Dinner at the Supper Club

Wordless (sort of) Wednesday

Frank’s brother took us out to dinner tonight at their favorite supper club. Somehow it took us five years to finally get around to doing it. Scrumptious. Shrimp cocktail for appetizer, wine, bread, salad, and then, bring on more food!!

I ordered two lobster tails with a potato (something-er-other) on the side, and Frank ordered steak and a lobster tail. I LOVE how the butter came melted in the dish with a candle to keep it warm. I haven’t had dippable butter in way too long.

Enjoying some grasshoppers after the meal, my lovely sister-in-law and myself.

Our oldest son babysat all of the cousins while we enjoyed dinner — three boys and three girls, all under the age of 12. Bless his heart!!

Frank’s dad came along with us, which was nice. That makes two dinners out in the past year for the five of us. We had a fabulous time. Yummy food and slow time spent with people you love. Joy.

Weekend Wrap-up

Weekend Wrap-up

Busy weekend at the Groovy-Mom household. Friday night was a social night, hanging out with friends. Saturday Sal had a soccer game. They won; don’t remember the score. Sal, the self-proclaimed World Class Goalie, played in goal for the first half, and then on the field the second. The team ran over to Franny before the start, at half-time and after the game to rub his head for good luck. It was very cute. (Franny tells me I need to get a new word because I say everything is cute. Cutecutecute!!! — Happy now?)

Carlito had a game to referee at the same time as Sal’s, but my dad took him to it since Frank was working and I can’t be in two places at the same time. Dante had a game later that day, too. They won 8-0. Dante plays on a team with a crew of very talented players that are a lot of fun to watch. Some games are very intense, but the Saturday’s was not (see the score), so the boys had some fun. At one point Dante, a mid-fielder, went for the ball over-zelously (not needing to) and he slid out of bounds, into the spectator section. His friend called from the other side of the field, “Dante, don’t you hurt my mom!!”

Saturday night we ordered pizza and watched the Fifa Qualifier between USA and Honduras. Go USA.

Sunday we went to Dante’s game, another 7-0 win. After the game we hit McDonalds, just me and the boys. I had a $20 limit, so we ordered cheap and split fries. Carlito treated us to brownie melts for dessert with some of his referee earnings. Dante and Franny split a brownie, and Sal and I split one. Carlito took a bite of ours, but didn’t buy one for himself. They were pretty well behaved, save for Dante distracting Carlito so that he could quickly fly in and pull his shorts down. He pantsed Lootie coming in, and he got him at the door before we left. Franny exploded in giggles both times.

We met Frank at home and decided to take advantage of a beautiful day by heading to the park for a while. Dante was reluctant, concerned that he’d miss the Uriah Faber/Mike Brown UFC fight. Boys. Frank assured him we would not. Frank brought his poles along and the boys brought a soccer ball. Can’t leave home without a soccer ball. Things have changed a bit, with Franny’s injury. He was the one who would usually instigate a game or activity, since he was always a bundle of energy. I’m thankful for his recovery, even though it is slow, but sometimes am caught off guard and get a bit choked up.

Sal, making some casts. OK, tecnically Frank did the casting, the boys reeled in.


On our walk over to the park, we encountered some geese. As we approached I heard what sounded like a cat hissing. It took me a bit before I realized the hissing noise was coming from the goose in our path. What the..? I’ve never encountered a hissing goose before. My eyes and brain needed to make a visual connection to believe it. Mouth open, heeee-heeeesss — yup, it’s the crazy goose!! Freaked me out. As I attempted to snap a picture of the hissing goose, a mother and her children hurredly passed by. “Watch out, kids, they are MEAN. They’ll nip you.” Killer geese.

They boys started messing around with the soccer ball and Franny stood off in the distance, leaning on his crutches watching. I thought we could go to the park nearby to keep his mind off of the things he couldn’t do (like soccer). “Franny, wanna go try the swing?” We made the journey over and sat on the bench for a while, resting his leg and waiting our turn. Franny removed his shoes, and watched as a father pushed his daughter on the tire swing. When they left, we hurried over.

I pushed him cautiously at first, fearful that his cast would hit the ground or that the tire itself would fly off with him riding right on it. Crazy, I know. But as much as Franny is still recovering from being hit (crossing roads are cheap therapy right now), I’m recovering from the blow as well. I am an anxious, freakazoid worrier by nature — the broken leg isn’t helping. I checked my visions of disaster and focused on the cheek-cracking grin splayed across his face.

After the festival of swinging, we parked it at a table and watched the big boys spout testosterone. Franny took the camera and tried to get a shot of me “not noticing” him with the camera. I was forced to feign ignorance of the camera in his hands. My… look at that pretty grass… is that a camera?

Yeah, me and my sexy Fitovers. They aren’t the most attractive sunglasses, but they are convenient and they do the job.

Time to make the trek back. Sal cools off at the water fountain.


My menfolk.

(Don’t ask me why Lootie is saluting.)

On the way home, Frank just had to make a couple casts. No, he’s not drunk. Looks are decieving.


We made it home in time to make chicken tacos and watch hours of cage fighting. I need to get another girl in this house.

(What did YOU do this weekend? Leave me a link!!)

The Second Cast Change

Nine weeks ago Franny was hit by a car while crossing the road after getting dropped off from the school bus. He was fine, save for his broken leg, some fractured foot bones and a bad wound on his foot. Today is he had a check-up.

Initially, he had surgery to clean and repair his injury and started with a fixator for 5 weeks (which was removed an replaced with a blue cast about a month ago). Today the cast was to come off for x-rays and then either a walking boot OR another cast. We’ve been discussing cast color for a couple weeks and the color was green. IF he got a cast. He was hoping for a boot. He was very nervous about the cast removal, but also very interested and excited.

The morning started with a hair washing in the bathroom sink. I meant to do it in the kitchen, but he started wetting his hair in the bathroom.

Getting dressed and ready to go.

I packed the pain meds, just in case, and his brother’s PSP for distraction purposes.

We stopped at McDonald’s (per Franny’s request). He got a McGriddle, while I picked up a chicken biscuit (one for me and one for Frank who was meeting us at the clinic). I was so nervous I couldn’t eat, though. After Franny’s cast wedging experience, and his own anxiety over the saw, I was a wreck. I didn’t want him to know that, though.

We were familiar with the man who removed the cast. He made Franny’s first splint and came to the room once when Franny was in the hospital. Today they were set to have their Child Life Specialist come in and talk to Franny before his cast removal, due to my phone call the day before, but by the time they made it in the room, Franny’s cast was off. The cast guy was aware of Franny’s concerns and reassured him that it would take less than 2 minutes to cut and crack it. Franny had worn headphones and played his game.

Franny loves for me to take pictures. He actually asked the doctor if pictures could be taken during surgery (the 2nd time he had surgery).

The saw is lying across the table. He cut down both sides and is using the tool in his hands to split/separate the cast.

You can see a little blood/drainage. Does it ook you out? We’ve seen way worse (like the day of the accident), so it didn’t shock us. When the rods were removed from his leg, they blue cast was put right on, so any blood or drainage was going to be inside the cast. Don’t worry, I won’t show you the inside pictures.

His leg, to us, looked great. Last we had seen it, there were 4 rods, dozens of gooky, pussy stitches, swelling and an ugly blister. Most of the scabs from where the  stitches were was gone, blister was removed in surgery. The holes from the rods were closed. His leg was not really visibly much different from his “good” leg, size-wise. It was a beautiful thing to be able to feel and touch his leg, his foot.

As he sat in the waiting room for x-rays, he wanted me to touch his leg. After the x-rays, while we waited, he just stared at his leg, at my hand moving across his skin, his shin,  foot, his ankle. The things we simply take for granted… I miss the simple act of washing his foot while I did his pin care. It was as if it was a sacred moment for us. Just as it was sitting in the examination room, quietly running my fingers over his scars, his healing bones, his traumatized foot. Priceless.

The news of having to have another cast put on was disappointing. Franny was SO much hoping for a walking boot, and he told the doctor just that. “But Francesco. You can walk with this cast. You’ll get a cast boot so you can. We want you to walk on it now, as much as possible and without crutches. This will help your bone heal and grow.”

This changed his perspective. He went over his color choices again, deciding on orange with some green striping thrown in for good measure.

As the cast technician prepared his leg, Franny asked a million and one questions. What are you doing? When will you put the color on? Do you like doing this? Do you get paid good? You DO?! How much do you get paid to do this? (pause) I might want to do this… cast tech. might be my job. I don’t know, but I know I want to work in a hospital. After an assault of questions that came too fast to answer, the technician smiled and asked him to be patient and just watch. And watch he did.

Watch, and ask more questions.

He’s slowly getting accustomed to putting a bit of weight on his foot. Two crutches, one crutch… standing with no crutches. It will take a bit of time for him to be comfortable with the boot and simply walking. As disappointed as he was with getting a cast, it was a good experience for him go through the process of having a cast being put on. Last time he was in surgery, going to sleep with a fixator and waking up with a cast. This time he got to witness everything from start to finish, and since he’s interested in orthopedics, he’s got a front row seat. I think everyone in our family has been learning and growing through the struggles of the past couple months. It is good to see Franny take something traumatic and make good of it, as much as he is able.

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Cleaning Iron Skillet With Salt

I love using my Iron Skillets. I have a slew of them, including multiple skillets, a pot, griddles… When seasoned right, they are just as good as the pricey non-stick skillets (better, I would argue). The one I used in the pictures below was the first pan I purchased when Frank and I moved into our apartment; it is about 19 years old, seasoned the old-fashioned way. It is by far my favorite pan.

You are not supposed to wash your iron skillets with soap, though, just hot water and towel or stove-heat dry. So for those times where you want to make something messy (like my extra cheesy scrambled eggs), and forget to wash the pan until the next day, you need a little more than water and a scrub. You know what you use?


Yes, salt. Simple table salt seems to work best, although I’ve used my kosher and rock salt, too.

(Click any for larger view)

The offending skillet.

Salt. Look ma – no chemicals!!!

I generally use about a tablespoon or less.

Less than a minute of elbow grease…

A little rinse with some hot water.

Good as new!!