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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grammy's "Nesting" Thoughts

I read "Nesting" with excitement and genuine out-loud laughter. (Finally Little Mama did a post! I’ve been carrying her for months. Kind of J/K.) Now I feel compelled to make some "Comments.” Decided there'd be enough to share my perspective in an official “Post.” I heart officialness.

It's hard to believe Little Leighton will be here soon! TLC and Her Sweet Hubby (HSH) have invited me to be with them for two sonograms. The first made me cry. The second—a 4D!—well, it made me cry, too. A lot. Of course. That’s no big surprise.

I had one sonogram when pregnant with TLC. That was over 29 years ago. I vividly recall it was difficult not to scream (mostly because I was full of the required six gallons of liquid and a semi-stranger was periodically punching my bladder) when I said to the semi-stranger/technician: "Huh? What? That's her head? Where? Really? Are you sure?" My Sweet Hubby (MSH)? Just watched. In silence. Completely confused. I’m thinking only the youngest of his four boys might have been sonogrammed. My memory is that this was a brand new experience. BTW: TLC’s gender apparently wasn’t clear/obvious/a slam dunk. However, I always knew she was a girl.

That sonogram picture they gave to me and MSH looked like the moon. With an abundance of craters. At that time, a pregnant woman typically received only one sonogram. If she was lucky. (?) Some of my friends never got their one sono. Us (We?) lucky ones were quite grateful for our one picture. Of said moon.

Seeing Little Leighton put her hands over her face during the 4D—like she's already playing peek-a-boo—sneaking a look at my son-in-law, grinning with pride—and  listening to TLC—my baby—laugh and ask silly/smart questions gave me shivers of sheer, unmitigated, divine JOY. And, yes, more tears.

Technology ROCKS. Big time.

So, Little Mama, here are my thoughts on your recent thoughts and pictures:

You absolutely, without one doubt, have been an extraordinarily "busy bee!" I can't imagine any other first-time Little Mama being more educated, more organized, more READY than you. Everything in The Nursery is special. From the fun glider, to the prints over her changing table that were in your room as an infant and toddler, to the exquisite rug and quilt made with Aunt Lillie's gift of magical artistry, I could sit in her cool, sweet room, rocking and dreaming of holding Little Leighton, forever. And a day.

Thank you, Little Mama, from the bottom of my soul, for letting me be a part of the planning, cleaning, arranging, re-arranging, re-cleaning (Grazie, MSH, for giving TLC one of your OCD genes—sheesh), and the completion of Little Leighton's Nest. I am, however, extremely relieved you and Your Sweet Hubby (YSH) excused me from the painting of her room. Y'all did a fabulous job! I wouldn’t—oops, I mean couldn’t—have done better.

I don't sew. I don't craft. I don't do anything even close to either of those two abilities/talents. So being TLC's Official Assistant and Scissor-Holder, while she made Little Leighton's mobile and jazzed up her lamp, was a memory I'll treasure. They're both adorable.

Little Leighton's Closet? YIKES. You’ve been showered with fantastic gifts. You and Little Leighton are incredibly blessed to have such wonderful family and friends in your lives. When I showed MSH this post, he laughed so hard at that picture it almost scared me. Then he said—with such seriousness it scared me even more: "Now, the baby won't need any clothes for a long time, right?" Right. Sure. And then you woke up, cRaZy

Time for total honesty about your self- portrait, okie-dokie?

You've sent me pictures like this alot in the past almost three years you and YSH have lived in your home. But I ask you to send them. You don’t stand around, aimlessly, in your bathroom. Taking pictures of yourself. That would be weird. I often want to see your hair. Or an outfit. I’d purchased the white shrug you had thrown on to go to the Sonic and I’d been bugging you to see it. Who knew you’d pair it with a MuuMuu? Quite daring. Very edge-y. (Why do we forget we have FaceTime? What is wrong with us? Seriously? The mirror pictures could end. Today. Never mind. We can’t lie. We need them.)

This particular MuuMuu picture was taken over a month ago. Fess up, Sister. Your tummy is currently twice as big as what you’re trying to pass off as your current situation. Your nickname at work now is Jiffy. For Jiffy Popcorn. (Those of you too young to know what this is should Bing it now because I’m not sure they still even sell it.) You and Little Leighton are CUTE, though. Beyond cute. Cute to the zillionth power. I’ll admit it might be difficult for me to be objective. To me and YSH and Your Sweet Dad, y’all are PERFECTION.

The shoes? OMGosh. They make me grin from ear-to-ear. I might have even snorted. A tidbit.

Dear Lord God,

PLEASE don't let Little Leighton adore shoes as much as her Mama. I won't be able to take it. Her Dad—who is the youngest of two boys—will never understand it. Her Pa-Dad will move to Siberia and we’ll never see him, again. Thank you for any consideration you can give us. Amen.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Howdy, y'all!  My!  How I've missed you.  It's been FAR too long since we last visited.

With Little Leighton's grand arrival quickly approaching, I've been a busy bee.

Decorating the nursery:

were both HANDMADE by the beyond talented
and generous, Aunt Lillie.
Little Leighton's first heirlooms!

ELC and I are FAR from Martha-status,
but we did "foof" up her lamp by adding lace
and wrapping the cord with fun, grosgrain ribbon.

Washing teeny, tiny clothes that completely fill her closet:

Folding little socks and washing little onesies is WAY more fun than doing my own laundry or Hubby's.
I'll need to do an entirely separate post showcasing some of her new outfits.

Oh!  And wearing muu-muus.  Lots of muu-muus.  It's HOT in Texas.  So very, very hot.

Fashion Tip #1:
Adding a cardi to your muu-muu can take it from day to dinner at Sonic.
P.S.  Why, yes!  That is the infamous makeup shirt in the background.

And I couldn't resist sharing these positively PRECIOUS shoes LL was gifted:

The pink GLITTER TOMS are from sweet Autumn.
The LEOPARD ones are from darling Pepper.
When she's not wearing these,
they will be on display in the nursery.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Yep, it’s us. We’re still here. Because we haven’t done a “letter” post lately, it seemed like the perfect TIME to do “T!” (TLC agreed—TOTALLY.) And it's Thursday!

Fasten your seatbelts, we’re about to TAKEOFF:

DO BE: Trusting; THOUGHTFUL; TACTFUL; THANKFUL; Tranquil; TANTALIZING; Terrific; a Trendsetter; TRIUMPHANT; Tactical; TENTATIVE (that’s not always a bad thing, you know); TIDY and Thrifty!

DON’T BE: TYPICAL; a Thug; Tacky; TERRIBLE (especially to yourself); a Tattletale (no one likes that!); TWERPY (is that a 60s kind o’ word?); Tardy (for the party!); TAUDRY; TIMID; Thickheaded; TIPSY (unless you have a designated driver) or in a Tizzy; Tedious; THREATENING; TWO-FACED; a TOOT; or a Two-Timer. Or TYRANNIC.

Don’t have: A TEMPER.

While you’re wearing your TIARA: TWIRL! Twinkle! Wear TAFFETA! Watch the TELLY! Play Tiddlywinks and jump on a TRAMPOLINE! Twiddle and TWIST (but don’t shout!) Pick TULIPS and paint your TOENAILS Teal! Have a Tete-a-Tete with someone from TEXAS (maybe a TYCOON? Or us? We’re not TYCOONS. Just being real.)!

Plan a trip to: Thailand; TIBET; Tahiti (our first choice!); TUNISIA; Tanzania; Topeka; TALLAHASSEE; Turkey; TONGA; TOBAGO; or Tasmania (look out for that devil!). Go by TRAIN to some TOWN that has no TRAFFIC and ride a TROLLEY.

Use a Tablespoon of TARAGON, Thyme and Tabasco in your TACOS and Tamales. Use wheat TORTILLAS (healthier, of course!)! TASTE Tapioca; TOMATOES (extremely good for you!); Taffy; and TAGALONGS (Girl Scouts Everywhere will love you!).

Watch out for: TYPHOONS; Tornadoes; TERMITES; TOXIC Takeovers; TUMBLES; Turtles (ELC’s word for slow peeps); TELETHONS; Tigers (that are loose); TARANTULAS (Who cares if they can’t really hurt you—seriously? They are TREMENDOUSLY TROUBLING!); Ticklers (unless you don’t mind being Tampered with); TANTRUMS (of which Little Leighton shall have none); Tiny THESPIANS (they can make you TIRED); and THIRSTY, Tequila-drinkin’ THIEVES (work with us, okay?)!

Don’t read TABLOIDS. Do do TAICHI. Don’t get in a TAILSPIN. Buy a new TEAPOT. Learn new TECHNOLOGY. Notice TEXTURE. Enjoy a THUNDERSTORM. Be TOGETHER Tonight with Thous Truly TREASURED darlin’ (sorry—brain can’t pull a “t” word for that…getting TIRED!).

Learn how to play a: Trombone; TUBA; Tambourine; TRIANGLE (remember those from kindergarten?); or TRUMPET. You might get a TROPHY!

TOMORROW…Don’t suck your THUMB. THRIVE. Think! TACKLE Tough TRANSITIONS. Wear TURQUOISE or TOPAZ. Don’t listen to Trashy TRIVIA. Be a TRAILBLAZER. Read about a THOROUGHBRED. Give a TISSUE to someone in TEARS (you get the broader meaning, right?). Start a TRADITION. Avoid TRAGEDY. Suck in your TUMMY. Read all one Trillion TWILIGHT books (Tee hee hee!).

That’s That! TOUCHE! Tada!

And Ta-Ta. . . for now. . .

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The Circle of Life

TLC and I were hoping to post something silly and/or funny and/or interesting by tonight. Instead, something happened Sunday evening that caused TLC to be shocked. Confused. Profoundly sad.

It’s made me think about losing people we love. Not only to death. But to change. Change in circumstances. Change caused by moving to new homes/towns/states/countries. Change due to misunderstandings or different philosophies or different perceptions about situations. The loss of innocence. Of love. Of energy. Of will.

I’ve always thought I handled change okay. Beginning with my parents’ divorce when I was five years old and continuing through the next 53 years of my life, I’ve believed I’ve coped, at least adequately, with the losses I’ve been forced to endure. Small losses. Huge losses. I’ve felt I've coped fairly well. Surely. Right? I guess I could be wrong.

I put myself through college. When I had (technically) three parents who could have helped me—but apparently thought it would mean more to me if I wondered, sometimes, where my next meal was going to come from—I found strength and encouragement through my own determination. And through friends. Incredible friends. Friends who made sure I did have food to eat. That I also had the support I needed to succeed.

At 24, I married a divorced man with four sons. Ages . As you may know, we’ve hung in there for 34 years of marriage—in September. Even through all of our mistakes. Even when it seemed like it might be easier to throw our hands up and run away.We’re still here.Waiting for our seventh grandchild to be born. Loving every opportunity to experience laughter, joy and gratitude.

I struggled to get pregnant with TLC, only to learn, a little over a year later, I needed a hysterectomy. I was 31. I battled breast cancer at 40 and am convinced that, eighteen years later, I continue to pay the price for the chemotherapy treatments I had in order to survive. I don't regret my decision. I regret there has to be bad. With the good.

I’ve lost friends. Not only to death. But to stupidity. Maybe mostly my own. Because I ran away from hurt feelings instead of being brave and dealing with them. With candor. I’ve lost family. My Nana. My husband’s mother, Ada. I’ve lost faith. Hope. Trust.

I’ve learned—over the past 28 years—that TLC doesn’t like change. She likes order. Organization. Precision. Clarity. She’ll easily admit she doesn’t like surprises. I can attest to this—it is 1000% true. I’m pretty sure she doesn’t like the words “flexible” or “spontaneous.” (Hey, Little Mama, get ready—you will need to not only like these words, but BE these words! Little Leighton will make sure of that, Sweet Pea.)

Sunday night TLC had to confront—after a lovely, easy, wonderfully delightful weekend, a weekend full of shopping and planning and Baby Princess Preparations and well, yes, I’ll name it, perfection—the unexpected. The loss of a kind, dear, special, elegant, strong, and amazing Christian woman TLC had come to love as if she was her own Grandmother.

In one awful phone call, perfection gave way to despair and pain. Unbelievable, gut-wrenching pain.

Change and loss is thrown at all of us. Every single day. In little pieces. In big, hard, hideous chunks. With God's help, we can overcome the anguish and fear of both. Because somehow He encourages us to understand we simply must.

Until next time…please be safe…

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Just Kiddin'

We're not back... YET!

Maybe tomorrow.

Maybe Tuesday.

DEFINITELY by Wednesday!

Cross our hearts.

Thank y'all for your patience.

Happy Sunday!

Monday, June 4, 2012

We're Not Tootin'...

The Leighton Gals must take a short break. The Road calls ELC. TLC is still getting their little “nest” ready.

We shall return, at the latest, by Sunday, June 10th.

In the meantime, we’ve checked our “Stats” to pick out—from our Top Ten Most Viewed Posts—our personal Five Favourites.

This is not intended to toot our own horns. We’re not tooters. Generally speaking. But if you haven’t read these, you might get a kick or two out of them.

ta-ta and faretheewell for now… y’all come back and see us again, soon…

Friday, June 1, 2012

Skunk Dawgs and British Muffins

So My Sweet Hubby (MSH) was watching Part 3 of The Hatfields and McCoys while I hid out in my office last night. I’m calling this mini-series: The Hatbloods and McGuts. I can’t do it. I like Kevin Costner and I love Bill Paxton, but the violence is simply too much for this here Old Gal. I’m passing on this one. I’ll trust you when you say it was unbelievably fantastic, okay?

I had another post in mind—and will do it later—‘cause it’s going to be amazing. Tee Hee Hee. Instead, I’ve decided to let my mind wander and share a few things that make me smile, cry, or both.

First, Little Mama and Little Leighton came Monday for a very fast visit. They arrived around 3: that afternoon and left Tuesday at 1:47ish. More on their departure in a few.

MSH fixed us a wonderful dinner. We had grilled salmon (and when I saw “we,” I mean TLC and MSH had the salmon—y’all know I don’t do salmon—YUCK), grilled shrimp (love me some shrimp)—and grilled flounder. Who knew this Chicken/Steak Woman liked flounder? I discovered this shocker last Summer—when we were in Rockport. Hadn’t had any since. MSH grilled it with fresh tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Delicious—with a capital DELICIOUS. He also “grills” potatoes outside—with onions, cheese, fresh mushrooms, etc. These are melt-in-your-mouth awesome. The 3 ½ of us shared one big tater. It’s true. And had plenty.

I fixed my Sassy Spinach Salad (minus the grilled chicken, natch). Little Mama laughed and laughed at her cRaZy parents. She’s beginning to lovingly threaten us with a nursing home. Soon. Obviously, we ignore her.

She had an appointment Tuesday morn at —yes, that is . With Kit. Our Family Hair Stylist. For a cut and color. MSH had his appointment first. At . Cut only. I fixed Little Mama a British Muffin with whipped Philly cream cheese, some sugar and cinnamon and sliced bananas, while she got dressed and put a little makeup on. Most of y’all might refer to what she had as an “English Muffin.” MSH calls them British Muffins. You remember—this is the same man that called his MP3 player a MyPod. TLC and I believe British Muffin is way more fun than the normal terminology. That’s now what we shall call them. He thinks we’re mocking him. We’re not. We would never do that. Me thinks, after watching the Bloods and Guts, he’s lookin’ for a feud.

TLC rode into town with Her Daddy. Then I got to the beauty shop at 8: and watched Kit finish cutting her hair. Kit processes color like no one else Little Mama and I have ever known. We’re going to have a ceremony, soon, where she receives The Leightons’ Best Hair Stylist/Colorist Ever Award. For the years 1986-2012. That's how long we've gone to her. Yep. She’s Number One.

When Kit was ready to kick us out of her parlour, Little Mama and I went to get a Vanilla Latte and then checked out a new clothes’ shop in town. She found a dress and a top that looked great on her—and they weren’t even maternity. With her new pretty locks, this positively made her day!

After lunch, Little Mama had to head home. She had a doctor’s appointment at . Except—uh-oh—our gate wouldn’t open. I was in front of her—headed to our Post Office—becoming completely confused and frazzled when I pushed and pushed the button in my car (she doesn't have a magical button) and nothing happened. (Yes, we get it. We’re lazy. We don’t want to crawl in and out of our vehicles to get in and out of our place. We should be ashamed. Alas, we’re honestly not.) I then climbed over our gate—which isn’t generally a good idea for someone my age who is not only clumsy and can’t see a thing, but also does not present a pretty sight to passerbys. I considered making the Little Pregger Lady do it. She did offer. I concluded it would be cruel and, possibly, dangerous. I tried to open it with a code at the box. Nothing.

I panicked as I thought of Little Mama scurrying down I-20 (it’s one-lane for miles and miles and sometimes very slow) and then I-30 (it’s only two lanes for miles and miles and sometimes even slower than I-20) too fast. I frantically called MSH. He answered promptly. Thank goodness. He left his office (25 minutes away) immediately. He tried to talk me through opening the gate manually as he headed our way. That didn’t go well. Meanwhile, Little Mama sat in her idling car (with gas at $3.50 a gallon) checking out her Twitter and emails and Pottery Barn for Kids. Cool as a cucumber.

We got her on her way by . Somehow that Child O’ Ours and Future Mama arrived to her doctor’s appointment, 100 miles away, twenty minutes early. I couldn’t believe it. She promised me she never went over the speed limit. Hmmm. Really, TLC? Really? All I’ve got to say is: Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Little Mama’s Angels!

Wednesday morning I had to take Teddy Buddy Boo Bear (TBBB) for his walk thirty minutes early. 6:50. I had a coffee date in town—at —with some friends. We meet once a month to solve the problems of this World. Unfortunately, this World never asks for our solutions. (The Gate Guy was coming at —and so you don’t have to anxiously fret with worry for one more second that I had to actually open it by getting out of my car any more than once that day—it was fixed by .)

Because it looked like it might possibly rain (silly, silly me), I was carrying an umbrella. My iPhone. And my trusty “snake” walking stick. I had no room for TBBB’s leash. A mistake. As we got to the pasture before our big front pasture and the gate, he was in an area he normally doesn’t try to explore. Much too far away from me. I started calling him. Semi-calmly. Then I saw it. The tail of a skunk. He was chasing a skunk. I thought, prior to that point, he was a pretty smart dog. Apparently, I was wrong. I screamed at him until I was certain they could hear me twelve miles away. Finally, Skunk Dawg decided he better mind me.

As he got close, and I could see the skunk heading away from us, I was calling MSH on my cell. He answered as TBBB reached me.

“Buddy Bear just played with a skunk!” I said. Okay—I might have screamed these words. I told him he was with me and we were walking—towards the gate. That I wasn’t sure he’d been squirted.

“He might be lucky!” I stated with optimism. Nope. False alarm. As he passed me, there it was. The lovely smell.

“Crud. He’s hit,” I reported. “I don’t think it was a lot, though.”

MSH said to go in and look at the “skunk” recipe on our utility room fridge—we’ve had it there since we moved out to the country—so he could go get any of the ingredients we might not have. That he’d give him a bath as soon as he got home.

When we got to the top of our hill, I had to put TBBB in the outside pen. If he could talk, he’d say it’s a prison and he despises it. Since we adopted him ten months ago, he’s been in it probably a total of twenty hours. Because we can’t stand how he looks at us when we have to use it. It’s 6X12. With a nice, clean doghouse. And shade. Yet he’s hurt beyond belief when he’s confined there. He’s never been in it after dark. We tell him there are millions of dogs that would love it. He doesn't seem to care.

He was there for five hours. Kit was coloring my hair after our Coffee Club. (Having all three of us in her shop in less than 48 hours, I fear Kit might have retired. She's way too young for that.) As soon as I got home, I let him out for about an hour. I hated to do it, but Jailer ELC had to put him back. I had to be at work at .

As I drove to town, I passed MSH on the highway. He called and said he had plenty of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dishwashing liquid. When I got home three hours later (yes, I have a cush job), TBBB smelled a teensy bit better. MSH had washed him twice. I said I couldn’t smell it any more. Otherwise, TBBB would have had to spend the night in the outside pen. I could never have slept that night. By yesterday, he was mostly back to his normal “dawg” smell.

I love British Muffins. I can do without The Hatbloods and McGuts. And I dislike, immensely, skunks. 

T.G.I.F., Dear Friends! Have a Wonderful Weekend…