Friday, February 24, 2017

Lea's Favorites

It seems as though "Lea's Favorites" has become one of my most popular posts and that makes me very happy.  I seem to always have someone saying or messaging me that one of my favorites has become one of theirs as well.  That's awesome!  I always enjoy hearing a testimonial about an item, food or whatever before I purchase it too.  And, I more than love hearing about a product that I've never even heard of.  So, here's to another "Lea's Favorites"...........
Ladies, if you need a fabulous red lipstick then look no further.  Now, mind you, I am the "lipstick Queen."  No joke, I absolutely love lipstick and I always, always wear it.  I call it my "finishing touch."  Mary Kay Cosmetics has a cream lipstick simply named RED and I'm in love with it.It is a beautiful red and I put some clear gloss over it and love it even more.  If you are not a "glossy gal" them you can sure wear it without.  In the South the women say, "put your red lipstick on, and suck in your stomach" and you are ready to face the day.  I wholeheartily agree!

This isn't a new product but I thought there may be some of you that do not know about this half-caff K-cup.  A few years ago I needed to reduce my caffeine intake and at that time I was still using a brew coffee pot and I just simply put half caff and half decaff in the basket and made my own half and half coffee.  Well, when I converted over to the K-cup style pot I couldn't find any half and half cups so I went back to full caffeinated coffee.  That was not good, it made my bladder most upset so I went on a search.  It was then that I found these little jewels and talk about a happy camper, I was delighted!  And, I seriously do not know the difference except that it does agree with my bladder a whole lot more. ~I know, TMI, but it is what it is~

I will admit, I am a fashion jewelry lover!  And, when I can find quality fashion jewelry for a great price then I'm beyond happy.  If you have not heard of Plunder Designs then you need to check them out.  Their tag line is: vintage jewelry, savvy prices and that's the truth.  I have the above pieces and they are just gorgeous and yes, that necklace was only $26.  It is such a statement piece.  And, they are a Christian based company.  A precious young lady in our church sells it and you can find her at Samantha's Glitz and Grace Jewelry on Facebook or you can go to the Plunder website here  It is a new company but I'm pretty sure they are going to be a huge success. 

If you are reading this and have lower back issues then you need this!  It is called the Back Vitalizer Multifunctional  Back Support.  I have used one of these for about 6 years in my vehicle and I also fly with it as it folds in half and fits in my carry on bag very easily.  It is merely an air cushion that can be inflated to whatever degree you need it.  I probably only have about two puffs of air in mind and it gives your back a soft floating support that is just unbelievable.  It makes such a difference on trips. It can also be used in chairs with a firm back but I do not use mine other than in the car or an airplane. It is $59.95 and can be found on Amazon.  My Chiropractor recommended it to me when I was facing some awful lower back issues about 8 years ago.  Thankfully, I rarely have any issues anymore.  Between twice monthly visits to my Chiropractor and this dandy cushion I'm "good to go."

And, I leave you with a smile...........

Ever since our Andi Kate started walking (which was at 9 months) she wants, and pretty much will pitch a fit if you do not let her, carry her backpack.  It is the funniest thing.  When she is picked up from daycare she put her arms out for her Mom to put the backpack on her.  As you can see, it is almost as big as she is.  She's our little "miss independent." ~look at that red hair~

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

I generally just shake my head when I see the questions Joyce comes up with each week.  They always have a theme and lots of times they are so thought provoking.  So, here I go to stretch my brain as I "try" to answer these.......

1. What's the last thing you did that someone else thought was super? 

Well, this immediately came to mind.........Last night one of the Moms of 2 of our youth at church contacted me.  The youth are having a baked goods auction next Sunday evening as a part of our church wide Valentine Banquet.  She said she "heard" that I made the best fudge in the world and would I consider making some for them to auction off.  Well, how in the world could I tell her no after those sweet words.  And, of course, I happen to have some heart shaped pans that make up beautifully.  I'm hoping it brings "top dollar" to the kids for their summer camp.

2. The last thing you ate that tasted superb? 

Hummm, I do like food but it's definitely not the "be all, do all" for me and I rarely get excited over it. But, I do love spicy food and I made some chicken fajitas the other night and they were quite good and I was proud of my seasoning of them.  Superb, well, not sure about that but they were good.

3. Supersensitive, superstitious, superwoman, superambitious, supercilious, supervisor, superficial...pick a super word from the list and tell us how it relates to your life in some way recently or currently. 
Life has been extra busy for me since the first of the year and I think I've done a decent job of keeping it "between the ditches" in the midst of it.  So, perhaps I could say, with a bit of a stretch, superwoman.  It can be a balancing act at times but that's when I know that my highly organized life pays off.  

4. Do you love easily? If you're comfortable doing so, explain why you think that is. 

I do love easily.  I love people, all kinds of people and I especially love those that may be hurting or needing a word of encouragement.  It seems that the Lord gives me so many opportunities to reach out in love to the hurting, needy or down trodden.  And, it may be nothing more than a hug, a simple conversation or a word of encouragement but it truly blesses my heart when I am given a opportunity to love in this way.

5. Valentine's Day lands on a Tuesday this year. Will you mark the day in some way? If you're celebrating with a dinner out somewhere will it be on Tuesday or will you celebrate over the weekend? 

Well, it will be 51 years ago that Tommy took me to my very first Sweetheart Banquet at the church my Dad was pastoring at the time.  So, not sure what plans we'll have for the evening or the occasion but we always talk about that first "date." (if you can call being escorted across our yard to the church a date)  I have some special little "happies" planned for a few folks.

6. What's something you are loving right now?

I am still loving our new home, the newness, the cleanliness, the convenience, the one level, and the pretty pond a few steps from our back door. It's definitely "home sweet home."

7 Write a three word (or less) phrase you'd like to see on a Valentine candy heart.  

This may already be on the conversation hearts, but if it isn't, it needs to be. BE KIND! For goodness sakes, has it become a "lost art." We can never be too kind or too nice but obviously the majority of folks do not see it that way.  Ugh!!!!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

Do you think Coleman enjoyed whatever was on his tray?  I'd say he obviously did.  My goodness, what a mess!!!!  I'm pretty sure his Momma took him straight to the tub following his dinner. This is the part of Motherhood that!! ~chuckle-chuckle~

The Wednesday Hodgepodge

And, here you have it, the regular Wednesday Hodgepodge and we're all hoping that our dear "question maker,", Joyce, is feeling much better from her episode with the crud.

1. Have you ever been fishing? Did you catch a fish? If so did you keep it or throw it back? If you haven't been fishing is that something you'd like to try?
Well, yes, indeed I have been fishing and I have caught fish.  We've both kept our fish and thrown them back, it just all depends.  We have a pond just a few feet from our backyard.  Hubby has all the fishing equipment that any one could want but we really haven't fished all that much since living here.  We LOVE the pond because it's water and we love looking out all our back windows and enjoying it.  But, as far as fishing goes, I can take it or leave it.

Fish out of water, big fish in a small pond, living in a fishbowl, packed in like sardines, this is a fine kettle of fish, plenty of fish in the sea, or cut bait...which fishy phrase most recently applies to some area of your life?
I walked into a place of business a couple of weeks ago that I rarely go into because every time I do, I feel like a fish out of water.  The folks that work there seem to have their nose bent out of shape a bit and have an "air" about them that really bugs me.  And, living in a small town I often feel like I do live in a fishbowl, but I wouldn't trade small town living for anything. ~smile~

2. What's something you're always fishing for in your purse, wallet, desk, or kitchen junk drawer?
Well, I have wracked my brain and I cannot think of a thing.  Remember, I'm an organization enthusiast!  My motto is: everything in it's place and a place for everything. Now, I'm sure that I will be fishing for something today and regret ever making this statement.

3. Your favorite fish tale or movie?

One of my all time favorite movies was Jaws, in 1975.  I'm not sure a great white shark is considered a fish or not, but it's close enough. 

4. Are you sunrise, daylight, twilight or night? Explain why you chose your answer.
Oh, the sunrise, I love the early morning and am my most productive in the early morning and daylight hours.  I have always gotten up early even when I didn't need to, it's just something I've always done and probably always will.

5. What's the oldest piece of clothing you own and still wear?
I have a denim 3/4 length jacket that I'm sure I've had for at least 10 years.  I LOVE this jacket and I'm not sure I've seen another like it since.  It's very classic and a great piece.  I think I got it at Chicos.

6. We've got one more month of (officially) winter here in the Northern hemisphere. Are you feeling the need for a getaway? What's been the best and worst part of your winter so far?
I hardly feel like we have even had winter here.  It has been the warmest winter I can remember.  I am always up for a getaway and we'll be heading towards Oklahoma to see our daughter and family in the next couple of weeks.  The worst part of our winter has been sooooo much sickness.  Knock on wood, I have escaped all of the bugs but Hubby has dealt with 3 terrible colds with congestion and with 2 ended up at the Dr.  And, probably 75% of everyone I know has dealt with some sickness.  It's been a very warm, unhealthy winter for sure!

7.  The Wednesday Hodgepodge lands on National Margarita Day...will you be celebrating? Frozen or on the rocks? Are you a Jimmy Buffet fan? If so, what's your favorite JB tune?No, I will not be celebrating.  About 42 years ago Hubby won a trip to Acapulco through his company and I tasted my first and last Margarita while we were there.  They were just sitting on the table at some dinner event we were attending and picked it up and took a big swallow and almost spit it straight out.  I thought the salt on the rim was shaved ice.  Just imagine the surprise when my lips hit that salt.  Ugh!  I am really not a fan of Jimmy Buffet but any time I hear his name I think of Cheeseburger in Paradise.  I mean, what a name for a song!

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Shark Tank premiered in August of 2009 but I had never seen an episode until about 6-8 months ago.  I am now hooked on the show and there are 2-3 episodes on every night on CNBC, so I watch a couple of episodes just about every evening.  I love the show and either shake my head in amazement at folks ideas or shake my head in embarrassment at their ideas.  And, can I say that Kevin is my least favorite shark, he can just be soooo rude at times.  My favorite is probably Laurie, she's always so sweet and encouraging to the contestants.

Friday, February 17, 2017

A Bit of This and That

It's a bit about the Grans and my recent trip to Iowa..........
This little guy has become quite the MESS!  He loves to climb and the other day his Momma found him in the middle of the dining table.  He sure looks mighty proud of himself doesn't he?
And, we'll be celebrating this little red head's 2nd birthday on Sunday afternoon.  Her shirt says, "I'm Two dles!  Now, if you don't watch the Mickey Mouse show then you have no clue what this means.  But, if you do, then you know how stinkin' cute this is!
Clancy has become quite the Oklahoma State fan!  He has recently attended some basketball games and he loves cheering the Pokes on to victory. 
Hanna Beth had to do a 100 days of school project last week and made this Dum-Dum bouquet with 100 Dum-Dums.  What a cute idea and I don't know for sure, but I'm thinking it may have well been another Pinterest idea.
I took a very fast trip to DesMoines a week ago today.  My youngest brother and his wife live there.
Tater, their Goldendoodle was so glad to see me.  I'm not  much of a dog person but Tater won my heart the first time I ever met him.  He is so precious and so close to being a human it isn't even funny.  He minds his own business and is just a joy to be around.
On Saturday, my brother, SIL and I drove up to Orange City, Iowa, home of Northwestern College.  Their son and his girlfriend were staring in the two person play, Last Train to Nibroc.  We enjoyed a nice dinner before they had to go and get ready.
 You may be like me and never have heard of the play.  But, folks, let me tell you, if you ever get the chance to see it, DO.NOT.MISS.IT!!!
It is about a rather fiesty Southern couple that meet on a train ride to their home town.  It will have you rolling in the aisle and might I add, these two are "natural born performers."  They both have a desire to pursue acting in some fashion and I can hardly wait to see what doors open for them. 
It was a very quick trip for me but I wouldn't trade being there for anything!  It was such fun!

NOTE:  I played around with some of the new "artsy" editing tools in BeFunky on some of these pictures. ~in case you were wondering~ Between BeFunky and PicMonkey, there's not much you can't do when editing pics. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wednesday Hodgepodge

It's Wednesday and that means the Hodgepodge and that means that I'm about to put on my "thinking cap" for Joyce's questions.  Here I go...........

1. What do/did you call your grandparents? If it's something unusual tell us the story behind the name. If you're a grandparent what do your grands call you? Who chose your moniker?
Oh, this is near and dear to my heart!  My grandparents were Grandma and Grandpa, nothing more, nothing less, and it seemed that was what most all were called "back in the day."  Well, fast forward to now...........I gave a whole lot of thought about what I wanted my Grans to call me.  My precious Mom did not understand that at all.  She asked me why I would want to be called anything other than Grandmother or Grandma.  And, of course, when I told her I wanted something cuter and more personal, she didn't get that at all.  For her, Grandma was such an endearing name.  
Our daughter had our first grandchild and she suggested that I just let our Grandson come up with a name.  Well, I wasn't so sure about that.  I mean, that name sticks with you for the rest of your life and what if he picked something I just  So, I came up with CiCi and haven't regretted it for a minute.  How did I come up with that?  I was aquainted with a lady that took the letter of her last name which happened to be a G and she simply added an i to it and is affectionately known as GiGi. So, I decided to do the same which happened to be a C and when I added an i to it, I got CiCi.  It's nothing fancy, not hard to say and I think it "fits" me.  Tommy is known as Poppa and I like the sound of Poppa and CiCi.  So, now you know.............

2. Ever taken a road trip along the California Coast? If so what was the highlight of your trek? If not, any desire to do so? If you were to take a trip along the California Coast what's one attraction you'd have on your must-see list?
We have been to California 2-3 times and had a great time every time but we have never taken a trip along the Ca. Coast.  I know it would be gorgeous but I more than likely will not ever do that.

3. What are three things you don't know how to do?
1 - play Bridge - I love card games but am not at all sure I have the wherewithall to learn how to play

2 - make roux from scratch - I can't believe I'm admitting that and I live in Louisiana.  I just always use the ready made kind and since I can't tell any difference I'm good with that.

3 - knit - I learned to crochet many, many years ago and do enjoy it but wasn't ever sure I could get the hang of knitting with those two big long needles.  I leave the knitting to someone else.

4. Tom Peters is quoted as saying, 'Celebrate what you want to see more of.' If that's true what will you celebrate and more importantly, how will you celebrate?
I've said it many times lately that we need to be more kind. It seems to be lost among the ranting, raving and overall general hatred.  So, I'd like to throw a party of kindness and I've always tried to be kind but, in recent months I've made extra effort, hopefully to pave the road, through example, to others. 

5. Thursday (February 16) is National Almond Day. Do you like almonds? Which would you prefer-an Almond Joy or a macaron? What's something you make that calls for almonds?

What's not to like about almonds?  I mean I like them raw, roasted, smoked, dipped in chocolate, just about any way.  I would prefer an Almond Joy since I probably haven't had one in 25 years.  I make a wonderful almond cookie that calls for slivered almonds. ~delicious~
6. What does Saturday morning look like at your house?

Saturday mornings are generally very laid back.  It's the day I change the sheets and often Hubby and I will work on a project together, especially in the Spring.  Sometimes we will take an outing and enjoy dinner out.  We usually play it by ear.

7. Share with us a favorite book you've read this winter.
I've been working my way through the Baxter Family series by Karen Kingsbury.  There's over 20 books in the series so I've been at it for a very long time.  This winter I've read Summer and Someday in the series. I often forget that they are a fiction family.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.
This was Hanna Beth's Valentine's for her class yesterday.  Are they not the cutest?  And, yes, she goes to a Christian school.  My DIL found this idea on Pinterest and I made the cards for her and she got the glow sticks to put through them.  I am so glad Pinterest wasn't around when my kids were little or I would have literally wore myself out with all the ideas. ~chuckle~

Friday, February 10, 2017

Lea's Favorites

 I so appreciate your enthusiasm about my "favorites" post.  Many of you have shared that one of my favorites has become your favorite after reading about it on my blog.  I'm so glad because I love knowing what others favorites are as well as they might just become mine too.  So, here's to some more of my favorites!

Lots of you may already know about these wonderful laundry items.  My DIL told me about them a few weeks ago and I couldn't get to the store fast enough to get them.  I guess they are just something I've overlooked but I am a HUGE fan of good smelling linens!  The Purex Crystals go into the washing machine and of course, the dryer sheets into the dryer.  I've used the plain dryer sheets forever but just never noticed that they come in several scents now.  I love pulling my sheets and towels out of the  dryer now with the scent of lavender.  Ahhh, such freshness!
A friend of mine introduced me to this and it's my new favorite body wash and cream.  I've been using lotion or cream on my entire body for many years when I get out of the shower.  I've never used one that left my skin feeling this silky smooth.  No, it's not packaged all fancy and pretty but I don't care a bit, it is just plain.good.stuff!!!  I buy mine at Sam's in packages of two but I think you can get it at Wal-Mart as well and of course, Amazon (it's way more expensive on Amazon).  I go through one of the jars of cream every month and the body wash every 2 months.  I much prefer cream over lotion as I like the thickness of cream.  And, this leaves NO residue at all, just a silky smooth feeling skin.

I'm pretty sure that many of you reading this have probably never heard of Psalty's Kids.  Psalty's Kids have been around since my two children were little.  I bought the Psalty praise cassette tapes to play when we were in the car and before long our entire family knew every word of every song.  They are now, of course, on CD's and I have bought them for my Grans to enjoy.  They are filled with songs of inspiration about a God centered life.  The tunes are cute and catchy and Clancy, our 8 year old Grandson, sings them every morning on their way to school.  There are 10 different CD's and they can be ordered from  and make a great inexpensive "happy" for your child or Gran. To tell you the truth, I love and enjoy them as well! 😉
I'm in love with this stuff!  I've heard about hummus in recent years and it just did not sound like anything I would be interested in at all.  I was at some event about a year and a half ago and they served plain hummus as one of the food items.  I decided to give it a try and I've been a fan ever since.  When I found out that there were all kinds of varieties I began trying them and the Roasted Red Pepper is one of my favorites and so is the Black Bean and Jalapeno.  I use Doritos to dip into them and they often serve as an afternoon snack for me.  AND, hummus is very low in calorie  and very easy to make yourself.  There are a zillion recipes on the internet so help yourself!

I will be flying out to DesMoines, Iowa this morning.  I'll visit with my youngest brother and his wife and then we'll go to Northwestern College in Orange City, Iowa .  My "favorite nephew" (he's my only one) and his very special girlfriend (pictured above)  will be staring in the play, Last Train to Nibroc. It is the story of a fiesty Southern couple and I can hardly wait to see it.  I'll tell you all about it when I get home.

And, my most favorite of all this week............our Andi Kate!!!  This little sweetheart will be 2 years old tomorrow.  She has brought so much joy and love into our family and is our little "miracle girl."

Monday, February 6, 2017

Here's to Good Health

Well, did you think I had fallen off the face of the earth?  Last week was just busy with other more important items and sometimes that happens.  My goal is to blog at least 2 times a week, preferably 3 but I just have to "let it go" and do the best I can.  So, there, you have it! ~like you really cared~😀  Today's post is unlike any I've ever done but it's what was on my mind and I thought others might profit from it. I'm all about enjoying good health!

Over the past several years and most especially since my Dad's illness 5 years ago, I have become painfully aware of the "horrors" of prescription drugs.  I really think that many of the side effects of drugs are far, far worse than the condition they are used to treat.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to check out the side effects of drugs.  My most recent issue has been with the drug, Neurotin (generic name, Gabapentin). My Dad was given this drug (6 per day) almost 5 years ago to help with the tingling and pain in his feet and legs following his bout with Guillian Barre Syndrome.  At that time I didn't do my homework and check the drug out.  He was such a sick man that I was just about willing to let him take anything to get better. Well, in the past year he has gotten to where he sleeps half of the daytime hours and he can't remember anything past 5 minutes after you tell him.  Yes, he is 87 and he certainly  could have some dementia but something about all of it just did NOT seem right to me.  So, I started checking his meds and their side effects and when I read the Neurotin side effects I knew he had to get off of it.  Two of the top side effects are: loss of memory and sleepiness.  Good grief!  I called his Dr. and told him that I wanted to get him off and he has gradually been weaning him off of it for 5 weeks. I talked to my Daddy about this and he was a bit apprehensive because he was afraid his feet and legs would start hurting.  I assured him that we would do something else if that happened but it might be that he no longer needs anything for that issue.  After 3 weeks I began to notice and others began noticing the difference in his memory and he is now just taking his usual afternoon nap.  And, he suffered from extreme dry mouth and that's another side effect of Neurotin and his is pretty much gone.  It has been amazing and since it is such a popular drug I thought by my sharing this it might help someone else out.  And, Daddy is experiencing little to no pain in his feet and legs now and looks like he won't need any medication, outside of an occasional Ibuprofen.   Many, many drugs can be a two-edged sword, so do your homework before taking them!!!
And, while I'm on the subject of health matters..........Tommy has had a racing heart for 25+ years and it's really never bothered him as it only happened rarely.  He had it checked out many years ago and Drs. were not concerned since it was so occasional.  Well, some 6-8 months ago it began occurring frequently and became quite a bother to him and it caused me much concern.  I just didn't think it was good. So, in Jan. he was checked out by a Cardiologist and a Electrophysiologist (deals with heart rhythms only) and it was found that he had what is known as Heart Block.  That sounds much more scary than it is and it is fairly easy to fix.  This past week Tommy went into the hospital and had an Electrical Path Study done and the Dr. found that he had 5 extra pathways that were causing the issue.  The EPS was done through a catheter in his groin and through that same catheter they ablated those pathways.  Ablation is quite an amazing procedure and we are most hopeful that he will no longer have to deal with a racing heart.  He was in the hospital over night and then home the next morning.  It left him a bit weak but he's done well and after a week, he has no limitations.  I'm so thankful we live in an age of such medical advancement!
Have you ever heard of this?  I had not until about 5 years ago when our son in law told me about them.  And, after he told  me I began taking them and have been taking them every day since.  There are many proven benefits of having adequate amounts of minerals in our diets and few people, if any, get it through the food they eat.  I will not go into detail here but would urge you to Google "the benefits of Trace Minerals" and decide for yourself.  It is proven to ward off many health issues and build immunity.  I have never been a sickly person and generally only have maybe 1 cold a year but I am all about doing anything to stay healthy. And, as we know, the older we get, the more difficult that can be.  So, I take a Trace Mineral every day to aid in good health!  And, yes, they can be ordered from Amazon!

And, I leave you with this..........
I don't know that there has never been a greater need for prayer for our country than right now.  It makes my heart so very sad to see all the decisiveness, hatred, ugliness and just down right meanness among people.  I urge all of us as Christians to pray earnestly for hearts to turn to Him for healing and unity.
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 2:14