Archive | March, 2019

Wednesday:Words of Wisdom~ “The Disease Called More”

20 Mar

” If you’re always searching for more, more wealth, more excitement, more love, more status, etc., you’ll never see that you already have enough. It’s been there all along.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


How much is enough? Do you ever ask yourself that question. Probably not. But, there are so many people out there who are always looking for the elusive “MORE.”

I wake up every single morning and say, “Thank you for your blessings.” I don’t know how I came to be so blessed, but I’m grateful every day. Gratitude also means sharing and caring.

Some people may think that they’ve earned everything that they have, and that they deserve so much more. They feel no gratitude to anyone or anything. Unfortunately, those people will never have enough. They will never be happy. They always NEED MORE.

Upon the suggestion of my younger son, Matt, I’ve become interested in meditation. I’ve listened to several YouTube segments, but this morning, I ran across some words of wisdom from Wayne Dyer. I learned a little, I smiled a little, and I cried a little. It’s weird, I didn’t cry for myself, but for all the people who will never understand the concept of “ENOUGH.” I cried for the people who don’t like themselves or the people around them. I cried because they will never know true love, happiness and contentment. But, I keep those people in my prayers. Maybe someday….

If you can’t get this video clip below, try YouTube and type in this topic. It’s not short, but it’s good.

Wayne Dyer 🌀 Stop Wasting Time And Start Greatness,Turn Your No Limit Person From Zero To Hero

Tuesday:) Talking To Allison Bottke

20 Mar

“People don’t accidentally cross our path. The path has always been there. We get to choose when and where to cross it.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I love my neighborhood walks. I also love stopping to chat with neighbors that I bump into along the way. Last year, I stopped to admire a neighbor’s beautiful fall decorations and landscaping in her front yard. We exchanged some pleasantries about the weather and fall flowers. Allison told me that she works from home and that she sees me walking every day from her front office window. So, every time I would pass by her house, I would wave, just in case she was sitting there at her desk.

Yesterday, I was out for my evening walk when I noticed Allison planting some bulbs in her front flower beds. I could have waved and continued on my walk, but instead I walked up to the busy gardener and asked what she was planting.

To make a long story even longer, Allison invited me to see her beautiful backyard, overflowing with fragrant rosemary bushes and herbs, roses, flower beds, and a huge shade tree waiting for spring foliage. I was impressed. She said I could stop by any time and snip some fresh herbs.

I remembered that she worked from home, but when she told me that she was a writer and author, I was really excited. I told her I was a writer want-to-be and wrote a daily blog. She invited me into her beautiful home to see her workspace and the shelves bursting with books, most of which were her own works. After the tour, she reached down to a shelf and grabbed three different books, offering them to me. I thanked her profusely, and requested an autograph.

I couldn’t help but think about people crossing our paths. I must have walked past her house hundreds of times. Yesterday, I decided to stop and talk to this talented lady and maybe make a new friend. And guess what? I did. We’re going to try and meet for lunch or dinner one day soon.

I scurried home in the dark with a smile and a handful of autographed books.

A little bit about my new friend, Allison Bottke.

Allison Bottke is the best selling, award-winning author of more than 31 non-fiction and fiction books, including seven books in the acclaimed Setting Boundaries® series and 13 volumes in the popular God Allows U-Turns® anthology. As a collaborative and developmental editor she has helped over a dozen writers to become published authors of their own non-fiction books and memoirs, many of which are available on Amazon.

A frequent guest on national radio and TV, Allison is an inspirational author with a heart for hurting parents and grandparents who struggle in challenging relationships with their troubled adult children.

Allison’s newest book is the long-awaited follow-up to the bestselling Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children – Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents.

Releasing worldwide on January 8, 2019, How to Connect with Your Troubled Adult Children – Effective Strategies for Parents in Pain (from Harvest House Publishers) addresses the hot button issues affecting families today. Such as drug addiction, emotional and mental illness, financial problems, incarceration, and more.

Montage Monday:)A Week In A Peek

19 Mar

“Whenever there are friends, there is a party!”
– Anonymous 


I have been blessed with SO MANY friends that pretty much every day is a party. Literally! There were a lot of parties, dancing, singing, dinners, drinks, food and friends this week. Wait! Wednesday, I didn’t have a party to go to. Hmm? How did that happen?

A week in a peek… my beautiful blessed life…

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

17 Mar

“White space is to be regarded as an active element, not a passive background.”

Jan Tschichold


A beautiful sunny Sunday, perhaps a bit chilly, but no wind. That always makes for a fine day. Mary and I greeted before Mass and chatted between saying good morning and hugging friendly faces. Next week is our big Church Opening Celebration, so everyone is excited about that.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus up on the mountain, being transformed into a glowing light, speaking with Moses and Elijah and a cloud appeared. They entered the cloud…

35And a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!” 36And when the voice had spoken, Jesus was found alone. And they kept silence and told no one in those days anything of what they had seen.


The homily was very interesting. The topic was white space, and how we think of the white space or empty space around the focal point as not being important. But often, the empty space, or negative space, is just as influential as the positive space.

My take on it… just like in a painting or any artwork or just in life in general, the positive and negative elements are as equally important and vital to the whole. They go hand-in-hand. In a painting, if it the entire canvas is filled with busy activity and color, with no place for the eye to rest or focus, it’s not pleasing. I guess that’s true in our lives. Without the negative or the empty spaces, how do we see or feel the positive? Something to think about.


On a less philosophical note, 🎶, Miss Pat invited a few of us to her place for a fabulous St. Patrick’s Day feast of corned beef and cabbage and all the fixins. She cooked and baked enough for a small army, and everyone went home with some leftovers.

Miss Pat also sent me home with an entire banana cream pie, cookies, bread, and potatoes to drop off for my friends at Fire Station 9. It was greatly appreciated.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to one and all. 🍀

Saturday:) Such Friends Are These

16 Mar

Such friends are these that fill your days

With love and joy in countless ways.

Such friends who share your darkest night

And hold your hand till morning’s light.

Such friends though near or miles apart

Remain forever in your heart. ❤️

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, I have the bestest friends in the entire world. And yes, I say bestest, and spellcheck underlines it in red, questioning my authority and spelling capabilities. I have the dearest friends from high school, who I still keep in touch with. Then, the friends I made while the children were young, and we were crazy stressed out soccer/hockey/baseball moms. Don’t forget empty nester friends, bowling friends, church friends, tennis friends, and the…will you bring in my mail when I travel and I’ll watch your cat friends.

So, Thursday night when I was at karaoke with my karaoke friends, out of the clear blue I said, “Who wants to come over to my house tomorrow night for Black Russian Friday? Just drinks and snacks and laughs.” I scribbled my address on some scraps of paper for those who hadn’t been over before, and thus a party was hatched.

Friday night arrived and I had a house full of lovely ladies plus Mr. Jerry over for an impromptu party. We laughed and joked and ate and drank. Miss Loretta started the query of “tell us your most embarrassing moment.” We went around the room sharing. Oh boy! That was hilarious, and poor Mr. Jerry got to hear some interesting female faux pas. (I can’t repeat any on this page. Just use your imagination.)

Miss Pat, our dear “Cookie Lady” was the first to arrive, laden with all sorts of snacks and goodies. The first toast of the evening. The others filtered in here and there, also bearing gifts, and food, and beverages.

Such friends are these that fill my days………,

Friday:) Fun Folks, Friends, Food and Karaoke

15 Mar

“I never said I could sing well. I just said I could sing loud, proud and off key.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Thursday night’s, we’ve been going up to Delaney’s Irish Pub for karaoke night. As I’ve mentioned, I love to sing, but when I’m off key or miss a few words, that’s ok. My good friends sitting there aren’t paying attention anyway. And, I really impress them when I sing in Spanish because they have no idea what I’m saying or how he tune goes.

Yesterday, a friend of Paul’s, the DJ, had a friend pop in to sing a song. I have no idea who he was, but wow! He was a great singer.

Last week, Marty got up and sang and knocked the socks off the entire place. He’s a regular karaoke guy and has a varied repertoire of songs from oldies to heavy metal rock.

I sang a few standby oldies, and even Loretta got up and sang a song with me last night. No video on that…thank goodness.

Thursday:) This is The Art Club of McKinney

14 Mar

“Wherever they are gathered to learn, share, feast and care, that is called LOVE.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


The Art Club of McKinney is not only the oldest art club in all of Texas, but by all means, the finest and the funnest. ( literary license- I like to create my own words.) We meet the second Thursday of the month, currently at The Hub, just north of the square.

Our fantastic guest speaker, artist, and printmaker extraordinaire was my good friend Lynne Hubner. After a general meeting, announcements, and announcing artist of the month winners, we break for refreshments. Then, the magic begins.

Our artist winners today were, first places, Mercedes (Meche Via)

And second place, Jack Lawlor.

On to the demonstration and tutorial on anything you ever wanted to know about printmaking and more.

Lynne brought dozens of examples of woodcuts, lino cuts, white line, mono prints, and demonstrated simple do-it-yourself techniques that we could try at home.

I don’t know about you, but I wanted to go home and get out a styrofoam container and some ink, and start printing. I just may do that later.

Thank you Lynne Hubner for an outstanding presentation. Can’t wait to take a class with you soon.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin Miss Toni?

13 Mar

“Inner creativity doesn’t have a shut off valve. Sometimes you get a burst, an urge, or an inspiration. Ya gotta go for it.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I don’t know about you, but sometimes I have this inner voice that says, stop sitting around watching tv or blabbering on Facebook, just wasting your time. “Do something creative with those God given talents that you’ve been blessed with.” It might be midnight or maybe noon, but I go upstairs to my studio, otherwise known as my “crap room,” and rummage through supplies to decide what I’m called to do.

The other day, I was inspired by some friends who were admiring my hand-painted wine glasses, and they were oohing and ahhing at the variety and detail of each set of glasses. Maybe I should paint more. So, a few days later, I grabbed a box of mixed and matched clear wine glasses, set up my glass paint, brushes, etc. and began to paint bluebonnets.

This is the first installment of “What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni.” That’s because after the paint dries and cures, I bake them in a 350 degree oven for half an hour to heat set them.

While the paint was still fresh on my palette (otherwise known as a styrofoam plate), I also painted a large glass bowl. I love to paint Texas bluebonnets, especially now that they’re coming into season.

The best part is, I often take a thrift store find, a discarded object, like this glass bowl, and I turn it into a treasure. Friends save me their clear vases or glassware, knowing that I’ll transform them into something beautiful. Trash to treasure.

So, that’s what’s been cookin’ at my house. More show and tell later.

Have a good one…oh, and go do something creative or fun. That’s an order.

Tuesday:) A Talented Creative Community

13 Mar

“Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.”

~Leo Burnett


McKinney Creative Community meets the second Monday of the month at The Cove in downtown McKinney for a pot-luck gathering. It’s a wonderful group of like-minded, talented and appropriately named creative people. We are artists, writers, photographers, dancers, musicians, and the list goes on. We get together for camaraderie, sharing our “New and good news,” meeting new people, and chatting with old friends. Then, we always have an inspirational guest speaker.

Yesterday, our guest speaker was Carolyn Selby, owner and baker/designer of Cookies In Bloom. Carolyn talked about leaving the chaotic corporate world to follow her passion, starting her own business and being her own boss.

When asked what keeps her going and motivated, she explained how delighted she is when people rave about the special personalized gifts they give or receive. Making people happy and loving what you do is motivation enough.

The cookies are delicious and beautiful. We all found out first hand when we were treated to some yummy samples, and saw a few tasty examples.

If you’re feeling creative, they also sell kits to make or share your own yummy creations. You can special order, pick up and/or ship your delicious edible gifts at their location. They are also a full service U.S. Post Office, at 2001 Central Circle, #107, McKinney.

Stop by or check out the website.

We have such a great time at our McKinney Creative Community meetings. We have great food, talented guest speakers and members, and most of all, we share our love of community.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

12 Mar

“I’ve found that luck is quite predictable. If you want more luck, take more chances. Be more active. Show up more often.”

~Brian Tracy


I can’t believe how each week flies by. Another busy week of making new friends and spending time with old friends. Faith, friends, family, food and fun. That’s what makes the world go round.

A week in a peek.