Tag Archives: Friends

Saturday:) Somos Familia~ Hispanic Heritage Day Festival

16 Sep

“The poetry you read has been written for you, each of you – black, white, Hispanic, man, woman, gay, straight.”

~ Maya Angelou


I like to think that we are all related in one way or another. People are people. Why do we have to judge or comment about heritage. I think we should be proud and celebrate our heritage, but we’re Americans. Right? We can celebrate both, all, and celebrate each other.

There have been many times that I’ve seen people’s mouths drop open when I say that I’m Mexican-American. They look at me and say, “NO WAY!” There were a few times when acquaintances or neighbors would make comments about Mexicans that weren’t always that complimentary, and I would just say with a smile, “I’m Mexican!” Well, the room would get very quiet and I would ask, “And you were saying?” Either nothing was added or they’d say, “Well, not you, Toni.” I just laugh, but hopefully they will think differently or think twice.

Today, there was a festival at the John and Judy Gay Public Library, celebrating  Hispanic Heritage Day, was hosted by McKinney Hispanic Chamber of Commerce  and Tri-County Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. The festival celebrates the histories, cultures, and contributions of those whose ancestors came from Mexico, Spain, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
The parking lot was packed and I ended up climbing up the curb and parking on the grass along with many others. The first person I ran into was my good friend, Gilda Garza. She was on the city council for a number of years, and has been and will always be very active in the community. It was great to see so many people out enjoying the great weather, fine music, and yummy food. And it wouldn’t be a McKinney event without bumping into my friend Sara Thomas.

Sara, Gilda, and moi. (Oh, and there’s the police chief doing a photo bomb in the left hand corner, right under Miss Sara’s ear. ) I should have had my sunglasses on. We could have been the Blues Sisters.

There were Folklorico Dancers and mariachis, and other dance and school groups performing.

Mayor George Fuller declared today McKinney Hispanic Heritage Day, presenting the certificate to the Gonzales family.  They have made many contributions to the city of McKinney for decades, as teachers, nurses, business men, and activists in the community, and they have been a part of what makes our city one of the best places to live in the country.

St. Gabriel’s Knights of Columbus served hot dogs and spicy fries. I saw a few familiar faces from 9 o’clock Mass.

There were vendors, realtors, insurance angencies, free blood pressure screenings, and raffle drawings. Several beautiful children’s bikes were given away as prizes for the coloring contest. Not that many children entered, so the chances of winning a bike were pretty darn good today.

Officers Guerrero and Guzman were at hand to answer questions and greet people. Oh, not only do they serve and protect, I needed to ask an officer to open my stubborn water bottle for me. That’s part of the “serve” in the motto, I guess.

It was a fine day with friends and a fine festival to celebrate heritage…mine, yours, ours.


Thursday:) THE Art Club of McKinney

14 Sep

The artists who work with alcohol ink

Are so creative, and more than you’d think

They splash and they splatter yellows and pink

Having such fun, without taking a drink.

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


The Art Club of McKinney had their monthly meeting this morning at the Heard Craig Carriage house. Maribeth Jagger was our featured artist. She demonstrated the magic techniques, tips, and tricks to working with alcohol inks. I’d have to say the majority of the people at the meeting have already taken a class or workshop with Maribeth, and those who haven’t will be signing up for her next class. It’s so much fun!

After a checklist of supplies and materials needed, she walked us through several steps of creating this beautiful fall pumpkin scene, from sketch to various techniques and steps.

The At Club of McKinney is a wonderful group of people who are with fine artists in their own right, or who want to learn more about art, or just plain ol’ appreciate art. 

And then…there’s always lunch with new friends and old friends afterwards.

Spectacular Saturday on the Square:) Art, Food, Music and More

10 Sep

“Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.  ”

~Andre Gide


Well, today was ANNE ROYER’s art show reception at The Martin Place. It was a full house of friends, artists, and visitors, all there to pay homage to a fantastic artist. My good friend, Miss Annie, has been a quiet, behind the scenes McKinney fine arts catalyst for many years. Her work is amazing and will be on exhibit through Sept. 30th.

The Seasons Sacred, and other works on paper by Anne Royer

September 9- September 30, 2017

Opening Reception, Sept. 9, 6-9pm, with artist talk at 7pm

The Martin Place : 1799 N. Graves St. McKinney, Texas

In this collection of works on paper, Royer creates visual metaphors of sacred narratives using liturgical colors and abstract forms. No color, no edge is without intention, yet her dialogue with the paint creates layers unexpected. 

“We walk among the seen and unseen in the Eternal Now.”

It’s Second Saturday on the Square, so I scooted over to check out the 3rd Anniversay Celbration at the LAST ART GALLERY on Louisiana. Also, several friends exhibiting artwork and celebrating the anniversary.

Steve, Alex, and Minda Macias. A fabulous family of potters.

Brad Donaldson creates amazing abstract resin art pieces ranging in sizes from 10 by 10 to gynormously huge. And Lynda Kingsley has many talented art hats, using alcohol inks, resi, watercolor, and teaches classes in her beautiful studio in the historic district. 

The Square was hopping tonight, live music filtering out from the many restaurants and wine bars. The weather was too perfect to stay home.

Lone Star Wine Cellars always has live entertainment on the weekends, and a nice quiet place to visit with friends and sip fine wine.

On my way back to my car, I stopped to chat with Jessie, who was driving around the square offering rides in the McKinney business sponsored free taxi. I think it was too nice of a night, and everyone wanted to walk around, enjoying the cool evening.

This is how I spend a spectacular Saturday on the Square in McKinney.

Saturday and Some Special Artists at The Cove

2 Sep

“Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact. ” ― William S. Burroughs


If you’re not familiar with the little art gallery in McKinney called The Cove, you need to become familiar. It’s a charming space just north of the square at 402 N. Tennessee St. From the outside, with its plain white unassuming walls, you’d never guess it was a wonderful art gallery. But when you stroll inside, the walls are filled with creative and unique works of art. Pretty much every weekend,  local artists are featured and a wine reception allows visitors to meet and talk with the artists.

This weekend, my friend and fabulous photographer, Don Simmons, is featured along with Sam Rogers, another fine local artist. A treasure trove of other artists have work on display.

So, if you are around McKinney tonight, Sept. 2, 6-9:30 or tomorrow 2-4, stop by. If you can’t make it this weekend, look them up on Facebook or Google    thecovemckinney.com

I popped in for the opening Friday evening, and bumped into a dozen or more good friends, all local artists. McKinney has an outstanding and supportive arts community.

Don has a fabulous eye. Well, I guess both eyes are pretty keen when it comes to capturing the perfect image on his camera.

Sam and Annie Royer chatting about their work, both amazing in their own right.

These are the REAL ARCHITECHTS of change…

“Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact. ” 

― William S. Burroughs

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

29 Aug

“If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

~ Jim Valvano


It was a great week with good friends, good food and good weather, not to mention an eclipse that mesmerized the country. 

Here in McKinney, we have been spared any of the nightmare hurricane horrors that Houston and our southern Texas neighbors are enduring right now. Sincerest prayers for all the people affected and those kind responders helping with the rescues. 

Sunday Sermon and Some Pancakes

28 Aug

“Knowing God is not enough; you must make Him known to others. Through your living character, you tell more about the living God!” ― Israelmore Ayivor


Happy Sunday! It was a wonderful morning, a bit overcast, with a chance of rain, but no sprinkles before or after church. The serious Hurricane Harvey devastation is hundreds of miles south, near Houston. Mary and I stood and greeted before Mass, reminding folks that the Knights of Columbus of St. Gabriel’s were hosting a free pancake breakfast after Mass.  Free? You can’t beat free.

Today’s Gospel was the story of Jesus asking the disciples, “But who do they say I am?” Simon declared, “You are the Christ…”Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 

My take on it…Peter became the “rock” of the church because he believed in Jesus without physical proof, with faith alone.  Sometimes, we have to have blind faith. Also, whatever you do here on earth, that’s how it will be in heaven, reminds us that our earthly existence is where we prove ourselves worthy of heaven. “THROUGH YOUR LIVING CHARACTER..”

After Mass, most folks filed over to the community center for a very nice pancake breakfast, the Knights, K of C men, all dressed in their royal blue shirts, were busy cooking, serving, cleaning and hosting this event. It’s also a great time to chat and visit with old friends, or make new ones.

One of my new friends and CRHP sister, Danna. We enjoyed the fine meal and friendship.

Friday:) Friendly Firemen and More Murphy Moving Day Mayhem

26 Aug

The present is the ever moving shadow that divides yesterday from tomorrow. In that lies hope. ~Frank Lloyd Wright


I was meandering down Stonebridge Drive with a batch of mini cupcakes and brownies in the backseat, hoping to catch my dear friends, the Murphy’s packing up the old house. I was so spoiled. When I’d drive down the street after church or on my way home from the store, I’d pull in their driveway, call on the phone, and say,”Hi, what ya guys doin’?” Sherri would answer, “Not much, where are you?” I’d always reply, “In your driveway!” or “At your front door.” So this was going to be my last nostalgic drive-by. I didn’t call, I just pulled up and Michael was  loading up boxes. 

I’ve always gotten a big opened arms welcome. It was sad to see the once vibrantly decorated house all empty and boxes piled high everywhere. But, I’ve been to their new house, and Sherri already has it looking like home. It’s gorgeous. BUT IT’S NOT ON MY WAY HOME! And it’s not in McKinney. Granted it’s just a few miles further, but I was so spoiled. (Maybe they moved because of the drive-bys?- Hmm?) 

Sherri was up to her ears in boxes. I take that back. They were taller than her. And they were both so sweet to take out a few minutes to let me take some nostalgic pictures for my memory album and my blog.

I love these guys! Hopefully they’ll still drop in for Black Russian Fridays now and then, and I’ll get invited to family gatherings, and we can go sing karaoke at the VFW together. 

Besides my messing with the Murphy’s on moving day, I stopped at the fire stations to take some goodies. As you know, when I bake, I bake BIG.

The guys at Station 2 were sitting behind the truck and the bay door was open, so I just walked right in, and the treats were more than welcomed.

I had stopped at the 5 earlier in the morning, but they were out on a call, so I went back a few hours later. Still, no answer on the red phone or from me tapping on the window. So, not to waste another trip, I drove over to Station 8. I’ve been there a few times, but usually just at Christmas. A young trainee answered with a big smile and said, “Thank you Mam!”

Isn’t he cute? So young! I’ve got shoes older than him. But, thank God for strong young men and women who decide to serve their community and their country. 

It was a good day of visiting, reminiscing, and sharing…Now, for Black Russian Friday. Yay! 

Directions: Post blog, fix Black Russian, put feet up, watch tv. My day is done.