Working Wednesday, December 8, 2021

I woke up to twenty-five e-mails this morning, which doesn’t sound like much compared to the 600+ I had before, but it is such a waste of time. I go through and mark most as spam, but you know what I’d rather be doing with that time? Writing. Talking with my friends and family. Going out for pizza (I’m really hungry right now, so food may creep into this post). At the same time I’ve been reading obsessively about Stephen Sondheim, and something somebody said about him stuck: He showed up. I think I’ve been ducking instead of showing up, so my work for this week is to show the fuck up. I’ll let you know how that goes.

What did you do this week?

52 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, December 8, 2021

  1. There’s a lot going on with both my parents’ health, and this is affecting my getting anything other than basic necessities done.

  2. This week has been crazy. I will be flying from England to Canada on the weekend. I haven’t seen my daughters since before covid. There is so much paperwork involved in international travel these days. Despite being triple vaccinated for covid (two plus booster), having my flu shot, and being super diligent with masks etc, the thought of being in an airport and on a plane is stressing me out. To think that I used to fly at the drop of a hat. I did manage to write my annual mitten post on my knitting blog: I have really been struggling to post lately so that felt like an accomplishment.

    1. Love the title of your blog! I feel the same way about flying. I’m trying to decide what to do about seeing family, and between unvaccinated relatives and actually getting there, I’ll likely procrastinate until spring.

  3. We are very busy at work, which is good = continue to get paid,
    but stressful = where is our $2,000 package that FedEx said was delivered but our customer can’t find? (answer, at the neighbor, who didn’t bother to tell her for 3 days)

    I am eating more than I should, but at least staying generally cheerful. And wearing Christmas socks…. and new Christmas socks scheduled to arrive Friday!!!!!!!!


    I made that for supper last night. I never Instagram food but the publishers of my friend’s book (which is fabulous by the way) wanted to see photos of her recipes so I helped. It was delicious, very sweet and sour flavour profile, a tad more tangy though.

    This morning I shoveled snow. Lots of snow.

    Last weekend I went to Calgary with friends to the market at Spruce Meadows which was basically just an excuse to go to visit our friends who live there. A good time was had by all.

    I also got my hair cut and we put up the Christmas tree.

  5. I planted my apricot tree and raspberries, and carried sacks of garden and paper waste to my allotment compost heap (the one here is full). I did a tip run on Sunday, which entailed a couple of dozen trips from the garden through the house to my car, carrying pieces of concrete paving slabs. I smashed them up because I couldn’t lift them in one piece.

    I’m two-thirds through a big clean and sort-out of my kitchen. I’ve done my accounts and tax return for 2020-21, and am now writing up this year to date.

    I’ve nearly finished my Christmas shopping, and hope to buy a tree tomorrow as well as getting my Christmas cards and a short note printed (I haven’t got round to researching and buying a printer that’ll work with my new Mac).

    I’m happy to be gradually getting things sorted, though I do wish everything didn’t take me so long.

  6. As a person born and raised in Cincinnati, I have to ask: New Jersey? Why?

    Come back home!

  7. I feel like I’ve been doing everything, and yet nothing in particular. I finished up my pile of things to take to my family. I ended up with 6 quilts, 2 crochet blankets, 18 potholders and 6 bowl cozies. My suitcase was completely packed! I’ve given myself a break from sewing since I got back. Instead, we’ve been working in the yard. I pulled out the dead passion flower vine, and pruned the rosebush back, while my DH gathered up the leaves. I guess the next thing is to put up the Christmas decor, once we retrieve it from the attic. I also have my Christmas card / letter to finish up and send out.

    A couple of my quilting friends were interested in learning some crochet, so I’ve been working on the start of some zippered bags. I figure that’s the hard part – and if I can get them past that particular hump, they’ll have a good time creating and have a bag at the end of it. And if they don’t want to do it, I’ve got some bags started for my own use.

    1. I learned crochet off youtube, I use small squares, I have a lot of wonky squares which I have to sew together for a patchwork. I did try doing an easy shawl, but unlike knitting, I hadn’t learned how to count so it became an interesting abstract shape, before I gave up and unravelled it. Later, when I master the count and the turn

  8. I’m still thinking about the “happiness is mistakes” topic. I’m slow. So this is mistakes/work/happiness combined.

    Because I overdid back in October, my foot healed slowly. That mistake led to this year’s homemade Christmas cards. Also, I’ve had to plan ahead, buy gifts online, ask for help clearly (and with humor), and simplify everything. All of this has been making me happy.

    Currently, I’m in a new boot that’s easier for walking and I can stand for awhile. So, I’ve cleaned some dish cupboards, washed a ton of serving dishes, and started polishing silver. I’ve never been this prepared on December 8th.

    And luck? A plumber came just 5 days after I phoned. The dryer broke last week and a guy fixed it yesterday. When I told that guy that no one could fix a burner on my stove before January 18th, he said his son could, so I called the appliance repair place where his son works and their technician will be out next Wednesday. This positive attention from Dame Fortune is crazy strange. But I’ll take it. Happily.

  9. Just trying to catch up.

    Some one recently made a comment that I had my “stuff” together, and I was like, are they crazy? I’m constantly doing too much and trying to catch up and often feel overwhelmed. Perhaps I’m a duck – things look calm on top of the water but underneath I’m paddling like hell to stay afloat.

  10. Last week was very full, with work, a church Christmas Fair, and rehearsals and two concerts. I tried to remember that I was doing things I wanted to do, but I got pretty tired. Sister and niece are coming for a pre-Christmas visit, but we didn’t let them come until tonight, so we could rest up. I made it to the chiropractor and took some walks, so I’m back to walking erect, and able to concentrate on work when I’m working.

  11. I will never take on a Wedding dress before Christmas again. I think August has to be the cut-off. this thing has taken way longer than I anticipated and I’m taking a bath financially. It’s really hard to find someone to alter wedding dresses and I feel bad for people, but okay I’ve go to stop doing this.

    Either that or I have to charge a LOT more money.

    However, I do have all the lace sewn back on. Four rolled hems and a bustle to go.

    1. Ten years ago I was asked by my sister-in-law to hem my niece’s wedding dress because the wedding shop quoted $400 to hem the dress. I told her to consider that a bargain because I’d hemmed a wedding dress before. Full skirt with an overlay and those dress fabrics are a pain to work with. .

    2. There’s a youtuber who sings “it costs a fortune cos it takes ()… hours” She is correct, try to work out on an hourly rate, wedding dresses are hideous to alter, since you have to do all the different complicated layers and sew them back together. Even if your doing this as a favour, by the time you’re done, you don’t love them that much

    3. I sew, and I am happily, joyously, paying bridal shop their $575 flat fee for any/all alterations.

      I routinely hem bridesmaid dresses for my daughter or alter them to save her money. I thought the flat fee was a bargin. (And with the cost of the dress added in it’s still under my proposed budget for when we started looking)

  12. I kind of lost my mojo a while ago (I didn’t even show up here much, in case you noticed). It’s a little about Covid and those crazy anti-vaxxers everywhere, but I guess it’s also about our cat that disappeared in September (the day of our election, actually). He had been like a family member for seventeen years, the most affectionate, friendly, cuddly cat you can imagine. He watched our kids grow up and move out and I swear, he loved when they came back for visiting. He moved with us to our new house and kept us company every evening when we watched the news. He would sleep on a blanket in my room when I was working … Yes, I knew he had a thyroid problem and I hoped that the medicine we gave him would take care of that. But in the end, he must have felt that it was his time and so he did what many animals do: follow their instinct and hide somewhere to die.

    Argh people, you know what it’s like. I’m not the first one here to talk about losing a pet that was dearly loved. I just didn’t expect it would hit me so hard. Because he just went out as usual and for a while, I hoped he would come back. A few days and a couple of bad rainstorms later I realized he wouldn’t. I’m still missing him.

    But it’s time to get back on track. I found out I’m going to be a grandma in April so I started to sew little baby things and it’s wonderful. I was asked to write a cozy crime Christmas novella (which I have never done before) and I came up with something I really liked. On Sunday, I’m going to read some Christmas short stories at the local library and I’m looking forward to that. And finally, I decided to get back to my marketing efforts so my SP books will sell. It took just a few hours to put together a little video for Instagram, and since I’m so proud of it, I give you the link:
    (No knowledge of German necessary, just enjoy!)

    1. I’m so sad for your loss, Colognegrrl. 17 years is so long that he had to be a key member of your family.

      Our oldest cats became so ill from one thing or another over the years that the hardest part I had to go through was deciding to take them to the veterinarian for the final sleep. Our family developed the habit of spending the last night before that visit lying with the beloved cat on the floor of the dining room, which was covered with soft, comforting things — pillows, blankets, favorite stuffed animals. Which was very good for the ailing cat, but hard once it was all over.

      Good luck loving the rest of your family after that sad experience!

    2. Congratulations on imminent grandparenthood! That’s wonderful news.

      And my sympathies about your cat. We had one, when I was growing up, who made his exit in a similar. Went outside one day, as he always did–and we never saw him again. He was elderly by then and had some health issues, and I believe it was his choice. But it’s very hard to lose them.

  13. I got my balcony tree up. Fake tree, just lights, mostly for the benefit of hotel guests across the street since I’m so high up. Well, and for me since holiday lights are my favorite part of the season.

    The day job is about to get busier. I am getting a temporary promotion because my boss is being detailed to another office for a bit. Both of us think it’s the right thing to do and neither of us really wants the change.

    This weekend is epic baking weekend at a friend’s house, though it may be less epic than previous years since she won’t be having her annual Christmas party because of Covid. A facebook memory just popped up showing pics of the 12 or so types of cookies we made in 2019. Regardless, there will be wine, baking, and friends. What more can you ask for?

  14. This week delivered a disappointment in that Rainbow Awards were announced and both my submissions went nowhere. Not even an honorable mention. So that’s some discouragement I didn’t need. 🙁

    On a more positive note, I’ve made some good progress on a historical romance project that’s been kicking around the back of my brain for years. It has taken a very different trajectory than first envisioned, but that’s fine.

    Aside from that and worky work, nothing really happening. We aren’t going anywhere for year-end hols and haven’t planned to receive any visitors, but at least the house got cleaned up for Thanksgiving.

  15. Finally getting back on chore/cleaning schedule after the election.

    And I’ve done the last doctor appointment for the year. It was an eye exam and my field vision test came out unreliable-again. I used to be much better at focusing on that test, like a video game really. But if my next one comes out the same, they’ll stop scheduling them. Since i don’t like that test, that’s real incentive to do my best!

    Two more meetings and jury duty (how could I forget) and I can relax for the rest of the month.

  16. Apparently I am never going to stop working. Today I had a new furnace installed that I have no money to pay for. They got me a zero interest loan. (This is a HVAC company my family has used since our neighbor started it in 1972.) Yesterday they sent someone out to see why the fan was making so much noise—I had told them “I think it ate a mouse.” Instead it was a rat, and the rat died by biting the coils of the resistance heater that provides extra heat. The part died too. The part and its installation would cost half as much as my new furnace and the part would take six to eight weeks to arrive. The furnace was available today. I said “Ooookay.”
    Monday I was singing “I’m off to buy a washer, the wonderful washer that was.” My washer broke down last week, and looking up its model number I discovered I’d had it longer than I thought. Finding parts for a seventeen year old washer that was discontinued five years ago seemed like too much of a struggle. So I have (or will have next Monday) a washer I can’t afford either.
    So my plans to semi-retire in a year don’t look likely.

    1. I can relate. I saved up for a long time, finally found the right deal and purchased flooring for the second floor of my house. (The 10-year-old builder-grade carpeting that was installed before I moved in looks like a crack den after some hundred foster animals have lived here.) Cleaned out my household money… And then IMMEDIATELY the washing machine died, the oven broke (for the second time–I don’t even like it (another builder-grade installment before I purchased the house–so I’m not going to pay to repair it AGAIN), the garbage disposal died, and it’s now clear that the gutters need work. And I have no money for any of this. (sigh)

      One thing at a time, I tell myself.

      (And still trying to save up for the underlayment and trim, now that I’ve purchased the flooringl)

    2. I can totally relate. Just when I thought I was starting to get ahead I had to replace the rear brakes and rotors. There is no winning. Just keep swimming…

    3. I had to replace a nine-year old roof last year in the middle of Covid. Surprise! (It had been incorrectly installed over broken and rotted boards… no wonder it leaked like a sieve.) Then I had to replace the dishwasher, standing freezer, and washing machine. Would anyone like to buy a slightly used cat? Your choice of four…

  17. Most of my holiday shopping is done, and today, since I had an urgent drop to make at the UPS store, I didn’t do the usual heavy grocery shopping at Target, but instead dropped in at a different Trader Joe’s. Ho! Ho! — I am now stuffed (kitchen, fridge, freezer) having been able to pick up almost everything.

    Yesterday was the fourth Adopt-a-versary for my cat Candy Cane, who was a twelve-week-old kitten when she and her sister came to live with me.


    We celebrated with a good cuddle, which she especially likes when it’s chilly! And (since I was in a hurry this morning) she also got to finish off my breakfast scraps, which she likes to do if there’s any butter or cheese or chicken flavor . . . .

  18. Still dealing with my cat Achilles’ new diabetes diagnosis. Have him well supplied now with insulin, syringes, diabetic food, etc. Trying to adjust to the every-12-hours cycle–tricky, since I have a very varied schedule and am seldom home at the same time every day. Took him back for a blood test 2 days ago, and the doc increased the insulin dosage slightly.

    I appreciate the moral support in the comments here last week, and also the link to an online info group about feline diabetes. This is all completely new to me.

  19. Oh! MEANWHILE…. our cat rescue group, Cat Adoption Team, is in the final 36 hours of an online auction to raise funds for our foster cats and kittens. Mostly for their medical bills.

    The auction includes quite a few virtual offerings, including several online writing workshops; an editorial consultation with Matrice Hussey (she edited in the NYC publishing world for 25 years, now she’s freelance); downloadable audiobooks; an Oracle cards intuitive reading (by phone); Storybundle gift cards (the site offers a new bundle of indie ebooks, centered around a theme, every couple of weeks; a gift card is good for any bundle at any time); an audio narration by an award-winning British voice artist. Etc.

    There’s also an opportunity there to sponsor Gracie and/or Bella for $15; we’re treating them for FIP, and it’s extremely expensive. (Experimental treatment. In the past 18 months, we’ve saved the lives of 5 FIP cats. Previously, FIP was fatal, so this new treatment is a game changer. But it currently costs at least $1500 to treat a cat or kitten. So we are always in fundraising mode these days.)

    We’re also selling the 2022 C.A.T. calendar, created by our friends at the Court—drag queens who raise funds for charities. And (drum roll!) my cat Hector is the cover model this year! (Hector is the brother of Achilles, who was recently diagnosed with diabetes. They’re both C.A.T. alums. Adopting them is how I got involved with the organization 7 years ago.)

    ANYHOW, if you’re interested, here’s the link. Just one day left to bid!

    1. Laura, if you are ever involved with something like this again, definitely ping me for a contribution for people to bid on. Most of my cat-centric funds go to my local shelter, but I’m always happy to help out.

      1. Thank you! Will do.

        We do something like this regularly, in fact. We’re a very active group, so we’re constantly fundraising. Especially with our work delving more and more now into cats that other groups don’t want or won’t take: severe injuries, FIP cases, etc. (High medical expenses.)

          1. ARGH. I have a friend who adopted a cat from a shelter and when she took it to the vet they found a BB embedded under the skin. (They couldn’t remove it, but it doesn’t seen to bother the cat.) I’m always happy to donate signed books, or swag, or whatever.

    2. Laura, thank you! Thank you! I’ve been searching for the perfect gift for a good friend and the 2022 Wags & Drags Calendar is it! All ordered. Thanks again.

  20. I run a cooperative shop with 50 local artists and craftspeople and it is December in the middle of a pandemic, so I am doing nothing BUT work. Sadly, none of that work is writing. I promised my agent one chapter back before Thanksgiving and I still haven’t managed to write a word. Oh, well. Publishing pretty much shuts down in December anyway, so no one would read it even if I managed to write it.

    And yes, emails are the devil. Except yours, of course.

  21. Work is crazy (I thought it was crazy in the last months, but it’s still getting crazier.
    I only have one more week to cram in everything while also having to cut down my working hours in order to use up my overtime (otherwise it’s just lost). Which simply is not feasable.


    Yet, I managed to sew three projects (small bags), mainly because I wasn’t happy with project no. 1 and 2: in the first the edges towards the zip are yuk, for the second bag I have no clue how to add a handle (I planned to make one which doesn’t need a handle, but it got too high so it looks lacking without one. Only the third was okay.
    So this one got to be the “outer packaging” for part 2 (a small care parcel with chocolaty and relaxing stuff) of our departments present for one dear colleague. Part 1 (a subscription to a psychoogy journal) just needed something to go with it – some paper for some more paper that’s going to land in her post box in some days.
    Maybe this link works…

    Well, and when I come home around 7 pm there’s a pile of paper to copy-edit… December is the worst moth, never enough time and a load of extra responsibilites (like finding ideas for presents for the whole family) – no wonder I grew to hate this holiday even though I would love to still love it.

  22. Back when the pandemic started my husband sat on one of our shaker seat stools and broke a rung. To fix it he has to undo the woven seat. He replaced and stained the broken wood and now I am finally reweaving the seat.

    It’s not that hard but it is slow going.

  23. Oh the perils of dying appliances. The dishwasher and the fridge have been making noises. Had the dishwasher repaired in January or February, but, now it is making a different noise. The repairman and I had a discussion on whether to get a new one. I chose to repair. Please let it hang in there until we decide to sell. The freezer is chugging along then it has a hiccup or I’ve closed the door with something holding it slightly ajar at the bottom. Freezer is in the laundry room. Laundry is in coloured piles. No red socks in the whites.

    Still sorting Mama’s fancy stuff for her grandchildren. Almost done.

  24. At least one can do the dishes by hand if it opts to stop working.
    Not so easy to do without the fridge.

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