Archive | November, 2019

Tuesday:) Toni’s Terrific Tuesday and a Couple of Tacos

20 Nov

While it may seem small, the ripple effects of small things is extraordinary.

Matt Bevin

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When I woke this morning, I asked my little machine called Google Assistant, “OK Google, what’s the temperature.” She said, “The temperature in McKinney is currently 74 degrees.” I said, “OK Google, I love you!” She replied, “If you love me, I must be the best Google assistant ever. You just made my day.” Well, she made my day too. I made a cup of tea, got dressed, and headed out for a nice long walk.

T-shirt and sunglasses weather. I walked around the neighborhood, admiring the colorful fall leaves and holiday decorations. The warm sun felt wonderful on my face. These are the little things that brighten my day.

Speaking of the little things, several neighbors had those green advertising newspapers in their driveways. When I see more than one paper laying there, I pick it up and tuck it up by their front door behind something. Nothing says I’m not home or out of town like several newspapers.

This particular house had four papers on the driveway and an Amazon package right in plain view right by the front door. I hid the papers and tucked the package behind a pillar. That was just asking for trouble. I didn’t know these neighbors, but it didn’t matter. I call it “The good neighbor policy.” It only takes a few minutes to look out for one another.

I stopped and chatted with Miss Allison who was busy cleaning and organizing her garage. I sat in a chair and watched her work, knowing full well that you can’t help someone organize. Then, I stopped over by Mr. Mike’s house and took his dog Bella for a walk. He is always on the phone or busy, and she loves her walks, and I’m out walking anyway. Good neighbor policy.

On my way home, I noticed the mail truck was on the next street. When I see the mail truck close by, I like to leave a little treat for the mail lady. I ran into the house and grabbed a Dr, Pepper and a granola bar and put it in the mailbox.

Later, when I picked up my mail, there was a little note on my mail. Everyone likes being appreciated. It’s the little things…

Earlier, I had texted Helene and asked her if she wanted to have an early dinner at NomNom. It’s Taco Tuesday. $2 tacos, ya can’t beat that. I get the vegetarian with beans, grilled veggies, and guacamole. Only $4. Yum!

And just when you think your day can’t get any better, I stopped at Walgreens to pick up some photos that I had ordered online. Yesterday, there was a coupon code for a free 8×10. Yes! Free! And the 4×6 photos were 10cents each. Thank you, Walgreens.

That was my terrific Tuesday. I think I’ll have a glass of wine, watch a little TV, then go up and paint a little. Stay tuned…

Montage Monday:) A Week in a Peek

19 Nov

“Live your life the right way, and the blessing will come.”

~Chris Mullin

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Another fun and busy week. I’m feeling especially blessed, spending time with good friends, phone calls and FaceTime with my sons and family, time with amazing artists, beautiful weather, and living life to the fullest. Life is good.

A week in a peek…

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

18 Nov

“Interesting that we are so worried about the fate of the universe, which is something we will not live to witness.”

― Rajesh

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Another beautiful Sunday morning. I woke before the 7am alarm, thinking o myself how funny it was that I jump out of bed cheerily, looking forward to going to church. When I was a kid, like most kids, I didn’t look forward to getting up early on Sunday to go to church, or those early mornings going to school or catching that early morning bus in the cold. I’m sure you all know that dreaded alarm that wakes you before dawn for work.

Today, I smiled as I got dressed and scurried off to church. I always look forward to every Sunday, greeting before Mass, hugging friends, shaking hands, trying to sing along with the wonderful choir, and especially the quiet solemnity of the rituals of the Catholic Mass.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus being asked about the end of the world.

He answered,

“See that you not be deceived,

for many will come in my name, saying,

‘I am he,’ and ‘The time has come.’

Do not follow them!

When you hear of wars and insurrections,

do not be terrified; for such things must happen first,

but it will not immediately be the end.”

Then he said to them,

“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.

There will be powerful earthquakes, famines, and plagues

from place to place;

and awesome sights and mighty signs will come from the sky……

perseverance you will secure your lives.”

Wow! Some of that sounds pretty familiar, doesn’t it? My take on it….We may not know when the end of the world is coming. So, it’s a good idea just to live your life to the best of your ability every day. Love God, love your neighbor. That covers it all. You never know if today is your last day.

After church, I stopped for coffee with Helene and Mary. Then, a trip to the store, Walgreens, and home to change. A beautiful day called for a nice long walk. I even had a chance to stop for a beer at Mr. Larry and Miss Sandy’s Garage.

During my walk, I contemplated what to make for dinner. I had some leftover chicken fajitas, so I decided to try something different. A makeshift chicken enchilada casserole. I used a box of Jiffy cornbread mix with a can of creamed corn, an egg and some yogurt. (I don’t measure) I baked the cornbread mixture till almost done, then topped with the leftover fajitas mixed in with a can of chicken cheese enchilada soup, and topped with Monterey Jack cheese. Yum!

Then, the other favorite part of my Sunday. I got to FaceTime with my family and see the grandchildren. They seem to be growing by the week.

I am blessed. Happy Sunday, my friends.

Saturday:) McKinney Square and Elsewhere

17 Nov

“It’s been my belief that learning how to do something in your hometown is the most important thing.”

Pete Seeger

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Another lazy Saturday morning. But, then I got a text from my friend Linda Grossman…World’s Greatest Realtor. She asked what I had on my agenda for today. My reply was, “No plans.” I love those last minute impromptu invitations, especially when I have absolutely no plans for the day. She had a few errands to run on the square and suggested maybe we could have lunch. Perfect! She said she’d pick me up. She’s so sweet. She wanted to pick up her wine from Lone Star Wine Cellars and she knows I don’t drink and drive. This way, I could have a glass of wine if she drove.

When we arrived on the Square, it was already very crowded. It was a beautiful sunny day and everyone was enjoying the weather. On our way to lunch, we walked past Kim Guthrie’s Art Studio, so,we popped in to say hi. Kim is such an amazing and talented artist, and her studio is filled with whimsical paintings, cute pet portraits, lovely landscapes, historic McKinney buildings and so much more.

We decided to have lunch at the fairly new El Mejor Mexican restaurant. The food and service was excellent. I highly recommend it.

Our next stop was Lone Star Wine Cellars to pick up her wine. Linda belongs to their wine club, where you purchase their featured wine every couple of months, and whenever you pop in, you can have a complimentary glass of wine. It’s a cool place to hang out with friends or make new friends.

After chatting and sipping a glass of red wine, we headed over to The Martin Place at 1799 N. Graves St. Linda asked my recommendation for the best place to get photos printed or giclees made or framing art work. Mark Martin is the best around.

They still had MAST artist’s paintings and artwork on display.

The hours flew by, and it was a great Saturday on the Square and elsewhere. Mckinney is a cool place to live, and I have the coolest friends to explore it with.

Happy Saturday, my friends.

Friday:) A Fabulous Day, Fun Friends and My Firefighter Freinds

16 Nov

“Enjoy life. There’s plenty of time to be dead.”

― Hans Christian Andersen

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I stayed up well past 2am this morning, working on a painting project. I lose track of time when I’m painting. When I glanced at my phone for the time this morning, it said 8:30, so I rolled over and went back to sleep. Here’s where I count my blessings. How lucky am I? Each day is a gift, and each gift is mine to open and do with as I please.

Zumba class was my first fun activity for the day. I lobe the music and dancing and exercise is fun. Afterwards, Doug and I stopped for breakfast at McD. Then, errands, the dry cleaners, post office, grocery store, and a stop at church for Adoration. This is my special quiet/thankful time. I lit a candle in the sanctuary, and I was totally alone. There’s something awesome about having a huge gorgeous church all to yourself.

When I got home, I did a few things, then went for a nice long walk. It was a beautiful day, and a glorious sunset along the way.

I made a quick stop at Fire Station 9 with some cookies that Miss Pat kindly made to share with our fine friends in blue.

You would think that was already a full day, but Miss Pat had invited a few of us for a steak dinner at her house. Wow! She bought delicious T-bone steaks and everyone brought sides or appetizers. We had a great dinner with great friends.

Yes, my life is very full and very blessed. I plan on enjoying life every day because there’s plenty of time to be dead later.

Now, for Black Russian Friday. Ahhh! The perfect ending to a perfect day.

Thursday:) The Art Club of McKinney

15 Nov

“Creativity is contagious, pass it on.”

~Albert Einstein

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The second Thursday of the month, The Art Club of McKinney meets at The Hub in downtown McKinney. Everyone was looking forward to the November meeting because, instead of a presentation or guest artist, we were having a hands-on jewelry making workshop. There were three different stations, guided by several of our own talented members. We took turns trying out various jewelry making techniques using beads, wire wrapping, and an array of creative possibilities.

We started out with our general meeting and minutes, followed by our raffle, artist of the month, and wonderful refreshments. Then, on to the jewelry making.

I personally flunked out of station 1, where we took a beautiful oblong stone and wire wrapped a basket type facet for it. Mine fell out twice, my wire was all crooked, and I gave up and shoved it in the little plastic bag. I don’t do well with tiny detail. The other members created some beautiful pieces. I did a little better at the next two stations.

Everyone had a good time, and learned a few new artistic jewelry making techniques. I learned to laugh at myself. I do much better with a paint brush and a canvas. But, I’m willing to try new things.

Here’s the necklace and bracelet I made. The necklace was supposed to be a pair of earrings, but I improvised. Fun day with fun talented friends.

Wednesday:) Words of Wisdom on Facebook

14 Nov

“Inspiration can be found pretty much anywhere, even on Facebook.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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I have a lot of friends who are prolific readers. I admire them, but for some reason, I can’t hold still long enough to read anything longer than the Wednesday grocery sale ads that come in the mail. Novels are too long and put me to sleep, then because I’m old, I’ll forget where I left off and have to start from the beginning. Therefore, most of my reading and information and news is gleaned from my Facebook page.

It’s always fun to keep up with family and friends through photos, jokes, and messages. But, I also find a lot of inspirational quotes posted by many of my friends. So, I decided to pick out and share just a dozen “Words of Wisdom” that I found on my Facebook page today.

Words of Wisdom….

Tuesday:) It Takes a Village…or a Community

13 Nov

“The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”

~Coretta Scott King

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McKinney Creative Community meets every second Monday of the month at 5:30ish, over at The Cove on Tennessee. It was so cold and blustery last night, that I thought for sure that not that many people would attend. The place was packed with artists, writers, musicians, web designers, friends, etc. (we even had a visiting puppy dog.) All were there for the same reason, to share food, friendship and information.

McKinney has the greatest arts community and the most wonderful artists and creative people on the planet. Maybe, even the universe, but I haven’t visited the rest of the galaxy to find out. Maybe one day?

All are welcome to attend these pot luck gatherings. You don’t have to be an artist or even think you are creative. But, if you attend, you certainly will leave feeling inspired, and maybe decide to take that pottery or jewelry class, or sign up for a dance or yoga class. It’s never to late to learn or try something new. And the best part is, you’ll make new friends.

I always like to post a picture of my brownies on the Facebook page, before they go in the oven. I’ve been told that that’s a good reminder and incentive for the gathering. Yesterday, I made Snicker-s’mores brownies. I used lots of leftover Halloween candy bars and marshmallows. Yum!

The first hour or so of our meeting is socializing, sharing yummy foods, desserts, and beverages. Then, we gather in a circle and just share our “New and Good.” It can be anything from taking a workshop, upcoming art shows, awards, or just a recent trip. My sharing was about my visit to Chicago to see my grand babies and visit family. We are all family here, sharing family news.

Our guest speaker yesterday was Molly Brewer from McKinney’s Arts Commission. Not only did we find out about the many projects and opportunities in McKinney, but also about the many grants available to various individual artists and art groups. Several suggestions and opportunities we would never have known about. Very informative.

As I’ve said a zillion times, there is so much to learn and so much to share in our community. It only takes that first step to say, “I want to expand my horizons.”

In December, many of the artists will be featured or attending the Tupps Brewery Holiday Art Bazaar. The perfect opportunity to purchase amazing local art and crafts at wonderful prices. Check it out.. oh yes… and have a beer or two while shopping and meeting the cool artists.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

12 Nov

And my only rule being if when I wake in the morning I’m looking forward to the things that I have to do that day, then I’m on the right track.

Demetri Martin

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A very busy week, and good to be back home. Here’s a week in a peek…

Sunday Sermon and More Magnificent MAST Artists

11 Nov

“To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palm of your hand and eternity in an hour.”

~William Blake

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What a gorgeous Sunday morning! A beautiful early morning walk with the dog around the pond. Then, a quick make up more penne pasta to add to a big container for my firemen at Station 9. I had a lot of sauce left over from Friday, so I decided to share.

It was wonderful to be back at St. Gabriel, greeting at the door before Mass and hugging all my friends, and singing hymns. Sundays are such a joy.

Today’s Gospel was the story of the Sadducees trying to put Jesus on the spot with a tricky question about death. They asked Him if, as per tradition, if a man dies leaving a childless wife, that the brother marries her, and that man dies and the next brother marries her, and so on with seven brothers, when after all are dead and time of the resurrection, whose wife will she be?

Jesus said to them,

“The children of this age marry and remarry;

but those who are deemed worthy to attain to the coming age

and to the resurrection of the dead

neither marry nor are given in marriage.

They can no longer die,

for they are like angels;

and they are the children of God

because they are the ones who will rise.

My take on it…. WHAT DOES IT MATTER? You’re in heaven. All will be good and perfect and happy.

After Mass, I was asked to help put at the WELCOME DESK in the vestibule. I hadn’t done it before so I had to wing it, just passing out info to new parishioners or visitors and checking off names for people picking up directories. One lady asked me if there was a lost and found. I said that I’d find out. She left me with a wallet that she found. I looked inside and there was just a driver’s license and a credit card, with no phone number. The name looked kind of familiar. I think it’s a lady I met two weeks ago. After Mass, Helene and I stopped at McDonald’s for coffee and I did a google search of the name, as it wasn’t in the church directory. I called the number, but it said not in order. Later, we drove to the house that was on the license. No one home, so I talked to the neighbor next door, and he said the house was vacant and he’d never heard that name. Yikes! Well, I know where this lady works, so I’m going over there in the morning to give her the wallet and hope she wasn’t in a panic without it for a day. I know I’d be going crazy. Sometimes I think God puts these little mysteries in my path, just to keep me on my toes. (Wish me luck)

After our adventure, Helene and I headed over to downtown McKinney to visit a few more art studios on THE MAST TOUR.

We had such a good time seeing all the artists in their studios and hearing about their techniques and inspirations. Wendolin Mercado, over at The Art House, is such a creative funky soul. We did some knife throwing and painted on her fence. I had to get one of her beautiful hand-tooled leather cuffs, perfect for a Sunday.

Kerry Johnston made this gorgeous platter that needed to come home with me. I love to collect different artists’ work.

Thank you Kerry. Isn’t she amazing? Look at this huge leaf platter.

Then, the Magnificent Macias family was firing and throwing up a storm over at the Three Dog Studio, along with other potters and wood turners. I love this picture!

Alex Macias is one of my all time favorite artists. She is so young and so talented, and willing to do a goofy pose for Miss Toni.

I can’t think of a better place for an artist or creative person to live than right here in McKinney Texas. We not only have the most talented artists in the whole wide world, but they are the kindest and friendliest and most loving, AND I am honored to know them and call them FRIENDS.

Happy Sunday, my friends! ❤️