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Monday, November 16, 2015

From the trenches...

Send your reports!  The whines and anti-whines, the big, the small, the silly, the icky.

Today is my beloved's birthday!  Once again, he will be older than me for the next 7 months.  We're going to dinner for 2 at a nice place; will do a larger dinner another time, when more of the family can come.  Our son remembered to call, but he forgot the date and called yesterday, which is probably just as well since he has night school after work today.  Daughter is off today, and baking cookies.  There is a giant basket of gourmet treats, which he can feast on at leisure. 

AW:  I mis-remembered the date something is due, and it's next week!  Still stuff to get done before then, but it feels like a gift.

Family:  My aunt is a genealogy freak -- I mean, she recently discovered that a woman from the House of David married some ancestor in the 700's, so we have all heard that we are actually part Jewish.  My aunt's youngest son lives near me, and we carpooled yesterday to the distant party for his older brother.  He thought the cousin whose funeral is this week (he recalls this cousin not at all) was some kind of uncle; did not know that his mom's mom and cousin Jim's mom were sisters.  Conclusion:  the family telegraph operates weirdly.

And how's by you?

68 comments:

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Hugs to Kathy a and Miranda. Huzzahs the Esperanza didn't have to handle Mini at bedtime.

Whiny whine: I'm sick AGAIN. And Aunt Flo. And painkillers that are supposed to last for twelve hours only lasted for six, but I can't take more for another six anyway.

With this billionth cold, I've realised something: the real trouble is that Mr. Q catches everything that goes around his school, and passes it on to the rest of us. E sometimes catches it too, and they both get a low-level cold that mostly involves both of them waking me up a lot at night. And then I get run down and get a bad version of what they had. Over and over.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

And happy birthday to Kathy's Beloved!

Also, a potential AW: the end is in sight for Life In The Basement. The goal is to talk to a mortgage broker and aggressively look at houses as soon as we get our tax refund, and there is also a House That I Love, which is sitting on the market (slightly overpriced, hasn't sold in a month), and if they panic and drop the price to our acceptable range, we'll declare 5% down to be good enough and look into being that one.

So, that's the big source of potential excitement around here. I'm purposely also trying to get excited about other good houses, because I find that I'm close to doodling my name with that house's address all over my Trapper Keeper.

esperanza said...

ha! The Trapper Keeper is as good as a wedding ring.

Sorry you're feeling under the weather, and I agree with your analysis of the possible germ path. We have collectively been slightly more healthy this school year than we were at this point last year. I think putting Sweet on the asthma meds pre-emptively may be paying off.

kathy a. said...

((( QWP ))) That stupid Aunt Flo, storming in when things are already bad. Since you are getting sick so often, can you see your doctor and see if that can be looked into?

Second, and more immediately -- I don't know what the OTC meds are called where you are, but if you are in pain, it's OK to alternate tylenol and advil -- they work different ways, you won't get poisoned. Docs have told me and my sweetie that if the pain is bad, you can go a little higher on the advil (higher doses are Rx, but safe). Do NOT go higher than the recommended dose of tylenol, as that can cause liver damage.

xoxo

kathy a. said...

Fingers crossed about end of basement. Trapper keeper!

Esperanza, those asthma meds work wonders, no?

kathy a. said...

My cat was going nuts, poking her paw under the stove. She had shoved the mat under the food and water dishes under the stove. When I pulled the mat out, there was a very small slightly dead mouse.

So, the cat is not insane, after all. But then again, MOUSE. The mouse got a proper rodent eulogy, but I didn't know it long enough to dig a hole in the yard.

Daughter has persuaded me that it's better if the birthday dad does not hear of this until after the romantic dinner, because otherwise he'll be pulling the stove out and hunting for the entryway.

esperanza said...

Daughter is wise.

I'm appalled by the conduct of my governor (well, this is probably true most days), and by the number of people supporting him in the name of security.

kathy a. said...

We're gonna need the giant economy bulk packs of Clue-by-Fours for the haters, this week. Memo: The people fleeing a civil war because if they don't they will die, those are not the people to hate on. Supplemental memo: One doesn't get bonus points for invoking "they all look alike to me."

Sue said...

Happy birthday kathy's beloved!!! Hope your dinner out is lovely. Sorry about the deceased mousie.

Sorry about the Hamster Wheel of Viral Doom, QWP. Bleh. I agree with kathy's assessment re: OTC pain meds.

The hateful sh*t on every news channel is really depressing. I'm planning to spend the evening as I spent much of the day - with my nose in a good book.

AW: Sister visit ended up being good. I skipped two dinners and attended one. We spent all day Saturday together and I went to sister's house for tea after supper last night. So I got my visits in and managed to get necessary work done as well. Also, did not abandon hubby for the entire weekend. And all three sisters came to church on Sunday, which was lovely.

W: Because they can't leave well enough alone...now there is pressure for a sister vacation this year (think, $$$$) AND a family reunion which I would be part of planning. No. And No.

kathy a. said...

Oooh, they all came to church? That is good! And yes on the day together, not abandoning hubby, time to do your own stuff.

Well, about the planning committee and sistah extravaganza -- they sure have a lot of free time, no?

Queen of West Procrastination said...

My province's premier decided to add his voice to the governors saying awful stuff. And it's also a (horrible) political ploy: when the previous prime minister was in power, our province's premier would always trying to distance himself from the PM, by making himself welcoming to immigrants widen the PM wasn't. But now that the party in federal power is to the left of him, he has to make his name with xenophobic nonsense.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Sue: it is so nice that your sisters came to church with you! But wow: they really don't have much understanding of how your life works, do they?

Sue said...

Bless their hearts, no they really haven't a clue.

W: Okay, so I don't have a great singing voice. I have a small range in the alto territory. There are sounds coming from the downstairs office that make me think an animal is suffering. Thankfully, this is not the case. It's only my toothless secretary singing along to Christmas tunes.

Kill. Me. Now.

*head desk*

kathy a. said...

Yikes, Sue....

Tomorrow is the funeral, part 2 of the family togetherness. I have to leave at 5 a.m. to go to the airport.

Sue said...

We'll be thinking of you kathy! Hopefully it will go as well as the birthday party went...or even better.

kathy a. said...

There will be more buffer people, and I'll stay over with a relative who is actually speaking to me.

But one of the difficult relatives is driving my aunt down, a good 6-7 hour drive. This is the fake hug relative who had nothing to say to me on Sunday; but I'm sure she has plenty to say out of earshot, because that's kind of her specialty. I would really prefer for my aunt not to be poisoned by this, but there is nothing I can do about it.

kathy a. said...

I know that sounds paranoid. But my aunt twice gave me stern lectures about how I had to kick my daughter out of the house to "motivate" her to get a job -- at a time when every entry level opening was garnering 100 applications. Both times, my aunt mentioned visits from the difficult relative This "tough love" approach was strongly advocated by the difficult relative, who also issued me instructions on what I should do to "make" my daughter find a job. SHE WAS LOOKING FOR A FREAKING JOB. I knew how hard she was looking.

Kicking someone else to make oneself feel better is sad, sad, sad. Am trying to disengage, rise above, not let it get to me, not participate. Having some trouble with the not letting it get to me; but there honestly is no way I can fix the situation.

Sue said...

That's so difficult kathy. You're doing the right thing - to participate in the toxicity only adds to it. (((hugs))) We've got your back...feel free to check in and whine as needed.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I'm sorry that you must be around such toxic prior r while grieving a loved one, Kathy. Maybe be a bit cautious around Aunt: it sounds like she might sometimes listen to the Toxic Family Member (and a couple of times acted as their "Flying Monkey," delivering their toxic messages to you).

Sue, the image that I have, of the toothless church secretary, tunelessly singing Christmas carols, while the minister is trying to get work done, is straight out of a British comedy.

My cold has taken up residence on my sinuses. I kept thinking E has awoken early from her nap, and it keeps actually being my nose whistling.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

People are, not prior r. I'm on my phone again, and it likes to autocorrect.

esperanza said...

QWP, loving the British comedy mental image--yes! So funny. Er, unless you're Sue, trying to do work.

Sorry for the ickiness of your cold.

Christmas sewing projects already are getting way too ambitious.

esperanza said...

oh, I forgot my first grade whine:

Sweet gets sent home with a book, on her reading level, every week. Fine. There's a worksheet to fill out, one question per day, fine. This is the second time that she's gotten a non-fiction book. Fine. This week it's on penguins, which she finds interesting. Fabulous. The whine: the worksheet asks for characters, and setting. For a non-fiction book. In a world where some people seem to have difficulty distinguishing between fact and opinion, I find this unhelpful. And hard to answer. Nor have we gotten any feedback on previous worksheets, so I've turned to smart-assery. Characters? Penguins. Setting: "on ice."

kathy a. said...

Yes on the British comedy image!

QWP -- sinus cold B-gone!

Ack, Esperanza! Christmas! My total prep so far consists of deciding it will be low-key; knowing we will have stuffed stockings; kinda planning on a dinner with the almost-in-laws, who are Jewish. No present ideas have spoken to me, so far.

kathy a. said...

Esperanza -- Ice and penguins sound like totally accurate answers. What's with the no feedback on these worksheets?

esperanza said...

Not sure about the no-feedback. It may be a "just do it and you get a 100," because it's all to be done at home. I don't know. My list of dissatisfactions with this teacher is growing, but this one is not at the to, so I'm just going to let it go. (And Sweet spelled "ice" correctly, all on her own, so it's a win, right?)

kathy a. said...

Woot! Spelling is so iffy, because a lot of it is so weird. I still have a card from about 2d, which says, "Mery Christmas, frum M."

esperanza said...

I am full of whines today. A spelling/grammar whine to those either praising or criticizing certain actions by certain governors: "boarder" is someone who rooms in a boarding house. "Border" is the imaginary line separating one group of human beings from another group of human beings. Ahem. (there might be a political whine embedded in there, but the spelling whine is bipartisan).

kathy a. said...

Esperanza definitely wins the Clarity Award this week! Or something like that.

esperanza said...

Nitpicker of the Week, more likely.

Sue said...

Argh...Clarity award it is! The book of faces is, at times, Spelling/Grammar Hell.

Now that you mention it, my morning *does* have a distinct British Comedy theme!

kathy a. said...

What, no new whines?

The funeral was good; excellent chance to see lots of family I don't see often. Had not seen one cousin in over a decade. Good visit with sister, too; we talked out some sore points from years ago, among other things.

liz said...

YAY!!!

liz said...

Hey, Miranda! Email me with details of your visit! liz@millerhousehold.com

Sue said...

I'm so glad the family gathering was as good as it could be, considering it was a funeral. Is it just me, or is that when family reunions really happen?

W: Wicked migraine last night. Bleh.

AW: Good sleep (thank you gr@vol) and I'm much better today. Just that lingering day-after numbness and ache. I felt well enough to go to work, so that's good.

kathy a. said...

Oh no, Sue! Glad you got sleep and it is better today.

True about so many family reunions being funereal. We have done a few picnic/bbq reunions, but the last one was probably 3 years ago. The birthday thing last weekend was mostly a different sector of family members.

Difficult relative #2 sat next to me at the reception, and it wasn't terrible. I was so glad to have a good talk with my aunt -- and see some of the older cousins. (And meet some cousins of my generation for the first time...)

esperanza said...

Glad that things went basically well and especially that you were able to have some good time with your sister, kathy a.

Sorry about the head, Sue and relieved you are somewhat better today.

I am relatively whine-free. Reveling in the peace and quiet and solitude, because next week will be nuts.

kathy a. said...

Forgot to mention the only bad part -- I was wearing a longish beaded necklace when I went through the TSA screening at my airport of departure, and the body scanner declared my chest area to be suspicious. So I got patted around the chest area, right in the middle of the freakin' airport, which I want to point out is not a great start to an early and long day. The person patting me down said "next time, put the necklace in the back." WHY CAN'T THEY GIVE THAT KIND OF ADVICE BEFOREHAND?

Sue said...

Ugh, kathy...not a good way to start the day at all. My sis who had breast cancer had a pat-down last year and there was a moment of caution when the screener detected sis's "chicken breast" (as she calls it) - her prosthetic that slips into her special bra. I was surprised the screener hadn't seen more of them.

esperanza said...

My favorite potentially-embarrassing but hilarious airport moment: A wee Sweet (age 10 months or so) and I were flying to the Big D. We had lots of equipment, including the faithful breast pump (longtime pixies may remember that Sweet only liked bottles, so the pump had to go wherever I went). This was pre-pat down days, but the screener at the xray machine said, "May I use the wand on your breathing machine, ma'am?" Of course you may, you idiot. And I'm not going to try to explain what it really is.

Sue said...

Ha! Breathing machine... :)

AW: It snowed today! (In April, that will be a capital W WHINE, but in November it's awesome). We used the occasion to set up the Christmas tree. It's 4 ft tall and pre-lit, so 5 minutes start to finish...but it's very festive! Tomorrow we may add ornaments....

AW: The snow also means the heavy, brain-crushing low-pressure system has moved on.

liz said...

One of my friends (not a close friend but still a friend), who I met through candidate training and who also came in second in her race a few weeks ago has been diagnosed with fireplacing ovarian cancer. Stage three. In the lymph nodes.

It's just unacceptable. How dare the universe give this woman cancer at this time? Doesn't she have enough to deal with? Not that there's ever a good time to get cancer. Not that I think anyone ever deserves cancer. Except maybe for the people who deliberately put cancer-causing agents into our environment.

Unacceptable. Fireplacing cancer.

kathy a. said...

((( Liz ))) I am so sorry about your friend. Fireplacing cancer. xoxo

Sue said...

((((Liz)))) Fireplacing cancer indeed. I'm so sorry to hear about your friend.

esperanza said...

dammit. I'm so sorry, Liz.

kathy a. said...

Espearnza, the breast pump story is fabulous!

Sue, so glad the stupid weather broke, even if it means snow.

esperanza said...

My Albatross #2 is accepting applications. We've gotten 7. 5 of the 7 are...how do you say...underwhelming.

kathy a. said...

Applications for . . . a job? A project? Ideas for a project? Sorry about the underwhelmingness thus far.

esperanza said...

a job. A really difficult, complex, fraught with tension job. So our Albatross committee has had the discussion that goes something like this: We don't want someone who really wants this job. Because if you really want this job, something is wrong with you. We need to go find people who don't want this job and convince them to apply. Fun Albatross, huh?

kathy a. said...

Well, there is something to be said for anticipating the problems with the job. Is there also chatter about who might be a good person for it?

esperanza said...

Broken blood vessel in my eye. Just wait till it goes away? It itches a little or feels dry or swollen or something.

kathy a. said...

Ack, Esperanza! Maybe gentle eye drops? The itchy/swelly part makes me think there's some irritation, maybe some allergy thing going on.

esperanza said...

definitely allergy season here. Other eye is also itchy but without the gory bloody part.

kathy a. said...

How bloody are we talking? Crappy thing to have happen on a friday night. Visine calms things down for me, usually. There is probably something better Rx, but good luck with that. xoxo

esperanza said...

just a few spots, not the whole eye or anything. It's probably been like that all day, but I didn't look in the mirror. I don't think it's anything major.

Anonymous said...

((((liz))))
((esperanza))
--NL

Sue said...

Oy, esperanza. That does not sound like a fun albatross at all. Ick. Sorry about the eye. :(

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Oh no, esperanza! That eye, on top of such a tricky Albatross, are a wicked combination.

(((Liz))) (((Liz's friend)))

Thank goodness the weekend has arrived. This cold has been kicking my butt, and now everyone's sick, and bleh.

AW: we got to stay home from a fundraiser event for Mr. Q's school tonight, and had a nice, quiet night at home. And my parents were able to go in our places, and it sounds like they had fun.

Sue said...

QWP, I'm glad you got to skip the fundraiser - doesn't sound like you were up to it. Colds - the gifts that keep on giving! We used to share them around our house regularly when the boys were in school, I was working at the hospital, hubby at the funeral home. Between the four of us, we could be guaranteed to bring home some new exotic brand of Horrible Snotmaker Virus on a regular basis.

Bleh.

kathy a. said...

It seemed like my computer was dying, but it turned out to be the wireless receiver. Fixed that; all good. Victory!

esperanza said...

Whew, kathy a. That sounds stressful.

Related Albatross whine. 10% of our applicants are women. 10. (Which translates to exactly one.)

kathy a. said...

One woman out of 10 applicants? Do you have a theory about why?

esperanza said...

Well, ministry is still a lopsided-male profession but not that lopsided. For a woman with kids at home, it's not really a family-friendly position--lots of travel. Which shouldn't really matter, but we all know that most women end up with most of the childcare duties. (Though the one female applicant has kids at home, so go figure). I don't know--Sue, you have any ideas (job is General Presbyter for a large Presbyter).

And unless I'm mistaken, and I could be, because there are no indicators on the form, all of them are Anglo. Theory on that is embarrassing: our denomination is 90% white. But we specifically said that we'd love it if they could speak Spanish, and that would be a way to encourage some Hispanic/Latino applicants. The only applicant claiming any facility in Spanish is the female one.

esperanza said...

OK, now make it 2 women out of 11. But the second one is not my choice already.

kathy a. said...

Seems to me the first female applicant has a few pieces to bring to the table -- some Spanish, kids, female -- and I'm hoping she also is thoughtful, caring, smart. Maybe she's not the one -- but pretty much anyplace, there needs to be inclusion; there need to be voices coming from places other than the usual.

esperanza said...

Rumor has it she was the other candidate on the short list the last time this search was conducted. They should have chosen her the first time.

kathy a. said...

At the start of our marriage, my husband was on a 3 months home, 3 months away schedule. And later, when the kids were still little, I worked long hours and was away pretty often for days at a time; so my husband did a lot of keeping the home fires burning. Things can be worked out. Nobody ever questioned my husband's ability to do his stuff despite children. Just sayin'.

I did have some flexibility when I wasn't away [partly because I worked so many hours], so that helped -- like when a kid got sick, or the other stuff that happens, I could smoosh my hours around.

Anyway, maybe that's a good rumor?

esperanza said...

I'm not questioning anyone's ability to manage the various pieces of their lives. I'm thinking that maybe women are reluctant to apply for travel-intensive positions because they themselves question their ability to manage the various pieces of their lives.

and apparently our male applicants are not letting any self-doubts (even appropriate ones) prevent them from applying. (Seriously, some of them are very sub-par).

liz said...

Hire the first woman. Sounds like she's a keeper.