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!