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.


Liz said...

Would one of you please bop me over the head and tell me to focus?

kathy a. said...


How's anybody supposed to focus, this time of year?

Liz said...

Thank you!

Miranda said...

What is the "focus" you....SQUIRREL!!!!

(Um, I need a bop too)

Liz said...

Yeah. That. Exactly.

kathy a. said...

bop till you drop. Me? Highly focused. ~snort~

Liz said...


Miranda said...

That is so great. I'm taking some kind of online based training that was created by lunar monkeys and then somehow dumped into courseware. I need the continuing ed points but this is so beyond awful.

This is so very appropriate today.

Anonymous said...

According to this chart, there are no small businesses owned by rich white men who go to win government contracts.

kathy a. said...

It took until 11 to push adult daughter out the door for her volunteer job, because by gumbo, she needs to go get outta here and see some sunshine and do something. At 2:30, son showed up to do work on his nearly dead car, a task that apparently involves a lot of swearing, plus he needed a garbage bag for all the trash where his passenger seat used to be.

Baby steps.

kathy a. said...

I swear my kids are good decent fairly responsible people, and today was an aberration. Kinda.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

AW: E strung together two words!

W: those words were "Yay, biting!"

kathy a. said...

Go, girl! QWP wins something for her report of the two words.

Sue said...

Focus - I need some. Seriously, I need to get some work done today. hahahahahahahahaha!!!!

Ya, that's not going to happen.

Yay Baby E! That's hilarious about her first words. I see teen vampire books in her future. :)

W: I've been at work for about 40 minutes and have not removed my "I don't care if I look like a large bear, I'm wearing my warm faux fuzzy coat" coat. Despite the plastic over the windows in my office that is supposed to keep the cold out, I can feel a distinct "breeze" (aka Arctic Air Mass) coming in through the ancient windows.

Wind chill of -47C this morning. That's just silly.

AW: The seafood casserole we postponed on Christmas Eve is happening tonight! Yay!!

kathy a. said...

Oy, how is -47 even possible?? Hope the seafood casserole is delish!

6.5 hours of home auto mechanics yesterday, and he is coming back today. The noise! The drama! The grease!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

-47! You win for coldest weather today. It's "only" - 29C with a wind chill of - 36C here, and so we have relatively balmy weather!

W: the process of weaning. The loooong process of weaning. I ended up with a couple of plugged ducts this weekend, because I'm trying to only nurse E at bedtime and first thing in the morning. So many conflicted feelings.

AW: it feels kind of freeing not to have any expectations of my NYE. I forgot what day it was today until mid-morning, and then casually invited my parents and sister to come over, since their plans fell through. It won't bother me if they can't, because my only goal for tonight is to be asleep well before midnight.

kathy a. said...

Best with the weaning, QWP. Ouch. Remembering what it's all about...

AW: Excellent errand karma today! Picked up repaired laptop; grocery shopping; 4 more holiday cards in the work mailbox; gas in the car -- all in 45 minutes.

Miranda said...

I was the anon above. Seriously, the training was horrible. It wasn't worth it for me to complain. I have better uses for my time. Everyone knows it is terrible.

See: reasons I hate my field.

I made a quinoa-lentil-chick pea salad that is not pretty but it is very tasty. Sigh. We are heading to a party with the rest of Women of a Certain Age gang. I can't wait.

QWP, best wishes on the weaning. It is a difficult process for all involved.

Sue, I can't even image such cold. It's positively tropical here at -6 C.

Kathy A, this too shall pass, right?

Happy New Years Pixies if I don't get back online

kathy a. said...

Miranda, hope your party is great! Stick a little parsley or some chopped green onions on the salad, or arrange it with some greenery under (lettuce; kale) -- it will look as good as it tastes.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Or some finely- chopped red pepper!

Liz said...

Or put some nasturtium flowers in it if you've got some.

kathy a. said...

Oooh, QWP goes for the color, and Liz is taking it to the next level...

kathy a. said...

-- Blackeyed peas are about gone.
-- Son asked at 3 p.m. about whether there is a post office in the town he grew up in; and alas, both are closed now. But I don't mind mailing it in a couple days.
-- Son left without commencing more work on the dead car!
-- Daughter's applying for jobs! And she did the dishes!
-- A good book arrived, and think I'll burn through it tonight.
-- Also got champagne; we'll celebrate an appropriate time zone other than our own. Midnight is just out of the question.

kathy a. said...

Banana bread in the oven. That should be an auspicious start!

Liz said...

Happy new year!! I went to sleep at 10.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I stayed up until 11! So close.

Happy New Year, pixies. E decided to act like a stereotypical NYE reveller and started off her New Year by puking on my wool cloche hat.

AW: E did a New Year's Eve cleaning and purging! One big box of in-season clothes and necessities ready for the local outreach, and a big bag of out-of-season stuff for the nearest thrift shop. I forced myself to stop being so sentimental, and I'm donating all of E's outgrown winter coats.

W: the double-whammy of weaning and having all the baby clothes leave the house (save a small tub of special keepsakes) is making me feel wistful. My little sweetheart is growing up to quickly.

kathy a. said...

Happy New Year! We celebrated east coast time.

QWP, excellent purge!

kathy a. said...

Rose Parade! I'm watching a local station online; less annoying than the stations where people talk over the bands.

Miranda said...

We know some of the kids in the MSU band. They went to elementary school with Young Adult Son and I maintain social ties with the parents. They are all having the time of their lives.

The party was great. The recipe needed to be vegan, nut free, gluten free, and nightshade free to account for everyone's diets. There was so much food and most of it was vegan. I didn't know I could fill up so quickly on vegan fare.

I have Chicken Parmesan in the crock pot. We are making Quick Cinnamon Biscuits topped with cream cheese icing for brunch. I am done after this. :)

kathy a. said...

Go, band! I'm a complete sucker for marching bands. How exciting they got to go to the Rose Parade!

Sounds like a wonderful party. And those are some good recipes, thanks.

Miranda said...

The rolls were yum. I have to play with the recipe a bit because the GF flour blend doesn't quite mimic wheat flour but there was enough cinnamon and cream cheese icing to make it delicious. Cream cheese icing is a 100 times better than butter cream, imo. I actually use neufchatel which reduces the fat and it gives it nice tang.

I am having the best afternoon with the younger two. Soon, I will have to go out and venture into the snow to pick up Young Adult Son but until then, I'm enjoying lazy time with them.

Sue said...

We made it to midnight, but barely. Then it was off to bed.

There is so much yummy pixie food here his week!

Quiet day today doing the De-Christmasing. That and watching football made it a classic NY day.

I am planning to go to the office tomorrow, and will stay until it gets too cold. That may be a quick visit.

Miranda said...

How long did you end up staying in the office, Sue? I'm curious here.

W: Migraine.

AW: Nursing it gently and it isn't too bad. Water, dark and quiet are helping. My LED candles give just the right amount of glow in my room.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I hope your migraine leaves you soon, Miranda. The LED candles sound like a really good idea.

W: I don't think my Mom's birthday present will be ready in time, because I ordered it too late. (I didn't think about how few business days there would be between last Friday and this Friday.) She'll still love it, and I've already warned her that her present might be late, but it's still a little crummy. Mom's birthday often gets lost in the shuffle, because it's right after the holidays.

Okay! I need to start getting serious work done tomorrow! No more alternating between holiday silliness and moping in a fog. I need one of those bops on the head for focus.

kathy a. said...

Miranda, hope the migraine is gone today.

QWP -- daughter's birtheday is next week -- it also gets lost.

Please think good thoughts for my dear friend S and her family. She had a stroke, and it isn't sounding too good. This is the friend who planned every detail of the fundraiser a couple weeks ago, although she is very ill. Very glad we had that chance to honor her for her work all these years.

S made a list of people to notify; her husband decided this was bad enough. I can see her doing this, complete with instructions that it be a phone call not an email.

Sue said...

kathy a - Thinking of you and sending good healing thoughts for your friend and everyone in her circle of care.

Miranda, on Tuesday I lasted an hour and a half. I've only been here for a half hour so far, but I haven't taken off my coat yet. Too. Darn. Cold.

For a split second, I thought "Gee, if I only had those gloves with the fingers cut out of them, it would be easier to stay and use the computer." Then I realized how silly that would be. If I have to sit in four layers of clothing and special gloves just to sit at my desk, it's time to go home.

I'll be leaving soon.

W: The pain clinic called and I may need to reschedule my appointment that was set for Monday. The clinic didn't have power for several days and all the meds in their freezer were destroyed, including mine. Ugh.

Wait and see at this point...

kathy a. said...

Oh, Sue! They should have sent the meds to your office; sounds like it's cold enough. Hope things are restored quickly.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Oh dear, Sue! Is your pain clinic on the Big City that was shut down with the ice storm over Christmas? What an awful thing.

I'd send you warm thoughts, but with the windchill is - 37C here right now, and so we'll have to borrow some warm thoughts from esperanza.

Kathy a: healing thoughts for your friend, and hugs for you and your friends.

W: my favourite used bookstore is closing! My old second home. This news is heartbreaking.

AW: Mr. Q's school doesn't go back until Monday. It's really nice having him home during this less-busy, post-holidays time.

Anonymous said...

AW: My district has a snow day tomorrow!!!!!! I need the extra time!!!!!
:)Neighbor Lady
(we had school today, even though it was snowing, but all of us made it home fine.)

kathy a. said...

Best to all who are in the tundra. NL -- yipee for a day off!

I went to run an errand, and the dog was CRYING outside daughter's window. It is close to 70 degrees, but her Daddy's gone today and she likes the Indoor Life. boo. hoo. (I'm not heartless; but she spent most of the day in the dog room already. Sheesh.)

Sue said...

Yay for long school breaks and snow days!

QWP - yes, that was the storm that took out my meds. Small stuff compared to all those people who had a cold dark Christmas.

AW: my appointment is still on. I explained to my doc's nurse how difficult it would be to change all my plans. I think they took pity on me and did some quick pharmaceutical gymnastics. Yay!

Kathy - pets are so good at going for the drama, yes? I hope extra dog cookies were involved.

Miranda said...

Migraine better. However, my guts are in an uproar and I think I need to do a bland diet until every settles in.

People here sure get crabby in the winter. The school superintendent didn't cancel school making us the only district around in school today. She and her minions were excoriated on social media today. One high school did not have heat in an entire wing of class rooms. School was cancelled pre-emptively for tomorrow (even though it will be Canada cold next week which is colder than we have now) and parents were still outraged. One of my comments was picked up by the local news. The HS kids came up with a hashtag. The schools, after hundreds and hundreds of angry, but mainly respectful, comments, decided to shut off comments on their Book of Faces page. She has already announced she is stepping down after this school year but many are asking her to leave sooner. She is rather unpopular. My district didn't used to be like this. I am sad. My teacher friends are sad.

At church, I am on a committee that has not been very active. An issue has come up that is very disruptive and I have often found myself trying to avoid getting caught into an agenda not my own. I have made my thoughts very clear but I was asked if we could meet on Sunday after church during coffee hour.

Do you know what I said? You won't believe it either.

No, I do not wish to attend a meeting on this matter after church as that is my time for reflection and fellowship and discussing this topic would reduce my enjoyment of that time greatly.

I suggested an alternate time. When we meet, I will stand firm on the issue. The issue is practically non-sensical at this point and has garnered a great deal of ill will toward it's standard bearer. After Monday, the issue is tabled, more or less, for another year. With luck, I will not be in charge of it or have any responsibility for this particular thing. I will bring my bible, the church mission statement, and a copy of the actual thing in question in the hopes of getting the standard bearer to see reason.

kathy a. said...

Canadian pixies -- it is as cold as MARS:

Miranda, hope things settle down, all around. Excellent answer to the standard bearer of unreasonableness.

Liz said...


So sorry Miranda. Good for you for standing firm!!

kathy a. said...

AW: yesterday, the first work day of the new year, daughter lined up 3 interviews for next week!

W: Diva cat is going all-out to annoy me at my desk. My keyboard is surrounded by a fortress of 2 bookends, a box, a legal pad, and the telephone; may need to find one more bookend. She has decided to lounge on top of the CPU, so the off button is now protected by a stapler and a fiber-optic christmas tree.

Sue said...

Miranda, I'm so sorry to hear about the school situation. No heat in part of the school should be an automatic closing. I'm not surprised there was an uproar.

I wish more people felt the way you do about dealing with messy church issues before and after worship. It turns the worship into a long commercial break before the drama begins. Good for you for being stating your position clearly and standing firm.

kathy a - Mars? That is So. Wrong. Good luck to daughter on the interviews!

Yay for the snow day Liz!

AW: Speaking of snow - we have some!! You know what this means??? Warmth! It's only -25 out there which, relatively speaking, is a heat wave.

Liz said...

Winter Haikus

Weather report says
Blizzard today in NY
Son says "Why not here?"

My son wished for snow
enough for Mr. Byard
to give us a call

Wish granted, my son
Now empty the dishwasher
and clean up your room

kathy a. said...

My dear friend S died this morning. I'm sad beyond words.

Liz said...

(((Kathy))). I know your friend knew how much she was and always will be loved and valued by you. I know you know how much you were loved and valued by her.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Kathy.
I don't have any words for you. Only hugs and love and support. I'm so sorry.
--Neighbor Lady

Sue said...

(((( kathy ))) I'm so very sorry.

Sue said...

Liz for style.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Oh, Kathy. ((((Hug)))) I'm glad that you all had time to show your appreciation for your friend, but I'm so sorry for you loss.

purple_kangaroo said...

We're still dealing with the drainage commission and the carnage left on our property when they cleaned out the drainage ditch. Not only the huge brush piles, but also the broken trees (at least one they killed completely), piles of barbed wire and fence posts, barbed wire spread over the ground, mud sliding back into the ditch with nothing to prevent erosion, mud a foot deep spread out blocking tractor access to parts of our property, etc. The drainage commissioner is seriously telling us that the fire marshal's statement that we can't burn those brush piles the way they are is just "HIS opinion" and we should just light a match to piles the size of a small house right where they are up against standing trees and under brush. Did I mention this guy burned his own barn down with his "it's easier to ask forgiveness than ask permission and follow the rules" approach?

We've been told that the county has no authority over the drainage commission because they are their own separate entity, but there doesn't seem to be anyone at the state level with authority over them either.

purple_kangaroo said...

Love the Yay biting comment.

So sorry for your loss, Kathy.

Sue said...

Ralph is on the way PK - sheesh.

W: my sister has breast cancer. I really hate the Fireplacing cancer. Hate. It.

She starts treatment next week. Thankfully we have an excellent cancer treatment center here in town so she won't have to travel at all.

Anonymous said...

Hugs to Kathy and Sue.


Anonymous said...

((((Sue)))) thoughts and prayers for your sister
--Neighbor Lady

kathy a. said...

((( Sue ))) Fireplacing cancer. xoxox

Queen of West Procrastination said...

(((Sue))) Fireplace that cancer.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Ralph and the pixies are saddling up to have a cluestick chat with pk's drainage commissioner.

AW: a one-day reprieve from the ridiculous cold, in the single digit minus (Celsius) temperatures. Sue, did you get much warmth, too?

W: warmer temperatures turned into a snowstorm, with ridiculously slippery roads. And now the temperature is dropping again, and we're pretty much counting down the hours until it's approaching forty below again. What the fireplace, weather?

Sue said...

QWP - blogger ate my first comment re: weather, so I'll sum it up.

Same story here.

Yay for the warmth, but wow, lots of snow!!

W: Said storm is moving East toward the city where I am headed tomorrow. Gah!!