Sunday, June 30, 2013

jumpin' jellybeans...

tomorrow is July! Huh? What? Are you serious?

The bad news is it's HOT in Texas. We're still in severe drought conditions.

The good news is our walk down "Memory Lane" has ended! (At least for now. Don't get your hopes up too high that that won't happen again. Because, trust us, it will.)

Even BETTER news:

The month of July will be an entire Month o' Yummies and Yeehaws! Some of our current and/or most favourite things will be coming atcha.

Hope you're ready...

smooches and hugs on this Last, But Very Sweet, Sunday in June of 2013...



Friday, June 28, 2013

One Friday Yeehaw Comin' Atcha!

This post originally "aired" on April 20, 2012.


About five months ago, I discovered, at a Wally World in Weatherford, the most SCRUMPTIOUS salad dressing we’ve had in ever and ever: Girard’s Spinach Salad Dressing.

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I had been wondering why we couldn’t find a dressing specifically for spinach salads. Well, VOILA! There it was. We bought one bottle. We’ve since gifted TLC with two. We’ve actually gone through two and have two more bottles currently in our pantry. Next to two other MUST-HAVES for me and MSH: Williams- Sonoma House Olive Oil and Pace Picante Sauce.*


For some unexplainable and/or odd reason, I can’t find this Girard’s at any other store. I can find other kinds of Girard’s dressings. There are many and all look YUMMO. But I can’t find the Spinach Salad Dressing in the two large grocery stores in our hometown. Or three stores I've searched in Granbury. Or in at least three stores I’ve tried in TLC’s area of Texas. What the heck? I don’t know. People are either hoarding it or they don’t know to demand it.

This takes NO TIME AT ALL (because, if it took more than 20 minutes, I wouldn’t even consider making it—period—end of story):

ELC’s Sassy Spinach Salad (for Deux)

A bag or box of baby spinach
A box of cherry tomaters (for me and Hubby I usually cut 10 in half)
A container of feta cheese (can also use goat, but MUST be pasteurized for TLC—and already in little bits—I use ¼ cup)
Two to four slices of bacon—microwaved and busted up in small pieces
About 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
About 1/4 cup of walnuts, pine nuts, sunflower seeds or pecans—take your pick! (Or get wild and use all four—but not more than about a ¼ cup total.)

I MUST pull every stem off the spinach. It’s mandatory. For me, anyway. This is what takes me the very longest in making this salad. About 7 minutes. Then I combine all the rest of the ingredients in a large (preferably pretty!) bowl. If you want to make this a hearty meal—and we do, often—add one to two cups of grilled chicken chunks. Or you can add salmon. I’m not going to because I don't eat salmon (Dr. Oz and MSH would love it, right? Wish I did. Don't. What can I say? Please do take the grilled fish option if you’d like!)

About five minutes before we’re going to sit down at the table, I heat 1/4 cup (I typically use a little less than a full quarter cup; you might even choose to use a skosh more than a quarter) of Girard’s dressing in the microwave for about 20 to 25 seconds. Pour it over the salad and let it sit for a minute or two before serving. Don’t overdress! (The salad. If you want to wear a formal gown and tiara to dinner, I say GO FOR IT. I actually prefer my jammies.)

(Once you make this the first time, you’ll have a better idea of how much of each ingredient you want to add.)

Without the chicken, this is a perfect salad to accompany spaghetti or lasagna. Steak and potatoes. Pork tenderloin or baked fish. Have I mentioned NO FISH for me?

Got to scoot! We’re having this tonight. As a meal. With chicken. Yippee!

Have a Wonderful Weekend, Dear Friends . . .

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Miracles and Mama Bears

This post originally "aired" on May 8, 2011 -- Mother's Day. Around these parts, we try to make every day Mama's Day!

The truth is this: I didn’t grow up wanting to be a Mom. I was the oldest of four kids—in a challenging situation. Always The Worrier. The one who felt such little control in an extremely strained and stressed family. I think I was afraid to have children. Afraid for at least a hundred reasons. So, when I met my Hubby, who was divorced and the father of four boys, and who could no longer have children, I believed God had solved that fear for me.

I was 24 when we married. Three years later, three of my husband’s four boys had moved in with us. Watching my husband in his now (once again) daily role caring for his sons caused me to yearn for what I was going to miss. Through some dear friends, I learned about Dr. Sherman Silber’s vasectomy reversals. Bless My Sweet Man’s heart: he was game. (But... picture a man kind of shivering at the very idea. Yikes.) My husband was willing to do this for me because of his unselfish love and loyalty.

We were extremely lucky to find a surgeon in Dallas, as opposed to being on Dr. Silber’s waiting list in St. Louis for months—maybe years. While Hubby was in his three-and-a-half hour surgery (that was supposed to take two)—I had the most incredible remorse. What if he didn’t make it? What would I tell his boys? What had I been thinking?

When we learned, about four months later, the surgery had been successful, I then had some problems becoming pregnant. Much to Hubby’s confusion/frustration. I had promised him there was no reason to think I couldn’t conceive. The day I saw that my at-home pregnancy test was finally positive was the exact moment both of our lives changed—forever.

TLC was a week overdue. I had gained 60 pounds and had been lying on my bed at home for almost three weeks—unable to fit into anything but a (BIG) nightgown. I was beyond cranky and ready for her to be here. And I did know—without a doubt—she was a girl. The one sonogram I’d had wasn’t even remotely close to providing an educated guess. Everyone from the doctor to family members to Hubby was speculating the baby would be a boy. As Hubby put it: “I don’t think I have any girls in me.” I had faith God would give him a daughter—after what he had sacrificed for me.

That whole final week, I began to worry I could be the first woman on Earth to have my baby become a permanent part of my body (you do become irrational and almost psychotic at times, remember?). On a Wednesday in February, I made my (last!) daily call to the nurse, who told me I could check-in to the hospital mid-afternoon.  (Actually, at this point, I am confident they were tres sick of moi. I’d picture the receptionist saying, each morning as she put me on hold: “It’s that cRaZy lady, again.” Then the nurse was surely rolling her eyes—or looking for some vodka to add to her coffee. Bless their hearts.) Come hell or high water, that baby was coming out today.

Around that night, with my doctor sitting bedside (he’d told the labor nurse he’d stay with me while she had a dinner break), I could hear the heart monitor getting quiet. Sometimes it completely stopped. He calmly explained the baby was going into stress and he needed to do an emergency C-section. It was at that second my Mama Bear instincts took over and I felt the urgent need to protect my child. It all happened so fast—in nine minutes, I later learned. The anesthesiologist almost didn’t make it in time to put me to sleep. In those last frantic minutes, I was petrified I’d be awake—thinking that might not be good. With a calm urgency, I pleaded with my doctor (and silently to God)—“Save my baby.”

I woke up at in Recovery, watching my Hubby come towards me with an enormous grin on his face and tears rolling down his cheeks. “Guess what?” he asked me. “It’s a girl!” I almost screamed, tears starting down my relieved face. “How did you know? Did someone already tell you?” He seemed genuinely shocked. “I’ve always known,” I said. Sheesh—I’d told him and told him. When, oh when, will they ever listen—and learn? She was born at That day and time became, in a sense, my re-birth.

Y’all know how much TLC and I ADORE Designing Women. In the episode entitled “The First Day of the Last Decade of the Entire Twentieth Century,” Charlene (Jean Smart) is in the hospital to deliver her first child and falls asleep. Dolly Parton appears in her dream as her “movie star angel.” Like the angel in It’s A Wonderful Life. Dolly seems to have a lot of info about Charlene, so Charlene has just asked her how she knows she’s from Poplar Bluff, Missouri. Here’s their conversation:

Dolly: ... I know all about you. I also know that in a few hours you’re gonna meet the best friend you’ll ever have... your daughter.
Charlene: I knew it! I knew it was gonna be a girl. I have a name all picked out, too—Olivia Frazier Stillfield. I hope she grows up to be just like you. As far as I’m concerned, you’re the greatest hick who ever lived!
Dolly: Well, thank you Charlene. Actually, she is a little like me.
Charlene: Which part?
Dolly: She’s no angel either... Oh, it’s so exciting... Everything’s changing. This whole world is just opening up. Why that youngun could be anything!
Charlene: Wow! She could be the next leader of the free world!
Dolly: Well, that’s right, but she could also work at a car wash.
Charlene: Wow! A car wash! That could be interesting, too. I’m just a little sad, though. Whatever she is, my grandma and grandpa, and my sister Pat who died—they won’t be here to see her.
Dolly: That’s where you’re wrong, Charlene. When Olivia comes into the world tomorrow, they’ll be with her. I mean, everyone in your family that’s gone on before you—everyone you’ve loved—you’ll see them in her eyes, and her smile, and in the way she walks. And when she takes her first step and says her first words, they’ll be there. When she has a fever at three o’clock in the morning, when she gets caught in the rain walking home from school, when she hits her first baseball, they’ll be there... when she’s afraid of the dark, when she forgets to say her prayers, when the wind catches her voice on a warm summer day, they’ll be there... You just remember that tomorrow, when you meet your daughter, you’ll be meeting the person that’ll be holding your hand when it’s your time to go. And even then, Charlene, she won’t be alone. They’ll be there.

(Brilliant/touching writing/words, yes? Must pause to sniff and find a tissue. Sorry.)

As it turned out, my child-bearing came to an abrupt end when TLC was fifteen months old and I was told, by two doctors, I needed a hysterectomy. I cried—buckets of heartbroken tears. Hubby—well, he didn’t. He tried not to jump for joy! I understood. Five children is a lot in this frightening world. Life happens the way it’s supposed to—the way God plans. TLC has given me more than I could have ever asked for or dreamed possible.

My daughter has made me stronger than I thought I could be. She’s taught me to laugh, sing, dance, think, hope, believe, wait, act, listen, pray. Lordy, has she ever taught me how to pray. I’ve made my share of mistakes—as her Mom—as a person—and she’s forgiven me. But, most of all, she’s made me deeply grateful for understanding what true, unconditional love is and how that love can get you through life’s roughest stuff. You surely don’t have to have a child (or a daughter—all of you Moms of Guys!) to feel unconditional love—we all know that. I’m just deeply and profoundly grateful I was blessed with her.

Today, on my 28th Mother’s Day, I thank God, again, for my amazing and selfless husband and my smart, beautiful, funny, kind, sweet, sassy, silly, precious daughter. I love them both—with all of my heart and all of my soul. I feel like the luckiest Wife and Mom on this glorious Earth.

Amen.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Kiss My Sparkly, Taboo and Feisty Tiara

This post originally "aired" on August 30, 2011.


It's moi's turn at ELC's “wordy” shenanigans.

TLC's Words of Wonder:

Feisty. Synonymous with sassy. I'm generally quite feisty after two cups of coffee in the morning. It's the caffeine. When I contemplate this word, I can't help but think of Bernice Clifton, the wacky character on the most delightful television show EVER – Designing Women. Particularly the episode where Carlene moves into a new apartment. Bernice wants to "Indian leg wrestle" everyone. (I don't know what that is. I'm afraid to Google it. Nevertheless, it makes me LOL.) And in true Bernice-style, she has this feisty conversation with Mary Jo:

Bernice: Hi everybody! I'm sorry I'm late, but I couldn't resist finding out what “Live Totally Nude” was all about.

Mary Jo: Well, what is it all about?

Bernice: Listen sister, I'm not telling. If you want to know, you go pay $17.50 for a bad Mai Tai, and then we'll talk. Dear me — what is that awful smell? Has somebody been spraying for bugs?

Mary Jo: No, that's some of Carlene's homemade potpourri. We all won some as a door prize.

Bernice: Well, you need to take that and get the hell out of here. It stinks.

Bernice Clifton
image via here

Sparkly. My motto: Glitter is life. The rest is just details. I love all things sparkly. Sequins. Conversations. Smiles. Vampires. Especially vampires. How dull would the world be without a little BLING?

image via Pinterest and here

Taboo. What a funny looking word. I giggle when I see it because of the "boo." I know. I'm a little fruitcake. I typically try and steer clear of taboo topics. I'm not one for controversy. It makes me nervous. But I do like saying this word because I feel it makes me sound almost sophisticated. Yes. Yes, I do.

Tiara. My most beloved "tiara-ism" has to be:

image via Pinterest and here

This tickles me. Bottom line: I need a tiara. Period. STAT. It would totally class up my trips to Walmart.

Wicked. Well, first, I love the Broadway musical, Wicked. This is the number one reason this word made my list. I also happen to ADORE Fall. Fall makes me think of Halloween. Halloween makes me think of witches. Witches = Wicked. There you go (said like the Dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding).

Woozy. Could there BE (said like Chandler from Friends) a more fun word to say? Things that make me woozy: hunger, lack of sleep, Rob Pattinson, cupcakes and if I drink too much booze-y. (Sorry. I couldn't resist the rhyming opportunity.) Oh. And my husband. I totally meant to list him first. Truly. Cross my heart. Shhh.

Tsotchke. I have to look-up the proper spelling of this word every single last time I want to use it. It's tricky. Synonyms: gewgaws (I have no clue. Ask Wikipedia. Or ELC. She knows stuff like this.), knickknacks, trinkets, kitsch, baubles and/or swag. I don't think I own lots of tsotchkes (Don't tell Hubby I said this. You know he thinks I already "over-accessorize" our home.), but I might. ASAP. Just so I can start saying this word more often.

Hodgepodge. When I think hodgepodge, I think "eclectic." And I would generally describe my life as a big ol' eclectic jumble o' fun. I don't like things to be matchy-matchy. While I consider organization a hobby of mine, most every other aspect of my life is random – my taste in music, my wardrobe, my reality TV preferences, my favourite (fancy spelling) foods. I wouldn't want it any other way.

Now I shall attempt a sentence using all of these words. Here I go:

The feisty Princess was having a difficult time deciding which sparkly tiara she would don for the ball, because she had just finished taking inventory of her hodgepodge collection of Twilight tsotchkes, and the rather taboo bobble head of a shirtless Edward made her feel woozy; thus, the only cure would be to listen to her most cherished soundtrack – Wicked: The Musical.

TA DA! I realize I might have slightly cheated, since I didn't use "wicked" properly. And it’s technically a “run-on” sentence. Oopsie.

Your turn!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Slightly... Disturbing

This post originally "aired" on September 23, 2011.


We learned, last January, when we began our adventure into sharing our random thoughts, we can (kind of) see how peeps find our website. We can’t see individual email addresses, if you’ve ever wondered about that. (Did we just hear BIG sighs of relief—from all over the World? Tee Hee Hee.)

We get “Stats.” One of them shows “countries” that have visited our site. Well, technically, of course, people in that country. In the past eight months, we’ve had visitors from (this is only a partial list): England, Singapore, Germany, France, Australia, Canada, Scotland, South Africa, India, Sweden, The Netherlands, Hong Kong, Brazil, Greece, Mexico, Peru, Spain, The Dominican Republic, Denmark, Morocco, and Italy. Quite exciting for Little Ol’ Texan Gals. We heart our “visitors!”

We also receive "Stats" on Referring URLs (BTW: ELC thinks of an urologist every single last time she sees these initials. She has no earthly idea what URLs are, but surely they could have found a better acronym.) and Referring Sites. Once again: ELC = Clueless. TLC might have lost her patience, once or twice, while attempting to explain both of these technological-lingo-thingys to her. “Mom, please forget it. It doesn’t matter. You don’t need to know what these are, okay?” Yep. You’re right, TLC. It truly doesn’t matter.

The tres most interesting “Stats” we see are those that show what individuals Google in order to arrive at our website. OOG. (Oh Our Gosh.)

Some of the queries make perfect sense. Like, for example, when ELC posted a couple of beautiful songs she adores. We noticed lots of queries on those particular songwriters—or other songs they’ve penned (see American Poets). We try to imagine how confused those (probably serious) individuals must have been when they ended up at lolwiththeleightons. And, we can’t lie: it brings a smile to our faces. Bless their hearts.

Other queries are interesting and make a little sense to us—based on past posts. But then there are those that, although they do make a teeny bit of sense, are slightly disturbing.

A few have made absolutely, positively, unequivocally, NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. We pinky-swear, on ELC’s great-grandmother’s rocking chair and TLC’s Hubby’s hand-crafted coffee table, we are not, we repeat, not, NOT, NOT making any of this up. We couldn’t if we tried. We’re typing them exactly as they’re shown in our “Stats.” (These are only a few of the recent queries. We realize now we should have kept track of the many we’ve received since the inception of our website. Just for the giggle value!)

Queries that make sense (to us, anyway!):

greek yogurt diet (We’ve gotten oodles and oodles of variations of this phrase—including Dukan Dietyogurt dietnon-fat yogurt diet, etc., etc., etc. You get the picture. See Our Big Nonfat Greek Yogurt Diet. This might be what Dr. Dukan will say, if he ever personally visits our website: “Oh, mon Dieu! Qui sant ces dames folles Texas?” For those of you not fluent in French, as is ELC—see Philosophie Refrigerteur—Deuxieme Partie, we'll give you a hint: one of those words means cRaZy.)

makeup shirt
red bottom shoes Oprah
humorous cocktail napkins women
prince william and princess katherine
“with a scoop of blue bell”
october issue of o magazine breast cancer tee at no (Wait, what? “at no” ??? What is that? Could possibly drive ELC over the edge.)

Queries that make a little sense:

paula’s volcano cake
karen hillard good
teddy bear with eyes close together
reese brownie mix from Costco
www.lol_kizz

Queries that make no sense whatsoever:

“full leg cast”
hand made home utilities

(We are rendered speechless. Except to say: Hhhuuuuhhhhh?)

SCARIEST QUERY TO DATE:

nude Indian leg wrestling

If you happen to be the person who Googled the last one (and, please, Lord, let there be only one), trust us, we do not want to know why, although we might have laughed when we read it. Yes, we understand the Indian leg wrestling (see Kiss My Sparkly, Taboo And Feisty Tiara). We still experienced a few (icky) shivers.

We’ll always embrace curiosity. ALWAYS. (TLC Wikis or Googles something at least ten times a day.) As Charlene once said (on Designing Women—the Foreign Affairs episode), when Mary Jo asked her why she knew all of the capitals of the world:

“Because I love knowledge. In fact, I yearn for it.”

Thanks to everyone who ended up looking at our website because of curiosity or a yearning for knowledge (or the need to find a recipe or have information for some kind of research paper or because you are interested in hand made home utilities). Hopefully, you’re still around—LOLing with us!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

UPDATE:

Since that date, we’ve had many, many, MANY other innerstin’ search words and phrases. Some that kind of make sense (although we still can’t figure out how they reach lolwiththeleightons), like (and, remember, we’re typing these EXACTLY as how they’re shown—caps, no caps, etc.):

the greek yogurt diet
gift idea for a college girl (We’ve got a million of those, but not sure where we might have specifically discussed that topic.)
the nanny starring fran drescher
old owl mug
pretty eyes (Of course all three of us have those! Well, okay, Little Leighton does, for sure.)
bernice clifton pictures
how to wash james avery polishing cloth (We don’t know, exactly, how you do this, but we’d love for someone to tell us, please.)
charlie brown snowman
duda daze (Tons o’ these...)
thank you duda daze (YES—ABSOLUTELY—THANK YOU!!! We heart you, still...)

And then there are those questionable/weird/cRaZy searches (Promise—we’re not judging—only commenting):

Shmushtick (Right.)
schmoogle patootie (We didn’t know we’d ever referenced this little cutesie name we both call our hubbies...NOT.)
Shhh Mavs (Huh?)
guacomole greek yogurt adobe (Wwwhhhhaaaaatttttt?)
pea to my pod teddy (We don’t even know where to begin...)
their peas my pod (Your query. Sheesh.)
big ol pregnant (TOO FUNNY. Of course, we do sorta get this. TLC was certainly that for quite awhile. But...?)
i prefer cracked brownies (Let’s be honest: We prefer ANY brownies.)
LOL (Does make some sense, right?)

And...our favourite...hands down...

do baby bobcats coo (We have no idea. Even though ELC does live in the sticks and there are MANY bobcats, she’s never been that close to hear what would have to be positively precious.)

If you’re reading this now, and you put in any of those queries, we feel compelled to share the following statements of fact:

We don’t know how or why you reached us, but WELCOME to lolwiththeleightons! (Hope you weren’t too terribly disappointed...and that you’ll stay with us forever!)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

My Dad

This post originally "aired" on June 19, 2011.


me and dad strolling on the beach
circa 1985

I'd like to dedicate this post to my father. I am blessed because God hand-picked him to be mine. How was I so lucky?

My Dad is a strong man. He's made our family feel safe. He’s kept our family safe. He's the sturdy foundation we all depend on. He's a provider, a protector and a giver. And such a loving GrandPa-Dad, too.

My Dad is a kind and caring man. He never left Mom's side as she valiantly battled breast cancer. Even at ten years old, I remember watching with such trust as he held Mom's hand through the very scary times. I think part of the reason I didn’t worry was because I knew Dad would take care of her.

My Dad can fix anything. From a broken necklace to a broken heart. Dad will forever be the first man I loved and adored.

My Dad is funny. Hilarious – actually. He keeps us all in stitches. His humor truly has healing powers. When I'm down, he lifts me up with his silliness.

My Dad is smart. I swear there's nothing that man doesn't know. He's taught me to never quit learning. To continue to read and watch and listen and absorb as much knowledge as possible. I know, without a doubt, he is the BEST at everything he does.

For those of you that don't know, I have four older brothers. They're all fathers now. Such good fathers, too. I believe it's because of our Dad and the incredible example he's set.

Today, Daddy, I want to thank you. For all that you've done. You taught me how to ride my first bike. You patiently helped me with my homework. You taught me how to cook and the importance of financial responsibility.  Through your actions you showed me how to forgive. You were always there – at my school plays, at my basketball games, at my drill team competitions and at my high school and college graduations. You helped me be strong when I didn't think I could be. You moved me into three different apartments in only eighteen short months. All of them on the third floor. (I’m sorry! It was good exercise???) You never once complained.

We have so many memories I hold close. One of my most treasured and cherished is you walking me down the aisle to my sweet Husband – a man who shares many of the same wonderful qualities you have. You held me up that day and kept me steady as I was beyond nervous I might trip on my own feet. You were there by my side – reminding me to keep breathing and smiling and savoring every last second as I began a new chapter in all of our lives.

I love you, Dad. I always will.

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads and Dads-To-Be.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Next-to-the-Last Diet Book . . .

This post originally "aired" on January 10, 2011.


So, TLC suggested I talk about my collection of diet books. But when I think of a “collection,” I think of things that are in, basically, the same general area. I thought it could be fun to share some of the titles of the books I have “collected.” (There is no telling how many I’ve given away, loaned out or sold in garage sales!) Then I realized I’d have to go search for all of them. They are not in the same place like a real “collection.” Some are in my big bookshelf in our Great Room. Some in a basket by my nightstand. Some in shelves over at our Barn apartment. Many are packed up in boxes in the loft of our Barn.  I quickly nixed this idea—way too much possible exercise.

Suffice it to say I wish I had even just half of the money back I’ve spent on these books. And magazines that had articles about dieting. I could probably have made a significant bailout loan to the government. Or, at the very least, had some money for the trips I’ve never made to ItalyScotland or Australia. Those dreams are coming true for the authors of all of those books I’ve helped support.

I easily remember the first diet book I bought. I waited for it to come out in paperback. It was Dr. Atkin’s Diet Revolution. I was 20ish. I followed that book to the “t.” Except—I never added the fruits and veggies I was to eventually add. I was losing so much weight I didn’t want to slow it down by adding nutritional food. That great decision was more than likely the beginning of my stomach and metabolism issues and my addiction to diet books.

I’ll just blame Oprah, too. Why not? I honestly believed in her book—Make the Connection—with Bob Greene. In fact, I saw it recently when I was dusting my bookshelves. It is an excellent resource. Lots of good, sound principles. I should have stopped there. But, in the past two years, I’ve bought, among others, books about insulin-resistance and the glycolic index; both of Jillian and Bob’s (you know—the trainers on The Biggest Loser?—which, thanks to TLC, I am also addicted to) books, and, my most recent purchase, The Yo-Yo Diet Syndrome by Doreen Virtue. All, may I say, are EXCELLENT books.

(It suddenly occurs to me that the name “Bob” is often attached to thin people. I’m sitting here thinking of all the “Bobs” I know—famous and friends and acquaintances. I can’t think of even one chubby Bob. That’s it. I’m changing my name. And writing a book about it!)

When TLC was a toddler, I took her to a fun “grandmother” babysitter once or twice a week. Mrs. C had many children and grandchildren, but kept other kids, too, at her clean, warm, comfy house. She had a grandson that was a pistol. He was about TLC’s age and, like TLC, a tiny bit spoiled. One afternoon, as I was picking TLC up, he was throwing a screamin’ trantrum fit. His Dad, Mrs. C’s son-in-law, who was also there to retrieve his child, looked at him and said, firmly: “This is the next-to-the-last time I’m going to tell you to stop that.” When I looked confused, he explained he had discovered that no one—not his wife, mother, mother-in-law or several sisters-in-law—ever meant it when they said to their kids: “This is the last time I’m telling you to stop that.” He believed that was completely ridiculous. That these women all needed to admit there was never going to be a “last time” for any of those kids. He was clearly proud to be the only HONEST adult.

So here is what I’ve told my hubby and TLC for the past 24 years: “This is the next-to-the-last diet book I’m buying.” Works for me. And, sadly, it seems to be the truth.

(If anyone out there has read a new diet book you liked, please let me know asap!)