Tag Archives: Towne Creek Apartments

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!!!!

Friday:) Friends and Fun Painting With Coffee

6 Oct

“A good painting to me has always been like a friend. It keeps me company, comforts and inspires.”

~Hedy Lamarr


This afternoon was a fun day painting with my senior friends over at Towne Creek. I go over there the first Friday of the month. I used to go every Friday for over five years before I cut back. I can’t believe it’s already my eleventh year I’ve been volunteering there. Where does the time go?

My project for today was painting with coffee. I did a few test runs and example during the week to try and come up with some simple techniques. I even made a video, but I’m saving that for another post. Ha.. I just laughed to myself… perhaps I’ll save it for the “Saturday Evening Post.” I guess you have to be old to get the joke. A Norman Rockwell moment.

So, I did a quick demo on painting a small canvas with the coffee mixture, about a think ink consistency. Then, I let them chose what they wanted to add to it, painting on watercolor paper, then cutting it out and glueing with foam on the back for dimension. While the coffee paintings dried, we had our little feast of hot dogs, chips, onion dip, pasta salad, and an ice cream sandwich for dessert. When you’re working hard, you need nourishment and a short break.

We also worked on some smaller notecards. And Miss Kathy wanted to paint some pumpkins for Fall. So, we had a wide variety of projects going on.

Miss Kathy completed a canvas and three notecards. The two crosses are actually dimensional, and look pretty cool.

Miss Bonnie said she loved the smell of the coffee.

I painted a mountain scene when I saw a box of Kleenex on a table that had a cool picture along the sides, demonstrating that anything can be inspirational.

Basically, this is just an instant coffee and water mixture used instead of paint. Someone asked me how long I thought the coffee paintings would last, and I replied, “Art is very temporary. Enjoy it today, who knows what tomorrow will bring.” Very profound..right? It was a good day. Any day with art and friends and food and laughter, is a good day.

Wednesday:) What a Wonderful Auction at Towne Creek

6 Sep

“You have to be excited about your life.”

― Lailah Gifty Akita


This afternoon, the residents at Towne Creek Senior Apartments had their first TC BUCKS AUCTION. Such an inspirational idea to promote participation of the senior residents. People were given TC Bucks, play money, for attending meetings, social events, health workshops, etc. This idea enticed people who normally stayed in their apartments to become more active and social.

The service coordinator, Christy Sadler, solicited donations from local businesses, churches and friends for the auction. I even received a mention for gathering items and asking friends to participate. The outpouring of fantastic donations was nothing less than amazing. Christy put together wonderful baskets and displays and booklets to promote the auction.

The residents had cute little paddles with their number for bidding, and the charming, Jim Smith was the ever enetertaining auctioneer.


My dear friend, and member of my art group, Miss Bonnie, scored three adorable baskets filled with goodies, gifts, lotions, jewelry, snacks, etc.

I overheard one lady, after the auction was over say, “This is the most fun I’ve ever had.”

A big thank you to all the donors, churches, businesses, and especially my friends who gave me bags and boxes filled with treasures and trinkets, and Mr. Mike for all the art work, wall art, canvases, and that beautiful big metal clock.

A good time was had by all.

Friday Friends, Fine Art and Fun Food

4 Aug

“Old age may have its limitations and challenges, but in spite of them, our latter years can be some of the most rewarding and fulfilling of our lives.”

~Billy Graham


Today was my first Friday visit with my senior artist friends at Towne Creek Apartments. My car was filled to the brim with donations from my friends and neighbors for their upcoming auction. When I stopped at Mr. Mike’s this afternoon to pick up my ice cream and pizza, ( he stores my extra frozen food in his freezer because mine is jammed) I told him about the auction and he gave me a bunch of paintings, art work and a really nice big metal clock. Kelly, the director was overwhelmed with the generosity of my friends.

It was wonderful to see Miss Nelma. She has been very ill and wasn’t sure if she’d be able to come down to join us, but her care giver, Miss Patsy, helped her come down with her heavy oxygen machine. We started out with chatting and root beer floats. Then, I put the pizza in the oven, cooked the hot dogs, and poured out the Doritos. There were donuts and danish for dessert. We all held hands while Miss Nelma led us in a prayer of thanks, and then we had our feast.

For our art project, I told them the idea of making special cards to share with people who are sick or depressed or sad. I had seen a video on YouTube where people anonymously slipped notes of encouragement or kind words to people in need of smile. What a great project idea for our group. There are so many lonely, sad or ill people right there at Towne Creek. They loved the idea.

We used chalk, colored pencils, markers, stencils and stamps to create the cards. My favorite mantra is

“You are amazing,” so that was a good quote to start with. We put a saying on one side and art on the other side.

They loved the idea. While they worked on their project, I went up to Miss Kathy’s apartment. I saw her when I arrived. She had just come from the doctor and was resting in the hall until she gathered enough energy to go upstairs. Poor Miss Kathy loves our art time, but said she was exhausted and wouldn’t join us, so I took up a card and a little gift. She didn’t answer the knock on the door, so I just slipped in and left the gift by the door. She’ll feel loved when she sees it.

The ladies had fun and did a great job,

Miss Nelma’s cards.

Miss Bonnie. Look at that smile.

Miss Connie.

Another fine Friday with my senior friends at Towne Creek. They always thank me profusely for my visit, when in fact, I am the one who is blessed. With age comes wisdom.

Friday:) Friends, Fun and Creating

6 Jan

“Create. Not for the money. Not for the fame. Not for the recognition. But for the pure joy of creating something and sharing it.”

Ernest Barbaric


As I said yesterday, back in the saddle. This morning, a very nice early birthday lunch with Lynne, stop at the store to buy a birthday cake, ice cream, ginger ale, and pizza for my Towne Creek senior art group at 2:30, pick up the neighbor dog, take her for a walk, search my craft room for a project for the class, pack up art supplies and food, feed the dog, let her out one more time, and out the door by 2:15. Yep! Back to my normal routine. I love it.

It was nice to see my art group. I missed going December because I was in Chicago all of December. We started out with chatting and looking at my bazillion grand-baby and holiday pictures.

Then, to the art project. We had fun pouring paint on watercolor paper, and spritzing and smooshing with crumpled plastic for texture. Then, we took a second sheet of blank watercolor paper, blotting on top of the liquid paint concoction, making two colorful backgrounds.

While those surfaces dried, we worked on the blue variegated background on canvas. We used dark blue on the two sides then white in the middle, blending with a foam brush to get the variegated look.

While the two surfaces dried, we had our feast of pizza, chips, ginger ale ice cream floats, and Chocolate Snicker birthday cake. We were celebrating my birthday and Miss Nelma’s. We sang “Happy Birthday to us.”

After our feast, we traced a butterfly on the now dried smooshy painted paper. The paper, being folded in half, was able to yield four butterflies.

We wrote tiny words on the surface and folded the center body, gluing only that center so the wings were free and dimensional. They turned out very cute.

Tuesday:) Tribute To Miss Eleanor

15 Nov

“The connections we make in the course of a life–maybe that’s what heaven is.”

Fred Rogers


This afternoon, friends gathered at Towne Creek Apartments in McKinney, to pay tribute to Miss Eleanor Correnty. A celebration of life, for a charming talented woman who graced the world with her presence and her talent.

Miss Eleanor was born in Connecticut on December 16, 1925. Her friends here at Towne Creek Senior Apartments got to hear many, many of her stories because Miss Eleanor was a flamboyant story teller and quite the actress. Literally. She was an actress in many plays in New York and her home town. Oh, and she played the piano like an angel. Very talented.

Her hilarious dry humor, quick wit, and amazing talent for detail kept everyone entertained and in stitches with laughter. I could go on and tell a million stories of my own, but I would pale in aptitude. But, I’d like to say that when I met Miss Eleanor, shortly after she moved to McKinney from Connecticut, we became very good friends. I was volunteering, teaching art, and convinced her to join our group every Friday. She would tell me how much she hated Texas and I would tell her how much I loved McKinney. Over the years, she grew to love it too.

Our mutual friend, Karen, would take her out to lunch every Tuesday at 2pm. So, it was fitting that today, Karen arranged a celebration lunch for Miss Eleanor promptly at 2 pm. We had pizza, and desserts, and drinks, and stories to share.

Now, here’s the funny part, this is where Miss Eleanor gets the last laugh in on her friends. Miss Nelma stood up to share a funny story about her friend Eleanor. She went into detail about a beautiful drawing that she received from Eleanor and how she cherished it. Nelma went on to say how much we will all miss her. And, the very second she finished saying, “Well, that’s my story. We’ll miss you Eleanor,” the fire alarm went off and the siren blared in our ears. We had to evacuate the building. I looked up to the heavens and said, “Very funny, Miss Eleanor!”

Seriously, we grabbed our plates of food and a couple of chairs and went outside and continued our party.

I knew it was her getting her last laugh in. Plus, she knew how I always joked about having the hunky firemen come to Towne Creek and rescue us. It also saved me a trip, because I had a batch of brownies that I was going to drop off at Station 1 after our celebration. So, I took one of her handmade cards that Karen brought to share with the residents, and signed it, thanking them for all they do. They took the container of brownies and card on their way out. Oh yes, it was a false alarm. Ha! Heaven sent.

We will miss you Miss Eleanor.