Sunday, December 30, 2018

some assembly required...

And we continue to unpack boxes. Search for things we just know are here—somewhere. Encourage each other to be patient with this process!

My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) wants so very much to get in his truck in our garage. Even if we got rid of everything that’s still in there, I don’t see it happening. The first time we have the threat of hail? Or it actually hails? Well, I can’t let my mind go there. Not yet. MSH will need lots of wine. 

Then there’s Buddy Boo Bear. He’s still trying to figure out what the heck has happened to his previous life/schedule. God love and bless his precious canine heart. 

So some WONDERFUL things that have happened to us because of this HUGE transition?

        1.      Being so close to TLC, Her Hubby, Little Leighton and Baby Elle. It is FANTASTIC.
        2.      Being so close to grocery stores! Target. Walmart. Cafes/restaurants. Chick-fil-A! 
        3.      Having a home we love that is much easier to care for! 

Here are a few more pictures from Our New Journey:


MSH has put together 3 barstools, two small stools and a cute little end table. He’s requested no more furniture that has to be assembled. 


One of the MOST AWESOME things about being 15 minutes from TLC and Her Gang? When they get out early in the evening on Christmas Eve Eve, they can drop some homemade and iced (by Little Leighton and Baby Elle) gingerbread cookies on your front porch! Then text and tell us we have a surprise at the door! They. Were. DELICIOUS.



Little Leighton (getting excited about New Year’s Eve and Day) and Baby Elle can come spend a few hours with us while their Mom goes grocery etc. shopping! Lunch. Legos. Laughter!


Then there’s Buddy Bear’s new place to nap. Our master closet. We’ve decided to simply take deep breaths as we step over—and around—him. Sigh. 

2019—here we come! 

Big Hugs on this chilly but lovely Sunday!

ELC

Sunday, December 23, 2018

where's the garage?

Clearly this month has been a challenge. We actually moved to our new home on Saturday, December 8th. It was a very cold (for Texas) and rainy day. We had 3 very cute and sweet fellas moving us. Two trucks. It was one of the longest—and physically hardest—days of our lives. 

The good thing? We had no time to cry. About leaving our beautiful country casa and place. 

Once we got to our new home—utter chaos ensued. Naturally. That was two weeks ago yesterday. (We still are searching for IMPORTANT things we need. Sigh.)

As our Mover Guys were about to leave, we all started smelling gas. 

By the way: My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I haven’t had gas in a home since we lived with our parents. Long, LONG AGO. 

The Head Mover Fella (who is also a fireman) thought we should ask the Fire Department to come check us out. Before we went to bed that night. (It was 7:00 pm—and dark—at this point.) I drove to the station. 2 minutes away. I rang their doorbell and waited for 3 firemen to answer. Then I explained:

We’ve just moved to our neighborhood. Today. We have a gas smell in our home. We’d love it if you didn’t come with your sirens on. Because...well, we’re new to the neighborhood. 

They came. (Only with their truck lights on. No sirens.) They checked. We were good. 

The next day—Sunday—my sister met me at our country casa. She got all of our clothes. I worked on what was still left in our master bedroom and bathroom. We got back to our new house around 2:30 pm. This is what MSH said at least 50 times in 5 hours:

Where’s the garage?

Y’all, I’d understand if we’d moved into a large castle. Or even a mini-mansion. This new-to-us home is 2500 square feet. (I think he knows where all 9 rooms and the garage are now. I think.)

Our last and final day at our country casa was on Thursday, Dec. 13th. MSH and I went together in his truck with vacuums and cleaning supplies. We took Buddy Bear...as he’s been quite stressed out by our move and we’d be gone at least 6 hours. I took these two pictures as we were about to walk out our back door for the last time and head down our “ex” hill. (We cried all the way down. It’s so hard for me to see MSH cry. In fact, I can’t stand it. It makes me cry even more...)



Here is something I NEVER WANT TO SEE OR USE AGAIN:


The most annoying thing of all? When you set this sucker down near any kind of plastic. It comes alive and reaches out to said plastic. Attaching itself and making the person using the tape dispenser utterly and beyond cRaZy. 

We moved alot of things here—PAID to have them brought to this new-to-us casa that we cannot keep. No room. (No children or grandchildren want 98% of these things.) We now have a SECOND storage unit. Three minutes from our new casa. Here is what we took to that unit last Wednesday:


85% of this? It will eventually be donated to The Salvation Army. 

(More SIGHS...)

The Moving Saga Continues...stay tuned...

On behalf of TLC, Little Leighton, Baby Elle, myself and MSH, we want to wish Y’all a...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Be good...Santa’s watching and he’s almost here...WOW...

Thursday, December 13, 2018

O, Christmas Tree!

On December 1st, we set off to find our family's first REAL Christmas tree! (Our artificial tree bit the dust last year. It seemed like as good a time as any!) We headed to a tree lot fairly close to our home. It took about 20 minutes, but we (And by "we," you know I really mean "me." If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Amiright?) found the perfect one. Not too tall. Not too fluffy. Just right. We did have to break it to the girls we could not get one with "snow" on it. (Those dang flocked trees are twice the price, y'all. For FAKE snow. What gives?) They settled for each getting to take a picture in front of THEIR favorite trees. God bless them.



The nice couple running the lot was from Michigan. They were excited to escape the bitter cold up north and come down to Texas. The woman gave each of the girls their own "personal" tree. It was so sweet. They were thrilled.

As soon as we were home, we got to work decorating! We had fun.


Do you see the bird at the tippy-top of the tree? In front of the star? That is my most treasured ornament. My Great-Grandmother (ELC's "Nana") made that. It's exquisite.

I will admit, I was apprehensive about the upkeep of a "real" tree, but I have enjoyed every second of it. Truly! I hope we make this a yearly tradition. (Maybe we'll even swing for the fake snow one year, too.)

Happy Friday Eve!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Christmas-ing

I had planned to share pics about our first "real" Christmas tree we picked out and decorated last weekend, but, instead, I watched Elf with Little Leighton and Baby Elle this afternoon. Y'all. I just love that movie. We ate popcorn and had hot cocoa. It's been quite cold and drizzly here. It was the perfect movie day. My Hubby was downstairs making a yummy vegetarian chili for dinner (lest you think my children are adventurous eaters: they had quesadillas warmed up in the microwave). It was a good afternoon.

I promise to come back soon with several pictures of our Christmas-ing lately! Sweet ELC is in the trenches of moving, so y'all are stuck with me!

I'll leave you with one of my favourite quotes from Elf:

The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!

May you all be singing extra loud this weekend!

Stay cozy, Friends.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

December


Image via Pinterest

May your December be filled with magic, hope and anticipation.

(Meanwhile, ELC's is currently filled with bubblewrap, boxes and packing tape. Mine is filled with sleepless days and nights, compliments of Baby Elle and the permanent removal of her pacifier. Jesus, take the wheel.)

Thursday, November 29, 2018

apparently dramatic...

So we’re on Day 10 of The Great Move to the Metroplex! This could be fudging a bit because on Monday we spent several hours at our new home with some carpet men and a wood floor man. I don’t think I probably packed a box when we got back to our “rental country casa.” Guess I better own up to Day 9.

By the way: TLC and Baby Elle came over for about forty minutes Monday. Baby Elle decided to be VERY shy—clinging for dear life to her Mom. She wouldn’t even go to Grammy. (Broke Grammy’s heart in two.) Mom had to carry her EVERYWHERE. She refused to sit on the kitchen island (there are no chairs to be found there—yet…) and give her Mom any kind of break. The last ten mintues or so she did get down and hold Grammy’s hand. When it came time for them to leave—so they could go home for lunch and Baby Elle’s nap (sans her BaBa—pronounced BaaBaa—which her Mom told her on Sunday was going to be gone forever at naptime on Monday—TLC will have to catch us all up on Baby Elle’s BaBa Trauma)—Baby Elle cried and cried. “I don’t want to leave, Mama! I don’t want to leave, Grammy!” It. Was. Sad. And confusing. And ridiculous. And funny.

Later that night, as TLC and I caught up, via texting, on the afternoon and evening events, she sent me this text:

“When we were leaving your house today, I said: “Baby Elle, why were you being so shy?” She promptly answered, “I was being dramatic apparently.”

Y’all—she won’t be three years old until the end-ish of March. 6-year-old Little Leighton says “apparently” all the time. Has since she was three and a half. From the time she started using it? It was always in the correct context. Amazed us. Now Baby Elle is called “dramatic” probably six times a day by her Mom. At least six. (Because, well…she is. And it is priceless.) So Baby Elle knew she was being “apparently dramatic.” I laughed and laughed and laughed. Couldn’t wait to tell My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) the next morning. This youngest grandchild of ours is a hoot.

Our packing experience to date has been what I call—on an hourly basis—A Special Kind of H-E-DOUBLE HOCKEYSTICKS. HE*L. Truly. MSH and I have quite the difficult time communicating. Staying upbeat and, well, kind. To each other. To ourselves. We are tired. We are in pain. We are worried and anxious. Our feet and our backs are literally killing us most of each day and all night long. (We have movers coming on December 8th.)

Above all else, we are SAD. Sad to be in this house and on this land that we no longer own but that we've cherished for close to nineteen years. Sad to be leaving two towns—the one we live in now and the one (Stephenville--twelve miles South of here) we've lived in for a combined NINETY-SEVEN YEARS. I’m not even joking. Let me explain:

I’ve done the Math four times. I moved to Stephenville to go to Tarleton in the Fall of 1973. After I graduated, I moved away for eight months. Came back and have been here since. Approximately 44 years. MSH moved to Stephenville in l964. After he graduated from Tarleton, he moved away for about a year. Came back and has lived here since. Approximately 53 years. (YIKES.) In that time, we married (over 40 years ago) and had our Precious TLC. Almost 35 years ago. She was born at Stephenville General Hospital. (General Hospital, Y’all. Seriously? Fabulous. It's not called that now. It's actually had about three other names since she was born.) MSH’s sons were all born in Ft. Worth—but the three oldest were raised—through high school graduation—in Stephenville. (Our fourth son moved with his mother to Arlington when he was six. He was here A LOT in his first eighteen years of life.) None of them live here now or expect to ever come back here. Each of our five children have their own memories of their growing-up years here. None have ever had any plans to move back here. Hence, we Geezers must move close to TLC. (Our future Nurse/Home Health Aide/Caregiver. Unless she hides from us. That might happen. Little Leighton and Baby Elle won't, though.)

Here we are...packing up boxes and boxes and more boxes of our life together. Our life with our children and grandchildren. Our cherished memories. Yep—there were some hugely difficult times for us. As a couple. As individuals. As parents. As grandparents. Overall? We will always…ALWAYS smile and giggle and laugh about our last combined 97 years. We’ve been happy in a place that is charming, beautiful, sweet and tremendously deep in our hearts.

Here are some pictures of what we’re currently living on/with—walking around/over—possibly cursing/despising:




And, actually, I took those pictures four days ago. It’s much worse now.

This evening, as MSH and I surveyed all of my work at The Barn Apartment today (He worked there and at the house.), and grouped some furniture and boxes together for the movers to see tomorrow (They’re coming to decide if we need one or two trucks…MSH and I are fairly certain we’re going with TWO. Possibly FOUR.), he moved an ottoman to a different place in the little den. Underneath it was this card (and a few dead bugs):


Kinda gave me a little chill. A reminder from my Guardian Angel, perhaps? I needed it. I’ll keep it in my pocket through December 8th. Maybe through December 31st. Of 2040.

I’m doing my best to keep my faith we’ll be 95% ready on December 8th. (I do know I’ll be back for clothes and for cleaning…and anything else we may have forgotten.) Our very souls won’t be ready to drive away. This has been HOME. 

Y’all have a Terrific Thursday,  Fabulous Friday and Wonderful Weekend! Please pray for me and MSH. (One of us could decide to get in our vehicle and head South. Or North. Or West. Or East. Destin seems like it could be a lovely place right about now…)

(Pooped) HUGS,
ELC

P.S. I also found this whilst packing, and it couldn't ring more true. LOL.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

turkey day voodoo...

Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone. We had a super fun day with our family. We host an "ALL GLUTEN-FREE TURKEY DAY." Let me tell you, it's quite yummy, and you would be hard-pressed to guess any of it was actually GF. I will admit: I did, frantically, call My Sweet Dad (aka MSD) at 10:00 the morning of, wailing over my "mushy" dressing. We are very particular about our dressing. I guess it's really a matter of personal preference. We prefer fluffy, almost crispy dressing. Mine looked like "dressing soup." I was certain it was ruined. However, after some Turkey Day Voodoo, it turned out delicious, if I do say so myself.

I thought I might share the recipe, mainly so I don't forget what I did. (It's adapted from Pioneer Woman's Thanksgiving Dressing.)

TLC's Glorious Gluten-Free Dressing

1 box of Krusteaz Honey Cornbread Mix (prepare per instructions, except sub equal parts butter for oil)
2 Schar Baguettes
1 large Sweet Onion, diced
5 stalks of Celery, diced
1/2 bunch Parsley, chopped
1/2 c. Butter (aka: 1 stick)
5 c. Chicken Stock (mine was not low-sodium, c'est la vie)
1 t. fresh Thyme
1/2 t. dried Basil
1/2 t. Rubbed Sage
1/4 t. Ground Turmeric
1 T. fresh Rosemary
1 Egg, lightly beaten
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Bake cornbread two days before serving. Cut up all bread (corn- and baguettes) and place all of it in a (very) large bowl. The bread needs plenty of time to dry out. I like to keep a few paper towels over mine. MSD always did this. So, I do, too. I also occasionally toss it over the course of two days.

On the day of, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Melt the butter over medium-ish heat. Add the onions and celery (I chopped everything the night before and it was a HUGE timesaver) and let soften for 5-ish minutes. Add in the chicken stock and all herbs/spices. Ladle over the bread. Give it a good stir. Add the egg. Stir some more. Transfer to a baking dish. I sprayed mine with olive oil, and in the spirit of keeping things real: I used an aluminum pan. There's no shame in my game. Who wants to spend an hour doing dishes? Not moi.

Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. At this point, I pulled mine out and gave it another stir, sending the already browning bits on top to the bottom. Place back in oven. Bake for another 20ish minutes. Again, pull it out. Stir it up. Back in the oven. After another 15ish, minutes, I covered mine, once I had determined it was sufficiently browned and crispy. It probably spent almost two hours in my oven, but along the way, I had to add the mashed potatoes and green beans and bread. I have one oven and lots o' sides.

Y'all. It was good. I was tres proud. Go, me! Now, my gravy on the other hand? Ugh. It's my Everest. I'm hoping to conquer it next year.

We took no pictures, because: of course. I did manage to snap a pic of my fabulous centerpiece (compliments of Trader Joe's. $13. A serious bargain, y'all!) on Friday morning. Let's just focus on the happy flowers.


I hope your Thanksgiving was blessed with family, friends, yummy food and all things cozy. I woke up and felt overwhelmingly thankful for all I have. I'm especially grateful ELC and MSD are moving close to us SOON. SOON, Y'ALL! I'm on pins and needles.

TTFN.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

it's just me...


…again. Not TLC. Because I wanted to share something I thought was amazing! And give Y’all a heads up about something that happened to me that was quite disturbing.

Let me begin with the “heads up:"
I’m on my third Toyota vehicle in eleven years. Two Avalons and now, for the past year and a half, a Highlander. I’ve loved them all. I really like the dealership we purchased the last two from—the salesmen and the service guys. Tremendously.

In eleven years, I have never, ever, EVER, NEVER once locked my keys in any of these vehicles. NEVER. Until this past Sunday afternoon.

I needed to go to town for some printer ink. We’re making lots of copies of paperwork/documents and we can’t afford to be out of the outrageously expensive ink. I also had a list of six items I’d pick up at Wally World. My first stop was Staples (One of Little Leighton’s favourite stores!). I got out of my Highlander. Hit the inside door lock button as I shut the door and then just happened to check to make sure it locked. (Because, Y’all, I frequently THINK I have my keys when I don’t. They’re in one of the cupholders. Or up on the dash. Or in my console. And my car WON’T LOCK with the keys inside. Right?) As I checked the door, it should have done one of two things:

1.     Opened up if I didn’t have my keys; or

2.     Opened because I DID HAVE MY KEYS.

It did NOT OPEN. I got a chill. I tried at least six times. I eventually realized something was VERY WRONG.
More backstory:

As I started my car in our garage—before I left our country casa for these errands—I realized I’d forgotten to get my phone. I left my car running—ran in to retrieve said phone—and then returned to said Highlander—leaving for town.

SOOO……the keys were either in my car or I’d mistakenly taken them into our house and not realized it because I’d already started my car.

I couldn’t see my keys from the driver’s window. I went around to the other side. Still couldn’t spot them.

By The Way: IT WAS FREEZING COLD.

I thanked my Dear Lord God Almighty that my cellphone wasn’t also locked in my car. I called My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH). A call I dreaded to make. He’d worked so hard packing over at the barn all day. When I left, he was sitting on the couch. Exhausted.

As calmly as I could, I told him what had just happened. As MSH has done for me for over forty-one years, he said: “I’ll get your extra keys and be right there.” I then started crying. Which was useless. It wasn’t going to change my situation.

Knowing it would take MSH at least fifteenish minutes to get to me, I went on into the store. Roamed a few aisles. Watched my watch. Checked out, with the ink, right as I thought it should be time he would arrive. I then went to the window at the front of the store—by the front doors—to watch for him.

I met him as he found my car and got out of his truck. He hit the unlock button on the extra keys. It opened. And there they were. My keys were in the front cupholder. Where they’ve been hundreds of times in the past as I’ve tried to lock my car(s).

WHAT THE HECK?

This is NOT a good thing. I called TLC on my way home—told her what had transpired (She’s on her second Highlander in seven years.)—and begged her to make SURE she never let this happen to her. ESPECIALLY if Little Leighton and Baby Elle were with her.

I intended to call the dealership yesterday and then today…to ask them WHY? What? How? I forgot. Planning to remember tomorrow. Suffice it to say I will be BEYOND CAREFUL. (At least for a few weeks. Sheesh.)

Now…the AMAZING thing:

Yesterday was our closing for our new home. We drove to Plano. About an hour and forty-five minutes from our casa. East. The closing was easy. Breezy. Wonderful! Our fantastic realtor met us there. (We adore her!) She and the title company’s “Closer” were kind and sweet and fun. Helpful. SOOO smart. Encouraging. It was a fabulous experience.

I’d woken up at my usual time…5 a.m. I did my usual routine…read a few pages of the Bible. (I’m re-reading Galatians.) Read from my four devotional and special prayers’ books. Then, as I always do at the end of this process, I opened my Jesus Calling (By Sarah Young) to November 19th. This is what I read:

LEAVE OUTCOMES UP TO ME. Follow Me wherever I lead, without worrying about how it will all turn out. Think of your life as an adventure, with Me as your Guide and Companion. Live in the now, concentrating on staying in step with Me. When our path leads to a cliff, be willing to climb it with My help. When we come to a resting place, take time to be refreshed in My Presence. Enjoy the rhythm of life lived close to Me.



You already know the ultimate destination of your journey: your entrance into heaven. So keep your focus on the path just before you, leaving outcomes up to Me.



PSALM 27:13-14; EXODUS 15:13

Y’all. Seriously? This on the morning of our closing for our third in over forty years—and hopefully final—home? This on a morning of deep curiosity as to our future? Our new adventure?

This as the perfect reminder of why I believe in God and Jesus. The perfect example of God’s Grace. Of His Plan. Of: Thy Will Be Done.

THANK YOU, Jesus!

Sending each of Y’all some BIG OLE HUGS for a week of adventure. A week full of focus. A week of refreshment. A week of NO WORRIES.

Smooch,

ELC

Saturday, November 17, 2018

and just like that...


…everything changes.

This past Thursday we closed on our place. We’re now, officially, “leasing” it for a few weeks. In order to pack and move to our new home. (New to us! It’s just six years old, though, and in a lovely, small neighborhood. Seventeen-ish minutes from TLC, Her Hubby and Our Little Princesses!!!) We close this Monday morning on this new-to-us home.

So much has happened in the past three weeks. It’s been fast and furious. It’s also been faith-testing. Stressful. Frustrating. Difficult. Exciting. CrAzY. JOYFUL. Sad.

We were to get to our closing at 11:00. Our Buyers were set for 10:30. When we walked into the title company at 10:40, we saw our realtor. He said: “The Buyers aren’t here. And there are some problems.” I’ve said I wish someone had taken a picture of My Sweet Hubby’s (aka MSH) and my expressions. Because I’m sure they were somewhat priceless.

FEAR. Sheer fear took over both of our minds, hearts, souls and bodies. This had to be okay. Or we’d lose the home that we believed—deeply believed—was meant to be for us on our new journey. A journey even six years ago we didn't expect to be taking.

Let me summarize the entire closing experience this way:

It was TRAUMATIC.

The Lender for the Buyers had made a big mistake. When he (finally) arrived, he was beyond apologetic. He’d realized his mistake, he said, at 2:00 o’clock in the morning. Questions had to be asked. Information had to be checked. Documents had to be changed. And it couldn’t happen as fast as we, as the Sellers, wanted it to.

The Buyers walked in, with their realtor, an hour and half late. They, too, were very apologetic. It had been nothing they had done wrong or could control. We'd only seen them the one time they'd come to look at our home, barn apartment and property. We'd enjoyed the few minutes we'd talked to them that Sunday morning. We knew they were extremely interested because they were here longer than any of the other potential Buyers. There were 19 couples and/or individuals that came, in the past year, to look at our home and place. Including this couple. We had a strong feeling they were the most connected to it right away.

I was thinking later that night, as I reflected on the events and tried to unwind from the stress by catching up on my DVRed "The Voice" and "Dancing With the Stars," how one person can affect so many other lives. One person can unintentionally, or intentionally, do or not do, say or not say, act or not act, irresponsibly, unfairly, dishonestly or unkindly, and in a such a way their actions and/or choices and/or behaviors can change the lives of one to thousands—millions—of people. Made me wonder what I might have done in my past to have scared, angered, hurt, stressed or frustrated someone else. Maybe many, many other people. Happens all the time in families, right? 

Our Buyers’ Lender? He made an honest mistake. An honest, unintentional mistake. He had such great remorse. We all ended up sincerely feeling sorry for him. He was a nice man. (I hope, by the time I post this, that he has let it all go and realized he fixed it. I hope he’s moved on. God bless him.) But think of the individuals in this World, or in your life, or in the lives of your families and friends, that affect YOU. Personally. Sometimes you don't even know that individual. Yet they somehow changed your day, month, year, or life.

By 4:00 Thursday afternoon, it was completely and successfully finished.

So in a little over an hour, TLC and her family will come, for their very last time, to our country casa. Little Leighton, at six years old, has spent the most time, of all of our seven grandchildren, including Baby Elle, with us here. She'll be sad. She'll adjust and will be hugely thrilled we'll be living so close to her. Still, her heart will always miss Grammy and Pa-Pa's home. Barn. Ranger. Mama Cows and Calves. The roadrunner and armadillo and turtle she saw. Up close and personal. Feeding the catfish at the Big Tank. Blowing bubbles outside for hours. Coloring on the back patio in the cool, morning breezes. Trips to town to Staples (which she refers to as one of her favourite all-time stores) and the Froyo Shop. Beloved memories.

I have spontaneously and regularly cried, many times, in the past year. In the past three weeks? I've cried every day. Several times a day, actually. I'm not sure I understand how I'm going to drive away from this magnificent home we've cherished for over eighteen years. We've seen thousands of starry nights that have taken our breath away. We've seen thousands of exquisite sunrises. Thousands of incredible sunsets. We've watched Mother Nature at her finest! Beautiful birds and cute/precious country critters have touched our lives more than we could have ever imagined. We've spent countless days and nights and weekends making memories with our family and dear, special friends. Luckily, we have videos and millions of pictures to help us remember everything wonderful (and even some of the not-so-wonderful) times we treasure.

I must scoot. I need a tissue. Again. Sigh.

(TLC has promised to do a post by Monday! We'll see...won't we? Winky. Wink.)

Wishing each of Y'all a WONDERFUL Weekend...wherever in this World Y'all are!

Hugs,
ELC

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.