Friday, December 14, 2012

I Have No Words

Thoughts and prayers for the families and the children in Connecticut. We hold you in our arms tonight.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

YOu Guys Were Right - As Usual :D

Thanks for the cheering up Tadpoles.

I felt better after I wrote that [and took a short nap] so Pooldad and I hit the mall to see if we could find a dress I saw online at JCP.

Amazingly enough we did. It was the last one they had and even more amazing? It fit.

This is the dress:
Don't ask me why I thought feathers were a good idea, but hey! They WORKED.  The dress fit like a glove and when I stepped out of the dressing room Pooldad's whole face lit up and well. . .let's just say he followed me back into the dressing room. ::wink:: No, really - he did. But only to help me try on the next one.

I did have several more to try on, but this was the first and ultimately the winner. I paired it with sheer black hose, low heeled satin pumps and pearl stud earrings.  I wore my hair down which was nice because the back is scooped lower and my hair swept over it.  I also wore my red coat with black velvet trim for a bit of Christmas pop and cheer.

It appears short in the picture but even though I have longish legs it didn't look or feel too short for me, even at 46.  I do have chicken legs now so it wasn't doing me too many favors in that department, but the fit was snug enough to make what little body fat I have appear to be curves. heehee I even cheated a bit and wore an old push up bra.  The added padding really gave me a boost. In more ways than one. ::big grin::

Most of his coworkers have never met me and really only know me as the lady who fries chicken and bakes.  They were very gracious and seemed to be a lot of fun.  It's not a terribly large company, about 40 employees, but they are a pretty tight knit group. Very respectful and caring of eachother regardless of pecking order in the skill ladder.  A pool cleaner is just as valuable as a mechanic or a office worker to all of them and it is nice to see a group get along so well.  We sat a table with many of Pooldad's staff and he was whispering in my ear about each of them so I would be able to know a bit about them.  The one thing he kept saying was what hard workers, good workers they are.  For a man that has been in this business for almost 4 decades and the woman who has heard it ALL, that is a rare thing to be repeated about each and every employee he pointed out.  There is usually one or two [okay, several] bad apples in the bunch in this industry. It's the nature of the work I suppose, but it is refreshing that after moving from his previous company, where he had worked for over 20 years, he has such a great group of coworkers and friends.  What was really fun was seeing how wonderful the men looked dressed up and how pretty all their wives and girlfriends were.  Everyone really went all out for this once a year shindig. It was fun. [As the night wore on the open bar of high shelf liquor made it even more fun for some of the gang.  Pooldad had two sips of one mixed drink and said he couldn't finish it because the bartenders were being more than generous with their pours.  I offered to get him more mixer - cola - but he passed because the food came up. . .and well. . .]

The food. YUM! The food looked fabulous, in fact the restaurant itself is really neat.  It is a local organic farm with an attached restaurant [the farm came first] and they only serve what they grow, raise or what they can locally source organically.  The menus are seasonal so there were a lot of delicious root vegetables as as appetizers or as sides and the mains were a choice of bay scallps, organic beef sirloin [my choice if I had eaten], chicken breast or a vegetarian dish.  Really I cannot do the menu justice but it was worthy of 4 stars. And from what I can gather from all the award plaques hung on the walls in the Ladies' bathroom it often receives those types of reviews.

After the toasts were made and before the main course was served I had to make my apologies and to go to the van to lie down.  It was simply too long a day for me and dummy me I forgot all my medication.  Still, Pooldad keeps telling me that he really appreciates me making the attempt and going and he thought I looked very pretty.  Which is really all I wanted - not to be told I was pretty, no, although it is a nice bonus, but I wanted to go and be by his side as his wife. This is the sixth Christmas party he has attended since he began working there and it was my first.  I think if I had known they do it up this well I would've dragged myself from bed rest and shown up in a bathrobe before now. I do have some pretty swank bathrobes come to think of it. I kid, I kid.

I really don't get that down in the dumps very often and I am sorry I felt the need to vent here, but I was finally at the end of my tether with it ALL. And that does happen occasionally.  I usually keep it in my handwritten journal, but. . .you all helped me immensely and I thank you. It is nice to have friends you can count on no matter what.

We are almost finished our Christmas shopping. First year in three years I managed the mall at Christmas time under my own power. That was nice and very freeing.  Although there is something to be said for riding in a wheelchair - like you can run over all the people who are rude to the poor clerks or who try to cut in line.  Plus you are a good place to put all the packages, so you become an asset. heehee

Christmas cards and baking are next and then we are done. Squirrel comes home Saturday so that will be nice. YAY!  I hope y'all are enjoying the season and all your wishes come true. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

Hugs to y'all and thank you again. See ya' on the flipside Tadpoles.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Wish Me Luck! :/

I just wrote the wordiest post - It was wordy even for me, so you know it was wordy - and then I deleted it in favor of bullet points.

Believe me, you really should thank me. heehee

  • Tonight is Pooldad's office Christmas party at a fancy restaurant.
  • Key word: fancy
  • We have to dress up.
  • I have lost 27 lbs since July.
  • I now weigh 107 lbs.
  • [I threw my scale out the window.]
  • I used to wear a 4, but now I wear a 2.
  • [Then I dropped a big honker rock on it.]  
  • I have nothing to wear.
  • It was so difficult to find the few size 4 pieces I bought for fall.
  • I am without hope of finding a size 2 in something dressy and age appropriate today.
  • In the next 8 hours. 
  • I have about 2 hours of reserved energy.
  • I haven't slept well, I am in constant pain and I feel defeated before I have even gotten dressed.
  • I truly want to do this right, I WANT to look pretty for Pooldad [I know it sounds silly, but I want to make him proud].
  • I don't want to look sick and gaunt.  My color is good. . .but . . .
  • I'm asking for the impossible.
  • Instead of a fun shopping trip I am depressed at the thought. 
  • Really, terribly depressed. And crying.
  • I hate being me right now. And I hate admitting how awfully sad I am.
  • I hate being sad over a piece of clothing. . .but . . .
  • This is about so much more than the dress.
  • Wish me luck?
They say there is such a thing as "shopping therapy".
Well then? I hope this is a very, very good session.

See ya' of the flipside Tadoles, [of what I suspect is going to be a complete and utter meltdown in the dressing room at Nordstrom's. ::wink::]

Saturday, December 1, 2012

That'll Clear A Room

I probably shouldn't write this post.  I know Pooldad is going to be mortified that I "ratted" him out and ::gasp:: actually made him look less than the wonderful, perfect, glorious husband everyone thinks knows he is, BUT. . .

My NEW car.


We keep Oscar in the garage because it is below 25 degrees in the morning and when I leave at 6:15 am he is significantly warmer [oh, by about 30 degrees] so it is really nice to not have to heat him up on my two mile drive to church.  Unfortunately [for Oscar] I wasn't in any shape to get out of bed and put him in the garage one night so Pooldad went ahead and did it for me.

HooBoy! Did he.  Realize [please] that Oscar is a sub-SUB compact car. He is smaller than a sub compact. [Figured that out all by yourself didn'tja? giggle]  He is not only not wide, he is not long, so I still have no idea WHY my husband thought it was a spectacular idea to look BEHIND him, out the back window, instead of in the TWO side mirrors [to line Oscar up] while backing into the garage.  When Oscar is backed into the garage he can be parked and almost accommodate another Chevy Spark.  Alas, Pooldad didn't check the side mirrors, which would have confirmed that he was centered [or not] in the doorway, thus providing several inches [or not] on either side for clearance. Nope, he tossed his right arm over the passenger seat and while steering with his left hand watched through the back window at the back wall of the garage.  God only knows how fast he was going because. . .that sound of shattering glass and crunching, molded plastic?

THAT would be Oscar's driver side mirror disintegrating.  He was going fast enough [backing UP!!!!] that he couldn't have stopped when he heard an initial scrape - which he would have heard IF HE HADN'T HAVE BEEN GOING SO FAST and NOT LOOKING.  He would've had a chance to stop before close to a $1000 worth of damage had been done to the car.

When you are backing Oscar [not our mini van, our sub-SUB compact car] into the garage you don't worry about length - you worry about width.  That is what is driving me bananas about the whole thing.  Oh, that and the almost 1,000 dollars that we are paying out of pocket so our rates don't go up or we get cancelled by our insurance company.


[You should've seen the kids clear the room when they saw Dad come into the bedroom to tell me. They already knew he had done it and they skeddadled faster than a scurry of squirrels being chased by Spot.  In all fairness I simple sat there, in mute shock. When I didn't say anything Pooldad left the room and I cried.  I know, I know - "first world problems" and all that bullsh*t, but it really hurt because I rarely get new things and Oscar means more to me than just being new. He IS my independence.  So, yes, it hurt.  And I didn't actually raise my voice at Pooldad until he tried to talk to me again -before I feel asleep- about it and I yelled through the bedroom door to leave me alone.  I didn't want to say anything mean while I was still upset and he wanted me to make him feel better. I wasn't quite there yet.]

Since I can't justify exchanging gifts or budgeting for the annual "Snowman a Day" in December thing we do, I decided I would go ahead and replace my wedding set.  The wedding set I had to sell many years ago to afford payroll at a company we were management of, for which I was never reimbursed [that's a whole other story, but I digress.....].  Anyhoodle, I do have my wedding band and a stunning diamond engagement ring from my Mom, but I went ahead and bought this set:

My original set was 18K gold and had a gorgeous marquis cut center stone with a wrap comprised of smaller diamonds.  The set I bought this time is pretty too, but I chose a platinum setting instead. The diamonds aren't real - OF COURSE they aren't real. I'm not crazy with that kind of bill staring me down - but hopefully they will look just as nice.  They are simple CZs - and like I said, the rings look pretty to me.

So, that's it in a nutshell for this week.  Please go ahead and leave your comments for poor, poor suffering Pooldad and tell me that it was just an accident, and he didn't mean to do it, and all men are goofy sometimes and to cut him some slack and whatever else you care to, mmmkay? [You know you want to ::wink::] And just because I know everyone is curious ::ha!:: he is no longer on the couch where he SELF exiled himself, okay?

I hope you have a great weekend.
I'll be in the garage. Putting band-aids on my car. ::sinff-sniff::
See ya' on the flipside Tadpoles.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Calendar Schmalander

'Tis the season of the "Advent Calendar".  If you aren't familiar with them they come in several different styles  and forms and are used to count down the days 'til Christmas Day. Probably most familiar are the cardboard boxy type where a little door opens for the corresponding day and you are treated to a small piece of suspect chocolate. You can see an example here: Advent Calendar.

As a child I always wanted an advent calendar. Homemade, store bought - anything that I could use that would help me count down the days until Christmas.  Alas, by the time my parents had children everything was "as it always was" - holiday traditions included, so we never made any new traditions for anything, including having an advent calendar anywhere in our home.

When I had my own children I decided that I would do the advent calendar in an extra special way, making it our tradition and hopefully something my kids would remember and enjoy for years to come.

I decided to do the "Advent Stocking".  I have posted about it before [here] but basically it is a small stocking, hung on their bedroom doors that their Dad and I put small tokens/gifts in each night.  They are numbered and in this way they can count down the days until Christmas with a little treat each morning. [It also ensures they are in a happy mood in the morning :)]  It has always been such fun and from what I can tell a pretty unique idea because I have never met anyone else who is as crazy as me does it too.

With the oldest kids living on their own, a younger daughter in college and only one child at home I decided this year I would put one last twist on the count down to Christmas.  We now have. . . [drumroll]. . .

The "Advent Christmas Tree"!

This is the one in our home for Wallene and a similar tree and wrapped presents is wending it's way to college for Squirrel.  As the pile dwindles the closer to Christmas we'll be. YAY!

There are so many things I love about this. First - it's an Advent Tree! Who doesn't like to be a kid and count down the days until Christmas? [Or in the case of us parents - days left to shop, eek!] Second - the kids get such a kick out of it and the cost is minimal.  I keep a box in my closet and while I am out through the year I pick up free samples of things like make up, creams, toothpaste and hit the $1.00 and below aisle at places like Target and Michaels.  I even find stuff for free online - notepads, stickers, frames - that is the fun part for me. And I usually throw in a sweet or two. All this stuff is collected and hidden in the box to be wrapped at the end of November [And I LOVE to wrap!].  Third - it's better than the stockings because it is an added decoration in our dining room and I don't have to worry about stuff fitting in the itty bitty stockings. :) And finally - it sits right next to our Advent Wreath, which is truly the meaning for the season and [I think] they complement eachother nicely.  Because, let's face it, we have always put Jesus' birth and the celebration of the season first in our hearts, but we do have the fun and excitement of the "Santa Claus" aspect of it all.  It would be silly to pretend we didn't.

The gang just [now!] came in from the outside and the lights are on the house! ::skippyhappydance::

So far I have wrapped and set up/mailed the advent trees, made one batch of cookies to be mailed and ALL the decorating is done [thank you Wallene especially and Pooldad].

And it isn't even December 1st!  Now who wants to finish my Christmas shopping? giggle

See ya' on the flipside Tadpoles. xoxo

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Okay. . .So [Bad] Poetry Isn't Your Thing. . .

[The title is a reference to the previous post.]

I realize to sustain blog readership a blogger has to post on a consistent basis.  Since I have never been a big numbers gal, doing this blog more for a journal for my family and friends, I don't sweat posting on a daily [weekly, monthly] basis.  Still, I do think of y'all everyday.

Although it has been a pretty successful year, we have had our ups and downs with my health. That I am here to celebrate another holiday season is actually a miracle.  And I don't mean that in a throw away, your every day, "can't believe I passed the geometry test" kind of miracle. I truly believed that as sick as I was when I entered the hospital in February that I was not coming out alive.  If you read the last post before I was admitted I wrote about ordering groceries to be delivered, paying all the bills and finishing our taxes. What I didn't mention was that I had also written my will and planned my funeral. Basically, I put all my ducks in a row for my death. Not an easy thing to do when you are only 45 years old. Pooldad and I thought we knew how sick I was, but when we got to the emergency room we were surprised to find it was even worse.

Okay - with ALL that said - TA DA! I am still here and better for it.  I am not only healthier than I was earlier this year, but I have changed as a person.  I truly believe that I was given the gift of life through a miracle. A miracle that I prayed for, my family prayed for and my friends prayed for.  I know I owe a lot to the doctors for their knowledge and hard work in saving me, but even they couldn't tell us [and still can't] how I came to be so close to death.  They know the reason, just not the cause. They threw everything they had at me, took every test they could, even going as far as to treat ailments they thought I "might" have because they simply couldn't explain everything.  I continue with treatment, but I know there is something else which sustains me.

I have always felt when I survived my first hospitalization back in 2010 that I was kept here for a purpose. There was a reason I didn't die that time either.  Even the doctors used the word miracle for the fact that I hadn't died at home knowing how long and how ill I was.  Now here it is 2 1/2 years later and God has done it again.  The doctors still don't know everything that is wrong with me, but they are treating the maladies they know they can and have thankfully cured me of one.

I have never been an overtly religious person, but I have always believed in a higher power. My higher power just happens to be [the Christian] God. Those that have read my blog for any amount of time ::HI Tadpoles!:: know I don't talk religion [or politics] and that I respect everyone's beliefs.  I just hope that anyone that reads this or stumbles across my blog can afford me the same courtesy. :)

I didn't start out this post to write about God, nor do I think once I got started on the subject have I done it a bit of justice.  I guess this has been on my mind a lot lately and when I sat down at the computer this is the stream of consciousness that came out of head.  Or you can blame the meds - your choice ::wink::

Just know that every morning I am on my knees, praying and during my prayers I thank God for each and everyone of you. 'Tis true.  I know how lucky I am to be here, but I especially know how lucky I am to have been graced with friends such as all of you.

Thank you Tadpoles.  xo Skippy

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving to Y'all

Skippy's Thanksgiving Poem

Twas' the great day of Thanks and all through the land
most turkeys were in hiding, with some on the lamb.

Still, we had our own Tom, trussed up for the basting.
Just a few hours more it would be perfect for tasting.

The crispy brown skin, the juicy white meat,
send that drumstick to the kiddie table,
Young Billy called dibs on what he would eat.

The cranberries have cooked and are ready to go.
Get the dish, not the mold, as we don't "do" Jell-O.

The potatoes await their milk and their butter.
Their cholesterol count makes our hearts all a flutter.

"No worries," Mom says as she rolls out a pie,
"It's just once a year, I'm sure we won't die."

There's sugar and cinnamon, nuts and pumpkin galore!
Oh look! There's the gravy of which we will pour.

Yeast rolls, warm and golden, sit alongside the corn.
[Uncle Bob! Get off the internet! It's no time for porn!]
Take a place at our table as I toot my own horn.

Another year has come, a glorious feast I have set.
The very best part? I haven't killed anyone.

[I kid, I kid.]

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you from all of us in the pond.

When I say my blessings tomorrow please know I am forever grateful for all of my Tadpoles. Hope y'all have a wonderful day.

[And if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving hope your day is as wonderful as I know you are :)]

xoxo Skippy

Thursday, November 8, 2012

A Little Presumptuous Perhaps?

Just a quick side story from yesterday's doctor's appointment. :) Think of it as a BONUS! Woot! heehee

You know when you go to a new doctor and you have to fill out a "New Patient"  questionnaire?  Name, age, family and personal health history, lifestyle, etc?

Under lifestyle they always ask about smoking and drinking.  Everywhere I have been, always, these are yes/no questions.  As in "Do you smoke?  _____yes _____no" and "Do you drink? _____yes _____no" with appropriate blanks to fill with the amount you smoke or drink if you check "yes".

The questionnaire I filled out yesterday was like that for smoking - yes or no.  But for drinking?  It said "How often do you drink [beer/wine/liquor]?"  No "DO you drink yes or no". Just straight up "HOW OFTEN" which  I thought was odd because it assumes that everyone drinks.  I don't.  I know other people who don't drink either.  I don't even occasionally drink [holidays, parties, weddings] and could not tell you the last time I had a drink, honestly, so I wrote 0 and "I don't drink".  I just found it weird that for smoking you were given an option but drinking you weren't.  It was as if you had to admit to drinking some kind of alcohol recently or on a weekly basis. heehee

For what it is worth I have drank [drunk? drinked? giggle what is it?] alcohol before and I like to talk about it with people who drink - it's fun, but I honestly don't like the taste of any of it and it's expensive besides.

Anyhoodle - Have you guys ever seen a question posed like that?  And don't you guys know other adults that don't drink?  And not just people that are in AA* - aren't there some adults out there like us that just don't drink?  Or do I live in a cave?  giggle

Whatever, I just thought it was weird. Then again.....

*A very close friend [who is a member of AA] told me there were only two types of adults in the world "Those who drink and those in AA."  When I asked him "What about me?" He just shrugged and told me I was unique.  In more ways than one I'm sure. ::wink::

Have a good one Tadpoles.  There's a "twofer" for ya'.

So no one thinks I am "bristling" about this [Thanks for the giggle Rudee :D] the CAPS in this post are used as emphasis, not yelling.  Sorry if anyone thought this upset me or that I am too stupid to know why they have to ask about a patients drinking history.  For the record - it isn't WHAT [emphasis] they asked, it was HOW [emphasis] they asked it that I thought was weird.  WEIRD, not wrong or intrusive, just WEIRD like I said when I wrote the post yesterday. Besides, if I let something like this bug me I would have a pretty short [and pathetic] life expectancy, now wouldn't I?

Again, have a great weekend and we'll see ya on the flipside.  Enjoy the gorgeous weather :D

Something About Me

There must be something about me that draws complete strangers to me.

In the past week I have had two similar experiences that have left me scratching my head.  :/

I attend Mass every morning.  I usually go to the 6:45 am Mass, but sometimes go later at 8:30.  Our church is enormous.  The floor plan is almost in the shape of a cross with three "spokes" of the cross being seating with the top of the cross the alter and stage, etc.  The sides and main pews are clearly divisible and during morning Mass the few people that do attend sit in the main "spoke" facing the alter.  At best there are 30 parishoners in a church that seats 1,000.  We are a sparse group during the week.

With so few people we have our choice of seating and unless you attend with someone no one sits in the same row as, let alone next to, a fellow worshipper.  We spread out.  I like it because I don't have to worry about bumping anyone and I can get up and down as slow as I need to due to the pain.

This past week I attended 8:30 Mass and took a seat about half way up the pews directly in front of the alter.  As I was kneeling and praying I felt some one sit down near me.  My first thought, since my eyes were closed, was that Pooldad had joined me. YAY! [He had late shift and I had left him at home sleeping]  But no. When I glanced over I saw it was an older gentleman [60ish?] and in this huge, empty church he chose to sit right next to me. Like Pooldad would've sat right next to me.  He didn't look at me or acknowledge me. He just chose to sit down next to me.  I know it's church, but really?  It sort of creeped me out.

After that I took to sitting to the right of the alter in the pews that are off to the side. No one sits there and it would be too obvious if the gentleman followed me.

Another thing I should point out is that when I go out in public I wear a blue mask over my nose and mouth.  I do this in an effort to minimize catching a cold or the flu from strangers.  I can't be sick when they call for my surgery and if I was to get sick [with any kind of infection] before that I will be hospitalized immediately.  I have had my flu shot, use my own pen when signing for things in stores, wear gloves and use tissues to open doors, wash my hands all the time, etc. I take every precaution I can think of not to get sick.  Everyone is used the mask [even strangers] and understand the reasons why I am wearing it. I simply do not want to get sick. Okay? Okay. :)

So you would think that if you had a hacking cough, runny, sniffly nose and were sneezing continually without benefit of a tissue you would not pick the one seat in a near empty church that is right next to the WOMAN WEARING THE MASK. Would you?  Sigh.

I am still shaking my head over this woman.  I can understand if people have particular seats/pews that they sit in everyday, seats that they are used to - you know, like in class you have "your seat" even if it isn't assigned - but this is not the case with this woman.  I go everyday and she has never made an effort to sit anywhere on that side of the church and it wasn't as tho' she was late to mass and the seat was conveniently located near the doors so she seated herself quickly.  You have to walk the length of the church to get to where we were sitting and no one would interrupt Mass to do that.  Although I feel really bad that she is so sick and obviously miserable, she has to know that she could infect anyone instantly with what she had coming out of her mouth and nose. But she sits next to me? The one person, out of 20, with 980 other empty seats, who is obviously making a concentrated effort to not get sick?

What is it about me?  To be honest I don't feel very good pointing these people out, like I am being overly critical or a big cry baby and maybe they needed a friend and the girl in the blue mask looks friendly?  I don't know. . .I know Church is about friendship and brotherhood - but the seat directly next to me?  When the church is empty?  Had better [only] be occupied by someone with the same last name as mine.  Heck. I didn't go near Pooldad, literally go near him, for a week when he had a cold.  I certainly don't want a stranger's germs. :)  And I like friendly, older men - but I can like you from over there [------> pointing to the end of the pew] just fine tyvm.

I am getting better in regards to my organ functions [each test is a little more promising than the last!] and we are hoping for the day that the doctors stop telling me a transplant is my only option. [Hey, it could happen. :)]  We're saying our prayers and God has already given us a couple of miracles. We figure it doesn't hurt to ask for one more.  I do appreciate, so much more than you know, your good thoughts and prayers that y'all send me.  I tell Pooldad all the time that you guys had a lot to do with helping me survive my last two hospitalizations and I am so thankful for you ALL. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.  I could never say it enough, but I hope you know I carry you all in my heart and thank God every morning and night, in my prayers, for my Tadpoles.

One last thing before I have to go and finish up my "chores" [read: nap! heehee] I finally went to see the rheumatologist [2 months later] and she is convinced that there is something wrong with me [y'think?] that is causing the excurtiating joint pain.  She has scheduled a lot of tests and x-rays in the next two weeks to help narrow it down.  I hope it is something that can be treated without opiates.  All my doctors are pleased with my diet and exercise and have said that what I am doing can be key in helping lessen the pain, but neither seems to be working.  I was so hoping they would because I already take enough pills I hate to take more, but. . .as I said, all we can do is wait and see what the tests and the x-rays tell us.  The only good thing to come out of this is now I don't feel like a drug seeking addict when I call in to get my morphine or dilaudid refilled.  I take them as sparingly as I can because I hate the side effects, but the doctors are fine with trying anything they can to help me with the pain.  I know there are some people out there who are told it is "all in their head" and I feel for them. I thought so too at one point, but when I was off the meds I couldn't move, let alone stand up or grip a cup.  For so long the doctors had me diagnosed with something else, but now that they have retracted that diagnosis they have to find out what else it might be.  I think now it is a matter of what it is NOT and not really finding out what it IS. Make sense?

Okay - that was my monthly health update.  Hope I didn't bore you into oblivion, but there isn't much else going on here at Chez' Skippy.  Pooldad is over his cold, the kids are doing awesome [and band is over YAY!] Spot says "hey" and I guess we are just gearing up for the holidays in between doctors' appointments  and therapy. :) I can't believe Thanksgiving is in two weeks!  What I really can't believe is that I am going to be here to enjoy it. WOW.  If you only knew. . .

Thank you Tadpoles. Thank you so much. For everything.

We'll see ya' on the flipside. :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

With Power and Everything!

It is now 4 am Tuesday morning.  The government is closed today; schools are closed and Pooldad doesn't have to go to work.

We have power and water - boy do we have water. A swamp full in our backyard ::wink::  It has been steady raining since the last time I wrote, sometimes hard, sometimes light, but steady.  Otherwise, no real winds to speak of and no damage in our surrounding area that we can see.  Our biggest problem has been getting Spottie to go outside to go to the bathroom.  Any suggestions?  She is sitting here with her little paws crossed, knowing she can't hold it much longer, but doesn't want to go potty in the house. Poor thing.

Anyway - I think the storm missed us. ::big grin:: My kind of storm - the capacity to get schools cancelled but not hurt anyone or anything. Bravo Frankenstorm. Well played. [For us at least]

I have seen flooding up and down the east coast with minor evacuations, but so far it doesn't seem to be doing as much damage as we thought it might [or were led to believe it could?] Which is a really good thing.  I am not gloating, or heaven forbid, bragging that we got missed, just really surprised and hoping that y'all are okay too.  The news seems to go to the hardest hit areas [mostly coastline] and show flooding, and there are some power outages around, but school being cancelled seems to be a huge overreaction to this particular storm. Better safe than sorry I guess.

I spent all day Monday doing laundry.   Side story - the laundry detergent GAIN has always been our favorite.  It just makes our clothes smell so clean and fresh.  Used with GAIN fabric softener and all of your clothes come out soft as a puppy.  Trust me if you haven't used it.  I rarely get excited or expound on a laundry soap, but this stuff is that good.  Unfortunately, over the past decade, it has become increasingly more expensive. It was so cost prohibitive at $10/bottle that we stopped using it.  Made me sad, but when we can make our own for pennies or buy a cheaper brand that works fine it was a luxury we just weren't going to indulge.  This past month I keep finding both the GAIN detergent and fabric softener on sale - amazing sale - $4-$5 and $2-$3, respectively, and we stocked up.  I could do laundry for days using this brand just because everything comes out looking, smelling and feeling brand new.  I even washed all the sheets and we took showers in case of a power/water outage - and we all went to bed in soft, smelly good sheets/pillows with equally soft quilts and comforts.  I say it all the time, but it is the little things Tadpoles - and this is a pretty big little thing to me because it makes everyone smile.  Easy peasy.

I realize a lot of you don't like perfumed laundry soap or have allergies, so my apologies on that - but if you "like" and "don't" then this is the stuff for you. :)  Funny story about allergies and laundry soap tho':  We had purchased a huge bottle of "Eco something or another" laundry soap that purported to be dye and chemical free.  It is supposed to contain only all natural ingredients.  It was in the discontinued bin at the local store and a woman who was there looking through the bin raved about how great it was to Wallene and me.  She had 4 bottles in her cart, so we took her word and bought one.  Turns out Pooldad developed a severe skin rash that required medication and cream to clear it up.  It was from the Eco pure laundry soap! Oh, the irony.  Needless to say we discontinued using that, but we have plenty of the chemical laden stuff [GAIN] to go around. :)

Since my sleep schedule has been completely turned upside down recently I have found myself with an excess amount of energy and nothing to do during the wee hours of the morning.  I have taken to getting ready and attending Mass everyday of the week.  At first it was simply an excuse to dress, do my hair/make up to get out of the house.  Now it has become something I truly look forward to as an hour [including the short drive] of introspection and learning in peaceful surrounds.  Really, what is more peaceful than a church?  And I truly love my church, the clergy and the other parishioners.  It as if a whole new world has opened up and I have purpose [not "a" purpose - not on a quest here or anything] everyday. It is nice to go do something that I am not obligated to, something outside of my "mundane" of doctors, med regimens, my treatments and being a stay at home Mom and Wife.  It is also a special place to pray.  I know we can pray anywhere and God hears us - but I don't know how to explain it - it seems to go deeper for me to be in God's house and pray for my family and friends.  It sure does start my day off on a good footing no matter what I am facing or how I am feeling.  I always leave there and face the sunrise with a smile. :) [Yes, it is that early when I go. heehee]

Now I know a lot of that didn't make any sense and many of you aren't Christian or don't believe in God. I understand and respect that.  My blog has never been about discussing/arguing religion or politics - it is just something that is [now] an integral part of my day and I thought I would share.  Goodness knows I am far from a perfect Christian, but I am trying to be better.  And I like that too.

Okay, enough of that because it is actually almost time to get ready to head out the door.  They may cancel work and school - but Church always stays open.

Hope all you Tadpoles that experienced any part of the storm got what we got, if not less - and wake up today with no damage and much electricity. :)  If you are still getting the brunt of it [Hi New England and Canada!] you are in my prayers that you [too] emerge unscathed.  Fingers crossed that we all missed this one.

Take care and we'll see ya' on the flipside.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Okay, NOW You Have My Attention

The "Frankenstorm" is coming! The "Frankenstorm" is coming!

They have already cancelled schools for Monday. [While I was typing this they closed the Federal Government, which means Pooldad is off too! Yippppppppppeee!]

Wow.  In my 41 years in Virginia, this is a first.  Cancelling school on the threat of a possible hurricane or hurricane conditions?  Unprecedented in this part of the world.

If you know anything about me and my undying LOVE of snow days - then you know I am doing the ::skippyhappydance:: right now.  A whole day to slug  about in pajamas with Wallene and Pooldad watching the storm pass through., playing cards, noshing and listening to updates on our portable radio. Perfect kind of day if you ask me.

Don't misunderstand me. I realize that this is very serious and with that knowledge we are prepared. Actually more prepared than we have ever been for a non snow emergency.  We have destocked the refrigerator, taking it down to almost no perishable food, so when we lose power we don't lose food and don't have to worry about finding ice.  We have car chargers for our phones and a battery powered radio.  On hand, without having to purchase just for the storm [thank goodness because the stores are crazy], we have non perishable canned goods with requisite hand can opener, [always] bottled water, batteries, propane [for outdoor cooking] and a stockpile of blankets for when we lose heat.  The only thing we had to buy were 3 candles to round out our stock. We use those sparingly anyway. I fear fire. :/  Our gas tanks are full and we have cash on hand.  The outside is secure with Oscar tucked safely in the garage.  I am  just glad that, for once, I thought to have us eat through all the food, milk and juices without buying more so we didn't have to worry about ice, coolers or losing $$$.  Definitely a first for me. heehee [And if I forgot anything on that list, please don't remind me - nothing I can do about it now. eek!]  If it looks as though we are going to be without power for an extended period of time we are prepared to trek out to the country house and stay there a while.  It would be a hardship ::dramatic sigh:: but I'm willing. ::wink::

We are very fortunate that we live in an interior, brick town home and the winds come from the sides.  We aren't in danger of losing windows, just a few roof shingles if the past is any indicator. No old, tall trees to fall on the house, tho' a few of us could lose a deck or two. We live by a creek that is prone to flooding, but it has about 100 yards, uphill to reach us before we could even consider a wet basement.  I understand this storm is more about the winds than the rain. Although. . . they do have a blizzard warning in effect less than 100 miles from us.  Weird, huh?  We have it all going on. :D

It promises to be a fun and interesting few days.  When I have internet back I will be here with an update I promise.  If I can figure it out I can also make a short post on my cheapy cell phone.  We'll be fine tho' I am sure.

Speaking of the internet I had to laugh at the email that Verizon, our internet provider, sent to all their customers.  It was a form letter about the possible severity of the impending storm, detailing what might happen and listed steps on how to reboot your system, etc. The FUNNIEST part of the whole letter was their disclaimer that in the event of a power outage their customers would be without cable and television until the power was restored.  They went on to say that a power outage resulting in loss of cable and television was, in no way, the fault of Verizon.  In very firm language they asked that customers NOT call their offices requesting that these services be restored while the power was still out.  They actually had to remind people that IF THEY ARE WITHOUT POWER THEY WILL BE WITHOUT CABLE AND INTERNET.  giggle  I don't know why I find that so darn funny, but I guess they deal with a lot of [not so bright] angry people that can't watch their "Honey Boo Boo" or download porn right.that.minute.GRRRR giggle  I absolutely hate Verizon [there is a whole 'nother post] but in this instance I do feel for them. [**Anyone notice how many times I had to repeat "without power" or "power outage"?  I think Verizon wrote it twice as many times. HA]

I do have a lot to keep me busy this week, even without power.  I think I might hand write a few blog posts or draw some cartoons to catch our lives up to the present.  For someone who writes her blog as a journal for her family I sure have some huge gaps this year. oops. I best get on it, dontcha' think?

I have been getting around and reading y'all, but not commenting too much.  I hope everyone is still doing wonderfully well and if you are in the path of this storm too I tip my glass of tea to you and send you prayers and best wishes.  Stay safe, dry and warm.  We'll be thinking of you.

The rest of you Tadpoles try and behave yourself. heehee Enjoy your Halloweens and the continuing lovely weather and beautiful fall foliage.  Always brings a smile, doesn't it?  We'll be thinking of you too.

Hugs and much love. See ya' on the flipside!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

And What Were YOU Doing This Morning at 2:30 AM?

Sleeping I hope.  Not the ladies of Sterling, VA tho' - not when we can get pancakes 24 hours a day. . .

We  go to IHOP!

I was actually a lot more awake and definitely more thrilled than I appear in this [crappy cellphone] pic':
It was Wallene's first time going to IHOP for breakfast in the middle of the night.** She was tickled. Of course she managed to text all her friends and tease them about where she was.  Ah, to be 15 again. :D heehee
Yesterday was a big day for the Marching Band.  Wallene and her bandmates participated in the Virginia State High School Marching Band Festival/Competition [?].  She was early to rise and on the go-go-go all day.  The did very well, scoring ones in several categories.  We are so happy for them and very proud. These kids work so hard to do well. It was a nice reward.

Today it promises to be BEAUTIFUL.  Since we went to Mass last night we have a "free day" with nothing scheduled.  I do love going to church, but sometimes it is fun not to have to something scheduled every single day.  Pooldad and I are taking a mini road trip to visit his parents and Grandmother, so that will definitely be fun.

I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and enjoy it as the gift that it is meant to be.

See ya' on the flipside. xoxo Skippy

**Going to get breakfast in the middle of the night is sort of a tradition around here. It is a pretty BIG deal the first time you go, especially if you are 15.  I am just happy my teenager still wants to hang out with me, and enjoys it?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Did You Know. . .

That October 20th is "Sweethearts Day"?  Yes Tadpoles, yet another "Hallmark" holiday - or as we like to call it "A card buying holiday."

I really shouldn't blame Hallmark - it could be American Greetings or Shoebox Cards or some other entity, but when I was in Target the other day I noticed the sign for it.  I thought "What?  Valentine's Day isn't enough?"  We don't even celebrate Valentine's day - Pooldad already knows and I tell him every single day that I love him, as he does for me.  Who needs a designated day?  I know you guys - you're the same way I'm sure.  Even if you do celebrate silly holidays like Valentine's day you let those that you love know everyday, even without the hearts, flowers and candy, eh?

But...knowing it would make Pooldad laugh [at the ridiculousness if nothing else] I succumbed to the marketing and bought a cheesy card to mail to his work.  He is so goofy he will put it up on his desk.  At least I know he will get a chuckle out of it.

Ahhh. . .the powers of well placed advertisement and the allure of an unlimited card display. :D

So, how the heck have y'all been?  Besides not blogging - I haven't even been reading or commenting.  And really?  I have no excuse.  Everything here is going along well.  Basically the same 'ol, same 'ol.  Which is a good thing.  Autumn has arrived with all it's beauty and gorgeous weather which means the start of the holiday season.  I saw my first Christmas commercial the other day - QVC [a home shopping channel] SHAME on YOU! and also saw my first Christmas tree decoration in a retail store. Bad Kohl's. BAD.  We haven't even handed out our first Snicker's bar to the trick or treaters and they are pushing Christmas. sigh.

Halloween is shaping up nicely.  Our neighborhood is pretty neat because people really like to decorate. Even if they don't have kids any excuse to put up colored lights and decorations and they are there.  I went to the Dollar store and bought many dollars worth of decorations :D Wallene did a spectacular job while we were out one evening and I get the biggest smile every time I pull Oscar into the driveway.  I did start my candy buying about a month ago. What?  I am STILL trying to gain weight here people. heehee [well, that's MY excuse anyway] and so far we have gone through the entire Lifesaver, Skittle and Starburst lines and are soon to hit the chocolate and peanut butter families.  Gosh, I LOVE Halloween.  Anyone dressing up this year?  Wallene is marching in the annual town Halloween parade and their section [the mellophones] are dressing as gnomes.  She isn't too excited, but she was voted down.  Any ideas on making it a unique costume for her? What should I use for the costume base?  Exactly what KIND of gnome?    Any hints or anyone that has dressed as a gnome before - your suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Let's see?  What else can I bore you with this week?  Oh, as I said - the weather has just been spectacular.  Even with the rain it has been great.  We have started taking Spot to our local park.  Did you know that I have lived in Sterling, VA for over 7 years and not until two months ago had I ever been to this park?  It is 2 miles from our home!  It is hard to describe just how beautiful this simple park is.  It is all natural, meaning there is no planning to it, no gardens or such - just paths and an occasional shelter with picnic tables and grills.  It runs along the river and there are benches erected to you can just sit and take in the beauty of it all.  When we first started going it was always Pooldad, me, sometimes Wallene and Spot.  With everyone being so busy with work and school it is now just Spot and me.  It is so peaceful.  What is fun is we see the same people, with their dogs, everyday.  It is like Doggie Social hour at 4 pm here.  We had to buy Spottie a new harness and extendable leash because she was darn near choking herself on the conventional collar and leash set up.  Now she thinks she is "all that". heehee

I swear I compose a post or two in my head at least once a day but I never seem to be in front of the computer long enough to get words to screen.  I really do have a whole lot more updating to do but for y'all's sake I think I'll take it slow and ease back into this whole blogging thing. :D  And yes, I have pictures, recipes and baking updates to share [KNITTY!] We'll see what I can toss up here in the near future.

I can honestly say I have missed you y'all so much, but I don't know that I can make any promises if I am going to be able to keep up like I once did.  I will do my best.  Just know that if I am not here tap, tap,  tapping away I am here in spirit - cheering you on and sending a hug or two when you need one.  Believe me when I say you are ALL in my prayers every morning.  God is well acquainted with the term "Tadpoles" by now I would hope.

Best wishes that you all have a great weekend.  Enjoy yourselves and don't forget to SMILE!

See ya' on the flipside. xoxo Skippy

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Coming Soon to a Blog Near You

A real, honest to goodness post. heehee

Hello Tadpoles! And how the heck are y'all?  Long time no see gang. :D  I have been working on a fun post that will update you on what we have been doing, with a bit of fun fashion** and some artwork thrown in.  I think you will enjoy it.

In the meantime I wanted to pop in and say "Hey!"  So much has been going on in our pond that the days are just flying by and I haven't had a chance to update, read y'all or comment in a while.  Adding to the busy, busy is the doctors' decision to introduce the big guns in terms of my medications. I haven't been in quite the right frame of mind to even turn on my computer.  Oops - sorry 'bout that.  But here I am - zipping hither and yon' in Oscar, trying to get some sleep and basically attempting to maintain my health and what little sanity I have left. giggle

Oh - and I have been watching some weird TV.**  Weird TV for me that is.  Like Rachel Ray. I don't think she is weird, I just never watch those types of shows.  Did anyone happen to see her show last week when she did the "14 pieces makes 31 outfits" segment?  I have seen this done before, but always forgot the basics.  It was really neat and came at the perfect time for me as I try to find a complete winter wardrobe that won't break the bank.  That will be the fun bit of fashion/artwork in the upcoming blog.  If that's your thing, then I think you may get a kick out of it. :D

I am about to nod off now - gotta' love new meds - so I will wish you sweet dreams and a happy rest of the week!

See ya' on the flipside Tadpoles.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dear. . .

Dear Motorcyclist,
I am a good driver. I swear.  And I promise I always look out for motorcycles. Really.  I just didn't realize that when we both began to merge into the right lane to pass the white mini van that you would accelerate so quickly to cut me off.  I am sorry I almost hit you.  I didn't realize you wanted to go faster than the speed limit right then.
My apologies.

Dear Woman in the Enormous White SUV,
When you came whipping into the parking lot do you think you could slow down a bit and look for the smaller cars that are already in the process of parking?  We all know how busy the time right before the start of Mass can be.  I really am sorry that my correcting my car, backing into the space, made you have to stop momentarily.  Did you really find it necessary to show you displeasure in being held up for 20 seconds by "flipping" me off Italian style?  That sure was an ugly gesture on your part and the look on your face scared me.
To be honest I didn't really feel up to going into church at that point knowing you would be sitting among us. I was pretty downhearted by then so I turned my car around and drove home.  In tears
I will pray for you at a different Mass today.
And watch for you in the future when I am in the church parking lot.
With God's love,

Dear Tadpoles,
Sorry I haven't been around, posting or leaving comments lately.  Not much to write without repeating myself . I haven't even put that many miles on Oscar [only 150 since the last time I posted about it] but I can safely say I am still among the living.
I hope y'all are enjoying the beautiful fall weather, good health and happiness.
See ya' on the flipside. [I don't know what or when that flipside will be heehee, but....]
Love always,

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Observations While Shopping

Retailers -

When the cash register freezes during my transaction last week, it's a fluke and all I need is apology and for my credit card to be charged ONCE.
When the cash register freezes again during my transaction this week it tells me you need to update your equipment and I want more than an apology to ever shop in your store again.  I like your store, but I do not have time for it to be fixed twice and for you to refund my credit card twice.  It takes a few days for the credit to appear in my account.  You have over 10 cash registers in your store. These were just two of them.
Sorry, but we won't be back Sears.

Tell your sales associates that the proper greeting is "Hello" or "Hello, how are you today?" or even "Hello, did you find everything okay?" NOT snatching my purchases out of my hands, ringing them up and pointing at the screen for the total.  Don't allow them to say "This is NOT returnable. Do  you understand this isn't returnable? Because it's not." and not say anything else.  Also, they don't have to wish me a nice day, but a simple "Thank you" would be appropriate.  Our purchases are what keeps the doors open, right?  I am so tired of going through the entire checkout process without the employee ever uttering a word to me.

I do not speak Pashto, Farsi, Chinese, Vietnamese or Spanish.  When I ask a question in English I shouldn't need another employee to translate. I need the answer in English. I would hope that the first requirement of any applicant would be fluency in English.  Notice I said "fluency" - not "proficiency", not "a passing understanding and an ability to nod their head or shrug" - FLUENCY.  Everyone should be able to work if they want to, but they must  have the skills necessary to do the job.  When the signage, literature and receipts are all written in English your associates must be able to speak it to work there.

If I am standing there, ready to buy your goods and services I will walk out the minute your associate takes a personal phone call/text. If he/she answers the store phone and instead of putting them on hold/transferring the call proceeds to try to assist the person on the phone.  I understand they are required to answer the store phone, but  I am standing, right there, cash in hand, ready to buy.  I am a real customer.  Their friends/babysitter/Mom/boyfriend or the person who may/may not buy from you are not as valuable to your business right that moment as I am.

Mothers -
Mothering 101 - True fact - Mothers can differentiate their child's cries.  There are six types of crying: Tired, Hungry, Dirty Diaper, Pain, Fear and Brat.

For example:
Your shopping is not as important as the well being of your baby, toddler or young child.
If your child cries because he is hungry you have three options.  1. Take him home and feed him, 2. Feed him a bottle 3. Breast feed him. Make any of these happen before you try on your 8th pair of jeggings.  I can promise you he will stop crying.  I can't be so sure the jeggings are going to be so happy.

If your child cries because she is tired?  Take her home for a nap. There is no second option. Remove her from the mall and take her home.  The mall is no place for a baby to get a good nap and you can find a new hat with matching purse for Aunt Bitsy's 85th birthday another day.  But your child needs a nap. In the car or at home. Now.

And if your child is purposefully crying because he doesn't want to be in the mall, [And you all know this cry Waaaaah [pause 1,2,,3] Waaaaah  [pause 1,2,3] Waaaah [pause 1,2,3] TAKE HIM HOME.  He is not going to stop crying until he gets his way.  You have taught spoiled him and he knows that the higher the decibel level the better chance he will get what he wants..  He will pass out from the effort before he gives up getting out of the mall.  The dressing room in JCPennys is NOT the time to begin being a parent and start enforcing rules.  Saying soothingly "No, no Timmy. No, no."  doesn't cut it. Trust me.  We could hear it not working.  Just because you are behind a closed dressing room door the 7 women in line can still hear you telling him no over his screeching and I can assure you they ARE whispering about you.  I can hear them through my door.  When one of the waiting husbands whispered "screaming lil' f*cker" under his breath all the other mothers giggled.  No, none of us has been there before and no we didn't feel your pain. Do you know why?  We either shopped without our children or removed them before they got to that stage. We took them home.  Sometimes other people's quality of life does take precedence over  lil' Timmy's right to exercise his lungs and our patience. Got it?

Helicopter parent:
When the cute teenage girl puts her arms around her boyfriend's waist and kisses him on the cheek it does not give you the right to turn around and say, sternly, "Enough with the PDA you two.  There are young children present."  First off - your son is 8 or 9 years old. He can certainly handle an innocent kiss between teenagers.  Secondly - you embarrassed your son.  I hope you aren't his room Mom at school too. Or did they ban you in 1st grade?  Finally - did you really think for one second I wasn't going to put my arms around my husband and give him a kiss on the cheek too?  I have no idea who crushed your spirit along the way lady, but over parenting isn't going to bring it back.  And you are darn lucky the only thing you gave me was a dirty look.  Good for you for keeping your mouth closed.  The teenagers high fived me on the way out btw. :D

Parenting fail:
When your child skips happily along with another Mom, Dad and their three daughters right out of JCPenny's, making it half way down the mall is NOT the time to notice he is gone.  It is also NOT the time to scream at the poor little guy for wandering off.  You're scaring him. He is 2, maybe 3 years old.  He cannot quite grasp the concept of strangers yet, especially when other little kids are around.  He did nothing wrong. He just thought he had made new friends and they were having fun.  Kids do that.  Instead, someone should have been yelling at you to watch your own kid and not lose track of him while in housewares.  SHOPPING IS NOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOUR CHILD.  If this kid, heaven forbid, had gone missing we would have seen a tearful Mother on TV last night saying "But I only turned my back for a second and he was gone."  It was a lot longer than that before she noticed he was missing and all because she was so engrossed in shopping. Sigh. And people wonder why....

These all occurred in one day [except for my first purchase at Sears a week ago], at 3 stores.  I had $400 to spend on new clothes and shoes.  The new summer wardrobe I bought isn't going to cut it with the cold weather moving in so I really need an all new [to me] winter fall/winter wardrobe. [It's a fun problem to have. I know. :D]

I spent $105.63.  I got some great deals for Pooldad [1 polo shirt, 1 dress short sleeved shirt, 1 long sleeved dress shirt, 1 argyle sweater, 1 pair of khakis and 4 pair of shorts - $95.45. YAY!] and a black blazer, fully lined, for $10.18. It was 80% off.  It will be a great Christmas present for Squirrel. Double YAY!

I still have $294.37 without one new thing in my closet.  I wasn't even looking for bargains. I was ::gasp:: willing to pay full price just to have something to wear.  I even considered shopping online but I can't be sure of what size I am without trying on the clothes.  I suppose this means I will have to brave the stores again. Sigh.

Will someone please go shopping for me?  I promise to throw in "hazardous duty" pay if you like.  Ear plugs included. ::wink::

Have a great week Tadpoles.  We'll see you on the flipside. . . if I survive the shops. heehee

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Side Effects to Write Home About

Do you ever watch the commercials for prescription medicines and laugh at the lengthy disclaimers regarding side effects?  You know the ones, they go on for about 2 minutes, listing every possible thing that could go wrong if you take the newest "wonder drug".  An announcer intones in an ominous voice "Side effects may include nausea, vomittiing, dizzyness, the hair of your dog to fall out.....OR DEATH."  Death always makes me laugh the most because honestly?  Who in their right mind is going to take a drug, any drug, if DEATH is a possible side effect? Doesn't the kind of, sort of defeat the purpose of taking the drug in the first place?

I write this post because although I have experienced mild side effects to some medications I have to take - does anyone remember the anti nausea medication that actually made me throw up? - yeah,  like that, but nothing so severe that it would force me to stop a drug because of it.

Until Lyrica. Wow.  And this post will explain where the heck I have actually been for the past week.  I know y'all thought I was out toolin' around in Oscar, when all I have been trying to do is rid my system of that drug.

The Lyrica was prescribed to me, along with morphine, to treat my rheumatoid arthritis. I wrote about it a few posts back saying it was a wonder drug combination and I was pain free for the first time in over 4 years.  I had actually forgotten what it was to not feel pain 24/7 but the Lyrica worked. And worked so well.  I was justifiably excited that the doctor had found a drug I was able to take with all my other meds/health concerns and it WORKED.

Until the side effects started.  Now, being a good patient I read all the literature I could regarding Lyrica to educate myself to the pros and cons of taking it.  Sleepiness I could handle, nausea was no problem as I am an old pro at that and included was depression, but since I don't have a history of depression I knew I would be fine. And in all of those area I was.

The one side effect I never read about or was warned against? Nightmares.  Not your run of the mill, "oh I woke up that was a bad dream, hold me honey" type nightmares. No, no, no.  These were full on, thrashing the sheets, flailing at the air, screeching out loud WHILE asleep, waking up, shaking uncontrollably, in a cold sweat and a "where the hell am I" type of nightmares.  I had one nightmare that was so severe I had to call Pooldad to come home from work.  I could not stop shaking and crying.  Everytime I thought about that nightmare I started to cry.  And if you think that doesn't sound a bit like me? You are SO right.

These nightmares were so vivid, so scary, SO something I had never experienced before I knew it had to do with the Lyrica.  I went online and lo' and behold - it IS a side effect, but it isn't listed in the legal disclaimers provided by the company that makes the drug.  What is especially frightening is that I was on the lowest dose that a person can take in a day while I this was happening.

Although you are supposed to wean yourself off the drug slowly to avoid yet MORE side effects I hadn't been on it long enough to care about that, figuring nothing was going to be worse than what I had experienced. I stopped taking it immediately.  I had three more of those vicious dreams, afraid I would never want to sleep again, before they blessedly stopped. I told Pooldad I would live in pain for the rest of my life before I ever fell asleep knowing those nightmares were coming.

So, here I sit. My trusty bottle of morphine and me.  The morphine doesn't even begin to touch the pain so I don't take it.  It is an addictive narcotic.  If it worked I would absolutely take it but I don't need it's side effects with no relief.

I am not complaining, honest - nor am I bad mouthing Lyrica. It works miracles for a lot of people and I am happy it is on the market.  I wish it had worked for me without that side effect, but I am sure once I get to my RA appointment we will figure something out.

In the meantime I am marking the days off my calendar, praying that November 7th gets here soon. :)

I am still zipping around in Oscar. Love my car! And now I must be off because I have to take him to the dealership to get a few things taken care of.

It's going to be a great day y'all.  Keep smiling and we'll see ya' on the flipside.

ETA at 11 pm - Was anyone going to point out the glaring typo I had in the title? "Sid effects"?  sidE

Monday, September 10, 2012


I have been a pretty neglectful blogger lately haven't I? No excuses really, but it may or may not have something to do with the 1,268 miles I put on Oscar the last two weeks. heehee

We even sleep in it:
I kid, I kid. 
We were testing out how comfortable the seats were in a fully reclined position.  I am happy to report that it is very comfortable and I am sure we could catch a nap at a rest stop on a long trip if necessary. It really is a neat car Tadpoles. I just love it.

We have been to Charlottesville, Harrisonburg and Gordonsville Virginia.  We also drove 180 miles round trip Saturday night to Cockeysville, MD during a storm so severe it knocked out power along most of the route.  We even lost power before we left.  Ever tried to style your hair in the dark? :D

It was for a very dear friend's wedding.  All I can say he really IS one of dearest friends and thank goodness for GPS.  GPS is so cool. I am so glad it is feature on Oscar. I have never had it before but it sure does give me [and Pooldad] peace of mind that it is there.  And hands free calling is fun!  When I voice activate it and call Pooldad he answers the phone with a different greeting each time.  Yesterday when I called he said "Thank you for choosing Burger King. Would you like fries or onion rings with your meal today."  Never a dull moment.  I can't wait to see how he does tomorrow.  Heck, I drive around just to call him for a giggle. ::wink::

So yes, busy, busy.

A week ago I was "hired" for my first paid job baking.  How exciting is that?  I put "hired" in quotes because it was our next door neighbor who asked me to make 32 cupcakes for her son's football team.  I had given her one on her birthday and she liked it so much she said she would pay me to do it for her.  I told her I didn't want to be paid but she could pay for the supplies.  She loved what I did so much she paid me $40!!! For a couple dozen cupcakes. WOO HOO!

Even better - I had found a baker's rack on Craigslist earlier in the week and we had made an appointment to go see it the same night I delivered the cupcakes.  The woman selling it said she had forgotten to mention they only took cash so she would cut the price to .....::drumroll::  $40!!!

I had been searching for one for a long time.  I really needed it because I have so much baking STUFF and every time someone cleaned the kitchen I would have to search high and low for different utensils.  And all the different flavors, flours, oils - I REALLLLLY needed something like this - and this one is perfect.  It is solid iron and it is soldered not screwed together so it is really sturdy and of nice quality.  I am kind of proud of myself for being able to pay my own money for something I wanted and needed without dipping into savings or bill money.  I know that sounds goofy to a lot of you, but I have been so unproductive for so long I have to keep from pinching myself that I actually DID that.  YAY!

Also, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all the great wishes on my pain free days. :D  I could feel your smiles from here. [You don't think being free of pain and mobile has anything to do with me being away from blogging do you? Naaaah! giggle]  When the doctor prescribed the meds he also ordered a oodles of blood tests.  We received the results on Friday and thankfully it ruled out a lot of things [Lyme and West Nile for example] and my blood counts for the things we monitor closely every month are looking better than ever, YIPPEE!, but [always a but, always] my Rheumatoid Factor is 4x what it is considered normal.  It explains so much [the pain, the inability to sleep, etc.] but it doesn't explain why they didn't test for this before, especially considering my other health concerns.  Thank goodness I now have a doctor that is on the ball and actually listens. I am going to a new rheumatologist this week. She was referred by my doctor so I hope she is better than some of the others I have been treated by in the past.  Y'know - I betcha' that someone, somewhere has tested me for Rheumatoid Arthritis but those results got buried or forgotten under the piles of everything else.  Ah well-the condition may/might/will/is supposed to get worse, but at least now it has a name and a plan of treatment that may/might/is supposed to/I hope will enable me to improve my "quality of life". YAY! [Doesn't "quality of life" sound so serious? It does to me.]  It's all good Tadpoles. ALL GOOD!

Hey!  Speaking of Tadpoles - we had a visitor at dinner tonight that made me think of y'all.  I am so sorry I didn't get a pic' because it was the absolute smallest green frog we have ever seen.  He just hopped in through the back door to say hi!  Which was weird because our back door is off our stairless deck on the SECOND floor of our home. heehee  Forget the deck and no stairs for a minute, I couldn't figure out how he made it over the threshold on the back door. He was smaller than a quarter and barely bigger than a nickel so we have no idea how he made it up there.  Wallene caught him and tossed him outside before the dog had a snack.  She is crazy for frogs. And I do mean CRAZY [the dog not Wallene :D]

I hope those are enough tidbits to entertain you until I get back here again.  I have made an effort to keep up on my reading and commenting on your blogs - so I AM still around - I just get too tired before I can get around to composing something here.

My eyelids are getting droopy, so I will say see ya' on the flipside and leave you with a picture trio from the wedding this weekend. Enjoy your week!

Hugs from the pond, Skippy

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I Didn't Leave

Although it looks like I am walking off...
 BOO! I'm right here.  Flashing y'all. giggle
That is the path from the golf course up to our family's home in the country.
[Told ya' it was pretty. :)]
Earlier in the evening Wallene saw this Momma and her two babies eating on the 9th green, which is basically our back yard in the country.
 The Momma was fully aware of Wallene and her camera. . .and was not too keen on my baby's proximity.
 The Momma began stamping her feet and giving little snorts while her babies looked on. . .
 Then she started towards Wallene.  Momma meant business. . .
RUN Wallene! RUN!!
So. . .if you can't tell - we went to the country for the weekend.

We did have fun plans in town this weekend but had to cancel them [BOOO!] because at the last minute we had to go visit the Squirrel in Harrisonburg.  Since the country house is midpoint between home and school we spent the weekend there.  You know me. Any excuse to go and relax.  Besides - we had to test out Oscar's highway prowess.  I am happy to report he does great!  Around town the first tank of gas worked out to be 33 mpg, but I haven't done the math on highway miles.  I do know that I am glad that we had him this weekend because we drove almost 400 miles and gas is 3.70 in the boondocks where we were.  That is up .55 cents in less than a month.

On the pain front I can simply say "Pain?  What pain?" And I am completely serious.  I had forgotten what it was not to be in constant pain and thought it was just something I would have to live with for the rest of my life.  Not exactly ideal but I figured I am pretty lucky [okay, okay A LOT lucky] to be among the living that I would just compensate and work my days/activities around the pain.  When I went to see my primary care doctor last week for a routine check up he asked what I was doing about the pain and I told him.  He didn't like my plan, especially since I wasn't sleeping either, so he talked to me about certain options.  I was in his office for almost an hour talking with him - he is that concerned and caring.  I am so glad we found him.  Anyway we finally decided on a daily drug that doesn't hurt my heart or mess with my liver and kidneys and a drug to take on top of that if the pain is especially severe.  The funny thing about these two drugs is they have opposite side effects - one causes drowsiness and an increase in appetite [studies show people put on a lot of weight while taking it] and the other one [which I have taken before] wires me up and kills my appetite.  They counter act eachother nicely.  I am not starving but I am not hungry either - so I remind myself to eat and that is good, but the first drug is winning a bit in the sleepy/wired war.  Since I don't take the second drug all the time I find myself super drowsy when I am sitting down.  Standing up I am fine [again with the standing up!], but at the computer or riding in the car I could doze off in a sec'. Same with bed.  If I lay down I can be asleep before Pooldad and that is unheard of in this house. heehee  Of course I won't drive while on the drug or until it settles itself out in my body, but if I take it and get a nap then I am not drowsy - so then I can drive.  I can't begin to explain the difference in my world this past week.  Not being in pain has shown me just how much pain I was in and how much I took for granted the simple acts of standing up, sitting down and laying in bed nevermind bending my arms or trying to grip a jar or a pencil.  The family doesn't know what to do with me. giggle  I think they might suggest I start doing laundry or something. Booo!

Today is Wallene's 15th birthday. YAY!  As is the rule in our house - if it is your birthday you get your pick of dinner and "cake".  Wallene, being Wallene, has taken it to another level.  She has requested the following:

  • cinnamon rolls for breakfast
  • cupcakes topped with butter cream icing and a chocolate/white chocolate chip cookie for her Clubhouse class [it's like Homeroom]
  • her sandwich rolled in a fresh made tortilla and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for dessert
  • chocolate/chocolate snack cake for the Mellophone section of marching band [her instrument]
  • Shepard's pie with tortillas for dinner
  • Lemon merigune pie for her "cake"
I know darn well she can't eat a piece of each of the sweets today - she'd be sick - but I know she wants to share her birthday with all her friends, so I am baking my fool head off this morning.  I have the cookies, cupcakes and tortillas done.  The dough is raising for the cinnamon rolls and when I get off of here I will make the snack cake.  Dinner and the pie will be made this afternoon when I am done shopping for her birthday.
In the most fun news yet - and I promise to tell you all about it later - but I got my first PAID gig for baking last week. So unexpected but exciting all the same.
Have a wonderful Tuesday Tadpoles. It's all good - and if it isn't all that great right now? Just remember - it will get better. I promise.

Hugs from the pond! Skip

Friday, August 31, 2012

I Can Sum Up Happiness In Five Words

Pain free for two days.

Forgive me if I am not around for the next few days.  The doctor finally discovered the perfect cocktail of medicine that allows me to feel no pain. At all - anywhere, at anytime

I have SO much to do so I will be busy busy enjoying feeling like the 'ol me again.  I honestly cannot believe it worked and Tadpoles? I couldn't be HAPPIER.

Finally.  I am off to get some sleep - YAY for pain free sleep.  I will see y'all on the flipside.  If you need me for anything don't hesitate to email me or call. I am going to be around - just busy catching up on all the things I have missed out on lately.

Sigh. It's good, isn't it?
Hugs, Skip

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Meet Oscar

Well...Bert didn't want to leave "home", so Pooldad and I went for our next [and equally great] choice. . .


Meet Oscar!
He is a 2013 Chevy Spark.
He is a sub, sub compact - or as we like to say "3 hamsters and a rubber band under the hood."  heehee
 His color is "Jalapeno"
Cool, huh?
 Wallene took all the pics - very artistic, eh?

Here is Oscar parked next to Blue - our mini van.
I get the place of honor in the driveway. :)

If you don't see me around for a few days it's only because I am out driving the happiest car in Sterling, VA!
Or planning my upcoming roadtrip.
Now where ARE those passport papers?

See ya on the flipsdie Tadpoles! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Beep! Beep!

ETA:  SO COOL! I went out to the garage at 3 am [couldn't sleep] and set up my ON STAR and my hands free calling. How exciting is that?  And the calling is voice activated. Squeeeeee!  Except it wouldn't allow me to voice activate using my real name [for my phone] and Wallene's name [for her phone] because they sound too much alike.  Now most of you know our names - how weird is THAT? giggle So I just used "Momma" instead. Y'know in case someone else ::gasp:: is driving my car. :)

It is now 6:30 am and I am out of milk to make frosting for our cinnamon rolls so I am off to the store - then to take Wallene to work, next church - and finally a visit with our grandmama! Good day. Great day! Enjoy!

Bargains, Bargains, Bargains

Hope you enjoy the pictures as much as we did shopping for the bargains.

Here goes:
In the above picture we have THREE absolute bargains - and Juli what WERE you thinking girl? I'm still giggling trying to imagine. :D
Number one is Pooldad's shirt - $5.00 new at Maxway's.  It a Russel Athletic shirt in Squirrel's college colors. Number two is the sweater I have on from JC Penny's. Again, $5.00 new!  So versatile and cool on a warm day. You should check out the bargains at JC Penny's for the month of August - all of their warm weather clothing is drastically reduced. Wonderful.  I also picked up a pair of running shorts and a t-shirt for $9.

Then the best - my sunglasses!  Which are prescription and I bought them with 3 other pair of eye glasses for the amazingly low total [incl. shipping] of $100.07! And they are NICE glasses.

I bought them from  Thank you Sapphireblue for the recommendation. SO GREAT!
Wearing the sunglasses
Gold rimmed single vision, pink bifocal and black single vision.
I had 1,500 options to choose from. I gave up after 3 hours and picked these. 
If you wear prescription lenses I beg of you to PLEASE go to Zennioptical.  Their glasses start at $6.95 and the most expensive pair are $47.95.  The bifocals and sunglass tint were an additional $5.00 each. BARGAIN of the CENTURY Tadpoles. I'm telling ya'. :)

Now, onto Goodwill in Orange, VA and Charlottesville, VA:

A 100% red wool dress coat. Velvet trimmed collar  Perfect condition - $9.00
I love this coat. I may never take this coat off.
I can dress it down with blue jeans and sweaters or dress it up for Christams.
A blue crepe dress, with matching blue leather shoes and a blue leather handbag. 
Total cost? $9.50  
The shoes and purse have never been worn/used and the dress is, again, in perfect condition.

Okay, below is scary picture time. 
I was really tired at this point [It was 2 am. Wallene and me - at it again.]
A 1950's hand tailored black wool coat, with a peter pan collar and bow in the back.
This coat is so heavy and warm I will never be cold again. It is lined in silk. No snags, tears, stains - perfect condition, including tags and buttons.
Price? $7.50
I know. I about fainted in the store too. heehee
All the clothes, the shoes and coats are very traditional - but they fit me well and are "my" style for when I want to dress up.

I have more deals I bought at JC Penny's and 5 Below but no pictures - and bargains without pictures [no matter how bad] are no fun.  OH! I almost forgot - 2 pair of leather sandals for $12.00 at Burlington.  With a $10 purse at Payless.

I may have to break out the camera again after all. heehee

So until the next time - we'll see ya' on the flipside!