Working Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Krissie came to stay yesterday, and the house is a nightmare but she’s such a trooper, she just sat on the bed and drank iced tea while I tried to find the floor in her bedroom. Also the dogs and I moved into the back room with Emily, and things have been tense. Emily leaves them alone but Veronica barks at her, which annoys her so she leaves. Even as I type, Veronica barked at Emily. Emily ignored her. Veronica is just going to have to cope. Next we go out to breakfast to talk about books and food and everything else, which is not work, but this is late so I needed to explain why. Krissie is here. We’re talking. (Emily just tried to climb into my lap, I think she’s getting the hang of this not-a-stray-anymore thing.)

What did you do this week?

68 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, June 16, 2021

    1. Many happy returns. This is the best time. You are old enough not to have to prove anything anymore and young enough that you can still do stuff. Nothing but good times ahead.

      1. That’s fine – it is my day.

        Also Pete & Chasten Buttigieg’s anniversary!!!

    2. Happy birthday! Hope it’s fille dwith joy and good food and all the good things you love.

    3. Many happy returns of the day! which you share with Adam Smith, Princess Isabella de Coucy (eldest daughter of Edward III), and Murray Leinster.

    4. Herzliche Glückwünsche zum Geburtstag – all my best wishes for yor birthday, Kaye!!

  1. This past weekend I went on a quilting retreat. When I arrived, I announced that I had been very uninspired (to quote myself, I was full of ennui). But I sat down. I took some ombre fabric, cut it up and made a lattice work quilt top out of it. That inspired me to put the lemur blocks together and finish that quilt top. Which then lead me to pull out the plus sign quilt top and put borders on that. At the end of the weekend, I had three tops finished – to add to my growing “these need to be quilted” pile. But even better than that, it helped to bust me out of the blues I had been mired in. Just being with my quilting friends, chatting and hanging out, helping each other with quilting issues and making jokes – it was a tonic to my soul after losing my cat last week.

    Here are those tops:

    The one bit we shared was a self-help tip. Basically, you should speak to yourself the way you speak to your dog (or cat). “You’re such a good (girl/boy/person/entity)” “Do you need a treat?” Treat yourselves well Argh Nation!

    1. I love the lemurs. They’re all three great, but those tails on the lemurs . . .

      The way I talk to the dogs is not a good example. I just told Veronica “I’m not kidding, you bark at the cat one more time, you’re living on the door instead of the bed.”

  2. Happy Birthday, Kaye55!

    And also, I’m happy to hear that Emily is actually lap-friendly. June is a beautiful month!

    1. Really more lap-adjacent friendly; she likes to curl up on my hip. Amazing how friendly she’s gotten since fall, Of course I just fed her a chicken McNugget. She now LOVES chicken McNuggets.

      1. I have discovered Dmitri loves crunchy Cheetos. Good thing I don’t let myself buy them very often.

  3. This is been a busy week. My brother and SIL came with their truck to take my buffet which is identical to the one my mom had so my brother was happy to get it. And one less thing which I did not want but wanted to get rid of. And on an impulse I offered my SIL my extra pieces of Denby Camelot (I swear every second person I know picked it out as their pattern back in the 70’s). There were enough pieces that she has an almost complete setting for six. And there is a lot of it on ebay so she will have no difficulty finishing the set if she wants too. I was so grateful I made a quiche for lunch with salad and strawberry merengues.

    And I am cleaning house because my BIL, also known as Mr. Clean, is coming for a short visit this Saturday. He will get BLT’s on focaccia for lunch probably or some other facsimile for diner fare which is his favorite food.

    The rain has stopped after dumping about 2 inches in the last three or so days so maybe I will get to clean up my yard this afternoon. Lots to do.

  4. In the past week I’ve done some more little bits of decluttering & housekeeping; written 5000 words of a new novella, which feels like a lot given how busy Day Job has been; assembled my July book for pre-order and done most of the associated writer business; shaken some covers out of my designer; and, oh yes, Day Job.

    Have a) the day off today and b) Intentions. But I stayed up much too late last night (reading) so part b) may devolve into lying under a ceiling fan (reading).

    Meanwhile, the front yard has gone into its shamefully-scruffy summer mode, in which it will remain, substantially unmolested, until the average daytime temperature is tolerable for this perimenopausal crank. The back yard is mostly an eyesore but I can’t be arsed to even think about what I might want to try with it next winter.

    The July book is the one I wrote after Jenny talked about structure last year. I really like it. 🙂 It’s about an English venture capitalist who falls for a Los Angeles patent attorney while they’re both under the impression they’re only hooking up.

  5. I emailed nearly 500 people because an comm didn’t go out at work. I asked if the comm went out because I usually get an avalanche of emails after it does, and I got nothing. I didn’t even get a confirmation email that it went out. I was told it went out. Tech team says it went out! They just didn’t bother to email you!

    So what do I do at this point? Continue to complain that I am SURE it didn’t go out because we got no responses? (“It’s finals week!” was what I was told, but that usually has no effect. Also, the comm went out before finals week.) Then I get in trouble. Do I “trust that the comm went out” and then I know for a fact that almost all of those people are going to be in huge trouble and cause me enormous workload for the next year? Or do I privately email almost all of them (which I have been told not to do to by my boss, “because we have a comm”) so as to not make the next year worse on me? That’s the only one I could think of, because it’s less likely that anyone figures out I did that than if I open my mouth and speak up AGAIN and get myself in trouble AGAIN. And of course I got an avalanche of responses, during “finals week” and beyond, because people want to know if something bad is going to happen to them if they don’t change something.

    I’m a goddamned hero and I can’t even say anything about it at work because I would be written up again and scolded over Zoom for an hour AGAIN if I admit that I emailed 500 people.

    1. Well done you, going the extra mile and putting up with bureaucratic bullshit to make sure your clients (the addressees) get the information they need. Sometimes all we can do is the right thing, even if the people we answer to think the right thing is a waste of time/resources. <3

      1. TOTALLY agree. Do the right thing, even if the damfool rules look like they disagree.

    2. At my job, they have a distribution list that includes every employee at the facility. Okay, good idea if the chief executive wants to tell everyone something. Not so good if a building manager wants to note individual’s confidential movements. Worse still if someone hits “Reply All” and sends a reply applicable to only 1 to 10 people on the entire list.

      1. Our local elementary principal used an email Listserve with all the parents on it to complain to one of the staff that too many kids had gotten into the gifted and talented program. Worse, she did it by forwarding an email that had all the applicants grades and evaluations by teachers. Then she tried to recall it.

        It was the most spectacular accidental misuse of such a Listserve that I have heard of (among other things it released student info protected by law) and the parents were livid (our community has very competitive parents, sadly). The brouhaha was amazing. She is no longer at our school. We were given another reason for why but …

  6. I went to an open-line work Q&A session this morning and feel a lot better about my course.

    I’m now doing a picture-in-picture watch (when the minister is on) of my MIL’s funeral. I’m less than enamoured with the minister, so I’m muting him. Despite both he and his father, also a minister, being acquainted with my husband’s family for years he has mispronounced our last name twice. Seriously, he couldn’t take 2 seconds to double check how it’s pronounced? Also, he’s not as good a singer as he thinks he is. Why, yes, I am focusing on how crappy I think the minister is because I am actually very sad and, as much as we butted heads and didn’t really like one another, I am going to miss her. I am not there because of practical reasons and Paul was the one who decided that. In my family we have always believed that if you have to choose between being with the person in life or going to the funeral, you choose life and skip the funeral. Also, my not going means that Paul gets to spend some more one-on-one time with his dad which is really important right now.

    We asked Paul’s uncle-in-law to give the eulogy (her sisters wrote it) and they all did a really nice job. It was serious and sad but with funny moments which was appropriate because she had a good sense of humour.

    I’m giving myself an hour or so to do yard work and have lunch and then it’s back to my course until tonight.

    1. It sounds like the eulogy will be the part of the funeral which everyone remembers — the part that really describes your MIL and includes her close family. I love those moments and memories. My cousins brought my uncle’s jacket — completely duct-taped together — to show at his funeral.

      Glad you’re feeling better about your course!

  7. I’m having a slow day and so am drooling over vintage campers at work. I should feel bad, but as I literally have nothing, NOTHING, else to do, I’m not. You know how it goes, tomorrow I’ll be so busy my head will spin. Life needs a spigot so we can regulate the rate of happenings!

  8. Going to go away for a few days so I’m finishing some stuff up at home and packing.

    One more Zoom meeting tonight and I can forget about the primary election for a few days.

    I’m meeting up with my sister and we’ll go to Longwood Gardens (it’s been forever since I’ve been there) and hit a few outlets (one of them is great for kitchen gadgets).

  9. I was just trying to figure out how to get in touch with Krissie, so I came here, and she’s at your place! Yay for y’all being together! I’ll bet there’s yarn everywhere!!! Krissie is the only person I know of who lives in Vermont. I hope you won’t mind my asking her a question, Jenny. Here it is: Krissie, my crazy-romantic English major son Jack, 23, is moving to Shelburne this summer to work at the Fiddlehead Brewery. Do you know much about Shelburne? He has to find a place to live. He wants to work on a manuscript when he’s not at the brewery. Thanks for any input!!! XOXO

  10. My son graduated Sunday (cue the trumpets!). BS in Mechanical Eng. Virtual graduation that was streamed, so we watched the speeches, then fast-forwarded to his picture and quote. Cut out two hours of pictures! So I spent 4 days entertaining my younger son and others, cooking, cleaning up, etc. Exhausted, but very happy.

    1. That’s wonderful! I spent more than thirty-five years working with the best bunch of ME’s ever — they are terrific people.

  11. I’ve been a mess for most of last week, tired and stressed and just generally ugh and argh. Yesterday I was nothing worth, because I had an appointment at a specialist sleep center in another city, and having to 1. go there 2. go there by mobility service and 3. sleep there just… made me a goodfornothing-person all day. My entire system went “+++ Out Of Cheese Error+++” and that was that.
    The sleep exam there went very well I think. Well, I am not sure what they will see on the printouts of the scans, but I had so many electrodes stuck to my body that I felt like a cyborg, so I surely hope they’ll see SOMETHING at least. Mostly I am happy that the drive there went well, and that no smells or other hospitally things made me freak out (those EMDR and exposure therapy sessions from some years back really *did* do a lot of good). Plus, everyone was really sweet, so even if I slept very badly, I’m happy things went so well. Now just keeping fingers crossed they’ll find what’s messing up my sleep so we can fix it.

  12. I got my first haircut since March of 2020!

    I warned my hair guy that I’d been hacking at whatever bits annoyed me the most, so it was a mess. He still needed to warn me I’d cut one bit so short it was standing up straight, and there was nothing he could do to fix it until it grew out a bit.

    It feels so good to not have Albert-Einstein-style hair again!

    1. I started cutting my own hair when I got Covid in March 2020 and I’ve let all my blonde highlights grow out. It’s taken this long!! I’m gray up front and dark in the back. I think of all the money I’ve saved, and I don’t know if I’ll ever go back. But I mainly don’t go back for the sheer pleasure (pun not intended) of cutting my own hair. I love grabbing a pair of scissors and taking a whack at it!! I have really thick hair, so it’s like pruning boxwood.

      1. I’ve been cutting my own hair since Covid closed my “stylist’s salon”, and being a guy raised in the fifties… can you say crew cut? My clippers come with numbered attachments. I just run a number 2 all over.

    2. I’ve been cutting my parents’ hair. Short for Dad, with proper calculation for the comb-over. Then Mom wanted a pixie cut like Judi Dench’s. We made a verbal agreement that she would not cry if it didn’t work well, and the hair grows back. However, it looked great! They’re both ready to go back to their own barbers/stylists. Oh, well. I thought I have a third or fourth career going there…

  13. I submitted my major assignment for my science communication course. 6k words analysing the work of two science communicators. I literally did not go to bed on Monday night before the 9am Tuesday deadline and I’ve had a whole semester to do this assignment. I’m too old to still be this stupid.

    On the bright side, it was a really interesting exercise. I picked a neuroscientist who shares all kinds of psyc stuff, but mostly about laughter, and a science reporter who writes so cleanly and simply that you don’t notice it. It’s only paying attention to it that allows you to see how good it is, I’m green with envy.

    Also, here is a little piece on The Brokenwood Mysteries from one of the actors that fans may be interested in.

      1. He is! He’s not the science journo I analysed though, that’s Jamie Morton. I just shared this as I think there are some Brokenwood fans here.

    1. So THAT’s why Breen left. He was great, too. Thanks for solving that mystery for me.

  14. Have a fun, joyful visit! I’m so glad you can visit again.

    I had my first hug from anyone other than my husband since March 2020. I’m vaccinated, and a vaccinated friend came to lunch today. We hugged and had a hard time letting go again.

    I’ve been playing my next bookbinding project and babying my eyes, which have been very sore these last couple of weeks.

  15. I tinked a couple of rows of the shawl I set aside in January (?) because I’d screwed up someplace (MKAL with not the best directions….). I’ve only got this project and a sweater that I need to add sleeves to with me until our container arrives (container is living it up in Antwerp at the moment – I have hopes it will eventually find its way to Portugal) and I’ve had the knitting urge, so we work with what we have.

  16. I got my first haircut from a professional since the pandemic started . My son did a nice job in August. My husband did a much worse job in ?December? But it looked ok in tbt front so it was fine when I was working and only he saw the mess. But then it grew out…

  17. I spent today reading all the way through the death register of Floyd County, Virginia, 1853-1872, and I am here to report that the three ancestors who should have been listed there, all of whom were born shortly after the American Revolution, aren’t.

    Clearly, instead of respectably staying buried . . . they are Zombies.

    Zombies in the DNA . . . .

      1. According to the court deposition (made by a neighbor, not a relative), the Dodgy Nephew didn’t even wait at the graveside for his uncle’s grave to be filled in, so perhaps the opportunity was there? Though that doesn’t account for the other two. One died by suicide, I think — he shot himself, which could possibly have been by accident; I don’t have enough information.

        The third was the mysterious woman who raised a family with the uncle, but they were never actually married. What I know is that her daughter said that she’d lived with her father until shortly before her death, which was a few months before January 1859. It’s just possible she didn’t die in the county, but I haven’t found her death elsewhere, either.

  18. We cleaned out our spare bedroom cupboards. DH only agreed to throw one thing out, but we gained a whole shelf of space just by tidying up. Now we need to put some of the other crap from round the house in there. We (he) have so. much. stuff.

    And I got unblocked on a big project at work, which made me feel much better and generally much more on top of things. One lousy project was wrecking my whole job – hmmm.

    In much more fun things, I’m working on an abstract landscape and gradually figuring out each element. I’m finding it harder than a realistic landscape, because I have to work out what I want each element to say, plus make sure they all work together. But I love the effect I’m getting.

    So overall it’s been a pretty good week.

    1. Not long ago, I discovered the videos of Michael James Smith on YouTube. He’s an English landscape painter who paints in a very realistic style.
      He has posted a mix of videos, some quick timelapses with music (in older videos I find the music a bit obtrusive), but also some calmer videos with explanation interspersed with showing the work he’s doing.
      I find them relaxing to watch; maybe you might like some of them too, if you sometimes work in a less abstract style.

  19. I adopted a kitten. Except it’s 20 years since I’ve had one of those little dynamos racing around the house – my last cat came to me as an adult – and I’d forgotten how full on they are. To my dismay, it’s just too much. He’s the most adorable little boy, but my quiet house is very important to me, and since he arrived I’ve been in a constant state of anxiety and adrenalin.

    So I’ve just messaged the rescue people that I’m going to return him (with huge apologies). They do a two week trial period, so that’s okay, but I feel really bad about it. He seems to really like it here, and when he’s lying quiet I adore him – but that doesn’t happen too often.

    At least it has made me realise that what I actually need is an older cat who just wants to lie around all day.

  20. I put together my new bedside table, and held tools while one of my uncles wedged my upper windows into place so they can’t slip down and let the cold wind sneak in anymore. I did not put together my new bed frame or finish unpacking. It’s a process.

  21. Thank you all for the birthday wishes.

    Today I gave platelets for cancer patients.

    Hang in there Ranchgirl.

    1. That’s SUCH a satisfactory feeling! I never did platelets, but donated a lot of blood for several decades, and the most satisfactory was the in-law who’d asked for dedicated donations because he was anxious about AIDS. In the end, his brother and I were on the same schedule for his donations, and when he got blood from both of us he rebounded surprisingly well.

  22. I’m in my third week at the new remote job, and have an actual assignment. I spent my last job as the sole tech writer in the room of about 50 people, and couldn’t get anyone to talk to me, review, or nuttin’. This is very different: now I’m still figuring out who among the many to talk to…

  23. I completed a social studies online textbook project that taught me my brain has slowed down.
    I finished Tuesday until/unless client sends stuff back. Attended a webinar yesterday on better sentences, which clearly I am not applying here. Mostly just recovering now from the more intense work.

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