84 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, March 8, 2023

  1. I grew plants. It’s a hobby.

    I switched from sleeping with a wedge on my back to no wedge, on my left side. Much more sleep, but now my ribs ache. Some things must be endured.

    I blew off shopping when the dotter said she was going and did I want anything? I remembered cheeses and ground beef but forgot the Aunt Millie’s “Live Carb Smart” Wheat bread. I still have some Pepperidge Farm very thin sliced wheat bread, so I’ just ate a bacon and Swiss sandwich with fresh lettuce for breakfast. I need more mustard, too.

    I’m still unpacking. That will be a complaint for weeks to come.

    I’m using Mobipocket Creator to generate ebooks from webcomics and the like. It’s another hobby.

    1. PF’s very thin sliced wheat bread was a significant portion of my supper last night. Eight slices significant. I’m sure that’s not what they meant for me to do with it.

      1. They meant you to enjoy it without being totally irresponsible, like eating eight slices of white bread. If you enjoyed it (and my bacon lettuce and swiss cheese sandwich was much enjoyed) then good on ya. Eight slices of PFVTSWB is not a crisis. 🙂

        1. Nothing is a crisis unless I’m allergic to it. And even then it’s not life-threatening. So far.

          1. I love your attitude. However, there are less severe bad reactions that your body can inflict that are difficult to deal with later. But one day can be overcome if you do not repeat the spree very often.

  2. I heard back from two of the set-up-your-booth-and-leave-there style shops that I applied to. I got in the one, scheduled to move in April 1, which makes me happy and am still playing phone tag with the other and trying to decide what to do about them. My hubby doesn’t want me to overbook and overwhelm myself, but I think that after the initial push, it shouldn’t be too bad. I have done so little the past couple of years that it feels weird. Good, I think, but I am going to have to relearn how to hustle.

    Sent out an email request for another show at a local business. I am trying not to get my hopes up there. It’s a long shot. But at least I am moving.

    1. As far as I can tell from watching other people do this over the last forty years, the art world never gets any more predictable. Good luck.

      1. Thanks! I really wanted to do some in person stuff to help clean out my backlog of thrifted vintage stuff. And I finally get to do it and my first thought is, I don’t have enough stuff… Which is ridiculous. Even if I sell everything right away, I will have enough to fill my little cubby several times.

        I am still going thrifting this weekend, barring snow. It’s not an addiction. I can stop any time I want.

          1. That is the joy of buying to selling. I live with the things a while, but usually they move on. It’s revolving decorating.

  3. I got to spend two hours running reports and entering the results into a government website in an effort to show why there was a three cent discrepancy between accounts (rounding issues with Excel, ultimately). Three. Cents.
    Today I get to work on drafting a lease for a commercial tenant who a) doesn’t want to pay rent without one (he’s ben month-to-month for years), and b) thinks his two line, very vague lease is acceptable.

  4. Today is my second at a new part time job (started yesterday) at a thrift store that supports a local humane society. I have been volunteering there for over a year, but they are way understaffed, so I am ramping up my efforts :). Also, it was about time for me to get a new job – I do better with a regular reason to shower and put on pants that zip! Final note- it is amazing what people will donate to a thrift shop. It ranges from bags of trash to collectibles worth hundreds of dollars. We also frequently receive items that no one can identify.

  5. Most of my efforts are aimed at the quilt show. We have judging coming up this weekend, at my place of business, since we have space and light. So, two days of intense work on my days off. 🙂 The show is the following Friday / Saturday at the NC State Fairgrounds in Raleigh – if anyone wants to make the trek!

    Other than that, DH and I spent some time last Saturday working in the yard. We went to the garden store and bought gardenias to replace the dying privet bushes that were foundation plants when the house was built. DH then pulled out – with very little effort – the two remaining privets and I started working on clearing out the chickweed that had grown up in that space. It was like “give a mouse a cookie” because I then noticed the chickweed around the rose bush – which was desperately in need of pruning – and oh, did you see the chickweed around and over the lilies? DH wants to mow – you should expose the lilies so he doesn’t mow over them – and oh yeah, there’s more weed back in the gardenia patch. After all of that, I was pretty bushed! And we didn’t get the gardenias planted, so they are nestled amongst my azalea bushes on the other side of the walk. I didn’t want them sitting out still in their pots, inviting strangers to come make off with them. Hopefully we get them planted this coming weekend!

    As for why gardenias – the previous owner was a little old lady who received plants from her kids. The front garden had, beside the azaleas, one hyacinth, one calla lily and one gardenia bush – I figure all of these were Easter gifts or something. The gardenia really enjoyed it’s spot, but was getting crowded, so when the first privet died, we moved it. Now it is vigorously growing where the privet was, so we figured the rest will enjoy the spot as well.

    1. The quilt show I went to at NC state fairgrounds (when I lived in Raleigh) had Really Bad Lighting. I hope things have improved in a quarter century.

      I have so much garden work waiting for me, and you’ve made me tired just reading.

  6. I’m starting to work on both the next Llewellyn book and a Shiny New Novel. And otherwise dealing with life being frustrating, which is just the way things are sometimes.

    Trying to count my blessings instead of doing drastic reactions that will probably blow up in my face.

  7. I went to the Texas Quilt Museum in La Grange. (You can hear the ZZTop song, can’t you?)

      1. Thumbs up!

        Spent an hour watching edited cartoons of the peanuts gang playing everything from Freebird to You’ve Got A Friend.

  8. My best thing is that I’ve started doing floor stretches and gentle twists in the mornings and late evenings, so my back and hips feels much better than they have in a while. This should not surprise me!

    This week is writing program notes for a community choir concert next month, organizing front of the house assistance for ticket taking, programs, etc., working on taxes, and starting the process for power of attorney for my parents.

  9. I am waiting for the weather to settle and be above 50º consistently, so I can get to the grass clumps by the fence, and long stems of plants in the rain garden, to cut them back. When the weather is finally like that, the bees, butterflies, and other insects will come out of hiding in the brush, and fly around. I have pruned my small trees and bushes on the nice days, recently. We’ve had rain every few days, lately, so Spring really is here. The Zoysia in the front yard is still brown, but the Bermuda in the back is starting to green up. The bunnies make their way to the strip of green every morning and night. Someone was mowing their yard when I walked two days ago!

    My pre-op appointment for the cataract surgery is tomorrow. Then it will be nearly three weeks till the actual first surgery. I have so many questions, which should be answered tomorrow. I’ve already started looking at reading glasses. I just need to know the correction to get.

    The spring wreath is on the door, and the spring silk flowers are in the milk can on top of the glass etagere. It’s a bit before Ostara, but I was really tired of those Yule decorations.

    1. You’ll need to wait until the new lens has settled in before you can get a new prescription. I bought a couple of pairs from a pound shop meanwhile, which saw me through.

  10. We will be in Amsterdam in May as part of our big vacation. We planned on staying several days so we could see the Vermeer exhibit. Then once the tickets came on sale, the website froze because of the high demand. Several days later it occurred to me that we could get in if we were friends of the Rijksmuseum. Oops too late, the demand for Friends was so high they are accepting no more memberships until after the exhibit closes. BUT after March 6 they would have a few more tickets. It has been like trying to score the first COVID vaccine. I have literally been logging in every few minutes in an effort to get onto to the site. Yesterday I finally succeeded, started to place my ticket order, hit the wrong button and got tossed off. Arrrgh. I started all over again. After another hour or so, and a lot of angst, I did it. I have two tickets for an evening show.

      1. Thank you. It would be really hard not to be thrilled to see 20 some Vermeer’s all at one time. Many of which we have not seen before.

    1. Just be careful- I had my 5th vaccine last month and still caught covid on my transcontinental voyage. I masked with a level 3 continuously on the plane except to shovel in a bit of food and water. Almost no one masking on flights anymore. In retrospect I would wear an N95. Changed the tenor of my holiday, for sure.

  11. This week I’ve re-launched one of my self-published titles with a new cover and revised text (‘Never Enough’), and signed a contract for the Renaissance festival novella (‘Our Revels Now,’ coming soon from JMS Books). 🙂

    Also got most of my passport renewal application done. Would you believe DH had to take it to the mailbox place because neither of us has a full-size stapler to attach the photograph? SMH. Once that’s done I’ll finish it up and send it out.

  12. I was supposed to be doing a readthrough of Lord Byron‘s daughter as a final edit. But due to laryngitis and lots of other stuff it’s not happening yet. I have tickets for the Kingston Trio tonight. Yesterday, Amazon Freevee posted the promo for the series that I did last year. https://youtu.be/L2bnYkvjdD0
    I am so pleased. It looks like it’s going to be a really fun show. FreeVee is a free streaming app. Among other shows, they have leverage, one of my favorites, and then they have lots of new contact, including jury duty, which is a comedy style documentary series. We shot it last January through March in a courthouse in Huntington Park, California.

    1. Lord Byron’s Daughter?! Ada Lovelace? Omg.
      I am overwhelmed with all these dangling beautiful future things to read.
      I need a cool cloth on my head.

  13. I’ve been helping my husband update his LinkedIn post and have learned that he has expertise in modern composable eCommerce search engines, and headless technology. Um….

    He’s also joined QueerTech as a mentor to young queers in technology which is super cool of him.

  14. Just working on knitting projects, pretty much. Using up some of the fancy useless yarn I got at a con. I’m going to attempt to convert one useless pattern where the gauge is totally off for the yarn it’s supposed to use after taking a class last weekend on how to convert patterns. I want to make some dresses in fingering yarn (I am NOT a sock-and-shawl person at all, the nicest yarn at cons is all fingering so that’s what I end up getting) and did one in crochet last year, but I’d like some other patterns to try too. And actually GET to doing it, you know?

    In singing lessons, my teacher had me get a “vocal straw” (.com) and I’m not sure what exactly I’m supposed to do with it beyond blow bubbles into it as strength training, apparently. She wants me to learn how to do a “patter” song and we selected “Watch What Happens” from Newsies, but seriously, she’s acting like it’s going to be the hardest thing ever. Like “you gotta do a lot of breathing exercises, I want you to listen to this app playing it in slow-mo while blowing into the straw and humming it this week….” it’s very random. Usually we just sing along to a recording and break it down individually, but this one, not even that. It’s very weird.

    1. Many years ago I planned to make a dress in a fairly thin cotton yarn, in a fancy, but not lacy, stitch. It was black. I made a swatch, and looked at how long it took me to make a two by six inch swatch, and then calculated how many square inches there were in the entire dress (I have blessedly forgotten the total) and said “Um. No. In black, too!” I still think about how nice it would have looked, but life is too short.

      1. Currently at Kia dealership waiting on my oil change / wash up.
        In writing news I am working on backstory for ghost that will be in all 3 books in my contemporary gothic romance trilogy. Lot of words that mostly won’t go in the novels but necessary.
        Job is same same. Lucky to have the paycheck. No retirement in sight.
        I began this year with intentions of tackling my weight issues so my mobility doesn’t become more of an issue. Decided to commit to vegetarian keto. Learning…
        Something to look forward to: someone from my zoom critique who has become a friend is planning to visit in 2024. He lives in Brazil so we haven’t met in person.
        Still enjoying instagram. So much less stressful than FB.
        Happy dance that Tucker Carlson is giving the voting machine manufacturer so much ammunition for their billion dollar plus lawsuit that might bring Fox news crashing down. Hope it takes Murdoch and Trump down with it!

      2. I was going to say something similar – that fingering yarns are lovely, but really thin and it will take a long time to make anything that would cover my bodice, let alone a dress. But I love it – so I’ve made a shawl or two that I will gift eventually because I too have not been a shawl person.

    2. Patter songs require that we use our air very sparingly why getting as much bang for the buck as possible. The straw helps you learn to release air slowly. Most patter songs don’t give you much chance to breathe, that’s part of the fun. Getting used to getting the edge of you breath at the end of a phrase and knowing just where you’re going to get the next breath is the skill. They have to be planned, *especially* so that when you have nerves, your training keeps it going.

  15. Caught up with medical insurance, doctor appointments scheduling and all that goes between. So I made cookies, trying out a favorite recipe with gluten free flour for my gluten allergic loved ones…….I feel really bad for my gluten intolerant family because the regular flour tastes amazing the gluten free needs some tweaking. Still a better experience and far more savory than the frustrating medical paper pushing crap.

    And I’m getting new glasses so I can read again, things are looking up ✨

  16. Wow, Jenny, you two are getting through so much work! I can’t wait to see the outcome to all this.

    I handed in a novel just before Christmas and immediately started worrying about what I was going to write next. Putting pressure on myself, which just doesn’t work for me. So I put aside the idea of the next kids’ novel, and am revising an adult novel that I started years ago and never got round to finishing because adult novels are soooo long. But I’m taking note of your comment that you treat each act as a separate book, and that is really making the whole thing much more feasible.

    The nice thing about this is that no one knows I’m writing it, so absolutely no pressure. And at some stage I’ll put it aside again and start the next kids’ book.

    1. Whoa, just looked up Museum of Thieves, looks excellent, can’t wait to read. So many distinguished authors here, just picked up the first Stinking Garlic farm mystery too. How does anyone find time to do anything BUT read?

  17. I found it incredibly hard to focus on anything last week and mostly just tried to work and then crashed after work. And then eventually I realized I had at least 9 projects on the go, of the kind that take multiple days, like paint and recarpet the empty bedroom and rent it out. News flash: that’s too many. So I picked the 5 I really need to work on this month and kicked the rest out of my brain. And now I can focus again. It’s made an amazing difference.

    1. Oh, and I have to do some of these projects with my ex because we still share ownership of the properties. So there’s me firmly only giving mindspace to my short list of projects, and he starts talking about ripping out the walls and floor in the loo. No. Just no.

  18. I am picking colors for a baby quilt for an employee and my favorite fabric store is having a sale. I’m going shopping tonight! Yay!! The baby is due in June and I have been promised baby cuddles. Double yay!!

  19. I am working on something, mostly in my head and in research reading phase, but I am really going to do it (this time!)
    It is going to be a play, a Fringe theatre play type thing perhaps, as a July birthday gift for my father, who inspired it with a slip of the tongue.
    While recently lounging about chatting with beloved family in Basel, Switzerland, prior to getting the ominous chills and heated sensation about the brow ( The Coming of Covid), the playwright Pirandello came up, as happens.
    My father dropped into the conversation “Six Authors in Search of a Character”, and looked around bemusedly as we burst out laughing.
    That struck me as having great possibilities. Presently I am thinking of drawing the six authors from The Detection Club of London of the early 20th century, several of whom were known to develop decidedly ambiguous feelings towards their main detective characters. Christie, Sayers, Allingham, Chesterton, and I figure I can throw in Conan Doyle as he was invited and would have become a member had he not died the year the club began ( although that should not have been an obstacle to him!)
    I need a sixth and am not very familiar with any of the other Detection Club members. If anyone has a suggestion…, I am considering A A Milne, who actually wrote some mysteries and certainly had some angst about exploiting his son as a character.
    On re-reading this I apologize for my pedantic tone— I will try to restrict it to the Chesterton voice in the proposed play.
    Perhaps Allingham is not as suitable- she seems to have been a cheerfully uncomplicated person who didn’t grow to hate her character. How could one dislike Campion?
    I am thinking the authors will be having a sort of spectral meeting of the Club, possibly present day? If anyone has any thoughts on this highly presumptuous planned project, I would enjoy hearing them.

    1. What about Ngaio Marsh? No idea if she had a conflicted relationship with Inspector Alleyn but….the right era.

      1. I love Ngaio Marsh. Whenever I am reading her, I feel she is the best of the Grandes Dames. Am dipping into Colour Scheme, a masterpiece, this week, actually. She was not a member of the Detection Club but I just googled and I find that she did attend as a guest when on a trip to London. This bears looking into.

        1. I don’t actually know how to write a play.
          I feel it involves iron control over word count and much slaying of darlings.

      1. Ooh ooh ooh…! I just looked her up too. When asked how she came up with the Scarlet Pimpernel, she replied “It was God’s will that I should”
        What a gem! I must have her.

      2. Ngaio Marsh was mainly into theatre. Some of her best novels involved murders during stagings of Macbeth and of Hamlet, or are about Shakespeare’s son Hamnet.
        Seriously, she is a writer that shouldn’t be missed. ‘Light Thickens’ is the Macbeth novel and it is beyond brilliant.

  20. Today is my birthday and instead of sleeping in, I had an appointment to take my non-functioning laptop to Geek Squad. So I left the house too late and missed my appointment time. One of the reasons I left late was because my brother thought I couldn’t receive international calls or texts and he couldn’t reach me through email or skype because my computer was broken. I had not answered his first call because I was in the shower and I know from previous experience that by the time I find a towel and make it into the next room, the call will have gone to voice mail. So I called my sister and asked her to call or email our brother in France that although I can’t call him on my cell phone, I can receive international calls. Unfortunately, my sister was on her way out of her house at the time and wasn’t able to email him this morning. So he was in a panic and had to be calmed down. Since I got my latest cell phone the connection on his end has been much worse and although he can call me for free, the interference with his hearing aids makes it a very unpleasant experience for him. So Skype is essential for both him and my brother with cochlear implants. But my brother who is in the same time zone doesn’t panic when he can’t reach me. The irony of it all is that while I was waiting for my second bus, I received a very clear call from a call center in the Philippines who tried to convince me that he was calling me from Medicare. Why are only the calls you don’t want easy to hear?

    Although I was late for my appointment at Geek Squad, they fit me in as soon as the next job was finished and found that the problem was relatively easy to fix. And I am now able to access the browser that has all my passwords saved. Not only that, but they did it for free! And I did not buy the computer from Best Buy.

    As a treat on my way home, I stopped at The Original Pancake House for lunch. It used up as much extra sugar as a slice of cake, but it made me feel a lot better about not having plans with anyone for tonight. Maybe even half a cake. But there are no leftovers to tempt me at home, so I don’t feel like I have sabotaged the rest of the week.

    I have a lot more on my list I need to do, like delete a few thousand emails, but now that I can use my computer again, I feel much more motivated.

    1. Happy Birthday! One senior to another. I hope you have many more, and you manage to connect to your brother, often.

      1. The return of the computer makes me VERY happy! And I will continue to celebrate my birthday for at least a few more days.

    2. It’s probably yesterday by now but very happy birthday! May your year be full of great books and may the library have them all.

      1. Thank you for all the wonderful wishes! This is a great example of why I love hanging out here.

  21. We were recently blessed with a letter from the department of revenue asking us to prove that we are senior citizens. Um! It would have been nice if anyone in the department could have looked back over 50 plus years of joint returns. Just sayin’. Anyhow, we had to make copies of documents and licences in order to get a tax credit, a credit that we’ve gotten for the past few years. Honestly, I had to get my license renewed in the midst of covid and naturally had not gotten a decent haircut in at least a year. So I thought nobody is going to look at this and then yikes.

    1. Be sure to save any reply you get from them, and make photocopies of it to attach to your return, from now on. I was audited years ago, and then pestered afterwards. I won the next round, and I kept the judgment page with the judge’s signature, case number and date. I send a copy every year, with a note explaining my situation, with my return. I have an unusual dispensation allowing exclusion of some income, from being a pastor, and most IRS workers are not familiar with it.

      1. Thank you and good to remember. The last time we had to go into Boston was about fifteen years ago only to find out that the bank had checked the wrong box on a document.

  22. I’m so, so, SO close to finishing the final draft of the book due for release in the fall. Should be done tomorrow or Friday.

    It’s taking longer than expected, in part because it’s close to 10K longer than my usual manuscripts (75K instead of 65K), and it’s the first book of a cozy series with three sisters and their significant others, so there’s a lot of characterization and setting. Plus the murder and the suspects and corpse. The rest of the books in the series, I keep telling myself, will be shorter.

  23. Finally getting around to the plants I’ve been overwintering in the house. I’ve potted a bunch of geraniums I had started from cuttings (hopefully they’ll survive the move to a larger pot) and am repotting some houseplants and have dragged some lilies out of dormancy. I have one more houseplant to go. Then I can clean up the mess on my basement floor. I don’t have to do much with the plants until they go back outside and that won’t be for another 6-8 weeks.

    I also got my haircut. And attended one meeting. Two more meetings to go.

    1. Let’s see.
      I’ve been working on getting my mom’s license suspended (check), dealing with her anger (check), showing her how to use Uber and other alternatives ( check, but options for when she wants to bring dog are limited), trying to get dog to go outside to pee without someone so she isn’t always going up and down steps (fail, as has dog trainer, because he got accidentally shocked by the electric fence. So yea, he keeps peeing inside—she is also very inconsistent in her managing him which doesn’t help), trying to persuade her to move to the local independent / assisted living facility she just got into (fail, but she’s still top of waitlist so may do it if they offer a bigger suite), assessing her health (rapidly worsening, my brother was able to brief her new doctor and new doctor to his credit is calling her back sooner and had nurse give her a medical check on phone and a warning on when to call 911), coordinating all this with three sibs the first time we have worked well together in maybe decades (amazed check) , packing up my grandmothers China and silver so my mom can get it ot of her house and various chores to make house safer (check), supporting my son through his first romantic break up (check, and he’s doing ok, but never fun to have your kid crying all weekend), supporting BF as her mom is dying in hospice by moms choice to refuse care (trying but obv can’t be much help), supporting spouse when he got stuck in Sweden on way to Nepal because passport somehow got torn (check) and as he saw his BF for first time in years after friend got through bone marrow replacement for cancer treatment (check) , catching up on planning for daughter’s commitment ceremony (check), and parttime day job (check).

      Also trying to get a decent night sleep (fail).

  24. So there was DRAMA at the drug store job last week which, fortunately, I was not around for. On Tuesday the difficult co-worker went into the store, had a screaming fight – complete with swearing and name calling on both sides – with the manager and then quit. Manager had someone in mind to replace her and he’s starting this week. Things are better now.

    I went in this past Monday and Manager and I finally got my staff discount sorted out. It’s a very serious perq of the job; I bought some allergy medicine for Fred the dog that had a shelf price of 26.99 and I paid 5.57.

    Manager also told me that if I wanted a weekday shift now and again I could have those as well.

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