Working Wednesday, April 10, 2019

It’s glorious spring here in NJ, and I’m actually getting things done. The ground isn’t the only thing that lies fallow during winter around here, I’m mostly unproductive myself, but now I am woman, watch me cook, clean, write, and chase dogs (slowly). Melt the snow and keep me warm, and I start to move again.

So what were you inspired to do this week.

49 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, April 10, 2019

  1. It really is spring here. We’ve had clouds of yellow pine pollen drifting through the air, which makes it hard to enjoy being outside for any length of time. My azalea garden is starting to pop. I’ll try to post a picture as soon as they are in full bloom.

    This past week, I spent a lot of time in the car, driving from North Carolina to Texas and back. I started a different corner-to-corner pattern to crochet, and took along two skeins. I figured when one skein ran out, it was time to turn the corner and taper down the other side. It’s currently a little wonky, but that should get sorted if I block it. I’m debating border / edge treatments. I definitely don’t have enough yarn to do anything, so it’s either leave it with the single crochet edge, or get something different to finish it off. It’s a smallish baby blanket size, and I’ve since learned that there are two babies on the way, due in August / September, so this will have a place to go and be used.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BwEvD4RBDPt/

    My next project is to dig out my old paper work. The city is having a shred event on Saturday morning and I know I’ve got a lot I could contribute – plus the added bonus of no longer having it taking up space in my house!

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    1. PS – I did post some pictures from my trip. We were in time to see the Texas bluebonnets. They cover the ground like water – it’s really quite the sight! This picture is a closeup of a couple. They are a form of lupine I believe.

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

      We also got up close to some cattle on the LBJ ranch. And, in the last picture, you’ll see the puppies. My sister’s dog had a litter of 9. It was very hard to resist not taking one or two of them home with us.

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  2. Well, I’ve made the big decision to move back home (due to life, the universe and everything) which means an international move (UK back to US). However, I’m determined to finish a story that I started when I moved to the town I’m currently living in. It has another good ten chapters to go and I just finished one of them the other day. So today I’m starting on Chapter 2. I’m finishing this story, darn it.

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    1. Hope both the move & the writing go well, Seren. It takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there and try new things no matter where the wind takes you:)

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  3. I am back working on the closet/studio project that will not quit. Today I paint. Then it goes back to my husband for installing the shelf. Next is some assembly required. Then I have a place to paint, which I hope I will actually do. The last time I painted anything was so long ago Jane B had not even started looking for her house. Yeah. That long ago.

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    1. P.S. After running errands for two hours, I came home to my husband painting the closet. And it covered in one coat! O frabjous day.

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    1. I’m with you MJ. If this winter goes on any longer I’m going to have to DO SOMETHING! I’m not sure what. I’ve got the fire roaring because I’m so blanking tired of being cold.

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  4. It’s holidays, so I’ve upped my writing game and am hitting 1000 words a day – I’m on 67,000 words so far, and I think I’ll probably need 95,000 to get first draft done – hope to get there mid-May. Then I’ll give the whole thing a break and start editing June/July.

    In the meantime, I’m doing a steady trickle of submissions for competitions and agents.

    Once I’ve wrangled this into shape, I’ll hand over mss to DH who is ruthless and mean when it comes to beta reading.

    In the meantime, today has been gym, getting apoplectic on the Times comments section about Brexit and reading an amazing book called Lotharingia about the section of Europe that was amongst other things the Duchy of Burgundy. Beautifully written by a guy called Simon Winder, can’t recommend it enough.

    9+
  5. I’ve been clearing the garden boundaries so the wall can be repointed and the rotten fencing replaced. (https://www.instagram.com/p/BwFXJGjHZWC/) Still got a couple of roots to dig out, and the rest of a monster Clematis montana to retrieve from the shed roof and next door’s garden. Tony the handyman is going to take down the fence tomorrow, so we can try to pull out the rest of the ivy growing up through the wall.

    I’m also working full days on a couple of sets of proofs for Penguin. Too much to do, really.

    16+
      1. It’s corrugated something; not sure it’s metal. It looks a lot better without the tree shading it. I have big plans for that shed, and its surroundings.

        9+
  6. I’ve started inventory in the library. Something like 13,000 books to scan, though I have a couple of TAs to help. It is rainy and gray here, so that makes it easier to do. When it is sunny, I resent inventory tasks much more.

    12+
  7. I began my spring cleaning by clearing out my locker(s) at work. That means I brought home an electric skillet, a George Foreman mini-grill, fifteen or so Glad plastic food keepers in various sizes, silverware, computer supplies (mine that I took to work – I do that) and assorted stuff. Then (this is the amazing part) I put everything away! This even included stuff at home that was occupying convenient horizontal surfaces. I even washed my dirty dishes and put those away, too.

    You may be thinking, “Pfft! That’s just everyday stuff!” Ah, but you have to remember: Crusty Old Bachelor (COB). By the end of the week, my spring cleaning will be complete. ALL my springs will be clean.

    14+
    1. P.S. I cooked. Having brought the cooking devices home, I needed to prepare dishes I can reheat for work. (Or put stuff in the car to cook with. No.) So I made chili mac con queso and Polynesian chicken. The former means I heated a Bob Evans Mac & Cheese dinner and added a can of Campbell’s Firehouse chili. The latter meant I threw diced chicken in a skillet, added pineapple chunks and brown rice. Nothing fancy but I have prepared meals for the rest of the week. I’ve also got some sausage links and baby red potatoes that will go great together.

      4+
  8. The treadmill I use is in the storage room upstairs along with all the bins of “stuff”. So last week I started going through them bit by bit. Working around the perimeter I’ve filled bags of clothing, hand bags I’ll never use again, this morning I pulled out three sets of beige curtains that I forgot about. All to go to Goodwill. Also every time I go to the dollar store if I can’t find anything I’ll buy a pretty gift bag just because. So I sorted those out and now there going, too. Next will be all the quilt sets to go through, that will be hard so I’ll have to be ruthless.

    11+
  9. I’m working on me. Started working out with a trainer yesterday, and today, I can barely walk. New knee is fine but my thighs (upper and lower quads) oh man. Off to refill the ice pack.

    11+
  10. Still cleaning up after the dogs.

    Right now I’m waiting on the furnace guy because out furnace quit working yesterday. It’s not dead (I hope, it’s only 7 years old) just having fits. I’m glad it didn’t do this when it was -30!

    We are gong to help TB’s parents go through some of their stuff before they move. My SIL found a nice, cheaper, place in a smaller city and so we are going to check that out on Saturday. They are committed to one place for 3 months but living there long term would be a bit of a financial stretch for them. They are giving us some furniture and we have their okay to riffle through the attic and take what we want.

    When the furnace guy gets here I’m going to go take down the Christmas decorations I have in the front – why, yes, I do still have a large snowdrift in my front yard, thanks for asking. They kinda don’t go with my nice, spring-esque wreath on the front door.

    11+
  11. I’m working on getting my act together, but the universe is frustrating me. I’d finally convinced myself to at least take the initial steps toward getting a knee replacement (that I’ve needed for multiple decades, but only now have my bone metabolism fixed so I could heal after the surgery), and got the name of someone who’d done ortho surgery on others with my disorder (which massively complicates bone surgery), and whose patients adored him. He moved to Florida last year. Sigh.

    Other than that, I’m getting ready to attend Malice Domestic (the major conference for cozy mysteries) in early May, where I’ll be on a panel about “Detecting as a second act,” which is totally up my alley, both personally (fascinated by people starting over and also by people who refuse to start over even when objectively speaking they should) and as a theme in all my books. I’ve spoken at conferences before, but I’ve never been on a panel before. And I’ll be doing my first-ever booksigning!

    14+
    1. I should clarify — I do not live in Florida or anywhere near there and have absolutely no inclination to move there.

      5+
      1. You might contact his clinic in Florida and ask him if there is someone he would recommend who has worked with replacing knees for people with your problem. He may have trained some doctors up before he left.

        11+
      2. I think Jessie’s suggestion is a good one.

        I have another suggestion. I don’t know if it makes sense because I don’t know enough about your circumstances or about the surgery itself. But, if the surgery is a one time event, could your GP do some of the pre-surgery preps and post-open checkups, and could you take a 1-2 week vacation to FL for the surgery itself and events immediately surrounding? A sort of medical tourism, if you will. Of course, it depends on how much you want this guy and on whether you can find someone else locally that you feel as good about….

        Just a thought. If it helps, I speak from experience of a similar sort. Regardless of what you end up doing though, I wish you the very best!

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  12. I cleaned my kitchen! And I bounced the ball and played tug with my dog, Tantaka. I’m still trying not to do much this month since I’ll have lots to do in May.

    6+
  13. Finished and turned in ghostwritten book. Yay me. (some sarcasm because I’m in a mood.)

    You would only have to look out my window to see why I’m in a mood. cussing weather.

    Tomorrow I’m going to rearrange my house into the summer formation even though it’s still winter here. I want to put my writing table in the south window in case the sun decides to show itself in the near future. Not holding my breath.

    I’m also going to start on recording my last Bree MacGowan book as my actress has gotten too famous to do it. I’ll have to resurrect my acting skills.

    Does anyone have a little motorhome or trailer I can load my dogs in and drive south until I find some sun? It came out for about five minutes today and it really isn’t enough.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BwF0DdIA-rS/

    9+
  14. My good friend’s sister moved from Vermont to Oregon. She lasted 5 years then moved back to Vermont. She said she liked the weather in Oregon but she missed the people in Vermont. She thought Oregon was too yuppie and self-indulgent. Maybe it was too many coffee shops.

    6+
  15. I’ve been trying to work, but thanks to this heart thing, after about half an hour, I’m breathless and dizzy and must go lie down. This is annoying. It also leads to looking at work that I put off before the heart failure and thinking, “If I’d done that then, it would have taken five minutes. Now it’s going to take five days.”

    And I’ve been cooking like a fiend. I’m about to try my ninth meal service, but I think I’ve already found the one I’m sticking with. Last night’s dinner was a disaster, so that service goes. I’m about to try another one from that service tonight, but looking at it, I’m not impressed. The best thing about it is that you heat tomato sauce and then put the ravioli directly in that to cook; one pan! And then there’s the salad dressing to mix up for the spinach salad which I have high hopes for. Mostly I keep thinking, “I could have made this without the kit. And it wouldn’t have had any damn broccoli in it,” but I’ve made some new dishes that I really love, so it’s all been worth it. As long as I finish in under half an hour.

    I’m stalled on Nita after ripping Mort out, not because of that, I’m just tired of this damn book. But spring is here–it’s been gorgeous for days now and tonight is the last night it’s going to go below freezing for awhile–and I am slowly getting the hellhole that is my yard cleared out–fifteen minutes at a time–although I read Jane’s description of clearing out her garden with deep envy. I once cleared out a long line of stone steps down to the lake in a day. Those were the days.

    I want my heart back.

    15+
    1. I wish I could give you your heart back, Jenny. My heart issues are minor compared to yours, but my fibro has gotten worse and worse and doing the smallest things exhaust me, so I have a lot of sympathy. (Not that I wouldn’t have anyway.)

      Maybe put Nita aside for a bit and work on the next book to submit to SMP for a bit instead? Then you can go back to Nita fresh, newly annoyed at the other one.

      The weather is still shifting madly between winter and spring here in upstate NY. My snow is gone, thank the gods, but it will be 70 then 20 then 70 again, which is triggering migraines (6 days and counting) and the fibro pain. So my work is sort of in fits and starts.

      I am getting close to having the new Baba Yaga book up. It’s at the final conversion and upload stage (which I pay someone to do, because I have neither the energy nor the inclination to learn how to do it myself, but it still involves a lot of work on my part). Next few days, maybe? This is the one that–when I originally wrote the proposal for Berkley, before they cancelled the series–made my agent call me an evil genius, and accuse me of sitting up in my author tower eating bon-bons and plotting how to destroy all the other author-minions. (I wasn’t, really.) That email still amuses me to this day, and I’m pleased the book is finally coming out, regardless.

      9+
      1. Hey, I’m alive. I should quit complaining. And I don’t get headaches ever (knock on wood) so I should be sympathizing with you. Ignore the whining from down here.

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    2. I’m sorry that your heart is causing you such trouble.

      We’ve been housing/nursing our sister-in-law who is recuperating from pneumonia. She has COPD, osteoporosis, and other conditions that are hampering her recovery. Also, she overdoes, caring for her daughter and her grandson, as well as her mother, and covering 2 full time positions as an immigration lawyer for Legal Services. She’s 68.

      What I’m getting to is that an active person — like you, like my sister-in-law — suffers incredibly when she can’t get the breath to keep going at the rate she’s used to. It is maddening for her to need to take naps and need to take breaks.

      Please take care. Your patience with trying meal services impresses me: I’d get angry the first time a meal didn’t come up to my expectations (add curses and tears, perhaps broken dishes). Is it impossible to be pleased with small accomplishments? (I mean that straight — not as a nanny.) If you get the fibulator-thingy, maybe you’ll be able to do more.

      8+
      1. You know, I really think it’s my ego. I used to be the person who could lift any weight, carry bookcases up stairs, go for hours without stopping. I was proud of my strength. Now I’m wet Kleenex. It’s humiliating.

        The meal services are fun and I’m trying new things that I wouldn’t otherwise–although do not put broccolini in shrimp parm, it’s not a good addition–and eating much better. I told Mollie I was going to stop getting them to save money, and she said, “NO, that’s food, keep doing that,” so I’m keeping at least one of them. It’s been really interesting seeing how different they all are.

        5+
  16. Jenny, maybe it’s time to pay for someone else to do some of those things that tire you out after five minutes and save your energy for things you enjoy doing/only you can do?
    I’m sure that feels awful if you were the person who always did everything but you need to conserve your energy.
    I apologize for giving unasked for advice…but this sounds awful.

    4+
  17. Sympathies, Jenny (and everyone else). I have faced similar limitations on my energies and ability to accomplish things I used to be able to do quickly and easily. It’s definitely frustrating. You should absolutely vent a little if you want; it helps to talk about it with other people who you know will understand, doesn’t it? Isn’t that why this blog is called “Argh” …

    Hope I’m not being presumptuous.

    Healing thoughts to everyone!!!

    4+
  18. And, as some random wall once said, “The more you complain, the longer God lets you live.” This is a safe place to do it.

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  19. My achievements this week are pretty puny, but I am proud of them. I painted a birthday card for a friend; I repotted two plants; I hiked and went to the gym; and I cooked dinners and kept the house fairly organized.

    4+

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