Working Wednesday, October 5, 2022

We had firm plans to have the trilogy finished by October, and we’ve only got one scene to go in the last book now. Okay, maybe two, but we’re done with the first drafts/discovery drafts, and Lavender is pretty much done with rewrites, Pink very close. Bob’s on the road with his dog and his jeep, both of them happy as clams, and I’m trying to catch up on the house (never going to happen) and possibly research some of the books I’ve got started while finishing up the trilogy. I’m working.

So what did you do this week?

116 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, October 5, 2022

  1. Found out on Sunday that I have to move out of my apartment after 8 years of living there. Mad scramble this week to visit some fairly local (and much more expensive) options. Landed on one yesterday that will do for a year. Now for the hard part – planning the move. Ugh.

    1. I was in a similar situation 8 years ago, though I did have more lead time. I’ve ended up in a place with very dear landlords from my church (a vast improvement over the landlord who thought I should not have clutter). More expensive, yes, but no steps, lots of cats, and closer to church and to work when I worked outside my home and to shopping–no more 20-mile drive to get a new cartridge. So I hope your new place also makes you happy.

    2. You have both my deep sympathy and best wishes. I used to move at least every three years – military necessity. My last moves were in ’97, ’09, and ’12, though the move in 2012 was from an upstairs bedroom to the garage. It still counts. I still lost things.

  2. I held a suprise party for my husband Maynard’s 75th birthday and nearly 50 people came.

    When the portapotty arrived on Friday, Maynard was too busy yakking to notice a truck pull up outside the kitchen window after which Walt (the owner of Carson’s Cans) rolled out the brand new can and set it up. Only when I was rushing out on an errand did Maynard call and ask what the portapotty was doing in the backyard.

    So, I sat him down with our daughter Penelope when I returned and reminded him first that I couldn’t keep a surprise and then admitted that his two friends from New Jersey were driving up for dinner on Saturday to celebrate his birthday. Maynard was so blown away by the idea that they were coming that he accepted my explanation that the portapotty was because I wanted to keep the party outdoors.

    “What am I supposed to do with all these things happening?” he asked.

    “Go with the flow,” I advised.

    On Saturday a truck dropped off the tent, tables, and chairs.

    “What?!,” he said, then corrected himself aloud. “I’m going with the flow.”

    Sunday worked out perfectly. Joanne and Sarah picked him up to go to the Festival of the Hills where he bumped into his nephew. Maynard was pleased by the number of people who said hi.

    In the meantime our son and daughter arrived. They’d flown into Boston from Warsaw, Poland, the night before.

    When Maynard and folks returned home, he was so busy looking at the party set up that I had to lie to him (me? lie?) to force him into the house — Where he saw Lew and Marta.

    The perfect moment.

    The rest was great. People showed up from his company (he sold it in 2007), from our time living in Avon, CT, from when we lived in Suffield, CT, from his train club, from our families (distant), and from our current, wonderful, welcoming town of Conway, MA. Maynard’s a shy guy, but he mixed like crazy and had a fantastic time.

    My cousin led the crowd in singing “Happy Birthday” when I brought out the penuche cupcakes. Maynard gave a lovely, gracious speech.

    The celebration hasn’t stopped. Our daughter-in-law is flying home tonight and our son isn’t leaving until Saturday. (At this moment he’s working remote, sounding very executive.) Our daughter Penelope is here for awhile — despite her health issues, she chatted with almost all the guests at the party. Friends are really impressed with how well she’s doing.

    Oh, yes, and during Maynard’s speech he explained that he’ll never again think that I can’t keep a secret.

    1. This is the best description of a surprise birthday party I’ve ever read. Loved it so much. You deserve many kudos for having pulled this off.

    2. Woohoo! You did it and he even bought the excuse for the porta-potty! Kudos to you, and to him for enjoying all the company.

    3. I’m SOOOO happy it turned out so perfectly!!! Pulling him aside to tell him a tiny secret and directing him to do the whole “flow, Maynard, flow” thing was BRILLIANT!!
      The whole process sounds like it was managed by someone who sounds very executive indeed. 🙂 Bravo!

        1. Who says we don’t learn useful skills from fiction???

          I am so happy that the weather cooperated and your party was such a success. You should be very proud of how all your planning paid off and enjoy the glow of a job extremely well done. You created very happy memories that will last for decades.

  3. I spent part of my hurricane weekend celebrating my MIL’s 95th birthday. It was one of the few non-medical reasons for her to get out of the house, and I think it was successful. We celebrated at her son’s house, just down the road, but it was good for her to get out.

    I also rediscovered my DVD / Blueray collection. Our internet / cable went down in the storm, but our power was generally up. So when I decided that the UPS I had my sewing machine on was done, I turned that off and watched Going Postal. I really enjoyed that.

    My biggest accomplishment, by far, was getting the center part of my quilt top quilted. Since these pictures were taken, I’ve quilted a texture into the black background parts. All that is left to quilt now is the borders.

    This was one of my UFOs for this summer. I indicated I would put borders on it for my challenge. I found some backing that would go and went ahead and basted it. Having my eyes that close to it revealed all the piecing flaws, which was probably why it wasn’t finished 10 years ago! It went in the “to be quilted” pile. A month ago I took a class on ruler work – a quilting process where you have a guide you sew along to make designs. It’s more precise than free motion quilting, but like any new skill, you have to put in the time and practice to get better. I figured this quilt was the perfect piece for it. It had lots of straight edges to line up my ruler with, and I wasn’t going to worry if I wasn’t great at it. This was a project to improve my skills. I do think I got better as I went along. I also learned that I’ll regress as my attention wanders, so this kind of thing is better in smaller doses, at least for me.

    Anyway, the pictures show the top as a whole, and then some close ups of some of the blocks.

    1. Wow!!! The patterns, the colors, the varied and unusual stitching, and the overall effect is wonderful! Good job!

    2. OMG, the amount of quilting you put into every small piece! I bow down to your skill and dedication. I especially love how the black background makes the other colors pop.

    3. hi .. here is a comment about instagram and other social media sites such as facebook that want your birthday .. my advice is dont do it.. or use a fake one.. I woked in IT for over 40 years and because I had access to real accounts with names, SSN and credit card numbers I was required to take a class every year on data security and pass an exam. here is just one example of an article that will give you more details yea I liked Instagram but I no longer used it .. and my facebook account has a fake birthday ..

  4. I am not doing much this week and trying not to feel bad about it. Something about the lousy weather for four days (still better than down south. Ian is terrible) and just feeling tired. I did stress clean my kitchen, which felt good. It really needed it. Of course, so does the rest of the house…

    1. I did some stress cleaning not long ago but you’d never know it from looking at the house. Am back in a phase of stress-not-cleaning.

      1. It’s a vicious cycle. But I do get a great sense of accomplishment from looking at my newly clean space, for as long as it lasts…

      1. Or my go-to, stress reading. Only problem is, my biggest stressor is everything I’m not getting done due to reading. 🙃

      2. Sometimes I have to much nervous energy to sit down or focus. I have to wear myself out before I can sleep or read.

        1. Whereas any kind of stress makes me extremely sleepy and I can’t eat. When I was going through my divorce I was a well-rested, thin person instead of looking like the misery sack I truly was.

  5. My son and his family visited from Arizona, so I had a reason to clean house. It felt good to have the house reasonably clean and uncluttered, and it was great to see them again. I apologize if I already said this. I have at least three venues for writing, and I’m old. 😝 It has been three weeks since my fifth covid shot, so I did some shopping that had been put off for literally years! It felt good to get out and see things and get some new candles, some garden tools, and other things. I mowed the yard for maybe the last time this year!

  6. This week I’m gearing up for my second son’s wedding. The rehearsal dinner is Thursday evening, and the wedding is Friday evening.

    Next week I start a temporary, part-time job at the state library commission. Looking forward to the change in my routine. But I’m glad it’s only temporary.

    1. Which state? I’m retired from the one in Oklahoma. Hope it’s a good experience for you!

  7. I’m doing all kinds of cleaning inside (the fridge! the mudroom!) and neatening, organizing in general. I tend to get the itch to do it as fall hits, before I get stuck in my house for the winter. I’m also still pulling out the last of the garden, and generally putting things away outside too.

    Mostly, though, I have been dealing with an ongoing toilet/septic crisis. NOT FUN. I keep reminding myself that at least it isn’t February, and I’m not dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane. So there’s that.

    I think there’s some writing work going on in there somewhere…

    1. Oh, my. You have had a traumatic several months! I hope this all gets resolved before winter.

      1. Deb, Good luck getting the septic repaired/replaced. That’s one of those nightmares always tickling the back of my mind — I rented the portapotty because I wasn’t sure if the septic system could handle overuse. And, the bathroom faucets are failing. Unfortunately, I don’t see any way for you to avoid the cost. Crowdfunding?

        1. Well, my regular plumber thought they were wrong about the leach field failing, which is what would require an entire replacement instead of just pumping out the existing tank. So I’m praying that the pump-out fixes it with no further work necessary.

  8. I’d love to know which celestial bodies were either going retrograde or turning around the other way right now, because there are themes so far in this post about managing gatherings and dealing with breakdowns. And I too am dealing with prepping for a gathering since my sister is coming down from Maine in a month and I want to deal with ALL the clutter and decayed bits around my house, since she hasn’t been here in a decade or so. Can I afford to get my roof replaced, gutters installed and a hot water heater replaced during this period as well? That’s the question. 😐

    1. Mercury turned direct today after being retrograde since Sept. 10. It will be back at it’s original position by the 17th.

    2. Just vacuum, fill the fridge with her favourite food and use the guest towels and nice bed linens for her. It’s been a decade, just tell her your house was always like that

    3. The question is not can you afford it, it is can all that get done in a month???

  9. I have a break in freelance work and am enjoying doing not much. Getting ready for a quick trip to the Stratford Festival this weekend–haven’t been since pre-covid. That means getting the house in a bit better shape for the catsitter; laundry is done, at least. I’ve been making this trip since college–not every year, but often, so it’s about more than just the wonderful theatre.

  10. Day Job. Some yardkeeping. Wrote out a nice clean writer bizness to-do list. Looked at all the works in progress and felt daunted. Did some research for new scene to write for what should be my 2022 holiday novella. Wondered why I bother. /depression

    On the plus side, my mother is very excited about an imminent visit from her surviving brother, even though (or perhaps because) it’s almost certainly the last time they’ll see each other (he has cancer). My folks are flying him from Alaska to North Carolina. Fingers crossed that the travel and visit go well, and they get to the other side confident that nothing important is left unsaid.

    1. Skype is wonderful, but at the end there is nothing better than a face to face visit to help deal with feelings of loss after they are gone. I hope the travel goes well.

    2. It’s great that the siblings will get to be together again. That’s a long trip, and will probably be a bit stressful, but certainly worth it. I hope it all goes well.

      1. I definitely do. Unfortunately it costs a lot of money and takes a lot of time which I’m unwilling to invest, so it’s kind of a self-perpetuating cycle. Most of the time the enjoyment I get from writing balances out everything else. 🙂

  11. Got off the plane from Europe on Friday into a house full of company, so not much getting done. I managed to sleep in this morning, which I needed. It’s time to look for full-time work again after a summer of part-time, but I keep getting diverted by company so I’ll do that next week.
    Enjoying Maine in October very much!

  12. My throat started feeling scratchy as I waved my niece and her new husband off on their honeymoon on Monday. Really hope they won’t come down with this cold – it’s laying me low. (It’s not plague – I did a test.) Got a set of proofs to read this afternoon, so hope I feel more like it tomorrow. I’ve also got lots of gardening jobs to do, once my sinuses are clear again (bending over’s no fun meanwhile). Hoping maximum coddling will encourage it to move on swiftly.

    1. If you continue to have symptoms, test again. And if they are Covid symptoms, get an official test. I have a friend who just went through feeling terrible, did multiple at home tests that all came up negative, but a blood test later proved she had it.

      1. Thanks, Deb. I’m taking part in the Zoe Covid Study though, so reporting any symptoms to them each day. In my experience, they’re crash hot on persuading you to take a test if there’s any doubt. So far it’s a classic bad cold – though I realize the symptoms can be the same.

        1. Zoe Covid Study sister! (They somehow persuaded themselves I had long-covid, even though I’ve never had covid. I have finally unpersuaded them.)

  13. I’ve been working on regaining my mobility this week. I got a cortisone shot on Monday that decreased my pain level a notch or two, but so far has not provided nearly the level of relief I was hoping to get. I did, however, like the new knee doctor, who reminded me that in January I get a new year’s worth of PT coverage. She also said that if my knee tolerates this shot well, Medicare covers a filler that should help keep the bones from grinding on each other and causing further damage. She said that she uses it on her knee and she doesn’t need a cane. She also administered the shot with far less pain than previous doctors.

    I really liked this doctor because she asked a lot more questions about why the pain was worse in certain situations and told me that my complaints completely matched what the x-rays showed. Although I appreciated her more complete work up, I was not pleased to hear that I also had 2 bursas around the more arthritic of my 2 knees. But I was glad to hear that Medicare will cover the filler she uses. The last time I addressed the subject, that was not the case. I took the bus to her office instead of the el to avoid the stairs and was delighted to discover that the bus that runs in front of her office runs much more often than it did when I last visited that hospital because the route I took to get there was incredibly slow and took too many different routes. I must look up a schedule for it.

    1. On Monday, my rheumatologist removed a bunch of fluid from my knee and then injected cortisone in its place. My whole body feels SO MUCH better! I hope the filler works for you.

    2. You have found a jewel of a doctor! I hope things go well for you. Pain just encompasses life, at times, and chronic pain is really wearing. Good luck.

  14. I’m having trouble getting back into the swing of the day job. Lots of trouble. It doesn’t help that there are a ton of small chores still needing to be done and those are distracting me something fierce. We go to Edmonton on Friday and I have a bunch of things to pick up there so that I can finish up some of those chores. I need shelf liner for the pantry shelves (they are so gross) but the stuff I had from the dollar store was about as good as you would expect (not to mention that it’s about 6 years old so there’s that) and Paul told me to quit wasting my time and buy some good stuff.

    It’s raining out so I’m going to plant the peony roots tonight. Yesterday I was so exhausted all day that by 5:30 when Paul left for work I was ready for bed. If I didn’t have to worry about the dogs, I would have gone. I took a sleeping pill and put on the weighted blanket and was out like a light.

    I’m making plans to do some re-arranging around the house (and possibly give my husband no choice but to divorce me) but I think it will make the house run better. I hope.

    We have company coming in November (2 sets!) so I’m going to have to get all this done before they get here.

    1. OK. Weighted blankets. I would like you, and any others, to “weigh” in on that. I know I sleep better in the winter when I have the flannel sheets, down comforter and fleece throw on the bed. But it’s also cooler in the bedroom. Do you get too hot with a weighted blanket? Doesn’t it feel a bit claustrophobic? How much weight did you choose for your blanket? Do you use it all year ’round? Please tell me how this works, and how well it works, for you.

      1. I’ve also been afraid that the weight would pain my arthritic knees. One of my favorite parts of switching to the down comforter is that it provides warmth without weight.

        1. It probably wouldn’t be great with your knee. Every once in a while I have bone pain in my foot (nothing sinister, had it my whole life) and the weight of the blanket bothers my foot.

      2. I don’t get too hot with my weighted blanket (it’s a 15 lb one), but Paul did. I had originally bought it for him as he’s a terrible sleeper, but I inherited it. I use it when he’s working nights and I don’t sleep so well. Supposedly the extra weight is comforting and calming on a subconscious level and I very much find it that way. I sleep way better when I use it. It doesn’t feel claustrophobic or trapping in any way (I have a fear of something holding me down when I sleep and it doesn’t trigger that). The blanket is just big enough to cover the body, it’s not meant to cover the whole bed so I always put it on top of a comforter. I use it winter and summer.

      3. I don’t use a special weighted blanket, but in winter I like to cozy up with a down comforter, a lightweight cotton quilt, and a 6×6 knitted afghan, doubled dk weight yarn. I love it. Then in the summer. I’m just as happy with nothing & no sheets.

      4. I have a special weighted blanket. It is weighted at about 12 pounds between around 11 pm to 7 am, and the weight moves around sometimes and walks across my chest. I find it very pleasant and it helps me sleep.

        1. And let me guess, it includes a soothing white noise generator, though no volume control or on/off switch?

        2. Until it gets hungry and bats you on the nose to tell you that you’re not going to sleep until kibble is offered.

  15. Wow, looks like we are all cleaning and prepping. It must be nesting instinct for winter coming…

    1. Please don’t say the W word! I am not ready for either the weather or the heating bills!

  16. I have been working for two weeks on building a new 5 step flight of steps plus one extra on the next path, down to the first terrace on my hillside. The original 20 inch wide steps I built were overgrown and cattywampus. The new ones are 3 feet wide and once I get all the wobbles leveled out, will be amazing. I now have to rebuild the rockery and fill in the old stairs and build a new path with pavers from the house through the flower bed to the new stairs.

    I will post pictures later. I just received a call from cousins who want to stop to visit. They are passing through town on their way to see their daughter who lives 40 minutes south of me. And we haven’t seen one another for a few years although we do keep in touch regularly. I must clean house.

      1. My back is fine – and I was really concerned about some of the basalt rocks I was lifting doing me harm. My neck on the other hand is really stiff today.

  17. We also are cleaning and prepping. But that’s because we’re having a friend house/cat sit for us while we are in Croatia for 8 days. Leaving tomorrow.

    1. Where in Croatia? We have friends who are part owners in a family home on Vis and a few years back invited us to do a mini-tour with them of Croatia and follow it up by spending a few days with them in Komiza on Vis. It was a beautiful country.

  18. Catching up after a weekend spent at Capclave, my local science fiction/fantasy con. Saw friends I hadn’t seen in ages. It’s so good catching up with the tribe, well worth all the extra work. Now it’s back to research for the novella due at year’s end, which has a plot but no title as yet. I also need to figure out the story arc for the Franken-pig, which will be easier to figure out once I know what she wants…beyond beer, that is. Pandora has a leeetle drinking problem, which is kind of a big problem for everyone else.

    1. That sounds like a fascinating story. A fascinating story, indeed. A drunken pig has to be interesting.

    2. Any room in the story for a mud wallow? Depends on the time of year, but if this story takes place during hot weather, one might be alluring.

    3. Well, since pigs are reputed to eat anything, it makes sense that they need something tasty to wash it down.

    4. I recall a story arc in the “Too Much Information” webcomic. One of the Japanese/Korean girls was attacked by a rapist because no one in her family valued her. She defended herself but realized that the attacker might be more believed and valued than she. That lead to an observation: “Pigs will eat anything.”

  19. We are doing a very, very long, very complicated, mostly very fast paced “Fezziwig’s Ball” number in Christmas Carol. I like it overall, but it’s going to be exhausting. Plus giant dresses and high-heeled shoes. At one point, no joke, I have to hop backwards on one leg while singing a long note, in giant dress and heels. THIS MAY NOT GO WELL.

    This is another one of those shows where ensemble is in almost every scene and you don’t get much time off for rehearsals (maybe start rehearsing at 7:50 instead of 7:30, that level of it). So I am swamped.

    I am also trying to finish putting all the decorations on the Encanto costume, but frankly, I will not have time to make them all and sew them on with this show. Sigh, but there it is.

  20. Im sorting and filing 8 years of papers in preparation for leaving my job. And looking for the last few items we need for the audit which mysteriously disappeared when I moved the office into my house, with 2 weeks notice as I got ready for surgery…right now there are file folders everywhere but a week ago there were giant stacks of paper and today I am down to 2 stacks which should be gone by bedtime. Then I stick it all in boxes while I finish other work and later index the boxes ….

    It will be nice to have clean surfaces in the study. And an empty ish closet in the basement

  21. I was working on getting my ID renewed at the DMV, but after the morning from hell and FINALLY making it there, it turns out you need to make an appointment to get an ID in NYC. So now my goals have been reduced to finish homework + don’t take this as a sign from the universe.

  22. Terribly jetlagged after returning home to NJ from Hawaii. Have a ton of things to do but am unmotivated. I’m forcing myself to complete one task at a time and am slowly crossing off the to-do list.

  23. I did nothing this week except eat leftover chili until I ran out (yesterday). I measured all the ingredients for a stir-fry, and have that to look forward to. Stir fry is the same as chili, except for the meat, the vegetables, and the sauce. (They both contain onions and garlic. See? Identical.)

    I did do some reading.

    The dotter’s expensive smart refrigerator died, and the contents were a total loss. You’d think it would have sent her a text, saying, “I think I’m running a fever! Better move stuff to an ice chest!”

    1. Been there, done that, and still regretting it. These appliances really do need some kind of alarm or warning system!! And getting a repair person took over two weeks. I hope it goes better for her.

  24. My houseguests arrive and depart again tomorrow, so my daily cleaning projects are almost at an end, and the house is looking habitable, at least.

    Other than that, I got cover art for a self-pubbed holiday novella and started on the formatting, and joined counter social in case Musk goes thru with his plan to acquire Twitter and destroy it. Sigh. I had just started up a new account there (Twitter, I mean) for posts about my rare disorder, and I may have to start over with it on another platform.

    Oh, and signed a contract with Gemma Halliday Publishing for a cozy mystery series set in a B&B in Kentucky, run by three sisters. You heard it here first! Release dates are pretty far off, but it’s nice to have deadlines again!

  25. I worked on too many things to remember them this week, but today I finished–yes, finished!–mending my favorite orange sweater. I’ve been working on it for months, a few minutes at a time, but since I can only see what I’m doing to it in good daylight, and I have tons of more urgent things to do when I’m off work on a sunny day, it has taken forever. I do not think the dozens of little holes are moth-related, since they are (were) all in the front. I think they are the result of being jumped on unexpectedly by dogs, although they didn’t happen at once. I will wear it once the weather gets colder and we’ll see if it springs a bunch of new holes.

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