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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sanity is really just one sip away.......

if only I could take that sip.  

Surely, it's 5 pm somewhere......

Most Thursdays, there's a martini date night waiting for me at the end of my day.  
We go to our little place, share a few appetizers, catch up on our lives, sip our martinis and melt into the booth.  There's no fanfare---just the two of us and our martinis.  Somehow Thursday nights have been what gets us through and gives us a place to land when the world feels like it's spinning.  It's also a great reminder that yes, we are married.  Because, if truth be told--our weeks don't include much about being married.  Our daily worlds are about our jobs, our many commitments and our crazy schedules. 
So, no matter what is going on or what I have to face--I figure I can get through it because I will be able to sit down with the guy who I share this crazy life with and sip away the remains of the day every Thursday.  
But, with all the extra goings on here in Judiland, we have been on a little hiatus from our Thursday night ritual for the past two weeks.  And, it looks like this Thursday might not happen either.  This sad reality hit me like a ton of bricks this morning as I hobbled out of bed. 
 I could really use a dose of marriage with a gin martini chaser.....

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

"Lapbanders--they are EVERYWHERE!!!!"

It's no secret that I've been hanging out at the local hospital more than usual now that my mother-in-law has been ensconced in their cardiac care unit.  Hospitals are not a place where anyone wants to hang out.  However, when these things happen, there's no avoiding the long hours of doing nothing while the world around you goes at a frenetic pace---it's the one place on earth where one can feel totally helpless (unless, of course, you are one of the wonderful nurses, doctors and other caretakers who are tending to the patients).  Every once in awhile--for those of us just sitting there--- it's good to get out of the sterile environment, get some fresh air and just recharge your spirit a bit.   So, we've been doing just that.
This past weekend, when it was my turn to get out into the sunshine, I decided to wander down to a little courtyard, park-like area that was situated outside of the cardiac care unit. ( If truth be told--I was kinda looking for a place to sneak a smoke but as it turned out, since I don't smoke regularly, I didn't have any with me so I just had to sit on a bench....).  The little courtyard was bustling with like-minded hospital visitors and workers just enjoying a respite from hours of hospitalizing.   I sat there in a dazed stupor------not thinking about anything in particular--just resting my thoughts a bit, I suppose.  All of a sudden, a man dressed in full golf attire approached me, carrying a big bag of groceries.  "How do I get into the hospital?"  he asked me.   The funny thing about the fact that he was there and asking how to get in--with groceries in hand--was that it was impossible to get to this little area without accessing it from an inside hospital door. So, clearly he had to have been in the hospital already!  Add that to the fact that the entire area around the hospital was under renovation so to get to the hospital itself, you had to park quite a distance and a shuttle would bring you to the main reception area--where they would have directed the man to where he needed to go.    And, even more interesting was the fact that he approached ME---considering there were several folks in the immediate area wearing official hospital clothing.  So, clearly, this man was there by some wild act of happenstance.  However, at the time, I didn't really think of all of those things. 
"Well, you can go into that door there but it depends on where you want to go,"  I told him, pointing to the door coming into the courtyard.  Considering this hospital is a maze of hallways, wings and units and centers, it was almost impossible to tell him where he should go.  So, I recommended that he go to the main reception area--which was quite a distance away. 
"No, I can't carry these groceries that far!" he laughed.   It was so hot and humid, I could definitely understand what he was saying.
"Where do you have to go?"  I asked him.
"My friend just had surgery and his family has been here for 14 hours and they called me for water and food,"  he explained.
I found it all kind of odd since the hospital had several food places as well as water!   Why did he need to bring food and water to them?
"Do you know what kind of surgery it is?"  I asked, hoping to point him towards the wing of the hospital where the surgery might be.
Just then, he sat next to me and started talking....
"They are repairing something that he had put on his stomach to help him lose weight.  He got it put on last year and he has already lost 100 pounds!   Now, they said it busted!" he explained to me.
"They rushed him in here last night with what they thought was something else but it turned out to be this.  He worked so hard to get that weight off and did so good!" he continued.  "I just hope he is okay.  He's a great guy!"
"Maybe his family is down in the Emergency Room area," I told him, explaining that he was much closer to that area than the main reception area.   "I'm going that way, you can follow me," I told him.
And, so we started off on our journey.   Along the way, I couldn't help myself but to tell this man that I too had Lapband surgery.  And, I found myself asking all kinds of questions about what could have possibly happened to his friend.  And, of course, I had to share some of the stories from Lapbanders who had issues with their bands too and who had happy endings.  And, I assured him his friend would be okay.  No, I promised him that his friend would be okay.  I have no idea why I even went as far as to promise him but I think hospitals do that to a person---we are always saying things like "it will be okay..."    I don't know about you but I always feel the need to be hopeful and encouraging in the face of not-so-great things...especially at hospitals..... 
About 15 minutes into our walk, we ran into his friend's wife in a hallway.    And, what were his first words to his friend's wife?---"Hey, she lost over 100 pounds with that surgery too!  Look at her! You would never know it!  She said he will be fine!" 
I could feel my face turn red......
I introduced myself to the woman and asked how her husband was.
She seemed rather confused.  I figured she was frazzled.
"Lapbanders!  THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!"  she blurted out!
She caught me by surprise.
"It's like a cult!"  she continued.
I didn't know how to respond.
"Do you always go to the hospital when Lapbanders are in the hospital?"  she asked me.
OOOH.....I was beginning to get it.  She had no idea that her husband's friend just happened to run into me.  She thought I was some kind of  on-call Lapband 911 support type person. 
"No, no.  I was just showing him the way to the Emergency Room!"  I explained.
It was starting to feel kind of weird and the story itself was so convoluted and odd that I was beginning to think it was a little bizarre myself.   So, I politely gave them my best wishes and then excused myself...saying that I had to get back to the Cardiac Care Unit.
As I was walking away, the friend  was explaining to the Lapbander's wife how we met and why I was there.   It really is a freaky, do, do, do.....
Again, I heard her exclaim...."Lapbanders--THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!"  

Yes, I guess we are. 

Monday, May 28, 2012

A day to remember........

all of  the people and the places that make our land the land of the free and the brave.....from sea to shining sea....

Hopefully, your Memorial Day weekend has been filled with fun and family and all those things that make a weekend like this special.
Here in Judiland, things are a bit topsy-turvy.  Which explains why I am been absent from blogland.
Our almost  PhD was home for a few days before he headed to the Finger Lakes to meet up with some frat brothers at a winery for a friend's wedding weekend.   And, of course, our sorority girl has been home and we've been busy getting things situated for her summer internship and summer classes.  And, of course, with both kids home--the cooking and cleaning and people coming and going was non stop.  Then, I had a conference thrown into the mix....which made for a few very interesting and exhausting days.  And, on top of that-- -as I may have mentioned, Carmen's mother suddenly took ill a little over a week ago.  She was hospitalized and has a series of procedures and surgery.  Thankfully, we live about 3 minutes down the road from the hospital where she is being cared for--making it a bit easier to run back and forth at all hours.
Today, we are trying our best to regroup and do all those things that we have neglected over the past 2 weeks.  Carmen escaped at some ungodly hour--he is holed up at an undisclosed location trying to catch up with work before he heads to the hospital.   I have plans to finally get some of my flowers purchased and in the ground before joining my sisters for our annual Memorial Day gathering.  This year, our plans are to float in my sister's pool. 
Right now, I can't imagine anything better than floating.....

Happy Memorial Day friends!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

My BAND WAGON tour continues......

Next stop?

I'm not one who needs or even wants life is to be tied up in a perfect package.
As a matter of fact, I kind of like the unexpected twists and turns....I call them surprises. 
So, I guess one could say I am leading the life I like.....because, damn, there are lots of surprises.   
But, there are times when surprises sure can come at the most inconvenient times.
Take for instance the fact that I am heading to a conference for a few days right here in good old Pittsburgh PA.
That's not the surprise.  
Because its being hosted here in Pittsburgh,  I've got a slate full of things that I have to do.
That's not the surprise either.
The surprise is that quite some time ago when the conference planners were looking for folks to set up nights-on-the-town for conference goers---I must have lost my mind and volunteered.   
I guess I thought it would be fun to take a group of folks to great places for dinners and to show them the sites of Pittsburgh and entertain them!
Now, I'm knee deep in pulling together reservations and plans and schedules and transportation and maps and....well, you get the picture.  
Typically, I am not this unready for entertaining. 
Typically, I am not this overwhelmed by the thought of showing off my city and what it has to offer to a bunch of out-of-towners. 
But, this time, I am.
First and foremost---because I somehow forgot about my volunteerism. 
And, secondly---because I have so much going on that I am not sure if I'm forgetting something....something really big.....that I need to do. 
And, thirdly--because this conference is in my hometown---my at-home responsibilities do not go away. 
And, lastly.....I'm already exhausted and teetering on my BAND WAGON tour.

Just another detour.......

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Does this WAGON make my butt look big?

There's nothing quite like trying to hold steady on the band wagon while hitting a little rough road.
At the moment, my little rough road is my self image and how I am feeling about how I look these days.
As much as I love, love, love my blog, sometimes I find myself comparing pictures.
Usually, when I look at my "BEFORE LABPBAND" pictures, I am ever so thankful for the way I look today. 
However, since I have about 3 years of "AT GOAL" pictures on my blog, it's easy to spend a crazy amount of time in comparing how I looked then to how I look now. 
Was I thinner then?
How much did I weigh when I wore that outfit?
I think I looked better before!
OMG, I can't believe how much I aged!
I think that hair color looks much better!
I need to go back to that hairstyle!

I don't know about you but I find when I am exceptionally tired and overly stressed and when I haven't had the time or energy to deal with the clothes laying in heaps in my bedroom and the shoes tossed about, I  get overwhelmed with trying to get ready to get out the door each day.  When that happens, I find that I am not as happy about the way I look.  The easy thing to do would be to just slow down and get things organized.   Yes, that would be the easy thing.....
I only have one question though---what should I give up in order to get things more organized? 


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Table Talk......

Judiland has been brimming with activity this weekend---with both kids home and lots of yard work needing done and various schedules  and commitments to deal with, my much loved family Sunday dinner felt like an albatross around my neck all day yesterday.  Add to that the fact that life was rocked a bit when Carmen's mom had to be hospitalized and the fact that we had plans to host a little gathering at our house on Saturday night, I was in full panic mode.
Never a fun thing.....
Typically, any time we host any type of gathering at our home, I am very intentional about everything once I decide how I want the event to feel.  Sometimes I am inspired by the event itself,  other times I focus on a type of food or ingredient and other times, I just get this idea and run with it.  Whether it's just a small dinner for four or a bustling party for 50, I can't help but start with a vision and then building everything from there.   Sometimes the menu is the star, other times it's the wine or the spirit that is highlighted and there are times when I am simply moved by wanting to feature a particular set of dishes or serving pieces.  I've been known to throw a party just because I happened upon a supply of handmade invitations in a bargain bin.   Whatever the case, even though the inspiration can just happen and  there's a willy-nilly type of organization to the entire process, there's always a plan. 
Sunday dinners are a bit different---I treasure the laziness of the time in the kitchen, hearing the sounds of my family in the background, listening to their conversations and soaking in their laughter.  I look forward to chatting with them as I chop and toss and stir and take pride when they show an interest in what's going on in the kitchen.  I find a great joy in filling the house with comforting and enticing smells and in serving foods that everyone loves.  As I cook, the anticipation of our meal together is what calms me and relaxes me and reminds me how blessed we are.  Looking forward to the laughter and smiles that comes with the four of us spending time around the table is even more important than the meal I serve.  As much as I love the art of entertaining for groups of any size, family time at the table is what means the most to me. 

 Family dinners for the four of us are so very rare these days.  So, when the opportunity presents itself, I want to make it special and memorable.   Although I realize that it's not all about the food---I can't help but want to make a meal that everyone looks forward to and enjoys. But, with the way the weekend was shaping up, my typical love of  preparing Sunday dinner was lost to a frenzy of everything that was going on and everything that had to happen in a short 24 hours.

Thankfully, our almost-PhD has no problem devising a menu and taking command of the cooking to make dinner happen.  When he realized my frenzied state and what was going on around me, he took Sunday dinner into his own hands.  It was a wonderful feeling to know that Sunday dinner meant that much to him.    I was grateful for the help but even more excited to see what his menu would look like.  Although some of his recipes and techniques are very close to my own, he always puts a different spin on things--which is a nice and welcome change.  So, when he blew into town late yesterday, he put together his plan and then we took a quick shopping trip--where he took total charge of Sunday dinner while I loaded the cart with what I needed for our informal gathering last night.   It was a nice respite from the dizzying pace of the day. 

At the moment, there's a lull in the action.  The house is quiet and all seems well.  Since I can't guarantee that will be the case the rest of the day, I wanted to share a wonderful recipe from last night that I think everyone will want to add to their summer entertaining menus. I got lots of ooohs and aahs and there was not a speck of it left over.....

Summer Sausage On Baguettes 

2 long sticks of French Baguettes---sliced in 1 inch slices (on diagonal), toasted lightly in oven
2 pounds bulk Italian sweet sausage--cooked, drained, cooled and crumbled well
1 bag of frozen pineapple--thawed and diced very small
1 large large red onion--diced well and sauteed in a bit of olive oil, cooled
1 cup of sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Combine cooled sausage, thawed pineapple, cooled onion and sour cream--mix very well.  Add salt and pepper if desired.
Serve chilled with crunchy Baguettes circling it. 

I served this wonderful appetizer with a white wine that I am trying out for the summer--- Gazela Vinho Verde.   It was an amazing combination.   The Gazela might be my go-to wine for summer entertaining.  It's very light and quenching--making it the perfect accompaniment for the recipe above.  Plus, it's extremely affordable--it's easy to buy a case without breaking the bank!
 I can't wait to try it with other foods! 

Hope you Sunday is filled with wonderful moments......

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I don't think I'll be doing the wagon tour today.
The ride is just a little too  bumpy for me right now..... 
Blame it all on my newly minted 60 year old dear friend Kate.
We just had to celebrate this milestone.
And, we had to do it with the same ghusto as we celebrated her 50th......and her 40th.
We sorta forgot about the fact that it's just a few years later. 
The good news is that we lost a lot of our inhibitions.
The not-so-good news is that we aren't as young as we used to be.
But we sure as hell know how to have a good time....that's something that's never changed. 
So, it's all good.
Except for right now.....

Excuse me while I GOOGLE "how to take care of my father after a night of  a little too much wine...."

Friday, May 18, 2012

Next stop......



 When my Lapband journey began and throughout at least the first two years, I followed the eat your protein first rule religiously. 
Never did I begin my meal with a salad or a veggie or mashed potatoes smothered in everything.
I was always amazed that after I ate my protein.....I wasn't hungry for the rest. 
Even on days when I was stressed or really felt like I needed to eat something wicked.....I forced myself to start with my protein.   Usually, it was salmon or crab or something from the sea.  But, there were times when it was just a few hunks of cheese.  And, there were other times when I just needed a hamburger (without the bun).  And, yes, there were other times when ricotta mixed with some marinara sauce was the only thing that would do.   When I was in a major hurry--cheese fit the bill.  When I was needing something wicked--a hamburger did the trick.   And, when I was stressed.....the comfort of marinara sauce and ricotta with an extra dusting of romano cheese was my go-to.   I never felt deprived.  In fact, I felt victorious.  Even eating out wasn't a chore---I could find a nice protein source anywhere (and I didn't have to cook it!!).
The best thing about the deliberate protein eating is that it truly did stop me from picking throughout the day or night.  I'm not sure if it stopped me because I was satisfied or if it stopped me because I was enthused by my rule following--which propelled me into "being good".  Whatever it was--by insuring that I always ate my protein first, my journey was successful. 
Sure, I wasn't angelic all of the time.  Sometimes a girl does have to go astray to stay true to her own self.  But, even with those little moments of putting way too much mayonaisse in my tuna salad, the scale was moving downward, I was feeling satisfied and healthy and I was never discouraged by my choice.   All good things....
So, what changed?  Why have I been battling a few pounds here and there every so often?
Those are the questions I  ask myself each time I find the needle on the scale moving into my forbidden territory.  
And, each time---I know the answer.
I haven't been working with my band.  
In fact, I've been working against it.
The funny thing about these extra pounds that I have been dealing with every so often is that they never send me into a major failure mode.
Which is a good thing.
Sometimes when we feel like a failure, we give up.  Then, we spiral out of control and before we know it---we are really letting things get out of hand.  As we all know...that's so easy to do.....Lapband or not.
So, what's my method to not succumbing to this madness?
I play a numbers game!
You see, since I set out on this journey to lose 100 pounds and managed to lose 115--I always saw those extra 15 pounds differently than the first 100.
In my head, it was always about 100 pounds! now....I see those extra 15 pounds as my cushion weight--- I figure that as long as I don't gain one ounce over 15 pounds--I'm good.  Other times...when I am happily wearing my Size 8 skinny jeans--I consider those 15 pounds a bonus--a reward for my hard work!  
Trust me, I don't like it when I gain any weight at all.
But, it's all a part of the journey.
I'm just back to riding the riding the WAGON on this leg of my journey.

Hello Proteinville!  I'm back......

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Back on the (Lap) Band Wagon......

Get ready for Judi's Wagon Tour!

First stop----Watertown!

When I first started my Lapband journey,  I could always be seen carrying around my water bottle.  I never left home without it.  To get in some extra protein--I always mixed Special K protein water powder (iced tea was my favorite flavor). 
 As time  went on, my water bottle became an accessory.  So, I took great pleasure is matching it to my outfits.....I got lots of great covers in lots of fun colors.   It became part of the fun of drinking water.  Hey, a girl has gotta do what a girl has gotta do....
In the past two years or so, my water bottle has been hiding at the bottom of my kitchen cabinet and it's fancy covers are strewn about the cupboards.    Just like pieces of jewelry that have been replaced by cuter, more up-to-date pieces.  
Now, I know what you are's time Judi resurrect that old water bottle.
But, that's not how I roll.
My Rubbermaid water bottle and my cute bottle covers are so yesterday.....
It's time for some water bottle shopping.
And, I've got the perfect plan.
I am going Tervis Tumbler shopping.
These things are the best.
Especially for a girl who can't use a straw.
I already have a sassy red, yellow, orange and green polka dot one for my morning protein drink.
I fill it up very early in the morning with my concoction of Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Chai Soy Protein and Tzao Chai Latte Liquid over a bunch of ice.  And, walla....there is still ice in it well into the afternoon.  
My Tervis love is so great that I've bought them for Carmen, Vince and Toni---all of them with designs befitting their interests.
And, they have all these different lids that you can add....making them even more fashionable! can also get a martini shaker lid so you can turn your Tervis Tumbler into a martini shaker!!!   Just another reason to love them.... 

If I am going to go on a WAGON TOUR......I'm gonna do it style.
Watertown, here I come!!!


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Walk of Shame......

Yes, I've been on a bender.  
One that has included all night night laundry parties, lots of late, late trashy TV and overdosing on Trader Joe's Coconut cookies.
Not to mention all the other things that go into making Judiland......Judiland.  
Last we spoke, I was in the home stretch of empty nesting....getting my world ready to be rocked once again by the return of my sorority girl.
Fast forward to NOW......
My empty nesting is over!!
We are all getting adjusted.....

Here's Patty and I loading up the cars in bring our girls home.  My body never felt so sore.....

After I semi recovered from all of was time for a tidal wave of life....a little welcome home party....a little cooking, a little wine on the porch and a few of her favorite bites......
 Then, it was on to a Mothers' Day filled with more cooking and entertaining.....

And, wedged in between the moving and the unpacking and the laundry and the coconut cookies and the TV watching and the homecoming and the cooking and the cleaning and the entertaining and the partying....there was a family wedding.  
Here I am.....committing the cardinal sin of wearing the same dress as 2 other wedding goers!  Thankfully, we all considered it a fun coincidence and had a great time with it all.  Everyone asked us if we planned it!  Can you imagine?  Three women planning to wear the same dress to a wedding. 
For the record....I had this dress first.  (if you recall....I wore it to a wedding last July)

Now that I've owned up to everything that has been going on here in Judiland, I want to tell you something. 
Possibly the real reason why I've been hiding from my addition to all this other stuff..
I gained 12 pounds.
But, I refuse to walk in shame.
Now that I have confessed this fact to you---I am now free to do what needs done.
I can no longer hide.
It's time to conquer the roadblocks between me and  my Lapband! 
It's time I let my Lapband do it's job!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

On with the show.....

It's been a bit of a busy few days in Judiland.
Sewing all of my empty nester oats is hard work.
Which explains why I've been AWOL these past few days.
But, it wasn't all fun and games, I can assure you.
My to-do list got a little out of hand......rendering me out of commission.
Yeah, I steam cleaned all of my hardwood floors and did a major cleaning of my kitchen and of all the bathrooms.  
Don't ask me what possessed me to do any of that.
All I can tell you is that it wasn't a bit of fun....
Thankfully, I had the opportunity to spend some time with the newspaper last night as I rested my weary bones from that awful drudgery.
That's when I came upon a very inspiration story.....about a girl right here in Pittsburgh PA who lost 120 pounds and reached her dream to run the Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday.
And, she is a blogger.  
A blogger who stole my as little as 24 hours!!! 
Please visit Adrian's blog....

Little Adrian has no idea I'm even posting the link to her blog so if you do give her a little love before I get a chance to stop by and do it myself........let her know I'm coming soon!

Friday, May 4, 2012

My last childless weekend.......

 Soon it will be time to stash the smokes, wear respectable clothing and hide the good gin.
Gotta get back to my mothering ONE WEEK!!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

There's nothing like the first time.....

you bite into something that tastes amazing!

Whatever it is.....that first bite is the best bite!
The experience of anticipation and taste is what we enjoy.
There is nothing quite as wonderful as tasting something luscious.
Sinking your teeth into something that you are craving or that you love is a beautiful thing.
Especially for those of us who love food.  
So, why then do we continue to eat  until we lose that wonderful feeling only to be replaced by a feeling of misery and discomfort?
 Why can't we take just one bite or maybe two or  maybe even three?  Why do we continue to eat it and even go crawling back for more when we have fed our desire for the taste and we have enjoyed it's beauty? 
All of that brings us back to that nagging question---why do we eat?
Of course, we eat to survive...that's a given.
But, survival doesn't take 30 little chocolate eggs, a peppermint patty and 2 cookies...after devouring a reasonable piece of a Delmonico steak, a 1/4 cup of wine braised mushrooms and half a baked potato with sour cream and chives and a deliciously perfect Pinot Noir.  
Yes, I'm talking about me.  
The lovely dinner was more than enough.
In fact, I was more than satisfied with the wonderful meal that we enjoyed on our deck at sunset.
Carmen had grilled the steaks to perfection, the yummy mushroom recipe is one of my favorites and I love the simplicity of baked potatoes with sour cream and chives. 
And, the Pinot Noir was a wonderful accompaniment to it all.
Sure, a bit of chocolate is a lovely way to close out a meal like that.
In fact, I highly recommend having chocolate following a meal that includes a steak.
Chocolate can be a perfect balance to such a hearty meat.
I can assure you that the first bite of the chocolate was indeed heavenly.
By the end of the night, as I secretly popped those little eggs into my mouth as I watched some of  my favorite trash TV, the wonderful meal was a distant focus became how lousy I felt. 
I threw away the joy of a great meal and was left feeling nauseated and miserable.
All because I could not stop at one bite. 
I could not stop after THE BEST BITE!

Too much of a good thing is not always a good thing.....
Excuse while I go and write that on the chalkboard 600 times. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Last night, in an effort to make myself believe that I am a very organized person, I decided to haul out my calendar and begin plugging in things for the month that either I need to do or I have to take care of or that I am obligated to attend or I am responsible for and birthdays I need to remember and parties and weddings and showers and other happenings in Judiland........well, you get the picture....

I feel like I am looking down the barrel of a gun.

I should have never, ever attempted this being organized shit.
All it did was stress me out. 
I am much better being surprised by life......

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day! May Day!

The COOKIE MONSTER is after me!!!

Yesterday, I hosted a meeting that had the possibility of being a little bit painful or perhaps a tad bid uncomfortable. 
In preparation for those possibilities, I decided it was best to feed the participants something cookies!  Everyone loves cookies!
I figured that if someone got a little grumpy, I'd shove cookies in front of them.
And, if someone got a little out of hand with me, I'd remind them that I brought cookies.  
It sounded like a swell idea.  Especially for a Monday morning meeting that might be a little tenuous. 
Ingenious! Right?
With my plan firmly in place, I swung by Trader Joe's on my way to work to stock up on my favorite Trader Joe's cookies--Oatmeal Cranberry Dunkers, Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Minis and Vanilla  Meringues.
Yummy! Yummy! And, more yummy!!!
Give them the yummiest cookies and insure a good meeting! 
What a perfect plan.  Right?
As it turned out---I was wrong on all counts.
Everyone was perfectly lovely and the meeting went off without a hitch.
And, no one was hungry for cookies.
Everyone was smiley and agreeable......even without eating cookies. 
Imagine that?
 I was left with three mostly full containers of my favorite cookies. 
So, I dragged them back to my office, set them on my conference table and went about with my work.
But, you computer got a little crazy and started doing bizarro things.
I couldn't get to my files.  My cursor was going nuts.  And, our tech person was nowhere in sight.
And, I had work to do.
At the height of my frustration, those cute little Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Minis started to be very noisy.  Calling me.  Telling me that if I ate them, things would be better. 
Who am I to fight with cookies?
20-some Crispy Crunchy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Minis and 2 Vanilla Meringues later, my computer issues remained and I was feeling not-so-good. 
Not so good at all.

Fast forward to this group is doing a presentation at a staff meeting.
So, I figure.....I can unload those cookies on my unsuspecting office mates. 
My office mates love cookies. 
They don't have to know they are saving me from the evil grip of the cookie monster that's chasing me.  Right?
And, if our presentation is boring.....the cookies will help. Right?
But, what if I'm wrong again?
What if our presentation is so damn thrilling that they are so mesmerized by it that they don't even realize the cookies are there?
It's a possibility.  Right?
What if they are all warding off cookies since bathing suit season is almost upon us?
You just never know.  Right?
Or, how about if they figure out my manipulative plan that is disguised as Judi being nice feeding us cookies?
It could very well happen.  Right?
Will I spend another day fighting the evil Cookie Monster?
I should just go back to bed. 
The Cookie Monster won't find me there. 

 Happy May!
The Cookie Monster must die.