Working Wednesday, November 8, 2023

One of the great joys of having Krissie come to visit–besides the fact that I actually get some cleaning done before she arrives, not enough, but some–is that she’s good at fixing things. As I write this, she has volunteered to set up or fix:

My internet [Done.]
My printers (that won’t work because the internet is wonky) [Doing that today.}
My TV [Doing that today because Pat Gaffney is coming over tonight and we’re going to drink pink lemonade or possibly pink wine and eat popcorn and watch Barbie]
My sewing machine (older than God, but Krissie is the Mistress of Sewing Machines)[She found it in the garage, stay tuned)
My coffee maker (I don’t drink coffee, a Keurig is a mystery to me) [Done.}

Along with figuring out where to put the wall lights in her room so she can read in bed and determining how big the table tops should be on the bedside tables and figuring out how to hang the curtains from the ends of her canopy bed since those supports had ends that were too big to go through the curtain’s holes. (She gets to decide that because any guest room I have is called “Krissie’s Room.” We’ve been friends a long time.)

So that’s what we’re working on this week, along with the books we’re struggling with–I’m still trying to find Rose in Rocky Start while Bob’s halfway done with Very Nice Funerals–watching more movies that we will then take apart because we’re writers and we have very different views on how story should go–next: Trenchcoat–and talking about sewing and crochet and food, and figuring out whether the rug on my front porch was a good idea (probably not]. So much to do, so little time (only a week).

So what did you work on this week?

88 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, November 8, 2023

  1. I added a third “Amazon Basics 3 Tier Kitchen Storage Baker’s Rack” to my “kitchen” and another microwave cart with wheels. II re-arranged the appliances so the microwave is now on the top shelf (I was getting awfully tired of bending to use it.

    We had a plumber come out to snake drains. They’re still slow.

    I did some vacuuming, because my new Shark is somewhat fun to use. (I am a former nuke, or naval nuclear power trained technician. It has been said, “Nukes is amused by the simplest things.”)

    I cooked, as opposed to microwaving frozen dinners. (I ate those, too.) I cooked a chicken hot dish, omelets, and many stuffed peppers wrapped in pork products. I lost another pound.

    1. I have a Shark vacuum cleaner I love so much I had to name him – Fergal (because… Fergal Sharky). It seems silly to get so excited about at vacuum cleaner but someone at work’s boyfriend got the same model as me and she kept begging and bribing him to bring it over as it was so much better than hers – she has since moved in with him, so that worked out well.

      I worked on chilling out on my week of annual leave. Went to my favourite beach town for a day trip – the place I go to push the relax and reset button. I visited a neighbour who I have known for two years but never met in person – she met me at the door with open arms and gave me a huge hug, that was lovely. Yesterday I went for a back massage and facial – not cheap and I think my knotted back nearly broke her fingers but was worth it. Today is another p.j. day (I seem to be having a lot of those).

      Also worked on all the little bitty things I never seem to get time to do when I am working and feeling a bit more organised and tidy.

    2. I read the preface to the (1986, I think) re-issue of Paper Money by Ken Follett (originally issued under a pseudonym). The author’s preface was a delight. Highly recommend. (I’m barely into the book itself so no opinion on that.)

  2. I’ve been struggling (as ever) to get going with my fiction project. It feels like months, but it’s only been a week of failures. And the good thing is that every day I try again and fail better. So I think I’m making progress, if only half an inch a day. Not actually writing yet, of course (so much for my original ‘writing intensive’ plan). But not giving up, either.

    Also found someone to mend my leak – though probably not until spring, when the sun will hit the kitchen roof again and dry it out. From the marks that appeared on the wall soon after I moved in, and whose cause I haven’t pinned down till now, this has been happening for years, but only when there’s torrential rain, so the repair isn’t urgent. I also realized, though, while changing a bulb in a kitchen downlighter, that the kitchen ceiling’s a real bodge, and as I suspected, there’s hardly any insulation in the roof space. So hopefully this guy’s going to fix that earlier. It’d be great if the kitchen didn’t get so cold in winter.

  3. This week’s work:

    (a) still trying to swallow pills, it’s still taking forever, the straw trick sadly did not work because a lot of this is how the pill is not going down at the back of my throat and water does nothing for that. It may go down, eventually, with food, but not reliably. It’s a struggle and this is one tiny pill. I don’t know how I am going to keep choking down MORE pills at once for the rest of my life.

    (b) attempting to submit FMLA paperwork, which got rejected twice, I have to get some kind of SPECIAL doctor’s note to even submit it…the fuck. All of this has to be done before the doctor goes on vacation to boot.

    (c) trying to get an appointment with the ombuds, who are booked till mid-December but said they could try to triage in a few days.

    (d) researching ADHD, tried to read medical books intended for children, bleah.

    (e) trying to figure out this crochet pattern, which is either hard and/or my brain is too fucking addled to figure it out. Also I am using minis to make the flowers for it and somehow despite them saying ’18-20 yards” means that they do NOT have the same amount in them and that is screwing up the project.

    (f) my ADHD eval starts in a few hours and I have had nearly 2 hours of sleep and that’s it.

    I was feeling better-ish despite the near-total lack of sleep since I got put on these pills AND told I can’t use the sleep aids I was using any more (I have slept one night in five days since then–I don’t think the med is causing that because I’ve been doing that since 2020 naturally), and then a friend of mine had a screaming, crying, suicidal meltdown in public last night. Screaming she wanted to kill herself and should not be left alone. I think a lot of things set that off, but I also definitely set her off last night (she did not deal with my saying I went on meds well, literally screamed that I’m on drugs, THANKS), and I was the one who had to deal with it despite having like no emotional resources to calm someone down who could not and would not calm down. I had to call her mother–who still has covid–to come and get her, so now i get to worry about covid exposure too. I had a mask on around the friend except when eating, I had a portable HEPA filter out for eating, and her mother stayed in the car with a mask on, but …yet another thing to worry about.

    So yeah, I am a broken down wreck right now. Before this whole friend drama I was feeling somewhat better, but boy, is that gone now. I guess it’s better I do this evaluation as strung out as possible, but ugh, I’m so tired and nothing will turn off. I did not want to go on Mental Health Journey Getting Meds And Diagnosis and so far, it’s about as bad as I thought it was, except thankfully the pills haven’t caused side effects.

    1. That sounds like SO much. Hugs and vibes heading in your direction. Some pills can be mashed up and taken in food (not capsules) and some can be made into special liquid formulations. Have you talked to your doctor about your difficulty with this? I had a really tough time swallowing pills for years, and still can’t do large tablets. Try following with a bite of banana if it feels like the pill is getting stuck.

      Yay for the pills not causing side effects.

      1. This one can’t be broken up in any way or I will have seizures, they said :/ I told the doctor I can’t swallow pills and she was all, “Just slip it under the tongue!” Um….you do realize that’s not how you swallow things? They have to go over? I didn’t even bother to call her out on this because in my experience, medical professionals have NO idea how to deal with my gag reflex (except my current dental team) and none have ever believed me except current dental team. The pharmacist was similarly baffled as to what to say when I said that. I don’t think they do psych drugs in anything but hard pills because they are time-sensitive, which is why I didn’t want to go on the damn things in the first place.

        Today I did manage to swallow it in peanut butter in 3 minutes, finally. Freaking miracle. Food seems to be better, it’s just hard to get anything to go DOWN without my feeling it back there.

        1. I was going to suggest asking for liquid medication. I don’t know much about the formulation for most psych drugs, but we have quite a few dog patients that are on Prozac and it does come in liquid, at least for animals.

        2. Have you tried something slippery like yogurt? That might be solid enough to hold the pill while being easier to swallow. Also, since your dental team has experience with lots of peoples’ gag reflexes, I’d ask them for suggestions. I’d also ask them for referrals for a pharmacist. There is one pharmacist at my local Walgreens who is much better at thinking outside the box than the others. If I have a question I will call first and find out which shifts she is working so that I do not have to make multiple trips or calls. Ideally, your PCP’s office could help you with a lot of this, but the last year has shown me how rare my former doctor’s office was.

          1. Tried yogurt, but I ended up just sucking down the yogurt but the pill wasn’t budging.

            I am considering asking the dentist, though the way they get around my gagging is to use a homegrown solution that numbs my mouth as mouthwash before opening sesame, not sure if that’s relevant to pills.

            I like the idea of an out-of-the-box pharmacist..

        3. I’m so sorry that your Dr isn’t being helpful with this issue. They do make skin gels that can be very helpful to people who can’t tolerate pills. The main concern with these is the medication rubbing off, so you need plastic patches to put over them, and some pharmacies can make them in a patch form that you stick on. Is that a possibility?

        4. Did you ask your current dental team for suggestions on how to take pills? Mine have been amazingly resourceful about mantle things.

    2. Oh dear, it’s so much to handle! I’m sorry you have to go through this. Sometimes, life really is an absolute bitch and bad things always seem to happen all at the same time. Sending you lots of strength-hugs to fortify you fo the road ahead.
      We all believe in the power of you!

    3. Ooh, that sounds hard and awful and I’m sorry you’re dealing with so many things at once. I just thought I’d suggest sticking the pill in a spoonful of yogurt and swallowing it quickly. I had to take Flagyl this summer for possible Giardia (which I did not have) and that pill is BITTER. I’ve given it to dogs before, just tossed it into their food, and I am never doing that to them again, even if they are food obsessed. BLECH. Good luck. I hope things improved massively.

    4. Praying things get better soon. Your journey sounds terrible and soul sucking
      I am so sorry

    5. I don’t have particular problems with pills, but out of curiosity I tried the under-the-tongue thing. I think it works for some people because it lets the mouth fill completely with water before the pill goes down. Sorry it doesn’t help Jennifer.

    6. Do you have trouble swallowing anything other than pills? I’m not doubting your nasty gag reflex, I have one myself, but if the pills are getting stuck and you have trouble swallowing in general you may have a smaller than usual esophagus.

      If you don’t have a structural issue, could you try swallowing things like tic-tacs mints or some kind of candy to desensitize your throat?

    7. Med suggestions – been there done that! But now it’s 8 years later and I manage 9 meds daily – SUCH a difference!

      1) smuchy things to help swallow – jelly, yes-peanut butter also my fave – smushed up bread. Wrapping it around the med helps get it down.

      2) I still follow up the pills with eating something – anything right afterwards. Even if it’s just a mental thing and not a physical, I always eat something right afterwards.

      3) ask about a study to look at how you physically swallow in case that’s the issue.

    8. Good grief, Jennifer, I’m so sorry you’re going through that.
      Good for you for calling the mother. That friend’s breakdown was not your fault, so cross that one off your list. She needs serious help.
      Tell your doctors about your pill problem. Medication you can’t swallow is not medication, it’s just another damn brick in the wall.
      And good luck with the testing and diagnosis. Maybe there’s a light at the end of the tunnel? Fingers crossed.

  4. I’m working at trying to fix my house, my body, and my manuscript, with mixed results on all of them. So, you know, Wednesday.

    I found out that the guys who installed the expensive rubber roof on my new 4-season porch did it wrong, when it started raining in through the windows last week. NOT a happy camper. Still chasing down Alex, the head guy, whose son also screwed up the driveway which I just had to replace for the second time this summer. My handyman, who came and did a temporary fix on the roof that will hopefully get me through the winter and spring (who doesn’t put flashing on a roof?! Who?) told me that the new roof will also have to be replaced on the summer, when it is warm enough to do it. That’s about $7K total of wasted money. Not a happy camper, and there is a serious conversation yet to be had–hopefully when Alex shows up ANY DAY NOW to finish off the last of a couple of minor tasks.

    I also started a short-term low dose of prednisone, which my new NP says has gotten good results treating long Covid, which I’ve had since February 2020 and worse since I got sick again this last April. So far it is just making me feel shaky and a little weird, but I always get major panic attacks when I start a new med (a kind of medical PTSD that comes from almost always having bad reactions to things). It’s also interfering with my sleep, which is almost worth it, since when I couldn’t fall asleep I came up with two new scenes to help fix the book. Always a bright side, right?

    Today I’m writing, doing pre-winter house cleaning, and taking two cats to the vet for shots and yearly exams. Friday, I’m taking another two. Fun, fun, fun.

    1. Looks like it’s not just me having lost faith in handymen. We’ve been handling such people in and out for the last 5 years and they either do not show up at all, or if they show up, they don’t fix the problem they were hired to fix and occasionally make it even worse. Right now we have a ladder in the yard attached to the outer wall so they can fix a flaw in the construction of our house that causes a leak (that we’ve tried to solve for 2 years), but so far no work has been done in 1.5 week and they have ruined our cat-proofing of the yard. Thanks for nothing!

      ANYWAY, what I actually wanted to do was send you patience and pocket-hugs to reach for when you need one. Hope you’ll be able to relax and sleep better soon. Good sleep really can do wonders.

      1. This past summer we had to rely on ourselves to mow the lawn when I called too late to hire a landscaper (they were all booked up or so I thought). Last week I decided to call early to find someone to plow over the winter. I told him I wanted an estimate beforehand and he said he would get back to me in a few days. One week later I’m still waiting. And he lives around the corner. I’m thinking that he is waiting for a town or state contract because that is all I see lately are signs looking for plow drivers.

    2. I read an article last week about new research into long covid. They think covid lurks in the gut and interferes with tryptophan absorption which leads to low serotonin. You can google serotonin and long covid and get dozens of news articles or check out this one.

      Hopefully, the prednisone helps you, but if you don’t get the results you want, this might be a promising avenue to pursue. Good luck!

    3. Yeah, prednisone made me shaky, too. I couldn’t handle it.

      I’m sure you’ve done this, but just in case, a full nutritional workup is really important following Covid. I was three weeks into what my Dr. diagnosed as long Covid, and had my routine full nutritional panels (quarterly due to some issues with nutrient absorption) which showed a number of deficits. I upped my supplements, and three days later started feeling immensely better. Three weeks after that I was at 100% Not a fix, but wow, did it help.

      I’ll put a little more below, but if you’ve had a panel it won’t be relevant, so I’ll just add here that I hope you feel better soon. And that reports to the Better Business Bureau about poor work and slow response to complaints often can be quite effective. Being notified that they have a complaint and have a time limit to resolve the issue before their score drops spurs action. Hope this helps.

      The extra bit: Friends who’ve had long Covid and gotten checked also had deficits, and supplementing helped them, too. It should be part of the long Covid treatment, but some doctors seem to not like checking nutrition, which is stupid. It’s maybe worth mentioning that we all had slightly different deficits. The consistent ones were C, D3, B6 (nerve function) B9, B12, Calcium (better through food) and Magnesium.

      The Dr. who started me on these checks told me that this is a universally available, inexpensive panel, and that anyone who doesn’t want to do it is objecting because they don’t want to look through the tests to locate it. She said that I should get a new Dr. anytime one objected. It’s been good advice.

      I also recommend CoQ10 and Hyaluronic Acid. HA helps water cross the cellular barrier so that cells can use it to make repairs, and CoQ10 facilitates cellular repair and energy metabolism. It’s common to start to have difficulty absorbing both in our 30s, so small dosages with meals work best. CoQ10 is mostly found in oily fish and organ meats, and HA is in starchy root vegetables. Supplementing if those categories are not a 2x+/week part of your diet can be helpful regardless of age.

      Anyway. I do hope things start to flow more smoothly for you soon.

      1. Yeah, I think the prednisone is a no-go for me too. Besides the shaky, sick feeling, I’ve had a weird scalp pain (neuralgia, much like I had once before that my doc said was viral in origin) that is getting worse every day. Trust me to get the weird side effects.

        I just had yearly bloodwork which checked some of that stuff–I get B12 shots, and that was fine. D was good. Magnesium okay, which is surprising because bad absorption of that is a fibro issue. Calcium good. The others weren’t tested.

        I already take CoQ10, but I’ll check into the HA. Thanks!

        1. You’re very welcome!

          The HA was a game changer for me, as things like CoQ10 don’t work as well if the body is low on HA- less access to the cell interior, so can’t be used as well. I hope it helps.

    4. Deb, did I once ask you about tick wear for gardening? I thought it was you, but lost my notes. If so, can you remind me of the brands you recommend?

  5. Sorry it has been awful. Virtual hugs and peaceful vibes.

    If you are allowed, yogurt is great for dissolving pills. The natural tang helps hide any medical aftertaste the meds might bring.

    I am so grateful that I could take my FMLA paperwork to my doctor’s office and said “Help!” And they walked me through it all. The oncologists had a person that only did FMLA paperwork for patients, so I got to drop off my forms and let her deal with it.

    1. Surely diesn’t apply with Jennifer’s medication, but be careful with dairy if you have to take antibiotics: iirc the milky elements of yoghurt etc can interfere with the effectiveness. At least that’s what I’ve been told long ago.

      1. Then why do they keep telling you to eat yogurt to deal with the stomach upset that comes with taking antibiotics?

      2. Dairy products can interfere with *some* antibiotics, but that’s fairly rare. Mostly yoghurt prevents the antibiotics from depleting the good elements of your intestinal microbiome.

  6. Mostly I’m working on staying sane. Eating-problem still present. Gastroscopy will happen, but it might take another 6-8+ weeks to get the appointment and then at least another before results and then… well, we don’t know anything yet, basically. Not even how much there’ll be left of me by then, if things stay the way they are now. Bleh.
    My yarn deserted me at the end-part of the hat I was making, so it had to be scrapped. Couldn’t even unravel it, the yarn will just be a mess. Trying to motivate myself to start a new project, but it’s…challenging.
    Sad news is that I was very close to get a guide-dog within a few months, but we’ve had to make the decision to put that on ice as well. If this almost-nno-eating-and-losing-weight-thing stays like this, I can’t take care of a dog. I’m still on their list, but moved down a bunch of steps. Very sad since the trainer said he already had a dog in mind for me. Oh well. There will be other dogs.
    My mum will come visit for a few days, arriving this Saturday and staying ’til the 16th. I want this to be a happy thing, but I’m actually a bit nervous and worried it’ll be too much. Buuut let’s be positive. We haven’t spent time only the two of us for more than 20 years, so let’s make something awesome out of it! Sven will be in London for a few days, so we’ll have the place to ourselves. I might try to teach her how much fun loom-knitting is. 🙂

  7. Not much work done since we’ve been on holiday in Vienna from Wednesday to Friday. By train.
    On the way back we got stuck between Munich East and Munich Main station (it should have been a ride of approx. 5 min. max). After more than 2 hours without info, only watching the train people search frantically for the reason why we didn’t have any engine function, we got the signal: Prepare to evacuate!
    By then it was after midnight.
    Another half an hour later, already standing with luggage, slowly cooking in our coats, we were allowed to exit.
    Many, many nice firemen and police helped getting out of the train. Climbing up the steep steps, we then found a number of taxis waiting for us to bring us to Munich main station.
    Media informed us afterwards that a freight train preceding our train had severely damaged the overhead wiring. The damage – also financial – is severe (a six figure sum was mentioned).
    And we had an adventure.
    Nice experience: the Austrian crew really made an effort to care for us passengers.
    And as a whole the travellers kept calm and relaxed.

    At least it gave me the opportunity to binge watch almost the whole of season 1 of Call the Agent.
    We didn#t have to catch any connecting train which was a big relief. I wouldn’t have stayed nearly as calm if this hadn’t been the return trip and it didn’t matter that we didn’t get to bed before almost 3 am, since on Saturday we could sleep in.

    Since then we started on painting the acent walls at the new lodging. Thanks, Sarina Bowen. Now I have a name for the distinctly coloured walls (“I’m your guy” revolves around furnishing a house) . The kids chose Mango for the accent wall in my room/study and it reflects beautifully when the light falls on that wall.

    But there’s still so much to do before we can actually move and work at the day job is intense (for all 4 of us – parents and kids alike) – I’ll be on a business trip to Bruges next week so have to cram in a lot to compensate)

  8. I am training someone new at work and am hopeful that it is going to be a good fit. Alas, I will be less active here for the duration.

    1. I am crossing my fingers that you finally discover the right fit. And – don’t desert us quite yet!

      1. Oh no, I just can’t be on my computer at work as much. I am sharing it with the trainee and she isn’t tentacle friends.

  9. I am soooo excited about the results of the U.S., and local, elections on Tuesday!

    This week, I trimmed dead branches, and branches that looked sick, that got in the way of the mower. I chopped more branches off a tree/large bush that expands exponentially, and blocks my access to the cleared corner of the back yard. The original access is already blocked by the Blue Spruce, which is still growing, despite looking pretty sick from the heat we had in the summer. I’m glad it is surviving, even marginally. I have more chopping to do on that huge bush. I also cut some Switch Grass that is fresh, and a nice reddish, orangish, and green, to replace the old bouquet of it in the tall vase outside my front door.

    I took my 19 year old truck to the shop yesterday because the engine light came on, and it was stuttering. This is the third trip to the shop this year, and if interest rates were lower, I would seriously consider getting a newer used vehicle to replace it. Sigh. I love my yellow truck, but all these failures are weaning me off that regard.

    My cats are due for shots and checkups, but that will have to wait. I also need to get the RSV shot. For those things, I need transportation. Life goes along smoothly, and then suddenly it doesn’t.

    1. I echo your excitement about the elections. In KY, a red state, the incumbent Democrat governor retained his seat over a Republican who ran with his primary slogans being that Trump endorsed him. It’s a very red state so he got 45% of the vote but He Did Not Win. Sit down and shut up Trump!

      1. It was too scary for me to be excited yet. I’m still in the panting with relief stage.

    2. Your truck is yellow! I am jealous. I got my twenty year old Jeep back in running condition for considerably less than a used 4 wheel drive vehicle with less than 100,000 miles on it would cost. My nineteen year old truck (bought from a co-worker–a dismal brownish gray) is having undiagnosable problems with its instrument cluster and I may have to learn to drive without a speedometer for the weeks it would take for the parts to come in.

    3. Did we do good? I have been afraid to watch. My local election was sad. Most people ran unopposed and Dems never win here.

  10. Can Krissie come and stay at my place and fix/set up things? I’ve read every one of her books – surely that should count for something??

    I’m trapped in fix-it land right now. The house is getting a new stair railing because the old one was rotting, bedroom being painted (okay that’s for aesthetic purposes I confess – nothing unsexier than an ice-blue paint in a bedroom and I’m tired of it), and the toilet thingy being replaced for the third time. Meanwhile at the cottage….basement flood caused mold on the walls so the handyman sprayed with bleach and then primed which caused all the carbon monoxide alarms to go off, my husband and I to get sore throats and headaches and the little dog to throw up although she usually has a cast iron stomach. So we fled back to the city. Yes, these are all 1% problems but they are annoying ones.

    Congrats on the election and abortion rights results – there is cause for optimism in your country and I am happy for you.

    1. I see your ice blue and raise you the fleshy pink/salmon of my bedroom in gloss. We moved in three years ago and I haven’t gotten around to fixing it yet. That, and the glow in the dark stars on the ceiling.

      1. LOL ice blue is the colour my teenagers opted for their attic rooms (only one wall, not all), so I guess the exposure to my beloved (smutty) hockey books is counteracted…
        We’ll get a soft leavy green accent wall in the parents’ room.
        The most passionate wall will be in the living room: deep burgundy red where the big farm table will be placed.
        Both kids are vegetarians, I’m half/half, only dh likes to eat red meat but all 4 opted for that colour.

  11. I have been thinking about making a quilt for the kid next door when he graduates next spring. I ran into his mom at the grocery store last week and asked about his plans. He’s applied several places, but won’t know if he made it into his A choice school until the end of January. So, since I need time to plan, I asked if he had a favorite color. Purple – the darker the better.

    I did some searching for purple quilt patterns and ordered one. It came in time for me to have the yardage needed when I went fabric shopping Saturday morning. This morning I started to cut the pieces. Stay tuned! It’s gonna be purple!

    1. Ooh, purple quilts! I may have made quite a few of them! So much fun. Gave them all away, because they clash with everything in my house, but giving them away was fun too. I see one of them on Instagram occasionally when the recipient posts a pic of her cat, who just happens to be on the quilt.

  12. Paperwork and pills are among the worst. Sympathies to you who are dealing with it.
    Sunday was book launch/signing at a local indie bookstore–it all went beautifully. I had to leave by 3:00; as I walked out the door, the Amazon truck with my copies pulled up, in time to supplement the bookstore’s holdings. Now I need to mail out copies and attend to stuff that backed up.

    I’ve picked up an editing project that’s tricky–a former student from 40 years ago, with five books in print, asked me. My goal is to keep him (successful businessman) from using the word impactful.

    Sheets in the washer, about to be hung outside on a ridiculously warm sw Ohio day.

  13. In yardkeeping, more progress on the rehabilitation of backyard.

    In housekeeping, finalized negotiations with DH about calling Habitat for Humanity to pick up some furniture we don’t need. That is scheduled for Friday afternoon and I’m so relieved. (Will be even more so once they drive away.)

    In writing, finished first draft of the latest contemporary novella, inspiration for which busted into my half-finished historical novella, so now I can get back to that. Also returned the edits for holiday novelette so I am now completely done with publisher obligations for 2023. And! Also! Finished prepping the last eight novels for wide launch, so I should be able to complete that project by the end of November. Whew.

  14. I spent the week in NANOWRIMO land and have 8584 words on my wip novel to show for my time spent there. If you know Nano you know that means I’m behind but I don’t care. I am loving it.

    This little bit is for Lupe, Tammy and all the other tentacle lovers – I made the decision not to use tentacle smut books after all. See I had MC reading one in the park but then when she went to dinner with her love interest, I found it hard to completely defend because the genre is muddy regarding consent issues.

    Don’t get me wrong, I support any adults right to read anything and am fairly liberal about what young people can read provided they have someone to discuss with about things that disturb them.

    But for this wip romcom whose main character is in a position to battle book banners, I need something that I can 100% defend. So I switched to M/M romance written by female authors. MC Sadie is reading Egotistical Puckboy.

    I really, really hope I don’t offend anyone and I am grateful for the help.

    In other news, I found out I can start applying for social security which I am eligible for full benefits with the right to work as much as I want at 66.5 years old. That age happens for me in January but I don’t need to wait until then to apply. Researching that today.

    Also HAVE to do laundry.

    And I am still doing the project of learning to long term budget which is supervised by my financially amazing baby brother and his lover. Unless I master that I will never be able to fully retire.

    So – getting back to writing sprints amongst doing all the things.

    I greatly appreciate this community that I am part of. Hi Krissie! I hope you, Jenny and Pat have loads of fun!

    1. With respect to social security, while they call it full retirement age at 67 (or 66.5 for those born in 1957) it’s not exactly full benefits. If you want until you hit 70 to apply your benefits go up significantly. So you may want to wait longer —it’s worth getting help deciding. After 70 there is no point in waiting.

      1. I know the controversies surrounding female authors writing gay romances. Personally, I can defend them easier than anything involving lack of consent.
        I don’t agree with banning anything, though.

      2. And to be clear it’s not all or nothing, each year you wait they go up some significant amount like maybe 8%?

    2. No offense taken. Dubcon is often part of the trope for alien romance.

      Just so you know, M/M written by female authors is also considered controversial. Don’t get me wrong, I am all in there, but some consider it to be fetishizing and not an accurate representation of the community. It catches some flack for that. For me, not realistic is the point and I don’t think that it is more offensive than say, m/f historical romance. I read it for the fluff and the silly. If I wanted realistic, I would read litfic (never).

    3. Oh none taken at all. Although I’d say Earth Fathers Are Weird is M/M romance written by a female author and I wouldn’t call it dubcon – more an interspecies miscommunication. However, I have way more tolerance for M/M dubcon and very little for M/F dubcon so…my p.o.v. may be suspect!

    4. In addition to what Debbie said about Social Security and retirement age, also keep in mind that even after full retirement age, your Social Security benefits are taxable, so working too much can end up reducing the net (by paying taxes on otherwise nontaxable Social Security income). It’s complicated. (Not legal advice, just an issue from my personal experience.)

  15. I’m working on healing. I just had MOHS surgery for a potentially cancerous spot on my face, my forehead is a mess of red spots and sore from a cream to get rid of precancerous spots, and I still have stitches from my gum surgery. My goal is to be done with pain and stitches by Thanksgiving. Meanwhile my husband says I’m a vampire because I can’t go in the sun.

    Also the day job is super busy.

    I did a huge closet clean out last weekend so my next tasks are sorting papers, getting my Mom’s RMD paid, picking the right health insurance for 2024, and deciding how to change our bank accounts which now have big fees. Fun, huh?

    1. Whew, doesn’t sound like the easiest to do work with vampyrism being a thing right now. Hope the pain and things go away real soon. Sending healing pocket-hugs! Triple also sends healing kitty-snuggles, in case you’d like some of those. One never knows what works. 🙂

  16. Taking my two Pfaff, (one quite ancient, the other not so much) sewing machines in for repair. Both having issues with the bobbin. Hmm, I did lend the machines to the gdaughter’s sewing class last year. Didn’t use the ancient machine until last September. My newer machine needs a once over, have used it a lot this year.

    More sh**zin has left the building. Bags of stuff. One rubber maid box with my sister’s unfinished baby shawl (with the pattern and extra wool) and patterns, was given to a hospital aux shop. They were very, very happy. Sister has been gone a long time. For some reason…I thought I might finish it. Yeah, right. Not a big knitter!

    Deciding if I want to take on or give advice and say no to an edit of a friend’s work in progress. I think a meeting would be best to discuss her expectations first. I immediately noticed the over use of “that” and repetition of words.

  17. I held off saying anything until I had actually gotten it done, but I had recently decided I was over my virus (hard to judge with vague symptoms) and I could do my postponed vaccinations (covid, flu, and RSV), and I’m just back from that appointment. Also, yesterday I made what seemed a large batch of chili with ground turkey breast and beans cooked from dried. I say “seemed large,” since after one tasty meal there are at most 5 or 6 servings left (mostly to be frozen). Otherwise, it was a week of lots of housework and some hobby stuff, the latter mostly online plus my book club preparation. I will have to do a serious non-fun deskwork stint Real Soon Now.

  18. Updating to add how the ADHD evaluation went. She said I had the presentation of it structurally, but she was going to mark me as “inconclusive” because I can’t answer much about how I was as a child, and maybe it’s all just work depression. She did say she doesn’t do these very often and she’s “very conservative” about it. I’m being re-routed to someone else for a re-evaluation, hopefully within a few weeks (sigh). I got the feeling they don’t really want to diagnose anybody with it if they could come up with something else and now I’ve got the black marks of “major depression and anxiety” on my record now to explain it…sigh.

    So yeah, now I’m back to being scared they’ll say I’m normal and fine and I’ll just get fired because I have no excuse for my bad behavior. I’ll also probably have to have them talk to my mom and god only knows what she’ll say since she doesn’t remember much either.

    1. Can you get in to be evaluated by a specialist in adult female diagnosis? We present differently than young boys- who are the main demographic diagnosed with Neurodiversity, and that is the basis for general training- and someone who specializes in female presentation of ADHD will be much more helpful, even if they don’t think you have ADHD, as they will be a specialist in helping adult women address issues.

    2. A weird thought — do you have aphantasia? (It’s the inability to visualize thing, or put more positively, you think in concepts, not images.) I just recently learned that it’s associated with not remembering much about our pasts, presumably because we don’t have images to anchor the memory. I’m aphtantasiac and have know it for many years, just not the bit about not being able to remember specific events in my past. I remember the stories that the family tells about my past, not the events themselves. I’d love to write a memoir about my rare disorder, to document the experience of patients before the treatment was approved in 2018, but I can’t remember enough specifics to make it work.

      Or you may have entirely different reasons for not remembering your childhood, in which case ignore me. Just thought I’d mention it, in case it’s helpful. If you google aphantasia and find the wikipedia article, it’s got good info.

      1. That’s amazing. I can’t imagine not remembering everything visually. I was astonished when I realized how many people don’t remember their early childhood (not just due to this, but it would explain some of them). My earliest memories are from when I was two – though I daresay that’s because I’ve re-remembered them over the years (and probably distorted them).

  19. My SSI/SSDI application got bounced back to me, so working on that. The DHS is also giving me a heard time as they’re refusing accommodations for selective mutism. Super frustrating, so trying to tackle this in pieces so as not to get overwhelmed by negativity.

    One step at a time.

  20. I declared my secret project’s first draft to be complete today (although it really isn’t, two scenes to go, but I frequently leave those two scenes to the second draft, and I’m stuck, so it’s going to have to wait). And I got a new, wireless keyboard/mouse, and there’s a learning curve, but I’m liking it. I was tired of the cord clutter, and needed to replace the old one because I couldn’t read the letters (white on black is hell with cataracts). Definitely better than the last time I tried cordless and there was a significant lag between typing and the letter appearing on the screen, which drove me crazy.

    And then I went to get my hair cut at the place I’ve been going to for something like twenty years, and we were chatting at the end, and we were having such a nice chat about the horrors of the local political scene, and I walked out the door without paying. Sigh. Did errands, got home, emptied my pockets, and there was the money I’d gotten out of the bank to pay him. Fortunately, I had been going to the same guy for twenty years, so when I called him two hours after I left, he hadn’t even realized that I hadn’t paid, and he knew I didn’t do it intentionally.

    And I’m saying it here, to hold myself accountable for next week — by then I MUST get some promo work done. Two guest blog posts, and website updates and I don’t know what-all else for the book coming out in January. And resume work on the first draft of the third book in that series.

    1. I have done that–not at a hairdresser’s but at the fruit and vegetable stand (they’ve retired now, sob!) where I used to stop twice a week. We always talked a lot and that time was no different, only we both forgot I hadn’t paid. Also there were cats to distract me.

  21. Catching up after yesterday’s election. It went well, except for the fire at one polling place. No one hurt, 15 minutes before the polls closed, nice night, so they were able to finish up in the parking lot. It’s always something. Anyway, it was a really long day. Dems did pretty well here which is a relief. Next batch of ballot processing starts Friday. It’ll be another long day.

  22. I am having mystery “car not starting (except when in for service of course)” issues, with my one year old car, which may have been caused by being parked near to where a delivery van caught on fire last month. Kia service wouldn’t even look at car for 3 days and no promise to fix anything found for 5 days after that, so went to someone local. If it is from fire, insurance will cover it but repair people can’t figure out what is going on, so hard to prove cause even if it is battery. Battery under warranty but dealership would say fire and insurance would say no proof, so probably will just pay for new battery and cross my fingers that solves the problem. And have to listen to my boss harangue me about how their insurance should cover it. The insurance company that is not returning my calls this week, though were responding before. Sigh
    All this has distracted me from working during a busy week, but trying to remain philosophical – except for occasional outburst of “what the f**k” and wondering what universal entity I have annoyed. It’s

  23. I still need to read everyone’s posts, but I’m happy to say I got all my customer’s quilts done that I had committed to prior to my surgery. It’s on Monday. I also found the ice cooler that I’ll use after my surgery. The person who borrowed it, still had it. I was at “the office” today as was he and he had it there with the long forgotten intention of returning it. (Perhaps I should have saved that for a Sunday happy?)

    The quilt that I finished quilting tonight can be seen at My friend Cathy pieced the top, with a little help.

  24. We are still working on the living room. We got most of the crown up, stopped by needing to do a ceiling repair job and figuring out how to do the returns on the ends. The chair rail is up and it looks great. New curtains are on order.

    Last weekend we went to Edmonton to visit friends and had a very nice time. I took Saturday to do errands, I dropped Paul off to have lunch with a buddy of his and then they went to the hockey game so he was occupied and not waiting for me. I went to the fancy plant store and then to get some new clothes. The store was having a 40% off everything sale and the poor clerks were run off their feet as there was only 2 of them! I didn’t find jeans I liked but I did get two new bras and some undies.

Comments are closed.