Saturday, December 29, 2012

Roundup!

Not the kind you might be thinking of, perhaps. Not a Texas cattle roundup. This is my (ELC’s) 2012 Roundup. I’m not exactly sure how it has come to be the end of the year. I mean, seriously? Although I can’t remember where I put my car keys last night, I do remember December of 2011. And February of 2012. July. And September. I know. You get it.

At the end of November, I invited myself over to Autumn’s beautiful home to see her recently remodeled Master Bath. Don’t you just treasure those friends that not only welcome you to their homes when you’ve invited yourself at lunchtime, but also fix you a fabulous meal? She prepared “Shepherd’s Pie” and a lovely fruit salad with a poppyseed dressing. Divine. As was her new bath!

My pictures don’t do it justice. Believe me when I say it's worthy of a magazine spread. Or a HGTV show. Autumn’s creativity was evident in every nook and cranny. I’m not sure of the interior design “lingo” I should use to describe it, but these are my attempts to help you get a picture of the beauty: Tuscan Texan; elegant; warm; rich; comfy; charming; relaxing; MAGNIFICENT.



Princess Kate all grown up!

I’m going to try to book a stay at her home—soon! The Master shower is ahhh-mazing. Not only is the tilework stunning, but it has a huge steam/sauna shower. I'm talkin' fancy, folks. Maybe if I offer to dogsit Clooney and Kate (although that's probably not the right word because I'm pretty sure they don't know they're dogs), I’ll be successful at a night or two of pampering/luxury at Autumn's B&B. Hint. Hint. Thank you, Autumn, for the marvelous day.

The first weekend in December found TLC and I hosting Sunny and Nelly for our annual and official Christmas Girls-Only get-together. This year we suggested we meet at TLC’s. (Little Leighton is not quite ready for our typical Shopping Extravanza.) I picked up some salads from a nearby Quizno’s (Mediterranean Chicken!). Yep. We confess. We’re not as nice as Autumn. Sunny brought delicious cupcakes! Little Leighton fell in total love with Sunny—she held LL for much of the four hours we were together. We exchanged Christmas “treats” and then gabbed and gabbed about Nelly’s wedding in July 2013. (BTW: TLC has agreed to be Nelly's Wedding Coordinator that day if and only if she can wear a headset. Like J. Lo. In that Wedding Planner movie.) It was another day of cherished friendship and lots of laughter.


Top L-R: Sunny, ELC, Nelly
Baby Leighton
Bottom L-R: TLC, Nelly 

The next weekend I was lucky enough to see Our Lovely Lauren, who gifted My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and me this "seed and nut" wreath for our birds! MSH hung it on a tree at the back of our casa—so I could enjoy watching them "dine" while working in my office. Lauren knows us sooo well. Thank you, again, Doll!

Fast Forward to Christmas Eve:

In our 35 years together (34 as husband and wife/36 Christmases as a couple), MSH and I have probably been by ourselves maybe three times. This year, for lots of reasons, was one of those times. MSH put on the only red “Christmas-y” (hmmm) shirt he could find in his closet—yep, a Texas Rangers’ shirt (it's the effort!)—and fixed us the most amazing Greek Chicken Pasta. You know by now I didn’t get our “big” tree put up. Well, this may be worse: I also didn’t get MSH’s gifts wrapped. I attempted to accomplish this several times that Christmas Eve afternoon and evening, but I kept getting sidetracked. By 8:30, when we were both full of the fantastic dinner he’d made us and, quite honestly, ready to go to bed (we were heading to TLC’s house early the next morning), we realized we hadn’t opened our gifts to each other. We usually get small gifts. Silly gifts. Practical gifts. When I confessed I hadn’t wrapped his, he assured me that wasn’t necessary. I had three for him. I put each in an Anthropologie bag and carried them, one by one, with serious formality (and lingering embarrassment), into our Great Room from our Guest Room. He had wrapped mine himself—without the aide of TLC—and had done a darn good job, thank him very much. We ended up agreeing I might have hit on a great idea for our future Christmases—no wrapping. Saves time. Energy. And trees.

After we had a memorable time at TLC and HSH’s (Her Sweet Hubby) casa Christmas Day, MSH headed home, leaving me to come with TLC and Little Leighton the next day. They were staying for a few nights in the country. HOWEVER, Mother Nature has a way of changing the best laid plans, right? North Central Texas got lots of snow and ice late Christmas Day evening and Wednesday. We got stuck at TLC’s for an extra/unscheduled day. Luckily for me and TLC, HSH was on vacation from work and able to get out to retrieve us some lunch. Bless his heart. One of our favourites: Chick-Fil-A! We were happy.

TLC's neighborhood

 
TLC's Casa

 

LL watching the treetops glisten.

FINALLY (yes, I hear your sighs of relief. I do.), as we anticipate New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, we want to share our excitement about a gift we received Friday. The Return of the Ducks! (See Duck, Duck …) I’d been thinking, for several weeks, that last year’s visit by the Sixty Ducks was, perhaps, a one-time event. In fact, I’d seen about thirty ducks on our neighbors’ tank a couple of weeks ago. Although I was happy for them, I was sad for us. Then, Friday, as TLC, Little Leighton and I drove into our place from their home, and past our Big Tank, thirty ducks (the same ones that had been visiting our neighbors?) flew off and north. I almost cried. Yesterday afternoon, as MSH stood on our front porch, he noticed them. On our tank. He sprinted in and got TLC and me outside to witness the thrill. Here's a picture I took. Before they, once again, decided to fly off. I realize it may not look like thirty ducks. Trust me. It was at least thirty. It was truly one of our best gifts this year! (Right after the birth of Little Leighton!)


If you're still with me, THANK YOU for your patience. As I type this, I hope each and every one of you is having a special holiday season. I pray your Christmas brought you everything you’d dreamed of—and that 2013 will be your BEST YEAR EVER.

Love and Hugs...

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

It's Christmas!

To All of our Friends, Everywhere:

MERRY, MERRY!!! The Three Leightons wish each and every one of you a WONDERFUL day. A peaceful day. A day full of JOY.

Eat too much. Laugh until you snort. Be silly. Take time to be quiet and reflect. PLEASE be grateful. Pray. And remember. Remember the Sandy Hook families. Remember everyone who has lost someone dear to them. Keep them all in your thoughts and hearts today.

Happy Birthday, Baby Jesus! 

Thank you, Lord God Almighty. For life.

Amen.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Perspective

So it's December 22nd and I'm not ready for Christmas. Well... my heart is ready. My soul is ready. My home? Not even close.

I realized three weeks ago I wasn't going to be able to get our 10-foot tree up. My Sweet Hubby always retrieves it from our storage room in the garage the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It takes me most of that day to decorate it (Yep. I'm a bit slow). While looking at my "Little Leighton" and work schedule calendar several days past that Sunday, I couldn't find the day I could put up our tree. I tried to convince TLC it'd be all right to go one year without it. If she, her Hubby and LL can make it (weather permitting), it'll only be the four and a half of us on Christmas Day. TLC was completely offended that I would even consider not having a tree.

That was when I decided to buy a small one. She agreed that'd be acceptable. For this year ONLY.

I went to Wally World the Thursday after Thanksgiving and bought a 4-footer. Then I brought over, from the Barn, a table to set it up near our "Library" bookshelves. There it sat--with only the lights it came with--for almost two weeks. Every morning I'd tell myself I'd find a box of ornaments and get it decorated before I went to bed that night. Night after night I'd say: "Okay. Maybe tomorrow."

December 14th. Newtown, Connecticut. Sheer and utter horror. Shock. Immense pain. Anger. Perspective.

A Christmas tree--shopping--laughing--carols--cooking--cleaning--all of it. All of it seemed silly. Unimportant. Useless. Wrong.

I decorated The Little Tree yesterday morning. There are 26 ornaments on it. At the top is a red star--for the brave principal of Sandy Hook. There are five khaki stars--for the teachers and the school psychologist who were also murdered. There are twelve redbirds--for the precious little girls who were so brutally killed. And eight red felt trees for the sweet little boys who died that dark Friday.





All of them are Angels now. All stay fresh on my mind. Every single day. Reminders of what is truly and most important.

Help me, Lord God Almighty. Help me remember to live each day as if it were my last. Help me to keep perspective. Your Son, Jesus, especially loved all children. I pray to You in His name. Amen. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Yummy for Y'all!

Several weeks ago I was browsing my News Feed on Facebook when I noticed a post from Hobby Lobby. They were advertising their drawer pulls. It was news to me—that they carried drawer pulls—although it didn't surprise me since we all know they have lots o' fabulously fun things.

When ELC was visiting the first week of December, I told her we HAD to make a quick run to HL. I needed a new front door wreath and I wanted to scope out the drawer pulls. Off we went (after a quick stop at Sonic for a Coke Zero with Vanilla).

Since Little Leighton had fallen asleep on the drive over, ELC said she’d just circle the parking lot (oh, the things we do for our babies) while I sprinted in. (She went around so many times she might have gotten a teensy bit dizzy.)

Not only did I find the awesome, 50% off, wreath, but I found these ADORABLE drawer pulls!


ELC and I both love birds. For a lot of reasons. Most recently because one of LL's many nicknames is "Birdey." I decided I would replace the pulls on the little, antique nightstand in "ELC's room." I think it turned out brilliantly! We just have to smile every time we see them.

I hope everyone has a Wonderful Wednesday! (The high today in my part of Texas is 78 degrees and they're calling for a chance of snow next week. Seriously. I cannot make this up. Texas weather is WACKY.)

smooches…

Friday, December 14, 2012

Broken

Our hearts. Our spirits. This World.

Tonight was going to be a short, silly post. By noon, TLC and I knew there'd be no laughter today. Or tomorrow.

With our love and deepest sympathies, we send prayers up to our Lord God Almighty to help and comfort the loved ones of the precious victims who lost their lives today in Connecticut. And for all of those who lost their innocence.

God bless us, please, in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, with strength. Hope. Peace.

Amen.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Oh, the Weather Outside Was... SNOWY!

In Texas! North Central. Most of us in a rather wide area woke up to snow on the ground—on the bushes—on our cars—on our trees—etc. You get the “drift.” Ha. It was all gone by noon, but we loved it!

Yes, we get snow here in The Lone Star State. And it’s often very welcome. Of course all the kiddos love it—especially if they call school off. That has to be done when it’s icy. We Texans don’t drive very confidently in ice. Actually, some cRaZy peeps drive like we live in Wyoming or Montana. Fast and reckless. Makes most of us angry. Well, makes us semi-gizzards flustered.

I digress. On this 10th day of December, as the Lords Leap, and the snow melts, TLC and I would like to get you in the Christmas mood with a couple of CUTE (if I do say so My Grammy Self) pictures of Little Leighton:

Cutest Lil' Reindeer Tootsies EVER!

Santa's Helper

We hope you had (or are still having) a

LL's Bath Time Letters!
(She gets a new word every night. You should "hear" her vocabulary now! LOL.)

MONDAY!

Wherever you are, Dear Friends…

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A Yeehaw for Y'all!

TLC found these FABULOUS calcium chews at the drug store a few months ago. (Guess this should be a Yummy or Yumhaw, right?) They're gummie! And YUMMIE.


I have to admit I only became a gummie fan when TLC was a pre-teen. Gummie worms would be her candy of choice when we'd go to the movies. I always wanted something chocolate. (In addition to the Diet Coke and popcorn—no butter—we shared.) She finally convinced me to try them. I was more than shocked. I liked them! Now I’m all about “gummie.” Hasn’t worked yet with salmon.)

I believe the doctors/scientists/nutritionists/experts when they say we girls/young/not-so-young women need lots o' calcium. All of our lives. I've been at the top of the "moderate" risk chart for osteoporosis for about seven years. I'm determined TLC and Little Leighton will have strong bones. (I never had a broken bone until I fell in our shower three years ago and broke my wrist. My camo cast was adorable. But I don't want My Girls to ever break anything in their sweet bodies.)

I've been taking calcium supplements since I was in my early 40s. I'm glad TLC is starting to be faithful about this precaution now. In her late 20s. (Yep—we know. We completely understand. We should strive to get our daily vitamin and mineral requirements in the foods we eat. I cannot tell a lie. Sometimes we eat too much junk. We're sincerely sorry. We start each day with the promise to eat healthy. We seem to fail—occasionally. Oh, okay. Often.)

Two of these delightful chews have thirty calories. I can't eat as many as I'd like! And they're a little pricey. Haven't found them on sale yet -- or at Costco. But two a day -- in addition to my (calorie-free) tablets -- help me feel that taking this critical supplement isn’t such a chore.

Happy Tuesday!

p.s.: I'm not on Citracal's payroll. Darnitall.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Saying Goodbye...

to pumpkins!

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I were sooo lucky this year to have three of our five children, two daughters-in-law, our son-in-law, and four of our seven grandchildren at our home for Thanksgiving. We got to spend three nights/four days with them. It’s now an experience we’ll truly cherish forever. Lots of “Memory Lane.” Lots of silliness and laughter. Way too much food. And by food I mean SUGAR.

MSH and I moved to the country over twelve years ago. TLC was going to be a junior in high school. This year we celebrated our 13th Annual Pumpkin Chunkin’. Some years it’s been just MSH, me and TLC that have done the “chunkin’.” I can remember two years when it was just MSH and me. This year we had a Gang O’ Chunkers and the following pictures will be our last posting of November Pumpkins. (Yes, we do hear your sighs of relief. And, yes, the deer, raccoons, possums, birds, maybe even coyotes and bobcats have their own “Thanksgiving” feast on our chunked pumpkins. We think of it as “Recycling in the Country.”)

 Linin' 'em up!
(Can you spot TBBB?)

Our two oldest sons doing a "tandem chunk!" 

Our Thanksgiving Table!
(Gorgeous flowers compliments of one of our daughters-in-law.)

This BEAUTIFUL picture was taken by our precious, oldest granddaughter!
She is a very talented photographer.
(Can you tell we're proud?)
This is the tip-top of the hill that we live on.
We adore all of the pretty fall colours this year.

Our grandkiddos immersed in Halo (that's what they told me it was called)!
We delegated the guest bedroom as the official "Video Games Command Central."

Our Little Turkey!
(She didn't know what Halo was either.)

Little Turkey Leighton and her Uncle!

Even though Little Leighton won’t have a clue what this time of year is about, TLC and I are looking forward to our first Christmas with her! Christmas is TLC’s favourite holiday. Always has been. Suspect it always will be. We’ll do our best, during the next month, not to be too cliché or, even worse, boring.

We say au revoir to November with gratitude to Our Almighty God for His many blessings to and on us and our families. We are much obliged, Dearest Lord.

Hello December!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Stuffed

That is us. From the tips of our pedi-ed toes to the tops of Our Big Texas Hairdos. We're still so full from our feasting on Thursday we can't even think. Much less write.

Jay Leno pretty much sums it up for The Leightons:

You can tell you
ate too much
for Thanksgiving
when you have to
let your bathrobe out.


The good news? Only 6 more November "Pumpkin Picture" days left.

We hear your grateful sighs of relief. Yes. Yes, we do.

smooches!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Eve Eve

Little Leighton and I came to ELC's and My Sweet Dad's hacienda to help prep for our Thursday GobbleFest. LL loves rocking on the front porch with her Pa-Dad and strolling in the fresh air with her Grammy. I believe a little country does all of us a lot of good.

Today we're spending the day cleaning. Two of my brothers and their gangs will be making the trek up north—from Houston—tomorrow. My Sweet Hubby and Henry will join us then, too. I already have LL's Turkey Day attire picked out. (You know I'll be staging a photo shoot. Pictures to follow.)

Tomorrow, the cooking commences! I'll be whipping up some delish Pumpkin Dessert Squares that ELC and I sampled at William-Sonoma when we took LL to the mall at the beginning of October. I thought I would share the recipe today. This would even be yummy for breakfast! (Don't judge. Remember—pumpkin is a veggie, after all.)

Pecan Pumpkin Butter Dessert Squares
  • 1 package yellow cake mix; set aside one cup
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, large
  • 1 jar of Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350° F. Divide yellow cake mix, placing all but one cup in a mixing bowl. Stir the melted butter and one egg into the cake mix. Press the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9" x 13" pan. Mix the jar of Muirhead Pecan Pumpkin Butter with two eggs and milk. Pour this result over the cake mix. Stir the reserved cup of cake mix with the flour, sugar, softened butter, and cinnamon. Mix together until crumbly. Sprinkle over top of the pumpkin layer. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool. Cut into "2 squares. Serves 24.

In addition, I wanted to post these two pretty pictures I took from ELC's front porch on Monday. I love that you can see our tank in the background of the first one and the fabulous fall foliage in the next one.



Happy Thanksgiving Eve Eve! (That always makes me think of Phoebe on Friends and how she would say: Merry Christmas Eve Eve!)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

There's Still Time . . .

. . . To get your PUMPKIN on!

Here's our pumpkin pic of the day:


This is ELC's centerpiece on her dining room table.  As you can clearly see, we believe the more pumpkins -- THE BETTER!

Five days and counting until Turkey Day.  Then, it will be time to get your GOBBLE on!

Happy Saturday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Frost On Our Pumpkins!

We’ve had a cold spell hit Central Texas! Texans—whether native or those that got here as fast as they could—all have different ideas of perfect weather. Some like the hellishly hot weather we get in July and August. (Since I used the term “hellishly,” would you guess I’m not one of those peeps?) Some like the bitter cold we get—including snow and ice—usually in January or February (that would be mostly the kids who want to stay home from school). We’ve been known to have freakish cold spells hit as early as October and as late as April. Whichever kind of weather we Texans prefer (TLC and I love, love, LOVE Fall—for the crispness that is so delightfully amazing you almost wish it could be October and November all year long!), we ALL agree on this:

WE NEED RAIN. STAT. Yesterday.

PLEASE, DEAR LORD GOD—PLEASE BLESS US WITH RAIN. Amen.

We realize the people in New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and all other Northeastern states affected by Sandy wish they could have sent us some of their horrific rain. We’d all have been better off. We’re still praying for the victims of Sandy and for their recovery. We’re deeply sorry for their pain.

Yesterday morning, I was at TLC’s. I’d spent Saturday and Sunday nights. Little Leighton needed her Grammy Au Pair, you see. I headed out to my car, at 7:40a.m.-ish, with the intention of going to the Starbucks close to TLC’s home. Little Mama and I crave Tall Decaf Skinny Vanilla Lattes. YUMMO. We also adore their pumpkin muffins (as y’all know). This particular Starbucks has been out of those muffins for at least three weeks. We do not appreciate that. One bit. But, when required, we substitute one of their Breakfast Artisan Sandwiches which are also heavenly. I had to wait for frosty-ish ice to melt off my front and back windshields! I thought about how much I dread the severe cold comin’ down the road. I just don’t do COLD well. Honestly? I wear hunting/wool/fleecy socks all year long to bed. I purchase them at Cabela's. Or Bass Pro. Like I'm an outdoorsy kind o' gal. No. I clearly have circulation issues. I mean, if I have to wear them in July in Texas. Right? My hands are always cold, too. (I don't wear gloves in July or carry around those little hand warmer things hunters use. That'd be silly.) Wish I had a dollar for every time someone has said to me, in the past several decades: “Wow. Your hands are freezing!” I’d have been able to fund every latte TLC and I have had for the past three years. With lots left over for muffins. And cupcakes. And Sonic Coke Zeroes with Vanilla, too.

Sooo…in honor of our nippy morns and TLC’s determination to have all of our November posts be about pumpkins, I’ve suggested she share a couple of pictures of her dining room. This year she chose a “frosty white” pumpkin theme. I love the simplicity of it.




Hope y’all are warm if it’s cold—cool if it’s hot—happy wherever you are!

smooches!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Scorpion-Gate


On ELC's way home from her adventurous and solo trip to Houston, she stopped Sunday to pick me and Little Leighton up to chauffeur us down to her country casa for a couple of R&R days.

The beginning of the drive was typical: LL snoozed. Mom and I chatted, listened to the radio. Ate Peanut M&M's (Snack Size, of course). Right as we were waving goodbye to Fort Worth in our rearview mirror, LL woke up. She was quiet and content at first. Then all hell broke loose as we approached the west side of Weatherford. I was in the back seat with her. As always. She was mad. Wanted out of the carseat. NOW. The only thing we could do to calm this Baby (and our nerves) down was to pull over into a somewhat shady gas station off the Interstate. My attempt to hold her and give her a cold bottle (it was in my diaper bag for later—when it could be warmed) were futile. At that point, I believed the only thing that would stop her cries was to bre@stfeed her. Some of you may remember an earlier post about another of our trips to the country when I had to soothe her this way in a Walmart parking lot. On Sunday we upgraded that delightful experience to driving down a county road and parking outside of a locked and rusted gate that had a For Sale sign on it. Classy. We're pretty sure that's not considered trespassing.

Monday was seemingly uneventful. We staged a Christmas card photo shoot on ELC’s front porch, much to LL's dismay. Then we played. We rocked. She napped. And, we're positive, thrilled us with her first giggle! Priceless. On Tuesday morning, as LL lay on her activity mat in my old-now-it's the-Guest-room, I told Mom how much I loved coming home to the country. Not two hours later, IT happened. Something so spine-chilling to moi it made me rethink that statement.

We were packing up to head back North to my home. ELC was changing LL's diaper. I excused myself to use the powder room. As I was reaching for the toilet paper, I felt something crawling on my left thigh. My immediate reaction was to knock it off. I initially thought it was a spider. Which, in and of itself, made me shriek. But then I saw them: two, tiny "pinchers" and a long, curled tail. Running toward my bare feet. It was a SCORPION. My one shriek turned into thirty. I ran out of the bathroom, holding the toilet paper, and with my jeans around my ankles. LL didn't know what to think of her lunatic Mama. ELC came rushing over. I. WAS/AM. TRAUMATIZED. I don't do scorpions. ELC searched, in vain, for that evil devil. (She’s just informed me by text that their “Pest Man” came this afternoon. Praise The Lord.)

I’m not even going into the details of us trying to get out of my parents’ gate twenty minutes later. Except to say this: it wouldn’t open. My Dad had to come from 25 minutes away to help us. More drama. (And, apparently, more repairpersons.)

On a brighter note, here are two extra lovely and pumpkin-y pictures from my weekend at ELC’s:

Cute little sign hangin' outside the barn. 

Pretty little pumpkin perched on the bench My Sweet Dad made.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Warning!

TLC has made an editorial decision that the month of November shall be All About Pumpkins. One of her most very favourite things. (Don’t worry—I’ll try to keep her in check.)

Since I’ve deferred, I’ve decided to take this opportunity to share. I feel chatty this Fabulous Friday.

First, I'd like to offer up a prayer to our Lord God Almighty, on behalf of everyone in the Northeast, that has lost a loved one, or their home, or both, for your strength, courage, hope, faith and perseverance. God bless each of you. Today. And always. Amen.

I’ve been alone at my casa since Wednesday. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) has gone to what I like to call his Annual Men’s Slumber Party. This completely offends him. He’ll be mortified if he sees this post. He calls it  “Deer Camp.”

It began over thirty years ago when his best friend invited several guys out to his ranch for the first weekend of Deer Season. For several years, it began on Friday afternoon and ended Sunday after lunch. Now it begins on Wednesday (MSH actually starts cartin’ things/equipment/utensils out on Monday—begins the food shopping two weeks prior to that) and has turned into a card-playin’, barbeque’in, big screen (yes—in the pasture) football game watchin’ campout. (I don't think all the guys take guns. Wild hogs are the goal now. Not deer. The hogs can destroy ranch pasture land like bombs have dropped. It's incredible.) MSH is Head Chef. He has a special trailer full of his supplies that he begins inventory'in in September. Three weeks ago he started cleaning out our pantry shelves—taking spices, baking products, canned goods, etc. Sometimes the wives are invited to come have an evening meal.  That actually hasn’t occurred in about three years. Hmmm. I need to politely inquire about this before next year's event.

So he left Wednesday and I’ve been alone. Out in the country. With Teddy Buddy Boo Bear (who has been very depressed that his best friend is missing) and Morty (who doesn’t give a flip where MSH has gone).

I’ve been fine. Eating when and what I want. Thinking. Cleaning. Sleeping. Or not. I worked Wednesday and Thursday afternoon and evening. Came home both nights to my jammies and complete TV freedom.

Early this morning, I had to take TBBB to our Vet. For surgery. TBBB would be embarrassed if I shared what he has to have removed. That’s all I can say about it, at this time. Except our "Rescue Dog" has now become more expensive (after his neutering and heartworm treatments) than all the other dogs we’ve ever owned. Combined. You know what? We don’t even care. We adore him.

After dropping TBBB off and kissing him goodbye, I went to Wally World (Autumn calls it Hellmart—and that seems to be the perfect description of all Walmarts 97% of the time). We had no food in this house. Well, no snacks. Milk. Bread. Cookies. Oh, and fruit. (That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.)

Two things that make me scream when at Wally World? The people stocking the shelves that are exactly where you need to be. (Have I complained about this before now?) And they don’t move. Or look at you. Or apologize. It’s like they’re glued to their spots. I normally decide I can wait on that product they're blocking. Sometimes I go back later to see if they’re still in block mode. They usually are.

Second, those people who get in your “space” at the checkout counter. You know who I mean, don’t you? You’re unloading your cart and they’re right up next to you. Pressuring you to hurry so they can unload theirs. Like you have any control over the people in front of you and the cashier checking them out. This morning, the lady ahead of me was purchasing eight (8) bags of candy corn. On sale from Halloween. They weren’t ringing up with the correct price. Of course. Because I was behind her. The couple behind me seemed to be about ten years older than me. A husband (or boyfriend) and wife (or girlfriend). The woman was the one who got up so close to me while I was unloading some things from the bottom of my cart I actually thought she was going to help me. Then, when I retrieved that separator (spelling?) stick from the front of the conveyor belt and put it behind my stuff, so they could start unloading their cart, the husband/boyfriend got right up next to me while I was using my debit card thingy. I’m pretty sure he saw my PIN. That’s how close he was. I was going to ask them if they’d heard of the word “boundaries,” but decided to be My Nice Self and just smile. It could have been that I smelled good. Since I can’t put on cologne when around Little Leighton, I really splash it on thick when I'm at home. Ha.

Tonight it’s just me and Mortimer. Again, he is oblivious and could care less. I’ll be packing for an exciting trip manana. I’m going, by myself, to Houston. To see our oldest grandchild in a play tomorrow evening. This is the second year he’s had a big role in his class production. MSH can’t attend, of course, because he’s at his Slumber Party. Y'all might find this difficult to believe, because I know I’ve always given y'all the impression I’m quite the Worldly Gal, but I’ve never driven to Houston by myself. Completely alone. In a car. Driving. This will be the first time in the forty-three years I’ve had a driver’s license that I’ve gone that far alone. No, wait. Once I drove my mother, TLC, and my brother’s three kids to Arkansas. In MSH’s suburban. To stay at a lake cabin and dig for diamonds. Llloooonnnnngggggg, cRaZy story. (For another post, perhaps. And I technically wasn't alone.) But all my trips to Houston in the past eighteen years our sons have lived there? I’ve been a passenger while MSH has been my chauffeur. I normally sleep four out of the five hours it takes to get there.

Is everyone a little nervous about me doing this? Yes. Yes, they are. MSH. TLC. Our son and daughter-in-law. Okay. And, yes. Yes, I am a teensy bit anxious. But I’m also very excited. It seems like an adventure to me. I’ve got it all planned out. The places I’ll stop to buy coffee and walk around for a few minutes. Meridian. Or Waco. Hearne or College Station. It’s all up to moi! Woo Hoo!!!

I can feel y’all wishing me luck and a Bon Voyage as I conclude this post...

Here’s the first pumpkin pic:

We hope y'all will "gather" back at our blog for more pumpkin-y-ness soon!

Happy Weekend, Dear Friends! (Watch your boundaries, please!)


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A "Tricky" Photo Shoot

Happy Halloween from My Cute Little Witch!








P.S. Little Leighton was THREE MONTHS OLD last week! Here she is in her little owl costume for yet another photo shoot. I promise we do other, more educational and stimulating things besides taking pictures.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Yumhaw for Y'all!

Meet our newest afternoon/after dinner (Who are we kiddin'? After breakfast, too.) snack obsession:


We're here to tell y'all:  These cookies are scrumptious!  We first sampled the Oatmeal Dark Chocolate and fell in love. Then, one day last week, as I (TLC) was perusing the Target aisles, I came across the Chocolate Almond Butter. Equally as tasty! We'd be hard pressed to pick a favourite.

Since these are super healthy, they're basically negative calories. And they help us forget all about Red Velvet Cupcakes. Well. Almost.

Happy Sunday Evening!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Fiasco

The best laid plans…of The Leightons. Sometimes things just don’t go as one hopes.

Last Thursday, all three Leightons got up bright and early. (Well, two of them usually have no choice—since Little Leighton prefers the wee hours of the mornings.) They planned a Field Trip to Hobby Lobby! All they needed were paper plates and napkins for TLC and some spools of grosgrain ribbon for ELC. They were only going to have approximately one hour. Little Leighton’s feedings require precise timing (so TLC is not forced to feed her in a restroom or in between the clothing racks at Target—TLC’s not one to flaunt her Mamahood, if you get our drift).

They piled into ELC’s car at approximately 10:02 a.m. Clean and madeup—with actual makeup on in the form of blush, mascara and lipstick—and with great anticipation for the fun they truly believed they were about to experience.

ELC parked at the Hobby Lobby near TLC’s casa at approximately 10:11 a.m. Yes. It is that close. TLC extracted Little Leighton from her carseat. ELC got her purse, TLC’s purse, and the diaper bag. None of which are light. She could have used a pack mule.

As they got inside and got two carts—one for Little Leighton and the few items they needed and one for their “luggage,” ELC looked at her left hand. In it was TLC’s garage door opener. Not her car’s keyfob. She searched all the pockets of her purse and her jeans for said keyfob. No luck.

ELC: Hmmm. Wonder what I’m doing with your garage door opener in my hand? (She said this an air of calm in her voice—because she’s a GOOD actress.)
TLC: What?
ELC: I must have grabbed it instead of my keyfob. (Said keyfob is required to start ELC’s car. She’s had the car for over three years. It’s taken her two and a half years to get used to not having an actual carkey.)

(ELC quickly looked away from TLC’s confused face. Why, and HOW, did her doors lock? Because she vividly remembered hearing them lock. After she hit the button to lock them. BUT—and here’s the kicker—the doors should NOT have locked. Not if she’d left the keyfob inside. It wasn’t supposed to happen that way. It was a safety feature!)

ELC turned away before TLC could see the terror in her eyes and quickly headed out to the parking lot, saying: I must have left the keyfob in the car. Be right back!

She knew that couldn’t be true. She had to have dropped it. It would be somewhere on the ground between the store and her car.

And…yet…it wasn’t.

She went back into the store and found TLC and Little Leighton exactly where she’d left them. Paper products’ aisle.

ELC: Maybe I put them in the diaper bag.
TLC: Mom, you didn’t find it? And the car is locked? And our minutes are counting down? What are we going to do if you can’t find it? I can bet money it’s not in the diaper bag. Or my purse.
ELC: Don’t worry. I’ll find it.

Long story short: After another trip back to the car—and after TLC made a search between the store and the car—and back—herself, ELC discovered the keyfob. In one of her cupholders. Inside the locked car. Twice she’d looked into the car from the driver’s side. The third time? She looked from the passenger side. Yep. There it was.

HOW? How could this happen? Her extra keyfob was 2 ½ hours away—at her home. If Her Sweet Hubby (HSH) left work right then—it would take him over three hours to get it to her. Tick. Tick. Tock.

She went to break the news to TLC. She was, frankly, slightly shaking with fear. The look on TLC’s face when ELC told her? Not pleasant.

TLC: Mom, how many times have I told you to lock your doors with the keyfob—when you get out of your car—and not from the handle? So this can’t happen? How many?
ELC: Fifty? (She knew it was at least a hundred.)
TLC: Call Triple A.
ELC: I don’t know if they can get the door open. I’ve not had to call them since we bought this car.
TLC: Call them. HURRY. Or I’m going to be feeding Little Leighton in this restroom. I won’t like that, Mom. I really won’t.

ELC called AAA at 10:31 a.m. They would have somewhere on scene by 11:01 a.m. ELC and TLC needed to be back at TLC’s casa—for LL’s “lunch”—by 11:30. (They had originally included just enough time for a lunch stop at Sonic on their way home.)

ELC then called a Toyota dealership she knew was about 20 minutes away. First told her sad tale to the poor young woman who answered the phone. She put ELC through to a nice young man in the Service Department. He broke this tidbit of info to ELC—as gently as he could: If the AAA person could not get the door unlocked? The car would have to be towed to their dealership.

Prayers were immediately sent up. To God. To Jesus. To The Leightons’ Guardian Angels.

At 10:47 a.m., a delightful AAA man drove up. Towing a car. He’d decided to stop at Hobby Lobby on his way to the repair shop so we wouldn't have to wait on him. He even apologized! ELC considered kissing him. He got the car door open at the very moment TLC walked up. Life was, once again, good. Until three seconds later. ELC’s car alarm went off. Her keyfob should have stopped it. It didn’t. The keyfob battery had to be dead. AAA Man put the emergency key in the fob into the lock on the door. Praise the Lord—the alarm stopped. (BTW: Little Leighton slept through all of this. Why does everyone try to be so quiet when she’s home—in her room? She slept through an alarm loud enough to be heard ten miles away. She should be able to sleep through Henry’s barks at the UPS Man’s knock or the phone ringing, right?) AAA Man took the keyfob apart and showed The Leightons what kind of battery was needed. It was one of those weird little round ones. He said to give him a call if that didn’t work and they needed a tow.

At this point, TLC decided she would walk to a Walgreens—about 200 yards away—to purchase a new battery. She might have thought that was better than her deep desire to plot ELC’s demise.

Once back with the battery, The Leightons were able to be on their way home. It was now 11:18 a.m. LL was still asleep. No napkins, plates or ribbons had been purchased. There was, however, time to make that Sonic stop. The tots? The Day’s Saving Grace. And The Leightons were beyond grateful for answered prayers and one magnificently kind AAA Man. Maybe, in the end, it only seemed like a fiasco.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mortimer and the iPad

I just had to share this SILLY picture My Sweet Hubby (MSH) texted me of Mortimer:


I may not know how to work the iPad, but Morty sure does!

He was clearly tired of reading about all the political "malarkey" via his online Wall Street Journal subscription and decided to use it as a pillow to rest his weary head.

P.S. There's TBBB in the background. He doesn't even want to learn how to use the iPad. He's anti-technology and pro-rawhide-ology.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

LL Round-Up!

It's time for another edition of:

Please Humour Me While I Share Lots O' Pics Of My Precious Princess Little Leighton!

Here's what we've been up to lately:

This is what Princess LL wore on her first trip to Nordstrom.
We believe:
The bigger the bow, the better!

Seriously, Mom.
What in the world do you have on my hands and feet?

LL LOVES to check her Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest
before she heads to Dreamland.

Henry has proved to be quite the reliable and dependable babysitter.

Teddy Buddy Boo Bear, on the other hand, has not.
We caught him snoozing on the job.

That's right, folks!
Her first pair of sunnies are LEOPARD PRINT.

Happiest Saturday, Dearest Readers!

Smooch.  Smooch.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Perils of Date Night

So last week, TLC and I agreed she and Her Sweet Hubby (HSH) needed a Date Night. Since Little Leighton (LL) made her grand arrival eleven weeks ago, her parents have had one night out. And it was only for dinner. They were definitely ready for dinner and a movie. I got to their house Wednesday eve.

Thursday was a full day. TLC and I took LL for her first trip to The Mall. Nordstrom had been calling TLC's name for several weeks. We needed to also make quick runs to JC Penney's, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and Williams-Sonoma. We strolled The Little Sleeping Princess with determination and focus. She did FABULOUS. (Okay... She had no clue where she was. But we're confident she's going to love to shop!)

Friday TLC visited January in the hospital. She had a new baby girl!!! I practiced my Nanny-sitting skills for that evening. Later, when TLC came out of her room all spoofed and prettied up, ready for her night out on the town, I got teary. She looked dazzling. She and HSH ventured out to a restaurant they hadn't tried, with the plan to see the movie Taken 2. Little Leighton and I settled in to our night of Grammy Only.

TLC updated me, at least every 20 minutes, about their status. Until they arrived at the movie theatre. For almost two hours, all I heard were the sweet sounds of LL sleeping and Henry snoring. At 10:30ish, I got a text that they were on their way home. But then I got another one. TLC had fallen on the way to their car because it was dark and they were walking in grass. Her idea. Yep. Not the best choice. (I don't think the tall heels she'd chosen to wear -- although stylishly haute -- helped her situation.)

Once home, TLC broke into tears. HSH could help her with LL Saturday and Sunday, but what would she do if her ankle was as bad -- or worse -- on Monday? When HSH had to go to Oklahoma?

Duh. Grammy to the Rescue. Making sure TLC iced her foot every hour-on-the-hour Saturday, HSH and I got her caught up on grocery shopping, laundry and some housecleaning. Sunday morning, HSH took care of LL while TLC directed me on packing for our two-hour/three-day trip Southwest to my country casa.

Now it's Tuesday. TLC's foot is a teensy bit better. She's still icing it. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I have done everything we can to help her stay off of it. Although Little Leighton says she loves the country, we'll head back to The Big City tomorrow. There are no other Date Nights scheduled, at this point. I'm fairly certain TLC will be wearing flats on the next one. And picking the path that is a well-lighted sidewalk. Bless her sweet heart and foot.

Have a Terrific Tuesday. Wherever in the World you are!

BY THE WAY: This is our Two Hundredth Post! Shootin' for Three!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

We're Famous!

Look what ELC just discovered whilst browsing the "Winter 2012" Garnet Hill catalogue:


We're over pumpkins.  We've moved on to Christmas!

P.S. Just kiddin' about the pumpkins.  We LOVE 'em.