Working Wednesday

I’m clearing out my kitchen. I’ve been doing it forever, but this week, I’m getting serious about it. I have lovely pots and pans, but there are too many of them, so my daughter is getting some Creuset and All Clad. It pangs me to part with them, but how many braisers does one woman need? So that’s my work for the week: a lovely, clean, well-organized kitchen. Okay for the month, that’s my work.

What are you doing? Did you make anything? I need to make something.

54 thoughts on “Working Wednesday

  1. I made a pamphlet to advertise the Social Centre where I’m volunteering. I have to explain that I am not a graphic designer and mastering software such as Photoshop is not part of my skills. But instead, I discovered Canva, an Australian site where even absolute beginners like me are able to design beautiful things. Today I will make the last corrections and then send it off for printing. I can’t wait to see the finished brochure.

    12+
    1. I use canva a good bit. Not a professional graphic designer either, and it’s a life-saver for social media graphics.

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  2. I made great strides in cleaning and organizing my quilting mess this past week. I can almost see the top of the dining room table! Part of my process is to document the quilts I make, including scraps of fabric with the “story” and other pertinent details. I print those out and have them in a notebook for posterity. When I went to catch up with this on Saturday, I realized I had been woefully behind in this endeavor. I wrote up the paperwork for a year’s worth of quilts. Now I need to do the last step of matching the scrap fabrics to the paperwork and putting them in the binder. Then I can take care of the rest of the scraps on the dining room table. (As a side note, I also put the pictures and story of the quilts up on the website https://quiltsby.me/ – it’s where quilters can show off what they’ve done, and look at what others have done. )

    I started the pruning process this week, working on my camellias and azaleas in the front garden when I got home from work on Monday. I found a dried snake skin at the top of one of the camellias. While I was working on the last camellia, I found a bird nest with a couple of eggs. I stopped working on that one, so it is standing tall still. I’m hoping the birds come back to it. The few times I’ve spied on the nest, I haven’t seen any movement.

    I started a baby blanket for a new great nephew due in September. I decided to try a different pattern, so I’m going slower. But so far it looks good.

    And today, I’m going to go pick up a quilt from the quilter that I’m intending for my nephew’s graduation in a couple of weeks. I’ll be putting the binding on that one over the weekend hopefully. When I dropped it off, they were having a class at the shop. While the students were working, the instructor came over to inspect my quilt and help pick out the quilting pattern and thread. She really liked my quilt, so I got some good ego stokes from that (she’s an internationally famous quilter.) I’m excited to see how everything turned out.

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    1. Me too, Nancy. Documenting, that is. I meticulously document every single block of my Dear Jane quilt in a notebook.

      Meanwhile, this week’s project (after completing DJ block #96) is prepping for a quilting class, trying to make a dent in my 70 fat quarters of 1930s fabric, which has just been mysterioiusly propagating in my quilt room.

      I must check your webpage.

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      1. A Dear Jane is a massive commitment, so I applaud your documenting each block!

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    2. I started out documenting my quilts, but somewhere around the hundred-finished-quilt mark, I ran out of steam. And as I’m probably at twice that now, mostly given away without photographing, I’m never going to catch up. I do keep a running list of my UFOs though, and I’ve been making fairly steady progress in finishing them. Now I’m working on giving away as many of my quilts as possible, the ones I don’t actually use, to people who will use them. I made them for the joy of the process, and it seems silly to just hoard them in bins when someone might find joy in using them.

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      1. I’m almost to the point of giving them away too! I took several with me on my family vacation, and most of them were claimed, and I was happy for them to go to good homes. But I don’t have a list of my UFOs – just a mental picture of them. I’ll finish them sometime. 🙂

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    3. Kudos for you to documenting your quilts. This is such a time-consuming process but so valuable. When my grandmother died, I inherited all of her knitting stuff – lots of beautiful hand-knitted garments, pattern booklets (from the first half of the 20th century), knitting needles and tools – but no notes! I would have loved to have access to a knitting journal. I keep notes, but like you, am far behind. You are inspiring me to get to work!

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      1. I’ve done a fair bit of knitting and crochet, and have never documented any of those. I’m lucky if I took a picture before I gave it away.

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        1. I have records, including photos, of everything I’ve knit for the past 10 years. But I’ve been knitting for 50 years and have no record of what I did for the first 40. I’m pretty sure I made some cool stuff back then…

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  3. Today is our Labor Day holiday in Germany (Europe), so no working for me.

    Well, enjoying sunshine and warm temps while pottering in the garden, but that doesn’t really count as work.

    Have done laundry, finished up some beading stuff (modifications, repairs) that had been sitting around for a while too.

    Oh, yeah and cleaned accumulated dust bunnies under the daybed in my workroom (bleagh).

    Gee, guess I have gotten a fair amount done, now that I look at it! (In spite of nothing being particularly significant…)

    4+
  4. I’ve just finished the proofs that have rather wiped me out: just got to tie up a few ends, write a covering letter, and take them to the post office. And get some more work – if at all possible, something that’s not depressing.

    I’ve just posted a couple of photos on Instagram which give a glimpse of where I’m at with the house and garden (raising plants for it, since it’s still being trampled as it’s being re-fenced): https://www.instagram.com/p/Bw7EduyHNrP/

    Next I want to rest my brain and have a long gardening weekend (it’s the May bank holiday). I’m hoping the fences will be finished, but Tony had to leave suddenly this morning since his mother-in-law had died – so I may have to focus on the allotment instead.

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  5. Packing… mostly, that and stewing because closing is about three weeks away and so far everything seems to be on track, but what if it’s not? I keep waiting for some kind of huge obstacle… why am I being so negative? People sell their houses and move all the time. We can do this, right? And it’ll be fine. The Fire Dawgs came yesterday and filled a giant truck with clutter from the garage and attic–35 years of detritus, but now our attic is totally empty and our garage is packable for the mover, so one more huge thing checked off the list. Moving is hard–I’m whining, I know, but dear lord in heaven, this is the most stressed I’ve been in…well, in ages. Plus, editing gigs and writing a book that’s due on August 17 means that breathing is a little hard right now. Trying to remember to take deep breaths every so often and my lake pal, Moe is coming to help me pack the house next week, so everything’s under control. Why then do I feel so out of control?

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    1. Sounds normal to me, Nan. It’s a major change, so your survival instincts are on the qui vive, trying to make sure you’ll be OK. which I’m sure you will, but they’re probably anticipating sabre-toothed tigers.

      6+
    2. You can do it! And yes, moving is hard. I remember lying flat on my back in the middle of the living room and announcing, “I’m done.”

      Of course, I wasn’t.

      5+
      1. Well, I got a little more work done on the stupid revisions, but now that the weather’s warmed up, I’m gonna have to back off bookwork and tackle the hellacious mess that is our backyard. We live on an acre lot with about a dozen pine trees, and every winter the buggers drop a few more branches, and we kept just piling them up in a brush pile and making vague plans to turn them into mulch, and the pile got bigger and bigger. And then last year my husband got bitten by a tick the first time he mowed the lawn and came down with Lyme’s (don’t do this. It was a mild case, in that we caught it quickly, and it was still a good month or more of misery) and the gentle downward drift turned into a death spiral. The backyard became a hayfield; the locust trees, vines, and brambles, sensing weakness, went on the march; the winter ice storms brought down even more branches. It’s basically safe for two feet out the door, and then it’s jungle territory.

        We’d still probably have found some way to ignore it, but they canceled our homeowner’s insurance. We got coverage through a different company, but still, procrastination time is past. So I expect to be hauling branches and swearing for at least the next month.

        And then possibly lighting them on fire.

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        1. … oops. I did not mean to post this as a reply, but apparently I can’t edit or move it. I blame the stupid branches.

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  6. Actual paying job took up most of the time. But also a bit of spring cleaning and decluttering. I’ve had very bad insomnia for a few weeks now, which really doesn’t inspire me to make anything.

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  7. The past two days I’ve done a whole lot of hard physical work, so today I plan to stay inside and not do that. Phone interview in approx .5 hour but aside from that I have nothing strenuous planned. Some new stuff to get ready for publication, but that is more fun than work. 🙂

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  8. I should have been born during the Victorian Era due to the accumulation of “stuff” I surround my self with and can’t seem to get rid of. It starts with one thing and snowballs from there. Like for instance tin cookie containers, because of the design, really pretty, that I have used to fill with sewing supplies and I did give my granddaughter one for herself. I’m gonna fill another one for her sister, I’ve got tins to spare.

    Between Jane’s journey and now Nan’s moving my sister sold her house and is moving into her son’s house. He is selling his house and is getting a larger one with an in-law suite to accommodate my sister. So with all these stories, yesterday, I looked up our family’s old address for nostalgia sake and lo and behold there were pictures with an inside view of rooms I haven’t seen in 30 years. Not to many changes except the kitchen and back porch. But the neighborhood itself has moved on. Our house is the smallest on the street with two huge condo/townhouses on either side, where before there was an apple tree on one side and a similar ranch house on the other. Reminds me that I’m going to have to call her and get her new address she has a birthday coming up.

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  9. Yesterday I made banana bread and did some garden clearing. Today we have school conferences for about half of the class and we will be finished but for one that we had to schedule separately. If I’m not too tired I want to make a strawberry rhubarb pie when I get home.

    5+
  10. At the beginning of the year, I intended to take every Sunday to Play and Putter (with play = quilting, and putter = housework beyond the daily stuff). I keep coming up with excuses not to play (and often not to putter either), but this past Sunday I finally did a good bit of quiltmaking. It’s for a huge quilt, so no visible progress, but I finished a whole bunch of the hourglass units that can now be joined into star blocks.

    For the coming week, I’m hoping the persistent damp, chilly weather improves so I can spend some time in the garden and yard.

    7+
  11. Oooh. I wish I could get Crueset, but alas it is beyond my budget.

    I did a lot of school work. I had a massage. It wrecked me. I had to take a painkiller and nap. I saw some childhood friends tho, managed to drive and get there. It was pleasing. Not uproarious and loud but quiet and deep.

    6+
    1. I watch for it on sale at Home Goods. The thing about their enameled cast iron is that it lasts forever. You cannot kill that stuff. So you buy it once and that’s it. You’re done.

      6+
      1. I curb-picked a Le Creuset trivet (deluxe version, orangey red) not knowing what it was- just that it looked perfect to hold my computer monitor. My kitchen-wise friend walked into my office and burst out laughing.

        But really, it’s perfect.

        7+
      2. I bought mine at Zabar’s in New York. If you don’t mind discontinued colors or a chip on the top of the lid, you can get a good deal. I think I carried the saucepan across NYC and LaGuardia because I was too cheap to pay for shipping cast iron. But when I bought my Dutch oven, they shipped it for free. Which just shows how long ago I bought it and how long the stuff lasts. I doubt any one would pay for that now.

        4+
        1. I adore my Chasseur cast iron pots, and my Creuset stovetop kettle. The kettle makes a noise like the screaming souls of the damned, but given that it means my water for tea is ready I’ve become conditioned to be happy at the sound… or maybe I like the sound of screaming souls, hard to tell.

          9+
          1. I wandered around into a used book store, a kitchen shop and a German deli after physio therapy. Bought some amazing utensils, drooled over the All Clad, the Crueset, and glassware. Found two crystal scotch glasses which are quite close to the old cross and olive crystal. Sons love the weight of the old glasses for a good cocktail or scotch. Moved onto the deli. We had a great dinner with all our favourites.

            I find Crueset products at Home Sense and on deep discount sales at The Bay. Found quite a bit for Christmas presents one year. Just found a blue deep dish pie plate. Cheap and new.

            One day I’m getting some All Clad.

            2+
          2. All Clad never shows up at Home Goods on mark down, so I saved up for the three pieces I have–roaster, braiser, and stockpot with strainer. They’re wonderful and they will definitely outlast me, so Mollie will get them. Home Goods often has Creuset, and over Christmas I scored a huge braiser in pale blue with a lid that is a thing of a beauty and my new fave pan. I think it’s usually almost $400 and I got it for $169, so even though my credit card screamed as I passed it over, it was WELL worth it. I love that pan. I’m going to be buried with that pan. No, wait, I’m not, Mollie and Krissie will fight over it after I’m gone. I’m trying to talk myself into giving my big All Clad braiser to Mollie because who needs two huge raisers but it’s All Clad and my greedy little hands are refusing to let it go.

            2+
  12. Haven’t made too much lately, I’ve been very busy attempting to find my house beneath a tax season’s accumulation of kitty fur. It is such an amazement to me that my kitties still have fur on their darling little bodies as the volume currently being sucked up by the vacuum would suggest all are quite bald having shed every last fur out.

    Ah, but I just remembered, I am making something tonight! A real dinner, you know the kind one eats with a knife and fork? Yes, indeedy. Roast chicken with red rice, both recipes from Maya Anglou’s cookbook which I’ve been meaning to test out.

    9+
  13. Un-cluttering a kitchen… I should really try that, someday. Instead, I added to the clutter. You know those bullet-type blenders? I got one. I don’t know why! I just wanted it. Mind you, I bought the Mainstay brand bullet from Wally World, under $10 USD.

    Maybe I’ll use it to blend eggs for omelettes, because using a fork or a whisk just doesn’t do it for the inner geek.

    Somewhere in the bowels of my “kitchen” cabinet, there is a virgin food processor. I’m sure I could have made omelettes with it, and chopped up peppers and onions for them at the same time.

    *Sigh*

    I wish I could report actual work for Working Wednesday.

    4+
  14. I am organizing and pricing my pottery for a sale this weekend. I am relatively new to selling my work, so this induces much angst — am I pricing things too low? too high? too randomly? I’ve been laying things out into piles and trying to figure out the Goldilocks number(s), but I have yet to stick a single price-tag on anything.

    Overthinking things is my weakness (or do I mean secret strength? It goes both ways. See what I mean?). But once I get through this part, the rest of the sale should be fun.

    7+
  15. Working on the day job (yawn) but also working on the cabinet we are building for a friend.

    We finally have the frame made and the upright dividers in, just have to put the back in and cut the shelves. Friend is on her way to China on Saturday so she’s in no hurry. Tall Boy is really proud of it, he’s done a good job.

    I’ve been really efficient in getting paperwork out for the mortgage renewal, auto glass insurance, and a few other things. That always feels good.

    Making plans for the yard and garden (even though we are having Second Winter) and a few new things for the house. I found curtains on Wayfair that I really liked but they wanted to charge me shipping because I’m “outside their usual delivery area” so I found them on Amazon and got them with free shipping.

    6+
  16. I’m Getting Things Done, writing about computer-monitored gear shafts and breakthrough mechanical seals and internet-connected HVAC components.

    But in the back of my mind, I’m back in Montana, laughing with my nieces as we drive toward the mountains at 80 mph.

    7+
  17. I’m downsizing and moving at the end of the month after 15 years of raising kids in this house, and need to get serious about sorting, organizing, and packing. We’re having a garage sale mid-month, so I’ll be setting things aside for that purpose. And I have some furniture to put on Craigslist. I’m positive that there won’t be enough time to do as much as I should, but I’m determined to make a good dent.

    6+
    1. Wow! How gorgeous! Look at all the blues and purples.
      Here in Maine we’re still at the Daffodil part of Spring. Also forsythia and blooming trees so it’s still chilly, but becoming gorgeous.
      I went out this morning first thing to rake out some of the beds for my mom’s garden. There are quite a few, so I kept myself to a couple of hours (thank you audiobooks). After a tick check and a shower I ended up snoring in a chair when I should have been working on my website, or something related to income. I’m finally awake, but I have mother/daughter virtue, which is no small thing. I even hacked apart an old wooden swinging chair that’s been on the side of the yard for years, and lopped off some willow branches.

      6+
    2. One fine-looking native garden. Rarely are they as lush and California colorful, especially in such a young garden. Tell me again why you are not a landscape designer, you know, professionally. Oh, that is one sweet housefront. Be proud of yourself. Take a bow.

      5+
  18. Guys are here tiling the bathroom and listening to soccer in Spanish while Max and I watch a Hallmark movie. What a noise and what a mess, but progress folks, we have progress.

    8+
  19. Last day of our show is very quiet, but I have been “making” my boss email people for our New York show later in the month, so hopefully I am producing future sales in a city I won’t be in. 2 hours from now we will be packing up stuff like mad people. Can’t wait to get home and see my kitties, after 8 days!

    7+
  20. I tried but failed at assembling a new pressure washer; incomprehensible instructions and lots of parts left over. I changed over the winter wardrobe, and cleaned (and donated excess) spring/summer clothes. Raked the yard and cleared away piles of pine cones and needles. And I have been working on music, because I will meet my composer friend next week to finish up the harmony to some of her more complex compositions. At a certain point we need to just get together and play the music together, and we are long past that point.

    7+
  21. Today is Doctor’s Day! I have to point it out because so few people celebrate it, and I know so many hard-working doctors.

    I’m tired, so all I did was 1000 words today, yoga, 10,000 steps, playing basketball with my son, walking with my daughter and the dog, practicing choreography for a Fringe show, talking to a lawyer, and making some Canva graphics for Doctor’s Day.

    Oh, and the fun stuff: a nap, eating lemon roll with real whipped cream, and making lasagna with my kids. 🙂 Maybe that’s not so bad after all.

    8+
  22. A friend of mine helped me fix my serger sewing machine so I can start working on making burp cloths and bibs for my daughter and my first grandbaby. Haven’t started the sewing yet but the baby isn’t due until Sept 8th. But I am motivated!!

    4+
  23. I found a case of coconut milk that I bought two summers ago with high hopes of healthy something-or-other. It expires this month. So, I’ve been making pineapple smoothies, and a rich sort of fudgesicle with it. Opened up the fourth carton out of six this morning, so we’re making progress! I may even buy another case next time I get to Sapporo.

    This is the first full day of the new era, Reiwa. Not much different from Heisei, to tell the truth, but there it is. A chance at a fresh start, should I choose to take it. “I started this story on the first full day of Reiwa, and it became my most successful story to date.” LOL.

    5+
    1. My favourite for using up coconut milk is mojito smoothies – coconut milk, lime juice, mint and a hit of maple syrup (or brown sugar, or coconut sugar… ). Blend it, and drink.

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  24. I have some notecards ready as a gift to a friend who receives her PhD next week. In her dissertation she used the Book of Nunnaminster, so I took digitized illustrations from that manuscript from the British Library website. (I don’t know the copyright rules; I included the source and all that on the back of each card.)

    Here’s a pic of the finished cards:

    https://englishroots.blog/posts/

    2+
  25. Turned in a milestone before going to a friends house to watch survivor and the amazing race. It’s the middle of the season and I’m not really invested but it’s a good excuse to spend time with my friends.

    I’m getting better at getting the writing done in a timely manner so I can get paid regularly. Thank goodness.

    5+

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