Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Reading?

I was at Brunie's last week, and she has the coolest thing on the outside of her computer: a "page" with the covers of all her summer reading books over the years, starting from a young age. It was very cool to peruse . . . but also made me realize that I don't characterize books I've read that way. Did I read them in the summer or winter? I have no idea.

But I've read a bunch of excellent books so far this summer, so I thought I'd share some of the ones I've especially enjoyed:


"Enjoyed" may not be the right word for all of these — Brutal Youth is pretty grim, but I couldn't tear myself away from it yesterday — but I found all of them to be good, compelling, or at least fun reads.

I've also read maybe five other books that I didn't love at all and won't include here, including Orange Is the New Black, which (1) confirmed that the character of Piper is annoying as all giddy-up, whether onscreen or in print, and (2) is one of the few cases where I believe the movie (TV show) is better than the book. Very disappointing!

I'm currently reading I Love You More by Jennifer Murphy (jury's still out), and I've got Don't Try to Find Me and Pioneer Girl: A Novel waiting at the library — and Inspirational Kathy, your influence on my reading life should be abundantly clear, if it wasn't already!

What have you read and loved this summer?

— Lady C

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Victory! Accomplishment! And Oh So Much Crap

Today is Chore Day, and I told the kids that our special task in addition to the usual was basement cleaning, Partly we needed to eradicate filth (it's a carpeted basement, and I think it's been a few months since we vacuumed — plus there were cobwebs and dust everywhere) and partly to re-organize and get rid of a bunch of old toys and other stuff that we no longer need.

PLUS, in the course of looking for costume pieces for Li'l Martini's upcoming (five) roles in Assassins, I discovered that the file cabinet drawer full of cherished baby clothes and the file cabinet drawer full of cute skinny clothes I hope to fit into again one day had totally mildewed, ew, so I am doing six loads of laundry today.

And as you might suspect, a lot of those cute skinny clothes — from the '80s — will be going fresh from the dryer to Goodwill.

I started working down there at 10:30 a.m. and didn't finish till 3:30; the kids and Husband came in and out and helped quite a bit, and we moved four enormous trash bags (two pure trash, two full of things to donate — not even counting the clothes, which are still being laundered) of crap stuff out of there, and then dusted and scrubbed and swept and vacuumed, and it is so sparkly clean and sweet-smelling and orderly right now!!

I, however, am rank and grimy, with a fine layer of grit clinging to my sweat. Yesterday I did a ton of yard work, and today's chores involved a lot of bending and lifting, and my whole body is crying with achy. Time for a long hot bubbly bath!

And my weight was down this morning, the lowest it's been in more than a month. Woo-hoo!

Tomorrow I will get that feeling I totally love and adore — padding downstairs in my nightie and bare feet, smelling hot perking coffee, feeling clean floors under my soles, and reveling in the sunlight sparkling on my freshly laundered house.  

Love. It.

Off to the tub!

—Achy-Breaky Musty-Dusty Lady C

Friday, July 25, 2014

Just Read an Interesting Sentence

Every time you eat or drink,
you are either feeding disease or fighting it.

I don't know what I think about that, but it's definitely "food" for thought.

In other news:
  • My weight is still high-high-high, but after walking and a bath yesterday, I sweated off two whole pounds. Two pounds of sweat! This felt like victory to me.
  • I also devoured the best book, called Elizabeth Is Missing by, I think, Emma Healey. Such a cliche, but I truly couldn't put it down! So that's what I did yesterday: walked, sweated, read. Great day.
  • Mimosa turns 17 in 10 days. Usually I'm a birthday-planning machine, but this one crept up on me. Time to make a plan!
But not right now, I need to take a shower and get to Home Depot.

More later! maybe, probably.

— Busy Lady C

Thursday, July 24, 2014

I Sweat, Therefore I'm Thin

I was so tired all day yesterday, and my stomach was wonky, and it was 3 million degrees outside, and the last thing in the world I felt like doing was flailing my 250-pound body around in a zumba class.

But I went.

And not only that, I finally remembered to bring my own hand weights. The heaviest weights at the zumba place are 3 pounds, but I lift 5 pounds at home, and everything I've read says that fewer reps of heavier weight are better than more reps of a lighter weight, so hey. While the rest of the class toiled away at glutes and abs, I did 5-pound bicep and tricep curls and arm extensions, many many many reps of each.

And! Usually the Italian Spitfire is toiling on her own mat with the rest of the class, but last night she was up and walking around while we labored. I caught her eye and said, "Listen, if you let me hold your feet, I'll do an ab exercise." So she led the whole class in what I call "throw downs," and she taught me a new variation, where you lift your legs to the side and work your obliques, which, OWWW, plus my left oblique is way weaker than my right, which is sort of interesting, but I did all the reps she wanted me to do, and the rest of the class is groaning, groaning, and the Spitfire said, "You can all thank Lady C for that one," which was pretty funny.

So, in other words: I did abs.


Today dawned gray and gloomy, and I looked at the sky with such hope. Surely if it were pouring rain, Writer Jenny would not make me walk with her? But alas, no skies wept for me today. In fact, it was perfect walking weather, just warm enough and lightly breezy, and there were so many cute dogs on the bike path, and I saw lots of old friends while waiting for Writer Jenny at Starbucks, and of course spending time with her is always a delight; we never run out of things to talk about.

She is also thin and limber and crazy fit, and I trudge along next to her, huffing and panting like an elderly buffalo. But it's good for me, even though my knees are whimpering and I'm contemplating a morning bath. It's summer vacation, why not?

As I walked today, it was so clear to me how much fitness ground I've lost. I'm trying not to be depressed about this. The only way to get it back is to keep on keepin' on, and I've made a good start.

One day at a time!

— Lady C

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Oh, She May Be Weary

Long time no blog, I know. Sorry about that. Dad's death and all of its related activities coupled with school ending and summer activities starting meant that Air Traffic Controller Mommy has had a pretty full plate for a while.

And I don't know if it's the usual summer doldrums (I don't do well in heat, though Arlington is having a beautifully mild summer so far, knock on wood) or a general fatigue brought on by grief (or a more nefarious explanation, such as chronic wasting disease), but I am weary all the time. I wake up at 7, stretch a little in bed, head downstairs to start my day . . . and by 9, I'm ready to return to the pillows.

I keep having to drive longish distances (my car is the only one with working air-conditioning at present — and even on a temperate day, for summer highway driving you still really need air-conditioning), and I've been having mini panic attacks because I can feel myself getting dozy on the road. Not good!

For two weeks, Li'l Martini was in LARP camp 9–4 and then had Assassins rehearsals from 5 to 9. That meant that I had to fix him a lunch and a snack to bring to LARP, plus have a nice healthy dinner ready for him to bolt during his hour of "free" time plus create a sustaining snack to bring with him — and two days a week I'm doing this plus driving him everywhere he needs to be (plus getting Mimosa to karate and myself to zumba) because Husband is teaching a night class. And, oh yes, LARP is nut-free – no peanut butter. So! Fun!

Hey, did you catch my reference to zumba? I'm back with the Italian Spitfire on Wednesday nights in air-conditioning; I move like a slug but at least I'm moving. My weight has crept up up up, which I suspect is adding to my fatigue and torpor. I seriously need a Boot Camp week, but I'm too weary to even contemplate it.

Today (among a dozen other goals) I plan to complete my application for a part-time job, which, if I get it, would change my life entirely.  I think I'm well-qualified for it — but I've thought this about many jobs I've applied for, and I've yet to get an offer. Apparently I'm not the glammy employment catch I thought I was! (Humbling.) Anyway, I'll keep you posted.

It feels like there are a million things I could write about, but I'm already — can you guess?? — exhausted, so I'll stop here. Tomorrow I've scheduled a morning walk with Writer Jenny (she says she'll walk with me after her workout, which blows my mind — to me, the walk is a workout. Writer Jenny is a Fitness Goddess!!), and having two exercisey events on my plate makes me feel virtuous. Sleepy, yes, but virtuous.

Time to weave some beautiful B.S. for my job application . . . at last, I'm using my college major of creative writing to make some money! Maybe.

You said it, kitty.

Yawn, yawn,

Lady C