Tuesday, December 30, 2008

....And the Band Goes Marching In

Remember this post? Well this is the picture in question.
I know this sort of contradicts my lil' rant - but I adore the pic' and isn't it really my choice with my child?

Ha! ...and getting a scanner for Christmas worked too! ;D

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Stuff Dreams are Made of....

This is my bed. I know, I know the pics aren't that close up, but you get the idea. I love my bed. Serious mattress love occurs in the Skippy household. [Get your mind out of the gutter...giggle] What I mean is - I have the most comfortable bed in the world and the fact it is a sleigh bed, king sized? With all our quilts thrown on, a cotton blanket and flannel sheets - yes, this is the stuff that dreams are made of tadpoles.
This is the end of the bed with my cedar chest and two of my grandma's quilts. The one hanging up is over 60 years old. The one across the chest is the last one she completed before she passed and is the only one any of the family is allowed to touch - and ONLY when they are sick. We call it the sick quilt. Nothing but originality in this family folks. :D
Here is a closer shot of Grandma's old quilt and one I made on the bed. Funnily enough her's is in better shape! Hee.
Okay, so you all know I didn't bring you here to allow me to wax poetic on my Sealy, right? Oh, no, no. I am having a problem with my bed; to be more specific the location of my bedroom. I have not had a total of 3 hours of sleep a day/night in my lovely bed since before Christmas.
Because? We live next door to the nicest neighbors [really!] except they have a pechant for overseas travel, for long durations and they leave their home unattended. No problem there, right? Wrong - because their lovely little home needs repairs. Specifically it needs repairs directly outside of the big window you see in the first pic'. Repairs that require parts of their home to be nailed down. NAILED DOWN SO THEY WILL STOP BANGING like a poorly trained Drumline. Jiminy Crickets! It has been windy here in Skippyville and things that are slightly detached from the roof, the second story and the deck of this home go bang...bang...bang...ALL DAY & NIGHT. I am tired and cranky and I want my nice neighbors to come home so I can hand them a ladder, a hammer and a can o' nails and simply point at the deritus that is the back of their house.
Then I will bake them cookies. And then go back to bed.
Until their cute little twins decide it is time to play basketball on the deck. [They do this all the time - but we can usually get them to skedaddle to the basketball court that is 15 feet from their back door.]

Saturday, December 27, 2008

My First 4 U.S. States Artist Trading Cards

I am in a swap over at Swa-bot for the 50 U.S. states ATCs for the next year. Each month we will be doing a different series - Here are mine for January. This is Arkansas [I know, duh!] but the reason it has milk and a cow on the front is due to milk being Arkansas' official state beverage.

I found this state flag for Arizona [the letters/date are my add-ons] but do want to know a neat bit of trivia? The star in the middle is actually copper colored. It is their state's official metal and Arizona is also the largest producer of copper in the U.S. Nifty!
You might have to click on this to enlarge it, but it is a political cartoon from before Alaska was given statehood. Evidently they were having quite a fight with the Senate seeking their rights.

And finally Alabama - which looks lopsided, but I think that is just the way I scanned it. OOPS! That is their state motto on the side and it means "We dare maintain our rights."
I haven't told y'all yet what Pooldad gave me for Christmas - it is SOOOOOOOOO neat! He gave me an Epson color printer/fax/scanner/photo printer.
It is unreal and I have been having the best time with it. Plus he gave me about a gazillion different types of craft supplies - so I have been playing with all this fun stuff the past two days.
I hope everyone had a great and relaxing Christmas. We all [in our family] still have 9 more days off together - it is very exciting.

Friday, December 26, 2008

This Should Make Everyone Smile....

This is my baby boy. Happy 18 th Birthday Champ! We miss you and are awaiting your call.
Love, Mom
[isn't he a cutie? hee...he is 4 years old in this pic' and YES those are real Craftsman tools. you need to know this kid was dismantling his sister's highchair & my vacuum cleaner at 2 years old with a butter knife. thankfully he knew how to put them back together. i am not kidding.]

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Did I Forget to Mention....

I was gifted with Leg Warmers?
[I posted the first picture after Gail's comment :D...Spot was not happy. Hee!]

Okay, He NAMED It

The Gnome? The Dallas Gnome?

It has been Christened.


Yep! The Gnome is now named "Tony Gnomo"

[for those of you who are not football/Dallas fans - their Quarterback is Tony Romo!]


My Son

Called me today.

The best Christmas present in the whole world.

Those of you who read my old blog know, those of you who didn't just know this is the best Christmas present in forever.

I have so much to tell you.

What is the Rule Here?

okay, okay...don't ask me to explain why I am awake at 5 am. Yes, all the wrapping is done - has been...the casserole is ready for breakfast and the potatoes are boiled for Yvo's wonderful latkes.

BUT...when can I wake the kids? Seriously. I have a boat load of presents I want to see unwrapped and for anyone who read my old blog [hey you two!] it is well known I have a bad case of insomnia on a good day -as such, I have been awake since 3 am.

I want them to get up now. Giggle...aren't I bad? I can't help it. I actually HAVE a reason for them to be awake before dawn and I am getting tired of waiting.

So if anyone is being as ridiculous as me and is reading this at 5 am - vote...well, actually just agree with me so I can wake 'em up and allow the mayhem to begin.

Wait 'till you guys see the bike I bought for 35 bucks, free shipping. It is AMAZING!

Now SOMEONE tell me I can rouse them!


ETA: Did I mention that I bought Pooldad a Dallas Cowboys Gnome? Yes, yes I did. Wait for it - because that is going to be a post all it's own.

C'mon - y'all are laughing....a Dallas Cowboys Gnome? Internet Shopping rocks - it is all I can say.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Leaning Tower of Treeza, Doohicky and the Spot

Merry Christmas fellow bloggers! Weehaaaaaaa! It has been a busy few days and I thought I should pop back in to write a few lines before I disappear into the wonder that is Christmas.
This is the "Leaning Tower of Treeza". Sigh. Unless I put up the tree, tie it down, put the lights on and then let the family loose to decorate we ultimately end up with a tree that (1. ) Falls over at least three times and (2. ) leans at dangerous angles. The stories! The horrors!
This is due to the fact that on the list of things that Pooldad CAN do - putting up a tree and securing it is not one of those things he is capable of in any way, shape or form. We don't know why - and obviously not a deal breaker, but......
I take the lumps - because I have been feeling a might poorly and he did try. Bless his heart he does try. I must say the tree leans - and is damn near dead - ooooooh....wait for it -tangent - Pooldad THREW AWAY our artificial tree. Huh? He neglected to mention it until I had asked him about it nine times between December 1st and December 9th. I was so miffed [he threw out our TREE? who does that? I still haven't gotten a reason, but I suspect it has something to do with the tree being a "gift" from my Mom - HEY! two tangents in one. It really is Christmas!]
Anyway, I was pretty mad and I asked him to please to go.now.to.the.local.grocery.store.and.buy.me.a.tree. So for $30 [pretty nice for the tree] we now have the Leaning Tower of Treeza in our home and we all collectively hold our breath while walking through the living room. That is solely from fear the thing will crash, again!
This weekend the youngest and Pooldad were responsible for puppy sitting a lil' ball of fire named Peanut. She is a min-pin. I couldn't remember her name [Hi Susan (waves!) - love you - but the name Peanut? Does not fit your dog.] So I called her Doohicky. Pooldad just sat back, resigned, shaking his head and called her Whirling Dervish [which REALLY fits]. Have any of you ever been around one of these lil' gazelle like pups? They are crazy tiny, with long legs and speed to rival a greyhound. They are something else!
Heehee - see? even the Spot thought so. Spot didn't quite know what to make of her new friend. They made fast buddies [amazing!], but our low to the ground, short legged and quite sturdy Spottie just couldn't keep up. I have never seen my doggy pant INSIDE our home in the middle of winter, but Doohicky just about wore her out jumping, leaping and bounding from piece of furniture to piece of furniture. It was wild and a heck of a lot of fun. It also made me realize that one doggy was enough for us right now. Whew! I forgot to add: This pup was a little sweetheart and I wouldn't mind owning one. She was great - but it was a lot of action for our sedate lil' home :D.
All our Christmas shopping is done - btw, did you know it is absolutely possible, if you have a list, to spend $330 in Target in no less then 10 minutes? It is...we did it. :D Thank goodness for the lists, knowing the layout and the ability to run really fast! [True story] Hey! In our defense we thought Target was open until midnight, so Pooldad and I went to the local Mexican restaurant to have a nosh and well, by then it was 10:45 and Target actually closed at 11:00 pm! EEEEK! Done, bought and wrapped. I am so ahead of the game this year. For once. In FOREVER! Which makes me squee in happiness. I am not going to be wrapping on Christmas Eve - for the first time in, yes, FOREVER!
I will probably be back in the next few days because we are staying home, home, home for the holidays. Yippeee!
The family [and anyone of y'all that is cruising through] is welcome to visit us in VA, at any time, because we are not leaving and will have a bunch of great food, desserts and libations. Let it be so.
My biggest hugs and best love to y'all. I love you guys. Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

White Trash Recipe

This stuff is so yummy and addictive. It is called "White Trash" - but for gift purposes at our kids' schools we refer to it as "Christmas Munch". Although, come to think of it, the use of the word Christmas probably isn't too PC either. meh...oh well.

It is also super easy to make.

[This is for you Phelan!]

White Trash
3 1/2 cups of cheerios
6 cups of Crispix cereal [or a mix of corn and rice Chex]
2 1/2 cups peanuts [we use unsalted]
2 cups of pretzel sticks [broken up]

2 bags of white chocolate chips

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside.
Melt white chocolate in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until pourable. [Or melt in a double boiler on the stove.]
Pour chocolate over dry ingredients. Mix well.
Spread mixture out in a single layer on waxed paper. Let harden.
When hard, break into pieces, gift bag it and enjoy!

[Store in an airtight container]

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Guess Your Idea of 24 Hour Banking is Different than Mine

[This is my banking support team. Notice the bear on the left? She is wearing the youngest's sweater from when she was a weeeeee' one. And the penguin? He's angry. Him and I were going to Christmas shop online...big! HUGE!]
I just had the biggest chuckle.

My bank promises 24 hour banking. I know - you think ATM, online, etc. - but no, their promise is to have a live person, via phone, available 24 hours a day.

I have never thought about it, nor have I ever had a need to utilize it at 2 am, but I wanted to transfer money, now. I can only transfer money via phone or in person. So, being 2 am, I called.

They are closed. Every night. From 12 am until 6 am.

Um....doesn't scream 24 hours to you, does it? I guess 18 hour banking just didn't have the same type of ring to it.

Whatever. It just struck me as funny. Especially the recording you receive when you call:

"Thank you for calling Bank. Our 24 banking line is currently closed. Please call during our business hours of 6 am until 12 am. Thank you."

Pooldad? I was going Christmas shopping for you. Let's hope the mood strikes me again between the hours of 6 am and 12 am. Eh? mwuah!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Felt Mascot/Stuffie

Well the little beasts left me a bit of craft stuff. So today I made my first felt mascot/stuffie/softee...whatever they call them. As I said, it is my first and from what I understand they have to be no more then 3 inches long, made out of felt and have a hook attached so you are able to hang it to a purse or cellphone. [My hook is on the back]

That is Pooldad's hand in the pic'. [My hand would've been dwarfed and it would have looked a foot long!] Sorry it is blurry. I am finding I need new glasses or something because my picture taking ability is quite poor lately. :D

It is a mitten for those of you who are questioning my sewing skills.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Thieving Children and Craftiness

[There was a picture here, but I have to figure out how to black out names! Read on!]

My children decided to make handmade Christmas cards. Nice, huh? Well they decided to abscond with my craft drawers and now they are decimating all of my supplies. [Big words make it sound so much nicer doesn't it? Because what I really want to say is "The little brats stole all my stuff and are using it up." But that isn't very nice.]

They are doing a great job, so it isn't too painful. sniff...[stomping Skippy feet] I want my stuff back dangit!

Y'all have a fun, crafty day!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Dinner For 6 Nights - Leftovers Stretch the Budget

This was our menu this week and it was delicious:

  1. Chili with beans, cheese, onions and sour cream with saltine crackers

  2. Chicken and Dumplings

  3. Leftover Chili with beans over rice with cornbread muffins

  4. Leftover Chicken and Dumplings [so better the second time around!]

  5. Roast Chicken with rice and broccoli

  6. Chicken and rice soup and french bread

Grocery List:

  • 1 lb hamburger meat $4.00

  • 1 large can of kidney beans $1.59

  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes $1.00

  • 1 pack of chili seasoning $1.00

  • 1 lb bag of white rice $1.59

  • 2 roaster chickens* $7.00

  • 1 can chicken broth $1.00

  • 1 5 lb bag of potatoes $3.00

  • 1 lb frozen broccoli $2.50

  • 1 bag of large carrots $1.60

  • 1 pkg. celery $2.00

  • 1 white onion $0.50

  • 8 oz. of sour cream $2.00

  • 1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix $0.50

  • TOTAL: $28.29

*chickens are sold two to a pack at our local grocery store for about $3.50 each

I had eggs, Jiffy dumpling mix, crackers and shredded cheddar cheese on hand plus additional spices for the chili. If I was to add the cost it would be an additonal $8.00.

This is the way it broke down:

1. Sunday night we had chili. Leftovers were refrigerated. 2. Monday night we had chicken and dumplings [with potatoes] using a whole chicken for this. Leftovers refrigerated 3. Tuesday we had Chili over rice with corn muffins [over rice really stretches this.] 4. Wednesday we had leftover chicken and dumplings [adding more dumplings because we ate them all on Monday :D!] 5. Thursday we roasted the second chicken, made double amounts of rice and the bag of broccoli [using half for dinner, saving the rest for Friday]. The carcass was cooked for soup on Friday with celery [the top leafy part] & half an onion. 6. Friday we used the broth from yesterday's chicken, the leftover chicken with the extra rice and broccoli for very, very yummy chicken noodle soup with homemade french bread. The soup had carrots, broccoli and celery along with the leftover chicken and rice.

I actually had chicken and dumplings for lunch one day and chili twice for lunch this week!

This is a menu to feed a family of four. [Dad, Mom, teenager and a tweener ;D]

Also everything is homemade unless listed [ex. Jiffy dumplings and Jiffy cornbread - Love me some Jiffy!]

Friday, December 5, 2008

ATC - Artist Trading Card

I am new to making Artist Trading Cards [ATCs]. I love the medium and they are so much fun to make. This is my 3rd card [the other two have been sent and no pictures :(] I do love it though.

The person I am sending it to loves sewing like me so I have an extra fondest for this one. It is covered in a quilt fabric, with a sticker basket/thimble...two buttons...and the needle is handcut and colored by me. The red ribbon is ...um, red ribbon. hee :D

These cards are 2.5"x3.5" with square/rounded/cut corners.

Someone said you could get addicted to making these little whosits. I believe them. I had a great time creating this one. I hope my swap buddy likes it.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Spot O' Kindness

I received this cookie cutter in the mail today. Look familiar? Yep - that is a replica of the useless lump that is [at present] alive and happy, sleeping on my feet. [For those that aren't familiar yet, you will be, that is our dacshund Spot. Spot the Dot or Spoootie. Take your pick]
Why Skippy, where on earth did such a treasure come from? You ask....
My Tadpoles, let me explain. So fascinating.....
I am a member of swap-bot. We swap postcards, ATCs, letters, lists, recipes, homemade projects, etc. In one of my swaps I met a nice lady named Aunt B. Aunt B and I swapped votive candles. She read my profile and discovered I didn't know how to make pie crust. Yes, baker fail, hush up! She was kind enough to send me a recipe for pie crust. I thought it was such a thoughtful, neat extra that I mailed her back a thank you note. That usually isn't done - as you have already swapped with eachother and we rate our partners on the site which is the "thank you" - but she was so touched to receive a snail mail thank you note - she dug through her stash of cookie cutters and found SPOT. Who knew they made useless dachsie cookie cutters? [The cookie cutter isn't useless, the dog...really...the dog is, but loved, I swear!] Aunt B. had one and sent me it along with a recipe to compliment the cutter.
Sometimes you just sit back in your chair and think "Wow, someone thinks of me. I AM special." Aunt B made me feel like that today. She didn't have to dig this cookie cutter up and send it along with a recipe and note that said "Thinking of you". I only know her from one swap - but I knew after the first swap we would be friends.
Aunt B. loves to sew, so I am sending along a couple of thimbles I bought for my Grandma. I have them now because my Grandma has been gone for 13 years. I miss her and she was so wonderful.
The thimbles are purely decorative, but Aunt B reminds me of the kind heart my Grandma had and it makes me happy that she might understand that she is special too, at least to me.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How Special Is This?


Isn't he sweet? This is my win for the "Pay it Forward" at Gail's blog At the Farm. I received it in the mail last evening and just LOVE it! The little teddy is wearing a post office t-shirt and the mailbox is a bank! Pooldad suggested we put all our spare change in it so he can buy me postage for all my swaps and gifts I send out via USPS.

Thank you so much Gail. I wasn't feeling so great today and this lifted my spirits immeasurably. The winners of my Pay it Forward post are going out Friday - keep your eyes on the mailbox!

Wednesday Recipe

[please click to read]

Today's recipe is brought to you by Skippy.

It is a RECIPE to avert disaster in her kitchen.

You understand.

I know you do.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Quick Bento

I thought this was too cute! The oldest made it for her lil' sister. It is only one half of her lunch, because I didn't get a picture of the other box which had cherry tomatoes, marinated cucumbers and celery.

This box has: Heart shaped cheddar and swiss cheese, heart shaped salami and squares of flour tortilla; homemade mini chocolate chip cookies and a clementine.

It amazes me how much fun they have making their lunches. I also love that they food is always nutritious and portion controlled.