Working Wednesday, November 21, 2018

It’s the day before Thanksgiving in America, which means that many of us are looking at a turkey that is refusing to defrost and thinking grumpy thoughts about cranberry molds.  Not me; I’m thawing out turkey wings in preparation for making insanely good gravy to go with insanely good dressing and turkey.  There will also be pumpkin custard and possibly garlic smashed potatoes.  Then I’ll go back to making hats and scarves for Christmas presents and finishing Nita.  It’s just that kind of day.

What are you up to?

64 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, November 21, 2018

  1. I should be on my fifth day of the rush job for Penguin, but the proofs haven’t come in yet. I’m worried I won’t be able to get them done before I’m due to drive down to Brighton at the end of next week for my brother’s 60th.

    I’m filling the waiting time with brainstorming a present for my brother, who likes expensive things, and getting clearer on what I want to do to the new house, so
    I’m ready to get going when I finally get it. I spent Monday there, getting increasingly baffled about paint and carpet choices. Then I woke up on Tuesday realizing that of course the sugar pink walls had skewed my perception, and in fact I was better making the choices in my flat. I do finally feel pretty clear: I’m going for a yellowy cream on the walls and ceiling (or possibly a pale yellow in the living room and cream everywhere else), and a similar coloured carpet with flecks of colour, which I hope will camouflage my lazy housekeeping. I’m going to have loads of pictures on the walls, colourful curtains, and an aubergine sofabed and chair, so there won’t be any lack of colour.

    The kitchen cabinets are sturdy, so I’ll just paint them eventually. I’ve found a lime green I like for that. There’s more that needs painting before I move in than I thought – basically, all the walls and ceilings in the house – so I really need a proper decorator, and have got a couple of recommendations, but of course I don’t have any dates yet, so I can’t book them.

    This next week I need to get the Penguin job done plus do the bulk of my Christmas shopping if possible, so I can take the presents down south when I go. Glad I haven’t got to shoehorn Thanksgiving in as well!

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      1. So funny, Jane. I actually like the current pink, especially with the white trim. My house is painted with Farrow & Ball paint, which is my fave, and much of it is in a colour tone called Tallow set off by a white which I think is probably closer to the colour scheme you’re working towards, and it works really well so sure whatever you paint will look lovely:)

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          1. Agree about colour name. Bit off-putting. But colour is fab as a base for unifying a house because it works with so many accent colours for curtains, pillows, etc. to allow each room personality while keeping overall house flow. Plus, reflects light super well but also calming. Once I latched onto it, I used it in a few houses and always works.

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          2. Also Mouse’s Back, Churlish Green, Brassica, Green Smoke and Smoked Trout. Also Yellow Cake, Calke Green and Mole’s Breath. What makes the colors is their heavy pigment. I’m wild about the color choice.

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          3. I want a house painted in Mouse’s Back and Mole’s Breath with a Churlish Green trim. I have no idea what the colours are, but I could happily live with those names.

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          4. I think you’d find them depressing, Lian, apart from the green. Although they look as if they’d go together. I keep seeing rooms in magazines painted in dark grey Down Pipe, which looks wonderfully dramatic on the page, but I bet would make you suicidal in a British February.

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          1. Not sure who makes it but my house wall color of choice is Navajo white which looks cream in some lights and which is a great background for all our brightly colored folk art

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      2. I love the feel of that room – the great window with the hardwood floors and molding is a wonderful focal point, and your color selections sound perfect.

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      3. I think the photo’s a bit yellower than reality: it’s actually a sugar pink. And the floor’s laminate – i.e., plastic fake wood, which I really don’t like. Apparently there are original floorboards under this half of the room, but it’d be expensive to refinish them, and I’d still need to buy rugs. Which I’d then trip over.

        I’m going for Dulux’s Daffodil White (or possibly, just in this room, Vanilla Sundae).

        3+
        1. I can see why you’d go straight to rugs. Totally agree that laminate floors are nothing to worry about covering, even if they’re a nicer version of fake wood. I tore up rotting carpet in my first house and had the original oak floors refinished and whoo boy was it expensive, but worth it because it was such a tiny house.

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      4. Our very first apartment (1963) we decided to paint the kitchen yellow, it may as well have been called Glow In The Dark Yellow. Since then whenever go to choose paint we end up with linen in color.

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    1. I love the idea of using the same color on the ceiling as on the walls. A huge time-saver. I just repainted my son’s old room (he’d chosen mustard yellow and dark grey). I repainted it a neutral ‘greige’ and since the ceiling and upper walls were mustard yellow, I just went ahead and painted the neutral color everywhere… it looks great!

      I’ve always had colored walls and a white ceiling and never thought twice about it. But wow, it makes repainting a room go so much faster if I don’t have to cut in along the ceiling and be very careful not to smudge along that line. Of course, it wouldn’t look great with all colors, e.g., mustard yellow, but many!

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  2. Today is road trip day. 6 hour drive,
    but we’ve done it many times. Lots of chapter read out louds with maybe some audiobooks and and kid friendly podcasts to mix it up.
    Going to in-laws for a Thanksgiving, so I just have to show up. Can’t get easier than that.

    Looking forward to officially inaugurating christmas music and stories for the ride back.

    8+
  3. Got a message my catered Thanksgiving meal isn’t ready, and I’m supposed to be in PA for a work meeting so trying to juggle all that. Then working on the next book and catching up on the three bits of good work news that came up: we’ll be speaking at two conferences early next year on polyamory representation in media and literature, respectively, and also guesting on a popular podcast…next month?

    8+
  4. This week I’ve been pretty productive (pardon all the links), thanks in no small part to taking Friday off from work.

    I quilted and bound a small baby quilt destined for a great nephew born a few weeks ago. I’ve got to put a label on it today, so it can be gifted over the weekend.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BqTifJ7hK9d/

    I also took delight in quilting and binding the Hazel the Hedgehog quilt. It really is as cute as a button. I don’t know what I’m going to do with that – perhaps hang on to it for a little while.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BqWHI8chNnX/

    I then hemmed a bunch of tea towels that I got from Spoonflower fabrics. They’re going to be Christmas presents.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BqVmaxiBUj2/

    I’ve been steadily keeping up with a crochet-a-long blanket. Here’s the progress at the end of week 10. We got the instructions for week 11 today, so there will be more to do when I get to it. (There are only 12 weeks in the pattern, so it will soon be done)
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BqTUjkNhNA5/

    I’ve been slowly indoctrinating Stanley (the stray) to the ways of the house. He comes inside in the evenings and stays the night. On colder mornings he’s a little reluctant to leave. Hopefully, he’ll decide that being in is much better than being outside. I know I could keep him in, but he’s pretty obnoxiously loud when he wants to be.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BqWKzV5BL9c/

    I hung one of my quilts on my office wall this week. We’ve just renovated the space, and this really puts color back into the picture.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BqcaO17BLKO/

    And this morning, I’m working from home, which means that Wendy can snuggle up to the laptop.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqcau8eh5Az/

    I’ll also be working on my contributions to the Thanksgiving meal. We’ll be eating at my MIL’s. I’ve got the turkey, dressing, gravy, rolls and a couple of pies. The only thing I’m worried about is the turkey – I’m going to try brining it later this afternoon. Wish me luck!

    2+
  5. There’s an E coli outbreak amongst the Romaine, so watch out!

    To which my reaction is: death to salad, throw it all in a stir fry or soup and there ain’t no problem.

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    1. I saw a meme on Facebook that made me chuckle:

      Today, chocolate is good for you and lettuce can kill you. I’ve been training my whole life for this moment!

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  6. I’m working on my attitude, as it could be better. And work-life balance, as I currently have none. I’ve been heads down in writing projects for months, working on a romance series about to launch, plus another manuscript, and all the marketing and online stuff that goes with it. This week, I finally had to admit that I’m…not exactly burned out, but definitely exhausted.

    In better news, this Sunday I’ll do the annual dinner and a Christmas show outing with my mother and sisters. And as a bonus, the time commitment will force me to not work the entire day. About ten years ago, my mother decided she’d rather take us out for a day together than give us gifts we really didn’t need. So now we take a ‘girls’ day’ early in the holiday season. Smart lady, that mom of mine.

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  7. Working on working less. Finally hired a smart cookie and taught her almost all the stuff I’ve been doing for 12 yrs, so down to 3 work days a week. Yay.
    Figuring out who get which handmade shawls for Xmas and if I need to make some earrings or something to fill in the gaps. Haven’t store bought a gift in at least 10 yrs, just can’t handle the crush and commercialism.
    Not cooking turkey, on liquid diet at moment for gut issue. Upside is I’ll lose a few pounds.
    Happy holiday to all. Haven’t been an Argher for long but read every Jenny book 10 times so feel at home.

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  8. Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate, otherwise, happy weekend. I’m grateful for this space, to come here and chat safely, and to share experiences. Thank you, Jenny.

    13+
  9. I’m just doing regular work today, followed by an evening of prepping various dishes for tomorrow ahead of time.

    And I’m waiting with excitement to see if the resin pour over my ‘aurora borealis’ acrylic painting turns out nicely. If it does, I’ll post it to Instagram later today. I have to wait until the late afternoon to uncover it.

    6+
  10. We raided Trader Joe’s for all our dishes and sides, so tomorrow will bring some cooking but more reheating. Stephen’s still in the throes of the job hunt and we anticipated my mom joining us, so wanted to keep it as effortless as possible. Now she’s said she doesn’t feel like leaving her house because reasons, even though it’s the first Thanksgiving since my stepfather died and she’ll be alone. So we’ll either have a lot of leftovers with a palate cleanser of carefully orchestrated martyrdom, or she’ll pull a switcheroo and call us tomorrow morning crying, asking us to come get her so she doesn’t have to be lonely. Ah, fambly. May all of yours be happy, healthy, and kind to each other.

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  11. Just saw that you have a book coming about Nadine (from Faking It). One of my favorite all-time characters.

    So where are you planning to spend your Thanksgiving holiday? Any cool travel in your future?

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  12. I finally insisted on no Christmas presents in my family (except for the one kid who’s a pre-teen) this year, which relieves all the stress I’m usually feeling this time of year. Normally, I’d be fretting today about all the shopping I hadn’t done yet and how much I hated shopping between T’giving and Christmas, and how I needed to mail stuff soon because all my gifts go all over the country, but now I’m just anticipating making gingerbread and mashed potatoes as my contribution to tomorrow’s dinner at a friend’s house. It’s going to be tough in another way though, since it will be the first major holiday since the friend’s 93-year-old father died this fall, and he always loved any holiday that involved food.

    Meanwhile, I got the last three Scrap Basket Clean-out quiltlets finished (including the cherry one that was going to be a pillow, but then when it was finished, I didn’t like it as a pillow, so re-finished it just as a flat quiltlet), and decided on an animal shelter to donate them as cat beds (they’re all around 18″ to 24″ square-ish). Pic at Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqa1wXHBhH_/

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  13. Last week before the first frost I brought in all my potted plants, mostly geraniums, a planter filled with herbs and a lavender plant and see who makes it over the winter. On the herbs basil seems to be the only casualty so far.

    This morning I called my sister to wish her a Happy Thanksgiving. We have the kind of relationship that is about who is going to give in and be first to call. Today it was my turn. Once we get going it is like we only talked yesterday but in reality it’s been three months or more. Her personality is more like our mother very outgoing, sarcastic and didn’t take any crap from anybody. Mine is more like our aunt a worrying hand wringer, but she makes me laugh. Today she was on a roll about all the baking she had done for the holiday and at the end she stated she’s done so much she will probably never bake again. Which reminded me that a few years ago I went on a baking spree so much that I brought cookies into work, I had cookies in the freezer and brought a tray filled to a Christmas party at our brothers house. I never did that much baking again.

    7+
  14. I’d appreciate some photography advice. I’ve got an iPhone 6… so not the best camera to start with. But I am finding it nearly impossible to photograph my resin pieces, because they are so very shiny. They reflect every bit of light, but they don’t photograph well in darker lighting either.

    I know it’s possible to photograph resin pieces, because I see photos of them online.

    Any suggestions on how to photograph them, but not have glare?

    THANKS!

    4+
    1. I’ve heard – though I haven’t tried it – that you can get a decent pic with little to no glare using ambient lighting at a north window, with no direct sunlight and no lights. Good luck!

      4+
    2. I don’t know for sure, but resin might have some of the same issues as photographing quilts. I took a class on photographing art, just so I could take pix of my quilts for show entries, and the instructor was all about getting a dozen expensive lights and those umbrella reflector things so it was indirect and adjustable, and I said, “that ain’t happening, not for the type of art that’s worth maybe one percent of all that equipment and that I’m not going to sell or get money for,” so he finally suggested taking the pictures outdoor on a bright, but not full-sunny day. Cloudy, but not the dark, storm’s-a-coming clouds. That provides enough light to allow the texture and quilting to show, whereas brighter light washes that out. I wonder if that would work for different reasons with resin.

      FWIW, I’ve been obsessed with woodworkers on Instagram recently, and now that I think of it, most of the resin images are of the pour, not of the finished product! I wonder if you could browse Instagram to find someone who takes good images of the finished “river” tables, and ask for his or her trick to it.

      5+
    3. I second the suggestions re using bright overcast natural light. If that doesn’t solve it on its own, try borrowing a camera with a polarizing filter attached to the lens (a DSLR or similar mirrorless camera, aimed at enthusiasts). I’m not sure about resin, but you can use a polarizer to eliminate reflections on water or glass, although not on metal. For maxium effect, you need to be looking at right-angles to the direction of light (which may take a bit of experimentation on a cloudy day, but just keep moving around and turning the filter until the reflections vanish).

      5+
  15. I am cleaning my classroom as it’s nearing the end of the school year, here. Besides my hoarding problem, I keep many items in the hope of using in a lesson.

    It all goes tomorrow. Paper recycling, here I come.

    6+
  16. I’m still off from work so am going to leave … probably sometime within the next hour to go to my mom’s town, where I will be getting my hair done in order to impress her boyfriend at the fancy dinner we are going to tomorrow night. Ooh la la.
    I also spent an hour trying to make sure my laptop had no viruses when a website went shitty on me. I *think* I am in the clear but it worries me that Windows Defender can’t seem to find my protection info even though it told me the scan came clear, everything is running, etc.

    5+
  17. I leave for work in 25 minutes. I’m taking dinner with me. I bought this box of precooked turkey and sides, “4-6 Meals”. After carefully examining the contents (and the nutritional label on the back that says “11 servings of 227g/8 oz.), I decided to break it into 10 containers. I have a lovely digital scale that I check with calibration weights, so I divided the claimed 16 ounce sides into 1.6 ounce… long story shorter, I only filled (for some values of “filled”) nine (9) containers, not ten. I think the weight of the bags was included in their claims.

    So, what I’m taking to work is 2 oz turkey, 1.6 oz each of mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and stuffing, with a tiny container of cinnamon apple stuff (pie filling, looks like.) Not *exactly* a meal – they fed me better at the hospital last year – but the sodium content precludes more. Fortunately, I made three pounds of French Canadian Pork Dressing last night, and I’ll be taking some of that as well, along with a slice of apple spice cake.

    And I’m working tomorrow night, Friday and Saturday nights, and taking much the same with me. (Carrot cake instead of apple spice. That’s how I roll.)

    5+
  18. Today I’m prepping for Thanksgiving, while working from home.

    I’ve got another post in moderation, awaiting Jenny’s tender ministrations of the crafty things I’ve been working on.

    Best wishes to everyone for a safe and happy holiday.

    5+
    1. Sorry! I went face down in the book and came to the surface to find five posts pending. I am covered in shame. And dog hair.

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      1. No shame on my account please! It’s all good.

        (And so was my turkey. I may have made a tactical error, and could be sentenced to turkey prep for the foreseeable future!)

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  19. I’m making soap for presents and for me. This particular one is a mix of olive oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil and cocoa butter, so it’s beautiful to use – very smooth and soft on the skin. I think I’m going to make half the batch black, which comes out very dramatic, and the other half dusky pink.

    5+
  20. This week I’m making money. It’s day six of seven straight shifts, and I’ve had seven hours of overtime on top of that. Thank the goddess I have Saturday off. I need a nap.

    7+
  21. The extent of my Thanksgiving prep is: make reservation at Salt Creek Grill; buy tickets for Bohemian Rhapsody.

    As to what I’m working on, it’s the NaNoWriMo project, just wrapped Ch 17 (running total, 46194 words), Ch 18 will surely be finished by the end of Friday. The project may or may not make it to the arbitrary 50K goal. I like the spareness of what’s happened for this story, but when I do my next read-through edit may find some more places where I need to embiggen.

    6+
  22. Today I’ve been doing absolutely nothing except reading. F snatched my laptop to reinstall it (yay for a computer-geek lad when you need it!), and I’m still not allowed to do too much with my left arm (i.e. no heavy lifting, pulling, pushing, carrying a.s.o), so all I’ve done is make tea and sometimes switch buttrestingplace from the easy chair to the chair beside the heater whenever I got cold while reading. I’ve also pondered my violent lack of body exercise. I really really really need to find a way to move this butt around a bit more. A treadmill at home or SOMETHING that makes me feel less like a sack of potatoes.

    Happy thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate that! <3 Have a wonderful, and safe, holiday!

    And happy introvert (or extrovert) parties to all of you who don't! 🙂 <3

    6+
  23. I am slightly less grouchy now that I’ve read what everyone’s up to, but oi, what a day. Drove through whiteout conditions to pick up my boys with my youngest in the car because she left her expired passport at the dorm and she MUST get it renewed NOW. Her capitals not mine.

    Needless to say, everything that went wrong today is my fault and has nothing to do with her lack of planning.

    The boys are being lovely and playing games with her so I don’t lose my shit and commit eighteen-year-old-cide. But they have to go back Friday and she doesn’t go back until Sunday so there is still the opportunity for me to spend the rest of my life in jail.

    Someone tell me why I thought having four kids was a good idea?? Oh yeah, I didn’t. Kid one was a surprise, Kid two was planned, but I got twins. (I cried when I found out about that.) Kid four was another surprise. The ex didn’t like protection. Four lovely children that I’m not currently grateful for.

    Bad momma.

    AND, instead of just a meal, I get to spend the entire day with the ex and his current love. I like her bunches, and I would happily do a meal. But all day??? My oldest – who is spending the weekend with her father – is insisting we come down and watch the parade together.

    I think I’m coming down with a migraine.

    7+
  24. I spent a few hours on Sunday making cough syrup (being proactive so I have it if needed), followed by making lip balm. I had some already made but since I give it as gifts and my supply was insufficient for the number that I had, I made more. My siblings and co-workers have mentioned that they can’t wait to get their lip balm each Christmas.

    I have my turkey thawed and ready to roast tomorrow. The sides will be stuffing, gravy, homemade cranberry sauce, a tossed salad, and a vegetable (I have to decide between asparagus, green beans, or broccoli) as well as onion pie. It’s going to be extremely cold tomorrow so I am perfectly content to stay home and either read or watch a movie (or possibly both!).

    6+
  25. Taking meds (bronchitis before cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 15 is not my idea of fun), making pies tonight, beta reading for an author friend, and trying to rewrite the beginning of my own WIP. Oh, and then there’s the day job.

    I’m happy to have a couple of days off from work, and I hope to get together with a good friend on Friday. Then back to work on Saturday, but it’ll be fun. I’m hosting a NaNoWriMo event in the morning, and a gift wrapping party in the afternoon at my library.

    4+
  26. I’m crocheting a hat for my sister. The plan is to make hats or cowls for everyone. I delivered my brother’s and SIL’s hats today since we came to visit for the holiday and it’s already freezing here. Waiting for Christmas would’ve been silly.

    I was too tired to crochet in the car despite my plans for the 11 hour trip but all my naps helped and I’ve made a good start.

    6+

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