Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Whining New Year Edition!!

Greetings Pixies!

Well, winter has arrived in my neck of the woods. We're hovering around the -40C mark (which is the same as -40F). I'm glad it's this week, as it was quite lovely over the holidays.


The holidays aren't over?

hahahahahahaha - you're probably thinking of New Year's Eve.

In my house, New Year's Eve is an excuse to stay indoors and eat the Christmas chocolate. On New Year's Day we take down the tree. That's about it.

I'm mostly looking forward to a few days off.

What are your plans for this week? Whine away pixies!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Holiday prizes and pixie dust!

Congratulations to Neighbor Lady on the birth of a brand new nephew!

Hooray for the anti-robot device on this page that doesn't really require anyone to follow the rules.

Esperanza gets the Mommy Challenge Award, for nonstop illness and bonus biting.  We hope that was a one-time thing....

The Pharmaceutical Victory Awards go to KLee and Esperanza, each of who was able to get the bad mess-ups fixed.

The coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award goes to Esperanza, who suggested dealing with cobwebs by throwing some glitter in them, and calling them snowflakes!  Brilliant!!

Queen of West Procrastination wins the Style Award for "Deck the halls with low-grade fevers, fa la la la la la la la la."

Mini wins the Potty Humor Award for asking if Santa was bringing a Poop Shooter, whatever that means, and we don't want to know.

Liz wins the Overcoming Cooking Adversity Award for producing a roast that resulted in actual kvelling, despite the fact it could not fit in the pot as some cooking deity recommends.

Kudos to: Cleaning Goddesses, and reasonable facsimiles thereof;  doctors who step up;  Santa's many helpers; parents who more than fully fund the Couch Project; and other deserving persons.

Cluesticks to:  sisters who don't get it, and who also put people in the doghouse;  our old friend Insomnia;  the sadness monsters;  pharmacies that mess with people;  the Universe;  cats with a burning desire to eat the holiday dinner rolls;  all those nasty bugs infecting the population;  and idjits.

2014 is almost gone!  But tune in next time for the grand entrance of 2015!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Hey, Elf, stay offa my shelf....

My fellow Pixies, the longest night of the year has come and gone, and from now on the days will keep getting longer!

Hope that whatever holiday(s) you are celebrating bring great joy! 

But for any rocky moments, WW is open 24/7...

AW:  Have a menu, tree is decorated, looking forward to a relaxed dinner with our kids, and son's gf and her parents! 

W:  There are about 400 steps between here and there, and several are cat-related items (e.g., attempt to vacuum all the cat fur).  I decided to pull out the snowman dinnerware that my MIL gave us, but then it needs to be washed, and before that can happen the weekend backlog of dishes needs attention, etc. 

W/AW:  Visited SIL in her new and better facility yesterday.  She seems comfortable there; it is very homey; her agitation is much less on new meds, and they have not made her more unsteady on her feet.   Her language abilities seem to be really deteriorating, though.  It's a progressive disease; her symptoms are fairly typical; but it is still sad to see various abilities slip over time.  My husband is a real mensch with her.

AW:  We've had ever so much rain this month, after years of drought.  And BAM, the hills and fields are this fabulous emerald green that we barely remembered!  My sweetie and I had a good ramble yesterday, since SIL is some distance away and in a more rural area.  And we scored a delicious brunch, 2 bottles of wine for the holiday dinner, dip, salad dressing, candies for stockings, and an apple pie. 

What's happening, friends?

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Holiday Awards Show

Buckets full of sympathetic clucking noises for any who are in need of such. Or anyone, really--a stockpile is always a good idea.

Classic Whine Award to QWP, for the toddler about-face on food related items, along with its ketchup resolution.

KLee gets a Mullet Award, Common Sense Division, for "I do not want anything that encourages my child to act like an ass."

And Sue receives a Mullet Award, Domestic Division for this stroke of dusting genius, "I'm thinking the best I can do is sit the cat on the table and hope she swishes her tail."

A moment of silence for the death of kathy a's good bra. This is no small grief.

Hooray for improved health, new babies, great students, and the departure of the world's ugliest recliner.

We are arming the Cluestick Posse this week with that infernal Elf on the Shelf (because those creepy eyes are pretty scary, if you ask me), and they will be paying visits to kitties who pee outside the box, slow-shipping gifts, sisters who don't understand that a clergyperson might be a bit busy during one of the two most important holiday weeks of the year, anyone not appreciating the phrasing and/or concept of "burrito brainwaves," vertigo, headaches, coughs, molars, dusting, and people who schedule winter breaks at Neighbor Lady's school.

Stay tuned for more whining next (this) week!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pass the Ibuprofen Whining

Mini has the flu, says one doctor. Other doctor says no way, negative flu test--no flu. What difference does it make, I say? She feels miserable, the antiviral made her even more sick, so we're tackling this the old fashioned way.

I know you'll be on the edges of your respective seats to see who gets it next:

Will it be Sweet, in her week of holiday extravaganzas at kindergarten? (We took teacher gifts today, in case she misses the rest of the week)

Will it be Mr. E, who did *not* get the flu shot (the rest of us did), who has another candidate to interview this week, and a meeting every night?

Will it be Mama, in closest contact with the germs and deprived of decent sleep?

If this were a gambling group...

(Full disclosure: Mr E did give me a substantial break yesterday afternoon, in which I did a bit of shopping).

Whine away, pixies. I'm stuck at home and can respond instantaneously to your every whine.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Wednesday Whining: I have a friend who has everything, including terminal cancer, so I made him chocolates edition

Those of you for whom I have addresses will be getting chocolates, too. If you'd like to ensure the receipt of chocolate please send me your address  (liz (at) millerhousehold (dot) com)

I don't know how I'm gonna get through tomorrow's talk at my friend's progressive group. He and his wife are two of the biggest reasons I came so close to winning last year. Their belief in me made me go beyond the messaging campaign that was all I thought I had the resources for.

Other than that, things are swell here. My family is healthy. Christmas and Hanukkah are coming.

What is up with you folks?

Monday, December 1, 2014

My Kingdom for Some Alone Time

Let's review, shall we?

Last Monday: no school for Mini. Fun with Mama helping the church ladies.
Tuesday: whole family on the road
Wednesday: at grandparents' house, with aunt/uncle/cousin
Thursday: all those people plus some more cousins
Friday: Sweet has fever, back home with 4 of us
Saturday: Sweet to the doctor, gets a SHOT, home all day with all 4 of us
Sunday: work in the morning, a blessed one hour drive away. Then, home all day with the 4 of us.
(Insertion to much was I looking forward to a day of peace and quiet in my own house, just me?)
Sunday night: Sweet has fever again. Can't go to school with fever.
Monday: back to the doctor. Ear infection.


'Tis the season.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hippo Holidays Food Edition

Thanksgiving is the week in the U.S., which immediately catapults us into the "You Will Be Festive, Dammit" season of cheer, beginning with the traditional trampling of the competitors at  various insane black friday sales.

Obviously, there is a high potential for both regular and holiday-related whines this week, and we are here for you!  But please also feel free to share your favorite recipes, stories of amazing feasts, and the like!

And any gratitudes you'd like to share, of course!  Antiwhines are always welcome.

We're going to son's girlfriend's parents' Thanksgiving, which features an abundance of family, friends, food, and dogs.  It's hilarious, too, because GF's dad always invites his best friends and their families, so they pull out all these stories from high school and college, break spontaneously into song, etc.

Anyway, we're taking a savory sweet potato gratin (oh, heck -- forgot the cream) and an apple-blueberry pie.  I'll make some cranberry sauce, too -- for us, they don't need more at the feast.

What's cooking with you?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Quick prizes

Welcome to the ceremony, where Saturday is the new Thursday!

Mazel Tov to Neighbor Girl on her bat mitzvah!  And we hope hope hope she is feeling better.

The Workout Queen Award goes to Sue, who is getting ready to kick winter's snowy behind.  Yay!  Sue also wins the coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award, for her description of her beloved's new facial hair arrangement, "Mario and Luigi."  We suspect the new look won't hold up long.

KLee wins the Adventures in Education Award, where it turns out (after a classroom switch) that she was not in fact causing the problem; and where a sub principal works out at least a viable approach to what seems to be a quite disturbed kid.

The Stupid Administrative Directive Award goes to that genius who directed a teacher to choose a "theme song," and then went ahead and chose one for the teacher.   Are there no real problems to solve?   Runner up is the genius who thinks recess should be cancelled for temps below 60F.  I mean...???

Neighbor Lady wins a Lifetime Posse Membership for "At times like this I try to remember that karma is a you know what, and I hope you get to be a fly on the wall when theirs bites them in the tuckus."

Sleepless in North America Awards go to Esperanza and Queen of West Procrastination, whose kidlets have conspired to not give Mama a break at night.  This award comes with extra helpings of Magic Pixie Dust.

Liz wins the Befuddled Award for that tech that doesn't do its thing.

QWP wins the Sad Compromise Award for "heart healthy" oatmeal cookies, which are missing the magic buttery taste.

The Cluestick Posse is hereby dispatched to:  people who tell parents of toddlers that "it will only get worse";  the demons of meeting scheduling;  worthless admins;  developers of (I assume) computer programs that won't do what one is trying to get them to do;  the demons of wakefulness;  designers of crazy school rules;  the weather gods;  and other deserving parties. 

Thanks for playing!

Monday, November 17, 2014

What's on the agenda?

Long day yesterday.  The memorial for my former boss was nice, saw lots of people -- but I'm so tired of seeing people at memorial services.  Birthday dinner for my beloved was nice.

Got three little albatrossi done.  The little ones are so fun.  ;)

It is daughter's day off, and beloved took the day also, so everybody's knocking around here like it's the weekend!  Except me.

The department of health confirmed that they got our complaint, and have begun an investigation of SIL's former facility.  Yay.

What's new with you?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Rapid Fire Awards!

First, we extend our sympathies to kathy on the loss of her friend to the fireplacing cancer. So sorry. The gift basket sounds lovely.

The You Say Tomato, We Say Gorgeous Award goes to Liz for scoring Dress Perfection in several colours. Yay!

The Have it On Hand for the Apocalypse or When You Need Stamps (Whichever Comes First) Award goes to kathy for starting a good, and creative, list of those things you need to have around the house.

Style Awards go kathy and textureamy!!

Great to hear from you Amy!!

The posse sends a big thumbs down to every annoyance and trouble in Pixie Land, including mental health struggles, cold weather, school closing for sports events (unbelievable!), and many others I've missed.

Sorry pixies, gotta run!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wednesday Whining - the Back to Work edition

Greetings Pixie friends!

Wow, that week of study and contentment passed by very quickly. But here we are at another week.

Today I'm heading out in the cold to stand at the cenotaph and remember the men, women, and animals who fought in the wars. It's always humbling.

What's happening in your neck of the woods?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The late late show

Kudos to Liz's MM for being a rock star!

Hooray for QWP's Lil E and her amazing healed foot!

Cheers for Esperanza's friendly Baboos, and for Sweet heading toward the snot-free zone! 

Liz wins the coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award for the rock band name, "Sixth Circuit Spits."

The Intrepid Reporter Award goes to Miranda, who notified us of her view of those judges, with appropriate commentary, inspiring Liz. 

Sue wins the Work At Home Award!  And congratulations on jump-starting the exercise program.

QWP wins the Adventures in Potty Training Award; and we think maybe the potty chair will help, in due course.

Esperanza wins the Chunky Collaboration Award.

We all honor Liz for her unparalleled commitment to democracy!

Our Best to KLee, on her search for a more perfect, less sucky professional situation.

Many thanks to members of the Cluestick Posse for excellent responses to this week's developments.

Monday, November 3, 2014

November -- how did that happen?

The months are just zipping by.  Weird!  Since it is no longer August, I guess it is becoming more acceptable to see all the holiday items everywhere.  But I do not feel mentally prepared to crank up the holiday planning just yet.

When the time "falls back," it gets dark so darned early.  But it is nice to wake up with some light outside.  

U.S. Pixies, don't forget to vote tomorrow (if you haven't already)!  And fingers crossed for our own  Doorbell Queen!

W/AW:  SIL will be moving to her new place this week.  The paperwork is pretty daunting, but mostly done and faxed.  The new place is in a gorgeous area, with redwoods and a river and cute little towns nearby.  Her old place is institutional; this one is homey, and has a big enclosed garden where she can safely walk.  Still some loose ends, but we got really lucky.  Knock wood.

Pet report:  There is more peacefulness in the realm, as the cats seem to be working out their differences.  Minnie is friendly with humans, but has behaved like a street thug with the senior cats.  The big cats are shy, but have been asserting themselves more, demanding respect. They have all begun sharing sunbeams.  Yay.

What's new with you?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

In Lieu of Awards, Here, Have Some Candy

Some of us have leftover candy, some of us collected too much candy, some of us didn't even buy any candy. Here, put it all in this big bowl and we'll share.

Sorry, awards aren't happening. But candy!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Spoooooky Whining

I'm actually not all that into Halloween. I like candy as much as the next person, but I'm just not that interested in Halloween. Which does nothing to explain how we (all four of us) have FIVE (5) Halloween parties/events to attend, not including trick-or-treating. Sigh.

Snot abounds. Coughing abounds. We (Sweet) are headed back to the doctor for the FOURTH time this month. She barfed at school this morning, which is not unusual for her if she has a lot of snot draining down into her tummy (sorry for the grossness there). Nurse's office called me to come get her. I knew she didn't have a tummy bug (it was only 30 minutes after school started and she had been fine). I arrived, and her teacher appears with her. "I don't think she's really sick. Would you be ok with her staying?" I concurred. I heart Sweet's teacher. So far, no other news (1:22 pm).

So, what's happening at your abodes this week, pixies? We will have around 500 trick-or-treaters, if history proves predictable. Mr E is in charge of obtaining candy. So far he has recycled a bunch of leftover from candy from other parties for us to hand out. Perhaps after all these years, my frugal ways are rubbing off on him.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

No, these are the worst awards ever.

My hair's kinda been on fire the past few days, so apologies all around.

Passing the curry with pumpkin, some good jasmine rice, and ice cream plus fudge.

Bah to all the bad things, including but not limited to (in no particular order): nighttime accidents, migraines,  more fireplacing shootings, bad news at bad times, change of season chores, vertigo, erupting teeth, tone-deaf chunky big-wigs, colds, surprise piercings, too much work and no time off, and various other stressy / nasty things.

YAY for all the good things!  Including but not limited to:  shared parental wisdom;  good dentists; people who step up;  heroes;  visits from the big kids;  bat/bar mitzvahs;  meaningful goodbyes and fond memories;  news via Raffi;  JAM!;  also toast;  shared wisdom on inner ear issues;  nice times with good friends;  a great retreat;  speaking up when that is needed;  things done in time, or close enough;  hugs from afar.

Much love to all.  See ya next time!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Here's the KEY!

Lots of loose ends this weekend.  And probably I'm going shopping for a bunch of window coverings Monday, because the window covering guy was busy when I went back.  So I went food shopping instead, and a nice curry was enjoyed by all.

But my poor cousin returned from a long manly trip to the wilderness, and somehow he and his wife got locked out of their house, in the back yard.  With no house keys or car keys, and no key to the big-ass lock on their tall gate.  And the cell phone battery was running out.  And the locksmith kept calling and saying "20 minutes!"  I was just about to go toss a cell phone and a big hammer over the fence, possibly also a bottle of wine, but help finally arrived.  They now think maybe they should leave a spare key at my house, 2 miles away; which sounds like a fine idea.

There is still some domestic strife in the feline sector of the household, because That New Girl keeps [a] eating all the food, and [b] chasing her elders down the hall.  She's having a fine time!  Spot has gotten really loud; this morning the kibble dishes were empty-ish, and you would have thought he was in imminent danger of a hideous death. Spot is a drama queen.

My daughter just had a piece of molar chip off while she was brushing her teeth.  She has never so much as had a cavity before.  Tomorrow is her day off, so I guess she is getting up early and calling the dentist -- who happens to have presided over the loss of daughter's first baby tooth at a birthday party, since the dentist's kid and mine were classmates.  Weird, no?  But in the good way.

What's new with you?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Worst! Awards! Ever!

It's been quite a week pixies. Canadian Thanksgiving Turkey Coma became Leftover Turkey Coma, and yet, the Insomnia. Where's the justice?

But I digress...

Hugs and love to esperanza for losing a friend to the fireplacing cancer so soon after diagnosis. I'm glad the childcare has been arranged so you can all attend the memorial.

Happy Birthday to Neighbor Lady!!!

Happy Birthday to KLee!!!

Birthday cupcakes for everyone!

The cluestick posse is on the run and has Couple 2 in their sites. Thankfully they have declined to attend the event and it will go on quite nicely without them (imagine!). :)

The posse will also be visiting kathy's SIL's social worker who needs some help with the job, but shouldn't be looking for that help from SIL's family! For this continuing annoyance Kathy receives the "Grown Up Person of the Week" award for handling it all with such class.

The "Always On Call" Award has many recipients this week. Between bronchitis, antibiotics, flu shots, mysterious aches and pains... and upcoming tests with varying degrees of  ick and discomfort...well, we've been keeping the medical folk busy.

Hugs and hot water bottles all around.

Sorry for any missed prizes. Not the best awards, but it's almost Doctor Who time, so that's it for now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Release the Kracken - or the Whines - You Decide

Greetings pixies,

Sorry for the delay in starting the Pixie Party this week. I blame Turkey Coma. We had a lovely Thanksgiving celebration with family last evening, after which I succumbed to the powers of tryptophan.

So, here we are! Whine away friends!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Wednesday Whining - Marriage Equality is now a reality in 30 states edition

No whines here. But I think I may need to buy some new dresses if I am doing the math right.

Also, I put this up for us to whine on, but may not be able to do awards. Awards are up for grabs for anyone who wants to do them.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Valuable Prizes!

First, help yourself to the buffet:  soup, bread, salad, fried chicken, lasagne, BBQ, and dessert of choice.  Apparently we were hungry this week. 

The Not Terrible Award goes to Sue, for a successful weekend work thing!  We hope the "surprise" guests for soup and salad will be lovely.

Esperanza wins a Sleep Extravaganza, to make up for all the excitement in her nights lately.

 Queen of West Procrastination wins the Door of My Own Award, for finally getting the bathroom door fixed (an epic journey).  

Lil E wins a Potty Training Prize.  ;)

Congratulations (and birthday wishes) to Sweet, who got all kinds of kudos for school accomplishments!

The Pulling the Performance Out of the Fire Award goes to KLee, who made it happen despite the amazing disappearing cast member!

Liz wins the coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award for observing that KLee must have handled the situation perfectly, since there were no news reports of untoward actions.

The Cluestick Posse is busy with a number of miscreants:  the snubbers;  those who employ the "I'm not sexist, you're hysterical" line of defense;  those who drop out at the last minute but still think they'll get a job next time;  all those nasty viruses and bacteria;  contractors who kinda don't show on the designated day, because who doesn't like 2 days of disruption?;  late-night texters, when the message does not involve a dire medical emergency;  in-your-face scammers;  and other deserving entities.

Get Well Vibes to Liz, as she recovers from pneumonia.  Butt on couch! 

Love to Sue's family, who lost a treasured member, but not the wonderful memories.

Monday, September 29, 2014

October already?

Apologies for not getting to the awards last week.  Again.

What's going on? 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Autumnal equinox

Almost forgot about that, but here we are.  Catch your sunbeams while you can!

The church down the street has an annual Japanese bazaar, with music and food and kiddie games and crafts and plants.  Yesterday was the day; the smell of the BBQ and sound of the taiko drums are glorious! 

The new little cat, Minerva, continues to enjoy the housecat life, becoming a little braver and funnier each day.  Her big quirk is that she is scratching the thin fabric under the couch, so it hangs down in a ragged fashion -- but that is much better as a bad habit than shredding the visible parts of the couch, don't you think?

After 18 years in this house, my beloved and I finally agreed on colors for repainting the exterior!    Which will happen after the window extravaganza; we always figured there was no sense repainting when those windows have got to go, but things kept coming up, as they do.  I have a feeling he will want to do the scraping and painting himself, which is OK because he is running out of yard projects -- and an idle beloved will scour the home improvement supply store until he settles on something like a home jackhammer to work on the cracked driveway. 

How are things in your neighborhood? 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Putting on Our Posse Pants Awards Show

...because anyone over the age of 11 who puts on his or her tattle pants deserves a visit from the Cluestick Posse. So sorry, KLee.

Albatross Award to kathy a, because well, albatrosses, progress on said albatrosses, and progress still to go.

An About Damn Time Award goes to Sue and her congregation for *finally* deciding to make a bathroom that everyone can get to when needed.

Sue also gets an Old Skool for frizzy hair. Tragic.

Kathy a with a late-breaking Old Skool for the broken toilet piece, minor version.

Sue's hubby wins new! glasses! 

Streaking Award to QWP and Lil E. It comes with Bonus! Alone! Time! (I sooooo hear you, and I get alone time 4 times a week during the school year). Mr. Q is a keeper for providing said bonus.

Hugs to anyone caring for kathy a's SiL. And she can have a hug too, if it wouldn't be disturbing. KLee also gets hugs (gentle squeezes, not like that obnoxious blood pressure machine) for her doctor's office saga. Hugs for Liz and Muffin Man on the unbloggable medical issue. Hope it turned out to be nothing serious.

Apologies for anyone I missed.

Monday, September 15, 2014

A Deal in the Works Whining

Here's my deal: I will make lunches for every single one of Sweet AND Mini's classmates, IF their parents will work out a rotation and come over here and get Sweet and Mini ready for school. Worst. Part. Of. The. Day.

I feel like Nellie Olsen's mother, when she does that exasperated shiver (OK, I looked for a video on YouTube, but I can't remember her mother's name, and I've run out of patience--see above whine for reason why).

What are your whines, pixies? Want to make some kind of a trade? I'm in a mood to make you a good deal!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

What's cookin'?

W:  I have run into a wall, trying to come up with dinner plans.  And yet, people still insist on eating, and items must be hunted and gathered.  Ideas?    We are at the point where I have exhausted the array of regulars, and another Pasta Night holds zero interest for me.  Help!

AW:  Got back on that work albatross -- planned next steps, identified obstacles, multiple consultations, wrote some things.  Not exactly worthy of fireworks, but we may be headed out of the Sinkhole of Doom. 

AW:  My husband send me a picture of a rescued momcat who needs a home, and she is a sweetie!  W:  But he might have just been teasing me.  AW: But the rescuer at his work sent him the photo, so apparently they know this is not just a dog-oriented family.  (Seriously, my beloved has Demented Dog Syndrome, causing him to use baby talk with "my sweet little precious baby girl" and display framed canine photos.)

Whining works:  My local online newspaper switched last week to the most hideous, overly busy trainwreck of a multimedia circus.  Apparently, I was not the only one to complain, because this morning, it is back to the old format.  Yay!

What are the whines and antiwhines, big and small, out your way?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Chocolate for everyone!

Yay to everyone starting school, even if it feels like 120 mph!

Yay for friends moving nearby!

Yay for super-doorbelling, now taken to the next level!

Yay for end of construction projects being in sight!

Boo on broken computers, computers that get all balky, upheaval, exhaustion, headaches, and other maladies.

Hugs for those with relatives who seek to make one the monkey in the middle.

See ya next time!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day Special

Here's to those who work so hard, and to those before us who secured worker rights:  minimum wage, limits on hours, workplace safety, social security, protections against exploitation of children.  I'm probably missing some.  And while there is still progress to be made on several fronts -- like maintaining a minimum wage that is somewhere close to a living wage -- untold human misery has been alleviated by these kinds of protections.  It is also useful to remember that much of what we enjoy has been produced by the work of others; none of us goes it all alone, pioneer style.

We're having a fairly lazy weekend, although I did manage to clear the junk corner in my office, piled between a file cabinet and the bookcase.  It was like an archeological dig!  The plastic bubble packaging layer; the extra hanger layer; flat boxes; present wrapping; simple quilts I meant to donate; great-grandmother's linens, the ones left after everyone else chose; binders.  At the bottom was a box, and at the bottom of the box was a bunch of unused basic household stuff.  It's a mystery, but I suspect it came back home during a time my son was between places, since the mug belonged to him.  In any event, donations have been made, recycling has been done.  Also, progress in unloading some of the too-many books around here, with two bags delivered to the book exchange.

Daughter's first few days at the new job were good!  At a going away party for someone who retired, they also gave her a lovely orchid to commemorate her beginning.  That is so sweet.

A chef who now does BBQ has started setting up shop on weekends outside a local family-owned produce / etc. market.  Match made in heaven!  One can't eat BBQ all the time, but this is very very good.   And I love that his HS daughter cheerfully helps him at the stand.

I'm sure I'll have some whines later.  What's happening at your place?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

AWARDS! I cut my hand on broken glass edition

Cluestick posse is headed out to folks who are being unnecessarily obnoxious to Kathy A. We don't need that kind of negativity anywhere near anyone of us.

Kathy gets an award for having had to deal with the TSA person who got all up in her business. I'm so sorry it happened.

QWP gets an award for being on tenterhooks about crib transitioning.

Sue gets an award for having to let go of the perfect sleep period, 2:00 AM to 10:00 AM, because of having to work.

Esperanza wins the whole world for Sweet having had a terrific first week of Kindergarten and Mr. E having had a GOOD meeting when all expectations were pointing the other way.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Whines: I ain't got none yet this week edition

Leased a brand-new 2014 Toyota Corolla (red) through our company. It's so high-falutin' I just don't know what to do with myself. Jumping directly from 1998 to 2014 is like jumping into a whole new universe of blinking lights and gizmos.

At least the blinker and windshield wiper work the same. And the gas tank lever.

What's new with you this week?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Kindergarten Awards Show

Crayons, glue, pink erasers (seriously, have you smelled one of those lately? Instant transport to elementary school), and manila paper for everyone this week!

Hugs and sympathetic thoughts to anyone who is depressed, has been depressed, or lives with someone who is depressed.

A new week at Magic Accessible Cabin to anyone feeling like wilted lettuce. And hoping Sue's hubby feels better soon. (I almost said "crisps up soon" but that sounded creepy).

Hugs to Liz, dealing with car stuff.

Hooray for kathy a's daughter and the new job offer! And we all stand in amazement at your computer skills.

Potty Training Award to QWP and Lil E this week. Ugh, yuck, and sorry that it is so consuming.

Hoping QWP's head feels better. Perhaps an application of lettuce might help? But--hey--at least the new stroller isn't pink!

More hugs to anyone experiencing teacher anxiety, especially Neighbor Lady. (Sweet's teacher confessed she was "nerbus" also).

Kathy a wins the Old Skool Award this week, with the shattering news about the little rod that holds the toilet paper in the toilet paper holder thingie. I know you are devastated.

The posse is armed with a car pickup line this week! And they are headed to kathy a's credit card people. It's simple people. Get it straight, or wait in this line, just because we told you to.

Sorry for the scattered and somewhat unorganized awards this week. They reflect the state of my brain.

Monday, August 18, 2014

It's the "One More Week" Blues

School starts for Sweet in a week. She is "a wittle shy" about kindergarten, so much so that it is keeping her up at night, worrying about it.

Mini is whining because (a) she doesn't get to go to kindergarten this year; and (b) *her* school doesn't start till after Labor Day.

Mama is whining because she is the only person in the household who thinks it might be a good idea to start getting up and ready earlier than, say, 10 AM. Looks like it's going to be cold turkey on Monday morning instead. :(

Daddy is whining because chunky situation is not resolved, people are unhappy, and no one is talking directly to him about it. Things have eased up, but it's still yucky.

What's bothering you this week, Pixies?

Saturday, August 16, 2014


Today's virtual refreshments include strawberries and ketchup by Mini, and appelizers and pasta by the Neighbor KidsAprons and kudos for all the creative future chefs!

Liz wins the Mystery Office Noise Award.  Hope you are able to locate and fix.

Esperanza wins the Teeny Tiny Incident Award for the minor mishap in the parking lot.    

Queen of West Procrastination wins the Fabulous Getaway Award, for a nice vacation at the old place.

May Sue and Miranda have relief from the super duo of Migraine and Insomnia.

Cluesticks to banks that fail to automatic bill pay and/or who freeze accounts unnecessarily;  everyone responsible for bad chunky business; stepford mothers with Big Plans inconveniencing all kinds of other people; and other deserving entities.

Have a great one; see you  next week!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Summertime! Schooltime! It's all so confusing!

I think we are pretty solidly still in Summer, but around here, the public schools start next week; so does my son's night school at the community college.  And other places, the start dates seem to fan out until sometime late in September.

In any event, I live near several schools:  2 middle, an elementary, a high school, 2 preschools.  So the start of school means keeping track of time in a more diligent fashion than usual, to avoid the morning minivan crunch and the afternoon kids wandering into the street because that is so hilarious.  Not to mention the sports teams using the nearby park.  Must Avoid Major Street Full of Student Obstacles.

Momcat did not get adopted this weekend, so she is back for more quality fostering!  She has gotten very playful and brave, and she is flirting with Spot the resident cat.  He is flirting back, in his socially awkward way.

Tonight:  another window estimate person, and the bonus of son coming to work on his truck.  Joy squared.

What's the scoop for you?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Awards, music and mystery edition

This song speaks to me.

Mysteries of the universe: Why do mosquitoes like to bite under the under-wire of my bra and in my belly button, along with the aforementioned crease behind my knee? WHY? They get my husband in easy-to-scratch places, like on the bicep!

Awards today are going to:

  • Esperanza for dealing with scary church people who are exploding horror all over what should have been a relaxing vacation, which isn't too relaxing in any case due to High Energy Cousins bringing out teh over-tired worst in Sweet. 
  • Sue for dealing with dad and stepmom's temporary? break-up that is looking not so temporary. 
  • QWP for not being able to find a light-weight but sturdy umbrella stroller in all of Canada. I'll see about smuggling one in to you! 
  • Kathy A. for dealing with the dreaded REPLY ALL email chain. 
 Hugs to both anonymous commenters this week. I hope everything got better.
And hugs to those who didn't comment this week, but may have needed to.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Wednesday Whining Volunteer Tomatoes and Squash Edition

It's amazing what grows in pots that are filled partly with compost. We planted basil and got tomatoes alongside them. Separated the tomatoes into their own pots, got volunteer squash. Now the squash is in its own pot. I wonder what will grow with it?

Meanwhile, Muffin Man is in the computer-programming and other science education day camp that he has gone to for years, and I expect to hear good things when he comes home.

Also, the weather has been phenomenally good. I mean, like May. Not too hot. Only occasionally too humid. I mean, seriously, this is August?

What's up with you?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Bananarama Awards

This week's ceremonial refreshments include the world's largest non-contiguous virtual banana split, and warm pudding with bananas (courtesy of ND).

Many camping tales this week!  Neighbor Lady wins the Not So Bad After All Award, since daughter now believes camp is the only place to be, following last week's "I hate it here" letters.  The Let's Ditch and Go Touristing Award goes to Liz and family, who did just that after giving bike camp another shot.

Future Campers Prizes go to QWP's Lil E and Esperanza's Baboos, who suffered variously from boredom, crankiness, and other ailments of kids in summer.  Featured ailment of the week:  Mini Baboo's impetigo!  Word we don't want to hear:  "oozing." 

Andy wins the coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award, for "Punk Neighbor Kid Lawn Mowing Service really stepped up their game this week. They chopped down all the giant weeds, obnoxious shrubs, and small trees that had decided to grow along my fence line. I paid an extra $10 for that service, on account of classiness."  Also, yay, the cat came back!

Unpacking and Decluttering Award for Queen of West Procrastination, who has been busy as heck.  But that part's over!  Best with the trip west!

KLee wins the Interstate Parental Breakup Award, for the 'rents feeling so darned upset that mom fled the state.  Seriously.  But then she came back, so hoping peace and happiness are restored.

Many hugs to U.C.,  who had a couple truckloads of bad happen, but extended family is more focused on her love life.  Huh?  Priorities, people!  Cluesticks have been dispatched.

The Posse will also be visiting persons who dis KLee for thinking gay people are, like, human; and to the administration at her school, for not giving the books that teachers are supposed to certify they have read.  Oh, and also increasing the work day without increasing pay. 

Much love to Sue!  Glad the family is on the same page about changes in Dad.  And such a relief your sister came through surgery OK.  xoxo

Monday, July 28, 2014

Go bananas!

I shouldn't giggle about a major accident, but a big rig fell over and dumped many tons of bananas all over the freeway. 

The foster momcat is still with us.  She spent days yowling for her kittens, poor thing.  We noticed that her remembering what it's all abouts are very swollen.  I suspect production is ebbing now.  AW: Much less crying the last day!  There is a report of purring in the night.

AW:  SIL's 14 year old son sent his mom a nice note and some photos of him taken recently.  W: My husband took them up to the locked memory care facility yesterday.  SIL said to "take them away," then she stormed off because her brother would not take her to get her own apartment.

Her kind of early onset dementia (fronto-temporal, aka Pick's) is just so devastating -- she has lost the ability to reason, to care about others, and to regulate her emotional responses; she needs assistance with basically every daily living activity; she obsesses constantly (the apartment is an ongoing item); she has no insight, believes she is fine and everyone else is thwarting her.  This isn't a new problem; but it is emotionally draining nonetheless, and the hits keep coming.   AW:  It is what it is; we're doing our best.  W:  people have fireplacing ideas that long term care in a facility should be easy peasy.  Not really, sometimes. 

AW:  Fortunately, the temps have cooled a bit!  AW:  had a nice dinner last night at a place we hadn't tried.

What's up with you?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Award Buffet

Thanks for sharing your favorites!  Please help yourselves to the selections, which include but are not limited to:  fresh homemade bread!;  gluten-free deliciousness;  cabbage and dumplings;  Indian food w/o cream; onion and garlic free choices;  noodles and sour cream, noodles and sauce; mac & cheese;  veal;  fried chicken; seafood; and a variety of desserts.  Mmmm.

Esperanza wins the Fabulous Babysitter Award; may she have reliable friends when things get busy in the fall.

Queen of West Procrastination wins the Quiet Day at Home Award, well deserved after things have been so busy busy busy.

Neighbor Lady wins the Good Humor Award, for " 'OH, comfort food....' but is slightly less dramatic with a typo. Kind of like slamming the door and getting your skirt caught in it!"

Andy wins the Vacation Bible School Obstacle Course Award, for a game that devolves into drag your partner in a loving way to the finish.  Can't quite place the biblical reference for that one...  ;)

The coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award goes to KLee for "so the snowball of suck rolls merrily onward."

Queen of West Procrastination offers a fine addition to the lexicon, "clusterfireplace." 

Everybody has a Suspicious Mind this week.  ;)

The Posse is delivering cluesticks to:  people who steal mail;  people who forget that it's not gracious if your guest has nothing to eat; people who kinda pack boxes and run out of steam, devoting the days to netflix on the ex's couch; administrators who decide more work for the same pay is a good thing;  reply-all violators; people who audition without checking the performance dates; and other deserving parties.

Probably forgetting a few things.  Hope you have a good weekend!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Comfort food

My mother was not much of a cook.  Her idea of vegetables was canned green beans; dinner ran heavily toward hamburger-based meals; she never baked; her spice rack was salt, pepper, and oregano.  Most of what she cooked was for the early "kids' dinner"; we did not have a lot of money, but she usually had my dad bring take-out for "the grownups" when he came home later.  Her own mother was famous for cooking the Thanksgiving turkey several hours beyond done.  My high school friends feared for me, and offered a crash course in domestic skills, including gourmet cooking boot camp.

My mother-in-law saw food as a way to show love.  When her son and I moved in together, she gave me the Armenian cookbook she had since she was a teenager, by way of welcoming me to the family -- she had long since memorized the recipes.  She made her mother's lamb shish-kebobs and pilaf for holidays, and many other dishes; the love stretched between a generation long gone and the newest additions to the family.  When she visited us or we visited her, she loaded us with bags and bags of food -- Armenian specialties and ingredients, fresh fruit and vegetables from nearby farms, wrapped and frozen steaks and lamb and a special seasoned burger blend for later, baked goods, on and on.  She took the same to her sister's family some hours to the south.  When my mother-in-law died in April, the apartment manager cried and talked about how she would come by with food -- "you've been working too hard; here are some steaks." 

After the not-a-funeral gathering to remember her this weekend, her sister's family and ours met again at MIL's favorite deli and bakery.  I believe we startled the clerk, a store full of relatives buying the entire shop and chattering away with memories.  But it was good.

What food comforts you? And what else is new?

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Awards! Bark Bag Edition!!

This week there was general agreement that anti-barkage medication, even though it will induce sleep, is a good idea.

We have multiple pixies who are very sensitive to motion. Sympathies and No Tilt-A-Hurl rides for Andy and KLee. (Do y'all have that spinning nightmare at your county fairs?) Epic Wet Wipes award for Klee and her unfortunate flying experience.

esperanza gets the special edition Duffle Bag of Polar Bears Vortex. Canadian cool weather is enroute.

Liz wins the Name that Tune award for "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" - good work. Earworm anyone?

For Andy - the Don't Box Me In award. Hope the moving ends soon.

For QWP and Mr Q we have the Fancy Anniversary Lunch award. A wonderful AW for an anniversary celebration!

kathy a gets the Creative Celebrations award. It's hard to plan a gathering when the focus is on what it's *not* supposed to be. You've done a great job.

Hooray for helpful financial aid people, helpful docs from big hospitals, good unbloggable news, upholstery projects, and flowers.

Hugs and love to everyone with parenting worries, partners on different pages, stoopid administrators who dock pay, bad unbloggable news, unsatisfying school supply shopping, and all other posse-worthy whines.

Finally, the pixies agree that Preschool Solutions for Grumpiness are always good.

Clippy made a cameo appearance this week! Sorry if I missed anything - I'm off to lounge on the patio and read a good book....

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summertime! Summertime! Whine Edition

Greetings Pixies!

I hope y'all are having a good start to the week.

My biggest whine for today is that yet another low pressure system has moved in and created a hair disaster of massive proportions. The word of the day is Frizz.

Also, it is now mid-July and our low temp last night was the same as a typical night in October. Really, polar vortex? Really?

Stay cool, friends in hot places, and enjoy these summer days!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Duffel Bags for Everyone! Awards Ceremony!

Duffel bags of pointy sticks and ethics workshops for doctors who don't take care of people who can't stand up for themselves. Really. And hugs to kathy a and family and her sister-in-law, and to Liz's crew and her mother-in-law.

Duffel bags of quiet rooms, comfy pillows, and sleeping children to anyone who has a shortage of same.

Duffel bags of  fire extinguishers for all who possess small kitchen appliances which communicate via smoke signals.

Duffel bags of sno cones (thanks for that suggestion, kathy a) for all experiencing Teh Hot. And for those not experiencing Teh Hot, we will send you some. In a duffel bag.

Duffel bags of stubborn laundry stains for anyone messing with a little kid online, and double for anyone messing with someone standing up for little kids.

Duffel bags of earplugs for anyone with stressed out sweeties.

Duffel bags of dinosaur playgrounds for people dealing with Offspring issues of all kinds. And big hugs for KLee. You're a good mama.

Duffel bags full of hugs (hey, I'm making this up, I can fill them with whatever I want) for anyone with sick relatives/friends, anyone dating anyone with sick relatives/friends, anyone overwhelmed by family and/or work, and anyone with the dreaded INTJ personality type.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Introvert Overload Whining

I have this memory of titling a whining post this very same title in the not so distant past...

Two Baboos' constant presence + road trip to grandparents' house + returning home to an empty house while Mr E is away on a work trip + Babysitter is away this week = Introvert Overload.

 Are there any extravert whining pixies? It seems like we introverts are in the majority around here.

What's happening in your inner and outer worlds?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Awards of chocolaty goodness!

Filling in for our fabulous host, Liz, who is in transit and with a balky Bl00ger connection.  Apologies for the briefness of the awards, but passing tons of chocolate.

Kudos to everyone who did good this week!  Yay for all the good things!  Which include but certainly are not limited to the 2 emergency fill-in weddings by our Sue.

Neighbor Lady wins the Old Skool Award for mixing up the recycling bins.

Andy (aka Beauregard) wins the Style Award for his epic battle with the invading flea forces.

Esperanza wins Mother of the Year for that little poopcident.

Condolences to everybody struggling.  Fingers crossed for Liz's MIL.  Glad QWP's concussion is better, and we'd better hear a full report next week.  Hugs to Miranda, who has waayyy too much going on, and to KLee on her cat's illness.  xoxo

Cluesticks to jerks everywhere, and yeah, Mr. "Take Your Daughter for Tats," we are looking at you in particular.  Also, 5 members of a high court.  Health hecklers on the book of faces.  Allergens.  Stupid hospitals.  Skunks of whatever technical species.

In conclusion, want ice cream, too?

See ya next time!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Angry, Frustrated, Snarly, Just Plain Pissed Off Whining

I am not going to say what's on my mind right now, because I know some of my fellow whiners are not in agreement with me on what's making me so spitting mad. But I'm putting the post up so that y'all can vent and maybe I can rid myself of some of the rage I'm feeling by giving empathy out.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Lazy Summer Awards

First, passing the guac and chips, watermelon, teriyaki kebabs, sweet corn, and -- because it's traditional, no matter what time of year -- chocolate.

Esperanza wins the Swimsuit Competition, for 3 days in a row of Baboos in bathing suits!  And no sunburn until the 3rd day!  Hope everybody's healed up, and sure, we'd love to take a dip with you!

The Good Camp Mama Award goes to Liz, whose MM is -- yay! -- enjoying a camp that is up to an hour away, depending on whims of traffic fate.  But we are sad, too, about the kid MM likes moving the heck across the country.  xoxo

Sue wins the Stepping Up Prize, for first doing the heavy lifting on a joint (but successful!) service, and then saving two weddings (which turned out to be inadequately planned) when emergency struck a colleague.  Obviously, a halo comes with this one.  ;)

The Unseasonably Muddy and Cold Award goes to Queen of West Procrastination, whose local weather deity is totally ignoring instructions to turn on the summer weather, already.  Runner up is Sue, whose leaky roof is not leaking, seeing how roof replacement is set to begin shortly, and the Universe has a perverse sense of humor.

KLee wins the coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award, and a free trip to Chicago, for her adventure with the Cloud of Doom.  We're so glad your aunt is better.  Hope Offspring's feeling better, too.

By popular consent, Andy wins the Style Award for his song about the fleas.  Well done!

Sue wins the Old Skool Award for her coffee stop being closed for remodeling, a disaster forcing her to drive 5 more blocks -- and if that isn't enough, just hearing about this coffee stop makes QWP crave crullers from an entirely different location.

See you next time!  Same bat-time; same bat-channel.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Rah rah rah rah, cis boom ba

Still floating on the happiness of seeing classmates and the old alma mater this weekend!  It was a small school and most people lived on campus, so there was and is a sense of community that I really treasure.  It is lovely to periodically see a random assortment of these people I met several decades ago, to swap stories of the old days and compare notes about what's happened since then.  My class won't be in the 50 year alumni club for a good long while, but we are now the people we used to call "old."  We find this hilarious. 

There was a situation elsewhere in my travels that involved finding a GIANT COCKROACH outside a restaurant, reporting it quietly as a public service, and then watching two grown men squealing and chasing and smashing the roach, which both thought was the biggest they had ever seen eew eew eeeeeewwww, and one also confessed that all bugs freak him the heck out. 

Back at the homestead, there was a crisis yesterday.  Mama Cat escaped daughter's room -- maybe she needed a little time off, maybe she wanted to explore, who could blame her?  Mama Cat scared the living bejeepers out of resident cat Spot, who retreated to a secret bunker.  Mama returned to her babies within a reasonable time, as this mama predicted.  Yes, I got an emergency phone call about the breaking crisis, at the airport.  This, too, hit my funny bone because [a] not a crisis, and [b] cats do what cats do, and [c] nothing I can do from the airport, gotta go, sorry!

OK, back to work.  How's it going for you?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Sum-sum-sum, Summertime!

It is gorgeous outside.  I may be chained to the desk, but at least my window looks out to greenery and the occasional wildlife visitor.

Yesterday, we went up to the regional park and took a stroll to a lake, spotted some turtles and ducks (but no chicks), and said hello to the friendly farm animals (in a section meant for kid visitors).   My sweetie adores visiting the farm animals.  My daughter talks in her kitten-fostering voice to baby sheep. 

W/AW:  I've been having palpitations about this work albatross thing, but it turns out I'm farther along than I was thinking.  Huh.

Household W:  The ice-maker became possessed by demons last night, and just kept pumping out more ice.  It's kind of like an avalanche in there.

AW:  College reunion next weekend!  I don't go to other reunions [HS, grad school], but it makes me happy to go back to this one every five years.  

Do tell us about the whines and anti-whines in your neighborhood.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Slightly Past-Due Awards

Don't really know what to do with a week like this, but passing the pizza and quantities of chocolate.

The Cluestick Posse shakes its collective fists at the Universe, and intends visits to less celestial offenders.

Congratulations to KLee's Offspring, on the occasion of graduating with much distinction!  And perhaps a side of valium to get Mama through the transition summer.

Andy wins the coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award for:  "The Swanson Pyramid of Greatness informs us that "'One rage every three months is permitted. Try not to hurt anyone who doesn't deserve it.'"

Good Luck to Miranda, with her new chunky business and an all-expense paid trip to the Mothership.

Seconds for Neighbor Lady.

The Burn-Free Vacation Success Award goes to Esperanza!

Queen of West Procrastination wins the Adventures With Canines Award, for a slight accident involving a previously unsullied baby item.

The Keepin' It Real in Politics Award goes to Candidate Liz, who gets our vote.

Sue wins the Burnout Be Gone Award, for making the most of a week off!  Also, some sunglasses that will completely block inappropriate undergarments on the line.

Kudos to the Homeless Turtle Rescue crew!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Fresh Hot Whines

Many thanks to Esperanza for hosting last week, despite all kinds of busy and crazy, and the fact that it was Funk Week.  Lovely job!  Hope all is calmer this week.  Thanks, too, to the Pixies for excellent contributions.

Let's start with an antiwhine:  Tiny cat got adopted!  All 7 of the babies that daughter has fostered so far found their forever homes right away.  AW:  CCW was moved to start fostering, too!  The cuteness is overwhelming.

W:  It is 8:30 a.m. and I already have a dozen work-related emails so far.  W:  Must make progress on current albatross.

AW:  Made excellent mashed potatoes last night.  And too many of them, so there will still be some tonight!

Big W:  The fireplacing cancer, again already.  My friend who had a recurrence, but the mets were too small for a clinical trial?  One grew, but they still won't take her.  She is thinking of trying the doc who originally treated her, who has since moved to a distant state on the wrong end of the universe.  The hell of it is that she still feels pretty good, just a little tired.  We'll see, I guess, what happens next.

 AW:  I'm just pathetically excited about U reunion weekend after next. 

What's the news from your sector?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Get Better Already Whining

Long, long ago, Mr. E and I decided, that though we were in the same career field, it would not be a good idea for us to work together. We would rather stay married than do that. We need our individual space, we thought.

After a solid week of him being at home recuperating from surgery, I can assure you that our long-ago selves were very wise. Holy. Cow. Do I ever need some space!

Not helping: first week out of school, so the Baboos are underfoot constantly.

Also helping and not helping: my parents being here to help. Extra people in the house, breathing my air, making noises I have to pay attention to. (They left Friday, but their energy remains, I guess, since I'm still whining about it).

It's the whine of the introvert, pixies.

He gets his stitches out tomorrow. Here's hoping he will be willing to be seen in public after that.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Valuable Prizes!

Passing the pizza and some chocolate mint ice cream, because why not?

Andy earned the respect of Pixies and adoration of his clients, and therefore wins the Minor League Major Outing Award, for arranging a great trip AND for the skies to dry up so it could happen!   Andy also wins the coveted Elevated Risk of Mullet Award for the lawn mowing story.

Esperanza wins the Florence Nightingale Award, with a Mother Theresa sash, for tending to the medical needs of one Baboo, then a second Baboo, and (the worst) a post-surgical husband.  We wish Mr. E all the best and a swift return to work.  Still giggling in anticipation of the Moment of Truth, when the ladiez discover it was not that kind of surgery.

The Celebrate Everything Award goes to Sue, whose family had a lovely evening doing just that!  Let's dance! 

Queen of West Procrastination wins the Good Housekeeping Trophy, going so far as to polish the toilet at the old place.  Take that, evil landlord!  Hoping Lil E is settling in, and the teething moves along promptly.  Hooray for the grandparentals, also!

Liz once again wins Accolades for good advice and great friendship.

The Employee of the Week Award goes to Perky Bank Guy, who actually got the problem fixed.  The perkiness sounds a little annoying, but can't argue with the results.  :)

Hugs to those struggling with the fireplacing cancer, increasingly frail elders, and the parade of germs.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day: Let Summer Begin!

It is gorgeous here.  As usual, we are not doing anything special for the holiday.  My sweetie will barbeque a bunch of stuff later.  He has just cleared the nasty blackberry vines from our small but wild front yard, which makes me happy because they've been biting me lately when I go to the car. 

In nature news, this morning a giant eucalyptus branch fell off a tree directly behind my office -- not in our yard, fortunately, but in the nature area, maybe 60-80 feet away.  I heard this loud cracking noise, and smash, saw it tumble to the ground.   There is a grove of eucalyptus back there, probably 80-100 years old, planted as windbreaks for a long-ago quarry operation.  That wood is very heavy.  Anyway, it was exciting to see nature in action.

Crabfest W:  Feeling cranky and irritable.  Don't like it.  AW:  Started watching Glee.  :)

Indoor wildlife report:  this group of foster kittens will be here until Thursday -- 3 weeks altogether -- and they remain just cute as heck!  Three will be ready for adoption, having achieved 2 lbs. and a high degree of sociability.  The tiny one, he is growing well and has gained tons of mad kitten skillz!!!   Know I'm writing a lot about kittens, but they are pretty much the best news lately.

Tell us all about it!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Treats and a night out for everyone

Your host is totally derelict, so cheesecake and a night off all around.

Happy Birthday to Esperanza!  Also, Mullet for the surgery misunderstanding.

Good Moving Karma to QWP!

Kudos to Neighbor Lady, and her excellent 6th grader!

Go, Candidate Liz!

Yay for Sue's new dishwasher, delivered early!

Cheers to Miranda, with her secret new adventure!

Winter is hereby banished, even in the tundra!

All the jerks get scorpions. 

Aloha until next week.

Monday, May 19, 2014

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's an albatross!

Yes, after two weeks of anguish and angst, we have liftoff of a work albatross!  Bye bye, little albatross!

AW:  The buddy system.  Everybody needs an editor.  I got suggestions Sunday night, and in the middle of the night from someone on vacation overseas.  Loyal colleagues, or what?

W:  Daughter is going to be late for work.  Again.  I know she doesn't like the current job, but getting fired seems like a bad career move.  Also, I should just stuff a sock in it, and stop playing the part of the Human Alarm Clock.   

Wildlife report:  Kittens are all doing great!  Tiny is less tiny each day, full of vim and vigor.  The whole bunch are really funny and loving.  Two of the kittens from the last batch have gotten adopted! 

AW:  My beloved has been working out his angst with yard projects.  He just finished about 50 feet of fence on a steep slope -- posts set in cement, cross-supports, shoring up the underbelly to discourage critters and drift of dirt, and fence boards cut to size and angle.   Many trips to the home improvement depot; lots of fun with power tools. 

What's up with you guys?

Saturday, May 17, 2014

V. Brief Awards

Esperanza wins the My Little Scorpion Award, for her horrifying tale of a live one next to a Baboo.  ~ shudder ~  This week's Posse features scorpions, which we figure will get all the miscreants in line.

Liz wins the What Was Lost is Found Award, for actually finding the safe deposit box key; with a bonus bouquet for persuading the evil stoopid bankers to waive their intended fees.  Brava!  Congrats also on a good meeting with the Forces of Alienation.

QWP wins the Moving a Mountain Award, and well wishes on all the packing!  This prize comes with complementary boxes.

ETA, because I wasn't kidding about fuzzy brain:  Sue wins the Monumental Misfiling Award, for the auto shop that could not find her regular (non-Arctic) tires while she waited for about 400 years.  Those people definitely get scorpions.

Kittens and chocolate for everyone!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Free Range Early Edition

It's Mother's Day, and while I love moms and am grateful to be a mother to some excellent humans, there's something to be said for limiting the h@llm@rk forced-march kinds of "celebrations."  Discuss, if you are moved.

On the other hand, grandparenting the foster kittens is the best thing that's happened lately!  OMG, the cute is enough to knock a person over with joy.  This batch is not so good with the box as last week's, and also it isn't my bed with which they have had some numerous getting-settled errors, but the cute factor makes it all so forgivable that daughter has suddenly become a cheerful laundry queen. Also, far fewer accidents the second night. 

The Runt of this litter arrived badly underweight, undergrown, and with the words "failure to thrive."  Barky.  Not much interest in food the first night.  It's not that the other kittens dislike him, but he's way small for the pouncing and wrestling they like to do.  Anyway, we're supplementing with kitten weaning formula, doing small frequent meals away from the herd, and so far so good!  He's all perky and eating like crazy.  Like right now, he is on my desk snarfing, wildly purring.

We're going a little rogue with the kitten formula.  The shelter sent him over with some turkey stock that the last foster home cooked, but that obviously was not doing the trick since he didn't want to eat it.  This baby is just developmentally not where his sibs are.  But I think the formula is helping.

What is or isn't helping in your life?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Abbreviated Awards Show

Sweet has pulled every toy off her shelf and dumped it on the floor. I'm in the process of sweet-talking convincing bribing threatening her to clean it up.

Hugs to everyone dealing with unbloggable things, including human stupidity.

Hugs to our nonnie mouses this week, as well as other pixies, dealing with kid stuff and parental angst. See above: I get you.

Hugs to people who keep getting sick and who get rid of headaches only to get a cold.

And because this cracked me right up, despite her misfortune, QWP gets an Elevated Risk of Mullet Award for "... the burnt area immediately below the Remembering What They're All Abouts."

Kittens and supper fairies and dish fairies and working fax machines for everyone! 

Monday, May 5, 2014

It's the Kindergarten Registration Blues

...but not really. Sweet is excited, I'm excited, we're ready. The other mommies were crying at registration today. I guess that's their whine.

My whine is going to be that the kid who didn't speak for two years (remember that?) is going to get in trouble for talking in class. I'm pretty sure of it.

Not to mention the continuing behavior issues.

Pixies, where are your whines this week? Are they old enough to go to kindergarten? Or brand new?

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Awards: Kittens For All

In honor of Kathy A becoming a kitten foster grandma, we present kittens prizes for all.

Tabby kittens for Queen of West Procrastination as she helps E rest her tummy from multiple bark incidents.

Black kittens for Sue as she struggles with migraines and meetings.

Orange kittens for Kathy A as she plans her fun reunion and continues her good fight.

Calico kittens to all of those dealing with difficult family members, difficult colleagues,  and non-seasonal weather. 

The Posse is saddled up to Cluestick medical offices that still depend on fax machines for communication.  What year is it?  1995?  No.

See you next week as Esperanza hosts our lovely ceremony.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Greetings from the Home Office

I am here in the Big City preparing for the Meeting That Will Unite Us All.  They even called in a facilitator for it which seems a bit like overkill unless the meeting's true purpose is a bit more nefarious than it's seemingly banal third hand agenda would suggest.  I kid you not, the agenda boiled down to talking about Stuff and not stuff that should mean several us needed to travel to the Home Office in person from our far corners of the Great Lakes region. In the old days of not so distant past, I would try to be a standard bearer and Fight The Good Fight and now?

Since my whining must be constrained, please share yours.  All of yours.  Let us all support you and help you find the energy to continue fighting the good fight.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Door Prizes!

Kudos to great doctors, paper plates, sippy cups, teachers who get it, supportive advisers, upcoming vacation time, houses that sell right away, good non-germy handshakes, the dish fairy, the local great furniture guy, and other happy things.

Cluesticks to the Vector Family, the fireplacing cancer, the freakin' snow, persons who mean well but misunderstand the power of Bark, well-intentioned naptime enforcers who fail to understand the later consequences, the designers of job applications, those engaging in chunky politics, and anybody or anything causing "tired toenails" in another human being.

Hugs to those with heartache.  xoxo

Elevated Risk of Mullet to QWP, for Phantom Bark Smell.  Hope it's gone now!

And help yourself to chocolate, tea, jam and scones, coffee, and other refreshments.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Magical Mystery Whines

Have not yet had breakfast, and already I've channeled Liz's advice!  My SIL was out of it and not eating yesterday; and Saturday they reported swallowing trouble, maybe related -- and we need to ask them to check for UTI.  Yay for a possible solution!

AW:  Nice Easter dinner with the (adult) kids!   W:  Traditional post-festivity dish whine.

AW:  Daughter is now officially trained and ready to assume the fostering of kittens!  And it's kitten season!

One of my friends collects handshakes -- her theory is that when one person shakes hands with another, they are passing along all previous handshakes.  Rubin "Hurricane" Carter died yesterday; he was falsely imprisoned for murder, and back in the day, Bob Dylan wrote a famous song about him.  Anyway, I met Rubin once, so I remembered to tell my friend that he was part of her handshake collection.  You know how sometimes a gift really is perfect, even if it doesn't even cost anything?  I really like the idea of her handshake collection, also.

What's cooking with you?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Coma Awards

Guess what, pixies? This whining mama is worn out

Hugs to all with family members with illnesses of any kind.

Hugs to all with terrible weather.

Hugs to anyone with any other whines.

More whining next week, with a more inspired awards show, I hope!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Just Another Week of Whining

Religious/professional whining: I'm not preaching on Easter for the first time in three years. I won't be able to attend any services this week, because Baboos. Feeling a bit whiny about that.

Baboo whining: thinking of changing developmental doctors for Sweet, because the current one is smart but has the bedside manner of a prickly pear cactus who forgot to drink coffee this morning. We have one that she used to see, but insurance changes blah blah. Called his office this's been so long that she will be considered a new patient, which involves lots of extra red tape and phone calls. I tried the "but she's been seeing a developmental doctor all along" reason, but that didn't fly.

Further Baboo whining: some behavioral issues related to hunger that I'm trying to get a handle on. Exhausting.

And, I'm sure many of you will be joining in on this one: What the fireplace, weather? Cold front coming through right now that will drop the temp to near freezing in the morning. It's April. In Texas. C'mon, spring, get with the program.

Pixies? Let us have 'em, the good, the bad, the ugly, the Old Skool, and the existential. We'll hear them all.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Tigger Awards

The wonderful thing about Tiggers, is Tiggers are wonderful things.  And bouncy!  Here's to everyone bouncing back when those challenges come along.

The Teachers Rule, Meanies Drool Award goes to our Neighbor Lady, who got whomped with a nasty parent email plus meeting -- but survived the meeting and got fan mail as well!  We're also glad NB is doing well with his team and etc.

For Queen of West Procrastination, an End in Sight Award for slogging forward with the manuscript despite unreliable babysitting, the shift in naptimes, and general exhaustion.  This prize includes all the caffeine you can swill, lots of chocolate, and a bit of time to smell the roses or whatever.  Also, yay about the possible future paid work!

Esperanza wins the Old Skool Award, for a microwave that suddenly lost any ability to heat things, while still looking like it was working perfectly.  Congratulations also on the successful weekend, the nap well taken, and demonstrating the term "small but mighty" to the furniture guy.

Liz wins the Dreaded Tasks for a Good Cause Award, for multiple insurance applications, updating domains, and mapping a great summer for the boy!  Hurray!  And all that is done now.

The Rock Star Award goes to Sue, who scored tickets to see a favorite band!  Love and thoughts for your hubby -- hope he is on the road to recovery. 

The Word of the Week is "puny," which we have decided works perfectly well when someone's feeling under the weather, despite other local usage.  Thanks, Esperanza!

Cluesticks to mean people.

Many thanks for everyone's kindnesses. 

Monday, April 7, 2014


What with it being April all of a sudden, and our recent rain, everything has burst forth in blossoms and new greenery and sprouts and tendrils.  The hills are now looking the kind of green we normally see about January.  Poof!  If the show has not yet arrived in your neighborhood (thinking of you, Middle Earth Canada), it should be headed your way, at least.

W:  The household Wonderdog has gotten so spoiled.  She cries when The Man leaves.  She begs when The Man is home, but not yet taking her for a walk.  She slept with daughter one night last week, but the Wonderdog is a bed hog, and one of them didn't sleep well. Her personal superpower is crying so loudly that she can be heard for half a block, so I expect animal control to turn up one of these days and ask what horrible inhumane thing we are doing to her.  "Her man went to work," I will say, "and the cats and I won't let her spend the day lounging on the bed like a housecat."

AW:  My beloved finally realized that we can't get a puppy, because this dog will train the puppy.

W:  The employer of my beloved suddenly needs to see our marriage certificate in order to continue keeping me on the insurance plan.  We haven't needed to produce that document in at least 25 years.  It's around here someplace, but dog alone (not that dog) knows where.  I have to do a notarized form to get a copy!  But that's easier than searching the closets and so on. 

AW:  Homemade thai green curry.  Yum.

What's happening up your way?

Saturday, April 5, 2014


Did I mention low expectations? Sorry, but this will be brief. Our youngest is celebrating his 30th birthday today (how on earth did THAT happen so fast?) so there is a family dinner. In other words, I must clean this house. But not until I’ve finished the work I didn’t get done yesterday, go to the pharmacy and grocery store, and – most importantly – drink another cup of coffee.

So here goes:

First, on behalf of all the pixies, our deepest condolences to kathy a and her family on the loss of your beloved MIL. You are in our thoughts.

Hugs and love to NL for the worsening situation. Yay for having some help, though.

QWP takes the “Well, I Didn’t See That Coming” award for horrifying revelations about her ob/gyn. Back to the GP it is….

Sweet Baboo gets the “We Will Rock You” award for a stellar performance at the marathon medical appointment that involved a looooong drive. Here’s hoping there were naps to catch up on some sleep.

For Miranda, we have the “Underappreciated Elegance” award for coming up with a solution for the unbloggable. Sadly, some people can’t appreciate elegant solutions when they are right in front of them. Congrats on The Big Thing though!!!

Andy gets the Mr. Congeniality Award, for making the best of an injury and Light Duty by visiting his co-workers. Nice!

Also to Andy – the “Narcolepsy Can Be Fun” award for recommending Google Naps! J

To Liz, the “Here’s Your Hat, What’s Your Hurry?” award for the unwelcome return of Aunt Flo. I hope she takes the hint and leaves.

Finally, to QWP, the “Drum Roll Please” award – the Chapter is done! Yay!

For everyone who is sick again, sleepy, helping out with retreats, cleaning up puke, taking sleep-inducing cold meds, cleaning up the thin coat of yogurt on every surface, or anything else I missed – hang in there pixies. See you next week.