Working Wednesday, October 20, 2020

Today I am working to lure a stray cat into my garage. Well, I think the cat hangs out there anyway. I saw it running out the other day, and my neighbor Kathleen tells me it’s been around for about two years, which shows you how clued in I am. So today I go out for a cat bed and food to see if I can establish a relationship. It’s not feral because it will come to be petted, so I’ve got that going for me. I miss having a cat. Of course I will have to impress upon Mona and Veronica that their new sister is off limits for chasing. For one thing, she’s missing a paw. I figure she and Mona can bond since Mona has no kneecaps. She looks like an Emily to me but we’ll see. She may reject me utterly. She wouldn’t be the first.

Also I will be getting a flu shot, picking up some groceries (bread! tomatoes! chocolate! Diet Coke!) and working on Anna. Also I read the opening to Bob’s new Shane book, and it’s terrific.

So what have you been doing this week?

79 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, October 20, 2020

  1. I kept on with my drawing of my mother’s dogs and did a dog’s muzzle tonight. Really pleased with it so far. I’ll go take a photo and post it on instagram.

  2. Tomorrow I’m training in a webinar called “How to Beat an Election-Related Power Grab.” (Choose Democracy is the website) I hope I won’t need it. I don’t *think* I’ll need it. But if ever there was a time to be better safe than sorry, it would be now.
    Other than that, nothing much. I’ve decided not to watch the news until after the election. And I’m going to have to bribe myself a lot. I decided ice cream for each week I go election free.

  3. I’ve been enjoying my short Green Ideas proof-reads – currently Jared Diamond on Easter Island – but have had to swap to a tricky collation, since the author’s finally supplied his corrections. It’s a bit of a mess, so won’t be quick.

    Researching plants and ideas for my gardens; and finally got round to taking a few record shots of my front & back gardens, both still going strong:

    1. Oh Jane! How lovely. I’m so impressed with what you’ve managed to accomplish since I’ve been visiting argh. An oasis in an urban landscape.

  4. I’ve been dog sitting as my daughter had to go to campus and house painters are doing their thing. To prevent too much TV watching I bought a jigsaw puzzle titled dogs with jobs. It’s so cute. I think about twenty dogs all dressed up as scientist, doctor, chef, whatever. My daughter arrived home and asked if she could do some. I said yes but now I’m worried that I’ll go back over this afternoon and it will be finished. They are addictive.

    1. I love Jigsaw puzzles too but had to stop doing them because of a paper allergy. But I just discovered the Jigsaw HD app (Apple version is better than Android—I have both) and have been doing at least one puzzle a day. I can vary the number of pieces up to 440. It is the closest thing to a real puzzle that I have found. There are tons of free, gorgeous puzzles. And the prices are reasonable for puzzle packs with multiple puzzles.

      1. I started a Halloween themed puzzle yesterday. I’ve gotten as far as separating the colors and finding most of the framework pieces. It’s called Halloween Town full of little trick or treaters, pumpkins, ghosts and so colorful.

        Voted earlier this week and for my little town there was a steady stream of early voters. When we got to town hall at eleven the town clerk was already cleaning out the ballot box to get ready for the next batch of people.

        Jenny, Emily wouldn’t happen to have kittens in your garage,would she?

        1. I think I’d have heard them. I think she was somebody’s cat once and she’s probably been spayed, but Kathleen and I will get her to a vet once we’ve got her trusting us.

          1. Stanley (the stray) adopted us. He started hanging out on the back deck, and my DH started feeding him. DH also built him a shelter from a large plastic bin. After about 7 months, he disappeared for a couple of days, and returned a little worse for wear. He had been TNRd. I got him trusting me and eventually lured him inside. (It was hard to schedule a vet appointment when I didn’t know if I could get my hands on him.) When I did get him in, probably 15 months after he showed up, it turns out he had a microchip which had never been registered. Needless to say, it’s registered now, and he comes inside every night. No more need for the stray shelter.

          2. I just put food, a scratching panel, a bed, and litter box by the back door that leads into the garage. I got her a water bottle thingy I’ll put out there, too. I’ll keep an eye on it to see if anything gets used and see if I can intercept her for a petting, then lure her into the passway from the kitchen to the garage.

          3. Jenny, my never-fail strategy for luring a stray cat is bacon. Wait till the cat is nearby, then cook the bacon and leave it outside – the smell is so enticing.

            Mind you, we don’t have bears in Tasmania, so we don’t have to worry so much about the wrong person turning up.

          4. Wonderful! But should you need kittens, I have five on the patio. I will happily send one or all to you! : )

      2. I’ve been using the Jigsaw Puzzle app for a while – although the relentless pop-ups trying to sell stuff have got seriously annoying. But most of the time I make puzzles from screenshots. Sometimes my own photos, but mostly stuff I’ve found on Instagram or the Guardian.

        1. I ended up paying $10 for the ad-free version of the Apple edition. Cost less than a quality real puzzle, plus no limit on the number of photos that I can turn into puzzles. I swear these puzzles are the only things keeping me sane during the lead up to the election.

      3. The one I’ve got on my iPad is just called Jigsaw Puzzle, but I love it. Better than Valium.

  5. This past week I had a lot of commitments. I was one of 4 from my handbell group to do a small piece (socially distanced from each other) with piano accompaniment, and we rehearsed Wednesday evening. The piece was the prelude to two services on Sunday, so I was out the door before the crack of dawn and was at the church til after noon.

    Thursday night, I was back at church. The choir is trying to set up a virtual piece for the Evensong service, so I sent to record my part. Apparently we sopranos knocked it out of the park. It was nice to know I could still hit the high notes after surgery around my larynx!

    Because of all the time (2 hours!) I was going to spend at church between services, I decided to pick up something small. My quilt guild is collecting flannel receiving blankets and small purple hats to go to the newborns. I went to the store for flannel – it was on sale so I bought too much – and I’ve got most of one blanket finished. I also picked up some purple yarn and tried my hand at a pattern I found on line. The hat is really teeny, but it stretches mightily, so I’m thinking a preemie might be wearing this little thing home from the hospital. I made one Saturday night, to make sure I knew what I was doing (oh my! double pointed needles!). Then I started the second so I’d have something to do in the down time.

    And of course, there is the blanket. Not as much done this week – but it still makes me happy. The link includes the current front – and back – of the mosaic crochet, as well as a picture of two teeny purple hats.

  6. I just cooked this about an hour ago. So filling and easy. It’s from Swasthi – Indian Healthy Recipes.

    Rest of my time has gone to work’s work. When we returned to teaching, the classes were split to allow for social distancing and the timetable was run twice – two Mondays, two Tuesdays etc. And it is really good. With only about 20 children a day I can work so much better and thoroughly. I can remediate the ones with difficulties. It’s so much better.

    1. Lol Jane! It takes two weeks of ten working days, to do a Monday to Friday.

      Our curriculum/syllabus has been trimmed by our National Department of Basic Education. That’s helpful.

      But the smaller class size is just wonderful!

  7. I’m taking a break from writing (major case of “can’t concentrate”) and getting stuff done. Yesterday I made 15 masks from holiday fabric I’d had for years and liked but never found a use for. You can see it here:

    I may continue to not write until after the election, so in the meantime I’m trying to finish old projects (or as in the case of the masks, projects from old stuff).

  8. This is a sad day at the ranch. My 25 year old mare passed in the night. She had what is called “heaves” which is similar to COPD in humans. She did ok during the year until around August when she really started downhill. We had meds that helped her breathe and she remained bright and sassy and always ready for food, but she was working so hard to breathe. We think her heart just quit. We buried her next to her mother in the pasture where she was born and spent her whole life. We are left with her brother who is 24 years old and is so lost. Hating 2020 so much.

    1. I’m so very sorry to hear of your loss. I can’t think of anything comforting to say other than I’m sure you showed her your love and caring and did the best for her in all ways. That’s all any of us can do for the creatures we love. How wonderful that you could make her final resting place next to her mother in her home place.

      1. Thank you. I actually helped her be born and now I’m at her end. Been a strange feeling all day thinking about her life. I’m glad she’s going to be right next to her mother, who I also had for 22 of her 23 years. I just worry about her brother who has never been alone.

        1. Can you foster a companion pony or horse to keep him company? When my younger sister got a pony as a child, my brother-in-law’s father (who sold us the pony) sent along a companion pony free of charge to keep Barney, the pony, company.

          1. There is some talk about a goat 😆. My husband thinks they are so cool and it is somewhat common to have one as a companion.

  9. I’m so very sorry about your mare. Sounds as if she had a long good life, but it’s always hard to say goodbye. Huge hugs!

  10. I spent a couple of hours researching all the races & propositions on our ballot, and locating the nearest official ballot drop-off box. Now am ready to fill in the real ballot.

    Also a little more actual writer business, a lot of day job, some yard work, and finishing chapter 5 of a WIP.

  11. My husband and I did the vote by mail process and I dropped off our ballots on Monday at an early voting location. I’ve been checking online and today the website showed our ballots received and counted. My most important work for this week is complete. Yeah us.

  12. I love an online site called, which similarly gives you a lot of choices and a lot of ways to vary things. It’s very international, too, and users can create and/or post pictures or images that become puzzles for self or others to solve. I’m kind of an addict.

    1. Darn it, that was supposed to be a reply to the jigsaw-related posts up the hill a ways. Wrong placement is the next best (worst) thing to autocorrection disasters…..

    2. I love that website too! Very relaxing. I like to do puzzles while listening to podcasts or old movies.

  13. We have added to our household one grey kitten. Lindy has peered dubiously at him a couple of times and watched him at play with an expression I can only interpret as “Is he insane or is he on drugs? He could be rabid. Don’t let him near me. Okay?” But no hissing or aggression so we are hoping they will become fast friends. The kitten is really curious but looks at Lindy with a “Wow. Who knew cats came that large” look. We are hoping to get another kitten from the same litter but the Humane Society doesn’t give guarantees when they are still in foster care. He came (well his mom did) from one of the areas near the wildfires.

    I have posted a picture on Working Wednesday pix.

    1. Oh and I voted by mail and have already received the email telling me it was accepted. Oregon has a feature where you can receive an email notification when your ballet is sent to you and another when they have received it and verify your signature.

      1. Same here in PA. I got my verification email the day after I brought my ballot to our drop off point.

      2. Because people here mentioned being able to check their ballot status, I went and found out how to check mine. I did mine via absentee ballot because, while I’ve moved to Texas, I haven’t been able to get a new driver’s license, so I’m still registered in Washington. And… my ballot is in and accepted! Yay!

      1. Thank you. I had forgotten there was so much business in the world – and everything is so fascinating.

  14. I’m staring obsessively at my inbox. I got offered my first non-ghostwriting publishing contract (Yay!) with a small digital publishing company, and now I’m waiting to see if they’ll budge on a key contract point.

    Which, actually, poll for the writer people:
    Is it normal for a publisher to say that you can’t sell a sequel to a book to another publisher without their written permission? I’m on board with first right of refusal, but giving a publisher the right to both a) turn down a future book and b) prevent anyone else from publishing it too feels like a particularly bad deal for the writer. Or is that normal?

    Oh also: If you’re interested in learning how to have more productive conversations about politics, an organization founded by some of the former Mayor Pete staffers (if I remember correctly) is doing a free webinar training about learning how to talk about politics in a way that emphasizes shared values & potential common ground instead of yelling. It’s at 6 pm ET if anyone’s interested. Sign up here:

    1. There is no “normal” in publishing. Publishers will try to get away with anything they can; it’s a business, not an art.

      Harlequin always grabbed the right to characters, which is essentially the same as a sequel. When I left, my agent Meg Ruley made them give me the rights to my characters back; basically she said if they ever wanted a hope of publishing me again, better let go of that one.

      I’m not big on writing sequels, but it’ll be a cold day in hell when I give my publisher the right to take them to some other writer. Also, check the contract for the moral rights clause. If it says that the moral rights belong to the publisher, run away. These are not good people. There are a million other ways they can screw you–ask me about the first contract I signed (no, don’t really), so an agent is a good thing, but only if she’s a good agent.

      You think DC is a swamp, try publishing.

    2. If you don’t have an agent, you might want to have a lawyer who specializes in literary contracts look over the contract you’ve got. I did that once and was ever so glad I did.

      1. Make sure you get one who specializes in literary contracts. Lawyers who have never seen a publishing contract before tend too hyperventilate.

      2. Do you have an equivalent of the (British) Society of Authors in the US? That’s where I’d start looking for help as a new-to-publishing author.

    3. Yeah, I’d have problems with a rights grab like that. Right of first refusal is one thing, a veto is another. Not that you’d have an easy time selling a second in a series to a new publisher without the first, but it changes the leverage. If they know you can’t sell the second to anyone else, then they can lowball the terms.

      My Kensington contract only has what amounts to a right of first refusal. I’ve seen some small pubs sometimes using contracts that are cobbled together without a lawyer, and in that case, they may have MEANT a right of first refusal and didn’t understand the difference between their language and more appropriate language.

  15. Cat enticing ho!!! I have a cat who moved in through my dog door. My dog doesn’t care since the cat isn’t a person. Goldens are like that.

  16. I worked a little at my paid job, but also for my sister. Multiple emails entitled “wrestling with Eventbrite” ensued. I am about to move on to moaning about Constant Contact, so progress is obviously being made!

    1. Constant Contact is the WORST. (At least I think. It’s been a while since I used it. But I’m trying to be supportive)

  17. We adopted a set of kittens in July and it was perhaps the best thing I have ever done. I had cats most of my life and wasn’t sure I wanted to take on a pet. My partner has only ever had dogs and loves them to distraction, but we agreed that we don’t have a dog lifestyle at present. He was unsure about cats. Well, he loves them and spoils them more than I ever would. And they bring more joy than I would have thought possible to a very bleak year.

    My dad had a stray cat adopt him and that has been a blessing as well. We think her owner passed or went to a home and no one claimed her. My dad makes her little cat sized hamburgers when he fries one for himself. Lol.

    1. My husband had only had dogs for pets. We planned on having dogs but a stray kitten came to our house and that was that. Months ensued of me hearing ever day how much smarter Moshe was then other cats and with having his latest exploits recounted. Moshe learned to play dead, roll over, sit up and go to his chair. He also learned to ride in the car without freaking. Best cat ever. We are now on kitten #11 because he sai Lindy shouldn’t be an only cat. We never did get a dog.

  18. Dropped off my ballot on Monday and got my mammogram taken care of yesterday. Today I picked-up some winter cabbage so that I can try to make sauerkraut. That’ll have to wait for the weekend. Tomorrow I’ll hang out at the election bureau for awhile.

  19. Got a major project done at work, and I had rehearsal again tonight. I have been spending 90 minutes a day (except for Sunday when I took the day off) memorizing lines and after about 1 hour of rundown per every 2-3 pages, I’m starting to have most of them down. Huzzah. This show actually wants you to move around, so I am forced to memorize lines for the first time in a year 😛

  20. Currently sitting in my Sleep Health Center, watching TV and waiting to be wired up for my sleep study. I’ve used a CPAP for 16 years, but my original diagnostic study showing sleep apnea didn’t follow me from my old provider, and Medicare won’t pay for replacements unless they see proof of apnea. So I’ll spend tonight festooned with various EEG connections, O2 readers, etc while trying to sleep. Gah.

    On a positive note, my son made a great recipe in our Instant Pot – Cajun Chicken and Sausage. Yum! We’re tweaking the recipe (dark chicken rather than breast, add celery for crunch, maybe some smoked paprika?) then will try it again later this weekend.

    I still read the news, but I can’t watch it, I get too mad. Less than two weeks.

  21. Wednesday shopping as usual — spent quite a lot of money stocking up on requested kitten food with gravy or sauce, new litter tray, and two HUGE boxes of litter (well, this nice young man was stocking the litter shelves, and he ASKED me if he could help me. Of course I said he could put two boxes of litter directly from his utility cart into my shopping cart so I wouldn’t have to heave them around). But Wednesday has turned into Shopping Day because the shelves tend to be stocked with the groceries I need — Diet Coke!

    And I just checked my county’s Track Your Ballot program and they have received it and it will be counted. First time I ever voted any way but at the polls on the day, and it feels odd — I brag about my grandmother, the suffragette, and her mother and mother-in-law, also suffragettes; Grandmother was the third woman to register to vote in this county, and never missed an election.

  22. Dropped off my ballot on Monday. The line for curbside drop off at the early voting site I went to wrapped around the edge of the parking lot, down the driveway, and down the right turn lane of the street. It was moving steadily, there were just A LOT of people voting. Which is good, so I didn’t mind waiting. The website says it was returned to the office and now they will verify my signature. So I’ll be checking on that compulsively until it tells me the ballot was counted.

  23. I have done lots! I’ve had a problem with procrastination for years; at least a couple of decades. Serious procrastination: there are things I’ve never done because of it. But my new therapist suggests very useful things and I’ve done good the past week. I texted a friend I haven’t communicated with in a year (he’s as bad as I am) — it was good.

    I finally got my car in for service. And a new battery. It had to be towed to the service place. I also needed some important things, such as new struts and to have new power steering fluid, and it was expensive, but the car is 15 years old and runs like a champ. It was my mom’s and, since she lived in a town that was 7 miles long and 1 mile wide and didn’t need to go elsewhere much, at 15 years it has only 69,000 miles. It’s a Toyota; it should last until I can buy the car I want.

    And I started up with MyFitnessPal again to track my calories, since I hadn’t been getting enough for months. Now I am getting enough, except for one day when I got only about 860 and the program chided me for it and wouldn’t use that number to forecast my weight change. Also, I’ve been able to say no to sweets (not that I always do that) because even those “fun-sized” candy bars pack a lot of calories!

    So, I’ve done good.

    1. Well, SOMETHING’s eating the food. Trying to get a camera set up now so I can see what. I hope to hell it’s the cat.

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