Working Wednesday, December 25, 2019

For those who celebrate it, it’s two days since Hanukkah started, and it will end on the 30th, so happy Hanukkah. For those who celebrate it, yesterday was Festivus, sorry we missed your grievances, but feel free to state them in the comments below. For those of you who celebrate it, it’s Christmas Day, so happy Christmas. For those who celebrate it, Kwanzaa begins tomorrow and will go on until the 30th, so happy Kwanzaa. Hogfather’s Day is in there somewhere. All in all, people are probably working on their holiday things like cooking and not killing their relatives, so that counts as Working Wednesday. Also, only eight more days (counting today) in 2019, which means 2020 is coming up which is like a science fiction date, not real, so dream big, people, and tell us what your working plans are for a brand new year. Or not. Maybe just rest.

Happy Working Wednesday.

70 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, December 25, 2019

  1. I *love* that you covered as many as you could. I admit to enjoying wishing folks for orthodox Christmas in January.

    I have finally recovered from the bug that that laid me low. I made progress towards my work lesson files for our new school year. And bought a cheap backpack with wheels to use as my work bag. I feel able to achieve something.

    We went to the beach today. Photos view the restaursnt window on Instagram. Southern hemisphere December for the win.

  2. Good morning and happy holidays from North Carolina! I feel like I’ve not done my usual stuff for Christmas, but when I look at my instagram post for today, there are quite a few things

    Back in late November I put together some angel ornaments. I gave them out to my co-workers on Monday. Late last week, I pulled out a kit with yarn and instructions for making holiday potholders. I finished two as the directions indicated, and then did two more, just to use up the yarn. I count it as success that I had a total of about 8 inches left – which I threw away! They will come in handy as I’ll gift some to the hostess at today’s Christmas dinner.

    I also made cookies (four different kinds) as well as cranberry cake over the weekend. I made refrigerator roll dough too (it was no wonder I was exhausted Sunday!). Yesterday morning I rolled them out and made four dozen crescents They are always a big hit.

    This morning, I made breakfast for DH and myself. As soon as we get going, we’re heading toward Virginia to visit my dad (who is himself visiting friends). It will be a blast from the past, as we used to drive up there Christmas Day before my mom passed.

    Still working on healing my ankle. The therapist told me that recovery is like a roller coaster – you feel good, then do more stuff, then feel bad. Yesterday was a feel bad kinda day, so my homework from her was to rest, elevate and ice it as much as I can. I won’t be able to do much in the car, but I’ll do my best to rest.

    Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to regaining independence in 2020.

    1. I’ve experienced that roller coaster in a chronic pain situation. Once I went on a new treatment for my bone disorder, I could do more before I hit my pain threshold and had to stop for the day. So it sort of felt like the pain didn’t improve, but it did, while my expectations also changed, so I wanted to be able to do more AND not have pain! This subjectivity of pain makes it very difficult to measure in clinical trials. I was in one where anecdotally it was absolutely clear that patients were feeling better (and doing more), but it didn’t get picked up in the standardized surveys we completed, because they didn’t ask about increased activity levels or drops in pain meds. Most of the patients who were on pain medications weaned themselves off them (or cut them back significantly) over the course of the trial, but that wasn’t captured in the surveys on pain levels. And if it’s not captured in those data, then the FDA (and the general medical community) don’t want to hear it. It’s very frustrating for patients (and for experts in the condition who can see what’s happening to their patients’ pain/activity levels).

  3. I used some leftover yarn to practice the start of the Inner Light shawl. It’s been so long since I’ve crocheted, I’m having trouble recognizing what the stitches look like. I can tell that once I get that figured out, it will be a quick and easy to row repeat for the main part.

    This morning I’m going to make the usual Christmas morning breakfast, and later try a tiny watercolor.

    I’m hoping to have a healthier and calmer 2020.

  4. My holiday creativity (two quilt tops, with cat photobomb in last pic):

    For 2020, I’m going to do my contracted novel-writing (and proposing a new cozy series for post-contract), but I’m also planning to self-publish a trilogy that I love but is just enough off the beaten path that I can’t find a publisher for it (post-apocalyptic setting for a cozy mystery). Two are completely written and the third is partially written (and I have a novella planned too if I can find the time). I’m also hoping to buy a new house, whether or not I sell my current one. There. I said it. Committed to both now! I have some other projects in mind, but haven’t entirely settled on them. I’ve got until the next Working Wednesday post to figure them out.

  5. My hermit Christmas is going really well so far. Went for a three-hour wander in the sun with my camera this morning: I’m now sitting in the dusk with my magical tree and a favourite novel. I’ve got a bottle of good red wine to open and a delicious meal planned – including veg from my allotment (the parsnips are impressive!). Expecting friends to visit tomorrow, when I’m also going to finish my planting plans, hopefully.

    I like the idea 2020 opens us to realms of fantasy. This should help my renewed goal of restarting – and finishing! – my fiction project. Which is part of my bigger goal of focusing in love instead of fear, and enjoying life.

          1. I don’t think my sister and BIL would let me get away with that, but it looked very tempting this morning. But I’m glad I went because two people I haven’t seen in years were there and I was able to keep my sister from aggravating her injured shoulder. And the non family company kept my bipolar niece occupied enough that she didn’t spend all her time in the kitchen getting in my way.

    1. The moss on the rocks is glorious. They’re all good photos but that one speaks to my heart (partly because rock fences are a familiar part of my past.)

  6. I wanted to spend my days off finishing unfinished knitting projects. Got a triangular scarf finished, working on a mohair lace scarf that I started, lo, these many years ago and it’s almost done and ready for fringing. Really wanted to finish a lace shawl which has also been laying around for a very long time (very complex pattern with like 25 charts) because I lost track of where I was and need first to sit down and figure out where to pick it up. Did that, only to discover that I must have had a moth in there about four inches down because there’s a hole. So frog work back down to where the hole is (not possible to “patch” in any way, sadly), Russian join to bind the ends and pick everything up from there. Oh, well.

    Anyway, I then got distracted by Jenny’s crochet projects (have only been knitting the last couple of years). While Inner Lights doesn’t do much for me, I love the textures of Secret Paths, so started one up with a longish run skein from my stash. Lots of fun but should have been more disciplined. Sigh.

    BUT: FaceTimed with kids and granddaughter (2-1/2) who ended up throwing a fit because she wanted to come visit us RIGHT NOW which is impossible because we are 500 miles away (we laughed, her parents didn’t). And at the end of the call they gave us our best Christmas present: baby nr 2 is due to arrive in June! Yay!!

  7. We had a very quiet Christmas – no kids this year. They are all going to the other side (sounds ominous!) for the holiday. Weather here is just about perfect – cool enough in the evening for an outside fire but calm and sunny, about 70 degrees in the day. My DH got a little emotional (and me too) last night as we sat around the fire and recognized that we truly had not thought I would be here for this Christmas. And not only here, but improving hugely every day. Forward, onward, upward into 2020. Nothing but good times ahead!

    1. I am so glad you checked in. I remember when you thought you wouldn’t make it to Christmas, and that was so hard. And here you are, thriving. Happy New Year, Ranch Girl, and many more.

  8. I made my first ever vegan pumpkin pie. Our son said it was the best pumpkin pie he has ever tasted. DIL loved it too as did the rest of us non vegans. Hard to get a compliment out of them when it comes to food lately. Yes!

    Looking forward to 2020 and first trip to Santa Barbara, meeting other son and wife and Marlowe for a few days.

  9. Merry Pagan and Religious Celebratory Times to you all, lovely Cherries 🍒

    Plans for 2020? Get a dog. Get better at my job, get Number One son to move on from manbaby status and get fit. There is writing and editing to be done and love to be shared.

    Joy, peace and happiness to us all.

  10. I tried a new recipe for my sister’s much delayed birthday cake. My friend Bob said that this recipe never fails him, but I was disappointed. It’s a devil’s food, so it has a nice, dark color and a good chocolate taste, but even baking it a few minutes less than the recipe dictates, it was rather dry. Maybe my oven is running hot or maybe I just prefer my family’s standard chocolate cake. I’d love to do some side by side test runs, but nobody I know can afford that kind of eating at this time of year.
    Maybe next month.

    Happy times to everyone here, whatever you celebrate!

  11. Happy Holiday of choice and force of habit to all of you! Thanks for being the best kind of people there is. Hope you’ve had, still have, and will have the kind of holiday you wish for, that your inlaws and parents and siblings will behave and that peace, love, hugs and good food end up on all your tables. <3

    I made meatballs (which became a bit too dry [I blame Sven (whom I can now call by name since he introduced himself here after the heart attack)]), apple crumble (which I burned…and threw away) and red beetroot salad (which everyone loved, luckily). I probably never want to see a meatball again. Ever.

    I reread Hogfather. That is not work, only pleasure, but it's holidayish, so it should be mentioned. My status on Whatsapp has been "+++ Divide by cucumber error. Please reinstall the universe and reboot +++" for years. (I also post it on Twitter now and then, when the situation calls for it.)

    In 2020 I'll probably return to psychotherapy, which I'm not happy about but there's nothing to do about it. I'll also try to get into judo, since I've missed the karate loads last years but I'm not fit enough to pick it up where I stopped, so I thought if I go for beginner judo and get a bit fitter, MAYBE(!) I can take up karate again later on. I'll also hopefully start singing in a choir, if things go as planned. And maybe get a cat. We also have a vacation planned with MIL and my mum coming May.
    I hope I'll feel better, do more creative things, sing more, find something that makes me feel appreciated and worthwhile, get outside more a.s.o too. Aim for the stars and land in the treetops sort-of-thing, they say, right?

    Best wishes! <3

    1. Good luck for 2020 Shass
      Just a suggestion, Tai Chi is also good and you don’t need to be fit to start, a lot of elderly people in Asia do it, because it is made up of gentle movements

      1. My daughter who lives in Buffalo NY suffers each year from basically 8 months of cold and snow. She was beginning to start getting depressed as soon as fall began dreading long dark days of no activity. She started Tai Chi not only for the movements but for the social and calming aspects. She is now a “corner” (evidently someone who basically knows the moves and other can watch) and she has faithfully attended every week for two years. Still hates the cold but it has given her some social and physical outlets.

      2. Another vote for tai chi. I’ve been in a weekly beginner class for about a year and love it–agreeing 100% when our teacher refers to the hour as “tai chi vacation.”

  12. Today I made cookies and soup. The soup barely fit in the pot.

    I should be working on the annual letter. The hubs has it written, just need to distribute it, some by email, some by postal mail.

    I’m also, 2/3rds done with binding a quilt.

    With temps in the low 50’s today, it was a beautiful Christmas Day. I’m grateful.

  13. My mum died today at 3:30 pm. She was 96 and had called me from Australia on the 15th to say Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah. She said she doubted she’d make it to Christmas Day. A week later she had a heart attack followed by a stroke.

    I hopped onto the first available flight and got home in time. She was still conscious and alert. She gathered her tribe and gave everyone a kiss and a few comments and then all supportive care was removed. It was so hard to sit there for three days and continue to talk, and wait, but she’d requested not to be left alone. We honored that. What a strong and loving woman, and that was witnessed by the crowd that filled her room day and night for days on end. I’ll miss her like crazy.

    1. I’m so sorry for your loss, Roben. But so glad you got there in time, and that your mom was honored in such an amazing way. We should all be so lucky when it is our time.

      Hugs and love to you.

    2. My heartfelt condolences. She sounds like a remarkable woman. I’m glad you were there for her.

      1. It is so hard being there at the end. But afterward it can be comforting to remember that you offered love and company at a very scary time to someone who gave you that kind of love your whole life.

    3. Oh, Roben, I’m so sorry you’ve lost her. She sounds like she had an amazing life full of people who loved her dearly, and she ended her life the way she wanted, surrounded by those people. You were lucky to have her but she was very lucky to have you. A life well lived and loved.

    4. I’m so glad you were able to be there. She sounds wonderful, and I’m glad she was able to go the way she wanted. Hugs to you.

    5. My sincere condolences on your loss. It never gets easier no matter how old or sick your parent is.

    6. Rowena, I’m so sorry for your loss. I can’t even imagine a life span of 96 years and having the where with all of living and leaving life on her own terms. All the history she lived through and all the history that came before her in her and your family. Well over a century between the grandparents and the grandchildren and newcomers that will know of her life.

      1. Robena, had to back three times to get your name straight – not fond of spell check that wants to correct me.

    7. I’m sorry for your loss. It is never easy losing a parent, regardless of how long and rich a life they led.

      May the love of all of us here in Argh nation be a comfort to you.

  14. I was inspired by this post to check at least one other tradition – the 12 Days of Christmas start on Christmas Day and last until the evening of the 5th January – also known as Twelfth Night. The 12 Days have been celebrated in Europe since before the middle ages and were a time of celebration.

    By the song, today is First Day of Christmas, and somebody in Europe got a partridge in a pear tree. That someone may very well get 11 more partridges by Twelfth Night. I’m not sure if there are 11 more trees, or if the rest of the partridges share the one tree, or even if the tree was a gift or merely where the bird was located. I do hope the recipient is running a food charity, what with all the poultry and cattle incoming.

    Gar blessus everyone.

    1. Also known as Epiphany and occurs on January 6. Our neighbor hosted a12th day party for decades. It is such a great idea for socializing at a dark time of the year.

      1. OK. This is a bee in my bonnet. Twelfth Night is, as Gary says, on the 5th, and is the final day of Christmas. Followed by Epiphany on the 6th – which I think of (I’m not a Christian) as the real start of the new year. By the 6th, in Britain, there’s a real (slight) noticeable increase in day-length, after the three weeks the sun stands still, centred on the astronomical solstice. I take my tree down in a hurry first thing on the 6th, having put it up just before the solstice and kept it up for the twelve days of Christmas.

        I have researched this, so I know that (while I’m obviously right) there’s quite a lot of disagreement. But, like Gary, I can’t make twelve days starting on Christmas Day end other than on 5 January.

        1. I always get Twelflth Night get confused with The Twelve Days of Christmas and start worrying about all those people at the end. There are a raft of great columns about the poor sap whose true love dumped all that stuff on her. “Merry Christmas, I got you twelve guys jumping all over your lawn,” kind of thing. I’d be good with the five golden rings, but then I’d start refusing the UPS man.

  15. Watching Hogfather as I write. Had a nice peaceful day with DH and DS and DD—later our adult foster daughter and DD’s boyfriend came over. I made pumpkin pie and Christmas log and three simple dish dishes-we couldn’t do the traditional seven fish for Christmas Eve so we did it today and DH made three complicated dishes and DD fried fresh sardines.

    DH gave me a gadget that is really for him but then I gave him a couple of glass vases that are really for me…Fortunately he liked some other things I gave him and I really liked the book of many advocates and leaders he gave me… it’s all good.

    In 2020 I want to complete my big census project successfully at work, and then take two weeks vacation, and reorganize our books, and visit DD in England, and DS in Boston . I also want to get back to getting on the elliptical 3 days a week (starting now—not everything has to wait until July) and do one ballet barre a week.

    After the work project is over I also want to start knitting again.

  16. You forgot the Winter Solstice for the Pagans in the crowd :-). Happy everything to everyone. I actually had a friend who sent out a card one year that said “Happy everything.” I loved it.

    My working goals for next year include finishing up the Witchcraft book I’m working on for Llewellyn, and maybe putting out one more. And trying to figure out where my fiction writing career is going, which is a much larger challenge.

    I also intend to work on trying to live in the moment more and stress less, especially about the things I can’t control (which is most of them). I need to learn to freaking relax, damn it! Oh, wait…

    Many salutations of the day to you all.

    1. Didn’t we talk about the Solstice on that day? Oh, well, they’re all Solstice holidays in the beginning.

    2. Happy Everything! That’s me, the Religious Eclecticist who celebrates everything she can get her hands on.
      I worked Wednesday, of course, since kennels and vet clinics need work done even when they aren’t open, and then after work my two best friends since childhood stopped by on their way home to another city from family parties and we got to talk for two hours.

  17. I had a wonderful day today making happy memories with grown son. We ate, opened presents, watched holiday movies, went out for a walk with the dog, and completed the annual holiday jigsaw puzzle.

    Now it’s time to relax with a good book.

  18. For most women, whether or not they have a religion, it’s probably the Festival of Washing Dishes.

    I only have four at Christmas (and my nearly 4yo grandson gets better every day!), but I’ve still got half a load to go, and it’s already Boxing Day. Cooking is the easy part!

    Gotta love a dishwasher 🙂

    1. A dishwasher is great, but if you have more than one load, it is actually faster without one. I proved this last night. Fortunately, my sister did all the cooking except the dessert, so I wasn’t in the kitchen for 2 days.

  19. I had a good Christmas. We had a few guests over and they are good company.
    My mom and I have never been able to cook together happily, and it’s always in her kitchen. She’s having trouble speaking, so it’s worse. But we’re still speaking today, and it was a delicious meal and a good time.
    I conducted the choir for the 5 pm service, and they sang well. Then I went to friend’s for dinner and a few glasses of bubbly, then went back to hear the 9 pm and got the giggles because there so many wrong notes on the organ in the first hymn. Unfortunately, I was seated in the more forward row. But I kept it together.
    No puppy, and STILL no pony!

  20. The holiday where the Hogfather delivers presents is actually HogsWatch, or HogsWatch Night, not Hogfather’s Day.

  21. I’m sorry for your loss. It is never easy losing a parent, regardless of how long and rich a life they led.

    May the love of all of us here in Argh nation be a comfort to you.

    1. Well, I replied on the wrong button once again. This was in response to Robena’s sad news.

  22. Happy everything, indeed! A low-key Christmas here, with wonderful weather for walking and napping. Because all weather is wonderful for napping.

  23. If you are interested, here is how the story of the toddler and toothpick and new Christmas dinner attendees worked out.

    The 4-year-old was affectionate and happy; and, my daughter’s friend — a forensic psychiatrist originally from Egypt — was visibly mellowed out by the setting and companionship. He loved the stockings and little gifts. And my friends — a sophisticated couple whose families were shifted by deaths this year — asked for capsule bios of the others ahead a time and quickly fell into conversations with everyone.

    My husband’s sling and my bum knee forced us to ask for help, so our kids cooked and worked hard, and all the side dishes and furniture arranging were finished on Christmas Eve. We were all very proud of ourselves.

    I loved it, without having to make any concessions for, “If only A hadn’t said that to B,” or “Why can’t I run away?” In fact, the need for the AAA tow truck on our icy driveway and the crash of a cheapie champagne glass merely added to our festive spirits. Mostly, I didn’t feel responsible for other people’s problems or happiness.

  24. We had a Christmas breakage also but what was interesting was the almost coordinating cleanup. I grabbed the broom, my son went for the vacuum, another son picked up the large pieces and the grandchildren kept the dog out of the kitchen. It was like everyone new there roles. The best part was that the serving bowl was empty so no mashed potatoes were lost.

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