46 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, March 3, 2021

  1. We finally tackled the overgrown jungle of our side yard. There’s a wisteria gone wild and shrubbery that ate its trellises. We didn’t even know the trellises were in there until things were cut back far enough to see. Also in there: trash, balls, years of debris, and lots of inexplicable chicken wire. 2 yard waste bins have been filled plus a truck and trailer load hauled away and there is SO much more to go. Today will be cutting up the cut-down shrubbery that remains to run through shredder and spread as mulch or stuff in yard waste bin or if too large for that, put aside to go to the dump with the dead trellises and chicken wire. (Seriously, why the chicken wire? What were they thinking?)

    Meanwhile, have ordered nice clematis (snowdrift) and a Little Gem magnolia to replace what’s been removed. We need a “green fence” border for privacy and these will be much lower maintenance going forward, and won’t block the path to the upper lawn like the spreading take-over-the-world shrubbery that chicken wire could not contain.

    I’ve assured the neighbors it’ll look great when it’s done. Right now it’s a huge mess, which is one reason we put off tackling this for so long.

  2. Today we’re scheduled for a second covid shot. So it is up early with laundry already in the machine. Looking forward to getting haircut by a professional and won’t have to play Mary the Hairdresser ever again.
    This week I thought I had come up with a unique idea by adding jello to a batch of sugar cookies to come up with different flavors only to discover it had already been invented. I was even going to use sugar free jello to a prepared mix because mixes are so full of sugar. Yup, again. I was also watching a demonstration on how to make a design on top with frosting.

    I see by the Recent Posts that my last comment isn’t connecting. Another challenge.

  3. It is “false spring” here in the South, (soon to be followed by 3rd Winter, the pollening, summer and Hell’s front porch!). I’m seeing my daffodils up with incipient blooms still green, the hyacinths are thinking things through and the camellias are about to throw a big blossom party outside my window. I had pruned back my gardenia, which had been wedged into a small spot near the garage and had my DH move it to a roomier spot across the sidewalk, after first removing an “on its last legs” privet bush. The poor thing only had one branch left. It’s fellows along the foundation are a little better looking, but if gardenia does well, we may replace those other privets too.

    I kept myself from starting a new project by opening up a bin with an old languishing project instead. I had for some reason stopped this when I got to the borders – the borders were created but just not attached. So, I spent some time doing that. It looks great. I then created the little bits of applique for this. I think this coming weekend, I’ll put those bits on the quilt and move it to the “done, just have to quilt” pile, which will let me retire that bin and use it for something else – like a new project. (see – ulterior motives)

    Here’s the photo:

    1. I also finished up my Daily February haiku, and since I’ve published the rest, here are the last of them. Thanks Jenny for the venue.

      Feb 24
      My front window shows
      neighbors, dogs, kids frolicing
      while my cats sunbathe.

      Feb 25
      A mower hums, while
      camellias and daffodils prep
      for warmer weather.

      Feb 26
      Lowering gray skies,
      gusts play tunes on the wind chimes,
      more rain is coming!

      Feb 27
      Misty morning dew
      morphs to afternoon sunshine.
      Spring is soon coming.

      Feb 28
      Muggy in the morning,
      sweating in choir robes, filming
      a hymn for Easter.

      (This last one – we did a socially distanced filmed choir outside, pretend singing the Hallelujah chorus. It will be used for the Easter services. And it was very muggy!)

    2. My grape hyacinth and tulips are coming up too. Not blooming yet but the green shoots are up. I’m waiting for the new ice cream tulips I put in last fall to show up.

    3. I decided yesterday I don’t like borders. I enjoy making the blocks and assembling the blocks, but a get stuck when it’s time for borders.

    4. I’m amazed at those sharp points. How on earth do you do such lovely precise work? It’s beautiful!

      1. It’s all in the foundation (paper) piecing. You stitch your fabric to the paper pattern pieces, following precise lines. When your done, the front is fantastic, and the back is attached to a piece of paper which you rip out. Once you get your head around sewing backwards, it’s a lovely way to create a lovely quilt.

        1. That’s how that fantasy dachshund quilt goes together; I must learn to do this. Later.
          Your quilt is spectacular, by the way.

  4. The usual load at work – working from home means no real distinction between work and not-work, so I tend to focus on the jobs to be completed instead of my working hours which is not that good because we must not make overtime and spending too much time at the desk is neither good for the eyes nor for the back nor for the purse.

    Tomorrow, my Ancient Greek course is about to start again and I feel I didn’t use the time since the last course ended properly – no revising, no vocabulary training, no time for doing exercises in the workbook. I guess I would long have stopped doing it (covid-19 did stall us all) if not for the others in my group – it’d be a pity to have to miss them. So I will stick to Greek as long as ds has to do it in school (5 more months to go) and maybe longer. I only wish I could find more time to revise.

    So, because I obviously have too much time on my hands, I start a new online-course at the community college tonight (conversation in English). This at least is useful for work (I tend to freeze when I have to talk, more so when it’s not my own language) where I ought to be fluent/more fluent soon. In this course the overarching theme is “headlines” and I just finished the first homework.

    1. I heard a comedian ask “are we working from home? or living at work?” and there is truth to that. I definitely feel the lack of boundaries.

  5. Well…I got into a grad school creative writing program! University of San Francisco. No word yet on if I can afford it since they haven’t sent financial aid details, but knowing I got in is pretty fun. Spring is here in Portland, so I went on a walk, breathed in all the fresh spring scents, etc. Have been ghostwriting some projects that (fingers crossed) will be relatively straightforward and un-draining.

    I’m also (shameless plug) helping promote an International Women’s Day online event featuring various inspiring women (including Virginia gubernatorial candidate Jennifer Carroll Foy) talking about running for office and other bold moves they’ve made in their life. Tickets are $15 and support progressive women running for office. https://secure.actblue.com/donate/hbmiwd?refcode=marketing_bar

  6. I am one of the people who still commute (17 miles) to work and back every workday. My job can’t be done remotely, because prisons are a 24/7/365 type of thing. I am “essential personnel.” OTOH, that means I am Fully Employed and continuously paid a full salary. OTOH, the only reason I am not retired is because I procrastinated when it was time to submit paperwork for Medicare. OTOH, I’ll need a replacement ICD/Pacemaker before long and I’d prefer that done while I still have my work insurance (plus Medicare!). There. That’s enough hands.

    1. If you retire after the enrollment period for medicare that is considered a qualifying event and you can start your medicare at that point and not be penalized. Medicare has been really good during all my trials and tribulations but my work insurance had been even better so sounds like a good plan if you can do it while still employed.

  7. I’ve been trying to create good work habits. I am one of those people who needs to see things that need doing, so I have recommitted to making an old-fashioned to-do list at the end of every day. Sometimes I just turn back to a list on a previous page, but eventually I need to make a new one on a new page. We have very intense quarterly deadlines that interfere with all my habits, and I inevitably remember during the not-intense times that without a list I will forget to do things.

    I’m also making myself shut down my computer at a reasonable time each day and walk away until the next day. It’s not necessary to finish everything on the list every day!

  8. I blitzed through copy edits on cozy book 2 and am back to work at cozy book 3. That plus the day job is pretty much my life right now. But it is 40 and the sun is out, so there’s that.

    1. Purchased book 1 yesterday at B&N. I don’t know how many copies they started with but I bought the last one on the shelf. (I do like to stop in the brick and motor store; need to keep that open.)

  9. My work has been boring, so I’m just commenting to say, Please consider all your posts liked, both before and after this reply, since the button’s gone at the moment, but I appreciate all the posts.

  10. I’m in the early stages of burnout. Luckily, I’ve been here before and can feel it creeping up and worsening. I should have realised it when I only got to week 3 of the UCT Coursera I was doing. I lost my instrinsic motivation.

    So it’s time for serious rest and revolutionary self-care.

    Going to switch to easy, nutritious soups, and do a 3 day cleanse around either the new moon or March equinox season change, or both.

  11. I am reading this, which makes me happy. I got my brows micro bladed yesterday so I look…different. The snow is melting and instead of snowdrops and tulips, I have dog poop. Sadie playbows every timee she sees me though, so I feel like a queen. Who picks up after her loyal subjects.

  12. I finished the Antwerp book yesterday, and now have no work, since I was under the weather last week and couldn’t bear to chase work I’d rather not have (except for needing to earn a living, of course). I feel better for actually going shopping today: to a bargain store where I found three sturdy poles to make a support for the honeysuckle I planted by the front gate, and a large black plastic tub to make a very small pond by the shed. Then I went to the only local garden centre that’s open, which is overpriced and not my style, but where I browsed for an hour and bought seed potatoes and shallots.

    Then came home and ordered a dwarf apricot tree (paid for by a friend as a belated house-warming present) and a cedar cold frame with glass sides.

    So lots of gardening plans. I was delighted this morning when I finally worked out what I want for the fences behind the apricot: a kiwi and a Chilean guava. I dream of an abundant garden.

    1. Oh, and completely failed Daily Feb this year. Couldn’t seem to keep going when the day job got intense, and then it just dropped off my radar. I think next time I should go back to making something instead.

      1. You are not alone. Every year, I think “THIS year,” and then life happens. I think Lee’s advice to set the bar very low is a good one. Which for me would be “got out of bed . . .”

  13. All the gardening comments makes me a bit jealous. It’ll be three more months before the weather allows me to plant anything, two before I can assess the damage to last year’s garden and begin planning reparations. But @amyll, dog poop I can relate to… currently my back garden has the look of a snow-laden bison graveyard (bones, poop, torn stuffed toys).

    As for work, tonight I give my last set of exams (on zoom) until the next spring session in a month. So I have a breather to look forward to and a sense of accomplishment to bolster my slackening drive.

    Thanks fellow arghers for the company on this journey.

  14. Busy week for me. Got the pre-order up for the next book in my mystery series. It’s an Easter holiday novella that began as a mini-mystery and “somehow” grew into a midi-mystery;) Love that the cover is very spring feeling.

    Now working on all the related bits like getting it onto my site Book page, etc. Plus, trying out some new blue-light computer reader glasses–fun and possibly helpful especially for a writer, but the frames I got not really right so may try other styles.

    And, as one of the folks who has had problems posting here of late, I feel posting this is a test in itself that I hope I pass this time around:)

  15. I’ve started listening to podcasts. This week I found the The History of Literature podcast. Episode 280 is about romance novels. The host talks about you Jenny and the definition you came up with for what qualifies to be a romance novel. It was recorded last November if any of the Argh members want to have a listen.

  16. Usual cleaning and cooking. And online meetings, meetings, meetings. One yesterday, two today, two tomorrow and one on Friday.
    Wretched Trumpers got their comeupance, at least for now. It’s been my experience that they never admit defeat, they just come at things from a different way or angle.

  17. I’m in the throes of transcribing The Deposition, and am just at the part where the Wicked Nephew . . . .

    “On the day of the burial the said Right Booth left the grave before it was filled, went to the house and demanded the keys of the house of your orator Ferdinand Huff a minor and thereby induced him to give them up. He then went into an upper room where the trunk aforesaid was, and having carried it into another part of the house broke the lock and then when no other person was present examined the papers in said trunk, which were afterwards found in a state of great confusion, and some of them were for days afterwards found blowing about the yard. But no will has yet been produced, and your orators and oratrixes do verily believe that if said will was not lost or mislaid by accident in the lifetime of James Ferguson, it was after his death purloined and destroyed or suppressed by the said Right Booth. ”

    Also combined grocery shopping with an appointment for my brother at the audiologist’s.

      1. “The said James Ferguson left neither father or mother living, so that of those that would have been entitled to his estate in case of his death intestate, he had but one living brother or sister and he was absent in California and it was not known whether he was living or dead,

        and of all the unknown persons that would have been so entitled, there was living in the state only Right Booth, a nephew who lived in Floyd and whom the said James Ferguson disliked so much that he would not permit him to visit at his house.”

        All this is happening in Floyd County, Virginia, with some overlap into Franklin County, Virginia (and Floyd County was formed from Franklin in the lifetime of most of these people — lots of research on 1750 – 1880 families needs to take into account that they may have lived in two or more different counties without ever moving because of shifting county borders).

        I haven’t really been able to find out what happened to Right Booth (who is often confused with a different guy, probably a relative, who lived in Arkansas and seems to have been a solid citizen), except that in the 1860 census Right is a 46-year-old “Laborer” living with one of the executors of the estate, and in the 1870 census he’s a 56-year-old “Bar Keeper” living in a household with a dentist, a house & sign painter, and a store clerk. Seemingly a bachelor.

        My g-g-grandmother and her sister are not in Virginia at all; they’re in Athens County, Ohio, at this point.

      1. Umm. Fiction:

        1) has to have a plot, and
        2) has to be plausible.

        Reality doesn’t require either . .

        1. We have a possibly stolen will and a villain, best sellers have been made from less…

  18. I made a rockin’ shrimp alfredo. Not healthy in any way, shape or form but it tasted fabulous.
    I am now eligible for a vaccine, so I spent a bit of time trying to figure out the system and have come to the conclusion that my state is going about it in the most complicated way possible.

  19. I got some author business done which I’m pleased with. Looks as though I may not publish anything this month because my designer is too overloaded with her real job. Am trying not to look at the ever-growing stack of things that are Done and concentrate on the never-ending stack of Things To Do instead.

    On that note, started writing a short story, which is an experiment.

    Also accomplished: convinced my mother, imminently 81, to spend some money. She has intermittently indulged a hobby of building 1:12 scale room boxes and is really good at it. Had begun a new project, then stalled because the things she wanted were from far away and the shipping charges were ‘too much.’ I was like, SPEND THE MONEY. And Dad agreed, so she is happily shopping instead of abandoning her project. Victory!

  20. I ran 5K today. This is my fourth day back running after six months off due to a tear in an ankle tendon. It’s the longest I’ve run so far and my cardio sucks after all that time off and i”m sore all over. But I did it! 🙂

  21. My metaphorical heart goes out to each of you. You guys are really doing a lot. I had my floors refinished last week so there still sawdust everywhere and I’m doing a lot of laundry. I also did a couple of auditions and set up my audiobook on Findaway. It was on audible but that doesn’t mean it was in the libraries. I find things do better if they are also in the library.
    Tomorrow’s designated as my submission day. I don’t really feel it.
    Besides I get to babysit the one-year-old while his dad and brother get their teeth cleaned and then Chris wants his taxes done so unless I do it tonight it’s not gonna happen.

  22. I mowed the lawn tonight a few minutes before a downpour. Very satisfying.

    And I pretty much finished my latest drawing, of a Kea, a native New Zealand parrot. https://www.instagram.com/p/CL_afQHgpWi/.

    Kea are one of the most intelligent birds in the world and put that intelligence to great use – at destruction. They’re especially fond of bike seats and anything rubber on cars. And pest traps in kea territory have to be kea-proof. That’s traps for pests that wipe out kea – the irony is not lost on conservation staff, even if their traps are lost.

    1. This kea snuck up on me at a cafe about 18 months ago. It had a keen eye on my sandwich.

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