Tag Archives: Towne Creek Apartments

Friday Friends at Towne Creek

10 Aug

“Friends, food, and fun art projects. What more could you ask for””

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Well, I’m back from vacation in California, and back to my hustle bustle aching sore muscle daily routine. I started out the morning with a service call from Joplin’s AC and Heating. My AC was acting up before my trip, so I made an appointment for first thing this morning.

The good news is, Grant, the repairman was very nice and helpful. The bad news is I need a complete new AC unit for my house that isn’t even 5 years old. Gehan put in the crappiest units in all their homes and all the neighbors have been complaining about it on Facebook and Nextdoor. So, I wasn’t at all surprised. Grant was kind enough to fill up the coolant to get me through till installation on Tuesday, and to have enough time to sell my first born child, auction off my car, hoc the furniture and pawn my wedding ring to pay for it. (Just kidding! Got rid of the wedding ring 6 years ago.) I’ve spent the past few days with the house at a steamy 88 degrees or more. Thanks Grant from Joplin’s AC.

This afternoon was my volunteer day with my lovely senior artist friends at Towne Creek. I got some inspiration for a project while we were visiting The Last Gallery after art Club yesterday.

I did a quick demo on a small 8×10 canvas of just dripping, splattering, and scraping paint for a background, then dropping blobs of watered down acrylic for flowers, and then playing with it for different effects.

I told my ladies that their paintings turned out even nicer than mine. They didn’t agree, but I think it’s true. Plus, I told them that it’s a huge compliment if the student’s work is better than the instructor’s. Then, I’ve done a good job.

Didn’t they do a great job? Oh, and the neat part is, we put our paintings outside the door to dry because the paint was very thick and very wet, and it was VERY hot out there. When we went to look at them, Miss Dorothy noticed that some pink flowers from the crepe myrtle tree out front had fallen on Miss Nelma’s painting. So, we plucked a few pink blossoms and placed them on the thick white paint of her flowers, right where God had dropped them for a special 3-D effect. (Upper left)

Miss Dorothy did a special larger painting that was inspired by a beautiful spiritual dream that she had a while ago. She says she is not an artist, but had a dream that she was doing a painting and talking to God. It’s a beautiful story, and it’s Miss Dorothy’s to tell, so she’ll have to share it. The colors all have a special meaning. It made us all cry.

After our little feast of hot dogs, chips, and ice cream sandwiches, Miss Dorothy had arranged a big pizza party for all the residents at 6 o’clock. She also invited a couple of friends from church to entertain. So, of course, I stayed for the festivities.

After the music, a few people gave some inspirational testimony of God’s influence on their lives. I told my beautiful story of Mom leaving us those two lucky pennies from heaven.

Thank you for a fun evening, Miss Dorothy.

Happy Friday, my friends.

Friday:) Friends, Fun Food and My Firemen

6 Jul

“Art, freedom and creativity will change society faster than politics.”

~Victor Pinchuk


Today was my monthly First Friday with my lovely senior artist friends at Towne Creek Apartments. I was trying to decide what feast to prepare for our dinner break, so I looked in my very overstuffed freezer. I’ve been wanting to use up some tamales, so I decided to make a tamale casserole. Recipe, we don’t need no stinkin’ recipe. I use the wing and a prayer method. Here ya go…

5 layers. 1)Diced tomatoes 2)Tamales sliced in half 3)Pour refried beans over 4)Mixture of chicken enchilada soup, rice, hash brown, sausage (leftovers) 5)Top with cheddar jack cheese and bake covered at 350 for about 40 minutes, uncover and bake another 10 minutes or so till brown and bubbly. (YUM!) I took hot dogs and toppings, salsa verde chips, and bluebell ice cream too.

If you noticed two pans, that’s because I made a double batch of this and dessert for my Firemen friends at Station 9.

Dessert was my famous find fruit in your freezer upside down cake. Blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, and a can of apple pie filling and one yellow cake mix.

I gathered up my art supplies, food and packed up my car. Station 9 is less than two mikes from the house, so I dropped of my goodies. J. McDaniels answered the door and visiting Chief from Station 2 was standing by the door, so I insisted on a photo op. Hopefully he sampled some warm cake right out of the oven.

When I got to Towne Creek, Helene was already there and helped me carry in the many bags of food and supplies.

Our project for today was fun. I’ve been collecting a zillion empty brownie mix boxes for a future art project. I wasn’t sure what, but that’s what artists do. Last night, I stayed up late filling ten boxes with crumpled newspaper, cutting a triangle slit in the back for hanging, taping shut, then painting the side with black acrylic paint. These would become our canvas.

Everyone did something different. They turned out great, plus a great way to recycle and repurpose.

After our fun art project, it was time for our Friday feast.

What a wonderful day, sharing food and friendship, being silly and creative. Thank you Helene for all your help.

Wednesday:) When You Have A Little, Share A Little

6 Jun

“Those who have much are often greedy; those who have little often share.”

― Oscar Wilde, De Profundis


In my many decades on this planet, I have found that often the people who have the least are the most generous. A good example is my good friends over at Towne Creek Senior Apartments. They are some of the most generous people I know, and they live on very limited incomes.

The residents spent several hours this morning putting together special hygiene kits for the StreetsideShowers that provides a safe clean place for the homeless take a shower.

The residents, staff, friends and family donated sample size products and cash to purchase the much needed supplies. Lance Oliniski, is going to visit the residents on June 10th to talk to the group and show them the mobile unit.

The residents, led by Christy Sadler, Service Coordinator at Towne Creek, gathered and purchased enough supplies to put together around 100 Hygiene Bags. Christy said, “I originally was thinking that we might be able to put together about 30 bags. But, we have enough for over 100.”

The lovely seniors are planning to do this again in the Fall. So, if you want to start saving up your sample size hygiene products or donate some products or cash, you can contact me, Christy Sadler at Towne Creek, or directly to StreetsidShowers. It’s a good thing.

Volunteer McKinney is proud to recognize those who give back to the community by highlighting them through Humans of Volunteer McKinney.

Meet Lance A. Olinski, Founder of Streetside Showers:

I have always had a heart for people that the world pushes aside, but it wasn’t until a couple of years ago when I realized how lacking some basic needs are in the homeless community.

One day, I saw a man in a public bathroom in McKinney desperately trying to bathe himself in the sink. My heart went out to this man, thus beginning Streetside Showers.

I began our nonprofit organization in June 2017. Our mission is simple. We strive to offer hope and restore dignity through the form of a hot shower and hygiene supplies to those who need it most.

Since the start of Streetside Showers we have been able to provide over 4,200 showers in North Texas. I have spent countless hours serving our homeless community, and nothing beats the smile on their faces when they are finished taking a hot shower. Streetside Showers is honored to provide basic care to those in need on a daily basis!

This quote by Bill Wilson pretty much sums up my life, “The purest form of love in this world is demonstrated by a person who loves somebody who can give absolutely nothing in return.”

Lance A. Olinski

Founder, Streetside Showers

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.

Friday Friends:) Fun, Food, and Painting

2 Mar

“Blessings are endless when shared with friends.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Today was my painting day with my senior friends at Towne Creek. We were working on painting some more bowls for Empty Bowls.

I made some sandwiches, soup, and other snacks for our feast.

Off to the Dollar Store to buy more bowls, then scurry over to Towne Creek. We had fun painting our bowls.

They turned out pretty nice.

After we had our feast and cleaned up our mess, we gave our hugs and good byes.

Helene and I went over to the Senior Center for the First Friday Dance with the Rough Riders Band. Lots of fun.

Happy Friday! Now I’m home. Time to fix my traditional Black Russian. Yay!

Saturday:) Some Seriously Special Friends

3 Feb

“Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.”

~Oprah Winfrey


The first Friday of the month, I visit my dear friends over at Towne Creek Senior Apartments. We paint, draw, eat, laugh, tell stories, sing songs and share fun times together. I had prepared a wonderful feast for our dinner break of pasta salad, hot dogs, brownies, chips, Dr. Pepper and brownies. I packed up two big bins of food and art supplies. We were going to work on painting more bowls for the upcoming Empty Bowls Fundraiser.

I arrived at 2:30 and unpacked all the supplies. I put the food in the fridge and set up the tables, lining up the bowls to be painted. Guess what? I forgot the glass paint at home. How do you paint without the right paint? Duh! The good news is that I did bring a container of brushes and permanent markers. The markers will adhere and stay on the ceramic bowls. Not paint, but almost as good. I also brought some blank notecards, and we painted and stenciled some cards.

Here’s what I created real quick in between setting up, helping out, demonstrating, and cooking.

We finished up our bowls and cards then sat down for our Friday feast.

Feeling blessed with so many special friends.

Also, when I made brownies for “my ladies,” as I like to call them, I made an extra batch for “my firemen” friends over at Fire Station 9.

It was funny. While we sat around talking and eating, I was telling my ladies all about the country dances at the senior center. They meet every Monday at 1pm, but they have an evening dance the first Friday of the month with a live band. I was thinking about going, but I didn’t feel like going alone. Miss Dorothy said that she’d be happy to go with me. So, after we cleaned up and packed up, Dorothy and I went to the dance at 7. It was fun. There were about 125 people there, and I even bumped into a few friends…literally. That line dancing can be dangerous, especially when you don’t know what you’re doing, like me.

I have been blessed with so many really special friends,

Friday Friends and More Fun Painting With Coffee

27 Oct

“You give but little when you give of your possessions.

It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”

― Kahlil Gibran


I usually go to visit my senior friends at Towne Creek Senior Apartments on the first Friday of the month, but I called a couple of residents and asked if I could come today instead. This way we could celebrate Halloween and work on some more coffee painting. Plus, Miss Nelma was feeling a little better, and I was anxious to have her come and paint with us, as she’s missed a few months.

It was a beautiful morning, so I was able to get a long walk in, get to the store, and get over to Towne Creek by 2:30. I packed up a wide variety of canvases, brushes, examples, stencils, markers, liquid coffee, and lots of food for our feast.

I was especially happy to see Miss Nelma ( above

lower right) looking so good, smiling, and back to enjoying her painting project.

While our paintings were drying, we gathered for a prayer and our feast. Some of my homemade chicken pot pie pasta soup, sandwiches, chips, Dr. Pepper, and Halloween donuts. I plum forgot the ice cream in the freezer. Oops! Next time.

We all had a lot of fun and had full tummies.

This is what it’s all about, my friends. I love these sweet ladies and they love me right back. And if you ask any of them, just ask, “Toni is….?” And they’ll all say, “AMAZING!” I have them well trained. I even wore my bracelet today that says, “I am amazing,” just in case there was any question.

Now, to fix myself my traditional Friday Black Russian. Cheers, my friends!!!!