Saturday, February 27, 2010

Let's Be Honest

The Aftermath of Hair Coloring

I am sick. I am tired. I am tired of being sick. And tired. Don't worry it gets better and more fun!

See? LOL - I am drunk. Yep. Although "Not my Mom" thinks I am a lush - honestly I am not. I succumbed today. And helllllloooo....nothing hurts right now. Bonus. You all can call it self medicating. I am calling it a gift. A big fat sparkly package with a shiny bow that makes me forget that bending joints is painful. I just point and laugh. Shut up. The kids are in the other room.

Did I mention I am sick and tired? I don't think I have slept 4 hours in a day for a month. I wanted to go to Mass this evening but discovered they have changed the schedule so I would've heard it in Spanish and considering how drunk I am it would've been entertaining for all involved. [Squirrel always gets a kick out of this particular Mass. Me? I forgot more Spanish than I will ever know]. We will attend a Mass tomorrow - when I sober up [Hi Father Bill, you are welcome ;)]. But that brings me back to getting ready to go out and being tired [tangent Tadpoles, work with me please] I went to apply my once weekly layer of foundation/powder [or what I like to refer to "How to give a dying woman some sort of palor other than "Casket"] and do you want to know? I have bags under my eyes that could carry a vacation's worth of goods to Slovakia. Jeesh. There ain't concealer existing that would mask these puppies. [And y'all wonder why I never post pics of myself? HA!]

Okay - still with me? It really would be more fun if you all were here with me, but you are going to have to deal with tipsy Skippy via blog for now. Know that my door is always open for any of you - just warn me 'cause I will need to buy supplies. I am not stocked like Linda. ;) Then again we aren't retired yet. I guess I will be then? Stocked I mean.

Hee hee...I also am allowing Wallene to dye her hair red tonight. Yep. RED. :D And again everyone shut up. My husband is a red head, my father was a red head and Wallene was until the great Shaved Head Incident of 1999 [Amy? You haven't lived until you have to explain to the other preschool Moms that NO you didn't give your daughter that haircut on purpose. That it wasn't a "fashion statement", but a neccesity - Yes. One mother actually said "Did you do that for a fashion statement? How interesting."] - it never grew back red and she has been a lovely brunette since.

But...she wants wild red hair like our lovely Eva - so I said yes. My kids get great grades, don't skip school, don't back talk, lie, steal or cheat - it is hair. I don't care what you do with your kids and I won't and DON'T give my opinions about your kids - so thanks for not saying anything in regards to what I allow mine to do - but especially along the lines of I am leaving a permanent scar on Wallene by coloring her hair in 7th grade. It is going to be BRIGHT, UNNATURAL and GARRISH and my lil' Porcupine is going to love every bit of it. WEE HAW! I can't wait to post a pic'.

Is it wrong to want it to be Christmas in March? Sigh. [Look! I am full of tangents tonight. I blame the alcohol. hee]

PS - besides not telling me how to raise my kids can we avoid the "OMG SKIPPY you are ill how could you drink and make it worse" scenario comments? It isn't making it worse. It isn't helping and it isn't hurting. I just want to be numb for one night. 'kay? Kay!

...And You Wonder Why?

I tipped $8.50 on a $42.00 pizza order tonight and the delivery driver not only DID NOT acknowledge the tip with a thank you [which would've been nice] he actually saw the tip line and gave me a dirty look. Think eye roll with a sneer.

I already paid in the $2.00 delivery charge and then tipped - can someone PLEASE explain to me why a 20% tip on delivery displeased this man?

I was trying to treat my family to a fun, out of the ordinary dinner since they have worked so hard taking care of me and feeding me. The driver's attitude completely ruined dinner for me. And please don't tell me it shouldn't have - YES it should - I did above and beyond - it is delivery for heaven's sakes - not a sit down, in a restaurant experience.

I am tired of people bitch'en on the net about not getting tipped - check your attitude and your high expectations of what you are actually worth and get back to me.

And this isn't an anomaly - read the net, talk to your neighbors and experience it yourself - they all think because they "are putting themselves through school" or "it causes wear and tear on my car" or "I only make minimum plus tips" they are entitled to MORE than 20%.

This is the last time I order out. I just really wanted to give the gang the night off. Y'know?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Need to Clarify a Couple of Things....

This is going to be in list form [if y'all don't mind] because I haven't been feeling too well and I don't seem to be improving. Still, these subjects have been rattling around in my head and I thought it was important that I touch on them.
  • First and most importantly - It is a HUGE myth that soda is high in sodium. Calories? High. Sugar? High. Sodium? Not so much. On a regular diet you should eat around 2250 mg of sodium a day - not hard to do [I will get back to that in a sec] but it gives a lot of leeway to eat and drink pretty much want you want for a healthy, well balanced diet. I have been researching the heck out of all manner of food and drink to find what is best and safest for me to clear up this edema and discovered that soda has, depending on brand and flavor, no more than 50 mg of sodium per 12 oz serving. Tadpoles - that isn't high - believe me. I am on a 1,000 mg sodium restriction and I could still afford a soda. I think the reason this myth got started was because people who enjoy soda don't drink one or two a day - they drink six or seven and then they start working into the healthy part of their well balanced diet. Anyway - why would anyone want that much sugar intake? Makes me nauseous just thinking about it. Everything in moderation folks.

  • I was shocked - not kidding - SHOCKED to find out tap water has sodium in it. I drink two things during the day - water and unsweetened tea made with tap water. During my research I read an article that says some municipalities have as much as 45-50 mg of sodium per 8 oz glass. Yes, the same as soda - but we are supposed to drink 8 glasses of water a day - not 8 cans of soda. Get it? Here I thought I was doing something good and I find out I am exceeding my limit everyday. Bah. So now I am drinking bottled water. Good hint: You can call your local water authority and they have to tell you the sodium content of you water. If you are on a well you can have it independently tested.

  • Now that I have the two most important things out of the way let me just say thanks for the nice comments regarding salt and sodium but I feel the need to clear up [repeat] some things so we have a better understanding. I don't and have never cooked with salt - I have family members who have high blood pressure. We mostly eat at home, as you all know and most everything we make from scratch - if the menu says "Tacos" it doesn't mean Taco Bell. We are fans of fresh fruit and veggies but are still shocked at how much sodium there is in something as simple as a piece of wheat bread, especially since I am so restricted. In addition, something I should've added, I have extremely low blood pressure. My whole life it has been 90/55 - even when in labor. True fact. So I, personally, have never worried about my sodium intake, but since my body has now decided to "do the wonky" [which is what I am calling it] I am hyper aware of sodium and it's effects on me. And before anyone thinks I am playing up on a high horse with our meals, eating at home and cooking - I am not - I just find it cheaper, healthier and more fun for all of us to cook at home.
  • Finally - I had a great chuckle over how many people said "But everything tastes better with salt." Yeah, no kidding - if that is what you are used to eating - but I am not - I don 't like pre packaged frozen dinners, I don't like canned vegetables and I like making our own stocks and gravies - sans salt. This is the way I was raised. But to be honest if I had bad eating habits up until now I would've changed my ways pretty damn quick because I am here to tell you this HURTS. And I am stuck in bed all the time and I am hungry, a lot, because I have to depend on others to bring me food, which is almost as sucky as the pain - not by much, but I get so tired of asking or reminding someone "Hey! You guys ate dinner at 6 - it is now 10 pm! Do you think I might have something to eat too?" As soon as we strike the balance [of salt intake/medication] I will be able to get out of bed, but until then? I would rather be giving birth because this hurts worse. I can say that. I have done both.

I don't know. I guess I am uber-cranky and I am getting tired of listening to myself. So HEY! I decided to share - don't you feel lucky? heehee.

Thanks for listening - and remember what I said about soda and water, 'kay? And if you don't believe me read that can of ultra, diet Pepsi free - it isn't high in sodium. Just don't drink 7 cans.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A+ Cute

This is Wallene's project for genetics in her science class. I know! I wondered what dragons had to do with genetics too! The teacher thought that to make it fun for the kids she would put the students in pairs and each one had to make a dragon with certain genetic qualities and then after they were "mated" the kids had figure out the probability of certain traits in the dragon babies from each dragon parent.

The reason I think this guy is so cute [and worthy of an A+] is the dragon was supposed to be made out of construction paper and markers, but seems Wallene had grandiose plans and wanted to make a 3-D clay model of her "Sparky". She spent four hours today putting this together - the grass is clay pressed through a garlic press and for a little comic relief she had him set the grass on fire and added a fish pond. :D

In other Mommy blogger news [yawn] my nice husband went to the library yesterday and brought me home a gazillion books including two low sodium cookbooks [yum!] and he went to the craft store and bought me a latch hook rug kit so I don't lose my mind while I am still on bedrest. It is a really pretty throw rug size with a lighthouse on it. It is very relaxing and I am so glad because everyone is back to school tomorrow. :( I figure I should have the rug done by Friday at this rate. heehee.

Hope everyone has a great week!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Lupus Picks the Lenten [Sacrifice]

Every year we make an effort to pick something to abstain from during the Lenten season. Well, we try. This year I was all set with my normal pick - same pick every year - but seems The Lupus has other ideas.
I have recently developed edema. I am used to joint swelling with the Lupus but this has become pretty pronounced [and may I add - it hurts like a son of a *ahem* ::Waving - Hi God!::] We have decided that the best way to combat this is with some medication, elevating my legs and sodium reduction.
And Lupus has picked salt for me! I don't have a choice but to make it the full 40 days. [Is that cheating? Using something I have to do anyway?]
As a rule I don't season with salt in my cooking or salt table food because Pooldad [and SR, my ex] both have battled high blood pressure. Imagine my surprise at just how much salt we do actually eat in one day! I thought I was doing pretty well - but, um, nope. Normal intake per day is 2300 mg while I have been restricted to 1000 mg.
To give you an idea of what a day looks like on my new menu:

1/2 grapefruit
4 oz grapefruit juice [I like grapefruit, what can I say?]
0 mg

1 mini plain bagel 230 mg
1/2 oz. cream cheese 50 mg
cup of unsweetened applesauce 0 mg
1 banana 0 mg
6 oz banana/strawberry yogurt 80 mg
360 mg

1/2 serving low sodium soup 190 mg

1 boneless skinless chicken thigh 160 mg
2 cup steamed spinach 0 mg
1 slice low sodium [HA] whole grain bread 110 mg
[I would have had a starch but I didn't have anything to make tonight]
270 mg

Jello - orange 65 mg


All in all not a bad day. The sodium is on target and I am stuffed, so that is all good. The calories are too low to maintain my weight - so I have to work on that, but we need to go grocery shopping to replace a lot of the sodium rich foods in our home. I already miss saltines.
Then again this is what was on our menu a few weeks ago:

Total sodium in this one meal?
910 mg
860 for the ham and 30 mg for the cheese sauce
sweet potato and broccoli are free

Wow! Honestly I wasn't surprised by the ham [duh!] but was thrilled the cheese sauce was so low. Who knew? Still...that dinner isn't bad if you are on a normal sodium diet - it still leaves 1390 mg for snacks, lunch and breakfast.

Hope everyone has a wonderful season. I am off to have another little talk with God. :D

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

This Excites Me!

Charles Town WV
Wallene came home from school today and said "Mom I was reading the newspaper today and look what I found - two homes for sale you might like!" [Yes, she reads the whole newspaper and loves the real estate ads just like her Momma.]
This particular home, as you can see, is in a different state as we live now. Once that would've been a problem but since I am now the sole [biological] parent and the Squirrel is graduating in June it suddenly occured to me that we could actually live in WV without her missing her high school years.
~ I looked in up in MLS.
It is 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom, 3 level single family built in 2003. Interesting. Hmm....
Do you want to know what got me all excited? The price: $145,000.00!!!
Can you believe that? I was shocked. Where we live now you can't buy a townhome for under $200,000.00. We have been considering $250,000.00 [circa 1972] townhomes for the past few months because our lease is up in June and we need to move.
The second thing that was even more exciting? The commute for Pooldad: 38 miles. Now that may seem lengthy but it is approximately 50 minutes from WV while his commute now is 30 minutes because of congestion.
And the third most exciting thing? Our mortgage payment would be HALF of what we pay in rent. Think a 4 digit savings. Alrighty then. :D
So twice the house and yard for $100,000.00 less and money in our pocket?
Yep! I think so.

'Cause He's A Trooper

Photo Courtesy of Deborah at Antiquity Oaks

Look at that face! Isn't he a sweetie?

He is aptly named Trooper. For his full story and a way you could help him would you please go visit Deborah at her wonderful blog Antiquity Oaks?

Thank you.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Cute Shoes and The Start of Our Fifth Week

What did we do while snowed in?
We went shopping, of course!
I was surfing the net and reading blogs when I came across a blog called "She's Got it Going On." She is a twenty something who loves to shop and finds amazing deals. She blogs each day about the specials she has found. One day, last week, during the Blizzard of 2010, she listed an AWESOME deal at for $10 shoes. Yes. $10 shoes!! When I went and peeked I could not believe how cute they were and what a wide variety they had.
Although Christmas was a scant two months ago I thought "10 Bucks? For cute, fun shoes? Yes ma'am!" and I told the girls to each pick a pair.
Look how adorable these are:

The Squirrel's are gray fabric and are rouched.
Wallene's are black leather [the whole shoe] with real feathers on the top.
To say they are thrilled that UPS played catch up on a holiday is an understatement. To be fair they arrived here in less than a week even with all the snow we have. Nice job UPS!
As we enter our fifth week of "Menu Meals" I thought I would share with you what Pooldad made for dinner [and may I add he did it all by himself!]:
Cornish game hens, wild rice, steamed broccoli and yeast rolls
The kids have never had the hens and it has been years for Pooldad and me. Holy smokes these were good. The kids were tickled with their own little chickens and did an awesome job of cleaning to the bones [especially Squirrel]. I wasn't nearly as successful so we took my leftovers and what Wallene had left and froze it for chicken pot pie on Friday - bonus! An additional bonus is that they were only $2.50 each - fresh broccoli was .40 cents a serving and wild rice was .25 cents per so I think we received quite the bargain of a meal for $3.15 for each of us. [The yeast rolls were homemade - they are pennies each.]
I am still really happy I decided to do the year long menu. We haven't deviated once or skipped a day for take out/delivery. I am discovering though that many of the meals I make all the time have a enough leftover for another meal which I hadn't counted on and planned a new meal for the next night. Oops. But it is working out for the best because I am filling my freezer with already cooked meals that I can just defrost and serve when they are next up in the rotation plus in many cases we have enough for Pooldad's lunch too.
On the snow front - it was supposed to snow three more inches tonight but thankfully it didn't because there is simply no place to put anymore snow. It is ridiculous. Still - the kids do have a delayed opening tomorrow. heehee.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day Lunch Idea For the Ones You Love

Pooldad and I made these for the girls for Lunch today.
Individual sized!

Very Yummy!
[My inspiration is from a post at Grubgrade about Papa Johns who sells a whole heart shaped pie from Feb. 11-14]

Happy Valentine's Day

Breakfast in bed for Mom. Yum
These are the girls' gifts.
Candy pots and sock monkeys.
I purchased the monkeys from the talented Kathy over at
Kathy's Kampground Kapers.
They are even more adorable in person.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Our Lovely Eva

I have mentioned Eva before. She is a young Canadian woman who is suffering from the disease Cystic Fibrosis. Two years ago she received the gift of an lung transplant but within one year her body had rejected it.

I found her blog a few months after that [through Marni] and asked you all to say prayers and send cards to bolster Eva and you, my Tadpoles, came through.

Now several months later without the hope of a second transplant Eva feels it is no longer within her to fight. She is tired, barely breathing and doesn't have the strength to go on, but I have to say she is as giving, loving and beautiful as she has always been.

She posted a final video called "I Love You" with her parents - it is on her blog at 65 Red Roses. It is truly inspiring but very difficult to watch. Could you please take a moment to go let Eva know that she is loved? She is such a wonderful person and I can't help but think if there were more people in this world such as her that it would be a much, much better place to live.

Wow Canada! Nicely Done!

We would just like to thank you for a lovely Olympic opening ceremony.

What a treat! The aboriginal people, the dancing, the singing, the honoring - all so wonderful.

It will be another Olympic opening ceremony we will not forget.

Thank you!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

I have been remiss in posting the winner of our Valentine's Give Away. I apologize.

I claim snow blindness AND we haven't had mail service. Seriously.

So, without further ado, I would like to congratulate Phelan on a Valentine's Day win! Sorry you won't receive it before Valentine's Day, but I promise it will all be fresh and good - with a movie! YAY!

Now, about the chicken dinner part - I need some help! Does anyone have a good recipe for Chicken Pasta Primavera? Can you share?

Thanks so much and congratulations Phelan! And please go visit her blog "A Homesteading Neophyte" - you can learn so much.

And THAT Is Why I Am the Parent, Missy

The Squirrel had an out of town trip to Williamsburg, VA this week for a Model United Nations conference. She was to leave yesterday and return tomorrow.

Anyone notice we received 46.4 inches of snow in five days? Yeah, that.

On Sunday they closed our school system for the whole week. The WHOLE week, so that means all classes and activities are cancelled.

Her MUN sponsor teacher spent all day Monday contacting people [the principal, superintendent] trying to find a way to still get the kids to Williamsburg on Wednesday.

I looked at the Squirrel and said "I don't care if she does find a way to go to the conference. There is another foot of snow coming on Wednesday and I am not sending you 3 hours away when I don't even know what the conditions are somewhere else. You are not going."

Boy did that make her mad. She snatched up her laptop and huffed out of the room. She pouted and wouldn't talk to me for the rest of the day except to walk through the kitchen and whine "Not fair" under her breath. The urge to trip her was growing by the minute. See? My kids can be rotten too. heehee

Yesterday - now named "Blizzard 2010" - the day they were supposed to leave? There was a fifty car pile up on Highway 64 - which is the [only] route they would have been on to get to Williamsburg yesterday.

Was Momma right? Or was Momma right? Ha.

Honestly it was a moot point because no one in the school system was going to approve this trip after all the snow - but in case they did I asserted my parental rights and denied it. I mean, how stupid would it have been to let her go?

Besides her safety, I am just happy she is so forgetful that she hadn't turned in the 130 dollar trip fee yet and I can rip up the check. YAY! More in the budget for me.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

As Close to 100% As I am Going to Get

Rockfish catchin'
One thing I dont' spend a lot of time dwelling on via my blog but does consume a huge part of my life is having Lupus. I may mention it in a private email to a friend/Tadpole or discuss it briefly in a phonecall but I don't bring it up a lot because, really? It is a pain. Haha!
But? This morning I woke up and was actually able to stand without wobbling or wincing in pain. I couldn't believe it. Ever since I fell and hurt my knee I have been a swollen mess of humanity and in so much pain that I was getting tired of being alive. It has been almost two months of this crap and I was running out of patience with my body.
When I am flaring I confine myself to two places in our home - either bed or a chair at the kitchen table. The problem with the kitchen set up was the longer I sat the more my joints swelled and the more difficult walking became. So I was forced to go lay in bed for 3 or 4 hours at a time. Not only boring but it cuts me off from the kids and Pooldad and I hate having them have to get me everything - I miss being me. I want to do for myself. Please know that they actually seem to like doing stuff for me - they never complain and are always checking if I need anything - but I don't like the role reversal - Hello! I am the Mom here.
What I think has set me on the road to remission is my chair. I have an incredible chair with an ottoman that Pooldad gave me a few years back. When I say incredible - I am not kidding. This thing is squishy, roomy, comfy - it is like sitting on a cloud. I knew I couldn't handle the kitchen chair anymore and the love seat is just a tad low for how tall I am so I asked the kids to bring my chair up from the family room and put it in the kitchen. [That was interesting - the chair moving, let me just say. lol] I wanted so much to be with the family and not in my bed.
I sat in it for about 6 hours last night and my hips, knees, ankles and feet slowly un-swelled [sorry don't have another word]. It was amazing. I went to bed at 11 pm and slept through until 6:15 am. Tadpoles - that is unheard of. I am always awake around 3 or 4 and don't go back to bed until the afternoon. I couldn't believe it.
Now, why am I telling you all of this? For a couple of reasons - I am so excited that I can walk without pain. I swear if it only lasts one day I will take it - it is heaven. I am also sitting here, by myself, because everyone is still in bed, and I need to SHARE - lol - I can stand today and cook, bake, craft and get my own glass of water and snacks! I can't wait until the kids get up. They worry and I know they will be happy to see me up and about.
And finally - I have been taking a lot of guff lately for enjoying the snow so much. And I don't understand it. I make it a point to see the best of a bad situation, not that I consider snow a bad thing as I love it, but I can't allow myself to become down everytime a flake falls or whenever I am stuck in bed because of the pain. What way is that to live life? Really. It's probably another reason I don't blog about Lupus - what's the point? I have it, I have to live with it and one day [unless my roof collapes from the snow - haha] it is probably going to be what ends my life. That is my reality. I live with it everyday but I try to have a good attitude about it, because it isn't like I can give it back, can I? Sort of like the snow - you can't stop it, so make the best of it.
And the picture? I posted that because I feel like that today. Like I could conquer the world - and I want to feel like that again and again and again.
Hope everyone has a great Tuesday. Thanks for listening.

Monday, February 8, 2010

They Have Conceded Defeat

[A picture of the Elementary School in our backyard]
It's official.
Schools are closed for the whooooooole week.
::Skippy happy dance::Skippy happy dance::Skippy happy dance::
With a storm approaching tomorrow that could drop another 6 - 10 inches [it keeps getting higher with each report**] there is simply no place left to put the snow I guess. So in anticipation of the new snow our school system has closed. YAY!
We are still within our number of snow days so we won't be going to school until July - and yes, we have power and [gasp] internet so we aren't suffering [Dominion power is kicking butt getting power back for those without, I must say] - but for the record - We can live without both. We have before [9 days! with 5 kids under 12] so no worries.
I can't believe I get a WHOLE week off, free, with the kids. P-A-R-T-A-Y.

**New report: 10 -15 inches with the possibility of 20 inches. AND? Pooldad has off tomorrow too. Can you say Rummy tournament? LOL

Sunday, February 7, 2010

I Stand Corrected

I thought that we had received 29" of snow.
I was reading the wrong official total [We are considered Dulles, not another town I thought we were yesterday.]
Official total for Dulles? 32.4 inches.
Okay. THAT is a lot of snow. And, surprise!, it is a record.

ETA: Guess what? SIX more inches on Tuesday.

Shepard's Pie - Two Recipes

One of our family's favorite meals that is both inexpensive and quick to prepare is Shepard's Pie. We had it for dinner on Friday and I have to say it is one of those meals I can keep eating after I am full. The basic recipe calls for ground beef, but we also created a lighter version to trim calories and fat for those who are watching their weight. It is yummy too. Here are the two recipes.

Shepard's Pie [Traditional]
1 lb ground beef - browned and drained
1 jar beef gravy
1 can baby peas - drained [or you can use 1.5 cups frozen]
8 cups of instant mashed potatoes prepared

After browning and draining ground beef add gravy. Mix well. Gently fold in peas. Pour mixture into a casserole dish and top with prepared mashed potatoes. I usually sprinkle paprika on top for color. Place in a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.

Easy, right? The next one is just as easy, but healthier.

Shepard's Pie [The Healthier Version]
1 lb ground turkey - browned
1 jar low fat turkey gravy
1 can sweet corn - drained [or you can use 1.5 cups frozen]
8 cups instant mashed potatoes prepared [Use the healthier directions for preparing if you prefer]

Make as above.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Sammiches [Because I Know You are Tired of My Snow Obsession]

On The Menu: Italian Submarine Sandwiches

Genoa Salami, Ham and Pepperoni

Provolone Cheese

Lettuce and Tomato

Spicy Mustard and Italian Dressing

I try to have one entree a week that is similar to a take out/delivery place. For example last week we had pizza and next we will have Big Macs [Pooldad's version]. It makes it easy, cheap and fun for us and it quells the desire to order delivery. Plus these were make your own!

Now, about the SNOW! [You didn't think you were getting by without reading yet MORE about our snowstorm. Did you? You did? Oops. Sorry about that ;D]

It is official - we received 29 inches - WOOBOY!

And here is a picture of my back railing at about 20 inches:

And it snowed for six more hours.

[It is now 17 degrees, dipping to 7 degrees before morning AND? Schools are closed Monday and Tuesday - How great is that? YAY!]

Still Snowing Strong!

Here is our view out our front door.
The big tree across the street.
This is some heavy snow Tadpoles.

It is now 9:50 am and it is still snowing like gangbusters.
And it is going to continue to snow until around 6 pm.
We are now receiving about 2 inches an hour.

We measured at 10 pm last night and had 7 inches.

We left the ruler in the snow.
Now we can't find it.
It is at 20 inches.

I love snow.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nostalgia: Two True Stories

We were watching the storm coverage tonight [as if there is anything else on] and a reporter was detailing the wreck of a snow plow into a tunnel. Seems Mr. Snow Plow Driver had left the bed of his truck up and attempting to enter the tunnel decimated it. The tunnel is now closed. Indefinitely.

Which made me remember my days of being married to a man [SR] who worked for a trucking company who just so happened to have the contract for plowing snow in our local 'burb.

My first husband was in charge of dispatching and keeping track of his band of snow plow drivers when they were sent out - and there were quite a few snowfalls during our marriage. Plowing snow is a boring, tedious and lonnnnnnnnnnng process. They can be out for 8, 12 or 14 hours at a time to handle large amounts of snow. This is important. :D

I have many funny and harrowing tales of the escapades of the plow drivers, but two always come to mind when I see something like on tonight's news.

- A plow driver has been out most of the night, diligently doing his job when suddenly he is pulled over by local law enforcement for, apparently, not plowing too straight. Upon questioning the plow driver the police officer smells alcohol and asks the driver to please step out of the truck. Opening the door to the truck the officer notices an empty bottle of Jack Daniels tumble out from under the driver's seat. He asks the plow driver "Can you explain this?" and the driver slurs "Oh, yeah. That. I was using that to come down off of all the cocaine I took earlier."


- One very seasoned and well liked snow plow driver seemed to have a slight problem with his next door neighbor. No one knew this as well they shouldn't - since it was an off work kind of thing, but my husband inadvertently dispatched this nice driver to plow his own neighborhood thinking he could pop in and get a bite to eat and see his family [as I said these were long days/nights]. Well, plow driver man didn't stop for a bite to eat or even a wave. Instead he decided it would be a good idea to plow all of the snow from his street into his neighbor's driveway. All of it. FEET of it. It all ended up on his neighbor's property, basically blocking the drive, the yard and the mailbox. This was going to take a long time to melt let's just say. The only problem with the driver's diabolical plan? He didn't realize his neighbor was the Chief of Police for their city. Yep.


I have more, but those two are my favorite. Please understand that 95% of the drivers were great, well respected, hard working family men - but as in any profession you get a couple of crazies.

Reason #1,264 Why I Like The Snow

The Squirrel just made homemade spiced cake donuts.
These are nekkid.


Plain is fine by me! See the cute little donut holes too? YUM

Did I mention that she melted chocolate and sprinkled them too?


Funniest Thing I Saw This Morning

Please keep in mind that it has not started snowing yet. It will not begin until around noon.

Okay? Okay.

I was watching our local news at 6 am this morning and they are all twisted up about the "Storm of the Century" - yes that is what they are calling it and I will repeat - it hasn't even started.

But that isn't the funny part.

Traffic is a big concern in our part of the world. We are ranked 3rd in the US for having the worst traffic congestion. So traffic is always newsworthy. Our local news stations have traffic reporters [Hi Lisa Baden, love you! Could you please find a stylist tho'? We are running out of snarky comments for your poor fashion sense] and stationary cameras on the busiest routes plus Traffic Choppers. No kidding.

Except traffic wasn't the news this morning [as usual] the impending snow was. Instead of using the Traffic Choppers to scope out accidents or gridlock they found a NEW purpose for it because, since everything is already shut down [with no snow], there was no traffic.

Would anyone like to venture a guess of what they were doing with their Traffic Choppers?

No? Oh Tadpoles I laughed. Hard.

They were flying around to various GROCERY STORES and FILMING the PARKING LOTS. Which were full. At 6 am. Because you just know that we are going to be snowed in for eternity. Or Monday. Whichever comes first.

Really? This is a good use of a Traffic Chopper? Grocery store parking lots? I love the snow, y'all know that, but honest to goodness? I could live without the panic and the "End of the World" mentality everyone gets when we are faced with a lot of snow. It is ridiculous.

Please enter my Valentine's Day Give Away! Please.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bwahahahaha! Scared of Snow!

Yep. We are set to get two feet - TWO FEET of snow!! Starting tomorrow morning.

Here is the caveat - eventhough it isn't supposed to start until late morning - the school systems are already closing.

They are closed on Friday before one flake has fallen. AND? The Federal Government is on unscheduled leave - with no snow here yet. LOL I LOVE IT! It is going to be big Tadpoles. BIG!

Our largest school system in NOVA [Fairfax] is adjacent to us and they are closed tomorrow - which means we will be too. [Update at 5:42 pm - Our county is closed. YAY!]

I love the snow. YAY!

This is going to be even bigger than December's blizzard! Woot! And the best part is Pooldad has Friday and Monday off as scheduled leave. YAY!

PS: Congrats to the kidlets they already have their first customer lined up to shovel! Woohoo!

And PLEASE join my giveaway for Valentine's Day - Thanks!

It Is a Valentine's Day Give Away!!!

It's Give Away Time!
Valentine's Day is fast approaching and who doesn't like a true love story? Well, here you have it "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". And it is a true story which is what, I feel, makes it even better. If you have seen it you know and if you haven't you are going to want to. It is funny and romantic.
Along with a brand new DVD of the movie I am going to include all the fixings for a Happy Valentine's Day Movie night - popcorn and candy - perhaps some homemade cookies - y'know, stuff to nosh on while you watch the movie.
So let's get started and enter y'all in this give away!
The Rulez [which are a bit different this time]:
To receive an entry you may:
1. Leave a comment on this post saying you would like to enter. Double entry if you tell us your favorite romantic movie [and why] in your comment.
2. Blog about the give away on your blog. Please leave a link if we can't click through your name to get to your blog. [And if you aren't on my blogroll -see to the right? - please let me know you blogged about it]
3. Twitter about the give away. Please leave a link.
4. Refer a friend or a family member and if they comment they get an entry and you get one too [make sure they let me know who referred them]
5. Ooooh Linda in New Mexico just gave me a brilliant idea for one more entry. If you play the word vertification game you get an additional entry. Please see her comment [the first one] for how to play - it is pretty self explanatory and a lot of fun. Thanks Linda!
How's that? You can get up to six entries for an awesome give away! YAY!
I will be customizing the snacky goodness portion of this gift so if you have dietary restrictions [no nuts, no chocolate, low cal, no fat] I can do that and the winner can just let me know when they email their address. Okay? Easy peasy.
This giveaway will be open until Sunday, February 7th at 12 noon EST. I hope if the snow doesn't impede our way to the post office I can have it mailed out by Monday so you will have it time for Valentine's Day.
It is open to everyone - but if you are in Canada or overseas it may take a bit of time to get to you. I will do my best to only send allowable food if someone outside the US wins - please make sure I know :D

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

....And Here Is Why My Kids Love the Snow

Yes. The Snow Sweeties!
My kids made really good money shoveling snow during our last blizzard [December 2009] just by knocking on doors and asking.
It has been predicted that we are to have that much or more come Saturday!
[YAY-and yes, Ellen I do know there is something wrong with me!]
So the girls decided to make flyers and pass them out today and tomorrow and offer their services.
I like them.
Very proactive!
Click for a larger version.

No. Yes, It Actually Means No.

Please parental Tadpoles tell me if you have had this problem.

I have discovered that we live in the land of pushy parents. It has been escalating these past few months and I am about to pull my hair out of what little I have left from medication side effect loss.

This happens more often with Wallene [our 12 year old] but on occasion I get an episode involving Squirrel.

Like all kids our kids have friends. And like all kids they like to hang out with their friends - be it sledding, going to the mall, the movies or sleeping over. If we acquiesed to ever request of one of their forays we would never see them. I am serious. They could find a friend to hang with every day of the week and two sleepovers per weekend.

There comes a time when we have to say no. We don't feel bad - there are limits to how much time they need to spend at the mall or how much money we have for movies and such. In addition every single one of these "playdates" involves driving.

Here in lies the problem. Their friends' parents.

No matter that we tell our OWN children no, not today, sorry you had a sleepover last weekend etc. - their friends' Mothers [it is always the Moms] will call and ask again if our kid can participate. I always ask "Didn't Wallene [or Squirrel] let you know that she is unable to?" They respond "Yes, but 'Buffy' would really like Wallene here and she is so bored and they are so entertained when they are together. Don't you agree?"

Well, yeah - everything is always more fun with a friend - but I will demur and say "Sorry, but Wallene has chores [homework, downtime, whatev'] and can't come."

But they continue "Oh, I am sure a few hours won't hurt. Are you sure? 'Buffy' will be so disappointed. She is so bored."

[What is it with the bored line? I get it all the time. Go play a card game or watch a movie with your kid. I do.]

I continue to try and say no - but these women are good at what they do and I eventually hand the phone over to Pooldad and let him agree to it. After all he does have to drive.

But, really? I am tired of it. The worst parents are the ones that English is not their first language - they speak it well enough as I have met them in person at school, but get them on the phone and they fall into the "oh, what? really, no? oh we see Wallene 2 'clock, 'kay?" And when I retiterate that the answer is "No" they act clueless and repeat "2 'clock. We see her then. 'Kay?"

Don't get me wrong - I like the women who call [they are a chatty bunch] and I adore their children - they are all sweet kids and I love that my kids have such nice friends to hang out with - but the pressure to say yes after I have said no is a bit too much. Keep in mind we don't say no a lot but ANY time we do I invariably get the Mom phone call asking "Are you sure, absolutely certain, have you lost your mind woman that Wallene can't come?"

What do I do and how can I get a backbone?

It is 2 AM. Do You Know Where Your Snow Shovel Is?

Howdy from the land of yet more snow!

It started snowing about 4 pm yesterday and it is still going strong at 2 am. Woohoo. The snowplow woke me up so I am watching "Groundhog Day" and the snow falling outside my window.

We should have about 6 inches by morning so I know the kids won't be going to school and then it is going to snow even more starting Friday afternoon! The weather folks think it will be an even bigger storm.

YAY! I know everyone thinks I am nuts for loving this so much but there are so many bonuses to snow - the kids and Pooldad get to stay home, the world is a prettier place all covered in white [don't you think?] the kids have such a great time playing in it and it is such a great time to cook and bake, filling up our home with warm, satisfying, yummy food smells. I don't know what it is about snow that makes me inspired for comfort food but it just does.

I hope everyone is fairing well and that you enjoy your day. Winter won't be here forever.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sharp Mind

We love our Grandma. She is actually Pooldad's Grandma but I have been raised to the status of "Dear Girl" by her and it is a special honor because it is a title bestowed only on her "real" grandchildren [Pooldad and his brother are called Dear Boys].

She is 98 - and let me tell you Tadpoles you do not mess with her and you do not try to beat her at dominoes or cards. She will give you "what for". You would never know she was 98 years old by how sharp her mind is and how well she gets around. She has slowed a bit, but not enough to impede her life or the enjoyment of it.

Unfortunately she fell on Sunday and hurt her knee. She is going to be fine but she had to be admitted to the hospital.

Upon admission the nurse was orientating her and asked her "Do you know what today is?" and Non* responded "Yes, it is Sunday. Why, don't you?"

Bwahahaha. The hospital has their hands full - she is not demanding or mean - quite the contrary as she always charms the pants off of everyone - but she is not to be considered an enfebled, incapacitated elderly patient.

'Cause she will give you WHAT FOR.

*Non is an Italian version of "Grandma" and it is what we call her.

Going by the Menu

Week Two of the Year Long Menu is going well.

We are having one of my favorite dinners tonight:
Roast Chicken with herb stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn and yeast rolls. And then Pooldad will pick the remainder off so I can make chicken salad for tomorrow's dinner along with boiling the carcass to make broth so we can have yummy chicken noodle soup with our sandwiches. Yum!

I found spiral sliced Smithfield ham on sale for 99 cents a pound! Which is awesome because next week is Ham week - so for $10 I can stretch that over five meals with nominal sides. [And of course there is an extra one in my freezer for Easter!]

This menu thing is working out pretty well I must say. :D I know it is early but I cannot begin to tell you the pressure that is off of all 4 of us not having to decide "What's for dinner".

It may be the little things Tadpoles, but I have to say it is a gift.

Groundhog Day Already?

...and the little bugger saw his shadow. So sorry folks. Six more weeks of winter. We are getting a few inches of snow tonight with a bunch more on Saturday! Yay! Ahem. Sorry. I like the snow.

Still, I can't believe how January flew by. I feels like Christmas was yesterday, really - and although the tree and lights and garland are down and put away I still have snowmen everywhere. Oh, and my Christmas cards are still up.

Is that wrong? Hee.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Our Mailbox Was Very, Very Good to Us Today

I didn't know about this when it comes to college acceptance - but let me say, we are thrilled.

Allow me to enlighten you! :D

We received a letter today from a college that the Squirrel has been accepted to. Enclosed was a letter detailing all of the grants and scholarships she will be awarded if she chooses their school to attend. So far it is $16,000.00 per year for four years with more promised should she decide to attend. Um, WOW! [It is a private college, not a state school, so it is still pricey - but I will take a discount like that anyday of the week!]

She has also been invited to participate in the Scholar's Program. It is for those students that have been accepted to this particular college who are in the top of the pool per their grades, SATS and activities. She will compete against 49 other students for scholarships - 1st place is full tution, room board and books for 4 years [one person is awarded this] and 2nd place [for 12 students] is full tuition for four years. Then a whole bunch of other prizes. Just for participating each student receives $3,500!

I knew we will always be able to afford to send any of the kids to college - it is what we do, right? - but that she worked so hard and the payoff is coming in [literal] dollars makes me breath easier and just burst with pride that she did so well.

I think I may have easy dreams tonight.