Working Wednesday, July 28, 2021

I’ve been cleaning up outside, putting together new benches and planter boxes and storage boxes. It’s still awful out there, but it’s a start.

What did you do this week?

84 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, July 28, 2021

  1. My son and his fiancée are visiting from France and already the former is reorganizing my jar cabinet (he’s a little ocd). It’s lovely enjoying my coffee in the sun while industry occurs elsewhere.

  2. I did finish up my UFO. I looked, and I started it in a class in August 2017. It is pretty spectacular. Now it can wait while I figure out what the back will be and how to quilt it.

    Real world math problem for the week. Last week I was pondering about what to do with the next round robin quilt top. I came up with a cute block. That block finished at 5 inches, and since I was trying to put them on a quilt top that was 35 in square, I figured 32 of these blocks would work. Since the original quilter’s intention was to use as many different fabrics as she provided, that was a perfect fit – each block would be a different color combination. So I started making. It took about 3 hours to make the first two. I was able to speed it up with experience, but it still took a lot of time.

    I got up to 16 blocks done when I started thinking again – that 35 inches needed to be 35.5 inches for this to work. (A 5 inch block is actually 5.5 inches, because you sew a quarter inch seam around it. My original plan would have a quarter inch sticking out on each side, which is not a good thing. ) So, I’ve stopped at 28 blocks. Now, I’m contemplating trimming the 35 inch center just a bit, and I’ll make a piece to put in the center on each side, after measuring how much of a gap there is (and adding a 1/2 inch to account for seams on either side). It will all work out, but it is much more work than I anticipated when I started. It’s especially nerve wracking because it isn’t my quilt – or my fabric to waste. Things are much easier with a pattern, I’ll tell you that right now!!

    I think I’ll try to do something simpler with the next round robin – which is sitting in my sewing room waiting for me to be done with #2.

      1. So beautiful! Do you have any more of that starfield fabric that surrounds the edge of the quilted circle? That or another fabric like it could be cool for the backing.

        1. There is a little bit more of that fabric, but no where near enough to do the back. But it is a thought to look for something similar. Thanks.

    1. I love your quilt!

      Thoughts about the round Robin. Would it make sense to add a 3/4” strip as an inner border than would make the center 35.5”? Another option would be to put a solid center piece (a filler piece of fabric) at 5” with 3 blocks on either side and then 4 of the pieces blocks in the corner. The second option means you don’t have to do anymore blocks.

      1. I’m headed toward the filler piece of fabric. The current edge of the top is a series of intertwined half inch strips, but the outer most strip was left at 1.25. If I trim that to .75, it will match the others when I attach my blocks. And yes, I dont have to make any more!

    2. That is a seriously spectacular quilt!
      I’ll never make anything as complicated in its deails as that winding ribbon with its changing shapes, but I also really like the variety in all the different star-patterns.
      Those I might like to incorporate in a design, one day. Is there a place where I could find or buy those star patterns?

  3. I decide to spend working Wednesday staying home with my hacking cough and runny nose and a bottle of acetaminophen. A coworker was generous enough to share this with me. Bah. Humbug.

      1. No, of course I’m not sure. More, the coworker is not vaccinated. I’ll go and get tested when he dies. (IOW, it doesn’t feel any worse than a bad summer cold, so I’m self-medicating [acetaminophen and pork rinds and diet coke] until I feel the need to do something else.)

        1. Try hot water, honey and lemon or ginger, it might just be sudden temperature change. On holiday I got ill from going from baking heat to air conditioning and back again, it really mess up your immune system

          1. I can’t do hot lemon water. The gag reflex kicks in, big time. If I need to regurgitate, it’s better than that serum of ickygag stuff.

            Maybe some hot tea with a splash of lemon. No honey. I shouted, “Tea. Earl Grey. Decaf. Hot.” at the microwave. It ignored me. It’s only 600 watts. I think it’s permanently set on stun.

        2. I just had bronchitis (for the first time in many years–I’m suspecting my bout with Covid right before we all hunkered down left my lungs weaker than they had been). I went and got tested to be sure. Thankfully, it turned out to be just A plague, not THE plague.

          But a friend of mine who is fully vaccinated just tested positive. She has cold-like symptoms of a sore throat and headache. You might want to be tested just to be certain you are not risking spreading it to the dotter or others.

      2. JaneB, sorry if I seemed a bit short. Not feeling my best. My temperature is 97.7 F, but my nose is a river. The cough is all but gone.

    1. Hope you get better soon. I got something similar last week, bummer. (I did get a COVID test just to be sure; hacking cough was asthma, not the COVID virus)

        1. My favorite remedy for sniffles and coughs is Chinese Hot and Sour soup. it has some of the heat from peppers, some kind of acid like lemon, and mushrooms and noodles. Always makes me feel better afterwards.

          1. I’ll see if any of the local Chinese restaurants sell it. Sodium looks a bit high, but if it works…

            Or do you buy the varieties sold at WalMart et al?

          2. I bought a mix. It says just add water and an egg. Three servings… should I add three eggs? Are the egg(s) figured into the nutrition info on the package? There’s a couple beaucoup of sodium, either way.

  4. I have company coming for brunch on Saturday, which means cleaning the patio and figuring out the menu. Just went to a local farm market, and the bounty makes settling on a menu impossible!
    Enjoying my last-for-now work from home Wed.
    Covid cases are rising in my area, and the college is hedging now on plans to open fully. It’s a mess.

  5. We built a 32 ft by 16 ft above-ground rectangular pool. It got delivered last Thursday and today we’re doing the final chemistry cycle stuff and crossing our fingers for the water testing correctly around 4 this afternoon. This was maybe the biggest project we’ve done on this place; site prep, construction, electrical bits, chemistry, complex project. But it is done! Future decking and landscaping around it will be work for another week or month. While it’s 110 during the day and 80 at night this weekend, I will be floating around going “it was worth it”.

  6. First week back at work. Next week, just under 40 children in one classroom. Seated side-by-side.

    So trying to make up interesting work sheets and lesson plans.

  7. I’ve had a hard time sleeping again lately, so I’ve been glueing mosaics at night like a madwoman. Posted these yesterday:
    Have two other piggybanks waiting to be posted – finished one of them just before writing this. Don’t wanna spam people though, so will probably post one tomorrow and one this weekend.

    Found a website called (handwerk = handicraft) that seems to be a place for selling hobby stuff, so I’m considering creating an account there to see if I can get rid of some of the stuff I have lying around here. I believe it’s something like Etsy, but for NL only. People have also suggested I create an Etsy shop. Not sure if that would be a good idea or not. Thus far people haven’t exactly run their legs off to pick up my things, so not very confident when it comes to these kinds of things.

    On even more creative notes, I’ve been researching courses for pottery and silver clay jewellery. I found a 15 weeks course for the former that starts in September that I’m considering to join, and it seems like I can get a workshop at home for the latter if I’m lucky, so… there might be more clay in my future.

    Still nothing from the bank. Of course these things can take time, but since our adviser said 2-3 days and we’re a week further already without any news, we’re a bit worried. It does not help that our adviser is on vacation and has pushed our papers onto a colleague. Bleh. Well, we’ll just have to wait.

    1. The thing about Etsy (based on some experience de-stashing and selling some quilted totes, or, really, not selling) is that it requires a LOT of marketing, plus professional-level photography skills. I guess I should have known that before using it, but it really is all about the marketing, and if you don’t do that, no one will see your listings. From what I’ve observed, the successful folks at Etsy do the following: 1) take pro quality pix with enticing settings, 2) have a blog or website or other active social media presence with LOTS of followers, and 3) get engagement on Etsy itself, with likes and lots of prior sales, get featured in Etsy’s own social media, and I forget what other options there are there. It also helps to have a really niche market, but still somehow have a huge following.

      TL:DR — it’s a LOT of photography and marketing work to make any sales at Etsy. Just a warning, if those aren’t your skills.

      1. I have things on Etsy, but they are primarily there for people who are specifically looking for signed books, Witchcraft stuff, or my jewelry because they already know me from my writing. A few people may stumble across me by accident, but yes, it is a lot of work.

    2. Etsy is a weird thing. I have been selling on there for years with mixed success. It’s really a hobby of it’s own, with a steep learning curve, but you can absolutely do it if you want to. There are lots of groups that are happy to help and it’s a big platform with a good reputation, so people actually use it. That said, it’s a time suck that has plenty of pitfalls as well. It depends on what you want. If you don’t want to spend time learning how to list and fiddling with photos and editing, then local might be the way to go. Maybe not this year, but local consignment is good as well as low key craft shows.

  8. I’m making the picnic to accompany our trip to an outdoor theater tonight. I reread King Lear for the show, too. My, what a knock out play. I didn’t realize that, like Hamlet, there’s a “the readiness is all” line. Edgar’s final words to his father Gloucester are, “Men must endure their going hence, even as their coming hither: Ripeness is all.” Gloucester’s reply is his last line in the play: “And that’s true too.”

    Gloucester learns much before he dies.

    1. If you’ve never seen Slings And Arrows (Canadian tv show, available on Acorn tv, not sure where else), I highly recommend it. Third (final) season has the troupe putting on King Lear. Note that the first episode of the first season didn’t really work for me, and I almost didn’t keep going, but someone whose opinion I respect raved about it, so I kept going, and I’m so glad I did.

  9. I put down the last of the patio blocks and started filling in the river rock in the areas where there won’t be any blocks.

    I painted first coat on the planter box and started painting the boards that will be the ledge around the top. The green boards will be supported by shelf brackets. As soon as we get that done, I can get it filled with dirt, it’s already 3/4 full of sand, and then get some plants in it. We can maybe even have a fire in the fire pit!

    This morning I also replaced the toilet seat in the main bathroom with one that has a quick-removal option. I think it’s going to be great for cleaning. It’s not much but sometimes these things make a difference. Here’s the yard stuff and some dogs

  10. I am doing the Ravellenic Games and working on a vest that I am turning into a sweater (Embla vest, if you want to look it up). It’s going really fast, I’m working on one arm now.

    1. Oh, me, too. Working on vintage pattern and a super-easy cardigan. Plus there’s the WiP category, if I could just find the damn WiP.

  11. The day job’s still full on, but seems to be going well. I’ve finally been introduced to the author, and we had a productive meeting yesterday. I’ve also been creating a Word file called Decisions & Queries, to keep on top of the chaos that comes with working with so many people.

    I’m trying to focus on some smaller things for myself, as a balance. Actually drove out of town this morning and went for a walk. Tried a path that’s been blocked for a while by fallen trees, but looked well-trodden again. The view at the end was great (, but I then had to battle through thickets of sodden brambles, and ended up soaked. Still, it was good to go exploring again.

    1. The view is spectacular. A good tramp around nature does wonders for the soul.

    2. Jane, might I suggest a kit for when you go adventuring … a machete and a first aid kit may be over kill, but some thick gloves and all body waterproofs wouldn’t go amiss

      1. I do have waterproof trousers – just didn’t expect I’d need them. My waterproof jacket kept my top half dry; and my summer walking trousers are polycotton, so started to shed the water as soon as I was free of the undergrowth. A machete might be handy, though.

        It was a very small adventure.

        1. My husband when he was doing site surveys for a local land trust took along my hand pruners which were very effective, until he lost them: “Have you seen my good pruners?” ” Oh…..I was meaning to tell you…..”

  12. A couple of days ago, I looked at the calendar at work and then the weather forecast for the week and requested today off for what I am calling a mental health day. It was the only day no one else was off and the weather was supposed to be good so here I am relaxing after a morning picking blueberries (7 lbs, which was my work for today, lol) and going for a short hike at a local park.

    I was going to read in my hammock swing but the mosquitoes have decided to come out of hiding after all the rain we’ve had so I am now ensconced in a favorite chair with a chai latte at hand and a book to finish.

  13. Cut the backyard grass yesterday. Planting a few filler plants early tomorrow morning before the sun burns high in the sky. The heat is non-stop. 44th day of sun and no rain. Possibly rain on Sunday…yup, weather person said that before and no rain. Think I will stand out in the rain for the glory of cool raindrops, if it does rain. Re-upholstering a round stool seat today. That’s it for now. Too hot to do much. Doing what I want not what I have to and listening/watching to a lot of French Youtube.

    1. I hate to tell you this Carol, but so far this month we’ve only had 6 days without rain. I would gladly trade a few of our rainy days for a few of your dry ones!

      1. Rouen, gladly trade some days with you. The forest fires are wild again this year. A community was lost, everything burnt, so very sad. We need rain.

  14. Lots of working Wednesdays (and other days of the week) came to fruition last week (and embargo on the news has ended), and an abstract submission (which then gets turned into a poster) by me, three other patients, a clinician, and a pharma employee, about the patient experience with my rare disorder and suggestions to improve treatment with currently available resources, was accepted for presentation at the prestigious annual meeting of the American Society for Bone & Mineral Research (in October).

    It was a LOT of work, and stressful because reasons, but feeling really good about it — it’s not easy to get medical conferences to listen to patients, and it’s EXTREMELY uncommon for the patient perspective to be presented DIRECTLY from the patient, not filtered through the clinician experience. So, so happy it was accepted, and fingers crossed that attendees will be interested enough to listen to the poster presentation.

    1. Wow! That’s excellent! Especially where a disease is a rare one, anything that helps clinicians stop to think about the people experiencing that disease is a wonderful thing. If only there were more cases like this!

    2. That’s fantastic. And I think it works for you that it’s so unusual; should get a lot more attention that way.

    3. Your disease–well more precisely the patient population who have it–is lucky to have you providing insight on it. Seems to me you were fated for this conference presentation. You are SO knowledgeable, SO articulate (you speak medicalese as well as plain speak), SO intimately involved with it, and SO entertaining (by way of your book-writing talents) you will undoubtedly bring new understanding to many different groups. Everybody at the conference will win. Go you!

  15. Got all my cleaning, gardening paperwork projects done. Now off to get Pixie, my, I hope, foster fail.

  16. Helped cook for 20 people for lunch at church today. The local Booster Club (think Rotary) meets at our church. We cook, they pay, and we fund parsonage maintenance and repair. The best part is our group’s menu is super easy and they all LOVE it!

    1. You now have me very curious: What’s the menu?

      Though my go-to arranging lunch meetings at the office was pasta marinara, green salad, garlic bread, and assorted Small Sweet Things for dessert. The guys never got tired of it, and the one time the caterer talked me into their Fancy lunch, at Christmas, it was ham, potatoes gratin, and a fancy cake, and was received without much interest — too similar to home cooking, apparently.

  17. Feeling pretty happy about my progress in the week since a total knee replacement. Today I did a load of laundry, rolled my trash can to the curb, and sunned myself on the front porch for a few minutes. I am now fully independent and can take care of myself and my cat.

  18. It finally stopped raining long enough and the mosquitos were absent so I could weed the back garden beds over the weekend. They desperately needed it, and look so much nicer now.

    The end is in sight for my discovery draft of the first story I’ve written since my life started falling apart 3 years ago. I have 4 scenes left to complete, and promised myself to have it done by the end of July. I’m really excited about it!

    And I removed and rearranged furniture upstairs in the 3 bedrooms (now that my kids don’t live here anymore), so I have a dedicated office, a guest/exercise room, and my master bedroom is lovelier than I’d imagined when I moved in 2 years ago. It’s just a shame I have to leave it to go to work each day.

  19. Nothing notable accomplished here. 🙂 Minor (more accurately: minimal) amounts of house and yard work, plus day job, plus some writer business.

    Faced with an array of works-in-progress, this week’s resolution was to simply start writing the new thing I feel like writing, which is going to include an original dirty blues song.

  20. This week was the dentist yesterday — a most interesting experience as it was my first time there since lockdown, and they told me there were some new staff members. Since everyone was wearing full space helmets with breathing tubes, I wouldn’t have recognized my closest relatives, let along anyone else. Fortunately, I was just able to transport myself to a science-fiction universe . . . .

    Today Elder Shopping, but the only essential was kitten kibbles.

    And attempting to make arrangements for a bunch of meetings beginning in September, with no way to guess whether we’ll have to cancel all in-person stuff at the Very Last Minute Because COVID. I’ve been perfectly happy running Zoom meetings, and wouldn’t mind doing them for another year, but this One Step Forward and then Three Back is messing with my head.

  21. We moved our son to DC. He drove his car; we drove the Uhaul. Terrifying. Also I was voted down on reservations the first night, because we don’t know how far we’ll 6pm I demanded a plan. We’ll stop outside of Gary Indiana. You know when it starts out picky and descends to any room any room at all? Calling any hotels in any town we go thru. I gave up and found a room in Toledo. Pulled in a 4a check out at 11 so 2 house of sleep. My husband mentioned I wanted to rip off his head and throw it off a cliff. I was impressed how tamped down my feelings appeared. I really hope he moves back to Minnesota in 2 years. And the company moves

  22. For the past two days I have worked at getting over a cold. COVID swab came back negative (hooray!), so I got to go back to work today. Kicking the cold seems to have taken my blahs with it – I’m a pretty cheerful person most of the time but have been seriously down since we all got told our jobs were in danger again with the new lockdowns here. That hasn’t changed, but my brain seems to have come to terms with it all and calmed down from the initial freak out. It’s nice to feel on an even keel again.

    I was unusually productive for sick days, and managed to write a few hundred words on something fun. I’m going to try Chuck’s 350 words, five days per week plan to see if it gets me past the point where I usually get stuck in discovery draft. Even if it doesn’t, I’m having fun writing it.

  23. I had a “get all the little things done around the house” day. Unblocked the plugged burner on my gas stove (it’s the one we use the most, so crap got into the tiny hole the gas feeds through) using a very specialized tool (unbent paper clip), thereby saving myself a $100 service charge. Pulled the garlic and put it in the top part of the barn to dry. Scrubbed the toilet. If only my readers knew how glamorous my life is…

    Wrote a guest blog I owe by August 1st and started work on a guest column, ditto. I think I did more stuff, but that was yesterday, so I can’t remember.

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