Working Wednesday, November 28, 2018

I’m still working on the book, which is due Dec. 3, and which will be a mess but with any luck, finished and ready for editing.  As always happens at the end of a project–any project–it’s not turning out the way I expected, but I like it.  This phenomenon happens whether I’m booting up a laptop, picking up a paintbrush, hooking yarn, or planning a garden.  I’ve decided to embrace the surprise ending.  It’s pretty much the only one I’m going to get anyway.

What did you make that surprised you (or possibly came out exactly as planned, :P) this week?

67 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, November 28, 2018

  1. Hmmm, I was surprised by how windy it’s been lately. Went to get my hair cut and styled yesterday and (thankfully) it did turn out just as expected, but I had to wear a warm winter hat everywhere so I didn’t get to show it off. 😉

    No running today (I don’t want to blow away), but making some potato soup with lots of bacon and hopefully gingersnap dough to stash in the freezer. Maybe some yoga in the basement. I love yoga, but it’s so much easier to go to a class when it’s a set time than to motivate myself.

  2. I finished knitting a classic, stylish tank top to wear at work just as the weather turned cold and wintry. But, never fear! I had to go to South Africa on business and was able to wear it there! (You can see it here: While there, I also spent a day down at Boulders Beach, where thousands of African Penguins share the beach with sunbathers and swimmers of the human persuasion. I just had to do some knitting with the penguins as well! (Which you can see here: Now I’m back in the cold and dark but have some good, sunshine-filled memories.

  3. Ive been making scarves for Christmas! Three halves and one whole one to go, and then amigurmi projects from two years ago I promised i’d finish. I do this every year. T.T next year I’ve already got Big Plans.

    I’m also working on a granny square blanket…. Many squares are not coming out as intended. I’ll be so grumpy if I don’t end I up liking it….

      1. Hmm, that’s a interesting thought! It’s more many random patterns and not very consistent sizing…. which I don’t get how that even happened. It’s a mish-mash learning blanket, I think. I’m making Eeyore ears now for my boyfriend to wear in our Christmas picture! Shockingly, he went from no dressup to agreeing!

  4. The Thanksgiving turkey turned out pretty well. I had bought a brining kit, and Wednesday was reading the directions which indicated that I needed a “food safe container” that was big enough for the bird and two gallons of liquid. Luckily my husband pointed out a plastic tub I was using for something else, so a quick wash of that and I was in business. Thursday morning, I loaded it into the car and headed down the highway to put it in the oven at my MILs house. It really did cook up juicy and delicious.

    I also got to spend some time pet sitting Paws, a polydactyl cat. I think I made him happy to show up, feed him and spend some time trying to take photos of his feet.

    Other than that, I spent time working on my crocheted blanket – the last of the instructions came out this morning, so hopefully, it will be completed next week. I also have been working on small crocheted Christmas ornaments, that I’ll be gifting to my coworkers. And because I can’t just complete some work in progress, I started a new quilting thing, but I’m fighting my machine (it’s trying to be grumpy about sewing so I have to let it rest) and some missing fabric. I also saw a tutorial about making jewelry from old Christmas light bulb, which may become a thing to try when we pull out the Christmas decorations in the next week or so.

  5. After eight years of dinking around, and going through beta reads last spring, I just ordered printouts of Book 2 for final round of test readers.

    Fear of finishing DEFEATED.

    Today, anyhow.

        1. Ha! Maybe I should try that for Book 3.

          Hey, Sure Thing, I thought of you at our son’s wedding. For the mother/son dance, we did a basic cha cha to about 30 seconds of James Taylor’s “Shower the People” – and then cut to “Never Gonna Give You Up” and got the whole crowd on the floor.

  6. I finished all but about an hour of hand work (tacking down the binding — doing it by hand because this is a special project, not a quickie and largely disposable one) on the quilted table topper made with a friend’s grandmother’s vintage linens. No picture yet — it still has clips on the edge to hold the binding in place. Next week! It’s good to have a deadline.

    Mostly, I’ve been working on some volunteer stuff for the patient advocacy group I’ll be stepping away from on December 31. It’s been particularly stressful recently, and probably will be until at least the 15th of December, but I’m determined — no extensions, hard break between 2018 and the new year. I need to reclaim my time and energy.

  7. Trying to get lots done at work before my boss has foot surgery with subsequent lack of office time. Enjoying taking my lunch break with the Arghers.

  8. Totally off topic but I was in CVS buying cold meds and there was a song playing. It was the unmistakable sultry voice of Dusty Springfield singing this exquisite lyric, “I’d recognize each curve and line of you. I knew you well.” I Sound Hounded it. A song she did with Richard Carpenter called “Something In Your Eyes.” It’s sappy (fits my mood), but wow. I MISS HER.

    1. I don’t know if I mentioned it before, but I live just outside of Henley-on-Thames, and Dusty is buried there in the churchyard on the main street. I pass it every week and it always makes me think of Sophie.

  9. My proof-read surprised me by turning out to be a good book (I’ll describe it tomorrow). But once I’d finished it, I started feeling wobbly and faint. Though I was coming down with something, but realized it’s stress. Extremely frustrating: knowing I’m doing it to myself makes not the slightest difference. I risked going Christmas shopping today, and managed OK, but I’ve postponed my trip south until Friday, to pace myself.

    My solicitor rang today, and I’m feeling hopeful my purchase may go through in another couple of weeks – if it does, I spoke to a painter yesterday who’s got time the following week due to a cancellation. Fingers crossed. I still won’t be in until the new year, though – the carpet people and movers are both booked up until then.

    1. Buying a house is up there in the stress-inducing big leagues! Make sure you take care of yourself. Before long, you will be enjoying your new house!

      1. I have been wondering if I should go – more to see if I could get any physio for my rigidly tense shoulders. I have done this faint/lightheaded thing before, though, and am pretty sure what it is. Will think about it. I hate taking their time unnecessarily.

  10. NaNoWriMo project is resting this week. So happy with the way it turned out, though. Really just waiting for beta reader to weigh in with thoughts for ebook cover design before I drop that (metaphorical) puppy.

    Gamma reader came back with good comments on Big Summer Novel, first restructuring edit has been done and now that is also resting as I wait for one final round of comments.

    Meanwhile, novella #19 started ON FIRE this week. 7000 words the first day. WTAF.

    In other work-that-should-be-done, the house is dusty and I don’t even care.

  11. I remembered quilling from an art class in junior high school and decided to give it a whirl again. I’m starting with a quilled cockatoo. So far, so good. : )

  12. Spring cleaning and more spring cleaning. I knew I teacher-hoarded but, I didn’t realise it was this bad!

  13. It’s Hell week for our local production of the Nutcracker ballet. That’s what we call the time leading up to a show… and today is load in all of the costumes and props, etc, into the theater. It is always hectic, but mostly positive.

    I am having some trouble pinning down the restaurant where I am supposed to exhibit for the next month, and they gave away my wall space to another artist, so I have to finagle a table design, all of which is giving me some aggravation, but it will be fine.

    Hopefully I will buckle down on making Christmas gifts soon…

  14. I washed and styled my hair. It’s extremely windy outside . Pleased with how it looked (for a change) I went to spray some hair spray.: instead I grabbed the dry shampoo and sprayed it all over my head. Not the look I was going for.

  15. I made Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing for K2’s 6th birthday (his pick). They tasted great, even if the tops were concave vs. convex.
    Mind you, the depression gives more room for more icing, so I can see this as a future goal with all cupcakes.

  16. I took Kai, my Aussie rescue, to the vet for his first well-visit today. Good news: he’s very healthy. Not so good news: something the vet did triggered him and he lunged at her, barking and snapping. So he finished his appointment in a muzzle.

    The vet says that with proper socialization and discipline it should be possible to train him out of that behavior because he’s still young, but I’m freaking out a little because what if I’m not disciplined and patient enough to help him become the dog he can be?

    On the other hand, I already adore this dog, so we’re going to do give it our best shot.

    Because persistence is my superpower (says the woman who just published her first book after 40+ years of writing).

    I just need to find the Jenny Crusie of dog training.

    1. My sympathies, Jeanne. My first dog was a very fearful, very reactive dog, and I am all-too-familiar with that sinking feeling. The good news is that it’s pretty normal for dogs to freak out at the vet — the whole place usually smells like sick/stressed dogs, there are often scary sounds & experiences, and vets do a lot of stuff that is weird/inappropriate (from a dog’s point of view!). I mean, if I was in a country where I did not speak the language, was led into a small room, and then a total stranger walked up to me and tried to stick a thermometer up my bottom, I would also have trouble staying calm 😉

      I love (LOVE LOVE LOVE!) Dr. Patricia McConnell, who is both a dog behavior scientist and an excellent writer. Her book The Other End of the Leash is a really amazing resource for understanding how dogs experience the world, and is just a pleasure to read besides. It’s not a training guide, but is still very helpful.

      There are ton of good books out for training fearful/growly dogs too. I think Nichole Wilde’s Help for Your Fearful Dog is really excellent and full of good, practical information. It’s kind of dense though, so if you are feeling overwhelmed, Dr. McConnell also has two short-but-practical training pamphlets that are a great place to start with a fearful/reactive dog (The Cautious Canine and Feisty Fido). There are a lot of others too — let me know if you want even more recommendations.

      If it helps to hear, freaking out is a very normal reaction. A dog going over-threshold is super triggering for us humans anyway, but it’s really hard when we’re also in the position of feeling responsible for “fixing” them. But there are some really, really good resources these days to help you help Kai feel more comfortable in this busy, challenging world. Odds are really good that as he settles into your home and life, you’ll find that things are not as bad as you feared, really. In the meantime, take some time for yourself too!

      1. I just ordered the McConnell book. I also went to Petsmart today and bought him a training harness that actually makes it possible for me to walk him, which means I’ll be able to start exposing him to more stimuli than he gets at our very quiet house.

        Thank you so much for the reassuring words.

        1. McConnell has a fantastic blog, too, which I read in spurts off and on, and can’t find right now.( So helpful of me.) Speaking of what have I read lately. She’s a very good writer. No plot to speak of, but plenty of characterization. 😉

    2. Nosework. They’re used to working with reactive dogs, it tires the dogs out and there are always cookies. It also builds confidence. And it’s a great deal of fun. Depending on where you are there are classes and travel classes and all sorts of different ways to do it.

      Also ask the vet if you can bring Kai by when it’s not busy and not an appointment for random treats & pets. At my vet’s, we call it the lottery – sometimes they take my temperature and sometimes there are just cookies.

      You can do this. You can find a positive based trainer and then you relax and Kai will relax.

      Is there any possibility that Kai was protecting you? Because I didn’t think one of mine was a resource guarder but she sometimes thinks of me as the resource not to be shared with other dogs. ; 0

      1. There’s a club that offers obedience classes about 3 1/2 miles from my house. We’re planning to start school right after the first of the year. Once he has the basics down, I thought we’d move on to agility and/or nose work.

        Either one would be good for him–he’s very energetic and very food-driven!

        1. Obedience is good – any activity which tires the dogs out gets my vote. (Tired dogs are good dogs and good dogs are happy dogs was my mantra).

          If you start with nosework – according to some people I know who work with rescues- you build a great deal of trust with Kai. Since 1. most dogs find sniffing a self rewarding behavior and 2. there are either cookies or toys and a lot of rewarding, it can be easier for them to pick up then obedience. Then when you start obedience, he already has the offer a behavior, get a reward chain of events down.

          You definitely need obedience but you also need trust. Especially, if he’s a little tightly wound.

          I love McConnell’s books but the one I really liked was Control Unleashed by McDevitt ( – it’s a nice foundation for obedience, agility, herding.

          I got two puppies on the same weekend because I’m an idiot. The only way to survive was to exhaust the puppies so I learned a lot about dog sports and different training methods.

          Don’t be surprised btw if the next time he sees the vet, he either does the same thing or says “I wuv you” – some dogs remember the interaction; some dogs remember the cookies.

          Good luck.

    3. How did he act after the temper tantrum? Was it simply him telling the vet to back the hell off or was he still aggressive? Was he uncomfortable with the vet before the outburst? Is he normally aggressive? It could be that he’s particularly sensitive about certain body parts, my normally easy going older male is very protective of his bum and penis and gets right cranky when he has to have his anal glands cleaned so they muzzle him for that. Everything else is fine. How is Kai around kids?

      Your best bet is to expose Kai to lots of situations and experiences. As odd as it sounds, meeting new people and having them ignore him is good too. Sometimes people making too much of a fuss is stressful on a dog. The more exposure he has to the world the better and it’s important for you to be relaxed because he will pick up on your nerves and go on high alert. Aussies are protective but if you tell him with your body language and scent (fear does have a smell) that you are in control of the situation, he will stand down and relax.

      Another training suggestion is agility. Aussies are usually agility superstars because they have to think the whole time. Flyball is good too. I really like the idea of going to the vet for treats. The more you can do to keep his brain engaged the happier he will be. It may be at the end of the day he needs a muzzle at the vet’s and there’s no shame in that.

      Also, this doesn’t have to be hours of work a day but you do have to be consistent with the behaviour you allow him to exhibit. Just like a kid, he will find the boundaries and push them. You can do this.

      my mother was one of the premier Aussie breeders in Canada before they became trendy dogs so I’ve known a few.

      1. As I was telling Bridget, above, I think agility and/or nose work will be good for him. First, though, he needs to learn good canine citizenship.

        The vet said to make it a point never to pet him when I get home until he does a sit/stay. I started that when we got home and I can already see some improvement.

  17. Too tired to concentrate on a KAL I am doing, So I am doing tiny projects from a book called 30 minute knits I borrowed ages ago.

    I used DK for everything so sometimes it turns out different 🙂 I have a pear that I decided not to felt.

  18. I made three teapots this week, the first real teapots I have ever made. I like one of them quite a bit, dislike one, and am reserving judgment about the third. This may all change quite a bit as the process continues though — one of my favorite things about pottery is how many things can go wrong (or, theoretically, right), and at so many different stages!

    1. I have numerous potter friends (I run an artists’ cooperative shop) and they all tell me that teapots are the very devil to get right. Any success with those is huge!

  19. I’ve been working on house organisation. So much organisation. This is the house I mentioned a few weeks ago that we were buying. The house was rundown enough that the sale nearly fell through because no one would insure the house. But the vendors did 3 weeks of hard work fixing things and we’re going unconditional tomorrow!

      1. We’re telling them that we’ll definitely buy the house. It’s a commitment we can’t pull out of without losing our deposit.

        In NZ, you put in an offer that’s conditional on a heap of stuff, mostly a check of the title, a building inspection, a check of the local govt records, you getting finance, you getting insurance. If your offer’s accepted, you have a couple of weeks to organise all that.

        If any of it fails, you can pull out. Or negotiate a lower price to make up for defects, or get the seller to fix defects. We ended up negotiating a lower price and getting the seller to fix stuff, so it’s been an intense few weeks getting it all organised. Intense enough that I’m not really feeling the excitement today. Once everything’s sorted out and you’re prepared and able to commit, you “go unconditional”.

        We take actual ownership and pay for the place in a week’s time. I think that’ll be the exciting point!

          1. It is similar here in Oregon. Once the seller accepts your deposit, the seller cannot back out. Only the buyer can back out if the conditions are not met. Even if the seller dies, the heirs have no option to back out. I personally knew a case where this happened and the widower decided he did not want to move – it was his deceased wife’s property -and the courts said too bad but the deposit was accepted by his wife prior to her death and the sale goes through.

  20. I started work on a new tote is called the “Catch all Caddy” but it’s only about halfway done. I did get up the Christmas tree and Christmas decorations inside and out and I manage to get the outside done about 12 hours before we got 5 inches of snow. So I’m super happy about that. Here’s some pictures of the Christmas festiveness


Comments are closed.