Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Catching Up

Phew! It has been a whirlwind of activity for this BloomingtonGirl. I do have some moments to myself, so I will write what I can.

Earlier this evening, Kate and I swam laps at the IU Outdoor Pool which has opened for the season. HURRAH!!!! I have been having lots of fun swimming with Kate during her visit. She is training for a mini triathalon later this summer. ( I put this information in because I later describe my midnight snack and I don't want my loyal readers to think that BloomingtonGirl would eat with such abandon so close to bedtime without having first burned some extra calories...)

Now, It is about 10:15 PM and Chris and Kate are watching a basketball game while Kate folds her millionth load of laundry (how DOES one have SO many items of apparel??).

Kate has been here since her graduation from Wash U and it has been wonderful to see her and spend some relaxed time with her. I don't mind admitting that I got her the PERFECT graduation gift and I even gave Chris some credit for it, though nobody believed he had anything to do with picking it out for one minute. It was a watch from an exclusive jeweler whose name shall go unmentioned in the spirit of pretending that I am above such name dropping. Anyway, Kate lit up when she saw the box and was thrilled with the watch, which I must say is an absolute classic that she will have all her life, unless she loses it like someone else lost her very good watch. I won't mention the name of that person in order to protect my identity. It was the perfect gift, though Chris commented later that he didn't really get it. "It just looked like a regular watch to me."

Meg came for a long visit with her baby. She arrived last Thursday and stayed through Monday morning. Her husband had to work and then had to nurse their sick dogs over the weekend so couldn't come at all. I really love her husband but I have to say that it was fun just having Kate and Meg without boyfriends or spouses. The girls got along well (for the most part) and it was like old times for me, except better because the girls are well on their way to being real grownups. When my sisters and I are all at my parents' house at the same time, my dad always beams and says, "It makes me so happy to have all you girls home together." I never really understood that until this past weekend. Though I shudder to think of myself as being like my dad in any way, it made me really happy to see Meg and Kate having a good time together. But, don't get me wrong...they still have sibling rivalry to beat the band and it was amusing to watch one try to one-up the other. The rivalry is especially interesting now that they have chosen such VERY different lifestyles.

As far as being a grandmother is concerned, I am starting to adjust the role as Betsy shows her extraordinary taste in people by preferring me to others when her mother (her sun and moon) is absent. She is, of course, a genius.

Well, I am finished with my decadent midnight snack (almond butter & real artery-clogging butter on sourdough toast with a glass of wine to wash it down) so I think that I will be off to bed to read my latest book, THE BIRTH OF VENUS by Sarah Dunant. It is a fun page turner but Dunant is, of course, no Leo Tolstoy.

Tomorrow I shall try to find time to post about the Senior Citizen Mutiny that was staged against Kate and Me at the YMCA pool last week. I hope I don't grow up to be a mean Senior....

Monday, May 29, 2006

So Cute


So Cute
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Does this just kill you? This is Jack and the little girl he danced with (and ran around with) at the recent family wedding. Jack was so proud in his suit.

It is Memorial Day and we just got home from the pool. It is a million degrees out and I want to stay inside and eat potato salad all day long. Is there a law against that? I was supposed to get back on the healthy eating track today but I can't because we have leftover potato salad in the house and I can't resist it. We had a cookout last night...thus the leftover.

Meg & Betsy left this morning. Kate has a friend her until tomorrow. Thursday, Kate leaves for NYC. I won't know what to do with myself...

More later. I need to get back into writing practice.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Beauty & Brains, Too


Beauty & Brains
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Here is Katie at her graduation from Washington University in St. Louis. She earned her BS in Biomedical Engineering this past weekend. The hand with the stick is Jack, trying anything to get into the picture.

We had a lovely time in St. Louis. More tomorrow when I have some time.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My White Knight

Jack is clearly into the knight thing lately. Here he is standing on our annoying patio surface. This surface was put in by the last owners (and builders) of our house. It is the surface of all the house walkways, and of the two back patios. From a distance, it is charming and cottage-ey. Close up, it looks like it is falling apart. And from a practical standpoint, it is a broken ankle waiting to happen. Especially after a martini. We hate it but aren't going to replace it because we are selling the house. Well, we hope the house will sell, anyway. In this market, houses in this price range don't have a large buyer pool so I think it will be hit or miss. We will see.

More later.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Playdate


Ms. Box
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Jack had a playdate today with his shy friend who wants to be called Miss Box. I just wanted to post the picture. They were cute together.

We had dinner with Miss Box and her family tonight and it was really fun. The kids behaved well and the grownup conversation was lively and comfortable.

BloomingtonGirl is a feeling a bit blue tonight. I think that it is because I have been working hard on that essay I mentioned and I just can't finish it. What I have is stinky for the most part. I think that I should just give up the notion of entering the contest so that I can be happy writing again. Because, believe me...I have been very unhappy writing this forced thing and it is taking up lots of my time. Most likely I will give it one more shot tomorrow morning and see if I can get it in the mail.

Good night for now. Off to read Anna.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Quick Update on a Friday Night


jackself
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
This picture is a recent self portrait of Jack. He was taking pictures in the car on the way home from school last week. I don't know why but I love this shot. I guess every mother loves every picture of their kids, right?

So, it is Friday night here in Bloomington. The day was cold and rainy. Our real estate broker was here all morning measuring and photographing the house. It was a lot of work getting the place photo ready, let me tell you. I will let my loyal readers know when it is hitting MLS so that you, along with the nosey folks here in Bloomington can peer into our little sanctuary.

I hope the place sells. It is a little pricey for this market (back East our friends would laugh at the prices here...laugh in disbelief, that is.) But here, in the real world, this is an expensive house for which there are relatively few buyers. I hope we have luck and have it early in the game. I don't want to have to keep the place in pristine shape for too too long.

In other news, I have been busting my (growing) derriere (sp?) trying to get this essay done to enter in a Glamour Magazine Contest, of all things. It supposed to be 2500 words and it is called, "My Real True Life Story". I sure have a story to tell, but I just can't seem to get it told in essay form. I have to postmark it tomorrow and I am going to do it come hell or high water or bags of junk food binges. Whatever it takes. 6000 people entered last year. I know I won't win but I just want to enter some sort of writing contest just to feel like I did something.

Well, off to bead to read the work of a real writer. Leo Tolstoy. A genius. Even though I know what happens at the end of ANNA KARENINA, I keep hoping it won't. Silly me.

Bye for now.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The Hoosier Slippery Slope


Slippery Slope
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
These before and after pictures always crack me up. In this case, the before is on the right and the after is on the left. BEFORE moving to the heartland from the East Coast and AFTER living here awhile, that is. But, don't worry, loyal readers. Neither of these is actually me, though I am starting to worry that after a few more years in the one of the top ten most obese states in the union, the one on the left will be. (Though I can't imagine that I would be lucky enough to grow the boobs along with the gut.)

Because I have been extra busy gettin the McMansion ready for the market and looking for a rental, I have not been getting to the gym as much as I am used to lately. And to be bone honest (though my bones aren't showing quite as clearly as they used to be), I have been eating a tad too many calories to boot. As a result, I've noticed that certain, uh, aspects (ass & pecs) are starting to, well, slide southward, if you get my drift. Without a consistent weight lifting routine, I don't have a chance against gravity and I don't have a chance of fitting into last summer's clothes. (Okay, I already don't. There, I said it. Are you happy?)

But, tonight, I had an inspiration that I believe will turn things around and get me back on track. I am a little embarrassed to say that it involved Madonna. In an enthusiastic moment brought on by a martini last night, I downloaded Madonna's new CD onto my ITunes. I didn't listen to it until this evening at which time I noticed that I had gotten a Madonna music video along with the download. So, I watched it.

There was Madonna, scantily clad, doing her thing. And I thought to myself, Hey, I may be no Madonna, but I am the same age, more or less. There is no reason that I can be as fit as she is (unless you consider that she probably has a staff of a few hundred people, including a nutritionist, a trainer and a chef...but I digress.)

So, I am embarking on getting back my fitness starting tomorrow. I am going to hire a personal trainer from IU for the summer and I am going to pay them to kick my fat jiggly ass. I know that this is completely spoiled and wimpy of me, but I am going to do it anyway, so there. First, I am going to confirm that there is no law against being fit in Indiana (from the looks of things, one sometimes wonders) and then, I am going to go full tilt. I will take a before shot in my bikini and when I have a decent after shot, I shall post them both. But not before, so don't ask me to.

It's time for bed.

A Small House


Simplicity
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
I have been going room to room, preparing this home for sale. So far, I have finished the master closet (more aptly called a dressing room) and the master bath. Because of the size of these rooms, I am embarrassed to say, it was no small task. How liberating it will be to have a smaller house!

When Chris and I were going through the pros and cons of selling, I tried to think about my favorite rooms in this house. I came up with one. It is what we call the Library. I like it because it is small and cozy. The other rooms, while light and pretty, are just too large for me.

The only real heartbreak of moving to another place is that we have really GREAT neighbors. I am sad over that. They are sad too. When we moved from CT, we didn't even know our neighbors well enough for them to be sad. And we have lived on Mine Hill Road for YEARS.

Today's projects are my office & laundry room and the upstairs. As I write this, I realize how boring this entry probably is for my loyal readers. Worry not, I will jazz it up sometime in the very near future.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Here We Go!



Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Loyal readers, have you been worried that BloomingtonGirl's life was getting too relaxed with no major stressor coming up? Well, worry no more! We are going to do it. We are going to sell our house.

We are signing the listing contract on Monday and the house should be listed in MLS about a week after that. We are moving on this now because the market here is VERY seasonal and you list in spring and sell by mid-August. The rest of the year is sort of dead. I suppose we could have stayed in this house longer (and indeed we will if we can't sell it) but it isn't our dream house and if we know we aren't going to be in it for even the next five years, why not move out now?

We are actually going to rent a place until we either find the perfect house or the perfect piece of property to build on. The place we found is what is called in these here parts a "Paired Patio Home". It is a duplex style condo. This one is very new, very nice and has a great big basement with lots of storage. I am so excited to be in a smaller place. It will be so liberating!

More as it develops.

Off to bed to read that Oprah Book Club Selection...

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Wacky Jack


Wacky Jack
Originally uploaded by Bloomington Girl.
Couldn't resist posting this. Jack was taking a shower and yelled, "Mommy, come quick! I am Harry Potter!" I guess putting on some glasses and a "hat" made him feel like that.

Went to see the movie "Friends with Money" tonight with my best Bloomington girlfriend. Like the movie. Had cocktails before and after the movie. Fun, fun, fun!

Off to bed...it is late and I am keeping my hardworking doctor husband up with my silly posting nonsense.

More later.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Fat and Ambivalent

Chris and I went out to dinner tonight. Great company but disappointing food. Sadly, the poor food quality didn't stop this glutton from eating too much of the stuff and that was after a day of eating snacks as if I were going to the chair tomorrow.

Why is your otherwise self-controlled, healthy, athletic BloomingtonGirl on a stress eating binge? Because I think that we really ARE going to put our McMansion on the market and rent a house while we see if we can buy or build something that suits us more. I think it is the right thing to do but, waaaahhhh, I just want to be settled. I will keep my readers posted, of course. So, stay tuned.

After dinner, we went to Barnes & Noble to browse. While there, I saw that ANNA KARENINA, my dear dear Anna, is now a selection for Oprah's Book Club. I don't know how I feel about that. On one hand, I think that it is arguably the finest novel ever written and it is a great read to boot, so it is a good think that it will be more widely read now. On the other hand, I can't help but roll my eyes at the person who thinks that Oprah has discovered this book and so now will read it and rave about it as if it were a brand new thing. In addition, if everyone starts reading ANNA, I can no longer feel smug that I have read it and they have not. And, we all know how BloomingtonGirl hates to have her smugness undermined. I am going to have to give this more thought before I form a firm position. In any event, it will be interesting to see what the Oprah seal of approval does for ANNA sales...

By the way, I am not an Oprah fan...I think that she has not used her celebrity as productively as she might in the world, but that is a tale for another time.

Well, it's late. I am going to roll my jiggly fat Hoosier body into bed and read ANNA. The copy of ANNA that I bought YEARS before Oprah had ever even heard of it, so there.