Saturday, March 27, 2010

full house (m)

For the past eleven days, my brother Phil, his wife, two sons and puppy stayed at our home while they dealt with a flood in their basement.  Five feet of water-including raw sewage-burst into the basement of their home during the flood.  They lost the entire contents of that area which included major appliances (hot water heater, washing machine, dryer) as well as an exercise room, den, and full bathroom.  Also ruined was a lovingly restored antique buffet which was over 100 years old.   Large objects like sofas were floating on their backs in the dark water.  One of my nieces went to videotape the mess.  She said it looked like the Titanic wreckage.  Eerie.

The fire department in their town had to come and shut down the heat and electricity so there would be no fire hazard.  While the family was being evacuated, my skinny sister-in-law--a former beauty pageant contestant--was running around the house looking for her Miracle Shaper--a Spanx-like garment that holds you in like a suit of armour.  She wouldn't leave without it.

My house, on the other hand, looked like a shelter during Hurricane Katrina....people in every room, piles of clothes everywhere including the dining room table; the washer and dryer running continuously.The puppy added to the craziness as he bites people's ankles.  My mother came over one day and he pulled at her pants until they fell.  She told me to "put that x@#$% cat back in his cage".

Sam and Harrison came home from Florida and Turkey, respectively, on Wednesday night.  More people...more bags...more laundry...more laughter.  It was a giant, extended pajama party.

Food-wise, we were on overload.  Cousin Patty--with her tremendous food empathy--immediately called to offer her services.  She made a tray of eggplant parmesan and a large banana bread.  "I'm concerned about you.  You just got home from Florida and have to cook for all those people."   As usual, Patty was way ahead of me as I hadn't given food a moment's thought.

My mother bought blueberry muffins for my sister in law's breakfast.  My sister in law only eats fat-free muffins.  These were not.  "Are you trying to fatten her up?" I asked my mother.  "No...these were on sale.  The fat-free ones were not.  Help me get the label off before she gets home."

During the week, we had homemade chicken pot pie, gnocchi al fredo, penne with meatballs and sauce.  Last night I made an insalata caprese and a cucumber salad to go along with pasta.   There was fresh baked bread and lots of desserts.

I made a rainbow cake and chocolate chip cookies  for the kids; someone brought a blueberry pie.  There was a cinnamon coffee cake and my leftover birthday cake.  Phil brought a box of pastries last night.

Sounds like a Weight Watchers accident waiting to happen, right?

You'd think so, but for some reason, it wasn't.

I don't know if it's the fact that I was so busy with people, laundry, dog walking etc, but I did not feel tempted to overindulge.  When I had a little bit of something "bad", I counted the points.

Late yesterday afternoon, my brother called to say his heat and electricity were back on.  They would be going home.

We had a big dinner with everyone to celebrate the last night and then watched The Blind Side together.

It was a a memorable and fun evening and the boys...16 years to 26 years...had a blast.  They get along like brothers.

When it was over, I packed up leftovers for them to take home.  Unfortunately, they didn't want the desserts.  I covered them up and put them away.

Today, I spent an hour cleaning out the refrigerators and cupboards, throwing out everything that was fattening.  It felt great squishing the cake with my hands and washing it down the drain.  I never realized how much butter was in buttercream frosting until I washed it off my hands.  Imagine what it does to one's arteries.

And then it hit me.  Six months ago, I would have kept this stuff and eaten most of it.  Now, all I wanted to do was get rid of it.  I wasn't afraid of the desserts...I just wasn't interested in them.  I saw them as impediments to my progress.  I don't want to go backwards.....only forwards.

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