Working Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Bob and I did another HWSWA chat last night, this one on Setting, which will be up a week from Saturday. (This Saturday is Time.). We’re almost done, I think there are only four topics left, and I don’t know if we’ll keep going after that or not. It’s not a very interactive site–problems with commenting, I think–and what we’ve found is that after years of arguing with each other about writing, we’re pretty much meeting in the middle on a lot of things. But it’s been good working on the project, so even if we stop at the end of September, it’s been worth it. I do think the process is more important than the result unless other people, say readers, are involved in the result. It’s a bad idea to waste other people’s time.

So this week I combatted dizziness and talked about setting. What did you do?

57 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, August 26, 2020

  1. I’m feeling kind of rundown lately for reasons both internal (pulled muscle?) and external (gestures to all of 2020 we’ve gone through so far) so I’m happy to just say I’ve just stayed on course. Dishes, laundry, vacuuming, Italian.
    Next week school starts and the boom lowers.

  2. Aww, I feel bad! I always look forward to reading the HWSWA but never comment. It has become part of my Saturday ritual, so thank you Jenny and Bob. I especially enjoy the back and forth between you, and does Omniscient Translucent actually exist LOL. Were you two married in a former life? Just asking for a friend…(g)

    Halfway through The Absolutely Positively Worst Man in England Scotland And Wales. Finding it difficult to sit and read books at the moment but I am really enjoying this one.

      1. OMG!

        I was joking above. I can’t believe you had to write that blog post.

        Of course the blog post did make me laugh and now I want to know what you and Bob called the twins.

        My maternity top would not have been that polite. You are a better person than me.

      2. Oh, I had missed that post the first time around. Thank you for resharing it! I loved it!

      3. Thanks so very much for brightening the day , week, well all of 2020 , with this post! I can’t stop laughing! And my favorite response was Bob‘s : “I am sleeping with Bob. But I’m Bob.”

      4. Thank you. I thought it was just me. I was in the ER with my daughter, (I was mid 40’s ) and the doctor, who had a foreign accent,asked me, “When are you due”. I kept saying ,” Beg pardon?”. My husband said later he couldn’t believe I kept asking, and I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. The shirt I was wearing was donated.

  3. Jenny, are you still suffering from the latest bout of labyrinthitis? The symptoms sound dreadful.

    All in all I’ve had a good week, except for Gary’s political posts. (I can ignore some comments that are opposite from my own views, but not his current ones. I’m working on training myself not to care.)

    I’ve been reading tons of Georgette Heyer, especially the magazine stories that have recently (for me) become available. Here’s one which shows her ideas forming for Faro’s Daughter:

    My research has stalled because I’m studying druids to discover where Geoffrey of Monmouth made some connections in pre-Roman British history. I sense that I’m looking in the wrong place. The problem is that I’m a disorganized researcher who easily loses focus.

    1. One of the many things about labyrinthitis is that it comes and goes. Most mornings I am dizzy. Most afternoons I am not, unless I am. It takes two weeks to a month to fight off the virus, but at least it’s not constant. Thanks for asking!

    2. Elizabeth, please accept my apologies. I wouldn’t normally post political stuff here – I stole my volcano post from the “Humor” conference of Baen’s Bar, then tacked on research from the US Geological Survey site. I won’t do that again, here.

      1. Gary, these are such fraught times that most of us are unable to keep our political angst to ourselves. Those of us who agree or don’t can surely cut a little slack, as it sounds as if Elizabeth is doing, because we recognize that the only way we can survive this mess is to sound off. My objection was only that Washington and Oregon volcanoes were confused (I am a Washington native who now lives in Oregon and I find Washington volcanoes much more dramatic than those in Oregon, excuse the native daughter bias).

        Whether I agree or not, I always enjoy hearing from everyone and become concerned if someone goes silent. And if you should say something I object to, I have no problem with pointing this out to you (big surprise here)

        1. Gary, your apology is accepted and is particularly nice because unexpected. Actually, Jessie is absolutely right. I’m thin-skinned on all topics (especially my writing) and I’m old enough at 65 to learn how to respond appropriately: i.e., shrug something off; point out a problem; turn it into something humorous; or, ignore it.

          Georgette Heyer is helping me practice these skills because her characters often ultimately get along even when they seem terrible for each other. Each has to change and will change if the other person matters enough.

  4. Working on doing more than paid work (our OT is so high they want to reduce, but without reducing attached projects, sooo…..). House isn’t a pit – we clean every 2 weeks, but all these little things built up and are driving me a little batty, especially because I’m the only one who notices.

    So, during lunch so far this week, did dishes twice and repapered two drawers (more sticky putty and this time used the hot glue gun to make it stick). Some in the bathroom to do, then done.

    Refilled soap dispensers last night and have crocheted two nights in a row! I have 21 rows to finish then this whopper of a blanket is done. Gotta get a load shipped off, but didnt want to take that step while coughing, all things considered. So this weekend, I’ll be washing blankets and praying they hold up, then maaaaybe shipping. Wouldn’t that be grand to get that done!

    On my less than exciting list, three appointments to make, refill windex bottles, clean my pit of a desk, then dust. That’ll be regular stuff caught up, then finally projects I’ve been waiting to do for years… >.> putting half my lunch towards the list and dishes has been amazingly productive (for all of two days), and it makes me feel good while work makes me pull hair out. But I’m grateful for work, so it’s OK. Three more weeks and maybe we’ll be caught up?

    And that’s that – nothing too exciting here!

  5. My goal for the weekend is to get my enclosed balcony cleaned out (it’s a bit of a storage area right now) and set it up so I can sit out there when it’s nice out and when there are thunderstorms. I’m also trying to figure out if I can turn it into a conservatory of sorts and grow some things out there this winter. The temperature extremes might be a bit too much, but I like the idea.

  6. I have ME/CFS, a “long-hauler” condition from a 1988 epidemic, and recently recognized as a diseased state in the USA. Now I have that new label, “long-hauler”, sudden legitimacy. Chasing descriptions like “syndrome” that avoid insurance and SSI disability recognition has been an AMA and Pharma whack-a-mole game since ’88, but NIH and CDC finally caved to reality. Words are SO powerful. Deep breath.
    The high fever and ague of the past three weeks (repeating pattern of decades) has tailed off, and I have the dangerous Lazarus rebound feeling that invites the clearing up personal space work I admire in posts above. “Step away from the floor mop”, says my wiser self. I used my rationed energy to prep 90F+ day salads, snacks and juices, watered neglected outdoor marigolds and tomatoes, and I’m now horizontal. Jenny, your fainting couch reading image sustains me every time I look at it. Legitimacy for mental exertion.
    My progeny just requested that I pitch in to edit her doctoral dissertation. I LOVE editing. Writing my own prose and poetry is an agonizing slog uphill, tho I always like the result, when I abandon the last rewrite and set it free. But editing is a purely fun creative response as a powerful partner in composition. Her subject is the 1850-1920 development of French sculpted and painted images of black men as “other” to define white men as “paragon” of civilization. Yes, men; historic gender re-vision also necessary. Post French slave emancipation, a redefinition of Africans-among-us was necessary. Hot stuff. I’m learning a lot. Just finished a chapter and I’m raring to start the next.

    1. Yay for her dissertation! See if she can publish it in non-academia. (I’m probably not being realistic but it sounds utterly fascinating!)

  7. Boarding up windows, putting away lawn furniture and stocking up on supplies anticipating Hurricane Laura’s arrival. Looking a little better for the greater Houston area but still bad. Odds are at the very least we will be without electricity for a week or so – Ike andKatrina did that to us and Laura seems as bad if not worse. We will bring our old horses up to the barn. It is rated for 120 mile an hour wind and so far has stood up to past storms. All in all paying the price for living on the Gulf Coast. Just really glad we are inland. Storm surge is predicted to be really bad. Not going to be a fun few days coming up.

  8. Camping this week, so the current to-do list is basically cooking, doing dishes and going on line to pay the occasional bill. Also been practicing my mosaic crochet in anticipation of starting huge blanket project in mid-September. My yarn stash is minimal (a few skeins that I had bought for a scarf knitting project….after knitting 7 or 8 of them I got tired of the pattern) and for various good reasons all of the colors are quite dark so my pattern is not beautiful, but does give me an idea of what to expect when I start the real project with the “real” yarn.

    Very chilly here in northern Vermont today…off to start some soup from left overs from lunch.

  9. Actually remembered to make an appointment for the shingles vaccine, first shot today, and the seconds in early November. I figure I’m sitting around, insured, and might as well get it taken care of while I can sleep away any reactions. Shingles made my grandmother’s and great-aunt’s lives hell in their old age, so I feel I’ve been able to dodge that bullet.

    Actually got the oil paints *out* of the tubes and on to a palette, went outside and painted a bit. Major breakthrough in procrastination. I actually liked what I did, too. I take the pressure off when I first get going by assuming the first effort will be crap, and then I bring up the next canvas and do much better. Then I paint over the bad canvas and use it another time. It seems to work.

  10. Another Working Wednesday. The t’do list has grown and shrunk since last Wednesday, or groaned and shirked. Either way.

    I added books to the TBR list. One was The Absolutely Positively Worst Man in England Scotland And Wales which I finished, and about which, I have pureed feelings which I will not bare here as I have no wish to be beaten about the head and shoulders. Another is This Case is Gonna Kill Me by Melinda Snodgrass of Wild Cards fame (also a writer for Star Trek: TNG back in the day). It was recommended by Marion G. Harmon because, “…it reads like a John Grisham story in the world of Supernatural.”

    I also added six older books, some of which I’ve read. Works of Spider Robinson, specifically the series about Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon. Something awakened my need to read. I think it was reading Callahan’s Lady, which is about the wife of the saloon owner in the aforementioned series. Lady Sally runs a brothel in Brooklyn, across the river from the U.N. building. It is a House of Good Repute. Anyway, I realized that I had two (both) Lady Sally books, but none of the parent series in my library, and rectified the lack.

  11. I like the HWSHA but don’t comment there because – not a writer.

    I am working at not being crabby at work. Going so-so. Working at not eating massive amounts of sugar every evening. Massive fail.

    However – I am employed, I am enjoying the sugar, the crochet project going well, sun is shining, and I do not live where major storms are headed, so not really complaining.

  12. We took down all the upstairs blinds and installed the new ones. Then I recovered a lot because it was rather aerobic hauling all the new blinds up 2 flights of stairs and then the old ones back down. We still have to do all the window blinds downstairs but hey, one thing is off the list! (We actually have a dedicated Trello board for all the house/yard projects and moving the cards off is so satisfying)

  13. I’m currently procrastinating at the day job but I’ve done a bunch of little things around the house to make it tidier and not such a pit as it has been these last couple of weeks.

    Over the last few days of his days off, Paul took a few more chores off of the to-do list. we strung the chain link fence (not even 2 feet) and put the gate on to keep the dogs out of the side yard. All we have to do now is cut the top off the posts and put the caps on but that can wait until next days off.

    Yesterday we had the roof reshingled and it looks really nice. When we changed the hot water heater, we had one vent pipe that wasn’t needed anymore so they removed it and covered the hole. It’s strange but having that gone makes the roof look bigger.

  14. This past week I found out that the local longarm quilting shop is open to renters, so I popped in and spent an hour putting quilting into the black quilt – just a basic meander to hold all the pieces together. I then put on the binding. Just need to put on a label. I’ve been thinking of gifting it to a friend who’s exclaimed about it every time I put a photo up on Instagram. She’s been out of work due to Covid, and sometimes a bit down about everything. (I included the slightly blurry picture of Wendy, because cats on quilts just happen here.)

    I also prepped a couple of things to work on for the next week. I figure the cats don’t sit on me if I’m sewing, so that will be my go-to while I’m radioactive. Meanwhile DH has to sleep in his own room for the next week.

    And this week we had treatment part deux – shots on Monday and Tuesday, coming back on Tuesday to swallow the tracers for the initial scan, which was this morning. After it was read, and a treatment determined, I came back to the hospital to swallow the pill. Apparently I’ll be setting off radiation detectors for a while – and should have a document with me if I attempt to travel – but it’s nice to get this done!

    1. I don’t know where the first reply I posted went, but I wish you and your displaced DH a quick and easy time with the treatment.

      Wendy looks a bit disgruntled on that quilt. Is that a reaction to being barred from your lap or just an effort to keep everyone off of “her” quilt?

      1. No telling. I was waiting for her to get on so I could take a picture, and she was a little slow to do so. But, all’s well now.

  15. I’m tired after walking with a friend for several hours today. Yesterday was accounts all day, which was depressing, as usual. Monday I finished harvesting my potatoes and a friend helped me do a bit more clearing on the allotment.

    My edit’s come back from the author, so I need to wrap that up in the next few days, and then do my tax return and this year’s accounts to date, plus various other accounting things. But the forecast’s good for the weekend, so I’m hoping to get more clearing done on the allotment. Plus more brainstorming of its layout (I’m now hankering after a new shed for it).

  16. Day early, but Life’s fickle.
    Kit Rocha, first 3 Librarian books, $1.99 today Kindle.
    I recommend Coach Wooden and Me by Kareem Abdul Jabbar (hyphenated?), which my library has online. KAJ also has a kid lit Mycroft Holmes series, alternative learner Mycroft crafting a life from his puzzling internal pieces. Intended audience is reluctant readers.
    Coach is an uplifting read in these stressful times. Could be an appropriate source for Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ Chicago Stars series, which I love. Point: Moral pattern in life is an important framework for successful team play in sports. I was especially touched by Jabbar and other athletes’ continuing care of the aging coach, calls, visits, cards, thoughts. Lots of short vignettes with dialogue, memories. Coach Wooden and his wife carefully nurtured an international, familial, loving network, centered around a single gentle man in a rough field holding his turf and continuing to advise and support his stars as people.
    Jabbar played for the Milwaukee team, his first professional basketball contract, tho next day he received a much higher offer, before he signed, but after he had verbally agreed to the Milw offer. Coach had told him to always keep his word on a deal. Wow!
    I lived across the street from him in an old apt bldg filled with collegiate overpopulated rooms. Friends and I on our lake view porch always waved when he exited his luxury apartment for a morning lakefront run, and he always waved back. Thrill! Al Jabbar, the Great/Large in Arabic. So appropriate.
    My work today is heat and pollution avoidance. So far so good. Forcing fluids & eating nutritional snacks. And reading what you-all are doing :-). Always a pleasure.

    1. I remember when Kareem was Lew Alcindor and played for Power Memorial. I followed his career and also read a couple of books about the UCLA teams under Coach Wooden. He was a great coach and man.

  17. Procrastination is the game today. Started off great and disintegrated to “anything but the office.” Will put final paint coat on stairs at 3ish. Waiting for sun to come around the west side. So happy to see freshly painted stairs instead of the scabby treads.

  18. I took “vacation” this week to tackle some house projects. You can see the list on Instagram at

    We started on Sunday with power washing the house and deck. My hubby got the tall parts and the deck. I washed the lower half, garage and the part of the house where I could stand on the roof. Slight delay when we woke up the wasps in their nest in the octagon. Gratefully, The rain held off and we were able to stain the deck on Tuesday. Also have 19 windows washed (including sliding door). Bonus on Sunday, made tomato sauce from our garden tomatoes and baked rolls in the toaster oven! (Regular oven is broken.) Probably the only item on the list that will still get done this week is the basic cleaning of the house as 2 friends will be over on Saturday.

    It’s actually made me really happy to have gotten these projects done.

  19. Today was my last day in the office at work. At least during the day. I can go into work during the evenings. But mostly I’ll be at home. Working my butt off after a summer of slacking is hard. It came on me too fast and I’m worn out.

    The good thing is that it’s been cool here in Central Vermont so I’m not battling the heat as well as everything else.

    I have to haul all the sewing crap upstairs now and make space for a work desk. So many things I don’t want to do.

  20. Working my first day as a census enumerator. (Taking supper break now.) I got so tired my hands were shaking, I think because of standing around in the heat talking to people. Will I survive the last two hours? I must eat my supper and go find out.

  21. I’m learning to crochet! Yay youtube. I’m going to make one of those 70s style blankets with multicoloured peggy squares stitched together with black.
    6 peggy squares down. 194 or so to go.

    I’m no better a student in by 40s that I was in my 20s. I spent all day yesterday writing an essay that was due at 5.30pm, because I’d left it to the last minute. I am an idiot.

    1. I am working on my self talk and I want to encourage you to consider doing the same. 😊You’re not an idiot. You procrastinated, possibly out of fear, but you still got the work done! You succeeded at getting done what you need to do. There is a principle out there that says you will take all the time you have allotted to do something (paraphrased). You simply chose to be the most efficient you could be, by allotting only the needed amount of time to get the work done.

    2. I always did that, Allanah: I think the adrenaline helped. I remember getting familiar with the dawn chorus during all-night essay crises; and creeping down to put my essay on my tutor’s doorstep before grabbing a couple of hours’ sleep.

      In my case, it was (is) about perfectionism; if I run out of time I just have to do something, and there’s an excuse for it being less than perfect. It’s probably why I quite enjoyed exams: it was too late to do anything to improve my knowledge, so I just had to make the best of what I’d got.

  22. My comment has nothing to do with this post, but I can’t find anywhere else to ask a question, on any of your social media.

    I am re-listening to Maybe This Time, for the severalth time, and FINALLY realized that two of the bit characters appear in other books. Now I’m wondering if there’s a chart of which characters appear in multiple books. A Google search didn’t reveal one. For the interconnected books, a timeline would also be fun to see.


    1. Not that I know of.
      I tend to use Gabe’s detective agency and Nick’s law office if I need either, but that’s only for the books set in Columbus, which since I no longer live in Columbus, are kind of over until I do Nadine and Alice.

  23. I previously posted that I made fresh peach ice cream yesterday but maybe I am scrolling to fast, but that comment seems to have disappeared. Which is so unfair. I rarely have anything I want to post but this is the first time in MY LIFE I have made ice cream that did not form ice crystals. It was creamy, super-fatted and superb (objectively speaking). I credit using a sugar syrup and marsala and really good vanilla flavoring, and of course, perfectly ripe peaches. Drum roll here.

      1. Thanks for the encouragement. I have a cuisinart ice cream freezer which only makes about a quart at a time. The secret seems to be that everything is chilled before it goes into the canister plus a little alcohol and sugar syrup to slow down the freezing. My husband bought more peaches today since he has finished the first batch. I will let you know if the second batch turns out.

  24. We have three days of shearing starting on Monday. Nine hundred sheep need to be brought closer, drenched and placed into paddocks with the most appropriate shelter sheds for the amount of sheep in their age group. I can guarantee rain early next week, because shearing. Some of our usual workforce are unavailable -because 2020- so the shed will be populated by a very mismatched group of competent, knowledgeable, EXPERIENCED people (some of whom we’ve not had before) and some of the offspring and assorted partners. It’s a little nervous making. I know they’ll be fine, but my grandfather drummed it into us (and it’s hard to let go), shearers are God in the shed and everything has to be done to make their work easier.
    And we have to feed them all. A lot. Two shearers, one classer, one shed hand, two rouseabouts, Mum, Dad, Son, two boyfriends and me (the good mother would probably leave food for the visiting daughter who is down to one arm after shoulder surgery, but she won’t be in the shed so can’t be in the list).
    It will be great, all will go smoothly (or it won’t) and we will be fine!
    Sorry for the sheep spam on Instagram

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