Working Wednesday

I’m still working on cleaning up my kitchen and my novel. Both are progressing, but slowly. I also need to do something about my garbage; the bears keep mugging it. I can hear them outside my bedroom window on garbage nights, and while I am against their ripping up my bags, I’m also against me going out to yell at them in case they rip apart me. I don’t think they would, in general they’re mellow bears, but I don’t want to get between them and my expired spaghetti. (In case you’re wondering, bears go insane for past-sell-by sour cream but will not touch old mushrooms.) I’m thinking contractor bags and duct tape this week. Let’s see how they deal with that.

What are you working on this week?

65 thoughts on “Working Wednesday

  1. I got access to a laser cutter on Monday. I have been collecting things I wanted to try laser cutting, and I got to make a bunch of them, and my tiny boxes came in from the industrial laser cutting place, so I have new things to work with and new boxes to put them in and I am just cackling with delight here.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BxI3bqOBRBj/

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    1. Does it count as a Working Wednesday if I brag on my husband’s work instead of my own?

      We have a laser cutter, and my husband is an absolute artist with it. He uses it to create custom seasonal home decor for us among other things.

      For example, he designed this whole custom Christmas village scene for our mantel including a replica of the church where his grandfather was the pastor and a flying Santa with reindeer out of this thick paper that he backlit with fairy lights.

      This isn’t the best picture (I’ll have to get a better one when we set it up again next year) but it gives you a sense of it:

      https://www.dropbox.com/s/9ngvk8hby8arnan/56779589690__9C91439B-F41D-4975-A457-688050E9D510.JPG?dl=0

      Last year he cut out and put together a heart with raised “Happy Mother’s Day!” on it just from leftover Amazon boxes and then let our little kids paint all over it for me so that I had a very special custom gift from him and the kids. We’re a little busier at the day job this year, so I’m not sure if he’s creating something for me this Mother’s Day, but hopefully I’ll have something new to share next week.

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  2. Easily, that’s how they’ll deal with that. You’re not required to have bear-resistant garbage bins? We aren’t allowed to just put out garbage in bags, it all has to be in lidded cans, and all public garbage bins are the bear-proof kind you see in campgrounds where you have to put your hand in and push up to undo the latch.

    Granted we have ravens the size of pterodactyls, black and Grizzly bears, coyotes, wolves, lynx, fox, and cougars.

    I’m out of town running errands today and getting things in order for the weekend. It’s our community clean up and toxic round up and we have a few things to get rid of. We are also finishing the cabinet for our friend and maybe starting to install the new fence around the garden. I am going to make a nightgown for my mom and go see her on Sunday. Also, regular work in there somewhere.

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    1. We don’t have community garbage service, we have to go to private companies which make us use their little dumpsters which are not bear proof. I thought about putting bungie cords to hold the lids down, but the bears would laugh at that.

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      1. Bears around here have torn into a Lexus after someone left cookies on the back seat. So I don’t think there’s much that keeps them out.

        We have gotten into the habit of taking our compostables (we have complicated trash rules here) and freezing them until trash day, when we put them in the bin. That seems to help.

        Best of luck!

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        1. That is horrifying . . . but somehow hilarious! Cookies . . . Lexus . . . Anthropomorphized Bears. A tale of sugar and Wall Street.

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  3. Does your city garbage service sell bear-proof bins?

    Don’t know if these work, but I love the company name: http://www.bearicuda.com

    I’ve been working at just plain work and taking some continuing education webinars and courses.

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    1. We have private trash collection and we have to use their bins. They are not bear-proof.

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      1. There’s very little bears CAN’T get into. Mythbusters put a locked cooler inside a locked minivan and then let a trained Hollywood bear have at it and it took him like 10 minutes to get in. As far as I know, the only thing to do is keep the cans inside a locked shed or garage, or use the metal ones you see in National Parks! 🙂

        I have heard that tie down straps withe metal buckles help, but you have to put one going each way and whether your garbage company would want to take the time to undo them is a question.

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      2. I’m utterly failing to understand this business service model. Waste collectors in bear country provide you with compulsory-use bins that aren’t bear proof? I’m at a complete loss over how a competitor with some brain power hasn’t come into that market.

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        1. It’s a very small market. Also, I’ll call the company tomorrow and see if they’ll let me use a bear-proof container.

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      3. No bear proofing. Huh. I’d make a joke about New Jersey and sanitation and where Jimmy Hoffa wound up but I’d probably get whacked.

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  4. My preschool class is releasing salmon fry this afternoon. And it’s super low tide today so I am going to look at tide pools afterwards.

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  5. I’ve been struggling to get things done and angsting about lack of freelance work, even though it gets me down. Feeling better after my sister-in-law advised me to pick a lane – which is the gardens for this month. It’s pouring with rain today, so I’m collating the results of all the sun-tracking photos I’ve taken over the past couple of months. I want to get clear how sunny, or not, various areas of the garden are before I start planting.

    And I’ve got a new edit – an anthology of ancient Japanese travel writing, which will hopefully be more upbeat than recent jobs. I’m anticipating lots of wistful gazing at Mount Fuji, but who knows. I ought to hunt up the C19 Girl’s Own Paper serial I read as a teenager: ‘On and Off a Pack-saddle in Central Japan’. (My aunt gave me a series of bound volumes of most years from 1879 to 1902 when I was twelve. I felt more at home in the 1880s than the 1960s.)

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    1. The anthology sounds possibly fascinating! I am unlikely to persuade my library to acquire it, but it never hurts to ask, so when it has a firm title and pub date can you let us know?

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    2. (-: I had no idea! It looks like The Girl’s Own Paper has various editions on Gutenberg. I’m going to have to look and see if I can find some form the 1880s.

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  6. Writing, letting the dogs in and out, not eating grains or potatoes and I stuck my nose in online dating for about five minutes. I know how this sounds, but the one guy who liked me looked like he’d been in the backwoods for the last ten years and I freaked and deleted my profile. I’m apparently not as open-minded as I thought.

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  7. I’m finishing up some leggings and slowly creeping towards working on designing a Captain Marvel sweater.

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  8. I never knew there were so many components to demoing and redoing a bathroom. And this is only the beginning of the rehab. I’m not writing at all. Perhaps I’m retired?

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    1. Perhaps, you have too many other things on your mind at the moment? Once this is past so you have time to mentally play it again, it will all come back for you. Right now it is what you have to do next. And next. Then next.

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  9. Gardening. We went to the plant store this weekend and now I’m trying to decide exactly what goes where, keeping in mind both colors and height, and the need to plant around the remnants of bulbs and then put nasturtium seeds next to the bulbs so they will grow to cover what would be empty space (my motto is nasturtiums, the frosting of the garden, as I think they cover all mistakes.) This is more challenging than last year because the plant store had sold nearly all its nasturtium seed packets and so my color palette in nasturtiums is more limited than usual. Also, several of last year’s annuals made it nicely through the winter and are actually larger patches now than last year, so I have color constraints. Every night I come home from work, change clothes, and go out and weed/plant.
    I am really a beginning gardener, and think of it as playing with colors–kind of painting. I will buy lots of plants, stick them in the ground, cram them in to minimize weeds, and see what works. Mostly, by midsummer I have a garden full of plants and color and if I get it right the colors are harmonious. This drives my husband nuts because he is all about caring for living things, making things grow, starts things from seed, a passionate vegetable and rose grower, somewhat color blind so doesn’t see the garden the same way I do, doesn’t think about whether the colors of the plants work well together, believes in making sure every plant is properly fertilized, in the right soil and sunlight, and won’t pull out any plant or bush even if its not particularly attractive. He drives me nuts because he doesn’t weed. Basically at this point I do the front yard and he does the back vegetable garden.
    He also has, at last count, 17 jade plants and cannot be persuaded to give them away unless they go to good homes. You can’t kill a jade, so I get pretty frustrated at this attitude–no one needs 17 jade plants. If he took this position about the African violets or the orchids, which need good gardeners, and also tend to be prettier, I would understand it. We have about 10 plants that I consider to be unattractive that he puts outside in the summer and brings in in the winter. We have two completely different approaches to plants and gardening.
    When I was pregnant with our second child, he way overplanted seedlings, and had to give more than half away–I’m convinced he needed to be nurturing new life too. (We didn’t have a garden for the first one.)

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    1. I have a friend with a Christmas cactus problem similar to your husband’s with jade plants. If a piece is knocked off, she roots it and grows a new one, no matter how many she already has. Her house is full of them. She is less picky about who gets one though. She basically makes it a parting gift – any time you leave her house, she places a plant pot in your hands as you go out the door. It keeps the numbers down slightly, but they need to have more large gatherings if she is ever really going to get it under control.

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  10. My BIL killed a 3 foot tall jade tree that my MIL gave him by over-watering, so it can be done. But 17 is excessive. More than two is excessive.

    If you have a guy that is good at starting seeds, you have a good thing. If you find some perennials that you like, but need a bunch of, buy seeds and have him start them for you. I had an entire hillside of lupines once in all kinds of elaborate colors. If I had bought them, it would have cost a fortune but starting from a packet of mixed colors, I had some of the weirdest, most wonderful color combinations within two years. And they lasted for several more years. I have also grown clarkia, godetia, four-o’clocks, echinacea, lilies, day-lilies, angel’s trumpets and others. I have also had packet after packet do nothing because I am only so-so at starting plants from seeds. The clarkia and godetia I grew by scattering the seeds in place. Once I had a few plants, they reseeded themselves for several years.

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    1. My favourite perennials from seed so far are polyanthus (Barnhaven in France have some wonderful mixtures) and McKana aquilegias. I grow them on in a nursery bed, and then just keep my favourites. So many garden plants are clones, it’s good to mix it up with seed-raised plants.

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      1. I’m happy with his willingness to grow from seeds, but its a different approach to gardening than mine. The only trouble with seed raised plants, in my book, is that you then have a lot of them, and sometimes you only want a few for accent. Also, I really like planting seeds directly into the garden, with nasturtiums and johny jumpups and so forth. Basically, I don’t have the patience to plant them indoors, set up lights, water them, harden them… for him the nurturing is the fun.

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  11. I’ll be headed to WORK work in about half an hour. Unpaid work, as herein described by all the other posters? I almost thought seriously about not procrastinating vis a vis spring housecleaning, but then I came to my senses. My plants needed watering again, but I have engaged my air conditioning, and it was too chilly to get naked.

    That’s one of the problems with living in a single room. My AC has digital controls, and I like to set it at 72. That way, the room is somewhere between 68 and 76. I swear, I was ready to store the blanket from my bed – but no, I need it again.

    So, no work. But I have rewatched eight Nora Roberts movies and started the rewatch of the entire Gilmore Girls series.

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  12. Sleep training. I actually did sleep train both of my boys when they were babies, but my younger one, who is 3.75 yo, has regressed to an insane degree. I’m not sure what got us to this point, probably a build up of a lot of little things, but we’re now in the scenario where we do bedtime, and he pops up. Again and again and again. He kept getting out of bed for over two hours last night. I think I tucked him in at least a hundred times (I didn’t keep track, but considering that he popped out of bed about every minute, math alone gets me that number). We’ve been at this for a week and a half now. It is miserable. And of course this is the week I decide to quit sugar. 😫

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    1. Would it help to ask him what it would take for him to stay in bed? I presuming there’s some reason, in his mind. (Sleep deprivation is hell. Good luck!)

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      1. When I had a pop out of bed child, i read somewhere that young children’s brains don’t process “don’t” and other negatives. So if you say “Don’t get out of bed” they hear “Get out of bed” but if you say “Stay in bed” They get the message.
        I have no idea if the research is right on this, but it did work for me.

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        1. Most of the time, I try not to engage so as not to stimulate. When I do talk, it’s “it’s time for sleep,” or “stay in bed until green clock (toddler alarm clock) wakes up (turns green).”

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      2. He wants us to sit in the recliner near his bed until he falls asleep. Normally it wouldn’t be a problem, but we were in that chair for longer and longer periods, and then he came looking for us in the middle of the night. Us in chair = sleep crutch. Trying to break that habit

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  13. I am having a bit of a squee because I set my novella to free on Amazon this week, and am now #1 in a couple of categories, including Victorian Romance in Kindle. The next one in the series is also on sale (but not free), and is doing well enough to recoup all the ad and promo dollars I’ve put into the sale. Amazon rankings change hourly, but I’ve held tight in a few categories for a couple of days, so fingers crossed it will help visibility when I release the next book at the end of May!

    And as for the bears, I’m glad you’re not confronting them. I just hope they’re not so comfortable moseying up to your house that they wander into the yard when you and the dogs are in it.

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  14. Jenny, you have my sympathy. When I had to have outside garbage cans, raccoons used to feast nightly. There was nothing to stop them. Nowadays, we live in the woods and keep our garbage inside. We have wild animals around, but none that see us as a food source.

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  15. Since it’s garden season; finished planting the vegetable and herb garden and the hummingbird/pollinator garden. The rose garden is currently a bunch of plants in containers waiting for me to dig holes, and I still need to get the hardy kiwi, raspberries and grapes planted around their arbors and trellises. And the Mason bee house needs to be hung. But progress!

    What about a bear-proof garbage can to keep the critters from getting into your trash?

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  16. Ha, just saw that everybody else already suggested bear proof cans which your trash company won’t allow. Maybe you could call some agency to put pressure on them to change their rules? Because training bears to raid trash cans is not good for the bears or people. Fish and Wildlife maybe.

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  17. We don’t have bears in Tasmania – not even koalas. But I have had a wombat trying to uproot my garden, and have regular visits from bandicoots, which are charming rather than horrifying.
    As for work, I am supposed to be in Sydney at a writers’ festival but came down with a virus the day before I was due to catch the plane. So I reluctantly cancelled – I’m not desperately ill, just sick enough to make talking to large numbers of kids for an hour at a time pretty much out of my reach.
    I’m really sorry to miss the festival, but as a result, I have three bonus days where nothing was planned. So rather than go back to my work in progress, I’ve dived off sideways into something else I was writing, and am trying to work out what it’s about. In between lying in bed, drinking lemon juice and honey, and talking to my cat.

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    1. Bears aren’t really horrifying, even the Grizzlies. It’s the damn cougars you’ve got to watch out for. Most animals look at humans and don’t see a snack but cougars will eat you for funsies. To them we are, to quote Spike from Buffy, “Happy Meals with legs.”

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      1. My sister who lives in a small coastal Alaskan village has had some really scary encounters with grizzlies, including one who chased her after small Shitzu as it ran for the house and as she was trying to shut the door and it was trying to push in and she was screaming for her husband to get his gun. Fortunately as it pulled it’s paw back to make another attempt to push in, she slammed the door shut and it wasn’t smart enough to know that a good swipe and the door would be history. When I visit she gives me the bear lecture “If it is a grizzly, play dead. They don’t eat carrion. If it is a black bear, they do eat carrion so you have to face off and try to scare them away.” Or maybe it’s the other way. Anyway, I don’t like bears.

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        1. We have black bears and they’ll eat anything, but in general they’re pretty laid back and do not tend to attack humans. If I have a heart attack and end up face down in the dirt, they’d probably start munching, but as long as I can yell, “Go away” they’ll probably wander off. It’s not unusual to see them ambling down the road, checking out the place for any food that might be available. You know, snacks. And I am not going out in the dark to reason with them when they come after the garbage. This time I didn’t put any food out, so my garbage was unscathed, but that’s not a long term solution. I’m cogitating.

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          1. I’m looking into investing (it’s expensive) in a Hotbin composter that takes food waste and pernicious weeds as well as the usual garden waste. There are smaller, cheaper alternatives that just deal with food waste, and which you can keep indoors – which come to think of it would be essential, because bears. But that might solve your problem, and be a more sustainable solution, too. You could just scatter the resulting compost around your garden, which would doubtless appreciate it.

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          2. Huh. Have to look into that. I have a locking compost bin that so far the bears haven’t discovered, but I haven’t put anything in there since last year (just started cooking seriously again) so we’ll have to see. But that sounds promising.

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  18. The weather turned nice Monday afternoon so I was able to mow my lawn. But before I did that, I picked a couple of cups of violet flowers and last night I made violet jelly. I think it turned out well and is such a pretty color. I don’t have Instagram or other such accounts so don’t have a way to share how they look.

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  19. We have either foxes or badgers eating our food bin. Not completely sure which since we used to have a badger that ate it’s way through all the gardens on this street and left.

    And raiding the bins tend to be the foxes MO, but times are tough in cold weather.
    We wedge the bin or put it higher up, which works most of the time.

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  20. I’m working on work stuff & life stuff. Life stuff includes contacting the cabinet maker and working to have them redo parts of the cabinets that are supposed to be going into my demolished kitchen. Demo scheduled for Memorial Day weekend. I’m pessimistic that this kitchen renovation will start on time. At least we haven’t demo’d it yet.

    I also am working on marking a quilt for quilting. Hoping to get that on the frame this weekend.

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  21. I had to empty and turn off the fridge because an ice blockage was keeping the fridge too warm, even though the freezer was cold. Something caused by humidity, according to the appliance guy I talked to. All the stuff from the freezer is in my larger freezer out in the mudroom but the fridge stuff is crammed into coolers and probably turning into poison as we speak. It’s supposed to be in the mid 30’s tonight, so a clever friend suggested I just put them all outside. (Hopefully I don’t have bears.) But hey, at least I was finally able to check “clean fridge” off my to-do list.

    After 12 straight days of rain, I was finally able to get out into the garden. Tackled some of the most egregious weeds, planted potatoes, a few replacement strawberry plants, and a third of the onions before I got interrupted.

    In other news, my back hates me.

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  22. Work, work and a nap in the afternoon. Must get to the garden. It is so daunting that I may get a gardener or landscaper to come to the first time whack at it and then I can keep it up. H does not garden, only cuts the grass. Going to put some big white snowball hydrangeas in this year. Love the look and they fill up garden space quite nicely.

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