Working Wednesday, August 23, 2023

So I’m getting more focused in my working–finishing up the rewrite of Vermillion, getting my kitchen put away, clearing out the garage and putting things where they belong–and I decided telling all of you about that is probably boring since I’ve been whining about it for awhile.

So I’m going to start a new twelve days of the office. I’ve done those several times in several different houses so it seems right I should do one for this place, too. Also I’m putting together an office from scratch, so there’s that. I think I’ll probably start putting up those posts on Friday which should inspire me to work on the place at least once a week. While I’m finishing Rocky Start and trying to help Bob with publishing (at which I am of no use, aside from covers) and putting together bookcases and . . .

I’m sure everything will be done here by October.

What did you work on this week?

96 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, August 23, 2023

  1. Travelling back from Cincinnati later this afternoon. Getting into the house at about 7:30 where I’ll be in time to dinner with four of our friends visiting from other cities, and two of their kids. Unpacking and then repacking and off tomorrow morning with one of the friends for our annual trip to Stratford and the Shakespeare Festival. The play’s the thing! yea!

  2. Learned Monday that I would not be able to put *any* weight on my leg for at least 6 weeks after the surgery Monday. So I’m doing this sort of half-assed limping scramble to try to set my 3rd floor apartment (no elevator) set up for seated cooking, bathing, etc on a dime. Also trying to get enough canned and frozen meals planned and made to get me through as much of the time as possible, as I am averse to scootching up and down the stairs on my butt to collect groceries. I’ve been down that path before, and it’s not fun. Funny, but not fun. I keep reminding myself that life will be much easier after this is all done. It’ll take roughly 12 months to get to that point, but putting it off won’t make the time shorter, so full speed ahead!

    1. Well, that’s a challenge! I wish you the best, and I also wish you had several friends and/or neighbors who would help with bringing you groceries and other things, when needed.

    2. I feel so bad for you! Do you have friends/neighbors who can help you get around/get supplies while you’re incapacitated? Things with wheels to scoot about on? Wish I could help!

      1. Thanks 🙂 The Coop I live in used to be very tightly knit, but has changed a lot in the past few years. And most of my close friends moved out of town during the pandemic, when houses were so cheap in the boonies. So I’ve a lot less support than in the past. I’m just trying to prep as much as possible, so as not to overburden the handful of dear souls who are still around. It’ll be ok, it’s just a lot at the mo.

    3. I think having reasonable expectations (and being prepared for reality) makes a huge difference in recovery. I’ve heard a lot of heart surgery patients say they expected to be fully healed/recovered in just three of four months, and then they get frustrated when they don’t heal overnight. The reality is that the bulk of the healing happens in the first few months, but it really does take a full year for full recovery. Anything that involves bone healing will take that long, so it’s good that you’re taking the long view, so you don’t have disappointment/frustration on top of everything else.

      Best wishes for an uneventful recovery!

      1. Right? I’ve had three similar surgeries in the past, and had a two week recovery, so this surprised me a lot. But at least I found out beforehand!

    4. Kat, I just did this! Surgery was June 2, 6 weeks non weight bearing, and now the long, slow recovery. Was this by amy chance a meniscus root repair?

      1. Can you get groceries delivered to your floor? I’ve used those services after surgeries when DH had to travel and it was a godsend.

        1. Unfortunately there’s a locked door that has to be navigated. I really wish we could buzz people in, but it’s manual only.

      2. How is the recovery going? I haven’t been able to get a lot of info about it and I’m anxious, I’d love any insight you can offer!

        I do have a torn meniscus, but also split peritoneal tendons, and a captured tendon that is encased by bone overgrowth from previous trauma, so they need to free it, and see what’s going on inside the bone casing, then that may need rebuilt too. And they’re doing micro-fractures in the joint to try to get my cartilage to regenerate, which is effective 75% of the time, and removing hardware from the previous surgeries, since they’ll be in there.

        Fingers crossed, this will resolve a bunch of issues!

        1. Praying it will all go well for you Kat! May the process go perfectly and your recovery be speedy!

    5. I’ve been in that situation and it’s the pits. I hope you have some external support to help with groceries and will be wishing you well with your surgery and recovery!

    6. I hope you can get a good set up in place. I had to keep weight off my right leg for three months earlier this year and it was so hard because in my home the bedroom & bathroom is upstairs and the kitchen is downstairs.

    7. And my surgery has just been postponed! No word yet on when it will happen, they’re scrambling to find openings for everyone who was scheduled Monday. Ffs. Ha! That’s what I get for getting prepared, right?

  3. I’m at the last day of the two-week family visit marathon. It was great, often. It also involved a voice recital (mine), a church fair, a kitchen fire (plastic cutting board left on stove top, burner accidentally turned on, no permanent damage done), two trips to the ER (one me (strange chest pains), one for my 93-year-old mother (dehydration), setting up a wedding in the yard, holding a wedding in the yard, cleaning up after a wedding in the yard. Lots of happy family and friend moments, my brother happily married. Lovely new in laws.

    I’m so tired of people, I could scream. I’m not going to scream, I’m going to the chiropractor.

  4. I farmed. I cleaned. I kept appointments. The descriptions are mostly boring, except I now have five cherry tomato plants in various stages, but all months from harvest.

    I’ve pre-prepped my lunch. Chicken with rice soup, with extra chicken and extra rice. Not Ukrops, but I ‘spect I’ll be finishing off that brand for supper. Some time soon, I’ll need the dotter to take me grocery shopping.

  5. Like Jenny, building bookcases, in my case by painstakingly following pictograms, resorting books in alphabetical/subject order, and restocking shelves. After adding eight shelves (one five-shelf and one three-shelf bookcase), I have ONE empty shelf. Wow, those book stacks on the floor really added up!

    I REALLY have to stop buying books! 😉 I have no more room for another bookcase…but I could maybe build another in the basement, or the breezeway, or buy a bigger house?

    1. I have the same problem. All I have to do is get a Kindle to solve most of that problem.

      1. It’s just not the same. Give me a nice hardback with crisp new pages, and that lovely new book smell and feel. (I’ll do a trade paperback in a pinch, but mass market paperbacks are in last place by miles and miles).

  6. Laundry – check. Boxes broke down & taken to recycle – check. Replacement window unit ac installed – check.

    Been swimming lots & lots.

    As to writing – I have written today! I told my accountability partner (Tammy) that I was hoping for clarity in my writing life from my writers group zoom meeting. I didn’t get it. I just got very frustrated. I want to quit. I worry it will fall apart if I do which is #1 ridiculous I am not that powerful & #2 not my responsibility even if it does happen.

    The thing is – they aren’t serving me anymore. I am now censuring what I write according to what I know will be said and the critiques are mostly not helpful. They are mostly meant to keep me inside the box. On a first draft I don’t need to be inside the box.

    I am reading Rest In Pink and wanting a burger and fries. I am at odds with the rest of the world apparently because I don’t care about breakfast anytime. I want cheeseburgers anytime.

    1. If you put lettuce and tomato on your cheeseburger it is a balanced meal. I know this because for years I wouldn’t eat breakfast food in the morning, Then I got a job cooking at a greasy spoon and I couldn’t face a fried egg for years. I could cook them. but I was tired of looking at them.

    2. I was in a critique group that formed after we took a class together, and I loved the women in the group, but I was serious about writing, and they … weren’t. So it stopped being any use to me. And I was the one who nagged everyone to show up, so I knew for absolute sure it would fall apart if I quit. It was really hard to quit, and I felt guilty (because yes, it did fall apart), but it had to be done. I kept reminding myself of something the teacher of the class we’d taken said — she was a romance author who’d published a gazillion category books — that most critique groups have a fairly limited lifespan, and they tend to fall apart after a couple of years. That helped me to believe that the group wouldn’t have lasted even if I’d stayed, and that made me feel a bit less guilty.

      1. This one has been around for more than 20 years but within the last year some of the major players have left. One died, one moved to France, one chose to concentrate on other things. So if it fails – it won’t be on me. I am on here procrastinating because I want to write a letter resigning. Argh!

    3. Even if you needed to be inside a box, theirs is probably the wrong box! (Think like a cat. 😉 Boxes belong to YOU, not the other way around.)

      1. Oh that is a good analogy! Judy, you can write the loveliest resignation – acknowledging them for everything they’ve provided to date – and saying it’s time for you to move on. You don’t even need to explain why.

        1. That’s the part it is so easy to forget. The only person who needs to know why you are leaving is you.

        2. That would be my approach also, Tammy. Applaud the positives & then advise a need to focus on other priorities. Definitely no ‘why’ explanations & no apologies. And letting go of assumed responsibilities can be so freeing. Would it help to treat the resignation as a creative writing?

  7. My sewing machine was in the shop most of this past week – just maintenance, but the techs were only in two days, so mine had to wait. I also got my second Shingles vaccine, so I allowed both of those to be an excuses for not doing much.

    But I did two somewhat scary things. I went to a specialist about my knees. He’s thinking to put some gel in there to alleviate a lot of the achy pain I have. And I took a pilates class. I know I need more exercise, and this seemed a good way to get the muscles moving without stressing out my knees too much.

    I’m also slowly getting my knitted wrap back to where it was when I decided to frog a bunch of it. I didn’t lose any stitches (yay), and the big blob from my previous error is no longer there. So, all good!

      1. In crochet, and I assume knitting, you can un-make something by pulling on the yarn. The colloquial term is to rip it out. Rip-it rip-it rip-it – becomes frog. So, now unmaking something by pulling it apart is called frogging.

          1. Frogging is ripping out.In knitting if you are working back stitch by stitch to fix a mistake, essentially unknitting, it’s tinking.

  8. Since Sunday I’ve Danish oiled the cold frame, brushed out all the plant pots, modules & trays I’ve used this year, replied to a couple more volunteers, dug up, dried off & sorted my potato crop (my worst ever – most of them are the size of peanuts, which must be due to the long dry spell in June-July), and am now in the middle of making a batch of plum jam – taking a break because I cut my finger.

    This week I’m going to Bristol to house sit with a friend. I need to write a few emails re the volunteers and do some washing & packing, but otherwise am trying to take a break from doing everything.

    1. PS. Love the idea of office posts. I’m also curious as to what kind of home you have now – and does it have a garden?

        1. The kitchen is about half the size of my old one, but it has amazing cupboards with pull-out shelves, a huge fridge with an ice maker, and a dishwasher, all things I didn’t have before. Lots of counter space, too, so I’m happy.

          1. I am jealous of your kitchen!

            Worse, I was reading Chapter 9 of Pink while I prepared my breakfast – one egg over oops with sharp cheddar, and one scoop of chicken salad (Ukrops) both on slices of 647 multigrain bread (they were out of whole wheat). I want a Maryanne.

            I still can’t operate two appliances – microwave or toaster oven or hotplate or mini-crock pot – without popping a breaker. I’ve stored the 5-cup coffeemaker and George Foreman. They aren’t giving me joy right now. I suspect Goodwill is in their future. The pop-up toaster already went.

      1. Nope. It has a tiny patio and at the bottom of the hill are what are basically allotments in wood planters and a huge greenhouse. One of the great things about this community is that they take care of the outside–mowing, weeding, shoveling snow–and that’s a huge help.

  9. Am just finishing script for podcast on Arcadia, the 1993 play by Tom Stoppard, which I reread and fell in love with all over again. This week’s home related work is all about DH who is 60 today…next year is my turn, and our 30th wedding anniversary, so trying to find a good way to celebrate all that!

    School is full of projects and plans – we are trying to make our school as safe a place as possible for pupils and staff, an ongoing, never ending journey, and we are also working on some big initiatives for how we use educational technology, so it feels really full on.

    1. I remember lying on my bed and listening to Arcadia when it was on the radio. Loved it. Stoppard’s such a magician with words.

  10. A week and a day ago, I went back to my doctor because I was still miserable with aching all over, bad headache, and other miseries. They took a swab that covers two kinds of flu, Covid, and RSV. All came back negative. That was good news, but it left me wondering what this stuff is?! No answer. Maybe it’s all in my head? I think it is- specifically the sinuses. Every day I hope it will be better, and it is, a little.

    I ordered and planted some Oxalis regnellii “seeds”. They are actually corms, as that is how the plant spreads. I’ve had a plant for years, but every year there are less leaves and blooms. This is also called the Shamrock Plant, and has pretty little clusters of white blossoms that climb above the three-lobed green leaves. It will brighten my days.

    The Excessive Heat Warning should end by the weekend, and I hope to get out and walk again. The humidity has been Sauna-like.

    1. I’m supposed to be on vacation and not working. This has been somewhat hampered by the tropical storm, the sudden death of a former colleague and friend (I needed to let people know), and ongoing neediness by DH’s friend with early dementia. I sympathize with his anger and losses but am deeply annoyed by his focus on new (unworkable) schemes for making money instead of trying to repair his relationships with his kids. He has money—enough to support him comfortably but not in the way he had fantasized for the decade he focused on making money instead of trying to spend more time with his kids. It’s practically Greek tragedy. Which sheds a whole new light on how unlikeable some of those Greek heroes were.

      1. Wow! This has been going on for six weeks, but I’ve only had 2 weeks of amoxicillin. I irrigated my sinuses and it came out clear, which makes me wonder. My doctor was supposed to get back to me af her the swab test, but did not. I will call about that.

        1. If your mucus is clear, it isn’t a sinus infection, although it could turn into one over time. I hope you feel better soon.

          1. Thanks. I now have a referral to an ENT Doctor. I hope they get back to me soon, and I can find out what this is. Before the clear mucous, I had several large blood clots and then green goop, so it was an infection in the beginning. I am really stumped, and so is my doctor.

    2. Jan, I don’t remember where you live, but could it be smoke from Canada? That makes me feel horrible.

      1. Kansas City. It probably hasn’t helped, and the blooming plants, too. But this is something else!

        1. I had something earlier this year that tested negative for flu and Covid, but was clearly “A flu” if not THE flu. I’m pretty sure they only test for a couple of strains, so it is likely you just have one they don’t test for. There is also something new out there that my doctor told me about, that is another upper respiratory virus. It might be that.
          I hope you feel better soon. Eat a lot of garlic.

          1. Yes, the swab was for strain A and B. I feel like we are surrounded by awful stuff in the air and on surfaces.

  11. I spent Monday at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary — I love that they still have the old-fashioned “infirmary” in the name, instead of changing it to something that sounds more sciencey — getting my hearing and balance tested for a study on hearing loss among patients with my rare disorder. As far as I can tell, it’s the first time anyone’s looked into hearing loss in this population, even though it’s widespread. I went into this thinking that I didn’t have any hearing loss, and I don’t have the severe loss that many people with my disorder have, and not enough to cause my problems, but I do have some.

    Going into Boston meant that I took the subway for the first time since at least 2019, before the pandemic started, and probably a couple of years longer than that. It was all a bit disorienting, since a lot of what I expected to encounter has changed in that time. For one thing, the parking garage no longer has toll booths or payment stations. Apparently they photograph your license plate and send you a bill if you don’t pay through an app that also relies on that photograph to match the payment to the car. For another, the parking garage was only about half full, when in the past it would have been closed to additional cars by the time I got there (after the morning rush hour).

    One thing that has not changed (but should have) is that practically no one (other than me) was wearing a mask in the station or on the trains. So I’m kinda’ counting down the exposure period and panicking at every allergy-induced sniffle in case it’s something else. The only saving grace is that the train inbound was practically empty, and the one outbound was on the early side of rush hour, so it was full but not overly packed.

    Public service announcement: Everyone here knows there’s a covid surge happening now, right? It’s not getting a lot of attention because everyone’s bored with covid, but most people are also at waning immunity levels, since it’s been more than 6 months since the last booster shot. If you’ve been loosening your precautions, it’s a good time to tighten them up again!

    1. Thanks, Gin. I’ve been thinking it’s time to mask up, again. I’ve been lucky, so far. But you’re right about the waning immunity.

    2. I know a lot of people who have gotten Covid recently, but no one seems to be paying attention. I’m still exhausted from my bout in early April, and the brain fog is worse too. (I already had long Covid from Feb ’20). I still mask in stores and most other places, and wear N95s on planes, but I do feel incredibly vulnerable all the time. So you have my sympathy in spades.

      1. How does long Covid express itself in your life? I’m so sorry you continue to struggle with this.

        1. They have no idea. For those of us who got it in the early months of 2020, it is still actively kicking our asses. (Mostly increased fatigue and brain fog for me, although for the first year after I had major breathing issues that are better, but not completely gone.)

          I now clearly have long Covid on top of my long Covid, which is mostly manifesting as even more fatigue, plus increased pain levels. Apparently fibro and Covid are not a good match. I’d like a divorce, please.

          1. That sounds really terrible. FM is enough to be dealing with, without all that, too. So sorry.

  12. Over the past week I worked at being sociable and author-y by attending Steamy Lit Con, which was a lot of fun but also exhausting. Took the Chromebook along but did not open it even to check email, much less to write anything. However, yesterday I finished the chapter I’d begun before leaving. In the homestretch on this book.

    Since then I received my second positive editorial review for ‘Drama Queen,’ yay.

    Hurricane Hilary attempted to topple my wisteria arbor, which led to 90 minutes of energetic remediation after work on Monday. Chopped off a lot of wisteria, wrestled the arbor upright, stabbed the anchors back into the ground. Good enough.

    Next Writing Project is percolating. It’ll be another short (probably). I’m going to try to make this one properly dirty. May also involve a threesome.

    Aside from that, I’ve been working on catching up with Day Job and with binge-watching ‘Love, Victor’ on Hulu. A sweet and well-crafted expansion on the ‘Love, Simon’ universe, it’s *deeply* about communication (in the context of a queer teenager’s coming-out year).

  13. Last visitor left on Sunday. It’s been a busy 3 weeks, lots of driving and squashing things in around my work and lots of talking. Happy to have my head space back but also having to adjust to nothing going on!

  14. Just saw a squirrel sitting on our railing eating rose hips right from the branch of a rambling rose.

    Ordered new mats for the climbing space at our preschool. The shipping will cost as much as the mats themselves.

    Getting used to giving our cat a pill twice a day and thwarting her plan to hold it in her mouth and spit it out.

    1. Good luck with the cat pill, I’ve been doing it for years and my success rate is only about 80%. Blowing in the nose helps.

    2. My Mom used to hold their jaws shut and then stroke their throats to make our cats swallow.

      1. 😊 The question should be “Will your cat eat pill pockets instead of nibbling the pill pocket off the pill?”

  15. Stuck indoors at my home in Central Oregon due to very bad air quality from wildfires. I have HEPA air filters indoors so it’s not too bad, but it is reminding me a lot of COVID restrictions. I’m okay as long as I try to try to do at least one creative thing daily, exercise daily, and cook something new every few days. So far I have learned 4 new songs on classical guitar, painted 3 water colors, and tried other random art/music projects (collage, working out harmony to a song, chording, ink sketches). It’s been a full week of very unhealthy air quality here,

    1. I’m sorry about the air, but it sounds like you are using this as an excuse to take care of other parts of yourself.

  16. My 4 year old started Pre-K last week and we had the brilliant idea to schedule our first move in 7 years during the first week of school, so it’s been enormously challenging on all fronts.

    I did have a question, is Lavender’s Blue getting the audiobook treatment?

  17. I got my monster hedge cut. It’s about 8 feet high and somewhere around 20 to 30 feet long and it gives me privacy on one side of my house. Usually I trim it twice a summer, late June and either late August or early Sept, but this year it needed to be done sooner. I have a battery run hedge trimmer and discovered this time that the battery needed to be replaced when I ea# only about half done. Fortunately, I have wonderful neighbors and the husband came over with his electric trimmer and helped me finish it. If I am still here next year, I may pay out the $300 I was quoted from a professional and let him do it!

  18. I went to see the knee specialist today and got a gel injection in my right knee. She reminded me that I had done it in the left knee last time and perhaps that is the reason the right knee is worse now. We skipped the cortisone shot this time and I was able to navigate the bus home without any additional pain. So we’re already doing better than last time.

    It is 97F and murderously humid outside (they were predicting a heat index of 115F) so I am not working on anything for the next 2 days. I really want some ice cream to tide myself over, but it really doesn’t seem worth going outside for it yet. I just hope that the cold front materializes on schedule or I won’t be able to drag myself and my stuff out to the suburbs on Friday for my next cat sitting gig.

  19. Health issues this year means my life (and work) have gotten completely out of control. I don’t like it, so I started contemplating starting up with FlyLady again. Her complete program is too overwhelming for me right now to even think about, so this week I’m focusing on one thing – keeping my kitchen sink clean. So far, so good. As FlyLady says, baby steps.

  20. Rest in Pink is supposed to be delivered a day earlier than originally scheduled. Yay! I doubled up on my board minutes so I start reading without any of that hanging over my head. Starting a reread of Lavender.

  21. Not the most productive week since we had excessive heat that ended with toxic wildfire smoke, but we still made a lot of headway on the mini apartment project (cabinetry and a portable washer), yard cleanup and catchup, getting ready for a new school year and one kid started on said new school year with another ready to start next week. Replaced a dead mower (boo) and got a part to repair a grill (yay). Nothing dramatic but definite forward progress on many fronts.

  22. Also: I look forward to your Days of Office because my office is still currently a mess with new trim going in.

Comments are closed.