Saturday, December 8, 2018


I had planned to share pics about our first "real" Christmas tree we picked out and decorated last weekend, but, instead, I watched Elf with Little Leighton and Baby Elle this afternoon. Y'all. I just love that movie. We ate popcorn and had hot cocoa. It's been quite cold and drizzly here. It was the perfect movie day. My Hubby was downstairs making a yummy vegetarian chili for dinner (lest you think my children are adventurous eaters: they had quesadillas warmed up in the microwave). It was a good afternoon.

I promise to come back soon with several pictures of our Christmas-ing lately! Sweet ELC is in the trenches of moving, so y'all are stuck with me!

I'll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from Elf:

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

May you all be singing extra loud this weekend!

Stay cozy, Friends.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


Image via Pinterest

May your December be filled with magic, hope and anticipation.

(Meanwhile, ELC's is currently filled with bubblewrap, boxes and packing tape. Mine is filled with sleepless days and nights, compliments of Baby Elle and the permanent removal of her pacifier. Jesus, take the wheel.)

Thursday, November 29, 2018

apparently dramatic...

So we’re on Day 10 of The Great Move to the Metroplex! This could be fudging a bit because on Monday we spent several hours at our new home with some carpet men and a wood floor man. I don’t think I probably packed a box when we got back to our “rental country casa.” Guess I better own up to Day 9.

By the way: TLC and Baby Elle came over for about forty minutes Monday. Baby Elle decided to be VERY shy—clinging for dear life to her Mom. She wouldn’t even go to Grammy. (Broke Grammy’s heart in two.) Mom had to carry her EVERYWHERE. She refused to sit on the kitchen island (there are no chairs to be found there—yet…) and give her Mom any kind of break. The last ten mintues or so she did get down and hold Grammy’s hand. When it came time for them to leave—so they could go home for lunch and Baby Elle’s nap (sans her BaBa—pronounced BaaBaa—which her Mom told her on Sunday was going to be gone forever at naptime on Monday—TLC will have to catch us all up on Baby Elle’s BaBa Trauma)—Baby Elle cried and cried. “I don’t want to leave, Mama! I don’t want to leave, Grammy!” It. Was. Sad. And confusing. And ridiculous. And funny.

Later that night, as TLC and I caught up, via texting, on the afternoon and evening events, she sent me this text:

“When we were leaving your house today, I said: “Baby Elle, why were you being so shy?” She promptly answered, “I was being dramatic apparently.”

Y’all—she won’t be three years old until the end-ish of March. 6-year-old Little Leighton says “apparently” all the time. Has since she was three and a half. From the time she started using it? It was always in the correct context. Amazed us. Now Baby Elle is called “dramatic” probably six times a day by her Mom. At least six. (Because, well…she is. And it is priceless.) So Baby Elle knew she was being “apparently dramatic.” I laughed and laughed and laughed. Couldn’t wait to tell My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) the next morning. This youngest grandchild of ours is a hoot.

Our packing experience to date has been what I call—on an hourly basis—A Special Kind of H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEYSTICKS. HE*L. Truly. MSH and I have quite the difficult time communicating. Staying upbeat and, well, kind. To each other. To ourselves. We are tired. We are in pain. We are worried and anxious. Our feet and our backs are literally killing us most of each day and all night long. (We have movers coming on December 8th.)

Above all else, we are SAD. Sad to be in this house and on this land that we no longer own but that we've cherished for close to nineteen years. Sad to be leaving two towns—the one we live in now and the one (Stephenville--twelve miles South of here) we've lived in for a combined NINETY-SEVEN YEARS. I’m not even joking. Let me explain:

I’ve done the Math four times. I moved to Stephenville to go to Tarleton in the Fall of 1973. After I graduated, I moved away for eight months. Came back and have been here since. Approximately 44 years. MSH moved to Stephenville in l964. After he graduated from Tarleton, he moved away for about a year. Came back and has lived here since. Approximately 53 years. (YIKES.) In that time, we married (over 40 years ago) and had our Precious TLC. Almost 35 years ago. She was born at Stephenville General Hospital. (General Hospital, Y’all. Seriously? Fabulous. It's not called that now. It's actually had about three other names since she was born.) MSH’s sons were all born in Ft. Worth—but the three oldest were raised—through high school graduation—in Stephenville. (Our fourth son moved with his mother to Arlington when he was six. He was here A LOT in his first eighteen years of life.) None of them live here now or expect to ever come back here. Each of our five children have their own memories of their growing-up years here. None have ever had any plans to move back here. Hence, we Geezers must move close to TLC. (Our future Nurse/Home Health Aide/Caregiver. Unless she hides from us. That might happen. Little Leighton and Baby Elle won't, though.)

Here we are...packing up boxes and boxes and more boxes of our life together. Our life with our children and grandchildren. Our cherished memories. Yep—there were some hugely difficult times for us. As a couple. As individuals. As parents. As grandparents. Overall? We will always…ALWAYS smile and giggle and laugh about our last combined 97 years. We’ve been happy in a place that is charming, beautiful, sweet and tremendously deep in our hearts.

Here are some pictures of what we’re currently living on/with—walking around/over—possibly cursing/despising:

And, actually, I took those pictures four days ago. It’s much worse now.

This evening, as MSH and I surveyed all of my work at The Barn Apartment today (He worked there and at the house.), and grouped some furniture and boxes together for the movers to see tomorrow (They’re coming to decide if we need one or two trucks…MSH and I are fairly certain we’re going with TWO. Possibly FOUR.), he moved an ottoman to a different place in the little den. Underneath it was this card (and a few dead bugs):

Kinda gave me a little chill. A reminder from my Guardian Angel, perhaps? I needed it. I’ll keep it in my pocket through December 8th. Maybe through December 31st. Of 2040.

I’m doing my best to keep my faith we’ll be 95% ready on December 8th. (I do know I’ll be back for clothes and for cleaning…and anything else we may have forgotten.) Our very souls won’t be ready to drive away. This has been HOME. 

Y’all have a Terrific Thursday,  Fabulous Friday and Wonderful Weekend! Please pray for me and MSH. (One of us could decide to get in our vehicle and head South. Or North. Or West. Or East. Destin seems like it could be a lovely place right about now…)

(Pooped) HUGS,

P.S. I also found this whilst packing, and it couldn't ring more true. LOL.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

turkey day voodoo...

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone. We had a super fun day with our family. We host an "ALL GLUTEN-FREE TURKEY DAY." Let me tell you, it's quite yummy, and you would be hard-pressed to guess any of it was actually GF. I will admit: I did, frantically, call My Sweet Dad (aka MSD) at 10:00 the morning of, wailing over my "mushy" dressing. We are very particular about our dressing. I guess it's really a matter of personal preference. We prefer fluffy, almost crispy dressing. Mine looked like "dressing soup." I was certain it was ruined. However, after some Turkey Day Voodoo, it turned out delicious, if I do say so myself.

I thought I might share the recipe, mainly so I don't forget what I did. (It's adapted from Pioneer Woman's Thanksgiving Dressing.)

TLC's Glorious Gluten-Free Dressing

1 box of Krusteaz Honey Cornbread Mix (prepare per instructions, except sub equal parts butter for oil)
2 Schar Baguettes
1 large Sweet Onion, diced
5 stalks of Celery, diced
1/2 bunch Parsley, chopped
1/2 c. Butter (aka: 1 stick)
5 c. Chicken Stock (mine was not low-sodium, c'est la vie)
1 t. fresh Thyme
1/2 t. dried Basil
1/2 t. Rubbed Sage
1/4 t. Ground Turmeric
1 T. fresh Rosemary
1 Egg, lightly beaten
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Bake cornbread two days before serving. Cut up all bread (corn- and baguettes) and place all of it in a (very) large bowl. The bread needs plenty of time to dry out. I like to keep a few paper towels over mine. MSD always did this. So, I do, too. I also occasionally toss it over the course of two days.

On the day of, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter over medium-ish heat. Add the onions and celery (I chopped everything the night before and it was a HUGE timesaver) and let soften for 5-ish minutes. Add in the chicken stock and all herbs/spices. Ladle over the bread. Give it a good stir. Add the egg. Stir some more. Transfer to a baking dish. I sprayed mine with olive oil, and in the spirit of keeping things real: I used an aluminum pan. There's no shame in my game. Who wants to spend an hour doing dishes? Not moi.

Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. At this point, I pulled mine out and gave it another stir, sending the already browning bits on top to the bottom. Place back in oven. Bake for another 20ish minutes. Again, pull it out. Stir it up. Back in the oven. After another 15ish, minutes, I covered mine, once I had determined it was sufficiently browned and crispy. It probably spent almost two hours in my oven, but along the way, I had to add the mashed potatoes and green beans and bread. I have one oven and lots o' sides.

Y'all. It was good. I was tres proud. Go, me! Now, my gravy on the other hand? Ugh. It's my Everest. I'm hoping to conquer it next year.

We took no pictures, because: of course. I did manage to snap a pic of my fabulous centerpiece (compliments of Trader Joe's. $13. A serious bargain, y'all!) on Friday morning. Let's just focus on the happy flowers.

I hope your Thanksgiving was blessed with family, friends, yummy food and all things cozy. I woke up and felt overwhelmingly thankful for all I have. I'm especially grateful ELC and MSD are moving close to us SOON. SOON, Y'ALL! I'm on pins and needles.