Tag Archives: McKinney Square

On The Square and Elsewhere ❤️ McKinney

26 Jul

“I always say that I bloom where I’m planted, but I sure have been blessed to be planted in McKinney, TX.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Blessings are to be shared, that’s for sure. It seems like the more you care and the more you share, your blessings multiply tenfold. If you’re anything like me, when you see a great sale at the grocery store, you stock up. OK! Maybe you don’t, but I do. My favorite items to stock up on are items to take over to Holy Family School, over by the Square, to share with the adorable pre-schoolers.

Helene, my partner in crime, and I stock up for a few weeks on snacks, drinks, cereals, baby supplies, or whatever we think they could use. Then, we stop by for a quick drop off about once a month. Miss Sondra and the staff are always so appreciative. Lately, with the distancing thing, we generally just ring the bell and pop the items inside the door and scurry on our way. That’s what we did yesterday.

Since we were so close to The Pantry Restaurant on Louisiana, and it was after lunch time, we stopped by to get a to-go order of their famous chicken fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and crispy fried okra. It’s enough for two meals. (But, we each got one. Yum!)

Right across the street from The Pantry is the awesome wall mural on the side of Fair and Square Imports, painted by our amazing artist friend, Andrea Holmes, so I had to get a photo op. (I do have my mask on. Safety first.)

McKinney is a great town. Now, saving the best for last, here is just one of the amazing sunsets that blesses the end of my day. Just awesome.

Saturday:) McKinney Square and Elsewhere

17 Nov

“It’s been my belief that learning how to do something in your hometown is the most important thing.”

Pete Seeger

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Another lazy Saturday morning. But, then I got a text from my friend Linda Grossman…World’s Greatest Realtor. She asked what I had on my agenda for today. My reply was, “No plans.” I love those last minute impromptu invitations, especially when I have absolutely no plans for the day. She had a few errands to run on the square and suggested maybe we could have lunch. Perfect! She said she’d pick me up. She’s so sweet. She wanted to pick up her wine from Lone Star Wine Cellars and she knows I don’t drink and drive. This way, I could have a glass of wine if she drove.

When we arrived on the Square, it was already very crowded. It was a beautiful sunny day and everyone was enjoying the weather. On our way to lunch, we walked past Kim Guthrie’s Art Studio, so,we popped in to say hi. Kim is such an amazing and talented artist, and her studio is filled with whimsical paintings, cute pet portraits, lovely landscapes, historic McKinney buildings and so much more.

We decided to have lunch at the fairly new El Mejor Mexican restaurant. The food and service was excellent. I highly recommend it.

Our next stop was Lone Star Wine Cellars to pick up her wine. Linda belongs to their wine club, where you purchase their featured wine every couple of months, and whenever you pop in, you can have a complimentary glass of wine. It’s a cool place to hang out with friends or make new friends.

After chatting and sipping a glass of red wine, we headed over to The Martin Place at 1799 N. Graves St. Linda asked my recommendation for the best place to get photos printed or giclees made or framing art work. Mark Martin is the best around.

They still had MAST artist’s paintings and artwork on display.

The hours flew by, and it was a great Saturday on the Square and elsewhere. Mckinney is a cool place to live, and I have the coolest friends to explore it with.

Happy Saturday, my friends.

Saturday on the Square, The Cove, and Artfest

25 Aug

“The best place to be is any place where you are loved.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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We are very fortunate to have so many fine artists and creative people in McKinney. This evening, a few of my friends made plans to go over to Artfest at the Cotton Mill. We bumped into a bunch of old friends and made some new friends. The artwork was beautiful, and the venue at the Cotton Mill is very Artist friendly with original exposed brick and old rustic charm. Brad Donaldson had his amazing resin paintings and furniture, and Jenny’s Bay Willow hats were the highlight. We all tried on hats and posed for pictures. Andrea’s beautiful bird paintings are precious. There were dozens of other fabulous artists and friends.

After Artfest, we went over to The Cove for Wendolin’s fantastic photography exhibit appropriately entitled “Breathless.” Gorgeous underwater photography that left you breathless. So creative, so surreal. Wendolin has a wonderful eye, capturing the essence water and movement.

Good to see my old friend Don Simmons. Another fine photographer in his own right. I love how local artists all come out to support one another.

We scooted over to the busy square for dinner and ended up at Spoon’s Garage. Who was sitting outside with some friends but my old “young” friend Oscar. I hadn’t seen him in over a year. Such a fine young man.

We had dinner and drinks at The Garage, amidst the hustle bustle and noise of the square.

All in all, another spectacular Saturday with good friends, enjoying fine art, fine food and friendship.

Saturday on the Square and Elsewhere

11 Aug

“All in all, it was a never to be forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”

—L.M. Montgomery

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This morning, I received a call from my friend Sherri Murphy, asking if I wanted to go to dinner and check out the Second Saturday festivities on the Square in the evening. We have some artist friends that were showing their work, and it’s always fun to walk around, even in the summer heat.

I had some errands to run, the bank and a couple of stores. I stopped into Papa Murphy’s Pizza to visit my friend, Karri Munson, the manager. We hugged and chat pied and shared funny stories. She was telling me about their new product, s’mores cookie dough bars, She showed me a promotional band that goes around the container. I kind of thought it looked like a crown, so I decided to put it on and even wear it on my way to Tom Thumb grocery store next door. I said it was good advertising. “Will work for cookie dough.” Silly is my middle name.

Sherri picked me up around 3:30, and we headed to The Pantry for dinner.

After dinner, we strolled the square and stopped in a few shops, and visited friends at The Last Gallery. Kim Guthrie was having an open house and wine tasting at her studio and a Pop-Up show across the street at The Wine Merchant.

Kim’s beautiful paintings were a fine compliment to the fine wines at the Wine Merchant. Sherri and I each bought a bottle of MAMAMANGO wine. Yum!

It was VERY hot out, probably around 100, so we popped into the Red Canoe to check out their ice cream that is made with different liqueurs called Cocktail Creamery. Ted, the proprietor and creator, was kind enough to let us sample several creamery concoctions until we decided on our frozen dessert.

Sherri and I love the new decor and atmosphere at the Red Canoe, formerly Snug on the Square.

The sun was finally falling below the buildings and providing a little shade, and a little breeze was making it more comfortable to sit outside and listen to some music. A talented young singer was performing on the street corner, and folks were gathered around enjoying his amazing voice. Armon Ramirez, the young performer, belted out some Bublé, Elvis, and other classics.

As we sat, listening to great music, with the sun setting, a couple dancing behind us, then we saw the Mounted Patrol sauntering down the street. The perfect ending to a perfect day. I just love the McKinney Square.

Saturday by the Square:) Maribeth Jagger Art at The Cove

6 Jul

“Some artists have a natural talent, and others work at it every day. Then, there are those special artists who incorporate both.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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Last night after my art group at Towne Creek, I went over to The Cove Art Gallery to check out Maribeth Jagger’s show. Boy, am I glad I’m did because her painting were selling faster than ice cream on the 4th of July. My favorite one was still available, so I grabbed Maribeth, literally, and said, “Please put sold on this one for me.”

Maribeth’s’ show will be at The Cove today, Saturday, and finishing up tomorrow. The Cove is located at 402 N. Tennessee, just north of the McKinney Square, over by the library.

The fun part was seeing all these works of art in person because Maribeth posts her daily inspiration and paintings on her Facebook page. It was impossible for me to imagine that she could paint these beautiful masterpieces in just one day, much less to paint one EVERY day. She is such a talent and inspiration.

Her masterfully illustrated journals also incorporate her love of nature and travel. Maribeth is such a talented lady and I am honored to call her friend.

“Some artists have a natural talent, and others work at it every day. Then, there are those special artists who incorporate both.” This is you, Maribeth.

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

If you haven’t seen her art work…. what’s wrong with you? Get over there!

Fourth of July Parade On The Square

4 Jul

Mac Thornberry

“No other date on the calendar more potently symbolizes all that our nation stands for than the Fourth of July.”

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A steamy overcast morning sweltered into a steamy sunny day for the 4th of July Parade on the Square in McKinney. I spent the day with my dear friend Sherri. We got to the Square bright and early, leaving my house at 8:30, found a good parking spot, then strategically parked our lawn chairs on the parade route. Being experienced parade goers, we sauntered over to The Pantry Restaurant for an early morning iced tea and air conditioning until parade time.

I think that I’ve attended almost every 4th of July parade since I’ve lived in McKinney. It didn’t dawn on me until this morning that in 15 years, I either attended by myself or with a friend, never a family member. It’s always fun to see the families lined up with strollers and little ones, waving and giving high fives to passers by. For such a large city, our parade has a quaint small town feel.

A police car with sirens squealing starts off, followed by a fire truck from Station1.

Then, Mayor Fuller and wife Maylee wave from their vehicle, followed by cars from local businesses, floats from the American Legions and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, the Rotary and the DAR, and so much more. So many smiling red cheeked faces, sweltering and waving in the Texas heat, all to show their appreciation for our independence and the great country we live in and our community.

And, always saving the best for last, the Mounted Patrol brings up the rear to close the festivities.

Officer Lindsey Paul (closest) said that this was Blue’s first parade and that he did a great job.

It was a fun day on the Square with a great friend. (Brownie face below).

Happy 4th of July, my friends!!!!!🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

Tuesday:) Toe Tappin’ Tunes and Terrific Friends

26 Jun

“Sharing a great meal and some good music with wonderful friends is my idea of happy.”

Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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The Hot Club of Cowtown performed at MPAC on the Square this past weekend, and some girlfriends got together for a delicious dinner Saturday night at Miss Pat’s, then off for the concert.

The Hot Club of Cowtown is billed as an American hot jazz and Western swing trio that formed in 1997.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urk9BMaHE1g

I must admit, I wasn’t sure what kind of music Western swing was, and it was nothing I’ve ever heard before. The trio played their hearts out for their audience and a lot of toe tappin’ could be seen. It was a fun evening with friends.

Saturday on the Square:) So Many Places, So Many Faces

2 Jun

“The best place to be a tourist is in your own little town,”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis

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It was a gorgeous sunny Saturday afternoon. I said it WAS, because now it’s storming and clapping thunder out there. Glad I’m home safe and sound. But, it sure was a fun afternoon.

After my morning walk, I made plans with Helene to go over to the Square for lunch and some walking around. We started out at The Pantry. OMG! Their chicken fried chicken is so awesome with those smashed potatoes and gravy. I love their fried okra. We split the chicken because it was the size of the entire plate.

After consuming that feast, we waddled across the street to the Fair and Square store. Andrew and Kate were very helpful. I was looking for a special item for an upcoming birthday gift.

We popped into the shop right next door, Texas Monkey Business. I never even knew it was there. Jim said they’d been open for three years. Hmm? How come I didn’t know that? They had a LOT of really cool Texas, McKinney, and school and college merchandise and tons of souvenirs. I bought a McKinney t-shirt. (Like I need another t-shirt.)

We wandered over to McKinney Wine Merchant so Helene could pick up a nice bottle of Cab for the aforementioned birthday coming up. Roy was very helpful in finding a superb Cabernet. I wouldn’t know a good Cab from an old Uber.

We also had a really nice visit with artist/friend, Kim Guthrie, over in her brand new gallery location right on the square. She is such a sweet and talented artist. Her paintings and sculptures are so fun and funky. She was making a paper maché fish when we walked in, and a messy mushy hug ensued.

Kim is having her gala grand opening celebration next weekend. Stop by and see her, right across from the Wine Merchant on Virginia.

Wow! What a great day for being a tourist in my own little town.

Sunday Sermon and Arts In Bloom on the Square

15 Apr

“Only he who believes is obedient and only he who is obedient believes.”

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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Saturday was a completely miserable rainy dreary washout kinda day. Today, nothing but crystal blue skies, sunshine and beautiful weather. What a difference a day makes.

It was a pleasure to greet before Mass today. Mr. Jerry was back from his trip to Israel, so he and Helene saved my seat, on this solemn Palm Sunday. Today’s Gospel reading was the long story that began with the Last Supper and continued through all the tragic passions, betrayal, trials and ending in the crucifixion and death of Jesus. I’ve heard this Gospel a million times, but I always get misty at the end.

The part that really spoke to me was when Jesus was praying alone at the Mount of Olives and He asked…

“Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me; still, not my will but yours be done.”

My take on it… sometimes we are given a heavy burden to carry, and often the cross we are asked to carry seems unbearable. Even Jesus asked God the Father for a reprieve, but He said “your will be done.” He was obedient to His Father’s will. God gives us the strength to get through our suffering. It’s ok to question, just keep the faith.

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After Mass, a quick stop for coffee at McDonald’s to hear about Jerry’s awesome trip, and an even quicker stop at the store for one loaf of bread, I scurried home. I walked the dog, talked to my friend Debbie in Chicago on the phone, then headed off to meet Helene at Arts In Bloom on the Square. The three day festival was great Friday and a huge rainy disaster Saturday, but today it was perfect.

Talented artists and friends we visited today. Some wonderful creative artwork.

My talented friend, Gary Williamson, is a fantastic paper sculpture artist.

Then, Helene and I stopped at The Cove, where the amazing potters had been building, throwing, and firing and demonstrating all weekend.

I visited with Flat Minda and Flat Alex, too.

Watch this cool, actually, smoking hot video of emptying the kiln.

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

Then, to finish off a great day, Helene and I stopped at Taqueria Hernandez for my favorite… gorditas.

Happy Sunday, my friends.

Friday:) Fun on the Square and McKinney’s Finest Firemen

9 Mar

“Friends… they cherish one another’s hopes. They are kind to one another’s dreams.”

~Henry David Thoreau

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Wow! A fun busy Friday for Miss Toni. I started off with a heart pumping zumba class at the Y. Then, I picked up Helene, and we headed off to the Square. First, we stopped at the Art Studio to drop off my auction bowl for Empty Bowls, then over to St. Peter’s to drop off 25 event bowls. (More about the bowls another time.)

Did I mention it was a gorgeous day? 77 degrees, sunny, and a tiny breeze.

Helene and I walked around the Square, stopped for lunch at Snug, and stopped in a few shops.

Bay Willow Design is always a fun stop. Owner of the trendy millenary shop, and good friend, Jenny Foster, was busy reorganizing displays. But, she took time to stop and chat, showing Helene around the awesome shop.

Way in the back, I saw a couple cool artist friends, Leslie and Andrea. They were working on website designs.

Andrea, on the right, suggested we stop at Patina Green to see her bird paintings that she just installed. Oh, for sure.

Aren’t those cool? Those are individual wooden plaques, taking up an entire wall.

We stopped at the Antique Mall, and after a lot of browsing, I found a small white porcelain heart shaped box to paint this Christmas. I’m always on the look out for a white surface to paint bluebonnets for Mr. Dan’s dead wife who isn’t really dead. Some of you know that story. Too, long for this. I told Helene, and she laughed. So, when I checked out at the counter, I told the two ladies wrapping up the box, “I have a great story for you. I bought this to paint bluebonnets on for Mr. Dan’s dead wife.” Then, I told them the story. They laughed, and I think I made their day.

By the time I took Helene home and parked in the garage, it was almost 5 pm. I took a ten minute break, talked to my sister on the phone, then headed out for a walk. I just checked my walking app. 3.7 miles today.

It was still so beautiful out, so I decided to trim the front bushes after my walk. I had to quit when it got too dark to see, but I got a lot trimmed. I had the windows open all evening because it was cool and 68 in the house and 77 outside. Great day!

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Now, for my friendly neighborhood firemen. I stopped over to Station 9 on Wednesday, but I like to share my Firemen stories for Friday, just because I like alliteration. Wednesday morning on my way home from church, I noticed that several fire trucks and vehicles from other stations were over at station 9, so I decided to bake a double batch of brownies so there would be plenty to share. They were doing special training, and I’m sure would appreciate a little sweet treat after lunch. The hard part was that I had decided to fast all day on Ash Wednesday, so I didn’t even lick the spoon or taste test the crunchy edges,

I always get a big smile and a cool photo op. Oh, they also save my containers from the previous drop off. Everyone knows Miss Toni and knows to save my containers. One time, one of the veteran firemen told a new guy, “Oh, we have that in our fire fighter handbook. Save Miss Toni’s container.” Hmm? That just might be true. Ha!

Happy Friday my friends. Time to fix my Black Russian. It is Friday, after all!