Sunday, February 28, 2016

Monica and Little Leighton Sugarbaker...


Two of TLC’s and my all-time favourite shows were/are Friends and Designing Women. In our humble opinions? Both BRILLIANT. We looked forward to every single episode. For years. We put many on VHS tapes—which are still over in our Barn loft. We bought the boxed DVD video set of all of the Friends’ seasons. (If there are DVDs for Designing Women —I’ve not seen them yet. I will own them!) When we find episodes on our televisions? We watch them with sheer excitement. They never ever EVER get old.

So here’s what I’m going to confess, Y’all:

TLC is Monica. 1000%. Obsessive-Compulsive about so many things. Pretty. Witty. Charming. And a great cook! (TLC would never allow me to call her a Chef—although I’m not kidding Y’all—she could/should have a cooking show. Seriously.)

Little Leighton (LL)? She is 1000% Suzanne Sugarbaker. Beautiful. Funny. (Although LL has no clue she’s quite the comedienne.) A teensy-weensy-itty-bitty bit  MANIPULATIVE. (Is this because LL is a toddler? Or is this going to be her personality? We shiver at the possibility this character trait is permanent. Yikes.)

There was an episode of Designing Women where Julia and Suzanne’s brother’s daughters came to Atlanta to visit their aunts. Julie and Suzanne hadn’t seen them for several years. When they arrived at Julia’s home—from the airport—Suzanne, who had picked them up, was carrying the younger niece’s luggage. The niece told her she was sorry she couldn’t carry her own luggage but she’d pinched a nerve in her back on the long flight. Suzanne replied that it was okay. She usually had a bad back. She’d not mentioned it fast enough!

When LL doesn’t want to do something? She suddenly can’t walk. She’s too tired. A couple of weeks ago, while coloring, TLC asked her to help put her colors and books up. She told TLC she couldn’t. (With lots o’ dramatic flair.) Her fingers were “too tired and sore.” She’s 3 ½ years old, Folks. Sigh.

Our Two Sweet Peas came to see us this past Wednesday afternoon. TLC had a cut and color Thursday morn with Kit. She’d planned to go home on Saturday morning. Thursday night—actually Friday at 2:00 a.m.—TLC woke me up to say she was really, REALLY sick. I won’t go into all of her symptoms. Trust me when I share she was BBAAADDDD sick. She didn’t think she was in labor. However, I was beyond petrified she could be. She was two hours from her doctor and hospital. We are twenty minutes from our hospital—if we needed to take her to the ER. AND—I knew My Sweet Hubby (MSH) would have to cart her there—as I’d need to care for LL. All of our answer options seemed frightening. “I don’t know nothin’ about birthin’ no babies.” That kept going through my mind.

It was a rough almost 36 hours at our country casa. TLC received an email, late Friday afternoon, from LL’s pre-school telling the parents there was a bad (DUH.) bug going around. Lots of teachers and kids had been hit. They’d be disinfecting the school over the weekend. TLC’s precious neighbor—whose two daughters go to the same school (she was actually the person who had recommended this amazing school when TLC et al had moved to their new house)—had posted on FB Friday afternoon they’d all been extremely ill. MSH had felt bad Wednesday (before TLC and LL arrived) and Thursday. (He keeps saying he must have gotten it from TLC. Timeline, MSH. Timeline. If anything, you gave it to TLC. Except you probably didn’t. It seems to be in many areas of Texas, at this point.)

Thank You, Lord God Almighty, LL and I (hopefully) didn’t get the bug. HOPEFULLY. We played and played and played.

TLC and LL stayed last night and left this morning for home. I’m happy HAPPY that, in the event TLC does actually go into an early labor, she’s now close to her medical peeps. Whew!

(I’ve got a few pictures to post, soon, of LL’s stay with Grammy and Pa-Pa. I’ll try not to be too obnoxious. Promise. Humour me.)

I’ll close with the prayer that each of Y’all have had a GLORIOUS weekend—full of good health (not a “wicked” bug—this is what My Dear Friend Drew called it as she, also, was sick recently for two long days with something evil) and happiness!

smooches and hugs,

ELC

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Do The Biscuit Hop...Hop, Hop, Hop!

Little Leighton (LL aka Biscuit) gets more grownup each time I see her. Makes me proud. Makes me sad. She constantly amazes me. Last week, as I visited her at her casa, and as we read our books before bed, she told me: “I literally couldn’t believe that, Grammy!” Except she pronounced “literally” like this: liter-a-we. (She can say “Ls” now—but she has to be reminded to do this. Using a “W” still comes more naturally to her...)

When I realized what word she was using (it took me a teensy bit), I asked: “Do you know what that word means, Biscuit?” She looked at me for a few seconds, giggled and changed the subject. She used it properly—so I suspect she has some idea when and how to use it. She’ll be four years old in July!

During her last visit to our country home (the day after we visited Fossil Rim), she asked if we could play “Hopscotch” out on the driveway. I’d drawn a hopscotch “court” for her a few months ago and tried to explain it to her. Trust me, This Old Gal can NOT hop. Under no circumstances can I hop. Or skip. Period. However, I gave her the basic idea of how to do it. We hadn’t talked about it since then.



As I began drawing, Biscuit, looking hopeful, asked: “Can I help you do that, Grammy?” “Sure,” I replied, enthusiastically! This first picture shows how she drew the top part of the Hopscotch court—in a different place! Bless her precious, PRECIOUS heart. I had no intention of telling her she’d done it wrong.  

Once she started “hopping (second picture),” she simply skipped/jumped over to the right! No big deal. No problemo. Easy/Peasy for Princess Biscuit. She may be a child that doesn’t always intend to follow everyone else’s “rules.” Her Mama often wanted to make up her own—so I’m not too terribly surprised. Winky. Wink.

BTW: My Sweet Hubby (MSH) was outside with us during the Hopscotch Event. He shared with me what he remembered the “rules” to be. They were nothing like my recollection. Not a smidge. I’ll be Googling soon to see if either one of us was even remotely close to actually explaining it to LL accurately!

LL, TLC and Baby Elle will be here manana for two to three nights. (Time for Kit to do TLC’s cut and color. Yippee!) I have a feeling we’ll be drawing a new Hopscotch court—weather permitting…

ta-ta for now, Silly Friends…

Sunday, February 21, 2016

I Love...

For Valentine's Day this year, we gave Little Leighton a book called "Peppa Pig and the I Love You Game." It's cute. Peppa and her family list all the people and things they love. So, tonight, I decided I would quickly list (in no particular order) a few things I'm currently loving. Yes, most of these are food. I'm a few days shy of nine months' pregnant, so my world revolves around food.

I love...

Those DAMN Cadbury Mini Eggs. I cannot keep them in my house any longer.

Thin Mints. I ate an entire box and a half by myself. I have no shame.

Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuits. I still love them. So much. So much.

Caffe Verona whole bean coffee from Starbucks. I gave My Hubby a bag for Valentine's Day, but I've been benefiting every morning since!

Cara Cara Oranges. These are delightful and healthy. Go, me!

Discovering how to delete music off my phone--finally. It was utterly ridiculous that we were forced to have that U2 album, Apple! (Not that I don't like a lot of their tunes.)

A packed hospital bag for Baby Elle. It's getting real--really fast. The car seat will be installed later this week and I hope to have my bag packed by next weekend. I'm trying to put it out into the Universe that the baby should (SAFELY) come a smidge early.

The return of Grey's Anatomy. I don't understand the extremely long winter break. I'm hugely glad it's back.

Finally, my upcoming cut and color. My roots are insane and I plan to chop at least four inches off. I cannot wait!

I hope y'all have had a LOVELY weekend and that the week ahead proves even lovelier!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Tots...Trunk Shows...and Tears...


Guess what I just did? Filled up my med box. Dang. The past seven days are gone. Over. Done. Sheesh.

Today was one of those Thursdays (or any-day-of-the-week-actually) when nothing much went as planned. I must say I am typically pretty flexible—much MUCH more than My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and, possibly, TLC. Now I’m not saying I’m always sweet and happy and perky when a curve ball is thrown at me and my plans go awry. No. I can be quite sassy. Feisty. Cranky. During those times of unexpected interruptions. But today, when things went South after 1:00 p.m., I did my best to adjust.

I had a doctor’s appointment this morning. I’m not sick. This was a follow-up for one medical issue and my need to discuss another with the woman who has been my family physician for about twelve years. I love her. I truly do. We had a good session and she helped me figure out a plan. (I like being mysterious—occasionally. Trust me—it’s not anything super serious.)

Then I ran a couple of quick errands before meeting Sunny at the Hellmart parking lot. We’d planned to take my car and could go to a Sonic for a fast lunch. We do Sonic maybe once every three or four years! She wanted one of my “wines”—Coke Zero with vanilla. I cherish her for that. And for many millions of other things.

After our small burger, small tots and VCZs, we went to a Trunk Show at a CUTE little local Boutique (and beauty salon—in the back!). The owner of this charming shop is a friend of Sunny’s and mine. She is a HOOT.

A complete SURPRISE awaited me! The Trunk Show lady helped her Mama babysit TLC thirty years ago! I didn’t recognize Cookie—because it’s probably been that long since I’ve seen her. She didn’t recognize me, either. But once we knew who the other was? FUN MEMORIES. Fun stories. Lots of catching up. I couldn’t believe she’s about to be a grandmother, too! She looked entirely too young—and MARVELOUS. Her jewelry and trinkets? FABULOUS.

While I was in town, MSH was dealing with an on-going issue at our casa by phone and emails. He took a quick break to have lunch with two of his friends—but called me—at about 12:45—to come home ASAP. We needed to work together on the issue. (Yes. I realize this is another mystery. Hopefully I can share it with Y’all someday. Right now? It’s stressful. It’s wrong. It’s unfair. It’s often been what I call a “SPECIAL HELL.” Suffice it to say I’ve prayed constantly for the past two years about this and still haven’t figured out when a solution is going to come. Sigh. As TLC says: It is what it is.)

MSH and I went BACK to town mid-afternoon. To vote. We’re grateful to be Americans and to have the privilege of expressing our feelings, values and opinions at the polls. PLUS—the process—in a small town? Downright simple. It took us about seven minutes to get out of my car at the Courthouse, vote, and head home.

Once we got back, we had more typing/emailing to do. I had laundry. Etc. I sat down an hour ago and watched Grey’s Anatomy. I haven’t missed a season or show yet and hope I never have to. Fortunately, I needed a satisfying cry—so that worked out for moi.

Tomorrow I go for a one-night visit to TLC and Biscuit’s casa. TLC’s Hubby will be out of town and I’m the Babysitter. (I just saw them Monday and Tuesday—yet I cannot wait to see them again.)

I send my love to Y'all and hope you each have a Fantastic Friday and Wonderful Weekend!

Be safe. Be wise. Be HAPPY. Be kind. BE YOU!

smooch!

Monday, February 15, 2016

Second Stage Watch!

This past Saturday, My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I spent a few hours doing some shopping/ratkilling/dining in Weatherford. Lunch at a fun new (new to us) restaurant calledVintage. Charming and Delish! Our last stop before Vintage was to a Lowe’s to buy a couple of pots for Our Hope Tree. We felt like it was time to get it out of the styrofoam cup and into something larger.


We bought two pots—this one—and one (same pot, color, etc.) a little larger. For future expansion! We also bought some new potting soil. (Although, ironically, MSH used very, VERY old potting soil he’d found over at our Barn—not dirt from our garden as I had previously reported—and this little tree seemed to like it just fine. Winky. Wink.)

Now begins our Second Stage Watch! Please send good thoughts and prayers our way—from wherever in the World you are—to our Sweet Hope Tree in North Central Texas! I need this little miracle tree to keep growing. I truly do.

Have a Wonderful Week, Sillies!

smooches and hugs...

Friday, February 12, 2016

WILD!

Last week, My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I were beyond lucky—we got to keep Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) for THREE nights! We picked her up from TLC in Colleyville last Thursday morn and took her back—to the same meeting place—on Sunday.

We’d decided that, weather permitting, we’d take Biscuit to Fossil Rim Wildlife Center on Friday morning. Y’all should check out this link: www.fossilrim.orgThis place is AMAZING/AWESOME/MARVELOUS. Our family has had the good fortune to visit it many, many times in the past thirty years, as it’s less than an hour from our casa. (And…it’s a BEAUTIFUL drive.)

TLC gave us permission to let Biscuit get out of her carseat only as we traveled through the park. (The speed limit is 15 mph and everyone is always (well, 98.8% of the time!) respectful of and to the vehicles in front or behind him. Actually, we only saw five other cars/trucks the entire time we were there.)

Biscuit, like most toddlers (and, for that matter, adults!), LOVES animals. She’s been to a zoo once—almost two years ago. She doesn’t have much of a memory of it. Fossil Rim is a different (I know there are many, many drive-thru wildlife parks in Texas and around the U. S., but I believe Fossil Rim is exta-special!) and truly special experience. IMHO.

When MSH paid our entry fee (I will admit the entry fees might be considered a bit pricey—but completely and totally worth every penny you spend. Plus, I found a coupon on-line that got LL in for free with an adult ticket purchased.) You’re allowed to buy one sack of feed. It’s $10. I believe it’s worth it—because a lot of the animals will come right up to your vehicle and eat out of your hands or right there at your car/truck.

The lady that sold MSH the entry tickets said she wasn’t sure we’d see the giraffes. Because it was a bit nippy that morning. (It was only going to reach a high in the mid-50s that day—it never got to 50 degrees the entire time we were there.)

When you first head out on the tour, you see several HUGE buffalos. I cannot emphasize HUGE enough. Then, as you head into the park, you see a lot of deer, gazelles, and emus. I don’t know how many species of animals are represented—they give you a brochure that has all of them and I sent it home with Biscuit. Seems like it’s somewhere around 25.

Many years ago, when Fossil Rim first opened and we took our kids every other to every three years, the ostriches were VERY aggressive. They wanted food. They’d come right up to your vehicle. If your windows weren’t down? They’d peck at them. They’d stick their heads into your vehicle in a scary, fast way! This trip, we only saw one ostrich. Not sure why—unless they’ve had some issues with these birds’ behaviors and they’ve culled the numbers down.

We were halfway through the first part of the drive (you reach the Overlook, Café, Gift Shop and Children’s Petting Area at the midpoint of the tour) when we saw our first giraffe!



When that vehicle was ready to move on, he confidently came over to our truck! He was sooo sweet and friendly—not one ounce worried about sticking his big head into the truck to get his food from my hands. Biscuit backed up as far as she could to the other side and watched with utter and complete awe. (Eventually, we saw six giraffes.)


We got tickled at this little deer. He/she was quite curious! Many of the animals have no fear. None. Zilch. Zero.

At the midpoint, we went into the gift shop and treated Biscuit to a little giraffe we named “Gertie” and a t-shirt. I had packed a gluten-free lunch for her, which we ate in the Café. (They had signs everywhere saying no outside food or drink—but I’d called and told them she had to eat what I fixed her because she has Celiac. They were tres nice about that. We did buy some of their food and it was good.)


It was really too windy and cold to go over to the Children’s Petting Place—so we proceeded on to the rest of the tour. Biscuit got to see several zebras—which she LOVES—even though they were too lazy and comfy to get up and come over to get our food…


six cheetahs (my pictures of them didn’t turn out great because they weren’t moving around in their large, fenced area—all six were enjoying the warmth of the sun—some were behind big rocks)—

some huge rams (oops...no pictures of those)—and


two rhinos!

It was a memorable trip all three of us thoroughly enjoyed... 

If you live anywhere around the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex—or plan to make a trip to this area of Texas at some point in your future—I highly recommend a visit to Fossil Rim! They have a lodge—cabins—and many different options/programs you can enjoy. I’ve had a goal—for at least three years—of spending a couple of nights in one of the cabins and going on behind-the-scenes tours of the ranch! Bucket List stuff. (Two more places I have on my Bucket List: The Wildcatter Ranch in Graham, Texas, and the Doves’ Rest Cabins on the edge of Big Bend in far southwest Texas. Sigh.)

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

ta-ta for now…

ELC

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Hope Tree...

A couple of weeks before this past Christmas Day, My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I were leaving TLC’s casa one afternoon and decided to stop at Market Street for a few grocery items. MSH LOVES this grocery store. With all of his heart. (We don’t have one in our little country town—or Granbury—or Weatherford—or even Ft. Worth.) As we parked close to a tree, he noticed an acorn/pod on the ground near his truck. He reached down to pick it up while saying to me: Wouldn’t it be cool if we got this pod to take root? Always the one to enjoy a good experiment, I agreed it would be interesting! So he did. Pick it up.

When we got home that afternoon, MSH found a Styrofoam cup, punched a small hole in the bottom, and placed the pod in the cup, with dirt from our garden. He then put the cup into a coffee mug and set it in a corner of our kitchen. He thought it should be a dark-ish corner. We gave it water every few days—and began our quest to see growth.

At the beginning of this New Year, we moved the cup to our kitchen island. At this location, it’d get some filtered light. We waited. Nothing happened. In the middle of January, I moved it to my utility room window. Here it would get the late afternoon sun. Not too much, as we have an arbor on our back patio that prevents the hot, hot sunlight from getting to the back of our casa. We waited.

Three weeks ago, as I took the cup down from the windowsill to give it some water, I prayed this prayer:

Dear God Almighty,

We could use a sign of optimism. Hope. We could use an event that would restore our faith in small miracles. And I would love for my Nana Leighton to signal me she’s here—with me. That she knows my struggles and will help me to be strong. PLEASE let this pod/acorn grow in this cup. PLEASE.

In Your Son Jesus’ Name, I pray.

Amen.

On January 30th, I was taking a load of laundry out of the washer and putting it in the dryer when I realized the cup might need a bit of water. MSH had talked about the fact that our experiment was, more than likely, not going to work. As I picked the cup up, my heart SOARED with complete and utter JOY. There was a sprout! A precious, sweet, teeny, tiny sprout!



I went running into the kitchen to show MSH. He beamed from ear to ear! I then told him about my prayer. We almost cried.

Here are two more pictures of our future tree. The third I took late this morning. Now we’re not exactly sure what to do! We have decided we’ll give this little “Hope” tree to Little Leighton and Baby Elle. To plant in their backyard. Since it is from their “home” town.





I challenge each of Y’all to plan an experiment in the next few weeks! Attempt to grow something marvelous. Or see if you can encourage someone without them knowing who is behind the gesture. Have faith. Ask for God’s help. BELIEVE.

I pray Y’all have a FANTASTIC week, wherever in the World you are…

ta-ta for now…

p.s.: My Nana Leighton was a very gifted Gardener. She loved to grow things and sincerely possessed a “Green Thumb.” Pansies were her most favourite flower. She also had several African violets she was nurturing at all times. Then there’s her granddaughter—moi. My thumb? Hmmm. It’s kind of pale green. I never cared about gardening until I hit my 40s. I have some specialties I can grow—I guess. Periwinkles. Begonias. Ivy. Caladiums. I cannot, for the life of me, grow a petunia. No how/no way. Because I’ve lost money—over the years—when I try out new flowers, I’ve become unadventurous in my plantings. Also, the EVIL armadillos we have here in Texas and, specifically, at our casa, prevent me from planting flowers in the actual ground of our garden. I have to keep my efforts contained in pots. I positively, absolutely believe My Nana smiled and maybe got a teeny tear in her eye when she saw I’d discovered the new sprout. I believe she’s My Guardian Angel and I hope she’s proud of me. I couldn’t have survived what was my childhood and teen years without My Nana. Truly.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

i know...i know...here's my one post per month...i'm sorry, ELC!

So, bless ELC's heart. I sincerely have the most amazing Mom. She truly has taken care of our blog virtually by herself for MONTHS. This pregnancy has been a doozy. I probably would have said that about my pregnancy with Little Leighton--but this time: wow. I seriously mean it. I have several more weeks to go and cannot imagine how this little baby has any more room in there to grow. I'm plagued with restless sleep, crazy muscle aches and general discomfort. I moan and groan. I literally caught Little Leighton  (LL) doing the same things the other day when she was getting down from our couch. Oops. My pain tolerance is what one might consider insanely low. When I was in labor with LL, and not even dilated, my famous line, while impatiently waiting for the epidural to kick in, was: "I. Am. Over. This." (Said not so kindly.)

I feel more prepared this time. At least, I think I do. The nursery is finished, and I couldn't be more pleased with the little "gallery wall" I assembled over her changing table:


Several of the pictures were used in LL's nursery (and before that--MY nursery!). ELC and I found the "Though She Be But Little" picture at a cute store downtown, as well as the "Sid Dickens" block of the sweet baby. I ordered the embroidery hoop from Etsy (what did we do before Etsy? and Pinterest?). I've washed and washed and soaked, in Oxiclean (no matter how clean the tiny clothes from your first baby are when you pack them away, they inevitably yellow; however, Oxiclean is magic!), and washed again all the jammies, socks, blankets and burp cloths. Really--the only jobs I have left to do are packing our hospital bags, installing the monitor and sanitizing bottles, pump parts and pacifiers. I'm in good shape, right? I do have a sleep book I should be reading when I'm not sleeping. Sheesh.

We are all getting genuinely excited for Baby Elle's arrival! And maybe a smidge nervous. LL keeps asking what we think she'll look like. I can't wait to see. I'm betting we might have a LL twin.

Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

A Simple Remedy...

From Jesus Calling

February 3, 2016

I am with you and for you. You face nothing alone—nothing. When you feel anxious, know that you are focusing on the visible world and leaving Me out of the picture. The remedy is simple: Fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. Verbalize your trust in Me, the Living One who sees you always. I will get you safely through this day and all your days. But you can find Me only in the present. Each day is a precious gift from My Father. How ridiculous to grasp for future gifts when today’s is set before you! Receive today’s gift gratefully, unwrapping it tenderly and delving into its depths. As you savor this gift, you find Me.

Romans 8:31; 2 Corinthians 4:18; Genesis 16:13-14 AMP

TLC and I needed this today. We need Jesus Christ Our Savior every day. Sometimes we’re, sadly, guilty of putting him on the back burner. On those (too many) days, we try to remind each other to pick up our Jesus Calling and read it. Think about it. Feel it. Trust Him.

Have a Wonderful Wednesday, Sweet Friends...