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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Don't Lay A Finger . . .

Hubby and I just got home, a couple of hours ago, from a yummy lunch with ELC and MSD (My Sweet Dad). We tried a fun new restaurant in Fort Worth. I'll have to share the details soon. Afterwards, we headed to one of our most favourite-est stores ever, Lawrence's, while the boys browsed World Market.

As we were heading home, I told Hubby the heat (it's already darn right hot in this here part o' Texas, which makes this Preggie Mama, who's due in July, slightly paranoid about what's to come) sure was making me crave some cold and tasty ice cream. Or perhaps a slush from Sonic. While Hubby would normally oblige, he quickly reminded me I had Butterfinger Pie waiting on me at home. Of course! How could I forget?

Y'all, this is one of the easiest and most scrumptious recipes. I knew I had to share it. It would be perfect to take to an Easter celebration next week.

Butterfinger Pie

6 - 2ish oz. Butterfinger Bars (the ones you get next to the check out stand at the store), crushed and crumbled
1 - 8 oz. block of cream cheese, softened
1 - 12 oz. tub of Cool Whip (I used "Light" to make myself feel better about eating lots o' slices), thawed
1 ready-made Graham Cracker crust

Mix cream cheese and Cool Whip. (I used my hand mixer). Fold in the Butterfinger pieces. Pour into the pie crust and chill for a couple of hours.

Voi-la and Ta-Da! Toldcha it was easy peasy.

Happy Weekend!!!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Weekend With Little Leighton and Friends

So Grammy ELC/Leighton got up early (—CST—sheesh—basically in the dark) this past Saturday morn and headed to TLC’s casa. For a visit with Little Mama TLC and Little Leighton.

Upon Grammy’s arrival, The Girls waved goodbye to The Boys (TLC’s Hubby and Henry) at the back door (the SUV was packed and ready to pick up Lauren’s Hubby for Fishin’/Guy Stuff at the family’s lakehouse) and greeted January and her Mom, Lillie, at the front door. We’d planned a trip to a nearby fabric store and then lunch in McKinney. Lillie is gifting Little Mama a fabulously handmade/exquisite/unique rug for Little Leighton’s nursery! We started our search at JoAnn’s. Lillie advised she would need six coordinating fabrics. Little Mama found the perfect choices in creams, pale blues and pretty greens. YUMMIES. Little Mama’s excitement (and deep gratitude) was contagious!

Little Mama and Little Leighton (do you see the bump?) lookin' at all of the lovely fabrics!

We then headed to McKinney for lunch at Spoons (oooo-la-la, y’all—DELISH!) Next stop? A visit to the most charming-est (this is to a word, Sillies) babies’/children’s store called Gigglebrush. Grammy and Little Mama had ordered a glider and bedding from them a few weeks ago. January and Lillie were intrigued. The McKinney Square, where Spoons and Gigglebrush are located, is crowded with devine little shops to leisurely browse. Since Little Mama needed to get her feet up, we vowed to make another trip, soon. We moseyed on back to Little Mama’s house for some water, more chatting and lots o’ laughs. The time with January and Lillie is now a precious memory!

We had the pleasure of looking forward to a much-needed get-together with Lauren. Grammy Leighton had not seen her in ages and ages. We picked her up for an early-ish dinner at one of our favourite restaurants—Mi Cocina’s. But, first things first: Auntie Lauren had a special gift for Little Leighton!

Her first pair of shoes! From NORDSTROM.

We spent quite a few minutes saying: AAAWWWWWW. OOOHHHHHH. Wow! Absolutely ADORABLE. (Do y’all think these, in a Size 9 for Grammy, would lose their cuteness factor?)

At the restaurant, Grammy and Lauren might have had a Pinot Grigio and Sangria, respectively, while Little Mama had…yep…water. With lemon. She seems to be getting a bit tired of her limited liquid choices. Grammy ELC believes within thirty minutes of delivering Little Leighton, Little Mama TLC will be asking ELC to make a fast dash to the nearest Sonic for a DVC (Diet Vanilla Coke, of course).

The three of us gals took our time dining and catching up. We then begged Lauren to come back with us to Little Mama’s home, so she could see the nursery. Okay, there’s actually not all that much to see—at this point. We made her visualize The Plan. She was, as always, beyond enthusiastic—and patient. You might be able to imagine, by now, how The Leighton Gals could be overwhelming. Occasionally. Yet very unintentionally. Being the classy young lady she always is, Lauren never stops smiling. Never complains. She’s an incredible friend. We (finally) took her home and headed back to TLC’s for Dreamland. Didn’t take any of The Pooped Leighton Gals long to reach their ZZZZZZZZZZZssssss.

Bright and early Sunday morning, Grammy coerced Little Mama and, therefore, Little Leighton (who had no choice) to go for a walk. Little Mama and her Hubby live in the greatest neighborhood! It has sidewalks and ponds with ducks and playgrounds and community swimming pools and lots o' nice, friendly peeps and pets. Here are some of the pictures ELC took while on their lovely walk:

Look at the cute little duck couple!

Little Mama already has grand plans for next year.
Yep. She will put Little Leighton in those beautiful bluebonnets
and take lots o' pictures.

We loved the red tulips/blue pansies combo.

When we got home, we worked for a few hours in Little Mama’s closet. Hubby and Henry drove up around noon (to watch the Baylor Bears play in the NCAA Basketball Tournament—please don’t ask how that turned out—although we’re all extremely proud of them!) while The Leighton Girls ran some errands at Buy Buy Baby and Pottery Barn Kids.

It was a perfect weekend. In every way. Fellowship! Fabulous Food! Fun! Giggles! Goals accomplished! Exercise! Love! Silliness! Dear, Sweet, Darling Friends! Perfection.

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Day In The Life Of Teddy Buddy Boo Bear

Y’all know we adopted our precious Buddy Bear a little over seven months ago. I had prayed for a dog to find us. Four-and-a half-year-old Brown Lab Buddy, through our precious friend, Kit, did.

If he could talk, I believe he’d say he has a good life. I’d guess 95% of the time he’s happy. Content. Grateful. (Wouldn’t 95% be pretty good for us people, too?) 5% of the time he is (temporarily) sad. This happens when we have to crate him for a few hours (Once we leave, I’m convinced he puts a happy face back on as he looks out three windows to a beautiful view—but someday I need to borrow a video camera to verify this speculation.) or put him in for just a bit, while we eat. A sit-down-at-the-dining-room-table-with-real-plates-and-silverware kind o’ meal. If we eat at the island/counter—5 out of 7 days and nights a week—he usually goes to the front door, lays on the rug, and gives us the saddest eyes you’ve ever seen. It’s heartbreaking. We never like to see The Sad Eyes.

I thought it would be fun to share a day in his life (if I’m at home all day—which is usually three to four times in the work week):

 Monday thru Friday: TBBB is up and outside with My Sweet Hubby--MSH. (I don’t have a picture of this. I’m usually awake, but unwilling to get out of bed to document it—you understand.) Once around the house. Although he mostly never has to be on the leash when he’s outside with us now, he does have to be on it when it’s dark—in case he sees bunnies. If he sees bunnies, he's determined to get those bunnies. MSH found this out the hard way. Once was all it took.

BREAKFAST! (Still no picture.) MSH changes the menu for him every day. Some days it’s scrambled eggs, bacon and biscuits with gravy. Some days it’s pancakes and sausage. Some days it’s fried eggs and grits with cheese. I can usually hear him telling TBBB what he's about to have as he puts it in his dish and on his mat. Always, every day, it’s really IAMS. With Science Diet treats for his skin and coat, mobility and oral care. Bless his little heart. Not any of the above. (I receive no compensation for these endorsements—darnnit!) We are those pet owners that made the determined decision he won’t be allowed people food. Not on our watch. EXCEPT when he has to take his heartworm pill. Then he gets said pill in an itty-bitty peanut butter sammich—on whole wheat bread. Or we put it in a little piece of cheese. Once a month. Other than that?  Dog food.

—He hangs out in the hall by our bathroom and closets and waits while MSH gets ready for work. (Yep. Still no picture.) He wants to say: PLEASE DON’T GO. PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME. PLEASE STAY. He’s forced to just follow MSH around—as he makes his coffee. Or fixes his bagel. He watches MSH put his socks and shoes on. With The Sad Eyes.

—MSH leaves for work and TBBB heads to the window in my home office. To watch Hubby’s truck drive away. He waits a few minutes. (I guess he thinks there’s a possibility he could come back. Never happens.) Eventually, TBBB heads back to his bed. A little sad and depressed. However, he’s asleep PDQ. His Doggy Depression never lasts too long.


Sometime between and a,m.--TBBB comes to find me in my office. He does his Doggy Yoga—seriously—he does Down Dog better than anyone I’ve ever seen. (I never have my phone/camera handy when he's stretching. If I do have it nearby and ready, I can’t catch him.) This is my official notification it’s time to go outside. For at least thirty minutes. And to the gate. If possible. He sniffs everything on his merry way. I mean everything. Sometimes he gets into a bit of trouble because he becomes so focused on a scent he won’t come when he’s called. Tuesday morn, he found a turtle. Lordy, he went slightly BaNAnAs. In order to get him away from said traumatized turtle (he had discovered flipping him on his back and then flipping him to his tummy again was fascinating—BIG FUN), I had to put him on the leash and drag him several yards down the hill. Silly Dawg.

Mr. Turtle.

Headed back from our walk.

From until —Nap time! In my office. Or wherever I am. Occasionally I can escape him. I can leave and sneak away to do some cleaning or laundry or piddlin’. I only try to be clandestine (not an actual verb?) so he won’t wear himself out following me all over the casa. However, he's usually aware I’m moving around and he’s gonna be right there with me.

to --Generally, he’s awake until MSH gets home. He watches for him at "Buddy’s Window." He’s learned to listen for the text sound my phone makes when Hubby is letting me know he’s on his way. Takes MSH about 25 minutes to get here. Those 25 minutes must, sometimes, feel like 25 years to TBBB. He’ll look at me like he wishes he could say: Where is he? Can’t you make him get here quicker? Why is this taking so long? When he sees Hubby’s car drive up? Sheer, unmitigated JOY.

TBBB:  Oh, boy! Oh, boy! He's about to walk in! I saw him from My Window!

From to 5: p.m.—TBBB gets to hang out with Hubby. They go back to the gate, if it’s not too windy. Or rainy. Or super cold. Then they hang out on the back patio or MSH sits on a rockin’ chair on our front porch, while TBBB chews on the same—or a new—rawhide bone. They meander and wander. They roam. They do guy stuff.

Guy/Chewin'-On-His-Bone Time.

—DINNER! TBBB is famished and it doesn’t take long to gulp it down. He usually hangs out in the kitchen, while we rustle up some vittles, and then he goes outside one more time. For the night. When we bring him back in, he heads for his bed. Sometimes he waits a bit to go there, preferring to hang out by Hubby’s feet—who’s in his chair—or me and my feet—while I’m on the couch.

—OFFICIAL BEDTIME! Hubby moves TBBB’s bed back (I’ve moved it into the Great Room in the morn) to our bedroom and my two fellas are gone. Out, like lights, in minutes. For the night. Often snoring in sweet unison. While I get to watch The Biggest Loser or Dancing With The Stars (please allow me to give you my opinion—for what it’s worth—this will be the BEST DWTS ever!) or other ELC-Only shows.

Nighty night night, TBBB.

REPEAT every Monday through Friday. Except the days I go to work. Or I’m in town early for coffee with friends or on errands. I won’t go into those changes. Suffice it to say this: He does NOT like those days. Period. The Sad Eyes come out and are there when I get back home. It’s tough.

On the weekends, MSH sleeps an hour later. TBBB gets to spend lots more time with him—outside. We plan dinner out with friends around TBBB’s schedule. We plan trips to TLC’s or Fort Worth or Granbury or Weatherford around TBBB’s schedule. Figuring out how to crate him the least amount of time. Guilt always works with us. Always.

He’s changed our lives and we utterly adore him. He is truly one of our Best Answered Prayers!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Baby Yeehaw!

I’m so very lucky to be the step-grandmother of six beautiful grandchildren! Three of my husband’s four sons (I’ve been their Stepmom for almost thirty-four years) have kindly shared their fabulous kids with me, beginning thirteen years ago . TLC became an Auntie at age 15—a role she has truly treasured.

But now, as y’all have heard, our “baby” is having her first baby—a Little Leighton! Sometimes we still can’t quite believe it.

Three weeks ago, TLC and I met Taylor for lunch in Granbury—perhaps The Greatest Little Courthouse Square/Lake Town in Texas! I introduced Taylor to y’all last year in another “Yeehaw”—April 3, 2011. She’s quite a beautiful, accomplished, and charming young woman. Great wife, Mom (Baby Boy Two is due any minute!), and a dear friend—to both of us LCs.

She gave me, for an early birthday gift, the most delightful book—one I have no doubt you’ll want to order and give to a friend or family member as soon as you hear all about it.

The authors, Andy and Susan Hilford, call this book “the other baby book. It’s not about your grandchild, it’s about you—but it’s for your grandchild.” You put together “the story of you—the thoughts, moments, events, images, ideas, and, yup, even some of those ‘What was I thinking?’ moments, ones that add, um, depth to your story.”

Some of the beautifully illustrated pages have these titles:

Here goes . . . These two pages have, among other things, your name, birth date and place, historical events happening that year, what you weighed, your siblings, and how your family ended up in the United States.

When I was young (waaaay back when) These two pages have details about the home you grew up in, your family car, favorite treat, family pet, where your family vacationed, your favorite subjects in school, and the activities you were involved in, etc.

Postadolescence wasn’t any easier back then These two pages are all about your high school years.

Yikes! Work . . . These pages are about your first full-time job.

Grandmother’s hall of fame These two include your favorite movies, television shows, bands and songs, books, foods, and things to do, among many other fascinating favs.

(Several pages involve your courtship, engagement, wedding and life with your husband.)

Grandfather Studmuffin These pages are all about hubby—the thing you love most about him, his cutest feature, how he makes you laugh, and his nickname for you, among lots o' other sillies.

There are pages about your child having this child.

Finally, a grandchild! These two pages are about THE Baby—his or her birth, who you thought he or she looked like, a characteristic you think you share with this child, etc.

Whoooweee, I’m going to spoil you silly (for pictures of you and your grandchild)

The last page is:

Oh, and. . . This is a page for “A Few More Thoughts from a Very Proud Grandmother”

I cannot imagine a more meaningful, significant, important, special gift to any first or twentieth-time grandmother.

Merci! Grazie! THANK YOU, Taylor!!! From the bottom of my heart. I’ll cherish this gift from you, always—and, I have no doubt, so shall Little Baby Girl Leighton!

Yeehaw, Y’all! Weekend HUGS from Grammy ELC

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Come On Down!

Pretend we’re playing The Price is Right. (Not even close to being one of my favourite game shows, but I have watched it.)

Look at this picture and, in your mind, try to guess how much I paid for these 23 items at Wally World yesterday. DON’T look ahead. I’ll give you thirty seconds. (Please note: There is no prize for this. All you can win is the satisfaction that you know your stuff.)

$99.21. That’s the answer. $99.21. SERIOUSLY? (Were you close?)

Let’s go through them product by product (STAY WITH ME—this could be fun):

Had to have milk, eggs, half and half, and turkey. Absolute necessities. Didn’t need the Cream of Wheat individual packets, but I’ve been going down Memory Lane recently, remembering how much I loved having this for breakfast, while growing up. We cooked it in a pot—took every bit of 25 minutes. The more lumps? The better. For me. Not my siblings. I often got to eat most of the pot by myself.  I wanted to try it. (BTW: Fixed a packet this morning. Wasn’t cRaZy about it. Think I’d really prefer to prepare it the old-fashioned way. Not sure what will happen to the other 7 packets now. Interested, TLC?)

I always have, in my purse and car, individual Wet Ones. To clean my hands, cellphone, steering wheel, etc. after shopping or touching things out there in the sCaRy World. Things that have been touched by possibly hundreds of hands. Things including, but not limited to, ATMs, doors, gas pumps. Things that could have cold, virus or other contagious germies on them. I’m slightly obsessed with attempting to keep my hands clean. TLC is, too, but she prefers the bottles of alcohol hand sanitizers. I’ve seen, on TV news’ reports, that her method is the best one. Mine is certainly better than nothing. Those little wipes are refreshing and they also get rid of stickiness (like after having a DQ Mini-Blizzard—oops—not recently, TLC). The reason I purchased three boxes yesterday (I usually pick up two every couple of months) was that TLC had requested I get her some of a particular scent—“citrus.” She alleges she can’t find that specific kind in her area. I’m suspicious of this. I think she just wanted free boxes.

Last week, after being a year overdue for my eye exam, I learned I have cataracts. Little bitty ones. But they’re there. I went into a semi-shocked state. Huh? My eye doctor I adore, Dr. Phil (no, not that Dr. Phil), said I shouldn’t have to worry about them for several years. I am young-ish to have them already beginning. I’m still disturbed about this. And there’s nothing I can really do except wait and watch. However, I also have macular degeneration in my family. He encouraged me to take Lutein to help prevent this heartbreaking condition. Hence the three bottles I bought. When I got home, I realized two things: (1) One bottle had less milligrams than the other two—I have no clue how this happened—clearly I wasn’t paying attention; and (2) Two of the bottles were $13.94 each! I spent $34.82 for a two and a half months' supply of these capsules. For me. If My Sweet Hubby (MSH) needs them, too, which he probably does, WOWZER. I’ll need to work at Wally World to pay for them. Or locate cheaper lutein. If you have help for this problem, please advise ASAP. Add lutien to the 500 vitamins and supplements I already take every day (J/K—it’s about 20) and I'll definitely need to find a part-time job or actually start eating right. This is getting expensive.

MSH and I both take fish oil capsules. Twice a day. I’m always buying a bottle of those every couple of months. He left a bottle of shaving cream on my vanity. My official notification he needed more, please. What I purchased will last approximately six months.

I’m currently in a Mascara CRISIS. Yes, I know I’ve recommended a couple of brands, in past posts, I alleged I liked. Apparently I don’t like them that much any more and am now searching for alternatives. If I don’t like one of these (the two together cost me $13.41), I don’t know what I’ll do. I don’t think I want to try Latisse. And my 58-year-old hands are too shaky to apply false eyelashes. I’m also uninterested in (costly) eyelash extensions. So I’ll try to update you on these two options soon.

Turns out I did not need: the Jergens’ lotion (except the small one for my travel makeup bag) or the cotton swabs or q-tips. I forgot to remove these items from my list when I bought all three two weeks ago. Shocking that I would forget, right? Sheesh. Except for one of the mascaras and the Cream of Wheat, I was going to eventually need all of these things.

I went to a checkout for 20 Items Or Less. I don’t cheat on that. Ever. Okay, not very often. Or intentionally. I counted exactly 20 items, in my basket, as I stood in line. Confession: As I unloaded the cart, three items were hiding underneath bigger stuff. I felt HORRIBLE. I apologized to the clerk. Profusely. Who said: “Don’t worry. I just checked out a lady who had over 40.” WWWHHHHAAAAATTTTTT?????? Why would she be in that line? (No one was behind me. Therefore, I technically wasn’t inconveniencing anyone else at that moment. I get cranky when people cheat on this—especially when it affects me because I’m behind them in a long line.)

My experience yesterday caused this: ELC’s Examples of What’s Wrong With This World:

  1. People who deliberately cheat in the 10 or 20 Items Or Less checkout lanes. Yes, including moi. (Truly, I don’t do that even once every two years. I end up feeling too guilty. Promise. Cross my heart.)
  2. Those shoppers who leave their carts in the middle of the parking lot because it’s entirely too much trouble to walk them over to the Cart Return. I always return mine. Always. I have to make no caveats on this one. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen very healthy looking people leaving their carts in the parking spot next to them. I swear sometimes the Cart Return is three spots away. ? ? ?  I always wonder if these are also the people who will be mad when they can’t get into a spot because oodles of other peeps have done this. RETURN YOUR CARTS, Sillies. You and I both need the exercise. Be proud of the extra-effort you went to and JUST DO IT.
The point of this post? I don’t know. I’ve completely lost all organized thoughts.

Happy Camel Day, Dear Friends! (Except where it’s now already Thursday—but I don’t have a clue where that might be—sorry.)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Having Our Cake

Would y'all mind if I backed up a bit? Thank you. Thank you very much!

At our 13-week sonogram, the doctor was able to guess that Baby C was a GIRL! I was quite surprised. I'd initially felt certain I was having a boy. After the doc made her "assessment," I politely asked her to please double check. She decided to stick with “Girl,” but cautioned us NOT to paint the nursery pink or share the news with overly zealous grandparents. Little did she know, I had planned a "Gender Reveal Party" that evening for said overly zealous grandparents. Oops.

ELC and My Dad drove, two hours, from their home and met My Sweet Hubby’s Dad and Stepmom at our house that Friday evening. After dinner (brought in from one of our favourite Italian restaurants in our little 'Burb), it was time for
CAKE! Yes, that's right. Hubby and I were going to reveal Baby C's gender via one of my (and ELC's) most favourite things in the entire universe. When we cut into said cake, it would reveal either pale pink or pale blue frosting, sandwiched between the layers of fluffy and delicious vanilla cake.

As I sliced the knife into the pretty little confection, I issued this disclaimer:

Warning! At this point, we are only 60% positive about Baby C’s gender. Yes, we are well aware that's only 10% better than your guess, Dad, that It's A Girl, and Mom's guess that It's a Boy. You both are, at 50%, almost as accurate as the sonogram machine. C'est la vie. The doctor just couldn't be definite. And, of course, we had already planned this party. Therefore, if we need to "amend" the gender after our 20-week exam, that won't be such a terrible thing, will it? Who would be cRaZy enough to turn down more cake? (Maybe my Dad. Not my Mom.)

(I’d already prepared The Cake Lady, when she delivered it, for the possibility we might need another one.)

ELC was equally as confident as me that Baby C was a Boy. She was being quite sassy as she told me to "hurry up already.” She could taste the blue icing before she even saw it. Lo and behold, she was something she never likes to be: Wrong. With a capital "W." As I placed the freshly sliced piece of cake on one of the festive, yet gender neutral, plates, I wish I could have adequately captured her face with my camera. It was one of pure and utter shock. (Picture, if you will, McCauley Culkin in a Home Alone movie poster. That was ELC’s exact expression.) There, for all the world to see, was baby pink frosting! My Mom was rendered completely and utterly speechless for five full minutes. I cannot stress how rare this is. It was absolutely priceless. She almost couldn't eat. (Key word? Almost.)

Since we're now blissfully at peace with the knowledge Baby C IS a wee little chickadee, I've found other excuses to have cake. From "Today is Tuesday! Let's have cake!" to "I can no longer fit into the first round of my maternity jeans! Let's have cake!" I'm thinking My Little Leighton will probably adore this obsession as much as her Mama and Grammy. We are “Over the Moon” we saw that pale pink frosting. Yes, yes we are! IT'S A GIRL!!!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

L is for...

Little Leighton!

We found out on Monday that Baby C is a beautiful baby GIRL!

We are beyond thrilled. Completely over the moon. ELC came to the sonogram with us and got to see Sweet Little Leighton moving her perfect little mouth. It looked like she was talking! (At which point we exclaimed:  She's SO a Leighton!)

As soon as we left the doctor's office, we immediately purchased several LARGE bows. Yes, I'm going to be that Mama that puts her daughter in bows bigger than her head. The bigger the bow, the better! (Kind of like, in Texas, the bigger the hair…)

We couldn't wait to share this wonderful news with y'all! Here's to lots of pink ruffles and tulle and frilly frills in our (near) future!

Saturday, March 3, 2012


First, it is not my intention to insult real, live birds. I adore birds. I cherish the wildbirds I see (and we feed) outside my home office window almost every day of my grateful life. I also don’t mean to offend anyone who loves and/or raises real pigs. Or the Piggy Pjs Gals. Or Miss Piggy. Lord knows TLC loves her some bacon, too. Actually, when I was eighteen, I had a pig named Napoleon. My parents had moved to the country from the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. Napoleon got humongous and lived for several years. He was a good pig. I’m talking about those completely rude and ridiculous little birds and pigs on Angry Birds. I’ll get back to them in a bit.

Second, I want to apologize for using the word “stupid.” A week ago yesterday, our 3 ½ year-old grandson, Cutie-Pie, and our son arrived from the Big Metropolis of Houston, to stay with us two nights/three days. (To say we were in Grandparent Heaven is an understatement.) It was sunny, but breezy and a bit chilly in the country that afternoon. Our son forgot to bring a jacket for Cutie-Pie (it's always warmer in Houston than five hours north), so we headed to town—to Wally World—to find one. On the way, I sat in the backseat of Pa-Dad's truck with our little fella. Looking out the window at the cows, horses, llamas (Cutie-Pie was also searching for some “blue elephants”) I said, for the first of three times during their visit, the word “stupid.” Something like: “Those stupid people who think they have to drive so fast on this highway make Grammy cRaZy.” An impatient person behind us, on the two-lane, had decided My Hubby’s speed of 72 mph wasn’t fast enough. Mr. Nascar had passed us in an illegal and dangerous way. Evidently he was unaware we had Precious Cargo On Board.

Cutie-Pie immediately looked at me, with his major-big-brown-charming eyes, and firmly stated, in sincere shock: “Grammy, you said a BAD word.” Suddenly, I was 3 ½ and my Mom was telling ME to NEVER use the word “stupid”—especially as a description of my younger brother and sister. I felt ashamed. Completely embarrassed. I quickly and profusely apologized to Cutie-Pie, thanking him for reminding me that he was exactly right: stupid was not a nice word. I said: “I should never use that word, Cutie. Or shutup either.” He nodded his angelic little head. And forgave me.

Confession: He caught me saying “stupid” two more times before they headed back home. In my defense, I wasn’t talking to him either time. I wasn’t even in the same room with him. Technically, I was speaking, in almost a whisper, to TLC, who had driven from her home on Saturday to see her brother and nephew (spending the night with us for a second weekend in a row—which Grammy loves!). I had no idea Cutie-Pie was listening or could hear me. He has exceptionally good ears, that one. I apologized. Again. And again. He continued to forgive Grammy. Yes, I was and am ashamed. 

Cutie-Pie really understands how to use an iPad. Wowzer. I must be totally honest and admit I took full advantage of his amazing technological/game-playing abilities/skills on Saturday afternoon.

We’d been on a long walk to the gate—and a ride on the Ranger around the tanks. We'd fed the catfish. Cutie-Pie, Pa-Dad, Aunt TLC, Grammy and Teddy Buddy Boo Bear had had a BIG time. We were resting and Cutie was sitting by me on the couch. He was on his Dad’s iPad. I was checking my phone to see if any of my Words With Friends opponents had recently made a play (TLC being one of those peeps—one of those who likes to play a word every five to six days—thanks, Sugar). Suddenly, it hit me.

ELC: Cutie-Pie, could you teach Grammy how to play Angry Birds? (I've tried several times, on my own, to figure that insanity out. To no avail.)

CUTIE-PIE: Sure, Grammy! I show you.

At which point, he took my phone, hit the Angry Birds icon, and started playing. Knocking those pesky pigs into the next century with those annoying little red, blue and yellow birds. He was focused. He was fast. He was confident. And extremely successful. He was at Level 6 when his Dad said: “Please give Grammy her phone back and show her what to do.”

Cutie worked with me for a few minutes and then decided I had the general idea. He talked his Dad into helping him download Angry Birds Rio onto their iPad (which needed charging). Our son then set him up in our guest room so he could play the game. I sat on the bed, watching him, but he never knew I was there. Even when I was taking pictures. He didn’t look up once. Not until Aunt TLC (who he yikes--ayot!) came in and told him we were going out to dinner. It was time to come to a stopping point.

Bless his little heart.
His love for Angry Birds knows no bounds.
He's more than willing to play by a trash can.
Look at his yittle "yambie"--awww...

From that moment on and until this past Thursday night, I periodically picked up my phone and tried to get to Level 4 (6 is clearly an unattainable dream for moi) on that STUPID Angry Birds game. I watched those smart-alecky little birds NOT knock down those mean little pigs, who smiled and laughed at me, jumping with joy each time I missed them, until I thought I might throw my phone into the above lovely trash can pictured with Cutie (yes, I’m lacking that discerning “eye for detail” in photos—sorry). I’d had it. I uninstalled the AB app. Done. And done. Surely I have better things to do with my time. Right? I could go on-line and read the Piggy Lounge blog—which I treasure. Or I could start a new game of Words With Friends (10 on-going games don’t seem like enough, do they?). Or I could literally sit on my great-grandmother's rocking chair and twiddle my thumbs. Take a nap. Catch up on my DVRd Dr. Oz shows (I’m at my self-imposed limit of 10 and can’t record any new ones until I get rid of at least one). Anything. Seriously.

I’ve also sworn (maybe I should say promised?) to myself I’ll work exceptionally hard at not saying BAD words in front of our grandchildren. Or anyone, for that matter. Because it’s simply wrong. And stupid. I must learn to shutup.

ttfn, Happy Friends . . .