Monday, August 8, 2016

Smithsonian week! Come celebrate all the weird and lovely things!

This is actually true:  After years of congressional haggling over what to do with money left to the United States -- and investments went bad, on the part of the government -- on August 10, 1846, the (otherwise undistinguished) President Polk signed legislation creating the Smithsonian Institution.  Well, that worked out, finally, and so might our current problems.

What's new?


Liz Miller said...

Am so fireplacing sick of my fireplacing hot flashes. Had them multiple times daily for the last several weeks (it gets worse when I've missed a period, and I've missed 2 this "cycle"). I had one in the FREEZER AISLE of my supermarket. Seriously. Flushed face, drenched in sweat, and goosebumps all at the same time.

And, according to Harvard, I've got another 5 - 10 years of dealing with this.

kathy a. said...

Oh, I have so done that with the freezer aisle! Or a walk-in refrigerator, if you can find a store with one of those.

A few tips from the worst of it:
]1] cute folding paper fans, they'll fit neatly in a purse, bring relief;

[2] never ever wear a sweater that you can't take off (layers, darling, even in winter), or something that would be too confining in the event of a heat wave;

[3] there are some cooling neckerchief things that you can find online;

[4] antibacterial hand gel is alcohol-based, and it evaporates (and cools) pulse points quickly;

[5] put blue ice under your pillow, so you can flip the pillow for soothing cold (I use a small pillow + 2 lunch sized blocks);

[6] AC is your friend, and sunshine isn't;

[7] always carry packets of tissue, in case of facial meltdown.

If anybody needs folding fans, there is a Japanese store near me, and I can send supplies. kathywithcats at gmail dot com. Someone in my husband's office did this, too. The women in my old office who preceded me on this adventure just waved wads of paper in meetings and asked, "is it hot in here, or just me?" -- which made many of us adore them even more.

esperanza said...

AW: Felt like a genius this morning. The Baboos wanted to go to the library, but the books were scattered all over creation. So we had a "scavenger hunt." They found them all.

AW: I am on a roll (first time all summer): Then Mini "raced" me to get dressed (such races that include Sweet are disasters, because she always loses and that is no fun, but Sweet was already dressed). Then we did a thrift store run. (W: no winter coat, but two pairs of Baboo pants). Then they both *liked* the restaurant I picked, which hasn't happened in recent memory.

AW: Further, they loved me reading "Beezus and Ramona" to them, so we went to the library to get "Ramona the Pest."

Expect Ws for the rest of the week.

Liz Miller said...

Thank you, Kathy!! I have a fan in my purse, and one near the television. A small desk fan is on a shelf near my bed running constantly at night. The hot flash STARTED in the freezer aisle, very annoying. I am prepped to be in layers as it gets colder.

YAY Esperanza! Sounds like you all were on the same wavelength today!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Esperanza, what a fun day!

Kathy and Liz: making notes for the future; horrified by the prospect of 5-10 years of hot flashes.

AW: superfluous shed is gone from the back yard! And I just (like a grownup) emailed two landscaping companies for quotes on yellow clay, topsoil, and landscaping sand for our impending projects. August is BUSY!
W: I looked at the calendar and shrieked, "Ack! I'm running out of summer!" because the next few weeks are booked solid, and then Mr. Q goes back to work (AND starts his master's program). Before that, we need to: build a patio, build up the grade behind the house and fix the drainage, dig window wells, repair concrete steps, AND somehow go camping and have a summer vacation.

kathy a. said...

Cool beans, Esperanza! Maybe it's the start of a trend!!

QWP, good work! I dunno, sometimes all projects do not get done at once. Your sweetheart might actually need to go pound on a patio or something to work off steam once the new school year starts -- this works for my beloved -- so you might want to figure out which projects need doing now, and which can be chipped away at in the future.

W: I just noticed that some of the notes in my "pay attention to this" pile were more than a year old. Apparently, the office needs some sorting.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Kathy: we need to get these out of the way before the school year begins (which, thankfully, isn't until September), or else they're not happening at all until next summer! The schedule next year is unbelievable (to the point that I'll be taking over almost all household tasks, so that he can keep up the pace of job + admin duties + night classes). Thankfully, teachers aren't back for another three weeks, and he has absolutely nothing else going on other than these last three-ish house tasks (since digging the window wells will happen at the same time as building up the grade).

AW: he dug half the patio site today! (Thankfully, there won't be much more digging dirt after this. Our soil is 100% clay, and it is HEAVY.) If we can track down a yard of landscaping sand by Wednesday (and the weather cooperates), we should have a patio by the end of the week! And a friend, who Mr. Q just helped build a shed, has offered to help lay the patio next Thursday. (I think I'm going to convince Mr. Q to fix the stairs either this Friday or next, so that there's a whole weekend before the mail carrier needs to climb the stairs and deliver the mail.)

I'm feeling better about the vacation time we have left, now that we made some progress today!

kathy a. said...

Yay, for friends who like yard/patio work (and owe you)! Sounds like Mr. Q has been putting in some heavy lifting with the clay. The Friday plan for stair fixing sounds like a good objective!

Um, I'm not totally sure what window wells are. But if it involves digging clay, that doesn't sound any more fun than "building up the grade." (Which I assume has an entirely non-academic meaning in this circumstance, and involves more clay.)

Frozen veg lasagne from a wonderful local Italian deli (that isn't a deli any more, really, but they are still doing the frozen goods). Buy local!

Liz Miller said...

Good luck, QWP on all the projects!

So I've checked in with my Pink Pad (do you folks have that app? It tracks menstruation-related things) and confirmed that it's not my imagination, summer is definitely worse for hot flashes no matter what, and so is long durations between periods. Last summer was terrible (I thought activity might have been the trigger because of all the canvassing, but no, I've been a slug this summer and it's just as bad). Though last summer was not during a long duration (had periods in June and July), and this one is, so maybe it has to do with activity after all?

I know. I'm obsessing. But it's grumping me out and I can't even eat chocolate because of the silent reflux. Though some people say chocolate (and caffeine) is a trigger for hot flashes, too. Well, we can rule them out as causes for me, since I haven't touched 'em for months.


Liz Miller said...

I have a confession to make: I'm blocking anti-Clinton folks on facebook. I've found I just can't anymore with them. I don't have the energy. I wouldn't care so much if they were enthusiastically FOR anyone else. ANYONE. But they're not. They're just about how much they hate her and I don't have the capacity to deal with it anymore.

kathy a. said...

Liz, at least chocolate and caffeine would console one. A bunch of my friends said "get the patch! It makes all the difference!" -- meaning a hormone patch, which I didn't want to do, and it was medically not an option because of my sister's kind of breast cancer. (She's fine now!)

All I can say is that other women of a certain age will not find it odd AT ALL if you stick your head directly into a freezer cabinet at the supermarket, while pretending to examine vegetables or whatever.

You have been generous granting visiting to so many visages on the book of such; there is nothing wrong with unfriending the argumentative ones.

Anonymous said...

Yay for a great day esperanza!!! We loved the whole Beezus and Ramona series, also were into the Boxcar children, and the capitol mysteries (Ron Roy I think) for a while.
QWP, I am impressed with your plans for the rest of the summer. I am currently, at this moment, procrastinating getting stuff ready for the start of school.... I am in denial.
Sorry, Liz, about your hot flashes. Bleh!

W:? After my minor surgery I am not sure what to expect with Aunt Flo, but things are still a bit confusing... Aunt Flo, are you here or not? WTF? Don't want confusing... just want things to have been fixed. Am considering making another appointment, but maybe in a week once I actually know what is going on?

Kathy-- glad your sister is doing well now!

--Neighbor Lady

esperanza said...

NL, I'm not sure what kind of "minor" surgery you had...many moons ago, I had laprascopic treatment of endometriosis, which involved "scraping" the endometriosis "out of" one of my ovaries. There was much confusing bleeding for a while. But if you're worried, I'd think a follow up with the doctor would be a good plan.

Re: Ramona: certain parties around here identify with her quite readily :)

Liz Miller said...

If they like the Ramona books, they may like Elizabeth Enright's Melendy Family Quartet of books (The Saturdays is first). I wrote a post about reading them to Muffin Man long ago, so you can judge if they'd be okay for your baboos.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

NL: a follow-up appointment seems to be in order!

Liz: I understand. The only person I have blocked on Book of Faces was because of behaviour regarding our last federal election.

Whiiiiine: apple maggots. The apples that have been sitting for a while have clear evidence of worms. Which means that the apples we've been eating and saucing for the past week have ALSO had them, but we couldn't see them. Trashing the rest of them. (Can't compost them, or else the maggots will grow in our soil.)

Liz Miller said...


NL: Hugs

kathy a. said...

Oh, no, QWP!

NL, hope things are clarified. Maybe call the doctor, see if it needs a visit or if this is in the range of "still healing up"?

AW: Going to a late breakfast with a friend.

Liz Miller said...

Igniter in our 16-year-old oven died Friday. Today, Mr. Spock took apart the oven to remove the old igniter (and we vacuumed places never seen since March 1, 2000, and scrubbed all the parts). Found a replacement part on Am@z0n, will be here Thursday. Thus the oven is still in pieces. I've got them tidied into one section of the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

Thanks pixies-- I called the office, and they said some spotting and weirdness was not abnormal.... yay! They said give it a couple cycles to normalize... Thanks for the advice! So glad I called!
:) Neighbor Lady

Liz Miller said...

YAY! Glad you called, NL!!!

It seems my self-appointed mission today is to be a relentless pain in the ass to someone I respect. Holding those you love to their own standards is hard. Doing it when you're not allowed to eat chocolate is harder. :D

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Well done getting your answer by phone, NL! And I'm glad to hear it's all normal.

AW: I followed up the apple maggot grossness with a couple of wins. So, I needed to register E for swimming lessons, but in order to register online, I needed a login and pin, and in order to get the login and pin, you need to wait on the phone or go to the rec centre, like all the people trying to register by phone or in person. I waited and waited on the phone, and then got fed up, drove to my nearest rec centre (which isn't far away), was the only person in the building, and got E into the preferred swimming class right away! (And got my online registration stuff, so that next time I can do this from home.) And then I drove home, got a good price for all the sand and soil we need, and ordered the sand to be delivered tomorrow morning! Everything is falling into place to get these projects out of the way quickly. (Also, the ground is drier today, and so Mr. Q was able to finish the digging quickly.)

Anonymous said...

Neighbor Lady

P_K said...

I always thought apple worms were just a normal part of home grown apples that hadn't been treated with pesticides. We always just ate/cut around them and didn't worry if we accidentally ate one.

My mom says that if you spray the apple blossoms with apple cider vinegar during the blooming stage, it will prevent or cut down on the apple worms.

kathy a. said...

Yay, NL!

Score, QWP!

PK, hope all is well.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

P_K: they really are a normal part of unsprayed apples, but I didn't realise that all of the apples had them! I'm not worried about the ones that we cored, cut, and froze immediately, (they all look fine, and even if there's the occasional tiny larva in there, they aren't harmful, they're all dead now that they're frozen, and I'm going for plausible deniability here), and the sieve would have kept any worms out of the apple sauce. But the ones that I stored in the basement were completely ruined! All eaten up on the inside. But we did manage to get a lot of apples cut and frozen or sauced, and so it's not an awful loss.

(But I did get all shivery when I realised how many maggots I've accidentally eaten this week.)

I hope things are going well for you, P_K! I've been thinking about you.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

W: I went to have a shower, and E and Mr. Q were playing happily. I returned to absolute mayhem. Mr. Q confiscated a ballpoint pen from E ("Don't want to get this on the couch!"), and then put it in his pants pocket, AND THEN SAT DOWN WITH THE PEN IN HIS POCKET, where it broke, getting ink all over his one nice pair of shorts, and on the couch. Thankfully, the couch had that expensive stain treatment, and so we almost have it clean. His shorts, on the other hand, are starting to feel like a lost cause. Rubbing alcohol is clearly getting the ink out of the shorts, but there is SO. MUCH. INK. My hands are blue like a Smurf. I'm taking a break from the shorts. And then we went to E's room, trying to calm her down from the tantrum that resulted from all this chaos, which is how we discovered that she peeled a large chunk of paint off of her wall during quiet time. (Straight to the time out chair for her, and I'm thinking about an appropriate consequence to fit the crime.)

What on earth, you guys.

kathy a. said...

I think, QWP, you are starting to get the drift of all the parents who celebrate the start of school....

Very sorry for all the mayhem. Perhaps a lesson was learned (by the elder in the initial situation) about better hiding places for confiscated items.


kathy a. said...

Also, the entire tale sounds deserving of a mullet.

esperanza said...

QWP, Sweet wiped her boogers on the wall.

Yay to NL for a good answer over the phone. Sorry about the keeping your people accountable, Liz.

AW: I got to spend most of the day at a workshop, which was interesting and insightful, and then happy hour with a friend. Thanks to Mr. E for Baboo watching.

AW: Today was the first time the Baboos got to ride a horse since we moved. W: It cost $$$$. AW: Sweet was so excited she'd had her clothes picked out for 4 days and got dressed before breakfast this morning (normally unheard of). W: I missed the whole thing because of the workshop.

kathy a. said...

Yay for the workshop! And teh good time had by all, Esperanza!

Liz, inadvertently skipped your earlier message, but yuck on needing to call out somebody you admire.

Liz Miller said...

He's a beloved lay leader in my welcoming, affirming, Islamic-center partnering, refugee-assisting, immigrant-friendly congregation. And he's been posting positively about Trump, and extremely negatively about Clinton. We had words on fb. I think I got him to change his vote to Johnson.

kathy a. said...

Well. I have no idea how that person could have been leaning that way....

This day in politics has been a little much for me. And even n3tfl1x therapy isn't helping enough.

esperanza said...

Thanks for the book recommendations, Liz.

P_K said...

We're mostly doing ok here. Trying to figure out if STBX and I can agree on a school year schedule or if we need to go back to court.

P_K said...

Also, there are a couple of things about my lawyer's approach that I wish I could get a second opinion on, but I am not sure how to go about doing that, especially since it needs to happen almost immediately.

Liz Miller said...


Queen of West Procrastination said...

So many hugs, PK. And I'm sorry that you're in a position with your lawyer where you need an immediate second opinion.

Small Old Skool Whine: everything is in place to lay a patio, and there's a guy coming here with a truck full of sand for the base. And...thunderstorm. And I just checked the forecast, and right now they're saying storms and rain until Saturday.

kathy a. said...

((( PK ))) Hope it all gets resolved smoothly.

QWP -- rain??? Oy!

Auntie Petunia said...

Someone dear is getting divorced, and doesn't really want to. And this dear person is very sad. The spouse doesn't want to try reconciliation. This is a NOMB situation, but have offered an open door if the dear person needs to visit.

esperanza said...

Sorry for your someone dear, Petunia. Hopefully there are ways you can be non-intrusively helpful.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Hugs for AP. As Esperanza said, I hope you can find a way to show love.

AW: the rain has held off so far today, and so we've gotten our sand delivery, and Mr. Q is about to rent a compactor, to tamp down the sand (and then the tiles). We're working frantically to get as much done as possible before the rain returns!

esperanza said...

W: Holy cow, it is hot. The actual temperature is not much higher, but the humidity is making it oppressive. It's getting hotter earlier in the day, and staying hotter later in the evening. Lows are only around 80F. And the yard needs mowing.

W: cleaning house for arrival of brother and family tomorrow.

AW, I hope: popsicle party at the new school for entering kindergartners and new families. Isn't this a great idea? There are supposed to be 3rd-5th grade volunteers to show the kids around the school.

kathy a. said...

Go, team Q!

Oy, Esperanza, about the heat and humility (as dad used to say). But the Popsicle party and older kids touring the new ones sounds great!

AW: My eyes have developed no ugly conditions, and new glasses soon!

W: Just remembered a loose end on the late albatross. Gah.

AW: Train and museum tickets arrived for the trip!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Popsicle party! What a delightful idea, esperanza. The heat is less delightful. Cooling down to 80F is awful, from my wimpy Canadian perspective.

AW: the patio is almost done, and the weather was perfect. (It was actually a bit of a cool day here, which was VERY news welcome for Mr. Q, who is a human furnace.) And then some lovely friends brought over three more patio stones (we were just short, and they had a few extras) and Indian food for supper!

W: those who are particular about symmetry will need to avoid looking to carefully at our patio. Our second-hand bricks were uneven in size, and we had to make some adaptations, in order to get the bricks to fit. Our planned centre is a bit to the right and to the bottom. And the far corner is actually a little, broken brick, which sticks out from the rectangle into a wee point. We'll put a plant pot over that.

AW: we stuck to our plan to do this without buying any more bricks, and without renting a masonry saw! Even though it took hours long to puzzle out how to make them fit WITHOUT a saw.

esperanza said...

Way to Go, Q family! I love recycling!

W: Seriously, the hot. Once it had cooled down to 98 (heat index "only" 102) at 7:30 PM!!!! I went out to mow the yard. I couldn't wait any later; as it was I ran out of daylight and finished in the dark.

W: I also provided a mosquito feast

esperanza said...

W: ...and now that I have consumed almost 2 quarts of water, I fear i will be up all night going to the potty

kathy a. said...

Good work, team Q! And yay for friends with odds and ends and DINNER. I do not think you need to worry about symmetry. Take the cattitude way, and just pretend it was planned exactly as it turned out.

Esperanza, I so feel for you. But glad you got hydrated. And hope you have some stop-itch around. I so sincerely do not miss mosquitoes.

kathy a. said...

W: Colonoscopy on Monday, and I'm already a wreck. Tension headache. Hate the idea of the procedure. Nothing but clear liquids all day Sunday. A powerful medicinal prep, for which they warn to stay near the bathroom. Also, it tastes bad.

One of the approved liquid substances is yellow jello, and I thought yay, lemon! But no, the only kind at the store was pineapple. Green is also OK, but you can forget right about the entire category of red jellos. Grumble grumble.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

That ENTIRE whine is award-worthy, Kathy! Yuck all around.

AW: the patio is entirely done, and I pushed through and also cleaned up the yard from all the garbagey stuff that had been behind the shed since the dawn of time.
W: And then that bit of a sore throat that's been hanging in the background for the past few days caught up on me. I can't keep pretending that this is allergies: I have a summer cold. We're supposed to be going on a camping trip tomorrow, with the in-laws, and Mr. Q says that he and E are going without me.
(Okay, that last part is an AW. I'm glad that he feels comfortable taking E without me, so that they still don't miss, and I get to recover in peace.)

kathy a. said...

Yay, patio!

And if you feel uck, a camping trip doesn't sound like quite the ticket. (YOu will, however, be greatly appreciated upon their return.)

Queen of West Procrastination said...

It's official: I'm staying home, and these other two are going camping. I was dithering about it, because I don't feel sick enough to stay home, but I feel like it MIGHT get worse. Mr. Q says, "If you go camping, you won't sleep, because you never do, and then you'll get worse for sure. If you stay home, get rest, and get better, then that's all the better." He and E are pretty excited about going camping together.

(Okay, I'm a little wistful about missing my baby's first real camping trip.)

Queen of West Procrastination said...

AW: just scored a $10 second-hand patio table! Nice!

Liz Miller said...

Kathy, colonoscopy is a piece of cake. The prep is a drag, but the procedure itself is a breeze. And afterwards you will have the best name of your life. I wrote a post about mine on Mysterymommy back in summer of 2009

QWP, I hope you feel better.

Muffin Man was outstanding as Nathan in Guys and Dolls.

Miranda said...

QWP I am glad you get the space to take care of yourself. It's hard but you will feel so much better as your sweet hubby pointed out.

Bravo to MM !!!

Kathy A, sending gentle thoughts to you for your prep. It's good to get everything checked out.

Esperanza, it's been a swamp here with temps in the mid 90s and the air thick with humidity. It's not TX hot but still so unpleasant.

I want to thank you all for your support during the airline h$!! I endured this week. It meant my Beloved didn't have to hear all about the whole time. She would never admit it outright, but she was relieved. ;)

The conference was awesome! I respected my body's limitations much better than usual. I'm exhausted but not depleted. Huzzah! I acquired followers. One night I went out and discovered that I had professional connections with everyone present. One was even someone I had on my "track down or else" list. I know it's fashionable to complain about lazy Feds but I saw so many talented, passionate experts all week long. Most of them could make significantly more in private industry but stay because they believe so strongly about public service.

A sad whine: I came home and I swear I don't recognize my youngest. He's so tall! His voice changed over the last month!! He sounds like an adult. Not my baby.

AW: he's still sweet. He loved all my stories about the conference. One of my clients works for one of those agencies most young people with engineering dreams idolize.

I kind of have to pinch myself sometimes too.

kathy a. said...

Go, MM! I'll have to find that post.

Miranda -- oh, that airport mess! So glad it finally got worked out, and that the conference was so good, and that you enjoyed it while pacing yourself.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Miranda, I'm glad that you're finally out of that airplane purgatory! And that you had such a good conference.

Repetitive whine: I was running around the house, helping Mr. Q and E get packed, and when I ran down the stairs, I did a little hop and found out that I'm taller than I think I am. (Hit my head on the overhang.) I had no idea I was tall enough to do that! That's literally never happened before. (Mr. Q said it happened to him all the time, after he got tall. I have no excuse other than "I'm clumsy.") Ugh: another impact to the head. I'll be careful with myself today.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I just found out that one of my parents' neighbours (who lived on their block for most of my life) just passed away this week (she was a couple of years younger than my parents). She was on vacation in TX (actually, in esperanza's new city), and went from "I'm feeling too hot" to dropping from a heart attack, really suddenly.

kathy a. said...

Ouchy, QWP!

I am very sorry about your parents' neighbor. xoxo

As a reward for being so brave and getting that horrible stuff from the pharmacy, I treated myself to a rare fast-food visit, 'cause that's what I wanted. And I must have arrived soon before a special occasion, because Ronald himself was dragging those big red shoes out of an SUV as I left.

kathy a. said...

My jello didn't gel -- but freezing it helps. Pineapple flavor isn't quite as bad as it sounds. Chicken broth, though, rocks! I really want to raid the kitchen.

Miranda said...

Kathy A xoxoxoxo

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Kathy: You didn't add any actual pineapple to it, did you?

kathy a. said...

No, that would violate the "clear liquids only" rule.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Oh right! It was the only reason I could think of, for why your jello didn't gel.