Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I have been searching on line for a restaurant to go to on our vacation. We want to go to dinner our last night there and we would like it to be an extra special occasion. I have had a lot of fun doing this - researching different foods, reading reviews, perusing menus.

But one thing perplexed me. Seriously.

Keep in mind we will be in Hatteras, NC at that height of tourist season. Hatteras and the Outer Banks depend on tourists to keep the economy going, right?

What I found so odd were several of the reviews. Once you read through how the food and service were I was surprised at just how many people took exception with the prices.

For example: "A bit pricey" [mild comment - not too bad], "Too high a cost for too little food" [I read a lot of reviewers that complained about portions - hey! not a buffet, 'kay?] and my favorite "Two crab cakes cost us $35 when a lb. of lump crab meat retails for $25 and makes FOUR crab cakes. We felt ripped off." [Okay lady, stay home and make your own.]

I mean, really WTF? I didn't notice a great disparity between restaurants when it came to pricing - they all seemed comprable in terms of cost for similar meals and I expect to pay top dollar for a nice sit down dinner in VACATIONLAND. Just like I know my bread, milk and eggs are going to cost more because I am in TOURISTTOWN. And it wasn't just a handful of reviews that complained - it was a large portion of them.

I just don't get how people can bitch about something that is so freaking obvious. Or for that matter state how one dinner out ruined their vacation [I read that complaint a few too many times]. Really? High prices or bad service on one night ruined your week? Wow.

I am going to be happy if my legs hold out to walk on the beach at sunset with Pooldad. Once.

PS - THANKS for the book ideas - I have a great list going on. I will let y'all know.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Very Excited!!

We have made our vacation plans and we are SO excited.

We are headed to Hatteras, NC for a week in July. We are camping [squeee!] on the beachfront [double squeee!] at a KOA there.

We have camped at a lot of campgrounds and I am sure there are several in Hatteras that are not as structured as a KOA, but we like that KOAs are always, without fail, clean, well maintained and staffed by wonderful people.

This particular KOA has guaranteed our site near the ocean [bonus!] and there are several activities within the park to entertain the kids if they are bored with the beach [as if. :)]

We are so, so, so anxious to go - we are writing the lists, stocking the chuck box and cleaning/accounting for various camping gear. We do need to buy air mattresses as I simply cannot sleep on the ground anymore and another tent because the girls have decided they want their own space - which is fine by us ;) - no problem girlies .... heehee

Plus this will be our longest time camping - the longest we camped before was 4 nights and we were only 30 miles from home, so that didn't count as a long time, like this.

I would love if anyone has any suggestions for good beach reads - I will spend a lot of time reading, I know it. The two genres I do not like are romance novels and horror. I will read anything else you suggest - so please help me!

Friday, June 26, 2009

It Figures

Of course the junk food foray was going to come back to bite me in the behind. Why would I think any different?

Note to self: Do not sleep in.

Spotting dishes in the sink when I awoke this morning I had the following conversation:

Me: Wallene, did you have chips and dip this morning for breakfast?
Wa: No Mom. I had them for snack around 11 am.
Me: Oh, okay. That's cool. May I ask what you did have for breakfast?
Wa: Spaghetti-O's.


Me: We have fruit, cereal, oatmeal, bacon, eggs, yogurt, bagels and waffles in the house. Why would you pick Spaghetti-O's.
Wa: 'Cause they looked good?
Me: Sigh.

[We all did get a good chuckle out of this. I am not mad - just kind of shaking my head :) ]

Thursday, June 25, 2009

It All Evens Out

To blow off a little steam last night I decided to go grocery shopping by myself. Usually this wouldn't ellicit a post but what I bought has me laughing this morning.

First I tossed a box of Crunch n' Munch in the cart. I followed it up with strawberries.
Then came brownies with a side of ice cream, chocolate sauce and whipped cream which was balanced with a cantaloupe.
Chili dog fixins'? I made up for that dinner choice with Chicken Soft taco ingredients.
Chips and queso dip was offset with fat free yogurt.
Frozen waffles and french toast sticks were joined by whole grain bagels and lite cream cheese.

Are you sensing a pattern here? For every item of junk food I managed to throw in the cart I somehow had to find my inner "Good Mommy" and assure something healthy joined it.

I was subconciously justifying the crap purchases. hee

I don't buy unhealthy food as a rule. Sure, we splurge once in a while - but not to the extent I shopped last night. It comes from the way I was raised. I didn't grow up with snack foods and neither are my kids - it just isn't brought into the house. I honestly think fresh fruit, veggies and from scratch cooking tastes better anyway. I would like to think the kids do too.

I am just glad I by passed the cereal aisle.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Am Done Saving You From Yourself

One thing. Only ONETHING you had to do.

ONETHING. I explained it this morning at 9:15 am.

You would rather not do it because it might mess up your schedule. 8:30 pm? IN TRAFFIC? The horror! You'd do it if it had gallonage, chlorine or a motor involved. But not if it affords the family peace of mind. No...... you were home at 3:30 pm - a 30 mile roundtrip, even in DC traffic is NOT 5 hours. Getover yourself.

I found it, worked it and took care of it in the beginning. All you had to do is this ONETHING.

Why couldn't you do this ONETHING?

I am not doing it anymore.

Monday, June 22, 2009


Yummy! I made Pooldad steamed mussels in a white wine garlic sauce for Father's Day. It was my first time and I think I impressed myself :) I am always a little scared with shellfish I might poison somebody if I don't cook it right. These came out perfect! YAY! [and so easy]

For dinner we had barbequed spareribs with potato salad, deviled eggs and corn on the cob. We were going to have baked beans, but we lost them on the way home from the store. We have no idea where they went. Oh well.

Hope everyone enjoyed their Father's Day!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Just Rolllllllllls Right off the Tongue, Doesn't it?

[Completely not relevant to this post, but I made it and I like it. A llama postcard.]

We were hanging out this morning when Wallene imitated a sound in a sentence. She followed it up by saying "How is that for onomatopoeia Mom?"

[Was this the final week of school's vocab word? huh? It was so left field.]

I replied "Nice job. Y'know I love the word onomatopoeia. It is so much fun to say, dontcha' think?"

[I do - it is really a fun word]

Wallene: Yep!! I so know what you mean. You know what words I like Mom? I just love 'em. Know what they are?"

Me: No, what?

Wallene: Lactose Intolerant. Doesn't it just roll off the tongue?

I had to hold my breath to keep from laughing otherwise it would have been an asthma attack of epic proportions.

Lactose Intolerant? Are you kidding me?

No, No, NOT Dude

When we were out to dinner last night we had a new [to us] waitress. The place we go to is awesome and we are regulars, they know us and we usually have the same waitress because we always sit at the same table. I don't know how we manage to always get this one booth, but we do! :)

The waitress was really good with one exception.

I know I shouldn't let this bother me but I hate to be called "sweetheart", "honey", "babe" or "darling" by anyone except my husband. And it really squees me out when someone does it to Pooldad in my presence.

I know we are in VA but we simply aren't far enough south to warrant this kind of familiarity, y'know?

I wasn't going to say anything - we were having a good time, no worries - but she was really over the top with the endearments. At one point she came to the table to deliver our food and she looked at Pooldad and said "Now, can I get you anything else sweetheart?"

I looked up and said "Please don't call my husband sweetheart." [big grin, chuckle]
She replied "How about honey?"
Me: "No."
Her: "Darling?"
Me: "No"
Her: "Dude"
Pooldad and me in unison: "Absolutely NOT."

Pooldad and I had a big laugh over Dude. He HATES to be called Dude. I don't know why but it is a particular pet peeve of his. The only person and I mean the ONLY person that can call him Dude is me! :) - When she said Dude we burst out laughing. Wrong.

As I said - we are regulars and we had introduced ourselves to her. She knew our names. Although I don't need her to use our names while serving us I just really wish she would've dropped the cutesies. It was really annoying.

Still, she did get a 33% tip.

So? I am a Screamer

What can I say?

Here is the thing. I hate telemarketers. You hate telemarketers. We all hate telemarketers.

We have been receiving two phonecalls, per day, from two different telemarketing companies. One is for an extended warranty for our vehicle and the other is for life insurance. They always begin with a recorded message. You are given the option to press "2" to remove yourself from the call list. I tried this for the first week.

They still kept calling.

Then I decided to press "1" and ask a live person to remove our phone number. They would always agree and then call me back the next day.

Okay that wasn't working.

Then I decided to tell the car warranty people I had a 2010 Denali and didn't need an extended warranty. They would thank me, hang up and then call back the next day. !?! Same with the insurance people. I would tell them that we had great insurance with an incredibly low rate, could they beat it? They would say no, thank me and still call the next day.

This went on for three weeks.

One day I became so fed up with answering the phone for these doorknobs that I decided to try a new tactic.

I pressed "1" and as soon as the agent was on the line I screamed as loud as I absolutely could into the phone. Then I hung up.

It only took me three tries with the warranty people before they stopped completely. The insurance company must've been enjoying it because those masochists lasted a whole week before they were done.


I have to say tho' you have to try it. It works.

Just remember to warn the family before you do it. [Learned THAT lesson the hard way ;) ]

Friday, June 19, 2009

I Wept

Pooldad took me to our favorite restaurant tonight and I had two experiences that made me cry.
One of the reasons I don't go out is I don't walk well. Simple fact. I don't look crippled or disabled or incapcitated. I stand upright, no wheelchair or cane, but I limp slowly because otherwise it hurts too much, therefore, it is best I stay home. We thought I could handle "our" restaurant.

We did. It was the other patrons that brought tears to my eyes tonight.

Scene one: I had to use the ladies' room. As familiar as I am with this particular restaurant I knew once Pooldad helped me up out of the booth I could "palm" my way to the bathroom; meaning there was enough wood, railing, excess molding that I could hold myself and not require him to take me. That is important. The hall to the ladies' bathroom is quite long but has a lovely chair rail that I could hold onto while I made my way. So I did.

When I finally reached the door to the bathroom I realized there was another lady behind me. And she had been behind me the whole length of the hallway. She could have passed me and gone on, but she waited behind me. When I tried to push the door open I was surprised I didn't have the strength without being really obvious with two hands [a huge shove kind of thing you don't want to do in public]. I turned around and apologized. She looked at me and said "No problem" and held the door for me. But? She wasn't accomodating, she wasn't pitying me. She was kind and nice. Does that make sense? She looked at me, as if "I get it, go on." She allowed me in first and we went about our business.

Tadpoles? Y'all will never know how much she did for me .

Scene two: Leaving the restaurant. I absolutely had to hold on to Pooldad to walk when I didn't have the booth tops, molding, chair rail to hold on to and by this time my legs were giving out. [Side note: I take very small steps to compensate for the pain. Smaller the step, smaller the pain - Think the Skippy Shuffle!]. As we came to the front of the restaurant we were met by double doors, a foyer and double doors again to the outside. A family with 4 adults and 6 children were approaching as we were exiting the first set of doors.

The parents noticed Pooldad and me coming out and held back. They instructed two of their older children to "please hold the doors" for us and kept everyone clear so I wouldn't be jostled.

The politeness and courtesy I experienced from that extended family made me cry again.

The thing y'all have to understand is I don't look incapcitated and I don't want to. My body can only allow me so much. I don't want to be thought of as handicapped. I want to be me. I want to be Skippy. I want to be the ME that I know. Not the Skippy that is trapped inside something I can no longer fix and now I have to aclimate.

It was a huge step to go out tonight. It is often embarrassing to limp and take small steps in front of strangers. They do stare and they point and make comments. I am young, but I walk as if I am old. It is ineffective to try to cover up the "butterfly effect" with makeup...but for people to look at me and see past all that and [perhaps] realize I am doing my best? And be polite and kind? WITHOUT pity?

I wept.

You & I

You? Slam doors because you are tired of being wrong.

I? Slam doors because I am tired of being right.

A happy medium had best be met or the hinges simply are not going to hold out.

What a Difference

You can all thank me later for how boring this post is, 'kay? :)

You know the problems I have with Washington Gas, right? Ridiculous - but I was amazed what a few changes in appliances have made in one month.

For April our gas bill was $265.xx. For May? It was $35.xx.

Thirty-five freaking dollars. Oh happy, happy day.

Now, obviously we used gas to heat our home in April [it was still really cold here]. And that won't change when winter comes back around. The heater is brand new and we are keeping it.

Still - in May? We replaced our gas dryer with an electric one. Happy, happy! I would much rather give my money to the grateful folks at Dominion power. We [obviously] turned off the heat and we turned off the pilot light to the gas fireplace [this will NOT be turned on again. This thing must suck gas].

Additionally - we have always washed all our clothing in cold/cold water except for whites that is hot/cold. It saves money and your clothes last longer. Believe me. It's true!

Also - Pooldad and I have curtailed our showers - a lot. We don't bath less often we just take shorter showers. I usually like really hot showers and will run out the hot water heater, but since it has become warmer I don't need that so much. Now, if we can get the Eldest on board we might be able to lower it a tad more. Oh, bonus? The kids are going to be at the pool most days this summer and they shower there - saves us more money.

I just could not believe a $230.00 difference in one month. Wow! :) Yay us!

Sadly the stupid gas company is still pestering us for an additional $465.00 in deposit. If we actually paid that they would have $1,000.00 on deposit for us. I don't think so - they have $535.00 as it is and that is all they are going to see from me!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sign of the Times

Yesterday I caught Pooldad during a frenzy of phone activity at work.

Seems the Poolcompany had put an ad on Craigslist for a tech helper. This is an entry level position with the only experience required is slight mechanical ability. That is all and it pays $10.00 per hour.

In the first 30 minutes they received 50 phone calls. I am sure you can imagine what the rest of the afternoon was like.

Remember when I first started blogging? My original blog was started because Pooldad and I worked together running a pool business and it was a wonderful outlet to talk about all the inane happenings at the job. One of the things I blogged about often was our inability to hire ANYONE. For the year and a half we ran this business we were severely understaffed. No one wanted a job in the pool biz for $13-$14 an hour. And we weren't looking for experience either - we just wanted someone upright, sober and speaking passable English. No one answered our ads on Craigslist, the Washington Post or Monster.com. It was ridiculous.

Amazingly enough that was only 3 years ago. Can you believe it?

Now they are beating down the door for a $10 an hour job.

Funny aside: When Pooldad told me they had put the ad up I jumped in and asked "Oh, for Bee's job? Did they fire her?" No, just a tech position. sigh.

A girl can dream tho', can't she?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Don't Call Her Bee [-yotch] for Nothin'

This is a post for Pooldad and me. I am keeping track and the best way to do it is my blog. Read if you like but trust me when I say it is so repetitious as to be coma inducing.

Bee called in sick, again. Today. She had late shift. Two late shifts this week and she can only manage ONE. Now Pooldad has to work both shifts today. Yet another 13 hour day. Sigh. Honestly - I don't care about him working these hours [I am used to it from his previous job] - but I will say it AGAIN - It needs to be FAIR. EQUITABLE. SANE. Feel free to pick an adjective.

This is her 3rd [4th?] sick day since the new year started [April 09] In addition to her 7 days requested off. Pooldad has worked 10/11 full shift days since April - in the Spring - the busiest time of year in the biz.

How many has Bee worked? Well - let's see. Pooldad was given one day off to balance all of her days off - but she didn't work both shifts that day. She worked her 8 hours.

Then Pooldad did call in the day we bought the car - and she worked - 8.5 hours! WOOHOO!

So Pooldad has worked 10/11 extra shifts to her ZERO. Heaven forbid she actually help any of her coworkers - twice.

And I am not going to repeat the saga of trying to switch shifts for Jr.'s graduation that we couldn't go to.

She needs to quit and she needs to quit now. This is ridiculous.

Funniest part of this was the following conversation between Pooldad and Bee:

Lee [co-worker]: Pooldad Bee is on the phone.
P/D: You are kidding, right?
Lee: Nope. Line 2
P/D: [picks up the line - no chance to say anything...]
Bee: OH Pooldad - I am sick. I have been up all night throwing up. I can't make it to work ...
P/D: [interrupting] No. You aren't sick. You are hungover from being out all last night drinking. Goodbye. [click]

Now I don't condone talking to co-workers like this - job security and all - but honestly? She deserves it and it IS true. Her co-workers know it and [more importantly] the owners know it is true, so I don't think he is any trouble for being rude to her - just honest.

It is sad really. Pooldad loves this work, loves the company and the hours - he just never seems to be able to work the ones he is given. Sigh. Bah. Meh.


Monday, June 15, 2009

This Makes Me All Smiley

I found a new blog today - it is called CraftHope. It is a blog dedicated to giving to orphaned children in poorer countries through the donations of crafts made by fellow bloggers.

So far they have made pillowcase dresses for an orphanage in Mexico [too cute!] and soft body dolls [go look at the pics, please! adorable!] for an orphanage in Nicarauga. Their next project, and there is still time to sign up [hint], is for booties, blankets and caps for newborns in India. [They can be knitted, crocheted or sewn]

How exciting is this? Now we all know I can't knit or crochet - but I can sew :) - so I am breaking out the machines and looking for patterns. Yay! A productive day is before me.

Bengay? Where is my Bengay?

This Week

First - I am going to smack my weatherman. I do like the morning guy but he just said "Not a bad week, just have an umbrella handy." Every single day this week there is a threat of rain/storms. Bah.

Okay - happier news! Only 5 days left. FIVE days :) of school and then it is summertime for the kidlets. Only 5 more mornings - 10 more lunches to make - 5 more quiet [lonely] days and then they are HOME with ME! Weehaaa!

The eldest is going to Rhode Island in July with a friend and her family [nice invite, I must say - I want to go to RI too :) ]and then we have our family vacation during the final week of July. We are travelling to colleges and our first stop will be in PA. That should be fun. I need to start making reservations and trip plans. I find that a lot of hotels will take Spot but won't take Scooby because he is too big. I will need to research that as I don't think I could bear to leave him home. Then again, I think about the 4 of us and him in a hotel room and cringe a bit. hee.

Happier, happier news - the Marching Band banquet was this weekend and the title of "section leader" was given over to the Eldest by the outgoing Senior. It was a pretty big production and not a dry eye in the house. These kids are very close and have all formed very tight bonds. We are happy for her because we have seen just how hard she has worked in the past 3 seasons and she will be a good leader for the younger flutists. Eventhough I started the post talking about the end of this year - I can already see that next year is going to be busy, busy, busy for the Eldest.

One more thing - wouldn't it have been nice if someone, anyone? would've warned me that at one point the bottom of my feet would ache too? Seriously - the BOTTOM of my feet. I understand the joint pain, but c'mon - I walk on these puppies - I need them! I simply went to bed early last night because it hurt too much to walk around and I wasn't too keen on Pooldad's suggestion of piggyback rides around the house. :D

Happy Monday Tadpoles!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

I Am Running Out of Baked Goods

I don't know how to impress upon Pooldad that he should NOT leave breads and such near the edge of the table or the kitchen counter. He just doesn't get it. Sigh.

Last night Scooby had a variable feast of a half a loaf of pumpernickel bread and an entire pan of homemade cinnamon rolls [made by Wallene :)]

Now Wallene is making a new batch and I am waiting for Pooldad to get out of bed so she can give him the "evil eye" for doing it again.

Funnily enough Scooby doesn't bother with the fruit we leave out on the table. But boy the pup loves him some yeasty goodness.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

School Projects or Why I No Longer Have Any Nosehair

Attractive blog title right?
Please allow me to explain. And, yes, feel free to laugh.
See the lovely illustration? That is page twelve of a fourteen page project our eldest finished today [I scanned it]. It was all wonderfully printed out on white paper, ready to be bound in a report cover when she decided that it would be so much better if she "aged" it a bit. It is all about the authenticity y'know.
The trick to making it look like this is first you soak it in a tea/water solution, then dry it in the oven. That ages it. To make the edges look torn/worn you light them on fire and then instantly blow them out.
Her thumb started to become sore after 6 or 7 pages lighting the lighter [I can believe it] and I agreed to help. Tadpoles? Do not ever offer this service. I love her so very much but you have to lean in very close to blow the paper out to get the correct effect of gently burned edges. The result? The fire goes right up your nose and well....
....yep. The nosehair thing. giggle. And I have to say - it sort of hurts.
Although I will admit it looks awesome, all complete and bound by ribbon.
A+ my lil' Squirrel.
ETA: But if you REALLY want to see what being a Mom is - please go see what Amy had to do yesterday. giggle - completely worth the click. go! you won't be sorry.

Oh Wallene, You've Done it Again

[Holding a birthday gift of a hand drawn pic of her fav' shark!]

I have no idea how this child pulls off what she does.
She is certainly special. That is for sure.
A few nights ago Wallene did something she wasn't supposed to [okay, she lied] and she was summarily punished. We don't take lying lightly in this household and she was immediately put to bed, 2 hours early, with a promise of more discussion about further restriction the next day.
Unfortunately for Wallene she had a huge project due the following day for history class. Although all the leg work for this project was done she still had to cut out all the information, pictures, etc. and glue it prettily on a huge board. She wailed all the way to bed about it and I finally said "You will get up at 5 am and you can do it in the morning before school. You shouldn't have lied and if 2 hours in the morning isn't enough, well, you will suffer the consequences of you actions." Big meanie, aren't I?
Wallene is pretty perky in the morning at a normal 7 am wakeup, but doesn't do 5 am all too well. I was fearing the worst.
I met her in the kitchen at 5:01. She managed to complete it, have breakfast and be on the bus on time. I didn't say so, but rushed is rushed and this wasn't exactly her best work.
For example: When asked to name three facts about Harper's Ferry, WV she actually wrote: "#2 It has great ice cream." oh no, no, no, no. [cringe worthy isn't it?] She has had the ice cream in Harper's Ferry as we have visited, but really? Couldn't think of something else?
Imagine my surprise when she arrived home with the grade sheet and discovered she had received a 99% on this [last minute/throw together] project! With a hand written note by the teacher - Just Wonderful! Thanks for all your hard work!
When I say Wallene is special - I guess I should say blessed or touched or something - she pulls stuff like this all the time. When are one of my "lessons" actually going to teach her? ah well.
Funny part is - I teased her about the 1%. I said "See, told you the teacher was going to take off for the ice cream comment." And she replied "Oh no Mom, Miss Fibbergibbons agreed. She just LOVES the ice cream at Harper's Ferry."
Wallene - 1 Mom - Fail

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Okay, before Yvo gets in her hoopty and drives down here to kick Pooldad's behind I best let y'all know:

Seems Bee had a change of heart and switched the schedule. Woohooo! [You don't think she reads my blog do you? yikes!]
So I am happy, happy, happy. I get to see my baby graduate. Here I am again crying. damn.
Thank you all so much for your support, funny comments and threats to my husband's welfare. ;)
Love you all!

Thank You Tadpoles

Thanks for the support. I really didn't write that to rile y'all up, but in hindsight - it really is ridiculous, isn't it? Still, your comments made me laugh and cry. It was exactly what I needed.

Here is the thing - Pooldad doesn't want the day off and cannot call in sick. We simply want the shifts switched because that is fair and it is important. The reason he cannot call in sick is because if he does for his shift from 11-7 she will STILL leave at the end of her shift at 3 pm and thereby screw A LOT of people [other co-workers, customers, bosses, etc.] He can't call in sick. So that is what it is. [BUT when she calls in sick he ends up working both shifts - so he is there from 7 am until late at night - she won't do it tho' - as Rudee once said "She has short timers disease." True, but she isn't quitting until DECEMBER. To me that is a bit early for a decent employee to have short timers, eh?]

And she isn't budging on the schedule because she has plans. She owns a beach house in DE and well, I guess it is a PAR-TAY. sigh.

I actually emailed Pooldad a picture of Jr. and now it is his wallpaper/screensaver - ah...it is petty, but it makes me smile.

I do have to correct one thing - because it became clear after I posted yesterday. The bosses at Poolcompany told Bee that Pooldad took off Thursday last week [car buying day!] because he was sick. They didn't feel the need to explain our personal business to Bee - kudos for them, but when I said he "never called in sick" and she started to yell at me - wellllllll....she had a point. I just didn't realize they had told Bee that he was sick, instead of car shopping. My bad.

I tried to work out a plan to go without him and just take Jr.'s sisters but I am unable to walk the amount I would have to since they are holding the graduation in a large sports complex. I have to have Pooldad with me. Besides I really don't need to run into the step-monster without Pooldad there. I don't relish the thought of spending the weekend in jail. ;)

Thank you again for the comments and allowing me to cry on your shoulder[s].

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

My Son is Graduating on Friday

Too bad we won't be attending.

Seems Bee has other plans. Y'all know Bee as my husband's co-worker and that they split shift. One works 7 am to 3 pm and the other works 11 am to god only knows [usually a 10 hour day in the Spring.] They are supposed to alternate days and at the end of the month you should have 10 early shifts and 10 late shifts, right?

Bee makes the schedule. I have begged, borrowed and pleaded with Pooldad to PLEASE step up to the plate and ask to make the schedule every other month. He won't do it. He allows her to.

This month he works 3 late shifts every week and she works 2 late shifts. Which means she has 3 early days each week. 12 late shifts for him and and 8 for her. Not exactly equitable.

Here is the point. When I discovered Jr.'s graduation date I called her immediately and asked to switch his late shift for her early shift - so he we would be off at 3 pm, instead of 8, 9 or 10 pm.

When I explained that it was our son's graduation and it was at 7 pm in another county and we couldn't make it if he was late shift. She retorted "But Pooldad doesn't have a son." Um?

I replied that YES, in fact, WE do have a son and perhaps Pooldad doesn't chat about him at work. I also added that Pooldad had helped me raise him from before he was two years old until he was almost 14. She intimated that she didn't believe me and then said "Why should I believe you, he NEVER talks about him."

I don't know lady...because I birthed him? He is in our wedding pics as best man. I have a gazillion pics of him all over the house? Why does she care whether or not Pooldad talks about our son? Hmm?

Then she starts to hem, haw...and say "Well, I don't know...it MIGHT be possible."

I was so frustrated at that point I said "Well Pooldad never calls in sick or texts in sick and besides you only have two late days EVERY week this month, could you possibly work three late just this ONE week so we can see Jr. graduate?"

She freaked out and snapped at me "Pooldad doesn't call in SICK? Are YOU KIDDING?"

Huh? WHAT? Raising my voice I began a retort of "YOU must be kidding because...." and then I just caved.

I hung up.

For the record? Pooldad was ON CALL this past weekend. She never is because she couldn't fix/clean/help a pool for a wish or a prayer.

But I warn you now....DO NOT call me out about having a child - I am NOT making it up and NEVER, EVER question my husband's work ethic when your's sucks lemons lady. Just quit already and go back to bartending like you keep saying. GO AWAY.

And STOP LYING. My husband trusts me, with good reason and you will lose.

Monday, June 8, 2009

What Gives it Away?

Since it is rainy and not quite warm in the mornings I was wearing a flannel, floor length, turtlenecked nightgown, with a full length, velour spa robe [hood included] and thigh high knitted socks. [Thank goodness these came back in fashion, but can I ask why?]

Pooldad was leaving for late shift today. He hugged and kissed me goodbye and then asked:

"Would you like me to turn the air conditioner on?"

Um....I sort of stuttered out:

"No. Not unless you want the Chessie to be extra comfortable."

I really do think love is blind.

A Couple of Things Aren't Sitting Well With Skippy Today...

But I pick this to blog about.

Please know I try to keep a bright outlook, but sometimes you read something and your blood just starts to boil a little - added to another Bee story [that is a doozy, just wait] and a comment that I want to take light heartedly, but just can't because we are getting tired of hearing it.

So what did I pick? A tadpole seems to be having trouble regarding a situation that another person is making a big deal out of, but it simply isn't. In the scheme of things it normal and it is nonsensical that this other person reported her daughter. You can read about Rudee's problem here.

I have a somewhat similar story that happened with Wallene many years ago when she was in Kindergarten. It was the same school that wanted to take me to court over remedial reading. That should tell you something.

A little background is appropriate here. Our family moved into our home in Stafford County when Wallene was 6 months old. Living across the street was a little boy named BJ who was also the exact same age. These guys became fast friends by the time they could walk. They toddled everywhere together and I think their third word, each, was the other's name. They were close.

Example: Our neighborhood [heck the County] didn't have a swimming pool, so we rigged up a blue plastic baby pool in our driveway for them to splash around in during the dog days of summer. While they were both still in diapers BJ's mother and I would just strip them naked and let them play. Why soil a bathing suit or have to deal with the mess of a soaked diaper? [Potty training stopped this - so no, they weren't still doing when they were 5! :)]

They also walked to the bus stop together, went trick o' treating together and BJ was allowed to walk in our home ANYTIME he wanted looking for Wallene. Are you getting the pic' of how best friends these two were?

They were in different classes in Kindergarten but had recess together. Seems one recess BJ leaned over and gave his best friend, our Wallene, a kiss on the cheek.

Um...you would of thought the school had been nuked from the reaction we [BJ's Mom and I] received from the Principal.

They called BJ's Mom first and made her come into school and chat about the incident. Without contacting me they suspended him for inappropriate behavior.

Then they called me.

They explained how sorry they were that this had happened and they hoped that Wallene was okay and please, please, please don't think poorly of their child wrangling skills because they promised in the future to keep BJ away from Wallene.

I laughed my head off. I asked if they were kidding. They said no - that this was such a breach of behavior policy and I wasn't going to sue, was I? Then they asked [in all seriousness] why was I laughing. Why? Because this was too stupid to be real and I found it funny as heck.

I was still laughing and tried to explain to them that these two were VERY BEST FRIENDS. In Kindergarten. They had been friends for FIVE YEARS. Then I asked why was all the concern on Wallene and what had they done to BJ?

They told me he was suspended and asked did I find that acceptable punishment for "violating" my daughter?

I wasn't laughing anymore. I told them I found their overreaction exactly that. I requested that they not punish BJ at all or at least reinstate him as Wallene was his buddy and she was in no way hurt or scarred by a simple act of kindness on BJs part.

The school went on to say they had a "No Tolerance" policy and that since other parents already knew about the situation [HOW?!? Breach of policy much? They shouldn't have even told me.] but that they were standing by their decision.

I was so HAPPY when we moved. I miss my home, I miss my neighbors and I especially miss BJ busting in my house and screaming "WALLLLLLLLEEEEEEENE!" at the top of his lungs when he needed a playmate. But I do NOT miss that school.

Now - this is not the same story that Rudee posted [by a long shot, her situation is quite different] but it does illustrate the "over-the-top" and "can't you just mind your own business" that some people need to use when assessing a situation. Not everything is as subversive as people think or want it to be. It just is not.

And when people act this way it makes the world a harder place to live in.

Rudee please hang in there. My thoughts are with you and I am sure your outcome will be okay.

Pictures! I Have Pictures! Woohoo!

My silly computer finally let me download pics. Sorry that some of these are from a few weeks ago.
The first one is the eldest, at our table, showing the deritus from our Mother's Day Crab Feast Extravaganza! The girl can eat some crabs. [She is holding the knife like that because we use them to crack the claws. I couldn't find our wooden mallets.] The next pic is the cake the youngest, Wallene, made me. My favorite kind. It is the same as our wedding cake: White cake, with rasperry filling and buttercream icing. So yummy.

This is a cross section. Looooook at all that nummy rasberry filling!
Then there is Prom. YAY! They had a free limo! The Prom was catered beautifully by the hotel where it was held, plus the wonderful parents of one of the kids bought Chinese food for all of them! Nice.
Isn't she pretty? I think so - and the corsage was from her Dad.

Usually I wouldn't post pics of her friends, but since J has a mask on I thought it was safe. I loved J's dress! She borrowed it [free!] and it fit so perfectly...she is such a sweetie and she looked gorgeous. Next year we are going to loan out the eldest's dress - what an awesome idea, right?

I have a bazillion more pics to post, but Blogger is only letting me put 5 up at a time. I will post again later today so y'all can see our $1,400 dog beds. :D

Welcome to My New Blog - SWC

SWC - Skippy's Weather Channel. Or as I would like to call it "The Rain Blog of Doom".

Hee...but really - I feel like all I talk about is the rain. And? Rain is forecast for the next FOUR days.

It just keeps raining. It rained Friday, into Saturday, but stopped and dried up until now. For that I am thankful, especially since Prom was last night. But, c'mon. I want nice, dry weather so the kids can go to the pool and I can work on our front yard and take the dog to the park.

Sigh. Rain.

Well, if I can get the computer to allow me to download pics I will regale y'all with some pretty pics from Prom. Then I will post the weather. Again.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I Think, Perhaps, This Has Been a Long Week

Between the rain, the car situation and all the end of the year stuff going on with the kidlets I have to say - This has been a helluva a long week.

To wit: I laid down for a nap around 3 pm. I woke up at 8:30 pm to find everyone home from work/school.

Dad? Snoring on the couch.
Wallene? Snuggled on the love seat mumbling in her sleep.
The eldest? So asleep she didn't wake up until 10 pm when we served dinner.

Yes. Dinner at 10 pm. Hee. It wasn't too spectacular either. Canned soup and grilled cheese. It was all we could muster.

Oh, well. It is what it is and now the eldest is back in bed because tomorrow is SAT test day PLUS the added bonus of Prom. Wallene, Dad and I are all still wide awake from our naps.

Gotta love Friday night. Have a great weekend y'all!

Friday, June 5, 2009

My Favorite Line From Yesterday....

Remember yesterday? We bought a car?

Please keep in mind that my brother has been in car sales, car finance and car dealership for over 30 years. Also, [ashamed to admit this] I actually worked for him for a year selling cars. I know of what I speak. Well, I am a bit better off then someone who is buying a car without the experience I have and the knowledge my brother has.

With that in mind - I researched the heck out of the car we ultimately bought. The salesman wasn't budging on the price and I was giving him hell for it. The car absolutely WAS NOT what he was aksing for it and we kept going around and around in circles on the price.

I threw in the "I have worked in car sales and my brother has done this for over 30 years" card and he came back with:

Carguy: [with force] "Well, I am a THIRD generation carsales guy."

I paused for a moment and then responded:

"So? I am THIRD generation German-American. It doesn't make me a Hitler Youth."

He lost it, laughing...and knocked some of the money off the car that I was asking.

I still know we didn't get quite the deal we wanted, but it is what it is. We needed the vehicle and he had it.

Perhaps We Should've Bought an Ark?

Jeesh tadpoles...this is getting ridiculous.

It is raining yet again. We are well over what we needed to make up for the drought conditions and are now approaching flood proportions. I am not kidding. I don't mind the rain as it makes for great sleeping/napping weather - nothing like the pitter pat of rain on the roof and the gray skies for a darkened room, but gang?

IT IS JUNE. It is 60 degrees right now and I think the doggies are developing webbed feet. [Okay, okay the Chessie already has them and LOVES this weather, but the Nazi? Not so much.]

Everything is lush and green, but really? I need some sunny weather and warmth.

For example? It has become chilly enough I had to pull my trusty heating pad out of the closet where I had stashed it in May because, y'know? It was SUPPOSED to be warm. It is perched on my lap as I type this just to assure at least a few appendages are toasty. BAH!

All this damp and cold just does not play nice with Skippy and her pains. Off to take another pill - if anyone wants to email me that would be great - but I can't guarantee my coherency in, oh, about an hour. Giggle.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

How's This Work For Y'all?

I did it. I found it, got it financed and Pooldad picked it up. A couple of things tho'....

When I said "new car" I meant "new to us" car. Sorry if anyone misunderstood me. So this is the one.

What do you think? Kind of funny when you have to base your vehicle choice on the size of your largest dog. But you know? That is a sacrifice I am willing to make. Still - that lil' Nissan Maxima I was eyeballing was cute and efficient. Too bad Scooby outweighed the cargo capacity on a 4 door sedan.

So a Honda Odessey it is. In green [pic looks blue] It seats 7 peoples or 4 humans, a rat dog and the Chessie Bay.

Kudos to Pooldad because he had to do this without me [test drive, finagle details and sign paperwork]. Stress is not conducive to a healthy Skippy and since I had started to flare last weekend with the Lupus, this lil' episode didn't help and now I am down with pain. I share [and the pain killers are SO kicking in...giggle]. :D

Someone Thinks They are Funny

Please click on this to read the address. This is our Internet/Cable/Phone provider.

[Read the street address backwards ala' "The Shining"]

I think our county planner had a little too much time on his hands. Who does this? And who approved the name of the street?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Magically Mystical...Watch Skippy Pull a Car Out of Her...


Here we go again. What is it about my husband and vehicles? He is the most neglectful car maitenance/upkeep owner I have ever met. 14 years and he has managed to run 3 cars to their death and have one actually catch on fire - and burn to it's demise.


Now his lovely SUV has gone all explodey on us. And being a one car family this is not a good thing. And when I asked him to tell work he would not be in to work tomorrow, because, well...you know...this is A FREAKING EMERGENCY - he said he would work it out and he is going to work anyway.

Nuh uh. If I have to find a new car you best be on hand to help me out.

And this car you are not going to trash, neglect, ruin, run into the ground or basically just ABUSE. And? There will be NO fires. Been there, done that - don't want to do that again.

Okay..see y'all in a few days. I am off to find a new car. Sigh.

Just Go Ahead and Put the Ladder Right Back on Your Truck


My lovely landlord provided me with two different companies to get estimates from to repair our roof. We finally had a break in the rain and the first gentleman came out Monday. He climbed on the roof, surveyed it and then presented us with an estimate for $325.00. We are missing 18 shingles - so we thought "Hey, not bad." [Although the landlord thought it was too high.]

The second company sent their representative out today. He was prompt [yay!] and as he was taking the ladder off of his truck he was chatting with Pooldad. Pooldad explained that the other guy said it was 18 shingles and if he could give us an estimate to send to the landlord that would be great. [Pooldad obviously didn't tell this guy what the other guy quoted us.] The roofer said to Pooldad "Well be advised that the estimate is free but to come out and actually repair the room we start at $625.00, without even going on the roof."

Basically they are gouging us for a $625.00 TRIP charge, then they would tack on the repair.

I don't think so.

Y'all know we are in service and pool companies always have a trip charge - it discourages customers from whining too much and getting us to come out on a whim for, say, a dead squirrel in the pool. It is under $100 and it works. But $625.00 to show up to fix A ROOF - y'know that thing we need over our heads to keep us warm and dry? A necessary component of OUR HOME? We aren't calling them out for fun - or a dead squirrel - we need this done.

But not for the egregioius fee of $625.00 just to show up.

Pooldad looked at the guy and said "That is ridiculous. Why weren't we told that when we made the appointment?" The roofer responded "You should've been. But, yah...that's just to show up."

Pooldad smiled and kindly said "Go ahead and put the ladder right back on your truck. We won't be using your company. Thank you and have a great day."

Now I have to find another company to fit in between rainy days to come out and give us another estimate because the landlord still thinks $325.00 is too high.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Subtley Is Not Your Strong Suit My Child

Wallene came running in the door tonight [after playing outside] at 8:30. Knowing full well she had 30 minutes until bedtime and had to bathe she then realized she had to fit in her dessert before zero hour.

I have told y'all of the yumminess that is Haagen Daas Lemon Sorbet. In addition to the lemon flavor H/D makes Rasberry Sorbet. Not so great as it is sort of too sweet for me. Now, in our home, if there is something that SkippyMom likes it is off limits to anyone else unless I give the okay to snack on it. I rarely deny anyone anything, but somethings I love and they are things I can eat. Hence the sorbet.

Okay - back to the subtley part -

Wallene: "Wow! Hi Mom!"
SkippyM: "Hey. You're running late for bath and bed, aren't you?"
Wallene: [trying to act oblivious and completely off topic] "Y'know Mom that Rasberry sorbet is SOOOO much better then the lemon, donchta' think?"
SkippyM: "Wallene - that bus just rode right down the street and ran right over me. Do you know what I mean?"
Wallene: [giggle] "Uh, yah."
Pooldad: "Yes Wallene - and it was so obvious the bus backed up over your Mother to make sure the point was made."

She got the Rasberry sorbet.

Looking through the pictures of the pagent with the eldest today I had many nice things to say, but I am not too sure how well this comment went over:

SkippyMom: "You know honey - I love your smile. But I can only think of one thing everytime I see it in pictures."
The Eldest: "What's that Mom?"
SkippyMom: "Five thousand dollars."

She threw the wireless mouse at me. Ungrateful.

The kids were in bed and Pooldad and I were chatting.

Pooldad: [viewing the pics of the pagent] "I am going to be a blubbering idiot when she graduates from H.S. you do know that, right?"
SkippyM: "H.S.? Buddy, you are SO going to weep like a cranky baby at Prom next weekend, at graduation, when she leaves for college, when she graduates from college, when she goes to Vet school, when she is engaged, when you walk her down the ais....."
Pooldad: "Are you done yet?"
SkippyM: "... le, when she calls to tell us that your first grandchild is on his way. What did I miss?"
Pooldad: "Really? You cry when she comes home and is frustrated because she missed a step during halftime while marching in the band."
SkippyM: "Shut up."

The "kicker" to the night involved the dogs. We had my [yum] corned beef and cabbage for dinner tonight [I told you guys that it wasn't going to make it to Father's Day. HA!]. There is a bit of fat on a corned beef which we hack off before serving and feed to the pups after we are done eating. Scooby has a neat trick of catching food in midair if you toss it. Pooldad thought it he would try the same with Spot and tossed a thick piece of fat at her. Lil' Miss "I don't do that" sat there and it landed on the top of her head.

Drippy, messy beef fat all down her head. She was running in circles trying to get it off.

No problem tho'. Scooby walked over, scarfed it up and proceeded to clean Spot's head of all traces of the yumminess that Spot was too stupid ... cough ... stubborn to try and catch.

I have to say it is always a banner day watching a very, very large dog bathe a little bitty one. His tongue is as big as her head. And she sat and suffered the indignity of it all. giggle.

Lupus? What Lupus? ;)

Thank you my friends. Thank you tadpoles.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Our One and Only

This is our eldest in her prom gown. Wow. Prom. Where does the time go? It seems just yesterday she was busy sticking an entire box of Sesame Street band-aids all over her bedroom instead of taking a nap.

Now, before y'all start in thinking "What is wrong with Skippy? Has she lost her mind having professional pics taken of her prom dress wearing daughter?" I didn't. Y'all know me better then that! Jeesh. No, this pic is from a pagent that the eldest was involved in.

Gasp! Yes! I said pagent. Again - I can hear y'all - "Poor, poor Skippy has lost her mind. A pagent? When did Skip get in with the 'Teenager & Tiara' set?" Because, as I said, y'all know me and know I am SO not that type of person. Really.

But....what happened was the eldest and her Dad were out shopping for her prom gown and they met last year's Miss Loudoun County. She is a lovely young lady and she asked our daughter if she would like to be a part of this year's pagent. When I researched the details [before agreeing] I discovered the pagent is mostly based on academics and volunteer work - which the eldest has in spades :) - and not so much on beauty/looks/body image. So I said yes.

She had a fabulous time, met a lot of nice young women and made us very, very proud.