I'll start off with a cool link: my before and after weight loss pictures have been posted at the site for NBC's Biggest Loser, the show where contestants compete to lose weight. They've set up a gallery where viewers can send in their own before and after pictures, and they've now posted mine. Check it out.
While I was sleeping Saturday night, I had a bothersome dream. I dreamt the glasses I'd left on top of the speakers had somehow gotten knocked on the floor and been broken. I was wondering how I was going to drive home.
But then I put them on and could still see through them, so I resolved to drive home with them and have them fixed as soon as possible.
I woke then, which is typically what happens when I resolve a problem in an anxiety dream.
When I took my shower, I discovered a different sort of problem. I had small bumps on my face, the same sort of allergic reaction I'd had on my upper arms when we returned from Disney World. I'd never managed to ascertain why I got them.
So I racked my brain for anything I'd eaten in the past 24 hours that might have caused the reaction and came up with nothing. That's when I remembered the inflatable mattress I'd slept on, which had been covered by a sheet. Thinking the mattress was compliments of our hostess, I asked The Scrapbooker if she uses Tide, which is the most allergenic detergent made. My dad, an osteopath, always rules out detergents at first with any sort of allergic reaction of the skin. But she said no, she doesn't use Tide.
Then The Genealogist spoke up and said she does use Tide, and the sheets were hers. So the mystery was fairly well solved. The Cousin kindly gave me some antihistamine to help with my reaction. Although, just like with the reaction I had after our honeymoon, it hasn't faded entirely yet. It will probably take some time to heal up completely.
I forgot to mention an important aspect of my activities on Saturday at Girls' Weekend Out. Namely, interacting with the pets of The Scrapbooker's household. First was Charlie, a cockatiel with a yellow head and a white body. He came to my attention when he was chirping louder and louder as we all worked on crafts in the dining room.
I checked on him, wondering if he was low on food or otherwise in distress. He was seated on a perch, in the corner closest to the dining room, trying desperately to get our attention. When he saw me, though, he quieted and began to bob his head cheerfully. He only wanted attention, it seemed.
I talked nice to him, and he used his toes and beak to crawl around the cage, doing a little cockatiel dance of pleasure. He even let me touch him on top of his head. When The Scrapbooker joined us, out of sheer joy he began to wolf whistle and say some of the few phrases he's learned.
Later on, I befriended one of the household's two cats, Zoe, a little black kitty who can be very cuddly. She sat on my lap while I watched Amelie with The Scrapbooker, and later in the evening, as evening gathered to watch movies, she did some lap-hopping. Zoe was in a room full of cat lovers and couldn't settle on one of us. She would sit in one person's lap until she was made to move or until she decided to try someone else's lap.
The other cat, Tabitha, a gray tabby, stepped into the doorway at one point and mewed at us all but she refused to step any closer. She's the dominant cat, and perhaps she felt it was beneath her dignity.
For breakfast on Sunday morning, The Scrapbooker made up biscuits and gravy, along with turkey bacon that I believe The Paper had brought. I tried some turkey bacon and some biscuits with margarine and brown sugar, along with an orange. The fresh fruit I'd brought was very popular at breakfast time, which made me feel good about having brought it.
Afterwards, we all packed up our cars. I was staying a bit later, though, to interview The Scrapbooker for my book, My Wedding, My Way: Real Weddings, Real Women, Real Budgets. So after everyone headed out, we sat down in the dining room with her photographs and went down a list of questions I'd brought, recording our conversation on my digital voice recorder.
She had some great insights on wedding planning, one of my favorites being not to worry too much about what other people say; do what you feel is right. That's the whole point of this book, after all.
The Scrapbooker will scan in some pictures of the creative aspects of her wedding so that I can potentially use them in my book. Overall, it was a productive interview.
As I was leaving, she packed up some extra food for me, including two servings of vegetarian chili, the opened bottles of red wine, and a bag of cookies. The cookies, though, I resolved not to eat but to send with The Gryphon to work so he could share them with his coworkers.
When I got home, The Gryphon was still out, so I ate some vegetarian chili and took a nap, the antihistamine having made me tired. When The Gryphon returned, we went for dinner at Charlie Brown's steakhouse and swapped stories about our weekends. He had done respectably at the shooting range but was now nursing a bruise on his arm from the rifle's kickback. Ouch!
He also had some good news for me. He'd solved the mystery of the roasting pan. We'd been trying to figure out who gave us a wonderful Cephalon roasting pan with rack, which was left at the wedding with no card. When he brought the topic up to the group of guys, The White Rabbit said, "Oh, that was me!"
So now, we finally know who to thank.
To a cat, there's nothing more wonderful than a room full of cat lovers.