Tuesday, June 29, 2010

It Worked!

"The days that make us happy make us wise." ~ John Mansfield

The standard Sunday night question in our house is "Will you stay home with me tomorrow?" Always asked by me to Pooldad. Being a stay at home Mom for most of our 15 years I have come to feeling melancholy on Monday mornings because my best friend and partner in crime has to go back to work and the kidlets would leave for school. I would be alone, talking to the pups for the day. I simply never want the weekends to end.

And for all these years he still laughs when I ask and invariably goes to work the next day.

But not yesterday! Woohoo! He actually took a personal day and stayed home to play with me. YAY! That was pretty big because he doesn't just take a day off "because" - and he had to miss some serious days while I was in the hospeeeeeetal, so I was thrilled when I heard him call work early Monday morning to let them know he was staying home.

Have I already said "YAY!"? Oh, yeah. Hee, but really it was great.

We did the usual - hung out, watched movies, lined up important paperwork for the upcoming school year [seriously? I have to dig up Squirrel's immunization records, really? bah.] and played taxi for Wallene [nothing like a last minute birthday party to get us out of the house, right?] And took the dogs on a long walk.

Mundane, typical - call it what you will. I think it was the perfect day. Picked just for us.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The * is a Stand In for O Today...*bviously

I was going to title this "Food P*orn" but since y'all mistook the word "Prom" for "P*rn" a couple of posts ago I have been getting some pretty odd search hits on my blog and I just don't want to disappoint the p*rno searchers out there, 'kay? heehee

This is the way Pooldad served me my hotdog on Saturday evening.
Devilled eggs - notice the missing four? Yeah, well I never quite have a dozen of these make it to the table - what with Pooldad and the dogs hanging around.
Pooldad's favorite pickled beets, onions and eggs.
I hate, hate, hate these and not because of the taste.
I hate them because my husband likes to eat them straight out of the 'fridge [when he thinks I am not around] and inevitably spills beet juice in the 'fridge. These have actually been banned by me because beet juice is really hard to remove once spilled.
Pooldad and I made a deal - I would make them, he could have them at dinner and the rest of the container has to go to work. Let them deal with the beet juice. :D
Another batch of chicken all ready to fry up.
Me! Frying away.
See the yummy pieces already done?
I keep them warm in the oven [at 200 degrees] until all the pieces are done.
It takes me about two hours to fry them all.
Well worth it tho' I say.
Fried chicken has a funny history in our family - well, it is funny to us [now] - because it is such a popular dish and at one point I stopped making it. About 10 years ago I had made a huge batch of it and after feeding all the kids I put Pooldad's and my pieces in the oven to keep warm until he got home from work. Meanwhile I went to take a shower. When I got out of the shower I saw that he was home from work and started to plate dinner. Imagine my surprise when I opened the oven and saw the last 4 pieces of fried chicken devoid of skin. You know - the BEST part of fried chicken? The crunchy, spicy deliciousness? Yep! Gone. Pooldad had come home from work and while I was in the shower he had stripped each and everyone of those pieces of their skin. I was looking at naked chicken. I turned around, handed him his plate and said "It will be a cold, cold day if I EVER make fried chicken again." And I was good on my promise for about five years until one day I was craving it so I made it and it is now back in rotation - but you better know that the kids keep a watchful eye on their Dad now - because they don't ever want to go through another five year moratorium on the goodness that is Mom's fried chicken.
Another fried chicken fun Skippy family fact: For Squirrel's 16th birthday party Pooldad cut up 10 whole chickens which had me frying the resulting 80 pieces from about 3 am in the morning until the time of her party. I just pray that this isn't what Wallene picks for her party when she is 16 because I never want to do that again. :)
Okay - I think I can't stop posting about food for a while. hee

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Having Another Problem Leaving Comments

I have been to Phelan's and Olde Baggs n' Stufft and I have been unable to leave a comment about their posts because the verification word isn't coming up. I am just getting a box with a red X. When I try to use the handicap version [click on it and it speaks the letters?] I hear a garbled mess.

So if you see me "lurking" on your blog please know I do have something to say [what's new, right?] but I can't leave a comment. Sorry.

For today we are relaxing inside because as we watch the weather alerts it keeps getting hotter and hotter - in the past hour it has gone from 95 degrees w/ humidity to over 100 degrees. Too hot to even go outside.

Instead I am cooking. Again. :) We had apple muffins with granola and fruit salad for breakfast that Pooldad [muffins] made - new recipe, very popular and for dinner we are having fried chicken, coleslaw, macaroni salad, devilled eggs, baked beans and yeast rolls. Oh and I have been cajoled into making pickled beets and eggs as they are one of Pooldad's favorites. The only thing leftover from yesterday is the macaroni salad so the beans and devilled eggs need to be made again. I don't know what it is about baked beans but I crave them lately.

I find that if I keep the sodium out of breakfast and lunch - for example I will only eat the fruit and drink juice for breakfast and have a salad for lunch - I can save up the sodium mg.s for dinner and can have a taste of just about everything. It is a good thing I don't like devilled eggs tho' - and no skin on the chicken, although it is the best and most fattening part. The salads are vinegar based which cuts way down on the sodium and the beans can be made vegetarian [i.e. no bacon - way less sodium].

So, I am off to cook - y'all are invited if you are in my part of the world. :) Hope you have a great Sunday.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

No Camping...But We Have Strawberry Pie!

We had to stay in town this weekend. No worries - we have an unexpected house guest and so we stayed.

Instead I decided to make stuff. The "stuff" being food. We are having a cookout tonight and so far we have:
  • Devilled Eggs
  • Hamburgers and Hot Dogs - grilled
  • Macaroni Salad
  • Baked Beans
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberry Pie
  • Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Not too amazing - but I love making these kinds of meals during the summer. Wallene calls them "Thanksgiving in June". I guess if I was a nice blogger I would post pics - but we haven't eaten yet. :D

Tonight we are going to watch "Valentine's Day" and "The Tooth Fairy" with popcorn and Kool-aid.

Anyone want to guess how old our houseguest is? :)

Hope everyone has a great evening and a wonderful Sunday.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Summer Entertainment - Skippy Style!

When it is too hot to play outside why not put a tent up in the living room and invite your friends over? Don't forget the dogs.
Or bake cupcakes - lotsa' cupcakes
[This was my third batch in two days]
Like the cupcake tree?
I found it at party city - I love it!
Or fall asleep in random places -
like here:
or here:
I couldn't decide who was more asleep - Wallene or Scooby.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's a Toss Up

Do I want to gnaw off my arm because I am starving or because the joint pain is too much?

Can't decide - but I swear either is a really good option right now.

Although...my leg is a [somewhat] meatier choice and my knees and ankles hurt more.

Then again - not being a cannibal? [or what do you call it if you do it to yourself? giggle. dammit, give me pizza]

hee :D

Bravo Comcast- You Jerks

Between my gas company and Comcast cable services I seriously think I should live in a cardboard box and not deal with the stupidity anymore.

But...I have to admit heat is nice and I like to, once in a while, make a FREAKIN' phonecall.

Stupid Comcast.

They came out today to fix our phone line [that has been non operational for over two weeks] and they turned off our cable instead. Nice, you idiots.

Now no phone and no TV [and I have the basic of cable - just local channels because you have to have cable to get ANYTHING anymore and the converter boxes just do not work. Wondering who the Cable Lobbyist is in DC these days - they are powerful as all get out to get this passed.]

Thank goodness I still have internet.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Linda Has A Good Point

[post removed because it may cause embarrassment to my wee little children]

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


It is that time of year.
Once Memorial Day comes I start getting the itch to go camping.
I love camping - the outdoors, the campfires, the cooking over the campfires, fishing, sleeping under the stars, the slight breezes that cool off the night when you are falling asleep.

Yep. We need to go camping.

But since the Great Health Scare of 2010 - ha! - we have decided to go psuedo-camping first to see if I can handle all things outdoors.

Thank goodness for my lovely in-laws who own a gorgeous home in the country surrounded by woods [and bordering a sweet golf course] and they let us use whenever we want. Score!

We are going out there this weekend. While Squirrel sleeps in the house [lightweight crankypants] Pooldad, Wallene and I will set up camp in the woods behind the house within in view of the 9th green. And if I can't handle sleeping on an air mattress, outside I can simply pop back into the house and sleep inside. [Hopefully that won't happen].

Yippee! I can't wait.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

That's Squirrel! No it's Not...Oh Yes it Is!

[see those pins? guess who had to pins those on after 4 hours sleep. not a whole lot of dexterity in the pond this morning let me tell ya']
Wallene, my beloved MIL, Squirrel and Daddy-O [FIL]
For anyone wondering why I am posting at 1:10 pm on the day of my daughter's HS graduation it is because this morning [outside, in the bleachers, for the ceremony] was hot. Really hot. And Skippy is a wee bit worn out by all the hoopla and running around from the past week - so I begged off of lunch and the family went out to celebrate at a local restaurant while I rest my achy bones.
Something happened at Graduation that was so unexpected I just couldn't wait to share with y'all.
Graduation was standing room only - for 270 graduates there were appoximately 2,500 people.
The large crowd led to an annoying problem - and to be honest? I don't know if it is cultural or that people just don't care about how they act around others anymore - but it was driving us bananas and almost led to us missing something we weren't even aware was going to happen.
Pooldad and I were very interested in the entire ceremony, not just for Squirrel, but because we know a lot of the Seniors and we wanted to be able to cheer them on too. Unfortunately due to a lack of consideration everyone around us was chatting away during the whole thing. We were surrounded by people that weren't the least bit interested in anything that was happening - as it would [later] become clear the only thing they wanted to see was their kid walk across the stage and get their diploma.
Fine. Just, please, be quiet while we try and follow the speakers.
For the first part of the ceremony we could only hear snippets here and there. Thank goodness they had programs so we could follow along.
[okay Skippy, quit yer' bitchin' and get to the point already!]
Anyway. At one point they were handing out the three scholarships the school awards each year. We missed the name of the first recipient [and the reason they were rewarded] and heard these few words about the second:
"flys under the radar", "always there to lend a hand", "a mentor to many fellow students" and "a friend to everyone"
They called the student's name. Okay. Whomever. At this point I was exasperated. I couldn't hear and neither could the rest of our party. But as I watched the young lady approach the stage I nudged Pooldad and said "That's Squirrel." He replied "No it's not." but grabbed his camera to zoom in to check anyway. Then he turned to me, handed me the camera and said "Here look."
After a good look I turned to him and said "Oh Yes it IS!" [don't doubt the Momma]
So yeah - our baby was awarded a scholarship for kindness and goodwill to her classmates.
I have said this a hundred times and it will always hold true for me: Forget anything else about our kids - if the only thing anyone ever said to me again was "You have the nicest kids" I would die a happy woman.
I'm sorry - but I am still weepy over this.
PS - Even Squirrel didn't know she was going to receive this. She is over the moon happy.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Graduate

Kindergarten - 1997

Senior Year - 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

193 Days Until. . .

Please don't hate.
I only bring this up because it felt like Christmas season to me today. I know, I know - it is 90 degrees and it IS June - but. . .
I spent all day addressing announcements for Squirrel's graduation and I have been baking, baking, baking. Since all the people on our address list are also on our Christmas card list it seemed almost like I was doing it for Christmas. Then with the cookies, muffins and brownies - well...yep! Christmas. Oh and there is a ham in the oven. The smells...mmmmm. Christmas!!
I am telling you tadpoles - the stars aligned to trick me into wanting to put up the dang tree and pull out a few snowmen.
But...I will be patient.
Because 193 days isn't too long to wait, is it?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Graduation Menu...What Do You Think?

Pulled Pork Sandwich with Coleslaw
What are your thoughts? I am obsessing thinking about the food to serve for Squirrel's Graduation Luncheon - and I want something that is easy, that I don't have to be in the kitchen for and can just serve up when the family comes back from the ceremony.
Since it is only going to be us [4] and the beloved in-laws [2] - I thought crock potted pulled pork would be good [sauce on the side]. Plus the cole slaw - I have the best recipe, made without mayo, that can be whipped up the night before. I could also serve baked beans, pasta salad and devilled eggs - which also can also be made ahead. Any suggestions? Add ons?
I appreciate any help and if anyone has a great idea for a Graduation gift? I am all ears.

....And They Went Bowling Too!

Prom was a rousing success! Squirrel said it was everything she always hoped it would be. That makes Mom and Dad very happy for her.

Here she is with her date. He is a good friend and a very nice young man. I thought it was so sweet when he called from the tuxedo shop and asked if he should match his tie to her gown. And her ribbon [on the corsage] matched too. And if you can't tell from the pic' - he is very tall. Taller than Pooldad. Yeah, that went over well. heehee

For dinner a group of 10 of them went to a local seafood restaurant - actually a very, very nice seafood restaurant and ate sushi. They were given their own private room and were treated super great by all the staff. I guess if you like sushi this is good - and it is very pretty, yes?

After Prom they went bowling. On the way to the alley they stopped at one of the girls' houses and picked up socks. Squirrel said she had very ecletric tastes in socks.

See? I think they are awesome. And to bowl in prom gowns? Priceless. Aren't they all so cute?

Hope y'all have a wonderful week.

I am off to plan the rest of the week. Graduation on Saturday! Woohoo!!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Best Prom Advice Ever Given

Squirrel came running down the stairs this afternoon [while preparing for her Senior prom] and was beside herself.

"Mom, Mom...." she exclaimed, "you are never gonna believe what Wallene just said to me!!!"

Thinking Wallene was goading her and said something goofy like "Your dress sucks" or "You picked THAT jewelry?" I was all ready to step in and intervene.

S0 I said:

"What exactly did your twelve year old sister say that has you in such a tizzy?"

I know, nice, eh? I am nothing if not caring in a crisis. :)

Squirrel looked at me and sighed before saying:

"Wallene told me that for Prom 'Abstinence is the key.' "



[Holy crap, really? Wallene said THAT?]

After I wiped my mouth off I simply coughed out "Well I guess that 'Health and Welfare' class has worked out well for Wallene, hasn't it?"

Many stompings of feets by Squirrel and a few fist bumps with Wallene later and tadpoles?

I am still laughing.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Best Part

It is no secret we live right behind our local elementary school. The playground is a stone's throw from our back deck.

We used to be able to watch Wallene during recess and P.E. when she played outside with her classmates. Oh, the memories.

Well today is the best part of living so close to the school. Today they are doing their "XX School Olympics". So cool. All the kids march out of the school to the Olympic theme [they are all dressed to match their particular class]. Then they compete in various sports. The cheering and excitement is so much fun!

So if you will excuse me I am going to pour a cup a tea and sit on my back deck to cheer them on.

Let the games begin!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

One More...Just One More - And Oh! They Rescheduled

One more Marching Band banquet. One more hot dish to take for a potluck.**

Just one more and then we have a year off before they start up again with Wallene in 2112. A whole year off - I simply don't know what Pooldad and I are going to do with ourselves without Marching Band [and the banquets, trips, Friday nights, the competitions every weekend in the fall]. I guess we'll figure something out ;D

Drumroll - The "Midnight Madness Party" they forgot to order the busses for a week ago? They rescheduled it. For Wednesday night [6/16]. We haven't decided if Squirrel will be going - since she does have school on Thursday. What do you think?

**I have seen what these kids eat - basically they will eat anything - and I have seen some of the stuff parents have brought - basically anything - does a bag of Skittles really constitute a side dish? - so I was thinking of making up the most outrageous jello mold type salad I could find [something circa 1950s perhaps?] and see if anyone ate it. heehee. I know they would.

This last week is gearing up to be a whole lot of fun with Prom and Graduation - I think I will sleep a whole lot come June 21st! Hope y'all have a great weekend.

No, These Are Not Your Pants

Last night Pooldad and I were busy in the kitchen preparing dinner. At one point he stood back and looked me up and down.

When I asked what he was doing he inquired why was I wearing his pants?

Well, I wasn't wearing his pants.
I was wearing a pair of mine.
That don't fit.
That appear as though I am wearing his pants because my pants are so baggy.

This is driving me bananas. I cannot gain weight. No matter how I try I am stuck at 118 lbs. I have nothing to wear to Squirrel's banquets or her graduation - nothing decent to wear to greet her prom date next weekend - heck I was lucky to find a pair of her shorts to wear to DC this weekend.

[The following has a point, please bear with me. Thanks!]

I read a lot of different blogs - Quilting, crafts, Moms, RVing and a few weight loss blogs. The weight loss blogs are so inspiring because these folks really seem to be trying to better their lives and their health - but I also learn stuff too which, to me, is the best part of blogging.

This past weekend I was reading one weight loss blog and a young lady from Alaska was talking about how many calories it would take to maintain her weight of 300 lbs. Now, she doesn't want to be 300 lbs so she is trying to figure out how many calories to lose - but started out figuring how much she was eating to stay at 300 lbs. Turns out 3,000 calories to maintain - eating less would, obviously, help her lose weight.

I took the information from her blog and Googled "Basal Metabolic Rate" [BMR] to figure how many calories I needed to maintain 118 lbs - so I would know how many to add so I could gain.

I was depressed after doing this. Because? I have no idea how to eat more than I am.

Check this out:

Based on my height, weight and age I would have to eat the following just to stay at my current weight:

Couch potato - no activity: 1600 calories
Mildly active - light housework, walking the dogs: 1800 calories
Moderately active - more strenous housework, walking around DC for the afternoon - 2000 calories

With a low sodium diet there is no way to add to these kind of calories and gain weight. I would say I am midly active - the DC type trip is a once a month kind of thing, not a daily happening - but to have to add to 1800 calories while eating healthy? Not happening. I do eat a lot and with all I do eat I am stuffed after every meal. In fact sometimes I don't even want to eat because I am still not hungry from my previous meal. Although I am getting all my nutrients [vitamins, etc.] what I eat is not very high in calories.

I have some friends that say "Oh go ahead and splurge - eat that Big Mac Meal and you'll gain it back soon enough." And as much as I would LOVE to do that [Big Macs? mmmmmm] I can't. The result is water retention brought on by the enormous levels of sodium - Then I retain water in my lungs and I can't breath. For example - I had a large slice of pizza on Saturday and then an all beef hot dog, bun and beans for dinner [in addition to a low sodium breakfast and snacks] and I was so uncomfortable in bed that night because of the fluid retention. I had to fall asleep sitting up.

I even tried the shakes - but they fill me up so much I can't eat regular food so they don't even work.

In the meantime I am told that my weight is unhealthy and I need to eat more - but no one seems to be able to tell me how to do it.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


It only took a month but we received the bill for my hospital stay.

And all I can say is Pooldad is in the wrong business. I am thinking pharmacueticals is the place to be. From all appearances I took A LOT of drugs while I was there. PAGES of drugs tadpoles.

For a stay of 9 days it cost $52,768.55. Just to occupy the hospital room cost $1,100 per day.

Thank goodness a large portion of this is covered - as it appears now we are responsible for $6,859.00. Not exactly a drop in the bucket but a heck of a lot more manageable than the $52K, right? [I said "appears" because who can read this bill? It is 20 pages long and ends with "Amount due: 00.00" but the cover page says we owe the $6,859.00 - whatev.]

That $52K doesn't even include all the specialists I was treated to - the hematologists, the heart guys and the jerk internist? They all billed seperately.

What I was really curious to see was what a pint of blood costs - since I had six, but I either don't know what the correct terminology is for blood or they forgot to charge me because I can't find it on the bill. I know that sounds a bit creepy but I figure that is pretty much what actually saved my life and I was interested to see what they charged. [ETA: Found it - it is listed under "Storage and Processing" and each pint is $600 for a total of $3600. Yes, I have mad math skillz.]

What I really should add up are the charges for being on a 9 day high - Dilaudid [no I still can't spell it and it isn't written by that name on the bill] every 4 hours for 9 days? Yep - that is definitely a large part of it. I was certainly pain free for 9 days but I wouldn't want to ever have to take a pain killer like that for a long time. Loopy for a few days? Good - Whacked for the long term? No thanks. I like to remember the conversations I have had tyvm. [Thanks to Rudee I found this too - and it was $18.60 per shot. I don't think I want to add that up.]

The best part of the bill tho'? The payment plan they chose for us to pay off the balance. At $70 per month [quite affordable - I am not complaining] there is a very good chance in the EIGHT years it will take to pay it off I may not even be here I will be 52 years old. [because tadpoles are bullies, hee]

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Bloggie Friend's Give Away

Go quick and take a peek at the lovely handmade necklaces Linda is gifting to two lucky commenters on her blog Olde Baggs n' Stuft Shirts.

Besides the great give away her blog is a wonderful read - always a smile - if you don't already know. :D Enjoy!

Grind It Baby!

Don't go getting all excited - it is only a food post. Yes, another one.

In an effort to stretch our dollars and eat healthier I have been incorporating ground pork and ground turkey into our ground beef meals. Yesterday Wallene and I used all three to make dinner for the work week.

We had 3.5 lbs of hamburger, 1 lb of ground pork and 1 lb of ground turkey.

We used .75 lbs of hamburger in our ghoulash last night and another .75 lbs for 3 hamburgers to grill [with hot dogs] on Thursday night.

We then mixed up the remaining two pounds of hamburger with the turkey and pork and made one meatloaf and 30 meatballs. [Mix together all the meat with 2 packets onion soup mix, 1.5 cups water, 4 eggs, 2 cups of breadcrumbs and 1.5 cups waters - you may need a little more of the breadcrumbs tho' - we always do]

The meatloaf is for dinner tonight and since it is monstorous the family will have leftover meatloaf sandwiches in their lunches for the next couple of days.

The meatballs were frozen and 12 will be used on for a spaghetti dinner on Friday with the remaining 18 for meatball subs on Wednesday. I am going to make the spaghetti sauce in the crockpot tomorrow and use it for both nights - it tastes really yummy on the subs.

The meat cost $11.00 total - which breaks down to $2.20 per meal for the protein. Except for the grilling night where I had to add hotdogs [4 dogs @ $1.20 - 30 cents each - for all beef hotdogs] that is pretty good I think - but the biggest bonus? I had a coupon for the hamburger meat and it was FREE [$7.00] so I ultimately only spent $4.00 on the turkey and pork. It is a good week when the meat in our meals cost less than $1 per dinner.

To recap our meals:
Monday: Ghoulash, sliced tomatoes and french bread
Tuesday: Meatloaf, smashed potatoes and steamed broccoli, califlower and carrots
Wednesday: Meatball subs, chips and fruit salad
Thursday: Grilled hamburgers and hotdogs, macaroni salad and raw veggie tray
Friday: Spaghetti and meatballs, salad and garlic bread

Another bonus? I can actually eat most of this because the tomatoes are either fresh or low sodium, I skip the chips, the macaroni salad has minimal mayo in it [about a tbsp] and the onion soup mix [high! in sodium] is stretched out throughout the meals so I am not eating a huge amount at once. Yes!

I do miss our menus that I had made [for the whole year] but it was too hard for me to eat around what I was making for the family - so I have gone back to one week at a time. Once I become acclimated to cooking with less sodium and working around their favorites so I can eat too I will be making more month long menus. All I know is the family is thrilled because, once again, they can look on the fridge and see what's for dinner.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What An Outstanding Day!

Oh, I wish everyone could've been with us today. It was so awesome. The weather was great - not humid with a light breeze [made the walking so easy] - everyone was upbeat and happy. And the Hunt was so much fun! I know every single one of you would have had a blast.

These pictures are terribly out of order, but as Leta said "What does Blogger want?" when it comes to trying to post pics. We hope you have as much fun looking at the pics as we did being there and taking them. Woot!

Near the end big storms blew in - high winds and hard rain, but it cleared up pretty fast.
Last picture of the day! This is a clue that was given out during the hunt. The hint was on the barcode - pretty tricky especially if you have poor eyesight [cough*cough Pooldad!]
Driving home we stopped at a scenic overlook on the George Washington Parkway. Everything is so lush and green you could barely see the Potomac River down below. [It rained on the way home too.]
Here they are! Our tye dyed t-shirts! Aren't they great? We had so much fun making them - it was our first time doing it all by ourselves. They came out kind of nice we think.
This is a picture Wallene took driving into DC. We were laughing hysterically because [once again] she was attempting to photograph from the car and the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument kept disappearing behind the trees [at 50 mph tyvm]. I like the pic' because it never ceases to amaze me that we live so close to all this history and we get to see it whenever we want - for free. It is so pretty. [And yes, I told you these were out of order!]
Ooooh! This is a cool place! It is called Gravely Point and it is a park at the end of the runway at Reagan National Airport. We used to picnic at the park and watch the planes take off. It is so fun to lay back on the grass and look up as the giant planes lift off over you - it feels as though you can reach out an touch them. They are loud too - but it is a fabulous experience. Wallene had never been before but she was tickled to stand and lay back on her back [in the rain] to watch the planes. Even with the rain the park was packed. YAY!
This is the Old Post Office Pavilion - it was built in 1884 and was the Postmaster General's home for many years. It is a stunning building [inside and out] unfortunately they repurposed it into a mall. Bleech. But I have to admit they have some awesome pizza for sale inside - [hey we HAD to get out of the rain, right?] The security in the building is T.I.G.H.T. - it took poor Pooldad 5 tries to get through the metal detector. Wallene and I almost gave up and left him [for food Tadpoles -food!]. Turns out it was my inhaler in his pocket that was setting it off. Oops.
Here is my hero. Isn't he sweet? I think at this point he was holding me up - I was a wee bit tired. Still we soldiered on because the day was only half over at this point. We were really into getting those clue solved - as were the 10,000 [I think?] other people there. It was a great crowd I have to say! What you can't see behind us are about 1,000 people trying to solve a clue under that red flag. [I know I look cranky in this pic' I swear I wasn't - I just photograph old.]
And the back of our shirts. Yes, very predictable. :D
The three funniest moments of the day?
  1. We had barely begun the Hunt and we were stopped by a Washington Post photographer because she loved our shirts and took pictures of us - front and back - to be published on their website next week. Weehaw!
  2. At one point Dad and Wallene walked over to the Washington Monument and I sat in the doorway of the Treasury Building to rest my feet. I could not figure out why people kept staring at me as they walked by - until a nice man stopped and asked me if I was one of the clues for the Hunt or was I just relaxing. People thought I was a clue. heehee
  3. A fellow participant remarked that she just loved Wallene's shirt and inquired where she could buy one. [Perhaps we should start a concession next year? lol]

Well that is all for today - Blogger is giving me fits and I still need to make dinner and do a little laundry. Hope y'all have a great evening and a wonderful week.

Love ya!

Washington Post Hunt 2010

Good Morning! It is the ungodly hour of 7:30 am - I can say that because I didn't fall into bed until 3:00 am - and I am sitting here trying to wake up. And I have no caffeine. Because I am a good little soldier and don't drink that anymore, do I? No Skippy, you don't - now make due with the ginger ale and shut up.

Yes. I am that tired.

Today the Squirrel leaves on a 4 day field trip to go mucking through the marshes and swamps of the Eastern Seaboard in search of biological specimans and to attend various classes on how to be a better scientist [biologist]. Exciting eh? I know, I know - but if it geeks her out who are we to judge? [I am kidding - we support her, honestly - but it is quite the juxtaposition to what the kid acts like most of the time - she is my "girlier-girl".]

Sooooo... I am awake. Two hours before she has to be dropped off because she is god awful noisy in the morning and woke me up. [And? here's hoping the Biology department remembered to order THEIR busses for today, right?]

Ah, but I have an awesome reason for why I didn't get to bed until 3:00 AM - Wallene, Pooldad and I were up 'till the wee hours of the morning tye dyeing t-shirts in anticipation of the 7th [8th?] annual Washington Post Hunt! It is a clue based hunt created by Gene Weingarten and Dave Barry that takes place in downtown DC - teams are given a clue, which then lead to another clue, which leads to another [etc.!] and each clue takes you to a different place in DC [all within walking distance of the starting point] and the winners receive $2000. Now we have no hope of winning ::Skippy "the Gimp" waving her hand:: but the fun in the Hunt is finding the clues and then figuring them out, all the while being in a beautiful part of DC for the afternoon. [Oh, and there hot dog vendors involved too. heehee]

And the t-shirts? Are awesome - we wanted "team" shirts so we went to Michael's and bought blue and yellow tye dye and red spray paint for the lettering. The front of the shirts say "Post Hunt 2010" and the back of each has our blog names on them [i.e. Skippy, Wallene and Pooldad] - really neat looking. But tye dyeing is serious biz and it took us about 5.5 hours to complete all the shirts. Did I mention they look awesome?

Back to the hot dog vendors ['cause I am all about the street food today tadpoles] - Pooldad knows all the best carts, having worked in DC for over 25 years and he has promised me one honest-to-goodness Nathan's hot dog with mustard and onions. Yipppeee! Bring on the salt lil' doggies 'cause I am craving me some yummy cart food. True story: One year for 4th of July I went on a date with a guy to DC. We spent the afternoon [before the fireworks] wandering all over DC making our way from hot dog cart to hot dog cart, eating, admiring the sights and [believe it or not] bumping into a lot of people I knew from my hometown in VA. We ate 10 hot dogs [each] that day. It is a very fond memory.

....okay, back to the topic at hand...

Now don't get me wrong - I am actually more excited by the Hunt than the food and the fact that when we are done with the game we will pop over to one of our favorite free museums to take a tour of great art work or some airplanes or something [You have to love DC and the Smithsonian Institution - free culture for everyone!] and then ride the Metro back home to suburbia.

Sounds like an all around pretty great day if ya' ask me.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

My Daughter's High School Strikes Again

Jiminy Crickets!

The Seniors at Squirrel's High School had an All Night Party scheduled at an area restaurant tonight from Midnight until 5 am. Sort of a "Midnight Madness Party" for them.

They were to be dropped off at school at 10:30 pm to be driven to their destination by Midnight. On school provided busses.

Pooldad loaded up the Squirrel at 10:20 to drive her over to the school only for me to receive a recorded message from the school at 10:30 stating that the event had been cancelled.


[thump.thump.thump. ::sound of my head hitting the keyboard::]

Someone forgot to order the BUSSES to take 300 kids on a Midnight field trip.

::crickets chirping::

A once a year, Senior field trip. [i.e. a SPECIAL trip]

The trip was for MIDNIGHT - who forgets the only field trip of the year that occurs IN.THE.MIDDLE.OF.THE.NIGHT?


A paid in advance Senior field trip. [i.e. a $$$ trip]



And before anyone asks - No, we weren't allowed to drive our own children to the restaurant. That would be a "liability" tadpoles, dontcha' know?

I swear this is the one time I wish my blog wasn't semi-anonymous - because I would love to tout the incompetence of the person that is responsible at the school who FORGOT TO ORDER THE BUSSES.

ETA: I just realized I can go over to FACEBOOK and be un-anonymous [is that even a word? oh who cares - I am still simply amazed at all of this.] ::Off to FB...[mumbling] forgot to order the freak'n busses...stupid person...busses...dangit...::

Friday, June 4, 2010

"My Mini Moment" Contest Sponsored by Dove Ice Cream

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Dove Ice Cream. All opinions are 100% mine.

"My Mini Moment" Contest
DOVE Ice Cream asked me to blog about their new contest called "My Mini Moment". After reading about the particulars of the blog request I thought "Who needs a mini moment more than some of the tadpoles?"
We are all one or more of the following: a wife, a Mother, a sister, a daughter or an Aunt - and, as such, it seems we never quite have a moment for just ourselves, doesn't it? Dove did a survey and out of 400 woman they discovered that over 70% were taking "me time". I shook my head and said to Pooldad "Well they weren't surveying the women I am friends with." I read your blogs and empathize with what is going on in your lives and I know everyone would like more time to themselves - I know I would.
So, I read the requirements for entering the contest:
  • You must be a woman.
  • You need to submit a photo and a short essay describing your perfect mini moment.
  • The deadline is June 7, 2010.

I thought PERFECT - y'all are great writers and I have seen your wonderful photographs - so a short essay and a pic' of yourself? Easy Peasy by June 7th, right?

Well, when you get a moment. Hee.

To enter you can visit: Dove Ice Cream - My Mini Moment Contest

Three winners will win one of the following:

  • A mini getaway to Napa Valley
  • Spa services for a year
  • A mini home makeover

I know which I would chose for a few of you - but for me? The Spa services - oh! to be pampered for a year? That would be several mini moments for me.

I did go to the store and purchase a box of the minis and I have to say - for only 70 calories they are delicious. Then again I love anything Dove because their chocolate coating is always so decadent and these are the perfect snack after a meal or a little pick me up between meals. They are so rich tasting. Bonus! If you like coffee you will really enjoy their Cafe' Collection which includes Java Chip and Cappuccino - you know I only had one of those before the Squirrel and Pooldad arrived home don't you? Thank goodness Wallene is too young for coffee otherwise I wouldn't have had one.

We all have our own idea of what a mini escape would be so go ahead and enter - you might win some time to yourself.

Visit my sponsor: “My Mini Moment” contest

A Kiss Goodnight

It goes without saying and without asking if you are one of our kids you give Mom and Dad a kiss goodnight. No matter your age or if you live here -every kidlet kisses Mom and Dad goodnight.

Little did I know. . .

One of the dogs was watching.

Specifically our little pony - AKA Scooby.

Tonight, after all the kids were in bed, Dad and I were watching TV - sitting as we do at the table with Scooby sound asleep at our feet. Dad decided to go to bed first and came over to give me a kiss goodnight. At this point Scooby usually wakes up and follows Dad up the stairs, but tonight he wasn't moving.

I asked Pooldad "What about the dog?" and he pointed out that the doggy was, in fact, awake and was eyeballing him [from his prone position] to make sure he was actually going up the stairs to bed. [Scooby looked like he was thinking "Why waste the effort of getting off the hardwood if Dad was just going down the hall for something, right?"]

Pooldad made his way up the stairs and Scooby, realizing his cue, raised himself off the floor, stretched and walked over to me. Not towards the stairs or Pooldad - but over to me, where I was sitting.

He lowered his head onto my lap [yes, he is that big standing up] and wagged his tail. I gave him a kiss on his big ol' head, patted his back and told said "Goodnight" just like I do with all the kids.

He then turned a 180 and followed his Daddy off to bed. It was so deliberate I just sat here wondering at him. Did he really just do that?

I have never had a dog that came to me for a kiss goodnight. How great is that?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Free Doughnut Day

Friday is National Doughnut Day and participating Krispy Kremes and Dunkin Donuts are giving away a free donut.
At Dunkin Donuts you have to purchase a beverage to get a free doughnut but Krispy Kreme is no purchase required.
Woohoo! Free doughnuts.
I am either going to get an old fashioned sprinkled with sugar [pictured] or an apple cinnamon.
How about you?

You Know the Coolest Thing.....

....about being home all day by myself?

I can sing really loud to the radio and no one tells me to shut the hell up leaves the room.

Yeah - that whole "tunes in a bucket" thing?

That would be me.

But I am totally rocking Nickelback. Be jealous.

You know you are.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Key Lime Pie Recipe

I have yet to master Key Lime Cheesecake - I made that the other day and burned it again. I swear it is the only thing I have ever cooked/baked that I have burned. Usually I can salvage my mess ups - but after roaching this Cheesecake twice? I am sticking with the easiest Key Lime Pie recipe ever.

For this recipe I use regular, bottled lime juice. It is easy to find and use - and although Key limes do have a distinctive taste they are near impossible to find outside of the Florida Keys.

4 egg yolks - beaten
2 cans [14 oz] sweetened condensed milk
1 cup lime juice [bottled]
1 14" unbaked graham cracker crust

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together and pour into pie crust. Place on cookie sheet for stability.
Bake for 15 minutes. Cool.
Serve garnished with whipped cream and lime slices [optional].

Some folks like to serve this with a rasberry sauce but I like just a little whipped cream.

It really is as easy as all that. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Conversations with Wallene

Listening to the radio Wallene heard a commercial for the "Most Beautiful Baby Contest".

"......enter today and your beautiful baby could win a $1,000.00 gift certificate. Just send a picture of your beautiful baby to....."

Wallene: "Oh Mom, did you hear that? We should enter Baby Storage in the contest. We even have a pic' of him on our fridge!"

[Baby Storage is a tadpole's 8 month old son - and yes he is incredibly cute! but.....]

Skippy: "Wallene you can't enter somebody else's kid."

Wallene: "Why not? Can't we ask Mr. Storage? Baby Storage would win, for sure."

Skippy: "I am sure he would but sweetie there is another problem even if Mr. Storage said yes."

Wallene: "What?"

Skippy: "They're Canadian."

Wallene: "Oh. Well do we know anyone else that has a cute baby?"

Skippy: "Not in my or Daddy's demographic."

Wallene: "What's your demographic?"

Skippy: "Past menopause."

Wallene: "What's menopause?"

Skippy: "Nevermind."

Too Much?

I am in a baking/cooking mood today.

I have Amazing Beans in the crockpot [for "Meatless Monday", but uh...yeah, it feels like Monday, right?] and I have to make dessert for the kids' lunches - so I am making my favorite cookies - snickerdoodles.

And for dessert, after dinner, I have a key lime pie in the oven.

Tonight I will only have to whip up a batch of corn muffins and dinner is served. Yum.

Then we shall see how my legs feel around 5 o'clock. eek!
Just an aside: I was scrolling through my archives last night and I noticed there are two things I am [semi] obsessed about - food and snow. LOL - I think I should have been a foodie or a weathergirl instead of a Mommy blogger. Then again? I think the kids are pretty high on the list of stuff I write about too, but food is definitely in the number one position.