Thursday:) The Land of the Free…

26 Apr

“In order to continue being the land of the free, we all need to do our part, and not take our freedom for granted.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Today, I decided to take advantage of early voting for Municipal elections in Collin County. I get the feeling that there will be a small turnout for this local election that is filling positions for local city government, and also voting on bond proposals. Local elections usually have low voter turnout. We are so lucky to have the privilege of voting, so it is our responsibility to go out and vote.

Besides having the privilege of voting, we also have the freedom of religion. After voting, I drove over to St. Gabriel the Archangel to drop off a donation for the upcoming annual bingo night auction. The ladies club had requested donations of wine or wine related items. I thought that a couple of hand-painted wine glasses and a bottle of wine would make a nice donation. It’s also important to support your church.

After dropping of the donation at the parish office, I walked across the way to the new sanctuary. As I knelt all alone before the altar, admiring the gorgeous lilies and in awe of the beautiful artwork, statues and colorful stained glass, again, I thought how lucky we are to live in this country. Not all are afforded these freedoms.

Now, right here on this blog, I’m able to write about anything thing I want, which demonstrates my freedom of speech. Yes, this is a great country and I’m pleased and blessed to be living in the United States of America.

My personal advice, don’t take these freedoms for granted.

Wednesday:) Wild Horses Couldn’t ……..

24 Apr

If I paint a wild horse, you might not see the horse… but surely you will see the wildness!

Pablo Picasso

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Wild horses often symbolize freedom, youth, energy, and the untamed spirit. I’ve always loved drawing or painting horses. I’m not saying that I do it well, but I enjoy trying. Often, in my unskilled attempt to capture the beauty of the magnificent creatures, the crudeness of skill adds to the wildness of the subject.

I had painted some horses on a section of old fencing a few years back, and when I moved into my new house nearly five years ago, the horses were stabled and buried in the mess of chaos known as my garage, piled behind card tables and lawn chairs. I took them out one day and just leaned the section against my fence in the back yard. The paint had faded and it looked pretty sad, so I went out with a paintbrush and some paint and gave those wild stallions a little touch up.

Now, they look wild and free.

If you were asked to fill in the blank, what would you say?

Wild horses couldn’t…………..!

Tuesday:) Talkin’ ‘Bout The Texas Bluesmen

24 Apr

“We’re gonna go in, and see the penguin. Elwood: Our Lady of Blessed Acceleration, don’t fail me now. Elwood: We’re on a mission from God. Elwood: There are 106 miles to Chicago, we have a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.” Jun 20, 1980

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Saturday night, a group of friends stopped over to Delaney’s Irish Pub in McKinney to catch an amazing performance by the Texas Bluesmen. “The Blues Brothers” movie has always been a favorite of mine, mostly because it took place in Chicago, but it was hilarious… a classic. If you never saw the movie, you need to check it out. Here’s a synopsis.

After his release from prison, Jake (John Belushi) reunites with his brother, Elwood (Dan Aykroyd) — collectively known as the “Blues Brothers.” Jake’s first task is to save the orphanage the brothers grew up in from closing, by raising $5,000 to pay back taxes. The two are convinced they can earn the money by getting their old band back together. However, after playing several gigs and making a few enemies, including the police, the brothers face daunting odds to deliver the money on time.

Release date: June 16, 1980 (USA)

Saturday, we were entertained by Justin Clark (Elwood) and Paul Andrews (Jake) and they were hilarious, talented, great singers and dancers, and all around cool guys. They had Jake and Elwood down to a tee, voices, songs, dancing, and harmonica. So cool!

They took a short break outside to cool off and recover from all that dancing and singing. Justin and Paul also happen to be the DJ’s who alternate hosting the Thursday night karaoke nights at Delaney’s Irish Pub. It’s always a blast. Come on down and join us around 7:30. You don’t have to sing, but if you like to sing, all the better. Great food and fun and friends. Bring your own friends or make some new ones.

6150 Eldorado Pkwy in McKinney on the other end of Market Street

You should check out their Facebook page. They might be coming to a town near you. If ya run into dem, make sure to tell dem, Toni, dat nice lady from Chicago, says “Hi!”

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peep

23 Apr

“Love only grows by sharing. You can only have more for yourself by giving it away to others.”

― Brian Tracy

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Another week flew by in a whirlwind of fun and friends and busy activities. A lot of laughing and baking, sharing and caring.

My favorite baking project is my Easter cupcakes.

A week in a “Peep.”

Sunday Sermon and Some Other Stuff:) Happy Easter

22 Apr

“Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life.”

~Janine di Giovanni

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A beautiful sunny Easter morning here in North Texas. Our regular 9 am Mass started at 8:30 in the new sanctuary and an 8:40 in the old sanctuary. I was greeting this morning, so I arrived at 7:30 and the parking lot was already getting full. By 8:15, we were told to steer people over to the old church for the next Mass at 8:40. It was wonderful to see all the bright happy faces and the children all smiling in their new outfits. There were many hugs with old friends and greetings with new faces.

Today’s Gospel and Sermon, of course, was about the resurrection. It was discovered that the tomb where Jesus was buried was empty…

“Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying, 7and the napkin, which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. 8Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; 9for as yet they did not know the scripture, that he must rise from the dead.”

I hadn’t heard, or maybe had forgotten the symbolism of the napkin not lying with the scattered clothing. The napkin was rolled up or neatly folded by itself, symbolizing the tradition of the master folding his napkin neatly if he left during a meal to let his servants know that he would return and not to take away his dishes. If the napkin was just tossed or crumpled on the table, then he was finished and not returning. The place could be cleared. When the tomb was opened and Jesus was gone, the napkin that was on his head was rolled up neatly, signifying He would return. And…He did!

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My take on it, well, there are other views and thoughts about the resurrection and heaven and life after death. Some people believe in a life after this one, and others don’t. Personally, I believe, and I believe in heaven. I believe in symbolism and signs.

When my sweet angel mother was in her final hours, I whispered in her ear, “WHEN you get up to heaven, send us a sign. If anyone can do it, you can.” She did. Some of you know the story of the two lucky pennies my sister and I found found on the bench beneath her mural at the library. She knew that lucky pennies were my sign. When we went up to see the mural she had painted and donated to the Elgin library many years ago, two pennies were sitting there. I know there is a heaven and she’s in heaven. Mom said so.

Easter is a time for renewal, rebirth, and second chances. Happy Easter my friends.

Saturday:) Sayin’ Thank You To My Favorite “Peeps”

20 Apr

“Everybunny loves somebunny, sometime.”

(Popular song)

“Easter is a good time to count your blessings and say thank you to all your Peeps.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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This morning, I was sittin’ around with all my Peeps. Everybunny was relaxing. But, that didn’t last long. I still had much to do.

Yesterday, I baked around 150 mini chocolate cupcakes with a cherry in the middle, then made the frosting. This morning, it was time to frost, decorate and dispense the marshmallowy concoctions.

Now, here’s my secret, I use a thin pretzel to secure the Peep to the cupcake. Otherwise they tip over. (Experience talking)

My Peep army with General Godiva leading the troops. The Bunny Battalion.

Packing up the troops into smaller Bunny Brigades to take over to my Peeps at the Fire Stations.

I know, I know, it’s not all about bunnies and candy and Easter egg hunts and new clothes. It’s about the ultimate sacrifice, death and resurrection of Our Lord. But, it’s still a good time to count your blessings and say thank you to the people who sacrifice and care for us here on earth.

Happy Easter my friends.

Friday:) Fun and Games and My Bunny Baking Frenzy

19 Apr

“It’s all fun and games until I break out the marshmallow Peeps. Then, I get serious.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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With Easter just around the corner, I needed to start my baking frenzy today. It’s Good Friday, so a “Good” day to begin. I think I have all the cupcakes baked, and the frosting is made and in the fridge, waiting to frost them tomorrow. Then, I get to add the adorable marshmallow Peeps. Then, to stop over to a few of my local fire stations and a few neighbors, I frosted just a few today just to check out the consistency of the frosting. Looks good.

Let the frenzy begin! I’ll let you see the results tomorrow.

Hoppy Easter!