Sunday, December 20, 2009

Four Calling Birds

The SNOWPALOOZA special edition will remain open until all the snowplow fairies have done their work, so keep whining as needed! ETA: the snow thread is now closed, but snow whines are still welcome here!

We already knew this coming week would be overflowing with joy and other things, right? The Whiner's Ball will be holding extended hours this week, with awards expected Saturday or so.

Here at La Casa de Moi, we had a miracle over the weekend, and there is a tree, decorated within an inch of its life with every ornament that has somehow survived years of feline seasonal excitement. There are stockings, and a wreath. The UPS guy and FedX guy have been cheerfully delivering packages ordered in a rushed fashion from the Fabulous Internet. The rest of the menu is unsettled, but I secured a nice ham before they got snatched up.

My daughter is coming home for a visit from Japan on 12/24!

And my son, who has been proudly on his own for 2 years, 11 months, and 10 days, not that I'm keeping track, just asked if he could move back home for the time being, because those people where he has been staying never let him sleep. And lo, the nest, she is not looking very empty. Possibly not entirely peaceful, either.

Major anti-whine: Next Friday will be 29 years since my beloved and I met at a party thrown by our mutual friend's parents. That particular holiday wins the lifetime achievement award for Best Evah, but I hold out hope that each will be good in its own way, for all of us.

And the parts that aren't? Well, that's what the Pixies are here for. Have at it!


Sue said...

Nice early start kathy a.!!! Snaps for anticipating many holiday whines and anti-whines.

Yay for daughter's arrival home for a visit and I'm not sure what to say about the Not-So-Empty-Nest-Syndrome. Hmmmmm.....interesting times.

Whine: Funeral Wednesday. Now, I know, nobody plans these things. But as I may have mentioned, I've yet to have a Christmas without at least one BIG funeral. This one is huge. A major founder of our church. Could I find even ONE person to help make a lunch should the family request it????? (I should note: they have not specifically requested it yet, but I was trying to be prepared for when I meet with them tomorrow). Despite resorting to begging during coffee hour????

That would be NO.


I told the funeral director today to inform the family that the church would not be available for any luncheon following the service. Fireplace it. I am NOT getting on the phone for the next three fireplacing days in the hope that maybe someone might "help" by dropping off some baking or whatever. That's it. I'm done begging. If these people can't get their asses off of the couch for a FOUNDING MEMBER of our congregation, then forget it.

I - on the other hand - will be working my tail off making this the best funeral he could have imagined. Because he was a beautiful, kind person and he deserves it - as does his family.

When the "Sorry, I'm busy" people, who can't bear to lift a finger for their church family, meet their own end, I'm not sure what I'll have to say about them, but I'm pretty sure I'll be history by then.

Whine: visited a matriarch of our church after a miserable Board meeting this afternoon. She has the rattle. Her breathing is really laboured and she's clearly in some discomfort. I talked to a nurse to ask about pain relief and hospice care and they were going to meet with the family tonight. She will go (hopefully peacefully and without pain) very soon. I feel so sad for her family. They've been in this for the long haul and for it all to end at Christmas time...well, whine-worthy for sure. For them. I'm just doing my job.

Whine: Long whiny post. Sorry pixies.

kathy a. said...

oh, sue. i'm so sorry. you might indicate to the funeral director that it is not a problem of the space, but that you cannot personally organize a luncheon at this busy time. no reason for you to come off looking like the grinch here.

you are a good friend to the bereaved.

esperanza said...

Ugh, Sue. The "too busy" folks strike again. I guess they didn't learn much.

Whine: the Sweet Baboo is out of town, and I am home. Da-da took her to meet my parents this afternoon. They will take her to the hospital nearby them for an appointment (these occur on a regular basis, but I can usually travel with her). Then she will come back home with them on Tuesday, when we have the invasion of the Esperanza Family for Christmas. Ten of us in our house, not counting Mini-Baboo.

AW: 34 weeks!

esperanza said...

Huh. My whine was not clear. After a few glorious hours alone in the house, I miss her!!!!

liz said...

Sue, I agree with Kathy A. on the contacting the funeral director bit.

Also, I think that if you feel up to it, you might want to breathe fire at just one member of your congregation. Just one. Then let them work the phone tree.

kathy a. said...

kudos to mini-baboo on the excellent gestation! and aww, esperanza. the parenthood thing is such a pushme-pullyou arrangement.

sue, i don't disagree with liz -- can't hurt to fire-breathe on one person outside the bereaved family. don't know how things usually are with your church. our last few family funerals were self-catered -- our family got deli trays for a reception. but i've also been to funerals where basically someone put out the word, and all manner of food was brought potluck.

Miranda said...

Esperanza - 34 weeks!!! I am so excited for you.

P_K - this is from the last thread, but I am so happy you have found a good therapist for your daughter.

Kathy A - Oy. Having your son back under your roof will be an adjustment. Hope you all find a solution that works for everyone - especially you and your sweet husband.

Sue said...

Yay for 34 weeks esperanza!!!!!

I meet with the family tomorrow at the funeral home, so I'll probably have a chance to speak with Shelly, the funeral director who is looking after the arrangements with the family. I'll fill her in.

We have normally been the kind of church that pulls together and food starts flowing in for funeral lunches. It's been awhile since we've asked to do a lunch, but it seems like all the "regulars" who could be counted on to serve coffee/tea and help out just aren't there. ~sigh~

Super-Selfish Whine: (so much that I hesitate to name it because you will all think I'm a self-absorbed b*tch - well, if you don't already that is...)

I'm going to have to cancel my pre-Christmas massage. It was scheduled for Wednesday at 4:00. I'll be out at the cemetery then.

See what I mean? And yes, I actually *do* know that it's not about me - but wah - a MASSAGE!

kathy a. said...

sue -- reschedule the massage, definitely. or else give it to meMeMEE! ahem, i mean, perhaps one of the many worthy pixies could use the massage.

KLee said...

Sue -- see if you can get the massage moved up to earlier that day. that way, you will not only be refreshed and ready for the stressful job of conducting a funeral, but you will also be less likely to develop a headache, which could make the whole thing disastrous for you. I would work it in there earlier sometime in the day. I appreciate your willingness to give it up for the bereaved family, but you will do NO ONE any good if you are laid out flat, too.

Please remember to take care of yourself while you are taking care of everyone else, too.

I have two odd sort-of whines to contribute:

Whine the first: Offspring actually wants to go skating again, and asked me to set it up with some of her Girl Scout friends. This was all a very last-minute, throw-together sort of plan. I speak to one of the other mothers about her schedule, and her daughter's, and we make arrangements to go on a specific day that's good for them. While talking on Facebook last night, the mother tells me that they probably aren't going because she feels like her daughter is going to be a third wheel, and she doesn't want that. Now, I tried to explain to her that that was not the case at all, and EVERYONE was welcome, but I'm not sure it sunk in. Now I have THAT to worry about. Is she mad at me? Are the girls mad at each other? What happened to give her that impression? Oy. Teen drama. And teen mama drama.

Whine the second: Juggling Freak's cousin is getting divorced. While we aren't close to them, and it matters very little to us in the grand scheme of things, they have a 7 year old son. One parent has already moved out of the house. Apparently, the divorce is amicable, and there's no evidence of abuse or anything. So -- why couldn't you wait FIVE FREAKING DAYS to give the kid one last nice Christmas?!? I mean, I understand when it's over, you don't want to drag things out and make it more painful for everyone involved, but really? To move out five days before Christmas? The poor kid's parents will be divorced for the REST of his life -- they couldn't give him one last Christmas together as a family?

Jenevieve said...

Missing a massage is always, always whine-worthy. Always. Without regrets.

Hmm, can you tell I'm a massage enthusiast?

Jenevieve said...

And KLee, it does seem silly/selfish/shortsighted for JF's cousins to act like that. Lame. Although to be fair, as a child of divorce, we asked my parents to move apart ASAP when they were divorcing, because they were so tense and unhappy around each other. And my bro and I were 8 at the time.

liz said...

KLee, those cousins suck as bad as MM's best friend's dad. He filed for divorce on his daughter's birthday

Elizabeth said...


kathy a. said...

klee, hope the mama drama works out. very sad about the little cousin.

kathy a. said...

my beautiful, brilliant son has worked really hard to be an independent adult after some hard teen years. it took a lot for him to ask to move home. there are still some tensions from those bad years that aren't entirely resolved. in the case of his sister, they are not resolved at all; she is going to be unhappy about this development. the whole situation is making me a little anxious.

Sue said...


(((kathy a.))) I hope the Christmas season will make the sibling tension a bit lighter than it could be. That's rough.

Anti-whine: Rebooked the massage for tomorrow afternoon.

Whine: Still waiting to hear if I have another funeral. If I do - that's right folks - it would happen tomorrow afternoon. It's like the perfect storm of No Massage For Sue Week. I have all my appendages crossed that funeral two will be on Thursday.

Off to meet with family re: funeral #1.

Sue said...

Woot!!! Massage Crisis Averted!

Funeral #2 will be after the holidays. (Family's wishes - I did not influence them in any way - srsly).

Massage tomorrow afternoon - happy, happy, happy!!!!!

liz said...

MASSAGE! Proof once more that blogging the whine ahead of time averts the whinage.

liz said...

W: At work

AW: I brought my lunch from home. Homemade chili, an Old Dominion Rootbeer and a homemade brownie (from a mix). DEELISH.

esperanza said...

woo hoo, Sue!

sarah at ratatat said...

Glad the massage has been maintained, Sue. And sorry to have the Christmas funerals. Hope that someone steps up to help with a lunch if needed.

KLee...that does seem like a rotten Christmas present for the 7 year old. Divorce just makes me sigh...

Esperanza - woohoo 34 weeks! And I get you on missing the kids even when they are attached to your kneecaps all the rest of the time.

KathyA - can you not tell your daughter that your son is moving home? Or is she back home from Japan now to stay? I can't believe a whole semester flew by. Many hugs for a tense holiday.

Whine: I had to scramble to even out my kids present load. How did my older daughter get 11 and my son get 4? A trip to Target fixed it, but the gifts aren't as thoughtful.

Antiwhine: we're going to SF in late January for a weekend. My husband has a training class all week and the airfare was low enough for me to come out for the weekend. We'll stay with friends so no hotel. I am beyond delighted.

Please O Universe if the whining in advance thing works - please no giant snow storm on my travel days.

kathy a. said...

yay, massages! yay, target! yay for low airfare!

sarah -- yes, i'll be telling her. last night wasn't good because she was freaked about a possible glitch in her flight to catch the flight home. [which i think worked out OK.]

take-away lesson: don't use a no-name-o online agency based in california to book a domestic japanese flight. that is all.

purple_kangaroo said...

AJ had an appointment with her therapist today. He was fully on board with pursuing the sensory integration issues.

Thanks to all the pixies for the suggestions. I have $80-some-odd worth of books in my Amazon cart right now, and need to decide whether I can do without some or find some cheaper somewhere, or just to bite the bullet and buy them so I can get them here ASAP.

Whine of Facebook: Something interesting popped up in my FB feed a couple of days ago. My cousin's boyfriend, who I and the other family members I've talked to didn't know existed, tagged her in some photos of the two of them. Photos of her visiting him in prison. Where he is because he was convicted of making and possessing Molotov cocktails, with which he and some friends planned to disrupt a large political gathering. His FB homepage lists him as "in a relationship with" my cousin, and I found her name listed as a witness for him in his trial.

It doesn't really make me feel any better that his friends are posting comments on his FB page to the effect of that they'll help end the world together when he gets out of prison.

Whine/antiwhine: Ebee is sitting here asking me dozens and dozens of questions about how words are spelled. She learned to read this week and is very excited about it, but the endless fire of questions like, "Is mark spelled the same as marker?" are a little annoying while I'm trying to type. :)

Also, it's my birthday tomorrow. I'll be 33. I suddenly realized that somehow I ended up in my mid-thirties, with a child who is almost 9. When did that happen? I don't think I qualify as a young person or a new mother any more.

purple_kangaroo said...

It's also unsettling realizing that my kids are almost 9, 7.5 and 4.5. Suddenly it's hitting me that childhood is almost half over for at least one or two of them. I remember being those ages. They are going to remember any mistakes I make at this point--perhaps forever. There's not much time yet to get this parenting thing all figured out and become the perfect parent before I've messed them up completely. :)

esperanza said...

Happy Birthday, p_k!

My new whine is that, yesterday and today, my Sweet-Baboo-less mornings, I have not been able to sleep in. I've been waking up earlier than I do when she's here. What?? I blame it on Mini-Baboo, who apparently has eight appendages and lifts weights at 6 AM.

AW: by grandparent reports (likely biased) she has done extremely well without us. And (horrible mother alert) without her flat bunny, the one that she sleeps with every night, and the one that is still here instead of with her. I'm proud of my go-with-the-flow sweetie.

liz said...

Pk, happy birthday! You are a terrific mom. We all make mistakes and our kids are sure to remember some of them. But that just means they'll appreciate us all the more when they have their own kids

Jenevieve said...

Happy birthday, p_k! You rock.

And definitely a Mullet nomination for "I blame it on Mini-Baboo, who apparently has eight appendages and lifts weights at 6 AM". Oh man, do I ever remember that!

Jenevieve said...

Oh, and my whine is that I just got over my Headcold of Doom (tm), only to come down with ANOTHER HoC yesterday. Why? Whyyyyy?

Now, with extra whineyness!

Madeleine said...

Happy Birthday, P_K! I think you are still young . . . And a wonderful mom.

Esperanza, so sorry for the early wakings on your mornings off.

Madeleine said...

Oh, Jenevieve, ugh!

Sue said...

Happy Birthday PK!!!!!

Jenevieve - Noes! Not the Headcold of Doom! Not now! Ick.

Anti-whine: No lunch here. Family totally understood and had anticipated that it would be tough to get volunteers for tomorrow. They are having the lunch catered at our local rec center. Yay!

Whine: About ten times more to do than I have time to actually get done. Must. Let. Some. Things. Go.

Whine: I suck at letting things go.

liz said...

Whine: Phantom's taking down the comments at her site, because of Haloscan's new pricing policies.

Lo, I am blue.

kathy a. said...

Happy Birthday, PK! You're a wonderful mom.

Esperanza -- sounds like both the Baboos are doing great! Even if you don't get to sleep in.

Oh, Jeni -- not another cold!

Liz, that is very sadness making.

Emily said...

Beautiful snow falls
Children play so happily
More cleaning for mom.

I love that my kids love to play in the snow. But I could live without the drips, wet socks/mittens/hats, etc. lying around. It's not them--they are good about taking off boots before coming in, etc., it's just impossible to avoid dragging some mess inside.

antiwhine: It's remained cold (brr) which helps keep the snow white and flaky instead of grey and slushy.

liz said...

I hate shopping for presents. That is all.

Emily said...

Can I whine that I whined in the wrong thread? I didn't realize that the winter thread was still current!

kathy a. said...

emily is stylin'!

liz, you can still get sham-wow and other TV items at the drugstore. who doesn't need an electric burger cooker and/or nose hair trimmer???

if i discover glitches in present coverage -- and one is already apparent -- my current plan is to wrap cash or homemade coupons in boxes. for that extra touch, perhaps multiple nested boxes. [by freak of fortune, i have enough wrapping paper left over from the school fundraiser years to wrap until the end of time.]

kathy a. said...

emily, it's all good! i just closed the snow thread, although worthy whines therein will of course be considered for awards at the late end to this week.

KLee said...

Well, the teen/mama drama worked out all right. We all ended up going skating, and then for pizza afterwards. All the girls seemed happy, and there was no awkward "you didn't want me around" vibe, so that was good. We laughed and had fun. I have pics that I will post to my Facebook, if anyone cares to see. I only got one action/skating pic because I was the one manning the table where all the pocketbooks and cell phones were, so I was under strict command to NOT LEAVE THE TABLE for any reason. You know teenage girls would just *die* without their phones!

Happy Birthday, P-K! I know what you mean about wondering how in blue blazes you got to THAT age with kids THAT old -- just wait until your baby is about to turn 14, like mine. *sigh.* Oh, and I hope that the sensory tips help. Let me know if there's anything else we can do.

A whine from me -- apparently I have reactivated my "tennis elbow." (Not that I've EVER played tennis...) I guess all the computer time hasn't been as fun for my elbow as it has been for me. Another sigh.

Sue said...

Dear Last Minute Christmas Shoppers at the Mall Across from the Church,

I don't care if you left everything until the last minute. I really don't.

That MASSIVE sign in the entrance to our parking lot - you know, the one you almost knocked over when drove around it? - well, that sign is there for YOU.

You might even want to take a look and respect the part that says "CHURCH PARKING ONLY: FUNERAL TODAY." You might even want to consider how sad it would be to have a funeral for your family member two days before Christmas, let your heart grow at least one size and leave enough parking space for the fireplacing hearse.

I just don't get all this last minute panic. Christmas will come and it will go. Enjoy your day on the 25th even if you forgot to buy the canned cranberries that you slice into little circles on a plate. Life will go on without them. Frankly, those little tires of cranberry goo are kind of creepy anyway.

So, please, show a little respect today and give the family a place to park their cars while they grieve their dad.

signed, Rev. Sue.

liz said...

Sue....I'm horrified...I'm speechlessly horrified.

Amy said...

Sue, I cannot even wrap my head around the fact that people would do that. I recommend you call the police or a towing company and have their vehicles towed.

kathy a. said...

that really is awful. can someone man the parking lot? [yeah, maybe that's a no, but it sounds like the perfect job for mr. bossy.]

Days said...

Sue - it is terribly sad to read about the insensitivity of the general public towards funerals, especially during the holidays.

A bah humbug to holiday separations and divorces. Hurrah for near-misses with teens and mama drama, understanding and outstanding therapists, another week of gestation and massages.

I have my typical holiday whine of having an infection(abscessed tooth, anyone?) that is on the edge of requiring antibiotics but not quite so far gone that I am actually willing to take anything for it yet. Luckily, my wonderful dentist was willing to call in an Rx for me, so if I wake up tomorrow and any part of my body hurts like it shouldn't, you can expect to find me wrapped up cozily by the fire, washing those lovely antibiotics down with various tastes of a vast array of seasonal boozes.

Anti-whines of the kids aren't sick, the holidays have been reasonably manageable thus far and even if the weather gods smite us with freezing rain on Friday, we don't have to go anywhere.

Sue said...

I just put on my coat and stood next to the massive sign, making sure my clergy collar was showing. It was hilarious.

One lovely gentleman opened his window and said, "You're here to keep me out, right?" I told him yes, that was pretty much the idea and I told him it was only because we need the space for a funeral. He said, "I'm so sorry for that family. It must be hard to lose someone at this time of year." Then he turned around and parked somewhere else.

Just when I was feeling all warm and fuzzy about how lovely that man had been, a young woman in her twenties zipped past me and parked her car a few feet away from me! She got out of the car and I said (politely) "We have a funeral here today, you will need to park somewhere else". She asked me when the funeral was and I told her the hearse would be arriving with the family within the next half hour or so. Then I mentioned that the family itself is very large and they are expecting a large number of people at the funeral.

The little b*tch said, "Well, you don't have to be all Rude about it!"

I asked Office Admin (who was also out there) if I had been rude and she said "Not at all. Someone didn't raise that girl well."

It's a funeral people. A funeral. God have mercy.

kathy a. said...

Rude? She called YOU rude? That clanking sound you hear is the Cluestick Posse saddling up to deliver a message.

liz said...

Anti-whine of ginormous proportions: I will be one of possibly three people at the office tomorrow.

Which means that I will not get flak for leaving early.

Which I will do. Mwahahahahaha!

kathy a. said...

Is that a seasonal mwahahahaha, sung to the tune of falalalalaaa?

liz said...

Well, it could be, but it was said with an evil Grinch smile and a Mr. Burns hand-rub.

Madeleine said...

Sue, say it with me: Un-beeee-lievable.

Liz, that's great!

I work for a non-profit, where they can't really pay us enough, but they let us go home early before almost every holiday. The trick is, at least in my book, you have to be at work in the morning to get the "freebie" hours off in the afternoon. I'm driving to MIL's tomorrow morning so I put in for vacation time for my normal number of hours. Oh, well.

Back to packing. Yes, that IS a whine. Paaaaacking. Hate it.

kathy a. said...

Best to the traveling Pixies, the Pixies now on break, and and the Pixies scrambling around with this and that!

Santa got her stocking things sorted [we are big on stockings here], found 2 lost presents [which go into the random future present bin, as the relevant persons are already presented enough], and is going to put bows on things. Mr. Santa made chocolate pudding because someone coming home tomorrow really likes it, and now he is out buying dog food, and possibly also starting his holiday shopping. One never knows.

kathy a. said...

Days, what timing on that abcess. Geesh. Infections like that aren't anything to mess around with, so hope you get the Rx and take it faithfully. xoxo

Sue said...

What kathy a. said Days. Abscesses are right nasty and painful. I hope it all gets taken care of quickly.

Best of the season to all the Pixies at the Pixie Ball. Thanks for all of your listening ears/eyes over the past year.

Y'all had me at Wednesday....

Just make the end the of week worth whining through.

Elizabeth said...

Whine: First leg of today's trip canceled by airline. No possible way to get to destination until tomorrow.

Antiwhine: Found this out before we left the house.

Whine: "Wintry mix" forecast for tomorrow morning, so no promises that we'll make it out tomorrow either.

Elizabeth said...

WHINE: My husband's mother is guilt tripping us for not getting there today. GRRRRR.

Amy said...

Elizabeth -- that is so dumb! Would she rather you get killed on the way? I've had the same guilt trip on other occasions, and it never makes sense to me. I'd rather someone show up safely than show up at a certain time. What-Ev-Er.

Amy said...

Yesterday, my Mother-in-Law emailed me about a few Christmas Day details. In her email, she asked me to bring the Baby's First Christmas hat that she bought Tater last year (he was 2.5 months old at last year's Christmas) so she could get some pictures of him on his first Christmas.

To recap: SHE bought the 1st Christmas hat for him last year, and SHE wants me to bring it for his 1st Christmas THIS year.

I replied in a lighthearted manner -- "Oh ha ha, if you want pictures of his first Christmas, you can share ours from last year" yada yada yada -- and she replied saying that she guesses she'll have to return the Baby's First Christmas ornament she got him, too.

I told her that if it didn't say 2009, she could still give it to him. She says no, she'll still return it.

I'm okay with that.

Sue said...

Sympathies for all the pixies with complicated family "stuff" that all gets amplified this time of the year. ARGH!

Anti-whine: Our book-keeping staff at the church just gave birth to her second baby! A little boy, 8 lb 4 oz, whose name is Joey. Mom and babe are fine.

Anti-whine: Our fabulous Office Admin is Joey's grandma!!!! She was in the delivery room.

Whine: Both Joey's Dad and Grandma are in our choir - two of our best voices. Gulp. I'm one of two altos tonight. Wish me good tuneage. I'll need all the help I can get!

sarah at ratatat said...

Wow, Sue, I am flabbergasted by the shoppers. Wow. Yay on the baby! What fun!

And safe travels Elizabeth, whenever you get there.

Small whine: could the Christmas credit card bills not arrive until after Christmas? I don't want to know today.

Santa arrived here this morning, due to traveling tomorrow and long standing tradition to only come on a day when you can stay home all day. The children are happy. I am happy. Now we just need to get through mass without any meltdowns and we're off to passive family drama!

Merry Christmas Pixies!

kathy a. said...

oh, your MIL is definitely right, elizabeth -- you should have pulled out your weather wand, or forced the airline to fly, or arrived by sled, or something. sheesh!

amy, how, um, interesting.

sue, lovely baby news!

sarah -- happy travels!

AW: daughter is home! asleep, because she didn't sleep on the trip!

sarah at ratatat said...

Kathy - so glad to hear your daughter is home safe and sound.

Madeleine said...

Merry Christmas to all who are celebrating! Hugs to those with Family Drama.

Anti-whine: MIL actually managed to be restrained on teh presents this year, presumably because a) she bought us a snow blower this fall and b) Snuggly Girl really didn't ask for much this year. She's suddenly too old for piles of toys and it didn't occur to her that she could start begging for electronics.

Whine: woke up with a sore throat. Hoping to banish it with fluids and lazing around. My Love can take "play in the snow" duty.

purple_kangaroo said...

Sending hugs and holiday blessings to all the pixies! Now it's 6:14 PM and I must go and figure out what we're having for Christmas dinner, since nobody here thought about it until this moment. :)