Working Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Welp, it’s December, so I’m going to have to get serious about getting the Christmas stuff up, which means buying batteries and putting a cheapo Christmas tree on each side of my door. That’s the extent of my Christmas cheer: I’ll make na effort, but don’t push it. I don’t need to worry about decorating the living room because I didn’t take down the gnomes from last year. Of course now they’re a little dingy from the stove fire, but they were looking shady to begin with. Gnomes. There’s just something shifty about them. Possibly it’s the hats. Somewhere around here I have a green wreath and I was going to put a gnome on it so that anybody who came to the door would go to eye to eye with it and possibly reconsider. Wreath, gnome, lighted trees = rah, humbug, merry Christmas. Mixed messages, but bases covered.

What did you work on this week?

42 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, December 1, 2021

  1. Mostly dealing with things at work. I run an artists’ cooperative shop featuring the work of 50 local and regional artists and craftspeople. Juggling 50 artists is challenging at the best of times, but during the holiday season amid Covid, it is even more-so.

    Here’s the link to our website if anyone is curious about my day job.

    I’m *supposed* to be writing the first chapter of cozy book #4 to send in to Berkley in hopes of extending the series. Fingers crossed I get to that today, since it is my day off.

    Other things on the schedule for today include a run to the post office with items from my Etsy shop and a prize for someone who won a giveaway, housecleaning, and in theory, rest. Hahahahaha.

    1. Deborah, Your shop is amazing. I’ve never seen such a huge artisans’ collection. You’ve designed the space beautifully, too — tons of terrific stuff that’s well-presented while the shop gives the feeling of comfortable elbow room.

      1. Thank you. A friend and I founded it 22 years ago (she’s a potter and I’m a jewelry maker) and somehow we’ve managed to survive this long. It helps that there is a remarkable amount of talent in our area. The elbow room is because I insist on having aisles wide enough for wheel chairs and people with strollers. It turned out to be a very good thing once Covid hit, since we have kind of a natural distancing built in.

        1. As someone who used to push a wheelchair, I thank you! It is hard enough to see things from a lower level, but if you can’t get the chair to the counter where the merchandise is, shopping becomes impossible.

    2. The shop looks like a sensory delight! An excellent idea–good luck with the writing and all the details.

  2. I went opposite this year as far as decor goes. My elderly mother lives with me and Christmas is her fave holiday. We didn’t gather as a family last year because of Covid and her eyesight is failing… so Christmas threw up all over my house. I’m not sure she will see Christmas again, so every room has some sort of display in it! So… Ho Ho Ho!!

  3. I went outside. Food colouring to dye the -not as violet as I’d hoped-scarf. Really hope that works. I’ve crocheted about a third of it while deciding and it still looks a bit scruffy with it’s white bits showing. I also hit the chemist and got to the polls early for Saturday’s election. It was skipped last year and this year we get a week to vote instead of all crowding to the polls on one day. Grateful, especially as, apparently, poor reaction to talking to masked people is not going away.

  4. I just have Christmas cards and a tree, but I don’t put them up until the solstice. I have a note in my calendar reminding me to buy the tree a bit earlier this year – so maybe next week – since they’d run short when I went last year. It can sit in a bucket of water outside. I’d rather buy one that’s just been cut nearer to Christmas, since it needs to last until Twelfth Night, but people buy them earlier and earlier.

    I’ve been getting on with the gardens and my gardening research, but this morning made a start on my accounts, which I haven’t done for over a year. I was torn – I have a terrible habit of not finishing things, so thought I ought to complete the gardening notes; but I so want to get all this tedious admin done before Christmas.

    I was allowed to invoice for the remaining (large) sum owing to me for the roses book on Friday; and on Monday morning was unexpectedly disinvited from the weekly progress meeting. The rain of emails has stopped – apart from one this morning, asking me to ID plants for a caption. It’s an odd end to the project.

  5. I bought my DH a “Christmas Story” themed advent calendar. It has figures and such instead of chocolate. He opened the first door this morning – and it is the tree stand. I have questions about who opens the bottom left door when they have 23 other options? (None of the doors were numbered, so I told him to take his pick.) I probably would have done it like a book and opened the top left door, but perhaps he’s thinking to proceed clockwise or something, to end up with the big door in the middle. Anyway, this first one was a bit of a let down. Hopefully it gets better! (It also reminds me of a cartoon I saw with the caption – according to my chocolate advent calendar, it’s Christmas Eve!)

    In the meantime, I’ve been stacking up the things I want to take to my family this weekend It is a pretty big pile of stuff – and apparently I’m crazy and feel I need to make more, so I’m working on those things too. Luckily it is all fabric, so very stuffable when it comes to putting it in luggage.

    The big accomplishment this week was getting a video of Teddy climbing the ladder. We put the plants on a high ledge to keep the cats from getting into them, but it does mean that we pull out the ladder every two weeks to water them. Teddy figured it
    out the very first time we had the ladder there and now climbs for the fun of it.

    1. They do like climbing and being up high! When my boy is tired of us all, he makes some daredevil leaps, flattening himself for the final one, and ends up in the small space between the cupboards and ceiling in the kitchen. He curls up around a pitcher and sleeps there!

  6. I was an overachiever this week, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner AND decorated for Christmas. I still have to finish packing away the fall decorations and we haven’t put up the outdoor decorations, but hey, the Advent calendar is ready and it’s Dec. 1.

  7. My Christmas decorating consists of getting out my Christmas quilts and draping them over appropriate surfaces, which is easy and all I’m willing to do these days, but I do like having them out.

    I’ve always daydreamed about holiday decorating (but didn’t have the energy to actually do it), so I created a character who does what I can’t and goes overboard with the Christmas decor in my holiday novella that released today: Four Cat Night (probably the last in the Crazy Cat Lady post-apocalyptic cozy mystery series). I had a lot of fun with the character, and didn’t have to do any actual decorating (or the part I really dread, the putting away of the decorations in January). All I had to decorate was the cover, and the graphic artist, Kim Killion, did the actual work (and is an amazing cover artist).

    1. Four Cat Night (Crazy Cat Lady Chronicles Book 4) by Gin Jones, $1.99 from Amazon is now on my Kindle at home. It will have to wait until I get home. I think. (There’s another option and I have the littlest Kindle with me at work, and a USB cable.)

  8. Producers rehearsals for me. Did one choreographed number, am otherwise working on song numbers. Did “Springtime for Hitler” yesterday.
    As for Christmas presents: I’m working on various ones. Trying to finish a long vest for a friend but the top part of it is making me a little crazy. I hate those instructions in which they say to do X number of decreases on one side and then “decrease by 1 every (6, 8. 2) rows and then do that every 3 (4 5) rows, which literally make no sense. I’m also doing an elaborate rainbow turtle cross stitch for my mom. And I think I’m going to end up making someone a hat. Going on a shopping trip tomorrow, so will need to get supplies for that.

  9. Day Job is worky work. The worst of it *should* be over for the year – the last of my hard deadlines is the 6th – and my new paradigm (i.e. grind hard and fast for five hours, then spent the last 2.5 fielding email) has been leaving me some restorative downtime even in heavy weeks. So yay me.

    The husband is Mr. Santa; he might be moved to decorate a little this weekend. He has already ordered our joint Xmas gift, which is a treadmill; he’ll keep it in his man cave (YAY) and all I have to do is get my lazy ass out the house and across the driveway to get some much-needed aerobic exercise. (Walking outdoors in our neighborhood is a no-go for several reasons.)

    Today my ‘decorating’ extended to moving the orchids around again. I’ve accumulated four of them because DH likes to get me one for the occasional occasion (the latest was our anniversary this year) and I’m apparently incapable of throwing out a plant that’s still alive. Over the weekend I made stock from half the smoked-turkey carcass and Monday night that turned into truly excellent soup. The most cooking I’ve done in months!

    Aside from work & minor domesticity, I’ve got my December title ready to go and will finish another novella this week, unless something explodes. On to that now – there are forty minutes before I have to sign on to work. 🙂

  10. Ms. Cruisie, on behalf of gnomes everywhere, I strenuously object to your defamatory post. We already suffer enough from speciesism and othering. There is no need for you to add to the misery by using such terms as shady and shifty. I am instructing my attorney, Greeble G. Gnome, Esquire, to issue a formal cease and desist letter in the event you continue your prejudicial actions. Thank you.

  11. I can’t heart any of your posts; when I try, the red heart turns gray and subtracts one. Just know I am in awe of your energy/creativity.
    I finally finally mixed a batch of gluten-free flour so I could bake a chocolate cake yesterday. My day job is bleeding workers–three of the four of us will be gone by Christmas. It was one person’s last day, so several former and about-to-be-former employees gathered, with assurances that we will get together for lunches or something. It might happen–most of us live in a 10-mile radius.
    My Christmas cactus has gone into wild blooming. Other than that, I got out what passes for an Advent wreath and lit a candle Sunday. Also got out the menorah and am lighting a candle each evening. Today I realized I have an Advent calendar somewhere, so may go on a quest in the decorations closet.

    1. Me too on the hearts, so everyone should assume they’ve really got many, many heart numbers that couldn’t be counted.

  12. “Looks like you won’t need a skin graft after all,” my surgeon said on Monday. Whew! The wound on my foot is finally healing. And, I now have a sandal with a sole the same height as the sneaker on my other foot. And, I now wear a big bandaid instead of 3 levels of gauze and an ace bandage. So, I’m practicing walking like a human which is difficult because before the bunion/hammertoes surgery I’d had the knee replacement that made one leg longer than the other; before the knee replacement I’d thudded along like an Igor. Problems now solved so I can start exercising and learning how to walk right.

    Wrote 48 Holiday/Hannukah/Christmas/Seasonal/New Year’s cards. The project was hard because I made each note personal. Looking up addresses after I’d added stamps, I discovered that one relative died on October 1st, the same day as my foot surgery.

    Planning Christmas like mad. Three guests are flying in from Poland. Today the CDC raised Poland to a status 4 country — dangerous level of COVID. I’ve decided to go ahead as if everything will work out beautifully. I am alive and am not facing a skin graft — my luck is in.

  13. The outside of the house is decorated and I would be doing the inside this weekend but I’m going away (gasp!) for a girlfriends weekend at which Paul is insisting I have fun. I know it will be fun and we will enjoy ourselves but it is looking like a lot of work and we are going to be away for Paul’s next 2 weekends off (aka until the new year). The pandemic has made my homebody instincts a lot sharper and I really like just staying in my spot.

    I trimmed Toodles the cat’s nails today and neither one of us died which is a miracle. She and Fred the dog are feeling much better. I was rudely awoken from a not very sound sleep last night by the sound of a dog coughing and I was sure I heard the very distinctive goose honk sound of a kennel cough couch but that was easily 12 hours ago and no one has coughed since so I’m chalking it up to just a regular cough and paranoia.

    I’m having hot flashes and weird anxiety through the roof (I had a nightmare that Paul didn’t do something in a computer game we play, I woke up totally freaked out because I thought he had forgotten a task! Huh?) all of which I’m blaming on menopause/perimenopause/stupid reproductive system shenanigans which is not making anything easier.

    I did get my hair cut Monday and I really like it.

  14. I worked on gender equality.
    In October I did the London Marathon virtually with a group of friends. A couple of weeks ago, we got our tshirts, and the fit is appalling. Turns out ‘unisex’ means ‘mens’. I picked the right shirt for my chest measurement, but the sleeves are elbow length (it’s a running shirt), it’s two sizes too small in the hips, and comes half way to my knees. When queried, they said ‘the shirts are unisex, they just say men on the tag’. Wtf?

    35000 or do women do this event. I just imagine some some fuckwit male organiser saying ‘oh we don’t need women’s shirts, they’ll be fine with mens’ and I was so cross.

    Anyway, since London Marathon didn’t seem to care, I tweeted, cc’ed the sponsors and now a women’s sport charity in the UK have taken up the cause. It’s only a tiny thing, not world changing, but I feel like I did something to fix things rather than just complain, so fingers crossed, and that’s my working Wednesday.

  15. Go, gender equality!

    (In other sports equality, my former colleague who race-walks marathons was deeply offended by the wording of the application form for a local mini-marathon that celebrates some holiday or other saying the required pace (because of Covid spacing) would be too fast for walkers and not to apply if you’re walking. She regularly passes slow runners, even now in her sixties when her pace isn’t what it used to be, and would easily be able to complete the course in the required time.)

  16. I’ve been enjoying noodling away at putting up some Christmas decorations, doing it gradually, a bit every day rather than all-at-once. We don’t have our main tree yet – planning to get that this weekend – but we do have fairy lights, and lots of tinsel framing pictures, and I even remembered to swap out some of our photos for Christmas/snowy ones. I’ve been eyeing up how best to approach putting up our (new) outdoor lights, but tonight DH announced out of the blue that he’ll be doing that this weekend, so that works!

    I made the Christmas cake today. It looks right and smells right, so hopefully that means that when we taste it, it’ll taste right… I’ll decorate it much nearer to Christmas, so that’s ‘done’ for now.

    I’m enjoying this 🙂

  17. Will take out Christmas lights for house. Put up tomorrow, suppose to be clear and sunny for part of the day. Will install a small tv on a swivel sometime today and continue sorting mom’s stuff for the grand and great grandchildren. More jobs ticked off. But first, reload the dishwasher. An exciting life today.

  18. I’m with Jenny on decorating. I’ve got some wreaths in the windows and doors and a couple of things outside but nothing inside. I’m going to keep it that way.

    I’m writing out about 30 holiday cards. I love sending them but not writing them. Should have them done on Thursday. Maybe I’ll bake some cookies depending on Christmas Eve and Day plans. That’s going to be it.

    Gnomes have been growing on me but I’ve managed not to aquire any.

    I did put out my annual ‘Happy Birthday Bill of Rights’ sign-it’ll be 230 years since it’s adoption on December 15th.

    I’m in the process of adopting Pixie and getting her a life-time license. Yay!

  19. The Christmas cards have been stuffed, stamped, and labeled for nearly a week now, but still sit on the desk waiting to be sealed. I just haven’t had the time or energy to lick them all. (Full disclosure: I don’t lick them. I use a bowl of water and a washcloth and still can’t find the energy. LOL.)

    The tree is up, but all of the rest of the decorating–and all of the cleaning–still need to be done. How is it December 1st, 2021 all ready?

  20. Today is my first day back at work after being off since the day before Thanksgiving. I spent the week around Frankfurt, Germany, visiting Christmas markets and doing the odd touristy thing. I spent most of my time outdoors, but took the time to visit the Gutenberg museum, where I had to wear a mask, prove I am vaccinated, and provide contact information.

    My furthest trip afield was a visit to Heidelberg, where I took the funicular to the top for the view over the city. I had to show my vax card everywhere (the funicular going up and down and the castle, even though it was entirely outdoors), and the Christmas market required a very recent Covid test + vax card for entry.

    It was a good trip.

  21. Retirement day approacheth. It’s what I’m fiving my self for Christmas this year, as Christmas, December 25th, is my last working day. I have approved leave for the entire next week, and my New Year’s Resolution is “Don’t go to work.”

    I said my Christmas Trees were up. Two of three died and have been trashed. I couldn’t figure out a way to recycle them. I have no other decorations nor the desire to acquire them. I am my dotter’s enabler in that vein. She will decorate more than enough for both of us.

    Some chores are Last Time chores at work. I have compiled and submitted the Monthly Reports of Water, Gas, and Oil usage for November (Also a report of Burner Hours and a Summary of all that.) The report is never complete until the data for midnight on the first of the month is entered, so Someone Else will have to deal with the December Report. Another report is the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) Annual Throughput Report. For whatever reason, the year for that report runs from Dec 1 to Nov 30. Most of it is based on the amount of Fuel Oil (Home Heating Oil, actually) burned in the boilers, and the Natural Gas burned as well. We didn’t burn any oil this year, only gas, so it was easier than usual. The rest of that report has to do with Emergency Diesel Generator run times which also burn that same oil, but the department responsible to track those hours, no longer does. We guestimate it based on weekly test runs. So, my Last Ever Annual DEQ Report.

    I am not a combative person, but I will admit to a touch of passive aggression. I revised our boiler logs the way that I, Me, Myself wanted them, and was told to turn them back (by a coworker, not a boss). I went all the way back, because I can, and nobody else has the skills to do it. I had fun.

    I just successfully downloaded and transferred a Kindle AZW3 file to my littlest Kindle via USB cable. I might be reading Gin’s latest, shortly. Some work is more pleasing than other work. 🙂

  22. Most of Mon & Tues wound up being devoted to Achilles, one of my cats, whose lab work led to a diabetes diagnosis a few days ago, while I was out of town (for Thanksgiving) for the first time in 3 years.

    I went to the vet Monday to learn to give insulin injections, and what sort of schedule he’ll be on, etc. This is all brand new to me and a big learning curve.

    Spent most of Tues trying to line up supplies of his new prescription diet at prices I can cope with (fortunately, through volunteering in cat rescue, I have some sources for that), his syringes, and his insulin (spent 3 hours at 2 pharmacies yesterday, still do not have the insulin today, and by now have a lot of questions about the prescription which I’ll ask the vet when I take Achilles in for a new blood test on Monday).

    So trying to get back into actual work mode now. Have a LOT of work to do.

    It’s another year when I’m not going to decorate or do anything special for Christmas. Too much else going on here again.

    1. Our sainted cat Mr. Bingley developed diabetes when he was about 10, and our really good vet explained that finding the right dose and/or combination of insulin types might take a while. We eventually got the best results for him with a human insulin prescription, and he lived several years more. We got good at injections, after practicing doing scratchy things in a doting way on his back and sides at various times in the day. Apparently the feeling of the tiny needle is not that distinguishable from such caresses.

    2. The insulin options for cats are so much better now than in the past. I went through it twice (so far) and ten years ago, the insulin didn’t work well, but two years ago, ( different cat), the new insulin was so much more effective, and he even went into remission after a few months of insulin, his blood sugar now under control by switching him to canned food plus some of the Purina dietetic management kibble. No guarantee he’ll stay in remission, but he’s been in it for about 18 months. Also, check goodrx for coupons for the insulin. It should save you a bit. Also, fwiw, if you’re using the kind that comes in a pen (and then drawing what you need into a syringe), Walmart was the only pharmacy near me that would sell single pens instead of multipacks. Best wishes!

    3. More useful info (didn’t have access to it last night to link then) — there’s a really good forum dedicated to feline diabetes here: It can be intense, and my cat went into remission fairly quickly, so I didn’t need to do the more complicated stuff that’s sometimes discussed on the forum, so don’t let it overwhelm you.

  23. The usual sort of Wednesday, with heavy shopping (kibbles, LOTS of litter because one household’s cat population has now been increased by 50% with the addition of Maggie), etc. Vet appointments made for my two cats, Candy Cane and Polka Dot, as well as an intro appointment for Maggie. All three are getting manicures — the vet gets their nails much shorter than I ever manage, even with Zen clippers — as well as shots, this coming Friday. The good news is that the vet’s receptionist assures me that if she has a chip, we can arrange to reprogram it without having to find other information. Need to be sure we have enough carriers to get all three there at once.

    Other than that, my fingers have been doing the holiday shopping for an ever-smaller circle of relatives and friends. My most satisfactory item to give I’ll bring up tomorrow, since it’s something to read and will be of interest here, but I’m feeling Very Smug that my cousin will be completely surprised. Other than that, one cousin’s getting an Instant Pot plus accessories and a set of Rootitoot cookbooks for it. My brother’s getting an air fryer . . . another cousin the best-recommended scanner so he can scan my late aunt’s slides — he’d done the snapshots, but not the slides. It’s all very high tech, but Bill is getting rid of stuff.

  24. I actually got things done this week which was a very nice change. I got the Medical supply place to double check the records and see that I had paid for all 5 weeks that I had the rental C-Pap machine and credit the second month they had billed me. I also baked a triple batch of pine nut cookies and delivered them. Unfortunately, the friend who likes them best was out to lunch when I got to her store, but I trust her employee to not open them until she gets back. I also called Citibank and cleared up any questions they had about charges that had been made on my lost charge card. Of course, I had done all that over the phone before I ever got the letter because the mail was so slow, but after a horrible time getting through the automated phone service, the man I spoke with was actually very nice and helpful. I had gone over all the charges with my niece who has already paid the bill, but at least one division at Citicards is coping with my upside down life.

    I am not decorating, but I am making sure I have all the ingredients before I start baking my sister’s birthday cake, which I usually discover halfway through the process.

    And today I picked up a set of exercises I can do next week when I wasn’t able to get an appointment for physical therapy. I hope that I will be inspired to actually do them.

  25. I need to get a start on the decorating – we’re going away to the mountains of eastern Portugal next Tuesday – Friday, then having a brunch on Sunday, so the window is narrow.

    And I’m knitting a toque. Super bulky yarn, so it should be quick. We’ve had some wind, and I’m one of those people who get face pain when my ears get cold, so it’s a necessity.

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