Archive | January, 2018

Saturday:) So How Cold Was It in Texas, Miss Toni?

21 Jan

“So when you’re cold

From the inside out

And don’t know what to do,

Remember love and friendship,

And warmth will come to you.”

Stephen Cosgrove

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It finally warmed up a little today, but I still needed to cover my ears, wear a warm coat, and put on

gloves this morning. The sun came out later in the afternoon, just in time to warm up for Rachel and Mason’s wedding today. But, that’s a different story.

It was so cold last week that ponds were frozen, people had pipes freezing and bursting. Knock on wood, I didn’t run into any of those problems. This is Texas! What’s going on?

I had to laugh when I walked yesterday and passed by Miss Bernadine’s house two blocks over. She has a St. Francis statue in the front yard. It was so cold that poor St. Francis had a winter coat and hat on. I smiled, took a picture, and shivered my way down the street.

Keep warm, my friends!

Friday:) From Chaos To Organized

20 Jan

“Clutter is the physical manifestation of unmade decisions fueled by procrastination”

Christina Scalise, Organize Your Life and More

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I’m not sure what that quote means, too many big words, but I recognized procrastination. I majored in that in college. Oh, I know clutter. That was my minor in college, and has been my occupation for all these years.

But, every now and then, I get a bee in my bonnet, (when I can find my bonnet in all the clutter) and I decide to tackle one de-clutter project at a time. I figure if I tackle one project a week, by the end of the year, it’s time to start over again decluttering the first project.

I was inspired when I was looking for a pair of scissors to cut open my package of brownie mix. Very important! The drawer was so disorganized, and there were about five pairs of scissors mingled in between hundreds of paper clips, rubber bands, twist ties, pens, markers, stamps and well, you know the drawer I’m talking about. I think we all have one or a few of those. I decided that after the brownies got placed in the oven for baking, I was going to tackle and organize that one drawer.

BEFORE…

AFTER?..

Aren’t you proud of me? Next January I’ll be tackling it again, I’m sure. But for now, I can find the scissors and I know where the stamps are.

Procrastinators unite! But, maybe tomorrow, or next week.

Have a good weekend.

Theme Song Thursday:) VFW~Do You Love Me?

19 Jan

“I love you…”, I said to myself and believed it. Finally.”

Karen A. Baquiran

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Another fun night at the McKinney VFW for karaoke night. I sang a few songs and danced a few dances. Miss Pat and I were twistin’ and jivin’ to “Do You Love Me.”

You’re never to old to ask the age old question…”Do You Love Me?” And while you’re deciding on the answer, get up and dance.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni!

18 Jan

“I like to think that when I paint vases, wine glasses, ornaments, or other special gifts, that I’m making a special memory for that person. They know they’re made with love. You just can’t buy that at the store.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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What’s cookin’ Miss Toni? Why, glass vases, of course.

I’ve been so blessed to part of the women’s CRHP 28 or Welcome retreat group at St. Gabriel’s these past six months. All the ladies have been meeting every Tuesday and other planning days to prepare for the next incoming group. Because I was out of town for over five weeks, I wasn’t able to join in several of the crafting and planning days. I tried to think of what I could make at home to contribute. We were in need of some table decorations, so I volunteered to paint some vases. Our color scheme is purple and grey, so I painted lavender flowers.

I spent two day painting the different layers, then baking in the oven for durability. I smiled and enjoyed every minute, because I knew that this tiny contribution would add to the beauty of the powerful retreat weekend.

They turned out pretty nice. We are going to put battery operated votive candles at the bottom. I’m pleased. I can’t wait to see all the other crafts and gifts the other ladies made with love, while I was gone.

First layer, then leaves and stems next. Then, into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Here’s what’s cookin’.

Voila! Baked, cooled and ready to share.

Tuesday:) GP Cox~ Toni Is Technologically Impaired

17 Jan

Do not get obsolete like an old technology, keep innovating yourself.

– Sukant Ratnakar

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I try to learn new things, keep up with technology, but I’m old, remember? I enjoy my writing, reading, artwork, and photography. Often, these endeavors require keeping up with technology, especially the writing.

I follow many other bloggers, and one of my favorites is GP Cox, who writes Pacific Paratrooper. I was fascinated with his recounting of many WWII events, and sharing stories written and shared by his father. I especially liked the history and photos from the Philippines. That’s where my father served. This very knowledgeable gentleman was even kind enough to try and teach me, via the WordPress site, how to use photos in the comment section. After several attempts, I never did figure it out. I wanted to show him a photo of my father’s discharge papers.

I tried several ways, but it didn’t work, so, I’ll have to be innovative and hope he reads this and sees this post.

GP, here is a photo of the papers I was trying to show you. This was my dad.

Here’s a watercolor painting I did of his army picture with the Philippines in the background.

My technology may be challenged, but I usually can figure out an alternate way.

Montage Monday:) Week in a Peek

16 Jan

“A photograph shouldn’t be just a picture, it should be a philosophy.”

Amit Kalantri

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It was a good week and a bad week. Good part-I had a birthday. Bad part-I’m getting old. More good about that…I received a lot of calls, gifts, texts, and well wishes, flowers from my son, calls and FaceTime with my grand-baby. Good part- I baked several batches of brownies for different occasions this week. Bad part- I had to taste test a lot of brownies to make sure they were just right. Good part-I’m now a Medicare card carrying senior citizen. Bad part-again, I’m getting old. But, I’m just kidding. I don’t feel old, so you’re only as old as you feel. I feel pretty young, silly, and loved. I can get away with wearing the sock monkey hat, too.

I hope you had a good week, and have a great one coming up.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

15 Jan

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

Anton Chekhov

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It was a chilly morning here in beautiful McKinney. I was so excited, because it was the perfect opportunity to wear my sock monkey hat as I greeted before 9 o’clock Mass.

I received a lot of compliments, peppered with a few inquisitive grins. Heck, if you can’t have fun and enjoy life and be silly, you might as well stay home and watch tv with a glass of warm milk with dry toast.

Today’s Gospel was the story of John and the disciples, and when Peter was formally given his name.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 1:35-42.

John was standing with two of his disciples, and as he watched Jesus walk by, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God.”

The two disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus.

Jesus turned and saw them following him and said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?”

He said to them,”Come, and you will see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day…

My take on it…I find it interesting that Jesus never really tells the disciples or followers what to do. He asks them, “What are you looking for?” He doesn’t force people to listen or try to persuade them to follow Him. He shows them through example. Then, they choose to follow of their own free will.

I equate that to good parenting. Parents who teach their children by example are much more effective than those who just make rules and demand obedience. Children, just like the disciples, will respect, love, honor and follow a parent who guides with a good loving example.

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After church, I came home, ate some breakfast, did some housework, and went for a nice long walk. It warmed up enough that I didn’t need my sock monkey hat, but still needed gloves and something for my ears. And low and behold, Mr. Larry and Miss Sandy were sitting in the garage with their dog wolf. Normally Wolf, a beautiful German Shepherd, lays calmly on the cement and just wags his tail. Today, he ran out to the sidewalk to jump up and greet me. He hadn’t seen me in two months and missed me.

Of course, an open garage meant that I was forced against my will to sit and rest and drink a beer. There was a lot to catch up on the latest neighborhood gossip. It was good to be back home and back to walk, cold or not cold outside. It was toasty warm in the garage with the sun shining on my face. The beer was cold and he conversation warm and friendly.

When I got home, I was able to FaceTime with my granddaughter. She did that backward wave thing that just melts my heart. You know, when they wave hi towards themselves.

It was a good Sunday. I hope yours was too. Hey, if you have tomorrow off, that’s even better.

Saturday:) Such a Brave Senior Citizen

14 Jan

“Scared is what you’re feeling. Brave is what you’re doing.”

Emma Donoghue

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Now that I’m an official senior citizen, I need to take better care of myself. But, what do you do when you’re an old scaredy cat? “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” That describes me pretty well. I’m afraid of fear and just about everything else.

One of the many things I’m afraid of is getting a flu shot. But, my sister urged me to get one this year because this flu season has been awful. I resisted and protested. I’m afraid of having a foreign substance injected into my arm. Oh yes, I’m afraid of needles too.

But this evening, I mustered up all the courage I could, and went to Walgreens for a flu shot. It was already after 5 o’clock, and I was half hoping the technician giving shots would be gone for the day. Darn! She was there. So, I rolled up my sleeve, actually, pulled down my sleeve, and got a flu shot. This is only the second time in my life that I got one. I AM SO BRAVE!

It didn’t hurt, and I didn’t cry. But, you know me. I’m always ready with my phone to take a selfie.

If I can do something brave today, maybe you can too!

Friday {]:-) Firemen and Funny Face Brownies

13 Jan

“Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.”

Charlotte Brontë

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I have been so blessed, and never more so expressed than by all the gifts, cards, calls, and greetings from friends and family, and even many people here on WordPress that I’ve never met. Thank you.

Remember the old days when you would take cupcakes or treats into school when it was your birthday. I liked that concept of celebrating your birthday by bringing treats for others. On that note, Wednesday, I baked a batch of brownies for my local fire station. Of course, I made a funny face in the mix first.

On my way to my birthday dinner with Kathy across the street, we stopped at Station 5. I am not a stranger to the local fire stations. I’m very appreciative of all they do for the community, so I stop there and Station 2 with cookies or brownies often.

When I rang the phone outside in the hallway, I heard yelling and laughter. When I heard, “Station 5, how can I help you?” I said, “You guys are having too much fun. It’s Toni with some brownies for you guys.” Firefighter Hutson ran to the door. I asked what was so funny, and he explained that they were racing to see who could get to the phone first. They wrestled and shoved and pushed to get there first. He won.

He was very appreciative and wished me a happy birthday. He said the guys would really enjoy them and thanked me. I always feel that the little I do is just a drop in the bucket compared to what they do. Thanks Station 5.

Thursday:) The Art Club of McKinney

12 Jan

“A good teacher inspires while a good student perspires.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Today was our monthly Art Club of McKinney at the Heard Craig Carriage House. Our guest speaker was my good friend and wonderful watercolor artist, Lynda Kingsley. Now, there’s a big difference between a good artist and a wonderful artist. The difference is, a good artist can create and produce good art pieces. A wonderful artist inspires others through their work and by sharing their techniques by teaching. Lynda, and many of our local artists, fit that last category.

Lynda gave a thorough and fascinating demonstration on various watercolor techniques, ranging from basic color theory and design principals, to the materials and supplies available for various projects.

We were all busy taking notes, snapping pictures, and asking questions. When an entire room of artists are intrigued with an art demonstration, you know the artist is an exceptional teacher. I’ve actually been to demonstrations in the past where I started nodding off. Not today.

Lynda used fun materials like waxed paper, netting, gauze, plastic wrap, and salt to add interesting textures and dimensional effects.

Lynda Kingsley also teaches classes from her beautiful art studio next to her home in the McKinney historic district. You can find more information on her website at https://www.ldkingsley.com

Thanks Lynda for a wonderful presentation. I’ve been inspired. Now, I just need to perspire and work at painting again. It’s been a while.