Working Wednesday, June 3, 2020

It’s been one of those weeks where I tried to do a dozen things at once and ended up doing all of them badly: I worked on Lily and Nita and made stir fry and . . . you know, the stuff I always do. It’s going to hit 89 this week (IN THE FIRST WEEK OF JUNE? We’re gonna fry this summer) so my outdoor work is going to be limited, but I have big plans for inside, BIG PLANS . . .

Oh, hell, tell me what you worked on this week and let me live vicariously.

57 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, June 3, 2020

  1. This has not been a terribly productive week. I have baked cookies. I have got my sons set up with their new summer workbook routine (2 days of success in a row!). I’ve mulled over what fanfiction project I want to start next. Nothing particular is calling me, but it would be nice to either finish a wip or maybe a short project from beginning to end.
    On Sunday I talked to one of my ESL students during our conversation time about structural racism in America and George Floyd and the protests. It’s not an easy conversation to have (and I started teaching ESL right after Trump was elected, so you know I’ve had lots of conversations) But I always tell my students ‘I love my country. There are many things about my country that make me very proud. But I will always tell the truth to you about the bad things, as I see them.’ I try be transparent that lots of Americans have different opinions about thing and it can vary a lot by race, gender, class, where and how they grew up, etc.
    I have my conversation time with another ESL student tonight. He’s a journalist in his home country and very political, so I’m doing my best to be prepared for his questions.

    1. Good luck for the conversations, and I hope a good fanfiction project lands in your lap soon.

  2. I finished my first draft of my fanfic! … and now I’m working my way through all the writing and questionable posts here, figuring out what might or might not help me work out how to forcibly extract a structure out of 100,000 words of questing. I’m very excited, and slightly terrified.

    And I made rocky road cookies.

  3. I spent a lot of time working on a quilt – you’ve seen the blocks and the progress I’ve made. I’ve been working without a net, so to speak, in that I started with a limited amount of fabric and one block pattern, and had to scale up from there. It’s been a little intimidating, running out of a color and having to make do with something else. This past weekend, I put the rows together, laid them out on the floor to admire (and get my thrill of how nice it is looking), then decided they needed sashing between the blocks, ripped them apart, and put sashing in. I had barely enough black fabric to make that happen – i.e., none left for an outer border. So while I’m thrilled at how it looks right now, I need a little something more to actually finish the top. It will probably be a smallish black band around the outside. (And I’m debating a multi-colored binding in the leftover fabric I have for each color.)

    I’ve also been trying to get out and walk. Today I chose an early morning jaunt down a neighborhood street, taking pictures of the flowers near the mailboxes. The last one is a photo of my first gardenia of the season.

        1. I used a rough pencil sketch and counted pieces, figured out where I would be short and improvised. I’m ready to not think so hard (at least about this.)

      1. Holy Patchwork, Nancy. It glows! Lovely.

        And of course, it’s a feline law…if there’s a quilt on the floor, there’s a cat on the quilt.

    1. Your neighborhood likes variety, doesn’t it.
      I love the way the sashing matches the cat.

      1. Me, too! Since you always photograph your quilts with your cat sitting on them, choosing black was a very strategic choice.

  4. Little cleaning bits! Yesterday we washed the bedding between work-work (I love doing laundry while WFH). Made cookies on Monday. I’ve been successfully working on two crochet blankets, which feels fabulous. The progress isn’t such that I feel like I can’t wait to finish, but one of them is getting there. The big one finally feels like real progress has been made.

    We were on vacation last week. And it took two days to get caught up with some OT. Was ready to pull my hair out. Today shall be much calmer. I’m going to try REALLY HARD, for my mental health, to be out on time.

    I’m working to live with things being unfinished by end of work day and it being OK. Its a hard transition, but I think an important one I’ve struggled with.

    And thassit. Tonight, I’m feeling either crochet or cleaning out jewelry. And sending a doc to the rental company. That’s the big goal….

  5. Worked on the backyard and pool area for four or five hours. Woke this morning and could barely walk. Oh well, horoscope says to take day off, read a good book, and have ice cream. Sounds like a plan.

    1. Hope you feel better soon, Robena. But oh my, that’s an awesome horoscope! If that’s what horoscopes are like these days, thinking maybe reading mine should go on my to-do list for next week;)

      1. It’s been interesting to see how horoscope content has changed as the pandemic progresses. Lots more about fixing up your surroundings, or enjoying family, or getting exercise.

      2. Thanks. I’ve had a relaxing day and I did read but was out of ice cream. Bummer. I’m a Libra and that is officially tomorrow’s horoscope, but having been born in Australia (18 Hours ahead of U.S.) I go by the next day’s reading. I’m so weird. Ha ha

  6. I planted a rose bush yesterday. This is the first one I have ever bought. (I don’t count the ones I bought already in the ground when I bought a house.) I’ve planted rooted cuttings of the rose my parents had from my grandmother all over Raleigh, which is where, at NC State Arboretum, I discovered what it was: a Cecile Brunner. My grandmother sent my parents a cutting to plant when we built our house in 1960, and she had it from a friend of hers in the 1930s who’d had it long enough to forget what it was. Could the friend’s have gone back to when it was first developed in 1887? Probably not.
    I utterly failed to get any cuttings to strike when we sold my parents’ house shortly before my father died ten years ago. Now at last I have one again. I hope it turns out to be the same.

    1. I have tried several times to get the picky Madame Brunner to bloom, and have only succeeded (I had to look up how to spell that) once. Last year I bought a David Austin (Charles Darwin, soft yellow), even though it cost (gasp!) $15 more. So lovely.

      1. In Kentucky, (and Alabama where my grandmother lived) she is far from picky. My parents’ bush bloomed heavily from May through December, even in years when the Japanese beetles ate most of the leaves. Every few years they added a little manure around the roots, and they pruned her back when she got up to the eaves so they could reach most of the roses, but otherwise benign neglect. This one was grown in Texas, though, so this first winter I will need to cut it back far enough to bury it in mulch until it adjusts.

      2. I put in four David Austin roses (two climbers and two ramblers) a couple of years ago. One of the four took off immediately, the others took their time (the old saying: “first year, sleeps, second year, creeps, third year, leaps”). I’ve had varying luck with other (“brand”) roses but have, in general, found that the more expensive ones were really and truly worth the extra money.

        The two ramblers are to cover my pergola. The one that took off had the best location and the longest runner is now about 9 or 19 feet long. The second one is doing better now that we have removed a tree which blocking much of its light, so It’s starting to catch up. This year (“third”) the climbers are starting to take off and I am going to have to invest in a much taller obelisk.

        Love my roses. A passion I only recently discovered. Here where I am in Germany they do not lose their foliage over the winter and I have had blossoms until Christmas.

    2. When we bought this house 36 years ago, there was a rose growing wild above the wall below the house. And I said that looks like a Cecile Brunner rose. We had one in the back yard of the first house we bought so I knew what it was. Well, it kept spreading by runners; it only bloomed once a summer and it got black spot; it grew too far into the sidewalk and was a pain so I ripped it out. This was about 25 years ago. This spring while cleaning up the hillside (again), there it was again – in full bloom. All the same problems still apply but it is so pretty and maybe since it has been forever since it was growing, the black spot will have disappeared from that area.

  7. Just finishing up production of my last audiobook (number 6 I think). At least for now until the next book is done.

    Very happy with how they all turned out so far and with their fun new covers. Surprised to be feeling a bit sad, though, at taking a break from the process. Working with the narrator has been so fab, will miss that bit. She is such a lovely person and so talented I feel blessed and lucky we connected.

    Which is the other thing I did this week. Focus on my blessings. Really puts things into focus. Especially during times when the outside world is wonky and sometimes tough to understand. Nice to remind myself there is still plenty of good among what can sometimes feel like chaos.

    Another nice thing about coming here as well. A nice reminder of folks supporting each other and the good in the world:)

  8. I’m back at work. No children yet. But it’s difficult preparing. I’m a union rep so a lot of communication and negotiation work falls to me. I view the (voluntary) duty as Human Resource Support. So I’m trying to support my colleagues because it can be disheartening at how many conflicting reports, policies, suggestions, and ideas we get from the powers that be.

    I have a few WorkingWednesday pics but I don’t care to post them.

    The news here is showing what is happening in the US and I can’t get over wanting to shake people who say, “You don’t know what the protestor did to deserve it.” Or worse, that “George/Ahmaud/Breonna/Trayvon must’ve done something wrong.”

    Black people were labelled criminal because they were slaves who ran away. For the act of “stealing themselves” they were criminalised. Jenny you’ve described someone who you know who is a perfectly lovely person to you, but supports the current US presidential administration. I bet she’d tone and volume police the protestors.

    I’m meditating a lot and praying more. And I keep thinking about this and how long the government has abdicated their responsibility to Black and Native peoples. Free meditations online and the singing bowls from Jasmine Hemsley help.

    I didn’t bother to black out my socials. I’m in the trenches daily trying to fight against colleagues, friends, family from othering the Black children I work with.

    I am actively fighting to decolonize my mind.

    Apart from battery and assault with guns, the casual violence of negligence visited upon Black people is hardly known. Trigger warning- amputation because this explains how awful things are on a basic health care level.

    I don’t know why the UN doesn’t impose sanctions on y’all the way they do everywhere else.

    1. I wish I thought UN sanctions would make a difference. The UN regularly investigates and condemns the US for a whole host of human rights violations — including racialized police brutality, suppression of protests, mass incarceration (which is also racialized state violence), the criminalization of poverty & homelessness, violations of indigenous peoples’ rights, systemic racism, and more.

      I’ve been part of many groups testifying in legislative sessions, pleading with lawmaker to enact or change some law or policy. People often bring up the fact that that the things the state is doing to them are specifically prohibited under international human rights laws, hoping this will help lawmakers understand that it’s Just Not Okay. I’ve never seen this change any powerful person’s mind. I don’t know that the US is the only culture/country that tends to reject international input, but I can say that American jingoism & isolationism are really deeply imbedded.

  9. 3/4 of the way done with my colorful scarf. Picked a new pattern for the next one, which, as it will be for my sister, will have different colors.

    And I sought medical advice and was told I’ve been hyperventilating pretty regularly for three months solid. I sought a second opinion and was told the same thing. The first doctor called it a “textbook case” and the second one called it a “classic case.” Both were 100% convinced that’s what is going on, but just knowing doesn’t stop it. I’m having to do a lot of focus and breathing exercises at least every hour on the hour, and more if I notice it happening in between. Not the most fun I’ve ever had.

    But, it’s logical that I’d be anxious during these times we are living in.

  10. I’m going to call it a weird week. I got my car’s oil changed (only a few thousand miles overdue) and got it State Inspected. That’s a thing in Virginia, with a decal in the window and they’ll ticket you if it’s past due – but not during a pandemic. Mine was due last February. So, anyway, the car is happy.

    Its license plates expire in June, so I got the renewal notice. Renewed the plates online… for 3 years. Then the personal property tax bill for the car arrived. Paid online. So far, everything is about the car, and the car just gets happier.

    Facebook. Some of the crap on FB was annoying me, so I said to myself, “Self, it’s time to delete all that electronic trail.” Self agreed and we started deleting. And deleting. And deleting. I had forgotten when I let Goodreads echo several hundred story ratings to FB, for example. Diet stuff, down to 244 and back up to OMG I’m gonna die and back down to merely morbidly obese. Publicly. Way more deleting to go.

    Reading and re-reading, which I should wait for tomorrow to list, but oh well. After finishing The Shaman of Karres, I tucked it in its multiple formats into a subdirectory of what I call, “THE GREAT LIBRARY (south) OF ALEXANDRIA (Virginia).” That’s what I call my ebook library. I also just added The Demons of Constantinople by Flint, Goodlett and Huff. Sequel to The Demons of Paris, good books, both. The library is incomplete, awaiting the repair of my main computer, the one with Calibre installed. It lacks books available only in Kindle format, like the Murderbot series (I’ve started the last book and pre-ordered the next.) Started the second book of Heyer’s Hits. Weber’s The Honor of the Queen is in progress as well.

    I switched on the AC on June 1st. When the mancave hit 84, I decided just fans weren’t enough. Just this minute it’s 91 outside, 73 inside.

    Next task, finish filing stuff. Throw out the old stuff.

    1. Good! I personally like the first four Honor books better than the others. Though I know that once David had his accident, editing became a major problem for him.

      1. I blame the editors at Baen Books for not reining him in. I give him the first seven or eight, and count the anthologies as good, mostly.

        I’ve purged the book reviews. All that I left on FB is changes of profile picture and cover photo, an old video of the man cave, and a Thanksgiving Post I plan to re-use a lot. Here it is:

        NObody expects the Thankful Disquisition! The one thing I have most to be thankful for is my health and “scents” of humor. No, I mean the TWO things I am most thankful for are my health and my sense of humor and my beloved family – Three. Three things I am most thankful for are my health, my sense of humor, my beloved family, and my friends…

        Among the things I am most thankful for… never mind. I’ll come again.

  11. I’m just paralyzed by what’s going on in this country. Not working at all. Just the minimum necessary stuff — copy edits that were due today, plus taking out the trash, feeding the cats, that sort of thing.

    It’s gonna be a long five months to November and then an even longer two-and-a-fraction months to Inauguration Day. And that’s best-case scenario.

  12. I am setting a new record for lack of production. Today is my BIL’s birthday and I didn’t even send him a card. I only wrote 5 cards this week and have yet to mail any of them and my apartment has gone from dirty to toxic waste dump.

    I did, however, manage to do one thing right last week. I stocked my refrigerator with the 3 bottles of decaffeinated beverages I keep during the summer so that I can stay hydrated without having to pee constantly. And I finished that in the nick of time because yesterday it was 94 and very humid. The rest of my life is still overdue and filthy, but heat stroke has been prevented.

  13. I am so embarrassed to find myself White, American, and Human. Also, I’m exhausted from doing next to nothing. I’m doing the minimum at work, but also ignoring the pit that is my home. Also wondering why my grown children – who had to move back in because of COVID-19 – do not clean up after themselves. Maybe for the same reason I’m ignoring it all.

    HOWEVER, (excuse the shouting) I did fill my new raised bed with compost, and planted all kinds of things in it. I also pulled some grass from my flower garden and put in mulch. Also relocated some phlox, and gave some to a friend. So maybe I’m not a big a slug as I think I am.

    1. Coming home also tends to remove the “pick up after yourself” learning that went on outside mom’s house haha

  14. I took Monday and Tuesday off so I could work outside in my garden beds. When I requested them off, the weather forecasts were perfect, sunny, upper 60’s-low 70’s but when the actual days arrived, Mother Nature had the last laugh. I did get the worst garden bed weeded; now all it needs is mulch. Yesterday, I put new sisal rope on the main cat scratching post (and a section is already trying to come off!) then made violet jelly. I made time to read a bit and let the cats go out into the back yard for a little while.

  15. I did a proof-reading job and agreed to another – looks like it won’t arrive until next week. The temperature dropped today, and it actually rained, with more showers due over the next week or too. Which is brilliant, since we’ve had hardly any rain since February, when it monsooned.

    I’m enjoying my Writer’s Block Detox course, and feeling more hopeful I can see my way forward; there’s another ten days to go.

    I’ve got loads of admin to do while waiting for my next freelance job – my workroom’s in chaos since I started sorting it out but had to switch to the day job; plus couldn’t bear being inside while it was so sunny. And I must get myself on to Facebook; need to research the least risky way to do this.

    Plus, do more serious weeding and sowing now, hopefully, the rain’s made the ground workable.

    1. Jane, we finally have a good, gentle soaking rain here in western Germany, which has wandered over from you folks. We are thankful — things were getting dire here, the Rhine is mid-summer low already and there’s been talk of another(aargh!!) drought season. But this morning my rain barrel is full, and there’s more rain on the way. Just finished my planting, so timing is perfect. I hope the weather reports are correct and we have a couple more days of this. The farmers will be happy!

  16. I cooked. I spent the whole afternoon on Monday (Queen’s Birthday public holiday) in my kitchen making finger food and it was bliss. On Monday evening, a subset of my extended family ate satay chicken skewers, mini baked potatoes with sour cream and chives, quesadillas (with/without mushrooms – do children anywhere like mushrooms?), Vietnamese fresh spring rolls with chilli dipping sauce, teriyaki beef and lettuce cups, and mini quiches/savouries (I bought these in). Then chocolate chippie biscuits, florentines, lemon drizzle cake, and these rhubarb possets that were so good. It was excellent! All was well.

    I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I recommend this workbook, for those who would like to examine their role in (unconsciously) upholding a system of while privilege (yes, even those like me who would say ‘not me, I would never’).

  17. I went back to work at the artists’ cooperative shop I run last Friday. My second day back was yesterday (Tuesday) because many of our artist/members are older or have preexisting conditions, so they aren’t working, so we’ve had to reduce our hours. I have to confess, after two and a half months of not working, being back is exhausting. Mind you, I was juggling shop things all along, and still not getting much done at home, but MAN.

    I did manage to get some neatening and rearranging done in the house over the weekend. Cleaned out a bunch of drawers in the bedroom and have a large garbage bag full of perfectly good things to donate. Weeded out books and have four tote bags for the tiny library I donate to, and another three that aren’t good enough for that, which will be donated elsewhere. Unfortunately, none of these places are open at the moment, or taking in things, so the stuff will still have to stay in my house for a while. Which kind of defeats the purpose. Sigh.

  18. Week’s been full of ups and downs. I had a stress test on Monday resulting in a heart catherization schedule for a week Thursday, preceeded on Saurday by the usual testing plus a COVID test with requires isolating once I’ve had it. My sister is coming from Virginia in for a few days to provide transport and dog care. Just yuck. My father’s side of the family is riddled with heart disease so I know better to ignore feeling short of breath that has suddenly appeared even if it has since gone away.

    And then there’s the election…I spent hours watching people open mail-in ballots. They’re still going strong. Ballots are in 2 envelopes that have to be opened by hand. We couldn’t start opening and counting them until 7am Tuesday. They’ll finish up on Thursday. On Friday, the Election Board (that’s my group) gets to review about 1800 provisional ballots. They get me until 6:30 am Saturday when I have go get my testing.

    And if anyone complains about the time the counting is taking I swear I’ll rip their face off. Or I can go really mean and tell them to shut-up and volunteer to help in November.

    Don’t get me started on current events. All I can say is we’re finally taking to the streets.

    On a happier note, I’m putting together my scrap granny square afghan. I hope I can finish before my sister gets here. And the latest Murderbot was great.

  19. I’ve been working hard on my YouTube channel. My next video will be on the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, because I just feel like I have to do something about everything that’s happening, and this is something I can do. People in public health know all about this horrifyingly racist chapter in our history, but I don’t know how many people in the general population do.

    1. Oh, that’s an awful chapter! I only learned of it recently when it popped up out of some internet rabbit warren I was wandering.

  20. Spent a few hours doing volunteer stuff for Women for the Win, a group videographers/ communications people who volunteer to make materials for progressive women running for office. It’s been hard to focus on the ghostwriting stuff I’m actually supposed to be doing today.

  21. This is so frivolous — I have been doing Elder Shopping at Target on Wednesday mornings (the grocery section is okay and the parking is, too), but we’re in the throes of Curfew in Alameda County (San Francisco Bay Area), so when I arrived there this morning the place was closed. So I drove home, but went by a route I don’t usually take, and passed a Trader Joe’s with ONE person at the door! Woo hoo! I hadn’t been able to shop there since the lockdown, because the line was always out the door, around the building, out the parking lot, and down the block. So I parked and got in line and came home with enough frozen goodies to fill my freezer . . . and got them into the house past Miss Escape Artist, my black panther cat. We are smug, at least for the moment.

  22. I had not been to work for a week and had a negative covid test so the dentist would see me. Yea! And a dermatology visit. And the dogs went to the groomers so less dog hair bunnies. I thought both dogs were overweight but one lost so much hair she now looks svelt. Work this weekend, that will be interesting.

  23. I tied up half the tomatoes and potted up some gorgeous zinnias called Zinderella Peach and Lilac. They’re the most ridiculous puffy things. We’re expecting rain here today after a long dry spell so hopefully that will do some of my watering for me.

  24. My day job is super busy right now, and super stressful because everything has hard deadlines with no shortcuts. Am taking a breather before I get back to it.

    When not dealing with day job, am doing some prep on the next couple of things to publish, and writing a new thing (this seems to be a semi-permanent self-care item these days. I haven’t had a massage, facial, or professional haircut for years. Instead I write).

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