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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


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.


Saturday, November 14, 2015


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!


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.

Monday, November 2, 2015

N is for November...and Nostalgia...

From the Oxford American Dictionary (Heald Colleges Edition)

(a paperback I’ve had for at least 18 years!)

nos*tal*gia (no-stal-ja) [the “a” in “ja” is supposed to have a little line over it—but I don’t know how to do that, Y’all…and this surprises no one, right?] n. sentimental memory of or longing for things of the past.

November seems like a good time for NOSTALGIA!

TLC and I have been writing our blog since January 11, 2011. Almost five years. In that time, we’ve tried to be positive. Hopeful. Entertaining. Some months/years have proved to be more challenging than others. In terms of finding time to post. In the beginning, our goal was to do three to four posts a week. That didn’t last long! Oops. Now we feel we’re doing great if we get two posts accomplished per week. Time changes things, doesn’t it? Priorities. Dreams. Our everyday lives. Lately, in the past six-ish months, I’ve felt myself leaning toward pessimism. I don’t like that. I certainly intend to do better. Promise.

Since it’s not always easy for TLC to post, and the holidays are about to descend upon us all like a ton o’ bricks, I’ve opted to go down Memory Lane and re-post some of our past “November” offerings.

If you haven’t read them, I’ll pray you enjoy them now. Maybe, if you remember them,  you’ll use your holiday “patience” and humor us, okay? 

Wishing each of you a Wonderful Week, Sweet Sillies—wherever in the World you are!