to do. In the front row were 8 ladies who were out on the town for a bachelorette party. They all wore party hats that said PRINCESS, and the bride-to-be had a veil on hers. Her elderly and tipsy aunt informed me that the girl in the veil was the princess-bride. I went over and offered to take a few photos of the group. 

Laura and the girls were very funny.

After the performance, I was invited backstage to visit with the gals and take a photo. You may think I’m very special, right? Nope! Everyone was invited to visit backstage. 

I’m very lucky to have such great, talented, and funny friends. I’m just a regular humorous human. But, I have a few friends that think I’m pretty funny. Hey Laura….I’m available anytime you need a back-up. I’m a very loving friend…

Theme Song Thursday:) Yellow Rose of Texas

24 Feb

“When life gives you lemons, sit down and paint a picture of lemons. That’s what artists do.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Just a reminder, if you didn’t see my post from yesterday. I had painted a large glass bowl with white trees and cardinals. It was going to be my donation for the McKinney Empty Bowls fundraiser. Well, it exploded in the oven. I had another large bowl as a back-up. For good luck, I decided to paint my yellow roses. Everyone in Texas loves yellow roses. Heck, pretty much everyone anywhere loves yellow roses. It symbolizes friendship and joy. (I looked that up.)

Here’s a recap of the explosive disaster.

I was upset, but being an artist and an optimist, I dusted myself off, (literally, there were glass shards everywhere) and sat down and painted a lovely bowl in my messy “crap room.”

Speaking of disasters…I just tried to upload some photos, and WordPress won’t allow it. It says I don’t have enough space to upload! 1,411KB needed. Bummer. NO PHOTOS TODAY! I hope I can get this resolved. What if I’ve flooded WordPress with too much stuff???

GREAT…I figured out the problem. I ran out of room so I had to buy a plan with 3 G more storage. Now I can add the photo. Yay!


I guess that’s all for now.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni? Disaster!

23 Feb

“I don’t cry over spilt milk, but don’t even get me started on broken handpainted glassware.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


“You have to jump into disaster with both feet.” ― Chuck Palahniuk


I was so excited about my donation for the upcoming EMPTY BOWLS charity event. I painted a very large glass vessel with white trees and red cardinals. It took a couple of days, and it turned out great. I wanted to make sure it was perfect, so I decided to bake it in the oven, as I do for all my other painted glassware. Heat setting makes the paint more duarable. I let it air dry for several days, then put it in the oven along with  a pair of bluebonnet martini glasses that I painted for Mr. Jerry. It’s supposed to bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.

Well, somewhere in between 15 minutes and KABOOM, I heard an explosion in the kitchen. I went to the other room and looked in the oven. Yep! Broken glass all over. I never had glass explode before.

The good news…the martini glasses survived and the oven window didn’t get damaged. The bad news…my beautiful bowl was smashed to smithereens, and there was a huge mess of broken glass and shards in the oven. 

Also…I cut my finger while cleaning up.

More good news, Mr. Jerry, my friend from church, really enjoyed his gift.

Here’s some info on the McKinney event for Empty Bowls at MPAC.

Empty Bowls McKinney was started in 2012 to combat hunger in northern Collin County. Artists, art studios and members of the community create handcrafted bowls. Guests are invited to sample soups from local vendors and to take home a handmade bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world due to hunger. Our event supports the food pantry at Community Lifeline Center.

Participating Restaurants Include: 

Bien Salsa, Blount Fine Foods, Caudalie Crest Winery, The Celt Irish Pub, Game Day Foods, Harvest Seasonal Kitchen, Hug’s Cafe, Local Yocal Farm to Market, McKinney’s Sweet Spot, Patina Green, The Pub, Rye Craft Food and Drink, SNUG on the Square, Square Burger, TUPPS Brewery and Whole Foods Market.

Tickets go on sale Tuesday, February 21, 2017. Small service fees apply. General admission tickets are $25 on-line and $30 at the door. Children 10 & under are free.

Thu, April 27, 2017

5:30 PM – 7:30 PM CDT

McKinney Performing Arts Center

111 North Tennessee Street

McKinney, TX 75069

Tuesday:) Take It One Day At A Time

21 Feb

“When this rollercoaster life spins you till your dizzy, then swirls you around in slow motion, the best thing to do is take a deep breath, hold on tight, and take it one day at a time.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis
“If you want to be happy, do not dwell in the past, do not worry about the future, focus on living fully in the present.” 

― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart


For me, the secret to not getting dizzy and throwing up in this rollercoaster ride we call life is…keep busy, keep busy, and keep busy. It keeps your mind off the bumpy ride. I do it well.

Yesterday started out as a gloomy dreary day. The grey flannel clouds (I like that metaphor) hovered over the cookie cutter rooftops as I walked. I was almost inspired to write a poem, but the inspiration passed. I love taking pictures of the skiy and surroundings on my walks.

I took my neighbor dog, Bella, for a couple of walks. By the time we got around to the afternoon walk at 4, the sun was out the the sky was an alluring azure blue, with a few tufts of white cotton ball clouds.  What a difference a couple of hours makes.

I had just enough time to write my Monday blog, change, and head over to Rockfish, the restaurant where some friends were meeting at 5. This is a nice group of 50-and-over  folks that just meet a couple times a month for food and friendship. Mr. Jerry from church invited me a couple months back. About 25-30 people attend, and I always get to talk to some interesting people and make new friends.

This is Bill. He’s kind of a McKinney fixture. I see him on the square all the time, but never had a chance to talk to him. Nice guy.

When I got home, around 8, I went up to my “crap room” to paint till around 1:30 a.m.  Yes, my craft room  is a mess again. I’m working on painting another large bowl and some wine glasses. (Long story for another day. Maybe tomorrow.) Yikes! A busy Monday.

Today, the same rollercoaster day. Walk Bella, lunch at Olive Garden with Zelda, stop at the craft store, and a few errands, walk Bella again, and walk more after dropping her off, pay some bills, work on this blog, then I’ll scurry off to church at 6 to hear Father Jim, from Sunday, talk about his mission. That should be fun. He’s a Catholic comedian in a priest’s collar. Do you remember Father Jim from Sunday?

Life is short, so I like to pack a lot into every single day. I take a deep breath, get on the rollercoaster, and take it one day at a time. 

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

20 Feb

“Monday is one of those days that sneaks up on you a minute after Friday.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Another good week. Visited with friends, went to museums, dinner, exploring, walking, Zumba, shopping, church and a zillion other things. I can cram a lot of stuff in 10080 minutes every week. Love it!

Sunday Sermon and Silly Secular Stuff

20 Feb

“I will go anywhere, provided it be forward.” 

― David Livingstone


Yesterday-gorgeous. Today-yucky. Welcome to North Texas. This morning, the fog hung onto the sky like a grey flannel cloak. (Poetic. Right?)  The construction in the church parking lot had people walking long distances to get to Mass. As I greeted the briskly walking late comers, I asked, “Did you have to park in Oklahoma?” 

Today’s Gospel was a tough one for me. It was the old “turn the other cheek” and “love your enemies.” My take on it…you can turn the other cheek time and time again, but sometimes you get tired of getting slapped around. Just walk away. As for the love your enemies thing, I feel fortunate that I can honestly say that I have no enemies. I have never hated anyone. I’ve been angry, hurt, devastated, and didn’t always turn the other cheek, but never hated. (Therefore, I need to work on a few things, don’t I?)


This morning, we had a guest priest saying Mass. Father Jim Sichko had the privilege of being in Pope Francis’ presence; living where he lived, eating at his table and listening to him speak.  He was selected as a Missionary of Mercy by the Holy Father at the recommendation of bishop, John Stowe. About 1,000 priests worldwide were selected to take on this special ministry, with 100 of them coming from the United States. Only  a few were selected to stay with the Pope.

Father Jim was quite the showman, and had the congregation rolling with laughter. He shared his stories of his secretary coming in his office to tell him that Pope Francis was on the phone, and he said, “Sure, sure, right!” Then, he picked up the phone and mumbled nonsense to the imposter, only to find out it was truly the Pope. 

Father Jim was among 100 priests selected to be Missionaries of Mercy for the Jubilee year with the Holy Fire. As part of being selected, the group of priests chosen where invited to live alongside Pope Francis at his residence in Rome for an extended amount of time. He had to sign a stack of waivers, one of which was that he would not take photos of the Pontiff. Being a self-professed selfie taker, this was a painful task.

The good part was, at the end of his visit, waiver or no waiver, he asked Pope Francis if he could take a selfie before going home. The Pontiff was happy to oblige.

Father Jim pulled out his cell phone and showed us all the picture. We all laughed. It was a good service.

After Mass, everyone lined up to talk to Father and shake his hand. Being quite the showman myself, I shook his hand, said thank you and asked,”Father, can we take a selfie?” He was also more than happy to oblige. All the other people standing around laughed, and I’m pretty sure we’re sorry that they didn’t think of it first.

Father Jim is pretty funny. He reminds me of a Nathan Lane with a Catholic collar.

Saturday On The Sidewalk

18 Feb

My favorite place is whichever sidewalk is beneath my feet because I am just constantly fascinated by walking and looking and learning. If I’ve already walked a street five times, then the next five times I walk it looking up, and I learn something about the cornices. ~Danny Meyer

You would think that walking down the same old familiar sidewalks, day after day, would be boring. It never is. There is always something new to see or neighbors to talk to. Don’t even get me started on being coerced into drinking beer and sitting in a Mr. Larry’s and Ms. Sandy’s garage.

If you’re like the rest of the country, today is a beautiful, unseasonably warm day. Mother Nature is confused.

I can’t be accused of not being able to read the writing on the wall,  I also enjoy reading and admiring the writing and drawing on the sidewalk.

Looks like a little girl had a good time expressing herself.

Someone left a piece of chalk on the sidewalk. I could never resist chalk. I had to say hi. Playing is good.

Later, I found two lucky pennies. Hmmm? Someone trying to tell me something? Like, don’t quit your day job? Or, stop letting people walk all over you?