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Monday, November 30, 2015

It's Beginning to Look a Lot....Gloomy

Yuck, pixies. The weather here is dreary and drizzly and blech. Yes, we are spoiled. I'm not going to tell you the "cold" temperature that we are suffering.

A bit of Family Togetherness Overload Syndrome from Thanksgiving. When we arrived home Saturday, we all retreated to our respective corners for introvert time.

Mr. E is returning to the Big D on Thursday. Friday would have been his nephew's 15th birthday, and the family is gathering to eat pizza at nephew's favorite place and support nephew's dad/Mr. E's brother.

So, we are taking any and all ideas for fun in the midst of gloomy/missing Daddy. I have my eye on our town's Christmas festival on Saturday. And I discovered a cardboard build-your-own-nativity in a box the other night, so we may do that. We also could make the annual gingerbread cookies, though it's a little early.

67 comments:

kathy a. said...

Sorry about the gloomies. Also very sad, the gathering to remember your nephew; but much better to remember him together than alone.

The festival and build your own nativity sound good! What about other craft projects? Making ornaments, decorating wreaths, decorative chains (loops of paper or pipe cleaners)? Pipe cleaners are also good for ornaments, especially if you have some beads that will fit on. We used to get little wooden shapes at the craft store, decorate with beans / beads / ribbon / paint, and do a ribbon loop on the back for hanging. Pipe cleaners in red/white/green also make good candy canes. Pine cones -- glue and glitter on the very end of each seed thing makes them fancy; or you can make a bird feeder by stuffing it with peanut butter and pressing in sunflower seeds, then hang from outdoor tree. Snowflakes for the windows -- cut from folded paper. Make Christmas cards for teachers, grandparents. Make cookies; decorate cookies; take cookies to neighbors. Have each kid pick a new toy and/or clothing basics to donate to a needy child.

kathy a. said...

DO NOT plan to do all those things at one time! We still have a lot of the decorative items the kids made in years past, though.

W: Bleah, think I have a cold. Know I have a very tedious albatross piece this week.

AW: Went nuts and got a new sofa and chair! They're coming tomorrow!

W/AW: Must arrange for some of the excess furniture to go away. We still have a bunch from SIL. My beloved keeps thinking that one of the kids might want something or another, but living in a warehouse of unwanted items is getting to me.

esperanza said...

W: I forgot/blocked this: My mom is depressed (down? sad? discouraged) over the slow pace of her recovery from knee surgery. 5 weeks ago. And my dad is...whew, I don't know. On the edge of meltdown, super grumpy, complaining about doing stuff but then complaining because he's bored. Mom being off has surely affected him, and I know that having the house over-full of people is hard on him. But he was not fun to be with. I'm hoping things are improved by Christmas.

kathy a. said...

((( Esperanza ))) Oh, your poor parents. Recovery from surgery often takes longer than one hopes -- and hosting a crowd is more of a strain than one remembers. (Not to mention that living with a grumpus is pretty darned wearing all by itself.)

Do you know if your dad has had a checkup recently? All kinds of things might contribute to being grumpy, on edge, inflexible -- even something relatively minor, like a UTI. xoxo

esperanza said...

He's pretty good about keeping up with the doctors. He exercises regularly. He's pretty extreme on the introvert scale, and 4 extra adults, three extra elementary schoolers and one extra baby (O.M.G. is she adorable) are enough to make anyone long for a little peace and quiet.

liz said...

Craft idea: Bread dough figures. Remember to put one or more holes in them for hanging on the tree. Bake them. Paint them. Use a sharpie to put the date and maker on the back. TADA! Keepsakes and time wasters all in one!

liz said...

Also known as salt-dough. I'll put a recipe up later.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I love salt dough ornaments! I made one in kindergarten, and my patient parents hung it on our Christmas tree until I was a teenager.

Whine it in thw hopes of finding it: E's special wooden, refillable Advent calendar is missing. It might be in the one ornament box that's on the back of the shed.
AW: at least she has no idea what day it is, and therefore doesn't know we already should have found it and taken it out!

Cross fingers and any other available appendages, please: next house tour on Thursday evening, at which time we're going to put together a conditional offer. Let's hope the inspections don't reveal anything horrible!

liz said...

Appendages crossed!!

Sue said...

(((esperanza))) Hugs and love to you and all your family. So much going on, so many struggles right now. xoxo I hope the crafting helps a bit.

Yay on the new furniture kathy! It's great how switching out the furniture, or even moving it around, can brighten up your home. Sorry about the cold.

QWP: All appendages crossed here too!!! Eeeeee....

Could you do an improvised Advent calendar this year and track down the wooden one next year?

W: I realized on Sunday afternoon that it had been 13 days since my last day off. This thought crossed my mind as my head was hitting the pillow when I got home from church. One might think that a nap and early bedtime Sunday might refresh me, yes? Not so much. I was Zombie Woman yesterday - no energy for ANYTHING. I had planned to shop, set up some more Christmas-y things around the house, do laundry... but alas, zombies do none of these things.

Hubby will be sainted one day for living with me. I'm sure of it. He waits two weeks for my day off and sit there like a lump. :(

AW: Toothless secretary announced to the congregation on Sunday morning that ALL newsletter articles MUST be in her hands BY Tuesday morning. I forgot my mic was on and said quietly, "Well, that's not happening." It was kind of hilarious. She will get it this morning. No, I did not work on it yesterday. :)

kathy a. said...

Glad you got that day off, finally!

Daughter is supposed to take the GRE today. She was due there at 7:30. At 7:00 -- some time after she left home -- there was a peculiar recorded phone call saying the test had to be rescheduled due to technical issues. ????

esperanza said...

I am cracking up at the microphone mishap, Sue!!! Too funny. I'm very glad you got some rest.

My parents still have, and still hang on the tree, some bread dough ornaments that we made in 1976, when I was 2 1/2. My mother obviously has far more patience than I do.

kathy a. said...

The microphone is pretty funny!

QWP, fingers crossed!

kathy a. said...

After the ritual pre-holiday slaying of the albatrossi, I need to whip together a slipcover arrangement for the old ottoman (there wasn't a matching one available for the new chair), and use the same fabric to make covers for throw pillows, so it looks somewhat like things go together and adds that pop of color. My purple fabric for that project came already, and it is sweet -- ordered from a family shop that carries really nice stuff.

No desire this year to haunt the chain stores. Or do much at all in the way of presents. But I must do stockings, and there are a few non-chain local places that I want to check out, once I get around to that part of the festivities. Anybody who was ready to go in August, you can just gloat now.

Sue said...

That sounds great kathy - I'm not nearly crafty enough to pull off pillow covers and a slipcover for an ottoman. No sewing machine in our house, so it would take me all year to stitch it by hand. :)

Ready in August - hahahahahahahahaha!!!! No. Not so much.

I am also avoiding the chain stores this year, as we have so many lovely locally run businesses. Our local ecological awareness non-profit puts together Christmas baskets filled with local cheese, tea, candy etc... costs a bit, but it's a good cause.

esperanza said...

I am also overambitious in the sewing department. It stems partly from my desire to avoid the aforementioned shopping. Bathrobes for the Baboos and their cousins, except the big one.

W: Last Wednesday night, while trying to get Mini to go the fireplace to sleep at the Thanksgiving extravaganza, she accidentally whacked her very hard head straight into my nose. It hurt really really bad. I iced it. It bled a tiny bit. Some swelling, no bruising. Here it is Wednesday again, and it still feels bruised. It doesn't hurt just sitting here, but it does when I touch it. So I decided to call the doctor's office, thinking I would never get in.

AW: Here's the new tip: "I think I broke my nose last week" is a way to get a same-day appointment. It will probably only work once, so use it wisely.

W: (And now I am slightly more worried than I was before).

Sue said...

Ouch esperanza!!! That sounds painful. Hope the doc can take care of it easily and with minimum hurt.

liz said...

Esperanza, I am utterly wincing in sympathy. I broke my nose lo these many years ago and it was foul.

kathy a. said...

Ouch! xoxo

esperanza said...

It hurt like holy hell when it happened, but it really hasn't been too bad, which is why I haven't already gone to the doctor. But the soreness lasting this long makes me think it was/is broken and I should get it checked out. I think I took ibuprofen twice.

kathy a. said...

Let us know, Esperanza!

Final alba-edits done! Just a few more steps, and this bird will be in flight by next week.

Sue said...

Yay kathy!! WooHoo!

Sue said...

Another damn shooting. Fireplacing guns.

kathy a. said...

Oh, not again. Fireplacing guns.

liz said...

San Bernadino. At a center that serves people with developmental disabilities.

I am sad. And angry. And wondering at what point we finally do something about gun violence and white male terrorism in this country.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I'm so terrified and enraged.

kathy a. said...

When the Oklahoma City bombing happened, I was very close to the site of today's shooting. I know, a bomb isn't the same as a gun, except when it kinda is.

kathy a. said...

Also know that the Inland Regional Center was set up to help developmentally disabled people and their families. Someone I met on that trip over 20 years ago was a client of the center. Blows my mind.

esperanza said...

Nose Update (which seems pretty trivial at the moment, but here it is anyway): there's no way to tell for sure if there is a fracture without an xray. He was not very concerned because I can breathe out of both sides, the cartilage area is not painful, and no pain in the rest of my face. I declined the xray, since even if it revealed a fracture, there wasn't really much chance of needing further treatment.

kathy a. said...

Smart health care choice for the win! Hope it stops being hurty soon.

Sue said...

Glad to hear it esperanza. I hope the ouchie part of it eases up soon.

I really thought the school shooting two years ago would have changed things for the US. I didn't realize until I read an article this morning that, for twenty years, there has been a ban on even studying the effects of gun violence on US culture. That is seriously fireplaced up.

liz said...

Yes it is.

kathy a. said...

VERY fireplaced up.

Everybody thought the Sandy Hook shooting would turn things around, but no. San Bernardino was the 355th mass shooting THIS YEAR, so far.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Nearly three years since Sandy Hook (I had just gotten home with my brand-new baby, and spent the day clinging to her and sobbing at the news), and laws have only gotten looser, and the number of mass shootings have only escalated. I'm livid.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

In much happier news, we're going to go make a conditional offer on that house today. Hopefully this will all work out, and within the next month and a half, we'll be living the dream of walking instead of driving for almost everything.

kathy a. said...

Hooray, QWP!

Rhetorical question of the day: When will my life and my neighbor's be worth more than somebody's supposed "right" to own all the weaponry he can buy or steal?

AW: Daughter's phone interview with Dream Job went well! And then she went to the zoo and visited lots of interesting animals. Tomorrow, she's off to visit with her two best friends -- whom she met different places (college and Japan), but they both live in the same town now. :)

esperanza said...

Hooray on the house, QWP!

I can hardly bear to think about Sandy Hook, even this many years later, maybe especially this year, when I have a kindergartner and a first grader.

Sounds like things are going well for your daughter, kathy a!

Sue said...

Yay QWP!!! Fingers crossed that all goes well and you are living the dream asap.

I'm so happy for your daughter kathy - sounds like things are good for her!

It's three years already - somehow it seems more recent. It's just so awful.

liz said...

Because I needed it today, I'm posting a link of the daughter of one of my friends from church singing, "For Good" with Kristen Chenoweth

kathy a. said...

Oh, Liz. So wonderful! xoxo

Queen of West Procrastination said...

We'll find out in the next 23 hours, if the sellers accept our offer! Our agent is really positive that they'll like it.

Anonymous said...

Fingers crossed, QWP!! So exciting!!!
-Neighbor Lady

kathy a. said...

Hope it comes through, QWP!

kathy a. said...

Our elderly neighbor called last night in a panic, because she saw a "lizard" in her garage and they terrify her. My brave husband rescued the poor little salamander and let it go in the yard. Happiness all around!

W: Someone is treating me like his secretary. That is not my job.

Sue said...

Hooray for the brave rescue kathy, but boo on the being treated like the secretary. :(

All appendages crossed QWP!!!

liz said...

What Sue said.

esperanza said...

ooh, that secretary bit steams me when it happens here.

So glad the lizard is ok.

QWP, fingers crossed!

liz said...

I GOT AN INTERVIEW!!!

squeeeeee!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Hooraaaaay! Now time to cross all appendages for Liz!

Kathy, I'm rounding up the posse for anyone treating you like his secretary.

You guys! It took all day of negotiating back and forth, but we have an accepted offer! Now time for all the inspections, and it's ours! In TWENTY-SIX DAYS. This will be a hectic holiday season.

kathy a. said...

Woot, LIZ!!! Go!

And yay, QWP! I'd offer to send boxes, but neighbors and local shops probably have an excess right about now.

The Pirates presentation was great!

Anonymous said...

YAYYYYYY for Liz and for QWP!!!!!!
So exciting!!!!!
:) Neighbor Lady

W: end of the trimester at school--- swamped with grading etc etc, and also with trying to learn material for a new unit that starts next week that I've never taught before (and definitely not a strength of mine). eek!

AW (huge): My brother in law and sister in law and niece and nephew are in town. Nephew is interviewing at colleges in town-- his top 2 choices! Which means he may be living just half an hour from us for the next four years if all goes well!!!!! All appendages crossed for him (and by extension, for us!). He is a fabulous fabulous young man, extremely talented musically, and a role model for Neighbor Boy his whole life. (NB is 6 years younger) And, so loving and generous of his time with Neighbor Boy. A true true mensch (at only 17). So very hopeful he will be close by, where we can see him so much more (he now lives about 6 hours away).


esperanza said...

Hooray for Liz! And QWP! And NL's nephew/family!

W: I'm catching Sweet's cold.

Sue said...

Appendages crossed for Liz!!!!!

Yaaaaaaay QWP!!!!! I'm so excited for you. This is such great news!

NL, good luck with the end of trimester, grading and learning the new unit. That's a lot to juggle at once. Yay about your nephew - appendages crossed that everything goes well for him and he's nearby for his college years!

esperanza, ugh. Just ugh. 'Tis the season for catching colds. Feel better soon... :(

esperanza said...

AW: I did talk to my mom last night, and she sounded MUCH better. She'd been out helping a friend, and shopping, and was heading out of town to help her cousin. This is much more like her than sitting at home being discouraged.

W: Mr. E's Big Boss got caught with his pants down and is resigning. Idiot.

kathy a. said...

NL -- lot going on! But it would be great if your nephew ended up nearby!!

Pirates of Penzance was a really fun adaptation. Everyone in the cast played more than one instrument, in addition to singing and acting -- guitars, ukuleles, mandolin, clarinet, washboard, violin, saw (played with bow), drums, accordion, children's toy xylophone.

kathy a. said...

Esperanza! So glad about your mom feeling better!

Oh, my, about the big boss.

Anonymous said...

Oh, ugh esperanza about the big boss.
Yikes.
--NL

AW: Neighbor nephew's audition/interview went well, and at the end they said "see you next year". I'm thinking this sounds good. :)
Doing a happy dance.

kathy a. said...

Happy dance!!!!

esperanza said...

oh yay NL!

AW: Baboos and I had an excellent day full of planned and spontaneous fun. Festival was low-key, horse-drawn carriage rides were free, Dairy Queen was full of friends and neighbors, even shopping in the toy section was not too painful ("we are buying something for William's birthday. We are not buying anything else."). Then the neighbors' dogs came to visit (unauthorized by neighbors) and we took them back home. Then the Baboos stayed at the neighbors for an hour or so and played with the dogs while I came back home and did a crafty project. Daddy has made it back home.

W: His brother isn't handling this all very well. Which is to be expected, but still.

kathy a. said...

I don't know how the parent of a kid who killed himself could possibly be doing well at this point. Hope the dad is seeking some kind of therapy. Often. Nobody can go through that kind of thing without a lot of help and support. xoxoxo

Sue said...

Happy Dance with NL!!! Yay!!!!

kathy, the Pirates presentation sounds great!

Ick about Mr. E's Big Boss. Just...ick. What is the MATTER with these guys???

So sorry to hear about Mr E's brother. The tragedy of it all is highlighted by the celebratory nature of the season. :(

liz said...

Esperanza, ICK about Mr. E's boss. I hope his resignation solves a lot of the other problems.

Happy dance with NL!!

Sending love to Mr. E's brother and all your family.

QWP, I am so excited for you!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Blech about Mr. E's boss. I hope they find a good replacement quickly. And hugs for all you guys, with such a rough season. Poor Mr. E's brother.

NL: I hope that the end of trimester/prep for the next goes smoothly. And I'm doing a happy dance with you guys!

AW: inspectors are all being booked for Tuesday, a day which Mr. Q already has off! (He gets one EDO a year, because of all the extracurricular he does, and he always takes it on my birthday.) So, I'm getting am inspected house for my birthday!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday QWP!!!!!
--NL

liz said...

What a lovely birthday present!

kathy a. said...

Yay, QWP! And happy birthday!!

((( Esperanza's hubby, his brother, and everybody )))

My son's truck died. On the up side, they figured out why. On the down side, whatever they need to fix is under everything else, so lots of labor. This won't be the first Christmas where his main present is help getting a vehicle running again. BIG AW: He is not trying to fix it himself, in my garage!

liz said...

WHOO BOY! Am I ever fed up with the anti-Clinton wing of the Democratic party. I don't give a shit that they like the guys better, but I am so fireplacing sick of them giving a pass to them on their less-than-perfect positions and records and saying she's unacceptable (and worse than a Republican!) because she is not completely pure and perfect. I am DONE with that.