Working Wednesday, December 15, 2021

I’ve been crocheting again and remembering how wonderfully soothing it is. There’s something about really great yarn–and I have Felici and Hawthorne, so I have really great yarn–that is just valium for the senses, color and softness and weight. Right now I’m just noodling around with it, but I am working on cardigan, making it up as I go, that I’m really happy with. Yarn is good.

What did you work on this week?

51 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, December 15, 2021

  1. I got rid of two dressers that have been on my porch for over two year. It’s a glassed in porch which we have been using as storage and it looks awful. So this feels like a big step forward.

    In less good news, my dad is sick again, almost a year ago exactly from the last time he got covid. Refused to get vaccinated, refused to alter his habits and refuses to get a test now. So far it is only cold symptoms, so it may just be that and I am overreacting… But I spent most of yesterday upset and today feel emotionally worn out. Our hospital is at 130 percent capacity. Why, people? Why?

    1. I share your confusion about what drives people to avoid taking every health precaution and treatment available. That type of fatalism astounds me.

      I hope you can give yourself a break and do what you can to protect yourself and accept that you can’t change someone you love if they don’t want to change.

      Wishing you peace this holiday season.

  2. I’ve had my sister and niece here for a week, so I’ve mostly been having company, with a much higher drama quotient than usual, so even less of my work gets done. I certainly love them madly, they are going home today and I will miss them and enjoy some routine and some focus.

  3. I’ve been working on the second draft of my latest MS, crocheting oddly shaped small blankets with bits and bobs of yarn, and planning for Christmas. Even got all my gifts done a couple days ago. Whoo-hoo!

  4. I thought I had all my gifts covered until I discovered that one of them is missing. This was a birthday gift for one half of a set of twins so it would be worse than awful to give a gift to one and not the other. Today I will retrace my steps from the day when I picked up the packages and hope it has been turned in to a lost and found. Needless to say, I didn’t get much sleep last night.

  5. I am with great joy cleaning up e-mails at files at work. My last in-office day is tomorrow; I’ve brought home files to purge/organize today, a wfh day. Next week is all wfh, 3 days, and then it’s goodbye to that job. I am beyond thrilled!

    The fact that I am not remotely ready for Christmas is irrelevant. I at least did the first draft of a Christmas letter.

  6. Finished my ‘holiday 2022’ novella revision. Had an inspiration for the novelization of one of the early novellas. Continuing to work on my historical frolic.

    Did an awful, necessary job outdoors over the weekend, and yesterday we had a rainstorm so I don’t have to water this coming weekend. Also we did a few more slight festivizations of the house.

    Dermatologist appointment for tomorrow got bumped to early January because the office was doing some training; I’m still signing off work at noon, only now I don’t have to go anywhere unless I choose to. Which I may not. Tried hunting for a booster shot and there’s no appointment availability within 15 miles of my zip code; not sure I want to call around to all the possible pharmacies about wait times for walk-in. (Not sure = actually sure I don’t want to. I’ll call the closest two, max.)

    Worky work has been low-stress recently, yay. Now I have to go sign on for that. 🙂

    1. Is there any way to check for booster availability online? I was able to make appointments for self and brother — January 7 nearby at local supermarket, January 4 at more distant supermarket; the pharmacies have no appointments available for Moderna boosters, though the nice pharmacist at mine told me that’s what we should get if at all possible — through the supermarket website.

  7. I happened upon some closeouts of yarn, so bought more than I should have. Now I need to figure out what I want to do with it.

    Meanwhile, my friends are wanting to learn enough crochet to contribute to the crochet coral reef

    so my project this week is figuring out how to teach them. When I looked at the directions, my first thought was “Gee, that’s what usually happens when I don’t follow directions! Maybe this won’t be too hard.”

    If anyone wants to doodle up some coral reef pieces, the museum would welcome them.

    1. I LOVE the crochet coral reef! I did my own and still have most of the pieces I made myself around the house, pinned to a surfboard.

  8. Um. We put in our hours and hours of volunteer time for our ballet company Nutcracker, I kept everybody fed and in clean tights and leotards, we got a kid who became eligible for a Covid booster boosted and lined up an electrician to come fix the fans that of course decided to die right now. Also in the middle of Nutcracker the garage door people had to come fix the door that chose that time to die so it’s been exciting. It doesn’t feel so much like work as continuing to run on top of logs and hoping to not fall in the water. Next I work on Christmas cards and gift wrapping.

  9. I posted my presents yesterday, and bought stamps for my cards, which are made but need to be written. The house is a mess. I’m hoping I can get the cards done tomorrow, and then finish spring-cleaning the kitchen plus get the rest of the house clean and tidy for Christmas. Only after that can I bring the tree in and decorate it – which I’d like to do on the solstice.

    I’ve also got to vote tomorrow: our MP had to resign due to sleazy dealings, so there’s a by-election. It’s the first time there’s ever been any interest in our constituency, since it’s about the safest Conservative seat in the country. It’s been Tory since the Reform Act of 1835, apart from a blip in 1906, when it went Liberal. Everyone I know is planning to vote tactically, but I daresay it won’t work. Still, at least the avalanche of propaganda will stop.

    1. Lol, Jane. “Our MP had to resign due to sleazy dealings” — I think you may just have found the opening line to your future book;) A work of fiction, of course, but great jumping point.

    2. Best of luck with the tactical voting! I am also in a safe Conservative seat that had the Liberal blip. What was going on in 1906? I will be watching with great interest…

  10. Not having a tree this year. DH agrees. Putting out the various trees; ceramic, glitter, and a cool couple of trees I bought at a nursery. Will put up a ribbon garlands with birds on the bannister. Pretty much that’s it this year, just the two of us. Going to my niece’s for Christmas dinner. My brother had cancer treatments this year. Hopefully not his last Christmas.

    1. And the Christmas cards will be mailed. And my cousin’s presents shipped today. Pretty much it. We are having a family Christmas in January when eldest son and DIL get back. Feeling bah humbug.

      Mom always put up a glass ball tree so I will put that up too. Then it will be Christmas, just a parring down on the decorations.

      1. I am so Bah Humbug too. We collectively decided to cancel the family christmas, which feels like a good choice and I did no decorating. But I did cave and buy a tiny potted tree at the grocery store yesterday and wrapped it in battery powered lights.

        Bah humbug must be in the air.

  11. For once in my life, I am ahead of the curve. My sister’s gift has been sent off to Alaska (a Week ago!!!!!!). All of my cards have been sent. Most of my gifts purchased and wrapped. I am not doing a tree this year but have got the rest of my decorations out and up. We made our giant wreath for the front window and it is up and decorated and the few outside lights that we do are in place.

    It has been a busy week. Now I go off to iron my sheets.

      1. Nope. I think it is an early sign of dementia. I never used to iron my sheets but I was visiting a friend who ironed them and thought how wonderful it felt sliding between smooth sheets and having a smooth pillow case under my face and thought I deserve this. The bottom sheets are fitted and pull really tight so I only do the top sheet and the pillow cases. I pull them out of the drier while they are still damp. It takes 20 minutes – 25 minutes if I include the time to set up and put away the iron and ironing board. They are the only things I iron. I want you to note I DO NOT starch them. My husband irons the napkins (I don’t know why – they are practically wrinkle free) and his handkerchieves.

        1. I definitely iron all my sheets, including the fitted ones. Because they’re all cotton. (My mother thought I was mad: she stuck to easycare polycotton, but of course they’re nothing like as comfortable.)

        2. Long time ago, I used to enjoy ironing and crisp clothing.

          No time for that anymore.

          Decided to go with natural fibers in their natural state.


          1. Still iron clothing, duvet cover and pillowcases. Nothing like slipping into bed after changing the sheets. Fitted bottom sheet is not ironed. Sometimes I just iron the pillowcases. I love a crisp ironed shirt. I find it relaxing. Crazy but true.

  12. Little by little I’m decorating around the house. Today it was the kitchen window and the atrium door. I have acrylic ornaments that are too small for the tree but can be put up with suction cups and small red bows. Cute! This is the first year I noticed that I must be getting shorter, I had to use a step stool to get to the top of window. The tree will be last, if it does go up, we are getting kind of weary at our age 77 and 76. But it always looks so good, plus I bought another Hallmark ornament.

  13. I spent 90 minutes on the phone with my credit card company today, about 80 of it on hold, with one minute apiece for assorted customer service reps who then passed me back to the queue, rinse, repeat. All for something that, once it was actually fixed, took about two minutes. Sigh. Fingers crossed I don’t have to go through this again next month (it started two billing cycles ago and was fixed and then broke again and got worse).

    But in more productive work, I’m having a lot of fun with my current manuscript, which may be totally unmarketable, but I don’t care, because it’s apparently a book-of-my-heart and it’s keeping me sane through the final stage of recovery from my CABG2 (double bypass surgery — all restrictions removed and I could start rehab now but I decided I couldn’t deal with anything extra until after the holidays) plus learning on Monday that one of my cats likely has a cancerous mass in her abdomen (spleen or intestine , ultrasound tomorrow should tell us more).

  14. I got the last of the out of town gifts mailed, and then spent most of my “day off” (insert hysterical laughter here) dealing with issues at the shop via phone and text. Is it January yet?

    I’m sure I must have accomplished something else, but if so, I can’t think of it. Oh, I registered for Bouchercon. AGAIN. (I was supposed to go for the first time in 2020, then this year…we’ll see about 2022.)

  15. I did very little. I walked Pixie and cleaned the bathroom.

    Happy Bill of Rights Day-230 years ole.

  16. I’ve had to do work today. The less said about that the better, other than I don’t think it’s right for my work to tell me to send “I’ve noticed that you’re about to miss your deadline, please let me know if you need help” emails WHEN I DON’T WORK ON THAT PROGRAM OR KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT IT, much less can’t give them tech support. It’s a subtle nag email, but also stupid because then we literally don’t know what to do when someone asks.

    Other than that, going to rehearsals and working on Christmas presents. I finished two hats last night and am working on an anatomical heart as a present (yeah, it’s weird).

  17. Another piece of equipment came home from work on Monday. It’s a 12 outlet power strip I bought for my “kitchen”. I had to get a shorter one, just 10 outlets, so the long one went to work.

    And now it’s home, and I’m plugging all my spare USB and other chargers into it (but not plugging it in) because they’ll be easy to find. It will hang on the wall in a corner.
    I’m hoping the weight excursion from Monday’s binge has topped out (256.0 today) and I can resume the downward progression. I’ve abandoned all hope of 247 for Christmas – I have appeared on the naughty list and extra poundage is my coal and switches.

    I cooked, sort of. “Chili with beans.” That means ground beef and diced onion in diced tomato and chilis “sauce,” with a splash of Worcestershire sauce. The beans are cut green beans, and all the cans say, “No Salt Added.” Even the Worcestershire was “low sodium.” Anyway, I put half in a Rubbermaid container and refrigerated it, ate the rest with water crackers (4). I’m way under diet limits, but I’m thinking about Atkins chocolate covered almonds. Sigh.
    I finished Wilde Christmas and enjoyed it. Not enough dog. Would have been better as a Novelette or Novella. I didn’t like the father, much, but I liked his turnaround even less.

    Now I have nothing to add tomorrow, so I’m rereading The Book of Firsts. Again.

    1. When I eat out I try to eat slowly and ask myself “Am I full? Maybe I should take this home” and I will do that. But I also let myself have desert or whatever else it was I wanted. The next day I will also have an apple or two since a lot of instant weight gain is water and apples are a natural diuretic. As I have gotten older I need a lot less calories just to maintain an steady weight. It’s not when can I get off this diet but rather what can I eat and enjoy that won’t make me gain weight again. In the last year I have lost only about 15 pounds but at least I did not gain 15 pounds.

      And I am not one of these 130 pound wonders. I am a significant sized woman and I really do not need to continue to put on weight.

      1. Jessie, you are a shining beacon of hope. I am not a “significant sized man,” I am type 3 obese, dieting for life. I wish I had asked myself whether or not I was full, but this was Golden Corral, and they don’t allow doggie bags – they do, but they charge by weight, so if you’re going to take some home, why dine in?

        The dotter likes that place. She can Keto the blazes out of it, lots on buffet items to suit her diet. I have a set of portable scales, and could make similar selections and weigh everything, so I’d know when to quit, full or not. (Have you ever seen anyone with scales weighing their food in a restaurant?!) No, it’s Golden Corral and the unlimited buffet versus Gary’s Lack of Self Control.

        No place else do I make a volcano out of mashed potatoes and brown gravy. Only Golden Corral. They have every dish I forbid myself to touch anywhere else. I can get crispy fried chicken anywhere, but I don’t. Only at Golden Corral. Macaroni and cheese? Only at GC. Pizza? (Everywhere else’s pizza is better.) GC.

        The point I make is that I shouldn’t go there as often as I do. The dotter chose it – I went along. I shouldn’t’ve. Life will go on.

  18. “Persons” have dropped out of two family Christmas parties — I’m hosting one of the parties — because I’m bringing guests from Poland and from California. “Persons” want the Europeans retested before the first party; and, “Persons” just don’t want the West Coaster near them because West Coaster is going to spend the night he arrives seeing old friends in NYC and CT. (He’s a doctor who was on the front line during the first 1 1/2 years of COVID. He has moved to a group practice. He remains incredibly cautious about becoming infected.) I’m trying hard not to let the “Persons'” absence (and rude demands) get to me. My real fear is that they’ll change their minds at the last minute and show up to be nasty.

    That said, I also wonder if I subconsciously search for reasons to be anxious and crazy.

    Today’s short crazy was finding a COVID testing site that’s open on December 26th (Sunday) so the Europeans can take their flights home to Poland. Poland just added a rule that anyone flying into the country has to have proof of a negative COVID test from within the past 24 hours. Pharmacies don’t have appointments and the COVID test site at Boston Logan Airport is closed on weekends (like, really??). Fortunately, those Urgent Care places that have appeared in the past couple of years will be open to do the test and don’t accept appointments. Whew.

    But I’m ready on many fronts. I’ve probably blown the whole thing out of proportion. Yet I’m proud that I’ve finally done the hand washing. I’ve been boasting to my husband and daughter about all my preparations; only occasionally will they make a silly reply that no guest is going to ever know if there is undone hand washing in the house.

    Now I’m going to read “Santa Baby.”

  19. Today was spent doing someone a favor — providing a driver (me) and transport of possessions to a storage unit. He was concerned about rats getting into cartons stored in a basement-level room until it started raining. Now there’s a large puddle on the floor and the rats have left, but of course, water getting into the cartons isn’t helpful, either. We made two runs to the storage unit, lunch, a visit to his college for a quick errand, and a Starbucks stop because it’s the fifteenth and apparently that’s something special at Starbucks. [Starbucks has nothing I can really consume, so I’m not a customer there.] I drove and read.

    I reread Janet Neels — TO DIE FOR and I’m almost through A TIMELY DEATH. Janet Neels is a page-turner for me, especially when the Wilson family is Being Involved in music:

    . . . the strong light . . . revealed his brother-in-law’s recumbent body, red stains all over the wide-sleeved white shirt.

    ‘. . .What’s happening? Is Tristram OK?’

    ‘Up to a point. He has just been tortured, but has loyally not revealed the whereabouts of his fleeing friend.’

    Then Tristram tottered to his feet, apparently much restored by some news brought in by a messenger, and was taken from the stage hurling defiance. ‘Perry, what is going on?’

    ‘Napoleon has been victorious at Modena, so Tris feels much, much better.’

    Anyhow, Monday was spent arranging for a lab visit; yesterday was spent at the lab, tomorrow had better be the heavy shopping or we’ll Run Out of Kibbles (unacceptable) and I have a Zoom meeting tomorrow evening and a holiday Zoom Tea on Friday. AND I’d better have a good many gifts wrapped before Sunday, when I have to deliver them.

  20. My presents are bought. We will wrap this weekend. But it’s now not clear whether my daughter will make it here from Europe. She lives in London where she has been staying with her boyfriend since her two roommates have covid.
    She flew to Germany for work and found out the boyfriend’s roommate —who had essentially been her roommate for 10 days—has Covid. So…will she test positive and have to quarantine in a German hotel? Will she get back to London on Saturday only to test positive before she can get on a plane to us? Will she try to fly straight from Germany to us? Will she arrive here and test positive and spend her visit in quarantine? Will she arrive here and give us Covid?

    If you dislike cliffhangers in books imagine how I feel right now. About the only certain thing is she will take daily Covid tests.

  21. My lists have sublists. Camping departure T-8 hours. And instead of packing anything today, I baked Christmas cake (better late than never), worked, and then went off to my dance class this evening.

    It’s 10.45pm. Everything will be fine.

    PS if you need some joy and faith in humanity, it’s Secret Santa opening day on Twitter – 1200 strangers playing real life secret Santa. See #SecretSantaNZ2021. (We signed up in Nov, were assigned our giftees, stalked them on twitter, posted by 26 Nov. Open today. Rules are be kind, be on time, give hints).

    You can see what my amazing Santa sent me here, but the twitter feed is uplifting.

  22. I knit for comfort and I’m all about the yarn as well. And the process much more than the finished object.
    There are some amazingly talented independent dyers that I adore. Miss Babs in Tennessee creates a massive hank of merino silk that I use to make infinity cowls and hats. Bad Sheep Yarn in Alaska created a color called Wild Blueberry that may simply be the most beautifully dyed skein of yarn I’ve ever seen.

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