The weighting is the hardest part, Tom Petty.

Every year I allow myself to gain ten pounds during November and December. THEN, every year I drop the ten before sweater weather ends.

2013 was different.

I put on the ten in November and December of 2012 (snickerdoodles! goofy balls made out of Oreos and white chocolate! pumpkin everything! have I mentioned the goofy balls?!), and when it was time to drop the ten? I couldn’t drop it.

I know things happen when you start dancing around in your 40s. I also know that Matthew McConaughey is my age and he can gain and drop weight for movie roles like it’s his job. (Because IT’S HIS JOB.) And another thing: Matthew McConaughey has a last name that is VERY difficult to spell, making cutting and pasting an absolute necessity for me. And, yes. Matthew McConaughey is a man with resources. He probably has an athletic trainer and/or a nutrition coach and/or a trusty supplier of marijuana. I have none of those things. Then again, I don’t NEED any of those things. (It’s fun to make drug references at Fluid Pudding. Do you remember the other day when I talked about LSD? I loved that.)

You know about my weirdo relationship with food and body image (and wool and alone time). I won’t go into details. Just know that it REALLY bothered me that I wasn’t able to drop the ten. When summer hit and my summer clothes wouldn’t fit? It did me in. I actually went out and purchased a $12 Sleeveless Dress of Shame in an attempt to “force” myself into DROPPING THE TEN. I ran a few times. I did yoga a few times. I sat on the couch (more than) a few times. (Alone. With wool.)


On September 17th, I went into a place that reduces the number of degrees of separation between Jennifer Hudson and anyone who goes into that place. (I’ve talked about the place before.) I sadly stood on a scale and was told that I had actually gained not ten, but thirteen pounds in the past year.

Lady With The Scale (LWTS): What are your goals?

Me: Easy. I want my jeans to fit because I can’t stomach shopping for jeans. I have too much stomach for my jeans. My stomach! My jeans! PLEASE STOP ME BEFORE I CRY!

I decided to give myself five weeks to drop the 13. (And that’s sort of funny, because I had been trying to lose it for 37 weeks. Some people can cook up an entire BABY in 37 weeks!)

As of this morning I hit my goal with absolutely zero exercise. (Let me know if you ever want to talk about clean eating. Clean eating is what worked. 100%.) Hilarious coincidence: It’s November. Time to start eating like a jerk again! GOOFY BALLS!

Actually, because I’m old and I don’t really have anything in common with Matthew McConaughey, I’m going to try to NOT gain ten pounds during the holiday season. To help keep me motivated, I’m looking into a Fitbit Force. In order to actually get off of the couch, I feel like I need numbers and clicks and bells and whistles and graphs and apps and a social network made up of OTHER clowns who have Fitbits. (I also feel like I need a therapist, but I’m convinced that wool/alone time provides the same benefits as getting dressed and talking to a stranger (who is merely a friend I haven’t met yet, I suppose).)

Unrelated?: I’m following a new local donut shop on Facebook, and I’m in the beginning stages of planning a visit. If I park a block over, perhaps I can register 200 steps on the Fitbit, which should unlock my “Permission: Donut” achievement. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Results! Growling! Dropping two bags of sugar! Et cetera!

The first thing is typically first: All of my biopsy stuff came back completely normal. Let’s not talk about any of that again, okay? Okay!

The second thing most often follows: Although Meredith is home sick from school today, I got really angry this morning and loaded her into the car for a cookie field trip. (My Belief: If you’re home sick, you really shouldn’t have to deal with someone else’s rage. Instead, there should be cookies and naps and television and rotini. Thus it is, and so it goes.)

And the third? I’m once again in the position where I need to drop ten (or fourteen) pounds. (I know! I’ve been all over the place with my weight this year.) Who’s in? Let’s drop ten (or fourteen) pounds together. Don’t worry. I lack the energy to make buttons or graphs. BUT if you’re in, I’m in. Starting tomorrow, because Thursdays are a great day for ACTION, I’m going to eliminate processed foods and start exercising more regularly. (Yesterday morning I ran for the first time since my 5K a few weeks back, and it went fairly well. Very encouraging.) (Yesterday afternoon I finished off a pounder bag of chocolate chips. This is unacceptable.) My jeans always tend to shrink during the holiday season. Right now, my jeans think it’s Christmas Eve. Something has to be done, and it has to be done before Halloween. Thursday! You’re either with me, or you’re against me. (I know that’s not necessarily true.)

Who else wants to start a fight club?

By the way, Meredith said the funniest thing today as we were having A Special Talk. BUT, I refuse to type it out here for fear of embarrassing her. It’s happening. Fluid Pudding is setting fire to its Mommy Blog name tag. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

A scarf. A schedule. A question.

A friend of mine is making one of these, and yesterday I decided that I needed one, too. SO, I went downstairs, found four skeins of yarn that will work, drove to the yarn store, purchased three more skeins, and here we go. Impulse knitting!

Silky Wool!

Jeff left town yesterday for Florida, so I arranged for my kids to spend the night at my parents’ house. My original intention was to go for an evening run and then spend the rest of the night spinning. Instead, I went for a run at 3:00 (on a treadmill. It was terrible.), met a friend for a martini (or two), bought underwear for the girls (because that’s what I do for the first day of school), and then came home and watched the Olympics until the dogs decided it was time to go to bed (10:45). Excellent night.

Today I’m lunching (I’ve got big thoughts, big dreams and a big brown Mercedes sedan) with a few friends from high school at The Blue Owl. Tomorrow I’ll be delivering checks to teachers. Friday will find me rubbing yarn on my neck in Chicago.

Let’s see. What else? I finished Catching Fire (liked it), I’m now reading Mockingjay (liking it), and I’m gearing up to hit Gone Girl. (The library just called. It’s ready for me.)

Thanks to Tempe, I’ve eaten this for the past three meals.

Wait. I need your opinion. As you know, I don’t eat meat and I’m doing fairly well on my journey (journey!!!) to give up dairy. Occasionally I find myself at Subway. A few months back, I ordered a veggie sandwich, and the employee asked if I’m a vegetarian. When I told her that I am, she changed her gloves. When her co-worker asked why, she said, “I just made a turkey sandwich. If you’re a vegetarian, you don’t want turkey hands to touch your vegetables!” I almost jumped over the counter to French kiss her, because: Yes. I am the vegetarian who won’t eat the veggie kabobs if they held hands with the chicken kabobs on the grill. (I KNOW! I can hear your eyes rolling!!!)

Since that day, no other Subway employee has changed their gloves to make my sandwich. AND, I don’t have the guts to ask them to change their gloves, because who am I? They’re doing their best to make (delicious) sandwiches and get out of there without a bunch of grief from a jerk like me. I’ve made it a practice to not pay any attention to what the person in front of me has ordered, because I just don’t want to know if beef fingers are touching my bread.

A few days back, we went to Subway for dinner. I ordered a veggie sandwich. The employee did not change her gloves. Harper looked up at me and said, “She just touched turkey, and now she’s touching your bread.” This will sound crazy to you, but: I almost couldn’t eat the sandwich. (Thanks, Harper. Gheez.) So here’s my question: Is it too much to ask an employee to change their gloves before making a vegetarian sandwich? (I hate confrontation so much. I hate creating work for someone else even more than I hate confrontation. I don’t want to be the lady that deserves a million eye rolls.) Should I simply go back to the faraway Subway and ask for the schedule of the girl who understands me?

(Please don’t tell me I’m ridiculous. I have people in my family who will take care of that for you.) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

There’s a hole in my sniffer!

So, I talked about it back in January.

AND, I talked about it again in April.

Today I had a root beer and pickle chip lunch with a friend. One thing led to another and suddenly I found myself sitting on a table in a tattoo and piercing shop.

Well, hello there.

Sometimes you just have to stop talking long enough for a professional to shove a rod through your nose.
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Hush Hush, Eye to Eye

Every two weeks I pick up my haul at the community produce co-op.

Every two weeks I post a photo of what was included in the basket.

Every two weeks you say, “Fruits and vegetables. Awesome. Next?”

Co-op Haul, April 24th

I’ll tell you what’s next! I’ve started indulging in Vegan Tuesdays! Sadly, I wasn’t very prepared to deal with this past Tuesday’s vegan adventure. In fact, on Tuesday afternoon I ended up making a semi-desperate phone call to the Ritz cracker people to see if their Reduced Fat crackers are vegan.

Me: It’s not on the PETA list, but OTHER Ritz crackers ARE, so I’ve GOTTA KNOW! TALK TO ME ABOUT THE NATURAL FLAVORS!!!

Ritz Man: Well, the natural flavors COULD be derived from plants OR animals.

Me: . . .

Ritz Man: Nabisco won’t tell us what they are.

Me: You work for Nabisco, and they won’t tell you if the natural flavors are plants or animals?!

Ritz Man: I’m sorry for the inconvenience. Why don’t you give me your mailing address so we can send you special offers regarding some new and exciting Nabisco products?

Me: Here is your mission. Find out what the natural flavors are, and then I’ll give you my mailing address.

As I ponder the transition from vegetarianism to veganism, please know that I’m going to be relying heavily on VegaDeli. Also know that as I attempt to make our house reflect our style, I’ll be relying on VegaDeli once again.

Make Breakfast, Not War!

They’re currently selling the work of a local artist named Sandy Griffin, and I absolutely love it. (I had a serious tie going on between Make Breakfast, Not War and Make Windmills, Not War. If you’re in St. Louis, go to VegaDeli, get a bone builder juice and a raw taco wrap, and enjoy the atmosphere. Also, give me a heads-up. I’ll probably want to meet you there.)

Hey, look! Henry and Scout love each other!

Henry and Scout, sitting in a tree.

(You might think Henry’s hair is getting a little unruly. What you don’t know is that he’s auditioning for Kajagoogoo in a few weeks.)

Kajahenry ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Dog, Tea, Nail, Scarf, Dress. A kid’ll eat ivy, too.

Our water meter was replaced last week. I put in a request that the repairman call before arriving so I could put the dogs in their crates. I don’t believe Scout or Henry would ever bite anyone, but Scout has been known to pee on new people, and now that Henry weighs nearly 40 pounds, he’s sort of our resident Lennie Small. I’m sure the repairman was happy to see that the beasts had been caged, as Henry remained in this position during the entire appointment.

Caged Beast

I’ve been drinking lots of tea. Also, lots of coffee. No water. This needs to change. I’ll work on that tomorrow.


This afternoon we went to Justice to spend a few Christmas gift cards. The (very wise) girls don’t really get into the Justice clothing styles anymore, so when presented with a gift card, they tend to hang out near the jewelry, the nail polish, and the stuffed animals. Included in today’s purchase is a bottle of black crackle nail polish—something I had never heard of until today. A few moments ago, they let me try out the crackle to see what would happen.

Crackle, Monster Truckers!

(I screamed and cried while applying it. It’s always good to scare the children.)

Finally, I’ve started a scarf/shawl.

Metallic Damask

It will eventually be one of these, but quite a bit smaller. (I lack yardage.) The yarn is Handmaiden Sea Silk in pewter, and if I had to choose one yarn with which to knit for the rest of my life, this would be it. (Knitters, I’m curious what your choice would be. One yarn for the rest of your life. What is it?)

One last thing: I broke down and bought this dress. It had to be done. It matches the scarf, and right now it matches my nails. I didn’t have much of a choice. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Maybe if they put cupcakes at the finish line…

It seems that I keep putting posts up and then taking them down because I’ve become severely self-conscious of looking like a jerk or offending a group of people.

This should not offend anyone. (Unless you’re opposed to Halloween. If you’re opposed to Halloween, LOOK AWAY!)

On Saturday evening, we took Hermione and Evil Angel to Boo at the Zoo.

Boo at the Zoo with Hermione and Evil Angel!

(Evil Angel will eventually have vampire teeth. Her idea.)

It was very crowded, and sufficiently spooky.

Dark and Spooky

After about an hour of walking around (please know that I touched a hedgehog during that hour, which is a first for me), we decided to grab a snack and head out.

What could be better than funnel cakes at Boo at the Zoo?!

My kids are just like me when it comes to food and loving food and feeling especially fond of food that has sugar sprinkled onto the top of it. Sometimes I worry that they’ll eventually share my sort of crappy relationship with food. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and also thinking that I need to start up with the running again. It has been five weeks since I hurt my ankle, and my ankle still hurts. It still swells up at night. I know my doctor said Eight Weeks To Recovery, but I really thought eight weeks was more for people like REAL athletes with REAL injuries—not just a fake runner lady who stumbled. I have a friend who swears that the pain doesn’t really matter. “Just run on it. Just keep running.” (She’s a Real Athlete.)

I know six people who participated in the Rock and Roll Marathon in St. Louis yesterday. I sat here at the computer and tracked them as they were running. I cheered for them as they hit important milestones. Less than ten minutes after one of my friends crossed the finish line and became a Marathoner, I choked on a cupcake. (I took a bite, and when I heard Meredith coming into the kitchen, I shoved the rest of the cupcake into my mouth. I have no idea why. And then I inhaled, and part of the cupcake went down the wrong pipe and I started coughing and the kids thought I was sneezing, so every time I hacked and wheezed, both girls screamed “BLESS YOU!!! BLESS YOU!!!” My friends are running MARATHONS, and I’m beating on my chest in an attempt to dislodge cupcake crumbs from my lungs.)

I need to fix this ankle of mine. Or else just run on it. (By the way, it’s easy to love running when you can’t run. Very easy. I’ve been loving running for five weeks now. I think it’s time to start hating it again.)

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Just filling you in over here…

Remember Henry? Yep. He’s still itchy. Yesterday morning I took him to a new vet where they did a few skin scrapes and found that his bacteria and yeast numbers are through the roof, even though he had a bath less than twelve hours before the appointment. He is now on another round of antibiotics, an antihistamine, and an antifungal. Luckily, this veterinarian firmly believes that he’s entirely too young for a food allergy, so I can once again give the pills in a tiny piece of hot dog. Do you have any idea how much my quality of life improves when I can give a dog a pill in a hot dog slice?

Speaking of The Improvement of My Life, let me tell you a story about an apple. Last year, a friend of mine told me how excited she was that SweeTango apples were back in season. I’ve never heard of anyone getting excited about an apple before, so I headed to the store and grabbed a few for myself. Immediately, my entire world was turned upside down. These are the most delicious apples I have ever tasted. EVER. They’re crisp. They’re sweet. They’re perfect. I must have eaten 25,000 SweeTango apples last fall, and the day I went to the store and found that they were no longer available, I was horrified. “What? What?! I have to wait until next FALL for ANOTHER?!”

I’ve been following the SweeTango page on Facebook. In other words, I’ve been keeping up with orchard news for the past few weeks. I even sent a quick note to them and found out that the apples would be delivered to St. Louis “during the week of September 12th.” On Monday, September 12th, I went to the store that carries the SweeTango apples. They weren’t there. I went back on Tuesday. Still not there. I went back on Wednesday and Thursday. No apples. Last night after Jeff left the house and the girls were in bed, a friend of mine posted a photo of a SweeTango that had just been taken off of the truck in St. Louis. I actually squealed. (And then I cried because I refuse to leave the house when I’m the only adult and the girls are in bed. I hate that I’m such a good mom like that…)

The girls boarded the bus this morning at approximately 8:17. At 8:18, I was in my car on the way to the store.

Oh, people. I spent $11.49 on seven apples, and I could not be happier.

Oh, SweeTango...

I’ve already eaten four today. (Yes. I should probably slow down. Just remember: They’re APPLES. Not shots of booze. I’ll be okay.) ((Is it weird that I’m making a list of things I can sell to support my SweeTango habit?))

True Story: A few minutes ago, I called my doctor to see if she wanted to talk about a new medication I’m going to try. (Long story.) She doesn’t want to see me! She’s just going to give me some samples! Four apples a day kept my doctor away!

And another thing: Other than the SweeTango, this is my current favorite thing.

Quickie Scarf #2

It’s a scarf made out of Berroco Link yarn. It’s knit on size 35 needles, which is like knitting with big bass drum mallets, and it comes together in less than an hour. The scarf I’m wearing in that photo was started at 1:00 this afternoon. I wove the ends in at 1:49. (I made this one last week.) Hint: If you’re going to buy the yarn, I recommend going to your local yarn store. If they can’t get it and you have to order it online, I highly recommend NobleKnits. The shipping is free, and the price is slightly better than most places. Merry Christmas to everyone. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

Balls, Jack White, and Presidential Pizza

It’s a very exciting week in The Pudding Kitchen. This is the week that will find me mixing, baking, crumbling, blending, balling, dipping, and decorating until I have made two hundred cake balls. Two hundred cake balls that I will then transport to a reception hall for a wedding! I’ve always thought that the whole “Do what you love and the money will follow.” thing was a load of crap, but I’ve now managed to make it work more than once!

(I refuse to make a joke about Jeff being what I love. (“Do what you love.” Get it?! Raunchy!) Hrm. I *do* have more than one person in my life who believes I do nothing but spend Jeff’s money! Whee! My shoes are too nice! Back to the cake balls! 200! The average gestation of a whitetail deer is 200 days! I’m making a cake ball to represent each of those days! Venezuela just celebrated 200 years of independence! My cake balls are metaphorical!)

White cake. White icing. Blue dipping chips. 50 with white stripes and rose pearls. 50 with rose stripes and rose pearls. 50 with white AND rose stripes! 50 of I don’t know yet but it will incorporate sparkles and either the rose or the white stripes! Jack White! (But also, Catholic Throwdown with Colbert! It’s not safe for work! NKOTB!)

You might ask yourself how one prepares to put together 200 cake balls in a kitchen that’s roughly the size of a Toyota Camry. Well, I prepare by meeting one of Meredith’s friends and her mom for gluten-free pizza at Pi! If it’s good enough for President Obama, it’s good enough for me. Thus it is, and so we go. Enjoy your Monday. ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>