Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Greater Vision...

In about fourteen hours, it will be 2014.  A New Year. While TLC and I try to wrap our minds around this fact, I discovered a prayer written by Billy Graham. It was printed in the Saturday Evening Post Society in 2008. As you read it, you'll believe, we're certain, that it is timeless.

"Our Father and our God, as we stand at the beginning of this new year, we confess our need of Your presence and Your guidance as we face the future.

We each have our hopes and expectations for the year that is ahead of us--but You alone know what it holds for us, and only You can give us the strength and the wisdom we will need to meet its challenges. So help us to humbly put our hands into Your hand, and to trust You and to see Your will for our lives during this coming year.

In the midst of life's uncertainties in the days ahead, assure us of the certainty of Your unchanging love.

In the midst of life's inevitable disappointments and heartaches, help us to turn to You for the stability and comfort we will need.

In the midst of life's temptations and the pull of our stubborn self-will, help us not to lose our way but to have the courage to do what is right in Your sight, regardless of the cost.

And in the midst of our daily preoccupations and pursuits, open our eyes to the sorrows and injustices of our hurting world, and help us to respond with compassion and sacrifice to those who are friendless and in need. May our constant prayer be that of the ancient Psalmist: 'Teach me, O Lord, to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end' (Psalm 119:33).

We pray for our nation and its leaders during these difficult times, and for all those who are seeking to bring peace and justice to our dangerous and troubled world. We pray especially for Your protection on all those who serve in our armed forces, and we thank You for their commitment to defend our freedoms, even at the cost of their own lives. Be with their families also, and assure them of Your love and concern for them.

Bring our divided nation together, and give us a greater vision of what You would have us to be. Your Word reminds us that 'Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord' (Psalm 33:12).

As we look back over this past year, we thank You for Your goodness to us--far beyond what we have deserved. May we never presume on Your past goodness or forget all Your mercies to us, but may they instead lead us to repentance, and to a new commitment to make You the foundation and center of our lives this year.

As so, our Father, we thank You for the promise and hope of this new year, and we look forward to it with expectancy and faith. This I ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, who, by His death and resurrection, has given us hope both for this world and the world to come.

Amen."

Thank you, Rev. Graham.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Texas Caviar

January 1st is THREE days away, and you know what that means? Time to get your black-eyed peas ready! (Note: The Kroger in my neck of the woods is already out of the "name brand" cans. We had to scour the store to find the generic. We Southerners don't mess around with our black-eyed peas -- BEPs, for short.)

When I was younger, I was not a fan of BEPs. ELC had to force-feed me one spoonful on New Year's Day to assure my "good luck" for the upcoming year. Many times, My Sweet Dad would make a big ol' pot of BEPs on the stove -- with lots o' bacon (how could I NOT love them with bacon? cRaZy.) and maybe a few jalapenos thrown in, for good measure. I don't specifically remember what year my parents decided they would shake things up a bit and make "Texas Caviar," but let me tell you something, I instantly became a lover of BEPs.

I wanted to share this family favourite recipe with Y'all and wish you the LUCKIEST 2014!

Texas Caviar
(I like to serve mine as a "dip" with Fritos but you can also just shovel 'em in -- sans chips!)

4 cans black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
1 red bell pepper, medium diced
1 green bell pepper, medium diced
1 package Italian dressing mix made to directions -- except use cider vinegar in place of the water and add 2 extra tablespoons
Pinch of garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare dressing. Mix ingredients together. Best if you can let this sit overnight in the fridge. We've found that it's also a good idea to drain the liquid off of it, at some point, before serving. It can get a teensy bit too runny if you don't do this.

This year, I'm also adding a can of "fiesta corn." I like to live on the edge. Hominy is quite delish in this recipe, too. Other yummies we've included, over the years, are: black olives; green olives; black beans; Roma or cherry or grape tomatoes; and, last, but not least, those important jalapenos.

Bottom line: Don't hesitate to BE CREATIVE!

Note #2: These BEPs would also make a cute gift -- served in a mason jar wrapped with a pretty grosgrain or burlap bow...SWEET.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Here It Comes...

2014...Four Days and Counting...YIKES.

Christmas in the Texas Country was WONDERFUL. Lovely. Fun. Quite memorable. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I shared the day with family and good friends. MSH fixed a scrumptious meal of turkey, dressing, mashed taters, mashed sweet taters (that truly are more like a dessert), green bean casserole (a family favourite), yeast rolls, pecan pie and apple cobbler. Heaven. (Yes. I realize I'm one lucky woman/wife/person. I do a lot of the cleanup. I try to earn my seat at MSH's delicious table!)

Little Leighton (LL) had "Santa" at her home Christmas Eve morning. Then "Santa" here at our casa on Christmas Day. Of course, she's seventeen months old. Not quite sure what the fuss is all about. We all played it low key--just a couple of semi-big (for a tiny girl) gifts and a couple of sacks with goodies. I think TLC will do for LL what we did for her--as she grew up. She'll try to teach LL it's never about the gifts that we receive. It's always about the gifts we give. First, however, even before "gifts," it's about the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

We're fast approaching the end of The Nines, too! As y'all may remember, TLC and I committed to doing nine posts per month this year. We've not discussed our 2014 blog goals yet. We did great, I feel, on getting our "nine" posts. We've been not-so-great at our Yummies and Yeehaws. I'm guessing we'll try to commit to getting back in the groove with those.

Have a Fabulous Friday and Wonderful Weekend, wherever in the World you are!

smooches and hugs...
ELC

Sunday, December 22, 2013

grapefruits and mullets...

Although I’m extremely pooped and need to put my old head on my pillow, I’m compelled to respond to TLC’s questions about my questionable backgrounds in the two old photos of her in her preceding post: twinsies.

First, let me take this opportunity to go back a few years—about 49. I was probably about ten years old when I became a kid who wished she had a camera. There were all kinds of cameras back in the Stone Age. I don’t remember “disposables” making an appearance until I was probably in high school—or early college. But there were cool cameras marketed for kids and I always wanted the latest model.

Cameras were a gift you tried to finagle out of your parents for your birthday—or for Christmas. The problem with asking, and receiving, a camera was the future cost of film. And then the processing of said film. And it wasn’t just the actual processing—but also getting your film to the person or place that was going to process it for you. That required transportation. Gas. Time. In short? Cameras could be an ordeal. Therefore, I didn't know much about, or own many, cameras until my early married years.

Apparently I wasn't born with an "eye"for what would/does make a good photograph. (I was destined to be quite nearsighted and maybe that's why I have issues with depth perception?) I never took a photography class. Never bought or borrowed a book on photography. Guess I should have tried harder, TLC. I think you would admit I've become better at noticing what's in the background. (I do adore my iPhone camera. I can take twenty pictures of Little Leighton and delete eighteen of them with the speed of a 40-year-old!)

The picture of TLC “standing on her head?” With the lovely box of grapefruits in the background? I’ll just say it took me two full days, while stranded during Icemageddon last week, to locate this picture. (It was a complete accident that I finally found it. Be grateful, Ms. TLC.!)  I’d love to retake that one. (Actually, I’d love to retake thousands of pictures I took during the first twenty years of our marriage. I’d also like to have the money back for all of the pictures I’ve ended up throwing away. On our first trip to Hawaii, in 1978, I took thirteen rolls of film. I had to process them one at a time (due to the expense) over a period of about six months. I threw half to 2/3rds of those pictures away about six years ago when I discovered them in a box at the Barn apartment. There were endless shots of the same sunset. The same flowers. Ocean. Scenery. Sheesh.)

The picture of TLC standing by a water faucet and Junior’s (our Basset Hound we loved for ten years) water bowl? Again, I concede, this was not a pretty place to take a picture. But the expression on TLC’s face? Priceless to me. The fact that I know that was Junior's bowl? Touches my heart.

You Younguns simply don’t understand how lucky you are to have so many options available to you as you document the stories of your lives. Fantastic cameras, including video cameras, in your cell phones. Editing abilities. Phone Apps that make your pictures look like a professional took them. Photo Shop. Instagram. Shutterfly. Wonderful, helpful, FABULOUS tools to insure you won’t have a picture, in your future or your child’s future, that has unwanted grapefruits, a water faucet and/or a dogbowl in the background. (Not sure I can guarantee your child won't have a mullet! TLC was hair-impaired for so long, I was thrilled she finally grew some. Wasn't about to have it cut until it was completely necessary. And I don't believe we had, or I knew of, the word "mullet." Teeheehee.)

As pitiful as my photography skills were in these two pictures, the memories mean everything to me.

Now, go take a picture of a cherished family member. Or a friend. Or a sunset. Or some flowers. You’ll be laughing with someone ten, twenty, thirty years from now about that picture. Maybe crying a teensy bit, too.

(Less then three days until Christmas! Wwhhhaaaattttt? Less than nine days until 2014! Unbelievable. Seriously.)

Monday, December 16, 2013

twinsies

I'm sittin' here, sippin' my hot cocoa (ELC has me officially hooked on Swiss Miss "Sensible Sweets" Diet Hot Chocolate with Jet-Puffed Miniature Marshmallows -- and, FYI: hot chocolate should be equal parts cocoa and marshmallows in my book. ELC learned this the hard way last Thursday night as we settled in to watch Debbie Macomber's "Trading Christmas" movie on the Hallmark Channel -- well, technically it was on ELC's DVR -- po-TAY-toe/po-TAH-toe. She only gave me 8 'mallows. I wanted 24. Lesson learned, ELC. Lesson learned.) and realizing I never shared these pictures ELC found last week when she was trapped during Icemageddon 2013. I think it's official:

Little Leighton is my twin!

This first picture (that's me on top -- with the interesting grapefruits in the background) shows us both "standing on our head," a term ELC and My Sweet Dad coined when I would be toddlin' along, mindin' my own business, when one of them, or one of my four older brothers, would randomly shout:

STAND ON YOUR HEAD!

Apparently I would stop what I was doing and, you guessed it, "stand" on my head.

I'll just pretend they were laughing with me and not at me, since we now do this to Little Leighton!

Exhibit A:


ELC, would you like to elaborate on the massive amount of grapefruits in a cardboard box?

I know it's a smidge hard to see in this next picture (I'm on the left -- by the lovely water faucet and dog bowl), but I'm fairly certain LL and I share the exact same "squinty" grin -- complete with wild hair! (In fairness to LL, this was taken post-nap/pre-brush, and she has significantly less of a mullet than I did.)

Exhibit B:


ELC, would you like to explain that water bowl (and my mullet)?

Here's hoping your Monday was far more MERRY than manic!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

wonder...


Is there anything more wonderful than seeing Christmas -- its magic and sparkle -- through the eyes of a child?

Have a blessed weekend!

Monday, December 9, 2013

day four...

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I are stuck. Literally. Inside our home. It was exactly four days this afternoon—at about 3:00 p.m. CST. Actually, I’ve been out to take a few pictures. MSH’s been out and over to our Barn and Barn apartment about four times each day. To check on our cat. Morty. Who does seem to be appreciative. Truly. (And worry not—he’s warm and toasty!)

Saturday and Sunday mornings, MSH showered over at our apartment. We have an “aerobic” septic system. (There’s a different kind at our Barn and apartment.) The sprinkler heads were frozen by Friday morn and he turned the pump completely off that afternoon. Meaning: No laundry. No long showers. No flushes—every single time. CONSERVE. Our key word. (However, yesterday he turned the pump on for a few hours, allowing me to do two loads of laundry. I have four more to go. Who knew clean undies would be so valued?!?)

BTW: Not to fear—I have showered. But major fast. It’s been four days of no makeup. No big Texas hair—just a brush through in the mornings. Mostly jammies. So for someone who, after 47 years of wearing makeup and fixing BIG hair and constantly complaining about how tired she is of it all, you’d think I’d be glad I could have a significant break from these routines. Shockingly, at this point, this morning, I’d like to have a LONG, hot shower. I’d like to wash my hair, fix it, and put some makeup on. I’m dreaming of a burger, tots and large Diet Vanilla Coke from Sonic. Yes. Yes, I am. No. No, it's not happening. We're probably perched up here for at least another day. Possibly two more.

I’ll let TLC recap her experience with Little Leighton (LL) during Icemagedon. ASAP. She’s basically trying to get through the long days in their maison. (LL has technically not been out of their casa since last Wednesday—when she and I went for a walk to the Duck Pond. Fortunately, at sixteen months, she’s not quite understanding how bored she is!)

TLC and I have reminded each other, by text, every couple of hours, for four days, that it could be worse. We could have no electricity. We could have little food. We could be forced to brave the elements and dangerous “Cobblestone Ice” (Yes. A new term we've been told was coined here in Texas. Meaning ice that is like cobblestones when one is looking at it or attempting to drive and/or walk on it.) to get to a job that demands we be present. We have deep, true, beyond sincere gratitude for all of those people who MUST get to work: doctors, nurses, policewomen and men, firewomen and men, EMTs, airport personnel, bus and train personnel, gas station peeps, etc. Even grocery store owners and employees trying to keep their businesses open so others can have food and water. God bless their hearts and souls.

For a little sympathy: Please enjoy a few pictures of what it’s been like up here on our hill in North Central Texas (Be sure to keep in mind, this is NOT snow--it is solid, hard, scary ice.):

Looks like snow. Solid ice. 



See the little bird? 

Our hill! Solid ice.
(The speed limit sign was put up when we built our home--
Too many trucks were heading down too fast.)

From Facebook

Stay cozy and warm, Wherever in the World you are, Dear Friends...

p.s.: I'm officially out of Diet Dews, Hershey's Bliss White Chocolates and my Kroger's Mini Cinnamon Rolls TLC gifted me last Thursday. We're almost out of milk. I never had cocoa. I'm completely over this.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Icemageddon

Yesterday afternoon, in North Central Texas, we had our Second Wave of sleety/bitter cold/icy weather hit. Some creative person has penned this event Icemageddon. Clever, right? The First Wave, a couple of weeks ago, was not too terribly paralyzing, although My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I were stuck up on our hill for two nights/three days. (We have a really steep road that is partially paved and sealed. When it’s wet with rain or ice, it can be treacherous. Fortunately, because MSH is retired and I can make my schedule for my part-time work the way I need it to be, we have the luxury of staying in. Happily “trapped.” We cherish this lovely option.)

I’d gone to TLC’s casa Wednesday morn. She had a doctor’s appointment and I had a “Grammy Nanny” appointment with Little Leighton (LL)! I was spending one night. LL and I played and played and napped and laughed and sang and played some more. Heaven. All the while I was makin’ my memories with My Grandbaby Angel Girl, I was hearing that the Second Wave was inevitable. By the Way: Our Dallas/Ft. Worth Weather Peeps have placed themselves in some pickles the past few years. Several times, they’ve made us all overreact with fear, based on their wild predictions of tornadoes and storms—Rain and Ice and Snow. Oh MY. We mostly agree—it’s probably wise to be overly cautious—especially when it comes to tornadoes and ice/snowstorms. However, we seem to find ourselves fairly skeptical.

Even though TLC and I live two hours away from each other—about 110 miles one way—we’re considered to be in the same geographical region—that of North Central Texas.  Yet our weather could not be more different. Like, WAY different. A lot. TLC’s city has received significantly more rain that we’ve been blessed with out here in the “sticks.” Yes, all of Texas is still in a drought. Our country home is located in an area that is a tidbit more “droughty” than TLC’s.  Despite our distance, we watch the same TV stations for our weather reports.

The “experts” were predicting the precipitation, in the form of sleet and ice, would hit early Thursday evening. It would be coming from the Northwest. MSH and I live west/southwest of TLC. MSH and I agreed I should be safe if I left TLC's home by 12:30 yesterday to head to our home. And I did. Well, okay. It was 12:34 when I drove away from her curb.  I hit icy/sleety rain an hour into my journey. (Sigh. Well, 1:30. 6:00ish. Close enough, Weather Wizards.) There was some white-knuckling as I held on to my steering wheel for dear life. I’m certainly no scientist, but the roads had evidently been warm enough for several days—allowing even the bridges and overpasses to be only a teensy scary. My white-knuckles came from other drivers speeding past me. Like fools. Crazy, insane fools. Endangering all of us trying to keep our cars from being wrecked. As well as our bodies. Makes me nUtS.

I literally got home in the nick of time. As I drove up our hill and into our garage, a steady amount of sleet started falling. I breathed a sigh of relief. MSH helped me unload (I’d taken enough clothes to last for three days—in case the weathermen and gals were quite off on their time-line of pending doom.) I went straight for my jammies and got on our couch! Drug myself off to have some chicken taco soup for supper. Then got off, again, to drag myself to bed. I’m not going to lie. I got back on said couch first thing this morning. Until two hours ago. Yes, I could be a professional “slug.”

At this time, TLC, Her Hubby and LL are chillin’. Literally. Praying their electricity doesn’t go out. A couple of hours ago, 240,000 homes in the Dallas area were without power. It’s supposed to get down to 18 degrees tonight. No heat? Not good. MSH and I also pray we won’t lose our electricity. We have an all-electric home. (At least TLC and Her Gang have a gas fireplace they could sleep in front of, if necessary! We do have a fireplace and firewood—if we get desperate. As much as we love a nice, cozy fire, we’ve discovered the rest of our home becomes super frigid when MSH builds and maintains one in our Great Room. Hence, no fire unless we have an emergency heat shortage.)

As I type this, I’m watching a big group of Cardinals (about 15 of 'em—that’s big to moi)—males and females—looking for the seed we put out as often as possible, in six birdfeeders, at the back of our home. I have a perfect view of their swooping dives and carefree escapades from my office. It looks like a Hallmark Christmas card out there. (I do love me some Hallmark Christmas cards, folks.)

You might be thinkin' I’m bored. I'd agree. This is long. Ridiculously long. I shall end. If you happen to be somewhere toasty (anywhere above 40 degrees), please say a little prayer for all of the States affected by Icemageddon. There're many. We’d be grateful. Truly.

Heading for a hot cup of tea. Actually, I hope I find some cocoa! I'm pretty sure I need chocolate.

Smooches, Sweeties Everywhere!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My Favourite Things: Christmas Decor Edition

I decked my halls this past weekend. I wish it was acceptable (and not considered lazy) to leave Christmas decorations up all. year. long. I ADORE this time of year -- it genuinely makes my spirits bright.

I wanted to share a few (okay, NINE -- you know that's our "theme" this year) of my favourite and most treasured pieces from my little holiday collection.


I love this little sled I lean up against my fireplace. This year, I added a little sparkle to it with a sprig of glittery evergreen (thank you, Michaels). I can't quite remember where I purchased it -- I think it might have been in our beloved Granbury. Or perhaps Canton. 


I adore my stockings holders. My husband, on the other hand, doesn't understand why one of the reindeer is facing the opposite direction. I did that on purpose, of course. I like to be different and live on the wildly festive side!


I covet this sweet Santa on a rockin' reindeer. I inherited this from ELC. I asked her earlier if she remembered where she found this. She could only recall she purchased it on sale. Well, there you go. She will have to arm wrestle me for this if she decides she'd like it back one day.


This little snow globe is so special. My Sweet Dad (MSD) gave me this two Christmases ago. It was a surprise -- the loveliest surprise. It plays pretty music. Little Leighton loves it, too. She would give up Elmo for a week if we would just let her hold it. Silly Girl.


This is the most meaningful and powerful (if ornaments can be powerful -- which I think they can be) ornament in my possession. I cannot even believe ELC let me have this. The "original" Leighton -- the one we are all named after -- ELC's Nana -- my Great-Grandmother -- LL's Great-Great-Grandmother -- made this beautiful bird. I love the colors and sequins. I can't wait to give this to LL someday to hang on her own tree. WOW. How amazing will that be?


I actually made this cute ornament about a week ago (thank you, Shutterfly). I decided I would start a new tradition of "making" ornaments featuring a picture of my precious daughter each year. Look at that wittle-bitty-itty baby! I can't believe how much she's changed and grown. She makes Christmas extra MERRY.


Do y'all remember these ADORABLE Hallmark reindeer from ages ago? I loved them as a little girl -- I actually have the stuffed/doll versions on display in LL's room. ELC found these ornaments awhile back -- though I'm not sure where. I guess a Hallmark! They make me remember how very excited I would get when ELC and MSD would get our Christmas decorations down. ELC and I would decorate the tree (while listening to The Carpenters' Christmas album) and MSD would hang our outside lights. 

That sweet little owl behind them was a fabulous gift from January last year -- she made it! She's so super talented.


This ornament was purchased on my trip to Fredericksburg with ELC the weekend before I found out I was pregnant with LL. We bought it at a fun store in Llano, Texas. I, of course, had to have the "5." ELC has the "6." I saw the complete set -- all 12 -- at St. Helen's -- one of my favourite stores on the Square in Granbury. Hint. Hint, ELC -- sure would be nice to have the other 11. Stocking stuffer, methinks?


I love my burlap "Vintage Christmas" pillow (via My Adobe Cottage) perched on my bright blue chair (thanks to my Chair Painter, aka: MSD).

Now I'm off to sing a few more fa-la-la's before I settle down for a long winter's nap. 

Merry (early) Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Only Four.

Ducks. On our Big Tank. (Which is no longer “big”—due to the severe drought we’ve been having for years in North Central Texas.) Y’all remember when we had SIXTY ducks? (See Duck...Duck...on December 17, 2011). Well, this morning, I walked with My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and Teddy Buddy Boo Bear. To our gate and back. One mile round trip. As we got close to the Big Tank, four ducks flew away. It was a wonderful sight to see. But, at the same time, sad. Because I have a feeling the other 56 ducks have found a tank with more water at which to rest their weary wings—as they fly South for the Winter. Perhaps I’ll be able to report, soon, that we had more ducks come a'callin'.

This year was TLC’s husband’s family’s turn for Thanksgiving. Since our sons live far away and we opted not to go to Houston (we’d just been a few weeks ago for two grandkids’ school programs), we had lunch in Ft. Worth with dear, dear friends. It was marvelous! And I drove! Yep. Moi. I did a darn good job, too. Thank you very much.

Yesterday I did something I’ve never, ever done before. In all of my 59 years of life. I put up our Christmas tree EARLY. For me, that is. (No standing ovations are necessary...your applause is enough. Truly.) I normally go through this dreaded process (Keepin' it real and being bluntly honest.) on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. It is an ordeal. Y'all know this. You really do. Once it's up? Magical JOY. Until then? Oh, Lordy. 

(Let me explain further: We've had this particular tree for fourteen Christmases. About five years ago, MSH started begging me to buy a new one. It takes him a minimum of two hours, each year, to find all the little lights that aren't working. Causing lots of other little lights not to work. My point to him is this: Yes. We could buy a new tree. For a minimum of $300 (If we got the same size or bigger and I found a good sale.). And we could have the very same problem. Every year. Lights that don't want to cooperate. I do try to help him. I only seem to frustrate him even more. I've found Christmas music does seem to soothe his soul.)

If you’ll recall, last year I put a tree up quite late. Life had been hectic and I'd been unable to get decorating into my crazy schedule. In honor of the Sandy Hook victims (See Perspective on December 22, 2012), I'd found a smaller tree. I lovingly placed 26 ornaments on it. Going back to this makes me get tears in my eyes. It becomes overwhelming. To let yourself go to The Pain. A second Christmas, for all of the victims’ families and friends, without their Angels. Horrid. Senseless. Heartbreaking. I doubt any of us will ever, ever forget this tragedy. We shouldn’t. Never. May God bless those who lost their loved ones. May God bless us all. (I plan to always keep this little tree. In fact, I plan to give it to LL someday. For her room. I'll tell her the story. I'm confident she'll treasure it's significance.)

Let's get happier. Here’s a picture of our Christmas Tree 2013:


Yes, Ms. Darlin' Piggy Gal, it's going to be extremely interesting to see how Little Leighton (LL) handles this challenge. I’m thinkin' I’m going to be saying:

No No, LL, let’s don’t touch that. No No, LL, let’s don’t play with that! NO NO, LL! LL, let’s not make Grammy say ‘No No’ anymore, okay?”

Distraction. Lots o’ distraction. My Plan.

Bring it on, December...we’re ready for you and happy you're almost here!!!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thankful

I have so much to be thankful for -- a healthy family, a warm home, yummy food and, most of all, My Little Leighton. My Sweet Dad (MSD) loves Thanksgiving. It's his favourite holiday. He spends days planning and preparing the most perfect feast. If I had to choose only one meal to eat for the rest of my life, it would be MSD's Turkey Day Extravaganza.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I wanted to share a fun list of the seemingly small, yet wonderful, things I'm thankful for right at this moment.

1. A visit from ELC. They're always too short. I had my kitchen and living room painted about a week ago, and she's helped me rearrange, revamp and redecorate. She has the best ideas.

2. The Kroger Mini Cinnamon Rolls sitting on my kitchen counter. You can't imagine the amount of willpower it's taking to not eat at least 5 of them rightthissecond.

3. The Starbucks Latte that will accompany said cinnamon rolls in the morning.

4. Christmas music. Honestly, I could listen to it all year. It genuinely makes my spirits bright.

5. Warm scarves. A big, ol' cold front visited Texas this week. It has been CHILLY.

6. The Little People Nativity Set on my coffee table. LL ADORES this. She loves to point out Baby Jesus and his "Mama" and "Dada," and she happily totes the cute little sheep around the house.

7. Free shipping. After LL's arrival, the majority of my shopping became "online." I get super excited when a store offers free shipping.

8. Pictures. I love looking through old pictures, and I love our (first ever!) family photos we had taken recently. I can't wait to share a few of my favourites with y'all.

9. Ribbon. I think I "officially" collect ribbon.

Happy (early) Turkey Day! Bring on the pie!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Club

A week ago today, The Three Leightons made a quick trip to Granbury. Y’all know how much we adore this sweet, quaint, FUN little Texas town (I believe we’ve mentioned it in at least three previous posts but I'm currently too lazy to look those up. Forgive me.). TLC had a couple of stores she wanted to browse. Little Leighton (LL) and I mostly just went along for the ride.

After about 90 minutes of visiting three-ish stores located at the Courthouse Square (a Square full of charm), we departed. We wanted to make a fast stop at a precious store called Cherished Heart, located about two miles from said Square. One really needs a good, solid hour to browse the exquisite and unique little trinkets in this shop. We had about forty minutes before we were certain Princess LL would crash.

I was carrying LL around the shop when we came upon a Cute Little Lady (CLC) who appeared to be 33ish years of age and a Pretty Little Angel somewhere near LL’s age. The Cute Little Lady and I locked eyes and smiled. She, also, was holding PLA.

LL and PLA noticed each other and stared. LL then got excited. (Because, of course, we all know babies and toddlers have an innate ability to be fascinated by other babies and toddlers.) LL waved and waved and was saying something to me I wasn’t quite understanding. I think it might have been:

“Grammy, please get me close to that little girl that I know is my age and could be my friend!”

 
ELC to CLC: She is CUTE. How old is she?

CLC: Thank you! She’ll be fifteen months soon. How old is yours?

ELC: This is my granddaughter and she’ll be sixteen months next week.

Let me pause to tell you PLA had more hair than me, TLC and LL all put together. Well, it was short—but VERY thick. Auburn. Beautiful. (LL’s will get there. We have faith!)

ELC: What’s her name?

CLC: Leighton.

At this point, with my mouth opened wide in complete surprise, I looked over at TLC (who was standing nearby). Her mouth was also wide open. We smiled. Then laughed. CLC might have thought we were acting a teensy bit rude.

ELC: Do you spell it “Leighton?”

CLC: Yes! And most people try to spell it “Layton.” I can’t believe you knew!

ELC: It’s because that is all three of our middle names! It was my grandmother’s maiden name. She was born in England.

CLC: Really? Wow. That is crazy.

ELC: Seriously! What are the odds? Is that a family name for you or your husband?
 
CLC: No. My husband and I and our other two girls all have names that begin with "L." So that's what we were looking for when I found Leighton.
 
ELC: One of my dearest friends, Drew (see my “Ane and Drew” post on October 1, 2012), gave her daughter (she’s a few months older than TLC) the middle name of Leighton and now her granddaughter has it, too. Also as a middle name. We need to start The Leighton Club!

CLC: Our other two daughters pronounce it funny. They emphasize the first syllable pretty strongly. We just laugh.

At this point, both Baby Girls were getting heavy and we all instinctively knew it was time to move on.

I couldn’t wait to text Drew and tell her what had happened!

The Three Leightons have decided our Club will include two Honorary Members:

Ms. Drew…

AND

…another one of my most dearest and cherished friends, Lizzie. When she was pregnant with her second child, over thirty years ago, she was going to name a girl Leighton! She’d learned of my name after we met in college and loved it. As fate would have it, she had another boy. (She did give him a first name that starts with  “L!”) But her intention shall now be rewarded! We’re sure she’ll be thrilled. (You can see what Lizzie looked like 40 years ago in the picture in the above post. She's the lovely young gal who is standing, to the far left, with a classy hat on and toasting with a Coke. That's my story and I’m sticking to it.)

ATTENTION: If your name is Leighton—contact us ASAP. We'll happily reward you with membership in this exclusive (As you read exclusive, in your mind, please say it with a heavy British accent. Because, at all of our meetings, everyone will be required to talk that way. British-y. 'K?) Club.

Smooches,

ELC
(President/CEO/Oldest and Wisest Leighton At Least In These Here Parts Because I Thought Of It And I Said So—ha!)

Friday, November 22, 2013

sittin'...and thinkin'...

Sometimes I just sits and thinks…

And sometimes I just sits…

Back in the 70s and 80s, this quirky/funny/silly little saying could be found everywhere. T-shirts. Coffee mugs. Posters. I had the mug. It tickled me. Mostly because it could’ve been my personal motto. My life—summed up.

I’m not athletic. Never have been. Never will be. No volleyball. No basketball. No track. I was on the drill team at my high school. In fact, I was one of five officers my junior year and one of six my senior year. Lieutenant ELM (M=Maiden Name), if you don’t mind. I loved it. I fancied myself a wannabe professional dancer. Someone with a natural gift, because, of course, I never took lessons. (Well, that’s not exactly true. I did take dance for a very short time when I was about five years old. Ballet was not my cup of tea, apparently. I vaguely remember crying quite a bit, on the way to class. Begging my mother to take me back home. She finally gave in to my sad pleas.)

I’ve always hated aerobics. I tried “step” aerobics when TLC was about six or seven years old. A friend of mine was the instructor. She taught at the Recreation Hall in our small town. There was a BIG mirror for all of us to watch ourselves. Check our technique and progress. Darn that mirror. I was shocked at how horribly bad I observed myself to truly be. I couldn’t keep up to save my life. The mirror actually served to confuse me even more than I already was and I only lasted three or four sessions. Too frustrating. Too humiliating.
 
I also tried Yoga, in a mostly Senior Citizens' type group, for a few sessions about seven years ago. I was probably a tidbit better at it than aerobics. And I was, more than likely, the youngest one there. Which is always good for your self-esteem. However, it made me dizzy. Chow Yoga.

I do love to walk. Hike. Nothing serious or strenuous. Just a skosh over a leisurely pace. I’m also not dedicated to walking. Like I need to be—at my age of 59 closer to 60. Yikes. Every day I wake up promising myself to walk with intention and for at least two miles. Every night I get in bed disappointed in myself. Sigh. (My other motto: There's Always Tomorrow.)

Yep. I like to sits. On my bed. On a couch. In a comfy chair. In a car. At a cafe. In a movie theatre. Sitting is my passion. (It's looking like it could also be Little Leighton's preference, bless her heart. Darn genetics.) I love to read. Watch TV. Snooze. Write. Dream.

Where am I headed with all of this fascinating trivia? We had a cold front hit North Central Texas last night. Got some rain (Yippee—although it was only a teeny tiny drop in the bucket. We need a major rain "event" to help us in this scary and discouraging drought. Don't get me wrong. We are grateful for the blessing. No matter how small. Promise. Thank you, Dear Lord Almighty.) near midnight. According to the weather professionals (Who, by the way, have one of the few jobs, at least in America, that allow you to make lots of money and never have to be right, right?), we’re to have a high chance of freezing rain for several days. (They like to cover their you-know-whats by giving us the worst-case scenarios, since they've been caught, many times, being completely/totally/grossly and dead-you-know-what wrong.)

So, here I am. It’s Friday. It’s cold.  It’s semi-dangerous to leave our country casa on top of our big hill with the prediction that our steep road could be hit with ice while we’re gone. Today seems to be a perfect day to…

Sits. (I currently have no plans to Thinks.)

Gotta scoot. My couch is calling...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Team C

Little Leighton (LL) is soon to be sixteen months old. In her teeny-tiny life, she has spent quite a lot of time at Grammy and Pa-Dad’s casa. But she’s never stayed with us by herself. Just her. And us. Until this past Friday night.

TLC had learned on Wednesday that a contractor she was hiring to paint her kitchen and den could come Friday. He'd said it would take him one day. Although he didn’t think the fumes would be too much for LL, we all agreed she’d be better off coming to our home for a night. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I could barely contain our excitement!

We actually cleaned our house. For a 15-month-old who has no clue it needed it. We made sure we had the right milk (organic whole only, don’tchaknow), fruit, snacks, veggies, etc. I checked my diaper inventory. (I have enough for her to stay a month, of course.)

We met TLC halfway—which is Ft. Worth—at 10:30ish Friday morning. We had an early lunch and she headed back to her home and her painters. LL, MSH and I headed to the country. We needed LL to stay awake—so as not to disrupt her Nap Schedule—for one hour. I sang and sang. (She doesn’t realize I’m not a great singer or that I don’t always remember all the words to Down By the Bay or Baby Beluga.)

Once we got home, everything went like clockwork. MSH and I worked like the TEAM we’ve been for over 36 years. We had no problems. Well, okay. I might be exaggerating a tidbit. Her naps are challenging. Meals? Not a cakewalk. She begins eating with great enthusiasm and cooperation. About fifteen minutes (if you're lucky) in, she loses focus and interest. Other than those two small issues, we’ve been in Grandparents’ Heaven.

TLC had a baby shower to attend in town, yesterday afternoon, for a friend she’s known since they were three years old. She came by for an hour-ish on her way to the party. It mostly served to confuse LL. TLC was gone for almost three hours. Just enough time to get in another challenging nap. The three and a half of us went to town (back for TLC) for an Italian dinner at one of our favourite restaurants. I'm not prepared to share with y'all what I did. We took my car. Suffice it to say it was a really stupid thing (I didn't have a wreck or get a ticket. I simply can't confess my geezer-like stupidity at this point). Rest assured we'll remember that dinner for quite some time. (TLC will never let me forget my mistake. Sigh. She'll be 59 someday.)
 
Our Two Gals will be here until Tuesday afternoon (TLC still comes home to the hair stylist we’ve all gone to for 27 years and she has a cut and color Tuesday morn.). Then they’ll head home. Darn. We’ll be very lonely. Tired—in such a magnificent way. But lonely.

We’ve already decided we’re going to try to do this at least once a month. MSH and I have our iPhone calendars ready to put in December’s Visit. WOO HOO!

I hope each of Y’all has had as splendid a weekend as we’ve had here in the country in North Central Texas! Chow...for now!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

twinkies

Y'all know how we Leighton Ladies L-O-V-E our big, Texas hair! To achieve that "height," we use hot rollers and velcro rollers.

Last week, when Grammy was visiting, my Little Leighton decided she needed some added volume to her locks and wanted to wear rollers (the velcro variety -- for obvious reasons) like her M'am (that's what she's taken to calling ELC and it positively cracks us up) and Mama.

(Why, yes, that IS a wadded up Kleenex behind my ear.
Hot rollers do, in fact, get REALLY hot.)

You're never too small for BIG hair, right?

Happy Friday Eve!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Keep Calm ...

…and Carry On!

Do y’all know where this catchy phrase started? The British government coined it in 1939 to motivate the Brits during the war. Now it’s all the RAGE. Has been for a few years, right? It’s everywhere. T-shirts. Coffee mugs. Posters. Etc. Etc. Etc. (Bet some English peep knows who thought of it and wishes that person’s family could get some royalty payments each time a new company/person/entity “borrows” it.)

TLC and I LOVE IT. Can’t get enough of it. Always look forward to those clever ones who come up with a new sweet/funny/deep/important idea for it.

We’re not saying we’re clever. Trust me. But we decided it would be fun for each of us to come up with nine (Yep. 9.) “Keep Calms and…”

TLC’s:

Keep Calm and…

...listen to Christmas music!

…stroll around Target

…sip a Starbucks Latte

…feed the ducks!

…be KIND

…organize your closet

…stay in your jammies all day

…DONATE—whatever you can

…take more pictures!

ELC’s:

Keep Calm and…

…PRAY FOR RAIN!

…read a book

…eat a cupcake!

…have a Vanilla Coke Zero

…watch Scandal!

…PERSEVERE

…eat more fruits and veggies (Right.Sure.)

…adopt a dog or cat!

…SAY YOUR PRAYERS!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Leightons to the Third

I've been visiting at TLC's since Wednesday. I go back to the country in the morning. It'd been ten days since I'd had a Little Leighton (LL) Fix. Ten LLOOONNNNGGGGG days. I go into serious withdrawal after about 72 hours of no LL. At seven days, it's getting scary. I've known for many moons now that I do best seeing My Girls every five to six days. All of us seem to need that time frame for a happier life.

This trip (TLC and I live two hours apart from each other--assuming we don't encounter accidents causing long traffic tie-ups or we're not forced to face the endless road construction projects all around North Central Texas--they are SOOOOOO annoying!), I've been marveling at how The Three Leightons (not to be confused with The Three Stooges) are tres in sync with each other. We have it down. LL's Daily Schedule--for naps, meals, playtime, etc. Our agreements about what we need to accomplish. What's a priority. What's not. The FUN we MUST have. The laughter we always share.

TLC lives in a neighborhood/community that has sidewalks! And a wonderful "pond"--with ducks, turtles, and other interesting "wildlife."

LL and ELC watching TLC feed the ducks!
 

TLC and I learned a long time ago we are VERY much alike--about 85% of the time. Our differences can be quite HUGE--but usually interesting. Occasionally challenging. It'll be fascinating--to both of us--to experience Little Leighton's character and personality development.

In Numerology (y'all know I'm obsessed with this!), LL and I are "compatible" numbers. I'm a 6. She's a 9. TLC is a 5. She's NOT technically "compatible" with me or LL. LL and I have decided to overlook our differences with TLC. It's the right thing to do. (Now please picture me winking at you...teeheehee...)

Tomorrow morn, around 8:45 CST, when I drive off, TLC will be standing on her front porch--holding LL. They'll be waving. I'll be crying. I always cry. Until I reach the Dallas North Tollway. That's about 10 minutes away. I'll take some deep breaths, think about My Sweet Hubby, Teddy Buddy Boo Bear and Morty the Cat waiting to greet me as I drive up our hill, and I'll be fine. I'll see My Girls soon. Next week, in fact. If the Good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise. (Not worried. We're in such a drought I doubt our creek's rising in the near future.)

Have a WONDERFUL Weekend, Dear Friends--wherever in the World Y'all are...

Monday, November 4, 2013

a case of the mondays...

I'm not sure if it's the rainy weather -- perhaps the end of Daylight Savings. (Could someone please try to explain that to a toddler?) Now that I stay home with Little Leighton, I'm only marginally sure what day it is about 50% of the time. However, today has felt like a Monday.

In the hopes of boosting my energy, I decided I wanted -- no NEEDED -- and deserved -- Starbucks for lunch. (Well, for my "second lunch." My first lunch consisted of an Almond Joy -- my most favourite candy bar EVER -- and a Twix. Leftover Halloween candy is too tempting. I need to get rid of it, like yesterday.) I was certain a Skinny Vanilla Latte and Cranberry Bliss Bar would get me back on track. Guess what? They don't have the Cranberry Bliss Bars yet. Boo hoo. I settled for a chocolate chunk cookie. It just wasn't the same. I should have asked them to warm it for me -- if they even do that?

Little Leighton and I had to run to the paint store for samples after our Starbucks stop. I have an itch to paint my kitchen and living room. I've narrowed it down to two colors: Urban Putty (which happens to be in all of the bedrooms at ELC's country casa) and Windsor Greige. I'm not going to lie -- I might be leaning towards Windsor Greige simply because "Windsor" makes me think of the Royals and "greige" is such a fun word to say! The colors are so incredibly similar.

We couldn't leave Sherwin-Williams without several pink paint sample cards for LL. This gal loves all things paper (and fabric and texture -- maybe she'll be a designer or an artist!). They kept her entertained for the rest of the errands. They were free. What more could I ask for?

We spent the rest of the afternoon playing with LL's new Fisher-Price Little People Nativity Set. (I had been on the hunt for this specific one for several weeks and finally found it at my local Toys R Us. I even used a buybuy BABY coupon. I felt so scandalous. They, however, seemed happy to take a competitor's coupon.) Watching my Little Leighton toddle around, holding the little sheep and sweet Baby Jesus, is the most precious thing. She amazes me. Each and every single day. She finds joy in the tiniest things. She is a wonderful reminder to be forever grateful. She is my beautiful blessing.

I sent My Sweet Dad a video tonight of LL feeding herself with a spoon. After his ADORABLY excited reply, which included the "dancing woman" emoticon (this man cracks. me. up.), I told him I didn't know when my Baby had been replaced by a Little Girl. He said: I told you they grow too fast. Don't blink. (This wise advice from a father of five, grandfather of seven.)

I hope y'all are warm and cozy and snuggled up, watching The Voice (like I am!) right now.

Bring on Tuesday!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Nirvana

Can y’all even believe tomorrow is November? I simply cannot wrap my head around this fact. Yikes.

Time for ELC’s Game of Alliteration! Haven’t done an original one in quite a while (Of course, y’all have been heartbroken.). So…

In Novemberdon’t be na├»ve. Or NAUGHTY (Santa Claus is comin’ to town, you know…). Or nefarious (Yep. Gotta look that up if you don’t know what it means.). Or NERVOUS. Or noisy (Unless you’re at a rock concert.). Or NARCISSISTIC. Or neurotic. Or nonchalant (Unless you’re trying to really just be “coy.”). Or NOTORIOUS (Although, that sounds kind of fun!). Or a nuisance. Or NONSENSICAL (Unless you’re related to Dr. Seuss.). Or negative. Or NEEDY. Or narrow-minded. Or a NAG.

DO BE: Nurturing. NOTEWORTHY. Noble. NICE (Because NICE matters.). Nimble (If you can. Not sure I’m nimble-y at this point in my life!). NEUTRAL (Like Switzerland. If that’s the right thing to be.). Natural.

Make plans to visit: NEBRASKA! Nashville! NORTH CAROLINA (ELC=born in Durham!). New York City!!! The Netherlands (Although I don’t know exactly where they are—never said I was good at geography, folks!). Or Nova Scotia (I DO know where this is and I have a friend that says it’s “Lovely!”).

Notify a nurse that you’re eating nutritiously! Get your nails done! Eat a NAVEL orange! Or a yummy NOUGAT. Or some NUTS. Buy a NEW NECKLACE! Learn needlepoint! Spruce up your “NEST!” Write a Christmas newsletter (I truly and sincerely love to receive those in the mail!). And, to throw everyone a curve, give yourself a nom de plume! Find a cozy nook and read a NEWSPAPER! Get down to the nitty-gritty and nominate a no-nonsense, normal (NOT a ne’erdowell) person to be a local politician! NETWORK with your neighbors! NEGOTIATE with your nemesis! Read about NUMEROLOGY (As y’all might remember, ELC loves it!).

Find your NICHE! Buy a new NUTCRACKER for your collection! Use more NUTMEG! Don’t neglect your nose. Take a NAP! Have a nightcap! Make up a new NICKNAME for your child/spouse/friend/boss! NIBBLE a nectarine (Similar to that navel orange, me thinks…).

At NOON, tomorrow, have some chicken NOODLE soup!

Take a Note: Nowadays, NUCLEAR issues shouldn’t be NEGLECTED. If you’re NEARSIGHTED (like ELC), look for NEON signs that NOBODY could miss. Use your NOGGIN and be a nonsmoker—say NO to nicotine! Write the Great American NOVEL.

Time to NAVIGATE away from this NUTTY nightmare.

Did I say this post is Number NINE—for the month of October? Nope? Well, it is. Nonetheless, this could all be a NONEVENT. Hope it didn’t make you nauseous.

NEXT: NEVER say NEVER.
And, finally:
SEEK NIRVANA.

Note: This is goodbye for NOW, Sillies!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mice!

Downton Abbey fans: take note!

Look what I found while strolling around Target (I know, you're shocked.) yesterday:


And now you know why I couldn't resist purchasing it for Little Leighton. (Well, I'm "saving" it -- it's a bit "too much" for her right now -- I'm afraid she might get her cute hands on those thin pages and Mouseton Abbey would be no more.)

(Okay. Okay. Fine. I really purchased it for moi. I MIGHT share it with my fellow Downton fan, Grammy ELC. Might -- key word.)

It was a smidge more moo-lah ($14ish, I think?) than what I would normally spend on a children's book -- yet completely justified. Obviously.

ADORABLENESS. To the max.

Cheerio, Lads and Lassies!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Boo!

Halloween is just about a week away, and though Little Leighton won't be "officially" trick-or-treating, she still HAD to have a costume! (Our town has an event at the square with a petting zoo and carriage rides and we will be attending that -- with LL all dolled up in her Halloween finest.)

Can you guess what she's going to be?

Costume Dress Rehearsal
Don't worry -- I promise she loves it!
(Especially the "hat.")

A LEOPARD!

Grammy ELC and I have quite the affinity for all things animal print, so, of course, we're hoping to pass that on to LL. I simply could not resist this when I saw it at Pottery Barn Kids. It's fabulous! (And was on sale.)

As I was browsing Pinterest earlier, I came across a recipe for "Boo Mix," and much like my weakness for Little Leopard-Clad Leighton, I had to immediately run to Target, purchase the ingredients and whip it up! It's SCRUMPTIOUS. And makes a ginormous amount. I do not trust myself around this festive treat. I'll be giving away as much as I can. Y'all need to make this STAT. It's the perfect combination of salty and sweet -- my favourite.

Boo Mix
recipe via Plain Chicken (I love so many of her recipes!)

Ingredients:
5 c. Golden Grahams cerel
3 c. Cocoa Puffs cereal
3 c. pretzel sticks
2 c. peanuts
2 c. Reese's pieces
24 oz. almond bark (though my package was only 20 oz. and it seemed to work just fine!)

Mix first 5 ingredients in an extra large bowl.

Melt almond bark according to package directions.

Pour over cereal mixture. Stir until everything has been well-coated.

Pour onto parchment or waxed paper. Let "dry" completely and then break into chunks.

ENJOY!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

two too many...

So I’ve been a “Bachelorette” for the past four-ish days! My Sweet Hubby (MSH) went to the Corpus Christi area early this past Tuesday morning and just got home a couple of hours ago. A long-time good and dear friend of ours, and his wife, owns a beautiful vacation home down there. Three “old” guys, who’ve known each other for more than forty years, had a great time. Fishing. Story-telling. Story-telling about fishing. Eating. Sleeping. Fishing. Chillaxin’.

I was feeling puny the first day MSH was gone. I worked the second day. Then for the next two and a half days I babysat Teddy Buddy Boo Bear (TBBB was really almost in mourning over MSH being away—it was quite heartbreaking) and Morty the Cat, working in a little tidbit or two of organizing and cleaning. Some laundry. Some errands. Okay, and some Candy Crush. I hate that game.

Had lunch with two Dear, Sweet Friends yesterday. Loved that. One of them works at our local State University. She’d actually walked over to the restaurant from her office. At one point, she asked me what time it was. I said: “Just 12:25.” She got a funny look on her face. It did occur to me that seemed wrong. Seemed like we’d been there for about an hour. My answer would have meant we’d only been there about 35 minutes. Hmmm. We continued to chat and giggle as we finished our lunch and teas (iced teas, for our British Friends' info). Suddenly, after looking at her cellphone, she nearly jumped out of her chair, saying: “Yikes! It’s 1:25! I’m 25 minutes late!” She still had a good five minutes of getting out the door and back to her desk. As I got into my car, I looked at the clock. It was now 1:30 p.m. CST. I looked, again, at my watch. Well, there you go. My watch was 25 minutes slow. I felt horrible. I also couldn’t help but wonder how many days I’d been 25 minutes off! All three of us had checked our cellphones at least twice during our time together. ???

I usually love being alone for a couple of nights. I learned, however, that, at this point in my "senior" life, four is maybe two too many. Yes, I got to watch what I wanted on the telly (another nod to our English blokes and blokettes). With no interference. No guilt. I got to eat what I wanted. When I wanted. With no judgey-like opinions from MSH. I had complete and total freedom. It was lovely. But I was beyond ready for MSH to come home today! So was TBBB. Morty the Cat? He can take us all or leave us all. Either way seems to be fine with him. Or so he pretends. Morty definitely adds a layer of mystery and challenge to our Life in the Country.
Tomorrow TLC and Little Leighton come for a short visit. We'll be in Grammy and Pa-Dad Heaven. Seriously. Can't even wait.

Here’s hoping Y’all are having a Wonderful Weekend…

Smooches and Hugs…

ELC

p.s.: BE WILD. Don’t look at your watch!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Adventuring!

Last Friday, My Little Family went on an "ADVENTURE!" (That's what we tell Little Leighton any time we hop in the car. She loves "adventuring.") We took LL to the Dallas Arboretum to see their incredible pumpkin display and pumpkin VILLAGE. Yes, you read right -- village. They have little "houses" made out of pumpkins and gourds! It's so much fun. The weather was lovely. My Little Leighton Pumpkin loved every second.

I wanted to share a few pictures with y'all that I took with my fancy-schmancy camera I think I've used maybe one other time. Oops. I've been hoping I'll just magically learn how to work it. I can turn it off and on. That's about the extent of my camera knowledge.










If y'all are in the area and have an opportunity to visit the Arboretum, we highly recommend it!

Happy Pumpkin-ing!