Working Wednesday, April 22, 2020

I did absolutely nothing this week. I understand that’s happening all over, people with big plans who end up just coping. So I hereby declare that coping is work.

What did you work on this week?

62 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, April 22, 2020

  1. I have been spattering Instagram with in progress and abandoned unfinished paintings all week. Today I am trying to finish some of them.

    My state is set to tentatively reopen on May 8, which gave me a bit of panic. I have been wishing my quarentine away, but now I feel like I have wasted precious time. It’s silly, I know, but I had a month of free time… It’s unlikely to ever happen again…

  2. Have dithered and dallied with work stuff — not too focused, but frustrated. In spite of absolutely picture-perfect weather (or perhaps because of?)

    Our big things this week: grandbaby #2 arrived Sunday — 3 months early. However, his prognosis is good, just scary having him and mom in the hospital right now. On the other hand, they’re in a hospital in Berlin, and, as many of you probably know, Germany has things under good control (never had the capacity issues that other countries have had, as well as good forward planning of personnel, resources and supples when the whole covid thing began to crystalize, so a fraction of the death rate of neighboring countries). Still.

    Grandbaby #1 is back in preschool 3 days a week starting this week. Smaller shops are open. I will probably have to go back to my office a week from Monday (although I really, really don’t want to).

    Have done some gardening, finished a couple of crochet shawls, done some sorting, mostly frittered away my time. Which will boomerang soon, as I have to show something when I am back at work (naw, I’ll be okay, it’s all starting to come together!).

    1. Three months early? That’s terrifying. Sending best wishes and good vibes and all of that stuff.

      1. Thanks (everone) for the good wishes.

        Fortunately, not so scary as a couple of decades ago. Apparently they knew before he popped out that the lung development was already outside of the danger zone (a big plus). Mama is herself a physician, so she’s well informed about of potential implications.

        At this point, they say that within 6 months he should be caught up to where he should be. Interestingly enough, my niece (who, coincidentally, is also a physician) had her first baby also around 6 months, and the baby also caught up really quickly (I’d knit a preemie sweater/cap/booties set for her and by the time I got pictures, she’d outgrown cap and booties). Another friend of ours had triplets(!!) about 4 years ago, who also arrived at six months. They are incredible little squirrels now, and their mother also reassured us by pointing out that her three arrived at six months as well and they’d caught up quickly.

        So, we’re a bit calmed down now, and we are just going to be positive. But still…when he’s home from the hospital and putting on weight, we’ll breathe out completely.

  3. Still doing a Baby Yoda cross stitch, slowly, and slowly working on my “portable” knitting project.

    Otherwise just feeling angsty and wanky.

  4. Bathroom cleaning. Laundry. Sewing masks for my family since they will be compulsory for shopping and public transport in our state starting next Monday.

    Not my favorite pastimes, but necessary.

    Totally off topic: does anyone do the daily NYT Spelling Bee? Absolute time sink, but my personal challenge. So far I’ve mostly been able to do the pangram but I never manage to find all the words.

      1. I don’t count. ;o)

        Also, I don’t have access to the WP. I have very cheap monthly online subscription to the NYT and even that is more than I can read per day. But I love the mini crossword and the spelling bee and sometimes I also do the tiles.

    1. I do the Sunday NYT Spelling Bee in Sundays. But I have a very short attention span and if I get up to good and more than 5 minutes have passed I am done. I can count on one finger the number of times I made it all the way.
      I do the daily crossword but if I get stuck then I turn it over to my guy and when he is stuck, it comes back to me. Usually between two of us, we can finish it. It is pathetic with the amount of education between us (me: BA and BFA; him: nuclear engineer and MS), we cannot do it by ourselves. My 98 year old MIL did it daily by herself and finished and had a high school education and was a registered nurse. They made them smarter in the good old days

      1. A lot of it is practice. After a while you get to know the quirks of individual puzzle writers and which words they tend to repeat.
        Have you considered working on the puzzle together? I used to do the crossword with my friend, Nick, and we were far more successful together than either of us was on our own. It was fun and I learned a lot of words I hadn’t known from him.

      2. Your method was my parents’ method, and they had master’s degrees. (They were also from the generation when if you had an eighth grade education you could get a job as a bookkeeper–the sole bookkeeper at a small business–when you were fifteen.) They finished it more often than not, but sometimes they’d work on one for days.

    2. I do the NYT spelling bee. I love it, but I have weeks of brilliance and then weeks of not quite brilliance. It’s not a time sink, it’s a brain exerciser.

    3. Hubby and I were at Obi today picking up plants and fertilizer and saw they had a stack of masks for sale, so we bought 4 — one for my purse, one for his backpack and two are in the car as back-ups.

        1. We had to take my sewing machine in for repair yesterday because it’s not winding bobbins correctly — which is why we bought masks instead of my making some. 😒

          My employer is also going to provide everyone with a mask when we start back week after next.

          Yours are much prettier!

  5. Judging by the amount of rubbish on trash day I can tell what my neighbors have been doing during this period. With me if I get rid of one thing I feel like I’ve accomplished a lot.

  6. I’m almost done with second to last chapter on a mammoth fanfic project that has taken over a year. Of course, lots of other new projects are tugging on my sleeve but I’m holding them off for now.

    1. What fandom are you writing in? Fanfiction (both reading and writing) has been my saving grace in isolation.

      1. One Day at a Time (current version, not the 70s version). I’ve written fanfic off and on for at least 20 years and it definitely is a wonderful escape when times are difficult!

  7. I’ve been working: finished the big proof-reading job and, just now, the first of three short ones. (Aristotle: alas a selection of his work rather than a book about him, so the usual philosophic gobbledegook.) Also chased the laser surgery I need on my left eye, especially, since my sight for reading is getting worse and worse. Turns out the private clinic subcontracting for the NHS has closed for the duration – but couldn’t be bothered to update their website, which I’d been checking and which (to my surprise) had insisted they were still open.

    Talked to my optician, who was great as usual, and says she’ll try and get me treated by whichever clinic reopens first. Fingers crossed, my right eye will hold out for another few months, but I can see it’s starting to go too.

    Have been doing bits of gardening in between work, and hope to give myself a three-day weekend, since I missed my last one, and go for a good walk with my camera as well as get lots of gardening done.

  8. I made a dozen masks Saturday morning. I needed to get some to my MIL so she’d be able to go out and about – and just did the rest so there would be a choice of colors.

    I got a couple of quilt backs ready to go, so that when my long armer calls, I’ll have projects to send to her.

    Spent a lot of time working on a virtual quilt show. Our show was cancelled back in March, but I had all the photos of the entries. It’s almost ready to be out in the public, but it was a lot of grunt work to get it in place.

    This morning I’ve been working on a sample quilt block. I’m wanting to make a quilt for my niece as a wedding present (currently scheduled for the end of June.) The fabric has tone on tone tessellating cats (her nickname is Kat), and I’ve got lots of colors. I just want to see if this is the block I want to use – and then figure out how many I want to make. It’s exciting!

  9. Have a project for the non-profit that I have just not been able to make myself work on since last Friday. Hoping for better things today. Still need to sweep the floors but no promises on that one.

  10. We were kinda sorta busy last week with 2 trips out of town, one for the vet and also to file some government paperwork and the other a stock-up trip to Edmonton. We were bad and had a stay-in-our-vehicles-in-the-parking-lot visit with a friend who was out running her errands. It might not have been government approved but it sure did all 3 of us a world of good to chat for a few minutes. It was striking how fantastic it was to just talk to someone. When we first pulled up beside Lisa’s car all we could do was just grin at each other because it felt so good to talk, in person, to someone beside the person we live with.

    We built a new sewing table for me on Monday, my old one was too short and too small. Now I just have to haul a better desk chair up stairs and get the sewing room tidied up.

    Today was day 1 of Dog Poop Scoop 2020 which is pretty self explanatory. I suspect it will take at least another week-10 days for all the snow to melt and the yard to get cleaned up.

  11. I have been treating it as a huge success if I do anything at all during a day. For instance, just getting outside for some sunshine is something I will celebrate as a significant achievement. I mean, I am also fairly busy, and working hard on a number of impossible projects, but there’s a persistent molasses-like quality to my thinking.

    With that said, my proudest accomplishment of the past week was capturing a reasonably decent photo of a muskrat swimming up a ditch.

  12. We actually had real library work this week, putting together suggested titles for purchase when the new fiscal year starts in July. So that’s been nice. I do mini-cleaning jobs–wiped down a counter this morning–just getting all the stuff off it was major. Now I have to put it back, only in better order. I’ve been washing tchotchkes, of which I have far too many. Finished a freelance assignment last night and need to begin research for the next one. That’s the fun part, even more than the writing.

    1. One year when I worked at the library the librarian was going to be gone when it came time to do the next quarter’s ordering through the library system and since she was training me to be her replacement I got to do it. It was so much fun. She gave me the catalouge, a budget, and told me to have at it.

      That was more fun than when she asked me to pick out and up $1000 worth of children’s books for the early readers up to about grade 3.

      Buying books with other peoples’ money is awesome.

      1. In grad school I had an assistantship that essentially boiled down to going through academic publishers’ catalogs and flagging things for the history department to buy. I had almost forgotten that was a thing I did!

  13. Walked once which is not enough, weeded half the garden, cut the grass, cleaned out the other office, (huge accomplishment), work is up to date daily, now onto the sewing/laundry room and prep one room for paint next week.

  14. Have to remind myself to go for my walk outside daily. So trying to do at least one thing a day. Any one thing.

    Currently knitting the last grey square for the blanket I have been trying to finish, was going to be 8×10 squares, but found the extra squares so now 9×11.

    Next step, sew together rows, may have to knit some more squares, then sew loose ends and crochet scallop edge. All things for another day…

  15. The west bedroom was finished, excepting the hardwood floors, with the last coat of paint yesterday: windows rebuilt and new cords on sashes, woodwork stripped and refinished with 3 coats of varnish; new door ditto but needs to be hung; plaster repaired around window; walls smoothed, vacuumed, primed and painted. Ta Dah. Only 3 years after we first started. In the words of Dusty Springfield (well, Burt Bacharach really) “I just don’t know what to do with myself”.

  16. I’ve been meaning to teach English online, which has included lots of botched attempts to make videos of myself explaining things. Speaking of which, I need to go make another one of those.

    I’m also attempting sourdough bread–my starter finally came of age–so wish me luck! Previous experience is limited to quickbreads, a 75% success rate with yeast-raised loaves, and some tasty naan-style flatbread. If I can get a good sandwich sourdough I’ll be on cloud nine!

    1. My house is cold, colder than most sourdough recipes seem to think one’s house should be so I always have to let dough rise longer than recipes call for. At least most recipes. The ones that have an initial rise overnight are usually good but the second rise also can take up to five hours. You may live somewhere warmer than me in which case this isn’t helpful. Either way, good luck!

      1. If you are a dedicated baker, it may be worth buying a proving drawer. I saw them on Great British Bake Off.

      2. From all reports, the slower the rise, the more developed, nuanced, and complex the flavor.

      3. My oven that I bought three years ago has a zillion functions. I just learned a few months ago that it had a proofing function. That and the convection and the standard bake and the warming function are the only ones I routinely use. If I ever had a decent crop of tomatoes I would try the dehydrator.

        But the proofing function is really worthwhile since we routinely heat our house to 66 F and that doesn’t seem to be warm enough to raise bread in a reasonable amount of time. I used to turn my oven on to the lowest heat (about 175), then turn it off, then open the door for about 3 to 5 minutes then put my bread in to raise with the door closed. That worked reasonably well as long as I really let it cool down to about 90 before I put the bread in to raise.

        1. Now that I know this proofing function is a thing, my next stove will have to have it. I keep the house between sixty and sixty-two in the winter and the only thing that works for me is to waste electricity by turning the oven on to preheat and letting the dough rise on top of the stove. (Not slow-rising dough like sourdough, which I don’t like, but usually whole wheat rolls.)

  17. I helped my daughter attack some undone piles of stuff in her room Monday, which inspired me to attack some undone paperwork of my own yesterday. It turns out that I found a few things unexpectedly, and I also got some information together which I needed to enroll in classes for the summer (and fall). It turns out that the timing was good, because I will be able to get a tuition waiver for the summer, and I just got the notice today. So, once I get the permission for the class, I will have a Very Big Thing checked off my list of Anxieties of the Undone, and can move that to the Anxieties of the Upcoming list. 😀
    But really, I’m beginning to level-out emotionally, and that’s important.

  18. I have to add something. I just walked (walked!!! not hobbled, or rode, but walked) down to the neighborhood church where a local farm had set up a temporary market. They were closing up, but I still managed to score some fresh strawberries. Yum!

  19. I’m in the big-plans-turned-to-just-coping category. About all I’m managing is work plus cooking plus a decent walk. But the walking’s a good thing. I’m getting noticeably fitter, so I think maybe I’ll celebrate that as a win.

  20. I gave up on my Marie-Condo-ing hopes pretty early on.

    I did get the kitchen cleaned and made some Nutella cookies, I’m giving myself a break from mask-making. I did about 10 for friends, sisters, bil, and a cousin. Also worked on a few for me. I’ve decided I like the WaPo pattern the best; it’s a modified duck-bill rather than pleated type.

    Going to go back to the granny squares. I’m almost finished with the yarn. Then I have to put them all together.

    Everyday the dog gets walked and the yard is policed so I’m outside at least a half hour. If it would just warn-up a bit, I’d do more yardwork.

  21. Well, I managed to pick up my new beehive today, assemble it and prime it, so I’m giving myself a pass on all the things I didn’t do. I have a list of ten things on the table beside my computer. Normally, it would be doable in a day or maybe two. But if I check two or three things off I feel lucky.

    It doesn’t help that it was snowing today. I know this is Vermont and it can snow in May, but that early warmth tricked me. Boo.

  22. I’ve been working and taking a course and mostly trying to fill the rest of my time with distractions.

    Our governor is planning to partly list the stay at home, and I fear the worst in terms of many more cases.

  23. When people discuss Marie-Kondo, I had no idea what that was about, and I remember the Gilmore Girls episode where mom was quoting her. “No joy.” – toss.

    No. My decluttering guru is usually Alejandra Costello. I just watched a couple of YouTube videos of both ladies. I think I’ll bookmark both. (In fact, I have.)

    I have and use stuff that I don’t know if either woman would approve. For instance, the daughter knocked and entered to “borrow” toilet wand refills (I don’t want them back!), of which I had several sleeves. This is the woman that castigates my use of paper plates as environmentally unfriendly and assures me that distilled white vinegar will clean anything. So she needs my scouring bleach pads for her toilets. Of course, that triggered me to scour my own toilet. I thanked it. (Any toilet that gives you joy must be thanked. Don’t ask.)

    So that’s what I accomplished this week. Read some books, cleaned a toilet, took out some trash, got a twelve-pack of diet root beer which dotter and g-son deign to share with me so half gone already.

  24. I spent today helping my bonus mom (she married my dad 12 years ago, when she was 80 and he was 82) pick out what she wants to keep from their 3400 sq ft house. The house was Dad’s; she’s moving back to Spokane to live with her son and daughter-in-law. Dad passed away (peacefully in his sleep, not COVID, he was 93) about a month ago, and bonus mom is still in shock. Very emotionally difficult day. But we got through it! And in two weeks, I’ll be back there to select what I want out of his 300 bottle wine cellar (it’s being divided between his three-children-who-drink-wine, of which I am one. And one of those three does not want 100 bottles, so I think I’m going to end up with most of them. Now I just gotta purchase a wine cellar to keep them in.) (He was a wine connoisseur, yay!) After today, I plan to veg out this evening and continue binging on the TV show Bones. Somehow, the 12 years it was on, I never watched it. I like it! Tomorrow, I really should do my taxes. Really. And organize my Seniors Trips material.

    1. May the wine bring you and the other children-who-drink-wine joy. My sympathies to you and bonus mom.

    2. My sympathies to you and the family. May every sip of wine be a good old memory or the making of a new good memory.

  25. I am still working full time. Aside from that, very distractible; have tons of new books to read but am not reading; have several writing projects on the go and am not finishing.
    On Saturday I did 2.5 hours in the yard pulling weeds and tidying-up. It’s a shitshow out there.
    On Sunday I gave myself a break from composition and pulled up one of my early novels, did a complete read-through-edit on it, added 3000 words, much improved. Will do another round on it before I relaunch.
    And then on Monday I started writing a new novella using one of the characters from that novel. I am at 18600 words. This one is set in 2000 and gods does it seem like ancient history.

  26. I’m operating on the domino principle. If I can make myself do the first step, I’ll fall naturally into the second. It’s pretty much working, and when it doesn’t, I take a nap.

    I also tried sprinkling table salt on wet watercolor – cool effect!

  27. I’m crocheting a hook caddy. Second go, first time was a bit small, too easily tipped. It’s the tower of babel on ravely and I love the idea. A spiral with hooks(or markers, pencils, brushes) stuck between layers. Holds them in no more space than the jar I was using but in order! No more fishing for size. I suppose with more practice I may get to the point where I know the size by just looking at the hook but for now I usually have to pull four or five to get the size I want. And that’s if it is actually in the jar. I like my coloring markers/pencils in order too. I may be making more of these.

    that and house. first few weeks of all three of us home all the time housekeeping really slipped. I’ve been listening to Trauma Cleaner and the background for the main story is of cleaning houses after bad deaths or of hoarders. I don’t hoard but I can see how easy it would be to end up in a house so full it needs a specialised team to clear it. It’s a personal horror, the people I live with _want_ to keep all the things, they might need them.

  28. When working from home everything takes so much longer – even older kids manage to disturb any attempt at concentration quite effectively – argh.

    Apart from office work, I managed to sew 6 more masks, only I couldn’t finish because of lack of elastic. On Monday I ought to have found a solution as then we are obliged to wear masks on the bus, train and metro as well as in shops or at least wear shawls or some protection. Masks have become a fashion item and many small businesses usually selling fashion now have switched to masks – one item that has become a sell-out thing fast.

    All my other plans what to do when being at home have been sidelined by the time it takes me to finish “official” work and dealing with the kids’ workload that they get sent from their teachers. Oh how much I long for my cosy office at work and my colleague sitting across from me, working away diligently…

  29. This morning I trimmed my hair for the second time in a month (yikes) 1/4 ” so nothing too bad. It’s already silver so no worries on coloring and after all a curling iron can disguise a multitude of sins.

  30. My husband accepted a new job and we’re crazy people who moved during a pandemic. Still trying to get settled into my in-laws’ house while keeping the kids sane.

  31. Continuing to thrive on isolation. My research into Geoffrey of Monmouth has expanded from the 90+ page timeline to a dictionary of words up through the 12th century. Cat (catt in Anglo-Saxon) is recorded around 700.

    Today a friend came by who’s a photographer and plant expert. Staying far apart, we checked on the trillium (only one in bloom), blue cohosh, seersucker sedge, Canadian mayflower, 2-leaved tooth wart, rattlesnake root, mitre wart, and hepatica that are showing up along our driveway.

  32. I was blissing out on my two weeks on furlough, and then my co-worker had an old knee injury (from another job–needing to refer to years old worker’s comp claim to get treated) flare up, and here I am back at work again, for a while. Therefore, I was so tired when I got home last night I couldn’t even read Argh.

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