Friday, September 21, 2018


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!


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.


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!”



Friday, September 7, 2018

the first eight...

Forty years with My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH). (Actually over 41—when you count going out on our first date!) It's been (sort of...) CELEBRATED. We’ve both probably learned, in that amount of time, more than we ever wanted to know about each other.

I'm his second wife. He married his first wife when he was 19. They were divorced thirteen years and four sons later. Of course I knew—when we met (and I've shared the details of that little story at least once)—that he had four children from 2-12 and an aluminum fishing boat. I remained intrigued. (Instead of running away as fast as my short little legs would take me. Winky. Wink.)

So when we started off? We were basically—in the financial sense—like newlyweds.

I can tell you that we say at least once a week—sometimes every day—we’re still learning things about each other we didn’t know! (Or, perhaps, at 64 and 74—it’s not that we're learning all that much...we simply don’t remember…sigh…)

Here are My First Eight (of 40!) Things I Love, Love, LOVE About MSH:

1.     His eyes. They are so brown they’re almost black. I sincerely remember the first time I was up close enough to see them just inches from my own (which are kind of blah gray-ish/green-ish/blue-ish/hazel-ish and not striking), I was hooked. Drawn into the power those eyes had on me virtually immediately! (I’ve shared in the past that MSH seriously reminded me of Sean Connery. I adored Sean for many, MANY years…until there were some unfortunate revelations about him…darnitall…)

2.     His smile. Warm. Kind. Fiesty-ish. A smile showing off nice teeth. (Despite the fact that neither of us wore braces—due to the expense of them. And despite the fact that he smoked cigarettes. ) BTW: TLC wore a retainer/expander when she was 5. Then was put into braces when she was 9. WAY TOO YOUNG. (IMHO.) I was finishing up with chemo treatments for my breast cancer nightmare when her braces were removed. They didn’t give her a retainer. I’m still mad about that. Mad at them. Mad at myself. Because she didn’t wear a retainer, she had to be put into braces again at 15. For 2 years. I didn’t go to the same orthodontist. I tell her periodically—after she quit wearing her retainer 10ish years ago—that she owes MSH and me $17,000. That’s probably low-balling the actual cost of those three orthodontic procedures. Because that’s not factoring in my time, gasoline, wear-and-tear on my vehicles du jour and SHOPPING and eating out we’d have to do on those appointment days. Sheesh.

3.     The fact that, when I met him, he was 33 and hadn’t had hair on the top o’ his handsome head for many years. Nine. Ish. (I think I figured out why I like men with bald heads: My biological grandfather was bald. He was our only grandfather—as our materal grandfather had died when our mother was 5—and he was FUN. We lost touch with him when our parents divorced. I was 5 when that happened. He and our grandmother followed our father to another State and we saw our grandparents very, very seldom. I have sweet memories of him, however, as a small child. MSH has A LOT of Dad-Dad’s good qualities. A lot and MANY, MANY more.

4.     Because he was ten years older than me, MSH was “worldly.” Confident. Strong. I admired those qualities and, frankly, I needed a man in my life that could and would help me out. With my seemingly many problems/issues/challenges. (Not the least of which, four months into our dating relationship, was buying a battery for my UGLY little car I’d bought after graduating from college. The battery I needed was $40. I didn’t have the cash. He never hesitated for one-millionth of a second to bail me out. He rescued me that day and he’s rescued me a zillion times since.

5.     His interest in so many, many things! Hunting. (Although he quit hunting when we moved out to the country 18 years ago and we became excited to see deer and dove—the things he’d hunted for years. Every day. I was proud he’d decided he’d rather target practice than kill animals. Do either of us care if others hunt? Not the least. AS LONG AS they’re hunting by the laws and rules and not killing beautiful, wild animals they only want for the thrill and bragging and taxidermy.) Fishing. Boating. Skiing. (Water sports were his favourites, although he was an excellent snow skier. He doesn’t do either any more. Aging makes you grateful you don’t have broken bones. You want to keep it that way as long as possible!)

6.     His willingness to help do whatever I want around our home. Mostly vacuuming and cooking. The two things I dislike the most! He hasn’t ever cleaned a commode. That doesn’t bother me. He could. And he’d do it probably perfectly. I don’t mow or weedeat our lawn. I feel it’s a fair trade. Oh, and he doesn’t dust. That’s okay, too. He would.

7.     He knows enough about these things to save us time and money: Cars. Electricity. Plumbing. He does NOT, however, like to paint. That job he insists on leaving to the professionals. It's okay by moi.

8.     He is FUNNY. Mostly he doesn’t really mean to be. He and TLC make me laugh harder and longer than anyone else on this Earth.

There are more to come! I know Y’all will be waiting with baited breath…teeheehee


Love and Hugs and please STAY SAFE this weekend!


Monday, September 3, 2018

take my hand...

I’m trying to hold my breath

Let it stay this way

Can’t let this moment end

You set off a dream with me

Getting louder now

Can you hear it echoing?

Take my hand

Will you share this with me

‘Cause darling without you

All the shine of a thousand spotlights

All the stars we steal from the nightsky

Will never be enough

Never be enough

Towers of gold are still too little

These hands could hold the world

But it’ll never be enough

Never be enough

For me.

(written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul

for The Greatest Showman…)

Yesterday was our 40th anniversary. And this song (If you’ve never listened to Loren Allred sing it—you must. Truly.) sums up for me how I feel about My Sweet Hubby and our marriage. Our story.

It’s September! For the rest of the month, as I warned Y’all, I’ll be talking about My Man. What I’ve learned about him. What I’ve learned from him. What I’ve learned because of him. (I'll do my best to be direct and to-the-point. Winky. Wink.)

Have a Wonderful Week—Wherever in this World Y’all are!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

pecans...pecans...and more pecans!

Our last suggestion actually doesn’t have an IG account—yet. Should be coming…at some point. However, I want to share their website and encourage you to follow them on Facebook!

Nearly 40 years ago, my darling sister (3rd of the four of us kids—and the “middle” sister) and her husband, Timothy P, opened The Pecan Shed in Wichita Falls, Texas. Today, this is a family owned and operated pecan business with the CUTEST gift shop!  My sister, Mary V., who worked her you-know-what off for many, MANY years, helping to make this business the success it has become, retired. (She deserved retirement. Trust me.) Her daughter/my niece, JP, has run both the Wichita Falls’ store and their newer store located in Henrietta, Texas for several years. By The By: The Wichita Falls' store is perhaps the most "famous" of the two, but the Henrietta store is fast becoming quite The Talk-o'-Texas, with a Grill that serves the YUMMIEST food ever! I'm talkin' Slap-Your-Mama (seriously don't really go slap your mom...) DELISH, Y'ALL.) 

I like to tease that JP is the REAL BOSS, although her Dad and my handsome nephew, JW, her older brother who manages all of their pecan orchards, might want to take me to task on that statement. Winky Wink.

This is a picture of the Wichita Falls’ store (Yes. It was taken at Christmas! TLC’s most favourite time of the year—so works perfectly for our purposes, right?):

And this is a picture of the Henrietta store and gas station:

Again, t
he Pecan Shed website is:

When you have a bit of time, check it out! Read their story and see their FANTASTICALLY yummy products! I’m telling Y’all, they sell the best pecans in the State of Texas! Possibly the United States! I am seriously not exaggerating. Their pecans and fudge, etc., make the most awesome gifts. Especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Although—and this is IMP0RTANT—they’ll ship them all year! (Note: Shipping of agricultural products to different states and countries can vary. JP or her staff can tell you, when you call or email them, if there are any special requirements in the state for which you want to send said pecans, etc.)

JP has a Masters’ in Business (she graduated With Highest Honors!) and is an amazing Marketing/Branding Gal! She is a Buyer Extraordinaire. The gifts she has at both of their stores are SWEET/beautiful/charming/rustic/country chic/fun/FABULOUS. (TLC can testify, under oath, that JP has the cutest gals’ ballcaps in America.)

JP posts her gifts/products on their Facebook pages. (*Simply Search for The Pecan Shed in Wichita Falls, Texas and The Pecan Shed in Henrietta, Texas. Easy. Peasy.) As well as on the above website.

Their website will have more gifts as time goes on. Currently, if you see something you must have, give The Pecan Shed a call on their toll-free #:


By the way: JP is also a gifted writer. Check out her new book entitled:

It’s her journey through marriage, motherhood, divorce, single parenting and running their family business…while she builds her faith in Our Dear Lord God and His Son, Jesus Christ! (You can order her book from Amazon or from the store’s website!) JP writes with candor, wisdom, humor, creativity and charm. TLC, Little Leighton, Baby Elle, and I love, LOVE, LOVE Our JP and her precious daughter, my second oldest great-niece, Dotty.

We've come to the end of TLC’s and my adventure through Our Favourite Instagram Pages! Surely you’ve checked out one or two or seven by now? 

In a matter of days, My Sweet Hubby and I will be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary! Forty. Four. Zero. 40. Which is crazy to me. TLC will be taking the month of September off while I entertain (or bore—whichever is most appropo…hopefully it’s the former and not the latter…) Y’all with posts about our life, marriage, communication, and the many things I’ve learned on my journey with this man I’ve loved, adored and cherished for over 41 years. It's been...real. WONDERFUL. Magical. Exceptional And extremely...real.

Thank you to each of Y’all who continue to read our blog! We’re grateful. Sincerely and deeply grateful.



Sunday, August 26, 2018


Happy Sunday evening, Friends! I hope you have had a restful, peaceful, lovely weekend and that you feel refreshed and ready to start a new week.

For my last favourite Instagram account, I wanted to share with y'all:


Gina is the author of many "Skinnytaste" cookbooks! (I was just gifted one last Christmas.) I can't remember exactly how I started following her. Perhaps Facebook? But two things I ADORE about her:

1. Her recipes (most of them!) can very easily be made gluten-free! She's so super-duper-gluten-free-friendly. Her awareness and inclusivity bring joy to my heart.

2. She always lists Weight Watchers' Points for her recipes. I love that, given ELC's amazing dedication to her weight-loss journey through that awesome program.

Gina also has a blog (I'm thinking that's how she got started?), and thought I would share two of my FAVOURITE recipes:

The first is her "Gluten-Free Lightened Up Banana Nut Bread." I typically use "Cup4Cup" flour, and I also use Go-Go Squeeze Cinnamon-Applesauce! Y'all. Ohmygosh. It makes two loaves of bread, which is perfect for our family because Little Leighton does NOT wants nuts in her bread but my Hubby wants extra walnuts in his! It. Is. So. Stinking. GOOD. Try this. Freeze a loaf. It would be perfect for a healthy and quick breakfast before school.

Skinny Cranberry Bliss Bars. These bars. There truly are no words for how yummy they are. They have become one of my new traditions during the holidays. This is her version of the Starbucks' Cranberry Bliss Bars. But, news flash: Gina's are BETTER. And better for you, too! I sub Cup4Cup flour and just make sure all of my other ingredients are gluten-free. They are DELICIOUS. You must-must-must try these this year!

I pray you all have a blessed week, and, as our Worship Leader at church says every Sunday, be a blessing to others.


Friday, August 24, 2018

biscuit...and melanie...

Somehow it’s Friday! Sheesh.

Last week was hard. TLC and I didn’t expect it to be. Wednesday was going to be Little Leighton’s (aka LL aka Biscuit) first day of public school. Kindergarten. (With her birthday in late July, more than likely, she’ll be one of the oldest—if not the oldest—student in her class.) This was a decision TLC thought long and hard about. Because Biscuit is already an amazing reader! She’s smart, Y’all. She’s also got one of those “old souls.”

She was actually in a “real” kindergarten class last year. She semi-sort-of didn’t realize it. She might have thought she was in what is now called a “transitional” kindergarten class. For those kids who have late summer birthdays or whose parents want to told them back a year. It was from 9-2…four days a week. They didn’t go on Fridays. There were 17 in her class and her adorable teacher had a wonderful “aide.”

TLC and I believe her decision to hold LL back a year is going to be the right one. We’ve understood that, in terms of actual learning progress, all the kids should be at about the same learning/aptitude level by 3rd grade. Meantime, LL will enjoy being one of the oldest. We’re quite confident about this.

Anyway, Wednesday went well. TLC, Her Hubby and Baby Elle (aka Belle) all went with Biscuit to her class. The teacher was taking pictures of the kids with their parents/families. When TLC picked Biscuit up? She said it was a good day. She did, however, talk about how “long” the day was and shared that the school was really big. A tidbit scary to her.

On Thursday morning? Oh. My. MY. MY. Biscuit was NOT a Happy Camper. TLC shoved her out of her car door (TLC was actually and accidentally in the wrong drop-off lane—which was traumatic for everyone—but most especially for Biscuit.) and watched her precious oldest daughter turn around to look at her with utter fear. There didn’t seem to be any adult waiting for these children heading to the entrance/ big doors. TLC called me. Crying. The whole experience was upsetting to her. She then texted a good friend of hers whose 3rd out of four daughters is in LL’s class. Her friend told her LL looked alone, confused and upset in the Cafeteria—while the kids waited for their teachers to take them to their classes. Her daughter, too, was getting stressed.

Late morning, Biscuit’s teacher emailed TLC. Told her Biscuit was having a “very rough” day—but she and the counselor were doing everything they could to help her. When TLC picked her up that afternoon—Grammy and Belle in tow—Biscuit looked tired. Pale. Red-rimmed eyes. Not her happy, sweet, peppy self. TLC and I did everything we could to be upbeat—but in a lowkey way. We were fighting total devastation.

Within an hour of being home? Little Leighton was crying. Screaming. “I am NOT GOING BACK to school. I AM NOT. It’s too long of a day. I miss you, Mommy! I’M NOT GOING.”

Sigh. Although TLC and I were both extremely upset, we worked hard to continue to be upbeat and calm. On the outside. On the inside, our hearts were sad.

Friday was just as…well…awful. Maybe worse. Friday had the counselor, a PE coach and a couple of other teachers involved in Biscuit’s Ordeal.

The counselor and TLC talked on the phone for over 30 minutes that afternoon. She gave TLC some tips/suggestions. She assured TLC they were going to get LL through it. Might take a few weeks, but she’d be okay.

The weekend was iffy. A “Reward” Chart was made and discussed, at length, with LL. Was that the way to go? Biscuit needs incentives. We’ve all learned this. A snowcone. A froyo. A small treat from Target. The counselor had suggested TLC come up with some things Biscuit could look forward to while attempting to cope with her fears and, well, anger. Anger at being forced to go to this new school. From 7:45ish to 3:10ish. Five days a week. When she “really REALLY REALLY” missed her Mama.

Monday? A WHOLE NEW BISCUIT! There were a few tears in her eyes at the dropoff. The school was ready for her! Those tears were the last she had.


Will she have some future rought spots? Yes. Yes, she will. (Her Mama/TLC told me on the 4th day of 2nd grade, after breaking her arm at Recess on the 3rd day of school, she was NOT GOING BACK TO SCHOOL. EVER. That six weeks? NOT. FUN. For any of us. We all survived.) We feel confident LL will overcome any adversities she faces along her journey and will love school as much as I did—as much as her Mama did (Except for that six weeks in 2nd grade, the first part of TLC's 7th grade year and her Senior year. TLC got through all of those rough spots with FLYING COLORS. Mostly. Winky Wink.)

So my suggestion today for a special IG account to follow?


Y’all might remember I talked about Ms. Melanie in my June 6th post entitled “little moments.” I just finished her devotional book called “Everyday Holy” this morning! (I’m going to actually start over on September 4th—as per an IG post Melanie made this week.)

Y’all must trust moi:

She’s wise. Funny. Smart. She’s real. Honest. She’s one of my most favourites writers. Her faith inspires me.

Check her out!

Y’all have a Wonderful Weekend—wherever in this World Y’all are…don’t refuse to do something you really have no choice to refuse, ‘kay? You’ll get make it and be stronger. You will.

Friday Smooches and Hugs,


p.s.--LL's Beta fish, Nancy, who they've had for almost a year, was gone this past Wednesday afternoon. Discovered by TLC as she got dinner ready. Her Hubby snuck out of their house and went to two places to find a new one. TLC said...and she was right: "LL cannot lose Nancy. Not now. Not today. Not this week." Her Hubby found a male blue beta at the second place. The difference being that this male is bigger than Nancy and has a poofier tail. Of course. Sheesh. Her Hubby was skeptical this lie would work. LL never noticed New Nancy that evening. Not yesterday. This morning she walked by the tank and literally jumped in the air, screaming: Mom! Look at Nancy! She got bigger! Look at her tail! Tracey downplayed it with an Oscar-worthy performance by saying Nancy'd basically had a growth spurt.When this Nancy is gone? They'll help her process it. I approved. 100%.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

fig and twigs

So I have no clue how I found this Instagram account. Someone I follow must have liked something on it. I. Don’t. Know.


Y’all. It is a beautiful IG to follow! She lives in Newport Beach, California. And has the CUTEST DOG EVER named Daisy Rhubarb. Her website/blog has recipes! The most exquisite pictures of absolutely splendid flower arrangements and decadently luscious food/desserts.

Her website is:

She writes a FUN and interesting blog. Her photos of everything are spectacular. (She, unlike moi, apparently knows how to put photos on her website/blog. I can load them on my Instagram. And Facebook. I guess I’d be EXTREMELY pathetic if I couldn’t do that, right? Instead I’m just very pathetic and dependent on TLC for our blog photos. Sigh.)

I’m also unclear if she’s an event planner (she 1000% SHOULD be)—or just an incredibly gifted person who loves her (magazine-worthy) home to be filled with stunningness. PURE STUNNINGNESS.

All I can tell you is this:

When I have 15 minutes to scroll through IG? And one of her posts is there? I’m in heaven. H.E.A.V.E.N.

Happy Saturday! Happy Weekend! Find figandtwigs ASAP and ENJOY!!!



Tuesday, August 14, 2018

shop 'til you drop...

Happy Tuesday, Friends!

My Sweet Little Leighton starts Kindergarten tomorrow. I am doing everything I can think of to NOT think about it. I blinked. Tomorrow a new chapter starts. At church Sunday, we had the "Blessing of the Backpacks." I was a hot, teary mess. The moment I have to leave her in her classroom, I think my husband might have to carry me out. There are so many things I wish for her: bravery, kindness, excitement, hope. Y'all. I have to stop.

One of my favourite forms of distraction? SHOPPING!

Two of the best shopping Instagram (IG) accounts I follow?


They are both run by the same ladies. I believe they are moms that live in Southern California. I have found some of the yummiest and cutest things via their accounts.

Exhibit A:

We purchased this for Little Leighton's birthday soiree this year. It was a huge hit! It's so adorable. The kids (and adults!) loved it.

So, I haven't actually purchased these yet. BUT, I tried them on last week, after seeing this post. They are fabulous. Seriously amazing quality. They remind me of a similar (almost exact) style from "Free People." I think these will be the perfect bandaid for my heart tomorrow. Wink. Wink.

Exhibit B:

Both of these Costco finds are Certified Gluten-Free and certifiably delicious. I would recommend adding your own peanuts, cilantro and green onions to the Pad Thai. It is super easy to prepare. Perfect for busy school nights. The Heavenly Hunks? I have to hide them from myself. And ELC. I truly think they make a great, and quick, breakfast (don't judge me) or afternoon snack.

I hope y'all will check these two accounts out, especially if you love shopping at Target and Costco as much as I do.

Pray for Little Leighton tomorrow. And me. Pretty please?


Sunday, August 12, 2018


From Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young, today, August 12th:

COME TO ME when you are weak and weary. Rest snugly in My everlasting arms. I do not despise your weakness, My child. Actually, it draws Me closer to you because weakness stirs up My compassion—My yearning to help. Accept yourself in your weariness, knowing that I understand how difficult your journey has been.

Do not compare yourself with others who seem to skip along their life-paths with ease. Their journeys have been different from yours, and I have gifted them with abundant energy. I have gifted you with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in My Presence. Accept this gift as a sacred treasure: delicate, yet glowing with brilliant Light. Rather than struggling to disguise or deny your weakness, allow Me to bless you richly through it.

ISAIAH 42:3; ISAIAH 54:10; ROMANS 8:26

My next Instagram suggestion is Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I cannot emphasize enough how much this book means to me. I cannot tell Y’all how much I NEED to scroll through IG and come upon my daily post from Jesus Calling. They’re short. To the point. IMPORTANT. Wonderful. Peaceful. Encouraging. If you don’t have any of the books I’ve talked about in the past, please consider following Sarah on Instagram.

[TLC and I had a super busy week beginning last Monday.. Little Leighton (aka LL) starts kindergarten this coming Wednesday! Public school. She and TLC attended a “Meet the Teachers” night last Thursday and both are TRES excited about her teacher. She seems positively lovely.

My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I kept Baby Elle (aka Belle) for a night while TLC and LL had two days of “Mom and Only Me Time!” My niece, JP, came to spend the same night with us that Belle was here. That was FABULOUS. She then followed me to TLC’s casa for a short visit. She had to leave late that afternoon for her home. We were all grateful for the time she shared with us, her humor and kindness! She ROCKS.]

This weekend I’ve felt puny. Off a bit. Allergies? The weather? Just...well...pooped? I don't know. (We did get a teeny bit of rain. TLC—and others—got much more than us. Dadgummit. But it’s been cloudy and humid since mid-week!) I did some work around the house yesterday and this afternoon. Waited for a call for two days about a “showing” to prospective buyers (which never happened…UGH…). Did errands with MSH in Fort Worth today—once  we knew for certain there’d be no showing.

Jesus. During all of my minutes, hours, days, and nights this past week, I’ve needed Jesus.

May each of you have a Wonderful Week—wherever in this World Y’all are! And may you find Jesus if you haven’t yet. May My Sweet Jesus fill you with His peace, comfort, strength, patience, and, most of all, His unconditional love!



Tuesday, August 7, 2018


My next suggestion for an IG to follow:


Ft. Worth

I discovered them recently when I accidentally (literally it was kinda weird and a longish story) caught a show they did for HGTV called “Home to Last.” I’m crossing my fingers for them—because this was a pilot. I want more! Praying they get on the permanent HGTV schedule. Pray with me if you like 30-minute (Y'all know they're really just 22-ish minutes if you prerecord and who does not prerecord shows?) design/flippy/remodeling shows like moi. I’m obsessed. Which is odd. I am absolutely the most uncreative/untalented/notdesign-y-ish person you’ll ever meet.

I actually think they live pretty close to us! They are the CUTEST couple who help people re-do their homes. And, y’all, they are GOOD. If and/or when our country casa and place sells, I would be sooo tempted to buy an older home and get them to make it GORGEOUS. (Sadly, I don’t believe My Sweet Hubby—aka MSH—will be on board with this idea. God bless his “older/tireder” heart. He dream is to find a brand new home—or one that’s only a few years old. Not one that needs any kind of makeover. I can dream…right?)

So here’s their info (Y’all know I don’t get the significance of links, etc. I am what I am. A Senior Citizen. No Techie.):


I clicked on both of these from their IG and got two different (interesting) pages.

They are FUN, Y’all. Seriously FUN. Nice. Kind. Talented. 

Happy Tuesday! Wherever in this World Y’all Are…


Sunday, August 5, 2018

motivational mamas...

Hi, Friends! Happy Sunday!

Tonight you're getting a BOGO FREE post from moi. I'm sharing my TWO favourite "Motivational Mamas" on Instagram (aka: IG):

Rachel Hollis: @msrachelhollis
Jen Hatmaker: @jenhatmaker

(P.S. These are called "handles," ELC. At least, I think.)

I've read books by both of these women. Well, technically I haven't finished Rachel's book, "Girl, Wash Your Face." I've read quite a bit of it but have stopped because my weekly Bible Study Group will be reading it this fall. (I'm so excited. This is an amazing choice for us.) The Jen Hatmaker book I've finished is "For the Love," but I'm anxious to read her others, specifically, "Of Mess and Moxie." (Is that not the cutest title? I just adore that word, MOXIE!) I actually have listened to several episodes of Jen's podcast (also titled: "For the Love") and have liked them tremendously! I need to make time to listen to more.

Both of these women INSPIRE me. They make me laugh, cry, think. They help me feel less alone, motivate me to do better and be better, and encourage me. Like a best friend (ELC) would. I get these women and they get me. They understand my struggles as a mom, a wife, a woman. Jesus lives in their hearts. They are LIGHTS in this world. And, they both, coincidentally, live in my all-time favourite town: Austin, Texas. They treasure Texas, y'all. I cherish them.

Please follow them if you're on IG. You don't have to have kids, be a wife, or even a woman to enjoy their humor, knowledge and passion for wanting to help make us be the best versions of ourselves. And, in return, make our earth/world better.

I pray your new week is full of magic and grace, Dear Readers!

Thursday, August 2, 2018

i told you to!

Hey—it’s AUGUST. Cannot even believe it. But you know what this means, right? A month of TLC's and My Favourite Websites and Instagrams!
I have the extreme honor of sharing with y’all our first website/blog we both LOVE LOVE LOVE.

And the winner is…drumroll…

This is also her Instagram tag. Name? ID? Y’all know I am the most incompetent technology person in the State of Texas. Possibly on the Planet. I have no clue as to the correct lingo/language/stuff. So I don't know what you actually call an Instagram "name." Hers is sheaffertoldmeto.

TLC has known about Sheaffer for several years. In fact, when TLC lived in Frisco, she, Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) and I were at the Mall one day (LL was maybe 2?) when we saw Sheaffer and some friends having lunch (like us!) at the Food Court. (They did not, however, have to ride the Carousel several times.) TLC had been telling me about Sheaffer’s blog. I’m not certain if TLC was on Instagram at that point. I can’t quite remember. Anyway, I was encouraging TLC to go over and tell her how much she treasured her website. TLC was too shy. (And frightened I’d go over to Sheaffer—where I’d make a complete fool of myself. I didn't.)

Sheaffer has DEALS. Like...GOOD Deals. She partners with many businesses. Large and small. Nordstrom being perhaps the BIGGEST retailer. But she has lots of medium and small businesses she writes about, too. She takes the CUTEST selfies in the MOST AWESOME clothes that she’s featuring—especially when they’re on sale or she has a “code” you can use for a discount. She also shares shoes, boots, purses and jewelry. (She has a PRETTY sister that is her model sometimes. For business/work/professional attire and accessories.) I honestly don’t know why Sheaffer hasn’t been featured on a Dallas/Ft. Worth TV show. Or why she doesn't have her own show. She is that adorable.

The other thing I truly love (because, frankly, at 64, most of the fashion she showcases would not work for me…as a Senior Citizen…just keepin’ it real…) are her weekly posts about The Bachelor and The Bachelorette seasons. (One of her good friends is Sean’s sister—so she has that connection to these shows.) I cannot wait for her thoughts each week and am getting extra excited about her blogs on the upcoming Bachelor in Paradise season! My oh my. This summer's starts soon--maybe next week? It looks like the cRaZiEsT season yet. 

Sheaffer. Is. HYSTERICAL. I’m not even jokin’, Y’all. Every time there is a new season, I threaten to skip watching the actual shows and just read her blogs on them. They are fancy, now. This gal DOES know technology. Like she's a genius to me. She has lots o’ pictures. I could literally ditch the actual time I spend watching the shows and getting bored/frustrated/disgusted/angry (mostly at myself for wasting my valuable “retirement” time—teeheehee!) and simply read her weekly updates. They ROCK.

She's not only smart and really beautiful...she is creative and clever and FUNNY. Very funny. 
From her Instagram:
"I'm a wife, mom, and accidental fashion blogger. I have a passion for sharing things I love with others!"
What she shares? It is all MARVELOUS. FANTASTIC. Chic. Affordable. Trendy. Classic.

Y’all must check her out. If you like fashion/shopping/browsing/dreaming and if you have a few extra bucks here and there to order the wonderful products she promotes OR if you love a funny recap of the useless-yet-fascinating Bachelor/Bachelorette shows, you will treasure Sheaffer as much as we do. Trust us.

It’s Friday Jr! Hope Y’all have a Wonderful Weekend—Wherever in this World Y’all are!

(TLC is up next! She follows GOOD peeps and businesses on IG. She excels in this. It's apparently a gift she got from me. Hahaha.)



Tuesday, July 31, 2018

firecracker #8

I had a couple of “firecrackers” I was considering. Then TLC, Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit), Baby Elle (aka Belle) and I made a trip to Wichita Falls last Wednesday—staying two nights—to see my sister, Mary V., her daughter and her four granddaughters. Our youngest sister, Lucy, also made the trip—taking off work and making it a true “Girls’ Only Mini-Vacay!”

TLC, LL, Belle and I stayed at the Homewood Suites we’d stayed in last summer. (Lucy camped out with Mary V at her casa.) We need a kitchen with a big fridge and a microwave for the gluten-free food we take. 

On Wednesday afternoon and evening, the WFalls’ Gang had a belated birthday party for LL. My two oldest great-nieces had done lots of decorating—with a Rapunzel theme. (LL’s gift from them was the Disney Rapunzel dress—sooo pretty/fancy/Princess-y. She also received a long blonde Rapunzel wig and shoes! So decorations were coordinated with this theme.) We had gluten-free hotdogs, chips and GF cupcakes and cookies Grammy had provided. Then we had a Dance Party! Led by my great-niece, Marie. She and my niece, her Momma, and TLC, taught us all the Macarena! (Actually, I knew it. I don't know how many times I did it at Texas Ranger's baseball games when that song came out. I did have to have a "refresh" to get it back in my head.) Among other dances. Something called the Whip and Nay-Nay? It was all tremendously fabulous and memorable. We left for the hotel completely exhausted.

Thursday morning, we went to see my niece’s new home and swim in her sparkling pool.  Once we were sufficiently pooped from all of that activity, TLC, The Little Princesses and I headed back to our hotel room for lunch and a nap.

My niece has written a book called “My Guru Calls Me Momma.” (A great read for any Momma or Grandmomma—or parent, actually. Especially for single parents.) She had a book signing on Thursday evening at a beautiful venue. We got back to our hotel room that night once again happily worn-out.

Friday morn, the four of us got up fairly early—packed our too many bags—and headed back to TLC’s casa (about two hours East). I got home to my country casa by 3:30 p.m. Got on my couch in my jammies. Moved to our bed at 9:30. Slept like a baby.

A fantastic time was had by ALL!

It was in the hotel room on Thursday afternoon—after Belle woke up from her nap—that I realized she had presented me with this last Firecracker!

She was singing something. (She’s 2 years and 4 months old. Like her Mom and her sister, she talked early and she talks amazingly well. Her vocabulary can literally blow your mind. Because she uses big words appropriately. Sorry. Grammy must brag some, right?) Belle loves to sing and dance (TWIRL!). She was singing “When We’re Together.” Sung by Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad and Jonathan Grott. From Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure was a 30-minute special presented on The Disney Channel this past December. If y’all didn’t see it—and you have children between the ages of 2 and 10? Children that loved the movie “Frozen?” You need to find this precious show. It is the SWEETEST. It’s about Elsa and Anna needing to discover their family Christmas traditions. They don’t think they have any—of course they finally realize they do. Hint: Their traditions involve Olaf. Duh.

At the end of the show, they all sing this song: “When We’re Together.” Y’all. I cry every single time I hear it. EVERY. TIME. It’s on TLC’s phone. It’s on my phone. I could listen to it twice a day—every day of my life—and still, I promise you, I’d cry.

I don’t care if you have no children or grandchildren and I don’t care how old you are. You SHOULD at least listen to this song. If you don’t understand all of the words? Google them. It is that awesome.

So this is our last Firecracker for the month of July. Yippee!

TLC and I hope you’ve enjoyed at least one of the suggestions we’ve had for y’all.

For the month of August? We’ve got something great planned! (Or we feel like you might enjoy our plan.) Each of us is going to give y’all some websites and Instagrams we treasure! TLC is the Instagram expert. Yes. I realize I may be a technology dinosaur. That is true. Yet I’ve got some I follow I think are blog worthy.

In September, My Sweet Hubby and I will be celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary! I’ll be taking over the blog for the entire month. Sharing 40 things I love about him (that would be approximately 8 posts of 5 things each so don't panic that it could take 40 years to read all of them), us, our marriage, our children, our grandchildren—our life together. Maybe some wisdom I’ve got regarding marriage/relationships. I’ll do what I can to make it interesting, okay?

Happy End-of-July Dearest Friends!

(Where is this year going? Sigh.)