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




Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Q&A with Elle...

Elle is officially THREE! In honour of this new milestone, I thought I would conduct a little interview with her to document how silly and sweet she is at this precious age!


1. How old are you now?
“Thwee.”

2. What’s your favourite color?
“Dark pink!”

3. What do you want to be when you grow up?
“A doctor and a nurse and a zookeeper!”

4. What’s your favorite food?
“Chicken wings. Edamame. Potatoes!”

5. What’s your favorite TV show?
“Daniel Tiger.”

6. What’s your favourite toy?
“The play kitchen upstairs.”

7. What’s your favourite holiday?
“My birthday!”

8. Who’s your favourite Disney Princess?
“Cinderella.”

9. Do you like cupcakes or ice cream better?
“Strawberry cupcakes!”

10. Do you like unicorns or mermaids better?
“Mermaids!”

This sweet girl is a hoot, y’all. She is OBSESSED with rocks and chapstick. She carries both with her at ALL times. Instead of a doctor, we think she might be a geologist! She wants to do everything her big sister, Little Leighton, does. She’s fiercely independent, and her love language is snack-time. She has brought us priceless laughter and love. We’re so proud of her!

Friday, March 22, 2019

TGIF


Y’all. Baby Elle’s face. It’s priceless. God love her. I took this at the end of our visit to The Perot Museum last week. It was Spring Break, impossibly crowded and Girlfriend was ready for a snack. I didn’t blame her. I was, too, but Elle LOVES rocks. She’s completely obsessed. I had to get a quick pic by this heart-shaped amethyst!

We had a super fun break and getting back into our routine this week has been rough. The weather has been so lovely! Even I want to be outside, and y’all know I’m much more of the “indoorsy-type.” I’m now officially ready for summer break. (Remind me I said this at the end of July when it’s five million degrees outside and my children are fighting constantly.)

Elle is about to turn three! (Hence why it’s hard to still call her “Baby Elle.” She’s officially a little lady now!) I’ll share a fun post about her with pictures next time!

Until then, have a happy and cozy weekend!

Monday, March 18, 2019

sister time...

Not the song from Elena of Avalor on the Disney Channel. Although I do so ADORE that song. And the Elena animated show. Both are MARVELOUS.

I’m referring to my “Sister Time” this past Saturday. In Wichita Falls. My middle sister, Mary V., invited me and our baby sister, Tricia, to come to a sleepover at her condo. I picked Tricia up (By the way—she now she lives ten minutes from our new casa!) at 9:30 that morn. We. Were. Psyched. ROAD TRIP! Neithet of us had been away for a night in MONTHS.

I was driving My Sweet Hubby’s (aka MSH) truck. I was gifting and delivering a CUTE canoe shelf (that wouldn’t fit in my car) to Mary V. It will eventually be put on display at her boyfriend’s SPECTACULAR Arkansas lake home. MSH and I had had it in our “lodge-y country casa for many years. I’d hoped it could stay in our new home. Alas, it didn’t make sense in this Great Room. I had to decide to let it go. I’m happy it will be in a beautiful, peaceful place.

We arrived at close to noon. Mary V. had a yummy lunch waiting for us. We laughed and laughed as we strolled down Memory Lane.  A new neighbor of Mary V.’s stopped by to meet us. She’s 77 and a PISTOL.  Very charming. Funny. Smart. Wise. She stayed about an hour.

After her departure, we decided to check out the St. Patrick Day’s celebration that was being held downtown. Because my back pain has gotten steadily worse for the past six months, and I have a hugely difficult time walking, we opted to go to a delightful coffee shop Mary V. had taken me and MSH to a couple of years ago. Silly Sisters. We just moved our Memory Lane travels to another place—adding some frappes and macchietos!

At 7:00, Mary V.’s daughter, Pepper, came over so Tricia and I could have a bit of quality time with her and so she could go to dinner with us. (Clearly, the day had been mostly filled with food and sitting and yacking.)

Dinner was delish. Loud. At the ages of almost 65 (ELC), 62 (Mary V.), 55 (Tricia) and 39 (Pepper), we decided we’re too old for loud. We needed a teensy bit of QUIET.

We went back to Mary V.’s casa for some wine and the company of three of her precious friends! All 70 or older. (Such wit and wisdom.) Pepper left at 10:30. The friends left by 10:50.

We Three Sisters went to bed at 1:30. Trust me when I tell Y’all none of us may get enough sleep in our normal daily living—but we don’t EVER stay up that late. Pretty certain none of us moved until 7:30 Sunday morn. We. Were. Pooped.

Tricia and I left at 11:30 after a breakfast of apricot and white chocolate muffins and the BEST strawberries and blueberries I’ve had in many MANY moons.

As always, we ended our time together vowing to do more of these sleepovers—only closer together in the future. Will we follow through? I pray we do. They are important for the health of our hesrts and souls.

Wishing each of you a FANTASTIC week—and time with peeps who fill you up with Cozy Comfort and BIGTIME JOY!

Smooch,
ELC

Thursday, March 14, 2019

...that being said...

Y’all. The Bachelor has left the building! I have to admit I’m beyond relieved. It was a long and—IMHO—boring season. At the end of each week’s show? I’d shake my head and ask myself:

Why? WHY AM I WATCHING THIS?

If I never hear a couple of words again—words that begin with “v” and describe Colton’s status in terms of his...well...you know...(It’s the same word. Both are nouns. One has “ity” at the end if it.)—it’ll be too soon. I’m 1000% over those two words. Forever.

And then there was:

“That being said...”

Good GRAVY. It was uttered by Colton or Chris or one of the girls TOO dadgum much. Every week. Often several times in two hours. SIGH.

It’s actually used too much by EVERYONE on TV. News people. Entertainers. Talk show hosts. I swear—I NEVER hear a family member or friend in my life use that phrase. Trust me—they’ll be scolded by moi if this happens. I will NOT be able to keep my mouth shut.

FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING DECENT AND RIGHT:

If you use this phrase? PLEASE. STOP. CEASE and DESIST. As of YESTERDAY. I request this of you with respect and the best of intentions. You’ll thank me someday. Believe this.

THAT BEING SAID...teeheehee...

This is Little Leighton’s Spring Break. Grammy and Pa-Pa have been very much apart of the activities. We’ve treasured every opportunity to be included in the FUN.

Happy Friday Eve, Darling Friends. HAPPY SPRING! Happy SPRING BREAK!

Hugs,
ELC

Saturday, March 9, 2019

what the what?

Y’all. Texas weather. There truly are no words.

On Monday, the wind chills were literally in the single digits. Yesterday and today? The high has been close to 80 degrees. EIGHTY. I’ve run my heater and AC in the same day. Possibly within the same hour. I suppose it’s like this every year. You would think living here my entire life, I would find this nonsense almost “normal” by now. Well, I don’t.

Early this morning, we had a huge storm. Hail included. The girls both woke up scared to death. Everyone piled in our queen-sized bed. Silly of me to think they might actually go back to sleep. Baby Elle sang. Little Leighton felt squished. (Mind you, MY rear was the only one hanging off.) It was a hot mess. I now feel like I’ve been up approximately 17 hours. Tonight, we “Spring Forward.” Jesus, take the wheel! 

Little Leighton is officially on Spring Break this (coming) week. We have several fun things planned but, alas, we now have to battle rain chances. Boo! I’m excited about a break from our hectic school mornings. I’m hopeful I’ll get to finish an entire cup of coffee without reheating it. Sigh. 

I hope y’all are having a cozy weekend! Stay warm! Or cool? Whatever you want to be. Winky. Wink. 





Saturday, March 2, 2019

...trippin’...

Not day-trippin’. Not road-trippin’. Just My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) trippin’.

A week ago this past Wednesday. We’d gone back to our hometown so MSH could go to his eye doctor to find out if he could get a cataract (FINALLY) removed.

We stopped at our hairdresser’s shop so MSH could give her and Her Sweet Hubby some cast iron pots and skillets. MSH’s camping/campfire/DutchOvencooling days have (sadly) pretty much come to an end. While taking these HEAVY pots out of his truck and putting them into Kit’s truck, he tripped. Fell face first onto her concrete parking lot.

I was inside. Visiting. (Imagine that.) He came in with blood gushing from his chin. Held up his right hand (And, yes. Of course he is right-handed.). His middle finger looked VERY BROKEN. (If TLC hadn’t recently purchased a new computer that is not ready to use—she could post an x-ray picture that woukd make you throw up in your mouth a little. Being honest.)

I drove him immediately to the Stephenville hospital ER. A place that has had 16 names and seen us both TOO MANY TIMES in the past 40 years. (Cancelled the eye doctor appointment. Sigh.) Our triage nurse was one of TLC’s best frienfs since first grade! That was special. At a painful and NOT FUN time. She was FANTASTIC.

The ER doctor was the KINDEST. The finger was not (Thank You, Jesus.) broken. Just dislodged. Just. Sheesh. The doctor made it straight. In less than three minutes. Although we were there almost four hours. Yikes. He put a splint on it and referred MSH to a hand specialist in Ft. Worth.

We got in to that (WONDERFUL) doctor on Monday. He re-x-rayed it and said no surgery needed. Baby it with the splint for a total of three weks fron the injury date.

This event caused three things to happen to hoth of us:

1) We decided we need an eye doctor closer to us. Not 80 minutes away.

2) We thanked Our Lord God Almighty it wasn’t worse than it was. And...

3) We were reminded, once again, to BE CAREFUL. GO SLOW. WATCH OUR FEET and WHERE WE STEP/WALK.

Life is short. Especially as you age. Gotta slow our geezer selves down.

Y’all have a SWEET Sunday. (Going to be bitter cold in North Central Texas. So over BITTER COLD. But SLOW your ROLL. If you don’t have your health, NOTHING else matters. Trust me.

Smooch!
ELC

Monday, February 25, 2019

hair DO's...

Happy Monday!

I have three more favourite products for y'all to try! This time, I'm focusing on my locks.

A few weeks ago, I had my hair cut and colored. I trimmed off quite a few inches (I went with more of an "angled bob." It's a bit longer in the front.), and I went back to BLONDE. I was so ready. It's fresh and fun and super easy to style. (I actually purchased a set of rollers via Amazon after a Sheaffer Told Me To recommendation. I believe they're easier to use for my shorter now. I love them.)

Enter these guys:


1. dp HUE Cool Blonde Shampoo. My blonde has a tendency to turn brassy after several washes. I've found a "purple shampoo" helps so much. I wasn't crazy about the one I had previously used, so I began a search. I follow Kate Bryan's blog, The Small Things, and this happened to be one she recommended. I LOVE it, y'all. Like, love-love. It smells yummy. It lathers well. It has kept my color salon-fresh. AND, drum roll, it's GLUTEN-FREE. Hallelujah. It's a smallish bottle and a bit expensive, but it's worth every penny. I will be buying more from Sephora soon. (That's the only place I could find it online. I do think it was on Amazon but was more expensive.)

2. IGK Jet Lag Dry Shampoo. When I was purchasing the new shampoo, I needed to spend a bit more in order to get free shipping. So, I purchased this small bottle (along with the concealer mentioned in my previous post) on a whim, and I love it, too! Holy cow. It gets my hair clean. It smells nice. It's gluten-free! When this is out, I will be purchasing a larger bottle from Sephora. This is probably the first dry shampoo I've liked. Like, a lot. It's great!

3. AVEDA Phomollient Styling Foam. My stylist uses this foam before she dries my hair. I finally purchased it, and I'm so happy I did. This smells AMAZING. It's light-weight without adding much gunk (technical term, dontchaknow) to my hair. It also gives my hair great, lasting volume when I dry it (which is a feat in and of itself). My hair is super thick but so fine. It won't hold much curl but this helps! I highly recommend this product.

I hope y'all give one, or all, of these a try and let me know what you think!

May your week be blessed with lots of coffee, laughs and time to actually wash AND dry your hair.

TTFN.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

EYE LOVE...

...these products!


(I also love these cute Lego-builders in their matching jammies. But, let's be real. They're about 75% of the reason why I need these products.)


1. Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream (with Retinol SA). First, I really have no clue what "Retinol SA" is; however, I do think it's apparently important. And helpful. I have been faithfully applying this cream every night. Do I notice less wrinkles? Possibly! I do think my general under-eye-area seems "brighter." If that makes sense. One big reason I'm a fan? It does not irritate my skin! I've never experienced any type of burning sensation. (That always scares me when it's around my eyes.) I purchased this at Target, though I'm certain it's readily available at most grocery stores and/or pharmacies.

2. Mary Kay Lash & Brow Building Serum. Y'all. This stuff is legit. I swear after two applications, I was noticing a difference in my lashes. I have used the Rodan & Fields Lash Boost in the past. Though it also worked wonders, it's expensive. This serum is literally ONE-THIRD of the price of the R&F product, and I would be hard-pressed to find any difference between the two. It's good.

3. HELLO FAB Bendy Avocado Concealer. This was an impulse purchase. I was ordering new shampoo from Sephora (which I will be sharing in my next post!) and needed something else to get me that coveted "free shipping." I was low on my Tarte concealer, and this had great reviews. Guess what? It's my new favourite concealer. AND, it's GLUTEN-FREE, to boot! It doesn't settle into any fine lines on your face. It works wonders under my eyes. I ordered the lightest shade available because I am super pale, but, also, I wanted it to help brighten. I love being bright. LOL.

I hope y'all consider giving one, or all, of these a whirl!

Happy Weekend! I'll be back next week sharing more faves!

Monday, February 18, 2019

so not even legit...

Yesterday morning, My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH) and I were getting ready and dressed to go visit a church we’d heard about. I love to listen to my Playlist of Christian music on Sunday mornings. Of course, it’s eclectic. Alan Jackson. The Old Rugged Cross. Sundance Head. Me and Jesus. Carrie Underwood. How Great Thou Art. Josh Groban. You Raise Me Up. (Possibly not technically a Christian song. But it is for me.) Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion. The Prayer. (This, too, may not be a Christian song. Hey—the title! It is for me.)

TLC had this version played at her wedding—almost nine years ago. As the parents and grandparents walked down the aisle to their seats. 

It is a magnificent song. MAGNIFICENT. If it’s not on your phone, well, you’re missing out. Get it. My unsolicited advice. You’re welcome. 

Half the song is sung by both incredible singers in Italian. It gives me chills. 

Years and years ago—when it was released, TLC and I fell in love with it. I’ll never forget the day we were listening to it in TLC’s car. She was passionately singing every word (And may I share she is an excellent songstress. She’ll be quite embarrassed that I’ve told y’all this. It’s true. I’m not one teensy bit biased. Promise.) She even sang THE ITALIAN. 

WWHHHAAAATTTTT?

I just watched her. I watched her sing the entire song. And then said—in sheer shock:

When did you learn Italian?

She laughed and laughed. She’d listened to that song so often she went ahead and sang what she thought were the Italian words. 

I am not even kidding: SHE SOUNDED LEGIT. 100% LEGIT. 

This week? Pretend you know another language. Even if you don’t. Learn a few words. Throw them around. Sing them! WHY NOT? Have some fun. Maybe it’ll make you want to learn one. Be happy!

Hugs and Smooches, 
ELC

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

judge not...

Close to our new home, there’s a Walmart “Neighborhood” store. (I think that’s what they’re called.) It’s small. Food and Pharmacy. Lots of “Scan and Gos.” (Trust me—I don’t hate checking myself out. Mostly because I desperately crave doing my own “sacking.” I can keep all of my cold food items together. My pharmacy items. Paper products. Etc. Etc. Etc. I diligently and energetically group all of my purchases in a way that makes perfect sense to me. Normally, my proud organization gets all jumbled up as cashiers scan and sackers sack for me. Sigh.) 

Last Friday evening, after taking Little Leighton (aka LL aka Biscuit) home from our casa, I stopped at this Mini Walmart. I picked up a few things we needed and headed to check out. Because I had a large 24-can Diet Dew box, I wanted an actual person—besides me—to check me out. (I’m not quite ready to take that scanner-thingy off at the self-check stands to scan large/bulky items.)

I saw a checkout stand light on at the farthest stand and a Walmart man/employee/cashier at said stand. I headed that way. There was one man ahead of me and his checkout went fairly fast. I put my items on the conveyor belt and waited for my turn. As the cashier—who, by the way, was every bit of 72 years old (GO SENIORS!)—started scanning my purchases, a man somewhere between 45 and 52 years of age put a 12-pack of beer and two cartons of Cool Whip on the belt. I had to turn my face away so he wouldn’t see me giggling.

I immediately started thinking about the many, MANY times I plopped a very WEIRD assortment of items on a conveyor belt at Walmart. Or Target. Or many grocery stores. We all need assorted and sometimes quite odd things that, as a group, look FUNNY.

As I turned my head back and glanced back at the man’s three items, he saw me and said (with a HUGE smile on his friendly face):

Please don’t judge me! I’m making “crack” tonight. With cream cheese and chocolate. Do you know what I’m talking about? 

I replied: First, I’m not judging you because I don’t want you to judge me! Although I did giggle when you put those down. Second, is it the pie that has chocolate pudding and Cool Whip, too?

He said no. No pudding. Not a pie. 

At this point, I needed to pay and leave. I said: Have a great evening! He said he would!

As I headed to my vehicle, I kept smiling. Giggling. It turned out to be a memorable grocery store trip! And a reminder to me to not be afraid to talk to strangers. Especially a stranger respectfully laughing at—or with—you.

Wishing you a day that includes either Cool Whip or beer. Or both! Winky. Wink. 

Hugs...
ELC

Thursday, February 7, 2019

touching...honest...real...

A very good friend of My Sweet Hubby’s (aka MSH), David, passed away several days ago. He was 66. A smidge older than me. He’d been sick for close to two years. Critically ill for the past four months. Deaths of family members and cherished friends always remind us how short our time on Earth can be, right?

He was one of six of MSH’s friends who did a couple of annual get-togethers every year for over 30 years. It began as a deer hunt-weekend-campout once a year and then turned into an added annual fishing trip. They had the BEST times. They were very close. Like the perfectly cast ensemble in a TV series about friends.


David never married. I often thought the other five envied, occasionally, his freedom. Lifestyle. As one of their wives, I got it. I really did. I think even as a wife and mother, I’ve been a bit jealous of my friends who, for whatever reason—never marry or decide to divorce—are “free” to do whatever they want to do. Sleep. Travel. Go out anytime to shop or have dinner or to the movies—day or night. Did I mention sleep?

Anyway, David’s funeral service was Saturday morning. Of the six members of this cherished group of friends, three are left. MSH, Steve and Mike—the brother-in-law of David. Steve and MSH were honorary pallbearers. 

The service was perfect. The kind that makes you walk away thinking: That’s how I’d want my service to be. In a beautiful church full of my family and friends. With a kind and gentle minister who makes the service about me and not about a religion and its ceremonies and traditions. Music that gets into your heart and soul. (There was another dear friend and co-worker of MSH’s who sang two songs A cappella—who has an amazing God-given gift—and a man who played a guitar and sang the Brad Paisley/Dolly Parton song “When I Get Where I’m Going.” Both men were memorable. 

A friend from David’s college days gave the loveliest/funniest eulogy. Not too long but very touching and honest. It was real. It was David. 

The minister, who had only met David as he lived his last days in hospice care, also made us laugh—in a respectful and special way. 

At the cemetery, this minister shared something that I’ll always remember:

He said when he was in seminary, he had an instructor that asked his class one day what book of the Bible they would want to have in their possession if they could only have one. He admitted no one had an answer. It wasn’t something they’d thought about. The teacher said he’d want The Book of Romans. And, specifically, Chapter 8. He explained this Book is everything anyone needs to know about Jesus Christ. And Christian faith. 

I pray each of you lives this day—this week—in a way that honors God and His Son, Jesus Christ. That honors your family and friends and people you don’t know but who cross your path. This day is all we have. Let’s make it joyful!

Hugs...
ELC

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

this...and that...

There's a meme currently circling about knowing you live in Texas if you use your heater and AC in the same day. Yep. #truth.

We have had Spring-like weather for the past few days and let me tell you what: I am here for it. It's been glorious! It was literally 82 degrees yesterday. On February 4th. I'm not questioning it. I'm enjoying it.

We have spent lots o' time outside, "soaking in our Vitamin D," as ELC says. It's been lovely. However, it will be freezing, once again, come Thursday-ish. C'est la vie.

This week is my birthday. I turn the big 3-5. Most of the time? I seriously can't remember how old I am. I don't know. I blame exhaustion. Age doesn't bother me. It's just another chapter, right? However, 35 seems a bit bizarre. I don't know what 35 is supposed to feel like, but I'm not sure I feel it. Sometimes, I still can't believe I am old enough to have two children. Is that weird? Maybe. Though those two little girls are the best birthday gifts ever. (Well, them and the leopard print dress I know ELC and My Sweet Dad have waiting for moi. Ha! I jest. Though, y'all. This dress. It's a stunner.) I'm excited to do a little shopping this week (with my Anthropologie and Kendra Scott birthday discounts, dontchaknow) and spend time with my little dolls. They make holidays and birthdays extra fun and special.


I hope you're having a fabulous week!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

purple plusses...instant reds...

In Little Leighton’s (aka LL aka Biscuit) kindergarten class, there is a reward/punishment system this almost-65-year-old Grammy finds interesting. Fascinating. Confusing. (And it’s the entire kindergarten that uses this. Maybe the entire school—which goes up through 3rd grade.)

Each new day, a student starts out with a green stick. All throughout the day, said student can be rewarded with another stick of 5 other colors or disciplined with another color. 

The color order for the sticks (from best down to worst behavior) is this:

Purple (and, recently Purple Plus—which I think means they may have received more than one purple stick); Blue; Green; Orange; Yellow; and Red. There is the “red” a student slowly (or not-so-slowly) regresses down to or—can digress to in a fairly fast manner. 

(You and I totally get it: The purpose is to inspire/encourage all students to strive to achieve that Purple Plus Stick Status. TLC’s Purple Plus Sticks? Shopping at Nordstrom or Anthropologie. Sigh. Mine? A red velvet cupcake. Two of them! YES!)

So Biscuit explained to Grammy that someone could have a purple stick in their jar—but if they do something “really bad”—they can go to (insert tres scary music here...):

INSTANT RED. (Psycho soundtrack/shower scene might be appropriate at this point.)

I have sooo many thoughts and opinions on this system. 

My first reaction when learning about it was this: 

HOW IN THE WORLD does a teacher get anything done in a day??? When she (or he) is messing with 22 kids’ sticks going up and down. In and out. All. Day. Long. God bless them ANYWAY! Just for choosing such a challenging profession many of us could NEVER handle. 

Then I thought about all of the kids that probably stay below green most of their days. Kids that really NEED some Purple Stick Days! Because, seriously, I’d welcome more Purple Stick Days in my old life!

One day not too long ago, Baby Belle (aka Belle) was staying with us for a few hours. She heard me complaining to My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH aka Pa-Pa) that he kept forgetting to put something up for me on a high shelf. Belle looked at me with a quiet sternness and said:

“Grammy, Pa-Pa needs an Instant Red!” (This wisdom from My Angel Princess that goes to the Timeout Chair at least once a day. Picture me getting a little tear trickling out of my eye.)

I giggled and replied:

“Baby Elle, you are exactly right!”

Since then, Pa-Pa gets an Instant Red almost every time Belle is with us. Luckily, MSH loves the concept of fair/kind discipline. He is probably the most self-disciplined person I’ve ever known. He accepts his Instant Red with humility and a smile. 

Since no one has asked this old gal what she thinks of that system, I can only assume the powers that be consider it effective. It’s certainly not up to me to judge its validity. 

However...Here comes a thought or two (You knew you couldn’t escape this.):

When I was growing up in the American public school systems, our reward/discipline system basically boiled down to this:

BEHAVE at school. There were paddles in your future if you didn’t. NOT WHAT I WOULD EVER EVER EVER agree with. Paddling. Spanking. Not then. Not now. But they were there. When you heard someone getting a paddle? Not something you forgot the rest of the day. Or week. IF you did NOT behave at school? And your parents found out? It was dealt with at home, too. 

I must say that given these two choices? And as a retired counselor that worked with many troubled kids? I vote for Biscuit’s School’s System. I do. (I still worry the teachers have literally no time to ever sleep more than 3 hours a night. Sheesh.)

Biscuit has many MANY Purple Stick Days. TLC and I learned in the first 2-3 weeks to not ask her what color her stick was at the end of the day. She (like her Mama) puts alot of pressure on herself to achieve perfection. She doesn’t need to think we don’t have faith that she did the best she could all day. (And, all TLC has to do is look in the folder that LL brings home ever day. Somehow her Amazing Teacher has filled out each student’s “Stick Status” at the end of the day. With all they have to do, how is this even possible???)

As January comes to a close, I wish All of Y’all a new month of many Purple Stick Days! If you have a few Red Stick Days? Or get some Instant Reds? Hey, we’re going to love you anyway. (After all, February is the month of LOVE, right?)

Hugs and Smooches, Friends...
ELC

Sunday, January 27, 2019

goodie girl...

Last week, we celebrated Little Leighton's Half-Birthday (#summerbirthday) at school with her class.

What did we celebrate with?

Goodie Girl's Birthday Cake Cookies!


Y'all. These are insanely delicious and delightful. (I buy three boxes at a time via Amazon Prime!) They brought LL such joy to share with her friends. She was so proud.

Having Celiac Disease as a child can be lonely. But having fabulous treats like these makes it so much easier.

Thank you, Goodie Girl!

Happy Sunday!

Monday, January 21, 2019

parks...plumbers...pizzas

So this past Friday, My Sweet Hubby (aka MSH aka Pa-Pa) and I took Baby Elle (aka Belle) to a park very near our new casa. She was BEYOND excited. She LOVES being outside. She ADORES parks—slides and swings. The whole shebang.

It was chilly. Chillier than I expected. But sunny. We did it all and had a happy time! Her favourite thing to do? What Pa-Pa and I called “The Boat.” She could have sat on that swing forever.







TLC was running errands while we played. Her Hubby was home trying to find a plumber to come fix a broken kitchen sink faucet. ASAP. We were all a bit worried. Seems like many MANY service people don’t work on Fridays any more. Or—at the very least—don’t want to! Her Hubby found a nice man after 12 calls to 12 other companies. Sheesh. 

At the point where it was about to be time to pick Little Leighton (aka LL) up from school, it was looking like The Sweet Princesses might need to spend the night with us. (Water had been cut off to the entire house.) 

TLC dropped LL off to us and the four us—plus Buddy Boo Bear—went for a walk to our “Community” Gazebo. We then spent some time in our backyard. (We’re having a great company/landscape architect redo 75% of our backyard—that’ll happen at the end of February.)





TLC was able to come pick LL and Belle up after we had a pizza dinner. Faucet was fixed! Their casa was back to normal—water was on. It didn’t cost as much as TLC feared it could/would. 

We had a bitter COLD weekend—but a delightful one. We wish each of you a wonderful week! Visit a park! Go for a walk! Sit with someone you love outside for a while. Fresh air goes perfectly with family and friends making special memories...

HUGS, Y’all!
ELC

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

pa-wetzels...

So our new casa is slowly coming together! At this point, we have 80% of all rooms—EXCEPT the office/library (It, sadly, is still a “storage” area full of boxes and “stuff.” What’s so bad about that? It’s at the front of our home. When you walk in the front door, it’s to your immediate left. To the right is our “formal-but-not-at-all-formal-for-us” dining room.)—finished. 

The Little Princesses’ Room (aka the room any family member/friend/guest might prefer if they don’t mind a twin bed and want a TV!):





(I’m waiting on a canvas of My Sweet Hubby—aka MSH—and TLC when she was about eighteen months old. They’re walking on the beach in Galveston. It is the SWEETEST picture. Ever. When TLC was working on the “gallery” wall for me, I thought of it as the perfect addition.)

Guest Room #Deux:


I’m about to change it around a bit. Taking a desk out. Putting a black table that was previously in our country casa’s master bedroom in its place. (Both my Sissies are ready to come spend the night! And the baby lives 10 minutes from us. That cracks me up. She knows we’ll take GOOD care of her.)

This is our Master!



We love it! It’s very similar to our Master in the country casa. But we are diggin’ our cozy cubby where we read and watch TV. We’ve had to buy a TV, console, storage bench—from Target on-line!—and that small leather chair for MSH. I’m also still trying to decide what pictures to hang where. I have a few left that are in our storage unit in Weatherford. (Said unit’s contents are being transferred to a new unit we’ve rented close to this home on Thursday. I can’t even remember what framed pictures I have in that unit. I’m gettin’ kinda excited to see what they are! And a bit worried about my memory...)

Baby Elle gets to come see Grammy and Pa-Pa (while Little Leighton is in school) a couple of times a week. (Sshhhh...don’t tell Little Leighton...) Grammy treasures this time! Baby Elle NEEDS snacks. Alot of them. Like something every hour. (She’s also potty-trained! YIPPEE and WOO HOO! But she still thinks her Reward M&Ms are necessary. I don’t blame her. I need one or two every hour-ish, too. Winky. Wink.) A go-to snack for both Baby Elle and Little Leighton is pretzels. Gluten-free, of course. Snyder’s? Delish. Trader Joe’s? Delish. Aldi’s? DELISH. Glutino’s? Yep—also delish. I adore how Baby Elle shyly asks for these delightful little treats:

“Pa-wetzels, Grammy? You have pa-wetzels?”

Yes, Baby Elle. Grammy will always have your pa-wetzels.

Here’s hoping it’s about time for Y’all to have your hourly snack...

HUGS,
ELC