61 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, February 10, 2021

  1. I finished a new manuscript – written in 6 weeks, fastest project ever – but, if I may say so myself, a pretty good story. It’s about a girl who wins in the lottery (I think it was inspired by a thread we had here a while ago) and how her life is changed by that.

    Spent quite some time reworking it until I was happy, then sent it off to an agent I hope to sign with. Wish me luck!

  2. I had no snow worth speaking of. I just whined. Except last night. I went shopping. Bought 20 Stouffers TV Dinners, some personal size pizzas (they only had pepperoni), a big bag of snack-size bags of chips, a couple heat and eat cheeseburgers, and a 12-pack of caf free diet coke. This is not the healthiest food, but it will last me until I buy real food. We can’t all make bok choy surprise all the time.

  3. I’m plugging away at a drabble a day. Some have come easier than others, but a 100 word goal is very doable every day.

    Not only is oldest son going to part-time in person school, he’s got in home therapy, 5 days a week, 3 hours a day (masked, of course). So I’m trying to keep at least the entrance level of the house from getting too scary. Which is a constant battle.

    Italian homework, always. This teacher is tough and I love it!

    I may make some fruitcake cookies this weekend. Yes, they’re very belated, but I used a Christmas gift certificate to buy fancy fruitcake mix from King Arthur.


    I also need to make oversized chocolate chip cookies for my husband’s birthday sometime soon. These are decadent huge cookies and I also used my KA gift card to buy the oversized chocolate chips.


  4. Did anyone else see the lawyer on a Zoom meeting with the cat filter on?

    I saw it yesterday on HuffPost and today on the NY Times website.

    I literally laughed until I cried.

    1. As a retired lawyer, I loved it! And was so so grateful for having left the profession before there was such a thing as Zoom meetings.

    2. My legal group on FaceBook had a message from the moderator begging people not to post it again — more than fifty different people had posted it already. So I took my post down, of course. What I loved was the way the kitten’s mouth moved when the lawyer spoke!

  5. I had another bad night last night: deeply frustrating. I’m sticking to four hours a day for my onscreen edit, so I don’t overdo it and have to stop. It’s interesting, which is excellent. But I feel I’m juggling quite a bit at the moment: Daily Feb, my seed & plant orders (i.e. planning this year’s garden & allotment), sorting out my energy supplier (means delving into the small print); and the handyman’s just rung – first time since Christmas/lockdown, which means I need to (a) varnish the new bath panel he made for me and (b) find out if I can get hold of a decent-quality (new) lean-to greenhouse in the next few months, so I can book him to knock a large hole in the front of the shed and attach the greenhouse over it.

    I’m fretting about spending money on it, as always, but I do want to go for it; and if I’m going to do it, I should do it this year so I can make the garden around it.

    Then there are three Zoom meetings this week: garden club, history & archaeology society, and photography group. Plus friends & relations to keep in touch with, and an hour’s walk a day if at all possible. Still, at least the house is dusted and vacuumed; just the kitchen and bathroom to do. As for eating better/more environmentally sustainably: can’t cope right now. Sticking to the familiar and comforting, though really getting larger than is good for me.

    1. Hang in there Jane! It does sound like a lot – maybe break it down into priorities/per day somehow? (I’m thinking of things like choose your top 3 priorities for the day, get those done, and gradually move down your priority list)

        1. I’ve started listening to sleep stories on Calm and Insight Timer (free app)
          Surprisingly, they help. I never thought a bedtime story could possibly help. Good luck

  6. Well, I won’t tell you what the temps are down here in north Florida, but if it makes anyone feel better, I’m pretty sure I saw a mosquito the other day.

    I actually managed a character collage and am getting excited about some scribblings I’ve been doing. I haven’t written anything during the pandemic, so it’s nice to have some fictional folks having conversations in my head and seeing what they’re getting up to. Honestly, discovering your character collages has been so much fun!

    On the crummy side, I managed to get strep somehow, so that’s delightful.

  7. I went to the dentist this morning, and on the way back, saw a stand of daffodils in bloom. Mine aren’t that far along, although the greenery is poking itself through the ground. I’m still waiting for my camellias to bloom. I’ve been watching the buds since October! But daffodils! spring is coming, even if it might not feel like it!

    For Daily February, I’ve missed a day of haiku (Sunday – you wouldn’t think I was terribly busy with other things!), but got back into it. And, I’ve been posting close up photos of things around the house that I find beautiful or interesting. (Kelly S asked me for my theme, and that’s the only thing I have at this moment.)

    I’ve also been furiously quilting on my home sewing machine. I’ve been working on the weiner dog quilt. It’s big, but I wanted to put special touches on the dogs, so I didn’t want to just “all over” quilt it. I’ve spent the last two weekends putting diagonal lines in the background. It’s been boring and tedious and just about killing my shoulders. But it’s done. And yesterday I spent a hour putting scales on the mermaid tails, which was fun. I think the dragon wings are next!

    1. Here’s the haiku.

      Feb 4
      Yellow bellied bird,
      feeding on my suet log,
      Are you a warbler?

      Feb 5
      Rain, rain and darkness
      can’t stop the natural urge
      to survey the land.

      Muddy yellow cat
      must be toweled off before
      he sits in my lap.

      Feb 6
      Laundry day washing,
      sheets and towels are fresh and warm,
      loving crisp softness.

      Feb 7 – missed

      Feb 8
      chorus of low moans
      and murmurs, sleeping cats keep
      noisy company

      Feb 9
      Internet is slow,
      work a bore, sun is shining,
      sure sign to go out.

      Feb 10
      First dental cleaning
      then come home for breakfast and
      warming cup of tea

  8. We had a lovely warmish (mid-50s) day on Saturday. I had planned to spend an hour cleaning a small portion of my shed. It was a disaster which I had just been pretending didn’t exist for years. Once I got started, though, I kept going until I had emptied the entire thing out. I had thought I would be doing a lot of sorting and planning, but as I took things out, I realized that ninety percent of it was junk or trash that I had put in there because I didn’t know what to do with it and it was easier to store it instead of making the decision to throw it away (I have some hoarding instincts, but I’m getting over them). I still need to take all of the scrap metal and some flower pots to be recycled and get the trash that wouldn’t fit in my regular trashcan to the dump. I was exhausted by the time it got dark, but it was the weariness that comes from hard work and it was worth it just for that (I don’t do a lot of physical hard work anymore).

    I still need to replace the roof, pressure wash and paint the siding, but the cleaner’s high has sustained me through much of this week.

  9. We’re in escrow. House went onto the market late Thursday afternoon, and by Friday we had 35 half-hour showings scheduled for Saturday/Sunday. 14 offers, all above list, and we accepted an offer yesterday, so we’re out of here in 35 days, ready or not. I’d prefer ready, so that’s what we’re aiming for. 🙂 Portugal, here we come.

    1. How exciting for you. The market is hot here too. Some are going for cash and as-is, no inspection. Son’s house sold full price and they bought house on half acre, which is rare. Gut and new kitchen, floors, and bathrooms. Exciting. Room for the girls house of many colours. Grampy planning a new foundation. Ha!

    2. Boggles my mind. (A friend has been selling her house since last summer. Last I heard, it was a couple of people down the chain that were holding everything up.)

    1. That is a gorgeous pattern and a gorgeous yarn choice. I hate raglan sleeves (wearing them, not making them) or I would be tempted to try it someday.

    2. Same here regarding work. I’m sooo looking forward to normal times and going to the office again and meeting colleagues in real life and actually gaving a dustinction between work and life…
      Regarding your knitting project: wow and wow!!
      Wonderful colour choice !!
      The red-orange wool is just fabulous. Looking forward to seeing the further stages of it 🙂

  10. We had a snow day yesterday–you know it’s bad when a college closes! But I turned it into a work from home day so I’d get paid. (My position has no bennies.) I rearranged some furniture in the living room, which I expect I’ll change back soon—it’s already not working—and changed some wall art.
    I had a piece “ready” for a creative nonfiction contest, but then realized it was just the discovery draft. My writing buddy (I’m so lucky to have her!) made some suggestions, so it’s back to work on that.
    I watched Connie Schultz’s interview with Benjamin Dreyer last night; Parnassus Books has it on their Facebook page if you’re interested in editing but missed it. Dreyer’s English is a great book to have handy!

  11. Took some time out of the admin stuff to change the fireplace mantle. A little redecorating. Eldest son and darling wife gave me some beautiful hand blown pieces in blues, a gorgeous tall narrow piece in pale green and another short ruffled piece in bronze/deep gold and a glass topper perfume holder, too beautiful to use for that. I put the two shorter pieces with a curved deep purple and blue glass tile from Sedona. On the other side, tall greenish piece with a tall, in paler blue piece and a fab ribbed deep blue twisted glass vase. The rule of three. The glass pieces frame the Alex Colville print. Looks very modern. Now back to working.

    1. It sounds lovely but I suspect that you do not have a cat in residence. Mine would have pushed your lovely glass pieces off the mantle yelling “fly”!

  12. It sounds kinda’ boring, but I’m feeling good about finally getting back into a solid habit of daily fiction writing.

    I also noticed yesterday that my ability to concentrate and get into the flow has vastly improved. I used to set my timer (signals it’s time to write and also keeps me from sitting too long) for 50 minutes, and then 2020 hit, and I struggled to focus for even 20 minutes without getting distracted. This month, I’ve been setting the alarm for 30 minutes and working until it beeped, a 50% improvement over 20 minutes, but the last couple of days I got annoyed when the alarm went off, because I was still in the flow, so I turned off the alarm and kept going. I’m not quite back up to a routine 50-minute session, but getting close.

  13. With half-a-dozen novels-in-progress to work on, I spent the weekend writing a new novella instead. 4200 words on Day 1. Diagnosing this Blatant Avoidance as novel fatigue, i.e., I want some instant gratification. I want a project I can finish quickly, that is nothing but the romance.

    Working on not nagging my designer. Have literally nothing in my queue after this month, can’t publish without covers. But she is swamped and stressed like me. Sigh.

    Aside from that, working on not actively screaming about my job. Supposedly my manager will be calling me up to talk one-on-one (all of us in the group, not just me, instead of our usual Group Zoom). I infer that I am not the only one losing my grip. Too much work.

  14. I’ve been working on not going crazy because my blood sugar is back to normal. Naturally, what I’d like to do is celebrate with massive amounts of chocolate, but that is sure to reverse the progress. What I did instead is indulge in some online shopping. I fell prey to the buy more and you get free shipping lure and added on several small items I hadn’t planned to buy. Although I bought them all from one place, they are all shipping separately, which means multiple trips to pick them up at Dave’s store. I got the first two yesterday and was just informed that another has been delivered. I don’t want to go outside, it is only 7 degrees F and the wind chill takes it down to zero. And as of 2 days ago, my earmuffs had not even been mailed. I’m glad I didn’t take the hood off my new jacket as I usually do.

    Jenny, I want to thank you for naming the cat after my almost-local niece. She will be happy to hear about her namesake.

    1. The trip out in the cold was worth it. As well as the book I was expecting, there was a box with all 3 pairs of earmuffs. My ears will be happy tomorrow and for many months to come thanks to lovely sheepskin.

  15. Day job, trimming dog toes. Getting the back pinned onto Mom’s quilt top and then tied/pinned at the edges and then trimmed. That was a job and a half but at least I could do the tying while listening to a book (and the boy dogs locked outside the sewing room crying for their mommy).

    I had to make the backing fabric bigger so I sewed a piece of another green on only to discover that I’d done the seams in opposite directions. Paul laughed at me as I stood there in the storage room looking at my mistake and contemplating if I could run away from home just to get away from the quilt. To be fair to him, I laughed at me too. It was just so ridiculous. I ripped out one seam and now the back is apple green/lime green/apple green so my bug is now a feature. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    I’m also working on getting the laundry room reorganized (ha! it was never organized in the first place) and functioning better. Unless we find a lot of money just relaxing on the ground, it’s never going to be a pretty room. The people who built the house were not paying attention to things and there are some water line and furnace venting issues that will prevent it from being “finished” in the sense of being able to look nice and have drywall covering the piping et cetera, but I’m doing what I can.

    A blogger that I follow is doing a No Spend February when it comes to projects and organizing in her house and I’m trying as much as I can do to the same, though I’m aiming for a Low Spend February as there are a few things I need. I am, however, mining my house for things to use instead of buying new, which has led to much less clutter and my finally finding a use for a few things that have been hanging around gathering dust.

  16. My happy is silly youtube videos, the first being the US Ambassador to Vietnam (was that already mentioned here?) and the second being the dance bits to the song “Jerusalema” (I was expecting the Calendar Girls singing the Brit anthem Jerusalem).
    Perfect celeriac remoulade








  17. I haven’t been doing as well with the February challenge, but I decided that learning to use the stylus and the Paint app on my laptop counts. So I get credit for that, because I need credit.

  18. I’ve been doing well with dailyFeb, turning it do-things-a-little-at-a-time month. on the creative side, I’ve been drawing every day (only missed one), mainly following online tutorials to increase my skills. And I’ve been cleaning a bit, doing a bit of admin, and doing a few minutes of back exercises every day. It’s working – I’m definitely more on top of things and feeling better about life. Hopefully by the end the month it’ll be a habit.

  19. Grocery shopping today. The roads are clear. More snow tomorrow (probably not too much).

    Finished ‘Reaper Man’ last night. Pratchett always makes me feel better.

    Local politics may be calming down. Going to give it another month or so before I start to relax.

  20. Very grumpy week. Had ongoing heartburn, stopped drinking coffee (LOVE coffee!) and heartburn disappeared. Naively asked doctor “well, I can start drinking coffee again, right?” She advised me I could have One. Cup. Per. Week. Why bother?!?

    So, at 67, I am trying to learn to drink tea. I’ve been drinking herbal, but would like to try some black teas. (Won’t drink green tea, don’t like the taste.) Feeling overwhelmed. And grumpy.

    Starbucks stock has dropped. Or it should have!

    1. Does decaf bother you or is it the acid? If it isn’t the acid, there are some great decaf beans out there.

  21. I’m clearing off my work surfaces after far too long. There are all kinds of mysteries and treasures under there!

  22. Yesterday I shoveled snow.

    Today I got caught in an unexpected snowstorm (it arrived hours earlier than predicted), and it took me 2 harrowing hours to drive 7 miles while listening to local news updating lists of roads deemed “impassable” as conditions got worse and worse. And worse.

    Tomorrow I will be shoveling show.

    Heigh ho, the glamorous life.

  23. No snow here in sunny (chilly) California, which is all for the best, since I’m no good with cold weather.

    Spent the last few days watching videos and learning how to drywall. Fixed the holes in the dinning room and living room that the were left after the flood remediation got through addressing The Great Kitchen Flood of 2020.

    Bought new kitchen stove with the money that I would have paid the drywall contractor, had they ever called back.

  24. I am, as I totally expected to be, thoroughly confused. I mentioned that I am covering two midnight-to-eight shifts? It’s just after midnight on the second such night, which I know from the calendar is Thursday the eleventh. I took my Wednesday meds a few hours ago… when I figured out that I hadn’t, yet.

    If it’s Thursday, why isn’t there a Good Book post? (Duh.) I hate switching shifts, and this is why. My combobulation is dissed. Sleep is the only answer (but they frown on that at work.) All y’all be well.

  25. I looked at my phone to check the temp. -0. Mathematically zero is not negative or positive. Weather wise it is just mean. We went to Petco to get some dog food. I got waylaid by the ferrets and geckos. While checking out the labels I noticed one for “Assorted Basic Tarantula”. No thank you. I want the deluxe tarantula.

    1. In my experience (we use a Building Automation Software Package), -0 usually means something like -0.0013762 which rounds off to 0 but is signed, so -0. I’d bet your phone either uses similar software or displays the result from someone else who does.

      Try Tarantula++ or Visual Tarantula.

  26. Shoveled snow.
    Taught karate.
    Revised the back matter in my books.
    Created Bookbub ads for Captive’s 99c sale.
    Scooped cat litter
    (This is my glamorous life. lol)

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