Monday, February 21, 2011

Winning and Losing

This weekend was jam packed with swim meets and (two!) chili cookoffs. Friday was beautiful and I just didn't have the heart to send the girls to swim practice. While 70 degree weather doesn't necessarily sound like chili territory, it was perfect for climbing trees.

Friday night's cookoff was at Casa Fraught. I have a pretty fine recipe if I do say so myself, with a hat tip to Tom E. for sharing. The organization level was high with darling little clipboards for voting.

In an odd turn of events, the vast majority of the entries were vegetarian. I brought one of three meat chilies with the remaining six all being of the herbivore variety. This was good news for me.

And yeah! Hell in a Bucket won the (somewhat slim) field of "traditional" chili. [Though I did also take a wee bit of pride that even though I was not strictly competing with the non-meat chili since they had their own judging category, I received more points than any other entry. Don't worry, this moment of pride will bite me in the arse later in the story.] More importantly, it was a great, and filling, party. I love gatherings at Amy & Sean's because I always meet new, fun people.

The next morning, it was off to the pool for our home swim meet.

Maggie had a personal best for the 25 Free, shaving off another 2 seconds, for a time of 20.85.

Other than this victory, it was a rough weekend. Morrigan was in her usual DFL or second to DFL position. And she wasn't taking it well. Tears were free flowing and plentiful. In the end, after a last place finish in the 100 Free on Sunday, I just told Morrigan that, if she wanted, she could bail on the rest of her races. Mercifully, she did and spent the remainder of the meet reading. Don't get me wrong here - I couldn't care less about how she finishes. But I can't stand to see her miserable. It is looking more and more like this will be the end of her swimming career. I don't think I am even going to push Summer swimming.

Maggie swam fine. She added time in all but one race and seemed destined to finish in 10th place for all her races. By midway through Sunday, she was fading fast and clearly didn't feel well. I can speak for the whole family when I say we were glad for the whole thing to be done.

Saturday night, it was off to Angie & Eric's chili cookoff. I arrived with batch of the same (victorious) recipe from the night before. The field was larger and, with no veggie entries, infinitely more treacherous. At the last year's event, I placed 4th. I had made some adjustments and was feeling positive about rising to a top three finish. And I was running as much smack as I could. Smack that rang hollow when I didn't even make it into the top five. Strangely, the entry I liked the most (honestly, even more than my own) also didn't place.

Tim thought I took it a little too hard and has been forced to listen to my (repeated) over analysis of all the entries. But I think I have a plan for next year. Unfortunately, I can't start working on a new recipe just yet. After having 20 some different chilies this weekend, I need a break!

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