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Thursday, April 28, 2016

stumbles...tumbles...and paper clips...

Texas weather. Sheesh. This time of year? So unstable. So inconsistent. So FRUSTRATING.

I was to go Northeast, to TLC’s casa, this past Monday. Stay with her, Little Leighton (aka Biscuit aka LL), and Baby Elle until Wednesday. But last week—as early as Wednesday—the Dallas/Ft. Worth Weather Peeps were telling us there could be BAD STUFF (not their technical meteorological term, of course) that could occur Tuesday—(April 26th).

Since Baby Elle is a teensy bit confused on nights and days, still, I told TLC Saturday morning I’d come give her and Her Hubby (HH) help. I’d stay until Tuesday at noon—heading back before the BAD STUFF arrived in our area.

Things went quite well for this Grammy Nanny and Her Girls (and HH). Baby Elle decided to show off for me and, for two nights in a row, slept for five straight hours! Heaven for TLC and HH. (My room, as y’all may recall, is upstairs off of the playroom. I rarely hear anything or anyone when I’m in bed. Which is, honestly, not bad. Winky. Wink.)

LL and I had lots o’ fun (she’s my “major” duty—at this point). TLC and HH got a little work done. Got some ZZZs. Life was good. Then... Yes, there is, sadly, a “then."

Late Tuesday morn, around 10:30 a.m., after we’d (The Four of Us Gals) had a fabulous morning, I was upstairs with Biscuit—getting my room and bathroom straightened and cleaned and working with Biscuit on an “art project” for her Mom. LL and I started down the (nineteen) stairs to show TLC her “surprise.” My arms/hands were full of paraphernalia (I was trying not to have to make another trip upstairs before I left for home.). LL was talking to her Mom—who was in the kitchen:

LL: Close your eyes, Mama! Don’t peek! I have a BIG surprise for you! Are your eyes closed?

This was being said as we were both descending. Biscuit was in front of me. On the 5th stair, it happened. I watched as LL literally missed said stair completely and went tumbling down—fast! I started screaming. TLC started screaming (Info: You can see half of their stairs through a wrought-iron banister. So TLC heard me first—then saw LL as she got to the bannister area. LL stopped just as she got to the bottom stair—which is wood (eighteen of the stairs are carpeted—Thank the Lord Almighty…)—and before she hit the wood den floor.

TLC grabbed her up and ran to their couch. All three of us were now loudly crying. (Baby Elle was in TLC’s bedroom in her cradle—sleeping. She mostly slept through the trauma/drama.)

TLC forced herself to calm down and asked LL:

“What hurts? Can you move your neck? Toes? Fingers? Did you hit your head?”

We could both see LL’s knees were red—from carpet burns. I told TLC I didn’t believe LL ever actually hit her head. As she tumbled, she’d look at me—with eyes full of sheer terror and like she wished she could holler: HELP ME, GRAMMY. HELP ME.

We couldn’t feel any bumps/knots on LL’s head. Her eyes weren’t dilated. She could move everything. She finally quit crying.We didn’t think any bones were broken or that she had any sprains. She stood up and walked a few steps. TLC went to Biscuit’s room and got her Blankie (which was TLC’s!), Lovies, and special pillow. She set her up on the couch in the den, in order to let her watch ANYTHING she wanted on the TV and to keep an eye on her for a couple of hours--minimum.

Biscuit's Lesson #724: Don't talk while descending stairs. Ever. EVER. Watch your feet and the steps. Until you safely reach the bottom. Period.

I had planned to run to the grocery store for TLC for milk and a couple of other necessities before I left for my casa. We decided it’d be okay for me to go. The moment I got into my car, I called My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and blubbered all the way to Albertson's. To this very second, I can’t get the scene out of my mind. It was positively shocking/scary/terrible. I shiver when I see her horrified little brown eyes looking up at me as she tumbled out of control.

When TLC was almost 3, I stood by a trampoline she was on at a dear friend’s home. There were four other kids jumping and I was worried someone was going to get hurt. I was right. (It’s such a curse. Sigh.) It was TLC. She fell on her right ankle and broke it. We were in the ER in twenty minutes. It was New Year’s Day afternoon. I begged the doctor not to put her to sleep. He wanted to anesthetize her to put on a cast. He agreed to not require that. So, as we waited in the Lobby, we listened to tiny TLC scream—bloody murder—for about twenty minutes. Lots of tears and guilt later, I was grateful she’d made it without anesthesia.

TLC wore a cast for five weeks and didn’t have another accident until she was in second grade. On the third day of that new school year, she broke her right arm—falling from the monkey bars during recess. She wore that cast for five weeks, also. When it was removed, I vividly remember telling her: “You seem to be working your way up your body. PLEASE STOP breaking bones.” Thankfully, she had no more. Broken bones, that is.

Those experiences were tough. But Tuesday? LL’s fall? Spine-tingling for me. I have tears in my eyes, this afternoon, at what could have happened.

Biscuit continues to amaze me. Tickle me. Make me smile! She loves to play “office.” Her Dad has a home office and she’s watched him at work many, many times in her almost four years on this Earth. Tuesday morning she was “working” at her kitchen desk when she came over to me—three times—asking me to put a paper click on her “notes.” She’s obsessed with paper clips. Just can’t figure out how to work them! God love her adorable/precious/marvelous heart!

Hope y’all have had a Wonderful Week—with no stumbles or tumbles! If you have, in fact, stumbled or tumbled, I hope you got right back up and carried on…What else can we do?

Happy Friday Eve, Dear Friends…

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Silly Buddy Bear...

Last weekend, I walked outside to ask My Sweet Hubby (MSH) a question (he was grillin’…) and this is what I saw:

Oh, my, Teddy Buddy Boo Bear (TBBB): What ARE you doing?

MSH said he was checking for mice. Lovely. (Perhaps I've not really gone into the drama/sadness that was the disappearance of Morty last summer. I still cannot talk about it without crying. We've cussed and discussed, debated and pondered, at least once a week since that happened, as to whether or not to get another cat. More on that...later.) TBBB can hear the little Mickey creatures scurrying around under the kitchen/counter and feels it’s his job to assess the situation. Not really DO anything—just assess it. He apparently wants them all to understand he’s aware of their presence. That this country place and casa is HIS Kingdom. Don't really the mistake of believing they can mess with him.

He went back and forth between two openings for at least 30 minutes. MSH came inside—went back out—came back in—TBBB continued to do this. We finally talked him into coming back into the house.

As TLC calls MSH—and, occasionally, moi—TBBB is quite the Little Fruitcake.

(Am I upset that there might be many mice out there? Well, yes. I am. But this IS the country. There are lots of critters out there that disturb me—if I give it too much thought! As long as I don’t ever SEE a live little mouse—or rat—I can pretend they’re not a part of my life. It’s worked for me, mostly, since we moved out to the Wild. PLEASE PLEASE do NOT burst my bubble!)

As I type, I’m hoping each of you had a Wonderful Weekend—Wherever in the World Y’all are!

hugs and smooches, Dearest Friends…

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 an Update...

This is my (albeit sad) news of  our little tree we’re trying to nurture and grow. If you didn’t read my post entitled The Hope Tree, on February 9th, and/or Second Stage Watch!, on February 15th, it might help you understand this story and my concern.

What The Hope Tree looks like today:

Yes. Not good. (My Sweet Hubby—MSH—will trim the weeds around it soon. It’s been super rainy here in North Central Texas for many days. Houston has had unbelievable flooding. Oh, Mother Nature...PLEASE get it together. We're grateful for every bit of rain we're blessed with. Flooding? Not so much.)

BacktoTheHopeTree: A couple of weeks after my second post, I thought we should transplant the little tree into the bigger pot. It was looking sickly. And not growing—at all. MSH and I were taking turns putting it outside in the sun and carting it around to all of the windows in our casa that had any kind of decent light whatsoever. MSH had found advice (Googled. Naturally.) that said this little tree should have six hours of sunlight a day. That wasn’t happening. Not because we weren’t trying, though!

Moving it around? Nope. Did not help. Then came the inevitable (yet semi-kind) accusations from MSH:

“We shouldn’t have been so quick to transfer it to the bigger pot. It probably needed more time to adjust to the smaller one. We got in a hurry. I think we made a mistake.”

Translation of “We:” YOU, ELC. You. Not me. He NEVER said “You.” Trust me...he was thinking it. He wanted to. He knew better. He totally understands how much this little tree means to me. It means a lot to him, too.

It was MSH's decision to go ahead and plant it outside. Wow. This was an ordeal. Trying to decide where to (lovingly) place it? Sheesh. It could grow 30 feet tall! After walking around, cussing and discussing possibilities, deciding, and un-deciding, we eventually chose a place near a beautiful pecan tree that came up voluntarily several years ago. (Mother Nature at her finest!) The chosen spot is halfway between that tree and our wellhouse. It's been in the ground for almost a month. It still looks sad. Very, very sad.

I suspect we may never understand what’s happening to our sweet little experiment. Clearly, we aren’t Tree Growers/Farmers/Experts. In fact, this is the only time in our lives together (39 years) we’ve ever grown a tree from an acorn we picked up on a grocery store parking lot. Or, for that matter, picked up anywhere. Sigh.

I shan’t give up! I respectfully ask God, every day, to help it hold on! To give us a sign as to what we could do—other than pray. I also ask My Nana Leighton to do something. Anything! It’s beyond important to me that this little tree live. I don’t know why. (Picture me getting all teary. Dangitall.)

Could I talk Y’all into taking a few seconds today to say this prayer on behalf of The Hope Tree?

Dear Lord God,

For some strange reason, ELC needs this little tree to thrive. Flourish. Grow. Please allow that to happen.


I realize there are many more important/serious things to pray about. I do. THANK YOU—from the bottom of my anxious heart.

I’ll keep you posted…promise.

grateful smooches and BIG hugs…

Sunday, April 17, 2016

God's Hands...

But I trust in you, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands; deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me.”

                   PSALM 31:14-15

Lord, I thank You that Your hands are strong and steady. My times are in Your hands—and that’s a good place for them to be. In my hands, they could fall and break. But not in Yours. Your hands create, Your hands guide and direct, and Your hands hold and comfort. I am secure in every season of my life, knowing that You will protect me and keep me safe. Hand in hand, may we face the future with hope.

In Your Son, Jesus Christ’s name, I pray.


(from Prayers with Purpose For Women...Jackie M. Johnson)

Happy Sunday, Dearest Friends...

Thursday, April 14, 2016

And the Winners Are...

For those of you who didn’t realize we were having a LOL Mascara Challenge...(see picture below for the eight mascaras in the contest)...well, we were.

Here are the results:

For TLC—The second mascara from the top is her most favourite of all of these we’ve tried over the past couple of years. Voluminous Million Lashes by L’Oreal.

For Moi—The fourth from the top is my most favourite. Illegal Length by Mabelline.

By The Way: Fortunately, for both of us, we can still buy these two mascaras. So we will enjoy them until they discontinue them. Because that will happen. It’s inevitable, right? Sheesh.

Now TLC and I can move on to lipsticks! Ha!

(Picture me batting my illegal lashes at Y’all as I type…TA-TA FOR NOW, Sillies Everywhere!)

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Oh, Snap!

Confession (repeated often) #123: I’m not known for gardening. My Nana Leighton was a gifted gardener! Me? Not so much. I have my usuals: geraniums, periwinkles, impatiens, caladiums.

As I’ve aged, in Texas, I’ve become a big fan of native plants and flowers. Lantana is one of my most very favourite flowering plants. And I adore cacti.

At the end of this past October, our Landscape Artist Extraordinaire, Arlon (he comes to help us out twice a year in the Spring/Summer and Fall), stopped by to see us after leaving some property he leases for cattle just North of here.  He brought us a flat of snapdragons! I’d completely forgotten about the snapdragons My Nana Leighton used to always grow in her gardens. Snaps, honeysuckle, and Morning Glories were a few of her specialties.

Since we will ALWAYS have MAJOR issues with armadillos digging up everything planted in the ground around our home, Arlon said it’d be fine to put them in pots. And told us they should bloom all winter long. Like pansies!

We haven’t potted pansies in several years. Lazy, I guess. We do have to unhook our hoses once we start having freezing weather and that makes it harder to water pots outside. You have to take off the faucet covers, hook the hoses back up, then put the faucet covers back on. The alternative is to fill watering cans inside and cart them out. Which we've done. It all makes me pooped. (Of course, I can always use the exercise. Sigh.)

My Sweet Hubby (MSH), without either of us Googling snapdragons to find out how he should pot them and where we should put them, once potted, filled these pots with too many of the pretty, healthy looking green plants. (Live and Learn, don'tchaknow...) They really didn’t do much for two to three months. They survived some harsh, freezing days and nights. Overall, however, we'd call it a fairly mild winter.

Towards the end of January, we started seeing buds on the plants and they’d grown quite a bit taller since they’d first been planted. We learned they like lots of sun. We have some in the garden at our front door—they get morning light but nothing past 10:30 a.m. We can’t move one of the pots—it’s actually in the ground. We’ve not taken the time to move the other. (Plan to do that soon as I locate MSH. He's out there somewhere.)

Bottom Line: WE LOVE SNAPDRAGONS! At first we thought we had yellow and pink snaps only. Then some white bloomed. This past week, out popped red! It’s been truly fun to watch them thrive. Despite being crowded in their little homes.

After (finally) doing a small bit of  research, I've learned that, in ancient times, people believed snapdragons had supernatural powers, offered protection from witchcraft, and could restore beauty and youthfulness to women. Wwhhhaaaattttt? Hey, I’ll take all three of those perks! (I thought I was looking more like 59 than 62 lately! Ha!)

They aren't going to like the hideous heat we'll soon have. Until that comes, or these pretty flowers play out, we're enjoying them every single day! They literally make me smile.

TLC and I plan to share a flat of snaps and a flat of pansies next Fall! (They do, apparently, self-sow in gardens. Not sure if they’re doing that from our pots. If that's happening, they won’t last long in the ground. Damn armadillos.)

Have a Wonderful Week, Dearest Friends! Plant some flowers! They're good for our souls.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

soap...and beyond...

So I had arrived at our country casa, from my Grammy Nanny job, late yesterday afternoon. I’d gone to TLC’s house Monday morn and spent two nights with My Three Gals. Fun times. Okay. Okay. Some not so fun. Let’s be real: New babies are miracles. FABULOUS. Marvelous. Yummy. Sweet. CUTE CUTE CUTE. (Baby Elle is NO exception!) But they cry. Lots of them get days and nights confused. So they keep their Mamas and Dads up all night long. Princess Baby Elle is currently in Sleeping Confusion Mode. TLC is (happily) EXHAUSTED. It makes me sad. It's difficult to do much to help change this, of course. TLC's nursing. There you go. No one else has that power.

When I get home from 2-4 nights at this part-time job (or any trip away, actually), I am (albeit pleasantly) pooped. (I sometimes must remind TLC I ain’t a Spring Chicken.) My Sweet Hubby (MSH) always meets me in our garage (I've texted him from our gate that I'm home!) and helps me unload my car/bags/paraphenalia. Buddy Bear has to sniff me. He smells Henry on my clothes. It drives him a teensy bit nuts. He means well. Once inside, I rarely unpack. I’ve confessed to Y’all, I believe, in the past, that I’m quite awful about this. Lazy. To be blunt. It can take me up to three days to unpack my bags. MSH has his bag(s) unpacked within minutes of walking into our home from any kind of trip. Viva la Difference. Or WHATEVER. He learned a long time ago to ignore this particular shortcoming of mine.  If he complains? Well, that's not a good idea. Those bags might stay on our bedroom floor for an additional three more days.

I rarely sleep well my first night back. Since I’ve watched virtually no television while I’m at TLC’s, I like to catch up on my recorded shows. Which causes me to fall asleep on our couch. Every. Single. Time. It’s what I do. Especially when I swear to MSH I'm NOT going to. He gave up fighting this behavior of mine many moons ago.

This morning, I had an early haircut in town with Kit and he was going to be waiting on a technician to give our air conditioner a checkup. I was mostly ready to head out the door when I heard a crash in our shower. We have two mirrors in said shower. One is for MSH to shave his sweet face. One is for moi—to shave under my arms. At this point, I’d like to apologize for perhaps TOO MUCH INFORMATION and ask you to allow me to share a semi-short explanation:

I had a modified radical mastectomy of my left breast twenty-two (22! Yippee!) years ago. My surgeons (breast and cosmetic) scooped out lots of stuff from my body. Causing me to have a weird left armpit situation. And because they took all of my lymph nodes (or hoped they got all of them), I was advised to do everything in my power not to cut my left arm or any body part near it. I became so worried about shaving under my arms, I got my own shower mirror. (I’m at least seven inches shorter than MSH—so using the same one? I’d have to stand on my tippy-toes. Not a good idea in a shower. At least not for this clumsy person. My only broken bone was my right wrist. Seven years ago. Fell in our shower.) I’m quite proud to tell Y’all I’ve never cut said left arm. Not once. (And now I wish I hadn't typed that.)

Back to this morning:

ELC: What was that noise? Are you okay?

MSH: I’m fine. It was your mirror.

ELC: Is it broken?

MSH: No. Not the mirror. I might have to try to glue it back in—but I think it’s okay. If it’s not, we can get another one at Soap & Beyond.

(My brain: Soap & Beyond? Soap & Beyond. Hmmm…Oh. Got it.)

ELC: You mean Bed, Bath & Beyond.

MSH: I do?

Sigh. I love this Silly, cRaZy man. He cracks me up. Hourly. Sometimes minute-ly.

Hope Y’all have had a Terrific Thursday—wherever in the World you are!

(Don’t break a mirror and don’t cut yourselves, please…)


Monday, April 4, 2016



Or as we like to lovingly refer to her: Little Leighton, Part Deux.