Sunday, April 29, 2012

Trying To Stay Busy

I don't know if it is nervous energy, or  if I am trying to stay occupied with everyday life so I don't have to think about my next appointment, pill, treatment or the pain, the bigger picture.  I do know that I sure have been cramming a lot of the mundane in the past few weeks.
I haven't been posting lately because I have recently begun to lose my train of thought.  I like to call it "side effect #419".  I just can't seem to get the essence of what I want to say across. It can be very frustrating to me.  It even happens when I am talking to my family and friends here in our pond.
I know [hope?] y'all understand.  You have been a great source of support to us with your comments and mail, so I thought maybe I would leave you ::breathless:: with a list of my activities these past few days.
I hope you enjoy. I know we sure did! [Warning:  There are amazingly l-o-n-g run on sentences to follow. Oops!]
Friday was pizza and movie night, at home, but before we could begin Wallene had to take an on line algebra quiz. It had to be submitted beforemidnight Friday night.  No problem, but she was without a graphing calculator. Although she was doing the work without one, they are allowed to use them. It makes checking her work a lot easier.  Her Dad and I researched the price [$100] and availability [plenty] at Staples and with my $5 off coupon we headed on over.  Surprise! They were sold out and the only other one in stock was $120. No thank you.
We then went to Wal Mart. ::shudder:: It was amazingly empty for a Friday evening. We were able to zip in only to discover that they too were sold out of the calculator we wanted.  Their price was better [$94] but they didn't have any other models to choose from. We decided to give it one more try and drive over to Best Buy since there seemed to be a run on TI-83 graphing calculators in Sterling, VA that evening.
We had success at Best Buy. I literally ::skippyhappydanced: in the aisle.  We purchased the last one for $105 and Wallene was able to complete her quiz on time. At 10:00 pm we settled in for delicious $5.99 pizza and watched "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close".  We had purchased the pizza on sale and it was one of the best frozen pizzas we have tasted.  It was a "Freschetta Deluxe Topping Rising Crust Pizza".  If you can find it, even at the full price, $7.99, buy it! I only had one piece and I would've had more but. . .  Regardless, there were no leftovers. :D
After a quick night's sleep we woke to a gloomy, doomy, very chilly day.  Wallene was dropped off at school at 8:30 am.  She was participating in her Marching Band's fundraiser until 1 pm, so Pooldad and I settled in for a cozy day indoors.
Here's where the weekend fun [for me at least] really began.
While Dad drank his coffee I prepared breakfast.  I have to admit I was inspired by Spadoman's trip to Chicago and all the great meals they ate.  Since we're watching the pennies and my sodium [yawn!] I made breakfast with food on hand and tried to make it as healthy as I could.
It was so delicious!  I made skillet potatoes, crisped in olive oil with green, red and yellow peppers, onion and a splash of oregano and paprika to spice it up.  Served with 1 egg over easy, 1/2 piece of toast, a bowl of grapes and two bites of a sausage patty made me a very happy camper.  Pooldad had the same, but X10.  "Growing boy" and all that y'know.
After breakfast we bundled up and walked the dog.  It really was a drizzly, bone chilling day for the end of April, but it made coming home to a cup of rich Ghiradelli hot chocolate much more appreciated. Finally, we warmed through so we tackled the weekly chores of dusting, vacuuming, cleaning the kitchen and laundry before we picked up Wallene.
For lunch [still inspired] I played short order cook. Everyone was served a steaming mug of homemade bean and smoked turkey [in lieu of ham] soup with their choice of sandwich.  Wallene had a BLT, Pooldad had a fried hotdog with mustard and diced onions and I had 1/2 roast beef, swiss cheese, lettuce and banana pepper sandwich.  This is my favorite sandwich, by far, that I make at home.  Pooldad enjoyed the other half.  Thank goodness I have him to eat my extras. :D
With nothing much to do we all took naps.  There is something about sleeping on an overcast day that is so comforting, y'know?
For dinner [yes, still cooking and cleaning the kitchen] I made ghoulash with individual dishes of sliced raw veggies for dipping in spicy Catalina dressing. YUM  Although I do think I chopped, diced and cut up my weight's worth in vegetables and fruit this weekend.
We slept in this morning and awoke to one of the prettiest days in a long time.  The change in the weather was amazing.  It was if Mother Nature flipped her "I'll be nice today" switch and gave us a sunny, 70 degree day.  It was perfect for the long[ish] car ride out to see our Grandma.  It is such a gift to be able to spend a few hours with her, forgetting that she is 100 years old!  She is such a spit fire.  She, of course, put in her request for next week's lunch and dessert [Chicken and dumplings with lemon cake] so we will be back again soon to deliver the goods.  It was so, so nice to feel good enough to go and see her.  Sometimes I become so physically drained from the car trips to and from my appointments I don't want to get in the car if I don't have to.  Today it wasn't the case.  I had so much energy I couldn't wait to get out and enjoy it, especially if it meant visiting Non.
On our way home we filled the van, saving .20 cents a gallon by using our grocery store rewards card - a bargain at $3.75/gal, picked up a fresh fruit and veggies to fill out our menu this week and came home to plant our container garden on our back porch.  This is very exciting for us because it is an experiment.  We aren't green thumbs [more of a black thumb, if you will] and this is our first time attempting vegetables. We planted two different tomatoes, one yellow squash, one mild pepper and for fun a watermelon plant. :)  We'll see how it goes. I am most excited by the watermelon and hoping it does well because when we were at the store today we paid $5 for a small watermelon [on sale!] and spent $18 on 6 lbs of grapes which will last us until Tuesday.  Throw in a few bananas and we had $25 in fruit that won't last us a week.  Thank goodness the tomatoes were on sale, but better yet - the Farmer's Market opens next Sunday!! And I will happily pay more than that for home grown, locally sourced, organic produce. Bring.IT.on!! :D
The icing on the cake to the near perfect weekend was dinner tonight.  I made chicken fajitas [again with the chopping of the veggies!**] refried beans and Spanish rice.  Since this was my only sodium intake of the day I indulged and had some of everything. Wowser it was good - even if I do say so myself. ::wink::
Have you ever had a meal, that when you were finished, you just knew you needed just *one* more thing?  LIke, say, maybe a cake to make it complete?  [Does that make sense?]  We have a lot of ice cream, sherberts and homemade cookies in the house, but they just weren't going to do.  They weren't fitting the bill. It had to be cake.  So, at 9:30 pm I made a carrot bundt cake [speedy cooling it on the back porch since the temperature had dropped 20 degrees since sunset] with cream cheese frosting rosettes dotting just the top of each piece.
It was the perfect end to a near perfect weekend.  And I really do appreciate you reading while I rambled along. heehee
It will soon be Monday morning here and so I will begin another round of "facing the big picture".
At least I know I can do it with a smile on my lips and a lighter heart.  It really does make it easier Tadpoles. Trust me.
Thanks for everything.  I am sure we will chat soon - be looking for me in your comments. :)
And I'll see ya' all on the flipside.

[**I actually love to chop vegetables and fruit. It sounds weird [you know me!], but it is so relaxing and rewarding to stand and chop, chop, chop away.  I do own a nice food processor, but I like my knife and cutting board. tyvm :D]

Friday, April 20, 2012

If I Stay Up Any Longer

I am going to have a midnight snack [okay, okay 4 am snack] of cabbage rolls*.

That wouldn't be a good thing, would it?

Although. . . the whole "gaining weight" thing is working in my favor here.

Sigh. G'night!

*I made these for dinner last night.  I need to make these more often. Like everyday. Sooo good.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Light Heart, Big Smile

As much as I hated to write the previous post I thought it only honest to share what is happening and what is going to happen with you all.  I wasn't intentionally vague because I don't want you to know all the details. I left out a lot of the details because I am scared.  Scared that if I type everything out in black and white, line by line, it will be even more real. I hope you understand that simply the knowledge I hold in my head is more than real enough right now. For me, for my husband, for everyone. Trust me on this. :)

I wanted to thank you all, truly everyone, for your supportive emails and comments. I don't know if you realize just how much you buoyed my spirits with your heartfelt words.  Mostly tho', I am so happy that you all know me well enough to know I want to laugh. I want to smile and Tadpoles?  You guys are really, really good at that!  I am not surprised, of course, but it so reassuring to laugh, laugh hard and laugh long with my friends. I have gone back to read them many times, as I am sure I will in the future, because they make me smile. And I want to smile, regardless. I so appreciate it.  Thank you again.

Someone said that I must be feeling better because I was leaving such chatty comments and long emails.  It isn't that I feel better as much as it is the easiest way for me to connect and keep in contact with you all. This is especially important to me now since I don't know when I won't be able to do it in the future.  I think it also has to do with all the nervous energy I have.  I am able to expend some of it by "chatting" with you all without physically exhausting myself. Notice I didn't say mentally?  I think my writing speaks for itself in that area. heehee

With a very happy heart and a good day's sleep I decided it was time to buy some new, dressier clothing that fit.  I do love my new jeans, but they aren't what I like to wear to wear to church or to a few of the appointments I have to go to. That's just me, but I have more confidence when I feel I am dressed appropriately for the occasion.  Besides, I don't need my skirt slipping to the floor during Communion. Wal Mart was more than enough for me. ;)

I knew I didn't have too much time in the mall to shop so I took Wallene to expedite.  I love the clothing [from the misses department!! woohoo!] she picked out today.  I don't think she wants her Momma bedazzled anymore than her Momma wants to be bedazzled :D. We were having such a blast with only one small hiccup. It took a long time to locate my size.  Either the style didn't come in a 2 [the woman's version of a junior's 1] or the few pairs of pants, dresses or skirts they did order in were already sold. :(  I saw oodles of my normal size but it took forever to find anything worth trying on now.  She prevailed tho' and I now have a  beautiful pair of flared white dress pants matched with a black and white polka dot shell. She also found a cute, white lace cotton dress, lined, with a taupe jacket. The jacket might go back because I think the white dress deserves a bit more pop of color, don't you?  My eye has really been drawn to this season's orange explosion.  It is not a color I ever thought to buy myself but, next to yellow, it has to be the happiest color you can wear.  Yes, I think an orange jacket, brown belt/shoes and orange/brown accent jewelry will work nicely. [Bored yet? Sorry!]

You would have been proud of Wallene because when she noticed me perusing the $5 clearance rack of sweaters in Macy's she took immediate action. She forcibly removed me from the area saying "No. NO Mom. You have enough Mom. Move away Momma."  I argued [okay I whined, but who's counting?] that they had my size, but she would not be deterred.   She stated that sweaters fit everyone and I had enough at home that I could layer when it became chilly again. But, but...but!  C'mon! $5? In Macy's?  It was painful to do but I promise I did not buy a single one [or four].

I know this isn't earth shattering or life changing, but it was fun for us.  We took our time, window shopped, sprayed perfume [the car smelled fabulous on the way home] and managed to expand my wardrobe just a wee bit more.  I might turn into a shopper yet!  I certainly would've added to my old wardrobe had I known it could be this much fun.

We came home to a delicious pot of homemade chicken noodle soup, watched a movie and played the wildly addictive game of "Pass the Pigs".  It has to be the silliest game anywhere, the only thing you have to do is roll little rubber pigs like dice to score, but you can't stop playing. Then we ate dessert. For me, I ate dessert a few times. ::big grin::

It was my kind of day Tadpoles.
Thank you for lifting my spirits. :)  ::skippyhappydance::

Friday, April 13, 2012

Proof We Really Can Laugh At Anything

Pooldad and I went to my oncologist/hematologist on Wednesday and without going into great detail the news is not good.  In fact, it is so "not good" that I have had a hard time trying to even find the words to tell my family and my friends.  We have only told Pooldad's bosses and his parents.

I don't really have the strength to do much more than leave comments for y'all [trying to stay upbeat when I do] and post about mundane stuff like Wallene's lunch. I hope you can forgive my vagueness. It really is the best I can do right now.

But, just to give you proof that we are trying to stay upbeat, I will tell you a short story of what happened after we came home from the doctor's with the news.

I took a dose of pain meds early in the evening and was just hangin' out with Pooldad when I suddenly had that familiar nauseous feeling.  I excused myself to run to the powder room in time to begin my ritual dry heaving.  The meds work great and I am getting amazing abs from throwing up nothing [I am not kidding about the ab thing either, not that I suggest anyone try this], but. . .really?  I try not to take the meds because they do make me throw up. I often go 4, 5, 6 days without having to take them but sometimes the pain is too intense.  I just have to weigh if it is worth throwing up a few times a night to get some relief.

Part way through I thought I would call Pooldad to come in with me.  I needed him to rub my back, which was cramping.  It is the only time I will let anyone near me when I am sick because who needs company at a time like that? [Hint:  Not me!]

As he approached the bathroom he asked "So, what are we doing?"

I smiled and said "Come on in here honey.  We'll practice for chemotherapy together."

I don't think he was expecting quite that response [considering I had been crying all afternoon], but we both fell out laughing. Hard.

Maybe you had to be there or maybe you have been through this and understand. . .

He turned me around, folded me up in his arms, and whispered in my ear "And that is why I love you so much sweetheart."

Take care Tadpoles.  We'll see ya' on flipside, I am sure of it.
Love, Skippy

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I Wouldn't Touch That If I Were You

Allow me to get my rant on, if you will. heehee

It was reported on February 14, 2012 that a Food Inspector for the North Carolina pre-school lunch program deemed a 4 year old student's home packed lunch unacceptable [i.e. "not healthy enough"] and confiscated it.  To make matters worse, but required by state law, the Inspector replaced the lunch her Mom made with food that met the states guidelines.  She removed a turkey and cheese sandwich, a banana, potato chips and an apple juice to give her the school's lunch of chicken nuggets.  Full story here

I'll wait.

Are you done screaming now too?  The stupidity. It burns.

I have always, always made my kids' lunches.  Even when I was on bed rest [most days] when I was able to make my one trip downstairs I prepared Wallene's lunch. Not for kudos or for a sense of superiority to those that don't/can't afford to, but because I find school lunches to be nutritionally suspect according the USDA guidelines.  THAT is the main reason, but it goes even further to me.  School lunches are expensive. The children spend more time waiting on line to purchase lunch than they have to eat [average wait in high school: 20 minutes/time left to eat: 5 minutes].  Finally, but no less important, I am never sure that the kids are given everything they pay for or if they are even going to like/eat what is served.  By making their lunches I know their lunches are healthy, made with food they like and will eat plus they have the full 25 minutes to eat.  I am sure the Mom in North Carolina made her daughter's lunch with the same good intentions we all have.  The only thing that I can say in support of the school lunch program is that they provide at least one guaranteed meal to the children that might not eat otherwise.  I applaud the school for providing free lunches, it is so important, but as long as we have the means to do so I will continue to make them for my child[ren] and be thankful I can.

And if anyone were to touch my kid's lunch?  They will drawing back a nub.

I try to pack a balanced meal with a sandwich [main] or hot thermos with soup/stew/pasta, a fruit [fresh or packed in juice only], something crunchy [either chips, crackers with a cheese chunk, nuts or sliced veggies] and a sweet.  I pack it in an insulated lunch bag with bottled water which they prefer over the 100% juice boxes I used to buy.  They are never given money for extras or an additional drink because the school will also sell any of their menu items a la carte, including desserts, plus they offer strawberry and chocolate milk. Even scarier is the student accessible soda machine for purchase of Pepsi products.  Grrrrrrr!

I wrote this post today because that story from North Carolina has been in the back of mind ever since I read it. Now, every night when I prepare her lunch, I wonder would THIS be confiscated per the guidelines? Would I be getting the "phone call"?

Tonight I decided to put my skillz to the test and see what the calories and fat were and if each food item meet the guidelines that the government put forth.  Since the main is not the "norm" for her usual lunch I was a little skeptical, but see what you think:

- 1 slice of [hand tossed crust] pizza* with regular sauce, cheese and green peppers/onions.  This is 220 calories with 11 grams of fat.  It covers a grain serving, 2 vegetable serving [sauce and vegetable toppings] plus one serving of dairy.
- For crunchy I put in 1/2 sliced, raw green pepper with 2 tbsp ranch.  An additional 120 with 11 grams of fat covering 2 more servings of vegetables and another serving of dairy.
- Fruit is 3 small clementines and an apple nutrigrain bar [which Wallene usually eats later in the morning because her lunchtime is not until 2 pm**]  2 servings of fruit, 1 serving of grains adding up to 120 calories/3 grams of fat for the apple bar and 115 calories/0 fat for the baby tangerines.
- For a sweet I gave Wallene 2 Pirouette hazelnut wafer cookies.  They are 110 calories/3 grams of fat and since their main ingredient is wheat flour I suppose they could qualify as a serving of grain per the USDA, but let's not kid ourselves, mmmkay?
- 32 oz of water

Final Tally:

  • Calories:  655
  • Fat grams:  27
  • Grain:  2
  • Dairy:  2
  • Fruit:  2
  • Vegetable:  4
  • Protein: 0 
Since we never count calories or fat grams I had to do a little research to find out what Wallene needs to maintain her current, healthy weight as an "active teenage girl".  She needs to consume about 2,000 calories and keep the fat  between 44 - 55 grams per day.  The calories are just fine with the fat grams a bit higher than I would prefer for one meal.  The lunch did meet or exceed government guidelines for all categories except protein.  If there had been meat on the pizza or nuts instead of the green peppers for the "crunchy" portion I would've met the USDA requirement - but both are high in calories and very high in fat.  Since we eat most of our protein at breakfast or dinner, this doesn't concern me.  Still, doesn't it make you wonder if that one omission would've had my daughter being given a chicken nugget meal instead of [what I consider] a healthy meal?

I just KNOW the school does not want to hear my response if the answer to that question was to be "yes".  Believe me. 
* I know I am on the "Mommy police's" radar now, don't you? giggle Bad Skippymom, bad.
**Her lunch time really fries my Fritos.  The students leave their homes around 8 am.  Her class is not scheduled lunch until 6 hours later and then they are dismissed from school ONE hour after they are finished eating.  I have never understood this and all of our kids have had this lunch time at least one time during elementary, middle and high school years.  It is incredibly frustrating.  Thank goodness for very understanding and accommodating teachers who allow them to eat quietly during late morning classes, otherwise I would think their energy levels would start to drag while in class waiting for lunch to begin.
Sorry if you think this is a silly thing to write a post about but considering other factors in our world that came up on Wednesday, I thought it best to continue to try to keep it as light hearted as possible. 
Please enjoy your day and I just betcha' you can find one thing today that will make you smile.  Would you at least try that for me? I'd really appreciate it.

Take care Tadpoles.  We'll see you on the flipside.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Thank You As to Not Be Bedazzling My Behind

In yet another of my life's "you better laugh Skippy otherwise you'll cry" moments I find myself with a funny little problem.


Last week while walking the aisles of Walmart I felt my pants start to slip. I was wearing a woven belt so I stopped to tighten it a few holes over. I hoped that would keep them up.  Skippy luck being what it is, it took approximately three aisles [and a stretch to grab a glass serving dish] before I felt my pants fall completely down to my ankles. They were still buttoned, with the useless belt intact.  Thank goodness for empty aisles and a quick acting husband.  We decided right then to buy new pants, in a size that fit, to avoid this scenario again.  Since those pants were a size 4 [dug out of the donate pile] I thought a 2 or a 3 would work, depending on the cut.

Walmart, it appears, does not believe that 98 lb, size 2/3 women exist because in the misses/women's section everything began in the 7/8 range.  This wasn't a matter of being sold out or low stock. Everything started in medium sizes and went up.  Off to juniors we went.  There we found the sizes did exist but the selection was sparse and every single pair of jeans had something shiny, sparkly, attached or hanging off the posterior area.  I was desperate, but not that desperate. It is hard enough to have to go down to such a small size, but I refuse to look as though I am having a mid life identity crisis while simply trying to cover my legs.  Feeling a bit deflated, we went home and I put on my pajamas. Again.

A week later we decided to go to Kohl's and see if they would have anything. Not even bothering to look in the misses/women's section we headed straight for juniors'. I was relived to find they had a huge selection, including Levi's, in size 3. Woohoo!  The rhinestones were few.  It was looking promising.

Until I tried on the 3s and discovered they were too big.  How in the world is that even possible?  I started to tear up a bit. Bless Pooldad's heart he noticed the impending meltdown.  He whipped out of the changing room and was back with 1s, in the same brands and designs, in no time at all.  The man could put many women to shame with his shopping skills I'm telling you. :D  I put the 1s on and they fit perfectly, but that was when the waterworks truly started.  I thought I looked ridiculous, when I should've been thankful he had found me pants that fit.  Looking in the mirror I couldn't imagine the jean clad stick figure looking back was me.  Nary a curve or a rounded edge to be seen.  In fact, all I saw were hard edges and sharp angles.  I took them off and told Pooldad that I just couldn't do it.  I didn't want to spend the money on something that I felt so ugly wearing.  He was silent, understanding.  Without argument, he took the jeans and returned them to the shelf.

We went upstairs to find him a new pair of tennis shoes and while trying of a few pair Pooldad quietly commented to me that it was important that I had clothes that fit.  He assured me that one day I would gain weight and just think of the nice donation of the size 1s to our local clothing bank we could make.  He knows me too well and didn't push or demand, just gently prodded me until I stopped feeling sorry for myself and realized he was right.

We went back to the jeans and grabbed a couple of pairs to purchase.  Since this style is cut quite different from what  I am used to [think low, low rise - and btw, what exactly happened to zippers?  Three teeth do not a zipper make.] Pooldad suggested we splurge and pick up some cute tops and tanks to go with them.  I was worn out by the little shopping we had done so I asked him pick out what he liked.  He has great taste for me, knows what he likes and what colors look good on me.  Out of his choices I bought two sweaters [Stop laughing - you know me and my great sweater collection!  Besides these are light weight, crocheted type shruggy sweaters of which I had none. :D] a nice, light weight sweatshirt and three shelf tanks.  When the outfits are put together I almost feel like myself again. Score another one for my husband. Love you honey!

The best part tho' were the reactions of my kids.  When we went to pick up Squirrel from the bus depot the first thing she said [even before "Hi!"] was "Wow Mom! You look fantastic!"  Dad hadn't had time to give her a head's up about my worries, so I believe she was being genuine. It made me feel great.  The next morning Pooldad and I went to pick up the Porcupine from his parents' home.  She was shocked! First to see me knowing I wanted to put on more weight before I saw her grandparents, but more so because she couldn't believe I looked "stylish" and "hot".  Squee! [The poor kid thinks my wardrobe consists of pajamas and bathrobes.]  He father just looked at her and said "No, you may not borrow any of it." giggle  Even my beloved Mother In Law, who has spent the past 17 years cajoling me to eat more, said I looked wonderful.  It was all more than good enough for me.  :D

A bonus gift came the next day when my daughter went shopping with her boyfriend.  She came home with only one purchase - for me!  She said she thought they were perfect and exactly what I was looking for in jeans.  They are!  Plain, dark blue, straight leg, size 1 jeans.  For $17!! Squirrel and JCPennys for the win! Woot!

There ARE so many things in my life to be thankful for, I do realize that.  I am still not free of my health issues, but I am doing so much better than I was and it IS a gift that I am here.   I am coming to the realization that this just may be my new weight. I am trying to accept it, but as I said to Pooldad "Wouldn't it just suck having survived everything I was to die from being underweight?"  And yes, we did laugh. heehee

For what it is worth, I am eating. Constantly and a lot.  I just think with all the exercise and running around I have been doing I am burning off any extra calories I consume.  It's all good tho' - the family is spoiled and eating really well, while Spotty is very trim and fit with all her walks.

I found a wonderful recipe for carrot cake so I am off to grate some carrots. YUM!  Hope y'all have a great Tuesday and thanks so much for listening. :)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Just Making It Up As I Go Along

Before I get to today's post I just want to say thank you so much for all of your kind and encouraging comments.  I can feel that y'all are just as excited as I am that I am feeling so much better and getting back to my normal.  It really is such a gift to me to have such wonderful friends as y'all cheering me on.  Thank you. :D

Now it is "recipe time" Tadpoles. :)

The gang here are huge fans of stuffed green peppers and have been hinting since I started back to cooking that they really wouldn't mind if I made some for dinner.  Not a problem.  They are so easy and tasty I thought "Yum. I am in the mood for those too."

Usually I make the filling simple with hamburger, rice [both uncooked], spaghetti sauce and a little salt and pepper.  I put them in a casserole dish, cover  them in more spaghetti sauce, lid on and in an hour we have dinner with a side of steamed corn. Definite yummy comfort food.

Since I don't cook too much with hamburger anymore I decided I would stuff them with ground pork instead.  I also added additional diced green pepper, diced onion along with the spaghetti sauce and uncooked rice.  In   [what I hope was] an inspired cooking moment I added a packet of Lipton Onion Soup mix* and mushed it all together before stuffing the peppers.   15 minutes before they finish I am going to sprinkle shredded parmesan cheese over the top.   Fingers crossed, but right now my kitchen smells wonderful.  I will let you know if it is a thumbs up or down after I ask the all important question, "Do you want me to make it again?"

In other fabulously wonderful food news guess what I found on my front porch this afternoon?  A huge cooler filled to the top with roasts, chicken, stew meat, hamburgers and premium hot dogs.  It was sent express mail to us from our beloved Dad [In Law.]  Isn't he sweet?  He didn't even tell our Mom[IL].  I think he took to heart our problems with the freezer last week, with all the meat we lost, and decided to surprise us with a bonanza of meaty goodness.  If you have ever had Omaha Steaks' products then you know what I mean. If you haven't tried it yet it is a great way to splurge for a special occasion or to hint to family that it would be wonderful to :ahem: be given the gift of meat! :)

UPDATE: Holy Moley - these pork stuff green peppers are FANTASTIC!  I don't think I will make them the other way again. Wow!  If you like stuffed peppers you should try these. I guarantee they will be a hit!

*Lipton Onion Soup mix is very high in sodium so I limit my portion of the meat filling to 3/4 cup [no cheese either] with steamed rice and corn mixed, on the side. It is more than enough for a meal and I left the table one stuffed, happy Momma. :D

Have a great Thursday Tadpoles.  We'll see you on the flipside!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Good Morning Tadpoles!

Or afternoon, evening, whatever the case may be. :)

Life is going along splendidly with the usual bumps in the road thrown in to keep us on our toes.  Last week was the perfect example of that.  There's a long involved incident where our freezer went out, then our 'fridge died.  This cost us $200 in newly purchased groceries.  Late in the week, on our way to replace said groceries, we hit a deer. WHAM! Right smack into Pooldad's side of the van.  We're fine and the van still runs, but the deer, not so much. I am sorry to say it died, but it was instant, so I'm hoping she didn't feel any pain.

Still, we count our blessings.  Pooldad was on call two weekends in a row for which he was given two $100 grocery store gift cards. All for the luxury of staying home and answering an occasional cellphone call [I think it was 3 total].  We consider this free groceries! Woohoo.  An added bonus is we have full coverage insurance on the van, which is now in the shop.  For only a $250 deductible we have a rental car for the week with the van returning fixed.  Can you say new paint job Tadpoles?  Double Woohoo!

I still am running to and fro to doctors' appointments. In fact, I have one today, but it is a fun one! [Yes, you read that right.]  I am getting new glasses and contacts.  Since I have to wear corrective lenses all the time, this is a gift to me.  My current glasses are over 8 years old.  I can't wait to see how much better I will be able to see.  Thank you insurance. :)

We have been busy spring cleaning and we are all sore from the effort. [See, it's not just me. heehee] Pooldad  is delegated to the family room and garage, with Momma on the middle floor. This includes the kitchen, den, living/dining room, powder room and foyer.  I love it because I can clean exactly how I like and the family doesn't have to cook or clean it anymore.  Once it is all done, about one more day, it will be a snap to do weekly cleaning.  I am especially happy because I CAN do this, that I have my "job" back.  The only job I have ever wanted since I looked into those first pair of baby blues.  It was hard not being able to DO for so long, that every clean floor, cooked meal or load of clothing put away is a blessing.

But there is one itsy-bitsy problem with my new mobility.  Half the time my family can't find me. heehee It's priceless.  They are so accustomed to me being in one of two places [our bedroom or at my desk in the den] that they look there first and when I'm not there they start the 'ol "Mom! Mom! Mom!" call.  Music to my ears, I'm telling ya'.

I am still fighting the weight demon. I have dropped below 100 lbs. and I am stuck there.  I am eating well and a lot, but with all the exercise I do like the heavy cleaning and walking - I think I am burning whatever calories I do consume.  There is a silver lining tho' - I am going shopping for a whole new wardrobe soon. Yipppee new clothes. :)

I did write the whole post [with a lot of pictures] of the Cherry Blossoms. I couldn't post it because Blogger has told me that I have no storage left in my Picasa file and if I want to post any pictures I must purchase more storage.  Since I cannot figure out how to even get into my Picasa file to delete what is there, nor am I buying more storage for something that was forced on me without my knowledge, I really can't find a bright side to this.  Sorry, no more pictures for the foreseeable future gang. I tried. :)

It has taken me an hour to write this post because my "a", "n" & "b" keys are broken.  No worries - I am in the mood to draw a few more cartoons. Are you in the mood to see them? :)

Hope this caught y'all up.  Have a great week and we'll see you on the flipside!