Working Wednesday, May 4, 2022

We’re going gangbusters on the book, stopping only to brainstorm when we hit something we don’t know. It’s so nice to have somebody in the book with me to bounce things off and vice versa. Also getting the back bedroom, aka the summer bedroom, cleaned up and ready to move into so I can get the front bedroom, aka the winter bedroom, ready for Krissie to come and stay. And cleaning up the front wall and the borders on the driveway. I’ve let the front yard go to meadow which makes me happy. We even have bees again. Nothing but good work ahead.

What did you work on this week?

46 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, May 4, 2022

  1. This week I worked on gardening. Okay, that’s the hobby that consumes 90% of my attention, but it isn’t the only thing I’m attending.

    I decided to do a little spring cleaning. Bearing in mind the limited storage space the garage abode affords me, I dragged the plastic boxes from under the bed. There was room in one for a couple of throws, but not for my winter blanket. I found three of those “Magicbag Instant Space” bags (large) and stuffed all three heavy coats and/or jackets in two of them, and vacuumed all the air out. Now they are flat and store under the bed with the throws. (I have a dozen throws. I should share with Goodwill.)

    That took me to all my spare electrical and electronics. I have four spare keyboards, new, still in the box. Seven spare mice, same deal. Jumper cables. Extension cords I’d forgotten about. Miscellaneous hardware. All on a microwave cart. A new 5-shelf bookcase will be delivered “real soon now” which I’ll have to assemble. Also a half-dozen cubical boxes, the collapsible soft ones I use because I don’t own a dresser. All that stuff needs to be triaged and stored on the new shelves or in a Goodwill box. Possibly, (more than I want to admit) in the dumpster.

    I have barely begun to clean. The stuff I pulled out in anticipation has taken over the free floor space. No matter – sanity is overrated.

  2. I worked through major shed angst, which involved clearing all round the base of the old allotment shed (apart from a couple of sheets of corrugated iron that appear to have rooted themselves) in order to photograph it, so my friend’s partner could judge whether it was repairable. In the end we agreed it wasn’t a sensible option – it’s too far gone. So
    I’ve ordered a cheap replacement online, and am waiting to hear when they’ll deliver it. Mel, the allotment chairman, has said I can put it in their big store until we’re ready to erect it.

    I’m ridiculously down now there’s a break in the sunny weather. Need to get myself more organized, I think, but it all looks overwhelming. Just had an email about the photo sessions at the local hospital, so need to get organized for that. My last edit’s due back from the author, who was threatening to rewrite it. Really hope she hasn’t.

    I’m very disappointed that the aquilegias I’ve been growing from seed for two years appear not to be the ones I bought: the ones that are opening are double A. vulgaris (European) hybrids rather than the American McKana crosses I want. The first of the four Clematis macropetalas I’ve been raising for three years (intricate double blue/purple flowers) has also turned out to be a different species – a single white Clematis alpina. I’ll tell the seed company how upset I am, but replacement seeds don’t compensate for years of nurturing; and of course I’ll have to wait another two or three years for the replacement plants to grow.

      1. Jane, those tulip photos are stunning. And the raindrops make them much more interesting.

      2. I wish I could see. More and more often Instagram insists that I set up an account and log in. I have 104 passwords to accounts in my keychain and I just refuse to do more.

        1. Sorry about that. I think they used to let people see, didn’t they? I’m the same about Twitter, though that seems to have got slightly more accessible recently.

  3. “They” are finally, finally paving my road. It’s been dug up for a week and a half. This makes me happy. Street parking will come back and I will have a nice new street for my guests next week. Hopefully. Hopefully they are finished by then.

    Otherwise, the national headlines yesterday upset me and sent me into an unproductive spiral. Trying to work out of it today. I have a half day at work and a to-do list that is about a mile long.

    1. Yeah, I’m upset, too. My only hope is that there are a LOT of people upset and they go to the polls in November. The vast majority of Americans want abortion kept legal at least until viability. I just don’t know if they want it enough to vote down the asshats who have decided that women don’t have the right to make decisions about their own bodies.

      1. It’s complicated, though, because going back to colonial times, when each of the original 13 states was helping to write the original documents that became the core of the legal system, they made it clear that the states would maintain control over lots of things, including elections. And typically, we as voters don’t know a lot about all those names towards the ends of state election ballots, where so much practical power is held. If abortion IS declared to have no place in national law after being okay for 50 years or so, it will only be allowed in states with enlightened state laws.

        1. The problem with that is that “state’s rights” are supposed to be in response to the voters in those states, and the vast majority of Americans want abortion legal.
          If I lived in the South, the first thing I’d do now is move because it’s going to get worse.

          I did read one thing that was cheering: Mitch McConnell is not happy. As one editorial put it, the GOP didn’t want abortion banned, they just wanted it as a hot button issue. If the Supreme Court knocks down Roe, it’s going to be into the GOP’s lap, there’s no way they can push it off on the Dems. And a majority in this country, like 75% (depending on which poll you read) want abortion legal. So the Republicans will now be responsible for a law that three-quarters of Americans are against, right before the mid-term elections. Even better? The Supreme Court decision to take down Roe is a precedent to make birth control illegal. Not to mention same-sex marriage. 82% of Americans say birth control is morally okay.

          It’s going to be interesting.

          1. I was embarrassed for Mitch in the interview I saw. He finally got what he’s been working for, and now he’s stuck with it, and it will be his undoing, I really, really hope. I hope this is the tipping point!

          2. I don’t think he was working for it. He was using it, thinking it was untouchable and then the Supreme Court he packed touched it.

      2. Back in college in 1968 I noticed that a classmate, barely an acquaintance, was no longer showing up. Apparently she gave herself a wire coat hanger abortion but punctured her uterus and bled to death. It was a gut punch then and the gut punch and tears happened again when I read about the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion.

        Yesterday Nancy Pelosi sent an email saying “not on my watch.” She’s trying to get 100,000 signatures on an emergency petition to denounce overturning Roe v. Wade. It probably won’t change anybody’s mind but maybe it’ll highlight how strongly MOST Americans feel about this very personal right.

    2. I avoid the news except for five-minute drive-bys every other day, so the first I heard about the leaked draft opinion was when my firm’s managing director sent a letter to everyone assuring them the company will continue to support its employees in states where their rights are at risk, via (if necessary) travel and lodging assistance to obtain reproductive healthcare out of state.

      There are days when I would rather pull weeds than sign on to another blizzard of email, but overall I’m really grateful to be involved with *this* firm’s blizzard of email.

    3. Yes, I’m in absolute outrage mode. To Jenny’s point, I think it’s going to help in November, and then–fingers crossed–bills protecting bodily autonomy can be codified and the Supreme Court can get a collective finger from Congress and the vast majority of Americans who do not want these zealots governing us. And if Roe v Wade doesn’t get people voting, the next step might, because there are states coming for contraception next. Can’t believe we even have to think about these things in 2022.

      1. My concern is that younger women don’t understand that contraception access and abortion access are linked because they’ve only lived in a post-Roe world. Whether that understanding can be conveyed before November, who knows.

        When I was a freshman in college, NO local doctor, and certainly not campus health, would prescribe the pill or a diaphragm to college students even after Eistenstadt v. Baird. Before Roe, we had to go to Richmond or D.C. to evening community clinics. After Roe, access may have been grudging but it was there.

        1. I think younger women know exactly what’s going on or they’re learning fast. This is undoubtedly a major conversation on every college campus right now.
          Another upside: This is going to get out the vote. Maybe not enough to keep the Republicans from getting the Senate, but it’s going to put a lot more voters in the mix.

  4. I spent the weekend working on a quilt – pattern named Macaw. As you can guess, it is very colorful. I’ve got one more section to go before I can put it together.

    This morning, I’m feeling very virtuous, since I spent the hour and a half before work out in the front garden, pruning the azaleas. I’ve got 9 shrubs, and I was able to trim three of them. I had a couple of birds keeping an eye on me. I’m sure there is a nest out there somewhere, but I haven’t found it yet to know which bush to leave undisturbed.

    And last night I saw My Fair Lady. It’s a great production – lots of lavish sets and costumes, and the actors did a great job. If you get a chance, please do!

    1. What ending did they use for My Fair Lady? The original or does she go back to him in the end? Just curious.

      1. George Bernard Shaw, I believe wrote an Essay on why Eliza doesn’t marry Higgins. I grew up on Audrey Hepburn’s My Fair Lady …made the mistake of watching Pygmalion the play, it was well done, with Diana Rigg as the mother. I just missed the musical numbers to lighten the mood. Also in Pygmalion she definitely ended up with Freddy

      2. She shows up in his rooms, but then walks off the stage. They let the audience decide whether she stays or goes. I believe she left.

  5. Worked on surviving the spring ballet and now state testing. Almost done and then things are easier for the rest of the school/dance year. Also worked on getting the weeds under control and running around the yard crowing over all the successes in the garden from past work.

  6. This is my week “off,” but it also includes a birthday party and a couple of house guests. So I’m taking next week off , instead. Or also. Or partially.
    But yesterday I went a got a haircut, and a pedicure, and called friend and met for tacos. And had a beer, in the middle of a WEEKDAY. So verboten. A local stout flavored with ancho chili. Worth it.
    I’m also think about things like making a new will and getting my documents in order, and cleaning out the garage. Fun times.
    Today is rainy, so no temptation to be outside instead of inside thinking about wills and death and stuff.

  7. There have been lots of bees in the garden this week of varying sizes. My favourite are the small all-black bees that fly around with their tongues out. Today it has rained thoroughly for the first time in many weeks and saved a watering job. A day off for the gardener.

  8. I finished the sample/fitting version of a quilted coat I’m making for a friend. It’s hideous, made out of defective, mismatched fabrics I had lying around (except for the patchwork bit that is a sample for the layout of the design on the sleeves — that’s going to be made into a cat quilt eventually) and with unfinished edges. It’s on its way to the friend on the other side of the country, so she can try it on, mark any adjustments (I fear that, even though it’s designed to be roomy, it’s TOO roomy), and send it back to me to make the final version. If you want to see (it REALLY is hideous), it’s on Instagram:

    Beyond that, I’m making good progress on the proposal for the manuscript I finished last week (polishing the first 50 pages and synopsis), trying to ignore the doubts that always hit when I’m this close to sending something to my agent, which I’m hoping to do either Friday or Monday.

  9. Another week of Day Job + gardening + a bit of work on the WIP novel. Am about to ratchet up the tension for one of my POV characters via phone call with his ex-wife.

    The parrots are cruising the neighborhood. I suspect they are responsible for a couple of beheaded sunflowers! Noisy, obnoxious, hilarious birds.

    Over the weekend I pulled enough weeds to uncover about twenty feet of nasturtium that had been winding its way through the wilderness. Next weekend (or sooner, if I decide after-work weed-pulling seems more therapeutic than after-work treadmill walkies) I will pull some more so this appealing weed can sprawl glamorously unencumbered by random grass a.k.a. unappealing weeds.

  10. More of the same old, same old with the trim and getting the house back together this week for me. Puppy slows me down but there’s nothing to be done but crack on with it!

    Bottle depot guy should be here today so yay! He comes from a town about 2 hours away as he has contracts with the hotels and restaurants and bars and decided a couple of years ago to add residential pickup which is great. You label your bags of bottles and he e-transfers you the money.

    Yesterday I had an eye appointment with my wonderful and very thorough eye doctor. It’s a family-run clinic and everyone in the family has eye issues. If you have an eye problem, chances are there’s a Dr. Watson who has the same one. My doctor is sending me for a consult to a cataract surgeon since she thinks I’m going to need his services sooner rather than later. I should still get my money’s worth out of my new $800 glasses but maybe in 2 years I’ll need surgery. Better to get on his patient list now than when I can’t see anything. New glasses should be here in a few weeks and I’m so excited.

    This weekend is a trip to Edmonton for a relaxing weekend away from the puppy. I know I complain about her but she really is growing on my. I call her Hannah Banana and tell her she’s appealing.

  11. On the one hand, we have commenced Evita and I decided not to audition for the next show, so other than the next three weekends, I have show time off.
    On the other hand, I auditioned and got into a murder mystery event company, so have started training/reading all the docs for that. I also have to put back all of the stuff that was upset by the roach spraying, but I’m so tired that I probably won’t finish that for weeks (seriously). Blech.

  12. No motivation to work in the yard. I did connect the rain barrel the other day. And it’s drizzling off and on so there’s my excuse.

    Went to a small repoductive rights rally yesterday. It was really short notice and the location wasn’t the best. There’s another being arranged for the 14th which should be better.

    And the local League of Women Voters board is meeting in person for the first time in I don’t know how long. I’m looking forward to that.

  13. The most impactful part of college for me was discovering small groups of women who were asking “why?” about so many aspects of collectively accepted restrictions by gender. “Why have “Men Wanted” and “Ladies Wanted” sections in the classified ads? For totally different jobs, some of which either gender could do easily? Why were there no (or very few) woman doctors, or lawyers? Why was our future so circumscribed? There weren’t many asking those questions my freshman year, but by senior year they were endemic; and the graduation speaker chosen by a subgroup of students my year was Alan Guttmacher, who was an OB/Gyn who took over the presidency of Planned Parenthood after Margaret Sanger herself.

    After that year, great progress was made, but now, people are manipulating mostly the religious right in the U.S. by using the anti-abortion lever, which focuses them on the rights and needs of an unborn fetus and ignores the rights, needs and decision-making freedom of the rest of its family. They would not want anyone to push them around and remove rights from them, but they are more than willing to do it to others. It’s so discouraging.

  14. I agree with everyone’s concerns about the US Supreme Court’s upcoming announcement on the abortion rights. I read the sections of the leaked decision that were posted by The Washington Post. It appears to me that this decision is primarily mostivated by a “we social conservatives are in power now” stance. Most disturbing to me is the casual denial that the abortion issue has anything to do with women’s rights.

    The destructive ramifications of such disrespect are not only evident in the upcoming decision itself but also in, for example, slave-era tactics like vigilantee-ism (included in the Texas abortion law).

    1. Politico had an article where they analyzed the points that were made in the leaked paper, and, yes, he was very sexist. But the decision is also based on a lot of logic and decisions from the past that don’t fit, and are barely relevant. There is no understanding that this not only affects women, but their partners, children, and employers in that paper. It is a lot of hogwash and misogynist crap!!!!

  15. On this week’s work: I learned something about being an employer. My relationship with my gardener/landscaper is a lot like aunt/nephew. But “Chuck” has become unreliable about showing up (for absolutely understandable reasons). I decided that I had to tell him that the situation just isn’t working out. I hate conflict and I’m uncomfortable discussing people’s problems with fulfilling my expectations. So, I needed to settle this issue once and for all.

    We talked and he thinks of working at my place as his core job and one he really tries to do faithfully. I had planted a bunch of thyme and trillium when he didn’t show up for several days and the plants were looking peaked. I explained to Chuck that now I can do a lot more than I have in the past, and asked him to show me how he plants plants.

    Chuck plants plants as an act of love. He talked to me as he planted an Allegheny Monkey Flower, explaining every step of collecting some loam and tools, then sizing the hole along with the extra space needed. After digging the hole, Chuck began talking to the plant, massaging extra dirt off its roots, and placing it tenderly. Every step of adding dirt or loam or water was done with a purpose tied to the plant’s comfort.

    I’d done my usual rough and tumble planting with the thyme and realized that I’d focused getting the job done fast. I love how the gardens look, but I don’t think about the work that the plants are doing to survive and thrive.

    Now I’m going to participate more in the gardening. I’ll try to be less impatient with Chuck and with the plants. I hate conflict, but I’ll just have to talk things through with Chuck as he tries to show up regularly for work. Things aren’t fixed, yet they’re working.

  16. I’m still working though my anger and bitterness about recent hiring decisions at work. I would probably have been further along with acceptance by now if everyone else at work didn’t keep telling me to fight the decision because it should have been me. I spoke to our airport manager after complaining that I hadn’t had a response to my request for a feedback and performance conversation after a week of waiting (turns out he was at a funeral, but it would have been helpful to know that) and she effectively confirmed that nothing will be changed.

    So now I have to figure out how to emotionally detach from my job, which I used to really love, and treat it as clock punching. Because I can’t keep putting everything in if I never get anything back. Maybe I need more hobbies? But cheap ones, because I’ll be back to part time hours soon enough, and interest rates are going up fast. Must ponder.

    1. Maybe start looking for another job? Take your time, and find something that’s really promising,

      1. I agree with your idea of nurturing yourself, Georgia, and Jane’s idea of taking your time to look at new job possibilities.

        You’ve gone through a lot in the past several years, and I only know about the US tour that ended with the covid pandemic and all sorts of job upheavals. You’ve already pushed through difficulties you hadn’t been prepared to face. The bosses at your job refuse to see your abilities, so you can, at your own speed, realize those abilities on your own.

      2. I think that’s the plan. An industry specific benefit kicks in when I reach five years of service in august, so I’m unwilling to leave before I get that. It gives me some time to figure out what the heck I’m going to do, because I have no idea.

  17. If anyone wants to get rid of almost anything in Sydney, I am accumulating quite a list of possibilities.
    And I learned, really I knew but lets call this a confirming test, that high salic foods make my ankles swell. Very badly. We had Szechuan Chinese and even though I confined myself to the blandest crab fried rice and scallion beef with only a two bites of the other two dishes I am very sorry. I had forgotten so little would have such a strong effect. Here’s hoping that writing it down, in public, will help me remember longer.

    1. I have no idea how this works, but would drinking a lot of water help at all, the next time you fear you may have overdone it?

      1. baking soda in water helps, don’t know if lots of water would. I mostly drink lots, and takeway is salty so if it does I think I’m probably covered. Thanks though

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