Thursday, August 27, 2009

Guess Who is Being a Big Baby?

If you guessed Pooldad you win a prize.

Seems the poor soul thinks Wallene and I are going to perish [or something] while camping [gasp!] alone this weekend.

The questions I have been asked in the past 3 hours:

  • Are you going if it rains? [YES]
  • Oh, it is thunderstorming. Are you driving tomorrow if it is storming? [YES]
  • Phones. PHONES! What about a phone? What?...oh, yeah you can take mine. Okay.
  • Are there locks on the cabin doors? [YES]
  • Sure you don't want to take Scooby? Well, y'know...he is pretty big. [NO]
  • [Looking sadder by the minute] What do you mean you are leaving a day early and at 11 am? What? ['Cause I reserved an extra night. Love you honey, but gotta' go.]
  • Don't forget your inhaler, okay? [Um, duh?]
  • What do you mean y'all are going to Carl's Ice Cream without us? ['Cause we can and we will be there. hee!] Ask me about Carl's sometime. VA institution, worth it's reputation.
  • When I asked him for the quickest way to 95 south from his work [since I am dropping him off] he tried to map me onto BACK ROADS so as to avoid as much highway driving as possible. I rolled my eyes and said "No. Quickest way to 95. Not the Daddy route, okay?" He acts like I don't drive. I am the one that keeps our insurance rates low.
  • Do you need any tools? [NO]
  • I really don't think you will go without me. [I just waved at him, oh, so gently to indicate "Wanna bet?" hee.]
  • Why are you giggling? ['Cause you are funny?] What are you typing? [About you] Is this a blog about me? [You betcha']

Can't wait 'till he gets to work tomorrow and reads this. Hi baby! I love you! [Waving again!]

It is incredibly endearing. This will be the first trip I have taken since I was diagnosed - anyone remember the extreme roadtrips I used to take to my Mom's in SC? Yeah, so he knows I can do this, but good christ he is driving me nutsy. LOL. And I can guarantee this is really going to pick up in the morning. The man seems to forget that I raised two babies by myself before he came along and have spent many, many a long day, night alone while he worked. With Wallene [who is the most capable and protective kid I have ever met] we will be just fine.

Stand by for updates on the Big Baby. I can assure you they will be forthcoming. ;)

I Have a New Crafting/Internet Surfing Partner

She loves to sit on my lap when I am on the computer. This is where I do all of my crafty things [see my board and all my cups full of crafty stuff?] But I have no idea what she thinks she is doing. She just likes to sit and stare at my computer. heehee.....

Shhhhh....Don't Tell

I just reserved a camping site in Fredericksburg, VA to take Wallene camping on Saturday night. Yvo she was THRILLED that you asked about the guest blog [the squeal? 5.6 on the Richter scale, 'kay?], but I am suffering cabin fever and need to get the heck out of here - so would you consider "Wallene Does Camp Cooking" instead of the dinner she was going to cook for Pooldad and me? :)

I can't wait to surprise her in the morning - it is a great campground with a nice pool, game room and AWESOME fishin' hole [our favorite thing to do together]. So it will be Wallene and me in the "wilds" of a KOA this weekend.

Can't wait. She is a great kid and very deserving of a little Mommy time.

PS- before anyone accuses me of doing this because the child has stuffed me full of sweets - you are wrong - she has been SO bored - as we only have one car, Dad is at work, Sis is at band practice etc. - that she has been baking her lil' heart out. So I figured a weekend fishing, swimming and playing cards [she is a darn SHARK at - I am taking bets on who wins the 500 Rummy tournament this weekend and don't bet on Skippy, kay?] we would have a great time. So not a payoff for the baking so much as I just want to be away from here and enjoy my baby.

PSS - for those wondering why the Eldest and Pooldad aren't going? They would prefer to sleep through the weekend. They have no desire to be awake before 1 pm. We don't want 'em. The fish bite early, y'know?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

And the Baking Streak Continues...

[stock photo, not my own]

And my waistline is feeling the pain tadpoles.
Today's delicious desserts are [again] courtesy of Wallene and they include an Apple Pie [no pic' because I have already posted a pic' from a previous pie making adventure] and yes! yes! yes!
My baby made Beignets! The honest to goodness, New Orleans styled, may I eat ten and be covered in powdered sugar wonderfulness that is a beignet.
And no picture now. Because as much as I don't mind a black and white computer at the moment while I type this I hesitate to try and get the memory card out of my camera with my hands covered in powdered sugar.
We're all getting fat...giggle...Wish you were here?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Happy Birthday to Sis'

Wallene has been on a baking streak and it all began with her sister's birthday cake. The eldest picked Red Velvet Cake and Wallene happily obliged. I just have to say moist-y goodness. Yum.

Red Velvet Cake
Recipe from Southern Cuisine

2 ½ cups plain flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 tsp. cocoa baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 ½ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
1 tsp almond flavoring
2 eggs (medium or large)
1 bottle red food coloring (1 oz size)
Sift the flour, sugar, baking soda and cocoa powder into a big bowl that you’ll use to mix the cake.
Using a hand or table mixer, put in the milk. Mix.
Add oil and mix.
Add vinegar, vanilla and almond flavoring. Mix.
Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl. Add and mix.
Add the food coloring. Mix until the batter is even in color.
Grease and flour 3 cake pans – size 8 inches.
Evenly pour the batter into the three pans.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the center tests done with a toothpick.
Let the cake cool and then frost with Cream Cheese Frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

½ cup margarine (softened)
8 oz. cream cheese
½ tsp vanilla flavoring
1 box of confectioners sugar (1 pound)
1 cup pecans (may also want some extras to sprinkle on top)**


Beat the margarine and cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl until light and creamy.
Add vanilla and confectioners sugar and beat well.
Hand stir in pecans.
Spread cream cheese icing between layers of the Red Velvet cake, up the sides and on top.
If you have lots of pecans, then sprinkle some pieces on top.
The pecans are especially good toasted a bit in the oven for this recipe.

And of course my computer is being stubborn and won't let me download the lovely cake, arghh. [I'm a pirate :)] I will try later. **We didn't use the pecans on this as no one is a big fan.

Tonight we are finishing off the Key Lime Pie and Wallene will make an apple pie for Pooldad. Life is just full of sweetness tadpoles. Pure sweetness.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tsk! Tsk! Taco Bell

Please explain to me how this makes sense:

The Eldest had a school meeting last night at a local pizzeria which just happens to be next door to Taco Bell. Mmmmm, cravings. Pooldad said he would pick me up my favorite on his way home after the meeting. YAY! Cheap fast food. Yes!

My favorite is one bean burrito and one bean soft taco with a small Pepsi. Easy peasy, right?

You would think.

Upon ordering Pooldad was informed that Taco Bell no longer makes bean soft tacos. Yes, DOES NOT MAKE bean soft tacos.

Um, excuse me? Do they not have a soft taco tortilla, beans, lettuce and cheese already handy? Pooldad inquired.

The clerk was adamant no they don't sell them anymore, so no bean soft taco for Skippy. Sigh.

No worries. Our taco bell is attached to a KFC. So Pooldad [lovely husband that he is] brought me home the bean burrito, the Pepsi plus an order of mashed potatoes and an order of green beans from KFC.

Quite the dinner, eh? Best part tho' was dessert - Wallene made Momma her all time favorite dessert - Key Lime Pie. Yum!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

My New Favorite Quote

"There are two ways to pass a hurdle: leaping over or plowing through... There needs to be a monster truck option." - Jeph Jacques

Just perfect.

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Squirrel is 17!

Happy Birthday my lil' Camper!
The Eldest is 17 years old today.
What can I say? We're blessed.
The Squirrel [as she is known as in our house] is actually not our Eldest. In fact, she is the next to youngest of six kids in our family, but for purposes of the blog I refer to her this way because it is only her and Wallene at home now. One year from now - she will be off to college and our home will be a quieter, less hectic place than it is now. And I suspect my grocery bill will drop by half. :)
For all the dire warnings from other parents of "Wait until she is a teenager" she has never, ever given us a moment of worry, argument or trouble. She knows what she wants and goes for it with gusto - we only ask that she does her best - and for that she has rewarded us [and herself] in spades. We feel if your biggest complaint with you kid is she is incredibly cranky if there is no coffee made then, well...something is pretty good in your world. And with the Squirrel? Our life is pretty darn good. [Bonus - she has managed to not lose anything in almost a year. hee]
She is beautiful, without actually realizing how much - She is funny in the most sarcastic sort of way that makes us laugh [I think that is genetic?] - she is caring to a fault - she is one of the hardest working students I have ever seen and she makes us very, very proud.
And, as I just discovered, it is going to be an ugly sort of morning because [failure] Mom neglected to have coffee in the house [we ran out! ON her birthday!]
Pray for me.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Guest Post!

[Tired, worn out and sore arm - Pooldad has graciously agreed to guest post for me. Enjoy!]

So Skippy had a nice rant last week about Michael Vick. (Which I agree with, by the way.) Today's guest sports rant is about Brett Favre.

Does he really need the money? This is ridiculous. Here's the way I see it. I appreciate players that stay two or three years with (pick a team) and move onto greener pastures via free agency. That's the system. I get it. However, Favre spent 16 years with Green Bay. They are a small municipality that loves their Packers. Their fiercest rivals are the Bears and Vikings. So morals aside, he goes to the enemy. There really needs to be a line drawn in the sand. Favre had personal issues in Green Bay over the years but the organization and city stood behind him. This his how he repays them?

Favre is a first ballot Hall of Famer and though you are allowed to be presented into the Hall by any team you played for how could he not go in as Packer? But I digress.

Suppose the Vikings have a great year and make the playoffs. Suppose they beat Green Bay both times they play during the regular season. (Division opponents play each other home and away each year.) Suppose Favre really does retire as a Viking after this year. He would be eligible for the hall in 2015, along with Social Security and Medicare. (lol)

There would be Viking and Packer supporters in Canton to hear his acceptance speech. Did I mention these folks plain don't like each other? I seriously doubt Canton, Ohio is equipped for a riot. I'm not kidding here. It's supposed to be a game but "Fan" is short for Fanatic.

I'm really old school. I think you should retire with the team that supported you and made you a rich man. This is an integrity issue. I really think Favre showed a lack of class to Packer Nation.

Oh...what the heck. I have Skippy and the girls. I guess I'll move on. I feel better though. Maybe I should create a blog so I can cleanse my soul.

Best to you all--PoolDad

Monday, August 17, 2009

.....and Skippy is Off...... the hospital. Seems my blood counts are low and it is time for an oil change - lol - well actually a blood transfusion - let's see if this time I can beat my old record of 5 1/2 pints. I felt like a billion dollars for a month when they did that - it was awesome. So I will popping into read, but not be posting/commenting.

[Funny side story: My father asked me on the advent of my first blood transfusion in 1997 if they drained blood and then refilled it with new blood. My father was highly educated, but um...obviously was not in the medical field. I just smiled and said no - they just put it in on top of the bad stuff. hee]

See y'all in a few.

Few quick shout outs:

Gizmo - Hope Cracker Barrel is awesome and I cannot wait to see what you quilt with the new frame [still so jealous ;)]
Gail - Hang in there and keep on painting - your pics are so great. And yeah - I am jealous of you too. heehee...I [will] HAVE NO BEER! giggggggle
Rudee - I can't remember what day the fair is but bestest luck. You will win - we all know it! I can't wait to see the ribbon.
Linda and Denny - Have a great trip. Enjoy Myrtle Beach, so great!
Chris - I will be back before the baby - but my best to Jo' and take good care of them.

For Yvo, Waiter. Marni and the rest of y'all keep on blogging and enjoy your week. I will miss you guys!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Date Night! YAY!

It is Date Night tadpoles! Has been cancelled.

The following is what I wrote in anticipation of tonight:

Woohoo! Tonight we will be going to Cheeburger, Cheeburger for dinner. I discovered this oasis of deliciousness at my blog roll buddy Grubgrade and boy I am one happy Skippy. You can read the details of what they serve here, and let me say - WOW! They have every topping imaginable for their burgers, their fries and rings are cut fresh everyday and their list of shakes and malts is huge! I actually had never heard of this franchise, but after reading Grub's post I checked and was shocked to see one 3 miles from our home. Excitement!

To give you an idea of their menu I already know what I am ordering: A 5.5 oz burger [they go all the way to a 1 pounder which is after cooking!] with onion, grey poupon and sauteed mushrooms. I will share a side of fries and rings with Pooldad and top the meal off with a Heath bar shake. I am drooling now. C'mon 5 pm! [PS - Yvo I am taking my camera and going to play you tonight, hee!]

After dinner we are going to see the movie "Julie & Julia". Although I hate paying $11 per to see a movie in the theatre Pooldad knew I wouldn't want to wait until DVD release so he planned tonight. I just wish we were still on Hatteras Island where we saw "Harry Potter" for $6.25 each. Here? Even the matinee is only .50 cents off!! So it really isn't a savings to go in the middle of the afternoon.

When the movie ends we are heading over to our favorite sports bar - Glory Days - to have a night cap. I know we will be full by then but I might have to "eat for taste" and have some of their delicious crab dip or their yummy nachos along with my bourbon and coke. Come to think of it their sliders are darn good too....hmmmmm....I think I will need to wear my leggings tonight in lieu of blue jeans. Stretchy, y'know?

Sounds like fun, eh? I just want to thank our live in babysitter in advance - Thank you Eldest!! - I can't wait!
PS - Although cancelled I left it up because it is a fun idea if nothing else.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Philadelphia Eagles Can Kiss My....

....big toe. You know I want to rephrase that, but I won't.

They signed Michael Vick today as their back up quarterback.

The argument that he served his time for his dog fighting ring doesn't fly with me. He had millions of dollars and abused his largesse and his celebrity to abuse dogs. For sport.


Had he finished his free ride degree at VA Tech instead of opting out early to enter the NFL then he wouldn't have to "fallback" on the only thing he knows and return to football to make a living.

Instead, the greedy NFL and the Eagles have decided that ticket sales are more important then doing the right thing - which would have been to have sidelined Vick forever.

How many felons do you know that committed crimes in their own profession [think white collar] are allowed to go back to their previous professions? I realize dog fighting isn't in line to betting on baseball or insider trading, but c'mon - abuse of animals?

Give me a break. I just hope a Lawernce Taylor type takes that little jerk out in the first play of the very first game he is in - and doesn't feel bad. Vick deserves every bit of it. Keep in mind that I don't want Vick maimed/killed like his dogs, but I want his career ended in the same way LT ended Joe Theismans' career in 1986 during a Monday night football game.

On a side note - does anyone think the Philadelphia Eagles will shoot Vick dead if his career is ended the same way Vick and his cohorts did when their dogs lost? Don't think so.

Rant over. Forgive me, but every bit of this is wrong.

Shish Kebabby - Oh My Gobby

Beef and chicken shish kebabs
[forgot to photograph the chicken before the cooking, oops!]
You have to be kidding me.
This is the first time Pooldad and I have ever had shish kebab made at home and tadpoles? It ROCKED our world. [Blew the budget too, but hey...sometimes you gotta' say.....] These were absolutely amazing from the grill. Sirloin and chicken breasts with green, yellow, red and orange peppers with onion slices - The sirloin had simple salt and pepper [per Yvo's great advice] and the chicken had paprika and garlic [per Wallene's request]. All I can say is WOW! Served with rice and a simple tomato and cucumber salad, friends we HAVE A WINNER!!
10 minute prep and 12 minutes cook time. Clean up is a snap - how much easier could this be?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Another LOVE-ly Give-a-Way

Who doesn't like weddings, right? A fellow blogger is newly engaged and to celebrate her upcoming nuptials is hosting a give-away of something old, new, something crafty and something blue [she didn't want to borrow anything and send it off...hee!] You can enter here.

In accordance with the rules I have to post a pic of my wedding or an idea from a wedding I have attended. Since I am incredibly disorganized [Yes Gail I am still looking for the Dallas stuff - sorry] I don't know where my wedding pics are. Yeah, boo me! LOL

Although this is a great substitution. I think these are the cutest, most useful wedding favor you can give your guests. They are sweet and who doesn't need measuring spoons that are fun?!

[found at for $1.79 per]

So scoot on over and enter yourself - and congratulate the bride to be. She is a sweetie and very excited about her wedding.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sure Honey, The Neighbors Will be Thrilled

[Yes. I am still missing the beach. This is my attire tonight.]
Skippy: Hey honey would you like to take a 10 minute walk this evening. I need to stretch my legs.
Pooldad: Sure! Sounds great.
Skippy: Oh wait. I don't have any panties on.
Pooldad: [Grins] Can we make it a 30 minute walk then?

KFC's $10 Meal Challenge

I was surfing my blog roll yesterday and Antiquity Oaks has a great post about the stupidity that is KFC's commercial touting their $10 meal challenge. Have y'all seen this? It isn't played in our area anymore but I remember when it was I [and Pooldad] would scoff [okay, yell] at the TV because KFC's assertation was that a family of four couldn't cook a meal for less then their delicious dinner of 7 pieces of chicken, 4 biscuits and mashed potatoes and gravy [$10.00 plus tax]. HA! I am going to make that exact meal tomorrow for less then $10, but for now I want to post the TWO meals I made earlier this week for $10. [KFC didn't say you had to make the chicken meal, just any homemade meal for $10.]
The first night was chili con carne, with shredded cheese, sour cream and diced onion over rice with homemade corn muffins.

The second night we made nachos. White corn tortilla chips with chili, cheese, diced onion, lettuce, tomato and sour cream. [sorry, no pic'] None of the family likes guacamole so it isn't on there, but that would add to the price a bit.
Here is the breakdown of my grocery list:

Hamburger was .99 lb [family pack when you purchase more than 5 lbs.] 1 lb - .99 cents
Kidney beans - .75/1 lb bag
1 large can of Diced tomatoes - .99 cents
Chili seasoning - I had to estimate this but I used chili powder, paprika, pepper, salt and garlic - and I buy bulk spices so I am guessing around .50 cents worth of spice.
Rice - 2 cups - .25 cents
Corn muffin mix made with egg/milk - .75 cents [.50 cents/.10 cents/.15 cents]
Sour cream [1/2 container] .50 cents [on sale for $1.00]
Onion - [1/2 of a large onion] .55 cents
Tomato - free from the garden [our parents]
Lettuce - free from the garden
Shredded cheese - $1.50
White corn tortilla chips - $2.00
That totals $8.78 plus tax of 8% = $9.55. HA! I would've put fresh tomatoes in the chili but we didn't pick those up from Mom until the next day when we had the nachos.
So, KFC can kiss my behind, because I can make not one, but two dinners for less then $10 and not only are they cheap, but they are incredibly easy. In fact the nachos [since the chili is prepared the day before] take less time and energy then getting into our car and driving to KFC to purchase their food.
And if anyone considers it cheating that I used free food from the garden then add in the price of buying those two ingredients and I still had two meals each costing less then $10.00, right?
Thanks Antiquity Oaks for your inspiration and y'all should go over and enter her contest to teach someone to cook. I, alas, cannot enter because I have no one to teach to cook. The kids and Pooldad already know how and my neighbors are amazing cooks who share their delicious food all the time. But y'all go over and win some of her wonderful facial scrub, 'kay?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Found It! And Flip Flop Withdrawl

Flip Flop Withdrawl - I am suffering it!
But here is my cure! LOOK! LOOK! What I found!
I have to thank y'all for the great comments on the Bob post. Yeah, he was creepy and I do feel better now regarding my actions, but I have to say in no way did Bob ruin one minute of our vacation. It was a little stressful because he just wouldn't stop, but since we knew he was leaving and we were all hanging around together anyway it didn't really change a thing. I guess having teenagers this sort of thing comes with the territory, although I do have to say it was a first for us. Patricia did mention, in comments, that we have to be careful of strangers at campgrounds and I want to dissaude anyone of that notion. People that camp and RV are some of the nicest, friendliest and most helpful of any people our family have ever met. People at campgrounds are different then people on vacation at hotels or resorts - it is just a different attitude I guess. We are always careful, but in a pinch? I would rather camp then be in a hotel if I needed help.
I will give you an example of what else happened while on vacation. Our neighbors at the campground have a little girl [2 y.o.] and on their first day at the beach they did the responsible thing and after lathering her up in sunscreen they took her to the beach really early in the morning, before the sun was too hot [knowing a baby can't handle full sun-great parents!]. Unfortunately they didn't know lil' Miss Rose had an ear infection and she passed out on the beach. They came running back to their RV and we offered ice and whatever assistance they needed. Turns out it was necessary to call an ambulance. Only lil' Miss Rose's mother could accompany her in the ambulance so we gave our car to her father so he could drive the 40 miles to the hospital to be with his family.
[side note: My mother in law wigged out and wondered why we would entrust our car with a complete stranger - well, that is the nature of camping I suppose, but what else could we do?]
I write this story to point out we weren't the only ones that offered transportation to the hospital. One family waited to leave on their day trip with their 4 kids before they knew that Rose's Dad had transportation. A gentleman that hadn't even spoken to the family before this point came over and offered. So strangers aren't to be distrusted at first site, especially while camping - Bob the stalker could've happened in my own hometown.
PS - we got our van back with a full tank of gas AND dinner [which we declined] So yeah - Rose's parents rock and lil' Miss Rose is just fine and cute as a button.
Okay, where was I? Oh flip flop withdrawl. Simply put? I want to go back to the beach, now. Right now. :) [And I hate flip flops, but they were the footwear of choice - can you tell by the tan lines?]
Which leads me to that spectacular looking pop up trailer I found online that we can afford. WEEHAAA! Althought we have tent camped for years we have discovered that we may want to step up just a bit if we want our doggies to accompany us on our vacations. We missed them. And the winds? Wow - the winds were serious at the beach - we ended up with two snapped poles and several ripped ties due to the strength of the wind. [To be fair they did say it usually isn't that windy or that strong - 30mph+ - ] but we visited a lot of our neighbors and decided a pop up would serve us just fine for the next 5 or so years.
I have been researching furiously since we returned home and found this one for sale locally. It has everything we need and I hope it fits in our garage because I want to go buy it now :)!
And if we do? We are going back to the beach ASAP. We had such a great time.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bob Don't Stalk My Daughter

One of our new Canadian friends and the Eldest
We arrived at the beach on Saturday and the kids soon began making friends. While Dad and I set up camp they were out and about exploring the campground and getting acquainted with the bazillion other kids that were there. It was great!
On Sunday, as Dad and I relaxed over an evening beer, the Eldest came back with Wallene and asked if she could attend a bonfire on the beach that evening with a new friend she had met, Bob. Dad and I said that would be fine as long as we met Bob first and Wallene went with her. [There are several bonfires on the beach each night and we were within 100 yards of where she would be.] She brought Bob back to our site and we had a pleasant chat with him. He seemed like a polite, nice kid.
The first red flag went up when Pooldad and I went to light the grill. The kids were helping us by acting as a windblock by standing around the grill, Bob included. As Pooldad went to light it Bob whipped out a lighter and said "Here, let me help." Now, perhaps you don't find it odd that a 16 year old has a lighter, but it seemed not quite right to us. So I asked Bob, innocently enough "Oh, so do you smoke?" He replied "No, I collect lighters." Okay. I guess.
The grill was lit and the kids left to go play at the arcade. When the girls returned for dinner the Eldest seemed a bit bothered and over dinner explained to us that Bob had told her he was recently released from rehab for drug addiction and had been clean and sober for a little over six weeks. While Bob does deserve praise for beating his addiction we explained to her we also noticed this made her extremely uncomfortable. She asked us to help her decline their bonfire date later that evening. Not having that many "dates" before she didn't want to appear rude or hurt his feelings, but she really didn't want to go with Bob now.
Bob was due back at 8 pm but managed to visit us 3 times while we were trying to prepare and eat dinner. On the third visit Pooldad pulled Bob aside and gently explained that the Eldest would be unable to go to the bonfire with him that night because we had decided to do something together as a family - there was a camp activity planned. He said okay and left. Only to come back several more times that night to chat, walk by or cruise by on his bike.
Now, you have to understand - our campsite was all the way at the front of the campground. There was absolutely no reason for him to be anywhere near our tents except to scope out what we were doing. There were bathrooms closer to his campsite, beach access was 50 yards from us, our road was not on the route to the beach and the arcade, cafe, store and computers were all at the back of the campground from us. Thus he had no excuse to be cruising our tents.
The next day [Monday] was worse. Pooldad and I were up at 6:30 am because [unfortunately] I received a phonecall that was bad news. I was in tears and waiting for a return call to receive an update, but still it was obvious I was crying and Pooldad was trying to console me. Then at 6:35 Bob showed up. He started chatting away, glancing at the Eldest's tent and making small talk. Finding it ridiculous that we are being visited at the crack of dawn by an oblivious teenager Pooldad asked Bob if we could please be left alone at least until 8 am as we had bad news and were trying to decide what to do and we were waiting on a return call. He said he was fine with that and left.
And he returned at 7:00, 7:15, 7:50 and 8 am. The Eldest still wasn't up so we again asked Bob to leave because when the girls awoke we would have to share the news with them and we wanted to be together as a family and really didn't feel like entertaining company. He said he understood and left.
And YES! He returned again at 9:00, 9:10, 9:20 - This went on and on until, finally at 10 am I turned around to see him talking to Pooldad and I lost it. Not the best campground etiquette, I admit, but I screamed "Bob - get out! RIGHT NOW. You have disrespected our wishes and you are seriously creeping me out! GO AWAY." He left then. Pooldad said he was trying to apologize, but I didn't want his apology I wanted him to get a clue and go away.
Unfortunately for us - he continued his bike drive-bys, walk-bys and following the Eldest wherever she went in the park. We spent Monday and Tuesday escorting her everywhere because no matter where she ended up, so did he. It was so strange. Even our Canadian neighbors noticed his behavior and took to walking around with the Eldest. Since they were long term, yearly guests and knew the owners of the campground they made a mention about Bob's strange actions and were assured his family was leaving on Tuesday.
They did depart on Tuesday morning. But I have to say we spent a very nervous day Monday and Tuesday morning around our tent not knowing what he would do if we left. He was really that creepy.
*Of course Bob is not his real name :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Rodanthe Spicy Vegetable Crab Soup

I mentioned in a quick-from-the-beach-post about a soup I had eaten at a restaurant called Uncle Paulys. Their Rodanthe Spicy Vegetable Crab soup is simply the best soup I have ever eaten. I could've eaten it everyday [and it was cheap too! with a big lump of crab included] but we we only ate out a few times and were too busy to go back for more than my first bowl.

We arrived home Saturday night and after 12 hours of sleep [me? 12 hours of uninterrupted sleep? Take THAT insomnia :)] I woke refreshed and determined to recreate this soup.

And if the reaction from my family is any indication I have succeeded in spades. YAY!

I wasn't sure if the stock used in theirs was vegetable or seafood - but since they sell the soup without the crab I assumed it was vegetable. And, although theirs is marketed as Spicy Vegetable soup - $3.00 bowl with a $2.00 charge for the huge lump of crab - I did add in crab while it was cooking and then I served it with a scoop of crab too. So delicious and surpisingly easy.


2 boxes of vegetable broth
1 heaping cup of diced celery
1 heaping cup of diced carrots
1/2 cup of diced onion
3 ears of white corn kernels removed
1 large can of diced tomatoes [I would use fresh and dice myself but the tomatoes here are nasty]
1 can of tomato paste
3 fresh basil leaves diced
1 tsp pepper
2 heaping tablespoons of Old Bay Seasoning
2 tsp of Cajun seasoning
1 lb of picked backfin crabmeat

1. Pour the broth in a large pot. Add vegetables [except tomatoes]. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and cover. Simmer for one hour.
2. Add the tomatoes, paste and seasonings. Simmer for approximately 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally.
3. Add 1/2 lb of crab meat. Stir. Simmer for another 15 minutes.
4. To serve - spoon into bowls. Scoop a large portion of crab meat into the center of the soup.

Tastes yummy with warm french bread, sweet 'tay and a fresh fruit salad.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Just Pictures

**all pictures courtesy of Wallene - except of course the pic' of Wallene - that is Dad.