Working Wednesday, January 3, 2024

I got all fired up and made a list of things to accomplish this week, and I’m already behind. So I looked at the list again and realized that nobody on God’s green earth could do all of that in one week.

So this week I’m working on setting rational goals. Like one thing a day. (You had ONE JOB, Jenny . . .)

What did you work on this week?

88 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, January 3, 2024

  1. health: 2 doctor (nurse practitioner) appointments and a gym instructor today. As it’s part of a NHS program the instructor called me to let me know I’d made it to the top of the waiting list and to make my first appointment. In the course of which he was obliged to ask my gender and sexual orientation. gender maybe but orientation? For a gym membership? I appreciate the possibilities being acknowledged but I would so like society to start leaning towards not of weight unless sexual contact is being considered.

    funsies is crocheting a furry brown hood, maybe with ears. wish I had brought it into this waiting room…

  2. Ima take the week off. I mean, I’m retired and I had no plans, but that just seems like too much work. So, Netflix and chill.

    Okay, I might clean the fridge. Maybe.

  3. Regardless of do-ability, I always feel better when I have everything written down on a list. It’s like then I give myself permission to not hold it in my brain. It never gets completely finished, but I greatly relish crossing things off.

    I am still slowly, very slowly, cleaning and organizing. And I am trying to get back into the swing of making things. It’s amazing how hard it is to pick it back up, even after a scheduled break.

    1. The not holding it in my brain thing is key! It is amazing to me how heavy that mental load can be. Writing it down helps. Writing it down in small enough chunks to occasionally cross things off is also good.

    2. I keep lists in my head for day to day stuff. When I get months with lots of stuff-meetings, appointments, etc.-then I need to write them down and cross things off. It’s my best coping methods. Eating potato chips isn’t.

      1. If I really need to remember something an alarm on my phone and it’s written on my thigh with a sharpie. Thighs best because no one else really sees it an.d you get reminded every time you go to the bathroom.

  4. I made a start on the Great Photography Sort-out – which led me to finish updating my Lightroom notes, which it turns out I’d been doing in April/May until freelance work interrupted me. Also had to sort out a corrupted database; and need to research updating Lightroom and my Mac’s OS. One thing doesn’t half lead to another.

    This week I’ve had a friend staying, which has been lovely. She’s just left, so I’m now planning my Twelfth Night feast (a vegetarian meal for a few friends) on Friday. And I’m proud of the fact that I’ve remembered to post a daisy a day so far for my Twelve Daisies of Christmas (today’s has a bee: https://www.instagram.com/p/C1otVyYMSQ9/).

    1. I’ve been greatly enjoying your daisy a day. (I’ll give you a daisy a day dear! I’ll give you a daisy a day. I’ll love you until the rivers run still and the four winds they all blow away)

    2. I’ve been really enjoying the daisies! I bought myself 4 Gerber daisies at the store yesterday to add cheer to the grey gloom that is Michigan.

  5. Getting Christmas packed away and taking the fur baby to have her teeth cleaned today… which she is going to hate.

  6. Cleaning up Christmas stuff (not a big deal), updating address list for the year, packing for 2-1/2 weeks (Argentina and Antarctica cruise), getting lists/food, etc. ready for cat sitter, general picking up, laundry, volunteer work at library, reading, etc.

    1. Hope you enjoy are see lots of whales, dolphins and penguins. Pack layers with thermals it’s chilly on those decks where you will want to be plus remember nose and face get chilled too. We did this cruise on Azamara in 2013 and have wonderful memories. The crew came round with hot chocolate laced with rum to keep us all warm.

  7. I took a couple of days off last week and spent a great deal of time in my sewing room. I was mostly doing “stitch in the ditch” to stabilize a couple of quilts prior to actually quilting them. One of them is pretty big, so it was like wrestling a large sloth to make some of those turns and angles.

    I then evaluated my quilt production for the year in anticipation of entering them in our local quilt show. I generally put everything in – the judging is anonymous, no one in the judging room knows that you entered a bunch of quilts. I’m not in the show for a ribbon, although if I get one, that’s fantastic. I figure the show is to illustrate the wide range of quilts and techniques, and it only gets better if you have a wide variety to display, so I don’t try to only pick my best one. As a result I entered 11 quilts, 4 of which still need to be finished. (I then created a miniature that I’ll probably enter to get an even dozen.) So my work is cut out for me for the next two months!

    I did finish (or almost – still need to weave in my ends) a crochet shawl. I found the yarn in my craft room and decided it didn’t need to hang around any longer. I’m not a shawl person, so I’ll need to see who wants it. 🙂

    https://www.instagram.com/p/C1o3xMuuHas/?img_index=1

  8. I’ve been filling out this year’s planner with all my intentions and things to accomplish and bucket lists etc.
    And this year is the year I will accomplish some of all that, but will also give myself permission to nap instead.

  9. Yesterday was fun–periodontist’s to see if we can figure out why I’ve had a toothache since before Christmas (not the gums, apparently, although I’m seeing the doctor instead of the tech next week, but it’s starting to look like a failed 10 year old root canal molar, which will be expensive, painful, and inconvenient, since the closest endodontist is an hour away). And new cardiologist (my last one died in October), who was very nice, but is doing All the Things, starting with me wearing an uncomfortable Holter monitor for a week, checking my oxygen levels overnight, then in a couple of weeks an echocardiogram followed by a stress test. It will be nice when all this is behind me, although I’m grateful to have good people to work with.

    On the bright side, my agent loved the first revisions on my current novel (win!), so now I’m changing a bunch of other things to go with the earlier shifts. But this is the most work I’ve gotten done on a novel in a year, so I’m happy about that.

    1. I’m sorry you have all these uncomfortable tests and such. I went through a little bit in the fall (never tell a cardiologist you feel a tightness in your chest!), and paid a chunk of change to find out I’m fine. May this new cardiologist find nothing alarming.

      1. I’m okay paying a chunk of change to find out I’m fine. I have a number of heart issues (heart palpitations and tachycardia, among other things) which vary in severity and discomfort but aren’t life threatening. I’ll be happy to be told there is nothing new to worry about, at least for a while.

        My guess is that most of my symptoms at the moment are a combo of fibro flare and long Covid, but at 63, it’s probably best to check rather than assume.

    2. I had two root canals fail a few years ago (probably originally done some 40 years ago, and I guess I’m lucky they lasted that long), and had apicoectomies to save them (front teeth). Not sure if that’s an option for molars though.

      1. What is an apicoectomy when it’s at home? Mine is ten years old and there is a crown, so it should last longer, but you never know. And it’s still possible I have an infection in the gum, since I have a large pocket the periodontist has been dealing with for many years.

        1. Apicoectomy is when they lift the gum, cut off the tip (apex) of the tooth’s root, surgically clean out the infection, then close it up again and the bone grows back around the new tip. In some cases there’s a bone graft too, but I didn’t need that. Yeah, it’s a bit gruesome, but it saves the tooth, and isn’t as bad as it sounds.

  10. My stepdaughter (14) and my goddaughter (26) have been up at the cottage with us and participating in the LOTR marathon. They are going back to Toronto today – sad! Totally delightful to be with them both.

    1. OOoo. We just got HBO which has the LOTR movies and I am trying to talk Kevin into a rewatch. We tried it with the Hobbit, but those movies just don’t work for us.

          1. There are two whole good parts in those three movies – the singing dwarves in the first movie in Bilbo’s house, and Martin Freeman and Benedict as Smaug. That. Is. It. The rest is boring and the love interest with Killi and elf woman is cringeworthy.

          2. I couldn’t agree more. Except I appreciate the fact that Radagast the Brown finally made it into an adaptation. I am still waiting for Tom Bombadil.

      1. They need to make a movie adaptation of Bored of the Rings, with Goodgulf the Magician, Dildo and Frito Bugger and Spam Gangrene. Legolamb. Fighting the Ballhog. Created by The Harvard Lampoon before they went pro and became National Lampoon.

        1. I have that book. I think my brother read through it twice, looking for the part described in the appropriately named tease.

  11. This week I have been working on review of reading in 2023, Liz and Vince made the cut and got a mention (http://www.thatreadingwritingthing.com/home/2024/1/3/2023-in-books.html) and am trying to get my head around building a teaching portfolio in the Appleverse. Nearly finished with this week’s podcast – it is about a brilliant book, Reading Lolita in Tehran. I hadn’t realised how many men attacked the book (Christopher Hitchens, Hamid Dabashi and a guy writing about it for Slate) – and I think none of them actually had read the book, so have spent some time venting about that. Was that work or pleasure? Or a bit of both?

  12. I’ve realized any time that I make a long to do list, I’ll generally start checking off tasks with enthusiasm, then set the list aside, forget about it, and find it months later. At which point I realize nothing on it was actually urgent, or the things on it resolved themselves without me doing anything.

    1. Love it when things resolve themselves off the list. Except for “buy tickets to see or do fun thing”

  13. I’m taking the bus from Maine to NYC tomorrow, to meet an old friend and go see “La Boheme” at the Met. Then back to Maine by late Friday (on the bus). So today is a bunch of little chores to get that set up.
    We leave the tree up until Epiphany, and I may have a bonfire. I’m waiting for some free-lance work to come in, but the client is a friend and often means to send work over, but takes a while.

  14. I did lots of beginning the year stuff, which involved lots of phone calls. I resist these, so I’m proud of myself that I made those calls. My granddog visited for 6 days while her family visited my other family in Arizona. She’s a good dog, and entering her old age. Us two old ladies get along well. I started Deb’s book, A Year and a Day of Everyday Witchcraft, and am enjoying each day’s suggestions. I got the new Kindle going and already read one book. Has anyone else noticed that some Kindle editions are nearly as expensive as paperbacks? I was shocked at what they are charging for something that cost no ink or paper to produce, and has no pretty cover on my B & W Kindle. I made lists and crossed them off. It finally warmed up enough to walk a little in the afternoons. Dentist today, haircut tomorrow. Yay!

    1. Daily emails from Amazon and Bookbub can really help saving money on Kindle books. Or just checking daily Kindle deals can be useful.

    2. I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book! I’m actually working on a new one, since that one came out in 2017 and some folks have suggested that they’ve used it enough years in a row that they wanted something new.

  15. Stiff prices seem very common for nonfiction ebooks and not rare for fiction ones. Under rare circumstances I’ve paid that price, but as a policy first I’ll also consider print and for the one medium or the other try libraries, Cloud, Hoopla, abe.com and even Amazon (which occasionally lists print used books that abe doesn’t). If I can finish in the loan period, ILL is a possibility. Even if I can’t finish, sometimes I can read enough to decide if the book is worth buying. I mean, NOW I could afford just to buy the overpriced ebook but in formative years I couldn’t, and now it just seems wrong.

  16. Doing end-of-year tasks (reviewing the year’s journal entries) and trying to set some goals for my writing. Also editing a former student’s latest book, trying to steer him from overuse of words such as impactful. He’s a business guy, a CEO yet, and can’t help it. : )

    1. I still hate “utilize”, because everybody utilized it at one point. What’s wrong with “use”?

      1. That has been one of my longest lasting pet peeves! A good word “use” beats the heck out of “utilize” which is cumbersome and ugly! It also seems to be favored by pretentious people – double ick! Happy New Year everyone… Taf

  17. I’m still cleaning up from the holidays and trying to get my stamina back to pre-virus levels. Leftover Hoppin John had better get frozen today. I think everything else from the holidays is either already eaten or already frozen. I have the makings for more soup, but I think I need more freezer compartment space freed up first.

    On the task list for today is more straightening up in the kitchen and the home office. And reading further in the current book club book, as opposed to whatever book strikes my fancy. I’ve got about ten days to finish it. (I’ve been known to bail out on club books, but only if I really dislike them.)

    Maybe a little deliberate exercise in addition to the appreciable exercise of chores. As I said, I’m trying to restore stamina without wiping myself out.

    There are many, many other things it would be nice to complete, but the above is my realistic goal. We’ll see if I meet it!

      1. Into at least early adulthood, I could happily eat ice cream in winter. Now, between the energy-conscious room temperature I’ve set and just being way older, I have no urge that way. (I mean, it it were in front of me I’d eat it, but …) So no ice cream is in the freezer. I probably could take the ice-cube bin out, however …

        1. I discovered the bin is still half full of ice cubes. Now, I could still put it down in the refrigerator compartment where they would gradually melt and save a little electricity in cooling, but for the moment I squeezed everything in while leaving it in place. At least it’s a future option.

  18. After so valuable critique of my novel in progress – I started a major organize & rewrite. Got a lot done but still a little more to do.

    Cleaned some & am working on laundry.

    Still working on budget & money tracking issues.

    Trying to start chair yoga again but failing so far.

    Boring week apparently.

  19. Dragon-egg is still being worked on. Slow process.
    Terribly tired because the demonspawn (aka Triple) has started waking me up early in the mornings again and won’t freaking give up until I get up. And of course now I have to handle a bunch of tech-stuff with a mushy brain. Because of helping-an-old-lady-reasons, I bought a new phone (so she can have my old one, which she knows how to handle), and have already spent far too many hours today setting the dang thing up. My old phone was from 2016, so they’ve changed a bunch of things since. My home-screen has a bug that annoys the fruit out of me (see, I’m TRYING not to curse) and not having a home-button anymore is at times mildly frustrating when the phone gets the idea that I’m swiping to go to the thrice cursed home-screen when I actually want to scroll. It’ll sort itself out I’m sure, but for just now it’s…exhausting. Also busy fixing the last details on a new computer because other reasons, and I really HATE new computers, so it’s a lot of fun!
    I bought 3 books of loom-knitting patterns last week. Now trying to convince myself I actually need to get new yarn to knit the stuff that’s in ’em. The yarn I already have won’t work for the projects I’m considering. I’m proving very hard to convince of the necessity of new yarn though. Might need battering-ram to get through to myself.
    Before I FORGET AGAIN, I recently ran across this site when looking for an “I aten’t dead”-t-shirt: https://www.discworldemporium.com/ I love nerdy merch. Now I just need to convince myself it’s not a waste of money and actually things I need. (Good luck, me!)

    1. new yarn! “But it would be such a waste of the lovely books if you don’t try out some of the patterns”
      I have yarn. I’m having trouble convincing myself to take time to play with it. We need to feed our good wolf.
      I don’t wear t shirts much but if I did, that one would cheer me up every time I wore it. And it might encourage interesting strangers to talk to me

      1. I needed this. Thank you! <3
        Will try to look for yarn tomorrow. Indeed, waste of good books. AND, I have birthday-presents and hats for themed parties that I need to make. Can't sit around not-making them, right?

  20. I’m still off from work this week, thank god. This week’s work is waiting to see IF I finally get a diagnosis or any of the paperwork I need for work, which…????? Today’s medical stuff is meeting with my caseworker re: a treatment plan and starting ADHD classes.

    Auditioned for Fiddler last night. As per usual, I won’t get an actual part, but that’s how I am.

      1. Never doubt the power of an overloaded agency to misplace things. However, now that the holidays are over, the chance of finding them again increases. Hooray!

  21. This past year I started using the “reminder” function on my iPhone to make my ToDo lists and it actually worked pretty well. I enjoyed swiping things off the list when they were done (or I decided they were never going to be done).

    Our book club at work is currently reading Brave, Not Perfect by Reshima Saujani and I am trying to implement some of the self-care actions noted. So far that has meant playing a lot of fetch with the dog–not sure that’s what the author had in mind, but it’s more fun than going to the gym (though much more slobber).

    Other than that, I’m working on finishing the small backyard shed that I started a few months ago with remnants from the backyard deck replacement. It’s not a thing of beauty, but will be useful when done and enabled me to use up a lot of the pile of random wood that had accumulated. For now, it is lacking a roof and doors, but it does have shelves, peg-board, and hooks to hang things for easy access. It’s in the garage for now, but I put it on wheels so I can roll it into place when it is done.

    1. That shed sounds impressive. I need to master my drill driver so I can make a neat new compost bin for the garden.

  22. I may have mentioned cleaning my fridge. This was an act necessitated by my attempt at cooking. I was making a Hot Dish and intended to use the three and a half pounds of chicken thighs in the meat bin. Alas, said chicken had an expiration date of before Thanksgiving.

    Worse… no, just bad, not worse, I wasted a lot of ingredients preparing the dish (which wound up using some fresh boneless pork chops) because the times needed were incompatible. Mainly, the red potatoes need a much longer cook time than anything else. Potatoes al dente suck. And I used way too much minced garlic, mistakenly thinking that was not possible.

    The entry of this dish in the database went under the heading “My Mistake.” I ate most (not all) of it, though I did make pork chop sandwiches out of the main protein ingredient. I’m counting my mistake as work for the week.

    Some things must be endured.

    1. Like you, I’m surprised red potatoes would need a longer cooking time than a typical casserole. (Maybe what they needed was really a higher temperature? That’s happened to me with baked potatoes. ) I’m sure better cooks than I are on this site, but I think I would have tried fishing out the potatoes and microwaving them for maybe 5 minutes, adding more time in small increments if they still were underdone. Or if that was impossible, fishing out the meat (which can get tough if over-microwaved) and zapping the rest of the casserole until the potatoes were edible. I’m not sure what can be done about too much garlic. Mask it with a sauce?

      I’ve had to start noting cook/freeze dates on my kitchen calendar, at least for highly perishable stuff. Stuff like yogurt, usable after its nominal best-by date, still occasionally goes moldy on me.

      1. I made kabobs the previous week. For those, I nuked the potatoes for six minutes before threading them on the skewers with onion, peppers (cubanelles), and steak cubes. I should have applied that technique. The kabobs turned out well.

  23. Starting out the new year with doctors appointments, one this week and one next week, and one meeting next week. And one banking errand to run.

    I’m enjoying my Kindle. The books can be pricey; but, I got it to cut down on the number a print books I buy. That’s working out beautifully and deals help.

    Local politics-wise, our MAGA types are starting with a bang. They have issues with our first black councilwoman. They got push back on that immediately and some of their claims have been instantly debunked. Yay for our team!

    Anyway, I’m feeling guardedly optamistic.

  24. I had a substantial to-do list for the long New Year’s weekend, but I didn’t expect to get it all done, just have some things to choose from to keep me focused, which was fortunate, because I ended up taking one of the three days for R&R, barely getting out of bed all day, and mostly listening to audiobooks (subject for tomorrow, I suppose). The to-do things were mostly taking care of stuff I wanted to leave behind in 2023, and it felt good to start the new year without them hanging over my head.

    Now, I’m mostly back to just one priority thing per day per category, and trying to limit how many categories per day (e.g., fiction, non-fiction, housework, errands, appointments, etc). So, today was all about working on the second draft of the third Bourbon B&B book, and a dentist appointment. Tomorrow is about taking out the trash and continuing the second draft.

    Oh, and speaking of keeping expectations low, I really like the new Chuck Wendig blog post, nominally about not chasing trends, but also about the importance of writing for yourself first and foremost, publishing be damned — https://terribleminds.com/ramble/2023/12/31/writers-resolution-2024-pretend-trends-do-not-exist-or-fuck-it-this-one-is-for-me/ I’d already decided on a “Fuck it, I’m doing it for me” motto for this year, so maybe it’s in the zeitgeist for writers this year.

  25. I’m enjoying having DD and DS and foster daughter around this week and next. Along with the rolling holiday comes some rolling holiday tasks I haven’t finished yet. So im trying to work a reduced day job during their visits. That job is part time consulting and I have to decide if I want to pick up more hours to help the client because a key staffer is leaving for a new job. I don’t want more work, but I really like both the people and the mission of the org and they really need me. So I’m probably going to do it for the short term.
    We had 12 people for new years dinner and that took a silly amount of time to prep and clean up. And foster daughter finally showed up—she was having pain that delayed her arrival for days and I thought she wouldn’t come and didn’t prepare —she has a very limited diet ( FODMAP plus no dairy plus plus plus) so now I’m trying to figure out what I can feed her and also stock up.
    I also had a routine medical test early today and PT early tomorrow. I’m exhausted. I find myself amazed that we got kids to school on time for 19 years. How did we do it?
    Also SDW is back. She hadn’t been in touch with mom and I was hoping she was going to leave town and skip her court date and mom would never see her again but no. Pondering next steps .

  26. Today was the first day back to work since December 22. Fortunately, there was only one casual meeting, so it was an easy reentry.

    I have been working on my Arcadia Avenue quilt top that I started in 2021. The main blocks were done but I was debating on how I wanted to set the blocks as well as what I wanted to do with the setting triangles. I have figured out what I wanted to do after sampling some possibilities. I have also picked out the colors that I’m going to put in the center of the setting triangles. I posted a picture of the mess on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/p/C1p_SlSJdPh/?igsh=MW41MXg0bW41cGQ4MA==

    I am also a list person, but I try to limit it to three items a day, and ideally one of those items would be for my personal life and not work. Unfortunately, today’s list contains six items and only three so far have gotten accomplished. However, I also started an 11 day diet today and that has really taken up all my focus. It is truly healthy, but very time intensive to prepare the meals. I’m not sure how far I’ll get. I am also taking a goalsetting course on Friday to try and identify my major goals for 2024. I already have too many so weeding them out is going to be important.

  27. I had a Dr appt this morning, which I followed up by picking up my cat’s remains (he was cremated) at the vet. When I got home, I took his ashes outside and scattered them around the yard, in his favorite places. Afterwards I ended up dust mopping, then mopping all the floors except the living room (carpet) and cleaned the bathrooms. It all started because the kitten had defecated just outside the litter box. I think he was in the box but his behind was outside it! Anyway, I washed the litter box, put a clean liner under it and fresh litter in it. That led to cleaning the bathroom where the litter box is kept. And so on, and on.

  28. We keep a running list of things that need to be done and then just work through them as able, it’s much less stressful than saying “all this will be done in a week/month/quarter”. But having it written down means you don’t lose track of what needs doing, which is helpful.

    Currently working on kitchen organization, which needs an overhaul so that daily tasks are much easier. Also back to school time after winter break.

  29. What with being away from home and traveling, I haven’t accomplished much of anything. Made an appointment to get my teeth cleaned, and got my time-off requests in for the year, and cleaned some terribly old stuff out of the fridge.

    Any day now I expect to get hit with a case of Must Write Something, but at the moment brain is still idling, which is oddly restful.

  30. My work today was climbing a small waterfall so I could jump back off into the lagoon. Yesterday’s was kayaking out to the best spot to swim with wild turtles. Can every week be annual leave? Holidays are the best thing ever. I hope that all you lovely people have a similarly wonderful start to your 2024. 🙂

  31. I am learning about propagation boxes for plants, knee exercises, and trying to figure out what colour I want to stain the new shelves.

    Day job, house work, cooking, blah blah blah.

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