Wednesday, June 27, 2018

when it rains...


…it pours.

Well, not literal “rain.” We’re desperately needing that in North Central Texas. It’s not good. (As usual.) And nothing coming in the next several days. July and August? Probably will be their BRUTAL selves.

The pouring rain I’m talkin’ about?  Prospective buyers for our country casa! We went over eight weeks without one “looker.” We’ll have had four showings in eight days as of this coming Sunday!

One down (It happened last Thursday and we’re, supposedly, still at the “top” of their list!). Three to go/do by Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, TLC has been a “teacher” at her church’s Vacation Bible School this week. It began on Monday. The last day is tomorrow. It starts every morning at 9:00 and ends at noon.

She. Is. EXHAUSTED. With 25 kids in her class (There are two other “teachers” and three “assistants”—junior high-ish-aged precious young ladies.), she has sent me no less than ten text messages in three days that all say this (basically—this is the gist—I wouldn’t be able to quote exactly some of those texts don'tchaunderstand—teeheehee…):

HOW DO TEACHERS DO THEIR JOBS? Every day? For months and months? YEAR AFTER YEAR? HOW? GOD BLESS THEM ALL!

The Good News about TLC’s VBS experience? Little Leighton has been in her class and she has been…get ready…drumroll…this is HUGE:

“A Saint!”

According to Her Mama. Grammy ELC is so very proud. (Baby Elle? Who's been in the nursery for the teachers/assistants/helpers? Out of her routine of long naps and going to bed at precisely 6:45 every evening? Then sleeping for 11 hours? For a total of about 12 1/2 hours each day? She's been hangin' in there...God bless her. Hangin'. In.)

With the certainty that TLC will be incognito (or, more likely, incapacitated)—i.e. on her couch or in her bed—until at least next Monday—trying to recover from her twelve hours in four days of “teaching” kindergarten and first graders —and the fact that I’ll be unavailable until Monday, as I’ll be doing my job as “housekeeper," “garden waterer," etc. for our upcoming showings, I’m going to tell Y’all this a bit early:

HAPPY JULY!

Can Y’all even believe it will be the SEVENTH month of 2018 in less than three days? I simply cannot wrap that around my old brain.

Hope Y’all are excited about our Return of the Yummies and Yeehaws!

I’ve got ideas for some of My Favourite Things to share! (TLC: This is your WARNING. Get 'em together, Sister.)

Be kind. Be happy. BE HEALTHY. Be sweet. BE YOU! Have a Fabulous Rest-of-the-Week and Wonderful Weekend, Dearest Friends...

Hugs,

ELC

Monday, June 25, 2018

butter me up!

I love it. Butter. I sometimes crave it. I don’t eat a lot of it. Never truly have—even at my most heaviest weight. But achieving Weight Watchers' Lifetime Membership causes me to be as wise as possible when it comes to butter. I have about ½ of a tablespoon 2-3 times a week. (On Sara Lee 45 toast. It is DELISH for 45 calories per slice. One point per slice for Weight Watchers. That is AWESOME.)


I was thinking about butter as I spread it on said toast this morn. (Warning: Bigtime Confession Forthcoming: After I spread it, I lick our plastic green butter knife. It’s actually My Sweet Husband’s—aka MSH—butter knife. He doesn’t like me to use it. He bought me two more of my own. So I wouldn’t use his. Mostly he doesn’t like to see me lick it after I’ve spread butter on my toast. Or a biscuit. Or some cornbread. It matters not to him that I then pour some Dawn dishwashing liquid all over the knife and run it under very hot water. He thinks I just do that when he’s there—observing my upsetting behavior. Nope. I do it every time. EVERY. TIME. Pinky swear, MSH.)


Anyway, growing up I loved butter. Real butter. On toast. On the homemade dinner rolls my mother made. Then the most horrid thing happened: Margarine. Flavorless. Annoying. NOT-REAL Butter Margarine. At that point, my mother would let us have the real butter on Sundays. For special occasions—when she made her mouth-watering crescent dinner rolls. (Heck—who am I kidding? We loved, loved, LOVED the canned bisquits and rolls. Even if they weren't Pillsbury. Store brands were okay, too. They were delicious enough for me. They still are, if I were to be quite honest.)


Then there came the ASTROCIOUSLY hideous tasting margarine/faux butter that was very low in cholesterol and fat and whatever else is so fabulously fabulous in the real thing. MSH had me buy several different kinds of those awful tubs over the years. We stopped about 18 years ago. None of them were worth the price you paid for them—which was quite a bit more, I’m thinking, than even buying real butter! Most ended up in our trash can. Not even half empty.


Land O’ Lakes. I adore them. I need them. I treasure them. I seriously should send them an email once a month and thank them for existing. They are THE BEST.


As you begin your new week—wherever in this world Y’all are—have some real butter! It’s good for your soul. (Maybe not your heart—but most definitely for your soul. Simply keep it in moderation. Everything in moderation is the key, right? Yep. You're welcome. From Dr. ELC.)


Buttery Smooches and Hugs,


ELC

Friday, June 22, 2018

summer snaps...

TGIF, Friends!

Fri-YAY!

I wanted to share seven snapshots with y'all that summarize our summer, thus far.


Sea World!


San Antonio! More specifically: Lick Honest Ice Cream in San Antonio! They have lots of YUMMY gluten-free options!


Popsicles on the front porch! CHEERS.


Splashing and swimming. In our inflatable "mermaid" pool or our community pool. We have logged lots of time in the water.



Ranger-riding. FroYo eating. Barn-browsing. In the country. With ELC and My Sweet Dad. It's so good for our souls.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend, wherever you are!

HAPPY SUMMER!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

oscars and oscarettes...


So yesterday morn, I had to go to town for groceries and to pick up some packages from the business we have everything shipped to. (Living out in the country—and being a half-mile from our gate—we don’t have a mailbox or any way to keep packages from being affected by the weather/elements or people who might like to pick them up and see what they are. Which wouldn't be neighborly. Winky Wink. Therefore—we have a box at our CUTE little Post Office that’s less than three miles from our casa. And we have everything else—that can’t be sent to a Post Office box—delivered to a shipping/independent post office business that’s about twenty miles from our casa. Not terribly convenient. But when we go out of town? We know everything is going to be safe and there when we return. And we love the owner and her staff. They ROCK. Plus they have lots of fun little gifts that are sometimes hard to resist.)

Hellmart was especially challenging. I think I’ve mentioned in the past that I prefer to get there by 8:00 on Saturday mornings. It’s quiet. Easy to check out. Not a lot of people competing for a cashier. I wasn’t able to arrive until almost 10:00. Sheesh. The wait to check out was almost excruciating.

And then there are The Grouches of this World. (I refer to them as The Oscars and/or Oscarettes—re: Sesame Street Oscar. These people can be any age and often are too young to be so miserably rude. Or The Geezers and/or Geezerettes. If they appear to be 62 or older. Yes, that could be considered mean of me. Anti-Senior Citizen. Nope. I give them these titles with love. Trust me. Plus I'm 64. I feel like I'm being pretty fair.) You know them! They’re driving cars/trucks around you—everywhere you go. They’re blocking your need to get to the bread or Coke Zeroes or diapers in grocery aisles. Sometimes they're the employees of said grocery stores—the people that are stocking. You—needing to get where they are? They don't like it. One bit. They also work in doctor offices or at the gas station/convenience store. They’re possibly having a bad day. Or you’ve somehow—unknowingly—offended them.

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I talk about The Grouches every time we go anywhere together in our vehicle. Road rage is real and beyond frightening. People are driving ENTIRELY too fast. Yes, Man in the Black Truck: I realize you and your life and schedule are much more important than ours or the rest of the peeps in your way. Go ahead: Endanger MSH’s and my life. Endanger all of us. Why not?

I’ve said this before and I'll say it again: I will never ever EVER claim to be perfect. In any way. And at anything. Driving. Shopping. Existing. I’m not. I make my share of mistakes. More than my share, actually.When I do, I truly try not to even look angry at the people I’ve annoyed. Not just out of fear. Out of remorse. Out of respect. Out of the deepest regret.

When I’m in Hellmart or other stores? Restaurants? Anywhere? I do my utmost best to SMILE at everyone. Even the people who positively REFUSE to smile back at me. It’s okay. Maybe I’ll catch you in a better mood next time.

On this Sweet Sunday—and Wherever in this World Y’all are: PLEASE BE KIND. Patient. Polite. PATIENT. Wise. Smart. KIND. I truly believe you’ll be glad you made that choice. God and Jesus will be proud of you, too.

Hugs,

ELC

P.S.: Tomorrow TLC and The Little Princesses will be here! Yippee and Woo Hoo! TLC hasn’t been able to come for a visit for several months. MSH and I are super psyched! I’m cooking and baking and cleaning and getting everything ready. Because these visits are The Meaning of Life to MSH and me. Seriously critical to our mental health. It helps us try to avoid being Oscars and Oscarettes.

 

 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

lean on me...



This is my Nana. Emily Mary Leighton Byrne. She was 9 years old. Today she would have been 124! As Y’all know (if you’ve followed us for very long), she was extremely important to me. She was My Rock. My Idol. My Mentor.


Jesus Today. June 12th.


LET ME HELP YOU get through this day. There are many possible paths to travel between your getting up in the morning and your lying down at night. Stay alert to the many choice-points along the way, being continually aware of My Presence. You will get through this day one way or the other. One way is to moan and grown, stumbling along with shuffling feet. This will get you to the end of the day eventually, but there is a better way. You can choose to walk with Me along the path of Peace, leaning on Me as much as you need. There will still be difficulties along the way, but you can face them confidently in My strength. Thank Me for each problem you encounter, and watch to see how I transform trials into blessings.


1 CORINTHIANS 10:10; LUKE 1:79


First, my Nana was a devout Christian. Episcopalian. (Church of England.) She loved and worshipped God and His Son, Jesus Christ. Every. Single. Day. Rarely missed church. Wanted her grandchildren to be good Christians, too.


Second, she helped me get through so many days of my life. From the time I was born until I got out of college. She encouraged me. She supported me. She gave me everything she could—her time. Her love. As much money as she could part with. (She didn’t consider herself “poor.” But I’ve known for a long time—since I was in college—that she really was. I often wish she’d never sent me the money she did. She’d mail me $5 when she had it. Two to three times each semester. I should have saved it and given it back to her. I fight that guilt. A lot. Yet I believe she’d be sad I’ve admitted this. Because she knew I needed help. She was proud to give it to me.)


She was a strong woman. Optimistic. Opinionated. Funny—even though she never really meant to be! (We called it the English in her.)


I miss her. I miss her steadfast faith and loyalty. I miss her unconditional love and support. I’ll cherish every memory I have of her.


On a sidenote: I’m named for her. TLC is named for her. My middle sister is named for her. Mary. Nana has six great-great-granddaughters she never knew. (No great-great-grandsons!) One of them is, of course, named for her: Little Leighton. But today, one of her great-great-granddaughters shares her birthday! (She’s 4.) And she should share it—because she’s so much like my sister (She is truly my sister’s Mini-Me!), My sister that is also named for Nana. It's very appropriate and special.


Happy Birthday, My Precious Emily Mary Leighton Byrne! Thank you, Dear God and Jesus—for giving her to me…THANK YOU.


ELC

Sunday, June 10, 2018

bountiful blessings...


From Jesus Lives, by Sarah Young:

 

THANKFULNESS

A THANKFUL ATTITUDE OPENS WINDOWS OF HEAVEN THROUGH WHICH SPIRITUAL BLESSINGS FALL FREELY. And all I require to rain those blessings on you is your gratitude! It seems such a simple choice; yet you stumble over it almost every day of your life. Let Me help you become more grateful so you an receive bountiful blessings through those openings into eternity.

As you go about your day, keep these things in mind: Throughout the Bible I repeatedly command thankfulness because it is vital to your well-being. It is also crucial for a healthy relationship with Me, since I am your Creator, your Savior, your King. When you thank Me, you acknowledge how much I have done for you. This attitude brings Joy both to you and to Me.

Giving thanks is similar to priming a pump with water so that it will produce more water. Since thankfulness is one of the spiritual blessings I bestow on you, it will increase along with the others when you “prime” Me with thanksgiving.

Remember that I am the God of all grace. When you fail in your endeavor to be thankful, simply ask Me for forgiveness. As you freely receive this priceless gift—thinking about what it cost Me—your gratitude will grow. Look up to Me and see spiritual blessings cascading down upon you through heaven’s wide-open windows.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
PSALM 100:4

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
COLOSSIANS 4:2

 

On this Sweet Sunday, I wish you love, peace, forgiveness and a heart full of praise and thanksgiving!

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

Hugs,

ELC

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

little moments...


For Mom’s Day, TLC gifted me with the BEST STUFF. (Pretty sure I’ve already given her credit for the fabulous presents I received from her and My Little Princesses.) I’ll say it again—My Daughter is an extraordinary gift giver. She’s got talent. Creativity. Humor. Originality. She works that iPhone of hers—and all of her favourite websites, Instagram Peeps, etc.—like the highest paid and most brilliant CEO on Earth.

One of my marvelous gifts was a devotional book called Everyday Holy, by Melanie Shankle. 100 Devotions. “Finding a BIG GOD in the LITTLE MOMENTS.”

Background:

My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) is completely amazed—every morning of our life together—at all of the “books” I read when I first wake up. The Bible. Jesus Calling. Jesus Lives. Jesus Today. My three little “prayer” books I reference on this blog all the time. OFTEN. Now I’ve added this sweet, funny, special, IMPORTANT devotional book to my Bed Full O’ God and Jesus books! (Trust me, please...this doesn't mean I even come close to the Christian I wish I was or could be. Not. Even. Close.)

Melanie (Would I love to have coffee with her someday and just listen to her wisdom? Yes. Yes, I would.) was a pharmaceutical rep. Now she writes books and is a speaker. Has one daughter. You learn a lot more about her each day as you read the devotions. And they’re not long. I can read them in 3-4 minutes. The longest ones. Less time, naturally, for the shorter ones.

I positively adore this book! I’d recommend it to any woman of any age. Well, maybe from 22-25ish on up. (Heck—I think MSH and lots of men I know might joy it!) Tomorrow morning I’ll read her 11th devotional. I seriously want to sit down and read the entire book! It’s just that fascinating/inspirational to me. I’m forcing myself to make it last the full 100 days. I feel almost certain I’ll be starting it over as soon as I’m finished.

This all brings me to our announcement about July! (drum roll...)

I’ve convinced TLC we need to re-visit our Yummies and Yeehaws! She’s agreed we can each recommend four to five
things/websites/recipes/food products/movies/books etc. that we’ve been treasuring/needing/wantings/cravings
we've had for either a week or a month or two years or forever. So BE READY, Friends! (There’s a possibility there will be a mascara or two discussed at some point during the month. You knew there would be, right? Teeheehee and Winky Wink.)

Y’all stay cool and happy and kind and patient and loving and giving—wherever in this World Y’all are on this Wonderful Wednesday.

smooches and hugs,

ELC

Saturday, June 2, 2018

and...suddenly...


…it is June. (Picture me shaking my head in utter dismay and shock. I mean, seriously. June?)

May zoomed by at an even faster rate of speed than normal. (Normal now? For all of us—no matter what our age? Minutes. Hours. Days. Weeks. Months. They all pass by at some kind o' ridiculously crazy warp speed.)

TLC’s May was full of end-of-school activities for Little Leighton.  Her own end-of-the-year Bible Study. New carpet. New fence. (And all that those last two things entail: Looking for bids. Comparing and considering the bids. Waiting, endlessly, for returned phone calls. Waiting for the contractors to be able schedule their work. Etc.)

She’s beginning June with lots of plans for The Little Princesses to stay busy, cool, happy and healthy! Swimming! Library trips! Visits with family and friends. They’ll also be going on a short little family vacay to San Antonio soon. (Sea World is calling Little Leighton’s name!!!) They’ve not been yet. This will be a BIG DEAL.

Baby Elle? Not a great traveler. (Biggest understatement of the year, actually.) Hopefully she’ll remember something nice about her first out-of-town vacation with her Mom, Dad and Big Sister! (If My Sweet Hubby—aka MSH—and I were going with them? I fear we’d be making a plan to meet them there. Winky. Wink. J/K, TLC. Or am I? Yikes. This traveling anxiety will pass as Baby Elle gets older. Surely. SURELY.)

Sadly, MSH and I saw not one prospective buyer the entire month of May. It’s discouraging. And, yet, as I say over and over, almost on an hourly basis:

Thy Will Be Done

The sale of our home and place? It’s all in God’s Hands. Nothing else we can do but keep everything clean. (The yard and pastures mowed and weed-eated. Flowers/gardens watered.) Then...wait. With as much faith and patience as possible.

All of us in Texas are preparing ourselves for a hot, HOT, SCORCHINGLY HELLACEOUS Summer. (You might ask: Can we, as Texans, truly prepare ourselves for the heat we’re about to experience? The answer is, honestly, NO. I don’t think we’re ever ready or prepared for how difficult it gets.)

Typically, we learned early on in our lives that July and August are our most difficult/hottest months. Sadly, June is starting off in a way that depresses us all. The weather peeps? Yeah, we pretty much don’t like any of them, at this point. Bless their negative and dark little hearts.

I hope each of Y’all has a Sweet Saturday and Sweeter Sunday!

Smooches and Big Hugs,

ELC