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Sunday, November 30, 2014

You Better Watch Out!

Tomorrow is December 1st. Picture us in SHOCK. Eyes wide. Mouths open. Home Alone kind of shock, you know? We suspect all of y’all are with us on this one.

November was full of our good intentions. To post. At least twice a week. Then there was illness. Lots o’ illness. We've forgiven Little Leighton (LL) for giving every one of us her lovely cold. Thank goodness we all had had our flu shots.

This past week involved cleaning, grocery shopping, cooking (gluten-free), traveling (for TLC et al to Grammy and Pa-Pa’s country casa), eating, resting, eating some more, coughing (My Sweet Hubby's horrid cough is going on three weeks), more cleaning, and beaucoups of playing with LL. (On one outing, in the Jeep, around our place, LL got to see an armadillo! She wasn't too sure what to think, but she'd tell you Pa-Pa picked it up in his hands. Uh, no. No, he didn't. He did get out of the Jeep and chase after it to get a picture!) 

The Three Leighton Gals enjoyed a get-together/date (at the cutest coffee shop/cafĂ© ever called Beans & Franks in Stephenville) Friday morn with Sunny, Nelly and Nelly’s PRECIOUS (ALL CAPS AND BOLDED) new baby boy—H3. (His three names all start with “H”! How adorable is that? Seriously.) We also lucked into a fabulous sale going on at a fun store next to the coffee shop. Woo Hoo!

Today was devoted to decorating our homes for the holidays. Trees. Christmas trinkets everywhere! Outdoor wreaths, etc. We’ll share some pictures when we’ve both completed this task. My efforts won't be totally finished until at least Thursday. What can I say? I'm getting slower each and every year I'm on this Earth. Sigh.

I believe Ms. TLC owes y’all some posts on New Orleans. She swears they’re a’comin’. We shall see, won’t we, Dear Friends? If I were y'all, I wouldn't be holding my breath.

Get ready…Here Comes Santa Claus! He’ll be arriving before we all can blink—twice.

Smooches and Hugs…

p.s.: I predict some Yummies and Yeehaws may make an appearance this month!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fizzle . . .

…not “Shoot.” "Shoot" not as in gun. "Shoot" as a way to express frustration or anger. "Fizzle" is the word I’m desperately trying to use when I’m being Grammy Nanny to Princess Little Leighton (LL).

Last week, in spite of all the illness plaguing our two families, and because all of us Sickies seemed to be finally on the mend/turning the corner, TLC and Her Hubby (HH) made a well-deserved and highly anticipated trip to New Orleans! TLC had visited this amazing city with me and My Hubby (MH) twice in her lifetime. Once when she was about 12 and then again when she was 19ish. HH had never experienced it. Their trip had been planned for over two months. Pre-IckinessSickiness. When our colds/coughs/congestion descended upon us (beginning with LL), we all thought their adventure might not happen. Good did!

MH and I met TLC and HH at a Target in Colleyville last Thursday morn. We chauffeured LL to our country casa for three nights/four days of FUN! Her Mama and Daddy flew to NOLA via Southwest Airlines. (Going and coming were stress-free, lovely experiences. Thank you. Thank you, Southwest. Very much!)

I now must digress and go down another, short path:

Growing up, we (me and my siblings—my younger brother and two younger sisters) weren’t allowed to say “Shut Up.” Or call each other—or anyone else—“Stupid.” Worse words were certainly not permitted. There were consequences. Mostly “The Lecture” we preferred not to be subjected to—for the one millionth time.

It wasn’t until I attended college (My third and final!) that I discovered I had quite the “potty mouth.” Seemed like everyone said some awfully questionable words. Entirely too often. That, as y’all know by now, the way we communicate, is habit. Strictly, unequivocally, habit. The more you say tacky/bad/inappropriate/mean/useless words, the more you want to say them. The more you NEED to say them. And the more you, therefore, do.

I became a Step-Mom at the age of 24. To MH 's four sons. They ranged in age from 2 to 12. Three of them eventually came to live with us. It was IMPERATIVE that I not ever use cuss words. I worked hard to accomplish this goal. I’d say, overall, I was quite successful. Occasionally, I might have let a few of those words fly out of my mouth—but 98% of the time it was when I was around (adult) friends. I swear (teeheehee!) I never, ever used the really, truly bad words. You know what they are.

Once I gave birth to TLC, it wasn’t that difficult to squelch my potty mouth. I’d been doing it for over seven years. I, having been raised to speak as appropriately and kindly as possible, was quite clear on my job as a parent to have TLC find "nice" words  with which to express her feelings. Words that did not include “stupid" and “shut up.” All the “F” words. The “D” word (Darn was okay, in my opinion.). The other "S" word (and I don't mean "shoot"). Etc.

By the time TLC got to high school, we had grandkids that inspired MH and I to, once again, commit ourselves to decent, acceptable language. Even though, at this point, TLC was beginning to use some of those bad words! Typically, as she approached the age of adulthood, I let these lapses in her judgment slide. You pick your battles, right?

It was soon after TLC learned she was pregnant that we both began to notice our daily usage of those not-so-nice words creeping up to an almost out-of-control level. We vowed to get our mouths/habits/words in check. Which I believe we have done. "Mission accomplished."

A few months ago, when LL really started to talk and mimic a lot of what we all were saying, TLC asked me not to use the word “shoot.” Believing I was going above-and-beyond The Call of Grammy Duty in keeping the super bad words virtually non-existent/spoken, I tried to continue to get away with some "shoots" here and there. TLC patiently explained she was worried LL would mispronounce it—at her Methodist Church pre-school—and stayed on my case whenever she caught me saying it. It was true. Almost every time I've said it, I'm trying to change LL’s diaper and inevitably causing myself extra time and work by putting said diaper on upside down—or tearing off one or both of the dang--oops, that's not allowed, either--I mean, dadgum (I'll have to check on that one.) adhesive fasteners. Hence, I began My Determined Crusade to use the word “fizzle.”

I’m not sure that’s the best substitute—but it’s my "word of choice." If y’all know of a strong, but satisfying, word that might be better, do, please, let me know.

By yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, after playing non-stop with LL for three days and evenings, inside and outside (only to have a break during LL’s naps and at night), I was trying to get LL ready to be put in her carseat in MH's truck for the trip East to her home, when, low and behold and, naturally, I had some diaper issues. I slipped. I said: “Shoot.”

LL chimed in: Shoot, Grammy. Shoot. Shoot. SHOOT!

Grammy: Now listen, LL, Grammy shouldn’t have said that. Okay? Grammy is very sorry. Grammy should have said “fizzle.” 
"Pizzle," LL chirped, as she smiled. Then she giggled and said: “Shoot, Grammy! Shoot, shoot, shoot!"

Sigh. A Grammy’s challenge to be perfect is never done. Never. Ever. Ever.

{Look for TLC’s New Orleans’ posts—coming to a blog near you ASAP!}

If you’re American, I wish you the Happiest Thanksgiving! If you’re not, I wish you a Wonderful Week!  Feel free to have some turkey and dressing, smashed taters and green bean casserole, and pumpkin and/or pecan pie! You’ll LOVE all of these traditional yummies. Trust me on this.

smooches, Dear Friends...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

three more down...

The illness (or it’s cousin) that has plagued Little Leighton (LL) and TLC for over three weeks has three more of us down. I got sick Tuesday—while helping TLC and LL try to navigate through their illnesses. TLC’s Hubby and My Sweet Hubby (MSH) both came down with it Friday. MSH seems to be the third sickest of the five of us—after LL and TLC. I, fortunately, had rough days Wednesday and Thursday, but I’ve been recovering steadily since Friday.

To add to the yucky-ickiness of this cold/flu-ish/congestion-y stuff we all have, the weather in North Central Texas has been charm-free since the beginning of the week. In fact, it’s been bitter cold. Windy. We realize, from the news’ reports, that we haven’t had it nearly as bad as many, many other States in America. For that we are grateful.

This morning, MSH and I woke up to sleety/rainy/foggy-ish/misty-ish precip. We found ourselves flashbacking to the first week in December last year when this part of the world had a horrible ice storm—one that paralyzed millions of us for many, many days. Yikes.

If we can (ever) truly trust our TV weather peeps, this will move out by Wednesday. Don’t get me wrong: We Texans don’t mind some cold weather. It certainly helps us get in the mood for the holidays! What we don’t like is: (1) To be sick with endless congestion, sore throats, scary coughs, headaches and general, overall pain; and (2) Ice. Sleet. Treacherous roads and the possibility of losing our electricity.

I’ve asked myself about six times since 5:30 a.m. what day this is. One loses track of time when one's been in a house for approximately 88 hours. Since it’s apparently (hopefully) Sunday, I thought a lovely prayer might be appropriate and helpful. I have several books of prayers that I read from every day. The following prayer comes from a sweet little book entitled: Praying Through the Tough Times. By Lloyd John Ogilvie.


I cry out to You in times of physical pain. Bones ache, joints swell, nerves twitch with pulsating waves of pain. You know all about what I endure. It doesn’t even compare with the anguish of Your suffering. But what I’m feeling is mine, in my body. I can’t take it without the healing touch of Your hand. I yield my pain to You. Please, Lord, take it away, or give me the power to survive the devastating cause of it. I breathe out the pain and breathe in Your Spirit. Thank You for calming my panic.

I think of the time when four men tore a hole in the roof of a house in Capernaum where You were teaching. They lowered down a stretcher with their friend on it. Their deepest desire was to put the man face-to-face with You. I picture the moment his eyes met Yours and You reached out to touch and heal him.

I imagine myself on that stretcher being lowered down before You. Now I look into Your face: wondrous love! I look into Your eyes: compassion, empathy, merciful care. And then I feel the healing hand. It’s warm, tender, yet strong and powerful. I feel the surge of Your Spirit enter every facet of my being.

Lord, You are the Healer; You use medicine and doctors and nurses; You work through caregivers. And now I praise You that most of all You give Your healing touch when I need it so much! Amen.

From ELC:

Thank You, Dear Lord God Almighty, for over-the-counter meds! For doctors and nurses that help us decide what OTC and/or prescription medications might cure us. Doctors and nurses that care for us with kind concern. Thank You, Lord, for family members that give us the attention we require! That fix us hot tea or an icy cold drink. That retrieve and dispense our ibuprofen when it’s time. That keep our homes quiet when we’re napping. That fix us chicken soup and ask us every couple of hours if we’re any better. Thank You, God, for recovery—even though sometimes it sure seems like it’s occurring terribly and miserably S…L…O...W. Amen.

Hope each and every one of Y’all are having a healthy and HAPPY Sunday…Wherever in the World Y’all Are…

(Air) Kisses and (At-arms’-length) Hugs

Friday, November 14, 2014



Today's Public Service Announcement is brought to you courtesy of the cold weather and my trip to Starbucks on Wednesday.

Grammy ELC came north to take care of us -- yet, again -- on Tuesday. She spent the night. We've been sick all. month. long. (Technically before Halloween, but who's counting? Uh, me, of course.) We are OVER. IT. As per our new tradition, I stopped at my local Starbucks for lattes and muffins after I dropped Little Leighton at school the next morning. Because the Polar Vortex paid us an early visit this week, the drive-thru line was extra long that particular day -- as in, I couldn't even get in line or I would be sticking out in the middle of a (very busy) street. Since I had put on makeup and brushed my hair that morning (her teachers and fellow students had seen me way too "au naturel" for over two weeks -- I wanted to remind them that I did own proper clothes and concealer), I decided I could actually park and go inside and not scare anyone. It was FATE. As I was just about to order, I noticed this next to the register:

...and subsequently purchased it! Guess what? It's PHENOMENAL. Idina and Christmas music? What more could one want in life? LL is quite fond of it, too, since "Elsa" is singing all of the songs. I'm sure this can be purchased on iTunes (not sure why it couldn't be), but I think you should treat yourself to a Skinny Vanilla Latte, a Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin and these festive tunes!

Have a wild, wacky weekend, Friends!

Merry! Merry!!!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Gone Grammy . . .

It’s a beautiful afternoon in North Central Texas, Dear Friends! My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I have spent the day doing “chores.” Many outside. Yesterday was pretty windy up here on our hill. Today it is positively perfect. After publishing this, I'll be ready to be lazy.

I simply cannot believe it’s November 9th and this is only our second post. Like TLC, I sincerely want to apologize. As she shared, Little Leighton (LL) has been a sick Angel Biscuit for too long. In fact, it’ll be three weeks on Wednesday that she was hit with this evil congestion illness. No fever. Lots of breathing difficulties (She doesn’t understand this, thank goodness, but her snoring rivals that of her Pa-Pa’s—and, well, okay, her Grammy’s sometimes, too.) and a scary-sounding cough. May be just a cold. But it's a booger. TLC has taken her to the doctor once. Thinks, perhaps, another trip may be forthcoming if LL isn't significantly better by Tuesday.

TLC got this yucky crud—or something similar—a week ago. She’s been struggling to breathe. Think. Move. She's also been to her doctor. (Neither of these gals were given prescriptions.) I've been suggesting, since yesterday morn, that TLC needs to go back again. STAT. I made the trip East last week to try to help out for two nights/three days. Could be heading that way, again, in a couple of days. God love My Puny Girls and bless them with His healing Grace.

About five weeks ago, TLC started the famously popular book Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn. She finished it in two days. Quite the feat for my VERY OCD daughter that must have her home clean and picked up AT ALL TIMES and who must also fix wonderful meals (gluten-free, now, naturally) for her family. I’m fairly certain she stayed up entirely too late, burning the midnight oil. (Me thinks she was trying to accomplish this so she could see the movie. TLC and I both like to try to read any book that is made into a movie. "Try" being the key word.)

She gave me the book—hoping, against all odds, I’d finish it as fast as she did. Then we might have been able to figure out how we could go see the movie together. Something we’ve not been able to do since LL was born. "The Best Laid Plans of Mice and..." daughters and mothers.

BECAUSE...yep...first illness descended upon their casa and, then, I only completed it yesterday. Took me every bit of five weeks. Here’s my problem (and this happens to me at movie theatres—way WAY too often): When I get comfy and still, when the temperature is just perfect for my cold-natured body, when I have a Coke Zero and a couple of hours to spare, I get all cozy and focused and...fall asleep. Dead to the world. Out. Like a light. Virtually comatose. Occasionally doing that snoring thing Precious LL is forced to do. Which isn't so embarrassing at home. It is, however, humiliating at a movie theatre. Sigh. Sheesh.

TLC asked me every day, after she gave me the book and for approximately two weeks: “Have you had a chance to read Gone Girl? Isn’t it intriguing? Isn’t it suspenseful? Don’t you just love it?” I had to confess I wasn't getting more than about four pages read at each of my attempts.

After two weeks? She quit asking.

As I did get pages/chapters read, I’d tell her: “Wow. You’re right. This is compelling.” Then I’d try to guess where the book was going. Who the bad guy/gal was going to be. Halfway through the book, I said: “It’s going to be his Dad. Her Mom. Or his sister. Am I close?” Said TLC, calmly: “Keep reading. You aren’t going to be able to guess this one, Mom.”

Wowzer. She was right.

Could I recommend it to y’all? Since I may not actually know you? Or to my friends? Hmmm. I’m not sure. It’s very blunt. Has lots of racy/inappropriate language.  At least for Senior Citizen-type peeps like moi. Could be too-over-the-top for many. I'd completely understand.

And, yet…I'm certainly not sorry that I read it (I might have told TLC once or twice, the past few weeks, that I wasn't sure I understood why she recommended it to her Mama. She alleges that, since I love my Datelines', 20-20s' and 48 Hours' mysteries and murders, she had no doubt I'd relish reading this book. I get that. I do.) and want, desperately, to see the movie! I’ve had a few fun discussions with TLC about many aspects of the story and the (crazy and that is the understatement of the decade) characters.

I've told My Dear Friend (MDF), Mackie, who read it and saw the movie before TLC was unable to put it down, it would scare me to death if Gillian Flynn ever got into cahoots with Shonda Rhimes. I can barely get through Scandal and How to Get away with Murder every Thursday night. If Ms. Flynn contributed to these shows or came up with a new one/idea with Ms. Rhimes? YIKES. Bring out the smelling salts, please.

What will be my next reading choice? MDF has a suggestion. TLC has read a couple more books in the past weeks she thinks I'd enjoy. Hmmm. Not sure. Might take a break for a bit to build up my stamina and courage to read TLC's suggestions. I actually need to finish a book about an actress that was (finally, after many, many years) diagnosed with Celiac. It's hugely interesting. I stopped reading it to switch to GG. As per TLC's instructions...

Bye for now...this Grammy is GONE.


Thursday, November 6, 2014

i promise we're still here...

...just sick!

Poor Little Leighton was our first man down. Just when she started feeling better, I caught the bug. Our Sweet Grammy ELC had to come help take care of us this week. She made sure we had plenty of soup, orange juice, princess stickers and vacuumed floors. Her help is truly priceless.

Halloween was the first day LL really started to perk up. She was so excited to wear her fancy and festive hat-headband by day:

And her sparkly pumpkin dress by night to trick-or treat:

She loved her "treat bag." She called it her "pumpkin purse."

Hopefully, we'll be cured of these icky germs ASAP. In the meantime, remember--there's not much a pretty Autumn Day AND a cookie can't cure:

Happy Friday Eve, Friends!