Tuesday, January 29, 2013

When Pooldad's Away. . .

. . .Skippy does play. Along with Wallene, of course.

It's the annual Pool and Spa convention on the east coast and all poolmen and women worth their salt tablets [or chlorine, depending] are gathered in Atlantic City to eat, drink and oogle the latest in swimming pool technology. [Yes, I know. Don't you just WISH you could be there too? giggle]

It happens once a year, every year and it is really a nice shindig for Pooldad and his co-workers. They stay at a 4 star hotel, eat at one of the newest and nicest restaurants in town and on the second night they are treated to a wine and sparkling spirits tasting by their boss.  Last year Pooldad came home, having taken 96 pics of his 3 day adventure, 93 of which were too out of focus to see what they were. Can't tell if that was because he was having an exceptionally good time or he didn't know how to use my camera.

It's the only time of year we have ever spent apart and as much as we miss eachother, Pooldad has a fun, relaxing time and doesn't have to worry about a thing.

Last year, well we all know where I was last year - but this year?  I am upright and I have an OSCARZ. YES!

So what do you suppose Miss Wallene and I did?

We went shopping and out to dinner, of course.  It was so warm [relatively speaking compared to last week and single digits, it was 40 degrees] that we got all fancied up - hair, make up, clothing, shoes - and descended on our local mall.  Wooohooot Skippygirls on the loose!!!

Now I know this sounds like an actual snoozefest to most of you, but it is a pretty big deal to us.  Besides it taking 2 hours to get ready [that is a patient teenager that waits on her Momma to get ready when she has been finsihed for an hour already] I was able to walk around the mall and shop for another 3 hours. Go me! I don't usually do anything remotely like that without my husband. I would be afraid that if something were to go awry while at the mall Wallene wouldn't quite bear it.  She's been through a lot with me, and knows what to do, but it doesn't mean I want it to happen with my baby. Y'know?  Alls well tho' and if our purchases are any indication we had an excellent time. :D

The sales are amazing.  Besides all the Christmas stuff that is left - did anyone go shopping in December, because there is still a lot of stuff left - all the winter clothes are up to 90% off.  I bought two pair of corduroys - one skinny cut with a boot leg and another skinny all the way to the ankle LOVE! - for $10 a pair. They were 80% off.  These excite me because we still have two more months of winter left and I need pants. Plus, they fit like a dream which should make my husband smile. [That is code for "Look! Skippy almost has an a**.]  Wallene scored a hoodie, three shirts and a pair of boy shorts for $23. I added a new pair of pants for her and she is all excited to dress up for school today. Oh, almost forgot - on our way out of the mall I stopped and picked up a pair of caramel colored boots, shorties with a folded cuff, that are so cute - for $15. They go great with the pants. YAY!

On our way to IHOP Pooldad called and laughed when Wallene answered my phone.  He figured we were up to something at that hour, since we answered from the car.  I told him that he was the guilty party because he left us the money to go play. He laughed and said "Nope, you can't put that on me Skippy. You have plenty of access to money at home. And I didn't say that was fun money."  Well, what did he think we were going to do with extra cash that was just sitting around? ::wink::

IHOP was fun too. We were the only customers in there at 8:30 pm on a Monday night. I am not exaggerating. The only ones. We had a very [cute] fun waiter, ordered our usual breakfasts. The food came up piping hot and fast.  It really hit the spot. So good. For under $20 [with a great tip] we had an excellent dinner that we didn't have to cook, serve or clean up. YUM! Makes me want pancakes, eggs and sausage for breakfast this morning.

Hmmmm, come to think of it. . . .well, gotta go. Wallene will be up in a few and I think a little IHOP at home is on order.

See ya' on the flipside Tadpoles. Make it a great one. :D

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Date Night 2013

I am disgusted. I just wrote a helluva long post [1,000 words easy] and by some fluke of my fingers hitting the wrong keys I lost it. I had been typing the darn thing since 4 am.


Quick version?  I created and gave Pooldad a calendar type gift for Christmas entitled "Date Night 2013".  It had 26 bi weekly dates, researched, budgeted and planned for the entire year. Each date is different/  They run the gamut from free [candlelight dinner at home] to posh [4 day weekend at a beach front hotel].  Since neither one of us can recall a time where we went on a date, let alone two in one month, we are both very excited to have it all planned for us.

I had even written details of several of our favorite dates upcoming this year in the post.

Ah well.  I hope the dates go better than the post I just inadvertently erased. Sigh.

I think I need sleep.  G'night Tadpoles [She says at 6:40 in the morning] :/

See ya' on the flipside of my pillow after we get back from Mass.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

What Could Be Better?

Seems all it takes to get a little action around here is write a blog post.

Yep, Tadpoles. It may be cold, but it SNOWED! ::grin::

It wasn't even forecast and it really isn't the snow I had been hoping for, but. . .beggars [whiners?] can't be choosers and we have about an inch of the fluffy stuff.

And y'all know what that means, right?  They might cancel school and if they cancel school, they cancel Pooldad's workday and everyone gets to stay home with me and PLAY! WooHOOO! ::BIGGER GRIN::

To celebrate [at 4 in the morning, no less], I am propped up in bed, munching on a big bowl of old fashioned popcorn. Butter and all. Made in a pan, on the stove, with ::gasp!:: oil. No microwave or air popper for Skippy tonight. No siree - I am doing it up right. Nice tall glass of Coca cola and this girlie is all set.

I have written quite a few posts, but they were all too depressing, even for me. I decided the heck with them and shelved them. The family can read them later and instead I will put on my happy face and get through the next few weeks.

In a nutshell, and so no one worries, I cannot get an appointment with my rheumatologist until February 6th.  In the meantime my other doctor, who works in tandem with the rheumatologist, cannot prescribe me anymore meds to deal with my pain.  Do you know why? You're going to love this.  I have a diagnosed condition [three actually] that warrant the kind of meds I am allowed to take to relieve the pain.  One of my conditions limits exactly what kind of pain meds I can take because some of them will cause even more damage to my body, so I am limited to two. My doctor is unwilling to prescribe anymore because he said the insurance company would know and he does not want to get in trouble for prescribing controlled substances to me.  Even if we were to pay out of pocket, the insurance company will still know because they insure me and have full access to all my records.  Eventhough when my doctor prescribes a two month supply of these meds it takes me almost 3 and 1/2 months before I need refills because some days are better than others and I am able to live with a tolerable amount of pain. I use them only when absolutely necessary, instead of taking them on a schedule just in case the pain is more severe. Still my doctor is afraid that the insurance company will flag him for prescribing the meds.  As I said, eventhough I have a textbook condition, with other underlying conditions, that warrant these particular meds.

I don't understand what these doctors expect me to do.  I used to think I had a high threshold for pain, but when the pain is so severe that I can't walk without stooping, nor can I grip a hairbrush or coffee mug [literally I cannot close my hands to make a fist] and I am unable to get back up the stairs once I go down, I end up staying in bed. For days. And for goodsakes DO NOT TOUCH ME. I can't stand to be touched because a simple back pat hurts. Forget a hug or a kiss. The best thing I can hope to accomplish is using the bathroom and sitting up to eat, if I feel like it. [Gawd, that sounds so pathetic. ick. sorry.]

I don't want to go back there. I don't want to be trapped in bed. AGAIN. I don't want to miss out on everything that is going on one flight down or outside. Or at school. Or church. I want to walk my dog and drive my car.  Why is that too much to ask?

But, that is what I face. And considering the last two appointments I have had with the rheumatologist and the inability to settle on other meds that work to relieve my pain [and hopefully slow down the damage being done to my joints and tissue] without side effects that are worse than the pain, I don't have much hope of this ever ending. [How's that for an incredibly long run on sentence and misuse - or lack - of commas? ::wink::]

Who lives like this? Honestly - and I am going to close this post down in a sec', but I want to know - why is my choice between trying to cope with crippling pain or meds that have very real, life threatening side effects? Bring on the weight gain or the weight loss, the acne and nausea [to mention a few of the mild side effects] I can handle those, but am I really supposed to choose a pain free life and hope I don't go blind or die? REALLY?  When is cancer an acceptable side effect for anything ?

I am overjoyed that I have insurance. I thank God everyday for the blessing, but what good is an insurance company that threatens a doctor for doing his job?  I realize there are unscrupulous doctors out there that will prescribe these types of medications for addicts looking for a fix, taking a fee to write a prescription for a bogus illness. I just don't understand why those of us that have had every test available, including x-rays and MRIs, and have been diagnosed by several doctors, suffer for the few? Why does every step [shuffle] forward I take, feel like I am being thrown back two?

I am not ready to give up, but I am pretty damn tired of the fight and trying to keep a smile on my face through it all.  Then I start to think I am a failure because look! Look how good I do have it.

But is all the good I have really worth having if I can't enjoy having it?

The answer is yes, of course. Do you know why? Because I have to believe that being here, even in pain, is better than not being here at all.

And that's all the news that's fit to type. heehee

I will see you on the flipside Tadpoles.
Everyone take care. Hugs!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Promise Me You Have Heat

I know, I know - don't you just hate it when bloggers talk about the weather?

Well tough noogies, because if you want a post out of me, it is going to be about the weather.

And Tadpoles? Raise your hand if you're cold. One...Two...Three....One Hundred and Fifty nine....Okay - that pretty much covers the whole of the United States and Canada. And my beloved Canadian Tadpoles? No playing the hero card. If you got slapped with whatever front came through here then you are cold too. Admit it. You're hardy, we know, we get it - but THIS is COLD. I don't care where you live. But I still love you. heehee

This is insufferable.  No, actually it's kind of cruel. To go from 50 degrees and a jacket over a sweater on Sunday to a "I can't see the freezing mark from here" and telling your husband "I don't care how long you pre heat that car I don't need [insert some life giving item here] that bad" kind of Tuesday.  Yeesh. Cold.

And if you have visited with me for any amount of time you know how I feel about cold. I don't mind it - but dangit it had better snow if I have to freeze my beehoohoo off with it. I want payoff for having to dress in 8 layers, okay? [Side note: My old clothes fit for the first time in over 10 months.  Of course they fit, I am wearing all those layers under them.::wink::] I want a redo, or at least a refund on this winter because as of January 22 we haven't had one flake of snow. Not one. And I am starting to grumble a little bit.

There aren't many things I like about living in Virginia, but if I had to pick the one thing that heads the list of why I do like living here it is changing of the seasons.  The greening of spring, the flowers blooming and the birds returning from their vacation down south. Everything coming back to life. Then there is the warmth of summer. The heat and humidity, which I enjoy - hey, we have air conditioning everywhere, it isn't like anyone really suffers anymore [unless they work outside, they get a pass]. I love the pool and the beach and our garden producing the summer's finest.  And the fall. Wow, the autumn here is great. All the trees changing colors, the brisk air, school starting back up and Friday football games in full swing.  I love them all and I like that Virginia does them just right.

But winter?  Not a fan of cold, in fact, I have never been a fan of cold. I have been fighting my whole adult life with a body that has a hard time staying warm and the winter is sometimes hard to take. But, BUT - winter is completely doable if we get snow.  It is worth spending hours in my space heater-heated bathroom and looking like the Stay Puff Marshmallow Man in all these layers if it snows. And not an inch or two dusting. I want a full on, close the schools, Pooldad is off from work, flights are cancelled and the shelves are bare of milk, bread and snow shovels kind of snow!

So when our thermometer reads in the single digits without windchill and it is still dropping there had best be precipitation in my forecast. Okay, winter? Yooohooo! I want snow or warm it up already buddy, okay?

Because the only thing more homicidal grumpy than a cold Skippy? Is a cold Skippy without snow. Harrumph.

Stay warm Tadpoles. We'll see ya' on the other side of the cocoa mug. ::grin::

Edited to add at 2:15 am - Okay, now I am just ticked off. One of the hardest things to do in a cold home is homemade bread. It is a good trick to get the dough to raise not once, but twice.  Tonight it took me 7 hours to do what usually takes me 3 hours, at best.  That wouldn't be so bad, except I was ready to go to bed 4 hours ago, but had to wait to cook these bad boys. I put them in, forgot to set the timer and sat down to write this post.
::hanging my head in failure::
Well, what do you think happened?  I burned them. Sigh. Oh, well. I am off to bed now. Roll-less and cold. ::sniff, sniff:: G'night.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Windows 8 FOR THE WIN!

Just a quick pop in to let you know I have been having a blast with my new computer. As I mentioned previously it came installed with Windows 8, of which I will do a lengthier review at a later date about the pros [many] and the cons [very few] of it. As for now I just had to come and tell you about the COOLEST feature EVER. Hey, and it only took me two weeks to figure it out. I am so computer literate. :) [That being a "Skippy Fail", and not so much a "Windows 8 Fail.]

Windows 8 comes with a Start screen that is similar to a Smart phone screen or an Android.  It has tiles that you click to move among your favorite apps, ones you have downloaded or shared from the web.  I really like this because I can keep all the favorite places I visit on the internet [The Washington Post, Amazon, my library, my kids' schools for example] in one very colorful place, making them simple to access. Plus, I can download various tools and programs, like the calculator or a word processing program, making them just one click away too. Easy peasy.
Looks something like this
Credit:  essayboard.files.wordpress.com
Today I discovered I can "pin" not only MY blog to this screen, but I can pin ALL of my favorite bloggers there too!  WoooooooooHooooooooo! No more having to go into blogger or to my personal blog to find you guys. I just have to mosey [okay, one click] over any tile I want and I will be at the blog of my choosing in a second. It will be wonderful to have everyone in one accessible place. No more worries about me keeping track of y'all now.  Tadpoles, consider yourself pinned.

So, anybody wanna go steady? ::wink::

See ya' on the flipside - or as it is now the "CLIPside". giggle
Make it a great one Tadpoles. See ya' soon

*PS - And if you have been using this type of screen since Jobs was a baby, do me a favor and don't burst my bubble, okay? heehee I am lucky I know how to turn my computer on most days. Thanks.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Easy, Cheap, Tasty And Good For You

The following recipe ticks all my favorite criteria for dinner.

Minimal prep
Cheap Ingredients - under $2.00
Plenty of Leftovers
Made in a Crockpot
And an added bonus - it is vegan too.

This is a family favorite that I make at least twice a month.
It also freezes exceptionally well.
If you like Mexican food I promise you will like this recipe.

Refried Beans Without the Refry

3 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed, cleaned and drained
1 small onion, peeled and cut in chunks**see note below
1/2 jalepeno pepper, seeds removed and diced
2 TBSP fresh minced garlic [I use about 4 or 5 cloves -I never measure]
5 tsp salt - and before you fall over [on my behalf] with the sodium content keep in mind how many servings this recipe makes. Let's just say A LOT. :)
1 3/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp cumin [I use a bit more because I love cumin] optional
9 cups of water

Put all ingredients in your crockpot and stir to mix.  Cook on high for 8 hours, adding water as necessary. I usually add a 1/2 cup to 1 1/2 cups because the beans absorb a lot of the water. Don't let it burn.

When 8 hours has passed check to see if there is any extra liquid [for me there never is] and drain it, reserving the liquid for mashing.

Using either an immersion blender, a handheld electric mixer or a potato masher MASH those beans. Mash, mash, mash, mash, mash - adding reserve liquid as needed. I always use my immersion blender [best "free appliance I would never buy myself" I ever received at a store give away] but the other two work very well and the potato masher works really well if you like them chunkier and not so smooth.

**Note: If you do use your potato masher you might want to dice the onion smaller. Since I have always used the blender it annihilates the onion, so I am not sure what the masher would do. Better safe than chunky onion I suppose.

Easy as that.  Trust me when I say they are delicious. They really are.

Your dinner options are endless. Use your imagination for any number of combinations. This is how we usually do it:

Night one:  Enchiladas with a Mexican inspired rice side
Night two:  Bean burritos with all the fixings - sauce, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and salsa
Night three:  Make your own Nachos. Thin out the beans in a pot on the stove top with a bit of water. Pile white corn tortilla chips in individual pie plates. Pour approximately 1/2 - 3/4 cup of beans over chips, sprinkle cheese and broil until cheese melts - 1 to 2 minutes.  Have bowls of shredded lettuce, diced tomato, onions, jalapenos, salsa, guac and sour cream - the works - on the table and let everyone top theirs the way they want. 

There are always leftover enchiladas and burritos for Pooldad's lunches and if the family hasn't had too many midnight snacks of the beans you can make a dip of those, shredded cheese and salsa, mixed and heated in the microwave for a snack. Me? I just like a bowl with melted cheese on top. Give me a spoon and I am content.

There ya' go. I really hope you make these and let me know how much you enjoyed them. Or don't like them?  I think you will though. They really are that good.

Have a great Wednesday Tadpoles. We'll see ya' on the flipside. :)

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Body of Thoughts

Either my scale broke or I am finally comfortable in this newish body.

My body has finally decided that the 108 - 111 lb range suits it.  I haven't dropped below or gone above those numbers in over two months.  I had managed to make it back to my old weight of the 130s in July, but ended up losing it all with the new meds I was given in August. Meds which I will be on forever unless something extreme happens. [a miracle]  I was happy to see I could gain the weight, but resigned myself that I wasn't going to weigh near that again unless the miracle happens or a new med comes along and it makes me gain weight.

Here is where I think my scale is funky tho'. Then again, it might be me.  As you know I have to weigh myself everyday. Happily, I continue to fall between those numbers, no drastic changes, so no dangers going on inside of me. I am still wearing 1s and 2s, with the 3s and 4s hanging in there, [pun intended], but with a belt or thick tights they stay on.

Still?  I know I am thin, I just don't feel like 110 lbs.  I feel more like 120, 125.  Does that make sense?  I am starting to feel "love handley". Weird wording, but I don't know how else to explain it. I have that wee little over hang on my jeans when I put them on, but if I went a size bigger they would fall off.  I have never been one to worry about being overweight, but I do like to have some curves so I look like a woman, not a 7th grade boy. I like to give the family, especially Pooldad ::wink::, something to hug and hang onto.  I think a better way to describe it is when I first dropped all the weight in March/April I remember hitting 110 lbs and how gaunt and bony I appeared.  You could see every single one of my ribs, every vertebrae in my spine and my shoulders took on the blade look they are so aptly named for, they cut such sharp angles.  Now I have cushion.  I can still feel it when Pooldad rubs my back and his fingers bump over my rib cage, but I can't see my ribcage stick out anymore. My feet are still narrower than ever before but my legs seemed to have filled out, especially my thighs. They even jiggle a bit. There is a layer of body fat there.  Pooldad isn't afraid to touch me now, like the first time I dropped to 110 lbs. Back then he had to finally admit to me why he wouldn't touch me.  He told me he was afraid to get near me in bed or on the couch because he seriously thought he would break one of my bones.  He paid me a sweet compliment in the store the other day.  After following me for a few aisles he remarked "Nice to see your butt making a comeback." ::BIG GRIN::  That is a high compliment to me, a woman who never really had a rear end even when I was my regular weight.

That is why I thought that stupid scale is broken.  I have to weigh more than 110. Right?  The problem is I weighed myself at my doctor's [both of them] and there it is - 109 on one scale, 111 on another.  Where were the pounds hiding in March when I went to 110?  Same weight, but different body appearance.  Or am I just imagining this?  Is it that I was so shocked to be 62 lbs lighter,[down from the 172 lbs I weighed from fluid gain due to my heart], I thought I was skinnier at that 110 than the 110 I am now? Or have I just begun to accept [resign myself to] this weight? Am I seeing this 110 as healthy, and dare I say, attractive, instead of the scary ugly I saw in the 110 in March?

Is my mind playing tricks on me? Or is my brain telling me to let it go and enjoy it? I can never forget about my weight and I empathize with anyone who has to weigh themselves everyday. It sucks. I know I bring up the subject of my weight often, and it would make great sense if this blog was about weight loss or weight gain, but it isn't.  It is about my life, my family and the everyday-ness of it.  Unfortunately that everyday includes that scale and making sure it stays steady.  Any drastic change, and by drastic it is simply a 3 lb + gain overnight or 5 lb+ in one week, and I am in the doctor's office or the emergency room within the hour.  Thankfully that hasn't happened, I am so blessed, but it still colors my thoughts each morning. I am unable to step off the scale without some additional thought to it. I walk out of the bathroom and Pooldad's first question is always "How much do you weigh?"  He asks me the same three questions everyday, the trifecta equivalent of "I love you" I suppose, heehee, and they are always about my weight, whether I have taken my pills and basically, how am I doing with the pain. A perfect day's responses are "The same", "yes" and "great".

I know this is a stupid thing to write a post about, but I make no apologies, because I am just fleshing out my thoughts on "paper". [Get it? "Fleshing out"? giggle - pun not really intended, but I couldn't think of a better way to put it. It was the first thing that came to mind.]  I do keep a handwritten journal, but that is even more boring than my blog. It is actually details of my everyday that I write to have on hand when one of my doctors asks me a specific, like "When did you last eat X, Y or Z"  or "What was your pain like when you did A, B or C?"  I not only have less of a memory due to age, but I think the amount of meds and the types I have been taking have greatly affected my memory too.  The paper journal is a gift to me and the doctor's visits. They can't doubt what I say and I don't doubt myself either.

Besides making no apologies for this post, to tell you the truth you should probably thank me. I have written 6 or  7 posts in the past two days and I thought those were so insipid I shelved them in "drafts." If Pooldad and the girls are ever able to figure out how to access my blog after I am gone they will have some spectacularly bad posts to read that I never published. HA! I am burning the paper journals before my last visit to the hospital. ::wink:: I am no fool, there are a few things in there than my noshing or activities y'know.

Here it is 5 am.  I haven't been awake at 5 am since Christmas morning, and hardly a day before that during December.  In fact, I haven't been to morning Mass in a few weeks.  The holidays exhausted me.  It wasn't even really everything I did [or didn't do] it was just the whole idea of the holiday that wore me out.  Trying to juggle all the visiting, gift buying, card writing [or lack of some], the travelling, food, menus, cookies, office and school parties - just the mere act of remembering and forgetting so much made me sleep. A lot.  And I found myself sleeping through our daily 6:45 am Mass. I had a three month streak going and then the second week of December, poof! I started to sleep in everyday.  Turns out I was missed - there aren't that many of us at 6:45 you understand. It is a bit early for, well...everyone. heehee  One of the priests said a Mass just for me because he was worried I had taken a turn.  I actually returned to the daily Mass a few days after he did that one and I was so surprised when he told me.  I have never had something like that before and I was so, so touched that he thought of me. I didn't even realize any of them knew me or our family. We do greet them all the clergy after Sunday Mass and holy days of obligation [we have three resident priests at our parish] and I am in Catholic education class [I will be confirmed in the faith March 30th - I am very excited about that, being married to a Catholic] - but my point is, I didn't realize I wasn't just a face to Father Xxx. As I said, quite touched.

Anyhoodle - pointing out the time like that is a nice segue to say g'night, or happy morning because I am going to go make the lunches, the coffee and breakfast before I head off to early Mass.  It will be a nice start to my day.

I hope y'all have a wonderful day and it is filled with all the blessings you could hope for and too many smiles your way to count them all.  If you don't see too many smiles then try this - smile at someone you don't know or a passing acquaintance at work, just random person perhaps. And I just bet, in some small way, you will make their day a little bit sunnier too, because who can resist a sincere smile?  I know that whenever I am feeling a little down - all I have to do is get in my car [that alone makes me happy, but. . .] or go for a walk with my dog and smile at someone. Anyone. 8 times out of 10 I get a smile back. Usually they also look a little quizzical, trying to place me, but mostly they just look happier. Not so deep in thought or worry anymore - just smiling. Try it.

Trust me. It works.
And remember - Smile LOUD! Life is a GIFT. :D
See ya' on flipside Tadpoles.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

There! I Fixed It

Hope this new design isn't too hard on the eyes. Orange is Wallene's favorite color and since I couldn't get it to "Oscar green", orange it is.

I went back to the old template layout so now it should be easier to leave comments [Hi Diane! :)] and also much easier to see when you all have recently posted.

With my new computer and the fact I can actually sit in my big, comfy chair with it on my lap, you guys are going to see a whole lot more of me.  Hope you don't mind. ::wink:: Soooo happy. :)

Now it's time for bed. Pooldad made a very delicious dinner - simple, with hamburgers, steamed broccoli and rice with gravy - and I am stuffed.  Time for sweet dreams.

Stay warm, be happy and have a wonderful rest of the week Tadpoles.
As always, we'll see you on the flipside. :)

PS - My bargain today? I found a really neat "One Dish Casserole" Cookbook at Marshall's outlet store.  Great recipes, but for some reason all the seafood and vegetarian recipes are in the book upside down. heehee Still worth it for $3. OH! And if any of you has a Kirkland's store near you [they sell stuff to decorate your home and furniture] they are having super great sale. I found a full length mirror, distressed wood frame, for $19. cha-ching.


So This Is How the Other Half Lives

7 years ago I bought a Toshiba laptop.  It was quite an expense - it had all the bells and whistles, memory - whatever was cool for the time. The best  part tho' was that it was portable. Take it anywhere - the coffee house, on a trip or even in the car.  I thought I was ALL that and a gigabyte of RAM.

hahahaha! For the time it WAS the latest and greatest and I can't complain. I have abused the poor thing - dropped it numerous times, spilled water, soda and tea on it and I am sure there is almost a decade of dust embedded in the second keyboard [had to replace the first one] - but it trudged along, allowing me to blog and download pictures, but that was about it. It was slow and cumbersome. And it was hardly "portable". That is what is so funny.  The thing is a doorstop.  I know I have problems lifting and carrying heavy items, but even before, when I could, I hated to take the thing anywhere. I am not sure of the weight but there are computer towers that don't weigh as much as that beast.

May she rest in peace. ::grin::

Because Pooldad took me out and bought me a new Toshiba laptop. WOOHOO! And it only weighs 5.2 lbs. wootwootwoot  Just about what Wallene weighed when she was born. :D  Santa had brought Wallene a new Toshiba for Christmas and after playing around with it my husband thought it was silly that I was struggling with my old one - to the point I had to bang on it to get the keys to stop scrolling and one day darn near broke my hand - so we waited until after the holidays and got Mom one too. I'm starting to see how spoiled I am. ::wink::

And now I know what most of the rest of the world has been having fun with all this time. Besides the lightness, it is speedy fast and the screen is so big.  Or it seems bigger, but with my old lady eyes it is a gift.  Now when I go to the hospital I can just pop this in it's case and I will actually be able to use it while I am there. [I used to take the old one, but it was too much trouble to take it out.] Other bonuses are a longer battery life and unlike the older models this Toshiba doesn't get blistering hot on the bottom and shut off.  I was forever having to prop it up on a ventilated shelf so it didn't do that.

An added bonus is Windows 8.  It isn't much different than XP except the screen has a bunch of tiles like an IPhone or Mac - pretty neat. And there are so many free books, games and such I can download on here. I had a Kindle app on my old one but it was too slow really, so now I have the Kindle, the Nook and Bookstore - and since this is so truly portable for me I am going to be reading so much more.  A nice thing is I downloaded the Kindle app from Amazon and my library has 1,000s of books that we can borrow for free. It's great.

On a side note, since I mentioned Amazon - I want to give them a big HIGH FIVE!  I do a lot of my Christmas shopping online, especially in the last 4 years, and I always go to Amazon first for presents such as games, books, clothing like socks, t shirts, slippers, art supplies and a bunch of other stuff. It is safe to say I do a lot of my online shopping at Amazon.  In the 6 years I have been ordering I have never had a late shipment, a wrong product or an overcharge.  They have never let me down. Ever.  This year I ordered a specialty T Shirt for Wallene but misread the description and ordered the wrong size. Oops. I went to the website, went into "my account" clicked on "returns" and it pulled up all my recent orders. I found the t-shirt and followed the prompts of what I wanted to do [return it with a refund to my credit card, but there are other options too] and do you know they agreed to refund my card in 2-3 days and I WAS WELCOME TO KEEP THE T SHIRT! How do you like that?  I didn't have to repackage it, go to the post office and mail it back. They said I was a "valued customer", but I am pretty sure it's just their policy. I know other people say that they have had problems with Amazon, but not me.  I have purchased over 100 items from them and never had one problem. That is a pretty good track record. To get to keep the t shirt is an added bonus and makes me want to continue to shop with Amazon.

And on a final note - thanks for all the great comments on the boots. They are pretty awesome, aren't they? :) I think I got the bug in me though because I went to a thrift store in our town yesterday. They are a bit more expensive than the ones near Squirrel's college, but if you dig and hit a sale you can do pretty good. Yesterday it was buy two, get one free. I bought three sweaters [Banana Republic, Polo and the Loft] and a black Banana Republic blouse, 3/4 sleeve [love!]Total $14.  Again, all were in like new condition. The shirt had never been worn. I don't get it, but I'll take it.  I had a men's IZOD tan cable knit sweater in my hand [$7] but I put it back. Stupid. I think I will go back and see if it is still there. It would look awesome on Pooldad and it would match so many of his dress shirts. Or it would look pretty nice with a crew neck t shirt underneath for semi casual.  I did get a chuckle digging through the men's shirts. I kept coming across freshly dry cleaned dress shirts from Tommy Hilfiger, all the same size, style. I got to thinking that some guy must've really ticked off his girlfriend and she kicked him out. Then she took all of his really nice clothing to Goodwill. There must be 10 or 12 of them. I would've sold them online. They are $80 shirts, new. But some guy that is a medium is going to look awfully sporty if he finds those. :)

Okay, a bit of meds, a pair of pants, scrub my face and I am out the door. YAY. Shopping for cheap stuff.

See ya' on the flipside Tadpoles.  Smile LOUD. :D Life is a gift. xoxo

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Okay, okay I WILL Walk In Someone Else's Shoes. . .

. . .but only for $4 and only if they are brand new boots. heehee

Yes tadpoles I found the deal of 2013 today at Goodwill. I know it is a bit early to say that, but I really don't think I am going to be able to top this unless I find a pair on the street, free, that just fell off the new boot delivery truck.

Whenever we drop Squirrel back at University we stop at the local Goodwill in her town to see if there is anything good.  We usually come away with a piece or two that makes the stop worth it. Today I found a 100% silk sweater from Ann Klein and two gorgeous linen oxford blouses [DKNY and Tommy Hilfiger - all three pieces $9.75, in perfect condition]. My day would've been complete with those finds, but then I scored a pair of Nicole Miller boots, never worn - nary a scuff on the soles, I swear - for FOUR DOLLARS.  They are knee high with a 1 inch heel. So stylish, so wearable, sooo comfortable.  I have been looking for dark brown leather boots since fall and almost feel over, literally, when I found them on a shelf, jumbled in with all the other boots.  Pooldad began to apologize when he noticed they were a 7 1/2 [I wear an 8] but I told him to just watch me! He laughed when I said I was amputating toes if I had to, but voila! I didn't[duh!]  - they fit like a dream. YAY!  .

I guess someone got them as a gift and didn't like them? Maybe they couldn't return them?  And I can't figure out the sweater and blouses. They look brand new too.  Still, I did wipe down the boots, Lysol the inside and will take the clothes to the cleaners, but for an 30 minutes of looking I think I expanded my wardrobe nicely.  Well, for me anyway. What's even better is I don't buy labels to just have a "label".  I look for labels at Goodwill because I can afford things like Old Navy, JCP with Liz Clairborne, Limited and GAP whenever I wish, but have you ever noticed that the higher end brands [that I can't afford new] really do last?  They are well made with nicer materials - so to find those four was a super bonus

You know, come to think of it, if I wasn't so tickled with this stuff I might consider reselling it on ebay. Hmmm.  I'm sure I could probably triple, if not quadruple what I paid for the boots. And the silk sweater is this seasons. Hmmmmm.

Naaaah. I know y'all are just like me. It is always great to find nice stuff for a steal and even better when we get to wear it and look good, right? So, Merry Christmas to me! For 14 bucks. heehee

To borrow an idea from LyndyLou - this little shopping trip is going in my "Blessings Jar".

Oh, and if you really want to see something cool, go visit our pal Jeannie over at WOOF!  She is an artist extraordanaire and she drew a portrait of someone I think you will recognize.  I think it's so cool! :) I hope you like it too.

Now if y'all will kindly excuse me I am wrecked from the trip and have been typing this while lying almost flat [how am I doing? hee] Since the extra meds I took to make the trip are beginning to wear off I am going to bed now and should see y'all in a few days. ::grin::

Hugs and much love to y'all. I hope you have a wonderful week.
See ya' on the flipside.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year Tadpoles

How's it going?

Just wanted to write a post to let you all know I am thinking of you, everyday in fact, and to answer all the inquiries to the question "Are you dead yet?" giggle

Nope - still here.  Which is a good thing depending on the day. :)  Other times I wonder what's the point?  Today is one of those days.

I am struggling with the whys of all of this.  The illnesses, the pain, the limitations, new and varying everyday [Say those last four words in an announcer like voice. Sounds like a commercial for "Limitations" ::grin::.] I AM incredibly grateful to be here. I have said it before in previous posts - and I AM. But I would be less than human if I didn't want to give up on some days.  Sometimes a person's capacity to tolerate less than normal in their everyday life [for lack of a better phrase] grows thin.  Mine is paper[thin].  I know Pooldad is tired of it too.  He is as powerless as I am to control any of this. And isn't that what we do as people?  Try and control our lives in some fashion?

I am sure I am not making much sense - but for once I can't blame meds since I haven't taken any today. heehee  I could have feasibly posted once a day for the past month - it was Christmas after all - but to what point would I finally stop pretending that it is all hunky dory? That the waiting and the loom of doctors and hospitals and the pain overshadow every minute of every day of my life?

Another thing I have said is I didn't start this blog to have it be a journal of my [bad] health. I simple wanted to keep track of our lives for my family.  Well...so much has changed since I started blogging 7 years ago [8? - wow. It's been a long time since "So you have a swimming pool, and?" days, isn't it?] but I still don't feel like I want this blog to be about my health.

But if I don't talk about my life, including the ups and downs of my physical self, then it makes me a liar.  Or at least a big fibber - and I'm not those things.

I think the problem stems from my desire to be strong.  To keep a positive outlook - my need to actually beat this.  When I have that attitude it makes blogging, heck it makes LIFE easy. But [again, another but] even the strongest, most upbeat person in the world has their day[s]. And I am far from that strong a person.

So my "days" are becoming more frequent and uglier and I certainly don't want to blog about that. Not only do I not want my family to relive it in the future [ahhhh, permanency of blogging] it doesn't make for a very good read ::grin:: and you guys worry entirely too much.

I will leave you with a picture my lovely husband made us pose for.  He was even nice enough to dress us.
Too bad we lost the game. Sigh.

Take care Tadpoles.  Remember to smile LOUD! Life is a gift.
We'll see ya' on flipside. ::wink::