Thursday:) The Most Creative and Fun Event of the Year: McKinney Empty Bowls 2019

17 May

“If you can help the less fortunate and have a blast at the same time, that’s a win-win.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


McKinney Empty Bowls 2019 has been an entire year in the making. Artists, potters, artisans, volunteers and endless hours of effort went into this amazing event. I was overwhelmed by the community support and participation. There were hundreds of hand-crafted donated bowls that visitors had the opportunity to chose from. Their entry ticket allowed them to pick out any event bowl, and they could purchase additional bowls for $15 each. I saw people walking around with their arms laden with purchases.

the silent auction and celebrity bowls were a big hit, and a big money maker. I was honored that a couple of my bowls were featured.

I’m not sure what the final bid was on my bowl, but I did bid on it myself early on. Hopefully it went to a good home and made a little money for Community Lifeline.

Visitors were able to sample so many wonderful soups and desserts, pick out a bowl, and meet artists as they strolled along outside and inside MPAC.

It seems like every year the event gets bigger and better. I can’t wait to see how much they raised this year. I’m honored to be just a little teeny-tiny part of this wonderful endeavor to feed the hungry in our community.

Here’s the bowl I picked out… the brown one in front. I placed it on my piano with some of the others I’ve chosen over the years.

You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving.~

Amy Carmichael

Wednesday:) What’s Cookin’ Miss Toni???

16 May

” When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. But, when life gives you strawberries, dip them in chocolate,”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I really have never made lemonade with real lemons before, have you? Sounds like a lot of work. I just get a can of Minute Maid frozen concentrate. Oh, and the limeade is great for making margaritas.

I was at Sprouts on Sunday, and strawberries were on sale $1.88 for the big quart box. I had three events that I needed to take something for on Monday, so I decided to make a whole mess (3 boxes) of chocolate dipped strawberries. They’re actually pretty easy to make and you can’t beat the price. Kroger had the big fancy ones featured around Mother’s Day for something like $2 a piece. Yikes! So, I made my own.

The first thing you do is wash and dry a zillion strawberries.

Then, you melt 3 bags of semi-sweet chocolate chips in the microwave with about 2 tablespoons of canola oil. I zapped it 1 minute, stirred, then zapped another 30 seconds at a time till smooth. Then, hand dip each one.

Then, you place them on waxed paper and put in the fridge for 5 or 10 minutes. I put one pan in while preparing the next. (I only had room for one at a time.) You don’t want to leave them in there too long, just till they set. I made them right before leaving so they would be fresh.

Wow! I just counted. 103, less the ones I “taste tested.”

My first stop, as always, is Fire Station 9, (large ones on the left) then to the country dance at the senior center. (The right) A third batch went to McKinney Creative Community at 5:30, and there was some left over for Station 2 on the way home. Oh, and about a dozen for Miss Kathy across the street to take to work. I made sure all were gone so I wouldn’t be forced to eat more than the two I taste tested in the beginning.

Life is better when it’s dipped in chocolate.

Tuesday:) Two More Days ‘Til Empty Bowls

15 May

“One of the greatest feelings in the world is knowing that we as individuals can make a difference. Ending hunger in America is a goal that is literally within our grasp.”

~Jeff Bridges


Our entire community has been gearing up for this year’s Empty Bowls event for months. This Thursday is the big day.

Local artists, potters, teachers, students and volunteers have been crafting creating, glazing and painting bowls all year long.

Empty Bowls is an annual event hosted by St. Peter’s Episcopal Church to increase awareness of hunger in McKinney. Your ticket will help feed the hungry in our community, and you will be able to sample wonderful soups, breads, and desserts from local restaurants. You will also be able to pick out a handcrafted souvenir bowl as a reminder of the bowls that remain empty and the people that often go hungry. Proceeds benefit Community Lifeline Center.

Help us fight the hunger cycle right here in McKinney!

See you in downtown McKinney at the McKinney Performing Arts Center,

6-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 16

Here are a few of the bowls my senior art friends from Towne Creek painted and donated.

I was surprised and honored when friends told me that my picture was in the Community Impact Newspaper.

One of my donations is being featured in the silent auction. I loved painting this one of a kind piece.

Here are more amazing bowls created by local potters and artists.

I hope to see you Thursday evening on the Square. It will be fun and will be helping a great cause.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

14 May

Time is free, but it’s priceless. You can’t own it, but you can use it. You can’t keep it, but you can spend it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.     

Harvey McKay


A week in a peek. Time well spent.

Sunday:) Mother’s Day Tribute

12 May

The loveliest masterpiece of the heart of God is the heart of a mother.” – –

~St. Therese of Lisieux


A beautiful sunny Sunday after endless gray days of rain and gloom. Greeting before Mass was especially cheerful with all the Mother’s Day greetings and hugs.

When I got home, I got to FaceTime with my grand-daughters and Joe and Lindsay.. Matt sent me flowers and there were endless texts and FaceTime greetings.

But, when I woke this morning, I said a special “good morning” to my sweet Angel Mother in heaven. Happy Mother’s Day.

A little video tribute to Mom. Love you! Miss you!

Saturday:) “Insight Out Jazz Art” at The Cove

12 May

“Creativity and insight almost always involve an experience of acute pattern recognition: the eureka moment in which we perceive the interconnection between disparate concepts or ideas to reveal something new.”

~Jason Silva


Fred “Jazz” Roland’s vibrant expression of color, contour and concert was featured this weekend at The Cove. Helene and I stopped in to enjoy the colorful art exhibit and smooth sultry music performed by The Tribe.

Photography by Brandy Roland was also featured. Brandy’s descriptive black and white New York street scenes were very powerful.

A shout out to my friend Bob Romans

If you missed the show, the art show will be open one more day, Sunday, May 12 from 6-9 at The Cove. 402 N Tennessee, just north of the McKinney Square.

Friday:) Friends, Firemen and a Frosty Black Russian

11 May

“If I had a dollar for each wonderful friend I’ve made in my life, I’d be the richest person in the world. Wait! I am the richest person without the money.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Friday evening is always a good day to reflect on the events of the week. I keep pretty busy, and I’ve been blessed with so many friends to share that time with.

After our Art Club Luncheon yesterday, Helene and I walked around the square a little while. We stopped at the Visitors Center to say hi to Sue and Beth, the coolest ambassadors of what’s going on in Mckinney.

We passed by Snug on the Square, and low and behold, Sandra was inside making arrangements for the re-opening of Snug on the Go. I haven’t seen her in ages and a good squeezey hug was in order.

Then yesterday, my dear friend Lynne was moving, so I needed to stop by for a quick visit and a tour of her new beautiful house. She rolled out the red carpet for me… literally.

Another stop at Fire Station 9 with cookies and a pecan pie, compliments of Miss Pat, the cookie lady.

Today, I walked the dog a few times, then Helene and I went to lunch and the movies. When I got home, I strapped on my gym shoes and grabbed my umbrella for an evening walk. Long day, good week.

Now, time to post my blog, put up my feet and sip on my traditional Friday Black Russian. CHEERS, my friends.