Working Wednesday, July 24, 2019

I’m cleaning out my kitchen and I’m appalled at myself.  Old spices, rusted cans, and let’s not even discuss my range hood.  But by damn, I’m working.

What have you been doing?

66 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, July 24, 2019

  1. Your old spices and rusty cans reminded me of this cartoon.

    I mentioned to my sister that I had found (and tossed) some old stuff from the pantry.
    I gave her my score and her reply was “check the medicine cabinet”. No doubt there is some very old stuff there too.

    As for working, my DH and I made significant progress on replacing the rotten boards in the deck (on Saturday, the hottest day of the year!) We got up early to get the materials and rent a truck from Lowe’s to haul them – but we missed the rental by about 10 minutes. So, we bought half the supplies and hauled them home in his car – 8 feet of board wood sticking out of the trunk! After a second trip to get the rest, we ripped up rotten boards, and placed new ones. I’m already feeling safer out there! We should probably get the rest of the rotten ones taken out this weekend.

    For handicrafts, I’ve been plugging away at the two yarn projects – trio blanket and knitted sweater. I’m still not quite finished with the back of the sweater, but it shouldn’t take much longer. The pattern for the front has been released, so I’ll get that started soon.

    I mailed off a package to my niece. If it fits, it ships – and I fit a twin quilt, pillowcase, baby blanket and baby quilt in that box! My little spiderman-loving great nephew should be getting his big boy quilt tomorrow!

  2. I’ve been working on work things. Must find the balance so I’m not staying late every day. T.T

    I made a teeny tiny hexagon for my new crochet throw. I have twelve, and we decided eleven was a good row size, so ONE ROW DONE! Thank god they are small and I’m finishing them quickly, otherwise I’d never get a crochet project done right now.

    I also adulted and am almost done getting my 401k moved over. Wheeee

    1. Eyes are freaky. My other half got a really bad eye infection a few years ago. It was still giving him quite a bit of grief after the first fortnight, but it got totally back to normal. I thought/hoped you might find it reassuring to hear that someone else did recover fully, even if it took a while.

  3. I have a second-round interview today. I almost wish they would just hire the other person and have it done with. If I didn’t need a new car…

    I’m waiting on the outline for a new set of ghostwritten cozy mysteries, meanwhile, I’ve started writing a cozy under my own name. And, because writing with an outline makes me faster, I’m having a lovely friend do the outline for me. I’m sure I’ll end up changing it, that’s just the nature of the beast, but I’m giving it a try. And yes, I can write my own outlines, but I thought I’d try this to see how it works for me.

    I’m still sitting on Glimmer Girls. I’m just not sure what to do with it.

    1. Best wishes on the interview! And I think getting someone else to write the outline is frankly genius. I hope that experiment works out for you as well.

  4. Weeding and deadheading. I did not do anything in the garden two or three weeks before we left, then gone for @ 4 weeks during the most vigorous part of the year. It looked as though I had abandoned the flower beds for years. I have mostly finished the front yard. I have weeded probably 20 feet of 6 foot wide beds in back with about 80 feet to go. Then on to the hillside. I have such a stiff back today so I may take it off to do laundry.

    1. And laundry will make your back feel better? I rarely find that bending over to haul wet laundry out of the washer does my back any good.

  5. I’m doing science summer camp for 16 kids from kindergarten to sixth grade, mostly boys. After revising my plans to include more free play activities, things are running more smoothly. But I’m getting nothing else done. Except I did go to the movies and saw Yesterday. Still singing.

  6. Am slogging through a very turgid ‘self-study questionnaire’ which is a reporting mechanism to one of our exam boards to verify that my school jumps through all the hoops. It is very very very boring. But it is distracting me from XTREEEEM stress of having completed on the house, and waiting for the money to hit our account. How is it banks can take money out of an account almost before we’ve realised we’ve spent it but they can’t transfer stuff in without a major delay. Currently we have thousands lurking in etherised limbo. Arghghghghgh.

  7. I’m working on two Secret Paths shawls because I was so tense I needed to do something with my hands. Started one and realized that I was going to come up very short on the yarn, so ordered more and then started a second while waiting for the shipment to arrive. Since I probably. have another four of these begun somewhere–love this pattern–I think I’ll just do these for awhile. Very soothing. One of them is in Aran wool, so it’ll be great for winter. Planning on making it huge. The other is in fingering wool, so it’ll go over a coat, and since all my winter coats are black, this is bright.

    I’m making stir fry like a madwoman this week and also spaghetti with sauce from scratch. The plan was to freeze some and there is stir fry in the freezer now, but I just plowed right through the spaghetti. Some days you just need to eat spaghetti.

    Also I have to find the razor and shave Veronica down. And finish Nita. Argh.

    1. Spaghetti defeats my normal tendencies to eat just until I’m full, then try to stop. Spaghetti – eat until you are so full you can’t stuff another bite, then feel disgusting for hours. But still worth it.

  8. Trying to understand why anyone would move to Wisteria Lane, the street where everyone lives in the Desperate Housewives show.

    Been watching episodes and thinking a lot of folks don’t live long there. Of course I thought the same about Cabot Cove from Murder, She Wrote. Kept thinking the town population sign must be one of the few where the population number keeps getting crossed out as the population decreases;)

    Other than that, doing the usual juggling of life and feeling grateful for my real-life community:)

    1. I hear you! Don’t hang out with Jessica Fletcher. If you’re not soon dead, you’ll be accused of murder as soon as she drops by for a visit.

      Of course, I used to live on Hemlock Ct. My BIL pointed out the irony of the “Dead End” sign.

    2. My cousin said the same about Charlotte McLeod’s Peter Shandy mysteries. After the third, she thought there were far too many dead bodies around an agricultural college (she spent her career at the University of California, Davis campus, the official aggie branch).

  9. I’ve just finished proof-reading ‘Lady Susan, The Watsons & Sanditon’. Worried I’ve found more inconsistency in the way each text has been transcribed into modern spelling and punctuation than I was supposed to, but Jane Austen deserves the very best. It was brilliant to discover the original manuscripts online (at, so I could actually check her handwritten original wherever I was doubtful.

    I hadn’t read these since I was a student, and it was really interesting to see how she developed as a writer. ‘Lady Susan’ is a satire, really; ‘The Watsons’ a bit hit-and-miss; but ‘Sanditon’ is so promising – great characters and really funny.

    We’re having a heatwave, so I’m thinking of vegging in the garden tomorrow and doing more garden design research. But then I must start my last lot of proofs: a thriller set in Japan. Just hoping it’s not too graphic.

    1. I’m jealous, Jane! What fun to proof those books. I have all her work here at home, it’s so comforting to read. I had no idea her originals were online. Wicked amazing!

      1. It’s far too long since I’ve reread the novels. Need a bit of a gap before I do, though, or I’ll be examining every dot and comma. The only other one I’ve proof-read is ‘Northanger Abbey’.

  10. Trying to get all my work done at work and then I’m out for two whopping days, which will cause so many problems because I am not there. Sigh.
    Otherwise working on storytelling. Going to a big conference tonight about it, woot.

  11. I planted two blueberries in pots, so no digging holes. I harvested several tomatoes.

    I have to figure out where to put the stuff that won’t fit back into the pantry after I cleaned it out.

  12. Yep, me too. Looked in he cupboards and shut quickly. On the next rainy day, I plan to clean the stuff out. Cleaned the medicine drawer. Lots thrown out.

    Working at getting customers to pay up. Most annoying.

    Shipped my MIL’s patterns she drew for all her tapestries she made. Found more photos of finished for sale tapestries too. She was very talented. Will make a few as a homage to her.

    1. One thing I found out: Most meds are good way past their sell-by dates.
      Source: the US Government which was losing a fortune on throwing out lapsed meds. So they did a study, helped by a pharmacy that found a cache of ten year old drugs. The decade old stuff was about 80% to 90% still effective, even after all that time, so the gov’t stopped throwing out perfectly good meds and so did I. There was some stuff like insulin, nitroglycerin, liquid antibiotics that you wouldn’t want to mess with, but most of it retained efficacy long after the discard date.

      1. It is an abiding infuriation to me that a person cannot just donate their meds to someplace. Once meds have been dispensed, no-one will take them, even though so many people are unable to afford their meds. It’s indecent and wrong.

        I have spent a lot of time in hospitals over the last 6 years and consequently have got heaping piles of “standard discharge meds”. Probably 75% of them for pain meds, unopened. I finally called the sheriff to come and get them around New Years and it took them 4 days to do a complete count so they could take it all away.

        I know there are people in the community who could’ve used some of it (not the pain stuff obvs), but there is no legal method to distribute and I don’t know anyone (except hospital people) for about 250 miles in any direction. Crikey I am one solid stomp of exasperation yet again.

        1. Sometimes a medical mission trip will take donations. After my dad passed away I was able to donate a ton of his meds. The pharmacist was excited. I was thankful that they weren’t wasted.

      2. I take the expired drugs yo the pharmacy for disposal.

        The worst part due date was for Catalina dressing. About 6 – 8 years past. Dh said, “is this suppose to have lumps in it?”

  13. All my cans and packages are within the stamped dates. I did the massive throw-away last month, and ate everything close to expiry this week, which was chicken breast and hamburger patties.

    I’m posting at work, on my break. I awoke at 2:30 PM to leap in the car around 3:15 to be at work by 4:00 PM, sharp. (I was early.) I don’t set alarms, because I usually have no trouble waking at noon. I remember turning over at 10 this morning, thinking “Argh! Too early!” Had neat dreams I no longer remember.

  14. Got a hankering for cheese this week (waiting for the brie at the store to go on sale), so picked up some caramelised onion and herbs cream cheese spread, and also some nacho cheese.
    Then I opened the hummus to actually eat, instead.

    This weekend is going to be very hot, sigh. Good thing I have some papaya and watermelon to slice up.

    1. I stopped at my favorite cheese factory with the kids last week. We got cheese curds, little sausage things and 2 different artisan cheeses. Yum!

  15. I spent a day in a primary school yesterday, and my dodgy hip didn’t bite me all day. I kept my walking to a minimum, sat down to present my talks instead of standing as I usually do, and came home unscathed, which was a huge relief and bodes well for the Sydney trip. And the school was gorgeous – so welcoming, and some really delightful interchanges between teachers and students. I did three presentations in the morning, plus a workshop in the afternoon, which was a lot. But it was well worth it – wide-eyed audiences and lots of positive feedback from the teachers afterwards. And fun! I love it when kids come up to me afterwards and tell me about the comic they are writing, or the story, or the character they have created.

    One of the teachers who hosted me had been talking to her class about solids, liquids and gases, so when they spread themselves out across the floor she told them they were behaving like a gas, and she really needed them to behave like a solid because there were two more classes to fit in to the room. So much good humour and skill, and getting kids to solve problems for themselves. Another teacher asked for anyone who knew they were going to talk to the person next to them to please move somewhere else where they wouldn’t be tempted, and then gave them such wonderfully positive feedback when they did. Am I raving? It just felt like such a happy and healthy school, which was a delight to see. I’m sure they have myriad problems that I didn’t stumble across, but there’s a lot they’re doing right, too.

    I love primary school teachers so much.

  16. I cleaned out three drawers in the kitchen on Sunday. Silverware, gizmos and tools (can openers, tongs, thermometers, all sorts of stuff) and the “other stuff” drawer (tea balls, wine bottle stoppers, etc.). Apparently it had been many years since I did it. Ugh. Put aside a bunch of gizmos I never use, including two neat things to strip various size herbs…but I always just use scissors or my fingers, and I’ll donate them. Weeded out things I had three of, or were broken. Put aside the extra silverware that only gets used when I have lots of guests, which is rare, so it can get stored outside the drawers.

    Everything fit back in way better when I was done, and it makes me really happy to have things neat and organized.

    It is amazing how clean my house gets when I’m avoiding writing…

  17. Nothing. Partly due to shoulder troubles, partly due to the heat. Trying to avoid the news. Tonight I’m listening to Art Neville and couch potato-ing.

  18. Daughter #2 gets married Saturday and we are hosting 100 people for an open house the next day. This morning I made the 3rd batch of chili with 5 pounds of hamburger and a coleslaw for 50.

    Now I am enjoying a pedicure before we package candy favours tonight!! 😁❤

  19. I cleaned out my medical supplies and managed to donate a whole bunch of stuff to the first aid kits of some friends and family (and then I did a little chair dance because I don’t need 4 drawers of fancy wound care any more!) and sent some (offensively expensive) injectables (they come pre-dosed in sealed syringes in sealed boxes) to a clinic in an neighboring state.

    Also I am delighting in the results of doing a lot of cookery over the weekend (empanadas! cucumber soup! sesame biscuits! sous vide steak! spicy coleslaw! lemon chicken!) and so I am in that place that feels magical (at least to me) – there is food of enough variety and palatability that I am not repulsed by it and can have reasonable non-gross meals and not just gobble candy or call up people and ask for bad takeout. And now I get to order spices (I love penzey’s and am frankly delighted to give them money).

    Also I have figured out (at least partially bc I carried on with not pretending to be okay) that I have been low-grade but significantly sick for about 18 months and now that I am not I am pathetically weak but also pretty cheerful and peppy. I am doing things I haven’t done for 2.5 years. I do them badly and I flop around a lot but I do them. It is very hard and makes me tired and is a big hope-giving deal.

    My mom gave me a new laptop and I tote it basically everywhere, necessary or not, such is my sense of good fortune.

    1. So happy to hear that you are beginning to feel better. May your energy and sense of well being come back quickly.

  20. I’m moving classrooms and the kids come back MONDAY (!!!!) so I’ve got to hustle. Lots of dragging and rolling and pressing any stray teenagers in the building into service (three of them fell into my clutches and got stuck moving books and shelving around). I’ve got everything out of the old room and into the new room, which isn’t bad, and I’ll just be tinkering around trying to arrange it the next two days.

    Oh, and doing lesson plans…got to do some lesson plans…

  21. I’m working on fighting off the Lurgy of Doom, bootstrapping our finances until things settle down again, and making my version of chicken noodle soup for dinner. I need serious comfort food with lots of garlic, and chicken noodle soup fits the ticket with possible vitamins and minerals thrown in.

  22. My sister’s visiting from Virginia for a few days so I’m doing the absolute minimum. Back to work tomorrow after she leaves.

  23. I went to see the “I’m not a therapist” guy today-the one several of you encouraged me to kick to the curb. I was fully prepared to tell him that I didn’t think his “wonder technique” was worth the time it was taking out of my week when he actually started to talk about what happening in my life. And then he pulled out his schedule to see if we could find a time to meet that was less punitive for me. For the first time, I got a glimpse of why my therapist referred me to him. I’ll still have to haul my ass out to the boonies, but since the new appointment time is one the same day I see the other therapist, I get a full day free of transportation frustration. Now, maybe I can relax and enjoy the scenery during my commute. The bus drives along the lake in some very ritzy suburbs and I might as well enjoy the view.

    I also found out that getting a second opinion about the tooth that either needs a crown or to be pulled will cost me $157.00. The dentist I’ve been seeing at the free clinic went from “we can patch this tooth for years” to “we have to pull it now” so fast that I don’t know what to believe. I’ve been seeing him because he works at the clinic, not because I know how good he is, so I don’t know how much to trust him. The last filling he put on the tooth lasted 9 days and, like the one he put in last year, took a piece of the tooth with it when it fell out. And he refuses to send any information to the new dentist, which I find a little suspicious. But when you are broke, you haven’t many choices. I just hope I make the right one.

      1. I think that since it is a free clinic and I didn’t pay for the x-rays, they may not belong to me. I never cared enough in the past to look it up. Also, previous dentists were always helpful about it so there was no reason to find out. There may have been a fee for duplication before these things were all computerized, but never an outright refusal.

    1. “he refuses to send any information to the new dentist, which I find a little suspicious” – I agree. Also appalling. I hope you manage to sort things out – it’s so important to know you can trust your dentist.

  24. I’m writing grant proposals. And pretending that lots of alligators near my boat (next projects) are really on the shore.
    It helps to know that these grants will be awarded (the foundations called me out of the blue to ask me to apply). But I’m drowning.
    When I can sneak a read I’ve been reading Janet Neel who someone from Argh recommended. I enjoyed the books but she makes occasional annoying mistakes that are sheer sloppiness ( she gets a family blood type pattern wrong when trying to show that a man isn’t really the father).
    Also I looked up if she had kids because her characters with young children 1) seem very cranky about the demands without any counterbalancing pleasure and 2) somehow can always get out for a show or a dinner. I found myself wondering who was with the kids a lot.
    She has three kids. I hope those kids had more maternal affection than her characters’ kids.
    (Also some fairly gratuitous adultery by a character who is supposed to be happily married.)

    1. I often find that authors write kids as much younger than their stated age. They do it for the cuteness factor, I think, but it annoys me no end.

  25. I dumped some dishwasher detergent in my bathtub, filled it with hot water and started the jets. Then I cleaned my toilet. I turned around and noticed the water hitting the wall. I need to make sure the jets are completely covered. I then cleaned the wall and floor, and washed towels.

    1. Ah, the old “Cleaning by Crisis”. I know it well. At least your walls and floor are clean.

  26. I recovered from a cold. That plus work took pretty much my whole week. Oh, I forgot, we had our not-very-regular drawing practice group last week. I’m still working on making portraits that look like the model and I was pretty pleased with one of mine. I’d put it on instagram but I’d better not, seeing as the model’s recognizable.

  27. I’ve taken some time off work to get some stuff done around here. I transplanted a bunch of plants, weeded the bed, and we built it up adding about 8” in height and a whole bunch of dirt. I managed to get the plants back where they belong that night (Tuesday) which was good because it poured yesterday and it’s pouring now.

    We are also rebuilding a raised bed that is home to a 30+ year old peony and a rambling rose that decided this would be the year to ramble horizontally instead of vertically. Of course, it’s at the front edge of the flower box so most inconvenient for construction.

    I padded the back of a deep frame to turn it into a proper shadow box for displaying an antique baby dress and knitted socks.

    Also on my list are making curtains, cleaning the house, hanging art, making 2 nightgowns, mudding and taping drywall, framing 2 mirrors, finishing up some faux topiaries, and visiting the in-laws for 5 days! If it ever stops raining I also have flower beds in dire need of weeding and mulching.

  28. This week I have again worked on the (so far totally unproductive job hunt), and on writing stuff. Lots accomplished there.

    Yesterday was our hottest day of the year so far (OMG I hope it’s the hottest day ever this year); got up to 90 in the kitchen. So hot I turned off the computer at 2:30 and lay down on the floor in front of the box fan with my e-reader. Read three books by 2:00 a.m. which is basically when I went to sleep. Turned on the AC at 5:30 and turned it off at 10:00. Today the high in the kitchen is 86 and it feels positively cool after yesterday; I haven’t turned on the AC and probably won’t unless the DH demands it when he gets home. (The AC burns money.)

  29. Is there a dental school in your area? The dental students provide service at either low or no cost, depending upon the school’s policies. A student dentist couldn’t be worse than the treatment you’ve already received. Just a thought.

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