Saturday, December 31, 2011

Orchestrated by Mom, Made by Dad

We had a visit from "the boyfriend" on Friday. He is Squirrel's friend that she met while interning last summer.  They have been dating for five months and he roadtripped to visit her for Christmas yesterday. [They attend different colleges - in different states.]

He is such a nice, polite and kind young man.  He's a cutie too. :)  We really are happy for Squirrel because they just seem like such a great couple.

He arrived at 11 and took Squirrel to lunch.  Afterwards they came home and watched movies with Wallene while Dad made dinner. [I have to give the boyfriend big credit - he actually sat through a few episodes of "Nicktoons" with Wallene. THAT is definitely taking one for the team.]

Since I had been upright most of the morning I ended up in bed [flat] for the rest of the day - hence why Dad made dinner. :D

I had split pea soup on the menu, but it is not something Pooldad had ever made before.  It isn't the hardest dish, it just has a lot of steps to it.  Also, split pea soup is either something you like or you don't - there is really no in between, so I was taking two chances with it:  feeding it to a guest and not making it myself.

Why do I even worry? Psssh.

1.739 hand written directions [from bed] later - Pooldad served up the perfect bowl of soup, with a salad and fresh bread.  And we don't think the boyfriend was merely being polite by having 2 1/2 bowls. :D  He really seemed to enjoy it. Yippeee!

It is 4:40 am here and I have a few hours in which to entertain myself while I wait for our day to get started.  We are taking Wallene to the mall today for new clothes.  She has grown quite a bit since the beginning of school and has outgrown almost all of her pants.*  The sales look to be great, so I am glad we waited until after Christmas.  I am actually kind of excited to see how many deals we can find. [I can't believe I just said that either.  I think I need a little bit more sleep. heehee]

Hope y'all are enjoying your weekend and have a safe and happy New Years.

*Yes, I am destined to be the shortest in my family. sigh. Not fair, considering I am 5'8. Darn kids.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Truth is Thursday. . .

Truth is. . .the above is a Christmas gift from Squirrel.  Besides having some really neat crafts in it, she thinks it  is hysterical that she gifted me a book with the word "ass" in it.

Truth is. . .we all laughed like crazy when I opened it.  Perfect.

Truth is. . .this week is passing entirely too fast.  It doesn't help that I am [basically] sleeping through it and missing the family during the day - but it is Thursday already.  BAH!

Truth is. . .I wish it could be vacation all the time.  I like having everyone home [even if I am asleep]. :)

Truth is. . .I have "Billy Joel" on loop.  Which, in and of itself, is awesome - but I have to be careful not to sing out loud, while wearing headphones, at 4 am.  Sleeping family, y'know.

Truth is. . .I make no promises on Billy Joel's "You May Be Right."  That is one ROCKIN' song. Skippy has to sing. It's in me. :D

Truth is. . .I am looking forward to the new year.  I don't make resolutions, but it is nice to have some parts of and some people left behind in 2011.  They were a drag on me and my family and it will be nice to not have to deal with or be reminded of [it] them anymore.

Truth is. . .Scooby ate 24 ferrero rochers [see below]. He did manage to leave the individual wrappings behind.  I need to remind my MIL to mark which of her gifts are chocolate.  I don't so much mind him or Spot eating processed chocolate, as it doesn't harm them, but we would like a fair shot at the goodies too. :)

Truth is. . .I hope you all have a 2012 you are truly deserving of and that makes you smile at least once a day.

I will be back around with our New Year's Eve prep, I am sure, but until then. . .see ya' on the flipside Tadpoles.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

. . .and to All a Good Night

Whew!  It's been a heck of a month.

A week.

And a day.

Every Christmas card written, addressed stamped and mailed.
Every cookie baked, delivered and/or eaten.
Every present ordered, delivered, wrapped, opened, loved and appreciated.
Christmas breakfast, lunch and dinner finished.  [If I didn't gain weight today, I never will.]
We survived the mall.
And no bills come January. [Bonus!]


Skippy needs a nap. :D

Despite the health set backs, I am a very fortunate woman to be surrounded by such a loving [and very helpful] family, not to mention incredibly supportive friends. I thank you all.

I honestly cannot believe how smooth everything has gone and how successful it all turned out. Seriously.  There has never been a Christmas season where every.single.thing. has gone as planned.  No hiccups, no glitches, no tears [I'll admit a few were shed today over gifts given, but. . .that isn't quite what I meant] and now we are all relaxing, ready to sleep off our next week of vacation. heehee [We won't mention the 5 hour nap I took today, will we?  I got a head start. What can I say?]

Some of my favorite things today:

Squirrel and I made an overnight casserole for breakfast this morning.  I have never made one and was a little off kilter because we were low on milk late last night, but. . .OMG! This thing was amazing.  I had two helpings [note: not low in sodium]. It contains eggs, milk, a whole french baguette loaf, crumbled sausage, golden delicious apples, sugar, cinnamon and cheddar cheese.  Mix it all up and let it sit overnight. Pop in the oven, in the morning, while you open presents and viola!  The smell is incredible and it tastes even better.  The leftovers have midnight snack written all over them.

We gave Pooldad a smoker for Christmas on the advice of Bizzy.  Best $XX.xx [<----yes, under $100. Waay under] I have ever spent on a gift in my life. [If you want to know the real price email me and I will tell you - but he reads my blog. :)]  My husband is a great cook on the regular grill and after drooling for months over all the things Bizzy puts up on her smoker and blogs about I decided it would be the perfect gift for him.  Me thinks I hit a home run.
Ta - da!
Like a [big] kid on Christmas morning.

Here he is smoking a pork butt over hickory chips.  [I am such a great wife I even gifted him with sunshiney, 50 degree weather today - heehee]  The meat is melt in your mouth delicious.  He didn't put any rub or spice on it because the hickory chips give it the most amazing flavor.  We ate it as pulled pork sandwiches with bbq sauce for the girls, coleslaw, potato salad, macaroni salad, toss salad [yes, we all have our favorites - hence the 4 types] devilled eggs and baked beans.  This is Christmas dinner "Southern Style".  Wow.  This will also constitute the second round of midnight snacks for us.

Like I said, if I don't gain weight from this one day I will be shocked.  And I don't mean the sodium thing-y either. Nom, nom, nom.

The only things I really wanted for Christmas were a replacement for my wedding band, new batteries for my two favorite watches and a stronger chain for my locket and cross. [I am an easy date, aren't?]
This is the very first Mickey watch Pooldad ever gave me.  It even plays the "Mouseketeer" theme.  It has been languishing for a while with no battery.  He also had my dress watched repaired but I have to have links taken out of it to wear it. In addition, here is my new wedding band. Yippee!  It needs to be sized down too [from a 5 to a 4.5] but I am so happy to have it because I was feeling neekid without it.
 And here is one of my pretty chains with my cross. [See?  I am not a complete heathen. :wink:]
The girls were in on the presents too:
Wallene lettered this year and her "big" present was a letterman jacket.  We couldn't be more proud of her [she worked hard for it.]  We will have it embroidered with her real nickname and have the letter sewn on this week:

This is Squirrel taking a picture, in the kitchen, with her new waterproof camera.  She filled the sink with water and submerged it before snapping the pic'.  Notice the underside of the faucet.  Pretty neat.

The pups just waiting to polish off their Christmas treats from their Grandmother.
Random present opening. :D
All and all a pretty fabulous holiday season.  I honestly couldn't ask for more.

Now, if you'll excuse me I have a little more noshing to do before I begin my hibernation.

Have a wonderful week Tadpoles.  I'll see ya' on one flipside or another. Hugs!

Merry Christmas Tadpoles!

From our home to yours
Hope y'all have a wonderful time with your friends and family.

Best Wishes,
The Skippy Family

Friday, December 23, 2011

Glad I Started My Boycott Early

It is no secret that I was none too happy with Best Buy, Target, Toys R Us and Kohl's when they decided to open on Thanksgiving day this year.  I did not like that they were forcing their employees to work on a holiday that, in my opinion, they shouldn't have to.

All for the almighty dollar.

In previous years we would avoid the mall and go to those stores to shop.  It was easier and we knew that, in some instances, we could find better deals.

Not this year.  I made it perfectly clear that I was not shopping at any of those retailers because I did not like their business practices. [In fairness I haven't been in a Toys R Us in 10 years since they were convicted of price fixing.]  And I didn't.  I bought every single gift for our family members [online and at the mall] without once turning to our old standbys.  I could have bought something from each of them too.

Thank goodness I didn't, because one of our big online purchases would have been from Best Buy.  Instead I went with another retailer and received the gift within 5 days.

Turns out it may not have been the case with Best Buy.  Have you all read/heard that Best Buy has been sending out notifications in the last 24 hours to their customers informing them that their orders HAVE BEEN CANCELLED?

Yes!  Customers that ordered as far back as Cyber Monday [November 28] have been told that they will not be receiving their purchases 3 days before Christmas!!!!!!!

That is ridiculous Tadpoles.  And yet another reason I will never shop at Best Buy again.

I hope that none of you had the misfortune of dealing with them this holiday season and weren't caught short handed a few days before Christmas - but if so, I know that everyone will be understanding.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Got Carried Away

Pooldad asked me to wrap his "Santa Gift Exchange" gift for his office party tomorrow.

[Okay, Okay. I admit it - I wrested it out of his grip and wrapped it myself. :D]

I don't think his co workers will be able to guess it is from him, do you?

I love wrapping presents. :)

[ETA at 12 am] I also like baking with my youngest:

Christmas Tree Cake - [It is wrapped in plastic wrap]
 Hanukkah Cupcakes -

My partner in crime -
[Do you think she inherited Daddy's color blindness? heehee]

Hope y'all are having a good week.  Only 4 days until Christmas. Woohoo!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Man Has Talent

Especially considering the level of his color blindness.

This is snowman gift #19 for the month of December.  Pooldad colored it all by himself and I have to say I am very impressed:

While I was "ooohing" and "aaahing" over it I noticed the colored pencil he was holding in his hand.  I asked him, "So the pencils, they all have the colors written on them, don't they?"  He laughed and said yes.  [We kid because we love.:) heehee]

I love it!

In other Christmas news:  We went shopping at the mall yesterday. ::gasp:: Never thought I would do that this close to Christmas, but I have to be honest - although it was incredibly crowded when we first arrived - we did find a very close parking spot and didn't have to wait too terribly long in any line.  And the sales?  WOW!  These retailers really want our money. I was surprised by what we found for 50, 60, even 70% off.   We had to make two trips to the car to unload [Pooldad has skillz, trust me, but he has a hard time pushing the chair while juggling packages] and we spent less than $250.  I love bargains.

Best part of the whole trip?  We were waiting in line behind a woman who was checking out.  We were chatting and she mentioned that she was so happy that she was finally done shopping.  We laughingly agreed when she suddenly handed us two coupons for Macy's.  She explained that since she was done she wouldn't be using them and noticed we could. Yipppee!  It saved us $40 off our final purchases. I could not believe it.  Thank you nice lady who was buying the "Circus Waffle Maker"** in Macy's on Sunday.  [**Which I now covet.  Seriously, how cool are "Circus Waffles"?]

When we arrived home we had crockpot stew for dinner and afterwards I got to wrapping.  Pooldad kept me company for the most part [he went to bed early because he did have to work today] but I wanted to do it myself.  Six hours later and I don't think I have ever been happier to fall into bed.  I have never, ever had my wrapping done a week before Christmas, but it is so worth it. :)

Now, raise you hand if you have ever done this while wrapping presents:  Who has chipped a nail?  I not only chipped one nail, but I broke another.  How does that happen wrapping presents?  giggle - probably just me.

That's all for now.  I am going to be resting for most of the week to gear up for the weekend.  I hope y'all are having a good one Tadpoles.  See ya' on the flipside. :D

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Having Fun!

I put up my mini tree tonight.  It is such a happy tree and I could look at it all night. So much to see.
It is filled with over 70 ornaments including the Wizard of Oz, trains, tractors, airplanes, snowmen, old fashioned Santa Clauses and vintage cars.  It even has a train that runs around the base.

All lit up!
 Mary, Jesus and Joseph under the tree:

 One of the many trains on the tree [and the bottom of the Wicked Witch]:
 A tractor, Dorothy's ruby slippers and the tin man:

 Father Christmas [at the bottom] and Dorothy:
 Tinkerbell and the Scarecrow:
 The train:
Sorry the pictures are so poor, but I don't know how to use my camera [obviously] and those that do know how to use it are asleep! :)  But I think you get the idea.  I hope it brings a smile to your face the way it does mine.

I have finished with Pooldad's shopping!  All of it online! Woohoo!  If you still have Christmas shopping  left to do and would like 40% off your total order and free shipping [over $50] please, please, please go to  I stumbled it upon it looking for some good quality things for him and I hit the jackpot.  Everything is on sale, plus they add the 40 percent off on top of the sales.  I really like Lands End because it is such good quality, the stuff lasts and I just couldn't beat the prices.  I wish I could tell you everything I bought, but I can't - tho' I can say I only spent $53 and that is a more than a few gifts under the tree.  I am so excited. Finally - I actually got his shopping done. [Oh, and the sale and guaranteed shipping runs until December 19th!]

Just a few more things to buy in the local shops and we are done completely. :D ::BIG grin::

Enjoy your weekend Tadpoles.  Only 8 days 'til Christmas. YAY!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Truth is Thursday . . .

Truth is . . . we picked up Squirrel last night and she is home for a whole month. Ahhh, life is good.

Truth is . . . yes, that does say "we" - I made the road trip to Harrisonburg to go get her.  She didn't know I was coming and she was thrilled that we were all there - I thought she would cry. [I am going to pay for that trip, but it was sooo worth it. :D]

Truth is . . . we stopped for a special treat on the way home - Cracker Barrel - and to be honest?  We give up.  The service and the food, no matter the location, has gone downhill so much in the past 5 years it isn't worth a $40 tab [+tip] for lukewarm, reheated food and awful customer service.  I am kind of glad we don't eat out anymore. I'd rather cook.

Truth is . . . I don't know how Kathy does it - sleeping with 3 dachshunds every night.  I wouldn't get a minute of sleep with three after just sleeping with one last night!  Bless you Kathy - I am kicking mine out tonight. heehee [note: they are wicked bed hogs for being all of 10-12 lbs.  Pooldad takes up less space than Spot.]

Truth is . . . the Christmas card onslaught has begun! Yipppeee.  Remember I was lamenting not having received one?  We had 10 in the mail on Tuesday. So cool.

Truth is . . . no matter what I type today - the only real news today - THE BEST NEWS - is...

Our Troops are coming home today!

Such great news.

Hope y'all have a great Thursday.  There is so much to be thankful for, isn't there?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Salt Mafia . . .

. . . are tricky little bast*rds.  Harumphh.

I am the only one that watches my sodium intake.  Pooldad is great about keeping low salt and salt-free groceries in the house, but I, and I alone, am responsible for what goes into my mouth.  In almost two years I can honestly think of only two times I have exceeded my limit of 1,000 mg of sodium/daily. [Both of those days involved a certain fast food chain and their most popular sandwich.  Not naming any names - Mac - but you really need not be so tasty . . .]

I have been extra diligent since I became sicker a few months back and while we wait on our insurance to go through [no, really - don't ask] but when I was making Wallene's lunch tonight I gave in to temptation.  It's hard to make a cold cut sub with provolone cheese and deli mustard and not want a taste.

Don't think so?  You try it. heehee

So, dangit, I made the sandwich.
Here it is in all its [pathetic] glory:
I say pathetic because that lousy, HALF of a sandwich is 1,170 mgs of sodium!

It is one slice of rye bread, one slice of provolone, one slice of beef bologna, one slice of salami and 1 tbsp of brown mustard.

After I totaled it and realized I was going to over shoot my limit by more than a Big Mac for a half of sandwich, I STILL said the heck with it and sat down to eat it. [The whole while I was rationalizing how good I have been for so long - water on the lungs be damned.]

Here's where the "Salt Mafia" comes into play.  Seems "someone else" is watching what I eat too because, as much as I wanted that sandwich, I did not eat it.

Nope.  I was kept from eating it by one of my greatest gag reflexes.

Hair in my food.

[You are so glad you are still reading this aren't you?]  

And it wasn't just one hair, it was two! ::groan::  I think I could've made it past the first one, but the second one popped up so fast I wasn't chancing a third and throwing up whatever I managed to get down.  I know it wasn't mine or Wallene's because our hair is too long, so I suspect someone has been planting Pooldad or Scooby hair in the 'fridge.

So whomever is plucking my husband and/or my dog and planting their hair in the salty, tasty goodness I want? Bite me.  I have learned my lesson.  Go away.  I'll be good.

I am off to have a fruit popsicle.

I would have a Christmas cookie, but . . . um, those are all gone. [Hey! At least they are low in sodium. :D]

Have a good Tuesday Tadpoles.  See ya' on the flipside.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It's Beginning to Smell A Lot Like Christmas

Mmmmmm. . .our house smells like cookies and spiced nuts.  Gosh, it is so delicious. I think you could gain 5 pounds just sniffing the air in here.

We made a couple different kind of cookies [Squirrel's favorites] and a bunch of spicy sugar walnuts.  We are sending one last care package to her before she comes home this week.  She will get it Monday to celebrate the end of finals and we pick her up Wednesday.  Let the festivities begin.

I am loving Christmas.  Everyday something new shows up at the front door [thank you UPS guy!] and it is wrapped and stashed.  Come Christmas Eve we will just have to set it all up under the tree - and - done! [This is amazing for us.  Usually we are wrapping until the wee morning hours of Christmas day!  Getting it done this way is an extra bonus. We can just relax and enjoy the evening with the kids.]

Our cards are done - they just need Christmas stamps and they are in the mail.  What is really weird is this year we have yet to get one card from anyone.  Weird because we usually have a basket full by now.  It may be because I didn't send any out last year [it was just a few months after my Mom's passing and I wasn't feeling it] but, meh - I don't send them out to get them. I send them out to keep the USPS in business [hi Julianna!] Kidding, kidding.  I like sending cards and keeping in touch with people, some I have known for over 4 decades.  That is fun. :)

I hope all your Christmas preparations are going according to plan and you are blessed with wonderful elves like me.  Enjoy your weekend.

If you need me I will be the one sitting in the living room, sounding like I have a cold. ::sniff, sniff::

"Bring me a cookie please!"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Truth is Thursday . . .

Cutting it close.

Truth is . . . I lost track of the days this week and didn't realize this was Thursday. It is now 11:44 pm [EST] so I am just in under the wire. :D

Truth is . . . we still don't have our correct health insurance.  They have insured Pooldad and me, but not the kids - and we have our Group number, but no one can seem to find OUR member number. The insurance is moot without the second.

Truth is . . . I spend a lot more time in bed each day as this progresses.  I just want to get to the doctor and feel better.

Truth is . . . bed is not a bad place to be.  It is warm. I am almost pain free if I lie still. The swelling goes down so I am much more comfortable.  I have cable TV and the bathroom is mere steps away.  Plus I get all the popscicles I want. I am constantly thirsty because of the meds and I not supposed to drink too much liquid, but the popscicles do the trick. [Sounds like I had my tonsils taken out. giggle I wish.]

Truth is . . .  I did get a chunk of our Christmas shopping done [on line] the other day. That was fun.  I love Amazon and free shipping. Woohoo!

Truth is . . . you can find darn near anything on Amazon, at a good price. Woohoo twice!

Truth is . . . Pooldad's four day work weeks begin this week. He has Friday and Monday off - 4 day weekend Tadpoles. ::skippyhappydance::

Truth is . . . we are making our Christmas cookies tomorrow [only 3 kinds this year] so we can get a tin off to Squirrel for finals.  [Okay, okay, I am there in an advisory capacity <----read:  laying on the couch & answering questions. Bonus - I am also taste tester. Good to be me.]

Truth is . . . thanks for all the nice comments on the snowmen. They are happy little fellas' aren't they?  I have to agree with  a lot of you that like the ones that are dancing. Those were two of the first ones that Pooldad ever gave me.  They're fun!

Truth is . . . time for bed. I hope y'all have a wonderful Friday.

Try to remember - tomorrow is another day. If you can, try to be happy that you are there to enjoy it.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Wow! Look Who Blew In!

They traveled all the way from a suburb of the "Windy City" of Chicago to come live at my house!

I feel so lucky and Oh! They brought homemade cookies too! Squeeee!

Who are they, you ask?
More snowmen friends, of course - Gifts from my friend the lovely and talented Bizzy!

First is this adorable box. So many snowmen! So bright & cheery!
I put it up to hang with all the cool kids on the breakfast bar.
Doesn't he look great?
Then this cutie felt snowman found his niche with Santa, on top of the sewing machine.  And the little snowglobe [love, love, love snowmen snowglobes] decided to make his home there too.  Bizzy even found the perfect card.  Lotsa' snowmen!
His mittens are so cute.
And here is a framed print that has a place of honor in our "Snowman Guest Bathroom".  I love that he has a cardinal with him.  :) [Yes, I do decorate our guest bathroom and was so happy to finally have something for the wall. Yipppee!]
Don't the cookies look delicious?  Bizzy is an amazing cook and I can promise you that these cookies are so yummy.
They are cranberry, nut, oatmeal [I think]. So good!
 Thank goodness she sent a huge bag! [Look how many cookies I get to savor. YAY!]
Bizzy  I can't thank you enough for the lovely surprise package - you really went all out on this one girlie.  I will treasure them and think of you everytime I look at them from my perch at my desk.

And just to add a few more smiles to everyone's holiday season:

The Snowmen Have Invaded!

I have had the house decorated for over a week [Thanks Gang!] but it took me until yesterday to get batteries and a new memory card for my camera.

These aren't all of them, but you'll get the idea. :)

My newest one.  He is an advent calendar too! Squee!
[He is also surrounded by 14 more snowmen I forgot to photograph. Oops. I am too tired. Sorry. :D]
No, I haven't been known to sleep with this one.
Why do you ask?
The kitchen table.

The Pez guy is one of my favorites.
These minis are perched on top of the DVR player.
What?  I was running out of "dog free" places to put them.

These three bear some explaining.  The one hanging on the door knob is a snowman pillow and there is one on every single door in the house.  The one in the middle is to sort of a "hide the bungee cord" snowman. [Yes, I realize, it isn't working out so well. heehee] And the snowman bag on the right holds the bungee cord when we open the back door.  [The bungee cord is to keep Scooby from getting out of the back door. Trust me.]
 My favorite display.

These guys are great. They grow and shrink depending on where I want to put them. They are about half way up here.
My very first snowman. He stays up year round in the Master bedroom.
He visits the living room in December.
Our "Party Guys" on the couch.  The penguin just thinks he is a snowman.  We don't let on. :wink:
And the final pic' is of our tree [if you can click on it you will see a few more of my friends.] Our stockings are hung up on the banister to the right.
Hope it helps to put you in a jolly mood - makes me smile everytime I come downstairs.

See ya' soon.