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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sing-A-Long, Part Deux!

So, I've been a bit MIA lately. Here's why:

This Baby Elle has kept us on our toes! She is pure JOY. Her sweet smile makes us all light up. Watching Little Leighton become the most wonderful Big Sister will remain one of my proudest moments.

Because of LL's schedule and my "stay-at-home-Mom-duties," we tend to be in the car at least once per day. Music is a BIG part of our car rides. LL and I love to sing-a-long to whatever pops up. When "Frozen" songs come on, she sings Elsa's part. I sing Anna's. When our favourite "Beauty and the Beast" song begins to play, she (politely) instructs me to "sing the 'boy parts'" while she "sings the 'girl parts.'" I happily oblige!

After reading ELC's post on songs in her library, I thought I'd share some of our current favourites! (You might notice ELC and I share similar taste--occasionally.)

"All of Me" -- John Legend

"Daughter" -- Loudon Wainwright III

"Dog Days Are Over" -- Florence + The Machine

"Go Your Own Way" -- Fleetwood Mac

"God Only Knows" -- The Beach Boys

"Hello" -- Adele

"Jingle Bells/Silver Bells" -- Sesame Street Christmas (yep--we listen to Christmas ALL YEAR LONG!)

"Jolene" -- Dolly Parton

"Kiss the Girl" -- Little Mermaid

"Let Her Cry" -- Hootie & The Blowfish

"Mr. Jones" -- Counting Crows

"My Girl" -- The Temptations

"Rise Up" -- Andra Day

"Set Fire to the Rain" -- Adele

"Someone Like You" -- Adele

"The Story" -- Sara Ramirez

"Sugar" -- Maroon 5

"That's How You Know" -- Amy Adams from "Enchanted"

"Trouble" -- Ray LaMontagne

"Turning Tables" -- Adele (she's clearly our most FAVOURITE!)

"Wagon Wheel" -- Darius Rucker

"Yellow" -- Coldplay

Thank y'all--especially ELC--for your patience with me as I adjust to raising TWO precious daughters now. I'll get the hang of it soon. I hope! LOL.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

From the Beginning to the End...

I’m taking a quick break from cleaning/organizing my casa to share a picture I took of My Sweet Hubby (MSH) a month-ish ago. He didn’t know I was taking it. If he reads this, it’ll be the first time he’s seeing it.

As a sort-of New Year’s Resolution (I’ve shared in the past that we don’t really make resolutions. However, occasionally we take the opportunity to say—out loud—what we intend to try to change. Do. Or not do.), MSH decided to read the Bible. From beginning to end. He’s never done this in his almost 72 years on this Earth. I’ve read it twice—from beginning to end. The second time I accomplished this was way over thirty years ago. It’s a challenge/gift I need to give to myself—soon.

MSH might have missed four or five mornings of reading—since January 1st. He’s quite committed. I’m beyond proud. You see, he’s shared with me that growing up he never liked to read. Says he wasn’t a good reader. He felt like he read too slowly—compared to other kids at school. In college, he read what he had to…nothing more. After college, and until about fifteen years ago when he made the decision to start reading books, he enjoyed magazines and newspapers. They weren’t as much of a commitment as a book. (He’s now read many, many, MANY books—bestsellers and books about WWII. Autobiographies. Inspirational. Fantastic books. He’s actually got four waiting to be read as I type. Books aren’t currently on our gift list for MSH—he’s behind. The Bible is his #1 priority.)

He would admit to any and everyone that he was not a good speller. With the advent of computers and spell-check, I’m happy to report he’s gotten much better over time! If he doesn’t know how to spell a word? He’ll ask me. If I don’t know? He'll look it up. Because he WANTS to be a good speller. Despite the fact he's retired and it might not be that big of a deal, at this point in his life. He’s not one to do crossword puzzles. Neither of us enjoy them. We realize we’re supposed to be doing them—to ward off Alzheimer’s and/or memory issues. We both dislike them--immensely. They make me feel ignorant—and I don’t like that feeling. We read all day long. From lots of sources. We certainly hope we’re doing enough to keep our fading brain cells alive and kickin’.

Back to the Bible: MSH and I have what we call our “Bible Study” at least once a week. He tells me where he is and what’s happening and we discuss our thoughts on what we believe we’re to learn. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that we often have quite different ideas during these discussions. God. Heaven. Hell. We have opinions about each of these based on our upbringing or our individual experiences. We truly enjoy the other’s thoughts and feelings! Although we might not always totally comprehend what the other is expressing, we try to be open and learn from each other.

This week MSH has a birthday. Four of his five children—one is currently iffy—and at least five of his seven grandchildren—will be coming to our home to help him celebrate. I’ve bragged on him many times in the past: I was blessed by God to meet and marry this man. I honestly believe he was my fate. He’s a wonderful husband, father, grandfather and friend. He’s smart, handsome, funny, kind, silly, wise, handy, hard-working, loyal, dependable, and trustworthy. (Yes, he might drive me nuttier than anyone else on Earth. He knows this. I do the same to him. We’ve always made it through the tough stuff and for that we are endlessly grateful to Our Lord God Almighty.) I’ve spent 39 birthdays with MSH. I remember many of them! (He would remember NONE of mine…teeheehee…not without me reminding him about them. That’s okay. I understand men don’t have the same brain capacity for the past as women. They don't! It's fact.) I pray to God every single day of my life that we have mucho more birthdays together.

I cherish, adore and love this man.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Saturday Sing-A-Long!

I’m home. About to clean two fridges. I mean CLEAN. Take everything out. Purge. Discard expired things (shouldn’t be much—TLC LOVES to do this job when she’s here…winky wink…). Wash out the bins. Clean out all pockets. (Sigh. I’d rather be outside.)

Then I need to bake about 48 cupcakes. To freeze. For next weekend. (Memorial Day Weekend in the U.S.ofA. We have at least four—possibly all five—of our kids and their tribes coming for a couple of nights to celebrate—belatedly—My Sweet Hubby’s [MSH] birthday.) I’m not The Baker/Pastry Chef in this family. That would be TLC. But, since she has a newborn and a BUSY almost-4-year-old, I’ve decided I can do this. I CAN DO THIS. Right?

SOOO…I’m going to listen to my iPod (Yes--iPod!) and the songs on my iPhone—using my 12-year-old Bose speakers. Clean and Bake and SING!!!

I thought I’d share some (a fraction) of the songs I positively adore with Y’all! I truly believe you should check them out on iTunes—if you’re not familiar with them. (I have extremely good taste in music—just sayin’…teeheehee. Well, okay. TLC may not always agree with this statement. Her music? I occasionally have to plead with her: Please, TLC, in the name of all that is good, kind and decent, PLEASE turn that off.)

I am a HUMONGOUS Country Music Fan. As Y’all must know by now. I've shared, though, that I love many genres of music. Christian. ROCK. Broadway. Pop. A little jazz (mostly when I'm in New Orleans). Some classical. (Not much opera—although I do know every word to every song from Phantom of the Opera! Does that count at all?)

Here, now, are just a few of the songs I’m going to rock out on, or cry to, this Sweet Saturday in North Central Texas (these are all from my cell as I haven't dug my iPod out of my nightstand yet):

All of Me—John Legend

Already Gone—Sugarland

Amazing Grace—Joey and Rory (Tears fall. Every. Single. Time.)

Because He Lives (Amen)—Matt Maher

Better as a Memory—Kenny Chesney

Biscuits—Kacey Musgraves (Little Leighton…aka Biscuit…thinks this song is WONDERFUL. However, once she’s old enough to understand the words? I will be explaining to her that we have to change some of them. Oops. And now you're looking it up before you finish this post.)

Crazy Girl—Eli Young Band

The Edge of Glory—Lada Gaga

He Thinks He’ll Keep Her—Mary Chapin Carpenter

Highway 20 Ride—Zac Brown Band

I Don’t Believe You—Pink

I Get to Love You—Ruelle

I Won’t Let Go—Rascal Flatts

Let It Go—Idina Menzel (Did you catch the irony of this one and the one before it? Ha. And DUH—Disney songs are played A LOT now in my life...a heckuva lot…together with Sesame Street songs. This is the truth, as I cannot tell a lie: I cherish them all.)

Run—Matt Nathanson (featuring Sugarland)

Someone Like You—Adele (Double Duh…)

The Story—Sara Ramirez

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again—Danny Gokey (This one could knock you to your knees. I suggest you Google the words. POWERFUL. I’d even tell you to read up on his background.)

A Thousand Years—Christina Perri

Wake Me Up—Aloe Blacc

10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) [Live]—Matt Redman

Hey—check a few of these out! I think you’ll find several you’ll decide you MUST have in your own personal Library of Tunes.

Happy Happy HAPPY Weekend, Silly Friends Everywhere!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Big Dog...The Little Cat...One Fabulous Vet!

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) has been telling me he thinks Teddy Buddy Boo Bear (TBBB) does not feel well. He’ll be nine years old in October. We adopted him almost five years ago. We took him to be neutered a couple of days after we picked him up from his original home. Our Vet discovered, on that day, he had heartworms. We had him treated—which is quite HORRIBLE for a dog—and he’s been (mostly) healthy since then.

He’s a BIG dog. Ranges in weight between 90 and 100 pounds. We like to keep him at 90—but he averages 95 most days. A few months ago, MSH changed his food. TBBB wasn’t thrilled. He adjusted. MSH did a lot of research and truly thought it was a positive change. He wasn’t losing weight. We thought he should be. A couple of months ago, I talked MSH into taking him to our Vet for a thyroid test. She said it was low and put him on a med. His blood was to be re-checked at a month. When that was done, it was now a teensy bit high. She lowered the dosage of the meds and said to come back, again, in a month.

Meanwhile, a few things happened. TBBB chased after a roadrunner—and when I say chased, what I really mean is he took off like a NASCAR race car—full speed ahead. We’d never seen him run so fast. Halfway to reaching said bird, his hips and back legs literally collapsed on him. He was VERY slow and sore for several days. He did seem to recover.

This happened two more times—chasing country critters. (By the Way: TBBB never, ever reaches what he's chasing. Never.) He went after a squirrel a couple of weeks ago and then a fox—a big, grey fox that was running up our hill to the back of our place—which is thick, thick woods—last week. (It’s unusual to see a fox so close to our home and at 4:00 o’clock p.m. MSH usually believes it’s a sign of illness or confusion. Or outright arrogance.) Both of these high-speed chases caused TBBB to get sore—not as bad as the roadrunner incident—but still a little sore.

MSH started believing TBBB had something seriously wrong with him around the time of the roadrunner incident. Right before he was placed on the thyroid meds. I wasn’t seeing what he was seeing—TBBB seemed okay to me. I was chalking it all up to aging. He’s almost 63! I’m 62 and I can’t walk worth a dern.

Then, late Sunday afternoon, MSH called me into our bedroom. TBBB was lying in front of our French doors that go out to our front porch. He was trembling. Seemed sick at his stomach. Couldn’t get up to a sitting or standing position. We both got tears in our eyes as I asked MSH if he wanted me to call our Vet. He said he was afraid she might want to keep him overnight and he didn’t want TBBB to be alone.

TBBB was all over our bedroom all night long. Like he couldn’t get comfortable. Monday morning, he could barely make it up our (STEEP) hill on his ritual daily walk with MSH. We were going to call our Vet before the walk. Now we knew it needed to be done as soon as they opened.

We took him in to our PRECIOUS/SMART/WISE/KIND Vet (There are three Vets at this Clinic—two are a wife and husband who own the practice and we cherish them. The third Vet, TBBB’s unofficial official doctor—is the loveliest young woman we would be proud to call our daughter.) After examining TBBB and asking us a lot of questions, she thought the best plan was to try out some more meds—change his dogfood—and monitor him for a few more weeks. She was leaning towards arthritis—possibly the beginning of hip dysplasia, which is very common in Labs.

TBBB now has his own Meds' Box.

In fact, he currently takes more meds that MSH and I—put together. Sheesh.

(I suggested MSH put TBBB's Meds' Box with his—in our bathroom. MSH responded he was afraid he might get confused and take TBBB’s pills! It’s in our Utility Room—where TBBB dines and has his water. We'll see how this works. Out of sight and all...)

The good news? We believe TBBB’s going to improve and we reconfirmed how much we need our Sweet Doc Tayden!

I’ve also failed—I think—to share a new member of our family with Y’all. Hunter the Cat!!! (In this picture he’s reading a note Little Leighton, aka LL aka Biscuit, wrote to him. Winky. Wink.)

We’ve had him for almost a month. We adopted him from the Humane Society. (They said they thought he’s 2 years old. We don’t think that’s even remotely possible. We’re saying he’s just a year old...making his birthday in April. He is delighted his birthstone is a diamond.) He's a pistol and we are HAPPY. (I guess I never made much out of the fact we lost our cat, Morty, last summer. It’s a semi-long story and, to this second, it upsets me to tell it. Upsets me in a major way. Someday I might share our sadness. Can’t tonight. Thank you for understanding.)

MSH didn’t want to get another cat to replace Morty. His heart wasn’t in it. However, these dadgum country mice are taking over our Barn! We decided we had to find another one to keep them in check. I named him Hunter—because his job is to HUNT DOWN and dispose of all mice he comes in contact with. In exchange for this honorable work, he gets a lovely home with a warm (or cool—as the temperature dictates) bed on which to lay his wittle head. Good food. Fresh water and kitty litter every day. Lots of hugs and attention!

Biscuit met him weekend before this past one. She was in Kitty Heaven! He has really sharp claws. We have to watch him like a hawk with her. She’ll be careful and can't wait to entertain him when she’s here.

This third picture was taken by MSH last Thursday evening. I was at TLC’s casa. He, Hunter and TBBB were sitting over on the porch at our Barn Apartment—rockin’ and watchin’ for wayward foxes, squirrels and/or roadrunners. (That’s MSH’s knee—teeheehee!!!)

The Circle of Life can be tough, Friends. Out here In The Wild, we respect all creatures—great and small. We pray for TBBB’s healing and for Hunter’s success and long life with us! (We also hope Hunter gets plenty o’ nasty mice. Sorry. They are icky.)

Have a Wonderful Week, Sillies.


p.s.: Thank you, Sunny Darling...(She is the Office Manager for Our Vets and she puts up with phone calls and texts from moi before and after Office Hours too, TOO often...I love you!)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

a day of (near) perfection...

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) loves loves LOVES to go watch the Texas Rangers play baseball in Arlington, Texas. We don’t go more than once or twice a season. Last year, the season came and went and we never got a game put into our busy (?) schedule. That was ridiculous.

This past Monday, as MSH and I looked at our week, he said: “I sure wish we could go to a Rangers’ game soon.” He found their schedule on-line and told me there was a game at 1:05 on Wednesday (yesterday). Positively perfect for us! We live about 90 minutes from the ballpark. We’d avoid the morning work traffic and we could possibly avoid the bad bad BAD evening traffic. I got busy. Autumn’s son, Nick, is a Biggie in the Ticket Department for the Texas Rangers. (Not his actual job description or the technical name of his department!) I’ve known him since he and Tracey were 3 years old! (I’ve posted about my special friendship with his Mom, Autumn, and her guys—and puppy dog gals—several times in the past years. Nick has always been a favourite of mine. I still maintain he could have been a Disney movie STAR when he was a toddler/child/adolescent. CUTE? He was the cutest. Now he's a handsome, smart, kind, funny young man!) He's made sure, in the past, that we’ve gotten great seats! Seats that are covered—from the wind, rain and hot hot HOT Texas sun.

I began texting Nick Monday mid-morning. By 5:00 we had our tickets emailed to us and we were beyond excited!

Yesterday was perfect. We had an uneventful (but nice) car trip to the ballpark. The stadium was much more crowded than we expected—for a weekday and since most schools are not yet out. Yet we didn’t have to wait too long in any line for our lunch, etc. The weather was GREAT. We had a delightful breeze and didn’t have to worry about a sunburn!

We had one little incident that made us laugh—yet amazed us. The audacity of some people. We were sitting in our seats, with MSH in the aisle seat and me next to him. We had two people that came to our (short) row halfway through the game. A couple. Very nice. On the row in front of us, six of the eight seats were filled. We thought all six of the people were together. The (big—I had to look around him the entire game to see the batters at homeplate) man in front of me talked alot to the lady next to him.

During the 7th inning, said man got up and left. The couple next to him stood to let him pass by them. You have to do that—the seats/rows are soooooooo close together. It’s almost impossible to get by someone without them having to stand up. I suppose tiny, skinny people, or small children, might not have to stand. Our seats were great—because we didn’t have to disturb anyone when we needed to leave.

When the man came back, he stood right beside MSH. Never said a word. Never asked us if we’d mind him going by us so he could crawl over his seat to sit back down. Just stood. And stared. It took us both a minute to realize he was the man sitting in front of me and he clearly wanted us to stand up and let him get to his seat. He obviously didn’t want to disturb the people next to him—again—but had no problem disturbing us.

Now, here’s the deal, in my humble opinion: You shouldn’t bother people on another row to get to your seat. It’s an unwritten rule at ballgames, movies, plays, concerts, etc., right?

You may be required to stand up—several times—to let people on your row leave or come back to their seats. It is what it is.

Once we realized what his intentions were, we looked at each other, smiled, and stood up. Being a BIG man, I also had to kind of step to the side of my seat as he crawled over his to get back to his place.

Never turned around and thanked us. He COULD talk. We saw him do it. Throughout the entire game.

RUDE people amaze me. RUDE. ENTITLED. THOUGHTLESS people. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU??? I would never consider doing something like that without apologizing and thanking the people I was unnecessarily disturbing. Sheesh.

MSH and I decided to shake our heads and laugh. We were determined he wasn’t ruining our GREAT day!

The Texas Rangers WON!!! Beat the Chicago White Sox, 6-5, in the last game of the series.

MSH got to eat his nachos, peanuts, $1 hot dog and have a giant lemonade. (The days of cold beer have gotten fewer and fewer and farther apart in his life…bless his heart…)

When we left a tidbit early (middle of the top of the 8th), we were faced with traffic that looked like it was going to be challenging. It wasn’t all that awful. YIPPEE!!!

Here’s hoping each of Y’all has a Thursday, Friday, and weekend full of FUN times, nice family members/friends/people, successful experiences and PEACE. Happy HAPPY HAPPY Peace!

Love and Smooches and Hugs!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

my soul...

In raising my children,

I have lost my mind…

but found my soul.

--from a Hallmark fridge magnet 15 years ago…

  HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, Sweet Friends Everywhere...

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Coast Mode...

Not the West Coast. Or East Coast. Or Texas Coast. The “I’m-Just-Trying-To-Get-Through-The-Rest-Of-This-Week” Coast.

Monday TLC was going to post. Baby Elle was having a rough day. Tuesday I drove North East to stay two nights with TLC et al. Hoped TLC could post that night. No such luck. We’re not sure what we did that day, but it went by fast and furious and, at bedtime, no post had occurred.

Yesterday was one of those horrible/awful/terrible days you just want to end. As fast as possible.

Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) woke up way too early—for the second day in a row—saying she wanted “to see the stars.” FYI: One cannot really see too many stars from TLC’s casa. On the upside: LL thinks any light she sees outside a window at night is a star—so that helps. I took LL upstairs to the playroom and let her have my iPhone to play a (free) Disney Jr. App I quickly downloaded. I had no idea how the night had gone for TLC, Her Hubby (HH), and Baby Elle. I suspected they were all still asleep—at 6:00 a.m.

I told Biscuit she had to give me my phone at breakfast and wouldn’t be able to play again until after school. Her class was having “Muffins with Mom” at 9:00 a.m. and I was keeping Baby Elle for the first time—by myself—while TLC attended this much-anticipated event. She said: "Okay, Grammy! I will." Right. And she has a bridge she'd like to sell me.

Well, I don’t need to bore y’all with all of the gory details of the morning that went straight to H*LL. I can share a few of the not-funny hitches: LL went ballistic when I tried to get my phone away from her at 8:00. She refused to wear the positively lovely Matilda Jane dress her Mom had found—on sale—and had hyped, with LL, for weeks. Eventually, around 8:28, Biscuit said she didn’t even want to go to school. (She has never, ever, EVER said that. Not once this school year.)

TLC took her—dragging and screaming—late. And wishing, for just about an hour—that she’d reconsidered the whole “MOM” thing a few years back. When she came home, we took turns cuddling Baby Elle and doing some housecleaning chores. TLC was mucho recovered.

Because HH had gone for take-out the night before, I offered to make a run to the local Sprouts store to get some chicken and veggies  to cook (TLC--not me, of course. Hahaha.) for dinner. While at Sprouts, my American Express card was declined. DECLINED. Twice. A card I’ve had for over 16 years and have never once been a second late on paying. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) has had his card—and I’ve used it many, many, many times—for well over 40 years. Same excellent credit history. I was mortified/embarrassed/humiliated as the cute cashier—who had just minutes before told me she liked my hair—cheerily said the word “Declined” in a loud voice. TWICE. I sounded like everyone who says these words: This is a mistake. This has never happened to me before.

It had NOT ever happened to me. Ever. Heads were going to roll.  

After lunch, TLC took Baby Elle with her to go to her 6-week checkup with her OB/GYN. I was in the church parking lot to pick up TLC from school when TLC called me. (Actually, I was on hold with American Express—having been told the problem with my “declined” card was that they didn’t have my physical address in their computer. I hung up. I won’t even go into the lecture they received from me before I hung up. Furious doesn’t adequately express my feelings. I had to call them back late last night.)

TLC was in tears. LL’s teacher had called her minutes before to tell her they had mistakenly given LL a blueberry muffin for an afternoon snack. A muffin with gluten. After an entire school year of never once making that mistake, the teachers had forgotten she has Celiac. TLC was devastated. Scared. Angry. Shocked.

When I arrived at LL’s class, both teachers were in tears. Apologized over and over for the mistake. I told them I was sure LL would be okay.

I couldn’t have been more wrong. In less than two hours, LL was violently ill. It was a nightmare for three hours—she couldn’t keep water down. She finally fell into a deep sleep around 6:00. She woke up at 10:00 p.m. Felt better. Said she was hungry. Ate some apple slices and a piece of toast with almond butter. Went back to sleep at 11:00 and slept until almost 7:45 this morn.

Today Biscuit's been better. No vomiting. She is not 100%. She’ll get there. She doesn’t understand she’s going to have to advocate for herself—SOON. When someone gives her food, she’s going to have to learn to ask if it’s gluten-free. And bravely say she can’t have it if it’s not. Our hearts  will remain forever broken about this. It is what it is.

I was always going to bring her back home with me today. It was in question last night. She would have been beyond sad if we’d cancelled this trip. She loves to be here. We all made the decision for her to come with me. MSH and I treasure every minute she’s with us. We'll take her home Saturday.

Could our lives have been worse this week? Yep. Much. Are we working to keep up a positive/hopeful attitude about tomorrow and this weekend? Absolutely. Will there be a post in the next three to four days from TLC? Probably not. From moi? I have no clue.

Honestly, I’m in Coast Mode at this time…may be coasting for weeks. Months. Years. Life's a mystery to me.

Here’s hoping Y’all’s Friday is Fabulous and Y’all’s Weekend is WONDERFUL.