Working Wednesday, February 8, 2023

I’m behind on everything, including working, but I’m sure you all have been doing marvelous things. So, give.

What did you work on this week?

106 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, February 8, 2023

  1. Rainy and cold here in Spain and I’ve reread, after a 20 year break, what the Lady Wants and Welcome to Temptation.
    They made me laugh out loud. Perfect pick me up reading.
    Would recommend Still Life by Sarah Winman for anyone who loves a good read.

  2. Marvelous? Eh.
    How about satisfying? Yesterday I unscrewed many screws with my new, delightful, electric screwdriver. Now I have a pile of dirty cabinet doors, really filthy hinges and some suprisingly decent knobs. Not to mention I have a pile of the fittings for blinds and curtain poles. And many screws.
    This will make today’s wiping out of the cabinets much easier, faster.
    Unless I let the sunshine lure me to fun out. I’m actually torn. Who have thought I’d ever look forward to cleaning cabinets. Or to finding more things to unscrew.

    1. Cabinet knobs, that’s one of the things I was looking at this week. The closer I look the grungier they appear. And all it will take is to unscrew them and soak for a bit, dry and replace them. Actually that sounds like a plan while the knobs are soaking I can clean the cabinet doors without banging into a knob.

      1. Well, I started on the cabinet knobs and did six, after soaking for an hour I’m trying this solution. I took them all off and put them in utility baskets that I bought at the $1.25 store and placed them in the dishwasher. Just have to wait and see if they are any cleaner. There are 26 knobs.

    2. I always thought it was cool that you could stew hardware in an old crockpot and get rid of paint, etc., that way. Of course, you won’t be able to use that crockpot for anything else but cleaning hardware. But it sure saves on elbow grease.

    3. When we cast over our house to a much-needed and lightening redo to our (turns out) gifted interior designer, she gave us (with our approval) All The Handles and Knobs that are now outstanding jewels of the house.

  3. I’m going to enjoy NOT working at my job the rest of the week… but will be working on reorganizing my house. Wish me luck!

  4. I have been failing miserably at Daily February, which is odd because I am usually quite good at it.

    But the hubby found a Bissell upholstery cleaner at Goodwill. It needed a new hose and because he is Mr Fix it, he fixed it. I love it. We did the couch and the mattresses and then I took it to my dad’s and did his chairs. I can’t wait to my car in the spring.

    And today is my birthday, so I dressed up and went out with friends last night. Really good Thai food, plus I rescued a pair of heels from hibernation. It was lovely.

        1. Aquarians are creative, thoughtful and reflective, as well as fun. My first true love was an Aquarian. He played guitar.

    1. What is Daily February? I must have missed the first reference to this. I did see a reference to Pliny the Elder’s mantra in the J. Peterman catalog, of all places, yesterday: “Nulla dies sine linea.” It means “Not a day without a line.” He said it in honor of Apelles, the Greek painter who never went a day without drawing at least one line. Is that it?

      1. Every year a fellow argher (Lee Thompson?) hosts an instagram challenge to pick a project or some such and do it every day. And we post about it on the gram under the hashtag #dailyfeb2023. It’s been running for some years now.

        1. And the “rules”:
          – Low bar – easy to do
          – Clearly defined (e.g., in past years I’ve done one index card collage a day)
          – Quantity, not quality

          I’m behind this year (one monoprint a day) but we’ll see.

          1. Oh, yes, but his prices have gone way up. I used to be able to afford some things, like T shirts, but there are very few things I can afford, now. I still enjoy reading the descriptions, though.

          2. I may have to try to get them sent to me. I have never ordered anything, but I used to use the descriptions as prompts.

    2. I started DailyFeb, but then my bad knee started to act up (unrelated to DailyFeb), and it needs rest, so I’m taking a few days off. Hope to get back to it this weekend.

    3. Well, have a super happy birthday, Lupe! And just think, five years from now you’ll be celebrating on 2/8/28 — sounds like good omen time to me. 🙂

  5. I’m feeling unproductive, but I’ve got some gardening done. It’s challenging at the moment – the garden’s still almost totally in shade, so I have to work at the allotment to catch any sun, but the soil there is more claggy. Still, I’ve managed to tame half the passionflower at home, get more salad stuff going and finish weeding the allotment as well as make a new comfrey bed and start some seeds that need a cold spell. I’ve just found a cheaper source of chipped bark, so will be off there after lunch, and will take it plus all my saved cardboard to the plot tomorrow, to mulch my fruit trees and cover some paths (I want to get the greenhouse built before putting bark along the main paths).

    I’m really looking forward to having bark down; I remember how it transformed the garden at the cottage when I finally treated myself to it.

    1. Saved cardboard? Do you just put the cardboard down like huge stepping stones onto the path and around the trees? Like a dummy, I’ve been recycling my cardboard. Two days ago it was nice enough to get into the “back forty” and see what was happening there. Mostly mud was happening there. I had to soak the soles of my shoes on a tray to get the mud to “melt” off, and then use a nail to gouge it out of the various traction islands. That soil isn’t very good, either. So, I could just lay cardboard there and not get mud on my soles? That’s brilliant!!!! Way to go, Jane!

      1. Well, not quite that simple. First, if soil is sticking to your boots in a big way, it’s too wet to be workable – better to wait until it dries out a bit. On my clay soil, it’s amazing the difference I’ve made by digging out the paths by a few inches and heaping the soil onto the beds either side. Those beds are where I’ve been happily weeding this week, but this morning I wanted to weed a path I hadn’t yet covered, and the difference was dramatic.

        You can’t just put cardboard down by itself – it blows away. I’m going to use it as an underlay for my narrower paths, and cover it with a couple of inches of bark. I’ll do the same to make a metre square free of competition around the base of each of my fruit trees.

        I should end up with bark paths between slightly raised beds, max 4ft wide so you can reach the middle from the paths, which will keep my feet mud-free and the soil not compacted. It also reduces the area I need to keep weed-free, and means I can concentrate on mulching and improving just the areas where I’m growing things.

        1. Thanks so much for explaining that to me! It makes perfect sense. I also have some large rocks I could use to keep the cardboard down. It’s actually too early to plant, here, so I was just scoping things out.

          1. The cardboard’s really to suppress weeds, although it’ll rot down within a year. It makes the bark last a bit longer, and may discourage some weeds from returning. It’ll all eventually compost down, so you have to top up the bark every so often. Woven plastic geotextile membrane lasts longer, but of course it’s plastic, so best avoided if possible. I’ve used some I had plus some carpet remnants to make a tougher underlay for my main paths.

          2. We’ve had good results from lying wet cardboard around baby trees and putting a good layer of mulch on top. Wetting the cardboard first meant it didn’t stop water from getting to the trees.

    2. Yes, that’s how I structure my paths on clay soil too, Jane. Good gardening! And the buildup of sort-of topsoil in the nearby beds is a bonus.

  6. Ha. I am still hardly getting any work done, but the good news is that my contractors should be done with their part of the 4-season porch today, then I’ll have a couple of days with the electrician, and then I will just have to decorate it. Here’s what it looks like so far (without the baseboard or electric).

    I’m also being distracted by a major crisis at The Artisans’ Guild, the cooperative shop I ran for 22 years until last March. The woman who replaced me as manager has already quit, and Ellie, the friend who co-founded and ran the shop with me, is completely overwhelmed. So I’m trying to help out as much as I can, without actually taking my job back, which I have no desire to do. Frustratingly, one of the most annoying things I’m coming up against is trying to find a printable calendar that we can put the work shifts onto (5 different shifts a day). I used to use an ancient program called Home Publisher, which would let you copy and paste the info from one day to another. Everything I can find now is online and only wants to let you put one or two appointments. Argh.

    1. When I was working with the local artists’ association, we used Google Calendar, which is quite printable, in case you haven’t already given that a try.
      Such a pain, managing artists. It can make you forget you are one yourself.

  7. My goals are greatly reduced for February. Today I managed to roll out of bed without screaming in mingled rage and fear* for the ribs. Did it hurt? Yes, but more achy than spikey. I hit 2 liters on the Spirometer (for the first time) when I did my ten rep breathing exercises.

    I own a pair of pajamas. One pair. I’ve been wearing the tops to bed all week. I don’t recall ever previously wearing the bottoms. I think they came from a Big & Tall shop. Anyway, I cut four inches off the legs and I’m wearing them now. Vertical grey stripes. Looks like prisonwear.

    I am happily modifying the Access database for my diet. I added fields to a table to track blood pressure, heart rate, and fasting glucose. Which last was 67 this morning, so I ate a cookie.

    The gardens are sprouting lettuce and spinach. I foresee salads.

    * When I was in Navy Nuclear Power School, it was considered amusing to preface answers to “What are the immediate and supplementary actions for fire/flooding/reactor scram/chlorides in the condensate?” with “Screaming in mingled rage and fear, I do the following:” followed by the appropriate steps to combat the casualty. My worst casualty yesterday was a sudden sneeze that was painful in the extreme.

        1. Click on Gary’s name and you see them. Very scary, though nice to see the crumple zone did its job!

    1. Screaming with mingled rage and fear happens a lot at the kennel/vet clinic.

      Your database sounds fun.

    2. Congratulations on the improved ribs and lungs! May your recovery continue to pick up speed!

  8. I was unbelievably busy yesterday, for me. I booked a round trip flight to Phoenix in April with accumulated points, and notified all the relevant parties. Then I went to a consultation with the Cataract Surgeon and learned that there are many choices available to me, and the one I had thought to use may not be the best one. The”best” one for me, possibly, would cost over $2,500 per eye! When I add the copay on my insurance, and the post-op eye drops and antibiotic wash for the surgical site that Medicare doesn’t pay for, it would cost me nearly $6,000 for both eyes, in the space of two weeks!! I have savings, but do I want to decimate them like that? It would take at least two years to replace that amount. Barring any serious emergencies, that would be OK. But, at my age, life is unpredictable. So- big decision ahead. I have four weeks to decide.

    It’s nice enough to walk again, and I changed my route so that a steep hill isn’t the first thing I tackle, and things went much better, plus I added enough feet to make it 2 miles. It will be getting colder again, but spring is in sight. Yay!

    1. My mother in law chose the cheaper option and was very happy with the results of her surgery. Ideally, the bifocal lenses would probably have suited her better, as she is a quilter, but she has had no complaints. She too balked at the ticket price.

      1. I’m dubious about bifocal lenses, as I said the other day. I find simple reading glasses much more relaxing, since you can read comfortably at any angle. And my prescription for them, and for varifocals, is minimal in comparison to the really strong corrections I needed before. So my glasses are quite attractive, since my eyes still look their natural size through them. (Even with anti-reflective coatings, it used to be like looking through a glass tunnel at bizarrely small eyes.)

          1. They have three corrections, rather than the two of bifocals. Top for distance, centre for arm’s length (e.g., computer screen) and bottom for reading. However each area is quite small (unlike bifocals), and you have to move your head rather than your eyes, to ensure you’re looking through the right bit. They do save switching glasses, though.

          2. PS. The areas were especially constrained when I had a strong prescription, pre-cataract; probably not as tight now – but I got used to having dedicated glasses. And it’s annoying that I have to dip my chin, a la Princess Di, in order to get the full distance correction (they were obviously not fitted correctly, but the distance correction is so minor, I didn’t recognize the problem for a while).

  9. A blurry week with around the house accomplishments. Sorting all our downstairs sheets when we only have a twin and a full. We don’t need 15 top sheets and for some reason, only one twin fitted.
    But apparently the Salvation Army takes sheets in good condition, and that’s one chest of drawers unstuffed.

    1. Our local ASPCA takes all sorts of blankets and bedding. Maybe yours will take the more worn stuff?

      1. One of our charity shops used to sell their assorted bags of stuff to the rag & bone man, so ask around just in case

  10. I’ve managed to keep up with daily February, but only by the skin of my teeth. I’ve been working one row a day on my mosaic crochet blanket. If you look through the back pictures you can see the progression.

    I’ve also been working on various quilty things. I’ve gotten my window quilt sandwiched, and started quilting it. I still need to figure out how to quilt the actual woodland scene. And I’ve been putting binding on my turquoise quilt.

    The biggest thing I did was prep work for our Quilt Show. I’m in charge of registration and intake, so after we closed registration, I had to review all the entries, make any changes, split categories, assign numbers and email the registrants with that information. We start doing quilt intake next week, in preparation for the show in mid-March. (And my own quilts need to be done by then!)

    1. Where is the quilt show? If it’s anywhere near me I would love to see your work in person

    2. You did mosaic! (she says in awe) it’s on my list of stuff I want to do, when I’ve cleared some UFOs, right up there with my vow not to buy more wool until I’ve actually used up some of the hoard, any, one ball of wool even

      1. I’m doing Tinna’s version of mosaic (you can google her, or look her up in Ravelry). I find I hold the position of my hand a little differently when I do mosaic than when I just do regular crochet. She does have some great tutorials you can watch.

  11. The last thing I did for #DailyFeb before my knee demanded bed rest was to finish piecing a lap/baby quilt.

    Glad I got that done, now to layer/quilt/bind it and the other purple one and then decide which is a baby quilt and which is an auction quilt. I was going to let the baby’s mother decide, but she’s left it to me.

  12. They came to put new cabinets and flooring in my kitchen and bathroom on Monday and now I have to unpack every thing, wash the newsprint off of it and put it back. The only problem is that I don’t remember where some of the stuff goes and the new cabinets hold slightly less than the old ones. I also misplaced the the bag that held my most often used utensils and wasted what seemed like a lot of time before I found them.

    The floors are faux wood grain laminate, which I like, but also gray. I don’t mind the color for the floors, but the gray cabinets just suck all the light out of the room.

    I absolutely adore the new light fixtures and the medicine cabinet. It is twice the size of the old one and lined with mirrors, which makes the room seem larger. This is a good thing, because the vanity takes up a lot of floor space, which makes the room feel more cramped. And the new light is a lot brighter which really cheers me up. My cataracts are slowly getting worse and I appreciate brighter light very much. The only trouble is that I cannot reach the new light fixtures to change the bulbs when they burn out. I just hope these LED bulbs last as long as advertised.

    I warned the installers about the slope of the floor and that they would have to put something under the toilet to keep it from shifting, but they didn’t stabilize it enough. So the new toilet moves when you shift your weight, but half as much as the old one did.

    1. Could you add some yellow to the kitchen? Even tea towels hanging up; or perhaps a sunny poster? I sympathise re the depressing colour. When I was house-hunting, all the ones that had been done up recently were in the most depressing dead neutrals – grey, white or greige. Bring back colour!

      1. We’ll see what it looks like after they replace the stove and refrigerator. As the room is now there are cabinets, the sink and the refrigerator on one side, a large window on the second, the stove and the fire escape door on the third side and the entry to the dining room on the fourth. And I usually keep the blinds over the window closed because the facing building is close enough that it feels like the neighbors can see the whole flat, which they can’t, but it is a lot closer than at my previous abodes. There is a space on the wall next to the door to the dining room, but when I open the back door I roll my maple cart over underneath the only spot big enough for a poster. I’m afraid that when I push my cart into the wall it would knock the picture off the wall.
        The other problem is that there is no exhaust fan over the stove so all the grease goes up and deposits itself on whatever is close to the stove. We’ll see what they install over the stove and how effective the exhaust system is, if there actually is one, before I decide whether to put anything on the wall. Maybe I can put some small unframed stuff on the cabinets.

        1. Maybe colorful blinds since you keep them down all the time anyway ? And then matching towels and potholders?

          1. The blinds belong to the landlord, so the only way I could paint them is to pay for them. I am used to restaurant kitchens and much more concerned with how things function than how they look. I often think matched sets of pots and pans are frustrating because different materials work better for different types of pans. So I think if I insisted on matching towels and hot pads hanging around staying clean, my sister might start checking for signs that I had been possessed. But maybe a poster in a washable plastic case would work.

          2. How about hanging some thin bright fabric in front of the blinds? If it got grubby you could take it down and wash it.

        2. Roll the blinds up and put large potted plants in the light, maybe some hanging pots too. Possibly you won’t feel so scrutinized.

  13. Instead of working I am preparing for a loooonnnng weekend in Palm Springs by getting a pedicure. Picking the brightest most neon shade I can find. Take that, winter!

  14. The cabinets doors/drawer fronts freshly painted, yes, white, were reinstalled on Monday. Love it. So bright. Lots of colour with yellow or blue hand towels. I’m cleaning and putting things back too. The sun is shining. Another walk later today.

  15. Had an appointment today with a social wellfare officer at the association for blind and visually impared people where we also get help with mobility training and such. Long talk short: We concluded that she’d send in an application for home-help service for us, and another one to a place called BuddyNet to try to find someone who can help me get out on walks or bike rides or something more frequently than MIL can manage. We keep crashing into my energy-issues and no one seems to find an answer on the whys and IF there is a solution, but hopefully some help around the house will make a difference. The turnaround time for everything is nuts right now though, so we’ll have to be patient and plod on best we can in the meantime.

    Yesterday, when I was cuddling Matcha (the black&white cat), I felt a lump under her chin that looked really odd. It didn’t seem to bother her at all, so I decided to wait and see if it’d stay the same size or change in the coming days. This morning, I found another one beside it. we decided we’d better have a vet check it out after all. So, Sven called and got an appointment for tomorrow with a vet that makes house-calls. (I’m hoping for a James Herriot-kind of vet!) Good thing too, for I found a third lump behind Matcha’s ear about an hour ago, and it definitely wasn’t there yesterday. Or this morning for that matter. I suppose it could just be fatty lumps, or an allergic reaction to something, but since we don’t know for sure, and two of them sit under her chin, close to her throat, a vet better look at it. Imagine the horror if they grow and obstruct her windpipe or something. The nightmare…
    Anyway, Matcha doesn’t really seem to be bothered by the lumps and eats and drinks as normal, so I’ll take that as a good sign. Triple, her calico sister, is doing fine. No lumps there. Whew.

    1. It’s common for cats to get acne on their chins, but the lump on the ear doesn’t sound like acne! Fingers crossed the vet says it’s something simple to deal with.

    2. What Gin says – the acne manifests itself as bumps on the underside of the chin. My vet recommended avoiding plastic feeding bowls which apparently exacerbate the situation.

      As for the ear, I have no idea what that might be.

    3. I was thinking swollen glands. We had a cat with gland swelling similar to that, and it was an infection that was easily treated with antibiotics.

  16. I am now knitting a zig-zag patterned scarf with sock weight yarn. It is taking FOREVER but is so soothing and therapeutic.

    That’s exactly what I need after going roller skating and falling on my backside like a sack of potatoes. I don’t think anything is broken but my back is still painful over a week after I fell, and I can’t walk as quickly as I normally do. I’m pottering around putting some of my mum’s clothes on Vinted to sell, but other than that just working three days a week and taking it easy the rest of the time. I’m going to steer clear of roller skating for a while, I think.

      1. I’m not sure if it’s only available in the UK, but it’s an app/website where you can buy and sell clothes, plus books and homeware as well as a couple of other categories I have yet to explore. I find it much easier to use than eBay and so far items I’ve listed have sold quickly.

        1. Thanks! I have tried Depop and Mercari in addition to Poshmark. I am looking for a good subtitute for Etsy.

  17. I have been generally blah all year so far, and also off work sick for the past week, so haven’t gotten much done. But yesterday I took all the rubbish and the recycling downstairs and didn’t have to lie down after I came back upstairs. Today I’ll try folding some laundry. Baby steps. The one fun thing I have done this week is rearrange my pots on the balcony, rip out all the bolted lettuce, and sow some more interesting leaves in their place. Next up will be possum proofing, the little buggers are eating my rhubarb.

  18. I have organized four bags of stuff for the next Goodwill donation run. Need to page through two more Big Picture Books intended for that collection – often now I take a picture of a nice picture and that’s enough, vs keeping a three-pound book around.

    Last weekend’s yardkeeping amounted to no more than an hour of pulling weeds from my backyard wildflower patch. Crossing fingers for my own private superbloom: sage, nasturtium, blue flax, and poppies are taking over (with my connivance).

    I am about 2000 words away from finishing the first draft of the book-in-progress. This one is targeted for a specifically-themed submission call with an April 30 deadline and I had a moment of thinking ‘I will not get this done in time.’ Then I had a 18,000-word writing week and, yeah. 🙂

      1. During the house reorg we took down all the pictures. Liz got all of them rehung and I like the house better.
        I have been dealing with paperwok crap for days. Not sure when that will finish.
        Last night we discovered a Downton Abbey we didn’t know existed. A movie called the New Era. It was really good.

  19. I’m rehearsing for auditioning for Avenue Q this weekend. I’m doing “Lost in the Brass” from a musical called “Band Geeks” and “Adelaide’s Lament.” I hope it goes well. I know wanting to actually get into the show at all is way too much of a stretch for me with my lack of talent and it’s not a show that takes extra people to fill in the background, but at least the songs are going well per my singing teacher (who is also auditioning for the lead), and at least I get to audition for one of my favorite shows, so there’s that. That’s far more of a dream than I can ever hope for, really.

    In other news, I knit a tank top in less than two weeks (other than blocking it) for my Halloween costume, which I’m happy about, and I cast on for another project.

    1. Remember half the battle is getting up the nerve to audition, once you’ve managed that you’ve already won. Also I love Avenue Q, it is the only show I ever watched a puppet on stage and thought wow, they did her hairstyle change really quick, till the light dawned, that is how deep I was immersed in the show

  20. We got a new washing machine. Our old one died a month ago while we had Covid. This one has fewer bells and whistles then the last one, but I never used them anyway. I am fully appreciating the miracle that is doing laundry in our home.

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