Amanda Plan A Canal Pandamonium!

Me: Okay. The music is getting louder. It’s time for us to have a conversation.

My sister: What is it?

Me: If everyone around us starts to dance, are you going to join them?

My sister: No. I’m not.

Me: Good. Because me neither. Do you see that lady over there? Have you ever done that before and actually meant it?

My sister: You mean raising the roof?!

Me: Yes. Raising the roof.

My sister: No.

Me: Good. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I danced with abandon.

My sister: Who is Amanda?

Me: I don’t know anyone named Amanda!

My sister: Is that why you can’t remember dancing with her?!



This morning I found myself at my annual gynecologist appointment. (I know! Nice segue with the butt thing, right? Kind of!) Because I let the cat out of the bag regarding the fact that I tend to cycle (heh) for two to three weeks at a time, she decided to take a uterine biopsy.

Me: Do I have to come back for that?

My doctor: Nope. It’s quick. I’ll just do it before I do your pap smear.

Me: Cool beans.

(My slang tends to reach back into the 80s when I’m at the gynecologist. (I spent a lot of time in stirrups back then, too.) Pants. Stirrup pants! HA HA HA!!! I also wore a lot of brooches and fake pearls, Molly Ringwald.)

My doctor, slightly opening the exam room door: Nancy? Can I get a little help in here?

Me: Wait. Why Nancy? Is this going to hurt?

My doctor: You’ll probably feel a little bit of “WHAT ARE YOU DOING DOWN THERE?” but by the time you get to THERE, I’ll be done.

Me: What the–

My doctor: When I count to three, I want you to give me a cough. One, two…


My doctor: All done. You’ll probably be cramping and bleeding for the rest of the day.

And I am, and I am.

Psst! My Acer now has an arm! I just might have a new sweater to wear to marching band competitions! (See how I left us on a happy note? Fluid Pudding is a roller coaster!)

Now we're getting somewhere. Instead of a vest, it's a half cardigan.

(This is how it works: Pandemonium is spelled with an E. Amanda Plan A Canal is heavy on the A, so I went with Pandamonium. Do not look up the definition in Urban Dictionary. If you DO look it up, please know that all of my Bundt pans are being used in the way that they were originally intended. Yeesh.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

My clipper skills are TERRIBLE, but my legs are like velvet and I’m a good mom!

I have received some of the nicest comments and e-mails about my most recent post. Thanks to every one of you for being so kind. As goofy as it might sound, I’ll be returning to those comments whenever I need a bit of a lift.

I decided to treat myself to a pedicure yesterday, and the woman in charge told me that my fingers are terrible. She also told me that I should NEVER use clippers because I’m clearly terrible with them. (She didn’t speak English very well, and Terrible was one of her more common words. I didn’t mind this at all. I AM terrible with clippers, and I’m glad someone finally put me in my place about it.) She also told me that she loves how smooth my legs are, and she thinks I’m a good mom for staying home with my kids when they were babies. (Apparently, her daughter hires a babysitter to come in while she’s at work. According to the woman at the nail place, “Stay at home? Good. Don’t stay at home? Terrible!”)

Me: Be careful there, Sister. Those are Mommy War words! Don’t you watch the TODAY show?!

Speaking of today, today I had lunch with someone I haven’t seen in 25 years, and it was delightful. I do love getting older and being more comfortable in my (terrible!) skin and being able to talk to people without staring at the floor. I also love that a half century of life has taken place (25 years for her, 25 years for me) since we saw each other, and there we sat eating black beans and rice (me) and a BLT (her) and talking as if high school was yesterday.

This weekend is my annual Yarn and Sushi Hajj. My shopping list holds one word: Fiber. I’ve been spinning on my wheel a LOT lately, and as a result, I’m all calm and happy and not losing sleep over the fact that our laundry is sort of stinking and our kitchen faucet is on the fritz.

Last week I plied this:

Mandarin Crush

It was a pain to spin (very nubby, lots of vegetation that needed to be picked out), but in the end it became 360 yards of Beautiful Swan.

Tomorrow morning is my 26 minute run. (The program is slowly increasing my time until I reach 30 minutes.) I’ve decided to start shaking up my running locations, mainly because running circles around the same track every other day is starting to wear on me. Instead of driving 15 minutes west, I’m going to drive 15 minutes north.

This means instead of seeing this:


I’ll see this:

Creve Coeur Cairn

Although it will add a half mile to my morning, I’m pretty sure I’m making the right choice. (My very first 5K is in less than two weeks. After I get through it, I’ll be able to say, “I run” without making silly air quotes and rolling my eyes into the back of my head like I’m more of a Pretender than a Runner. With that said, I’ll be keeping the sticker.)

School starts on August 15th. I’m not ready. The summer has been a good one, and I’m not quite sure I can wait nine months for another. This has nothing to do with that, but: Have any of you ever purchased a Groupon thing for housecleaning services? Was it terrible? Because I’m doing my thing again, and something needs to happen. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

One?! If even?!

Jeff was in North Carolina all week, so I did what I always do when he is out of town. I went pretend dress shopping at ModCloth. This is how it works: I put the kids to bed, I jump on the computer, and I spend (probably too much) time browsing the styles I like. I then put all of my favorites into a shopping cart to see how much it would cost to have everything. I then take every single dress OUT of the shopping cart and go to bed. No one gets hurt.

Ah, but Wednesday evening was a bit different. I had spent the better part of the afternoon working on a freelance project, so I decided to actually order a dress. I turned to Facebook, where several of my most fashionable friends hang out, and I presented them with three options: This, this, or this (which is NOT from ModCloth, but is still very cute). At the end of the evening, I went with the Craft Festival Dress. (It was the last one in stock. Victory!)

This afternoon, the girls and I found ourselves at a mall choosing a Father’s Day gift for Jeff. While there, I noticed that two teenaged boys were quietly (but not quietly enough) rating women as they walked by. My gut reaction was to quickly change directions and find a different route to our destination. (Believe me, I also considered confronting the boys, but deep down I knew it would have done more harm than good—especially since my voice shakes and it sounds like I’m about to cry whenever I confront anyone. “Stop judging women! I’m not crying about this despite my quivering tone!”) Because I’m a sucker for the whole “shortest distance between two points” thing, we soldiered on. The woman in front of me, who was probably in her mid 30’s, was wearing a pair of tight jeans and a shiny tank top. Her hair was up in a sloppy ponytail, and she was pushing a stroller. She scored a five. I decided that although I was wearing a brown cotton dress that sort of resembles a cleaning uniform, I could possibly outscore Ponytail Mom if I put a confident smile on my face and perhaps a bit of a bounce in my step. With the girls at my side (they had no idea what was going on, and I wasn’t about to tell them, because I DO know how disgusting it is), I did my runway walk.

Boy #1: One.

Boy #2: If even.

How deflating! I know I’m no Cindy Crawford mom, but a One?! And an If Even?! (I’m so self-conscious of my neck lately. I wonder if my neck had anything to do with my low score. Also, my posture is terrible if I’m not actively thinking about it!)

When I returned home from the mall, I received an e-mail from ModCloth. Apparently, there had been a mix-up with the dress I ordered and it ended up NOT being available after all. They refunded my money and offered a coupon that included free shipping toward the purchase of a new dress.

This was a sign from the universe. (I’m pretending that) I couldn’t care less about those boys and their shoddy rating system. However, perhaps at 42 I really SHOULD try a bit harder to _______ ______ _______. (Try a bit harder to what? I have no idea. I’ve been sitting here for three minutes trying to complete that sentence. Try a bit harder to showcase my inner Amelie? Try a bit harder to not give a crap? Hrm. So many directions.)

Anyway, I once again turned to Facebook. (Because that’s what I do.) This (which I really love, and I can see myself wearing all year round with a black cardigan and leggings—so Amelie-esque!) or this (which will force me to look like I give a crap!)? My friends had definite opinions about both dresses. (One person was brave enough to say that those who voted for the Dressing Room Dress are not my real friends.) Although I definitely wanted to walk away with both dresses, I eventually chose the winner and checked out. I will be bedecking myself with the victor in the next 7-10 business days and will probably need your shoe opinions at that time.

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Puppies and Celine Dion rage! Also, DSM-IV 300.23 with a side of epistaxis!

I need writing prompts! I need to step away from Instagram and Facebook and hang out over here some more! Last week I tried to write every day, and it looks like I crapped out after Monday and Tuesday. Summer is so difficult for me, what with the eating like an idiot and entertaining the kids and reading books and freelancing and whatnot…

Last week we signed up to participate in this morning’s Whiskers and Tales event at the library. The local Love on a Leash chapter was there with eight adorable dogs, and each child got to choose a dog and read to that dog for twenty minutes.  Meredith read during the first round, Harper read during the second round, and because so many kids cleared out after round two, Meredith and Harper stuck around to read again during rounds three and four.

This photo was taken during the second round. As Harper read to Lola, Meredith hugged, scratched, and petted Lola. (We loved Lola.)

Her name was Lola.

Speaking of Harper, she is now wearing glasses.

Girls Who Wear Glasses

She has always been jealous of Meredith’s glasses, and she often tries on my glasses and wears them around the house. Sadly, her vision is perfect, and she has no need for a prescription. Ah, but last week she had ten dollars and we found ourselves strolling around a store that sold plastic lenses for nine dollars, and finally! (She has received many compliments on her glasses. She is quite pleased with her purchase.)

This morning I spent nearly twenty minutes watching Celine Dion videos. A friend on Facebook posted a video of Ms. Dion singing an Adele song and it made me so angry and I wanted to find some footage from the Oprah episode that featured Celine Dion because that woman drives me crazy (Clarification: Celine drives me crazy. Oprah? I can’t relate to her, but I don’t necessarily want to beat her up in my front yard.) and I wanted to be able to show people WHY she drives me crazy, and the more time I spent watching Celine Dion videos the more angry and sickened I became, and finally I found myself hurling frozen chicken breasts at the computer screen because, yes! Here are some highlights from that Oprah show. (If you can’t watch it without feeling rage, we should get together and do the tapas thing sometime because I think we could share tidings of great joy as well as a plate of fig marmalade on fancy bread.)

Yesterday I went “running” for the fourth time since May 31. (I’m trying to stick at least 48 hours between “runs” so that my left leg doesn’t crack.) Anyway, I’m finding that when I get to the track, more often than not, someone is already there. I then take off walking in the same direction as that person so that I never find myself face-to-face with them. Have I ever mentioned my weird social anxiety? I have? Well, take that anxiety and multiply it by 34 when I’m “running” toward someone and feeling the need to make eye contact. Okay. Yesterday I got to the track and quickly learned that it was going to be a counter-clockwise day. Fine by me. When I was about halfway through my program, an older woman showed up at the track and started walking clockwise! Argh! Are you kidding me? I “ran” past her and gave her a half-smile. I “ran” past her again and noticed that she was looking at me, so I gave her the same half-smile. (Please know that I just spent about 20 minutes trying to take a photo of myself giving a half-smile. Failure.) After about four awkward and hating it half-smiles, I ripped my ear buds out (it was my final cool down lap which means Then She Appeared was playing), gave the woman a full-on crazy smile, and yelled/sputtered, “IT’S SO HOT OUT HERE!” (I lack creative openers when my heart and knees are on the verge of blowing up.) Anyway, as soon as I passed her, she CHANGED DIRECTIONS so that we didn’t have to face each other again. Half of me celebrated a tiny OCD victory, because finally! Everyone was moving in the same direction! The other half felt a little MORE self-conscious (is it even possible?!) because I really do feel like my awkward and loud “IT’S SO HOT OUT HERE!” freaked the lady out.

As soon as I got to my car, I looked in the mirror and noticed that my nose ring was bleeding, and I had a dime-sized spot of dried blood on the side of my face.

The woman changed directions because I was an unpredictable semi-fast-moving hypertensive psycho and she couldn’t help me or fight me if things moved closer to the edge! (My philosophy: If you cannot (or are unwilling to try to) help someone, you should be willing/able to fight them. I’m looking at you, Celine Dion. You too, Naomi Judd.)

A big part of me loves that I scared that woman. Another big part of me wants to bake something and keep it in my car in case I ever run into her again. I feel like I owe her an Apology Pecan Pie. It won’t freak her out at all if she sees me “running” toward her with a steaming hot pie plate, right?

Let’s meet up here more often, shall we? I miss you. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

The oven is my beetbox and I just ordered a pizza. Good Friday, indeed.

It feels like Saturday, doesn’t it? It does.

This morning I hung out at the hospital while my mom had surgery on her ankle. (Necrotic tissue, bone spurs, ice machine and elevation for a week, you get the picture. All is now well, although she got really sick to her stomach right after I left. I tend to have that effect on people.) While at the hospital, my dad and I strolled over to the cafeteria where I ate the worst hummus in the history of chick peas. I really should have known that hospital hummus wouldn’t be good. Lesson? Learned.

This afternoon? We picked up one of Meredith’s friends and then quickly dropped Harper off at a friend’s house. Do you remember that scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark where Harrison Ford replaces the golden idol with a bag of sand? We’re doing that with kids this weekend. Drop off a kid, pick a kid up. Pick a kid up, drop off a kid. Harper weighs about 43 pounds. I’m guessing Meredith’s friend comes in at around 58 pounds. (Harper’s packed suitcase weighed around 15 pounds.) Equilibrium has been achieved.

Earlier this week, I attended my second-to-last PTO meeting as Treasurer.

The Things I Love The Most In Life On Friday, April Sixth
1. My family, my friends, my church, and all of the other stuff I’m supposed to list first.

2. Beets that have been wrapped in foil and baked at 400 degrees for an hour, then sprinkled with sea salt and olive oil. Seriously. Try it.

3. This song, which is full of bad words and 100% better than the original, which is sung by a woman who is known at The Pudding House for having dirty feet. (Last week Harper went out to get the mail with no shoes on. Meredith yelled, “No! You’re going to get Ke$ha feet!” My job here is done.)

4. Knowing that after May 1st, I will never have to sit at a big PTO table in front of a group of 20 (or so) people ever again. My voice has shaken and my eyes have rolled into the back of my head many times this year. (Incidentally, I’ve been reading a lot about introversion over the past several months, and I’ve learned that it’s okay to be me (la la laaaah!) and it’s okay to absolutely hate being at the front of the room and it’s okay to not attend events that make me feel awkward and it’s okay to be known as the person who always cancels. Similarly, it’s okay that not everyone wants to be my friend and although I’m still struggling with that one a bit, I *do* know that I have a few friends with whom I’m tight, and I just finished a 32 ounce cup of Diet Dr. Pepper, and the caffeine is sort of manifesting itself in this parenthetical aside. My whole self-awareness thing is so boring for you, isn’t it? I should warn you before I go off like this! Anyway!) Last Tuesday we held the election for next year’s officers, and it was announced that I wasn’t adding my name to the ballot because I want to increase my volunteer time at school. That’s not necessarily true. My volunteer time completely depends on the girls’ teachers and if they would like me to give spelling tests or grade papers or do anything else I can to save them some time. The reason I didn’t run again is because I would rather sit in the back of the room than in the front of the room. When the May meeting is over I plan on driving straight to Houlihan’s and treating myself to a chocolate martini with a Ding Dong sidecar, and it will look a little something like this.

Something Completely Different: I’ve been on a kick to finish a few knitting projects.

A few weeks ago, I finished my Damask. I really should have placed a quarter or a squirrel or something on the shawl so you could get some perspective. It’s really more of a shawlette, I suppose.

Metallic Damask

Last week I finished my Guernsey Wrap. It’s huge and cozy and I’m finally figuring out ways to wear it that don’t inspire Meredith to accuse me of trying to look like Jesus.

Sweet Potato Guernsey Wrap

Last night I finished my cotton Liesl. It’s red and blocking and maybe I’ll show it to you next week. I’m currently working on a Seraphim for Jeff’s author who sends us towers of gifts each Christmas, along with handspun fingerless mitts for Gina. AND, I’m feeling the urge to try to spin a pound of fiber and make a sweater out of it. (It’s the Knitmore Girls Spin Along, Knit Along (aka SPAKAL)!)

Also, I’m seriously thinking about planting a salsa garden in my front yard.

Enjoy your Easter.

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It’s not you, it’s me! Grab a pillow. I’m about to make you very sleepy!

Today is a good day, because the only events for which I need to leave my house are: Get Gas and Take Kids to Piano Lessons. Get Gas is normally paired up with Create Gas Station Cherry Vanilla Diet Dr. Pepper, and Piano Lessons always means One Hour of Knitting. So, despite the fact that I need to put some work into our downstairs office (we’re getting a new water meter tomorrow!), my day will be broken up with good things.

Speaking of knitting, I’m on the edge of starting one of these for myself. The shawl in the photo was knitted by Tempe, and I believe I need one in black. With beads. I’ve been all over the place with knitting lately, mainly because I have less than six things on my For Other People list. I didn’t knit one thing for myself during 2011. I’m going to try to make up for that this year!

My book club is now reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Have you read it? I really need to spend less time watching Cary Grant movies and more time reading. (I attended our book club meeting yesterday, and had read only 50 pages of the book. I actually had the audacity to blame Cary Grant for my inability to finish it. This is unacceptable.)

Last week I mentioned that I feel a huge wave of introversion coming on, and I received a few messages that offered up some introversion high fives. Thanks for that! To explain a bit further where I’m coming from, we all know that I deal with a bit of anxiety in social situations, and my cocksure shoes can carry me only so far. My introversion is separate from my social anxiety. My introversion nearly always results from me starting to feel a bit flummoxed by others. (I know! If you can’t relate to this, it sounds so ridiculous! I get that!) The gossip bores me. The not-so-genuine laughter tends to affect me the way a perfume counter affects me. I start over-analyzing the intentions of others. I could go on and on (and on! et cetera!). When I start feeling this way, there’s nothing I enjoy more than sitting on my couch by myself and knitting. Or sitting at my computer by myself and pumping out some freelance work. I still shower and wear clean clothes, but I tend to not leave my house or answer the phone, and I’m 100% content to simply be alone. I know. This entire paragraph is sort of bananas. It gets better: I also avoid grocery stores that don’t have self-checkout lanes. AND, I’ve been known to leave a grocery store if the self-checkout lanes aren’t open! If I worked in an office, I would be the lady who cries in the parking lot because she can’t stomach the thought of water cooler banter. (I used to be that lady. Lady. Why does Lady look so odd to me right now? Lady. Lady. Lady.)

I’m hoping that when this particular bout is over, I’ll have a lovely lace scarf to show for it. And a new water meter! Let’s talk about something else!

Oh no! This is no more interesting than that: After one week, I’m 2.5 pounds into my ten pound weight loss gig. How do I do it? I just do it. There’s really no other way. Move more, eat fewer cookies, drink water. Sure, the Weight Watchers notebook comes in handy so I can remember just how many Ritz crackers I’ve eaten (ten is fine. an entire tube is not so great.), but I refuse to actually attend meetings (I do love the meetings) unless I’m at my goal weight. (I’ve given Weight Watchers a lot of money. If I’m at my goal weight, I don’t have to pay.) I realize that sounds sort of backwards, but it works.

Harper had her first basketball game on Saturday, and during the game it really hit me that Harper and I are the same person. For the past several days, I’ve been encouraging her to try harder both at practice and at the game. I’ve said things like, “Don’t worry about making baskets. It’s a team sport! Concentrate on passing and dribbling and blocking the other team! Give it 100% so you can walk away feeling awesome about how your team played!” During the game, she spent most of her court time playing with her hair and distancing herself from everyone. She had the best time sitting on the bench and drinking water. Afterwards, she reported that she was really nervous.

Perhaps I should teach her to knit lace.

Oh no. You’re bored, and it’s my fault. Hrm. I’m looking forward to having Chinese food on Wednesday! Also, I’m going to be watching North by Northwest this evening! (Ack! See Paragraph 3!) AND, I’m going to try making spaghetti squash! (I had some at a friend’s house last week, and it was incredible.) Lace shawls! Lace shawls!!!

Edited to Add: A huge thank you to Robin for sharing this article. It sums it up perfectly. PERFECTLY. I need a shirt that says, “Hell is other people at breakfast.”

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Peter Frampton and Shoes – Peter Frampton + A Touch of Anxiety

When Jeff goes out of town, I tend to be a really great parent for about three days. After the third day, I get tired and cranky and “IF YOU CAN’T HELP YOUR SISTER, THEN I CAN’T HELP YOU!!!” Bedtimes go from 8:00 to 7:45 to 7:30 when Jeff is out of town. Today is Day Five of Jeff being out of town, and I’m spent. He’ll be home tomorrow. He’ll be home tomorrow. He’ll be home tomorrow.

High five to all of the single parents out there. I honestly have no idea how you do it without help from others. It takes a village and all of that, I suppose.

I could sing songs about all of the things that went wrong yesterday, but songs about dogs needing to be lifted over a bad fence and Couch to 5K applications updating unexpectedly and kids fighting instead of practicing the piano? Yep. Those songs don’t travel very far.

I remember being a kid and hearing this song for the first time. I think it’s the very first song that really affected me. (The piano. Ahhh, the piano.) Thirty years later, and the song is still traveling with me. (It has absolutely nothing to do with dogs and fences and kids. Oddly, it has everything to do with practicing the piano.)

Ah, but there was a “scars into stars” moment yesterday evening.

Doc Martens Carnaby

The UPS guy stopped by with a box from Zappos! This is definitely my new favorite pair of shoes. (They take the place of my favorite pair that I purchased a few months back, which replaced the favorite pair I purchased last year. Here’s my analogy: Gymnastics in 2012 are totally different than gymnastics in 1976. The flips are wilder. The beam routines are more dangerous. Gymnastics in 2042 are going to be preposterous. There is no time for laziness or backstepping. I cannot jump over a horse or bend myself into unnatural angles in order to fly onto a high bar. Therefore, I try to seek out cute shoes that I feel won’t trick me into falling down, and then I outshoe myself. Are you with me?)

Best of all, with green Mary Janes on my feet, my soles will be bouncing.

My soles will be bouncing.

This is vital right now, as I feel a HUGE wave of introversion coming on. (It always hits in January.) With a bouncing sole, I won’t feel quite so guilty about staying home.

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Bad Wheels and Baby Heads

A week has passed, and my ankle is still messed up.

“Go to the DOCTOR!” you say, and to that I reply, “I did!” Last Friday my sister was in town and the two of us went to Fleet Feet where she bought some amazing socks, and I was fitted for running shoes. Although the shoe fitting wasn’t nearly as awkward as a bra fitting, I will admit that taking off my socks and shoes and having a young man stick his finger under my foot for arch assessment felt a bit strange.

Young Man at Fleet Feet: Now I’d like to watch you walk.

Me: Yeah, I bet you would, Sparky.

Anyway, what he REALLY wanted to do was watch me run so he could study my style, but my ankle was hurting so badly that running was impossible. Walking was nearly impossible. (The only thing that didn’t feel nearly impossible to me that day was eating a big veggie sandwich from Great Harvest. I killed that one.) When my sister went home, I headed to the doctor who ordered an x-ray. (Sadly, they couldn’t read the x-ray until Monday, so I spent the weekend not really knowing if my ankle was broken or sprained.)

Anyway, on Saturday, our school hosted the Fall Festival which is a pretty incredible event where the price of admission includes food, drinks, pony rides, a petting zoo, games, prizes, balloon sculptures, caricatures, etc. Not included in the ticket price? Everyone who attended Fall Festival was greeted by yours truly. Because I was taking the money.

Here is an actual photo of me taking the money.


I could write a book (not really) about the sad/maddening things I witnessed at the Fall Festival, but I’ll spare you. No. Wait. Two things. 1. If an event is scheduled to last from 3:30 until 7:00 and you show up at 5:00? Don’t ask me to cut the ticket price in half. It makes me feel awkward because I really want to help you, and it makes you look cheap because I see that you have a wallet full of cash. 2. If every piece of Fall Festival correspondence has gone home with a statement that says something like, “No drop-offs are allowed. All children MUST be accompanied by a paid adult.”, don’t drop your kids off. Yes. They’ll probably be okay. BUT, what if they fall off of a horse or choke on a hot dog or simply raise the type of ten-year-old hell that shouldn’t really be raised at a family event? You are not above the rules.

By the time I got home Saturday night, my ankle felt like it was the size of a baby head. I limped out to the garage and took another x-ray. (Our radiology equipment is outdated, but it still does the trick.) Sure enough.


On Sunday, I took it easy and worked on a boatload of freelance.

On Monday? The doctor called and told me that my ankle is not broken. Also, I am NOT growing a baby in my left foot. What I have is a sprain, and what I need is eight weeks of taking it easy.

And that’s unacceptable. BECAUSE, remember those running shoes I was fitted for? Wait. Let me reword that. Remember those running shoes for which I was fitted?! They were $140 at Fleet Feet, which made it pretty easy to walk away and say, “I need to see what’s up with my ankle before I commit to such a pricey pair of shoes.” However, yesterday I found them on sale at Running Warehouse, and after finding an additional coupon code, I managed to get them for 2/3 of their suggested retail price. All of this means that I need to get back to running because I now have running shoes. And a good sports bra. And cute running shorts with underpants sewn in. (The only two things left on my list are arch supports and some foot hugging socks.)

One more thing.

Oh, Henry.

Henry is still itchy. BUT, with the veterinarian’s approval, I have taken him off of all medications except for the twice daily antihistamine. The poor guy has been on antibiotics for the past five weeks, along with steroids, flea preventatives, mite injections, and antifungals. Yesterday he received his final round of vaccinations. It just seems to be too much. (I know I’m not an expert.) SO, we’re now blank slating him for a week to see what happens with The Itch.

Oh! One more thing. I spun more yarn.

Caroline laughs and it's raining all day. She loves to be one of the girls.

It’s Aramanth by Dyeabolical, and I love it.

Enjoy your Thursday. I believe now is the time (for all good men) to bake brownies. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Pudding Down!

You know, I rarely start things out like this, but: Damnit.

As you know, I’ve been running. I leave the house at around 5:30 in the morning, I get to the gym at 5:36, I sit in the parking lot and blow my nose 37 times because I’m one of those people who has to blow her nose 37 times in the morning, I wish myself good luck, and then I head to the track to do my Couch to 5K gig.

On Monday, I did the Week Three, Day One run, which consisted of two 90 second runs, two THREE MINUTE runs (Argh!), some walks here and there, one tiny stumble (foreshadowing!), and lots of sweating and hating of running. On Monday night, my left ankle was hurting, and was approximately the size of a knee. I decided to show it to Jeff.

Me: Does my ankle look swollen to you?

Jeff: The right one looks slightly larger than the left.

Me: Wrong. You’re wrong.

I felt okay knowing that the pain wasn’t crazy and that the swelling clearly wasn’t as intense as I thought. The next day was my No Run Celebration Day, so I spent the afternoon doing the ice thing and the heat thing. On Tuesday evening I met a friend for dinner (roasted vegetable salad!) and on the way home I stopped and purchased an ankle brace for the Wednesday morning run. (Get a load of me Not Quitting!)

On Wednesday morning, my ankle was feeling slightly unstable, but not terrible. I put the brace on and decided to be a hero. I arrived at the gym at approximately 5:41. (I struggled with the brace for about five minutes. That explains the 5:41. Just in case you were wondering.) I blew my nose. I entered the building. I greeted a friend who was already running. I did my five minute warm up walk. “Ding! Run!” I took off running and lasted for about twenty seconds before my ankle started screaming for me to stop. I sat down and took the brace off and decided to try again. “STOP! EEEEEAUGH!!!! AAAARRRROOOOOO!!!!” (That was my ankle being a siren and/or a Beagle.)

I’m supposed to run again tomorrow morning. There’s no way I can make it with my ankle hurting the way it is right now. I’m bummed. Completely. I was doing so WELL. I was actually surprising MYSELF with how well I was doing. (Please know that I’m not quitting. This is just a bump in the road.)

I just spent twenty minutes taking photographs of my ankles to show you what Lefty looks like. Wow. These ankles of mine are severely unphotogenic. You don’t need to see them. With that said, I challenge you to take a beautiful photo of your ankle. If you succeed, you have my respect for life.

Wait. Before I go? Thanks so much for commenting on my ten anniversary thing. Each and every one of you is a superstar. (I want to eat lunch with you.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

I try not to whine. (Today I’m not trying very hard.)

Last night at approximately 12:52, the cat freaked out, jumped onto the bed, and attacked my feet. It was a three Band-Aid attack, and it has set the mood for the morning. (If I was a mood ring wearing person, today would be something like black or red or flame throwing or whatever color symbolizes I Should Probably Take a Xanax.) ((My kids complimented  me a LOT this morning, which they tend to do when I’m shooting sparks out of my eyeballs.))

I love Scout. I love Henry. I’m having a difficult time loving Scout AND Henry. (Don’t get me wrong. I will get through this.) The dogs are at each others’ throats from the time they are released from their crates in the morning (at approximately 6:00) until they are put back into the crates for bed (at approximately 10:00). During their awake hours, they are fighting and/or growling at each other. Constantly. About half of the time, I can tell that they’re playing. The other half? It starts off as playing, but then leads to something else entirely. SO, I’ve been spending my days trying to engage them and/or separate them. Henry is eleven weeks old, and he was just diagnosed with a bacterial infection as well as a skin infection. In my mind, he needs rest. (Perhaps I’m projecting!) Scout won’t let it happen. SO, I put Scout in her crate so Henry can have Henry time, and both dogs end up yelling and growling through the crate door. (Oh, man. I’m boring you again! Wake up! Please?) They love each other. They hate each other. I just want to eat falafel and sit on the couch…

Oh! Oh! (I really am good at whining! Buckle up!) Scout is pretty good at the whole training pad thing. Henry? Not so much. (Yet.) SO, I take both of them outside several times each day to do their business and run around. Because of our outside time, I now have ten (TEN!) of those big nasty swollen mosquito bites on my arms, and several more tiny ones on my ankles. (I smell really good, people. I’ve been using blackberry scented lotion! Bugs are really drawn to me, as are women in the freezer section of the grocery store. (I don’t know.))

When Jeff and I are complaining about silly things and we catch ourselves losing perspective, we tend to say, “It’s a living hell.” If you look at the big picture, we’re dipped in Nothing To Complain About. Oh, but the growling. The GROWLING! And the fighting. And the bug bites! And I’m limping today because I Was Attacked By My Own Cat. Living hell? Living hell.

Always End On A Good Note: Tempe and I had lunch yesterday at VegaDeli, where I enjoyed a Greek Wrap and some apple/beet/carrot juice. This may just be my new favorite place in St. Louis.

Someone make the fighting stop. (I know it will eventually stop.)

Poor Itchy Bullied Henry.


And Poor Mean Girl Scout.


And this is where I would put a photo of my feet along with a Poor Mangled Me, but we all know how I am about feet. Enjoy your day. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>