Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Y2 Day 63: A Very Happy Halloween

Last year around this time, Li'l Martini reminded me that Mimosa started trick-or-treating solo when she started middle school, "so me and Shrieki can go on our own next year, right?" he said. And I'm thinking, Absolutely not, you two are CHILDREN [and also morons], so we've spent the subsequent year practicing "What Would You Do If?" scenarios (I'm too tired to write up the entire one involving the baby-eating devil worshipers, but trust me, [a] it's awesome, and [b] Martini's response is freaking hilarious. Another day, perhaps), but Father Time worked his usual magic and this year I didn't even bat an eye. The kid'll be 12 in two months, he goes to Starbuck's by himself after school (to get a cocoa with whipped cream — he says he feels manly holding a paper hot cup), he is totally ready for this.

Nonetheless, when I dropped him at Shrieki's house, it was hard not to trail them all the way down the block . . . and I did get a little teary. He's my baby, after all.

Mimosa, sitting next to me, rolled her eyes. "Did you carry on like this when I went alone the first time?"

Well, yes, I suspect I did, because that was the year all the neighborhood moms agreed that the time had come, and as I recall we had an elaborate list of rules (call every 20 minutes! do not veer from our established route! never leave a girl alone!) and the girls went out in a pack of eight or something, and we all sat at Good Neighbor Anne's house anxiously sipping wine until they returned safely.

It seems like a decade ago. These girls will be driving in about five minutes.

But! That day is not today.  

Today, Mimosa decided that she's too old for trick-or-treating (probably true; she's 15 and looks like she's 20, particularly in a costume) and she didn't really want to get together with friends; she wanted to watch a "scary" movie with me. We'd hoped to see Frankenweenie, but it isn't playing anywhere at a time that worked for us, so we chose Plan B: dinner at one of our favey places, Summer Shack. But first I got Martini into his Punk costume, all gothy eye makeup and tattoos and spiked hair and safety pins, and he looked freaking fantastic, and we dropped him off at Shrieki's house on our way to dinner. And then I wept a little and then had some fried oysters and white wine, which I later topped off with Peanut M&M'S and white chocolate Kit-Kats.

Husband did a masterful job holding down the fort and serving trick-or-treaters, and there's a significant dent in our candy bowl, so I guess we were busy! There are a lot of kids in our neighborhood, which is nicknamed Fertility Hill, and the weather was clear and only slightly chilly tonight; I'm glad that the few remaining downed tree limbs and power lines didn't seem to deter anyone from heading out.

After dinner, Mimosa and I watched Carrie* (awesome) and when Martini got home, we rifled through his bag for our favorite candies. (I especially love those Reese's peanut butter bars that have layers of something crunchy in them, but nobody seems to give those out any more.** They may not even still exist. The only time I really buy or eat candy is Halloween, so I have no idea what's out there. White chocolate Kit-Kats, who knew?)

There was at least one surprise in Martini's bag. Our fundamentalist neighbors across the street, who generally hand out juiceboxes and religious tracts, this year passed out million dollar bills posing the million-dollar question: "Will you go to heaven?" ("Here's a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything, or used God's name in vain?" And believe me there's more, but I'll stop there. Suffice it to say, if we're just going by this document, my path to glory is looking a tad . . . sketchy.)

We all hunkered down to watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown together, our yearly ritual, and then, right before bed, I taught my boy how to use eye makeup remover.

In short: A perfect night.

I did rake leaves today and sawed many limbs and generally cleaned up our yard, so that was my exercise. Will it be enough to counteract 1 Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, 1 "fun size" Snickers, 1 white chocolate Kit-Kat, and 2 "fun size"*** bags of Peanut M&M'S?

More will be revealed.


—Lady C

* For the record, I do not consider Carrie a scary movie; I consider it a love story. My friend Tina W and I saw that movie probably a dozen times during our teen years (always on the big screen; this was pre-VCR, dear readers), and we sighed and cried over Carrie White's coming of age and the tender sweetness of Tommy Ross. Anything involving pig blood was, in our opinion, the B story.

My scariest movies are And Then There Were None, Halloween, The Omen, Burnt Offerings, and The Descent. The original Halloween is playing on the big screen right now and I would love to go see it, but I don't think a single one of my local pallies would be up for it. (Local pallies, correct me if I'm wrong!) I need Tina W to reappear in my life — that was another movie we saw together a dozen times. And we always sat through it twice (our modus operandi for all scary movies) because we'd be less scared on the second viewing and could get home without freaking.

** Obviously [see photo] I now know what those candy bars are. We still didn't get any. Pity.

*** Honestly? Not all that fun. I like a bag I can stick my whole hand in. Just FYI, Mars, Inc.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Y2 Day 62: Halloween Zumba!

This isn't my class — ours was HUGE, and in a bigger darker space — but you get the idea. The Italian Spitfire hosted a giganto zumba Halloween party, a half-hour longer class than usual and with six teachers, and it was a blast. Though a tad challenging with that many people (every teacher invited her own class, so we were sardine-packed as we danced and boogied). I got very sweaty but was afraid to blot my face and smear my make-up. (I came as a cat. I am always a cat. It was intriguing to do zumba with a tail.)

Funnest thing of all: Dancing the "Thriller" dance with a roomful of costumed people!

Other nice things that happened today:
  • A fun e-mail exchange with my sparkly friend Cheerleader Cari, who lives in Washington State. We had vowed that we would be writing buddies, checking in once a week (on what we dubbed Writer Wednesdays) — in fact, she said, "I have set it on my phone calendar for a weekly reminder on Wednesdays at 10 am my time, repeating weekly, ending never," which I loved — and then we both fell right off that wagon, non-writing klutzes that we are. She wonders if we should try to do NaNoWriMo, but we're both crazybusy right now; I think we should choose our own month, like January. Anyway! It's always a special treat to talk to her. We both hate that we live so far apart.
  • Several things checked off my to-do list (one small editing job today, that was it; I'd planned to do some yard clean-up with the kids, but then it started raining. Oh, well!).
  • My lowest weight since I started this journey: 245.5!!! Leeleeleebossa.
Quick post tonight, I need to get to the shower. Ninety minutes of zumba — man. A girl does sweat.

Happy All Hallows Eve Eve!

—Lady C

Monday, October 29, 2012

Y2 Day 61: Oh, Sandy

Once again my beloved city was a total nancy, closing down pre-emptively for Hurricane Sandy, which, as of 6 p.m. on Monday, has mostly been a little rain and a little gusty wind in brief punctuated bursts. My gazing ball ended up in the backyard and our basketball hoop-on-a-stand blew over, but our trash cans, which are regularly toppled by raccoons, haven't budged an iota, leading us to conclude that the mighty arms of an Arlington raccoon are stronger than a hurricane.

Which, for a girl who often walks at dusk (and spots raccoons), is a little . . . unnerving.

The wind is picking up, though, so who knows what lies ahead.

It was nice having everybody home, even though I had to work. But I FINISHED MY GIANT JOB at 1 p.m. (!!!!! YAY !!!!!!) and then took a walk (there was a chance I was hosting a meeting tonight, and I'd promised fresh-baked cookies and wine, neither of which I had on hand)* to the liquor store (which was awesome — I LOVE walking in exciting weather!!)** and then we all carved our pumpkins, which was 99 kinds of jolly.

Husband always chooses what we call a Charlie Brown pumpkin — a sad misshapen warty creature that no one else will ever choose, ever, and since he was too ill to go pumpkin-shopping with us, the kids and I chose his — and oh it is magnificent, almost more gourd than pumpkin, sort of papaya in color, and looking like someone left it out in the rain for 40 days and 40 nights, it is drooooopy. And then it took him 12 years just to cut a lid, there was so much gunk inside clinging to the pumpkin top; the rest of us were practically done carving our faces by the time he got the thing open (with a chisel, no lie). We laughed hard.

And also, this:
  • Me: There may not be karate tonight because of the storm.
  • Husband: I thought Mimosa went on Wednesdays now.
  • Me: Yeah, but she won't go this Wednesday, right?
  • Husband (hands plunged in gourd): Oh, right, right.
               < beat >
  • Husband: Wait, why not?
  • Me: This Wednesday, sweetie?
  • Husband: Yes?
  • Me: Is . . . ?
  • Husband: Yes? 
  • Me: . . . Halloween?
  • Husband: Ohhhhhhh. <sighs> Duh.
  • Me (biting lip): If only there were some . . . I don't know . . . visual cue as to the date . . . perhaps somewhere nearby . . .
  • Kids: <howling>
  • Husband: Well, at least I know what I'll be hearing about for the rest of the week.
Oh, so true.

We had a fabby dinner, concocted by me and Mimosa: Italian sausages, bowtie pasta, butternut squash cooked two ways (the boys wanted sweet, the girls wanted savory; both were good), fennel slaw, and fresh fruit, and Mimosa made pumpkin brownies for dessert, which we'll serve warm with whipped cream. (And we ate by candlelight, in solidarity for those without power, and said a prayer for those without power.) And I had just one small helping of everything and will have one small brownie, and maybe I'll lift weights before bath and bed, since I've already done my walk.

No word yet on school tomorrow. I don't care either way, as long as we don't lose power. (If we lose power I want everyone out of the house so I can read by flashlight and make coffee in my fire pit without anyone bugging me. But of course it won't work out that way, more's the pity.)

It's not even 6:30 yet, and it feels like a hundred o'clock. It is BLACK outside. I predict early bedtimes for everyone.

May the odds be ever in your favor!

—Lady C

* Not technically true, I have tons of red. As always. I bring a bottle of red everywhere I go, I serve it to everyone who comes here . . . and I never seem to make a dent in my supply of red. White . . . lasts about an hour.

** I thought about stopping by Good Neighbor Anne's house to get her opinion about walking in a hurricane, but then I decided that I wanted to do it no matter what, and if she said it was stupid then I'd be worried the whole way. What would you have said, dear Anne?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Y2 Day 60: My Public Shame, Also Gypsies

This freaking cold of mine — will it never end? Today poor Husband woke up with a relapse, clutching his throat and moaning. I asked the kids how they were, and Li'l Martini said, "My nose is congested and sometimes my throat hurts" and Mimosa said, "I'm still coughing up snot." No one seems really sick, we're just endlessly sick. At what point do I haul us all in to see a doctor?

But anyway, today in church (I sat away from people and didn't touch anyone's hands) our minister was praying about the beauty to be found in silence . . . and I began to cough. And cough. And cough. I finally jumped up and ran to the bathroom, where I proceeded to cough so hard I almost threw up. (Later, Sexy Em said, "Was that you? Hilarious." Sigh.)

It was one of those days where I went from thing to thing to thing, all day long. We got our pumpkins, plus three bags of cat litter, plus I did some accidental Christmas shopping. (One of my favey stores, Newbury Comics, is going out of business, so I bought presents for Mimosa and Husband and Season 6 of Buffy for myself — it was so cheap!!!). I read most of the enormous pile of newspapers that had piled up. I had intended to take a walk, but by the time I could've conceivably done it, the rain had started. (Boston is preparing for Hurricane Sandy in earnest; tomorrow is being canceled right and left.) And I could've walked on my treadmill, of course, but honestly? I did zumba on Thursday and felt sicker later; I walked yesterday and today had an endless coughing fit. I'm not sure that exercise is helping me get better. I'm not sure what will help me get better.

And, of course, I coughed. Probably 500 times. And the evening's still young!

This year both kids are wearing costumes assembled from parts I have around the house, so I've been a tad lax about pulling the whole thing together because I have confidence that it will work out. (Assembling Halloween costumes for my kids is one of my special talents.) The kids, though, are just a tad worried, since there's no finished costume hanging on their doors as in years past. Nonetheless, today I created a Gypsy costume for Mimosa out of my own scarves, beads, and medallion-trimmed skirt, and her purple shirt and bangle bracelets; she looks AMAZING. I just dropped her off at the Youth Group Halloween party, and she sauntered in, singing "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves." Love my girl!

(Martini will be an equally fetching punk on Wednesday, I know it.)

No school tomorrow. I have to finish my giant editing job, but since I don't have to go be a Math Guide (school is canceled for me too!) I should be done by mid-day. Maybe then I'll take the long walk I intended to take all weekend, depending on the weather, of course. But I enjoy big weather — if it's not pouring rain, I think walking in wind will be fun. We shall see!

(Despite my flippant tone, I am praying for all those who have been badly affected by this hurricane.)

Time for Midwife, hot coffee, and, likely, a few more coughing fits. I am so ready to be well again!!!!

—Lady C, sad to have missed today's Betsy-Tacy Halloween Party, but there was just no way

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Y2 Day 59: Thwarted!

I read about it in the AAA newsletter and it sounded enchanting — a jack o' lantern festival at the Roger Williams Zoo in Providence, Rhode Island. What a lovely thing to do on a warm fall evening! Though we got a somewhat late start; my mom called to inquire about our prep for the upcoming Nor'easter (she loves reading about large weather in other states and is constantly calling to ask me about some storm we're having; more than half the time, said storm is nonexistent in my neighborhood. I've tried to explain to her that newscasters want viewers, like every other TV show, but she ain't buying it — and anyway, we're a bad pair, because she takes weather warnings over-seriously and I don't take them seriously at all; our preparation for this Nor'easter, for which they're already canceling school events, has been exactly: zero), and I had to fill her in on everything happening in our lives and hear all about hers (punctuated with sentences like "I have to get off the phone now, I really want to take a shower before we go to the zoo"), and that all took an hour.

And who's to say whether it would have made a difference, but when we got to Rhode Island around 6:30, the line of cars to get into the zoo was CRAZY, so we decided to go to dinner first instead. We ended up at a very nice place called Gregg's, where I had a delicious patty melt and coleslaw and hot tea (I felt myself sliding back into sickness, all the tubes and pipes in my head were scratchy and achy). HoneyBear, my other son, had come with us, and we had a truly rollicking time, laughing and playing cards.

And then we headed back to the zoo and were informed by a kind but weary traffic cop . . . that they were overfull, no more visitors tonight.


We went all that way to NOT see jack o' lanterns. I can't believe it.

(I guess I had the idea that this would be a smallish event, known only to me and a handful of zoo neighbors.)

(I am an eejit.)

But Husband pointed out that we'd had a lot of fun, which was true, and we continued to laugh all the way home, as HoneyBear informed us he was going through puberty right here, right this minute, in the backseat of our car, and he and Martini decided to hit on some girls (I said, "You realize that 'hitting on them' doesn't mean you actually 'hit' them, right?"), and Husband told us about the Mormon on the subway who tried to convert him, and Mimosa and I tried to write a musical about squash, and oh so much more. It was very jolly.

And now we're home, the kids are eating pink Cake for the Cure, and I'm about to have a coffee and climb into bed.

It was a lovely day and I did take a walk, though I'm still ill and coughing so didn't go as far as usual. But it was a truly lovely day.

And tomorrow will be another one!

(I have got to get well. This is getting ridiculous.)

One final but very important note: Happy birthday to my darling friend Zanzibar!!!! Zanny and I met during my junior year in college; she was the "adult" who lived down the hall, one of our dorm mamas (we called them Preceptors). I thought she was wildly exotic and cool. She'd painted one wall of her apartment sky blue and one wall lavender; she cooked things like cream of broccoli soup (I'd never heard of this before!) and made margaritas in her blender (my dorm was still drinking things like vodka and Dr. Pepper); she had a big white lamp shaped like a pear; she was tall and beautiful and sexy and men went wild for her. But she was also adorably shy, and for a few months we made bashful friendship overtures to each other. I honestly can't remember how we actually sealed the deal, but here we are, three decades later, besties for life. I think of her as my most sensual friend and most fervent cheerleader, and I love her to pieces. (Dearest Z, I am late with a card, but here's proof that I'm thinking of you on your natal day!)

Off to bed. Sweet dreams, peeps!

—Lady C

p.s. I drove all the way to Rhode Island to eat a patty melt.

My life is just ridiculous.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Y2 Day 58: Getting Ready to Embrace the Weekend

By 2 p.m., it was clear that I wouldn't be done with my edit before I took the kids to Burlington, so I was looking at a long, late night.

And then I thought . . . I think I offered to have the piece done by Friday. I don't think the client actually requested it.

So I e-mailed them. And they said sure, Monday's fine.


I get to have a real weekend!!!!

Of course, me being me and hating having things hanging over my head, I kinda want to just get started now, at 9:19 p.m., and see how much I can get done (as I cough, and cough, and cough).

But I'm not going to do that.

Instead, I am going to turn off my computer and go read some of my excellent library books (currently Fairest by Gail Carson Levine and The Red Leather Diary by Somebody Somebody and Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, and some or all of those titles and authors are actually correct, and I'm enjoying all of them) and ideally turn off my light before 11 because I am still sick and incontinent though slowly getting better.

And we are going to have a wonderful family weekend, full of pumpkin patches and apple cider and jack o' lantern carving and Halloween candy and church and parties and costume prep and happy things. And I shall cook and take walks and enjoy the oncoming Nor'easter (the tree that was felled in the last big storm is being ground to a stump tomorrow a.m. — wonder what will topple over this time?). And though I have a tiny bit of work to do on a different job, I will not spend more than an hour on it — this is my vow.

We had pizza for dinner, so who knows what the scale will say tomorrow, but otherwise my weight's been down all week. Soup, sickness, and snot are finally my friends.


—Lady C

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Y2 Day 57: Si Très Fatigué

This was me at zumba tonight.

Today I woke up sporting Foghorn Leghorn's voice and coughing like a TB patient, so I canceled my one Math Practice session (I only have two groups on Thursday, and one class had a field trip today anyway) and stayed home and drank tea and worked on my enormous editing job and coughed, and I feel somewhat better.

I was on the fence about zumba — partly because of my TB and partly because I had just finished eating dinner — but Mimosa said she thought I should go, and I am trying to be Good Role Model Mommy, so I went. But I truly just phoned it in and barely broke a sweat. (I couldn't have gotten away with it in the Italian Spitfire's class, but Sexy Danci Nanci is more forgiving.)

This week's CSA share contained two giant bulbs of anise, of all things, which I had no idea what to do with, but after some Googling I learned that anise and fennel are fairly interchangeable and I found a recipe for Fennel Slaw that sounded pretty good, and we had it tonight and it is sensational. Cabbage, thinly sliced anise/fennel, scallions, some chopped cooked bacon, and a vinegar-mayo dressing. Truly yummy! Anise, who knew?

Time for bath and bed. My glands ache, my sinuses are weary, I am a sick sad kitten. Tomorrow I have my weekly Math Guide meeting, then home to edit edit edit (I have GOT to finish this job tomorrow!!), and then I'm taking the kids to Burlington for a variety of errands — and then probably home to edit some more, I don't think I can do my final read of 110 pages in the four-hour window I've got. But I'll certainly give it my best.

Yawn, sneeze, cough, sigh. To all a good night.

—Lady C

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Y2 Day 56: This CANNOT BE

Remember that bad cold I had just last week? This morning I woke up with a hideous sore throat and have been slowly working my way through another box of Kleenex.

I . . . do not know what the answer is for me. This may be the Worst. Week. Ever.

(Yes, I have enough to eat and all my limbs work correctly despite arthritis and there is a roof over my head and my children are healthy and mostly sane, yes I realize I am whining about first-world problems, yes. I know. But I am still miserable.)

Edited up to page 81, did little else I hoped to do. C'est la vie. I also ate nothing but soup and Motrin.

Going to bed now.

—Lady Cneeze

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Y2 Day 55: Queen of First Grade

Ah, yesterday was just a bad cranky day (preceded by a bad hellish crazy day), and also it's my special lady-time and I'm expelling blood like I've been gutted, and it's just not the funnest week ever so far. (And poor Husband is likewise crazybusy and overwhelmed and getting behind, and it's not good at the Chardonnay homestead when both Mama and Daddy are on the brink of losing it. Life needs to freaking let up, pretty darn soon.)

But anyway — the antidote to crankiness is most definitely doing math practice with my first- and second-graders! I got to school just as my dear friend and math-practice partner SuperDad got there and as my first group of first-graders came in from recess, and they began jumping up and down and calling, "Hi, Lady Chardonnay!!! Hi, Lady Chardonnay!!!!" SO cute!! And I worked with a new group today, two kids in grade 2, and they actively groaned when I said it was time for me to leave. I felt popular and giddy. The time simply flies.

I still have so much editing work to do, though, and there are so many other things that keep interfering! Like, today:
  • Physical therapy appointment for my arthritic knee; took me an hour to get there in rush-hour traffic (my fault for scheduling a 9 a.m. appointment, I don't know what I was thinking), then half an hour for the appointment and another half hour to go to the bank and drive home.
  • Math practice, which was awesome but still.
  • Picking up Li'l Martini and his glock, only he forgot his glock and had to go back into the school to get it. 
  • Picking up our last CSA share for the year, plus doing a little grocery shopping for needed essentials.
  • Zumba!!
Nothing on this list is a bad thing, but it adds up to many hours that I didn't get to edit. To get through this enormous document, I've given myself a goal of 27 (single-spaced) pages per day, which is a lot, but that's the only way I'll be done by 5 p.m. on Friday. However, today I only managed to do 20. I will have to make it up tomorrow (when I "only" need to gas up my car and have some air put in my tires, do more math practice, squeeze in a small job for a long-term awesome client, have an hour-long meeting with Mimosa and her Youth Group leader, cook a nice dinner with the chicken I defrosted yesterday and some of the vegetables from our share, and hopefully squeeze in a walk plus this new physical therapy I've been assigned — no problem!).

Bath time. The book I'm reading (I think it's called Heartbroken, by Lisa Unger) is insanely good, and I've only been able to read it in little bits at a time. But I think I'll finish it tonight. Once again, I have an enormous stack of library books that I've hardly been able to touch, and it's starting to feel oppressive. Life needs to freaking let up!!!

(I hardly ate at all today and then did zumba, so my weight should be stunning tomorrow — even though it's a Xanadu weight, it still gives me a lift.)

Good night!

—Lady C, popular girl

Monday, October 22, 2012

Y2 Day 54: I *May* Have Expressed This Opinion Before

I knew that Sunday would be crazy, but sister? Crazy was an understatement.

My day began with an e-mail from an old friend that made me livid, so I was already not at my best. But we got to church and did our skit on TRUTH, it was *very* well-received (one friend said it was the best Time For All Ages she'd ever seen!!), and I cheered up, a little.

But the next event brought me right back down.

I'm on a new committee at church, Leadership Development. Three times a year, this group sponsors Leadership Roundtables on some topic related to leadership. We had one scheduled for yesterday, but last spring Membership begged us to co-host with them, as they wanted to do a presentation on "extravagant welcoming." Fine, said our leader. Sounds great.

But it wasn't ever clearly spelled out what "co-hosting" meant, and it was only in the last two weeks that it occurred to someone that we might want to spell out what was LD's responsibility and what was Membership's — except we never actually said it that way, and so we never came up with a straightforward simple plan. (Because — may I just mention? — I wasn't driving this.) Instead, it was seven women e-mailing back and forth, cc'ing everyone every single time, discussing every single iteration of what would happen on the Sunday in question. And when I finally grabbed the bull's horns and started pulling everything together in an organized numbered list . . . they mostly ignored me.

(I think that numbered lists scare them. They're narrative girls.)

But what it came down to is that my LD partner and I were in charge of the food; she placed the order with Panera, I would be on hand to pick up and distribute it. At 11:30 a.m. I was outside, waiting for the Panera guy.

And I waited.

And I waited.

At 11:45, I started making calls. "Huh?" said the Panera manager. "We don't have an order from you."

"WHAT?" said my LD partner, when I finally reached her. "I called to confirm it TWICE."

Manager was soooo apologetic, promises that our next order is free — but in the meantime, it's noon and I've got 55 hungry people and no food.

My friend and I ran across the street to Subway and had them make us 32 sandwiches, packaged in halves. I also bought 31 small bags of Sun Chips. It took quite a while. I sweated, some. Not one single second of it was fun.

It all worked out, of course. But it was NOT FUN. Not one single second of it.

And then it was time for Commitment #3: the three hours of babysitting I'd donated to our church auction months ago, which, for one reason or another, kept getting rescheduled. But today was the day! (When I agreed to this date, I didn't know about the other two commitments. Yes, I should be committed. Yes, I know.)

Honestly, this wouldn't have been bad at all; the boys are darling, and I only had one of them for half the time, since he'd just been invited on a special playdate. But — these are boys who have never heard the word "no" in their entire lives. During the hour I was in their house (before we went to the playground), we had a CD on at top volume while big brother climbed on furniture placed on top of furniture, then jumped from that to the nearest chair, and flung what looked like real musical instruments down the stairs . . . while his parents laughed and clapped.

And I really like these parents. They are cool, interesting people. It was . . . speechless-making.

But the baby and I went to the playground, and even though he said "Mama? Mama?" so sadly, so wistfully, every five minutes, we had a very sweet time.

And then it was all over, and I went straight to our Mexican place and had two big glasses of wine. My family joined me, but they were not my focus. Oh, wine! Sweet blessed nectar!!

OH! Bad crazy long crazy day!!!!!!

Today was better, though also with moments of craziness — clients acting surprised that I want to be paid for my work, so dealing with that was lots of "fun," and then my math-practice kids were a little antsy and I had to speak sharply to one of my girls who would not stop fiddling with the cubes and dropping them on the floor!

I am such a schoolmarm.

And I had it all worked out that I would take my walk at 3:30, but I have so much editing work piling up, and I thought, "Let me just do this one little job for California client and get it off my plate, and then I'll walk" — except that it wasn't as little as I'd thought, and it took an hour and a half, and Husband and I were being interviewed at the church (long story) at 6, and I had to get dinner for the kids . . .  so, yeah, I didn't walk. I am an idiot. I have to cattle-prod myself out of this chair!!!

(My whole week is consumed with work — editing work, math practice work, church work . . . I'm going to a Halloween party on Sunday, and even that requires work. I really need a day off pretty soon!!!)

The interview went fine (selected church couples are being interviewed to get a sense of how much money we might be able to raise in our upcoming capital campaign; the churchmouse-poor Chardonnays were highly amused to be invited to the party) and we had Indian food afterward, just the two of us, on a date, and it was lots of fun. Husband told me a great joke about a lie-detecting robot and a terribly unfunny joke about two brooms getting married. He is adorable. And I didn't marry him for his jokes.

So, as I often say: Not my best weight-loss day, not my worst.

Tomorrow will be better.

—Lady C, whose Indian name is Doesn't Play Well With Others

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Y2 Day 53: Breakthrough!

Today's scale reading: 248.5


(I am currently babysitting Good Neighbor Anne's scale, for a variety of reasons, so I've take to weighing myself both places, and I LOVE her scale because it has me at 247.2. But I didn't start on that one so I don't count it. Still, it's a nice rush to see that number!)

A lot less eating + a lot more exercise — I think I'm on to something! I am totally writing a book.

Off to my crazy day. I'm not sure when I'll fit in exercise; we're planning to have dinner at our local Mexican joint, so maybe I'll walk there and back. We'll see.

Anyway. Just wanted to share the happy!

—Lady C, a shadow of her former self

p.s. I'm mostly all recovered from last week's wretched cold, yet I'm still coughing up pounds of crap. When does it end???

p.p.s. My last recorded weight on Fat Secret was 248, so I didn't record this one; still, I'm close enough that it feels like victory. Yay for me!!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Y2 Day 52: When Autumn Leaves Start to Fall

(I miss you most of all, my darling.)

I once had a friend, Tonya the Jazz Singer, who did a kick-ass version of "Autumn Leaves." I wonder where she is now and if she's still singing?* I told her to make a CD, and she laughed and said, "I wish." But I'd love to listen to her singing now. Oh, well.

(My real estate guy, Buddy Bill, also sings and did make a CD, and I do in fact listen to it all the time. Everyone should have a CD!)

So today was my day to get serious, remember? and so far (as of 6:39 p.m.) it's gone quite well. I had small healthy meals for breakfast and lunch and just took a long walk, and I'm about to go lift weights and work my core before taking my bath. I'm thinking that dinner will be something like an apple and a handful of edamame (my lunch was biggish), and I will go to bed slightly hungry, a weight-loss tip that was working for me but I kinda forgot about.

It was a ridiculously busy day, though; I'm doing a presentation at church tomorrow on "truth," so I had to prepare my visual aids (a motley collection: the word TRUTH, the Sesame Street logo and Oscar the Grouch, Harry Potter flying on a broomstick, and the Fox News logo, all of which I drew by hand — don't you wish you were coming to my church tomorrow?), plus it was Chore Day, plus I had to get Mimosa to and from karate because Husband was wooing potential freshmen at an open house (his wooing partner was a comely coed sporting a nose ring), plus all the other small things I needed to do the get rid of the piles that build up during the week, which I've trained myself not to see and stress over because I know I'll deal with them on Saturday.

But the house is clean, and I'm ready for tomorrow (which will be a crazy hellish day of back-to-back events, but whatev), and I did everything I could to be fit and lean today.

And I figured out that my best exercise time during the week will be right after the kids get home from school; I'll make sure they're all squared away with healthy snacks and homework, then I'll strap on my sneaks and head out while there's still daylight and I'm still motivated. I can make myself edit at night, but I can't make myself exercise at night, so I think this will work pretty well.

Off to lift! And then enjoy my tasty Scooby Snack of edamame. Yum!

—Lady C, fit and lean (ish)

* I just Googled her and to my amazement found her right away — and she does have a CD! I will have to check it out. Except, I want to hear her to sing old jazz standards, not original pop songs. But still. Pretty cool! I am very happy for my old friend.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Y2 Day 51: Lunch With My Girlfriend

I love fall best of all the seasons, and today I got this panicky feeling — it's October 19! Fall is almost over! Why are the trees mostly still green??? We haven't gone apple-picking yet (and probably won't; our favey orchard and winery ran out of apples due to a wicked early frost) nor chosen our pumpkins, nor have Li'l Martini and I figured out his costume. (He finally decided to be a punk; the one thing we know for sure is that he'll spike his hair, for which I already have the product, but I don't know exactly what he'll wear.) Time is fleeting!

Today I went from thing to thing to thing — math meeting! library! bank! lunch! edit! make dinner! rehearse church skit! — so no time for exercise; also, I seem to have pulled something in my right leg, and I limped all the way to lunch. But! My good black pants are very loose now and I should probably take them in this weekend (along with my good navy pants, which fit like clown pants. Yes, I know that what I really need to do is go shopping, but this is not a reward to me. Particularly not pants shopping, shudder). Even though the scale needle hasn't moved, my body continues to reshape itself and firm up.

Seriously. I almost get high feeling my own biceps. They are awesome.

The highlight of my day was my fabby lunch with my dearest darling Mrs. Cynicletary. When I left EDC a few years back, I wildly underestimated the impact of not seeing my beloved friend every day, so we quickly instituted a regular monthly lunch date. (I'd love to see her every day, though.) We ate at Margarita's and it was tons o' fun — fine food, spirited conversation, and raucous laughter, for two full hours. (She has an understanding boss.)

And my editing job is done, and I have no work this weekend!! I mean, I have a thousand things to do on Sunday, but no editing work. My goal is to spend less than an hour on the computer each day. We shall see. (And of course my other goal is to exercise and eat little and have a good weigh-in. Well, today . . . not so much, though I had a salad for lunch plus wine and a vegetable-heavy dinner, but of course no exercise due to crippled right leg. Will the scale be my friend anyway? Only time will tell.)

We did have a million vegetables for dinner: roasted broccoli, cauliflower gratin, horseradish beets, and sweet-and-sour carrots, plus leftover apple salad and some Trader Joe's meatballs. And it was yummy!

OK! Time to get off the computer and start my weekend. TGIF!!!

—Lady C

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Y2 Day 50: Zumba Sweat

Tonight was Sexy Dancey Nancy's class, which is somewhat easier than the Italian Spitfire's but still a good workout. But Dancey has upped her game and made us work more than usual, which was awesome!

I am so sick of not seeing the scale needle budge. My plan is to push hard on Friday and Saturday to exercise both days and eat small meals. (And I don't have much scheduled either day, so that should actually work out well for me.) I've been at 252 forever.

Though it's great to have so much editing work, plus my daily low-paying but super-fun visit to the school to Do Math (today was a short session; I calculated that I made $18.75, sigh), it definitely puts a crimp in my goal of near-daily workouts. But it will let up soon, I'm sure.

(Not next week, though; I have a giant job that will consume me. Ah, money.)

I am really stinky. Must take bath pronto!!

—Lady C

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Y2 Day 49: Fried Treats and Weakness

Today was chockablock with interesting tidbits — I was a good mama and took my eldest cherub to breakfast (high school didn't start till 9:30 for some reason); then was a good friend and wrote a long e-mail to a suffering soul sister and mailed her a care package; then was a good worker-bee and did some editing, finishing what I could (I'm currently juggling several jobs — I am smokin'); then was a good Math Guide and had so much fun with my two little groups of adorableness (who knew there were so many ways to play with combinations of six?!); and finally was good to my family (and, I suppose, myself) by making a delicious and nutritious dinner that included a cooked and a raw vegetable and a fresh fruit. Oh, and I should add that I was a good wife first thing in the a.m. (not that, you perv) and begged Husband to tell me what a BFOQ is, and it actually was interesting.

But here's what's on my mind: Mimosa and I were watching Ellen (she had no homework, I decided I'd been good enough) and Husband brought us each a doughnut, usually my most favorite treat. Except, I'd had a late lunch and wasn't really hungry, and, after biting into it, I decided that it really didn't taste that good.

And yet, I ate the whole thing, even as I wondered aloud why I was doing so. And the short answer is: laziness. I knew someone else would appreciate it, so I didn't want to throw it away, but the effort of getting up, going to the kitchen, seeking a container of some sort, and then washing my hands — no. Just the thought fatigued me.

So I ate the doughnut and enjoyed nothing about the experience.

(Husband, when you read this, stop kicking yourself. This is exactly 0 percent your fault. Possibly less than zero. Stop that now and come cuddle your wife.)

Why why why why am I such an idiot?????

And my weight's actually been going down this week, even though I haven't been able to do any exercise on non-zumba days. But Jennie Garth's words — "In general, there's been a lot less eating" — are imprinted on my brain, and I say that to myself every time I have a meal, and I really think it's helping as my new mantra.

Oh, well. It's done.

I wonder if there's any way I can motivate myself to exercise between now and when Survivor starts. It's pitch black outside, even though it's only 7 p.m. A few months ago, I would've headed out for a walk. Now I just want to hunker under covers, it feels like the dead of night. I have got to figure out how to fit a daytime walk into my schedule, because I have clearly lost "nighttime" as an exercise possibility. Also, we just ate, and even though I'm not stuffed, exercising immediately after eating feels — well, unpleasant, frankly.

Maybe I'll just lift weights, so I can say I did something.

I wore my good navy pants to the school today, and they kept sliding down. Another pair of pants to take in! So that's some good news for today.

Off to lift!

—Lady C

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Y2 Day 48: Too Much Drama

As if. Today included kid drama, cat drama, work drama, and church drama, and now Husband is pouty because I won't let him tell me what a BFOQ is. Enough!

I just got home from zumba, I'm stinky and gross, I need to catch a few minutes of the debate and then put this "dramatic" day behind me.

Despite the clams, my weight was down this morning. Amazing.


—Lady C

Monday, October 15, 2012

Y2 Day 47: The Perks of Being a Wallflower's Mother

Mimosa and I just got home from seeing this. Looking ahead to the week (now through Sunday), tonight was the only night that both of us were free, which I find a little frightening this early in the week. We are busy girls!

It is a fabulous movie and we adored it — and I adored spending time with my little pumpkin, who I don't get to see one on one very often any more. As we drove home, windows open, heater blasting our feet (our preferred driving mode), I asked her if she ever does the thing that Charlie does in the movie: tell me and her dad that her life is better than it is so we won't worry about her. She said that she does — which I think is probably true for a lot of teenagers, but is still hard to hear. I said that if she hears nothing else I ever say to her, she needs to hear this one thing: It is not her job to protect us from anything. We are big grown-up people, we can handle whatever she throws at us. She said OK . . . but who really knows.

I tell you, man — I liked the music and some of the clothes and Friday dances and having the whole weekend free to do whatever I wanted (when I didn't have to babysit or do homework), but other than that — I miss NOTHING about being in high school!

 In other news, I worked as a Math Guide today and did some editing and ran a million errands and ate fried clams. My weight was down this morning, finally!, but I think the clams (plus the side order of fries) should take care of that.

Yes, I know I am my own worst enemy. I blame the bivalve.

—Lady C

p.s. My cold is miraculously gone. I have an occasional cough, that's it. Damndest thing.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Y2 Day 46: Sunday, Sweet Sunday

  • Me: What did I do today?
  • Husband: Pulling your shirt over my head was pretty good.
  • Me: <sigh>
  • Husband: Highlight of my day, in fact.
Perhaps I should mention that I was wearing said shirt at the time, and there is no bra involved in this story.

My morning was filled with an editing job regarding national security, which was all kinds of jittery fun. It's a cool proposal, though; I hope they get funded. (Which will make us all safer. If they don't get funded, the terrorists win!) And then Li'l Martini came home (he spent the weekend in Maine with Sexy Em and HoneyBear, at a church retreat), and that was wonderful, and we ate leftovers for lunch and did chores, and I don't have an enormous crap pile on my dresser any more, and my mental state is once again cool and serene. Color it lavender. (The last few days have been agitated and cranky red.)

And then I called my mom, and we talked for two hours. She's worried about Dad, who's becoming more and more of a shut-in, partly because he's in pain, partly because even after having his legs Roto-Rootered, which helped his circulation problem a lot, he didn't do enough walking to keep his circulation moving, and he's all clogged and achy again. He's going to have a second procedure, and this time Mom will be a squeaky wheel with the physical therapist, who will (in theory) make Dad do what he's supposed to do. But as Good Neighbor Anne and J and probably lots of you know, when your dad is a stubborn old cuss, despite a heart of gold, there's no making him do anything, even if he knows full well it's for his own good.

And he absolutely won't let Mom push him in a wheelchair. N-O. So he sits in his recliner, watching TV and falling asleep, and she's left with two choices: Stay home and rot with him, or do things by herself. Or make more friends, but for some reason she's having a harder time doing that, or is less interested in doing so, or . . . I'm not sure what. My mom has always been very social and has many good friends, but of her two besties, one died and one adopted two kids and is way less available than she was before and is also kind of a flake. And I keep suggesting various avenues for making new friends, but — you know what? I think she's tired. She's 70, and her own health isn't that great, and she's still working, and Dad is wearing her out — and she's just plain tired. Which I totally get.

I wish plane flights were cheaper or I had more money. But they aren't and I don't.

I'm now going to take a quick bath and then watch three hours of Sunday-night TV — and cut apart more math cards for tomorrow. Happy happy me!

I'm still stick, but the drippy nose-congested sinus stage has moved into the husky voice-chest congestion-coughing stage. And oh man is it charming.

Good night! Hey, go watch Blame It On the Midwife, you'll love it. (I know that's not the actual title, but I can never remember the real one.)

—Lady C

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Y2 Day 45: Wine and Love

Busy, full day! Which is interesting because I'm still very sick, and if I had my druthers, I'd've hunkered in my comfy green chair all day, reading and drinking tea.


Today was the memorial service for the guy with Parkinson's at my church, and I really wanted to make an appearance. The place was packed! I sat with Arty Jenny and heard some wonderful stories about this interesting, dignified man. I'm so glad I went — and believe me, I wasn't the only one blowing my nose (though possibly the only one coughing and sneezing). (I did warn Arty Jenny that I was sick, but she just laughed at me.) Apparently, this guy knew that the end was coming soon, and he talked frankly with his daughter about the music he wanted at his memorial service. I promptly told Arty Jenny that I want her to do an erotic dance at my memorial service, and she agreed. (But she smokes like a chimney, no way am I going first unless I get hit by a bus.)  
(Hee! Love you, Jen-Jen!)


For one day only, the Metropolitan Opera was simulcasting its production of L'Elisir d'Amore, starring Husband's Other Wife Anna Netrebko, at movie theaters, and Husband was eager to experience his two wives together, because he is a perv. Ha! No, actually, I've been teasing him about this ever since I heard the Met did it, but he was very picky about the first Anna opera he shared with me (he wants his wives to like each other, natch). But this one, he said, was The One, and even though in my bleary congested morning state the LAST thing I wanted to do was sit through three hours of opera, I have to say that this was a truly magnificent production, and it was so much fun to do it with Husband. The music was glorious, the plot was engaging and delightful, and the acting and especially singing— ohmygosh, sublime. I was transported.

I've heard Anna sing before, on CDs, and I already knew that she has a lilting and natural voice; she is also stunningly beautiful and winsome. Husband picked well.

Both times.


I have an editing job this weekend, and even though I try to eschew weekend work, this is a relatively easy job for good money, and next week is already pretty booked. I'm going through a hot spell! which is great, because I know there will be many long freezes to come. The really exciting part is that I seem to have attracted some new clients — word of my prowess is spreading! I'm, like, queen of the bathroom graffiti or something!

So I came home from my afternoon of cul-chuh and edited for three and a half hours. Ah, money.

But now I'm exhausted, and my generic Mucinex doesn't seem to be halting my snot production in any way. Time for a giant vat of tea, while I cuddle under my covers with a cozy mystery. I have no idea who the bad guy is, but it's Mary Higgins Clark; I know Our Heroine will never be in any real danger. It's all very comforting, especially since I'm facing Death by Snot, any minute now.

And one last thing: Isn't a perk of being sick supposed to be that you lose a little weight? I haven't lost a freaking ounce. Most annoying. I am vexed. And my nose is chapped. And my sinuses ache. And my hair looks stupid, I don't know why I persist in believing I can cut it myself. Hush, Mrs. Cynicletary. Yes, I can too hear you all the way in Arlington. Hush, I'm sick.

Love to all,

Lady C, on her probable deathbed

Friday, October 12, 2012

Y2 Day 44: Ways to Make 6

This is what I learned at Math Practice Guide training today — many many many ways to teach kids how to make 6. I've got a Cave Game, a Wall Game, a Hiding Game, Toothpick Patterns, snapping cubes, paper squares, toothpicks . . . For a games girl like me, this is Total Fun.

But I am still sick; I sat away from the other Guides, hunching over a bottle of Purell like one of the witches in MacBeth, as the pile of soggy tissues in the dustbin behind me grew ever higher. Sick sick sick. I even had to cancel my monthly lunch with Mrs. Cynicletary (who said, "Our lunch was my only reason to live today, but never mind." She is a good girl).

I feel like I'm eating hardly anything, but my weight isn't going down at all. Every part of me is clogged, even the weight-loss parts. It's grossity-gross-gross. And not fun.

So I'm calling it a day. As noted, I have a huge stack of awesome new library books, plus three episodes of Medium, plus The Birds and Notting Hill on DVD, and if that's not a get-well double feature, I don't know what is.

Honk sniffle blow. GROSS.

—Lady C, which rhymes with T, and that stands for Too Too Too Sick Already

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Y2 Day 43: Two Steps Forward, One Step — Oh, You Know

This cold that has been dancing around me for what feels like weeks now has finally hit hard; I am a bleary-eyed nose-blowing influenza hag, also a little incontinent. Because I'm old.

I am as gross as all giddy-up, in other words.

So no zumba tonight, but not much food either; I had Magic Hot and Sour Soup from our local Chinese place, then slapped together sandwiches for the kids (Husband is at the symphony, la-di-da) and climbed into a hot bath with a thermos of tea and my bottle of Mucinex. I have a stack of enticing library books, but I kept semi-dozing.

I did start my life as a Math Practice Guide today (the cold kicked in after), and though all I did was assess kids today, to establish a baseline, it was WICKED FUN. I am going to love this. Though one of "my" kids looks like he's got the heartbreak of psoriasis or something; I need to find out what's going on there.

OK! To bed.

Oh, one last thing: Mrs. Professor's husband is doing better, and feeling mentally better too, after a great talk with our minister, and she seems much calmer and less stressed. And the husband of my pal in Minnesota doesn't have cancer after all; he's likely got cirrhosis, which is no picnic, but still. WAY better diagnosis.

The Parkinson's guy is still dead though. No good news there.

My ears itch and my nose is already sore from being blown. It's gonna be a loooooong night.

—Lady C

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Y2 Day 42: Turns Out, L Is Simply for "Later"

I did wake up with more energy today, and it occurred to me: I can go to zumba tonight! The Italian Spitfire lets us go to her Wednesday class if we miss Tuesday, so, yay! I'm less of a loser.

And I did go, though I got pretty tired halfway through; I'm still not 100 percent, I fear. But I toughed it out. I also lifted weights while I waited for the teacher to get there, and she taught me two more exercises that are awesome; I'm psyched to add them to my repertoire.

I think that I'm simply eating too much. Probably time to start logging my food again. I just read last week's cover story in People, about Jennie Garth's amazing 30-pound weight loss, and she says, "In general, there's a lot less eating." Sounds about right.

I got tons of editing done today, and my clients are loving me, and that is good. I still have no idea if I'm working in a school tomorrow; I guess I'll get up and get dressed and be prepared for anything, like the Girl Scout I am.

Time to paint my nails and watch Nashville. Yee-haw!

—Lady C

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Y2 Day 41: L Is for Loser, Lazy, Lethargic — You Pick 

I worked hard today, finishing one editing job and getting a lot done on another one, then spent an hour or so picking up various kids and taking them various places, and around 4 p.m. I just had a sinking feeling — I'm mentally drained, I've been sneezing and blowing my nose all day, I'm achy, I'm tired. So I blew off zumba and instead took an early bath, watched Tuesday night TV, and cut apart a million flash cards for tomorrow's math assessments.

But! I just got the message that they won't be ready for me tomorrow either! I still have a TON of editing to do, so it's not like I get a free day off, but still — this is great news. I can stay in my jammies and drink tea and gobble Mucinex, and life is a bowl of cherries.

What a weird week this is turning out to be!

I hate missing zumba, though. I always kick myself a million times. Except, just metaphorically, so I can't even count it as exercise.

I hope my energy comes back tomorrow. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.

Good night!

—Lady C

p.s. I'm also really sad. That might have something to do with my low-wattage mood. My lunch with my elderly friend Mrs. Professor last week was kinda intense; her husband is in the hospital with congestive heart failure, and she's beginning to seriously contemplate life without him. Then, a man at church who has Parkinson's, someone I watch closely to get a sense of what the future holds for my mom, up and died. Suddenly. I am reeling from this. And finally, a dear friend in Minnesota just found out that her husband has colon cancer that has spread to his liver. The word "cancer" is bad enough; couple it with "spread," and I am beside myself. He just turned 50 a couple of weeks ago, he is crazy young, and they have a boy almost exactly Martini's age. I can hardly take it all in.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Y2 Day 40: Cold

As in, I am AND I think I've caught one. Mimosa was sick all last week and Husband was in bed all day today — and I've been blowing my nose and sneezing all day and now am shivering and achy and tired and glandy. I've been chasing off this cold for a couple of weeks, but I think it's caught me.

I did have a fun day with the kids, though, and got some good work done. And I don't have to start as a Math Practice Guide at dawn tomorrow, as I'd expected, because "my" school isn't organized and isn't ready for me. Yay? I'm very glad to get to sleep in a little, even though I do have a ton of editing work still to do.

Short post today, got to get into a steaming bath and then a warm bed. Drug of choice: Mucinex. I'll feel better in the morning, I know it.

Honk, blow. Good night!

—Lady "Vitamin" C

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Y2 Day 39: Sukkot!

Every year around this time, since our kids were small, we've been invited to our neighbors' sukkah for a pizza dinner to celebrate this cool Jewish festival. In our neighborhood there are four girls who've grown up together, and even though Mimosa and Angel-Daughter aren't that close to the other two girls any more, we've all been friends for so long that it's a very comfortable relationship — a little like extended family. We drink wine and seltzer and grape juice, we eat pizza and veggies and dessert, the kids run around outdoors with flashlights (except this year the girls, who are all 15 now, were not interested in doing that, to Li'l Martini's deep disappointment), and the grown-ups talk and laugh and catch up. It's a lovely tradition and one I always look forward to.

As Husband and I headed back home afterward, we reflected on the fact that our children are being exposed to much richer cultural traditions than either of us grew up with. On Christmas Eve, which we spend with the Cynicletarys, they have the experience of being one of the few white people in the room, and during the year, because of the generosity of our neighbors, we are included in a number of Jewish holidays. It is pretty cool.

Of course, to them it's just life. Among Martini's besties, HoneyBear has two mommies, Shrieki speaks fluent Japanese, Nonstop's sister has Down syndrome. Diversity abounds.

Before heading to our neighbor's house, Mimosa and I visited another friend's sukkah and had so much fun! A bunch of Dallin School moms were there, and when we appeared, a loud glad cry went up: "LADY CHARDONNAY!!!!!" Apparently, I am missed — the new PTO administration hasn't quite gotten its act together yet. I know that they will be fine; still, it's always lovely to hear that one is moving into "legendary" status. "Ah — back in Lady C's time . . ." the stories will begin. Hee.

It was a fun day. My Sunday School lesson went really well, Mimosa was a rock star, and we celebrated with a delicious lunch at Za. I tried to do some editing this afternoon but I was exhausted and needed to rest my eyes for a bit — and then came the Night of Two Sukkah Visits. Big full fun day.

But as for weight loss: I do so well all week and my weight goes down; then comes the weekend, and I party and eat at restaurants and drink wine and don't exercise, and my weight responds accordingly. Maybe I need to move my weigh-ins to Wednesday. I dunno.

The kids are home tomorrow. I need to buckle down and work hard in the morning, and then maybe I'll take a long walk, lift weights and stuff, and then take Mimosa to a movie and eat, like, soup and salad for dinner. That sounds pretty good, actually. I hope it works out that way!

I know I should go to bed, but I want to edit at least a few more pages. My work ethic — it never sleeps. But I will not set an alarm for tomorrow — que sera, sera.

—Lady C

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Y2 Day 38: Eradicating Filth, Plus Rewards!

My disgusting utility room is CLEAN! This is the room that houses the washer and dryer, the water heater, the furnace, the cats' litter boxes, the recycling bins, the Master Toolbox, the pile of things that we'll donate to the church fair (every year I think we've fully emptied the house, every year I have a new pile), the bag of clothes to give to charity (omnipresent — those children do continue to grow!), the cat carrier, the packing boxes, the cans and bottles to return for deposit, the unused paint, and various odds and ends related to cleaning or hardware or insect slaughter. In short: It is a room full of crap.

But today we swept and dusted and threw away at least three trash bags full and polished and re-organized and wiped and sprayed, and it is now a thing of beauty. The things we use most often are easy to access, and every paint can is labeled. And everyone helped, mostly cheerfully, and it only took a couple of hours. Ce qu'un exploit! 

To reward everyone for their good effort, the boys went to see Hotel Transylvania and the girls went to see Pitch Perfect (loved!!!) and then we met up at Macaroni Grill, for which my Aunt V had send us a $100 gift card.

I ate almost nothing today in prep and brought half my entree home, but I'm still overfull and mad at myself. Salad + heroin bread + lots of Chardonnay + tastes of several appetizers (my fave: roasted beet and goat cheese crostini, YUM) + pasta = way too much food for small-meal Lady C. I am a dope.

But it was lots of fun, I will say that.

I need to do a couple more things to get ready for my church lesson tomorrow (namely: trace and cut out some birds, don't ask), but then a hot bath and bed.

I did not exercise today. I never seem to on Chore Day — I'm so tired after cleaning the house. Does lugging the vacuum around count as exercise? It is a wicked heavy vacuum, trust me.

I love the feeling of going to sleep in a clean house. 

Good night!

—Lady C

Friday, October 5, 2012

Y2 Day 37: One Thing

Many, many years ago, my dear friend KT and I made a plan: We would do "one thing," each day, to make ourselves healthier, and then report it to each other.

(I say "to make ourselves healthier" but it's possible that back then we actually came right out and said "to lose weight." But since that time, KT did lose a ton of weight due to a health challenge called "burning mouth syndrome," and I suspect that she would use different wording today — and while I truly do want to lose weight, of course my overarching goal is to be healthier. KT, darling girl, feel free to weigh in on this.)

Since that time (which was at least 12 years ago), I have often thought of the "one thing" concept: What "one thing" did I do today to make myself a healthier person?

Today, my first response is, "I didn't order wine at lunch!" But I think the "one thing" should be something you did, rather than something you didn't do.

Though it's true: I had my annual quarterly lunch date with the lovely woman who holds my former job at EDC, and I really really really wanted to have a glass of wine, or several, with my lunch, and instead I ordered only water, and I felt skinny and virtuous.


I then came home to a mountain of editing work (I'm trying to remind myself that this is GOOD, work is GOOD, money is GOOD) and a total absence of e-mail offers to drive my son to the weekly medieval role-play class that he and his friends do, despite the fact that last week I organized the carpool because one mom was in the hospital, plus I had the group send her flowers, and I made sure that all four boys had a ride and that the family with the sick mom knew that they could call on me if they needed anything — but this week, apparently, the other three boys all went together and didn't offer a ride to Li'l Martini.

This makes me insane.

So I drove Li'l Martini to his class (3:30 p.m., tons of traffic, took me half an hour to get there and 25 minutes to get home), then, after waiting to see if someone would offer to pick him up — NO — drove back to get him, 20 minutes, then sat in the parking lot waiting for class to be over, 15 minutes, then drove him home, 20 minutes. And all of that time I could have been editing and getting paid for it.

So, my "one thing" of having water rather than wine was immediately vanquished by the FOUR MARGARITAS I poured myself to address my stress.

I ate smallish, produce-heavy meals today, but I suspect that the FOUR MARGARITAS will affect my weight tomorrow.

C'est la vie. This is everyone's fault but mine!!!

I had intended to walk down the hill after dinner and run errands in our village, and the walk would have been my "one thing," but instead Martini convinced me to watch our videotape of Survivor after dinner, and then Mimosa and I cuddled up to watch our tape of Glee (a very sad episode), and we held hands and wept, and honestly? One-on-one time with my kids like that is a pretty awesome thing. It may not contribute to my physical health in any way, but my mental health? It is singing.

No, NOT because of FOUR MARGARITAS. Shut up. Though, yes, I am a little drunky. Yes. Pretty much definitely so.

Tomorrow the plan is (1) chores, (2) cleaning the utility room (hideous; it hasn't been deep-cleaned since Husband's father died in 2004), (3) decorating the house for Halloween, (4) enjoying my secret post-Halloween-decor treat (multiple types of candy corn, for a four-flavor taste-off!), (5) boy/girl movies (Hotel Transylvania and Pitch Perfect), and (6) dinner at Macaroni Grill! It will be a GREAT day! OK, cleaning the utility room will be all kinds of gross, but oh! how happy I will be when it's done!!!

<< note:  . . . long pause between that sentence and next ones . . . >>

Maybe I'll do a sit-up or something before I go to bed. Now I really am feeling kind of useless.

Hmm. It took me a long time to type that last sentence. Tequila . . . why you no my friend?

bye now. sigh.

—Lady C, who always fashioned herself a "social drinker," except, does it count when your "society" comprises one non-drinking adult and two children?

But tequila, man. Soooo good.

I meant to say, "p.s."

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Y2 Day 36: The Readers Respond

Hee! Turns out, a good way to find out who's reading your blog is to make vague, wine-fueled insinuations about bad-girl behavior at a ladylike book convention . . . ! It was lots of fun to hear from so many of you today — and, gee, quite a surprise, I must say. Welcome! Welcome, everyone, to the Big Tent of my little blog!

So, about the Convention, let me just say this: For whatever reason, there are some Maud-L folks who don't love me. (Imagine!!) My best guess is that my sunny confidence comes across to them as arrogance and entitlement, and their response is to try to put me squarely in my place. I can stand up for myself, of course, but . . . a girl grows weary after a while.

And that's all I'm going to say about that.

(Probably. Unless I drink another bottle of chardonnay. Then, Katy bar the door!)

All of a sudden I have a TON of editing work, plus Math Practice Guide training today and tomorrow (and I start for reals next week), and I also feel like I'm catching a cold — you know that swollen sore gland-y feeling? (Husband says I have post-debatum depression.) I made myself go to zumba tonight, even though I desperately wanted to climb into bed with some hot soup and M*A*S*H episodes, and I'm glad I did; a good sweaty workout helped, and I feel better. But now, soup and bath and bed sound pretty darn good.

The book I'm reading, The Journal of Best Practices, about an adult male newly diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, is good but not great; I wish I had a good juicy read right now. I was on a brief Agatha Christie kick, but I think I'm done with that. Maybe I'll browse my own "To Read" shelves and see if something grabs me.

Today I was moaning to Cindy Glamour about the slow slow pace of my weight loss; usually I'm more chill about it, but this has been one damn long plateau. What if this is it? What if I can't lose any more weight? (Even though things have been going very well this week and I'm in a good groove. Still. Depressed.)

Time to find a good book and have a good soak! Tomorrow will be better.

Lady Chardonnay

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Y2 Day 35: An Odds-and-Ends Kinda Day

Since I still don't know exactly when I'll start working as a Math Practice Guide (though I have more training tomorrow and Friday), I've been somewhat at loose ends this week, so I decided to tackle some larger projects. Today's project was: My Betsy-Tacy Convention Diary! Which is going to be a challenge, since many of my experiences at this year's Convention were decidedly negative, mostly because people are jerks, but partly because I didn't get a lot of sleep and was over-tired and over-emotional and possibly over-alcoholed and just in general had a thin skin. But still. Some people were jerks to me. This cannot be overstated. And my previous practice was to share my diary with the Maud-L e-list, but clearly that cannot happen in this case without some serious editing. So — an interesting challenge.

I also attended a meeting of my new church committee, Leadership Development, and so far I am in love with this committee. We met at the home of one of our members and drank wine and had stylish and delicious snacks and did some good work. I am very excited! I think it will be a lot of fun.

And: I just watched the first hour of the presidential debate and must grudgingly admit that the guy who is not my guy is doing a very good job. It brought me back to the dark days of the Dick Cheney debates, when this cold, dreadful man somehow managed to appear charming and avuncular. I loathe and despise Dick Cheney, but he is an excellent debater. Ah, democracy.

My weight was WAY down this morning. I am on such a good roll! The weekend is always a challenge, but I will do my darndest to keep up my good work.

I drank a lot of wine at tonight's committee meeting. I may be just a tiny bit drunky. Perhaps I'll close now.

Zumba tomorrow, with Sexy Dancey Nancy! Plus, lunch with my elderly friend Mrs. Professor. And a three-day weekend coming up! Much to look forward to.

And so, to bed.

—Lady C

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Y2 Day 34: More TV Love

I got a lot done today — at long last, there are no longer power lines dangling in my yard waiting to kill us all (the wires all came down during the storm of September 25, but no one seemed to be in any rush to repair them, so I've been a squeaky wheel this week — squeak! squeak!), and our larder is stocked with healthy, fiber-filled groceries, and I have a stack of library books to use for the Sunday school lesson I'm teaching this week on social action, and I lined up a new editing job and ordered a new printer, and I just had a fantastic sweaty heart-pumping zumba class — and yet I still felt guilty when I sat down to do something just for fun in the middle of the afternoon.

Fortunately, I managed to rise above it and watch four episodes of M*A*S*H, including the one pictured above, titled "Quo Vadis, Captain Chandler?", which is simply wonderful. It includes two of my favorite characters, Sidney Freedman and Colonel Flagg, and the fellow playing Captain Chandler, who now believes he is Jesus Christ, is marvelous. I was especially touched by Father Mulcahy in this episode, who, for just a fleeting moment, allows himself to consider the possibility; it's a wonder to see how his face lights up at the thought.

Seriously. What wouldn't you give to spend a few minutes talking to Jesus? Whatever you believe about whether he's the son of God, isn't that a conversation you'd like to have?!

In other news, I have a bizarre series of itchy bug bites down my right calf:
  • Me: I think we have bedbugs.
  • Husband: We don't have bedbugs.
  • Me: LOOK at my leg. Look at it!
  • Husband: Ew.
  • Me: Bedbugs!!!
  • Husband: If we have bedbugs, why are they only biting you?
  • Me: Because you hog the covers. 
  • Husband: ??
  • Me: They're too hot on your side, so they come running to me. And then bite.
  • Husband: Well, that seems clear.
They're not round red bites like a mosquito's; they're long and blotchy, and one's as big as a peanut in its shell. Well, a smallish peanut, but still. That's not something you want on your calf.

Maybe soaking in a hot bath will rid me of my itch. Here's hoping!

—Lady C, optimistic

p.s. I want to enter a Mary Kay makeover contest, but oddly I'm supposed to do the makeover myself, ahead of time. They want me to submit "before" and "after" pictures, so I will try to remember to have Husband take a picture of me the moment I wake up (before I put on my make-up), when I should be suitably hideous. I'm planning to cut my own hair tomorrow (a flaw-free plan!), so I will likely be quite gorgeous for the "after." Maybe I'll put on false eyelashes. And wear my bifocals. Ha.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Y2 Day 33: Old Dream Maker, You Heart-Breaker

Sometime when I'm busy it takes a while for things to hit me, and today a week-old event came out of thin air and threw me for a loop. I love Andy Williams and had always planned to go to Branson with my adorable cowgirl sister-in-law (Husband's sister) to swoon over Andy and the Lennon Sisters and some Osmonds, probably within a year or two, I knew he wasn't getting any younger.

But now it's too late. He's gone.

All About Eve, Gone With the Wind, and Breakfast at Tiffany's — these are my all-time favorite iconic perfect movies. And yes I know Tiffany's is a hot mess of flaws, beginning and ending with the Mickster, but I don't care, it's perfect, I love it so much. And even though Andy has nothing to do with that film (and given his sensibilities might not even have liked it that much), his version of Henry Mancini's "Moon River" is likewise perfect, and in my mind they all live in the same neighborhood, Andy and Cat and Holly Golightly. And Mr. Yunioshi too, but we ignore him.

Tonight I made dinner and played all my Andy Williams CDs and wept over "Moon River" and "The Impossible Dream" and "My Coloring Book." And then Husband came home and was kind to me, and we slow-danced in our kitchen and hummed "Moon River" and I wept again.

When I was young, I was embarrassed to be a teenage '70s chick in love with Andy Williams and Robert Goulet. Good God, how unhip could I be? But with age comes a certain gloriously free when-I'm-old-I-will-wear-purple-and-like-the-singers-I-like-and-if-you-want-to-give-me-crap-about-it-go-right-ahead-'cause-frankly-my-dear-dot-dot-dot attitude, and I am letting my freak flag fly.

(Except that liking Andy Williams is kinda the opposite of a freak, right? I'm letting my nerd girl flag fly? I'm wearing my Andy Williams bra and panty set? Hmm. I think I'll let go of metaphors now.)

I'm sad, that's all.

But we did have a kick-ass dinner with a thousand vegetables in it (pork cutlets, grilled mushrooms, braised Romano and wax beans with carrots, peppers, tomatoes, and onions from our farm share, and apple salad), and then I took a quick brisk walk in the rapidly fading light to return the CSA basket to my friend, whose turn it is this week. Not my best exercise day, not my worst.

This week, I'm back to two nights of zumba. Can't wait!!

Rest in peace, dear Andy. You are loved and missed.

—Lady C, sad