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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

stickernoodles . . .

During our wait for a firm diagnosis of Little Leighton’s (LL) health issues, she is healing and eating and drinking and, mostly, doing her best to get back to her funny, sweet, silly, feisty, sassy self!  

At least one of the possible diagnoses is celiac disease. There is no one on either side of LL’s family that has this health disorder. Or, at least, we know of no relatives that have ever had this medical condition/challenge. After researching it, it has been a devastating scare.

Once they did the test on LL for celiac, TLC and I began to shop for any and all gluten-free foods we could find. LL is quite the picky—and opinionated—eater. Little Toot. One day she LOVES a new food. The next day? She’s over it. Not interested. Nope. "No tank you," she says. (Welcome to the CrAzY World of Toddlers, right?)

Knowing Trader Joe’s had some gluten-free products, My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I made a trip to their Ft. Worth store last Friday. We found a few products we could all try. One that looked particularly promising was a box of “Snickerdoodles.” Cookies! Fabulous! Now we’re talkin’…

I took all of the gluten-free loot we’d found to TLC and LL this past Sunday afternoon. LL adored the Snickerdoodles! She calls them “Stickernoodles.” She’ll look at me, as she’s working on a puzzle or reading a book, and say: “Stickernoodles, Grammy?”

The box has 16 little soft, chewy, delicious treats. (At this time, according to TLC, there is one sad and lonesome cookie left in that box.) I think a box cost $50.00. (Just kidding. I'm not sure what it was for those sixteen delights. There are just sixteen. That's the main problem. We have discovered that gluten-free products ain’t all that cheap, folks. Sigh.) It really would make no difference to Grammy and Pa-Pa if that box cost $100. We’d buy it. We'd sell our home to buy her Stickernoodles. She’s getting Stickernoodles. Period. End of story.

As we learn more and more about this mean and confusing condition, we realize we’ve had very little sympathy for and understanding of those who suffer from this disease. The truth is this: ALL of us could benefit from gluten-free everything. But there it is. In everything good and tasty. Double Sigh.

Hope Y’all have a Charming Camel Day—wherever in the World you are…

Thursday, July 24, 2014

twists and turns...

We’ve been absent for a very good reason. Little Leighton (LL) was admitted to a Dallas children’s hospital on Saturday evening. She’d been puny for about a month. She’d had some tests last Thursday and Friday mornings, but she got sick around lunch on Saturday.

Grammy , who is two hours away, stood by and learned, at 3:00 p.m., they were ambulancing (maybe not an actual word?) her to Dallas from another hospital near TLC’s home. I threw in blankets, pillows, toys, clothes, etc.—praying it would be an overnight.

It turned into three long, agonizing, heart-wrenching nights. All day Monday and Monday night were utter torture for our 2-year-old Angel. As TLC, her Hubby, and I moved about the hospital, we knew there were infants and children having much worse tests and treatments. While we prayed, non-stop, for LL, we prayed just as hard for all the other sweet kids enduring tough stuff.

LL was discharged at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday. (After her Mama and Grammy threw some wild-eyed fits. We’d been told by two different doctors she could go home that morning. When we kept getting the run-around by a charm-free nurse, they all got on our last nerves. We’d each had a total of eight hours of—interrupted—sleep in three days. Mama Bear and Grammy Bear got determined to get Our Doll home, into a lovely bath and her own bed. We’re probably on some “Watch Out For These Peeps” list now. To be honest? We don’t care.)

She will be having more tests done in the next few weeks and we’re truly very hopeful that the issues will be resolved.

Please say a little prayer for our Sweet Baby Biscuit…if you don’t mind…and all children suffering with medical problems they never, ever deserved.

Hopefully we’ll be back in touch soon…

Love and Hugs,


Thursday, July 17, 2014

an enigma ...

When I originally posted this a couple of hours ago, I thought it was Friday. It's Thursday. I live in my own little State of Confusion. But Friday will be here shortly. Friday. Wow. Time is zooming by. How do we slow it down—just a little itty-bitty teeny-tiny tidbit? PLEASE?
TLC has many things going on at this point in her life. She’s planning to catch y’all up ASAP. Y’all have me for another post or two…or three. It is what it is.

Have I told ya’ll how much I adore My Sweet Hubby (MSH)? He is the BEST. He has so many good qualities it’s almost unfair to the rest of the men in the World. (Do NOT, under any circumstances, reveal to him I have said this…I’m doing my utmost to keep him on his toes, don’tchaknow…)

Two MSH stories:

MSH walks every single day to our gate and back (one mile round trip). With his best friend, our very sweet chocolate Lab, Buddy Boo Bear. They do this without fail. Makes no difference if the temperature is 10 degrees or 100 degrees. They are dedicated/determined/sometimesalittlenuts. They’re both inspirational to me. I, on the other hand, walk about once a month. And that, My Dears, takes me several weeks to get prepared for in so many ways. Mentally. Physically. Emotionally.

Three weeks ago (Oh, Lordy. It’s almost time for my monthly walk. Crud.), I headed down our very steep hill with My Guys. Trying to be as optimistic, positive and excited as they are. As we approached the first cattle guard, this conversation ensued:

MSH: Did I tell you I rescued a big turtle last week?
ELC: No. No, I would remember that.
MSH: He’d (Of course, he has no idea if it was a male or female turtle. I thought it was nice MSH didn’t accuse this not-very-smart creature of being a “her.”) fallen into the cattleguard. It wasn’t easy to rescue him. And I learned, pretty quickly, he was a snapping (Again, could have changed it to “her,” right?) turtle. But I knew he was scared and I needed to help him to freedom.

{Allow me to interject: In our Big Tank, we have about fifty catfish. Some are huge. Ten or more pounds. And we have some humongously big turtles. We would really prefer that the turtles go visit someone else’s tank, as they eat our fishfood and generally make nuisances of themselves.}

MSH: I faced him in the direction of G & B’s tank (our neighbors’…). He turned around and headed back to ours.

Hearing MSH tell me this sweet story? It perked me right up, quickened my steps, and put me in a mucho better mood. Adjusted my attitude fast. I hugged him and told him how proud I was of his caring, kind heart.

Story Numero Dos:

Last week, MSH was laying on my (I mean “our”) couch one lazy afternoon. Looking at a colorful, big brochure.

ELC: What’s that you're reading?
MSH: It’s a brochure for Indian motorcycles. I’ve wanted one of those since high school.
ELC: Indian? I’ve never heard of those and I’ve sure never heard this story—that you’ve wanted one since high school.
MSH: Really? I’m almost certain I’ve mentioned them to you before. You’ve heard of Indian motorcycles. You have to have heard of them.
ELC: Nope. Neither.
MSH: I could get one for about $25,000.
ELC: We’ve had this motorcycle discussion one hundred and one times. You’re not getting one. They’re dangerous. There’s no point. You don’t need to kill yourself or someone else. I'm sorry. I truly am.
MSH: I don’t think I need your permission.  AND (Said with major expression…)—I can get a sidecar!
ELC: Are you insane? I am NOT riding in a sidecar. I can’t believe you’d even suggest that.
He stopped looking at the brochure…looked up into my shocked eyes, and said:
MSH: The sidecar would be for Buddy. Not you. I was going to get him some goggles and a scarf, too. He’s not getting any younger, you know. (He’s 8 years old.) He needs to see some of this World before he gets too old to travel.

I shook my head, turned and walked away. As I got into our bedroom, I had to laugh and laugh. Silently though. I could NOT let him believe, for one second, that he’d rattled my cage. Went to my closet and texted TLC to tell her her Dad’s latest cRaZy idea.

The man’s an enigma. I love him. I can’t imagine my life without him. We’ll have our 36th wedding anniversary in September. If he hasn’t bought an Indian motorcycle and headed to Colorado with Buddy Boo Bear by then, I intend to find him the best card I can. Maybe even cook dinner for him! (Actually, he really loves my cards. That should be sufficient…)

HAPPY, HAPPY Friday-In-My-Mind, Darlings! Wherever in the World Y’all are...

Saturday, July 12, 2014


Literally. Our electricity went out at 3:00 this morning. I was awake. Didn’t want to be. I’d slept a couple of hours yesterday afternoon so that threw off my (always-messed-up) night sleeping schedule. I’d actually fallen asleep on our couch—or as my Dear and Funny Friend, Mackie, and I call it—“davenport”—about 11:00 p.m. Headphones on. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) was on Armadillo Watch and unintentionally woke me up at 2:00, as he looked out our front door, into our garden, for the rogue and destructive creature tearing up everything he/she can every other night.

He went back to bed after he determined The Little Devil wasn't out there and I went back to catching up on some DVRed shows. Right at 3:00, the TV went off. As did all other lights in our house (i.e. clocks, stovetop light, etc.). I went into our bedroom to see if MSH was still awake. He was looking at his phone. He hadn’t realized we’d lost power. As y’all may know, we can see for thirty miles—from the top of our hill. It was dark in a lot of places out yonder. There were some scattered lights. We have two neighbors on either side of us. They’re several acres away, but we can see their outdoor lights and they were both completely dark.

I called the power company. I got this recording (and some horribly atrocious music):

“Your call is important to us and will be answered in the order it was received. Please do not hang up.”

My call was so important I was on the verge of hitting the "End" button on my cell after 27 minutes of holding. Lucky for moi, a "Dispatch" person picked up. When I told her where we lived and that we'd lost all power, she said there had been a major outage—mostly north of us—and that crews were being sent to fix it.

An hour and a halfish later, MSH and I decided to drive to town for coffee and to fill our Jeep up with gas. It would give us a chance to see how widespread the outage was. (Can I end a sentence that way? Sorry if that's not grammatically correct. And, yes, I'm basically nosy.) The outage was also south of us. It was strangely random. One side of the highway had power. The other—not so much. We did see two crews up in those “baskets” working on the lines. By the time we got home, our electricity had come back on. It was out for almost two hours.

In the fourteen years we’ve lived in the country, we’ve lost power probably thirty times. It’s been off anywhere from a minute or two to several hours. It reminds us how dependent we are on electricity. (Thank goodness cellphones work! I think of the many, many, gazillion years none of us had cells and simply had to sit tight, hoping the Electric Peeps knew we had no juice!)

We have flashlights and battery-operated lanterns all around our casa and at the Barn apartment—ready to go. Still, not being able to fix a cup of coffee…worrying about the food in our fridge and freezer…not being able to shower (we’re all electric!)…not being able to watch TV? It’s an uncomfortable feeling. Even though MSH and I honestly believe we should enjoy being forced to sleep, or read, or think, or rest, or TALK to each other, we must tell the truth: WE DON’T LIKE IT. Period.

I would never, ever, EVER have been a good Pioneer Woman.

Thank You, Lord God Almighty—for electricity! (And the people who can get it back on for us.)


Monday, July 7, 2014

Monuments and Magnolias . . .

The second week of June, My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I went on a LR (Little Roadtrip). We’d never been to Natchitoches, Louisiana. We’ve visited New Orleans many times. Visited Shreveport a few times. (Natchitoches is an hour south of Shreveport and about a 5-hour trip, by car, from our casa.) MSH did all the planning  of this tiny getaway by his own little lonesome. Booked a B&B for us for two nights. Told me it was where they filmed “Steel Magnolias.”

By the Way: I’m planning to do a more-detailed post about this adventure in a few days/couple of weeks. Please stand by for that, Folks…

Fast-forwarding to this past weekend: I spent last Thursday until Sunday morning in bed or on our couch. Had a medical condition/illness I brought on myself. Won’t give y’all the TMI details. I’ll say only that it has to do with the horrible things I eat and the evil things I drink (i.e., Diet Dews, Diet Cokes, Coke Zeros…etc., etc., etc.) that are wrong, wrong, WRONG. Wrong for moi. (And, yet, I adore every single one of them.) While I attempted to recover (on my own and without paying our Hospital ER in town $1000 for a few pain pills), I watched two movies: Steel Magnolias and The Monuments Men.

Having seen all of the homes and places around Natchitoches that they used to film Steel Magnolias, I was determined to watch this tear-jerker again. When it came out many, many years ago, I vividly remember seeing it with TLC and barely making it out of the movie theater to my car. Where I sobbed. And sobbed. And SOBBED. I had a headache for three days from all the tears I cried. Then, of course, like a fool, I bought it on a VCR tape. Watched it once or twice from the comfort of my home. With a box of Kleenex on my lap and Tylenol capsules ready to swallow.

Then, of course, I bought the DVD. Why? Because I am clearly an insane glutton for punishment.

I watched it Thursday afternoon. At the peak of my physical pain. I just knew I’d be strong. Good Lord, I know what’s coming, right? Tore me up. Completely did me in. As if my buckets of tears weren’t enough, I watched the “Special Features.” Never, ever, EVER have I watched a “Special Feature.” This one showcased the author. The man who’d written the original play as a way to deal with the death of his sister. This sweet, kind, talented, lovely young man made me cry. Again. Sigh. I swear. I'm finished watching this movie. I'm too old and sickly.

For Father’s Day this year, I gave MSH “The Monuments MenDVD. He’d just gotten around to watching it last week, while I was visiting TLC and Little Leighton. Told me it was “awesome.” Said I should try to view it soon. So Saturday afternoon, as I lay on our couch, still in pain, we watched it together. I don’t even have the right words to express my appreciation of and for this movie. If you haven’t heard of it—or seen it—or know very little about it—I urge you to Google it, buy it or rent it ASAP. You won’t be sorry.

(MSH did kind of lie to me—a teensy bit. You see, I cannot do war movies. Saving Private Ryan positively destroyed me. I spent most of that movie—in a movie theater—with MSH telling me when I could take my hands away from my eyes. Needless to say, I only actually saw about one-third of that movie. Too much for my heart and soul. It’s certainly not the only war movie that has had that effect on me. In questioning him, in great detail, because I have to, about The Monuments Men, he said one man died. Well, that wasn't true. I forgave him. It was nothing like Saving Private Ryan. I coped. Stopped the DVD a couple of times to catch my breath. Believe me, if I can watch it, anyone can. It’s history. It’s touching. It’s incredible. The courage displayed? Unforgettable. Put it on your List of Movies I Must See Because ELC Said So. Please let me know what you thought about it, okay?)

p.s.: It’s George Clooney. Seriously—need I say more?

Hope Y’all have a Wonderful Week—Wherever in the World you are…

Thursday, July 3, 2014

God Bless America . . .

...My home sweet home...

This evening TLC, Little Leighton and I are deeply grateful to our Lord God Almighty for the privilege of living in the greatest country on Earth...

From ELC's house on our hill in North Central Texas to any and everywhere y'all are...

Happy (Early) 4th of July!

Please be happy...