Working Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Bob and I are still working on Rocky Start: I’m writing not-so-snappy patter and he’s trying to figure out a plot. I’ve also got the housecleaning-from-hell to get done because it’s just been getting worse. The dogs have to go to the vet for the new year check-up which means baths; they’re gonna hate that. And at some point, I have to go back and do something about Nita’s book. That’s the rest of my 2022. And probably most of my 2023.

So what are you doing for the rest of the year?

66 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, December 28, 2022

  1. Someone from my writing group sent me links to two places I could send a novel to for possible publication. Which means I am getting the only “finished” novel I have out and dusting it off, as it were, to send. Deadline 12/29 – uh tomorrow Yikes.

    I moved my home office out of my bedroom to a different space in the house. This involved shifting the whole house. All the elements are in place. Now I just have to organize. Again – Yikes.

    Why are you writing less snappy, snarky patter?

    1. Thanks for all the well wishes. I got word today that one of my tanka poems is going to be published in a beautiful anthology. Nice to get the affirmation and confirmation that my efforts to be published are bearing fruit.

  2. After several years of ultra cautious socialising due to Covid, elderly (not that they admit it) parents and having stupid asthma I’m socialising more, albeit with sensible, vaccinated, non reckless people. A hideous cold felled me and many others mid spring but we’ve pushed through.

    After the coldest spring and summer that I can recall, it is finally hot. It has been warm enough to go swimming to my utter delight.

    Christmas was summery with lots of prawns, salads, ham, pineapple, devilled eggs and trifle.

    After many rescheduling and RATs pre visits, we have been feasting and simply enjoying each other’s company.

    I know a lot of folks have been masks free for a while but aside for those issues noted above a friend’s sister, only 39 with a toddler and a 9 month old, died in November, so we have been cautious about socialising.

    It’s been so lovely seeing people in person again. The future is uncertain but I’m going to grab (safely) these moments when I can.

    1. I’m just socialising with my daughter and her family, and a friend who lives alone and is pretty cautious.

      After three rounds of pneumonia in 2019, I have no confidence that Covid would give me an easy time – that, and the fact that I’m rather fond of my brain cells.

      I pick up the keys to the new place on Tuesday, so I should start packing any day now…

      1. She is in the southern hemisphere. That much I recall from earlier posts she made. Lucky lucky southern folk!!

  3. I’m working this week… and thinking about taking the decorations down while my brother is here to help. We’ve been in the coldest snap I can ever remember with a high the other day of 2 degrees. Yes… I said 2!!! My water ran for 4 nights straight to prevent the pipes from bursting and it worked… but I’m not looking forward to the utilities bill.

    Oh… did I mention I live in TN??? It’s not supposed to get this cold!

    Then I see what the people in Buffalo are dealing with and I shut my mouth!

  4. There will be no work. Absolutely none. In fact, I may call off from the day job and read all day and read because THE SEQUEL TO THE BOOK OF FIRSTS BECAME AVAILABLE YESTERDAY!!!!!

    I wasn’t expecting it and had a moment of pure panicked joy yesterday. For those so inclined, please go and read it, so we can meet back here in a week and a day to discuss!

    1. I saw it on your insta and immediately bought it. Thanks Lupe!
      Needless to say, I am currently reading it instead of doing my marking.
      I always have a big pile of marking to get through over christmas. Any excuse not to do it!

      1. The vibe is there, right? I always worry when something I love gets continued. I was worried about the full length Murderbot…

        But so far so good. I am still getting that peaceful feeling from the quiet competency. I have high hopes

    2. Thank you!
      I, too, am worried about sequels, but I loved the full length Murderbot, so I have high hopes. I read the teaser on Amazon, and so far it seems like fan service, but I’m a fan, so I’m good.

      1. I am very happy with all Murderbots, but the anxiety always creeps in with the things I love.

        So far so good with the Four Kings. But I want to be pleased, so I am biased.

        1. It really does read like an epilogue instead of a novel. There’s no real plot, just a sequence of events, so there’s no payoff at the end. I got really tired of the business discussions and the architecture discussions because there was no there there. There’s a professor who has an odd reaction but nothing ever comes of it. The boys’ parents are just like they were in the original book. Nobody changes, nothing arcs. But it is the same characters and it’s nice to see how things work out, so it wasn’t a complete waste. I wish she’d gone with a real plot; there was a lot potential for conflict there.

  5. Successfully negotiated hermit Christmas – did some gardening on the day because the forecast was iffy, and then went for a long walk in the sun on Boxing Day. Started my art exercises today: pretty rubbish so far, but I mean to stick with it in the hope of finding some stuff that’s fun for me.

    I’m vegging this week, but intend to start the big clear-out of my workroom next week. Probably by sorting out my landscape film photography, as I did with the garden stuff earlier this year. Also expecting a proof-reading job – an anthology of queer classical poetry, which I hope will be interesting.

  6. Both DH and I were exhausted on Sunday evening, and decided to revel in the release of obligations – at least for a day. I pulled out a project I had purchased several (maybe 5) years ago and started poking at that. Maybe I’ll get it done this week, since it isn’t that involved.

    My Christmas week involved finishing up 6 batches of cookies, and delivering them to the neighbors. I also made rolls twice – once for the company Christmas lunch and once for Christmas Eve dinner. 4 dozen each time – here’s what they look like rising.

    They are very tasty. My mom used to make them all the time, so it is somewhat traditional for me. When I first started going to my DH’s family Christmas, this was what I brought, so I was welcomed with open arms. 🙂

    Back to work this week, but it is somewhat slow. Hopefully I won’t fall asleep at my desk!

  7. Working Wednesday, ha! I got up at five, left a little early to negotiate roads with possible ice patches left on them, got to work, clocked in, and looked at the schedule to see my name was crossed off. Went to the back to find my co-workers astonished to see me. My boss decided to give me the day off (because of my five-day stay at work because of the weather) but forgot to tell me. (Her husband is having knee surgery today, for the _third_ time on the same knee, so she was probably even more distracted than usual.) It would have been a better day off if I’d known about it before I got to work, but I intend to enjoy the hell out of it.

    1. Glad you had a day off even if you didn’t know it until you got to work. Ouch, third time same knee op. Big guy had three ops on right knee. Last one was full knee replacement. Full range of motion, worked at the exercises. Good as new. Hopefully your bosses husband will do well. Three times getting off the pain meds too. Did he have a partial replacement or full knee replacement each time? Feel for him.

      1. I’m not sure. I know the trouble started when he fell part way down a mountain a few years ago. He’s 62 now, I think. The other knee is just fine. He still hikes a lot but he doesn’t climb mountains.

  8. Spoke with both of my sisters over the holiday. Middle sister is just getting over pneumonia and was hospitalized with it. Our younger sister also called, and she never calls. So, I got a twofer. I always thought we would become closer as we got older. Didn’t happen. At first, I missed her call and when I called back, she has this system on her phone that you would have to announce yourself before she would pick up. I didn’t think to ask if she had an older phone without digital readout.

    Today is going to be a trip to the cardiologist for my husband. He had an echocardiogram last week and when the cardiologist called with the results, he told him his heart was better than before. But still, he has breathing problems. Which means another test coming up.

    And the grandog is back. She is in rib bone heaven.

    1. Mary, just out of curiosity, has your husband had Covid? I have some minor heart problems (mitral valve prolapse, palpitations, tachycardia) and I had breathing problems in early 2020 that we thought might have been caused by them. But we did an echocardiogram and a stress test, and they looked fine. We finally decided that the “weird flu” I had in February of that year was almost certainly Covid, and that what was causing the breathing issues. Which I still have, although they’re better.

      They’ve also shown that Covid can affect the heart, so there’s that.

  9. Closing is tomorrow. Everything is proceeding. The movers will be in on Saturday morning. I originally scheduled them tomorrow, but they are paid by the hour and I won’t have the keys until noon, which would probably have tucked $400 onto the bill.


      1. Moving does suck. The dotter is anxious to put distance between her and her ex, so she might take mattresses over tomorrow and start sleeping there until she has to meet the movers. I’ve thought about buying one of those apartment refrigerators to facilitate said move.

        I wanted to say, “keep your refrigerator stuff under the carport until the refer is set up,” but of course warm southern air is scheduled starting Friday.

        For some reason, I am reminded of “The Agony and The Ecstasy” (and not just because of the title. Pope Julius II always asks, “When will you make an end?!?” and Michelangelo always replies, “When I am finished!”

        I’m ready to make an end.

  10. Had a quiet Christmas with calls from a couple of dear friends and presents a few others mailed. I’m ahead of schedule on the freelance work, which would free up time for home care if I were interested, which I’m not. Errands to run, more cooking if I want to. Books to read. It’s a sweet life.

  11. I keep thinking of big things, then I forget. Had a quiet Christmas with a friend visiting as she has for 20 years or so. We’re always quiet, but that’s our speed. Was looking forward to a visit from my nephew and his family, 3 kids, over New Years, but their plans have been wiped out by Southwest’s problems. It would have been so good to have some young people around, these young people in particular. I even had a place for them to stay next door, so no big rush to clean up. Oh, well.

  12. Am planning to make turkey tetrazzini today with leftovers, start up my AeroGarden tomorrow and then get high on gummies with hubby and friend for New Year’s Eve. The way to end the one year and usher a new one in.

  13. I have spent most of my spare time talking to the new home warranty people about my extra refrigerator quitting. I did the actual reporting of need online, but had to call to get details. I chose this company partly because I specifically asked the sales person if their call center is in the US and staffed with people who speak good English. He assured me that was the case. Not true. I tried three times before I got someone I could understand. I asked the first two to speak slowly and repeat what they had said at least twice. Some of it still sounded like gibberish. It was so frustrating. Last night, I was given a repair date of this Friday, and then the actual repair company said next Thursday. When I asked the warranty people about the discrepancy, they said they give an “estimated date” and it is a “placeholder”. The person who gave me that early date did not say it was an estimate or a placeholder.

    I was able to get most of the frozen food into the house fridge freezer section. Some of it is defrosting in the fridge and is leftover soup, which I will eat through till it’s gone. Why do these things always happen on the weekend on a long holiday? Should I get this repair done and then look for yet another company? I’m pretty sure not one of them has a call center in the US. The last person I talked to was in the Philippines. Any advice? I’m proud of myself, because I was polite, and kind, and I did not yell.

  14. I’m on vacation, so just working on crafts a lot. That’s it. Trying to finish my temperature gauge cross stitch for 2022 this week.

    Oh yeah, and I got asked to do the light board for Cabaret, so it’s tech week for that.

  15. I’m trying to sort out chapter 2 of my dissertation, but it is slow going. I feel like I’m just pulling out one sentence at a time and with great difficulty.

    Having the sequel to Firsts show up unexpectedly yesterday didn’t help. I stayed up too late reading it. I have thoughts after finishing it, but I’m going to sit with it a while before attempting a review.

    So many good books right now on the TBR pile.
    I’d rather read than write is the problem 🙂

  16. Most of what U.S. English speakers say (including people I know) sounds like gibberish over the phone.

    My home warranty company for my first house (included in the sale) was fabulous, and local to me in NC; I called a number in Durham, staffed by Durham-ites, when I needed them. The main time I needed them, when the sump pump died after the whole street was flooded when a truck wreck blocked the storm drain during a storm, I called and they asked if I would mind if someone came after five, because he lived in my small town and would be coming home from work in Durham then. He did, and it took him less than two hours to replace the pump, run to the hardware store for plastic pipe, and hand dig a trench for it so it would drain near the street instead of near the foundation. Unfortunately that was twenty-five years ago and I don’t remember their name.

    1. That would be so nice, to have a local company to call on, but I don’t think that exists, anymore. If my house wasn’t so old, with elderly appliances, plumbing, and wiring, I would forget these home warranty companies.

      Foreign languages and accents are hard to understand on a phone call, because we lip read, to some extent, and gestures also fill out the picture. If someone is reading from a script, they may be completely mispronouncing words, or running words together, which is hard to decipher on a phone call. I know Americans are lazy speakers, and leave off the ends of words, and run words together. We have multiple regional accents. Then there is the street argot that not even I understand most times. That said, I really would prefer dealing with someone who speaks the way I’m used to hearing when it’s a fraught situation. Not going to happen.

  17. I had planned to to bake cookies yesterday, but I lost the day to a food borne illness, so I’ve decided to wait a week in the hope that by that time the recipients will be less buried in leftovers. Other than that, all I’ve done is try to unsnarl my many prescriptions and try, unsuccessfully, to stay away from the Nutella.

  18. For the rest of the year, I’m eating and drinking whatever I want. I was weighed for a doctor’s appointment on December 18th: one pound over my 30 pound loss number. Okay. By January 2nd I’ll be very heavy, but I’ll take whatever the scale says and resume the diet.

    Son and daughter-in-law are here from Poland until tomorrow. Daughter and grand-cat will be staying on. Have celebrated mostly like pre-Covid days; the difference is that fewer people have been invited to gatherings and some have been absent because of sickness.

    A friend is going off for a long trip, so we have been trying to meet up extra times to make up for the upcoming separation.

    I will be ready for a quiet time after New Year’s.

  19. Apparently Stariel is currently free on kindle if you don’t already have it. This is one series I love so much I went out and bought the physical copies, in case the zombie apocalypse wipes out my ebooks.

  20. I’ve missed you all soooo much, but I’m so tired all the time I can barely manage my days. I’ve tried to keep up with Jenny’s posts a bit, but haven’t been able to read the comments. I hope you are all doing well and have a healthy, prosperous, creative 2023 ahead of you!
    Yesterday I started a new little project with my sib. Through the smart-glasses for blind people I’m beta-testing, my sib is teaching me how to crochet rag rugs. Or, the plan is that it will become a rag rug eventually. So in preparation for that I’ve also been butchering old bedsheets, sewing the strips together and roll it all up in huge balls of rag-yarn (only to discover later that one of the sheets is shedding so much threads that I’m not sure if it’s suitable for anything but the trashbin…). I hope I’ll get a hang of this crochet-business so I have something to show in *insert unspecified amount of time*.
    I want to do so many things, but just don’t have the energy. Sigh. Argh.

    1. Just take it slow Shass, you can only do what you can, take care yourself. Just take the first small step in whatever direction you choose, when you can. Also don’t worry about what you produce what you first crochet, my first crochets were lumpy, misshapen squares cause I was still learning how to count, but I sewed them together and they are the start of a small blanket that show my progress from beginner to slightly less clueless. That’s the beauty of crafts you can actually see the change

    2. Happy New Year, Shass! As a favor to yourself and to those of us here who love you, try to take it easy on yourself. You have had so many huge adjustments to make in the last few years which have all been exacerbated by the pandemic. Your body and mind have had to cope with so much that expecting them to do it on your standard amount of energy is naive. Give yourself permission be tired.

      In the mean time, you have cleaned out your linen closet,which is far more than I have accomplished lately.

    3. So happy to hear from you. “I want to do so many things but just don’t have the energy” is the story of my life. The crochet project sounds very fun. Happy New Year.

  21. I have a bunch of drawers of beetles whose label data I must enter into a spreadsheet. Side gig. Don’t ask. I am procrastinating on this very boring task, but cannot put it off forever. Darn staphylinids.

    I will visit my mom more during this last bit of the year. I went this morning ( nursing home, dementia) and she, who doesn’t react much, floored me when she raised her arms in the air and boogied briefly while I was singing her ‘Tiny Bubbles’. Then she straight on chortled.

    I will host one last holiday evening with just my dad, 83, physics prof, and my kids. He has stayed sharp while my mom disintegrated. Cognitive reserve, I guess, plus he jogged all his life, now walks 10,000 steps; likely a lesson there. Also genetics, luck. Keep moving and keep thinking and creating, everyone!

    1. When I was a parish minister, I used to sing hymns to the nursing home people, and they loved it and sang along. Music reaches people in ways that mere speech cannot. Keep singing to her! That’s wonderful!

      1. One of my former coworkers is in a music therapy practice with his sister, also a former coworker, who is a social worker. And a few other people I don’t know. They do wonderful things.

    2. When I have to do entering like that, I put on a Wagner opera over my headphones. For one thing, they’re long. And somehow it keeps my brain from being terribly bored, my concentration is on the words I’m entering, but lots of the rest of my brain is happy with the music. But it doesn’t have to be Wagner, or opera, of course. It just needs to be long-form.

    3. Taste works too, my great grandmother was a bit blank when my mum went to visit her, but then my mum fed her favourite fruit (it’s stinky, but she loves it). She sat there contently eating spoonfuls of it and then she actually recognised her and started calling my mum’s name

  22. I’m spending the week playing with fabric (two purple baby/lap quilts to piece, and the quilting can happen in January) and getting rid of stuff that weighs me down, both literally and virtually. I spent an hour today getting rid of old emails from the social and promotion folders, and I still need to check the backups of my manuscript files to complete the digital housekeeping, and then I can do some physical decluttering, for a fresh start with the new year.

    You can see the latest progress report on the two quilts here:

  23. Trying to accomplish a couple of things before the new year.-one meeting/holiday party, two emails, haircut and ‘Pixie Instructions’.

    The Pixie instructions are long over due. It’s just a detailed list of her schedule, quirks, meds, contacts like the vet and rescue, and anything else I can think of that can be used by an emergency caretaker if anything happens to me. It’ll be posted on the frig and emailed to my sisters, just in case.

    I’m looking forward to the new year. And I may buy a lottery ticket.

  24. Vegging after Christmas and Boxing Day fun. My brother came. It was good to see him and note the changes. He was always gregarious and now quiet but tracks the conversations. Visited my sister in hospital. She is doing much better. Lost a lot of fluid. Not on oxygen. Had a pep talk and hopefully she is realizing she will live longer. Talked a lot about mom and the last four years of her life which was not great; blind, wheelchair bound, fearful because she couldn’t see who was coming in her room, etc. Lorna can see, her mind intact, and can have quality of life. There were two very sad cases in the room. One broken back. One amputated leg. Hoping she comes around. I walked out of the hospital very thankful I could and into sunshine and fresh air.

    Tomorrow lunch with wonderful women. It will be joyous.

  25. I’m working on feeling better and trying to do one or two things around the house each day. Today I sat on the bed and folded clothes then put them away. Maybe in a few minutes I’ll do dishes.

    I call the drugstore where I work and my manager brought me some medicine, the pharmacist prescribed me some steroids to start tomorrow and tonight I’m going to take a muscle relaxer and go to bed early as per usual.

    The bottle depot guy will be here tomorrow and I brought up a big bag of bottles from the basement and set it on the bench in the kitchen. Then I went and sat down to rest. Butt had just hit chair when Hannah starts to freak out. I had just let them in so I was a little worried the back door hadn’t closed or had popped open so back I go to the kitchen only to discover she’s barking at the big scary bag that has suddenly appeared in her house. Nothing gets by that one.

  26. Still mostly working at watching my workmen built my new 4-season porch. Did manage to get some writing done the last couple of days, but I’m spending most of my time trying to figure out things like which flooring I want, furniture for when it’s done (which will be a crapshoot since I have to order online, my small town only has one furniture store), and the like.

    We’re heading into a thaw after the storm of last week, which is nice, but my poor fibro body doesn’t care what the drastic changes are, it just doesn’t like them.

  27. I’m in the midst of “The Great Kitchen Clearout” as a result of “The Great Mustard Disaster” at Christmas (I made homemade mustard, twice, but the mustard powder was waaaay out of date so the results were awful). There were foodstuffs in the cupboard that were more than a decade old and there were things in the refrigerator I don’t even remember buying. Things are (for now) nice and tidy.

    Next stop, the bedroom closets.

    When not housecleaning like Martha Stewart will be stopping by for a white-glove test, it’s been fetch, fetch, fetch with the puppy. She’s enjoying my time off work, but STILL doesn’t think we play enough fetch.

  28. My middle child got engaged to a wonderful woman. She is from Hawaii and they are planning to be married in a January 2024. So we will have to go to Hawaii next January. So sad to leave Minnesota for a couple of weeks in January. I would cry but my tears may freeze.

  29. Over the weekend I pulled out the corpses of last summer’s morning glories and schemed about what to put in that corner instead. Also pulled up quite a lot of random weeds and shaped up the bougainvillea (they want to be a mannerless sprawl and I want them to be a hedge).

    Did another long slog of personal/writer business as well, then on not-much-work Tuesday at Day Job got into a writing flow – 3K words on the new novella for May submission deadline.

    Yesterday I went for my annual physical; BP is fine, weight is down, and I’ve managed to open up my spine a bit so my height came in closer to 5’5″ than 5’4″. I’m counting that a win. The tallest I’ve ever been was just under 5’6″ (20 yrs ago when I was doing a lot of dancing + backward-bending yoga. Which I clearly need to re-integrate in my routine).

    Then I drove down to Orange County to see a friend I don’t see often (because Orange County. It’s technically less than 40 miles but takes about an hour via freeway, and this time I took the scenic route, so that was 1.5 hours of driving each way). I love this friend a lot but the way she lives gives me agita. I always come home feeling conflicted and guilty: want to see her more, can’t stand the house. It’s a cluttered hoard with too many animals and enough Stuff for about six adults. Sigh. Grateful that my own neuroses are trending toward Less Stuff.

Comments are closed.