Friday, September 21, 2018

32...


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Happy Weekend, Dearest Friends Everywhere!

ELC

Sunday, September 16, 2018

eight more...for 24...


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hugs,

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

Monday, September 10, 2018

and the next eight...


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



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



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



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

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

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

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

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

God love his sweet but damaged heart.



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



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



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



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



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



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

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

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

smooch,

ELC

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

HAPPY FRI-YAY!

Love and Hugs and please STAY SAFE this weekend!

ELC

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!
ELC