Working Wednesday, March 9, 2022

What’s working: My new 16″ laptop which is a beast. Also me, trying to set it up, which is pretty easy considering this one magically has all my passwords in it. I think the magic in this case is the Cloud, but damn did that make getting back up to speed easier. I have no idea what my WordPress password is, I haven’t used it since 2006. But here we are.

What’s not working: My old computer which has a dead motherboard and is now being recycled at the Apple Store, along with all its data. Most of my stuff was in Dropbox, and I’m praying my desktop is in the Cloud because that’s where the last year plus of Nita rewrites was. Along with many, many post-it notes and downloaded files. Yes, I will remember not to do that in the future. Also not working: Word, which I have been using since forever. I may just change to Pages since it’s free on the computer and will import from Word, and I don’t use 90% of the Word bells and whistles anyway. Still haven’t gotten the Dropbox logo in the menu bar. Still haven’t found my desktop stuff. Still feeling like a deer in headlights after this past couple Weeks From Hell.

Sigh. What did you work on this week?

104 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, March 9, 2022

  1. Muy sympathies! Nothing quite as frustrating as losing your hard work. I’ll share my latest challenge with you just so you have something to laugh at.
    I coordinate a learning center where the decision was made to make furniture more inviting. So couches were moved in, students followed, and while some studied, others did other things.
    So the decision was made to move the couches to more public areas and I’m to keep an eye on them. All well and good except the loveseat keeps migrating back to the corner study rooms.
    I’m at a distinct advantage. I don’t want to know what goes on on that furniture, I don’t want to fight with students about it, and I’m tired of moving it. That stuff’s heavy! Not to mention what it’s doing to the floors moving back and forth. But still I stake out the area and make regular loveseat patrols. Just one more day in the life of a furniture wrangler.
    Good luck to you with the computer transition!

    1. You’re going to have to make that loveseat REALLY uncomfortable. Like put spikes on it.
      Good luck!

        1. You could call it the “Loveseat of Tortuous Death” and they’d still grope each other on it.
          Former junior high/high school teacher here. Not to mention former junior high and high school kid.

    2. What worked on my friend on a visit home, was her mum patting the spare bed and telling her and her boyfriend, my friend had been conceived there.

      You could just put some glitter on the love seat in the corner study room, the chance of turning up with glittery hand prints on their clothing might deter them.

    3. This made me smile!! Maybe just go with the … err … flow and get wipe-downable covers?

  2. Good luck with all that computer stuff! It can be a real pain. I bought Word for Mac almost a year ago and have never been able to get the darn thing to install. Need to schedule a day to spend on hold with Apple…

    On the other hand, I just turned 74 and I am working! I find myself at this time in my life being by far the most productive I have ever been! It’s so exciting. I keep telling younger people this and they are happy to hear it – gives them hope. I am no better organized than I ever was and all my faults are still on full display, but I am rocking it with work and feeling more creative than I ever have. Very, very grateful.

  3. I think this is a disadvantage of laptops – was talking about it a couple of days ago with a retired photographer friend, who’s lost much of her recent digital work due to not backing it up. My system of having my Mac permanently attached to an external hard drive that runs a Time Machine back-up every hour obviously doesn’t work with a laptop that you’re carrying around/not working at a desk with. So I guess paying for cloud storage is the most foolproof answer. I do also store projects I’m currently working on (especially my freelance editing jobs) in Dropbox, so they won’t be lost even if there’s a fire. Glad Keychain’s helping, too.

    I’m up against my limitations. Penguin have just discovered the edit they gave me is needed more urgently than they thought; but I don’t know that I can do more than three hours a day on it. Tried an extra hour yesterday and it made my brain swim. I might try later in the afternoon today. But I’m thinking I might stick to proof-reading from now on, which tends to have more relaxed schedules (because the author’s got to be given a reasonable length of time to read their set), and be shorter jobs.

    I did manage to get my seed-sowing done on Sunday, both indoors (propagator & windowsill) and in the greenhouse bed. Also made a good start on digging out the rest of the main paths I want to make on the allotment. Looking forward to more gardening and creative work, as soon as I can manage it.

  4. I feel your pain. I’m still trying to get my new tablet up to speed six months after purchase. Maybe it’s time to make a very generous offering to the Goddess of Electronics!

    1. I bought a new laptop in 2020 and I still haven’t transferred everything onto the new one. I switch back and forth on which one I use. Mostly the new one is for Zoom stuff.

      1. Same here. Got a macbook on xmas 2019 but my stationary computer still worked, so I didn’t transfer the stuff on there and used the macbook for fun. Then last year the Keksdose (iMac, called cookie box due to its small size) died. DH safed everything magically on a hard drive. Now I do have to transfer everything onto the macbook, argh. In March 2020 I also had to get a laptop for work (our IT doesn’t support Apple), grrr, so between the macbook for fun and the Acer for work purposes, I don’t miss tooo much of what was stored on the Keksdose. Well, I wouldn’t want to loose all the fotos stored there, but there’s no immediate need to get the switch done…

    1. I was so happy when my ex remarried. Now he’s her problem, bless her (that is not a sarcastic “bless your heart,” that’s a legitimate “Live long and prosper, Helen.”)

      1. My ex is married to my business partner (he introduced us) and he now works for us so he’s not ever going away. Although I insisted that he report to her. “NO way is he reporting to me! He’s your problem.” She gives him performance feedback (no jokes please) and everything. She is a brave woman.

        1. I’m not sure I could ever be so grown up about a break-up. Magnificent – Kudos to you, Tammy!

          1. Oh don’t be too impressed – there was a lot of blood under the bridge first for a couple of years after the divorce.

          2. I’m with dodo. There would probably be a lot of dismembered bodies under my bridge. It takes a lot to rile me, but once my dander is up, I don’t let go.

  5. I spent much of last week doing my part to promote the launch of a multi-author anthology I am in. All the work paid off since we reached Number One in Amazona’s Later in Life Romance category! Very exciting for me!

    I continue to crochet random projects, mostly small blankets. My husband keeps asking me “who’s that for” and I keep telling him no one. It’s just something to keep my fingers busy while I listen to audio books. I’m finding I have less and less patience for screens after spending my mornings working.

    Good luck finding your desktop!

    1. Congratulations on the number one spot on Amazon. Will look that anthology up. I just finished your book Allegro Court last night. I loved the characters and really enjoyed the book. Going to download Gateway Cresent next.

    2. When things get so tense that I stop crocheting, I know something’s seriously wrong. It’s the same thing as “Things are tense, so I stopped taking my medication.” Note to self: Get some medication.

      And congrats on that number one spot!

      1. Thanks for the reminder. I’m feeling depressed so, of course, not taking my medication, because, duh, why would I? The mental health dance involves a lot of stepping on feet.

  6. I’m doing make-work, honestly. I mentioned wanting to save recipe’s – Lupe’s recipes – a while back, so I printed to PDF. Then I looked at my blog and thought, “Hey, PDF would make a good back-up!” So, I have 130 PDF files. Of course, I wanted the main/home page as an index to the rest, so….

    All the pictures on the main page did not print/save with the post titles! I was quite cross. So I used the Print Screen key to put 130 screenshots into the /pictures/screenshots directory and then had to edit them down to size. Now I can create a pseudo main screen html file and print that to pdf, with links to the 130 PDF files, to act as an index. Of course, I’ll have to edit it every time I make a post on my blog, but Some Things Must Be Endured.

    Speaking of hydroponics, I have more basil than I will eat in the rest of my life. Neither the dotter nor her boyfriend want any. So I’m going to rip out two of the three basil bushes and plant something else. Some other herb, maybe. Perhaps I’ll find out if Click & Grow tomatoes are superior to AeroGarden or QYO. At least the salad greens are coming back nicely from their buzz-cut harvest, and the new Romaine crop looks promising. With or without tomatoes or peppers, there is a salad in my future.

    1. You could save the basil and make pesto. It’s easy to freeze and a nice change from red sauce on pizza or pasta. My aunt makes large batches every summer to last her through the winter.

      1. Pesto can be a base for salad dressing or tossed into soup or pasta or rice or mashed potatoes or whatever. Freeze portions in ice cube trays and they are little flavor bombs.

    2. Or if you don’t want to make the pesto right now, just whirl the leaves in a blender/processor/whatever with a tiny coating of olive oil to stave off freezer burn, and then freeze it in an ice cube tray (or by the teaspoon on a cookie sheet) and then transfer the chunks to a freezer container to add to soups/pasta/whatever when you don’t have fresh leaves on hand. It’s great for single-serving use.

    3. I make pesto in my Cuisinart ( toss a couple of cloves of garlic in the bowl, mince, add basil to the top os the bowl, mince, add olive oil until it forms a sauce then decant about a third of a cup [

      1. This messed up. Recipe is for two. Put a third of a cup into muffin tins . Freeze. Decant each serving – still frozen, wrapping each serving in plastic wrap, put then into a freezer bag and leave until ready to serve. Defrost. Add salt. More olive oil, gated Parmesan cheese, and chopped up toasted pine nuts. Serve over cooked pasta. You can also toss the pesto pre cheese and nuts addition into soups, chili and sauces for an extra flavor punch. This is my equivalent of a TV dinner. We have it about once every week or so.

  7. I’m glad it was the computer and not you, Jenny, and hope all files can be recovered, preferably with a minimum of effort.

    I’m working on the freelance writing, a new project that took a few reads of the guidelines to comprehend. I’ve got a list of home care projects, but am not doing anything about it. Revising, endlessly, some writing of my own. And this morning, watching it snow. I’m so done with winter, but at least the snow is pretty and isn’t staying.

  8. I am sending up prayers to the cloud. Find Jennie‘s desk top! I actually am crocheting on the show, but I can’t post anything anywhere so I’m using really pretty rainbow colored yarn and making a scarf and I’m starting a beanie. We have three more days of this set. Then a weeks hiatus and presumably we will start over again. With a different hero. I wonder. Happy March to everyone.

  9. I am working hard at trying to keep my exercise level up despite not having regular access to a machine for cardio. Two days a week I either go in early to PT or stay late, but that will only work until my insurance runs out. But I went to my sister’s house last night for my birthday dinner and still was down 3lbs when I weighed in this morning. I didn’t have cake for dessert, but there were garlic mashed potatoes and perfectly roasted Prime Rib so I really pigged out. We’ll do the cake on a later date to spread out the celebration. My amazing sister also made this really cool roasted vegetable cake that was tasty, elegant and mostly on my diet. We wrapped up a good portion on the leftovers and then I left them in her refrigerator. Oops.

  10. Urinetown has now started, so now I have weekdays off. I did an audition Sunday (show would start late April) and have another one today that would run before it. Other than that, I’m catching up on the entire Internet, blogging, book review writing, all the things I haven’t done for months.

    1. OMG YOU GUYS. I just got asked to be in a third show, no audition. Basically the only reason why I wouldn’t do it (because everything else situationally about it is great) is that I don’t love what I’ve seen of the third show (Evita) so far. Whereas I auditioned for Bye Bye Birdie and I really like that show but am not feeling too great about the theater it’s at and their lack of Covid protocols/distance/longer rehearsals. Decisions, decisions.

  11. We’re in the slow portion of the quarterly cycle, so I’ve been able to make a little headway on some home projects. On Friday I installed a new interior drawer in one of my cabinets. It’s been bugging me forever that I had empty space that could hold a drawer. Ikea has changed kitchen cabinet designs since I installed my kitchen, but my trusty corded drill took care of the two extra holes I needed and now I have a 3rd drawer.

    This working full time thing has some advantages (being paid every couple of weeks), but once I am eligible to retire, I’m leaving without a backwards glance. Half my staff are people who are retired and have come back, and I don’t get it at all.

    1. I actually do get it. I don’t think I would have five years ago. Besides getting paid, which is still important for me (I’m not quite at retiring age), It’s the company. It gets lonely at home alone. Even with all my projects and my dogs, I like going to work for the social life and feeling useful!

      Who would have guessed it?!

  12. I coached my first fencing student at a National event this weekend. He’s ten, and he fenced the Y10 and Y12 events and did about as well as expected, but not as well as he hoped. He had been dominating the Midwest events, but it was a big change for him. Hopefully he didn’t get too discouraged.

    They also had Old People events there and I fenced in the Veteran 60 – 69 age group events. I did quite well on the first day, 2nd, and didn’t die of exhaustion the next two days, so that was all pretty good. Plus it was my second 2nd place finish which is enough to qualify me for the U.S. Veteran World Championships team, so I get to go fence in Croatia in October! You know, if Croatia still exists in October.

    1. Hooray!
      I saw an excellent sandwich board for a fencing studio:
      Fencing, the perfect Covid sport!
      Masks
      Gloves
      Stab anyone who gets closer than 6 feet

  13. I’m sort of noodling through halfway of various projects, without being able to settle down and finish anything. My small show is up and the opening went well on Sunday. It’s about an hour away from where I live, so nice to see a different community.

    My father in law was rushed to the hospital over the weekend and we still don’t have a diagnosis, so that is taking up a lot of emotional space. He has feeling in his limbs but can’t move them voluntarily. It doesn’t seem to be a stroke at this point? We don’t know. He is mentally present and not getting markedly worse, but also not getting better. So we are playing wait and see. If he pulls through, I think that my partner and I will get married pretty quickly so that it can happen while he is still with us. I haven’t found a ring yet. I asked two artists that I like if they were interested in a commission. Both declined. We can get married with plain bands, but the emotional part of me would like to have my final ring at the ceremony…

    1. We got fancy rings for the engagement – not made in commission but at a local very traditional jewellers. They turned out to be too high maintenance, got scratches and such far too easily to our liking. So we managed to have them returned and exchanged for very plain gold bands. I’m very glad this was possible, and I’m still very glad we did – my fingers got less slim in the last 28 years and the plain band could be widened without problem.
      The funny thing is, the same happened to my parents: they first chose rings that my mom decided between engagement and wedding she didn’t fancy too much. My dear father had to go back to the small jeweller’s shop and pretend they broke up in order to get his money back.
      They then settled for plainer ones somewhere else (still not as plain as ours)…
      My poor father – he’s about as talented as actor as I am, but he managed the job!

      1. Thanks. I plan on wearing a plain band for every day, but want something special for fancy occasions and possibly to pass on to a niece or nephew someday. Not expensive, the whole “3 months salary” thing is very off-putting to me. Just unique and beloved. Something will turn up eventually.

        1. We picked out a very simple engagement ring with a small diamond and simple gold bands on either side as guard rings. We married using one of the guard rings . Fast forward 52 years. I cannot wear rings because they exacerbate the arthritis in my fingers (it happens). My husband who wore his ring for decades after I did also developed
          problems wearing rings. And it isn’t a big deal. We still like being married to one another, sitting for an hour or two over dinner, conversing, drinking wine – well, I have a brandy. So get something you enjoy for everyday – right now – because you might not be able to wear it forever and in the scheme of things it is pretty inconsequential

        2. Another idea. We have a reputable local auction house that gets a lot of jewelry. And like a lot of auction houses now days they auction on line as well as in person. My good friend has amassed a wonderful collection buying from auction houses. Unless you are buying some historic piece, jewelry sells at auction for a fraction of the cost from a store. You have to read the description carefully (the pictures make everything look like they are bigger than they are) and if it doesn’t specifically say what the karat content is for both the gem and the gold, I would enquire.

          1. Thanks! I am an avid thrifter, but haven’t been to an auction in a long time. I will have to give it a try.

    2. When we did the wedding-planning stuff, I found a ring I liked for DH, took home a Polaroid of it, made sure he liked it. Then we had the jeweler make me a smaller version of the same ring (they could use the same mold, just cut it down).

    3. Of course you would. If you want a band you never take off, plainer is probably better. My grandfather took a liking to ring made of Alaskan gold nuggets, and so did one of the engineers in my office. In both cases, the rings were not workable for everyday — Grandfather was a cardio-vascular surgeon and the ring had too rough a surface to wear around sterile gloves; the minute Don was working on machinery, the ring became a hazard and he risked losing a finger or worse if it caught. My neighbor had a combination engagement-wedding ring that had three square stones in a row on a wide band. By the time she retired after sixty-odd years in nursing, only one of the stones was original; the others had been damaged and replaced.

      I’ve seen pretty rings that were combinations of different colored golds, or you might look at museum replicas if something like a poesy ring appeals.

  14. I’ve been in the doldrums since I did the furious quilting push to get things done for the show. So, I’ve been working on my Christmas crochet project and watching tv. My friends and I did a Saturday sew-in making little things for the bazaar. One made potholders, others little wallets. My friend and I, between us, made six zippered pouches and two sets of microwave bowl cozies. We might have made more, but we got really tired of fighting with the zippers.

    I’m also in the last throes of getting things done for the show. We have preview and judging days this weekend. The quilts will be hung next Thursday, and the show will be the 18th and 19th. Once I get the quilts handed off, my last big job for this is printing the information cards that go with each quilt. I’m looking forward to actually seeing the show – and hopefully it will inspire me! Meanwhile, if you’re in the Raleigh area, please come – it should be spectacular! (Stand by for a set of photos from there next weekend)

    Meanwhile, here are the boys, enjoying a rainy morning together in my sewing room.
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CaVE1U-pRQT/

  15. My sympathies on the computer crap, Jenny. I had an unexpected hard drive crash (on a computer that was only 2 years old…apparently it was defective) on my desktop. Thankfully almost everything was backed up to Carbonite (up in those clouds) so I didn’t lose any files or picture. What I did lose, alas, was my entire email program, because it was too old to upgrade. So now I’m stuck with Outlook, which I hate and am still trying to figure out how to make do what I want, and having to rebuild all my email address list from scratch. On the bright side, I no longer have to worry about trying to clean out my email…

    I also had a funky old Home Publishing 2000 program which I’ve had reinstalled on every new computer for years because I have things saved in it that I still want to be able to access, and I lost that too. Still have the disks, but the new computer doesn’t have a disk drive to put them in. Bah.

    STILL, working at leaving the day job. My last day was supposed to be yesterday, but the woman who is taking over as manager had a family crisis and had to postpone for another week, so now my last day is Tuesday 15th. Honestly, it’s just as well, since I still have all sort of paperwork to file and deal with, and she can use a bit more training.

    But a week from today I will be working as a full time author. Wish me luck.

    1. If you want, you can buy external drives for your computer or there are IT places that specialise in obsolete technology that can install for you

    2. Good luck.

      Try Spark for an e-mail program. I’ve been using it for years and I love it.

  16. I hear you on the computer woes. I am very lucky to have techie family folk to help out whenever something of mine goes south.

    I also hear you on Word. I have an old version I’m still holding onto. But recently I also started using Pages and found the change somehow brought new life to my writing energy and I wrote a whole story super fast (for me) and have another WIP on the go. Both projects on top of my series work. I think just working in a new environment jogged my brain with “fresh” creative vibes so yay Pages! Fingers crossed you like it, too.

    As for other new work, I finally started an Instagram page and to my surprise I’m really liking the platform. Big thank you to JaneB for the encouragement a while back:) It’s still new to me, but I’m getting the hang of things. Anyone who wants to take a peek can see it here:

    https://www.instagram.com/katyleen_author/

    I was wary of it being a distraction from writing, but so far so good.

    1. I like Pages, too. I’m just starting to work with it, but it seems fresher and brighter and SIMPLER than Word while giving me everything I need. And most of the basic commands seem to be the same, so I’m not tempted to deal with Microsoft again.

      1. Exactly my experience. The only reason I hang onto my old Word is because it has the offline thesaurus (yes, my version is that old) since I only write without internet. But oddly I found after a while with Pages I didn’t miss the thesaurus that much.

  17. So sorry that the first quarter of 2022 has been so rough, but I’m glad it’s getting sorted. Some years it’s like that. 2020 was tough for me.

    Now that Max (the dog) has healed from his surgery and can resume walks, and can be left at home unattended, I’m feeling restless. There’s not enough to fill my day, so I’ll be investigating extra activity. I’m not going back to the gym. I still don’t trust Covid. Maybe volunteer work?

  18. To be perfectly honest, I still miss WordPerfect 5.1 I have never liked Word and now that I am retired I use OpenOffice for what little writing I have to do.

  19. I’m also going to complain about technology although my complaint is about monitors, of which I have purchased SIX during the pandemic. Now to be fair, two were added to our cottage, one for each of us to work on. And one was because I knocked a new one over and irrevocably busted it five minutes after opening it and never using it once. But the others were to replace ones that kakked at an unreasonably early age for such an expensive piece of equipment. So I feel justified in complaining.

  20. I cringe every time I have to get a new computer, or any type of tech actually. My next big project will be seeing why I can’t install Windows 11 on a fairly new computer.

    Today I had to take my cousin to an oral surgeon, clean my bathroom, continue to fill out a financial form neede for my board memeberships and attend a meeting.

    I’d like to do the meeting in person but it’s snowing/raining. If it will stop during the meeting as it should the roads shouldn’t ice up. In other words, I can get there but I also need to get home. So happy I’m retired and I don’t have to do this 5 days a week!

  21. My 2013 macbook pro screen died last August, and that part is no longer made. So I bought a new macbook pro with a 16-inch screen (there are a bunch of versions: different chips; different power adapter connector; different ports; different f-key strip. And more). Mine is the pits.

    Anyway, I don’t use the cloud except for the calendar. I have one external hard drive for time machine and another for old files and folders that won’t fit on my computer.

    But — Jenny, you’ve made my day by coming back online! So, if it takes a stupid computer to enjoy arghink, that’s something I’ll put up with.

    1. It made my day, too. This is a 16″ MacBook Pro, too, bottom of that line, and it’s about 3000% more computer than I need, but the screen is great and a 13″ would not have worked considering the work I do, so I’m content with it. The case and keyboard cover come tomorrow and I’ll be ready to go again. 2013 was a good run for that computer. The guy at the Genius Bar said, “Well, it’s dead but it was a 2018 . . .” I thought, “That’s four years, kid, my car went sixteen.” But he was great, very helpful and the computer is great, too. I’m just driving a Ferrari when all I need was a scooter.

  22. Back to working on better healthier mind and body. Gained three pounds while on holidays and now back down, one pound to go. Walking a lot. Going back to walk the Honolulu marathon with cousin’s wife. The cousin will be running the marathon. Other cousins may or may not walk/run. DH hasn’t said what he is planning on doing. I think we should run the Merry Mile which is the day before the marathon. Run a mile and party on the beach. It’s good to have a goal.

    Working on getting the income taxes paperwork, etc together for accountant, finding a new tenant for the duplex, (one just texted me, fingers crossed), and planning the garden. Beautiful day today. Visions of veg and flowers in my head.

    1. I just found out about gravel gardens and I am fascinated. It sounds like the perfect solution for my front yard. Anybody know anything about gravel gardens? Evidently some extremely clever British woman did the first one.

      1. I have had gravel areas in my garden and if you live in an area where you have lots of dead stuff , i.e., leaves, flowers, detritus etc. it will all settle over that gravel and produce a wonderful substrate for weeds. Which are SOB ‘s for removing from gravel – although early on I blasted them with a propane torch and that helped but also made more stuff for junk to grow in. I think you have to live in Arizona for a gravel garden to be practical. Or really be committed to keeping the area clean. Are you up for monthly cleaning with a leaf blower?

        1. I’ve only visited the Beth Chatto Garden once, but as I remember it, the gravel garden didn’t have trees round it – although there must be some nearby, since the garden includes woodland areas. Maybe there were eucalyptus? I do think low rainfall and really deep gravel are important if you want it to be low-maintenance.

      2. Are you thinking of Beth Chatto? She turned a carpark into a gravel garden. It’s never watered – they’re a good choice if you’re in a low-rainfall area (her garden’s in Essex, which is about the driest part of Britain). I think you need a good depth of gravel over the soil – then it should be easy to pull weeds out as soon as you spot them, before their roots have got down into the earth. You could also look into rain gardens, which are also non-irrigated, but include other ideas, such as drainage swales to make the most of any rain that falls.

        1. I have a gravel garden path on the east side of the house. Weeds growing. All part of weeding the whole garden now. Thankfully not a thick carpet of weeds, the bane of any garden.

        2. YES, Beth Chatto.
          We get plenty of rain, I just liked the idea of a meadow-like garden with little weeding (like I weed, ha).
          The stuff I’ve read said five inches of gravel, so this is not something I’d do on my own. I love the look of the gardens that I found on the net, very meadow-y looking.

          1. But, Jenny, you like the look of Susan Elizabeth Phillips office too. Now imagine how her office would look if it was yours. This is not meant to be critical. There are better things to do in life than be organized.

            That gravel was a pain. It became infested with crab grass (also called couch grass) and nut sedge and I ended up taking it up because those kind of weeds think nothing of burrowing down 8 to 10 inches. Also while it was dry to walk on it wasn’t pleasant to walk on. The best path I have is covered with hemlock bark and it gets recovered every couple of years and the weeds come right out and it looks nice.

          2. I suspect successful gravel gardens involve quite clever planting as well as quite a bit of weeding. I was planning something similar here – I called it my ‘midtone meadow’, because of the colours I wanted to use. I was going to use bark rather than gravel. I’m still going for that style of planting, but have decided to keep my little lawn, to give me places to sit. So I won’t need bark – which was for access & seating areas. But, of course, I’m a keen gardener and will be for ever tweaking the planting.

          3. PS. I should listen to Jessie about the advantages of bark. I was at a friend’s last week, and she was regretting having used gravel instead of bark in part of her garden.

  23. My computer – I’m blaming the computer no matter what – is being a total bag today and occasionally not responding to commands/key strokes (it’s not just my browser, it’s across many programs), all of which is serving to make me really cranky.

    Since work has been painfully slow, I’ve been rearranging the kitchen. I recently bought 3 new enameled cast iron Dutch ovens and needed to shuffle things around to find room for them. Some of the shuffling may not last but some is a much better use of space.

    We are heading out for the weekend tomorrow afternoon. Paul has a routine appointment with his cardiologist and we are spending the rest of the weekend with the girls and going to see the new Tom Holland movie. It looks like a perfect escapist movie – lots of crazy action and a treasure hunt. Plus Tom Holland is adorable.

    1. Tom Holland is amazing. I still haven’t seen his Spiderman movies so obviously I have to get on that.

  24. I’m still too busy with the day job, had three days off around Fasching (i.e. carneval, the kids had a week of holidays and I used up overtime to spend a bit of time with them). Which bit me in the butt because then I had to catch up, resulting in overtime again (working through the weekend).
    I did manage to do something creative at least – sewed two pillow cases for the big and little floor cushions and one laptop case for ds which he cannot use because I used a zipper not long enough. Argh. Plus I used a “washable paper” fabric that turned out rather like poor synthetic stuff – ot my defence, they must have changed something here because some time ago I got the same stuff in silver and it was just a very lovely fabric and the pencil case I sewed him earned compliments from his buddies!
    DH was so kind to snatch up the laptop case for his work laptop, so I’m glad I didn’t spend time at the sewing machine totally in vain.

    Workwise there’s light not at the end of the tunnel, but already in mid-tunnel: a dear colleague came back from maternity leave earlier than expected, for just 10 h/week which doesn’t sound much, but she’s super efficient (makes me doubt my efficiency) and as she can’t get and also doesn’t want her old job back on a 10 hours basis, she’s helping the department I’ve been helping out on top of my own job.
    She’s a firefighter sort of gal and that’s such a relief because she bit by bit is taking over what I did those last months. I renamed her my Angel.

  25. I can totally sympathize with your computer woes. I cracked the screen on my 18 month old laptop in early January. I had a second screen for school so DH fixed it so I can use my laptop to type and see everything on 2nd screen. I have an online card-making weekend at the end of March and will need to beg/cajole DS to use his laptop – he’ll definitely ask me why I never took in my laptop to get it repaired.

    I am working on a separate knitting and beading projects. Neither is hard but requires concentration. I’m jet lagged today after returning from a week in the mountains so no progress on either today. I did make a new recipe for supper and coleslaw as an accompaniment.

  26. One of my teammates is returning from maternity leave next week, very timely since I’ve been summoned for jury service. Odds favor me not being required to actually report to court, but you never know.

    Aside from Day Job, I’ve been working on all the usual – more gardening, more decluttering, a bit of writing, some writer business.

    It took me nearly two years to finish cleaning off my old laptop after getting my nice new desktop computer. I use an automagic online backup so I wasn’t super worried about losing access to any of the old files; the downside of that was low urgency. It’s nice to have that tedious chore finished.

  27. When the motherboard on my desktop died two years ago, I consulted the guys at the shop and they gave me both hard drives and sold me a standalone hard drive reader with a usb connector.

    First round, the new desktop told me that it knew there was something there, but had no idea what it was. I thought awhile, and then wondered if the problem wasn’t Windows versions. The dead motherboard had been Windows 7 forcibly upgraded to 10, the new desktop was 10 from the get-go. I fished out my travel laptop, which is 7, and hooked that up to the reader. Sure enough, the laptop told me that there was a drive there, but it needed scanning and fixing, so I told it to go ahead. It took several hours for each of the hard drives, but I didn’t have to supervise every minute, and once it was done, I connected the reader to the new desktop and was able to read the drive/s perfectly, and to transfer all the files to the new machine.

    Jenny, you might call the Apple shop and ask whether it’s possible to remove the hard drive and whether there’s an adapter, if it isn’t too late. Don’t accept an offer to give you a mirror copy of the old drive; that’s not much help if you need individual files.

    1. Pretty sure it’s all dead, but I found the desktop stuff, and I can get into Dropbox now, so mostly it’s me finding where all the stuff is and organizing it. It’s been a PITA, but now all I have to do is decide whether to argue with Microsoft or just continue working in Pages. I like Pages.

      1. If you do find you need Word, it is still possible to buy a standalone version of Office for the Mac, which is what I did when I had to replace my Mac last year. Microsoft want you to pay them rent instead, but I’m resisting that. I have to have Word for work.

        1. No, I’m angry with Microsoft so I deleted Word and switched over to Pages.
          That’ll bring ’em to their knees, boy.
          “Microsoft crashed today because Jenny Crusie deleted Word. ‘If we’d only known,’ Bill Gates said.”

          1. Be thankful you don’t use Adobe programs. I’m really fed up with their switch to rental only, but not prepared to junk the years of work I’ve done on thousands of photographs; plus learning the software.

  28. The week is pretty quiet after last week, which wasn’t. Had to visit two places to find a couple of sacks of cat kibbles — Target had rearranged the pet section completely and had no cat kibble at all and barely any canned cat food, which the kittens are partial to.

    We took the kittens to the vet yesterday, only to be informed that they were expected next week instead. Toby decided that the cat carrier was a nice place to nap once it was back home. Who’d have thought?

  29. Still switching everything over and it’s pretty much everything. I even have the trash from my last laptop. That was mind-boggling.

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