Working Wednesday, March 13, 2024

So I had this great plan: I’d take a picture of the living room/office as it is now and post it today, and then next week I’d post a picture of the cleaned up and organized room. Then I looked at the picture. Isn’t it weird how pictures of disasters often show you the things you didn’t see when you’ve become used to the disaster. You are not getting that picture, at least until I’m sure I can conquer this mess. But I THOUGHT about posting it. And I did some work on it, too. So maybe next Wednesday . . .

What did you work on this week (pictures not necessary)?

114 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, March 13, 2024

  1. Take the before photo. Wait until you’re ready then you can post them both together.

    I love a good before and after pic but if I gave myself a week’s timeline to get my living room sorted I’d achieve little other than stressing myself out.

  2. Oh gosh, when I think about my room (study) with the boxes from moving still cluttering the room, I know exactly what you mean. We moved in a hurry, so many, many boxes were not packed systematically which makes it implossible to just get the stuff out and into the right place again. Because I have to systematically do a new set up with furniture distributed differently. Which makes the whole process so much slower. And frustrating.

    I would not post a picture either because I’m quite sure that I would not be able to make a significant dent into this work eihter. Only I HAVE TO. But the feeling is like climbing a steep mountain when being completely out-of-shape and depleted batteries (also thanks to having been sick with Covid).

  3. Still on March break with husband, friend and girls, two of whom have finally decided to have a good time, thank goddess, before I threw them into the ocean and told them to complain to the waves.

    1. Oh dear. Bless you for your patience.

      My sister just got back from Italy, Rome and Florence, and she was telling me about the food and the wonderful pistachio tiramisu she had and how she probably won’t be able to eat it in the US anymore because it was so good. I low key wanted to slap her through the phone. #firstworldproblems.

      1. Many years ago, when I got back from 2 years in Germany, I found myself unable to drink almost any American beer and pretty much stuck to imports (though not all from Germany). Fortunately, American craft beer, and the imitation versions from major brewers, fairly soon afterward became a major thing. (And later I pretty nearly gave up beer anyhow, between calories, effect on blood pressure, and reduced stress once I retired.) A similar aversion happened with American coffee, so that I was buying Melita or re-grinding American blends finer, but there I gradually reacclimated to American styles and would probably find the German style too strong today.

        1. There’s no such thing as too-strong coffee, unless the spoon dissolves. “Black as night, strong as the devil, hot as hell, and sweet as love” as my father used to say.

          1. My grandfather lived to be 97 and a half on coffee so strong that the spoon didn’t stand up in it; it dissolved. And rye bread.

      2. Lupe, one of my nieces complained that it was too hot here (she insists on wearing a shirt over a t-shirt, not a clothing strategy I’d recommend for the tropics), that she didn’t realize she’d have to share a room with her best friend and that she can’t sleep with someone else in the room so banished her friend to the loft where there is no A/C) and that she’s really more of a pool person than an ocean person (how she would know I’m not sure, since she’s never been in an ocean) and asked my friend to buy her an expensive pair of sunglasses when they were in the gas station convenience store.

  4. Lots and lots of work on the quilt show this past weekend. Saturday was 7 – noon, with preview day, which was sorting and examining all the quilts. Sunday was 730 – 5 with all the judging. It didn’t help that with the time change I got about 4 hours of sleep Saturday night, so I was not feeling my best Sunday morning. But after some food, hydration, and planting my butt in a chair for the festivities, I got better. (We were doing this at my place of work, so I was the one responsible for opening and closing the building both days).

    Afterwards, I spent both afternoons / evenings vegetating with crochet and the television. It was very nice. I’m looking forward to seeing the show this weekend. If anyone is in Raleigh, it will be at the State Fair Grounds, in the Kerr Scott (pronounced “car scott”) Building from 9-5 on Friday and Saturday.

    1. I got to the quilt show a few times when I was living in Raleigh thirty years ago and was impressed. I hope it’s even better now.

        1. I would scoff at that assertion if I hadn’t seen pictures of your amazing work.

  5. I moved mid-January. I have spent all of my time fixing, painting and cleaning my old house. My new house looks almost the same as it did the day after I moved in – only a little dirtier. I had considered a similar idea as you posting your picture. I am responsible for the newsletter of a local bead society, so I thought about adding a section to the newsletter with a picture of my office/craft room as it looks right now and then posting an update each month showing my progress. Then I thought that that sounded like a lot of unnecessary stress and pressure and decided I would just complain about it at the next meeting. 🙂

    On the plus side, I’m going to finish my old house by tomorrow morning and hopefully get it listed this weekend.

  6. I’m nearly three years into a new home and my disaster never gets better. Add in stuff from MIL’s home and I’m still drowning nest of luck with it, Jenny, sorting just sucks.

    I’m now over a year of unemployment. I have applied for every job related to my training and experience, and always come up short. I’ve applied for and interviewed for unrelated jobs and still no luck. I got EI (unemployment money in Canada) until October. I spent most of the year helping my MIL navigate medical appointments and so initially didn’t concentrate on findingwork. It seemed to make sense as my DH was working but it has built resentment on his part which he’s thrown at me in a few fights (basically I’m a gold-digger that’s never pulled my weight and am too lazy to find a job). I applied to substitute teach in November, they said they were desperate for help, but due to HR incompetence it took until February to get one day and I’m limited to 20 days without the permit that I’m afraid would take until June to acquire based on the past several months. I’ve also taken on a short term job making calls to farmers about a new crop protection product where I make $7 per successful call. In 2 weeks I’ve earned $84.

    We live in a small town and after many years not drinking my DH decided it was time to do so again because there is nothing to do here. He is a seasonal worker and our neighbour drinks from the moment he gets up so it’s been a hell year in so many ways!

    I’m sorry to dump this but here but I’m so…done. I feel hopeless and that everything I touch turns to shit. My bank account is empty, my bills are overwhelming and I’m ready to give up on everything. I burnt out doing a masters degree and that combined with ADHD that has overwhelmed me since menopause means I make so many mistakes in jobs and life and I think I’ve burned too many bridges to ever work again.

    My bright spots this year have come from this community and getting back into art, so thank you Jenny and Bob for the great new books and everyone here for sharing your troubles and triumphs. I hope things get better soon and I’m trying to find the bright side and a way out of my current mess of a life. Hopefully some Wednesday I can share some positive work.

    1. I’m so sorry. That sounds awful.

      I don’t know if you want sympathy (you certainly have mine) or suggestions. If you want suggestions I have two.

      1. Thanks Debbie, I just needed an outlet and to be heard. I love this community as I e seen others share their struggles. I am open to suggestions because I know they are given with sincere wish to be helpful!

        1. So my two thoughts are 1) see if you can get help with the adhd. My daughter has adhd and has been able to manage it without meds , and you might get some skills that make life easier , or meds might be the way to go, but I suspect the rest would be easier if you felt more in control.
          2) have you looked for fully remote work? In my field, people working from very distant locations, including other countries.
          I don’t know if that would work for you.

    2. I’m so sorry Lisa! It’s awful when it feels as if the world is conspiring against you. And ADHD is a Bitch. I can say this, having been recently diagnosed in my 60s! But it also gives you superpowers. You are valuable in so many ways, and you will work again – if you want to. And if you don’t want to then to heck with everyone else.

      And excuse me for saying this, but a husband who calls his ADHD wife lazy is not paying attention. You are so not lazy. I could say worse, but it’s not my place to put down your husband.

      Everyone here is behind you, rooting for you to do well and be happy. It just might look different than it used to – it could be even better!

      1. Thank you Kate! I have some ideas for trying some different ways to work/earn income. And I bet anything you could say about my husband would be what I’ve thought a million times in the past few years. He is slowly learning about ADHD traits but I know a lot of his comments come from frustration and what I see as his toxic upbringing. No excuses and he has apologized but we all know that those hurtful comments stick. Lazy is definitely a trigger word for me, and been called it many times over the years!

        I so appreciate the support and love from this group. I’m so glad I found Jenny and all of you!

        1. I am so sorry for everything you’re going through. And I’m sorry your husband is working through his frustration by calling you lazy. I actually remember that I thought my son was being lazy because he was so smart and he never finished anything in school. Finally, his reading specialist told me he was doing everything he possibly could And at that point we got him tested for ADHD which he had. Both my kids had it. I don’t know if it’s your superpower but I know you are probably absolutely brilliant and that you’re working through a screen. I was told The problem with ADHD is that you notice everything and everything comes in at the same intensity the buzz of a fly, the sound of a person’s voice, the whisper of a leaf and you have to choose which one to pay attention to and that takes so much energy. I wish you everything good and I know that you have so much to give and that the best place to give it will come.

    3. I’m so sorry, Lisa. But how DARE he call you lazy when YOU are taking care of HIS mother? Maybe HE should be driving her around to appointments instead of making comments to you and drinking?

      Apologies, but this has pushed several buttons for me. I’ll hold you in my thoughts.

    4. Oh, I am so sorry! You did a great thing sharing it though, that takes energy and courage. I wish I had good advice to give. I’ll send lots of timed pocket-hugs for when you need some. Hang in there, hopefully the turnaround towards brighter days will pop up in front of you very soon.

    5. If you want to work, andno judgment if you don’t) consider a remote computer job. Since doing this I don’t want to go back to an office. And if you get this kind of job, set up your space so no one can bug you.
      In any case take care of you!

      1. Thanks, Judy. I do want to work and I’m trying to find something (or several somethings) that I can do remotely or creatively. My family also has a Saskatoon tree orchard that I will be working with this summer. I’m hoping to set up a website to talk about rural Canada, my art and local history kind of things. Hopefully I can piece together some work that I like and get some money flowing. Husband is also looking for full time work as the seasonal job is not enough to keep him busy and with adequate income. Also would help us both to not be stuck indoors in our cold and snowy winter together!

    6. Your situation sounds fairly similar to my husband’s. He worked for 14 years at our public library, which is also the county hub. He started as a circulation clerk and worked his way up to Director of Public Services. Then things got bad. The director of the library was fudging numbers to get funding and well, it got ugly. He left under his own power and the director got fired about a year later, but he had dreams for a long time. The worst part is that he has a BA in fine arts. Another library won’t take him without a masters in Library Science and the new director won’t hire back anyone who worked at our library previously.

      So he is stuck in a depressed area where everything keeps closing and getting smaller. He is doing self led learning to get certifications in cyber security but hasn’t been able to find anything in that field. In fact the hospital, which we were hoping for, significantly downsized their IT department after a merge. And he is spiraling.

      And to my shame, there are days when I look at him asleep in bed when I have to go to my day job and the resentment rises in me. I know it’s not fair. I know it’s in part because I am unhappy with my job, feeling trapped. But when the bills are due… It’s hard.

      Thankfully neither of us drink. My dad is a recovering alcoholic and he was awful when he was in his cups. Even when he was sober the booze dialed up his temper and his anxiety. He has been like a different person.

      I’m so sorry that you are going through this. I don’t have any advise. You aren’t alone. Take care of yourself as best you can. You are worth it.

      1. Thank you, Lupe! My best wishes to your husband as well. What a terrible situation to be stuck in, especially with losing the hospital too. Judy/Clever Cherry’s suggestion about online work might apply to him as well, since cyber-security it a worldwide need!

        I’m happy the my husband does refuse to drink with the neighbor 9/10 times, and he has really only been an ass a couple of times but they stick in the mind. I understand the resentment of having to go to a job when your partner appears to be lazing around. I hope you can both find work that makes you happy and helps pay those pesky bills. Better times ahead (without us being doomed)!

    7. I’m with you on the ADHD. Took me a long while to admit it, and now I find out it’s not one of those things you can just decide to change. I imagine it drives Bob crazy in the collaboration because he’s very focused and I’m all “SQUIRREL!” (or lately, “EGG CUPS!”) but it also means we’re creative and free thinking. But if Bob ever called me lazy, he’d be writing solo again. Fortunately, he wouldn’t.

      All of which is to say, I feel your pain, and I’m glad you can post here and get support.

  7. The next time I say, “I’m just going to do this minor house project,” please reach through the internet and hit me with a baseball bat. Or, you know, a zombie pirate. More details later, but mostly I’m working on not freaking out. (I’m fine, it’s an old house, so I’m always braced for workmen to find crap.)

    Still trying to wind up the revisions. In the midst of workmen. Oy.

  8. Jenny, you were thinking about posting the picture, and it’s the thought that counts, right? 🙂
    I’ve mostly been knitting. I got stuck on another cat-face so I started on another cat instead, a larger one. Theeen the crap-quality-yarn broke and the end disappeared into the knit and I had to frog the entire thing. Sigh.
    Did some research into commission request-stuff, and it looks like some of the basics I would need just aren’t available anymore. One thing I got asked about is a poodle, and I guess I could try making one out of clay, Only I haven’t seen/felt enough poodles in real life to feel sure I can. Will have to think this over. Some self-confidence would be nice. Wonder if that’s on sale somewhere.
    Got lots of other crafting-ideas today though thanks to call to craft-supply store, so hopefully some fun crafting will happen soonish.

    1. I so wish I could bring you some poodles to feel! They are perfect for yarn.

      1. Hey that is an idea – yarn poodles! Will google and see if there’s any pattern for that. What fun!
        Do you own a poodle or six, Mary Anne?
        What I am also thinking (and have been thinking for years) is that I should buy some good quality figurines of popular dog-breeds, so I have a reference to go back to if I need it. Schleich makes really lifelike figurines (I have 3 wolves of that brand), so perhaps it’s time to do a long-term investment in a few of those. Hmmmmm.

        1. I have always wanted a poodle, but all the dogs I have had came from my job and none of them have been poodles. Poodles are super smart.

    2. Poodles are wonderful. I fostered one and fell in love with her and adopted her: Mona. Very smart, very sweet, very cuddly. Don’t get a model of a poodle, get a poodle. They’re the best and you can crochet from life that way.

  9. I emailed my legislative representative for Kansas about getting rid of DST, and he said too many people go across the state line to Missouri for it to be feasible. Groceries are not taxed in MO, weed is legal there, and booze is cheaper, so people go there for those things. My DIL actually works in MO, and it would be an inconvenience for her. Bummer.

    I emailed my national reps and got the equivalent of a form letter from one senator, nothing from the other senator, or my representative. Of course, in order to email the other senator, you have to first give him your name, age, phone number, address, mother’s maiden name, and blood type before you can write to him. (I may be exaggerating a little.)

    I despair.

  10. I don’t always read through the comments here on Jenny’s blog but today was kismet I suppose. I’ve been dealing with impulsive purchases of fabrics and patterns and paper and paints and all the things for “my new hobbies” that is apparently just buying things for the hobby. My home is years behind from a move in, then some family deaths that resulted in more stuff “just to keep. because” and another move with help that was hired and didn’t speak English and just packed up boxes and put them in one of three storage sheds. YEARS later I still open a door on one of these sheds and sort of freeze at the sight. No clue what’s in the boxes. They labeled everything “books” even if it has shoes, or pots and pans. I’ve been dealing with depression and I have a wonderful loving dear friend that I tend to unload on in my rambling confessional emails. (see example here) Then feel like I need to apologize to her. I’m sure she thinks I’m joking when I write about hiding dirty dishes in the oven when the refrigerator repair men came. Or that I have some plastic storage items and pans that haven’t been washed since January because it is just simpler to keep moving them around the kitchen counters or to the dining room table to make room. I feel stupid, and lazy, and confused and frustrated and wondering what Is Wrong With me? and today I scrolled down and read about some of the trying times you are all dealing with too and I felt seen. Is that dumb? Thank you for sharing and letting me know I’m not the only one. Sometimes you just need to hear “oh yeah. I have the same problem.” Thank you Thank you Thank you.

    1. That is the beauty of Argh. I don’t read or participate in the comments on the on any other blog.

      The main character in one of my favorite reads from last year, Two For Tea by CM Nascosta, had a similar problem. She was dealing with protracted grief and pretty significant depression and I felt seen too. I tend to power through my days and don’t pay attention to how I am feeling, so outside factors are a good indicator. It takes me a while to realize when I am in the throws of depression, but I always feel a little better when I name it.

      Take care. You are in good company. The last few years have been very hard.

    2. Among the many reasons this community is great: it helps us see and name our troubles. Anxiety and depression take many forms, but in all forms, they lie.

      1. Yes, they do lie. The only promise I made to myself when I got out of the psych ward that I’ve been able to keep consistently over the 32 years since then is not to lie to myself. It only makes things worse in the long run which leaves you with more that has to be dealt with.

        But this community does more , and better than just naming the problem. By sharing what we have tried we can sometimes point out an option that will help someone else. Assertiveness is a tool, not an end in itself. We need to find the places where they can offer the solutions we need. Then we can use that assertiveness where it can lead to some results we lack. People here have a wide variety of experiences and I am grateful for both the way I am recognized here and the way you nudge me out of my tunnel vision.

      2. And no one is judgmental here. This community that Jenny has created just always feels warm, loving and supportive.

        (I think she has said she has to moderate the comments, and maybe get rid of trolls sometimes, but the end result is truly amazing .)

        1. Since July of 2005 when I started this blog, I have removed exactly two comments.
          It’s not me, it’s all of you.

      3. Believing & accepting that the relentless internal voice tracks associated with depression were a huge impossible litany of lies; and that I could (eventually) interrupt &/ or refuse to acknowledge them was when hope began to unfurl in me. Then of course came the hard work because I had been living in a deep mire for so long. I am putting this out there as I do want others to know it was & is worth the anxiety of hoping & believing things can be better & finding a way through. So I am wishing everyone struggling with physical, mental, financial & family, employment or other issues the blessings of hope & belief in better times. And I am endlessly grateful to Jenny for her books with their snarky women & strong characters & this very caring community. I read WTT on a long plane journey about 10 years ago & I laughed out loud. It was the first time I had felt joy in nearly 2 years. It was such a momentous event & I still hold that memory close & it regularly makes an appearance in my gratitude lists.

    3. Just wondering if the friend you unload on would be willing (possibly even happy) to “body double” while you sort out whichever collection of stuff is most distressing for you? Body doubling is basically just hanging out with someone who has trouble focusing or is resisting doing something for whatever reason, and gently urging them back on-task when they start to wander off or start to feel hopeless. Set a time block of an hour or two, and just kinda’ hang out. Have some tea and snacks for breaks, chat about fun stuff (or about the work) if you can do that and work at the same time. Friend can be actively involved if it’s helpful, or can just sort of be there, scrolling through her phone or laptop or whatever, and just kind of keeping an eye out in case you start getting distracted.

      Anyway, what I meant to say is that I’d never heard of the term until my friend (with ADHD) mentioned she needed help with something, and I dove in to organize how to approach the project, breaking it into manageable pieces for it, and one day we were hanging out with her executing the plan and me keeping her focused, and she explained about the term, which really resonated with me. I’ve known her forever, and known about her ADHD, but didn’t realize there was an easy way I could help, since I can’t do physically helpful things, but I can sit and nag her!

      The thing is, she’d waited a long time to ask for help, and I’d have been happy to provide it if I’d realized she needed it. I know it can be hard to ask, and I’m really bad at asking for help when I need/want it, but a lot of times, people DO want to help, but just don’t know what would be useful. So if you think body-doubling would help (and if you do want to deal with the stuff — forget everything if it isn’t really a problem for you), consider asking a friend to body-double for you. And if they say no, so be it, but you might be pleasantly surprised, and then you’ll be able to hang out with this friend while getting some work done! Win/win! You could even offer to trade time if the friend has a project she really wants to get done but is having trouble focusing on. It’s all about accountability, really, and focus.

      1. I love this concept! And I am the friend that says “I can help!” because I actually like sorting and filing and organizing, but I see that just hanging out might be more helpful sometimes. Thanks for this idea.

      2. When I did this for my Mom, having to explain to me why she needed every single use gadget in her kitchen helped her differentiate between what she really needed and what she just enjoyed once a year. And having company makes you feel less overwhelmed.

      3. It can also be done via Zoom–I’ve done that with my daughter, like the time she was studying and I was clearing out a closet. We would chat a few minutes, then set a timer for 30 minutes, then report back on what we’d accomplished.

        1. Yes, but going out to lunch together as a breather is a lot easier when together.

    4. Janet, I moved in here almost 10 years ago. There is a box I’ve not opened, and I know the wisdom that says just take it to Goodwill, but I can’t. And the place looks awful, because I’m doing a paper sort, and making it all worse, even with putting out a bag of unnecessary paper every other week to recycle. So I feel the pain of all of you, who make me feel less of a disaster!
      On the up side, I’ve been struggling with an idea, and it’s maybe coming together. Then, of course, I’d have to actually DO it, but I’m hindered by “I’d rather read.”

    5. This is SO NOT dumb at all. Depression is an absolute bitch and sometimes life just becomes too much. I’ve always felt that that crushing, killing feeling of being all alone in your struggles is one of the worst parts of it. You’re not alone, we’ve got your back. <3 We see you!
      Is there any proffessional help you can get to help you out of this stress-and-depression-situation?
      Sending fortifying hugs! One day, this will be behind you. (Also our demon-kitty Triple just came and said "Brrrrr!" as I was writing this, so I think she sends sympathy too.)

    6. I took a picture of my kitchen, too. Then I decided I will NEVER share that one. Jeez.

      1. I dunno. The one of the eyes on Facebook was great.
        And as we all said ….we don’t judge

  11. I did the same thing. My shipping station is always a mess after the holiday season and I was on a Marie Kondo/ Swedish death cleaning kick in the new year. I really do want my house to have nice parts in it. My projects tend to explode everywhere and frankly, we don’t have to live in the mess and my house deserves better. Anyway, I took pictures to share on social media to help motivate me, hoping to start with a nice “after” shot. I brought in storage. I bought pretty square baskets at the thrift store for organization.

    It’s still awful. It looks terrible, like a tornado hit a rats nest. It is better than when it was worse, but I am pretty sure I am the only one that can see the order in the chaos. I haven’t given up, per say, but we are entering the period of the year where activities pick up and life gets busy. So a tidy home is a forlorn hope. And I didn’t have the guts to share the pictures.

    Otherwise I am working on not getting sick. Two of my coworkers have been out with colds. I have a sore throat, but that is common for me when the weather changes. Lots of tea, vitamins and I have been taking break from our yoga routine.

    1. I am sending you and Kevin white light and shining vibes, and at least wishes for good health – crossing my fingers.

      1. Thank you! Hills and valleys. Although I never know which one of those is the good one. On top of a hill sounds good, but maybe not climbing up. Of course the valley is usually where all the water and good crops are…

          1. I mean, the climb up the hill is the hard part, but why do we want to get there? Then we say “it’s all downhill from here” after the difficulty is passed. Past? English is weird. There will be peace in the valley for me someday…

  12. This was SO timely! I started the full-time writer gig (for myself not a corporation), this week, and what I’ve discovered over the past three days is that I can’t work in clutter. So I spent a fair amount of Monday/Tuesday doing some cleaning that was put on hold while I had a corporate job. But today I woke up and looked around and said, yay, house is looking better, but the word count/freelance site/etc not so much.

    That’s when I decided I better start scheduling my day!

    1. For what it’s worth, one of the things that was hard for me when I switched from writing in an office to writing as a freelancer from home was understanding that I needed a different schedule. My freelance work stuff was a lot more intense in terms of focus, so four hours = about an eight hour office day in terms of my energy/ ability to do other things. I spent a long time beating myself up for being lazy before I realized my needs had changed because my work environment (and goals) had changed.

      Good for you for paying attention to what you need out of a work environment, and good luck figuring out a schedule that works for you!

      1. I second this, based on (gulp) more than 25 years of freelancing. My goal is four billable hours a day.

  13. This week I have worked in writing and writer business, which don’t lend themselves to pictures. And I’ve not-worked in housekeeping; my dust and clutter *definitely* don’t lend themselves to pictures. There’s a chance a dear old friend will come by in a couple of weeks, so I am somewhat motivated to devote part of the coming weekend to a de-squalor binge. Until then, however, I will continue working two dockets at Day Job and otherwise doing nothing but read and write.

      1. oh, I don’t feel bad about it, trust me. 🙂 The past 4 years have been an ongoing lesson in how to prioritize my own health & happiness, and one takeaway has been “no one in this house is harmed by a dusty floor.”

  14. After being thwarted by too many things for a few weeks, I finally got some work done yesterday! Finished the first draft of a secret project, plus took care of a bunch of non-writing chores. And got the new Helen Binney novella, A Dowry of Death, up for pre-order (releases April 9th). Now I just need to keep the momentum rolling!

  15. One of my exes was in town so we cleaned house lol. And enjoyed a couple of good meals with him.
    I’m not doing too good with my walking this week but I plan to walk later today. Also, I owe my accountability partner a weekly wrapup (hi Tammy). That’s on the docket for today.
    I wrote a poem I love and a blogpost I love which will go up today. It went over well in critique last night.
    I haven’t gotten back into my novel and it may be a while. I got the audiobook for the Kindness Method and I’m going to start listening to it.
    I am sitting in a park forest bathing so let me begin!

  16. I have three job interviews, one on Friday and two on Monday morning (thankfully should have enough time between both for that not to be an issue). So I have to work on prep for that and applying for more jobs. Still waiting on UCD stuff. Otherwise have been quite tired and sleep deprived for three days–finally slept today–so I haven’t had much energy.

    1. Jennifer – I want to applaud you again. Even in the best of circumstances looking for a job is so much more work and stress than actually working a job. And you’re out there looking hard!
      Respect and admiration!

  17. I have been picking away at a desk and home office littered with “piles” for a week. I have cleared about 20 per cent and I was wondering why it seems so hard to conquer.

    But of course, there are the endless daily caregiving tasks for my mom, the contract work that abruptly takes precedence and the despair that comes with not knowing how/where to deal with oddball things (i.e. spiral notebooks full of my daily to-do lists which are full of possibly crucial notes.)

    Oddly, it’s comforting to know that this group of savvy women are facing many of the same challenges. So it’s not just me.

  18. After living in the same house for 40+ years, it’s beginning to look like we’re hoarders, which we aren’t. We’re just good at accumulating stuff and lousy at going through it. There’s always something more interesting to do. My office in particular is the junk room–I have to pick my way past stuff to get to my desk, which is messy but orderly, in that I know where to find what I need. Thank heavens for my daughter who lives with us and actually likes going through things and keeping things tidy.

    But these are minor problems, so I’m not complaining. I got maybe 800-1000 words written on the weekend, which at this time of the year is decent progress. I put a short story up on Amazon, too. It was written for an anthology ages ago, and was inspired by personal stuff. I used a legend that one of my ancestors was a cast-off member of the family of an earl (maybe a by-blow? I have no idea, but that would be fun), and also some nostalgia about Montreal.

  19. Do I want homegrown food and flowers this summer? Yes, I do. Is my garden ready to plant things in a few weeks? No, it is not.

  20. Paul was gone for the weekend to Regina to go to the Brier (national men’s curling championship) with his dad. He got really sick on Sunday so he came home early. He’s feeling a bit better today but is currently down for the count napping.

    Yesterday I did part one of my banana muffin bake days. I didn’t get as much done as I wanted but I was a little under the weather too. I’ll finish up this weekend.

    Sunday night my manager texted me and asked if I could come in and cover for her for an hour on Monday morning so she could go to the doctor. I said that I was busy but I could go in for an hour-ish. She was at the clinic for over an hour, almost 90 minutes, before she was even able to see the doctor. I finally left when the afternoon person showed up at 1:00. She was there for over 2 hours.

  21. I have taken and shared pictures of my living spaces. I labeled the post with one (or more) of the Home Moanership titles, because mess and clutter are the result of owning a home. Okay, yes, I “owned” the disruption in my dotter’s garage apartment when I lived there and in my rental house before that. Tidiness is like laundry and dishes. It’s just a single point on the sine wave of existence. It does not last, you just pass through it. That’s life

    You are looking at your mess and clutter as though you can eliminate it forever. Perhaps parts of it you can. I finally broke down all the cardboard boxes and got a lot of them to the curb on recycling day. But there are always more boxes, and recycling days are once a fortnight.

    Enjoy order when you achieve it. Take pictures. But I’d be surprised if you aren’t “enjoying” disorder a week later, unless you hire a maid.

    * * *

    I’ve been re-reading NO ONE IS ALONE by Rachel Vincent. I love that book. The last time I reread it, one of the streaming services had just recommended Disney’s version of INTO THE WOODS and I watched it, and cried. This time, I read the part where the Stage Director tells the student cast to watch the stage version for free on YouTube, not the movie version, so I found it and bookmarked it, and watched some YouTube videos about why the movie version sucked by comparison and an “Everything Wrong With” it video.

    What? I’m retired! I don’t hafta clean up after myself every week. Okay, fine, I did my laundry. Yay me.

  22. Upon arriving at the book club meeting on Saturday, I found I had forgotten my notebook.  I wrongly thought it had gotten into the bag I was taking, along with some items going back to the library where we were meeting.  I did manage to remember most of my points listed in the notebook, but there were enough left over that afterward I sent 5 shortish daily emails covering them to the club list.  Oddly, I did not even much like the book.  It just inspired many comments, not all of the negative.  That’s happened with several books now. (The book itself I should briefly discuss for GBTh.)

    I just realized I’m almost out of coffee  creamer.  I can usually manage two weeks between shopping trips, but it looks like I had better schedule one for tomorrow.  Convenience and store coupons point toward the same store I hit last week, but even so I have a reasonably long shopping list of items that they ought to have.  I had earlier drawn down my supplies for reasons including not wanting to lug a lot of bags upstairs with my injured ankle, and although it was fairly well healed already last week, about an hour of shopping was all I was up for. So I still have things to buy that the same store normally stocks.

    I wasn’t sure exactly when to leave off the ankle brace (internet suggests that an ankle is weak for a while even after it seems healed), but I  was beginning to worry about muscle atrophy, so I stopped wearing it on Monday.  Ankle seems to be coping, but I think I’ll resume the brace for my shopping trip, since it will involve multiple trips up the stairs with the bags.

    After postponing it several days, I finally got around to making a fairly large batch of turkey chili yesterday.  I enjoyed a reasonably healthy dinner of it yesterday, but by lunchtime today the weather had gotten enough summer-like that I felt more like a sandwich.  I may end up freezing more of it than first planned.  For breakfast I had made toast with a bit of the hard-crust bread that had frozen after my dentist visit.  My mouth has healed enough that it went down with no trouble (although I’m doing most of my chewing on the mouth side away from the most recent extractions).

    Otherwise, a lot of routine housekeeping and not a lot of progress on my longer-term chores.

    1. Oops—”not all of *them* negative.” That could be read as an obvious typo and mentally corrected, but “not all of the negative” could also be read to mean that even 5 more emails had not covered everything negative about the book!

  23. I think the Indians have become self-appointed chiefs at the medical building I have been going to for fifty years. Friday, I called to see if I could have a problem checked out. First, I had to wait until the call system went through its spiel. I decided to take option number one. Urgent Care. Talked to the voice on the other end and she passed me over to the nurse. As soon as I mentioned that I have a dermatologist appointment coming up May I was passed over to that office. So, this would be the third time I related my story. This receptionist looked up my chart and noted the upcoming appointment and then proceeded to put me on a wait list starting after my appointment. Go figure. In my frustration I hung up and thought long and hard about my fifty years with this group. By Sunday my husband said he would take me to any of the Urgent Care offices around our area. I decided to call the medical center one more time and got a nurse who asked if I could come up in little over an hour. You betcha I could. Listening to someone is an art.

    1. My sympathies on the phone run-around. I’ve been through similar, but not quite that bad!

      Your use of the idiom reminds me that some Heinlein novel (Tunnel in the Sky?) employs the expression “too many chiefs and not enough Indians.” I once read a Russian translation of the novel (which became possible only after the fall of Communism). Evidently there is no equivalent expression in Russian [the closest might be “seven nannies and no eye on the child,” which did not fit context]. The translator coined “Too many generals and not enough privates,” which got the idea across.

  24. Sending healing vibes and calming breaths to everyone struggling with depression, anxiety and overwhelm. Repeating that yes, depression lies.

    The report I’ve been working on for months should wrap next week–rah! But I’ll miss the creative messages from my subconscious. The other night I dreamed the client took an axe to the PDF, revealing a cross-section of tree–so that I could count the rings and add that statistic to the report.

    1. OMG 🤣…. this resonates so strongly. I feel your pain. So pleased for you that you are nearly at wrap stage.

      1. Thank you both! We just got final (probably!) comments from legal. I feel like I’ve stepped out blinking into the sunlight.

  25. I reached the halfway point in my big Lightroom sort-out today. Hope I can power through the rest without getting distracted. I’ve got my new Hotbin composter arriving in the next couple of days, so there’ll be the challenge of getting it going with a good mix of kitchen & garden waste; plus dismantling my old bin and distributing its contents (topsoil from a turf stack that’s rotted down, finished compost, and half-composted stuff that I’ll take to my allotment compost bin). Also need to get the next batch of seeds going – hoping for a gardening weekend if the weather cooperates.

  26. With regard to the late Eric Flint’s 1632 series that at least Gary J and I follow, I note from the below link that on our timeline Nuremberg had a plague outbreak in 1634. I don’t recall that plague has come up so far in the series. Yersinia pestis was long suspected to be the cause, but this had not been proven at the time of Grantville’s temporal transfer in 2000. I doubt that the Frantville hospital has any vaccine against bubonic plague. It has a very limited supply of uptime antibiotics. Downtime manufacture of antibiotics has begun, but none of the ones listed are ones mentioned in the Wikipedia article on bubonic plague. (I’ll separately post a link on downtime antibiotics rather than go to moderation.) So it seems they must rely on improved sanitation and nutrition, plus quarantine in the unlikely event that it can be enforced. There seems to be an entire untapped storyline in there.

      1. There are several books that deal with various plague outbreaks. I think Essen is noted for small scale production of chloramphenicol (the made the “how-to” public so anyone outside Grantville could make it themselves, but a bottleneck is chromium for production of stainless steel vessels). Essen also produces sulfa drugs and other medical stuff.

        In the RING OF FIRE IV anthology, Captain Harry Lefferts (kind of a James Bond character) and Eva Katherine von Anhalt-Dessau (a facially scarred survivor of smallpox) adopt an eight-year-old French girl, Barbeline Cayel, who took are of Jeffie Garand, one of the Americans who went to the Rhineland to help fight disease. Jeffie caught the plague while treating Barbeline and died. She buried him and guarded the grave.

        There are plague stories. It may be that any particular instance was butterflied away, but new plagues popped up in their place.

        1. Thanks, Gary. Your 1632 reading is a little more extensive than mine (e.g., I’ve read some of the story anthologies but not all) and your memory may be better. Still, Isaac Newton won’t be born on the new timeline (at least not with the same genes), but on our timeline his famous 2-year absence from Cambridge because plague forced the university did not start until 1665. I wonder if plague should be playing a bigger part in the series than we have seen.

    1. I am making raspberry Pi because tomorrow is Pi Day, at least in countries which write the month before the day. I asked my daughter if they have Pi Day in England and if so when, since there is neither 31 April nor a 14th month. She doesn’t know. There goes one family tradition in the next generation.

      In defense of procrastination—I have delayed and delayed getting my real ID license and now I can get it at the same time as my regular renewal . So I scheduled it .

      And I’m working on the taxes. I think I just have to figure out our medical costs and then scan lots of documents. This is the first year our medical expenses are big enough to ne worth calculating because it was the first year we paid for insurance out of pocket. So of course my system for tracking it was awful. I will get us in better shape for 2024.

      And I took the small couch cushions to be restuffed. I already did the big couch. The fabric was fine but the pandemic took a real toll on the cushions. Ok, me hanging out on the couch while working did it …

      Otherwise, I have been focusing on the day job.

      I’m pleased to report that this week my brother took the lead on dealing with mom and called her doctor who it turns out according to office records never wrote a letter saying she is safe to drive. We have asked him to report her as not safe to drive. We will see what he does. (No HIPPA laws were harmed in the process —we have signed permissions for docs to talk to us.)

      1. Raspberry pie sounds so, sooo good. Sheesh I can feel my mouth water. Wow. Send me some, please!
        Keeping fingers crossed Doctor will do his job and write that letter. It’s the right thing to do.

      2. The Wikipedia article suggests that some Europeans celebrate pi day today (3/14/2024) in solidarity with the Americans. Others go for 22 July, since 22/7 is as good an approximation of pi as is 3.14. Finally, some go for the 314th day of the year, normally 10 November, but in leap years like 2024, 9 November.

        I checked at the supermarket to see if they were running any pi day specials. Nope. It’s too unseasonably hot today to do any baking or even heating up a pizza. I don’t even have any Graham crackers on hand. I suppose I could make some instant pudding in a pie plate and call that crustless pie, but that seems pretty weak.

  27. No depression just a lot of procrastination. I’m wondering if some of my moods aren’t caused by starting to remember just how bad it was when COVID began. Many people I know seem to have forgotten or are repressing it all.

    1. Uh, procrastination is often depression. Especially if you’re in bed in the fetal position. Ask me how I know.

      1. Not depressed. No fetal positions. I actually accomplish whatever but, sigh, push has to come to shove.

      2. No, depression often triggers procrastination, but it is equal opportunity. ANYONE who wants to do so can procrastinate.

  28. At the day job, we’re doing the final draft of our brochure with all of our shows for the next season. Because the old marketing director left, I got to project manage it, organize the photo/video shoot, and write most of the copy for it. It’s been a ton of work but I’m excited to hold the finished thing in my hands.

    In personal life, I’m experimenting with doing a lot more research than I normally do for the next novel I want to write. (Normally I’m a bare-minimum researcher, but I want more texture to my writing, so…)

    All of which lead me to a writing question.

    Jenny, would you ever consider doing a post about good game-changers/ cliff-hangers in TV? I remember you did a post once years ago about the difference between a game-changer and a cliff hanger that was super helpful.

    1. Sure, but I have no memory of this. (I have no memory of anything at this point but Very Nice Funerals. Even Rocky Start is fuzzy now.)

      Can you give me a hint as to the TV shows I used as examples?

      I did a search for “cliffhanger” and the only thing I came up with was this from the Sherlock post about “The Great Game”:

      “That’s a great analysis, but a cliffhanger is still a cheap trick. You don’t want to leave your reader swearing and saying, “WTF?” The ending of a story is the story, it’s the reason the story is told, to get to that point, the reveal. Not to reveal, then, or to leave the reader/viewer without a sense of completion is a failure. An episode is not a chapter in a book (where, I would argue, cliffhangers are just fine, because the reader can keep reading to find catharsis), it’s a story in itself. If it doesn’t end, the way this episode doesn’t end, you haven’t finished the story which is a violation of the promise you make the reader at the beginning. Then the viewer waits months to hear Moriarty say, “Never mind,” which is a cop-out on its own. If he really meant to kill Holmes and Watson at the end, Irene Adler’s news wouldn’t have made him spare them. It’s all a writer playing “Gotcha.” I hate writers playing “Gotcha.”

      I think that might have been in a comment, but definitely read the comments because they’re a deep dive there. But I’m not sure this is what you wanted. How about this: Give me a specific question and I’ll do a questionable on it.

      Here’s the post I took the quote from:

      1. I thought I remembered you writing about Buffy and talking about how a game changer is a piece of info at the end of an episode or season that introduces a disruptive new element to the show so that audiences are excited to see what comes next. I think the example was a sister turning up suddenly? (IDK, I don’t watch Buffy). Your point was, cliff-hangers are a cheap trick because you’re just not finishing the story you started, but game-changers are a good way to pivot your story.

        At least, 90% sure it was you. You were one of a few authors whose blogs I was binging around that time. But I could be wrong.

        I think I’m mostly interested in the use of suspense and plot twists to keep viewers coming back after the commercial break/ after the credits roll, and what makes it feel brilliant sometimes and cheap other times. I kind of wrote those elements off because you see them done poorly so often, but there are shows I love (like Jane the Virgin) that did them really well, and now I want to learn more. I want to write a character who works on a soap opera, and it seems like something she’d have strong opinions about.

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