Working Wednesday, December 2, 2020

So here it is, December. Normally, I’d be dealing with Christmas, working on the buying and wrapping and baking; this year I’m just looking forward to 2021, which won’t be nearly as much fun to type. That’s about best thing I can say about 2020: It was fun to type. I cleaned half my bathroom–there’s a lot of stuff in my bathroom, most of which does not belong there–and did a surface clean in my bedroom. That is, I cleaned the surfaces: the bay window, both (big) bed end tables and the bureau. If there is a surface, I will dump something on it, so that took some time. Big plans for the rest of this week? The other half of the bathroom and the bedroom floor, which is really just more surface, only lower.

What did you do this week?

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35 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, December 2, 2020

  1. I am a big fan of cleaning surfaces. I read somewhere that is the best thing to focus on if you want to make a room look more presentable quickly/give yourself a psychological lift. And right now I need that.
    I started on the holiday cards. I shortened my list this year and I still think I might have bought too few. Funny how that is.
    I tried to help my younger son with his homework yesterday. Poor guy. He is more capable of getting something out of online learning than the older one (insert quick grumble, grumble here), but he really does better with the outside structure of school and the teacher. And when Mom and Dad try to provide the structure it does not go well. . . I am fine with this year being a year where they learn very little and we just focus on staying healthy and happy.
    I had a box of leftover cake mix (kids’ birthday) and found a recipe to turn cake mix into blondies. My version has dark chocolate and luxardo cherries and is very, very rich and very good.

  2. It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving was just last week! I provided the turkey and desserts for our small family celebration. We’ve just about finished with the turkey leftovers, and the desserts have been portioned into smaller serving sizes and frozen for future desires.

    I never was one for fighting the crowds on Black Friday. So, I started on my Christmas letter – a first for me, since I regularly just write a short note in each card, but this has been a pretty momentous year for me personally, and I’d rather not try to convey that 45 times.

    A friend gave me some iris bulbs that she had been thinning from her yard. I put them down around the mailbox (where the daffodils are *already* starting to poke leaves up), and then put a small layer of dirt around them. I remember that irises don’t like mulch, or to have their feet wet, as my mother would say. Hopefully, they’ll do okay there, and the daffodils will come up around them.

    Leaves. Lots of leaves to rake. The city should be by sometime this week to suck them off the curb. Most of the ones in the front yard come from the neighbors trees, so raking them is not too much of a hardship. However, our load comes from the pear trees in the back – dumped onto the deck. I’ve carted 5 trashcans full of leaves from the back to the curb – one was Sunday, and the other 4 yesterday after the big storm came through on Monday night.

    The biggest crafting thing was putting together the mythical wieners quilt top. There were a lot of little fiddly bits with this, so it took longer than I anticipated, but it is still very cute.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CILNUO_htFP/
    Now I need to figure out a back for it – and then quilt it. I doubt that will be done before Christmas. That’s okay though – there is no hurry for this one.

  3. I was sick-but-not-sick since last week. And finally ended up with a kidney infection, weekend plus two days off work so not much accomplished in way of crafts or food.

    We’re also in the last stages of work for the school year. So typing worksheets and assessments.

    I was back at work today and I came home, showered, had a cup of tea and just lollygagged in bed until supper. I’ve done the clean up and I’m back abed.

    Oddly enough, someone I’ve found a lot of help from is @thehelpinghealer on Instagram. She posted about “a how to tell if your gut health is out of whack” and it turned out to be a timely reminder of what I know, but backslide into not implementing.

    Definitely going to be looking at the 2020 self-care plan again. Will post when it’s revised.

  4. “If there is a surface, I will dump something on it….” It is amazing how well that describes me. Unfortunately, much of what I consider cleaning is just relocating stuff to more appropriate surfaces.

    I’ve a cutting board on my (glass) computer desk that serves as a trivet for hot foods so the glass doesn’t shatter from uneven heating. Because I eat at my computer desk. Which also has an assortment of utensils atop it.

    All my tuits are square. Cleaning will wait until I get a round tuit.

  5. Busy at work with second email blast about new website. More than 30 people signed up which is good but leaves me wondering why they didn’t sign up a month ago when we sent the first emails? Oh, wait, procrastination. Never mind.

    Did not comment on re-reading post, as would have just said “what they said”.

    Will not post on Thursday because stalled on the book I am reading, but promise to be inspired by what you’all are reading.

    Back to work – being thankful for employed and busy.

  6. In addition to my regular library job duties, I’m the unofficial editor for all library writings. Boss has decided we all need to write job manuals, just in case, and everyone has sent me their work to edit, by 12/11. I don’t mind the editing; today it occurred to me that he did say I was to write one, too. It will be brief. So I need to edit 4 documents from a variety of writers.
    Thankful that someone else cooked Thanksgiving and all I had was clean-up. I did clean a bit more than usual before the meal, because I was hosting.
    Today I washed bedding, of necessity. Younger cat was sick last night. Hoping it isn’t serious and needing a vet, but a fluke. Other than that, just trying to keep up with laundry and dishes, with the occasional glance of despair at the piles–like others, I will stack on any surface.

    1. Judy, do not make the list on your job description brief, in fact keep a copy and add to it periodically. It seems you are the go to person at your job. Remember boss – employee. Don’t sell yourself short if only for own self worth. Take it from one who knows.

  7. 12 hour+ days at work. I am good for nothing else.

    I finally snapped and went to the gas station on lunch. Back with an entire armful of candy and a giant redbull. Weight loss will be eradicated, but I can’t deal with more of this week.

    Cashier commented on all the junkfood, and then the fact that my RedBull was sugar free. -_-

  8. Was just thinking I must tidy the two tables in the living room, since my friend Pam’s coming over tomorrow for another Indian takeaway, and to watch ‘Local Hero’.

    I’m short of paid work this week, since my next batch of proofs is late. I’ve been tied to the house, waiting for that parcel plus another with seven clematis – which materialized tucked by the garden passage door when I had an extra good look round at dusk yesterday. Why the courier didn’t ring the bell, I don’t know. Anyway, I tucked them safely behind the house and planted them today. I’ve been lifting the tender stuff, even though there hasn’t been a hard frost yet, and generally editing the garden.

    Tomorrow I want to edit several recent shoots; and I must design this year’s card and get it made, plus do my Christmas shopping now the shops have reopened.

  9. It’s all about the Christmas Fair, cookies, wreaths, competing for oven space. This weekend is when my community chorus always has our holiday concert, so I’m missing singing and making music.

  10. I mailed the quilts from the Romancing the Runoff auction today, and I’m waiting for better lighting to take pix of something(s) for the Mystery Loves Georgia auction that starts on Sunday. Still figuring out what to donate — would anyone want chemo caps, since I have a bunch but haven’t been able to donate them to the cancer hospital recently, but maybe people have a loved one who needs a chemo cap and would bid on them? I have another lap quilt to donate, but since I’ve been knitting a lot, I was thinking about also donating a three-pack of chemo caps (winner’s choice from my collection).

  11. I am working an odd half week on and half week of schedule now, because of covid. Mostly I am trying to use the time better than I did last shut down, and it is going pretty well. I prepared for this one, mentally and physically by making lists and buying extra craft supplies when I had the chance.

    And since I am not doing shows this year, its full steam ahead on my Etsy shops, which is paying off.

    The kittens went to the vet yesterday to get fixed. They did well and there was no reason why they shouldn’t, but this was such a horrible year that I was certain that something would go wrong. So I stress cleaned and decorated until the vet called me to pick them up. Always more cleaning to do, but this is the most prepared I have been for the holiday ever. Now I just need more audiobooks. I canceled my subscription to Audible plus because they dropped all of the authors I liked in Audible Escape, so I figured that if I was going to be trying things at random, then I would do it for free from the library. So I am looking forward to good book Thursday tomorrow 🙂

    1. Lupe, I decided to use my Audible credits for Christmas presents, then end my subscription. Since I joined Hoopla (hoopladigital.com) I look at books and audiobooks online at Amazon/Audible, and the Hoopla app appears on that same page and tells me if the material I’m interested in is available for free. I’m a fan.

  12. My adventures this week have been only culinary. My plans for recipe testing on Christmas went awry because I forgot that I needed time to marinate the lamb and decided I didn’t want to eat late at night. But since I don’t celebrate Christmas and we can’t gather these days, I had no problem trying that dish on the 26th. You marinate the lamb with Garlic, thyme and rosemary and then glaze it with orange juice, honey, red wine vinegar, cinnamon and star anise. The sweet and sour with warm spices contrasted with the garlic and herbs for a really balanced and delicious taste.

    Tuesday was my sister’s birthday and the only guidance she gave me regarding her birthday cake was that it should be small. Since most of my recipes feed 12-16, this was a challenge. I suggested fudge pie, which she had tried before, but she said that that was more like brownies than birthday cake. So I tried a recipe for Chocolate Mousse Torte. You make a recipe of chocolate mousse and put half of it in a pie plate and bake it. When that is thoroughly cool, you mound the other half of the mousse on top and chill at least 4 hours.
    The only trouble was that this is a Maida Heatter recipe and she is very insistent about the baking pans you must use. I, however, don’t own any small glass pie plates and so had to use a considerably larger baking pan. She is also rather alarmist about what will happen if you don’t follow all her over exacting requirements for every step of preparation and transport.

    I have been baking and editing this woman’s recipes for decades without problems so I didn’t think there would be any difficulty when I did so this time. But I haven’t baked anything requiring stiffly whipped egg whites for a year or 2 and I let the overdone instructions rattle me. Perhaps I have lost my touch.

    Actually, the egg whites worked fine in the unbaked portion of the cake, so I think it was only using the larger pie plate that was the problem. Whatever the cause, this thing looked pretty flat once it finished cooling.
    Kitty came and picked it up and called me last night to tell me that the recipe was a keeper and that if it really was to serve 6-8 people, those people must all be college age athletes. Perhaps I should go back to not providing untested recipes, but I can’t afford the carbs that eating the test runs would provide. I no longer have a whole crew of overworked retail clerks to act as guinea pigs.

    1. You remind me of the Carter administration when my mother made a recipe for a friend, “Miss Lillian’s Chocolate Cake.” This was Lillian Gordy Carter, the President’s mother, and it was a VERY chocolate cake — powdered cocoa, chocolate chips — a whole package, I think — and a whole container of Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup — I don’t know what size! It baked up just fine, but was VERY rich — she brought half of it home, and I couldn’t get down more than a tiny piece. The rest of it languished in the freezer until finally I took it to work, where a bunch of engineers demolished it in one-inch cubes.

      1. Miss Lillian’s maiden name was Gordy? That feels almost eerie because my last name is Gordy and all my friends say I am the biggest chocoholic they ever met. However, since my dad only shortened his name in 1945 or 1946, I don’t think we are related.

  13. Lots of raking leaves and “wing-dings” the tree seeds that fly off the big tree when the wind blows off the grass. Used the leaf vacuum to suck up as much as possible off the driveway. A bit of weeding and covering all the garden furniture under the balcony.

    At the shop, new toilet installed. The plumber was almost 1 1/2 late. Grrr. Read a lot of news feeds. Tomorrow is clean house day. The sun is shining all this week. It is so beautiful. I may paint the front door too. Or on Saturday, suppose to good until Sunday.
    Finally heading home now to read a bit more. Yeah a new book.

  14. Today’s project was to replace my bathtub faucet taps. I’ve been putting it off because I also need to re-caulk the tub, and feeling obliged to Fix ALL The Things is basically why I never get around to anything. The first step is to crawl around under the house and shut off the water valve, then wield my tools in a reasonably handy fashion, than sit on the couch and eat cake to recover from what is sure to be a lot of swearing and maybe even a little crying. Then test the new taps to see if the drip is fixed.

    What I’ve actually done so far is eat some cake while spending about an hour looking up caulk online. Not a real promising start, but I remain optimistic.

  15. Sorting through All The Things to decide what’s going to Portugal with us and what’s being given to friends or charity, because our visas ARRIVED yesterday! No notice from the consulate or the expediter, just two Fedex envelopes on the front porch when I got up. We are thrilled, but slightly panicked. 🙂 Now to finish getting the house ready to go on the market.

    In knitting news, I’m about to attempt the Kitchener bind-off. Wish me luck.

    1. No idea what that is – I’m visualizing Lord Kitchener pointing his finger at you while you do something frightfully technical with a knitting needle. Good luck!

  16. I was going to have lasagna for Thanksgiving but when I went to put it in the oven, the bottom element was burning out. No fire but no lasagna. It’s in the freezer waiting for a new stove.

    That is supposed to be delivered tomorrow. The new hood was installed yesterday and I had to take all of the stuff out of the cabinet above the stove. Maybe that cleaning will jumpstart my kitchen reorganizing. I can hope

    I did some cleaning today (same surface problems as everybody) and wrote some holiday cards. I’ll wrap them up tomorrow and get them in the mail on Friday.

    One more outing (haircut) and one more meeting next week before I limit myself to grocery shopping and dog walking. I’m still enjoying the solitude.

  17. I made a quiche.
    It came out too soft but since that is the way the people I made it for like it I didn’t put it back in the oven. That was it unless we count reading or video gaming. Or eating. I noticed it was December, my toDo list exploded and my brain fell into overload. Too many things will do that to me, so not a survival characteristic.

    Today(Thurs in Sydney), after over sleeping, I wrote the list out. Not things toDo before December 25, just what I want for today. Estimated to take about 10 hours, assuming no snags(hah). Since I probably have about 4 hours to work with perhaps I should cull a bit?

  18. This is the week of all the balls in the air. In short, trying to get too much done in too short a time. Monday was spent dealing with the shop computer despite it being my day off (our Indie computer guy pulled off a miracle and cloned everything on our old rebuilt Dell computer onto an almost-as-old-but-still-functioning mini rebuilt Dell computer–hopefully this will at least get up through the next months), running to PT for an aggravation to my old knee injury, and then home for a visit from the appliance repair guy, then back out to pick up the fixed computer and bring it back to the shop. Tuesday was first of the month at work which is always a crazy day (writing the artist checks, redoing the front windows), followed by a massage appointment. Today was book promo, back to PT, stop off and pay the computer guy (who has suddenly gone to no inside interactions due to Covid), do the weekly grocery shopping, and try to get some writing done. (Which I managed, although not as much as I wanted.) Tomorrow is work, periodontist, then acupuncture. Friday is work and then yearly GYN appointment.

    Yes, this is all both as boring and as stressful as it sounds. Normally I write every night. This is not happening. Nor is any surface cleaning, although I have some hopes for both this weekend.

  19. Just the usual. Plus trying to make room for the Christmas tree and Christmas sewing. Why is it that I always wait until three weeks before the holiday before getting started? Every year I say I’ll start early, but I’m never in the mood until it’s too late to be on time.

    Once I put things away they never come out again until I’m under the gun.

    In other news, I wonder if I’ve stopped writing. I haven’t looked at my work in months. I feel guilty about the unfinished work, but not at all excited about finishing. I guess either I will or I won’t.

  20. I drove home from vacation last Saturday, which is 4 hours each way. Didn’t used to bother me; now it exhausts me. Spent Sunday unpacking, doing laundry, ordering groceries, cleaning the kitchen. Decided to relax on Monday. Here it is Wednesday, and I’m still relaxing. Hmmm. My son got all the Christmas decorations out, I think this is his subtle hint that I need to STOP relaxing. So I guess I’m decorating for Christmas this coming week?

  21. We never put our Christmas decorations (except for the 4 foot wreath I make for the front window) up before the week before Christmas. Except this year I invited my SIL for a pre-Christmas dinner so she could see her brother then see her kids for the holidays. So I have to get everything done a week early.

    And I was going to start Christmas cards today and discovered that last year I did not buy cards in the post-Christmas sales. So I went on line and order some from Pomegranate and a couple of puzzles since we finished all 7 we received last year.

  22. I got the Christmas tree decorated. I became less irritated at my families lack of enthusiasm when I remembered where we each ornament was from. I ‘m working the weekend and will probably be peckish on Monday. Maybe looking at the bubble lights will sooth me.

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