Working Wednesday, August 18, 2021

This morning I took the recycling out to the curb. Hey, that counts. Today it’s a vet run and reading the latest version of Bob’s new book, now titled Shane and the Hitwoman. Last week it was surviving being nibbled to death by ducks. We still haven’t figured out why Deb is in Outer Darkness, but Mollie’s narrowing it down.

What did you do this week?

UPDATE: I was wrong about Deb’s problem. From Mollie: “p[Deb] is running an anti-virus program on her desktop and the maker is well aware of an issue that is blocking all the websites hosted via our provider (and likely a number of additional hosting providers).” So if anybody else is being blocked, check your anti-virus software. Mollie says Deb can post from her laptop which isn’t using the software, so there’s that.

63 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, August 18, 2021

  1. My last day in Paris so today, I’ll have a nice lunch in a café turned bistrot in my neighbourhood with my mum, sister and niece and do some last minute shopping. Does that count as work? Probably not 🙂

    I remember when that café was a very grotty place in the 80s. We used to go there with my friends when we had a break during the school day. We would order expressos and my friend would light a cigarette and we felt so grown up!

  2. Entertained my Ex-MIL and just got crankier than ever. I’m clearly not getting enough sleep. I’m a growling mama bear these days.

    1. Me too, even with enough sleep! I’m calling it free-floating anger, though I do have some fairly well-defined targets. The problem is I can’t FIX anything or anyone. I hate that. Sympathies.

      1. Me three. Just general rage, all the time. The only difference is how close it floats to the surface.

  3. NZ is in a short (hopefully), sharp lockdown. We’ve had pretty much complete freedom since May 2020 (no Covid except in border MIQ) so we’ve been pretty lucky. Today was day one, I totally nailed it.
    4 zoom work meetings.
    4 million kid-hours of screens.
    Like, 5 minutes of home school?
    1 sibling fight while I was on a zoom with a client.
    1 round of baking (practically gone)
    1 child still in PJs at afternoon tea time.

    It’s now 12.40am and I’ve spent the last 90 minutes failing to write one email. 15th draft here I come.

    Word of the day: spuddle: to work ineffectively, to be extremely busy while achieving absolutely nothing.

    1. I like your word! I shall have to incorporate it into my vocabulary, since it so describes many of my days.

      1. I nicked it from Susie Dent’s twitter. She’s a lexicologist and her word of the day tweets are excellently on point.

  4. Trying to concentrate on my tech writing job, while trying to plan, OK, worrying, about the upcoming family reunion. Family are coming from the West, CO/WY/MN, to Maine. We have some kids and one unvaccinated adult. They’re getting a hotel instead of staying in the big house, I think.
    As someone on Pop Culture Happy Hour said, it’s like we’re living in three movies: a plague thriller, a war movie, and a disaster flick. So difficult to take it in, and of course, I can’t.
    I think I might have just killed the vacuum cleaner, and company is coming Friday. Also, bleh.

    1. Sounds like you’re having a rough time. Sending you a bunch of strenght and good vibes. Hope things will turn to the better very soon.

    2. Good luck with the family situation. My parents are slowly getting more and more right wing over the pandemic (and they started out on the right) so I’m with you on the dystopian thing. Family time shouldn’t feel like a battle, and I’m sorry it does for you right now.

  5. Finally moved in to the NYC apartment. Still waiting on a few boxes (my books!!!) but my bedroom has been set up for a few days now and my groceries are purchased.

    Got a few ghostwriting projects to wrap up this month, (one that I got writer’s block on, and one that I thought I wrapped up but came back from the dead like a zombie) but then I will start grad school and be down to one part time job.

    I’m in that part of the move after the adrenaline has warn off, but before the best parts of your new life/routines have started, where you go “Huh. I hope I didn’t make a mistake.” But that’s par for the course with big risky life decisions. Now I just have to wait for the good stuff to start.

  6. Two of us drove to Canada for the last 2 days, and we are here now. The reason is sad (helping a friend bury her father) but also there are so many of her friends here, and so much of her past here… a very mixed blessing.

    not driving is some kind of bliss though, I thought I was welded to the car seat

  7. I spent the weekend working on the rules for our quilt show in March. We’ve decided to change the category definitions. Previously we had a division between sit-down machine quilting and long-arm quilting. But now we are making the division between whether you ran your machine of choice yourself, or whether you stood back while a computer program ran the quilting stitches. We’ll see how folks like that.

    I’ve got a big pile of quilting to do on my machine, which is intimidating. So, I created a number of “practice” quilts out of placemats. I spent a goodly amount of time quilting three so far. I think I’m getting better at my meandering swirl. (The saying is that you need to practice at least 100 hours to get your brain-body connection to become proficient. Our problem is that we always judge our beginning steps against people with thousands of hours of proficiency, which makes us disappointed. I’ve decided that I can only do my best at any given time .)

    Members of my quilting group have been sporadically working on a quilt pattern called “Nearly Insane” because of all of the tiny pieces. I’ve had fabric set aside for this, but hadn’t started it until this past Sunday. I made two blocks. Only 12 more to go to catch up with them. I think there are 100 different blocks in the quilt.

    I did finish up a baby blanket. It is supposed to be over 30″ wide, but that only happens if I stretch it. I’m thinking of blocking it, so it gets an idea of how it should be.

    And finally, I whipped up a nametag for my quilt guild. I’ve only been a member for 6 years, I guess it is about time I have one.

    Back to work now – working late today!

  8. I wanted to write out my multi part list for tomorrow here but … if I _not_ eat the scary food while still acquiring groceries and providing dinner it will be enough. It is exhausting to feed myself without eating a known (personal)poison.

    My feet and ankles swell, and my ears ring, when I eat salicylates (seasonings, most plants, most prepared foods). I’ve been sloppy to terrible about following even though I dislike the symptoms. Only, one of my swollen feet now has a depression the size of my thumb and the whole leg is suddenly more painful. Just, if one were to eat loSal, loCarb(blood sugar) and low fodmap there’s meat, gelatine, choko, celery, iceberg lettuce… Oh and decaffeinated coffee. I know there’s more but exhausted, really.

    1st dose vaccine yesterday, I declare sad exhaustion a probable side effect. Tomorrow will be better.
    But I would appreciate well wishing anyone cares to offer, any format

    1. If you can take acetaminophen, it helps with the vaccines. I’m so sorry about your dietary stuff–I’ve got a gluten sensitivity, but nothing like what you’re dealing with. I hope you feel better soon. We aren’t trained in listening to our bodies, and pain is a great waker-upper. As a friend and I tell each other, There, there.
      Naps are good.

      1. Thank you. Here we say poor baby (we’ve all read Faking It) though tone is important with that one 🙂
        If I were raising kids now I would be teaching them body /food awareness right up there with bathing. Loved one who had his gal bladder removed at 3(!) had to learn that fat hurt and went on to become very good at listening to his body. Sometimes I’m envious even including gal stones and surgery.
        I’m learning now but so late.

    2. You have all my admiration and sympathy. I couldn’t fully stick to the low fodmap diet and my low carb diet for over a week so I feel your pain. On the upside, my niece , the queen of food sensitivity, has been working with a functional nutritionist to narrow down the list of culprits and now has a much shorter list of thing to avoid. She said that it turned out that her biggest problem was with glutamates and drank those rip off shakes that they plug on the internet for “leaky gut”. When I saw the infomercials about it online, I thought that it had to be a moneygrubbing scam, but the shakes really worked for her. The best part is that she now only has to return to the low fodmap diet on the rare occasions when she has strayed very far from her normal routine.

      In the meantime, I am wishing immediate relief for you and a return to alliums, spices and chocolate.

      1. I managed low fodmap and low carb for about a year. I probably was 2-3 years of knowing I needed to get to that year. Loved the way I felt but then my ears started ringing. When I worked out (failsafe diet, and tolerance testing) that no salicylates made it stop I just couldn’t manage low carb with no plant based fats, not to mention seasonings.

    3. I’d never heard of fodmap before (no reason why I should have, really), but wow, that sounds challenging. And feeling crummy from vax when you can’t even binge on ice cream or most other comfort foods to feel better. Sending argh/cherry vibes.

      1. Thank you. I’m trying not to whine. I really appreciate that I can it here where it’s diffuse for you all and still so comforting for me.

      1. Strength would be especially lovely. It gets used up so quickly.

        Sympathy on the packing front. I started my packing early and then the move for derailed, so boxes here too. Because I knew I’d be doing it awhile I picked one room for finished boxes, close to the door. I’m adding to it even though we no longer have an ETA so there half filled boxes to trip over but the full ones have been corralled.

    4. Oohhh. Snap.

      I ate the scary food last night and was held together today by anti-spasmodic, anti-nausea, anti-gerd, and pro-biotic meds.

      I’m not ready to try fodmap yet. I’m just eating what doesn’t trouble me too much as usual and then adding one thing in and seeing how I react.

      My reactions are almost uniformly while sleeping. So I’m awakened by cough and drowning feeling. Argh.

      So I went to work. And survived.

    5. I’m sorry clancy, that sounds awful. Has the doctor given you any nutritional guidance? I’ve found most of them are pretty terrible at that part so I hope you have a good one. Virtual hugs to you.

      1. Really not. He gives me flyers from a medical textbook. And his referrals have consistently been unhelpful. He sent me to a nutritionist across the city, big city, and she knew less than I did about the FODMAP diet. I suspect him of sending me to university friends regardless of skill or speciality.
        I’d be looking for new but lockdown.

  9. There are two boiler inspections scheduled for next week that I don’t think are going to happen. Both boilers are still operating, and the other boilers need repairs before they can be brought online to replace them. Then there will be a cooldown period because inspectors crawl inside, and that alone takes days.

    I just work there.

  10. I was extremely productive on my days off, mostly catching up in the garden. Today, not so much. It’s hard coming back to the day job.

    A small local business asked me to do a window display for October and November, which is lovely, but I am stumped. Halloween is my favorite but I am having a hard time thinking of something that will transition into November with a minimum of redo. So I may just go all out for Halloween and have an alternate design for later. It’s a cute little tea shop and I welcome any suggestions.

    1. I just drove past our little mall (took Mona to the vet) and the old Bed, Bath, and Beyond (huge) now has an equally huge HALLOWEEN STORE banner on it. I did not stop although I am a sucker for Halloween, which evidently now starts in August.

      1. It begins on July 5 — it’s just that we weren’t paying attention. Labor Day just slips in there somewhere.

    2. Maybe do some basic harvest pieces with some Halloween stuff and then switch the Halloween stuff with more harvest things? Bats to crows would probably be good; Jack-o-lanterns that reverse to plain pumpkins; ghost with tombstone that can be replaced with a cornucopia and scarecrow.

    3. I’ m thinking The Haunted mansion. A table set with a bountiful feast with ghosts and lighting. Remove the ghosts turn around the jacko’lantern and add a turkey. You could cover everything with dust covers add a couple of ghosts and cats. Remove after Halloween underneath is the Thanksgiving display. I may have spent too much time at Disneyland growing up.

      1. No, I fantasized for years about autumn dishes that would work from September to Thanksgiving — some sort of autumn design for the plates, with specific Halloween / Thanksgiving serving pieces. No manufacturer ever seems to have thought that concept would sell, for some reason.

        What I have now are amber glass plates and bowls, with some leaf-shaped glass serving plates in red, gold, and green (thank you, Chicago Art Institute). I gave my brother various tableware items in black, and HE does the Halloween table. Black wineglasses are available as Tasting Glasses, so you can’t see the wine, and you can buy black flatware, too. Or Gothic flatware, but he didn’t fancy it.

        1. I think that the problem that both I and the manufacturers have is that fall, Halloween and thanksgiving all have very different vibes. In my head, fall is colorful and cheerful, Halloween is dark and edgy and thanksgiving is muted and all about comfort. What I want from each event is very different. November onto December is a smoother transition, I think.

      2. That’s where I am heading as well. The dust clothes are a good idea. It’s just so prop heavy and literal. And a relatively short time line. I like to plan things for months. Ah well. We will see.

      1. Which incidentally, can you add food tied to the tea shops theme for the month, if you have one?

    4. Autumn wedding theme for early October and November with more Halloween decorations added and maybe costume changes for the figures, or cute cookie base monsters to make the scene into a costume party instead of wedding reception

      Or not wedding, thinking out any fall theme first and then considering how to make it Halloween after might be easier. Halloween is such a great holiday, you could probably add its touches to any scene.

      I’d be interested in pictures? If you’d care to share?

  11. Today I’m contemplating the placement of the electrical outlets from when I ok’d them to be closer to the floor than higher because they looked better. That’s thirty years before I knew the phrase esthetically pleasing. However this morning when I went room to room with the cord for the vacuum, stooped and reaching behind furniture, the duo of Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Coolidge doing the bend and stretch exercise from Legally Blonde kept popping up in my head. There is a lesson to be learned here. When doing renovations look towards the future.

    1. Oh yes! Aging in place, or illness, or kids, or even simple cleaning(brass, glass and marble bathtub! Completely incompatible cleaning methods)
      I so long for a place I can expect to live in for thirty years, I’ve been collecting concepts for longer than that. Of course it’s much easier to learn about all of this than it could have been thirty years ago.


    Over the weekend the young men I hired dug up the front flower bed and then we hauled hundreds of pounds of dirt, mostly clay our soil is terrible, and sod away. I edged the lawn at the sidewalk and discovered that in some places it had overgrown the sidewalk by over a foot! The boys also hauled sand and dumped it in the flower bed, it helps with drainage and the sand is a lot cheaper than dirt (it was cheap like free but yesterday we bought my former bosses at the sand and gravel place lunch so it was cheap like 25 bucks).

    On Monday night I stacked almost all of the rocks and finished on Tuesday morning then I moved in some more sand, put weed barrier along the inside edge of the rocks to stop everything from running out in the next rain and then put down the soil and plants. I was running out of soil so I earmarked the last 4 bags to make sure I could really cover the rose roots well.

    Yesterday we also put the top ledging boards on the pink flower bed in the back. Pictures when I have the painting all done. I did not work at the day job yesterday.

    Today we are taking Charlie to the vet for an eye exam and more meds. We will also pick up some more dirt so I can finish the front garden and fill the pink flower bed. We are also laying out the deck boards and maybe doing a little bit on building the deck (just a low platform, nothing fancy) today and finishing it tomorrow if all goes well.

  13. I find the endless loop of repetitive tasks or chores very unsatisfying. Getting them done always feels like I’ve simultaneously accomplished both something and nothing.

    Basically my entire work job is comprised of such endless loop tasks. Every day starts afresh and is exactly the same.

    On the home front, today I managed to force myself to make two of the three endless loop calls for end of summer services at the house.

    1. That’s where I get torn. Cleaning must be done… but it definitely supplants more constructive activities. Clean less and do other things more? But then… squalor happens….

      I have no solution except delegation. XD

  14. Working on not killing anyone at work for gross stupidity. Some weeks, even six hours in-house are too many. Hard to let people keep their own crazies when it affects me (some staff refusing the vaccine) and my work (let’s upend schedules during the first two weeks of the semester).
    At home, I need to do some cleaning, as always, and made a tiny start last night. If it were more satisfying, or if it would stay clean, that might be different. I love to cook, but hate doing dishes. First world problems. Life is really very good. When I’m full of tough love, I ask myself: Are you in chemo? got a surgery scheduled? No? Then stop whining.

  15. I made the crazy double deadline last Friday, and things are a bit saner. I want to stick to four days a week max from now on. But I’ve nearly earned out my fee, according to my calculations, although the job isn’t due to be finished until December. So I’ve told them I want to charge for the extra work by the hour, and also to be paid for the work I do soon after I do it, rather than six months later. The boss was out of the office today. Hope we can come to a win-win on this; it’s stressful.

    Meanwhile I’m rewriting the care chapter, to make it as helpful as possible. And have just managed to include a question about one of my roses I’m worried about in a general query to the author; hoping for some expert advice.

  16. I was wrong about Deb’s problem: Mollie figured it out (see update above) and Deb can post from her laptop, so we’re good now.

  17. Just cleaning the kitchen and attending a zoom meeting later. It was in person but we’re having a bit of bad weather so zoom.

    Took Pixie to the vet yesterday; she got a rabies shot and we’re waiting for results on her bloodwork. The rabies tag still hasn’t made its way onto her collar.

    It’s just turning into a lazy day.

  18. I’ve been doing some more packing… Only scratching the surface really, but gotta take it at a survivable pace. In addition to that, we were expecting TV-people to be here this week (got cancelled, so will happen next week) so I simultaniously can’t pack too much because it still has to be clear that we live here still, AND I can’t have tons of boxes standing everywhere either because well… TV-people. And still I have to pack SOME things, because the whole damn flat is full of boxes (albeit not yet boxy boxes, still flat and not-put-together), so ARGH, I need to get things out of the way. ARGH again. The new deal is that they’ll (the TV-people) come here Thursday next week, and we get the keys to our new place Wednesday, so maybe MIL and I can get some of the smaller boxes over there that day, so we’re rid of some of the clutter.
    (I’m not the TV star by the way, Sven is.)
    I’ve also been recording(!) some vocals(!!) today, for the first time since… forever. Sent it all to dad, who’s gonna mix and fix and do some tricks. Maybe it’ll end up on the interwebs eventually… if I can stop finding faults and flaws and errors in every. damn. word. I. Sing. Argh.

  19. I had to do errands at the mall. So I stopped in the L’Occitane store and just absorbed the ambience. Did state upfront to the assistant that I’m just not there to buy, so to focus on what she needed to do.

    I’m still on a “buy nothing”. No need for another eye serum, when I have two different brand of unfinished tubes. So I bought nothing.

  20. My day job has continued blessedly low-stress, in fact I’ve had so little to do that I am getting through a shocking number of books this week. Accomplished … over the weekend, quite a lot of yard work and finished beta draft of the latest novella. This morning: wrote a sonnet for a WIP novel starring a language-arts teacher.

  21. Yesterday I repotted the apricot tree that was trying to grow through its former pot and is still somehow about to burst into flower. I also repotted the indoor plant that a former housemate gave me when I moved in here. Once it dries out again it can sit on a shelf in the kitchen. I ventured into the out for groceries a few days ago, just before it was announced that the lockdown has been extended by two weeks. Fortunately I already had toilet paper because the shelves were stripped bare. COVID makes people crazy.

  22. I’m trying to get the usual stuff done while distracted by the news — all gloomy and repeating endlessly. Also busy deleting texts from my phone from strangers who want my vote in the recall election. And for some reason an endless series of calls from an endless series of strange phone numbers inquiring about my car’s warranty.

    Spending the early evening converting doc files to mobi files, with editing in epub en route.

  23. I’ve got a cold. Our government says if you’ve got a cold, get a covid test. Did I get a covid test? Nope. I didn’t wanna go out. I wanted to stay home, work, and feel miserable. And I’m in New Zealand; we’re in the very lucky position of having no covid.

    Then, as Allanah said, we got covid back in the community 2 days ago and went into a lockdown. I felt guilty about that test, and having covid suddenly didn’t feel quite as unlikely. So today I went for the test.

    But it’s cold season here; many people have colds. And all of them felt guilty and went for a test. Result: 5 and a quarter hours queuing.

    It’s amazing how exhausting waiting is. Getting that test felt like quite enough of an achievement for today.

  24. Am I the only one who is very worried about Shane and Agnes’s relationship? That title is not promising for Agnes!

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