54 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, August 4, 2021

  1. I am expecting the sewer guy to come by and tell me what plants need to be moved if I want to save them when they put in my new sewer in two weeks. Oh joy.

  2. We drove to Wales for a short (5 days) holiday. It was the first time I have been more than 20 miles from my home since before March 2020 when we went into our first lockdown. Despite being doubly vaccinated, and being super cautious at all times, it was odd to be out of the house. Nonetheless, it was a much needed get-away and also a chance to try out our new electric car. It is a different style of travel when you need to arrange for charging stop-overs.
    I was also able to photograph my newest knitted sweater as it was cooler there. You can see it here: https://knitigatingcircumstances.com/2021/08/03/dyemonds-is-a-girls-best-friend/.
    I am unfortunately back at work today, but since it is my first day as a Professor (having just been promoted), I am trying not to complain.

  3. I was attempting to be useful and productive and pick up some loose stuff out of the yard, and I rolled my ankle. So I’m on the couch with an ice pack and ibuprofen. not my first choice.

  4. Yesterday was Shop ‘n Dine with Dotter day. Dinner came from Denny’s, the Supreme Skillet with Scrambled Eggs and Cheese. It fit inside the boundaries of my diet, just, but left no room at all for more sodium. Even a Diet Coke has 40 mg of sodium.

    But it let me lose a few more ounces, so the weight has hit a new low in the multi-year yo-yo swing, today. Not the lowest I’ve been, but the lowest this year so far.

  5. I have been experiencing an unexpected inability to digest for the last 2 weeks, which has effected my energy levels and motivation, but I finally seem to be getting better. Cautiously ate a low fiber blueberry muffin this morning – so far, so good.

    On the bright side, I found a FREE online appointment scheduling site for our by-appointment shows. I was using the chat help feature to see if there was a way to show days *after* our show dates as a different color (the days previous do). We typed back and forth a few times, and he asked if he could call – we explored options and determined the only solution was more trouble than it is worth, but he said other people had asked about this, so there was already a request in the system about this. WOW – I have gotten much worse service for things I pay for!!! So if you ever need to offer booking online Setmore are your peeps! Sorry to blather on, I am just so impressed by these people. I mean, they are probably datamining my customers, but who isn’t?

  6. After boasting here about my terrific gardener, I heard that a tree had fallen on him. (He does tree work but has previously steered clear of being smooshed into a pancake.) Broke shoulder and 2 ribs plus nicked a vertebra. He told me the story from his hospital bed.

    I’m trying to figure out whether to pick up an Edible Arrangement or how else I can possibly help. Fortunately, Percocet and those sorts of pain killers work for him. He takes care of his family and his inlaws and is a sweetheart. I call him one of my children (from my teaching years I have an extensive extended brood). I feel awful for him.

  7. I made a whiteboard! As in, I took an old larg-ish calendar picture that I’d laminated years ago. Then I turned it over and cleaned it up. Drew lines in permanent marker.

    Will now use as movable daily phonic chart! Yay.

    I paid off the card I use to buy books with. In full. This after disabling one-click on all devices. I’m feeling tender. But otherwise ok. Hoping what I have left will last since I’m trying to do a buy-nothing!

      1. I rather liked “larg-ish.” It seems ish-er than “largeish” somehow.

  8. We are putting in all new flooring in the main floor in October so I’ve started packing stuff down to the basement for storage. At first it freaked Paul out that I was starting so early but once I explained that it would be a whole lot easier to haul a few boxes down a week rather than dozens down when we are in a hurry, he calmed down. I think I have traumatized him unintentionally in the past. I want all the small stuff downstairs so that all we have to be moving around throughout the house when we are putting in the actual flooring is the really big stuff like beds and heavy furniture. It will be enough of a pain in the butt to move that!

    Other than that it’s been day job and yard work and not much else.

  9. No work for me!
    My mum and I had dessert for lunch at a famous Parisian tearoom instead.

    1. Which one? I will be going to Paris in October and could always use some suggestions.

      1. Ladurée. They are famous for their macarons which you can buy at aurports and even London St Pancras where they have little stands but the cakes are excellent too.
        The original tearoom is rue Royale, near the place de la concorde but that can be hard to get into.
        The most famous tearoom in Paris though is Angelina, rue de Rivoli. You definitely have to book for that one. They used to have an offshoot in the Galeries Lafayette, not sure if they still do.
        They are famous for their hot chocolate and their chestnut cake (called Le Mont Blanc).
        Another famous tearoom is Carette on the place du Trocadéro, opposite the Eiffel tower. That’s where all the preppy kids from the 16th arrondissement hang out during the school year. Carette has an offshoot place des Vosges (the most gorgeous 18th century place in Paris) which is nicer I think.
        I could go on… I have always been into cakes and tearooms.
        My father’s mother was an amazing grandmother. Once a year she would take all her grandchildren to a tearoom during the summer and say you can eat as many cakes as you want! I think my record was 7 but some of my older male cousins would compete to eat the most and eat 12 or 13. I still remember that lovely feeling of anticipation, looking at the display and knowing that after choosing one cake, I would be able to come back and choose another!

        1. I should add that these are the classics so very very touristy.
          Parisians themselves don’t really go to these places.
          If you understand French I would suggest following Pascale Weeks suggestions. She has a blog I have been following for years: C’est moi qui l’ai fait.
          She posts recipes but also places where she likes to eat. She now lives in the 20th arrondissement which is definitely more edgy than the places I have talked about.

  10. DH and I tackled have the back yard, trimming, pruning and in general causing a ruckus and disturbing the birds (who were trying to get to the suet I have out). An hour and three barrels full of debris later, I called it a day. There’s plenty more to do, but I was done with being bathed in sweat and we had no more barrels in which to put stuff. Those were emptied out Tuesday morning, so we can look at the other half when there is the next opportunity.

    After a wonderful shower, I went back to last week’s math problem. I ended up taking a bit off the previous border and then creating little spacer blocks that got centered on each side. So, this round robin is done.


    I’ve yet to pull the next one out of it’s bag. I’ll try to take seam allowance into account before I start cutting!

  11. Our holiday is just around the corner so I try to finish as much as I can of the Mount Everest of work in the office.
    Had my last Business English class today – we employees were offered this 5-week-class as part of our upskilling journey. If you native speakers have never heard of such a journey, never mind – that’s us Germans creating strange English sounding words… and if you then enlighten me that such an expression exists, I have learnt yet another bit.
    We also learnt the expression “to be snowed under” for being too busy. I feel more like drowned completely. I might finish my work load in time but it’s such a nice prospect to come back to one that feels like the Andes after my holiday we are continuously understaffed.

    But still I am soooo looking forward to being away for two weeks. Our first trip abroad since 2019.
    I don’t want to jinx it – spending time at the sea somewhere where there might actually be summer (yet no fires) and not so much rain every day. It feels too good to be true. And strange. I’m feeling a bit guilty for wanting to travel at all.

    Especially as I’m quite bewildered when I read a friend’s letter lately: she always loved traveling, but after one year behaving moderately, she seems to make up for it: Africa, the Faroer Islands, Denmark, a week on Corfu shortly, then (when it’s not a red zone anymore) Scotland. Can I justifiably be perplexed by her globetrotting when I myself long to pack our things and spend two quiet weeks at the sea? Or am I judging by a double standard?

    1. I think English needs “upskill”, a nice parallel to “upsell” (and autocorrect doesn’t like either one of them.) English never hesitates to acquire new words.

          1. Autocorrect, however, wants it to be “upkill” which is scary. I’ve never trusted autocorrect, but I didn’t think it was an assassin.

      1. “We don’t just borrow words; on occasion English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary.” ~ James D. Nicoll

          1. In, I, too, am perplexed by friends who have traveled despite the quarantines. Also, family members who live in Europe have traveled throughout the Schengen/EU zones during the same pandemic that has kept me in my little US town. I understand feeling a gulf between other people’s experiences and your own yearning for travel. Enjoy the seaside!

  12. I booked plane reservations for me and three other family members to fly back to Oklahoma at the end of the month. It will be an extremely quick trip serving various purposes, one that’s been delayed for several years due quarantines and life in general. I don’t guess I’ve flown anywhere since 2015, and I will admit to being nervous about possible cancellations and, to be honest, just the idea of traveling at all. Maybe I’ve grown too comfortable in my own home these days.

    1. You’re trying to rest at night, yet you’re drawing owls? (and a very nice owl, too.) This seems backwards.

  13. I cleaned the house on Saturday. Otherwise it’s been day job; still pretty flat out. Currently doing a rough edit of the care chapter, to get clear on exactly what needs illustrating and how. Tomorrow there’s a Google Meet with a couple of people from the New York office to work out logistics for the US edition.

    An old family friend came for tea today. She said, ‘So you just read it through and make occasional suggestions for how it might be improved?’ I don’t think my attempt to explain some of the many tasks involved in creating an illustrated book really registered.

  14. Murphy’s Law, just as we’re ready to sign a contract for a new roof the water heater springs a leak. But good news the plumber had a new one installed the next day. Still going ahead with the roof though – hurricane season.

  15. This week I’m working on catching up all the yardwork that I let slide while we did the pool project. So many roses to deadhead, weeds to pull, mulch to spread. It’s not the impressive part of gardening but necessary. Also I can definitely tell that feeding the rosebushes chopped up banana peels is making a difference; that tip came from the book Roses Love Garlic, all about growing flowers and co-planting. We inherited most of the rosebushes with the house and they weren’t healthy when I took over. In the fall I intend to add alliums and garlic between the rosebushes.

  16. Keeping to my house cleaning schedule. And I got my first Shingrix shot. So far just a sore arm. The plan is Shingrix in August, flu shot in September, and second Shingrix in October. I’ll worry about COVID boosters when the CDC and the vax companies figure it out.

    Foster Pixie is doing very well. I’m taking her for some walks and she’s stopped pulling. She’s such a love.

  17. I started digging a hole for an oak leaf hydrangea I bought a few weeks ago. See, Jenny, it isn’t just you. And I say started to dig because it needs to be bigger but my abilities in that field are limited. Also, I had to keep stopping to deal with some roots.

    Container gardening is great btw. It not only eliminates the hole digging issue, it also allows you to move things around to suit. I container garden on my extremely sunny deck, and I even get some things coming back from one year to the next. So go for it. If you need inspiration, I recommend Gardeners World. Although Monty and co make hole digging look easy.

  18. Working on figuring out the NYC subway system. I spent $9 and an extra half hour getting to work because of all the incorrect decisions I made. But I made only one mistake on the way home and I ate some great pizza, so I think I’m doing pretty well.

  19. I am recovering from a root canal and trying to figure out what to do about my job. We are all being stood down with no pay, again, due to pandemic travel restrictions. Government assistance is a possibility but hasn’t been confirmed. We’re not eligible for disaster payments here because we’re not a COVID hotspot. In fact we have no COVID, and haven’t had a community transmission case for over a year, but we’re surrounded by a state in serious outbreak, which means other states are locking us out. If we don’t get any government assistance this time I will have to try to find a new job. That will certainly feel like work.

  20. I also slept in — there goes world domination for another week — ably assisted by Polka Dot, who was determined to take a morning nap on top of me. She’s pretty heavy to shift, although she can magically stretch herself out so that her weight seems to disappear, but she can also leap up or down and land on one or more VERY solid paws. I meant to do the Elder Shopping at Target today, but someone sent me a text message this morning requesting a favor near the Target, and didn’t send me the information I need to actually do the favor, so the shopping (main request Fancy Feast) and the favor can wait until I have the info.

  21. I have to do a monthly report for the day job, and every month I do one step from memory and think about how I really should write it down. Today I finally did! It only took a few minutes and I’m pleased with myself out of all proportion.

    Probably more significantly, I’ve been eating almost totally healthy food this week, with lots of veges and little sugar. Now to keep it up for, oh, the next 40 years. My partner and I are negotiating a buy-no-junk-food month to reset both of us. We’ll see if that sticks.

      1. Yes, unfortunately. I don’t eat it in small amounts, I scoff the lot all at once. Even if I swear to myself that I won’t.

  22. My brother sent me the dates that his friends will be visiting him so that I can try to plan my vacation. Unfortunately, that hasn’t made deciding whether or not to extend my trip any easier. I think a skype call may be in order, especially since I want to see how he looks after his hospital sojourn. He claims to feel better than he has for several years, but I’d like to see for myself.

    I stopped the diet that was giving me so much grief and am waiting for my digestion to settle down now that I am back on my usual supplements. Now I just have to email the stomach doc and find out what is next on the checklist.

  23. The actual work for which I am employed was fairly dense this evening. On top of the regular duties, my coworker and I were requested to provide major janitorial services. The 25 YO tile floor no longer buffs up pretty (it may be replaced, soon) but we did what we could, including moving furniture.

    Then there was my sedentary work. Nobody else admits to being capable of producing the monthly reports of Gas, Oil, and Water usage. It’s all data entry in MS Excel files, followed by output of a month’s worth of inputs and a summary.

    Then my relief was late. Sigh.

  24. After looking sporadically for the quilt pattern to finish my quilt, I completely ransacked my sewing room this week. Found it!! So now to cut the borders, attach, and get it along with a few more ready to go to the long-arm quilter. I do feel virtuous, as I also did some light purging and cleaning up behind things, and put the room back together.

  25. I packed up and returned the first work laptop, which was noncompliant. With the aid of the Husband (aka resident tech support) worked through most of the issues with the new work laptop, such that I can now see all my work apps on my lovely big monitor. Resolution isn’t perfect, but at least I can work in the standing position without a) going blind b) getting a headache. (Work laptop has a 15″ screen. My monitor is 34″ ultrawide. Being able to work without getting new glasses: priceless.)

    Aside from Day Job, not much accomplished. Work computer > big screen means I don’t have access to my own computer during the workday (switching back and forth is a PITA), and by the time I sign off haven’t been in the mood to try writing. Today I’m going to fire up my own laptop (which lives in a drawer for emergencies) and jot a few things in Google Docs so I don’t lose momentum on the top-of-list project.

    1. We booked tickets for DH, DS, and self to visit DD in London. I haven’t seen her in person since Jan 1 2020.
      And we found a hotel with a two bedroom, kitchen and living room apartment so we have a comfortable place to be together. I figure a lot of the sights we would normally want to see will be closed .

      Then we started to book the required Covid tests —at least 3 sets (before departure, after arrival, before return). I think we may also need a set after

      And now I need to reschedule 2 medical appointments and figure out how to get cheap international phone service —we switched providers since our last trip.

      Getting ready for this trip really is work! Never mind the usual packing, planning activities, connecting with friends…

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