Monday, May 31, 2010

What Do You Do?

When you have extremely ticklish feet but the bottom of your foot itches like crazy and you can't itch it because you end up tickling yourself?

It was quite the conundrum at 2:30 AM. Just saying.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

YAY! For the Farmer's Market

Pooldad ran over to our local farmer's market today and bought a bunch of great fresh veggies.

So tonight's dinner will be:

-Yellow squash and zucchini sauteed with scrambled eggs on french baguettes
[This is an all time family fav' called "Squash and Egg sandwiches" and I have never met a person that can pass them up. So good!]
-Cucumber and spring onion salad dressed with oil & vinegar
-Steamed snap beans


Now, for the laugh of the day, please go visit Linda and Denny over at RV Vagabonds and find out where she is going to be shopping for the forseeable future. Very funny and true!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Yes, Yes, No, Yes, Yes and No. . .YES!

Haven't done one of these posts in a while, so without further ado:

YES: I love this picture. This is Squirrel with one of her best friends on a field trip. They had a really good time as most of the pics from the day illustrate.
YES: While the girls shopped last night Pooldad and I sat on the patio of a local restaurant and had appetizers. It is a new restaurant called Bistro-Bistro and although the service stunk this dish was really tasty - Country pate' with warm, crusty french bread [pic' is a stock photo]. Since I didn't have nutritional info to check for the sodium I only had a few small bites - wow -heaven. [ETA: This is not goose liver pate' that we ate - it was a country pate' made with chicken livers]
NO: Unfortunately the escargot Pooldad ordered was just passable. The snails themselves were cooked correctly but the parsley, garlic and white wine reduction they were served in was cloying and too heavy on the parsley. Once I scaped it off they weren't bad - next time tho' we will order the mussels. [Oh, and seems I haven't lost my taste for champagne. hee!]
YES: Again a stock photo, but these are the shoes that Squirrel found to wear with her prom gown AND her graduation gown. I know that sounds odd, but believe me, they work. :D
YES: My all time favorite dessert. Key Lime Pie-which I am making for dessert today [the only salt is in the graham cracker crust and I eat those all day long! Woot!] Yes, I am very excited.
and finally NO: Sorry for all the stock photos but, since the first picture was taken of the girls, on my camera, which I loaned to the Squirrel, it has not worked and I have been unable to take any pictures. I should have known better - the child breaks everything. [I even warned her not to break it.]
Oh well - no worries I can have it fixed or buy another, right? And the pate was amazing as will be the pie [slurp!] and shopping was [sort of] a success last evening - although we spent $400 we barely put a dent in the lists the girls have of things they need - not want - literally need [i.e. shorts, bathing suits, tennis shoes, undergarments, graduation dresses and shoes]. I had no idea that clothes had become so expensive and the Porcupine is now in the same size range as her sister [junior/misses] and that is where the prices jump. I just dread having to finish off the shopping - not for the cost - I just hate shopping, except at the thrift store, but these are things that had to be bought new. Sigh.
But, come to think of it - eating pate' and drinking champange, alone with Pooldad, enjoying the warm evening breeze isn't EXACTLY shopping now, is it? YES!! heehee

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Dam? Whaaat?

In honor of the wonderful Mr. Art Linkletter, who passed away today at the age of 92, I give you my own version of "Kids Say the Darndest Things".

While watching a fast moving action movie tonight [is there any other kind?] the scene suddenly changed over to show a long shot of a massive dam.

Wallene became quite animated and said "I know that, I know that. That's Amster Dam!!"

[Skippy trying not to laugh.]

Mom's response? "Um, don't you mean Hoover Dam?"

Giggling Wallene replied "Uh, yeah Mom. I just knew that wasn't right the minute it slipped out."

Mom -"Pretty much girlie. Besides I don't think the Netherlands would appreciate us naming one of our dams after their capital city. Do you?"

Wallene - "Nah. I don't think so. But, .... uh, Mom? Are you going to blog about this?"

Mom - "What do you think?"

Kids. Can't live with them. Can't blog without them. ;D

Thank You For the Compliment...But?

A lot of what I cook for the family I cannot eat due to the sodium content [raise your hand if you are tired of this subject ::Skippy waving frantically::] and usually I end up with a meal made off of the ingredients from their meal but with less/no sodium.

For example: Last night I made Wallene's all time favorite Chicken Pot Pie - but even with low salt chicken broth it still is too high for me to even have a little piece - I would have to not have any sodium all day to swing it. So I had boneless, skinless chicken breast shredded with steamed mixed veggies and boiled potatoes.

Yeah, kind of not the same.

The kids really liked it and were great with their thanks, etc. But Pooldad? He was just a bit too effusive. I mean everyone loves kudos and I really do, especially when it comes to my cooking - but,

Telling me "That was the BEST pot pie you have ever made. Boy Skippy you really outdid yourself this time." just really kills me. I know he meant well - but when I step on the scale and weigh this:
Dude, I don't really care how good YOUR dinner was. I know it was good. I made it. But I am starving and not just for calories.

Taste. Taste would be a good thing.

PS - I am not complaining, honest - I get to eat a lot of ice cream and cookies! Chocolate is amazingly low in sodium -go figure- lol - but do you all have any good tasting, low sodium recipes? I am tired of the same ol' stuff and I am in a rut. Help me!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

There is Simply Nothing Quite Like It

I got my wish.

I have enough energy and strength to clean the kitchen, make lunches and cook dinner for the family. I can even go up/down the stairs at least twice a day if need be. And I actually vacuumed today - although the vacuum [canister] didn't move. hee. But I sucked up a boatload of Chessie hair. ;D

Life is good.


Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Rain Sucks. . .

. . .and so does this low sodium diet.

But first the rain. Grrrrrr.

We awoke bright and early this morning for our great trip to look at the house one more time and then go strawberry picking with later plans to make jam. The closer we got to our two destinations the harder it rained.

Strike one: The roads were flooded from all the rain. Couldn't make it up to the house in the minivan. Hence, we need to keep looking for another home because evidently the Shenandoah is a lot closer to the roads in this "neighborhood" than I thought. [This isn't why the rain sucks, tho' - just the way it is.] And aren't we glad we know this now.

Strike two: The rains were torrential and they closed the farm where we were going to pick. Understandable. . . yes, but now what were we going to make jam with?

Strike three: No jam making today.

Of course it was sunny by the time we arrived home. Is that not always the way?

One very big bright spot was the little store and deli we stopped at where we bought Wallene a club sandwich. Which brings me to why sodium diets suck so bad. [Sorry, I simply do not have another word to use today - suck is pretty much working really well for me right now. Again, my apologies.]

Wallene was gracious enough to offer me a bite - and tadpoles? My tastebuds did the happy dance of LOVE. I have no idea if it was because that one bite contained my daily limit of sodium [1000 mg] or it was simply the best freakin' sandwich bite I have ever eaten. It was homemade by the nicest little lady, with smoked bacon [oh!] real turkey breast [gasp!] and honey ham [sigh!] and the kicker? Honest to goodness mayonnaise. [Please keep in mind I hate mayo - but not today].

Try limiting sodium for a few months and then biting into something as gastronomically incredible as this sandwich. If I didn't know how much pain I would be in a few hours later I would have turned the van around and gone back. And ordered two. And another for tomorrow.

But I was good. No actually I was afraid. heehee - I never ever want to swell up like the blueberry girl in "Willie Wonka" again because it hurts. A lot. And no amount of salty, yummy smoked meat with real mayo [weep!] was going to make me do it.

As an added torture bonus? We passed my very favoritest of all fast food restaurants on our drive home - Roy Rogers. They are very scarce anymore in the US, in fact VA only has 3, but wouldn't you know - one is right on our path home - and we passed it. I asked Pooldad to stop but he knew at that point I was weak from the "Battle of the Club Sandwich" [at least in my mind] and he talked me off that ledge. Sigh.

Wallene and I did salvage part of the day with a rousing game of 500 rummy. The kid's a shark I tell ya', but I am ahead just a smidge. We will finish after she is done walking the dogs.

Wish me luck.

I am a Blogger Stupid-Head

In creating Wallene's new blog I noticed we now share a couple of things.

Unfortunately one of those things is the post signature. You know at the end of a post it says "By Skippymom"? Well now both blogs seem to be written by Wallene.

Not a big deal - but does anyone know how to fix this? I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

And have a great Sunday. I will post pics of the strawberry pickin' and jam makin' later.


Saturday, May 22, 2010

New Blogger on the Block

Wallene is in the house! Woot! Taking a cue from Phelan I decided to help Wallene create her own blog. It is HERE and is called "I Thunk the Spunk".

Mom and Dad are moderating comments but aren't altering her content or correcting spelling or punctuation. Okey-dokey?

Hope you enjoy it. She is a lot of fun and it is coming through on her blog.

Have a great day!

Friday, May 21, 2010

It Just Doesn't Feel Legal

I am feeling much better. So much better that my wonderful husband is going to a Nationals baseball game tomorrow with his boss and leaving me the van.

Usually he wouldn't leave me the vehicle because I haven't driven since last summer because we only have one car and he usually has it and when he is home I like him to drive [run on sentence much, Skip?] And then I was sick...blah, blah, blah whatev.

But now? I have to drive the girls to their respective activities tomorrow.


Seriously? I have no idea why I am bothered. They are local trips - and they are roads I have driven a thousand times before, and it will be daylight...but.....It just doesn't feel right to suddenly grab the keys and take off in the van when I haven't been behind the wheel for almost a year. As an added bonus? I have only driven that van few times. And I hate large vehicles.

Is driving a car like riding a bike? Do you simply remember all the nuances? I also wonder if your reflexes atrophy from not driving for so long. . . hmmmm

I am a good driver - I haven't had a ticket in 16 years [**frantically rapping my knuckles on my dining room table**]. Heck, we pay less than $300 a year for full coverage insurance so I guess I am good. . . but, wait - did they institute any new laws in the last year? [Not including cellphones which I don't own] Is there something I don't know? Has there been road construction? Are the places we are going still in the same locations? Do my contacts or eyeglasses still work? Gah.

I know I am worrying for naught, but honestly it really does feel illegal. Thank goodness my license is still valid.

If I only knew where it was.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

House Hunting - What Do You Think?

Here are the results of our house hunting last weekend. Out of all the homes we looked at this is the one we liked the best. It suits our needs [3 bedrooms, all on one level, minimal stairs in the front]. It is a lovely little home, very cozy and something I can take care of for my family - which excites me! Additional bonus - it is even closer to the Squirrel's college [and no, we didn't do that intentionally - it just happened that way!]
The house is a 5 year old rambler. It is built over a full unfinished basement but the basement has a bathroom already built in, the electricity is in place and the insulation is in - so we would have to frame out a few rooms, drywall and put down floor if we wanted to finish it - not too shabby [thank goodness the electric and insulation is in, eh?] Upstairs has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, kitchen, small dining room with french doors off of the deck and the living room. As I said - just what we need and the right size that I won't be overwhelmed trying to clean and take care of it.
The front of the home
The kitchen was a nice surprise. All the appliances are new and are the exact ones I would pick. The fridge is the one I have now [love it!] and the ceramic top stop is one I used to have in our old home and my first pick in stoves.
It is a little tight on cabinet space but I figured we can put shelving in the basement and stock up there since there is no pantry in the kitchen. Wallene has young legs, so it would be her job to retrieve :D We do have enough space for our dishes, pots, pans and stuff.
OH! and a window above the sink - I love that! And the view is spectacular - all trees and yard...not another house to be seen. I am digging the built in microwave - nice touch. The doorway you see is to the basement.
Here is the basement. We would have to have someone drywall the ceiling but we can do the rest ourselves - especially since the handy dandy Brauns are coming east next summer and I just know they want to help us with our DIY project. HA!
Here is the view from the front yard across the street. It is all trees tadpoles - really pretty and quiet. We will have to get used to how dark it is going to be at night - no streetlights in this part of the world. :D And the roads are incredibly windy and gravel. It's the wilderness I tell ya! heehee - but we will be purchasing a four wheel drive pick up just in case.
I can guarantee you if it snows even half as much as it did this past year we will be snowed in for a few weeks at a time. Thank goodness Pooldad works in the business he does and it is slow during the winter. But think of all the snowdays with Wallene home with us? Awesome.
[And no, I am not basing this decision on snow day potential NMM, okay?]

I was talking to a friend about the house and she said that she didn't think I "loved" it and if I didn't love it we shouldn't purchase it because it is such a big investment. I explained that I do really like it and she seemed satisfied. After I was off the phone I got to thinking - and [no offense friend] but I am not looking for a home I love - I am living in a home I love - but it doesn't work for me anymore. As much as I want to stay where we are our needs outweigh our wants - so really no, I don't have to love it - but it certainly needs to fit in the parameters of what works for us. Which this one does wonderfully.
I can honestly say there are only a few deterents - but nothing we [um... I mean my lovely husband, love ya' honey!] can't overcome. His commute will double from 30 minutes to 60 minutes and there is no trash service for example - but it has more good points - with a bonus being the price - that we are excited to have found something that is really everything we want and need.
We should be meeting with the realtor tomorrow to put a contract on it. Hopefully we will be accepted and then the dreaded paperwork circus begins, right? [Hi Rudee! Still fresh isn't it? :D]
Hope everyone has a great day! Love ya!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I Like[d] Beer

I came of age in Virginia during the era when 18 was the legal drinking age. The only problem was when I became of age I didn't like the taste of alcohol, especially the taste of beer. It didn't appear to be a problem for my close knit group of friends nor my college classmates - but me? Meh - I could take it or leave it. It just tasted so gross, to me, that it was peer pressure that finally forced me to acquire the taste for beer. Hey, who wants to be the designated driver ALL the time?

So, yes. . .I acquired the taste for beer. Budweiser beer. Long neck budweiser bottles to be most specific. After a while I found that an occasional beer [or two] actually enhanced certain foods and experiences - for example Chesapeake bay blue crabs and a NY style pepperoni pizza just don't taste the same without an ice cold Bud along side of them. Equally yummy was an ice cold beer after mowing the lawn [and tadpoles I have mowed a lot of lawns in my time]. Something about being so hot and tired and sticky from the cut grass and cracking open a bottle . . . ahhhh.

Then I married Pooldad and we had our own traditions. Dallas Cowboys football on TV ensured a cooler full of beer and noshes for the game - the Master's golf tournament while Phil Mickelson is winning always elicited a clink of bottles to cheer him on - yep! We had our traditions.

I had come a long way from acquired the taste to absolutely enjoying a cold one then and again.

One time my daughter Squirrel [the 17 year old] asked for a sip and her Daddy gave her one. She spit it out and exclaimed "That is NASTY. Why do you all drink it?" and that is when I explained that beer [and most liquors] are an acquired taste and if at all possible if she did develop a taste for them to do so in moderation, okay? Okay. So far she still can taste that one sip and hates the thought of it. [Score one for us!]

Anyway - forward to a few months back and I suddenly lost my desire for beer during football and then a beer with golf when golf season started [and Phil won the Masters! double Whammy, hello!] - I just had no want for a beer anymore and just stopped.

Good thing too because although I drank occasionally I didn't know I had CHF and seems that alcohol stresses your system and is not the best idea if you don't want your heart to go all kablooey. So, that was some good news when I found out the diagnosis and I could happily tell the doctor "Nope, I don't drink." I can't say I miss it or that it makes a huge difference - but I realized something the other evening.

It was Friday night and Pooldad arrived home late and cracked open a Bud. I thought "Wouldn't it be nice to relax on the back porch, with my husband and enjoy a beer** before bed?" So I grabbed a bottle and settled in next to my husband, in the dark on our back porch to chat about his day. That is until I had my first sip of my ice cold Budweiser long necked bottle of beer.

Which I then proceeded to immediately spit over the railing.

With my husband laughing hysterically and trying to choke out "What did you do that for?" I wiped my mouth on my sleeve and turned to him and replied:

"I seem to have lost the taste that I worked so hard to acquire."

Beer tastes vile. And that's all I have to say about that.

**The doctor did say that you can enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage with CHF - But not to abuse it. No thanks :D

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Would You Live On This Street?

While looking at various maps of homes we are considering we came upon this one. Look closely at the street one over from where the thumbtack is.
Honestly? Would you really want to live on that street?
It makes you wonder who exactly is naming these streets, doesn't it?

And what is Bifrost? And why name a whole bunch of roads after Native Americans, a Civil War leader and then Pamassus? Huh?
Well, at least the hunt for a house is entertaining.
ETA: Since Linda is such a worry pants I need to point out that this is not a street we were even considering living on or even a neighborhood we went through - it is just a map I came across and I thought the name of the street "World's End" was funny. So no stalking me, 'kay?

. . .And Then the Realtor Laughed

No big secret we need to move. Besides the obvious 27 steps in our home that I can't go up or down too often we also need to cut expenses because part of the hospital and some of my medications aren't covered. We are going to have more money going out than coming in with my illness unless we cut costs - and our biggest expense is this house [2,000/month plus utilities argh].
So in the interest of expediting a home purchase I called our trusty [and very, very gorgeous!] realtor Clark and told him what was going on. Clark is a big sweetheart and besides being our realtor for the past 5 years he is also a friend [and did I mention - easy on the eyes? - which I don't think the man realizes how good looking he is. Oh, and he has a heart of gold. Seriously. The total package - but so is his sweet wife :D They are a pair.]
Okay, enough about Clark - except after I told him what exactly we needed [I'll get to that in a sec] I swear I heard him laugh. Not mean or anything - just like he thought perhaps I was kidding because we live in an area that isn't market depressed - prices are going up and for what we want in this area it would be around $300K - $400K. No, I am not kidding. This is what we get for living so close to Washington, DC where the job market remains stable.
So I ignored Clark's doubt that we would be able to find what we wanted AND cut costs because I had a trick up my sleeve that Clark didn't know - something that had hindered us in the past but doesn't now - because IT she is leaving for college and we don't have to stay in the same school system anymore. WOOHOO. We can move out of Loudoun County. Yippeeee! [For clarification - we didn't want to move Squirrel away from her High School while she was attending, but the Porcupine is still in middle school and much more ameneable to moving at a younger age. Heck, the Porcupine is just easier. Period. Hi Squirrel! ::waving:: Mommy loves you sweetie.]
Now Clark knew that we had possibilities because we gave him the paramater of 50 miles from Pooldad's work, under 150K and all on one floor type rambler with no school restrictions. We didn't care about how much land or even if it had 2 bathrooms - 1 would be fine - even 2 bedrooms is doable at his point. I don't much care - I just don't want to see stairs and I want a home I can take care of for my family - y'know?
Within an hour of talking to Clark he emailed me 18 - yes, 18 - single family homes that met every single one of our criteria and all of them had at least 3 bedrooms and 2 baths and most of them were on 1/2 acre or more - HELLO!
Have I also mentioned my realtor is very, very good at his job? And the MLS is a wonderful thing?
We have narrowed it down to a small town approximately 45 miles from Pooldad's work where there are three homes that we are going to look at on Saturday. His commute will double from 30 minutes to 60 minutes but 24 miles of it is a non-traffickey type highway so it should be smooth. Fingers crossed, right?
The pic' above is of the backyard of the home I like the best. It is a raised rambler with 3 bed/2 bath on the walk-in level and a full finished, walk out basement and a huge, fenced in yard. It is also newer and in good condition. Hopefully we have a good chance at it because it has been on the market for 8 months [being as it is a bit outside the beltway and DC and subject to a lesser housing market than here] and the price is sweet.
Happy thoughts and wish us luck, 'kay? And if anyone needs a realtor in Northern Virginia? I can so hook you up! :D

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Longer I Live Here the Less Surprised I Am

Sleep well my baby . . .
. . . the dog may be your only mode of transportation in a few years.

It is no secret that I hate the Commonwealth of Virginia - or as we like to refer to it "Let's live in the Arbitrary State." Sigh.
VA has decided in the best interest of the safety of all children [those under the age of 18] who will be obtaining their driver's licenses that it is now mandatory that their parent/guardian pay for and attend a 90 minute class about the traffic laws unique to underage drivers.
Yes, allow me to repeat that - Pooldad or I must pay to attend a 90 minute driving class with our child in order that our child be allowed to obtain a driver's license.
Well - no. No. I refuse. I know the laws that pertain to underage drivers in our state - and I have discussed them with the Squirrel and will have a conversation [or thirty] with the Porcupine when the time comes [in 4.5 years] but I will be damned if I am going to pay to sit for 90 minutes to be lectured on something I already know and my kids know because the powers that be in VA are afraid some parents don't? What?
I am not concerned about the Squirrel because she turns 18 in a few months [eeek!] so she can sit through the class by herself - but unless this stupid, stupid, stupid law is repealled in the next few years you can bet your boots Miss Porcupine will be waiting until she is 18 to drive too - because I, repeat, will not do it.
In even stupider news [is stupider a word? Well, it ought to be if only to describe things that happen in VA] our govenor has decided he wants to pass a law that requires a toll [of $4 - $6 per car] between VA and NC on I-95.
I'll wait.
Interesting huh? He wants to charge $2-$3 per axle at the border between our two states to help pay for VA's infrastructure.
The man's an idiot. Seriously. Please don't get me wrong - I don't have a problem with tolls, per se, especially if they are in place when the roads are built to help pay for the roads, but I have a real problem with them when they are used as a money making scheme to pay for something as vague as VA's "infrastucture", especially on such an established by-way as I-95 into NC.
I hope NC slaps him silly. I also can't wait until the next election if this special lil' law gets passed because he will be voted out faster than you can say "Bad idea" because does anyone realize just how many people travel this route? It is the main route into/out of VA from NC.
Bah - I hate living in this godforsaken state, but everytime I turn around I discover I am stuck here for a few more years.
On a different note - appears as though the pneumonia didn't quite clear out the way the doctors told me so I am off to the doctors today to get some good drugs to clear it up once and for all. I am so tired of not being able to breath when I lay down, y'know?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

i Hate When That Happens. . .

i spilled one drop, just one drop! of fruit juice on my computer today. Right smack dab on the keyboard - but i actually didn't spill it on a key - nope. i spilled it on a blank space next to the arrow keys.

Now can someone please explain to me how this makes my shift key on the opposite side of the keyboard cease to work? i don't know - but the lower case "i" is driving me bananas. hee


in other news - i would be remiss if i didn't wish my lovely husband a happy 15th anniversary. Yeppers - Pooldad and i celebrated 15 years together today - although i don't think i would call it a celebration [like he wanted] - he did bring me flowers [very pretty] but as geeked out as he was to make it a special day for us i haven't been feeling too well and was sound asleep when he came home from work. i didn't wake up until 5:30 and by then it was too late to go out [it takes me a long time to get ready] i know i disappointed him a little - he wants me back the way i was, but i am just so worn out all the time. [that would explain the lack of new posts too!]

Pooldad - through the ups and downs and the thick and thins - and now through the sickness and health - i just want you to know Skippy is still here and loves you very much - i know it may not seem like it anymore - but deep in inside me now is the woman you married. i am here and i want so much to get back to you and kids like i was. Wait for me sweetheart okay?

i love you.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Come! Allow Me To Bore You. . .

It isn't that there is so much happening in my life right now - isn't THAT refreshing! I have gone back to mundane Skippy - a place I like to be - but there has been some stuff in the past few days I feel like talking about and well, my blog, my rules I present this week's YAWNFEST:

I have had a lot of comments on food and emails regarding what I eat, going all the way back to when I started to watch my sodium [still am] but tonight this dinner was so darn yummy and low in calories that I had to share. The girls spent the afternoon cleaning the main floor [kitchen, den, living, dining, powder room, foyer] for a visitor that I took mercy on them and bought them SUBWAY for dinner - nothing like a crunchy, fresh, veggie filled sub after a few hours hard work - they were thrilled, but it left me with nothing to eat as I don't eat SUBWAY because of the sodium content of the bread and lunchmeat - so I went scavenging in the pantry and fridge. I had two huge bone in chicken breasts that I was going to make chicken salad out of but Pooldad agreed to grill them - yes! He sprinkled them with paprika, garlic powder and pepper and they were so good - I ate half the one breast [4 oz] and I also had a single serving size of Green Giant cauliflower with cheese sauce, 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce and a slice of Pepperidge Farm seedless rye with 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter. Total calories/ 360! with a sodium content of 500 mg [from the cheese]. Now beat that for a good tasting, filling dinner - and I still have another 6 oz of chicken left for a chicken salad sandwich or two!

An added bonus - we didn't have to heat up the kitchen to cook or mess it up since we grilled it - we just loaded up the dishes in the dishwasher and done! How easy! I guess this kind of thing geeks me out because I do love to eat and I like to eat healthy and I get weary of people [Hi Sis!] saying "but I can't cut calories and still get taste" or "I can't cut calories and still get enough to eat". Yes you can - heck you could eat the whole piece of chicken and add another 1/2 cup of applesauce and it would still only total 560 calories - tell me that wouldn't fill you up - and it does taste good, I promise. And if you don't grill or don't want to just bake the chicken on a rack in a pan in the oven on 350 for 1/2 hour - it really is easy. Okay, okay - maybe that is a boring dinner but I think it is tasty or maybe that isn't enough food for my Sis [we should be the same size] so I am probably being unfair - my apologies.
[I will post a pic' as soon as I take one here] Today is going to be a banner day! My best friend is coming for lunch today!! I am so excited because it has been so long since I have seen her in the flesh - she has been snowbirding in FL and has been busy with her Mom but she made time to drive out today to visit me [and Wallene who is staying home from school.....shhh! don't tell] and we will sit around, drink tea and laugh, laugh, laugh. And I get to give her a special Mother's Day Present because, as you already know, my best friend is my lovely MIL and her Mother's Day present is a flower garden I made out of the container that held the "Go-Lightly" garbage I had to drink for the colonoscopy, remember? LOL - she commiserated with me through that, as did you guys, and I thought it was appropriate to use the monster container for SOMEthing pretty - so I bought a bunch of annuals and decorated the outside - I know she'll get a kick out of it. hee. Go ahead, say it - I know there is something not quuuuite right about me - but let's embrace it, shall we? It's a good thing.
Let's see, what else? Oh, more food news - three things -
1. Did you know that 24 bite size frosted mini wheats with 1/2 cup of milk has 90% of the required iron for one day? BONUS! My hematologist will be thrilled tomorrow.
2. If you like milkshakes you should go here "Paula Deen's Vanilla Milk Shake Recipe" - wow - and no, don't eat the whole recipe as it is 4 cups, but 1 cup is incredibly satisfying [so gooooood] and just the right amount - make sure you use good quality ice cream. I cut the sugar in half because ice cream is sweet to begin with [to me] or use a sugar substitute. I have an excuse to knosh on milkshakes anyway - my Doctor told me too - LOL
3. For lunch today I made the chicken salad, plus tuna salad and [I kid you not] sloppy joes. Now please tell me how cool that mix of finger sandwiches is for a "ladies lunch" - who wants to take a guess which ones are going first? In addition we are having a salad, potato chips [my MIL is an addict, I swear] and Wallene's homemade carrot cake with vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.
Did I mention I really like to eat? yeah. that.
Only one little doctor thing going on - but I solved it, finally. Since I am on so many new meds, first time in my life, I have to ask to take any OTC medication. I have been in a lot of pain the past few days because my legs are so out of whack and I was wanting to take an aspirin or Tylenol or something just to take the edge off the pain, right? I couldn't find any doctor that had seen me for 10 days last week to approve just what I could take - it was ridiculous. I finally nailed down a woman who talked to one of my doctors and they approved Tylenol - seems I can't take Advil or anything else because I could internally bleed and that would make the anemia worse. I have been happy and more comfortable since 4 pm, but it really got old trying to find an answer to a simple question when THEY were the ones that told me to ask first. argh!
What is everyone doing for Mother's Day? Wallene had the great idea to go to the park for a picnic! We have some gorgeous parks very close to us and I am very excited. Mother's Day is the perfect day to go to the park because everyone else is out at the restaurants treating Mom to a lovely dinner - but me, I prefer to be on the water, outdoors getting dirty. We are even taking the dogs. YAY! Let me know what you all are doing too, okay? It is fun to share!
There you go. How many times did you yawn? Me? About 6 times, but as I said - it's all good.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A New Low For Skippy [But It is ALL Good]

I know I said I didn't want to turn this into a blog detailing my health issues but I thought I would share this because I still continue to go "woah!" everytime I think about it. It isn't bad low - so don't be scared - I just found it fascinating and frustrating all in one.

Since I didn't realize I had CHF at the time I simply thought I had edema and was retaining a ton of water. But the more I retained and the more it spread through my body the more scared I became. At one point I was so swollen I could not get up and down TWO stair steps to go to the powder room. I was literally bent over and crying trying to get to the bathroom.

Pooldad and I made the decision to get me up the stairs, to the MBR, where I could walk a straight, flat route [no stairs] to the potty and the family would take care of me while I was in bed and hopefully bed rest and diet would take some of the painful swelling away, BUT I made Pooldad promise he would carry me up the 17 stairs to the bedroom.

My husband is 6'3, 200 lbs and I am [usually] 5'7, 130s. Easy peasy, right? Big man carries little woman. Ha. Uh-huh - he couldn't do it. He could not lift me - the whole time I was yelling at him [the pain was talking believe me] and he was so sad because he knew I hurt and it took us almost an hour to get up the stairs into bed.

We found out why when they admitted me to the hospital a month later. They weighed me. Remember I said I usually weigh in the 130s? Well on that night I weighed 174 pounds. ONE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY FOUR POUNDS. No wonder the man couldn't lift me. To say we were shocked would be an understatement [I know, I know I say this a lot, but a lot of things shock me :D] - but the doctors seemed to think it went with the territory and no one mentioned it or weighed me again while I was in the hospital for the next 10 days.

With CHF, upon discharge, I have to weigh myself everyday - we don't even own a scale- so we went and bought a nifty Weight Watchers scale [find one on sale, we did - so cool!] and on my first day home I weighed myself like a good little patient - well hodey doe! I weighed 137 lbs !! I was back to being [almost] me - but I had lost 37 lbs in 10 days? That is good, right? - I was less swollen [duh!] and the pain was subsiding - halleluiegh! I could walk, sleep and basically just FEEL better. To be honest I never felt overweight I just felt puffy.

That was Saturday - and while I continue to weigh myself, as I should, I shocked myself again today because when I stepped on the scale I have lost an additional 8 pounds in 3 days.

My new low? 129 pounds - That's nice, right? I guess if you want to be an anorexic 43 year old but really I am still trying to get rid of water [my tummy and legs are still swollen and it hurts] and at this rate in two days I will weigh less than my 17 year old and by Friday I could feasibly be lighter than Wallene.

And I am pedalling faster than you know in the food department - I am eating all the time - and it is awesome, but I am getting worn out trying to remember to eat [3 meals, 3 snacks per day] but I am doing my damndest.

Here is what I ate yesterday - I do try to keep my liquid intake under 40 oz, but I love to sip on stuff all day...

Breakfast - 8 oz brewed tea, 1 cup oatmeal with sugar/milk, 4 oz grapefruit juice, 1 slice of wheat bread with 1 tbsp peanut butter and 3/4 cup pineapple

Snack - 7 Ritz crackers, 4 oz of cheddar cheese and 4 oz of brewed tea

Lunch - 1 tuna salad sandwich [white tuna, low fat/sodium mayo, onion, celery & pepper]1 cup of peaches, 16 oz of mixed white/chocolate milk

Snack - pear slices and more cheese [damn good aged cheddar from Honey baked ham]

Dinner - 4 oz of brewed tea, 1 chili/onion hotdog slider, oyster crackers and 1 cup of Maryland crab soup [I had actually ordered a bowl - about 2 cups worth but Wallene TOOK IT - LOL it was very funny] This was a GOOD lunch - oh and we had these amazing OREO ice cream sandwiches dipped in chocolate sauce. To.die.for.

Snack - 6 graham crackers and 16 oz of ginger ale [I am so addicted to this snack it isn't even funny - try it - good for you and so yummy - I kind of overdid the graham crackers last night. HEE.}

Now that is a serious amount of food but I am still not active because it hurts a bit to walk, especially up the stairs - but I am still losing.

I guess time will tell - and I didn't write this for sympathy or to point out how thin I am - it is just surprising to me that water weighs so much and eventhough I am eating [very well!] when is the weight loss going to stop?

Hope everyone's day is going well - I did write another post about "Goodwill" today - it is a funner read if you want something a little less medical. Love ya!

Goodwill? Goodwill! Oh, yeah GOODWILL

I meant well when I returned home from the hospital on Saturday. I really did, but Tadpoles? This is what I am graced with for my efforts - to wit:Yes, that is my bed, prettily made in a new "Bed and A Bag" ensemble that I gifted to Pooldad to save him some effort in washing some of our bedsheets and blankets. Now I meant this as an easy out to having all clean linens in lieu of what was on the bed [with no other sheet sets washed] because he had been so busy running to and from work, home and the hospital. When he went to Wal-Mart to fill my prescriptions I said to go ahead and pick up a bed set [I used some mad money I had saved] and make sure it had his favorite color in it. He likes red and since we never do anything too masculine or feminime in our bedroom - we are kind of Switzerland that way because the room is both of ours so we [usually] find a happy medium so I wasn't really worried he would come home with something I might have to choke out the words "Oh how nice Pooldad." Hmmm. The Squirrel took one look at it after Wallene made the bed and laughed, saying "Screams dorm room/bachelor pad, doesn't it?" I replied in the affirmative and told her to thank her lucky stars I have a king size bed, but be careful because if she hurt her Dad's feelings I was pulling out the sewing machine. He means well, did exactly as I asked, so sweet, but my eyes - they burn. Don't yours? When I asked Wallene why she didn't put the bedskirt on too she rolled her eyes and scoffed "Now Mom do you REALLY think that is necessary?" Yep, you're right kid - forgettaboutit. Nothing is saving this little bit of Goodwill. [This was for you NMM!]
Our second instance of Goodwill this week was a huge surprise and so very welcome - I cried. I have told before of how great Pooldad's bosses are and how they good they are to their employees. Pooldad obviously had to tell them I was in the hospital, but he didn't intimate just how sick I was. Didn't matter - they stepped up and when Pooldad arrived home one day there was a HUGE cooler on our front porch fill with goodies - Honey baked ham, 2 loaves of bread [o.m.g.!] aged cheddar cheese, 2 casseroles [green bean and au gratin] and the most god awful for you decadant chocolate pecan cheesecake -eek! We were flabbergasted - y'all know my family can cook and feed themselves but you also have to know it was the last thing on their minds - they were all pretty exhausted running around. For these men to think so much of my husband and our family - to make sure they ate - and well, for days - made me cry copious amounts of tears. I know Pooldad is wonderful, being his biggest cheerleader, but to know he is so well loved and thought of they would do something so sweet for us. Wow. And since it was a 20 lb ham we had to play the "How many ways can you cook this?" Which with a good ham is easy peasy to do and not realize you are eating ham everyday - and my family would eat it for a month! lol - This night Wallene is modeling Pooldad's newest concoction - we had it Saturday the day I came home - Ham Shiskabobs!!!! As spiral sliced hams aren't quite spiralled all the way down you chunk up the unspiralled, chunk up a fresh pineapple and cut up green pepper and onion - skewer it - marinate it for one hour and throw it on the grill for about 15 minutes - served with rice? A little dipping sauce made from the marinade - oh Goodness gracious! So easy - and although very high in sodium for me my skewer wasn't marinaded and Pooldad washed my ham in warm water which will remove quite a bit of the sodium - and I filled myself up on the pineapple and veggies - yum! Enjoy! Wallene was! heehee.
And finally - we went to the Goodwill store today. Gotta love the thrift store people - I can't say it enough. We went to buy shorts for Pooldad for work [the man works with heavy chemicals, what is the point of new every season, eh?] and I wanted some loose, tunic like dresses because it is more comfortable for me with my dressings. [sorry, TMI]. The Squirrel wandered off to see what bargains she could find and we were well rewarded.
We all know what season it is, right? Yes - PROM season - weehaa - dresses, dinners and limos OH MY! Along with the costs involved in graduating [and I thank you with older kids that warned me...eek!] we were teetering on having enough, especially since the hospital. But we were going to make it happen and she could have what she wanted, how she wanted it because she really worked hard and i.m.o. really deserves it. So imagine my surprise when she came waltzing out in this lil' number - gorgeous!
It fits her like it was made for her and she fell in love with the back. So pretty.
It is a beautiful blue - no stains and yes, it does need to be dry cleaned, but....
Want to know what I paid for a chiffon gown, fully lined?
Yep! Can you believe it? The dry cleaning is going to cost a couple of bucks more [big woop!] and she is pairing it with silver, strappy sandals and a silver clutch. I am so excited by how thrilled she is with it. And I am tickled that I have a child that appreciates gently used clothing at a HUGE discount. We are going to spend, probably $50 total for her complete outfit. WOW!
[I ended up with 3 casual dresses, comfortable, utilitarian for $20 and an $8 Ann Taylor Loft light blue linen shift perfect with sandals for a nice dinner/church/cocktail party type] and an Aigner purse [I collect] for $20 - it is $140 purse - one of the classics in burgundy - Skippy is thrilled too!]
So, there are many versions of Goodwill and I think our Sunday fulfilled a whole lot of them, don't you?

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Time Is On My Side And I Have You All to Thank

While being held hostage to be discharged from the hospital today [see previous post] Pooldad and I decided to go shopping at their spectacular [and I do mean SPECTACULAR] Gift Shop. The trinkets and baubles within are not only lovely but they were so well priced - it was a lot of fun. I am seriously doing a lot of my Christmas shopping there. Good cause and all!

I saw this watch [picture below] but, as a rule I don't wear watches because I have very small wrists and unless I spend a lot time/money and have a watch fit well to my wrist they are unweildly and uncomfortable. So I rarely come across something as beautiful and unique that fits for under $20!

I decided to buy it, but it wasn't the fit issue it was for a better reason. I had a real reason and it has to do with you, my friends, my tadpoles, my confidants. You are the people that support me, give me hope and you prayed for me. Didn't you? I know you did - and that is what I find so wonderful about this simple and pure concept is all of your prayers. I was talking to Pooldad on the way home about it and I realized how different all of you are - these weren't simply Christian prayers [y'know the ones?-the ones I am used to being "that" Catholic in the bunch of us!] No, I had the whole plethora of prayer coming my way - Christian, Pagan, Wiccan, Earth Mother or Simply Your Beliefs and your good thoughts - they all came my way when I needed it the most and YOU ALL BOUGHT ME TIME. I know you can't realize what I have been through in the past 10 days, being in the hospital, but I was a very sick woman by April 21st when Pooldad called the ambulance because I could no longer breath. Only one of you knows when I got to the hospital everything they had to do to save my life. But you all, my friends, never doubted me - you always believed and all of your wonderful prayers saved me.

Sound maudalin don't I? Well tough because for the first time in ages [years?] I realized that outside of my simple family [Pooldad, Squirrel, Porcupine and my ILs] there are other people out there that do think of me, do love me and have my well being in their thoughts too.

I don't know what I can ever do to repay any of you in kind except some of those Catholic prayers I seem to like so much and I think are working too, :D but you all know that if there is anything else that within my capabilities to help you thrive as you make me do everyday then I would do it. Please don't hesitate to ask.

There is a certain calmness to this realization and as I said - I have y'all to thank. I love you all.

The watch:

Now to lighten this up just a bit: This is NOT the way to try to start an I.V. on Skippy when she is asleep via a large dose of Dialuad. Understood? Because she will wake up and try to beat you violently with the line. Good? Good. This sucker is going to take 6 months to heal.
And this is how bored I became on my "Skippy's Excellent 10 Day Hospital Stay". I started exfoliating, putting on wrinkle cream [don't laugh at me ladies this stuff WORKS and besides you have to believe me I BELIEVED you about that stupid colonoscopy stuff :D] and I started wearing makeup again - Do you know how long it has been since I wore make up? Eons - but I think I was so happy to be alive and almost pain free [compared to previous months] I wanted to be pretty. And I know that make up doesn't make the woman but it sure was nice to hear my 17 whisper to her Dad "Boy, Mom sure looks like her ol' self again, doesn't she? She is so pretty." Same kid that tried to hide me in the house for weeks on end because I was so sick and icky. :D WIN!
I meant what I said and I will say it again, because it is my belief that you don't always have the time to tell the ones you love just how much you do love and care about them until it is too late. I love you all, very much and I am happy April 21st wasn't my last day to let you know, because I wouldn't have been able to tell you.

Let Her Eat Protein! Or Why Some Medical Personel are Useless

Remember I drank one gallon of nasty junk in order to have a colonoscopy. My orders were to finish by 12 am Friday morning with the drink ["GoLightly" - yeah, right] and then take nothing by mouth until the 'oscopies later that morning.

Imagine my surprise when they scheduled the 'oscopies for 1 pm. 13 hours after I stopped eating [not so hard] and drinking - even water! - that is hard. My lips were splitting all over. Ouch.

So 1 pm comes and goes and I give up and start dozing in my bed, in my room. Transport shows up at 1:20 pm and wheels me down to surgery whereby I am duly introduced to not ONE but TWO anestesia people and asked if I had any questions and I did, and blah, blah, blah....' Get them answered and are told we are next just wait a minute or two.

Good to go! Or so we thought - seems I was actually scheduled for TWO FORTY FIVE instead so I was in surgery [freezing my ass off] for an hour and twenty five minutes while my stomach rumbled and my mouth bled. And my voice diminished from lack of liquids [the techs were glad of this little side effect, believe me]

Also instead of my original "Anesty"* people I was introduced to two news ones - and the one guy was such a pompous asshole I told him to shut up. Seriously - he began his dissertation to me with "I gave my very first anesty job in 1972 at 3:45 to an elderly man about to undergo"....SHUT UP! Believe me I was within my rights. [The only thing the guy confirmed with me at that point was he did his first job with anestesia when I was SIX years old and he probably needed to be retired already. But hey, thanks for the boost of geriatric confidence.

He did make up a bit with me by the drugs he was handing out - well now - he got so fed up with me he juiced a nice ol' shot of something in my IV and I started to chatter about - well, god knows what but at least I wasn't telling Opie to shut up anymore [he got his desired effect- let's just say.]

Next thing I know [and tadpoles we have to have a big 'ol discussion about what constitutes a nice way to wake up from a colonoscopy as so many of you remarked on] Anyway, the next thing I know I am being manhandled, flipped, pushed, shoved and poked into the next week. I was literally screaming Pooldad's name and the doctor [who is REALLY the one on my "Do not pass GO/GO directly to hell" list right now] told me that I could not have my husband in there since we would be discussing my medical condition and that other people in recovery could possibly hear and that would break HIPPA regulations. I told him that I didn't want Pooldad there to discuss anything I wanted him there for comfort [and at this point protection!] and to get him now please.

The doctor had the audacity to tell me that he was going out into the waiting room and tell Pooldad all about the procedures BEFORE talking to me and that Pooldad would know first. Well, no, no, no and a great big RESOUNDING NO! Pooldad and I have a deal where we hear all news such as this TOGETHER and at the SAME TIME - one doesn't get the info on the other first/or on themselves for that matter in the off chance it is something awful like Cancer or Hepatitis etc. Because then that person that was first [in this case Pooldad about ME] would have to sit through ME hearing it and he already would've known. Who wants that burden.

I told the doctor if he went near my husband before I was holding his hand to get the news together he was breaking my HIPPA rights and I would report him. And yes - I am reporting him tomorrow because he did exactly what I asked him NOT to. He told Pooldad without me there.

Okay, not a big deal to any of you - but in my wheel house it is HUGE and goes against everything I believe in and just makes that jerk doctor even more of an arrogant mess than he already was.

I was so pissed off at the lies, the later surgery appointment, the freaking manhandling that when I was returned to my room [lying in my own messes and stuff, yuck] I removed my own hospital gown, changed my sheets and put on warm street clothing because I was going to eat a TUNA FISH SANDWICH in peace and comfort. Doctors and rules be damned - I am rebel Skippy.

The sandwich had a lot of signigfigance in that I had been on a restricted menu since I had been admitted - first it was soft foods with no discernable taste, but I managed to choke it down because did I mention they were denying me liquids all week in an attempt to lower my fluid retention? Yeah - so for dinner I would get a ground up spicy asian meat dish over egg noodles with green beans [who can screw up fresh cut green beans? Obviously LIH!] with NO liquid. I don't know about you but I can't eat a meal without a beverage even if it is water. I haven't seen milk in so long I am starting to dream about Jersey cows.

Oh but he it got better because I had to drink the "Golightly" crap and then not eat or drink for 16 hours afterward. Niccccccccce. But as in all things Skippyland there was one final cut down of this insane story - after defying them and eating the sandwich the nice Dr. who is handling just about everything else [when anyone cares to tell her anything] told me I HAD to eat protein to keep my blood levels up and that I would no longer be on an all liquid diet that had started with the "Golightly" stage. Well color me pink and slap me stupid because the words were barely out of her mouth when dinner arrived - chicken broth, two orange juices, black jell-o and some parfait jell-0y thing that scared me -even the kids wouldn't touch it.

I calmly asked Pooldad to get a wheelchair [the hospital owns, maybe 7 wheelchairs? They are a hot commodity. It is pretty comical, but I digress] and I waved goodbye to my nice Dr. M and the whole family headed to..........

MCDONALD'S - where I proceeded to eat 1/2 an incorrectly made QP with cheese, plain, no bun, about 15 french fries and a chocolate milkshake. THANK.YOU.VERY.MUCH.

See, the point is how are we going to know if I eat protein [or even close to normal - you guys know how I eat/am fed by the family] it is going to keep my blood counts up and my swelling down? WE DON'T because the bozos wouldn't let me have normal menu food.

This is the story [that seems] to never end because here I sit without an IV, dress and ready to be discharged but I can't be discharged until they are sure I will eat lunch.

There is only one small problem. They won't give me anything to eat. They will happily serve me up anything I can slurp, slosh, lovingly slid over my gums in liquid form - but NOTHING solid.

Somehow I am in Hell and they aren't letting me in on the joke.

*Anesty - I get tired of typing the damn word. Hope this all made sense. I just want to go home. Sigh.