Working Wednesday, April 14, 2021

I fell down the Dick Francis rabbit hole of my own making and read several of his books last week. That severely cut into my cleaning time. Well, you know, “Gee, should I try to shovel some of this mess out the door or read a book about good men fighting evil with horses in the background.” Thank god I don’t like alcohol; I have the resistance of wet Kleenex. But I did get stuff done, progress is being made, and I’m almost out of the Francis books I own, plus if I want to do another Re-Read post, I have to move on to another author, so I think I’m out of the Francis woods, as soon as I finish Longshot. It’s about a writer. That’s almost like working, right?

What did you do this week?

50 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, April 14, 2021

  1. I’m doing my four hours proof-reading a day, and restraining my self from trying to do more. It never ends well. Though the schedule’s tight, and I’m also expecting the edit to land back and need dealing with.

    I’m still (one week on) doing my hour’s creative work first thing, which is garden design research at the moment. Definitely makes me feel more productive and satisfied.

    I’ve been working on revamping the rear corner of the garden (about 10 ft x 5 ft) into a gravel bed, a pond, and a good site for my apricot tree, kiwi fruit and Chilean guava. Took up a couple of paving slabs to extend the fruit bed yesterday, and in checking the soil depth realized the whole of that bed looks like it has only 6-12 ins of soil. Will dig some holes to check this today. It’s either going to mean removing all the soil and digging out a layer of rubble, or if that’s too deep, getting Tony the handyman to build me a raised edge for it. (This area was a field before the houses were built, but I guess past owners may have dumped rubble over the whole area when they built the breezeblock shed.)

  2. “Thank god I don’t like alcohol; I have the resistance of wet Kleenex.” So true. It’s the time of year that I like to read books about the life changing magic of tidying up. Just read not do.

  3. The new job has been keeping me busy. That and harvesting the honey from the dead hives that didn’t overwinter. Poo. Bees are expensive. But I’ve got a kitchen full of honey, and more to extract. I’m doing the by-hand method as I didn’t buy a very expensive extractor. A friend will build me an extractor that can be run with a drill, but I can’t wait as new bees are arriving next week. Every, and I mean every surface has sticky spots. If I don’t get this finished soon someone will find me stuck to the kitchen floors, dead of dehydration, surrounded by jars of honey.

    My life is interesting.

    1. This is wonderful. Sorry about your bees but yay about job .

      And do post Instagram pics of your honey and it’s extractor and the process?

        1. Kate, could you have used a hair dryer on low setting to melt more of the honey into the bucket? I do admire your pluck. We had bees about forty years ago or more and had the best vegetable garden. My husband would take the honey to be extracted, I could not see myself doing what you do, there would be honey everywhere. My biggest garden job was getting the tomatoes ready for canning, sterilizing jars and lids, putting tomatoes in boiling water till the skins split, prepping them, filling the jars and so forth. I mostly used the honey in baking bread in place of sugar.

  4. Last Friday, DH and I drove an hour (each way) to get our second shot. I had taken the day off, but came back to find (work from home) a crisis that needed attending too. Saturday, poor Boo could barely get out of bed – he was feverish and weak. He probably slept 16 hours that day. I was pretty unenergetic as well but not to that extent! But by Sunday he was feeling much better.

    I don’t feel like I’ve done a whole lot of craftiness. I’ve been plugging away at another mosaic blanket (#2). I’ve got just a couple more border rows to do, but each row takes an evening. Maybe it will be done by next Wednesday. I’ve also been working on some blocks for a charity quilt the guild is doing. And, I’ve cut out another cute quilt top to work on this coming weekend. I just need to get through work today!

  5. I’m not sure it counts as work exactly, but I’ve been fretting around the clock over the process of getting my roof replaced. I’ve been waiting almost a year — there’s one reputable roofer in my town, so there’s a LONG waiting list — and supplies have been showing up in my back yard every few days for the last two weeks, and then I got an email Monday night that he’d be here on Tuesday morning. And he was (he is reliable that way!), except then he left because he found a problem in one of the roof’s supports, so they can’t replace the roof until that’s fixed, so now I’m waiting for a carpenter, and who knows how much longer I’ll be waiting with buckets strategically placed below the leaks? Or how much more money I’ll be spending. With old houses, it’s a good rule of thumb that you’ll end up spending twice what you initially expected.

    1. But think how happy you will be to have a new roof! (Says the woman who unexpectedly had to replace hers last year in the middle of the pandemic.)

  6. I had my first musical rehearsal for Shrek last night. Hoooooooo boy, was it a mess. The previous online musical I did kept it simple: just had one person singing each song, a recording was recorded for them, you played it on your box while you sang, ta-dah. This one…um….

    * The musical director had just had nasal surgery 24 hours ago and was spending his time trying not to choke on his own blood (and said so) and ah, clearly wasn’t really in a state to be doing this.
    * I was wondering how the hell they were going to do group number rehearsal online and I guess the answer is “not terribly well.” He uploaded a bunch of Dropbox files which I guess we were supposed to be playing behind us while we sang, but they were not exactly all clearly labeled as to whose was what. He wants people to be singing off the sheet music, which I had no clue on because I played violin and haven’t the faintest how to sing a note. I have no clue what “the harmony” is.
    * We were doing songs in which they go between solo bits, one liners and multiple people singing. Nobody knew at what point in the recording they were supposed to be playing the background music (if your little bit is at a minute 30, or whatever) so we mostly just gave up and did a cappella for that stuff.
    * We were told to put ourselves on mute and only one person would sing aloud and the rest of us would just sing in our own homes on mute. Fine by me.
    * Four people were designated to make recordings and the rest of us have to learn off of their recordings, THANK GAWD.

    This is their fourth online musical, so I guess I expected this would be smoother…but see above nasal injury remarks above. He was making comments like “I’ll have no idea how this is going until you’re recorded.” At the end the director was all “Don’t worry about it, it’s fine for a first night.” But hoo boy, what a mess!

    Today is my all clear day. I think I will actually take a walk outside (masked) since I don’t have rehearsal.

  7. I got my first COVID shot last Thursday and spent the next few days with a sore arm and a general feeling of aching and tiredness. It’s gone now but I felt pretty cruddy for a while. I took it to mean that things were working.

    I did and paid our taxes, paid our insurances, and watched a whole bunch of Hallmark TV movie cozy mystery movies. I also filled out the paperwork for a temporary job with Statistics Canada as a census worker.

    We also had our garage reshingled one day before a blizzard.

    1. I hope you enjoy census work as much as I enjoyed the US census last year. It was utterly fascinating and I intend to do it again in ten years.

      Super good timing on the garage.

    2. I hope you enjoy census work as much as I enjoyed the US census last year. I plan to do it again in ten years.

      Good timing on the roof.

      1. Well, look there. my first comment showed up too! The internet died (I have satellite) as I was posting it, and when it came back up there was no comment there. Burp.

  8. H is half done the new roof on the shed. I’m choosing paint colours and looking for windows so our granddaughters will be proud of the pretty shed. I’m sure R will have much to say about making the sheds at their new home “pretty.” They are trying to wrangle one of the sheds as their playhouse.

    But, first must finish income taxes.

  9. I am not looking forward to the after effects of the next shot (tomorrow), but I am looking forward to being safer. Thank god for Kindle and a backlog of books.

    1. I had no apparent after effects of the second shot. On the first one my arm hurt for several days. I was tired a for a few days after the second one but that could also have been because I was not sleeping really well because it was pre-surgery.

    2. I just had a mildly sore arm for a day or so. And maybe was a little tired the second day, but that could have just been me being tired.

      But just in case, I think you should spend at least 2 days on the couch clearing up your book backlog. 9 out of 10 medical professionals would agree with me if I asked them.

    3. Now, see! That’s why I’m building the Great Library. And that’s why I spent three hours this afternoon shuffling eScrolls and ePapyrus about. In addition to the mobi reader and maker aps, I’ve added NoteTab Pro. It’s not the Woild’s Gratest word processor – it’s a pretty good HTML Editor.

      I did not name this computer “library” or “FRED” or any of my previous choices. Try “La Cootie de Borg.” I don’t log on, as such. I hold the dotter’s picture in front of my face and it scans “me.”

      It has both Cortana and Alexa, but both are pouting because I turned WiFi off out of the box. I am afraid (terrified) of ransomware because it killed my last 4 Windows computers. Only my Chromebook seems immune.

      Cleaning. I was stirring in bed, thinking that the recycling (which was taking over some of the floor) needed to go out, when lo! For the second week running the dotter breezed in, gathered and removed my recycling, and breezed out. That’s that. 🙂

  10. I think reading totally counts as working. Good for you! And hey, good for me because you reminded me how much I loved Dick Francis.

    What I worked on; not a lot because last week was spring break and we didn’t do much. Did finish some planting and do more garden/yard planning, and so far this week more yard cleanup and getting on top of weeds, along with helping kids w/ online school, which we are all heartily sick of and counting down the days until summer.

  11. I’ve been doing some decluttering. It’s embarrassing how much crap I have.

    Several years ago I was having some work done on the house and the contractor wandered into one room and said, “My God, the weight!” He was referring to books of course. I have kept WAAAAAAAAAAY too many.

    If there’s one thing this past year has taught me, it’s that I don’t need to hang on to all of these “just in case.” Of course the problem just now is that none of the local Friends of the Library groups are accepting donations for fear of COVID cooties.

    Still I threw away some vintage tomes that I don’t believe anyone will want or be able to sell. Tiny little font and not much leading. It’s tough to throw away a book.

    1. My brother moans about the floor joists! As a good sister, I refrain from pointing out that HIS collection of magic books tends to be vertically stacked from the surface of anything flat, like all the bedroom furniture except the actual bed, solidly as high as he can reach. You’d think, since they’re magic books, that they might bestir themselves to be weightless, or condense into a handy smaller space. Whereas my romance novels just multiply; must be male and female authors getting together when my back is turned.

      My problem with it is that I promised my mother that I’d make sure my more scholarly books went to the Friends of the Library near the university campus, since the local Goodwill has the reputation of pulping stuff that doesn’t sell. Friends is temporarily closed On Account Of Covid, of course. I also do a mini-book sale three times a year at one of my ladies’ group meetings as a fundraiser for one of the groups, but guess who are now meeting on Zoom?

  12. I owe the DH one thing for tax prep; since our deadline isn’t till May 17 we are not exactly hustling. But he needs to call an accountant this year (I think) for professional advice re: cost basis of the little piece of land we sold last year. I need to get my thing done so I’m in a position of moral superiority when I nag him.

    Very tiny amount of housework done (tidying up surface adjacent to my work area, which finally hit critical mass for clutter + dust). Did some gardening over the weekend. Did some writer business, including re-launching another book with a new cover. Lots of Day Job.

    About to dig into revision of a book completed in early 2020 (and set in 2020), the storyline of which needs to reflect the reality of 2020. Was leaving it alone until I had some factual basis for what I want my heroes to be doing. 🙂

    1. Moral superiority, especially with taxes, is a good thing. I need to get on that high ground myself!

      1. Moral superiority is great, but at tax time, penury is even better. Since my only source of income is Social Security, I won’t have to worry about filing taxes until it goes up almost 11,000 dollars. I’m not worried that that will happen anytime soon and I thank my lucky stars every April.

  13. Got my second Pfizer; no ill effects except for a bit of soreness at the site.

    The sad news is that my precious Sheltie Tantaka got really sick Sunday afternoon and I had to assist her across the Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday. She had a senior wellness panel in January which was normal and on Tuesday her numbers were astronomical (vet’s word). I don’t know what developed in 3 months but it was bad.

    So just trying to stick to my usual schedule (Wednsday-clean kitchen) but there’s such a hole.

    1. So sorry for your loss. All comfort to you. Assisting passage over Rainbow Bridge is a bravery.

    2. I still ache for Milton. It’s so, so hard, even when you know it’s time to let them go.
      I am truly sorry for your loss.

    3. Hugs, Audrey. My cat Angus had an exam a couple of months before he went rapidly downhill, and at 15, he seemed great. You just never know. Sending out lots of love and sympathy.

    4. So sorry, Audrey. Always hard. That saying about pets making up pieces of our hearts is so true. They will forever live on in our hearts tucked up and loved. Big hugs.

  14. Straightened up my house for the cleaners (I LOVE a clean house!), WENT OUT TO LUNCH (first time since March 2020, very surreal experience. They now have scanned menus! I had to ask the nice young waiter how to bring the menu up on my smart phone from their little hieroglyphic taped to the table!) Bought tickets to go to the drive-thru Spring Washington Expo this coming Saturday. (OK, I admit I go to purchase the pierogis and the Fisher Scones. But they will have animals we can look at, and a bunch of dogs doing a Dog Dunk, to see who can jump the furthest into the pool.) Paid bills, cleared up more paperwork, did laundry. About all this retiree wants to handle in one week. Oh, and read at least 10 books; working down the backlog.

    1. We have now walked out of two different restaurants that have scanned menus. The problem is that the phone doesn’t bring up a complete menu description. And it is difficult to see much of it at one time. I understand the need but a portable reader board would work better or a large blackboard (several places we go to do this). There. I have had my senior grouch moment.

  15. My sister and I have been talking about having a regular date every other week where we do something other than the monthly big grocery run. Because I kept getting my vaccine appointments mixed up, it took us a few weeks to get started, but today was our first successful outing. We went out for lunch and then in search for a new backpack for me as the inside of mine is now totally shredded. I tried to find one online because the place I usually buy them is no more, but since I lost the tag that says how large my present pack is, I didn’t know if the ones I saw online would do. We drove to 2 or 3 discount stores and found one at a good price that had about half of the features I wanted, but I decided not to buy it. On my way home I stopped in at the discount store on my side of town where they had the one I didn’t buy earlier and another (for the same price) that had more of the features of my dying pack.

    The other accomplishment of the week is that I got my second shot on Friday. My side effects were milder than those of several people I know, but still enough to keep me inside on a beautiful weekend.

    I also had a really good talk with my brother in France. We discussed the latest disappointment in treatment options for my depression and what, if anything, I could try next. It was a little frustrating, because he kept recommending things that I have been doing for the last 4 years and a 30 year old book on the theories of why the American Medical establishment got to the point where no department in the same hospital worked with any of the others. But the increased contact we have had since our parents died meant that we didn’t stay on those subjects, but went on to what we could do for each other, despite the distance between us. And I didn’t tell him that I had for several years been doing the “new” thing that he had just read about. This time I could just listen to the love that made him want to help, instead of the solution that would change nothing. It was a big improvement on both sides.

  16. We’re planning a weekend away in 2 weeks to get my husband’s 2nd shot. It’s 3 1/2 hours there and back. He didn’t seem as anxious about it as I did. He wanted people who needed it to get it first. He’s over 60 and overweight. I’ve been working in a Covid ICU for over a year. I think right now he may be more scared of me then Covid.

  17. I have been handwashing and mending like a fiend to try to get everything ready for the move so that I won’t have to take that mess with me. I even contacted the real estate agent about being taken off the lease and posted a new flatmate listing for the house I am leaving. Progress is slowly being made. The most enjoyable part has been ransacking my local second hand store for kitchen type things I don’t have and can’t steal from the communal stash without the others noticing. I am now the proud owner of a beautiful blue ceramic mixing jug with a handle and spout that will make baking far less messy than a regular bowl, and some gorgeous gold-edged Wedgewood plates.

  18. I got my 2nd Pfizer shot on Tuesday at 1 and have mostly been resting and hydrating since. Initially I had the same minor side effects from the first one–swollen glands and a sore arm–but just when I thought I was out of the wood, at midnight last night I got hit will the chills (no fever) and today I just feel meh. Got someone to cover me at work and I’m just taking it easy. If I feel up to it, I’ll start on the proof edits for cozy #2, DOGGONE DEADLY, which showed up in my inbox yesterday. Otherwise I’m allowing myself not to accomplish much. Still worth it. SO worth it.

  19. So, okay (Has anyone else noticed that young Americans and many non-Americans begin nearly every sentence with “so” or “okay” or both?) I was working on the Great Library and ran across one of my diet diaries, the one from 2014 where I went from 291 to 271 pounds. In kilograms, that’s like 20 stone, a good weight for a draft horse. No plot – it took around thirty minutes to read.

    What was special about 2014? That’s when I was diagnosed with diabetes. On an atkins-ish diet, I got control of my blood sugar inside of two weeks, drove it down from 336 to averaging 105.

    Well, I’m pushing 296 and 140-150 fasting glucose. So I read that diary twice. Today (Saturday), before work I went to grocery (note how I said “grocery” instead of “the grocery store.” Like saying “hospital” instead of “the hospital.”) and stocked up on twenty or so Atkins meals, some Atkins snack bars, and some Atkins Dark Chocolate Shakes. Nothing else. My goal is 20 pounds in 20 days, then relaxing to a more humane diet.

    So, why did I put this post in Working Wednesday? Technically, I re-read the diary so I could have put it in good book Thursday. That didn’t seem right. And it has nothing whatever to do with Murderbot. Murderbot would shoot me in the love handles (or my fat arse) and throw my whiney butt into the doctor box. Ergo, here we are.

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