Working Wednesday, January 8, 2020

This week, I’m making hats. Because hats are fast and I need immediate gratification. I don’t think immediate gratification gets enough credit, although as Carrie Fisher once said, sometimes “immediate gratification takes too long.” This week, the hats are doing it for me, five at last count, three from a pattern I lost my grip on and two from a scarf pattern that I jury-rigged to become a hat pattern. I’m finishing up a shawl, too. You know what I’m not working on? Anything I’m SUPPOSED to be working on. Still, hats.

So what did you work on this oh-hell-the-holidays-are-over-got-to-get-back-to-work week?

70 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, January 8, 2020

  1. Clearing out my books (😢) and possessions so we can downsize this year from 4 to 2 beds. I foresee some difficult decisions ahead.

  2. PT. I’m working on strengthening my ankle. And driving. And working on my stamina so that I can drive home from wherever I went.

    I definitely need immediate gratification! But I’ve got this darn afghan. It’s probably big enough, but could be bigger, and I have enough leftover yarn to keep going (so that I don’t have more yarn scraps lying around.) I’ve told myself I’ll gift it to my newly-engaged niece, so that helped inspire some more work. But I know if I stop and start something new, that afghan will linger in the netherworld forever. So, I need to get back to it.

    I am looking forward to meeting with a group of women for sewing on Saturday. It will be nice to get back to quilting.

  3. Had a new boiler installed on Monday, and have also been getting on with my freelance work. Should get the edit I’ve been doing off to the author today, and for once I’ve got another to start immediately. An illustrated beginner’s guide to Zen Buddhism (no idea what’s going to be illustrated). So yet another Japanese book: Penguin seem determined to get me thoroughly educated on Japan and China. Which is fine, though they’re not places I yearn to visit – apart from to see the moss gardens.

    I’m also doing bits on my planting plans, and am anxious to get them finalized, and to prepare the ground so I can order bare-root trees and shrubs.

    1. I would *LOVE* to read that as I’m the owner and re-reader of Easy to Use Zen by David Scott which has some lovely photographs. I’ll Instagram a few later.

  4. Many things at once. Two years ago I paid off my mortgage, then spent the past year + building up my savings account. Now I’m determined to start knocking out a number of home repair/renovation projects this coming year, spurred on in no small part by HAVING to have a toilet replaced, and HAVING to clear out the laundry room to mop up from the broken toilet. De-cluttering the laundry room has had a zen effect on me, as I’m suddenly rediscovering that it’s decent sized space and, oh look! Shelves! I still have more to do, including getting rid of a zillion glass vases because everyone who sends flowers these days also includes a vase. I don’t need that many nearly identical cheap vases.

    Anyway, I might as well keep going while the money holds out. First up is getting new light fixtures in the basement and possibly other electrical work.

    On the fun front, I started a light weight sweater last year, a small project that really shouldn’t be taking me so long, but I keep getting distracted. I’m also part way through some sewing projects, but the sewing machine is in the finished basement that needs new lighting.

    1. Re the vases – when I was clearing out mine, I took them to the local florist, who did not turn them away. I figure it was a win-win – I don’t have them, and they don’t have to buy them.

      1. Thank you! I had not thought of that, but I will check with my fav local place and see if they would like them.

  5. I did a bunch of hats in December, and I should probably post a picture of my gray series (big ball of gray yarn used with a variety of other colors for stripes in one, dots in another, different stripes in yet another).

    Biggest project this week was setting up a new computer. Beyond that, I’m just slogging through the second draft of the third garlic farm mystery. And trying to get my cat’s diabetes under control.

  6. I saved making store returns till this week and got it out of the way Monday. That way everyone had gone back to to work and there wasn’t a frenzy at customer service.

    Yesterday we discussed painting the house this spring and lo and behold my husband is not doing it. Believe me it is no fun to come home and see a seventy plus year old man hanging from an eave or creeping along the roof line painting. All I had to do was plant a seed and all of a sudden it becomes his idea. For the past few years he has painted one side a summer and that worked until it couldn’t.

    I was going to wait and ask this question tomorrow but there’s no time like now. Why do writers come up with odd ball names or cutesy names for towns? I started a book and the name of the town is Rusty Gun in Texas. The first chapter is pretty funny so I’ll see how it goes. Title – The Farmer’s Slaughter by Liliana Hart and Louis Scott.

    1. I think it’s because there are many real towns with odd names. It helps the characters to seem special in some way.

    2. Congratulations, Mary. Old men. My father was in his nineties when I finally persuaded him to give up mowing the acre of yard himself. He wasn’t at all enthusiastic about hiring his next-door neighbor’s handyman to do it, until I said “And maybe if he cuts the grass, Garnett would be willing to do the leaves in the fall when he does Dianna’s” when he was suddenly All For It. He hated raking leaves.

    3. In North Carolina, there is a road (can’t remember, I was lost) that connects Horneytown with Climax. I don’t know how people live in either of these places with a straight face. 🙂

        1. There’s a book about Australian place names called ‘Mount Buggery to Nowhere Else’. Most of the funny names in Australia were quite deliberate.

          Looking at a map of the fires in the East Gippsland/Alpine areas (yes, we actually have lots of snow in winter, but only on mountains where it belongs – not in driveways), I noticed a mountain called Mount Seldom Seen. Sadly, it was in the path of a fire, and nowhere near a road, so it will probably continue to live up to its name.

          Feel free to borrow Australian place names (apart from the Indigenous ones, of course).

    4. I went to college in Texas, and the local phone book included the listings for Snook, Tunis and North Zulch.

    5. Try Michigan for fun town names. We’ve got Hell, Climax, Paradise, Vulcan, and Podunk. Not to mention all the ones that match car names, like Cadilac, Pontiac, Plymouth, …

  7. I really haven’t done much of anything. I’m waiting on an order of safety eyes before I do more Baby Yodas, I still need to finish some writing catchup, and I’m going very slowly on my intense cabling project. Even my job–well, I finished the giant pile on Monday and it’s been rather slow the last few days so I’m enjoying that while it lasts.

  8. I’m still plugging away at getting repairs and updates scheduled in my house. Decluttering. Getting quotes.

    I also started a Light from Within scarf with some gorgeous yarn. I was nine rows from finished when I realized I’d make a crucial stitch count error at the very beginning and had to unravel the whole project. Whomp-whomp.

  9. Last night my computer ate 900 words, half of a freelance project due next week. So I’ll be rewriting those once I get free from my day job. Some Zen would be good about now. I tell myself at least I’ve still got access to my sources, so it’s not truly starting over. Argh!

  10. I’ve been struggling with a big project a work which has kept me occupied through the entire holiday. I haven’t even been able to knit. Five more days and then I’m done.

  11. It was wet and windy last night, enough to strip a lot of the remaining leaves from trees that lose leaves. It’s still windy, but looking out the man-caves sole window, I see green pines swaying and waving.

    There are things that need doing. Clean laundry should be folded and stowed. Dirty laundry should take its place in the basket. There’s some cutlery that could do with a wash. Lots of unopened mail.

    I’d rather lean back and return the pines’ waves.

  12. Back to weightlifting after holiday break rawr. Also planning new garden designs. Also brainstorming “the series I want to read that doesn’t exist yet”.

  13. I tried to find the link to a great hat I made for a friend – can find image, but not instructions. Search”Downton Abbey crochet hat” it’s the brown and cream with cream flower. I can upload the instructions to ravelry if anyone yearns for them.

    For myself, just trying to make myself all the way healthy. Oh, and mail the (expletive deleted) National Association Of Social Workers Continuing Education Approval Application – which will be a great weight off my mind. It looks simple, but always turns out to be more of a pain than anticipated. Let’s go back to talking about crocheting.

  14. I’ve discovered that writing 1000 words after the day job is not the difficult task I thought it was going to be. After slogging through all those ghost written novels last year my own writing seems like a breeze.

    Happy Days.

    1. That’s really great. I was never able to be creative after a day job. Not with writing anyway. I could always knit and quilt!

      1. I used to struggle, but then I used to have a ton of responsibility and stress. This new position is pretty much stress-free once I leave the office. And this new story is still fun. It’s all good.

  15. Lather, rinse, repeat from last week: keeping myself occupied while paid work is slow. I’m chewing though a pretty good to-do list. I’ve been keeping the kitchen counter clean and that’s helping my brain. We have a 12 feet long counter against one wall and when it’s clean and tidy, I’m happier.

    Also, I’ve been shoveling snow. Lots and lots of snow. It’s about to get really cold for the first time this winter and I’m not looking forward to that.

  16. Still three weeks and 2 days of school holidays left here, not that I’m counting. We also decluttered though, and my 10 yr old son decided he never wants to buy or be given plastic stuff that he only plays with for a week again, so it was a great result. He went to the he shops with s Christmas present bigger yesterday and followed through, so I’m feeling quite proud.

    I spent the day Tuesday with two close friends, one of whom lives abroad but was home for Christmas and it was fabulous. I’ve been thinking about the 2020 plan, and talking with them have me clarity.

    The highlights: watch less news, pick my battles, focus on what’s close and the things I can do.

  17. I just emailed a budo-club to ask when I can come take a tryout judo lesson. Hope they’ll reply someday this century. I want to get this butt moving! The rest of the body can tag along if it wants to 😉

    Went to the Swedish Embasy yesterday to apply for a new ID-card. It’s crazy expensive to apply for a new one outside your own country, but traveling to Sweden and do it there would cost me approximately as much in the end, and I just couldn’t find the time or possibility to do it before my current one expires. Too many appointments and too few days between them to squeeze in a 2 weeks trip. Weeell, at least I’ll be good to go now for the coming 5 years…

    Yesterday I realized 1. that it was January 7th and 2. that it was the first time this year that I went outside the door. Not good. This will have to change!

  18. Homemade hummus was surprisingly easy! So I’ll definitely be making more.

    Otherwise, it’s all about the slow cooker frittata. Easy dinner for days.

  19. I’ve been volunteering in the office at the local Rural Fire Shed. Also more yard clearing during the cooler few days we had. Weather is heading back in to unfavourable for Friday and the fire is closer now. It’s so hard trying to guess when we should leave with the menagerie and I’m told we can expect to be under threat every 5-7 days for the next 7 weeks!!!

    1. Best of luck Corin. I’m in an extremely fire-prone area (on Mount Dandenong, if you know Melbourne at all). I keep expecting a fire to start nearby, but so far we’ve been very lucky. One bad week of hot weather, however, and we will finally dry out like the rest of the state.

      I’ve lived through too many fires; the worst was Canberra in 2003. I’m finding it really hard to concentrate, and I’m currently safe.

      The world my grandson is growing up in is nothing like the one I – or even his mother – knew. He’s nearly four, and he just saw his first butterfly in the wild, and he lives in a rural area.

      1. I haven’t seen a firefly in years and they used to be all over the place. Little miracles.
        And the skies used to be freckled with stars. Now only the brightest few shine through the light pollution.

      2. Hi Anne, risky spot you’re in there!

        We were doing well, but when it started it felt inevitable. There’s talk now of impact just to the south of Canberra and a proper Brindabella fire also tastes of the same inevitability. I don’t think we will be done until the eastern coast is burned out.

        We were here in 2003, my daughter was evacuated from her v first day of school because of the fires coming down through Thredbo. Looking back I’m not sure what the principal was thinking not canceling that week.

        Good Luck, pray for rain

  20. I should get started crocheting a baby afghan for a baby that’s due in May if I hope to finish it without a rush. You all are just not motivating me enough.

  21. I’m back at work. Very, very reluctantly. This week’s about project planning: how to do enough with too few people. Sigh.

    Going out of town for this weekend and must take my sketching gear and get creative again. I dug out my drawings to show a friend and realised I haven’t done any drawing since late November. Time to fix that.

    1. Doing all requirements within required time with too few people is a constant at the day job and one of the reasons why it will NOT be the day job in a few months.

  22. This weekend we made reservations for a trip to Hawaii with daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. Almost made a tragic mistake: we had done initial booking when we remembered that a favorite niece/cousin was also getting married in June. We weren’t sure of her date, but did remember a comment about a “running of some kind of animal” happening that weekend in the town they are getting married in.

    A little internet research and it turns out that the “Strolling of the Heifers” (and hence, cousin/niece’s wedding) is occurring the same weekend we were going to leave. We made this discovery within 24 hours of booking flights, so was able to cancel and re-book for the following Monday.

    It’s going to be a fun 10 days!

    1. The Heifer Stroll is such a fun day! We were in it and around it for a few years when we were all doing circus classes. I hope you have a delightful time!

  23. Busy because the holidays are over and the meetings have begun. It’s fun stuff for the most part-League of Women Voters celbrating 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and a women’s march and election education and registration.
    I’m also trying to reorganize the kitchem one little space/drawer at a time. It’ll take forever.

  24. I’ve been trying to get my brain started again. Yesterday I found out that I couldn’t use my credit card to pay my passport renewal fee and promptly left all the details at home. Today I went to my friend Dave’s store to finish the last of the paperwork before I mailed it in. I got halfway to the post office before I realized that I had left the envelope at the store. When I got back to the store Mario, the manager, said, “Yeah, I saw the envelope, but I didn’t know what to do about it.” I think it is time to tape my cell phone number to the office wall for the next time I leave something there. Since the post office near the store is infinitely easier to use than the one in my neighborhood, I doubt this will be the last envelope or package I mail from there.

  25. I’m going through my late mother’s pictures and searching the Internet for the children and relatives of the subjects to find them forever homes — this week I found a son of someone my mother labeled “Roommate #2, 1945” so there’s a dozen snapshots that can be mailed off, including one of the roommate and her bridegroom leaving the chapel on their wedding day. Every so often I wonder what people really think when they get one of my “You’ve never heard of me, BUT” messages out of the blue. At least snapshots are easier than the box of china that was the first rehome project.

    1. If you were sending me snapshots like that of my parents, I’d be delighted to hear from you out of the blue.

      1. Well, so far my Internet research has zeroed in on the right people, but it must be a little worrying for someone, like the prospective box of china recipient, to have someone ask, “are you the biological daughter of Xxx?” [Xxx was my father’s best friend and the best man at my parents’ wedding, but he died about a year later — before I was born — leaving an infant daughter. His widow remarried and her second husband — a terrific guy, I’m told — adopted the baby, so her father’s memory was probably submerged pretty thoroughly. My brother was named after Xxx, so my mother ended up with a box of china in the attic which had belonged to Xxx’s mother, a friend of my grandparents. Presumably Grandmother ended up with it and thought my brother should have it — Mother told me it came around the Horn on a sailing ship. However, my brother’s taste doesn’t run to pink flowered china, so since he didn’t really want it, he was delighted to hear me offer to try to find the Missing Heir.

    2. It’s nice, when I was in my teens on holiday, I found a stash of old photos of my maternal uncle’s wedding. Because my uncle’s marriage hadn’t worked, my father insisted on leaving them there, since we weren’t going to be returning them to him. I ended up smuggling everything back home for my mother. She was really happy about it, we didn’t have any photos of most of her relatives. And I’d found her high school graduation certificate.

  26. I know officially have two knitting projects going and am hoping to move on to hats next. I’m did a lovely ribbed scarf but ran out of yarn, so I ordered some more in a few colors to see if I can get creative. And in the meantime, I started a seed stitch scarf, which is coming along nicely. I’m really proud of the skills I’m learning, but at the same time, I’m just knitting straight up. The idea of a hat or one of those wildlife pouches I keep seeing on my FB feed is really intimidating. I guess I just need to take the plunge.

  27. I worked on my author newsletter which went out yesterday. I’m re-launching my career. The last newsletter I sent was over a year ago and the one before that was sent the year prior. I got a bunch of unsubscribes and people telling me they didn’t sign up, which I expected. It’s been a long time since they last heard from me, so it’s natural they would have forgotten they signed up. Oh well. Onward and upward.

  28. I’ve restarted and recommitted to getting my PMI Project management certification. Not sure it will be worth it, but why not read 2,000 pages on how to initiate, plan, execute, monitor, control and close a project? Also, watch 40 hours of online lecture to get the PDU’s needed. Put together an application that documents 4,500 hours of project management work already completed, and then if approved, take a 200 question test in 4 hours. Ought to be fun, right? *eyeroll* Worked on it between the holidays and will continue for the next 3 months. Due date is March 31st for it to count on this year’s annual review.

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