Working Wednesday, December 16, 2020

I’m writing this on Tuesday because on Wednesday we’re supposed to get slammed with 16″ of snow. Upside: It’s not two feet, which we’ve gotten buried in before. So my work today and tomorrow (and for the pat four days) before the white stuff is making sure there’s firewood by my front door (in case the power goes out, which it always does, please don’t let the power go out) and plenty of food I don’t have to cook, which means cooking ahead. I have bottled water, blankets, dogs, and both people and pet food. As long as the power stays on, I’ll enjoy this–snow is beautiful–but if you don’t hear from me for awhile, it’ll be because I don’t have internet.

So what did you work on this week?

67 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, December 16, 2020

  1. Hi from Pennsylvania !!! My snow tradition is to make Chili & Cornbread.

    I spent time yesterday in a long line to get gas at Costco.

    I have many books to read to read they are calling for high winds which always brings down tree limbs (hopefully no power outage) .

    I actually miss snow, we only had a scant inch last winter.

  2. I’m a little jealous. You’ll get snow, while right now I’ve got 37F and rain. It’s going to be an ugly day. I do hope your power holds up!

    My biggest accomplishment was getting the Christmas cards out. That took most of my will power and all of Saturday. I also spent time this week decorating the tree. I really wasn’t feeling the holiday spirit, but it is a nice change to have the tree up and decorated. I suppose all I need now is to spend some time listening to holiday tunes!

    To reward myself for the card stuff, I spent Sunday with my feet up, watching shows I had on the DVR and working on the second mosaic crochet blanket – this time with a sunset palette rather than the ocean blue. So far so good!

    1. Wow, Nancy, this one is even more beautiful than the last! I am jealous of your taste and prowess.

  3. Plenty of stuff still to do at work and not enough time to do it: Minutes of one meeting to finish, one newsletter to write, a working paper to get ready for uploading, a long list of e-mails to write, a lot of small stuff to finish that doesn’t seem much but will occopy 80 % of my time..

    Accomplished: preparation for said meeting, deciding over cover and doing the 2nd round of manuscript proof reading of a report that hopefully can be finalized and uploaded by Friday. Collecting almost all the numbers for my budget of 2020. Lot’s of small stuff that doesn’t seem much but occopies 80 % of my time.

    Apart from work there’s simply still far too much to do: e.g. cleaning, clearing at least some of our cluttered surfaces, making room for the tree, getting the tree, coming up for the menu on Christmas Eve (when the family comes together). No gifts have been wrapped yet, sigh, and I’m not even sure if I’ve got all of the gifts yet. I feel like the treadmill has accelerated to 100 km/h and I feel just wrung out already.

    Plus thanks to a heel spur that doesn’t want to heal, I’m not mobile at all (and feeling sorry for myself)…

  4. I did start digging a little bit more into Catalan, but it’s more just the fun stuff like Netflix shows and podcasts. I have been in a bit of a funk lately and I think it’s time to cut down on news again. I was kind of looking forward to a real snowstorm (and I usually hate snow) just as a chance to press pause and reset a bit. But now it sounds like we’re getting mostly sleet. Bleah. At least we already have our salt for the steps.

    1. I have to keep reminding myself that news is sensationalistic not necessarily realistic. News outlets rating depends on reader and viewership, and that affects the amount of money they get for ad dollars. So it is to their advantage to write things that lure people into reading their news items. I am not saying “fake media” but if a news organization has a choice of reporting peaceful demonstrations of 1000s of people or a demonstration (more like white gang warfare) of 15 people involving rock tossing and tossing paint balloons, guess which one will get the most coverage, even if one is less typical of the popular atmosphere.

      So, yeah, I am having to cut back on news again too.

  5. I was ok with snow until I saw the word Blizzard flitting on the weather map on television. The map that has color coded counties and accumulations, mine is up to 18″ give or take. We’ve already had six power outages so far this year, to the point where the population complained enough that our town found $800,000. in the coffers to lease generators till the end of March. Just in case though ours is all set along with the snow blower.

    For things to do we still have to put up the tree and decorate it. I could also start wrapping, yesterday I was upstairs in the storeroom and only saw one tube of wrapping paper so I went to the dollar store and bought paper and bags plenty of bags. I also went to Michael’s and bought candy melts. I’m planning to make cookies and dip half in melted chocolate and/or vanilla.

    Books also loaded up from the library. Funny thing started Clan Lands while having toast and tea this morning and pushed the book away from me while eating. I’ve been using the e-reader so much I’d almost forgotten how it would annoy me to come across a crumb in a book.

  6. Work-work, like normal. I’m mostly prepared for the holidays. Wrapping to do yet. And one package to ship, which shall be late. And two presents that shall also be late, but I wasn’t paying for shipping that cost more than the present for it to maybe arrive by Christmas.

    Three more days, then vacation, and I can’t wait…

  7. Feeding dogs. Walking dogs. Watching dogs sleep. Trying to get some writing done. I’ve had enough snow to last a lifetime.

    1. I have a Sheltie and 12-18″ coming. In addition to feeding, walking (?) and watching her sleep, I’ll be digging a poopin’ loop.

  8. Got my meager number of gifts wrapped and made cookie dough. Two more kinds of cookies to go. Very busy at work so not thinking about next week until next week. Oh and board minutes to do – thank for reminding me Dodo

  9. To quote Nancy H, “You’ll get snow, while right now I’ve got 37F and rain. It’s going to be an ugly day. I do hope your power holds up!” The difference is, I am not jealous.

    I took the week off, until Friday. I work Friday and Saturday, then get my regular (Sun/Mon) weekend off. Then I’ll work through Christmas because the power plant must be manned 24/7, and it’s my turn.

    At home, I sprained my arm patting myself on the back for taking out the trash and recycling before it took me out. It was a near thing.

    Yesterday’s eye appointment and the dilated pupils made me aware that my overhead light is not getting dimmer – that’s the cataracts, and the doctor offered to cut out the right one. I said I’d prefer to wait for the end of the pandemic for surgery. As long as I can read…

  10. I’ve wiped myself out doing a rush job, and was set to have a rest after posting the proofs plus all my presents today – and then an old friend rang and proposed coming to stay/form a bubble from today(!) until Saturday. We made it tomorrow morning instead, but I’m going to have to get up early and sort the house out. Was trying to write all my cards this evening, but am brain-dead, so have decided it’s better to be late with them and do them properly – i.e., with notes in them – than try and rush it. It’ll be lovely to have a friend to stay – I wasn’t expecting to see anyone over Christmas/New Year.

    Also asked for more work, rather nervously, since I need to earn but don’t want to be depressed by work when what I’d love is a solstice break. Have agreed to proof-read a big book on the history of architecture, which should be interesting.

    1. At the very least, the history of architecture book shouldn’t be be bloody and gory and violent and all the other stuff you hate reading.

  11. Man, I’m sick of my job and work. That is all for that.

    I am mostly working on making squares for a patchwork style (a la “Harry Styles” but cuter–I don’t like his sweater much but I like the idea) and making a rather large stuffed dragon for the crush. Looks cute so far. I only have three more days of work left and then I can just work on whatever I want all day. Yaaaaaaaaaaay.

  12. One of my few days off before the last big holiday push and I’d been hoping to get a little writing done. Alas, woke up with a massive migraine because of the incoming storm, so I have accomplished very little. Ah well, there’s always January, right?

  13. I am working on cleaning an anti-depressant out of my body. Despite all the research I did before trying this one, my body’s propensity for side effects has once again triumphed over the pharmaceutical industry. The internal tremor that this pill caused did not get far enough to keep me from sleeping, but it did make it almost impossible to do anything while awake. I went down to the minimum dosage for a few days and today I didn’t take it at all. I am looking forward to feeling better because today even trying to type this is a challenge.

    I finally got a working relationship going with the resident who prescribed this drug (it was easier once he figured out why I wasn’t getting a picture) only to discover that he is rotating into neurology and I will start with a new guy next month. Resident #1 says that He knows #2 and that I will like him, but I get so tired of starting over. Sometimes I think they should pay me for helping to teach these guys the difference between theory and practice.

    We got just enough snow to be a clean white coating, but not enough to stick to the sidewalks and I am enjoying the view.

  14. I’m prepping for the foot or so of snow that’s on its way, not that there’s really much I can do, but I know where my gloves and snow shovel are, and I’ve got ginger crinkles dough in the freezer to pop in the oven as needed for warm spicy treats.

    Also working on accepting the fact that I’m not going to get any writing done before the new year (and haven’t done any for the last week or so).

  15. Cards done, tree decorated, fireplace mantle done, most decorations done and dusted, outdoor lights done, outside greenery done, clipped a few stems of roses with seed pods in amongst the cedar and the birch trunks (3) and a bits of other stuff and ribbon.
    And work-work today and tomorrow. Everything done but food purchases next week.

    One more week of work and onto writing and downsizing.

    Going to make jackets for the girls next week. Not quite done.

  16. We moved (!) and I spent a lot of time figuring out what to do with the leaves on our new lawn before the snow and sleet started today. I wanted to leave as much as possible as nutrients for the lawn and for the birds and butterflies and whoever else needs them, but apparently that’s best done if one mulches the leaves with a lawn mower? Which we don’t have. There were a LOT of them in a very thick layer, so I raked parts of the lawn and stopped when I started raking up deer poop. I have no idea what I’m doing, so I raked some, I left some, I piled some for compost, and I recycled some for mulch. I had a day to enjoy looking at my efforts before everything got covered with snow.

    1. Probably best not left on the lawn. Mowing them helps them break down faster, especially if it mixes in some grass. But you can either gather them in a wire-netting enclosure, to stop them blowing away, or in plastic rubbish bags if you make holes in them, and make sure they’re not the kind of plastic that rots easily – it can take a year or two before the leaves turn into leafmould. Which is also why it’s best not to add them to your main compost heap, since that should rot down much faster.

      1. PS. You can also just leave them on flowerbeds, especially semi-shaded, woodland style ones, as long as they’re not liable to get blown around – which might be annoying.

        1. Thanks so much, Jane! Once the snow melts, I’ll enclose the pile I left on a bare spot in the corner in bags or wire netting. I did leave the ones that had made their way into the beds along the house, since they were tucked under the shrubs. Good to know that was OK. 🙂

  17. I put up some Christmas lights outside, and brought down the ornaments from the attic (a ladder is involved), but we’ll decorate this weekend. I tidied up for the snow storm that’s coming tonight. I combed and combed my long-hair cat so he wouldn’t keep leaving gifts on the carpet, I did a little shopping but not much. I remembered to pull up the windshield wiper blades from the car windows, so it’s easier to clean off the snow and ice, and I went to several libraries where they gave me free books.

  18. I mailed out my last gift today while waiting for the plumber to arrive.

    My shower decided to give up the ghost. I couldn’t turn it off and the water kept running. Fortunately a neighbor came to my rescue and showed me where the water main was so it could be shut off. The good news is that I have use of the water for everything except the bath/shower. The bad news is that shower faucet needs to be replaced and they will have to cut a hole in the wall to get to the back of it. They are returning in the morning so I won’t have to go out in the (upcoming) storm until it’s mostly done, except to shovel the driveway. Thank goodness I still have some vacation hours to use!

  19. I am working on a TV show today and it has an absolutely wonderful script. I want to write a fan letter to the screenwriters.
    You guys don’t count as the public and this is not something postable on social media’s. it takes place in the amazing stories office in 1972 and has Isaac Asimov and Ursula Le Guin. So cool.
    These days when we are not actually on the we remain in our dressing rooms. And it’s nice that I have one because I get to eat lunch here.
    Today I brought a Robert Heinlein to read. It seemed appropriate I’m rereading door in the summer which is one of my favorite Heinleins that I haven’t read in a while.
    I’m filming at CBS studios Radford which used to be the old republic studios and after that it was the Mary Tyler Moore Studios period. I love going to the studios and seeing the names of the streets i.e. Gunsmoke Avenue and Mary Tyler Moore Avenue and seeing the original republic building.

    1. That sounds great! And yesterday I happened to pick up my favorite book of short stories by Ursula LeGuin, which has the wonderful short story about the King of the planet Winter, who abdicates her throne and goes into exile to study. She’s an amazing writer. I would very much love to see how Ms. LeGuin’s portrayed in fiction.

      1. Ursula LeGuin used to sit ahead of me at Portland Baroque Orchestra concerts. I never had the nerve to approach her, especially since she was there as a private person as opposed to a public appearance. But it made me feel as though I was the kind of person to socialize with famous creative people.

    2. Has this show aired? Can you tell us its name? Will you let us know when you can?

      Is the whole show based around Amazing, or is that just a single episode?

      Inquiring minds want to know!

      1. The Series is called Mythic Quest. It airs on apple TV. I am in the final episode of season 2 and it is a flashback episode. The set designers are a wonder. I love being in the 1972 office of Amazing Stories.

  20. I did some cleaning. I’ll probably bake some cookies next week. I’ve done just about all I’m going to do for Christmas. I finished reorganizing/cleaning out a couple of kitchen cupboards and started straightening out all of my tee-shirts.

    Mostly, I’ve been preparing for SNOW: a little bit of cooking, brought up a couple more shovels, parked the car lower in the driveway (less snow to move to get it clear), dumped the kitchen scraps onto the compost pile, put out a seed cake for the birds.

    I think it’s going to be cold tomorrow which makes getting shoveled out not as satisfying as it could be. Still, there is coffee and “Boyfriend Material”.

  21. I took the Subaru out for a snowy-sleety-rainy trip to return books to the library. I wouldn’t have bothered normally given the weather, but they were overdue and someone was waiting for them.

    I made a bit of progress on cleaning up the house. I hav3 a teenage boy’s ability to ignore messes, except in the kitchen.

    And I worked at the paying job.

  22. I finished a baby quilt for a coworker over the weekend. I will deliver it on Monday.

    I failed to buy all but 1 Christmas gift so far, so they will all be late as we won’t be seeing anyone this year. Also, need to start on the annual letter, but folks should be used to getting those in the new year from us by now.

    Two more days of work-work before my 2 week break starts. Then I will do the remaining Christmas stuff, some baking, errands on Monday, lots of quilting, and a smidge of adulting in preparation for a job interview. Hope to be able to have lots of pretty quilts to share.

    Not much snow here. Just a dusting. Hope the rest of Argh nation retains power!

  23. We are in the indecision purgatory between snow and rain here in the mountains: freezing rain. Purgatory is the worst.

    The actual job is in the payoff stage, where the work the husband and I put in all fall swinging the family’s all-wholesale business towards retail positioned us to actually catch some of the holiday gifting — enough to cushion some of the spring’s financial losses. Pity I’m too exhausted to enjoy it. Three people, three days, 100+ packages out the door. Husband and I are at that point where we’re snapping each other’s heads off at a wrong breath. Oh, well, that’s marriage for you. The last day of shipping is Monday, and we’ll probably be too tired by then to murder each other.

    In better payoff news: my 9yo has been remarkably patient through all of this (parental grumpiness, virtual school, no grandparent visits, no after-school activities, wonky work and meal schedules, This Whole Pandemic Thing). With what is gonna be a low-key Christmas with a lot of missing faces coming up, I decided to do a Twelve Days of Giftmas style thing — went on a post-Thanksgiving online shopping spree, knitted about a half-dozen wee stockings and filled each with a couple pieces of candy and a trinket gift of the “they’ll love it for the hour before it breaks or something better comes along” variety. This has worked out REALLY WELL. She spent most of the morning playing with today’s gift, a balloon helicopter, and at least an hour of the evening staring at the tree plotting which stocking she wanted tomorrow. Everyone gets a break. (Except the cat, who was Not Keen on balloon helicopters, but he can deal.)

    And I’m about halfway through knitting the rug I promised my mother last spring, before everything went wonky, and which she’s probably forgotten about. Had to do quite a bit of tweaking to the pattern but I’m cautiously pleased with how it’s coming out, and it should be done in time for Christmas. Small victories.

    1. I had an outpatient surgery yesterday and did no work. It felt remarkably safe Gary, in case you need to do one, but I only did it because it was a biopsy and despite being called elective the consequences of waiting could be bad (even if the biopsy is positive this particular cancer is almost perfectly treatable). I had to get a Covid test two days before, the hospital was really quiet because no family or friends are allowed so except for actual moments of treatment it was all social distanced and except for one moment where I had to remove my mask so the anesthesiologist could look at my throat i wore a mask the whole time.

      On to a couple more days of no work as I recover. I may organize our virtual New Year’s Eve party.

  24. I finished my logic puzzle — decided that the solvers could identify a bunch of orphaned kittens which were going to find forever homes Or Else. My brother’s kittens, on the other hand, decided that a stocking dangling from the mantel was a likely swing. It was held in place by the weight of my mother’s nativity stable, which came down with a crash, to the detriment of the Hummel pieces. At least the set was one I’d bought her in 1982, not anything pre-WWII she’d bought when we were in Germany during the Occupation.

    These kittens would LOVE balloon helicopters!

    1. Last week I cleaned out the curio cabinet (the glass was getting foggy) and I do it patiently. I even used a small dry paint brush to clean the pieces, then I accidently knocked a piece over and broke the branch on the tree. It’s a little boy up in an apple tree. Waited till after the cabinet was cleaned then set about making a repair. A little Elmer’s glue, held the branch in place for 15 minutes and set it back in the cabinet and forgot about till now. In my caring days of things I would have kicked myself for being so careless, not so much anymore.

    2. There is a reason kittens are adorable. It saves their lives. Mine once again decided to jump up and grab my husband’s leg while my husband was carrying a wine glass. The glass is history. The kitten decided to take a flying leap at the breakfast room table – where he is not allowed to go BTW – slid on a placemat across the table and cleaned most of the stuff off on his way across. Nothing broke. Some things spilled. I scolded him. My husband says saying “We don’t do that, Sweetheart” while cuddling him does not count as a severe reprimand. I think it does. It clearly hurt his feelings.

    1. What is focaccia flour? The place where I did my internship made focaccia every weekday to put out in the bar during Happy Hour, but I don’t recall a specific flour just for that. Is it a softer version of bread flour?

  25. Sweet and savory biscuits(cookies and crackers) and sauerkraut.

    Did you know you can use a stand mixer to do the sqeezing step for kraut? Since I made about 8 liters it was a huge help. Also means there are layers in the two jars I used. One is green, purple, green and the other is purple, orange. Orange layer is cabbage, carrot and red pepper. I think the fermenting is going to blur the colors but I am planning to scoop it out into smaller jars for Christmas presents so the stripes are doomed anyway.

    I got a stand mixer for Christmas! and given early so that I could use it for Christmas baking. That’s for Australian family most of which I don’t really know well enough to buy things for, so everyone is getting edibles. And some of them don’t like cookies, so also some fancy crackers and sauerkraut. I want to mail cookies to my family in the US but I suspect most things would be stale by the time they arrive. Maybe I’ll send spring cookies.

    1. Spring cookies would be more of a treat because fewer people will be baking then. They also might arrive faster because of the smaller volume of mail.

    2. Look around for recipes that ship well. The famous ANZAC biscuits were a product of WWI shortages and the need to ship them to the front lines.

      1. Mail delay was why I was thinking spring instead of Christmas My mother sent me photos in October that aren’t here yet. Not complaining, mail in the Netherlands is flat out not being delivered at all.

        The ANZAC biscuits are a good idea, thanks for reminding. They are also fun and easy to make. And uncommon in my US circles.

  26. It’s been a really exhausting stretch of stressful problems over the past couple of months. I’m hesitant to give it the good complain I want to because I know this year, there are others dealing with worse and more permanent tragedies. All my problems are fixable and this week I finally feel like everything is on the path towards improvement:

    1.) Massive drain pipe break in my condo that I stupidly bought in June of 2008 right before the housing crash made it lose more than $60,000 in value 3 months later…and the depressed housing market in that neighborhood meaning I haven’t been able to afford to sell it ever since despite getting married and moving on in my life otherwise. I’ve always been able to just barely break even/keep the costs low enough to be manageable by renting it out…but my luck has run out and now there’s a massive issue with the drainage pipe, rendering the unit inhabitable. I’ve finally gotten my insurance to agree that my liability insurance covers me up to the 15,000 deductible for the damage the pipe problem has caused to the common lobby area. They still refuse to cover any of the damage I will have to do to my unit to drill into the foundation of my condo to be able to find and fix the pipe, and the association’s insurance is also saying that they will not cover it because even though the pipe is buried in the cement of the shared building, it only services my unit, and so it’s my responsibility as an owner to get to it and repair it. I’ve been able to negotiate with my contractor to strip down the rip, repair and replace to the bare minimum of what will need to be done, so that now it’s looking like an 8,000 – 10,000 job instead of the originally quoted 13,000 – 15,000 (depending, of course on what they actually find once they start opening everything up…so pray for me). And he started that work yesterday, so at least it’s on the path to a resolution. And I still have some hope that I can take this to the state insurance commissioner/HOA to try to get some sort of help for something – how can it possibly make sense to tell a unit owner to just drill into a shared building foundation without any support from the HOA? My tenants are safely out of the unit and actively trying to find a new home and want to try to move as soon as possible, so I’m hopeful I won’t actually have to continue to pay to keep them at the motel through the end of January which is when their lease expires. If we can get the pipe repaired in the next week, I can hopefully winterize the place starting in January while the restoration is happening so that I don’t have to pay as much to heat it while no one is living there. And the housing market has improved enough and I’ve paid down enough mortgage that maybe I’ll be able to finally afford to sell the place in Feb/March with the new updates that will have been done making it look all shiny and fresh and renewed. So I’m really hoping that I’ll be able to sell it for enough to pay off the mortgage and ideally recoup the costs of the repairs…if I can just get myself anywhere close to even, I’ll just be so grateful to be rid of it and consider it a win.

    2.) My roof leak – we were able to work out a deal with our roofer neighbor to cut a few thousand off the price of a new roof and a payment plan for incremental payments. The work won’t be done until late May, but he was able to have his guys tarp it before the huge snow storm today, so we’re safe and protected and there won’t be additional damage done over the winter and the plan is in place to make that ok too.

    3.) We figured out someone was trying to take over our business banking account before they were able to get complete access to it, and there have been no fraudulent charges or missing money. So all of the money in my business is safe, although unable for me to access until I can physically go to the branch so they can verify it’s me in person. Which has been hard to arrange with snow, pandemic, and having small kid learning from home making it hard to get out to a branch, but I finally have an appointment this weekend to be able to open a new account to be able to get access to the money I need.

    4.) We lost a big project for next year, but not that client…and we have enough other signed contracts in place for 2021 as the year winds down that I know we’re going to make it another year, and the lawmakers are finally looking to figure out some additional covid relief too, so now there’s hope that we can also apply for some of the small business forgivable loans to cover the gap in the project reductions from COVID and get us through until we can get back out there and sell in more jobs. Traditionally my business has strong sales years during economic downturns because we provide a lot of value, so if we can just get over this hump and be able to reach out to new potential customers, we should be able to build back.

    Also, I got the Christmas cards out on Tuesday and finished the last of my gift shopping (I think) last night, decorated cookies with the kids over the weekend, and having been working/helping the kids with their remote learning this week and I even got to have a holiday zoom call with my college friends last night. So stuff getting accomplished. Nothing but good times ahead.

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