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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I've had it...

...a thousand times. That look. That look that tells people, the ones in the Hellmart parking lot watching you:

"I have no clue where I parked my car."

It wasn't on my face. (Not today.) But on a woman who was about my age. I felt such sympathy for her. It is the most frustrating thing. Almost as frustrating as The Search. The search that involves going from room to room in your home, desperately trying to find your glasses. You have no idea where you might have left them. (It doesn't seem like they could be in the freezer, but you've looked everywhere else, right?) You have no clue. Not until someone, someone whose been watching The Search go on for 10 -20minutes, finally asks:

"What are you looking for?"

"My glasses," you say. With complete bewilderment.

"Are they the pair you're currently wearing?"

How is this even possible??? How do I not feel them on my face? How do I not realize I have to have them on because I can see where I'm going?

I have no answers to these conundrums. None. Nada. Zilch.


Hope Y'all had a Wonderful Wednesday! Stay focused! Stay calm! Stay determined! Have FAITH! (You got to that parking lot in your's there...SOMEWHERE.)

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Terrific Tootsies!

In February, I told Y’all how much I loved Working Hands hand cream. Which My Sweet Hubby (MSH) purchases at Tractor Supply.

Look what MSH and I found at the Tractor Supply in Granbury, Texas, last week:

Be still my heart. And tootsies.

I giggle when I think about an experience that happened several years ago:

I was in the midst of a lovely pedicure. [Let me stop here and give you a teensy—possibly innerstin—fact: Once I started having professional pedicures (Remember, please—I was 47 before I had my first one...sad. Yes. Very sad.), I became hyper-vigilant about keeping my feet soft—especially my heals.]

Back to the experience: This kind pedicurist said, with clear and obvious admiration: Ahhh…Wow. Your heals are very smooth—like a baby’s buttom!

TLC can verify I’m committed to the endless process of feet exfoliation. (She keeps hers away from my inspection at all costs.) And I’m always searching for a cream that is inexpensive, but effective. Voila—here it is, Folks...O’Keeffe’s Healthy Feet! (By The Way: They have a delightful website that can help you determine where you might find or order this fantastic product.)

I’m positively pooped from working over at our Barn&Breakfast (Wink.Wink.). The clutter is endless. It's reproducing. I'm sure of it. I clearly need a professional organizer. TLC would adore this job. If only she didn't live two hours away. Dadgummit.

Hope You Sillies had a Sweet Saturday—Wherever in the World Y’all Are!

ta-ta for now…

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Right Side

I went to two doctor appointments today. I left my home at 7:45 a.m. for the first stop at my primary care doctor’s office. Bloodwork. She’s monitoring my Vitamin D levels. Wow—is Vitamin D all the rage or what? TLC’S D has been low. Little Leighton’s (LL) D? Ditto. Seems like the “experts” are learning more and more about this vitamin my generation knew we needed only for strong bones—not for the benefit of our entire immune system.

Because I lost my left breast to a modified radical mastectomy twenty-one years ago, and because they took all the lymph nodes they could find under that arm, I don’t have my blood pressure taken on my left side. Nor do I have blood drawn from that arm. My doctor's nurse procured lots o' blood out of my right arm.

My second stop (after picking up an Egg McMuffin—YUMMO—I had had to fast from midnight on…) was to a large medical clinic in town. I was meeting with a surgeon who is not only a good friend of ours, but also a fantastic doctor. Last summer, I promised my primary care physician, for the third year in a row, that I would get a colonoscopy. I had my first one when I was 47. I was due for my second at 57. I’d somehow gotten way, WAY past that deadline. Last year I almost got this accomplished in Ft. Worth—because this doctor didn’t take my fabulous (tongue-in-cheek, don’tchaknow) insurance. For several reasons, I cancelled a scheduled scope right before Christmas. Then I was forced out of my previous policy by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) at the end of 2014. The new insurance I secured has my friend as a Provider—so I’ve been anxiously waiting to find the time to visit him and schedule this (non-fun) colonoscopy with him.

I won’t bore y’all with ALL of the details of my two-hour visit to this doctor and his clinic. (Not like I did my precious friend, Drew. I believe I told her every little event that occurred in that time frame. Sorry, Dearest Drew.) My first thirty-five minutes there were a complete train wreck. Won't tell all about that experience. Will simply say: Sheesh. Once I got in to the exam room and started visiting with the doctor I so adore, he asked me if I’d had bloodwork recently. I told him I’d just come from my primary care’s clinic, but that I didn’t know what she’d ordered—besides the level of my Vitamin D. He suggested, since I was there, I go ahead and get some additional bloodwork and an EKG. These would be two tests the anesthesiologist would want before putting me out/under for the scope.

From his office, I proceeded to the Lab. A very kind young woman tried to get blood out of my right arm. She had to call a supervisor. She had no success, either. After wincing from the excruciating pain caused by the second tech digging around that vein, I begged them, very politely, to go ahead and try sticking my left arm. Thank My Lord, it worked.

Next, and while waiting for my EKG, a woman whose age was somewhere between 80 and 84 (I’m not very good at age-guessing any more, so I could be off a year or two on either end!), sat by me in the waiting room. A woman about my age was helping this woman use her walker. I noticed the older woman before she ever reached me because she was quite attractive. She was dressed in black pants and a black knit shirt. She had fashionable black glasses and stunning, dangly earrings. Beautifully expressive eyes. A warm smile.

As soon as she sat down by me, she said: “M’am? Could I tell you something?”

Not going to lie: This made me a teensy bit nervous. I thought it was charming, however, that she was calling me, someone clearly quite a bit younger than her, “M’am.” Cracked me up.

“Sure,” I smiled.

“I love your hair,” she said. “It’s so pretty.”


“You just made my day!” I replied. “And my hairstylist’s! Thank you so much. I truly appreciate your kind words!”

“I wish mine was that thick.” (Here’s the truth: Mine is not that thick—it looks thick-ish when I curl and tease it—the old-fashioned way. Wink. Wink. That's how Big Texas Hair is accomplished!)

Her hair was lovely. White/blonde, very healthy looking, and pulled back in a pretty ponytail.

“I love yours, too!” I said. She smiled, almost shyly, and thanked me.

Now this, in my humble opinion, is pretty hair. I braided TLC’s the night before she was to have Kit whack it off. (Yes. We were pretending she was eight years old, again.)

The entire incident made me think about the impact we can have on someone’s day. Week. Life. I normally feel quite defensive about my hair. I know a few people (My Sweet Hubby for one…) who often encourage me to “smooth” it down a tidbit. (TLC, on the other hand, likes it big. The bigger, the better!) This sweet, kind, attractive woman made me feel proud—if only for a few minutes—of the hair I typically dislike.

Compliments ROCK, right? Let’s all try to give at least one person per day a compliment, okay?

Hope Y’all have had a Wonderful Wednesday. Guess what? It’s Friday Eve Eve!!!

smooches and hugs and love…

Sunday, April 19, 2015

i'm back! least for today!

As ELC mentioned, my little family will soon be making a big move! We are excited--2015 has truly been a roller coaster. Ups. Downs. In-betweens. We are looking forward to a fun, fresh start. I am forever grateful to ELC for ALWAYS picking up my slack with our sweet blog. She has so much dedication and love.

Last Thursday, Little Leighton and I headed South for a visit with Grammy and Pa-Pa and a salon appointment for moi! (I still go home to have my hair cut and colored by our precious Kit--she cuts the whole fam-damily's hair, actually. Bless her heart. I'm sure she would like to drop a couple of us.) ELC and I had been chatting a couple of weeks ago about cutting my hair. It was ridiculously long--completely unmanageable. ELC suggested (she always makes good suggestions) I consider cutting at least 6 inches so that I could donate it. Done and done! I couldn't wait.

LL and I arrived at our destination mid-afternoon on Thursday. Once we had our snack of freshly baked (by ELC, nonetheless!) gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, we headed outside. It was a pretty day, and we were ready for some fresh, country air! I was immediately taken aback by the sheer beauty of Mom and Dad's roses! I couldn't resist and had to cut a few to put in the most tiny, precious vase. Aren't these divine? (No filters for these pics!)

The next morning, after a breakfast of champions (Pancakes--again made with love by ELC! Are we in some kind of Twilight Zone? Y'all know she's not a fan of cooking. BUT, let me tell you what...she rocks at it when she gets in that kitchen!) and coffee (duh), I headed into town for the big cut! Of course we took a before picture (Yes, I made it black and white. Between the pony tail kinks and roots and my pasty white arms, I couldn't handle full color.)

Six inches later? (Yes, another black and white.)

I really love it! Kit blows my mind with her talent. Now, I have no clue how to fix it. It's been quite some time since my hair has been this short. I'm going to practice and learn! I texted ELC this shameless selfie Friday night (LL stayed with them for two nights, while I headed back. I'll let ELC give y'all a recap of all of the fun they had! So many shenanigans with those three.) after I attempted a half-up 'do.

Thank y'all ever so much for your patience with me. I can't wait to share more about our new adventure soon.

I hope this is a magical week for all...TTFN.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Carousels...Blueberry Muffins...and Doc McStuffins!

Yesterday I made a fast trip Northeast to see TLC and Little Leighton (LL) for a few hours. (Still not quite ready to spend the night away from My Sweet Hubby…) TLC doesn’t usually tell LL I’m coming until I’m halfway there. As I got out of my car, there she was…standing at her front door with TLC…waving and saying: “Hi, Grammy! Hi, Grammy!” Heaven. Grammy Heaven. TLC had told her we were going to get to do one of her most favourite things ever—ride the Carousel at the Mall. LL was super-psyched!

First, we made a jog by their new home—which is about 12 miles away from the home TLC has lived in with Her Hubby for over 5 ½ years. (Moving will be bittersweet…Sigh…) LL kept saying: “Where’s the Mall?” She knew we’d not gone the “regular” way. She knows the path to the Mall—trust me. She knows every turn.

Once we arrived at the Mall, LL tried to tell her Mama where to park! “Go by The Cheesecake Factory, Mama!” The Cheesecake Factory used to be a place the three of us ate—a lot—prior to LL’s Celiac diagnosis. God love her. She hasn’t totally realized it’s been almost a year since we’ve eaten there. Anyway, TLC convinced her it’d be okay to park in an area they’ve been going to since Christmas. Once we get in the Mall door, we can hear the Carousel music. LL’s little face lights up immediately and she says: “Let’s get Purple Horse, Grammy! Let’s get Purple Horse!” (Sometimes another child has LL’s purple horse. She pouts a teensy bit—mostly she has to hurry and decide on another one and she quickly adjusts her Carousel Attitude!)

We rode the Purple Horse while TLC went to get two Tall Skinny Vanilla Lattes from Starbucks. (One for me—not LL. Wink. Wink.) Then TLC and LL stood in line for LL’s second ride. She had to pick another horse. A tiny tot and her grandmother got to Purple Horse first. Dadgummit.  LL decided to call this new horse “Golden.” You can see why in this picture:

Yes. TLC has as much fun—or more—as Little Leighton!

Before heading back to their casa, we made a fast trip into The Disney Store—where I bought LL a purple “Doc McStuffins Camera Phone.” LL adores Doc! She doesn’t think it’s possible to do the Carousel without going by said Disney store. TLC tried to be tough and tell her we’d go another time. LL wouldn’t have it. (Picture another precious pout.)

After lunch, I watched General Hospital (No. I don’t watch daytime soap operas. But I think it’s kind of fun to see the same characters that were stars thirty—or more—years ago—acting out the same type o’ plots. Good for them!) while LL napped and TLC ran a couple of errands. Two hours later, when LL woke up—she excitedly told me this: “Mama got some YUMMY blueberry muffins, Grammy!” A child that wakes up talking about food? A child with several of my genes. As we headed to the kitchen, she remembered her “Doc” phone. She could push a “light” button and shine pictures of Doc, Lamby and Stuffy on her bedroom wall. This fascinated her. For a few minutes, she completely forgot about her blueberry muffin. I had to work at getting her to the kitchen table for said snack. She let me have ONE bite of the muffin. It was DELICIOUS. UDI’s Gluten-Free Blueberry Muffins. Wowzer. Fantastic. (Even if you don’t need to eat gluten-free, I feel confident you’d love these muffins. Unless you’re not a muffin person. If you’re not? We can’t be friends. Sorry.) When I tried to get a second, tiny bite? LL quickly got it out of my fingers and back on her plate. She smiled, though, while she stole it back! I didn’t blame her. I wouldn’t have wanted to share my blueberry muffin, either.

Once TLC got back, she had to scramble to get LL dressed and ready for her Ballet and Tap Class.  (This is LL at her class. She prefers to stand when others are doing as they're asked, i.e. to sit. Bless her rebellious little heart!)

I had to head home. (Insert a few tiny sniffles here...) It was a day of pure perfection. The kind I'll remember for a long time. And treasure.

smooches and ta-ta for now!

Monday, April 13, 2015

the old switcharoo...

So this morning I’m “changing out” my closet. Something I never did until fifteen years ago—when we built our country casa. We knew we wanted our closets to have lots of storage—shelves, cubbies. Double racks—so we could keep Fall/Winter clothes easily accessible. Then, like our Fancy Friends, we'd move our Spring/Summer frocks down to the lower racks, once we felt confident Spring was, in fact, here to stay. Today I feel that confidence and it’s time to do…

drum roll…

The Switch!

It’s not a job I love. I truly need to purge like I’ve never purged before. I’m at a too-fluffy-ish weight, at this point, in my old age. I don’t like it. However, I find I’m not committed enough to give up my M&Ms, Coke Zeros, and cupcakes! Still, I have scads of jeans/tops/clothes of various sizes. I must, must, MUST get rid of some/several/lots. Immediately. Period.

I was also just thinking that you may have wondered where in the heck TLC is! Well, she’s in the midst of A Big Change that’s happening in her—and her family’s—life. They’ve sold their home and are about to be moving into a new one. (New to them!) It’ll be in a different town—but close by. They’ve got a couple of months to get things organized and packed. Since it’s also near the end of Little Leighton’s pre-school year, life will be more hectic than it’s ever been for The Four of Them (counting Henry—their dog!). I intend to do my best to force, I meant ask, TLC to contribute a post now and then. She WILL be back. Trust me on this...

(FYI: TLC is someone who abhors change. "Spontaneous" is not a word I'd ever use to describe her. I encourage us all to be tres understanding. I myself intend to coddle and comfort her through the stress. Because let's be honest: Her stress becomes moi stress. And vice versa. My Sweet Hubby is doing so much better..I feel up to TLC's Moving Challenge. Absolutely. No doubts. No fears.)

First, however, my closet calls…

Y’all have a Marvelous Monday, PLEASE, and Wonderful Week—wherever in the World Y’all are…

Thursday, April 9, 2015

the morning slug...

My Sweet Husband (MSH) is a fascinating man. He’s smart. Handsome. Kind. Funny. Handy. Wise. Silly. Brave. (Except he does shiver at the sight of a centipede.) He’s also quite energetic. I suspect he could have been diagnosed with ADHD when he was a child/adolescent/teen. He rises early. Has for as long as I’ve known him. Which is about 38 years. And when I say early, I mean 5:00 a.m. Sometimes 4:00 a.m. He blows and goes all day long. Inside. Outside. He’s driven to make goals. Complete jobs. Succeed. Even at the most mundane chores.

When his four sons and our TLC were adolescents/teens, he’d drive them cRaZy—waking them up early every weekend. For yardwork. To clean their rooms. For church. Just on general principle. He apparently believed if he was up, well, all of us should be up, too. (I’ve also been an early riser most of my life. I did enjoy sleeping until 7:00ish on the weekends! For the past three-ish years, however, I’d call myself a bit of a “slacker.” I “linger” in our bed almost every morning. I’m awake at 5:00. But sometimes it’s 8:00 before I’ve drug myself out of my comfy comfort.) When MSH’d wake the kids, he’d start by opening their curtains/blinds. He called it “killing the bacteria!” I cannot even emphasize enough how much each and every one of the five DESPISED this procedure. To this day, TLC is NOT, I repeat, NOT a Morning Person. Fortunately for MSH, Little Leighton has inherited the Early Worm Gene from him and we’re all up, at the crack of down, with her. MSH loves it! Once in a blue moon, TLC gets to sleep a teensy bit later! She thinks 8:00 a.m. is HEAVEN, bless her wittle-bitty-Mama-heart.

I knew MSH was beginning to get back to his old, silly self—from the trauma of his recent, second heart attack—yesterday morning , when this conversation happened:

MSH (as he walked up to my side of our bed…): Am I supposed to be taking that allergy pill every day?

(I finally convinced him, after trying for almost 20 years, to take Allegra. He’d argue and argue—as he sniffed, sneezed and hacked—that he had no allergy issues. About a month ago, he conceded he might, in fact, have some “Cedar” problems. He agreed to try Allegra or Claritin.)

ELC: Yes. You do. You take one every day.

MSH: Well, okay. Then I need to let you know I have only five Allegras left.

ELC: I have a new bottle in my cabinet.

This (retired!) man, who’d already had breakfast, walked Buddy Bear, taken his shower and was dressed for the day (it was 7:20ish), stood by our bed, looking down at me. Me—ELC—The Morning Slug.

ELC: Do I need to get up, right this second, and go get that bottle for you?

MSH (taking about 2 seconds to think of his answer): No. But you do have to get up in five days. If you don’t mind.

Hahaha, MSH. That was a good one. I get it. I’m lazy. I could lay in that bed for five more days—right. Yes. Clever. Quite clever.

He’s bbbaaaaccccckkkkkk!

Happy Friday Eve, Sillies Everywhere!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

...the GOOD stuff...

We’re still here! My Sweet Hubby (MSH) is getting stronger every day. I’m not quite sure if and/or when we’ll get back to “normal”—whatever that means. We both feel much more optimistic this Sweet Saturday than we did even three days ago. We’re certain our hearts, minds, souls, spirits, and bodies can bounce back from the most difficult traumas. So we’ll attempt to stay in a bouncy “Tigger” mood…

TLC and Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) had a super busy week. Pre-school. Several Easter Egg Hunts. Ballet. LL now has ear infections. Both sweet wittle ears. Poor Biscuit. TLC took her to the doctor this morning (I'm a'thinkin' TLC should consider having two cots at her pediatrician’s office dadgummit!) and they now have the requisite (gluten-free) antibiotic LL simply needs to heal.

Please enjoy a few pictures of LL’s Easter Experience…so far! I need some giggles and smiles, if you don't mind humoring me. The first one is at our country casa last weekend. TLC and LL came for a night to help me celebrate my birthday. We had a "Pre-Easter" practice egg hunt. It was raining and The Easter Bunny had to come inside and hide LL's eggs. LL is hugging "Esther." The bunny she received in her basket. The second picture was taken by TLC before LL met her best friend at a fun place called Play Street Museum. Play Street had a delightful Celebration that involved real, live bunnies! See the third picture. The fourth picture is LL before she and TLC headed out to her FOURTH Egg Hunt! (Am I clever or what? Fourth and Fourth? Ha.) Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of her Egg Hunt at pre-school. TLC was a "Teachers' Assistant" that day and, therefore, couldn't take pictures.

Thank Y'all very much for your patience. Like I give you a choice.

It’s beautiful weather today in North Central Texas. Tomorrow is supposed to be a rainy Easter Sunday. This means, of course, we’re torn. We’d love it to be the perfect day: Sunny. Warm, but not too hot. Breezy—not windy. No tornadoes, PLEASE. Most of Texas is still in a severe drought condition—so rain—in any amount—is something we realize we must appreciate. Guess we’ll just have to wake up and see what transpires manana, right?

As a tot, yes, I loved Easter Egg Hunts. (Even though, way back then in the Dark Ages, most of our eggs were real/hard-boiled/dyed. Once I and my younger siblings reached five-ish, we were the "dyers" of the Easter eggs. (I suppose the idea was that we got better at dying our own eggs as we aged. I recall some pretty ugly-lookin' eggs. Sigh.) My siblings and I knew we were destined for egg salad sandwiches for several days after Easter. We didn’t have a lot of chocolate or special treats. Not at our house—on Easter Sunday morn. We did look forward to other Egg Hunts—where there might just be some chocolates! Or jellybeans. Stickers. Or money!

As a toddler/pre-schooler/elementary child, TLC loved Easter. (Mostly because her Mama made sure she had THE GOOD STUFF from the Easter Bunny!) She does like to continue to remind me, year after year, that all she ever wanted—each Easter—was a “pre-packaged” basket. The kind you could buy at any and every grocery store in the US of A. Those baskets that had lots of Easter “grass,” a stuffed Bunny or Chick, and tons o’ candy. No. Unfortunately for TLC, her Mama would never buy one of those for her. Clearly, TLC’s still traumatized by my meanness. (It’ll sure be innerstin’ to see if LL gets one of those fabulous-and-sometimes-pretty-darn-expensive-store-bought baskets in the next few years… I’m bettin’ LL doesn’t get one, either. Unless her Grammy buys her one. Wink. Wink.)

Over my many years on this Earth, Easter has always been a tough time for me. I truly believe I was understanding the meaning of Easter by the time I was seven or eight years old. I'd ask my Nana a lot of questions about this Church season. She was a devout Episcopalian who took the weeks before Easter quite seriously. Ash Wednesday. Lent. Maundy Thursday. Good Friday. These became difficult for me to process even at a young age. Harder as I got to be a teenager—college student—young adult—wife and Mom. It’s mostly such a sad, sad time. In my humble opinion. True—the music and joy on Easter Sunday was/is a glorious expression of Jesus' victory. Still…knowing what He suffered for me/us—it's overwhelmingly rough. I’ve always cried a lot during this time. Buckets of tears. I find I can’t really watch movies about Jesus' crucifixion. I cannot watch the torture He endured. It hurts my heart and soul too deeply. I sincerely believe I’ve never felt deserving of Jesus’ pain and sacrifice. Even today, I often feel guilty that I’m not the kind of Christian I so desperately want to be.

I hope each and every one of you has a MAGNIFICENT Easter Sunday—Wherever in the World you are! I pray you feel inspired. Faithful. Renewed. Restored. Grateful and Peaceful. BRAVE and proud to be a follower of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ!

Happy HAPPY HAPPY Easter, Dear Friends…

Thursday, April 2, 2015