Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 101: Perseverance, Perspiration, and, um, Prosciutto

Every time I shout the word "Success!" I immediately think of Success Rice, a product I have never made, not once, in my entire life. That is good marketing.

But I have almost completely shed my Thanksgiving Two — only half a pound still clings to me — through several days of light-ish produce-heavy meals and a night of sweaty zumba.

A new session of my very-aerobic zumba class just started, and once again the gym is packed. That's the disadvantage to choosing the hot-hot trendy workout. And the weather is lovely warm here in Arlington, which led to the following equation:

Warm air + Many bodies + Major exertion = Giant sweat cloud

All of us were rushing to our water bottles, way more than usual. Our teacher rolled her eyes at us. (She sweats too, but nothing fazes her.)

Also, I usually do the low-impact version of everything my bouncy weightless teacher does, but last night I upped my game a bit and hopped around like the hardbody girls — and I could do it! Though I was extra-tired after. I've gotten into the habit of calling Lady Darcy on my drive home, a nice 12-minute chat, but last night the effort of pressing three buttons . . . even my fingers were weary.

Today, I have a renewed sense of motivation because yesterday I got a surprising and wonderful invite. My church does an auction every other year, a fun and lively event, and my usual job (playing to my strengths) is running the bar. (My strengths of organization, people!) I assumed I would do the same this year.

But no, they have another job in mind for me.

I'm going to be the auctioneer!

I am wildly excited about this.

I'm also picturing the gown I would like to wear, and it will definitely look better after another lost 20 pounds. I have till the end of March; this is do-able. And I am making it my goal.

Despite all my good-intentions talk, I am completely out of the habit of logging my food, but I really think it makes a difference. So I will return to FatSecret (that scold) today and renew my vows. And I will do something active on my no-zumba days. (My fun dancey-zumba class only has two more sessions, weep! weep! I will find out where else that teacher teaches, because I cannot bear the idea of losing her.)

Oh! About my post title. I did eat small, relatively healthy meals yesterday — but then I finished my day's work around 4 p.m., and the kids were at the library with Husband so I had a nice quiet house to myself, and I thought: Wouldn't a glass of wine be just lovely right now? (Arty Jenny gave me a bottle of Peace Chardonnay that I've been dying to try.) And — wait, don't we have some Manchego cheese left from Thanksgiving? And — wait, isn't there also some prosciutto?

I had a beautiful little plate of the world's most fat- and sodium-laden foods (though I also ate a ripe pear and some low-fat whole-wheat crackers . . . ) — and still lost a pound and a half. That's when I start wondering, How much would I have lost if I'd had vegetable soup and salad for dinner? But we'll never know.

Another long day of work ahead. I am getting very achy in my nice ergonomic work chair; I told Mr. Lady C that I have arthritis of the shoulder or possibly shoulder cancer, and he is very kind about my affliction. But the Whole Foods Market magazine (which I picked up for vegetable recipes!) gave me some great yoga stretches to do while sitting at a desk, and they are really helping.

(There is a plug for Whey Protein Powder on the same page. In other words, this is not a source I would usually consult for life guidance.)

Oh! And my ovary shadow is benign and happy! A good groundhog, in other words. My OB-GYN got back to me, earlier than I'd expected, and said: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I can't tell you how it pleases me to possess an ovary that ain't broke.

I think that is all my news. Time for a FatSecret-approved breakfast of fat-free raspberry Greek yogurt and high-fiber cereal. And lots more coffee. Fortunately, I find all of this very delicious.

Happy Hump Day!

Ew, that is not an attractive word.

—Lady C

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day 100: How Smart Is Lady C?

Soooooo . . . oh, you know.

I'm still chasing what I think of as my "real weight" of 264 — I'm stuck at 266, my "Thanksgiving Two" refusing to flee. Then again, I've been sitting at a desk eating persimmon pudding . . . and last night I drank wine. Hmm, perhaps I should connect the dot.

Here's the two-part quiz question that prompted the title of my post:  
  • How do you pronounce the capital of Kentucky: "Loo-ee-ville" or "Loo-iss-ville"? 
  • Now, how much money would you bet that you know the correct answer: $5, $50, or $500?
I laughed when I read this. I might not have known the answer a few decades ago, but life with my Texan husband has taught me a thing or two. I know full well that it's pronounced "LOO-uh-vull," and you barely touch the second syllable. I will bet $500! And I'd bet more if I could! How about you?

Yeah. I'm very curious if any of the rest of you got it. My smarty husband sure didn't, nor did I.

The capital of Kentucky is Frankfort.

This was in my AARP magazine (I'm a junior member of AARP; my elderly husband is the "real" member), in an article about money management: "While you were congratulating yourself for knowing the s in Louisville is silent, you probably didn't stop to wonder if that was all you needed to answer the question — a display of the human tendency toward overconfidence."

Overconfident? Moi? Hee.

Anyway! I love a little mental floss before starting my day. I will now turn my attention to criminal justice, this week's editing topic.

Or maybe I'll first tackle some of the piles that newly emerged in my bedroom, then sit down to work.

Or maybe I'll go soak the slightly aging wasabi arugula, so it's fresh and clean and crisp for my lunchy.

Or . . .

Perhaps I need more mental floss.

Zumba tonight! I shall eat lightly and sweat hard. Those Thanksgiving Two are coming off!!!!

Yours in steely determination,
Lady C

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 99: Just Another Manic Monday

I got up and had coffee.
  • Noteworthy event: The power went out last night; Husband was up first and randomly set clocks so they'd stop blinking, not paying any attention to the time. It was like living in a Dali painting for a while.
I went to couples therapy with the husband.
  • Noteworthy event: I've been (sweetly) harping on him to call the ADHD expert someone told us about; my husband said, "I'm just not sure what he'll tell me," and I said, "If only there were some way we could find out." Even our therapist laughed.
I sat in front of my computer and worked pretty much all day.
  • Noteworthy event: For lunch, I emptied each foil-wrapped packet of chicken (left over from Thanksgiving) onto some leftover white rice, sprinkled a little sesame oil on top and microwaved it. YUMMY! And I had a bowl of only-slightly-aging cherries. A perfectly fine lunch.  
  • Noteworthy event II: I requested Sophie Kinsella's latest book at the library, and should have it in 17.3 years! Looove Sophie Kinsella. Way more than Madeline Wickham (who is also Sophie Kinsella), that's for sure.
I made a delightful supper.
  • Noteworthy event: Hmm, I just realized I ate chicken twice today. Bawwk! Bawwwk! (Those are my I'm-turning-into-a-chicken noises.) I concocted a homemade chicken pot pie with a biscuit crust, and it was heavenly. With it, I served red-hot applesauce and green salad with lemon-tahini dressing, and we ate warmed persimmon pudding with hard sauce for dessert. Truly Scrumptious!
I finished my job at 8:40.
  • Noteworthy event: Um, I worked almost seven hours today and made a nice chunk of change? That's all I got. I dislike working at night, but what can you do.
I just finished my blog entry for today.
  • Noteworthy event: Firefox only crashed once! So far.
And now, I bid adieu — to yieu and yieu and yieu. So long! Farewell!

Lady C

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 98 (Week 14): This Is Everyone's Fault But Mine


So, about what I expected:
  • Today's scale reading: 266
FatSecret was a tad reproving:

         You gained 2.0 lb (0.8 %) since you last weighed in on Sunday 20 Nov 11.
         Based on your current goal weight, you are seeking to lose 117.0 lb.

OK, the italics are mine. But that's how I read it.

Back to business! I'm determined to be well into the 50s by Christmas, and I think I can do it. (Even with this gain, I'm still losing a pound and a half per week, which has me at 259 by Christmas morning, tra la!)

I'm leaving for church in half an hour, where I'm doing a presentation on Advent with Li'l Martini (my own December baby boy — Mary, I'm with you, sistah!), and then we're off to see the Muppets at Chunky's in New Hampshire! Chunky's is not known for its low-cal fare, but I'll figure something out.

Happy Advent Sunday!

—Lady C

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Day 97: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like . . . Wait, It's Still November

Chore Day! The house is fairly clean, and I am exhausted. In addition to the usual laundry, vacuuming, mopping, bathroom-cleaning, stair-sweeping, etc., I had decreed that we clean out the utility room this weekend, the all purpose yuck-area where we store things, wash and dry laundry, let the cats do their stinky business, and pile up junk for our two giant November rummage sales. The junk-pile corner in particular was in need of serious attention. So today we put down unused bookshelves to make a nice solid floor (you don't even want to know what was there before), and used paint cans and more shelving to fashion a new faux bookcase, perfect for storing rummage-sale items. It looks lovely.

I also needed to dig out some financial paperwork for the home equity line of credit we've applied for, which necessitated going into our crawl space — and I don't know what's going on with the air in there, but from the minute I went in, I was overcome by The Vapors. I've felt lightheaded and unwell all day.

But I don't have time to take to the fainting couch, so I soldiered on . . . and even though dusk had settled firmly upon us, I decided to take a walk outdoors to clear my poisoned lungs.

And this turned out to be a good thing. The weather was perfect today, crisp and cool and sunny, and the sunset was glorious. And lots of people have put up their Christmas lights already, which startled me (our lights are always the last decoration to emerge . . . mostly because they're my husband's responsibility) but was also very pretty. One house had something new: bright white lights that looked like snow, interspersed with large red bows. Most striking.

Anyway, going up a hill was definitely a challenge, with my new penchant for swooning and all, but I'm home now, safe and sound, and feel much better. I wonder what sort of foul gas we're harboring in that crawl space?

Slowly, we're pecking away at our Thanksgiving leftovers, but I plan to have mostly green salad for dinner tonight. I'm chill about tomorrow's weigh-in (this morning I'd lost four of the six pounds I'd gained) but it would be nice to have a good result, for sure.

Off to switch loads of laundry and make a big salad. Early bedtime tonight, I hope; I'm already yawning.


—Lady Chardonnay

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 96: Friday's Child Is Paying the Piper

Yowza! One day of excess, and my weight went up by six pounds!!!

So today, of course, was all about hair shirts and self-flagellation and Spartan living . . . or that was my vow, anyway. But first, Black Friday beckoned, and Li'l Martini needs not only snow pants but also new sneakers and dress slacks and a belt, plus, he says, he'd really like a couple more pairs of jeans, and Mimosa needs socks and flannel sheets, and we had a Kohl's coupon — and off we went!

. . . where I then proceeded to stand in line for an entire hour. And after that experience — sister, a hair shirt and a lunch of celery and water ain't gonna cut it.

We lunched at Macaroni Grill, and my vow of weekend abstinence lasted exactly 13 hours, as I enjoyed two glasses of my signature drink. But we had so much fun. Even the long line at Kohl's was fun, because we'd prepared for it (though instead of reading Entertainment Weekly, I flirted with the toddler in front of me and folded a display of sweaters, which the piggish shoppers had unfolded and then flung back into place. The elegant Indian lady behind me said, "You have shamed me" and helped me fold. Listen, I'm no Mother Teresa, I simply hate mess, and I think an attractive display is more likely to sell sweaters, thus prodding the economy. Anyway, it was very satisfying).

But then I came home and returned to my life of glamorous weight loss. I just pounded out two sweaty miles on my treadmill, lifted weights, worked my core, and did my Mayo Clinic-approved stretches. I also decided that Li'l Martini is my best partner in core work; Mr. Lady C can't keep track of the count, Mimosa is scary and mean and barks orders at me, but Li'l Martini is awesomely supportive: "You can do it, Mom! Only two more!" I may have to put him on retainer.

OK! Here's the Thanksgiving report, from worst to first.


Corn Cakes with Manchego Cheese: I think the recipe must have had a typo, or seven. These barely held together as cakes and had no flavor whatsoever beyond brown rice (which isn't even a title character!). Bad bad bad.


Smoked Trout Brandade: A little tasteless. The yummy smoked fish was overwhelmed by mashed potato. I'd rather just smoosh the fish, maybe with a little cream cheese and fresh parsley, and spread that on a cracker.

Asparagus Roll-Ups: Bland. There are more interesting things to do with ham, Swiss cheese, and asparagus, I think.

Sausage Rolls: Again, bland. Also, one of my cookie sheets always burns things on the bottom, and I can never remember which one, so these were burned on the bottom. But despite that (and it was easy enough to cut off the burned part), these were surprisingly tasteless for something involving sausage.

Linguine Prosciutto Frittatas: This was a repeat recipe and they're usually much better than they were last night; alas, I accidentally overcooked them. Oh, well! A learning.

Double Vanilla Sour Cream Cake: Given that it contains sour cream, heavy cream, a million eggs, and a peck of sugar, this was astonishingly bland and on the dry side. Certainly not bad, but nowhere near as good as it should have been.

Persimmon Pudding: I made this without walnuts so that my nut-shy family would be more likely to eat it, but you know what? This was MY special nostalgic dessert, and I prefer nuts — by a mile. It's just not as good without nuts. Another learning.


Layered Peppermint JELL-O: Never disappoints.

Quilted Pigs: Hot dogs wrapped in crescent roll dough. What's not to love?

Foil-Wrapped Chicken: A long-time favorite. Flavorful, tender, and fun to unwrap!

Lamb Meatballs: Though I'm not a meatball person, if I were, I think I would have loved these. Husband adored them. And the yogurt-mint dipping sauce was very nice.

Artichoke Dip: I like every artichoke dip I've ever had, but this one is the best — incredibly flavorful and full of interesting textures. Divine.

Beets with Horseradish Dressing: OH. EM. GEE. My new favorite recipe in the entire world. These were heavenly.

Chocolate Mousse: Dark and velvety and madly good.

Key Lime Pie: Perfection. I make a perfectly good one, but The Pie Guy's version is sweet 'n' sour crack on a graham cracker crust.

And there you have it. This is about par for the course — some winners, some losers, and enough options that everyone had a satisfying and tasty meal. And I'd always rather try something new and take a chance then only fix stuff I've made before.

I did think, for the first time, that it was a lot of work this year. Next year I'll try to remember this and hold us to, maybe, ten recipes, instead of fifteen. We'll see.

Oh! And the cocktails were both sensational. What an exciting boon to my drink repertoire!

Tomorrow is Chore Day, and I plan to work out and sweat hard again. Nonetheless, I don't think I'll be Calloo-ing and Callay-ing on this week's Weigh-In Day. But you know what? I can live with that. Thanksgiving comes once a year.

I've talked to Lady Darcy twice this week, and my mom 93 times, and while I'm still missing the West Coast folk, I am also reveling in the joy to be found here at home with the three people I love most in the world. My mental state is much improved, in other words. (But I am very grateful to my besty, who called me right away when she read me crying over Neil Diamond.)

And now I'm going to sink into some hot bubbles and pick up A Born Maniac where I left off — Puddles is about to have dinner with Norm Noyes at his house, eek!

Happy Black Friday, dear readers. I'm especially thankful for you.

Lady C

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 95: Thanks Giving

We are having a simply marvelous Thanksgiving Day. My morning began at my friend BZ's house, where 10 of us practiced Lectio Divina. (We do it every Thursday morning, and we all love it so much, BZ offered to host us on Thanksgiving. Our minister, who is in Maine today, admitted to deep envy that she couldn't join us.) Then I cuddled up with Mimosa to watch the parade, which we adore, while my darling hubby made our traditional T-day breakfast: link sausage, caramel strata, and cheese grits. Scrumptious.

Then the day of extravagant cooking (and drinking) commenced! Arty Jenny stopped by for a drink and tried both of this year's special cocktails, plus a glass of wine. We were happy giddy girls.

I'm hoping that Good Neighbor Anne and her daughter will come over; I'll call them in a minute or two. But if it's just the four of us, that is perfectly okay — we are having a blast.

Here are the cocktails, appetizers, and desserts we fixed this year — tomorrow, I'll report on how everything tasted:

Pomegranate Cosmos
Bourbon Bogs
"Here's Looking At You, Kid" Sparkling Mocktails
Wine, Juice, Soda, Seltzer

Quilted Pigs
Smoked Trout "Brandade"
Corn Cakes with Manchego Cheese
Major Strasser's Ground Lamb Kebabs
with Yogurt-Mint Dipping Sauce
Beets with Creamy Horseradish Dressing
Foil-Wrapped Chicken
Asparagus Roll-Ups
Sausage Rolls with Worcestershire Sauce
Linguine and Prosciutto Frittatas
Margaret Chuba's Hot Artichoke Dip
Pita Chips, Crackers, Baguette

Layered Peppermint Jell-O

Howard's Persimmon Pudding with Hard Sauce
Double Vanilla Sour Cream Bundt Cake
The Pie Guy's Key Lime Pie
Chocolate Mousse
Coffee, Tea, Cocoa 

Happy Thanksgiving!

love and kisses,
Lady C

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 94: The Genius of Neil Diamond

LA's fine, the sun shines most the time
The feeling is laid back
Palm trees grow and the rents are low
But you know I keep thinking about
Making my way back

Well, I'm New York City born and raised

But nowadays, I'm lost between two shores
LA's fine, but it ain't home
New York's home but it ain't mine no more

OK, we need to stop the song there, because in a few more lines he utters the words "not even the chair," which — sorry, Neil — you sound like an idiot. But before that point, it's all good.

This song has special poignancy for me, the California girl living in New England, and particularly now, as we commence to celebrate A Big Family Holiday. My family is there. I am here. What was I thinking??

I love Northern California. I love the fog that rolls in on summer mornings. I love the wide open spaces, the orchards, the fields of lavender. I love the quality of the light, filtered through younger, more spread out trees. I love swimming pools and sitting on the patio. I love that people smile at you whether they know you or not. I love the towns and streets with Spanish names. I love driving through the wine country, walking on the beaches of Mendocino, eating fantastic Mexican food or pizza "with everything." When I fly to California and the Sacramento Airport is in sight, a feeling of peace and joy sweeps over me . . . because I'm home.

And I love Massachusetts. I love the surprisingly soft warmth of the first snowfall. I love the compactness, the leafy ceilings created by centuries-old trees. I love the architecture of old houses. I love the constant reminders of our nation's history. I love the deep red leaves of a maple in autumn. I love apple-picking and cranberry bogs and cider doughnuts. I love being surrounded by educated liberals. I love what a small state we are and how close everything is. I love the streets and towns with Indian names. I love how happy everyone is when the Red Sox are playing well. I love saying "I live in New England."  

Am I lost between two shores? Or am I lucky, because two different parts of the world are both so dear to me? I try to believe the latter . . . but this time of year in particular, I'm homesick. I really miss my parents, not to mention my darling friends on the West Coast.

I guess what I really wish is that they'd all move here. Then life would be perfect. And we could fly to Mendocino every year, walk on the beach and eat Mexican food. Tra-la!

This is a flaw-free plan. On this Thanksgiving Eve, I am thankful to have it all worked out.


Off to shower and then start cooking. The pre-feasting commences! (All diet rules are suspended for the next four days, but I will take a lot of walks — which will also aid my digestion, so, win-win.)

In a wistful yet celebrate-y mood,

Lady Chardonnay, California girl and Boston babe


I'm slicing onions for tomorrow's marvelous artichoke dip, standing in my kitchen at 11:42 a.m.. slicing onions and crying. I am really, really homesick. My best friend lost her mom this year, one of my other bestys lost her dad a few years ago, my husband has lost both parents — and here I am with two wonderful, still-living parents, and how come I'm not spending Thanksgiving with them?? What kind of bad, cruel, stupid daughter am I???  I think this may be the source of the anxiety and stress I've been carrying around for the past week.

Also, my dad was just dealt a blow: Because of his deteriorating vision (due to glaucoma), he can no longer drive out of town. And when I heard this, I was completely focused on: Crap, who's going to drive Mom to the Sacramento Airport now? But as it's sinking in, the reality is hitting me hard: They are aging. There is no good news ahead. This is how the end starts.

I am totally bawling.

And I'm also wallowing in Ultimate Manilow. He is music! He does write the songs! Hush, you, I love him.

Um, and perhaps I should mention that I'm drinking wine. And have been since before 11. It's just that kind of day.

Wallow wallow, weep weep.

I have no urge to eat, though, I'll tell you that. I'm sure I'm losing weight, right this very minute.

So, that's something.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Day 93: I Used to Be Melissa . . .

Part of my blogging problem, I've realized, is that I tend to do it at night, when I'm tired, disappointed (by what I didn't get done), and overcome with dread (by what looms before me in the morrow). OK, that's a tad dramatic — (wait, moi?) — but you get the general idea. So today I'm blogging at 2:26, during a nice work break (I really need to get out of my chair, so I stood for a while and read TV Guide — yeah, I know how to replenish and rejuvenate, believe you me) and when I'm still in a peppy, upbeat daytime mood.

I've been shopping for Thanksgiving over the past three days, and today I just about completed my quest, filling a cart at Stop & Shop. (We still need asparagus and a baguette, but that gives the mister something to do — something besides take on a new disease, that is. No, I am not bitter, shut up.) And as I was unloading things into my trunk, apparently I was also humming "We Gather Together" without realizing it, which led to a very nice conversation with the elderly woman packing her trunk next to me, which put a smile on both our faces. Well, I was probably smiling already, smiling and humming, but you take my point.

And as I drove away, I reflected on the fact that "We Gather Together" was in my head because we sang it at church last Sunday — but I certainly didn't grow up singing it in church, or anywhere else for that matter. I heard this song for the first time in 1987, when Nancy sang it on thirtysomething. I thought it was beautiful and have sung it ever since.

So then, in my reverie, I reflected on thirtysomething. I was working with Ken Olin's sister at the time it first aired, so we all sort of had to watch it, but I did like that show. I totally identified with Melissa: redheaded, arty, always falling for the wrong men.

Then it went off the air — poof! — and I moved on.

But along came Bravo, who reran the entire series, which I videotaped and watched again from my new vantage point as a wife and mother. And to my horror, I realized I was no longer Melissa.

I'd become Hope.

Know-it-all, self-righteous, opinionated, scrunchy-wearing Hope.


It's interesting, though, how the characters we identify with change over the years — or don't. I'm still Annabel in Class Reunion, Dianne Wiest in Hannah and Her Sisters — but in the Betsy-Tacy series, I think I've become Mrs. Ray. In the Snowy series, I was always a combo of the three main characters, but more and more I'm turning into Bev.

Anyway! It's just something I like to think about.

And now I should return my attention to criminal justice, my latest editing job. What is crime? What is justice? Stay tuned.

—Lady Melissa Hope Chardonnay

p.s. Zumba tonight! I can't wait. I have such a knot between my shoulder blades — I think I'm sitting in my chair wrong, but I can't figure out how to sit differently.

p.p.s. I can't believe that none of the online personality quiz sites have done a "Which thirtysomething character are you?" quiz. Seems like a no-brainer. If you find one, let me know.

p.p.p.s. Hope was my least-liked female character, closely followed by Nancy. The character I like best is Ellyn. Alas, no personality overlap that I can see.

p.p.p.p.s. Want to know what Ken Olin's sister was like? You have only to ask — but that's for a private e-mail. Trust me on this one.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Day 92: Ready for a Time-Out

I have all this free-floating anxiety and tension, even though everything's basically fine. But I am tired of the hamster-wheel pace of the last few weeks and feeling really ready for a break. (Which, I guess, will be Thanksgiving!) My quick-reading-for-fun pile (catalogues, magazines, newspapers) is about to topple over, and I just got A Born Maniac, book 4 in The Snowy Series, and all I want to do is hunker down and read. But I'm not there yet.

On my list:
  • Oodles of work to finish
  • Roofers to choose between
  • Other contractors to line up (our front steps are disintegrating, our kitchen ceiling is collapsing)
  • Financing to arrange
  • 221 e-mails in my Inbox to deal with (and while I often exaggerate for effect, this is the actual number)
  • Cheerleader project to complete (a labor of love, but still, it takes time)
  • Next PTO meeting to plan
  • Presentation on Advent to prepare
  • Feast to shop for
  • Query letters for Novel 1 to write and send
  • Novel 2 to birth
Plus the usual responsibilities associated with kids, cats, house, yard. And the husband hasn't been 100 percent for three weeks now (he's still coughing, and yesterday became afflicted with gout), so I'm rather alone in the above ventures.

Ah, well. Tonight, I'm tired and feeling discouraged. But tomorrow (say it with me now!) is another day.

Hasta la vista, baby! I'm off to drown my sorrows in the tub. Thank God for hydrotherapy.

—Lady C, growing gills in New England

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Day 91: O Frabjous Day! Callooh! Callay!

Busy-busy girl, no time for a long post, but had to share my Joy Report:
  • Today's scale reading: 264
!!!!!! I am a happy kitten. Twenty-three pounds have bit the dust! And a snuggish T-shirt from yesteryear was quite loose on me today.

(I wonder if my metabolism has really perked up? I'm delighted at these results, but I must admit to being a tad surprised — I'm not dieting that stringently. Still — very happy!!)

Gotta run, it's time for The Good Wife. Yes, TV takes precedence over blogging. Quit judging me.

Lady C

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 90: A Tired Tuckered Tootsie

My day started with a migraine, and the ensuing barfing consumed most of my early morning, though I alternated bathroom bouts with frosting two dozen Red Velvet cupcakes for our church fair. I don't mean to sound like a martyr; it is what it is. I then worked two shifts at the fair and helped clean up, then my sister-friend Em came over with her sons, and we put our feet up and drank (though I was so dehydrated from the morning, I guzzled seltzer instead of the sangria I'd planned to serve).

The beauty of a sister-friend is that you don't have to be hostessy; you can collapse into a chair and ask her to serve herself. Actually, I didn't even have to ask her; she took one look at me and went straight to the kitchen to get the bottle opener.

We ordered pizza for dinner, and I could barely eat two slices. I am exhausted.

(This is mostly due to my migraine medication, I think, which always knocks me out — and one pill didn't do it today, I had to take two.)

Forecast: Hot bath, then early bed.

The good news is that we finally chose our Thanksgiving menu — I've never left it till this late before! But we've just been so busy.


—(What's Left of) Lady C

p.s. Weigh-In Day tomorrow!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 89: Disease, Denial, and Dr. Oz

I watched a few minutes of Good Morning, America as I got dressed this morning and saw the most amazing story. A man who used to weigh 400+ pounds was brought to the hospital (did he pass out? I don't remember that part), with everything you'd expect wrong with him: skyrocketing blood pressure, scary-high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes. And when he came to (or whatever), his doctor looked him in the eye and said, very bluntly, "What do you want your obituary to say?"

And this was the wake-up call the guy needed. He has two young daughters and a nice wife, and he didn't want to die — not yet, anyway, and not of something this preventable.

So — he took his dog for a walk.

The first time, he could only walk a block. But then he could walk two blocks . . . and then he could walk a mile. Soon, he came to love walking. And those were the words of advice he shared with GMA's Robin Roberts: Find something you love, and then do it.

When we finally met the guy, he was standing behind the enormous pants he used to wear, though now he looks to be at a healthy weight (and is quite the good-looking fellow).

Find something you love, and then do it. I liked that. And when I reported this story to Mr. Lady C, he smiled at me and said, "Zumba!"

Zumba! I love zumba! I would do it every night if I could — so maybe the time has come to add another class. Though given how often I have to miss the two I'm already taking, I don't know how that would work out. But my sexy-dancey Thursday night teacher also teaches on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings in a nearby town, and I can take those classes on a drop-in basis — maybe I'll check one out at the next opportunity.

I always said that if I had a serious health issue like diabetes, I would take my weight more seriously, but who really knows. I can't believe I've dodged that particular bullet as long as I have, given my age, my weight, and my diabetic mother.

Did I tell you about the time I visited Your Disease Dr. Mehmet Oz recommended it (yes, to me personally), and I couldn't wait to check it out — but I was too scared to start with the thing I actively fear (i.e., diabetes), so I started with something that I never actually worry about: ovarian cancer. First, the site asked all the questions you'd expect — age, weight, health habits, etc. Other than my enormous weight, I felt pretty good about the rest of my answers: no smoking, lots of whole grains and fresh produce, little red meat. Then it asked if I'd had a hysterectomy (no) and if I still menstruated (yes). With great confidence, I clicked on "Calculate my results."

The results came back instantly: "MUCH HIGHER THAN AVERAGE RISK OF OVARIAN CANCER."


But then I read bit further: My two biggest risk factors were (1) that I still had ovaries, and (2) that they were working.

Okay. Sure — I'm at greater risk of ovarian cancer than someone who doesn't even have an ovary. I think I can live with that.

But since I was now doomed to die of ovarian cancer, I didn't hesitate to take the diabetes quiz. Diabetic mother, check! Diabetic grandfather, check! Fat, fair, and forty, check! "Calculate my results," I demanded, wondering which dread disease would get me first.

Again, the results came back in a bunny's heartbeat: "LOWER THAN AVERAGE RISK OF DIABETES."


The disease I've been bracing myself for, pretty much my whole adult life — my risk is lower than average? Did you see that coming?

So I decided to go for broke at that point and test for the thing that most women die of anyway: heart disease. Overweight, check! Mostly sedentary (as I was then), check! Calculate my results, please!


At this, I burst out laughing and probably ate a second doughnut to celebrate.

When I reported the whole thing to my beloved nurse practitioner a few months later, she frowned at me and said, "I don't agree with that at all." "Take it up with Dr. Oz," I said, feeling smug.

But now, many months later, waiting for news of the shadow on my ovary, I'm not laughing quite as much, even though I'm still pretty chill about the whole thing. I contacted my doc today to urge him to hurry it up a little and thus learned that he's on vacation, but his colleague reviewed my glammy internal organ pictures and e-mailed me, "The cyst looks stable." So, I guess I have an ovarian cyst? Did I know that before? And I assume "stable" means that it hasn't changed in size, which I expect is good news. But what I know about my ovaries is not a lot. In any event, my doc will be back in the office next Friday, and I'll hear more then. He's a peach and will tell me everything I want to know about my ovary. (I think it's Lefty that has the shadow-cyst.)

"Cyst" is not a pretty word. I greatly prefer "shadow," which is mysterious and arty.

My hope is to walk on my treadmill tonight (something else I haven't been doing), but we'll see. These short days and long nights are not a good motivator; all I want to do is hunker down under a quilt, drink hot Candy Cane tea, and watch The Good Wife. (Wow, does that sound good!)

Spirit = willing, flesh = weak. Place your bets now!

Happy Friday.

—Lady C

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Day 88: Out of Practice

Today I had lunch with my former co-PTO president, and it was so much fun to see her and catch up. We have different friends at school, which made us ideal co-workers, in my opinion; I'd almost always rather work with a compatible acquaintance than a close friend. Anyway, we met at the local Mexican restaurant, as was our custom back in the day, and had a margarita, as was also our custom.

The thing is, I haven't been drinking so much alcohol these days.

And I haven't been drinking during the day really at all.

And the margarita tasted sooooo good.

So I had a second margarita.

And then I had . . . well, we don't need to go there. Suffice it to say, I had plenty o' margarita.

And now I have plenty o' headache. I do not feel good. At. All.

I made myself go to zumba and shimmied my little heart out, but I am not a happy girl. Time to sink into my bubbles with a handful of Motrin, and ruminate on my many, many mistakes.

Oh! And I can't remember the last time I logged a single bite I ate on Fat Secret . . . and I definitely think I'm eating more crap than I was. (Just — less of it than before. But that is not my goal.) Time to climb back on the wagon, I think.


—a sadder but wiser Lady C

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 87: No Shadow News

And I have in fact haunted the My Health inbox all day long.

Nothing. Not a word from my doctor.

Not that I'm obsessed.

Today I worked and puttered and got all sorts of small things done, which is good, I guess, but many small accomplishments never feel quite as satisfying as one major accomplishment. I wonder why that is.

Health- and diet-wise, things are going very well, but for some reason I feel cross and irritated tonight — though when I try to probe the origins of my mood, here's what I come up with:
  • Survivor had an unsatisfying outcome.  
  • People's Sexiest Man Alive (Bradley Cooper) is someone I find revolting. 
  • My daughter's school picture, which came today, isn't quite as pretty as she is. 
That's it. That's all I got.
I think I just need to go to bed!

Sweet dreams, y'all.

—Lady C, who firmly believes that holding on to irritation will result in weight gain and who resolves to do some Zen breathing before sleepytime

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 86: Trials and Treats

I dislike phoning people in general, and when the phone call in question has to do with financial matters, I grow very anxious. So here I am with a longish list of phone calls to make, all having to do with the financial arrangements for our upcoming needed home repairs (new roof, new front steps and railings, and new kitchen ceiling), and I was practically inventing emergency chores that I had to do right this minute to get out of making these calls.

Which is ridiculous. I'm a grown woman! (Hear me roar!) I've paid my own way for decades! I have confidence in confidence alone!

So I started wheeling and dealing with myself: If I just make the phone calls, I can have a glass of wine and sit in my big easy chair and dip into my reading pile of magazines and catalogues and such.

But then my daughter called (she calls me on her cell phone as she's walking home from school, it is the dearest habit; I love hearing all about her day), and while we were talking I casually Googled images related to "money anxiety" — and came upon this one. And loved it. This is just how I want to be: chill and serene and sailing above it all.

And then I made the calls and they were ridiculously easy. I am a git.

Maybe instead of wine, I'll save the calories and have some of my wonderful Candy Cane tea. It will still feel like a treat, believe me — I almost never get to read for pleasure during the day.

I meant to take a quick walk today, it looked lovely outside, but I got caught up in work and laundry and other chores. (I did the mister a disservice; he doesn't merely have Exhaustion, he also has something gross and gastrointestinal. Poor baby, he's really suffering.)

(Because of his terrible health habits.) Wait, who said that?   

In any event, I washed our sheets and pillowcases in boiling water, and I've scrubbed my hands 96 times already today, I am so desperate not to have whatever he's giving.

Zumba tonight! And good TV. And a hot bath and more reading for pleasure. And I've completed the loan application for our bank, and downloaded an application to join a credit union, and have tons of info about ATM networks and fixed rates and the replacement value of our home.

I am chill and serene and sailing above it all.


—Lady C

Monday, November 14, 2011

Day 85: And How Was YOUR Day, Dear?

Draw a voluptuous body around this diagram, add some red hair, and make it lippy, and you'll have the picture of how I spent my morning.

Well, wait, that's not accurate — that's how I spent only a portion of it. I spent the bulk of the morning drinking a blender full of ice water, waiting for it to fill my bladder, then trying not to pee. For two freaking hours. Talk about Chinese water torture! That is a slow drip, man.

So, remember when I was playing hide and seek with my IUD? And in the course of looking for it, they found a shadow on my ovary? And said that it was probably nothing but I should come back and repeat the internal violation in two months? Hey, want to guess how long ago that was?

Yeah. It's been two months. But I peeked at the ultrasound screen (I recognized nothing) and saw that my Official Recorded Weight was 283, and today I weighed in at 266, so that made me very happy.

But that was the only thing that made me happy. The outer ultrasound was actively painful, as Radiology Chick seemed determined to rip open my C-section scar (she hates the fertile) and it was all I could do not to pee on her nice white sheet — because, frankly, that would've been grosser for me than for her.

And then, the internal ultrasound, ohmygoodness, Wandy, could we maybe have a cup of coffee and get to know each other a bit first? YOWZA.

I don't remember it being quite that . . . intimate last time.

Even though the Radiology Chick has a poker face of stone and will reveal nothing, I decided that in my personal Groundhog Day my ovary can no longer see its shadow, and I will celebrate! So I had lunch at Mr. Sushi (yes, I respect my sushi) and drank wine and ate a tiny pretty meal and was happy. And then I ate a tiny pretty dinner and was happy some more, though I worked all day and didn't exercise. Oh, well, tomorrow night is zumba, my high-impact super-aeorbic zumba, and I will sweat out an entire California roll, I have no doubt.

It's my womanly time and who knows what's happening with my ladyparts, and Mr. Lady C has taken to his bed with Exhaustion (I try to be sympathetic, but, seriously: If you were 57 and overweight and on medication for high blood pressure and high cholesterol and then you stayed up past midnight every night for a week and kept yourself going by drinking Diet Dr. Pepper — would Exhaustion take you by surprise, or would you be thanking whatever gods may be that you didn't freaking have a stroke?) (um, this is hypothetical) and I still have tons of work and other stuff to do, but I am surprisingly merry!

It must be the soy.


—Lady C

p.s. Shadow report in two days. I'm feeling chill about it all — it will be what it will be. But I will still haunt the My Health message box,  no doubt.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 84 (Week 12): Shock and Awe

  • Today's scale reading: 266.5
Yowza! I am never going out on a Saturday night again. The night before Official Weigh-In, I will stay home, eat lightly, and go to bed early. This is FUN!

On today's docket:
  • Church
  • Leaf-raking
  • Cheerleader proofing
  • Making food to bring to party tonight
Another white-hot glamour day, in other words.

My husband's high school buddy is in town, and a bunch of folks who used to listen to classical music together are having a buffet dinner (and then listening to music). I'm just staying for the dinner part; we have to get Mimosa to UU sex class and don't like to leave Lil' Martini home alone at night for quite that long, but it'll be fine — classical music is way more my husband's thing. I'm bringing macaroni and four cheeses and an elegant salad with dried cranberries and sweet-&-spicy pecans.

Gotta maintain that 266, y'know!


We'll see how aerobic the leaf-raking is; maybe I'll take a walk, too. And next week I get to attend both my zumba classes! I love when that happens.

Off to drink coffee and party down. I am totally lighting a candle in church today to celebrate my weight loss!!

—Lady C Is for Celebrate!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 83: Quiet Day, Quick Post

I got up early today to bake cupcakes for the bake sale portion of the school rummage sale; for some reason, I thought that cupcakes would be unusual, but mine were about the fourteenth set, as far as I could tell. And the others were mostly chocolate, which I'm sure will be more popular with the kids than mine, which are apple-cinnamon with cream cheese frosting. But maybe their mamas will like them.

Saturday is Chore Day at our house, and I'm still getting basement crap ready for Rummage Sale #2, and I did three loads of laundry and got rid of various paper piles and paid lots of bills and started gathering financial info to apply for a home equity loan (lots of big house repairs coming up) — so, it was just that kind of day.

But something very cool happened too: I was asked by my favorite living author, Ruth Doan MacDougall, to help her with a project, getting my all-time favorite book, The Cheerleader, ready to be published as an e-book. It was written so long ago that it doesn't exist electronically, so Ruth and my friend Marney (Ruth's webmistress) are scanning and then proofing the pages. But it takes a long time, and it's also hard to proofread your own writing, so that's where I, the professional editor, come in. And I am thrilled to help!!!!

So that's another thing I did today: read pages pages 201–210 of The Cheerleader, when Bev fakes her appendicitis attack at the drive-in, and I grew so enraptured it was hard to put the book down.

Yes, I have this book memorized. It is just that good.

But I'm a tuckered tootsie, so early bath and early bed tonight. That's the plan!

(Last night I watched Unstoppable, which had me so pumped with adrenaline I couldn't possibly sleep, so I watched "just one" episode of The Good Wife, which turned into two and a half episodes. I didn't fall asleep till 1 a.m. I am an idiot.)

Tonight I will sleep and tomorrow I will exercise. That is my vow. But tonight, my jammies call.

Sleepily yours,
Lady C

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 82: Kimchi!

The title refers to a joke I have with my dad, who is in fact a veteran, though he never saw combat. He served in the Army, and his tour of duty included playing a lot of basketball in Hawaii. He refers to the ankle he sprained as "injuries sustained during hand-to-hand combat in the Pacific." I call him every year on this day to thank him for keeping the world safe for democracy; last year he said, "Yeah, if not for me, you'd be speaking Korean." I replied with the only Korean word I could think of: "Kimchi!"

I just got back from A Date with Brunie, and I am never eating again. First we saw Martha Marcy May Marlene, which was very dark and eerie and cryptic and quite good, though we think a quarter of the movie may have been missing. Alas, we did not discuss the aerodynamic qualities of Little Olsen's breasts, which are gravity-defying. We did however discuss John Hawke, who fascinates us; he is so utterly creepy yet extremely compelling; he makes our skin crawl and yet . . . definite hotness. Though we want a shower afterward. With Pine-Sol.

Anyway. We then went to the World's Best Guac place and ordered our usual trough, plus alcoholic beverages, and after her beer and my pleasant but average margarita we switched to sangria, which was very good, and I almost resorted to licking the remaining sangria droplets off the ice cubes in my glass. It was very good.

Fortunately, we worked it all off with a brisk constitutional; this restaurant is just a few blocks from the beach, so off we went, swinging our arms aerodynamically. Brunie says my face totally looks thinner, also my shoulders. I'll take it.

Oh! We also had burritos. That's why I'm so full. And I brought most of mine home, even. It's a very filling burrito.

But now I'm home, and the world is safe for democracy, and I have so many good things to watch and read (and Brunie slipped me Season 2 of The Good Wife — heroin on DVD!!) — what will I choose????


—Lady C

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Day 81: Weekend in New England (Approaches)

Today was a pleasant, placid day (after yesterday's jazzy high, in particular!). I went to an early church event (Lectio Divina, we do it every Thursday morning at 8, and I adore it), then talked to $u$an, my awesome and brilliant financial guru, about the big expen$ive home repairs I have coming up and which pocket of the ether I should dip into to find the nonexi$tent $$ to cover it all, and then worked all day on civil rights. (Almost done!)

And now my kitchen smells amazing; I'm cooking mushroom and barley soup and cheesy biscuits (a tried-and-true Betty Crocker Cookbook recipe), and we're eating early enough that I'll have digested most of it before my super-fun dancey zumba class. I missed it last week and was sad. (Do you think my zumba crush missed me?) I've convinced Kind Tina to join me tonight, and we will have a blast.

Then it's a girly-girl night, as Lil' Martini has a sleepover — (no school tomorrow! hug a veteran!) — and Mimosa and I have much TV to catch up on: Glee and Ringer, fun fun fun.

Also, Disc 1 of Downton Abbey just arrived from Netflix (I never remember to watch Masterpiece Theater, and all my friends were dippy for Downton). I also have Unstoppable, starring my sweet baby Denzel, which my pal Handsome D says was his favorite movie of 2010.

Also, my favorite tea in the whole wide world, Candy Cane Green Tea, just arrived at Trader Joe's (it's seasonal) and I have a whole box full.

Also, I still haven't started Heather's book because I had a magazine and a really good crossword puzzle to finish, so I have that to look forward to.

It's an embarrassment of riches, in other words — and a long weekend ahead! (My clients would love me to work on Saturday and Sunday, but I usually give myself permission to take the weekend off.)

And there's even more fun stuff happening tomorrow, but this is enough gushing, and I think the biscuits are just about done.

One last thing: Success really does breed success. It is remarkably easier to eat lightly and healthfully when you're seeing results. I'm just saying.


—Lady C

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Day 80: Simply Wasting Away in New England

Another busy day yesterday; I edited my civil rights curriculum for many hours (sister, it's LONG), got ready for my big PTO meeting (more on that in a moment), decided to sort crap piles in the basement in lieu of exercise (we have two big rummage sales coming up, one at school and one at church; I sorted for an hour and barely made a dent), and knocked off around 5 to chill and read the paper before my meeting. My meals were very small and very frequent (culminating in a night-time snack of edamame and pistachios).

At 6:30, I dropped off Mimosa at her babysitting job (she was tending the children of my co-president), then went on to the meeting, which was AWESOME. We'd invited the lead teachers in grades 1, 3, and 5 to talk to us about Age-Appropriate Academic Expectations of Our Kids, which turned out to be a real draw; the room was packed. Each teacher gave a presentation, then we had Q&A. My kid is about to graduate from this school, and still I learned so much. It was a wonderful, valuable evening and I'm so proud to have been the instigator of it all.

All in all a busy day, but certainly not a gold star weight loss day: I didn't log my food, I didn't exercise, I did have a glass of celebration wine after the meeting.

Then I woke up this morning and weighed myself, as per usual:
  • Today's scale reading: 267
Devoted readers will recall that my starting weight was 287. I have lost 20 pounds!!!!!

I ran back to bed and jumped on it a bit, waking my husband, who peered at me through bleary eyes. "Oh, are you awake?" I chirped. "Since you're awake, guess what?"

(He gave me a big hug and told me he was proud of me. He's a good guy.)

Anyway. I am wild with happiness and wanted to celebrate right this minute before I get into my day (which will comprise a breakfast meeting with Kind Tina and my pal Great Rack, lots more civil rights work, and more basement crap-sorting, plus a mid-day job editing PowerPoint slides, always a challenge, since PowerPoint doesn't track changes).

I've been saving a special treat for this magic day: Home for the Holidays, the penultimate book in the Mother-Daughter Book Club series, written by my friend Heather Vogel Frederick; in this book, the club reads book 6 in the Betsy-Tacy series, Betsy In Spite of Herself, and I am quite wild to hunker down with it . . . and celebrate again the fact that this day has come at last.

Twenty pounds! Twenty pounds!

I will come down to Earth soon.

Thanks for being here!

xox Lady C

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 79: Happy Happy Joy Joy!

I'm not reporting my daily weight as I used to, but some days are worth noting:
  • Today's scale reading: 268.5 !
And I didn't have to move the scale or anything!

This is great, because it makes my entree into the '60s seem so much more real.

I'll write more later (do y'all ever look to see if there are Updates?) but just wanted to celebrate in real time.

Rah! Rah!

—Lady C

Monday, November 7, 2011

Day 78: "Why Am I So Hungry When It's Only 11 A.M.?"

Yeah, I spent many many minutes resetting clocks yesterday, and still — my ability to forget Daylight Savings Time, it is limitless.

This morning my weight was back to its customary 271 (maybe I ate a few more tortilla chips than I owned up to . . .) but I moved the scale to a different part of the bathroom, and it was 269 again, woo-hoo! 

I don't usually cheat like that, but today I needed some positive feedback or I would have been unduly morose. I believe my womanly time is nearing; I'm reading stories about the Montgomery bus boycott and the Freedom Riders for the civil rights curriculum I'm editing, and I am completely undone by the courage shown by ordinary humans. Really, I'm just sitting here weeping. In my nightie. Eating Greek yogurt and high-fiber cereal. Weeping.

I'm going to knock off around noon and walk down to Trader Joe's, then, once again, scale Heart Attack Hill. My goal: To casually stroll up that cursed hill with nary a pant nor a wheeze. Someday.

But I suspect that day is not today.

Eek! My Gutter Guys just appeared and saw me in my nightie! Oh, well — I am a vision in flannel and fuzzy socks, believe me.

Anyway. It took me seven weeks to lose that last 10 pounds, and I want to lose the next 10 in five. My personal challenge is on!

(Of course, one of those weeks includes Thanksgiving, my signature food orgy of cocktails, appetizers, and desserts, the three best food groups.)

(But I'm not going to think about that now.)

Should I put clothes on for the Gutter Guys? Should I send money to the NAACP? Should I start inclining my treadmill and get some hill-climbing practice that way? And . . .

. . . what about Naomi?

(Couldn't resist. And you'll only get it if you're a certain age and a child of television, c'est moi.)

So many questions. Too worky. I'd rather have another cup of coffee and let life's mysteries float on by.

Ever embracing the mad magic wonder of it all,

Lady C

Want to know a great way to ensure that you pant the whole way up the hill? Carry two heavy bags of groceries!

I cannot restrain myself at Trader Joe's. I got not one, not two, not three, but four different kinds of hummus: horseradish, edamame, kalamata olive, and white bean and basil. And then I did an official hummus taste-off and they all tied for first. YUM.

But hummus isn't all that heavy; what killed me was Lil' Martini's Cranberry Harvest juice. Also, I got a little tub of eye cream at Walgreen's, a little tub about the size of a cantaloupe. Hey, it was on sale.

It was fun, though; I was all flirty with the T.J.'s guy (flirty, while sweating a little and wearing my craptastic exercise clothes — I'm sure he got a real charge out of it, but we did laugh together), and then I saw my favorite dog on the way home and got lots of sweet Daisy kisses. And it's another gorgeous fall day, and I turned the corner to see the Tree Men From Heaven pulling away . . . having eviscerated the enormous pile o' tree that's been in front of my house for a week.

All good.

Tonight's supper: Greek salmon with optional Green Goddess-plain yogurt topping, sauteed asparagus with crispy onions, warm pita bread, and red-hot apples. Color me happy!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Day 77: Stupefied

  • Today's scale reading: 269.5
I'm back in the '60s. Granted, it's as barely back into the '60s as a scale reading can possibly be, but still. I'll take it!

I'm kind of in shock, so I'm going to go set all the clocks back now. And weigh myself a few hundred more times. Hey, I've got a whole extra hour.

Lady C

I treasured my exciting new weight all day; we went to our usual post-church Mexican place, but I drank Diet Coke with lots of limes (the only way I can stand Diet Coke — c'mon, I'm the [Diet] Pepsi Generation!) rather than a margarita and busied myself playing card games with the family rather than emptying the chip basket.

Tonight, I'm having a light supper of hummus and veggies, with an apple for dessert, and I just walked on my treadmill (which was hard — again, I think my fitness is on some bizarre retreat) and worked my core while holding Lil' Martini's feet.

(I fired Mr. Lady C, my usual trainer, last week because he can't count. They do not ask the right questions during the PhD exam, if you ask me:
  • Can you count down from 12?
  • Where do we keep the butter?  
  • How often should you mow the lawn?
These are life's burning questions, man.)

I am very very psyched to see movement on the scale (downward movement) AT LAST!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Day 76: Mustering My Wits

Ah, yesterday was just a suck day. And I woke up this morning expecting all my friends to say, "You're not losing weight because of all that bitterness and resentment you're carrying around."

(Every time I complain about my husband's snoring or coughing, I remember an old Ann Landers column, where she said, in essence, "Ladies, the noise may drive you bonkers now, but after he's gone you'll give anything for one more hour of his snoring.")

(Of course, even then I thought, "Those are my choices? Annoying or dead???")

But my mind is just so complex, I believe that two things can be true at the same time: (1) I love my husband with all my heart, and (2) I want to hit him with something heavy when he insists on planting himself within my hearing and coughing. Got that, Ann Landers?

(Who is also dead, I believe, and no longer annoying anyone.)

Anyway. I do try to have a good attitude about things in my day-to-day life, and I'm always a tad abashed when I'm not able to pull it off. So, as I said, I woke up wondering if anyone had e-mailed me a lecture on counting my blessings, yada yada yada.

Instead, I got this note from my darlingest friend, Inspirational Kathy: "Your post made me laugh out loud this morning . . . It is just a wonderful gift, your blog." And that made me SO so so happy!

(Hey, I'm easy.)

And today was a better day. My weight was back down (to where it's been — I haven't lost anything new, to my continued dismay), we did our Saturday chores and my house is sparkly clean, and we removed the last traces of downed tree limb from our yard and filled three bags of raked leaves. Halloween decorations are put away, and we're gearing up for the next big holiday, one of my favey faves . . .

. . . Brunie's birthday! And something else good happens this month, though it slips my mind at present.


To reward everyone for working hard and hardly complaining (which is in equal part HUGE and RARE), we had a yummy family dinner at Not Your Average Joe's (Ahi Tuna Wontons! So deluscious!!) and then saw Puss in Boots, which was fabby and extremely well done — we loved it. Two paws up!

And now I'm going to take a hot bath and drink some marvelous coffee, brought to me by my marvelous husband, who is coughing so much less. It's downright remarkable how much easier it is to appreciate his marvelousness when he's not coughing at me. I'm still reading Chime (and accumulating many library fines, so I hope I finish it tonight); I'm enjoying it quite a bit, but it hasn't quite reached must read status for me, I guess.

Official weigh-in tomorrow. It will be what it will be.

Sending love and appreciation to all my dear readers,

Lady C

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day 75: "Highlights" of My "Fabulous" Day

  • "Highlight" 1: My weight was up this morning. By several pounds.
  • "Highlight" 2: [deleted — don't ask, I'll never tell]
  • "Highlight" 3: Today I had relatively few things on my plate and in theory should have billed lots and lots of work hours; I didn't even hit four. And don't ask me what I did with all that time.
  • "Highlight" 4: My husband is recovering from a cold and has been coughing, LOUDLY, for the past 24 hours. I love my husband, but I cannot abide the sound of coughing.
  • "Highlight" 5: I climbed the steep hill again today, panted even more than yesterday, and also wet my pants a little. My efforts toward fitness are moving backward.
  • "Highlight" 6: I drove three boys to their Points & Powers class (I don't know what Points & Powers is, don't ask me) and almost drove off the road; their obnoxiousness liquefied my brain. And I'm related to one of them.
  • "Highlight" 7: My daughter told me about an enormous assignment she must complete in two weeks, but she couldn't answer a single question I had about it.
  • "Highlight" 8: After reviewing "Highlights" 6 and 7, I am convinced that my children are simple. And poorly brought up.
Must stop blogging now; husband is in the kitchen coughing, I'm only a foot away, and I'm about to throw my keyboard at him.

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

—Lady C, discouraged

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Day 74: Muscle Confusion

Today for exercise I walked to my friend Jo's house (she's the one I share my CSA share with, and I had a coupon for a free pie to give her — and she leaves a fur piece away) and then down her hill (mincing and whimpering — see Day 31: What Scares Me) to Walgreen's to pick up some photos, and then straight back up Cardiac Crest, puffing like a chain-smoker.

(The whole walk took about an hour, but that includes a long friendly conversation with Jo, whom I seldom see. We pass our CSA basket back and forth in secret, like the proverbial ships in the night.)

And I kept thinking, WHY isn't all this zumba and treadmilling making it easier for me to climb hills? I feel way less exhausted at the end of zumba class (or a treadmill session), so clearly I'm getting more fit. I'm also finding it easier to hold my stomach in, though my core-working efforts are decidedly lackluster.

Yet if you had heard me pant and wheeze as I scaled Matterhorn, you would assume I was dying of the asthma or had only one lung or something.

I guess . . . nothing really makes you better at climbing steep hills than actually climbing a lot of steep hills.

Yes, you may quote me.

It's a nice day here, and I saw lots of people out — and to a person, they were dealing with the downed tree limbs in their yards. We have a significant pile in front of our house, but the rest will be dealt with this weekend. That will be some fine exercise.

I'm off to supper with Mimosa at Panera, where I will have a half-portion of Greek salad and half a Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich, and purr with contentment. Then I will go breathe garlic and cilantro hummus on the church people I'm meeting with at 7. (Lil' Martini has a basketball game, so we're doing what we call Boy Dinner / Girl Dinner.)

Busy week! Tomorrow should be a calm, restful day of working 'round the clock (with a break for lunch with my PTO co- and vice-presidents).

Life as a pillar of the community — it's exhausting, man.

Panera calls!

—Lady C

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Day 73: Still Sniffling

I'm going to break down and call my doctor tomorrow and get her opinion on why my nose hasn't stopped running since the first week of October. A friend of ours was just diagnosed with whooping cough, so I've been dramatically posing about my house like Camille, delicately moaning, "I've got -- cough, cough! -- pertussis -- sniff! O, pity me!", which is entertaining everyone, I've no doubt.

But since I'm not actually coughing, I think I've probably erred in my diagnosis there.

In other news . . . well, there isn't much to add. I ran my PTO empire for much of the day (it's totally The Sopranos over here), then returned to civil rights,* then made a lovely ham-leek-and-potato omelet for me and the Kinder. (This mister has a late class on Wednesdays.)

Tomorrow, I will attend a going-away party for a former colleague (I created a party game for her), then come home and work some more until my church committee meeting at 7. But somewhere in there I'll call the good doctor and maybe get the okay to take Claritin or something. My nose is getting all red and sore, which is ridiculous when I'm not even sick!

(Except for the pertussis.)

Didn't exercise, but since I exercised twice yesterday (sawing and zumba), I think I should have a credit.

Tonight I will work my way through my mending basket and watch Survivor. When they make the movie of my life, there will be many scenes of TV watching, I suspect.

Lady C

* Mr. Lady Chardonnay once read the following on a resume:

  • Trombone
  • Lacrosse
  • Field hockey
  • Civil rights
"Hey Ted, I'm free this afternoon — want to do some civil rights?" Hee.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Day 72: The Best-Laid Plans . . .

(Alternate title: Don't Leave Me Alone With All This Halloween Candy !!!)

Yesterday I did pretty well with my newfound sense of resolution, until the late-afternoon munchies hit me and I opened the bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. And then I ate all the Peanut M&Ms my kids collected (only two teensy bags, but still). And then I ate a White Chocolate Kit-Kat (who knew?) and a miniature Snickeres. And then I began to feel unwell in the tummy and ate hummus and whole-grain pita chips, in an effort to steer my innards toward the light.

And because I got into the tub so late and had to finish Runaway, the final book in Meg Cabot's delightfully addictive "Airhead" series, I didn't quite make it to bed at 11 — but I was only 30 minutes late.

Nonetheless. My half-assed powerful resolve did not exactly result in great weight loss this morning — but today is another day!

And so far, all I've done is parked my aging keister on a hard folding chair for seven hours, as Kind Tina and I attended an excellent training on working with challenging kids (which we do in our church context — my kids, of course, have been raised perfectly, without a single parenting error!). But now I'm alone in the house with all this candy, and nothing to distract me but the thought of zumba in three hours . . .

I could go saw some of the fallen tree in our backyard, I suppose. That would be useful AND good exercise. And then I could finish reading Chime by Franny Billingsley, which I'm also enjoying quite a bit. And I could have fresh veggies and hummus and pita chips for my pre-zumba light supper . . .

OK. That is what I will do. But first I will put all this candy in a big Tupperware container with a lid and "hide" it on top of our fridge. THAT will fool me!

—Lady C