Sunday, June 18, 2006

Working at midnight

It's the last minutes of Father's Day, and I'm here in my office putting the finishing touches on three Web pages and an article. It was a fantastic day for my father...breakfast out with my Mom, then a barbecue ribs, potato salad, beans and coconut cream pie lunch with all of us there with him. That morning, he'd been worried about his lack of appetite (chemo will do that), but he wolfed on the ribs. And we gave him a little bit of beer (with his doctor's okay), just a juice glass half-full, and he was a happy camper. So now we know to put barbecue sauce on everything, and he'll be more likely to eat it. I was telling Joe tonight that I am the Protein Police at my parents' place, keeping a serious eye on their diets, making sure there's plenty of beef and chicken in the house, lots of beans, healthy salads. I'm sure I'm annoying sometimes, but as a good Italian girl, I show my love with food. And in the world of cancer, I have little to no power over how things go. So the only way I feel I have any power at all is in being the Protein Police if I have to, and the treat dispenser when I can. When their fridge is full, and when Dad puts down some beans, I'm doing my job well.

So it was a great day with laughter at the dinner table, a happy dog under the dinner table getting lots of rib handouts, and with the exception of some kind of carcass dropped on the lawn by a hawk passing overhead, a beautiful day. On my drive home, a spotted fawn was just walking down the street, and all the cars had stopped to let it have its way. I love living in this part of the suburbs where we don't have enough deer to be a menace, so we can appreciate the rare doe, fawn or buck who shows up. They're cinnamon-colored, and they're used to us humans. I see one almost every day on my walk around the lake...

My weekend with Joe was amazing, as always. We went to the pool, snuggled in to watch movies, he marinated some steaks and I got my snapshot moment of seeing him grilling out on my deck. We went for ice cream. We played with the hamster. Just perfection. I still get first-kiss dizzy with each kiss. He makes great moments happen, and I especially loved his 'Inside the Music' account of why he chose the songs on my mix CD. And yes, it's the only one I've listened to since he made it for me. I'm a smitten kitten...

A smitten kitten with a To-Do list that's crushing. So I'm burning the midnight oil after a great afternoon of five articles done for PashWeddings, answered a few forum questions on PashWeddings (I'm guesting this week, so send in your questions), did the three Web pages, and just received my replacement assignment from Turns out the garden weddings piece I completed a tick before deadline doesn't work for them this month, so they'll use it next month. In replacement, I have a week to do a new piece on oceanside weddings. Piece of cake. With two big articles due next week, I'm clearing out whatever I can get done now. Word should be coming in this week about the new book deal, too. I'm always happiest when my plate is full. I do much better work when it's a pileup, rather than when I have a smattering of assignments here and there. I love the magazine work I'm doing, the Web writing, and the new book is only a few days away. And then there's "What's Your Bridal Style?", to which celebrity wedding coordinator Randie Pellegrini is going to contribute. I get to talk with her tomorrow night, and she's long been one of my idols.

So I'd better get back to work before I register 'procrastination' and move to the couch with a bowl of cereal to watch the Food Network. One more section for a wedding coordinator's site and I'm done for the night. I just looked up at the photo above my computer and got all warm. I'm so incredibly lucky. Every day, I'm reminded of that.

And since it's Father's Day, I'd like to send out a big kiss to all the fathers who aren't with us anymore, who watch down over us with pride and joy that we've absorbed what they taught us, and maybe exceeded their expectations. We get so much from our fathers, the good and the bad, lessons learned and lessons to unlearn over time. So cheers to all the fathers out there -- the fathers who dance with their daughters at their weddings, the fathers who watch over their children from above, the fathers in Iraq and Afghanistan who see their newborns for the first time over videophone, the fathers of great ideas, the fathers of hamsters, the father of this writer. You are loved more than you can ever imagine.