Archive | August, 2019

Saturday:) Strangers On A Plane

18 Aug

“When strangers start acting like neighbors… communities are reinvigorated.”

~Ralph Nader


I finally had a lazy uneventful day. It’s too hot to go for a long walk, and no one called to invite me on an adventure. How lovely.

Today, I wanted to tell you about a lovely lady I met on the plane when I was returning home from California last week. If you’ve done some traveling, I’m sure you know that cramped uncomfortable feeling of sitting elbow to elbow on a jam-packed airplane. It’s a giant sardine can in the sky. The only redeeming grace is meeting interesting people along the way.

I have a tendency to talk to strangers, but I also have a keen sense of who is approachable and who I should avoid. I strongly believe that people give off an electrical energy that can be sensed if you just pay attention. A slight smile and friendly body language are other indicators. I’ve been fortunate to meet the most interesting people when I travel,

My new friend Judith and I started our conversation with a few pleasantries. By the time the coffee/beverage cart came around, we were sharing family photos and funny stories. I showed her pictures of my artwork and of course, my grand-daughters. She has identical twin daughters and a wonderful husband.

Judith was traveling to Dallas with her husband, but he was up in business class and she was way in the back with me in “low class.” We laughed about that. He was speaking at a conference on business with his ticket provided, and she wanted to tag along and see Dallas and had to buy her own ticket. He walked back later and apologized, saying that he was going to come back and switch seats with me, but he had fallen asleep. I told him that I was happy that he fell asleep because I got the chance to spend time with his charming wife. His name is Tony…HA! That was easy to remember.

I also shared several baking tips with my new friend. The next day, when she texted me from her hotel, she reiterated the tips I gave her on using mini marshmallows in brownies, aluminum foil at the bottom of upside down cake, and putting fresh bread slices on top of day old brownies to keep moist. I was honored that she remembered. She also sent me a lovely picture of her family.

The world is filled with beautiful people, you just have to take a little time to say hello and meet them. You never know, you just might make a new friend.

Friday:) From the Fire Into the Texas Frying Pan and My Firemen.

17 Aug

“It’s not just hot out there, it’s DANG HOT!”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


How hot was it, Miss Toni? It was so hot that I went into the fridge and found a cold York peppermint patty and ate it. I don’t even like mint, but it sounded like a good idea at the time.

The good news is my air conditioning is working like a charm after Joplin’s came out Tuesday to replace EVERYTHING. The bad news is, the bill will be on my next credit card statement.πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ

I picked up Bella around 8 this morning and took her for a walk, brought her home, then walked about a mile or so on the shady side of the street before the heat escalated. Around 11, I headed over to the Square to meet my friend Sandy for lunch, but first a quick stop at Station 9 to drop off some of my brownies and Miss Pat’s cookies. Just as I pulled into the lot, the fire truck and ambulance pulled out. Thank goodness I keep an insulated bag in my car so I could come back later.

Sandy and I had a nice lunch at The Pantry and did some catching up. Later, I visited Gail over at The Last Gallery, and stopped for an ice tea at SNUG on the Square. I actually got to see Miss Sandra (the owner) running in and out, but stopped her long enough to do a quick selfie and get a hug, She is so sweet.

I stopped for groceries and gas at Kroger on the way home. I was so excited because I finally had some Kroger points, enough to get 20 cents off a gallon. I don’t drive that much, so my points kept expiring before I could use them. $1.83 a gallon, or something like that. Woo-double-hoo.

The fire trucks were back in their bay when I drove home. (The station is walking distance from my house) I dropped off the cookies and brownies. Of course, I always get greeted with a smile and my previous container. I told the young firefighter that he sounded out of breath when he answered the phone. He said he had been running and working out. I told him it was to hot out there, and he smiled and said, “We’ve got to stay in shape and work off all these cookies.” Cute.

After I got home and put my groceries away and fed he dog, I was looking at Facebook. Sherri Murphy had a cool picture of a little restaurant in Celina, and mentioned that she’d have to go back with a girlfriend sometime. I commented, “I know just the girlfriend!” Sherri is my impromptu buddy that calls and says, “What ya doin'” and off we go on some adventure. I smiled to myself, and a second later when my phone rang, and I saw it was Sherri. I answered the phone, “I’m putting on my shoes. Where we goin’ ?” She laughed hysterically.

She invited me to go with her to an open house grand opening for a new shop on the Square, FINE + WELL. So, off we go in a few minutes on a new adventure. I’ll have pictures as soon as I get back. BYE!….

Well, I’m back. Sherri and I had dinner at Spoons, and walked around a little. It was still extremely hot out there. But, we had a great meal and seat by the window at Spoon’s.

We walked over to Fine +WELL. It’s a quaint new shop on the Square featuring comfortable natural fiber clothing, wellness consultations and classes, CBD products, and promoting other ways to live a more healthful life.

Owner, Carlene Saelg, took some time to explain the concept of the new shop and future plans. It was great to see a lot of the old familiar faces and friends.

Sherri had picked me up, so when we got back to my house, she stopped in for a while to join me for Black Russian Friday. Nice! Cheers, my friends!

Theme Song Thursday:) This One’s For You, Jerry!

16 Aug

“Sing a special song for a special friend, and hopefully that will make them feel special.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


We had a blast this evening at Delaney’s Irish Pub singing karaoke. Loretta, Pat, and I sang Jerry’s favorite song, “My Funny Valentine.” Jerry’ was laid up in the hospital a few days, and home now, so he couldn’t make it to karaoke.

This one’s for you Jerry!

The evening started out slow, but more and more people filtered in. A bunch of us got up and danced and laughed and sang. It was great fun.

Then, Pete got up and sang “Me and Mrs. Jones” per my request. I love that song and he has the perfect voice for it.

Another fun night with friends, singing, dancing and sharing laughs.

Wednesday:) What Ya Been Up To, Miss Toni?

15 Aug

“I’ve been busier than a horsefly at a rodeo.”

~Toni Andrukaitis and maybe someone else


I’ve used this quote before many times, and I thought I made it up many years ago. I just Googled it again to see who may have said it originally, but the only name that comes up is mine. So, maybe I’m not the first one who said it, but I’m on Google’s short list.

Since I’ve gotten back from my wonderful relaxing vacation in California, I hit the ground running. Yesterday, I had my complete air conditioning system replaced. I wasn’t the busy one, but these poor young men spent well over 8 hours in the unbearable heat outside and in the attic. A big thank you to D and Brandon from Bill Joplin’s AC and Heating. I got a photo before they were drenched.

So, today I am cool and well, I’m just all around pretty cool! I got up and went over to pick up Bella, my little doggie buddy that I keep an eye on when Mr. Mike travels. It rained last night, so it was cool this morning. After our walk, I did my own solo walk of a couple miles.

I went over to the Independent Bank to take care of something that I could have done online, but I rather deal with people face to face. Plus, they know me there, and they say, “Good morning, Miss Toni.” And I say, “Hi, Miss Monica. How are you?” You don’t get that online. (Monica and Amber)

Then, my friend, Linda Grossman, (World’s Greatest Realtor) and I were texting and she asked what I was up to, so we met for lunch. She’s been super busy, (because she is the World’s greatest realtor) but we hadn’t seen each other in a while. She needed a little break and catch up time.

What else did I do? Oh, I returned something at the store, dropped off some brownies at Fire Station 5, then came home and walked the dog. The garbage truck was coming down the street, so I chased him down a couple houses to give him a cold Dr. Pepper. He’s fast. It was really hot out there.

It was after 6 pm, and I wanted to go visit Mr. Jerry over at Baylor Hospital. He was doing a little better this evening after having a rough morning. (If you can say a little prayer for Mr. Jerry?) I stopped in the chapel on the first floor on my way out.

Then, off to our St. Helen’s support group at church at 7. I got home a little before 9, then remembered when I saw mine, that Mr. Mike‘s garbage cans were still out. I scooted over there to take them in his garage. The moon was so big and beautiful. I had to stop and take some pictures. Isn’t that grand!

Home to walk Bella in the park in the dark with a big flashlight. She loves the park. I came in and started writing about my adventures of the day. Are you exhausted yet? I am. But, this was just a wonderful busy day in my wonderful busy life. I am blessed with so many friends and daily blessings.

Happy Wednesday, my friends.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Montage Monday, Just a Day Late

14 Aug

β€œHow did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”

― Dr. Seuss


I usually post my montage on Monday because it’s alliterative. I love alliteration. Not, to be confused with illiterative, which is quite a different story and really, there’s no such word. But, yesterday I wanted to share our McKinney Creative Community potluck pictures and story.

Another hot one today. Some of you already know that my air conditioning was acting up and basically blowing around hot air for a weeks. I had Bill Joplin’s AC come out today and put in a brand new AC system in my not quite 5year old house. Crazy! It took those poor young men all day, from 8:30 till around 5 to install it. I have no idea how hot it was in the attic, well over 100. They were drenched when they finished. Well, my house is cool as a Collin County cucumber now. I think I’ll go put on a sweater. (Just kidding)

Here’s a week in a peek…just a day late…

Monday and McKinney Creative Community

13 Aug

β€œTo be creative means to be in love with life. You can be creative only if you love life enough that you want to enhance its beauty, you want to bring a little more music to it, a little more poetry to it, a little more dance to it.”

― Osho


Our August McKinney Creative Community potluck gathering at the Cove tonight was very interesting and informative. Our guest speaker, Jeannette Teel, Jeannette brought so many interesting locks and keys that she’s collected and purchased over the years. She creates one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces with these antique or vintage locks and keys, some as old as 300 years.

Each unique piece is not only a beautiful art form, but has a fascinating history or story to go along with it. Jeannette’s passion is only surpassed by her creativity.

It made me think of all the sentimental items that we hold onto over the years, and how maybe, just maybe, they could be turned into a sentimental piece of jewelry or some kind of artwork. I made a joke and said, “I have my old high school gym locker combination lock that I could wear around my neck, but it’s kinda heavy.”

It was a great evening sharing time, food, and ideas with other creative and like-minded friends at The Cove.

And, the perfect end to a great evening was the gorgeous sunset on my drive home.

Sunday Sermon and Other Stuff

11 Aug

β€œWhat we spend, we lose. What we keep will be left for others. What we give away will be ours forever.”

― David McGee


A beautiful, yet steamy Sunday morning. It’s going to be pretty darn hot all week. It was nice to be back greeting at the door before Mass. All my little children, “the usual suspects” were there today. I gave away three matchbox cars and a little stuffed doggie, and a lot of hugs were exchanged.

Today’s Gospel according to Luke was about living this life in preparation for the next. Sell your possessions and share with those in need.

“For wherever your treasure is, that is where your heart will be too.”

Be vigilant, like the servants waiting for their master to return.

“Blessed those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes. In truth I tell you, he will do up his belt, sit them down at table and wait on them.”

My take on it… This life is just a preparation for the next, a testing ground, so to speak. We aren’t sure how long we have on this earthly planet, but we should make the most of it. Not just for ourselves, but for all of those around us.

Haven’t you felt that wonderful warmth in your heart when you do something nice for a friend or neighbor, or a random act of kindness for a stranger? That’s a wonderful feeling. The more you give away, the more you receive. It’s not a one time deal, or an occasional act, it’s should be a way of living.

I’m sure you are all feeling the aftershocks of the tragedies going on in our world right now. Instead of condemning and blaming, let’s rally together and support and help one another. Baby steps… one step at a time. We are all one family.

After church, I stopped at McDonald’s as I usually do with friends, but this morning, the usual friends weren’t there. So, I sat alone a while, drank my iced tea, looked at the church bulletin and did my traditional people watching. Being a writer with an active imagination, I always imagine who these strangers are and what their lives are like. Everyone has a story. I make up stories in my head about these folks, just from their mannerisms or who they are with or what they are wearing or eating. It’s a fun pastime.

The rest of my day has been very quiet. It’s too hot out to do anything outside or go for a walk. I miss my walks. But, tomorrow is the dance at 1 and Creative Community in the evening, so I’ll get some baking and running around in. Well, no actual running. It’s too darn hot. Google says it’s 98 degrees now. Yikes!