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Monday, May 7, 2018

{Insert Creative Title Here} Whining

Yeah, that's right. I've got nothing creative, but I'm willing to host this week, so here we are.

The final month of the school year is my least favorite: so much frantic activity and "fun" at school can get to be overwhelming and too much. So much frantic activity on my part at home, as I rush to get things done which do not need Baboo "help."

Add in the regular tasks which need to be accomplished (cooking, cleaning, laundry, and the &$^&# grocery shopping), and my lists are getting too long.

What about you, pixies?

69 comments:

Queen of West Procrastination said...

AW: a dear friend is coming to visit this afternoon, and it's supposed to be a warm day.

W: and so I decided to get ambitious and make strawberry sorbet, BEFORE we leave for piano lessons. And then I accidentally spilled a giant quantity of strawberry puree all over the oven, and then when I tried to pull out the oven to clean beside it, I sliced my finger open on something and bled everywhere (not on the strawberries). It is tricky typing with a giant finger bandaid.

kathy a. said...

Ack -- so busy, Esperanza! Thanks for hosting.

Ouch, QWP! Hope you have a great visit.

Daughter's first final is today; fingers crossed, but she seemed prepared. The other two are Thursday and next Monday, so they're nicely spaced!

My husband's having to do a lot of driving this week, but at least he's coming home nights. Next week, back to the distant hinterlands.

Need to get cracking on the stupid brief...

kathy a. said...

I've been prickly, and feeling like I'm over-reacting to things. And, finally figured out that this month is 10 years since my mother's massive stroke, which was all kinds of everything -- old grief, new grief, big fat medical decisions, family dynamics. It's not a calendar item, but does my subconscious listen? No, it does not.

kathy a. said...

This is not about my family angst -- got that straight.

But my hair keeps getting lit on fire by the daily news, and it is only Monday, and our only prez wants to draw funds from programs like CHIP (health insurance for poor children) -- because the same conservative people who voted in huge tax breaks for really super-rich people are now concerned about the budget deficits that they themselves triumphantly created. There are not enough cluesticks in the universe, so far as I'm concerned at this moment.

Sue said...

Thanks for hosting, esperanza!

Ouchie, QWP!

(((kathy))) Sorry about the pricklyness and the hair on fire re: news cycles. I hear ya.

AW: Great visit with our son. We had dinner with my family so he got to visit with some cousins, which was fun.

W: He's returning home in the morning. And by morning, I mean EARLY - as in 5:20 flight. UGH. Tomorrow will be a long day, but totally worth it to have him home.

kathy a. said...

Yay, Sue! oxoxo

esperanza said...

Ouch, QWP!

Kathy a, our subconsciouses, our bodies, remember things that our minds do not. Hugs.

Yay for family time, Sue.

Full day here, not over yet, will be back later with today's crop of whines.

Sue said...

We're going to a 60th birthday party for a friend of ours this weekend. Here's the thing... we used to be very close, almost like family. Around the same time that hubby could no longer visit them at their home (because of a lot of stairs and one bathroom at the top of said stairs), they adopted a child.

As first time parents of a new baby, their lives changed drastically, and we saw less of each other. The times between visits got longer...you see where it goes.

We still get together now and again, but it's nothing like it once was. So my question is: What do I get her for a gift?????

Something personal? Something like flowers or a gift basket? I'm stumped.

kathy a. said...

Sue, I'd go with a gourmet gift basket -- stuff they might like, but not normally buy for themselves. It's easier to just buy a prepared basket, but if you start with a basket and a person in mind, it will end up more personal.

kathy a. said...

So -- you have chefs in the family, they'll have ideas -- you might go with non-perishable things like fancy olive oil, mustard, jam, dessert sauce, nice pasta, olives, superior chocolate, uncommon cookies, some little thing you know they like, perhaps a decent wine. Or some of the above. A cloth napkin to line the basket is a bonus touch, but optional.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I agree with Kathy that a gift basket sounds like a really nice present. (Alternately: a really pretty scarf? High-quality beeswax candles? Considering the time of year, what about a nice flowering hanging basket from a garden centre? But now I'm listing presents I've recently given to friends and family.)

W: E had her first nighttime accident in almost a year, and so long after the last one that her mattress no longer has a waterproof cover. (She was also really tired yesterday -- I THINK because of how late she stayed up the night before -- and so now I'm trying to figure out whether that was the cause, or whether both of those are symptoms of something.) Poor kid was so embarrassed.

Sue said...

I like the idea of a gourmet basket with a special napkin to line it! That will work. Thanks!

(((QWP)))

Queen of West Procrastination said...

AW: E had a good morning, in spite of her rough night, and then Pinga arrived in the mail! And it's a good thing I didn't try to pretend that this was the same penguin as the lost one: the company has made a few changes in the past five years, and even though it's the same toy name (and many of the online pictures look the same), it's more than an inch taller than the old one, and much more squeezable. But E is very happy that her new penguin is bigger and moor huggable. (Also, we're joking that it's really the original Pinga, but she slept so much in the missing two months, that she has a huge growth spurt.)

kathy a. said...

Yay, Pinga arrived!! It would have been hard to pull off "look, I found it!" at E's age. Her powers of observation are pretty developed now! Excellent she's joking about it, too!

Confession: I'm thinking of a gift basket for my son's birthday (or possibly a bigger one to celebrate the kids' first anniversary, too, since that is just days later). They don't have room for more "things," and my clothing ideas end with a plaid flannel shirt, which he got for Christmas. Money is always good, but "here's some cash" presented all on its lonesome doesn't seem very personal. However, they both like food. ;)

Anonymous said...

OOoooh I love gift baskets full of goodies I wouldn't buy myself!
I think it's a great idea!!
:) Neighbor lady

esperanza said...

Yesterday's whines: I don't even remember, but they involved old white guys and mansplaining and questioning my competence. So, pretty much par for that committee meeting.

Today's whines: I'm tired. I got up early in order to get to little town and help out with the food bank there, as it is our church's month to help. (Food bank is only open one day/month). I'm sure the amount of food that we give is helpful, but in the "drop in a bucket" kind of way.



kathy a. said...

I favor every drop in every bucket possible. Especially because some old white guys are mansplaining today to poor people that corners need to be cut, because of budget shortfalls (which they created, intentionally).

Sue said...

I'm a drop in every bucket proponent as well. It all matters.

W: Parking ticket. I haven't had one in years, so it's not a huge deal, but still... darn.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

How frustrating, Sue!

That's a really important "drop in the bucket," esperanza, especially in a community where they only have one day a month of food bank.

Wish us luck: E has swimming lessons again today! Hopefully this week has fewer tears than last week.

Sue said...

Fingers crossed for a good day at swimming lessons, QWP!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

And now E is having meltdown (started when she was deliberately trying to be late for swimming, but then got frustrated with the toy she was playing with), and deliberately making herself miss swimming, and I'm at a loss about how to handle it. I've already offered that we can try again when she's a little bigger (honestly, I just want a different instructor), but I don't know if she actually wants to quit, or if she's just having a meltdown, and if she misses another week but then wants to go back, it's just going to get harder.

esperanza said...

oh, that's a sticky wicket, QWP.

Sorry about the parking ticket, Sue. I hate to break my "good girl" record.

AW: My volunteer duty in the elementary school copy machine room was only 30 minutes today! It has been two hours before. I can tell the end of school is coming soon.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

E and I are cuddling and watching Sesame Street now. I finally got her calmed down, and she was able to communicate how her instructor (whose approach to instruction is more "drill sergeant" than "teacher") is making her scared of the water. We're talking through various options that we can explore for the fall: taking lessons from the Y (where a friend of ours teaches), private swimming lessons just to get her okay with floating and swimming, waiting and trying again with the same lessons in the fall (hoping for a gentler instructor). And we now have a playground play date set up for the afternoon.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

The bright side of all of this: I was home to receive the delivery of my new toaster, at a time when I'd normally be driving home from swimming lessons. I knew the delivery would happen during that hour!

kathy a. said...

Well, Sue. These things happen. My last ticket was not coming to a full enough stop at a stop sign, when nobody was coming and I was late picking my daughter up (but I failed to notice the eager young officer parked around the corner). I guess the officer expected more push-back, but daughter was then learning to drive, and I said I couldn't really argue, since I kept telling my kids to follow all the rules.

QWP -- sorry about the meltdown, but why don't you see how it goes next week? Nothing needs to be decided right now.

Yay for a short tour of duty at the photocopy machine, Esperanza!

p_k said...

I'm glad E was able to articulate her feelings about swimming lessons. Stopping for now and trying something else later sounds like a good choice.

p_k said...

Settlement conference did not go as I hoped, although it could have been worse.

Basically, house is considered a joint asset with no consideration whatsoever for the fact that it's my historical family home that was a gift from my parents. H's $150-200+K of inheritance received after the separation is his separate property. 60/40 split of joint assets and debt. My share might be enough to buy an empty lot outright, or to qualify for a mortgage on a small 3-bedroom house that I won't have the means to make payments on once support ends and will probably be worth less at that point than it is now (the housing market is currently at an all time peak).

The judge said she would probably order 4 years of spousal support, then 1 more year of reduced support before it stops.

With the housing market in our area, you need a yearly income of almost $50K per year just to be able to qualify to rent or get a mortgage on a 2-bedroom. With my health issues, the most I've ever been able to earn is about $350 per month, but I had to quit (actually was let go) after a few months because I couldn't handle the job and working 10-15 hours per week was too much for me. And that was before I had kids that I was also taking care of on top of working.

Apparently in our state, that's considered quite a generous settlement for a 19-year marriage with a 6-figure discrepancy in both income and assets.

:( :(

p_k said...

My ex is going to be quite wealthy, while I am just going to be trying to find a way to not be homeless.

kathy a. said...

(((( PK ))))) That sucks! Take some deep breaths, and give yourself a little time to figure out options. As I understand it, this is how the judge is leaning, not a done deal yet?

The 60-40 split in your favor is something, at least. He is still a fireplacing jerk, and I'm calling on the posse to cluestick him into being more reasonable, if only for the sake of the kids. You know, the kids. xoxoxo

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I'm getting ready to ride with the posse. PK, I'm sending so many hugs. I'm so frustrated for you.

W: bedtime meltdown. After the morning meltdown. I'm so tired.

p_k said...

H apparently did say he might be willing to pay support for 6 years if we signed an agreement there. But I don't know if that was in trade for something or what.

We weren't ready to sign anything at that point so I don't know what will happen with further negotiations.

I really want to wait until the DV report comes back before finalizing anything. It was supposedly with the transcriptionist last Friday, and we were assured it would be done in time for the settlement conference, but I haven't seen anything yet.

The settlement conference is such an odd thing. They just put me in a room and I didn't see the judge at all, and only saw my lawyer for a few minutes It was mostly sitting and waiting. I was glad I had a couple of people with me there for support and company.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Waiting until the DV report comes back seems like the wise choice. I imagine he was offering 6 years of support in order to get you to sign before that report comes back. (Didn't he also push to have this settlement conference before he was done the DV classes?)

esperanza said...

Ugh, PK. Men behaving worse-than-badly. I'm so sorry.

Sorry about traffic tickets and meltdowns, especially in quantities greater than one per day.

p_k said...

He hasn't even been ordered to do the DV classes yet. For the past 8 months a psychologist has been doing an assessment to determine whether there is domestic violence and whether or not he should be ordered to do DV offender treatment

Unknown said...

The psychologist talked to him twice and had him do some basic psychological testing 8 months ago talked to me once, and then months and months of waiting... He finally talked to my therapist within the last few weeks, from what I understand. So I guess he's been working on it? I'm told there's a severe shortage of providers who can do this sort of thing in our area, and 9 months is a fairly typical wait. The GAL also took about 9 months.

Sue said...

Oh pk, I'm so sorry you're going through all of this. The cluestick posse is on it. I'm so glad you had supporters with you for the settlement conference. xoxoxo

kathy a. said...

Yay for supporters. xoxo

kathy a. said...

It seems like time to mention why Mother's Day is overblown, and not the happiest day for everybody.

First off, I'm a mother every day. This day is like every other day; don't need anybody stressing and buying things in a panic.

This H@llm@rk holiday has always been a problem for me, because my own mother was abusive, which basically nobody knew during the ordeal. I love moms, and even loved her (ended up coming to a weird mental standoff with it all); but I do not have sappy memories that I'd like to share with the universe.

Some other women wanted to be mothers, but aren't.

Some other women are mothers, but it did not happen in a way they chose.

Some other women are the most fabulous mom figures to kids who need one, even if they aren't legal moms, and don't get credit.

So, I will and do cheer everybody who is and acts like a mom; but can do without the made-up holiday.

xoxox

p_k said...

Yes, Mother's Day is a hard day for many.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Hugs for everyone approaching a fraught weekend.

W: it's been maybe a week since we recovered from the last awful cold, and suddenly this afternoon E started coughing a lot, and now she's running a low-grade fever. I'm so tired.

esperanza said...

It's Be Annoyed at Male Colleagues Week, apparently. Otherwise thoughtful and forward-thinking male colleague, upon hearing first-hand information from young clergywoman that a parishioner had complimented her b00bs on a Sunday morning at church, said, "They really said that to you?!?!?" Dude. Yes. Get a clue. And believe her when she tells you, dammit.

QWP, so sorry y'all are feeling sick again.

Re: Mother's Day: Those of you who are friends with me on the book of faces know that I post the same "Peace to those who find Mother's Day difficult" every year. And every year, the friends that like and comment on it break my heart. For almost all, I know their painful story, and there are almost as many stories as people.

I understand that it's really important to some people to celebrate their own mothers, and that's fine. It's the celebration of fictionalized, idealized motherhood, to the exclusion and erasure of real people's real pain, that gets my goat. Ahem. I might have some feelings about this.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

That's exactly it, esperanza.

I'm feeling nervous, because E played with kids on Monday (at their house) who had croup last week, and who had just recovered from it over the weekend. Before bed, she was having a pretty deep chest cough, and I had to administer her inhaler. (Of course, it also could be her asthma, and springtime is a pretty bad time for her asthma.) Fingers crossed for a good night tonight.

kathy a. said...

And your feelings about this are perfect, Esperanza.

Cluestick to the fellow pastor who questioned the b00b comment, because hard as it is for persons of the male persuasion to believe, that fireplacing happens. One of the graces of aging is that it no longer happens to me, but a person shouldn't have to wait several decades for that blessed relief, you know?

kathy a. said...

My son came to pick up his kayak from our garage. My dog goes nuts when he sees my son, and is still barking his fool head off, even though that "dangerous" person left already.

Sue said...

(((QWP)))

esperanza, I look forward to your post every year because it reminds me that I'm not the only one who finds mother's day troubling. It's such a hard day for me. My mom died 26 years ago, way too soon, and I miss her. I think about how proud she would be of her 11 grandchildren and how much she would love cuddling her great-grandchildren. Mother's day just sucks.

Cluesticks to your fellow pastor. Sheesh.

W: Birthday party tonight for my friend. Gift acquired - I ended up finding a gorgeous pottery bowl made by a local artisan. It's called a Friendship Bowl and has a lovely, but slightly abstract, design of people holding hands encircling the bowl. The whine is that hubby has a fireplacing fever and may not be able to attend with me. I fireplacing hate ms. I'm so tired of explaining why I go to every damn event alone.

esperanza said...

((Sue)) ((Mr. Sue)) That stinks.

Another message from another fb friend explaining why Mother's Day is hard. I'm beginning to wonder who it is that really, whole-heartedly, celebrates. So many people have a shadow of sadness to their celebration.

kathy a. said...

((( Sue and hubby ))) So sorry he's got a fever, and hope that resolves soon. Sounds like a wonderful gift, though. xoxo

Esperanza, so true; there are so many reasons...

QWP, fingers crossed for E.

Anonymous said...

((( sue and husband))) hope he feels better soon and that the party is nice-- the gift sounds perfect!
(((qwp and E))) hope everyone is healthy at your house pronto!
(((p_k))) so sorry it's so hard.

Hugs and love to all!!
--Neighbor lady

Queen of West Procrastination said...

So many hugs, Sue. Your poor husband. I hope the fever clears up quickly.

W: croup. Last night was rough. E's cough hasn't been too bad through the day, and so hopefully tonight is better.

And I'm a bit disappointed, because Mr. Q had a fun and relaxing weekend planned for us, and now I'm worried that it's going to be a miserable few days here. (I confess that I enjoy Mother's Day a bit, now that I've opted out of all the extended family meals that left me feeling overworked and bitter. These days, the three of us just quietly take some time together -- mostly spending time gardening -- and then at some point in the surrounding weeks, my mom, my sister, E, and I go out for tea. I avoid a bunch of social media on the weekend, because it's just too much. Church is okay, however. The closest we've ever had to a mother's day service was last year, when instead of preaching, my dad talked about much he and Mom missed their moms, and then a bunch of other people who lost their moms talked about how hard it is, and then people either talked about what they wished they'd told their moms when they had the chance, or about the women in their lives that has a positive influence. I wish we could do that every year.)

Sue said...

Thanks for all the good wishes everyone. Hubby downed two tyl@nol around 4:30 and we went to dinner. It was lovely and he did well considering he wasn't feeling super. We left as soon as dinner was done and he's now sleeping in his fave chair. He was a real champ, and our friends were so happy to see him.

So, definite AW!

kathy a. said...

Yay!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

I'm so glad he was able to go! And what a lovely present you found.

esperanza said...

Oh, good. I'm glad he could go, and I hope he feels better soon.

W: Mini has, for the second weekend in a row, called off a "sleepover" with Sweet. I am suspicious that she enjoys her extra hour to pester me--er, her extra hour of special and precious time with me--after Sweet goes to bed. I told her she's not doing this again, and we're not even planning it again until summer. Sweet was less crushed than last weekend, thankfully.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

That thing where the sick kid (who kept you up half that previous night) has such a good night that she's feeling well and energetic at 6:30am, and in her happy, energetic state, she decides that banging pot lids together like cymbals is the best way to celebrate. And then her father is like "Let's let your mother sleep! Go bang to lids downstairs!" And so she goes downstairs, right under your bedroom, to have a cymbals-crashing party. Before 7am on a Saturday.

esperanza said...

Um. Well, I'm glad she's feeling better. I think musical instruments (improvised or no) might need designated operating hours.

Signed, the mom who was woken up (as always) by Sweet at 6 AM sharp.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Early morning solidarity, esperanza.

AW: Mr. Q and E went grocery shopping, and I got a morning nap!

W: ...because I'm sick.

AW: after they got back, Mr. Q befriended the neighbours who back our house (on the other side of the back alley), and now their preschooler is friends with E! While the kids played, we all talked gardens, and plans to share the produce from our fruit trees. And talked a lot about religious schools, because their kids go to the Muslim school (where my sister taught for a while). The kids have plans of visiting back and forth and playing in each other's back yards (we have a sand box, and they have a trampoline). New friends!!

W: E had an awful coughing spell on the trampoline, and now she feels worse again. Inhaler, freezie for her sore throat, and rest for the afternoon. We're missing church tomorrow.

kathy a. said...

Great about meeting neighbor friends! Double great about them living so close!

Everybody's going to be gone someplace on Mother's Day; but my son and his lovely wife want to come by for dinner Tuesday, and he suggested take out. Sounds wonderful!

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Takeout on Tuesday sounds lovely!

E redeemed herself from her Cymbals At 6:30 shenanigans: she insisted on going to the grocery store with her dad this morning (which allowed me to nap), and when they got there, she told him that she needed to buy me flowers! She took him to the florist department, and picked out a bouquet of daisies. (Which he, obviously, paid for, since she's 5.) When I woke up from my nap, she was waiting outside my bedroom door, and dragged me to the kitchen to show me my surprise.

I have no idea where she got the idea that she was supposed to buy me flowers (maybe because my siblings and I bought my mom a flowering hanging basket?), but that made my day.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Hugs for everyone today, and especially for everyone who is having a tough day.

We're heading to the walk-in clinic, since E's temperature is up to 39.2C/102.6F, and her throat is so sore that she can only eat frozen stuff. Mr. Q tried to insist that he could take her alone, to give me a break, but the prospect of being without Mama made E cry, and so we're all heading there together.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

W: we went to two clinics before we found one that was both open this morning (apparently I need to check their Twitter and not just their website?) and didn't have an incredibly long wait. Third one was the charm, but all the driving made E nauseated. Severe upper respiratory infection. Ugh.

esperanza said...

Ouchie. So sorry she's feeling crummy. The flowers are sweet, though.

kathy a. said...

Oy, that's a lot of driving! Poor babe, but glad she finally saw a doc. Yes, very sweet about the flowers.

The dog figured out The Man was leaving -- something about packing the bags, loading the car -- and he went into a bark and cry fest. My husband's [joking] parting instructions were, "just sit with him for a few hours until he calms down." Ahem. Day care tomorrow....

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Thank goodness for doggy daycare! And hugs about your beloved's impending time away.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

AW: greetings from my hammock! I succeeded in persuading E to take her medicine (it's different from the usual stuff, and so she was a little scared), and now there's no reason why Mr. Q can't parent alone for a few hours.

kathy a. said...

I'm not much of one for h@llm@rk celebrations, but have a huge soft spot for flowers. Which, my baby girl sent this afternoon, even though she has a final tomorrow. (Also, I'm convinced she is totally ready for this final -- which happens to be in my area of stuff, so objectively, she has a strong grip on it.) The flowers are just a bonus.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

That's so thoughtful of your daughter! I hope that she does well on her final tomorrow.

W/AW: I'm hanging out in my living room in my bathing suit, because E woke up incoherent from a (rare) nap, and the only idea that didn't make her cry was the idea of having a warm bath with me, but now she's spending a long time on the potty (which was what we were trying to get her to do in the first place). But I've already changed into my bathing suit for that bath, and so hopefully no one comes to the door in the next while.

esperanza said...

QWP, you are winning all the mom points today.

kathy a. said...

Yep, I'll second that on Mom Points.

Any mindless but not annoying Netflix suggestions?

Queen of West Procrastination said...

What's your type of show, Kathy? I watch a lot of mindless Netflix. I'm watching this funny little series called World's Most Extraordinary Homes right now. The British hosts are hilarious. I'm a sucker for an easy-to-follow and mild British mystery, and recently watched through all of both Midsomer Murders and Father Brown. (Also: Miss Fisher Mysteries.) The musical comedy Galavant is an absolute hoot. Chef's Table is gorgeous and relaxing. Depending on mindless you need the show to be, you can't go wrong with Bob Ross.

Thank you for your mom point votes of confidence! Today didn't end up being too bad, as mother's days go. E was sure appreciative of spending time with me (and got me a helium balloon from the dollar store, while I was picking up her prescription!). We had a pretty silly time together, swimming in our bathing suits in the bath tub. It was very sweet.