Thursday, December 31, 2015

Buh-Bye...

2015. Not to be rude, but you've been kind of rough on us. We've definitely had better years. This does NOT mean we're not grateful for MANY blessings: life, breath, food, shelter, hope, dreams and our freedoms. Oh, and God's Amazing Grace! It just means we're quite ready for a fresh beginning. (Including the Birth of Baby Elle!)

Happy HAPPY New Year's Eve and New Year to all of our Silly Friends--Wherever in the World Y'all are!

smooches, hugs and ta-ta for now...
ELC, TLC, and Little Leighton

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Favourites--Vol. One (of Two)

While Little Leighton (LL) naps this sunny but frigid Texas Tuesday, I want to share a couple of my most favourite 2015 Christmas gifts! (Please humour me…)


From My Sweet Hubby: I received a Fitbit—which I’ve wanted for several months—and a pair of Kendra Scott turquoise earrings.


The Fitbit? (I'm not including a picture. I'm betting you know what they look like! Mine's black.) Very confusing and complicated to moi. I need to attend a class on it! (I also need a class on my iPhone I’ve had for six years and this new dadgum Microsoft 10, which I positively despise.) I’ll get back to y’all on my Fitbit thoughts/experience/opinion in a few weeks.

The earrings? (Yes, that’s my ear. With a few little wrinkles. And glitter strands of grey hair. I’m 61. Closer to 62.) Yes. I did tell TLC about them and, yes, of course, she told MSH. That’s the way we do Christmas around here. Right or wrong—it works for us. Life is too short and things are too expensive to give and receive gifts that won’t be used or cherished. In my humble opinion and for what that’s worth.

From TLC, Her Hubby, LL and Baby Elle: I received this positively lovely, special, precious sign! It makes me cry. (I expect TLC to share the website/Etsy shop of the young woman who makes these custom signs. TLC has ordered three or four from her in the past six months. Clearly, this creative lady is amazing!)


We’ll be taking LL to TLC in Fort Worth tomorrow morn. By Saturday, I’ll have to take down all of our Christmas decorations. I never, ever, EVER look forward to that. Ever. It’s the reason I think long and hard about even putting decorations up! Call me Scrooge-ette. I’d guess 75% of anyone over 60 understands my annual dilemma.

TLC will share her favourite gifts soon…as always, don’t be holding your breath…Winky. Wink.

Then we’ll be making our New Year’s Resolution to post more! What would a lolwiththeleightons’ New Year be without that promise?

smooches, hugs and love…

ELC

Sunday, December 27, 2015

This is Texas...

Today was supposed to be our Girls’ Only Annual Christmas Party with Sunny and Nellie. Except now, as y’all know, Nellie has the Most Precious Son Ever! He’s allowed to come. (He will be until he refuses!) Actually, he’s allowed to do anything he wants… much like Little Leighton (LL). Winky. Wink.

I worked several hours yesterday afternoon on a—I believe—scrumptious lasagna. (For those of you who have been following us for a while, you are certain this is a miracle, right? Moi. Cooking. Doesn't occur often.) My Sweet Hubby (MSH) baked us the most amazing pumpkin pie. All of our meal today was going to be Gluten-Free. Naturally.

As I type this, the loudest/hardest/mostunbelievable rain is pouring straight down from the Heavens. Texas weather has been—to say the least—full of simply utter cRaZiNeSs the past few weeks. Yesterday, as an example, it was almost 80 degrees in these here parts. Humid. Yucky. Then, in the late afternoon, two different storm systems started coming at us from two different directions and North Central Texas got bombarded with tornadoes, high winds, and heavy/flooding rains. Several other States in America, this Christmas holiday, have experienced tornadic and downright HIDEOUS weather. These storms have caused unimagineable tragedy for too many people. About an hour ago, the News was reporting eleven deaths in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. Entire neighborhoods are gone.

TLC and LL were not going to be able to get to my casa in time for our party/lunch today.  Too risky. (They may be able to come if there's a lull in the storms.) Nellie and her Little Angel Fella needed to be heading home, from her Mama Sunny’s house, by early afternoon. She also lives two hours away. TLC is Northeast. Nellie is South(ish)east. We’ll reschedule. Like we’ve had to do in the past a few times. ASAP. We may be forced to have Christmas in April. Or August. We WILL have it. The lasagna is going into the freezer. The pie may be going into our bellies. (We suspect it won’t freeze well and we might need to go ahead and consume it. That’s our story. We’re sticking to it.) The Celebration will happen.

Doesn’t it seem like every day is full of some type of heartache? Shock? Excruciating sadness? It’s hard enough when it's human beings (or are they?) killing, torturing, and murdering innocent people. For me, Mother Nature’s Wrath is even more incomprehensible. Yet we must continue to have hope and faith in Our Lord God Almighty. I see no other choice. I'm forever compelled to trust there are reasons for the unthinkable.

I’ll pray each of you is healthy and happy and has had a MERRY Christmas—Wherever in the World you are!

Until next time…ta-ta for now, Silly Friends…

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

mistletoe smooches...

I was going to do a post. Sunday. Sunday came and went. (Little Leighton was here for a couple of nights—Sunday and Monday—without her Mama. Somehow the time flies by us at warp speed. Plus she flat wears me out…in such a wonderful, amazing, memorable way!) Then I was going to do it last night. I got on the davenport, in my jammies, at 4:00 p.m. and never left. I even ended up falling asleep there—with headphones on. Woke up at 5:00 a.m. Neck kind of twisted. Sigh.

So today I’m determined to do a post and share some thoughts. I’m sure Y’all have been waiting with true excitement for this…Winky. Wink.

It’s Christmas Eve Eve. My Sweet Husband (MSH) and I went to town this morning to get an Egg McMuffin and tackle Hellmart. We’ve learned, in our old age, that if you go to Walmart fairly early in the day, like before 9:00, you shouldn’t have the crazy crowds. I’m not talking about tomorrow, though. It will be N.U.T.S. Or Black Friday. I just mean, in general, Early Birds can beat the certain daily chaos. We didn’t need much. And we didn’t run into sixteen peeps we haven’t seen in two or three years—like we usually do! We stayed about thirty-ish minutes and then came back to our country casa—ready to love the G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S. weather we’re having in North Central Texas. Actually, it could reach 80 degrees this afternoon. Even to us (we? I don’t know grammar any more…) Texans that is a ridiculous Christmas temp. Yikes.

Mostly this has been a fairly laidback, easy December. I love that! We’ll go to TLC’s on Friday morning. Little Leighton is extra-excited about Santa this year. (You also can tell her she better “watch out” and better “not cry”—which makes me feel a teensy bit guilty. Like it did when I used it on TLC. I guess whatever works. We’ll deal with the lies later!) We’ll enjoy the sharing of her Santa loot, open gifts, eat TLC’s fantastic cooking and laugh. (Even Baby Leighton has a few gifts wrapped up and she’s not even here yet!)

{By The Way: I need to clarify something about Baby Leighton. Her middle name is not going to be Leighton! She’ll be named after her paternal grandmother who, sadly, passed away when TLC’s Hubby was eighteen. From henceforth I shall refer to Baby Leighton as Baby Elle. (That is, if I can remember…apparently she’ll always be Baby Leighton to moi.) Hopefully, Baby Elle won’t be too disappointed when she realizes she doesn’t have the same middle name as me, TLC and Little Leighton. (It was Little Leighton's and Baby Elle's maternal great-great grandmother's maiden name.) We plan to tell Baby Elle she's SUPER SPECIAL. That she’ll be The Leightons’ Official Mascot! Three-ish more months until Her Royal Highness' Arrival. Wow.}

Gifts: MSH and I have been at that point in our relationship/marriage/life together (going on 39 years) where we need nothing from each other. NOTHING. Yet, every year, we come up with two to three gifts we THINK the other will get-a-kick-out-of/enjoy. TLC is often immensely involved with this process. In fact, for the past four or five years, she even orders our gifts for us. Wraps them! Delivers them. (She does not, however, pay for them. Sheesh.) Then pretends, when she sees them on Christmas Day, she’s happily surprised at our creativity. In actuality, My Sweet Hubby gives me the most cherished gifts all the time. He cooks for me. He helps me clean. He runs errands for me. He plants beautiful flowers for me. He picks up medicine. Last week, he took our vacuum outside to the garage and cleaned the inside of my car. Every little piece of dust, dirt, food, paper, etc. Gone. Sucked up. He wiped off my dashboard and cleaned my windows. He might as well have bought me a 5-carat diamond ring. I was that thrilled!

What are my gifts to him? I drive him to the ER when he has a heart attack or gets bit by a copperhead snake. I’ve been his “at home” secretary for many, many years. Even though he retired three years ago, I’m still his personal assistant. I accompany him to doctors’ appointments. Remind him of important dates (children’s and grandchildren’s birthdays, etc.). Pay our bills.  Pick up the food he cooks for us! Clean our commodes and do all laundry (Two chores he DESPISES. He just can’t quite make himself volunteer to do these things.) Our love, loyalty and devotion to each other is, I believe, our gifts to each other. (Don't get me wrong. We quite frequently annoy each other. We do. But we can't imagine our life without the other one in it. Truly.) We don’t really need Christmas, birthdays or other holidays to tell each other how much we care…how secure we make each other feel. Still…with TLC involved? Christmas is always innerstin. Trust me.

Not sure if Y’all have noticed: Our world is a hot mess. Scary stuff everywhere. Every hour of every day. Makes me sad. Makes my heart ache for peace. Safety. Hope. Tolerance. GOD and Jesus Christ. But I’m sending out a prayer—to Our Dear Lord Almighty—that each of you has a merry, happy, lovely, MAGICAL Christmas Celebration…Wherever in the World you are! (If we’re alive and breathing, we’re blessed, wouldn’t you agree?)

mistletoe Smooches and holiday Hugs!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

MERRY!

I just had to share a recent "ELC Christmas hand-me-down!" (I've actually inherited quite a bit this year--several AH-MAZING Santa's--and I'm oh-so-grateful!)

When we moved, we knew one item on our "wish list" was a playroom. Little Leighton has quite the collection of toys and trinkets, and we wanted a space just for her (and our new addition, too, of course!). ELC has mentioned the small tree she had several Christmases ago. This year, she offered to give this to LL for her playroom. A tree to decorate all her own!


Voila!

I think the multi-colored lights are so festive and fun and perfect for a playroom. ELC and I found the cute, pink tree skirt at Target last week, along with a few new ornaments. Though, ELC and I have both decided our most favourite ornament is this little Sebastian (from The Little Mermaid) from a McDonald's Happy Meal probably 25ish years ago.


Isn't it hysterical?

Thank you, kindly, ELC, for adding a bit more MERRY to our home this year!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Thank Goodness For Hallmark Christmas Movies...

So I started feeling puny Saturday afternoon. TLC is convinced I got this—whatever “this” is—from her and/or her family. I was at their casa last Tuesday and Wednesday. The illness had started with Little Leighton (LL), then hit TLC, and then, finally, attacked TLC’s Hubby.

I was super careful—or so I thought. Kept my hands clean. Didn’t let any of them breathe on me too closely. We feel like it’s an airborne issue. Whatever causes you to feel YUCKY is certainly not fun.

Seems to begin with a sore throat—a weird kind of sore. It hurts to swallow (and feels like something is trying to choke me). Headache. My chest hurts. I had a low-grade fever last night. Coincidentally, I’d run out, at the first of the week, of my probiotics I take every morning. I’m super vigilant about taking vitamins and can say, fairly definitively, that I stay mostly quite healthy. (I get the BIG BAD stuff: Twisted intestines. Breast cancer. Total, complete, and sudden deafness in my left ear—eight years ago. A broken arm—my first broken bone at age 54—which was seven years ago. Osteoporosis.) Apparently, I got a teensy bit too tooty about how healthy I am and poked a stick at a bear (this virus or cold or whatever the heck it is being said bear…).

Anyway…I stayed in bed all day yesterday. Only got up to have three cups of hot tea, an orange and chicken soup for lunch. I entertained myself with the six Hallmark Hall of Fame Christmas movies I’d pre-recorded. Honestly? I’ve probably only watched three or four of these Christmas movies in the past however-many-years-Hallmark-has-had-its-own-channel.

I’d been recording them the past couple of weeks. TLC has been doing this, too. The third one I began to watch? I deleted it fifteen minutes in. The acting was not good. The story seemed too-beyond-ridiculous and a tidbit boring. The other five? LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY ONE. Even though they are all basically the same movie! They take place in different cities (New York shows up A LOT, however…) and have different actors. Still, they’re the same. If there’s not a wish-granting Santa, there’s an Angel. We go back to the past. Or we, magically, end up in the future. Or, in some movies, we do both! Same story. Different settings and characters. Who cares? They’re awesome.

The girl ALWAYS gets the BEST/cutest/nicest/sweetest/funniest guy. And vice versa. Parents and/or children end up hugely happy. Good wins out over evil. Every time. All the nice peeps live happily ever after.

I love that. Don’t Y’all? I need that. Especially now. When it's difficult to watch the evening news without wanting to cry. Or scream. Or hide under your bed.

This Sweet Sunday I feel better. I've been up and dressed since 6:00 a.m. Still taking Tylenol and trying not to overdo. In fact, I'm about to go rest and finish a movie I started early this morning. I'm addicted. Someone help me.

Here’s hoping you each have a Wonderful week—wherever in the World you are! (Watch a Hallmark Christmas movie if you can—it’ll do your heart, soul and spirit good—promise…)

smooches and hugs, Sillies…

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Freeze Frame...

Little Leighton and I spent the afternoon baking "Peanut Blossom" cookies--something ELC and I would do together every Christmas. I wish I would have thought to take several pictures, but, I'm trying to be more present. I adore Christmas, and I'm always so melancholy when it's over because it seems to zoom by so. darn. fast. This year, LL is so excited. She is filled to the brim with Christmas spirit. It makes my heart nearly burst.

I've had most of my decorations up since before Thanksgiving. I've been adding touches here and there, mostly as I "inherit" some wonderful goodies from ELC. Last Saturday, we took LL to a "Breakfast with Santa" at a church where her cousin attends preschool. She couldn't wait to tell Santa what she wants for Christmas: a Minnie Mouse stamp set and a pink kitchen with a microwave (Plus an oven, refrigerator, telephone and a counter to put her babies on while she bakes--I'm not kidding when I say she is THIS specific--it cracks us up. It's made the kitchen search a bit challenging for Ol' St. Nick!). When we left with our two 3x5 pictures in tow, I couldn't wait to get home to frame one of them. I immediately placed it by last year's Santa picture. I could not believe how much my darling Little Leighton has grown and changed. It made me cry.



She is quite the Little Lady now--a big girl ready to become a big sister this early Spring. I'll be anxious to see what next year's Santa picture looks like--with my 4-year-old and 9 month old. WOW.

Who knows how to freeze time?

Happy Friday Eve, dear friends!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

The End of an Era...


This tree would have seen sixteen (16) Christmases at our country casa…BUT it was given away two days ago. Sniff. Sniff.

A friend of ours, who was fantastic at interior decorating and who owned a gift store in the college town near us (he also owned a lovely/delicious restaurant for about six or seven years…), bought this tree for us, on our behalf, for our first Christmas in our new home. We’d moved in at the very end of November—from our Barn Apartment. Things were chaotic, of course. We needed a tree that was at least 9-feet tall—for our 14-foot Great Room ceiling. He found it—at a good price. Purchased some “lodge-y” decorations for us. And then put it up and decorated it, too! For the next four years, he came and decorated our tree and home for Christmas. Right after Thanksgiving. He did this for many of his friends and as a money-maker.

After five or so years, My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I decided that was an extravagance we could forego. We went back to doing the Christmas decorating ourselves. Sigh. (It was sure lovely—feeling special, fancy and, well, almost ROYAL—all those years.)

Then six-ish years ago, MSH started complaining about this tree. Loudly and non-stop. We’d made a mistake when we put in our front door. It’s a double door—but only one side opens. Dragging this tree in through the door that opened started messing up the lights. When MSH plugged it in? Half the lights would not be working. He’d commence a 2-4 hour process of trying to find which dadgum lights had gotten loose and were messing 2/3rds of the tree up. Often times, he'd be forced to make a run to Hellmart, which is over 20 miles, one way, from our home. Sheesh. (Not the word he usually said.)

He started a campaign I called his “Please, Dear Lord, AND ELC, Let Us Purchase A New Tree” Campaign. Being the tightwad (about some things) I am, I would say, sweetly:

ELC: Now, listen, MSH. We don’t need to spend the money on a new tree. I understand it takes you a while to get the lights going, but you always do. And, think about it: A new tree will likely have the same problems.

MSH: That’s not a certainty. We had no problems with the tree lights for the first nine or so years. I can’t stand this job. It takes a toll on my Christmas Spirit.

ELC: Well, let’s discuss it next year, 'kay? 

Yep. We'd have that discussion. I’d hang tough and say, with determination: Not this year. Let’s discuss it next year. Winky. Wink.

A couple of weeks ago, as we planned our “Tree Lighting Ceremony,” MSH began his annual campaign. This time, I didn’t have the energy to argue/plead/threaten. I gave in. My rules? The tree had to be smaller. No more than 7 feet tall. It had to be on sale. It had to be—in all likelihood—the last we’d buy. I was confident he’d have NO issues with these demands. He didn’t.




We found this tree at a Hobby Lobby in Fort Worth. (There is nothing more fun than Hobby Lobby right before Thanksgiving and up until Christmas—said no one. Ever.)  It was 50% off. (Although, frankly, I think even that price was about $30-$50 too high.) It’s slender, easy to assemble, and, when one light goes out, it doesn’t cause 100 more to fail. It worked for both of us!

I’m gifting TLC and Little Leighton the small tree we bought the year of the Sandy Hook murders. If y’all have been with us since that time, you might remember I couldn’t find my Christmas spirit. It was just too horrible/sad/devastating. I bought a little 4-foot lighted tree and put it on a table in front of our bookshelf. I had an ornament for each of the children and the adults (except for the adult psychotic killer and, yes, I should have found a way to forgive him…unfortunately, I still don’t think I’m there yet…) that had perished that horrific day. It’s a very sweet tree. Multi-colored lights. I’ve kept most of the ornaments and have put them on our new tree. Little Leighton (and soon to be born Baby Leighton) will be able to have a tree in her/their upstairs playroom. She/they can decorate it with some of TLC’s ornaments she had when she was a small tot. I’m hoping to take it to them this week. I'll be tres anxious to see it! (TLC is the Quintessential Lover of All Things Christmas! At some point, I see some rebellion from Her Hubby on the horizon. She even wears me out.)

MSH and I have scaled down, significantly, from our past efforts to mega-decorate our home. We feel the need for SIMPLE. (This is where we are—MSH and me—in total sync, being in the “Golden Years” of our lives. Less is more.) TLC will be receiving some Santas, including a Santa Nutcracker, and other decorations she’s had her eyes on for a few years. She’ll even inherit the plastic storage tub for it all—I won’t need it. YIPPEE!!!

This year, on January 1st or 2nd, it shouldn’t take me two days (as it always has in the past) to disassemble my Christmas hoop-la! Trust me: that will make this ELC/Wife/Mom/Grammy VERY VERY VERY Happy.

Y’all have a WONDERFUL Week…PLEASE...Wherever in the World you are!

ta-ta for now…

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

And Yet Another Gratitude Post--Part 2

(Taken from a post entitled: Get Your Gratitude On! Tuesday, November 22, 2011…)

December. December??? It’s December, Y’all. This post was to be done on November 30th. Oops.

So here is the rest of that recycled/updated post!

What ELC Is Grateful For At This Very Moment:


  1. The Love and Grace of our Lord God Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ.
  2. God’s Creation of This Spectacular World!
  3. My husband, our children and their spouses, our grandchildren (the newest is on her way!), family and precious friends.
  4. The Freedom given to us by our Forefathers and every single military woman and man that has served (or is serving now) The United States of America, especially those who have given their lives or who were injured and/or changed forever, from the time America was born until the very second you are reading this. And beyond.
  5. My health and safety—my eyes (to take in Nature and all of its splendor), ears (well, my one good ear!), arms and legs. And all of the general good health for which our family has been blessed.
  6. Our comfortable casa on our beautiful hill in our Terrific Texas!
  7. Teddy Buddy Boo Bear and Hurricane Henry.
  8. The food we have—and have always had—to eat; our clothes we’ve always had to wear—especially warm coats and gloves; our vehicles to drive us where we need/want to go and the lovely lower-priced gas to put in those vehicles.
  9. Amazing music (most especially Christian, Country and Christmas!), television (and DVRs!), movies, books and exquisite art.
  10. Cell phones and computers (so I can keep in touch with My TLC, Little Leighton, Baby Leighton, family and friends.
  11. Laughter. Hope. Peace.

With our Love and Hugs, we wish each of you a Happy, Safe, Healthy, Delightful December!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

And Yet Another Gratitude Post--Part 1

(Taken from a post entitled: Get Your Gratitude On! Tuesday, November 22, 20ll…)

At the time TLC and I did this post, we’d done another “gratitude” post a couple of months before. We were clearly into thankfulness to the zillionth power.

As of November 22, 2011, Little Leighton hadn’t been born. Actually, she was here—but TLC hadn't verified it yet. Cobbler and Mortimer—The Cats—were alive and well. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) had not yet retired and had not experienced two scary, serious, devastating heart attacks and a copperhead snake bite. I hadn’t retired. I hadn’t realized I was about to become a Grammy Nanny, Nurse, and part-time ambulance driver.

Rather than copy and paste this post (which, as y’all know, I have no clue how to do—TLC runs that department), I’ve decided to delete/edit/update our “Gratitudes.” I’ll start with TLC’s List from that date. (Mine will be upcoming in a few days!)

What TLC Is Grateful For At This Very Moment:


  1. The Grace and Forgiveness of God. The Love of Jesus. Answered (and some unanswered) prayers.
  2. My husband, whom I adore. Our daughter, Little Leighton, and our daughter-to-be, Baby Leighton. My parents (I have no idea what I did to deserve them.). My brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and my extended family via my husband. My dear friends. Everyone’s good health.
  3. My precious, wild man, Henry, and Teddy Buddy Boo Bear. The smiles and giggles these wacky dogs bring to me are priceless.
  4. My warm (and NEW TO ME!) home. My parents’ pretty/cozy/country home on top of their hill.
  5. All five of my senses. I admit I take these for granted. They are truly gifts. I can’t imagine not being able to smell coffee brewing on a Saturday morning. Or not seeing a magnificent rainbow.
  6. Freedom. As Martina McBride sings: Let Freedom Ring!
  7. Food. Mostly especially: pumpkin cheesecake; ELC’s lasagna; ANYTHING my Dad makes/bakes/grills/creates (specifically his Thanksgiving dressing!); In-n-Out burgers; Sonic tater tots; and last, but not least, My Hubby’s homemade ice cream.
  8. Twinkle lights. Candy canes. My “Rat Pack” holiday CD. Christmas Vacation. The Spirit of this Amazingly Wonderful Time of Year.
  9. Clothes. My most cherished and treasured? Yoga pants and UGGS. Oh, and a sweater two sizes too big. (At nearly six months’ pregnant, I’d guess TLC would say ANYTHING two sizes too big. Winky. Wink.)
  10. Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. WOW. What CAN’T they do?
  11. Last, but not least, excitement for the upcoming 2016! Baby Leighton! The Promise and Hope a New Year brings.
Happy Three Days After Thanksgiving, Y’all!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Life

Today, on Thanksgiving, this is what TLC and I are grateful for. Life.

Tuesday night, My Sweet Hubby (MSH) lost his best friend (truly he was more like the brother MSH had never had) to a massive heart attack. He was 68. He'd introduced us over 38 years ago. They'd been friends for over 42 years.

He was an attorney that was brave, funny, strong, kind, tough, quick and dependable. He was a husband, father, grandfather and gentleman. MSH's life will not be the same without him.

TLC had known him her whole young life. He was like her silly Uncle. He was the man who performed her wedding ceremony nearly six years ago. He tried to say no. TLC wouldn't let him. He did an incredible job. We knew he would.

He, and his precious family, will be in our hearts today as we remember all of God's blessings. We'll smile. Laugh. Cry.

May this day be special to each of you...wherever you are...

hugs and smooches...

Friday, November 20, 2015

Gone Grammy...

This post is from November 9, 2014:

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 readGone 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.

smooch...

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Scorpion-Gate

This post is from November 8, 2012:

(By The Way: TLC, having moved into a new home five-ish months ago, has killed TWO scorpions recently. One at her back door. One crawling out from under Little Leighton's bed! And, actually, let me clarify this--TLC didn't kill the scorpions herself. Luckily, for her, both incidents happened when Her Hubby was home. So he killed them. We hate/despise/cannottolerate scorpions.)


On ELC's way home from her adventurous and solo trip to Houston, she stopped Sunday to pick me and Little Leighton up to chauffeur us down to her country casa for a couple of R&R days.

The beginning of the drive was typical: LL snoozed. Mom and I chatted, listened to the radio. Ate Peanut M&M's (Snack Size, of course). Right as we were waving goodbye to Fort Worth in our rearview mirror, LL woke up. She was quiet and content at first. Then all hell broke loose as we approached the west side of Weatherford. I was in the back seat with her. As always. She was mad. Wanted out of the carseat. NOW. The only thing we could do to calm this Baby (and our nerves) down was to pull over into a somewhat shady gas station off the Interstate. My attempt to hold her and give her a cold bottle (it was in my diaper bag for later—when it could be warmed) were futile. At that point, I believed the only thing that would stop her cries was to bre@stfeed her. Some of you may remember an earlier post about another of our trips to the country when I had to soothe her this way in a Walmart parking lot. On Sunday we upgraded that delightful experience to driving down a county road and parking outside of a locked and rusted gate that had a For Sale sign on it. Classy. We're pretty sure that's not considered trespassing.

Monday was seemingly uneventful. We staged a Christmas card photo shoot on ELC’s front porch, much to LL's dismay. Then we played. We rocked. She napped. And, we're positive, thrilled us with her first giggle! Priceless. On Tuesday morning, as LL lay on her activity mat in my old-now-it's the-Guest-room, I told Mom how much I loved coming home to the country. Not two hours later, IT happened. Something so spine-chilling to moi it made me rethink that statement.

We were packing up to head back North to my home. ELC was changing LL's diaper. I excused myself to use the powder room. As I was reaching for the toilet paper, I felt something crawling on my left thigh. My immediate reaction was to knock it off. I initially thought it was a spider. Which, in and of itself, made me shriek. But then I saw them: two, tiny "pinchers" and a long, curled tail. Running toward my bare feet. It was a SCORPION. My one shriek turned into thirty. I ran out of the bathroom, holding the toilet paper, and with my jeans around my ankles. LL didn't know what to think of her lunatic Mama. ELC came rushing over. I. WAS/AM. TRAUMATIZED. I don't do scorpions. ELC searched, in vain, for that evil devil. (She’s just informed me by text that their “Pest Man” came this afternoon. Praise The Lord.)

I’m not even going into the details of us trying to get out of my parents’ gate twenty minutes later. Except to say this: it wouldn’t open. My Dad had to come from 25 minutes away to help us. More drama. (And, apparently, more repairpersons.)

On a brighter note, here are two extra lovely and pumpkin-y pictures from my weekend at ELC’s:

Cute little sign hangin' outside the barn. 

Pretty little pumpkin perched on the bench My Sweet Dad made.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

We Interrupt Our Nostalgia...


to tell Y’all a cute story (or I think it’s cute!) and do a quick “painting” update...

We have Painters! Thanks to Precious, Amazing Autumn. When we gave up on the painter that told us in May he’d be at our house in July, then September, then October,  but was still putting us off last week, I sent her a pleading, pathetic, probably obnoxious text asking for her help and advice. She highly recommended a very nice man, JS, who has remodeled all of her bathrooms in her beautiful home. (They are stunning. Exquisite. We’ve featured her Master Bedroom on our blog.) JS came to see us last Thursday. We had his bid by Friday afternoon and he came with three other wonderful guys yesterday morning.

We are beyond psyched! However, our casa is beyond nightmare-ish. When you’ve been married 37 years and together over 38, you have a bunch o’ “stuff.” JS had said, as he walked around our house last week, we didn’t have near the problem he sometimes has with other clients—in terms of clutter everywhere. (Then when they got here yesterday morn, he was quite shocked at what we’d had to pack in boxes and tubs…Sheesh.) We'd told him we'd take everything off our walls, remove all electrical wall and switch plates, and get everything out of our Master Bedroom closet. Out of all our rooms, actually. We did decide we'd leave our other two closets alone. That was wise. It allowed us to stuff "stuff" in those! 

Oh. My. Gosh. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I knew our closets were full—mine is, of course, much worse than his. Much. Much. Too much. Very bad. (Unbelievably, I’ve spent the past 15 years we’ve lived in this home giving away/donating lots and lots of clothes, shoes, dishes, jewelry, household items, and even furniture. Yet, what remains reproduces. It’s discouraging.)

I’m determined we’re going to have ONE BIG PURGE soon. Like none we’ve ever had before. Once our house is sparkling with new paint, I refuse to clutter it up with an overabundance of unnecessary anything. Hear me ROAR.

We’re deeply grateful to Autumn and JS that this daunting task is going to be accomplished before Thanksgiving and Christmas! Woo Hoo…YIPPEE…Hallelujah!

Now for my little “cute” story:

So Monday afternoon I needed to take a break from MSH’s and my Pre-Painting Prep. I had a script to pick up at the pharmacy, our mail at the Post Office, and, of course, I was desperately requiring what MSH calls my “wine:” A Vanilla Coke Zero from Sonic.

I headed to town about 3:00 (Coke Hour at Sonic is from 2:00-4:00, which means half-price drinks!) and knew my first stop was going to be…yes…my wine fix. I pulled up to a speaker and ordered. Just a VCZ. I thought I needed a Mini Snickers’ Blast. I didn’t give in. My total was $1.29. I always, always, ALWAYS give at least $1 tip—which cracks my husband up at Half-Price Coke Hour—to My Sonic Peeps. Sometimes I give $2. I’ve been known to give $5 on an extremely hot Texas day or an extremely cold one. I got my $2.29 ready just as a darling Carhop Gal skated—fast!—up to my window. With a big smile on her sweet face she said:

CG: Hi! You are so pretty!

For a moment, I thought I must have forgotten someone else was in my car. As I thanked her with a big smile on my pretty face, she said:

CG: You’re aging so well!

And…BOOM. I wasn’t expecting her caveat. Darnnit. I actually got tres tickled and said:

ELC: Well, I am old, so that’s a nice compliment!

At this point, I’m looking at her and I’m knowing she’s about to guess my age. I think this could go really downhill fast for me. I quickly tell her—before she guesses 71—that I’m 61. To which she replies:

CG: I was going to guess 59!

And…DOUBLE BOOM. I hope someone tells this lovely, kind, sweet young lady that if you’re going to compliment someone on their looks, and then guess their age, go ahead and subtract at least five years (preferably ten!) from what you think they are. Winky. Wink. It’s like icing on a cake, right?

I’m still grinning and giggling as she now, for the first time, looks at the money I gave her as soon as she skated up.

CG: Oh, you gave me $1 too much!

ELC: No, I didn’t. That’s for you!

You would have thought I’d given her $10. She was sincerely and genuinely grateful. Her gratitude, coupled with her compliment, made my day!

I called TLC, MSH and Sunny—to tell them this tale and laugh with all of them! We all agreed it was too delightful.

Back to November’s Nostalgia in a couple of days, Sillies…

Hope Y’all have a Wonderful Wednesday—wherever in the World you are!



smooch

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Aaannnnddddd...Double Done

This post is from November 14, 2011...(and please ignore my apology to "Jared." This is four years old!)


{If y’all haven’t read Aaannnnddddd… DONE—on August 20th—you might appreciate this post more if you check that one out first. Just a suggestion.}

Background: The first five years of our marriage I was fairly small-ish. I didn’t contract a weight issue until I knew I was pregnant with TLC. Then all hell broke loose and I became obsessed with food. More specifically--with tacos. (So much so, that my husband’s sons all thought we should name a boy Taco. They were serious. And is it a coincidence that TLC was eating and loving hot sauce at 18 months old? Is that wrong?)

You might remember I’ve been buying diet books since I started college—that’s approximately 39 years. Sad. Yes, quite sad. (SeeThe Next To The Last Diet Book in January.) I've also, apparently, tried to pass myself off as The Queen of Nutrition to My Cute Husband (MCH) for about 25 years. Despite the fact I’ve seldom had success with any significant weight loss (until recently and, alas, I am not—I repeat NOT—anywhere near my goal), I’ve always tried to encourage myself—and my family—to eat healthy. I recently told TLC I seriously could not remember the last time I’d had a donut. Maybe five years? Yet, I look like I eat three big donuts for breakfast every morning. Sheesh.

For about twenty years, MCH and TLC have received lectures by moi about what they should be eating/ordering—particularly at burger joints. They’ve had to listen to me whine and moan and groan about the unfairness of weight problems. Through it all, they’ve both maintained their ever-present and charming senses of humor. Yep—I’m stickin’ with that. Hubby has (mostly) agreed to eat at Subway when that’s my demand. I mean request. It’s the healthier choice. (Please note I did not add TLC to this one. Evidently, she’d rather go without any food at all than eat at a Subway. I apologize, Jared.)

Last Wednesday Evening: Hubby was sitting at our kitchen bar, watching me heat up my supper (chicken and spinach—sans donuts—sigh). I’d left my November 17th Woman’s Day magazine on the counter. It has a picture of a FABULOUS looking apple pie. (Remember—MCH is an AMAZING cook.) I don’t think I’ve ever, in over 34 years together, seen MCH pick up even one of my “ladies’” magazines. Heaven forbid. So I was getting quite tickled that he was looking through this one. I knew why. He was huntin’ that pie recipe. Still… it made me giggle.

Then this conversation began:

MCH: Would you like to know how to stop gaining weight?

ELC: Why, yes. As a matter of fact, I’d love to know how.

MCH:  “… one of these bad eating habits might be the problem. You drink a lot of soda. People who drink even one diet soda a day have larger waist circumferences compared with non-soda drinkers.”

(Naturally. Blame the diet drinks. I am tres sick of this frustrating “finding.” Especially since MCH has been telling me, every other day for fourteen years, to give them up. Completely and forever. I hate when diet sodas get blamed, by so many “experts,” for sabotaging diets. Plus, I hate the word “circumference.”)

ELC: Okay, move on to the next habit. The diet drink discussion is DONE.

MCH: “You use a small fork. The size of your utensil could affect how much you eat. People who used a small fork ate 12% more.”

ELC: Huh? What? This article is beginning to annoy me, MCH. My problem has never been the size of my fork. If only. Next.

MCH: “You eat potatoes. Every day.”

Then he stopped. I looked over at him to see why. He was still reading. Just no longer out loud. (Uh-oh. Did that say eating potatoes every day could cause weight problems? Surely they jest.) 

ELC: Keep going, Mr. French Fry/Potato Chip King.

MCH: I forgot. I’ve got to go over to the Barn.

He quickly shut the magazine and walked out the back door. Déjà vu. I've been here before. Did he quickly disappear because he LOVES potatoes—ALL forms of potatoes—as much as or more than I love Diet Mountain Dews? Yes, yes I believe that could have been the reason he suddenly vanished. 

Aaannnnddddd… done. Again. Double Done, actually.

Bless his sweet heart.

And now I'm LMDDADO. (Diet Drinks And Donuts)

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Hurricane Henry

From November 8, 2011 

(As of today, Henry is about 4 years and 5 months old, and still as wild as ever.)

Whew! ELC and I are still recovering from our whirlwind weekend with Duke TBBB and the newly anointed "Hurricane Henry." AKA Prince Henry. AKA Peter, Peter, The Pumpkin Eater.

To put it mildly, my pup is BANANAS. He kept us on our toes the entire 48 hours I was home. Teddy was such a doll. So patient. He let Hurricane Henry crawl all over him. He took his role as "Older Cousin" very seriously.

Here are a few fun pictures we snapped of our boys:



The calm before the storm.

Henry in his "Time Out Jail."
(Despite the forlorn look, he actually loves his "bedroom.")

This is Teddy Buddy Boo Bear's "Office Window."
Wonder what they're thinking?
(We're thinking:  Puppy Dog Noses = Window Smudges!)

Pooches Smooches.

TBBB needed a nice, long nap after the Hurricane blew through.
Don't worry, ELC is in the process of getting him a properly sized bed.

Though it truly was a lovely weekend, we've agreed we'll be putting any future "play dates" on hold. At least until after the holidays. I seriously believe we'll need that long to forget our trauma. I mean restore ourselves to normal. Okay. We've never been normal. Let's go with until we've become rejuvenated.

I love My Sweet Hank. The Little Angel just needs to work on his social skills and graces. Bless his heart.