Thursday, September 12, 2019

little leightons’ fav #3!

I’d first like to comment on TLC’s last post. When I first started reading it, I wanted to call her and tell her she got an “F” on this assignment. This month is to be The Little Princesses’ Favs. Not hers. But as I read it, I remembered that Little Leighton and Elle have both told me they really like that spray. They actually asked me, the last time they spent the night with us, why I didn’t have any of it at our casa. So I calmed down and knew TLC had presented the “fav” accurately.

Also, I immediately recognized the fact that she’s transitioned from calling Baby Belle to Elle. And I’m still saying Belle. For Baby Elle. Elle is My Sweet Hubby’s and my youngest grandchild. Of seven. I’ll try to switch to Elle. (I think I’ve done it in past posts. I’m not consistent. I’m 65. It’s part of aging. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.) After today? I can make no promises. She's THE BABY!!!

Now their Fav #3!


This game is SO MUCH FUN. Elle loves Olaf. She’d been seeing a picture of this game for several months when we played the Princess Cupcake game. Grammy finally got Mom TLC to order it for my house a few weeks ago. 

This is another game that says 3+. Elle mostly loved the little Beanie Olaf you hide. The actual game? Notsomuch. But I LOVED IT!

I CAN’T WAIT to play it with Little Leighton this weekend! She and Elle are spending Saturday night. She is going to ADORE it!

Happy Friday Eve, Friends EVERYWHERE!

Be safe. Be happy. Be kind. Put up your cells. Turn off your iPads and the TV and PLAY A GAME!

Hugs,
ELC

Sunday, September 8, 2019

little leightons’ fav #2!

Okay, so technically this might be a favorite of mine for my girls. Potato. Pa-tah-toe. I read about this online sometime over the summer and quickly hit “Add to Cart” via Amazon. Y’all. I’m downright scared of lice. Little Leighton sleeps with approximately nine million stuffed animals. The time it would take me to rid my house of bugs? I might as well just burn it all down and start over. I think I have pre-post traumatic stress just thinking about it.


BONUS: This is Gluten-Free!

Now that Elle is in school, as well, I spray them both. After I’ve fixed their hair in the morning, it goes something like this:

Me: Time for your magic hair spray!

Them: Ugh. Let me cover my eyes and hold my breath!!!

Me: Spritz. Spritz. Spritz.

Me: DONE. Now you have your Fairy Shield to protect you from bugs!

Honestly, they’re not huge fans of the smell. Personally, I think it’s delightful! It’s very herbal. Clean. I dig it. This also legitimately holds their hair in place, without it being crunchy! (You know what I mean by “crunchy,” right?)

While we haven’t been using this long, I’ve put all my hope, faith and trust in this product! It certainly can’t hurt.

Happy Monday Eve!

Thursday, September 5, 2019

little leighton’s fav #1!

Nearly three years ago, I found this game. For Little Leighton. At Walmart.


She fell in love with it immediately! And, frankly, so did Grammy. (It’s also major hilarious when a Dad or Granddad plays.)

If you like Disney Princesses and cupcakes? It’s. Just. Simply. Fun.

The box says 3+. I want to suggest this: With some help, I guess 3-year-olds can (semi) successfully play. Little Leighton was probably getting close to 5 years old when I found this. Belle is now 3 years and 5 months old now. When she plays? It’s an iffy situation. Just bein’ real.

WARNING: The cupcake “toppers” are tiny. I actually mean they are TEENY TINY. So keeping them from being lost (especially if your child wants to play “cupcake store” and borrow said cupcakes from this game) might be a challenge. (Once I open most children’s games—out come my sandwich and snack Ziplocs to attempt to keep the game in tact.)

ALSO: You don’t get that pretty pink cupcake plate-stand. It ain’t in there. Or it wasn’t in the three games we’ve bought.

By the way: TLC has given this game a few times for a birthday gift! It’s $16. Ish. So a great price for a great gift.

Belle will be up next...this Grammy can’t wait!

Happy Friday Eve, Sweet Friends Everywhere...
ELC

Monday, September 2, 2019

September Favs!

September. I NEED to find a way to slow this next season down. Because Y’all REMEMBER: TLC is going to bombard us with PUMPKIN EVERYTHING. Sigh.

As promised in July, September will be Little Leighton and Belle FAVS!!! (TLC and I may actually ask them to come up with their lists. But we can assure Y’all—we’ve got this covered! We know Their Little Princess Unicorn selves so well, we’d never have to actually consult them. Trust us.)

We can both EASILY come up with at LEAST 20 Favs for each of them. Easy. Peasy. Lemon. Squueezy. (However...don’t get excited. We’ll plan to do 4-6 each. Duh. We over-promise. Under-deliver. It’s who we are. Wink. Wink.)

I’ll start us off in a couple of days! Meantime, Y’all get busy preparing yourselves for EVERYTHING Pumpkin via TLC. Oh. Lawdy.

TLC is who she is...

Sapphire Hugs,
ELC

Friday, August 30, 2019

...big leightons’ favs #9...

Well, I’m sick. There was a moment yesterday where I thought it might be the flu. My body ached. Literally, my eyebrows hurt. I was running fever. I was a hot mess. I am better this morning. No fever, and I consider that a win. I clearly have some yucky virus. I blame back-to-school germs or WinStar Casino. We were there last weekend. You KNOW that place has to be full of germs. It’s huge. I sanitized after hitting the slots. Maybe that wasn’t enough.

Since September is finally (almost!) here, I’ve decided to share two new fall favourites with y’all today! You can bet your bottom-dollar I’ll have my pumpkins out by Sunday. I’m so excited. I’m like a kid on Christmas morning. This season is my JAM.

The first one is a YUMMY candle I impulsively bought at Target earlier in the week. I’ve since purchased six more. They are THAT good. It’s the Opalhouse “Cedar Pumpkin.” Y’all. They are a FALL MUST.


This next one is a new favourite coffee creamer. Since joining Weight Watchers, I’ve given up my beloved sugary creamers. I miss them everyday. I know. I’m dramatic. (I still enjoy a Skinny Vanilla Latte from Starbucks. A tall is 2 points). This was also a random Target buy last week. I literally grabbed the last carton. If you know My Sweet Dad, his philosophy is, “If there’s only one of a product left, it must be good, and, therefore, it must be purchased.” So, purchase it I did! I can have FIVE TABLESPOONS for only ONE POINT. That helps my coffee feel extra rich and decadent. There’s a very light, spicy taste. It feels warm and cozy. It screams fall. I’m here for it.


I hope y’all have a HAPPY FRIDAY! Bring on FALL!

Monday, August 26, 2019

big leightons’ favs #8!

Hey, now, Friends...we are ginnin’ along with these ”Favs,” right? Yeah, Us!

I have terrible/horrible/awful nails. And I do NOT know why. I used to have strong ones. Well, decent nails. About 12ish years ago they got bad. Like shamefully bad.

Okay. Okay. So I don’t take very good care of them. Probably, if I got committed to having regular manicures, they’d do better. And TLC and I have posted, in the past, a nail strengthener we like and that will work. Turns out, however, you have to actually use it for it to be successful. Who knew?

I’ve also shared that I’m too cheap and TOOOOOOOO lazy to have “fake” (or whatever the latest process is to get purdy nails now) nails applied to my scary nails. TOO. MUCH. TROUBLE. AND. TIME.

BUT—I search for hand creams that might help and I SWEAR by this one:


Y’all, I faithfully use it EVERY NIGHT! It’s the last thing I apply to this old body after my nighttime face-cleaning procedure. I think it is the BEST hand lotion for nails that I’ve ever used. I also think my nails would be even better if I’d put it on 2-3 times a day. Hey—once is such a big deal for moi!!!

TLC pretty much agrees with me about this product and uses it, too. Her nails are good. (She’d also confess she could spend a little more time on them.) Maybe someday we’ll be as loyal about manis as we are about pedis! (Wait...we pretty much stop regular pedis from the first of November until the first of April. Never mind.)

Don’t look now...it’s almost September. Sheesh.

Happy New Week!

Smooch...

ELC

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

big leightons’ favs #7

So. These:


Y’all, I am known for calling Walmart “Hellmart.” Or “Wally World.” I mean it no disrespect. Do I sometimes go a little cRaZy shopping at Walmart? Yes. Yes, I sometimes do. Employees stocking shelves that get annoyed with YOU—the CUSTOMER. Not enough actual people cashiers. Etc. Etc. Etc.

But then I find FUN shoes like those pictured above—for $9.97—and I forgive Wally World for the millionth time.

Now, are these super sturdy shoes? Nah. In fact, they border on being—IMHO—slippers. BUT—I can see me wearing them out for 2-3 hours. They are comfy! And, again, they were $9.97!

TLC and I have found some CUTE clothes for Little Leighton and Belle at Walmart in the past several months. Of course, Ellen has her line of clothes there. Pioneer Woman? PRETTY things with her name on them. Now Patricia Heaton has her line of home products, too. They are lovely.

Sometimes you just need to allow yourself about thirty minutes to wander the aisles of your local Wally World to find some fun deals! If nothing else? You’ll get lots o’ steps on your Fitbit.

TLC will be up next with Favs #8—SOON!

Smooches and Hugs...
ELC

Sunday, August 18, 2019

big leightons’ favs #6

This go-round, I’m actually sharing TWO favourites, both new discoveries, from Trader Joe’s!

Here’s the thing, I either LOVE TJ’s products, or I’m completely underwhelmed. I’ve found there’s really no inbetween for me. They have some of Little Leighton’s favourite gluten-free treats. I’m always tres impressed with their produce department. They have unique finds, and everything is always so pretty! However, some of their processed/packaged foods lack flavor, IMHO. Again, that’s just moi.

We made a quick stop to TJ’s the Friday before school started because LL LOVES their GF frozen waffles (and I love their $1.99 price tag). While browsing a bit, we came across our first new favourite:


We have actually tried the “original/plain flavor” before (and snagged a bag on this trip, too). This was the first time seeing this flavor, though, and let me tell you what, I could have eaten the entire bag myself. I begrudgingly shared with my children. I even let ELC try one. The bags are small. I suggest getting AT LEAST two, if not four. (This bag had already been opened when I took the picture.)

As we were about to check-out, we came across this:


Y’all. This is a Capri Blue “Volcano” knock-off. (You know, the ones they sell in Anthropologie?) Ohmahgosh. It’s so good. It smells identical. I bought three that day. They’re $4.99/each. I also think they’re seasonal. I had to pop-in the following Monday. There were four of these candies left, and I immediately scooped them up. You need to hurry down to your local TJ’s and buy them out. They are THAT GOOD.

I hope y’all had a restful, peaceful weekend. We spent yesterday finally painting Elle’s room “ballerina pink!” It’s so sweet and girlie. I’ll need to share a picture soon!

Happy Monday Eve!

Thursday, August 15, 2019

big leightons’ favs #5

If y’all have been with us for a while, you may remember how I feel about “pumps.” Not cute shoes! (That would be TLC’s department.) I mean the bottles we all buy with squirt pumps. Lotions. Creams. Soaps. Etc. I despise them BECAUSE you can NEVER get your money’s worth. There’s always at least 1/4th of the bottle left you can’t access—via that silly pump. Whose little tube doesn’t even reach the bottom of said bottle.

(TLC and My Sweet Hubby can tell you I am determined to use his Lubriderm he always buys—has been buying for at least 35 years—in a pump. When I see his latest bottle in our trash? I get that bottle out and turn that sucker upside down in my bathroom cabinet. Trust me: I get the majority out. It annoys me, however. Sigh.)

So I discovered this lotion in March. Ish. There are two to three “scents.” This is my fav. And TLC’s fave, too. The BEST thing about it? It is NOT a DADGUM pump.


I highly recommend this fabulousness!

Big Hugs on this Friday Eve, Sweet Friends Everywhere...

ELC

Saturday, August 10, 2019

big leightons’ favs #4

Y’all. These. Are. FABULOUS.


My Dad told me about them a few months ago. My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I have bought many since. We’re keeping at least four in our fridge at all times. These are our two preferred kinds. There’s a third that’s got sausage in it. I’m not a big sausage fan. MSH is a MAJOR fan of all things sausage. I only buy these two (Winky. Wink.) and he hasn’t complained yet. 

My youngest sister, Lucy, and TLC have basically dismissed these. Like they think it’s silly to buy them. When (they’ve all but said this...): How hard is it to scramble an egg and throw a few extras in?

I’ll tell you exactly how hard it is for this “I-ain’t-no-great-at-home-Chef-but-anyone-who-has-ever-had-my-scrambled-eggs-will-tell-you-they-ROCK:”

I don’t have to chop anything up. I don’t have to wash a thing but a fork. And it’s ready in about three minutes. Am I, in fact, lazy? For about $2 per container—not counting the egg or the electricity it costs to microwave it for 90 seconds—I may be. Don’t care.  I’m all in on this DELICIOUS convenience. 

A warning: This is going to stay HOT in the container for several minutes! I actually transfer my end-dish into a paper bowl. (Lazy and not as “green” as I should be—YEP! That. Is. Moi. Sorry. Not sorry.)

I’ve eaten these for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Add a piece of toast and some fruit and you’ll probably be quite satisfied and full. 

Will I continue to make my famously yummy scrambled eggs for family and friends? Yes. I will. But for me and MSH? These are all we usually need. 

We find these close to the butter section in the cold cases at Walmart, Kroger’s, etc. Hope you aren’t faced with them gone/out the day you want to try them. These are POPULAR. At least in our area. 

(By the way: Each container is 4 pts—counting the egg—if you’re following a Weight Watchers’ program. Not bad for a meal. Not bad at all.)

Happy Weekend, Sweet Friends!
ELC

Thursday, August 8, 2019

big leightons’ favs #3

For my, TLC’s, next favourite, I’m sharing another drug store beauty find! I know you’ll be shocked to know it’s a: MASCARA! Did you think we really wouldn’t include at least one this month? Uh, nope! We can’t resist! Wink. Wink. #buyallthemascaras


This mascara was the happiest accident. I was at Target and wanted to purchase my OG favourite mascara: L’Oréal Voluminous. What I didn’t realize was the one I grabbed was actually the “curved brush.” Y’all. This is a game-changer! The design of the brush insures I get every teeny, tiny lash coated in mascara. It’s, in one word, BRILLIANT. I love it and am certain you will, too.

Give it a go!

Happy Friday Eve!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

big leightons’ favs #2

First things first—not sure I’m down with being “BIG” Leighton. Just saying, ELC. LOL.

So, for my, TLC’s, first favourite, I’m sharing this fabulous lipstick.



ELC can attest that I’m not generally a “lipstick person.” It drives her bonkers. Then, one day, whilst browsing The Walmarts, I came across this L’oréal Infallible Matte Lipstick. Y’all. This stuff is legit. I prefer matte because a gloss can be super sticky, and sticky gloss, hair and wind don’t mix. Also, I can apply this in the morning, and it still looks just as fresh by dinner. I’m completely serious! It blows my mind. This doesn’t budge. I actually have to use a Neutrogena Makeup Removing Cloth to take it off at night. Despite its resilience, it’s not drying at all. I love this stuff! It’s converted me to a “lipstick gal” now.

Give it a whirl! I don’t think you’ll regret it. And, bonus: it’s not expensive. You know we love our “drug store beauty finds.”

Happy Tuesday, Friends!

Sunday, August 4, 2019

...big leightons’ favs #1...

August, Y’all. It. Is. August. Sheesh.

So...this month TLC and I are going to do some of our “FAVOURITES!”

I’m calling this month’s posts “big leightons” because next month we’re going to post Little Leighton’s and Belle’s Favourite Things! (Won’t that be major fun? The answer is YES. Yes, it will. Winky. Wink.)

I’m first! I don’t think I’ve told TLC about this Fav #1. Here’s the deal:

Remember when you were little—I’m talking 3 to 10-ish years old—and your parents would take you to visit your grandparents—or great aunts and uncles—or you’d see older people at church—and you’d get a little bit skeered? BECAUSE not only were there some major wrinkles happening and these people were maybe talking really loud—about things they’d told you fifty to a hundred times—but they also had tons o’ bruises? Everywhere. Hands. Arms. Legs. (We won’t even discuss the brown “liver” spots on their faces. Sigh.)

Well, guess what? Those bruises were there because, as we age, our skin becomes thinner and thinner. And thinner. It’s tres stressful, frustrating and downright sad.

Guess what else? I’m there. I’ve actually been there—at the point in my life where this gal (who ALWAYS bruised easily ever since I was a tiny tot...) has all those bruises. Small. Large. Medium-sized. (There’re two on my old body right now. One on my right hand. One on my left leg. Sorry. TMI.)  I’ve been noticing this sad aging reality since I was 60. Ish. (I’m 65. And #notgettinganyyounger.)

About two years ago, I was noticing my pores in my “t-zone” getting larger. And larger. I was not happy about this situation. I decided to try some of those charcoal masks. That were all the rage. (Are they still? I have no clue.) Anyway, most that I bought didn’t get dry—where I could pull them off. They stayed moist. After several different options, I wasn’t seeing my pores look better.

One day, I found a product that was definitely a “pull-off mask.” BUT OH MY STARS. When I attempted to peal it off? I literally, truthfully, frantically thought my skin was coming with it!!!!!!!! I’m seriously not exaggerating—I washed it off as fast as I could.

This Senior Citizen was DONE with masks. Forever. Then I picked this scrub up and I adore it. I only use it twice a week. But—unless it’s my bad old eyes—I feel like four months of staying with this has helped!


Of course it doesn’t cost alot. I’m all about doable/reasonable skincare products/regimens. Yep—I’m the gal who still uses Dove bar soap morning and night! And not ashamed or apologetic. (Actually, a dermatoligist I went to—TLC went to him, too—recommended this to me. How could it be wrong?) Am I cheap? Possibly. Oh, well. This is me. I am what I am.

If you try this scrub—I truly hope you like it!

Praying y’all had a WONDERFUL weekend! (It’s been a horror-filled weekend for too many Americans. I’ve cried. I’ve prayed. I’ve been angry. Sigh.) PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make this a GREAT week!

Smooches and Hugs,
ELC

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

...intentional inspiration...

July 31st. Half the year over. Gone. Done. Yikes. This has been a most challenging, wonderful, hard, marvelous, frustrating, confusing, stressful, hopeful year so far. This morning, as I look back not only on the past five years, but the past two weeks, I turn to My God for support, understanding, help and love.

From my little prayer book entitled Praying Through the Tough Times, by Lloyd James Ogilvie, I read this a few minutes ago:

When I Am Weary.

Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him. The help of my countenance and my God.

PSALM: 42:11

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

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

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

Amen.

May you each be blessed today with creative compromises and a spirit of unity!

I hope Y’all have a Wonderful Wednesday! For TLC and me, August will hold Our Favourite Things! We hope you’ll join us...

Hugs and Smooches,
ELC

Sunday, July 28, 2019

the BIG...

...REVEAL!

I finally have “before and after” pictures of our bathroom remodel. The pictures on the left are the “before.” We love it so much. We have a bit more art to acquire. I’m just waiting on the perfect pieces. Other than that, it’s DONE. Hallelujah.



The vanity pictured is actually my husband’s. I don’t have a “before” of mine but will share an “after” (including the beautiful “cactus picture” Little Leighton drew for me!). My Hubby built both of our vanities! It was truly a labor of love. We also painted the walls, ceiling, trim and doors ourselves. While it’s certainly not my favourite thing to do, we actually make a pretty good “painting posse,” and we knocked it out. Go, us!

I hope y’all have had a wonderful weekend! I made a super yummy “berry crisp” this afternoon. ELC and I are doing some fun “favourites” posts in August, and I’ll share it then! Teeheehee. I know you’re on pins and needles.

Happy Monday Eve!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

...tangled...

I cherish my Charles Stanly bible. And this devotional:
Every Day in His Presence

From July 23rd:

Call Out to Him

O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection...I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me.

Psalm 57:1-2 NLT

Are there obstacles or difficulties that seem to block you from fulfilling God’s purposes for your life? Perhaps you’ve worried, planned, and toiled but have ultimately failed to achieve what you desire, and despair is beginning to settle in. If so, it is time for you to stop doing and begin asking.

Friend, the Lord your God is sovereign. He can soften hearts that you could never touch, change circumstances beyond your control, provide resources you can’t even dream of attaining, and untangle messes that seem unredeemable. And He is waiting for you to cry out to Him for  deliverance.

Friend, it is sheer pride that keeps you relying on yourself rather than depending on and obeying Your heavenly Father, who wants to be your strength, your life, and your all. Stop trying to figure everything out. Kneel before Him and leave all that concerns you in His hands. He will not fail you.

Lord, You are my only hope and help. I count on You, Father. Lead me in the way I should go, amen.


The devotions Dr. Stanley writes always—ALWAYS—speak to my heart and soul. Every one I read. Every day.

I pray each of you has a wonderful Thursday—wherever in this World you are!  I pray your heart is  softened and messes in your life get untangled. (I’ve got a few of my own. Sigh.)

Hugs,
ELC

Saturday, July 20, 2019

...we will survive...

This week was a rough one.

On Monday and Tuesday, I needed to be a daughter and sister. First and second. Then I could be a wife, mother, grandmother, friend.

Without going into alot of details, Monday, mid-morning, my Dad called me about taking my Mom to an ER. She’s 86. He’s 85. They still live in the home they’ve lived in for 20 years. (About twelve minutes—now—from me and My Sweet Hubby—aka MSH.) It is positively ridiculous. That they have stayed in a home too big for their needs and abilities. It is nuts, frankly. Particularly for my Mom. She is extremely deaf. She has no sight in her right eye. She has some sight in her left eye—but is gradually losing that. She is very feeble. Cannot walk without a cane or walker. She gets dizzy. She needed to be in an assisted living—or nursing—home five years ago. It is sad. Extremely sad. And what most of us will face someday. If we’re lucky enough to live to 86.

I got to their home fairly fast. After talking to her, my Dad and I agreed she didn’t, in fact, need to go to a hospital. Not at that point. But I insisted my Dad begin the process of finding a nursing home for her. On Tuesday, I went back for several hours to help him do the paperwork. I let my brother and two sisters know what was happening via group text. Thank goodness for texts. And emails.

Now we wait on the long-term care company and two doctors who can decide our Mom’s fate. I despise waiting. Will be using all of my strength and patience to keep my sanity. (I actually had a mini-meltdown with my parents Tuesday afternoon—while working on the application. I was not proud of myself. What I said was right. How I said it could have been improved. I apologized. I’ve promised myself I’ll do everything I can to stay chill-ier during the next few weeks. Sigh.)

I spent Tuesday night with My Princesses, Little Leighton (aka Biscuit) and Belle, while TLC had a Moms’ Night Out with dear friends (her Hubby was out of town...). This brought me back to the JOY and laughter I needed.

Wednesday was fairly uneventful. Spent more fabulous time with My Little Gals. Stayed up too late watching Hallmark movies. (Why do I do that? They’re recorded.)

Thursday, TLC and I took Biscuit and Belle to the Kimball Museum in Ft. Worth to see a Monet exhibit. We had a very lovely and quite cultural morning! (Yes—we spent as much time at the museum gift-shop as we did in the actual exhibit. Duh.) Then we ate our gluten-free “car” picnic, prepared by Chef Grammy, on the way home. SPECIAL memories.

MSH had been playing golf. He beat me home. After we talked about the splendid morning we’d both had, we decided to run several errands. He was going to do Costco after he’d dropped me at Target. First, we had to stop at a Sally’s for me to buy hairspray. (Only place I can find it around here.) It took me 5 minutes. MSH was waiting for me. As I walked out and saw where he was parked, I could see him looking down. Clearly on his phone. I started walking towards his car when he looked up and saw me.

Without looking to his left—he put his car in Drive and turned to the right towards me. Running into a SUV he never saw. Completely tearing up the front/end of his 2019 Rav 4 he’s had for less than three months. (He literally pulled the entire front fender off and put it in the back of his car. They don’t make ‘em like they used to, Y’all.)

The doctor he ran into was a truly kind man. Not angry. Calm and nice. (Qualities I cherish in physicians!) His wife was extremely understanding and downright sweet. Thank You, Lord God.

It was a difficult afternoon. Could it have been worse? Yes. Did I cry? Yes. Did MSH get terribly down and discouraged? Yes. He was mad at himself. Embarrassed. Ready to give up his license. Which is, of course, completely unnecessary and silly.

Friday was better. Today has been wonderful!

We’ll be working on our schedules/calendars with care and caution while we share one vehicle (Could be 4-6 weeks before he gets his car back...sniff...sniff...).

We’ll survive this. One of my most treasured friends of forty years died two months ago. Her grandson—who was 20—died last night. Of cancer. I cannot...I cannot even imagine...

A wrecked car? Nothing. Nothing when you look at the BIG picture.

Have a SWEET and SAFE Sunday, Dear Friends...watch where you’re driving. Be thankful for life and breath and blessings...

ELC


Sunday, July 14, 2019

...quick Sunday post...

I hope y’all have had a fabulous weekend, Readers! We had the privilege of taking care of sweet Buddy for ELC and My Sweet Dad today. They had to make a quick trip to Austin. We went over twice to let him out and give him a few little biscuits. Y’all. He is genuinely the most precious dog on the planet. I do love our Henry, and while he is the cutest, Buddy is the sweetest. Just look at these pictures:




The girls truly love him!

I’m off now to finish touching up the paint in our bathroom. I pinkie promise I’ll take “AFTER” pictures this week. It’s been a process, y’all. But this is truly the last step! Well, I’ll need to deep clean it. Then it’s ready!

Happy Monday Eve!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

epic fail...

As mothers/parents, it truly is our job to be good role models for our children. Sometimes/MANYtimes it hits me—hard—how I’ve failed TLC at this job I took on more than 35 years ago.

I’ve had a “weight” problem 90% of my 65 years. (I start this at around my age 10.) This challenge was given to me from both sides of my gene pool. I’ve hated this gift/reality. I’ve done many STUPID and unhealthy diets to lose weight. I consider myself a fairly smart person. Not even close to brilliant. Adequately smart. Yet I’ve tried ideas that a kumquat would have known were RIDICULOUS.

Then I joined Weight Watchers. In January of 2017. And I FINALLY learned how to be a balanced, healthier, intelligent eater. I still make bad decisions and have days (mostlynights—that’s my weakest time) when I’m a little out of control. However, I stay successful at maintaining my 44-pound loss.

TLC joined WWs a few months ago. It completely took me by surprise. She didn’t have a lot to lose. And it really wasn’t as much about losing weight as it was about gaining control of her habits and being/eating healthier. For herself AND her daughters. As their role model.

She met her “lifetime goal” in three months. Slowly and with determination. She did it despite growing up with a mother who didn’t cook. A mother who took her through TOO MANY drive-thrus. A mother who was NOT a good role model for healthy eating.

She did it because her oldest daughter was diagnosed with Celiac disease when she was 2 years old. This diagnosis took the possibility of TLC becoming like me—The Drive-Thru Queen—away from Little Leighton and Belle (Belle may not be Celiac and hasn’t been tested because she’s not had gluten in her three years on this Earth—so any medical test would be virtually useless.).

I cannot begin to express my pride—in words—for the amazing role model TLC has been to her daughters. To me. Her Dad. Her family. She is a FABULOUS At-Home Chef. She plans her family’s meals with love, passion and true commitment. They are beyond DELICIOUS.

(Now if only I hadn’t also been a TERRIBLE role model concerning Diet Cokes/Coke Zeroes. TLC has many times, in the past ten years, given them completely up. For LONG stretches of time. But this evil PUSHER has tempted her with my fridge full of unhealthy sodas.

I’m sorry, TLC! Forgive me. I wish I could say I’ll do better. I fear that’d be a lie. At the least, I can role model honesty.

Happy Tuesday, Friends Everywhere! Be aware of who’s watching you with awe, loyalty and admiration. DO BETTER!!! TRY! Let’s all at least try...right?

Smooch...
ELC

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

fourths...

Happy 4th of July Eve! My family loves this holiday. Especially Little Leighton. I was thinking tonight about all of our previous “Fourths” and wanted to share a few favourite pictures from the past six years! I hope y’all have a safe, happy holiday! God Bless America!








Sunday, June 30, 2019

Ida Know—American Ninja Princess

Y’all. Belle. Oh. My. Stars. The child is a whirlwind. A mini tornado. Another enigma in this cRaZy family.

On Wednesday afternoon, I was over at TLC’s. For a few hours. My hip injection had been postponed for a week. I was a bit down in the dumps. Needed distraction. There’s no one better to keep your mind from negative thinking/over-thinking than 3-year-old Belle.

She’s so very different from Big Sister, Little Leighton (aka LL aka Sister Biscuit.). TLC and LL were not “physical” toddlers. Neither climbed up on anything! Both loved being carried, in fact. Both had to be told—around 5 years old—no more being carried! No more strollers. Sheesh.

Belle? Climbs as high as she can. Gets her upstairs’ and downstairs’ Princess stools—that are technically for getting up on the potty or reaching the sink to brush her teeth—and tries to see and reach EVERYTHING she can get her little hands on.

She’s been doing somersaults since she was eighteen months old. This makes her Mom and Grammy nervous wrecks. She won’t listen to us tell her to slow down and do them right. Nope. No time for listening.

I’m now calling her The American Ninja Princess. In addition to running around their playroom like it’s a track, and even in her Rapunzel princess shoes—that are high heels, Y’all—she is now using the playroom couch as an obstacle to climb on, up and over. As fast as she possibly can and all the while with her Mom loudly demanding: STOP THAT RIGHT NOW. Before you get hurt!

Her vocabulary—and her understanding of what she's saying—is also impressive. Sister Biscuit? Same way. Early talking. Early knowledge of what she was saying. Belle has a teeny little issue with the way she says some letters and words. Bird? It’s boid. TLC has been working with her on this.

TLC: Say “BIRD, Belle. Look at my mouth and lips. BIRD.

BELLE: Boid. (With the cutest little smile,)

TLC: No. BIRD. IRD...BIRD.

BELLE: Boid. (Smiling...cooperating...smiling...)

GRAMMY: Okay, Mama. That’s enough!

When you ask Belle a question...like...where are your shoes? She says: Idaknow.

GRAMMY: Watch my mouth and lips, Belle: I. DON’T. Know.

BELLE: Idaknow.

These pictures were all taken in the past ten days.


Here...Pa-Pa and I are taking LL and Belle to a new park we found close to our casa. Belle is trailing behind LL and Pa-Pa. Handicapped Grammy is bringing up the rear. Belle is currently not a fan of parks. Doesn’t want to swing. Or slide. Mostly just wants to wander around telling you she doesn’t want to do anything. The American Ninja Princess needs the comfort of her home/playroom/Grammy and Pa-Pa’s home to go WILD.


Here she’s attempting to sit still and play Candyland with LL, Pa-Pa and moi. Pa-Pa and I had coasters with coffee cups on them. Belle got a coaster for her fish. I cannot make this stuff up. Which is why I take pictures to show TLC.

The last two: She’s in her playroom. Their tent is a “Nursery” for the Princess Babies. Aurora. Tiana. Ariel. Belle spends alot of time getting them arranged and ready for their naps.





Yes. That is an Easter headband. Belle still wears it at least twice a week. Her hair. Oh. My. That wild hair.

I might be too old to continue to “coach” this Princess Ninja. She wears me out. She pretty much wears all of us out. And we ADORE HER! With all of our hearts and souls.

Happy July, Y’all! Wear red, white and/or blue all week to celebrate America’s Birthday! At least try...WHY NOT?

Hugs and Smooches,
ELC

Thursday, June 27, 2019

i see...me...

Tuesday morning, I took my mother to an eye specialist in Arlington. This was my third time to take her to this doctor. In four months. I’ve not talked much about my mother—TLC’s grandmother—Little Leighton’s and Baby Elle’s great-grandmother—in all these years of writing our blog.

Many of you know TLC and I have this blog printed in a book form periodically. We do this for Little Leighton and Baby Elle. As a (partial) history for them to treasure. A history of my life. Of TLC’s. Of their sweet lives. I’ve not detailed much about my relationship with my own mother. But I’ll share a bit about her now:

I’m the oldest of my mother’s four children. I knew—by the time I was in junior high—my Mom
and I were VERY different. In one thousand ways. But I also knew, soon after I had TLC, that physically I was, in fact, more similar to my mother than I’d truly ever realized. Not so much in our faces. Or hair. Or weight. Or height. Or personalities. (What the heck is left?) On the INSIDE of us. And in a “medical-ish” type of way.

I have inherited her (and probably her Mother's——my Nana’s) arthritis. Hearing issues. Eye issues. Female history. (She didn’t have breast cancer like me. My Nana didn’t, either.) Mother had a hysterectomy when she was 31. So did I. She’d had four children. Her fourth being born when she was almost 30. I’d had TLC—my only (biological) child—when I was 30.

By the time my mother was 75 (she’s 86), she’d had two hip replacements and two shoulder replacements. My left hip will be replaced. Eventually. It’s inevitable. It’ll be my first replacement—when it happens. My right hip? Yep. It, too. I’ll be surprised if I need my shoulders replaced. My mother was a tennis player and much more athletic and “out-doorsy” than moi.

My mother has very little sight in her right eye.  This eye specialist is trying hard to save what sight she has remaining in her left eye. She obsessively read books. All of her life. (I have cherished reading since I was 3.) She was an excellent Bridge player. (I’m, at best, adequate. I do adore it, however.)

Today, my Mother can watch TV and read the closed-captions. She cannot read books. She cannot play cards. She can see her husband, children, grandchildren and great-granddaughters (six great-grand girls—no great-grand boys!). She can go out to eat—and come to her children’s homes that are close by. (She and my dad still live in their home.) She cannot hear much. If we talk really loudly—she can catch a few words—every now and then.

So this past Tuesday—I looked at my mother for almost five hours from the time I picked her up until I took her back home. (These appointments take two to three hours. Getting there adds alot of time to the endless day.) It’s exhausting for me. And I’m 21 years younger. I watched her. I wrote her notes to communicate with her (It’s the best option...although you must use a medium Sharpie and write BIG.)

I studied her. And I saw myself. At 86.

I was sad. Yet I am certain I want to be able—at 86–to be grateful for everything I have. Especially my family and my life.

I believe that’s why I wanted to share this part of my story. I pray each of us will remember to always THANK GOD for what we have. If we’re breathing, there’s a reason we’re here.

BIG smooches and hugs this Friday Jr.!

ELC



Saturday, June 22, 2019

the man...the myth...

...the show. HUGH JACKMAN.

For Christmas this year, My Hubby gifted me two tickets to see Hugh Jackman in Dallas on June 19th. The only caveat? He was not going with me. I needed to take someone else. Musical-type-shows aren’t really his “thing.” His loss! 

Of course I wanted to bring ELC! We rarely have time together without my little girls. We’ve had maybe three pedicures in seven years. Two of those have been in the past three months! She always so graciously watches Little Leighton and Elle so I can go out—with MH or friends. She deserved this concert more than me!

Off we went on Wednesday! We had a yummy dinner before, and then proceeded to have the most delightful time at the show. Hugh must be the kindest human on this planet. Ever. He was charming and AH-MAZING. We cherished every moment!


I sure hope we can do something like this again soon!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

...security goddess...

So TLC and Her Hubby (aka HH) took Little Leighton (aka LL) and Belle to Orange Beach in Alabama last week. First time to the beach for The Little Princesses! TLC planned it all out...giving them a night—going and coming—in Baton Rouge. (LL and Belle are not the most fun gals on a trip in a car for an hour—much less MANY hours. Many breaks are IMPERATIVE.)

Grammy ELC’s job for four nights/five days was to turn outside lights off and back on, feed Nancy the Beta fish (Nancy—who is actually a male fish—that was a story explained many moons ago...), water TLC’s recently planted flowers, get their mail out of their box, keep their alarm turned on and just generally make it appear they were NOT out if town.

By the way: A scary situation had happened at their casa on the Wednesday before they left. I was at their house. HH was out of town on business. I won’t go into details at this point. I’ll will share the entire back window behind the driver’s seat in HH’s truck was shattered that afternoon. During the day. Bright sunlight. In front of their home where it’s been parked for almost two years. On purpose. The incident caused some confusion and fear on TLC’s part and her Mama’s. Hence my determination to try to “protect” TLC’s and her family’s home as best I could.

I’m going to brag and say I ROCKED it. (I must give My Sweet Hubby a little credit. He helped me three out of eight visits to their home.) Y’all, I was SOOO good as a Vacation Security Consultant and Administrator that I’m seriously considering starting this as a part-time business adventure. (No. Not really. Just kiddin’. But I am swearing to Y’all: I. Was. AMAZING. I was so good I forgot they were on vacation myself! No. Another fib. Still...Winky Wink.)

Here’s wishing Y’all a TERRIFIC Thursday tomorrow! Be safe. Be SECURE. Be mysterious. Heck—go on and go to The BEACH! I’m available for hire, remember.

HUGS,
ELC

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

...salon therapy...

Today two things happened:

1) I had to drink a Diet Mountain Dew. (For the first time in almost four months.)

2) I went to My Sweet Cat for a cut and color. Cat: My hairstylist for over 33 years. THIRTY-THREE. YEARS.

The Dew: So after my nearly 90-minute drive to our former hometown (My heart hurts to say that word—former.) to get my old, grey hair processed, I stopped at a convenience store I frequented oodles of times over the past many years to buy a Coke Zero. (And, okay, a Powerball ticket. Because...why not?) There were no Coke Zeroes in the cooler. None. Well, actually, that’s not quite true. There were three Coke Zeroes—Orange Vanilla flavored. Sorry. Tried one a few weeks ago. Not again. Not falling for it again. (YUCK.)

I was, therefore, FORCED to buy a Diet Mountain Dew. Not gonna lie: I loved every single sip. Will this set me back? Make me want another? And another? I’m truly not worried about it. I’ll confess to Y’all if I do give in. (I won’t. Maybe in another four months. Not anytime soon.)

Cat: I miss her. I love her. I need her expertise. Her talents. Her wisdom. Her kindness. Her encouragement. Her patience. Her fun shop (Think Truvy—Steel Magnolias. Okay. Cat’s shop is not at her house. Although, when her grandparents were alive, it was next to their home!)! Her (free!) counseling. (No one has ever paid Cat enough for said counseling. Including me.) If I can go back to see her every two to three months? For my roots to be dyed and a therapy session? I’ll be grateful. I’ll be hugely grateful. (By the Way: My hair? BEAUTIFUL. If I do say so myself. Wink. Wink.)

Tomorrow is Friday Jr.! Here’s hoping the next four days of your life are full of Diet Dews (or the drink of your choice) and amazing moments with precious, dear, cherished friends.

HUGS,
ELC

p.s.—TLC’s bathroom remodel REVEAL is coming soon!!! It’s positively lovely.

Friday, June 7, 2019

...one to four...

First—in case you missed it...it’s June. JUNE. The 7th. Actually. (There goes our intentions of doing eight posts a month. Sheesh.)

I refuse to bore y’all with excuses. TLC and I both believe we have some decent ones.  Instead...I’ll share this:

I’m 65. Y’all remember I don’t hide this. Why? Why would I? I’m sincerely grateful to be here. Every minute of every day. Prior to this past April? I was on one prescription medication. ONE. I have friends ten years younger that are on three. Five. Perhaps I’ve been a bit sassy and obnoxious about my one script. 

Because as of last week? That number has jumped to four. FOUR. Dadgummit. Not only am I frustrated. And a little more broke. I’m also a bit stressed. For two of my new three scripts? I read the pamphlets that came with them. 

YOUNG ONES—take my advice: DON’T read about the possible side effects of medications. It will give you chills. Nightmares. You’ll regret it. Trust me. 

There was definitely advantages to spending most of my life without the ability to Google/WebMD EVERYTHING.

Ignorance truly is BLISS.

Hope Y’all have a WONDERFUL weekend—wherever in this world Y’all are! Stay healthy! And as far away from prescription drugs as you can get...

HUGS...
ELC


Friday, May 31, 2019

...porch vs veranda...

So it’s the last day of May. Sheesh. Time keeps marching on. Fast and FURIOUS. This afternoon, this OLD GRAMMY donned her bathing “dress” and went swimming with TLC and The Little Princesses.  It was COLD. The water. Yes. Also the temp. Well, cold for Texas. At the end of May. 75 degrees when we got to the pool. Un(or Non)predicted rain had showed up early this morning. It was quite surprising. Clouds lingered for hours. Despite the almost freezing (Okay. Okay. VERY cool.) water, TLC and I went in. With Little Leighton and Belle. We survived for 90 minutes. Long enough to satisfy The Princesses.

As we head to June and Summer reruns, I continue to watch HGTV. Alot. Beach shows. Lakefront shows. New shows. Old shows. Anything that interests this person who doesn't have HBO or Netflix. Yep. I realize that’s incredible. (Try to move on. Wink. Wink.)

A couple of nights ago, I was watching a Beachfront show that was filmed in St. Croix. A couple was looking at homes in the $500,000 range. I think. Maybe they had a million. That part I can’t remember. (My Sweet Hubby and I probably couldn’t decide to buy a $50,000 home there—if one existed. Just sayin’...)

Here’s my point: They were looking at a home that had—what the husband called—a big “porch.” The wife patiently corrects him: That’s a “veranda.” Porches are for drinking tea. On a veranda, you have “drinks.” (Clearly—aka—alcoholic drinks.)

How could I be 65 and not be aware of this difference in these two words?

On this Friday evening, I’d like to share three things:

1) There was no better porch ANYWHERE than the one My Sweet Hubby and I had at our country casa. It. Was. FABULOUS. We miss it.

2) Our new porch? Charming. Small. Cozy. Sweet. We’ll take it.

3) Whether you have access to a porch OR a veranda this weekend, and whether you have a lemonade, sweet tea, Coke Zero, glass of Pinot Grigio or a Strawberry Margarita, I hope you’ll sit and relax. I hope you’ll recharge your batteries and find peace. Quiet. Fun. Laughter. Happiness. Gratitude!

Hugs,
ELC

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

...mini update...

So, Monday began the fifth (FIFTH) week of our bathroom remodel. At this point, we only lack glass for our shower, switch plates (Home Depot AND Lowe’s have both been out of stock.) and my husband’s cabinets. We spent the majority of last weekend painting, as ELC mentioned. I also tried dusting my bedroom. Oh. My. GRAVY. There was dust everywhere.

I’m weary but can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Here are a few recent pictures I took yesterday:





I guess we also lack accessories, such as the towels and art for the walls. That’s all piled on my guest room bed. I’m super excited and think it’s all coming together brilliantly. I can’t wait to share a final reveal soon!

Happy Wednesday! It’s been quite stormy here today. Stay safe, wherever you are!

Sunday, May 26, 2019

...75...

My Sweet Hubby. Aka MSH. 75. Today. I forgot to tell him HAPPY BIRTHDAY as soon as we got up this morning. I’ll explain:

Friday afternoon we took two cars over to TLC’s casa. She’d ordered MSH three bottles of his favourite pinot noir. Little Leighton (aka LL) and Belle had picked out their cards for him. Signed them and decorated them. We wanted to see the progress on TLC’s master bathroom—so an early opening of MSH’s gift—which was actually from the four of us gals and TLC’s Hubby—seemed like a great idea. He was blown away!!! He’d been searching for this wine in a 30-mile radius for a couple of weeks. With no success. He’d recently bought a Weber grill he’d had his eyes on—which he wanted to be his birthday, Father’s Day and our anniversary gift from me. I had to promise I’d buy him nothing else. So the wine? EXACTLY the perfect present for someone who didn’t want a present.

That evening, my youngest sister came over for a tiny-mini-comfy Happy Hour. This is our third get-together on a Friday evening in the past three months and we enjoy it! (No pressures to dress up or be clever.) We reminisced about the night she met MSH—when I brought him home to meet my parents and her for the first time. She was 14. She could remember ALOT about that night and we had some happy giggles over her recollection.

Saturday morn, LL and Belle came over to spend the day and night with Grammy and Pa-Pa. TLC and Her Hubby were painting their bathroom and needed to focus all their attention on getting that accomplished. (It’s almost totally finished! Will have taken five weeks instead of the promised three. Of course. No one but TLC believed it would be completed in three. No one. Sigh.)

We had lots of fun with Our Precious Princesses. Belle slept all night! No crying. No needing me to sit on the floor by her bed. No getting into our other guest room bed with Grammy at 2:00 am! Sadly, LL was sick several times during the night. The next sleepover? We expect it to be the BEST one yet! With everyone well. Everyone sleeping.

We were all up early this morning. LL and Grammy had actually been up since 4:40 when we went in to see Pa-Pa and Buddy at 5:45. Belle was awake at 6:45. I got busy getting the little girls’ breakfast ready. MSH walked Buddy Bear. TLC arrived at 8:10 to pick LL and Belle up. She walked in and said:

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I burst into tears. I’d forgotten to tell him that FIRST THING. (I’m not sure at what point during the day I would have remembered it was his birthday.) I felt HORRID.

Yes. I’d been up all night. MSH understood that. Yes. He really could not care less about his birthday. He’s not one that expects fireworks or parties. He really doesn’t care if he gets texts or phone calls or cards. Still...I was ashamed.

We went to a WONDERFUL church service. We got home at 12:30. Had our sandwiches. And then sat the rest of the afternoon—on our couch/leather chair—watching  HGTV. Well, I slept for almost three hours. I’m betting he snoozed a bit, too.

HAPPY 75th, MSH! I’ve been with you for 42 of those 75. You are as CUTE as you were on your 34th birthday. No. You’re CUTER.

Y’all have a WONDERFUL week wherever in this world you are! (Don’t forget to tell your spouses, significant others, family members and/or friends “Happy Birthday!” That is—IF it is their birthday.)

Smooch,
ELC

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

...fabulousness...


“Fabulousness Resumes Tomorrow!”

This is what Little Leighton’s new-to-her sleep mask says! Grammy ELC found this amongst her boxes from storage. LL snatched it up and now faithfully wears it every. single. night.

This week is nothing short of BANANAS. It’s LL’s last week of school, and we’re in, what I HOPE is, the final stretch of bath remodel. I’m worn flat out. Physically. Emotionally. Send coffee. And WINE. Maybe vodka, too.

Here’s to my fabulousness resuming someday!

Thursday, May 16, 2019

...ready or not...

So this happened today. Grammy Nanny was staying with Belle while TLC ran a gazillion errands. We’d done it all. Played ice cream store in the playroom. Watched two Daniel Tigers. Played with her playhouse (formerly Little Leighton’s playhouse) in Belle’s room. We’d had lunch while Belle watched a couple of Disney Jr. shows on the iPad. Now it was time for Hide-and-Seek.

Belle wanted to go first. I closed my eyes and started counting. Belle headed into the dining room. I knew this because she had her Rapunzel shoes on. They’re plastic—(Duh—they’re plastic “Princess” shoes)—and they light up. They are VERY noisy on wood and tile floors. The click-click-clicking sound stopped. Yep. Dining room.

I finished the requisite count to 10. Opened my eyes. This is what I saw:


Before I could even head in there, she said—really loudly:

I’m under the table, Grammy!

She. Cracks. Me. Up.

(By the way: I decided to pass on putting TLC’s Charmin up. It’d been an exhausting day. Wink. Wink.)

Happy Friday Jr., SWEET Friends EVERYWHERE!

Hugs,
ELC

Saturday, May 11, 2019

...the hip saga continues...sigh...

So my hip saga goes on. It’s a long story I honestly don’t want to get in to. But let me say this:

I’m going for a second opinion in two weeks. Not because I really thought I needed one. However, I’m a tidbit glad the circumstances that caused this new kink happened. We shall see what we shall see...

Meantime, I’d like to remind You Younguns to take care of yourselves. Eat as healthy as you can. Exercise. (Or, at the very least, walk.) Care for your skin. Use sunscreen! Hats! Sunglasses!

If you’re blessed to be here at 65, like me, it all may not look/feel/be pretty. (I am PROUD of every wrinkle I have...I’m serious.) But you’ll be grateful for doing everything you could to not just survive. To THRIVE. Bloom where you were planted. Right?


(Maxine: I’ve adored her since she came on the scene 30-ish years ago. She’s crabby. Cranky. Honest. Brave. Fiesty. A HOOT! Was happy to find this calendar for 2019. I needed her humor and wisdom. Wink. Wink.)

Have a SWEET SATURDAY, Friends...

ELC

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

...storms...anchors...victories...

As TLC goes through destruction and construction, My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I continue to battle our medical issues. I’ve run up against a wall of doctor “politics.” I’ve been put between a rock and a hard place and may be forced to start over in finding an orthopedic surgeon.

I’ve lost the clear direction I had concerning my probable hip replacement. But I am determined to let my faith guide my head—and my heart—to peace.

This was my devotion this morning from Every Day in His Presence, 365 Devotions, by Charles F. Stanley:

May 7
Anchored

“My word...will not return...without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”

Isaah 55:11

Anchor yourself to God’s word. No matter what storms arise, His truth always stands firm and prevails. Every form of earthly security may disappoint you, but Scripture will not. It cannot. Backed by the awesome power of almighty God. His promises are fully accomplished and absolutely victorious. (1 Kings 8:56).

..., as you cling to God’s promises during the storms, eventually you’ll come to a crisis of faith; either you’ll accept what He says and put it to practice, or you’ll sink back into your stare of helplessness. Keep your eyes on the Savior and your heart anchored to Scripture. His Word doesn’t fail, and neither will you when you trust Him.


First, if you’re looking for a wonderful, inspirational and compelling book of devotionals, MSH and I highly recommend this one. There are alot of great ones out there—including and especially Jesus Calling. But truly any book Dr. Stanley authors is amazing.

Second, this is my plan: to cling to God’s promises during my storms.

Wishing each of you a week of faith, hope, clarity, happiness and PEACE.

(Wishing TLC a week full of remodelers who stay focused and complete her master bathroom promptly. All of us who have lived in the midst of dust and loudness and confusion can relate to her anxiousness to get ‘er done.)

SMOOCHES,
ELC


Friday, May 3, 2019

DUST

So, we started remodeling our master bath on Monday. I will admit, despite ELC’s warnings, I wasn’t fully prepared for the sheer amount of dust involved in this process. Y’all. So. Much. Dust. The contractor we are working with has been great. His team has tried to keep things as clean as possible, yet, here I am, night after night, mopping my floors. Will it be worth it? Absolutely! I can’t take too much credit for the design. It’s mostly my husband’s doing. He’s endlessly creative. In fact, he’s building new cabinets for both of us. I’m so anxious to see this all come together. (And for the, literal, dust to settle. LOL.)

In the meantime, I’ll share some “during pictures” with y’all. At the end, I’ll do a big before/after reveal. We’ve had them gut the entire bathroom. Move plumbing. Add new lights. Build a half wall around the shower. I’ll even give you a sneak peak of our floor tile! However, I’m most excited for my new shampoo-bottle-holder-thingy! That’s being built into the little half wall.





Happy weekend, Dear Readers!

Monday, April 29, 2019

...my left side...

...of my old body...continues to betray me.

Modified  radical mastectomy on my LEFT breast: 1994. Tough stuff. Many followup implant surgeries. Six chemo treatments. (Causing me many more physical problems.)

Sidden Sensorial Neurological Loss (SSNL) of my LEFT ear:  2009. 100% loss of my hearing in that ear. Can’t wear a hearing aide. Nothing left to “aide.” Three ENTs couldn’t tell me why.

Now, last week, learned my LEFT hip needs to be replaced. Oh. Goody. Can’t wait.

So breast cancer? Not in my family. That anyone knew about. I had just turned 40. I spent a
year going to doctors in Ft. Worth once a week. From our home about 90 minutes away. I cried at my last chemo treatment. For a hundred reasons. But mostly because I adored my nurses. Such special people. It’ll be 25 years on May 26th since my mastectomy. I’m grateful to My Lord God for every minute I’ve been allowed to be here.

My deafness? I cried every day for a year. Every. Day. I could NOT accept it. Mostly because I couldn’t find out why it happened. I had been on a plane with My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) a week before I realized I had no hearing. That ear had popped on takeoff and hurt like it never had before. (I’d been on ALOT of flights at that point in my life.) This pop and pain only lasted about 25 seconds. Stopped and was never painful again. Even when I realized I could NOT hear. No pain. No clue. Nothing. I still ask God daily/nightly to consider healing my ear.  Mostly I remind myself I had 55 years of perfect hearing. Some babies are born deaf. Or lose their hearing too young. So I thank My Lord God for my past hearing and for my right ear. (I wish I had the power to make sure there was no more deafness in ANYONE. Especially babies and toddlers and children and adolescents and teenagers and young adults. And middle-aged adults. And Senior Citizens. And all animals.)

Now this LEFT hip. My mother is 86. She has had both of her hips replaced. At about 66 and 74. So am I completely surprised? Nope. Am I disappointed? A little worried? Frustrated? Yes. I cannot lie. Yes. I was hoping I’d have some other options. I was hoping to have a FUN, busy, easy, relaxed, great Summer with MSH, TLC, Little Leighton and Belle. Not be somewhat housebound for several weeks. Maybe two month. Sigh.

It is what it is. BUT...

Does anyone else wonder why these hard challenges are happening to my LEFT side? Weird. Just weird.

It’s almost May, Y’all! The year is speeding by! Take care of yourself. Your body. Your heart. Your soul. Your bones and joints. Your ears. Other important parts. Wink. Wink.

Hugs and SMOOCHES,
ELC

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

...it’s been awhile...

...since TLC or I’ve recommended a mascara! Like—maybe two years? Because...well...we’d gotten a bit obsessive and out of control about buying so very many different ones. (Or maybe I was the one out of control? Yes. I do think it was me.)

Anyway, Y’all: THIS. IS. IT. The ABSOLUTE BEST mascara we’ve tried maybe ever. E.V.E.R.


I don’t know exactly how to explain it. I mean—why I think it’s perfection. (Finally.) I guess it’s the applicator/wand. (If that’s a good enough technical word.) I promise it really needs to be the last one purchased.

Sadly, it is $28. But, listen: Use it for special occasions! Nights out! Weddings! Church! Important dates or meetings! Y’all...it is FABULOUS. Simply SUMPTUOUS.

I will be shocked if I ever find another mascara better than this. Truly.

My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I had a lovely weekend! The Easter service at our new church was MAGNIFICENT. The whole day was wonderful. In every way. Now this new week has started fast and furious. I had my second MRI in 3 weeks this morning. I have two doctors’ appointments—in/on the same day—Thursday. MSH will find out tomorrow if he can get a cataract removed soon. We have family coming Saturday. It’s alot for We Two Geezers. (I get tired looking at this as I type it.) We shall survive!

Y’all stay safe! Happy! Healthy! Try that mascara, too.

Hugs,
ELC

Thursday, April 18, 2019

pancakes...

Little Leighton is out of school tomorrow. To jumpstart the long-weekend, I decided Breakfast-For-Dinner was apropos! I’ve recently discovered Trader Joe’s Gluten-Free Buttermilk Pancake Mix. Y’all. It’s my favourite. The pancakes are so fluffy! I whipped up a batch, and served them with a side of Applegate’s Uncured Sunday Bacon. Oh, and fruit. #healthy


Both of my girls were so excited! As you can see here, the bacon was devoured first. Because, priorities.

I’ve been doing Weight Watchers for about 9 weeks now, and I’ve lost 13 pounds! I have about four more to go. The day after I turned 35, I decided I was ready to make some positive, healthy changes. It was that, or buy a new wardrobe. I swear ELC should be a WW Ambassador, because not only is she visibly successful, but she wholeheartedly champions the entire lifestyle. I have loved tracking my points, and I truly don’t feel deprived or restricted. I, myself, had a pancake with THREE slices of bacon tonight. #winning

We’re taking the girls to the beach this summer, and I’ll be wearing a bikini. LL is only slightly mortified. HA!

I hope y’all have a peaceful, joyful, happy, healthy, yummy Easter Weekend!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

every Sunday...every one...

So My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I joined an incredible church a couple of weeks ago. We’ve been visiting the 11:00 service since mid-January. This church has 15,000 members! Not what we expected ourselves to do. Join such a HUGE church. (Huge to us, anyway.) But, Y’all, we absolutely ADORE this church.

Every Sunday we listen to the most amazing orchestra and choir. Every Sunday there’s a special singer—or group of singers—who performs magnificent “special” music. The co-pastors’ sermons—the 11:00 service has the gift of hearing what I would call the “senior” co-pastor, as he’s been at this church for a long time—are fascinating.  (The “senior” pastor actually grew this church from about 500 members to 15,000. And I’m telling you it is because he is a wonderful man. Smart. Wise. Funny. A mesmerizing preacher.) His co-pastor is younger, but also an interesting, passionate, smart and funny man who shares important sermons, too.

We’ve heard another young pastor a couple of times that is full of energy, spirit, humor and a knowledge of the Bible that is impressive. None of them disappoints.

Every Sunday, there’s a challenge finding a parking spot. Every Sunday we sit on the same side/same pew (within 2-3 pews...) and look forward to the inspiration we know is coming!

Every Sunday, MSH and I cry. At some point during the service. Happy tears. Grateful tears. Tears of pure JOY and lovely peace. (Sometimes I end up being teary for at least half of the service. I am who I am...)

Palm Sunday was especially MAGNIFICENT this morning! Oh. My. Tonight I can still feel the magic!

Thank You, My Dear Lord God Almighty. Thank You for our sweet friend who suggested we visit this church. Thank You for all of the people there who share their gifts and talents. Their faith and commitment. God, bless them all. And please bless every reader that graces our blog with their friendship, time and support!

Y’all have a SAFE and valuable week—wherever in this World you are!

Hugs,
ELC

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Platinumfish

I spent Monday morning in my parents’ kitchen helping My Sweet Dad bake his famous Gluten-Free Goldfish Crackers for Our Girls. Little Leighton had her first Field Trip the next day, and the kids would be having (gluten-full) Goldfish Crackers. We never want LL to feel left out. She has said she misses those dang Goldfish the most since being diagnosed with Celiac Disease. I doubt she actually remembers how they taste, only the fact that she sees everyone and their dog eat them. Constantly. 

After numerous (failed) attempts to contact Pepperidge Farm and beg them to make a gluten-free variety, Pa-Pa decided to take matters into his own hands. He set out to find a gluten-free recipe and the tiniest fish cookie cutter. He has since perfected his recipe, and they are FAR superior to the ones out on grocery shelves now. I’ve deemed them PLATINUMFISH. A step above “gold!”



Y’all. I had no clue how truly time-consuming the process of baking these crackers is. Between kneading the dough and using a specific chopstick to get the dough safely out of the cookie cutter, it’s exhausting and takes hours. My Sweet Dad is a SAINT. The truth is, it wouldn’t matter if they took four days to make and bake, he would do it in a heartbeat to keep LL not only SAFE but full of joy.

From the moment LL was diagnosed, he read and reasearched more than any of us. He is her hero. He’s proudly earned that spot.

I hope y’all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, April 8, 2019

65...sigh...

So I have turned 65. Several days ago. It happened without alot of fanfare. As per my wishes!

I woke up that morning and felt...well...64. (Actually, for the past several years, I haven’t felt a day over 55. Except for my bad back. And feet. And knees. A few more wrinkles. Details only, right?)

I got two cute cards from My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH). He takes picking out my cards quite seriously. I always laugh. Or cry. Really—both. Because he faithfully gives me a a funny (sometimes ridiculously silly) card and a touching one. Or two. TLC helped him purchase the most FABULOUS KEDS for my (sadly big) feet. LIMITED edition, don’tchaknow. Wink. Wink.

TLC sent me two PRECIOUS videos of The Little Princesses singing “Happy Birthday” (before Little Leighton had to be delivered to school) and saying: “Happy Birthday, Your Majesty!” Giggling in both. Their giggles are the most AMAZING gifts to me. Always have been. Always will be. TLC and Gals had given me their gifts the day before. Y’all. TLC is a Gift-Giver EXTRAORDINAIRE. She amazes all of us lucky enough to receive her creative, thoughtful, SPECIAL gifts.

After MSH and I got ready for the day and Buddy Bear set to stay alone for a couple of hours, we went to a station about two minutes from our casa and bought tickets to ride the train to downtown Ft. Worth. Something I’d been wanting to do for several months.

It. Was. Great! We had a car mostly to ourselves. Not very scenic. Definitely memorable!

Once we got back home, we had a light lunch. Rested for a bit. Went to Southlake Town Square for a bit of Kendra Scott/Anthropology shopping. We had an early and DELICIOUS dinner at a Bonefish restaurant close by. YUMMO. Loved my filet mignon!

Got home by 8:00 pm. Yep. We’re old. It’s what we Seniors do. It’s one of our “rules.”

We each watched our own “shows” and ended the day in sincere gratitude. For life. For blessings. Big and small.

Note: I also received some LOVELY/thoughtful gifts and cards from my sisters and some precious, treasured friends. I cherish each of them.

Here’s wishing All of Y’all a MAGICAL week! Full of days that are as marvelous as the day I turned 65!

Smooch...
ELC

Thursday, April 4, 2019

...deja...

Not vu. Deja on This Is Us. I watched the finale last night. Cried. Alot. It’s what I do. Of course. Anyway. She is now my most FAVOURITE character on this amazing show. (If you’ve watched it, you understand. Her speech made her want a burger. It made me want one, too.)

It’s April! Little Elle (Formerly known as Baby Elle but now she’s THREE! Therefore and henceforth she’ll be known as Little Elle.) has had a yucky cold. And Grammy has cared for her the past 5 out of 6 days. (Well, not 24/7. Several hours each day.) Grammy now has a yucky cold. Fortunately—when I realized it yesterday, I knew I could spend today in bed. Which I’ve done. My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) has been a great nurse. I feel a smidge better this evening.

Hope Y’all have a Fabulous Friday and Wonderful Weekend! (Don’t get sick.) I’ll be here. Sneezing. Watching LOTS of HGTV and Food Network!

Hugs,
ELC

Sunday, March 31, 2019

ready...willing...kinda able...

So I’m 65. Sadly, I’m HAPPY. Well, of course, for the obvious reason: I’m alive. But also because I am now on Medicare. Six years of paying for an individual medical insurance policy cost me and My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) over $55,000. In those six years? I had six annual physical exams. No hospitalizations. (Yes—THANK YOU, Lord God Almighty.) No major illnesses. (Again—THANK YOU, Lord God Almighty.) But over $55,000? That’s alot. 

It is not lost on me that we could afford to pay these insane prices for virtually useless healthcare. For that reality—that we had the money to pay the exorbitant premiums—I’m blessed. Seriously BLESSED. I totally get that. 

For you younguns that may not know: Medicare isn’t free. It’s reasonable. (IF you’ve been used to shelling out $900 a month.) And that’s a lovely relief. 

The REALITY of aging:

My back hurts horribly. (Had an MRI last week. Results soon. Praying it won’t be surgery.) My knees are awful. It’s difficult to walk at this point. I do walk—as
much as possible. I look like I might be drunk. (Trust me—not possible. I rarely drink and when I do? One glass of wine.) Or 90. (There are probably MANY 90-year-olds that walk better than I do. Sigh.) I pray I can be fixed to walk normal—SOON.

On the upside of 65? 

I feel wise. I feel almost as smart as I was at...oh, say...50. The difference? I have no problem sharing my wisdom with you. Whether you want to hear it or not. And if you’re not interested? It’s fine. I’ll move along. I’ll try not to spend time annoying you. Winky wink. 

I need and love MSH as much as I ever have in our almost forty-two years together. We help each other on an minutely(notawordI’msure)/hourly/daily basis. We laugh. We disagree. We get over it/past it. Because we understand how short life can be. (It’s truly getting shorter by the day.)

I cherish a good church sermon. The beautiful church we’ve been visiting the past three months has an orchestra and magnificent choir! The pastors and musicians? They bring on my tears with their gifts of inspiration. Every. Sunday. Without fail. (Sometimes they bring on MSH’s tears, too.) I’m unworthy of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness. (I’ve actually been crying in church since before Tracey was born. I get overwhelmed with it all. Especially hymns My Nana loved.) Now, in this church, at this point in my life, I cry from the first song to the last. I’m proud to be a Christian who acknowledges every flaw I have. I desperately want to overcome my bad attitudes, choices and behaviors. I want God and Jesus to be PROUD of me.  

As a new 65-year-old—I need more time on this Earth. Pretty please! I’ve got things to do. People to meet. Books to read. Grandchildren, family members and friends to hug. And thank. And love. 

When I was 30? I thought I was getting old. THIRTY. I believed 60 might see me six feet under. Because 60 wasn’t just old. It was ANCIENT.

Perspective. It’s all about perspective.

65? Go ahead. Give me some challenges. Aches and pains. Disappointments. Wrinkles. Go head, 65. I’m ready for you. 

April? Yep. Ready for you, too.

Hugs to Y’all! New week! New month! Be. Ready. Okay?

ELC