Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Summer's Ghost...

Y’all—September is upon us. How? How could it be September 2016...tomorrow?

I found this quote and I adore it:





We know that in September



we will wander through the



warm winds of summer’s wreckage.



We will welcome summer’s ghost.



                                                                           Henry Rollins




Summer seemed to almost drag. And now it’s almost over. Wow. Just WOW.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Straight to the Top!

I don’t know about Y’all, but today I need a prayer. The past few weeks have been too busy. (Feels like all I do is clean house. I don’t love this part of my life.) My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I have had very few “days off” lately. Please don’t misunderstand me (especially Ms. TLC et al!)! I’m grateful we’re busy. That we’re healthy enough to keep commitments. To be with family and friends. To love and take care of PRECIOUS grandchildren. But it seems like I’m feeling so overwhelmed, some days, it's difficult to truly embrace and enjoy all of our blessings. (Let’s don’t even go into how exhausted and overwhelmed TLC has been the past five months! Sigh. I need a magic wand. Or to win the lottery. I'd love to gift her a housekeeper, chef, chauffeur and NANNY. Mostly a NANNY.)

Speaking of TLC: This week I’ll be at her casa for a couple of nights. Then MSH and I will have company for the weekend. (Hence the never-ending-on-going cleaning that is being done here. Laundry, too. YUCK.)

This is from my Prayers With Purpose for Women, by Jackie M. Johnson:

Trusting God’s Wisdom



For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

            PROVERBS 2:6


Lord, what a blessing it is to be able to come before You—the wisest, most intelligent Being in the universe. I have direct access, straight to the top. Thank You for giving me wisdom and direction, even when I can’t see the way. Knowledge and understanding come directly from Your mouth, Lord, and You delight to enlighten us. I praise You and ask for continued insight as my dreams become achievable goals

In Your Son Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Wishing each of you wisdom, direction, knowledge and understanding—this week. Next month. For the rest of 2016. And always.

ta-ta for now…

Friday, August 26, 2016

hangry...

Three weeks ago I went in for my annual checkup. (I’m quite responsible about this necessity. A life full of medical issues. Almost from birth. Asthma at 9. Breast cancer at 40. Sudden, unexplained deafness in my left ear at 54. My first broken bone at age 55. My newest diagnosis of full-blown osteoporosis. My ten-years'-older Sweet Hubby-MSH-who’s had two heart attacks in the past three 1/2 years. All of these things make me cautious.)

This morning, bright and early, I had to be in town at my doctor’s office for bloodwork. Nothing to eat after midnight last night. Water. (I typically have had breakfast by 7:00 a.m. I was getting a bit hangry by 7:21.)

I walked into the office at 8:04. (You’re scheduled to come between 8:00 and 9:00. I ALWAYS try to be there as early as possible. It’s a first come-first served sign-up. I’ve waited as long as 40 minutes—if I arrive at 8:15. Talk about hungry/angry/hangry.)

At 8:10, the nurse, who I’ve known now for at least five years (I’ve been seeing this family doctor for twelve years—and adore her!), asked me to sign a paper. I’d never had to do this before. Ever. She said it was a “Medicare Replacement” form.

ELC: I’m not on Medicare. I’m not old enough. I’m 62.

NURSE K (clearly not listening to me): Just sign right there and date it.

ELC: Okay. I don’t understand. I’ve never had to do this.

NURSE K: Hmmm…

As we walked to the bloodwork room, I said: “I’m going to be excited when I’m 65 and I can be on Medicare. This insurance I have—which is quite pathetic—costs me $800 a month and could go up 30% next year. If I’m lucky it’ll only be a 30% increase.”

NURSE K: You’re not 65? You don’t have Medicare?

ELC (SIGH): No. I’m 62.

NURSE K: Well, this form isn’t for you. You’re insurance isn’t listed correctly in our computer. Clearly. You didn’t need to sign it.

SIGH. SIGH. SHEESH. Duh.

But here’s the thing: Again, I’ve known this kind woman for at least five years. (I LOVE NURSES.) She thinks I’m 65? She thinks I’m 65. That’s fine. What can I do? I can hope and pray I live to be 65! In three years. I’m not obsessed with aging. HONEST. Y’all know this. Truth: I don’t like my neck. I don’t like the way my flabby arms flap. (I haven’t worn a sleeveless anything for at least ten years.)  I don’t like how much I weigh or that my hair is getting thin at the top. Near my forehead. Scares me. I WILL be wearing a wig.

I’m grateful to be ALIVE. I’m grateful it’s Friday. I’m grateful MSH and I had Our Three Gals’ visiting with us Tuesday through Thursday. I’m grateful it’s the Weekend.

I’ll close with this wish for Y'all:

I hope NO ONE thinks you’re three years older than you really are (Unless you're 18 and you wish you were 21.) today. Tomorrow. Sunday.

Anytime soon.

#byefornowSweetPeas!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Complications...

TLC LOVES Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee. She watches their morning show as often as possible. As I’ve shared, I don’t watch a lot of television during the day. It might be on. I might stop and glance at it. But the volume is normally off and it’s mostly there for ALERTS. Especially during bad weather. (If we don’t lose our satellite system completely—then we’re forced to use our cellphones for info and pray our WiFi doesn’t go out.)

Late afternoon, evening and middle-of-the-night TV? Don’t ask. That’s a whole other story. I watch TOO TOO TOO TOO TOO TOO TOO much. Y’all have surmised. Sigh.

I also adore Hoda! And I follow her on Twitter. She tweets pretty/inspirational/thought-provoking quotes at the beginning of each day. This was today’s and I thought it was most definitely worth posting on lolwiththeleightons:


Why Complicate Life?

Missing somebody?                 …Call

Wanna meet up?                      …Invite

Wanna be understood?            …Explain

Have questions?                      …Ask

Don’t like something?             …Say it

Like something?                      …State it

Want something?                     …Ask for it

Love someone?                        …Tell them

We just have ONE LIFE.

Keep it SIMPLE.


Hoda didn’t name the source. I suppose it could be her…but I’m thinking wherever she saw this it probably didn’t name the author.

If it’s YOU?                               …Take credit! (teeheehee)

Sometimes it’s truly difficult to do some or all of these things. But I believe, on this August 23rd, 2016, they’re all great suggestions and we should attempt to try them. Or at least a few of them. Every day.

Have a TERRIFIC Tuesday, Friends…Wherever in the World Y’all are!

ta-ta for now…

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Satur-YAY!

When I was growing up, Saturdays were cleaning/yard day. We all had to clean our rooms. During the Spring/Summers/Fall we had to help do yardwork. About once a month we had to help clean out the garage. I mean clean it. Spotless. Take everything out. Sweep it and wash it down/out with the hose. Put everything back. The garage. Seriously?

If you’d gotten in trouble during the week, Saturday was also “punishment” day. We were rarely “grounded” in terms of being forced to stay home. My mother contended that that solution only punished HER. Therefore, our consequences were pretty much cleaning. Scrubbing. Etc. Mother's “punishment” typically meant you had to do chores like polish her silverware or serving dishes. (She had a lot, by the way.) Or wash/wipe down all the baseboards in the entire house. (We lived in a 3000-ish square foot home. Two stories. Lots o’ baseboards. Sigh.) Here was the thing: Someone was going to do both of these jobs. Eventually. In trouble or not. But my mother’s idea? Pretty effective. The worst punishment of all was having to polish silver or wash baseboards when you’d JUST DONE THEM a week or two before. Horrors. (Needless to say, we had the shiniest silver in four states.)

Once I graduated from high school and left home—for either a job or college (I actually tried three colleges over two years before I found my perfect fit!)—Saturdays were often sleep-in days. I remember there were times I didn’t get out of bed until after lunch! Now? If I did that? I’d feel like The Biggest Slug On This Earth. I despise being in bed for more than eight hours—even when I’m sick. Lounging in bed rarely occurs in this senior-citizen life of mine.

After marriage, Saturdays turned back into cleaning/errands/laundry days. Unless I was working. I was a legal assistant for many years—once I graduated from college. I worked most Saturdays—until noon or 1:00 p.m.—for over six years. Then I’d have to go home and clean our casa. Do laundry. Errands. It was my life.

Post birth of TLC, I became a stay-at-home Mom. Yet, somehow, even then, for many years, Saturdays were still cleaning days. Yard days. (Don’t get me wrong: My Sweet Hubby—MSH—was our yard/landscape man. Occasionally I helped rake grass or leaves or water pots, etc.—especially our flower pots. Overall, I was typically The Inside Supervisor Gal.)

For most of his seventy-two years, MSH has been an Early Worm Riser. His four sons and TLC always dreaded Saturday mornings at our casa. MSH apparently believes that if he’s up—everyone needs to be! I’d plead with him—on the kids’ behalf—especially when they were teenagers—to let them sleep until 7:00 a.m.! A really GOOD Saturday was one when they were allowed to sleep until 9:00 or 10:00. (I’m proud to say that all five of our children are hard-working, responsible adults/parents/peeps. Despite their HARSH upbringing! Ha.)

When you’re retired, it seems like Fridays and Saturdays would really be virtually the same as any other day of the week. Surprisingly, there is often cleaning to be done on Saturdays. Yardwork. Errands. Old habits are hard to break.

I’m currently delaying my need to GET TO WORK. MSH’s younger sister will be staying with us tomorrow night. She lives in Austin. Her oldest grandchild—a BEAUTIFUL young lady who is quite the artist—is going to be a freshman at our State University in town. She checks into her dorm tomorrow. This is the same University MSH, TLC and I all graduated from. The three of us believe she’s going to adore it. Fingers crossed!

I’ve got to get crack-a-lackin’ on Tricia’s room (aka Little Leighton’s room). I have mucho toys that need a temporary home for a few days.

We hope each of you—wherever in this World you are—has a Super Saturday and Wonderful Weekend! Take some time to kick back and rest. Recharge. Have FUN! (Don't clean. Unless you truly must. It'll only get dirty again.)

smooches and hugs,

ELC

Monday, August 15, 2016

hurdles...


When the Olympics began a week ago this past Friday, I was with Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) at her casa. I brought her home with me a week ago Sunday and she stayed with us (me and My Sweet Hubby aka MSH) for three nights. While she’s here, I very seldom watch television. Well, other than Disney Jr. or PBSDaniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and/or Sesame Street. Biscuit quit taking naps a year ago. So…we go, go, GO. All. Day. Long.

Once LL's out for the night, which is usually by 8:00, I shower and do what I need to do in the kitchen or laundry room. I might watch a little television. Something I’ve recorded on the DVR. I don’t last much longer than thirty minutes. If that long!

So I actually forgot about The Olympics. It was this past Friday before I remembered to check them out! The first event up, once I turned to the right channel? Beach Volleyball. I have nothing against beach volleyball. Truly. I do think it’s an itsy-bitsy-bit boring to watch. I’m sure if you love regular/normal volleyball—you probably like beach, too. This was the women. I tried to imagine myself jumping around—in the sand—with very few clothes on. It was a horrifying thought. When I was in my late teens and early 20s, I was actually pretty tiny. I’m quite certain I wouldn’t have wanted to do this sport even back then. Also, as I’ve shared in the past, I don’t like balls coming at me! (This, I believe, is the direct result of the utterly STUPID game of Dodge Ball. Whose DUMB idea was that???) I especially do NOT like big balls—like volleyballs. Basketballs. Rather than watch beach volleyball until another event started, I found something I’d recorded and gave up, rather quickly, on The Olympics.

I’ve been watching these amazing games every night since Saturday. For two to four hours. I cannot imagine the dedication these athletes develop. I’ve never been dedicated to anything like they are to their sport. Well, maybe marriage. And motherhood. I suppose. Certainly not studying in high school or college. (Graduate school? Which I started when I was 43? And which took me three years to complete? Yes. Yes, I was quite dedicated to my Master’s degree. I needed to be! I was missing some of TLC’s junior high and high school experiences. I had to make her and MSH proud of me!) I’ve certainly never been that determined to learn how to cook. Or to clean my house. Or to lose weight. Sigh.

The Summer and Winter Olympic athletes come very close to making me ashamed of myself. People who play instruments professionally can make me feel that way. Dancers. Singers. Doctors. Anyone who devotes an incredible amount of time, energy and loyalty to their interests or profession can shame me into feeling like a big, lazy slug.

Gymnasts? WOW. Ice skaters/dancers? I couldn’t even make my ankles stand up and work the first and only time I tried to ice skate. Well over forty years ago. Snow skiers? Skiing scares me to death. Literally.  Platform Divers? No way would I ever have even thought of diving off a high diving board. (I did always love to swim. I wasn’t good in any stretch of anyone's imagination. I did like it. Until I no longer wanted to wear a bathing suit in public. That occurred about ten years ago. It's simply not a pretty sight.) Runners? Having asthma as a child and teenager, I’ve never had the lungs or muscles to become an even adequately, semi-good runner. I don’t even jog. (TLC forbids it if she’s around and she's fearful someone might see me doing it. She completely forbids it. I try not to take it personally.)

But the hurdles. The hurdles make me shiver. I have the hardest time watching people run—as fast as they can—only to be required to jump over those dadgum hurdles. I could hyperventilate just typing about this event.

I’ve had my share of hurdles in my sixty-two years on this Earth. As you have. As we all have. I don’t need to have actual hurdles, that someone wants me to jump over, taunting me. Frightening the you-know-what out of me. No. NO WAY. Not now. NOT EVER.

Do I respect the people—young men and women—in junior high, high school, college and the Olympics—that participate in this event? You cannot even imagine how much I respect them. Do I want to watch them? No. Please, PLEASE don’t make me watch the hurdles. I’d rather watch beach volleyball.

Let’s all think of something we could be determined to conquer this week—and then DO IT. In honor of the SUPER HUMAN women and men competing in Rio right now. Competing while we watch television, look at Facebook, check Twitter. Eat junk. Sleep. Waste endless minutes and hours on mindless things. Let’s set a goal and make it happen for The Olympians! (It does NOT have to be a huge goal. Even a tiny one will do!)

Have a Wonderful Week, Sweet Friends—wherever in the World Y’all are!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

High Five!

From mostly Facebook—or Pinterest, I share with you some thoughts that CRACK ME UP. (I’m truly sorry I can’t name the authors for them. None of these are original—from Moi. I only wish I was so funny/witty/clever!)

Hope you ENJOY/Giggle/LOL!


I’m ready for some blessings that aren’t in disguise.



Either you love bacon…

          or you’re wrong.



You call me paranoid.

          I call you uninformed.



There is NOTHING

     WINE

                   and

          glitter

                      can’t fix.



On the bright side,

my coffee will never get cold

     in Hell.



“Why can’t we be friends?”

          Well, because you’re three gallons of crazy

in a two gallon bucket

     and I don’t have time for a mess like you.



I tried to be normal once.

          Worst two minutes of my life.



There is no problem you cannot ignore, confront, plot against,

     drown in chocolate sauce or run over with your car.



LIVE BOLDLY.

     Take Risks.

Make somebody say:

“What the hell was that all about?”



Have a SWEET Saturday, Sillies…wherever in this World you are!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

elsa + anna

Little Leighton (LL) has been with ELC and My Sweet Dad since Sunday. She comes home tomorrow, and, boy, have we missed her! She fills our home with so much joy. It's simply too quiet without her singing and dancing. We can't wait to hug her!

For her fourth birthday this year, Baby Elle "gave" LL a "Frozer Fever" Elsa doll. It has slept with LL every night since. She takes great care of her Baby. She's had a little Anna doll for about a yearish. Now she loves to have Elsa and Anna play together. However, she forgot to take Anna with her to Grammy and Pa-Pa's this visit. BIG oops.

Last night, around 8:00, I get this text from ELC:

Mama--LL is upset because she forgot that Anna would miss Elsa. Would you go get Anna and let her sleep with you so she won't be lonely?

(Oh, God love my Little Leighton.)

To which I replied:

(Please ignore my makeupless face.)

Good night, LL and Elsa! Anna is safe with me. She's tired and going to bed.

LL then wanted reassurance that Anna could come with us next time we head back to Grammy and Pa-Pa's. (Of course she can!) She also wanted me to kiss her goodnight. Ask, and ye shall receive:

(The silly things we do for our children!)

I then texted her one final pic of Anna "snug as a bug" in my bed. I prayed this would ease LL's sadness and help her drift off to Dreamland. 


Elsa and Anna. Sisters. Perhaps it's still my crazy postpartum hormones, but that whole little exchange made me a bit teary. I want my daughters to always know how lucky they are to have each other. I am completely confident Baby Elle has missed LL. (When I show Baby Elle a picture of her Big Sister on my phone, her entire face lights up. No. Kidding.) Perhaps it wasn't just about Anna missing Elsa. Perhaps Little Leighton was really missing her sister. Even though missing someone is tough stuff, I can already see the special bond my girls have formed with each other. After just four and a half short months! Wow. They are forever my biggest and best blessings. I love those Sweet Sisters with all of my heart.

cry out to Me...

I WILL RESTORE YOU TO HEALTH AND HEAL your wounds. I am with you, within you, all around you—continually at work in your life. When your awareness of Me grows dim, My Presence continues to shine brightly upon you.  This Light has immense healing Power. So dare to ask great things of Me, remembering who I AM. I am able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you ask or think. Pondering My limitless ability to help you will strengthen your faith and encourage you to pray boldly.



Praying in My Name—with perseverance—can accomplish great things. Learn from the parable of the persistent widow, who refused to give up. She kept bringing her petition to a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. Eventually, her persistence wore him down, and he gave her what she sought. How much more will I respond to My children who cry out to Me day and night! Though you may have to wait a long time, do not give up. For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds.



From Jesus Today by Sarah Young…


Have A Sweet Sunday, Friends...Wherever in this World You Are!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Eeekkkkkk!!!!!!!!!

Living in the country these past sixteen years, My Sweet Hubby (MSH), TLC, friends and family, and I have seen many, many wild animals. Too many armadillos (that DESTROY our lawn and gardens—we don’t treasure them…); roadrunners; red and grey foxes; squirrels/chipmunks; coyotes; bobcats (MSH was leaving for work early one morning—about six years ago—when he encountered two baby bobcats sitting on our back rock wall near his truck. He came running back into the house to find me—so I could see them. They were gone by the time I got there. I was sad and he couldn’t get over how close he was to them!); many bird species; feral and stray cats; mice; rats; a few random dogs (that clearly are just curious and visiting as they don't even try to stay); snakes (EEEKKKKKK!), including rattle and copperhead; raccoons; deer; skunks; and possums.

We’ve heard, for years, there are a couple of mountain lions in our area. Fortunately, we’ve not seen them. Because, honestly, that would skeer me to death. Truth.

We never, ever, ever tire of seeing these animals. (Well, maybe we tire of snakes. Yes. Yes, we do tire of snakes. And armadillos. Sheesh.)

We’re always so surprised when we spot these amazing creatures. Like we’ve never seen literally hundreds of them before!

(The following pictures are not great quality because all but two were made through a door or window. I can assure you that most of the time I have no intention of going outside to get prettier pictures.)



Last November, this skunk was rambling around our yard on the master bedroom side of our home. In the daytime. Which is normally unusual. He/She was close. Very, very close! Buddy Bear, our Chocolate Lab, has only been (barely) sprayed once by a skunk—in the five years he’s been with us. That’s not bad---considering he’s out and about all over our place. Every day of his life.



About two months ago, this raccoon was having a feast of birdseed at our back door. He/She saw us watching him/her and truly didn’t want to leave. He/She finally sauntered off into the woods. I caught him/her a couple of hours later—having come back for more. I’m certain the birds were not appreciating his/her invasion.

About four weeks ago, MSH quickly ran into our Great Room to get me. I was on the divan. Watching something educational on TV. (Winky. Wink.) He’d looked out one of our bedroom windows and seen these two little fawns!



It was sunset. We think they sensed someone/something was close by—as they’d look up if we even whispered to each other! They didn’t leave for at least forty minutes. At first we couldn’t figure out where their Mama was—then we saw her from our bathroom window.


She, too, looked up a couple of times—in a reaction to us. In our house. Whispering. MSH says they have excellent hearing. We loved every minute of our up-close-and-personal observation.

(A few nights later, when MSH needed to scare off an armadillo ravaging our yard as fast as he could with a shotgun blast or two, I was afraid we’d not see these three ever again. We did! I was beyond relieved.)

This morning, as I was watering our front gardens and our flower pots, I reached down to adjust a birdhouse under a porch table when I almost touched this snake:



At that moment, I’m quite certain I could have tried out for the Olympic high-jumping team. I ran around the house looking for MSH. Who’d been helping me water on the north side of our porch. He’d gone inside. I opened our back door and screamed at him to go to the front porch—south side. “There’s a snake! I nearly touched it!” When he got outside, he decided it wasn’t any kind of poisonous snake. So he kept trying to make it leave. Having suffered a copperhead bite last September, I wasn’t happy with him messing with this little snake. It went into one of my birdhouses. At which point, MSH picked up said birdhouse and shook it over the garden. It slithered off. It was a “ribbon” snake. Not dangerous. Eats bugs. Frogs. Whatever. A snake is a snake. I hope I don’t run into him/her again. Ever.

And, finally, here are two more little “wild” things! Little Leighton and Baby Elle, giggling with each other in Little Leighton’s room a couple of weeks ago. Such pure and utter SWEETNESS. My Angels!



I love ALL of the wild things in our life! (Although I mostly want to see them from afar…you understand.)

Spend some time this weekend looking at the beauty of nature. Look for birds and animals close to you and/or your home. Visit a park. Walk on a trail. These creatures will fill your heart with joy and peace.

ta-ta for now, Sillies…

Monday, August 1, 2016

Think Snow!

A GREAT TIME was had by all at our College Gals’ Reunion in Georgetown.

We laughed and laughed until we cried. We had a little vino. Spent a lot of time trying to remember details of past dramas. Caught up on our Kids’ And Grandkids’ Lives and Times. Commiserated about all of our ailments and physical challenges. Tried to eat as sensibly as possible! Slept a teensy bit. (Stayed far, far away from politics. We're smart. Yes. Yes, we are.)

The Weekend Extravaganza is now a WONDERFUL, special, happy, important memory for all nine of us: Lizzie (The Hostess with the Mostest!), Drew, Ane, Mitchie, Sparky, Lotus, PJ, Donnie and Moi. (We do have a few pictures. They mean more to us than they would to anyone else. In our early-ish 60s, most of us would rather not focus on our individual beauty—at this point in time. I'm sure a lot of Ya’ll understand. Winky. Wink.)

Take my word for it: Those eight gals are GORGEOUS—inside and out.

So now it’s August 1st. Trying to stay cool, kind, patient, hopeful and comfy is quite the challenge in Texas. Dog Days of Summer. This is what they’re called. We prefer to ignore television Weather Forecasts. They’re all the same. 100. 102. 103. 101. HIDEOUS. Dangerous. And the way it is. Nada we can do about it. Zilch.

Have a WONDERFUL week—wherever in the World Y’all are!

smooches