Working Wednesday, March 20, 2024

I’m working on a Rocky Start rewrite while Bob pushes ahead on Very Nice Funerals, pausing every now and then to politely ask why I did something in there with a strong undercurrent of WTF?. I’m also researching small freezers because the one that came with the fridge that came with this place is not adequate. And as always, I am unpacking many boxes, some of which are arriving in the mail full of chicken egg cups and salt and pepper shakers. Oh, and I’m crocheting. I love starting things. Finishing, not so much. Hmmmmm.

What did you work on this week?

119 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, March 20, 2024

  1. There are some very affordable mini chest freezers. I love mine, it makes cooking for one (and packing leftovers into frozen meals) so much more feasible.

    Does anyone love finishing things? I want to learn that magic!

    1. I get a charge off of a finished project, and also when I manage to use something out of the refrigerator before it goes bad somewhere in the back. My chest freezer is a lifesaver. I can hide leftovers in there.

      1. yeah. The middle when a project is in its fuggly teenaged stage is where I am most likely to wander off in despair.

        1. I was that way for decades. Now I just talk about starting things and go back to my computer. Then I have nightmares about whether the few things I’ve actually accomplished will turn out.

  2. I got out of my day job early yesterday because I am working the weekend, and because I was so mad I went to the thrift store and then bought donuts instead of going home and continuing my cleaning or working on an art project. What can I say, it’s a coping mechanism.

    Today I will go back to work and try to deal with the situation that made me mad. There’s some passive aggressive bullying going on and I am going to take it to my supervisor before it blows up. This is between two people in their 40s to 50s. Why can’t we be adults?

    Hopefully after that I will get back to making things, as I have decided that the only way out of the mess I made of my studio is to use things up, for I am surely not going to get rid of them on my own power.

      1. Right?!?

        And there is no slight, intended or otherwise, that is worth open warfare in a small public space. The customers are hard enough.

        Also, I just don’t care enough about the opinions of those I work with to be truly offended, you know?

    1. Good luck, Lupe. Does admin usually take responsibility for that kind of stuff?

      1. Thanks Jan,

        They really don’t as evidenced by us getting to this point. But we have been here before and they did step in eventually when I asked a couple of years ago. I just want to make an objection noted and start documenting a pattern. And for my own peace of mind, knowing that I have done all I should do.

  3. Pedaling. And pedaling. Looking at beautiful scenery. Fighting headwinds and enjoying tailwinds. Avoiding semis and debris on the road. Pedaling some more. We cross the continental divide today! It’s been almost two weeks since we biked out of San Diego, and we got to New Mexico yesterday.

    1. Good golly — what’s your ultimate destination, Seppie? And do you have to bike all the way bike at the end, as well?

      1. Headed to Saint Augustine, FL. We dipped our back wheels in the Pacific on day 1, and if all goes well we will dip our front wheels in the Atlantic on day 58.

        Out of our group of 25 ladies, I’m the youngest rider (I’m 50!)

        1. Wow, I am impressed! I thought it was wild enough when my sister and her husband honeymooned by biking from San Diego to San Francisco in the early 1980’s. Too many bad or insane drivers even back then! Taf

    2. If you ever want to write about your journey, Joanna Penn has some great resources on writing memoirs and on how she write her book, Pilgrimage, about her walk on the Camino de Santiago. It turns out that there is a self-publishing market for very specific waking/biking/hiking guides. Just FYI in case what you learn turns into a little guide for others.

  4. This past weekend was the Quilt Show. I have pictures of my quilts here:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/C4jCL-Bxud4/

    Thanks for all the kind comments!

    As for projects, I find I need to play mind games to reward myself. For example, to get through the last bits of putting a quilt together, I tell myself “only 8 more seams – you can do that”. Of course, I don’t count seams when I start because that would be an unimaginable number and I’d stop before I did anything else!

    1. Those quilts are beautiful; my personal favorite is the whale quilt. Congratulations on the blue ribbon!

      1. I don’t understand why they don’t all have blue ribbons . They are amazing.
        I stand in awe.
        If the whole show is full of quilts like yours I need to go next time (even though I think it’s a 5 hour drive if I remember correctly).

      2. My personal favorite is the third one. The big diamond shapes in the body of the quilt look 3-dimensional — sort of like the top of the Washington Monument.

        Plus, I was dubious about the one with the extensive gray background, but now that I see it whole, I can imagine how cool it would look as the center of a bedspread. The gray makes it much more impactful, plus it’s amazing to see it in contrast with the star in the center. And I agree that it’s hard to see how each of these didn’t win ribbons!

        1. I need to put some more color into the quilted star that surrounds the inner star. That will make it pop.

    2. I’ve been to the National Quilt Museum many times when I lived near Paducah Kentucky.
      I loved it. Fabric art IMO.
      That said, your quilts are better than anything I saw there. I don’t know the requirements, but you should consider entering the annual quilt contest they hold.

    3. Nancy, is it possible to feel the pattern on these quilts? I imagine it would be, since the seams would outline every addition, but I have never really seen/felt a real quilt like that so I wanted to ask. I’m so curious how they look. Everyone’s enthusiasm makes me wanna lay my hands on them and explore!

      1. Shass -Yes, there is a tactile component to quilts, as well as a visual one. Quilts are usually comprised of a top, a middle layer and a back. They are then stitched to hold those components together and hopefully enhance the beauty of the quilt. The stitching (also called quilting) creates patterns in the quilt, as the three parts are compressed in the stitching lines, and poof out in between.

        For one of the quilts I displayed, I had a tiny eight-pointed star in the center, surrounded by a larger pieced eight-pointed star. (You would be able to feel the difference in the two stars by feeling the closeness of the seams. I also quilted the seams as part of my process.) I then quilted a larger eight-pointed star outside of those interior stars. Within a square area where the points came together, I quilted the same motif – a swirled feather. It was very tiny for the first interior star, but got bigger as each star got bigger.

        At our quilt show, we offered attendees a plastic glove, so they could touch the quilts if they wanted. (We prefer that the general public doesn’t come in and handle the quilts without gloves, because who knows where their hands have been! but we can appreciate that sometimes it helps to put your hands on it, or lift up the edge and look at the back.) I hope you get a chance to experience a quilt yourself.

        1. What a beauty! Thank you so much for describing the quilt. Pity the world is so big, or I would’ve swung by to have a hands-on look. As much as possible, at least.
          I understand the plastic glove-thing. I also understand the urge to touch things though. 🙂 Then gloves can be a good compromise. Latex gloves might be even better for touch, but they also have…a distinct smell to them.

    4. It’s funny how similar your approach to quilting and mine to biking are! “I’ve already ridden 18 miles, so I just need to do that three more times and I’ll be done for the day. I can do that!”

  5. Working to catch up from vacation, but still sick from vacation so it’s not a fun week.

    1. Totally enjoyed! Although for sure I’m not taking my niece & friend on anymore trips. But I didn’t get really sick until I got back so the timing was, oddly, good.

      1. I think we have some degree of ability to stave off illness when something interesting like a trip is in progress. I’ve sometimes been coming down with something, then had it abate through a trip, only to return when I got back. Of course, on other occasions I’m pretty sure I’ve picked up something while away. There is even a phenomenon known as “con crud,” when you fall sick upon return from a recreational convention, presumably from short sleep, suboptimal diet, and mingling from folks from distant parts, some bringing with them new viral variants.

        https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/con_crud

        1. Should have added that even when I came down with something after a trip, as with con crud or something picked up in a different fashion, it almost never hit *during* the trip, so I still think some sort of quasi-mind-over-matter staving off was going on. (As a mind-body sort of thing it should be called “psychosomatic,” but that has a different and negative meaning. I imagine there’s a word for what I mean, unknown to me.)

          1. I wonder if it’s similar to the phenomenon of college students getting sick as soon as they finish finals.

          2. Back when I was a mom to little kids, the kids and their dad would all get all the viruses going around, and I never did. I once asked my doctor why they all got sick and had to be waited on, and my turn never came. He said it was a thing – the mothers had to keep it together till everyone else was well before they could get sick.

        2. In the short term, the stress hormone cortisol actually helps the immune system – but then you pay the price for it later! So things that are very important/very active cause heightened stress (even good things can trigger elevated levels of stress hormones), and that helps to boost the immune system for the duration. But then when the event is over, you have the accumulated effects of the stress (and any interesting new bugs you were exposed to), and your system has to reset itself…

  6. Taxes.
    Never fun, but this year there were lots and lots of medical expenses and it’s our first year claiming them so we had a terrible filing system. I think Dh must have another folder somewhere and he’s in London til Sunday.

    The day job. The part where I got a census advisory committee to take my two top concerns into their recommendations was fun. Writing a grant report and grant proposal not so much.

    Weeding and planting a few bulbs —now I’m going to seed with Johnny jump ups and california poppies.

    The ongoing effort to get mom to stop driving. The recent highlights:

    Mom took her friend Larry driving and told us he thought she did fine and would drive with her again. But he’s legally blind and can’t drive so ….not exactly confidence inducing?

    Also, she said, in an email suggesting a compromise:

    “My friends all know what happened. Maybe one idea is that I give no one a ride until they know the whole story. “

    Um, either sentence 1 is false or sentence 2 is not a compromise . (We refuse to compromise on people’s safety and are suggesting things she might value like a summer family reunion if she gives up driving.)

    We also got an email from her earlier in the week where the subject line was
    “Blackmail”. Very Trumpian (and she is a staunch democrat).
    I’m very tempted to point out that we are not blackmailing her —that to the extent we are trying to get her not to drive it’s extortion. And we are not ashamed .

    And she has decided that to show us how it feels when we won’t call her she won’t text us as agreed in the mornings to confirm she is ok, or respond to our text inquiries. (No, I’m not assuming that —she told us that.) so that forces us to call her —and delays any help if she ever is lying on the ground after a fall.

    I’m very tempted to text her “if you don’t tell us in 15 minutes that you are ok I will ask the police to do a wellness check”.
    Which would embarrass her because of course she doesn’t consider herself old or frail.

    But I’m trying not to let her pull me down to her level.

    1. As a backup to the calling/texting debate, could you install a camera in her living room or kitchen area (with her permission, of course) so you could see that she’s up and moving?

      1. She wouldn’t agree. She doesn’t want to give up the morning check in. She wants to force us to call her.
        It’s also not a solution for what we need which is information on whether she made it through the night safely unless we put them in her bathroom, hall, and bedroom.
        This was a negotiated deal because she would only wear a fall alert watch after her morning shower until bed time . The idea is this way if she falls at night we learn before she lies there for days. We only got it because a friend did fall and wasn’t found for days.
        She won’t wear a fall necklace because it makes her look old and frail. She is 86 and walks with a cane and grunts with every step but it’s the necklace that would make her look old and frail?
        You know, it’s only when I report to you guys that I realize how crazy some of the things she does are.

        1. Do you have a meal service for seniors in your area? We signed my grandmother up for it not because she needed fed but because it was someone she had to open the doors to every day. If she didn’t answer, we got a phone call. She also got a Christmas basket and other treats from Meals on Wheels.

          1. Oh, that’s a good idea. She’d also get a brief chat with the delivery driver every day which would make her less dependent on driving to get some in person contact.

          2. Another good idea that mom won’t accept. She loves cooking and trying new recipes. One day she will get badly burned because she doesn’t have the balance to take hot heavy pans out of the oven.

        2. Oh, Debbie. Tried to get mom to use a cane as a “fashion statement” not a helping you to walk. The response was “no, I will look old.” It was all about appearance all our lives. It was a long shot. Next thing I know, she has a walker, because if she gets tired, she can sit and it has a basket to hold things. No Mother, that doesn’t make you look old.

          Mother-in-law had a very nice can with a blingy band on the shaft. She would not use a walker, that would make her look old. Funniest thing is she would rent a wheelchair to walk behind at the shopping mall. When she got tired, she sat in it. Nope, doesn’t make you look old at all.

          Their reasoning is questionable, all the last vestiges of independence.

          1. Yeah, the first few years the only place we could get my Mom to use a wheelchair was at the State Fair because the grounds are so large. She’d push it until she got tired and then we’d push her. The trouble was that only at the fair grounds could you rent a chair for the day. And if you got there too late, they might not have any left. But not having to give up something she so dearly loved made the transition a little easier.

    2. It’s scary to me that you cannot convince authorities to get her off the road. How many people like that are on the road?
      I’m so sorry you’re having to worry like that.

      1. Yes, drive carefully everyone. It could be someone who drove into their own home hard who is coming at you…

        1. I have been voluntarily off the road since my accident last January (2023). I no longer drive. I still have my license but it would take an emergency to get me behind the wheel. The dotter takes me to medical appointments and Amazon and Walmart deliver. I mostly eat my own cooking. I’m 73.

        2. I’ve had a person drive right at me doing approximately 70 mph. He looked to be in his 30’s and was heading north in southbound lanes of a divided highway. All traffic heading southbound, including me, pulled over to the shoulder. The guy was about 3 seconds from crashing directly into me when he changed direction and went to the far lane. He then crossed over at a turnabout to get into the northbound lanes. FREAKED ME OUT! So much adrenaline! I don’t even understand how he got headed in the wrong direction.

      2. In Idaho, which is generally 5-10 years behind on everything, doctor can order a driver evaluation. That way the family members are not (directly) responsible for curtailing the driving.

        1. We got the police to suspend her license and her old doctor wouldn’t give her a letter saying she was safe to drive but that doctor left the practice and the new doctor gave her a letter.

  7. OMG! I love that she is quoting a blind man’s opinion that her driving is fine. The shenanigans!!! You have such fortitude in the face of all this. Kudos to you.

  8. I worked on getting my appraisal from the county. The first one was lost by the post office, so I requested a second mailing at least a week ago. Both arrived Monday, 17 days after the first one was mailed. That gave me 10 days to appeal. I took photos, and googled the three houses that sold in my area that they compared with mine. The most recent sale was 7 months ago. None of the houses were really comparable to mine, and two had nearly double the square footage. This system stinks!

    I got the Covid shot and the RSV shot, which was finally free for Medicare members. Today, my arm really hurts! It must be the RSV shot, as I had very little trouble before with the Covid shots.

    In the good news. the parts for my dishwasher came in, and the guy will be here this morning to install them. Yay!

  9. We have a meeting with a case manager today getting info about what programs we might be eligible for regarding buying a house.
    I’m taking my car to the dealer tomorrow to determine if leasing instead of buying might lower my payments.
    Continuing to work on budget stuff.

  10. Well, day job. My boss and only teammate is out the rest of the week, so what doesn’t get done, doesn’t get done.
    I had jury duty Monday and didn’t get picked, so didn’t have to go back, luckily, because that would be a whole lot of stuff that didn’t get done.

    And I’m doing one last copy edit of the book I’m putting out early next month. I’ve read it too many times at this point, but I like it.

  11. Finally finished the mother-freaking revisions. You know, unless my editor says I didn’t get them right. LOL. But for now, they’re done, so I’m working on catching up with all the other things that didn’t get done while I was head down and working on them.

    One of the big things right now is trying to get the Baba Yaga books back out into the world, now that I’ve got the rights back from Berkley. (Ironically, you can still buy them in print from Berkley, because the contract says they are allowed to sell any they have left. My agent says they eventually changed that is later contracts, but for me, it means that I’ll only have ebook rights exclusively until they run out, although of course I’ll put the new version out in print too.) My plan is to put out the prequel novella for free, in hopes of encouraging people to try it, fall in love with the series, and buy the rest. I guess we’ll see. In the meanwhile, I have a cover artist working on the first two covers, and an assistant doing the conversion and uploading–neither of these are skills I have–and so I’m at the mercy of their schedules. It’s a little frustrating.

    1. That worked on me, you know. I read the prequel and then all the Baba Yaga books and all the Rider books.

      Five stars.

  12. I love reading this blog and comments but don’t usually have anything to say.
    However, I did work with appliances for many years. Freezers are one of the best things. I personally have a large upright freezer because it is easier to organize and access your food. Small chest freezers are excellent and cheaper but you need to have dividers to avoid UFOs (unidentified frozen objects) 🥶
    Don’t worry about brand names, most are made in China by a company named Midea. Also make sure you have a surge protector on your plug to protect the contents.
    I freeze Everything! Bread, cooked bacon 🥓, quarterly meat 🥩 purchases from my local butcher. I could go on…
    I also love finishing “things/projects” .
    For me the key is saying NO to all of them except the ones that are priority for ME! 😂

      1. I can add that when my old standing freezer (which lives in my mudroom) finally died, I replaced it with one that had two small tweaks that made a huge difference. One, it had shelves on the door. Two, it had a LIGHT. (Many freezers don’t.) Also, I find that things are much easier to find in a standing freezer than in a chest freezer.

      2. Thank you Ms. Crusie! One last thing.
        Regarding warranty, most appliances ”
        “die” in the first year or first 3 years if they are lemons. If your freezer has a one year warranty, 9 out of 10 you won’t need the warranty. But there’s always that tenth… fear sells insurance 😩
        P.S. driving around Cincinnati to figure out where _cking Bernie is 🤣

  13. I have a tiny freezer by Magic Chef. It has worked great for 4 years, and it fits into my tiny tiny over-stuffed apartment. Just FYI.

  14. Over the past 12 business days I covered my own desk and a co-worker’s, meaning over 1000 extra emails to wrangle, but managed not to work overtime. I did drink a little more than usual, though.

    Last weekend I spent 2+ hours de-weeding the front yard to maximize the glory of my Love & Wishes salvia (they are quite happy to be without competition from the grapevines, which I tore out over the winter) and make space to scratch in some fancy sunflower seeds. Hope they come up. My neighbors and I love the sunflowers.

    Wrote a 9K+ novelette in response to a friend of a friend’s story prompt. That was fun. 🙂 Also submitted blurb & cover forms for a new novel scheduled for release next month. Also did a tiny bit of actual promo for the new novella releasing on the 23rd.

    Huh, I guess it was a productive week!

  15. I’m in a breathing space from medical and dental appointments.  Stamina (low apparently from winter viruses) is still a bit of an issue.  On Thursday I grocery-shopped and felt encouraged that I was not completely worn out by shopping and lugging groceries upstairs, so that my stamina seemed to be recovering.  However, on Friday I ended up doing a lot of routine chores involving much standing up and sitting down again, which constitutes exercise in itself (at least from a low chair at my height and weight and under blood pressure meds).  Not a good idea.  I should have stayed up or down for longer periods at a time.  I felt tired by Saturday, but not badly enough to curtail planned outside activities. I got through those with no real problems and since then have been trying with middling success to focus on sit-down chores and rest up a bit.  I don’t think the variable weather, going back and forth between almost winter and almost summer, is helping.

    Two library books, one overdue, have gotten misplaced, almost certainly somewhere in the living-room clutter.  I could probably find them fairly quickly if I just went digging, but I have been trying instead to toss or properly place the intervening clutter, which is a slow process.  (Especially while trying to minimize stand-up, sit-down.)  At 28 days, the library declares the book lost, so I figure I have 2 more weeks to find it before going into full digging mode for the last week.

    Oh, and I started next month’s book club book, which I like more than I did March’s book Shockwave Rider. I started earlier than with SR, so my daily page quota is lower, but I’m still a bit behind, partly because it’s a print book and I often find ebooks more convenient. (They deal better with electric fans and with meals, for instance.) More on reading tomorrow, though.

    1. Singulars and plurals got a bit confusing there. Should have said “… an overdue book lost.” Two books are misplaced, but only one is overdue at this point, so I have a bit more time to find the other.

      1. It’s funny, I spent so much of my 20’s and 30’s collecting the stuff that I loved and valued, and the habit stuck with me so I continued to do so. Now in my 70s, I have that same problem you do — where the hell did all my SPACE go?

        I know that moving from one house or place gives you the difficult task of sorting and discarding things, and that moving more than once makes that a familiar chore that you get better and better at, but I’m in the same place I was during that time, and I’m now creating new piles of sorted items on top of OTHER piles of less-sorted items.

        One crisis like a fire or a flood or an illness could turn into a ghastly trigger to make me change my ways, but somehow resolving to do it bit by bit is harder than it sounds.

        I read about Jenny buying new egg cups after she bravely uprooted herself from her old place, and thought “that’s exactly what I’d do myself if I got over one earthquake of unrooting.”

        So I feel for you, and others here with the goat trails through your well-filled houses and apartments. All I know for me is that it’s time for a yard sale.

        1. There’s nothing like downsizing to light a fire under a clutterbug. This one, anyway. During our move from Big Midcentury Apartment to Small Postwar Tract House, and in the years since, I’ve divested over half my clothing, 80% of my craft supplies and finished work, 70% of my physical books, a lot of furniture (that went first!), and countless pieces of decor.

          I documented all the outgoings via digital camera, which helped me feel like I still had the stuff (the mind is a mysterious thing), or at least still had access to it. Overall the result has been much less stress. Even the things that were hard to let go of, like the dancewear and some of the craft supplies, were causing me stress because I’m not doing that stuff now and don’t have any real expectation of getting back to it in a serious way, so it was like the unused Stuff produced a constant low-volume whine of “you should.”

          And now there is only one layer. 🙂 Of pretty much everything.

        2. The last line of The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning is something like, ” And now that my house and affairs are in order, perhaps I will throw a small party with friends to celebrate my success, and then perhaps I will go shopping again.” And it always makes me smile.

        3. I just finished Dana White’s second book called, Decluttering. Her first book helped me deal with my stuff, and this is a great deep dive into dealing with all the stuff.

          She’s great for me because it is a book for the creative brain, the ADHD brain, etc. She is so different from lots of other great but ultimately unhelpful-for-me books because she breaks things down in a way that my right-brain understands.

          Her decluttering book gave me a mindset shift for a few things. For example, the container is the limit. I always bought more storage bins, but her idea is that the space we have is the limit. The closet is my container, and I can only keep the stuff that fits in it. The shelves are “containers,” and drawers are, too. Once I accept the limit, I can begin to make choices about what to keep and what to take away. She outlines the steps for deciding what to keep vs what stays as well, and it takes a lot of the mental load out of the equation.

          Just FYI in case it is useful.

  16. I did another day on my Lightroom sort-out and finished all the landscape folders. Started on the garden photos, but then had to take a break, and have been struggling with low energy levels ever since. Still, I’ve done a fair amount in the garden, mostly carrying really heavy solid Victorian bricks through the house one at a time and stacking them by the front gate so
    I can offer them on Freecycle. Then prising more of them up and transferring those to the front too. They’d been used to edge the beds, but they were infested with weeds and just looked fussy alongside the concrete paving slabs.

    I’m taking a few days’ break from that now because my back’s grumbling and Penguin have sent me a proof-reading job – a lovely picture book on tree leaves. Next up in the garden is dismantling the old compost bin and digging out the turf heap, which will now be soil, and the old compost (the unrotted top half needs bagging up and taking to the allotment), and then removing the rest of the bricks in that section plus four paving slabs, and making a new bed there. Feel like I’m hastening extremely slowly.

  17. Is it wrong that reading about all the things you are doing all at once, or er, starting all at once gives me some peace when I glance to the left from my working office at home space and gaze suspiciously at the Christmas lights in piles on the floor, outdoor decorations stacked haphazardly, and the artificial tree (a little crooked standing since I shoved it in a corner – to make room for the lights on the floor)? We won’t mention the “I want to quilt” half of the room. There is an alarming amount of fabric and quilt patterns over there. It can be shocking and simultaneously depressing to see all my ‘goals’ so visible- so incomplete- and still drawing me in. Then I read how your day/week/month is going and hey! We’re all in this together. Carry on and enjoy the beverage of your choice!

  18. Today I went back to drafting an academic paper which I’ve been avoiding for 9 months.
    Yesterday I decided I was going to read all the Dick Francis novels in order, printed out a list, checked off what I already have – and then abandoned a few of the early ones as they were too violent for me. I did read To The Hilt (totally out of sequence) and really enjoyed the characters, even though I was skipping around the chapters to avoid the bit about burning until I’d read the end.
    I’m also working on teaching the pup not to jump up at people. She’s acquiring some weight and her claws are sharp.

    1. I remember that part of To The Hilt. But there’s always something vile; his villains are the worst.

  19. Taxes.

    As soon as I had all the W2s, 1099s and so on in hand, I did my solitary taxes and filed. I got a ginormous refund and adjusted withholding everywhere to get more in hand during the year.

    Then dotter says to me, she says, “Dad, you realize that I and four grandchildren live with you and have no employment or outside support. We are all your dependents and the three youngest among’us are eligibibble for Earnt Income Credit?” (Yes, I paraphrased and paraspelled.)

    So I have prepared (using TurboTax) an Amended Return because I am now a Head of Household (HA!) with five deductions. Dotter pointed this all out and asked for the $6K EIC for her support.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I harvested peppers and tomatoes and prepared stuffed jalapeños with cream cheese and bacon. And one stuffed Poblano. The tiny tomatoes all went to salads or breakfast omelets.

    1. I tried to do my taxes using TurboTax and after 30 minutes of trying to install it and have a functional executable on my desktop, I gave up. I’ve returned the disc and will go back to the accountant. I did not want to do it online. They required an account which I have. The computer threw errors when I wanted to go to TurboTax’s noted website in the disc’s paperwork because the certificate for the site didn’t match the site. I figured if just installing the stupid software was going to give me this much grief, when in the past it was a piece of cake, I was going to hate doing my taxes myself again.

      1. I’m thankful that BIL is an accountant and takes on the family tax returns. We just need to get him all the stuff. Hopefully soon!

        1. Wuntsa Ponn Time, the late wife took classes from H&R Block. She did our taxes and a good many other people’s as well.

          I’ve never downloaded a program or installed one from Turbo Tax. I do it online, and yes, they made me sign up for an account. I’ve used the free version for five years. This year… complications, so I signed up for the cheapest non-free version. There was a point where I was becoming very frustrated. It turns out I can’t e-file if I change from SINGLE to HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD, so I had to find the appropriate places to make the changes to receive a paper check instead of direct deposit. The return are in the mail (state and federal) and involve nearly $8K in addition to what I already got back.

          Some Things Must Be Endured.

  20. I’ve applied for 41 state jobs now. I did an interview on Friday, two interviews on Monday, have another scheduled for next Monday. I don’t really expect anything to pan out, but it’s nice to be wanted and/or possibly have a backup if Plan A below doesn’t work out.

    Tomorrow I have an interview scheduled at my giant organization to try to get me reassigned to the work classes office. I hope it works out because it is most likely my only shot at getting another job there (as only 3 jobs that I qualify for PERIOD have opened up all winter, and I have to get hired before hiring freezes start in May) and I actually hopefully qualify for everything. Wish me luck there. I am nervous because I won’t be hired by my manager, who is out on paternity leave for a few more weeks and he will have NO input as to my hiring. Hope he doesn’t hate my guts or get resentful of that! (Though a friend of mine was all, “he probably will, because it’s YOU,” and I do tend to bring out inexplicable hate in a few people. Also, being told “you have to hire her because she’s disabled and we can’t spell out her disability” obviously is loaded territory.)

    I need to work on interview questions today. I may go to a resume thing at the library, but I suspect I don’t need it, so I dunno there.

    I auditioned for Twelve Angry Jurors last night. Nine people were at the first night, I’m hoping less than 13 audition in total so I can get in. I have concerns in that I was consistently assigned parts to read last almost every time (bad sign when I’ve been told directors have the people they like best read first, and I always read last), BUT he did openly say which juror he’d cast me as–twelve, because I “can play a big cheese asshole.” I do note I was reading 7 and 12 with ‘tudey NYC accents…. So, let’s hope.

    I am also doing a reading of Hedda Gabler online tonight. I dislike the play (well, Hedda, wtf with this woman), but I’m playing the aunt, which is actually fun to read.

    1. You’ve made 41 applications!!? Wow, girl! That’s amazing. Good for you. And it’s great that you are having some fun with acting, too. Good luck with Plan A.

    1. That good luck was meant for Jennifer—I posted in the wrong comments box. But then, I imagine all of us could do with some good luck!

  21. Work just keeps going along. My boss doesn’t answer my e mails, not even the one (or three at this point) where I requested clarification when he accused my team of being rude in a meeting. We weren’t. None of us recollected any issue in the meeting. I think now he’s just hoping to forget about it.
    Workplaces are nuts. For the moment I’m just keeping doing what I’m doing. Was stressed about it initially but that’s wearing off.

    On me work, I’m enjoying my evening writing again, and kind of excited that I’ve decided to introduce another POV. I’ll see how it works. It’s just for fun so there’s no pressure.

  22. I actually got something important done this week! I may faint from the shock. The deadline for getting my receipts in for Public Aid was on a weekend this month and I missed it. I therefore assumed I would have no secondary insurance for April and didn’t set any speed records getting my stuff into the office since that place depresses me. I called the woman who handles the billing at my therapist’s office and made arrangements to be billed for the unpaid portion of my April appointments and then finally made my way out to the Public Aid office. After a mere 2 hours, a nice lady called my name and directly input my spend down and informed me that I did have coverage for the coming 4 months and there would be no gap I had to cover. Huzzah! And in the process of dealing with all that, the woman who deals with the State at my therapist’s office gave me her name and direct phone number so that if (when) my medical coverage gets screwed up next time, I can more directly get help untangling it.

      1. I also renewed my license and got my Real ID at the same time thus saving a trip by procrastination. A philosophy we can all live by.

        1. Yeah, the Secretary of State’s office has made some big upgrades in customer service in recent years, especially if you qualify for the “Over 65” line. It helps take some of the sting out of getting old.

  23. For work, I’ve been working on the PMI Agile Hybrid course. I really should be working on that now instead of reading Argh. 🙄 It’s slow going. I’m 77% done and the target is to finish it this week, ideally, or by the end of the month so I can include it in my self-eval (next week’s task). I also got an article drafted and reviewed concerning the application one of my project teams has been building for the past 4 years. Also, meetings and emails. Sigh.

    We’re watching our neighbors’ guinea pigs for a week while they’re on vacation. Cute chubby things.

    My physical therapist spoke with a peer at the insurance company. She was able to clarify that I’m female and do not have a prostate so therefore denying me extra visits to work on my shoulder because I need to have my (non-existent) prostate removed wasn’t really a reason to deny coverage. They gave me four more sessions.

    I’m playing with quilting designs for a few of my tops and hope to be able to work on one of them Friday night.

    Still need to do my taxes too.

    1. I love the squeals guinea pigs make! Congratulations on not having a prostate! I read a long time ago that women have a vestigial prostate. I have no idea what it does. But I have never heard of a woman have an enlarged or cancerous one.

    2. So your insurance company makes you choose between getting your shoulder fixed or your prostate fixed? WTH?

  24. I enjoy both starting and finishing, but can get stuck on both for various reasons.
    I got stuck on the knitting because faces. Faces are hard. Need to get out of this and finish the faceless cats I have lying around.
    MIL and i discovered a while ago that the screws on our patio sofa had come loose, so I screwed it back together Monday afternoon. Then I discovered that the weather in our yard was very nice, so I brought out the cushions and worked on getting some natural D-vitamins and melatonin by sitting in the sun.. In t-shirt. In March. Nuts. Our yard is in a corner where it doesn’t get windy very often though, and heat lingers, so the best time to sit out there is March-May and then September-October.
    Today I’ve been washing kitty-butt again, and then we discovered some stray poo on the floor and some returned hairballs/food on another spot. One of the kitties (probably Trip) had also walked on our bed with poopy feet, so did a bunch of cleaning and washing in the spirit of poo today.
    Sorta working on not-stopping with eating, but it’s hard. I eat, and then I feel physically wrecked for hours and regret that I ate and vow never to do it again, and then it starts over because the body wants it on the one hand but can’t handle it. Phone-appointment with doctor next week.

  25. I am dealing with my insurance company and my health care providers not wanting to agree to a new contract. If there is no new contract by April 1, I am out of network and would have to pay for my health care with my current provider myself. Right now I have located another clinic that will take me and my current insurance since changing insurance carrier would mess me up financially. I have already met the deductible for the year and don’t want to have to pay it again. However come this fall I am going to change insurance carriers too for next year. At this point I don’t have much use for either one.

    On a more positive note I have finished varnishing the cased archway between the sunroom and the bedroom. We only installed it 15 years ago and it has been unfinished the entire time. It took me about 2 weeks (4 days of actual work. A couple of hours of work each day). Onward to finishing something else.

    And I found a small gift for my husband- we agreed to no major gifts this year- because tomorrow is our 54th wedding anniversary.

    1. Happy Anniversary!

      As for the medical/insurance, Hillary was right. We need universal health care in the States.

      1. After 54 years we rarely do a big celebration. I read, did my Duolingo lessons, picked up a bit before the cleaning ladies come tomorrow. My husband was buried in research and chores on his computer. Ahhhh, the glamorous life we lead! However I really am getting so going someplace in the car can be nerve wracking. I don’t mind driving around town where there are stop lights. The free for all driving on freeways and in the suburbs I find stressful so not going somewhere is exactly the celebration I want.

        Thank you for your good wishes. We have such a great group here.

  26. Taxes. Garden. NYT Spelling Bee, trying to find the last word to be Queen Bee again. Sometimes I just get to Amazing or Genius. Once I get going it gets easier to solve. Diligently trying to keep my brain sharp.

    Friday we get the little grand-dog Juno for a week and a bit. Dh fixed the gate so he can’t get out. Will paint it when it gets warmer.

    1. I make myself keep going to the second highest level and then I quit. Sometimes I don’t make it, but if I aimed for genius every time, I’d just give up. I don’t even ENJOY that game and I keep going back to it.

      1. I gave up on the last word. It becomes a big time sink hole. Usually get second highest, amazing which surprises and delights me.

  27. One of my specialist doctors and my insurance carrier were playing a similar game of chicken, at a very inconvenient time for me, but they settled before I had to change. In your case, April 1 is getting really close, however. I’m glad you have a fallback ready.

  28. Oops, that was intended as a response to Jessie above. I seem to be growing careless about comment boxes!

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