Thursday, March 30, 2017

so close...

...yet so far!


ELC took this picture of Baby Elle earlier today as she was peering in her crib, trying to reach her pacifiers. She was "givin' it all she's got" but just couldn't quite grab them.

That about sums up my life, at the moment. I don't like sounding so "doom and gloom." I think the majority of my posts lately might have that tone. I'm sorry! I promise I'm trying to find every little thing that I can be grateful for each day and thank God. We have a diagnosis for our Henry now. Long story--but I'm certainly glad we know what's going on! He only has to wear his "cone of shame" for another week. (Thank goodness. I cannot take him running into my walls much longer. God love him.) I have a referral to an ENT now and will make an appointment ASAP. I'm hopeful he can fix me up.

Today, I'm also grateful it's Friday Eve! As soon as I hit post, I'm headed out for a quick dinner with My Hubby. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Be thankful! (And I'm going to work on giving myself some grace along the way, too.)

TTFN.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

"then sings my soul!"

It’s been a better weekend than TLC and I expected! Thank You, Lord God Almighty and Jesus.

Henry started eating! (See the previous post if you're in the dark on this.) We were all in semi-shock. He was scary, scary sick. But so far, so good. There are a few hurdles to get past. We have faith he’ll be A-Okay!

TLC herself is a bit better, too! Woo Hoo and Yippee!!! She'll be seeing her new doctor later in the week. She does need some guidance with her constant physical ickyness.

Baby Belle’s birthday bash yesterday was FUN! She had no clue what the heck was going on—but she was a SWEET one-year-old. (I still cannot believe she’s one…WOWZER.)

Here she is in one of her outfits (Yes, she had two, of course. Duh. Winky. Wink.):


The family and friends who were able to come made it a special day (We missed all those that had other obligations!) and we’re grateful for their love and gifts. Truly appreciative...


Partyin' with her Pa-Pa!



Her expression!
She didn't know what to make of that candle.
Or the singing.



We have a new Frosting Fan!


I made my way West fairly early this morning. My Sweet Hubby and I had taken two vehicles yesterday so I could spend the night and keep My Precious Angels while TLC and Her Hubby went to dinner with special, SPECIAL friends.

As I drove the two hours home this a.m., I listened to my “Christian” playlist on my phone until time for Joel Live on my Sirius radio. I wanted to share the songs that get deep into my heart and soul. (It is Sunday, don’tchaknow…) Y’all should take my (Yes. Unsolicited.) advice and listen to them when you have some time—if you’re not already familiar with them. I'm betting at least one or two will get deep into your souls.

(I don’t have that many in this playlist. Or even many songs on my phone. I’m picky—so what I download? I ADORE.)

Holy Now by Peter Mayer

Tell Your Heart to Beat Again by Danny Gokey

10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord Oh My Soul) by Matt Redman

Because He Lives by Matt Maher

How Great Thou Art by Koryn Hawthorne (I treasure this song and have since I was in the 6th grade which is a long story—but I ESPECIALLY crave this version. Koryn got pretty high up on The Voice 3-4 seasons ago. She's a talented and precious young woman.)

Between Two Thieves by Mike McClure (This one gives me chills and makes me know how much I need to work on my ability to forgive others…)

Hallelujah (featuring Jackie Evanko) by Peter Hollens

Amazing Grace by Joey and Rory (I can’t describe my feelings when I listen to this amazing song…one of My Sweet Husband’s favorite hymns. The fact that Joey has passed on just makes it even more extraordinary.)

Cry Out To Jesus by Third Day (When you’re down in the dumps…depressed…struggling with your faith…this beautiful song should help…)

Me and Jesus by Sundance Head (Oh, Y’all: this makes me want to DANCE! Sundance won The Voice a few months ago. This song will make you a BELIEVER! I am convinced...)

When I’m Gone by Joey and Rory (Be ready for this one if you haven’t heard it…it’ll get so deep into your bones you’ll shiver…cry...smile.)

Hope Y’all have had a HAPPY Sunday, Friends! Have a Wonderful Week…Wherever in the World you are…

Hugs,

ELC

Friday, March 24, 2017

fears...tears...cheers

So the past three weeks for TLC have been rough. Their precious Henry—English Lab—many of y’all have read about him and seen pictures of him in past posts—is sick. I won’t go into too many details. He was fine. And then he wasn't. He quit eating. For days. Not like him—he LOVES to eat. Yesterday, he had exploratory stomach surgery. Nothing. Labwork will be forthcoming next week. He’s home. Weak. With a cone. The next few days will be critical. He’s not even six. And Little Leighton’s dog “brother.” There is worry and concern. Hourly prayers. Fear.

LOTS and LOTS of tears over Henry.

NEXT UP: TLC is sick. Again. Not as bad as she’s been in the past. Is it a cold? Allergies? Sinus issue? She goes back to her doctor next week for a follow-up. The doctor thinks allergies/nasal passages. Whatever it is, it is tiring for TLC. Who remains plum worn out on a daily basis because of a certain Angel Baby who sleeps erratically at night. Sometimes she’s up at 3:45. Sometimes she makes it to 6:15 in the morn. One never knows from day to day. TLC is absolutely exhausted and run down. She has not one extra second of time for this situation. Stress and FRUSTRATION abound. More tears.

BUT…drumroll…here are my CHEERS:

Baby Elle is one years old! Wwhhhaaaattttt? What did I just say? A full year has passed since her birth? When? How? Where? WWHHHYYYY?????? I’m in Grammy shock. We’ll be celebrating tomorrow with family and friends at TLC’s casa. (If TLC can just make it through the weekend, she thinks she’ll have hit the lottery!)

Life goes on…Thy Will Be Done.

Y’all have a Wonderful Weekend—Wherever in the World Y’all Are!

HUGS…
p.s.--if you had a minute, we'd greatly appreciate a prayer offered on behalf of Henry. He's a good dog/family member. One for TLC couldn't hurt. Thank you.

Monday, March 20, 2017

rat packin'...NOT hoardin'

So yesterday afternoon, I cleaned my bathroom cabinets.

Here is BEFORE:


Here is AFTER:


This is on my side of the bathroom. My Sweet Hubby’s (MSH) cabinet is one shelf less than mine. (I have the dirty clothes “hamper” built into mine.)

I didn’t take a “Before” picture of my top two shelves. They weren’t awful. I did rearrange a few things to make it more organized.

I also filled up a 13-gallon trash bag with expired and, frankly, ridiculous things that were living in and on these shelves.

What you really can’t see is how truly pretty each shelf is! Because, trust me, it is all PRETTY. Up close. VERY nice. Winky. Wink.

I’ve seriously wanted to straighten this cabinet for literally a year. It’s been greatly bugging me—badly—for about four months.

It. Is. Done. YIPPEE and WOO HOO.
(Yes, I store my hairspray upside down. Long story.)

Y’all have a WONDERFUL Week, Wherever in the World you are! (Clean a drawer or shelf. Throw something away. You’ll feel tres better/lighter/happier!)

smooch

p.s.—I am NOT a Hoarder, TLC. Period. End of story.

Friday, March 17, 2017

pounds and pounds of love...


(For some really odd and strange reason, this post was originally written in February. When TLC and I were doing "Love" posts. I don't know when, where, how or why it moved to March. But I'm too techno-impaired to figure out how to get it back. Please just go with it, okay?)


February. Hearts and Flowers. Chocolate Candy. Love.

Well, Folks, I love Weight Watchers! More than ever. Let me explain.

When TLC was about five months old, I joined the local Weight Watchers group with one of my closest and dearest friends. (We were, and still are, like sisters. Even though we haven’t lived in the same town or area in over 26 years. Sigh.)

Lizzie had had her second son four months before I’d had TLC. So we were both in that We-Can’t-Lose-That-Last-Fifteen-Pounds Zone. We decided it was time to try something serious.

The WW program, at that time, was quite restrictive. Although the meetings were fun and uplifting. Motivational. I lost fourteen pounds in six weeks. Lizzie lost most of what she wanted to, also. So we stopped. We spent the next couple of years weighing our food. Trying to continue to use the weight loss principles we’d learned.

I settled in at a weight I wasn’t totally happy with—but it was acceptable. 133. I stayed at that number, or in that range, for many years. I walked ALOT. Five days a week. Minimum. I walked anywhere from 2-5 miles. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, at forty years of age, I slowly gained twenty pounds during chemo. After that first year of surgeries and chemo and recovery, I’d lose ten. Gain ten. Lose five. Gain ten. This went on for several years.


Fast forward to the past four years. I'm become horrible with my eating habits. I'm truly out-of-control. My Sweet Hubby is worried about me. TLC is worried about. I'm worried about myself. I have a BAD back. Bad knees and hips. There are days I can barely walk.

My Precious Sunny and I tried Weight Watchers about five years ago. Same meeting place. Different leader. Different people. I simply did not commit. I doubt that I lasted a month. I seem to have blocked it from my mind.

Enter Oprah. And her commercials. And the fact that Oprah feels like someone I’ve known most of my adult life. (She’s only two months older than I am.) I rarely missed any of her shows. I was becoming intrigued with her involvement in and contributions to Weight Watchers. She could have any plastic surgeon in the world make her skinny. She wants to, instead, live a life full of good, healthy choices. Me, too.

Factor in five years of BAD checkups—in terms of bloodwork. My cholesterol is up. My “sugars” are up. My weight is higher than it’s been since I was pregnant with TLC (I gained sixty pounds having My Sweet Daughter. YIKES.). I'm a hot, chubby, or maybe downright fat, mess.

Sunny’s sister told her several weeks ago she had joined Weight Watchers. She was truly enjoying it! We decided we would try it. It was time to do something. We both cherish our grandchildren. We want to be around for a long, LONG time watching them grow.

Sunny is doing her work on-line. At this point. She's losing! I’m doing both on-line and meetings. (I’ve been to two meetings.) I told the Leader—a lovely, kind, funny, happy, encouraging woman—I’ll be lucky to attend two to three meetings a month. I’ve lost six pounds. I ADORE the WW App. It syncs with my Fitbit and I've received all of my “Activity” points every week since I started.

I have a goal I’m not sure is realistic or attainable. I intend to give it all I’ve got. And when I fail? I’ll pick myself up and start over the next day. It’s what we all must do when life doesn’t end up happening the way we planned. If you need to lose a few pounds, or a lot of pounds, consider Weight Watchers. It’s ranked as one of the top all-time weight loss programs in the world. I think it's awesome.

Hope y’all have a Terrific Tuesday! Have an orange! Have some asparagus! Eat some grilled chicken and save the donut for another time. (But you CAN have that donut. Trust me.)

Smooches and BIG WW Hugs…

ELC

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

My Band of Gypsies...

Last Saturday night, five of my precious college friends and I saw Willie Nelson in concert in Belton, Texas.

He. Was. Amazing. AMAZING.


Before the first/warm-up band came out, a young couple (I guessed they were in their early thirties...) turned around and started visiting with me. She asked me if this was our first time to see Willie. I explained that most of us had seen him at least two or three times in the past MANY years. She told me it was their first time to see him and they were SUPER excited. Then he told me they were celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary. I could NOT believe it. They were 40 years old and had three grown children. Towards the end of this group's set, the lead singer said something this deaf chick couldn't understand. Suddenly, tons o' peeps in the audience held up their lighted cellphones. At which point, the young man turned around, grabbed my arm to get my attention, and said: "You know how y'all used to hold up lighters? This is what we do now!" Yes. Yes, young'un, we old codgers used to hold up our Bic lighters and sway to the music. I told him this new thing seemed much safer.  I knew he meant well! (Why, oh why, does it not seem like decades ago that we held up those  dadgum lighters? Sniffy. Sniff.)

Here’s a picture I took from our seats…



He’s to the left. A bit in front of his sister, Bobbie, who played the piano, non-stop, for almost an hour and a half. She is 86, y’all. 86 years young. She. Was. UBER. AMAZING.

There were no large screens to see what they all were looking like as they sang. Played. Other than that, it was the PERFECT venue.


You can see Willie didn’t have a large band. There was a bass player. (Not a bass guitar—a real BIG bass!) A drummer—with a small set of drums. A percussionist. (I told My Sweet Hubby I was pretty sure I could sub for that guy at some point, if Willie needs me to—he was playing the tambourine and other small percussion thingies…I can handle any of them. Little Leighton and I play her set of percussion instruments ALOT.) A harmonica player. (Seriously—how in the world do you learn to play the harmonica? How? Have you ever tried to play one? I don’t even get the basic concept—so I’m quite impressed with good harmonica players. This guy was EXCELLENT.) Willie, of course, on lead guitar. And the SPECTACULAR Bobbie.

He had a “guest” singer. We never quite understood who he was! He came out assisted by a younger guy and pushing a walker. (The kind I want to have someday—it has a chair built in!)


Most of us had seen Willie over forty years ago in, literally, a pasture, on a ranch near our small college town. Emmylou Harris was with him. It was HOT. I’ve seen him one other time since then. In person, that is. I have treasured him forever. We all have. (If you’re a Texan? You’d better love Willie or be prepared to explain, in great detail, why you don't. And you might need to get ready to run.)

Friend Drew had thought this adventure up! Friend Lizzie drove to Belton and stood in line for us to get our tickets! Friend Sparky arranged our hotel rooms. The hotel was right next door to the Exposition Center. When I say next door, I mean we could walk to it. (I won’t go into the weather/rain, traffic, parking, rain, etc. situation. Suffice it to say this: We got to our seats in plenty o’ time. We might have looked like little wet ducks. We made it.)

Here are my Gypsy Sisters:





From top left: Lizzie, M.C., and Drew

From bottom left: Moi, Mitchie and Sparky

We greatly missed the other three who couldn’t attend for various reasons—Ane, Nina and Rett.

I love these girlfriends. With all of my heart. Many of the nine of us haven’t seen all of us, in one place, for a long, long, time. Years and years. When we met up for a long overdue “Reunion” last summer at Lizzie’s casa, it felt like we’d never been apart. Like over forty years hadn’t passed since we’d all been together. When I see them? It feels like going home—sitting in your coziest chair—and catching up with the latest news from blood sisters. Truly. These women are all FABULOUS. Beautiful. Kind. SMART. Funny. Silly. Charming. Wise. Brave. WONDERFUL.

I have faith we'll attempt to keep having these Reunions for as long as we can walk, drive, talk and think. (Unfortunately, we can’t include “remember.” Our memories ain’t what they used to be. In fact, it is priceless for us to go down Memory Lane. You can be told and asked: “You were there! You don’t remember?” And the typical answer is: “No. I have no clue what you’re talking about. Are you SURE I was there?”)

There’s something about friendships that begin in high school and/or college, right? It seems to me that this was the time, in each of our lives, if we were lucky, that we were truly US. Individuals. Not responsible for anyone but ourselves and, therefore, able to be a little wild, a lot carefree, and to forge bonds with people that would know many intimate details about us—including all, or most, of our flaws—and still love and accept us until the end of time.


“On the road again

Like a band of gypsies we go down the

     highway

We’re the best of friends

Insisting that the world keep turning

     our way…”


Here’s my prayer for all of our children and grandchildren:

Dear Lord God Almighty,

Please BLESS our children and grandchildren with friendships that survive the tests of time. Please let them all have a group of friends that will be there for them—through the good times and the bad times of life—and still love them, understand them, forgive them, support them and cherish them.

Amen.

ta-ta for now...

Thursday, March 9, 2017

duck...

...duck...GOOSE!

I came home on Tuesday morning, after a no-fun doctor's appointment, to ELC, Little Leighton and Baby Elle attempting to play "Duck, Duck, Goose." Basically, it was just LL tapping Grammy and Baby Elle on the head and then running around our kitchen island, squealing, with Baby Elle on her heels. It was precious. And a bit loud. But mostly super cute.

Then it reminded me of this funny "pin" ELC sent me. I think I've seen it on Facebook, too.


This accurately describes my life at this moment in time. I could wax on and on about it all. Sigh. Suffice it to say, it's nuts. And mostly not super cute. I suppose we all go through these seasons. As Carrie Underwood says, I just need "Jesus..." to "...take the wheel."

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, wherever in the world you are!

Happy Friday Eve!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

mistakes...karma...excellent advice...

Okay, TLC. I suppose I can ‘fess up to my BIG faux pas.


So last week, the morning after the Academy Awards, I was semi-sort-of poking fun at Faye Dunaway and Warren Beauty on their HHUUUGGGGEEEEE mistake naming the wrong movie for Best Movie. I might have suggested, on a friend’s Facebook post, that they consider an “age limit” for future presenters. Yes. That was quite rude of  I'm-in-my-60s me. I’m a Senior Citizen myself. And married to a Senior Citizen that is ten years older than moi.


Don’t worry. Karma got me. Less than an hour after my ageist post, I was putting makeup on for the day. Planning to head to town with My Sweet Hubby (MSH) for a few errands. I was to the “eye makeup portion” of my routine and trying out what I assumed was a soft brown eyebrow “filler" I had recently found. After applying it to my left eyebrow, I thought: Wow. That looks more black than soft brown. AND YET, instead of trying to determine why that was, I proceeded to apply the “filler” to my right eye. MISTAKE.


I’m now looking at two VERY black eyebrows (Remember, if you will, that I am fair-skinned and have blonde-ish grey-ish hair.). Yep. I had grabbed the new Carbon Black Mascara TLC purchased for both of us. Carbon Black. On my eyebrows. When I've never even bought a "medium" brown for them. I always buy "light" or "soft" brown.


Looking back to that morning, I'm certain the thing that disturbed me the most was the fact that I did BOTH OF MY EYEBROWS. I never even considered stopping after the first brow was finished.


It took me twenty q-tips and three paper towels to try to get the mascara out and off. I was determined I wasn’t starting my entire makeup process over. NO WAY.


I never shared this with MSH. He never noticed. Although, that's not surprising. I can get LOTS o’ hair cut off my head and he’ll never, ever say a word.


My Advice:


Don’t use carbon black mascara, or any mascara, as an eyebrow “filler.” It’s simply not going to work out for you. Trust me.


Hope Y’all are having a Sweet Saturday—Wherever in this World Y’all are!


Smooches and Hugs and TTFN…

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

one last...

...MASCARA LOVE!

I know. I know. It's technically March 1st, but you didn't think I could let the "Month O' Love" go by without mentioning our current favorite mascara--did you?


I read about this mascara (LATE) one night (after I had been up with Baby Elle). Real Simple magazine concluded it was just as amazing as any fancy department-store brand. Guess what? They're right!

It doesn't clump. It goes on super smoothly. It doesn't flake off during the day. It ROCKS! The one teeny, tiny drawback is: it's a bit tough to get off at night. I can be lazy (from baby-induced-exhaustion) and want to simply use warm water and a soft wash cloth to remove my eye makeup. That does not do the trick with this one--it requires vaseline or a Neutrogena "Makeup Removing Cloth." ELC found this mascara Buy-One-Get-One 50% off at Walgreens last week. We stocked up and now each have a spare on hand!

I highly recommend y'all give this a whirl!

And, now--I'm hoping Sweet ELC will share a HILARIOUS story about this mascara and her eyebrows. ELC?

Teeheehee.