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Thursday, October 31, 2013


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.

And, finally:

Note: This is goodbye for NOW, Sillies!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


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.


Cheerio, Lads and Lassies!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


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.")


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!)

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.


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…


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

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


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!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

shut all the doors...

…not just the front one...

 Let me explain:

“My name is ELC. And I’m a sugarholic.”
Guess I’ve known this for about 49 of my 59 years. I’m not proud of this addiction. I’m grateful not to have some other addictions. Truly. But this is not a good one. Every morning I get up and tell myself I’m going to minimize my sugar intake. (Trying none at all really is my only hope. Haven't succeeded in that endeavor very often.) Five out of seven nights a week I go to bed mad at my weakness.

I got home from two days at TLC’s casa around noon yesterday. Unloaded my car and then had to run to town to pick up two flats of pansies (One of my most favourite bedding/potting plants because My Sweet Nana adored them.) I’d bought from a friend’s daughter. A fundraiser for her school. I also needed to run into a drug store to return/exchange a broken mascara (The wand was, as I told the cute little Assistant Manager fella, “wonky” and didn’t work right. Y'all know I can't have this problem. TLC and I spend way too much time and effort finding the best mascaras made for the best prices. Not working properly is not an option for moi.).
After taking care of both of these errands, I should have headed straight home. Instead, I decided I needed a large VCZ (Vanilla Coke Zero). From Sonic. Would you believe My Sweet Hubby’s truck veered, instead, into a McDonald's? Why? I don’t know. (Let me admit this: I also have a sort-of-controllable junk food addiction. More controllable than my sugar addiction. I’ve always liked McDonald’s. Yes, occasionally, I’ll stay away. For a few weeks or even a few months. Worried the news’ reports about their meat, etc., might be accurate. But Big Macs? Yes, please. Grilled Onion Cheeseburgers? Absolutely. I can’t make myself apologize for this.)

While waiting in the Drive-Thru line, I noticed a new McFlurry flavor. Well, new to me. Pralines and Cream. Wwwhhhhaaaaatttttt? Pralines and Cream? Since I’d had a chicken sandwich on the way home with NO FRIES or TOTS, I made the decision I could have six bites of what sounded like a heavenly treat. (The pretty picture ad by the order-speaker said a snack-sized Pralines and Cream had 500 calories. 500. Calories. Sheesh.)

I did it. Also ordered a large Diet Coke. Clearly, I had no shame.

The first bite I took—as I drove away from the window—was amazing. I’m not exaggerating when I say it was one of the yummiest bites of an ice cream concoction I’ve had in a very, very, VERY long time. Especially one that didn't have any chocolate in it.

I decided I could eat a third of it. Then it became half. Did I manage half? Ha. Right. And then we all woke up. I practically licked the cup clean. Shut All the Doors!!! It was totally beyond exquisite.

{When TLC reads this, she’ll be a tidbit shocked and majorly disappointed in me. I’d lost ten pounds (that I’d gained back from my original 20-pound loss two years ago) recently. However, I’ve been back up five for three-ish weeks. She’s had to listen to my constant whining and complaining about my lifetime of dieting. She’ll be a little hurt, on my behalf, for my lack of self-discipline. We both can be a little too judge-y of each other. After her initial reactions, she’ll remember she went to her favourite local ice cream shop yesterday afternoon and had a cup of Heath custard. Okay, yes, she's lost more than her baby weight gain, at this point. She weighs what she did in her early high school years. I'm hugely proud of her. Possibly a little jealous. But I think she’ll understand.}

Today I’m doing my best to recover from my unfortunate slip in strength and good sense. So far, so good. True. It's barely past noon here in North Central Texas. I can only hope and pray this confession will be good for my soul. And scales. That tonight I get in bed not angry at myself, but proud.

Y’all have a Sweet Saturday—full of happiness, joy, fun, laughter and, what the heck, maybe even a few sprinkles of sugar—Wherever in the World you are…

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Tuesday with TLC...

It's fall, y'all!

Hallelujah. This past weekend in Texas actually brought cooler temperatures, too. In fact, it was downright "brrr-cold." I. LOVED. EVERY. SECOND.

Last week, Little Leighton and I ventured out to Trader Joe's. This is only the second time I've been to one. Hubby and I shopped around the one in Santa Fe. Let me tell you what -- they are quite charming! And have you tried their "Speculoos Crunchy Cookie Butter?" One word: WOWZER. I officially have ELC addicted now, too. Just schmear a little (a lot?) on an English muffin. We call that the "Breakfast of Champions."

ELC only thought she could keep my pumpkin mentions to a minimum. I'm here to prove her wrong! That's right! It's time for a PUMPKIN RECIPE. These are delicious and easy-peasy muffins. I'm sure you've seen the recipe floating around Pinterest. Do yourself a favor and make these STAT. (And maybe even spread a little Cookie Butter on them. For good measure.)

3-Ingredient Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins
recipe via Mix and Match Mama

1 box of Spice Cake Mix
1 (15 oz) can of pumpkin puree
1 cup of chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 12-count muffin tin with cupcake liners.
In a mixing bowl, combine cake mix with canned pumpkin and work it with a spoon. The batter will be pretty thick. Once the batter has been combined, stir in your chocolate chips.
Fill your muffin liners 2/3 of the way full and bake for about 15 minutes.
Remove from oven and let cool in the pan 5 minutes before removing (and devouring).

And what would a fall-ish post be without a "seasonally appropriate photo" of My Little Pumpkin:


Chow for Now!

Sunday, October 6, 2013


It’s a BEAUTIFUL Sunday in North Central Texas! At our country casa yesterday, we had half an inch of rain. Unfortunately, we’re still in severe draught conditions. So we’ll take that with grateful hearts.

Today I’m puttering. CeeCee and I are going to a wedding in the Stockyards (near downtown Ft. Worth) later this afternoon. I’m piddlin’. In my home office. Paying bills. Wishing I had the incentive to do filing. For me, filing papers and getting my desk organized is like dusting: very futile. Sigh.

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) recently joined Twitter! (TLC signed me up a few months ago. I still don’t understand it. Post something maybe every two to three weeks. At one point, I had seven Followers. I’m down to four. I try not to take that too personally. I won't lie: It's sometimes sad.) Our third (of four) sons helped him sign up a few weekends ago. I was at TLC's for a couple of days and I'm fairly certain they were bored. Anyway, MSH has informed TLC and me that he has no intention of ever posting anything. Never. We’ll see.
He also cracked us up when he asked TLC to explain “hashtags.” She tried. He looked at her with mostly a blank stare. When she’d felt like she’d done the best she could, he quietly and calmly said: “I don’t like them. I don't like them one bit.” (That evening, and all the next day, TLC and I used hashtags every time we sent him a text-message. #wecrackourselvesup)

And I am now officially on Instagram (is that spelled right?)!  As of yesterday. Which is ironic. Since I don’t know how to post pictures on this little ole’ blog we’ve had for getting close to three years. I do know how to post pictures on Facebook. So maybe it won’t be too complicated for moi. Mostly I just want to follow TLC and Friends. She’s got some positively Fabulous Friends that have cute, cute, CUTE kids. Not to mention they’re all very creative and wonderfully witty.

So there you go. At 69 and 59, respectively, MSH and I are getting too smart for our britches. We’re bordering on the verge of being close to understanding High Tech Thingies. I’m sure y’all are tres impressed, right?

Have a Sweet Sunday…Wherever in this (sometimes cRaZy and often sCaRy) World you are, Silly Friends!

p.s.: If you'd like to follow me on Twitter (have very low expectations, of course, and please, please, PLEASE don't unfollow me because my self-esteem is currently low-ish), here you go: @theleightons327

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


we LOVE the whole concept. Truly. It's the right/best/honorable thing to do. So, in the Spirit of Recycling, we give you our "October" post from 2011:

OOG (Oh Our Gosh)! It's October!!!

Praise the Lord. Seriously, who doesn’t love October? If you aren’t cRaZy about Halloween, aren’t you OBSESSED with the OBVIOUSLY OFFICIAL beginning of the holiday season? We’d like to take this OPPORTUNITY to OVERWHELM y’all with “Os!”

Don’t be: OBSOLETE; OBDURATE (OKAY—so you don’t have to look it up—it means stubborn and unyielding); overaggressive; OPPRESSIVE; OBSCENE (this is for you Googlers of “nude Indian leg wrestling”—and you know who you are); offensive; ORDINARYornery; OUT-OF-DATE; opaque (you can wear opaque tights, though); OSTENTATIOUS (that’s OBNOXIOUS—seriously obnoxious); overanxious; OPPOSITIONAL; overtired; OVERCAUTIOUS; OBSEQUIOUS (go ahead and look that up); or OBSTREPEROUS (while you’re there, look this up, too). Seriously, don’t be obstreperous (hard to say six times in a row—fast—just try it). It’s obstructive.

Do be: OUTSTANDING; openminded; ORDERLY (when necessary); ORIGINAL (OF course!); OUTRAGEOUS (when appropriate!); optimistic; OBEDIENT (occasionally); and outspoken (especially when you feel passionate about an injustice).

Go ON-LINE and find out everything you can about: OKLAHOMA; the Orient; OREGON; Ontario; OUIJA boards; The Wizard of OZ; Dr. Oz; the ocean; and the OZONE layer. Couldn’t hurt to learn more about: OCELOTS; owls (TLC’s favorite bird and OPRAH and those Three Little Piggies like ‘em, too!); OCTOPUSES—OCTOPI?; ostriches; OPPOSUMS; OTTERS; and all things OINKY!

Eat: ORGANIC OAT BRAN (Dr. Dukan would be proud!); okra (Paula’s fried—YUMMO. BTW: Dr. Dukan would not be proud.); ONIONS (be ready to brush your teeth); and ORANGES that come straight from the ORCHARD (sooo good for you).

Put on a fancy ORGANZA dress and attend the OPERA. Listen, specifically, for the OBOE in the ORCHESTRA. Learn ORIGAMI. You really OUGHT to make your own Christmas ORNAMENTS so you won’t OVERSPEND or OVERINDULGE on OPULENT OBJECTS. Take an OATH to go OUTDOORS, in a cute little camo OUTFIT. Get some OXYGEN, climb an OAK tree, and be OBLIVIOUS to OTHERS’ OUTBURSTS.

OKAY… this isn’t just OPEN-AND-SHUT. It may be an ORDEAL to read our ONGOING OPINIONS, but one of us is OLD, so please OPEN your minds to this OCULAR OVERLOAD.

Let’s move ONWARD: OPT to OVERCOME hardships, unpleasant ODORS, and OBSCURE and ODD OFF-Broadway actors who sing OFFKEY and lack OOMPH (we aren’t implying anyone in particular.) Don’t OVERWORK, OVERSLEEP or OVERESTIMATE your OPPONENTS. You might have to OBLITERATE them to OBLIVION. (OOPS—OVERDOING and getting a little OUTLAW-ish.)

Push aside OBSTACLES and OWN the space you OCCUPY on this Earth.