Tuesday:) Toni Talks About McKinney

16 Jan

Small towns make up for their lack of people by having everyone be more interesting.     

Doris “Granny D” Haddock


McKinney feels like a small town even though it is growing by leaps and bounds. But, it still has that small town atmosphere. There are no strangers, just people you haven’t met yet. Hang out on the Square a while, and you’ll make new friends.

Monday afternoons, I go to the Senior Center for the country line dance. Growing up and spending nearly 50 years in the Chicago area, I know nothing about country music or dancing. Hey, you’re never too old to learn. Right? I’m learning. I’m having fun. Then, I stayed after for the group line dance instruction class.

No, I don’t wear boots and a cowboy hat, but it’s never too late.

After the dance and the instruction class, it was almost time to go to McKinney Creative Community over at the Cove. I was already on the east side, so I just hung around until 5:30.

This group of talented local artists, writers, musicians, and creative people meet the second Monday of every month for a pot-luck gathering, to share, care, and stare at one another. We usually have a wonderful guess speaker. This month, Rachel Reitan, provided a very interesting presentation on portrait art and the motivational and inspirational process of an artist. Fascinating!

It is so interesting to learn about other artists and their creative process. Rachel spends hours with her clients before and during their portrait painting session, learning about their life so she can express that feeling into the portrait. If you want a photo, take a photo. Don’t expect a portrait to look like a photo. If you want the heart and soul of a person reflected in a painted portrait, call Rachel Reitan. If you live somewhere far from McKinney, find a local artist to paint your special portrait.

I love living in my little town.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

15 Jan

“Of this our true individual life, our present life is a glimpse, a fragment, a hint, and in its best moments a visible beginning.”

~Josiah Royce


A wonderful week. Back home and into my old routine. It was my birthday week, or should I say my birthday month. I’m still celebrating.

A week in a Peek.

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff

14 Jan

“Feeling appreciated is one of the most important needs that people have. When you share with someone your appreciation and gratitude, they will not forget you. Appreciation will return to you many times.”

Steve Brunkhorst


A cold dreary Sunday morning, but that’s ok. I had my sock monkey hat to keep me warm. It was fun greeting before Mass, and seeing all the smiles.

I had a little matchbox car for Liam and Matt in my pocket, and little stuffed animal for Avery. There was a lot of hugging and handshaking and smiling. Then, to make my day even brighter, Young Matt had a present for me. He remembered that I collected crosses, so look at my beautiful birthday gift.

Today’s Gospel was the story of people wondering if John the Baptist was the Savior, but the Holy Spirit descended to announce that Jesus was the true son of God.

:15-16, 21-22

15As the people were in expectation, and all men questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether perhaps he were the Christ, 16John answered them all, “I baptize you with water; but he who is mightier than I is coming, the thong of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie; he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. 21Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, 22and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, “Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased.”

My take on it… we are not always certain of what is true and who we can rely on, but we just need to be patient and all will be released in good time.

Normally I stop at McDonald’s or the store on my way home, but I’m still feeling yucky and just wanted to come home and take a nap. I gave it a shot, but I just lay there coughing and stuffy, so I got up and did some housework. Later, I went for a long walk in the cold dreary afternoon. Yes, I’m crazy. I walk even when I feel lousy. It gives me energy and makes me feel better.

I got a call from my son asking if I wanted to FaceTime with my beautiful grand-daughters, so I scurried home. There were also some beautiful pictures waiting for me on the Cloud.

Who wouldn’t love that little face?

Sister time. How cute! I really appreciate our special Sunday FaceTime.

Today was a great day to appreciate my many blessings, but also what a great feeling to be appreciated by friends and family. Yes, I am blessed.

Saturday:) Still Sick, Still Celebrating, Saw the Movie “The Mule.”

13 Jan

“Either you shine in the dark or get lost in the light.”

― Soham Mondal


My cold, flu, virus, or whatever it is I have is still lingering. Last night the pounding headache wouldn’t go away. This morning, I still had a sore throat, cough, runny nose, but the headache was better after a few Tylenol. So this morning, I made a big pot of hot tea with lemon and honey, checked my email, then did what any terribly sick achey person would do on a cold drizzly day…

I bundled up and went for a brisk hour walk. And you know what? The fresh air and brisk movement actually made me feel better. I’m more miserable sitting around on the couch than I am when I’m busy and active.

Later, I met my friend Zelda for yet another birthday lunch at Olive Garden. We decided to go to a movie on this yucky dark day. It was a toss up between “The Mule,” or “Second Act.” We drove over to the theatre, still deciding, Clint Eastwood or Jennifer Lopez. We decided on Clint. I’m glad we did.

I was worried that it would be too sad, but it turned out to be insightful and sending a solid message. The message being, family is more important than work, popularity, money, and ambition. Also, that it’s never too late to try and make it up to your family.

Another good message. Look at old Clint Eastwood. He’s still working, still acting and directing, still not sitting still. Don’t sit still, whether you’re old or sick or feeling lazy, KEEP ON GOING.

Friday:) Fabulous Food, Friends, and Firemen

12 Jan

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”



After a wonderful birthday celebration with friends yesterday, and celebrating at Bob’s house last night, he was kind enough to send me home with a lot of leftovers to share with my firemen and friends. Miss Loretta’s cake, Miss Pat’s chocolate cake and cookies, and my brownies were perfect to share, so I was able to make up several trays of treats to share.

I took a little plate over to my neighbor Kathy, the little boys across the street who giggled with glee, and my neighbor Diane who watched my house while I was away. Then, I stopped by Fire Station 9 with a large tray.

After that, another stop at Fire Station 2. I hadn’t been there in a while. My treats are always appreciated.

I called Miss Kathy over at Towne Creek and asked if they were getting together for dinner. She said they already had a potluck at lunch time, but she would gather some ladies for an impromptu dinner. They had some leftovers, and she knew that Miss Nelma would love to see me. We had a wonderful friendly feast. Miss Dorothy said a beautiful prayer as we joined hands and thanked God for our many blessings and friendship.

It was a drizzly grey day, I have a cold, sore throats, headache, and laryngitis, but it was a wonderful day. You know why? Because sharing, caring, and friendship always brightens my day. Happy Friday, my friends.

Thursday:) This Is What I Did On My Birthday

11 Jan

“If you can’t be silly and have an amazing day on your birthday, when can you?”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


What a wonderful birthday. I celebrated all day, starting with a great morning meeting of The Art Club of McKinney. I got to sit next to my friend Bonita, AND today I’d her birthday too. We are twin sisters from another mother and another town.

I went to lunch afterwards with Sherri and Sherry at the Pantry, then we walked around the square a little while, window shopping and being silly.

(I call this a “Como se LLAMA Lama.”)

When I got home, I put some brownies in the oven to take to Bob’s housewarming party. Monday, he asked if I was coming, and I told him probably not because it was my birthday. I didn’t want to steal his thunder. So, I said that I would come for my surprise birthday party. Of course I was joking, but when I walked in, they all sang happy birthday and Miss Pat baked a cake and Miss Loretta brought a birthday cake with my name on it. I crashed my own birthday party.

Friends. I have the best.

Oh, then of course there was the FaceTime call with my little grandchildren. So cute!


I received so many calls and texts and presents, not to mention a zillion birthday wishes on Facebook. Both sons called me, Belle sang, and Matt sent flowers and chocolates, Auntie Debbie and my friend Miss Donna sent gifts, and Auntie Ann sent homemade cookies and a fun cookie platter that says, “I want it all, and I want it covered in chocolate. (She knows me)

I am so blessed. When I count my blessings, I sit back and smile and think, “I can’t count that high.” Happy birthday to me.

Wednesday:) What Ya Been Up To, Miss Toni

10 Jan

“The secret of salvation is this: keep sweet, be useful, and keep busy.”

Elbert Hubbard


I’ve been back a week from my almost five weeks in Chicago. I’m getting back into my routine and back to my busy life. I do like to keep busy.

Monday morning, a long walk was followed by the country dance at the senior center at 1. We take a break around 2 and have a potluck lunch, then dance until 3:30. I’m still trying to learn some of those line dances.

I stopped at the Dollar Tree afterwards and picked up some ceramic bowls for me and my seniors to paint for Empty Bowls. I killed enough time to get over to Delaney’s for the Single Mingle dinner at 5. We had a nice big group.

Tuesday, I was up by 7am, went to the YMCA for Zumba class at 8:15, my first time back since before Thanksgiving. I forgot half the routines and missed learning the other half. I decided to get the old bones and old knees moving and ride the bike a few miles. I managed to average a 5 minute mile.

Later, lunch with my neighbor Diane, followed by a long walk, then dinner with Kathy across the street. Now, that’s a busy day.

This morning, I took a brisk walk and 70 minutes flew by. It was garbage day, so I also picked up scattered trash that I encountered along the way. Walking is good for my well-being, but also a good time to tidy up the neighborhood. A win-win.

I probably would have walked longer, but I was meeting some girlfriends at 11:30 for lunch to celebrate my birthday. I scurried to Olive Garden and had a wonderful lunch and catch up visit with some wonderful friends.

This evening was our support group at church 7-9pm. I was excited to share some pictures and tell them all about my great visit with family and new grand-baby.

With all this activity, I kinda got the feeling that I may have over done it a little. When I got home this evening, I realized that my feet are killing me, my knees are sore, my shoulders ache, and I have a sore throats and runny nose.

I do like to keep busy, but maybe I should have eased back into it a little bit. Another busy day tomorrow … oops… never mind.