Sunday, December 30, 2012

Y2 Day 123: My Sweet Baby Denzel

Many years ago (right after Last of the Mohicans) I decided that Daniel Day-Lewis was my spiritual husband. It's not that I found him so cute or handsome, per se, I just loved him. His talent, his charisma, his . . . whatever, I loved him and he was my man.

(Husband is exquisitely understanding. Also, we have a giant framed portrait of his spiritual wife, Anna Netrebko, over our piano, so he has nothing to complain about.)

But you know, there are just so many Hollywood hunks out there, a husband wasn't enough; I also needed a spiritual boyfriend. Enter Denzel Washington.

Daniel and Denzel, whoo-ee! What more could a girl ask for?

But here was the best thing: Even in the hottest fantasy I could imagine, I still ultimately picked Husband. To wit: Daniel greets me at the door of our lovely heated home in Ireland, a glass of cold champagne in one hand, the leash of our teacup piggy in the other. "Darling!" he says, greeting me with a kiss and handing me the bubbly, "great news! Denzel is coming for the weekend! And —"
[wink, wink] — "he feels like sharing!"

[So naughty!!]

So, yes, I might spend a lovely weekend with Daniel and Denzel — but then I would want to come back home to Husband and children. And that was a nice thing to reflect on.

But the years went by and, as happens in so many marriages, Daniel and I grew apart. He made fewer movies that I wanted to see. I felt it was time for a new spiritual husband and possibly a new spiritual boyfriend as well.

Here's who I married:

And here's my boyfriend:

(Brunie's going to squawk at this, she thinks Mark Ruffalo's hers, but she only claimed the Underpants of Desire Mark Ruffalo, i.e., the character from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I claim all the rest of him! and I didn't like that movie anyway.)

I'm thinking of all this tonight because I just saw my sweet baby Denzel in Flight, and he was simply extraordinary. He is so handsome, it's easy to forget that he's also a master actor. Just — brilliant.

(When he starred in Devil In a Blue Dress, during a fight scene, a women in the audience suddenly screamed, "Not the face!!!" Hilarious.) (And understandable.) (Unless you're Mrs. Cynicletary, who actually finds Wesley Snipes more attractive, which is incomprehensible to me. But Mrs. C is an older person, I cut her some slack.)

What a good year my men are having! The Avengers, Lincoln, Les Miserables, and now Flight. I think I'll see at least three of my special four at the Oscars! And given that my sweetie Mark Ruffalo got the very best reviews of any Avenger, is there a tiny chance he'll be there too? Fingers crossed!

Can I pick 'em or what?!

(But Husband is still my #1 choice, always. And soon I will curl up next to him in our nicely vacuumed bedroom, listening to his easy breathing through his new sleep mask. Ah, married life among 50 year olds — it's hot.)

Happy New Year's Eve Eve!

—Lady C

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Y2 Day 122: The Answer: Driving in Snow at Night, and Parties

The Question: "What are two things that make Lady C nervous?"

Brunie and I were invited to a fancy party tonight, in Nashua, New Hampshire, but she called in sick this morning. I thought about mustering my wits and going solo, but then the town of Arlington called my answering machine — (seriously! The message began, "This is the town of Arlington . . . ") — and announced that a snow emergency had been declared.

I'm reasonably chill about driving in snow in general, but in the dark and out of state, to a venue where I'm likely to imbibe of the spirits, during a snow emergency . . . that all adds up to a negative on the fun scale.

And the thing about parties — as I get older, my social anxiety just gets worse and worse. If I have a task (helping with the food, clearing dirty plates away, replenishing trays, etc.), or if there's an activity (party games!), or if I drink a lot — that's how I have fun. Otherwise — sitting on a couch or standing against a wall, all alone, determinedly cheerful smile plastered on my face, simultaneously hoping that one of these strangers will come talk to me and crossing my fingers that they don't, or barging up to someone and attempting to make conversation . . . I just find it unbearably awkward.

I don't go to many parties by myself, for just this reason. In the past few years, at one party I sneaked out way early, through the back door; at another party I took a shower (HUGE house, no one noticed); and at yet another party, I threw up.

Yes, I realize I am nuts.

I am sorry to miss this one, though. My friend the hostess, Sister Hart the Elder, puts on a hell of a spread.

But instead I will take a hot bubble bath, read one of my good library books (I've got Joy Fielding's latest and also See You at Harry's, a YA that Brunie recommended), drink white sangria, and enjoy the pretty snowfall outside my window.

Only two more days of 2012 left!

Oh, and I did do zumba this morning, but was it enough to work off 342 gooey cinnamon squares? Dang me, those things are good!!!!

—Lady C

Friday, December 28, 2012

Y2 Day 121: A Motley Hodgepodge of Assorted Potpourri

In just a few minutes, the four Chardonnays are going to do something so fun, I am beside myself with excitement! I've baked chocolate cookies and Gooey Cinnamon Squares (from my new Smitten Kitchen cookbook; they are described as a snickerdoodle bottom with a crackly creme brulee crust and a gooey buttery middle, they just came out of the oven and smell like heaven in a dish), and we are going to hunker down with freshly baked still-warm goodies and mugs of steaming hotdrink and listen to old-time radio mystery shows! (The Shadow and I Love a Mystery and The Whistler and Quiet Please!) The kids will likely grow restive (which is why I'm bribing them with treats), but I still think it will be fun.

Other things I wanted to say:
  • I got this fortune in a fortune cookie a few months ago and have been holding on to it; I thought it would make a good blog theme, but I fear I'm never going to get around to it:
Only put off until tomorrow what
you are willing to die having left undone.
  • I feel like I wasn't as "good" at Christmas as I usually am. I got more stressed than I wanted to, and did more than I meant to. Usually, I pride myself on my ability to keep things in perspective and remember what we're really celebrating (and let the rest go hang, if need be). Today I read Gretchen Rubin's column in the December Good Housekeeping, and she did a beautiful job of summing up my own philosophy. And she's a famous and successful writer, and here I am quoting fortune cookies. Whatev, it was still a good column.
  • At church on the Sunday after the tragedy in Connecticut, our Order of Service contained a poem that simply melted my heart, and I wanted to share it here:
And so the children come
and so they have been coming.

No angels herald their beginnings.
No prophets predict their future courses.
No wise men or women see a star to show where to find
the babe that will save humankind.
Yet each night a child arrives is a holy night.

Fathers and mothers—
sitting beside their sleeping children's beds—
feel glory in the sight of new life beginning. They ask,
Where and how will this new life end?
Or will it never end?

Each day a child arrives is a holy day.
A time for singing,
a time for wondering,
a time for worshiping.

—Sophia Lyon Fahs, adapted 
OK, enough for now. I have cookies to eat and coffee to drink and radio to enjoy!

A very happy weekend to you all. Tomorrow my day begins with zumba, which, thank heaven, despite all good intentions I've done no exercise at all, and tonight I fully intend to eat my son's weight in Gooey Cinnamon Squares.

Love to all,
Lady C

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Y2 Day 120: I Dreamed a Dream of Hugh Jackman

Mimosa and I just got home from Les Miserables, and my eyes are full of tears. But in a good way.

Today was a good day. I didn't exercise after all, despite donning workout gear, but I met many of my other goals and ate healthfully. All is well.

Early bed for this girl! Good night.

—Lady C

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Y2 Day 119: Easing Back Into that Saddle

While searching for the image for today's post (theme: baby steps toward fitness), I came across this:

"You can take baby steps . . . or you can LEAP toward your goal. The choice is yours."

And I gotta say: After these red-velvet buttery indolent and/or work chair-bound days, I do feel ready to LEAP.

But "facing reality" is also a key factor in any success plan. I've got two kids and a husband home for the holidays, it's family time, and I've also got a to-do list a mile long. In other words: This ain't Boot Camp Week.

So, baby steps it is. Which today meant fish and salad for lunch, a veggie-packed sauce on my spaghetti plus a veggie-packed salad for dinner, and now I'm off to zumba!

Of course, I also had a nice bit of wine today, which was lovely. I haven't been drinking much lately because of all the headaches — and oh what a treat it is to drink wine and enjoy it!! No regrets.

I won't have zumba again until Saturday, and I'm determined to do some sort of exercise before then; we'll see if the weather cooperates for an outdoor walk. (I opened the front door this morning to gauge the weather for a walk to Walgreen's, and near froze my nose off.)

Oh! Here's something funny that happened Christmas Eve. At Trader Joe's, a customer at the Tasting Corner was loudly bitching to the clerk about her annoying family who planned to serve meatballs and pasta for Christmas diner, the horror! And as she went on and on, another customer and I met each other's eyes and smiled wryly. She said, "Isn't that what Christmas is all about?" and I laughed, and then she kind of shrugged and said, "Well, actually, I think for some families it is," and I laughed again. And then, as she was leaving, she pulled her cart next to me and murmured, sotto voce, "...and I just have to tell you..." — and I'm thinking she's going to compliment my hair or my smile, the two things I get the most compliments on — " have the most beautiful skin."


I was tempted to take her by the hand, lead her over to Starbuck's (J, don't you love that you can picture exactly where I am?), and tell her all about the ravages soon to be inflicted on this lovely dermis o' mine . . . but tempus was fugiting, and the moment passed.

Still. Nice, huh?

(I don't have lovely skin. I am an aging veteran of the Acne Wars; my skin is ruddy and pitted and scarred. But! I exfoliate, I moisturize, I act as if, in other words. And I'd like to thank the good people at Mary Kay and Oil of Olay for the role they play in my lovely facade.)

Eek, look at the time — let's zumba!

—Lady C

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Y2 Day 118: O Crazy Day, O Holy Night

Yesterday was nuts — we went from thing to thing to thing, all day long, while Mimosa see-sawed between wellness and an exotic form of New England beriberi. (I recited her motley collection of symptoms to a nurse, who said, "Yeah, there's a lot of that going around." She didn't seem overworried, so I tried to take my cue from her — but I hate when my kids are sick, particularly when I don't really have a clue regarding the ailment in question.)

But by 5:30, when we got to church, I could feel myself calming. And our church service was perfect, as always. Last year my kids were the star speakers; this year HoneyBear and his brother O-Man, my cherished second and third sons, read those familiar, beautiful words, "...for there was no room at the inn" and "I bring you good tidings of great joy." Arty Jenny and Sexy Em and Kind Tina were all there, also several of my church boyfriends, and I collected warm embraces like a bouquet of love.

Husband was in charge of the lights — no easy business, as they must all go out at a certain point and then all come on at a certain point, and it's not like there's just one switch to do all this; it's a multi-switch job and Husband masterfully channeled his inner octopus. I was very proud.

And then we were off to Mrs. Cynicletary and Handsome D's house, which was a pure joy. This year's theme was Pie and Pie — pizza pie and dessert pie. I brought my killer chocolate pie, Handsome D made a sweet potato pie, Mrs. C made pecan pie and a lemon raspberry tart, and there was also an apple pie, I believe — and the pizza, holy moley, this was the best pizza I've ever had in my life. I must find out how they made it! We've been coming to this party for over a decade and have grown very fond of D's family; it was lovely to sit and chill and drink wine and eat fabby food and talk and just be merry.

As we drove home, I commented, "There is nothing that we have to do tomorrow." Husband said, "We have to open presents." "No!" I said, "we don't! I mean, we will, of course, but we don't have to." And after the mad last few days we've had, that was truly the nicest present of all.

And today was simply sublime. Great food, great family, great gifts, great fun. I spent the afternoon on the couch, Christmas candles lit, nibbling sweet/spicy/salty snack mix (my mom gets it at Winco, it is hella good) and reading all my Christmas books. Perfection. Happiness on a plate. And now I'm off to the tub, with some fresh hot coffee and more reading to do.

More than 2,000 years ago, a child was born. Good tidings! Great joy!

A very merry and very blessed Christmas to you all.

with much love from Lady C

Monday, December 24, 2012

Y2 Day 116: Yesterday Once More

This may be the weirdest pre-Christmas period of my life. From grotesque to sublime, hideous to delightful, lather, rinse, repeat.

I'm worried about something that is making me anxious, which then goes right to my stomach, which has been dodgy all weekend. Which is sad because I go to these holiday parties, with huge spreads of yummy-looking food . . . and I just pick. Which is better for me overall, probably, but still — so sad. Sexy Em had a chocolate fountain at her party today, and I just looked at it. (Though I did sample her mom's amazing homemade shortbread. And ate ham.)

But yesterday I had lunch with my dear elderly friend Mrs. Professor, and it was such a joy to spend time with her. She has this fantastic sardonic wit, and she's very smart and insightful; we had an amazing talk and roared with laughter . . .

. . . and then I came home and worked for eleven hours. I had three editing jobs to finish, and one in particular was really really hard. (It's about genetic engineering, and I am just not a science girl; it takes a lot of concentration. But . . . it's fascinating, I'll say that.) And coffee helped me muscle through — eleven hours of coffee — so when I finished around 10 p.m. I was vibrating with caffeine and couldn't close my eyes for another six hours . . .

. . . which worked out okay, because Mimosa began whimpering at 2 a.m.; she's got some kind of stomach bug, and she hates, loathes, and fear throwing up more than almost anything in the world (my dad is the same way — me, I can throw up on a dime), so she was having a panic attack. I got her cleaned up and calmed down, and today she seemed better, but tonight she's sick again.

And so am I; my dinner of leftover mac & cheese and a hot dog and a good slice of homemade red velvet cake did not sit well with me at all and came right back up . . . which makes me fear I also have the bug and might have to miss most if not all of our planned Christmas Eve festivities tomorrow.

BUT: We also threw Li'l Martini's birthday party tonight, and it was awesome. Five boys in fedoras, with candy cigarettes sticking out of their mouths, bidding and raising and folding and bluffing . . . you could die of the cuteness. (I've known these boys almost since babyhood; to me, they are eternally eight years old, round-cheeked and adorable.) My mom had sent him a pack of oversize playing cards (the size of a smallish coffee table book), which I used for decorations; I also tossed handfuls of Hanukkah gelt on the table and put the candy cigarettes in shot glasses, and it all looked great.

And then Mimosa and I cuddled in bed and watched Miracle on 34th Street (the original) and It's a Wonderful Life back to back, which was lovely . . .

. . . until the throwing up. Though I do feel better now; I cling to the hope that anxiety and Wrong Food were the culprits rather than virus. Send a good thought, won't you?

Tomorrow I plan to sleep in and then sit in my comfy green armchair and read, as long as I want to. I have to wrap presents and buy the marinated steak tips for our Christmas dinner, but other than that I am the proverbial Freebird . . .

. . . which I will repeat to myself as I breathe in and out, slowly, calmly.




—Lady C-bird

Friday, December 21, 2012

Y2 Day 114: If This Is the Mayan Apocalpyse, Gotta Say, I Love the Food!

Li'l Martini's birthday dinner menu has barely changed since he became old enough to voice a preference:
  • Hog dogs
  • Mac 'n' cheese (NOT Mommy's delicious homemade macaroni with four cheeses, mind you; he wants Kraft from a box — which I used to love myself, back in the day, but I have grown up) (bleh, that stuff is disgusting)
  • Carrot-raisin salad
  • Red-hot apples
HoneyBear, my second son, has joined us for this dinner for as long as any of us can remember (the boys have been superglue-bonded since age 2); I asked him tonight if he can remember a different menu, and he scrunched up his adorable little face and said, "Not . . . so much."

The only thing that's changed is the dessert; we used to do a more traditional cake and ice cream, but for the last few years my boy has requested Tower o' Doughnuts. And since doughnuts are my truly favey sweet treat, I am ever so happy to oblige!

But my apologies, it needs to be a short post again tonight; I had another migraine today (holiday stress? pre- and post-caroling wine? who knows) and have been barfing all day — which may be keeping my weight down but is doing little for my spirit.

The day my son was born, I looked into his navy blue eyes and fell head over heels in love. He is such a little punk, and most of the time his ways are entirely alien to me, and nonetheless I am crazy in love with him. He is my baby. He is my sweetheart. He is my tenderhearted little goofball. I am a lucky lucky mama.

And I'm also exhausted, so time to call it a day. I'd hoped for a totally free day tomorrow, but alas; I have three jobs to finish. But, hey, it's money. (Did I mention Husband's $3K car bill??? Ouch.)

Good night!

—Lady C

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Y2 Day 113: Post-Caroling — It Ain't Pretty

The party started at 5:15 (after more or less a day of prep). It is now 10:28 — on a school night! The last dish is washed, and the last guest just left. (Yes, I still had guests here while I was washing dishes. My friends make themselves right at home!) I'm waiting till tomorrow to run a vacuum or clean off my glass coffee table, which is ringed with the traces of wine glasses and eggnog cups. This is huge for me; I usually can't sleep amidst filth and squalor, but I am EXHAUSTED.

Though I still need to set up Li'l Martini's birthday table. Thank God we had the presence of mind to wrap his gifts earlier this week!!!

Despite exhaustion, I must say: It was a blast!!!!!!!

One pre-Christmas party down, two to go. But it's all good. I have a huge smile on my face. Caroling was as magical as always, and the party was total fun. It is so neat to see my Dallin School mom friends and my church friends and my neighborhood friends and my Betsy-Tacy friends and my random other friends all mixing and mingling and getting along — I love it so much!

And some really great things happened tonight, but I am just too pooped to go into any more detail. As they say in the addiction community (and possibly the occult community as well), More will be revealed.

Happy Mayan Apocalypse, fa la la la la!

—Lady C

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Y2 Day 112: Hi, I'm Scarface, Wanna Play? (original title)

(New title: OK, I'm Counting My Blessings Instead of Sheep [or Scars])

I just got back from the pre-surgical consult for my Mohs surgery on January 31, and I have three words:


I am officially freaked out. Not so much from the multitude of needles that will be stuck into the center of my face. Not so much from the need to abstain from alcohol for, like, ever. (I am so barfy from my freakout right now, I'm never drinking again.) Not so much from the fact that this tiny minor surgery to remove America's most curable cancer is going to involve at least two procedures and multitudes of hours.

Here's what it is:

The excellent surgeon is going to remove a dime-sized piece of my nose . . . and leave the hole. To heal. That's Part 1. I live with a dime-sized piece of nose missing for two weeks, keeping it moist — (UGHY-PEW) — with Vaseline.

As it heals, the skin will shrink, causing my right nostril to begin to arch upward ever so slightly — "which," my excellent surgeon commented, in her brisk, bright way, "will drive you nuts, so here's what we're gonna do."

Part 2 involves removing a portion of my cheek skin, near my ear, and sticking it onto my nose. It will be like buddy skin, joining the new skin and giving everything some elbow room, so there'll be no shrinkage.

Excellent Surgeon consults her datebook. "Let's see, January 31 . . . and we'll see you again in two weeks . . . so, February 14. OK?"

Uh, yeah. Sure. I've been married almost 20 years, why not have a freaking skin graft on Valentine's Day? Why. The hell. Not.

I said, "I work in a school, with little kids. Is my face going to scare them?" What I saw in the nurse's eyes was, "Oh, yeah,"  but what she said was, "Some kids find it fascinating." Well, probably both are true.

But when I sat down to write this post, clutching my barf bag just in case, I Googled "woman with facial scars" and "face after Mohs surgery," and oh my heavens, if I wasn't feeling sick before . . .

(Dude, don't try it. Trust me on this.)

And now I feel sick because I'm being such a nancy. I will look freakish for a few weeks, possibly even months, but then I will heal and be a healthy pretty Lady again. Some of these other women . . . oh, sister. My heart goes out to them.

So, that's all I'm going to say right now, but January 31 is a long way away, and I imagine I'll have a few thoughts before then.

I'm off to zumba in a bit, which will help me. You know — to forget. Ha.

—Lady C, currently with satiny skin and nothing dime-sized on her entire face

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Y2 Day 111: My Own Li'l Davy Jones

Tonight Li'l Martini played the glockenspiel in his school concert. While not as polished and professional as the high school musicians we heard last week, nonetheless, the middle-schoolers gave a fine performance. And during these fragile, tender days, when parents sends their children off to school with a whisper of trepidation that wasn't there a week ago, it felt like a step toward healing and health to be in the gym together, celebrating an evening of young people, with their sweet serious faces, making music.

I loved it.

Martini desperately needs a haircut — it's on our to-do list for vacation week, along with flu shots and cleaning out our closets — so I tried to affix his wayward locks with hairspray, but he still looked like Maynard G. Beatnik. But in his crisp white shirt and black slacks he stood tall and handsome, and we near died of pride.

And afterward we went for ice cream with my buddy Superdad and his family; we've all been friends since Li'l Martini and Superdad's youngest were babies, and it's always so fun to hang with them. It's an easy comfy friendship, and they feel like cousins at this point.

Interestingly, this is one of the few friendships where I'm closer to the male half of the couple (though I love the wife, too; I just don't see her as much). 

And the Christmas miracle of my weight staying down continues miraculous! The Italian Spitfire actually called and e-mailed me today to see where the heck I've been — which is funny, right? The class is probably a lot quieter (and more reverent) when I'm not there. I promised I'd see her tomorrow night (I have to exercise, miracle or no miracle; I can feel myself turning into butter) and suggested that she have the class do extra squats in my honor, ha! ha! ha!

(Hate squats. Almost as bad as ab work. Ow ow ow. I would rather lift a hundred weights.)

Tonight after the kids go to bed, Husband and I are wrapping our baby's birthday presents. His natal day isn't till Friday, but I did the math and realized that this was our only chance. I got not one, not two, but three editing jobs for this week, busy busy!, and I really need the dough. So — we wrap. All good.

And now I shall have at it!

—Lady C, not Supermom but giving it her very best anyway

Monday, December 17, 2012

Y2 Day 110: A Whole Botttle o' Happy

Husband, a professor of political science, just turned in his grades, which means that the fall semester, aka Hell Term, is officially over! He's had a truly sucky schedule since September and has rarely been home during the week, which for most wives is how life is but for me it was a rude shock; I also work, albeit at home, and to be the permanent on-call daytime parent took so freaking much time. Vive la winter!

Anyway — we celebrated by dining at Margarita's, using our $10 off/End of the World Is Nigh coupon, and Mommy celebrated extra hard with many many low-cal margaritas. Li'l Martini taught us a new card game, which involved ridiculously complicated rules and much hand-slapping; I ruled at this game, because I quickly figured out that the path to winning was sounding extremely authoritative.

We had a blast.

In weight-loss news, I truly cannot comprehend why my weight is staying down (still in the '40s!); I'm eating all kindsa crap and haven't exercised since Hector was a pup. It's a Christmas miracle!

All day long I think of funny and clever things to write about in my blog . . . and they never stick. (Do NOT blame the tequila!) But I need to wrap up now; the kids and I have a date to cuddle in bed and read books from our Christmas box and another chapter of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

I'm getting very excited for my caroling party. If everybody comes who says they're coming, I will have 40 people in my smallish house! Of course, they won't all come; the attrition rate among attendees at this particular party is high (on a week-night before Christmas, schedules are a little iffy; I totally get that). But I've invited some new people this year, and I'm very psyched! It is one of the two funnest parties I throw (my Oscar party being the other one).

I'm also happy because my elderly friend Mrs. Professor has agreed to have lunch with me this Saturday; she's moving her husband into a new rehab/assisted living facility, and she says she needs a happy date to look forward to. I love her so much, and I am thrilled to be her happy date.

Oh! It is such a delight to be migraine-free! What an awful week last week was!!!!

Lady C

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Y2 Days 108 and 109: Oozing with Christmas Spirit!


Our Christmas decor is a wonderful mix of tradition, sentiment, reverence, and a heartfelt appreciation of the absurd. Redheaded girls abound on our tree (as you can see in this close-up snippet), to celebrate the two in our house; in addition you can see the tiny suit of clothes, Mimosa's first Christmas ornament; the bottom half of the Carnegie Library in Deep Valley, Minnesota; and my TV lovah Gary Dourdan, made for me by my BF Lady Darcy. And also: a Christmas cow chain, because what is more Christmassy than the rabid killer bovine?

(I was chased by a cow once. I do not forget.)

Here's our famous Nativity scene, with the King serenading the King of Kings, and what my children claim is a suicidal goat (they are messing with their goat-lovin' mama; I know that the mischievous creature is simply trying for a closer look at the blessed bairn).

I just now noticed that a snake is slithering over what appears to be an expired pig.

My children . . . man. I don't know what to say.

And I don't know what Joseph is looking at. Or who that redhead is, cozying up to Jesus. The innkeeper's daughter, perhaps? Pert miss!

I was a devoted Barbie girl back in the day, and when Husband and I celebrated our first Christmas together I had a brainstorm: Barbie decor! Into red and green outfits they went, and they've adorned our staircase every December since.

(For connoisseurs, Malibu PJ is third from left; fifth from left is "Julia," from the TV show starring Diahann Carroll; a vintage original Barbie is to her right, and Barbie's friend Jamie [the dog-walker] is next on the right. Far right and third from right are Ariel the mermaid and Tinkerbell, respectively, who joined me from Mimosa's collection; Mimosa tired of Barbie fairly early. Sigh.)

Faithful readers may recall that we had some trouble with Mr. Spock last year, namely, he lost his head. But all is well, and this year he's driving the vintage sleigh I inherited from my great-grandmother.

(Spock is not really the right size, but I don't have a right-size Santa either. Mr. Spock will do nicely. And the reindeer are prospering, as you can see.)

With my biggest responsibilities behind me, I am waltzing into pre-Christmas week with a giddy heart and bubbly spirits!
  • Tomorrow, I shall ready my house and the songbooks for my annual Caroling Party.
  • On Tuesday, I'm invited to the Holiday Champagne Brunch at my former workplace, put on by my darling friend Mrs. Cynicletary, and that night Li'l Martini plays his glock in a school concert.
  • On Wednesday, I shall dance and sweat my heart out at zumba.
  • Thursday — we carol! Good Neighbor Anne and I dreamed up this party when our girl cherubs were 5, and they are now 15. I've been doing this a long time!
  • On Friday Martini turns 12! He has requested bagels and a milkshake for breakfast, and my innovation, a Tower o' Doughnuts, in lieu of birthday cake.
  • On Saturday, I'm attending a Holiday Open House with Kind Tina (and likely wrapping presents with Husband).
  • On Sunday, Sexy Em is hosting a party, complete with chocolate fountain "and other delicacies like ham," she says, and Li'l Martini has his birthday party — five boys and at least that many cut-throat card games. It will be a gas gas gas.
In short — a solid week of fun, and it's not even Christmas yet!

Happy happy, merry merry!*

—Lady C

* This is my holiday attitude when I don't have a migraine.

When I have a migraine, my attitude is, "Ho f---ing ho." You may quote me.

p.s. Shout-out to my beloved Dad, whose 79th birthday is today!! His photo can be spied somewhere between all the Barbies. When we talked today, I told him how impressed my children were by the "possum/13 nipple" fact. He said, "It may not matter much to you, but it sure does to the 14th possum."

My daddy — he wise.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Y2 Day 107: Oh, She May Be Weary

Migraine came back at 5:30 a.m. I took my sumatriptan and prayed. (Yesterday, I Googled "How much sumatriptan can you take in one day?" and Dr. Google replied, "Not enough." I also Googled the symptoms of meningitis, not because I'm a hypochondriac [though I am a big drama queen], I just wanted to know. Turns out, you kinda need to have a fever for meningitis. Which I did not have. Which I know because I took my temp. Not because I'm a hypochondriac. I just wanted to know.)

I dragged myself to Math Practice training and sat near a trash can in case I had to barf. (The other Guides were riveted.)

Averted that crisis.

But had to cancel my monthly lunch with Mrs. Cynicletary, which filled me with woe. But I was just too drained. She ordered me home to bed, with an extra helping of rest.

Instead I ran errands and wrapped presents and went to the post office. Twice.

But I'm done with all the external mailing — parents in California, brothers in Minneapolis. Done. And that is an awesome feeling. Now I can rest and be well. Nothin' but good times ahead!

And then I hunkered down in my padded rocking chair and watched The House Without a Christmas Tree, classic made-for-TV movie of my youth, and drank hot coffee and ate Hershey's white chocolate peppermint kisses. And wept.

(It is a very touching movie. Jason Robards will break the steeliest heart.)

(But, yeah, I still don't feel all that great. Clearly my uterus needs an exorcist.)

It's late and I should go to bed, but Mimosa and Martini want to watch a Christmas movie with me — and I've been so unavailable to my kids this week, I really want to say yes. So I will!

Buenas noches, mis amigas.

—Lady C, weary

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Y2 Day 106: Me and My 'Graine

I have felt like this since 5:30 a.m. (It's now 7:11 p.m.) My bedroom wastebasket is full of throw-up. I'm not exactly longing for death, but a coma sounds pretty good.

That is all from me today.

Tomorrow will be better. Tomorrow will be better.

Lady C

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Y2 Days 104 and 105: Um, Is This the Right Way?

Wait a minute. Are you telling me that the path to weight loss does not include zumba truancy, mainlining Trader Joe's white-fudge-frosted mini gingerbread persons, and eating cheese and salami like I'm going to the chair?

OK, well, that explains the number I saw on my scale this morning.

As those car-direction-giver-thingies say, "Redirecting."

(Soon, anyway. This is a tough week to live through. But my hope is that a return to healthy choices will actually cause me less stress, rather than add to the teetery pile. Hope! It's a viable life choice!)

Yesterday I was buried under mounds of work and haunted by the huge amount of $$$ that I gave the post office to get Daddy's birthday presents to him in a timely fashion — whereas, if I had just managed to get my nonsense together and mail them last Friday, they could have gone by the slow China boat or Pony Express for a mere pittance. I am determined to get the Christmas presents mailed this week by parcel freaking post. But that means I need to wrap them (not that fun), find the right size mailing box (HATE this part) and fit them neatly into it (HATE this part), and then wrap the box in brown paper, tape it securely, and make an address label (not so fun).

Hey, I'm a Math Practice Guide, I can do this story problem!

not fun + HATE + HATE + not fun = gimme food NOW, plus also wine

I finished the biggest mound of work, so that's the good news, and today's scheduled job has yet to appear. And honestly? If you booked me for the day but haven't gotten the job to me by 3 p.m., aka universal school's-out time, I consider that you have missed your window; I'm now stepping away from the computer and going to wrap some of those presents, so if she e-mails it to me now, I'll never know.

I have another job scheduled for tomorrow, so heaven only knows when I'll fit in today's job, whenever it shows up — tonight Mimosa has a concert, tomorrow I have a committee meeting, and Friday night is our church's Embracing the Darkness service. Busy busy! And I am determined not to work this weekend!!

(Note that I have not listed "zumba" here. I missed last night's class and will have to miss tonight's. I am wretched. And slothful.)

OK, I feel like I'm tempting fate by staying on the computer this long, so I will wrap up this rap to go wrap. Buh-bye!

—Lady C

Monday, December 10, 2012

Y2 Day 103: Growing a Dowager's Hump—Ask Me How!

With brief time-outs for Math Practice, cooking dinner, and wrapping and packing Dad's birthday gifts (do I know how to have fun or what?), I have been hunched over my computer keyboard all day, and I am now a sister to poor Quasimodo. So, short post from me.

Almost every one of today's meals included Trader Joe's cashew brittle.

It's my womanly time, I just want to eat and eat and eat. And cry. A lot.

I have a ton of work, plus dozens more packages to wrap and mail, and other life things are beginning to pile up. Usually I am very very good at staying chill during the month of December, but this is going to be a particularly challenging week. I'm out every single night, plus a daytime event on Saturday, and I'm just not sure how I'm going to get it all done.

And so, I turn to cashew brittle. And weeping.

This too shall pass.

Good night!

—Lady C

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Y2 Day 102: Fulfilling the Duties of My Crown

Today is Weigh In Day, and I'm not sure I remembered to weigh myself; I woke up with a migraine and all I could think of was DRUGS. I suspect my weight is up a bit, as it was a pretty sedentary and treat-filled weekend (which I'm about to cap off with a glass of wine or two with my neighbor, since I had to miss her Hanukkah party last night).

(Mom thinks I should treat my migraines by having a hysterectomy. God love her. I will note that not one of my many and various doctors has ever made this suggestion, but hey.)

The last duty I must fulfill before truly claiming the title of Miss Liebster Blog is to nominate several other bloggers for this honor and pose 11 questions to them. Here's the problem: I don't know any other "small" bloggers except Lady Darcy, and I believe that she is in the same position. All my friends who used to keep blogs gave it up.

So I've instead decided to pose 11 questions to the universe and invite both my regular readers and my irregular readers to answer some or all of them in the Comments section. Please do! I would adore to hear from you.
11 Questions for the Universe

1. At what time of day are you generally happiest?
2. Do you prefer a hairy chest on a man or a smooth one?
3. If someone walked into your house, could they guess what your favorite color is? 
4. What is the worst book you ever read all the way through?
5. Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares?
6. Which comic book character would you most like to shag?
7. It's karaoke night! What are you going to sing?
8. Do you believe in reincarnation?
9. Which Muppet are you most like?
10. If you could achieve your ideal weight and body shape and keep it for the rest of your life, but in return you would have to give up ten of your favorite foods, would you make that deal?
11. Which game show would you most like to appear on?

Wow. I totally want to answer these!

But I'm restraining myself, because this is YOUR time.

Off to brush my teeth and get glammy for my drinking date. (I am currently very drab and a little oily, with spaghetti in my teeth and limp hair. The opposite of glammy, in other words. But a little lipstick, blotting paper, back-combing . . . I'll be Ginger Grant in 15 minutes, for sure.)

—Lady Ginger C

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Y2 Day 101: The Prize Winner of Arlington, Mass.

"[Sex is] okay, but it's nothing like somebody putting a crown on your head or shopping." 
—Suzanne Sugarbaker, Designing Women

I want to finish my Liebster Blog award winner responsibilities now, because I have a big day ahead, culminating in bourbon, fancy pizza, and onscreen sex therapy with Brunie! Fun fun fun.

OK! Here we go.

11 Things About Me That You Might Not Have Known

1. My original name was Rebecca Jocelyn, because my mother wanted to call me Becky Jo. Had I been born closer to my due date of July 4, that would have been my name. However, stubborn me clung to Mommy's uterus for another month or so, giving her time to fall in love with my actual name, Jennifer Kathleen. (Though my Texas relatives call me Jenny Kay; am I better off?)

2. My dream car is a scooter. I love being on a motorcycle, but I'm too chicken to own one. A scooter — that I could handle. Arty Jenny had one for a while, and I grew dizzy with the coveting.

3. I love math and took Calculus in college just for fun. Which it was.

4. I once had a wicked-hot sex dream about Freddie "Boom Boom" Washington from Welcome Back Kotter.

5. My left eyelid hangs lower than my right eyelid. I had to point this out to my husband of 20 years. Like, a minute ago. (His response: "Ohhhh.")

6. I'm a shy person who loves performing. Performing is low-risk for me, because I'm not revealing anything of myself. Talking to strangers also falls under this category, because what do I care if a stranger likes me or not? But talking to people I know only slightly — this I find excruciating. It's why I hate parties, unless I have an activity (which is why I've become party-game girl).

7. I've eaten brain, heart, liver, kidney, gizzard, and whatever the heck tripe is. (From its texture, my guess is cheek. A lotta chewing, in other words.) Not a huge fan of any of them, but I love me some p√Ęte.

8. The countries I most want to visit are Denmark and Australia.

9. I love love love playing party games, my all-time favorite party game is full-contact death-sport charades, and my favorite title to make the other team charade is The Nympho and Other Maniacs. (My friend TNT once said, "Sounds like plinth?")

10. My favorite month is October.

11. I call everybody "sweetie." Everybody.

Whee! This was surprisingly difficult!

And once again, much time has elapsed since I started, and I really need to start my busybusybusy day. So — 11 questions to the universe (this is how I've decided to handle the "pass along the nomination" aspect) will come tomorrow.

Happy Hanukkah to all who celebrate! And even if you don't. Go on, live a little.

Lady C, the people's princess!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Y2 Day 100: Cue Bert Parks!!

The talented, witty, bourbon-loving, Vietnam War-chronicling, Moby Dick-reading, shampoo-eschewing, super-pretty newlywed Kate at Nested — she who fends off the liquid attacks of expired chickens with her ever-numb right arm — nominated me for an award!!!

I quote (from her blog, where she quoted another blog):

          "The Liebster Blog Award is an award given from bloggers to bloggers 
           that are small to medium in size or up and coming in the blogsphere. 
           Liebster is German for 'favorite.' The award is a way to give beginning 
           bloggers some worthy attention, make connections and let readers learn 
           a little more about you."
To fully "receive" this award (um, not sure of the correct verb here), I must answer eleven questions, share eleven facts about myself, and pose eleven questions to the blogs I pass the award to. 
11 Questions from the Lovely Kate
1. What did you want to be when you "grew up"?
I think I always wanted to be an author of children's books. I wrote many books in my early youth, including the "Sunset" series (Sunset on the Mountains, Sunset at the Beach, Sunset on Chico Creek, and the series finale, Sunset for Prudence). Gripping!!
 Lady C — keepin' the dream alive since 1968 (the year I learned to read and write).

2. Would you rather have a human head and intelligence with a velocirapter's body or a parrot that sat on your shoulder and broadcast your every thought?
 I already have the freaking parrot!!! It's called I blurt out everything that I'm thinking, particularly if I've had a glass of wine, which is always. But I'm living with it just fine (right, pallies?), and I have learned how to make a graceful apology. And I have enough body image challenges already. Parrot for me!
3. What's your guilty pleasure?
So many! But let's say: McDonald's French fries dipped into a McDonald's chocolate shake.

Wow, where did these 100 extra pounds come from????

4. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?
This question is making my brain turn inside out. My first answer was Jesus. Then I thought — could I really eat dinner while sitting with Jesus? I think I would be completely freaked out and excited and crazy happy and wanting to cry and possibly pass out from all the questions I have and the total awesomeness of sitting with Jesus! So . . . maybe he's not the best pick. So then I thought: Paul Newman, of course. Except — I think I would be too nervous about getting stuff in my teeth, and eating too much, and is he going to kiss me goodnight afterward or what? And then . . . a million people flooded my mind: Dead relatives, whom I miss so much! My dead favorite kitty Dexter! My great-grandmother the Indian chief! Lincoln! Eve! Groucho Marx! Maud Hart Lovelace!

You know what? I'm picking my mom. I never get to spend enough time with her (we live 3,000 miles apart), and we would have a blast. And we like to eat the same things, so I'm guaranteed a kick-ass meal.


(Seriously. My brain just exploded. Who is going to clean up this mess???)

5. How do you take your coffee?
Strong, hot, and with cream. And I take it all day and all night, baby!
6. Do you believe in ghosts?
Oh hells yes. But I didn't until my dead grandma appeared in my living room when I was putting away Christmas ornaments a few years ago. (According to her, I wasn't being careful enough.) Later she yelled at me for sitting on a bench in Monaco reading my book, when I should have been up and about, shopping and exploring.
I love and adore Grandma, but she is a big enormous nag and could do a little more resting in peace, in my humble opinion.
7. If you could accomplish only one thing in 2013, what would it be? 
I'd like to say "Find an agent for my book," but that is not totally under my control. I'm torn between "Finish my second book" and "Lose 40 more pounds." Please, please, pretty please, may I pick both? They are such worthy goals!

(Hmm – should I have picked something more selfless, like, "Endeavor to ensure my children and husband's health and happiness?" Does it count that I thought of that third?)
8. Cats or dogs?
I LOVE dogs. I will approach any dog I see, ever, hold out my fingers, invite a sniff, and attempt to be friends. I have a best-dog-friend in the neighborhood, and I have stopped my car when I drive by and see that she's in her yard, so I can get out and play with her. 
And having said all that: I am 100 percent a cat person, to the very core of my being. I love dogs. I get cats.
9. What animal best represents your personality and why?

Hee! See above. Glamorous, pleasure-seeking, self-absorbed. Me, me, me as well.
10. Are you afraid of the dark?
Not in and of itself — I could sit on my living room sofa or my front porch in the pitch darkness and be fine. But I'm afraid of things jumping out at me from the dark, so I won't go into a "haunted house"-type attraction.
11. Paper or plastic?
Miss! I use re-usable shopping bags!! (Unless we're out of paper bags, which we use to recycle our newspapers. So — paper beats plastic, I guess.) 
*   *   *   *   *   *   *
I got interrupted and now a hundred hours have gone by. This will have to be a two-part post, I guess! Stay tuned for 11 amazing facts about me and 11 questions for someone else to answer (though truly I'm at a loss, since almost no one I know besides Lady Darcy has a blog, and I'm not sure Lady Darcy will care about this). The trail of Liebster Blog (which I keep reading as Lobster Blog) just may end here.
Off to snuggle next to my kids and start reading aloud The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, our yearly ritual. I love love LOVE December!!!
To all a good night!

—Lady C

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Y2 Day 99: Sexy Dancy ME

I've mentioned that I usually look like a hobo at zumba — oversize men's tank top + stretched-out stirrup pants that I wore through two pregnancies (with the waistband under my stomach bump — I'm not that big now!) — though I did invest in some good Spandexy pants a while back, and I like wearing those, and I do have two tightish zumba shirts. So tonight I took a deep breath and went all tight — tight pants, tight shirt.

It is definitely a different feeling!

And it's my last class with Sexy Dancy Nancy for a while; she won't be back till March. She knows that my all-time favorite zumba song and routine is "Echa Pa'lante" from this movie's soundtrack (it's a great song, and our routine is smokin'!!) — ". . . so," she says, "in honor of our last class, since this is Lady's favorite song, I'm gonna ask her to come up here and lead it with me."


At the Italian Spitfire's class I'm definitely the class clown, but I keep a lower profile in this class. I was completely flabbergasted!

I thought about gracefully demurring — you know, for a full two seconds — but then I skipped up to the front and led the song. Why the heck not? Truly, you cannot have vanity and be a big girl doing zumba. I think of myself as an inspirational model for other big girls. I am the freaking Mother Teresa of zumba. Yes. That is I.

It was total fun. And when I was done, Sexy Dancy said, referring to me, "Sexy, huh?" Which I found ironic, given her name and all. My version was sexier?! Very cool.

Other stuff happened today, but I've got 11 minutes to take a shower and then climb under my covers to drink coffee and watch Glee with Mimosa. Gotta move!

It was a great day!

(And despite my constant consumption of Trader Joe's Christmas cookies and near-daily hooch, my weight is staying down!! It must be all my muscle mass.)


—Lady Mother Chardonnay

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Y2 Day 98: Choosing Between "Probably Right" and "Less Right But Still Perfectly Viable"

Here's the sitch: I did zumba last night, my new zumba class starts tonight, and I have zumba tomorrow night — last class with Sexy Dancy Nancy for a while, hence the new Wednesday class.

I thought I would have to miss tomorrow's class because my son has a concert — except he doesn't. The concert isn't until the 18th.

I really really really want to skip zumba tonight. I'll go tomorrow and get my two classes for the week, which is all I'd expected to do.

I'm exhausted (as always at this time of day, plus I got up at dawn to get Mimosa to a 7 a.m. chorus rehearsal), I got a ton done today, and I'm making a scrumptious dinner for my family (sausages, German potato salad, fennel slaw, red-hot apples). I would love to stay home, watch Survivor with Li'l Martini, possibly try out one or two of the card games we'll be playing at his birthday party (more on this below), read any one of my five new library books, and get a good night's sleep.

And drink a glass of wine. Possibly I should mention that this is part of my plan.

So while I won't be doing much for my physical health (other than the sleep), my Plan B Evening will be aces for my mental health! Rest and leisure! Intellectual stimulation! (From Jane Eyre, not Survivor.) Fun family time!

Still. Of course I know that I should go to zumba. I've got two more hours to decide. In the meantime, sausage and potato salad await!

—Lady C, in a quandary

p.s. Martini's birthday is December 21, and his party will be the 23rd. He is having a poker night (because pinatas are for fifth-graders), but in addition to poker he wants to play Tripoly and Kings in the Corner using poker chips and Casino and maybe some other games, and we need to brush up on a few. It's going to be such fun, though. Yesterday, I bought candy cigarettes and licorice pipes and decks of cards for party favors, all for less than 12 bucks at the 5 & Dime, and today I made the invitation. I love planning my kids' birthday parties!!

p.p.s. Husband commented, "One thing we can tell from your blog — you really like bourbon." I said, "I'm trying to use up the lemon syrup before it goes bad; the drink recipe makes a ton." He said I should explain this so my readers don't think I've changed drinks on them.

Dear Readers, while I do love a good Bourbon Bog — (so! yummy!) — Chardonnay is my mother's milk, my sustenance and succor. I hope you are reassured.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Y2 Day 97: Possums Have 13 Nipples

I called Mom to get Dad's pants measurements, and this is what I learned instead.

Well, I guess I should say "in addition," since I also got the waistband and inseam numbers I needed. (We draw names for Christmas gift-giving among my parents and sibs, and Husband is giving to Dad this year. Which means I'm giving to Dad, and Husband is giving him a book. 'S'okay, I like shopping for Dad.) Dad also has a birthday in December, which he shares with Beethoven. He's getting harder to buy for, as he gets older and his world gets smaller, but I'm good at thinking creatively and keeping my eye out for possibilities, and here's what I've come up with:
  • Jellies of the world (he eats toast with jelly every morning, and Mom says their stash is depleted); so far, I've collected sour cherry, gooseberry, apricot, and something called Mimosa marmalade
  • Flannel-lined pants (he is always cold)
  • A new comfy fleecy jacket (ditto)
  • A Corkcicle (he likes red wine slightly chilled, and he'll think this is funny)
  • A lovely bottle of red wine
  • A wine caddy that looks like lederhosen (my dad has a fine appreciation of the absurd)
  • Lava Buns! (i.e., a Hot Butt Pillow) — this is the present I'm most excited about; I see him bringing it to his Library Board meetings, and sharing its name with pride
I've got a few other things too (including some info I found on his grandmother, Alice Brown Davis, the first and only chieftain [female chief] of the Seminole Tribe — I don't know why it never occurred to me to look her up on the Internet before, but it never did). He'll be happy.

Alas, the Unemployed Philosophers Guild is out of the soap shaped like the statue of David, which I very much wanted to buy for Mom's stocking (we were in Florence just four years ago). C'est la vie.

Wow, did I mean to write about Dad tonight? Apparently! He's reading Ken Jennings' book of trivia right now and is chock-full o' fun facts. I'm just as glad I'm not visiting.

Though that is kind of interesting about the oppossum.

I got home from zumba 30 minutes ago, and ye gods do I stink. The Italian Spitfire is determined to keep us from gaining an ounce this month! ("Maintain, don't gain," she said. Is that not the motto I declared mere days ago? Clearly I am psychic.) I can no longer stand my own aroma, so it's off to the bath! I've got Jane Eyre to read, but it's an ancient edition; I'm not sure it can withstand my bath steam. I also have a handful of enticing YAs (Almost Perfect and Vixen and The Girl Is Trouble), and they'll be great tub books.

Or People. I just realized that I am completely exhausted. Including my brain. It may have to be People.

Good night!

—Lady C, maintaining

Monday, December 3, 2012

Y2 Day 96: Real Books Written by Real Authors Who Aren't Me

I just got brutally and violently rejected, even though I'm sure my attacker meant no real harm:

           I'm afraid that for the moment we will have to pass on Measuring 
         Up, but we are really happy that you let us the opportunity to read 
         your story, and wish you nothing but the best in your future career.

Total jerkwads, amirite? And see how they left out the word "have"? They're morons too. Abusive and sub-literate. Who's with me on this?!


So I'm blue, sitting here with my rejection letter and my cancer. I did take a walk and lift weights, so I'm sweaty and virtuous, but that seems to be trumped by sad and blue and rejected and disease-ridden and desolate in the certain knowledge that I'm a complete failure as an aspiring YA authoress.

But as I wallow I also turn my mind to Improving Literature, as in, I have a hankering to read some. I've read many of the "classics" but certainly not all — probably not even half. And there are some that I would very much like to read (as opposed to books that I would like to have read. I have zero interest in reading David Copperfield  — zero!! — but it feels so lame not to have read it). I'm starting with Jane Eyre, which will be a reread, but I read it so long ago that I'm hazy on the details, and then here's my plan for the New Year:
  • January, Anna Karenina
  • February, The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • March, Frankenstein
  • April, The Scarlet Letter
  • May, Uncle Tom's Cabin
  • June, Emma
After that, we'll just see. By all reports The Scarlet Letter will likely kill me, so it seems unwise to plan too far ahead after that (though I've enjoyed the little bit of Hawthorne I've read. Well, we'll see. Suffering builds character, after all).

I'm trying to convince Brunie to come drink bourbon with me right now (my exact request was "...and help me pluck off the leeches of self-pity" — what kind of bad un-friend could turn this down???), but she has so far turned a deaf ear. Thus adding to my total and utter rejection, Brunie.

Guess I'm drinking alone! Ah, sweet hooch — you never fail me, and you're always here.

Wallow, wallow.

— Lady C

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Y2 Day 95: Mon Beau Sapin

The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men once again ganged aft agley all over the place.

In other words: didn't exercise.

It was a jam-packed day: breakfast! boyfriends! church! Chinese food! laundry! Math Practice notes! Sunday New York Times crossword puzzle! And an entire chapter devoted to l'arbre de Noel: Christmas tree purchase! Christmas tree transport! Christmas tree stand-assembly! Christmas tree setup! Christmas tree needle vacuuming!

Also: Our adorable children surprised me and Husband with an impromptu "talent" show, featuring the many splendid gifts of creatures and knicknacks we have around the house. (The emcee was an inflatable alien who Li'l Martini christened "Cain.") Acts included "The Dancing Chopsticks," "Epic Rap Battle Between Dragon and 'Gator," and "The Fortune-Telling Pigs." It was awesome.

But by 4 p.m., I was ready to hunker down in my flannel lounger and fuzzy socks, sip hot coffee, finish the crossword, and call Mom. Which was a lovely end to a lovely weekend.

Our tightly furled tree has been relaxing into the warmth of our home all afternoon, and the living room smells of evergreen and holiday. I love having a real tree.

And tomorrow night we'll decorate it! SO much fun.

And tomorrow, during the day, I will exercise. I can, I must, I will!!! (TM Bill Roupp)

 —Lady C, fierce in flannel

 p.s. My weight was exactly where it should be this morning, despite yesterday's excess. Go figure!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Y2 Day 94: Out-Stewarting Martha

(Except not really, because I don't make any of this stuff myself.)

Today I decorated the house for Christmas. In theory this is a family activity, though the others are really only good for about 10 minutes. And I totally get why it's not fun for them; directing people to do the thing that (to me) is so patently obvious in needing to be done is not good for any of us. I begin to see them as frighteningly impaired and dull-witted, they begin to see me as an angry dictator and drill sergeant; it's best that they go on their way, staying out of mine, and let me have the first floor to myself, me and Andy Williams and a couple of Bourbon Bogs. (I have to drink while Christmas decorating so I don't feel put-upon; it's total fun but it's also a lot of work.)

And I often spread the work over a couple of days so I don't tire out, but today I muscled through and it's all done! Except for the tree; we'll purchase it and get it set up tomorrow and then decorate it . . . maybe Monday. When the electrician is here, hoorah! to install a new switch for my new garbage disposal, hoorah! Is IS the most wonderful time of the year!

But I'm tuckered, and I still need to wash some dishes and vacuum up stray tinsel bits, and then it's a bath and bed for this girl.

I think I'm on a diet time-out — I had Trader Joe's cookies for breakfast, bourbon for brunch, and a McDonald's Big Mac for a late lunch. Maybe I'll have an apple for dinner, that should do it.

Tomorrow is a much more chill day, and I will definitely exercise and eat right and all that. As I said, I don't expect to lose any weight this month, but I'd prefer not to gain any as well. If I close out December at 247, I'm calling it a win.

Oh! I just remembered: One of my church boyfriends is bringing me breakfast in bed tomorrow! (I won him in our church auction last spring.) I'm excited about macademia nut coffee cake and fresh-ground coffee (and also seeing my boyfriend, natch — he is quite the silver fox and looks like a cross between Paul Newman and Ted Turner); Husband is excited about getting the Sunday New York Times. Win-win!

OK, I will eat mindfully after gorging myself on macademia nut coffee cake. No prob.

I want to give a shout-out to my young friend Nurse Wendy, who sent me kindest greetings on my cancer this week. I thought of you, dear Wendy, as I unpacked the Christmas Book Box this morning; I may take Christmas All Year 'Round into the tub with me. Such a gem!!

(p.s. My house looks awesome. Everyone should come visit me!)

— Lady C