Working Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

Today I am cleaning my bedroom because I’m tired of having asthma attacks. New sheets, new filter for the airconditioner, same dog.

What are you working on this week?

74 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, Feb 28, 2024

  1. I cleaned my bedroom too! And my bathroom. There is still more to go, but I feel better, more in control of my space. Up next is a sweater/closet purge.

    I also finished my taxes, which is a huge relief.

    Up next is applying for my passport. I have the forms printed. I just need the photo and to find my birth certificate…

    Otherwise, I am just trying to catch up on life before spring hits for real, and garden and yard sale seasons start.

  2. Oh and I am prepping for the annual #MarchMeetTheMaker challenge on Instagram. I don’t ever seem to get results in the form of followers, but it is nice to have a list of prompts to work from rather than just noodling through on my own in somewhat slapdash fashion.

    This year I am trying to do a reel or short video for each challenge. I am not great with these and not familiar with the tools that Instagram and Tiktok provide, so hopefully I will walk away from the next month with some new skills.

  3. I’ve been supporting my house-hunting friend – who’s now not sure about either of the two houses she fancied, so is sleeping on it. Also finally made a start on my big photography sort-out. I like my new presets for processing my raw originals – they’re really punchy, like my favourite films were. I think I’ve been too worried about accurately reproducing reality, when of course photography can’t actually do that. And it’s more satisfying to go for the excitement I felt as I looked through the viewfinder.

    And yesterday I sowed my first batch of seeds, which are in my heated propagator, being fooled into thinking they’re in the subtropics and it’s safe to start growing.

    1. that sounds interesting, showing your excitement in the photos. I much prefer art with a feel for the artist in it.

    2. I’m glad you have a greenhouse, because otherwise propagating seeds this early would be cruel. The temperature dropped 50 degrees F last night and we had a touch of snow. Those little green sprouts always look so defenseless at this time of year.

  4. How is it Wednesday already?

    Anyway, this is my week to catch up on all the stuff I ignored the last two (three?) months while I was working toward a manuscript deadline. I’m particularly happy to have completed the consultation that’s the first step in getting my cataracts removed and being able to see again! Ultrasound of the eyes in about three weeks, then surgery on the first eye a couple months after that, and the second eye four to six weeks later.

    1. Hurrah! Congrats to getting your eyes fixed! I know it’s a chunk of time away still, but it’ll be done and you’ll see like a hawk afterwards, my grandparents whom have done it tell me. Lovely!

  5. I finished knitting the cat! It still needs a face, so no photo yet, but at least the cat is done. Because of all the mishaps during knitting, I wouldn’t even gift it to someone, but it works for a demo-cat. Taking baby-steps on my journey to make plushies/soft toys, and it feels good. It’s one of the subjects I am still passionate about, and that’s also a positive feeling, force and motivation. I hope I’ll get “there” eventually and can make things people will love. Dreams and goals are good to have etc.

  6. I attacked the hell strip again on Saturday and made good progress. One more such day, and that particular piece of the yard may be thoroughly subdued.

    Wrote two chapters for the novella-in-progress over the weekend, then a chapter for the novel-in-progress, and yesterday another chapter for the novella. If it remains a novella. I’m doing short chapters (1600-1700 words), and it feels like a novella, but honestly, writing brain does what it wants.

    Kind of feel like I *should* be working on a thing for the Advent calendar, but it’s only February, right?

  7. I am on vacation.
    I am working on not losing my temper in very showy ways.

    My beloved is himself, his brothers are delightful. Their friends from university times…. really deserve to have tantrums thrown at them. I do not deserve to have to remember throwing public tantrums. I deserve to move serenely through the rest of this week. I also deserve to remember I feel this way now, next year, when this trip comes up again.

    1. I’m trying not to lose it at a castmate who has a crush on me and is literally following me around everywhere but the women’s dressing room and the bathroom. During the show (he’s been assigned to follow me everywhere, even) and especially outside of the stage, which I didn’t mind except it’s become constant and he keeps talking and talking and talking. He’s probably neurodivergent, and is pretty young, and my therapist says he probably can’t help it, which I agree with. The problem will resolve itself somewhat once we’re supposed to spend most of our times in the dressing room and once the show ends, and I don’t want to yell at him because he’s nice, he’s just getting to be A Lot Lot Lot. Seriously, it feels like karma is coming for me because I used to follow the crush around and now I have to pay for what I’ve done by experiencing why the crush exploded on me, because now I want to explode.

      I’d kill to meet someone who likes me at the theater, and instead, I get…this.

      So yeah, just wanted to say I get the suppressing rage as well.

    2. It’s the guilt that gets me every time. I am trying to give it up for lent, but I am struggling.

      My coworkers want to go out again, for a birthday. The last time was a couple of weeks ago and it was miserable and embarrassing. We are one of Those Groups. Anyone who has ever served will know what I mean.

      I like the restaurant that was picked, but I really don’t want to leave work for a couple of hours just to show up again and pay to eat out. I see these people for 40+ hours a week. I want to be at home with my husband and my cats.

      And yet I feel compelled. I will feel churlish and ill-mannered if I don’t go. Why is that?

      Clancy, remain strong. Vacations are too precious to waste another one being unhappy.

      1. In life it is important, to not always say no, however you also don’t have to say yes all the time either. There should be balance, you went last time, that’s probably social enough, just wish them happy birthday and tell them this time, you have a prior commitment with family, just don’t tell them it’s pottering at home with the husband and cats

  8. Job applications: 30 for the state, 2 elsewhere, 1 for potential job reassignment.

    I had one interview last week which ended after 15 minutes after they asked me if I’d ever been disciplined at work, and unfortunately I have. I didn’t want to work there anyway because it turned out the job was within a prison and they weren’t terribly great about spelling that out ahead of time, but that still made me feel like shit. I have another interview this Friday, but they said they WILL CALL MY SUPERVISOR even though I asked them not to and they are not supposed to, so that job’s shot too. I don’t really care about it either, but again, feelings hurt and I feel like I’m never going to escape my failure past here.

    I have dropped my grievance at work since it was a stalling tactic and I have no case to argue. I’m glad that’s over.

    Fiddler tech week, see above post for how that’s going. The show is actually going very smoothly and well, very few incidents or complications. I’m getting a lot of crochet done on a ruffled skirt.

  9. Just wanted to leave a quick note – I’m so glad you are writing again! I love Susan Elizabeth Philips’s books, but I love yours more 🙂

  10. Working on getting over my “shitty souvenir from Dublin” (quote from my head of dept.), i.e. Covid. Got down with it on Monday, survived so far. It feels like it. Not able to read, hardly able to listen to audiobooks/podcasts or music. Should work on important stuff. Yet, right now, my health has priority.

    1. Btw: Draft Bust by Hannah Henry has book b’day = get it for free today.
      It’s only a bit about hockey…

  11. I’m working (or will be in a few minutes) at the library for a chance to concentrate. Hopefully, whatever goes on here will not be up to me to solve, negotiate, etc. I’m seated in the cookbook room, so that could be trouble.

  12. At my age, medical stuff definitely counts as hard work! Monday I survived my annual physical with only one specialist referral to follow up on, which I suppose is par for the course for my increasing years.  While I was out, I also did a fairly large bit of shopping, stopped by the library, and refueled the car.  After all that plus lugging all the groceries upstairs from the car, I was tired but not exhausted, so I hope my stamina is improving a bit.

    The next day I was off to the dentist, and I am now two teeth lighter.  The business went more smoothly than in the last batch of extractions, but for obvious reasons I was pretty tense.  That should do it for the nasty stuff, although after my mouth heals I should be getting fitted for my very own partial denture, just like dear old Dad had.  In retrospect I shouldn’t have bought the hard-crust bread I did the on Monday, since I’m on soft foods for the next week.  (I did also buy the regular kind of bread.)  I was too tired yesterday to slice the hard bread up and freeze it, so that’s on today’s agenda.  (This bread is uncuttable when frozen, and even frozen slices stick together, so beforehand you have to cut it up and then insert some spacer such as foil between slices, or else thaw it all at once.)

    Routine ophthalmologist visit coming up in two weeks, which at worst should mean a new prescription. But we’ll see.

    So today’s plan is to rest up bit from the week’s adventures, straighten up the kitchen, probably run the dishwasher,  stow the groceries more elegantly than I left them, and do some sit-down chores as whim takes me (I have a wide selection to be done!).

    On other fronts, I think I’m getting online jigsaw puzzles down toward a more routine and less obsessive activity,  although I definitely found it soothing when anticipatingthe dental visit.  I recently discovered that you can adjust the number of pieces up or down from the default amount.  I’m currently playing at about 100 pieces and have selected puzzles with pictures I like but that have default settings respectively way below and way above that.
    Those are still in progress. I also read about how to upload (uncopyrighted) pictures for the software to turn into more puzzles.  It looks straightforward and I even downloaded some public-domain art, but have not yet concluded whether it’s suitable.

    1. I take screenshots of images I like, then crop them for use as jigsaws. But I’m playing in an app rather than online. And I find if I jiggle the slices to loosen them before putting the loaf in the freezer they’ll usually come apart when I want to remove a couple. If not, I insert a blunt knife between them to prise them apart.

      1. Jane, I’ll try the jiggle hint next time. Too late for this time. Regular commercial sliced bread never sticks this badly on me, save that, come to think of it, I have had problems with German long-keep bread sticking. At least from my local suppliers, even allegedly presliced bagels often are not sliced completely through. I’ve found the best way to freeze bagels is to separate the halves, using a knife as needed, and to restack them so that all the open faces are aimed in the same direction, so that only the rounded crust touches the open face below it.

        1. Patrick, sliced bread dries out much faster in the freezer. Have you considered cutting the loaves into medium sized chunks and then slicing them after you defrost them? Then you wouldn’t have to worry about the slices sticking to each other.

          1. Aunt snack, I’ve been doing this a long time and have not noticed the drying. Thinking about it, this could be either because I don’t leave it in the freezer compartment very long, since bread is bulky and not a good use of space, or because I generally toast it. Again because of bulk, I don’t generally freeze bread unless it is in grave danger of molding (or mold has even started on the loaf), so thawing more than I need immediately is inadvisable.

    2. Have you thought bread pudding or chicken and stuffing. Toasting it with butter is delicious and softens it. I’m hungry now.

      1. Amyll, Chicken with stuffing is a great thought for soft food, especially since the front came through and it’s winter again. (I had a tuna salad sandwich for supper yesterday. ) I even have the makings on hand (frozen cooked chicken and stuffing mix) to do it the easy way.

  13. Working the conference hard. Which mostly means going from conference centre, which is inside the hotel to our room, which is a 15 minute walk and then back again and meeting more people. My extroversion is getting a workout as well as my feet.

    1. It is nice to have some space between work and your hotel room. I once worked a knitting trade show with my Mom in a complex that also held a Mary Kay distributor convention. The parking lot was a sea of pink cars and it was impossible to either ride the elevator or enter the coffee shop without getting a heavy duty sales pitch. It was exhausting!

  14. I was going to do a freelance job today, but a coworker’s spouse has Covid so my freelancee didn’t want me in her house, understandably enough. That meant I had time at home to break down boxes that had accumulated in the basement and sweep. DH had said he would deal with the boxes over a week ago, but I wanted it done so I did it. He came and swept for me, so I may have come out ahead on this project actually. There is still way too much stuff down there, but it’s not mine, and at least the floor is swept around it.

    Got 4 annoying scheduling or data checking calls done yesterday, so feeling very adult.

  15. Slightly off topic, but better today than tomorrow, since it’s not shaping up as a “great book,” at least as narrated: I’ve started the audiobook of SEP’s Natural Born Charmer, recommended as a good SEP starting place. I’m getting distracted by the narrator, the late Anna Fields. Our hero Dean was raised in California and currently lives in Chicago. I don’t think we’ve gotten an indication of our heroine Blue’s upbringing so far, but I have no reason to believe it’s Southern. So why the devil is Fields narrating in a strong Southern (but not Deep South) accent, including in the extensive section following Dean’s thoughts? I would have guessed she’s going for Texan, but I see she was trained in Louisville, so maybe it’s Kentucky (although I’m fairly familiar with Kentucky accents and that was not my first guess). SEP’s humor is a little broad for my taste anyhow, but I could handle it better without that seemingly inappropriate Texan accent from Fields. Sigh. Maybe I’ll get more used to it if I push on for a bit.

  16. That Was The Week That Was.
    It’s over let it go.
    Oh what a week that was.
    That Was The Week That Was.

    Up until Sunday, I was happy. I still am, just a smidgin less so.

    Monday was my appointment at the Urologist. Still following the ‘wait & see’ prescription

    Tuesday was the appointment with my PCP. My A1C is creeping up. My weight is creeping up. My age is creeping up. Obviously, I’m a creeper. Anyway, the A1C is 7.6, for which reason I am now on Metformin (55mg) again. I had the diabetes totally under control with diet. Then I pushed the limits of the diet.

    Thanks to Elizabeth, I now say dieting is like cancer — it’s forever and ends in death.

    In other work, I spent an hour or two breaking down cardboard boxes for recycling, just too late for the fortnightly pick-up.

    That week is over. I’m letting it go.

      1. Somebody else remembers That Was The Week That Was! US version was 1963 to 1965. Although I see that, unbeknownst to me, Tom Lehrer did an album of songs used there, and that may have prolonged its memory.

        And my sympathies, Gary, on the suboptimal medical results.

        1. TW3 was my introduction to Tom Lehrer. My older brothers had seen him at college and brought home his records, but that was the first time I heard his stuff first hand. And I’m also still partial to the ditties he wrote for Sesame Street.”Its elementary with silent E”

          1. I knew about the site Debbie mentions, but had not remembered that the songs are streamable and downloadable from there. I just relistened to the Elements Song. In grad school, there was a guy in my dorm pursuing a chemistry project involving thallium. That element name ends a line in the song, and every time the record got to that line, he would chime in with a strong AND THALLIUM!

  17. I am about half way done on refinishing the wood framed arch between the sunroom/sitting room and the primary bedroom. It’s going really well except for losing my temper with my husband who cannot resist trying to tell me how I’m not doing it right, i.e., as he is telling me to do it. I have to reiterate, if it’s my job, I do it my way. And if he leaves me alone, I actually enjoy it instead of getting stressed out by the constant corrections. And I have only done the painting by myself on 80 percent of the house – and we are talking a big house with lots of woodwork and molding – and even he admits it came out really well. Oh. And I have a degree in art and I do know how to paint and sculpt (handy for tricky masking and putty repairs). Anyway, I am happy with how it’s going and hope to have it done in a week.

    1. It may be time to define mansplaining for him. And my new favorite, errogant
      (Totally wrong and absolutely certain about it )

  18. I am working on getting my cataract surgery scheduled. Waiting to hear from my boss about when is the best time for me to be off for two weeks when we’re seriously understaffed.

    Came home from the appointment and found my sump pump running nonstop and several inches of water in the basement. Called the plumbing company that installed this pump in March of last year. Waiting for them to get to me, which will probably be tomorrow, even though the email says I’m on for today, because there’s not much of today left and there was a whole lot of rain last night and I doubt I’m the only one with this problem.

    1. They got here. They got the pump to start pumping out instead of whatever it was doing. They’re coming back tomorrow to put in a new pump under warranty just in case. This one has successfully pumped out all the water that was in the basement, but it obviously has problems.

      1. I want a new pump AND a back-up pump of the same capacity set to start when the level gets higher than current start level. Heavy rains may make both pumps run, but the second pump would start and stop higher than the regular pump. They’d probably overlap.

  19. Busy week of volunteering. In addition to helping out on clothing donation day and my usual double wardrobe consultant shift, I’m volunteering several hours a day for the next 5 days at this weekend’s quarterly sale. It’s busy but lots of fun. I’ve been getting 10k steps in every day, except today due to a weather-induced migraine (temp was 15C today with rain, falling to -15c tonight).

  20. I’m working on moving more. Specifically walking.

    I’m writing some. I’m reading a lot. More about that tomorrow.

    Still working on my budget.

    Putting lots of pics on IG mostly trees. I love trees.

  21. I’m working on strategies to avoid mom killing someone.

    Today I spent an hour talking with an acquaintance who is a dementia specialist . Conclusion: she has a personality disorder and it’s impossible to tell if she has also got the start of dementia , but she is extremely dangerous. So ask her doc to do a dementia baseline test . Talk to protective services for adults. Watch for a list of signs she gave me. Write her doc to see if he really did give her a letter saying she was safe to drive and if so did he know all her diagnoses (he was new). Pray.

    She also said to take care of myself because this is like PTSD after being raised by someone with a personality disorder. I nearly cried with relief at having someone get how hard this is.

    I also have talked to the police to warn them of her distracted driving when she has the dog, drafted an email to my mom that my sibs edited and will co-sign, drafted an email to my uncle who agreed she shouldn’t be driving but scolded us for saying she is selfish, drafted a response to that, also answered his questions, drafted a letter to all her friends to make sure they are fully informed before she gives them a ride (which will infuriate her but is morally essential we all agree).
    Still need to write her insurance company, help my brother write the letter to the current doc, see if we can get her last doc to report her as unsafe, and …I forget some other things we have planned.

    I also have some big work deadlines and have to complete taking pictures of the house because we switched insurance companies and they want documentation of the house .

    It’s been a hard hard week.

    1. Oy vey!!! Debbie, you have my complete sympathy. That’s a lot of work, but it seems like it must be done. Your mom is a real piece of work! This seems to get worse and worse! She is very conniving. Sending soothing energy.

    2. So sorry that things are getting worse. I guess documenting everything and informing everyone is the best you can do.

      1. Thank you.

        The two silver linings are 1) even though my sibs and I generally do not get along well, and we do have disputes on things like what to say, we have all in all worked together as a team on this 2) I love knowing all 9 cousins are in touch .

        But I’m even losing my black humor about this.

        My brother had an email dispute with her today about the crash where she put a hole in the house and then backed in to a tree which went:

        “ Am fine. Just as Dad drove for a few years and then quit, so will I. Trust the experts who worked with me and trust me to quit when it is time.”

        “ Dad never drove into the house and then backed into at tree, nor had his license revoked.”

        (With photos of back of car against tree.)

        “ These photos are more accurate.
        There was NO damage to the back of the car.
        I saw the tree and stopped.”
        (With pretty much identical photo).

        “ You did NOT stop. You were wedged against the tree and had to be winched out. The lack of significant damage only indicates you hadn’t been going as fast as you were when you acclerated into the house. If you had stopped there would be a space between the car and the tree and there is none. ”

        “There is space except for one place on the rear bumper. “

        “ Yes–where you were stopped by the tree.”

        “ I saw the tree”

        “ You saw it and hit it perhaps.”

        That should be funny, right ? Maybe after we get her off the road, if we ever do…
        But I just fear her mistaking the accelerator for the brake again, this time in a crowd.

        1. Debbie, I feel your pain. Getting the car away from mom when she became a hazard was one of the hardest things we had to do. We turned her in to the motor vehicles department and they made her do an in-the-car driving test. I felt so sorry for the individual who was in the car with her for the test, especially after seeing the write-up about how she did.

          1. Thanks —and congratulations for getting your mother off the road. We got the police to suspend her license and somehow after a year she has gotten it reinstated. But driving safely for 20 minutes in the road test is not the same as being a safe driver.

    3. A personality disorder fits. I had a grandmother who did. She was so mean. She would say the cruelest things just to watch people bleed emotionally.

      And you are right about finding someone who understands. I have a cousin who was here when my grandfather died and pulled duty with me caring for her afterward and it formed a deep bond. It’s so hard to describe to someone on the outside what the abuse is like, especially when you grow up with it and think that it is normal. She did a number on both her kids, who refuse counseling. I have hopes that my generation of the family, one degree removed, will fare better.

  22. I did not get a notification for this. I had checked earlier in the day, with no results.

    It went from 77º yesterday afternoon to 16º this morning. That was a shock. There was a lot of wind, fallen branches, and a dusting of snow.

    Yesterday, the dishwasher repair guys came and blew out the drain line and pumped all the water out of the tub. There was a lot of blackish water from the drain line. Today, I ran the dishwasher, and it made the Horrible Noise only once. They told me to keep an eye on the leaking problem, and that I had 30 days warranty to call back for another visit to fix any remaining problems. It hasn’t leaked again, so far.

    It will be cold again tomorrow. I walked to the yard where I had seen a dead squirrel yesterday, and it was still there. It must have been too bitter for the Opossums to come out last night. I grabbed the critter in a bag, and it is on the patio, now, waiting for an Opossum to come and get it. It’s still very cold, and will be below freezing by ten, tonight, again. Weather!! 🥶

  23. My sister is coming from Virginia to visit next Monday. That means I have to dust. I do not like to dust. I should wrap it up tomorrow. And then clean the kitchen and bathroom.

    I went to a Trivia night with the Democratic Club; I’m not fond of games so that was work. But, anything for the cause.

    And read Rest in Pink.

  24. Yesterday and today were heavy meeting days after several weeks of deadlines. I left the office a little early with every intention of getting back online when I got home and then I got home and decided nope, I need to play a little hooky. So I went and voted in my state’s primary instead.

  25. My house is a mess. My 2 chandeliers had many crystals individually cleaned today. I’m more of a small picture person.

  26. I leave on Monday to ride my bicycle across the US. Preparing for two months away involves a lot of different kinds of work – from organizing tax papers, to prepping my team to do things I usually do, to packing a box that needs to be shipped to a conference at the beginning of April, to counting out all the vitamins I’ll need while I’m gone.

    To answer the most common questions – I’m going with a supported group, sleeping in hotels, following the Southern Tier route (approx 3200 miles) aaveraging 60 miles/day. I will work from the road.

    Also been writing a lot of email for marketing purposes.

  27. Hope you feel better!

    After the walls in my Maine house were repainted, I noticed a big improvement in asthma. (We used to have a dog; I suspect sticky dander lingered on those walls.) I LOVE dogs and so want to get another one. But I also like…breathing.

    1. Shelley, I remembered from the Obama administration that Portuguese water dogs are said to be hypoallergenic, but per Wikipedia that’s only relatively valid, so perhaps even a breed like that would not work if you’re highly sensitive.

      I’m not really set up to have a pet, but if I did have a pet it would be a dog, and I enjoy visiting with other people’s dogs when I get the chance, and reading about dogs in fiction books from authors who do a good job of it, like Jennifer Crusie and (I think from less data) Bob Mayer. (On the other side, limited evidence suggests I may be a bit allergic to cats, although not strongly.)

  28. I’ve also been working a bit on dust abatement this week. I started weeding the backyard, too. It will probably be August before I finish, it’s been such a lovely, rainy winter! I finished the umpteenth revision pass on my WIP and started the umpteenth +1. Need to cut 50k words. I’ve been working on the assumption that any writing is better than no writing for the past year while my health has been… challenging. Maybe not? But anyway, I have a writing retreat coming up next weekend and feel like I’ve gotten the manuscript to a good place for a big push.

  29. I have a question for the quilters in the bunch, and I think I need people to tell me to not be silly. I have two patchwork/crazy quilts my grandma made, both roughly sized for a double bed, that I want to join together to make an extra large quilt for our king bed. My thought was that I could put them right sides together and join them then put a border up the middle to hide the seam and then around the entire thing (please note that in no way to I have the space to do this insanity but when has that ever stopped me).

    Someone, tell me this is a crazy idea and that will never work and will result in the gnashing of teeth and the rending of both clothing and limbs and a quick trip to the crazy house. Please note, the crazy house is not a mental hospital which is for people who have genuine mental illnesses they need help with, the crazy house is for people with no sense of perspective, their general aptitude for a project, an ability to judge how much time and money said project will take, and whether or not they will look at the completed project and say “meh,” chuck it into storage and never think of it again after it consumed their very existences for months.

    1. I wouldn’t put them together, I’d put a really wide border on one of them. You can buy quilted fabric, and you wouldn’t have to worry about hiding seams.

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