Wednesday, December 31, 2008

It is over! Christmas is over!

So why haven't you taken the tree down yet? Beau keeps asking.

He has been saying it over and over and nagging me about getting Christmas gone since the 26th.

And here it is the 31st and I am ushering out the old to bring in the new. But when I gave Beau the boxes for his tree and ornaments (yes both kids have their own Christmas trees in their rooms. That way they leave mine alone) he asked why? Why do I have to pack up my tree?

And then was further dismayed, upon coming downstairs, that I have un-Christmas-ed the whole house. Even big fat blow up Santa that he has spent the last month stabbing with his sword and deflating is packed up.

It is over. It is really over.

Thank you baby Jesus. And heck no. I am not waiting until the Ephiphany to take my tree down. I am not Catholic but am a born and raised Southerner and my family says tree gone by New Year day; bad luck to bring last year into the New Year, or so I've heard it said.

Yeah, I don't know if I'll be having black eyed peas (with money in 'em) and collards tomorrow so I might be screwed anyway. Eh, nothing new there.

We did have a great Christmas! And I have included some pictures from Christmas day. Yes, Santa brought the kids a trampoline. And yes, Ryan and I are both really excited about this since neither Bubbles and Poppy or Pop and Lala let us one when we were kids. It has been great fun already!

But no I am not really ready for 2009.

Nor do I really want to look back and carefully assess all the 2008 foibles and follies.

I gotta say, it has been a rough few years for us and while I think maybe the rain has stopped, the fog lifted and the clouds are beginning to part and let the sun shine back into our lives it is still hard for me to leap into the new year with unbridled optimism. Having been so beaten down I, if nothing else, am a bit more cautious and dare I say it lest that too comes back to bite me in the ass, I might even be a teeny tiny bit wiser. So with baby steps I am inching into 2009, looking left, looking right, left again and back over my shoulder before I move a single damn inch. Definitely no leaping.

And no Carrie, per your phone call this morning; I do NOT have a New Year baby costume complete with diaper, 2009 sash and Champagne glass pasties.

If only I did though . . .

Hey! Maybe that should be my New Year resolution: To find an apropos costume for all holidays and festive occasions. Right, wait let me be more specific: A slutty, stripper like costume for all holidays and festive occasions.

Switching to the running gear it looks like it is going to be a big fat ready set go for me on January 17, 2009 at the Museum of Aviation marathon. I have successfully bumped back up my mileage in December and finished the month out at 215 miles-- complete with 2 21 milers and yesterday I ran a spectacular 24 miler. I even ran 63 miles last week and avoided injury. So it is yet again taper time and I will be keeping my fingers crossed and saying my prayers that maybe in 2009 I will finally run that 3:30 marathon that has alluded me in 2007 and 2008.

Have a safe and happy New Year everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Can't Wait for Christmas

I know I've been lame (okay, lame-er) on the blogging lately. My apologies. Christmas is a busy time. Normally during December I have an off month but this year I am making a genuine effort to be ready for a marathon in mid January.

Last week I got my mileage back up to over 50 mpw and I got in a 21 miler for the long run. Everything felt good (it has been 3 weeks since my marathon) but by the end of the week my legs were dead. I took yesterday off and cleaned out my house. My plan was to do my long run today (either 21 miles again or 23.5 miles) but the high today is barely in the 30's and currently it isn't even 19 degrees. Seeing how my lungs react to the sub freezing temps-- and I'd like to not be sick this Christmas (was last year)-- I think I will do my long run tomorrow when the low/high is 45/57.

Call me whatever you want but I don't see the point in torturing myself if I don't have to.
Right, right, right.
It could be really cold race day. . .

The way I see it is that it won't make a difference if I get sick and can't train and run on race day. Better to get to the start line healthy. I'll worry about how cold it is when I absolutely have to.

So, like I said. I've been busy; shopping, wrapping up gifts, decorating, cleaning etc. As the kids get older Christmas is becoming more and more fun and we've been busy with family activities, shenanigans and parties. This year we had some visitors from the North Pole: Walt and Rosie.

These are two very mischievous elves that Santa sent to the kids. Oh boy have these two made quite a ruckus at our house: tp'ing, leaving gifts and little notes, rearranging the furniture, making forts with all the cushions, un-decorating the Christmas tree and just this morning I woke up to q-tips and cotton balls over the house. Walt and Rosie had even gotten into those furry red handcuffs that Pop gave me and Ryan. I KNOW!!!! Don't you just want to know why my Dad gave me such a thing? Yeah, I'll get to that. . .

So, yes, I have been greatly entertained by the kids this year. Particularly Beau and his inability to wait for Christmas. Apparently he either doesn't like surprises or doesn't understand at all what is meant by "surprise."

It is funny but my sister Pookie is the exact same way. When we were little she use to not only unwrap all her presents under the tree (and then wrap them back up) she would also unwrap everyone else's. It killed her to not only NOT know what she was getting for Christmas but to also NOT know what everyone else was getting.


I'm okay with surprises. I even like them. In fact, I've been DYING for about all my life for someone to throw me a surprise party already.

Okay, in case they are reading, I did have some friends in high school who threw me a surprise party once but they ended up telling me about it beforehand because-- as they said-- they were worried I would "make other plans and not come to the party." But these days my social calendar is a lot emptier so feel free to throw me a party and rest assured I will be there because I will have nothing else to do.

But my sister? She must hate surprises. She would say stuff like "Do you want to know what Aunt Harriet got you?"

And I would say, "No. I can wait until Christmas."

And she would say,"It is perfume. And Mom got you a leather skirt--a black one, and Kathy got you a gift medallion from Turtles-- 10 dollars worth. What tape are you going to buy with it?"

It got so bad that Lala just let Pookie help pick out all the gifts she bought and then paid her fifty cents a gift to wrap and I guess, bribe her to keep the gifts a secret. And it wasn't just Christmas--birthdays too-- and she was this way ever since she could talk. We couldn't tell her any secrets. She can't keep them. And for that matter, Lala, can't keep a secret either.

Oops, starting to digress. Let's bring this back around.

So I have discovered that Beau is like Pookie. I can't help but wonder if is genetic or just a youngest child thing. Can anyone else weigh in? Youngest child versus not being able to wait for Christmas without peeking. . .

My first indication of Beau's inability to contain a surprise was about a week and a half ago. He told me that he had made me a present at school and couldn't tell me what it was and I would have to wait until Christmas. And in the same breath he said: "It is an ornament. For the Christmas tree."

And I said: "Beau, you aren't suppose to tell me what it is. You are suppose to keep it a secret so it will be a surprise Christmas morning."

And Beau rolled his eyes at me and said: "I didn't tell you what kind of ornament it is." And with that off to school he went.

Fast forward to that afternoon when he comes home with said present:

"Open it," he demanded, thrusting the present in my hand.

I start to protest, saying I should wait until Christmas morning. . .

"It is an ornament, " he tells me yet again as he helps me pull paper off and before the unwrapping is done he says excitedly, "It is a snow man!!! With a sled!!!!"

The next day Beau comes home with another gift. This one he gives to Carmella and thrusts it in her hand and says "Open it now. It is a star. I sewed it."

Carmella was quite gracious and complimented him and told him she made the same star when she was in kindergarten too but that his is much nicer.

Another day goes by and the kids decide they need to buy some gifts. They clean out their piggy banks for what little is left. I think I have mentioned this before but if not, you should know my kids keep the school store in business.

The school, in addition to the school store, puts on a "Holiday Store" so the kids can go and buy little gifts for friends and family. Total racket, but a trip to the school store motivates the heck out of my kids and gets them ready for school way ahead of schedule.

When I picked the kids up from school that day they are waiting in the carpool line with their arms laden with gifts. We drive home and their excited chatter was indecipherable. We arrive home and I help them pile out of the car. Carmella tells me she has gifts for me, Daddy, Lola, Beau and her friend Ashton. Beau tells me he has gifts for Daddy and for himself.

I instruct them to go put their gifts under the tree. Carmella complies and goes off to do her homework. Beau puts his gifts under the tree too. But then, after a moment, he comes back and gets the one he bought for himself. I feel compelled to add that my sister also shops for herself at the holiday. In fact I think she spends more on herself than she spends total on everyone else. Seriously, is this a "baby of the family" trait or what?

"I'm just going to open this one right now," Beau tells me. "I already know what it is," he further explains.

I try to dissuade him but he already has it opened. Then he abandons "the gift"--a pad of paper and fancy pencil--on the couch and goes outside to play. He returns a few minutes later and asks if he can open the present Carmella got him.

"No," I tell him.

What about the one he got for Daddy, he wants to know.

Confused I ask, "but don't you already know what you got him?"

"Yes," he says, but he wants to open it anyway. Then he starts asking me where the gifts are that I got for him.

I tell him, "I'm not putting them under the tree until Christmas Eve."

"Why," he wants to know.

"Because you will unwrap them," I tell him.

"No . . . " he says smiling, knowing that I know he is lying.

He even tried to unwrap a gift for him at Lala's. She caught him and he told her that he was "just removing the bow" so he could "get it open faster on Christmas."

Yeah, right.

So everyday Beau asks me where his gifts are, what they are and can he have it right now? The suspense of Christmas is killing him slowly from the inside out. He can't stand it. He even told Ryan what I got for him--as if that would give him some sort of fix. And he only knows what I got Ryan because the UPS man gave Beau the package when he playing outside the other day and he opened it before I could get it away from him.

And Ryan upon learning of said gift-- I guess because he is the baby of his family-- asked if he could have his boots before Christmas too.

I tried to play dumb: "What boots?"

"Beau," he said, "told me you bought me boots. Let me have them for my hunting trip with Dusty."
Sigh. Darn UPS man for giving Beau the package. Note to UPS: Do not let children accept packages!

"There are no boots," I tell him. "They were the wrong kind. I returned them. You, like Beau, are getting potatoes and switches and coal for Christmas. Maybe Dusty will keep your feet warm on y'all's broke back rendezvous."

So Saturday, Ryan and I dropped the kids at Pop and Lala's to attend the annual Loser Christmas Party. My Dad, barely able to look me in the eye and at the time I think it is because I am wearing my Vixen costume, thrusts a gift in my hand.

He tells me that it is for me and Ryan and to not open it until I get to Dee Dee's. He says, "If you don't like it give it to Pookie."

Ryan is in disbelief that I ride in the car, not tearing into the gift, not even peeking. I repeat to him that Pop said not to open it until I get to Dee Dee's.

See, it is a youngest in the family thing and while we are in the midst of discussing my theory my sister happens to call. Of course I can't resist telling her that Dad got me a present but that I am to give it to her if I don't want it. And of course she is pissed that I got a present and she didn't.

"What is it?" She wants to know.

And I tell her she'll just have to wait until she gets to Dee Dee's.

Changing the subject I ask her if she is wearing a costume. She says she is but that I'll just have to wait until I get to Dee Dee's to find out what it is.

Whatever I can wait.

So we get Dee Dee's and finally my sister gets there and we open it.

That's right. My Dad got me The Naughty, Naughty Christmas Kit.

I know! I'm a little scared of my red lipstick too. Scary clown face! I never wear red lipstick. Clearly with good reason but I did giggle at myself everytime I looked in the mirror.

So then we called my Dad for an explanation about the gift.

He said he figured anyone who wore such naughty costumes for Christmas must need a naughty present. And he added that it was the only present I was getting since certainly I was on Santa's naughty list.

What!? You mean I'm not getting a frying pan or ham? Darn!

Hey Pop! Beau would like you to know that he loves ham. In fact, he hugged a ham today at Trader's Joes and begged me to buy it for him. You should give him a ham. He'll appreciate it. Really. He nearly a 1/2 lb of ham today by himself.

Okay. Just to summarize:

Beau? Doesn't understand surprises.
Ryan? Loves me so much he'll wear a goofy ass costume.
My dad? He gives the gift of ham. It is his thing.
Me? I wear costumes and am clearly my parent's favorite.
My sister? She unwraps her presents before Christmas.

And yes, of course. Like any good big sister would do I took those red fuzzy hand cuffs and hand cuffed myself to Pookie.

I hope everyone has a fun and happy holiday this year and doesn't take themselves too seriously.

I know, I know Jesus is the reason for the season. . .

But I know that if it was my birthday that I would hope everyone would celebrate by having some fun and enjoying themselves.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

21st Annual Jingle Jog 5K

So this was my first 5k.

Time: 22:19
2nd in my Age Group
13th woman overall (at least this is what the card said that I was given at the finished to fill out with my time)
3000+ people do this race (at least that is what the announcer said).

I am a little disappointed.
I was not able to run on the vomit line as I had planned.

Oh, believe me, it was still just as terrible as I knew it would be but not because I was running as fast as I think I can--or rather have. On the treadmill I regularly run under 22 for a 5k but because I ran the freezing- choking-on-your-phlegm-and-tasting-blood-while-you-run-all-uphill-for-the-second-mile 5k I was slower. And that is okay. On a warmer day I am sure I will be faster. Soft Pr's are the way to go, I think.

I still had a great time. Besides, since it was my first any time would have been a PR. Really, my main goal for this race was to nab the Santa award. So it was misson accomplished this morning. Further good news is that my right hip that has been bothering me and my perennial calf issues were absent during the race. Of course, I think that it is because I couldn't feel any part of my body I was so cold but whatever no pain is a good thing.

Okay, race report:

My plan all along was to wear my Santa's helper costume for the race. I do love a costume. But yesterday I found out it was going to be in the 20's. Which I should add that I typically don't run outside when the temps get below freezing because it makes my asthma flare up. I feel like I can't breathe or get enough oxygen when it dips into the 20's. This normally isn't an issue since it doesn't often get that cold in Atlanta.

And for that reason I really didn't believe that is was really going to be in the 20's. But just in case it was I did go and buy a long sleeve white technical shirt to wear under my costume (which is sleeveless). This was very smart on my part since it did end up being 26 degrees for the start. Some man--outfitted for Antarctica--walked past me and commented "God Bless you". Not sure if I was being blessed for my festive spirit, much too short skirt or just plain lack of clothing in below freezing temps.

Oh and let me say this, before the fashion police come and arrest me, that in general I do not abide by white spandex. Please do not do this. White spandex is never a good idea unless, like me, you are planning on only having your sleeves show. Then it is okay. White + spandex = not flattering. White shouldn't be tight. That is the rule.

Whew, I feel better about getting that off my chest.

Wait, no, one more thing-- this one for the men who swim: Please, please I beg you, refrain from wearing white or light colored swim trunks to swim laps (unless you are Micheal Phelps or have the same delicious physique). And thus ends my public service announcement of what is in good taste for working out.

You do know my tongue is in my cheek, right?

Beau also wanted to do the elf run. I wasn't sure if he was going to be able to since Ryan is out of town and I figured it might be a problem if I tied Beau to a tree while I did my race--5k was at 8 am, Elf run at 9am. Luckily my parents agreed to bring the kids later. I am really glad he got to do it and I appreciate my parents braving the cold to bring them. Beau has been so excited and kept me in stitches all week with his "training". Before tennis on Tuesday he ran for 15 minutes straight stopping only to call out to everyone that he was "training to run a marathon." And by marathon he meant 100 yard dash. Oh, and Beau, like me, was also en costume.

I could not convince Carmella to do the race but she did agree to wear a festive Santa hat. She doesn't like costumes as much as Beau and I do. Okay, really what I mean is that she is not an attention whore like me and Beau.

Getting myself and the kids ready and out the door by 6:40 was no easy task. But I did it and got the kids to my parents a by 6:55. I hightailed it down 400 and was thrilled to get off the Abernathy exit at 7:15. Immediately my elation was dashed by having to sit in traffic and inch along Ashford Dunwoody to the race start. I mention this so that if people want to do this race next year they can adequately prepare. I did manage to park and get over to the start area by 7:40.

You might be wondering if I felt at all self conscious about wearing a costume but I didn't and luckily I wasn't the only one who thought to wear one.
I am pretty sure I am the only woman--at least that I saw--wearing a Santa's helper costume but there were lots of men dressed up and everyone was pretty festive with some Christmas socks and Santa hats and reindeer antlers. I bet if it hadn't been so cold more people would have dressed up.

I jogged over to the Johnny on the spots and then ran over to the start line. I knew the crowd was huge and with baby joggers and dogs being allowed I wanted to make sure I was as close to the front as possible. Strangely with about 10 minutes til start there was hardly anyone in the start area. Since it was so cold I couldn't stand around so I ran up and down the hill.

Under my Santa dress I had on my 3" Nike compression shorts. I do love these shorts but they have no pockets. I wanted to have my camera so I could take pictures of Beau in his race. I didn't know if I would have time to go to my car and get it so I used my amphipod. I hate this thing because it pulls my shorts down and with the camera and phone it was pretty bulky. But I figured I could deal with it for 3 miles and desire for pictures of the festive occasion won out. I am glad I brought it but in my next 5k I will be more serious, well, I might still wear a costume but no ipod or camera.

Yes, (hangs head in embarrassment) I used my ipod. I wasn't planning on it but when I realized how cold it was I knew my asthma was going to be a problem and the worst part about it for me--I mean besides all the phlegm and not breathing-- is hearing myself wheeze and gurgle. I am glad I had it even though I can't tell you a single song that played during the race. Between songs when I could hear my breathing it was bad, lots of wheeze. In fact, I am still wheezing and coughing 3 hours later-- even after hitting the inhaler. I am sure I will be fine as this isn't unusual for me in cold weather. I am just glad I don't live some where that is always cold otherwise it would be a major problem.

Finally they called everyone to the start and I was lucky to be in the front row. Normally I would not place myself there since I know I can't run under a 6 minute mile but since there were people standing next to me who I was pretty certain wouldn't maintain a 9 minute mile I was okay with it.

Santa shot the gun and we were off. First mile was mostly downhill and flat. So.Very.Cold. My nose ran like a faucet down the front of my face and the back of my throat. I didn't even know I was congested but I'm certainly not now.

I couldn't even feel my body impacting with the pavement I was so cold and I tried wiping my nose but I couldn't feel it and decided it is better to just have snot on my face than touch my nose that felt like rubber.

Other than how cold I felt-- and the phlegm problem-- I was doing pretty good and heard the split of 6:29 called for the first mile. I was happy about that. I am still felt good, phelgmy but that I could maintain. I was having a good time.

About 10 seconds later I am running up a long hill and I am no longer having such a great time. Don't look at the hill I think and I keep my eyes on the ground. I start choking on the phlegm that is in my throat and I can taste blood. I pretty much feel like I am dying. I have no idea if the blood taste is from my sinuses or from my lungs but I figure it isn't a good sign. I think whatever, less than 2 miles, you'll be okay. The good angel on my right shoulder reminds me this is how it is suppose to be in a 5k. The bad one on my left though chimes in with: yeah, but you're not suppose to be this slow.

So I am still going up a hill, and I know I am slowing down but trying my hardest. It was extra hard though because I had so much mucus in my mouth and throat that there were moments when I literally couldn't breathe--I was holding my breath because breathing in would have sucked it all in my lungs. So to clear my throat and mouth I would have to hold my breathe for a second while I spit and that made running up the hill all that much harder. Legs felt good though and I knew it was just the cold making my airways react.

We flattened out and had a tiny dip and then another hill. Two mile split was called at 14:51. Ugh. Serious slow down. Again, I've done 2 miles on the treadmill under 14 and expected to hear that today. More evidence that just doing long runs on hills is not enough. I need to be doing those darn hill repeats that I have long avoided.

Finally we flatten out for a bit with some tiny false hills and I push as hard as I can. I know I need to hustle. There wasn't really enough time for me to do the math in my head but I knew 21 minutes wasn't going to happen and figured I'd come in somewhere between 22 and 23 minutes. I was worried it wouldn't be enough for a Santa statue. There is big downhill and me and my phlegmy self went for it. Passed a few people. Then I was almost at the finish line--men went left, women right. As I am crossing I look at the clock--22:19.

I got a little annoyed when one girl shot past me right as I crossed over the line at the last second and got in front of me. Another girl tried but I edged her out. I know it is a race but the chute had narrowed and in the past when I've done races like this you come in single file and most people respect the placement. But whatever, they both looked a lot younger than me. Like I said, I just wanted a Santa statue and they weren't my competition.

I was handed a card--said number 13--I assume this meant I was 13th woman. On the card you had to fill out your time, name, bib, age etc. I turned in my card and was really excited that mine was the first one in my age group box. I cheered for myself and looked around. I didn't see anyone else hand in their card so I thought I had first place age group. But when they did the awards turns out I was second. The girl that beat me was either 1 or 2 minutes faster. Oh well. Guess she had held her card. I am a fast test taker so maybe I was just quick in filling mine out. 1st, 2nd, 3rd--goal was a Santa Statue and I got one; so I am happy.

After finishing and turning in my card I took a few pictures of the finish line and watched a few people come in. Santa was there shaking all the ladies' hands and congratulating them. I saw some young guys come in dressed as reindeer pulling Santa in a wagon and tried to get a picture but there were too many people in the way for me to get a clear shot of them.

I headed off to collect my shirt. I called my parents and they had just gotten there so I went to find them.

We had to wait around for awhile before Beau's race started. He practiced on the course for a bit and then warmed up a bit more by riding a pony.

And taking a few turns on the bouncy slide

Hugged a fox

And a reindeer and got a balloon sword--and "one for his sister".

They did the kids by age and gender.
The five and six year old boy division was chaos. Beau was doing great and right after he did the turn some kid cut through the cones-- or something--and was heading straight into him. I expected a collision but Beau shoved the kid out of his way. I don't think the kid fell but Beau did push him off the course. Oops. I hope the kid wasn't hurt but I saw the whole thing and it really wasn't Beau's fault --he wasn't being mean or aggressive just trying not to crash. It happens. But if by chance the parents of that boy are reading this I am sorry. I would have made Beau apologize but I wasn't certain which boy it was.

So after Beau's race it still hadn't warmed up as I had hoped it would so we left (after collecting my award of course).

This was a really fun race (well except that part where I felt terrible for 22 minutes and couldn't breathe). I loved wearing a costume and making it like a party. Because Lord knows, there is nothing better than a costume party.

And now me and my little elves have a Brownie outing to attend and sing Christmas carols to a local nursing home.

By golly! We are just spreading all sorts of love and cheer and festivity this year.

Probably won't last.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

On the Vomit Line

I know I have been remiss about updating my blog.

Partly to blame is my darn Face book addiction but mostly because Christmas has had me consumed. But I finished my shopping today! So hopefully I will have more time to update tomorrow or this weekend.

On the running front I am running my first ever 5k this weekend. I am very excited about it and keeping telling myself that I am only going to feel terrible for about 22 minutes--hopefully less. I think I should be able to deal with that since I sucked it up for six hours in the South Carolina half iron man.

See, I knew sticking it out in that race would help me some how. Now I just ask myself when feeling bad in a race/workout, "Do I feel worse than I felt at SC Half?" No?
Then I'm good! Carry on!

My previous feeling worse bench marks were my 42 hr labor with Carmella, when I broke my pelvis and the near heat stroke I suffered in Ga ING marathon in 2007. So I think I should be okay for a 5k.

My plan is to run on the vomit line. Meaning, if I don't feel like throwing up then clearly I am not running hard enough. I've been practicing 5k's on the treadmill. It is flat on the treadmill and this race isnt but on the treadmill I am typically between 21-22 minutes. Hoping for a sub 6:50 pace. We'll see. I definitely have a hard time forcing myself to do things that don't feel good. Oh, sure. I know what you are thinking. But really, marathons and long distance are less painful for me than a short, fast and hard run. I seriously can run forever at an easy pace but running fast is something I really don't like because I feel so uncomfortable. Admittedly, I don't like to be uncomfortable and I just don't appreciate the vomit feeling the way I think some people do.

In other news I have also targeted my next marathon. Plan is to toe the line January 17th at The Museum of Aviation Marathon in Warner Robbins, GA. This is more a I'll-train-and-if-that-goes-well-I-will-sign-up-for-the race-in-the-taper sort of plan. Nothing definite yet.

More later . . .

Friday, December 05, 2008

Thanksgiving Pictures for Harriett

As requested pictures from Thanksgiving for Auntie Harriett.

Dinner was at Lala's and the crowd this year was relatively small: Me, Ryan, Carmella, Beau, Justin, Pam, Duncan, Miranda, Bubbles and Poppy and of course, our hosts; Pop and Lala. Pookie and The Mainstay went to Statesboro to have dinner with Mainstay's parents. Meme and Pat and little Pat ditched us to go to ShuShu's Meme's mom). Boo and Betsy snubbed us and hid out in their house next door; lying about their trip to Hickory, NC to have dinner with Ray, Bob and Isabella. Claiming to be sick or some nonsense. Everyone all caught up now?

Lala set her table: The woman has so much china and silver yet only uses it once a year. And she told Poppy "no dish washing" this year as SHE wanted to wash her grandmother's china and silver all by herself. I have no idea what that was about but I think it is a clear sign that she is definitely losing her mind. In fact, I am going to have to go see if she is eating that cadmium yellow or if it is just all those toxic paint fumes have finally had their way with her good sense because no one ever refuses Poppy's offer of hand dish washing the china and silver. Of course, I will not be going anywhere near her house until she has met her deadline with Mr. Timothy and "turned in" all her paintings. Work hard Lala! That deadline is fast approaching!

Prior to dinner Carmella and Beau had rehearsed a performance. As I was privy to the rehearsals I was not too optimistic about how the performance would go. There was lots of artistic differences and much quibbling over parts the two days prior to Thanksgiving.

And as predicted only Carmella actually performed.
She read a few poems and sang a song.
The boys just peaked out from behind the curtains.

Miranda, like the rest of us just watched and hoped it wouldn't lag on forever.

Next there was running and playing out in the "marrying meadow".
I was not too happy about the long walk in my heels down to the meadow. Little sore from the marathon a few hours earlier-- locked leg syndrome setting in.

Then I held my breath waiting for a fight to break out when Duncan got on Beau's old bee bike.
Beau is not happy about handing down the bee bike to Duncan and is still very attached. But all was okay.

Next was some traditional climbing up the fireplace rocks.

And Beau built a "fortress with lasers" in the middle of the walk way. I kept hoping Duncan would knock it over because that is what Beau use to do to Carmella when she built princess castles with the blocks.

Adults mostly stood around, drank and ate cheese and waited forever for the turkey to be done.

And finally it was.

And Miranda got a drumstick.

And Beau got the other.

And thus ends Thanksgiving dinner. Thanks Lala and Pop for having us!