Tag Archives: Friends

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.

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.

Montage Monday:) A Week In A Peek

8 Jan

“They say I’m old-fashioned, and live in the past, but sometimes I think progress progresses too fast!”

― Dr. Seuss


Another great week. One minute I’m in Chicago, the next I’m back in McKinney. No, it’s not time travel, but I sure would love that. It was wonderful to be with family and friends. All I can say is… I am blessed.

It’s a new year. It’s a great time to start fresh. I’m hoping to make this the best year ever. Wishing the same for you.

Sunday Sermon, Some Firemen, and Some Long Distance Gamma Time

7 Jan

“Yes I am weird, weird is good. Normal is overrated.”

― Mad-D


It felt good to think that I was getting back to normal, then I realized, I was never normal to begin with. No where to get back to. I hit the ground running when I got home after being gone almost five weeks. Now, back to my old routines, errands, laundry, housework, friends, dog sitting, church, walking, and so much more.

Dog sitting, and of course, dog walking.

It was nice to see the sunrise, then see the sanctuary of St. Gabriel’s again. Greeting before 9 o’clock Mass, was good and back to normal. Lots of hugs and wishes for a Happy New Year. Sundays are a day of joy. The Knights of Columbus hosted a pancake breakfast afterwards. Nice.

Today’s Gospel was the story of the Magi or Three Wisemen. I always called them the Three Wise Guys. A little Catholic humor.


MT 2:1-12

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea,

in the days of King Herod,

behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying,

“Where is the newborn king of the Jews?

We saw his star at its rising

and have come to do him homage.”

We all know the story. Herod didn’t like this. He told the Magi to let him know when they find the child so he could pay homage. But, after they found the baby and family, offering gifts and homage, a dream warned them not to return to Herod.


After the pancake breakfast, a quick stop at Sprouts, as my tradition, for some much needed fruit and vegetables. Then, scurry home and take Bella for a walk. Later, a walk around the neighborhood, with a stop to visit Mr. Larry and Miss Sandy.

When I got home, time to make the brownies. A batch for tomorrow and a batch, hot out of the oven to take over my friendly firemen over at Station 9. I think maybe they were missing me. (At least my brownies.) I showed them a bunch of baby pictures.)

Hamming it up for Miss Toni. I got to see their Christmas tree and decorations, still on display. My hand-painted ornament was in a prominent location. It was a nice visit. I like having my firemen family, too.

Later in the afternoon, I was able to FaceTime with my grandchildren. Gosh, I miss them. Belle was sweet and talkative. She had all her baby dolls lined up, taking care of them, and arranging them.

Then it was time to say goodbye and blow kisses to Gamma. Melt my heart.


It was a wonderful Sunday… even if the Bears lost and choked and hit the uprights. It’s just a game.

Saturday:) Celebrating Stephen and Bonnie

6 Jan

“A circle has no end, no beginning, and can hold within itself all the love and devotion shared between mates. Let the rings you exchange now guide you in your life together and show you the way to everlasting love.”

― Stacie Simpson


This afternoon, friends and family gathered to celebrate the marriage of Stephen and Bonnie. It was a beautiful ceremony, with two young people exchanging vows and promises. I don’t know what it is, but I ALWAYS cry at weddings. Happy tears.

Stephen is the son of my friends Karen and Brad. I was honored to be invited to share this special day with them. Friends, Lynne and Charlie, picked me up. It’s always nice to celebrate with friends. Plus, the reception was somewhere in Celina, off the beaten path, and I am directionally challenged. I was grateful and relaxed not having to drive. Plus, I could have a drink. Yay!

Lynne and Karen, girlfriends forever.

When we got to the reception, we were pleasantly surprised when a Mariachi band began to play.

Other friends.

Our friend Sara sat with us. We still laugh about Sara connecting with my cousin Tony on Facebook. She saw a comment on my Facebook page from a Tony Hernandez and mentioned that she went to school with a guy with the same name. I said, he lives in Kansas, so probably not the same guy. Turns out they were very good friends and went to the same high school. Small world. Then, they reconnected on Facebook. Cool!

Weddings are always a wonderful reminder of love and a promise for the future.

A very special day, a special celebration. Congratulations Stephen and Bonnie.