Tag Archives: firefighters

Friday Friends, Fun Art Projects, and My Firemen

12 Oct

” A day filled with good friends, great food, art, music, sharing and caring is the best kind of day.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Another crazy busy non-stop wild and wacky wonderful Friday. I hit the ground running, well, not exactly running, but walking pretty fast. I woke to temps in the 40’s as opposed to the 90’s yesterday, I’ve been doggie sitting, so she got several long walks. There were errands, post office, cleaners, and grocery store. But, I did take out about half an hour to stop at church for Adoration, and some special prayers. This slows me down and calms my soul.

Today was also my day to volunteer over at Towne Creek Senior Apartments, with my Young At Heart Artists. Trying to get packed up with all the art supplies and food by 2 o’clock is always a challenge. Helene has been joining me, and is such a big help. She always brings some yummy food to share. Today, she made homemade chicken salad. I made a big pot of chicken pot pie soup. It’s cream of chicken soup with potatoes, peas, carrots, and corn. We also had garlic bread, cherry pie, and butter pecan ice cream.

We were celebrating Miss Bonnie’s birthday today, and she was surprised and thrilled that we remembered her birthday.

We always have a feast, and anyone passing by or hanging around is always welcome to join us. We always have plenty to share.

Our project today was getting a jump on Christmas projects. We had some wooden snow flakes and glass wine bottles. The ladies all giggled when I came out of the craft closet with a Santa hat, so I had them all pose with their finished project wearing my hat.

It’s always so rewarding to share your time and talents with others. I love these lovely ladies.

Now for my friends the firefighters. Miss Pat gave me some cookies yesterday to drop off at Station 9.

I took some cupcakes over on Tuesday. These firefighters must really work out a lot. Look how skinny they are after all those treats.

Happy Friday, my friends.

Friday:) Fantastic Friends, Family, Holy Family School and My Firefighters

4 Oct

“When I count my blessings, I also make sure to factor in how I can share some of those blessings with others.”

“A home is only as strong as its foundation. Love is only as strong as the foundation of family and friends. I’m covered.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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When I count my blessings, well, I can’t count that high, so I have to stop after a few thousand.

My day started out with a really cool walk. Literally, it was cool this morning, 68. I could have used a sweater. (Didn’t last long. It’s 90 now.) I walked Bella around the pond, took her home, then walked another mile or two. Then, off to Zumba at the YMCA at 11:30.

I stopped at church for Adoration and to say a few special prayers for some special people. It was good to sit in the quiet chapel, allowing my heart rate to slow down and my mind to calm. I had texted Jerry earlier, to see if he was up for some company. He’s getting around better, and hoping to discard his back brace in a few days. He’s not one to sit still, and he is missing his traveling adventures after surgery. Good to see his smiling face.

I stopped at Kroger to pick up a few things. They seem to have some really great special on Friday. I decided that if I found some items that the children could use at Holy Family School, that I’d pick a few up every week and maybe go visit a couple of times a month or so. Today they had the large boxes of Fruit Loops on sale $1.49. I got five. 👍

Yesterday, Karen, Sherri, and I went over to Holy Family School with our bags and bags of Quaker granola bars that we, and several of our friends, had purchased to donate, around 60 boxes. Miss Sondra and the rest of the staff were so appreciative. We were able to tour the school, playground and gardens, and see the adorable babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers. Some were just waking from their naps.

After our tour, we stood outside and talked a while. We agreed that if a lot of people do just a little bit to help those in need, the world would be such a better place. I don’t have millions of dollars to give away, but I can spare $5 or $10 to purchase groceries or baby needs every now and then. And, when they have a great sale at the store, that makes it even better.

(Photo courtesy of Sherri Murphy, taken by Karen Donaldson)

When I count my blessings, I also make sure to factor in how I can share some of those blessings with others.

Oh yes, always time for a quick stop to the fire station. I had some of Miss Pat’s cookies and a bag full of Gatorade for station #9. Someone had posted on Facebook the other day that her husband was a fireman, and they often receive cookies and cupcakes. She said that was nice, but what they really could use is Gatorade or bottled water, and other things that they have to buy a lot of at the store. Great idea! A few people commented that they didn’t realize that firefighters have to buy their own groceries for their meals. 🤦‍♀️ Who did they think paid for their groceries?

Have a great Friday, my friends!!!!

Friday:) Friends, Fierce Storms, and My FireFighters

31 Aug

“There is peace even in the storm”

― Vincent Van Gogh

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I started out the morning with a fun Zumba class at the YMCA. Always great to start your day with dancing and music. After class, I stopped at McDonald’s with Doug for a quick breakfast. The skies were getting really dark. I was going to stop at the store, but then I decided to go over to St. Gabriel’s for Adoration instead. The second I walked out of my car into the chapel, the skies opened up and the thunder boomed. Good timing. What better place to wait out the storm than in the chapel for Adoration.

It was a three rosary storm, about an hour and a half. The rain was pelting against the windows and the thunder boomed, but it was surprisingly calm and peaceful inside.

The rain let up, and I scurried home. I decided to go for a walk around 7, as the temps cooled into the 70’s and it was gorgeous out. I only got as far as a block away. Mr. Vince and Miss Bernadine were sitting in their driveway and invited me to set a spell. Well, the spell lasted till well after dark. Thus, I didn’t get much of a walk in, but nice to chat and catch up with neighbors.

Now, for my firefighter friends. After my big party last Friday night, I had all kinds of food and baked goods to take over to Station 9 Saturday morning. I always make extra, just for that purpose. It was so funny. I had just pulled into the driveway when the fire truck was pulling out. The truck stopped behind me and the captain opened the door and said, “Hi Miss Toni. We’ll be right back. You can leave it by the door.”

I stopped by a couple hours later because I was making myself some lunch and totally forgot to take them some guacamole to go with the chips, salsa and nacho cheese.

Later in the week, I stopped by with some of Miss Pat’s cookies and some of my brownies for Station 9, and to pick up my previous containers. They had some visitors from other stations.

Then, a stop at my old original Station 5. This was my go to station when I first moved to Texas in ’04 until I moved a little north and the new Station 9 was built last year. I try to get to both stations when I can.

Captain Novatzyk at Station 9, walked me back to the door the other day, and she thanked me for all the visits with food and brownies. She said they really appreciated the thoughtfulness. I told her, “You all are like my family, and I appreciate all you do.” How blessed am I to have such a fine extended family?

Sunday Sermon and Some Sirens

19 Aug

Sometimes the Gospel reading is right on target. I think God has come to bring fire to the earth, and He started in Texas.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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It was already in the 90’s this morning, with a heat advisory for the day. I was able to greet and hug a lot of friends before Mass. I had to laugh when the Gospel mentioned bringing fire to the earth. It was quite appropriate for the recent weather.

Gospel, Luke 12:49-53

49 ‘I have come to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were blazing already!

My take on it… the word fire may refer to a different kind of flame. Jesus came to ignite us with his teachings, that He might light up the world with love. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could light up the world with the glow of love, harmony, and peace. Let’s work on that,

After Mass, Helene and I stopped at McDonald’s to chat and catch up on her trip to Maine and Canada and my trip to California. Then, I stopped at the store to pick up some last minute items for my dinner that I planned for my friends at Fire Station 9. I got the OK from the Captain last week to come by around 5 or 5:30.

As soon as I got home, I started baking my fruit upside cake, started the pasta sauce with Italian sausage, boiling the mostaccoli pasta, making the garlic bread, and preparing the salad.

Every thing was piping hot and ready to go. As I loaded up the back of my car at 5, wouldn’t you know it, I heard the sirens blaring. The station is just a few blocks away. I drove over there, called on the outside phone, and of course, the station was empty and all were gone on a call. They knew I was coming because I stopped after church to remind them that I’d be there around 5. So, I left a note taped onto the big glass window in the entry hall. It just said to call me when they get back. But, they may not see the note, so I’ll mosey over there in a minute and see if they’re back. Here I go…

I’m back. The guys were back at the station, and when I picked up the phone, I said, “Hi, it’s Miss Toni, You didn’t call me!” I was just teasing, but the young man said, “We just got back and we had some injuries.” Oops! He didn’t need to explain. They sent someone out to help me with my bags and bins. A few of them were already sitting at the table eating something. It was after 7 and they were probably starving.

I lined up the still warm foil covered containers, and cake, and ice cream and salad and garlic bread on the counter, and explained what everything was. Two kinds of mostaccioli, one vegetarian and one with sausage. There’s enough for a couple of shifts, and they said that they were still hungry and would put a good dent in the meal. They really appreciated the effort and home cooking.

I always enjoy baking and cooking for these guys. They are part of my family. We aren’t related by blood, but they certainly would, and do, put their lives on the line every day for us. That’s what family is about.

Speaking of family, I got to FaceTime with Belle, and Sophie and Joe and Lindsay and Nana today. I had a nice chat with my sister, too. I am blessed to have such a great family and great friends.

Happy Sunday my friends.

Friday:) Fun, Friends and Of Course, My Firefighters

26 Jul

“Without Friday, the weekend would be half over already.”

― Anthony T. Hincks

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Happy Friday, my friends. It’s been a fun week. Yesterday was busy and crazy, and the rest of the weekend looks about the same. After my busy adventures yesterday afternoon, the evening was more relaxed. Our group was over at Delaney’s Irish Pub for karaoke. Paul and Justin had a gig, they are THE TEXAS BLUESMEN, so neither guy was our DJ for karaoke. We had a really nice young man named Shoji. SP? Paul had mentioned on Facebook that the Bluesmen might make an appearance after their gig, along with the Blues-mobile. If you’re not familiar with the movie, “The Blues Brothers,” well, shame on you. Go rent it, or Netflix it or something, it’s so funny.

A few of the usual suspects.

Justin and Paul AKA The Texas Bluesmen. Check them out on Facebook or on-line. They may be performing at a place near you. (If you live in Texas, that is.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QH9TjY6sDnk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiBc3b-d8jE

We had a blast…from the past and the future.

Today, all I did was go to Zumba, stop for lunch with the Silver Sneakers YMCA group, a visit to church for Adoration and say the rosary, stop at Kroger, clean the kitchen, pay some bills, make a late lunch, (I just had water at the restaurant), veg for a while, then when I’m done here with my blog, I’ll take my evening walk and maybe catch an awesome sunset, and finish with my traditional Friday Black Russian.

And last but not least… a visit to Fire Stations 9 and 5 with some brownies. McKinney FD is the best.

Happy Friday my friends.

Saturday:) Some More Baking, Storms and My Silent Sanctuary

22 Jun

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”

― Ansel Adams

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I stayed up till after 2 am baking my mini cupcakes. I like to do the baking part the night before, but I prefer to frost them right before I need to deliver them, so they’re fresh. I hate dry crusty frosting, don’t you?

I was baking for St. Gabriel’s big Casino Night fundraiser tonight. The Women’s Club sent an email requesting baked goods. Say no more. But also, as is my tradition, when I bake for one thing, I also make extra for my firemen.

I didn’t set an alarm or have an early agenda, so I woke up, and took a short walk, less than two miles. It was already pretty darn hot. Google said, “The temperature in McKinney is 95, but with the humidity and heat index, it feels like 105.” Yikes!

I came home, drank a lot of water, then proceeded to frost and package up the mini cupcakes. These are my favorite. Chocolate with a cherry from pie filling hiding inside.

My first stop was Fire Station 9. They really appreciate my sweet treat drive by visits.

Then, off to church with two containers. When I got to the community center, there weren’t too many cars and the inside looked dark. But, the door was unlocked and I saw four men sitting at a distant table. All the other tables and chairs were set up and ready for the big event later. One gentleman came over and said,”Thank you,” when I said I had some cupcakes.

The bottom of the foil pans didn’t feel that sturdy and the plastic covers kept popping off. For some reason I said, “CUIDADO!” when he picked up the containers. I’m not sure why? Maybe he looked a little Hispanic, it just slipped out. And that means “Watch out,” or “Be careful,” in Spanish.

Without skipping a beat, he responded while juggling the flimsy aluminum pans, “Muchisimas gracias.” OK! He spoke Spanish. Phew!

I decided to stop in the adjoining sanctuary just a few feet away. It was Saturday afternoon and no one else was around. I love having the entire silent sanctuary all to myself. And, our beautiful new church is like an amazing old European Cathedral. It’s very quiet and peaceful and I feel like I’m alone there, talking to God, and He’s listening to only me. I’m pretty sure He is.

When I got home, it was a little overcast and they were calling for big storms, so I figured I’d try and get a little more walking in. When it’s hot, I prefer to take several short walks instead of a long one. A couple of times, I over did it and had to sit under a tree to catch my breath when I got light headed. Not good. I managed to get 3.5 miles total in today.

I barely got home when the skies opened up. A nice refreshing rain. The temp is 78 now instead of in the 90’s.

So, a very nice Saturday so far. I have dinner plans at Miss Pat’s and then we are off to the Performing Arts Center on the square for a concert at 8. What a perfect day.

Happy Saturday, my friends.

Tuesday:) Toni’s Brownies and Those Terrific Firefighters

29 May

“Hug a firefighter and feel warm all over.”

~ Unknown

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Today is Mr. Mike’s birthday, so I decided to make some brownies. He’s trying to be good and not eat sweets, but it’s his birthday. Not a day to be good. I just took him one big square brownie with a candle. He also doesn’t like to celebrate his birthday, but I don’t follow directions.

When I bake, I always make a double batch so I can share with my local fire stations. I also wanted to take some next door to my neighbors. Their son Jack came over yesterday to unload and spread ten bags of mulch for me. So, I had a lot of brownies to share.

After stopping to thank Jack, I drove over to Station 9. Firefighter Williams answered the hall phone and came to the door. She even had my other container to swap out from last time. She said they just got in from working the pass the boot fundraiser so the brownies would be well received.

My next stop was Station 5. This is the first station I visited regularly when I first came to McKinney in ’04. Even though I’ve moved a few miles northeast, I still stop by the 5 every now and then.

When I go to Station 5, I usually use a disposable container. I wouldn’t expect them to save my nice containers, as I only get over there once a month or so. I wrote on the container, Thank you. Miss Toni with a smiley face. Firefighter Yervasi must be fairly new, as he didn’t recognize me, but was thankful, none the less.

I walked back to my car and started up my car when I saw someone run out the door. The sun was glaring in my eyes when I rolled down my window and saw the navy blue shirt and the name Blount. I jumped out of my car and gave Quincy Blount a big hug. Quincy was the first fireman that I met when I started taking brownies and cookies over to Station 5 all those years ago. We are Facebook friends too. I love watching his young family grow and keeping up with their adventures. But, over the years, he was transferred to Station 2. I would stop by there after he got transferred. Then, he got transferred to and is still at Station 7, way on the other side of town. I’m bad, I don’t drive over that far.

Boy, was I surprised when he ran out the door to greet me before I drove off. He was assigned to the 5 for just a few days and Yervasi must have mentioned that a lady dropped off some brownies, so he knew who it was.

After a big hug and talking about his kids and family and plans for the future, I said, “Wait…we have to get a selfie.” So good to see my old young friend Quincy.

On my way home, I had to pull over in a school parking lot when I saw a faint rainbow out in the distance. A very beautiful, fun and lucky day for Miss Toni.