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.