Working Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Since I torched my stove, I’ve been microwaving everything, which has led to me figuring out how to microwave everything, which has made me happy. There’s a plastic container called Fasta Pasta that is making me very happy because now I can make noodles in the microwave. And a set of dishes called Anyday that are designed for the microwave that I’m loving. There’s a thing to do bacon in the microwave that I have not experimented with, but I am hopeful. And of course the egg poachers that I bought are terrific, although I still haven’t managed to arrive at poached eggs yet; what I mainly get are shell-less mostly hard eggs that are terrific for egg salad and salads with eggs and snacking; soon up to try: deviled eggs. So I am working on my microwave skills and having a wonderful time.

Also, am forced to work on You Again because Bob keeps sending demanding e-mails like:
“What’s it about? Just kill a few people. Add in an alligator.”
“You need Bigfoot. Is it a murder mystery?”
“How does the murder mystery affect the romance?”
“Do you have a conflict box?”
It’s annoying as hell except that answering him has been extremely helpful in focusing the story and showing plot holes and weaknesses so, as usual, he is necessary, even though the follow-up “Book done yet” is inevitable.

What did you work on this week?

69 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, November 10, 2021

  1. Jenny, can I ask why you don’t have a stove yet? Thanksgiving is, gulp, two weeks away and I have visions of you stuffing a turkey in a microwave.

    1. I live in a very small cottage with a kitchen that’s about 9×9 and a pantry that’s about 7×9 (sink is in pantry). I can have a full size stove or a full size fridge, not both. I’ve decided to swap out the stove that I torched for a fridge, since I’ve been using under the counter fridges for ten years. As for the turkey, I realized a couple of years ago that what I really liked about Thanksgiving was not the bird, it was the dressing, and if I put turkey in the dressing, I still had may protein plus a great gravy delivery system, all of which I could do in a toaster oven. So I’m good. Since my old stove was supposed to be a placeholder until I figured out how to make a small kitchen work (it was $200), everything worked out as planned. New fridge for Christmas; I’m very excited.

      1. If you haven’t tried it yet, you can cook a small turkey breast in a slow cooker. I’ve used Butterball white meat breasts and it works really well. And they include a packet to make gravy from the cooking juices. It frees up your oven (if you have one) for other things and a slow cooker doesn’t even need a kitchen.

        Hope you enjoy your new fridge. Will it have a water and ice dispenser? For us in south Florida ice dispensers are wonderful.

        1. Slow cooker turkey sounds like an excellent idea.

          No on the water dispensers. I live in a small community with private water lines that were put in during the thirties. Because of the ancient pipes, the water stains laundry and clogs shower heads, and when they flush the pipes to clean them, the water comes out dark brown and there goes my shower head again, so any water dispenser would be ruined in a week. I could put in a water filter, but my neighbors tell me the filter turns black within them month and replacing an expensive filter every month is not a good plan. Yes, we have complained.

          1. Maybe you & your neighbors should run for a stint on city council just for as long as it takes to fix the water infrastructure… a temporary coup.

          2. It’s a private lake community. Which sounds really exclusive except it’s in the middle of nowhere and not at all snooty. Lots of small stone cottages from the thirties, frame houses from the forties, at least one stunning mid-century modern house, no McMansions or anything big, grouped around a river dammed up to make a little lake. It’s miles from anywhere (we have no Uber or Starbucks and nobody delivers out here) and very quiet and the biggest problems are the antique pipes and the bears in the garbage. I can buy bottled water to live in quiet paradise (no jet skis or loud motors on the lake).

      2. Living in the dotter’s garage, my first two refrigerators were the 3 cubic feet variety. Then I got an Igloo brand 10.3 CuFt fridge. It died. I replaced it. The replacement died. Now I have a full size fridge. I hope it outlasts me.

  2. I’m still on call for the roses book, though only three hours to go before their budget runs out. Reading a lot of emails as I keep track. Just finished planting my spring bulbs – mostly tulips, which are better left until now. Have been wrestling with my planting plans – which is mostly fun except when I realize I’m trying to cram too much in. About to plant my Chilean guava by the shed. It was apparently Queen Victoria’s favourite fruit, and has autumn berries that taste of strawberries, they say. Have also begun the big allotment clearance, and have got more design work to do there. Once it goes dark (by five o’clock), I switch to editing my gardening notes.

    I need to get going earlier in the morning; I’ve slid into bad habits. And to tackle my piles of filing and accounts. My to do list is rather overwhelming.

    1. I hear you, Jane. My to-do lists have spawned other lists of their own. Now on my to-do list: my to-do lists!

    2. I had guava jelly once and it’s amazing! Don’t beat yourself up over bad habits and piles of filing and accounting. Life’s too short, and you’ve not been just sitting around!

      1. Thanks, Judy. (Chilean guava is quite different from proper guava, which is a tropical plant. It’ll be great if there’s a similarity in flavour. I haven’t eaten Chilean guava berries, so this is an experiment.)

        1. Chilean guava berries are delicious but not like anything else I’ve tasted. I don’t know how to describe the taste but I wouldn’t say they’re like strawberry or guava. Or anything else, really. They’re like themselves!

  3. I asked my niece if I should make a quilt for her son, who is soon to be a big brother. (I had made one for his older brother when he showed up, so now baby #3 is on the say I figured I’d offer.) The reply was oh yes – he likes . . . a lot of different things, which since he’s only 2 is just fine. So I came up with an idea for an “i spy” quilt – where there are different things scattered around.

    I brought that idea and pattern to my quilt retreat last weekend and worked on it pretty steadily – when I wasn’t shivering with the cold. We set up on a screened porch, which is pretty sweet most times of the year, but this past weekend was taxing! We were bundled up, and had portable heaters by our feet. My project is only about half done, so pictures when it is finished. But I did make use of the time to put the binding on three quilts – which was inside work where it was warm!

  4. I think I need a Bob. I was hopeful that a friend who asked to read my book would keep me on track, but it’s not working out, and somehow life gets in the way every time I sit down to write.

    1. But hearts in replies are black until I click when they go red. So it’s a hierarchy thing in the code I suspect.

      1. They’re not consistently like that for me: your reply, for example, already has a red heart. But someone must have messed with the code, as you say.

  5. I work from home and my elderly mother lives with me. Needless to say, we have been Quarantine Queens going on almost 2 years now. Just about the time we started getting out again, the Delta variant made a big appearance in our state… so back in we went.

    For the first time ever, she has started itching to do Christmas before Thanksgiving. So I’m going to indulge her and put little pieces of Christmas decor out here and there. Her sight is failing and you never know how long you have your loved ones.

    So… Ho Ho Ho!

    1. I clicked on this red heart once and it turned black and the number remained 9; the second time it turned red and the number became 10.

      In this time we need as many holidays and celebrations as we can manage.

  6. If the heart is already red and I try to add my heart, it erases the red heart. If I’m the first to leave a heart, it’s red. Very perplexing.

  7. My grandmother always made bacon in the microwave. We sandwiched it between layers of paper towels on a plate and zapped it at short intervals until crispy. Took me years to learn how to do it on the stove or in the oven. Now I have an air fryer. Problem solved.

    This week I applied for shows and reached out to places that may host me. I have avoided in person stuff for the last two years, but I need goals and deadlines to push me through the winter. Hopefully I get accepted somewhere and by next spring or summer the world will finally be better and safer.

  8. David Chang has a new cook book, Cooking at Home, where he pushes using themicrowave. I have it on hold at the library so haven’t looked at it yet.

  9. I am Not A Sock Person or a Sock Knitter. I know everyone loooooooves socks, but I’m a tropical girl and I have hot feet and I dread the time of year where I am forced to wear socks every day. Therefore, I am not into all the knitters’s favorite activity.

    I’m most likely going to suck it up and make some damn socks though for the crush for Christmas, sigh. I went out and got the yarn yesterday. Yes, at his store. And while I was at it, I asked him out.

    However: I talked to my therapist about it before I did it and I said that the dating book I read said to spell out the word “date” and she said that given all the things I’ve said about the guy over the years, I should NOT use the word date and gentle him into the idea of officially spending time alone with me (as opposed to hanging out alone after others leave, usually). So fine, I did not. I said, “would you like to go to (local show running the next 4 weekends) with me?” and he said yes, then we discussed when, and THEN he wants to invite our entire friend group. Uh-HUH. And Mr. Inhibited actually did take the time to go ask them all later that night.

    So….not sure if he’s clueless (most likely) and/or if he just doesn’t want to be alone with me. If it’s the latter, I may back off. If it’s the former, I may try again. I’m not sure what at this point. Thoughts?


    1. I recommend the shoes Allbirds, they have a warm and a cool version and they’re so perfect without socks, year round.
      Also, excellent colours and a decent sustainability ethos.

    2. I’m no therapist nor a psychologist and I’m not known to be very patient I fear. So please take this into consideration when reading my .2 ct.
      This crush of yours seems to be a lot of work. And no matter if clueless or not happy to spend alone time with you, I wouldn’t have the patience to woe him endlessly and be put on the back burner again and again.
      You see, I’m rather egotistical. Even with “friends” (i.e. with no romantic interests on both sides) I would want to be the number one this other person wants to spend time with on the occasion that we meet (as in not by chance). I will dedicate a portion of my time to that person and expect this (to a degree) in return.
      Yes, there are occasions when it’s more fun to spend time with the whole group of friends, but those are different shoes so to speak.
      There’s a time for the group and a time for the two of you. No matter if a crush situation or “just” friends.
      It’s easy for me to say, but I would regard the crush as too much work to pursue him as a potential partner.
      So if he is totally stunning and a lot of fun to be around, I would spend the effort and would try to keep the friendship, though in my definition friendship includes spending quality time together and not just as part of a group (I’m German, we seem to have more restrictive views what friendship means).
      If you do like to second guess and woe and be very patient even though he might never be not clueless, then why not pursue this relationship 😉

      1. Hugs to you, Jennifer.

        Like Dodo, I’m neither a therapist nor a patient person, so the same disclaimers apply. The first thing I would want to know from the therapist is why it’s reasonable to have to “gentle” another adult into anything, unless he’s extremely fragile for some reason, in which case dating should probably not be on the table for him. (Something about that advice sits poorly with me re: women being trained not to be direct, not to ask for what they want, which might totally be my dirty lens.) The indirect ask gave him mixed signals at best, no signals of your interest at worst.

        The therapist might be trying to shield you from rejection. If that’s the case, I’d ask her to work with you on getting to a place where you’re ready to hear no from the crush. When you get to that place, you can ask the direct question and get the answers you need to move forward, with him or without him.

    3. You know, I hate to say this, but every cute boy I ever encountered who did amateur or group theater work was consciously gay, or discovered after some period of time passed that — omigosh! — he was gay!

      I hate to see you get so disappointed by this guy.

      1. I don’t have much experience with actors–I always worked tech and tech guys are great–but I have significant experience with writers who are really just introverted actors, and keeping in touch with reality is not a priority for those guys. The real question is, what are you getting out of this? And evidently whatever it is must be of some value to you because you have significant staying power here.

    4. Good for you for working on it. That is a very hard thing to do.

      But I agree with Dodo. Regardless of the why, this fellow does not seem anxious to spend time with you. And more importantly to my frame of mind, he seems to make you more sad than happy at this point. But don’t listen to us. We don’t know him and we only know a little of you. Listen to yourself, your gut, the little voice in the back of your mind, your friends, and your therapist. The lovely thing is that there is no rush, and that every relationship has value regardless of the end result because they help us learn and grow.

      That said, I favor the blunt approach in life. I like that about myself. It hasn’t always been well received and I try to curb it so it doesn’t read as harshness, but I prefer to know exactly where I stand. Sometimes I ask my poor partner, “Are we fighting or does this have nothing to do with me, because I can’t tell.” He is long suffering, but patient, bless him. So maybe ask someone close to you who you trust for an unvarnished opinion?

      One last thing; as someone who grew up in a family largely employed by some version of art or performance, it is my experience that not all guys in theater are gay, but they do tend to be surprisingly unself-aware. Something to do with a lot of looking inward to project outward perhaps? Or a certain ego that drives the ability to perform? Idk. It’s not necessarily bad, but has it’s own set of challenges.

  10. My hearts remain normal.
    Microwave bacon: apparently that’s for people who like their bacon crisp instead of soft. But my main reason not to try it is How do you get the fat out of whatever it was cooked in? I eat bacon so that I have bacon fat to cook with, not the other way around. Mind you, eating bacon is not a difficult duty.
    Microwave curry: I learned to do that a few years ago, and it’s wonderfully easy and easy to clean up after, instead of a tumeric-stained stove top, and it tastes just the same, but I miss the moment when adding the liquid to the mostly-solid ingredients causes the sauce to solidify. Magic! (just not worth the cleanup.)

  11. I’m not working on anything so interesting that it requires an alligator. I only wish I were. Instead, I’ve been putting together estimates for prospective consulting clients…zzzz….

  12. I use a 600 watt MW at home and a 1200 watt MW at work. I use an omelet maker that likes them both – I’ll be using it tonight. But I love the bake and broil abilities of my no-frills toaster oven for cooking much, much more.

    As far as Thanksgiving goes, I am perfectly happy with a dish of Stouffers Turkey Tetrazini. It’s the side dishes and leftovers I’ve always loved. And that French Canadian Pork Dressing I make, sometimes, from the old family recipe. In a crock pot.

  13. Raking leaves, wet leaves, dry leaves, seed pods, and flying detritus. Very windy, very wet here.

  14. My friend’s brother does consulting work and drives his humongous RV around the country to various work sites. For a while he was totally addicted to sous vide, which does wonders for tough meats but takes forever (I never saw the point of cooking a steak for an hour – even if the big steak houses do it- then searing it quickly so it didn’t look grey). It is a perfect way to cook a roast if you like medium to medium rare meat and you have company coming and aren’t sure when dinner will be served. Now he is totally into air fryers. I think his is a combination one with a toaster oven(?). Anyway it is multifunction and it is his favorite appliance. I think I have seen a couple at Costco but since I do not want anything that has to go on my counter, I haven’t taken a close look.

    I have a griddle on my gas grill, plus it has a sear burner, plus a rotisserie so I use that several times a week, year round. (some weeks it is the only time I step outside. I ignore the rain. I do not use it if it is snowing). And yes, I do bacon on it – while I am cooking hash browns. I get a faint smokey flavor from all the dropped food that has landed on the burners and is busy turning to charcoal.

  15. I have a busy week:

    Monday – donated more platelets

    Wednesday- got a CT scan of my lungs – I am an ex-smoker.

    Thursday – I am part of a Meeting group that walks/hikes parks in Montco/ Bucks County.

    Friday – go to the Free Library of Philadelphia to see Robert Costa and Micheal Smerconish about his book Peril – which I bought at Costco.

    1. Oops – I meant a MeetUp group

      Also Thursday is Veterns Day & free admit to all National Parks.

  16. I’ve been informed that our good friends/landlords are invited here for Thanksgiving. Which means that the next two weekends, which I would really prefer to spend writing, must be spent doing housework and maybe even a little yard work.

    Ordered a smoked turkey, and the husband will undoubtedly bring home all the other stuff (i.e. I don’t have to cook on top of cleaning/organizing all the things), and it will be lovely to spend time with them on the day. It’s just … my weekends. 🙁

    All I’ve done work-wise is Day Job and it’s been exhausting. I am now going to pour a glass of The Big Red Monster (seriously, that’s what it’s called) and read another holiday novella.

  17. Mostly I’ve been working on the election The adjudication minutes are a long nightmare. And the adjudicaton of write-in votes are time consuming and tedious. Yes, Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, the Three Stooges et al make appearances. And one of our state-wide judicial races requires a recount. And I volunteered for this.

    The only other thing I’ve been doing is walking Pixie. She loves her walks and she loves chasing the squirrels in the yard. She 8 1/2 with tons of energy.

  18. Jennie, you might also consider an electric kettle, because they’re good for anything you might need quick hot water for — like pasta — and an Instant Pot with an air fryer option.

    1. Electric kettles are so vital to our way of life that when you move house, the box marked ‘kettle’ is the one that everyone tracks, makes sure is accessible, and unpacks first.

      1. I’d forgotten Americans don’t have kettles like we do.

        PS. The site’s just made me sign in again before it’d post this.

        1. Some of us do. I will say however that when we went to London in August I was stunned at how fast the British ones boil.

          Jenny we have a microwave that is also a convection oven. I’m sure these are pricy (we bought it as part of building the house so everything was pricy and all the prices blurred ) but if you have no oven it might be worth it.

          Do you have a cooktop or electric burners? That’s what I would need.

          Of course the other way to extend kitchen space is outdoor cooking—you can do pretty much anything on a gas grill.

          1. I have two electric burners, an air fryer, a grill, a waffle iron, two mini irons, an instapot, a slow cooker, a rice cooker, a panini press, a toaster, two electric kettles, and I’m sure there’s more I’ve forgotten. Oh, a toaster oven and microwave. I’m covered. I have no place to put all this stuff, but I’m covered.

        2. We have kettles. (I actually have three if you count my collapsible travel kettle.). They’re just not as common.
          I love mine. Boils water so fast.

          1. Shelves not counters.
            I did my kitchen remodel on my own, so shelves on two sides with counters on top–that’s 18′ of counter–and the two rows of open shelving on the back wall. The appliances go up there or on the two carts that used to sit each side of the stove. Pots hang from the ceiling.

        3. My first electric kettle 30 years ago was a Russel Hobbs which lasted until the handle died and I continued to use it for a couple of years with the handle held together with a zip tie – until my sister threw it out because she said it looked like something from a rusted out trailer parked in the boondocks (I have no idea how she would know). Now I have an Italian one that a LED light turns the water blue whenever I turn it on. It looks very high tech but at least I know the kettle is on.

  19. I have been working on not resigning in a fit of temper. I’m mostly successful, but only by having a couple of days off on *coff* *coff* sick leave.


    1. Breathe, take deep breaths slowly … it doesn’t help with the loss of temper, but usually by the time you have finished, the source of annoyance has left your vicinity. Never never resign in a fit of temper unless you have a spare million stashed or a a back up plan. Way things are obviously going, start working on a back up plan

      1. The back up plan is to find another job, and yeah, that’s in flight. I don’t have a spare million (dammit) but I do have 6 months in long service up my sleeve. Worst case, I’m covered for that long at least. I work in tech, which is a very hot market right now, plus I have the advantage of being a female manager in tech which is a very big plus, I’m told. I’m reasonably confident if I can’t hold out, I’ll find work.
        But that’s the worst case scenario.

  20. The back up plan is to find another job, and yeah, that’s in flight. I don’t have a spare million (dammit) but I do have 6 months in long service up my sleeve. Worst case, I’m covered for that long at least. I work in tech, which is a very hot market right now, plus I have the advantage of being a female manager in tech which is a very big plus, I’m told. I’m reasonably confident if I can’t hold out, I’ll find work.
    But that’s the worst case scenario.

Comments are closed.