30 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, April 19, 2023

  1. Most of my free time has been spent crocheting a baby blanket requested by my niece. Here’s the progress last Friday, when I was a week in.

    I’ve since turned both corners and am now in skein 4, working my way back to the end. This is the part I enjoy as each row gets done faster than the row before.

    Other than this, work is getting pretty crazy. And I’m taking time off for a quilting retreat – so yay! And I started pruning my azalea bushes this morning. More of everything to come!

  2. My brother is absolutely determined to get me to take the next step in my photography journey, as in learning how to edit less than perfect photos. So yesterday and today, I spent quite a bit of time on the phone with him (he lives in FL, I in NY) working on editing a couple of photos (one of. his, one of mine) using the iPad edit mode. It makes me tired to concentrate so much!

  3. I’m working on not taking rejections (or, as my kind agent refers to them: two agents “bowing out”) of a new cozy mystery series proposal (a “millennial cozy” — yes, that’s a thing!) personally.

    That’s a full-time job apparently, because I can’t think of any other work I’ve accomplished this week!

  4. Although not on your scale, I am donating or giving away things I’ve had for years that I no longer use. Yesterday I gifted a set of china with eight place settings and have two boxes to go to Goodwill soon. Somehow I feel lighter.

  5. I’ve been cutting out swords, crowns and pup ears for the launch of Spellhound on Saturday. The crowns and pup ears were easy, the swords were hard because we needed to use thick cardboard. But you can’t have a book launch without swords, right?

    1. Actually I thought it was: “You can’t have a book launch without stabbing someone.” I’m old-fashioned that way.

  6. Am slowly working on washing windows…some of them have not been washed since they were replaced 10 years ago! That’s a lot of cat nose marks!”

    Also buying up herbs and a tomato plant to start my deck “edible gardening” (we have deer…) I can’t plant them in the deck planters quite yet because despite having almost 90 F degree temps last week we are still subject to potential frost this week and “officially” until Mother’s day.

    My husband is getting himself organized to head off to Tanzania for three weeks the first week of May – without me this time. This had not originally been in this year’s plans. But it will allow me to do my Spring gardening and save quite a bit of money. Now if I can just get him to organize the speakers for an early fall conference so I know what date it will be, I can buy tickets to visit my daughter and family in TX in October (my payback for his African trip).

  7. I’ve been switching between typing up my notes on Lightroom, planting and sowing the allotment (plus rigging a cat barrier so I can leave my greenhouse door open on sunny days) and watching some free online Photoshop classes, the first one of which told me some really helpful things I needed to hear to get me out of my photography rut.

    I also had a productive meeting about going back to the research into lost rights of way I did twenty years ago. I was impressed with the report I write then on the obstacles I encountered: I was really on the ball. I’m passionate about access to the countryside, and hopeful I can make a contribution – although the pitfalls of twenty years ago are still lurking.

    I’ve been happier for having more to do.

  8. I am still working on the same knitting projects for months that I’ve been working on, they just don’t end. I’m doing nothing but sleeves, I want to move on with my liiiiiiiiife. I’ve gotten like five new yarn dress patterns and a map of the world pattern for a friend, but sleeves just keep on….sleeving. My cold weather sweater sleeves have been taken out twice apiece and I wanted it done by the end of March. I’ll be lucky to be done by the end of April.

    Oh yeah, and I JUST found a crochet map of the world pattern that I HAD to get for my friend who used to work in maps. When am I going to find the time to do this?!? Hahahahahah.

    Rehearsal: working on putting on a wedding, and singing “Hot N’ Cold” at it because that’s my character’s relationship. At some point I have to learn dances, not sure when that’s happening.

    Therapy: debating whether or not to have it out with someone openly or if that will just cause open warfare. So that’s fun.

    1. I have not knitted anything in years (sewing, sewing, sewing) but your sleeves rant makes me want to knit something side-to-side. I only did it once, but it was fun.

  9. No work. I played in my gardens. I be’d the bee and pollinated pepper plants, and I have hot peppers growing that look nothing like last year’s crop from seed pods of the same name. These are enormous! But there are far fewer of them. I’m looking forward to pots of Death Chili with Beans and Death Chili without Beans.

    I did some sweeping and vacuuming and washed my dishes, so I earned a shower. A long, hot shower. With shampoo and body wash and a huge fluffy bath sheet to happily finnish. ( 😀 )

  10. I’m doing this online marketing thing for indie authors that so far has been mostly an exercise in upselling (ick). But I need to understand this stuff for the book I’m releasing this summer, plus I’m recruiting beta readers on SM because all the writers I know keep getting stuck on the fact that I’m self publishing instead of trying to get an agent…sigh. It’s weirdly nerve wracking, and I’m not sure why watching videos and having people DM me to say they’re willing to read my book is stressful, but it actually is.

    1. I sometimes think the only reason I didn’t find my first 6 years of self-publishing a complete stress volcano is I basically didn’t tell anybody I was doing it. 🙂 My sister knew, and a couple of very close friends (neither of whom has ever read my stuff!), but
      I simply submarined. The very idea of trying to ‘market’ or even trying to recruit and manage beta readers was so demoralizing I just ran away from it. My lizard brain hissed ‘you are doing this to entertain yourself and the instant you try to interest other people you will cease to enjoy it.’ Which may or may not have been true, but I had plenty of other stress in my life.

      All that said, if you are still looking for beta readers I am very willing. 🙂 Feel free to email aycaluen at gmail dot com.

      1. Thank you, that is incredibly kind of you! I’m hoping to have the draft wrapped by early May, and will touch base with everyone who’s said they’re willing to make sure they’re still willing/still have time. Really appreciate it!

        I thought about not telling anyone…but everything I hear is that increasingly, you need to make your book visible if you want any readers. So I’m following the best practices, as recommended by a couple of people who’ve actually done quite well self pubbing. We’ll see how it goes.

  11. Day Job work has been low-stress again; I am mentally stockpiling this feeling to sustain me when deadlines attack.

    Writing Not-a-Job has been highly rewarding over the past week, with launch of the latest revision, turning in edits, sending out a submission, and receiving two very positive editorial reviews. There is just nothing like seeing that someone else a) got what I was trying to do and b) enjoyed it.

  12. I unpacked from my holiday, swept my floors, sprayed a room in my rental for carpet beetle (argh), paid a bunch of bills, and started to plan what else I have to do in the next few weeks. And went back to the day job. All of that left me thoroughly unenthused about working.

    But I started a new painting and reached out to a friend who’s a landscape gardener about turning my chaos into garden. Both of those are the kind of work that’ll be much more fun and satisfying.

  13. I’m working on those comments on race and ethnicity. And a grant report. And advising people in Texas on what to do now to get their state to invest in improving their census count in 2030–it’s really not too early.

    On the home front I bought probably 50 annuals to plant despite being warned that we might have a freeze this week —and now I’m getting worried about next week. So they are all staying warm in our garage and I will be able to report on planting them next week or the week after.

    But I am enjoying the lilac in bloom, the lilies of the valley, the late blooming tulips, the first iris, the backyard azaleas, and what I think are Spanish blue bells . (I need to dig into the box of plant labels to see what we planted many years ago.)

    Yeah, I should have reported this on Sunday but they weren’t in bloom then !

    We also booked lots of planes and hotels —for my husbands 40th reunion, and our daughter’s London commitment ceremony. After the ceremony we will go to Edinburgh for 5 days.

    I’m preparing the house for the reunion of our Brooklyn friends from 30 years ago, which is this weekend. And starting to plan for my 20 year old nephew to live with us for 6 weeks while he has a Senate internship. We will be leaving him alone in the house for half of it because of the reunion and London trip, so one thing I’m planning is teaching him a few simple recipes since he doesn’t know how to cook apparently and was planning to just bring in three meals a day. $$$$ . ( His father, my brother, cooks, so I can only explain this by guessing that when you have four boys it’s easier to just get dinner on the table than to teach them to cook.)

    I’m thinking we will make lots of meatballs and freeze them and he can make spaghetti with meatballs and jarred sauce. And teach him that he can buy rotisserie chicken and make chicken salads and chicken tacos as well as just eat it. And that frozen burgers can be microwaved… veggie and chicken as well as beef. But I welcome other starter recipes.

    And I’m trying to get back to planning the August commitment ceremony. I just learned a pastry shop in town makes croquembouche . I have always wanted to try one. It seems like this would be the time to do it, right ?

    1. Quesadillas, bacon and eggs, toasted cheese, sheet pan sausage or boneless chicken thighs with small potatoes and other veg, boxed Mac and cheese, frozen vegetables, I’ll stop now.

  14. I hab a code in my node. I do not, however, have COVID in my node. I took a test since I have to get my glasses fixed tomorrow (please, God of Spectacles, let them be able to be fixed, they are less than a year old) and will be breathing right in the face of one of the nice people at my optometrist’s. I will wear a mask.

    Otherwise, it’s been the day job and cleaning up the yard. Every chance I get, I’m out there attacking the ice and snow in an effort to just get it gone so the yard can dry out a bit.

  15. I called a plumber because the kitchen sink and dishwasher were backing up. He quoted me 150 to do a thorough snaking. When he came – he started the snaking but after an hour he came to me and advised that I instead allow him to go under the house and replace pipes. He said that he could continue for several hours and snake out a hole through the pipes but it would refill in a few months. So he’s coming back tomorrow with pipes and the job will cost me 400 instead of 150.

    It’s not really surprising because I haven’t had it snake since I’ve been here 4 or 5 years & the former owner never did anything preventative or sustainable so…

    Writing wise – back up
    Personality wise – I was reading about the 16 personality types and it appears I am a Mediator (INFP) introvert, intuitive, feeling , prospecting). Apparently as this type of personality typically works on 3-5 projects at once and would be better off accepting that than trying to change it.

    All that to understand why – I am working on a trilogy & writing on all 3 books at once works better for me. And I am about to start another novel. And there is a 5th project that is not one project but rather – finish a short project start on the next.

    And all of that make sense in my jungle of a brain and that’s okay.

    Bills are getting paid again this month. Not sure how I am managing but seems like I’ve been doing it forever.

    There is a niggling worry in the back of my brain about my day job. Like maybe I need to start looking for another job because of things shifting above me. But I don’t want to because I was planning to buy a house and I have eleven years at this company.


    As the late Gilda Radner / Roseanne Roseannadanna said: “It’s always something. If it’s not one thing it’s another. Either you smoke or you have a sweat ball hanging off your nose.”

    Goddess I loved her!

  16. Last week I went for my yearly check up for my tenth anniversary of being all clear. Except when the nurse took my blood pressure it was really high. So high there was talk of going next door to the hospital. Then we all calmed down when after my appointment was over my BP dropped about 50 points. So that is what I’m doing this week, taking it twice a day and if doesn’t stay down I’m to call my primary. I’m going to say this my fault because I let myself slide into having a few potato chips with lunch. Going from five chips to a handful. If I could cold turkey smoking the same can be said for potato chips and the like.

  17. I haven’t been filling dumpsters, though I have methodically been going through the boxes of stuff stored in the garage and getting rid of things. I have lots of holiday decorations from when my son was small and I used to decorate for any/all occasions, but I haven’t done that in a long time.

    I have storage shelves in the garage that hold about 20 boxes of stuff, so that’s my limiting factor for how much I can keep. The leftover stuff is going to other family members, the charity shop, or, if insanity strikes, a garage sale.

    It will be nice when I am all done and I can both easily find things and pull the car back in the garage (its spot is currently blocked by boxes. Many, many boxes).

  18. I missed Working Wednesday ironically because I was working. It’s Feed All The Plants time so I’ve been doing all the specialty stuff; rose food for roses and clematises, acid lovers for a zillion of those type, epsom salts in water for still others. Then I set up a 5-gallon bucket of compost tea to steep in the greenhouse, which I will then pour around the base of plants, followed by spreading my bags of steer manure compost. The glamor, it burns. (I’m also plotting a Beauty and the Beast retelling while I do this, gardening is great for story building time)

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