Diet Coke

13995625639_0ce5dd14c1_o(photo credit: Nozomu Okabe, Flikr Media Commons)

I don’t consider myself a Diet Coke drinker.

Lately, though, I’ll be driving around at 3 or so in the afternoon and need a “bump” and I head to the rec center, where they have a vending machine.

Sometimes the kids will say, “Why are we here?” and I tell them to just wait, and I run in with my three quarters to buy my Diet Coke.

Some days, I’ll leave home and drive to the rec center to buy my can.  It’s gotten a little ridiculous.

I know I could just buy a pack of Diet Coke to keep at home, but if I did, I’d just drink them.  So instead, I pay the rec center vending machine to hide them from me.

I think of my habit as a secret, but when I needed to reserve a park at the customer window inside the rec center, the worker recognized me. “Oh, I know you!  You’re here all the time for the basketball.”

(Nice cover!  The vending machines are right by the entrance to the basketball courts.)

I lurk around without children of my own playing basketball, waiting to score my dark, sweet Diet Coke….and that’s what I’ve become, people.

January in the Gym

Our local Gold’s Gym transformed overnight into Eos Fitness. So far I haven’t noticed any changes other than being given a new membership keyring card (and free t-shirt; you know I love free!) and the employees are now all wearing black Eos tees instead of their shiny red Gold’s polos.

I don’t know if it’s my imagination or the time of day I work out now, but January doesn’t seem significantly more crowded like it has in past years.

I’m doing stage six (of seven total) of New Rules of Lifting for Women, and this stage requires monopolizing the lat pull-down equipment with an oddly effective TEN SETS of two reps each (??), so I was worried the gym would be too crowded. But so far, so good.

The only issue I’ve had is when the wrong type of attachment was on the machine, and there was no step or bench tall enough to stand on to change it, so I tried standing on the seat. I was teetering around up there then realized this was a recipe for disaster so I asked a tall guy to swap it out for me.

I’ll often bump into friends at the gym but I am very good at keeping my focus. No time to chat! I need to get this thing done and get on with my day. It’s the only way I’ve been consistent with NROL4W for the past six months and I don’t plan to mess with success.

Quick Takes: Serena Powers Up

How much do I love this?

Serena Williams lost her first set at the Hopman Cup 0-6.  She ordered an espresso (!) and went on to win the next two sets.

A little coffee with your bagel, Serena?


Hello to January

There is STILL snow on the ground in parts of town!  It’s total craziness.  Even crazier is the fact that it will be in the high 80s next week.  Some of our more delicate plants are looking a little wilty.  The two purple-flowered bushes whose names I don’t know on either side of our garage have a “What the hell just happened?!” look.

Luckily my roses should be arriving soon!  I ordered bare root roses for the first time ever and I am excited about it.  Need to dig some holes…

Well hello, January.  January kind of snuck up on me.  Some January things:

  • TENNIS!  Winter league started right after the new year.  Like we literally were on the court playing on New Year’s Day.  This is my first time ever playing in a league and I could hardly sleep the night before our first match.  But now that the “first” is in the books, I am geared up and ready to play a bunch of tennis and improve my game.  Also, Eva is starting tennis lessons this month.  She’s a little bit over running, especially now that it’s so cold and dark in the mornings.  I told her tennis can be cold and  dark too, but who am I kidding?  She knows we really play for the coffee date afterward.
  • ANNIVERSARY – This will be Sweet Sixteen for us.  Last year in the spirit of celebrating big any milestone ending in a “0” or “5” we went to Kauai.  This year will be more low key, probably just with dinner out.
  • NATIONAL CHARITY LEAGUE – Everyone gets so busy during the holidays that I feel like I haven’t done much of anything NCL-ish in many weeks.  In addition to treasurer, I am president-elect and my 2015-2016 year is  going to be here in a flash.  The president-elect retreat is this month.
  • KIDS  BACK IN SCHOOL – Amen!  I love a routine.
  • BRACES x2- Eva has a “reset/reevaluate” big visit with the orthodontist.  Will 2015 finally be the year she gets her braces off?  And Jane has a follow-up visit with Rady Children’s mid-month for her broken arm.  She is still in a hard brace/splint, and never did need a cast.  She is hoping to be cleared to get back on the monkey bars before Groundhog Day.

So it’s going to  be busy….going to be productive…hopefully going to be fun too:-)  Happy January!




The most exciting thing to happen in all of 2015 surprised us on the last day of the year:  SNOW!



Temecula and Murrieta iphones showed a little snowflake for the Wednesday weather prediction, and Facebook was buzzing all afternoon.  Last time it snowed here was ten years ago.  Eva was a preschooler and Jane wasn’t even born yet./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/1e8/14433296/files/2014/12/img_1077.jpg

I looked out the window at 6:15 a.m. and saw REAL snow!  A couple of inches was frosted across our patio cover.  The golf course was nothing but white.  And real, live, HUGE flakes were coming down!  I ran around the house and woke everyone up (the girls had a friend spending the night) and we bundled up and took a walk through the neighborhood./home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/1e8/14433296/files/2014/12/img_1100.jpg Everywhere I went today, everything looked so beautiful.  The world was sparkling for us on this last day of 2014.


Long Nights

It is hard to believe 2014 is almost over but it’s true. Winter solstice is tomorrow.

Sunshine lover that I am, I can feel each day after the solstice growing infinitesimally longer. As I write this it’s barely 4:00 pm and it’s already starting to get dark, and it’ll be full dark by 4:45.

Fall into winter is traditionally a “challenging” season for me. Sometimes I get sick, or lose weight, or injure myself, or simply feel frail.

This year has been different and I suspect it is due to the miracle that is strength training. I am a weight lifter now. I am STRONG. Hallelujah!

Reflecting on 2014, I’d have to pinpoint discovering and embracing New Rules of Lifting for Women as my single most important accomplishment of the year. This program truly has been life changing for me and 90% of my results aren’t even physical.

There are a lot of exciting plans underway for 2015 in our household. I can’t wait to share them here in a future blog post, but first I really am spending some good time reflecting on the year that was.

(Nerd that I am, I actually had a really fun afternoon doing that in a comfy chair at the library with my thermos of tea and a legal pad.)

I started 2014 believing I had a strange, difficult, unpleasant health condition. Thank god my amazing little team of doctors (traditional and holistic/alternative) and I now agree unequivocally that I was completely misdiagnosed in November, 2013. There is nothing like believing yourself to be unwell then getting a do-over to make you grateful. Completely, absolutely, 100% grateful for waking up every morning with the gift of good health.

So that was huge.

Eva became Bat Mitzvah in August, 2014. What an amazing time that was. And our oldest’s middle school career is more than two-thirds over. This time next year we will have a high schooler.

So what else? Jane has a broken arm right now, currently in a splint. She will be seen at Rady Children’s Hospital next week and I am really, really hoping to avoid a plaster cast.

The girls got skateboards for Chanukah and Eva is riding around, while Jane is looking on. Winter sledding, snow tubing, and long put off snowboarding lessons will have to wait another year. I promised Jane we can ask the orthopedist, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to ban ice skating too so our annual visit to the rink in Old Town will likely be out, too.

Next week will be family time, girl time, couples time, wine and cheese time, movie time, reading time, early to bed time, and hopefully I can even squeeze in Glen Ivy time if I’m really, really lucky.

Candy Crush

I blew it.

Fail to plan, plan to fail.

I went into Halloween without a candy plan, and we’ve been paying the price for the past eleven days.

Ordinarily we have the “one treat a day” rule in our house.  That means the kids have to ask before having a treat, and they know that if I remind them that they’ve already had one, they can’t argue.

Sure, there are sometimes “clarification issues” about whether a particular food is a treat.  Like gummy fruit.  Takis.  (It doesn’t have to be sweet to be a treat.  Fries are a treat.)  Soda is a treat, but is lemonade?

Eva goes crazy with too much candy.  I remember once picking her up from a birthday party and stopping by the grocery store on the way home.  She was running up and down the aisles and at one point she actually looked like she was hovering about eight inches above the floor as she ran.

Jane gets crabby and tends to get stomachaches if she eats too many sweets.  For the most part she knows this about herself and stops before she feels too awful, but both girls in general would eat way too much candy if I didn’t stop them.

So each year we have a plan, only this year I was caught off guard.  One day we were in the pool hanging out and the next day it was Halloween.

Halloween night, of course, was a blur of s’mores from the neighborhood “s’more house,” full size candy bars, Nerds, etc.  One out of five kids at our home that night ate the recommended nutritious dinner first (and she wasn’t my own child.)

The next few days were a patchwork of “Can I have some of my candy?” and me being unprepared asking, “How much have you had?” then deciding on the fly.  See, I need guidelines.

Instead we kept finding empty wrappers everywhere.  They were in pockets and tossed down the laundry chute.  In backpacks.  Under the seats of the car.  In bedrooms.  In the front room within reach of the dog.  (Thank god the only candy he ate this Halloween season was cherry Twizzlers.  For some reason that’s what he chose.  He gnawed it like a rawhide then abandoned it.)

After finding candy in various stages of unwrappedness in the kids’ play room, I gave them fifteen minutes and told them to find EVERY SINGLE SCRAP of candy in the house or everything was going in the garbage.  Jane stayed behind to argue a little bit but Eva ran so fast she was a blur.  She had several full size Milky Ways in her candy tub and didn’t want to risk losing them.

I knew things were out of hand when Jane got on the phone with Scott’s parents a couple of days after Halloween.  She had gone to a birthday party on November 1st and come home happy, but later that night as she tried to sleep she kept thinking about the haunted house they’d had there.  She came into our room shivering and slept with us that night.  This turns into, “Grandma, I ate so much candy I was shaking really hard and couldn’t stop.”

Some years we do the Candy Draft, where everything goes in one pile and we go in a circle choosing one piece at a time until some predetermined number is reached.  Those are the pieces everyone keeps and they can eat per the one treat a day rule until it’s gone.

By the time I thought I should do the candy draft they’d already been eating so much that it seemed sort of stupid, so I told them they could just eat as much as they wanted, and we’d set aside the one treat a day policy, through the end of the weekend.

I figured maybe they’d eat themselves sick and only want to eat nourishing, warm, home cooked meals for the rest of the holiday season.

On Saturday night the girls babysat themselves while we had date night.  We got home to find candy wrappers everywhere.  An open bottle of Pepto Bismol sat out on the counter next to a bowl of chips and salsa.  (Jane had a stomachache, felt better, and had a late night snack.  This kid decided to skip those awkward tween years and move right into the frat house.)

On Sunday night, as the candy free-for-all drew to a close, the kids each approached me privately to draw up side deals involving keeping various special candy bars.  Shouldn’t full-size bars be exempt? How can you just throw out a full size bar?

Finally, with Scott reminding me to save the Almond Joys for him, everything left (which wasn’t much) got tossed.

Now  the only thing left to argue over is whether PSLs are treats if you get them “light/skinny” with no whipped cream.