Wednesday, September 30, 2015

It's...A...

PINK PUMPKIN!


Let me back up a smidge! First--ELC has completely (yet, again!) picked up my major slack. Between the pregnancy and my little "surgery," I have been out. of. it. I think I might finally see the light, though I'm still quite queasy and sleepy in the evenings. When 8:00 rolls around, you can find me under the covers. So, bottom line, you might not count on another post from moi for at least two weeks. I'm just sayin'. HA!

Now, back to the pumpkin--

On Monday, we found out our sweet, little bambino-on-the-way is a...GIRL! We are beyond thrilled. Little Leighton is over the moon--though not surprised. She told Grammy ELC, "I just KNEW the baby was a GIRL!" These pictures were from the homemade "photo shoot" ELC and I staged to announce the gender. It was actually ELC's idea, and I couldn't adore it more! She knows I love all things fall and pumpkin and GIRLIE.


She truly is the "Coolest Sister Ever."

Thank you all for your patience with me!

Happy Fall, y'all!

OCTOBER IS TOMORROW! YIPPEE!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Forever Optimistic

So last Wednesday morn I left our country casa for TLC’s suburban home near Dallas. TLC'd learned, a few weeks ago, that a skin cancer on her forehead, near her hairline, needed to be removed by Mohs surgery. We'd never heard of it. Mohs surgery, according to the Mayo Clinic website, is a precise surgical technique used to treat skin cancer. Thin layers of cancer-containing skin are progressively removed and examined until only cancer-free tissue remains.


TLC was quite upset when she found out her new dermatologist was recommending she have Mohs on a spot he’d biopsy-ed (not sure this is an actual word...). (She loved him, though. Truly!) I couldn’t blame her. I desperately wished it could be me that had to go through the experience. She’d just done a pregnancy test—that was positive. She was worried about the anesthetic and if, as time went on, it could end up being a worse diagnosis than the doctor’s original, which was basal cell carcinoma. She seemed young to be having this challenge.


She kind of wanted to blame me. I let her be a bit cranky and accusatory. Skin cancer swims in my gene pool. Not her Dad's. (And maybe I hadn't been as dedicated to making sure she used sun screen and hats?) No one in my family has ever been diagnosed with melanoma. But I, of course, had breast cancer twenty-one years ago. The word “cancer” is not one TLC and I like. It was a word that was pretty much only whispered during the first thirty-ish years of my life. I think there were some family members that had it—but it seems that the attitude, back then, was that it might be a form of punishment. It was evil. I suspect people were afraid it was contagious. It simply was not discussed out in the open. Not at my home or family get-togethers. Once I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I became determined to talk about it as much as I could. I thought those of us with cancer should be vocal, honest, and forever optimistic and hopeful. (Apparently, over the past twenty-one years, I’ve sometimes been a little too frank with people about my treatment, etc. Even now, I’ll tell you lots more than you may want to know. I don’t know why. I can’t stop myself. Winky. Wink.)


I was in my late 40s (I was diagnosed with breast cancer two months after I turned 40) when I had two skin cancers removed—one from my lower forehead and one on my neck—near my collarbone. My dermatologist pretty much just dug them out! Consequently, I have two pretty scars/odd-looking spots where those evil things used to reside. I remember I left my job one morning to have a couple of places “burned” off my face and returned three hours later with four bandages on my face and one on my neck. I was very lovely, don’t’chaknow.  When TLC learned her fate, I did my best to convince her Mohs sounded like a great alternative to what I’d experienced all those years ago. Progress can be extremely AMAZING, I said. Embrace scientific advancements, I said. I suspect she wanted to slap me—just a few times. Not hard. Enough to make me stop being so upbeat and optimistic.


The issue with the Mohs surgery was that there was going to be no way to know if she’d be at the specialist’s office for two hours or eight. I took enough clothes to be able to stay six nights without the need to do laundry.


Since she and Her Hubby (HH) had to be at the doctor’s office at 6:45 Thursday morning, I went a day early. We surprised Little Leighton (LL aka Biscuit) at her preschool (she was HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY to see Grammy!) and told her teachers I might be bringing her and picking her up the next week. (They’re hugely cautious about the children and who can pick them up. Thank God.)


As it all turned out, TLC only had to have one initial layer taken! She was back home by 10:00 a.m. with a great big bandage, thirteen stitches, a headache and some annoying burning sensations where the incision was made. HH, Biscuit and I did our best to be FANTASTIC nurses/home health care assistants. TLC was encouraged to stay in bed for a couple of days—in order to keep the swelling to a minimum. In fact, she had to ice the bandaged incision every hour for the first 48 (except during sleep—duh). Then she could cut back as needed. Being pregnant, she’s only able to take Tylenol. She tried hard to be strong and not take any. It was virtually impossible. The first couple of nights weren’t too comfy for her, unfortunately. She did sleep better and “okay” Saturday and Sunday nights.


TLC will admit she has a very low pain threshold. I’d reveal she can be quite weeny-ish and dramatic (and we wonder where Ms. Biscuit gets her flair for exaggeration?). Overall, as with so many other difficult challenges TLC has faced in her thirty-one years, I was beyond proud of her bravery. Her excellent attitude.


I came home late yesterday morn, leaving TLC’s care to HH and LL.  I’ll now leave at 5:30 a.m. manana. For one more night, two more days of assistance/cleaning/caretaking/nanny-ing/pep-talking. TLC will have her stitches out on Thursday and, hopefully, recover fairly quickly. She does have another “spot” that must be checked/biopsy-ed at the end of this month. Near this first one. I pray every night it won’t require Mohs. If it does, it does. She/we can handle it.


TLC and I would encourage all of you to watch for places on your body that don’t look normal. That don’t heal. Have them checked! It’s important. Cancer is a FRIGHTENING word—but it’s not the end of the world. Not like it seems it used to be.

I’ll be back in touch ASAP, Sweet Peas! TLC reassures me she’ll get a post done—soon. Hmmm. I continue to be skeptical. I do want her to share the gender of her second baby with Y'all. She and HH should know by the end of this week or the first of next...YIPPEE!!!


Love and Hugs and Smooch!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Wake Up!

Warning...It’s Wednesday!

What? When did this happen?

Don’t WHINE. Don’t WASTE the day being WISHY-WASHY. WELCOME the chance to WALK! Whistle.WORK. Write. WALTZ. Weave. Be WHIMSICAL. Be WILD (in an appropriate and healthy way). Make a WISH.

Don’t be WRONG. Or WORRY. Or WITCHY. Or WENCHY. Or WEAK.

Do eat some WALNUTS (VERY good for you). And WATERMELON. And WAFFLES (but they make you WADDLE!). Eat something with WHEAT. Have some WHISKEY (not too early, much or often, however). Have some WINE (Red=A WINNER!).

Visit: Washington (D.C. or the State). Wisconsin. WALES. Wellington (that’s in New Zealand—yes, I didn’t know this). WYOMING. The Waldorf-Astoria (in New York City—it’s very WONDERFUL!).

Be: WORTHY. WITTY. Willowy (well, if you can—we clearly can’t.) Well-balanced. WELL-BEHAVED. Well-connected. WELL-INFORMED. Well-mannered (because nice matters).

WINK! Whisper! WHIRL! Wangle.

Take some Wedgwood china to a WEDDING or Whoop-de-do this WEEKEND.

Stay away from: Werewolves. WEASELS (the animal AND peeps!). Worms (the bugs AND peeps!). Wasps (they make ELC WHIMPER!). WEEVILS. Whippersnappers.

Enjoy the sounds of a WHIPPORWILL or WREN. Study WHALES. Or the Weather. Learn to paint with WATERCOLOURS.

Share your WISDOM with the WORLD. Or Whomever (Whoever?).

WELL, Whether or not you WANT THIS, we’re WEARY and must WHOA.

WORD.

p.s.—Are y’all impressed we didn’t use: Weigh; WHATEVER; Whatnot; Willpower;  and Wrinkles???

Monday, September 21, 2015

...never changing...

Lord, when things go bad, I urgently need a fresh experience of Your goodness. You are always consistent, never changing, constantly fulfilling Your plans and purposes, and totally reliable. There is no shadow of turning with You; as You have been, You will be forever. All Your attributes are summed up in Your goodness. It is the password for Your presence, the metonym for Your majesty, and the synonym for Your strength. Your goodness is the generosity that You define. It is Your outrushing, unqaulified love poured out in graciousness and compassion. You are good when circumstances seem bad. When I ask for Your help, Your goodness can bring what is best out of the most complicated problems.

Dear God, Your mercies are indefatigable, and Your presence sustains me through the day. I seek to glorify You in all I do and say. You provide me strength for this day, guidance in my decisions, vision for the way, courage in adversity, help from above, unfailing empathy, and unlimited love. You never leave me nor forsake me, nor do You ask of me more than You will provide the resources to accomplish.

Thank You for Your goodness given so lavishly to me in the past. Today, again I turn to You for Your guidance for what is good for me, my family and my friends. Keep me grounded in Your sovereignty, rooted in Your commandments, and nurtured by the absolutes of Your truth and righteousness. May Your goodness always be the source of the graciousness I long to be able to express today. In the good name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior.

Amen.

(from Praying Through the Tough Times by Lloyd John Ogilvie)

Wishing you all a wonderful week...

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sensational!

So I decided to go back and just see exactly how many mascaras we’ve recommended in the past! We didn’t do any until 2013. That was a shock. And I honestly thought it could be maybe ten. Perhaps twelve. It’s actually only seven! (It could have been eight. However, we did one twice. We must have been extra exhausted and confused.)

The one we did twice was L’Oreal’s Voluminous Million Lashes. We’ve also adored: L’Oreal’s Voluminous False Fiber Lashes; Estee Lauder’s More Than Mascara; Cover Girl’s Flamed Out; Maybelline’s Illegal Lengths; and Revlon’s Grow Luscious Plumping.

Here is my latest discovery that TLC also likes (of course she takes anything free from me…winky wink…):



We suspect it’s the wand that makes it appealing. We do have this advice: It’s a teensy bit hard to remove. You’re probably going to need an actual mascara remover product. I use either Neutrogena’s, Estee Lauder’s or, about twice a week, plain old everyday Vaseline petroleum jelly. TLC is quite bad about using soap/her facecleanser and a washcloth. I’ve lectured her over and over about this—a washcloth is too rough on her delicate eye tissue. She’s confessed she has to scrub when she’s wearing this mascara. STOP, TLC. Mama Knows Best.

If you decide to try this mascara, BE GENTLE to your eyes when you’re taking it off. We do believe you’ll love it!

I’ve vowed I’m not going to buy a new mascara until 2016. Let’s see how that goes, ‘k? Not sure TLC has any confidence in my determination.

Love and Smooches and Hugs, Sweet Friends...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

these two...sheesh...



These two dogs. What a life they each lead. Sleep. Eat. Go outside. Come back in. Beg. (For people food. Neither gets more than a few morsels of that each day. Well, actually, Buddy Bear does get two ginger snaps from My Sweet Hubby, aka MSH, every afternoon around 4:00. We buy them three packages at a time. Occasionally he gets a third snap from moi. I can be manipulated without too much trouble. Believe me: Buddy Bear knows when MSH has passed Cookie Time. He follows him around wherever he goes and wishes, with all of his sweet heart, he could talk and say: Hey! Get me my cookies! STAT. Henry always has Little Leighton ready and willing to give him a treat or two.) Sleep. Eat. Play (in Henry’s case—not so much Buddy Bear’s…Buddy is mostly sedentary...sigh…). Sleep some more. I’d say pretty heavenly, right?

MSH and I cannot quite figure out why Teddy Buddy Boo Bear puts his head under our bed. Does this help him in trying not to hear us while we talk? Is it cooler? Darker? He does this at some point nearly every day.

Then there’s Henry. His favorite place to be is TLC’s and Her Hubby’s bedroom. Either behind that chair or in their closet. He has a monogrammed bed in their Great Room. He does love it—just not quite as much as his Masters’ Bedroom. This dog gives us all such laughs! He has uber personality and extremely sad/expressive eyes. It feels like he’s looking into your soul when he targets you to attempt to wind you around his paw.

Buddy Bear was adopted by us when he was 4. He’s now 8. Henry is quite “Royal” and came to live with TLC and Her Hubby when he was an itty-bitty puppy. He's now 4. They couldn’t be more different if they could consciously try. Both are members of our families and we can’t imagine our lives without them.

ta-ta for now, Dearest Friends…hope you have a lovely week...

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Lantana Palooza!

For those of you who might be unfamiliar with lantana—it’s a native plant in Texas. It LOVES the sun and doesn’t require daily water.

Unfortunately, as I've admitted in the past, I’m not the greatest gardener around these parts. I have some plants that I can grow fairly successfully. I don’t always know the names of flowers or plants—I do always know what I like. And I’ve always liked lantana. (Okay. Okay. True Confession: I didn't really know what it was until twenty years ago. Sigh.)

My Sweet Hubby (MSH), on the other hand, never liked lantana until about two years ago. He said it looked like “weeds.” (No. No, it does not, MSH. Sheesh.) I planted some at our wellhouse many moons ago and it comes back, bigger and better, every year. (I’ve put pictures of this lantana on our blog in the past. ) It blooms from May-ish until October or even November-ish. Thank You Lord. Because MSH has decided he can handle my obsession with lantana without complaining.

At the same time TLC and I bought some moss rose plants from Biscuit’s pre-school’s fundraiser in April (See my post on August 16th: Neither rain, wind, hail, or... ), we bought a few lantana plants. They were teeny-tiny. We could pick from a couple of blooms—the solid yellow or a confetti-like bloom that’s pink and yellow. We bought two or three of both.

I put three tiny plants in two biggish pots (for a total of six plants)—as I did with the moss rose. The same storms that damaged the moss rose plants affected the lantana in a sad, sad way. About five weeks ago, when the lantana pots were looking truly pathetic (Oh, how I wish I’d taken pictures of them so you could see their true transformation.), I had MSH move them from our front porch and out into the garden—where I knew they’d get more sun. I had no real hope that they’d come back. But here they are:



You can’t even see the pots! The second picture shows one of the two Monarch butterflies that have enjoyed our lantana, hanging out around the pots and the lantana in the ground at our wellhouse, for over three weeks.

Y’all know how much I’m amazed by Mother Nature. She shocks me. Confuses me. Entertains me. Challenges me. (Yes—sometimes she angers me. Just being honest.) Our experience now with the moss rose and lantana plants that seemed, for certain, to be goners, has given me a renewed faith in Her. I sure do need renewed faith, don’t y’all?

God’s blessings to each of you, wherever in the World you are, this weekend…and forever…

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Biscuit Loves H3!

I look at this picture and I just have to smile…




Three Saturdays ago, Little Leighton (LL/aka Biscuit), H3 (his three names all begin with a…wait for it…H!), Sunny (H3’s grandmother), Nellie (H3’s Mama), TLC and I got together at Sunny’s beautiful home to celebrate Biscuit and H3’s birthdays! Their birthday parties had been on the same day a few Saturdays prior and we couldn’t attend each others—so we had a “private” hoop-la. (Sometimes "private" hoop-las are truly the happiest!)

I’ve told y’all about Sunny and Nellie in the past. We’ve known them for about 28 years. Sunny lived next door to a friend of mine when we met.  The three of us carpooled our three girls to pre-school for a few years. Nellie was a year older than TLC and the third Sweet Pea friend.

Sunny is pretty, smart, funny, cute, silly, creative/artistic, kind, and caring. (Her hubby is Peggy—y’all remember him? And that's not his real name. I'll try to find the post about his ELC name and share it again soon...) I admire so many things about Sunny and simply could not make it in this world without her friendship. She has three other gorgeous grandchildren and loves every one of them with all of her spirit and soul.

Nellie is her only daughter—in between two handsome brothers—and is also pretty, smart, funny, cute, silly, creative/artistic, athletic (mucho more than moi and TLC—put together—truth), kind and caring. She oozes with personality and spunk! She is The Premier Dental Hygienist in all of Texas. In fact, let's say in all of the USofA.

Sunny and Nellie first met Biscuit when she was just a few months old. Biscuit met H3 (who turned one a few days after Biscuit turned three) when he was also just a few months old. Biscuit is fascinated by H3. H3 is a hot mess! The CUTEST/HANDSOME-EST Little Fella Ever. Full of smiles, giggles, and energy. (I’m pretty sure he weighs as much as Biscuit!)

This day, Sunny ordered our most favourite pizza—(we brought Biscuit her gluten-free pizza and she never knew the difference…)—and made two of the most amazing/yummo/decadent desserts we’d had in a long, long, LONG time! A Paula Deen keylime pie and a layered Chocolate Truffle. Both TDF (to die for…seriously).

TLC and I love and cherish these two girls and this precious little boy—with all of our hearts. We can’t wait to par-tay again—ASAP!

Hope Y’all are having a Wonderful Week…wherever in the world you are...

Sunday, September 6, 2015

This holiday...

Labor Day 2015, has an extra-special meaning to The Leightons. TLC is going to be in LABOR next March! Yes—she and Her Hubby are expecting their second child. Little Leighton (LL/Biscuit) will be a Big Sister! Biscuit's a tidbit confused—at this point. She seems to be as excited as a 3-year-old can be at this new development. When you tell her it could be a boy or a girl, she is adamant the baby will be a “sister.” Perhaps an “Eeekkkkkk!!!!!!!” will be appropriate in a few weeks—if TLC finds out they have a boy on the way. We feel confident LL will adjust…right???

Y’all know what this means: I’ll be doing 3/4ths of our posts for the next year-ish. I’m crossing my fingers most of you didn’t just have this thought: Oh. Geez.

Hope each of you has had a lovely weekend so far…and that you’ll continue to enjoy your time off—if you do, in fact, have time off—and the beginning of TLC’s most favourite season—FALL! Woo Hoo!

love and smooches and hugs…ta-ta for now

p.s.: It's September! Wwhhhaaaattttt??????