Working Wednesday, December 23, 2020

I’m still working on convincing Emily to be an indoor cat–two failed attempts to get her locked inside–and ignoring Christmas because I am just not in the mood. I think I’ll be a Druid this year. They celebrate the solstice, right? That’s over, so I’m good.

What did you work on this week? Sanity? That’s my big project for the rest of 2020, simple sanity.

60 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, December 23, 2020

  1. It’s cold outside, maybe try leaving one of those heated pads out, you probably won’t be able to pry her loose. I decorated a gingerbread house (that my sister made) this week most artistic thing I have managed to finish. I know nothing of icing so ending up using the icing sugar like glue

    1. There’s a space heater inside now and she catnaps beside it. It’s going to be warm here for a couple of days, but after that we’re back to cold again.

  2. I shall catch you with Festivus. Har! But it’s ok, we don’t have to wrestle.

    Work has been lotsa cooking. And some gardening. Trying to do huge amounts of school preparation. I will be above reproach in 2021. It’s the only way to uncover the work hostility directed at me.

    I went for therapy. That was work. First session since May. I did ok. We reviewed my 2020 vision board. Yeah, the travel section didn’t come true!

    Prior to this year, I hadn’t made a vision board in 6 years. So doing one for 2021 is going to be exciting.

    Lots of food stuffs. And obligatory doggo cute face.

      1. My version is a collage of inspirational pictures and things I want to do in the new year, it is supposed to remind you of things you want to work towards in the year

  3. Yes, sanity. That’s been my main focus for months now. But some bookshelves are waiting to be assembled as well.

  4. I put all my energy into baking. Behold, a sample of the lot!

    Not pictured is the chocolate chip cookie dough fudge I made first. It’s in the freezer right now, but is pretty yummy. I made the chocolate chip, meringue surprise, top secret chocolate and ginger cookies over the weekend. Yesterday I dug out a giant bag of white/semi-sweet chocolate chips out of the pantry (my mom had given it to me years ago). After taste testing to make sure they weren’t rancid, I made the mini-cheesecake bites, and two other chocolate chip things. Since only one of these is not chocolate, I’m thinking I may have been feeling deprived. All made with gluten free flour – so more reasonable for my diet, although loaded with sugar, so there’s that.

    I bagged up portions to give to the neighbors (and those have been delivered along with some fudge). I’ll take some more goodie bags to the small family Christmas eve dinner tomorrow. The rest will be all ours. 🙂

    I did finish the hat I started. It’s in a box, waiting to be gifted.

    All I need now is to wrap what I have, finish work for the day, take the cat to the vet for a regular checkup and figure out the ham. Nothing to it.

    I hope you all have a great holiday! (and I hope that Emily realizes what a good thing she has. I know she’ll be encouraged by the upcoming cold weather. It took Stanley a while to figure out that being inside was okay. He still doesn’t like being cooped in, but he eventually yields gracefully.)

  5. I’m working on Christmas cookies and as my son helpfully pointed ‘they’re just for Santa and us, mom. They don’t have to be pretty.’ Which is good because my batch of spritz cookies turned out to be an interesting failure (looks wise. They taste fine). I have taken notes for next time.

    For the first time in a long time, I actually *am* in the mood to make cookies. But I reminded myself their break is long and we don’t have a deadline.

    I finished my fanfic pinch hit well before the deadline, which makes me happy. I may go in and polish it a bit, but it’s pretty much ready to go.

  6. I’ve been resting, mostly, and have begun to perk up again (that rush job last week wiped me out). The next job isn’t likely to arrive before the new year, so I’m going to enjoy a good Solstice break (n.b., Jenny, the Solstice actually lasts for three weeks: day-length varies only slightly for ten days before and after the shortest day. I think it’s a great time for a break: to recover from last year and dream of next year).

    And when I got back from my final Christmas food shop this morning, I found the first of my dwarf iris was opening – six weeks early:

  7. I’ve been super busy at work (which, confusingly, is at home) and can’t wait till the end of today when the university closes down for the holiday. I did spend some time thinking about how strange Christmas will be in 2020, and reflecting on Christmases past. I concluded that every Christmas has a story to tell. I wrote a blog post about this, which you can find here: Best wishes everyone! Stay safe!

    1. I loved all those beautiful Christmas memories. Reminds me a lot of my childhood as a Navy brat 🙂

        1. I wish my mother had known your mother. 😉

          I was 18 years a Navy Brat, followed by 20 years in the Navy, half of which I raised Navy Brats of my own.

    2. That was a great blog post! Thanks for helping me remember all my not-so-perfects Christmases past so that I enjoy this one just a little bit more. Happy Holidays.

  8. Today I made mince pies with help/supervision from DS (he is, as yet, unconvinced about eating mince pies, which is slightly surprising. But I’m sure he’ll come around eventually. In the meantime, more for me and DH…)

    Photo on Instagram

    I also decorated the Christmas cake (no photo of that) – very simple, with white fondant icing, the Christmas train being driven by a nisse man that has been on every one of our Christmas cakes since I was a child/can remember plonked in the middle, some fondant stars, and some imprints of the Little Red Truck with a Christmas tree round the edge (for DS, who *loves* the truck)

    Christmas shopping and wrapping done, Christmas cards done. Christmas food is in the house (some of it even pre-prepped in the freezer). I’m feeling pretty good about Christmas :-), and I hope that all of you have your own best version of Christmas (even – especially – if that means doing your own thing).

  9. I am putting my COVID-19 quarantine to good use, at least somewhat. Yesterday I cleaned both bathrooms and mopped all the floors. I am trying to convince myself to keep up the good work by dusting and polishing the furniture. I thought I’d start with the upstairs rooms but it’s a bit chilly up there. I keep the house at 66F but it’s at least 5 degrees cooler up there than it is downstairs so I am going to rethink this.

  10. I got the galleys for the third book in the garlic farm mysteries on Monday, the night before the second book released, so that’s the only work work I’ll be doing for a while.

    Other than that, I finally (a pox on all of DeJoy’s houses) got some fly-fishing print fabric I ordered to make more masks for my fly-fishing brother who manages a sporting goods store. He’d probably hate to hear me say he’s a generous guy, but he is, and he gave away more than half of the first batch I made for him, to people who admired them, and now it’ll likely be six months to a year before he can stop wearing them, and he’s only got two left. I’ve got enough to make ten more, so even if he gives away half, he’ll have a reasonable number left!

  11. I opened the Lego (and fake Lego) Christmas bin and set everything out. I also discovered a couple of things that hadn’t yet been built. I guess I got them after Christmas and chucked the bag into the bin for the next year. I really need to get my dining room table out of storage so I can set up a good display. It’s a magic table…in its smallest incarnation it’s about 2.5×3.5, but once you expand the wings, pull the ends apart, and add leaves (including the ones my father and I made for Thanksgiving one year), it will seat approximately a gazillion people. It will certainly hold my many Lego buildings.

    At some point I need to decorate my Christmas cake. Maybe tonight.

    Unlike Thanksgiving, which I have specific expectations of, I don’t really care what I eat on Christmas. Some of the Thanksgiving leftovers are in the freezer and I have some vegetables to cook, but it will be pretty haphazard.

    We get to “leave” 2 hours early today and have tomorrow off. I’m looking forward to my 4-day vacation.

  12. I am working at the day job today and then, depending on how things look for work volume, off Dec 24-27 and back on Monday. Tomorrow we are going to head out to the wood shop to make a blanket chest/coffee table for the downstairs living room. Paul has all the pieces cut, it’s just a matter of assembling them. Then I have to figure out something to do with the coffee table that’s already there. The living room upstairs is too small for it once you factor in the Hoosier cabinet, my huge chair, and the dog bed.

    I’m trying to muster the energy to do more organizing and work in the storage room on New Year’s Eve but I might just watch the Bridgerton series on Netflix. I haven’t read the books but I think the show will be fun. I can be all organizing and efficient and busy in 2021. Or at least the first day of it.

    Also, on the days off there will be naps.

  13. I’ve been wrapping presents today – so many presents. Next year I’m only buying small cubes.

  14. I did a long list of all I accomplished in the last 24 hours then inadvertently deleted it. Basically I cleaned up 2 cups of olive oil and broken glass in my kitchen, rescued a kitten from the guest bedroom, the workshop, the pantry, the upstairs bedroom, the second floor balcony (he did not want to be rescued), and retrieved him from the great outdoors where he has never been before ( he REALLY did not want to be rescued) because someone left the outside door open while someone hauled stuff in and out, wrapped about 20 small packages and cleaned house some more.

    There is a reason cats have two litter a year. It is so one kitten can survive to adulthood.

    1. There is also a reason kittens-like babies-are so cute. It is to motivate you to keep rescuing them.

  15. I’m enjoying choosing the music for my Song of the Day emails. Tomorrow is going to be a new-ish arrangement of “In the Bleak Midwinter” by composer Ola Gjeilo, about 5 minutes long, I’ll add the link below if you need a short break for music.

    I did have the Solstice bonfire in Monday, people came, stood apart, drank some hot wine and enjoyed being outside. Too cloudy for start gazing, but great for everything else.

    I just surprised myself by writing about 20 cards, which I did not expect to do today, I thought I was done. But it’s a good year to get mail and a paper version of a hug from a friend.

    Here’s the choral music I mentioned above:

  16. I’ll be working on clearing out my room in order to be able to move this chest of drawers out and my own (currently in storage) dresser and a shelf unit and laser printer in. I have some winter clothes in the two suitcases (that will go into storage — yay!) that I can wear now, and I can put my warm-weather clothes into the suitcases for storage. I’ve been putting it all off; it will feel so good to accomplish all that and to simply have it done.

    That’s it. Therapy today: she is probably the best and most effective therapist I’ve ever had, and I’ve been in therapy since 1984. I may actually be able to stop needing therapy at some point! I’ve made a lot of progress. And I work at it.

  17. It’s a full work-week for me until midnight Saturday-into-Sunday. All my shopping and decorating is done, done, done. The only vaguely interesting thing…

    When I got home last night, I shaved off my beard. I haven’t seen chin skin in something like 20 years. I usually like my beard. Now it’s gone, but it will be back.

    I’ve grown jowls! I need my beard back to cover them up. One should only rarely give in to impulse, and then only after thought and consideration.

    1. Many years ago when my husband’s hair still had color but his beard was totally grey, he came home from a meeting and said “It’s really weird. All the engineers and techies there had beards. All the senior staff were clean shaven”. I looked at him and said “Don’t shave your beard just to be a non-conformist. The face under that beard is 20 years older than the last time you saw it.” The next morning the beard was gone. He did look much younger with all that grey hair gone. At least until his hair turned grey too. I figure it’s about time for him to decide to go back.

      1. One summer my brother decided to shave off his beard in the middle of the night and then climbed into bed and started kissing his sleeping wife. Since he had always had at least a mustache as long as she had known him, my then SIL awoke in a panic, thinking a stranger was in their bedroom. She told him that if he didn’t grow his mustache back, she would divorce him.
        They did eventually divorce, but it was over 30 years later.

    2. Many many years ago when I was engaged, I told my to-be husband that he had to shave off his beard before we got married, because I wasn’t going to marry someone whose face I’d never seen. (Also, he went for the long straggly look.) So he shaved it. I told him to grow it back. As soon as possible. (I swear, he looked like Charlie Brown without it.) Sigh. I divorced him a few years later, but it had nothing to do with facial hair.

      1. I dated a guy in London who wore a beard. I went back to the States for 19 months, during which nothing was said of his facial hair. Since I was flying standby, I told him not to meet me at the airport and ended up dragging a suitcase across 3 airports, 2 cities and up several sets of extremely long staircases to find someone who looked like a stranger. Zoom and Skype have made a lot of thing easier these days.

  18. It’s been Day Job as usual. Logged on to 53 emails in my work in-box, down to 21 at the moment, of which about half are actionable. My goal for the day is to get my part of all of those done so they are no longer in the in-box (and to beat back whatever other incursions land).

    I have two deadlines next week, both ‘in progress.’ The attorney in charge has advised me that she is going to prioritize taking her horse out for a couple of long rides while the weather is good. I love her. We will get those things done Monday/Tuesday. Everyone else is very silent so far today; I suspect I will be left alone to do my housekeeping.

    We have 24th-25th off, so a four-day weekend for me, and I plan to use it to finish (alpha draft) the novel-in-progress. Wishing a peaceful, healthy holiday to all.

      1. It was. Surprisingly so. People made a real effort to shop local. So it has been a tough month, trying to keep all the artists and customers safe while mostly doing business as usual, but it was worth it. Still planning on that breakdown, though 🙂

  19. I did my last bake and delivery of the season yesterday. I’m happy to report that there was no line at Dave’s store so I was able to deliver this batch in person, Now I am struggling to not eat my portion all at once. I dawdled so long before starting deliveries yesterday that I got to the first store after their new closing time. Luckily, I ran into Maria as she was walking home and was able to hand them to her then. And now she can share them with her husband instead of her employee.

  20. I got the last tiles laid and prepped for grouting in the sitting room of our little holiday house/retirement plan. These are tiles that the tilers refused to work with – bunch of wussies. Now I just have to do the bathroom, which is going to be the real challenge.

    I’m feeling really low on baking mojo this year, and I’ve decided to just accept it. There’ll be gingerbread and mini cupcakes for desert tomorrow, but if I don’t get anything more than that made, that’s okay. Really.

  21. I don’t know what happened to my baking skills but lately they have just gone kaput. The shortbread was so bland, it was my first attempt and the pastry for the pecan tansies was tough. Never had a problem with them before. I going to blame the flour, Brand X. Today we went shopping early and when we were leaving the store lines had formed at the entrance. I think it is a double whammy of the holiday and also a storm is coming in tomorrow night. So what I did for the cookies was to buy already baked sugar shaped stars and with the candy melts, melted those a little at a time and dipped them in the melted candy and then again in an assembly line of chopped nuts, or jimmies or colored sprinkles and sugars. I was so engrossed that I didn’t notice my husband had gone in for a nap. I’ve decorated as far as I’m going to, tomorrow I’ll get to wrapping, er, bagging. It happens every year and I always manage to finish. I think we should all give ourselves a big round of applause. And a bigger good bye to 2020.

  22. I made some citrus curd from some oranges, limes, and lemons I had sitting around for quite awhile. And then cleaned the kitchen. I’ll mess it up again tomorrow making seed cakes for the birds.

    Looking forward to a solitary Xmas.

  23. I have finished the crush’s Christmas present. Going to drop it off tomorrow as he wants to do gift exchange. So far everyone thinks it is absolutely adorable, so I presume he will too.

    I also ended up making one of my own and they look adorable posed together.

    I kind of feel bad splitting them up, but maybe someday….

    Wish me luck. I feel like I don’t know what to say to him these days…

  24. I invited my father in law for Christmas. My MIL died in February. I have been wrestling with what to do. Late afternoon I realized Christmas was Friday not Saturday. Crap.

  25. We do Christmas early, by inviting a crowd of friends over on the 23rd for dinner and lots of talking. And some stay the night for a champagne breakfast the next morning. (And I’m so grateful being in NZ where we can still do that this year.)

    It was great, but of course meant a flurry of cooking and cleaning and gardening and tidying first. I’m whacked.

    But not quite totally whacked. Tonight I bothered to make a Christmas tree for the first time in years and I’m enchanted at how pretty it looks.

    Have a great holiday, all of you, and here’s to a saner New Year!

  26. No Christmas decorating here – all the baubles are packed for the eventual move and I decided early in December that it was going to be too much work to take everything out and then pack it all up again. A friend sent an old-fashioned Advent calendar, and that’s been our decor this year.

    But we’ve ordered a fabulous dinner from a fabulous restaurant, and last weekend I picked up limited-edition homemade eggnog from a chef here in town, so last night I filled the egg nog chalic with the finest of eggs and nogs.

  27. I baked some pumpkin ginger bread muffins, spicy ginger crinkles, peppermint bark, and bourbon balls, which don’t actually require baking. I shared them with the neighbors and a coworker. Of course, I kept a few for us.

    I bought gifts and shipped them. Just have one more person to go. I’m waiting on the husband to finish the Christmas letter before we print it, buffet in envelopes, and address them. It really is more of our “annual” letter than a Christmas letter.

    I also took the week off. So I have had a little time for sewing. I managed to finish a quilt top by putting on the inner and outer borders. I’m also starting on a block of the month project with a group from my quilt guild. It is the Arcadia Avenue pattern. Pictures of that to come. However here’s the link to the baked goods and quilt.

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