Working Wednesday, August 21, 2019

This is one of those I’m-working-on-everything weeks: book, collage, Krissie’s book, shawl, laundry, kitchen, living room, guest room, bathroom, getting the trash out, clipping Mona, dogs to the vet . . . I don’t see it all getting done.  But bird by bird . . .

What birds are you working on this week?

71 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, August 21, 2019

  1. Worked two long days, and sent my editing job to the author last night. There’ll be a (hopefully short) day’s work when he sends it back tomorrow or Friday, but otherwise I’m on holiday for the next three weeks. Want to spend this first week sorting myself out and recovering, so I can really enjoy myself when I go away. This morning I’ve impressed myself by cleaning upstairs and, almost accidentally, finally putting everything in my bedroom away – which entailed finding somewhere to stash the medicine cupboard so
    I can use it.

    I’m tackling the ground floor after lunch, and hopefully putting everything in the living room away. There’ll only be the workroom to tackle then, and I’ll actually be fully moved in (but I’m not doing that until after my holiday: it’s really major).

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  2. I will oftentimes over-estimate how much I can get done, but it’s usually better for me to have too much planned than not enough. At loose ends, I tend to plop in front of the TV – and I already do enough of that!

    This past Friday afternoon, I spent an eternity knitting up the right side front of the sweater (leaving the left side in the lurch). I did eventually finish that side up by Sunday evening, and I’ve posted a progress picture.

    Saturday morning, I told DH that I didn’t want to go outside and do yard work in the mugginess of 95F and 85% humidity, so I concentrated on catching up with a quilting Block of the Month – finishing up August’s task of creating seven kaleidoscopic stars. I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out. There’s a posted picture of them too.

    I went to a quilt shop and had quite the lovely chat with a woman as we waited to check out. She lives near me too. I only wish I had gotten her contact information – or could even remember her name. Perhaps we’ll run into each other again.

    I started another quilting project, because I’ve been pretty good about finishing up old ones – or so I tell myself. The thrill of the new sustained me through the first half of construction. I’m hoping to work on it a little more this evening. Here’s the start – because of color selection it is feeling somewhat Halloween-ish.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1bAlMJBwPS/

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    1. I love starting new things. Finishing, not so much, but look at you go.
      I always seem to quit sweaters at the sleeves.

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      1. I haven’t even started the sleeves!

        There was a time 20 years ago where I knit loads of sweaters – I’m wearing one now in my icebox of a refrigerator. But I fell out of the practice because there wasn’t as much immediate gratification. Crochet – especially baby blankets – is better for that reason. (I once knit a baby blanket. NEVER AGAIN!)

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  3. I need to work on finding the life/work balance. I haven’t done anything since the weekend on any projects. Sitting with my mom, we worked on her recipes, then I made three scrubbies with coarse yarn (my first ones, she’s gonna let me know how they work!). I bought giant yarn to try arm crocheting, and the damn stuff is irritating me since it won’t pull smoothly like regular yarn…. that was all Saturday. Sunday we cleaned the house. And since then I’ve managed dinner and dishes and that’s it. Never gonna complete anything at this rate….

    But! The boyfriend is applying for a new position today!! Four total applicants and I think he’s a strong contender (four that we know of, anyways). I went and picked out a nice outfit, made him try it on, redried the nice ones for lack of an iron, and washed the dust off his nice shoes (didn’t even know he had them until I rummaged around looking at his half of nice things). Then, despite his misgivings/uninterest, we prepped for his interview! I made him practice answering q’s, highlighted important traits, and made him sign up for two classes that he can mention in the interview. Then we watched episode one of Person of Interest and i fell asleep. i remember losing interest in the show pretty quickly, but everyone loving it makes me want to try again.

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    1. I’ve been marathoning Person of Interest (rewatching after a previous marathon a few years ago) as a distraction from not feeling well. I’m nearing the end of the first season and I remember thinking originally that I liked that season better than when it started to get more science-fictiony/conspiracy-ish than the initial premise, and kind of wished they’d continued just doing their “rescue of the week,” but on re-watch, I’m getting tired of the “rescue of the week” and looking forward to the shake-up in the next season.

      5+
      1. I think it was the spy stuff later? Or international conspiracies? I don’t remember, but basically when I stopped being able to believe their weekly story anymore.

        5+
  4. Going to slow-cooker roast some beets! Then saute with zucchini slices for a side to mac ‘n’ cheese.

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  5. I conquered Mt. Laundry last night. Including the folding and making people put their own stuff away.

    We’re going camping again this weekend so I’d like the house to be reasonably tidy when we get back. It’s more relaxing that way.

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  6. A project I thought was done and headed to press has blown up–client making all kinds of changes. Good thing my initial estimate was high.

    Off to proofread Final Version 4…

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  7. I’m almost done with a TV shawl I’ve been working on to cut down my stash. I love the Secret Paths pattern so I just kept crocheting while I watched Grimm and Leverage (comfort watches). Now all I have to do is surface crochet, so I measured it to see if I wanted to block it bigger.

    It’s 114 inches across the top, 58 inches from top edge to point. I’m 68 inches tall. I’m not blocking it. Surface crochet and that’s it.

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    1. When I was in Portland recently house-sitting, my friends told me that their neighbors live in the house that was the main character’s home in the first season or so of Grimm. Apparently it still draws tourists.

      It made me remember the show. I’d watched the first couple of seasons and then forgot about it.

      I’ve been working on doing oodles of laundry and tidying up following a wonderful visit from old friends. I’ve got to get back to my daily art & doodle journal. I’ve been spending too much time on work-work and stressful situations. It’s too hot here to knit. For me, that’s mostly a winter sport.

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        1. It works for me because I don’t write and so many attempts at keeping a journal in the past have been a failure. But if I doodle or paint or make collages or whatever, then it works. And sometimes I jot in notes, but there’s not pressure to come up with some perfect phrase or meaningful notes.

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  8. I spent last week backpacking, which was excellent. I’m struggling with re-entry though — regular day-to-day life is somewhat less simple than frolicking in the wilderness.

    In theory, my work this week involves tackling my overwhelming to-do list. But actually, I’m tired of doing things out of a feeling of obligation, and tired of some of the habits I’ve fallen into. I’ve been struggling with losing fitness (and being out-of-shape is even more noticeable when backpacking!), and also with sometimes-quite-significant episodes of depression/anxiety, and both these (related!) issues have been getting worse over the last year or two. So I am working to move my own health & happiness to the top of all my to-do lists.

    Last night, this meant skipping an irritating and guilt-trippy ‘thing I should do,’ and this morning, I’m running off to the pottery studio to play with clay. Which are probably things I would have done anyway, but still a good place to start.

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  9. I’ve been too exhausted recently with a dental infection that doesn’t seem to be responding to antibiotics (probably because I’ve had it since last fall without realizing it until it flared up recently) to do much of anything. I’m having apioectomies on two failed root canals tomorrow to fix the situation, but until then, I’m pretty much not working on anything.

    I realized recently though that my daily writing routine is so well entrenched that I’ve gotten that done, even when I couldn’t do much else. I think part of it is because I finally turned off the ringer on my land line (which I only keep because it’s free with my internet service), which really only gets robocalls and appointment confirmations. I never pick up, but just the ringing, even if I ignore it, is enough to break the flow when I’m writing, and now that there’s never a ring, I’m seldom distracted before my full time quota for my writing is up.

    7+
    1. Ooh. Not fun. Have you tried salt water rinses to ease the pain and keep infection from worsening? Not long-term solutions but while you’re waiting for dentist app’t it may help:)

      9+
      1. I’ve got a long history of dental infections and root canals (in virtually all of my teeth). It’s a symptom of my bone (and tooth) disorder. I’ve used the salt rinse in the past, and it’s good advice for anyone else reading this. It hasn’t helped in this particular case because reasons, but I do recommend it usually and will probably be advised to do it after the apicoectomies.

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  10. Oh, hey–Jenny, you said “collage.” It’s always fun to see what you create, if you’re willing to share.

    Have a blast with Krissie.

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  11. I have no projects in progress. There are some I’d like to start, but the computer and I are at odds, and this Chromebook, while it permits me to surf, does not lend itself to the projects I have in mind – incompatible software.

    One thing I did do is attack a vine that likes to grow up the wall where cable and telephone wiring enter the house. Scissors and gloves, and the vine thus removed straight into the trash, no part to linger in the dirt or grass. No matter how much I prune, slice, uproot, or scream “Die, you gravy sucking pig!” at, it will be back. Weed killer has no effect, either.

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    1. I feel your pain. Virginia Creeper has appeared in my yard. Altough no bindweed, so far, this year.

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      1. That is my Jennifer’s answer to everything. Salad? Drizzle on Vinegar. (Red Wine or Apple Cider). Cleaning anything? Distilled White Vinegar. Killing something? Lots of distilled white. I hope the dotter has stock in Heinz.

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        1. My daughter came into my house while I was in the hospital and then came to see me and said, “You are never allowed to buy vinegar again.” I have gallons of the stuff and use it everywhere. I have two clear spray bottles for white vinegar, two brown spray bottles for cider vinegar (two blue bottles for hydrogen peroxide), one for each side of the kitchen. Then two small glass bottles for when a recipe calls for a table spoon. Plus the gallons I use to clean with. I love the smell of vinegar, so that’s part of the reason.

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          1. Vinegar, bicarb and eucalyptus oil. Between them, they clean most things, and peppermint oil for getting rid of ants.

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          2. I have the red wine and apple cider vinegar for salads and cooking. I have white for cleaning because the dotter. I also have a bottle of malt vinegar for fries and such because of Fast Women. I used the stuff at Five Guys first, and said, “Hey!” And now I’ll be using the white as a herbicide.

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    2. Salt. Sow a little salt where the roots are and it’ll be gone. Worked for Carthage. And for a friend’s flagstone patio.

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      1. I’m going to attack poison ivy with a mix of 20% vinegar, Dawn, lemon juice, and epson salts. I need a face mask and three straight days of sunny, dry weather (you can guess which of these is harder to find).

        I killed the poison ivy three years ago, but it has come back. My excuse for not spraying again sooner has been that my knee hurts too much when I tramp around on the rough ground. But my knee has responded to cortisone and the poison ivy simply has to be eradicated.

        4+
        1. I’ve had some success attacking poison ivy by pouring a pot of boiling water on it. Doing this on a hot, sunny day also helps. I’ve yet to find anything that kills established poison ivy.

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  12. I start my vacation tomorrow; 6 days in a row off. So tomorrow is major housecleaning day. I’m leaving for an herbal conference early Friday morning and I have a lot to do before then. I have a cat sitter coming in while I’m gone and I want the house to look good for him (ex spouse, co-parent of cats) as well as for when I return Sunday evening.

    8+
  13. I mentioned Sunday that I’d completed the yarn stash project, and last night I segued into the “log all the finished objects” project, which meant looking thru photos for friends wearing shawls I’d made them that I managed not to photograph before gifting. (Oops!). Now I move on to going through my own shawl stash (from which gifts sometimes come) and photographing the ones that have been completed but not documented.

    6+
  14. Elder care for three days, and then vacation – which is basically moving everything from home to an island off the coast of Maine, but the views are nice, and I delegate more food prep.

    10+
  15. We’ve been working on emptying our savings accounts this week. Monday we went to IKEA and bought a new bed (with extra storage drawers underneath aaand it’ll be electrically adjustable too), two desks + chairs, one large wardrobe and a closet for the study. Today we went to a store for beds and bedthings because plans changed for the mattresses we’d originally planned to buy. Sooo today we bought mattresses, new pillows (that I hope will be good ones because they were expensive…ugh) and new duvets…comforters…quilts…whatever. I still need to buy sheets, pillowcases and duvet-covers because the person that helped us buy things (i.e. drove us to the store and guided us) today refused to help out with that both Monday and today, but except that all bedthings are bought. So now have to figure out when and how to buy the rest of the stuff. And when I sit and google for it and have to pick colours and patterns and whatnot I just give up, because I can’t see the pictures. So annoying. And I’d also prefer to feel the things before I buy it so I know if it’s nice to sleep on/under. Hmmmm…

    This Saturday, the painter will come and paint the bedroom. Yay! And next week, the IKEA things will be delivered and put together, and then the mattresses and other bedthings will be delivered too. So even though our savings have shrunk severely, we’ll hopefully get something awesome back for it. And we had the money to do this, and only a couple of years ago we definitely did not, so that’s great to see and know too.

    In other news: I finally managed to make cheese sauce yesterday! That did not end up as warm milk with cheese lumps! So we had macaroni and cheese sauce with mushrooms and diced ham. Thanks to all of you for the roux-tips a while ago, it worked and I’m so happy I can finally make this kind of sauce. Thank you thank you thank you! <3

    15+
    1. In case it’s useful, LL Bean’s Ultrasoft Comfort Flannel Sheets feel wonderful — soft but not limp, and not too thick. They are generally the favoured flannel sheets available now, in case you’re looking for flannels. I have two sets I swap weekly.

      7+
      1. Thanks for the tip! Isn’t Flannel incredibly warm though? Have never had flannel sheets so I don’t know, but have heard/read that it’s perfect for the winter if you’re the sort that gets cold fast (I’ll sign that one!), but very hot the rest of the year. Enlighten me! 🙂

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  16. I, and many family members, love wearing sleeveless sweaters. It must be a working trait because it saves us the time needed to roll up our sleeves. 😉

    I lapsed on my personal development work and then this happened on Sunday. I decided to really fix 3 the files I had and got rid of many clippings and printouts.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/B1TBI66ADCS/?igshid=5xnm5u1ac8wn

    Lots of food cooking experiments over the last two weeks.

    Hoping to try a risotto again. Don’t know if my preference for softly cooked rice has made me not like the firmness of the arborio or am I not cooking it soft? Any ideas? FTR and context, I don’t even like al dente pasta. I cook mine a few minutes more than instructions say.

    Please send super-teacher vibes. I am not feeling successful at work and I have no support system. Any FGBVs for my sanity, serenity, clarity, quality, brevity, tenacity, and health will be greatly appreciated. That’s all the Ts. ☕😁

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    1. Well, you have a lot of people on this blog who love you. Of course, since many of us live on different continents, that may be all we can offer. But we are rooting for you.

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    2. *Hugs* I hope things improve at work. I’m fairly certain you’re doing better than you think you are.

      As for risotto, I always cook mine slightly softer than you will find it in restaurants, and with more sauce around it. (My mother is Dalmatian, so we make risotto Veneto, not Milanese.) I wouldn’t recommend using a different type of rice because the high starch content and shorter grain of arborio mean the grains can soften but remain separate even if you cook it for longer than generally recommended. The usual ratio is 1 part rice to 4 parts liquid, but I typically use 5 or even 6 parts to get it really creamy.

      Massaging the rice with the spoon helps as well. It releases the starch into the surrounding liquid, simultaneously softening the rice and thickening the sauce. It’s a kind of angled figure eight motion, where you scoop the rice, flip it, then smooth it along the pan. There are probably youtube videos. And I’m aware that this makes me sound crazy, but the risotto tastes better if you sing to it as you stir. Family tradition.

      4+
    3. Sending all the hugs and love! I’m sure you’re an amazing teacher. The sort the students will thank later for being so amazing during their education. You kick ass, girl!

      1+
  17. Last week I had no meetings or appointments. It almost felt like a staycation. I did get the garbage disposal replaced, also some sort of pressure tank that sits on top of the water heater (plumber found that one) and finally did some weeding. This week it’s back to meetings and general housework.

    I did complete 2 projects for the Tiny Pricks Project (people doing Trump quotes on vintage needlework. tinypricksproject.com). It was quite cathartic.

    I may also try some transcription for the Library of Congress (https://crowd.loc.gov/). Campaigns include suffragettes’ documents. Susan B. Anthony’s handwriting is terrible.

    7+
  18. I’m packing to move to a new house. I happy about the move but wow, so much work. Right now I’m cleaning out my office and i struggle throwing stuff out. i think i’m going to have trouble with all this ‘stuff’.

    8+
    1. Best of luck. You’ll feel lighter if you can do a good sort-out before you move – remember you’ll have to pack, then unpack and put away, everything you keep. I speak as one who’s still putting away six months later.

      6+
  19. Once upon a time, a good friend taught Kindergarten and later first grade in Anchorage, Alaska. I supported her a) via AOL Instant Messenger and ICQ, b) email, c) newsgroups to which we both belonged, and d) financially by buying school supplies via Amazon to be shipped to her school and buying her best friend’s daughter’s Girl Scout cookies and donating them to her class(es) for snacks (since not all parents could afford to.)

    How can I help?

    8+
  20. I started my new/not so new job. I used to train people for this so I’m not having to learn anything, which makes it so much easier than the usual new job stress. However, the last person left a disaster of files, papers, who knows what has been started or how far along we are. I had a small panic attack about that today but soon got myself sorted out.

    By the time school starts next week I should be in good shape. The best part is that all the stressful parts of this job have been transferred to another person in the year since I’ve been away. I feel a little guilty about that, but not too much. They stupidly eliminated the position last year before discovering what I told them before I left – one person can’t do both jobs. I used to do the other job, but that poor woman never leaves work – and I’m so glad it’s not me anymore.

    I find myself thinking about MY writing for a change. It makes me happy that my mind is freed up to be creative on my work again. Ha! I may have accidentally done something good.

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  21. Most of my week has been wasted on procrastination. I need to research the cost of root canals, but I keep forgetting to do it while I am somewhere that my cell phone gets any reception. My niece informed me that the guy who made my crown was definitely on the high end of the price range in my area so I’m afraid that the guy he recommends will be, too. I figure that the longer it takes me to get a price quote, the longer I can put off having the procedure.

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  22. This week I’ve been working on lots of publishing-related housekeeping, including some blogging.

    Had a second interview for a potential job. Waiting to hear back about next steps on the other potential job, for which I had a third interview last week. I hate waiting.

    While waiting, did a safari on the Metro to see if it was a tolerable option for getting from home to downtown L.A., because driving was going to be a nightmare. What a relief to find that yes, the Metro is a tolerable option. It will make for long days, but at least not long days stuck in traffic with an elevated heart rate and surging levels of cortisol.

    6+
  23. I am impressed with so much industry. I am thinking of Marie Kondoing my mind. There is a lot I could stand to let go of. So far, my mind prefers to let go of names. I took a break from what I am supposed to be doing to read this.
    I am supposed to getting out a newsletter. Not my favorite thing to do.
    Because
    Irish Magic came out last week. When last I looked I had 33 reviews. Yay. (I gave away a lot of free copies, hoping reviews would help.)
    My first book, Time and Forever goes on sale Friday. August 24-26 it will be 99 cents. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I3PFF40/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i1 (But not yet. Friday.)
    and Maybe This Time won the 2019 Raven for Contemporary Romance. It is a really pretty badge. I am aware The Raven Award is a popularity contest. Most of the people who voted like me and never read the book. But it’s still fun.
    That’s three good things to say and I have to add family news.
    Back to work. Sending you all good work blessings

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  24. I have started knitting a shawl for my sister, because she keeps complaining that the room she studies in is too cold. It’s boring so far, because it’s going to be wide stripes of colour and I started with the black, but I’m almost through to the grey (it’s Halloween-ish in palette, because she likes orange) and the yarn-overs at the edges are giving a pretty lace effect. Slowly getting better at knitting. Thank you all for inspiring me to start up again!

    This week I also sowed some more sugar snap peas and was delighted to see that the row I put in before my holiday has sprouted. The possum has kept its distance thus far, so hopefully they make it to the trellis. And I got some well-overdue pruning done yesterday, but I still haven’t dug up and divided the artichokes some fool planted in a flower bed before I moved in. Maybe next week for that. First I need to locate the shovel.

    4+
  25. I did a heap of overdue housework during the weekend, which felt good and productive. but haven’t done anything creative all week, and I’m having trouble remembering what I actually did with the last few evenings.

    Tomorrow we’re off to a weekend retreat in the mountains. That’ll be lovely and I’m going to take my drawing gear and see how I do at drawing mountain and forest instead of people. It’ll be an interesting change.

    5+
  26. I’m working on a short story about Rosie the Riveter. Well, it’s actually about Esther Streight Purdue, who goes on to become Dara’s grandmother in The Demon Always Wins, but this story is about how she met Lonnie Purdue, Dara’s granddad, while she was working as a welder at a Jacksonville shipyard during World War II. Plus, demons, of course.

    It’s going to take a lot of research (What does a ship welder actually do? What does her environment look like during her work day? Turns out there’s a diary of a shipyard welder from WWII available on the internet!), but I think it’s going to be a pip.

    5+
  27. I worked at home Monday because the refridgerator repair guy came—and he detected s gas smell outside so then I called the gas company and they fixed a small leak.
    Hardly creative but definitely needed in both cases.

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    1. My old man’s a refrigerator repairman
      So what do you think about that?
      He wears a refrigerator repairman’s collar
      He wears a refrigerator repairman’s hat
      He wears a refrigerator repairman’s raincoat
      He wears a refrigerator repairman’s shoes
      And every Saturday evening
      He reads the Sunday news
      And someday
      If I can
      I’m going to be a refrigerator repairman
      The same as my old man.

      Today’s whimsy courtesy of the Smothers Brothers.

      (And good job on getting the gas leak fixed before you blew up!)

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      1. Oh, I loved the Smothers Brothers. I still sing, “Crabs walk sideways and lobsters walk straight, so we won’t let you her for your mate.” And that’s before we get to the pumas in the crevasse which cracks me up no matter how many times I hear it.

        Pumas around the 1:30 mark:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vn-eOvqWO7I

        And the tragic love story of Herman and Sally:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qdRMHN2phkA

        Yes, you sent me down a YouTube black hole.

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