Wednesday, November 30, 2016

all is calm...now

Thanksgiving at our country casa was GLORIOUS. Gluten free. DELICIOUS. Happy. MARVELOUS.

I do want to point out that by the time TLC, Her Hubby and The Little Princesses left on Saturday morn, I’d put more Steps on my Fitbit in five days than ever before—in the eleven-ish months I’ve worn said Fitbit. I even made it to almost 14,000 Steps by  Thanksgiving Night! Saturday afternoon, and all day Sunday, I was pretty much incognito/incapacitated. Back killing me. Knees killing me. Everything hurting. Good pain, though it was! (To put this in perspective for Y’all,  my “Step” goal each day is 7,000. That is SEVEN THOUSAND. Not eight. Not nine. Not fourteen. Trust me—I don’t make that goal more than three days in a typical ELC week.)

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I have missed Our Three Girls (and TLC’s Hubby and Henry the Dog) terribly since they went home. My next visit with them will happen this Sunday. I’ll drive East for one night. About 24 hours. TLC and Her Hubby are taking Little Leighton to a Christmas play and I’ll be Grammy Nanny-ing Baby Elle! Just the two of us. We plan to have us some major FANTASTICNESS.

Now My Confession:

Yesterday was a horrible day for me. From the time I woke up (at 5:00 a.m.) until about 4:00 p.m. Much of what occurred is too long of a story. One I feel confident most of Y’all would not care to read. Let me sum it up as quickly as I can. 

My day was troubled by:



(1)  A jewelry store in Dallas I’ve been dealing with for over SEVEN weeks. They were to resize a ring I got from their designer 5 or 6 years ago and have never been able to wear. It's been living in our safe. Am I sounding too fancy? I'm not meaning to. It is a LOVELY ring (I’ll take a picture of it for Ya’ll—if I EVER get it back.) It’s one of the most expensive gifts I’ve received from MSH in over 39 years. (But not outrageously expensive, 'kay?) This store has been on my last nerve long enough. Period.

(2)  Our Internet Provider—who is not the best and never ever has been. The Customer Service Reps, however, are ALWAYS nice. The issue is primarily the fact that we live out in the sticks and the lines are OLD and awful. That issue is 24/7 and it gets FRUSTRATING.

(3)  My Sweet Hubby. He and I were getting on each other’s nerves for hours. We don’t like that. It happens.


It was the kind of day where you can’t help but feel as though you’re being punished. And, unfortunately, you can think of one thousand reasons why that might be happening. Sigh.

Around 2:00 p.m.—when I hadn’t even taken the time to shower and dress—I went into my closet and prayed. I prayed for forgiveness—for all the things I’d said. (Mostly to myself and/or under my breath. A couple of things I’d rudely said to MSH. Did he deserve my wrath? Possibly. A teensy bit at most, though. He got too much of that wrath. I ADORE him. Y'all know this.) I was NOT sassy to anyone I talked to on the phone. Why is that? Why are we nicer to strangers than we are to ourselves and our family members? WHY?

As I stood in the dark, and in tears, I pictured Jesus looking at me. Shaking His head in sadness—but with His beautiful, kind, sweet face. I asked Him to help me calm down. To remember what really mattered. I told Him I couldn’t even imagine what some people in our country (i.e. Tennessee, Ohio, Alabama and Mississippi—just a few States going through HELL) were experiencing. (And then don’t even get me started on the rest of the World. Sheesh.) Yet I was being terrible about truly unimportant things. Silly situations. I felt some peace come over me. I calmed down. I showered and put some clothes and a teensy bit of makeup on. I felt 97% better the rest of the afternoon and night.

Today has been mucho better. Except I’ve found myself going into significant shock many times when I've realized it’s the last day of November, 2016.

Here’s hoping each of Y’all can wrap your heads around the fact that it is about to be December. DECEMBER. Here’s hoping you’ll handle current and/or future strife better than moi/ELC. Here’s hoping you have MANY Blessings from Our Lord God Almighty and Jesus Christ in the coming days and weeks. Blessings that will help you, comfort you, reward you, surprise you, and calm your souls.

Ta-Ta for now, Dear Friends Everywhere...
p.s.: I failed to mention Baby Elle was/is also sick. Yesterday was quite scary. TLC was beyond worried. I was in panic mode. It was stressful. When you're two hours away from your child and grandchild and you want desperately to be helping, it takes a toll on your general well-being. And anyone in your way. Yikes.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Decking Our Halls...

We've been slowly decorating over the last week. The first thing we put up? Little Leighton (LL) and Baby Elle's Christmas Tree in our Playroom! It's honestly my most favourite. It has ornaments from my childhood and newer ones we've collected along the way (re: Target shopping trips). It was actually ELC's tree she graciously gifted us last year. You can't help but smile when you see it all lit up.



ELC thought we needed to put a couple of presents for our girls under this little tree. (Yep. Totally blaming her.) So, this morning, I wrapped up Baby Elle's present from Little Leighton (she picked it out on Amazon herself--LOL.) and Little Leighton's present "from" Baby Elle (she also "picked out" a Barbie car from Amazon--winky-wink.). As soon as LL discovered said presents, it was all she could think about. She tried EVERY TRICK IN THE BOOK to convince me she needed to open up her present. I finally sent her outside with her Daddy to hang twinkle lights in our trees. What are the odds the presents stay under the tree until Christmas? Or do we think I'll just have to put them up to avoid torturing my precious 4-year-old? God love her.

I hope you all had the happiest Thanksgiving! Let's vow to be merry and bright all season long!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

tiny treasures...

From Jesus Calling…by Sarah Young…
November 23rd

AS YOU SIT QUIETLY IN MY PRESENCE, let Me fill your heart and mind with thankfulness. This is the most direct way to achieve a thankful stance. If your mind needs a focal point, gaze at My Love poured out for you on the cross. Remember that nothing in heaven or on earth can separate you from that Love. This remembrance builds a foundation of gratitude in you, a foundation that circumstances cannot shake.

As you go through this day, look for tiny treasures strategically placed along the way. I lovingly go before you and plant little pleasures to brighten your day. Look carefully for them, and pluck them one by one. When you reach the end of the day, you will have gathered a lovely bouquet. Offer it up to Me with a grateful heart. Receive My Peace as you lie down to sleep, with thankful thoughts playing a lullaby in your mind.

ROMANS 8:38-39; PSALM 4:7-8


When I read this first thing this morning, I cherished every single word. It made my heart happy! I did look for “tiny treasures” throughout my day. And I found them!

TLC, Little Leighton, Baby Elle and I all wish you and yours a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving holiday! We pray you find gratitude in your day—your life—your spirit—your soul.

We’ll be catching up soon-ish…

HUGE TURKEY HUGS on this Thanksgiving Eve, Dearest Friends Everywhere…

p.s.: We realize not everyone celebrates Thanksgiving Day. We truly hope you'll remember to Count Your Blessings tomorrow. Friday. Saturday. Sunday. Always.

Monday, November 21, 2016

and so it begins...

…The Countdown to My Sweet Hubby’s FAVOURITE holiday: THANKSGIVING.

We’ve shopped and shopped. He’s planned and organized and scheduled. He’s done yardwork. He’s washed windows and cleaned dusty, DUSTY fans. (All while still recovering from whatever it is that has made him sick for weeks. What a guy. Sigh.)

Tomorrow I begin my cleaning. Heavy. Duty. Cleaning. Which, as y’all know, I do NOT enjoy. I must. No choice. Sheesh. Where's my housekeeper? Oh. Right. I don't have one.

My responsibilities for the next five days include: cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning;  laundry; ironing; setting the table, the green bean casserole (Yes. I'm limited to little of the actual cooking/food.), and washing dishes. Also helping with all other meals, i.e. breakfasts and lunches. In addition, I'm in three/quarters charge of Little Leighton and one-half charge of Baby Elle. (The last two duties are MY most FAVOURITE! Duh.)

TLC, Her Hubby, The Little Princess Girls and Henry the Dog will be at our country casa by noon on Thursday. Turkey Day. (Buddy Bear, our chocolate lab, will be a nervous wreck by 4:00 p.m. Bless his sweet puppy heart.) We’re hoping a dear, special college friend of mine—and her husband—will also join us for the most delicious (and 100% gluten-free) Thanksgiving Day Turkey Lunch we’ve ever had. (Since last year. Winky. Wink.)

We’ll catch up as soon as possible, Silly Darlings…

Hope you’ve had a Marvelous Monday!

Smooch.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

a sinful snare...

A little mid-week inspiration for us all…(and especially for our special friend, JGD…)

From Jesus Today, by Sarah Young:

I AM TRAINING YOU IN THE DISCIPLINE OF perseverance. You are on a long uphill journey, and sometimes it seems endless to you. Looking back, you can see some times of ease and refreshment. Looking ahead, however, you see only a continuing ascent. The top of the mountain you are climbing is nowhere in sight. I know how hard it is for you to keep going day after day. So I say to you: “Do not become weary and discouraged in your soul.”

You live in a culture dedicated to entertainment and pleasure-seeking. In such a climate, a life of struggle feels alien. If you are not careful, you will succumb to self-pity, a sinful snare. To avoid falling into this trap, remember that I am Sovereign and I am lovingly present with you. Your ongoing struggle is not a mistake or a punishment. Try to view it, instead, as a rich opportunity: Your uphill journey keeps you aware of your neediness, so you look to Me for help. The difficulties in your life make your heavenly home more precious and real to you. Even now, as you trustingly whisper My Name, I embrace you in everlasting Love.



Consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. –Hebrews 12:3 NKJV



Have a Wonderful Wednesday, Dearest Friends…Wherever in the World you are...



HUGS… 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

alert! alert! mama down...

TLC=The Mama That's Down. She got sick. Again. Possibly a relapse from her illness of nearly a month ago. It’s not exactly fun to be her—at this point.

I was to go see My Three Girls this past Thursday. Spend one night. Come home late Friday afternoon. To check on my patient here. My Sweet Hubby (MSH). Nurse ELC to the Constant Rescue. Sheesh.

TLC began to get ill on Wednesday. Same basic symptoms as her previous illness. Flu-like-ish. But we knew it was probably a yucky old cold and/or sinus infection. By Thursday morn, she was miserable.

I picked up some soup from Market Street and arrived at her casa by 11:00 a.m. I took over Baby Elle’s care until I had to pick Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) up from school. (She had a “great” day, thank you very much!)

Once we got home and Baby Elle woke from a nap, the three of us sat outside in the pretty Fall weather. Biscuit adores running around their yard—blowing bubbles—chasing butterflies. Dancing. Singing. She was out in the middle of the grass when she made a MAD DASH over to me and Baby Elle. She screamed: “Grammy, there’s something yucky in Henry’s poop out there!” She asked me to come look. I did. I won’t go into any details. Suffice it to say he’d eaten something he shouldn’t have. Since she can now open any door she wants, she went running into the house to tell TLC: “Alert! Henry ate something he shouldn’t have and it’s in his poop, Mama!” TLC assured her there was nothing she could really do about that, but thanked her for the information.

TLC then did her best to get an easy dinner together (pizza!) for all of us—with a simple, but delicious—salad.  She bathed Baby Elle. Put her to bed. Her Hubby (HH) washed dishes—did what TLC needed him to do—helped with LL. I put LL to bed. We all retired for the night.

Said night—from 10:00 p.m. until 6:30 a.m.—was HORRIBLE for TLC. Semi-awful for HH. Not too bad for moi—as my bedroom/the guest bedroom is upstairs away from all the other bedrooms. I was fairly clueless until about 6:00 a.m.

Friday morn, TLC went back to the CareNow near her home. This visit, she got another woman doctor she liked a lot (She was hoping she might have the woman she’d seen a few weeks ago—but this new one was GREAT, too.). She was given a couple of scripts—including a 10-day supply of a second antibiotic. She drug herself home. Got into bed. Grammy Nanny ELC raced to the pharmacy to pick up her scripts and some tissues with lotion and aloe for TLC’s Rudolph nose. Then I took over My Two Little Girls for the next four hours.

By 4:00ish, TLC was beginning to feel human. LL, Baby Elle and I went back outside for a bit. The weather was, once again, FABULOUS. As we talked and sang and soaked in the loveliness, Henry the Dog attacked one of their three (new-ish) magnolia trees. He literally yanked off a branch with his teeth and went running around the yard. Since I was holding Baby Elle—and couldn’t really do much of anything anyway (Henry is quite the defiant dog who really doesn’t respond well to the word “NO!” Unless HH or TLC is the person saying it and even then there's little guarantee he'll mind.), I asked Biscuit to go in and tell her Mom what he’d done. So TLC could attempt to get him back in the house.

LL: Okay, Grammy!

(Runs inside. I can hear her then say…)

LL: Mama! Alert! Alert! Henry is eating one of the magnolia trees! Grammy can’t stop him!

At this point, Henry had run over and pulled another branch off the targeted tree. TLC, in her weakness, did her best to make him stop. He just looked at her and went back to chewing up the doomed branches and leaves. She lured him into the house with the promise of some turkey. (I could then hear her tell him how much trouble he was going to be in with HH. He spent the next fifteen minutes looking at us through the back door glass—with his sad eyes. And with clear frustration about his predicament.)

TLC, HH and I later laughed and laughed at LL’s new “Alert System.” We have no idea where she’s gotten that word. We’re confident there are mucho more ALERTS in all of our futures.

I stayed Friday night—so I could help out Saturday morn while HH went to the grocery store. Sadly, Baby Elle started showing signs of a cold (Her first.) Friday afternoon. By Saturday morning, she was beginning to be clearly distressed. At almost eight months, there’s not much one can do. I kept reminding TLC Baby Elle needed to start building up some immunity. Not surprisingly, my thoughts were of little comfort to My Sick Daughter. Sigh. Sniffy. Sniff.

I headed for home around 11:30 a.m. They had a rough day and another difficult night. I’ve heard from TLC that today hasn’t been as terrible as she expected. Baby Elle has seemed to be a teensy bit better. Has even smiled and laughed some. We’re praying for a better night of ZZZZZZZZs for This Precious Little Family.

Here’s hoping each of Y’all has had a wonderful weekend! This Week: Stay well. Be prepared for any and all ALERTS. Avoid germs! Ready yourself for a Marvelous Monday, okay?

ta-ta for now...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Grammy's Funfetti Puffins

As y’all know, I’m not a cook. Baker. Chef of any kind. I CAN cook. And I can do some dishes that taste pretty dadgum delicious! I simply don’t enjoy cooking. I really never have.

BUT…we discovered something about moi soon after Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) was diagnosed with Celiac disease:

I’m a MEAN Pancake Chef! And I LOVE making what we call  “Gramcakes” for My Biscuit. Gluten-free, of course. My favorite pancake mix is King Arthur. Truly love it and truly treasure making my mini cakes for LL. Because she is ALWAYS extremely sweet about how much she enjoys every bite! Sometimes I put chocolate chips in them. I recently made some with pumpkin, cinnamon and chocolate chips. I package them in bags of 3 and TLC freezes them. She pops them in the microwave 2-3 times a week and serves them with maple syrup (also typically gluten-free) and fresh fruit. Biscuit is in Breakfast Heaven. Fast. Easy. Yummy.

We’ve also used the Hungry Jack Gluten-Free Funfetti Pancake Mix. It’s good. This past weekend, as I was being Nurse ELC to My Sweet Husband and homebound, I decided to make muffins with this mix. I believe they’re going to be a huge success with Biscuit!



The mix calls for water only. I use milk, instead (lactose-free for LL). And I put in an egg. For a denser texture. I baked them at 350 degrees for about 19 minutes. I just had to test them with a toothpick from about 13 minutes.

The Puffins' (pancake+muffin) Plan: TLC will take a couple of these puffins out of the freezer, pop them in the microwave, give Biscuit a side of syrup for dipping and VOILA! Another yummy, easy breakfast option.

I’ve decided to call them Grammy’s Funfetti Puffins! Yes. I’m just too clever for words. (Don't applaud. Just send money. Teeheehee.)

We’ll see what LL thinks soon and I’ll try to remember to report her thoughts…

Gotta scoot…errands!

ttfn, Smooches and Hugs

Sunday, November 6, 2016

beauty from ashes...




a prayer

for when I can’t understand



Dear Father,



Today was one of those days—

You know the ones.

When life just doesn’t make sense.

When the world seems so unfair.

Because it is unfair.

We need You, Lord. I need You.

I need You to wrap your arms around me

And help me understand

That’s it’s a good thing I don’t understand everything.

How can I possibly comprehend Your plan of

intricacy and detail for the entire world?

You are God.

And I am not.

You spoke the world into existence.

You shaped humans from dust.

And only You can create beauty from ashes.

May I anticipate the exquisite work of Your hands

to transform my nothing

into Your everything.

Amen.



                 --Rachel Wojo 






Friday, November 4, 2016

off the hook...


Our landline. As it usually is around 3:00 p.m. every afternoon. Otherwise, we get TOO MANY robocalls. Political, mostly. But also calls for donations to various organizations. We don’t like them. (We donate as much and as often as we can…we don’t really want phone calls requesting money.) We ESPECIALLY abhor the ones that come after 9:00 o’clock PM. Are they kiddin’ us? My Sweet Hubby (MSH) is asleep by 8:30. I’ve fallen dead to the world at least three times, on our couch, between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Occasionally, if I feel like having a bit of fun, I’ll answer. I’ll ask them if they know they’re calling North Central Texas and do they know what Time Zone we’re in? And why are they calling ANYONE after 8:30 p.m? I normally get a “Sorry” and a hang up. A fast hang up!

This week has been different for MSH and me. Tuesday morn, we had a joint “surgery” appointment at a dermatologist’s office in Fort Worth. MSH had a squamous cell carcenoma on his shoulder. I had a basal cell on my chin. We had NO IDEA he was going to walk out with 26 stitches and I’d have 16. Sheesh. I’m bruised. Have a lovely “bump/knot” I don’t quite understand. He’s been in pain since his anesthetic wore off. HOWEVER—the pathology is already back and Doc Pat got it all. Yippee!!! (We love this doctor. He is AWESOME. I know he’d like to do some “work” on my wrinkles/sags/scars. I told him , at our first appointment, I am hugely unconcerned about all of that. HUGELY. In fact, I cherish every wrinkle/sag/scar. I’ve earned them all.)

We stayed in hiding all day Wednesday. Yesterday we had to get out to pick up a script for MSH—who’s also been battling the remains of whatever illness we’ve all had. His cough has been H.O.R.R.I.B.L.E. So awful, TLC cancelled a trip to our casa today. She could hear his commotion as we talked on the phone Wednesday afternoon and decided she wasn’t interested in getting sick. Again. Or having The Sweet Little Princesses pick something up from Pa-Pa. We’re sad. We knew it was the right decision. Sigh. Our primary care Doc—who he’d seen a week ago this past Monday—gave him an antibiotic and two cough meds by phone. He might be a little better today. He’s tired. With his heart condition, every illness he experiences is a concern for me. (If you have a few seconds, we’d treasure a prayer made on his behalf!)

So now it’s Friday. We needed groceries. We made a quick trip to Hellmart—where we saw three WONDERFUL friends and had, had, HAD to visit! Well, I visited with one beautiful young friend (She actually has four kiddos, the oldest being 21. I cannot even wrap my brain around that one.) and HATED having to end our prolonged chat. In the bandaid/bandages/vitamin aisle! We definitely annoyed a few other shoppers. We tried to get out of everywhere’s way. (I don’t like when people do that to me, don’tchaknow. Winky. Wink.)

The other two valued friends were our Sheriff and his sweet wife. He is THE BEST SHERIFF ON EARTH. Truth. She is a cookie. We adore both of them and were THRILLED to see them.

Got home by 2:00. It’s a little dreary. Cloudy. Not as hot as it’s been (We’ve had record heat for October and November in North Central Texas.). We’ve also had rain—for which we are always DEEPLY grateful. The dreariness? Not such a bad thing when you’re retired. Puny/sick-ish. Lazy. And just basically ready for bed at 4:13 p.m.

Here’s hoping each of Y’all has a WONDERFUL Weekend—Wherever in the World Y’all are! Stay well. Get cozy. Be grateful for all of your Blessings! BE SAFE. BE VERY SAFE.

Smooches and BIG HUGS…

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

NO...


NO. NO. NO.



Repeat after me (ELC):



IT IS NOT NOVEMBER. IT IS NOT REALLY NOVEMBER.



I cannot stand it. Time MUST slow down.



That is all.