Sunday, April 28, 2013

Zhuangzi said. . .

"Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness."
So true, isn't it?  Again, another of my favorite quotes. 
Well Tadpoles, I would like to thank the 8 of you who hung in there through my simple contribution to the A-Z challenge.  I do apologize for not being around reading and commenting on y'alls' blogs or answering emails, but we have been busy moving out of our home for the last two weeks.
And moving sucks. ::grin:: An extra big suck because Pooldad, Wallene and I are doing it all by ourselves.  No movers, no truck, nary an extra pair of hands. Oh and super, do0per, added bonus? Pooldad is working 14 hour days because his co worker is on vacation.
Yes, yes it IS going so well. Why do you ask? ::hee::  Look for my next post "Adventures in Moving" or "Name the 17 Different Types of Vehicles Skippy Has Been Stuck Behind on Back Country Roads".  Yeesh, that was an interesting day.  And, look! I have photographic proof.
Scootering along [25 mph] with a bag of groceries on each arm.
By the time this is posted we will be moved into our temporary digs in the country and most likely without internet.
Ah well. I will figure a way around that. I always do.  Hope y'all stay happy, healthy and well.
We'll see ya' on the flipside. xo Skippy

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Boris Yeltsin said. . .

"You can build a throne with bayonets, but you can't sit on it for long."
Goofing off with Dad.
JMU 02.2013

Friday, April 26, 2013

Lu Xan said. . .

"Hope cannot be said to exist,
nor can it be said not to exist.
 It is just like roads across the earth.
 For actually the earth had no roads to begin with,
 but when many men pass one way,
 a road is made."
Wallene - Self Portrait

Thursday, April 25, 2013

George Washington said. . .

"Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble."
Lake at the Country House.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Voltaire said. . .

"Prejudices are what fools use for reason."
Spottie, helping Skippy navigate.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

John Updike said. . .

"Creativity is merely a plus name for regular activity.
Any activity becomes creative when the doer cares about doing it right, or better."
Our church - Easter 2013
Picture by Wallene


Monday, April 22, 2013

John Tillotson said. . .

"A good word is an easy obligation;
but not to speak ill requires only our silence, 
which costs us nothing."
Disny 03.2013
Wallene concurs.
John Tillotson was a 17th century British theologian. For those who, like, care. . .hee

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What Does Skippy Always Say?

"No matter what the sun always comes up tomorrow."
"If you can't laugh at it what, exactly, is the point?"
"I can find the humor in anything in our world. Try me."

"Smile loudly. Life is a gift."
and, as always. . .
"See ya' on the flipside!"

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gilda Radner said. . .

"Life is about not knowing, having to change,
taking the moment and making the best of it,
without knowing what's going to happen next."
Spot, wondering what's gonna happen next.


Friday, April 19, 2013

Mary Quant said. . .

"Having money is rather like being blond.
More fun, but not vital."
"Our" squirrel.
Mr. Bucky 04.16.2013

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Theodore Parker said. . .

"Remorse is the pain of sin."
Photo by Wallene 04.16.2013

Pat Oliphant said. . .

Courtesy of Pat Oliphant

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

We Interupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program to Bring You. . .

The Amazing Wallene.


And there is a story to go along with this pie.
Of course there is a story to go along with this pie.
It's my blog Tadpoles.

Pooldad and I were going over to his parents home for a visit last night.  Being me I thought it would be nice to take them one of my apple pies. And wouldn't a pie for us be nice too?

Yep, "last minute Skippy" thought making pies at the end of the day was a good idea. ::grinning::

In less than 1 hour I managed to whip up two pretty nice pies. I wrapped one up to take on our visit to be baked there and the other I put in the oven, with specific instructions to Wallene to take it out of the oven in exactly 45 minutes.  I have made so many apple pies since I mastered the art of pie crusts that I know this is a no fail baking process for them. You don't have to check them or cover the edges. Nothing. Just stick it in and take it out in 45 minutes.

Easy peasy, right?

On our way to the in laws I texted Wallene to ask how she was doing and inquire as to the status of the pie.
No response.
I texted again.
I phoned her.
No answer.
Now I was getting really worried because Wallene ALWAYS has her phone and ALWAYS answers it.  I thought she might have slipped or burned herself or [insert Mother's worse nightmare scenario here] and you know I how frantic I was becoming with each passing mile.
I texted her again - this time writing "CALL ME NOW. I AM WORRIED."
Still, nothing.
I told Pooldad that if she didn't answer by the time we arrived at his parents home we would deliver their pie, give them a kiss and head back home. 
I also told him that either something was wrong with our daughter or she had screwed up the pie.

Two guesses. The first one doesn't count.

Wallene finally rang me back and Tadpoles? She sounded so sad. So heartbroken when she told me she had forgotten about the pie. It had burned. Crusty black and ruined. Sigh.
I told her I wasn't mad. It was just a pie and I could make another one in no time.  I told her not to worry, we would be home in a while and I would make more pie.

Here's the amazing part.
While we were gone Wallene, who has never baked in her life; who has never made a pie crust or a pie filing; never rolled out anything with my 10 lb+ marble rolling pin, MADE HER VERY OWN APPLE PIE. She rode her bike to the store for another bag of apples, and before we arrived home she had replaced the one that was burned. wow.
We walked in the door at 10 pm to the delicious aroma of fresh baked apple pie. Not the burned smell I was anticipating from my pie. Nope.  It smelled so yummy in our home.
And I was shocked.
A real, honest to goodness homemade, from scratch, down to the last detail, apple pie.
Oh, and a clean kitchen. ::grinning::
If you have ever baked a pie from scratch you know what an accomplishment this is for a beginner. A beginner who did not have a single person around to ask or call for advice.  I have never taught Wallene a thing about making pies, she just likes to hang out with me when I do.  Obviously she was paying rapt attention because gang this pie is so, so, so, so delicious. The crust is so flaky. The filling is cooked to perfection with a wonderful mix of spices she chose. [She explained to me later that my "recipe" is ::ahem:: sort of vague. hee Hey, it's written in my shorthand.]

We ate warm pie and kept on exclaiming over the taste and the fact that she did it.
All by herself.
She has accomplished so many things that make us proud. School, marching band, blue ribbons for her photography and I have to say I could not be more proud than I am right now about her and her pie.
[My blog. My daughter. I get to brag. :D]
I don't know who is more excited.
Wallene, because she did it all by herself; me, because I am off the hook if anyone wants a pie; or Pooldad, because two of us baking means double the apple pies for him. YAY!

See ya' on the flipside Tadpoles. I have pie to eat. OH yah. . .

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

6 Famous Guys Walk into a Party. . .

. . .so Skippy could play catch up in the A - Z challenge.

Lee Iacocca said:
"Trouble shared is trouble halved."

Steve Jobs said:
"Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick.  Don't lose faith."

Soren Kierkegaard:
"Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays."

John Lennon:
"Time you enjoyed wasting was not wasted."

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short;
 but in setting our aim low and achieving our mark."

"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how."
Wallene 04.10.2013

Monday, April 15, 2013

Audry Hepburn said. . .

"For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others;
for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness;
and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone."


Nothing is impossible. "The word itself says 'I'm possible.' "
Thinking of you all and hoping you have a wonderful week.  See ya' in a couple of flipsides.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Judy Garland said . . .

"For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart.
It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul."
Wedding kiss 03.30.13


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Malcom Forbes said . . .

"When things are bad, we take comfort in the thought that they could always get worse.
And when they are, we find hope in the thought that things are so bad they have to get better."

View from our couch this week.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Ralph Waldo Emerson said . . .

A lot.

There are so many of Mr. Emerson's quotes that I really like, it was hard to pick.  Here are five:

"What lies behind you and what lies in front of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside you."

"For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."

"The only way to have a friend is to be one."

"Common sense is genius dressed in its working clothes."

and finally. . .

"It is not length of life but depth of life."
A cardinal enjoying the view from our backyard tree 04.10.13

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Frederick Douglass said. . .

"It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men."
Wallene 04.10.13


Confucious said. . .

"Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage."

Another of my favorite quotes on courage is from Lao Tzu:
"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength,
while loving someone deeply gives you courage."

Heavenly White cake with French Silk frosting


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Buddha said. . .

"Health is the greatest gift,
 contentment the greatest wealth,
   faithfulness the best relationship."
View from my back porch 05.07.13

Sunday, April 7, 2013

New Game! Anonymous says. . .

Forget the A-Z recipe challenge I gave myself.

Can't do it. I have neither the strength nor the energy to care enough to write up a recipe post one time, let alone one each day for almost four weeks.

Therefore. . .in the interest of not having to clean the cobwebs off of this blog again I will post a quote for each of the 26 letters of the alphabet.

Sound good? Well, tough beans because that is what is going up. ha!

And maybe one day when my Super Skippy Strength and my "Yes, I actually do care" attitude returns I will gather up all the quotes and needlepoint them somewhere. Impress my friends, my family. . .the world!

Then again?
Maybe not.

I do think I can manage one quote a day for 26 days. Besides which I figure I can knock them all out in one evening, set them to autopost and you guys won't even notice I am not around while I go through the next round of the ::fun:: and ::exciting:: side effects of the soon to be administered, but never before tried by Skippy, new drugs.

Life is pretty darn good and I am not complaining. I promise. What's to complain about anyway? I am here, alive, relatively healthy and with more love than a girl knows what to do with, eh? ::smiling:: Lucky me! And yes, I do mean that.

I am just worn out Tadpoles.  Plain and simple, just worn ooooout.  Worn out but with a smile on my face and a happy, light heart.

As Anonymous said:  "It will be alright in the end.  And if it isn't alright then it isn't the end."

There ya' go.
I began with my very favorite quote.
How's that for a rollicking start? ::hee::

You guys are the best!  We'll be seein' ya' on the flipside of 25 days/posts.

Smile loudly gang. Life is a gift. xo Skip

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A Little Late To the Party

I noticed that quite a few of you are doing the A - Z challenge.  It got me to thinking what could I post about for 26 days that would be fun and useful?  I really couldn't think of a theme or something super cool [like Juli's 26 days of Pinterest] so I forgot about it. Until I started to bake this weekend and realized in the lead up to April 1st I had covered the first 3 letters of the alphabet by making these desserts:

Apple Pie
Blueberry Cake
Chocolate Cake

Then I thought, "But Skip you aren't a food blogger." True. True. So what?  The more I thought about it the better the idea was because it would accomplish two things.  First, it would make me get back in the habit of posting everyday as I have been kind of sucky at that. Secondly, I would finally get around to writing down all the recipes my kids have been asking for since they all started to grow up and move away from home.  As an added bonus I know of a website that makes your blog posts into books.  This will make it easy for me order one for each of the kids for Christmas.

How's that for cool and multi tasky?

I won't be posting all dessert recipes tho'. I think I will toss in some of the kids' favorites from breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks too.  I know that if I was to post all desserts I would be forced to make them all and I really don't need that kind of temptation around for a month. ::grinning::

I will be working on getting  A, B, C and D up later today, but will have to be fashionably late with the first three I listed above.

Smile loud Tadpoles! Life is a gift. See ya' on the flipside. :) Love, Skippy

Monday, April 1, 2013

It's Nuthin' 3 lbs of Icing Can't Fix. . .


Sure. . .it looks good NOW.

You should've seen it BEFORE I slapped 8 cups of icing on it.

Oh Tadpoles.

Saturday was a big day. Very special.  Special enough that we had family coming over for dinner to help us celebrate before we went to Easter Vigil Mass and our wedding.

We ran errands, cleaned up, cooked and as you can see. . .baked. 

Sometimes I wonder what I am thinking when I decide something like making our wedding cake is a good idea.  In my defense we  didn't want to spend the money on a cake to feed such a small group of people and I had all the ingredients. Sounds plausible, right?

Nowhere in my thinking do I remember that I am, in fact, easily fatigued and on a new round of medications. Nor does my family lovingly point it out. Oh no, they just let me ramble on about how great it's going to be and I can do IT ALL! ::grinning::

Silly woman. 

Still, it gave us a great laugh. And quite the sugar high I will admit.

See, what happened was, I followed the directions exactly.  Yeah, I know. My mistake. I actually greased the correct pans the way they were supposed to be and well. . . both layers stuck. And stuck good.  I turned the first one over onto the cake stand and only half of it fell out of the pan. No bother. I was filling the cake with raspberry preserves anyway.  I spread 1 1/2 cups of preserves onto that trainwreck and after thoroughly loosening the top layer I flipped it onto my outstretched hand to gently lay it on top of the preserves. Except that layer did the same thing and only half the cake crumbled out of the pan. Whatever. I slapped that one on top of the preserves and set the whole mess on the dining room table, trailing crumbs everywhere.  Then Pooldad and I ate the cake remains out of both pans and were happy. ::grinning::

Writing this out I am suddenly sad I did not take pictures of the whole debacle. It was pretty funny.

While I was in the kitchen whipping up the icing spackle for the cake Squirrel came bounding down the stairs into the dining room. She later told me she took one look at the cake, heard me mixing something up in the kitchen and quietly retreated back upstairs, thinking I was probably ready to step off the back deck. ::giggle::

Nah.  I knew everyone that was invited loves us, and they weren't coming to celebrate by eating the stupid cake. They were coming for something much better. Cake is just. . .well, icing on the day. I couldn't get worked up on whether that cake came out. Besides there were Easter cakes on sale everywhere, so it wasn't like I couldn't just go buy one. [Side note: Am I the only one that is creeped out by the plastic Easter Bunny faces the grocery stores put on their bunny cakes?  I avert my eyes and dash through the bakery section of our local grocer during this holiday because those cakes scare me. I do.]

My cake. I don't mind if things don't turn out. Never have, but there is one thing I hate about failure when baking. I hate to waste ingredients. They can be expensive. This cake happened to cost $4.50 [mere pennies!] to make, but still. It's the principle, the challenge of the thing that was making me want to turn that cake into a success.

I did what any [almost] sane woman, with a stand mixer and no history of diabetes amongst the family, would do.  I made a buttload of white icing.  8 cups or 3 lbs to be exact.  I managed to use every last drop of it because that cake needed some serious rehab.  Not only were there crumbs everywhere and half of it was still stuck in the pans, the whole top was cracked in two. [Yes, yes I did let it cool before I put it on the preserves. I am not new to this particular rodeo. ::smiling::]

The recipe for the frosting is as follows:  2 cups of vegetable shortening, 8 cups of powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons of clear vanilla extract and a few tablespoons of water.

Yeah, I know.  It took me two days to come off the sugar high from taste testing the stuff.

And I almost killed my stand mixer in the process. Wow. That is a lot of sugary goodness gang. But Betsy the Beater hung on and produced the lightest, fluffliest icing that did the trick in forming that cake into the beauty you see above.

Bonus? It actually tastes delicious.  I was surprised no one scraped off the 1/2 - 1 inch of frosting between bites. They didn't leave any on their plates or feed the dog either. I think it is because the white cake and preserves weren't overly sweet so it worked well together.

This is all that is left.  
One lonely slice. 
Pooldad is home, so I gotta' mosey. Have a great week!
See ya on the flipside Tadpoles.  Love, Skippy