Working Wednesday, May 6, 2020

It’s amazing how much easier it is to work in the spring. I like winter, it just lasts too long. Spring and fall, however, just flit on by, thrilling the hell out of me. Well, I do love change. So that’s what I’m doing this week: changing my work habits, which were getting erratic. Yesterday, I didn’t wake up until 1:30 since I’d stayed up reading Heyer until the dawn. I think it was the dogs staring at me that woke me up. I could feel their unspoken thoughts: “We go out at NOON, you slovenly wench!” As I said, been reading Heyer.

So what’s new with your work this week? Is anything changing?

47 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, May 6, 2020

  1. I’ve been doing some volunteer ESL work, which is nice. Just some online conversation practice with two different students. I’m working away at the really, really last chapter of my fanfic. Endings are always tricky for me. I usually can “see” the very last scene early on but I always worry it doesn’t have enough emotional “oomph.” I think in this one I’m getting very close to what I want, so I’ll take it even if it’s not perfect.

    I made some cookies this weekend that were tasty, but didn’t really suit my original purpose (vehicle for a new frosting recipe). So I guess I’ll have to make more cookies. Darn. 🙂

  2. In started a new crochet project, a floral blanket. It was labeled ‘intermediate’ level and I’m still a crochet beginner. So I bought cheap yarn to learn with. I’ve done the first flower shape five times and I think I’ve got it right now, so on to the second.

    I joined a weekly online mediation group.

    I signed up for a lot of classes and I’m working my way through them.

    Plus lots of watching comedies.

  3. Still working from home. The governor’s Phase 1 starts on Friday evening, but that really doesn’t change much for how I live and work.

    On the craftsy side, I’ve been plugging away at baby blanket #2 which has been going much more slowly than #1 did. But I’ve turned the final corner, so it should be a race now with ever decreasing rows to the end.

    On Saturday, I put together a couple of baby quilt tops using a disappearing 9 patch pattern. I posted a series of construction photos here:

    I’ve got some border fabric on the way, and then it will be time to quilt and bind them.

    I’ve also been working on the big quilt for my niece. It’s in the tedious stage – I’m making a bunch of half-square triangles that then need to be trimmed. There are 96 per color, and I’ve completed trimming for 3 colors. Only 5 more colors to go. (I try not to do the multiplication because that large of a number would feel a bit overwhelming – so I break it into smaller parts. )

  4. I work at cooking. There’s links to the recipes.

    I just started work’s work today. It was good to approach with fresh eyes and an attitude of pleasant anticipation. I cannot begin to understand, assimilate or explain how happy not being at work makes me. Must cogitate, as Jenny says. Deep reflection required.

    I am also doing meditation thanks to Adrienne on YouTube and Roger Gabriel via Chopra centre on Instagram.

    The Rubin Museum on Instagram will go on a two week break with their daily offering so I can catch up on this meditations too. I’ve increased my yoga practice so no dance classes with Chun Wai Chan any more!

    Finally getting more sleep. Night temperatures are 14°C here and I took out my Winter duvet. We don’t have central air or heating as a thing in out houses. If you are cold, close the window, if not open it! Turns out I wasn’t warm enough and was having disrupted sleep without know it!

  5. I don’t love allergy season. Hiking was just fine, even though it was warming up, and then bam! Incessant runny nose and tearing, which really doesn’t play well to other people during these times, let me tell you.

    (I got lucky that my employer got deemed essential, so now I am back to the daily grind, and enjoying it!)

  6. Four hour long Zoom training meetings. ‘Nuff said about my work.

    I finished a virus cross stitch sampler. I am still working on the Arne and Carlos knitalong.

    I am going to do a play readalong tomorrow for a fundraiser.

  7. I am still working from home and doing on-line teaching. I’ve been feeling drained, and haven’t even picked up my knitting. The only creative thing that I have managed is that I wrote up a little family history about my great-grandparents in California during the 1918 flu pandemic ( Oh – and I made pumpkin custard and cooked it in ramekins (pumpkin pie without the crusts) which was strangely satisfying for May.

      1. We harvested fresh pumpkin from the garden. Already cooked it two ways. This sounds interesting.

    1. I love a Californian named Jesse Fremont. I wonder if their original place was near where the Fremonts lived.

  8. Three baby squirrels have been playing in the tree outside my window all morning. I imagine they’ve only recently left the nest, because there is a lot that they haven’t completely figured out yet (touching the ground is a huge novelty, for instance, and the fact that tiny twigs cannot support even a small squirrel seems to be coming as a real surprise every time). Mommy squirrel is still hanging around too, so I do not think they are even fully weaned.

    I’m not getting any work done, partly because the cuteness is too distracting, and partly because I am in a bit of a funk. I’ve had worse mornings though.

  9. I have shopped Amazon for years, long before pandemic was part of my normal vocabulary, so it’s no surprise to me to get an email asking if I can answer another customer’s question. This time it was “Celestial Seasonings Green Tea Decaf says it decaffeinates using the ‘natural process’. What is the natural process?”

    Did someone mistake me for Bill Nye? Mr. Wizard? I just selected “I don’t know.” from the menu and clicked send. Besides, I haven’t had a cup of green tea in years. It was a phase I went through, like “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot, decaf.” Oh, wait – I’m still in that phase. I also like English Breakfast Tea, decaf, and several others.

    Anyway, I was curious and I went to Celestial Seasonings Green Tea Decaf – just typed that in the subject line and *poof* – not much Googling required. And on that page was this:

    Our green, black and white teas are naturally decaffeinated using nontoxic carbon dioxide (CO2).

    “Nontoxic carbon dioxide.” So, the concentration is barely above the fraction of a percent we safely breathe? Or just nontoxic to tea, so not safe for humans? And does “naturally” in that statement likewise imply the naturally low percentage we exhale or the natural levels found around volcanoes or forest fires? Either way, I am reminded that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Is my preference for decaf tea a contributing factor to climate change?

    I am consumed with guilt! I better have a cup of Earl Grey (decaf) to calm down. (What? It’s already been through the process before it reached my cupboard. No sense wasting it now.)

    1. I am now wondering if I am responsible for global warming due to my excessive drinking of carbonated beverages. I need a diet Pepsi.

  10. This week was my mother’s 90th birthday. She has many friends and they planned a parade for her. Since we don’t live on a road with a turn-around, they collected long ropes, marked the 6-feet spaces, wore masks and funny hats, and gathered at 4 to march around the house and sing to her. They brought balloons and some bottles, and then they left. It was pretty cool. After that, we ordered some pick-up food from the only open restaurant, which was, of course, a Mexican place. On Cinco de Mayo. But there you go, it was great when we got it. And that was all my work for Tuesday, although I did almost nothing else. I hope to be able to focus for the next 3 days. I could really stand to be alone for 3 days.

  11. Jennifer…what I’m doing is re-reading many of my favorite Cruisie books. It’s been years so it’s fun to visit these characters again. Of course one of my favorites bears my name…”Maybe This Time”. I hope you are well. Thanks for getting me through quarantine!

    1. Gail! So good to hear from you. I’m writing about a college town, so of course I think of Columbus often. Such a great place to live. I always had such a good time talking to you. Miss you!

  12. Sunday I chopped two Snickers bars into a pan of brownies for a turtle effect. Kids don’t try this at home unless you like sticky brownies. They were good but not great.

    The grandchildren came down and we practiced social distancing. We hadn’t seen them in about two months. They are so bored and want to go back to school. They do work from home on their laptops to stay in the loop.

    Sunday was such an incredible day weather wise and people wise. Everyone was out and about. I think all the bikers rode by our house so we could all hear the new pipes they got for Christmas.

    I received two e-mails yesterday from different library networks. The first was from my library and they are going to open on a pick up basis only and will not take returns. So I guess I’ll be hoarding books till whenever. And the other library network sent their monthly newsletter with some at home goodies to try like downloading a coloring page of different subjects for anyone. And also a link to get onto I opened that one just to give it a try. Will have to find out dates.

    1. Brownies sound good. I have a box of brownie mix I’ve been meaning to make and banana bread I’ve been meaning to make, and haven’t made either. I need to get on that.

  13. I’d been doing my WFH stuff later and later in the day, hoping that people would get their act together and get me the information I needed. Nope. I was working at 10 pm last night and there were still mistakes come morning. I don’t mind making the changes, but I worry that people’s perception of my abilities will change if there are constant mistakes. Not mistakes on my part actually, but they don’t know that.

    We’ve been getting news about opening in the fall, talk of rotating schedules so all the kids aren’t there at one time. Was to be prepared to close at the drop of a hat for two to three weeks. They are planning for rolling closures. That with the addition of a change in bosses is making me spiky. I don’t like the new boss. And I like, but don’t respect my other boss who is staying. Yes, I have two bosses. Not ideal, but hey, it’s health insurance.

    I’ve been hired for a new sewing project, new outdoor cushion covers – should be pretty straight forward and tonight I’ll start cutting out the marine vinyl. Nothing but good times ahead.

  14. We are in the peak of our quarterly work right now. Thank goodness for Lily–that’s about all the non-work reading I can handle right now. The romance chapter was particularly well-timed!

    Once I finally manage to put the work down, I do a mini binge of “walking through history” on Amazon Prime. Tony Robinson walking around various beautiful parts of the UK occasionally dropping some history on the viewer. It is very soothing.

  15. I am considering a kitten. I think that this is what baby fever must feel like. I know that it is impractical, yet I really really want one. A friend’s cat had a litter and she keeps sending pictures which is not helping.

    On the home front, I started painting little flowers and birds eggs today. I am not sure if I am more productive because I have a deadline now, starting work again on Monday, or if it’s spring. It’s hard to work in winter. I get cold and then all I want to do is stay in bed where it is warm.

  16. I finished the ‘Feline Philosophy’ proofs today (to sum up: you’d be better as a cat). Got quite a lot done at the allotment Saturday-Monday. Now I want to work on the garden, though there’s a frost forecast for Sunday, so can’t do all my planting out quite yet. More proofs due in a week or so.

    Also made some brownies on Monday: not a success. They taste good, but are horribly dry – more like biscuits (the real thing; American cookies) at the edges. Obviously overcooked. Need to practise more – I usually only bake about once a year; so really don’t know how my (one year old) cooker is for temperature. Of course, it might be better for my figure if I gave up instead.

    1. Or you could treat yourself to an oven thermometer. Finding the actual temperature in your oven will speed up the adjustment process. And they are cheap.

  17. I feel very certain that Pilates is going to be the end of me. A lovely girl near here has evolved her business into Zoom classes. It’s surprisingly affordable and having actual people in the ‘room’ helps me with the accountability. I’m hoping next week will be the stage where I feel like I’ve worked out but no longer feel like attempting stairs with disgruntled muscles will result in plummeting to my death.
    I bought myself a mother’s day bird bath and hung it in the tree outside the sunroom and also a lovely enamelled cast iron baking tray for our wedding anniversary next week. We were supposed to be in Hawaii (it’s a big one, 25 years) but instead he is at work in PNG and I shall be baking.

  18. Thanks to the Arghers who advised raising bread dough in the oven when the weather and house are cold. My baguettes finally rose.

    1. Did you turn the oven light on? It helps to warm it up but not too warm.

  19. Still working on Survival Race book 3. I wanted to publish it this month, but it’s not done nor ready for an editor yet. I HATE BEING THE WORLD’S SLOWEST WRITER!!

    I had a dream Sunday night that I called Diana Gabaldon for writing advice. [She writes the Outlander series and her advice for writers got me to start writing books.] I told her on the phone I met her at RWA (true). I asked her if she had advice on how to not spend days and weeks perfecting one chapter and to just move on. Other stuff (weird and possibly symbolic) happened on our call, too, but it ended with a follow up call scheduled for next week on Mother’s Day at 6 pm. 😂 😂 Dream Diana was very gracious!!

    1. It’s been ten years since I’ve had a book out, so not the world’s slowest writer. Get over yourself (g).

  20. I’ve been making a few more masks for family and friends.

    I weeded my side border and got it ready for some warmer weather vegetables. There’s another 2 weeks before it’s safe to plant those.

    And there was a remote meeting of our board of elections. The links to the meeting didn’t work properly so we had to phone it in. I am just thankful it wasn’t me but the county’s ‘updates’. Maybe it’ll all work next time.

  21. Procrastinating with the work, work. The culling and sorting and rearranging the fabric/patterns and necessary sewing supplies is taking longer. Finally finished the sewing section part of the laundry room. One big cupboard to go. Garden is calling too.

    Walking in the morning getting vitamin D and the body going. Hoping to kick procrastination out the door.

  22. I have a new grandbaby! I did none of the work and will get to enjoy the benefits.

    1. Congratulations! And you did the prep work a couple of decades ago, give or take, so you can claim credit.
      At least that what I tell my grandkids. “If it wasn’t for me, you wouldn’t ever BE here.”

      1. I picture the dotter agreeing. “That’s right, so you’re all spending the weekend with grampa in the garage.”

      2. I really did none of the work. I married my husband when his kids were grown and out of the house. I skipped kids and went straight to grandkids.

  23. I sent out 11 postcards this week (as opposed to 7 the week before) and as a reward for finally mailing the little suckers, my friend Carol called and gave me an update on how her adorable children and grandchildren are doing. Since I no longer see any of them at the farmers’ market, getting an update from Grandma is especially sweet. I’m relieved to hear that they have an income and, I hope, some insurance because all of the part time jobs that Nick used to have to supplement the farm income aren’t there anymore. But evidently they are hanging in and Becky has been able to work from home. I just hope I get to meet the twins before they start school……

  24. Regular work is irregular, so my brain is turning to other people’s not-a-book work: In a dream I saw an overhead view of architecturally-drawn lily pads, each pad with a pair of frog footprints. And the goal was to find a path through the lily pads.

  25. Regular work has been a bit stressful, our weather got hot again (do not like), and I seem to be taking the week off from writing to do some Writer Business instead. Waiting for the most recent novella to clear KDP review so I can do a launch post. While waiting, have joined QueeRomance Ink and begun adding my titles to their listing. Fairly soon, will be doing some review requests (there and otherwhere) and generally trying to get this whole damned thing actually moving.

  26. I attended a virtual conference this week. That was different, but the conference had always been planned to be online. They tried in advance to make it interactive. I’d say they had some success.

    I did some baking and some sewing and I actually started reading a fictional book. Except for the weather turning back to winter, it’s been a good week.

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