Working Wednesday, January 6, 2021

I’ve been throwing things out with abandon, or at least with verve. Making big plans for the house. Watching the Georgia nail-biter elections. Reading to escape politics. Figuring out how to answer questions with Bob. The usual. It’s okay, Steve Kornacki worked hard enough for both of us last night.

What did you do this week?

47 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, January 6, 2021

  1. I sorted out my fiction project ideas – just got one more folder of images to go through; oh – just remembered – plus images collected on my Mac. Chased my delayed proof-reading job, which is going to be another week late, so am now trying other Penguin editors for a stop-gap. Not that I haven’t plenty of my own work – plus my accounts to bring up to date – but I ought to be earning.

    Undecorated the house yesterday, and cut the branches off the tree and stuck them in the front garden in the hope of deterring cats from using it as a toilet (once I’d cleaned up their mess). The decorations are on two trays, and I plan to photograph them later.

    Discovered yesterday lunchtime (due to my news rationing) that England had gone into a third national lockdown, until March. Which isn’t at all unexpected, and doesn’t really alter what I’m doing – I usually only go for one walk a day, and shop for food and other essentials only once or twice a week. But it still made me gloomy: probably just knowing I’ve no choice, plus the length of it. I’m hoping my friend Pam will come back from London and eventually form a bubble with me again – which means we can go into each other’s house. And I’ll be able to go for a walk with other friends (one at a time).

      1. If it helps (and I’m assuming you haven’t caught this due to news-rationing) they are aiming to have completed the first vaccine jab of the most vulnerable people by mid-Feb, at which point they are talking about a ‘gradual’ ramp down from lockdown.

        It’s Boris & Co, so who knows. But at least we know that is what they are *aiming* for.

        The legislation that just passed does allow lockdown to remain until the end of March, but their hope, at least, is that it will not actually last that long.

        Of course, I’m in Wales, so who knows what will happen with us. I have never been so glad to not have a child of school-attending age, talk about difficult decisions.

        People are trying to re-start the Clap for Carers (re-branded as ‘Heroes’ to be inclusive) though, which I think is a good idea – if nothing else it means we can wave at the neighbours!!

        1. Yes: I’ve just read that they’re planning to get chemists to vaccinate people as well, which would help. It’s this government’s ability to deliver on their promises I’m doubtful about.

          I’m already crumbling with the rationing, what with the rapid changes here, and the craziness in the US. But thanks, Frances!

          1. You’re welcome. I too had declared I needed to news-ration, and then the attack on the Capitol Building happened (admittedly, I found out about that because I was sneaking a news update, but I’d been good until then).

            DH says I need to stop going on a news-break. Every time I do that something major happens immediately afterwards. I’m impressed he thinks I have that much power… 😛

  2. I worked a little bit on my fanfic and more importantly, I gave myself a deadline of when I want it to be done by. I’m really enjoying playing around in this world and doing lots of research on Barcelona and Catalonia in general, since all our vacation planning is on hold for at least a little bit longer 😉

  3. I’d been in a creative funk over the holidays, and New Years, told DH that I needed time to sew. I had only minimal obligations, none of which required that I leave the house, and spent the rest of the weekend puttering. I started the quilting on one quilt top that I had completed last May. I just have the final bit of that to do, followed by binding and it is done. I also finished stabilizing a second quilt – also completed last spring – so it can be next on the To Finish list. On a third quilt I realized during basting that the borders weren’t correct, so I un-sewed two of them to be able to make a correction. I hope to get to that this week. (You’ll see the backing for this as Teddy’s bed in one of the pictures.)

    I also picked up my mosaic crochet again. In trying to figure out where I was on the pattern, I realized that I had made a mistake about 20 rows back which was causing everything to be weird. Most of New Year’s Day was spent ripping that back enough to fix it, and re -crochet. I’m happier now, but that was a bit of drudgery!

    Because I prefer piecing to actually quilting, I saved the fun stuff for later in each day. I went back to my paper pieced orange quilt and started putting it together. For each block, there were three sections to match up. Once the blocks were made, it was time to audition how they would look together. I’m really happy with my color and fabric choices with this one. (The original pattern called for an array of dark batiks like purple where I have the white.)

    I’ve got borders to put on it, and that means figuring out what colors to put in the corners. So, a little more fun to go!

    Since I’m working from home, it was an easy task to take down the Christmas tree during my breaks on Monday. We got the outdoor decor inside yesterday and we should be able to put everything up in the attic in the next couple of days. I loved having the tree up, but it’s also lovely to have the living room back to normal.

  4. Since we’re back in lockdown (UK) and it’s so dark and gloomy, we’re keeping our xmas lights up all January. So that’s some work saved. Aside from that it’s just back to the new normal, working/schooling from home after the holidays. Chef tells me yesterday’s dinner will be reheated for lunch if I choose to attend the works canteen in a few minutes.

  5. Finished revisions on my second cozy and sent them back to my editor at Berkley. Wrote a 1,200+ word article for a specialty magazine on Witches and got asked to write a second one. ($$, yay!). Planning to get back to work on cozy #3, which got stalled out by December chaos.

    Attempting to tackle sections of the house that have gotten out of control. The large spice cabinet got done on New Year’s day, and the dining room table is “mostly” cleared. Now I have the mudroom shelves, a couple of overstuffed kitchen cabinets, and oh, I have to start working on my TAXES.

    Mostly obsessing about Georgia and praying a lot.

  6. I had to go out to the smaller stores that don’t deliver. Social distancing and limited number of people allowed at a time made it a little harder than I’d have liked.

    As usual successes and fails on IG with Working Wednesday hashtag.

    I’m dipping into trying gluten free cooking to see if it’ll help my body balance out. I need to do allergy blood tests and sensitivity tests. But let’s see what our president says after our command council meets. We’ve been placed under our country’s level 3 restrictions, so curfew applies and many, many limits so can’t go out to the early labs.

    It’s summer vacay and we cannot go to the beach. I ache to be submerged in salt water. I’m playing this as I work on art and flashcards and resources. It might help someone else too.

    1. Gluten is a known inflammatory agent, so even if you aren’t celiac, going gluten free can do wonders for your aches and pains. On the downside, I adore bread fresh out of the oven. 🙁 I’ve also found that my GF cookies are much more crumbly than when I use regular flour.

      1. That’s because gluten, as a protein, provides structure in baked goods. I wonder if adding a little more fat and a gum might help.

    2. If you can locate books by Shauna James Ahern, I’ve found them very helpful re: going gluten free. I’m not as religious about it as I was when I first had bloodwork that showed I have both genes for gluten intolerance, but I avoid it most of the time. I’ve found some good recipes online, also, and have gotten braver about modifying things. It’s not that hard, once you get used to it, and have read enough labels to know wheat is in everything, for no good reason. Grrr. Why in tomato soup??? Anyway, good luck, and thanks for the YouTube link!

  7. I’m doing some returns, getting them mailed, setting up the big table for painting, and taking a WordPress class or three online to get my website in some kind of shape.
    Really enjoyed hearing your interview, Jenny.

  8. I am in the process of buying a new house in the UK but I am spending way too much time looking at châteaux in France that are more or less the same price… Ah if I could retire now… and could afford to actually maintain a château on my retirement income (that one won’t happen however long I keep working).

    1. 1 euro house in Italy, with the agreement to renovate, live in, and start a business. I seize up with want.

  9. Back to work after 10 days filled with eating sugar and re-reading books. Cautiously optimistic about returning to reasonable eating. Working extra hard to get boss to California with everything she needs for her new part-time home. Cautiously optimistic that my employment level will survive boss being gone for more than 3 months……..

  10. Working my way out from under new year email landslide (the price of taking a day off work).

    Sent card to my uncle in North Dakota whose wife died yesterday. 🙁

    Keeping in touch with my mom & sister. Dad is in the hospital in Florida for what is billed as gall-bladder removal, starting with a day of some interventions to deal with gallstone-related infection, fingers crossed nothing else is wrong. This is when I hate being on the other side of the continent.

  11. Back to work at the community college library (part time), which is even slower than usual, because classes haven’t started. Today is a wfh day, monitoring a site where nothing happens most days. Cancelling/rescheduling things, because I think I’m getting a cold. Accomplishing very little, it seems, but chipping away at next week’s freelance deadlines.

  12. Cleaned the kitchen. Deciding whether or not I have to mourn the end of our government (Commonwealth of PA’s governemnt fell yesterday with our senate’s actions, now Capitol has been taken over by Trumpers).

    Actually, I am slowly making progress on recycling an old memory foam mattress and some old towels into mats for my dog crates. Taking my time with that.

    I have a couple of Zoom meetings later today.

  13. I have started a new Christmas tree skirt which has quilt blocks of the Little Red Truck as its highlight – DS really enjoyed the Little Red Truck this Christmas, so I felt inspired. It is foundation piecing, which I do not do often, and it is making me swear rather a lot, but it does look good when it is done (I’ve made approx 1 & 3/4 of the 4 truck blocks required, so nearly halfway)

    Of course it took me 2-3 years to actually finish the last (first) Christmas tree skirt I made, so let’s hope I’m quicker with this one so he doesn’t outgrow it before it’s done…

    We took down the last of our decorations today. But what we will miss are the outdoor lights put up (and now down) by various of our neighbours – we all really enjoyed those, it was so cheery. This year we did our first-ever drive-around-the-neighbourhood to look at the outdoor lights on Christmas Eve, and it was absolutely lovely. So lovely that we did it again at the end of December (different route) before people began undecorating. I can definitely see that being a new tradition (I know it is popular in the States, but not so much here. Yet.) Lights are so pretty 🙂

  14. FGBVs to the people whose anxiety is going through the roof.

    It particularly painful when you compare the photos of police presence between BLM vs today, you can see why people like Colin Kaepernick and Bree Newsome were 500% correct and were treated with deliberate disdain and smears against them.

    The US coup attempt has now renewed my resolve to “Stand up for what you believe in, even if you stand alone.” – Sophie Scholl.

  15. I’ve been watching the Georgia polls from Tasmania – almost as nervewracking as the election! But things are looking promising.

    I’m also starting a new book – just at the playing around stage, but it’s fun so far and feels as if it could go in all sorts of interesting directions. A friend mentioned morning pages the other day (writing non-stop for ten minutes without judgement), and I started doing them again, after years of letting them slide. Turns out they’re a great way of finding answers, and playing with ideas.

    1. That’s because gluten, as a protein, provides structure in baked goods. I wonder if adding a little more fat and a gum might help.

  16. I am working on getting back to what works for me in taking care of my health. Last time I went to see my doctor she said to come back in 4 months, but I made an appointment for 2 months. It turned out to be a very good thing that I did, because my weight and cholesterol are up to the point that I need to go back on the last drug that I gave up after the weight loss. I had been trying to tell her that I wasn’t doing well, but I didn’t know how to tell her where I was having problems.

    The test results gave us a starting point for a much more detailed discussion of which strategies weren’t working and why. I feel much more hopeful about my ability to make some progress this month. Before, she just assumed I could go back to what had worked before, but now we are working on specific responses to my current difficulties.

    I also have to report back in a month, which I hope will scare me into a bit more accountability. If nothing else, I can feel slightly smug for a day or 2. Last time I saw her I asked her when I should come back. She told me 4 months, but I made the appointment for 2. If I had not seen those test results for another 2 months, I can just imagine how much more damage I would have done.

    The biggest change is that I feel like I am back to having a partner in getting healthy instead of just a cheerleader. And that makes me feel much more reluctant to disappoint her than the “you know what to do ” feedback. If there are two of us invested in this, I hope I will be less likely to just blow it off.

  17. Cleaned out my pantry (oldest item was from 2002 – cue red face), took down and sorted my Christmas decorations and got rid of everything broken / ugly / no longer used, and took all that plus recycling from Christmas boxes to the transfer station this morning. And the cleaning fairies came while I was gone; I now have an immaculate home! I LOVE this!

    Was thrilled by the Georgia senate vote results, then appalled by the mess at the US Capitol. When did we become a third-world country?

    1. When we elected a third-world-dictator wannabe.

      I’m watching Congress now, and a lot of the rats are scurrying back into their holes. This mess makes all their posturing look like what it is: an assault on democracy,

  18. I spent the week roaming around the firing ranges making sue the data on the map is correct. I think I caused some amusement for the guys who run the ranges. Many of them don’t really understand what I do and wonder about me.

      1. I am a GIS manager for an Army base. I make the maps the soldiers use while training and I manage the data that goes on the maps..
        The firing ranges close over the holidays for maintenance and I use the opportunity to go around and make sure the data used on the maps is correct.

  19. I had this really great plan for working today — after a late start, with morning puttering and then installing my new modem, by mid-afternoon, I’d tackle the last 80 pages of galleys and get them done today.

    Except, of course, to make sure the modem was working, I had to go online, and the Capitol had been breached, and, yeah, no work today.

    I’ve been slowly getting back into daily writing routine (except today), which doesn’t feel like work or productivity, but it’s a start. And my agent told me today that’s she’s sent (or is about to send) out my proposal for a new cozy mystery series, so she’s working!

  20. This is a crazy time to be living in the Washington DC area. My husband was trying to get a Fedex package containing a check delivered to a local bank downtown. This was a membership check from a large sponsor of the nonprofit he works for, to go into the account as part of the year-end reconciliation, and although FedEx picked it up, the bank is located inside the no-go zone around Black Lives Matter Plaza, as is the little office of his nonprofit. The Metro shut down, and presumably the bank activities, but no one was exactly sure of what to expect from the extremist yahoos, so it was a kerfluffle (I think that’s the scientific term, or not?).

    My state’s governor is a sane Republican. In the past, my reliably liberal county was led by a series of sane Republican officials, but it kind of makes you wonder how quickly the Anschluss of wacko beliefs and actions can take over a calm, ostensibly conservative social group.

    Meanwhile, my jaw was dropping to see a news clip showing Kim Jong Un tell the North Korean Communist Party assembly that the latest 5-year plan did not work.


    It’s like somebody floated down to earth and made things change in unexpected ways this week. Makes you won7der some7times if you ar7e who yo7 thin7k yo7 arrre….

    jVIInx of n7ne

  21. From Thanksgiving to New Year’s I reorganized the art room. It’s a much more functional space, and I’ve been having fun making cards (I have til Jan. 31 to say “happy new year,” right?).

    Also, my resolution to be early at least once a day has paid off (wait for it) sooner than expected.

  22. My job sucks and nobody would stop going on about work today WHEN A BLEEPING COUP IS GOING ON.

    In other news, I finished the two big sweater projects I was doing on vacation and now I am back to working on my super hard cable project. While getting drunk tonight, which is saying something.

  23. I watched American politics from a very large distance and scoffed stress chocolate. How all you Americans are coping, I really don’t know.

    I’m back at work after the holidays and it’s been a mixture of boring (big spreadsheets) and frustrating (big project deadline brought forward, oh and there’s no budget). But at least it’s a job.

    The holidays themselves were pretty darn good. Didn’t go anywhere but had lots of friends over, and got almost half the chaos of the garden tamed. Progress!

  24. Today was remarkably unproductive except for a puzzle which I did while watching the coup and then the congress trying to restore normality by completing the EC vote (which I think will continue tomorrow ).
    It was soothing watching tjat but then bad bits of news seeped in around the edges —4 deaths, a truck of Molotov cocktails. People at tbt White House being so unnerved tbey are actually talking about section 4 of the 25 amendment or resigning. I figure things must be really really bad if that crew is scared

    1. I get the impression that Trump’s not closely attached to reality at the moment, and that’s why people are jumping ship.
      The NYT said it was Pence who called in the National Guard. Trump wouldn’t.

  25. Skipping all the other comments, I’ll share that I started over the holidays a Block of the Month effort with the pattern Arcadia Avenue. I finished the block titled Blooming (block 5 in the pattern) in December and Fly Away (block 1 in the pattern) in January. You can see them at

    I’m not following the pattern exactly. It originally was done with 12 colors in a rainbow per block and using white, grey, and black for the light, med, and dark colors. I chose to do 1 color per block and went with browns for my neutrals. Also, I’m swapping where the light, med, and darks go depending on the color fabrics I have chosen. I also chose to try for a spiral effect on the Fly Away (blue) block.

    And, I’ve picked my hand piecing project back up to work on during meetings. It’s going nicely as I actually pay more attention to the meetings than if I weren’t doing it, as I tended to read email and do other things when the meeting was boring.

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