Monday, June 27, 2016

enchies!

So, losing pregnancy weight? Not my favourite thing. Especially the second time around. UGH. Things seem to be extra flappy, floppy and bumpy. (And don't even get me started on the hair loss! Holy guacamole.) The few things I've found to "work," and I use that term loosely:

1. Not eating after 7:00 p.m. (Though I continue to drink water--since I am nursing.)
2. Limiting my beverages to coffee, water, La Croix and an occasional small glass of wine. I've cut out my beloved Cokes. I still miss them.
3. Cooking at home versus eating out. Simply from a sodium standpoint. My body just feels swollen after take-out.

So, on that note, I wanted to share one of my family's favourite dinners: Gluten-Free Chicken Enchiladas. This is a personal recipe of mine that I'm quite proud of! ELC even made these over Memorial Day weekend for one of my brothers and his wife. I was honored! Of course, you could choose to use "gluten-full" tortillas, but I honestly love the Rudi's brand of GF tortillas and use them even when I know Little Leighton won't be eating them. These can have a bit of a spicy kick, so use discretion if little ones will be enjoying these, too.

I hope you'll try these soon!

TLC's GF Chicken Enchains

2 to 3 Chicken Breasts--chopped 
(I usually roast mine ahead of time in the oven--375 degrees for 30-35 minutes--with generous amounts of EVOO, salt and pepper.)
8 oz. container of Sour Cream (Don't use light--and I prefer the Daisy brand!)
2 jars of GF Salsa Verde (I the Frontera brand.)
1 small block of Monterrey Jack Cheese--grated
1 package (8 total) of Rudi's Tortillas (They can be found in the gluten-free freezer-section of your local grocery store, hopefully.)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Grease a 9x13 pan with Coconut Pam.

Mix chopped chicken, sour cream, about 1/2 of a jar of salsa and roughly a 1/3 of the block of  grated cheese. Spoon mixture evenly into the 8 Rudi's tortillas. (I always place tortillas seam-side down so they stay put--they may "crack" a bit. Have no fear! Smush them all together closely!) Top with the remaining grated cheese and a full jar of salsa. (You'll have about a 1/2 jar left. Pour it into a bowl and dip some chips into it! I am currently loving the Late July brand  chips and recently found them at Target.)

Bake for 20ish minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly! 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

nine squares...

Here was our day (yesterday) summed up in nine little squares:


Gluten-free Lucky Charms. Outfit change. Visit to the doctor. Magazine reading. Conference calls. Snuggles. Giggles. Baby cheeks!

This doesn't include:

Watching Zootopia. Crafting. Starbucks. Post Office run. Laundry. Making dinner. And someone refusing to nap. I'll let you decide who participated in what! LOL. As our favourite Fancy Nancy says at the end of one of her books: "I'm pooped!"

Little Leighton is currently in a phase of wanting to change outfits all. day. long. Yesterday, it was only two outfits. The day before? FOUR. This might do me in. ELC told her she should probably consider runway modeling for a career.

This is such a precious and BUSY season of my life. ELC's post, "Texan Idle," really spoke to me. Although too many of my days feel quite long, I know the years will suddenly become far too short. I am determined to slow down and, as she advises, "Stop and smell the roses!" Our Sweet Baby Elle is THREE months old now. I want to cry. Time can be hard on a Mama's Heart.

Happy Friday Eve, Friends! Let's all promise to savor this weekend and soak up every last bit of sunshine and summer that we can.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

...tumbles...

So this week I have two more of my four laser treatments on my fractured toe. I do feel it’s better. Whether or not the laser is responsible—or it was just going to heal on its own—I don’t know. I’ll have an x-ray tomorrow and see the doctor.

This toe situation has made me very aware of my age. My aging issues. I’ve shared in the past that I don’t care about wrinkles. I don’t care about grey hair. I’m not fond of my turkey neck. Thank goodness there are button-up shirts and scarves for that—when I can’t stand looking at it another second. I view the condition of my body—and soul—and spirit—and heart—as a reward for still being here on Earth.

This toe has made me a teensy bit more worried, however, about osteoporosis. I’m there. I’m at the line on the chart. In fact—that was last August. I could be over the line—at this point. I don’t want a broken hip. Or any other broken bone.

The nineteen stairs I climb to Little Leighton’s (aka LL aka Biscuit) playroom and TLC’s guest room (aka Grammy’s Room—winky wink!) are a challenge I face at least ten times a day (sometimes it’s twenty!) each visit to TLC’s casa. Biscuit fell down those stairs—right in front of me—a few weeks back. It was a nightmare. I could nothing to help her. She fell down ten of them. As she’d roll over, she’d look at me with the most frightened eyes I never want to see again. (I’ve always wondered if I could scream in a scary/terrifying situation. I haven’t had that urge in at least 40 years. I can. I did. So did TLC—who watched the incident happen and was helpless, too. Biscuit, thank You Lord God, was okay. But I still see her tumbling and I cringe and shiver at the memory.) H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E. Before we can blink, Baby Elle will learn to walk and navigate the stairs. I’ll need major meds.

Not only do I have TLC’s casa to survive. There’s our cute little Hunter, The Cat. One can watch him like a hawk yet he still ends up between your two feet as you walk outside. We needed to name him Houdini. He’s fast and amazing. There’s also Buddy. The Dog. Who is the color of our wood floor and easy to trip over at night—when lights are off.

But the biggest issue I have? My own clumsiness. I’ve been an accident-waiting-to-happen my entire life. MY. ENTIRE. LIFE.

This Wednesday, and every day, my first goal is to not break any more bones. Period.

I hope you're having a Charming Camel Day, Sweet Friends—Wherever in the World you are!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Gift of Courage...

Lord, Jesus, what You said to Your disciples on the night before your crucifixion is the promise I want to claim for this day of my journey though difficult times: “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” I hear You whisper in my soul, “Take courage! It’s yours!” The imperative is bracing and stirring.

I know I can take hold of the gift of courage, because You have taken a hold of me. “Fear not, I am with you!” are Your courage-inducing words. Fear in these nerve-stretching days drives me to prayer. Courage displaces caution and reserve. I know that nothing can happen that will not bring me closer to You. What You give or withhold always is for my growth. My honest prayers are not an escape from reality and responsibility, but an encounter with them.

Thank You for courage that is based on convictions I cannot deny. You give me courage to act when I know what love demands. You energize my will to put into action costly obedience to You. Courage moves me from panic to Your perspective on things, and then to peace. Give me heightened awareness of what needs to be done, humble attentiveness to Your way to get it done, and honest accountability to You for faithful follow-through. Courage is the greatest virtue You give me because it makes possible all the rest. You will give the power to overcome rather than be overwhelmed. Thank You, Lord!

(John 16:33 NASB.)

In Your Son Jesus’ name, I pray.

Amen.

(From Praying Through the Tough Times, by Lloyd John Ogilvie.)

I hope each of you has a Wonderful Week—Wherever in the World You Are!

Hugs…

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Texan Idle

At least five out of seven days a week (my goal is always seven out of seven—I’m being real with Y’all tonight…), I have Morning Prayer in my bedroom, using four prayer books and Jesus Calling. This was one of my prayers this morning:

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

            Proverbs 31:27

Lord, I thank You for the wisdom You give me each day to watch over the affairs of my household. Give me energy to accomplish my work and to keep our home organized and running smoothly. Help me to be a good time manager and to stay centered on Your purposes. I need to get my tasks done, but I also want to nurture and cherish my relationships. Empower me, Lord. Help our home to be a place of order, peace and enjoyment.

Amen.

(from Prayers with Purpose for Women by Jackie M. Johnson)

I’ve gone through this prayer book—from beginning to end—several times since I bought it 5-ish years ago. There are many, MANY prayers that speak to me. About me. That I need to read over. And over. (This could be one I need to read every day. Truth.) This morning, as I read this, I thought of TLC. I’ve thought of her before—when reading this prayer. Also as I’ve read others—as they seem to apply more to her age, time and place in this World—at this point in her life.

TLC EXCELS at watching “over the affairs” of her household. Trust me. She’s extremely organized. Refers daily to herself as someone suffering from OCD when it comes to cleaning and keeping her home in order. Frankly, when I’m there, she wears me out! (I wish she'd influence me more and make me better at all of the things I should do at my casa!) I wasn’t much like her when I was her age.

First, I had one child. Not two. Yes, I had three stepsons who lived with us during their junior high and high school years. (My Sweet Husband’s—MSH—youngest son—of his four—only actually lived with us once for less than six months.) The Guys were mostly gone during the week. School. Sports. Work. I always had food for them to eat when they came home—but it was futile to try to cook for them. On Sundays, I often prepared a nice meal for all us—or MSH grilled a meal we could eat all together. Sometimes it happened. Sometimes it was only the three of us: me, TLC and MSH. I cared nothing about cooking. Washing dishes. Even grocery shopping. I performed all of these tasks. As needed  and with a bored, unfulfilled heart. TLC is the Queen of All of Those Things!

Housekeeping? It was hit-and-miss for moi when TLC was growing up. Again, having teenaged boys around—and then TLC during her junior high and high school years—wasn’t always conducive to a spotless home. I chose, early on, to pick my battles about their rooms. Their help with chores. When I had my Bridge Club over—or a baby or wedding shower—or a PTA meeting—I worked my fingers to the bone cleaning. Every inch of our home—minus the boys’ rooms—would be spotless. (Those doors were shut!) That meant our home was super clean about six to eight times a year. Winky. Wink. In between? Whatever. I made beds. I cleaned potties. I kept up with laundry and vacuumed fairly regularly. I was mucho happier doing other FUN things: errands around town; going to the park with TLC; visiting with friends; attending meetings; having lunch out with My Peeps and/or TLC and Her Peeps.  I confess to Y’all I was mostly happier out-and-about. Don’t get me wrong: I was proud of our home and enjoyed being there. I needed, however, to flit. A lot. It was MY OCD.

Clearly, this prayer makes me think of TLC because she adores being a homemaker, wife and Mom. She treasures a clean house and a lovely, healthy dinner meal. She needs her fridge and cabinets to be organized and pretty. She craves “SMOOTH.”

Although I cherish these qualities about my daughter, I find myself periodically telling her to STOP and SMELL the ROSES. Let some cleaning go. Have Her Hubby get some takeout for them and give Little Leighton (LL) a simple  (frozen) gluten-free lunch and/or dinner. (LL’s quite easy to please.)

In her defense, TLC is trying to get more laid-back. It goes against her genes (from MSH). Against her nature and personality. But she’s trying. That’s all any of us can ever do, right?

Gotta scoot—gotta go hang up some laundry and fold some towels! (I’m ready for jammies and the mindless stuff on TV! Unfortunately for me, MSH needs clean underwear. Ha.)

Have a Terrific Thursday and Fabulous Friday, Dearest Friends…

Smooch!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Again...Once Again...

Another tragedy in this World. In America. In Orlando.

And so we watch the news. Hour after hour. We look at Facebook and Twitter posts. We cannot even imagine how the victims’ families and friends will cope with their broken hearts and spirits. Their despairing souls. They’ll be changed. Forever. Because of an evil, EVIL man. An evil ideology.

I’m attempting to be grateful this day. For life. For health. For God’s Amazing Grace. Yesterday I was fighting an impending loss of hope. Consumed with fears for our children. Our sweet, precious, innocent grandchildren. Today I’ve decided I’m going to pray. All day. For God’s love. For His intervention. For His forgiveness. For His help.

I hope each of you will, too…

Friday, June 10, 2016

Fractured...

This World. Our country. Too many homes. And my middle toe on my right foot. (I do NOT mean to diminish the first three—truly.)

So I went to an orthopedic doctor (because I don’t believe there’s a podiatrist in the town nearest our casa) yesterday to see about my foot/toe that has been in LOTS O’ PAIN. It’s been swollen. Feverish. Tender to the touch. By the end of each day, I’m exhausted from trying to walk. (My Fitbit Steps have definitely suffered.)

Sure enough, after three x-rays, I have a broken toe. Of course, I have no way to know—or prove—that the lady that did my pedi 2 ½ weeks ago contributed to this injury. It’s possible that toe had been sprained or weak. Or even had a little fracture. Let's face it:  I’m 62. I could injure myself anytime—anyplace—anywhere.

No Shocker: I won’t be able to go back to said salon. I just can’t. That upgraded/”fancy” pedi could cost me up to $1,000—or more. (I shouldn't have to have surgery. Won't even be wearing one of those lovely "boots." At this point. I am having some cutting-edge laser treatments that ain't cheap. Sheesh.) I think this experience has convinced/taught me I MUST be proactive about my old, osteoporosis-filled body—making sure no one else massages my wittle tootsies too hard.

Here’s hoping each of Y’all has a Wonderful Weekend—Wherever in the World Y’all are. Try not to break any of your toes, ‘kay?

Smooches and Hugs…

ELC

Monday, June 6, 2016

the price of pretty toes?

Background: As Y’all may recall, I had my first professional pedicure when I was 37 years of age. I never much cared about my toes being pretty. Never painted them myself. Mostly hid my feet by wearing tennies or shoes—not many sandals or flip-flops. Yes, I did spend oodles of years of my life at swimming pools and some beaches. I actually didn’t have many friends that got pedis—so I simply didn’t obsess about my (ugly-ish) feet.

Then My Sweet Hubby (MSH)—via TLC—gave me a “Spa Day” at a newish spa/salon in our cute little town for my 37th birthday. Part of my gift was TLC going with me and participating in all of the same services I was going to receive. (She’s good at arranging things like that. Teeheehee. That’s My Girl.)

Well, needless to say, I wondered that day why in the name of all things fabulous I’d never had a professional pedicure. (I’d had a few manicures—fake nails off and on—over the years. I hated being tied down to the maintenance of said fake nails…to0 much pressure!) I’d been to a massage therapist a few times in my mid-30s. LOVED that service. Have the BEST massage therapist on Earth in Ft. Worth that I rarely get to visit. Sniff. Sniff. I’d never had a facial and, honestly, didn’t care for it that day and have never had another since.) But I was fell hopelessly in LOVE with pedicures and pretty-painted toes!

Since that fateful and important day, I’ve had approximately 250 pedicures. (I actually got my calculator out and did some figurin’…guess-timatin’…could be a few more…don’t think it’d be less than that…) I’ve never had an “exclusive” technician that I’ve gone to for a pedi. I’ve been a “Traveling Pedicure Seeker”—going to shops all over Texas. Have enjoyed a few pedis in other States we’ve visited as tourists.

I’ve had some WONDERFUL pedicures. And I’ve had a few TERRIBLE pedicures. Maybe 8-10? BAD BAD pedis. Rude technicians. Technicians that clearly had no idea I’m one of The Best Tippers they’d ever meet. (If I get what I consider to be a BAD pedi? My tip is still 20%. Much more than I should be expected to gift. I think I do that because I’m too non-confrontational. I should tell them they’re not doing their best to make me happy, right? If I don’t? I shouldn’t totally punish them.)

NOW my specific pedicure story:

There’s a salon in Ft. Worth I’ve frequented mucho a lot in the past eleven years. TLC and I discovered it when she lived and worked in the Big City. We had many joyous/fun times there together. I’ve gone lots and lots by myself. I’ve never had a HORRIBLE pedi at this salon. I promise you—when I have a BAD one? I don’t go back to said salon. Period. End of Story.

So two weeks ago this coming Wednesday, MSH dropped me off at this salon so I could enjoy getting some pretty toes in honor of our Family Celebration of his birthday that upcoming weekend. (See previous post…) He went over to a fantastic grocery store he treasures—located nearby. I walked to meet him when my pedi was finished.

On this particular morning, I did something I rarely do: I opted for a “pedi upgrade.” Normally, I choose what most salons call their “Classic.” I believe I could substitute the word “Cheapest” for “Classic.” I’ve maybe “upgraded” to a fancier pedi maybe 15 times—in 25 years. I would contend the only difference in the cheapest pedi and an upgrade is a few more lotions and a longer massage of your toes, feet, and/or legs.

Instead of doing the $35 “Classic” pedi that day, I asked for the $50 upgrade “Green Tea Something-or-Other” Pedi.

 It was not my best-ever pedi. Certainly not my worst. The woman I was put with was quite nice. She seemed to think of herself as a “reflexologist”—as she asked me, several times, during her massage portion of the pedi if I was “Okay?” I was—except for the two times she hit a nerve and I nearly jumped out of the chair.

Overall, I believed it was a good upgrade.

Then, late that afternoon, after we got home, my right foot starting hurting. I had pain on top of it by the base of my toes. I was watering plants on our front porch and thought a bug had bitten my foot. Later, as I took my watering shoes off in the house, I didn’t see a bite.The pain got worse as the next few days went by. My foot got swollen. I trudged on—getting more “Steps” on my Fitbit than I’d seen since I put said Fitbit on (December 27, 2015).

As I limped around our casa, TLC and MSH begged me to go to a doctor. I kept telling them: “I’m fine! I think it’s just bruised." And, at my age, it takes a while to recover from injuries.

Once all of our kids and grandkids went home that weekend, I cut down on my “stepping” activities. I’ve stayed completely off my foot three different days. Like, I mean, I’ve barely moved from my bed to the couch and back to my bed. I’ve iced it every chance I’ve had. 

I’ve now, today, officially given in to the pain and worry and have an appointment with an Orthopedic Doctor this coming Thursday. Since I have expensive ($800 per month) health insurance policy that pays nothing until I reach a $6500 deductible (and I have not used any of said deductible to date this year), my upgraded pedi could cost me plenty. To which I say: Sheesh. Crud. Dadgummit.

I could be wrong. The pedi may have not contributed to my injured foot. It could be totally coincidental—the timing of it all. I am, however, swearing I have zero intentions of getting any future  “upgrades.” I’m going to be happy with the technicians that are basically annoyed when all I want is the cheapest pedi. If my pain and swelling was caused by the aggressive massage I received, it will be my first injury suffered because of a pedicure. Hopefully, it’ll also be my last. (Because I will be getting pedis. I’ve become addicted to Pretty Toes. Sigh.)

I’ll let Y’all know the outcome…because I’m positively certain you’ll be stressed until you hear from me about this situation. Right? Winky. Wink.

Have a MARVELOUS Week, Friends! (Stay away from aggressive pedicurists…just sayin’…)

smooches!

Friday, June 3, 2016

say it ain't so...

It's June? 2016 is nearly half over. Un-freakin’-believable. Don’t Y’all think?

We had a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. Four out of five of My Sweet Hubby’s (MSH) children, with spouses, came to help us celebrate his birthday. Five out of seven grandchildren were here. It’d been quite a while since even that many of us had been together. It’s always difficult for MSH and me to get our home and Barn apartment cleaned/ready. He has all of the yardwork to do. I have 85% of the cleaning/washing/organizing to do. We share the shopping. This time, as Y’all know, I cooked! Friday’s dinner for our youngest son and his wife and TLC and her Gang. Chicken Enchiladas and Spinach Enchiladas. TLC’s recipes. I did GREAT—if I do say so myself.

Saturday was burgers, chicken and salmon patties. Gluten-free cupcakes. I prepared the cupcakes a week ago and froze them. TLC and Little Leighton (LL aka Biscuit) iced them for me Saturday morn. None of our sons, wives and three of our grands had met Baby Elle. It was three days of family, fun, laughter, walks down Memory Lane, and pure HAPPINESS.

So now it’s June. This month is full of swimming lessons for LL. Dance classes for LL. Vacation Bible School for LL. Chauffeuring for TLC. Babysitting Baby Elle for this Grammy.

Here’s wishing a Jumpin’/Joyful June to each of Y’all!