Postcard from the New Year

For lack of a topical photo, This is a picture of the dining table after the New Year’s Eve festivities. I neglected to get a before shot because I was way too busy. Several people said they took photos of the table that Holly and Michelle decorated so beautifully. Somebody send me one, k?

Yesterday we finally got all the sheets and towels laundered, the beds put away, and the studio put back in order. Tomorrow the Ladies (that’s what I call ‘em) come to clean. They will do the shower scrubbing and floor mopping. I can no longer do those things. Well I can, but I don’t want to, and it takes me a week to do what two of them can do in three hours.

I played the Norman a couple days ago—last time out I shot a 99—but this time I shot 108. My putting has improved a lot with the new putter and lots of practice, but I got into a few sand traps and couldn’t get out. I had to pick up. Twice. When you get down into some of them you can’t even see the pin, they are seven feet deep. Well, no matter. Janice and I got paired with a delightful couple and we had a terrific time. We all cheered for every great shot. It was a whole bunch of fun.

Now that the fam is gone, we have started dieting. I put on a fair amount of weight with all the travel in 2011. I managed to keep it to a dull roar until October (Africa), and it was like everything suddenly caught up with me. Ka-boom. It didn’t seem to do a lot of good, but we maintained a low-carb lifestyle when we were home. No bread in the house. Potatoes? Evil. But this time I’m doing Weight Watchers. I need bread and cereal in my life. Need. The woman who cuts my hair lost 40 pounds last year on WW and she has inspired me. I like the program because you can eat anything you want, you just have to count it. All the points values are there for you online and I can look up/track points from my smart phone. The high-tech aspect appeals to me. And the points make sense to me—which means I stand a fighting chance of being able to remember them. I never could wrap my brain around the concept of exchanges, or that fats or carbs have certain calorie grams per ounce, because I could never understand it or remember all those numbers. On the new WW plan, it’s very easy. Even I, the most number-challenged person, get it.

Ah, but in a few short weeks my sister and her family and a friend are coming. Now—how to feed a group like this: One [strict] vegetarian, two picky teenagers that eat mainly processed food, a friend who is like us and enjoys wine and eats anything and everything, and us—dieters. I want to try to keep to our plan.
So here’s what I came up with: One night we’ll have Greek. Tzatziki, hummus, pita. Chicken souvlaki, rice pilaf, and a Greek salad. Even weird-food hating teeny boppers can handle grilled chicken ka-bobs The second night we’ll have spaghetti—marinara sauce with meatballs on the side, salad and garlic bread. Everyone can make their plate how they like it. For brunch one day, and I did this for New Year’s and it was a huge hit (we had a vegetarian then, too), make your own breakfast burritos. I just put out the ingredients—tortillas, machaca, scrambled eggs, cheese, beans, etc. It got raves. Everyone loved it. Cuz not everyone loves eggs. And weird-food hating juveniles know their way around a burrito. It's familiar territory.

Today we are going to the Humana Challenge (formerly Bob Hope Classic), which is being played here at PGA West. Bill Clinton will be there. Looking forward to it.

Okay, that’s all for now. Over and out.


  1. Good luck on the diet! I've lost 25 pounds in the last year and a half, not by Weight Watchers, but by doing similar things--watching serving size, eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and almost no processed foods. As you say, you can eat anything, just not much of it. IMHO, that's the only way. It's slow, and not flashy, and not a jazzy new diet to talk about, but it works, and because it makes sense, it can be a real life style change. I hope, anyway. You can do it too!

  2. With all the guests you have, I'm not surprised food is an issue. You are brave to try to plan anything for such varied tastes. I'd be using the buffet idea alot more!

  3. Watching the golf today and thinking of you and living in that beautiful place. Isn't golf fun when you play with good people, regardless of those sand traps?

  4. There is something really nice about the table after the meal...nice after-glow of candles and good food.

    I'm trying to eat healthier after all of the holiday indulgence. Not always succeeding, but since I love spinach salads full of broccoli, sliced baby carrots, and tomato, at least I'm getting the veggies in.

    Your Greek night menu sounds so good! I think I must make some hummus right away.

    I have personal distaste for changing the names of events and buildings to the names of corporations. I'm amazed they had the temerity to re-name the Bob Hope Classic!

  5. Weight Watchers has always sounded like a good way to go to me. Let me know how it works.

    The table looks very inviting despite whatever else is going on there. How far is the drive??? LOL!

    Hope you said "hello" to Bill for me:)

  6. I love the photo of the after New Years table. Just looked like a happy time was had by all.

    I also loved the "weird -food hating Juveniles". I have some of those in my family too. Your menu is genius and I am stealing it.

  7. Enjoy the lull between house guests. I predict the spaghetti and burritos will be a big hit with the kids. A sandwich bar would probably also work with a group of varied eaters. When my kids come over I also have multiple menus going at the same time since they eat meat and Michael is a long-time vegetarian.


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