Working Wednesday, May 23, 2018

I’m still slowly digging out the side yard.  The front yard is a meadow which I like but which gives my very nice neighbor across the street pain (he has miles of carpet-like grass), so I ordered a mounding daisy and some lithodora for there.  And then there’s the house and the breakfast scene (ARGH).

So what have you been doing?

76 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, May 23, 2018

  1. I’m enjoying the jokes about the sinkhole that opened up on the White House lawn. It’s not exactly work…

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  2. About twenty years ago I planted six allium plants because when I first saw them they looked liked they were dancing on the wind. Very pretty. So of the original six they are now down to four but no worries they have spread to ten surrounding the shed in the yard. They also have a short blooming season but I don’t care there’s always another flower ready to bloom.

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  3. I did get caught up on writing book reviews and I am almost caught up on writing old journal entries, so good for me on the working front. I finished the overskirt for my Renaissance sweater/dress thing and it’s blocking/drying.

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      1. Haha, it’s a funny story. My older son’s class had a chance to participate in a children’s music festival at the Kennedy Center. Number One Son has autism and needs an aide on stage to guide him through the performance.
        Music teacher asked very nicely for me to go up with him since he’s most comfortable with me.
        I agree even though I don’t have a musical bone in my body. 🙂

        Son did very well. He’s not a performer either, but he was a good sport and did his part. And then we got to see the National Symphony Orchestra perform, which was awesome!

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  4. I’ve been busy getting ready for our trip. We leave for Ireland tomorrow!!!

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  5. I thought y’all might enjoy this: http://aiweirdness.com/post/173096796277/skyknit-when-knitters-teamed-up-with-a-neural
    AI-generated knitting patterns! Apparently they’re completely ridiculous, and knitters are basically programmers.

    Textiles and computers have long had a relationship:
    https://kompanie-mutter.tumblr.com/post/168346231616/pain-and-missouri-annnmoody-isnerdy

    Some math ideas explained through knitting and crochet:
    http://mentalfloss.com/article/86016/6-math-concepts-explained-knitting-and-crochet
    http://www.toroidalsnark.net/mathknit.html

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    1. Didn’t Jacquard looms have something to do with computing? Like, technically they were the first because they used punch cards? No time to google it, so take it with a grain of salt. But, it’s a great story (-:.

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    2. Oh, my goodness! That skyknit! I’m not good enough at crochet to get giggles from the patterns, but the finished products? Wow! I laughed, I almost cried, I was repulsed and strangely attracted. As humans, we look for rhythm, and looking at those strangely generated pieces, I could feel my brain creating new patterns to make sense of what I was looking at. “Organic” is a great word for some of those pieces, despite being so artificial. I guess it’s true what they say about the randomization that can take place from a few basic rules to rule the universe.

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      1. I loved that even with the seeming random-ness, the knitters’ brains stubbornly found patterns after a while. In the face of no rhyme or reason, we try to zoom out until we can make one. Grass is unevenly placed, but we zoom out until we see a meadow.

        (Some of the oddness of the patterns was due to the source material, which had a lot of, shall we say, naughty entries, as they came from an adult forum.)

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  6. It’s my first week at a new job, so I’ve been doing a lot of the research/ listen/ learn. I’m hoping today I get to actually do some work.

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  7. I managed to squeeze in a little sewing this week. I enjoy the creative process and try to give myself time for sewing every weekend. (It’s usually knitting or crochet during the week while I unwind in the evenings.) Quilting is a reward after doing my chores. This week was an attempt at a bargello pattern.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BjH6JTag97j/?tagged=workingwednesdaypix

    I had previously scoffed at doing one, because I didn’t want to cut out all those intricate, mosaic-like tiles. But I found a pattern that seemingly didn’t require as much of the tedium, and I already had the materials in my stash – so what the heck! I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. I just need to put a couple of borders (a thin one of solid white, and a thicker one of a darker blue) and it will be ready to quilt.

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    1. Very nice! I had a friend who did similar colors for her bargello. I’ve not done one yet but hope to someday.

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  8. I am working on a jacket with water lilies and koi fish. There is a lot of wet on wet painting, and detailed painting, so I am doing it in stages. Slow but satisfying.

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  9. We too have a non-lawn front yard, and while I’m sure it gives some of our neighbors heartburn, many more smile and compliment us on it (as did the UPS man – that was a hoot!). We had a fountain installed last week, and the hummingbirds are already splashing around in it.

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    1. I got a little fountain for the side yard, solar-powered with a big ceramic dish on the bottom so the dogs will have a place to drink clean water and the birds can play in the top layers. I like the idea of one for the front yard, too, just for the birds.

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      1. As a gardener I view lawn as the picture frame for my flower beds. It also has the advantage that I can pay a guy $30 and he mows and edges it every week and I don’t have to. Actually, It doesn’t get mowed in the winter and most of the spring and in the dry spells it is only mowed every other week. So it isn’t that expensive. And I don’t smoke or eat out a lot or buy pre-made meals very often so it is one of my indulgences. And if you don’t have lawn, you have garden of one sort or another and almost all of it requires weeding – many, many, many times a year. Lawn is easier.

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        1. I’m thinking of a yard of wildflowers, aka weeds. With maybe a path. You don’t weed weeds, and you don’t mow them, either, and they’re good for birds and butterflies and bees. I learned last year not to clear the garden over the winter because it’s good for the three B’s, and I’m kind of getting into it.

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          1. Do you have quack grass growing nearby? Or himalayan blackberries? Or ivy?

            The quack grass you can probably ignore in a wildflower meadow, although it is pretty invasive. The blackberries and the ivy you will still have to go after because they take over. And the birds, bless their cheery little heart keep pooping the seeds back into the yard so even after you get rid of it you have to be alert to it.

            Also buddleia and scotch broom. Morning glory probably isn’t a problem there because even though it smothers everything in its path, it is not wild about a lot of cold in the winter – a few freezes it ignores but it doesn’t seem to invade place that really stay cold for a while.

            Just call me the Cassandra of gardening.

            A good layer of shredded hemlock bark keeps the weeds down in areas that you want weed free. And it breaks down and is good addition to soil. Be careful of cedar bark, while it keeps the weeds down it produces a chemical compound that can stunt trees and shrubs you want healthy.

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          2. I have a bastard of a berry–looks like tiny strawberries–that has thorny stems and I’m currently hacking it out everywhere. The only other invasive I have is ivy–currently confined to the other side yard and doomed to stay there because I keep hacking it back–and one lone butterfly bush that decided to grow out of the side of an old stone fireplace in the backyard. That thorny bastard is going to go, though.

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          3. It sounds like you are a fan of Christopher Lloyd. He always said not to clean up a garden before February because the winter weather breaks down the dead stuff and what takes you days to clean up in October only takes only an hour or so in the early spring.

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          4. I just want to leave the land alone. I figure Nature knows what it’s doing (except for that damn thorny berry that has to go), and I can’t even keep my living room tidy; I’m not going to fret about the outside as long as there are flowers, birds, bees, and butterflies out there.
            But that berry has to go.

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        2. The thing about a meadow in the forest is that unless the meadow has some limitation (for example, it’s only six inches of topsoil over an old concrete foundation), the default mode is forest. I’ve neglected my “lawn” near some trees, and now I’ve got an oak tree the size of my thumb (and I can’t pull that sucker out), and some mystery tree that keeps coming back. Someone told me it was called “devil’s club” — it’s straight, but covered in thorns and is not what I want to run into while mowing. My husband pulled it out with a tractor once, but it’s baa–aaack.

          But that’s just my experience. The rest of the lawn seems to be resisting the guerilla birches and whatnot in a grand manner.

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    2. My lawn mower died in the middle of cutting my front lawn on Tuesday. On Wednesday, I came home and discovered that someone (most likely my next door neighbor) had taken pity on me and finished mowing that side of the lawn. Joy!

      We’ve got a walkway splitting the front lawn in half. For some reason the other side never seems to grow as fast or as messily.

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  10. I’m still busy growing kittens (video of romping/pouncing at Instagram, marking 5 weeks and a couple days), but also planted 100 red onions, a bunch of lettuce and Bright Lights Swiss chard and basil and banana peppers in time for the recent rain to water them in. Also brainstormed/outlined a sequel to the cozy mystery currently on submission. I did about one row of knitting on a chemo cap, and that’s going to be my goal for next Wednesday — to finish it. They only take a couple hours for a whole hat, but I really don’t like working with this particular yarn (pretty but too slippery to control on needles), so it’s been in the works since January. Time to finish it!

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    1. PUT IN KITTEN LINK. Please.
      I’ll go find them, but links are good.

      OMG, so cute. LOVE THE POUNCING.

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  11. My front yard is half new pollinator garden, and half extremely scruffy grass. I can’t really do anything about the grass (plan is to remove it all and put in real plants) until we have a plumbing issue examined and dealt with (it seems our house’s main drain has a breach somewhere under the yard …). It is laughably horrid-looking.

    Yesterday when I got home, a neighborhood cat was lounging under the young sunflowers that have sprung up under my bird feeder. After asking it to leave, I pulled up some of the sunflowers to remove the cat’s camouflage, and potted them up in a container on the other side of the yard. Hoping they will survive because they are nice sturdy plants, and hey – free seeds would be great.

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  12. Cow-pictures incoming! I finally clayed the last details on it today = it’s finally finished! So after this I’m not gonna mention that thing again, I promise.
    https://twitter.com/shassmusic/status/999345436367474688
    The cow is made of papier-maché (I bought it, haven’t made that myself unfortunately), and I’ve coloured/decorated it with foam clay (and silk clay for the eyes).
    Now I’m just post-worrying about its eyes being too small or weird (we don’t want a madly staring cow, either…)or not visible enough or not sitting on the right places because I don’t 100 % trust the people around me (or at the creativity club) to tell the truth about such things. They’re basically praising everything I do because I have a disability and they think it’s amazing that I can get out of bed in the morning without breaking every bone in my body. Yo lads, it’s my EYES that don’t work, the rest is sort of normal… So. Well. I will just have to hope my psychologist, whom will be on the receiving end of this madness, will enjoy it when she gets it. Whenever that will be.

    I also cleaned the toilet and bathroom while MIL was helping out with the vacuumcleaning earlier today, and I made broodje gehaktbal (meatballs in a bun with sauce of your choice [I’m a sucker for the Dutch mayonaise nowadays…]) and fresh salad for dinner. And I’ve spent the last hour catching up on last week’s blogposts and comments here. I think I’ve deserved a nice cup of tea now.

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      1. Thank you! 🙂

        Mayo in Sweden (which is what I was used to before moving to NL) is a bit sour/fresh, which is more the Belgian style of mayo. It works splendedly on toast with shrimps and egg and cucumber and tomato and whatnot, but (according to me) not so well with meatballs or fries. Dutch mayonaise is creamier and with no sourness to it. Like bearnaise without the tarragon. That’s the best way I can describe it. It’s great with fries, and meatballs, and…a lot of other things, unfortunately. 😉

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      1. Yeah, I know. But I don’t use instagram and thought weeell a hashtag or two never hurts, so… Now it’s on Twitter, too. 😉

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        1. I’ve also posted a few on twitter. Nice cow! Was the twitter conversation about whether it had balls or an udder? I think your response was doesn’t matter because cow = hamburger. Am I even close?

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          1. You are right! My brother asked me whether it was sulkying or not (which in Swedish is “tjura” and a bull is “tjur”, so I guess you could say he asked if it was bulling…? 😉 ), and I answered that it did until I made the udder golden, oooor is it actually balls hanging there? I added that it was open for personal interpretation. He said that perhaps it identifies itself as a bull and asked if I’d asked it whether it wanted to be male or female. I said that it can do what it fancies in that case for even bulls have four stomachs, I’ve learned (something I had NEVER thought about until I read the first James Herriot earlier this spring). So be it udder or balls, it’s a hamburger in any case!

            So your context analysis was really good! Your Swedish interpretation skills are marvellous. Well done!
            (Isn’t there btw a translation button somewhere on Twitter nowadays? I think MIL mentioned it once.)

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          2. I didn’t try letting a computer translate. You had enough English in there I could guess.

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      2. If I ever get something photo-worthy, I’ll put it on Twitter, too. I think as long as we connect here (if we want to be seen), it’ll all work out. It seems like people are having problems with Instagram’s tagging, anyway, so it might be best for folks to add links here, as well. (-: I’ve clicked on all of them I’ve seen today.

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  13. I’m completely wiped out by my holiday. I’m driving home tomorrow, and thinking of resting up over the weekend to recover. It’s been great touring round and seeing everyone, but it hasn’t been the rest cure I hoped for.

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  14. Just maps. We are in the middle of a bi-annual overall of the main map and I feel like it is the map that will never end.

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  15. I’m working on creating a list of small projects to keep me busy while DH is in Kenya for the next two weeks (leaving early Saturday morning). A lot of these are really over-due: for example putting away the Christmas dishes and catching up on balancing my checkbook. I have tried kneeling and very sore knees indicate that any gardening will be extremely limited.

    DH went to Kenya for a week for the first part of this project a year ago January. Just before grand-daughter was born and my breast cancer diagnosis. He’s been really great about delaying these mission trips to stay around and help me. Time to let him go. But I have to admit that two weeks feels about four times longer than one week!

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  16. So, here’s my long story. When I found out I was going to be off work for two weeks recovery after the cardiac thing, even though half of it is going to be unpaid, I thought “Good. I’ll get some writing done and be ahead of the game.”

    Ha. I’m still working on staying awake for an entire day. My co-workers are going to find me asleep behind my desk. I’m sure of it. I keep falling asleep in my chair. If I do that here, I can sure as hell do that there. Maybe they’ll send me away before the end of my contract. I can wish.

    On top of that, I had to walk a little tiny bit fast to catch one of my dogs who went walkabout yesterday. She’s old and wasn’t moving too fast either, but refused to come when called. Turkey Breath. Anyway, I got out of breath. I swear I did not walk more than about half a city block, at a speed anyone could match. I got the dog back on the right side of the road and fell over. I was so out of breath I was light-headed, so I thought, go down here in the nice tall (unmowed) soft grass, or take your chances on the gravel drive. I went down on my hands and knees and gasped like a fish for about five minutes before getting up again. Damn Dog.

    Thank goodness no one drove by, god knows what they would have thought. It’s such a small town that everyone knows everyone’s business and with my luck, a passerby would have called the ambulance. I’m done with ambulances for a while I hope. I just wish my lungs would stop protesting every breath.

    I’m fine, really. No pain. just achiness and short of breath. Going to cardiac rehab to fix all that. Just as soon as I can stay awake for more than an hour at a time.

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    1. That sounds awful! Poor you! I love dogs, but am incredibly not fond of the “I can’t hear you” escape. Stella does it, but seems to understand when I shout at her (only when I say “you know I can see you” or “what do you think it is? Bush week?”-think you need to be Australian for that one). I hope you get your breath back soon…..

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    2. Oh, you are being very brave, but don’t be too brave. None of this sounds like your heart is back in shape. It might be best to check with your doctors.

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      1. Oh, I’m not really being brave. According to the docs, I should be up to at least 30 minutes vigorous activity a day. But I caught a chest cold from the guy that inserted the stent, or maybe my son, (6 of one…), and that has slowed things down.

        Really, I’m a slug, but my body does this thing where it likes to sleep if I’m recovering from anything at all, and it takes so much TIME. If I’m not significantly better by Tuesday I’ll call my PCP again. (She saw me Monday.) When I had my rotator cup reconstructed I slept a solid week. I suppose I should expect this to take a bit longer. Meanwhile, the dogs had better just behave.

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        1. Chest colds wipe me out like that. Healing +not getting enough oxygen will wear a body out. Sleep while recovering is a good thing, even f annoying.

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        2. Can we indulge in a mutual eyeroll about “according to the doctors”? Yeah, there’s what we statistically should be able to do, and then there’s what we really can do. So many unknowns in medicine that screw up the Statistically Shoulds.

          Well, you know your body best. Wishing you speedy recovery (for you, not a statistically speedy recovery!), and good dogs.

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      1. I’m 100 % with Jenny on this one. Tell the doc and be careful with your heart! The whole adventure sounds awful. Hope you’re feeling better today.

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      2. Yeah, my mother in law is recovering from bypass surgery. She too is astonished at how hard it is to walk around a small grocery store. She hasn’t tried stairs as far as I know.

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      3. Yes ma’am! I will. But I will also tell you that I am doing mych better and there hasn’t been a repeat incident. I am going to cardiac rehab this week where they will monitor my heart and other vitals while exercising so I feel I am in safe (ish) hands.

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  17. I have no bathroom. I made a terrible mistake! I believed that man I married when he said we could get it done before he went back to work and now he is in PNG and I have no bathroom!
    Have handed the dogs to my mother and gone to visit the daughters at Uni. They are five hours from home and after I drop him at the airport I’m almost halfway there. They are up to the last couple of weeks of semester so have reached the lovely combination of stress, fatigue and homesickness that results in tonsillitis, mouth ulcers and all the other bugs latching on.
    To wrap up, I am not working, I’m sulking, sometimes driving and making soup.

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  18. The last two years, I’ve just let the garden/lawn go. My husband did a quick swipe twice a year with the hay-mower, and that was that. But this August, my daughter and her boyfriend are coming to visit, and somehow, this is more motivation than all the guilt trips of the last two years. I’ve managed to mow two of the smaller patches, and about a third of the remaining Big Patch. And I’ve put herbs and veggies into the garden! Still only 1/3 of the space I’ve got, but that’s 1/3 better than last year. I just have to keep going! And not in big dramatic hours of lawnwork, but 30 minutes on Monday, 45 on Tuesday, day of rest on Wednesday, repeat as able.

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  19. Sunday I was able to do some sewing. I managed to get together the center part of a quilt top. I had showed the appliqué back in April. The top still needs borders. https://instagram.com/p/BjI6dldF7Rw/

    We’re also super close to purchasing carpet. I got us out shopping last Saturday. Which has led to finding a stain that can be applied over a stained and polyurethaned wood with just a light bit of sanding. So, future household projects that I’ll be talking about in the months to come as we move furniture, rip up carpet & padding, put in trim, …

    As for work, my committee selected a scholarship winner & 3 runner ups. We’ll find out who actually gets it next week. Plus I worked on a presentation I’ll be giving next week. It still needs work.

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  20. I’m moving out of the house, closing on Friday. A surprisingly large amount of money coming my way. Of course the forget-me-nots are blooming in the little shade garden, and the lilies are coming, I can see the Shasta daisies getting ready to go. But, too bad.
    I would rather be able to keep the house, but it’s too expensive for me. Also, did you know the furnaces need yearly maintenance? I didn’t. But I realized today in all my dump/donation/storage runs, it’s a really nice little house, and it’s really nice because I painted it (with help from friends) and I made a garden with lilies and daisies, also clematis, iris, bleeding hearts, all kinds of flowers. I did it once, and I will do it again, my Jenny Crusie novel is not done. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++-
    Sorry, the cat was resting his butt on the keyboard. So I have a cat, and some cash. Not all bad.

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    1. Your cat made me laugh. Thank you! And him/her, for putting its butt on the keys.

      My cat used to walk right over the keyboard. Or stand behind the laptop and then lie down sideways against the back of the screen, effectively mashing my hands under 12 pounds of cat. Dang, I miss him. If he wasn’t an outdoor cat, I’d bring him here.

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      1. My ten year old daughter likes to text her dad on my phone – with all sorts of nonsense – random letters, numbers and symbols. It’s kind of sweet.

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  21. I’ve been working on two packets of chocolate biscuits and now I feel sick. (no, I’m not five years old and yes, I should know better).

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