Archive | April, 2019

Saturday:) Sayin’ Thank You To My Favorite “Peeps”

20 Apr

“Everybunny loves somebunny, sometime.”

(Popular song)

“Easter is a good time to count your blessings and say thank you to all your Peeps.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


This morning, I was sittin’ around with all my Peeps. Everybunny was relaxing. But, that didn’t last long. I still had much to do.

Yesterday, I baked around 150 mini chocolate cupcakes with a cherry in the middle, then made the frosting. This morning, it was time to frost, decorate and dispense the marshmallowy concoctions.

Now, here’s my secret, I use a thin pretzel to secure the Peep to the cupcake. Otherwise they tip over. (Experience talking)

My Peep army with General Godiva leading the troops. The Bunny Battalion.

Packing up the troops into smaller Bunny Brigades to take over to my Peeps at the Fire Stations.

I know, I know, it’s not all about bunnies and candy and Easter egg hunts and new clothes. It’s about the ultimate sacrifice, death and resurrection of Our Lord. But, it’s still a good time to count your blessings and say thank you to the people who sacrifice and care for us here on earth.

Happy Easter my friends.

Friday:) Fun and Games and My Bunny Baking Frenzy

19 Apr

“It’s all fun and games until I break out the marshmallow Peeps. Then, I get serious.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


With Easter just around the corner, I needed to start my baking frenzy today. It’s Good Friday, so a “Good” day to begin. I think I have all the cupcakes baked, and the frosting is made and in the fridge, waiting to frost them tomorrow. Then, I get to add the adorable marshmallow Peeps. Then, to stop over to a few of my local fire stations and a few neighbors, I frosted just a few today just to check out the consistency of the frosting. Looks good.

Let the frenzy begin! I’ll let you see the results tomorrow.

Hoppy Easter!

Thursday:) This Old Age Stuff Isn’t Fun

19 Apr

As you get older three things happen. The first is your memory goes, and I can’t remember the other two …

~Norman Wisdom


As I get older, I’m getting more and more forgetful. Can you relate? With modern technology, I can plug in important dates and appointments into my phone calendar, but I don’t always look at my phone. So, I bought one of those white erase boards, but I can’t keep it with me or fit it in my purse. So, I also write notes and reminders on the back of envelopes or old receipts. If it’s something really important, I write it on a sticky note and put it on the fridge. Now, I don’t pick just one of these memory methods. I use them all.

I also leave big reminders around the house. When I need to vacuum, I leave the vacuum in the middle of the room so I basically have to walk around it or trip over it. Sometimes, I remember to vacuum. Other times, I just let it sit there for a few days, then I put it back in the closet. You don’t have to hit me over he head with a hammer…or do you?

Oh, then getting spacey isn’t fun either. Yesterday I baked a frozen pizza in the oven. Well, what part of remove the cardboard before baking did I overlook?

Yep, getting old is not for the weak of heart.

Wednesday:) What Do Good Catholics Do To Prepare For Holy Week and Easter?

17 Apr

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

― H. Jackson Brown Jr.


Holy Week begins with Palm Sunday. When I went to Mass last Sunday, I received my blessed palms. I like to make a cross out of the palms, but I always forget how. My dear friend Shirley posted the instructions on Facebook on Sunday, so I didn’t have to mess around trying to figure it out on my own. Thanks Shirley.

Now, there are a lot of special things good Catholics are supposed to do during this sacred season. We should be more prayerful, help others, fast, go to confessions, give alms, etc. I found a neat diagram of other ways to prepare and observe Holy Week.

All wonderful ideas and examples. I did make my crosses from my palms, so now, I’m protected from danger.

Now, this is how Miss Toni REALLY prepares for Holy Week and Easter. A picture is worth a thousand words…

I won’t be doing a lot of praying or fasting, but I’ll be doing a lot of baking. My local firemen and neighbors will be happy. They are my “special Peeps.” I’ll keep you posted.

Tuesday:) Trials and Tribulations

17 Apr

“When life sends you trials and tribulations, try and count your blessings. If that doesn’t work, go to lunch, dinner, and a movie.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Yesterday, I had stopped at Towne Creek to drop off some sandwiches for Miss Nelma. I didn’t stay long because her nurse was there visiting and changing bandages, so I didn’t stay long. Helene was with me, and when we got back into my car, it wouldn’t start. It churned a little then, nothing, nada, dead. I waited a few minutes, then tried a few more times. It finally started, but it made me nervous. The Honda dealer was just a few blocks away, so we drove over.

The nice rep there said they were closing in 15 minutes, and asked if I could leave my car. NO! I said I’d be back in the morning. So, I left the house at 9 a.m. This morning and drove over. I was happy the car started. I knew it wasn’t the battery because it was replaced just a few months ago. Jeremy took my info and said it was going to be a while, so I walked a few blocks away to Plaza Thrift then Whataburger.

A couple of hours later, Jeremy called to say after an expensive exhaustive diagnostic and checking everything, it “might ” be the starter. They weren’t positive. So, I said, OK, fix it, to the tune of well over $700.

Next trial… they didn’t have the part and had to order one, so I could either get a loaner or come back again. I chose the loaner. I walked back and started the paperwork. Next… my proof of insurance wasn’t current because I hadn’t printed out a new card for my glove box. So, I had to call my insurance to have them text me a copy of my updated card. The lady said fine and she would text it right away. I waited 15 minutes, no text. I called back. She said she sent it already. A minute later, I received a text from my son in Chicago asking why he got a text of my insurance card. I called her back, and we straightened that out.

Next trial… I get this beautiful new 2019 Honda Odyssey with all the bells and whistles. The man gave me the key, we had to walk around it together to make sure there were no scratches, then I signed the papers. He said it was similar to my car, just no shifter, it was all on the dash. I hopped in the car, buckled up and… where the heck was drive? It was already running, but I couldn’t figure out how to drive it. I had to run and find someone. OK, figured that out.

I drove over to visit Miss Nelma again. She was feeling a little better. While I was there, Helene texted around 2, asking if I wanted to see a movie. I said sure. The movie “Us” was playing at 2:30. I didn’t know anything about it, but it got good reviews. I hugged Miss Nelma and went down to my car.

Next trial… I couldn’t figure out how to get the darn car into reverse. I depressed the brake and pushed the R repeatedly. I turned off the car, and started again. After about the 10th brake and push R, I noticed under the R was a lever. OH? I had to pull the lever down for reverse, not just push it. They didn’t tell me that. Why didn’t they tell me that? I drove off finally, only to be just in time for McKinney High School to be dismissed. I was in line with a hundred or more anxious teenagers escaping school. It took 15 minutes to go less than one mile.

Next trial… Helene was at the theatre and had gotten me a ticket. We just missed all the annoying previews and in time for the movie, “Us.” We sat through 15 minutes of a really awful movie. It was dark and scary. I don’t do scary. I checked my phone and found that the movie, “Unplanned” was playing in 5 minutes. They had been talking about it at church. We scooted over there. It was a good movie, but it had some very explicit scenes of abortions. I just closed my eyes a lot.

Next trial… after the movie, Helene asked if I wanted to get some dinner. We decided on Pepe’s Tacos Y Mas. Here’s the trial. I had a big lunch, so I just ordered nachos. It was a half order so I figured it would be small. Oops! It was huge and delicious. Result…now I have a belly ache and a big belly.

So, after all my trials and tribulations, I am counting my blessings. It was a good day.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

16 Apr

“Never be so busy as not to think of others.”

― Mother Teresa


Another busy week. Family, friends, the finest artists in town, good food, and grandchildren, these are the best things in life.

Sunday Sermon and Arts In Bloom on the Square

15 Apr

“Only he who believes is obedient and only he who is obedient believes.”

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer


Saturday was a completely miserable rainy dreary washout kinda day. Today, nothing but crystal blue skies, sunshine and beautiful weather. What a difference a day makes.

It was a pleasure to greet before Mass today. Mr. Jerry was back from his trip to Israel, so he and Helene saved my seat, on this solemn Palm Sunday. Today’s Gospel reading was the long story that began with the Last Supper and continued through all the tragic passions, betrayal, trials and ending in the crucifixion and death of Jesus. I’ve heard this Gospel a million times, but I always get misty at the end.

The part that really spoke to me was when Jesus was praying alone at the Mount of Olives and He asked…

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.”

My take on it… sometimes we are given a heavy burden to carry, and often the cross we are asked to carry seems unbearable. Even Jesus asked God the Father for a reprieve, but He said “your will be done.” He was obedient to His Father’s will. God gives us the strength to get through our suffering. It’s ok to question, just keep the faith.


After Mass, a quick stop for coffee at McDonald’s to hear about Jerry’s awesome trip, and an even quicker stop at the store for one loaf of bread, I scurried home. I walked the dog, talked to my friend Debbie in Chicago on the phone, then headed off to meet Helene at Arts In Bloom on the Square. The three day festival was great Friday and a huge rainy disaster Saturday, but today it was perfect.

Talented artists and friends we visited today. Some wonderful creative artwork.

My talented friend, Gary Williamson, is a fantastic paper sculpture artist.

Then, Helene and I stopped at The Cove, where the amazing potters had been building, throwing, and firing and demonstrating all weekend.

I visited with Flat Minda and Flat Alex, too.

Watch this cool, actually, smoking hot video of emptying the kiln.

Then, to finish off a great day, Helene and I stopped at Taqueria Hernandez for my favorite… gorditas.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday:) A Soggy Saturday With Sabrina at The Bluebird Cottage & Cafe

14 Apr

“I don’t want to be famous. I like to be able to sit in a cafe and watch the world go by and observe people.”

~Sophia Myles


The torrential rains began about 4 am according to my blasted weather app advisory that bings and dings to tell me it’s going to rain. Thanks a lot. I’ve gone into settings many times to turn the darn alerts off. It has a mind of its own-really. It rained all morning, but Helene and I decided to venture out for a late breakfast/early lunch. She’d never been the the Bluebird Cottage & Cafe, just up the road, so we donned our raincoats and off we went.

We zigged and zagged down the scenic rural road, past farms and fields. The parking lot was already pretty full as we dodged gravelly puddles.

(A previous photo. It was too wet for an outside photo op) It was nice to see the quaint restaurant busy on such a dreary rainy day. Maybe everyone else had the same idea.

Breakfast was yummy and the service was excellent. Our server, Krystal with a “K” was cute as a button. Sabrina, the owner and “Jill of all trades” was busy clearing tables, serving coffee, ringing up checks, but still took time to come over and chat with us a few times. Krystal asked if this was our first time there and Sabrina chimed in, “Oh no, Toni is an old dear friend.” Gosh, how did she even remember my name? So many people in and out, and I hadn’t been by in a couple of months.

Helene and I just sat and chatted as the rain pelted harder and louder against the windows. We planned on staying till it slowed down. Sabrina came over and asked, “Do you like tiramisu? We’re trying out a new recipe, and I need an honest opinion.” Well, she brought over this humongous piece of tiramisu. I was hesitant because I don’t drink coffee, and I can’t stand the smell or taste of strong coffee. Every tiramisu I’ve ever tasted was so overwhelming that I’d take a bite and spit it into a napkin.

OMG!!! This was soooo delicious. I didn’t even notice a coffee taste. It was creamy and not too sweet, with almost a cheesecake consistency. When she asked us how it was, I was perfectly honest and said, “FANTASTIC, and I’m not a big fan of coffee.” She said the secret (don’t tell anyone) was a whole lot of mascarpone cheese. Most bakers don’t use a lot because it’s pretty expensive.

Both of us managed to eat less than half of the tiramisu, so a little to go box was in order. Before we left, we asked Sabrina if we could get a photo op. Thank you, Sabrina.

Such an adorable little cafe, and the friendliest folks. Make sure to stop by and say Toni sent you. (But, save me some tiramisu. OK?)

Friday:) Friday Friends

13 Apr

“Friday friends are the best. Friends don’t let friends drink alone.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


This is going to be short and sweet. The girls are over and we are laughing and drinking and having fun. Cheers! Happy Friday

Thursday:) The Art Club of McKinney

12 Apr

“All forms of madness, bizarre habits, awkwardness in society, general clumsiness, are justified in the person who creates good art.”

― Roman Payne


The second Thursday of the month, The Art Club of McKinney holds their meetings at The Hub, just north of the Square. We start out with a general meeting at 9:30 am, then we take a short break for refreshments provided by different members each month. We were treated to an Easter themed extravaganza.

We also have a raffle, the prizes donated by members. It’s always great to win another artist’s work. Members are also encouraged to bring artwork for Artist of the Month, where members vote on their favorite work. I usually forget to bring something, but today I was feeling nostalgic and brought the portrait of my mother. I didn’t win a prize, but it was nice to show off my mommy to the group.

Our guest speaker was Melissa Patrello.

Melissa is owner of Stageworthy Arts, located in downtown McKinney.

StageWorthy Arts is a theatrical design studio owned and operated by Melissa Patrello. She creates unusual sculptures and wearable kinetic art. Her puppets and mechanical sculptures have been featured in many stage and theatre productions throughout the U.S. Melissa creates one of a kind puppets, props and rentals for the stage.

It was so interesting to hear how her passion for puppetry grew from an occasional volunteer challenge to a full-fledged creative business. That’s what’s so nice about The Art Club of McKinney. We are motivated and encouraged by so many different speakers and artists. It makes you believe that you can do anything as long as you love what you do. Thank you Melissa.

We are blessed to live in a community of such talented people. And those people are happy are more than to share their passion with us.