Working Wednesday, January 26, 2022

For some reason, I picked up my crochet again and started making hats. I know why I picked hats: they go fast. Mollie had asked me if I had a hat pattern for a hat she’d worn out, and I didn’t, so I reverse engineered it. It took four tries and some of them were pretty plain (she likes plain) so after I e-mailed her the pattern I wrote, I noodled around with surface crochet and weaving on the plain ones and had a wonderful time. Then I found a huge snarl of multiple yarns around my power cords and cut the cords free, and thought, You know, some of these are really pretty, so I knotted the ends together and combined three strands to make Snarl Hats. Then I looked at the yarns I’d discarded from that batch, and they were all gray and depressing, so I combined them with a red strand and made Snarl Hat 2. I can do about two hats a night and the sense of accomplishment is so happy-making. Although now I have a lot of hats.

And I started this scarf because sometimes you need something bright:

What did you make/do this week?

60 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, January 26, 2022

  1. What did I make/do this week? I’m making do with the hydroponic thing. There are little shoots of basil peeking up from their pods. The sharper-eyed dotter spotted them first, and now I can make them out from the side. The tomato plants are not in any discernable rush.

    The dotter expressed an interest, so I went to Amazon and there was an even less expensive unit, with twelve pods. It arrived yesterday. She’s planning not to assemble it until spring – I roll my eyes at her.

    And cooking. I’m making do with my own cooking. I’m up to ten “basic” recipes. 🙂

    Yesterday, I shopped ever-so-briefly and made a mistake. I was going to make recipe #9, the baked boneless pork ribs with onions, peppers, pineapple, grape tomatoes and pepperoni. I bought bone-in “country style” ribs by mistake. “Country Style” appears to mean “soaked in brine.” That meal alone exceeded my 1500 mg limit of sodium.

    Today I make up for it with stir-fry. Chicken, (baby) bok choi, onion, garlic, water chestnuts, bean sprouts, baby corn, pineapple, and a partridge in a pear… no. Although I do have a Cornish game hen… no. Saving that for warmer weather.

    So, cooking and gardening. That’s what I’m making and doing.

    1. My greatest successes with hydroponics have been peppers of all kinds. I have a thai chili pepper plant that has produced a lifetime supply and is still going strong. My mini bell pepper is also doing well–I’ve picked several and have another batch ripening.

      Basil and mint have also done well. My dill plant was great, but eventually wore out. I wish I ate more dilly meals, because I had a great supply while it was growing. I have a new set of basil and thyme seedlings that seem like they will thrive, though thyme has failed me before.

      It is really a pleasure to be able to just reach over and pick fresh herbs while cooking. (I have tried to grow herbs in pots and inevitably I kill them.)

      1. If I ever get to the stage of transferring plants to soil, I will enlist (draft) the dotter and her emerald thumb. I can also picture buying another kit or two, because there just isn’t enough room in the two I have for everything I want to grow.

  2. The scarf is lovely. Can we have pictures of the snarl hats as well? I have not heard of those and it sounds like something I could learn to make. Anything that uses up scrap is always good.

    I’m not sure what I am doing. I planned a lot of projects for this year, as well as took on some commitments and haven’t worked on any of them. I am going to have to get out of my funk and do better. I did make headway on my Valentine’s day collection, Which is little pink clay roses with thorns and lockets. Have to get those listed…

    1. I made up the snarl hats. I had a snarl of yarn, I made a hat. (I’m not a complicated thinker.)

      I’ll get pics and post them later. Thanks for asking.

  3. This week I am working on getting a new car. Test driving and researching is not all that fun. Especially since it has decided to rain heavily this week in my neck of the woods in Florida.
    I’m also starting my memoir class / project. First class is this morning and I’ve done some advance work.
    I’m trying to clean house some and that’s not going well as almost anything suits me better. I have an aunt who is gifting me a desk that she no longer wants. She’s bringing it over and her style of housekeeping is not nearly as ‘relaxed’ as mine.
    Throw in some chair yoga and you’ve got my week.

  4. Still lounging around in Aruba. We complained to the owners of our villa that the kids next door (seven of them) had noisily invaded our pool. The owners explained that one of the kids was Drake’s kid and the woman accompanying them was Drake’s baby mama and so they were too famous to complain to. Um….???

    1. If you called the police to make a trespass complaint, likely the same response. But if you call a tabloid to report out of control celebrity behavior…

      1. Oh that’s a good idea. Do they have tabloids in Aruba?? Anyway, not trying to be the pool Grinch here…but there is a perfectly good beach in front of us. Will try introducing ourselves today and make soft requests.

        1. Ask them nicely first. Also ask for discount, freebies etc from the owners, you rented it they should be making it up to you. You paid so document it. If you want to make a huge deal, photo, and later put on instagram and twitter add hashtag and point out they’re trespassing. Of course the photographers will then descend with telescopic lens and it won’t be quiet. I would have had my dad just go swim in the pool early and sunbathe beached whale style. Then when they turn up, I’d tell them he’s napping and shoo them away.

        2. Either way, take lots and lots of pictures. You might be able to sell those and pay for renting the villa. 🙂

          Lots and lots and lots of pictures. (That alone might keep them away.)

  5. Yes, pictures of snarl hats, please. Actually pictures of all the hats – I want to see what you did to the plain ones too.

    I have been doing nothing. Burned out from doing too much before Christmas, and then there is this subfreezing weather that makes me want to do nothing but sit by the fire. Thank goodness for the day job or I’d never even leave the house.

    It’s the time of year that I hold on by my nails and tell myself I can last until June when spring comes.

  6. I made Cornish pasty’s yesterday. Yum. Today we have more high winds and my sinuses are on fire. I’ll have to stay in. Hmmmm. What should I make today?

  7. I used to do a lot of cross stitch (samplers that said things like “Has Anyone Seen My Hormones?” and “I Was Raised by a Pack of Wild Smartasses” and “I May Be Old But I’m Not Dead”) and give them to friends. I quit stitching a few years ago, but I’m retired now.

    My new project is destined for my kitchen wall, and it will say:
    The Hardest Part
    of Being an Adult
    Is Figuring Out
    What to Cook for Supper
    Every Single Night
    For the Rest of Your Life
    Until You Die

      1. I know a lady who had a creative solution, she worked with my friend who is an excellent cook, Every day she would ask him what he made for dinner last night and then she would cook that for dinner that night.

      1. I made that one for my older son because he always claimed he was raised by a pack of wild smartasses.

  8. Plugging away at freelance work and my own writing. Doing an approach/avoidance dance with baking. Considering setting up a drawing/painting station on a desk that isn’t doing anything except holding clutter. Nice clutter, basket-bound clutter, but still clutter. Staying inside today because, as friend once said, There are no degrees out there. Staring at a pair of cardinals and some juncos who don’t seem to care about the cold. Any minute now I’m going to clean the bathroom.

  9. It’s been the quilting project that never ends. But I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just hope it isn’t a train!

    We’re having a quilt show in March, but the quilts need to be registered by the end of January, and ready for inspection at the end of February. I registered 8. Only four of them are quilted and bound (still need labels and sleeves, but those are minor things. Two of the unfinished are very small, so I’m not too worried about completing them. The other two however – I’ve been investing a lot of time into them. I’ll definitely have one done soon. Hopefully, I get the other one under control too!

    As a result, crochet has taken a back seat. Maybe next week?

    Jenny – if you want a very quick sense of accomplishment, you could make baby hats. The NICUs love to get them. It could be a February project – making one a day!

  10. I’ve been working with Deb to do a joint JortsTheCat-themed collection for the Romancing the Vote auction. I think it’s really cute — some Jorts merch plus some of Deb’s and my books that have cats in them. No pic yet. And I finished one more lap quilt to donate, but no pic on that yet either. I still need to go outside and photograph it, but it’s roughly minus-a-hundred degrees out (okay, so it’s around 20 degrees really, and sunny, but still cold for unmittened fingers needed to click the camera button). And it’s only going to get colder between now and the deadline for submitting donations.

    I’ve also basted the layers for two lap quilts and purchased backing for two more and washed/ironed it, for basting the layers in the next few days. That’s prep work for my #DailyFeb2022 plan (quilting/binding those lap quilts in small daily increments), but they’re probably not enough to keep me busy for the entire month, so I need to figure out what else I’ll do for DailyFeb (in addition to my FAFO Feb plan to play with fabric and anything else that appeals in the moment).

    Today, I’m also making cabbage soup to warm me up. I used to make it a lot, using tomato juice (the beverage) as the base, but then I stopped making it, because I had to give up salty stuff, but I really like it, and it’s heart-healthy (without so much salt), with lots and lots of veg, so I’m experimenting with a version starting with crushed tomatoes (salt-free or at least very little salt) and no-salt broths.

    1. My diet is also sodium-restricted. I think there’s a low-sodium V8 that might work. DelMonte Diced Tomatoes (No Salt Added) takes up a large area of my “pantry” shelf. I’ve even found them flavored (basil and oregano). Other brands sometimes have the NSA variety, too.

      I made stir fry today. After I put the last in Rubbermaid containers, the dotter knocked and came into the garage saying, “Okay, where’s mine?” It seems the aroma of my stir fry wafted through the rest of the house and she was “starving.” She ate hers (a pound and a half!) using jalapeno pork rinds for scoops. Sodium is not a problem for her. Yet.

      Good luck with your experiments. 🙂

    2. The soup sounds like a version of Weight Watchers soup I would make. I practically lived on it for a time. Sometimes I would add a couple or more of pot stickers to fancy it up.

  11. Okay, the other day I picked up the three leftover balls of rhubarb-coloured Cabin Fever yarn (appropriate, eh?) left over from the lovely sweater I knit last year. Found a scarf pattern on Ravelry and got busy. Because…

    I totally need something semi-mindless to work on while Zooming. As an incurable multi-tasker, I feel I’ve been missing opportunities to employ my hands, which are generally so idle during Zooms.

    Ahh… With luck, and a lot of Zooms, I’ll have it done by mid-February.

    1. I have a college friend who’s a dedicated knitter — I did more knitting than she did in college, but she’s far surpassed me in both skill and volume since then — and we recently re-connected with quarterly Zoom sessions. She always brings her knitting to our calls, and I FINALLY, after about half a dozen sessions, remembered to have mine with me last week before starting the meeting. We were both making chemo caps, me for general donation purposes, and her for a specific friend who needed them.

  12. I’ve been doing my editing job. It was OK while I was formatting the file, but I’m now into the copy-edit and it’s getting me down. (It’s a collection of Black artists’ texts about Black art, from the 1980s.) I want my semi-retirement back. Also, I’ve just realized that the figure I had in my head for my earnings to date this tax year was higher than reality. So I guess I do need to keep earning. Don’t know that there’s any way to just get work on fun books.

    For now I’m going to reduce my hours to three a day; see if I can make that work.

    I started digging out weeds where I want to make paths in the allotment, but decided to wait until it’s warmer and the soil’s easier to work. I’m sorting out my seed order instead.

  13. It’s been a busy morning. I’ve made an urgent dentist appointment for Paul and booster shot appointments for 2 dogs, picked up my library books, Paul’s pre-dentist antibiotics, some groceries and the mail and renewed my driver’s license. Then I came home and shoveled snow because we got 3 inches of the stuff overnight and it’s still coming down. I parked my car across the street from our back alley and walked down the alley to see how bad the snow was because there was no way I was going to be able to park on the street in front of our house, our street is a major wind tunnel. Fortunately, it was pretty clear, and I was able to get into our parking area. The town crews are working their butts off but the snow just won’t stop. But at least it’s not raining iguanas like in Florida.

    Other than that, it’s been the usual.

    Supper tonight is moose meat tacos.

  14. That scarf is rockin’, Jenny. So wish I could crochet as well:)

    This week I was asked by Redfin to share my thoughts on creating a fab reading nook. Since I love both home and books, it was fun to participate along with a bunch of other bookish folks. Spoiler alert: my must-have list includes my pup! (I posted a link on my website blog if anyone wants to take a look.)

    The rest of my week is about writing and family so all good things.

        1. Thanks, Katy!!
          Good recommendations regarding nooks on the Redfin Blog!
          I’d love to create one. Yet, a fluffy reading companion will be missing 🙁

  15. My crows made me so happy today. We have this family of crows that visit every few days on their tour of house-renovation dumpsters in the county. I think that the gang leader/paterfamilias is likely to be Junior — the young flappy “feed me, mom!” crow from a previous family.

    Last year, we put out a dismembered roast chicken carcase on the tallest clump of bird-feeding stumps, and the family had a great time devouring it. They seem to be just as happy flying each piece to a tree branch and pulling apart the edible pieces as they do to be eating the bits, but we don’t cook complete chickens that often, so after last Thanksgiving, we bought a bag of frozen chicken nuggets, which we thaw & then save in sets of 3 or 4 in a fridge container. That way they’re ready to microwave and slice into strips before hurrying out to spread on the Crow stumps.

    Junior always shows up first to check out the peanut situation on other bird stumps; if we see him and go through the nugget drill, he observes us from a branch until he can confirm there are nuggets, then caws to his gang to come quick! Quick!! Treats!!! You can hear the answering voices in the distance while Junior collects about a zillion slices at once in his beak and makes off to a branch to enjoy his haul while the others alight and grab their own.

    Crows are SO smart and observant and social that it makes me grin each time I see them or recall that morning moment of joy.

    I think I’ve got to roast a whole chicken sooner rather than later….

    1. I love crows! They are so smart. And, apparently, if you keep feeding them…. they will bring you ‘treasures’ in return. Humans ideas of treasure and Crows idea of treasure may be just a little bit different. 🙂

  16. Have been slinging stuff around and out the door, the heavy lifting and moving loosened the lower back muscles which was great but I’m tired.

    Two babies coming. I’m looking at the baby fabrics for quilts and swaddling blankets. Easy to make and buy soft cuddly teddy bears and books.

    Today I’m stuck in slow mode. Will make shepherds pie for dinner and iron. And nap after more travel documents completed and PCR test appointments. Many hoops to go through. Anxiety inducing.

  17. This week I set aside procrastination early just to get a couple of tasks done. First was easy but the second was putting in the anti virus in the computer. I just dread it. It is like I’ve already bought the program why are you trying to make me spend more. But it is in without too much aggravation. Now we can plan ahead for the blizzard/noreaster coming this weekend. Our town has four generators on lease so if we do lose power we will have backup. That and our own generator that my husband started this afternoon.

  18. I started knitting a skirt, took it off the needles to try it on, and it’s too big, so I have to take it out and restart it again. I HATE CASTING ON IN A CIRCLE SOOOOOOOOOO MUCH ALREADY HAD TO START IT OVER TWICE TODAY.

    I’m getting close to finishing a crocheted dress, or at least I’m on the last ball of yarn for it.

    And playwise, we are doing choreography this week for Urinetown. We actually got through the song rehearsals in six days, which shocked me because in my previous experience that seems to take almost the entire rehearsal schedule.

  19. I’m working on not drowning in my day job.
    Paddling like mad to stay afloat, but I feel like the water is up to my mouth at least.
    And more and more work is piled on my plate (head?) and I really feel close to drowning.
    But a colleague is coming back early from parental leave.
    I do hope that she can take over some of the stuff.
    Got a small pay rise but that’s no compensation for raised blood pressure and a work life balance that’s seriously askew.

    Booked four very expensive tickets for the goodbye concert of the 2Cellos today on a whim – I feel like we don’t have a life anymore, just work, work, work – all 4 of us, kids and parents. Tickets for all of us. At least something to look forward to in May.

  20. “A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he’s not afraid of anything.”


  21. I cleaned the bathroom (must be Wednesday) and did a little paperwork project for one of my boards. And I baked some banana treats for the dog. Pixie’s been underfoot the entire time, of course.

    Another meeting, doctors appointment, abit more paperwork and the usual cleaning/laundry and that will be it for the week.

    Oh, and Monday I went to the optical place to have a screw replaced in my glasses. I do have a little kit with screws and a screwdriver somewhere…

    And it’s getting really cold again.

  22. This last week I cooked several new to me dishes: Chicken Divan from scratch, linguini with pistachios and parmigiana, and pasta with mushrooms and spinach. And they all turned out really good.

    Then for my day jobs I finished the new picture molding that is going up in the downstairs hallway: sand, shellac, sand, thin varnish, sand, regular varnish and sand. The final coat of varnish goes on after it is installed and the nail holes filled. But not by me thankfully.

    Then since we have been having beautiful, sunny days I have been cleaning the dead leaves and stuff out of the front yard.

    Plus I transplanted my lemon and my lime trees into new ceramic pots I got for Christmas. They are 4 feet tall with big root bundles. This was a big deal.

    Then I invited a bunch of people over for dinner on Saturday. We are going to see a movie tomorrow night. This is probably my activity for the rest of the year.

  23. I feel like I haven’t made or done anything. 🙁 A lot of mental labor including some research, a significant round of debookification, nothing to show. I need three good writing days to finish the novella-in-progress.

  24. I took the day to take the car to be serviced and then found a new route to my restaurant of choice out that way. On the way to the restaurant I discovered that I could change freeway exits and arrive at the back parking lot of the dealership (of course, my previous reason for taking the longer route and not thinking anything about it was that it went past the local post office and DMV). I will have to remember this for next time!

    Prepping for a Zoom meeting tomorrow evening and another Saturday morning. I need dressier jammies . . . .

  25. This week I watched other people working while I remained horizontal. An aunt came and washed my dishes before driving me to get blood tests, a friend came and made me lunch and took the rubbish out, and my parents drove across two states to “look after me” after my aunt told them I looked like I was dying. So today I watched them do my laundry and assemble my new chairs. It’s very sweet of everyone, but an overreaction. I can still do all these things myself, just very, very slowly on separate days. Hopefully the test results tomorrow will shed some light on how to fix this so I can get back to actual work.

      1. Thanks Gary and Elizabeth, I seem to have turned the corner on whatever this has been. Not up to working yet, but the good news is that it’s definitely not autoimmune diabetes, my particular health boogeyman.

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