Working Wednesday, September 12, 2018

I’m almost done with a ridiculous hat and scarf that nobody will wear but that makes me happy.   Also I wrote several thousand words that are mostly Nita screaming, “WTF?” and fixing things that go bump on the island  What did you make this week?  

43 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, September 12, 2018

  1. I made a whole lot of black moustaches on assorted soldiers, sailors and tightrope walkers for my son’s primary school musical. Does that count? They looked adorable.

  2. This week has been consumed with making preparations for the unwelcome arrival of Hurricane Florence. Most everything that could fly away has been stowed in the garage. The latest prediction has the storm going south of us, so potentially this preparation was for naught, but at least all of the house plants have been taken in for the winter.

    I did allow myself to take a some “me time” to put the quilt pieces together from last week, and start on the border. I also got myself set up with crochet patterns in case I am without electricity for a while. 🙂

    1. Oh, Florence. We are also in the middle of stay/go etc. Right now we are going to stay and just plan for some uncomfortable days. My sister has a toddler and a baby (and a large dog terrified of thunderstorms) in a neighborhood that floods and loses power easily.

      Good luck everybody!

      1. Has she tried a Thundershirt? They’re supposed to help. Mona just stays close and doesn’t shriek, so I haven’t gotten one for her. The other two dogs are oblivious. Good luck!

      2. Both of my dogs (40lbs each) are afraid of thunderstorms. And fireworks. Fun times. I tried to get them Thundershirts before Fourth of July, but couldn’t find their size. I live in a split level house, so the “basement” level is half above ground. The dogs head down there when the booms start — Bella goes into a cave we built under a table. Basically, we draped the table in 5′ x 4′ throws, leaving an 18″ opening at one corner, and we padded the floor so she has a bed. It’s dark inside, so she feels safe.

        With Janey, who was afraid of booms before Bella, I basically gave her a firm massage while the booms were going on. Now she comes to me and stands close, and I hug her. I become her Thundershirt for as long as she wants. We have a memory foam mattress topper on the floor (on top of the carpet, which has a memory foam pad underneath it, very comfy), so I sit on that while the booms are happening. They both eventually fall asleep.

        We also once gave them cannabis-infused dog biscuits, which took the edge off a little bit, but didn’t entirely calm them.

        Evidently, you can also wrap an Ace bandage or a long scarf across the front of your dog’s chest and around his/her ribs and that will act like a Thundershirt. It seems to me that there’s something about firm, gentle pressure that is calming.

    2. If I am without electricity–as I was for ten days after Fran hit Raleigh–I have my great-great-grandmother’s treadle machine. (I am now out of hurricane territory, but that does not mean that electricity can be relied on.)

      1. I am in NC, remembering Hugo. But they will not close our office. Do I work in a Hospital? Nope. A couple years ago, I had a doctor’s appointment in winter. Doctor’s office was closed. Our employees were still expected to be at work. Is it appreciated? That would be a “no”. Yes, I am bitter. 🙂 For many reasons.

    3. I’m another one prepping for Florence. We’re inland (NC) but the power usually goes with these kinds of storms, so I’m stocked up on food, books, and water. And all of my family that lives on the coast has been evacuated to safety.

      Good luck to everyone else in its path!

  3. I finished the tedious proofs I was reading – they’d been seriously under-edited, so were very slow-going. Posted them yesterday, and planned to go out for the day since it’s sunny, but I’m wiped out. Hope instead to go somewhere nearby this afternoon, if I can scrape up the energy.

    Have also been considering ending my house hunt by buying the best of my rejects. My money’s dwindling alarmingly, and I don’t know that I can cope with the stress of being in limbo for much longer. And there’ll be even fewer houses on the market now it’s autumn, But right now I need to get some energy back before making a decision. I may give myself another few weeks before I give up.

    1. Can you buy one for less than you hoped to spend then plan on fixing the house up and moving on to something else? In Portland OR in my neighborhood the most decrepit two bedroom bungalow now goes for about $500 K and then is likely to be torn down and a monstrosity erected on the site and sold for over a million. The city has been growing by over 20,000 every year for the last 5 years and they all want to live within the city neighborhoods. So anyone starting in the housing market has to plan on buying something that needs work. Since a lot of people want a house that is ready to go, the person who did the work can frequently flip it for a lot more money. A house nearby sold 5 year ago for about $500 K. The family who bought it redid the kitchen, the bath and the garage. They did most of the work themselves with help from a handyman so they only put about $75 K into it. They sold it in two weeks for $800K. They have now moved on to the larger house they wanted in the first place.

      I hesitate to suggest this because I doubt that I would do it myself. Can you get a larger place than you need and have a house-share to help with the expenses? Eventually, the extra money from your renter would get some extra money, and you could sell your current house and buy what you really want. Or you might do an airbnb. (A true nightmare idea for me because you would constantly be sharing your space with strangers).

      The problem with these ideas is that you are looking at another move four or five years down the road.

      A third possibility is to look at small outlying villages. You have the advantage of not needing to commute to work and can possible live further out then most. It would not be the more urban life style that you want but you seem to be able to travel all over to visit friends and take photographs. The lack of urban development makes it easier to go.

      Another thought is to get a ground floor apartment so you have greenery outside your windows and possibly a place to lounge outside and to get an allotment for more serious gardening.

      This is ridiculous coming from me. We have lived in the same 4 bedroom house with a garden I have been landscaping (and re-landscaping and re-landscaping) for 35 years, have no children and would not dream of renting any of the bedrooms out, including the one on the ground floor with its own entry and bath. But you seem more flexible than I am.

      1. Thanks for all your ideas, Jessie, but I’ve gone through every permutation in the past two and a half years, and I don’t think any of them are likely to work for me. I don’t have enough money, strength and expertise to do a place up to sell on. I’m 62; it costs thousands to buy and move; plus the disruption and therefore lost income – really not practical. I don’t want to have a lodger, either. It would be great to share with someone I was really close to, but I can’t see renting out a room.

        I don’t want an urban lifestyle; just not to be dependent on running a car (which I may not be able to afford), and to be close to friends. And there aren’t any garden flats in Oswestry. I think it’s crunch time, pretty much. Need to make the best of what I can get – and then get on with the rest of my life.

        1. I agree. Every time I move I say, “This is the last,” but this is seriously the last until Mollie makes me move to assisted living. This isn’t the perfect place for me, but it’s pretty damn good and I could afford it, so yep, this is where I’m staying.

          Good luck, Jane. I still think something will turn up in the nick of time, or maybe that’s just hope.

          1. Thanks, Jenny. I’ve not quite called it a day yet, so maybe. Meanwhile I’m reinventing rejects, and I always love designing homes.

          2. If it helps, I’ve found that I can live almost anywhere if I have the basics: lots of light and trees. I hate having people live close to me, and the house next door is only about five feet away (ARGH) but it’s Dennis and he’s a sweetie and I don’t look out the windows on that side anyway. There’s no bathtub in this house (ARGH) but it’s got a pretty good shower. There are no workable closets (ARGH) but I’m making do with freestanding rods and a lot of boxes. The water is undrinkable (very old plumbing system for the community; my pipes have all been replaced but the source is bad so ARGH) but I can buy bottled water and I can’t buy this many trees if the place didn’t have them. Oh, and the windows are all single pane and the heating system just went out (ARGH) and it didn’t heat the whole house anyway (ARGH) but I have a great fireplace and room heaters and I’ll get the mini-split fixed . . .

            I’ve also found that things I thought were deal-breakers were really okay once I moved in. I’d suggest making a short list of things you MUST have and see if any of the rejects have those. I think mine was light, trees, privacy, quiet, and the ability to get out in the winter, plus two bedrooms and a bathroom. The fact that I also got mold and single-pane windows and a defunct heating system and a damaged foundation and an unfenced yard . . . at my price point, I got my top five and figured I could fix the rest.

          3. You’re right, and I’ve been doing that. It’s been very tricky to find the light and privacy I crave in town; but I’m clear that’s where I want to be. So I need to get really clear which priorities I can (happily) live without. I feel like I’m trying to reconcile my needs to connect with nature and with people.

        2. It took me a year of serious looking to find my house. It had most of what I really wanted (rural feel but close enough to town for me to get in and deal with emergencies at the shop I run, wood floors, good light, room for a large garden, peace and quiet). I was on a limited budget, too. I almost gave up multiple times. Mind you, it is only 12,000 square feet, needed a new kitchen right away (I put the money in the mortgage for the project), and I have been fixing and repairing it ever since.

          But still my little piece of paradise. I hope you find yours.

  4. Working on settling into a routine for the family now that school is in session. My mornings don’t change much, neither do the kids or my husband’s. But afternoons and nights are going to get interesting very quickly as we add sports and homework into the schedule.

  5. I’m finishing furnishing the Arctic rental unit. Found a brightly coloured quilt and shams, two sets of sheets and white furniture for the smallest bedroom. Want it bright and cosy for the nurse who will be renting, especially in the dead of winter when it’s dark 24 hours a day. The other care workers love what I sent up. Does it count, I made a haven for nurses?

    Stay safe on the east coast.

  6. Off topic but I have to vent.

    The comments have her convicted because she writes books about killing a husband. I don’t know if she did it or she didn’t do it, but I’m amazed at the number of people who think writers go out and commit crimes because they wrote something similar. And God forbid, the cops looked at my internet searches because I write all sorts of weird stuff – am I looking at the Salem Witch trials?

    1. Bob has this thing called “walking the terrain” which he made me do for Agnes. It was surprisingly helpful. And I think one of the reasons people comment on the food scenes is that I actually go out and eat that food and then come back and write about it. Also, the tattoo in Unfortunate Miss Fortunes? It’s on my butt. So some of us do some of that stuff. As of yet, though, I have not smote a demon.

  7. In a last blast of summer, I finished knitting a cute fucshia tank top, made with 100% raw silk yarn, and then photographed it in Crete where we were on holiday. (That is, I wore it around Crete and got my husband and friends to take many photos while I stood in front of picturesque backgrounds and smiled a lot.) I then had to spend most of a day uploading the photos onto my blog using a very slow internet connection, during which time I was forced to lounge by the pool in glorious sunny weather. You can see the photos here: I sadly arrived home last night but my last blast of summer was pretty good.

  8. Trying to make the two big relationship fights (well, small and big) in the book hit a little harder. Suggestions for how to play out conflict in a scene that progresses character but still feels real? So much of real-life fighting doesn’t ever truly get resolved.

    1. I suck at fighting. I am an avoider. There are fights I’ve needed to have with my husband for YEARS and yet, still no. (basically because like you say, we get into it but nothing gets resolved and then you have all that stress and resentment for nothing)


    2. The baseline is two people with strong goals they must achieve, clashing as their goals cross paths. If the reader believes they must achieve those goals, the fight won’t seem contrived or lack an ending. Even real-life fights that don’t get resolved do get resolved when one person walks away. It’s not a solution to the problem, but it is a resolution to the scene.
      Start with the smaller fight, then arc the plot so that it leads to the larger fight.

  9. I am working on opening my second Etsy shop. I started out with a handmade one, but didn’t know what I was doing. Then I started reading up on how to run one and on a whim started posting vintage things. That took over, so now I need a new outlet for my handmade bits. It’s moving along. I hope to have it fully launched by the beginning of October, in time for the Holidays.

  10. Fingers crossed for all my Florence friends.

    I’m starting to write again. Non-fiction, to take a break from marketing Death Flight (although it is free on Kobo this month, with the code FLYHOPE, at I’m amusing myself by using Canva to illustrate some points visually, which is a good break for my brain.

    ER shifts haven’t been too bad. One of my friends says that September is her favourite month because the kids are in school and flu season hasn’t hit yet, although all the students get colds. Once a patient called out, “You must have kids! It’s September, and you’re sick!” I had to laugh.

    Happy September!
    To put on my marketing hat one

  11. I attended my company’s annual meeting. It was stressful, but it’s over now. I’m going to make chicken noodle soup for my mom, who’s having surgery on Thursday. She’ll have comfort food when she’s back home.

  12. I am working on making a fantasy novel even better than it is right now. I really enjoy working with another writer’s words and helping them clarify and tighten and smooth out rough edges.

    It is also giving me a much needed break from my own writing. 🙂

  13. Trying to wrangle new doggo training (including remedial housetraining apparently yay) and coordinate doc’s appts and food prep and other basics without getting shrieky because anxiety over getting it all “right” for a given value of perfectionism is all self-generated. Currently longing for the days of a regular paycheck from corporate america and writing as a side-gig, if only for the structure. I’ll get over it.

  14. I’ve started a new book! I feel wildly excited about it because it’s completely different from anything I’ve written before. And I don’t have a contract for it, which also feels very freeing.

  15. I’ve been figuring out a whole new schedule. My youngest has been having problems at his daycare so we’ve been on a long diagnostic journey and are now basically switching schools. He will be at a preschool within the school district and it will likely be great for him. But a preschool in the school system follows school hours which are NOT working parent friendly. So we’ve been figuring out what we do with non-school hours. I knew I had it good with my private daycare/preschool, but I didn’t realize just how good. Maybe with more mothers running for office we’ll see some changes to the school calendar/bell schedule 🙃😝

  16. I did my words today. Yay me. Now I’m binge watching Grey’s Anatomy, which I’ve never watched before.

    I just want the argh people to know that if they ever need a port in the storm I’ve got lots of empty bedrooms!

  17. Last day of shearing tomorrow. We have not been at it the whole time, Mum likes to stretch it out, a few days this week, a few next. It means there’s time in the middle to take sheep back to their paddocks and bring others closer.
    Have been back to Sydney (again!!! I’m so sick of the drive) to visit my MIL, I think we’ve fallen on our feet with her facility. She likes the food, the staff are lovely and they site on her, with any luck she will continue to settle there and we can all breathe out.
    Dogs good, kids too. Lil saw a new rheumatologist, that’s never fun, especially when grumpy old male Drs dislocate her thumbs testing range of motion…

    Good luck to all in the path….


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