Tag Archives: sirskatesalot

Pierce this

16 May

TIme flies and I am obviously flakier than I thought.  Whew.  Time to get back in the saddle.  It’s easier to write when I do it every day.  For great advice on this check out Stephen King’s On Writing or Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird.  Anyway, Princelightningbolt has started letting the big, plug holes in his ears close and has been pestering us for a nose piercing.  Oy.  How many holes does this kid need in his head?

Sirskatesalot and I have donned some awesome hairstyles, piercings and tattoos (including blue hair, green hair, shaved heads and more).  So, we agreed when we decided to have munchkins, that as long as our kids had good grades, were respectful, healthy people, we would be lenient about their appearances and any alterations thereof.  Big sigh when Princelightningbolt requested earrings (not one like when we were growing up, but two…I guess now one symbolizes things he doesn’t represent, but two is cool).  Then plugs.  EEEGGGAAAAAD.  On we trotted toward a hooligan looking teen.  Mostly keeping quiet.  He’s a good kid, afterall.

Then, the nose piercing.  We put him off for  a long while and then this weekend came and he was so persistent and we felt we had to uphold our agreement.  And…ah, basically, teens win around here and parents lose.

After Princelightningbolt forgot his ID and we made our second trip to the tattoo parlor, I filled out paperwork and hoped it was sanitary in there.  Princelightningbolt went back with a gal covered in tattoos including her hands, chest and neck, plus plugs about 2 inches in diameter.  I don’t judge.  I swear.  Remember I have spent the past two and half decades with skateboarders.  But…this is my baby.

After about ten minutes, Princelightningbolt came out and said, “Mom, you don’t know how badly that hurt!” and then described the six inch needle she threaded through his nostril, the blood and the view he had of the needle as it slid down by his chin.  I was smiling from ear to ear.  I don’t think he’ll do the other nostril any time soon.  But, if he does, I will take him and I will keep my mouth shut, mostly.  Because in the whole scheme of things, he rocks at what is important and this other shit is purely about expression.  Those that will judge based on piercings and outward expressions of teen angst are boring and missing out on some cool kids.  As cliche as it might be, Bernard M. Baruch was dead on: “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

Overflowing

6 May

You know that feeling when you look at your significant other, you family or your children and you are overflowing with love?  These moments can be quick, fleeting even, but they are powerful and it is significant to recognize them.  I have had a few of these the past two weeks and I feel happy to be overflowing with love.  But, I did not understand the power of the term “overflowing” as applied to inanimate objects until yesterday morning.

We were having a garage sale to raise money for our Relay for Life team, so I had to wake up at what my running pal affectionately calls, “The crack of f…”  Sirskatesalot had already headed out in the dark for a mountain bike race.  I wandered around the dark house for a minute, looked out the back sliding doors and thought the pool looked weird.  But, it was the “Crack of f…” and I did not have my contacts in and I had not had coffee.  I went into the kitchen, filled my cup with joe and stared out the kitchen window into the back yard for a moment to get my bearings.

I wondered why I had agreed to get up this early after all and sipped my coffee…and the pool still looked weird.  I squinted and tried to focus.  Back to the sliding doors, I noticed the hose was in the pool.  Then a moment of clarity. “Holy sh.., the pool is overflowing!”  I turned off the hose and investigated.  A large puddle by the side of the house where the pump is, but other than that, no damage.  Whew.

Later that morning, I texted Sirskatesalot to check on the race and told him hose was on and “Ooops.”  I am the most forgetful, so I understand.  I set the kitchen timer when I turn on the hose or a sprinkler because I would flood our entire street if I did not have a reminder.  No harm, no foul…Lucky us I didn’t wake up in “a beautiful pea green boat” with the Owl and the Pussycat.

Then, yesterday evening, Sirskatesalot and I had an couple hours without teens so headed out  to dinner.  On our way there, I brought up the overflowing pool and commented, “Good thing I woke up just an hour after you left or it could have been bad.  Surprising how much the pool filled in only an hour or so.”  Sirskatesalot responded that he had turned the hose on Friday evening at dusk and the water had been running for over 12 hours.  We are overflowing with love, gratitude and gratefulness that our bedroom is high and dry and our pool is full.  Sirskatesalot is very thorough and if he had been home, he probably would have patched any overflow with shoe goo or duct tape.

Hopefully your weekend was overflowing with fun or at least entertainment.

In Absentia

5 Apr

When we get married, we know at some point we will have to step up.  We have to hold down the fort when our spouse is sick or out of town, we have to fill the shoes when one has a project that takes over.  Tonight I attended one of Sirskatesalot’s art openings at a gallery nearby…without him.  Princessenpointe was my date.  The four artists’ works looked great.  The gallery was packed, art was selling, music was playing…and one of the artists was on the other side of the country.  Work pays bills, so sometimes it trumps art openings.

Artists, the gallery owners and others we know noted the absence.  I was greeted like I usually am when I see these people.  Hug, smile, handshake.  But, instead of, “I’m so glad you could come” or “It’s great to see you guys.”  I heard, “We are so bummed Sirskatesalot couldn’t be here, but at least you could come in his place” or “I told Sirskatesalot you would be his stand in.”  Ahem.  It is enough work to be his wife and the mother of his teens.  Am I now also his stand in?  In addition to the fact that I am neither talented nor famous, I don’t really want that job.  Can’t I just be the boring wife taking pictures of the show he can’t attend?

I guess stand in is part of the job.  New jobs seem to crop up frequently after a couple decades of marriage…keep that in mind if you haven’t said your vows yet.  What you see is definitely not what you get…it is much, much more.  It’s not rough and I’m proud to do it.  However, I hardly fill the shoes.

Clogging

1 Apr

Sirskatesalot hit snooze or off on the alarm today.  Our day started with running, screaming and general chaos.  Princelightningbolt had a whopping five minutes to get dressed and out the door..he had forms that had to be signed and gear to be packed, so you can imagine how much adrenaline was surging through our household at 635 a.m.  Starting the day like the start of a race is a hideous way to begin a new day.  In fact, I think it takes a whole day to recover.  I feel like today was in overdrive all day long.

My new clogs kept me going, though.  Did I tell you about my clogs?  When I pleaded with my podiatrist for another type of shoes I can wear besides  These are the most fashionable, sexy clogs you can imagine.  And at $130/pair, they better be.  Ha!  They are hideous and go with absolutely nothing in my closet.  But,  I can wear them without my orthotics and they are not athletic shoes, which is a HUGE improvement from the past few weeks post-das boot.

My daughter is calling me “Clogging Molly” after Sirskatesalot’s friend’s band Flogging Molly.  I find this annoying, but she is quite witty.  She said if she had a blog about me, she’d call it “Clogging Molly.”  Sigh.

Green

19 Mar

Sirskatesalot’s family is Irish, so yesterday was a day for celebration…and they were here with us.  We celebrated at a dueling piano bar Saturday night with friends and a ridiculous crowd who thought they were Irish because they could drink and yell “Whoo Hoo!” at the top of their lungs every few seconds.  This was both entertaining and exhausting at the same time.  For St. Patrick’s Day, I have only made green pancakes and green cupcakes, so I needed Mscooksalot to help me with a dinner menu.  I was stuck on potatoes.  Let’s all admit it, the Irish are great with beer and probably some other stuff…no, not bagpipes…nope, not kilts…but definitely no other delicious food comes to mind.  Ack, Shepherd’s Pie.  Gross.

With Mscooksalot’s guidance, I made roasted potato leek soup with arugula, grilled cheese with Irish sharp cheddar and rye bread, and a green salad.  YUM!  Princessenpointe completed the green festa with grasshopper brownies…not Irish, but definitely green.  After a sunset beach walk, we enjoyed our green dinner, toasted, listened to the Celtic station on Pandora, and even discussed the IRA thanks to Princelighningbolt’s MUN education.  A true St. Patty’s Day evening with an Irish crowd.  I even smashed my big, glass salad bowl while doing the dishes…is throwing plates an Irish tradition?  I think it is not, but it seemed to make our green evening end on a funny note.

I hope to plan more evening dinners around a theme.  Imagine the possibilities!  Tomorrow is Bruce Willis’s birthday…I’m thinking of  a Die Hard dinner theme…any ideas?

Food is Love

12 Mar

While working away on the elliptical machines the other day, Mscooksalot and I discussed the new study showing how food shows love in our culture.  No big surprise, right?    Since way before we had little ones, I have cooked and baked as a way of showing my love, appreciation, support.  What makes someone feel more loved than fresh baked cookies, piping hot with melting morsels inside?  The olfactory experience alone makes one feel warm and cared for.  I always make lunches for my family (yes, to the mortification of my friends, even my husband) every day.  I feel this is a loving way to send them out into the world each morning.  They hopefully feel a little love when they see what I’ve made and I have the benefit of knowing they have a nutritious meal while they are gone.  But the study also points out that this idea of showing affection through food can lead to obesity.  I’m not sure on this one.

First of all, my family is not the slightest bit overweight.  Secondly, I kind of think the study has gotten it all wrong.  Food created and cooked in a kitchen at home is almost always more healthful than snacks or meals purchased pre-made or from restaurants.  There is not much love shown by going through the drive through anyway.  When we cook at home, we generally use fresh ingredients and much less sugar and salt than packaged food or food from a restaurant. When cooking at home, we also don’t use preservatives.   In fact, I think if more of us took the time to prepare fresh meals as a way of showing love, we may have less obesity.  A dozen donuts does not make my family feel loved, but some homemade, hot granola muffins sure do.  Maybe it is our definition of “love” that has become skewed along with our hurried culture.  Treating your family to ice cream is nice and fun, but it does not show love in the same way as preparing a family member’s favorite dinner recipe.

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Here are some of my family’s favorites.  I cook them as a way to show them love.

Sirskatesalot’s PB Choco Chip Cookies

1 c. margarine or butter

1 c. peanut butter

1 c. brown sugar

3/4 c. granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking soda

3 c. flour

1 c. milk choco chips

1 c. semi sweet chips

1/2 c. sugar for garnish

Mix butter and sugar.  Add vanilla and eggs.  Stir in flour and soda.  Mix in chips.  Drop by heaping scoops onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Wet the bottom of a water glass with water and dip in garnishing sugar.  Gently press down on cookie dough to flatten slightly.  Bake 350 for 12-14 min.

Princessenpointe’s Favorite Cauliflower Cheese Soup (From Williams-Sonoma Vegetarian)

2 small heads cauliflower

(I add 4 peeled potatoes

2 tbsp. butter

1 large onion chopped

1 clove garlic, minced (I use two)

4 cups vegie stock

1 tsp. dry mustard

pinch of fresh nutmeg

1 1/2 c. milk (I use fat free half n half)

2 c. shredded sharp cheddar

fresh ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped green onions

Cut  1 cauliflower into 1/2 inch florets.  Fill saucepan 3/4 full with water, salt lightly and bring to boil.  Add florets and simmer 10-12 min. until tender. Drain well.  Set aside.  Cut second cauliflower into two inch pieces and set aside.  In soup pot, melt butter, add onion and garlic and sauté.

Add stock, reserved raw cauliflower pieces (and chopped, peeled potatoes if you choose), mustard and nutmeg and bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until cauliflower is soft, about 30 min.  Remove from heat.

Working with 2 c. at a time, blend in blender until smooth and light.  I use my immersion blender in the pan.  Once all soup is pureed, stir in milk, bring to simmer.  Add cooked cauliflower florets and cheese.  Stir for 3-5 min. until cheese melts.  Season with your favorite spices and salt and pepper.

Serve topped with extra cheese and garnish with green onions.

Princelightningbolt’s Granola (loosely based on Dahlia Bakery’s granola)

2 c. oats

1 c. steel cut oats

1 c. shredded coconut

1 c. chopped pecans

1 c. chopped almonds (if you have time toast first)

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. sunflower seeds

1/4 c. sesame seeds

3 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. nutmeg

1/4 c. olive oil

1/4 c. canola oil

1/4 c. orange juice

1/2 c. pure maple syrup

1/4 c. honey

2tsp. vanilla

Dried fruit of your choice

Mix all dry ingredients in bowl.  Stir together wet ingredients.  Pour over dry ingredients and stir to coat.  Spread on two, large, greased baking pans.  Bake 300 for 50-60 min. stirring every 10-15 minutes.  Cool in pans on wire cooling rack.  Store in airtight container.  Serve alone, on yogurt, with milk, etc.

A New Nest

11 Mar

We have a potted ficus on our porch where a hummingbird has built a nest and filled it with eggs for the past two springtimes. This is a brave, brave mama bird.  The ficus is right by our front door and our house is a busy, noisy house.  Loud kids, loud friends, loud dogs, loud slamming of the door, yet this mama is remarkably tolerant.  I have no idea why she chose this location because I am certain our neighbors (one without kids, one with only one baby and a few who are retired) are much calmer and quieter than my raucous household.  But for some magical reason, she feels safe enough with our crazy family to raise her babies here.

This year she threw us for a loop and we found her dismantling her nest.  We were concerned as the nest we have lived with for two years was torn to shreds.  Was this a statement about our home?  Were we inhospitable?  Was our porch for some reason uninhabitable or an inappropriate place to raise babies?

Then, Sirskatealot and I started noticing a hummingbird buzz by at the end of the walkway.  After  a week or so, I spied the little gem of a nest in a schefflera plant in our jungle.  This perfect little baby home was reconstructed from the original on the porch but with fun new elements, like a shred of toilet paper hidden amongst our plants from years of being tp’d by girls because of Princelightningbolt’s charms.  There are two perfect, jelly belly sized eggs inside.   This mama hummingbird is the hardest working mama in the world. We are thrilled for our spring surprise.  Watching the mama keeping her eggs warm, watching the slow hatching process and the growth of sweet little birdies is a thrill.  Last year we even snapped some pictures as one left the nest.

Spring means new and great things. I am running (ahem, “lightly jogging”) a few days each week.  This peg leg is feeling ready to move on.  I walked on the beach with an old friend today for over an hour without much pain.   I have a new work out partner at the gym.  Track season for Princelightningbolt has begun.  We have had some rain…and a couple beach days.  Princessenpointe is counting the days until summer.  The time change happened last night.  We are ready for newness, growth, a renewed sense of who we are and what we want to do while we are here.

I’ll keep you posted on our baby birds.  We have one tom cat left in our hood (last man standing against the coyotes).  He’s a formidable opponent, but with the freshness in the air and a mama’s determination, I think I will have pics of new baby birds for you soon.  In the meantime, I hope you have a spring in your step.

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Worms and Coffee

5 Mar

We have drain worms.  Have you heard of these?  Neither had we.  They are microscopic black things that almost look like hair…teeny, tiny.  So, in the corners of grout in the shower, you don’t really notice them until you scrub.  I hate this stuff.  I loved when we had a landlord we could call who would come to the rescue without any financial or emotional stress on our part.  They live in the gross stuff in your pipes like hair and ick, so nasty.  I found them, then researched them online and had poor Sirskatesalot dismantling the master shower drain and scrubbing it with a wire bristled brush at 10:00 p.m. I have bought drain-o like chemicals, too.  We are currently putting a box fan into the shower after showering to dry out the wetness the worms like.  It is working, but what an f-ing waste of time and how NOT fun…plus disgusting.

Like drain worms are not enough, the coffee pot is backed up.  Time for the vinegar decalcification process.  I searched through the drawer in the kitchen where I store all the manuals for kitchen appliances, but no luck.  I tried pushing all the buttons to get to the “clean” cycle on the front of the machine, too.  Frusturated, I searched up by the cookbooks over the stove and found the Mr. Coffee manual.  Score.  Only, after I could not locate the “select” button shown in the manual, I realized, we have a Kitchen Aid coffee maker.  Ugh.  I tossed the manual in the trash, used two hands to manipulate the buttons on the coffee pot and finally got it to the clean cycle.  Relief.

Sirskatesalot was taking out the recycling while I was filling the machine with vinegar.  He can become quite attached to useless stuff (check out our garage).   Have you ever dug through the recycling before taking it out to the big bin?  I have not.  He pulled out the Mr. Coffee manual, stared at it for a minute, then admonished, “What?  Are you sure you want to get rid of this manual for our coffee maker?”  Ha, I was so wise from my experiments.  “Yes.”  Sirskatesalot is having a hard time departing with this bit of recycling, “You really don’t want the manual for the coffee pot?”  I just stared, then, quietly stated, “We have not had a Mr. Coffee machine for about five years.”  He looked at the cover again, speechless, he put it back into the bin and carried the recycling outside.  If you have a Mr. Coffee and need a manual, it is out on the curb in the recycling bin…trash day tomorrow. If you have a manual for the Kitchen Aid  coffee maker from Costco, I’d love to have a gander.

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.

Mountains

19 Feb

We escaped from behind the Orange Curtain this weekend for some fresh mountain air.  Das Boot made this an interesting escapade, but my flabby ass was happy to get off the couch and out into the world.  Our travel squadron includes our family and Mrfireman’s brood (my brother’s family).  The sum total includes three teenagers, four dogs, three quasi-adults (combined, Mrfireman and I probably only equal one adult), one huge truck, one minivan, a ton of food, coolers and cameras, and one Balalaika…Have you heard of this instrument?  It is a Russian stringed instrument our nephew plays…and takes with him on vacation.  Did you catch the part about four dogs?  I don’t even need to extrapolate because you get the idea.

Yosemite is breathtaking any time if year.  In the winter it can be serene, quiet and cold.  This winter it is warm and there is hardly any snow.  While we packed enough chains, snow gear, boots, mittens and long underwear for our squadron and then some, we needed none of it over the four days in the mountains.  Weird, right?

Add to this, Das Boot and Mrfireman’s knee brace.  I guess injury is running in the family because he has a torn meniscus.  What a ridiculous twosome for hiking in one of the most beautiful places in the world.  Luckily, he is a photographer and had some distraction with his gear.  Including leaving his tripod behind twice…in two different spots.  Mrfireman’s sweet wife had to hike back to fetch it because he was in no shape to repeat the hike and no one was going to ask Peg Leg.  Sirskatesalot tried to follow the tripod retrieval hike, but was too late after lacing up his hiking boots and we all ended up missing each other.  Remember, we have four dogs between our families?  Fun stuff.

In the name of moutain people, I wore jeans, a flannel and a beanie yesterday.  I was cozy and comfortable at Yosemite Falls and El Capitan.  Mrfireman took tons of pictures.  Then, while bowling last night with real mountain people, Mrfireman said I was taking the mountain thing too far with my lumberjack look.  Mrfireman’s sweet wife thinks this is the most funny thing she has ever heard and is pointing and laughing at me…not for my terrible bowling skills, but because I look like a lumberjack.  Mrfireman’s wife is not so sweet after all.

Ahem.  Holy cow.  Add Das Boot to the flannel, jeans and beanie…and my crazy, curly hair…and you have Peg Leg Lumberjack.  Needless to say, Peg Leg Lumberjack lost the bowling game, Mrfireman and his sweet wife tied.  Balalaikanephew tried to hurl himself down the bowling lane with his ball, Sirskatesalot slipped with his sick bowling style and fell flat on his back.  The real mountain people at the 10 lane bowling alley thought we were hysterical and I must admit we are a motley crew.  I hope we have this much fun over spring break without Das Boot.

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