Admin Note: Say Hi to Deb

Well, it’s been a week and a half here and now Deb Blake is, for some unknown reason, barred from the blog. Why the blog is refusing to let her post we don’t know, we’re on it, we value Deb highly, but in the meantime, wave to her will you? She’s feeling lonely. (I was going to say, “If anybody else is being stopped from posting, let me know in the comments . . .” which gives you an idea of how my week has been going.)

Today I’m trying stir fry in the microwave, which I’m pretty sure is. doomed, trying to get my kitchen set up to cook in again, hanging a platform thingy for my spoiled-as-hell rescue cat, and trying to. remember what it was like when it wasn’t 95 degrees. Maybe I’ll go do my stir fry on the slate walkway, although since that’s the walk the dogs take for their morning pee, maybe I won’t. Back to the microwave. Also much sympathy to those coping with 100+ degrees F; I don’t know how you do it.

Hi, Deb! We’re working on it.

77 thoughts on “Admin Note: Say Hi to Deb

  1. “She told herself she was very fond of Luke, but there was no doubt that he could be an unexpected item in the bagging area of life.”

    One of my favorite lines ever.

  2. Oh good luck, Deborah! Maybe this was something connected with the appearance of the dreaded plus sign. I will do my best to help by frowning at my computer and telling it in a fretful voice to Set Deborah Free, you Rascal!

  3. Hi Deb. What a bummer that the interwebs are being contrary. I just finished Murder Most Fowl by Donna Andrews (which I enjoyed very much) and congratulations on being a credited expert “Wiccan sensitivity reader.”

    And Jenny, you might want to consider a single unit induction cooktop while you sort out your kitchen situation. They aren’t large and steel pots and pans usually work on induction units. I have an induction range/convection oven and love it.

    1. I have one, just haven’t plugged it in yet. Turns out soot is hard to clean up.
      I’m definitely thinking about an induction cooktop if I like this single unit.

      1. Jenny, we got a single burner induction unit for the RV, and then my 14 year old-but expensive-gas cooktop decided to die one burner at a time. So I’ve been using it in the house, too. I learned to cook with gas, so have never liked electric. But I really do like the induction one! When we remodel someday, I’m getting a big induction cooktop.

      2. My countertop induction one-burner just saved us as our stove’s burners quit. Induction fan, here.

      3. Mix one part warm water to three parts vinegar, then wipe gently with a soft sponge or microfiber cloth to remove soot from walls, ceilings, or woodwork.

        1. After our house fire I was able to rescue a lot of soot covered China. My mom needed something to do so we spent a lot of time over, maybe 2 years. We tried erasers, hot water, baking sod in hot water, etc. The last 4 plates, I spilled 1/2 of a large box of baking soda in the hot water, eased the plates in let them sit. Wiped off, like butter. Huh.

  4. Has Deborah tried deleting her cookies? System may think she’s already in and rejecting the doppelganger, otherwise, run a virus scan and turn it off and again. Yes I watched IT Crowd

  5. I’ve been stuck in a loop of antibiotics for a sinuses infection and now have to go to the hospital for further tests, so haven’t posted for a while but hopefully I’m not being ghosted.

    Hi from Ireland Deb Blake.

  6. Hi Deb! I miss seeing your posts, and hope the issue can be solved quickly…hope you are compiling all of your intended posts into one document that you can cut-and-paste once the Reply Bug has been slayed!

  7. Hi Deb! Hope you’ll be back in soon! You might try getting into the blog via an incognito window in a browser

  8. Incognito+Deb. Anyone+But+Deb. Possibilities.

    Yesterday I booked surgery to remove the bunion on my left foot. That means that as of October 1st I’ll be stuck having to keep my foot elevated for 5 to 6 weeks; pins will be sticking out of my toes. (A lightning storm might kill me.)

    So today I arranged to buy a new MacBook Pro tomorrow (tomorrow and Sunday are the annual tax free days in Massachusetts). I just can’t keep using the tv to replace the screen on my 2013 MacBook — the complication today was that the tv router died and the Xfinity repair guy had to come out and replace it. Besides, we need my computer to store photos while on the vacation that starts next week (we’re allergic to the icloud). Finally, as hinted above, I can’t care for a recalcitrant computer while I’m recovering from surgery.

    Lurking+Deb. Or do I not know what an “incognito window” is? Ignorance just occurred to me, like drawn blinds in a James Joyce story.

    1. Cool. I dream of the day I can afford a Mac again. (Mine was water damaged through no fault of mine.)

  9. Hello to Deb and I still see her on Instagram. (Thanks Jenny for getting me hooked on IG with #workingWednesdaypix. 😜)

    We bought a double burner induction electric cooktop when redoing our kitchen because it turns out the grill and the toaster oven when we get you so far. I do recommend them.

    1. if I’d a powered but non stove kitchen, I’d want an electric pressure cooker. Braise, stew, steam, bake, yogurt, even saute in small amounts. With two inners I made polenta in the second liner before the lamb shanks were had time to cool.

      In my fantasies I get to buy a stovetop and oven that work. Is induction better than gas? I note that Canberra is phasing out household gas use so I guess I hope so. Sure didn’t like regular electric

      Wave and bow to Deb, may your exile end soon

      1. My mother had a gas stove and oven, but I had to use electric in apartments/houses that I lived in until we purchased new appliances ten years ago. I was interested in induction cooking and a convection oven, so I chose a range with both and am very pleased with my choice. I’ve never been comfortable with gas lines in houses after seeing some of the poor construction/maintenance issues that have lead to massive explosions in residential neighborhoods. There is a trade off of not being able to cook if the electricity is off, but I can shut off the power to my stove whenever I want to move it out and clean.

        If you like the responsiveness of gas cooking, I think induction is just as good. Plus with no open flame, it’s cooler and no chance of a stray cloth catching on fire. There’s no worry about gas leaks, and I don’t know if all ranges do this, but if I put a pot of water on to boil and walk away and forget it, the stove shuts that “burner” off when the water has boiled away. Yes – I know this from experience. Plus, the stove “burner” will not turn on without a pot on it.

        The only drawback is that glass or aluminum cookware won’t work as they are not magnetic and that’s the basis of induction heating.

        This has been long winded, but hopefully there are some bits of information that might be helpful. I promise I’m not an appliance salesperson.

        1. My mother would never cope with induction cookers, she is in love with those Visions glass pots for cooking soup in since forever. Other women like fashion and jewellery. Her and her friends were in love with glass cookware pots the bigger the better.

  10. Hi Deb! Sorry to hear about your exile. Hopefully you’ll be back soon. I’ll echo the suggestion to try going incognito – in Firefox use Ctrl+Shift+P to open a private window.

  11. Hi Deb! Hope you make it out of the digital wilderness soon.

    I’m back to making to-do lists to try and actually get something (anything) done. A lovely doctor gave me a script for All The Hormones (I know, tmi right, but I’m doing my bit so that future women are as blindsided as me), and I lost 3.5 hours in A&E today: my son saved the goal at the price of a broken wrist. Yes, Saturday morning in A&E, every second person a kid in sports gear, 3.5 hours is pretty good I think (also, it’s free, yay public healthcare).

  12. Testing… Am on the device without the plus. (Please imagine me pronouncing plus the French way, thank you.)

  13. My sympathy also goes out to all coping with weather extremes and other disasters. At the risk of jinxing the six million people in the greater Chicago metropolitan area, I’ll just say that our weather has been pretty “normal” this past week.

    Have just finished teaching a two-week mini-course, so now feel I’m entitled to ignore all my household chores on the to-do list for a couple of days and dive into Barbara O’Neal’s newest, “Write My Name Across the Sky.” I actually bought it in hardcover, the better to savor it!

    1. I borrowed that book yesterday and with all my reads piling up I hope to get to it before my two week time limit is up. I’ll most likely have to do a bit shuffling.

  14. Computers are just weird sometimes. Greetings to Deb (et al) from South L.A. It’s too hot here, but not in the ‘I want to lie in a bathtub full of cold water’ way. Only the ‘I want to sit in front of a fan’ way.

    Re: induction, if we are still in this old house when the husband retires (if that ever happens) I’m thinking we should replace the old gas range with an induction cooktop. Safer for old people who don’t always remember to turn off the burner (that would be him).

    1. The gas stove precipitated my mother’s move to assisted living. She turned on a burner to make tea, but then couldn’t remember how to turn it off. 30-minutes later, all the burners were on and (since I lived remotely and had been trying to help her via phone), the fire department had to come and turn off the stove (and hide the knobs so she couldn’t turn it on again).

      The firemen were very nice about it—apparently that kind of call isn’t as rare as I’d have thought.

    1. Hmm, now I’m questioning my apostrophe placement??? What should it be??? Well, it’s the thought that counts. Lol!

  15. I can’t get to my laptop yet which is how I access the dashboard (don’t ask) so I don’t know whose in moderation. I ordered a new cord but Amazon delivered it to somebody else. This week has been the pits.

      1. I’m still in moderation purdah on the books-we’ve-been reading Thursday posting. It’s probably too late to do anything about it now. I wonder what will happen with this post… At least I can read everyone else’s posts, which is why I love this site so much.

    1. Jenny, when you get to your laptop with cable, you would be doing a favor to all Arghers and myself if you just delete my moderated posts. Seriously. 🙂

  16. I feel so special! Thanks, Jenny, and everyone.

    I can apparently access the site on my laptop (which I didn’t figure out right away because I try to use the desktop for online stuff and my laptop for writing, to avoid getting pulled into rabbit holes) but not on my desktop. The good news for Jenny is that probably means it is me, not her site. The bad news for me is that I can’t figure out any way to fix it (incognito didn’t work) and as with the last time something like this happened, it is ONLY this site that is causing the issue. I can access everything else, including other blogs, without a problem. No freaking idea. Technology, bah.

    I have Firefox on both computers. Go figure. The biggest problem is that the desktop is where I check my emails (i.e. get my notifications for new posts) and I don’t have the laptop on every day, so unless I figure it out, I’m going to miss things. Still, at least I got here today.

    Thanks again for all the love, everyone. Arghers are the best.

    1. Yayness.

      It must be something to do with the logged IPs of each device. Argh server sees it as a threat.

      For example this device is free of plus signs in my handle. My other is plussed and I can’t change it.

      All of which leaves me 🕶️ nonplussed 😎

    2. Glad you can comment on one device. No idea why you can’t comment on both. Very odd. This August has been a rough one for me personally. I hope whatever negative ju-ju is in the air vanishes for all of us!

    3. That makes me wonder. I’m using Google Chrome as the browser on the work cornfuser. My successful post above used Edge from the A-i-1 home device. I think I went to Moderation because I played games with my name, but I don’t know. Besides, I’m back on the Werk Masheen.

  17. Deb,
    -Clear your FireFox history (admittedly, you have probably already done this).
    -Are you using the same Internet Service Provider with both machines?
    -If you are using WiFi with the laptop as a test try connecting it through a hardwired cable (unplug your desktop for a minute and plug it the laptop)

    This is just some trouble shooting to try to narrow down the source of the problem.

  18. I have absolutely no hints or advice to offer regarding your computer confusion, I’m just happy to see you back (cue Pharrell Williams).

  19. Power outages caused internet outages, so I am feeling deeply thankful to be able to do my Sunday routine of catching up with the Thursday book post, as well as Sunday happies. Kittens continue to be unbelievably cute and wonderful – I wish I could share them with everyone!

  20. It’s been a week. Lots and lots of drama. A couple we have known for over 20 years who have been separated for years are finally divorcing and selling their house; both are having mental health problems and every time the wife calls or comes over asking for help my husband panics and thinks she is suicidal.

    The stepfather of a neighbor we are close to is in the ICU after a fall and hip surgery.

    A couple we have known for over 30 years (DH was best man at the wedding) and who have been separated for over a decade are getting a divorce. This falls into the category of high time but is really upsetting in that the husband has been basically allowing his wife to keep him out of his daughters life. For DH who really values family life this is really upsetting.

    We spend insane amounts of time supporting these folks. Also a friend whose new neighbors are building a fence. Yes, one of these things is not like the others but the drama level is still elevated there.

    But we are happy because we are going to visit our daughter in London who we haven’t seen since Christmas 2019.

  21. That’s weird—when I commented earlier, the space in my name was replaced with a “+”, thus landing me in moderation.

  22. As long as we’re doing happiness, I wish to report that the contents of our container were delivered on Friday, and they came back Saturday to unpack, and I got to sleep in my very own bed last night and had the best night’s sleep! DH was crowing about cooking dinner with our own pots and pans and utensils tonight, and it was a pleasure to use our good flatware and lovely dishes to eat with.

    I did, however, bring too many shoes (story of my life). I actually looked at one pair (very cute John Fluevog high-heeled sort-of Mary Janes with the sweetest ribbon tie) and said, out loud, “What was I thinking?”

    We’re still somewhat awash in boxes, but we’ve gotten a surprising amount unpacked in the last two days.

  23. Hi Deb!!!

    Also, question for the published authors: so, as a reader, I always assumed that once a book has a release date, this means that the author is totally done with it, it is now in the hands of the publisher, who will do whatever things publishers do, and then we have a book. But I am starting to think this may not be the case? Is it possible that books may not even be ready for publishing even after a date is set?

    I ask this because I am rapidly approaching the current end of the latest series I’ve been reading and the next book’s release date keeps getting bounced around. And in my desperate state, I just want to know all I can!!

    1. Depends on the publisher, but release dates are often set way in advance, sometimes before the manuscript is submitted, definitely before editing is complete. Date can also change based on the competition, if, say, a big name author is going to release a book opposite the book in question, and the publisher decides to put its own book somewhere else on the calendar to optimize the chance of getting on bestseller lists. But that’s only true of really big names.

  24. Still the shoes are John Fluevog. You are in the best shoe making area – Spain, Italy, Portugal. I have many a pair from the Mountains of Italy…it’s a family joke because I bought a lot of shoes from a shoe store going out of business. Bought a pair of dark brown suede boots. The box said “Made in mountains of Italy.” Today I bought a pair of black Via Spiga shoes. $85 from $370.00 Best deal this year. Made me very happy.

  25. Hi Deb!

    Our grateful happy is that after two and a half days without power, flipping a switch now gets results. DH has already retrieved the stuff we stowed in our friends’ freezer, and I am online checking out rechargeable camping lanterns.

  26. I love that this has morphed into the happiness post. Jenny’s out of action, so we’ll just take over the blog ourselves…. My happy is that I am in lockdown in my very own flat with NO HOUSEMATES. I am deeply, deeply grateful not to be stuck with them through this.

  27. I’m all for this morphing into the happiness post 🙂. My biggest happy this week was a workshop I went to yesterday, which was mainly a group of lovely thoughtful people in their 20s. A lot of today’s young people give me a lot of hope for the future.

  28. Happiness – yesterday the heat wave broke and I spent the day rearranging the potted plants outside. They definitely are losing more flowers as the days go by and soon enough I will switch over to fall flowers. My husband pointed out that we lost flowers that were planted by entrance to the cellar. We think maybe rabbits, another new addition to the critter invasion.

    Also took advantage of tax free weekend and it’s not like I didn’t know it was coming, Eliot T. from Jordan’s Furniture kept talking about it the whole summer. Really don’t need any big ticket items but I did go the Bed, Bath and Beyond and got a few things with a 20% off coupon for the whole purchase.

    Also, yesterday looking out the window and saw a sailboat finally return after three weeks at sea. Just a tiny bit envious of where they have been. When we had our motorboat we went on day trips so I have nothing to complain about. But I just imagine them either sailing down to the Vineyard or up along the Maine coast.

  29. I’m happy that a friend has my back on something (which is NOT happy-inducing — will share on Working Wednesday), when I’d been worried I’d have to go it alone, because dealing with it could jeopardize her job. But she’s even more determined than I am to fix it, consequences to her job be damned.

  30. I’m happy because I put in quite a few hours of yard work this weekend and can now ignore the whole situation for 2-3 weeks, and because I finished the new novella, and because I got a really lovely email from a reader about my book ‘Awake & Dreaming.’ Am going to have warm fuzzy feelings about that for weeks, at least.

  31. I am happy that I moved all the plants I wanted saved so the sewer replacement guys would have them out of the way and not trash them. I am happy I decided to dump my bearded irises because, really, they were more pain then pleasure since their flowering period is so short and their looking icky phase is so long if I don’t work at keeping them tidy. One less chore.

  32. My foster dog, Pixie is doing well. She goes to the vet tomorrow to be checked out and vaccinated.

    I pretty much finished weeding my gravel driveway and it looks great. I also stabilized some stepping stones by my side gate. Less chance of falling or turning an ankle now.
    And I’ll continue my weeding/yardwork.

    I wish I could motivate myself to dust; I really need to dust!

  33. I am happy because I am a stage in my life where not only am I smart enough to know when I need help with things like yard work, I can pay for it. The island flower bed in my front yard needed a ton of work and over the weekend 80% of it got done. The young men I hired moved a lot of dirt and sand and they are coming back this morning to finish the sand. I still have to build the retaining “wall” and replant my roses but that will be this evening/early tomorrow morning.

    Charlie Dog’s eyes are still getting better. The improvement isn’t as dramatic as at first but every little bit helps.

    I am also happy because the stuff that has to be moved out of the living room has been at the very least packed and the vast majority of that stuff is now downstairs.

    I am also happy because on Saturday I’m going to Edmonton for a farmer’s market and a costco/pet store run and I’m going by myself!!! Paul is going to a sporting clays shoot in another town with some of his friends so I don’t have to worry about him being worried about me and I can relax and enjoy myself. The dogs are staying home.

  34. Film night was great again. Notting Hill. Picked my first blackberries on the hillfort (and my tomatoes are finally ripening). And went on a coach trip to the new RHS garden near Manchester today. It was showery and grey, but great to have a change of scene and spend a day looking at plants. (I posted a couple of mystery ones on Instagram:

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