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Monday, May 8, 2017

I'm late!

An important whine has already been registered on last week's thread!

Over here, the obsessive wedding planning continues.  Last night, I urgently informed my husband that we ought to have black beans at the picnic, we could warm them on the camp stove.  He gave me a really funny look, and said, "Beans?"  So I decided not to pursue that conversation...

What's happening at your place?

65 comments:

esperanza said...

Incompetently set up online calendars are definitely whine worthy.

AW: I just completed all four phone calls that i needed to make this morning.

W: I hate phone calls. I don't mind answering the phone, but I hate making calls.

W: our master bathroom is set up such that you have to pass through the bathroom in order to reach the closet. When all I need to get going on my day is my tennis shoes (for once, properly put away in the closet), and Mr. E is camped out on the toilet....ugh. (We have a marital bathroom privacy agreement. Apparently does not apply to Baboo intrusions).

Liz Miller said...

I agree no beans at the wedding, unless it's 7 bean salad, because that shit is delicious, easy, and it stays good at room temperature.

Also easy: cherry or grape tomatoes, mini mozzarella balls, and basil soaked in garlic and balsamic vinegar.

Also also easy: cut up pieces of eggplant, bell peppers, onions (I prefer red), mushrooms, garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and roast until mushy and caramelized and put in the cuisinart. Good either slightly chunky or smooth. SO DELICIOUS.

Also also also easy: Scramble up a dozen or so eggs, chop up some zuccini, artichokes, spinach, or what ever. Shred up whatever cheese you've got in your fridge. Mix it all together with herbs and salt and pepper and bake until no longer liquid. Serve at room temp.

My general feeling about picnics is that nothing should be hot unless you're grilling. And then only the things you're grilling.

kathy a. said...

This is how crazy the picnic part has gotten -- my husband bought a new propane grill (and skewer turning contraption), so he can have two small grills going at once for the skewers, and leave the big grill for other foods. And then he went and got a propane burner, so he can cook his mom's rice pilaf (which our son wants), because apparently our camp stove is not good enough for that task, and it won't do to cook it at home.

Point taken about the beans. We already have a long list of picnic foods, including assorted salads and other veggie friendly foods. Maybe it was just a craving. I should make black beans soon....

Meanwhile, 3 errands done already today!

kathy a. said...

I assume corn is still approved for a picnic / bbq. We're going to have upwards of 40 people, though, so I'm thinking of shucking it in advance, snapping the cobs into cobettes, and boiling them in smallish batches so people can get them warm if they want -- and if not, they'll keep well enough. (We do have a camp stove! We do not have enough bbq space to roast them in the coals or whatever, like the boy scouts do.)

We've got several coolers lined up, a big tub to ice drinks, a large jug for ice water, and a variety of containers for salads, dips, grape leaves, stuff to skewer, etc. And a combination battle plan + shopping list.

Liz Miller said...

Esperanza, I've never understood that layout. I totally get walking through the closet area to the bathroom, but not the other way around.

kathy a. said...

That closet would be a good reason to keep the sneaks by / under the bed...

Sorry for rambling on about the picnic. We ended up setting 3 p.m. for snacks and hanging out, 6 for dinner, for a variety of boring reasons -- but it means we need to keep food at appropriate temps over a long period of time. Food for a lot of people! /end freak/

Queen of West Procrastination said...

These are excellent picnic plans, Kathy! And I think that corn on the cob is an excellent food for the grill, and that shucking in advance is wise, for when you're dealing with a crowd.

Esperanza, that's a pretty nonsensical closet arrangement! (And we have the same bathroom privacy agreement. Friends who don't always think we're so prudish!) I'd say that a secondary small place in the bedroom, for necessary items, would be wise.

So. Two weeks ago, it was snowing here, last week was so hot that we periodically used the air conditioner, and this week is cool (but not cold) and rainy. We are experiencing the seasons out of order right now.

AW: no freezing in the forecast, which means that we can go ahead with our plans to plant the garden next weekend!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

W: my grandpa's best friend passed away today, almost exactly a year after Grandpa. It wasn't a surprise (he was 92, and was very ill), but the news has made me sadder than I expected to be. And, looking at Book of Faces today, I'm not the only one. He was kind to a lot of people.

Liz Miller said...

Better yet, DON'T SHUCK. Grill the corn on the cob IN THE HUSK. It comes off way easier after it's been cooked, and it tastes SO MUCH BETTER.

This advice brought to you by Nero Wolfe (fresh corn, roasted in the hottest possible oven {grill counts} for 40 minutes, shuck at the table, butter and salt - NOTHING ELSE, "it is ambrosia").

kathy a. said...

Oh, QWP. I'm so sorry for the loss of your grandpa's good and beloved friend. xoxox

I know, Liz -- but I'm afraid we'll be short of BBQ grill acreage, given the large crowd. Trying to think of ways to prep in advance, get the job done on this site, with the equipment available... A quick boil of sweet fresh corn on the camp stove wont' be bad! Yes, there will be butter. ;)

Liz Miller said...

(((QWP)))

esperanza said...

Liz, that's my favorite way to eat corn. Soaking it first helps the husks not burn. Second favorite is to throw it, husks and all, into the microwave. It takes my wimpy microwave about 12-15 minutes to cook 3 ears. Then the silks just fall off, and it is so easy and so good.

QWP, sorry about the residual grandpa grief, and this new loss.

AW: Mini is fully recovered from tummy bug/exhaustion puke phenomenon

W: Wow is she full of energy. She's ridden her bike almost constantly since she got home from school and is still bouncing off the walls.

esperanza said...

W? AW? My only non-churchy friend from old town just made it fb official that they are expecting a baby. (She told me a few days ago). She's 40. It was a surprise. I'm surprised that I have so many conflicting emotions about this. I'm done. Done, done, done, and have been very clear about that since Mini was born. So why am I feeling wistful? There is some jealousy, I know, lingering from the infertility journey for anyone who "whoops! Got pregnant! Wasn't even trying, and I thought I was too old!" But I'm happy for her. And glad I'm not starting over again with a newborn.

kathy a. said...

Oh, I think it is the tug of babies. Because, babies!!!! But then there are at least 18 years of various dramas, and it's not like we really retire after that... Also, why brag about "didn't expect this?" But that's on her, and not on you. You get to be the friend who gets to snuggle the baby, and then go home. Which is good. xoxox

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Esperanza, I understand the twinge. For me, it's always when someone who had a baby at the same time as E was born has another (and another, and another...). I'm very happy with my one, and I don't want to go through any of it again, but these things stir up old feelings that don't always line up with rationality.

W: a car nearly hit me (AGAIN) when I was crossing the street to pick up E this morning. It's always the same corner! When the walk light is on! Always cars turning left, during times when the left turn signal (which is there, but only in effect during rush hour) isn't on. I found the online form for service request from the city, and gave that online form a piece of my mind, and then clicked "yes" about whether I'd like a follow-up call. Last month a CITY TRUCK NEARLY HIT ME AT THAT CORNER. I definitely mentioned that fact in my missive. (The light is already there! And it has sensors! Use it for more than two hours a day!)

AW: at least the car didn't hit me!

kathy a. said...

Yikes, QWP! In Japan, they have little buckets holding flags for children to use when crossing to get to school -- some intersections near us have them, too, although the flags keep going missing.

I don't know what gets into people! Yesterday, I was at a 4 way stop; the cars to the right and left went; I started going, and the car on the right just blew the stop sign and high-tailed it immediately behind the car that crossed legally. Grr.

Liz Miller said...

LabC0rp is frosting my cookies today. I believe I whined about this same thing back in January.

They keep billing the wrong insurance company. And by that, I don't mean my secondary insurance (I haven't got any), I mean they billed BCBS in MD TWICE. Then they billed BCBS in Arkansas.

ARKANSAS, y'all.

And the bill is for $1,515.

I have been on the phone three times about this over 6 months. Now I've sent a Perfectly Polite Letter to the billing department. Next I'll be upgrading to Less Polite Letter sent to the CEO, CCing the Corporate Counsel and the Consumer Protection Bureaus in both NC and VA

kathy a. said...

You might also copy the state department of insurance. They also track insurance messups. Their website might give additional advice about dealing with insurance problems.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

So many cluesticks for l@bc0rp! That's ridiculous!

AW/W: I was brave today, and registered E and me for a week of soccer lessons offered by the city (targeted at her age group) for parents and tots. I am...not athletic. And not coordinated. And these lessons happen at 9:30am, which means getting out of the house in the morning over summer vacation. But my child is obsessed with soccer (and I didn't get her into rec soccer this summer, because she goes to bed very early, and registration was long past by the time she started asking me about soccer), and this will be good for both of us. And the activity is during the same week that Mr. Q is running a robotics camp, and so I won't have to deal with a moping child who misses her dad, because she'll have her own exciting activity.

Watch this space for whining about early mornings and exhaustion, this August.

kathy a. said...

QWP -- surely in a parent/tot program, the athleticism can't be much beyond everyday parenting of an active child? And there will be lots of other parents there!

Long ago, there was a funny Dave Barry column about t-ball (the most junior version of baseball, where kids try to hit a ball off of a stand). And he said the role of the parents was to "activate" their players when the ball got close to them. So, Junior is looking at airplanes and picking his nose, and Junior's mom is yelling: "JUNIOR! Look! Go catch the ball!!" Or, "Throw the ball!" Or "Run! No, the other way!"

Liz Miller said...

Thanks, Kathy! I'll do that.

Liz Miller said...

Impatiently waiting for Muffin Man to get home from school so we can drive 20 miles to the nearest Haagen Dazs for free ice cream cone day.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip with Chocolate Crunchies, here I come!

(also, the nearest large bricks and mortar bookstore is in the same mall, so two birds).

kathy a. said...

Two birds!

I'm debating a foray to the c0stc0, which shouldn't be hard except I hate big stores, and parking lots. Need to learn where more stuff is, for the serious picnic shopping. This will be a preliminary expedition, with buying of some non-perishables. The picnic is in a month!

esperanza said...

W: So tired. Every day. All day. So tired. I feel like I'm functioning at about 60% Contemplating making a doctor's appointment.

kathy a. said...

Go for it, esperanza. xoxo

Well, a person goes on a shopping expedition for an hour, and all heck breaks loose in the news. AW: some vital supplies were obtained, and the general location of others noted.

esperanza said...

Thanks for the push, kathy a. Next Tuesday morning. I'm taking next week off anyway, and heading to Big City in the East for our big niece's college graduation.

I don't even know what to say about all heck breaking loose in the news. Except I"m contacting my people to ask for an independent commission, asap.

kathy a. said...

Call for independent commission, check.

Congrats to your niece, Esperanza!

kathy a. said...

Honestly. I was a teenager when Watergate happened, and the person in charge of investigating that got fired. And the problems there didn't even involve the interference of a *foreign government* in an election, nevermind all the inadequately explored ties between an administration and that same foreign government. Blowing my mind, this is.

esperanza said...

Also, I don't know if this has made the national news, or gotten overshadowed: my state passed a horrific "show me your papers" style anti-immigration bill, and the governor signed it this week. The state has filed "pre-emptive" lawsuits against municipalities with sanctuary ordinances, as well as against MALDEF and perhaps some other groups, so that a judge can rule that their law is constitutional. This seems weird. I've never heard of a pre-emptive lawsuit.

kathy a. said...

That is pretty freakachino, Esperanza. Hold up -- federal courts can't issue advisory opinions at all, except on ethics questions. And most other courts don't, because it is not a "case or controversy" (that's in the Constitution) requiring resolution. So, this sounds like a really stupid move. Meaning that sometime soon, BAM! It will go away.

kathy a. said...

I mean the pre-emptive lawsuits will go away. The show me your papers law, that will take a while, but it's just not legal to demand papers for no cause -- that's been established.

Anonymous said...

I heard about it, Esperanza. ACLU issued a travel warning.

Liz on iPhone

esperanza said...

I know! So embarrassing! And terrible. I have a couple who attends my church who are from Puerto Rico. I noticed Sunday that the husband was carrying his passport in a pouch around his neck. I'm sure they're terrified.

esperanza said...

My senators' fax machines (my usual method of choice) are "busy" and "no answer."

kathy a. said...

Hmm. Well, I hope all the phones and faxes are flooded. Have you tried their in-state offices? (They communicate with the mothership.) My method of choice now is the online email for each critter. They're tallying the numbers, which ever way an opinion gets to them.

Last night, my elderly neighbor went on a walkabout twice, and nearly scared his wife to death! The first time, he had snagged her car keys, and she found him sitting in the driver's seat. (He hasn't driven in years, and had no idea how to proceed.) Then a while later, she couldn't find him again, but he turned up in the front yard -- so she thought all was well, but he'd been back down to the car and left 3 of the car doors open, which an alert neighbor noticed. Oh, she was so upset. But her sweet husband can't really process the dangers at this point.

So I suggested hiding her keys someplace besides her purse, someplace he wouldn't think to look. And -- she may need to consider moving to her daughter's in-law apartment, just so there are more people around her husband.

kathy a. said...

Forgot to AW! My bras arrived and fit well! Miracles do happen! ;)

esperanza said...

That is a verifiable miracle, kathy a! Congratulations!

And eek about your neighbor.

Still grumbling at my non-communicative senators.

Liz Miller said...

Bras that fit! WOOT!!

kathy a. said...

Me to beloved: "So, what happened to that big red cooler in the garage? I know son has the other one."

Beloved: "Um. Do I have to answer that?"

I just do not even want to know, so long as he gets a replacement here in time for the picnic.

esperanza said...

W: Mr. E and I both feel yucky today. Tummy weirdness that does not quite reach the level of tummy bug. Of course, he appears to be completely incapacitated, in the manner of Man Cold.

W: Sweet is coughing nonstop. AW: it's not asthmatic or deep, just tickly throat. (I have become somewhat of an expert). When I went into tell her goodnight, she was covered in sweat, but claimed to feel fine. No fever. Mysterious.

Anonymous said...

esperanza.... could it be allergies? Hoping for relief for all of you!

and, kathy, sometimes I think it's better not to know!
lol

--Neighbor Lady

esperanza said...

Maybe, NL. She doesn't seem sick, really. The cough is annoying (to her and to me). The sweat was kind of worrisome, but she seemed plenty perky.

AW: Annnndd, Sweet has fallen asleep by herself for 5 nights in a row now. I've been sitting in her room while she falls asleep for close to a year. I'd be really happy if she was past that phase.

kathy a. said...

Yay, Sweet! Knock wood.

AW: Don't be jealous, but I have just achieved the Clearing Of The Dead Condiments! And I am virtuously recycling the containers, except the one jar of olives with pits that now sports a deep layer of mold on the top; landfill gets that one.

Old Skool: You know how underwires arrive all flat, and one's ribcage curves around? There was some sadness in the rib area during the first run of a new bra, even though it fits nicely otherwise.

Cooler update: My beloved located 2 large insulated jugs and a couple of smaller coolers, but the big cooler remains on the lam. I'm pretty sure he relocated it during a recent "I'm cleaning up in the garage" spree, and hasn't yet remembered that he put it in a perfectly logical place where nobody can see it.

esperanza said...

Re: dead condiments. I have a running argument with myself, whether it is kinder to the earth to use lots of water and clean them out to recycle, or save the water and just throw them in the trash. I have not settled it.

Our coolers are in the attic. I don't know if that will help or not. You could certainly borrow one, but the shipping might be prohibitive.

kathy a. said...

My city is big on recycling, and the recycling people say that a decent rinse is fine, no need to worry about a little residue. That one jar, though...

Somebody must have lent the cooler out, because there is no place large enough for it to be hiding. Hmm. Think we will end up with enough coolers, but this remains a domestic mystery.

esperanza said...

I think *somebody* knows more than he is saying...

kathy a. said...

Picking my battles.

Liz Miller said...

HOT FLASH. HOOOOOOOTTTTTTT FLAAAAAAAASSSSSSHHHHHHH

That is all.

kathy a. said...

Do you have those cooling things to put on your neck? That helps. Or, standing in front of an AC vent. Going to the supermarket just to stand with the freezer door open. Going to c0stc0 to stand in the refrigerated area. Or, ice pack to the back of the neck. Like that. xoxo

kathy a. said...

Oh, and alcohol based hand sanitizer; it cools as it evaporates. Back of neck and pulse points.

kathy a. said...

Folding fans; carry them everywhere. Have extras.

kathy a. said...

My last 2 comments are the most socially acceptable. And you will start noticing the other women with fans. It's like a secret club.

kathy a. said...

Here's one for the books. My son called to ask if we had been invited to the co-ed wedding shower happening one hour from now. And no, we had not.

His dad's on a long bike ride; I have a headache; we did not know any particulars of this thing; so I said I did not think we could make it. He is so upset with the organizer of this thing (friend of the MotB), and really wants us to go. So, we may be fashionably late. Or not go. It's all up in the air.

I told my son that we love them; don't worry about this; things happen; we're so excited about the wedding. Jeepers.

esperanza said...

That is bizarre, kathy a. It offends my (mildly) Southern sensibilities.

W: Sweet now puking. Is there some rule in the universe that says preachers' kids must only become ill on Saturday evenings?

kathy a. said...

I only lived in the South for 4 years, but hell yeah. This is rude anywhere.

Oh, so sorry about Sweet. xoxo

kathy a. said...

Well, we didn't go. It's a distance; we had no warning; between my headache and my husband having just ridden who knows how many miles, we aren't up to it. Both of us assured our son it's just a glitch, we love him and are happy, no biggie.

But I am feeling kind of pissy toward this person hosting the event.

esperanza said...

Both of those paragraphs are totally understandable. I wouldn't have gone either. And I might be feeling more strongly negative than "pissy" toward the host.

W: Sweet threw up again.
AW: Mr E has helped clean up both times.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Understandable feelings towards the host! She's been a source of stress from the beginning, yes? At least they didn't agree to have her be the wedding "concierge"! I'm so sorry that she messed things up so badly that she ended up causing you to miss the wedding shower.

Esperanza: oh no! (But I'm glad that Mr. E is around to clean up!)

kathy a. said...

Esperanza, hope Sweet is better.

One more grumble -- I gather this wedding shower was to be the big kick-off to the wedding festivities, and anybody who's anybody was invited. My son especially wanted us to meet people who will be involved with the wedding. Instead, there was zero participation from the groom's family.

I know in my mind this was a glitch, just like I told my son. But I'm having more trouble emotionally, treating it like water under the bridge, let's move along.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I'm sorry that it worked out that way, Kathy. And it's definitely a glitch rather than malice, but this is a person who definitely is causing a lot of unnecessary stress to the wedding procedures (and seems to have a few boundary issues, based on previous evidence)! Perhaps she should be given as few responsibilities as possible, going forward, to make sure there are no other glitches.

AW/W: our families have been very understanding of our determination to keep this weekend absolutely free (and particularly not to participate in a big, family meal this weekend, as has been tradition in the past). We've had nearly no pushback for our rule that we say "no" to everything (as the weekend gets wild, if we don't: there's also homecoming, a kids' carnival at Mr. Q and E's school, a science for kids event at the university run by my SIL's boyfriend, and a friend decided to host a barbecue on Saturday night, not to mention the young adults from church trying to convince us to join them for a movie this weekend). It's simpler to give a blanket "no" to everyone, at this point, and so we did. But the friend who hosted the barbecue (not for a specific event! Just "it's about time we got people together, before the summer gets busy") clearly has her nose out of joint that I didn't make an exception for her event. She sent me a mother's day greeting this morning that was mixed with passive aggression about how much they missed us last night, and asking that I please make sure that we can make it to the next big thing that's happening with her family. She's the sort to encourage me to have boundaries and say "no" to people, but at the same time think that those boundaries don't apply to her. And I used to have bad boundaries with her, and make exceptions for her, and so the old guilt triggers put a bit of a shadow on my morning.

kathy a. said...

May the boundary force be with us all.

Liz Miller said...

QWP, would a script help? "Good friend, you've done great work encouraging me to have boundaries and say 'no' to people. This is me using what you've taught me. This weekend, I'm saying 'no' to everything that would take me out of my house or that would have me interact with anyone other than my husband and daughter. This means I'm going to miss several things I would say 'yes' to on any other weekend, including your event. I appreciate your efforts to get me to practice keeping to 'no' when pushed, but I think I'm good here."

Liz Miller said...

And Kathy, sounds like party planner was punishing you all for not letting her walk all over all of you. (whew, that's a lot of "all"s. I need to increase my vocabulary).

Liz Miller said...

Esperanza, I hope Sweet is feeling better!

Liz Miller said...

Back to the HOT FLASH. I typed that earlier whine WHILE FANNING MYSELF.

My fan was VERY POPULAR at the daytime events at the reunion. I keep one in my purse at all times :D

I'll start bringing hand sanitizer with me, too. Hadn't thought about pulse points.