120 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, October 18, 2022

  1. I’ve cleared and levelled (as best I can) the site for the new greenhouse. Now must get back to the day job – proof-reading a poetry book. And then editing photographs on rainy days and sorting out the garden – prepping for winter & planting bulbs – when it’s fine. Also need to revise my plans for rotating veg & strawberries on the allotment, now the greenhouse is going to occupy the place I’d reserved for my next strawberry bed.

    1. What are you hoping/planning to grow in the greenhouse, Jane? Could some of the strawberries go in on the ground level there?

      1. I’ve still got room on the plot to rotate the strawberries. I’d already decided to leave it another year, because they haven’t produced good runners this year, due to the dry summer. I’m planning to grow winter salads in the greenhouse, and to start some early potatoes, carrots and sugar snap peas in late winter/early spring. Summer will mainly be tomatoes, plus one or two experiments – I might have another go with bell peppers. There’ll also be some flowers for cutting: I’ve got five pots of chrysanths to go in now, and want to try ranunculus, and maybe one or two zinnias next summer into autumn – there was a greenhouse full of them at Chatsworth – they were like a jungle.

    2. Strawberries do well in vertical planters! They don’t need a lot of ground space. I have a bunch in a Mr Stacky and have also done them in a standing rack with multiple rows of little planters.

  2. I’ve been doing a lot of the actual quilting. There’s still a long way to go, so no pictures yet.

    However, in my spare moments, I finished up a shawl / scarf. The pattern was called a shawl, but it seemed to skinny, so I widened it up. I used one ball of a long change cotton / wool yarn, and I really like how it turned out. I draped it over my shoulders this morning and it really did take care of the chill in the air.

    I also started a quilt with llama blocks. I’ve got the first three llamas done. There will be a total of 15 in various colors when it is done.

    And DH and I took a day and drove to the Blue Ridge Parkway (in NC) to drive along the road and stop at scenic overlooks to admire the foliage. It was a glorious day.


  3. I sprayed a bitter lemon dog repulsion spray that cost $50 on the couch cushions corners that Pixie loves to chew on and she is terribly grateful for the additional flavour and has been chewing happily away even more voraciously and meantime I got bitter lemon in one eye and can’t see out of it now.

        1. It is just so typical of all the “miracle cures” they try to sell us. As my sister writes on all her emails, “Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently motivated fool.” And I’ve certainly done that to myself enough times to feel your pain.
          I hope you have lots of artificial tears to wash out your eyes.

      1. I tried the bitter apple first and it didn’t work either. I read something that GUARANTEED the bitter lemon worked so much better. It’s certainly working in my eye; I’ll never chew it again.

        1. My friend had a raccoon under his house recently. A guy from the city came and sprayed coyote pee around the entrance. It worked. But you probably don’t want that in your house (or in your eye). It made me wonder how they got the coyote pee and whose job it was to get it.

          1. There is a company called Leg-Up Enterprises in Maine that sells lots of pee: wolf, coyote, fox, and, I think, something even bigger.

            I often giggle myself to sleep imagining how they collect their product.

          1. I have to sit on that couch though and so do my guests. I’m afraid they’ll think I’m running a bordello.

          1. Tammy — Yes, coyote scent, for example, repels certain plant-eaters but attracts coyotes. Leg-Up Enterprises sells a lot of pee to hunters.

      2. There was a dog that boarded where I worked twenty-five to thirty years ago who got Bitter Apple sprayed on her food because she loved it so.

          1. I was going to say pepper as well. Except someone I know tried it with birdseed to dissuade squirrels at the feeder. The squirrels ate the seed and then died. Not the intended effect.

          2. I will try anything at this point. My couch is a shambles. But this time I will wear goggles.

          3. the smell of Vicks Vapour rub repels dogs I believe, but if she tries to ingest it, it will be really bad for her

    1. Try pepper. Not something hot enough to traumatise, but spicy enough to dissuade…

  4. I’m wrapping up some last bits of the job I left Friday, continuing the work I kept as a consultant, trying to harvest the last tomatoes and cut the last flowers before a freeze, and wondering if I have to dig through the wood shavings in the lesser A’tuin’s enclosure with my hands to find her since there is no evidence she has eaten her food. DH is in Vietnam for work so this would fall to me. Hopefully she is just starting to hibernate and not dead…
    Also I apparently need to have a chat with the family down the street whose Ukranian mother in law is trying the handles of neighborhood doors and cars on her walks. The neighbor who spotted this doesn’t feel comfortable bringing it up and my DH worked with the husband in the family.
    I get all the fun jobs when he travels. The worst was when DD was 8 and pretending she was Harriet the Spy and lost the notebook where she recorded all the negative things my DH had said about her teacher’s teaching as if they were her opinion and other teachers found it and gave it to the teacher and I had to smooth it over.
    I mean, his statements were accurate but this was not helpful! (It also wasn’t very mature of the teacher to take it so personally…)

  5. Again, I did not get this post, on the right day. So I searched for it. I have been doing winterizing stuff, too, since we had a record freeze yesterday and probably a record today, too. My newest plants are swathed in old sheets. It looks very oddly Halloweeny in my yards. I have also been doing laundry from my trip to Arizona to visit family. It was a very good visit, and I am happy to report that my two grandchildren there are old enough to act like civilized human beings, now, although my granddaughter is entering her teenage years in December. 😳
    This cold snap convinced me to rotate my wardrobe, which meant many trips up and down the basement stairs carrying armloads of clothes. I also put the flannel sheets and down comforter on the bed, which brings me to the WEIGHTED BLANKET I ordered from Amazon. I got a 15 pound twin one, and it was beautifully made, but was just too heavy. It felt like trying to roll over two huge dogs that were on top of me, every time I needed to get up. Just turning over was a big effort. I did sleep well under it, but I’m sending it back. I found 10 pound blankets, billed for children, but I think one might work for me. So I ordered one of those. Thank you to those of you who gave me your advice on this project. I will keep you posted.

    In the meantime, it’s flannel time!!! I love my colorful shirts.

      1. Yes, but for quite a few of us, we won’t get this posting until tomorrow. I had to log on to the website to get here as well.

        1. Me too. I don’t know why they suddenly aren’t showing up until the next day again. It is 10PM on Wednesday and it suddenly occurred to me that it was Wednesday and I hadn’t gotten it, and went searching.

      2. I usually get the posts early in the day they relate to, Jane. Still nothing in my email about it.

        1. Maybe the date in the heading is the reason, just saying. That can’t be right or it would have come Tuesday, the 18th.

      1. Me too. I had incredibly distressing dreams of being trapped. To be fair, I’ve read that it should be around 10% of your body weight. I borrowed a 25-pound one from a friend which was probably 10 pounds too heavy.

    1. I tried a weighted blanket but the one I got had a hole in it somewhere which I discovered when I started finding tingly glass beads on the chair and floor. I took it back and spent quite a bit of time vacuuming. I didn’t want my cats to accidentally ingest glass beads.

      1. Err…that was supposed to be tiny, not tingly. I should have proofread it better before I hit submit. 😳

  6. For years now, including 10 years where she did not have a book to push, Jenny Crusie has posted blogs and interacted with commenters on this blog.

    It is not something she has to do. It is a continuing act of generosity on her part and I am truly grateful to her for doing it.

    It seems a simple thing to check the site on the days she has established to put up new blogs; Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

    Why are people waiting to be informed there is a new post up? That’s just making more non writing work for Jenny.

    1. Most of us have signed up for notifications, one way or another – I use Newsify to inform me when there are new posts on all the blogs I subscribe to. You can also sign up for email notifications, which again are automatic – but sometimes there’s a software gremlin that means these things don’t function properly. So no one’s trying to make work for Jenny: they’re just letting her know that there might be a problem.

  7. I am staring out my window at what looks like heavy fog but is smoke from wildfires. This will be the second day in a row where we have been discouraged from going outside because of the air quality. Up until now the temperatures have been in the 80’s and high 70’s. Weird for October but a boon for working on my landscaping projects. The rain is suppose to start this weekend (about 6 weeks later than normal), which will be good since a lot of trees look heat stressed.

    We replaced our street trees. (For those not into landscaping, just skip this. It gets tedious). The ones we had were japanese type maples, which the April snow severely damaged. From one side they were lush and green and pretty, the other side was sheered off down to the ground. The process to remove and replace them was: 1. get a tree removal permit from the city. 2. get the city to approve the trees we would replace them with (There is a list but we have verticillium wilt infesting the soil and a height restriction because they are under power lines. It is a short list. So we needed to find something else and make a case for it), 3. Schedule a tree removal service and 4. schedule the stump grinder. Oh and select and buy two new trees. This involved my husband who researched what he thought we should have, then located other places in the city where we could actually see grown street trees (This is Portland. There is a street tree inventory. My husband was one of the volunteers who spent many, many days walking various areas of the city, identifying trees, their condition and their size and location). Since there were hundreds of trees damaged or destroyed by the freak snow storm and everyone had to get the tree services and city permits and select replacement trees, the backlog was bad. We signed up the tree service and paid our deposit on the understanding that once we had the permits, we would have expedited scheduling. This actually worked. The permit and approval came through in mid-September. We scheduled tree removal and stump removal. We bought our trees and had them delivered. We amended the soil and planted them and now have two new cork oaks. Hopefully they will be able to resist the hot, dry summers we have been having.

    1. Addendum: Today is Wednesday. This means (wait for it) TA DAH – The Wednesday bike bus assembles at our traffic island park to ride to Alameda Elementary School. It is really fun to watch every Wednesday morning.

      This is the traffic island that we and our neighbor turned into a mini-park. I’ve looked at all the pictures that are on the internet and can’t see our house. We are several houses to the south and the pictures are all on the north on Klickitat Street – as in Beverly Cleary’s Klickitat Street. She grew up a few blocks from here.

    2. Street trees are a blessing even when they are non-native like the Bradford pear outside my little South L.A. rental house. That tree manages to survive epic levels of pollution and near-complete neglect (the city doesn’t water it; the neighbors don’t water it; I don’t water it – any water it gets is probably obtained by reaching under the sidewalk and into my yard) to provide a landing spot for dozens of scrappy little city birds all day long. It produces a few flowers but mostly it is simply *a tree,* and I’m grateful for it.

      1. Cork oaks. In another 20 years imagine the projects I can display on Working Wednesday. I can harvest bark and make my own cork tiles or trivets. Of course, I will be 90 and may have lost my enthusiasm.

  8. I am still working on the Encanto costume. I have a wig and slippers to wear as shoes because the Internet has failed me for finding matching shoes or even close to matching shoes that don’t hurt my feet to wear. I have bought EIGHT PAIRS OF SHOES THIS MONTH (almost all of which I was forced to buy online because they don’t sell Victorian boots or espadrilles IRL) between theater requirements and Halloween and have had to take back three and lost another two to not having the order fulfilled. And I hate shoe shopping because my feet hate shoes. “It RUBS! IT PINCHES! WAAAAH!” they cry and immediately get a blister if they aren’t 100% like walking on air the second they are put on.

    Musical still has a lot of rehearsals, we are working on the fun dance numbers. I am doing tap in one for the first time, which should be interesting (and yes, I had to get MORE SHOES because GOD FORBID I NOT HAVE TAP HEELS). My castmate absolutely can’t afford to replace her (now-broken) tap shoes, so this is um…fun, and they cost $100.

    Here are links to the Encanto costume in progress:

    I will be sewing things to that skirt until Halloween weekend, when the parties start.

  9. Writer bizness this week: I am up over 15K words on the new novel, primed for chapter 6. Negotiating with artist over title font for the historical trilogy. Planning to buy my pass to The Rom Con the second I log off work (passes go on sale at 10:00 PST). Haven’t yet scheduled an intervention with my contemporary cover designer (aka sister) but need to do that – if her job has made this side gig truly untenable, I need to know ASAP so I can make the appropriate investments to do it myself OR negotiate with another designer. Downloaded a Word template to try making a printable booklet for promotional purposes.

    Domestic bizness: more decluttering & reorganizing. Another round of shaping the bougainvillea (‘go UP plz’). Will need to water at the end of this week since it got warm/dry again, dammit.

    Day job: not slammed with work at the moment, but deadlines approach and clients are being really infuriatingly slow with their instructions. Final reminder sent Monday about Wednesday deadline: we will instruct on Wednesday: sorry no you have to instruct Tuesday because that deadline is in Malaysia and Tuesday is already Wednesday there. *sigh*

      1. well, and I’m an overly-enthusiastic prospective attendee, because the tix go on sale *november* 19th. LOL tryna get ahead of myself

          1. Anaheim, which is about an hour from me. I absolutely couldn’t justify going to any of the big cons (Glasgow, Australia) but can’t really justify missing this one. Even though I can’t attend as an author 🙂 I’ll still get a chance to meet people who read my sort of book.

  10. I’m almost done with my new homepage which I had to set up after accidentally killing the old one. I meant to do it for ages but now I had to – are you even allowed to call yourself an author unless you have all the marketing stuff going?

    Anyway, as usual I almost cried in the beginning because I just couldn’t understand how this new theme worked. But after watching some YT tutorials I got the hang of it and then it all worked out fine. So now I’m really proud of myself – a new website in only 3 days!

    Of course it’s all in German but if you’d like a peek: https://www.ursulaschroeder.de

    1. There’s a picture of you! The whole site looks good – though I don’t have any German. My copy-editor’s brain is intrigued by the fact that nearly all the headings are followed by full stops – unlike in English.

      Very best of luck withit.

    2. It’s beautiful and the translation feature in Safari did a good job. Your books sound interesting enough to make me wish I knew more than a few words of German. If you write enough of them I think “feel-good Sauerland novels” could indeed become a genre.

  11. Is “Indian Summer” still a thing? It hasn’t been turned into “Indigenous People’s Summer” or “Native American Summer,” nor replaced by a more meteorologically accurate label?

    In India, summer includes the Monsoon Season and high temps, so you can’t even say, “But it’s a dry heat.” Maybe in the Thar Desert…

    I liked unplugging the AC, but I expected more time before plugging in my heater(s).

  12. I am glad you and Bob have finished the books. I was surfing through old “Good Book Thursdays” looking for a book recommendation by Ann (California, I think. Excellent references for genealogical research and historical biographies, who has not been here for a while or maybe I just missed that day). And this is what I found on February 21, 2019, when someone asked about the third book that the two of you wrote and if you would write anymore:

    The third one with Bob is Wild Ride. Nope, no more. We’re still friends, but as he once put it, “We should never be in the same zip code.” We always end up wanting to kill each other (very different value systems, world views, goals, etc.). He was great to write with, though, very professional and very hard working.

  13. I’m about to go back to work after two weeks off to travel to Croatia and back. Croatia was lovely. Getting to and from Croatia not so much. Our 14 hour trip turned into a 24 hour trip when our initial flight was late leaving Detroit for Frankfurt and we ended up having to wait in airports for an extra 10 hours.

    Once we got there things went well. Most everyone spoke English (It’s a tourist town) and the tournament itself went reasonably well. I ended up qualifying for the team event the second day, and although I didn’t expect to actually fence that wasn’t the case as the first qualifier’s knee was acting up.

    Then we spent two days wandering around Zadar. The weather was gorgeous the whole time, 72 degrees every day and right on the Adriatic Sea, and eating really good for that cost half what it would have in the States.

    Then the day before we were come home I came down with something intestinal and developed some rather severe diarrhea and thus couldn’t fly home. So we ended up spending three extra days while waiting to see it the antibiotics I was given were effective. Fortunately it was, but then we had to buy one-way plane tickets back home. But we made it.

  14. My boss is out of town, so even though I have been peppered by frequent phone calls, it is pretty quiet here, and I am reading Working Wednesdays ON Wednesday.

    Yesterday she had a show in someone’s house for 4 hours, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting a charity. She didn’t take the printer, so I got to do all the invoicing remotely, all info conveyed by phone calls. It was unexpectedly successful, and we have gotten some new customers from it, so well worth doing, though it made for a very strange day on my end.

    Not actually working that hard today. Friday when she gets back will make up for it though, so enjoying my respite.

  15. I am winterizing in a different way. We are back from our trip to Ithaca. The book sale was meh, but it was still fun to look. I think that I am just getting picky and my tastes have moved far from the beaten path. We had wonderful ramen and steamed pork buns. My partner especially liked that there were multiple mixed race couples. I didn’t notice, too focused on the food.

    Then we stopped at the Pa grand canyon on the way home. It rained/snowed on us, but it was very beautiful.


    And we got good pizza and excellent ice cream on the way home. I had a waffle cone of pumpkin roll and apple crisp.

    Today we went to the big bargain store and stocked up on meat. I am dividing it up into meal portions and labeling and freezing. Tonight is meatball night. I will make a ton and freeze those too. It makes me feel better about the upcoming winter.

    1. This sentence of yours made me laugh out loud: “ My partner especially liked that there were multiple mixed race couples. I didn’t notice, too focused on the food.”

    2. I have been wanting to see the PA Grand Canyon for a few years now. I am going to have to make the effort, maybe next spring.

      1. It’s fabulous, and Wellsboro, the nearest town is really nice. It’s like the movie version of small town living.

  16. I am packing up to go to the suburbs for a cat sitting gig. Because my knee is not co-operating, I will have to make 2 trips in each direction. But the upside is that I can use their land line to try to find out if I can get Consumer Cellular to send me a new phone. It is really hard to do business when you can’t make outgoing calls.
    When I went to pick up the keys on Monday, Michael informed me that he can’t tell which cat is which unless they are next to each other (Kolsch is larger), either. I now feel much less incompetent.

  17. Been plodding through the winterization steps; moved the lemon, lime, bougainvilla, etc. into the greenhouse and sowed seeds for some winter produce in the raised bed in there. Successfully transplanted a couple of small tomato and basil plants in there too. Pool’s winterized, except for putting in the shock stuff to prevent algae. Today I will go around locating the covers for the grill, picnic table, patio furniture ahead of incoming rain.

    Also the replacement blinds for downstairs arrived and we’ll be installing those over the next few days. And I need to start hauling the flooring up to the back room now that the floor prep is done. Flooring will acclimate and then we click-lock it together. (It’s waterproof luxury vinyl plank that looks like wood but won’t be damaged if the water heater or filter in there ever leak)

  18. Mostly I’ve just been chipping away things I must get done before the cold really sets in or before election day whichever comes first. And going to meetings.

    Took Pixie to the vet. She couldn’t get her shots because she had a seizure last week (if she has another within 30 days she goes on meds) but all her blood work was good and she is lime negative. We go back next week for the shots and then to the groomer. Two things will be off the list.

    Off to my progressive group’s monthly meeting.

  19. My attempt at winterizing included searching for a new winter coat. All I’ve been seeing are the puffy/quilted variety. I even tried one on and yep, I look like the stay puff marshmallow person. I know I’ve put on weight but in my defense I thought half a brownie was good judgement. And all those mini ice cream cones during the summer couldn’t hurt. I was bummed when trying on coats in different sizes going up each time until finding my now true size – e gads. But I could zip it up without any problem. Still searching.

    1. Hey, Mary, don’t worry about your size. It’s your preference that counts. Who wants to look like the Michelin Man? You’re past that.

  20. Cleaning, organizing, yard work. I’ve stuffed a lot of crap (meaning things I actually need but currently don’t have the mental energy to worry about) into the storage room for dealing with next month. I’m starting to be very glad that I don’t have to expend any mental energy for breathing.

    Today I’m going to start getting ready to put our closet back together. I’m going through my clothes and packing things up for the second hand store, figuring out where I want the new shelf to go, and spray painting the old closet rod bracket.

    I also need to put down bricks to finish the brick edging in the garden, water said garden so my expensive peony roots don’t die, and then cut back all the flowers in the containers since the weather is starting to cool off after an unseasonably nice October; they are calling for scattered flurries and a skiff of snow on Saturday.

  21. Both yesterday and today I did housework. Bathrooms are cleaned, all the floors are either mopped or vacuumed, the furniture has been dusted and in some instances polished. All I have left to do is clean the kitchen counter, the sink, and the stovetop. Then I need to pack for my weekend trip to Louisville, KY. I come home Sunday only to get ready to leave next Thursday for my trip to Spain.

  22. I have waited to do WW cooment until- TA DA! – the proposed 53 page chapbook, Overly Fond of Prisms, has been emailed to 2 Sylvias Press – Wilder series contest.

    So glad it’s done.
    I am celebrating with a cherry pie that is not out of the oven yet and reading instead of writing.

    I was offered to join the board of Pinellas Writers club and I agreed. Yesterday I moderated the Zoom meeting for the first time and that went well.

    Otherwise surviving. Working my job.

    Timers going off for my pie. Later dearies.

  23. I had a lovely visit (Friday afternoon through Tuesday morning) from an author friend. We did a mini writer’s retreat which was both productive and just plain fun. Although for some reason known only to her, Diana my part-demon cat was especially demonic while Alethea was here. Cats. Oy.

    I’m finishing up some particularly annoying edits on my latest Llewellyn book. The thing that makes them annoying is not that they’re difficult (mostly just nit-picking and fixing formatting and redoing stuff) but that if I had been given the specific parameters they wanted back when I was originally writing the book, I could have done it right the first time and saved both myself and the editor a lot of time and energy. And cursing. I am currently trying to find a really, really polite way of telling my beloved editor that, to save the next author from the same issue. (It’s a series, so there will be more.) On the bright side, it is almost done, and then I can move on to doing a first read on what promises to be a really fun book.

  24. Also doing WW on GBT, but that’s okay. My week’s been occupied with writing-adjacent tasks that require all the business writing you really wish you didn’t have to do. Revised a blog for The Big Idea on John Scalzi’s blog and completed a PowerPoint for a presentation on Estate Planning for Authors. The presentation is scheduled for Nov. 12, but I figured I’d better finish it now. I’ll be running away to World Fantasy Con in New Orleans in about 10 days, and I don’t want business to get in the way of the fun. If Weather.com is to be believed, the weather could be perfect. 🙂

  25. I potted up some of the zucchini and tomatoes, and rearranged the balcony to fit these and the new Seville orange tree. I’ve been looking for one for years now and finally found one while helping a friend select little gem magnolias for a hedge. At some point I expect the neighbours to start complaining about all the trees – the balcony isn’t actually mine, it’s just the dead end that runs past the outside stairs, under my windows. My flat is on the end of the building, so nobody has to fight their way through the foliage, and it is fairly decorative, but I still breathe a sigh of relief every owner’s meeting when nobody has lodged a complaint yet.

      1. I hope so. I’ve put little star lights in the cherry tree for Christmas, and there’s a chair for people to sit amongst all the green. Maybe if I put up a sign: “Common use garden, please to enjoy. (And also please eat the damn mint.)”

  26. Yesterday I felt physically well, realizing that it was the first time in a long time. Before last weekend’s 4-stitches fall, the hefting and rushing while holding the big party, the weird trip to CA, Covid, and hernia surgery. All this since August 11th.

    Today the stitches will be removed. And, I’m feeling fine.

    Slowly cleaning up the house, especially my room/office/library which was used as a guest room for a week. The dryer died just after my son left for Poland. The dryer is only a couple of years old and has had a broken part about once a year. So while I’m waiting for time to buy a new dryer, wet clothes are hanging off the drying rack and many chairs.

    Yet the 4 huge rosemary plants have been moved into the house. My husband lit the first fire of the season last night. I completed some research into land records for figuring out how to apply for a free forest management plan, and emailed them on. Now I’m sorting out household accounts, following up with friends, and enjoying the far side of a glorious autumn.

    We attended a play, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, which was excellent. Live theater. Yay.

  27. I am still struggling with covid issues after 4 months, which is frustrating, and dealing with an absolute meltdown at work after an incompetent colleague was put in charge of a project, which is also frustrating. Am also aghast at the political goings on here in England, but at the same time weirdly fascinated and feeling like I need a bowl of popcorn while I watch the news. As a professor of leadership, I feel as if the best case studies ever of how not to lead are virtually writing themselves as I watch.

    1. It’s mesmerizing, isn’t it? As well as horrendous, of course. I keep telling myself not to check the news so much, and then another prime minister resigns . . .

  28. Wow, I wander away for a couple of years and Bob and Jenny get back to writing together AND I AM SO HAPPY I AM DANCING AND THANK GOD I HAVE TWITTER (never thought I’d say THAT!)


    Whoo Hoooo!

    Love you!
    ~Chelle Semones

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