Sunday, February 18, 2018

18--vol 2...



So here, now, is my second post celebrating the number eighteen (18!)—in honor of 2018!

When beginning to decide what I might post—I almost immediately thought of February as being TLC’s birth month. Then my mind wandered to my unconditional love for my one and only, truly TREMENDOUS child/daughter.

For 34 years, I’ve loved these 18 things about TLC (There are actually 1800—but I won’t force y’all to read that many!):


 


  1. Her heart.
  2. Her soul.
  3. Her mind. (This gal? She is some kind of brainy woman. Seriously SMART.)
  4. Her beauty. Of course I think she’s beautiful. She’s my daughter. A tee-nine-y smidge under My Sweet Husband (aka MSH) as the BEST gift I’ve ever received from My Dear Lord God Almighty. HOWEVER, she IS also beautiful. Pretty. Striking. Lovely. Period. End of Story.)
  5. Her humor! She and MSH make me laugh harder, longer, and louder than anyone else on this Earth.
  6. Speaking of laughter: The way she laughs! It is adorable. Infectious. CrAzY CUTE. (Well, when it’s sincere. When it’s a fake laugh? Yeah…not so much. She fake laughs in response to me way too often for my liking. Toot.)
  7. Her brown eyes. They’re almost as dark as her Dad’s.
  8. Her pretty hands.
  9. Her cooking skills! She is a FABULOUS At-Home Chef. No kidding.
  10. Her memory! This Girl can remember A LOT. (She would tell you she’s not good at remembering anything. At all. Ever. Because she has Two Littles that have filled her head with confusion and exhaustion and nonsense.) Here’s where I always know she’s still got it: When she sings! Yes. It’s mostly Little Leighton’s and Baby Elle’s songs on her phone. For at least about 80% of the time? This singing takes place in her car. While traveling from home to school, errands, church, etc. She knows every word to every song—Disney or Pixar ETC.—that I hear her sing. She can rap with the best of them. She craves all kinds of music. Including My Country and Old-Timey Christian.
  11. TLC’s singing voice! She sings marvelously! I’m sure she’ll laugh at this. She shouldn’t. It’s. The. Gospel.
  12. Her ability to get around the Internet, specifically: Her iPhone. Apps. Google. Blogs. Shopping cites. This Daughter O’ Mine is FAST. Tres SPEEDY. She amazes me and her Dad every day with this talent. I realize most of Y’all that are Millennials—or younger—have this handy talent, too. Trust me: TLC is Lightning McLeighton! I'd sponsor her in a contest.
  13. Her good taste! In home decorating. In fashion. (She literally CRAVES clothes, shoes and purses. Much more than I ever have or did or will do. Not sure where she got that gift/problem! Not from moi.) She does her best to keep these obsessions in check. Her Wish List on Pinterest? I’m bettin’ it’s quite lengthy.
  14. Her kindness. This should NOT be so far down on this list. (If I didn’t have to figure out how to re-number, it would be higher. No. 4.) She is kind. To everyone. (Mostly. Now, don’t get me wrong. If you upset her--particularly about her children? Yikes. Watch out. I’m going to have to feel sorry for you. You could get some of the looks I've gotten over the years. Sheesh.)
  15. Her devotion. To those she loves. It might take her time to trust you. Once she does? You’ll have to go too far in the wrong direction for her to give up on you. This devotion leads me to…
  16. Her ability to move on. Up. FORWARD.
  17. She’s strong. She doesn’t always believe this. She is. Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. She is her Mom and Dad’s ROCK. Like every human being? She has moments. Hours. A day or two every now and then when she’s simply worn down trying to do what she must do for her children. Her family. She gets it in perspective much faster than I ever have/do.
  18. Last, yet this should have been FIRST: TLC LOVES her God. And Jesus Christ, her SAVIOR. Her faith is steady. Devout. She treasures her new Church and can never say enough wonderful things about her Bible Study Friends/Sisters!


TLC? A Christian. My daughter. A wife. Mother. Sister. Niece. Cousin. Aunt. Granddaughter. Friend. An Earth Angel. Yes. I am biased. PROUD, but biased. (Won’t apologize, either. Can’t…)

I have loved you from the second I knew you were in me, TLC. To the MOON and back. A bushel and peck. With all of my heart.


Mom

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

my band of gypsies--part two...


If y’all have been with us for a while, you might remember my post entitled: My Band of Gypsies. March 15, 2017. (Still can't link. Just go down to March of 2017 and click on this post to read!) There were six of us Friends from College who’d gone to see The One, THE ONLY, Willie! in Belton, Texas, the weekend before. TLC had helped me post a picture of us. Courtesy of the cute young(er) couple sitting in front of us that became My Best Friends.

I can’t remember if I mentioned, in that post, the original “ College Reunion” that had initiated the idea for this trip. Let me quickly rehash:

In July of 2016, My Precious Friend, Lizzie, held said Reunion for eight of us (nine, counting herself) at her casa in Georgetown, Texas. It was beyond memorable. Many of us had not seen each other in years. And YEARS. Yet, there we were, picking up like it’d been only a few months. We’d met over 40 years ago (really about 44!) at Tarleton State University in Stephenville, Texas. Those days and times? Priceless. Hysterical. Heartbreaking. Incredible. VALUABLE. Life-changing.

We promised each other, at Lizzie’s, we were positively, absolutely making this Reunion an annual tradition.

Then Willie happened. Which was really only a few months later and an extra gift of time for the six of us who could work it out and go.

After Willie, we were to meet at Mitchie’s lake house last July. Due to circumstances beyond her control—and, actually, many of us were going to have to decline the get-together—it didn’t take place. So it was rescheduled to this past weekend!

And…drumroll…IT HAPPENED!

Of course, I have no pictures to prove that. (Not one. Not one stinkin’ picture. Pathetic. Simply TERRIBLE.) What is the matter with us? Yes. We is a bit old. Ish. But we ALL have smart phones/iPhones/Androids with fantastic cameras. We’re all checking those phones hourly. We couldn’t remember to take pictures? Sheesh.

As my life would dictate, I couldn’t go for the first night of shenanigans—which was Friday. Dearest Friend, Lottie, had let us all know, earlier in the week, she wasn’t going to be able to join us at all. She’s our Austin Sister and she had unavoidable commitments. (We missed her. Greatly.) M.C. was a Big-Time Go—until her Boss threw some work at her Friday morning that HAD to get done. By Monday. She was QUITE The Angry Woman. We were TREMENDOUSLY sad and disappointed. Jobs and civic duties are important so we had to buck up and promise Lottie and M.C. we’d get together again ASAP. (Someone has made a voodoo doll that looks like M.C.'s Boss. In case we need it in the future.)

I wasn’t really certain I could spend Saturday night. Thought I really needed to head home early that evening. Long-ish story. It’s about 2 ½ hours from our country casa. But because I’m such a smart cookie, I packed my jammies and a toothbrush in my car before I headed East early that morning. Prepared to stay. If possible. OR necessary. Since the Dallas/Ft. Worth Weather Peeps were vague about how bad the weather was going to be—I decided it’d be prudent to be prepared. They talked ice. COLD. Sleet. SUPER COLD. Possibly Saturday night? Sunday morning? (Why don’t we all want to be weather peeps on TV? You never have to be right. And you make pretty dadgum good money. I’m wondering if that job is too late for moi.) No matter what or when—the bad stuff SHOULD be gone by noon on Sunday. They practically promised.

When I got about an hour away from our home, I stopped for petrol (I’m feeling the need to channel my British Nana). Icy sleet started happening. Right there on my windshield. I filled my tank—got into my SUV—and called My Sweet Husband (MSH) as I continued to sit by the gas pump. Here’s exactly what I said:

“Why? WHY IS IT SLEETING NOW? I thought those useless weather experts said it’d be tonight? Early tomorrow morning? WHAT THE HECK IS THIS?”

MSH tried to talk. Tried to answer my questions. I wouldn't/couldn't be interrupted.

“I get to do nothing. NOTHING FOR MYSELF. JUST ME. I’ve looked forward to this weekend for at least nine months. MAYBE TEN. Why is this happening? I’m so afraid to drive in this. What should I do? WHAT SHOULD I DO?”

Then the sleet—miraculously—stopped and MSH replied—in his most patient husband voice:

“Go. Go have fun. You have a bag with you. Stay. Stay until any ice leaves tomorrow. Come back Monday! Just go.”

All I needed. Off I drove. Confident I'd make it and all would be well.

And was it ever FUN. I mean major. MAJOR. If I could type something that would be bigger than MAJOR I would. I don’t know what that would be. General, I guess? It was FIVE-STAR GENERAL FUN.

First, Mitchie’s lake house is on Cedar Creek Lake. Near Dallas. It’s quite the large, impressive lake. As I drove up to her charming home, I felt immediate peace. I’m not kidding. P.E.A.C.E. The drive had been super easy—once the evil sleet stopped. It was interstate a lot of the way for me. Decent highways the rest.

The home she and her husband own is in a great neighborhood. I sent a text that I was there and could I park across the street in a driveway of a home that had a sign that said “For Rent?” Mitchie said yes and then came right outside to greet me. Helped me bring in my contributions of Fiji water, Coke Zeroes and some Valentine “treats” for everyone. Mitchie cooked. Food-Network-worthy meals. Others contributed YUMMO food. Sparky baked for us. Drew brought healthy veggies and fruit. Wine was aplenty. As were various diet drinks. Perfect for a bunch of Oldies-But-Goodies like us.

When I walked in to the house behind Mitchie, the first thing I saw were My Sweet Buddies sitting in her great room. Smiling. Looking happy. Relaxed! Behind them was a wall of glass with the most amazing, serene, exquisite picture of Mitchie’s dock overlooking the expansive, splendid lake! I felt like we were in a movie. Maybe one that no one else was going to ever watch…nevertheless WE were going to watch it. Over and over. And over. In our Senior Citizens' minds.

I had a lot to catch up on. I got all comfy on the couch next to Lizzie. She’d spent the night before but was going to be leaving mid-afternoon. We all laughed. A LOT. We shared. We bitched. We sympathized. We LAUGHED some more. As if we’d been together the weekend before. At this very lovely place. Picking up right where we’d left off.

My Sweet College Sisters—Mitchie, Drew, Sparky, Rosie, P.J., Lizzie (PLUS M.C. and Lottie, too)—can be described, individually, and as a group, like this:

They are smart, wise, FUNNY, silly, cRaZy, clever, worldly, loyal, kind, generous and SWEET. Good people. Each is brimming with physical beauty—and not a one would probably ever let themselves believe that. Or, actually, at this point in their lives, not a one would actually care what anyone thought of them. (Yep. That’s where we happen to be. Not terribly concerned with what you think of us. No offense, though. Truly. Just the way it is.) They’re educators, business women, wives, moms, grandmoms, daughters, sisters, and friends. My Friends. I love them all. More and more every minute we’re lucky enough to be together. And every second we’re apart.

Although I only got about 4 1/2 hours of sleep Saturday night/Sunday morn, it was GOOD sleep. Deep. Nice. I don't get a lot of that kind of sleep every night any more.

 The weather got iffy for all of us Sunday morn. We had lots of coffee,  Sparky’s FANTASTIC banana bread and her delicious sausage balls. Took a few more walks down Memory Lane. Then Mitchie went to church. (To pray for us all. Surely.Winky. Wink.) Sparky and Rosie headed South. P.J. and Drew followed me out of the subdivision and we headed North and West. I’d lose them. Catch up. Lose them, again. (We got stuck three different times on Interstate 20—due to wrecks caused by an ice event that happened a couple of hours before we’d left Mitchie’s house. Twice we ended up side-by-side. That could never, ever happen again. Not in a million years.)

When I got home, I was exhausted. It was THE BEST exhaustion. I slept off and on for hours on our couch. Got in bed at 10:30 and never moved until 6:00 o'clock Monday morn.

Here’s My Wish:

That TLC, Little Leighton and Baby Elle (and each of My College Sisters’ daughters, granddaughters, sisters, nieces, friends) all have Sister Friends that mean as much to them as these girls mean to me. That they get to see their friends much more than we’ve been able to. That their times together fill them with sheer and utter JOY. Family is, of course, so important. But friends? They’re the families we choose for ourselves. Somehow, with God's Grace and great luck, I chose some MAGNIFICENT Sister Friends. I consider myself blessed by God each and every day I live having these dear, incredible women in my life.

(And Thank You, Lord God, for Facebook and Messenger. Texting. Emails. As much as I sometimes despise every one of these, they allow me to keep in contact with these wonderful women. THANK YOU. Again and again.)

Cheers! To Sisters! To Friends! To Sister Friends!

Ciao for Now, Y’all…
ELC

p.s.: Tuesdays with TLC will return next week! She's battling illness. Her Princesses are batting illness. It's not a lot of fun at her casa.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

temporary relief and duck joy...



So the offer/deal/negotiations for the purchase of our home didn’t materialize. My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I are completely at peace with this. In fact, I’d say we’re actually relieved. For many, MANY reasons. Thy Will Be Done. This is where we are in our faith: It will happen when it’s supposed to happen.


This past weekend was heavenly for us! We picked up Little Leighton (aka LL) and Baby Elle (aka Belle) from TLC at our halfway point—Willow Park—on Friday afternoon. Except for the fact that it stayed SOOO COLD and windy and yucky outside, we had a lovely visit. Both Angels slept great both nights! Both played and played and…PLAYED.


We made our traditional Trip to Town for some frozen (gluten-free!) yogurt on Saturday afternoon. PLUS—we took them to a truly cute boutique to let them pick out birthday gifts for TLC! MSH was a wreck the entire time we were in the shop—as there were lots of breakable “pretties” and Belle was determined to roam free! She didn’t destroy even one itty-bitty thing. I found and showed Little Leighton some sweet necklaces I thought her Mom would adore. One said “brave” on it. (All little letters. We love all little letters.) LL looked at me and said: “Grammy, could I have that?” WTHeck was a Grammy to do? Of course she could have it. I asked a salesgal if there was another one somewhere—after I'd searched through about 20 others. I thought it would be fun if Mom and LL both had the same necklace. Alas, no such luck. LL picked out a pretty pair of earrings instead. (TLC got a good laugh out of the story. Needless to say, she wasn't surprised. Little Leighton craves jewelry. Clothes. Shoes. She is her Mama's daughter.)


When we got back to our country casa, LL spent quite a long time decorating her Mom’s two gift sacks. (Belle had been steered to a yummy candle for her Mama. Mama truly treasures candles.) Sunday afternoon, after Belle woke up from her nap, we made the 45-minute trip to our rendezvous spot. Mom and Dad were together to pick up Our Precious Princesses. We missed them the very second they all headed East. Sigh.


This coming Saturday morn, I head East to see my college friends/sisters! Will spend Saturday night staying up way too late for Senior Citizens and then will come back home Sunday afternoon. In the Summer of 2016, we intended to make this an annual event/Reunion. Unfortunately, we missed 2017. Woo Hoo! 2018 is happening!


I hope each of Y’all have a Wonderful Weekend…Wherever in this World You Are!


Hugs and Smooches!
ELC


p.s.: Once again I’d like to reference a post I did years and years ago about ducks on our front tank! See Duck…Duck…on December 17, 2011. (I still don’t know how to link. Sorry. Maybe I’ll learn before I’m 70. It's actually TLC's fault for not taking time to teach me.) For several years since that time, we’ve seen very few ducks. Those few we have seen have not hung around for more than a day or two. And we’ve never had as many show up as we did at that time. BUT we’ve had about ten ducks swimming around several times during the day for at least a week now! LL got to see a few of them. (Belle couldn’t see them from her side of my car. We’d have turned around and tried to fix that for her—but they flew off…Sigh.) The ducks have filled my heart with JOY!


p.p.s.: I’ve been thinking about the birth of TLC for many days. It is tied with my wedding day to MSH as the BEST day of my life. Gotta scoot…now I’m crying…

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Tuesdays with TLC

Hi, again!

Little Leighton was diagnosed with Celiac Disease right as she turned two-years-old. Not only did we receive her diagnosis early, we also received it very quickly. That is typically not the case. Many Celiacs suffer for years. One of the first books we read after her diagnosis was by actress and fellow Celiac, Jennifer Esposito (Mom and I have adored her for years. In case you don't recognize her name, we believe you'll recognize her beautiful face.):

Jennifer's Way: My Journey with Celiac Disease--
What Doctors Don't Tell You and How You Can Learn to Live Again

I've linked to it above, via Amazon. Her book is packed with amazingly relevant information for those struggling with Celiac Disease and those longing for answers to so many unexplained issues and questions. While we couldn't necessarily relate to the YEARS (Truly years and years.) of pain Jennifer experienced, this book offered me HOPE. Hope for LL. Hope for others. Hope for more research. For answers.


LL's early diagnosis? A BLESSING. While I certainly wouldn't have chosen this life for her or our family, I am genuinely grateful for the empathy it's afforded me. If you, or a loved one, has experienced any type of chronic health condition, one that has left you confused and/or frustrated and/or exhausted, you might consider ordering a copy of this book. It could give you some of the answers you've been searching for!

Happy Tuesday, Friends!