Thursday, September 29, 2011

Truth is Thursday. . .

Another round of Truth is Thursday thanks to Miss Julianna over at "Surviving Boys."

Truth is. . . Jules got a new button for this.  Looky!

Truth is . . . I impressed myself that I got that link up and it works. Thanks J!

Truth is . . . I am worn out. Tired.  I can only manage to stay awake for a little over 4 hours and then I sleep for 5 or 6 more hours. This has been going on for a few weeks.  It is a weird schedule that I have to work to make sure I am awake for Wallene in the morning and for her when she comes home in the evening.

Truth is . . . I know I need to go to the doctor but don't feel like incurring another bill we can't pay. Or that we will be paying for years to come.

Truth is . . . I am not going to worry about it.  Sleep is good. I need it and have the advantage of being able to lay down when I want. It'is all good. And have I  mentioned I love my bed? : D And my couch?

Bad pic' of my bed
Love my bed!
Truth is . . . the High School planned an expensive trip to Chicago for the marching band and not enough people signed up.  So they cancelled Chicago and have rescheduled a trip to Philadelphia.

Truth is . . . I am not too  happy with the Philadelphia trip because the kids leave here at 4 am on a Saturday - have a world wind of activities on Saturday and Sunday [barely time to sleep] and return home Sunday night. Sigh.  Wallene will be tired for a week from that trip.

Truth is . . . our deposit for the first trip pays 2/3rds the total for the second. YAY!  [Guess we are letting her go?]

Truth is . . . Mystery Meat has to be one of the all time cheapest, easiest and [somehow] tastiest meals we have on occasion. It is sold as "Salisbury Steak" but it reminds me of elementary and high school cafeteria lunch. It may not be good, health wise, but once and a while it is such a tasty comfort food. We serve it with homemade mashed potatoes and steamed corn.

Truth is . . .  I really like Tuesdays.  It is the one day a week Wallene doesn't have band practice after school and she is home before dark.

Truth is . . .  Elliot left "Law & Order SVU" last season and the show isn't the same.  We miss Elliot. Now what do I watch?

Truth is . . . this has been really boring and rambly.  Sorry about that.

Hope you have a great Thursday Tadpoles.  See ya' on the flipside.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Good And The Bad of Being First

Hey, we won!  And depending on your outlook this can be a good thing or a bad thing.

The Washington DC metropolitan area is now number one in the nation for number of hours spent in traffic in a year.

Yep, we beat perennial favorites Chicago and Los Angeles in being first for spending the most time in our cars commuting to work.

We average 74 hours [a little over 3 days] over the span of a year stuck in traffic. WOW!

Washington Post Article

Now, as awful as these statistics sound, let's look at the bright side.  It means our economy, in our part of the US, is doing just fine and there are a lot [A LOT] of people going to work each day.

As annoying as the traffic is, and we have had to factor traffic into all our plans for over two decades, [it is that bad], it is nice to know at least something good can be seen from it.

Then again - we still have one of the highest cost of living indexes in the US. Milk is 5 bucks and gas has not dropped below $3.90 yet.  Sigh.  And you can forget the housing market.  There may be millions of homes in foreclosure, but glad you have a job because a fixer upper dump still costs $350,000.00 USD.  Something you would actually want to move into starts at half a mil.

At least there are jobs to be had, eh?  Hope y'all have a great Tuesday.  See ya' on the flipside.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Just What Exactly Are You Trying to Tell Me?

""I subscribe to "Living Social" deals in my area. They send me daily emails offering  25 - 50% and more off of meals, entertainment and services local to me. It is pretty neat and a good way to save money when we want to see a movie or go to a restaurant we want to try.

The deals are usually geared towards my profile and I have received some nice offers. Cupcakes half off, concerts 60% off, a 25% coupon off at a local bistro.  Nice, right?

The last two days I think I received someone else's emails or Living Social is trying to tell me something.

Sunday I received an email for 50%  off 10 botox treatments. Huh?  Thanks a lot Living Social.  I don't think I need botox TYVM, nor would I ever get it, but I bet a lot of people around here scooped that one up. heehee

Then today I received my favorite offer ever. An offer I was tempted to send a long to my beloved Mother In Law just to make her laugh. [You can forward them to whomever you want and they can sign up too.]

"Buy one get one free - Pole Dancing Lessons." Yeah Baby!

Raise your hand if you laughed at the idea of Skippy on a pole.

What's next?  Adopt a puppy, get one free?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Dog - Be Quiet!

You know you wear a baseball cap WAY too often when . . .

You bathe. wash your hair, blow dry, curl it and when you walk in the room your dog growls at you because she thinks you are a stranger.

I think I need to get out more. heehee [Or bathe more often perhaps? Buy the dog glasses?]

On a fun note - we went to Wallene's band competition tonight. It will be the only one we can attend this season because it is the only one that is close to home. It is kind of a "starter" competition to get the new kids used to it.

Look! My baby!
She is right in the middle. I put an arrow on the pic' - but it is hard to see.

They did a great job, and won first place! Woot!

However, I have to be honest about that first place. We found out later that it was by default because they were the only ones in their division. giggle  Still, they looked awesome.  We are very proud of them.  It is amazing the amount of work these kids put into their marching and playing.  Nicely done Wally!

After saying goodbye to our girl [she had to take the bus back] Pooldad surprised me by taking me over to the local sport's bar. We sat out on the patio - the weather here is just gorgeous - and we had drinks while we waited for the local pizza place to cook us up a fresh pie take home. Yum!

All in all a pretty nice day.

Hope y'all have a great Sunday. See ya' on the flipside Tadpoles.

Friday, September 23, 2011

"Shag" Gets A Bath

Thank you Knitty for [temporarily] renaming our dachshund Shag. That made me laugh.

Every morning Pooldad lets the pups out in the back yard for their morning business.  They usually split up and go to opposite corners to potty. But.  .  .since it is our house and Pooldad had 10 minutes to leave for work, this morning Scooby followed Spot.

While Spot [the girl dog] was squatting Scooby [the boy dog] lifted his leg right over top of his little sister and well. . .relieved himself on top of her. Head to toe.

She shook, but um. . .that wasn't going to cut it. Pooldad grabbed a towel, picked up Spot and knowing he was cutting it close decided not to take her upstairs to the bathroom and the bathtub for a quick bath. It is 31 stairs up to the bathrooms as opposed to 5 steps to the laundry room. I do not blame him.

Noooo.  He carried her into the laundry room and started the washing machine.  He glanced on the shelves and saw powdered laundry detergent, liquid fabric softner and carpet cleaner.

Yep. He chose the carpet cleaner.  After getting Spotty sufficiently wet in the washing machine, he soaped her  up, rinsed her off and towel dried her. [No he didn't turn the spin cycle on, he just held her under the water. We don't have a wash sink in our laundry room.]  She actually smells pretty good.

I laughed so hard when he told me this story. It is just what we do I guess. And he didn't want to be late to work or send her upstairs pee soaked.  What a good guy.

Okay, that's my story. I am still feeling the effects of last weekend, so it was short today.

I hope you all have a nice, relaxing and happy weekend.  I am back to bed for the foreseeable future. [I love my bed.] See ya' next week!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Truth is Thursday . . .

Once again . . . Julianna's "Truth is Thursday."

Truth is . . . I forgot to add the link in last week. Sorry Jules. Now get your mojo back. We need you.

Truth is . . . I don't know if Julianna likes the nickname Jules.  I may get my behind kicked in comments. hee

Truth is . . . Y'alls comments in the last post had me laughing all day.  How did I get so lucky to have such funny friends? No kidding. Awesome.  Berber and Shag say hi

Truth is . . . my dog tried to drink the water out of my crystal vase with the roses in it.  It was on the coffee table.

Truth is . . .  a good scream scared him away from the vase [thank you Wallene] and the roses now adorn the kitchen. On higher ground.  Water whore dog.

Truth is . . . there will be no pumpkin carving/jack-o-lanterns this year.  First time ever. :(  The floods hit hard and decimated the crops, so we won't be paying $20 to carve up a pumpkin for one night.

Truth is . . . we have so many Halloween decorations for outside it won't make a difference.  Since we won't have real pumpkins we are going to make cut outs and paste them to the front door. Festive and cheap!

Truth is . . . honestly? I want to put my Christmas tree up now.  Silly isn't it?  I am not a holiday freak or anything, but my house is so pretty when everything is up and decorated. It makes me smile.

Truth is . . . I already have three snowmen hanging out in my den. One from Tee, one my husband gave me on vacation this summer and the one my MIL gave me for my birthday [bonus - the last one was holding 20 bucks] and they will stay up until their brethren escape sometime after Thanksgiving. Who can't smile looking at a snowman, c'mon.

Truth is . . . I am a bad fashion statement today. I am wearing vertical strips on the bottom and horizontal on the top.  I have to admit it, but it is one of Pooldad's favorite outfits. We make the sacrifice, eh?

Truth is . . . I am cheating this and wrote it at 11:45 pm on Wednesday.

Truth is . . . I don't have to be up in the morning because Pooldad has the vampire shift [3 pm 'till close] and will get up with Wallene..

Truth is . . .  I am ready for bed. See ya' on the flipside Tadpoles.  Keep smiling. It's worth it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Do You Ever Wonder Why? Wednesday

More rhetorical questions for your enjoyment.  Since y'all had such great answers last week I thought I would bring you some more of my silly questions.

  • Why . . .  is a satellite hurtling towards the earth?  Did NASA not know how to stop this from happening?
  • Why . . .  can't they figure out WHERE it is going to hit?
  • Why . . .  is milk now $5.01 a gallon?  I miss Squirrel very much, but so glad she left for college.  That child drinks a lot of milk.
  • Why . . .  isn't Wallene out of bed yet?  She has to go to school. :excuse me for a moment . . . .WALLENE!:  Problem solved.
  • Why . . . isn't gay marriage legal in all states?
  • Why . . . have I been awake since 1:30 am?  And no, no "Bait Shop" movies this morning.  Just a lot of "Law & Order." 
  • Why . . . did my husband use carpet shampoo to wash the dog? [I know the answer to this one, and it is Friday's post, but I want to see if you guys can guess.  And NMM no fair telling the real answer.] 
  • Why . . . did I watch a marathon of "Toddlers and Tiaras" Monday night?  Although I blame Diane in some way for this - not only should those pageants not be allowed the show shouldn't even be on the air. omg. Trainwreck. 
  • Why . . . [I mean how] can my husband sleep 15 hours in a row and still not want to get up? He isn't sick and he has late shift, but really?  I want his teenage ability to sleep forever. 
  • Why . . . does anyone care about the "Real Housewives" of anywhere. Are they REAL housewives of ANYTHING? Rename the show already - "Money Whores of New York" works. 
  • Why . . . are there so many bad reality shows on TV? And why do they get nominated for Emmys? Supposedly there is NO acting, it is REALITY.  So the point would be?
  • And finally . . . Why are some people so insecure?  I can understand a lot of situations where insecurity could grab you, believe me, I go out in public on wheels, but the trying to "one up" someone to prove a talent you don't have is so silly.  
That's all I have for Wednesday Tadpoles.  Somehow I seem to be obsessed with reality shows this week, but honestly, they are everywhere and one is more stupid than the next. Sorry about that.
We'll see ya' on the flipside. We're almost to Friday! Woot!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Sensory Overload

Whew! :wiping my brow:  Well, that was a long weekend.  :)

See that heap? Lumped up on the couch?  Over there ------->
Dressed in pajamas and not moving?
[Except to type, of course.]

That would be yours truly. heehee

Remind me not to mention my birthday next year, wouldja'.
Jiminy Christmas.

I barely survived Friday. :D
And I mean that in the best way possible.

Where to begin?   [Note: There are some things I left out of this post. I tried to fit it all in, but if I forgot something, I apologize. I got tired typing it.]

It started Thursday night with a surprise gift box from Colenic.  Full of fun, happy, smiley face items and a baby jar of maple syrup and jam.  This was a give a way I won on her blog, as did many others, but to me it felt like my first true birthday present.  Thank you Col. Love you!

Then I found a huge box on the front porch from my husband's Aunt who lives in Florida.  The thing was heavy, heavy.  Opening up I thought, at first, she had sent me WW frying pans and thought....huh? No, she was just recycling the box and inside were many wonderful things.  There were 10 paperbacks from my favorite authors and a whole bunch of cookie cutters for Halloween and for our doggies [bone, fire hydrant, dog shapes]. This was a serious size tupperware container of that stuff. I can't wait to watch the kids bake. So cool!  Plus a lovely card wishing me a happy birthday. Love you Aunt Z and Uncle B!

Wow! I am not used to presents on my birthday - but slam bang. It was shaping up to be pretty neat.

Really it wasn't about presents tho' - 'cause Friday dawned bright and early with the promise of better things to come.  Such a pretty morning, with the added bonus that Pooldad had the day off and he joined me for tea/coffee at 7 am. <----Unheard of. The man is a sleeper inner if he can manage it.

I found his birthday card to me hidden in my laptop.  I found Wallene's beautiful card in the bathroom [after she left for school.] Do they know me or what? Two places to find Mom at any given moment. :)

While we were kissing Wallene goodbye for school at the front door I went to back out of her Dad's way and  accidentally fell backwards over the dog.  No. It wasn't the little dog.  It was the big, humongo mule.  Straight over his back.  It was a scene out a movie. I swear I could not have choreographed it better myself.  Amazing. I am lucky I didn't kill the poor boy.  I landed flat on my head, back and behind with Pooldad and Wallene freaking out. The reason this is such a funny part of the day is I didn't hurt myelf. I was laughing, trying to calm them down and keep Scooby from wetting himself [on me] because he was freaking out too. My poor family and their klutzy Momma.

Pooldad and I had a lot of fun hanging out and planning the evening.   I even got to talk to my BFF twice on Friday. Once, because she called to wish me a happy birthday [thank you!] and the second time I called her back to tell her how Pooldad washed the dog.  I will tell that story another day, but that is an oxygen therapy kind of story for me. I couldn't breath for laughing on that one. [And no telling, please!]  Just getting to talk to her was great.  It made my day AND she made her poor husband sing "Happy Birthday" to me. giggle. Thank you again. I love you guys. :D

Around 3:30 I knew I needed a nap if I was going to be up to the trip to get Squirrel one town over at her drop off. Yep, my baby made her way home just for my birthday, but I knew after picking her up we were going straight to the football game at Wallene's high school and the day was already looong.

While I was asleep Pooldad went shopping.  And he cooked. And he baked.  I woke up to the smell of homemade pumpkin pie [my choice of birthday "cake"] and a big pot of chili in the crockpot.  Heaven.

Since Pooldad had to wake me up at 5:30 I had to move it to get out of the house by 6:30 to be to Squirrel by 7:15.  I am so very proud of myself. [The adrenaline was pumping, let me tell you. Or my heart decided to cooperate for once, whatever. It worked.]  I bathed, dressed, did my hair AND painted my nails [vanity thy name is "Skippy"] in a little over an hour.  I had a lot of help from Pooldad, of course, and my favorite "50 second nail color" - but I made it out of the house, wheelchair in tow and saw my girlie less than an hour later waiting at the Metro with her pals from school. Squeeee!

We raced back to Wallene's game and made it just in time to see Wallene march with the band at half time.  I think my youngest has a wee little big mouth because I had other Mom's coming up to wish me a happy birthday that night, along with her friends. It was kind of cool.  Plus Squirrel was able to see all her old friends that are still in high school/band.   It was a FUN time.
Serious face!
Hard to see her so serious. She is always smiling otherwise. hee

Wallene is second from the right. 
Our girls.

I started to fade by the end of half time so we left Squirrel, Wallene and the camera at the field and Pooldad took me home.  BONUS!  We received a phone call when we arrived home that one of the nice Moms asked to give the girls a ride home, so Pooldad could just relax and we could enjoy another hour, alone, together. How sweet is that?  We thanked her with one of the homemade pumpkin pies, we so appreciated it.

Then the two crazies arrived home and we had a party.  I knew I couldn't eat dinner so late, but it was so worth it to watch the family enjoy Dad's fabulous chili.  Then, and I wasn't passing this up - priorities you know - the pie. OMG! The pie.  Have I mentioned my husband has never baked before.  Anything.  And he was ALL alone when he made those pies.  The kids weren't here, I was asleep and his mother wasn't available.  So yeah, a recipe and the ability to read.  WOW!  I was amazed. One of the best pies I have ever had. He did a dang good job Tadpoles.  I have one piece left and if anyone touches it? Their new name is going to be lefty.  Just saying. :wink:

Okay, the night wasn't over YET [still with me?] because my goofy family bought me presents.  They never buy me presents but this year....yeppers!

And these were gifts with a lot of thought behind them.  I was teary eyed by the end of it.

As Pooldad had  already given me roses and cooked [oh, and did I mention clean too?  Yeah, forgot that. Sparkly house.] I wasn't expecting anything else.  But? He got me the only thing I asked for. [No laughing- he hesitated to buy them because he thought they were "not a birthday/romantic gift", but....] Two 2lb hand weights.  I thought that when I am sitting I can at least try to keep some kind of tone to my arms since I never lift anything heavier than a shampoo bottle. I was so excited. And I have been using them.

Next Wallene added to my collection of Tynies. They are hand blown glass figurines that are tiny [hence the name.] She gave me a panda, snail, catepillar, dove, owl and goldfish.  So cute and thoughtful. I love them. They make me smile to look at, like my snowmen - except these I can keep up all year long! :)

Finally - Squirrel gave me her present.  She could hardly contain herself.  Seems our girl had found a leather bound edition of  Gone With the Wind at a local thrift fair.  In perfect condition. [It didn't smell like old book either - and this is a very early edition.] Blown away. Whoosh.  "Gone With the Wind" is my favorite movie, ever, but I had never read the book.  I couldn't believe it. She remembered.

I was so very surprised.  Pooldad and I don't usually give gifts to eachother and don't ask the kids to give us anything because their money is so tight, but they put a lot of thought into simple gifts that mean so much to me.  I won't read, use or look at any of them without thinking of these guys.  So special.

:Fade to ultimate collapse of happiness:

I had to skip the trip to their grandparents on Saturday and the ride to take Squirrel back to college on Sunday, but Tadpoles?  Just to be remembered and thought of by my family, by y'all in the pond and my friends here in VA - it just made Friday one of the most amazing days, ever.

I may not be up to anything for the next week, [or two or three] - but there is something beautiful in finding the great in just one 24 hour period and living off of it for a while. It is worth it's weight in seconds.

I hope you y'all have a great Tuesday Tadpoles. We'll see you on the flipside.
Have a soft landing. :wink:

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fun With Doorknobs

Who knew I would ever find a use for THAT post title. 
Squirrel and Wallene
This is what you do when you go visit your Grandparents.  
Goofy kids.
Gotta' love 'em.
Thank you for all the nice wishes! Hugs & love from the pond.
See ya' on the flipside.

The Most Amazing Day Ever!

My 45th birthday.

It was THE awesome.

You're just going to have wait.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Chili Today. . .

Fried chicken tomorrow?
I have food on the brain.  
With the cold weather visiting for a few days I am keen to make some comfort food.   
Add the bonus of a daughter home from college [YAY!] and I have really been thinking about food.
When I asked Squirrel what she wanted to eat this weekend she simply said "Mom food." 
So Mom food it is. 
Chili in the crockpot today, with cheese, onions and sour cream. Side of cornbread.
Fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and corn tomorrow. Side of yeast rolls.
A big french toast breakfast before we leave on Sunday. [This is sort of selfish, hee, because I want to use more of the pure maple syrup I received as a gift! Thank you Colenic!] 

It really is chilly today.  This also excites me because you know what that means - right?  The "Skippy's EPIC Sweater Collection" :said in a booming announcer voice:  is getting ready to make a reappearance. Yippee!

I hope you all have a great Friday and a wonderful weekend.  See ya' on the flipside Tadpoles.

[PS - I just have to add, on a less happier note - Pat Robertson is a tool. A big tool.]

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Truth is Thursday. . .

Truth is . . . these guys are cute.  My friend has one and I couldn't believe I would think so, but - look - CUTE!
Bearded Dragon
Truth is . . . I will never have a lizard as a pet.  Or a snake. I don't mind them, but we have some household members that aren't so fond of the lil' guys.
Truth is . . .  we won't be having a Thanksgiving dinner on Friday, as I mentioned before, because we won't be home until 10:30 pm.  I think it may be concession stand hot dogs. [Not a bad substitute is you know how Skippy loves her some cheapie hot dogs.] hee

Truth is .  .  . I am having pumpkin pie tho'. woohoo
Truth is . . .  we have so many cable channels,  but I can never find something on at 2 am.

Truth is . . .  it is 2 am and I am now watching a movie called "Bait Shop."  That is sort of scary, dontcha' think?

Truth is . . . it is now 4 am and I sat through the whole movie.  It stars Bill Engval [the comedian] and Billy Ray Cyrus.  There are two hours I am not getting back. Wow. That was baaad.

Truth is . . . I really liked all your answers to yesterday's questions.  Thanks.

Truth is . . . I want to go back to bed, but I took a late nap and now I am not tired.

Truth is . . . the middle of the night [early morning] is really quiet.  Thank goodness I had the two Bills to keep me "entertained." [Yes, that is in quotes for a reason. I kid. I kid.]

Truth is . . . I just finished the most interesting book about the [almost] end of the world and survival as seen through the eyes of a 16 year old. It is called Life as We Knew It.  It is written by Susan Beth Pfeffer.  My youngest lent it to me. Pretty cool.

Truth is . . . I hope you all have a great Thursday. It's going to be a good one. :)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Do You Ever Wonder Why? Wednesday

I have a couple of questions today, mostly rhetorical, but if you have an answer feel free to leave it in comments.

Why . . . is Jackie Kennedy still so popular in America?  Almost 50 years after Camelot and she is still in the news.  [I don't mind this, but haven't we heard everything about her and her family by now?]

Why . . . will we be expected to pay a fine is we don't purchase health insurance [2012]?  We can't afford the insurance now, how are we going to be able to afford the fine? I am baffled.

Why . .  . do my dogs sleep all day?  It's not like they DO anything, except eat and go on an occasional walk. Big ol' lazy bones.

Why . . . are the Kardashians famous? [I really don't get this. It's like Paris Hilton x 3.] I have to change the channel if I see them on a show.

Why . . . is finger nail polish so much harder to take off then put on? I painted my nails black and silver and I can't get it off. [Reminder to self: Do not do that again. :)]

Why . . . is everyone so crazed by the Missoni fashion line at Target?  Is the stuff really all that great? Store shelves are empty and their website has crashed.  I understand that it is a high end line, but it is still Target. [I love Target, don't get me wrong, but . . . ?]

Why . . . isn't it Friday already? heehee

Hope you all have a great day! See ya' on the flipside.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

We Get Bored . . . hee hee

This is my daughter's idea of decorating the bathroom. 
Yes, that IS duct tape holding up the cork board.  Orange duct tape at that.
And that is an alarm clock hung on the wall.
I realized when I saw this that I MIGHT want to visit her bathroom a wee little bit more often.
Two signs with her real name.
Marching band notes.
An alarm clock.
Corkboard with push pins.

Next up - fingernail painting.  Since Wallene's school colors are black and silver I thought it would be fun to paint her nails in the french manicure style with those colors for her football game this week.  Black with silver tips.  The plaque in the middle is her hand in kindergarten. 
Click the pic'
And last, but not least, we found something else to wrap the dog in. giggle
 Spottie loves wrapping paper.  I swear. Really.
Hope you are having a great Tuesday.  I am still bored, so I am off to find more mischief to get into. See ya' on the flipside!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Crytal's A Pistol

I have a new blog friend who has the aptly named blog called "Crytal's A Pistol."  She is a hoot and you are guaranteed to leave with a smile after reading one of her posts.  

She kindly allowed me to share a video she made. I have been laughing at it all weekend. I hope you like it.

It is called "Count Your Blessings."
Enjoy! [And thanks Crystal!]

I Couldn't Ask For Anything More

I found out today I am getting the most awesome birthday present.

She is coming home on Friday, for the weekend.  For me.  She booked and paid for her ticket to surprise me.

I REALLY could NOT ask for anything more.
Have a great one Tadpoles and I hope your week, month, year has been made like mine. We all need a little "happy" in our lives.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Blue Skies

Who can forget the blue skies? It was the prettiest of days.

September 11, 2001.

I have mixed emotions about writing this post.  As much as I want to honor our country and remember those we have lost, I don't want to remember.

But?  I will never forget.  No one that witnessed it will ever forget, I think.

That morning I had walked our older children to the bus stop to attend elementary school.  I gathered up Wallene and went home to settle in and finish watching "Good Morning America" with a nice cup of tea.  Usual morning routine, right?  Just like everyone else in the world.

Or so we thought.

I remember sitting on the couch, with Wallene [who was 4] standing between my legs, playing with blocks on the coffee table and me trying to protect my cuppa' from her when all of a sudden Diane Sawyer and Charlie Gibson broke into their story to say a plane had hit the World Trade Center. It was shortly before 9 am and the pictures they were showing were horrifying. The smoke. It was terrible.

The one thing I never did [and still don't] was call Pooldad at work unless it is an emergency.  I couldn't believe what I was seeing, but that day?  I did call him.  I told him that a plane had hit one of the WTC towers, but they thought [and so did I] that it was just an accident. A misguided pilot or a malfunction or something else.

As bad as that would've been, I still think to this day - To have been right.

As I talked to him on the phone, with my eyes glued to the television, I watched in horror as the second plane hit the other tower and explode. I gasped.

My husband asked, "Skip...what?"

I whispered into the phone, "Oh my God Pooldad.  This isn't an accident.  They are doing this intentionally." And I started to cry. Silent tears.  I had a pre schooler perched between my legs, playing and being hysterical wasn't my option, I suppose.

We got off the phone so Pooldad could turn on the radio at work and we could make sense of what was going on.

I was in shock. The images. It was surreal.

I knew I needed to run to the little corner store for supplies, so I popped Wallene in her carseat and drove down the winding roads to the shop, all the while the radio was on.  As I crested the hill on that bright, sunny day I heard from the DJ "The Tower has fallen."  I started to cry harder. Again silent tears, but the tears that fell felt like a river. My shirt was getting wet from the amount. Up until that point I don't think I had ever cried that hard in my life.

I walked into the store with Wallene and saw the owner, who we knew well. He asked me what the heck was wrong.  I had no words.  I couldn't believe he didn't know by this point.  I stuttered out, "The Tower fell."  He responded, "What Tower?"  I just asked him to turn on the radio and grabbed my milk and left.

When Wallene and I arrived home I put her in her room to play so I could turn the news back on.  I didn't want her to see the destruction and the pain, the chaos.  I watched the tower fall again. And again. And again. Replay.

Then, suddenly, I saw that the Pentagon had been hit.  Wow.  My heart fell to my feet. I had no words.

You have to understand, at the time Pooldad worked in Arlington, where the Pentagon is located and his office was within 30 seconds flying time of that plane - less than five miles driving.  I was sick.  Not only were terrorists killing innocent people, but my husband and all our friends [his co workers] were in and around DC.  If the next plane they were using missed their target and arbitrarily hit a part of Arlington?  My chest still tightens up at the thought.

Then Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. I was panicked.

I tried to call him, but no luck.  It would be a long time before we knew they had grounded all the planes and that no other crashes were going to occur. I wanted so much to go to my kids' school and bring them home, but they were on a lock down and it was impossible. I held out hope that they would be well taken care of and safe.  I felt so hopeless and alone.  My only comfort my 4 year old baby.

I found out later that Pooldad had called all of his men back to the office.  Since Washington DC was on shutdown it took forever for them to get back, but thank goodness they were all safe.  Work, swimming pools, the mundane was no longer important that day.  Everyone thought of the attacks and their loved ones.  Everyone left and attempted to get home.

Pooldad arrived home sometime later that day and I have never been so happy to see him. We held eachother for a long time and I just cried.

The next few days we only watched the television when the kids weren't around.  We even hid the newspaper.  They were so young, we didn't want them to know what was happening - the terror, the pain, the hate. There was no reason to subject them to it.

I discovered a few years later that none of the kids had ever seen the footage of the Towers falling until they were in their teens. I thought the schools would've shown it before then, but no. When Squirrel saw it for the first time, with me, it about broke my heart.  The tears on her face. She said "Mom, is that how it really happened?  How did you and Dad handle it with us around all the time? How did we not know?"

I didn't have an answer.

This is just my memory of that day.  I write it because I know Pooldad will remember and maybe to share with my kids our memories that we hid from them on that day. And why.

I also write this to honor all of the people that lost their lives on September 11, 2001 - the innocent, the firefighters and policemen trying to save lives and those on Flight 93 that kept that plane from Washington DC, sparing so many more lives while sacrificing their own.

And our troops. Thank you for keeping us safe all these long ten years. I hope you all come home safe. Soon.

To all of you. Thank you.  Truly.  Thank you.

God Bless America.

Friday, September 9, 2011

12 Mudslides And Counting . . .

The flooding here is off the hook.  This wasn't even a hurricane and our area [Virginia, Maryland and DC] has been so inundated with rain for the past six days they have closed schools and the major highways.

I have lived here for 40 years and I cannot recall anything like this.  We have had some bad hurricanes [Agnes, Isabel] but nothing like this rain.  Just RAIN! Jeesh.

Thank goodness it has now stopped.

Now the clean up begins.

In our little world that means Pooldad's customers.  "Pool" being the operative word in his name.  I talked to him this afternoon and he told me that they have [so far] 12 pools that look something like this:
stock photo
Mudslides, right into the pool.  They have to be drained, cleaned and refilled.  

I cannot even imagine what these poor people's homes look like.  I cannot imagine what most of our area looks like, except for what I see on the news and those images are crazy. 

I don't even know what to say.  I just hope everyone is okay and that you are able to salvage what is most important to you. Be safe.

Everything is cancelled this weekend, so it promises to be quiet. I hope wherever you are is safe, comfortable and dry.

See ya' on the flipside.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tornadoes, Earthquakes And Floods, OH MY!

Okay.  This is getting a bit ridiculous.

First it was tornadoes.

Then we had the fun lil' earthquake

Not to mention that lil' beyotch hurricane called "Irene" last month.

But now?

The rain I mentioned earlier today that I said was not so bad?  Well.....

Pooldad just called to tell me that he was unable to get to Wallene's high school to pick her up because the road has washed out.  He was stuck in a traffic jam of epic proportions while attempting a different route to get there. [I do thank goodness there IS another way to get there.  Hopefully it won't be washed out too.]

We have a new stream creating itself in our backyard. The creek next to the house is 6 inches from the sidewalk and it is still raining. HARD.  Without hope of stopping tonight.

I know it is hard all over the U.S., especially in Texas with the dryness and wildfires - and we have been praying for all of our friends there that they are spared from the fires and safe.

I think I am going to start saying a few of those prayers for Virginia, Maryland and DC now.  Because it looks as tho' we are going to need it.

Have a good evening Tadpoles.  Thank goodness we all know how to swim in the "pond".

Truth is Thursday. . .

Truth is . . . it has been raining since Saturday. I don't mind it so much because it makes for great sleeping weather.  I just hope it stops before the weekend because we have things to do. More importantly tho' is some areas around here are starting to flood.

Truth is . . . I was so sleepy when I came downstairs yesterday morning that when I went to use the remote for the TV, instead of inputting channel 7 I punched in Pooldad's cellphone number. Imagine my surprise when I ended up on channel "9454".  Which, strangely? Exists! heehee

Truth is . . . Now that fall is here I am getting anxious for the holidays. I can't believe they are just around the corner, but I am excited to go Christmas shopping [online] and eat turkey with all the fixins'

Truth is . . . we are doing a "dry run" for Thanksgiving next Friday. Woot! And Pooldad has the day off. I am doubly excited about that.

Truth is . . . when I told Scooby "I love you old man" and patted his head my husband responded [from the next room] "I love you too sweetheart." ha

Truth is . . . I think I better stop calling the dog "old man" too.

Truth is . . . I am missing my kids.  It is too dang quiet here. [The holidays will take care of that. Which is another reason to love them so much.]

Truth is . . . I really like fruitcake. Homemade fruitcake.  I can't seem to find a good recipe tho'. Anyone out in the pond have a good recipe for it?  Does anyone still make it anymore?

Truth is . . . I hope everyone has a great day.  I am going back to bed. :)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Skippy Put Your Hands Down

I have a tendency to talk with my hands.  Not too demonstrative, but sometimes it goes a little awry.

Like last night.

I was sitting with Wallene and Pooldad and we were chatting about our day.  When it came around to me I read off the comments from my great Tadpoles wishing her a happy birthday.  [She is tickled and sends her thanks!]

One comment was from our best pal, Jeannie. [Hi Jeannie! We love you.] I said to them, "Oh, here's one from Jeannie. You guys know Jeannie."

And, without realizing it, I POINTED AT THE CEILING.

Pooldad started to laugh. Then Wallene began giggling.

She asked me, "Mom why are you pointing to the upstairs?"

I looked at my hand, slowly lowered it and said sheepishly "Because, um, Jeannie lives in Canada?"

They lost it laughing.  They KNOW Jeannie lives in Canada, but found it hysterical that I think North/Canada is somehow upstairs. Or in the sky.  Or, I don't know - heaven?

[Which now locates South America in our basement according to my gesture.]

Jeannie?  You could really help me out here and just move into an upstairs bedroom.

At least my hand motions would make more sense.

But until that happens we now are referring to the upper level as "Canada".  It is going to be so much kinder to tell Wallene "Go to Canada"  when I need to send her to her room, don'tcha' think? heehee

Have a great one Tadpoles! See you on the flipside.

PS:  My husband just called.  When I answered the phone he was signing "O Canada"
I am never going to live this down. giggle

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

At Least We'll Be Popular. I Think.

Wallene was eating breakfast the other day when she happen to mention that her friends were jealous that she had Pooldad and I as parents.

I had to laugh and ask her why?  She said, "Because you let me eat pizza for breakfast. And sometimes you let me stay home from school just because."

Yes, I am waiting for C hild P rotective S ervices as we speak.  heehee

Let's be clear. She doesn't get pizza for breakfast all the time.  I swear.  In fact, we rarely have leftovers of pizza because I don't like any pizza except Nino's [NC] and Bizzy's homemade.  But breakfast is the most important meal of the day and since Wallene's favorite pizza is pineapple - I figure she is eating fruit, veggies [sauce], protein [cheese] and grains [crust].  I know - I can rationalize anything. Just give me a minute and a blog. I am there.

As for staying home "just because" - okay, okay - I will grant her the Super Bowl sleep hangover was kind of special [I was still within my rights], but the day of the wicked lightening storm?  There was just no way she was walking to the bus stop that day.  I had no choice but to keep her home.

I am her Mom and as long as her Dad and I are on the same page - we are raising her the way we want.  But really?  No one allows their kids pizza for breakfast on occasion or has let them stay home when they weren't sick?

C'mon. I can't believe I am the only one. :D

Wallene's Great Aunt sent us a nice little gift and since Wallene has never had a birthday party with friends we thought it might be nice to have a few of her friends go to a bowling party on Saturday.  This will be the first time ever she has celebrated with anyone other than us, so it promises to be fun. 6 14 year old girls bowling for two hours [with soda, pizza, ice cream and cake thrown in] I think it will be a fun afternoon at Bowl America.  [You didn't think I was having them all over here did you? Pish.  Perish the thought.]  And B/A has the most fantastic, all inclusive deal.  I was shocked.  And happy.  We only have to provide her cake.

At least our "reputation" proceeds us. And we'll be sending home the leftover pizza so all her friends can try and see if they can have it for breakfast. giggle

I hope y'all had a great Tuesday and Wednesday is even better!  See ya' on the flipside.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Wallene!

We surprised her with a new camera.  She had already received her "big" present before school started [in the way of contacts.]  She had no idea she was getting anything on her actual day, today, because she knew that we paid a lot for the contacts and those were her present.

When she opened her present she cried, she was so shocked.  Wallene never cries.  We didn't mean for that to happen.  We just wanted to surprise her.

I think we did, don't you?
Glasses by: Poindexter
Necklace courtesy of Nana
She [just now] called me from the Smithsonian's National History Museum, all excited and giggly, to tell me she has taken 247 pictures. [Her's is not Momma's lame-o camera she used to borrow, let me tell ya.] This makes us very happy.  To hear the joy in your kid's voice is the best - and this wasn't about the gift, it was about the museum. She found so many things to photograph.  

[I am SO jealous - they saw Julia Child's kitchen.  heehee]

I am a lucky, lucky woman.  I have no doubt.  Thank you for all the kind words on the last two posts.  I need to concentrate on what we do have and not what we don't.  I don't suppose some things are fair, but it is what it is - and I need to remember that life goes on and time will continue to march on.  With or without a raise, with or without me - but as long as my kids and husband are healthy and happy then I am truly blessed. 

No doubt.

I love you Wallene. So much more than you will ever know - and I know it isn't gifts that make your world go round, but I am glad that this one makes you so happy. 

And girlie?  NO, you can't take my picture.  Now Scoot.  Don't you have 1,325 pictures to take of Spot to add to the 379,419 that are already on my computer?

The Pain? It's All Relative . . .

14 years ago I was 8 1/2 months pregnant, laying on our couch, at 2 am, counting the minutes between contractions. [Don't worry. I detail breakfast better than the childbirth part. It's safe.]

The kids were asleep, as was Dad, but since I had done this three times before I wasn't worried.  10 minutes, then it went to 8 minutes and so on through the night.

No big deal.  Pooldad woke up at six a.m. and asked "So, am I going to work today?"  I calmly replied "No. Let's get the little ones off to school and then call the doctor."

We did and the doctor told me to come in right away and to not eat anything before I got there.

Did I mention I had done this before? We stopped at a local diner and I had the best french toast, hashbrowns and chocolate milk ever.  I knew I was going to be in labor for a while and darned if I wasn't eating.  Yum. I can still taste that french toast. [I had to throw that little tid bit in. That was some really good french toast. Let me tell you.]

Anyhoodle, when we got there, low and behold, I was in labor and 5 centimeters dialated.  That was at 9 am.  Not to be too specific or personal - our little sweetheart was born 8 hours later.  At 4:51 pm on September 4th, 1997.

Yep! Today is Wallene's 14th birthday.  I couldn't be happier for our surprise [and believe me, she was a surprise] and the joy she brings to us every single day.  The best part of my day is 4 pm, when she walks in the door from school with all her stories and jokes and whatnot.

She is a gift that I never expected after I was blessed with Pooldad.  It was like God decided to double my great luck and reward me with more smiles that light my world! YAY!

The reason for the post title?  Tonight I sit here at 2 am and I am in pain. Extreme pain.  Pain that I can't solve.  Not because I am in labor or I am getting a gift that will enhance my life, but because I have over extended myself for the love of all my babies.

Now, that sounds very "woe is me" and "aren't I great?" But it isn't meant to be.  It is actually the opposite.

There are so many things I want to do that I can't. There are so many things that I need to do that I shouldn't and sometimes I forget [ignore] that I can't.  I CAN'T DO IT.  And when I say I CAN my family gets all cheery and pulls out the wheelchair and off we go!  I see how much they want it and I can't say no.

A combination of things converged this week to absolutely wreck me. I try to be happy, happy [okay, the last post doesn't count] but usually I am.  In real life and on my blog.  Skippy has a reason.


I am mad at myself.  But also sad, because I can't DO.  Sad because I know how important it is to them that I try. Sad because I fail.  Sad because they all still want to believe I am not sick and it will be okay. I appear physically healthy when I don't move.  Sad because I can't lift my arm and walking hurts. Mad because we don't have health insurance. There is no way to manage this pain. Frustrated because I am awake at 2  am and can't sleep. For the pain.  Heartbroken because I am dying and THERE ARE NO ANSWERS.

Crying because I can't go back 14 years and start all over and make it turn out different. If the doctors had just figured out why my anemia was so severe when I had Wallene [or Natalie, JR or Squirrel] I wouldn't be in this mess. Or if I had just pushed harder for a diagnosis. Why?  Heck, I had great insurance with all of them. They could've done so much more.

I guess the pain is relative.  You can feel immense pain and be rewarded and you can feel intense pain and feel as though you are being punished.

It just depends on how you choose to view it I suppose.  I am running out of the strength to see through this pain and look at the rewards I would receive. The happiness of my family.  The excitement when they get Mom back for a moment or two.  The pain is outweighing the payoff. That makes me saddest of all.

It is almost too much Tadpoles.  I just don't know what to do anymore.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Want To See Skippy Cuss? Good. You Have Come To The Right Place

If you don't like curse words or to see me cuss then you best leave now.  I have never been so mad in my life and this . . .  well, thank goodness they don't know where my blog is.

Stupid f#$%^&*  b$%^&*(@s.

I don't know how long this post will be up, but I am writing it because I am mad.  Mad on behalf of my husband, 2 of his co-workers and just personally peevedd as all get out at his bosses.  I may remove it, but for now it stays up.

I know that having a job in this economy is a gift.  We don't take my husband's employment for granted, but just how far can you abuse someone before they are forced to quit?

My husband has worked for this company for almost 5 years.  He has been in the swimming pool business for   35 years.  He took this job at a pay cut of $30,000.00 and has not had a raise since he was hired.  We do not have health insurance [which is really swell when one of your family is terminally ill], our 401K has been wiped out and some days I wonder how the heck we afford to even pay the rent.

In November 2010 Pooldad had a meeting with the owners and asked for a raise.  He was told they would make a decision by the end of the year.  Didn't happen.  He spoke to them again in January to remind them of their promise and they pushed him off.  He asked three more times this year and yet?  Nothing.  It is now September.

Here's where it gets really interesting.

There are 4 people in the front office.  2 on the maintenance side [Pooldad & Bee] and 2 on the service side [Libby & Chad].  Libby was married last year to one of the mechanics [Niles].  Yay! A wedding.  Then Libby & Niles became pregnant and lil' Libby was born a few weeks ago.  Yay! A baby.  Well, you would think, but now it turns out Libby must given birth to the second coming of Christ. Because that baby has changed everyone's world as we know it.

While on maternity leave a nice woman [Tonka] was hired on a temporary basis to fill Libby's spot.  She is doing a great job, but understood it was only for six weeks.

Then Libby started to whine to the bosses about the hours they work and how she just didn't [sniff, sniff, sob] know HOW her and Niles would be able to find childcare to accommodate lil' Libby. Um, yes you can. It's been done. I know.

Without consulting Pooldad, Bee or Chad the bosses decided that the best solution was to give Libby a set schedule [normal office hours] and rotate Pooldad, Bee, Chad AND Tonka around HER schedule.  They have hired Tonka full time.

Do you know that my husband now has shifts every month that begin at 3 pm and go to close?  I know that may sound like a good thing to some of you, but the fact is he will be unable to get anything done in that time frame.  His men cannot be dispatched after dark - they are working on pools.  Which they need daylight for?    The amount of paperwork that he has to do can't be done in that time frame either.  Those lame ass shifts aren't everyday, but he is going to be playing a heck of a lot of catch up on the days he works 10-6, 7-3 or 12 -close. Sigh.

Meanwhile, any hope of a raise is out the window because in order appease "the only woman who has ever given birth in this world" [Yes, I am bitter.  And snarky. What about it?] they have used all the extra money in the budget to pay Tonka.  I like Tonka.  I was hoping she would replace Bee when Bee left in December. But now?  This is all because someone pushed a kid out and doesn't want to take care of the problem she created herself.

I believe in people having kids [you think?] but this isn't anyone's problem but Libby's and Niles. PERIOD.  When you work in the pool business you know when the long days are, when you are getting off early [winter] and when it is only a four day work week [again, winter].  They just took out 3 co-workers to SUIT THEMSELVES and the BOSSES LET THEM DO IT  [did it for them.]

The schedule is a joke. No one is getting a pay raise and all because they had a baby.

Here's why I am really pissed off.  When my kids were little [toddler and an infant] I was a single Mother. I drove over 50 miles everyday to a job I HAD to have.  I left before 6 am and didn't return until after 7 pm at night.  I dropped those kids off in their pajamas and my wonderful babysitter fed them breakfast, lunch and dinner.  She also dressed them in play clothes for the day - but the thing is - I got them back in their pajamas, bathed and ready for bed. 5 days a week I hardly saw them, but I did what I had to do.  I didn't ask my employer to make accommodations for me.  My children were MY responsibility, not my boss's problem.  I am not the only one that did it and people still do it. There are millions of single parents out there that do this everyday - it isn't amazing or special. This is what you do when you have a job and children.

It is called life.

Why can't Niles and Libby figure this out?  Hell, why did the bosses agree to this big hot mess?

And the raise just fries my butt.  Pooldad wasn't the only one that deserves a raise.  Chad deserves one too. They haven't even received cost of living increases.  Now all the money goes to Tonka.  Sigh.

Yes, I am very thankful he has a job.  No doubt. But come December they may not have an employee.

We are done.

And yes, you are welcome for the most "Non Skippy" post I have ever written.  I just can't to see my husband used like this.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Oh Good Lord, I Have to Ask....

Another of my what the heck? questions.  Sorry, bear with me.  But this one is really stupid.

I understand the vegan lifestyle and how stringent it is, but I think I just read the dumbest thing ever.  [And if any of my lovely homesteaders would like to chime in I would appreciate it because I think this is taking it too far.  Please own sheep. Or be a vegan. Or just sane. Sane works.]

A woman stated that she wouldn't accept wool gloves because she is a vegan.



I get that vegans won't wear leather because you don't eat anything with a face, and cows have to be killed to get leather, but sheep are shorn [sheared? Deborah?].  While still alive. And are left alive after the process.  And they need to be shorn, at least once a year, to keep their coats healthy and keep them cooler in the summer months. Correct? [I know enough about animal husbandry to fill a thimble so someone tell me that this a good or bad thing for them. Please?]

I just thought it was one of the most over the top declarations I have ever read.  Wouldn't the wool on a sheep grow out, become matted and unmanageable after a while if you didn't sheer them?  What about llamas?  Where does this end?

Someone answer this please.  I have no idea what [I thought was] the humane act of shearing a sheep has to do with being a vegan.

To be clear, I have no problem with anyone's dietary choices, but just say you don't want wool gloves.  Don't throw in the vegan angle.  Unless someone tells me different I will continue to think this is a lot of hoohaw and a bit over the top.

I am off to aggravate entertain my dog by singing "Be Our Guest" off key.  No, really, she loves it. giggle

[I would appreciate a little insight into this, honest.]

Truth is Thursday. . .

Truth is .  .  . I am a wee bit cranky this morning.  I could have actually slept in this morning because Pooldad has late shift, but I forgot and got out of bed at 7:30 to get Wallene off to school.  He was already up and hanging with her. grrrrr

Truth is . . . it's all good.  Now I get to spend a couple of hours with my husband before he goes to work. And I didn't have to make lunches.  Bonus!

Truth is . . . with school in session the kidlets are back on the playground for recess.  Sweet sounds all day long and this year there are no screamers.

Truth is . . . Wallene's birthday is on Sunday and I think I am more excited than she is.  We aren't doing anything amazing, but I do like the idea of pampering her for a whole day. She is a good kid.

Truth is . . . I finally hit [and have maintained] my goal weight of 135 lbs.  It took me a year and a half to gain 17 lbs, but I did it! Woot!

Truth is . . . puberty can end at any time.  I am almost 45 years old and my face is still breaking out. What is up with that?  My teenagers have clearer skin than ol' Mom. [Better me than them tho'.]

Truth is . . . I would really appreciate it if my friend would stop questioning [arguing with] me about how I raise Wallene.  It is getting a little old. Thank you.

Truth is . . . Wallene's birthday dinner of her choice is chicken tender soft tacos, potato salad and watermelon.  We are still laughing over the weird combination.  But?  It's her day.

Truth is . . . today I making doughnuts.  That sounds good to me.

Truth is . . . I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday.  It's going to be a great one Tadpoles!