Working Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Welp, there goes May and I still haven’t finished Nita.  I’m beginning to think there may be a problem here.  I have cooked a lot and I finally got the fridge into the kitchen (long story) and the garbage out to the curb and Mona half trimmed (short on top, long underneath, she looks like a llama), so progress is being made, but . . . 

Tell me what you did this week, please.

62 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, May 29, 2019

  1. I burned myself out finishing my copy-edit and getting it to the author. I’ve decided not to chase for a follow-up this week, but to take a break in the hope of getting my energy back. I’ve been cramming as much gardening as possible in, and the garden and allotment are both looking more promising. I took a couple of shots of the garden yesterday evening, which I’ve just posted to Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/p/ByCzdKSH-BT/). It’ll be great when Tony’s finished the boundaries, although I’ll then have Helen the house painter doing the pebbledash – and I’ve got to try and scrape the myriad little glued-on pads of Virginia creeper off first.

    I’m really struggling with tiredness at the moment. In an ideal world (if my Premium Bond came up), I’d go away for a real holiday. Instead, I’m trying to pace myself. But daily walks, photography and writing have all been dropped for the time being. The urgent gardening – to make sure there’s something to enjoy this summer – should be finished in a couple of weeks. Although I keep seeing jobs – last night I realized the first strawberries are colouring up, so I’ll have to rig a netting cover or the birds will get them.

    The best bits are sitting in the garden in the sun, and getting to know my allotment neighbours.

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        1. It looks wonderful! I hope you make lots of friends with your fellow gardeners at the allotment.

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    1. I wish we had allotments like you have in Europe, here in the US. Some towns have community gardens, but it’s a patch of ground where everything is roto-tilled every spring (does make planting easier) and not a small manageable patch where you can grow fruit trees and bushes as well as the annual veggies or flowers. Some of the allotments I saw in Germany were just gorgeous! And all had a small shed/places to sit and gather. In our community gardens you just go there to work! Not a great way to really get to know your fellow gardeners, unless you set up a party or something on the side.

      (HMMM…I seem to have lost my avaitor, etc. Guess I’ve been lurking too long.)

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      1. It does seem a pity. Here, councils are legally obliged to provide allotments if there’s a certain level of demand. Many have been lost to development – it’s not all rosy – but I think my site is safe. It’s the only one for the town; is fully occupied; and is next to a primary and junior school.

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  2. I cleared out enough of the garage to be able to fit the car inside, in case winter thinks it might maybe turn up. Parts of NZ have had the warmest autumn since records began, which has been nice but is not a good thing at all. Getting a bit of the garage cleared out was a nice sense of achievement.

    It hasn’t been a creative week. But tonight my husband sat at the computer for ages, so I sat and sketched him. I’m quite pleased with the sketch and it was a satisfying half hour.

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  3. Here in (sunny) Melbourne, we’ve had snow in autumn, close to us. We rarely have snow in winter, let alone autumn.

    I’m trying to hammer a fanfic into shape, and after a week of it being the most awesome thing ever it’s now feeling like rubbish and I don’t know why I bother.

    But I did have a lovely long conversation with Eldest Son about Marvel and DC and comparative storytelling, so there’s that.

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  4. It’s been miserably hot in North Carolina for the past week. We did cut up some more of the downed tree limbs and put three barrels of debris out for yard pick up, along with several “logs”, before the temperatures got too high. I also did a bunch of shredding, finishing up the pile that had resulted from my filing purge. So, that feels good.

    I did take some time to put together the complicated and colorful quilt top. (Not actually hard to do, but did take some organizational skills.) While I was putting it together, I noticed imperfections that went back to my imprecise cutting. So, while it looks good from a distance, my appreciation of it has been dampened. It’s not going to be a show quilt – but it will make someone smile and keep someone warm, so that’s a good thing. Currently not quilted – just a “flimsy”, or as one quilting teacher called it “a summer quilt”.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/ByCwqeKhdRS/

    I also have a photo of Stanley, the former stray. Monday late afternoon/evening, he begged to go outside. He basically took five steps and then lay down on the deck for a nap. He came back inside when he was done. (All the other cats were napping indoors.) Stan’s just a funny guy.

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    1. Stanley looks very relaxed. 😎

      The quilt is great! I love the layout. I’m puzzled by the construction. Can you share the pattern name?

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      1. It’s called “Stained Glass Spectrum” by Better off Thread (have to admit I like that name). It consists of squares you cut on the diagonal and then match up again to make the larger triangles. You then sash everything. You put the sashed triangles together to make squares and then squares into rows. There are four sashed triangles for each square, five squares for each row.

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    2. I’m sorry the perceived flaws take the shine off it for you. I have decided that “flaws” are the hallmark of lovingly made work. Real life often gets in the way of perfection – for me anyway – but a thing doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful. In fact, I would go as far as to say that the imperfections make it more beautiful because they allude to the human that made them.

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      1. Perfection isn’t a realistic goal, and I should give myself a pass for that. It’s something I’m working on.

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    3. Ahh, Nancy, I’ve used your quilting photos (and I think Kelly’s) to teach my grade ones “q -quilt”. Trust me, they love them. Little ones tell you when the don’t!

      I love them too. So much time and effort went into creating a thing of beauty and warmth.

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      1. Thanks so much! I love that you use the photos for that!

        And thanks for the community of support here. It’s a lovely place to be, and I look forward to seeing what everyone has been doing each week!

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  5. Well, I feel obliged to mention our weather. It’s been chilly and wet. More like April weather than May’s. Currently it is 56F and raining. I think it rained 25 of the 29 days of May so far and that might be an underestimation.

    As for projects & work, we began a kitchen renovation in earnest. Last Saturday began the demo and you can see pictures https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx6Aw1DA3Xg/?igshid=qc3m5tbc0aol

    Sunday-Tuesday we painted the walls (2 coats in kitchen & 3 coats in hallway), stained the railing (2 coats), washed and painted the ceiling (1 coat but the section under the old light will need another coat or 2), painted the door frames (3 coats), and installed 4 flush mount LED lights. Today and likely tomorrow, the flooring goes in. A professional is doing that for us. Then we start installing the cabinets.

    I’m trying to figure out if I will go into work today or use a vacation day to recover & possibly quilt.

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    1. Kitchen’s are the toughest renos but have the biggest pay off. We’ve done both kitchen’s in the two houses we’ve owned and it is SO worth it. It is so much easier to keep clean and tidy when you love what it looks like (and it is usually more efficient re: storage, etc, too).

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      1. This is our first kitchen. I hope you’re right! I’m usually tagging my Instagram pictures about the renovation with #workingwednesdaypix

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        1. The great thing about a kitchen renovation is that then you get a kitchen that is (at least mostly) what you want. I bought a house that had virtually no kitchen and it was the first thing I tackled. Well worth it.

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  6. Yesterday I cleaned out most of the clothes in the bedroom wardrobe. This Saturday, the son of MIL’s niece (who is a painter) will come and take a look at our bedroom and make up an estimation of how much it’ll cost and how long it’ll take to get the mildew out and paint everything (blue! I want it blue!). The wardrobe is going out, for 1. we need a bigger one 2. we need one with sliding doors because that takes up less space 3. this one has a strange smell we can’t find the source of and can’t get rid of and 4. if the room’s gonna be painted, it’s probably handy if all walls are free. So I thought I’d better start clearing it out so we can break it down and get rid of it as soon as he gives us a painting date.
    It took me 2 hours to empty the part for clothes on clothes-hangers and the one with shelves. Then I was too tired to continue. Also, I don’t really know where to put all the stuff I found in there. Bleh.

    I’m also trying to help DF to work on eating more healthy and not order fastfood several times per week. He’s doing quite well, but it’s a challenge for me to come up with nutritious, healthy and varied meals so we don’t eat the same things all the time and he’ll get tired of it or give up because it gets boring. The challenge partly has its roots in his eating problems since his father died: He gets panic if he can’t easily chew and swallow food (or drink, or meds, or whatever), which rules out things that are difficult to chew, like pork or beef that aren’t so tender it falls apart by itself. This leaves chicken and minced meat and some veggie stuff that he has finally accepted as food. Well, challenges are good, they say.

    Furthermore, I’ve started feeling like I wanna start crafting and creating stuff again. I just don’t know what yet. I’ve wanted to sew plush toys (by hand) for ages, but I never get so far as to buy materials and get started. I’m concidering picking up the mosaic again because that was very relaxing, but it’s not very cheap so I either have to have a goal with it (i.e. making presents or something) or find another solution to where to dump the stuff for people usually think it’s too expensive to buy, even if I set a price that only covers the material costs. Various other ideas come and go, but I haven’t decided on any of them yet.

    There’s so much I want to do but I don’t really have the drive or the energy to do it. Argh! Is energy a myth or does it really exist? and if it exists, where can I get some?

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  7. I finished all my writing projects on Monday! Everything that I was behind on (journal entries, writing the text for my next storytelling event, writing up all the stuff on the play I was in) for weeks is now done. Huzzah!

    Right this second I am working on rehearsing for the next storytelling event (Friday) and figuring out Shakespeare to audition for As You Like It tonight. I doubt I’ll get in since there’s about 4 lady parts and I’ve never done it before whatsoever, but what the hell, I’ll give it a shot and am giving myself bonus points for doing pointless auditions ;P

    I also started over the Captain Marvel sweater because doing it in fair isle was just an irritating mess to keep track of. I will just cheaply sew all the details on.

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  8. A busy week last week morphed into an even busier Memorial Day weekend. Our son came down with the grandkids and grand dog for an overnighter and the parade the next day. We had to buy another air mattress for the grandkids which was when my husband searched all over the house for the pump. Instead of buying another one he used the cellar work vac to fill it figuring it would turn up eventually. It worked. The kids had gone to see the Avenger movie (had to go back home for dog after) and were starving by the time they got here. Not to worry, Son had already prepared the works for dinner. Steak tips, BBQ chicken wings, crab legs, potato and pasta salad and all the fixins’. The parade I’m sad to say was a bit lackluster. It was like nobody had their heart in it. So few marchers and not even enough viewers. I miss the fire engines and trucks with kids tossing wrapped candy to the grandkids. Don’t know what happened to the cub scouts and brownies (so few) not even members of the little league team were there. I hope there not wrapped up in X-box. But it can only get better, it has too. Yesterday it turned cold and rainy so had to do it and turned the heat on, drats. Come on June!

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  9. I have the World’s Most Disgusting Cold, so I sure hope that mucus production counts as work this week.

    Other work includes preparing to be a panelist this weekend, for an event I dread, wherein one of my fellow panelists is the closest local thing we have to Trump (more conservative, less rich, equally evil). But at least once it’s over, it will be behind me. And maybe I can conduct a little germ warfare by sneezing on him.

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  10. I finished a paper silhouette of a friend’s horse, but I’m holding off on posting it to Instagram until I get it framed and send it to her. It’s a surprise.

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  11. There was a controversy in the Humor conference of Baen’s Bar all week. Someone posted a recycled joke – political joke – and persons of opposing views were up in arms. I don’t know why – the joke is equally funny or unfunny if you change a few names.

    The following jokes all have the same punch line, which is revealed at the very end of the post. Not that most people can’t guess or remember it before then. UBDJuj.

    1. An assistant to Nancy Pelosi told her she had a fantastic dream last night. There was a humongous parade in Washington celebrating Pelosi. Millions lined the parade route, cheering when Nancy went past.

    Bands were playing; children were throwing confetti into the air; there were balloons everywhere. It was the biggest celebration Washington had ever seen.

    Nancy was very impressed and said, “That’s really great! By the way, how did I look in your dream? Was my hair okay?”

    Her friend said…
    ====================================
    2. Donald Trump was trying to set up a parade. Malania told him she had a dream. about a parade. There was a humongous parade in Washington celebrating the Donald. Millions lined the parade route, cheering when he went past.

    Bands were playing; children were throwing confetti into the air; there were balloons everywhere. It was the biggest celebration Washington had ever seen.

    Donald was very impressed and said, “That’s really great! By the way, how did I look in your dream? Was my hair okay?”

    Melania said…
    ======================================
    3. Barack Obama was talking to Michelle about building a legacy. Michelle told him she had a dream. There was a humongous parade in Washington celebrating Obama. Millions lined the parade route, cheering when Barack went past.

    Bands were playing; children were throwing confetti into the air; there were balloons everywhere. It was the biggest celebration Washington had ever seen.

    Barack was very impressed and said, “That’s really great! By the way, how did I look in your dream? Was my hair okay?”

    Michelle said…
    =========================================
    4. (This one’s a two-fer.) President Bush was talking to his National Security Adviser about his popularity ratings. The NSA told him, I had a dream about that. There was a humongous parade in Washington celebrating Bush. Millions lined the parade route, cheering when he went past.”

    Bands were playing; children were throwing confetti into the air; there were balloons everywhere. It was the biggest celebration Washington had ever seen.

    The president was very impressed and said, “That’s really great! By the way, how did I look in your dream? Was my hair okay?”

    The National Security Adviser said…
    ============
    5. (Another twofer.) Clinton was talking to an aide, or possibly an intern. The aide told Clinton about a dream, in which there was a humongous parade in Washington celebrating Clinton. Millions lined the parade route, cheering when Clinton went past.

    Bands were playing; children were throwing confetti into the air; there were balloons everywhere. It was the biggest celebration Washington had ever seen.

    Clinton was very impressed and said, “That’s really great! By the way, how did I look in your dream? Was my hair okay?”

    Clinton’s aide said…

    === (finally! the punchline) ===

    “I couldn’t tell, the casket was closed.”

    That was my Wednesday.

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  12. Just spent most of my lunch hour reading all the food comments from the last post – so much fun! Our in-studio show starts tomorrow and we still have piles of things to deal with so…. back to work for me.

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  13. We ended Memorial Day with 4 tornados here in Dayton, OH, plus a bonus twister in Celina. No damage at my house, but others in North Dayton, Trotwood, Beavercreek and Celina weren’t so lucky.

    They tell me we won’t have power (and therefore water) for two weeks.

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    1. That’s terrible, Jeanne. Good luck! (And I hope your water supply turns out not to be dependant on electricity.)

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    2. Oh no! I’m happy you’re safe though! I heard 4 people were killed by the tornados.

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    3. We just had a power outage for 8 hours a few days ago: a garbage truck took out a major power pole. This is the longest I have been without power in decades. Only one side of gas cook top would work, the gas hot water heater, and the gas furnace both have electrical ignition. I threatened my husband’s life if he opened the freezer or refrigerator thinking they would be good for at least 12 hours if the cold air was left inside and their was lots of frozen stuff in the freezer to help keep it cool.

      If it had gone on for more that 18 hours, I figured I was in trouble on a lot of things in my freezer. I cannot imagine coping for two weeks. A friend who has power outages every winter caved and bought a top of the line generator which he swears is one of the most sensible things he has ever bought.

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    4. I’d heard it hit Beavercreek, too. Mollie and I lived there for twenty years, she was two weeks old when we moved in. All her friends/my ex-students are okay, but it was a real flashback to living in tornado alley, seeing those dirty green skies and hearing the sirens go. I refuse to get worried about NJ tornadoes but one hit Sparta, I understand, so evidently NJ now gets Big Wind, too.

      Glad you were spared, Jeanne!

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  14. We had two beautiful back-to-back days over the holiday weekend and are now back to rainy/gloomy, chilly days again. I did (finally) start baking for the herb/flower festival herbal bake sale last night. I made chocolate lavender cookies. Last year, by this time, I had a whole slew of baked goods finished and in the freezer. I have been lacking motivation , which I am blaming on the lousy May weather. I have 2 weeks to catch up and bake more herbal goodies. The festival is Sat June 15. I hope I can get my behind in gear! Last year, despite heroic efforts from my baker Master Gardener friends and me, we ran out of baked goods a good hour before the festival was over.

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    1. Ooh do you have a recipe for lavender cookies? A little while ago my daughter wanted to bake lavender cupcakes and I couldn’t find culinary lavender anywhere so I bought some on line (thinking it was pricey but not noticing quantity). I must still have a quart of lavender left after making many kinds of lavender short bread and would like to branch out.

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  15. Waiting for the start on the next round of house rehabbing duties. Worked out. Walked to the market got a few items. Got a manicure and pedicure. Now having lunch with my grand dog.

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  16. This is completely off topic, but I’d love some advice. I’m visiting Colombus soon: do you have any recommendations for places to visit? I’m going to try to check out German Village and spot the sites from Fast Women (and they have a 32 room bookstore so that’s on the list) but is there anywhere else I’d recognise from the books?

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    1. You could visit my brother! (Just kidding. But that’s all I know about Columbus — he lives in one of its suburbs, but I’ve never done anything there except hang out with him and other family members and then go back to the airport.)

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    2. I just realized it’s been probably twenty years since I lived in Columbus. I have no idea if any of those places are still there.
      The park in Fast Women with the pillars will definitely still be in the middle of German Village. The bookstore’s been there for decades. The diner from Faking It is probably still there. I made up the gallery, but there are galleries in GV. I spent the majority of my time at Ohio State, just went home to GV at night, and everything up there has changed. When they closed the dive bar where the English grad students hung out, that was pretty much it for me. (Goodbye, Larry’s, you were great, even if your floors were sticky.)

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  17. We wallpapered a single wall in my daughter’s bedroom. It looks very pretty.

    The real result though was DIY without drama! (After the Great Bookcase Building Debacle we swore never again). My take-home: it’s better when I’m the boss and he just does what he’s told 🤣

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  18. Removed and dismantled my fabric-covered headboard because after ten or so years even vacuuming only removes so much dust. (Saved the fabric.) Went to IKEA. Bought things. Put together things. Fixed things I took apart wrong (not THOSE screws!!). Returned one thing (the obligatory Return to IKEA trip). Cleared half my desk. Rested.

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  19. With the help of family (2 brothers, a stepsister, 2 nephews, and my own 2 kids), I got moved out of my home of 15 years on Sunday in the pouring rain. All things considered–moving things into various garages, not yet able to get into my new home for two weeks–we had a blast. I’m so very grateful to have people willing to help out. I’m also crashing at one brother’s place while he’s out of town for work.

    Next up is another round of weeding through belongings to see what I’m going to keep. That should make the second part of the move more manageable.

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  20. I’m working on keeping my temper until my children move on again. I get it. Coming home is like a vacation to them, but I have enough to do cleaning up after myself, I don’t enjoy their messes. I’ve turned into a grouchy old woman.

    It’s the usual for me. Nothing new to report other than I’ve been digging holes for trees. My ex is unimpressed with where I’ve put a few of the trees, but for a change, I don’t really care what he thinks. I tell him it’s very nice of him to come to mow the meadow (front lawn) but I get to put trees wherever I please.

    The lilacs are about to bloom – they are late this year. I love the dark purple ones. And ta bunch of volunteers have come up which I plan to move to more auspicious places.

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  21. There’s not much to show for the work I’ve done in the past week, but I think I got my mojo back for some projects that got put on the back burner for too long, mostly to do with patient advocacy. And I made blueberry-rhubarb jam (and ate too much of it already).

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  22. Yesterday I went to see the doctor and she really laid down the law to me. My weight is up, my cholesterol is up and my A1C is still at the prediabetic level. I promised her that I would start walking again but the weather says that it will rain every day this week. And it did rain this morning . But it is dry now and I’m going to celebrate by taking a bag of books to the My Little Library box.

    Today the exterminator came with the dog to sniff for bed bugs. It’s a good thing I was home so that I could explain that the reason the dog was sitting was the dead remnants left after my apartment was heat treated for them 2 years ago. Thankfully, he found no more recent evidence of the little monsters. I bagged up all the piles of books and papers I had sitting around so they wouldn’t get in the dog’s way and as a result, the place looks great. Maybe I can use that as motivation to weed out a good half of the stuff as I unpack the bags.

    It is also the 26th anniversary of my best friend’s death. I should really find a minyan and say Kaddish for him, but instead I will light a memorial candle for him, walk to drop-in meditation and start taking my doctor’s advice about diet and exercise again. Nick would not approve of all the excuses I’ve been making for not taking care of myself.

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  23. So glad I’m not the only one run-off-my-feet busy. Last week was yard work, we were away for the weekend and then on Monday did more yard work and took the stump grinder back to Home Depot (2hours away).

    We also had supper with our friend who has cancer. He looked well but the real treat was seeing him with his son. Friend and Exwife have had a dysfunctional relationship for the nearly 18 years I’ve known Friend. She has some serious mental issues and for his whole life she has used Son as a way to get back at Friend. This includes after they divorced and she had custody but because she is heavily into drugs and Friend is very anti-drug, she got Son hooked on various things. When she lost her house last fall, Son went to live with Dad. He got clean, found a job, and is connecting with his dad which is so much better. Son looked happy and healthy and like he was enjoying living with his dad and his rules. It made me so happy.

    Yesterday we had 6 yards of dirt delivered and I did more yard work. This morning we got up at 5 and topdressed the yard with about 2 yards of dirt and then seeded, loaded and unloaded half a pickup load of rocks, and made multiple tips to the hardware store. Then we had a nap.

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  24. I got the rest of the garden in over the Memorial Day Weekend (is it a day? is it a weekend?), which is a relief, although the bad knee is complaining mightily about the kneeling and squatting.

    Pushed through to the 40,000 word goal I had on my current nonfiction project–I wanted to get that far before I took off Thursday for an extra long weekend visit to a friend in Stuart, Florida. The cat sitter came in tonight, and I knew that between that and packing I probably wouldn’t get anything done. (And I didn’t.) I guess that puts me at about 4/7ths of the way done, aiming at 70K. But I can tell I’m going to run out of book before I get to that word count, so I plan to start freaking out as soon as I get home…

    It’s good to have plans.

    In the meanwhile, I’m excited about taking an actual vacation that doesn’t involve a conference, presentations, book signings, or anything else where I have to put on the good bra if I don’t feel like it. Also, beach for a bit, although it is going to be 90 the whole time I’m there, so we won’t stay long.

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