Working Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Please note: This was published a day early by accident. This will have absolutely no impact on anyone anywhere, so I’m leaving it up. Simpler that way.

I’m getting things done. I mean, I have so much to do that even working all day wouldn’t make much of a dent, but there’s progress here. Also, February is over, and in a couple of days, we’ll have a week of high forties to low sixties temps which will make me so happy. I can see the light at the end of the frozen tunnel. Also working on a new collage for Alice because that’s what the Girls sent up. And the eyes arrived for my Cthulhu. Nothing but good crafts ahead and possibly a less cluttered house. Onward! Also good work being done: the EU, UK, and USA kicking Putin right in the money belt. I usually don’t cheer for oil companies but go BP and Shell. Fingers crossed that works.

What did you work on this week?

56 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, March 2, 2022

  1. I’ve finally organized my seeds, and brought pots, compost, propagator, etc from the shed to the kitchen, ready to start sowing. Also mended my hand fork, which delighted me (the handle’s been twisting round and round for several years. I managed to drill a hole in the metal collar and hammer a tack in to hold it in place). And have weeded the back garden.

    I’ve agreed to do another edit: to my surprise, Penguin are fine with me only working half days. I daresay I’ll end up whingeing as usual, but I always feel good – relieved – when I get a new job. And the initial formatting is satisfying. It’s about strategies to make the migrations that the climate crisis will provoke work – so my kind of book, hopefully.

    Finished Daily February, without missing a day – which is satisfying.

    1. I picked up potting soil. I’ve been putting that off for weeks. Now I have to tend the geraniums I’ve managed to start. I can’t put that off for much longer.

    2. I have my seeds organised and a bit of greenhouse cleaning to do. All ready for a grand sowing at the weekend.

    3. Multiple congrats, Jane! It speaks well of your work that Penguin wants to keep you, even at half-time. As another freelancer, I get completely the relief at getting another job.

  2. Now that I’ve beaten our house and the moving boxes into shape (I swear, I’ve bought out the Ikea stock of shelving several times over), I’ve moved on to working my way through finishing all the craft projects that I’ve sorted and can actually get to now. It’s quite exciting. I finished my Easter dressing gown yesterday, and I’m making great strides in knocking over a couple of odd things I’ve had hanging around for years.

    I’m also easing back into a routine that includes doing a little bit of tai chi every day, and the difference I feel it makes to my breathing and my awakeness is quite remarkable.

  3. Made an appointment to drop off my tax documents to get my taxes done. Dealt with the laundry and washed the pollen off my car.
    I joined the free week challenge for Corinne Crabtree’s No BS weight loss program. Liking it so far. I am the boss of my food.
    I am settling in to write on the prompt for my memoir class tomorrow morning.
    Still holding space for the Ukranians to do whatever they need to do to kick Putin’s ass.
    Still holding space for the US to do whatever we need to kick Trump’s ass.
    Beyond that we shall see.

    1. I have hope for a Trump ass kicking. He really fuckered himself by siding with Putin this time, I think.

      1. Did he really?? Clearly, I’ve not been paying enough attention to the news. What a…dope. Yes, I’m going to go with the word dope.

      2. You’re more optimistic than me. Seems like he keeps misstepping, even legally, and away he skates scotch free…

        1. Well, that and my maiden aunt prays that he has a debilitating stroke turning him Into a human vegetable every night. I try not to go that far….

          1. Dementia. His father died of it, and he’s in the age bracket — he must have it in the back of his mind.

  4. Laundry in the rain. With no dryer. But we do have that new air conditioner with a dry mode. When the laundry is done I’ll be sweeping or vacuuming. The drying rack was, apparently, in that about to start flaking rubber coating everywhere stage. Having wrestled it into the house and wiped all the water and mud off, it’s now in the we probably need a new one stage but, of course, we’re still waiting on a possible move to Scotland. No buying of anything I wouldn’t be willing to pay freight charges on.

    Mostly working on getting ready for holiday trip to Tasmania. A looking forward happy. There will be platypus, echidna, Tasmanian devils, and fairy penguins. I helped plan this time so more animals and old houses and fewer high speed, no brakes kind of things. Though I do chill at an old hotel/pub for a day while he goes white water rafting.

    Serious rain, with bad flooding north of here. Too much rain for what feels like weeks. Too much reading of the news. Even my video game is full of references to Ukraine. Less interacting with news that makes me cry, more cleaning. Maybe some baking. Maybe start crocheting a new style of slippers.

  5. I’m working on getting my March title ready to launch. Also plenty o’ Day Job, some more decluttering of the bead hoard, and registering for jury duty.

    This is my first summons since we moved to the current location and it’s to the court near Grand Park in downtown L.A.; when you have to report, the parking is at Disney Hall, so there’s two walks a day through the park. If it should transpire that I must report for duty, could be much worse (in fact, every other courthouse I’ve been to in L.A. is worse).

    Aside from that, have decided on the Last Location to Try for my two plants in containers (this place gets more sun than either of them wants), and have found that I incautiously bought orchid mix (for terrestrial orchids) vs orchid bark (for epiphytes) so I have to go back to the fun garden center. OH DARN.

  6. I only went to Lidl to get cut flowers and bought a bunch of bulbs for 1.99 a pkg. so now I have more to plant!! It’s still a smidge early to sow seeds in my cutting gardens but all my daffs are coming up. I’m the meantime, I can’t figure out why Putin is doing what he’s doing. It’s just not logical. So, putting on my writer hat, I think I figured it out: he’s planning to fake his own death. Like get fake assassinated and get plastic surgery then he can enjoy his ill gotten gains, live in splendor in one of his mansions in Monaco and/or the US and produce action movies. Because secretly, he’s always wanted to live in the US.

    1. I’m with you on the war not making sense. I think Putin assumed Ukraine would fold without a shot fired and the rest of the world would go along because he is so scary. God bless those people lining up to make Malatov cocktails and putting Russian tanks up on Craigslist for scrap metal. I can’t say that I believe the US would fair so well in the face of a threat.

      1. Apparently he really thought they would cave fast as evidenced by a website they put up with pre drafted press released including one that said Ukraine had surrendered unconditionally on day 3. They took it down but Der Spiegal found it in the Way Back machine .

  7. Anybody remember TW3?
    “That was the week that was.
    It’s over, let it go.
    Oh what a week that was.
    That was the week… that was.”

    I think it was on that show that I first heard the Kingston Trio do the Merry Minuet, the song that starts off, “They’re rioting in Africa…”. Alas that the lyrics need very little adjustment to fit the current politics.

    Domestically, I not only got my dishes caught up, but I’ve kept them that way. Paper bowls and plates may not be my best contribution to the environment, but they sure make clean-up easier. I shopped Monday and Tuesday, taking advantage of good weather. The dotter does my laundry – I supply detergent. Lots and lots of detergent, multiple brands. Since there are teenagers in the house, I told her I bought snacks – Tide Pods. 🙂

    She didn’t laugh, either. 🙁

    My tomato plants have grown riotously. The QYO lighting is raised as far as it extends. Must I transfer them to dirt? Don’t wanna. I want them to start showering me with tiny tomatoes. I have bread, I have bacon, the lettuce crop looks ready to harvest, I want my BLTs! I also want peppers with the tomatoes so I can make chili. I understand why the Smart Garden ships with basil – that stuff grows faster and easier than anything else. They want to hook someone on hydroponic gardening? Basil is the way to go.

    Speaking of destroying the environment (see paper plates above), I started using crock pot liners, which are plastic. What it means is that I actually use the crock pots, more than before. Ease of clean-up. I’ll be setting up a beef stew, shortly. I just need to sear some stew beef in chili oil (which is just canola oil and chili extract, but the flavor is delish) and throw in the veggies. It might be ready by dinner time, but lunch is perch and a crab cake, which are thawing in the fridge.

    A final thought (actually I hope it isn’t): What Doesn’t Kill Me Must Be Chocolate. Ta.

    1. I remember TW3! That is where I first heard the music of Tom Lehrer. The reports of Putin readying his nuclear arsenal remind me of the song “Who’s Next?” I thought the line was “Russia’s got the bomb, but have no fears. They can’t wipe us out for at least 5 years.” However, when I checked the lyrics it turned out that line was referring to China.
      And that was in 1968.

      1. I have all the Lehrer recordings, and back in the day, I never missed an episode of TW3.

        1. I learned of Tom Lehrer through my best friend. There was a time when a bunch of us played those recordings until I know many of the songs by heart. “Alma” was my favorite. A few phrases like “copious free time” and the person(sergeant) whose “tastebuds were shot off in the war” were frequently applicable to work and restaurants, respectively.

        2. I didn’t watch TW3 but I have all the recordings .
          He also wrote for the Electric Company

    2. Gary, how much root volume has your hydroponics system got for each tomato plant? We did hydroponics when I was a kid, a looooong time ago, and I remember the tomatoes growing at least a cup of root mass each, maybe 2 cups. And have your plants got flowers yet? If they’ve got enough flowers, you could deal with the height problem by pinching out the tops of the plants and letting the flowers mature. If they haven’t flowered yet and the system won’t fit that much root volume, I suspect you do need to transfer them.

      But they may not like being transferred to soil, when they’re used to water.

      Maybe one of the real gardeners on here could comment … I’m only going from old memories and no way am I an expert.

      1. I haven’t measured root volume – not sure how to. Not a blossom in sight. I’ll be checking my favorite YouTube sites to see what they say. It may just be a case of lopping off the tallest branches. Both QYO systems get watered, frequently, but every other Tuesday is Nutrient Solution Day. 3/1 was the last for that.

      2. Google Search Results

        As a result of this search and playing several of the videos, I have aggressively pruned the too-many-tomato-plants in my QYO system. I’m contemplating just yanking a few of the plants to make room for the healthiest. I shouldn’t have started more than three plants, not the six I actually did. Worse, I started another three pods from seeds. Not the same varieties. Only one of those is competing… successfully. I have room to move the other over by the lettuce, where I’ll be ripping out the green onions that don’t seem to like hydroponic life.

        I’ll also be harvesting lettuce, enough to make a salad. Sadly, no tomato for my salad, but four kinds of lettuce and bacon and cheese and dressing from red wine vinegar and olive oil. If I do it right, the lettuce will grow back a few times until I can make a BLT.

    3. I loved TW3! And Tom Lehrer. In my Pentagon days, I tried hard to get one of the briefing officers to do a musical presentation, using either “Who’s Next?” for NBC proliferation or “National Brotherhood Week” for world affairs generally. (Hey! It could have gone. They gave the briefing officers a lot of slack on their last briefing before they rotated out, and the “Elvis sighting” report was very well received.)

  8. Speaking at a conference in Orlando in April, so we are organizing a husband and stepdaughter trip with – and will go to Universal studios. My first Disney visit ever.

    1. I love universal. The royal Pacific hotel is beautiful and you can walk or take a boat to the parks. And get the faster line. The unofficial guide book has lots of good info. I am so jealous.

  9. I went outside first thing this morning, and took some photos. The flowers in the front of the house, and the birds out back. Spring is coming, if it isn’t already here!

    Two bluebirds together, a robin, and a single bluebird. I have pictures of daffodils, camellias, and my lone hyacinth, which I think was planted by the previous owner when she received it as a gift from one of her kids.

    1. Nice photos — gives me hope that spring will get to us in the areas north of yours. But I couldn’t figure out what food is attracting robins and bluebirds to your feeder — and does it only work next to a tree trunk, or can it be offered in other settings?

      1. I have suet, both in block form, and in this cylinder. I buy it impregnated with hot pepper, since apparently birds don’t have tastebuds as such, while squirrels do, and prefer to eat something else. Quite a variety of birds stop here for their daily chow – I just happened to catch the bluebirds and robin when I stepped out to fill the seed feeder. The cylinder starts off about 3 inches in diameter, about 8 inches high, with a hole in the middle to fit that particular feeder.

        1. I should add that there are several trees back along the deck (one fewer now that DH has gotten rid of the one that was pushing our fence over). About five feet from the deck is said fence, beyond which is a small bit of landscaping fronting a busy thoroughfare. I was hesitant to buy this house because of the proximity of that road, but when I saw cardinals and such while touring it, I figured I could live here if they could. Eventually, you get used to the sound of traffic.

          I would expect that if you have suet birds would come for it. The trees give some shelter from other predators, But if you don’t have trees, being near shrubs or bushes would also help.

          1. Yes indeed. We feed lots of birds and we feed suet, but just the square cakes filled with birdseed, hung on an iron shepherd’s crook thingamajig. In a yard that is overgrown in the eyes of the neighbors, we have numerous trees and shrubs, making the yard kind of a bird paradise. There are no open fields or meadows nearby, though, so I’ve never seen a bluebird in my nearly 70 years here. And I’ve never seen a robin eat anything not live and squirming, except when I chop up dried cherries and put them on a small stump in one of their favorite spots. I will have to look for the cylindrical suet a la Mexico — it sounds like just the thing for a variety of birds. Maybe we’ll even see a bluebird or two, but doubtless they’ll be lost and searching desperately for Nancy’s yard. 🙂

          2. Jinx – I don’t know where those bluebirds live, but I’ve had them feed at my suet for the past 20 years in two different locations. My other house had a very woodsy backyard (nothing to mow!). I only started the cylinder suet in the last year – apparently the bigger birds like it since they don’t have to cling to the cage with the blocks in it. It would be akin to putting suet on your stump instead of cherries. I don’t bat an eye seeing the thrashers, woodpeckers, blue jays, mockingbirds and catbirds coming for the stuff. I was a little taken aback to see a cardinal nibbling on the suet though. I was pretty sure they were strictly seed eaters.

            Good luck!

        2. Oh, that’s interesting. I wonder if it would work on bears? We’re not allowed to have bird feeders because the bears mug them, but maybe if the suet had pepper in it?
          Of course, then I’d have angry bears.

          1. I was just thinking you could only feed birds while the bears were hibernating. I assume they hibernate at some point in New Jersey!. But yes, you don’t want to piss them off with habanero suet.

          2. Someone told me that after she brushes her German Shepherd, she throws the fur out on her lawn and birds grab it for their nests in Spring. Beautiful photos!

  10. I put my guest bed up for sale, and when it is gone, hopefully today, I will remake that room into a craft storage and exercise machine room. A much better use for a room that hasn’t been used for a number of years, and was just collecting castoffs. I’m so happy for you, getting so much work done! We are having great weather in KC, and the sun REALLY makes a difference in my energy level.

  11. We are on location today. It’s kind of cold out here. But we can’t go inside until our Covid tests come through.
    This is a documentary film type project about jury duty. We are taking a man through a heroes journey. There is only one real human on this journey. The rest of us are actors. It’s a very weird and wonderful project.
    My sister planet me an apple tree. And Anna Apple. I’m so thrilled.
    On the weekends I get to do taxes. I’m still a VITA volunteer. I also have to find time to put in my regulars. Fortunately two weeks I have a one-week hiatus. So many taxes so little time. No riding getting done at this point.

  12. I am still in limbo since my plans for a show in April got dashed, but I have continued drawing as part of my Daily February challenge. It worries me that Ukraine has all but disappeared from my social media feed, so I have been working on oil pastel drawings with that in mind.

    Other than that, I did tax stuff. I am dreaming of the day when I can start sewing my seeds. And I am making tiny dents in projects that have languished.

  13. I am working on renewing my enrollment in various State programs that make my budget possible. I thought I had lost my State ID and spent many hours trying to figure out how I could get various agencies to accept alternate proof of identity when just before I went to bed I found the original card. Huzzah! I still have an entire folder of back up documents in my backpack, but I hope I won’t need them.

    I finally balanced my checkbook after the enormous mess I let it get into while I was in France. I still don’t know where everything went, but the amount I had to write off was one third less than what my original estimate which made me feel like somewhat less of an idiot. This gave me the confidence to put my cell phone bill on auto pay, which will save me 5 dollars a month. It is still a little scary because they sucked the money out of my account before I had even hung up the phone, but unlike the customer service hell I went through with them in the fall, they really did call me back and, so far everything went as advertised. They even emailed me all the information they never provided when I signed up and bought their phone.

    I also got back on my diet on Monday. Since I have no way to do non-load bearing aerobic exercise on my own I went in to PT early so that I could get some extra time on the Nu-Step before my appointment. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that once I start getting earlier appointment times, but for now it is just the change I need. I was able to use that as motivation to stay away from the chocolate and this morning my scale finally budged. If I can keep this up for the rest of the month, my doctor will be happy.

  14. We have been busy – we’ve been to the dump and the recycle twice this week!

    Costco stock-up. New recliner. Paul got a new air filter for the garage/workshop and we put that up. He did a lot of dusting (and the filter did a lot of filtering) until the air compressor gave up the ghost. He found one on sale so we went and picked that up.

    He cancelled the baseball tickets we had booked for April and I enrolled myself in a moccasin making class for that weekend. We are now looking at other dates and places to go.

    The vet clinic called and said the boys’ ashes were back. We will go pick them up later.

    The new Seanan McGuire is waiting for me at the library so I’m going to go get that.

  15. I’m getting back into the fiction-writing routine, which is challenging after a three-week hiatus, but I also WANT to write after the hiatus, so that’s good.

    I’m also working on not whining so much about cardio rehab. It’s not the rehab itself that’s so bad; it’s the 45-minute commute each way in stop-and-go traffic that’s annoying. Current plan is to stick it out until I’m consistently doing the exercises at home on the days off from the in-person sessions, hoping that the desire to stop commuting will motivate me to exercise at home. Just ordered some inexpensive equipment to make it possible.

  16. Trust tax returns now ready and I’ll go in tomorrow to sign off, etc. Today was Haircut Day and I’ve been shorn. Madly scrambling to do another newsletter and a heads-up on Zoom meetings, and happily this month’s program is organized (“Women of the [Vietnam] Wall”) as is next month’s (“Monarch Butterfly” — they’ve been having a tough time lately). This week seems non-stop busy and I just hope next week isn’t.

    Good week for books, though.

  17. In honor of spring (coming soon) I put the flannel sheets away and brought out the regular bed linens. Then we were off on errands to the bank, the pharmacy, Staples where hub had documents shredded while I went to the $1.25 store. Apparently they increased the price on everything except greeting cards, but I always find something we can use. Today it was baking paper and in the refrigerator section I found Mrs. Field’s cookies to bake. I only buy it if it is a name brand. Now I’m thinking about an article I read last week that stores were closed down south. Then it was off to the grocery store for a few things and home just in time for a nap.

  18. I made a garden cart out of an old casket-dolly from my dad’s factory and a 4×8 sheet of plywood that was hanging around the garage. It was a good excuse to use my new saw and to finally make a home for all of the garden supplies, pots, bags of dirt, etc., that were scattered about in the garage and yard.

    It’s not as attractive as it could be–I dropped it early in the construction process (1/2″ plywood is a bit heavy and cumbersome)–but it functions as I wanted it to, so that’s a win. Plus, I didn’t manage to hurt myself, so that’s a double win!

    I painted it a nice shade of green and made the top in two pieces so I can open one side and get at my bag of soil while setting my pot / plant on the other. Now I just need to make it a “nylon-garden-cart-cozy” out of some ripstop nylon I found in my craft cupboard and the cart will be able to roll outside and live by the garbage cans without my worrying about it getting all wet.

  19. So many gardeners in this group! I don’t any more. Desert: stuff grows, but only with a fair amount of attention, which I can’t give it. I’ve been doing WayBetter for a couple of months now, and it’s gotten me out walking daily. I just started a new game, some home project. I was going to paint the living room (still on the slate, but not now) but decided that for the game I’m going to tackle a year’s worth of ironing.
    A hiking friend got me hanging things instead of using the dryer, but I like linen, silk and cotton, and now I have multiple piles and hangers full of clothing that needs ironing. Oh well, it will be an excuse to turn on TV or watch a movie.

    I just finished Going Postal, and there were two pieces toward the end that I think were just amazing. They should teach his books as philosophy and politics.
    “Ultimately, there is the freedom to take the consequences”
    “Sometimes the truth is arrived at by adding all the little lies together and deducting them from the totality of what is known.”

    Vetinari in 2024.

  20. The house. I’ve reached a point at which even I can’t take this amount of clutter. Besides, I’m a microscale miniature wargamer, and I was losing entire armies of quarter inch tall toy soldiers. I think I’m one day short of “major rooms presentable.”

    Also I Indian-wrestled the VA, and persuaded them to postpone the colonoscopy until late April. For a little while in there I had a checkup, an invasive procedure, a two-week vacation with the grandkids, a wargame convention and an art class all happening in the same 30 days. I thought the whole point of time was that everything didn’t happen at once?

  21. I cleaned my office, aka the foster room, and organized supplies in the cellar, because a new foster cat arrived, fresh off the street, and VERY pregnant. She had her kittens very early Wednesday morning. Five total, all doing well. At this stage, I just take care of the mom, and she takes care of them.

    Also learning the ropes of a new job. I’ve been hired part-time to be the Central Coordinator for Novelists, Inc. (I already do production of their monthly in-house publication, Nink.) It’s mostly at home, mostly on my own time. The current CC, who has done it for about 8 years, is preparing to retire. I think for the next year or so, I’ll feel like surprises are constantly flying at me from all directions, since there’s a lot to learn and many different responsibilities or tasks. But I like the variety and I’m a longtime member of the organization, and the job feels like a good fit.

    1. Thank you for fostering! I’ve been learning about it, and very interesting it is. Alas, I’m past being able to do it (you clearly need to be able to pick things up from the floor and be otherwise a little more flexible and mobile than I have become), but I’ve been watching YouTube videos. Think my favorites are the ones of small kittens being bottle-fed, when they latch on happily and their ears wiggle!

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