It's a new year, and sister, I am ready for a new 'tude.
The biggest change is this:
I've had my lovely holiday, but now I'm returning to the world of Western medicine. If the side effects are truly terrible, I'll reconsider. But for today, I will do my best to lower my increased cancer risk using the best tools we have.
We've been busy here at Chez Chardonnay! New Year's Eve was a BLAST. We enjoyed, I think, nine different Trader Joe's appetizers (just a handful of each) and four desserts (I ate only butter cookies . . . mmm . . . butter cookies . . .), washed down with apple cider (Mimosa), eggnog (Li'l Martini), Diet Tonic Water with lime (Husband), and alternating glasses of Planter's Punch (I had all these naked lemons from making homemade sugar scrub, which I gave as gifts this year) and chardonnay (you can probably guess who).
We played a variety of hilarious games for hours. I am so psyched ; my kids are old enough to play Cranium now, which used to be my favorite game! It's played in teams of two; Brunie and I were so in love with it, we would play the BrunChardos against the ChardoBruns.
(Which reminds me of the period of my life that I was obsessed with Taboo, also Peanut M&MS; Brunie and I were at a hotel in Maine and stayed up till 3 a.m. playing and eating, and gorging this way kind of got it out of my system. I later told this story to Mrs. Cynicletary, who replied, "There is only one thing I want to do at 3 a.m. and it involves neither Taboo nor Brunie." !!)
(Hey, expand your horizons, Mrs. C!)
(I Googled "playing games with the family" and got all these images of people clicking away at devices with their thumbs. Quelle horreur!!)
- The pronunciation of "complaisant" and "complacent"
- Charading the word "hormone"
- Drawing "ransom"
- "Why did you stop when I said stop?"
- "Don't draw another f---ing car!!"
- Husband's charade of "wind," which made us ask, "So how would you charade 'snatching things out of the air'?"
We concluded with Consequences, which is the perfect game for summing things up, and I may save these sheets forever, to remember New Year's Eve 2014 — a year that my children were still happy to be home spending time with their parents.
Well, that ended on a bit of a downer, didn't it?!
The next day, as is also our tradition, we turned all the mattresses, vacuumed up giant dust bunnies from under the beds, and dusted our bedrooms. It is a gross and disgusting job, and I always yell at my son the hoarder (his room is smallish, he doesn't have a lot of storage space, and he refuses to get rid of anything. Husband is similar, though he has a lot more storage space). But we got it done, the upstairs sparkles with cleanliness, and we celebrated with a blow-out meal at Margaritas and more games! And then we came home and watched Marx Brothers movies. All good.
When I think about 2014 as a whole (and especially when I reread what I wrote at the end of last year), I'm inclined to be depressed. I accomplished very few of the goals I set for myself (finish Novel 2, find a job, get back on track with weight loss), my daughter continued to struggle with sadness and depression, and I lost my dad.
Also, this experience with Mom at the end of the year made it wildly clear that she is one injury away from infirmity. My brother and I had to do everything for her — she was almost unable to help herself. I overheard her social worker offer to give her a list of rehab places to choose from (I was on the phone with him at the time), and she blithely replied, "Oh, just send those to my daughter," and my heart sank.
A pretty sucky year, all told.
But it is in my nature to be positive. When life gives me lemons, I zest them, make a beauty product, and enjoy a tasty Planter's Punch!
Putting a positive spin on 2014, I can say that this was the year I . . .
- started subbing in the elementary schools, which I totally love
- deepened my relationship with many of my relatives and with my dad's best friend
- wrote a few more chapters of Novel 2
- hosted a Hollywood Game Night and had a blast
- had the most perfect visit ever with my parents
- had an unprecedented five visits with my beloved mother who is so far away
- oversaw great work from my church committee
- tried tai chi
- got cortisone shots in my knees, which dramatically reduced my knee pain
- colored my hair — woo-hoo! Love.
- finally replaced my 1998 Honda Civic (with a 2010 Honda Civic. Hey! Progress!)
- got porch railings, which I've wanted for 16 years
Today we are writing thank-you notes and I'm putting up the "winter" decorations that I didn't quite get to the other day. I'm also making a kick-ass dinner: roasted pork tenderloin (it's brining in my fridge right now), horseradish beets, sauteed greens, parsnip chips, red-hot apples, and butterscotch pudding. And possibly another Planter's Punch, I've still got three naked lemons! But only one, I'm back on the Tam now and can't exceed one drink per day.
I am a girl of steely resolution, after all.
Happiest of new years, my friends! My #1 resolution is to spend more time with all of you, somehow, some way, somewhere.