Tag Archives: throwback Thursday

Throwback Theme Song Thursday:) You’re A Grand Old Flag

10 Sep

I believe our flag is more than just cloth and ink. It is a universally recognized symbol that stands for liberty, and freedom. It is the history of our nation, and it’s marked by the blood of those who died defending it.

John Thune


The other day, someone posted a picture of the original flag from the battle of Iwo Jima that is on display in Quantico, Virginia. It was worn and tattered, but it is kept in honor in the National Marine Museum. I commented that I have an old hand-painted and autographed flag with the emblem from my father’s unit that he brought home from the Philippines after WWII.

Just as the famous Iwo Jima flag is honored, I also treasure this flag that had seen battle, sacrifice, and loss of life. My father never really talked much about the war, understandably so. But, I’m sure this old flag could tell some stories. I thought I’d share it with you today. I’m guessing it’s nearly 80 years old now.

You’re a Grand Old Flag…
Signatures and home towns from the guys he served with.
I’m pretty sure most of the soldiers who scrawled their names on this handmade canvas flag are gone now. But, as long as someone treasures this old flag, their memory continues. 🇺🇸

Throwback Thursday:) Isn’t Life Grand!

27 Aug

Perfect happiness is a beautiful sunset, the giggle of a grandchild, the first snowfall. It’s the little things that make happy moments, not the grand events. Joy comes in sips, not gulps.

Sharon Draper


I love this quote. It sounds like something I would write. I guess Miss Sharon beat me to it. It’s been a nostalgic week, looking back at old photos and videos.

Mom had the greatest time visiting Station 5.
This grandma loves her babies.
Weddings are so special.
Final weeks and fond memories.
Oh, and the sunsets…

Throwback Thursday:) An Oldie But a Goodie~Repurposed Art

13 Aug

“Looking back at my life’s voyage, I can only say that it has been a golden trip.”

Ginger Rogers


I just ran across this article that was written about my recycled art work by Rita Cook quite a few years ago, probably over ten years ago. It’s fun to look back. Happy Throwback Thursday.


New Paint: Artist Antoinette Andrukaitis repurposes second-hand finds

By Editor Green Source

By Rita Cook

Antoinette “Toni” Andrukaitis of McKinney says her art naturally developed an eco-friendly slant because she has always been the kind of person who has recycled and repurposed.

“Eco-friendly is what we baby-boomers grew up with, but back then we called it frugality,” Andrukaitis says. “As a little girl, my sisters and I made doll clothes from fabric scraps and string. My mother always taught us never to waste, but rather, repurpose.”

When she first began teaching art in the 1970s she says she would buy discontinued or marked down house paint for her students to use, “mostly because any extras came out of my pocket, but from there every bargain became an art medium.”

(Above, Andrukaitis found these wine glasses at a garage sale. Below, old cedar fence boards become a canvas.) 

These days her frugality can be seen in the repurposed objects she uses in her art to make pieces as diverse as painted vases, wine bottles, purses and wooden items that she often finds at garage sales, thrift stores and sometimes even using hand-me-down items from her friends. 

“Pretty much anything that isn’t moving can be painted,” she says.  “An unusual inspiration came when my neighbor was tearing down an old cedar fence. I hauled several large sections home and painted running horses on them for an outdoor display.”

Recently, she says she found several pieces of discarded furniture and turned the pieces into lovely treasures. For example, an old student desk became a pretty white vanity embellished with pink roses.

Living in McKinney, Andrukaitis says the community there has been her inspiration.

(Left, a desk purchased for $20 at a garage sale refurbished by Andrukaitis.)  

“The art community is so supportive and everyone shares ideas, supplies and their creativity,” she explains. “My ideas come from everywhere. The individual items talk to me and say, ‘I don’t want to be an old newspaper, I want to be falling leaves on a tree painted on a canvas.’” 

Her most popular items at the moment are her rose vases. 

“From the smallest bud vase to a huge glass cylinder, placing a real rose or a dozen roses inside one makes the most exquisite gift,” she explains.  

These types of vases she sells anywhere from $5 to $50.  

As an artist who recycles, Andrukaitis says too, that her greatest challenge has always been hoarding. She says she can’t throw anything away because each item has so much potential. 

“I even save dryer lint to use in hand-made paper,” she adds. 

(Above, Andrukaitis paints a vase with her most popular motif.)

While Andrukaitis says many of her repurposed items go to her friends and family, she usually paints about 50 pieces a year in all and also keeps an inventory of recycled items on hand just in case.  When she runs low, she goes “thrifting with the TOTS, which is McKinney’s Table of Talent Sisters, our little art group created about five or six years ago.”

Andrukaitis stays eco-friendly in many ways and she says her other main endeavor in that area involves food. For example, at Halloween she chops up leftover Halloween chocolate candy and puts inside her famous brownies. Then the leftover brownies become chocolate dipped truffles balls that are then frozen and shared with friends and the local firemen at McKinney’s Station #5.

“The thing that makes my art special is the love that I put into finding a castaway destined for the landfill and finding a special new home for it,” concludes Andrukaitis.


Sign up for the weekly Green Source DFW Newsletter to stay up to date on everything green in North Texas, the latest news and events.

Rita Cook is an award winning journalist who writes or has written for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily News, Waxahachie Daily Light, Dreamscapes Travel Magazine, Porthole, Core Media, Fort Worth Star Telegram and many other publications in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago.  With five books published, her latest release is “A Brief History of Fort Worth” published by History Press.  You can contact her at rcook13@earthlink.net  Tags: RecyclingRecycleArt


Editor Green Source DFW's picture

Editor Green So…Phillip Shinoda is the project manager and founder of Green Source DFW.

Throwback Thursday:) What Would You Like To Throw Back?

6 Aug

“If the 70’s styles ever start making a comeback, I’m going to throw them back where they came from. They were weird enough the first time.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Having lived through the 70’s, I’m not ashamed to say that I wore some of those crazy styles and thought they were pretty cool. Looking back, I realize that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. What would You throwback or never want to see again? So much to choose from.

These Vintage Styles Aren’t Making A Comeback Anytime Soon (Reference)


Yep, I remember paper dresses and thought they were awesome. Especially when you could design your own pattern with markers. They failed to mention if you perspired or they got wet, your body became very colorful.
Mini skirts with matching tights, jackets, shirts, hats, etc. like wearing wallpaper all over your body.
Let’s not forget the awesome men’s fashion trends.
Ah, the good old days. No more tube tops, mini skirts, bell bottoms, go go boots, leisure suits, and disco. Good riddance! Well, maybe not the music. Gotta love 70’s classic music.

What do wish would make a comeback and what would you like to throw back forever?

Thankful Throwback Thursday:) Happy Birthday

2 Jul

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson


“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my” dear and old friend Debbie. Today is her birthday, (and yes she’s old, but then, so am I,) and I have been so blessed to have her as a friend for well over 40 years. It’s also my son’s birthday. I remember calling Debbie from my hospital room that day saying, “Hey, Happy Birthday Deb. I just had the baby, and on your birthday, too.” She thought I was kidding.

Friends Forever!

I also awoke smiling and thankful for my youngest son Matt. I tease him sometimes and say, “I was in labor with you for…… 48 minutes!” He would reply, “That’s not a long time, is it?” And I would concede, “well, that’s all I got!” He was a good baby and fine young man, quiet and shy, smart and talented, and has kept those same qualities as a grown man. I am truly blessed.

Happy birthday, Mijo.
Throwback Thursday. Feeling blessed.

Throwback Thursday:) If Only

8 Jan

“Wouldn’t it be nice if we take a day or a month or a year and just throw it back? 2020 would be a good choice.”

2019 and the first couple of months in 2020 were really swell.
About 35 years ago. My Joe
Over 35 years later.
The best family ever.
Over 65 years ago. Yikes. I’m the cute baby in Mom’s arms.

Throwback Thursday:) My Little Chocolate Buddy

5 Mar

“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay.”

—The Dalai Lama


Talk about a throwback Thursday, this afternoon I was scouring through my old emails, notes, and photos, looking for some of my poems that I had written in the past. I’m trying to get them all together in one place so someday… in the near distant future… I’d like to put together a book of my artwork and poetry. I’ve written several poems to go along with my paintings.

I went to my email search box and typed in the word “poem” and came up with dozens of references that I immediately copied and pasted into my “Notes” file. Some poems were sweet and endearing, along with a few not so sweet words expressed during some bad times. But, all heartfelt expressions written in rhyme, with or without reason.

My favorite discovery was from way back in 2007, and an email I had sent to friends. It was about when my little neighbor and chocolate brownie baking Buddy came over. The 8 year old budding artist/baker/poet is now in college. I don’t live nextdoor anymore, I’m not married anymore, and I don’t get to see my little buddy anymore, but I’m still baking brownies and always think of sweet little Rebekah. Time flies too quickly, but memories, photos, prose, and poetry prevail.

November 27, 2007. 7:47 AM

   Yesterday, my little friend Rebekah came over. She hadn’t been over for over a week. They had gone to visit Grandma for Thanksgiving, etc. and had been very busy. She informed me again that my doorbell must be broken because she would ring it and I did not come to the door, so she would knock very hard and the dogs would bark and I would then know she was there. I thought perhaps she wasn’t pushing the bell hard enough, or maybe in my advanced old age, perhaps I just didn’t hear it ringing. But, upon further investigation, we both tried ringing the bell and it just wasn’t working. So, we better get that fixed or I may miss my important callers.

   So, just as we were getting into our conversation of Thanksgiving, school, what we wanted for Christmas, etc., the phone rang. I was on the phone a few minutes so she proceeded to go into the pantry to find some ritual chocolate for snacking and also came out with a box of brownie mix and a huge grin on her face. She has the mime thing going down pretty well for an 8 year old. She held up the box with a question in her eyes, I nodded yes in return. She went and got the step stool out of the pantry and the apron out of the drawer. I got out the eggs and oil and bowl while she poured out the sampling chocolate chips into a little cup. Now mind you, all this is being done without a single word being exchanged. We have it down to a science. She even held up an egg and asked with her eyes if she could crack it alone, but I shook my head no and held up my just wait a minute finger. We haven’t gone solo on the egg cracking yet. I help her and we crack it together and she opens and lets it drop. No egg shells in the batter so far.

    By the time I got off the phone just a few minutes later, the brownie mix was already stirring with all the ingredients and ready for baking all without a single word. Pretty cool!

But of course this has nothing to do with the topic title of the day, One Poet at a Time, now does it?

   A couple weeks ago, November 14th to be exact, my little baking buddy had come over, but Mr. Tony was home early and not feeling well and was in bed asleep, so we were whispering and very quiet. I remember the date because I looked back into my morning pages that I write every day because it was a special day. Rebekah came to the door with her big smile and shining eyes, as usual, and she had her little school notebook with little books and stories and poems that she likes to read to me. So I let her in with my finger over my lips and whispered, “Mr. Tony is sleeping,” and she tip-toed in, set her folder down and went into the pantry for some chocolate. We sat at the table and she asked if I wanted to hear some poems they were reading at school. She is a very good and fast reader, so she was done with her poems in just a few minutes. I told her that I love poetry and when I was little, I used to like to write my own poems.

   Now, what can we do quietly for an hour or so? I said, “Why don’t we write a poem?” So we sat at the table and took turns thinking of a word and thinking of other words that rhymed. We said book, look, took, shook, etc. We did that for about 10 or 12 words and that was fun. Then I said, “Let’s write a poem about Fall,” because that was what her poems were about. I explained about alliteration and using words with the same letters and  rhythm and iambic pentameter and some other aspects of poetry, but of course without using the big words, just explaining them. So I asked, “What should the title be?” We wanted to write about fall, so what is a word that starts with the letter F that would sound good and right away she said FANCY. Well, that was perfect. What is a better way to describe the beautiful colors of Fall? So the title was FANCY FALL and here is her poem.

                                                     FANCY FALL


                                           Fancy Fall, fancy Fall,

                                           That’s my favorite time of all.

                                           Colorful leaves fall from the trees,

                                           I go outside and feel the breeze.

                                           I wear my coat outside to play,

                                           Some leaves fell on my head today.

                                           The color of the leaves are pretty,

                                           As the beautiful leaves fall on the city.


                                           by Rebekah Reynolds


   Now isn’t that adorable? I really didn’t  help much except with some spelling questions and a little rhythm. I was very proud of her and we also found something fun and creative to do while waiting for brownies to bake or trying to keep quiet on a cool autumn afternoon.

   So, one poet at a time! It only takes a little time out of my day to nurture a budding artist or poet or professional chocolatier. I certainly enjoy sharing my talents with others because I get so much more back in the process. Just thought I would share that story with you and as always…….. HAK——hugs and kisses and TC….Take care!!!!!


Now, that is a very special poem and a very special young lady.

Throwback Theme Song Thursday:) Frosty the Snow Man

14 Dec

Snowmen fall from heaven unassembled.     



I thought I’d share a throwback craft project from last year, and add a little theme Song music for the holidays.


Last year around this time, I was at Mom’s place, painting ornaments, boxes, notecards, and making snowmen craft projects with mini and regular size Hershey bars. It’s a fun and easy project. Mom loved passing them out to her friends. I sure do miss my mom. It’s hard to believe that she’s not here. This is our first Christmas without her. But, she’s a crafting, painting, singing, dancing, and playing piano in heaven. That’s my Angel Mother.

Here’s the snowman project…

The little ones are cute too, aren’t they?

Just measure the width of the candy bar and add an inch. I just used white copy paper. The hats and eyes were made with black construction paper. The orange nose with construction paper too. A glue stick and tape are the easiest for securing. I used ribbon for the scarves and frayed the edges, twisting together with some wired star ribbon. A little pink chalk for the cheeks. You can improvise with materials you have at hand. You can use real buttons or felt for the hats. I just happened to have some cool things. You can also just use markers for the eyes and nose. Even the scarf could be drawn on with markers. Just use you imagination. One thing to be careful of… don’t eat all the candy before you get a chance to make the snowmen. (It’s been known to happen.)

Throwback Thursday:) Old Photographs and Faded Memories

16 Mar

“A photograph shouldn’t be just a picture, it should be a philosophy.”

Amit Kalantri, Wealth of Words


A good day to go through old photographs. And yes, I am that old that my first pictures and memories were all in black and white.

I was an adorable blonde baby in the 50’s.

I’m the cute one in the middle. I’m still workin’ the curly

My grandfather who I never met, above. My dad’s father.

Another group of adorable little girls with Mom. I’m still the cute one in the middle.

My father’s WWII army picture. Small, but you get the picture.

My great-grandparents with my mother.

My cute mom when she was a baby, and my grandparents.

Thursday, a few throwback photographs.