69 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, July 5, 2023

  1. “I have a giant POD in my driveway. Guess what I’m doing this week?”

    Shucking it for the peas?

    For me, it’s time to reorganize my drives again! My memory is still good enough to recall when a box of ten 5-1/4″ floppy discs was more than enough for my needs. Then I got bigger needs. 3-1/2 discs. Rewritable CDs. Rewritable DVDs. Portable hard drives, up to 2 terabytes (and I filled one!) 64 Gb thumb drives.

    My confuser has a 277 GB hard drive, with 40 GB Free. The \DOCUMENTS directory alone, home of all my eBooks and compressed files, runs 75 GB. \MUSIC directory is another 20 GB, most of it audiobooks. \VIDEO directory is another 20 GB.

    That should keep me busy for a few hours, anyway.

  2. This past extended weekend was filled with sweat – mostly by DH as he reconstructs the rotted portion of our deck. I’m on hand for runs to the hardware store. Otherwise, I’m trying to keep him hydrated.

    While I’m waiting the next supply run, I’ve been working on cutting the pieces for a mystery quilt that my friend designed for our group. “Cut 580 1 1/2 inch squares of color 2 light”. That was just one of the 7 different cutting instructions for the lightest of my color 2 fabrics. (It’s “technically” a 2 color quilt, with four shades of each color, and a neutral.) I chose teal and gray as my two colors, with white as my neutral. My other quilting friends have chosen different colors, so it will be interesting to see how all the color combinations turn out.

    Now it’s back to the real world of work!

    1. 580?! And that ‘s just one of the colors? That’s a lot of sewing!!

      1. Yes. And tiny sewing at that! (it will be a king size quilt made up of very tiny pieces!)

    2. It is also “take care of the rotted deck” time at my house, with repeated trips to the hardware store and lumber yard.

  3. Today is hopefully the last day of extreme short staffing. If I make it through today, I will be happy.

    And we made it through the worst of the fireworks, so that is good. The cats are not happy.

    1. I look forward to your no longer being short staffed. As well as no fireworks. We had five days of them up here because apparently we celebrate both Canadian and American holidays – plus celebrate them the night before, the day of, the day after….

  4. Annual furnace and fireplace inspections. Pick up granddaughter from improv camp and bring her home. Baking or sewing till Mum picks her up and it is back to pulling weeds and planting new plants I purchased at the plant sale. Two new hostas, a hellebore, more perennials. Marking out for stepping stones and digging up sod.

  5. Last fall, the elephant ear bulbs (Colocasia Esculenta) that were the offspring of my original single bulb a few years ago were able to fit into a single 5-gallon plastic bucket packed in slightly damp potting soil. (That was for overwintering, since they’re tropical plants that don’t survive frost well at all.)

    Early this spring I was able to plant them out into about 20 black plastic pots until they sprouted to a size where I could put them into their summer containers or ground spots.

    All but one of those temporary pots have now been planted out, four into big containers or 5-gallon pots, the rest into the ground. And in a little over 3 weeks, the first container pot contains plants with leaves a little short of a yard/meter long and still growing. Now I wish I’d have had the foresight to plant them around my string beans and flowering plants as deer prevention soldiers. 🙁

  6. Found out what a POD is: looks like a good idea, though I guess you have to be careful to wedge things in.

    I’m recovering from pushing myself to finish the second big proof-reading job early, as suddenly requested: I posted it yesterday afternoon. Not really doing joined-up thinking yet. There are, of course, dozens of things that need doing, but I’m taking a couple of days to veg. Rather hoping for a break from the day job, which I plan to fill with lots of gardening and some really slow photography.

  7. Floors. Still.
    Yet another quote gone bad. He was so promising. Showed up on time, actually took detailed measurements and wrote them down. Sounded competent. Though he did say a few doubtful things about waterproofing but he isn’t the actual installer, who will presumably know that to get waterproof floors one must waterproof the edges. ( I looked it up after) Then he said they’d get back to us with the quote in 24-48 hours. Yay!
    It’s been a week.
    So today I watch floor installation videos in between paperwork and clearing acumlated clutter. How do we have clutter! We barely have any stuff! Of course we have stuff but it’s mostly in a shipping container on a boat or in storage until Floors happen. I just don’t put even basic things away when I’m on my own.

    I love that I can just pick up a laptop and watch half a dozen different people put in half a dozen different floors. So useful for deciding whether it might be something I’d rather do than keep looking for an installer.
    I taught myself to knit from books. Skill videos off the internet are are a treasure of the age.

    1. I love that resource, too! Has really helped with figuring out the house’s smoke detector system, how to wire up a dryer, that I needed a bigger plug installed (by an electrician).

    2. Good luck! It’s terrible to have things on hold so long. I’m amazed you taught yourself to knit form books. I finally gave up on trying to learn that. Crocheting works, and there are crochet patterns that mimic some knitting models.

      1. I did teach myself the basics from books but I don’t do it anymore either. If my, say, beloved grandmother had taught me I might have kept it up. My grandmother did not craft. The only crafter in my entire extended family makes really big, working, model airplanes. I think he did teach his son but I lived too far away to even ask.
        I really love crochet though, books and videos for picking up that skill.
        Have you heard of colour pooling? I’m excited to try that but so busy and too many projects. If one does not have time to drool over yarn … it may not be a good time to try for a new technique you don’t need right now.

        1. No, I have not heard of color pooling. Sounds interesting. My grandmother taught me to crochet when I was very young, to make chains. She made beautiful, ornate doilies, but that is not my taste. I do have some of her nicest ones displayed on one of the quilt hangers that was here when I moved in. I have the other grandmother’s hardanger work on the other quilt hanger.

        2. Clancy, I googled color pooling and found a helpful site. I printed off the basic instructions and a scarf and a hat pattern. I may try them in the winter, when I end up staying inside, more. Thanks for mentioning that! I love argyle.

      2. Depending on the teacher, I can have trouble learning from personal contact. I remember taking my first painting class from a community center and the woman who was teaching it came over and picked up my paint brush and painted on the picture I was doing and said something like “Isn’t that better”. Possibly. But I never went back. It wasn’t what I wanted.

        I taught myself to tat, crochet and knit from books, which may explain why I never seemed to get the length of the arms right.

        1. I have had experiences like that in painting classes, with criticism of my work and my color choices. One teacher had the gall to tell me that “Sunsets don’t look like that”, when I was painting from the memory of a photo I had taken a few days before. Those kids of things are very deflating, and discouraging. You were right not to go back.

          1. I am so sorry, I am an artist and love creating and find collaborating or nurturing that creative spark in those around me even more fulfilling.

            And have seen too many time people in power “master of their craft” crush that artistic spirt in others and it makes me -one want to punch them in the face -two be better than them.

            It is my goal now in how I live my life and to those I spend time with, to help build a foundation, a safe place for others to find their spark and get some beautiful things,drawn , sung or written just to start. And I always believe everyone has an artist inside of them they just haven’t found out which kind they are yet and I am here to show it’s ok to color “out of the box”

            And @jessiei too am a tangible learner! that teacher should have asked for consent to touch your work at all and @jan kindwoman that teacher commenting about what a sunset should or shouldn’t look like, rude just rude….you both deserved better.

        2. I still remember my art teacher at secondary school correcting one of my drawings. I thought it looked horrible after so I threw away that drawing after.

    3. A few years back (well, maybe longer than a few), I installed my own hardwood floors, after having trouble finding an installer and after seeing a few initial quotes. The flooring came with instructions (minimally helpful) and, as you noted, there are an abundance of videos out on the internet to get ideas from.

      My floors may not be to the level of what a professional would have done, but they’re functional, they look good (if you don’t actually look for the errors) and it makes me happy every time I look at them and remember “I did that.” Of course it took me far longer than a professional would have taken to do the install, but I saved thousands of dollars, so it all worked out.

  8. Yesterday, I covered myself with bug repellent and tackled the weeds and tree sprouts that were in with my trees and shrubs. I also trimmed the Red Osier Dogwood, which had become very sprangly, and was lying on the ground, in places. In the process, I found a pink Bee Balm that was planted in the fall next to the Shrubby St. John’s Wort, and it was blooming! A purple one is not there yet. Those two were the only survivors of six Bee Balms that I planted last year. I am not having much luck with the survival rate of fall plantings. The St. John’s Wort is covered in yellow blossoms and bees. It absolutely buzzes! Speaking of buzzes, there are many fireflies coming out at night, now.

    At one point, I had to get down on my hands and knees, and sit on my butt to clear stuff out. I’m too old for this! The Sambucus canadensis/Elderbery is taking over! It was supposed to be 6-8 feet wide, and one side of it is that wide! It makes a nice shady bower for the bunnies and squirrels, with the two Golden Currants and the Ozark Witch Hazel. Mowing that area is interesting.

  9. I’m changing all the smoke alarm batteries today. I brought in the fans from the garage since it looks like the hot days are coming to Maine. I also switched out my sweaters for my summer wear. Today is sunny, but with thunder storms. I don’t want the heat, but I am sick of the rain (said most of Maine). Yes, we’ll wish we had some in August.

    Good luck with the POD and the move! Take rests, drink water. Drink ice tea, drink Arnold Palmers! (1/2 lemonade, 1/2 iced tea)

  10. I’m on vacation from “work” this week, but really it’s just another kind of work that I’m doing. No book-writing, but finishing up assorted sewing/quilting projects and assorted stuff around the house. So far, I made a set of custom (small) curtains for a friend, and added the binding to 7 mini quilts (to be auctioned the next time there’s a Romancing the Vote event). Hoping to do 3-5 more today unless it gets too hot in the house.

  11. On Monday I stayed after PT to use the Nu-Step for half an hour. I wasn’t able to work up much speed and therefore burned fewer calories than I previously did, but the fact that I did it at all feels like a huge victory.The real test will be whether I can persuade myself to do it again today. Jacob took the resistance band up another notch last week and I thought I was going to die so if I can convince him to let me go back down to the previous level today, I might be able to get some cardio in as well.

  12. I am just making appointments and reminding myself (over and over and over again) DO NOT use my left arm to lift or raise it over my head or behind my back. I feel great and it is a real problem remembering that the wires to the heart have to heal in and not be jostled. I am ready to go. I have a brick side walk to finish (I layed out where it will be when we got home). I have weeds to weed. I want to do things.

    1. I’m with you. I have paintings, journaling and writing I want to do, but my eyes are still not up to speed. Maybe tie a bright ribbon or something on that arm to remind you?

      1. That’s a good idea. They gave me a sling to have the same effect then told me not to wear it all the time so my shoulder wouldn’t freeze. So I take it off then forget all about it.

  13. I have four days off this week. It is glorious to sit here knowing this is only day three. I have a very long list of things that need to be done that aren’t getting done. I don’t want to go to town at all, but strangely enough I want groceries and medications. I want to weed vast stretches of the garden, but I don’t want mosquito bites (and I’m allergic to effective bug repellents.) Conflicts, conflicts. I just want to sit here and wander around the internet.

    Oh, and my hold on Ann Leckie’s Translation State just came in. I’m sure I won’t be far enough into it to report tomorrow, even if I don’t do any of the things that need to be done.

  14. Today two visiting nurses are coming to see my son. I got a heads-up yesterday, so I was up and about early to vacuum, dust and clean two bathrooms. It’s like if I ever hired a cleaning crew, I would do a little pick up beforehand. I know, I know one has nothing to do with the other but the first time one showed up she went around the house to his room on a self-tour.

    With all the rain, windows are swollen from the humidity and a struggle to open. But there is actual sun and the grandog grabbed the first spot to stretch out in.

    Speaking of the dog when our granddaughter was over a while ago, she brought a pump bottle of salmon oil for her food. I started putting a squirt in her bowl mixed with food and after two months her coat is nice and shiny. Who knew! Now if only she would let us clip her nails, but that is another story.

    1. I read that as your granddaughter dousing her food with salmon oil. Relieved to realize I misunderstood.

    2. Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome has an elder? adult female character who plays along with the children in later books. She’d give her dog codliver oil and he’d get one single block of chocolate as a treat after.

      NOW we know that chocolate is toxic to dogs so I wonder if the two nutrients cancelled each other out?! 🤔

  15. Congratulations! I hope you have help with all the packing and loading/unloading. Best wishes! I hope your new place will be lovely.

    I’m starting down a year long road of downsizing in preparation to moving back home to the west coast. I’m starting me so that it will be less overwhelming as I get closer to the actual move.

    Or maybe I’m deluding myself and it will still be overwhelming.

    At this point I’m tempted to empty out one small room in my house, move anything I do want to keep into it, and then open the rest of the house for a weekend and offer everything left in the other rooms for sale for $10 an item, no matter what it is: a purse, a bed, a bookshelf, a vase. And just see what happens.

    1. There are also people who do estate sales- you don’t have to be dead to hire them! The standard percentage of the take was 5% back in 2015 when I was moving. They basically come in and handle everything, usually 1-2 days to price everything, and then boom- it’s all gone. A lot of the people I talked to also hauled anything left to the local Goodwill, so the house would be emptied. It’s a great way to downsize pre-move!

  16. Also, I can see two methods of downsizing: room by room or by category of item.

    For example, bedroom vs all clothing everywhere in the house.

    Can’t decide.

  17. ALMOST finished glueing the dragon-egg. I think itneeds too more pieces, but I was just too tired to find the right ones.

    Started sewing the dragon, finally! Head is done, and both wings. I thought the feet were done too, but then I turned them right side out and discovered that I’d been stupid while sewing, so part of the sole on one foot comes out through the heel, and I didn’t sew the toe properly on the second one, so that foot became sort of square instead of sort of oval. So, I think I’ll have to start over. Annoying, but not the end of the world. Means I get more practice at messing up.

    1. This sounds so cool! My sewing at present is mending and amending! Mending socks, and amending the beach sarongs that I bought to use as shawls. I’ve had them for years and hardly used them, so they’re being repurposed. I measured and cut last week. Will post on Insta once done.

  18. I’m on holiday in a swish hotel in Ireland and getting Manhunting flashbacks as it is run by two brothers, with friendly staff, a well stocked bar, tennis courts, ping pong in the garden and two helipads.

    It’s the Abbeyglen Castle hotel in Clifden, Connemara, if anyone fancies a visit.

      1. It overlooks the sea, so you could run down through the garden for an early morning swim if the tide was in. There’s quite a lot of seaweed about though.

  19. Birds nesting in our breezeway have all learned to fly and have …flown the nest. Have hauled out the pressure washer to clean the poop collection below the nest.

  20. I dusted today. That’s the one chore I put off as long as possible. Otherwise I’m staying inside with a couple of fans blowing.

  21. I’ve been exercising the get-rid-of-it muscle again; have 3 bags ready to go to Goodwill next weekend.

    Had a fit of rage at one too many nights getting up with a sore back from our awful couch in the den. It’s a convertible futon which makes a great bed but a lousy couch. I hauled the futon part off and staged it in my yoga room. (This was quite the workout.) DH will have to help disassemble the frame. Ideally it will go into his mancave to serve as a bed again, but first he has to declutter. A lot. Meanwhile, we’re using the two armchairs from our dining set when we watch TV.

    Spent many productive hours in the yard, tidying up the front to a satisfying state and beginning the process of de-meadowizing the back.

    Wrote two chapters of the novel-in-progress.

    Finished watching the stack of DVDs I’m sending over to my sister, now I can tape up that box and give it to DH to drop off next time he goes to our mailbox place.

    This evening’s work is to scan the most recently filled reading journal. Must stay ahead of the clutter.

  22. The full moon must’ve done something to me. I looked for and cleaned up a Himalayan Salt Lamp that I’d relatively abandoned after our electricity issues here affected the bulbs. The dim lightbulb and our tropical humidity combined to cause the salt to crystallize on the surface it stood up one. I just put it aside, lacking Spoons to cope.

    I still need to get hot bulbs of the correct size, but I will soon have an uninterrupted power supply unit that I will plug it into to prevent surges. I dinnae care if claims about them are snake oil-ish. The warm glow is very pleasant, casting light like a night light.

    I made a brainstorm To-do list. Then I realised that I have backlogs to clear which means adding more items to the list that’ll take priority over all other items, and felt quite demoralised. Vacay ends at the third term start. I truly, deeply wish that I had the finances to just take a sabbatical from work and recover my life. There’s beautiful song by one of our South African artists, Prince Kaybee called “Fetch Your Life” and it really embodies the feeling that I have.

    I made a new online music playlist and updated some existing ones. I have one called Ma City with songs that I like that name cities, towns, or villages. One is called Travelin’ because it has songs about being on a car, boat, bus, plane, train etc. It’s fun to engage in music again. I guess my mind and body are feeling improvement. I’m not just having the radio on in the background. I’m interacting and listening, and singing along, and noting favourites. It feels sad to see how much I lost and didn’t know it, but it’s gladdening to feel it come back and bring me more smiles. ♾️

    1. Sure Thing, I’m so glad you’re coming back to your wonderful self. You deserve all the good things.

    2. Lovely to hear someone else make playlists on different themes. I for instance have one with food- or drink-items in the titles. Sometimes I discover music that way that I would never have discovered otherwise. Makes me happy to hear music brings you joy again – it’s a good place to be in.

  23. I refreshed the library on my Nook. Up popped The Liz Danger series. The book covers look great even in black and white. Excellent. Looking forward to the last cover. Yeah I can read the titles. Some book titles are so hard the make out.

  24. I’m prepping to leave for 12 days of camping on Lake Champlain on Saturday. This is the annual trip with brother-in-law and family. We rent adjacent lean-tos with lake views and bring all kinds of tarps and canopies and cots, etc. to build out a “glamping” experience.

    This year my daughter, SIL and granddaughter are joining us for four nights! They are coming from Texas to also visit Boston area friends and escape the Texas heat. They are flying. Of course this means they can bring NOTHING camping related with them except for maybe some flashlights. We are adding a tent, two tarps, three sleeping bags and air mattresses, two adult and one child-sized folding chair PLUS the corn hole game they had delivered to our house to the “normal” pile. Crossing fingers that all the additional pieces will fit in our RAV-4 and on our utility trailer.

    Also crossing fingers that there will be no mid-night thunder storms. This will be granddaughter’s first camping experience and I really want her to enjoy it!

  25. Still trying to memorize my lines. Still sewing and crocheting flowers onto my Halloween costume. Working on being cold, shitty, and awful to the crush when I run into him (twice in the last week), which I feel terrible about. But it has to be done, right?

    1. That’s not being shitty and awful. It’s preserving an appropriate distance to someone who doesn’t feel that close to you.

    2. You know what really turns guys off? Indifference.
      “I’m mad at you,” is a turn-on.
      “Who are you again?” is a turn-off.
      Do not ask me how I know.

  26. I’m mostly working on sleeping, because I’m on a stretch of ten early shifts and 4am is not a kind time of day. Also working on breathing, because it turns out freezing fog is my big asthma trigger. Fog, fine. Freezing, fine. Freezing fog? Inhaler.

    Fun work has been pulling out the recipe collections I was working on pre-pandemic and seeing what I still make now and what I don’t anymore. I had to dump the whole omelette section, and will need to figure out recipes for all the different types of breakfast beans I make. Yum!

    1. My friend picked up her dog after 5 days, so 3 dogs over July 4 weekend. The smallest was 70#’s. This will not happen ever again.

  27. I spent the start of the week trying to get chores done before surgery. Wednesday was surgery which was successful. Now I’m working on eating with a very sore throat (but my voice is fine so phew).

    I didn’t quite get all the plants planted and I’m told I can’t garden for two weeks . DH has a pinched nerve so he can’t. Not sure what we will do with the two remaining market packs

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