Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 345: Genius Burns

I was a Good Goal Girl today, meaning, I did exactly what I intended to do: I worked hard on Chapter 1 of Novel 1 and went to zumba. (It's less hot than it was, but it is very humid; the gym where we zumba on Tuesdays has fans but is not air-conditioned; we are all soaking wet, and when we did a routine that involves slapping your partner's hands, we slid right off each other. It was funny. Gross, yes, but funny.)

Novel 1 is about a teen girl who has always felt overshadowed by her glamorous and successful older sister. The one thing (she believes) she can do well is cook. At her mother's suggestion, she starts her own catering company, which leads her into all kinds of mishaps and misadventures — including romantic ones! It was a fun story to write, full of yummy food and cute boys and misunderstood daughters and one seriously scary cheerleader, and the three middle-grade girls who've read it so far loved it. (My mom, my husband, and my writers group liked it too, but I'm most concerned with my target audience, of course!)

Chapter 1 is my Waterloo – because, basically, all that happens is that two girls cook dinner. My kids had all kinds of suggestions for how to jazz it up (the food is spoiled! a dog eats half of it! oh, no, the kitchen's on fire!), and of course I could do that, but many chapters involve cooking emergencies that my heroine must solve (in fact, that happens in Chapter 2), so I want Chapter 1 to be different. I really worked on it today, and I think I'm close — but still not quite there.

Still! I made significant progress, which I celebrated by spending several hours on the living room couch reading Gone Girl — so good!

Clearly, I won't have lost 50 pounds by my 50th birthday (a week from Friday), but if I can hit the magic 40-pound mark, I'll be very satisfied. I'm also close to the one-year anniversary of this little blog. Forty pounds in one year? I'll take it!

Off to the bath (I should probably wipe down my computer chair first — I am really gross) and to finish Gone Girl! Happy happy me.

—Lady C, expecting to have lost 15 pounds in sweat

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 344: Lots of Calls, Which I Dread

E-mail is perfect for people like me. I type quickly, I think quickly, and I like getting things done quickly. Jot a note, click "send" — presto! Accomplishment!

Phone calls make me edgy, even though I enjoy them while they're happening. But the idea of having to make a phone call causes me an unreasonable amount of stress. Particularly when I'm making phone calls to coax someone else into taking on my fairly large-ish church job. Yikes.

I made six calls, left three messages, had three conversations, and received two "no"s and one extremely tentative "yes, but only if you truly can't find anyone else," which doesn't make me feel like I can stop calling just yet (and I'm also not sure that the Powers That Be will be excited about this candidate, even though I know she'd be fine. She is a quirky bird, though, for sure). My "favorite" response came from the fellow who turned down the job by e-mail (after getting my hopes up), then gave me a little lecture on how this year of writing boring, dry minutes will in fact improve my writing skills.*

Uh, thanks?  

My original goal had been to work on Chapter 1 today, but instead I finished an old (non-paying and incredibly dull) project, which I'm delighted to be done with, and then created three promotional bookmarks for my beloved Betsy-Tacy books, which was a pure joy. I also did the reading for this week's writers group meeting. So — a day of accomplishment, just not the accomplishment I planned.

Chapter 1 tomorrow! Plus zumba. Now those are accomplishments to write home about.

I wish I would stop stressing about money. Or, barring that, I wish all my teeth-gnashing resulted in weight loss. My only exercise today was a sweaty walk to Trader Joe's, and I drank two glasses of wine right after. Not my best day. But, you know, not my worst either.

And tomorrow will be better.

Off to watch Bunheads. It's no Gilmore Girls (aka One of the BEST SHOWS EVAH!) but it's a lot of fun.


Lady C

* Please, sir, may I have another?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day 343 (Week 49): Finally in the '40s!

This weight has appeared many times on my scale, but never on Weigh-In Day. But today — today— I broke through the barrier!!
  • Today's scale readings: 249.5, 249, 248.5, 248
Moving the scale slightly made this much difference, which is weird. (I often move the scale and nothing happens.) But note how they're all in the '40s!!! I decided to go with 249, which feels comfortable and maintainable.

And now my dream is to quickly drop the next two, so I can finally declare that I've lost 40 pounds! Actually, I've been rounding up and declaring that for weeks — but I'd like to be able to declare it with honesty.

Doing zumba in my basement was tons of fun. I'll either do that again today, or take a long walk.

Just wanted to share my happy news! Forty-nine weeks, thirty-eight pounds down.

Eek! Just looked at the time. Martini's tutor gets here in 35 minutes and I'm still unshowered and in my nightie. Well, she's not here to judge me.

—Lady C, off to have a light and lovely day!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 342: A Cracking Good Read

Brunie told me I had to read this, so I dutifully checked it out. It took me about a week to get through the first hundred pages; I kept falling asleep (because I'm over-tired, I think!) and the plot wasn't fully grabbing me. But I sat down to read it in earnest this morning, and let me tell you — I was grabbed. In between cleaning the house and "inventing" a flag stand so my flag stops falling over when not in use (I'm oh-so-clever that way) and cooking a kick-ass meal (Greek-style salmon, greens with onions and slivered Canadian bacon, garlicky mashed potatoes, and red-hot apples — it was coolish here today, and a cool-weather meal was a treat) and doing zumba in my basement (and sweating like a sow — our new dehumidifier keeps the formerly cool basement at a constant state of warm), I read it on and off all day and just finished it in the bathtub.

It is a great read and I highly recommend it! (As does the wise and eminently discerning Brunie.)

Because of the aforementioned basement zumba and copious sweat, I have high hopes for tomorrow's weigh-in.

Oh, and I felt fine this morning, despite last night's bacchanalia, but I didn't drink any wine today, even though I usually enjoy a glass while cooking. And I think that resisting a glass of wine should result in weight loss. (Whether it does or not, I think it should.) Fingers crossed! I'm ready for that scale needle to move.

In other news, I'm in a small panic about having no work scheduled for next week, despite my contacting every client that I can think of, but I've decided to chill and take it as a sign that I should be writing. My pal B.T. McGee and I have made a vow to check in with each other re: our writing projects every Wednesday; she is starting a novel about a character she dreamed up 20 years ago, and I am going to (1) revise Chapter 1 of Novel 1 until I have something that is impossible to put down, (2) start sending it out again, and then (3) get back to work on Novel 2.

Can I do it? YES I CAN!

Well, we'll see anyway.

Sleepy time! I was headed for bed till I remembered I'd forgotten to blog. Ah, such dedication.

Sweet dreams, peeps!

—Lady C

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 341: One Is Silver and the Other's Gold

Tonight we had dinner with our dear old friends of 21 years (well, technically, they've been Husband's friends for longer than that — my Alterna-Husband is Husband's colleague, and he and his wife have been married since middle school or something like that), and even though we haven't seen them for a ridiculously long time, we picked up right where we left off (drunk) and resumed our (drunk) conversation as if no time had passed (drunkly).

My word, but we emptied a few bottles! Which is even more "impressive" when you consider that Husband doesn't drink and Alterna-Husband stopped drinking around 9 because he had to drive home.

Anyway. Much of my day was consumed getting ready for the dinner party — especially since no vacuuming has been done in my house since I left on the 17th. I served sauteed chicken thighs with caramelized onions, macaroni and two cheeses, sourdough bread (buttered and toasted), and a big salad with tons of stuff in it, and for dessert we had my famous orange buttermilk cake. Our appetizers were fresh cherries, a variety of nuts, Trader Joe's party meatballs, and something I made up: cucumber slices topped with sliced lox topped with creme fraiche mixed with salt, pepper, and fresh dill. They were yummy and looked so pretty on the plate! Plus it used up a cucumber from our CSA share — the one vegetable I don't particularly care for (but in combo with lox and creme fraiche? Not a problem!) My "welcome!" cocktail was a Ward 8, one of my favorites, and then we drank (as noted) 42 bottles of wine. And coffee. And water. I expect to get up and run a marathon tomorrow.


I'm just so happy right now. I love my friends. And four to six (maximum eight) is my perfect dinner party size.

Which reminds me:

My Convention experience is still jelling and I'm not ready to write about it yet, but the thing that's becoming very clear to me is this: I just don't do well in enormous groups. I get completely overwhelmed. My dream is to spend several days in BetsyLand with two dozen of my very dearest BT friends. This would give me enough time for a good visit with each of them, and I wouldn't feel compelled to hide in my room. That is my dream; we'll see if I can make it a reality. (Brunie and I are already arguing over who makes our cut of the final 20. Rest assured, Dear Readers; if you're a BT fan and you're here, you're on that list.)

Must go drink LOTS more water before lights out!

—Lady C

p.s. I did no exercise today, other than standing in kitchen cooking for four hours, and while breakfast and lunch were scanty, my (drunken) dinner was enormous. My weight was down another pound this morning, but I hold out no such hopes for tomorrow.

p.p.s. I took my girl cat to the vet today, and I have a hilarious story about my vet, Mick Jagger, cat dandruff, and hashish, but I am just too tired. Another day!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 340: Still Dizzy (After All These Years)

I still feel the ground moving under me (like I just got off a ship) and am overly fatigued so today I went to Web MD to diagnose myself — (a flaw-free plan!) — and learned that I might have an inner ear infection or, possibly, labyrinthitis. Awesome!

Perhaps I'll call my doc in the a.m.

In other news, it totally sneaked up on me that my daughter's 15th birthday is a week from Sunday. Heavens to Betsy! Fortunately, she is extremely easy to shop for, and after an hour at Amazon and a good online clothing store, she's all set. Though I couldn't resist grabbing a beautiful blank journal from the clearance rack at Barnes & Noble as well. She loves starting journals . . . and has many, many with about 20 pages written in each. But I totally understand the need to start afresh. There are worse habits!

She's also very ready to be done with volleyball camp tomorrow, my sweet non-athlete daughter; I am so proud of her for going for this! It is completely against her sluggard nature, but she is hanging right in there. Next week we'll resume our walk-runs, which will be great for both of us. And tomorrow, I told her, when she gets home she can put her feet up, drink an icy pink lemonade, and read the new issues of People and Entertainment Weekly. Happy happy joy joy!

Plus we have very dear friends coming to dinner, so old and so dear that they basically invited themselves. But this is super cool, because I haven't seen them in several years. The male half of the couple (my Alterna-Husband — I adore him) and my own dearest darling had a small falling out at work, and the four-way friendship seemed to cool for quite some time. But for whatever reason the Walls of Jericho are coming down, and I will see them in less than 24 hours. I'm really looking forward to it and plan to cook a magnificent meal to celebrate our reunion.

I did take a walk today and lift weights, and I did stay for abs after zumba last night and tortured myself into nine kinds of paraplegia, and I did sign up for another zumba class with the Italian Spitfire (so, Tuesday and Wednesday — she is so scary when she's ordering me to do something!), and I did feel much more like my old self after class last night. I think I just need to keep exercising and drinking water and getting enough sleep, and eventually I'll stop feeling like this:

Or my doctor will shriek, "You have labyrinthitis???" and put me straight into the hospital. That could happen too.

More to tell, as always, but I need coffee and must start making my please-be-our-new-Parish-Clerk-oh-please-oh-please phone calls, which is going to be an ocean of fun!!


—Lady C, who was down two pounds this morning (but still two pounds above pre-Minnesota weight. Still — a positive trend!)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Days 331–339: Post-Convention Blues

I got back from Minnesota on Monday night, close to 48 hours ago, and I feel like my head has been enshrouded in fog ever since. Granted, it was an emotional week. Granted, I got very little sleep (but still more than Brunie, who stumbled in after midnight and arose at 4 a.m., day in, day out). Granted, there is a time difference between here and there (a whopping hour!). But still — shouldn't I be feeling back to my old self by now???

During the seven days I was gone, I worked out only twice (though they were great workouts!), but drank multiple bottles of wine (and one notable morning had two Skinnygirl margaritas before noon) and ate every time food was offered to me, whether I was hungry or not. I even ate meatloaf, my most hatingest food after coconut. But it was first-class meatloaf, as in, served to me in first class!* So I kinda had to. I didn't finish it, though. Because, you know, meatloaf.

In any event, my weight was up by four pounds upon my return, which is not a huge surprise. I haven't had any alcohol since I've been home, and tonight I return to zumba. And tomorrow I'll start my day with a long walk. I think this will also help me wake up and banish the fog in a way that coffee and 7–8 hours sleep doesn't seem to be doing.

Or, I simply need to be back in Massachusetts as long as I was away. And do something fun — life has been pretty grim since returning. Hot sticky weather, unpacking and laundry to do, children slightly off schedule (Husband did a great job, I hasten to add — he is a perfect peach), and I just resigned my big church job as Parish Clerk; we met last night, before I'd even been home 24 hours, and — so politely! so gently! — they informed me that humor and levity were not appropriate for such high-level minutes and that they would appreciate it if I would conduct myself with more decorum.

Since my minutes closely resemble Betsy's write-ups of the Okto Delta meetings — which is what I love doing and why I always offer to take minutes, ever since I ran for College Five Student Council  in 1982 — you can imagine how well this sat with me.

They are perfectly nice people; it is just not a good fit. I could certainly tamp down my Id for a year — but why? Surely my flair and joie de vivre can be put to better use!

So, giving notice and working on finding a replacement have taken up much of my time (as I try to wake up — seriously, do you think some Minnesota insect gave me sleeping sickness? I do have a big red bite on my artificially tanned leg), and it's been all kinds of fun, let me tell you.

I will share some Convention highlights as they come together in my mind, but for now I need to rest up for zumba. I just cooked us a fabby dinner (burger patties and caponata and squash with basil butter and fresh French bread and a big bowl of tri-colored grapes. Husband picked up our CSA share this week and was stymied by the eggplant! He had a scarring experience once. But he will manfully down caponata) and now am oh so weary.

I'm very glad to be back with Husband and kids and cats, but. I am missing Deep Valley, for sure.


Lady C

p.s. Cindy Glamour, your BFF and I held hands and channeled you, standing by the Minnehaha Falls on Thursday afternoon. Did you feel us?

* I know! Where's the filet mignon? Where's the salmon and green beans almondine? This was only my second experience with first class, and for the first one I was pregnant and couldn't drink the free hooch, and for this one they served me meatloaf. But hey, both were free, I'm not complaining. And the rest of the meal was great. And the free hooch . . . boy howdy.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Crazy day!! Complicated by a deceptive migraine that I thought I could stave off with ice-cold Diet Pepsi but instead commenced in barfing and medication.

And honestly, the idea of trying to write about my day has me exhausted. Suffice it to say:
  • I'm mostly packed for the trip, though it's highly likely that my suitcase is over the weight limit. (I say this every time, in every season, for a trip of any duration. I do not travel light. I like to recreate my home, wherever I am — apparently!) (Plus, I bring a lot of books.)
  • I still need to tan my legs and paint my nails and polka-dot my toenails and White Strip my teeth, which I'll do after my bath, while watching Bunheads. And that will be a lovely low-stress ending to my high-stress day.
I won't be blogging again until probably the 24th. Try not to miss me too much!!


xxoo Lady C

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day 329 (Week 47): "I'm Not Running a Slave Ship!"

(That was my response when my kids asked if they could take a juice break after an hour of yard work.)

(Of course, after five minutes, I bellowed for them to get their arses back on the chain gang, so, whatever.)

Our yard looks like a jungle, I haven't touched it in months, so I declared that we were putting in a good hour and a half today — and since it was going to be 90 degrees and humid, we would start at 8 a.m. Nonetheless, when I finally peeled my clothes off, they were thoroughly drenched.


But we got a lot done — front and side hedges clipped (by several feet!), front bed weeded, mammoth hydrangea and weeping birch cut way back and tamed, hanging plants placed. We filled four large leaf bags to the brim. A good morning's work.

And then we celebrated with doughnuts, good movies (Spider•Man for the boys, Beasts of the Southern Wild for the girls), and a nice meal out. A lovely and satisfying day.

I had three different weights today — before yard work, after yard work, and after shower. But I think I will go with the first weight, which is still 250 — once again, I can't seem to break through a barrier (unless I sweat for two hours first — the second and third weights, need I say, were much lower). My copious weekend wine consumption and restaurant meals probably aren't helping.

But (I haven't said this in a while) — it's a journey. 

Speaking of journeys: In less than 48 hours, I will be in Minnesota!!!

Which I will celebrate by cleaning the cat box. Glamour, c'est moi.

Love and kisses,
Lady C

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day 328: Mad Skillz

The ubiquity of commemorative T-shirts and the near absence of commemorative tank tops is one of my life's woes, (though, granted, rather low on the woe scale), as I dislike and don't wear the former and adore the latter. Fortunately, I have become very adept at turning a T-shirt into a cute tank top, which is what I spent today doing. (After chores, of course.) I just need to finish hemming one armpit, and then I'll have a cute new Dallin School tank top!

I also had a small Ernest Borgnine film festival, something we often do at my house to commemorate the passing of a notable actor. His best films, I think, are Marty and From Here to Eternity, but today I went utterly lowbrow and watched The Poseidon Adventure and The Dirty Dozen, the perfect movie junk food to do mending in front of.

(Honestly, my Ernest Borgnine performance is from Little House on the Prairie, when he played a mountain hermit named Jonathan. I'll have to ask Brunie if they did any sort of tribute to him at Laurapalooza.)

Today also involved another of my best skills: making a delicious multi-course dinner out of practically nothing! We had a little leftover chicken, some fresh vegetables, some leftover couscous . . . and it all became a splendid Asian meal. I cooked a bag of potstickers that we had in the freezer, and thawed some edamame, and I stir-fried the chicken and vegetables (carrots, snap peas, and scallions) in soy sauce and sesame oil and served it over the couscous. We also had some leftover sweet 'n' sour beets, and that seemed like a reasonable pairing to me as well. Presto! Magnificent dinner. And it used up a bunch of leftovers, which is also a good thing.

I didn't do a lick of exercise today; we'll see how my weight is tomorrow.

Unrelated notes about two of my friends:
  • Sister Hart participated in a Bacon-Off this morning, and I'm dying to hear how she did! There are two categories, Sweet and Savory, and she is the Sweet title holder, winning last year with Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes. This year, she entered Brown Sugar Bacon Ice Cream sandwiched between Chocolate-Chip Cookies (not sure if there's bacon in those), and that actually sounds pretty good to me. Report please, Sister Hart!
  • I am sending tons of love and strength to Good Neighbor Anne and Angel-Daughter; Angel entered a program yesterday for her eating disorder, and while I know this is the right thing, still, it breaks my heart. We want our girl well and happy and home. I am praying hard for this.
Two days till Minnesota! And next week the kids are going a thousand different places, and I won't be here to coordinate; poor Husband is already wigging. I've promised to sit down with him tomorrow and draw him a map of the week. He'll do great. It's funny, though, they've barely done a thing all summer — and then for the next two weeks, Katy bar the door. What can you do.

It's late, but I'm going to take a bath anyway.

Good night!

—Lady C

Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 327: Gluttony and Other Earthly Delights

Such a fun day! Except for, well, barfing. But other than that. Fun!!

Mimosa and I did our regular run/walk — I can't say that the bike path has gotten any more thrilling, but I am very good at zoning out now and thinking of other things as I complete my 2.7 miles. And she says that she is running more and more each time, which is great. She certainly looks fantastic in the new exercise clothes we bought her — long and lean and shapely. My daughter's a babe.

And then I came home and lifted weights and took a shower and felt extremely clean and virtuous.

On to my monthly lunch with Mrs. Cynicletary! (Though first we posed for Character Cards in a game being invented by a friend of ours. It is quite exciting to contemplate this form of immortality. I hope his game is a HUGE success!) We ate at Margarita's and talked nonstop for several hours. And while I only had guacamole and an appetizer and two margaritas, I was stuffed to the gills and quite uncomfortable by the time I got home and in fact threw up. Gross.

I spent the afternoon half dozing and half watching True Grit, the 1969 version, which I've never seen. I liked it just fine, but I think the latest version is better. Honestly, my bias is that the later versions of things are often better, because movies today are just better — an opinion I voiced to Husband.

And then having voiced it, I realize that in fact I disagree with myself. There are some movies that should never never never be remade — they are perfect as they are, and no modern improvements are needed. Examples: Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, and All About Eve. Do not touch them. They are perfect.

But there are other movies you could remake and improve, I think. Harvey. Gentleman's Agreement. You Can't Take It With You. Adam's Rib. The Miracle Worker.

Your mileage may vary, of course!

Despite my earlier excesses, I had a second social engagement — dinner with Sister Hart and Blogger Dawn at Jasper White's Summer Shack, one of my favorite restaurants, and I ate oysters and coleslaw and French fries and gazpacho and drank mega quantities of white wine — and we laughed hysterically and talked for three hours straight. Dawn commented, "How we move from the benign subjects of the Humane Society and Jack the Nipper to more racy subjects, I'll never know."

(My response: It is everyone's fault but mine.)

Exhausted. Sated. Time for bed.

Will my long walk and weight-lifting cancel out five alcoholic beverages and two restaurant meals? We shall see . . .

Counting the days till I leave for Minnesota!!!!! *

—Lady C

* Three.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 326: Stealing from My Besty

Lady Darcy has a fun post on her blog right now about how all the body parts she thinks of as her favorites are changing as she ages — though her elbows, a previous un-favorite, are actually improving. This amused me and also made me think: Which of my parts are my favorites? Have they always been and are they still? Which are my un-favorites?

After some reflection, I decided that my favorite body part was my brain.

Ha, kidding.

No, I picked my hair — which I would not have picked in my youth. I came of age in the day of Dorothy Hamill and Farrah Fawcett-Majors, and I hated my bushy flyaway rough-textured hair that would not feather, no matter how much mousse and blow-drying I threw at it. But my hair is great now, partly due to the bossy-ness of Mrs. Cynicletary, who forced me to give up my beloved (cheap) Super Cuts and find a good stylist. But oh what a difference a good cut makes. I love being able to wash my hair, work in some product, wiggle it with my fingers, and be good to go. I still do the hot-roller thing for special occasions, but I can go years without touching a blow dryer.

And I love being a redhead — again, something I would not have said during my youth as a shy, introverted kid. But having hair that drew so much attention forced me out of my shell and played a huge role in the charming and charismatic persona I currently sport.

Red hair and drama class. Those were the culprits. And possibly boobs.

I love my big blue eyes, the near-hairlessness of my legs, my pretty feet with their high arches, my hourglass shape, my thin forearms, my height, and the shape of my mouth. These things have been my favorites all my life, I think.

I hate my giant thighs, the huge purple bump right at my hairline, the fact that my eyes are always red no matter how much sleep I get, and the yellowish cast to my teeth despite copious use of Crest White Strips (my coffee consumption thwarts me, I fear).

Things I probably should dislike but feel like aberrations so I don't think about them: my very big stomach (how can I be a person with a big stomach? I have always been an hourglass!!) and my droopy upper arms (I have thin arms! [see above] What is this hanging flesh??). I think I believe that these are temporary blights — and maybe they are! Certainly, both are firmer since I started losing weight.

So, that's my rundown.

Today's exercise was a 40-minute morning walk after dropping off my car in Arlington Center. I love my car guy, he is very flirty, and it only cost me twenty bucks. And I got exercise! (I also did core work on my bed while Husband read me something, so we were both satisfied.) But now I'm drinking many glasses of Lemon-Basil Sangria, because it just fits my mood, so we'll see what my weight is tomorrow.

Tomorrow I walk with Mimosa while she runs, and I also lift weights and do the dreaded Plank. And then I have lunch with Mrs. Cynicletary and dinner with Sister Hart the Elder and Blogger Dawn! Nothin' but good times ahead.

Wow, this sangria is potent! It must be all the hard liquor I add to it. (A woman on the Maud List corrected my use of the word "cocktail" to describe my sangria, as "a cocktail MUST contain hard liquor," she informed me.)



Is what I nicely refrained from replying.

But I thought it.


Lady C

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 325: Being Okto Delta-ish

The Okto Deltas (that's their pin in the picture) are a secret sorority invented by Betsy Ray in Betsy Was a Junior — eight life-long BFs (well, technically seven, and one older sister) who formed an exclusive group . . . which then backfired, as being an Okto Delta kept Betsy from taking part in many other activities and friendships that she would've enjoyed.

But for a brief period, before it all blew up in her face, what a glorious giddy whirl she had!

And that is the experience I want to have at the upcoming Convention. During public events, I will be the soul of kindness, greeting the shy, sitting by the lonely, extending my warm arm of friendship to anyone who needs it.

But outside of official Convention activities . . . I just want to party with my friends. I almost never get to see some of these people, and they are some of my favorite women on the planet! Dullards, step aside — I am embracing my status as Crown Princess of the In Crowd!

Well, we'll see. I do have a tender heart, after all.

I got a lot done today and was really looking forward to a good hard sweat at zumba tonight; alas, the Italian Spitfire had a family emergency and had to cancel class. Perhaps I'll zumba in my basement . . .

—Lady C, ready to be in Minnesota!!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day 324: My Special Happy Time

(Hi, Bride Boy! I know you love these posts most of all.)

My period started and I was crampy and miserable for much of the day (though I'm very glad I have it now, rather than next week when I'm Conventioning), but I also had a dull, dull job, which glued me to the computer, and I'm also trying to finish the last page of the Convention packet, which is kinda depressing, because every other page has been fun to play with and format and make cute, and this one is just so dense with text, I can't think of anything fun to do with it. C'est la vie.

A sign of my new mindset is that when I was nauseous and gross this morning, all I could think was, "Thank heaven I'm doing zumba tonight. Zumba will make me feel better."

And it did!

I will wait a few more minutes to see if Brunie will e-mail me back and tell me the packet is DONE or if I have to keep working on it . . . and then I'm falling into the bathtub. I'm now reading three excellent books; we'll see if I finish one.

Grump, grump.

Good night!

—Lady C, embracing her womanhood

Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 323: Road Trip!

SUCH a fun day, and almost nothing healthful about it!

Today we experienced Springfield, Massachusetts, a town I visited just once, about 20 years ago, and remember nothing about. It was a glorious day — a perfect periwinkle-blue sky with only a few small clouds, and a lovely breeze.

Usually Husband plans our road trips, but I was clutching a tattered article torn from the paper five years ago, and I Googled the places I was most excited about to make sure they were still open, and I carefully MapQuested how to get from one spot to another, so I considered that we were all set.

Yeah. The place I chose for lunch, Gus and Paul's Deli (something like that) is still there, all right, and my directions were perfect . . . but it's not open on Mondays. I even went to its website, for heaven's sake! How did I not notice this???

And I'm sure there are many lovely places to eat in Springfield, but we had literally just arrived and didn't have our bearings yet, so we simply ate at an Olive Garden (not my favorite place, but I knew we would get a decent meal). And even though we shared the "never-ending salad bowl," you can't count it as healthful as it comprises a mountain of iceberg lettuce and barely anything else.

Onward! We visited the Dr. Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden (lovely!), the Quadrangle (a quartet of museums surrounding the garden) and gift shop, and the original Mulberry Street, Dr. Seuss's birthplace. Then we went to a perfectly wonderful park and zoo — so many animals, and you could get so close to them! I petted goats, donkeys, and the dearest potbellied pig; ogled beautiful sleek jungle cats; admired a brand-new baby monkey and a giant black bear . . . oh, it was so much fun. And we drove through the park, which went on and on and on. Duck ponds! Rose gardens! Amphitheater, mausoleum, numerous bridges over a lovely stream! Martini got out at one point to roll down a grassy green hill, which particularly tempted him. I am wildly coveting this park.

But we'd been walking for a while and were ready for dinner. I'd chosen White Hut, a fast-food joint known for its yummy shakes, deliciously greasy grilled onions, and low low prices. We followed my perfect MapQuest directions to 280 Memorial Drive . . . which was a dead-end street noted chiefly for its fields of yellow weeds and chain-link fences. Husband had to stop the car, he was laughing so hysterically. "See it yet?" he sputtered. "Anything look good to you?" Hardy-har-har.

Turns out: The address is Memorial Avenue. Which, apparently, is a significant difference. And practically a town away, as the White Hut is in West Springfield.

But my husband is a directional savant, and he actually found it, albeit with a fair amount of driving around. But still. I am wildly impressed!

And we had very fabby burgers and fries and dogs and floats and shakes, with plenty o' grilled onions, and all was well and happy in our little world. Mommy is a dope.

On the drive up, I read aloud Cheaper By the Dozen, which failed to capture my feckless children, so on the way home I read The Famous Stanley Kidnapping Case, the sequel to The Headless Cupid, which they loved, and this was somewhat more successful. I'll pick it up again during our next road trip.

Today I ate melted cheese and breadsticks and you don't event want to know my White Hut dinner menu. Plus, I have entered my Womanly Time. All hope of hitting the '40s tomorrow has been abandoned.

However, I did walk a lot. And I did a deep knee bend to have my picture taken next to the statue of Theodore Geisel. And that was something.

A perfect day with my perfect family. And now, to bed.

Love to all,

Lady C

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Day 322 (Week 46): Fancy Ladies!

Today, the core Dallin Auction team (the Co-Chairs, the Solicitation Chair, the Decoration Chair, the Volunteer Coordinator, and me, the Food Chair) met for an ultra-swanky brunch at The Blue Room in Cambridge. Another day, another giant fancy restaurant meal, but I truly do not care, my scale can go hang. It was DIVINE. My favorite things were the extremely garlicky white beans, the buttery soft pork tenderloin, the pecan-studded house-made granola topped with deliciously tangy Greek yogurt, the cheesy grits, and the tiny zesty lemon scone. Also, the ultra spicy Bloody Mary studded with two fat green olives. We all went for spicy except our Decorations gal, who asked for a "wimpy" version, but I said there was nothing wrong with a tender palate (ha — I am really all kinds of judgey about that but I didn't let on), and I came up with Peaceful Mary, which she loved.

We talked about the auction a little bit, but really we just had fun with each other. This was a great team — we all carried our weight and then some and had a blast doing it. With this group, I would take on the world. (We learned that our Co-Chairs, who are female and partnered, are not legally married, so now we are pushing them to let us do their wedding!!!! It would be so much fun. And I would provide much better food than frozen Costco appetizers!!)

I haven't cooked dinner since I picked up this week's CSA share, so tonight I got serious about cooking vegetables. It was Mimosa's night to help cook, so she made Sweet 'n' Sour Beets (a new recipe — very tasty) and a fruit crisp with strawberries, blueberries, one nectarine, and one aging peach. (It just came out of the oven, and boy howdy is it good.) I made greens — the beet greens plus half a head of red lettuce (it was a huge learning to me that you can cook lettuce like any other green! And we always seem to get so much of it at the beginning of the summer, so this was a godsend) plus an onion and some thin strips of Canadian bacon (leftover) and Chinese sausage (leftover) — and cucumber salad (vinegar, dill) and a plate of cherries and grapes, and we heated the remaining ear of corn on the cob for Li'l Martini, who dislikes both beets and greens, and cooked frozen Trader Joe's fish cakes, and it was a splendid meal that also used up a TON of leftovers.

And I had tiny servings of just the vegetables and some cherries and then took a walk down and up my hill (in oppressive mugginess! I am dripping!) and am about to lift weights, and I'm hoping my weight goes down not up tomorrow.

This morning my scale read 250.5, and since that is a full pound lower than the last weight I recorded on Fat Secret, I went ahead and recorded it. But I've otherwise been in the '40s all week, and that is the weight I am hoping for tomorrow.

Off to lift, then to soak my cares and curls away!

—Lady C

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 321: We Tilt, We Whirl, We Eat Corn Dogs*

"Fourth" of July Carnival today! Lots of fun. Though it's an incredibly hot and muggy day, which was annoying. But we blasted through our chores (doubly fun due to the mugginess) and headed out at 1:00 to enjoy our annual outing to the Lions Club's carnival.

We met up with Sexy Em and HoneyBear, and Li'l Martini was in heaven; he and his besty were inseparable for the next three hours. I usually purchase a ride pass for myself but didn't this year, which was a mistake; I only went on the Tilt-a-Whirl (my fave!) and the bumper cars once, and then the kids used all my tickets to go on the bumper cars themselves, and I was done. Mimosa gamely went on rides by herself, and she allowed me to play the role of "her friend" for an hour, but she was ready to go by 3:00, so she and I left with Sexy Em, and Husband stayed with the boys (who would still be there, if we'd let them).

Next year, I'll ride more rides — and I'll be even thinner and fit into them better. That will be cool.

Martini's having a sleepover at HoneyBear's; Mimosa and I went to Summer Shack, one of "our" places that no one else in the family likes, and had catfish and hushpuppies and an oyster po' boy and interesting salads, and it was scrumptious. My weight may well be up tomorrow, but it was worth it. And I know I'm really down by at least two pounds - I've finally broken through my plateau!

We came home and watched Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and I mended Senor Scary, the wrestling dummy my mom made for Martini as his graduation present. Senor Scary has seen a lot of action over the past few weeks, and he needed my help desperately. I hope my stitches hold up.

I think that is all of today's news.

Hmm, now I'm a little bummed that tomorrow's weigh-in might not reflect this week's good efforts — undone by fried oysters and remoulade sauce. Maybe I should go do deep knee bends for half an hour or something . . .

Thinking thin,
Lady C

* Technically, I did not eat a corn dog. Instead, I ate a grilled sausage with onions . . . because the corn dogs weren't ready yet. But corn dogs are my iconic carnival food. I guess the good news is that once I'd eaten my sausage (and had a small soft-serve ice cream cone) I was full and satisfied and had no urge to cram in a corn dog. In the past, I've eaten as many as four (and felt quite stuffed and sick afterward, natch). So — progress? Yay?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Day 320: "So You're Old!"

My day started at dawn, with a 2.7-mile walk on the bike path; Mimosa jogged about 1/4 of her mile and walked the rest, but all journeys start with a single step, so they say, and I am very proud of her. And then we came home and lifted weights with Li'l Martini and worked our cores (Mimosa has a core of steel, we were all humbled) and did The Dreaded Plank; Martini punked out at 10 seconds, I managed to just barely hold till 36, and Mimosa was solid for 77. (See?!) Girl's a machine. I stand in awe.

I was exhausted for the rest of the day, though, and a long mid-day bath didn't help, though I did finish Code Name Verity and then wept for a little while. What a GREAT book.

Tonight I tackled an enormous pile of mending while watching Oklahoma, and Mimosa joined me for a bit.
  • Me: I'd like to be like Aunt Eller when I'm old — happy and fun and good-hearted and popular.
  • Mimosa: You already are like that.
  • Me: (misting over) Oh honey . . .
  • Mimosa: . . . so you're old!
Do not depend on a 14-year-old girl for your own sense of self-esteem, that's all I'm sayin'.

Must get to bed. Big day tomorrow, good night's sleep needed.


—Lady C

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 319: Fireworks For Reals

So much going on around here! But I'm tired and don't feel like writing about all of it.

Here are today's high points:
  • I took Mimosa to her nutritionist appointment in Watertown, only to find that the brilliant people in charge had scheduled the appointment for West Roxbury, which might as well be Chicago. Oh, well — we used the time productively, buying her some good exercise clothes (for some reason, she doesn't have any!) and sneakers, and she is all set for her volleyball camp. And she can start breaking them in tomorrow, when we have our next walk/run.
  • I also signed her up for a weekly summer class, Glee for Teens, which I think she will love. Now she and Li'l Martini each have three things scheduled for this summer, and I feel like a better parent. Even though one of her things is babysitting — should that count?
  • I'm still working on the Welcome packet for the upcoming Convention, and I impressed Brunie by getting an enormous document onto two pages — and it looks great! (I also put my name in big shadowy bold letters on the acknowledgments page, surrounded by stars, and she said, "Can you make your name MORE prominent? It gets lost on the page somehow.")
  • The phrase we were all giggling about earlier this week was "ladygarden." Today we are giggling about "Juicy Lucy," which apparently is the name of a burger one can get in Minneapolis and, according to my pal Sister Hart, is "the best burger on the planet." Which I will determine for myself in precisely 14 days!!!
  • Code Name Verity is so good! I simultaneously want to read it all the time and never want to finish it!
  • We took the kids to see the fireworks in Lexington tonight (site of The Shot Heard 'Round the World), and despite being bitten by bugs and having my flashlight crap out so I couldn't keep reading Code Name Verity, it was a fabulous display, prettier even than last year's, and my heart swelled with all kinds of patriotic pride.
  • I zumbaed! In my living room! And split the braided rug a little, so, a learning. But it was a great workout, I sweated like an ox, and I love love love the new zumba CD I made for myself!
OK, enough high points. And, seriously? I only described a fraction of my day. But these were the most interesting parts. Well, my dinner was pretty good, too, I'll say that.

Good night!

—Lady C, still a patriot — a tired, busy patriot with sore biceps and some fresh bug bites

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Day 318: Fireworks! (Not So Much)

Our usual July Fourth tradition is to go to the Lion's Club carnival, eat corn dogs and other crap, go on lots of rides, and stay for the fireworks. (I love fireworks.) BUT: For whatever reason, the fireworks aren't till tomorrow night, and massive thunderstorms were predicted for today. Since I'm still on my relentless quest to eradicate my Things to Do pile, a chill* day at home sounded great to me, and to my surprise (I'd been prepared for Plan B: Bowling and Plan C: Movies and Chinese food) everyone else concurred! So: chill day.

And it was nice, except . . . the thunderstorms never appeared, and now I kinda feel like we wasted our Fourth. Though I did get a ton done.

We had an awesome dinner, prepared by me and Martini: Chinese sausage (the kids taste-tested sausage at Wilson Farms yesterday when we picked up our CSA share, and this was their hands-down favorite — and it is hella good) with sweet hot mustard, dilly red potato salad, corn on the cob, roasted asparagus, tons of fresh fruit, and Dreamsicle cookies for dessert (orange cookies with white chocolate chips).

And then I tried out the zumba mix CD I made this morning; I didn't dance the full songs (because I was in my living room — long story — and dodging the coffee table was beyond awkward) but I definitely worked up a sweat. Yay! I can do zumba at home.

The boys are now playing Risk, Mimosa is watching the New Girl marathon, and I'm going to take a bath and read Code Name: Verity.

Carnival and fireworks tomorrow. Maybe.

Oh, and my 2.7-mile walk nicely balanced my margarita consumption, apparently, and my weight was still down this morning. However, today I chowed and didn't move a lot (despite my half-hour of half zumba songs) so my streak may have ended. But tomorrow I will work out, somehow, somewhere. (I can tell I'm lifting weights again, I have never been so aware of my tender biceps.)

I can hear fireworks outside my window. Maybe I'll be able to see some from my tub. Happy birthday, America!

—Lady C, patriot

* "Chill" being relative, since I worked like a crazygirl today. But it was good.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day 317: Strong Drinks and Glistening Men

Brunie and I inaugurated my summer tradition of "Tuesday Night at the Movies," enjoying Icy Spicy Margaritas (me; she sampled the entire sangria menu) and sharing guacamole and fish tacos — so yummy! And then we saw Magic Mike, which was exactly what we wanted it to be, though the pelvis-in-face grinding icked us both out. But the men were mighty pretty (and mighty skanky) and we enjoyed some fine dancing. A lovely night, all around.

And I "earned" my margaritas by taking a long sweaty 2.7-mile walk with Mimosa this morning. We glowed with virtue, also copious perspiration. And then I did 25 wall push-ups. Later, I flexed my biceps for Brunie, and she was suitably impressed — and this was after seeing Joe Manganiello (whom we both picked as our stripper boyfriend).

Other than that, I spent the day editing and also working on the Convention packet, taking other people's flyers and making them look pretty and also consistent with the (pretty) agenda I made. I love detail-heavy work like this, so it was a fun day.

In other news, congratulations to my dear friend Blogger Dawn who just bought a bookstore! Keep livin' the dream, girlfriend.

Sleepy-sleepy, so short post tonight.


—Lady C

p.s. I lost two pounds this morning, whee! but I think two margaritas will probably undo it, despite the walking. We shall see which is more powerful.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Day 316: Cleaning Up, Clearing Out, Moving On

I got so much done today and made a huge dent in my enormous pile of Things to Be Addressed, and yet I still have a smallish pile. But tomorrow, as they say, is another day. I have a quick editing job in the morning and can then spend the day enmeshed in Accomplishment.

One of today's tasks was to hand over the PTO President Bible to my co-. I hummed "Pomp and Circumstance" as I placed it in her hands, and she looked both amused and nervous. But she is totally ready. Nothing prepares you to be Senior President like having the President Emeritus leave the building.

I also walked wherever I could (to my co-prez's house and back, to Trader Joe's and back), stood in the kitchen for two hours cooking (tacos, Spanish rice, sauteed vegetable medley with cumin seeds, homemade salsa, fresh fruit platter), and practiced ENORMOUS self-control by holding myself to one taco (I LOVE tacos) and not making a margarita. I ate lightly all day (if a taco can be considered "light" – oh it was so good) and am about to lift weights and work my core. And then — what else? — a bath!

The Betsy-Tacy Convention is two weeks away. I fly to Minnesota two weeks from tomorrow. This boggles my mind. It totally snuck up on me!! But I am very excited. And wondering if I can lose 15 pounds before then.

Ha. Ha.

Off to lift!

—Lady Chardonnay, of the sober and temperate Chardonnays

p.s. I will also see my tall handsome brothers in two weeks! That is likewise very exciting.

p.p.s. Tomorrow Mimosa and I get up at dawn to run and walk the Bike Trail, respectively. She is trying out for the high school volleyball team in September, and they told her to be prepared to run her "best mile." As the girl runs for nothing except maybe the ice cream truck, she's got some training to do. But she is an excellent volleyball player with a killer serve. And this is my no-zumba week, so I need to find my sweat somewhere.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

Day 315 (Week 47): Hulk Smash!

(I just saw The Avengers with my cutie boyfriend Mark Ruffalo. Fun! And air-conditioned!! Today was a hot one.)

I realize that I'm in another weight-loss plateau; I haven't lost (meaning: kept off) a single pound since May 27 and am still weighing in at 252. Time to step up my efforts, I fear! I will log my food this week, and that will help. I also just made a "summer schedule" with my kids, which includes weight-lifting days, and that will help too. I've been lifting regularly this week with Li'l Martini, and I can already see and feel a difference in my arms. My biceps, man, they are solid.

Not much else to report. I worked today (because I had a job scheduled for tomorrow, but tomorrow's beginning to fill up with life stuff), met Martini's math tutor (adorable), did the Sunday crossword, went to the movies with my sweet husband, watched Falling Skies with Mimosa and Husband, worked on the Betsy-Tacy Convention welcome packet, ate leftovers and movie popcorn. A pleasant, quiet, hot day.

Tomorrow is supposed to be cooler, and I plan to plow through an enormous stack of Things To Do with a fervor! I also officially hand over the PTO President's Bible to my co-, and then PTO is off my plate 4-evah! Exciting times, let me tell you.

I'm looking forward to a fun week with my family in which I eat lightly and work up a sweat near daily. Wish me luck!

—Lady C