Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Seriously Hot Mama

 Around 3 a.m., I flung off my cover and then felt my own arm out of curiosity. Was it really as wet as I believed it was? Yes, very wet. With my own sweat, exuded while sleeping with a fan pointed at me.

I started taking Tamoxifen in January 2014 as a preventive measure when a nodule in my left breast had a marker that indicated a higher risk of cancer. Since my maternal gran had breast cancer, these two solid risk factors were enough to convince me — so, I began my dirty dance with Tam.

Which promptly blasted me into menopause, at age 51. While I'm sure that menopause is never a cakewalk, I have to believe that being artificially blasted into it is the worst way to go. It has NOT been fun.

And it's not like all this will stop when I go off the Tam on March 1, 2019 (not that I'm counting the days) (but it isn't December 31, 2018, as I'd hoped, because my doc reminded me that I went off it for two months for my knee surgery) (which possibly made me howl a little bit, right in her office, possibly I did that, possibly).

I've been having hot flashes and night sweats since 2014, and if anything they're getting worse or at least more frequent.

Today I consulted Dr. Google, who says, "Oh, yeah, the conventional wisdom of 'three years' turns out to be bogus, it's probably more like 7 to 11 years." Dr. Google adds that it's worse for women who are overweight and stressed. Awesome.

But wait! Dr. Google is not all Debbie Downer; there are some natural remedies, including:
Stay away from caffeine, alcohol, hot beverages, and spicy foods!
Ha. Yeah. You just named my four major food groups!! Thanks, Dr. Google.

I guess I'll live with the sweat.

Lady C

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


These thoughts have been knocking around in my head for a month now; time to get them out of my brain and into my blog!

So, as I mentioned (possibly 20 times), there was a bit of a kerfuffle around my visit to the Pacific Northwest last month (which was, by the way, a perfect vacation, I was SO SO SO HAPPY all the time!!) on the topic of "how to welcome a visiting friend." I accidentally hurt or annoyed some folks, which was not fun on any level, and the whole experience was most unsettling.

I've had some time to reflect, and I also had a great conversation with Mrs. Cynicletary, who is one of the best people to talk over such things with; she takes my problems just seriously enough but also has the distance and perspective to help me see the humor and/or absurdity.

Reflection #1: Each of these things is just like the other

I reached out to two friends in Portland. One informed me immediately that she was not available (which is its own story of weirdness, but that is not for today). The other asked if I wanted to meet the whole Oregon gang. I said, "Hey, maybe just the two of us could have dinner, or just us and your husband and daughter?" For whatever reason she disregarded this idea and invited the whole Oregon gang, which was fine. I don't know exactly how many people we're talking about here, but there are at least six or seven. And here's what happened:

No one else showed up. Not one other person.

I had dinner with just my friend (also Husband), which was exactly what I originally wanted, and it was SO FUN. Why, then, am I having trouble shaking off my feeling of humiliation that no one else wanted to meet me?
  • Mrs. C: Did you want to meet any of these other folks?
  • Me: I wouldn't have minded meeting one of them — but no, these are not people I really care about meeting.
  • Mrs. C: So, a bunch of people you don't care about meeting feel the same way about you. Can you live with that?
  • Me: Well, when you put it that way . . .
Yes. I can live with that. Humiliation, be gone!

Reflection #2: How many is enough?

In March, I reached out to nine women whom I was excited about seeing.

I ultimately saw: two.

But I had lovely evenings with the two that I saw! And four other women got added to the list, plus a man!, and I had lovely times with them as well. Truly wonderful outings, all of them. I love my friends. I was happy, happy.

Still . . . in March I believed that I was popular and well-liked. Two out of nine . . . is not a great popularity percentage.
  • Mrs. C: But you saw lots of people on your whole vacation, right? Your cousin, your old friend, my son and his wife . . . And all those visits were fun?
  • Me: They were beyond fun
  • Mrs. C: So maybe you can't have all the friends. You can just have most of the friends. Can you live with that?

<— These friends, yes! But not these friends. —>
Okay, yes. How nice it might be to be universally beloved and befriended — but I have a lot of love and a lot of friends. I can live with this too.

Reflection #3: Cooking caring

I have just realized that, like my mother before me, I express my caring for people by inviting them to my home and cooking them a meal, usually dinner. I now also realize (yes, now! at age 55!) that this instinct is by no means universal.

Because this is how I roll, the near-total lack of such invitations made me feel like people were not that excited about seeing me.

People may not have been that excited about seeing me, but the zero dinner invitations should not be taken as evidence of this.

I like to cook dinner for people. I like to have my friends come to my home. I also like to explore other people's homes — to see their books, their chosen colors, what they have on their walls — and to meet their families. I was disappointed not to have those opportunities.

But I didn't and don't take it personally. Sometimes a meal is just a meal.

Reflection #4: Give me my freak medal now!!

I've already said that I don't expect other people to meet my own ridiculous standards, but I'll say it again, what the heck:
As I've gotten older, I try hard not to hold other people to my own standards; I believe that I set a very high standard for myself in many areas, and it's ridiculous to expect other people to hit a needlessly high bar.
—from my May 5, 2018, blog post
People had lots of reasons for not inviting me to their homes, and they are completely reasonable reasons that I completely support and understand: tiny homes, limited # of chairs, work commitments, new babies, moving, an upcoming trip to Honduras . . .  All are completely understandable reasons for not wanting to host a horde of folks for dinner. I get it! I do!

And I also have to laugh, because clearly I am an overachieving freak beyond words:
  • My house is on the small side; I have no guest room but nonetheless host multi-night visitors frequently, and I often ask my party guests to bring their own chairs
  • I hosted a small dinner party within two weeks of moving into this house with a 1-year-old, because an adored friend from Minnesota was in town with her elderly mother,
    and . . . well, see Reflection #3
  • I had Li'l Martini on December 21 via C-section, then invited friends to join us for the Christmas dinner Mom and I cooked — you know what day that was
  • I hosted a party the day before I drove by myself to NYC to pick up Mimosa from college, a trip that I was terrified of (remember my crippling NYC phobia?)
I would NEVER say, I did this and so should you! Never never never.

But I did do all this!! Now, where is my medal???? 😇

And Now, I Move On

The trip was perfect, I wouldn't have changed a thing about it, and I'm also happy to be back at home with my darling two- and four-legged children.

I'm now going to take a brisk walk (to my accountant's house, each step fueled by IRS rage), and we're having pasta and a huge vegetable-laden salad for dinner.

You are never too old to learn something or to change your ways.

Well, there's today's learning.

Lady C

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Tiny Update on My Tiny Progress

I set my weight-loss goal, then promptly ate a ton of sushi (sodium!!) and had a huge filling bowl of chili for dinner (though I didn't finish it), and the next day my weight was up by three pounds, sigh. But since then I've been losing 1/2 a pound a day, I just bought a ton of Greek yogurt and fruit (good hot-weather meals), and I'm back in the rhythm of feeling a need for movement and sweat every day. It took a while to get here, but yay! I think I'm really here.

Today's movement and sweat (after I finish vacuuming): yard work! I plan to mow and edge my lawn today.


After church tomorrow, I will tackle the side yard next to Cute Josh's house — the one area of my yard I haven't dealt with yet. It never looks all that attractive, and it reaches jungle status very quickly; I am excited to tame it early, spread some mulch, and give this neglected area a little love.

In other news, I am having anxiety nightmares because there is, once again, way too much on my plate. Besides all the daily interpersonal drama and angst (my poor girl still doesn't have a job and was the victim of another computer scam — GRRR ARGGH I HATE PEOPLE), here's what I'm dealing with:
  • Seven jobs to do for five clients; some are short but some are loooooong; I was at the computer till 1 a.m. last night (technically this morning)
  • I have to create a Sunday school curriculum on the Old Testament, squishing together two other curricula (haven't even started this — I need to bite the bullet and do one lesson to break the ice, because I seriously wig when I think about doing it, but I don't think it will be as bad as I'm dreading)
Found when searching for an image for "my to-do
list is trying to kill me" – how funny is this??
  • I've agreed to teach Adult OWL (UU sex ed) at our church next year, and I have to read that curriculum and think about how to cut 13 lessons down to 3 or 4
  • Despite our weekly chores, my house is getting dirty; we need to scrub some areas and dust, tasks that don't get done regularly
  • Once the organizer sends me the info, I need to put together and format the program for the upcoming Betsy-Tacy Convention
  • The IRS claims I owe $1,400 more for 2016 — I think they're wrong, but I need to look into it
. . . and so on. There's more, but those are the headlines.

Why don't stress, worry, and overwork make me thin??? They just make me drink.

But moving and sweating will help. And then I'll do another couple hours of editing, make dinner for the family, and collapse into a bubble bath. Yay, a plan.

Lady C

Wednesday, June 6, 2018



I had my Wednesday workout with Fit-Bit and then came home and did ab work and stretching, because I haven't been doing those things and I know they're good for me. But then I tried to do a plank (it's been a while) and punked out after 15 seconds.

Of course, the plank was the last thing I did after a long good workout, so maybe it wasn't the best test — I'll try again tomorrow. But I really hoped I was up to a full minute, so it's somewhat discouraging.

But! At the end of my second Whole Life Challenge, I'd lost another four pounds, a full inch from my hips, and three inches from my waist!! Mimosa took some more pictures of me, and the change from last December is vivid. I am very happy and newly motivated.

I've lost about 20 pounds since I first started working with Fit-Bit, and now I'm going to try very hard to lose another 20 pounds before my birthday (August 10). That's a lot, and I may not be able to do it — but I like this goal.

While I was on vacation, of course I ate and drank to excess — but I also set limits. I worked out a lot, I walked everywhere, and I tried hard to include fresh fruit and vegetables and to avoid dessert. It was awesome. The funnest thing was doing my stretching in Mrs. Fog Dog's living room, while she chattered away to me and her dog Feldman looked on with interest. She was impressed at how I made use of her living-room furniture (couch arms work well for quad stretches), and I felt fit and virtuous.

My biggest challenge, always, is my own workaholic tendencies. When I have work on my plate, it is so hard for me to stop and take a break, for any reason! And I love to dive into work first thing — those early morning hours are my most productive. I usually work from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., more or less, and I wish I could get into the mindset of thinking of 3 p.m. as prime workout time. Maybe that will be my sub-goal.

Today is full of un-fun tasks: The Sears guy was here to see why my bathtub water is all rusty (kinda gross, but it won't hurt me), and we now have to flush our hot water heater, which sounds so fun. I have my least favorite kind of editing job, a super-light edit of a math curriculum for kids in Liberia (the super-light part is my least favorite, not math or Liberia). In an hour, Husband and I go sign our income tax forms, and I'm blue because we had to pay so much this year — it's all these non-EDC clients I have now who don't take taxes out. (Yes, I know I could do this myself. I did not. Hence — blue.) (And I also lost my good fight re: Mimosa's tuition. I am a deep azure royal navy midnight BLUE.)

But . . . we're having a yummy dinner tonight that is relatively easy to cook (chicken chili, mini hot dogs and onions, sweet potato fries, cilantro coleslaw, and corn), I'm reading several wonderful library books, I have a $50 Amex gift card that I plan to spend on good hooch (my wine larder, how it echoes with emptiness . . .), and the weather here is perfect for at least another week. 


Looking on the bright side, c'est moi.

Lady C

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Last Call


I've heard from several of you, either here or via e-mail, and I appreciate it.

But the numbers still don't add up, so I'm doing one more request:
If you read my blog (whether semi-regularly or sporadically) and you know me, in real life or online, will you please leave a comment?
I know I have other "regular" readers who probably haven't checked in for a few weeks now: Zanny, Writer Jenny, Mrs. Cynicletary, Good Neighbor Anne, Inspirational Kathy. Other friends have read my blog, at least in the past: Sister Hart, Jess of England, Nurse Wendy; Michele, Oasis of Calm; JoJo, Angel of Light. Some former readers and friends may or may not check in any more: Lady Darcy, CPAMichael, Bride Boy. And there are likely some names I'm forgetting.

But even with these folks and even accounting for rereads, I don't get close to 100. I'd like to know who's out there. I talk about intimate things on this blog. It's one thing if a stranger reads them (I don't know this person, I don't care), but I'd like to have a sense of the people who know me who are reading my words.

Please do this for me. Thank you.

More soon, on much meatier topics, I promise!!

Lady C

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Are You There, Readers? It's Me, Lady C

I have a favor to ask: Will you please leave a comment for me right now? Particularly if you are someone who knows me, either in "real life" or online through Maud-L.

(If you are a total stranger just passing through, don't worry about it — but if you are a total stranger who reads my blog regularly, it would be nice for you to do this for me.)

If you find the Comment feature cumbersome, can you text me or send an e-mail?

Here's why I'm asking: I don't tell many people about my blog, but it is public; anyone could find it or share the URL. My posts get an average of 100 views on a regular basis, and I can only think of 15 regular readers (meaning, people who leave occasional comments or mention my blog to me in an e-mail). I don't think the 100 views = 100 regular readers, but I do think there are probably more than 15.

You know that bloggers like to get comments, right? I hope this isn't news. And I understand there are lots of reasons that people don't comment regularly — which is fine. But today I would like to know who's "out there," and I think this is a reasonable request, particularly of people who know me.

Thank you. I really appreciate this.

More to come, very soon! Reports of my glorious two weeks in the Pacific Northwest! The thrilling conclusion of the Whole Life Challenge, Round 2! Pictures of my yard! OK, that third one may not be exciting to you, but I am very happy.

Looking forward to reading dozens and dozens of comments!!

Lady C

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Moving On, Literally


It is never pleasant to be misunderstood, particularly when the misunderstanding leads to hurt feelings, anger, or pain of any sort. I've been reflecting on the power of words this week — and also, whatever the opposite of "power" is. When I literally write one thing ("We are forever friends") and the recipient hears the exact opposite (". . . which clearly means that I don't want to be friends with you any more"), where do you go from there?

I have lots of thoughts about this week's kerfuffle with the Seattle girls, including its aftermath, but I think I need to do everything I can to get out of that head space right now.

In a few minutes I am leaving on a two-week trip, during which I will see many people I love and whose presence in my life brings me joy. I have many exciting and fun activities planned. I'm going to see a new and beautiful part of the world. Best of all, I'm doing this with my sweet husband, who is an unfailingly cheerful travel companion and will bring me drinks and snacks whenever I ask him to. Friends, after 25 years of marriage, this is pretty great.

I probably won't blog while I'm away — Blogger never accepts any version of what I believe to be my password when I'm at another computer — and I'll do my best to post to Facebook, though my devil new phone thwarts my efforts to send pictures. But I will try.

Next stop, Ashland, Oregon! Au revoir!

Lady C