Monday, July 30, 2012

Free For All!

I love free.  Free is good.

But the thing I like best?  A sodium free cookie.
Now what do those look like to you?  If you said "Peanut Butter Cookies" I award you. . .well, an internet cookie!

These cookies are not only sodium free they are also gluten free and. . .[drumroll] NUT free.

Yep - the best part is they are delicious and taste just like peanut butter cookies. And  I wouldn't kid about that Tadpoles. They are my favorite cookie.

We went out Saturday in search of sodium free baking soda and baking powder, which do exist. SCORE! But evidently not in Sterling VA. BOO! So I had to order them over the interwebs. YAY for the Health Market and their 10% discount, All of that is neither here nor there when I stumbled upon this:
Courtesty of:

It is called "No Nuts" and it is nut, peanut, sodium and gluten free. Go them!  And since I didn't use any flour in the recipe - bonus - it was still gluten free!

My only health concern, obviously, is sodium - but nice to know I can take it a couple of steps further.  If you leave off the chocolate drizzle it is even dairy free! Woot

Making them couldn't be easier.

Easy PEAsy PEAbutter Cookies
1 cup of peabutter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg - Eggs do have sodium, but I used two yolks [6 mg of sodium per yolk] and the end result was too nominal too count as sodium content.  Most of the sodium in eggs is in the whites.
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix all ingredients together well.  For the bigger cookies take one rounded tablespoon - small cookies one rounded teaspoon - and roll into a ball. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.  [I rolled mine in cinnamon sugar, but you don't have to]. Dip a fork in sugar and crisscross the tops of the cookies pushing down slightly.

Bake large cookies for 16 minutes, small for 8 minutes.  Let cool completely on cookie sheet before removing to paper towel.

For the chocolate drizzle/dip:
Melt one cup of semi sweet chocolate chips with one tablespoon of shortening in microwave. [2 min on 70 %] Stir well to make smooth.  Dip cookies or pour chocolate in a pastry bag or sandwich bag, cut the tip off and drizzle!  Oh, I almost forgot - place dipped cookies on a baking pan covered in wax paper or place plain cookies on same pan and then drizzle.  Refrigerate until firm.

Like I said, so easy.

I haven't been having too many good days lately, sorry, but it helps not to dwell on it or talk about it. Recipes and pictures of food are so much more fun, dontcha' think?

I'll try to see ya' on the flipside, but if not - hopefully it is because I finally fell asleep. heehee Know I think of y'all often and miss you.

Make it a great one Tadpoles!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Nicely Done Britain!

How fantastic were the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics? WOW!

Our favorite parts were the Queen and what a great sense of humor she has. I don't know if you can say this about a Monarch, but she is so cute.  We also enjoyed all the wonderful music through the years and the London Symphony Orchestra with Rolan Atkinson.  And, of course, "Hey Jude" at the end.  
Just fabulous.  I am still smiling.

So. . . .

In honor of our friends across the [true] pond I made y'all a cake.
Chocolate Peppermint Cake
With Whipped Chocolate Frosting and Peppermint filling
 When Pooldad mentioned it was a round Union Jack Wallene replied "It's a round cake."
 It was really good according to Spottie.
It was so strange - but in a good way -  to see the streets so quiet at 8:00 pm because everyone was home watching the ceremonies.  I am so excited for the next two weeks. We love the Olympics. :D
Enjoy your weekend Tadpoles - we'll see ya' on the flipside.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Who Am I?

[Besides a woman in desperate need of sleep?]

I bet you can guess.....
It's the red moustache, don'tcha think?
Yes. That is Pooldad with the lobster aftermath.
And yes I have a really great story of why we had a delicious lobster feast last night instead of  the "Kitchen Sink Soup" I had prepared.

Stay tuned. I think you're going to love it.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Truth Is Thursday. . .

[Juli you can pick your chin up off your keyboard now. Thank you. heehee]

Truth is. . .that is what I saw when I walked out of my bedroom last night. Never a dull moment with these two around. . .

Been a while since I have done a "Truth is. . ." post but since I am trying to keep up with this blog I thought what the heck.

Truth is. . .I am done keeping my fingernails long.  They grow fast and don't break or chip, but I am growing a wee bit tired of spending half my time picking dough and pie crust out from underneath of them. [You're welcome for that mental pic'.]  It is such a pain in the patoot.  I got so fed up yesterday while making dinner that I stopped in the middle of the pie crust and grabbed the clippers. And chopped those suckers off - flour, fats and all.  Took me until today to file them tho'. hee

Truth is. . .I still can't sleep [color you surprised, I am sure] so this morning I made banana bread and paid all our bills.  We are now broke, but the house sure smells yummy. :)

Truth is. . .I am kidding about being broke.  It is just a little tight this next month with Squirrel going back to college and three birthdays coming up.

Truth is. . .this will be my last mention of baking [on this post anyway] but did you know that baking soda and baking powder are EXTREMELY high in sodium?  I knew this, but it isn't something a lot of people think of when they bake.  Thankfully they do make sodium free substitutes for both and I am buying them online from Amazon tomorrow.  I would really like to be able to eat the cakes and quick breads I make.

Truth is. . .I have never been one to write a birthday wish list or a "What I want for Christmas list" so much, usually only if Pooldad insists then I vote for socks or pajamas, but I have a new found appreciation for actually wanting things.  Things for my new hobby.  A hobby I promised I wouldn't mention in this post again, but y'know what?  There are a bazillion really cool toys, products and ingredients that I covet, but would never think to buy for myself.  I skippyhappydanced in the grocery store the other day when I discovered my store carries European butter.  ::swoon::  And that is just the beginning.

Truth is. . .and this is a biggie.  I blew it on vacation.  BIG TIME.  And I paid for it.  Although we were gone for nine days we only ate out twice - once for pizza and once for a hamburger at IHOP. But...I did manage to eat everything, and then some, of what I made at home. For example - remember I mentioned "buckets of popcorn"?  I wasn't kidding.  And shame on me - I put salt on it.  A LOT of salt.  All told I gained 10 lbs+ of water/congestion in a few days. Stupid.Stupid.Stupid.  I have been so good for so long that I think I had a false sense of security and thought "Well, one piece of pie won't hurt" even after I had already had popcorn, and also bread and a piece of cake at lunch. It adds up and it adds up quickly. We came home and I damn near ended up back in the hospital. My doctor told me to come in to see him and I actually told him "No." I don't want that and I certainly don't need the lectures about how they are working so diligently to take care of my other health concerns that how dare I endanger my health further with something that is so easy to control.  It took me 4 days but I managed to go back to my pre vacation weight, but my little foray into all things salty really screwed me up.  It only took three years [from my initial diagnosis], but I learned my lesson. THAT is a wagon I won't be falling off of again.  The salt wagon, heehee - I'm keeping that one. ::wink::

Truth is?  I am tired of it all.  Really tired.  And not just physically.  I miss me, I miss being able to stand up, sit, lay in bed - just BE - without being in pain.

Truth is. . .I can imagine how weary you are of hearing me repeat myself.  Can you imagine how bored I am living it?

Truth is. . .I wish my world wasn't colored by how sick I am and instead was actually just the daisies and lollipops I imagine it would be if I wasn't sick.  Because outside of those issues, we have a pretty damn nice life.  And I know it.  I wish I could enjoy it a bit more.

Ah well, that is being greedy I suppose.  It could be worse, right?  I know that too.

On a funnier note - Pooldad doesn't realize I have thrown him under the bus by offering up a guest post from him and so far he is winning in the voting. Bwahahaha - thank goodness the man is such a good sport.

Take care Tadpoles. I am off to make lunches and get the family on the road.  Just another day in the pond. Enjoy yourselves and take care of YOU!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Overheard At the Pond

In our home the hiearchy, at least in Spot's, eyes is as follows:

1. Pooldad
Pack leader
2.  Skippy
Food Source/Walker
3. Wallene
Her big sister
4. Spot
and way down here?

 5. Squirrel

Don't misunderstand me - Spot ADORES Squirrel, but Squirrel has gone off to college one too many times for the pup's taste [I think] so Spot feels it is her right that she gets to take Squirrel's place, because, y'know, SHE is here all the time, not our daughter.  The dog constantly tries to dominate Squirrel in the usual doggy ways.  It can be quite funny [if it wasn't so sad. giggle]

I obviously have too much time on my hands.
I am analyzing the dog.  

But wait! does have a point. :D:

We were all hanging out in the den tonight watching TV when Wallene began to tease Squirrel by pushing the ottoman out from under her.  A lot of giggling, screaming and carrying on ensued which made the dog excited.  My favorite thing since she was sitting on my lap.  ::eyeroll::  Spot was jumping up and down, barking frantically at the girls while Dad and I laughed.  That just made the dog bark more.

Before the poor girl stroked out I chimed in with "Wallene leave the dog's humpee alone, would you?"

Squirrel shot back, "Oh great! Does this mean I am the dog's BLOW UP DOLL now?"

We fell out laughing.

So nice when the kids grow up and can share what they know, isn't it?

Okay, so that was a lot of post for one funny line - I'm trying here. In fact, I have several posts I want to write, but the eluuuuuuuuudes me.  So help me out - I will give you the titles to some of the ones I am considering and you guys vote on which one you want to read. Fair?  Desperate?  Boring? 

Here goes:

1. More Meltdowns Than Three Mile Island
2. Bringing Back the 80's One Perm at a Time - A Pictorial
3. The Post Where Skippy Loses Her Shit 
    I have already written this one out - and well, I am still on the fence about posting it. A lot of cussing Tadpoles. :)
4.  The Masked Baker - A Vlog on "How to Knead Bread" 
    I have been asked this a few times and I promised Tony one, so if this gets voted in I may get my behoohoo in gear and actually do it.  Me and flour. What could be more fun, right? ::yawn::  Oh and you get to hear my lilting voice. ha!
5.  I'll Believe it When I See It
6.  A guest post from Pooldad [one where he doesn't talk about me - see? I let you off the hook there.]  The man has some funny stories.
7.  Another comic

Okay, that's all I have for now. If you guys think of anything else, let me know - but I need a kick in the pants right now.

Otherwise I analyze the fish next.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

See you on the flipside gang!  Make it a great day. :D

Friday, July 20, 2012

What the....?!?

It takes a lot. . .I am talking a LOT to bring me down.  Considering all that is happening in our little part of the pond, I think that is saying something about how I [we] handle life's ups and downs.

But...but...what the &*^%?

I woke up this morning, sat down at my computer and the first thing I saw?  The mass shooting in Colorado. Link to the Washington Post story HERE.


What is going on?

What possesses a 24 year old man, a neuroscience PhD canidate, to go into a packed movie theater and start shooting at hundreds of people he doesn't know. Men, women and children who have never done him a bit of harm?  There are 12 people dead and 60 more in the hospital.  I canNOT even begin to fathom the terror, the sheer panic those poor people must have been feeling being trapped in a darkened movie theater, choking on some sort of gas as bullets rained down.

I am honestly ashamed to be an American sometimes.  I know that isn't very supportive of my birth country - but the shooter is one of our country men. A fellow citizen who killed several more of our own men and women.


It saddens me to my core.  I just want to curl up and cry.  Cry for the lives lost, those struggling to survive and for the mess that this country is in that a person can purchase weapons and walk, unhindered, into a public place and KILL.

It's as if someone said "Thank you for paying $12.50 to attend your own death. By the way, how was the movie?"  I don't mean that in a flip way either.  It is just how callous it is all becoming and I struggle to understand it.

What is this world coming too?  What. . .How. . .WHAT am I supposed to tell my kids?  How the hell do you explain this to them when you don't even understand it yourself?  I certainly can't restrict my 20 year old daughter from her computer or the television and what about her little sister?  How do I look into my baby's face and tell her, yet again, about the ugliness that exists in this world? How can we sit back and watch as youth loses a bit more of it's wonderful innocence because someone decided to do the most unconscionable thing imaginable?

I feel so powerless. Is anyone safe, anywhere, anymore?  Is there anything any of us can do?  Sure,  we can pray. Pray to a God or to your higher power or to the tree in the back yard - whatever. . .but doesn't it feel like that tree isn't listening anymore?

I do well to stick to blogging about kids, pets and food.  I am not particularly eloquent or well-written, but I didn't know where else to turn.

And I didn't want to cry alone.

I could end this post in my usual way, wishing you well and promising to "see you on the flipside", but at the moment it just seems so hollow.  It isn't that I wouldn't mean it, I do, every single time I write it.  I COUNT on the flipside Tadpoles, believe me. I have to or I would know that my illness had won. . .but I just don't know about the rest of it anymore.


Go Forth And Make Pizza

Our dinner.  It slide a bit when I cut it. :)
Top 10 reasons to make pizza tonight:

10.  It is Friday night
 9.  What is better on a Friday night than homemade pizza?
 8.  It is so simple.
 7.  You probably have all the ingredients on hand.
 6.  You can top it with anything you want - even peppers out of your garden like we did.
 5.  It is faster than delivery.
 4.  It is cheaper than delivery.
 3.  It tastes better than delivery.
 2.  I am sharing the recipe.
 1.  I am much cuter than David Letterman, wouldn't you agree? :)

This dough takes maybe 5 minutes to mix up, another 5 minutes to rest, 1 minute to roll out, 5 minutes prebaking the crust, 1 minute topping it and a final 10 - 15 minutes cooking time.  Amazing, right? It is so delicious and reheats in the microwave like a dream.

Quick and Easy Pizza Dough

Serves  3 or 4

2 1/2 tsp yeast [Rapid Rise or Bread Dough Machine]
1 tsp white sugar [I used Nevella - it's like Stevia - and you can't tell the difference]
1 cup warm water [Run your tap.  When the water runs warm on your wrist, like you are checking a baby's bottle, it is warm enough. Don't make it too hot.]
2 1/2 cups all purpose white flour - or bread flour.  You can also use half and half white and wheat
2 TBSP olive oil
1 tsp salt
cornmeal [optional]

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Have one rack on the lowest level and the other rack in the middle of the oven.

1.  Measure sugar and yeast into a bowl; pour warm water over it.  Let it proof [sit] for approximately 10 minutes until foamy on top.
2.  Pour in oil
3. Mix the salt in the measuring cup with the first cup of flour; pour into the liquid and mix with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
4.  Add remaining flour, mixing well.  The dough will be sticky.  Toss a scant handful of flour on your counter top and dump dough onto it. Knead it around the flour, adding additional scant handfuls until the dough is no longer sticky and you can form a ball.  Now leave it be for 5 minutes

Have your pizza sauce*, mozzarella cheese and toppings ready to top.

5.  Sprinkle cornmeal on either a pizza pan, cookie sheet or pizza peel [make sure you have placed your pizza stone in the oven to preheat if you are cooking on that].  Roll out dough into a 12 inch round or a comparable rectangular size for your cookie sheet and place it onto the cornmeal dusted pan/peel.  Make sure you form a higher crust than the middle of the pizza.  Just use your fingers to bring up the edges and sort of indent all the way around where you want your crust's thickness to be.

6.  Pre bake the crust alone -No toppings - for 5 minutes on the lowest rack.  Remove from the oven.  If it is puffy in the middle [where the sauce and toppings go] just use a fork and fork it in a few places - it will deflate a bit.

7. Now top that sucka'. :D  We used leftover spaghetti sauce, 2% lowfat shredded mozzarella cheese, with andouille sausage, onions and green peppers.  ::drool::

8.  Pop it back in the oven and bake until the cheese is all melty and the crust is nice and golden brown.  Brush with a bit of olive oil when it comes out of the oven for a softer crust.

Let it set for 5 minutes before cutting [into 6 generous or 8 regular size pieces], serving and devouring!  I serve melted [unsalted] butter with a bit of herbs and garlic powder for dipping the crusts in - I could just eat that to be honest. :D

It may stick to the pan a bit. If this happens just use a fine edged spatula and run it around underneath to unstick it.  The upskirt should be a nice golden brown.

*Be creative with your sauce.  If you don't have pizza sauce or spaghetti sauce you can cut fresh tomatoes thinly, brush the crust [after pre bake] with a bit of olive oil and layer them, add the cheese, etc. or take fresh or canned tomatoes and puree them with some italian seasoning or a little salt, pepper and a dash of sugar to make your own sauce.  You are only limited by your imagination.  And the ingredients on hand. :)

You can divide the dough and make two thiiiiiin crust pizzas or use an oven safe pan and make a deep dish pie.  The possibilities are endless - in fact, I am off to make bread sticks for dinner tomorrow night.  I promise Tadpoles, this recipe is THIS easy and SO, SO good!

I should be around most of the day Friday if you have any questions about the recipe - if I don't have your email and you have a question, just check back in comments I promise I'll reply.

If any of you tries this easy peasy, delicioso recipe PLEASE let me know how it turns out, 'kay?

See ya' on the flipside Tadpoles. :)

ETA:  The girls and I ate that whole pizza [pictured] and Pooldad wanted some for lunch today. So this morning I made him one to take to work. The only hiccup was that I was out of olive oil and down to one cup of white flour - so I used 1 1/2 cups wheat flour, vegetable oil and just for kicks and giggles I used Mrs. Dash in place of salt [sodium free crust BONUS] and Nevella sugar substitute [sugar free crust DOUBLE BONUS] instead of sugar.  Although I still prefer the olive oil - the girls and Pooldad liked this crust better.
So, now I am SURE you have the ingredients in the house. Mix it up - you can't wreck this recipe. It is so dang good. :)

Hugs to y'all! Skippy

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Want S'more Cake Please

I did it.  I invented my own S'more Cake.
There's one in the win column for ol' insomnia, eh? :D

Now, I am sure there is a recipe out there somewhere for a S'more Cake, but I didn't go looking.  I knew I had all the ingredients for s'mores [chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers] but no campfire to make them.  And I was really in the mood for chocolate cake.

Then I discovered I had no eggs. Hmmm.  I have made an eggless cake before so I took the basis for that and [to quote Emeril] kicked it up several different notches.  I wanted to make marshmallow icing and I did look for a recipe for that, but to no avail. I didn't like any of them. Back to the drawing board - and I am pretty sure I created a winner there too.  Incorporating the graham cracker crumbs was no problem, except I made an ungodly mess in my kitchen. heehee  I figure out of sheer gratefulness for the cake goodness my family will be more than happy to clean up the marshmallow icing from the walls and the graham crackers crumbs littering the floor that mess. ::wink::

Icing the cake:
 I mixed the graham cracker crumbs with the icing for the middle filling.  Sooo spreadable!
 Here we go onto the top layer. Pretty pretty.
 TA-DA!  More crumbs on top.
This is about as far as I got in eating a piece.  The dog liked it too. :D I only gave her one small bite, so please don't think I am over here trying to kill the dog.  I'm not. Today. Ahem. [I am kidding, please.]
Wallene, my partner in crime in all things baking done in the middle of the night, stayed up and took all the pics' and helped me taste test.  It was a good thing too because after a while of tasting marshmallow frosting your tastebuds tend to go numb.

It was a lot of fun to make up something and have it come out right.  I don't mind when my baking fails. I don't mind the effort lost - but it annoys me to waste all the ingredients when I have to toss a failure. Baking goodies cost $$$

But it would have been a lot less effort and $$$ involved if I had to toss this pie [the Lemon Ice Box] than the S'mores Cake. [I just posted this pic' to make want to come to my house even more.  I figure one or two  more well placed food pics and I might get someone here eventually.  It's all part of my evil plan. ::sinister giggle::]

So happy both turned out so well.  I think the family is [and will be] too.

I suppose I should write the recipes down for the chocolate cake and the icing before I forget [a very strong possibility I might add] so that may be my next post.

Enjoy your day Tadpoles. I think I better go do some mass clean up in the kitchen or my family may move out. Cake or no cake. heehee
ETA at 6:15 AM - I am in no danger of them moving out. It took me two and half hours, but I cleaned it.

See ya on the flipside!

PS - Do you know I received an invitation to a Food Bloggers Weekend today?  Weird since I am not a food blog.

Okay...stop laughing.

I'll wait.

Done? Good. :)
Truly I am not a food blogger - but I do seem to be a wee bit preoccupied with food lately, don't I? [When I do an understatement I do it up right, don't I?]

Ah is all the way across the country and since I can't be farther than 2 hours from my hospital it's a moot point anyway.  Still the thought was nice, wasn't it? Take care y'all!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Non Farmers Do It Again!

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! ::Skippyhappydance::

I wish you guys were here Tadpoles. I do.
Wallene and I are dancing around the house like idiots because we have managed to grow this:
and SQUASHII!!!!
I know it seems like a totally stupid thing to be excited about, but folks we are as far from gardeners as you could get.  It is the little things I am a telling ya'. The little things that are going to turn into great BIG HONKER WATERMELONS! Yippppppppeeee!

We picked our peppers and tomatoes when we returned from vacation so Squirrel could make salsa [still waiting here, darling child, ahem.] But when Wallene went out to the back yard and found these goodies?  We scared the neighbor's kids by screaming, we were so excited. [That is not hyperbole btw - we actually did have the poor kids running to our aid. OOPS.]

I expect all of you that want to grow fresh veggies to jump on the band wagon with us next year, hear me?  You have absolutely NO excuses :D.  We are black thumbed, townhouse dwelling, decked growing fools now Tadpoles.  As I said before if we can do it - ANYONE can.

And all you prolific growers [looking at you ellen and sci fi chick] you can stop laughing at me any time. giggle  I know it is a drop in the bucket to some of the gorgeous gardens I see y'all grow, but it's a start and I'll take it.

It's the little things Tadpoles.  Mmm Hmmmmm. The little things.

I need to finish up dinner now.  On tonight's menu - Pulled Chicken made in the crockpot [it smells sooo good in here] on homemade potato rolls, with coleslaw, mac & cheese - and for dessert? Lemon icebox pie.

Life?  Is good.  See ya' on the flipside!

Just Goofing Around

Because I am still awake.

How many hours can a person go without sleep or at best very, very, VERY little REM?  Since Saturday morning I have had six hours of sleep - three of those were in the car.  I have been known to stay awake longer than this, but I reaaaally want to snooze.

I don't think I fixed my Blogger picture problem - but I did have a good time messing around in Picassa edits.  The picture above is from Saturday at JMU.  I'll get better at it I suppose.

I did look in all my Picassa folders and I could not believe that there were pics from my old blog in there.

Look! Spot as a puppy:

And Wallene as a wee little one:
Even Squirrel was a kidlet once in blogland:
It was fun looking back at all the old memories.  Check out my license plate from once upon a time [2006]:
Sigh. I miss those tags and the car they were attached to.  Good times. :)

This is me holding our ever fearless hamster "Hammy" [the originality kills, doesn't it?]  You would never know that Spot was bred to hunt and kill Hammy's species now would you?  And yes, we are still painting the dogs toenails.  I guess you can't be too menacing with "Petal Pink" accents now can you?

How about a kiss lovAH?
Now I am off to find something on TV [I love this time of night because they play the "George Burns and Gracie Allen Show" and "Jack Benny"] or read a book [currently reading Grisham's The Litigators. Not bad considering I am not a Grisham fan].  You know what? You can seriously run out of things to do when you don't sleep.

Pretty much explains the whole point of THIS post. :wink:

See ya' on the flipside Tadpoles.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Slap Me Silly

But don't call me late for dinner.

WOW!  I think I have discovered the best bread ever.  Dang it is good. ::Skippyhappydance::

I have been making yeast breads for many years but this recipe is by far my favorite of any I have ever made.

Introducing George's Light Rye Bread
[Sucky picture but Blogger is doing it's usual junk again.  Sigh] 

Pooldad says this is the best bread he has ever tasted and I wholeheartedly agree.  It has a nice crust with a chewy interior and mild crumb. It is not dense at all.  The picture just does not do it justice. I swear if I could figure out a way to make it lower in sodium I would be approaching 125 lbs by the end of the week.  I could eat a whole loaf in one afternoon it is THAT good.

I found the recipe here - and I don't know who George is, but a big "Howdy do" and "Thank you!" to him.  He looks like a sweet ol' guy too. :D

As soon as I can figure out the picture mess with Blogger I have a bunch more to show you of other stuff.  I did download Picassa to alleviate some of the problems, but I suspect even that is going to give me trouble. So if any of you start to receive oodles of my pictures PLEASE let me know immediately - and I apologize in advance.  In any case you will get quite an eyefull and a few giggles from some horrendously bad photography [on my part]. I never erase anything.

I did manage one more pic' for today.  It is of Wallene's new haircut.  I will preface this pic' by saying I am one of those people that lives by the adage "It's just hair. It will grow out." And y'all know me - this child has had her hair every color of the rainbow by this stage of her life [blue was my favorite btw] but to say my heart skipped a beat when I walked into the salon would be a mild description of the loss of oxygen I experienced when I saw just how much she decided to cut off.


Yes, yes...I know. It COULD be shorter. And it IS adorable on her, but Tadpoles she had A LOT of hair when she sat down in the stylist's chair. I guess I wasn't expecting such a drastic change.  But? It has grown on me [ha!] and as long as she loves it there is nary a ripple in the pond. And I will look at the bright side:  At least now it is her natural color. heehee

One last note - I haven't slept in a few days so if any of my comments on your blogs seem nonsensical or appear to be written in some unknown foreign language at least you'll know why.

See ya' on the flipside [of my pillow, hopefully] Tadpoles.  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Your Golf? Is My Baking

Hello Tadpoles! We have returned from a most splendiforous vacation.  Great weather meant we spent a lot of time outside soaking in the scenery, the activities and well...just eachother. ::wink::

It was really nice to not have to do nuthin' for a whole week.  Although we did a lot of driving [I'll explain that later] but that is okay because we really like to take car trips together.  Pooldad calls me his "best co pilot".  Funny thing is I got most of my sleep IN the car this past week.  He says he doesn't mind, he just likes me there and he is very quick to upright me when I am in danger of hitting the dashboard. Or drooling. [I know, attractive picture, right?] heehee

The other thing we did a lot of was eat.  And eat. And eat.  Amazingly enough only two of our meals were eaten out - pizza and IHOP.  Go figure.  The rest were prepared at home.

I managed to bake  [not including breakfast, lunch and dinners made - this list are just the "goodies"] Please know that we shared with others - Pooldad and I didn't eat ALL of this:
4 pies - Peaches are in season, what can I say?  Two were apple tho'.  I am going to be really sad when peach season ends.
2 cakes, with a third made by Squirrel.  We are still trying to finish hers. So good.
2 loaves of wheat bread
1 loaf of sesame bread
3 batches of wheat rolls [3 dozen]
3 dozen doughnuts
Rolled dumplings
...and I am currently baking a cake as a thank you to Pooldad's coworkers for covering for him last week.

I also made numerous buckets [yes, that says: BUCKETS] of popcorn.  We watched movies every night and ate popcorn. And ate pie.  And ice cream.  And cake.  Did I mention cake?

Oh, and there was a Tastee Freeze in town.  A TASTEE FREEZE Tadpoles.  Thank goodness ice cream is low, low, low in sodium.  Otherwise....  The only bad part of the week is when their ice cream machine broke!  It might've had something to do with me stopping in every day early in the week and buying a cone.  We were very sad :( Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Seriously tho' - when we asked the girl [on Sunday] when would it be fixed she said "I don't know."  How can an ice cream shop NOT know when their main money maker is going to be fixed?  I realize it is the middle of nowhere Virginia, but they do make deliveries [for parts] and have people that can fix these things.  Sigh.  I survived tho'. giggle

At one point Pooldad was watching me roll out yet another pie crust and said "Skip you really need to relax.  C'mon. Sit down."  I asked him what he meant and he replied "I like to play golf to relax - but you are always cooking or baking something.  What do you DO to just get away from it all?  It is vacation y'know."
I thought about it a moment and said "Y'know - baking to me is like your golf to you. I love to do it and it does relax me. The only difference I can bake whenever I want."  Poor guy only gets to golf once or twice a year.  It's always busy season at work when it is golf season here.  I can't play golf [really bad eye hand coordination  - one of life's little mysteries] but I do love to ride along in the cart with him. And when we let one of the kids drive?  We're the Keystone cops on the cart path. I am surprised the resort hasn't kicked us out by now.

Anyway - he decided that was good and since he really appreciates the effort I don't think he is going to ask me to stop anytime soon.

In other news - here is where we were Saturday. We went to see Wallene perform at her sister's college for Marching Band Camp.  This is the brand new stadium. We can proudly say both our girl's have performed here:

And less than twenty four hours later it looks like this:
If you look to the right of the picture you can see the two white columns.  That is the end zone and you can see a bit of the stands to the right of that.  In the left of the pic' is the parking lot for the stadium.  I still get teary when I see this.  We had severe rains in Virginia Saturday night and this was the aftermath.  James Madison University [JMU] is built on hills in the valley of the mountains [if that makes sense]. This is Squirrel's University.  We are still receiving updates from her friends and professors.  Hopefully it will dry out soon.

That's about it for now.  I have a cake to decorate so I will see ya' on the flipside.  Don't forget to take care of YOU.


Sunday, July 15, 2012


Although I DO like the idea of everyone having their own 
Slurpee machine. 

Hope you are all doing well.
See ya' on the flipside.


Friday, July 6, 2012

So Long, Farewell...Auf, yeah

To you and you and YOU! [Think "Sound of Music" please]. :D

We are off on yet another GREAT adventure.  But if I left without sharing with you a birthday wish my lovely husband received today, his 56th birthday, I wouldn't be able to sleep. ::slightly exaggerating::

One of his football buddies emailed him with the following:

"Congrats on your birthday Pooldad.  You're now officially older than the speed limit."

He didn't think it was that funny.  I have to say Tadpoles I laughed so hard I pee'd my pants.  It's all in the delivery I suppose, but dang - I am still laughing.

To be fair - I was awfully good to him today.  I sent him off to work with warm kinklins' and a birthday cake for him [and to share with the crew] not to mention his pick for his lunch and dinner:

We leave tomorrow and unless I can find my MiFi or write up a bunch of auto posts you won't be hearing from us for 9 days!  No worries.  If we survive the 100+ degree heat it will be a nice second honeymoon.

Yes, that does say honeymoon. WOOT! [and it should actually say "first" - we never had one before. :)]

Oh, did I neglect to mention the kids have other plans?
This picture pretty much represents our week between Tuesday and Friday nights next week. heehee

Happy Birthday to my oh'so handsome husband and thank you so much for a wonderful 17 years on our wedding anniversary tomorrow. I love you so much more than you know or that I can ever hope to show you.  You are the reason God keeps me here. Thank you for taking care of me and loving me sweetheart.

As for you guys, Tadpoles, try to keep the mischief and mayhem to a minimum until SkippyMom comes back, 'kay?

See ya' on the flipside gang!

ETA: 9:15 pm - we just lost power again. Sigh. Wish us luck gang. :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012


The raviolis were really easy to make and the family LOVED them. I kept everyone out of the kitchen and they had no idea that I was making ravioli. They were extra surprised by what I filled them with. Dad is in heaven. :D
I take such awful pics, but this will give you an idea of my 
"Chili Cheese Dog Ravioli"
 See the hot dog bits, diced onion and chili sauce peeking out?
Now the family is scheming to buy me a pasta machine BEFORE my birthday for ease in preparation.  I rolled the dough out, by hand, to 1/16th of an inch.   I couldn't even imagine how much quicker it would be to have a little contraption to do it for me!  I'll take it. :)

And you didn't think I forgot about dessert did you? Pshhhhh!

"Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Ice Cream Sandwiches"
The cookies taste just like Reese Peanut Butter cups. YUM!
I actually had a fresh fruit smoothie for my dinner/dessert.  
It was so refreshing in this heat and filling too.
This had bananas, raspberries, strawberries, blue berries, oj and strawberry yogurt. 
And these are two pics' I found on my camera from the night the power went out.  Squirrel had gone to the beach for the day and was over 5 hours late getting home due to the storm, power outages and trees in the road.
I tried to light up the house as best I could for her.

It would be romantic looking if we hadn't been so frantic for her to get home safely.  All's well in the end. :D

By request I will post the recipe for the pasta recipe tomorrow. As I said - so easy.  Well, except for the fact I broke my rolling pin. Ooops.  It's marble and the wooden handle cracked.  Emergency duct tape to the rescue!

Hope y'all had a great Fourth of July.  Looks as tho' it should be cooling off soon.  Just in time for vacation! Yippeeee!

See ya' on the flipside Tadpoles.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I Really Like This Picture

It isn't the best because it was taken on Wallene's cellphone - but this was Saturday morning as we were packing to get the heck of No Electricity Land. See the coolers?  If I remember correctly [by the looks on our faces] Pooldad had given me a cute proposition and I, in turn, gave him "the look". heehee

We celebrate our wedding anniversary on Saturday and 17 years later I am still sitting in my sweetie's lap.  Life is good.

I am off to make my ravioli. Wish me luck!

Is It Weird I Think This Has Possibilities?

Although we all have electricity now, our local grocery stores were without it for the same length as us [4 days] and are having a hard time restocking their fresh & frozen fruits & vegetables, meats, seafood and dairy.

We have depleted just about all of our stores of those things except for eggs, milk, margarine and a lonely package of beef hot dogs. Plus we have tomatoes, green peppers, anaheim peppers and squash from our garden.

When I went shopping today to replenish our meager supplies I realized I had to do it with canned and boxed foodstuff. It doesn't thrill me, but no problem, it is just for a few days.  I figured things like bean burritos, rice, macaroni and cheese, spicy tomato soup, and cereal never killed anyone within a week, right?  But I want to do something interesting and fun.  I figure if I am going to have to make, serve and eat this stuff I might as well make it worth the health risks.

So here is what I came up with for dinner tomorrow night - and don't laugh. Just remember who is talking here, 'kay?

Chili Cheese Dog Ravioli

Pooldad is a huge fan of chili cheese dogs but I don't make a habit of serving them too often [read: never] but I thought since we already had the hot dogs I would buy the chili sauce and Velveeta cheese.  [Yes Tadpoles I am 45 years old and this was my very first purchase of Velveeta ever.  Can you imagine? It shocked my kids.  They love the stuff but I just never bought it. Until today.]

I am going to make homemade ravioli pasta and fill it will with a mix of the chili sauce, diced hot dog and diced onion.  While those are cooking I will make the Velveeta sauce which I will drizzle over the top of the ravioli with some diced tomatoes and dried parsley thrown in for "color".  A crunchy, hot loaf of Italian bread and a sliced pepper, onion and tomato vinagrette salad will salvage make the meal.

Hey - he doesn't call me a cool wife for nothin'. ::GRIN::

I promise to post pictures. If they like it. 

Have a great Fourth of July! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Forced Vacation

When Mother Nature takes her electricity, what's a girl to do?

Why she packs up her perishables [in a cooler full of ice] and heads to the country where, blissfully, they did not lose power.

Yeppers!  We went on vacation a week early. ::GRIN::  As you all probably know by now the east coast was slapped upside it's purty little head Friday night and the result was millions of dollars in damage and no power for many.  We knew when we went to bed Friday night we had no power -  so-o-o-o-o when we woke up Saturday morning it wasn't a hard decision to pack up and head to our family's vacation home in the country.
So quiet and relaxing:
 Can't beat a screened in back porch with a ceiling fan gently cooling the afternoon heat:
[This pic' is from last summer. There's my boy, Scooby. Miss him. :/]
The view from the deck.
The ninth green:
The view in the evening over looking the horse pasture toward the mountains:
It was nice while it lasted, but Pooldad does have to work this week. When we found out the power was restored this morning we packed up and returned home.

A big, hearty thank you to Mother Nature for giving us an impromptu mini vacation and for not causing too much damage to our home and those of our friends and neighbors.

We'll see ya' on the flipside of yet another 100 degree day.  Stay cool in the pond Tadpoles. :)