Working Wednesday, May 15, 2019

It’s almost June, and I need to do something creative, instead of cleaning out the kitchen shelves and the laundry.  Like maybe finish this book.  And the eighty-four crochet projects I have started.  Or a complete sentence.  

What have you been doing?

61 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, May 15, 2019

  1. I don’t know whether to feel sorry for the woman in the above photo because of the daunting task of typing on that pre-electric typewriter or her pre-Princess Leah hairdo. But I’m sure if there was a bubble above her head it would be filled with curse words and evil thoughts.

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    1. I was more productive last week than this week. On Monday last week because it was sunny I decided to change out the curtains in the living room. That led to washing windows (I know it brings rain) which meant I had to move the corner of the sofa over to the carpet to get to the window. (slight twinge there) That led to taking the mini blinds off the window and washing them in the bath tub and hanging them on a rod on the back deck. (it worked out great) Then changed the curtains using a step ladder (have to be careful there) Well I’m not 24 anymore. So by the end of the week I was back to my regularly scheduled activities and made Aloha Brownies for the grandchildren that came over Saturday.

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        1. Aloha Brownies is a recipe from my sister from over 40 years ago, my son remembered it and told his kids about it so I made it last week. I adapted it to my own version.

          3/4 cup shortening (margarine or butter)
          1 1/2 cups sugar
          1 tsp vanilla
          3 eggs
          1 cup flour
          1 tsp baking powder
          1/2 tsp salt & cinnamon
          2 1 oz baking chocolate melted
          1/4 cup chopped walnuts
          1 cup drained crushed pineapple or 1 heaping cup shredded coconut with 1/2 tsp almond extract (I only made the coconut version)

          Cream shortening, add sugar, vanilla and beat until light and fluffy
          Add eggs one at a time and continue to beat after each addition
          Sift flour, baking powder, salt & cinnamon, add to creamed mixture, divide in half and add chocolate and nuts to one half
          Spread in greased 9″ baking pan
          Add either drained crushed pineapple or coconut and almond extract to second half and spoon gently over the chocolate half in pan
          Bake at 350* for 30 minutes or done (toothpick should come out clean)
          Cool in pan and cut into bars or squares

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    2. Caption: 1928. My older brother with a liberal arts degree was hired into management. My younger brother was hired by a university. I got hired as a secretary and told I might be able to work my way up to an editor someday if I didn’t get married.

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  2. I took a planned day off to work on grading but woke up sick. 😕 Here’s hoping I get ANYTHING done, even if it’s just “rest enough to kick this cold.” 😖

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  3. I’ve got a little list…OK, a rather large list.
    But it includes “Get toes done…?” So I may be armored in toe glamour for the rest of the tasks.
    Why is it “armor” but then “glamour?” What a language!

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    1. Depends on where you’re spelling it. In some countries it is “armour.”
      Armor comes from French, glamour from Scots, so there’s no relationship there.
      Jenny, the word freak.

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    2. Because a few hundred years ago, Americans dropped most of the U s from world like Colour, Favour, etc. We (Canadians) blame that dictionary guy. :^)

      Somehow, Glamour was hiding behind the door when that happened.

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    3. Here in Australia, it’s “armour”. Also “Aluminium”, which always made more logical sense to me than “aluminum”.

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  4. I got the graduation quilt back from the quilter a week ahead of schedule, so it’s now bound and (almost) ready to be gifted. I just need to put the label on it, which will probably be my task tonight, since we’re heading for graduation on Friday. (It’s Miami of Ohio, so the colors are somewhat reminiscent of the school colors. The pattern is Labyrinth, which is appropriate for a young person finding their way through college and beyond.) You all saw this last fall when I put the top together, but here’s the completed picture:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BxfGR-iB6Em/

    I also gave away one of my quilts to a friend last week. She had admired it from afar, and since I had room in my suitcase, I decided it was better to have someone love it in person than to have it sitting in a dust covered plastic bag on my shelf. So, hooray – some decluttering / de-hoarding has occurred.

    As a reward, I allowed myself to start a new quilt. It has a lot of color gradations, so I need to be super organized to get the complete effect. Almost everything has been cut, and the first seams sewn, and the pieces are tucked into their baggies for future sewing. I hope I get to that soon – but I know it won’t be this week. Because I’m off to Ohio!

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  5. I made a mid-week grocery run to make up for what I didn’t buy on Sunday, and bought Eggo Waffles, homestyle and buttermilk. And a toaster, the cheapest one Wally World sells. So most of the work I accomplished at home was clearing a spot for the toaster and having a pair of inaugural waffles with maple syrple.

    Jen also insis… er, suggested I buy Blue Agave for my waffles. I haven’t tried it yet, but buying it (on Sunday, with the syrup) made her happy. Dad’s buying healthy stuff (to put on his waffles?!?)

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  6. Recovering from a cold that definitely settled into my lungs in some form. Trying to be awake enough to work on my second book. Found out if you want followers on social media, you just have to crank out memes, but no one will support you for that so ummmm back to the book, I guess.

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    1. My much appreciated designer & marketing guru tried to get me interested in Pinterest as a potential visibility channel for my series. I looked at it for a minute and thought ‘hey wait a minute. This looks like something for people who don’t read.’ Which may be unfair, but it really made me cringe to see the ‘suggested pins’ so I ran away.

      FB works better for me because it’s still writing, people can actually answer you, I have no idea if it’s led to a single sale but whatever.

      This week I have worked on the job hunt (quite seriously if not yet productively); have done yet more revision on the work-in-progress novel; and have begun seriously to work on my first screenplay in 22 years.

      Last week I finished writing novella #26. WTFF.

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    2. There was some discussion on Twitter recently about the value of gathering big numbers of “followers” there (and I think it’s pretty much the same on Instagram). Some writers were obsessing about having a thousand or more followers, so they were cross-following each other. Jessica Faust (agent) commented that having followers was meaningless from the point of view of either an agent or a publisher. Jessica’s a big advocate of social media, not the gathering of followers, but real interactions with people. So followers who follow because they like what you write are great, but getting random followers just so you can quote how many they are is worthless.

      I think the obsession with followers, regardless of their actual interest in buying your book, is just silly. And a waste of time/energy. But then again, I only have a handful of followers, so I may be biased or sour.

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  7. I finished the first drafts of two novels, one of them Hope Sze #7!

    Very important because I fly to Egypt on Sunday, after my son’s birthday.

    I was dreading making a special side trip in to convert Canadian dollars to US dollars to Egyptian pounds. Luckily, I’ve found that they also like British pounds. Finally, a use for the British pounds I’d stashed away during the good ol’ days when my books were selling in the UK!

    Hope they accept them. Apparently they like new-looking bills. Fingers crossed.

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    1. A friend ironed her bills with a steam iron and kept them in an envelope so they would not get wrinkled. And another friend said their driver insisted they sort through their cash and find some that weren’t crumpled. It was a big deal that their money was wrinkled.

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  8. I spent part of last week in Portland, working with my composer friend to help with chords and harmony for a suite she is preparing for copyright. This week I am continuing on with her project from my home. It is much harder for me to help long distance, because I don’t hear the music in my head the way that she does.

    I had my second watercolor/pen and ink journal class on Monday, and I loved it. (The first class was excruciatingly boring.) The difference was the first class was lectures and instructor demonstrations. In the second class, we got to be creative and play with the paints and ink. I will be continuing to play with paints at home this week.

    I’m going on a field trip with the Archaeology Club on Saturday to see some petroglyphs that are not normally open to the public. That will be fun! and the scenery in the area is stunning.

    I did a major yard and home cleanup this weekend (motivated by hosting a dinner party). I enjoyed cooking and hosting the party. Clean-up — not so much.

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  9. I have been playing travel agency this week. Remember in the good old days when you wanted to go someplace and you just called a travel agency, gave them your itinerary and they did arranged it for you for FREE, unless you were going someplace where they had to make long distance calls and then you had to pay for the calls.

    Currently, I am poring over guide books, on-line travel cites, reviews, revising our itinerary, booking rental cars. Fortunately I got our tickets 4 months ago. I may be burned out before we get to England.

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      1. Thanks, Jane. I’ll let you know when we are in your part of the world. If your schedule allows it, we should meet in real life. As opposed to in the ether.

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  10. Working in office, got a neighbour who wants to garden the back yard mess, already edged the lawn and took masses of weeds out while mowed the grass front and back. We agreed on a price plus flowers for his wife. Off to get a fabulous bouquet for her. Enjoying my own Mother’s Day bouquet, granddaughter picked out each flower. Very pretty.

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    1. I love these sort of exchanges. I cart armfuls of basil, parsley, silver beet etc around my neighbours. They think I’m just being generous – whereas really it is about creating a community. Neighbours are mostly young, and don’t realise that communities take a bit of work, and don’t just happen. But it’s nice work – and I then feel fine about calling on them if I need something heavy lifted.

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  11. I worked on folding laundry for most of yesterday. Then I put it away and found more dirty laundry in the bedrooms. So I’ve got more laundry to do.

    My daughter is away on a class trip so my son gets to be an “only child” for 2 days, while I work on more laundry…

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    1. My kids are 9 and 11. I’ve decided that putting away clean laundry is no longer my job. It does however take me longer and cause me more angst to convince them to do it than it would actually take me to do it myself. That can’t be right.

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      1. My good friend when her children were about that age decided they were capable of operating a washer and drier and they could do their own laundry. Also her husband. She worked full-time. He worked full time. Both kids had a ton of extracurricular activities. She said there was no more of this “Mom I need to wear this to school tomorrow!” because she would say “That’s not my job”. Her son graduated from Brown and is a lieutenant in the fire department. Her daughter is an attorney who is the vice-president in charge of the legal department for a dot.com. in Silicon Valley. So you can tell yourself, you are not torturing children but teaching them about being responsible for themselves.

        Myself, on the other hand, have no children and will change out the food the cats are served if they really don’t like it. (I make sure they have at least sniffed it before I cave). So my advice is pretty much worthless.

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        1. Mine are 9 and 13, and I’ve taught them both how to use the washing machine because I never want them to have the excuse that they don’t know how to wash their clothes. Also, cleaning the bathroom properly, and putting clothes away. On the rare occasions when one of them complains about having to do jobs, I offer to swap their job list for mine. I even wrote out what I do so they could see it. Oddly enough, they’ve never taken me up on that.

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      2. Mine are 9 and 11 too. I leave the clean laundry on their beds. And socks go into a separate pile and everyone gets their own. I don’t sort socks.

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  12. We finally have a dry, partially sunny day and I am enjoying a short visit with my hammock swing in the back yard. I took the day off so my cat could get her summer haircut (long haired cat who hates to be brushed so her fur gets matted in a big way). She loves it for the summer. When I brought her home, she pranced around like she’s shed a lot of weight and years ( she does this every year).

    The ground is still too wet to mow but I have hopes that if it doesn’t rain again tonight or tomorrow, I may be able to mow the grass before Friday’s all day rain event.

    I need to get started baking for the herb/flower festival bake sale coming up in June but have had no motivation. Maybe, once Friday’s rain is done and I can get out in the garden to work on it and plant the herbs I picked up, I’ll feel more motivated.

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  13. This past weekend was our community clean up/toxic round up/garage sale so we tidied up the garage and got a truck-box load of stuff for the bins we thought were going to be set up in town but weren’t and had to go to the dump instead. We went to a bunch of garage sales and got a ton of free stuff, I got about 40 vintage canning jars. They aren’t safe for canning anymore but will be great for storage. Tall Boy bought an antique sewing machine that he’s going to fix up and flip. He bought 33 screw drivers of various sizes for $10. He offered the guy 20 at first but he said no, he would feel bad selling used stuff for that much but he would take 10. Insert confused face here. They are screwdrivers not sticky notes. Being used does not really take away from their value.

    We finished the cabinet we were building for our friend and it looks nice. That was a lot of work. I weeded 3 flower beds, also a lot of work.

    We ordered the pieces for the chain link fence we are putting in around the garden and loaded then unloaded twelve 55 lb bags of concrete mix.

    We went to visit my mom for Mother’s day and the dogs enjoyed running around the farm. Freaked the horses out but it was all good.

    Got a bunch of paperwork done. Finally managed to get the new duvet into the old comforter cover and tied down so we now have it on the bed. Today I’m putting black out lining into our new bedroom curtains.

    We have just been knocking the projects off the list and it feels really good to be this productive.

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  14. Packing to move, then packing, and then packing some more. The mover came today to do a final inventory–we’re 25% under the original weight estimate, so yay! Husband is frustrated and grumpy, I’m trying to hold it together, get stuff done, do my editing gigs, and write a novel that’s due to the publisher on August 17. I can do this… I can do this…

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  15. Got out into the garden for a few hours on Saturday, the only day it didn’t rain. Onions and a few other things are in and looking puny because of the lack of sun. But the garlic is growing like crazy and I just picked my first couple of asparagus stalks.

    I’m finally making some (slow) progress on the goddess empowerment for women book for St. Martin’s Press.

    Today the sun came out for a couple of hours. It was glorious.

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    1. I’m glad to hear that writing about a chicken can be fun because reading about them can be hilarious. I have very fond memories of The Great Hoboken Chicken Emergency by Daniel Pinkwater.

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  16. I fought off black flies to plant three trees today. little bare root things. A tulip tree, a blue spruce, and some sort of bush birds like. I only have eight trees left to plant. I’m creating wild bird habitat.

    writing, writing, writing.

    My back hurts, but I’ll get over it.

    I started online dating – haven’t actually dated anyone in person, just texting so far. I hate it. It’s frankly an awful way to meet people.

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  17. I finished mowing the yard and finished other various bits and bobs. We are off to Florida for surgery and extended stay for recovery.

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  18. Hello! I picked “Bet Me” as my Book club’s selection because
    1. I love it; it makes me laugh EVERY TIME I read it.
    2. It has food. I belong to a VERY “extra” book club and we like to theme the food of our meetings around books.

    Question: Are there any “book club questions” for “Bet Me?” I do not think we will have a problem discussing the book in general (we hit on how parts relate to our lives, and then we cast the movie) but I want to be prepared. Thanks in advance!

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    1. I don’t pretend to know what constitutes a good book club question. For BET ME, I suppose I’d ask:
      1. What tropes were present in the book?
      a. Were the tropes expected in a romance novel?
      b. If not, what kind of novel do they belong to?
      2. What tropes did the book subvert?

      I just read it again, myself.

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    2. I know I have them somewhere, but when we revamped the website I lost them for all the books. Let me look and see, but I’m thinking, nope. And tell the book club I said, “Hi!”

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  19. The rain stopped long enough for the grass to dry. I got it mowed! I also set-up a new rain barrel. The old one split. I may be able to turn it into two large planters. It’s going to be nice tomorrow, too, so I will be able to trim the hedge. The best thing I did was go to the local farm and buy plants for my continers and garden. That was the best. Now I just have to plant them.

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  20. I organised 9 people into clearing some land and planting 36 trees into it on Saturday. We were very pleased with ourselves.

    And I’ve done some kind of exercise on 5 of the last 7 days, which is at least 4 more than a typical week last year.

    And they’re doing renovations at work so I’ve had to tidy up my office. I hated doing it but it definitely looks better.

    For some reason it doesn’t feel like it’s been a productive week but when I write all this out, I realise it’s been pretty good. Now to convince my brain.

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  21. I’m going on holiday on Sunday (to Vancouver to visit my kids) so I am going crazy this week trying to finish up multiple projects at work before I go.

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