Archive | May, 2019

Theme Song Thursday:) The Cookie Lady Can…

31 May

The Cookie Lady makes everything she bakes, satisfying and delicious…”

~ Me


Another fun night at karaoke. Miss Loretta and I sang a special tribute to Miss Pat, THE COOKIE LADY. Miss Pat bakes hundreds of cookies every week. I’m talking HUNDREDS. She bakes them for her daughter’s hair salon, for all her friends and family and takes them to just about everyone she knows and everywhere she goes. And after karaoke, what ever is left over from the five plates full of cookies, I get to drop them off the next morning for my firemen.

“The Cookie Lady can ’cause she mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.”

Thanks for all the cookies, Miss Pat. We love you.

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni?

29 May

“When life throws a little talent your way, don’t throw it away.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


My good friend Miss Pat, the Cookie Lady, is always raving about the hand-painted wine glasses that I gave her as a housewarming gift. She loved the bluebonnet glasses and matching vase. But, when she mentioned a couple of weeks ago that she loved her yellow rose wine glasses and would really love a matching vase for yellow spring flowers, I was on a mission. Miss Pat does so much for so many people. Did I mention hundreds of cookies everywhere we go?

My philosophy is “Ask and ye shall receive.” Or something like that. So, a couple of weeks ago, I spent a few days painting not one, but several vases with yellow roses. The yellow glass paint is fairly transparent, so each rose and leaf required two layers of paint, with drying time between. Time consuming, but well worth the effort. They make perfect gifts.

I do most of my painting between the hours of 11 pm and 4 am. I’m a night owl. 🦉 The cookin’ part comes after the paint has dried and cured for a day or two. I bake the glass at 350 for 30 minutes. This helps heat set the paint for durability.

Miss Pat sent me a picture of her new vase sitting on her table, flanked by the matching wine glasses.

So, when I was invited to brunch this Sunday at Mr. Jerry’s house after church, I had a lovely vase. I stopped at the store and picked up some yellow roses. Great gift.

A little talent goes a long way. “Everything’s coming up roses.”

Tuesday:) Toni’s Brownies and Those Terrific Firefighters

29 May

“Hug a firefighter and feel warm all over.”

~ Unknown


Today is Mr. Mike’s birthday, so I decided to make some brownies. He’s trying to be good and not eat sweets, but it’s his birthday. Not a day to be good. I just took him one big square brownie with a candle. He also doesn’t like to celebrate his birthday, but I don’t follow directions.

When I bake, I always make a double batch so I can share with my local fire stations. I also wanted to take some next door to my neighbors. Their son Jack came over yesterday to unload and spread ten bags of mulch for me. So, I had a lot of brownies to share.

After stopping to thank Jack, I drove over to Station 9. Firefighter Williams answered the hall phone and came to the door. She even had my other container to swap out from last time. She said they just got in from working the pass the boot fundraiser so the brownies would be well received.

My next stop was Station 5. This is the first station I visited regularly when I first came to McKinney in ’04. Even though I’ve moved a few miles northeast, I still stop by the 5 every now and then.

When I go to Station 5, I usually use a disposable container. I wouldn’t expect them to save my nice containers, as I only get over there once a month or so. I wrote on the container, Thank you. Miss Toni with a smiley face. Firefighter Yervasi must be fairly new, as he didn’t recognize me, but was thankful, none the less.

I walked back to my car and started up my car when I saw someone run out the door. The sun was glaring in my eyes when I rolled down my window and saw the navy blue shirt and the name Blount. I jumped out of my car and gave Quincy Blount a big hug. Quincy was the first fireman that I met when I started taking brownies and cookies over to Station 5 all those years ago. We are Facebook friends too. I love watching his young family grow and keeping up with their adventures. But, over the years, he was transferred to Station 2. I would stop by there after he got transferred. Then, he got transferred to and is still at Station 7, way on the other side of town. I’m bad, I don’t drive over that far.

Boy, was I surprised when he ran out the door to greet me before I drove off. He was assigned to the 5 for just a few days and Yervasi must have mentioned that a lady dropped off some brownies, so he knew who it was.

After a big hug and talking about his kids and family and plans for the future, I said, “Wait…we have to get a selfie.” So good to see my old young friend Quincy.

On my way home, I had to pull over in a school parking lot when I saw a faint rainbow out in the distance. A very beautiful, fun and lucky day for Miss Toni.

Monday:) Memorial Day Memories and More

27 May

“On this day, take time to remember those who have fallen. But on every day after, do more; put the freedoms they died for to greater and nobler uses.” – – Richelle E. Goodrich


Today, I sat and wondered, “How, when, and where do we learn about patriotism, service, and sacrifice?” Growing up in the 50’s, post WWII, we were the Baby Boomers. Our parents and relatives served in WWII and Korea. They were proud of their country and their service. We Boomers learned respect and gratitude from our parents.

When I was in high school and college, many friends and classmates were drafted and sent to Vietnam. All too many did not return. Those were dark and sad times.

My dad served in the Philippines in WWII! and proudly shared stories about his service. He had three daughters, so all the stories were pretty upbeat, tame or humorous. He never shared the ugly painful parts with us. I’m sure there were many from the young men plucked from their homes and transported to the thick steamy jungles. My dad was lucky enough to make it home after the war, but so many did not. He and my mother taught us to honor those who sacrificed for our country. Today, we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Thank you Dad for teaching us to respect our flag, our country, and the brave men and women who sacrificed much, or made the ultimate sacrifice.

My watercolor tribute to my favorite veteran, and prayers for his friends and comrades that didn’t make it home. (The Philippine Islands and jungles as a backdrop.)

This afternoon, I was delighted when I saw a photo of my granddaughter placing a small flag in their front yard. I’m sure she has no idea the significance right now, but she will. We learn from our parents. The tradition continues.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

27 May

“Find peace in the space berween the ideal and reality.”

― Mary Jo Tate


It’s good to be home and back into my old monotonous wonderful routine. Memphis was great, but ” there’s no place like home.” Sunday morning greeting at the door before Mass is always a highlight. I saw the Chateau bus round the corner with my senior friends, so I scurried down the long hall to the far side door to greet them as they got off their bus. I got to hug them all and they smiled like they won the lottery. It was grand. Then, back to my front door greeting with Mary and Ron, and more hugs and welcoming smiles. A beautiful sultry spring morning.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus relating to the apostles that the Holy Spirit would be sent from the Father to bring comfort and peace.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.

Not as the world gives do I give it to you.

Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.”

My take on it…if you are a good person and you follow the teachings of the Lord, you will find peace of heart and spirit. Some might find this through meditation or contemplation, but to me, that’s what prayer is. It’s finding an inner peace and quiet content spirit. It’s gotta come from somewhere. Is it that invisible intangible thing called your soul? Me thinks it is.

After Mass, I stopped to shake hands with Father Robert and to say thank you. I also asked if he would be so kind as to bless the St. Jude medals that I had purchased at the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

Saint Jude, sometimes known as Saint Jude Thaddeus, was one of the original apostles of Christ, a brother of Saint James the Less. He was known for preaching the gospel in particularly difficult circumstances. As such, he became the patron saint of “hopeless cases, and things almost despaired of.”

I remember my sweet mother praying very often to St. Jude. I guess we had a few lost causes and hopeless cases here and there. Mom was my go-to prayer warrior, and you know what? She always came through when I asked her to pray for a special intention. She would say, “I’m always tugging on God’s toga. He gets tired of me pestering Him, so He answers my prayers.”

It was a good Sunday and a good day to be me. Happy Sunday, my friends.

This statue of St. Jude guards the gardens behind the chapel at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis.

Now, that’s a great story about God sending a sign and Danny Thomas answering the call.

Saturday:) Such Are Dreams Made Of

26 May

“Dreams are illustrations… from the book your soul is writing about you.

Marsha Norman


I believe in signs. I believe in lucky pennies, lucky feathers, and butterflies that flutter by me or rest on my hand. All these signs and symbols are important and real. My perception is my reality. Maybe you believe in such things, maybe you don’t. I do.

A couple of weeks ago, I was walking through the parking lot over at the YMCA. I saw a colorful splotch of something on the ground. It looked like a dream catcher, but I didn’t pick it up. I figured someone dropped it, so I just left it there. It was still there when I left the Y an hour and a half later, so I picked it up. Maybe it was a sign for me. Yes, I believe it was.

I used to have very vivid fun dreams back in the day. I would wake up and write down the detailed and colorful stories. They were like quirky short stories with characters, plots, and convoluted twists and turns. It was always interesting to see where my nocturnal adventures would take me. But, when I was struggling through my painful divorce in 2013/14, all my dreams stopped, totally gone, not a one. My life and my world was a big ugly mess. It took several years before I started dreaming again. Most dreams were cold, dark, and scary. But, they were dreams, and I was happy to dream again.

When I found this dream catcher, I took it as a sign that now my dreams would be protected and perhaps more pleasant and peaceful. I put the dream catcher next to my bed. I’ve had a few interesting dreams, and I’m hoping to rekindle my sleeping adventures. I’ll keep you posted.




noun: dream-catcher

1 a small hoop containing a horsehair mesh, or a similar construction of string or yarn, decorated with feathers and beads, believed to give its owner good dreams. Dreamcatchers were originally made by North American Indians.

In some Native American cultures, a dreamcatcher or dream catcher (Ojibwe: asabikeshiinh, the inanimate form of the word for “spider”)[1] is a handmade willow hoop, on which is woven a net or web. The dreamcatcher may also include sacred items such as certain feathers or beads. Traditionally they are often hung over cradles as protection.[2] It originates in Ojibwe culture as the “spider web charm” (Ojibwe: asubakacin “net-like”, White Earth Band; bwaajige ngwaagan “dream snare”, Curve Lake Band[3]), a hoop with woven string or sinew meant to replicate a spider’s web, used as a protective charm for infants.[2]

Dreamcatchers were adopted in the Pan-Indian Movement of the 1960s and 1970s and gained popularity as a widely marketed “Native crafts items” in the 1980s.[4] (Wikipedia)

Friday:) From Memphis and Home Again

25 May

“It is a big world, full of things that steal your breath and fill your belly with fire…But where you go when you leave isn’t as important as where you go when you come home.”

― Lindsay Eagar


Five days on the road with good friends, filled with good food, music, and new adventures every day. We didn’t bump into Elvis, but we did enjoy seeing his home and listening to his music.

A very good trip, but good to be home.

It’s Black Russian Friday….

Thursday:) The Memphis Highlight So Far

23 May

“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens is another.

Charles Dickens


The favorite part of my trip so has been our visit to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital yesterday.


St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, founded in 1962, is a pediatric treatment and research facility focused on children’s catastrophic diseases, particularly leukemia and other cancers. The hospital costs about $2.8 million a day to run, and there is no cost to the patient to be treated. Wikipedia

We also went to the National Civil Rights Museum site.

Both of these visits were thought provoking and inspirational.

Then, there were more fun stops.

Another fun busy day in Memphis.

Wednesday:) What Ya Up To, Miss Toni?

22 May

 “Then one day, when you least expect it, the great adventure finds you.” – Ewan McGregor


Life is short. Take an adventure.

And the adventure continues.

Tuesday:) Memphis Memories and More

21 May

“Elvis has left the building.”



A fun full day in Memphis.