Monday, June 22, 2009

Stick a Fork in Me Edition

Been on total work overdrive lately due to several deadlines, and also that part where I got behind earlier on the Monster Project. The rest of the month looks about the same. It's not nearly dark yet, and I'm ready to curl up and fall asleep.

We did manage a Father's Day dinner with the whole family, but my beloved, aka "Dad," did the BBQ part himself. (Which, OK, he likes to do, but I still feel like a slug.)

On the anti-whine end, we have a breakthrough. One of our formerly feral cats -- Spottie, who sometimes lets me pet him when he sleeps on my legs, but under no other circumstances -- asked me for some skritching this morning!

What's the news in your world?


Sue said...

Sunday we did Father's Day here with my in-laws. I adore my FIL - he's been such a gift to me. It was a good time.

Tonight my sisters and I went out to see my Dad since he was out of town on Sunday. He's been soooooo much better since his brain surgery three years ago. I think he came close enough to dying to really appreciate life. It came late in life, but it was a real spiritual awakening for him. He asks about the grandchildren now (he never did before) and actually engages all of us in conversations. He's never been the talkative type.

So - no whines in the Father department. I'm blessed and I know it.

Whine: Cannot sleep. Not sleepy. At. All. Where are those darn sheep anyway????

Anti-whine: I'm taking my first Reformer Pilates class tomorrow. Notice: this may become a Whine tomorrow depending on how said class goes. Just sayin'...

Miranda said...

Sue, what you shared about your dad made me cry this morning. My father also never asks about children but he still hasn't found a place where we can try to have a relationship. His transformation...well it is an AWESOME testament to the human spirit. Not sure I'm making sense but it somehow makes me happy to think that good things happen out there in the world.

Kathy, would you like my semi-feral kitty? She's so obnoxious right now.

My whine: I went out to walk this morning and I noticed that my stoop needed a good washing. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the dirt was moving.

Yep, folks, I have a nasty ant infestation in front of my house.

Anti-whine: boiling water does the trick!

Anti-whine the best: Pixies, I have gotten up and out of the house by 5:30 am TWO WHOLE DAYS IN A ROW to walk and just meditate. Plus I get to come home to a quiet house in the morning before going off to Ball of Stress Job.

Anti-whine of checking in: The money/meal planning system I discussed last week for the kids has been going very, very well. Giving the kids cash seems to be the best way to go about it because it takes me out of the middleman role. Next to be included: CHORES.

liz said...

Got the old house cleared.

Got a cleaning crew in for today to scrub the place from top to bottom.

Got tenants moving in this weekend.

Knocked on over 50 doors last night after losing about an hour and a half to a SNAFU.

Tonight's walk sheet has 110 doors.

If I can get all those doors done this evening, I will be Mrs. Smug Campaigner, Queen of the Doorbells for the rest of the Summer.

Sue said...

Oh wow Liz - that's a lot of doors. Think of it as either exercise or time spent in the great outdoors. Otherwise it sounds a lot like tons o' work.

Miranda - thanks. Dad really is a different man now. In so many ways. I feel as if we were given a second chance along with him when he survived the surgery.

As for the ants: YIKES! We had an ant infestation last summer while I was in the hospital. I was there for five days and the ants showed up on day two. Peter had the exterminators in and gone before I came home. He didn't tell me about it for days. Smart man.

liz said...

Sue, if I can do it, it means that any and all whining coming from other sources w/in the campaign can be shut down with a snooty, "oh yeah? Well I did 110 doors in less than 4 hours in 92 degree heat after already having worked 8 hours. NO WHINING FOR YOU!"

(cackles madly)

kathy a. said...

sue, what a great father's day!

yay, miranda! systems that work!

i say we find a way to bottle liz's amazing energy!!

liz said...

Ooh! Campaign just agreed that if I can do this, I get to be the pace car for all Walk-offs! To be eligible to win prizes, volunteers have to out-knock me!!!



liz said...

Can I add more exclamation marks in there?

Yes!!!! WE!!!!!! CAN!!!!!!

Sue said...

Liz -

YES!!!! YOU!!!! CAN!!!!

Sue said...

Whine: The BBQ that wasn't.

Last Saturday some folks from church had invited anyone from the congregation to join them at the place where they have a trailer set up for the summer. Sounds great, right? There was a sign up sheet for several weeks (mostly during my holidays).

Well, last week when I went back to work, the secretary said that the picnic had been canceled because not enough people had signed up. So she phoned all the people that she could think of who HAD signed up to tell them it was off.

Today I got a NASTY email from the hosts saying they were all set up on Saturday and were angry that not ONE person from our church showed up.

Clearly what we have here is a failure to communicate. I wrote an appropriately humble apology and explained that something had been misunderstood and we thought the event was canceled.

The family ended their email to me by saying that they are leaving the church. I asked them to pray on it and please reconsider...these things happen....we're only human blah blah, blah.

Problem: The parents are our ONLY Sunday School teachers.

Crap. I'm letting the HR people take it from here. It was a misunderstanding on the part of our secretary, so she will need to be spoken to for sure, but thank the heavens it is not my responsibility to have that discussion with her.

Thank you United Church for not having such a beast as a "Head of Staff"!!! I'm no one's boss, thanks be to God.

kathy a. said...

oh, no, sue. what a mess. i can imagine how hurt and angry that family feels. it really is a problem that the secretary called everyone about an event that the church was not hosting. it sounds like the real problem is not just the misunderstanding [which might have meant a couple fewer people], but a boundary problem [which resulted in nobody showing]. gah.

kathy a. said...

p.s. - i'm not in much of a position to throw stones, you understand. this morning i managed to piss off my difficult sister who has cancer by wishing her happy birthday in a slightly thoughtless way. gah.

Sue said...

With further investigation, it turns out the secretary actually wasn't at fault - the miscommunication came from the hosting family.

But - get this - their still mad at us and they're leaving the church.

The truth is, some people need a reason to leave and leave angry. I will never understand it, but it's so common in churches that it's astonishing.

Anyway, it was their doing, not ours - my secretary is off the hook. We still have no Sunday School teachers, but we'll manage.

I have WAY too much on my plate this week to worry about these belly-aching people, who created a problem, blamed someone else, and decided to stay mad anyway.

Gah!!!! ~bangs head on brick wall~

Elizabeth said...

Whine: feeling sad and shaken about the metro crash. I was personally not affected at all -- not even inconvenienced. And I know that metro remains far more safe than driving. But still. (After 9/11, I kept on telling myself that flying was still far more safe than driving -- and made myself almost too scared to drive for a year.) Actually, as I type this, I'm realizing that this probably triggered my (very minor, self-diagnosed) 9/11 post traumatic stress.

Whine: have way too much to get done, both at home and work, before we go on vacation. Couldn't sleep last night, burst into tears at work over the stupid website redesign. Which is as dysfunctional a process as I've ever been part of (and I used to be a fed!), but still not worth that much grief.

Antiwhine: really psyched about vacation. Road trip includes HS reunion, both sets of grandparents, two sets of aunts and uncles, two cousins, two sets of friends, and leaving the children behind in the care of said grandparents for a while at the end.

liz said...

Oh Sue, I'm sorry. But on the other hand, you don't really want such cluestick-needing people teaching Sunday school.

Kathy a, I don't get it. In what universe are birthday wishes able to be expressed in any way but one? "Happy Birthday!" How can one express thoughtful or thoughtlessness with those two words?

liz said...

Whine: I didn't do all 110 doors because I ran out of literature.

Anti-whine: I did all but 15. The campaign staff think I'm a rock star and now they're out to beat me.

amy said...

I'm having a "Holy Carp!" moment/week. Over the weekend, after I had nursed Tater to sleep, my husband said, "Well, you'd better enjoy this since you only have a couple more months left." It took a few minutes before I realized that he thinks I'm automatically going to wean the baby when he turns 1. (For the record, it was completely a descriptive statement, like "Wow, where has the year gone?" It did not sound judgmental.)

I know that I had originally set my "long term" goal as nursing until the baby is 1, but somewhere in the last 4 months (Tater is 8.5 months), I just decided to nurse until I don't feel like it anymore or the boy weans himself. I don't want to give it up and when I think about it, I have a wave of sadness.

I guess what I'm saying is that it just occurred to me that I could find myself in a position to defend nursing an older child/toddler and I have no idea how to do that. I need to talk to my husband about it too, and I have no idea where to start. I'm not entirely sure where he stands on it, but I have a feeling that there is, for him, an age after which me nursing the boy will skeeve him out. And the hardest part about initiating that conversation is that I know I'm emotional about this.

kathy a. said...

elizabeth, if something like that crash happened locally to me, i'd be messed up, too. we take catastrophes in familiar areas personally.

liz, i posted happy birthday on our family website [not google-able, nobody knows about it] and added a photo from the last time i saw her, at cousin's happy wedding, where she wore an attractive head-wrap and had a good time. she said she was having a great birthday right up until i posted her bald head after chemo right there on the internet. i took it down right away, and my bad on choice of photo. put up a less inflammatory greeting. it kind of breaks my heart, because -- the way things are with this sister -- it will be an issue forever.

kathy a. said...

oh, amy. a one-year-old is not really "older." abrupt and arbitrary transitions are no good -- maybe that is a place to start.

liz said...

Well, kathy a., your sister is one of those people who are just gonna get offended no matter what.

amy, what kathy a. said.

Elizabeth, hugs. The crash freaked me out too, and I'm not a train-rider (until they bring it out my direction)...but it's definitely a serious thing.

Hold on to the thought that, though the crash was serious, the Metro in general has been remarkably accident free. And they're working on getting new cars. And (ugh, I hate that I'm going to say this) maybe this will get some more funding to speed up the acquisition of new engines and cars.

Sarah at ratatat said...

Sue - loved the Father's Day story, and ow, on the parishioners leaving in such an unhappy way.

Go Liz go! You are a rock star. And I am glad that you and Elizabeth were safe from the metro crash.

Kathy A - oh, I feel your pain on the sibling front. You know I do. You can't win, but you can't stop trying :)

Amy - good luck on the nursing & weaning & happiness timeline.

My whine this week is sort of tied up into weaning. In that, I think my 9 month old is. And in the abstract that's OK, but I feel sort of useless. And I can't even try to rev myself up into trying to have her come back because we're having a financial crunch and I think I am going to work sooner rather than later. As in as soon as I can get a job. We foolishly trusted Cha$e bank and its life of the loan balance transfer. And we're been paying (home improvements financed the bad 2007 way) and the balance is dropping, but now they are raising our minimum payment from 2% to 5%, which amounts to several hundred dollars. And I could just cry. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

anti-whine? I am awfully whiny today. Tomorrow can't be as bad? I might find work that pays well and doesn't suck every hour out of my day? Just because I wanted to enjoy one last summer with the kids...

Madeleine said...

Whine: Yet another airport.

Anti-whine: I should be home by sunrise.

Whine: And then I start the marathon camp-bag-packing event.

Anti-whine: Lovely family weekend in Work Destination.

Whine: Still in teh airport.

Anti-whine: I can see my airplane right in front of me, so delays are less likely than if I couldn't see it.

Also, Anti-whine the biggest: Airport wireless account.

purple_kangaroo said...

We're still trying to get our house and yard in order. It's not there yet, but we've made significant progress.

I'm still coughing. My rib is still sore, though much better.

FIL died. We've been doing lots of spending time with family, funeral planning, and that sort of thing.

DH is doing OK, but is extremely tired. And concerned about his mom, who is having a difficult time.

One of our neighbors called animal control on us. I came home to a note on the door the day after FIL died. I'm sure the complaint was anonymous.

The accusations are pretty much completely bogus. Our dog is, actually, licensed (you'd think the AC people could maybe check records on that before filing a complaint about our having a supposedly unlicensed dog). Our animals are very well-cared-for. And whatever rabbit manure smell there is, is coming from the garden where we spread some as fertilizer.

The neighbors we've talked to (the ones nearest our house) have largely said any smell is minimal, if they've noticed it at all. One person said he can smell the garden, but not the area where we keep the rabbits.

I hired someone to come and till the manure and mulch under the soil today. So much for lasagna gardening and letting the bulk of it lie fallow this year. I'm also trying to make sure everything to do with the animals is as absolutely perfect as possible.

I'm still playing phone tag with the animal control officer, who seems nice so far. I'm hoping this can be resolved over the phone, without a lot of time and invasion necessary, but I'm not sure how likely that is.

It is a very interesting coincidence that this report was made almost immediately after I offended the creepy neighbor by telling him that I could handle parenting my kids by myself, thank you very much.

It's all a bit stressful.

liz said...

Your creepy neighbor was the first person I thought of.

I'm sorry p_k, it's not as if you needed more stress.

Sue said...

What everyone else said. Hugs to all.

Liz - you? Rock. Totally.

Request for communion visit at the hospital to oncology ward. Family's name is on our list but I've never met them. Not even Christmas and Easter type.

When invisible members ask for communion, I generally know that a funeral is coming my way within the week. I know it's part of the job, but it's such a sad way to have to meet someone - when they are dying. Anyway, I'll go and do the best I can. It's all I can do.

liz said...

Sue, I wonder if you could write an op-ed piece for your local paper about that? Maybe it will bring people in to at least meet their ministers once in a while?

kathy a. said...

oy, madeleine -- the dreaded red-eye. hope you caught/catch some sleep somewhere between the airport and the marathon packing.

sarah, much sympathy about the financial crunchiness. it really sucks when financial expectations change w/o notice.

((( PK ))) what liz said, every word.

sue, how sad. please know how much comfort it will bring them, though, in such a dark time.

thanks for the comments about my sister. for the most part, i gave up trying over a decade ago, because she does get offended and go on the attack no matter what. [stories, do i have stories...] but i have to live with myself, you know?

liz said...

AW: Having the most fun conversation with World'sBestCampaignManager.

The upshot of which is that my Twitter username and bio has changed. Because, people, it is ON.

Sue said...

I had a lovely visit with the family. We shared communion and some prayers and lots of stories from this fine man's life. He's struggling, and his family along with him. I'm glad I could be there for them.

On the way out of the hospital I ran in to my first Wonderful Therapist. The one I had so much trouble leaving because she was so very good to me and helped me so much. She's had two tragedies of unbelievable proportion happen to her THIS WEEK. She's on her way out of town for a funeral and may return to face another. The poor thing looked as broken as I must have looked the first time she ever saw me. I felt so helpless, but she said there was nothing I could do help besides pray.

So pray I will. And cry a little.

JenR said...

Sarah - I think you should apply for this job (mostly because I think it is funny) ... but also, it's part time and not too terribly far away. Probably bit bit farther than you want though.

KLee said...

Sorry to hear all the woes this week. Some of them are pretty daunting!

Sue, I think you are right about your parishoners -- they were looking for a reason to leave, and the picnic that wasn't was just their excuse.

Liz -- like you need more evidence that you totally rock?!? Tell us something we DON'T know!

Oy, Miranda! Ants? If the water doesn't keep them away, didn't someone here once mention that ants don't care for a line of cinnamon sprinkled in their paths? Wonder if that works?

Kathy, your sister sounds like she wouldn't be happy with birthday wishes either way. I still think you did the right thing.

Amy -- sorry about the propsect of weaning. Well, you have a few months before you reach that 1 year/arbitrary benchmark...maybe Tater will wean himself, or you'll figure out a way to explain it so it makes sense to the Hubs. You might want to ask your doc -- maybe s/he can give you tips, or you could always go with the tried and true "The ped says not to wean him just yet. Maybe in three months or so."

I also agree with the assessment that P_K's creepy neighbor is the whistle-blower. P_K, I think you may find that, by dealing with the authorities and trying to correct and resolve this issue with them, you clear your names of any wrongdoing. Generally speaking, people who do mistreat their animals usually aren't the greatest at trying to mollify the authorities. By showing that you are people who care about their animals, you've already gone a log way towards debunking any claims otherwise.

My whine this week -- I'm back in school. Classes started on Monday. It's been almost 20 years since I went to college, and I feel very out of my depth in this particular class. Hopefully, I can earn a good would hurt me so to fail.

Plus, I no longer have time to devote to WW. I haven't hosted as a mod for quite a lot longer than I wanted to be away. There just isn't time lately. Hopefully, all my anxiety over this class will abate, and I'll be able to host again soon.

Sue said...

Good luck with school KLee! You will rock, I'm sure of it.

kathy a. said...

more kudos and good luck wishes to klee!

and jenr, how ya doin'?

liz said...

KLee, you are sure to rock on with your bad self at school. I promise you it is MUCH easier 20 years later.

And professors really like older students, because older students are there for all the right reasons, are interested, motivated, and have life experience to bring to the discussion.

Deep breaths.

Elizabeth said...

Whine: Still have way too much to do before vacation. Starting to panic. Husband just ran into a major setback in his hobby-job project and while I'm sad for him, I'm also freaking out that he's not cleaning/packing/organizing for our trip.

amy said...

Update: I'm determined: No Weaning! Well, not until the boy is ready anyway. I haven't talked with my husband specifically about extended nursing yet, but I heard him say something tonight that makes me think that he won't be opposed. And ultimately, I can deal with anyone outside my house - it's just that I don't want to feel like I have to hide nursing the boy because my husband disapproves or something.

Thanks for the support, ladies, and the good ideas about using the ped as the heavy. I like that one. :)

KLee, I'm rooting for you! When I went back to school, the first semester was the hardest because of the major shift in schedule and the culture shock. I know it's hard, but I'm so excited for you! And proud of you! You! Are! Made! Of! Awesome!

Speaking of Made Of Awesome, Liz - they should bow and declare they aren't worthy, but that would take up the time they need to be out ringing doorbells.

Sarah, I have no idea what I'll feel when my baby decides to wean, but I imagine useless is one very natural emotion. My heart hurts for you on this one, and I hope it gets easier for you soon.

debangel said...

Evening, pixies! Miranda, I have a giant ant infestation outside my front door as well! Thanks for the boiling water I horrible for looking forward to it just a little?

Whine: Coupla weeks ago, when I was supposed to be @ work (nanny in a private home) at 8 a.m., my boss called me and woke me up @ 6 a.m. and asked me to get there in 45 minutes because her boss had called her in early. I worked an almost 12.5-hr day, which included cleaning up a HUGE diarrhea accident on the rug from their aging Akita. That happened while I was vacuuming their 5800 sq' home. Light housekeeping, my a**. She carped about having to come home late, although she earns enough $$ to expect the occasional long days, and didn't lighten my housework load one bit for being pregnant and still having pneumonia. And, when it was time to get paid that night? No tip. For DOGSH*T, people.

Huge anti-whine: Got hired for a much better position last night! Will make more money, not doing housework, and can bring the baby after mat. leave is over.

Huger anti-whine: nuchal ultrasound scan went well! 11 wks 6 days and baby looks great! Waiting on results of sequential (blood) screening. All prayers and good wishes enthusiastically accepted!

Small funny whine...if mah boobs get any bigger, poor Brian will start walking into the furniture! Heck, they're stickin' out so far, I'm practically bumping into it myself! Back in a there a "Zoned for Dairy" award?

Hugs and virtual virgin daquiries for everyone!

Madeleine said...

An impressive group of whines this week, across the spectrum.

I would like to whine that I just spent about an hour slaving over an ironing board. No, I have not suddenly become fastidious about my clothes. I was putting Snuggly Girl labels in all of Snuggly Girl's clothes for the camp-duffle-packing marathon. Ironing the underwear, people. Oy. Pretty much done ironing, except one thing (maybe a few) in the wash, and one thing that should have been in the wash but is probably still in the suitcase. Ooops. That might go in her backpack on Sunday.

Anti-whine: she agreed to send pillow and stuffed elephant ahead in the duffles so less to carry on Sunday. Assuming they fit in the duffles.

liz said...

Madeleine, I bow down to you with your mad ironing skillz. I just use a Sharpie.

DebAngel, I'm glad you got a new job, 'cause I feel a cluesticking sensation and it's headed in your current boss's direction. And speaking from the land of Ginormous, I understand how you're FFeeling.

Elizabeth, cleaning can wait until you get home unless you're doing a house swap.

Amy, YAY!

kathy a. said...

hi, deb! glad you have a better job. and omg, if you are zoned for dairy now, i just don't even want to think of your bra size in 4-5 months! but mazel tov.

madeleine, oy, the iron-on labels. lots and lots of chocolate or something for you.

amy said...

Geez, Debangel, if you are horrible for looking forward to ant massacre, I might be just as bad or even worse. I read the boiling water suggestion and thought, "Awesome! I'm gonna do that!" Then I started planning the details, daydream-style. "Ooh! I'm going to start with the hill in the garage! And then I'll hit the one in the garden! Oh, I'd better be careful because the raspberries are there. Hm. Oh! and in the yard! Gosh, I wonder how I'll get all that water to the yard..." [insert "la di da di da" daydream sounds as needed]

Well, at least I'm not alone. ;)

JenR said...

Hugs to everyone... sorry for not posting earlier. Thanks for checking in kathy a!

In the at-home whine world, I have a 16 month old who is at the same weight (but taller!) as he was at 12 months. He refuses to eat. The occasional food that makes it into his mouth generally gets pushed right back out by his tongue. I think the culprit is a mean set of molars, K9s, and two of the bottom front teeth - all at once. Ouch. But - we can usually convince him to eat applesauce, yogurt, or peanut butter at least once per day. That's good, right?

At work, I have been made a team lead (translation: no promotion, no raise, but more work!). One of the guys under me has a serious attitude problem and told me that he no longer cares about his job and is just doing the minimum to get by. What do I do with that? He's not doing bad work - but he's angry for not getting promoted. You can't really do anything about someone who's in a perpetual bad mood if they are still actually doing their work decently.

One last thing - I am jealous of the ant infestations where you know the location of the ants. I have a random 2-3 ants at a time showing up in various places of my house, but no clue where they are coming from.

amy said...

JenR - Ouch! The poor little buddy! I think teething is such a cruel thing - it's good they don't remember it. When my daughter was small, she'd get several teeth at once, and during that time she would only take liquids. Do you think he'd drink a smoothie or a runny milkshake? You can cram a lot of fat into a chocolate milkshake if you add peanut butter. (Or so I've heard.)

I don't actually have ants in my house, but we have so many in our yard that it makes playing in the yard or having a picnic or just sitting out there miserable. And now that my daughter is 5, she's terrified of any and all bugs, so there is no going outside anymore. :(

If I could get rid of the larger ant hills in my yard and the ones close to the house, I'm hoping to just make an improvement. I know I'll never get them all gone because I don't have the money for the carbon offsets I'd have to buy for all the electricity used to boil that much water.

liz said...

JenR, make banana or peanut butter smoothies and freeze them into popsicle molds. The cold will sooth his poor gums and maybe he'll eat without realizing it?

Sue said...

I'm glad you have a better job now Debangel - no tip for doggie do just won't do.

JenR - I agree - the teething it sucketh. I like Liz's idea about the frozen banana popsicle thingys. That just might work!