Working Wednesday, March 1, 2023

I’m working. I’m shoveling snow, bathing dogs, sorting through clothes, changing sheets, throwing out half the house . . . the usual. Also getting back into Rocky Start after two weeks of being sick as a dog, so I’m trying to be extra cooperative since I just dumped everything on Bob during that time. Turns out “extra cooperative” makes Bob extra nervous. I should have done this years ago.

What did you work on this week?

65 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, March 1, 2023

  1. Here’s hoping you feel a recharge soon!

    I think that we are all feeling the drag of winter, among other things.

    I have been obsessing about problems at the day job, which is just silly because it only makes me miserable and resolves nothing. I am going to work on finding better coping mechanisms.

    In happier news, today is the beginning of the #marchmeetthemaker challenge on Instagram and I actually did some prep work this year. Not a lot, mind you. I still don’t have a selfie for tomorrow. But more than nothing. So there.

  2. Oh, and happy first day of meteorological spring! We are going to get hammered with snow again on Friday, but I will take what I can get.

  3. This past week I multi-tasked. I wrote my dad’s obit and handed that off to my sister after lots of edits from my brother and other sister. I played handbells at church, and I collected most of the rest of the quilts for the quilt show (dang – all of this was Sunday!)

    Other than that, I’ve been slogging through my Daily February challenge. I counted up the rows I did during the month (43) and then looked at the whole piece to see how far I’d come. That 43 rows doesn’t look like much – but those rows are really long, so that does represent a lot of my time.

    It’s definitely not done yet, so I’ll need to keep going. But I’m ready to get back to sewing / quilting! I doubt I’ll start something new, since my March weekends are already spoken for, but I’ll find something to work on I’m sure.

    Oh yeah, and work. That too continues.

  4. I finished weeding & cutting back the garden. Got the greenhouse built – haven’t actually seen it with the base added, since he only finished yesterday. Hoping to finish the paths this week, and will take photos once I have. Also switched mobile phone providers and had the usual nightmare sorting everything out. Think I may have made a bad choice, but I can switch again if I have to.

    Right now I can hear my water meter being fitted. He’s insisted on fitting it inside the house, by the stopcock, which should be good: will avoid any potential leaks between there and the street, and will be easy to read.

    After eleven days, I’ve finally got a day and time out of my plumber for the boiler service. I’ve given up on the electrician (I’d like a reliable mains doorbell).

      1. Yes. I find them unreliable; that’s what I want to replace. But I do have a doorbell, and it works much of the time, which is why I keep giving up when the electrician won’t respond.

  5. I’ve booked the planes and transportation we need for our trip to England, France, and Poland in April and May. I’m continuing Duolingo — I’m over 300 days straight — and am typing up French verb charts because I have trouble memorizing the conjugations. The best part of studying French now, after having been an English teacher, is that I understand grammar. Chuckle. Who knew grammar would be useful?

    My husband and I were videotaped last week for an interview about the forest climate plan we had done for our land. The interview will be shown to foresters and prospective landowners. I did not have Hannah’s poise, but it was fun.

    I think I already told you about a friend’s memorial service.

    Diet, diet, diet. . . . . And I guess that’s everything.

    1. Elizabeth – If you’re going to Paris – Down To Earth with Zach Ephron has an episode on Paris that is all about their water. It’s amazing. I want to go there just for that!

  6. I am glad to hear you are getting back in the groove, Jenny, and continue to banter with Bob.

    On one of the nice days we had this week, I transplanted a little New Jersey Tea bush, while it was still dormant, to free up a space for the new Betula nigra that will be coming, soon. That space is just below the rain garden, and is the place where the trunk of the Mimosa lived, that died after I put in the rain garden. Mimosas don’t like their roots wet, and that killed it. I sawed it down to just a trunk. The trunk finally deteriorated, and now there’s room for the River Birch, which will be tall and picturesque, and will like having its roots near water. My son will come on the weekend and saw off the broken end of the sump pump pipe to the rain garden, so I can add the new piece and send all that water from the spring under my house into the rain garden. It’s finally warm enough for the water to flow through that long pipe without freezing.

    I bought a new finch feeder, because the bottom two holes on the old one had been enlarged by woodpeckers and Northern Flickers, and the seed was oozing out and littering my patio. That drew the Raccoons, which is not good. This one is shorter, too, so maybe I won’t bonk my head on it when I come in from the back yard, wearing a hat that obscures my vision of hanging things. I attached the string of prayer flags that were hanging from the old feeder onto the new one, just in case. I will see those, even wearing a hat.

    Today, I’m going to go get my Chiefs Super Bowl Champions Tee. You cannot live in the Kansas City area without being a visible fan of the the teams. When I was buying my house here, I saw team tees and sweatshirts on almost everyone! I just like wearing RED.

    1. Oh, good for you. River birches are so fabulous with their gorgeous bark. I live near the Chattahoochee and am surrounded by them.

      1. Thanks! Besides it being a very hardy tree, the unusual ornamental bark really appealed to me.

  7. It keeps snowing here and the weather service is predicting a late spring. Since it may take another 6 to 10 weeks for me to recover from falling on my tailbone, I’m ok with the delay. I may be able to bend over comfortably by the time we can plant outside.

    I’m baking sourdough bread today and SD discard crackers tomorrow. Also cleaning up my house as we have visitors coming for the weekend. I have a card making event at the end of the month and I’m organizing my craft supplies in preparation.

  8. Finished prepping the taxes for our accountant, which means I finally get to start writing again. Here’s to new fiction words after way too long! 😀

  9. Jenny, please continue getting better. I’m doing that – small steps. Today I coughed without a need to hold the ribs in place. No sneezes, though. Sneezes are lethal, with the pain centered in the breastbone.

    My post, A March Farm Report, published on schedule a minute after midnight. Lots of photos of different varieties of lettuce, and one spinach plant. As always, click on the pics to see the larger versions.

    I have co-owned a Ford Explorer for… has it been a month? almost?… and I have yet to sit behind the wheel. I have no desire to ever do so. I do see a need to go walkies about the neighborhood, but no need to drive anywhere.

    Time for a nap.

  10. Finished, sent off, and invoiced for the first piece of the new-to-me work. I’m kinda proud of it, given that I’d never done one like it before. Got all in place to begin the next piece. Did not get hit by a tornado, warnings for which make people around here nervous, given the Xenia 1974 tornado. Started going through piles of paper; every year it’s my Lenten discipline, because evidently I never learn.

  11. I finished writing up the informational form and registration form for 2023 Karate Camp. So glad that is all off my back. Now I can get back to editing the first draft of the June book.

  12. Shovelled and salted a path down the driveway for my neighbours, (holidaying in Mexico), and our driveway. More snow Friday. Painting the last bit around the fridge. Kitchen is toooo white. Going to paint store for some colour. Kiddos can keep their all white, all the time for their houses.

    The snowdrops are covered in snow. A rogue crocus popped up in the front garden while we were gone. Pretty yellow with a dark stripe. It’s under the snow too. Come on Spring!

  13. I caught a cold, missed a board meeting for my community chorus because I plum forgot. Or did I plumb forget? Yes, I plumb forgot. Looking into getting Power of Attorney for my parents, if they are willing. I’m just a ball of fire.

    1. It is best to be proactive until It is needed it can be a problematic. I kept the poa for my mother in the safety deposit box until it was required. It was a few years before I needed to use it.

      1. It may help your parents accept it to frame it as something that will let you pay their bills if they get hit by a car and are in the hospital. It’s really something most people need. We are updating ours now because apparently Maryland law changed. I’m not sure of all the changes but now it covers digital assets apparently.

      2. It is also good to keep a copy in plain sight (like on the side of the refrigerator) in case they are taken to the hospital in an ambulance. That way whatever hospital they are taken to cannot say that they didn’t know who to call. If you have a DNR order, it should be in there as well.

    2. Getting the legal and medical POAs set up for my parents before they were needed made all the difference in their final years. It was very hard for them to discuss end of life care before they needed it, but it gave my sister and I the ammunition to fight the bureaucrats when they tried to tell my parents what kind of retirement they wanted instead of asking them.

  14. I started disentangling my downed magnolia from my flower bed. I want enough of it out that my spring flowers can come up. It pretty much smashed some roses down too but roses are resilient. It turns out that laying down in my backyard, the tree is a lot larger than I thought it was.

  15. I really enjoyed my trip to Orlando for the Coastal Magic Con (in part because I’m pretty sure this is my last con, and so I pushed myself to get out of my comfort zone and actually stay up for the fun things that went on after 8:30 PM. Saw some friends I haven’t seen in ages and made a few new ones. (I might have fan-girled a bit over an author whose work I really like, and hadn’t met before.)

    As planned, I left early on the Sunday morning and spent a couple of days with an author friend, which was lovely. We talked about writing (and how much publishing sucks), Monday she took me to the ocean (yay!), to see manatees (woot!), and to a very cool Buddhist center with gigantic statues.

    Not as planned, there was a snow storm the night before I was flying home and things were uncertain for a bit. Also not as planned, I caught some kind of crud. Even wearing a mask on the plane, and at a masks required con. Sigh. Went to urgent care today to be tested for flu and Covid, but I’m hoping it is just a rotten cold. Negative for flu. Covid test will probably take until tomorrow. Either way, I feel like crap. Maybe I should start emailing with Bob.

  16. I hope you are feeling much better Jenny. So sorry you had such a rough time.

    I’m still working on figuring out what is up with my parathyroids, to which we added today a thyroid biopsy. 🙁 80% chance it’s benign and if not, it’s highly treatable. Still not fun.

    I’m probably about to start working on moving my mom into an independent /assisted living facility. My sister called to see where she was on the waitlist and was told they just had a spot open up and they would be calling my mom. Since my mom thought it was a 5 year wait, and my sister was previously told 1 year, that’s a surprise. So far mom hasn’t said anything so I don’t know if she will accept it (which she really needs to do).

    If she does, I’m the sibling who handles all the legal / financial side and also we need to clean out the house —and also my sisters are pushing to hold on to the house for a year, because they are not emotionally ready to give it up . (To them it’s still “home” . But they are 61 and need to accept that it’s not their home and they haven’t lived there in 40 years . One suggested a last thanksgiving and Christmas there, which would be pretty strange with most of my moms belongings having been moved and no one living there for months.)

    I’m optimistic my mom will take it because she is fed up with maintenance. The animal guy has been trying for two weeks to get out the animal making noises at night without success and is now planning a sleep over :-). I was already planning at moms request to take her silver and jewelry to keep it safe during any eventual move when I go up there next week, and I guess I will see what else I can do that has to be done by family so that mom doesn’t worry about movers.

    I’m doing a lot of planning in general —a trip to Boston in June for spouse and daughter college reunions, the commitment ceremony in London also in June, the reception in August, and it looks like we will need to go to California a week after that for an 80th birthday party.

    And of course tax prep. I’m about half way done with ours, my husband does the one for his business, DS got his ready for the accountant with my helping interpret some stuff, and I have a call scheduled with DD to start teaching her how to do hers—until now I just asked her for stuff .

    That just leaves my mom’s and my dad’s trust, which she mostly does herself, and our foster daughter , who messed up her estimated taxes last year and announced our system (meaning working with our accountant) wasn’t working for her and she would do her own. This scares me. She screwed up her own in the past. Her strength is policy not numbers ….

    Preparing six sets of taxes is really more than any non accountant should have to do.

    And then the part time day job….

    1. If you do keep your mother’s house for a period of time after she moves out, you might need to buy a vacant house policy. We had to that after our tenant moved out and my husband was renovating a property to sell it. That plus property tax plus upkeep seems like a lot of expense for sentimentality, depending upon how your mom’s finances are and what her facility will cost. Maybe that’s a way to dissuade your siblings?

      1. Particularly since assisted living isn’t cheap. A few months to help everyone divvy up things and say good bye is one thing, but keeping it just so they don’t have to start a new holiday tradition? That is an awfully self-indulgent and expensive. And if their Mom has to go into a nursing home, Medicare only pays for a few weeks.

    2. My family is an expert in “holding on to a house for emotional reasons”. It was years after our mom died before the house was finally sold. On the plus side, it more than doubled in value during the time we held on to it, so there’s that.

      It did feel like selling the house broke the last link that kept us all together, even though few (if any?) of my siblings had gone to the house in years.

      1. Fortunately legally I don’t have to persuade my sisters. It’s my and my mom’s decision as co trustees of my dads trust. And my mom will agree that it’s a ridiculous waste of money because she is a depression baby. But I am the one who my sisters will blame ….

        Nancy thanks for the heads up on the insurance policy. You and Aunt Snack are both correct that is really expensive for sentimentality.

        And if I have to I can always claim it’s a violation of my fiduciary duty to waste the money ….

        1. Er,
          That if I waste the money like that it’s a violation of my fiduciary duty.
          Not that I have a fiduciary duty to waste the money.

  17. Am annoyed about two different calls yesterday where I was invited on the call by the client specifically to talk about my area of expertise and then whenever I was asked a question the male (add emphasis) project manager would answer for me. Two different project managers. I wondered grimly out loud in front of my husband about why this happens and he said: “I will explain it to you.” He thinks he’s very funny.

    1. Grrr. I’m so sorry. This is where two women on a call can make a point of supporting eachother but when it’s one you are stuck.
      Too bad the client didn’t say “I would really like to hear from Tammy”…

      1. Yeah well the clients were both men too. I had to interrupt both times to finally be heard. And I had to contract the project manager in one case, which is never a good idea.

        1. I had to correct someone at work yesterday too, which got me lots of sulking. Argh. I was nice about it, I swear. It’s not a personal insult. It was just WRONG and going to cause more problems down the line. Argh.

          1. I just don’t know why this even happens. I don’t get on the call and answer questions about project management. I know nothing about project management. So why are they answering questions aimed toward me? It’s not like I’m shy and retiring or hesitant to jump in. I don’t even clear my throat before I speak. Mutter mutter.

    2. I’m far enough in my career that when things like that happen, I’ve been known to say something like, “thanks Bob; anything else you’d like to answer for me?”

      Generally, they hem and haw and say “oh, I didn’t mean to”, but it usually keeps them in check for a bit.

      Of course it also gets me labeled as bossy and other “b” words, so there’s that.

      1. Tammy, I don’t think they even register that they are doing it. They just assume that of course all questions are for them.
        May I ask how old they were ? I find older men are particularly bad about it….

        1. That’s actually quite insightful, Deborah. One was in their 40’s and one in their 50’s.

  18. I’m getting ready to fly to Ft. Worth tomorrow to coach kids in a national youth fencing tournament. We targeted this one in the fall and told all the parents that this would be the one to go to and we would be sending coaches, but the parents picked other events to send their kids to, large regional events to be sure, so only five kids are going to Ft. Worth. It was most likely scheduling difficulties for the kids parents. One of the kids I thought would be going has cello camp, etc.

    Now we’re entering the busy spring tournament season. Over the next 8 weeks we’ll have five major tournaments, two National and three regional.

    1. I wonder Gary. Since you clearly are a fencing expert, do you get very frustrated by sword fight scenes in novels and conversely, are there authors who get it right?

  19. Besides shoveling snow and doing household chores like laundry and getting groceries, I made myself go for several walks and spent quality time with my remaining cat. He likes to curl up in my lap except when the furnace is running and then he sits directly in front of the heat vent and lets the warm air flow over him.

    Today I got ambitious and made elderberry syrup, which is supposed to help bolster the immune system.

  20. Yup, I got covid. Shoulda known better than to travel, still not safe I guess. However my efficient sis-in-law went out and got me these effevescent tablets of paracetamol/pseudephedrine/ dextromophan/ vit C — they are The Bomb! Plop, plop, fizz, fizz, no more chills and coughing fits.

  21. Threw together some nutella cookies ( 1 egg, 1 cup nutella, 1 cup flour; 350 oven for 10 minutes). They turned out really well.

    Lost one of my favorite simple afghan crochet patterns. Yoday I went through my files and found the original. Yay!

    Hope everyone feels better soon. It’s time for ‘nothing but good times ahead”.

  22. Did some stuff for Rare Disease Day (last day of Feb) yesterday and Monday, but mostly I’ve been chugging along on the final draft of a cozy mystery coming out in the late fall. I’m in the last act, picking up the pace, anxious to get it DONE, but also hitting scenes that are nothing but notes like “insert scene here where X happens.” Sigh. The latest of those scenes has now been written and X has happened. Hoping there won’t be too many more of them! There’s only 3 scenes left according to my outline, but I suspect there’s more than that and I just didn’t update the outline during the previous draft.

    Also binged several episodes of ASTRID (on PBS, online through my local station’s members-only access), which is sort of what the tv show MONK would have been if it were a more serious presentation of an autistic detective, and a serious police procedural rather than mostly a comedy. Really interesting character with mannerisms that are true to the one person I know who is severely autistic. In French with subtitles, and I also enjoy hearing the French, which I’m not fluent enough to understand without the titles, but with the titles as a crutch, I can recognize a lot of the non-technical (police procedure or medical) words.

    1. I’m definitely not qualified to say how true to life the portrayal of Astrid as on the spectrum is but I liked Astrid and I enjoyed the cameraderie between the two female characters. I had questions about the legal aspects of certain things, lol. But I still liked the show enough that I’m looking forward to the next season to appear on PBS. Was Monk definitely supposed to be on the spectrum? That’s interesting! I thought Monk just had OCD issues? I didn’t watch Monk so, if you did, you definitely know better than I! Did you watch Annika too? It was running on PBS at around the same time. I like the actor who plays Annika, but I had questions about a lot of things! One of them being Annika dating her daughter’s therapist. Ugh.

    2. Netflix has added the French version of a police series 19-2. In French with English subtitles. I saw the English version a couple of years ago. It is the same story line. It makes me wonder when a call goes into the call center does Quebec/Montreal use two languages to respond. Are the police bilingual?

      1. Hi Mary, No most police in Quebec are not bilingual, although some are in Montreal. Otherwise it’s a rare attribute. They do try to get 911 operators who can function in English. Catch as catch can. Quebec is a unilingual province. English is a privilege.

        1. Thank you, and I forgot to mention that the actors are different in each series with the exception of one playing his part in both the French and English versions, so far.

  23. I have paid bills, attended to this month’s advertising, almost finished the text revision for next self-published relaunch, written another 2K words on the holiday novelette that is not due to submit till Sept 30, done a sort of developmental edit commentvomit (it was solicited!) for my new work writing friend’s languishing WIP, and sorted out about twenty more books to divest, which led to modest rearrangement of all four bookcases. Yep.

  24. We’ve just done the paperwork for moving our mortgage to a different bank at a much better interest rate. The new bank wanted to know alllllll about our spending, which was a bit ugh. Now we just hope they accept it all.

    And I put down a deposit on a second hand electric car. I’m excited!

  25. Carpet is not meant to be a permanent fixture. There is no reason to use 10-12 inch long, and very narrow, staples per, fairly small, stair step. Not mention the random extras scattered around.
    Working on pulling staples. And being grateful that the carpet in bedrooms was installed by someone who used staples that are wide enough to allow the use of a staple remover.
    Great tool, a staple remover, at least once I bought a good one. The first kept bending and was difficult to use on tight staple. The second, £6 pounds more, and looking almost identical is much, much easier to use and hasn’t bent at all. Not even on the really irritating stair staples.

  26. I work 5 days at the drug store this month and I’m trying to get focused enough to get more minutes in at the day job. That’s a lot. Stupid post-COVID busted attention span.

    We paid for the last bits of the cruise on Friday which was nice.

    It’s cold and snowy and going to be that way for probably 8 more weeks. Sigh. I did stock up on vitamin D when we were in Edmonton last weekend.

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