Tag Archives: peg leg

To Grill or Not to Grill

22 Feb

My spoiling days are over.  Great big SIGH.  I am now thinking of dinner prep, actually grocery shopping and cooking and…arg…cleaning.  We were spoiled for over four weeks.  Wow, that part of Peg Leg-dom sure flew by.  It was very, very relaxing.  I had almost forgotten how much time and energy us mamas (and some papas) spend each day planning meals, prepping meals, buying food, cooking food, cleaning up after cooking food… and then all the snacks and desserts.  I don’t mind it, honestly.  I am just really out of practice and I thoroughly enjoyed having others do the work for me (Thank you, dear friends!!!)

Tonight I made chicken kebobs (recipe thanks to one of those dear friends who brought dinner), roasted red potatoes and salad.  I was kind of excited to do a full dinner for my sweet brood. Princelightningbolt arrives home starving around 530 after running practice, Princessenpointe is home for only 45 minutes between dance classes at 615 and Sirskatesalot wanders in sometime after that.  I have to coordinate creatively to make sure everyone has some sort of warm or ready to be heated up meal.

Last spring, Sirskatesalot got rid of our outdoor gas grill and decided he was going old school and bought a charcoal grill.  I don’t understand this at all.  What is cool about having to wait 20 minutes for the heat to be ready and then watching as half your dinner burns and half is undercooked?  This vintagey grilling idea is lost on me.

Once I marinate the meat and slice the veggies I start to think that firing up the coals is a bad, time consuming idea.  I google how to cook kebobs in the oven, but that seems lame.  How do you enjoy a kebob without the grill marks?

And this is where I come to my confession.  Yes, this is embarrassing.  I dug out my George Foreman Grill. I swear I have only used it three times.  Even more embarrassing …I bought it with a Groupon.  I know, you now think my kitchen is stocked with Spaghettios, canned soup and green containers of parmesan cheese.  These assumptions are far from the truth.  But that George Foreman Grill is now going to be a staple instead of a dust collector in the back of the pan cupboard.

George is onto something.  Our kebobs looked like they were grilled out of doors by The Marlboro Man…The Marlboro Man with a microbrew not a cigarette.  Gorgeous, delicious and I was in the warmth of my kitchen the entire time.  I won’t complain about how tiny it is, nor how long the ordeal took because I made a gazillion kebobs.  Beggars can’t be choosers and when you buy a George Foreman Grill with a Groupon, you definitely qualify as a beggar…or at least a cheapskate.

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Don’t Pointe at Me

15 Feb

My daughter is a dancer.  Buns, leotards, pink tights and tutus.  And, pointe shoes.  Pointe shoes are a right of passage for ballerinas.  Dancers have to work hard to be recommended for pointe class.  It takes years to accomplish.  I am proud of our ballerina.  But, pointe shoes are expensive and need to be replaced frequently…as in every two to six weeks to the tune of about $80-100.

Last weekend, I used one of my standing intervals to take my sweet ballerina for new pointe shoes.  She has a brand and style she likes, so there would be no need for a fitting.  Quick and painless, right?  Just ask for the kind she likes, state her size, pay a chunk of change and get out.  Perfect.

Not.  Said sweet ballerina did not notice the shoes had an “N” after the “XX”(I have no idea what that means for sizing on pointe shoes.  They are a Russian brand and I am not fluent in Russian).  So, we grab a few other necessary ballet items like toe pads (ouch!) and drive the 15 minutes home.

Did I tell you my ballerina is a teenager?  Sweet as can be 90% of the time.  Use your imagination for the other 10%.  Once home, she heads to her room to try on the new shoes and get ready for the tedious process of hand sewing on ribbons and elastics.  Then,   a wail, followed by her bedroom door slamming open.  “Ahhh!  These are not the right size!”  Oops.  “Well, you had the size written down, what happened?”

You can imagine it all turned out to be my fault.  Go figure.  And now the world is certainly going to end.  She will now not have time to sew on her ribbons and elastics before Monday’s class and there is absolutely no way she will have time to break them in. I state this is ridiculous (calm and motherly, of course) offer to drive her back, but am firm that I am not using another set of my standing minutes going into the store.  She will have to go in and sort it out herself.  After a while we come to an understanding.  Proper pointe shoes are scored and Peg Leg remains in the car. Lesson learned?  Double check your order, be nice to your mom and if you have a little girl, do not encourage dance…choose something cheaper like soccer…otherwise in about eight years, you will be buying point shoes every month with a teenage ballerina.

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Das Boot and Barf

11 Feb

I have found another benefit of having Das Boot.  Sirbarksalot was barfing last night.  Twice.  Sooo gross.  If you have experienced a large dog barfing in the middle of the night, you know this includes disgusting noises, shouts, a leap from the bed, lights flicked on, slider to outside open, dog bed changed, barf cleaned up (gross, gross, gross).  So, when this all transpired last night, I was exempt from any jumping, leaps from the bed, opening the slider, changing dog bed and cleaning up barf.  Remember, I am a Peg Leg.

When all the chaos started, Sirskatesalot took the lead and I rolled over to face the opposite direction with Das Boot.  Das boot and I got cozy and settled while Sirbarksalot heaved, Sirskatesalot leapt from the bed, ripped the crate door open and threw Sirbarksalot outside.  I offered a  feeble, “Can I help you?”  But Sirskatesalot knows I am a Peg Leg and cut me some slack.  He took the bed outside, cleaned the crate, re-bedded the crate and put the pup back to bed.  I cuddled with my pillows.   Ah, so nice to be a Peg Leg at times like this. People expect so little of me.

And then, another disgusting round of barf noises from the crate.  “Sirskatesalot, Sirskatesalooooottttt! ” I scream while he is out in the kitchen cleaning up.  Damn.  Am I really going to have to get Das Boot and I out of bed?  Aha, I spot my phone on the nightstand.  I text, “Bring paper towels!”  I hear Sirskatesalot immediately running down the hall.  Ah, now I can go back to sleep.  He bursts through the bedroom door,”Is he throwing up again?”  I just roll over and groan.  I’m tired.  Das Boot has had to roll over, pull on the covers and resettle already three or four times.

But I am grateful to Das Boot that Sirskatesalot never even asked me to get out of bed.  I am going to keep the hated Das Boot by my bed at all times so that when a kid or dog is barfing at night, I can velcro it on and skip all barf clean up duties.  Das Boot sucks, but barf clean up is so much worse.

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Swimming is Not Running

9 Feb

Swimming may be just what the doctor ordered, but this land-lubbing Peg Leg sure wishes the doctor had ordered some muddy, mountainous trails.  Swimming is not the torture I thought it would be, but I am not efficient enough to get an amazing workout and my Peg Leg feels really strange flapping around free of das boot for an hour.

Swimming is clean (you can’t even feel that you are sweating), safe (no coyotes, mountain lions, big rocks, snakes or cliffs)…and oh, so, repetitive.  I am definitely a dirty girl.  This Peg Leg likes a dripping sweat, dirt crusted up my shins, an empty water bottle, a gut-wrenching grind up a big hill, a coyote spotting, a few deer or even a big snake.  I’ll take the swimming if that’s all I get, but my heart and soul are not in it.

Worse yet, swimming is a solitary endeavor.  I don’t have little ducky friends who want to swim with me and I doubt there would be much socializing between laps.  I miss my 2-5 hour runs with buddies.  You learn a lot about a friend when you are tromping along together, undistracted for hours at a time.  You become very close and you count on those hours together.  My running buddies are some of my closest confidants.  I share more with them, and know more about them, than some of my friends I see on a daily basis.  The motion, the exertion, the commitment loosens the legs and frees the mind and heart, and we share.  I miss these times.  When we have hours upon hours together, undistracted, we have time to come full-circle…to finish conversations, to follow-up on the unfinished ones, to just listen.

I am now three weeks post-op and I am feeling so far removed from my daily hours on the trails that when I think about running it feels almost dream like. I used to feel like I never saw anyone running around town, and certainly not on the trails.  Now, I feel like everywhere das boot and I go, there are people running.  Is this just a bad dream or is the lack of endorphins getting to me?  I will come full circle, I will get out of the pool and I will hit the trails.  Until then,

Happy trails to you, until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you, ’till we meet again.

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Pegging Those Teens

7 Feb

Peg Leg here has two teens.  And, even amongst friends, sometimes I feel a little uncomfortable admitting that I really like my teens.  If you listen to the news, most teens are pregnant, drug addicts, drop-outs or gangsters.  If you listen to most of my friends, they are snotty, spoiled, selfish, oblivious, absentminded and irresponsible.  I confess that I can easily jump in and participate with my mom-friends in an hour long conversation about the negative character traits of teens.  You should see how we feed off of each other’s stories…we are like 5th grade girls with girlfriend drama.

In general, though, my kids are pretty awesome.  I am frequently surprised by how much I like them.  When they were sweet babies, toddlers and dirty-faced, school age critters, I never imagined it could be just as good, and, sometimes, better with teenagers.  Yes, they are big, demanding, loud, messy and stinky, but they are also clever, witty, smart and down right hysterical.   Sirskatesalot and I stare at each other wide-eyed when one of our offspring uses an epithet while telling a story at the dinner table, searching the other’s face for how to respond.  But then the punch line is so funny we break into laughter and forget to reprimand the storyteller.  It reminds me of when they were first graders telling jokes they had made up that were so NOT funny, but made us bust out in fits of laughter.  Only now, they are older, wiser, funnier and the jokes and stories are spot on.

While sometimes their decisions or attitudes are maddening, watching my teens grow into themselves is fascinating.  The path from teen to adult is a curvy, windy one filled with hills and valleys, but I think it it is important to let the teens do the driving.  I am enjoying these last, fleeting years with my kiddos.  I’m trying to give them credit, to back off, to let them do the driving, to let them set the pace and to let them choose the destination.

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Swim Little Fishy

6 Feb

Peg Leg got wet.  No, I am not a bragging rebel patient again.  I was given clearance to swim!  This little ducky is free to dip my head and wet my feathers. I cannot touch anything with my foot, but I can swim.  Taking off das boot and getting it back on on the side of the pool is not a pretty sight, but the humiliation of das boot removal and my neon swim suit (which, no joke, is called Dolfin Uglies) could not damper my excitement to get my heart rate up for the first time in nearly three weeks.

I am not an efficient nor beautiful swimmer, but it felt surprisingly good to swim.  My sore and pathetic Peg Leg did alright propelling me through the water.  I made it about 45 minutes and had been so relieved no other swimmers or bystanders were around for my maiden voyage.  But, as Peg Leg luck would have it, a few arrived just in time for my exit from the pool.  Grace is not my first, nor middle name.  I thought I had das boot’s removal and reattachment planned well with a towel laid out for drying and das boot right at the end of my lane.  But, when it came time to get out, I realized the ladder was at the other side of the pool.  No chance I can scoot in my Uglies, with Peg Leg in the air from one side of the pool deck to the other.  Imagine a crab with an extra claw stuck in the air…So I had to brave a full-body hoist up, with an audience.

You know when you try to hoist up like rising from a dip and you don’t quite make it?  Embarrassing.  I had the added worry of banging my Peg Leg on the wall.  A definite NO-NO.  I feigned stretching, had a drink of my water, played with my watch (actually my son’s old Shark watch from Jr. High when he was all about Rasta colors…adds to the look of my Uglies suit).  These bystanders and swimmers are still lurking and I need to go.  I muscled some muscle and some courage, and popped this ducky right out of the pool.  Quack.  I attempted drying off while sitting on towel, reattached das boot, did not look up and scurried out of there.  But, I went back again today.  Duckies can’t stay out of the water too long.  Even the Uglies.

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Peg Leg Perspective

3 Feb

Being a Peg Leg stinks.  I will admit, there have been minutes, days, these past few weeks when I am feeling a bit down, bummed…ahem, sorry for myself.  However, I had perspective drilled into me as a child and I remind myself many times a day in the whole scheme of things, this whole Peg Leg experience is not a big deal.  I had many, many eye surgeries as a child and most of them required extended hospital stays at California Pacific Medical Center.  When I was little, pediatrics was combined with pediatric oncology.  You can imagine what the kids were going through.  We shared tutors, a play room and nurses.  We knew the details of each other’s medical issues.  My mom was a nurse.  She made it clear that there would be no pity party for me.  I would live.  Period.  “Do you know what these kids would give to just have an eye surgery?”  I got it.  Even at age nine, I got it.

We all get doses of perspective in life.  The clear vision we see during these times, the appreciation, the acceptance, and the honor we give to life is amazing.  It is something to be celebrated.  Yet, life gets busy, we get better, we forget.

My Peg Leg has helped me remember.  A friend’s son recently had a bad accident.  His cast is WAY bigger than my boot and he is a child.  He cannot have the perspective from years of life. This sucks more for him than for me.  We put our legs up, we play chess.  He laughs.  He does not complain.  I admire him, his strength, his ability to just deal with what has been handed to him and to try to make the most fun with what he has.  A cast from heel to groin at age 13 does not sound fun.  He does not complain.  He smiles, he laughs, he will live.  He will be OK and he knows it.

I get it now, too.  I won’t deny that I am bummed.  I miss running more than I can explain and I miss being totally independent and in charge (which in my house means being mobile 100% of the time).  However, I get it.  I know this is temporary.  I know I will be OK.  I know my pity party is trivial.  Tales of a Temporary Peg Leg are just that.

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