Archive | November, 2017

Sunday Sermon and Some More San Antonio Missions

20 Nov

Make your life a mission – not an intermission.

~Arnold H. Glasow


This morning, we attended Mass at the San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio. It’s a beautiful ornate church, complete with gold gilding, statues, carvings, and pius atmosphere.

Today’s Gospel was the parable of the talents. A man gave one servant 5 talents, another 2 talents, and the third 1 talent. When the master returned, the men given 5 and 2 talents doubled their money while the man given 1 buried his. The master was pleased with the first two and rewarded them, and the last, who buried the money was scorned and cast out.

My take on it… here the term talent refers to money, but we could relate it to talents or gifts. God may give some people more gifts or talents than others, but we are obliged to use our gifts, share them, make them grow, and use them to the best of our ability. If we waste our talents and are lazy or selfish, we will not be rewarded in the end.


Now, for the lovely historic missions.

The four southernmost Spanish colonial missions—Concepción,  San José, San Juan and Espada  —are included in the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which officially opened in 1983. These four missions, along with the Alamo, have been named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO). Land for the Historical Park was donated by the city, county, state, Catholic Church and San Antonio Conservation Society. The missions are walled compounds encompassing a church and buildings where the priests and local Native Americans lived and worked.

Mission Concepcion.

Mission San Jose

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission Espada

My mission was to see all the five historical missions in San Antonio. Mission accomplished.

I lit a candle and said a fervent prayer for friends and family. If you are reading this, you are in my prayers too.

Saturday in San Antonio

19 Nov

Like all great travellers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.

~Benjamin Disraeli


What should have been a 4 1/2 hour drive from McKinney to San Antonio tuned out to be over 6 hours. Between road construction and a few roadside accidents, traffic went from Indy 500 Speedway at 80/85 mikes mph to crawling parking lot speeds of zero. I drove the first leg of the journey, but started getting drowsy after a couple of hours. It was sunny and I’m not the world’s greatest driver. I pulled over at a Love’s gas station so Jim could drive, only to find out it was brand new construction and not open yet. So we just did a quick driver switch. We stopped a few mikes down the road to stretch our legs and get a Coke at McDonald’s. It was closed and under construction. Yikes! Strike two. Two for two. I said with our luck, San Antonio would be closed and under construction. It wasn’t.

The Cathedral of San Antonio by day and by night. We will go to Mass here in the morning.

Strolling Market Square and dinner and margaritas.

And of course, it would not be a trip to San Antonio without the famous Alamo.

Let’s see what tomorrow has in store. Every day is an adventure.

Friday:) Fun Fast Food At Home

18 Nov

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”



The only thing better than good food, is yummy food you can fix really fast. I bought some tostada shells the other day ay Winco. They were so darn cheap, I think 99 cents or even less. I popped a couple in the toaster oven with some shredded jack cheese, until melted, threw a little spinach, then sliced up an avocado, (on sale 69 cents), voila, avocado tostado in five minutes. I also diced up a cucumber and a few tomatoes that I keep in a container with some Italian dressing. I scoop some of that on a bowl of baby spinach for a fast yummy salad. There’s enough for a couple of more days.

With all this extra free time, I have more time to enjoy Black Russian Friday.

Theme Song Thankful Thursday:) It’s A Good Day

17 Nov

On a bad day, I have mood swings – but on a good day, I have the whole mood playground.     

Charles Rosenblum


When I read these great quotes, I think, why didn’t I think of that?

I had a pretty good day. An easy going, my slip not showing, the rooster crowing, the sky not snowing, my car not towing, just to-and-froing kinda day. When you’re thankful for the little things in life, you receive great big blessings. I am very blessed.

I see beauty every day.

I had lunch with my friend Diane and found a lucky feather in the parking lot.

I spent the evening singing karaoke and dancing with friends.

Wednesday:) When Unity Comes From Community

16 Nov

“Many people are good at talking about what they are doing, but in fact do little. Others do a lot but don’t talk about it; they are the ones who make a community live.”

Jean Vanier


The word “community” derives from the Old French comuneté, which comes from the Latin communitas “community”, “public spirit” (from Latin communis, “shared in common”).

Look closely at the word. What does it end with? Yes, UNITY. With unity, sharing and caring, these are the building blocks of any strong community.

We have been blessed here in McKinney with an extremely talented and generous arts community. As the city grows, so do the arts and activities available to residents. Sunday, I wrote a little bit about MAST, the McKinney Artist Studio Tour, which was amazing, by the way. But, today, I want to tell you a little bit about McKinney Creative Community.

I don’t remember the exact date that MCC started, but I remember being at the first brainstorming meetings for its creation. Michele Bernard and Tom Michero batted the idea around of having a monthly potluck get together for local artists, writers, musicians, and other creatives. The group has grown and evolved into a supportive and nurturing family of talented people who have only one goal… do what you love, love what you do, and share it with the world.

McKinney Creative Community is currently meeting the second Monday of the month at the Cove Art Gallery at 402 N Tennessee, just north of the square. We start with our pot luck around 5:30 or whenever you can get there. There are well over a thousand Facebook member and friends, so if you’re interested in a really warm and enthusiastic creative group to join, check out the Facebook page.

This month, our guest speaker was the talented and funny Sheri Bell. Sheri is an author, writer, editor and all around humorous lady. I think she should add stand-up comedy to her resume, but I think she’s already pretty busy.

Sheri talked to us about using “The Power of Story” to sell your art. Truth be told, most artists are great at creating wonderful art, but not so good at selling it or sharing it with the world. And another truth is, and if you’re an artist, you already know this, artists are constantly barraged with people and charities asking them to donate their work. Thus, the term, “Starving Artist.” Artists have trouble saying, NO.

The next big event is the Holiday Art Bazaar at Tupps Brewery on Dec. 2, from 12-9 pm. It’s a fun evening, plus, you get to drink beer. What a great combination. Cool art, crafts and cool beer.

Tuesday:) Tribute To Miss Eleanor

15 Nov

“The connections we make in the course of a life–maybe that’s what heaven is.”

Fred Rogers


This afternoon, friends gathered at Towne Creek Apartments in McKinney, to pay tribute to Miss Eleanor Correnty. A celebration of life, for a charming talented woman who graced the world with her presence and her talent.

Miss Eleanor was born in Connecticut on December 16, 1925. Her friends here at Towne Creek Senior Apartments got to hear many, many of her stories because Miss Eleanor was a flamboyant story teller and quite the actress. Literally. She was an actress in many plays in New York and her home town. Oh, and she played the piano like an angel. Very talented.

Her hilarious dry humor, quick wit, and amazing talent for detail kept everyone entertained and in stitches with laughter. I could go on and tell a million stories of my own, but I would pale in aptitude. But, I’d like to say that when I met Miss Eleanor, shortly after she moved to McKinney from Connecticut, we became very good friends. I was volunteering, teaching art, and convinced her to join our group every Friday. She would tell me how much she hated Texas and I would tell her how much I loved McKinney. Over the years, she grew to love it too.

Our mutual friend, Karen, would take her out to lunch every Tuesday at 2pm. So, it was fitting that today, Karen arranged a celebration lunch for Miss Eleanor promptly at 2 pm. We had pizza, and desserts, and drinks, and stories to share.

Now, here’s the funny part, this is where Miss Eleanor gets the last laugh in on her friends. Miss Nelma stood up to share a funny story about her friend Eleanor. She went into detail about a beautiful drawing that she received from Eleanor and how she cherished it. Nelma went on to say how much we will all miss her. And, the very second she finished saying, “Well, that’s my story. We’ll miss you Eleanor,” the fire alarm went off and the siren blared in our ears. We had to evacuate the building. I looked up to the heavens and said, “Very funny, Miss Eleanor!”

Seriously, we grabbed our plates of food and a couple of chairs and went outside and continued our party.

I knew it was her getting her last laugh in. Plus, she knew how I always joked about having the hunky firemen come to Towne Creek and rescue us. It also saved me a trip, because I had a batch of brownies that I was going to drop off at Station 1 after our celebration. So, I took one of her handmade cards that Karen brought to share with the residents, and signed it, thanking them for all they do. They took the container of brownies and card on their way out. Oh yes, it was a false alarm. Ha! Heaven sent.

We will miss you Miss Eleanor.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

14 Nov

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.

~John W. Gardner


Wow! I really like that quote. Think about it. Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. It truly is an art. What does that mean to you? When you live your life, no matter what you do, you can’t erase any of it. There are no take backs. You can’t unsay or undo anything, so chose each step carefully. A true artist doesn’t erase.

A week in a peek…

Sunday Sermon and Studio Tour~MAST

13 Nov

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

H. Jackson Brown Jr.


Another fine Sunday at St. Gabriel’s. Today’s Gospel was Jesus telling the parable of the ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to wait for the bridegroom. Five were Wise and brought flasks of oil, and five were foolish and brought no oil. They waited a long time and fell asleep. When the bridegroom was approaching the five with oil lit their lamps, and the five foolish asked the wise women to share their oil, but they refused and told them to go and buy their own. The wise went to the feast with the bridegroom and the door was locked behind them. The foolish women went to the door and asked, Lord, open the door for us.” His reply was…

‘Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.’

Therefore, stay awake,

for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

My take on it… You have to be prepared, ready, at all times. The wise will lead a good moral life all the time, and always be ready. The foolish think that they don’t have to prepare. They worry only about themselves and are selfish, expecting others to bail them out all the time. Then, when they come to the end of their lives, they expect all to be forgiven, and expect to go to heaven. That’s when God will say, “I do not know you.”


After Mass, I stopped at the store, went home, changed, and scurried off to the Square to meet a couple of friends at Lone Star Winery. I just visited with them a few minutes, then went off to check out some of the wonderful artists on the McKinney Artist Studio Tour, MAST.

There are too many names and faces and places to describe, so I’ll just show you in pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words, and saves me a lot of time explaining.

I’m proud to call all of theses fine artists FRIEND. McKinney ROCKS!

Saturday:) Salute to Those Who Served

12 Nov

“We sleep safely at night because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.”

Winston S. Churchill


On this Veteran’s Day, I would like to salute and thank all those who have served our country, and currently serving.

This is the watercolor painting that I did a few years back to honor my father, Elijah Armenta, who served in the Philippines during World War II.

My Uncle Inie, served in the Navy. (Photo stolen from my cousin, on Facebook.)

My Uncle Butch, on the left, served in Vietnam Nam.

My Uncle Charlie, served in WWII. (Photo borrowed from cousin Jeff)

There is a countless list of more cousins and friends, that I don’t have photos for. But, I’d like to thank all of them, and all of your friends and family members who have helped to protect our country and keep us safe.


Friday :) Friends and More Friends

11 Nov

A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and that which we take the least care of all to acquire.

~Francois de La Rochefoucauld


Yesterday after our Art Club meeting, a few of us stopped to celebrate a birthday lunch for Sherry. To everyone’s surprise, her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter were having lunch at the same. They didn’t know she would be there. The best part is, we got to send a little time with adorable Aria, who wanted to come over and sit with her Nonni. I think Aria looks a lot like her Nonni.

We had a fun lunch and visit. What better gift than to celebrate your birthday with family and friends.

After lunch, I went over to work a few hours at my new part-time job. The good part was, it’s only five minutes away from the VFW Hall and our weekly Thursday night karaoke group. I went right from one thing to the next. It was our pot luck day, and it was so fun. I sang a few songs, danced a few dances, and ate too much yummy food. These are a bunch of my cool,karaoke friends.

Someone suggested that I find a group song that we could all sing. Only about four of the people up on that stage ever go up to sing. The others are too shy. This gave them a chance to sing on stage and belt out a tune. The bad part was, most everyone was up there, and no one in the audience. Funny!

It was a good day, a long day. I left the house around 9:15 am and didn’t land home till around 11:30 pm, and I wasn’t even tired. Friends, food, work, play, song, dance, more food and more friends. All makes for a wonderful day.

A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, but many true friends, well, that’s truly the greatest blessing of all.