Checking in and Catching up

My Ab Lounge finally is out of here, sold on Craigslist to a young college student who willingly parted with $50. I had been quite over-optimistic about what I was actually willing to do and that never seemed to be it, so out it goes. I already spent the $50 to buy a lightweight fall coat. Of course, it’s been in the 80’s so who knows when it will come in handy. But eventually …

My Mom and DadNext weekend my parents are arriving from Texas for a 10-day visit. I’ve been scrambling around trying to get things as tidy and prepared as possible, primarily lugging stuff to the dump (er, transfer station – though really it was a dump) and drilling lots of holes to get new curtains up.

The study, which will become their guest room when we blow up the Aerobed, is in the front of the apartment and gets a lot of light from streetlights even with blinds closed. So I needed room-darkening curtains and not just something filmy draped over rods for cover.

The rods went up last weekend – I love using the drill and making holes – but I ended up exchanging the first curtains I got for others with more color. They came this week and were ironed and hung, and then I got mad because the look was too heavy. I needed some kind of way to hook them out of the way and opening up the window during the day, but still easy to undo at night to pull the curtains shut to darken the room.

Another trip to Home Depot (which is almost as dangerous for me as an office supply store is) yielded holdbacks that match my rods, which also came from HD. They’re just little metal U shaped things that, well, hold back the curtain. Putting them up involved more drilling and hole-making and now I’m happy with the look.

But my mother is coming. I have to clean everything but not too early because I could make a mess of it again before Friday. I hate cleaning when I get home from work so we’ll see how this actually shakes out. In practice, as long as the piles are tidy and they have a place to unpack, it will be fine.

Food will be interesting. My mom is smaller now than when she got married, and she was a size 10 then. My dad has had a weight problem all his life but I think of him as having a little extra padding; his problem is nothing like the one I’ve battled, though it is his problem. He understands, though, and that helps.

I’m used to living and eating alone most of the time except when I’m out with friends. Any food in the house is because I brought it here. I don’t need to worry about tempting finicky appetites or fixing vegetables that no one will eat. So having the parents here – for 10 days! – needs a good bit more thought. I think perhaps we will work on menus together when they’re here and we know the touring schedule better. As long as I have the things that I know I need, I can stay on track. And my parents don’t want me to disrupt my food plan. My problem is expanding the cooking options for multiple people at every meal.

This weekend is kind of pampering time, in addition to hole-drilling. This morning I had my hair cut and roots touched up so I can have more “good hair” days. Tomorrow I’m having a massage and a pedicure – and am going to figure out how to get to the gym to do some exercises in the pool. I missed water aerobics on Thursday because I wasn’t feeling well but I do like being able to slip into the water and move without hurting.

Mixed Bag Weekend

Window with rag dollsI love being able to sleep until I wake up on weekends. Getting up at 5:50am on work days is hard for one who is totally not a morning person and even though I try to get to bed at a decent hour, I’m usually somewhat sleep deprived by Saturday. Now that I changed to a Wed. WW meeting instead of on Sat., I’ve got more time to wake up slowly and then piddle around doing stuff.

The original plans for the weekend were to head to the Durham Fair but I ended up not going. Much as I loved the idea of seeing farm animals, crafts, and riding the ferris wheel, I was a little worried about the amount of standing and walking involved. Not to mention the stations of fried dough. I don’t even like it but it’s awfully tempting to eat weird fatty stuff just because it’s around.

So instead of the fair, I attempted to put up curtain rods. Ha ha ha. It was quite an adventure that took me two days and two trips to Home Depot. There were three rods all for double windows, for a total of 9 supports and 18 anchored screws. There was the problem – I ended up mangling some of the anchors and/or pulling some out of the wall, leaving big holes that required spackling. Thank heavens they’re all up now and they do look pretty stylish if I do say so myself.

The curtains are another matter. Last weekend I went to the Country Curtains store to pick out curtains, knowing that being able to see and touch them make it a lot easier to do than just using a printed catalog or website. I ended up with insulated weaver’s cloth tabbed curtains in a natural shade, made for really wide windows for “proper draping”. Unfortunately, once they were up on my bedroom wall, I knew they were not going to work. Too blah and too much fabric.

So today I was on the road again, entertained by Prairie Home Companion as I drove back to the store. I exchanged the boring curtains for different kinds for the two rooms, a lovely soft rose microsuede for my bedroom (goes nicely with my quilt) and a soft burnished gold patterned velvet lined curtains for my study. I was struck on the way home by how lovely the ride was – more trees were sporting reds and golds than even last week and I can tell we’re into fall.

Cleaning up the mess I’d made with the curtain rod installations led to full-scale house cleaning, including mopping the kitchen floor, which I despise doing. I’m still sneezing from the dust I released but things do look a lot better.

The cleaning also gave me a physical release for the emotions that were bubbling inside. I learned today that a friend died on Saturday morning. Bob had been recovering from complications related to knee surgery when he went into cardiac arrest and died. Just like that, he’s gone.

ob was a giant in my field and had been looking forward to retiring in a few years after a satisfying career that took him from local to national and international activities. He was an extremely wise, intelligent man with great compassion, a lively sense of humor, and keen insight. He was also a good friend to many of us, including me, and news of his death is already filling the ether with shock and grief.

“Rest eternal grant to him, O Lord. And let light perpetual shine upon him.”

My Tummy Hurts

Lying Down with a Stomach AcheI have an upset stomach and want to just curl up on the couch in a fetal position – in fact, that’s exactly what I’m going to do when I finish writing this and doing my daily inventory. And take some Tums.

I’ve eaten very off-program this weekend and my system is paying for it right now. It’s highly unlikely that I’m going to go out and buy another tub of chocolate frosting to use to dip apple slices – that was yesterday’s stupidity. I knew it was a bad idea even as I did it and think I was “inspired” by watching eleventy million Pizza Hut commercials for pizza slices with dipping sauce. I didn’t want THAT but the idea of having apples and chocolate sounded yummy. And it was good but it was too much and I knew with every dip that it was getting worse and worse.

There were no trips to the gym this weekend, just trips in the car to go spend money. Sigh. I needed to get curtains for my wide windows to help block out light and insulate in the winter (I’ve been through too many New England winters not to know that this will be necessary) and with the parents coming to visit in 2 weeks, I need to take care of the light blocking fast. Curtains meant curtain rods and the price mounts. And another trip to Bed Bath and Beyond yielded a dust buster thing purchased with the 20% off coupon.

My big accomplishment was working on a letter of recommendation for someone up for promotion at her library. I had agreed to review her work and write something but finding time to do it during the work week just didn’t happen. The letter wasn’t hard to write since I actually believe what I was writing and I enjoyed weighing words to find exactly what I wanted to say. Plus I learned how to print envelopes so I’m feeling accomplished.

Mostly, though, I have a stomach ache. Tomorrow I’m back to balanced normal healthy options. My tummy is much happier when I do that and deviating just reminds me that there are consequences to eating rich things. I used to be able to do this often without a problem but I’m not that person anymore.