62 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, January 29, 2020

  1. If “slack” is busyness, I took up enough for the two of us: I applied for and was approved for Medicare A&B; applied for and was approved for a Medicare Advantage plan; found a replacement gastroenterologist, made an appointment, and arranged to have my records transferred; had the oil changed in my car; scheduled a windshield replacement for my car (a crack is crawling across the driver’s view); arranged a dinner party; hung my fish (huge, crazy felt fish who now swim through plants in front of a window); saw the pt and exercised every day.

    Currently, I’m trying to return to the life of the mind, if that makes any sense: research, exploring ideas. It’s really difficult for me after a spate of busyness.

    1. Oh, dear. Now I want to make a crazy fish, though not of felt. As if I have a shortage of projects.

  2. Well, I don’t know if I’ve taken up your slack, but I did get some projects accomplished. I shared on the Sunday Happy that we had revamped our little pantry. I took everything out, had it littered about on every flat surface for about a week while DH took out the old shelving and installed new shelving. Then I worked on getting everything but the expired food back in. I even had room for the stuff that had never fit in the pantry before, so there isn’t food lying about on the countertops. Hopefully we can keep this up!

    I also quilted, bound, labeled and put a hanging sleeve on my mini quilt, so it’s ready for the show. I also finished binding the other quilt. I used it to practice my freehand longarming skills back in October.

    Pictures here: https://www.instagram.com/p/B751xZbhtE6/

    1. Your quilts are beautiful! I’ve been organizing too. I haven’t actually finished anything, but I have made 2 spaces much better, so I’m calling it a win.

    2. Very nice. And your little cat, too.

      Funny, isn’t it. No matter how elusive your cat wants to be, just lay out a quilt at any stage of its creation, and lo, the cat appears.

      1. I found that the Sunday comics also work as a cat magnet. Whenever I would spread them out on the floor so I could read them comfortably, my cat would spread himself across them diagonally so that he would block the greatest number of comics.

  3. We offered on a perfect little house. There are so few homes for sale in our price range, or even out of our range, in this city. Super low inventory.

    We didn’t get the house. The victorious buyer made an all cash offer well above asking price, and waived their rights to an appraisal or a home inspection.

    We can’t compete with that. I’m still incredulous that people can no longer make the sale of their current home a contingency, and have any chance. But waiving a home inspection is bonkers.

    We are now faced with two options. Keep the house in the area I don’t want to live. Keep maintaining and improving it. Or sell it, bank the money, and rent for about $500-$1,000 more per month than our mortgage. Both have pros and cons.

    But, I’ve ranted about this before. We did look at the three condos for sale in our range. The idea of living with so many neighbors so close, with so few windows and natural just isn’t appealing to me. They all felt so cold.

    Anyway. I just feel like curling up and sleeping for ten years. But, instead I’ve been crocheting another shawl. A hat may be my next project. I love knitting, I’ve been a knitter for decades, but crocheting is so much easier! It feels like I’ve stumbled onto a hidden wonder of the world. I’m wondering if crocheting a hat will mean not having to use double pointed needles at the crown? Because that would be nifty.

    1. So sorry about not getting that house. Very disappointing.
      On the upside, no double point needles required to make the crown of a crocheted hat. I do both also, but crochet is simply faster and easier for me.

    2. Buying a house without the inspection is indeed BONKERS. Maybe comfort yourself by assuming the inspection would have turned up something that would change your mind about purchasing.

      I do have some hope to offer. In 2012, I was looking to buy my first home. I had a very low price-range, and I spent months looking at houses wherein my reaction was always, “I’d rather rent forever than live her.” Then I found the perfect house! It was in the area where I really, really wanted to buy, and it was exactly what I wanted. I absolutely loved it… but it was priced about $10K above my maximum limit. So I made my offer… and they turned it down immediately. And with my financial limitations, there was no possibility I could meet their asking price.

      I was very, very discouraged. I had been looking for months, and this was the result. I felt hopeless…

      And 2 weeks later, this house (the house I purchased that summer and still live in now) came on the market. Exactly what I wanted, exactly my price range, and I got it. It was no a neighborhood I knew or had planned on, but it seemed acceptable–and, in fact, has worked out great, I really like it.

      So hang in there. You will find it. It’s hard, but you will find it.

    3. I have a story much like Laura’s. When I was looking for a house (18 years ago now), I had a very limited budget, a fairly restricted area (within 15 minutes drive of the shop I run, so I could get in during a crisis), a list of “must haves” that was tricky. It took me a year to find this house, but it had everything I wanted except two items (both of which I was okay with) and was right in my price range. Sometimes you just have to hang in there and keep the faith.

      Hugs.

  4. I got my second edit off to the author and have just finished incorporating the author’s responses to my first. Just got to email her with final queries and do some extra formatting, then I should be able to invoice for that job. Hopefully, there’s another edit in the offing as well, so I can go on earning.

    I’ve had the big buddleia root In the front taken out and have planted five fruit trees on the allotment. Want to do lots of gardening but haven’t had time, plus it’s been cold, and more rain’s due. The front of the house, especially, is very bare, but every step in making my gardens makes me really happy. And the first few dwarf irises have opened in my window boxes: deep, glowing purple in the front window and lemon yellow with dark markings at the back.

      1. Oh, there are all sorts here – grapevine bowers, fences of cordon apples and pears, and loads of trees crammed into spaces really too small for them – partly because the cheapest, most widely available trees are on taller-growing rootstocks.

        I’ve planted a plum, a damson, a cooking apple and an eating apple as freestanding trees which shouldn’t ever get taller than 10 ft, and will take a while to get there. Plus a sweet cherry as a fan along one side of the plot – so I can net it against birds.

    1. A pot of yellow crocuses opened today so I know that spring is on the way and soon there will be a deluge of flowers.

      Today I organised the flower and veg seeds, planted two trays of all the “January” flower seeds, and planted 5 leftover anemone de caen bulbs out in the garden. Breaking things down into tiny do-able tasks is what works for me. Maybe more at the weekend if the weather holds…

  5. I washed the dog yesterday, which was a win. Made dinner and did some dishes. That’s about all the effort I have in a day after work.

    Today, gonna try for taxes with easier dinner. Day after, 401k stuff and either leftovers or he makes dinner.

    I dont think I’ve completed anything since last time I posted? New scarf started, which is nice and quick. I’m allowed to crochet at work meetings, so that’s nice. 3-4 meetings more and that will be done!

    Work anxiety isn’t any better, but hopefully we’ll both get better jobs. Perhaps this weekend we’ll work on our resumes!

      1. I spend a LOT of time in project meetings, conferences,symposia, airports, planes, trains…and always having knitting or crocheting along. People look funny the first time they seem me with my yarn, but after that I always get “oh, what are you working on now?” And often asked for pictures of whatever I was working the last time we met…

        Lowers stress, keeps me awake and mentally focused and they never have to stop and read me in what had happened in the last ten minutes because I was doing email or surfing. In one (large — 16 partner organizations) project, the president of a partner software development company remarked he always knew when I was going to say something because I put my needles down… 😁

  6. I finally fixed my Flickr backup issue, and feel pretty damn victorious. I’ve been backing up photos there forever and then they changed their login method and their app and my autobackup stopped and we were selling a house, buying a house, moving, etc., and I couldn’t deal. Finally dealt with it and more than 7 months of photos backed themselves up and now that part of my life just works again.

  7. I’ve been having a very stressful week at work and still trying to recover from my broken ankle, so I continue to be fairly grumpy. I did finally finish a knitting project, however, but I’ve yet to photograph it. I will give you a link next week.

    1. Yikes! My sympathies! I’m still recovering from my broken ankle which happened the end of October. Hopefully your doctor gave you a game plan of sorts of what you can expect during the healing process.

      One thing my PT said was that recovery is like a roller coaster. You start feeling good, so you do more stuff, which causes you to feel bad….. I have to keep telling that to myself as I go.

      Good luck with your healing!

      1. Thanks! Mine is from the beginning of September, and it is still problematic. I keep expecting it to get back to normal. At least it is wintertime so curling up inside isn’t a terrible hardship. I hope you feel better soon!

  8. I spent Sunday preparing for #dailyfeb2020. I have five (or more) quilt tops to make/get backings for, baste the layers together, machine-quilt and bind. In February. At 20 minutes a day.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/B71VCWVgd13/

    It helps that they’re mostly lap quilts. One is a small-ish bed-sized quilt. And the (or more) quilts are bed-sized, but I think they’re more like twin bed than double/queen, and definitely not king.

    Only glitch is that I went shopping for backings yesterday and didn’t like what was available locally. I may have to shop online. (Yeah, real suffering.)

  9. Apparently, I am now working on a surprise party for my husband (leap day birthday). My adult daughter has come up with this idea and is totally enamored with it. I can either spend my time and energy helping to organize the party, or spend it arguing with her. She is in politics. You can imagine how that would go.

    Other items on my to-do list include a book release in March (5th book in the series!), and the launch of my new book coaching business, also slated for March. But now possibly shifting to April.

    One thing I did accomplish this week was cleaning out the dresser door where I keep my jewelry. (Only a few “real” pieces, but a lot of nice costume pieces.) I was looking an earring and ended up taking out everything anyway, so I got rid of all the broke, unusable, or hopelessly out of style stuff, and ordered everything by jewelry type and color. Now every time I open the drawer, it makes my little Virgo heart sing.

  10. I tore apart and remade a shirt that I made earlier in the month and didn’t like. It’s much better now. Other than going to work, that’s about all I’ve done in the past week. Must not be my turn to take up the slack!!

  11. Mainly this week past, my brain has been in Danger Cove. I’m never going to visit there IRL – those people are crazy!

    Now, in preparation for In Service Training next week, I have a lot of on-line prerequisites to complete. I’m only a quarter done.

  12. My impressive art output includes finally making one card. Yes, just one.
    It was simple, but felt like a marathon. Am considering the Feb. challenge.
    Finished some work-that-pays, though, to which I need to attend between
    now and next due date, 2/9. Reading yet another book on organizing/dealing
    with clutter. The author gives a test so you know which of the four “clutterbugs”
    you are. I have tendencies of all four! Went to a quilt show–international,
    modern, very big and bright–at local art museum. Not a quilter myself, but
    appreciate them, and went with a quilter, who explained things to me.

  13. The biggest thing we got done last week was to Dremel the dogs’ toes. Fred has clear nails so his can be trimmed with nail clippers but the other 2 have black nails so they get the Dremel. It’s a production, that’s for sure.

    I also got a bunch of paperwork for the company books done and set up post-dated payments for wages and taxes so I don’t have to worry about that for a couple of months.

    I worked on the nightgown I’ve been making for my mom for, oh, a year. I tried it on and the neckline was way to low and I realized I hadn’t put any of the darts in. Seams got ripped out and now the darts are marked, I’m just waiting for a chance to do some more sewing. I did hand-sew a rip in a blanket this morning

    Otherwise, it was laundry, day job, cleaning, and all that.

    This is what Paul has been up to for the last while. https://www.instagram.com/p/B76gj29FO7n/

    1. No, don’t tempt me to learn wood-turning! I said above I already have too many projects!
      Those are so gorgeous.

  14. I finished my tax return!! It was nearly 7 months overdue but now it’s finally done. And I showed about 50000 people (slight exaggeration) round a rental house and got a tenant who sounds nearly perfect. I’m incredibly relieved about both of those.

    And I started a drawing course last night. Learnt quite a lot already, so the course as a whole should be good. The bulk of the class was on drawing a rat who’s chewing on a hen’s foot – urgh as a subject but satisfying that my rat looks nicely rat-like.

    1. Yay for complete tax returns! Er, 2018’s? Still Yay!

      As for the rat, it’s His Year. This is not the year of the chicken. (That sounds like a kinky class. A rat with an interspecies foot fetish? Ewww!)

  15. January is Clean The Closet. I go through my closet, get rid of clothes that don’t fit or just don’t make me happy, and take them to the Women’s Shelter. This year, I even emptied and dusted the top shelf. So now my closet looks fabulous.

  16. Yesterday was add the antivirus to the new computer after the 30 day free day trial was over day. It has always been hit or miss on anything involving IT. Some years it goes in in less than 5 minutes. Yesterday it took a conference call to India to accomplish. The conference call was my husband on the extension so that we could understand together what was said. So today I just relaxed and gathered info for the tax season. Should be ready by next week.

  17. Mostly just making more Baby Yodas. And trying to get back to my complicated Sylvi (look it up on Ravelry) cabling project, which is very scary.

  18. Over the weekend I got a baby’s quilt top made and many blocks that I didn’t post a picture of. Here’s the baby quilt top though: https://www.instagram.com/p/B7t7flXpjB0/ Many of you have already seen it.

    Other than that, I totally slacked off as I came home from the retreat and within a few hours became wretchedly ill. We debated whether it was food poisoning or a flu. Since I’m still feeling icky, I’m going with a stomach flu. Plus side is I’ve slept a ton and have lost 3 pounds. Plus got a serious ab workout. I’m keeping stuff down now but I haven’t tried to eat much. I am making sure I drink water and tea to avoid dehydration. I’ve also been watching a lot of movies that have been hanging out in my Netflix queue for ages. Today was “The Secret Life of Pets 2” Good flick.

    1. I guess I’ve done things. Doctor appointment earlier this week and dentist later. Got the furnace serviced today. It cost less than I anticipated and I have tips for going forward with maintaining it. So, good. If I can finish up some meeting minutes and submit them tomorrow, I can do tax organizing next week and file them. I used to wait for work cancellation due to a major February blizzard to do them (shovel out, work on taxes, shovel out, work on taxes). Since I’m retired, I’ll just get it over with. Otherwise normal cleaning and dog play time.

  19. I’m still determined to finish a baby quilt WIP.
    Moving a little bit slowly just now. I tripped over the puppy a few days back and hit a chair and then the floor with force. This falls in the “could have been so much worse” category; a few abrasions and a lot of bruises but that’s it. The puppy is fine. I do feel my age though.

  20. Yesterday since there was a break in the rain which seems to have been falling non-stop for weeks, I cleaned the wet rotting mess from around my plants in the front yard so the spring flowers will show through. I have posted pictures of the hellebores, some of which have naturalized. The snow drops do not show up and there are only a few primrose flowers showing. The head is one I did in my sculpture class about 20 years ago. It actually looks a little like the model.

  21. The “2” key on my beloved Microsoft 2000 Comfort Curve keyboard stopped working. For a week I used the number pad when I needed a 2, and cut and pasted the @ sign from a Word doc.

    Sunday I walked the six feet from my desk to the package that’s been leaning against the wall since September, sliced through the wrappings, and installed an identical new-in-box keyboard I’d found on ebay.

    And the “o” and “f” keys didn’t work.

    I popped the “2” key off my old board and cleared out a decade’s worth of dust, white hair, and Saltine specks. Plugged it back in. No good.

    But now I was emboldened to pop the keys off my new board–blow–and snap the “o” and “f” back in place. Success!

    Really, it was faster cutting and pasting that “@.”

  22. Planned a productive week, as I am a couple of weeks behind on everything here.

    My father died 3 weeks ago. It was not unexpected (he had been very ill for a while), but nothing had been prepared or wrapped up, and in addition to all the personal stuff that follows death, h had a very active writing career, so there has been a LOT to do–and will be for some time, including helping my mom with a lot of stuff, too.

    Anyhow, I worked at the tour company all weekend where I have a (very enjoyable) part-time job as a walking-tour guide, then planned to spend this week catching up on deadlines and clearing my desk. Instead… I spent all Mon & Tues running back and forth to the vet, who is some distance from here. I have a foster kitten who’s have a hard time after surgery to repair a femur, and one of my own cats has (we just figured out) a urinary tract infection AND urine crystals, and the first med they gave me for hm mostly wound up all over me and nearby objects–and we wrestled so hard I sprained my wrist.

    And today… I woke up and said, “F**K it.” I am deliberately doing NOTHING today. I need a day off.

    1. I’m so sorry about your father, Laura, and about everything else that’s gone wrong. I hope the cats recover fast and you have a restful few days. Certainly sounds like you need them.

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