Wednesday, October 18, 2017

ugh.


Except it's Wednesday.

Ugh.

I overslept this morning, and that just threw off my whole day.

C'est la vie.

Meanwhile, I want to introduce y'all to the newest member of our family:


This is: Nancy Elsa Leighton. (Named after Fancy Nancy, Frozen's "Elsa" and, well, you can imagine where Leighton came from. Winky. Wink.) She's a pretty blue-ish/purple-ish Betta. Sweet Little Leighton has wanted a fish for quite awhile now. When my husband came back from his long trip to Connecticut, we took her to Petsmart to pick one out. Despite the fact that it was a complete debacle (long, long story), we happily selected Miss Nancy, and I believe she is settling in quite nicely! We have since added some pretty blue glass rocks to her aquarium, which really fancied her up.

I hope everyone's Wednesday is more Wednesday-ish than mine. LOL.

TTFN!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

many good things...


From Jesus Today, by Sarah Young…

 

BY DAY I DIRECT MY LOVE; AT NIGHT MY SONG is with you—for I am the God of your life. Take heart, My child, knowing that I am in charge of everything in your life. During the day, I command My Love to bless you in countless ways! So be on the lookout for the many good things I place along your path. Ask My Spirit to open your eyes so that you can perceive and receive all these blessings. Do not be discouraged by the hard things you encounter, for this is part of living in a deeply fallen world.

Rejoice that My song is with you throughout the night as I lovingly watch over you. If you are wakeful, use this time to see My Face and enjoy My Peaceful Presence. A tender intimacy with Me can develop when you remember me on your bedmeditating on Me in the night watches. Whether you are waking or sleeping, I am always present with you. For I am indeed the God of your life!

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.

--1 Peter 5:8-9

When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings will I rejoice. My soul follows close behind You; Your right hand upholds me.

--Psalm 63:6-8 NKJV

Wow. My last post was a DOWNER. Sheesh. My deepest apologies, Friends…

My week got busier and busier and I did my best to “Let It Go.” (Thank you Elsa and Frozen!)

It was interesting that this was one of my readings/prayers/devotions this morning. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) woke up at 2:00—unable to sleep. He did his best to be quiet, but at 4:00 I realized he was up. He felt badly that he’d made me stir. I rarely get upset with him for waking me. For many, many of our over-40 years together? I’ve been the one that had sleeping problems. I couldn’t even guess how many times I’ve woken him from a deep sleep. ALOT.

Sleep is beyond important. It’s essential. Yes. I'm not going to earn The Nobel Peace Prize for this revelation. How do we make good decisions when we’re exhausted? How do we focus? Function? It’s tough. Some days it's tougher than others. I do often try to pray myself back to sleep! Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. I love the sentence: “If you are wakeful, use this time to see My Face…” I’m definitely going to go a step further during these nighttime frustrations and actually picture Jesus’ beautiful face. I’ll be suggesting that to MSH, too.

Have a SWEET Sunday, Dearest Friends…wherever in this World you are!

ELC

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

snap!


And so I was going to begin my clever, interesting, fun post about the cold front that hit North Central Texas early, early this morning! Snap! As in “cold” snap. BUT when I turned my computer on at 8:00 p.m. Central Standard Time this evening, it started some “updates.” Microsoft Word Windows 10 gave me NO CHOICE to do these “updates” later. And the message to me—as the dadgum “updates” began was:

This could take a while.

Do not turn off your PC.

What the heck was “a while?” I’ve had a long day. It started at 5:30 a.m. At 8:00, I had to pay some bills on-line. I attempted to shut down my computer, but got a message NOT TO TURN IT OFF because there were “updates” to do. I left it on. At 8:30, I had to follow My Sweet Hubby (MSH) to Granbury to attend his semi-annual checkup with his cardiologist. (We were happy to tell his doctor he’s doing WELL! Yippee!) Then we had to pick up his truck from the nearby Toyota dealership. We’d had to drop it off (it's about 40 miles, one way, from our country casa, Folks...) yesterday morning for a recall. Once we got home (noon-ish), I had laundry/cleaning/dusting to do.


I ABHOR dusting. I mean I’d rather clean 50 commodes than dust. I’m not kidding. I have no idea why I have such an aversion to this chore. But I do. And I have despised it for a long, long time. I finally sat down on our davenport at 5:00 p.m.

When I came into my “boffice,” (This is what TLC and I call our third bedroom—which used to be my actual office but is now a second guest/Baby Elle’s bedroom when she comes for a visit. Her crib is in here. So “boffice” is our guest bedroom/myteeny office.) at 8:00 p.m., I was ready to publish my clever “snap!” post, then watch This Is Us—about thirty minutes behind but that’s good because I can fast-forward past the commercials, and, at the end of This Is Us, GO TO BED.

But NNNOOOOOO…I couldn’t do my blogpost because my computer had “updates.”

Almost two hours of “updates.” TWO DADGUM HOURS. TWO. HOURS. Is Microsoft kidding me?

Change of Plans: I watched This Is Us. While this computer “updated.” For the second week in a row, I didn’t cry during This Is Us. What is up with that? I ALWAYS cry. (I’ll check with TLC first thing in the morning and ask her if she cried. If she did? Something is wrong with me.) Then, after coming back into my boffice and seeing that only 50% of the “updates” had been downloaded, I watched Chrisley Knows Best. TLC has decided she currently doesn’t have time for this show. Apparently, when you think you MUST watch every Real Housewives Of Fill-in-the-Blank City, you don’t have time for other reality shows. She’s making a HUGE mistake. CKB is SO FUNNY this go-round. I laugh out loud. Every week.

Once CKB was over, I checked on the evil “updates.” 92% complete. Went to wash my face. Dropped my expensive Rodan & Fields eye cream in my sink. Sigh. I’ve given up, at this point, on catching any kind of a break.

Returned to my boffice to discover my computer had shut down. Good, I thought. GOOD. I can do the post and GO TO BED. Nope. Turned it on and got these messages:

Hi!

This might take several minutes…

These updates help protect you in an online world.

Do not turn off your PC.

UPDATES? WTH? More? For the love of all things fair—PLEASE STOP. Do these dadgum updates while I’m asleep.

This time I sat here. Staring at my computer. Fortunately, for Microsoft, they were right. It only took approximately 6 minutes.

Yes. My computer is several years old. It’s a desktop. I like desktops. I DO NOT LIKE TLC’s and MSH’s laptop computers. DO. NOT. LIKE. THEM. If and when I get another computer, I’ll want another desktop. I’m praying I can buy one. Because, at this rate, I feel like they’re going to become obsolete. Like me. And that will make me cRaZiEr than I already have become.

I’m very cranky. I realize it and I apologize. I’ll end this post by telling you this:

We LOVE COLD SNAPS in Texas! It feels like it’s really, truly Fall! Autumn! Yes, it’s going to get hotter and hotter as the week passes by. On Saturday? In the 90s. But, for now, we shall enjoy every single second of our crisp, cool, LOVELY cold (for Texas!) air.

Y’all have a Wonderful Wednesday! (Be nicer than me. I’m currently quite awful/grouchy/terrible. Trust me. It’s not fun.)

ta-ta for now…

Saturday, October 7, 2017

my sad heart...


Yesterday afternoon, our place went on-line.  I was with My Precious Friend, Sunny, at our most favourite lunch spot—having pizza—when I got the text that it was officially For Sale. Bless her sweet heart—she got tears in her eyes. We cannot imagine not being close to each other. We’ve been friends for thirty years. I love her like a sister. I’ve promised her we’re not going that far away! Still…we know it won’t be the same. Change never is. DAMMIT.

 

If anyone had tried to warn me years ago that we’d someday move from our country casa? I’d have laughed and said they were crazy/nUtS/delusional. This is not something we thought about until four-ish years ago. Not something for which we’d ever made serious plans. Or even expected to happen. We don’t know where we’ll go! East. Northeast. Southeast. The Ft. Worth area. Closer to TLC and her family.

 

We could be here for months—or years! We may not get the offer we want/need. This much My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I feel confident about in our bones and souls: God knows what His Plan is for us. He knows there hasn’t been one day, in almost eighteen years, I haven’t sincerely thanked him for His gift of this beautiful home. Not one. If we’re meant to be here longer? Then we’re meant to be here longer. His Plan. His Timing. Our faith and patience.

 

In the meantime, I will treasure every second I have left here with My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and our pets—Buddy Boo Bear the Dog and Hunter the Cat. And our three Mama cows and two baby calves (one more to arrive any time!). And our beautiful birds and critters. We’ll both treasure whatever visits might be left with our kids and grandkids. Friends. We’ll treasure every last second. Trust me. We must. It's just that exquisite out here.

 

Here come my tears…and there will be many, many more, I’m afraid. Gotta scoot. There’s work to do.

 

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


p.s.--HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Nellie! We love you!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

octobers...


ELC actually just ordered this quote on a t-shirt for me and I. Am. Excited. (Thanky, Mama!) I think it might possibly be my most favourite quote ever (despite having never read Anne of Green Gables). The final three months of the year are my jam. I'm in my element. October, November, December? They make my spirit bright!

I hope my girls love this time of year as much as I do. Little Leighton seems to and Baby Elle will soon learn! I snapped this picture of them (and Buddy!) when we were visiting ELC and My Sweet Dad two weeks ago. The light lends so much warmth to the photo. It just says, "FALL," to moi. (The cute "cat ears" LL is wearing probably helps, too. Winky. Wink.)



May your upcoming weekend be filled with pumpkins, pumpkin pancakes, candy corn and coziness.

TTFN.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

X marks the spot!



The past two weeks have been hectic. FUN. Tiring. Interesting. Challenging. Did I mention hectic?


TLC’s Hubby had been in training—in Connecticut—for his (semi) new job. Until last night. This was the second time he’d had to go in the past two months. Now that they live 45 minutes (minimum) closer to My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and moi, I’ve made a determined effort to help TLC out with My Sweet Girls—Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) and Baby Elle (aka Belle). This means I go there to TLC’s casa or she comes to ours frequently. In fact...in the past twelve nights? I’ve been with them for eight. TLC and I have only had very minor issues with each other. Yes. TLC gets frustrated with me. And I with her. Those things about each other that are alike? They are IDENTICAL. Those things about each other that are different? WOWZER. YIKES. SHEESH. Let's all take a breath and a BREAK.


So this go-round, we did GOOD. Very good. The Little Girls absolutely, positively, without a doubt CRACK THIS GRAMMY NANNY UP. Constantly.


Little Leighton? Sweet. Funny. Smart. Silly. Quiet/Shy. Ish. Mostly.


Baby Elle? WILD. Energetic. Adventurous (to the point of being downright RISKY). Curious. Silly. Silly like her Big Sis.


I always think I’m going to remember everything funny or touching or SMART that these two say and/or do. Of course, I don’t. I thought that when TLC was a baby/tot/child/adolescent/teen. You'd think one would learn. Nope.


But one cutie-thingie that happened was during their bath Wednesday night. TLC and I both have these foamy letters and numbers that stick to the sides of the tub—or to the wall—if it’s marble/tile, etc. For minutes of entertainment! (Notice I said "minutes." Sometimes it's closer to "seconds.") Both TLC and I had pretty much put these letters/numbers up a few months ago. Belle was trying to eat them. We didn’t think that was an especially good idea. Recently, both of us had gotten them back out to test her ability to understand she should NOT put them in her mouth. So far? So good.


Belle REALLY likes to put things on her head. Bowls. Toys. Clothes. Diapers (Not used. Thank You, Lord.). Paper plates. Food. Excluding food, once she places some object on her head she says: “Hat! Hat!” It’s PRECIOUS. Naturally I’d believe that. Winky. Wink. Probably not original. However, Biscuit didn't do this too much. She seemed to prefer tiaras for her wittle head.


So Wednesday night, Belle was putting those letters and numbers on her head and saying: “Hat!” TLC, LL and I were laughing. Duh. At some point, LL stuck the letter “X” on Belle’s head and said: “X marks the spot!”


Wwhhhaaaattttt? Where had our 5-year-old heard that expression? And how did she remember it and use it correctly—even though in such a cRaZy way?


I don’t know. She loves to look at maps. I suppose she’s read a book that talks about “X” marking the spot.


It was clever. SHE IS ADORABLE. They are BOTH ADORABLE. Yep. I'm that obnoxious grandmother. 24/7.


MSH came for a visit yesterday—my last day “on the job”—and helped TLC put up a curtain rod in her den/living room. We had lunch. I stayed with Belle while TLC, Biscuit and MSH went for a ride around TLC’s new hometown. There are beaucoups of tres charming/pretty/sweet places to see!


We got home yesterday afternoon and have been busy, busy since. Our country casa/place will be officially listed For Sale next week. Oh. No. Here I go. I get so verklempt when I even begin to think of leaving this amazing home we’ve been blessed with for over seventeen years. Who knows if it’ll sell fast? Maybe we’ll be sitting here two years from now with no offers. PROMISE: MSH and I are both at peace with God’s Plan for our future. We honestly are believing He has His Plan for us and we’ll know what it is at some point. In the meantime? We’re working on getting rid of STUFF. Clutter. CRAP. (Excuse my French.) We have enough for seventeen other peeps. Sigh.


Here’s hoping each of Y’all has a WONDERFUL Weekend—wherever in this world you are! Get rid of some crap in my honour--'kay?


HUGS and SMOOCHES


ELC

Monday, September 25, 2017

Officially time for...

...PUMPKINS!

Y'all. We had the best weekend. I have oodles and oodles of the cutest pics on my phone to share. But, I snapped these earlier this afternoon and pumpkins always take priority. Wink. Wink.




On Friday afternoon, while visiting with ELC and My Sweet Dad for the weekend, we stopped to buy just a few pumpkins. I fully intend to add at least four more, but this is a good start for late September.

I hope y'all had a wonderful weekend, too! I'll be back to recap and share more pics SOON.

TTFN.

P.S. IT'S FALL Y'ALL!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

twilight and otis...


So Y’all might remember that Little Leighton named our three Mama cows: Elsie. Twinkle and Dixie. AWESOME names. Truly. Yet this Grammy Ga-Ga ELC has never been able to call Twinkle anything but Twilight. I have no explanation for this faux pas. None. Fraudian? No clue.

TLC, Little Leighton (LL) and Baby Elle have been here since Thursday afternoon. I actually came with them from their house. Long story. (We’re going back to TLC’s this afternoon. So I can go to church with them tomorrow morning.)

Little Leighton could not wait to see the new baby calf she named Olaf. (Because, you see, Elsie is actually after Elsa. Her most treasured Princess. To date.) Grammy Ga-Ga was ‘fessin’ up to LL that I call Twinkle "Twilight." Bless LL’s sweet heart—she said: "Well, Grammy, let’s just call her Twilight." God love Grammy's Precious LL.

So while I was on a roll, I reminded her Pa-Pa (aka My Sweet Hubby aka MSH) is still calling the new bull calf Olaf “Otis.” She said it’d be okay if we changed his name, too. But I think she should not have to give up another name. We’ve been making MSH practice. Olaf. Olaf. Olaf. He almost has it. (Not. Not actually. Sigh.)

All of us Texas Leighton Gals (and Baby Elle) hope All of Y’all will have a WONDERFUL WEEKEND—wherever in this World you are!

Until we meet again…(And, yes, it will be TLC’s turn next week. Will be innerstin’ to see if she can hold up to the bargain she made with Her Mama and that would be MOI and that would be one post per week.)

ta-ta for now…

ELC

Monday, September 18, 2017

i'm baaaccckkk...

Hi, friends!

I'm quickly typing this while watching the baby monitor. Baby Elle has decided over the last three weeks that sleeping uninterrupted at night is just for the birds. It seems to be occurring roughly every other night, as it appears she's in the habit of having one bad night followed by one good night (because she's clearly exhausted). Tonight is already a bad night, and it's still (relatively) early.

Y'all. I. Am. Done.

After listening to her cry and cry and cry, I finally broke down and went into her room about an hour ago. She was thirsty. After guzzling water, she asked if I would rock her. I obliged. Then she tried chatting with me and pointing out my facial features: eyes, nose, mouth, yougetthepoint. At that juncture, I bid her farewell and put her back down. She's not currently asleep but at least she isn't wailing.

We are slowly, but surely, settling into our new home and new town. The weekend we moved was ROUGH. I cried. A LOT. I loved my home and neighbors and friends and my precious Downtown and yummy restaurants. Even at 33, I still have a hard time accepting change. My Hubby had been out of town for the two weeks prior to our move, and I was simply overwhelmed. I was certain I couldn't love my new home and new town as much as the life we were leaving.

I was WRONG. Hallelujah.

I adore our new town. I love Little Leighton's school. I love the church we've decided to attend. I love the public library. I love the restaurants. Though there is quite a bit of "revamping" we would like done at our new house, I really do love it, too. The layout is much more functional.

I also love the sweet, little Farmer's Market around our Town Hall! We decided to scope it out last Saturday and were truly impressed!


Here is a picture of LL with the amazing bouquet of flowers we brought home. It was ginormous and only $10! (Unfortunately, the flowers only lasted two days at our casa. Not because they weren't still beautiful but because my allergies were not fond of the pollen. Boo.)

I hope to be back blogging at least once a week now. Thank you to ELC for her endless support, help and general "covering for moi."

Wish me luck tonight. Jesus, take the wheel!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

my boo...


Saturday “sayings” from Pinterest (I have no clue who to give credit to for these funnies/cuties. Suffice it to say I wasn’t clever enough to think of ANY of them myself. Not a one.):

 

I love you Friday but

 

Saturday morning

 

you my boo.

 

dear Saturday,

 

 you are my

 

                                       favourite

                                                                   X

 

(Many of Y’all understand what I love about this one: The way “favourite” is spelled. The way TLC and I strongly feel it should always be spelled.)

 

on Saturdays

     we wear

           pajamas

 

(Yes. Yes, we do. When we can. Okay. That’s not often. But it happens occasionally…and those are often THE BEST SATURDAYS.)

 

I was thinking last night about weekends. You might assume, if you is a youngun, or younger than, oh, I don’t know, 60, that when you’re a “retired” peep, all the days would kind of flow together. And, to some extent, that can happen. My Sweet Hubby (MSH) needs me and/or a calendar and/or his phone calendar and/or the television to remind him what day it is. (Sometimes I have to remind him several times during that day...sigh...) Monday holidays? They mess us up (mainly him) horribly. Forever.

BUT, STRANGELY enough, we still look forward to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays! We truly do. I guess from the time we’re born most of us get it in our heads and souls that the weekend is THE WEEKEND. Special. Cherished. Treasured. Lazy. FUN. (Yes, some people work all weekend long—or part of a weekend—and, for them, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays might be like any other day of the week. Or their “weekends” might be our “weekdays.” (I hate that for them. At the same time, I thank doctors, nurses, firemen and women, policemen and women, EMTS, retail and grocery store workers, and millions and millions of others who keep This World running on weekends. Thank you for your willingness to be there for us when we need you. God bless you.)

MSH and I seriously can’t wait for Friday nights! We have an on-going date to meet in our Great Room for some television watchin’. Our “date” begins around 5:00 p.m. and ends at approximately 8:00 p.m. That’s the time he’s ready to go to our bedroom and watch his National Geographic shows. That’s my time for Dateline or 20/20 or something I’ve recorded earlier in the week and haven’t had time to watch.

This Saturday morn we’re waiting on a painter to come repair a little spot on one of our ceilings. It's not a big deal but it needs to be done right. (MSH tried to fix it a couple of days ago. He was afraid he’d make it worse. So there you go. The little spot will cost us $200 to get repaired. Yikes. Sheesh.) I’m about to be Chef Grammy Ga-Ga and bake up some “Gramcakes” (aka gluten-free pancakes in different flavors—pumpkin, or with chocolate chips, or just plain and buttery and YUMMY—for Little Leighton and Baby Elle). Later this afternoon, MSH and I will head to town for errands. Yep. Just like they did back in them thar Olden Days—when the country folk headed to town for supplies.

Here’s wishing each of Y’all a Sweet Saturday—wherever in this World you are! Stay in those jammies. If you can!

ta-ta for now, Sillies…

elc

Sunday, September 10, 2017

...heart friends...



From Prayers with Purpose for Women by Jackie M. Johnson:


My Friends


THE POWER OF CONNECTION


Thank You for My Friendships


A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.
      PROVERBS 18:24


Lord, I thank You for my wonderful friends! As I think about the treasure chest of my close friends, casual friends, and acquaintances, I am grateful for the blessings and the joys each one brings to my life. Thank you for my “heart” friends, my loyal sister friends who listen, care, and encourage me. They are my faithful companions. I acknowledge that You, Lord, are the giver of all good gifts, and I thank You for Your provision in my friendships.


In Jesus’ Name, I pray.


Amen.


As we end this week, a week of more hurricanes, devastation, pain, uncertainty, confusion, sadness, fears, frustrations and stress, I think about the friends TLC and I have had in our lives. (My life? Long. Hers? Not so much.) We’ve been beyond lucky to have the most amazing women to help us get through all the tough stuff. The most amazing women with which to laugh. And cry.


Many of our dearest “heart” friends are the same! At some point (I think about the time TLC got married, maybe?), age started becoming irrelevant and many of my friends became TLC’s. (Not just Moms of her friends…or older women who’d been my friends for years and years. And years.) For me, those young women I’d known for most of their lives—watching them grow up with TLC from toddlers to lovely adults—became my friends, too.


The above prayer was one I came to early this morning as I engaged in my daily ritual of reading The Bible and reading from six other God/Jesus books. I cherished every lovely word of this prayer because I cherish every second of every day I’ve enjoyed the magnificent friends I have here on this sometimes scary Earth... 


As we start a new week, I wish for each of Y’all HAPPY CONNECTIONS with your friends—old and new. Don’t take them for granted. Tell them how much you adore and need them. We never know when we'll have missed that chance...


Hugs…


ELC

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

63


Not my age. Although, yes, that actually IS my age.

63 degrees this morning at 7:00! At our country casa in North Central Texas. Reported to me by My Sweet Hubby (MSH) as he headed out the door to go for his daily walk with Teddy Buddy Boo Bear.

FALL IS COMING! FALL IS COMING! We/Us? TEXANS ARE SO BEYOND READY for cool, crisp weather. I’m betting 85% of all those 21 and over who live in Texas would say Fall/Autumn is their most favourite season of the year. (Make that 100% for everyone over the age of 40.)

MSH and I took advantage of the cool morning temps to work in our store room located inside our garage. I wish I could show y’all a picture of what we took out of it and put on the floor of our double-car garage. (Alas, I still don't know how to post pictures. Don't give up on me!) It reminded me of one of those Clown Cars at the Rodeo. You know what I’m talking about, right? A Volkswagon is driven into the center of the rodeo arena. A clown gets out and holds the door while 100 more clowns get out of it. And you simply cannot figure out where they are coming from and how that is even happening.

I never remember to take a “before” picture. You remember this fact. At least, I don’t remember very often. I did take “after” pictures of the actual storage room when we were finished. Because, once MSH and I had worked for NINE (9) hours cleaning, organizing, trashing, purging, and repacking the thousands of things that had been in that room, it was BEE-YOU-TEE-FULL. Less congested. Swept. Dusted. Lovely. Fabulous.


Tomorrow I’m going to my Weight Watchers’ meeting (last week I was officially down 34.6 pounds), taking six very full boxes and some miscellaneous items to a foster home in town that has a benefit auction every March (Yes, I’m donating a tidbit early. They have a HUGE equipment building they store donations in during the year.), and then coming home to work over at our Barn apartment. Closets. Bookshelves. Kitchen shelves. Etc.

I’m on a MISSION. And my Mission will be ACCOMPLISHED. (Eventually.)

Picture me sending each of you a BIG SMOOCH! Hope you have a Terrific Thursday—wherever in this World you are!

ELC

Friday, September 1, 2017

...the doorway...


“Ah, September!

 

       You are the

 

   doorway to the

 

        season that

 

        awakens my

 

            soul…”

 

                                                                                    --Peggy Toney Horton

 

September.

The month that begins to excite TLC about pumpkins and everything FALL/Autumn.

The month of our wedding anniversary (My Sweet Hubby—aka MSH—and I will celebrate 39 years of marriage soon…).

A new month that we, as Texans, hope and pray will be the beginning of significant recovery from Hurricane Harvey. Sigh. Please Dearest Lord God Amighty—help South Texas and all of our State find renewed faith and strength.

TLC, Little Leighton and Baby Elle are on their way to spend a few nights with us on this Labor Day holiday. We can’t wait to see them!

We send our BEST WISHES to each of Y’all to have a WONDERFUL, happy, healthy, SAFE, lazy, FUN weekend…wherever in this World you are!

Hugs,

ELC

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

...horrors...


Houston. Rockport. Surrounding cities and towns. Utter chaos. Devastation. HORROR. Hurricane Harvey HORRORS.

I’m talking homes and vehicles gone. Lives lost. Snakes. Alligators. Floating beds of fire ants. (If you’ve never seen what a floating fireant bed looks like—Google it. Our oldest son said those give him the creeps and shivers as much as the alligators and snakes.) Keepsakes and memories destroyed. I’m talking hungry, wet, cold, exhausted, frightened, sick, thirsty men, women, children, babies, animals. Lives changed forever. FOREVER.

Fortunately for My Sweet Hubby (MSH), TLC and me, our sons (her four brothers) and their wives and kids, who all live in Houston, are fine. One is still stuck in his home. But it’s two-story and today he says things are looking up. The youngest—who is an ER doctor—says the hospitals are a whole different kind of nightmare. So many people needing medical attention. He's pooped. But working as hard as he can to help.

As we’ve watched it all on television, seen our sons’ pictures and read their texts, we’ve gone in and out of all of these feelings and emotions: Shock. Confusion. Anger. Sadness. Disbelief. Sheer JOY—when watching and listening to the Grace, Love and Kindness of Strangers. MORE SADNESS. Hopelessness. Then HIGH HOPES. Then more all-consuming SADNESS.

I don’t understand hurricanes. Flooding. Tornadoes. Natural disasters. Mother Nature at her WORST. Mother Nature being PSYCHOTIC. I haven’t found anyone who really does understand these unbelievable and horrific events. At 63, I try to tell myself to stop trying to understand. Understanding will never happen. Not here on Earth.

But I do believe in God. And the power and strength of the human spirit. I must. I do. So does MSH. TLC. We believe with all of our hearts and souls that someday we will know the answers to this incredible pain.

So we keep praying. Hoping. Encouraging. Praying. Attempting acceptance. We all must pray for the victims of Harvey to stay determined to move onward. Forward. Steadily. With determination that cannot waver.

If you’ve not been affected by Hurricane Harvey, you’re blessed. If you’ve never been affected by a natural disaster, you are double blessed. I've only seen the damage these weather extremes have unleashed on this World. Let's all, please, thank God right now we're lucky if we haven't gone through any of these firsthand. And PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE pray for the people of Houston, Rockport, South Texas coastal cities and Texas and Louisiana cities and towns even hundreds of miles away. They all need our constant prayers. They'll need them for a long, long time.
ELC

Saturday, August 26, 2017

why harvey???



Why? Why couldn’t you have just stayed out in the Gulf and chilled?


This dadgum hurricane fortunately doesn’t affect My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and me. Or TLC and her Gang. We’re far enough north to only be looking at some possible rain. (Or so “they” say! Those weather forecasters who don’t always get it right, right?) But it does affect our four sons and their families. They all live in Houston. Well, okay. That’s not exactly the 100% truth.


The two oldest live in Houston. The third son has an apartment in Houston and is there every other week. But he works in New York City.  He is currently in Houston. Our youngest son (TLC is our youngest child and only daughter) and his wife actually live in Scottsdale, Arizona. He’s an ER doctor that works in Houston several days every month. He’s also there now.


All say they are fine! The potential problem is the rain is not going to stop. For days. And days. Or…so “they” say.


MSH and I continue to pray to Our Lord God Almighty that the flooding doesn’t happen. That it’s minimal. Or that the predicted torrential rains miraculously stop! That the weather peeps are wrong. As they’ve often been in the past.


Time will tell. (There are already too many heartbreaking stories on TV. So. Difficult. To. Watch.)


Meanwhile, MSH and I had a different kind of week! We escaped to Louisiana! Our get-away was to be for two nights. Three days. It turned into one night. I won’t bore y’all with the details of our change in plans. I’ll only say that we had FUN. Much to TLC’s shock, we were happy with our choice to end it sooner than we intended. We ended up coming home the second night but then, On Thursday, took our time to look, all day, at some places/towns we’ll consider as a possible new home for us. When (and if?) our place sells in the next few weeks. Or months?


Time will tell on this, too…SIGH.


I’m heading, after lunch, to see My Girls! TLC and Her Hubby have plans for a Date Night in their new hometown. It involves lots of yummy food and a movie…in a City Park. (Assuming it won’t get rained out…) So Grammy ELC will be a Nanny tonight! I keep forgetting My Girls are 45 minutes closer and that I don’t have to allow two hours to travel to their casa. This is lovely! Wow. I’ll be home by noon-ish manana.


MSH is expecting his youngest sister to come for dinner—possibly spend the night. She’s helping her oldest grandchild (and only granddaughter) move back into her dorm at the State University in our sweet (soon to be ex? sniffy sniff...) hometown. She’s lives in Austin—and Austin is in the path of major rain and flooding.


Time will tell on whether her visit will happen or if she’ll feel she needs to get back home as quickly as possible today.


Sending each of you HUGS and my best wishes  this Saturday morn for safety, good health, happiness and NO FLOODING rains in your life…


smooches and ta-ta for now, Dearest Friends...

Monday, August 21, 2017

...along the path of Life...



From Jesus Today, by Sarah Young:


WAIT WITH ME FOR A WHILE. I have much to tell you. You are walking along the path I have chosen for you. It is both a privileged and a perilous way: experiencing My glorious Presence and heralding that reality to others. Sometimes you feel presumptuous to be carrying out such an assignment.


Do not worry about what other people think of you. The work I am doing in you is hidden at first. But eventually blossoms will burst forth, and abundant fruit will be born. Stay on the path of Life with Me. Trust Me wholeheartedly, letting My Spirit fill you with Joy and Peace.


1 KINGS 8:23; GALATIANS 5:22-23


I loved reading this when I woke this morning! Drew and I headed south early yesterday to have a good visit and lunch with our precious and Darling Liz. She’s having surgery at the end of the week and we wanted to give her encouraging hugs. Share our love for and admiration of her beautiful heart, soul and spirit. We had a GREAT time! Lots of laughs. Lots of empathy, sympathy, advice (unsolicited, of course!) and compassion for each other. A Day of Celebration for our many, many years of friendship.


While we were On the Road, TLC and her family went to the church they believe they’ll eventually join and had a wonderful experience. Little Leighton pranced right on in to her Sunday School class. Brave. Ready to meet new friends and learn about Jesus. Baby Elle had no clue what was about to hit her—as she was left in the Nursery. She did FANTASTIC—for an Angel Baby who’d not been left with anyone in her little life except her Grammy and Pa-Pa! TLC continues to unpack boxes and they proceed, hourly, on settling into their new home. Their new life. Their new “path.”


My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I are preparing to get our country home and casa spic-and-span clean, organized, de-cluttered, and ready to be put on the market. I don’t think I’ve talked about this yet. It’s something incredibly difficult for me. Every time my mind tries to go to the work we need to do and the new adventures we need to embrace, I cry. I tremble with uncertainty, fear, and deep, gut-wrenching sadness. When we bought this place and built our home 17 ½ years ago, we never expected to sell it and move somewhere else. The reality of our aging—the work involved in keeping it up—the distance we are from TLC and, frankly, many of our doctors and hospitals (Yep, you must think about that when you get older…and older…), hits us too often now.


We don’t know how long it’ll take to find the right buyer. May be fast. Could be quite slow. We’ve got faith it’ll happen according to Our Lord God’s plans for us. We’ll practice patience. (I’m sure some days those "patience" efforts will be harder to accomplish than on others…SIGH…)


We’ll believe in His timing. However, we’ll be beyond heartbroken if, and/or when, we must drive away from Our Sanctuary to a new house. MUST. STOP. NOW. To find a tissue.


Have a WONDERFUL WEEK—wherever in this World each of you lives and loves and works and plays! Be safe. Be kind. Stay on your path. (Okay. Okay. Take a few detours if you're so moved!)
ta-tafornow,
ELC

Thursday, August 17, 2017

so this is what it's come to?


Aging. Until you’ve reached your 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s, you think you get it: Getting older will be challenging and somewhat/sometimes difficult. But, truly, you have to reach those ages to understand. To totally and completely comprehend what’s happening. What’s involved.

I can remember, when I was a teenager in high school, thinking that 30 was going to be old. THIRTY. Oh, Lawdy. Sheesh.

40? I didn’t hate it. However, two months after I turned 40? I was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to have a modified radical mastectomy of my left breast. Chemo. Three implant surgeries. (I then had two more implant surgeries over the next 12 years. I’m fairly certain I’ve needed a newer-model-fourth permanent implant for at least seven or eight years. I cannot bring myself to go down that road.) Therefore, 40 ended up being a BIG stumbling block.

When I turned 50? I said to myself: Geez, Self, this aging thing is getting REAL. Really scary. Really annoying.  

(All the while I’m aging, My Sweet Hubby—MSH—is, too. He’s ten years older than moi. He’s been willing and able to prepare me—somewhat—for each new decade I’ve reached. Although he can be fairly negative about it all...)

60? Again...with much greater emphasis..SHEESH. That one hit me. SIXTY. Yikes. Two months later? MSH=SEVENTY. Double Yikes.

Now I’m 63. I’ve lost 33 pounds in the past 6 ½ months. I’m getting healthier than I’ve been in years. Maybe than I’ve been all my life? I’m walking better than I have in at least five years. I’m dealing with/accepting wrinkles. Aches. Pains. Saggy things. Etc.

So yesterday morning, I went to town to my GP’s office for my annual bloodwork. I’d seen her for my actual checkup last week. She was PROUD of my weight loss. Anxious, like me, to see what my numbers are going to be—specifically my cholesterol levels. (They’ve been deteriorating for the past five years. She hasn’t put me on meds yet. For which I’m grateful.) I’ve been prepared, however, each year, for her to say: “Sorry, ELC. It’s time for more pills.” (I currently only take ONE prescription medication! Now, listen up, Kiddos: That ain’t bad for someone of my years.

I fasted after midnight Tuesday. Skipped my Diet Dew and Premier Protein Shake. Became surprised how NOT HUNGRY I actually was—at 8:15 a.m. The nurse took one vial and I went on my merry way.

Also, yesterday was the first day of the new public school year in our hometown. I needed to drop some clothes at our Cleaners and chose to drive down the street where the high school and “intermediate” school is located. Intermediate was 4th, 5th and 6th grades when TLC was a student there. I’m not sure if it is still those grades—since she’s our youngest and we’ve had no grandchildren that have lived or grown up in our town.

I felt…hmmm…melancholy. A bit teary. I could remember so very much about TLC’s school years. From literally FOUR years of pre-school to kindergarten through to 12th grade. Teachers. Friends. Bad stuff. Good stuff. Then I thought about our two oldest grandchildren who are headed to college. Our five others at different “school” stages in their sweet lives. Our third oldest grandchild will be in 8th grade. The next? 3rd grade. The next? 1st grade. Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) will be starting kindergarten at a church school next week—but TLC plans to hold her back one more year. (Not sure when Biscuit will understand this decision. Hoping it won’t upset her—down the line—when she realizes she’s technically a year behind.) Baby Elle (aka Belle)? A year away from beginning pre-school. We’ll all blink and that time will be here. We’ll blink again and she’ll be graduating from high school!

This aging Grammy? Sad. Happy! Fearful. EXCITED! Praying MSH and I continue to be strong and healthy enough to actually participate in our grandchildren’s lives! Praying we have MANY MORE years on this cRaZy, and, frankly, too-often frightening, Earth!

Now one of my 63-year-old REALITIES:

It's happened. I have to have help shaving my legs. (Not all of each leg. 95% of them.) I kid y’all not. This is NOT an easy thing for me to admit. (TLC will be mortified when she reads this. It is what it is, TLC. You’ve known most of your life I’m not afraid to talk about lots of subjects!) I simply cannot move my body, back, neck, hips, legs, and arms sufficiently “around” to get my ankles shaved. Not without cutting myself. Which I did three times last week.

So here’s My Solution:

MSH simply has to assist me. Last Thursday was his first day. I wasn’t thrilled about asking him. Hey, after over 40 years together? It’s certainly not the worst thing he’s ever had to do for me. Or the worst thing he’s ever seen! (And vice versa.)

Please do me a favor, You Younguns:

Pray he can continue to see WTHeck he’s doing! Because TLC is surely going to try to NOT inherit his obligation if HE starts cutting my ankles.

My BEST wishes to each of you, from My Texas Country Casa, this Terrific Thursday evening! Enjoy every single second you are under the age of 40. Or 50. Or 60. Or 70. Or 80. Or 90. Whatever age seems “OLD” to you! ‘kay?

Hugs,

ELC

Sunday, August 13, 2017

moment by moment...


From Jesus Lives, by Sarah Young:

TRIALS

CONSIDER IT ALL JOY WHEN YOU ENCOUNTER VARIOUS TRIALS. You can consider something a joyful opportunity even when you are feeling quite joyless. Some definitions of “consider” are: “to think about seriously; to regard as; to believe after deliberation.” You may need to ponder your circumstances at length before you can view them in a positive light. You need to give yourself time for your feelings to settle down. It’s hard to think clearly with high levels of emotions surging through your brain. Once you have calmed down, you will be able to think seriously about your situation. Invite Me into this process of deliberation, and My Presence will improve your perspective: helping you see your trials in the Light of eternity.

As you look at your circumstances from My perspective, you come to understand that these multiple problems are testing your faith. This is both an opportunity (to strengthen your faith) and a temptation (to let your feelings “trump” your faith).

One of the hardest things about trials is the uncertainty about how long they will last. Usually, you can’t predict or control the unpleasant circumstances. You just have to live with them indefinitely. At times you may feel as if you can endure no more, but you can always reach to Me for help. As you cling to Me moment by moment, I enable you to persevere. This produces in you not only endurance but also a harvest of righteousness and peace.

Consider it all joy…when you encounter various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

JAMES 1:2-3

As we entertain and visit with two of our five Houston grandkids this weekend, TLC and Her Hubby continue to unpack boxes. Settle into their new home. Yesterday afternoon, their downstairs air conditioner went out. Lack of cool air in Texas? In August? TOUGH STUFF. Truly CHALLENGING.

She texted me to let me know she and The Little Girls might have to make the trip to our casa and spend a couple of nights. I said: “Come on!” The cousins were missing The Little Girls anyway! They finally found a company to come over and fix it. AND the cost wasn’t as bad as they expected.

Trust me when I confess TLC has come by her negative impatience honestly. Her Mama has too much of it. We both have an excess amount of moments we feel we can “endure no more…” At 63? I’m still working on this terrible trait/habit/albatross. My prayer for my Sweet Daughter today is that she learn to look to Jesus for comfort and strength. That she take deeper breaths. That she lean on her faith and God and Jesus’ past grace.

God bless each of you, Friends, with perspective. Calm in the midst of your personal storms. And, ultimately? JOY. The JOY that only Jesus Christ can give us.

Happy Sunday!

p.s.: My Sweet Hubby and I pray constantly for the anger, hate, and useless violence in America to end. Enough. It must stop. Yesterday.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

in recovery...


We're all in recovery.

Me. My Sweet Hubby (MSH). TLC. Her Hubby. The Little Girls? Buddy Boo Bear and Hunter the Cat? Nope. Henry (aka Bubba)? A tiny bit.

TLC’s BIG MOVE from her (now) former home to her new home (45 miles/minutes closer to me and MSH—YIPPEE!!!) began Friday afternoon. MSH and I had picked up Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) and Baby Elle (aka Belle) at 9:30 that morning in Euless. We got here to our country casa by 11:15.

TLC and Her Hubby closed on their home at 10:30 and went back to meet The Movers at their (now) former home. They all worked—in the Texas heat—for hours and hours. Took several loads of “stuff” to the new home. There were blips. Setbacks. Frustrations. Overall? It went well for the first day.

Meanwhile, we played and played and played at Grammy and Pa-Pa’s house! Belle, who has had good and VERY bad nights, in the past sixteen months, in the half-crib we have for her, had a bit of a struggle deciding she was going to sleep Friday evening. She cried. And cried. And SCREAMED. Then, towards the end of the drama, pitifully called out: “Ga-Ga. Ga-Ga. GA-GA!” This all lasted about twenty minutes. Twenty. LONG. Minutes. (FYI: This Mama/Grammy/Ga-Ga does not do well with crying. I didn’t with any baby. Ever. Especially TLC. And Biscuit.) I was about to THINK ABOUT going in to reassure Belle she’d be okay and we were still around when she suddenly stopped. Which was a very good thing. Since TLC had threatened me practically with my life if I gave in to Belle’s tears and antics. Oh. My. Broken. Heart. It was a rough twenty minutes for moi.

Saturday morn we went out early to feed our (pregnant) Mama cows and played on our back patio (bubbles, pulling the wagon, picking up sticks and rocks)—until 10:30. It was surprisingly cool! We’d told LL we’d all load up and go have some “Moyo” (the term MSH uses when he’s referring to frozen yogurt) after Baby Elle woke from her nap.

Northeast of Us: The Moving Saga continued for TLC and Her Hubby.

Us/We? (I swear I have no grammar skills any more...zero...zilch) Country Folks had a fun time “goin’ to town” after Belle’s nap. We hit up Staples—(y’all will recall this is one of Biscuit’s favourite stores and, yes, that still blows our minds…)—before heading to the frozen yogurt store. They’re within a short walking distance. We all enjoyed the deliciousness of the gluten-free flavors we picked. This is truly one of Biscuit’s treasured things to do when she’s staying with us. God love her. Simple pleasures!

Saturday—for all of us—went by fairly fast. At our house, Belle did much better taking her nap and going to bed that night in the crib she doesn’t appreciate.

Minutes after getting Biscuit to sleep, I showered and hurried to get in my bed—the place where MSH was already snoring. I reached to turn off my light—monitors on The Little Girls and my body in total pain—when I received a text from TLC saying one of the movers had stolen her iPhone 6! I felt awful for her. She’d just bought a 7Plus two weeks ago. She was saving the 6 for LL and Belle—so they could look at pictures and watch the videos. She’d left it in her nightstand drawer Saturday morning and had discovered it gone moments before her text.

She was sick. ANGRY. (Mostly at herself for not taking it with her in her car.) STRESSED. Fortunately, we all put passcodes on our phones. She wasn’t too worried about anything getting stolen. She was deeply hurt that one of the movers—and they tipped, generously, all these guys that helped for two days at the end of both days—would steal from her. After talking to a lovely Apple Customer Service Rep, she did her best to sleep and move on.

Sunday came and went a bit slowly for The Grandparents! As Belle napped that afternoon, this Mama listened to The iPhone Theft Story from TLC—as she drove away from her former home forever. It's about an hour drive. Trust me: She could convince Scotland Yard she didn’t lose or misplace it. The woman she talked to at the moving company on Monday morning assured her she’d find it—that her "guys” would never take anything. Here's what this Mama Bear says: The cellphone won’t show up. I’m certain of it. I'm even more positive Scotland Yard would also be certain.)

By Sunday evening after dinner, MSH and I were slowly going downhill. Our bodies were beginning to rebel. Major rebellion. Caring for LL? A piece of cake. Easy. Peasy. Baby Elle? Lordy. That 16-month-old Baby Princess is actually a TORNADO. FAST. Unpredictable. Destructive. TIRING. Sheesh. (And we adore her.)

Monday morning TLC worked on getting Her Girls’ bedrooms ready for them to come see their new digs! They’d seen the downstairs last Thursday—but couldn’t go up to their rooms due to wet carpet. TLC was anxious to get them settled in. MSH and I and The Little Girls spent the first half of the day eating, getting in some last-minute playing, and packing their belongings. (It was alof of stuff for three nights/four days.)

We arrived at The New Casa (new to TLC and Gang) at 2:00 Monday afternoon. I was very impressed and loved it! Yes, it needs some work and tender loving care. Paint in most all of the house/rooms. Carpet in many rooms. But it’s a charming, comfy, wonderful home and I’m sincerely excited for our daughter, granddaughters, son-in-law and Henry the Dog as they adjust to new neighbors, schools, challenges—their new life.

MSH and I got home at 5:00 yesterday evening. I got my jammies on and went straight to our Great Room davenport. I kept falling asleep as I watched the THREE-HOUR conclusion of The Bachelorette. I loved Rachel, by the way. In a big way. I feel like she didn’t get the man her heart truly wanted. I hope and pray she’s happy with the one she got. (She sure did snag a STUNNING 3-carat diamond ring. WOWZER.)

Today has been spent on laundry and cleaning. Putting LL’s room (which was TLC’s and is now our guest room but Biscuit would sweetly inform you it’s HER room!) back together. I must confess: I didn’t finish in there. I did finish our laundry.

I had a haircut in town at 2:00. Left early for some errands. When I got home at 3:30? I might have opted to get back on the davenport. Yep. I’m awful. What can I say? This Old Grammy ain’t what she used to be. I'm old. Saggy. Sluggish. Sigh.

Here’s to Y’all having a Wonderful Wednesday—wherever in the World you are!

Note: If you must move, try to do it in the Spring. Or Fall. Not August. At least not July or August if you live in Texas. And get ready for lots o’ unexpected and unwelcome issues to come up. They happen. Always. ALWAYS.

HUGS,

elc

p.s.: I’m missing My Three Gals tonight. Sniffy. Sniff.