Monday, December 31, 2012

Out with the old, in with the new!

Happy New Year, everybody!   Let's give this tired old year a decent burial, and start fresh.  Passing the popcorn and champagne.

What's something that was good about 2012? 

Is there something you are looking forward to in 2013?  I'm not asking for resolutions, since mine are generally broken within hours -- but if that is your cup of tea, do share!

I'm pleased that I got 2 giant projects done this past year, that my big election issue made progress (even if we lost), and that now I have not smoked for 13 weeks (which I pretty much viewed as impossible, even though I didn't like being one of those people who scurries out to a secret location during good times and bad).

In 2013, will finish one more giant project (that I know of, so far); we will do some long-delayed work on the house; and my husband wants to take me on a real vacation!  We'll see how all that works out.  Crossing fingers that my daughter finds work soon.

Right now, I'm preparing for the major work-a-thon.  Some important stuff got lost in translation; must recover it.  Updating virus software on the laptop.  We'll celebrate the new year in a convenient time zone.  Tomorrow, the Christmas stuff will go back to storage.

Regular whines and anti-whines welcome, too!

Meanwhile -- Liz has set up the Wednesday Book Club!  We'll start by asking everyone for one book suggestion -- a favorite piece of fiction that you want to share, available in paperback so everyone can get them easily -- and then we'll work out some kind of schedule.

It is fine to invite folks to join the Book Club!  But lets keep the whines over here and private.  OK?   

Sunday, December 30, 2012

'Twas two days 'til New Year

And all 'round the hoose
The wind was a-whistling like a rampaging moose
The Pixies had all whined their holiday moans
And now were awaiting awards for their groans
So I in my turtle-neck and flannel-lined jeans
Sat down to my computer and keyboard and screen
Thirty-four whines! It's a tough bunch to master
But to give no awards would be a disaster
So I've got my rhyming dictionary out of my stash
To perhaps give these awards just a little panache.
Esperanza reports that Sonic did fumble
Gave burgers, not grilled cheese! Causing a grumble
Kathy's shirt some cranberry sauce did attract
Which is all kinds of wrong after her generous act
PK has come down with some kind of bug
On top of concerns needing a soft gentle hug
Debangel's hubs' boss needs a clue-sticking badly
As does her ex (AKA Ari's daddy).
It seems that of all us of, Sue fared the best,
Figuring out the open-house test
Gossip, and nibble, but stay at the fringes
So as to avoid social anxiety whinges.
I hope I missed no-one in my award-giving spate
If I have overlooked any, please forgive...not hate
I wish that my poetical awards may have given some cheer,
And that all of the Pixies have a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Monday, December 24, 2012

'Twas the noon before Christmas and all through the house

Not a creature was stirring but the wireless mouse
All the family were out at Best Buy to see
If they could get a headphone extension for the living room tv
So that I in my jammies with my good cup of nog
Could get some work done at home (what a job!)
When up from the doorstep arose such a clatter,
I leapt up from my desk to see what was the matter
Away to the restroom I ran in a flash
To look out the window and throw up the sash
The sun was hidden by storm clouds of grey
It felt more like nighttime than the middle of day
When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But a large man in brown equipped with some gear
His truck had a label and I think you can guess
That I was looking at the great "UPS"

And that's as far as this verse will be penned, for I must get back to my paying work again.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Happy Hanukkah to those celebrating!  And Merry Christmas, Festivus, whatever you celebrate!

Let's share some recipes!  Someone else will need to bring the latkes, as I am hopeless.  But I'll get the ball rolling with some delicious stuffing.

ETA:  I republished to move this thread up.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Let the Record Show Awards

* that this week marks the beginning of the Pixie Book Club, where no one pontificates and/or preaches about books he/she has/has not read, where pj's are the required attire, and where there is good food, for heaven's sake. (check out the comments on the whining post to get in on the planning stages).

* that blanketing the country with chocolate truffles may not bring world peace, but it sure doesn't hurt. We have some ideas for the politicians, too, should they care to listen.

* that people whose spouses are away from home, whose children are driving them up a tree/wall/other tall item, and who are behind on work can eat chocolate truffles without consequence. (Hey, I'm making these awards, I can make up the rules)

* that silence is a good thing in the face of unimaginable grief. And that children's laughter is just about the best medicine ever.

* that people who like middle schoolers are a gift to the world. And so are all the other teachers.

* that those who are behind on holiday-related stuff may be relieved of their exhaustion...uh...soon.

* that pity parties must involve chocolate and/or dessert of some sort

Have a wonderful holiday week, pixies. I'm grateful for all of you, and would give you a hug if I could.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Still No Words, but the Whines Remain

um...well...I am immensely thankful for my own Baboos, but that doesn't mean they aren't driving me nuts. Am I the only one?

I will whine about snotty noses (AGAIN), overwhelmed elves (that would be me), and pajama day at preschool (which is somehow supposed to celebrate Jesus' birthday. Don't ask me).

Y'all have some whines? Bring 'em. And here's to a better week.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

No words...

... so, I'll share this:  26 moments that restored our faith in humanity this year.   Hugs, and lots of them, to everyone.  And chocolate.

Our regularly scheduled programming will return next week.  The recipe thread remains open for business.  xoxoxo

Monday, December 10, 2012

On your mark, get set, GO!

Whines and Anti-Whines welcome!

The special edition Recipe Exchange remains open this week, so stop by and share!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Not very late Awards

 Some of the stockings.

And some more. You'll have to trust me that everyone will recognize whose is which.

I had this really great art teacher in high school, Mrs. B.  The very oldest ornament that will be on our tree is a diorama in an eggshell, which I made in 1974 in my favorite class, art workshop.  Mrs. B was a fine artist, and she also taught art history, but the main thing she taught was that we should not be afraid of expressing ourselves using whatever materials were at hand.  My kids were lucky enough to have Mrs. S as an art teacher, and her big message was:  "There are no mess-ups in art."  These are among the best pieces of advice, ever.  Work with what you've got.

That being said, Esperanza wins with a Baboo presenting bloody urine, then refusing to pee at the doctor's, leading to the Old Skool Award for this classic:  "So we're reduced to balancing on the potty, trying not to touch her bottom with the cup, and getting enough pee in it. I don't even care if she pees on me. Ugh."  Yes, our old nemesis UTI is to blame.  Yay, meds!

The Classic Parenting Award goes to Miranda, who observes with admirable restraint:  "One day I will have all three of my offspring like me at the same time."  Hear, hear!  Secret but heartfelt kudos to Tween Son, who is being especially sweet.

Liz continues to be Our Holiday Hero, making Seventeen Dozen Chocolates, and then worrying that is not enough.  Is she fearless and dedicated, or what?  The Pixie consensus is that we will do anything -- seriously -- if you'll make a few more for us.

The Truer Words Were Never Spoken Award goes to Sarah, for this:  "W: Sometimes I want things to happen really fast. And they don't."

Sue earns the Bringing Comfort Award, and the Loving the Memories Award, for doing what she does best.  A beloved matriarch gone after a good life; another friend in a long-term care home.  xoxo

Debangel and Liz win a Major Spa Day, for their respective upcoming medical encounters of the "oh dear no" varieties.  Once you are off the narcotics that we almost need just reading about it, we are sending quantities of nice wine, hi-test chocolates from reputable non-Liz sources, and a lot of house elves.

The Siverware-Rearanging Award, with complimentary cluesticking of white-gloved visitors, goes to Neighbor Lady.  Hope the visit/inspection went OK!

Cluesticks to stupid people, soon to be ex-spouses of the difficult variety, and anyone else deserving.  The medical profession in particular needs to watch its behavior, going forward, because we are taking notes.  Hugs and chocolate to everyone.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Random bullet points

  • Down, dooby-do, down down.  A third big storm within 5 days blew through this weekend, with wind and 4 inches of rain.  Some trees in my town fell over.  An underground creek (it runs through a culvert) was so swollen that it blew through a metal cover on one street and flooded the vicinity.  Whee!    
  • Then all the clouds left, and it was a glorious sunny afternoon on Sunday.
  • My stupid internet went out for a good number of hours, and I had to go to the $t@rbuck$ to check my email.  Which is invariably the prompt for the internet to fix itself.
  • Somebody attempted to trash me and another person in a professional internet setting.  Got supportive emails!  (If that group gave out j@ck@$$ awards, I would not be a nominee; the other target and I were rational, ever so polite, and our comments were generic rather than personal.)  Cheers to the admin, who put the kibosh on the ugly and misguided.
  •   Stocking project report:  snowman with guitar; dog with santa hat; japanese doll; underwater scene; fox; stars of david falling like snowflakes; jack-o-lanterns arranged like a snowman; cactus; and the flying pig and the owl.  Nobody is going to need a nametag...  We'll make a few more for donations -- got ideas? 
  •  I'm not really a fish person, but had this wild idea for a stocking, so that one is mine.  Maybe I'll add a cat paw dipping in from the top.  ;)
  • I swear I'm going to cross a dozen things off the to do list today.
What's happening with you?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Better watch out!

Here are the first two stockings, made of glorious FELT, the best of all craft fabrics!  Your host is in danger of spending the next month making these, since they are so much more fun than paid work. 

This week's door prizes include a virtual stocking in the color and design of your desires, filled with chocolate from Liz, a rice pudding recipe from Debangel, purse-sized lotion from Sue, mistletoe from Sarah, and star decorations from Esperanza.

Sue wins the Five Minute Sermon Award, crafting a concise but pithy gem. 

The Ribbon of Highway Award goes to Esperanza, off on another loooooong drive.  Hope someone left her crankypants at home.  ;)

Congratulations to Liz, who wins the Pursuit of Justice Award for litigating openness in government.  Which is kind of win-win, even if she lost the first round, since this is gaining some attention.

The Looking Forward to 2013 Award goes to Sarah.  We're raising a toast to moving forward (or, getting "unstuck").  Sounds like you've met a nice guy in the bargain.

Esperanza wins the Ultimate Craftiness Award, for her several holiday-related projects.  Such an inspiration!

The You Can, Too, Do It Award goes to Sue,  who admits to making creations greatly beloved.

Debangel wins the Personal Chef Award, for all the deliciousness in her kitchen.

Best to all who are suffering from afflictions, including but not limited to:  shoulder pain; strep throat; the horror of having to visit the mall; losing stuff; upcoming procedures; headaches;  too little time; tiredness;  dry hands;  missing a beloved one;  sadness of any kind.

See you next week!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Artsy-Crafty Edition

I assume nobody got run over at the shopping mall this weekend?  Good!

The season has officially sprung, and once again, I'm refusing to participate in total consumer madness.  Whatever the hot items are, I know nothing of them.  The sibs and cousins and I are holding strong on the family no-gift truce for the family holiday party (exceptions for under-18; minor cheating allowed for sneakily gift-carding young adult kids).  Nothing big, even among us chez nous.

But, I'm feeling festive!  And artsy -- a painting from an unbloggable provenance finally reached me after an unbloggable delay.  It was a humbling gift of the heart; a complete affirmation of the belief that something special rests in each one of us, and all we need to do is support the impulse and share the joy.

So, shopped the local arts store on Flack Briday, and discovered that the artist on duty is also a historian, whose day job is teaching community college classes (but his art photos are all about the western US); and a local art show, where it turned out that a colleague (married to an artist) was playing mandolin in the background at the opening party, and the organizing artist went to law school with another colleague.  Serendipity, no?  

All this sent me to the fabric store with an overwhelming burst of craftiness.  Santa always has stockings for everybody visiting on Christmas day, and I have a burning need to create new stockings.  Out of felt, the most forgivable of materials.  I bought 1/4 yard (72" wide) in 12 colors -- plenty for extra stockings to donate + decorative extras (trees; snowflakes; whatevah) -- the raw materials set me back a whopping $8.29, plus thread and tax.  And some other optional whatzits.  Just saying -- a little heart need not cost much or be hard to do.

I'm also behind, behind on some work thing.  gah.

What's the good, the bad, and the ugly for you?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thankful Awards Show

First, a parade in the streets of New York! With giant balloons! And cheerleaders! Because kathy a. is seven weeks smoke free! Hooray for you!!

Sue is rocking the great ideas this week: slothing about, getting a bit of fresh air, husbands who shoe-shop, and best of all...earning her the Mullet..."Spouse-Be-Gone!!! Just spray liberally around the kitchen and those pesky helpers will be gone in no time."

Hugs to everyone who is missing someone special this holiday season, anyone dealing with sick kids or annoying relatives, and vertigo sufferers.

Hooray for found diamonds, relief of spousal stress, and leftover stuffing (my Southern self says "dressing," but whatever).

Apologies for the brevity of the awards ceremony, hugs to anyone who feels left out, and a round of thanksgiving for such good friends. Come back next, probably, for more whining with kathy a.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Things For Which We Are NOT Thankful

Note: We U.S. pixies are counting on our Canadian counterparts to give us a bit of perspective and (probably several) reality checks this week. Thank you for your support.

I figure whining is the anti-Thanksgiving, so let's embrace it!

I am unthankful for:
* nap-skipping
* snotty noses
* inconveniently-scheduled weddings
* dressing (aka stuffing) that does not taste like my grandmother's
* tantrums (by me or anyone else around here)
* people firing rockets or other ammunition at other people and their children
* holiday shopping, and the advertising machine. I have things I need to shop for, and time to do it this week but don't want to get caught in the madness. Sigh.
* shoe shopping (for me or other parties)

On the other hand, I am immensely thankful for whining and the Wednesday whining pixie community.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Slow Awards

Cake for everyone!
Go ahead, have the big piece! 

What with one thing and another, your host has proven to be the kind of unreliable individual who bakes a birthday cake (the one in the photo is much prettier than the current cake) instead of attending to important ceremonies here at Whine Central.  On the other hand, cake!

By acclimation, the fabulous Debangel wins the coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award, for her bold decision to answer all of the pop quiz questions!  Brava!  We are particularly taken with the idea of a turtle flash mob, which should totally be a permanently featured video of this particular organization.  

Sue wins the Superhero Alias Award for Scrambled. Mystery. Purple.

Sarah wins the Ick on the Sick Award, for strep with no symptoms but congestion.   A medical mystery.  Kudos to Esperanza for advice. 

The Workplace Tech Fail of the Week Award goes to Sarah's boss, who has idiosyncratically decided to use Hotmail instead of the Official Email, and the hotmail account decided that everything from the office was spam.  Coooool!

Liz, she is not Mystery Mommy for nothing.  In addition to her considerable mad doorbell skillz.  :)

The Enlightened Response Award goes to Esperanza, who says:  "The last question is scaring me, so I refuse to answer."   

Esperanza's Sweet Baboo wins the Cowgirl Award, and an honorary position with the Posse, following a little horsy acting up at the lesson:  "Sweet is a genuine cowgirl, held on through the whole bit, and didn't even cry. She admitted later that she was scared, but was happy to get back on the horse. She is a tough cookie."

Much love and get-well thoughts to Miranda,  who was laid low in the fancy-ass hospital.  We are sure it is a lovely hospital, but we need you to be feeling better ASAP.  xoxoxo

Please join us next week, when the delightful Esperanza will host the turkey-related festivities!

ETA:  OMG.  Of course there is a turtle flash mob video.  Actually, more than one.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quick picks

Which do you prefer?  Discuss those that catch your eye -- and feel free to suggest additional choices!

Bonus points for whines and antiwhines addressing one or more theme.  We expect strong competition in the Mullet division this week. 

Maxwell Smart or James Bond
pig or cow
scrambled, fried, or poached
gelato or fro-yo
Mystery, non-fiction, or Sci-Fi
purple, green, or orange
chocolate mint or apple cinammon
bathroom flood or kitchen disaster
cat or dog
mountains or ocean
morning or night
spring or fall
robocalls or attempting to reach customer service
coffee or tea
white glue or rubber cement
cloth bandaids or cute bandaids
short or long
turtle or hare
flash-mob or parade
comedy or drama
comic section or sports section
science museum or art museum
potty training or driver's training

Saturday, November 10, 2012

And the times, they are a-changing...

Apologies for running late again with the prizes.  We still have some Halloween candy (even some chocolate!), and I just saw some home-made pumpkin cream cheese frozen yogurt that I think we'd better taste-test, for the greater good of humanity.

The long ordeal is over at last.  Congratulations to all who participated!  We won't be doing a full postmortem here, but I'm not the only one who is very very pleased that so many strong women were elected to this and that. And, what a night for LGBT rights!

The Doorbell Queen Award goes, of course to Liz the Unstoppable, beating the pavement for what she believes.  This prize includes a courtesy pedicure and massage, and some brand new walking shoes for next season.

Future Voters of America Awards for Muffin Man, who helped Mama at the polling place, Miranda's kids, who discussed how important the election is and projected results, and every other kid who went to the polls with the parents, talked about issues and candidates, or otherwise paid attention.  Yay!  And yay for first time voters, and all voters

Rounding out our election coverage, Liz wins the coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award for observing, "the Midwest Rape Caucus lost --- big time."

But other things happened this week, too!

First of all, Congratulations to Esperanza's Sweet Baboo, who finally got her cast off!   

The Rock On With Your Bad Self Award goes to Sue, whose effort to protect a friend from injury was met with bad spirits.  She should know that you, of all people, mean only to help keep her body safe and strong.  (Hat tip to Liz, for the prize nomination.)

The Kids Say the Darndest Things Award goes to Debangel's Ari: "The other day, she was sitting at the kitchen table and passed gas rather heartily. She got a huge grin on her face and proudly announced, 'I fart! I fart LIKE DADDY!' ROFL"

The Addition to the Lexicon Award also goes to Sue, for invoking the "Pixie cone of silence" -- a promise that what's said here remains secret.  Congratulations to Debangel for the secret, an impending new sister-in-law!

The Cluestick Posse is saddled up.  Recipients include but are not limited to:  the jerk[s] messing with Miranda about unbloggable things;  the person/thing that made Sarah angry at night, also unbloggable;  Geriatric Barbie; and Liz' former friend, who is now lying about Liz' beloved -- that one calls for a double visit.

Best to all who are suffering from crankiness, boredom, tonsillitis and other medical maladies, excessive visits by Aunt Flo, sweeties who need medical procedures, the cold, and/or other afflictions.

Thanks for playing, and see you next week!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Let's Do the Time Change Again

The true seasonal whine has been lost amidst all the electoral angst and prognosticating, but I hate with a burning passion the fall switch to non-daylight-savings-time.  Pretty soon, it will be dark here around 5 p.m., and that makes me grumpy and sad.  Harrrumph.  (Although I have got nothing, compared to those Pixies located more northerly....)

So, let's return to the other big events of the week and/or season.  First in our hearts are those affected by Sandy the Menace.  Please share news affecting you and yours, and any tips on relieving the suffering of those afflicted and affected.  

Next, that thing that is ALMOST FINALLY OVER (hat tip to Miranda).  In a decent world, there would not be several straight years of insanity surrounding an election.  And yet, this one is important to many of us.  So, here are my 2 cents; please add yours.

* VOTE!  Protect the ability to vote.  Celebrate voting!  Remember, you can't complain if you didn't vote.

*  You can't vote responsibly without finding out about the things you are voting on -- right down to those ballot measures and local contests.  With the right, comes the responsibility.  Pass it on.

*  Care for one another.  That is the basic obligation of living in a society. 

*  Listen. People do have different points of view.  (Caveat:  "you're stupid" is not a reasoned argument, even if it is said loudly and often.) 

 I'm thinking we need to be passing the comfort food for the duration.  Suggestions welcome!

What's it like over your way?

ETA:  Red Cross donations -- where to send what you can.  This won't be over soon for a good many people.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Due to a convergence of deadlines and parenting duties, I have been away from my computer.  Here are some heartfelt, yet brief awards for all.

- Earplugs to unhear all political activity between now and Tuesday.
- TLC and more baby limas for Kathy A's knee.  Ouch!
- Many thoughts to Debangel's friends in her hometown.
- Lots of hydrogen peroxide and chocolate for our pre-Big M pixie friends, Liz and Debangel
- Flying points for Sue's dad so he can come visit.  Alone.

Thinking of all of you this week.  May it be quiet on the political front Wednesday!  Stay tuned for Kathy A who is our hostess with the mostest next week.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Thinking of Y'all, East Coast Pixies

The winds here in the Mitten State are pretty serious and I know it pales in comparison to what you all are experiencing.  May you have stable power, enough water and food, and candles to weather the storm and any resultant surge.  I'm sending you some extra chocolate cake (I can do gluten-free and vegan, too) because I think that there is very little that can't be improved with a good slice of chocolate cake.

The Pixies are all here to support those with non-weather related whines too. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Stormzilla Edition

Yikes!  Sending love, umbrellas, sandbags, and emergency supplies to East Coast Pixies who might be affected by Sandy the Superstorm.  Crossing fingers that it turns out to be less than feared -- but Pixie Central recommends preparing anyway.  (Before everybody else shows up to buy the last of the TP, flashlights, food that does not require cooking, gasoline, and jugged water.  Don't forget the duct tape and batteries!  Keep those cell phones charged!)  xoxo

Other parts of the continent have been testing out this "rain" thing.  Esperanza chose to avoid the wet T-shirt contest when rain showed up during a walk.  Debangel recommends industrial-strength workout undergarments for such occasions.  Amy notes that rain means "puddles and damp spots" in her ancient car, which has some of us nodding knowingly.

But the Mop Mop Mopping on Heaven's Floor Award goes to Sue, whose sanctuary has a bit of a leakage problem even though "the roof was patched just a few years ago."  Yes, my friends; she did bucket duty this week.  And no, she did not return to re-position the buckets in the dark of night.  We agree with the basic proposition that to every thing there is a season, and it looks like this (paraphrasing Monty Python) is an ex-roof.  Therefore, the Cluestick Posse will have a few words with those who need to see the light about [or through!] the roof.

Sarah wins the Insomniac Award, joining other distinguished members of the club.  This award includes a dignified toast all around, since she discovered a certain boost in restfulness from a tad of gin.  ;) 

The coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award goes to Amy, who complains:  " Omg, my daughter will not stop talking."  And Cheers, too, on the sudden progress of the Tater regarding potty training.

The Rosie the Riveter Memorial "We Can Do It" Award goes to Liz, for local political organizing in a time of need.  As previously mentioned on this program, the Pixie Party strongly supports Liz to clean things up in government.

Amy wins the Grace Under Academic Pressure Award for diligently meeting with her students in a hallway -- because the highly inconvenient conference room was already taken, and she's got students, dammit! -- thus exposing her to hallway conversation even more depressing than anything her students might turn in.  Sigh.

Esperanza wins the Marital Travel Challenge Award, with her astute observation that "There is no activity that makes me like my spouse less than packing for a car trip. Sigh. We will make it."  Hear, hear.

The Let There Be Peace on Earth Award goes to Debangel, who is setting off on a family trip that includes her new hubby, her two kids, and the father of one child -- all to visit the Good Ex's extended family.  Woot!  Kudos to the lawyer who is moving things along with Jerkface Ex (who for some reason, is not invited on the outing).  Once again, Jerkface has earned an all-expense paid Cludsticking, which we anticipate will be supplemented by the Court in due course.

Much love to Amy, on the loss of her grandmother-in-law.  And many hugs about the family dynamics.

May everyone's unbloggables resolve.  May all the colds and other ick go away.  Cupcakes to everyone!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Oh, oh, it's raining again...

We've had a long dry spell, but it poured steadily all night, and rain is supposed to continue for 3 days.  So, end of fire season in my area (we just passed the anniversary of the Oakland hills firestorm, so that's a relief), and the mountains are expecting a bundle of snow.  Yay!

Demonstrating once again my personal talents, I left the sunroof slightly open on my car.  Whoopsie.  (A person gets spoiled when it does not rain for 6 months or so.)

Friday was a wonderful party for a fabulous colleague and mentor, who is retiring.  Don't know how this is possible, but I've known her 23 years.  When things got knotty and we were on big fat deadlines, she would wear red cowboy boots to work and announce, "I'm in a shit-kicking mood today."  Brilliant and kind.  I wish I could be her when I grow up, but will settle for all that she taught and shared with me.  It was also really terrific to see a lot of friends and colleagues from over the years, catch up and trade stories and laugh.

Kitchen Anti-Whine:  My beloved fixed the oven!  It was just the mumble-mumble part.  And he got to it promptly, all things considered: a few months of using a toaster oven was all well and good, but a turkey was not going to fit there, or in the crock-pot, either.

Sports report:  I hear the Giants are hoping to win the playoff thingy tonight, but my prediction is a rainout.  The A's (favorites amongst those with sports interests in my family) lost their playoff, so at least we can be sure there won't be another Bay Bridge World Series and Earthquake, like '89. 

Pet news:  Senior cat Persephone has decided that the change in the weather means she MUST sleep on top of me.  Which is kind of sweet, except then the hot flashes demand that she NOT.  She is coping with the disappointment by choosing the spot directly in front of my computer monitor for her daytime "just want to be close to you" spot.  Junior cat Spot has been over-grooming again, so his hindquarters are somewhat bereft of fur; but he is still able to scare Junior dog Cora with the hiss and puffing out what fur he has left. 

What's the news at your place?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Awards of Consequence

Such a week of award-worthy whines, pixies!

Sue gets the Bucket Brigade Award, for catching raindrops in the church. (I have so been there. Blech.)

JenR gets the Too Much, Universe Award, for post-surgery worries about baby boy, a car breakdown, and the fireplacing house that won't sell.

kathy a and debangel get the Take That, Dr. Google Award for some medical things that turned out not to be as big as Dr. Google thought they were. Glad you are ok, you two.

JenR and Sarah get to be friends in real life, which is an award in itself.

The Style Award makes a return this week, to kathy a, for her medical haikus.

The Cluestick Posse is gathering all of its members to descend on debangel's ex. For being horse poop. And I know whereof I speak on horse poop.

And, our very own Liz gets the coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award this week, for this heartfelt sentiment: . "Take his ass(ets) to court and make them give you his nut sacks full of retirement funds."

We shall all pretend that we are neighbors, and are partying together at Sarah's neighborhood Halloween party, introverts taking breaks as necessary.

'Til next week, pixies.

ETA:  Hosts are not allowed to prize themselves, so I'm using my superpowers to recognize the Amazing Esperanza, who signed off thusly, winning our hearts: 
"Stinky and Sweaty Esperanza and the Baboos who Played with Horse Poop." 

~~ k.a.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Whining of the Trivial Variety

Things I am spending too much time pondering:

* The state of my hair: its rapidly-increasing gray population (thanks, genes and too much stress) and its boring haircut. A new style? But what?

* Whether to go to a semi-important meeting. Would have to take the Baboos.

* The rapidly-increasing toy population in our household. (thanks, surgery-having Baboo and birthday-having Baboo)

* What to eat at my next meal.

* whether "niggle" is a word. I used it in a sermon, but as I said it, it sounded like I made it up.

What are your whines this week, pixies? Trivial or consequential, we take them all.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Votes Are In!

The Pixie Nation has spoken, and it's a landslide!  LIZ for president!  Or at the very least, a cabinet position with robust cluestick authority.  That ought to solve some problems in D.C.

These suggestions thanks to Debangel, who wins the coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award for: We should at the very least have Liz in the Cabinet. I've met her, she's tiny- she'll fit ;-)

Neighbor Lady wins the respected Addition to the Lexicon Award for suggesting "drear" as a noun, with full endorsement of the Lexicon Caucus.

The Wonders of Geography Award goes to Miranda, who lives north of a piece of Canada and therefore feels free to adopt Canadian Thanksgiving, arriving as it does at a more sensible time for a harvest festivity.   Sue, representing Canada, welcomes her. 

Old Skool Awards go to Sarah, who keeps breaking glassware; Miranda, whose noble health objectives are being undermined by numerous parties;  and to Neighbor Lady, who has a code ib da nobe.  Classic whines! 

Amy wins the Excellence in Shopping Award, for steering Sarah in the direction of sturdy and environmentally friendly glassware.  (We are tempted to set her loose on the holiday gift list, should we ever get around to making one.)

Nominated by Sue, our Liz wins the Epic Whine of the Universe Award because her stoooopid job made her miss a rally with Michelle.   Runner-up is Elizabeth, who had to miss a Nats playoff game because, you guessed it, she had to work. 

Debangel, our newlywed, wins the Romantic Getaway Award!

The Swift Recovery Award goes to Esperanza's Sweet Baboo, who got right back in the swing of things after losing the giant cast and getting a more petite one.  Yay!

The Virtue is Its Own Punishment Award is won by Elizabeth, whose fitness run was rudely interrupted when she fell in a ditch and wrecked her knee. 

JenR wins The Curse of the Early Riser Award, reminding us all that when the waterpark does not open until 10 a.m., there are many hours of "Mom, I'm bored" in the hotel room. 
As always, this community pitched in generously with thoughts on various problems.  The Cluestick Posse is hereby dispatched to deliver messages to misbehaving ex-husbands and other deserving parties.  Here's hoping some things calm down.  :)

See you next week, when Esperanza will be the master of ceremonies!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Pre-Holiday Holidays

Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian Pixies!  And Happy Columbus Day, or alternatively Indigenous People's Day, to those on the U.S. side of the border.  Tomorrow is Lief Erickson Day, which my friend's dad insists we really ought to celebrate since he arrived several hundred years before Columbus. 

None of these are holidays in my state, so I had to go to the dentist and get my teeth cleaned gums poked.  No lectures about gum disease, this time!  Liz will be proud; during the traditional chatty time with my dentist, conversation drifted a certain way, and I talked him up about a ballot initiative.  Think I got a voter!

So anyway, holidays.  We have already gone through several jumbo bags of Halloween candy at my house.  It is possible that any trick-or-treaters who show up (there are usually 0-3) will be stuck with the candy my daughter does not like (which is otherwise popular candy).  Win-win! 

Meanwhile -- some local stores setting up their giganto Christmas aisles of decorative stuff in September.  Are we supposed to pick up a string of lights every week, when we check off the staples, so that all our homes make Vegas look sedate by the actual holiday?  Bah, humbug.

Thanksgiving is shaping up, once again, to be a favorite because it is all about food and family.

It's not a holiday, but the national election is in 4 weeks, and I am intensely interested in the outcomes (national, state, local, + ballot measures).  But I want it over with already.  This is a real pushme-pullyou situation:  the endless campaign news is exhausting, but I can't stay away from it.  And I want everybody to vote!  But make your vote informed!  

What's going on with you?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Awards! Zen Through ClueSticks

This will be brief since I have a kitty in need of love and we all know that kitties rule the roost.

It seems like all of will feel calmer with some proper rain attire (Liz), some peace and quiet (esperanza, Sarah in the very near future, Sue), a little less alone time (debangel), and Cluestick Posse to intervene in our professional lives and to encourage a higher caliber of discourse and evidence of greater compassion among a certain subset of political candidates.   

Wished we all lived closer because debangel has great blankets to snuggle under while we all sip tip and Tater's special chock-watt cupcakes wiff sprinkles.

Hope everyone has a great week!  Happy long weekend to those of you who follow the federal holiday schedule (like me!). 

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sanity SWOT* Analysis - WW Style

Strength: I have the wisdom to know that lashing out during high pressure times is neither helpful nor productive.  Come on, let's look at your project file.  What can we do here?  (ie This was supposed to be done a month ago, you miserable abuser of oxygen, and I hate that I had to hear about the impending disaster from the old bad axe who keeps the rumor mill afloat.  I will deny your request for Christmas Eve off MWAH HAHAHAHA)

Weakness: That is still my first inclination.   (Serenity now?)

Opportunity: Countless opportunities to practice good leadership/parenting/data-entry/coaching skills.

Threat:  So little time. 

I would like to head up a project where I can harness the power of the collective Cluesticking Posse to address: lying campaign ads, politicians in general for allowing sequestration to most likely occur, children who eschew teethbrushing, showering, firm bed times and homework, coaches who 3/4 through a a season decide that the team must sell crap or pay a buyout to avoid selling crap (I didn't sign an agreement to pay it so I WON'T!!!), terrible exes, voice mail, and the evil/clueless/sub-optimally medicated for severely personality disordered individuals that inhabit the professional world.

How are all of you?

*For those of you in neither the corporate world nor the quasi-corporate wanna-be world, SWOT is a kind of risk assessment tool that is basically useless, in my opinion, but kind of funny when used to diagram whines.

ETA: While less intense in its fury, I hope you don't mind seeing it a second time.  Ahem.  Bring on fall!!!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Tardy Party

Apologies for the late awards.  There are no good excuses, either!  But refreshments include a lovely artisan pizza with sourdough crust, delicious mozarella and a bit of feta, and veggies including peppers and sweet potato.  And, for the non-gluten crowd, some of Debangel's tres cute stuffed peppers with little carved halloween faces.

Sue wins the coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award, for "tomorrow my colleagues and I drive to Small Town for our Fall Meeting During Which One Sticks Pins in the Eye to Stay Awake. Travel time one way is 5.5 hours of vigilant moose-watching." 

The runner up for Mullet is Sarah, who wonders if the red dot in the cat's chart might result in banning from the vet, "Or is it just cat owner shame?"

Sue, Liz, and Debangel win the Electronic Salvation From Boring Meetings Prize, for a text party during the boring parts of the Fall Meeting, consisting of a framed commemorative detention slip.  :)

The Old Skool Award goes to Liz, who complains, "I need to get my act together."  Actually, the host has a bit of a question about this one; this is a totally classic whine, but Liz does not strike us as the most disorganized Pixie. 

Amy wins the Good Mama Award, for continued adventures in potty training.  As you can see, this is a topic that resonates with the Pixies!  We're rooting for Tater

Esperanza wins the Best Anti-Whine Award, reporting that  "one of the things on the list was take Sweet horseback riding again, for the first time since the giant cast arrived. Enormous smiles made that little trip worthwhile."

The Further Adventures of Super-Kitteh Award goes to Sue's cat, who managed to escape custody, run around, and bite the vet -- with an injured leg and while sedated.  Very impressive.

Sarah wins the Time With Grownups Award, for enjoying off-duty activities.  (But condolences about that date.  We have retroactively decided that he didn't deserve you.)

The Cluestick Posse has been dispatched to have a conversation with Debangel's ex, who remains a jerk.  We will let the lawyer be an honorary member of the Posse, and are wishing him well in delivering a dose of reality.

Much love to Esperanza's niece, who is in a scary place.  xoxoxo  And big congratulations to another niece, who got into the school of her choice!

Love also to Sarah's middle-schooler.  Fingers crossed that things swiftly improve.

The 60-day Month Award goes to Miranda, who will be our charming host next week!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Zombie Apocalyptic Revenge

There is something in the air, or something.  Here is the countdown for today, at my house:

1 dead microwave.  No idea what happened, but we have a spare from daughter's second-to-last apartment, so no problem! 

1 dead garage door opener.  I got the door shut, and pushed my car up against it so the dogs won't get out.  Let's call that a victory.   ETA:  it works again.

1 flaky roommate of son, who apparently is not going to pay rent or utilities this month.  Note that son is not able to work since he just had surgery.  Flaky roommate may have quit his job.  Not happy times.  ETA:  son has called 3 times to apologize for certain outbursts.

2 computer crashes.  My virus etc. protection says I'm fine.  Some call center that mentioned the word "M1cr0s0ft" but was not that company called about blah blah malware, and I was perhaps curt about being on the do not call list, and so the guy called back to admonish me about hanging up on him, and I didn't pick up the third time.  I hope I was only rude, and not stupid. 

1 Amaz0n misdelivery (for daughter's class; delivered to dog alone knows where) was fixed.  Victory to daughter!  ETA: it actually got delivered.  Here!

Unknown number of cats with worms.  Due to a certain amount of ambient angst, the cats I can sometimes catch went into hiding.  But I caught the most likely culprit and dosed her.  Victory!  This is senior cat, so she'll plot revenge immediately after the next nap.

On the up side, no sewer problems!

Passing the whines, the wine, and a nice crockpot stew.  Some days stink; tomorrow will be better.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Burnt Spaghetti Sauce Edition

Sometimes things do not go as planned, right?  Yesterday was one of those days, so these awards are late.  Yes, I really did manage to burn sauce when I only meant to simmer.  That achievement was not on my bucket list.  There was another installment in the SILfH saga.  Etc.  But friends, in antiwhines, the space shuttle went almost right over my house yesterday morning!  Tres exciting!

This is a week of parenting challenges with kids of all ages.  Hugs and sympathy to all.  Many thanks for your patience with my whininess.

Esperanza leaves us in awe, and wins the Extreme Parenting Award this week for her tale of the thigh-high purple cast and a major pook accident.  Here's hoping the next couple of weeks with the cast are uneventful, and that the teen BFF's stick to decorating the cast in more upbeat ways. 

Amy wins the Patience in Potty Training Award.  We promise that at some point well before college, Tater will decide that pullups no longer fit his self-image.

The Plateful of Parenting Award goes to Miranda, juggling the challenges and hiccups of 3 distinct age groups.  You're so great!  Really good news about Tween's nice teachers. 

Liz wins the Style Award, for introducing us to this hilarious video!

The coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award goes to Debangel, responding to news of Liz's allergies with:  "You may think it's funny to kiss your honey when your nose is runny. But it's snot."  Deb is really on a roll this week; check her other comments, too.  :)

The Hi-Ho Back to Work Award goes to Sue, who missed her people while she was gone!

Wild Hormone Awards to Debangel and Amy, who have thoughtfully passed the parmesean garlic chips and chocolate.  Mmmmm! 

Sue wins a Wild Weather Award, going from "swelter" to "snow's coming" in under a week.  That's NASCAR speed in the weather world.  We love the idea of your outdoor and indoor "happiness zones"!

Here is to a good weekend, and only little whines next week!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Household Annoyance Week

In this heated political season, and what with the weather, and in the midst of school / kids / work / etc., there is one thing that we know to be true universally:  stuff will go wrong in the household.
the useful oven
does not work, and who knows why.
someone should fix it.
 Do not get me started on the dishes.  This week, I'm not just complaining about the entire rest of the family being unable to rinse; this week, I am guilty, too.  And hello, we have this whole second sink that is meant to hold the rinsed dishes until someone gets around to loading the dishwasher, but does that keep certain people [not me, I am only guilty of a few rinsing offenses] from tossing dirty dishes, leftover food, recyclables, and dog alone knows what else into the rinsing sink -- causing spoons and worse to drop into the garbage disposal, which everybody knows needs to be run to clear the backed up water when I am trying to make coffee in the morning?  No, the wanton destruction of flatware continues, even though making coffee is clearly the priority first thing in the morning.   

The categories are wide open:  toilets; cat barf; laundry; derelictions of vacuum duty; spiders; poop of all sorts; trails of mess left behind as the herd moves through the household; and I'm not even getting to problems with the physical structure, or outside influences.  The list is endless.  Endless!

Please share! Antiwhines, too.  As always, prizes for Old Skool, Style, Mullet, and whatever else comes to mind.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy Dance Awards

This video is the happiest thing I've seen all week, and my theory is that the universe needs more happy.  Also, Sue can blast it when nobody's looking at work.  (Don't even try to tell us you aren't dancing to the ABBA.)

The coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award goes to Debangel.  First the backstory:  pathetic unemployed ex drags his feet on changing the parenting plan, then demands Christmas and Christmas Eve (he does not celebrate), and to cut child support to $50/month.  Excuuuuuse us??   And now the Mullet: "Pookie, my ultra-mellow Burmese cat, who is famous for eating paper, but only the important stuff, showed what he thought of my ex's proposed changes by chomping the document ;-) I love that cat."  The Cluestick Posse admires Pookie's leadership and initiative, but also recommends legal counsel for you.  (Well said, Liz.)  Passing the catnip.

The winner of the High Decibel Award is Amy, whose  MIL found brand-new drumsticks on the ground at the mall, diligently waited for the clueless person who dropped them, and then gave the ultimate passive-aggressive grandchild gift:  "Thank you, MIL, for giving Tater (a boy who is *finally* *possibly* *knock wood* moving past the hitting-is-an-answer-for-everything stage) an item whose sole purpose is for hitting things. *facepalm*"  Maybe these special toys can be saved for when Grandma is visiting? 

Esperanza wins the Old Skool Award for:  "It is driving my OCD side nuts that I can no longer match pairs of socks in the laundry, because Sweet is only wearing one of the pair."   On the other hand, not needing to match may be a bonus, seeing how the sock demons so frequently mess with us.

JenR wins the Excellent Creativity in Appropriate Parenting Award for:  "My 4 year old regularly wears two different socks and even two different shows just because he likes it that way. I haven't been able to match pairs in over a year. (Shoe mixing rule: The must be the same size and the same type - two crocs or two sneakers or two flip flops. He goes along with that and it makes me feel better about the potential for hurting his feet)."  As Amy noted, this "sets limits while honoring your child's need to explore."  I just love the Rule. 

A Lurching Bravely Onward Award to Sarah, whose son does not have major motor issues, but does have stuff standing in the way -- a classic parenting W/AW combo plate.  It's great that there may be some OT.  And you will definitely hit on ways to move forward via ye olde trial and error.  Know that the Pixie Nation is with you!  Also, woo-hoo about nice guys out there!

Sue wins the Navigating the Ouch Award, being supportive to a longtime parishioner who cares for her but is also leaving the congregation, all in a time of grief.

Gentle Cluesticks to Esperanza's beloved, who is worried about her getting by when he is out of town overnight, but doesn't realize that night is no different from the many working-late nights he spends away.  Things do get done all those other nights.  An overall plan for more respite and/or sharing seems like a good idea.  Hugs, because this stuff is hard.

Wild Applause and Congratulations to Miranda, on  earning her well-deserved promotion!  The Posse has those responsible for lost posts on its schedule this week.

A Happy Dance Award for Liz, who had a bloggy meetup with our friend YT and the world's best bleeding heart attorney.  Jealous!

Kudos to the Entire Contingent!  This was a week where a lot of us had problems and questions and things to vent, and there were so many excellent suggestions, and so many voices of support.  So, let's dance!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Whining Works!

Yay, Sweet Baboo's sleep is improving!  Knock wood!

My friend is still in the hospital, but no surgery (so far) because they are hoping this whatever is clearing up.  Cross fingers!

I could use some input on something, and I think this is a crowd with ideas.  Daughter graduated college in December, and has been on a long and discouraging journey to find work ever since.  She is applying to be a military officer (because it would be a steady career), and also applying for all kinds of civilian jobs in circumstances where every job has a bergillion applicants.  My daughter is of course brilliant and talented and tough!  She is also very tiny (5'1, skinny), and with strangers, her voice is small and tends to uncertainty.

It occurred to me that she needs to find a public voice that can be authoritative when needed, and that is strong and calm even if she does not feel so confident in that moment.  If she goes to the military, she will be giving orders to older men who are twice her size.  Even civilian contexts, she will need to persuade people who might be inclined to dismiss her, and to get things done working with others.   And she needs that voice even for job interviews -- she can't compete without being able to convey her strengths, and show thoughtfulness and potential. 

She thinks of me as an outgoing, take-charge person, and totally does not believe that I am shy by nature.  And I swear, I had to learn to fake it in social and professional contexts.  There was a time when I was so scared and so willing to please that I never expressed any opinion.  I still cannot speak publicly without my knees shaking, until things get going.  Apple, meet tree.

There is a lot of advice that I can offer but cannot press because my job as the parent of an adult is to not helicopter.  That thing about falling apart in the safety of home is also still in play, so we just had a drama about stupid job notices that don't describe the job or even where it is, and the stupid people who don't bother anymore with even telling one about rejection, and also the stupid rejections.

But -- can you think of examples of small women (or uncertain people) finding or using strong and steady voices?  It could be a TV show, a book, a character, a public example, etc. 

What's happening in your corner of the universe?  Bring your whines, anti-whines, conundrums.  Passing the leftover pizza and an array of pre-Halloween chocolate.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Half-Hearted, Sleep-Deprived Awards Show

Sweet's sleep is getting *worse*, not better, so my brain is not at full functioning power today. Please bear with me.

Due to popular acclaim, the Style Award goes to Junior Whining Pixie, Liz's very own son, MM, for his genius haiku.

Cluesticks to ex-es who hit girls and smaller ones for ex-es with poor time management skills (mortgage broker, smortgage broker).

Hugs to all pixies suffering from hospital PTSD, hospital gift shops with no get well soon cards (this is still boggling my mind), unbloggable whining that requires ALL CAPS, teenagers, work crises, expensive trips, children that act nicely out of the house, the pain meds/constipation endless circle, etc.

Nights off and cloning potions to everyone, and compliments to Miranda for that innovation.

Like I said, brain is not fully functioning. See you next week at the Whiners' Ball.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Back-to-School Whining

Lots of people have already been back to school for several weeks, but the Baboos start on Wednesday. So, back to school whining it is. Though I actually have NO whines about sending them back to school. In fact, I may have a party.

Thank you to all the pixies for all of the prayers, good thoughts, and crossed fingers for Sweet's foot surgery. For those not following along on facebook, here is the recap. If you were following along, you can just skip this part. We went on Monday for a last consultation with the doctor, when he decided to operate on only one foot (the left), as the right looked better than he had remembered. (By the way, this is corrective surgery for club feet, in no way related to her prematurity). This was confirmed by some way-cool technological foot testing. (A pressure plate and a picture of the bottom of her feet while she was standing on them. Very nifty stuff). Tuesday was the surgery, when he put a pin in her heel bone and cut one of the long tendons on the inside side of her foot to lengthen it. The pin was to correct the heel bone's angle without more tendon damage, thereby resulting in a stronger foot in the end. But that necessitated a thigh-high gigantic purple cast. Like it's bigger than she is. We were expecting a knee length walking cast but got this instead. The next 48 hours were not very pretty, with variations on "my tummy hurts" and general grumpiness. Anesthesia stinks. Cast will stay on for 6 weeks, then after another surgery to remove the pin, a knee-length walking cast for 2-3 weeks, then we aren't sure what yet. She is figuring out how to maneuver around the house, and we hope to return to our regularly scheduled chaos soon.

Hospital related whine: pretty sure I have a mild case of NICU PTSD. The hand sanitizer smelled the same. The pulse ox monitor alarmed the same. I was extremely ready to be discharged, and we may have left without signing something we were supposed to. They know where to find us.

That's pretty much all that's been going on in my world, to the exclusion of things like buying toilet paper and washing clothes. What's happening with you, pixies?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Late Prizes

Sending many good healing thoughts to the Sweet Baboo!

Debangel is back, and she wins the Style Award for her ode to a meetup with Liz.  Yay!  We are thrilled with all the happy news, as well.

Miranda wins Triathlon Award, for "End of the fiscal year. Back to school. Difficult people."  Hope things settle down and you catch a breather soon.

Happy Birthday to JenR's baby boy!   Cluesticks to the miserabley worky people, and miserable housey people.  xoxo

The Fashionista Award goes to Sue, who located the elusive Jeans That Fit.  Brava!

Sarah wins the No Fun For the Weary Award, for the world's shortest "week without kids."

Neighbor Lady scored a Great New Teacher this year!  Wonderful news!

Best to all who are making transitions -- back to work, back to school, etc.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sweet thoughts

Esperanza's Sweet Baboo (an honorary niece of the Pixie tribe since, well, forever) is having her foot surgery tomorrow.   Sending love and healing thoughts that things go well, and recovery goes as smoothly as possible.

Juggling one baboo in casts (in Texas heat!  for 6 weeks!  and the casts can't get wet!) and another adorable and active baboo, plus the usual -- well, that is several platefuls.   Crossing fingers that offers of help and opportunities for little breaks-from-duty appear, and are accepted.  And we have one word for those who expect something else of you:  NO.  Violators will be cluesticked.

I'm still winding down from Giant Project, dealing with miscellaneous leftovers and noticing Things That Should Be Dealt With.  It was so lovely to take a day off and have fun with daughter at the museum yesterday, though!  I forget how glorious it is to have fun.  Today, dust bunnies and file piles.  (That sounds like I'm about to kick some file-pile butt, but probably not.  Not in one day week, anyway.)

What is new with you?  Please share your whines and anti-whines, big and small, stupid and noble; extra credit for humor and style. 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Awards! The Musical!

My my my, my Pixies.  Such a week.  Let's dance!

In honor of all the worthy dirty work, and with a nod to certain idjits seeking to diminish by reprehensible means the dignity and rights of women, let's start with the Nine to Five AwardsEsperanza, whose dance card on dirty work is fullSue, Liz, YT, and all who are concerned about certain recent events.  OK, this is a tacky musical selection, so sue me.  I decline to be reduced to a sputtering wad of angst.  Are we doormats, or are we Pixies?

Our own Esperanza wins the Splish Splash Award, as she contemplates bathing Sweet with two casts, after surgery next week.  We are all crossing fingers, and sending love.  Many hugs, much chocolate, and lots of plastic bags accompany this prize.  PS -- it is OK to aim for "not toxic" instead of "pristine."

The We are Family Award goes to Esperanza, worried about her grandmother and daughter;  Sue, enjoying visits with her sisters;  Yankee Transferred, who did not even take time to brag about the fabulous grandbaby! (yay!); Neighbor Lady, who we estimate has some back to school things going on; and Everybody.

For all in need, the Peace Train Award.  Just think it's good to keep the happy thoughts in mind.  Peace to us all.  

Cluesticks to the clueless.  You know who they are.

Passing the refreshing beverages, the duct tape, sinful cookies, pizza, some nice summer fruit, a slice of humor, and a good night's sleep.  xoxoxo

Monday, August 20, 2012

Setting free the albatross

Today's the day.  The unbloggable Giant Project will get where it is going!  Knock wood.  It's been a harrowing few days of cleaning up details; a bundle of lost sleep.  A lot of people contributed, and everybody's a hero today.  I'm bringing lunch for those who can make it, right before the big send-off.  And chocolate, on general principle.  Have some, my friends!  You have been ever so patient and encouraging.

Diva cat has been quite unhappy about the proceedings lately, since the work on my desk interferes with her bathing preferences.  Apparently, original documents are the best place to bathe -- so clean and pretty -- the staff has treated her quite rudely.  And those faxes and copies -- that machine is her throne.  (She has enjoyed joining the many phone calls, though, adding her two cents where she sees fit.)

I know there are a bunch of things that I've put off for the duration; now I just need to remember what they are.  "Bulldoze dust bunnies" is probably on the list.  Maybe it's time for the Easter display on my mantle to come down.  Also, maybe I'll go get me some of that fun.  And a haircut.  The possibilities are dizzying!

What's happening over where you are?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Rodeo Awards--Belt Buckles & Saddles for Everyone!

Congratulations to kathy a for completing (well, almost) the Giant Project of Doom!

Several awards in the Advice category this week:
Sarah at Ratatat reminds us all: And the perfect is the enemy of the good - so done is much better than not done. 
And kathy a reminds Sarah's ex: none of his beeswax

Food brought to you by kathy a's Chinese takeout, and Liz's Chocolate Decadence

Many hugs to kathy a and assorted relatives who have to deal with the SiLfH (and her oh-so-influential feline companion).

Waving hello to Sue!

Thanks for the hugs about my grandmother. She is fine, except when she isn't. And she's 93, so the "isn't" times are getting worse. 

Be sure to check in for post-Giant Project whining next week, hosted by kathy a!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Rodeo Roundup of Whining

A couple of weeks ago, the Baboos and I spent the afternoon at a local youth rodeo. Sweet, in particular, was entranced. Since then, they have been playing "rodeo" in various incarnations:

  • "Little People" horses (and other animal friends) barrel racing around stacking cups. Applause after each contestant.
  • Mini racing around the living room at top speed, in a circle, yelling "I wunning awound bawwels!!" (that is supposed to be "barrels" but looks disturbingly like "bowels." Sorry.)
  • Stuffed horses going "weally fast" 
  • Necklaces being used to rope imaginary calves

We apparently have rodeo fever. This isn't necessarily a whine, just the state of things around here. What whines are running in your rodeos, pixies?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Awards! At least you don't have a Lego up your nose edition

Esperanza gets the Wisdom of the Ages Award for "If he's looking at your shoes instead of your face, he's not the one." Quoted for truth, friends. Quoted for truth.

Sarah gets the Back on the Horse Award for going on a date! And liking the movie! The company wasn't a winner, but enjoying parts of going out again after trauma is a really Good Thing.

Kathy A. gets the My Beloved Cleaned Out the Garage in Time for My Son to Fill it With Not One But Two Inoperable Cars Award. I don't know if there's a can big enough for that.

Kathy A. also wins the Style Award for her formatting woes. It ain't poetry, but anytime you have to deal with Word's formatting hell, is a time you need a style award.

Sue gets kudos for letting us know of a good series!

Neighbor Lady brought the dark chocolate with sea salt this week, so she gets the drool-covered keyboard.

Hugs to everybody who is having a hard time with the national news this week. Watch the Olympics, it sure makes me feel better.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Wednesday Whining - What Does Well Regulated Mean Anyway?

When do we get to talk about the first part of the Second Amendment and how keeping guns out of the hands of extremists could cut down on the number of mass shootings at schools and churches?

Here's a refresher on what the Second Amendment says:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"

Friday, August 3, 2012


The coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award goes to JenR, for "I am in a 5000 square foot open office space and there is one fly in here buzzing around my head."  Hope you have a great vacation!

Sue wins the You Look Fabulous, Dahling Award, for the joy of looking and feeling great. 

The Fine Dining Award goes to Esperanza, who reports on the joy of an anniversary getaway:  "Just enjoyed a meal in which I did not have to (a) wipe anyone else's mouth or (b) pick up anything off the floor or (c) cook it or (d) clean up after it."

Liz wins the Friend Indeed Award, for her many good tips, this week and always.

The Recipe for De-Stress Award goes to Sarah, who recommends:  massage. yoga. chocolate. alcohol. Vary as needed ;-)

Cluesticks to those nagging little voices saying mean things -- the ones in our heads, and the ones belonging to select relatives.

Thanks for playing! 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Let the games begin!

I'm not all that into sports, personally, but what is not to love about all these nations from everywhere, big and small, coming together to celebrate and compete together?  Being on the west coast, my view of the opening ceremonies was time-delayed by many hours, but friends in London and Canada provided enticing little updates in live-time!  So, I took control of the remote, and it was good.  Kinda freaked everybody out, since I don't watch TV.

My friend in Florida just drove to NH and got hitched with the other mother of their daughter!  So exciting.  They have waited such a long time.  

W:  Some idjit woke up this morning and discovered no coffee, and had to run to the store.  Top that!

Bring 'em on -- whines and anti-whines, big and small.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Esperanza wins Elevated Risk of Mullet hands-down for "it's more like cow patties and jellyfish."

And she also wins my News You Can Use Award for teaching me, "David & Bathsheba: lust, adultery, rape, attempted cover-up leads to murder and collateral damage. All activities of God's 'chosen one.' Sounds like the news, no?". Sounds just like the news, yes.

Sarah at Ratatat wins the Peter Paul Almond Joy and Mounds Award for "At least people show their crazy early enough that I don't even want to date them?" Because sometimes you feel like a nut...and sometimes you don't.

Kathy A. wins Anti-Whiner of the week, for having several good ones.

And Sue wins Old Skool for silly work whines.

Who will be our host next week? Tune in to find out!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Wednesday Whining - Game Night With Friends Edition

So we were supposed to go camping this past weekend, but it was going to pour down rain at the campground both days so we decided to bail (ha!) and made plans with friends instead.

Our friends live 5 doors down from us, and they came over and we all played Ticket to Ride and Bananagrams. And a good time was had by all, and we're going to do it again.


If you've never played Ticket to Ride, here's Wil Wheaton to tell you how!

What's going on in your lives?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Vine Ripened Gourmet Awards

Just a tad late...  The fog has lifted, and today is a gorgeous day.  Passing some antipasto, bread, cheese, and whine for a little picnic.  And birthday cake, in honor of Sue!

Liz wins the Calling Dr. Google Award, for impressive long-distance diagnostic super-skillz!

Esperanza wins the coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award, for her report on ridiculous earache-related meltdowns:  "Favorite example: 'I want cows on *my* side of the car' as we drove down the road." Those darned cows, failing once again to graze on the correct side of the road.  Kudos to high-grade antibiotics.

The Tiniest Whine Award goes to Sue, who is adoring her sabbatical and can only complain that she could use more sparkling water.  Yay for a great time off!  We are also drooling just a little bit about the Candy Buffet, which probably should be a regular feature here at the House of Whines.

We are proud to award the Umbrella of Happiness to Sarah, who reports rain!  Take that, you silly drought!

The Whine of Personal Discomfort Award goes, of course, to Neighbor Lady, with much sympathy for the Epic Zit inconveniently located in an unmentionable portion of the anatomy.  There is general agreement that zits of any kind are Totally Unfair, but some are more unfair than others.

Bringing some competition in the unmentionables department, Liz wins the Itch of Doom Award for several bug bites, including one with the temerity to appear under the underwire.   Esperanza to the rescue with her own diagnostic skillz, earning the Ocean of Calamine Lotion Award for mentioning the possibility of ~~ ugh ~~ chiggers.  Not that we are sure the calamine will work, but the word "chiggers" is enough to create sympathetic itching all over the blogosphere.

Many hugs to JenR, who reported a horrible, very bad, no good day, plus "and apparently I can't type either."  The Cluestick Posse is prepared to deliver an appropriate message to the person responsible.  Kudos to the car guy, who can at least take care of the AC, brakes, and tires.  xoxo

Sarah wins the Back in the Game Award, for testing the waters of online dating:  "W/AW: if you put that you're looking for fun and friendship and nothing too serious on online dating get a lot of attention. Mostly amusing. And really, boys more than 10 years younger than me? really? At least I am amused."  

Peace and love to us all -- especially our Redzils -- in the wake of this latest horrible violence. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Dispatch from the front. The cold front.

It's a gloomy, cold, summer morning -- perfect weather for the Feline Competitive Napping competition.  Persephone chose her usual throne, the fax machine.  Spot is showing good form on the end of the couch, with extra points for positioning himself next to a pillow with cats.  In a bold move, Polly has arranged herself gracefully in the very center of the couch, winning special recognition for artistry.

I'm still on the Giant Project marathon, and in some danger of my butt becoming permanently attached to my office chair.  AW: In what amounts to a miracle, I have scored some student intern help with a series of important but tedious tasks.  Yay!  (It may not even be so tedious for them.)

Please bring your whines and antiwhines!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

5th Anniversary Awards Party!

So I thought it would be cute to look up what the traditional 5 year anniversary gift is and make a post titled: "[Gift] for All!" The fifth anniversary gift is wood. Then "Wood for All", I think you can figure it out. So nevermind.

Refreshments at this party: dark chocolate, with an extra helping for Miranda.

Decor at this party: cluestick-lined walls, with cluesticks predesignated for people who don't return phone calls, mortgage companies, and Committees to Rearrange Deck Chairs.

For the ceremony itself:
An Old Skool Award for Sue, who has large thumbs. Or a small phone. Or something. It's a thumb-phone mismatch, in any case.

A Families, What are You Going to Do? Award to kathy a, her beloved, and everyone affected by difficult sister-in-law. What an impossible, painful situation.

Work Whining Awards to Miranda and kathy a, for Great Unbloggable Projects and "What a Great Idea You Had, Boss!"

Thanks to liz for the anniversary reminder, hugs to everyone who needs one, and extra dark chocolate for all.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Repetitious Whining

Mini is in a phase (please, dear Lord, let it be only a phase) where everything she says must be repeated approximately 87 times. And anything I say must be repeated, even if she was not intended to hear what I said (ahem. You can probably think of some examples yourselves. They might involve four letters). I guess it's only fair that she repeats everything (apparently) in order to get me to listen, because I also have to repeat everything approximately 87 times to get her to listen (you may not stand on the windowsill, for example).

We are also, collectively, at the point in the summer when it seems that each day is a repetition of the day before. Fix breakfast, clean up breakfast dishes, get Baboos dressed, brush teeth, go potty. Play/activity. Fix lunch, clean up lunch, go potty, nap. Play/nag/whine. Fix supper, clean up supper, baths, bedtime. Repeat. I would like to register a whine about this, but at the same time, I'm really not asking for anything exciting in the negative direction. I would take a surprise vacation, for instance, but not a surprise trip to the ER. You get my drift, Universe?

Pixies, do you have repetitious whines, or one-timers? Whine away, in either case.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Post-Firework Awards

We Pixies have always known liz was powerful, but only now do we appreciate just how powerful: “AW: I have power, my workplace has power, and the gas stations near me have power.” I hope the rest of our Pixies are similarly lucky.

The Old Skool Award goes to emily this week, for her formerly round, now rectangular yogurt container. Change is hard!

Pixie sympathy to esperanza and the Baboos, struggling with sloth tendencies and croup (poor baby! Poor mommy!).  At least her yogurt container is still round…

Sarah at Ratatat wins the Ringmaster Award for putting on one of the largest local parades on the 4th. Happy (USian) Independence Day and Loose Ends Wrangling!

JenR’s little guy wins the Universal Pixie “Awww” for making her a cake and telling her it was roast beef all day, to preserve the surprise.

kathy a gets the Defeat of the Albatross Award, for getting a project off her list, despite workplace challenges (of the feline and husbandy kind).

I’m sending you all a dose of my chilly weather (I wore a neck gaiter and gloves on today’s hike), since I have no good advice to add to the hot weather coping tips in the comments on the last post. May this temperature drop arrive soon and with plenty of rain!

Thanks for joining this week’s whining. See you next week!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fireworks Whining

Happy Fireworks Week, to US Pixies, and happy week to the rest of you.

W: I live too far north for fireworks to be festive this time of year.
AW: New Year's Eve is awesome.

I'll be celebrating independence by walking with the Girl Scouts in the parade downtown. They get to lead this year, in honor of the 100th anniversary of Girl Scouting.

How are you, Pixies? Feel free to share your whines, antiwhines, and stories of independence in this space!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Double Digits

Passing the cake!  Today I've achieved an age that I once thought impossible.  Am considering getting that AARP card (those people have been hounding me for years already, but I'm old enough now for some of those senior discounts).  How did that happen?

The Old Skool Award goes to Liz, whose handy packrat tendencies allowed her to rebut someone's accusation, but alas, her stapler disappeared in the paper mountain.

JenR earned the Style Award, for this poetic submission:  "Posting from a phone ... So short and error prone..."  Sending many hugs and good wishes for the baby's surgery.

Best Anti-Whine Award goes to Sue, for a clean bill of health and the miraculous near-disappearance of the headache monster!

The All-Powerful Queen of the Thermostat Award goes to Esperanza, whose hubby has been out of town.   

Liz wins the Dance Party Award, for this amazing video.  Thanks!

Esperanza wins the What Makes Her Tick Award, for discovering that when Sweet gets overloaded, quiet time in her room is not a punishment.  Still an effective remedy, and all the better because it's more of a carrot than a stick.  And Bonus!  Sweet did great with her OT eval!

Cluesticks to those people who are not buying JenR's condo, the jerk driver who almost caused an accident but for Esperanza's intervention, the dude who accused Liz of misquoting, and all the other annoying people and circumstances that afflict us.

Hooray and ponies!!!! for renewed friendships, same-age kids,  time off work, summer activities, lists and the people who love them, a good night's sleep, and old friends.  (HA!  Now I can be your "old" friend!)

P.S. -- Using advanced techniques (begging my daughter to tell her father), I got exactly what I wanted for my birthday.  You'd better sit down, because it is awfully romantic.  That's right -- a vacuum that weighs less than 300 lbs. and doesn't sound like a dying jet engine!