Monday, December 30, 2013

Sweep out the old, Ring in the new

When we lived in Japan many years ago, an older couple visited me every week or two to practice conversational English.  They told me that their daughter's birthday was December 31, and that  they never celebrated that day because everyone was so busy cleaning house and tossing old things for the New Year!

Obviously, it is possible to go overboard with the fresh start.  I don't make resolutions, either, because the first couple of decades persuaded me of a hidden talent, the uncanny ability to flunk resolutions as early as half past midnight. 

Still, glad to see the last of 2013.  Don't let the door hit ya!  There are shiny new things to anticipate, and a person can have aspirations even if resolutions are out of the question. 

In 2014, we'll celebrate a major anniversary; 3 large albatrossi will be put to bed; the kids will move forward; we may go nuts and paint the house.  I'm aspiring to walk more, clear some household junk, and limit exposure to toxic relationships.

How are you approaching the flip of the year?

As always, whines and antiwhines, large and small, are welcome.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Prizes! Better than gifts because it doesn't involve shipping or stores

Last Wednesday, as I walked around my dismal galley kitchen cloaked in bitter resentment, I decided on a whim to make a fudge sauce even though I had never tried such a thing.  I poured a cup of heavy cream into a sauce pan and asked An Offspring to watch it while I flitted about preparing the labor intensive deviled eggs that everyone demands and no one sous chefs.  The cream boiled over creating a giant, smelly mess on my ancient electric cook top.  I poured some more cream in the pot and demanded The Same Offspring to pay closer attention.  Not knowing how much cream was in the pot, I dumped the entire bag of chocolate in the pan and stirred.  It looked horrid.  I kept stirring.  I poured some on the cake and put the rest in the fridge.

Despite its inauspicious preparation and my callous disregard for a recipe, it turned out delicious and rich.  It was my favorite dish Christmas Day, to be honest.  I don't think it could have come out any better.

We have had a very eventful year.  We have seen weddings and divorces.  We have seen sickness and health.   We have nursed our beloveds through all kinds of physical and emotional pain.  We have watched our children struggle with inner demons.  We have had to cut ties with people who had previously been close to us.  We have started and ended jobs.  We have agonized over decisions that affect our family.  We have dealt with work albatrosses and betrayals from unexpected sources.  We have welcomed a new baby in our group.

My chocolate sauce reminds me of the Whiners Ball.  The instructions to Life do not really tell you all you need to know.  We make mistakes.  In our lives, we don't always measure our kindness or our attentions carefully.  Sometimes things spill over and make a mess.  Sometimes we need Ralph to stir things up a bit or else we end up a with a goopy lump that does no one any good.  With the grace and counsel we offer one another, we have made a community that is more than just about sharing whines and anti-whines.  Despite living in the four corners of the continent, we have (largely online) sustained a friendship over several years.

That is the greatest prize of all.  No matter what happens, we can come here. We can share soup and chocolate and know we have a Posse of Wise Women in our corner. 

Thank you, all of you, for keeping this a safe and nurturing space. 

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Oh the weather outside is frightful

...and if in case inside is not delightful, we have the Pixie Holiday Brigadoon to lift your spirits.  An assortment of holiday treats, cleaning elves, decorating fairies, and beverages of good cheer are available to lift your spirits and provide a little Merry as you slog through over-tired children, impolite relatives, too many social obligations and cats who dislike antibiotics.

If that fails, we have Ralph and the Posse at the ready.

Safe travels to those on the road and/or affected by this ice storm hitting the Mitten State tonight.  Most of all, may all of you end the year surrounded by those you love while following the traditions that give you peace and joy.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fudge, Spicy Nuts, Gluten-free Pancakes, Divine Tea, Cat Forests of Delight

Passing the comfort platters, refreshing beverages of choice, and a side of Peace and Happiness to all!  Also, everybody gets at least one good night of sleep, and a "get out of jail free" card for when the annoying persons want you to do something.  And something sparkly, and a few hugs.

Esperanza wins the Recipe of the Week for her spicy roasted nuts!

Our Liz is the Queen of Advice, and this week she has distinguished herself with the explanation that one piece of advice probably requires a Yiddish accent.  Brava!  Hope that headache has departed but good, and that the room got painted.

The Word of the Week is "Duff" (thanks, Esperanza), and Sue wins the Lexicon Embellishment Prize as well as the coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award for her extremely valid complaint about "duff-holes" driving badly in snow. 

Neighbor Lady wins the Semester Survived Award, with a Science Rocks sash!  This prize includes some sleeping in over the break.  We are so happy you are a teacher.

The Totally Booked Award goes to Miranda, who has about 3.5 platefuls by our estimation, and is still a rock star.

Queen of West Procrastination experienced the Joy of Sleeping Past 6 a.m.!  May it happen again and again.  And may all the shopping and dissertating and whatever come together.

Many congratulations to Purple Kangaroo on the birth of her daughter N!  Many healing thoughts to you, PK.  xoxo

Ralph and the Cluestick Posse have some visits to make, the most urgent being to Ms. Crankypants, the woman who wants to force a "give me more time or get lost" ultimatum on a friendship.  So seasonal!  I'm guessing the Posse may stay busy this next week or so, what with all the ambient expectations, family togetherness, and whatnot.

I'm forgetting a lot, but here, have some more chocolate!  Hope all is reasonably calm and filled with select moments of delight this next week. 

Monday, December 16, 2013

Mid-December, much to remember

Greetings, Pixies!

I'm doing a little happy dance because a dreadful piece of work albatross just got committed to paper (or bytes, whatever; I got up at 4 a.m. to finish this), and so now I get to do more satisfying albatross tasks!  And also get a payment!  But W:  several more manageable albatrossi need to get done this month.

And, I'm still really happy with how well the fundraising event thing went on Saturday.  Good turnout; everything was lovely; lots of money raised; new friends made; my friend S was surprised at the honors.  She says she's mortified, but she'll get over it. Meanwhile, passing the excess desserts and cheese platter items.

On the whine side, my MIL was doing poorly and did not get out of bed when my beloved and daughter went to visit her this weekend.  I hope they figure this out soon.  There was a test to see if maybe it is gallbladder instead of pancreas.  The situation is very up and down; she was feeling tons better a week ago, after a bad patch.

We do not yet have a tree.  It will happen sometime in the next week.  Decorations also.

I've declared this a year for small presents and stuffed stockings.  Basically everything is done on that front, except assembly and wrapping. My husband asked what I want, and I had a definitive answer:  slippers.  That's it.

AW:  daughter has a live interview tomorrow at a place she wants to work!

What's the scoop at your house?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Awards! Painting all weekend and the room's still not done edition

Writing this on my iPad so no picture and please excuse typos. My son's stuff is between me and my real computer.

Our very own YT returned to scoop up the style award for her epic poem of woe: a cold keeping her and her sweet grand baby apart.

Kathy wins the super sneaky super friend award for putting together a surprise party within a party. Honoring the person who was putting together the main event!!

Ralph and the clue stick posse are on their way north to visit with Sue's secretary to remind her to keep her fireplacing germs to herself. And then they're headed south to pay a call on Esperanza's new "friend". Emailing asking for free babysitting an hour before you need it ain't kosher.

Miranda was unanimously chosen to receive the "Elevated Risk of Mullet" award this week for " "Bataan Death March of church activity". Many keyboards caught coffee baths this week over that gem.

Esperanza wins "Remembering What it's All About": bras in the dryer? Lord have mercy on her DH, 'cause I certainly don't.

Jen brought the bodily fluids this week. I hope you're feeling better!!

Sending a lovey for QWP's baby to hold so QWP can catch a break.

And sending congratulations to PK who brought home a beautiful baby girl this week.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Because a little birdy told me that we need an early edition

Bring us your tired, your sick, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to whine free!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Amazing Prizes for Everyone!

A small part of the collection -- help yourselves to door prizes!

Party of the Week:  a science party, for QWP's big girl!  Runner up is the church tea organized with military precision, which does not require Sue's presence. 

Fluid of the Week:  sleep-puking.  Top that.  Esperanza wins a case of sanitizer and a visit from the laundry fairy.

The Tooth Fairy Award is owned by Sweet Baboo, on the occasion of her first lost tooth.

Dish Fairy Award goes to Miranda, who has good friends to visit and exert positive peer pressure.

The Ruthless Organizer Award goes to Liz, who achieved mad clean-outs at her house!  Liz also wins the Mileage Award, for too many meetings in too many places.

Wishing Sue's Sweetie a speedy recovery!

Happy Birthday to Queen of West Procrastination, and Lil E!

Ralph and the Cluestick Posse are headed out to visit difficult co-workers, people imposing bad schedules on others, that bug that's going around, and other deserving parties.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Making things brighter

OK, so, my diva cat.  She likes to be right by the heat vent on my laptop, and then walk at will across the keyboard.  Therefore, I found out that there is a button that makes my screen darker; leading to the discovery that there is another button to make it brighter!  Learn something new every day, right?

Our general household level of angst has dropped dramatically, because the fabulous cousin-in-law is helping offload the Giant Mountain of SIL's Clothing and Crap!  With bonus laughter, and bonding with daughter -- they are collaborating on photos for online sale.

If anybody needs a large slightly menacing glazed ceramic rabbit, or unused red patent-leather leopard-print clogs, or every a mug ever sold by St@rborgs, or the world's ugliest a designer neon green jacket and matching purse [originally $168, price tag included], or an entire knick-knack farm, you know who to ask!  There's more where that came from! 

W:  The dish fairy, she needs to come around.  Also, the vacuum fairy.  Your house, too, possibly.

What's new with you?