Friday, January 29, 2016

ZOOM

It’s Friday. Woo Hoo! Yes, perhaps, when you’re retired, every day of the week is Friday. I guess. Yet, My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I still celebrate it! We also LOVE Saturdays. And Sundays. (Not so much Mondays…old habits die hard…)

Here is what MSH and I don’t like:

How FAST time is ZOOMING by.

We both remember being young—little kids—adolescents—even high schoolers—and thinking some days/weekends/Summers would never, ever, EVER end. Of course, that was back when you had to find things to do to entertain yourself. No computers. Cell phones. Apps. Play Stations. 200 Channels on televisions. DVRs. Once your chores were done—or school was out—or you were home from a babysitting job or a job working at the pharmarcy/grill--you had to ask permission to goof off. Reading was ALWAYS big for me. Playing with friends in the neighborhood (up until the Junior High years...then it was all about finding a ride to a friend's house if you didn't have a car and couldn't use your Mom's...). Watching TV (while arguing with siblings about what you wanted to watch). Remember: That was when we had three channels. Four counting PBS. (Frankly, there wasn’t much on PBS that adolescents and/or teenagers liked…just sayin’…)

College—for me—often went by fairly slowly, too. Less than high school. More than the reality of working at a full-time-job after graduation. (MSH was married, the first time, at 19, and had three of his five children—BAM, BAM, BAM—by the time he was 25. He went to college and worked three jobs to make ends meet. I feel confident his college days flew by faster than mine.)

I married MSH at the age of 24. He was 34. I worked a full-time—often stressful—job and we had his four boys at our home nearly every weekend. Sometimes during the week. (Eventually, three of them would move in with us permanently.)

When I had TLC—at 30—and became a (for twelve years) stay-at-home Mom, I remember thinking she was growing and changing at a high rate of unwelcome speed. I didn’t much like it.

High school graduations—college graduations—wedding days—for all of our children—disappeared before we could even grasp what was happening. Grandchildren. Church activities. Work/Jobs. Social activities. Came and went at warp speed.

At Little Leighton’s (LL) birthday party last Summer, I couldn’t believe she was three. Already. She’s going to be a big sister and FOUR tomorrow. (Not literally. You get where I’m going with all of this. Both will happen before I'm completely prepared.)

I don’t like time ZOOMING by. Not even an itsy-bitsy bit. Not even on days when I’m in pain. Or I’m discouraged. Or I’m tired. I don’t embrace this aspect of our golden-age years. Honestly, I hear people of ALL ages talking about the passage of time. Children should never feel that unpleasant crunch. Never. IMHO.

Here is something that is a constant reminder of how fast time flies:


My medication container. I just filled this one a few minutes ago. That's what it feels like. At the most, it feels like I messed with that yesterday. Now it’s about to be empty again. I swear I can NEVER wrap my mind around the fact that it’s time to do this job again. (Most of what I take is OTC. Vitamins. Supplements. Allegra. Ibuprofen. Actually, for someone nearly 62, I’m proud to report I only take two prescription pills on a daily basis. And both of those aren't even in this box! MSH, who's getting close to 72 and who’s had two heart attacks, only takes three prescriptions. Not too shabby. We do feel lucky. We feel quite fortunate.)

I must scoot. Time (there's that evil word...) to fill up this ding-dang-dadgum box. So it can make me feel horrible/awful/scared in seven days. Because I won’t believe I must repeat this chore. Sheesh. (Picture my eyes slowly filling up with tears...Sigh...I'm serious, Friends...)

Y’all have a Wonderful Weekend—wherever in the World Y’all are!

(Please don’t blink. It’ll be Monday before you know it…)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

and another thing...

I refer Y’all, first, to TLC’s blogpost last Wednesday—January 20th. Entitled: and it’s only wednesday?

As she shared, she was on the phone with me after she got into her vehicle at Target that morning. She called because she wanted to leave the RUDE person, parked next to her/actually in her spot, a note. She wanted my thoughts on this idea. I encouraged her to proceed. Maybe I shouldn’t have. But I said:

Just do it, TLC. Do it. I don’t think they’ll be the kind of human being that’ll care that they caused you a lot of discomfort and inconvenience. YOU’LL feel better that you stood up for yourself. And Little Leighton (LL/aka Biscuit).

A few minutes later, I worried I’d given her the wrong advice. What if that person was watching her and sought revenge? (I did remind her she’d be on the Target parking lot camera/video. Her response? “GOOD.”)

Of course, as each day passes in these United States of America, it becomes abundantly clear it can be quite dangerous to stand up for yourself. Particularly when it comes to Road Rage or Parking Lot Insanity. One has to be aware of the possibility of retaliation—if one speaks up or confronts an inconsiderate/selfish/lazy/mean person. Guns are often pulled out in Road Rage and Parking Lot Incidents.

Overall, My Sweet Hubby (MSH), TLC and I feel standing up for oneself may not be worth it—in the end. In this case, I thought TLC should use the opportunity to make the irresponsible culprit aware of how his/her action affected someone else. I’m sure I’ve been guilty of not thinking about all of the consequences of my decisions. Would I really want to be told if I caused someone else a problem? Hmmm. Not sure. I admit—I’m not sure. Let’s agree I SHOULD want to be reminded of the possible consequences of my actions/behaviors/choices.

MSH and I spend time each week going to Granbury or Ft. Worth for grocery shopping/errands/obligations. We travel on a couple of Interstate Highways and busy city streets. State roads. We’re in many, many, MANY parking lots. Here is one of many incidents that occur and confuse us:

When we back out of a parking spot, 8 out of 10 times we have to pull back in because someone has turned into that row—going way too fast—and obviously has no intentions of stopping for us. Yet, when the shoe is on the other foot? When we’re the ones turning into a row and someone is backing out from their parking spot? Said backing-out-person refuses to stop. We, therefore, must throw on OUR brakes for that person—even if we don’t want that parking spot.

For me, it all boils down to The Golden Rule (since there doesn’t appear to be any written parking lot rules that I can locate):

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

I’m afraid there may be a heckuva lot of peeps out there that don’t know what this Rule is/means. Or, sadly, they simply don’t care. I’d wonder if that possibly means they don’t think much of themselves. Right? If, in fact, they don’t care if people are nice to them? Or, could it be they DO want to be treated like they’re special/ROYAL and TLC, MSH and I (and you?) are not?

My Rant is officially over. Thank Y’all for humouring (the way someone “ROYAL” might spell that word. Winky. Wink.) moi.

Have a Wonderful Week, Sillies…

smooch… 

Saturday, January 23, 2016

really, really, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY...

TLC and Little Leighton (LL) came for a visit late yesterday afternoon. They’ll be here until Sunday after lunch. We’ll be hosting our Annual Christmas Get-Together with Sunny, Nelly and H3 tomorrow. Yes. We’re slightly late on this. We often are! But we stay determined to celebrate with our dear, dear, SPECIAL friends—even if Christmas has come and gone—and come hell or high water. It is simply a MUST DO because of the quality of life experience it always gives us. We laugh and laugh. And laugh. 

LL seems to get funnier and funnier each time My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I are blessed to be with her. She can be quite the Drama Princess. When she gets mad, sad, or upset—about the Trauma Du Jour—she often tells me, with great emotion:

Grammy, I really, really, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY need a (fill-in the blank…could be cookie, juice box, chip, goldfish, pretzel, book, movie, tv show, toy, etc. etc. etc.)!

ELC: LL, Mama said you can’t have…do…see…eat…drink that. I’m sooo sorry, Biscuit!

Sometimes we both cry.

This morning she told me she really, really, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY needed to put some red lipstick on. Two visits ago, she asked me if I had some “red” lipstick for her. I said I didn’t have any that was gluten-free, but I’d get some before her next stay. She threw a teeny-tiny fit. Then, during her last visit, I couldn’t beg her to try the gluten-free gloss I’d found at Sprouts. For $14. Sheesh. Today, she was ready to give it a shot! It looked GORGEOUS. Trust me. She’s hooked.

As I head to my bedroom for a quick afternoon snooze (everyone else is already asleep at this casa!), I send out BIG hugs and smooches to each of you...I really, really, REALLY, REALLY, REALLY do!

ta-ta for now, Silly Friends

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

and it's only wednesday?

So. This week. And it's only Wednesday. I don't think it's a good sign when your precious OB/GYN tells you that you "look a bit tired" at your every-other-week appointment. She's generally VERY complimentary. She's right. I'm tired.

Yesterday was "grocery shopping day." I am quite possibly the worst grocery shopper ever. I have no schedule. I can't "menu plan" to save my life. I always forget something. I typically try to go when Little Leighton is in school, but our week has been thrown off-kilter with the holiday on Monday. Off we went to Target yesterday morning. It was windy and cold and I desperately wanted a Starbucks.

LL was actually a doll this trip. Sometimes--as is with most "threenagers"--it's touch-and-go. Yesterday she was sweet and helpful. Perhaps it was the apple juice I bribed her with--no judging! We were in and out fairly quickly--given that it's Target and who can leave that store in less than an hour? I am definitely starting to waddle and don't particularly enjoy walking. LOL.

I was parked about midway in the parking lot. Not particularly close. (I generally try to get a corner spot. Couldn't find one--I was out of luck.) As we left the store and got closer to my car, I noticed the GINORMOUS Sequoia parked next to me. They had arrived after me and were too lazy, or too royal--in their own opinion--to be bothered to park properly. There was positively no reason why they had to have BOTH tires over the lane and in my space. I was MAD. I couldn't get my back door opened to help LL into her carseat. We literally had to go in via the other side of the car. I was worried I wouldn't be able to squeeze my pregnant belly into my driver's side. Somehow I managed--quite uncomfortably (it would have been quite uncomfortable crawling over my console, too).

At that point, I called ELC--livid at how oblivious and RUDE people are--because, seriously--wouldn't this world be just a bit better if we all were more considerate of others? With her encouragement, I decided I would leave them a note on their windshield. I have honestly never done this before. Don't mess with a pregnant woman that needs to use the bathroom after her Grande Decaf Latte. My next issue/problem? I didn't have any paper. My alternative? The Bounty paper towels I keep in my car. After I wrote them a somewhat scathing note (though I did conclude with a "I hope you have a GREAT day."), I felt better and headed home.

The icing on the cake for this week? McDonald's has upped their prices! (I go to McDonald's twice a week--on Little Leighton's school days--for breakfast.) I'm telling you, Friends, it can only go up from here. Right? Sheesh.

May your parking spaces be spatial and your Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuits yummy (and cheap)!

TTFN.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Crazy Chickens, Chalk Art and a Toddler's Curiosity...

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I met TLC and Little Leighton (LL) in Fort Worth yesterday morning to go to the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo. (Except we didn’t do the Rodeo.) We took LL last year and she LOVED it! It was a successful repeat this year.


Here she is having her picture made with three hilarious baby goats. One of them sure did want to eat her bow! Fortunately, she didn’t know this until we’d left. I have no doubt it would have completely freaked her out and the experience wouldn’t have been as much fun. Trust me.


And here are the three of us gals—posing for MSH—outside of the restrooms. We seem to visit these quite a lot—if With-Child-TLC is with us. Bless her pregnant little heart. Baby Elle is not evident in this picture as TLC edits any pictures that show her "expansion" in a way she doesn't like. Truth. (She will be here before we can blink...more TRUTH.)


This was taken in the Children’s Farmyard Barn. The chickens (which were located right outside the actual "Barn" and there could have been a rooster or two—I’m not quite certain about that…) were beautiful! Silly. Loud. Pa-Pa kept making chicken noises. LL was telling him he needed to “Stop, Silly Pa-Pa!"

Inside the Barn, LL got to watch new baby chicks being hatched. A humongous—and I am not exaggerating when I use the term HUMONGOUS—Mama Pig was feeding her five baby pigs. A Zebu cow and calf (Zebus being the smallest cows in the world—apparently) looked at all of us like they might be wishing they were somewhere else. A big old Tom Turkey had feathers that were in full display and gobbled up a storm. Finally, we saw several kinds of rabbits. There was a Lop (?) that weighed, no kidding, at least 50 pounts. Easily. LL had a blast!

We then made our way to the Horse Barn and Arena, where we watched some “ranch horses” competing for the top prize in their division. Amazing animals. Simply amazing.

We had a lovely lunch (prepared by moi and which was 100% gluten-free) at the Roundup Inn—outside of a huge Exhibit Hall. We even had quite attractive "Texas" paper plates. I'm nothing if not fancy.


The Stock Show Day was capped off for LL with a trip up an escalator with MSH/Pa-Pa. Something LL really doesn’t do all that often. Despite her Mama's MANY trips with her to their local Mall.

It was an exquisite memory—weather-wise. Perfection. The best part? MSH and I got to bring LL home with us for two nights at our country casa. Woo Hoo and YIPPEE! She’s been a doll. Of course. Winky. Wink. 

We spent some time outside late yesterday afternoon. Putting birdseed into our feeders and watching our many different kinds of birds (mostly Cardinals!) do Happy Dances when they realized they had tons o’ upcoming meals. We did chalk art on our driveway and walked around in the sun—enjoying every last minute of daylight. Which was good. Because today it’s windy and YUCKY. We did get outside for about 30 minutes, this morning, to ride the Ranger. LL NEEDS to do this as often as possible. Pa-Pa drives us around our place and we look for buzzards and armadillos. We also enjoy watching our neighbor’s cows and another neighbor’s pretty white horse we named Snowball a year ago. This trip involved coats, hats and a blanket.



When we came back in the casa—before lunch—Buddy Boo Bear ended up with his head on LL’s pillow. He often hangs out with her as she plays in “her” room. However, once LL saw what was happening, she told him he really needed to move along. She didn’t want his hair and slobber on her pillow. He complied. He is just that wonderful of a dog. Truly.

We’ll be sad when we have to get up tomorrow morning and head East to take LL home. All good things, unfortunately, have to come to an end. WHY? We’re actually going to be able to see her the next TWO weekends. We already cannot wait!

Hope each of Y’all are having a good, happy, safe weekend—wherever in the World you are!
God bless and be with you…always.

p.s.: Speaking of God: While we were on our Ranger Adventure, LL, out of the complete blue, looked at me and asked:

LL: Grammy, where was I when Mom and Dad got married?

ELC: Well, they were thinking about you. (Best I could do on such short notice.)

LL: But where was I? (She's an insistent child. Very.)

ELC: You were with God and Jesus—waiting to come meet all of us!

LL: (after thinking about this for a few seconds) And then I was in Mama’s tummy and then I was born!

Yes, LL, I thought. Yes, you were born. To our amazement and utter JOY. I smiled at her and said: "Isn't that awesome?" She smiled back.

Three and a half. On her way to being like her Mama—an old soul in a young little body.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Round Two...Sigh...

I am sick. Again. Not as bad this time. But I’ve been at home, mostly in bed or on the couch, since this past Friday Eve. My Sweet Hubby (MSH), who seemed to avoid this annoying illness when we all had it (TLC, Little Leighton, TLC’s Hubby and moi), started feeling bad last Monday night. So he’s going on a week of yuck. He’s been more sick than any of the rest of us were/are.

I haven’t felt as bad as I did (less than) a month ago (and for pert near three weeks). But I’ve been paranoid, each day, I could get worse—especially as I’ve watched MSH become more and more and MORE miserable.

As always happens when I’m house-bound, I got caught up on DVRed shows. Woo Hoo! One of the shows I fell in love with? Angel from Hell, starring Jane Lynch. It’s on Thursday nights/CBS. I missed the second one—which would have been last week. I thought I had the series recorded. I discovered I didn’t have it set that way. I’ve fixed that problem and I’ll be looking forward to watching it Thursday.

Now, I did see a review by the Los Angeles Times that was quite mean. (I'm not a follower of the Times...just Googled the show and saw it.) The person writing the critique did not like it. I also noticed an article calling this show “anti-Christian.” That it was, actually, “making fun of Christianity.” When I read reviews like these two? I get quite confused. Seriously. I only watched it as the clever, semi-unique, FUNNY comedy that I believe it to be. Yes, of course, I understand that we all aren’t going to like the same television shows, movies, books, music or art. In fact, I’m suspicious I’ve recommended television shows, movies and books, in the past, that y’all may have disliked. Or (Oops) hated? You may have even asked yourselves: “What is wrong with ELC? She must be one brick shy of a full load.” Thank goodness for the difference in taste, right? Viva La Difference!

Update on my post entitled…We Interrupt Our Nostalgia…dated November 11, 2015:

If you didn’t read it, you won’t really get this update. I’m just sayin’. You might consider skippin' on over to it so you can catch up on the story about my Sonic “Carhop Gal!” BECAUSE…I just saw her a couple of hours ago! I had to run into town to pick up an antibiotic for MSH (given to him with kindness from his doctor who knows MSH gets this annoying cruddy crud—colds, the flu, allergy issues—every year around this time). Anyway, I made a stop for my “wine” (aka My VCZ—aka Vanilla Coke Zero) at the Sonic Happy Hour and, low and behold, who skated out and up to my car to bring it to me? Carhop Gal (CG)!!!

CG looked at me with her infectious smile and immediately said: “Hi! I haven’t seen you in a while!” To which I replied: “I know! It has been several weeks.” To which she stated: “Well, I went home for the Christmas Break.” Our town has a Getting-Bigger-And-Bigger-Each-Year State University (MSH, TLC and I all graduated from said University.). CG clearly is a student there. This encounter made my day. Bless her sweet, happy, precious heart!

I must scoot. (Try to be strong.) MSH and I plan to watch the Big College Game between Clemson and Alabama that will be on the telly soon. We’re for Clemson. We have no reason on this Earth to be for them. We just are. (In the end, if it’s a good game and everyone played nice and fair, we’ll actually be happy for either team. That’s kind of the way we roll when we don’t have dogs in the hunt.)

Hope Y’all are not sick. It ain't fun.

Hugs! (Only hugs today—no smooches. I might be contagious…Winky. Wink.)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

My (Semi) New Home-Away-From-Home...

I went North-ish East-ish on Tuesday morn to visit My Gals! Little Leighton (LL) was getting quite bored with pre-school not starting back, from Christmas vacation, until yesterday. TLC was getting a teensy-bit punchy and finds she gets a lot done when I can keep a watchful eye on LL.

TLC’s home was back to “normal”—she’d put all their Christmas decorations up. Her house looked lovely. Peaceful. Cozy.

LL was to take a nap at 1:40-ish and then, when she woke, I was going to help her ride her tricycle. After she had a snack that involved a Hershey’s “kiss.” (These are gluten-free—YIPPEE!) She, unfortunately, was a wiggle wart—unable to calm down enough to sleep. At 2:15, this Grammy Nanny gave up the cause. Of course, LL knows I’ll throw in the towel. But she seemed tres shocked when she discovered, via her Mama, that she truly wasn’t getting a “kiss.” Shocked and heartbroken. I’m a pushover for 90% of the things she wants to eat/do/play/color/etc. I don’t budge on our “Nap Negotiations.” For some odd reason, LL hasn’t grasped that yet. She did have some pretzels and eight candy corns. (It was supposed to be five. I talked TLC into three more for LL. Bless LL's sad little soul.)

Once LL (finally—this toot is a turtle when it comes to eating) finished her snack, we put our jackets and tennies on and went out to the front yard and sidewalk to ride! This is her second tricycle. She outgrew her first one FAST. This one has been at my casa. She hasn’t ridden it more than a couple of times in the past three months. She has some practicing to do. Grammy Nanny bent over for the length of four homes/driveways until I had to tell her I couldn’t do much more of that. I’m close to 62. I’ve had a bad back for twenty years and horrible knees for three years. I do what I can until I can’t any longer. Twenty minutes in, we returned to their house and promptly went out into their backyard. Where we jogged back and forth. In a race. For approximately fifteen more minutes of fresh air and exercise. LL declared herself the winner every single race. I made her accept that, for the last race, we actually tied. She was (reluctantly and skeptically) gracious. As gracious as a 3-year-old can be.

I was beyond happy this trip, as TLC finished “My Guest Room.” It has nothing new in it. Everything was in the first guest room or in some other part of TLC’s home. The room itself is twice as big as my last one and has a fabulous powder room, with a shower (I’m not a bath person), attached to it. Here’s what half of My Guest Room looks like:



And here’s a picture of what I cherish and adore about TLC:


While I was bathing LL and getting her ready for bed Tuesday night, TLC was preparing my room/nightstand. With the two little chocolates, a bottle of water and my sheets turned down. It was a fun surprise and as comfy/fancy as any 4 to 5-star hotel I’ve ever been lucky to stay in while traveling with My Sweet Hubby (MSH).  Please don’t misunderstand—I’ve stayed at maybe five of these Lifestyles-of-the-Rich-and-Famous hotels. In the past 38-ish years. Haven’t stayed in one—and probably won’t ever again—in the past six or seven years. (However, there’s always the chance I might win the $650 million dollar Powerball Lottery Wednesday, right? Got my $3 ticket today. If I win, I promise I’ll be staying at a few more “royal” hotels. Yes. Yes, I will. Indeed. I'll be treating many, MANY of my family members and friends, too, to some luxury treats. Why not?)

I got back home yesterday evening—missing My Girls (including Baby Elle--she'll be here SOON!) the moment I drove away from TLC’s driveway. MSH has a horrible cold. He’s felt bad since Monday. I'm doing my best to stay clear of his germs. This afternoon, I had a much-needed lunch/therapy session with Sunny.  I’m now in my jammies and about to settle in to my place on our davenport for a night of television. My goal for the next six days will be to get 7,000 steps, per day, logged into my Fitbit. I’m staying between 5800 and 6400, at this point, and I need to bump my goal up up UP! (Yes. I do know they recommend 10,000 steps per day. Yikes. I have confidence I'll get there. I will!)

I hope each of Y’all has a Wonderful Weekend—wherever in the World you are! Stay safe and JOYFUL, okie-dokie?

Smooches and Hugs…

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Christmas Favourites--Vol. Two (of Two!)

Well, we finally put up the last of the Christmas decorations today. My house looks naked, and I'm a bit melancholy. We did also work on Baby Elle's nursery--which cheered me up! It's coming right along--though still a complete mess. It's hard "decorating" with a three-year-old "assistant." Bless her heart--she's so funny. When I unpacked a tub of Little Leighton's baby clothes, I noticed quite a few had yellow stains around the collars. Apparently this is very common. Pinterest has many, many links to tips on how to get the pesky stains out--most all recommend Oxiclean. So, I gathered up all of the jammies, onesies, bibs and burp cloths, filled up my tub with hot water and several ginormous scoops of the "miracle worker" and dumped them in to soak all day (and subsequently all night now, as I'm just too tired to transfer them to my washing machine). LL was fascinated. She said, "Clothes don't take baths, Mom!" And then proceeded to "watch" them for five solid minutes.

We truly did have a fabulous Christmas. It's amazing to see the difference in LL's excitement this year versus last. She "gets" it all now and loves every. single. second. It makes my heart sing with merriment! I was quite spoiled this year, too, and received some lovely gifts.

From My Two Girls, Hubby and Henry: I opened up the prettiest blue and wine-colored wool scarf from J. Crew and an AMAZING spa gift certificate I'm so thrilled to use ASAP. It's actually a "pregnancy spa" here in the Metroplex, and I know it will be fabulous. I think I'll be booking my package within the next couple of weeks. This ol' gal needs some pampering--pronto!

From ELC and My Sweet Dad: They really surprised me this year! They always have several tricks up their sleeves, and this year was absolutely no exception.


The baking dish on the left is actually part of a set (the other is a bit larger and a beautiful turquoise blue) from the Pioneer Woman's new line at Walmart. I'm simply obsessed with it all and am slowly acquiring quite the collection. I had been eyeing these bakers for awhile now--and had sadly mentioned to ELC (several months ago) that they were sold out in stores AND online. You can imagine my surprise when I opened them up on Christmas Day!

As for the "cookie jar" on the right--this had actually been on my Pinterest "Wish List" board. I was tired of leaving my cookies in an unattractive Tupperware container on my counter. I wanted something fancier! This is from Pier 1--and, ironically, I tried to purchase it for myself the week before Christmas when I went to my local store, but they were sold out! I had told ELC I was going to pop in Pier 1 that day, and she later confessed she had been so worried I would buy it for myself!

I simply cannot believe it is already 2016. The past year was full of many wonderful moments but also came with quite a lot of heartache, too. We cannot wait for a fresh start and the joy this new year will bring to our family. Here's to lots of happiness, health and grace in 2016!