Working Wednesday, June 29, 2022

I cleaned house (I’m going to be cleaning this house to the end of time). I did laundry. I did dishes. And I wrote more of Rest in Pink (now at 35,000 words) with Bob, which is really different for me because the first book, Lavender’s Blue, was the meet, mate, and merge book, where they’re happily together without commitment at the end. So this book is how they work their way to commitment, cautiously, porcupine love, very cautiously. It’s a different romance arc for me, and I’m having so much fun with it.

What did you do this week that was fun? Or not.

(Also, where the hell did June go?)

99 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, June 29, 2022

  1. Still on My Own Personal Super Spreader Event, a cruise of Turkey and Greece with my 85 year old father who, every night at 9:00 when I am tucked boringly into bed, heads out to the casino to win money and make new friends.

  2. I made the command decision to mentally take the week off. I have been feeling worn out, and then the events of last week made the projects and collections I had planned feel inappropriate, so I am taking time to mull over visual languages of anger… Anyway, no projects or posts on social media this week, which has been a relief. But I forgot that my sister is coming so I have to break my ban to clean the bathroom and guest room.

    1. Visual languages of anger? Fiery bolts from above? Frowny faces? How virulent will you get? Should we upgrade your Evil Liberal Cupcake T-shirt to something more…malevolent?

      1. Well, that’s just it. I’m not usually comfortable with really blatant, confrontational imagery. I find it off-putting and usually opt for something calmer… Heck, I love to cuss but have practically given it up in the last few years because it it used so often and with such venom. Takes the fun out of it. There are a lot of Fuck Biden signs around here, for example, and throwing up something equally harsh feels like the wrong response.

        But still, I am angry. So how to portray it with grace and humor? What would Audrey Hepburn do?

        1. Aubrey would raise an eyebrow with a slightly contemptuous expression. Miss Manners would say “How dare you” in an affronted tone of voice.

          1. Well, I want something a little more assertive than that.

            What would Murderbot do? Oh, wait, probably not.

            Just read Patricia Brigg’s newest. Asil? No. More blood than Murderbot.

            What would Mika from the Book of Firsts do? Burn it to the ground calmly with a smile on her face. There. That should do it.

        2. Audrey doesn’t have quite enough edge to her. How about Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing: “I wonder that you will still be talking, Signior
          Benedick: nobody marks you.” I love Beatrice; I named a bike after her.

          1. When I biked the Florida Keys, there was a woman from Brooklyn on the trip who was unnaturally attached to her bike, which she called Big Red. In response, my husband and I started calling my beloved bike Little Blue, but I’m considering Beatrice now.

          2. I have named all my bikes over the years after Shakespearean heroines. You won’t regret it.

    2. I did read a great description of a book once that is appropriate

      “you want to learn how to stab people to death with words, this is the novel to read”

      Unfortunately the book is in another language, so I don’t think it translates

  3. I’m within a few weeks of launching a website, so I’ve been zooming with the designer and getting posts ready, along with going through photos to see what might work. Makes me smile.

  4. Jen had a question waiting for me this morning referencing the book: “What kind of sheets and covers does Vince have?”

    I assume this is a trick question because what man knows what kind of sheet and covers he has on his bed?

    1. Don’t you notice when you go to bed? Or even when you wash them? Or buy them in the first place? There must be men besides Vince who don’t have a woman waiting on them hand and foot.

    2. I would guess not floral. Probably some kind of plain white sheet set, and a bedspread his mom gave him when he started living on his own.

    3. My husband bought us new sets of sheets because the ones I brought to the partnership weren’t a high enough thread count for him. The new ones are much nicer. One set is a light green and the other one is a delicate lavender, because that is what was on sale. But so soft.

      1. You will laugh but…snap! My husband did the same thing. As well as complained about my pillows. This coming from a dude who wore his terrible clothes until they fell off and had plastic dishes when I met him.

    4. A family member gave him buzz lightyear sheets as a joke and that’s what he’s using because why not and his old sheets were getting ratty.

    5. Unless he is actually cares (high thread count, hypoallergenic etc) I will go with whatever plain colour that was on sale in the supermarket when he was grocery shopping after he bought a bed or moved.

    6. I was expecting drop sheets and Army blankets, but I had to know. Liz was spending the night. She’d notice if it was something weird.

      I remember the time I asked Bob what a character was wearing and he started with body armor. And he was not in a war zone. Since then, I ask.

  5. I spent the week with my sister, doing mostly nothing, but occasionally helping with the foster kittens. They are so tiny! This was the first set –

    My sister kept them until I got there so I could see them.

    Then she got a new set this week. Teeny little things (like 500 grams weight) but boy, they had loud motors and appreciated the attention! I helped to syringe feed them, My sister’s task is to help them gain weight (check) and socialize them (check). My 15 lb boys were massive in comparison when I got home.

    Now it is time to catch up on work work.

      1. So cute! Those ears! Good for your sister. (I’m typing this one-handed because my 11.5 lb. Maine Coon mix is sitting on my arm.)

  6. Gardening, trying to write (slow going, but going), cleaning and reorganizing my house, which like Jenny, I will be doing until the end of time.

  7. Most of this week has been taken up with my second trial photography session at the local spinal injuries unit. The forecast was iffy, so I put a big flower arrangement together to take with me. No one turned up for the first hour and a half, despite the head gardener going round the ward to drum up custom. So I then went myself, and ended up with four participants and a keen observer, taking photos of the flower arrangement with phones and tablets. Which was better than last time, when a wheelchair training session meant I had no takers at all.

    But once I was back home, I realized I just don’t want to be there. I find the hospital situation, and the patients’ life-changing injuries (and their stories about them), really confronting. And the whole thing a huge distraction from what I want to be doing now I’m retired. I angsted over this all weekend, but I couldn’t talk myself into a better attitude, so I told the charity I didn’t want to do it – and gave them my ideas on how it could be made to work better.

    I’m still settling down after this upset: I feel ashamed.

    1. My sister did something like this and ultimately quit because it wasn’t about photography. It was about teaching technology literacy, which she didn’t feel prepared for. The good/bad news is that there is so much need and so many ways to help. My husband has discarded several because they feel like busy work to make the volunteers feel good without asking too much of them and it doesn’t feel meaningful to him. He also refuses to walk the dogs at the local shelter because he is too afraid of getting attached.

      I trust that both you and he will find ways that are fulfilling and useful without draining you. You can’t pour from an empty cup.

    2. My husband’s volunteering for the city as a tree team member. He and his volunteer group do street tree pruning. It involves a couple of weekends (for the team leader which he is) doing training in a local park just to make sure the city arborist is comfortable that the volunteer leader does indeed know how to properly shape up young trees and can identify the kind of mature shape the tree should have; then there is the weekend the tree team goes door to door in the designated area asking homeowners if they would like to have their street trees pruned (the team wears vests identifying them as Volunteer – Urban Forestry) and if they aren’t home they leave a door brochure telling the home owner when they are coming through to prune and to leave the signed approval brochure on their front door if they want it done. Pruning itself is another two or three weekends with the tree team. When he volunteers with Friends of Trees to check that the trees they planted are being properly watered, he has a t-shirt that says Friends of Trees.

      He was a systems analyst says he feels like he should be doing something more technical but when he volunteers to help organizations with computer stuff or research, they generally want him to stuff envelopes and make phone calls, which he loathes. Also he says staff really does n’t want a volunteer doing stuff the employees are hired to do in case the organization decides a good way to save money is just have the job done by a volunteer. And the City never has the budget or staff to do all the tree maintenance. And he likes getting out and making sure trees get a good start on life.

      Before that he volunteered for the Columbia Land Trust as a site monitor – a great way to visit areas not open to the general public.

      1. That’s such a good idea. I have a friend who plants street trees (his neighborhood organization does, and he’s a major part of it) but I don’t think they follow up like that.

    3. I would change your shame to pride, Jane, for recognising your own needs and honouring them. It can be hard to do in volunteer situations, and is so important.

      Years ago, I ran a creative writing course in a maximum security men’s prison. It was such a hostile environment, and so intimidating, but I was trying to be a hero, and stuck it out for the whole eight weeks. These days I’d be out of there after the first session.

      1. That’s it, definitely. I know I could have carried on and made a good job of it, and I’d probably have done so when I was younger.

    4. Do not feel ashamed. Always follow your instincts. There are other ways to do good things, you don’t have to suffer to help others.

  8. I did not understand much of what you were talking about, but it sounded like a very caring, worthwhile thing to do. However, having worked in Hospice in America for the last ten years of my employment, I hear you. It’s very wearing, and it’s sad, and often doesn’t seem to do much good. Plus, it’s fleeting, so you don’t get to see if you made a difference. You have nothing to be ashamed of. You have done your part and you have kept on keeping on all your life. It’s time for other things now, which you have recognized. A decision like that is soul wrenching.

  9. I am gradually recovering from the debacle of the broken washer, and getting my house straightened up. However, the tragedy of the failed garage refrigerator has taken over, and I have bins of beer (for my sons when they visit) root beer and Pepsi (For my grandchildren when they visit), flour, nuts, coffee, and birdseed, which go bad, eventually, if not kept cold, sitting on the floor, waiting another week till American Home Shield sends the repair/replacement men to do their magic. I truly hope this is the end of appliance failure for the foreseeable future. I mowed my front and back yards in one day this week, and have finally recovered from that. It was hot, and the sun was beating down, and it had to be done that day. I really miss the desert, where my yard was rocks and a few hardy plants and trees.

  10. Well, thank you, Jan: but I feel bad because I didn’t do much, just a couple of trial sessions. I’m not cut out for any kind of care work, evidently; nor for teaching, really – it feels like a performance, and is exhausting.

    My mother was a nurse, and loved supporting people. I thought sharing my passion for flower photography would be fun and helpful. Should have remembered I used to have a phobia of hospitals, and would shut my eyes and put my fingers in my ears while Mum watched some operation on TV.

      1. Your photos are incredible, Jane. They are a form of gift. Your work on your allotment provides beauty for others as well as sustenance for you.

        My mom really wanted to be a nurse. Then she volunteered as a candy striper and discovered that she couldn’t stand any of the gross things in the hospital. End of that. But she was a trained soprano and enjoyed sharing her musical talent. And a bunch of other things.

        1. Thanks, Elizabeth; and everyone else above. I’m going back to focusing on the creative stuff and enjoying life. I’m sure they’ll find someone who really enjoys the work.

          1. The wonderful thing about living in a new pluralistic society is that one person’s garbage is another person’s treasure, and that includes work, hobbies, and volunteerism.

  11. Let’s see, I wrote 26,965 words on the “romance novel” in the last seven days. I got through some sticky sections of the book, and if I crank hard on the story for today and tomorrow I’ll hit the goal of 120,000 words for the book. I don’t know that will mean finishing it though, because there are some intense things coming up.
    I also got to the transplant surgeon on Monday, and she told me not to worry about the graft in my left arm, it’s not going to fall off. So that’s good. The thing everyone at the doctor’s office seemed focused on was my new pair of electric purple Chucks. I didn’t think people noticed the shoes that much.
    I must admit that I spent under five minutes this last week thinking about my website. Maybe I’ll give that more thought after tomorrow, but I’m taking the first off from everything.

    1. What? Women focus on shoes. Even some men focus on shoes. And purple shoes would be a focus magnet. I love it!

      1. I don’t notice shoes. Not even bright coloured ones. And I tend to assume people won’t notice mine. I’m in the office today and your comment made me realize mine are rather scruffy, which oops.

    2. I am very aware of shoes. First because I like them, second because I find that my shoes and my hair inform how I feel about my appearance more than the rest of my wardrobe choices, and third because I am on my feet all day, so good, supportive, attractive business casual shoes are something of a unicorn.

      I remember going to a theater and being struck by how an actor was wearing the wrong shoes for her character. Nondescript slightly out of date black pumps that were probably thrifted. But they were Wrong…

    3. The high point of my day yesterday was finding a pair of slides in my favorite brand (Blowfish) for twenty bucks on sale.

      Shoes are important.

  12. I’m having my right breast removed today. I had a lumpectomy 5 years ago and this was supposed to be my “5 years, you’re cured!” mammogram but it didn’t work out that way. 🙁

    1. Good luck and there are so many successes nowadays that hopefully you will be one of them.

    2. I hope your recovery is smooth sailing, Jeanne. And this time the cancer is eradicated.

    3. I’m so sorry. I hope everything works out okay and the surgery and recovery go well.

    4. I’m so sorry to hear this. I hope the surgery goes as planned, they manage to remove all the vileness, and the cancer monster is banished from your realm.

    5. So sorry it didn’t work out that way. Praying for complete recovery and good reports.

    6. I’m so sorry. I am sending all my good energy and prayers your way so that you can finally be free of all this.

    7. Take care. My aunt had a double mastectomy a while back and is doing well. She also has a good sense of humor about her prosthesis, which helps, but it took a while. It’s always harder than you think it will be. Sending good thoughts and vibes.

      1. A friend of mine had a double mastectomy decades ago and wasn’t interested in a prosthesis. She has a long, lean build and a style that look perfect. I didn’t know she’d had a mastectomy until she referred to it in a conversation.

        The point is that we all want you around for not only the next 5 years but for many more after that.

    8. Wishing you a successful surgery, smooth recovery, and a quick and complete healing. May peace and strength be with you.

    9. I had my right breast removed five years back. It wasn’t traumatic for me (thank goodness) and then too I remembered the story that warrior Amazons would remove their right breast the better to shoot arrows. (This story, alas, is apparently 5thC BC misinformation if you will. The Straight Dope, my go-to source for the truth about everything, covers it here: Still, ancient Amazonian statues were built based on the myth, and I stuck to it.)

      So–you go, Amason sister!

  13. Of topic, I. Was too late for the children’s books, but does anyone remember Milly Molly Mandy or Worsell Gumidge? I found a MMM book for my daughter along time ago.

    1. Worzell Gummidge was after my time, I think, but I devoured the Milly Molly Mandy books – they were in the classroom library in my second year of junior school, so I’d’ve been eight or nine. Can’t remember anything about them, except she had a striped dress, and zinthink lived in the country. They were pretty old-fashioned then – were they written in the 1930s?

    2. Worsell Gummidge had his own TV show, I remember, cause Una Stubbs was on it. Loved loved Milly Molly Mandy, still have books somewhere. They were gentle books about a girl in the country and her friends having simple adventures. She was an only child of a big farming family.

  14. Slogging through a manuscript. I find it hard to stay motivated when I’m not under contract, and there’s no external deadline. Looking forward to “birthday week” starting on Friday, when I can play with fabric and eat carrot cake and get some stuff done around the house (not cleaning per se but assorted projects that need doing and that I keep putting off, and they’re weighing me down).

  15. What did I do this week that was or wasn’t fun? As one of your BornAgainIndoorFarmers, I dealt with gardening issues. Pruning and culling and planting anew.
    I have a purple chili plant (from Click & Grow) that I ripped out, roots and all, at least a month ago and replanted it in Ethel (an iDOO 12-pod unit). It is thriving there and spreading horizontally. Oddly enough, the plant that stayed behind in Ranch Four (a Smart Garden-3) has since shriveled up and died, been removed and replaced by a Romaine Lettuce plant. I finally had an AeroGarden Purple Super-Hot germinate and I can’t wait to compare it to a Purple Chili. Online research tells me that there are at least ten purple hot pepper plants.
    It’s time again to harvest lettuce and eat salads. I still have green onions from the last pruning, and the bottoms have grown five inches already. Then there are the Japanese greens. I despair of the Tatsoi, but the Mizuma is ready to address the salads. The AeroGarden Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage) looks nothing like the Click & Grow Red Pak Choi. It looks better. I see slaw someday.
    Some of the gardening was administrative. The storms last week interrupted power just enough to make all the gardens out of synch with each other. It took some effort to get them back in synch – I won’t declare success until I see what time they all go off tonight.
    Other than gardening naked… I mean, gardening, naturally, I have been experimenting with tea. This morning’s offering was Twining’s Lemon Herbal Tea. I’m not throwing it out, but I’m never buying it separately from the sampler. My next beverage will be a decaf diet cola. Can I say, “To cleanse the palate?” The teas are mostly interesting, but I could have squirted some lemon stevia in a glass of water to much the same effect.
    Sheets. I think my sheets are flannel. Or some kind of soft cotton blend. Hold on, let me read the label on the new set. “Mainstays Jersey Sheet Set.” Sort of an aqua. Oh! On the bottom is another label: “Classic Mint.” Not green, not blue. The ones on the bed are sort of khaki. I should change them while I’m thinking about it. No rush. It’s still June. 🙂
    Wait! I still have the drawstring bags all my Jersey Sheets came in. One black, one grey, three not-white (not khaki, neither), and the New! Minty-fresh! Not Green bag. I have these sheets because they are “T-Shirt Soft.” (It says so on the label.)

    1.      There were five spaces at the start of each paragraph above. They were supposed to indent each paragraph so I would not have to skip a line between each paragraph. WordPress treats leading spaces like they aren’t there.

      1.      Of course, the html sticky space takes care of that problem. I typed       at the start to get the effect.

    2. But do your fitted bottom sheets indicate whether it is top/bottom and side on the little tabs? For easier bed making.

      1.      No, they don’t. But I stripped and made the bed and blogged a picture. If I put them on sideways, it still worked. That’s close enough for government work*.
        The definition of “close enough for government work goes like this:
        Step 1. Measure everything with a micrometer caliper.
        Step 2. Mark everything with a piece of chalk (or crayon).
        Step 3. Cut it with an axe.
        Step 4. Bash to make it fit.
        Step 5. File the edges and paint it (Navy) grey or (Army) Olive Drab.

  16. Work is meh. Still getting stupid feedback from QC but I’m learning to breathe through it. Okay, not really, I’m still bitching about it, but I’m not letting it get to me as badly.

    Our impromptu girls weekend in July is coming together and plans are being finalized. It should be fun.

    We are supposed to have sun this weekend; June is pretty much monsoon season here and it looks like that’s continuing into July with more rain coming starting Monday. I will be gardening on the weekend if it is actually dry.

    I’m having weird itching/allergy symptoms and they are driving me nuts. I should go on one of those ghost shows because the dermatographia (red welts appearing after light touch) is off the chart. I’ve picked up a new sensitive skin laundry detergent and shampoo/body wash so we’ll try that. I can’t get in to see the good doctor until July 12.

    1. Once I got a rash, my great aunt told my mum to rub me with vicks vapour rub … it worked, well it relieved the itching

  17. I went to the dentist after 4 years of avoidance. Now I have to figure out how to pay for what they say I need to have done.
    I wrote and rewrote several times, a piece for my memoir class.
    Went to dinner with my Aunt Bonnie.
    My new office chair came so tomorrow I need to unbox it and put it together.
    Not much else is happening in my neck of the woods.

  18. It is the 290th day of June and it’s too hot to think. I have eight chapters left to write on the book I started writing June 10th, I know what I want to write, my brain *wants* to write, but the rest of me wants to lie on the floor in front of a fan with a glass of ice water.

    Aside from Day Job and the book-in-progress, all I’ve accomplished this month is deterring the vines from climbing the house. Oh, and replacing the broken birdbath! That was important.

  19. I’ve been driving around stuff from a storage compartment, old stereo parts. Maybe I should ebay them, or take them to a Savers, but for now, faced with 20 days of guests out of 30 days of July, they’re going into the shed.
    Today was a great day for dead-heading and watering, work that helps my soul. Then I rehearsed with a couple of other singers, and went to the gym. So, the billable hours count is low today.

  20. I have worked on two book releases this week! The first was an anthology that came out Tuesday. I have a 16k-word story (a novelette?) in that one. And today book 3 in my romantic suspense story is out in the world.

    On the home front, my husband is taking baby steps (to me, but huge steps to him) toward cleaning some of his hoard out of our basement and garage. In solidarity, I cleaned out my bookcases and took 15o+ books to the library as a donation to their fundraising book sale. I organized and re-shelved my remaining books on the sturdy bookshelves we inherited from my in-laws three year ago, and am now trying to sell three empty bookcases. If they don’t go by next week, I will drop the price to free. I just want to get stuff out of my house!

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