Monday, June 27, 2011

Up in the Treetops

There are a lot of trees in our neighborhood. Our house backs up to a hillside nature area, a piece of semi-wilderness in the middle of suburbia. Two grand old trees in our yard are huge, ancient, and they're coming down. The pine shown above is 60-80 feet and probably 80 years old. Last week, its hugest limb cracked and started falling on the neighbor's house. So, today we are supporting full employment -- the yard is full of energetic tree guys and chain saws.

We think that it and the other tree were planted as part of a windbreak for a quarry that went out of business many decades ago. It's been a good tree, and we will miss it. (Yes, this is a tree eulogy.)

W/AW: My cat with digestive problems became very committed to getting on my desk to sit beside the computer. Arrived at the very elegant solution of putting a big insulated bag from TJ's right in his preferred spot. We have tres stylish decor here at the home office.

AW: Wednesday is my birthday, and my beloved refurbished this garden bench that we got in about 1985 -- crafted and stained new slats, refinished the heavy iron sides. Just what I wanted! (A "hint" was dropped.)

What's happening in your ecosystem?

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Tools for the Posse!

Once again, this forum proves to be a fountain of wisdom, even on the topic of bugs.

Sue wins the Fearless Warrior Award for encountering a bug on her desk, and refusing to scream. ~~ Wild Applause ~~

Liz wins the Terminator Award for sending Sue a virtual size 13 shoe, and also sharing the gripping tale of using junk mail and jumping thereon to squash a bug right into flatness, impressing her son with real-life skillz, a vision that will no doubt affect him for his lifetime.

Esperanza earns the Stingie Extinction Award for an impressive two dozen wasps flyswatted to oblivion so far this season. Wasps!

Days and her daughter win the Summer Bummer Award, for finally achieving warm weather only to be bitten unto distraction by hordes of black flies. Not! Fair!

The Ms. Manners Award for best suggestion about houseguests who have overstayed their welcome goes to Liz and Amy, who advocate starting a rumor about LICE. ~shudder~

But this week's top prize, the coveted Wonders of Technology Award, goes to Purple Kangaroo, who alerted us to the existence of the electric flyswatter, a powerful step forward in household bug elimination which we only wish came in In-Law size.

Naturally, all this talk of Death to Bugs led us to some collective contemplation about theological matters, namely that many of us suspect we'd make lousy Buddhists so far as indoor bugs are concerned, as Sue first mentioned. Liz wins the Style Award for her fabulous link.

Sarah wins an Old Skool Award for too much summer chauffering, and Neighbor Lady for an ouchy fingertip next to her nail.

The Cluestick Posse's first stop, of course, is to Esperanza's Outlaws, who managed to arrive early, disrupt whatever harmony they used to have, and keep extending their stay at 3 p.m. each afternoon. 700 years is long enough, we think.

While we're on the subject of annoying persons, The Posse announces the following Public Service Message for People (including but not limited to Days' Caller) Who Do Not Leave Messages: Would it kill you to leave your name and number like a person who seriously wants contact with the person you are calling, over and over?

That's Just Wrong Award for Liz, who had to spork her own.

Anti-Whine of the Week Award goes to Sue, who got her insurance to review her meds, and they admitted a mistake, plus are giving her the supply she needs in case. Great work, Sue!

Congratulations to Esperanza, for [a] getting a steady job offer, and [b] recognizing that it's not right for her now!

Hugs and Crossed Fingers for Days, who is waiting on test results which apparently need to be hand-carved into stone and delivered via donkey, and PK, who is waiting for various medical mysteries to be unraveled.

Refreshments of choice to all who have suffered from the weather, relatives, illnesses of any sort, scheduling problems, miscommunications, disappointments, ill temper, etc. Cheers to all!

Monday, June 20, 2011

June bugs

No, we don't have an insect infestation. But June is bugging me, anyway.

First, there's the heat. This is the first time our house has hit 80 degrees in forever. My melting point is substantially below that, and someone carted off my office fan. We have no AC. I already have Texas-style internal thermodynamics going on -- the hot flashes are back with a vengeance. Send ice. Next: work behindness; yadda.

W/AW: Remember how our car got stolen? All this mail has been coming to my husband, since the cop only managed to take his name down, even though we both owned the car and both talked to the cop. I'm sending in my 2 cents to the probation department anyway -- they prepare sentencing reports. But only my beloved is under subpoena to testify at the trial next month. Ha.

The funny whine is on behalf of my son. Someone broke into his worthless car and stole some worthless things. How did they get in? They used his radio antenna, conveniently fashioned out of a coat hanger, to reach through the window that won't quite close. AW: they didn't break a window to find out there were only worthless things inside! Yay!

What's bugging you?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Father's Day Awards

Here they are, late but here.

A fierce competition for Old Skool has resulted in an award for JenR, because pregnant women should not have to deal with itchy tags. If I were making the rules, that would be one. Honorable mentions to Kathy a.’s mayo woes and Sue’s hubby’s golf pool going off in the weeds. (That was an attempt at golf humor, but I realize that I know so little about golf that it may be way off).

Medical Detective Award goes to purple_kangaroo, both for the research into her own condition(s), but for tracking down the bunny illnesses too. Half-baked Medical Detective to p_k’s hubby, for his secretive tallying of her energy level.

People! Respect Sue’s Time! Award goes to Sue, for people (once again) intruding on her day off, and for being late for a meeting. You’re grown-ups. Act that way.

Hugs to everyone having close encounters with the medical community this week, including Sue’s hubby, amy’s preemie friends, Sarah’s daughter (though kudos for the understanding psychiatrist).

Hugs also because of Father’s Day and the many families that can’t find the Dysfunctional Section at Hallmark.

Short, yes. Sweet? Probably not. Sorry for any whines and whiners I missed.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Strange Things Are Happenin'

We now have the house back to ourselves, which is mostly an antiwhine. Except where are those people who were cooking dinner and unloading the dishwasher and entertaining the children? Harumph.

Strange Thing, Whine Division: Mini and Sweet were fighting over a book today. Fighting is not the strange thing; it happens frequently. I should be pleased they both wanted the book, right? Anyway, Sweet won the tug-of-war and immediately raised the book over her head like a trophy. Not coincidentally, Mini cannot reach over Sweet's head. She could reach Sweet's triceps area, and BIT her there. Ugh. Mini got shut in her crib and screamed her head off. Sweet got cuddled and a little talking-to about sharing.

Strange Thing, Antiwhine Division: Sweet just started "swimming school" tonight (we're calling it that instead of "lessons," because she *loves* school of any sort. I was talking it up all day, but not expecting much positive to happen on the first day. Was I surprised. She put her face in the water and made chipmunk cheeks (to hold her breath) and *jumped* off the edge of the pool, multiple times (she really can't jump, but the effort was there), and kicked her legs and moved her arms and generally rocked the lesson. We were both on cloud nine. (I was in the water with her, as it was a Mommy & Me class. Small whine on behalf of Mini, who was not amused that she had to stay home.

What Strange Things are going on in your world, pixies?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Hail to the Winners!

KLee wins the Social Media Award for an invitation from a five-year-old student to be his f@cebook friend, so as not to limit his ability to ask questions to the school day alone. We are a little speechless.

The coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award goes to Amy, for her response to KLee's FB lament: "I have a sudden need to know why koala spit is green and if ostriches eat meat all summer long, if at all."

KLee responds with answers to those questions, and the Random Bonus Fact of the Week, the length of ostrich intestines. One never knows when that kind of information might prove useful.

Amy brings a terrible tale of credit card cancellations due to a security breach, earning the Financial Shenanigans Award. This award comes with a complimentary and heartfelt cluesticking, and the advice that should this happen again, we want the branch manager to hand-deliver the new card immediately, with groveling.

JenR is the recipient of the Old Skool Award this week, since she forgot her whine. (PSA: please remember that small whines are good whines! We do not give awards for whines of substance, because really, who wants the distinction of being the most miserable person in a given week?)

KLee wins the Style Award for best use of a phrase usually ignored by the under-80 crowd, "and Bob's your uncle." The Pixie lexicon is hereby expanded with this excellent addition.

Neighbor Lady wins the Field Trip Award, with small medals of honor to supportive co-workers and the student who did not bark on the bus. YAY! Sounds like a great trip!

Esperanza and Days win the Swimsuit Follies Awards for their respective complaints of inadequately fitting swimwear. Congratulations to Sweet for graduating from swim diapers! And thanks to Liz for suggestions befitting those of endowment.

The Last Lost Pill Award goes to Sue, who saw it swirl right down the drain. Gah!

Sarah earns the Parenting Is Not for Sissies Award, for her chilling tale of a stomach bug hitting each and every family member, and her last. We are thrilled that it decided to vacate the household swiftly.

Practice Makes Perfect Award to PK, who used the practice tests to persuade her independent thinker to just move along to the next question if she believes the answer sheet is wrong. Progress!

Rosie the Riveter Award goes to Liz, who dealt with the bad combination of too little sleep and a too horrible boss. The Posse would like a word with the boss.

Occupational Hazard Award for Sue, who complains of Bridezillas. The Cluestick Posse has been notified.

Days wins the Parenting Brilliance Award for taking a potential weather whine (HAIL, in JUNE) and making it into a grand adventure -- the salvaged hail has taken up residence in the freezer, to entertain another day. And it sounds like the frosty fun will be welcome, given the other whine about it being too darned hot.

Bon Voyage and happy travels to KLee, who has worked for 2 years to raise the money for her GS trip! Wishing her beloved JF luck with the interviews -- our fingers are crossed. The Cluestick Posse plans an extended stop at the MIL's house.

Hugs to PK on the loss of a beloved pet; to Sue, who has struggled with the headache monster yet again; and to all other Pixies in need.

Thanks to all who offered support on pet-related, carsickness-related, and other issues. Thanks, too, toDays for passing the frozen beverages!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Aunt Cranky's Lament

Are there even enough cluesticks to go around, anymore?

First, there's the weather -- I think it has rained every day of June so far, and it is not supposed to be like this. Then, the pook-cidents. And I don't even want to get started on politics, except that it does not help the generally rational home team when someone decides it's a good idea to over-share on social media. Do you think welding of the zipper might count as a charitable donation, or merely a public service?

My daughter called all furious this morning, because her roomie's overly-helpful mother used all the hot water to wash dishes, so daughter got a cold shower, which did not put her in a good mood for finals, and "why does a 24 year old need her mother to be here all the time to do things for her?" AW: I told her she won the parent lottery, since we don't do that to her.

So, despite the Universe's desire to make me utterly cranky, there is a little good news. Friends graduating! Big family reunion picnic next weekend, and I'm not hosting this year! Son is a year older, and he likes his birthday presents! Daughter's coming home for a visit, and also applying for internships! My friend's wife is doing OK after surgery! There is a baby quilt lining up for friends, and baby quilts are fun fun fun!

Pixies, please tell all. We may as well wallow together.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Happy Birthday to Amy's daughter! Thanks to all the pixies weighing in on the important topic of gifts, particularly the thorny question of a special doll. We admire the judicious solution of letting her use the birthday money to choose another something special.

Congratulations to NUD's daughter, who is now a college graduate and employed! Kudos to NUD for a parenting journey well done.

Style Award to Liz, for sharing a joke about summer in Vermont.

Sympathy to all experiencing weather whines this week: rain and cold, blistering heat, cold to blistering in a matter of hours, high winds. The coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award goes to Sue, for her observation that "rain does not need to be shoveled."

Old Skool Award, Brevity Division to JenR, for "My brain is tired today." Old Skool Award, Culinary Division goes to Sarah for her lament that she has "not yet mastered home burritos."

Dahlink,Your Hair is Magnificent! Award to Days, who has found the ideal stylist, someone so talented that even the wee boy now looks stylin'. Woot!

We have two awards in the Bodily Fluids category: Sue for the cat bark waterfall and associated dry cleaning, and Esperanza for "Operation Potty Train, Naptime Subdivision" and associated endless laundry.

Adventures with Mechanics Award to Esperanza, who discovered that the scary "check engine" light really only meant the gas cap was loose. Let's just send a little cluesticking over to the mechanical genius who decided this was an efficient way to inform drivers of a loose gas cap.

Name Under Development wins the Training Adventure Award for a slight mishap at an otherwise good conference, resulting in a hairline fracture, with an Impress the Boss and Peers sash since this did not occur in privacy. Ouch! Adding insult to injury, NUD is alone with the litter box this week, and scheduled for the rung of heck known as moving the office. We will cluestick anyone who declines to step up for box-packing duty.

Kudos to Liz' mom for the excellent advice that tasks be immediately delegated to complainers! A gentle, educational cluesticking to Esperanza's beloved, who complains regularly that she does not buy "the good stuff," and left to his own devices would spend a week's worth of grocery money on a weekend's worth of culinary delights. Beloved, let us introduce you to the budget.

While the Cluestick Posse is saddled up, we may as well pay an enthusiastic repeat visit to Liz' "friend" [redacted], who seems a little slow on the uptake when it comes to realizing she's doing something wrong.

Many hugs to Sue's friend, who has suffered one loss after another. In the tradition of black humor, at least they are able to joke that if they threw in a broken-down truck, they'd have a country song. But oh, such sorrow. Many hugs also to the loved ones of PK's friends; those poor children, losing both parents so young, and in close succession.