Tag Archives: friendship

Friday:) A Friend In Heaven and Here On Earth

18 May

Some people come into our lives and leave footprints on our hearts and we are never ever the same.     

Flavia Weedn


Yesterday, I attended the funeral of an amazing lady. My friend, Gilda Garza of McKinney, was a friend to all. A lifetime McKinney resident, she knew pretty much everyone in town, and everyone loved her. She staunchly supported her community, and this little tiny woman could strike fear in the hearts of giants. She will be greatly missed.

Mayor George Fuller spoke before the service and officially proclaimed May 16, 2019, Gilda Garza Day. The family was given the framed proclamation at the beautiful services held at St. Michael’s Catholic Church. The church was filled with family, friends, Mayor Fuller and former Mayor Loughmiller, council members, co-workers, and neighbors. As the soloist sang Ave Maria, and tears streaming down my face, I couldn’t help but think that Miss Gilda was smiling down on us saying, “Nice turnout. Where’s the party?”

Deepest condolences to the family and friends of former McKinney Councilwoman Gilda Garza, who passed away on May 8, 2019. In 2000, Gilda was the first Hispanic female to be elected to the McKinney City Council. She was re-elected twice, the maximum allowed. Thank you, Gilda, for your service to the residents of McKinney. A funeral mass will be held 11:00 a.m., Thursday, May 16, 2019 at St. Michaels the Archangel Catholic Church, 411 Paula Road, McKinney, Texas

Mayor George Fuller

I didn’t know Miss Gilda for as many years as most, but the time we shared was always filled with laughter, food, fun and friends. She kept trying to get me more involved in local politics and organizations, and I kept trying to get her to sing karaoke or paint. Neither of us succeeded, but we had fun teasing each other.

I just went out for a quick walk to try and catch a photo of the sunset, then come back to finish writing this blog post. Well, I was greeted with a beautiful sunset and, not a lucky penny, but a lucky quarter. (Someone trying to tell me something?)

Hasta Luego, Amiga…

Tuesday:) Today From Sunrise to Sunset

10 Apr

” A lot can happen from the time the sun scorches the morning sky till it slithers in a glowing retreat below the dim horizon.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


I have no idea how an entire day can slip away in the blink of an eye. Especially when you go to sleep at 2am and the alarm blares at 7. I was out walking the dog by 7:30 and out the door for Zumba by 8:15, then home before 10. Then, Bella stared at me with those big puppy dog eyes, and we were off to the park again.


When my phone clicked with a text, I was pleasantly surprised to hear from my neighbor Allison. She asked if I had plans for lunch. I told her I’d stop by while I went out for the rest of my solo walk. (Let me check my miles for today on my phone. 4.5mi.) Zig-zagging through the neighborhood, I ended up in front of her house, where she was busy planting, tilling, and weeding.

She said if I wanted to pick up some lunch, we could sit in her beautiful backyard under the big shady tree. I offered to make some black bean quesadillas and bring them over. I love to cook. We had such a relaxing lazy lunch under the shady tree. It was already in the 80’s, but there was a wonderful breeze.

The afternoon slipped away with good food and fun conversation. Allison asked if I wanted to hit a couple of thrift stores with her. Cool! We started at INN Style then off to Goodwill, just looking for possible trash to treasure items. I found a couple of big glass bowls for next year’s Empty Bowl’s Charity event, a little cross for my cross collection wall, and a few other treasures.

Allison bought some really cute plates and glassware for a garden project. While looking at the glassware, she saw some margarita glasses and said, “Now, I’m really craving a margarita.” Well, I wasn’t driving, so I was more than happy to join her for a happy hour beverage. We went over to Pepe’s Tacos Y Mas. I’d never been there before. It was a really cool place and my margarita was magnifico. Pepe, the very sweet owner, served us and brought us complimentary chips, salsa and queso. It was yummy. As you can tell, the glasses and dishes are empty. Gracias Pepe. (How ironic- on the tv behind Pepe, there was a news report about Taco Truck Tammy in the background.)

When I got home, I fed the dog and took her for a walk later in the evening, just in time to catch the sunset.

Every day is an adventure.

Friday:) Art Friends and Firefighters

6 Apr

“Sharing what you do best with others is the best thing you can do for yourself.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


When people tell me that they can’t draw or paint or that they have no artistic talent, I have my standard reply. “You don’t need talent, you just have to have a GREAT teacher. Then of course, I point to myself. But seriously, I’ve been sharing my artistic gifts with kids, adults, family, and friends since forever. I’m not great at any one thing, but I get excited sharing ideas and techniques with people. We usually play, experiments, and wing it, coming up with some pretty cool projects. My favorite thing is when I show someone how to do something and theirs turns out nicer than mine. That happens more often than not.

Today was my Friday art group with my senior friends over at Towne Creek Apartments. I packed up a ton of art supplies and all kinds of food for our dinner feast. I baked a fantastic fruit upside down cake and made one to drop off for my friends over at Fire Station 9, to drop off on my way. (I’ll share that recipe another day-so yummy.)

Firefighter Smith came to the door with a big smile. The cake was still warm, right out of the oven. You can see the plastic lid was a little steamy. (Or was it the cute fireman steaming things up?)

I picked up my friend Helene, who has been joining me and helping at Towne Creek. She made a huge bowl of yummy pasta salad.

It took several trips to carry in all our food and supplies. We never know how many are coming, so we just prepare for an army. I’ve had several friends give me glass vases and things to paint, so that was one of our projects today. And with Easter coming up, we painted some crosses.

We painted, laughed, and told stories, then it was feast time. Miss Nelma led us in a prayer before our meal. The dessert was AMAZING! Fruit Upside down cake with Blue Bell Pecan Pralines and Cream ice cream. (Oh my)

It was a good day filled with fine food, fun art, and friendship.

Now, for Black Russian Friday. Happy Friday, my friends.

My Magnificent Amazing Monday

2 Apr

“One does not seek love,’ she told him, ‘it should find you all on it’s own”

― Barbara Lieberman


Only a few of my dearest friends and family members know about this amazing love story from start to finish, so please read till the end. It’s beautiful. I have been so blessed.

I met Tom shortly after I moved into my new house five years ago. This was right after a very painful and devastating divorce. I would walk past his house on my daily walks and I’d wave, and sometimes I’d stop and chat. When I made brownies, I’d drop off a couple for him to have with his morning coffee. I mentioned one time that I really didn’t like walking alone in the evening after dark, so he said just to give him a call and he’d walk with me. We walked a lot and became very good friends. Such a sweet man.

Sometimes after a long walk, we’d stop and sit at the park bench, watch the sunset, and just talk about this or that, family, friends and so on. Tom lost his wife in 2005, and he shared how hard it was to watch her suffer. I shared how I lost my husband in 2013, but he’s still alive. He’s just shacked up with the lyin’ cheatin’ “HO” waitress from his country club. He’s lost and I hope he stays lost. (Perhaps TMI)

Anyway, this magnificent friendship was just that, a great friendship. Tom and I usually take a walk every Sunday night. Yesterday, I had been out to dinner with Sherri, and we saw that cute play in Grapevine earlier in the afternoon. So, it was after 7 pm before I got home. Tom called right before sunset and asked if I wanted to go for our usual Sunday walk. I love my walks, and I needed to walk off my margarita and chicken fajitas, so I said of course.

We walked in the cool air and ended up at our little park bench, right as the sun was setting. It was spectacular with that beautiful orange glow. He knows how I love to take sunset pictures, so I snapped a few pics and we sat and watched the sun slither down below the horizon.

All of a sudden, the sweet man stood up, knelt down on one knee, reached into his pocket, and took out the most magnificent diamond ring. I almost had a coronary right there. (Luckily the fire station and paramedics are just down the street.)

Much to my surprise, Tom asked me to marry him, right there in the park. He said being with his best friend forever would make him a very happy man, and it would be the most wonderful blessing in the world. And you know what? He is right! And you know what? I said YES!

Now that you’ve read this wonderful love story to the end… this is a picture of me and Tom.


Happy April Fool’s Day. Hopefully I fooled a couple of people. Most of you know me already, so you figured out the punchline and ending early on. Plus, you know I always make up a silly story every April 1st, and that I’m never ever getting married again. And, that ring belonged to my angel mother, and I’m sure she’s laughing up there in heaven. Remember the George Clooney story a couple of years back? I had a lot of people going that time. Even Mom believed that one. (She didn’t read till the end) And please, whatever you do, don’t tell Tom…AKA, my friend and neighbor Danny, that I used his photo. I just needed a picture of a cute man for my story. I made the whole thing up. It was pretty good, wasn’t it?

Tuesday:) Take Time To Smell The Flowers

27 Mar

Take time to smell the flowers

Spend time with that dear friend

Take pictures of each moment

For memories never end

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Such a glorious beautiful day today. My alarm went off at 7 am. I walked the dog over by the pond and caught the lovely sunrise before heading off to zumba at the Y.

Today was a day of amazing colors, nature, walking, and friendship. After Zumba, I was pooped. I threw myself on the bed and was going to take a nap, but I thought first I’d see if anyone wanted to go to lunch later. Sherri Murphy said she was free and asked if I wanted to go over to Shades of Green Nursery over in Frisco to get some flowers in about half an hour. (No nap) Well, I have a black thumb and can’t grow anything, but I love to look. Also, it was p a good place for painting inspiration. I always say, “I can’t grow a flower, but I can paint a flower. We all have our gifts.”

After Sherri got a big cartload of flowers and I took a ton of pictures, we stopped for a Taco Tuesday lunch. On the way home, Sherri wanted to show me a cool spot she stumbled upon off the beaten path. She always finds the coolest photo ops.

What a fun day! I was so inspired and refreshed (after a short nap) that I took another long walk before sunset. I put in 5.3 miles today. I always love to catch the sunset and take another picture of God’s glorious gifts.

Another great day, from sunrise to sunset.

Saturday:) Such Friends Are These

16 Mar

Such friends are these that fill your days

With love and joy in countless ways.

Such friends who share your darkest night

And hold your hand till morning’s light.

Such friends though near or miles apart

Remain forever in your heart. ❤️

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times, I have the bestest friends in the entire world. And yes, I say bestest, and spellcheck underlines it in red, questioning my authority and spelling capabilities. I have the dearest friends from high school, who I still keep in touch with. Then, the friends I made while the children were young, and we were crazy stressed out soccer/hockey/baseball moms. Don’t forget empty nester friends, bowling friends, church friends, tennis friends, and the…will you bring in my mail when I travel and I’ll watch your cat friends.

So, Thursday night when I was at karaoke with my karaoke friends, out of the clear blue I said, “Who wants to come over to my house tomorrow night for Black Russian Friday? Just drinks and snacks and laughs.” I scribbled my address on some scraps of paper for those who hadn’t been over before, and thus a party was hatched.

Friday night arrived and I had a house full of lovely ladies plus Mr. Jerry over for an impromptu party. We laughed and joked and ate and drank. Miss Loretta started the query of “tell us your most embarrassing moment.” We went around the room sharing. Oh boy! That was hilarious, and poor Mr. Jerry got to hear some interesting female faux pas. (I can’t repeat any on this page. Just use your imagination.)

Miss Pat, our dear “Cookie Lady” was the first to arrive, laden with all sorts of snacks and goodies. The first toast of the evening. The others filtered in here and there, also bearing gifts, and food, and beverages.

Such friends are these that fill my days………,

Tuesday:) Two For The Road

20 Feb

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

~Robert Frost


It was a gloomy rainy morning. I was too lazy to get up at 7 and walk the dog early so I could go to Zumba at 8:15. So, I didn’t set the alarm and figured I’d go to the 10:30 Zumba gold class instead. I was in the park with Bella at 10 am when my cell phone rang. Sherri Murphy asked if I wanted to go on a road trip to Sulphur Springs, about an hour and a half away. I said it sounded like a great rainy day alternative. “Two for the road.”

Sherri picked me up at 10:30 and off we went, taking all the back winding roads. I turned on YouTube and played the song “Rainy Days and Mondays,” as we sang along with the windshield wipers swiping back and forth in rhythm.

We pulled off the side of the road on the way into town for a photo op at the Dairy Museum. Who doesn’t want a photo in front of two giant cows in the rain?

The streets were pretty empty and most the shops were closed, but thank goodness the restaurants were open, because we were starving. A very nice lady at one of the gift shops gave us the scoop on the best places to eat. We chose the Redneck Cafe.

When we finally finished with our yummy lunch of chicken fried chicken, mashed potatoes and biscuits and gravy, we ventured out into the pouring rain. Hmmm? I don’t think we ran into more than one or two pedestrians the entire afternoon. The rain never let up, so we took a few pictures and headed home.

Hopkins County Courthouse, beautiful even in the pouring rain.

Thanks for a great rainy day road trip, Sherri Murphy…or should I call you THELMA? Or do you want to be Louise?