Sunday, November 11, 2018

waiting...waiting...waiting...


From Jesus Today by Sarah Young:



IN QUIETNESS AND CONFIDENCE SHALL BE YOUR strength. When you’re in a tough situation, your mind tends to go into overdrive. You mentally rehearse possible solutions at breakneck speed. Your brain becomes a flurry of activity! You scrutinize your own abilities and those of people you might call upon for help. If you find no immediate solution to your problem, you start to feel anxious. When you find this happening, return to Me and rest in quietness. Take time to see My Face and My Will rather than rushing ahead without clear direction.

I want you to have confidence in Me and My Ways—patiently trusting in Me even when you can’t see the way forward. Whereas anxious striving drains you of energy, quiet confidence will give you strength. You can trust that I will not forsake you in your time of need. Keep communicating with Me about your situation, and be willing to wait—without pushing for immediate resolution. Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength.



Those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

Isaiah 40:31 NASB



And so My Sweet Hubby and I wait. And wait. And wait. Doing our best to have strength and patience. I’m not a patient person by nature. Every minute of every hour that goes by that something I’m expecting doesn’t happen? Yowzer. I either:



1.     Overthink.

2.     Overtalk.

3.     Overeat.

4.     And, mostly and primarily, I overpray.

(Well, can I overpray? I mean, really? Seriously? Is it possible? Maybe. Because then God and Jesus are going to suggest this: You, ELC, YOU HAVE NO FAITH. You said you were giving this to Us because you couldn’t handle the stress and anxiety, right? So why aren’t you LETTING GO???)

It’s kind of semi-yucky in North Central Texas. Overcast. A bit colder than Texans tend to appreciate! Tomorrow there will be a little winter “BLAST.” Not major. (Or so they say. Why do we not always and totally trust those Dadgum Weather Peeps?)

I’m sending each of Y’all (WHEREVER in this WORLD Y'all are...) some HUGS, warmth, patience, kindness, hope, and FAITH. Will Y'all each send a bit of these things BACK TO ME? 

Thanky. Thanky very much.

SMOOCH!
ELC

Thursday, November 8, 2018

homes sweet homes...

So it seems there is a strong probability our home and place have sold. My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I have even found a home that’s sixteen minutes from TLC and family and have put a contract on it. All of this has happened in the past month! If everything falls into place, we could be driving away from Our Country Casa in three to four weeks. I honestly cannot think about this. Talk about this. Or type words, thoughts or feelings about it. Not without getting consumed with grief. Or having BIG tears fall.

When the Sellers of the home we want to buy accepted our contract this past Monday night, it made me think about all of the homes and places I’ve lived in sixty-four years.

Without going in to the endless twists and turns of my life  My (Long…wink wink) Journey up until this very moment, I’d like to share this with Y’all:

I counted them all up and I’ve lived in seven homes*, two college dorms, eight apartments and one barndominium (The barndominium was the one we built when we bought this place and where we lived while building our home. It’s still one of our family’s favourite places to hang out!) I wasn’t surprised. I guess. And yet…I kind of was a bit shocked. Seeing all of these abodes typed out on a piece of paper was interesting. I double-checked it three times.

I can remember a lot of details about most of those places I’ve lived. My memories of our home in El Paso actually begin when I was about three. Some because of pictures I’ve seen, of course. But I can also clearly see that home in my mind’s eye right now. The general floor plan. The big front porch. The backyard. The garage apartment my grandmother—Nana—lived in for a couple of years before my parents’ divorce. It was probably 30 years old when I was three!  Maybe older. So, if it’s still there? It’d be close to or over 100! Yikes.

Of the apartments? Two I lived in as a child/adolescent—while my parents looked for homes. Three were apartments I shared with roommates. Two were apartments I lived in alone. One was an apartment MSH and I lived in literally three weeks only and about a year after we married. (The timing of us buying a home wasn’t working. We had to move out of one house before we’d made a deal on another.)  Four of the said eight apartments were very inexpensive and probably bordered on sketchy/dangerous. They weren’t places I’d want my children or grandchildren to have lived or to live in now. I survived.

Only our home before this one was a place I cared enough about to decorate. Furnish with pieces I loved.  A home to have celebrations and holidays and parties often. I was proud of that home. (We actually still go by to see it every few months. We get sad. Especially TLC. It was the home we brought her home to the day after she was born and where she lived until she was sixteen. She still asks if we're sure we can't buy it back. Uh, no, TLC. We haven't won a lottery yet, Silly Child.)

But this home? The only home MSH and I built together? This land? Our barndominium? I’ve cherished. I’ve adored. I’ve loved with all of my heart. I’m now crying. Sheesh. (HOW WILL I SURVIVE THIS? Seriously...how?)

As this experience proceeds, I’m not sure how much blogging I can do. TLC is in the midst of being Room Mom for Little Leighton’s class. Lots o’ stuff going on there at this busy time of the year.

Please hang in with us! I’m a’thinkin’ we might do some “Blasts from the Past!” (Y’all that have been with us a while know we resort to this tactic during times of extreme stress and/or busy-ness.)

On this somewhat dreay-ish day in North Central Texas and from the office of our home I will have a hard time leaving, I wish each of you a Thursday, Friday and weekend FULL of cozy warmth in a place that gives you sheer and utter JOY!

smooch,

ELC

*Four different times in my life I went back to live at my parents' home in Weatherford, Texas. FOUR times. And each time I'd wished I had another alternative. Just because it was hard to have been on my own and then back under the Rents' Roof. You know? You get it. Again, I survived. Duh.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

some surprises are just what we need...

This past Sunday, My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and Buddy Bear went for their daily morning walk to our gate. I got this picture from MSH about fifteen minutes later:


Not sure when this baby's Mama had him. Could have been between Friday night and early Sunday morn. We’re 98% certain this is a bull calf. Isn’t his coloring amazing? I told TLC it’s like coffee with just the right amount of cream!


The Mama cow’s name is Minnie. Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) has named all of our Mamas for the past four years. Since she could talk! We’ve had lots of “Princesses.” Elsa. Anna. Belle. Etc. LL had basically run out of Princess names. Hence Minnie.

This calf will soon officially be Mickey Jr. I thinks that’s adorable.


Our other Mama cow (Her name is Daisy. If she has a girl? The girl calf will probably be named Clara. After Clarabelle the Cow. On Mickey Mouse. Duh.  If he's a bull calf? No clue. Not at this point.) Daisy should have her calf soon. Three weeks. Ish.

We treasure our calves! They give us such JOY. Especially through the eyes of these granddaughters. (And even though Baby Belle, in her two and a half years on our Earth, has not been able to come visit at Grammy and Pa-Pa’s place as often as LL has been able to, in her six and almost a half years on our Earth, Baby Elle has had fun on several Ranger Trips with Pa-Pa and LL to view babies. She possibly won't remember all of them.)

Yesterday’s surprise reminded MSH and I how grateful we are to Our Dear Lord God Almighty. For his many, MANY blessings. Seeing that baby? After the evil that took place in Pittsburgh on Saturday? Gave us some comfort. Many smiles. Happy tears!

Wishing each of you a week that gives you a WONDERFUL surprise! And some peace in your hearts and souls.

Hugs,

ELC

p.s.: TLC tried to suggest to Biscuit that she allow Baby Elle to name this calf. Or, at the very least, the next one. Biscuit wasn’t quite on board with this idea—as of last night at bedtime. Grammy thinks Biscuit can give Baby Elle two to three options for names and Baby Elle can pick one. This way Biscuit has had some input. We’ll see how much pull Grammy has with LL/Biscuit…winky wink.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Funny Friday...




Y'all. These crack me up. They epitomize MOI. I found these via Jane's Instagram account. (Jane is an online shop where lots o' different boutiques sell really fun, unique products.)

It FINALLY feels AND looks like FALL here in Texas. The rain has stopped. The sun is shining. The air is cool. We actually went outside after dinner tonight. It was glorious.

We have desperately needed this. Poor Little Leighton has been plagued with every Kindergarten germ known to man: cold, conjunctivitis, double-ear infection, viral throat infection and, finally, a tummy bug. God love her. We head back to the doctor next week to make sure her ears have healed. We are sending up big prayers for a good checkup.

To celebrate our semi-healthy reprise, I have my Fall Scentsy turned on, my flannel and infinity scarf are ready to be worn and pumpkins are adorning my porch. It's officially FALL, Y'ALL.

Have a blessed weekend!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

just messed up...


I have failed TLC (Please forgive me, Daughter…) this week. Promised I’d do a blog post Thursday. Then yesterday. Now it’s Saturday night and I’m pooped and basically out of energy and ideas. In the past, I’ve given her quite a hard time when she’s done the same…promised me a post that kept getting delayed. I’m grateful she’s forgotten it’s my turn! If she hasn’t forgotten? She’s being kind. Kind is good. Thanky, TLC.

I saw this on Pinterest the other night and laughed and laughed. (I have no clue as to who I should give credit to for this tres cute and accurate meme.) Not sure why I laughed…because it actually sums up my current life:



I lost my car

chapstick and now

my purse chapstick

is in my room and

my room chapstick

is in my car and my

whole life is just

messed up.

A week ago this afternoon, I was in the midst of trying to get home from The Metroplex. I’d spent the night at TLC’s on Friday. She and Her Hubby were going out to dinner with friends. Her Hubby had, unfortunately, gotten quite sick and they had had to cancel. I was scheduled to attend a Homecoming/Reunion for my high school at a Club only 20ish minutes from TLC’s casa the next morning so I stuck with my plan to spend the night.

(My high school was brand new the year I was a sophomore. In l968. It was a Six MILLION dollar school and that, My Dear Friends, was a lot of dough in those days! This, obviously, is it’s 50th year and there were going to be all kinds of celebrations last week to acknowledge it.)

I was excited to enjoy Brunch and a Catchup-Visit with my classmates Saturday morn. I looked pretty darn cute—if I do say so myself. Winky. Wink. My hair was AMAZING. Just the right “BIG.”

At this point: I need to tell Y’all we’ve had nothing but rainy and dark days for what seems like well over a month. Last Friday and Saturday were quite scary—weather-wise. Lots of hard rain. Lots of wind. Cold COLD COLD air. (Well, cold for Texans.) I’d hoped I could get to said Brunch and make a quick visit to my parents’ home for an hour-ish before I headed West late afternoon to see My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH), Buddy Boo Bear and Hunter the Cat.

When I was approximately 15 minutes from my destination, I hydroplaned on the freeway. I wasn’t going fast—at all. I couldn’t. Because I couldn’t see three feet in front of my car. I pulled off and promptly texted my precious friend, Christy (The Queen of All  Class of l971 Reunions), that I was turning around and going home. Then I texted TLC. Finally, I called MSH, almost in tears, to say I was white-knuckling it to our place immediately.

I got home at 1:00 p.m. after pulling over twice for fifteen minutes each time. (I should have been home no later than 12:15, by the way.) I watched FOOLS fly by me—doing 70-80 miles an hour—and many other cautious drivers doing anywhere between 45 and 55 miles an hour. I cursed them. I prayed. I cursed some more. I prayed from more. I bargained. I begged. I cursed and cursed.

I cannot imagine that every person I saw driving at a dangerously fast speed in that horrid weather had any reason to behave that way other than to just get where they were going as fast as possible. (Yes, perhaps some of them had an emergency. Or were sick. Or needed a restroom. Certainly not all of them. No way.) To hell with the rest of us. THEY were the important people. What they had going on was a million times more important than anything the rest of us had going on—like…oh, I don’t know…living to see another hour or day or month or year.

I made it home. Truly grateful to be alive. Sad I’d missed my friends. Glad I’d not caused anyone else on the road to have an accident. (Oh—and I forgot to tell Y’all—I saw at least four wrecks that were NOT GREAT. Cars smashed up. Many MANY emergency vehicles. In three of them? An 18-wheeler was involved. No judgment—stating facts.)

The rest of my week? Sheesh. Every day it was something else. At the risk of Y’all deciding you no longer want to read about this whiny Senior Citizen’s daily issues, I’ll leave you with this: It was not my most fun week. We all have weeks we’d like to forget, don’t we? Months? Yikes. Sometimes maybe years. If we’re lucky and determined and somewhat patient? We survive. By the Grace of Almighty God—we survive.

Here’s hoping each of Y’all have a Sweet Sunday and a WONDERFUL (NEW!) Week! Don’t drive too fast, okay? Especially in dangerous weather. Be kind. Be wise. Be grateful. Don’t simply survive—THRIVE.



Smooches and Hugs,

ELC

Monday, October 15, 2018

...let it go...


Well, apparently North Central Texas has decided to just skip Fall and head straight to Winter. Y'all. It is currently 41 degrees at my house. I'm frozen. However, I refuse to complain. (Well, I might complain just a tidbit later in the post.) This weather and this season? They are my JAM. I love them. I'm literally wearing unicorn flannel jammy pants (compliments of ELC who has a matching pair!) and a Christmas tee. Bring. It. On.

ELC texted me this pic last week. Isn't it just LOVELY? (I'm sorry I don't remember where she saw this so I cannot give proper credit.) However, it got me thinking about several things I'd like to "let go of" right now. I think it's been awhile since I've compiled one of my lists, right? Humour me, okay?

I'm ready to LET GO of...

1. Kindergarten germs. OMG. In five days, we've gone from conjunctivitis to a double-ear infection to a viral throat infection. There isn't enough acetaminophen or wine to make this tolerable.

2. Rain. I know. I know. I should never be tired of wonderful, life-giving rain. We spend an incredible amount of time in a constant drought around Texas. We beg, plead and pray for rain. It has not stopped raining in, what now feels like, 40 DAYS. I'm over it. I'm over muddy, wet dog paws, general dreariness and broken umbrellas. Over. It. Now. I apologize. Unfortunately, this is my truth.

3. Grocery shopping. I hereby nominate myself as the worst grocery shopper. EVER. Amazon Prime? I rock it. Online shopping for birthdays and holidays? I am a PRO. Grocery shopping? Uh, no. Big FAIL. I can't meal-plan. I forget my lists. (I realize I should simply keep one on my phone. That's apparently too obvious.) I forget, every trip, the "most important item on my forgotten list." I'm the worst. Jesus, fix it. PLEASE.

4. Drug companies not being required to test and label their products gluten-free. I spent ONE HOUR at CVS this morning, after LL's doctor's appointment (they got her in first thing and we were rockin' it all the way home to jammies and the couch once we'd picked up her script), arguing with a tech, discussing options with the pharmacist and calling the manufacturer of the Amoxicillin she was prescribed. It's something most don't have to ever consider. Before Little Leighton's Celiac diagnosis, I had ZERO idea gluten could be in anything and everything. Children need antibiotics. They don't need the extra hassle, worry and concern over what is safe to ingest. I do use a website (www.glutenfreedrugs.com) that I could not live without. It has helped me tremendously over these past four years. I'm sincerely grateful for it. However, I need our government to mandate labeling. Like, yesterday.

5.  Two words: Potty. Training. Help. Jesus, fix this, too. PLEASE. PLEASE.

It is not lost on me how genuinely trivial most of these are. They are. They are my struggles at this time in my day. My life. I seriously know how blessed I am to have:

1. A warm, dry home.

2. Generally healthy children.

3. Health insurance to defer much of the expenses we've recently incurred.

4. Money to buy food for my family.

5. Sweet family and friends who support me and my family through their gifts of time, kindnesses, and greatly-appreciated suggestions. Family and friends who love us and pray for us. I am blessed. We are all blessed.

Little Leighton is about to put on a play for me and Belle. I think I'll head downstairs and make a hot, cup of peppermint tea. I hope y'all are warm and dry, wherever you are!

Happy Fall/Winter! LOL.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

you can never have too many doctors...


So I was down for the count over the weekend. I had five WONDERFUL friends over for a late breakfast Friday morn. There were OODLES of laughter. I am constantly reminded how lucky I am to be friends with some of the most amazing women on Planet Earth.

Early Friday evening, I realized I felt kind of yucky. By late that night, I could feel a lowgrade fever making me chilled. Saturday and Sunday I spent in bed or on our davenport. I had chicken soup. I drank LOTS o’ liquids. Fortunately, I never got worse than I was on Friday evening. By Sunday evening? I knew I was overcoming whatever had invaded my old body.

I took the opportunity to start watching many of the new television shows I’d recorded.

Let me say this: The Voice? Dancing With the Stars? Dancing With the StarsJuniors? OH. MY. HEART. I simply could not love and need these television shows MORE. TLC has not watched either in several seasons. It blows my mind. I feel frustrated for her because I sincerely believe she’s missing out on fantastic entertainment. (Are they political? Perhaps. Are they rigged? Maybe. I don’t know. I don’t care. Watching the talent and determination of the contestants on both shows makes me extremely joyful.) Yes. Yes, I cry. Every week. During both shows. Now I get to do it with the “Junior” dance contestants. Sigh. Those kids are INCREDIBLE. Period. End of story. The professionals and the “celebrities:” MAGNIFICENT.

As those of you who have been reading our blog for many years understand: If I recommend a TV show—it is often the kiss of death for said show. Which makes me feel horrid. Yet I cannot contain myself about these new series I’m about to share with y’all!

Each of these TV recommendations are, IMHO, creative. Clever. Interesting. Touching. The comedies are SO FREAKIN’ funny. To moi. The dramas? Tears fall from my eyes. Alot. Naturally.SHEESH. (As if the sadness of this world is not enough to keep me stressed.) I’m not going into details about each show. I think you should Bing them and see if they sound like they’re worth your time. These are my unsolicited suggestions. Teeheehee.

My NEW FAVOURITE SHOWS:

God Friended Me. CBS. Sundays. I loved it from the first few minutes! I will tell you the main character is an atheist. His father is a minister. I sincerely hope by now y’all know my faith is strong. This show does not offend me in any way. It intrigues me. I’ve watched two now. I’m hooked.

The Cool Kids. Fox. Fridays. The pilot? My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) watched it with me and we were crying tears of pure, unmitigated joy. Yes, it’s about oldish peeps. (The cast is people you’re familiar with and that are major talented.) It takes place in an assisted living home. So I suppose anyone under the age of…oh…50…might not be as tickled as we were/are at this comedy. If you’re a “Senior?” Check it out. It’s About Us, Peeps. Either the now "us."Or someday "us." It is a hoot.

Last Man Standing. Fox. Fridays. Used to be on ABC but was cancelled. After an uprising from fans, Fox picked it up. I’ve always regretted not finding it until it’s third season. I’m beyond happy it’s back. There was a daughter that didn’t return. My niece, JP, and I are going to have a bit of a challenge getting used to the new actor that plays Mandy. She’s lovely. She’s so totally opposite of the first one it’s unnerving. And yet…this show was and will always be one of my all-time favs.

I Feel Bad. NBC. Thursdays. Amy Poehler is an executive producer. During the two shows I’ve watched, I’ve had to back it up—I miss too much of the dialogue because I’m LOLing. It’s charming. A family I can truly love.

Young Sheldon. CBS. Thursdays. Not new. Y’all have heard me say how much I treasure this show. I don’t even really watch The Big Bang Theory. I have seen it in the past. Not lately. But Sheldon? As a child? In Texas? With Annie Potts as his grandmother? THE BEST.

Single Parents. ABC. Wednesdays. In watching the pilot, I’m not going to lie: I didn’t think I liked it. I decided to try to the second week’s show. Am I happy I did! It is hystertical, y’all. Again—IMHO. Worth a watch. Give it two chances, okay?

TLC and I’ve been faithful—and I mean FAITHFULLY LOYAL—Grey’s Anatomy fans. From the very first show. And even when we had those nights where one or both of us said: Nope. No more. Too much. Not doing it. Can’t do another Thursday night...we’ve never stopped. This Is Us? Oh. My. Goodness. UNBELIEVABLY and tremendously amazing.

Here are two more dramas I’m going to need to watch:

A Million Little Things. NBC. Wednesdays. Wow. Oh what a terrible web we weave when first we practice to deceive. This drama has it all. Beautiful/handsome actors. A somewhat mysterious plot. Intrigue. Shame. Guilt. Humor. Everything.

New Amsterdam. NBC. Tuesdays. Yep—another medical show. (I do want to tell y’all I’ve watched The Good Doctor a few times and I appreciate it. A lot.) Can I watch too many hospital shows with sad and scary illnesses/graphic surgeries? I was thinking that answer is a big YES. I must limit medical shows. (I also can believe I have the illness/illnesses being treated. I became an undiagnosed hypochondriac watching Dr. Kildare, Dr. Ben Casey and Dr. Marcus Welby in my early years. They all made me quite certain I had the Illness Du Jour. I was thinking NO to New Amsterdam. Now I’ve watched two. I’m hooked. Completely. COMPLETELY.

Should I be reading books? Yes. Yes. Absolutely. (And I do. Trust me. I do.) But y’all, I need my TV time. Thank our lucky stars we have DVRs. Right? Because I don’t have to schedule my life around these programs. I can watch them when I’m searching for escape. Giggles. Wisdom. Etc. I’ve been a TV addict since I was a small child. My TV Time is critical to The Value of My Life. Not saying it’s healthy or smart of me to feel this way or spend so much of my time on a couch. Simply being honest and real. And acknowledging the talents of writers, producers, and actors. (Also recognizing there are a lot of television shows and movies I wouldn’t/couldn’t/shouldn’t watch or recommend. And won’t. I’ll leave those to others.)

Wishing each of you a week full of GOOD STUFF. Books. Television. MUSIC. Art.  But mostly—lovely, quality time with family and friends.

Gotta scoot…it’s a rainy/cloudy/dreary day in North Central Texas. Heading to my most comfy chair to READ. Yes—READ! Promise. Winky. Wink.

ELC
p.s.--There are a few more shows that still have not aired but have attracted my curiosity. I'll try to follow-up on those. Also, let's hope at least half of these shows aren't cancelled. The guilt becomes hard for me to bear. 

Friday, October 5, 2018

FALLelujah!


Yep. It's still 80-plus-degrees here. Yesterday, I wore a long-sleeve shirt in protest. Of course, the only thing that happened was: I got hot. UGH. Though I seriously have zero-trust in our local meteorologists, I'm hoping they're right, and it will at least cool down into the 70s by next week.

Regardless, my pumpkin decor has been up since Labor Day. I've retired all of my "summer attire." We currently have three bags of candy corn in our pantry. And, because I love ALL-THE-PUMPKIN-THINGS so much, this is also the time of year where my husband asks nightly at dinner:

"Does this dish have pumpkin in it?"

LOL. I've been known to sneak pumpkin into pasta dishes and soup. There's no shame in my game.

However, this may come as a shock to some, BUT: I don't particularly like Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Blasphemy, I know. My local coffee shop has an "Autumnal Spice" Latte that is heavenly. But the Starbucks variety? Not my jam. I was discussing this the other day with someone, and they made a DELIGHTFUL suggestion:

Add cinnamon to my coffee grounds before I brew it.

GENIUS, I tell you. I shake maybe 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon. It makes my coffee extra cozy. I love it. Y'all must try it soon.

I hope you're loving your October, thus far! This is my happy season.

Happy Fri-YAY!

Monday, October 1, 2018

sweater...no sweater? lawdy...


If you live in Texas or have ever lived in Texas, you know the true meaning of this meme. (And, by the way, it’s not original to me and/or TLC. A fellow Texan and friend of mine posted it on Facebook. So I don’t know who to give credit to for how funny this is to Texans. And, yet, how not funny. You know?)

September? Not an easy month for me and My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH). Although I enjoyed sharing my gratitude for 40 years of marriage to MSH, I was not sorry to see it go. Long story. Let's bypass it. Yes—I don’t like how fast Time zooms by me. But, seriously? I was more than ready for a fresh start with a new month. Sheesh.

October is here! Woo Hoo and Yippee! TLC’s favourite month. Hands (and pumpkin lattes) down. Winky. Wink. We have no plan and/or theme for this month's blogposts. I’ve suggested to TLC that we simply Go with the Flow. See what happens. Throw Caution to the Wind! Inotherwords…PUNT.

Hope Y’all have a Wonderful Week—wherever in this World Y’all are! Be cool. Be kind. Be sweet. Be fair. Be ready for spontaneous and, as of this moment, mysterious posts! (Wow. That sounds almost spooky, right?)

smooch,

ELC

Friday, September 28, 2018

40! in pictures...

Here are My Last Eight (of 40—in honor of our 40th wedding anniversary) Reasons I Adore My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH)…in pictures!


In this first one he’s with his older sister. They’re 2 and 3. Is he the cutest little boy you’ve ever seen? I mean, seriously. He admits he was a toot. He has the funniest stories—and some of the saddest—about growing up. In Little Rock, Arkansas and Austin, Texas. (TLC literally cannot listen to some of his heartbreaking stories…things he endured…as a small child and on up to his life as a teenager. I admit—they make me cry, too.)


Here he is at the age of 19. He has hair! (He lost it when he was 24…and I’ve never known him any other way. I fell in love with his eyes and his smile and the truly good person that he is. I didn’t need him to have hair!) In this picture, we all are amazed at how much his youngest son—his 4th of 5 children—looks like him. Each of his five kids has his traits and genes. They are clearly obvious to us all. But this picture? His 4th son. JJ. Wow.


Our wedding day. We had no money. We had a very small celebration. We had no photographer. Friends brought cameras and shared their pictures with us. Look at how handsome he was! Melted my very heart. (He still does...) It was a memorable day for both of us.


With Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) on our back patio about five years ago. We’ve had the honor of having LL stay with us more than any of our other six grandchildren. Even Baby Elle. Our five older grands have all lived in Houston and it’s never been easy to see them as much as we would like. Baby Elle, as our youngest grandchild, has not been able to come stay with us at our country casa because of Biscuit’s school schedule. It was hard to decide on a picture with LL and Pa-Pa. I have many. This one has always been one of my favorites. She is tres excited! He's holding on to her so tight to make sure she doesn’t fall.  He's a Protector Extraordinaire. He’s such a wonderful grandfather. The kind of grandfather I wish every child could have.


With MSH’s Best Friend—Buddy Boo Bear—feeding the catfish at our Big Tank. They’re inseparable. Have been since we adopted BBB eight years ago.  They are the most adorable pair.


One of my most fav pictures of MSH. I popped his collar and took the picture because he needed one to enclose with something for his college alumni publication. Still such a handsome man—IMHO. Winky. Wink.


There are a few people on this Earth who don’t know what a SILLY man MSH can be! He is funny, Y’all. Sometimes it’s on purpose. A lot of times? He’s not even meaning to make me (or TLC or LL or Baby Elle or anyone else) laugh. But he does. So much. And so hard. We’d taken LL to an aquarium in Grapevine and I caught MSH at his cRaZiEsT. LL and I giggle every time we come across this one on my phone.


My Sweet Hubby. Every. Single. Day. Of. His. Life. He started reading The Bible seven mornings a week four years ago. Hasn’t missed a day. Not one. When I wake up (which is usually later than him), this is the first thing I see. He makes me proud. He makes me smile. (And, quite frankly, he often makes me feel a bit bad—that I’m not as dedicated a Bible scholar as he’s become. He inspires me to be better.)

We disagree. We misunderstand each other—a lot. We have polar opposite opinions on MANY things. We get discouraged. We get confused. We get angry. Nothing we’ve ever gone through has made either one walk away or out (even if in a heated moment one or both of us insinuates we might). We laugh. We persevere. We do our best to communicate. (That can be a challenge.) We try again. And again. And again. We wake up each day ready to re-commit our loyalty and devotion to each other.

I LOVE MY SWEET HUBBY. With all of my heart and soul.

Thank you for humoring me this month! My wish for you is that you have someone in your life—a spouse, partner, family member, sibling, child, friend—someone that you cherish and trust as much as I cherish and trust This Man.

It’s Fri-Yay! Have a GREAT weekend, Friends Everywhere!

Smooch,

ELC

bytheway: It’s getting cooler here in Texas. This time of the year? What most Texans live for...YIPPEE!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

a spirit of unity...


This morning, as I read the Bible and all my treasured devotional and prayer books (there are currently six but I’m always looking for more!), I realized I haven’t posted a prayer in a while.



This week has been a rough one. In so many ways and on so many levels. I won’t go into all of the hurdles I’ve tried to jump over, around and/or through. One of the biggest? I had three appointments with the chiropractor. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. On Friday I was hopeful it was all working. The machines. His treatment. As of this moment, I feel I’m in no better shape than on Wednesday morning when I called and begged to get in ASAP. Sigh. I can’t go back until this coming Wednesday. (Grammy Nanny duty calls East of my casa!) I’ll have three more treatments and then the doctor will help me figure out my next option. Sheesh.



My last post with the final 8 Reasons (for a total of 40) I Cherish My Sweet Hubby will be later in the week and will be a pictorial (Yes. TLC must help her Mama with this…she’s been put on proper notice.)! I think you’ll enjoy my pictures of this handsome, silly, kind, wonderful man I’ve had the privilege of being married to for over 40 years! 40 years and 2 months on October 2nd, in fact.

On this Sunday afternoon, please allow me to share the prayer that spoke the loudest to my very soul (and bum neck/shoulder) this morning.



From Praying Through the Tough Times, by Lloyd John Ogilvie:



WHEN I AM WEARY

Why are you cast down, O my soul?

And why are you disquieted within me?

Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him,

The help of my countenance and my God.

PSALM 42:11

Almighty God, reign supreme as sovereign Lord in my life today. Enter my mind and heart and show me the way. May I be given supernatural insight and wisdom to discern Your guidance each step of the way through this challenging day. Break deadlocks with people, enable creative compromises, and inspire a spirit of unity. Overcome the weariness of hard work. Give me a second wind to press on.

When there is nowhere else to turn in my human dilemmas and difficulties, it is time to return to You. When things don’t work out, I must ask You to work out things. When my burdens make me downcast, I cast my burdens on You. If you could create the universe and uphold it with Your providential care, You can solve my most complex problems.

Dear Father, I want to know You so well, trust You so completely, seek Your wisdom so urgently, and receive Your inspiration so intentionally that I will be a person totally available for the influence of Your Spirit. Help me to be just as receptive to Your direction. Alarm me with disquiet in my soul if what I plan is less than Your best. With equal force confirm any conviction that will move forward what You think is best for me. Remind me that You are with me and will guide me. You are Jehovah-Shammah: You will be there!

Amen.

I wish each of you a new week full of hope, happiness, love, laughter, patience, wisdom and kindness.

Biggest Hugs Ever…coming your way through cyberspace…

ELC

p.s.—As we near October, plan to come celebrate All Things Autumn with me and TLC all month long. We’ll try not to be too repetitive or obnoxious. Winky. Wink.

Friday, September 21, 2018

32...


Not how old I am. Duh. (Not even how old TLC is…she passed that age a couple years back…YIKES.)

Eight more reasons "Why I love My Sweet Hubby" (aka MSH) will now...this month of September posts... make it 32! Heading to 40...

So this week I’ve been thinking about our past and current health issues. For example...MSH’s heart. Which is good, I believe! But always a concern—after two heart attacks. Other than back surgery 33 years ago which was successful, he's not been a sickie-kind-o'-guy.  My health? Hmmm. Asthma as a child. Bad asthma. Scary asthma. Horrid periods/cramps. Yuck. Acne. TERRIBLE acne. Weight issues. Stomach issues. Emergency C-section with TLC. Hysterectomy at age 31. Breast cancer with a modified radical mastectomy of my left breast at age 40. Chemo. Twisted intestines (Clearly—more stomach issues.) Sudden deafness in my left ear (10 years ago). 100% of my hearing gone. Forever. Can’t wear a hearing aide. My first broken bone at age 55...I fell and broke my arm in our shower.

I could go on and on. And on. Indefinitely. To infinity and beyond.  Sadly. At this point? Today? As I type this? Pain. Lots o’ pain in my back. Knees. Hips. (Who would’ve guessed I could lose 45 pounds and still have major trouble walking without looking like I’m 94—instead of 64? Not moi.)

About three weeks ago, I woke up one morning with a “crick” in my neck. I say neck. More like my upper right shoulder near my neck. Annoying, mostly. I tried heat. LOTS OF HEAT. Wednesday morning I woke up and screamed to MSH:

“I cannot take this pain another day! I’m calling a chiropractor!”

I’ve only been to one other chiropractor in my life. Not because I don’t believe in them. I have VERY SMART friends who swear by their chiropractors! Just because I’ve never felt I was desperate for their services. Massage therapy has been my friend—in terms of treating back and leg pain. Neck and shoulder pain. Etc.

I called the office of a man who has been in our town for many, many years. Someone I knew many of my friends went to and loved. I could get in at 9:30. I went. I liked him. He began treatment. Today was my third day of letting two FABULOUS machines work on my neck/shoulders/back. He also did what I believe is called “manipulation.” Whatever it’s called? I like it. It seems to be helping.

All of this has caused me to realize I am HUGELY HIGH MAINTENANCE. Have been most of my life. I’m extremely sorry about this. Embarrassed. Frustrated and stressed. It is what it is.

Here are Eight More Things I ADORE about My Low-Maintenance Hubby:



25. When I’m sick? With anything? From a cold to something very serious like cancer? He’s The Best Nurse On This Planet. He gets me whatever I want. Food. Drink. Meds. Whatever.

26. When I went through my year-long cancer ordeal? He insisted on being the only person that could/would take me to every doctor’s appointment. Every labwork day. Every chemo treatment. Many friends offered to help us out with this. Fortunately, because he was THE BOSS at his job, he could do it and he wanted to do it. I knew how lucky I was then. I continue to know how lucky I am now.

27. When he’s sick? With a cold, flu, etc.? He tries truly hard not to be too whiny and needy. He’s perfectly content with suffering in silence. All I want to ever do is try to make up for the millions of hours he’s spent caring for me! He makes it hard.

28. When he had his first heart attack? He was grateful for his life and the treatment he got and did exactly what the doctor ordered him to do. He lost weight. He ate healthier. He exercised.

29. When he had his second heart attack? And I was racing to our ER (17 miles away and this was at 10:00 on a Saturday night—dealing with bad, cold weather), he was calmly telling me what to say to each of his five children. "Tell them I love them. I’m proud of them." I was not nice. I kept repeating—loudly and over and over: STOP IT. You aren’t going ANYWHERE. We all need you. Just stop. I refuse to listen to this.” Sigh. In my defense? I was horribly frightened. Selfishly petrified. I could not lose My Sweet Hubby! (Yippee and Thank My God Almighty And His Son Jesus Christ—I didn’t!)

30. At the hospital, post second heart attack, while waiting for the nurses to get an ambulance to take him to a Ft. Worth hospital for more extensive tests and treatment (They couldn’t call a helicopter because of the weather. He’d told me years ago: "If I ever need a helicopter? Say NO. I don’t want one. They’re expensive. Even with insurance." Oh, MSH. You are too much.), he was overly worried about his dog, Buddy Boo Bear. Now it’s 2:00 a.m. We’ve realized I can’t go with him in the ambulance and I can’t even follow him to Ft. Worth because I’ve got to go take care of Buddy Bear and lock up our home. Get some clothes, money, etc. If Buddy could have come with me? MSH would have been ECSTATIC.

31. When his children and grandchildren are sick? He’s praying. He’s praying as hard and fast and long as he can. He’s telling me: I wish I could trade places with them.

32. When he gets a bad cold or flu now? At his age? It lingers FOREVER. He never complains. Well, he might point out to you how long he’s been sick. Not in an annoying way. He doesn’t want sympathy. He isn’t going to ask for much. Not even prayers. God love him.

I'm grateful for every second I have with MSH. (Yes, sometimes I might be cranky-ish and not act like it. But I AM GRATEFUL.) If you get sick? Be a nice and sweet patient, 'kay?

Happy Weekend, Dearest Friends Everywhere!

ELC

Sunday, September 16, 2018

eight more...for 24...


Howdy! Have I mentioned that one of my most favourite numbers is eight (8)? Well, it is. That and 2 and 3. Sometimes 5. You needed to know this, right? So there you go...

Before I do my next eight things I love LOVE LOVE about My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH), I want to remind Y’all that I don’t cook. I can cook. Some. (I believe I’ve confessed I’ve never baked a turkey. Or a roast. Or a cake over two layers. I doubt at 64 any of these things are going to happen in my kitchen. By me, that is.) Of course, I do have dishes I make that are actually fairly WONDERFUL. But I’m pitiful at getting up any energy for or interest in shopping for food to cook. Then actually cooking said food.

When we’d been married less than two years, three of MSH’s four sons came to live with us. Two were in high school and the third was in junior high. I worked at a job that was hard. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. (Yes. For a lawyer. In a small-town practice that took EVERY kind of civil and family case you could possibly imagine. Like Dateline or 20/20 kind of cases. I was the assistant that worked with divorces. Child support and visitation. Custody. Lots of tough stuff.) Many days it was overwhelming.  I’d come home from work and do my best to get a meal on our dinner table for these sweet young fellas and their Dad. I was met with complete and total disinterest.

NOTE: I have four amazing stepsons. They are actually MEN now and have been for quite some time—the oldest being 52! An attorney. Two investment gurus. An ER doctor. As teens? Coming from a “divorce” situation? All of us living in small town where everyone knows everything about you? It was tough. MSH struggled with trying to help his kids adjust to a difficult transition in their lives and hoping they could accept their new Stepmommy Dearest. We were ALL adjusting to new paths and journeys.

When I was met with their inability to hide their lack of support for the meals I cooked? I rebelled. I quit. In a quiet and actually mostly polite, but firm, way. I made sure we had food to eat. Gallons of milk. Cereal. Fruit. Sandwich meat and plenty of bread. Cheese. Eggs. I quit trying to cook. I felt like a failure. It didn’t take me long,  however, to literally lose my stress over it. They were fine. All of us were not starving. Trust moi. I. Moved. On. 

Then it happened. MSH, who had often cooked for me and all of us, took control of the kitchen. TLC came along and he helped me with everything involving food and meals! It was wonderful. Special. Over-the-top nice. And YUMMO.

Eight More (Cook-y/Chef-y) Things I Love About My Sweet Hubby:

17. He can take a pantry of items that make no sense to me and come up with the most fabulous meal! It blows my mind. Seriously.

18. He cleans up as he goes along. And at the end! (Even though I often help or remind him the rule is that the cook doesn’t have to clean the dishes or kitchen.)

19. He started watching The Food Network long before all the cool kids discovered it! He AND TLC. In fact, I’d come in at night from work (different job--now a licensed professional counselor working with kids) and react this way to the TV being on The Food Network:

“Seriously, MSH? TLC? Could we watch something else? ANYTHING ELSE? SHEESH.”

Not nice of me. At. All. I’ve since done my best to make up for several years of sassiness about their cooking shows and now find myself watching many more series on that network than I ever expected to.

20. He LOVES TO SHOP! Before he retired? He’d go get our “food” groceries whenever I asked him to help me/us out. Since retirement? This is our routine:

Once to twice a week we go to the grocery store. We separate at the door. We each get our own shopping cart. I go my way. He goes his. He has his list. I have mine. I go to the paper products, beauty aisle, toy section, cards, wrapping paper and gifts aisle, cleaning products, etc. (Are you getting what I’m saying? Not only that I go nowhere near food but also that grocery stores have EVERYTHING including clothes and shoes which is nUtS.) He buys our food. We meet up to take turns paying for our purchases. We load up and go home. It works for us in a hugely FABULOUS way.

21. He is the cutest fella at the grocery store! Not just because he’s adorable looking. He really is. Trust me. But also because he talks to people about what they’re buying. What they like. What they think is good. (He could possibly be someone’s worst nightmare…I realize this…he doesn’t. Sigh and Winky. Wink.) His utmost favourite thing to do is to look for a shelf that has only ONE more bottle/box/container left on it of a product and then he buys it! Whether we need it or not. Because he says: “If it’s almost gone, it has to be good!” (Some of his theories are priceless. Or cRaZy. Depends. Now he has TLC AND Little Leighton noticing this phenomenon. When Little Leighton is shopping with TLC and she sees there's only one item left on a shelf, she tells TLC: "Look, Mom! We need to get that! Pa-Pa says that means it's good." They are all three the SILLIEST.)

22. When Little Leighton was diagnosed with Celiac disease four years ago, he became a world-class EXPERT on gluten-free food. Products. Recipes. Magazines.  Books. I used to tell folks he could do an 8-hour Seminar on the disease and how to cook great food and meals with no gluten! I, too, have stepped up my “baking” to include my gluten-free Gramcakes. GF muffins. Cookies. Cakes (one layer, naturally). Cupcakes. I must say I’m getting dadgum excellent at these treats.

23. He has prepared—almost singlehandedly—the most amazing Thanksgiving, Christmas, special occasion and party meals for family and friends. For years. We don’t do much of that now. For many, many reasons. We laugh about how we probably don’t miss it as much as we should. (Because here’s the thing: I did everything else BUT cook. That ain’t always easy for 4-40 peeps, ‘kay?)

24. He used to be the official Camp Cookie for his “Deer Hunt Gang.” Yes, he appointed himself. Frankly, all the guys were beyond grateful! They looked forward to his menus, his SUPERB breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and, most of all, his cast-iron-in-the-campfire cornbread, biscuits and desserts! I actually hoped he could start entering cast-iron/grilling/campfire contests/championships when he retired. Life happened. Two heart attacks later, MSH decided he was getting too old to camp out for five days, cooking, eating and drinking like he was in his 20s. 30s. 40s. Even 50s. He sold his “Deer Hunt Campout Chef” rig and all the fellas agreed to let their memories become their new annual experience. Sigh. Things change. Life goes on.

One of my funniest friends—who herself is an amazing “chef”—started calling MSH “Jimeril.” After Emeril Lagasse, you know. Just like that—BAM—several others took up calling him this. It fits. He could have been a Chef. A real-life Chef. He doesn’t think so. I know so. I have not one doubt.

Thanks for reading, Dearest Friends Everywhere! Have a Wonderful Week! I’ll be back soon with eight more reasons I love My Sweet Hubby of 40 years.

Hugs,

ELC
p.s.: TLC has taken after her Chef Dad. She is THE BEST COOK. Ever. I'm sincerely proud of both of them. Grateful. And PROUD.

Monday, September 10, 2018

and the next eight...


Here are my next eight reasons (of 40!) that set out why I love, treasure and cherish My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH):



[FYI: Because he is sooo interesting, I put things in my cellphone notes that he says or does! To help me remember. Mostly, though, to share with TLC. He’d probably be miffed at me for sharing some of these. Or embarrassed. Or both. He’ll get over it. Winky. Wink.]



9. After two heart attacks in two years (his last one was in March of 2015), he is determined to stay healthy. Strong. To eat right. To exercise. To be here. For me. For his children and his grandchildren. Many of his friends have had heart attacks and have fallen back into bad habits. Not MSH. I’m so proud of him.



10. He’s dadgum funny. As I’ve mentioned in the past, he doesn’t really mean to be. At least not 85% of the time. (The other 15%? He does intend to be funny. Trust me. He does. He often, unfortunately, misses the mark. That, though, can also be quite hilarious.) When he was given some different meds and/or pre-anesthesia during his second heart attack hospitalization, TLC and I got tickled at some of the things he said before, during and after it was all taking effect or wearing off:

            “I’m floating. Are y’all floating? This stuff is bad. This is what all the kids want!”

            In reference to one of his nurses: “Boy—she’s smart. She gave me a slowdown pill. Everything floats to the surface.”

            “Don't worry. I won’t be operating any heavy machinery!”

            And the best—although, actually, the saddest, was when he was grabbing at the air and telling us: “There are sticks out there! Can you get them?”

God love his sweet but damaged heart.



11. I’ve shared that he has a pretty severe hearing loss in both of his ears. Dr. ELC believes it's from the many years of being a hunter. Driving loud boats. Doing all of our yardwork by himself and being on a LOUD tractor for the past 18 years. He wears hearing aides. They help some. He continues to struggle on a daily basis with what people are saying to him. (Since I went suddenly deaf in my left ear eleven years ago, and can’t wear a hearing aide, I do my utmost best to be sympathetic and supportive of his handicap. I do, TLC. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.) Not too long ago I said to him: I’m going to go plug my phone in. He replied: “Shave your toenail?” (I cannot make this stuff up.) It is always at this point, when he says weird things like this, that I look at him and say: “Before you said that to me, did you really think that was what I was telling you? Seriously? You didn’t say to yourself: ‘Self, that could NOT be what she said.’ So I’ll simply inform her I didn’t hear her.” Sheesh. DOUBLE SHEESH. (And yet, I cannot live without him…)



12. He makes me feel safe. He’s afraid of nothing. Of no one. Well, I should, perhaps, be honest and clarify this: He does have a HUGE fear of centipedes. And copperheads. And rattlesnakes. Although he’ll bravely kill all of them before they bite him or me or anyone else out here in the sticks. He still kinda shivers when he talks about them. Sees them. Encounters them. That can make me a tidbit anxious. 



13. He’s strong.  (Pairs nicely with not being afraid of anything or anyone, wouldn’t you say?) Physically. Emotionally. Spiritually. I like that attribute. Don’t you? Especially since I'm not strong in any of those areas. Maybe I am somewhat strong spiritually. Sometimes strong emotionally. Never physically.



14. We’d recently gotten out of his truck at the grocery store when I said: “Would you get some cantaloupes? You have a talent for picking the sweetest, yummiest ones!” He replied: “Sure. I think they’re called Honey-in-your-Eyes.” I looked at him and, as patient as I could be, stated: “That cannot be right.” When we got inside the store? Yep. Not their name. (I think it was Sugar Kiss. Possibly. Sugar something. Okay, okay. I'm not much better than him.). Lawdy LAWDY. He is a hoot, right?



15. He worships our Brown Lab, Buddy Boo Bear.  (Well, worship may not be the exact right word. I needed something stronger than cherishes or treasures.) Buddy Bear tolerates me. If BBB could talk? He’d tell you he’s MSH’s dog. Not mine. I'm fine with that. We adopted Buddy eight years ago. He is the BEST DOG ON THIS EARTH. Everyone that knows him can verify this. It’s fact. THE BEST. (TLC is constantly trying to trade us Henry for Buddy Bear. Please don't tell Her Hubby.) The other day I said goodbye to MSH as I was about to leave our casa for town. To do several errands. MSH responded: “B. Y. E.” He spelled the word "bye." I looked at him and asked: “Why did you just spell ‘bye” to me?” He replied: “I didn’t want Buddy to think I was leaving, too. He gets super upset because he knows what ‘bye’ means.” Oh, MSH. How did I live 23 years without you?



16. My Sweet Hubby has become, in the past ten years, The Best Flower Pot Potter in a 40-miles radius. Maybe 80! I mean it, Y’all. He could hire out. I could hire him out! (I threaten to do this every time he pots new flowers, plants, shrubs for moi. He is that gifted. He does refuse to agree to do this as a part-time job.)

MSH? I think I’ll keep him. Even when he's not sure he wants to keep me.

Look for my next post on Sunday (long story...) and Y’all have a WONDERFUL WEEK—Wherever in this World Y’all are!”

smooch,

ELC