Tag Archives: 4th of July

Saturday:) Setting an Example and Raising the Flag

5 Jul

“When you set a good example to the world, you become a flag waving on the skies of the entire world!”

― Mehmet Murat ildan


This 4th of July is definitely the most unusual and surreal 4th that I have ever known. For the past 15 years, I usually was on the Square, watching the parade, eating ice cream, talking with old friends and making new friends. Not today.

But, I have my memories and old photos to remind me of the good ol’ days. Hopefully, this will be the last scary/weird 4th of July. Who knows?

My all time favorite 4th of July photo is this one of my granddaughter placing a small American flag in her front yard. I’m sure she wasn’t sure of the significance, but you could tell that she knew that it was important. That’s why I’m so proud of my son and daughter-in-law. They are setting a fine example for their children, teaching them love and respect, and to honor their country.

A small flag in a small hand, a big head start in a big heart. ❤️🇺🇸

Memories from last year…

Cheers, my friends. Happy Red, White and Blue, Blue Ice Cream Black Russian 4th of July.

Fourth of July Parade On The Square

4 Jul

Mac Thornberry

“No other date on the calendar more potently symbolizes all that our nation stands for than the Fourth of July.”


A steamy overcast morning sweltered into a steamy sunny day for the 4th of July Parade on the Square in McKinney. I spent the day with my dear friend Sherri. We got to the Square bright and early, leaving my house at 8:30, found a good parking spot, then strategically parked our lawn chairs on the parade route. Being experienced parade goers, we sauntered over to The Pantry Restaurant for an early morning iced tea and air conditioning until parade time.

I think that I’ve attended almost every 4th of July parade since I’ve lived in McKinney. It didn’t dawn on me until this morning that in 15 years, I either attended by myself or with a friend, never a family member. It’s always fun to see the families lined up with strollers and little ones, waving and giving high fives to passers by. For such a large city, our parade has a quaint small town feel.

A police car with sirens squealing starts off, followed by a fire truck from Station1.

Then, Mayor Fuller and wife Maylee wave from their vehicle, followed by cars from local businesses, floats from the American Legions and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Rotary and the DAR, and so much more. So many smiling red cheeked faces, sweltering and waving in the Texas heat, all to show their appreciation for our independence and the great country we live in and our community.

And, always saving the best for last, the Mounted Patrol brings up the rear to close the festivities.

Officer Lindsey Paul (closest) said that this was Blue’s first parade and that he did a great job.

It was a fun day on the Square with a great friend. (Brownie face below).

Happy 4th of July, my friends!!!!!🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

 My 4th of July :) Red, White, and Blue

5 Jul

“Happy 4th of July. I’ll be celebrating this evening with my iPad, some ear plugs, a glass of RED wine, a WHITE Russian, and a PBR~ Pabst BLUE Ribbon beer. Just kidding… I don’t have any ear plugs,”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis





Just a little 4th of July Humor. 

The morning storm threatened the McKinney July 4th celebrations and parade, but the skies cleared up a bit, and it was actually very pleasant for a Texas July day. The lingering clouds protected the celebrants from the extreme heat. My first thought was to stay under the covers when the thunder was booming at 8am. By 9, the rain stopped, so I donned my red-white-and blue and headed off to the square to watch the parade. I actually found a decent parking spot, but was a little embarrassed when I made a right turn onto Kentucky, not realizing it was blocked off for the parade route, and I was NOT supposed to be on the roped off street. Oops! I blushed a little, waved to the crowd, and proceeded to the parking lot.

I watched the parade with some friends. There was a huge turn out for such an iffy day. A wonderful small town feel. That’s my McKinney!

After the parade, my friends Sherri and Michael called to see where I was so we could meet for some ice cream or cookies over at Sweet Spot Bakery.

Michael was hiding behind a car and took a sneak peak picture of me rounding the corner.

We always take open arms photos of each other. It’s a inside joke. Aren’t they cute!

Me and Sherri, compliments of photographer Mr. Murphy.

Do you see that devilish grin? Yes! A huge ice cream cone for breakfast. Caught me, Mr. Murphy.

A very nice way to celebrate the independence of our country…friends, parades, ice cream and staying home tonight to avoid the fireworks and frenzy. I’m getting too old for that stuff.

Happy 4th of July!!!

Saturday: May the   “Fourth Be With You” and With Your Spirit. 

5 Jul

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.” — Louis D. Brandeis


Wow! I’ve got a Star Wars and Catholic thing going on. It’s 4th of July, Independence Day. A day to be grateful for our freedom, our families, and our future. Not everyone has these privileges. A day to count your blessings and to honor those who sacrificed so much. 

The American flag is displayed with pride, and there are several explanations of the meaning of the colors , but according to the American Legion…According to custom and tradition, white signifies purity and innocence; red, hardiness and valor; and blue signifies vigilance, perseverance, and justice.

I stand in your shadow

Oh , long may you wave 

We are home of the free

Because of the brave. 

I honor my country

With colors so true

The stars and the stripes

Of red, white, and blue. 

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

My house.  


Fourth of July Friday

5 Jul

“A procession is a participants’ journey, while a parade is a performance with an audience.”
― Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
Mckinney Texas is a fairly large city with a quaint small town feel. I always look forward to the Fourth of July parade on the Square. Hundreds of people line the streets to watch a single police car and fire engine start off the route around the square with sirens blaring, followed by the mayor and his family waving to the crowd. (It’s cool when the mayor’s wife waves and says, “Hi Toni.” Everybody knows every body.) Then, there are a couple of dozen old time cars, a few local businesses had floats, several boys scout and Girl Scout troops, Rotary Club, and my favorite, the Art Club of McKinney float. (Thanks, Lynda Kingsley, family and friends.) etc. Of course, you have to have horses. It’s Texas, there must be horses.

I think it took people longer to find a place to park than it took to watch the entire parade, but the point is, it’s all about tradition, family, waving flags and being proud to be an American. In the afternoon, there was a car show with dozens of old, vintage and souped-up cars. The shops were busy, the restaurants packed and the atmosphere, well, it was a fun place to be on the Fourth of July. I LOVE McKINNEY!









Tuesday Tips and Treats for the Fourth of July

2 Jul

Erma Bombeck
You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.
The Fourth of July is right around the corner. I hope you all have some fun plans for our country’s big celebration of freedom. There are many fun things to do, fabulous foods, and friends and family to celebrate with. But, always remember to stay safe and remember why we celebrate.

Thank you to all who have sacrificed, who have served our country, and continue to protect us. We are home of the free because of the brave,





Tips to stay safe.11 Tips for a Safe Fourth of July

Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

Be a safe swimmer. Water sports and fireworks are two of the biggest pastimes for Fourth of July celebrations, and these are both linked to numerous deaths and injuries each year. Never swim alone, and make sure that kids’ water play is adequately supervised at all times. Many drownings occur when parents and other adults are nearby, so always have a designated chaperone for water play and don’t assume that others are watching the kids. Statistics show that most young children who drown in pools have been out of sight for less than five minutes.

If fireworks are legal in your community and are a part of your celebration, be sure to store and use them safely. Keep the kids away from the fireworks at all times, and keep spectators at a safe distance. Attending fireworks displays organized by professionals is always safer than trying to put on your own show.

Use alcohol responsibly. Alcohol and fireworks can be a hazardous and dangerous combination. Also, have a designated driver to bring partygoers home from the festivities. Remember also that alcohol and swimming can be as dangerous as drinking and driving.

Lakes, waterways, and seas will be crowded with boats. Review safe boating practices, and don’t drink and drive your boat. Alcohol consumption while operating boats or other motorized water vessels is illegal, and you can be arrested for a BWI (boating under the influence!). Be sure that you have an adequate number of life preservers on hand for extra guests. Become familiar with the boating laws in your area.

Cover food and beverages outdoors to discourage bees and wasps from attending your party. If someone is allergic to insect stings, you should have an emergency anaphylaxis kit on hand. Wearing shoes, long sleeves, and long pants outdoors and avoiding fragranced body products, bright colors, and sugary drinks can also help prevent bee stings.

Apply sunscreen both before and during an outdoor party. Ultraviolet rays from the sun can cause both premature aging and skin cancer in the long term, and a painful burn the next day. Even those with darker skin should use a sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor (SPF) of 15, according to recommendations from the American Academy of Dermatology.

Check prescription medications you are taking to assure you will not have a sun-sensitizing drug reaction to the medication.

If you’ll be hiking or camping in an area where ticks are abundant, wear long-sleeved, light-colored shirts and long pants tucked into socks or boots to protect yourself from tick-borne diseases. For your skin, you can use a tick repellent with no more than 30% DEET according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Products containing DEET should not be used on children less than 2 months of age and should not be applied to the hands or face of young children. Check yourself (and your pets) for ticks at the end of the day.

Spend adequate time indoors or in the shade and drink plenty of fluids to avoid heat illness in extremely hot climates. The risk of heat illness is increased when participating in strenuous activity or sports, and those with chronic medical conditions and the elderly are also at an increased risk of heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke. Alcohol consumption can also promote dehydration and increase the risk.

Keep children away from campfires and grills. Gas leaks, blocked tubes, and overfilled propane tanks can be a cause of grill fires and explosions.

Don’t leave the picnic spread out all day. Allowing food to sit in outdoor temperatures can invite foodborne illness. The U.S. FDA suggests never leaving food out for more than one hour when the temperature is above 90 F and not more than two hours at other times. Foods that need to be kept cold should be placed in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezing packs and held at a maximum temperature of 40 F. While mayonnaise and other egg dishes are often associated with food poisoning, any food can potentially become contaminated. Adequate hand washing and food preparation can also help prevent food poisoning.

CPSC.gov. Fireworks Safety.

USCGboating.org. Boating Saftey Resource Center.

Last Editorial Review: 6/30/2011