Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wallene Says. . .

After seeing the snow fall out of the sky last night my very dry witted daughter remarked,

"Spring Break, Virginia.  You're doing it wrong."


It's Officially Official

Looks as though the Catholic Church is going to be forced to let me join. ::grinning::

Going into RICA classes last fall [to convert to Catholicism] I had no idea the final requirement to the whole process would be a written test.

Yep. A test.  Tadpoles I don't know about you, but when our wonderful Priest informed of us of the test date I wanted to put my head down on my desk and just cry.   This is something I had wanted for pretty much my whole life but for reasons which are [only] valid to me I was unable to complete the steps until now. 

All I have thought for the past few weeks was, "Great. I am going to fail the test and they are never going to let me join."

Jokes on me I suppose, because Fr. S told us tonight that no one had ever failed and not to worry. 

Oh. Okay. Thanks for that.  Your late reassurances are not going to get me back the several sleepless nights I have experienced oh, lo' this month thinking of how I was going to tell my beloved in-laws I failed. THE test. The test of all tests. I love them as if they were my own parents. They are so wonderful.  And you know what?  They have never uttered one peep in my direction about not being Catholic, nor have they ever made me feel that I wasn't worthy of their Catholic son, who I sort of, kind of, have been forcing to live in sin for a lo-o-o-ng time. Nope. The complete opposite actually. And they are evidently very, very patient people, because here we are 18 years later and not only will I be baptized, confirmed and accept the Eucharist on Saturday night. . .

. . .I get to marry my very best friend, the love of my life, Pooldad, all over again. This time is even better tho' because it will be before God. And I can't even begin to tell you how much that means to us.

Four sacraments in one night. I told y'all I never do anything half way, now do I? ::wink::

As for the test [and before I scare any would be Catholics] it wasn't really a test, per say. It was simply a 100 fill in blanks type worksheet that we discussed after the hour was up. It is used to illustrate what you learned and what you should study further. Whew! 

I can't begin to describe the sense of peace that I have knowing that a part of my life will be complete.  The road to get here was a long and bumpy one, but I am excited for the journey this trip will be taking us toward. [Sorry, I don't do the whole "waxing poetic" thing very well, but there really is no other way to describe it and have you understand.] It's a good thing.

I owe so much to so many, but I do know that first and foremost I thank God every day for my continued existence and happiness on this earth.

And Tadpoles?  You can bet your lily pads I am thanking Him for all of you too. I know, without a doubt, that I would not still be here to celebrate this occasion if not for all of your love, prayers and good thoughts too.

I thank you.
So much.
Thank you.
Love, Skippy

Friday, March 22, 2013

Can She Do It?

Better question:   Will the meds hold out?

It is entirely too quiet with Wallene gone to Florida so I thought I would stick one more post up before we leave for the weekend.

My medications have been changed once more because the last round of the side effects [again!] on the newest were too severe for me. Plan B C D anyone? I feel like an experiment sometimes.  Here's hoping my energy level stays up and the pain level stays down. I am hoping be able to recharge quietly this weekend.

But this isn't a post about my health, instead I thought I would write out a list of everything I have to accomplish today in order to get the 2 1/2 of us out of town without Pooldad having to do anything other than go to work and his doctor's appointment.

I think I can do it, as long as I take a few breaks here and there.

I have to:
  • Pack for Pooldad and me.  The biggest pain here is trying to remember all of my girlie stuff [make up, hair, creams, shampoos - arghhhh] and making sure we have clothes, shoes and dress coats for Church on Sunday. Start of Holy Week. Woot!
  • Finish two loads of laundry, which I will not be putting away. They will stay folded on the dining room table.
  • Sort two weeks of laundry. [The side effects were that bad. Seriously.]
  • Change the sheets and make the bed. [This doesn't have to be done, but it will be a nice surprised for him.]
  • Vacuum the bedroom, dusting while I do it. [Ditto, without the typo. oops!]
  • Meet Pooldad for his follow up appointment at 2:15.
  • Come home and load 4 baskets of clothes in the car. And the small cooler with the food we are taking. And our suitcase, the dog and me. Can't forget the Spooter can we? Oh, and her food.
  • Making sure I have the few kitchen essentials that aren't in the country packed. We do tend to cook and eat a lot while there. Fresh country air, dontcha' know?
  • Meet Pooldad at work and scooter on down to Gordonsville, VA for a peaceful respite in the woods.
My greatest concern is that all this stuff is going to fit in Oscarz?  And I am sort of wishing there weren't so many stairs in our lovely home. I don't get that winded from my heart as I think the doctors say I should, but my knees are a little creaky by the time I finish. Plus I get a bit fatigued near the end. Thank goodness for water therapy when we get to where we are going.  Country air and a hot tub. What more could a girl ask for?  My handsome companion is just an added bonus. ::grinning::

Two fun side notes before I leave y'all to go cause the trouble I know you will. ::Eyeballing Swiderski, Knitty and Bizzy specifically. grin::

     1.  Wallene texted me this morning at 5 am to say they had arrived in FL. She was surprised when I texted her back, seeing that I was awake at that hour. Precisely who's house has my kid been living in for the past 5 years I would like to know?  Mom doesn't sleep.  Anyway - we texted back and forth when suddenly she sends me one that says "Yeesh Mom, gas is only $3.71 here."  I texted her back "You are the ONLY 15 year old girl I know who would text THAT sentence to their mother on their way to DISNEYLAND you goof."  I guess we are a tiny bit obsessed with our $4/gal gas in the north. Oops.

    2.  You are going to like this one. I reserved personalized plates for my car. YIPPPEEE. I could have gotten my old plates back [O SKIPPY] but instead I chose OSCARZ 1. Now, I ask you, how cool is that?  All variations of TADPOLE were taken, so I went with his name instead.  I can't wait until they come in, it's so very exciting.

Okay, okay - so it's the little things. It always is with me, but you guys know that. Besides it is nice to be on the upswing of yet another roller coaster ride and hoping, again, this time it will last. Pray that the side effects are minimum and this round of treatment puts me in remission like the last round was supposed to, because gang? I think we may all be finally running out of steam here in our pond.

I hope that Spring has sprung for y'all, but I realize that a lot of you are still getting snow. Sorry about that.  If it is any consolation we had snow twice this week too, but remember - the calendar pages never stop turning and warm weather has to eventually get here, right?  Hang tough Tadpoles. We'll all be sporting tan lines soon enough.

Oh crud. Add take a shower and get ready to that list. I am sooooo outta here!
Have a great weekend. See ya' on the flipside! Hugs xo Skip

Thursday, March 21, 2013

If You Make It, They Will Come

Wowser. I think I may have outdone myself.

And yes, I am going to brag just a wee little, because what I am about to share with you will give you bragging rights of your very own.

So happy, happy, happy, happy.

Wallene has been bugging me for weeks to make a special dessert. A dessert we  have only had at a restaurant and one that was so impressive I never thought that it could be made at home.  But when a single dessert sets you back $10 plus at the finer establishments, you do tend to go looking for the recipe.

Who knew?  A recipe actually does exist for this dessert. An easy, peasy recipe no less.

Hands raised if you know what dessert I am speaking of. . .

YES! Molten Lava Cake.  The decadent cake that is so rich, so luscious, with a wonderfully moist outer cake and a melty, oozing center. The cake that started out a kitchen accident and ended up a food lover's phenomenon.

I don't even want to tell you the word that came out of my mouth when I had the first bite [that is for confession, oops!] but this cake is just INSANE.  It tastes exactly like the professional version.  The only reason I think it is better is because it cost me so much less, eventhough I used high quality chocolate. Total for the 4 cakes? Approximately $6.50. See??? It's the chocolate that is the expense.

And easy?  Oh Tadpoles. I would be lying if I told you this was even a teensy bit hard. If you can turn on an oven you can make this cake. I promise.
I am just sorry I didn't get a pic' after Wallene cut into it so you could see the melty goodness flow across the plate.  A sprinkle of powder sugar, a little homemade whipped cream and my friends? Anything you thought was important or pressing that day suddenly disappears and you are left  licking your fork and trying to figure out how to snag the extra one sitting on the counter before someone else gets there first. ::grinning::

Pooldad says:
"My wife never ceases to amaze me. Tonight she created THIS chocolate hunka love. 195 pounds and holding. Not. Honey, we need a do over. Just to make sure I really liked it. xoxoxoxoxo"

Cute isn't he? ::ahem:: Later on he finished his night with a monster chocolate cookie from the batch I made this morning. I'll share that recipe at a later date.  He's happy tho'. YAY!

And Wallene?  I am sure she is in bed with a smile on her face.  She is off to Disney tomorrow.

The recipe is as follows:  Found at

1 stick [1/2 cup] of butter
4-1 oz squares of bittersweet chocolate [60 % cacao]
2 eggs
2 eggs yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 TBSP all purpose flour

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Grease and flour 4-1oz ramekins. I used cocoa powder instead of the flour, for a better appearance and taste, but flour is fine.  Also, my ramekins were a bit larger. You just have to make sure you divide the batter evenly between the four. They don't rise all that much so no fear of over flowing if you use a muffin tin instead.  Although I don't know how easy that would be to flip out....hmmmm.

2.  In double boiler [or a metal bowl over a pot of gently boiling water] melt the chocolate and butter. I melt the butter first and then throw the chocolate in as it seems to melt faster this way.  You can microwave them, but be careful because nothing is worse than losing high quality chocolate to a microwave mishap. [Yes. I have suffered that loss.  I bake a lot. It was bound to happen once. Okay, okay....a few times.]

3.  Beat eggs, egg yolks and sugar until they become a lighter color and thicken.  Slowly pour chocolate/butter mixture into the egg mixture while you continue to beat the eggs/sugar. I had Pooldad help me with this step, but I am sure y'all are perfectly capable of doing it yourself. I used a hand mixer up to this point, then put it aside for a whisk.  Quickly add flour, whisking until just mixed in, trying not to over mix.

4.  Divide evenly into prepared ramekins.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Centers will look slightly undercooked, but don't worry, it's okay.  Remove from oven and invert each on a serving plate.  Let stand 15 seconds and remove ramekin.

TA-DA!  Sift a little powder sugar, scoop on some ice cream? Fruit?  Do as you wish.

And I told you. SO EASY. ::skippyhappydance::

We will be childless this weekend ::sniff:: so we are going to go where suddenly unencumbered parents go when their children are far away:  The country house. ::skippyhappydancingsomemore::

Have a great weekend Tadpoles. Pooldad and I will be busy with doctors' appointments and running around before we go, so we'll catch y'all on Monday.

See ya' on the flipside!  Hugs and love, Skippy

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Look Who's Cookin' Now. . .

Squirrel is in the kitchen:
Doesn't she look great?
She is holding her first, and a most successful attempt at. not to brag on her behalf or anything, St. Patrick's Day dinner.
My baby made it all by herself. No help from roommates, friends or cookbooks/internet.
Just a few refresher phone calls made throughout the day to check times, etc.
Mommas are always better than a cookbook anyway.
Come to think of it, is there even a recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage?

I am especially proud of her. I had no idea she was even paying attention all these years.

Yknow, we raise them, try to teach them to be good people, nice to others and productive, contributing members of society.  Hopefully, somewhere along the way, we are able to throw in a few lessons on the niceties of life, like cooking and cleaning too, right?

Sigh.  They really DO grow up so fast, don't they? ::sniffles::

Check in with me later this week when the saga of Wallene travelling 1,800 miles from home [without us] begins.

Don't worry. You won't have to look far.  As soon as she is on the road south you will be able to spot me easily.  I will be shoeless woman, wearing the slightly wrinkled "Mellophone Mom" t-shirt, queued up at Dulles Airport being wanded by security. All the while I will be attempting to purchase a last minute plane ticket to Disneyland with no luggage whatsoever.

What?! It could happen.

Hugs and much love Tadpoles. See ya' on the flipside. Skip

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Snow? Fail, SnowDay? WIN!

We didn't get much snow. We are still trying to figure out why everything was closed today, but we aren't complaining.

No sireee, we had a great day doing what we usually do when we have a snow day.  We ate, napped, ate some more, thought about shoveling, ate, watched the news for the impending doom of the storm we didn't get, picked at leftovers, sent Wallene out to shovel a few flakes, took another "nap" [meaning we laid in bed and watched TV instead of actually, y'know, sitting in the den], made a pie, ate dinner, crafted, watched another bad scary movie and ate dessert.

Oh and we put stuff on the dog.
If you don't know us, we do this all the time.
And she lets us. ::grinning::

This is the wreath I made. I got the idea from the incredible crafty Jill over at Jillgoes.  It is so quick, easy and inexpensive I was thrilled when I finished it in less than 2 hours. What really tickled Pooldad was the simple task of me being able to hand tie 200 pieces of fabric with nary a twinge in my hands. 
It seems like a long way from recently being unable to pick up a coffee mug, eh?
 The beginnings of "Death by Chocolate" mousse pie. This is one rich pie Tadpoles. Letmetellyou.
More homemade whipped cream with a touch of chocolate shavings.  The family thought the shavings were extra special.  Wallene called it "Food Network Worthy". ::blushing:: Shucks! But dang, this is so delicious.
And rich. Did I mention rich?
Pooldad has pie.
And obviously questionable choices in headwear.
I love you honey! [Lose the beanie please. ::mwah::]
And Spottie? 
Spottie wants pie too.
She feels owed since we made her wear a bow. 
Too bad pups. It is made with unprocessed chocolate which is no good for you.
I tossed a lil' doggie steak treat instead. That more than made up for the bow.

Hope you enjoyed your Wednesday Tadpoles and if you happened to get the snow we were supposed to get?  I truly hope you are safe, warm and have power.

Take care and we'll see ya' on the flipside! xo Skippy

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Watching It Snow

Had a great post with a lot of good news all written, but my computer is being cranky. Remind me not to try to type without my glasses on while the computer genius, Wallene, is fast asleep. I must've hit a few keys accidently and presto chang-o I can't edit that post in order to publish it.

Ah well. We are experiencing one of Virginia's own special treats. A March snowstorm. Sigh.  As much as I love the snow and the bonus of everyone being home with me today, even Pooldad! YAY!, I am sort of, kind of, over winter.  And we haven't even had snow until now. I just want green now and not the St. Patrick's Day green - but the grass and tree green. Everything is so brown. And now white. Bleech.

So. . .I will count my blessings, which are many, and enjoy a free day with the family.  Hope any of y'all that are getting hit with this stay warm, with power and enjoy it for what it gives us.

A well deserved day off.

Enjoy your Wednesday Tadpoles. We'll see ya' on the flipside. xo Skippy

Monday, March 4, 2013

Playing Catch-Up

Helllloooo Tadpoles!

Busy, busy, busy.

Whew! This is the first time I have had a chance to sit down and be stationary since. . .um, I can't quite recall.

I feel like I haven't stopped moving for a week. 

It's all good tho'. ::grinning::

I know that I promised to climb the rock wall this past weekend, but through no fault [or chickening out on my part] I had to postpone it by one week.

Pooldad and I spent all day Friday and Saturday driving hither and yon, to and fro, up mountains and down again. It's a very good thing I like car rides and driving because we were all over the Commonweaalth. We visited his parents, ran errands and went to look at prospective homes.  Seeing his folks was wonderful, running errands [read: spending money] is always fun and looking at homes?  Let's just say those forays deserve a post all their own.  For example:  Did you know outhouses still exist in some newer neighborhoods that have public water and sewer access? They do, surprisingly enough, and evidently are allowed to remain [active!] by some strange grandfather clause in our laws. Weird.

I won't even begin to tell you about the deer leg, yes, a furry leg, just a leg! We found it in the backyard of one home we were looking at.  We do very much want to live in the mountains, but we somehow forgot about the mountain lions that exist in these here parts. It was an interesting and educational trip.

So, the rock wall?  We were all set to go pick up Squirrel on Saturday morning when she called to tell us she was too ill with the flu to travel. Eeek! Y'all are parents, so I ask you - how high do you think my freak out, worry level was when I heard that?  My daughter, the one who loves to come home to Mom's cooking, Daddy's limo service and her beloved lil' sister doesn't feel good enough to be driven less than two hours to her own bed and Mommy-ing?  This is the second time the poor child has had the flu in less than a month. There are two strains travelling through her college campus.  My darling girl managed to get both.

Happily we were able to pick her up on Sunday and ferry her home:
 Happy to be home.
 Nothing tissues and a little chicken soup won't cure.
 Wallene is not convinced.
Squirrel is, thankfully, getting better each day. It is so nice to have her home, if only for a week. Lots of laughter, food and fun around our table at mealtimes. I don't think my stomach muscles are ever going to heal. ::YAY!::
Oh, and today we both had doctor's appointments. Glad to report that Pooldad is in great health. Yippee Skippy, always good to hear.
On one final note. . .
I am sure you can tell that I am one content Momma.
Still, I would be remiss if I didn't post a birthday wish for my oldest child, Natalie Elizabeth. 
Today is her 25th birthday and, as I do every year, I made her cupcakes.
 Happy birthday sweetheart.
I think of you everyday. 
I wish I could hold you and sing happy birthday to you, one more time.
You were the first of many blessings in my life.
Wish you were here to laugh along with us.
Miss you.
One more goofy pic' to leave you with a smile. . .
Being silly, playing Headbanz and eating cupcakes.
Enjoy your week Tadpoles and remember - Smile LOUD. Life is a gift.
See ya' on the flipside! xo Skippy