Archive | October, 2019

Thursday:) The Art Club of McKinney

11 Oct

“Art is the only serious thing in the world. And the artist is the only person who is never serious.”

― Oscar Wilde

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This morning was our monthly Art Club of McKinney meeting. After our general meeting, we have our raffle, and artist of the month presentation. Artists are encouraged to bring artwork and members vote on their favorite. It’s always interesting to see what other artists are working on.

After the “show and tell,” we break for refreshments. Members take turns setting up and providing the most amazing table of refreshments and brunch. It seems like every month is better than the last. The hostesses for October out did themselves.

Our guest speaker and demonstrator today was the fabulous Jeni Tomlinson. Her presentation was informative, funny, and inspirational. After a brief PowerPoint history of famous artists and masters, Jeni explained her personal techniques on oil painting tips, and tricks of the trade.

The Tomlinson technique consists of under painting with a series of soft layers of glazing. Her humorous tips of “cheap” ways to cut costs on expensive art materials and paints had us all giggling, but at the same time, taking notes for future reference. She brought all kinds of samples and booklets to share with the group, and answered dozens of questions. Personally, I never cared for working with oil paints because of the powerful and irritating smell of the solvents and mediums. Jeni had products that had no annoying odors. I just may give it another try. Thanks Jeni.

You can see more of Jeni’s work at http://www.jenitomlinsonstudios.com

Beside oil painting, Jeni and her husband Charlie work miracles with refinishing furniture and creative and decorative painting.

We are very fortunate to have such talented and inspirational artists right here in our own community. The Art Club of McKinney is not only the oldest art club in the state of Texas, but, in my opinion, it is the best art club on the planet.

A big thank you to all the artists, volunteers, and members who make it all possible.

Wednesday:) When Words Aren’t Enough

10 Oct

“It is not enough just to wish well; we must also do well.”

-Saint Ambrose

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Today, we said farewell to our dear friend Miss Nelma. Nelma Hyde was the sweetest, kindest lady that you’d ever want to meet. She passed away September 29th, and she will be greatly missed.

I met Miss Nelma when she moved into Towne Creek Apartments about a dozen years ago while I was volunteering teaching art classes. She found out that there were art classes every Friday, and she decided that she wanted to be an artist. Ah, and that she did. She arrived a blank slate, and as I told her many times, the student out shined the teacher.

https://youtu.be/6HThpM-icvc

Instead of telling you about this beautiful talented angel, I’ll just show you a few pictures. You can see the sparkling eyes, genuine smile, and beautiful soul.

When words aren’t enough…

This picture sums up her life the last few years. Her life was just a “cup of coffee with Jesus.”

This painting was done with only coffee for paint and her love of Jesus for inspiration. “I’m sure you’re having a cup of coffee with Jesus every morning now, Miss Nelma.”

We will miss you like crazy Miss Nelma. ❤️

Tuesday:) Toni’s At It Again~ More Wine Glasses

9 Oct

” When you love doing something creative, it brings joy to your soul and to others.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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My latest craze, or more like crazy, has been staying up way too late painting wine glasses. I post the blank glasses on Facebook and tell my friends to stay tuned. I’ve gotten a lot of nice compliments on my endeavors.

These are the latest of my late night wine glass painting sessions.

Here are previous projects, just in case you missed it.

I sure do love painting.

Happy Tuesday, my friends.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

8 Oct

“It only takes a couple of seconds and a quick peek at my Montage Monday photo to see what a great week I had.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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A week in a peek…. another good one… I sure do keep busy, don’t I?

Sunday Sermon and Our Parish Picnic

7 Oct

“Life is like a picnic. You make preparations, spread out the blanket, open the basket, and assemble the guests. Then, the ants invade and it pours down rain. Grab your stuff and run like crazy!”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Today was a special day at St. Gabriel. Not only were we going to have our Parish Picnic at noon, but Bishop Kelly, our former Pastor, was officiating at 9 am Mass. He was there for the dedication of the Bishop Kelly Center, formerly our old sanctuary and offices.

I had a little trouble comprehending today’s Gospel. Hmm? You tell your servants to prepare your meal while you eat and drink after they’ve tended the fields? Do you thank the servant for doing what was commanded? Hmmm…? I probably would say, come on in and have supper with me after they worked the fields and tended the sheep. That’s just me.

Lk 17:5-10

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

“Who among you would say to your servant who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? Do you thank the servant for doing what was commanded? So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless servants; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”

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My take on it… long and short… God expects us to do much more than just the minimal amount of what is expected. If you are a good and faithful servant, you will honor your master above and beyond the call of duty. Go the extra mile.

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After Mass and the dedication, Helene and I went over to the parish hall where they were setting up for the picnic and ministry fair. We didn’t sign up for a special duty, we were “gophers.” The gym was lined up with tables of all the different ministries available, and members had info and sign up sheets. I’m already part of the Welcome ministry, but I signed up for the 60+ group. I guess the only criteria is you have to be over 60. Well covered there. They just meet once a month for fellowship. I can do that.

The Knights and men’s groups cooked the hamburgers and hot dogs out back, and the rest of the food was a pot luck. The women’s club set up and other volunteers helped out wherever they could. There was a ton of food. Catholics like to cook! Almost as much as we like to eat and socialize. There were all kinds of fun things for the kids to do, with bounce houses, slides, games etc. oh, and face painting was a big hit.

It was a fun and informative afternoon. My friend Lynn asked Father Don how he came about to becoming a priest after he had graduated with a degree in electrical

engineering. He felt the call after realizing that engineering was not his true calling. We are very fortunate that he answered that call.

A great day at St. Gabe’s. Happy Sunday my friends.

Saturday:) Fire Safety Fair in McKinney

6 Oct

“The fire which enlightens is the same fire which consumes.”

Henri Frederic Amiel

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I was honored when I received a message this morning from my Facebook friend Merit Ossian-Jaeckel, asking if I’d help to spread the word about today’s Fire Safety Fair at the Kroger shopping center this afternoon. I got to meet Merit in person on 9/11 when Linda Grossman and I were delivering my homemade cupcakes to all the stations. Before that, we were only Facebook friends, as we mutually commented on McKinney FD activities. Merit, the public information officer, coordinates publicity, events, and other activities related to the McKinney Fire Department.

Eager to assist, I posted information about the event on my Facebook page and a couple of the neighborhood websites that I’m on. She also asked if I might have any time to volunteer manning one of the many information tables for the event. Not only did I happily agree to assist, but I also enlisted my friend Helene to help out.

The interesting thing about bringing cupcakes, cookies, and brownies to your local fire stations all the time is, after a while, you become friends and part of the bigger family known as “community.”

Captain Desiree and the crew from station 9 arrived, and I was greeted with hugs and handshakes. They were on hand to answer questions and show the children the workings of a real fire truck. Kids love to look at the shiny red fire truck and to have their pictures taken with the firefighters. (Me too!)

The Fire Safety House trailer gave youngsters and adults a chance to tour simulated home hazards and learn fire safety procedures. It’s so important for children to learn to keep calm, locate exits, and learn how to handle emergencies. If even one life is saved by someone taking the tour, it is more than a blessing.

Another cool thing about our McKinney community is, for such a large city, we still have that small town feel. The captain and her family also attend St. Gabriel’s Church, and I often bump into other firefighters at the grocery store, on the square, or local restaurants. We are on a first name basis, and we are community. How cool is that!

It was a fun and informative afternoon at the Fire Safety Fair in McKinney. 👨‍🚒

Happy Saturday my friends. And… be safe out there.

Friday:) Fantastic Friends, Family, Holy Family School and My Firefighters

4 Oct

“When I count my blessings, I also make sure to factor in how I can share some of those blessings with others.”

“A home is only as strong as its foundation. Love is only as strong as the foundation of family and friends. I’m covered.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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When I count my blessings, well, I can’t count that high, so I have to stop after a few thousand.

My day started out with a really cool walk. Literally, it was cool this morning, 68. I could have used a sweater. (Didn’t last long. It’s 90 now.) I walked Bella around the pond, took her home, then walked another mile or two. Then, off to Zumba at the YMCA at 11:30.

I stopped at church for Adoration and to say a few special prayers for some special people. It was good to sit in the quiet chapel, allowing my heart rate to slow down and my mind to calm. I had texted Jerry earlier, to see if he was up for some company. He’s getting around better, and hoping to discard his back brace in a few days. He’s not one to sit still, and he is missing his traveling adventures after surgery. Good to see his smiling face.

I stopped at Kroger to pick up a few things. They seem to have some really great special on Friday. I decided that if I found some items that the children could use at Holy Family School, that I’d pick a few up every week and maybe go visit a couple of times a month or so. Today they had the large boxes of Fruit Loops on sale $1.49. I got five. 👍

Yesterday, Karen, Sherri, and I went over to Holy Family School with our bags and bags of Quaker granola bars that we, and several of our friends, had purchased to donate, around 60 boxes. Miss Sondra and the rest of the staff were so appreciative. We were able to tour the school, playground and gardens, and see the adorable babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers. Some were just waking from their naps.

After our tour, we stood outside and talked a while. We agreed that if a lot of people do just a little bit to help those in need, the world would be such a better place. I don’t have millions of dollars to give away, but I can spare $5 or $10 to purchase groceries or baby needs every now and then. And, when they have a great sale at the store, that makes it even better.

(Photo courtesy of Sherri Murphy, taken by Karen Donaldson)

When I count my blessings, I also make sure to factor in how I can share some of those blessings with others.

Oh yes, always time for a quick stop to the fire station. I had some of Miss Pat’s cookies and a bag full of Gatorade for station #9. Someone had posted on Facebook the other day that her husband was a fireman, and they often receive cookies and cupcakes. She said that was nice, but what they really could use is Gatorade or bottled water, and other things that they have to buy a lot of at the store. Great idea! A few people commented that they didn’t realize that firefighters have to buy their own groceries for their meals. 🤦‍♀️ Who did they think paid for their groceries?

Have a great Friday, my friends!!!!

Theme Song Thursday:) Everything’s Coming Up Roses

4 Oct

“Do not watch the petals fall from the rose with sadness, know that, like life, things sometimes must fade, before they can bloom again.

unknown

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Last night around 11:30 pm, I posted a picture on Facebook of a dozen clear glass wine glasses. I said hat I was getting a late start, it I was feeling inspired and productive. Last week I painted bluebonnets, so this week I wanted to paint yellow roses. Everyone in Texas loves yellow roses.

I went up to my studio, better known as my “crap room,” turned on the tv and proceeded to paint till almost 2:30 am. Once I start, I can’t stop, because I’ll never have that recipe again.

VOILA!!! Everything’s coming up roses!

I always love the finished product and all the compliments I get from friends and family.

As I always say, “I can’t grow a flower, but I can paint a flower.” We all have our gifts and talents.

Happy Thursday, my friends.

Wednesday:) Words From Friends That Melt Your Heart ❤️

3 Oct

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”–

~Marcel Proust

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To say that I have been blessed with the best, most loving friends in the entire world, is quite an understatement. Yesterday, one of my best friends from high school, (we’ve been friends more than 50 years) sent me a gift. Just out of the blue, for no particular reason, just because she was thinking of me. She saw a cute coffee cup with the words “Hola Bonita,” and thought of me.

Linda and I haven’t seen each other in years. She lives in South Carolina, but we keep in touch via Facebook now. Her beautiful card said that she saw the cup and thought of me. She said that she enjoys my daily blogs and all my silly Facebook posts. My old friend from high school was a Spanish teacher for many years. How a Polish girl becomes a Spanish teacher, I don’t know. How a Mexican girl becomes an art teacher, well, that was my forever passion.

People cross our paths for a reason, and sometimes our paths lead us in different directions. But, true friends always stay in our hearts.

Thank you for making my day. I love you Linda Tomczak Ribskis!!!

❤️❤️

My soul blossoms…

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”– Marcel Proust

Tuesday:) Toni’s Terrific Generous Friends

2 Oct

“For it is in giving that we receive.”

― St. Francis of Assisi

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We had the pleasure of attending a fundraising gala a couple of weeks ago for Holy Family School. Linda Grossman, (World’s Greatest Realtor) sponsored a table and invited nine friends to attend. There was a silent auction and other raffle opportunities, but my favorite part were the speeches by people who were involved in keeping the school going all these years. Some had heartwarming stories of how the school lovingly cared for their children when they needed a safe place for their young children while they had to work. Now, they are paying it forward. The private Christian school is able to keep its moderate tuition affordable through generous support, donations, scholarships, and grants.

Last week, I stopped at the school with a couple of bags of items, peanut butter and baby wipes, etc. When I asked the director what else they could use, there were many items, including granola bars. So, when I saw that Kroger had Quaker granola bars were on sale, I mentioned it to a few friends. The response was wonderful.

Thank you Linda P., Pat, Helene, June, and Loretta.

Sherri and Linda G. have some more that they will get to me later this week. I can’t wait to take the bags of donations over to the school. I know they will be pleasantly surprised and appreciative.

“For it is in giving that we receive.”

― St. Francis of Assisi

I am blessed with the greatest, most wonderful and generous friends.