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Friday, January 31, 2014


In honour of my thirtieth birthday month that begins TOMORROW (yikes), I wanted to share a little funny I saw on the ol' Facebook a few weeks ago:

Truth-be-told: I've been going to bed at nine o'clock long, long, LONG before my thirties.

Now, let's get this "party" started with CAKE! Then I need to go wash my face and get in my jammies and take some ibuprofen for my achey back. (Who am I kidding? I've basically been in my jams all day -- save for a quick trip to Hobby Lobby.)

TGIF, y'all!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

a long overdue YEEHAW from ELC...

Treehouse Masters! My recently discovered TV series on Animal Planet! I heart/adore/covet treehouses.

Background (I had to Wikipedia this information for y'all—I could remember a lot, but needed a teensy bit of help to explain it adequately): 

In 1960 (I was 6 years old), a Disney movie came out called Swiss Family Robinson. If y’all are young (to me that’s 45ish and under), I hope you’ve discussed, with your parents or grandparents, their/our entertainment options back in the 50s and 60s. Even 70s! Obviously those years were significantly different for all of us—compared to our/your options—our/your kids’ options—today. Going to a movie was a MAJOR event and treat. We wanted to look nice. Not church clothes, but we were clean, our hair was brushed and fixed, our clothes were our school clothes. Unless we were going from Church. Then we stayed in our "Church" clothes. (This was much like "dressing up" to go on plane trips. My first plane trip happened when I was 16. I was "dressed up" for that.) Disney movies, westerns, comedies (Doris Day movies were some of my most favourite), musicals—all of these were what we, as children, pre-teens, teens, had in the way of entertainment. A lot of what we saw was in black and white. But Disney movies were in color. Swiss Family Robinson was Disney’s first widescreen film.

It’s about a family—Mom, Dad and three sons—who’re on their way to New Guinea (I believe from Switzerland. Hence "Swiss Family Robinson.") when the ship they’re on is chased by pirates into a storm and, eventually, wrecked. The captain and crew abandon the ship off an uninhabited island. Not knowing when, or even if, they will be rescued, Dad and the two older sons construct a treehouse, taking much of what they need to make a home from the wrecked ship. Y’all, this was no ordinary treehouse. This was fancy—especially for what was, I think, the mid to late 1800s.

As the movie progresses, they discover who they believe is a young boy on the island. PLOT TWIST: She’s a girl! The two older brothers quickly begin to compete for her affections. And so begins the “love story” part of this charming movie. I won’t tell y’all any more. I think it’s still a great movie for kids nowadays! Full of comedy, drama, adventure. MAGIC.

Hopefully I've conveyed the impact this movie had on me. I’m 1000% certain this is when my love for trees and treehouses began.

At our home in town, where we lived for over 22 years, we had a HUGE Mulberry tree in our backyard. Big enough to safely climb. TLC and I would carefully scoot up it’s thick branches on a pretty Spring, Summer or Fall day. We’d dream. Visit. Laugh. We moved to our country casa in 2000. Once our home was built, at the back of our property and on our big hill, I began telling My Sweet Hubby (MSH) I wished we could build a treehouse at the very top. It faces West. We could watch the stunning sunsets we are blessed by our Lord God Almighty to see at the end of each day from our Casa in the Trees. This dream of mine hasn't happened yet. I haven’t completely given up.

You can imagine my sheer and utter JOY when I found this TV show about three weeks ago. After watching the first one (each show lasts an hour), I promptly put it on a Season Pass (that’s the terminology I've used for this process ever since we got our TIVO/DVR twenty years ago). I’ve watched approximately ten of these shows. A new season recently started.

Pete is the Treehouse Master. Builder. Architect. He and his wife, Judy, and their three grown kids—Emily, and twins Charlie and Henry—live at Treehouse Point in Fall City, Washington. (You can stay there! They have weddings, etc. They've got many unique treehouses. Looks fabulous!) Pete and his Team go all over America building the most incredible treehouses. There’s his foreman, Daryl. Several “riggers”—Alex, Ian and Seanix are three I’ve seen. His carpenters: Dylan, Devon and Toby. Bubba is their Carpenter/Philosopher. One of his twins is usually on a job. All of them are tres interesting peeps.

If you’re like me, and treehouses represent fun/magic/adventure to you, I think you’d seriously enjoy this show!

Yeehaw, Y'all!

Monday, January 27, 2014

just call me kate...

I turn THIRTY next month. THIRTY. Honestly, I'm really excited. As an early birthday pressie for myself, I've been hunting down the most perfect "statement necklace."

In December, the oh-so-glamorous Princess Kate was photographed at a movie premiere wearing a $35 necklace from Zara. Sweet ELC tried to find it for moi (she knows how much I love all things "royal" and "British" and knew this would be a coveted Christmas treasure this year), but, alas, because of the "Duchess Effect," the necklace sold out in virtual seconds.

Over the last month, I would occasionally check the website, hoping they would bring it back, but I was always met with disappointment. That is, until a couple of weeks ago when I was given the option to be emailed if the necklace was ever back in stock. I signed up immediately! I knew that had to be a good sign. You can imagine the sheer glee I felt when an email from Zara popped up a few days later saying it was (FINALLY) available. I purchased it then-and-there.


Isn't she lovely?

And how cute is this shipping notification telling me my new blingy bauble had been "dispatched?"

I want to start talking like this. Seriously. Immediately.

I'm now planning all of my frocks (that sounds British, right?) around this piece. I'm sure I'll have to correct many ladies and gents when they mistake me for Kate. LOL. Just kidding.

Happy Monday, y'all!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Mam It Is...

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) has four sons from his first marriage. When we married, 35 years ago, they ranged in age from two to twelve years. The two oldest got married within a year of each other. Then their wives had our first two grandchildren within less than a month of each other. That was over fourteen years ago. Because both daughters-in-law had parents who were already grandparents, MSH and I had the option of “picking” our grandparent names. I chose Grammy—because CeeCee had just become a grandmother and that was going to be her name. I love her and I loved that name. MSH became Pa-Dad. Our oldest son’s father-in-law was already Grandpa. I had had a “Dad-Dad.” So I came up with Pa-Dad for MSH. One of our seven Grands calls him Grandpa. We’re not sure why, but MSH sure doesn’t care!

Even though grandkids often come up with their own unique names for their grandparents, our first two called me Grammy with some ease. The others followed. Along comes Little Leighton (LL). The baby. For the past three-ish months she’s been calling me “Mam.” I can’t help but wonder how this will sound—as time goes on and she gets older. Will people think I made her call me that? She’s been calling MSH “PaPa.” She’s heard literally no one call anyone that name. She came up with that completely on her own. We’ve also teased MSH, telling him we’re going to try to get her to call him “Sir.” We’d be Mam and Sir. That cracks me and TLC up.  

I read a post on Facebook a while back where someone asked their “Friends” what their “grandparent” name was and it was extremely interesting/entertaining. I probably read three hundred comments. In those, there were several “Mams.” I won’t be alone.  

If LL wants to call me Mam, that’s what I’ll be. I’m sure, in time, as she hears the others calling me Grammy, she may give in and start calling me that. If I’m permamently Mam, well, Mam it is.

Hope each of Y’all has a Sweet Sunday and Wonderful Week—Wherever in the World you are…

Thursday, January 23, 2014

the return of the yummies

They're baaaccckkk!

Tonight I'm sharing TWO yummy yummies.

Let's start with my most favourite pizza:

I keep at least two boxes in my freezer at all times. Since Little Leighton has a fairly early bedtime, and we don't always like to eat at 5:30, we've started baking our pizzas versus delivery. The stress of the doorbell and Henry barking is too much for this mama. ELC told me about this pizza when she read "Eat This, Not That." The crust is positively scrumptious. The box couldn't describe it better -- it's "cracker-like." We actually had this for dinner last night. I'd say we eat one per week.

After we finished dinner, I had a hankering for a chocolate chip cookie, but I didn't want to bake a whole batch. Then I remembered I had seen a recipe (maybe on Pinterest? Facebook?) for a single-serve MICROWAVE (Yes, microwave! Desperate times call for desperate measures.) chocolate chip cookie. Let me tell you: it wasn't half bad! Not near as tasty as a hot cookie right out of the oven, but it fulfilled my craving. I didn't take a picture (oopsie) but, frankly, it wasn't that pretty/picture-worthy.

Here's the recipe:

Microwave Chocolate Chip Cookie

1 T. butter, melted
1 T. sugar
1 T. brown sugar
3 drops of vanilla
Pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1/4 c. flour
2 T. chocolate chips

Microwave for 40-60 seconds in a cup or bowl. Yum!

Happy Friday Eve, y'all! Now, get to bakin' and microwavin'!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mom Can Keep It Real, Too, You Know...

I read TLC’s post on January 13th with smiles. Giggles. Some sighs. Wanted to kind of cry a teensy bit while on her #1. Shed a few tears in honor of her tiredness. Poor Young Mama. I decided I’d “respond” to her “realness” with my own thoughts on her “list of random things.”

  1. Teething is absolutely for the birds. Little Leighton (LL) is growing teeth like TLC did: slowly. Painfully. Crankily. (Is that a word?) With lots o’ crankiness. There’s just really nothing much you can do, TLC. As all of us Moms can tell you: It is what it is and you will get through it. Somehow. Someday! Your lack of sleep, TLC? Well, don’t expect many ZZZs for the next eighteen years. Or more. Comes with the job. So sorry, Sugar. Yes. Yes, many of us DID try to warn you.
  2. Your green yoga pants? I LOVE ‘EM. They look very chic. Very comfy. Very you. How could I criticize you for your “crisis?” I’ve been wearing the same pajammie pants for the past four years—every day. Well, I wear one pair for three or four days/nights—then wash them and wear the other for three or four days/nights.  I bought them in the Men’s Department at Wally World. They’re both flannel. Had to have each pair's hem taken up ten inches. Don't we all walk into our homes at the end of a work day—or at night—and change into our yummiest clothes? And/or shoes? I walk in from ANYWHERE, literally, anywhere, (it might be at noon) and IMMEDIATELY change into one of these two pair of pajammie pants. Unless we have company. And by company, I do mean someone who is not related to me by blood or marriage. (Because relatives know I’m likely to be in one of these pajammie pants at literally any time of the day. I am who I am.) I was glad the two new pair of yoga pants I found fit you perfectly! Now you’ll have three pair of comfies to be addicted to—YIPPEE!!!
  3. Your list of what you “consumed” the day you wrote your blogpost absolutely, positively CRACKED ME UP. (It's only because of you that I even know what Pad Thai're darn worldly, you are...) But here’s the truth: I bet I have more calories by 3:00 p.m. than you have by 8:00 p.m. each day. Problem is I keep going after 3:00. I’m in need of a serious commitment to myself to start eating healthier. I’ve passed frustration and landed at utter DESPAIR. I’m so proud of how you’ve not only lost all of your baby weight, but many pounds past that and are now as tiny as you’ve almost ever been. I watch you. You only eat a little of everything. And you are GREAT about drinking water. I eat A LOT. Way, way too much. I drink too many Diet Dews and Coke Zeroes. Have to force myself to get down two or three bottles of water per day. That's on a good day. Lots of times I get into bed having only consumed one bottle. (Shame. Shame. You know my  name.) I’ll try, again, tomorrow, to get on track. Promise.
  4. I wish you really could leave your Christmas decorations up all year! I know hundreds of people who love Christmas. I don’t know anyone who loves it as much as you. I must admit I'm happy to hear your casa is back to normal—as of this past Saturday. Go have a cupcake to celebrate your success at getting your Christmas pretties put away for another year.
  5. Sarah Jessica’s new line of shoes? At Nordstrom? Your most favourite store ever? I’m thrilled for you. TRULY. What could be better? Nothing. Well, perhaps being able to leave your Christmas decorations up all year would top Sarah's shoes. That's probably the only thing. Oh, and/or sleep. Even just six hours of uninterrupted sleep. One night per month. That might be better than those shoes. The shoes, however, are more realistic, TLC. Again, sorry, Sugar.
LL's picture? In her camo and sunnies? At my casa? THE BEST. Period. End of story. By The Way: At some point in my life, I need to learn how to post pictures to this blog. It's been over three years since we started lolwiththeleightons and I don't have a clue how to do that.

Nighty-night, Sweet Sillies...Wherever in the World Y'all Are...

Monday, January 13, 2014

keepin' it real...

I had every intention of writing this post (well, a different one -- I've changed course) last night. Little Leighton and her teeth apparently had a different idea. In honour of my total exhaustion, I felt it was only appropriate to make a list of random things -- as I'm apt to do from time-to-time.

Shall we?

1. Teething is for the birds. When I was pregnant and people would try to warn me about the lack of sleep I was about to experience, I foolishly assumed that would only last for the first few months. Silly, naive me. I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that I may never sleep well again. If I'm not actually awake because of LL, I'm sure I'll be awake worrying about her. I worry. I'm a worrier.

2. I've been wearing the same pair of green yoga pants for, well, let's just say "several" days. I'm in the middle of a "yoga pants crisis." I only have one pair that fits. My Sweet ELC will be making a quick visit tomorrow and -- THANK GOODNESS -- will be bringing me two new pairs. Hallelujah. I know my neighbors will be excited to see a different wardrobe.

3. It's a good thing "eating healthy" wasn't one of my resolutions for 2014. Here's what I've consumed today: 4 mini cinnamon rolls, coffee (duh -- see: lack of sleep), a "real" Coca-Cola (Diet, who?), 1 bowl of Golden Grahams, 1 bowl of Lucky Charms, LL's leftover buttered pasta, one green bean (for good measure), 2 cookies, a handful of cashews, leftover steak fries with ketchup (but they were baked!) and Pad Thai. I did drink several bottles of water and took LL on a little stroll. That should at least cancel out half of that junk, right?

4. 98% of my Christmas decor has been put away, but all of my ornaments are on my dining room table. I'll get to them eventually. I think. Putting away all of the Christmas pretties makes me so very melancholy.

5. This just popped up in my Facebook timeline, and I am BEYOND excited:

In conclusion, I'd like to leave y'all with the CUTEST image of my funny, smart, brave, curious, free-spirited Little Leighton -- my fashionista in training:

Camo and sunnies. The best combination.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sherman Williams and The Water Closet

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and TLC just flat tickle me. A lot. I have quirks, too, of course. Don’t we all? But sometimes theirs crack me up in a major way.

MSH has the funniest vocabulary and way of saying names and words. I’ve shared with y’all, in past posts, that, as TLC grew up, he had cute names for her friends. Often, while we were discussing TLC’s experiences and schedules with said friends, he’d “change” their names to something close/similar/downright charming. I’ve learned, over the past 37 years with him, I have to think about what he’s saying/asking/commenting on—when he uses names and words that he’s made up in his fascinating brain.

Sherwin Williams. A paint store one can find all over Texas. I assume it’s all over the U.S. Heck, I don’t know. Maybe the World? Been around for many, many years. MSH calls it Sherman Williams. (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: This is a SMART man. Seriously SMART.) He calls it this even when he’s there—inside a Sherman Williams’ store—with a sales associate. Even when I remind him, as we're walking in to said store, the name is Sherwin. Sherwin, Dear. I’m not going to lie—it’s a tidbit embarrassing. Happened last week. (We’ve had glass replaced in all the doors that lead from inside our home to the outside and needed to start the process of finding some paint colors for the trim of the new casings.) When we got back out to his truck to head home, I said: “For the one millionth time, it’s SHERWIN. S. H. E. R. W. I. N. Not Sherman.” He looked at me with those gorgeous dark brown eyes and simply grinned. Sheesh.

Water Closet. Not a term I have ever used in my 59 years to describe the area where the commode/toilet is located in a home/office/business. This conversation took place two days ago, at our Country Casa, as TLC and Little Leighton (LL) visited us:

TLC: Could you keep an eye on LL while I run to the water closet?

ELC: Sure. (I immediately started thinking, in my mind: Why does she call the toilet area a “water closet?” She’s been doing this for about three to four years and I’ve never questioned her. Never even giggled at her as she said it. That’s not like me. Where, on Earth, did she get this? I knew I had to ask. As soon as possible. And before I forgot. Again.)

An hour later, TLC was putting makeup on in our master bathroom. I walked in to get some ibuprofen (It happens to me and MSH when LL is here. We find we have to amp up our ingestion of pain pills for our arthritis. Due to our up/down/runnin’ around movements with a now almost 18-month-old. We don’t care. It’s worth it!). I decided to finally clear this mystery up.

ELC: Hey, I’ve been wondering about this for several years: Why do you call the toilet room “the water closet?” Where did you get that? What's wrong with "restroom?" I have never, ever, EVER, in 59 years, used that phrase. I don’t even hear other people say it. Is it British or something? Is it a deep desire/longing to connect with your English roots?

TLC: First, Mamacita, I guess it must be HGTV that I picked this term up from, okie-dokie? (Really, TLC? I don’t watch as much as you, but I’m not remembering ever hearing anyone use that term.) Who, Mom, wants to say “toilet?” Or “commode?” I’m trying to be a little more classy than that—if you don’t mind. Second, I don’t think “water closet” is English. I believe they call it “the loo.”

ELC: Hmmm. Isn’t that French?

TLC: Lord help us, all. Loo? French? Sheesh. Are you thinking of The Louvre? No. It’s British, Mom. I’m almost certain. Besides, you’ve said “powder room” for as long as I can remember. Why can’t I say water closet?

ELC: Well, true. I do say powder room. Mostly in mixed company. Or when I want to feel fancy. I suppose if it makes you happy, you go right on ahead and keep using that terminology. I can’t wait for Dad to realize what you’re saying. So far, I don’t think he’s ever really been able to hear what you’re calling it. He’s going to razz you unmercifully. TEEheeHEE. And I can’t wait for LL to go to public school. It’ll be a hoot when she asks her teacher if she can visit “the water closet.” TEEheeHEEheeHAhaHA.


Okay. It’s true. Sometimes I make a mistake with words and names. I’ll admit it. The biggest, most consistent mistake I make is a street in Fort Worth, Texas, that I call Bryant Irwin. It’s Bryant Irvin. With a “v.” As I say it, I know I’m saying it wrong. I do. I've done it for, oh, probably, 30 years. Maybe longer.

ELC to Her Sweet Husband or TLC or anyone else who's transporting her in a vehicle, as they’re nearing Bryant Irvin:

Hey, are you going to take Bryant Irwin? Irvin? I meant Irvin. Crud.

Gotta love quirks, right? They make life much more innerstin’.

Scootin’ along, Sweet Friends…Have a Wonderful Wednesday Wherever in the World Y’all are!

p.s.: I don’t often make New Year’s Resolutions. I’ve learned it’s not good for my self-esteem. However, I've told MSH I intend to walk a minimum of four mornings a week with him and Teddy Buddy Boo Bear this year. He's very dedicated and loyal to his morning walk. I know I need to be. He’s been telling me about seeing DUCKS on our Big Tank for at least three weeks. By the time he and Buddy Bear near the tank, they fly off. I don't end up seeing them the rest of the day. This morning, when we walked, in the yucky, bitter cold, there were about 30! Y’all know how much I love my ducks! (See my Duck...Duck... post on December 17, 2011 ). I’m hoping this is a great sign for 2014—a sign that we’ll finally get some relief from our drought. If these darling birds would come to our low, low, dangerously low tank now, maybe they have a psychic sense it’s going to be better. That they don’t need to go find another place to hang out and rest—on their journey South. Yippee!!!

Saturday, January 4, 2014


How is it Day 4 of January, 2014? Sheesh. Geez.

TLC and I are finding ourselves, like each of y'all and everyone else in the world, challenged this New Month of the New Year to find the time we need to organize our thoughts and plans.

Thank you for your patience! (Patience is a VERY good trait to develop, isn't it? Don't we all agree? TLC and I just need it RIGHT NOW.)

Hope you have a Sweet Saturday and Wonderful Weekend, Dear Friends...