Working Wednesday, April 10, 2024

This week I cracked my laptop screen, had a new laptop overnighted, tried to get everything transferred over (the Egg Cups of the Damned series did not m make it over. Yet.), worked on Rocky Start, and tried to talk Bob out of dragon zombies. I’m exhausted.

How did work go for you this week?

118 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, April 10, 2024

  1. Frustratingly. My new flowerbed is currently stalled due to heavy rain. It looks like the coal dust layer extends under the existing bed (which I’m extending by removing the paving slabs alongside it). I rang the Royal Horticultural Society’s advice line, in the hope they’d tell me it didn’t much matter, but instead they reckon I need to excavate not only the coal layer but as much as I possibly can of the rubble under it. Which means I first have to dig out the 2ft pillar of clay (old turf heap), the rest of the compost heap, plus the 6-12 ins of top soil before I can get to the bad stuff.

    The recurrent rain is saving me from overdoing it, but the garden’s a mess and I want it done. The rain’s due to stop tonight, but I’m going to give it a day to dry out a bit, or the soil will be extra heavy to shift. Thinking of going to Powis with my camera, to look for extra planting inspiration, although I’m on my third plan for the bed now, which I’m pretty happy with (it’s only 8 x 4ft). That’s been the rest of my work this week: coming up with ideas, researching practicalities, coming up with better ideas. I’ve bought a couple of fuchsias, including a real favourite that’s hard to get hold of, and very borderline in its hardiness, though I kept it going for 12 years last time: Fuchsia denticulata.

    1. pretty flowers! I’ve loved fuchsias since mother taught me to make ballerinas from the flowers when I was tiny. I don’t remember ever seeing such long narrow blooms

      I got distracted, looking for the ones I remember from childhood. Plant listing for these suggest that they have edible berries? Did not know that! Anyone here ever eaten fuchsia berries? Now I m really curious

      1. They are edible, but all the ones I’ve tried have been pretty tasteless. I tend to take them off to encourage more flowers.

        1. Never tried cooking them: sometimes fairly tasteless fruits – like damsons – develop really rich flavours when cooked.

          1. huh. Fuchsias will grow here…
            I like the edible garden idea. Most common edibles seen to prefer way more sunlight than is likely here. Fuschias in our front yard would be very pleasing. No one else is growing them here. I sort of assumed they didn’t like frost. which is wrong, yay

      2. along the lines of unexpectedly edible I’ve been watching “English Heritage” cooking videos. Medlar is a pretty shrub with big flowers. The fruit is not tasty unless bletted(?frozen or aged) and then very. Needs warm summers, won’t like my garden so I share here. I be interested if anyone has tried them?

        1. Haven’t tried them, but ‘bletted’ means ‘rotted’, I think, so never really fancied them. Two books I’ve enjoyed on growing edibles are Mark Diacono’s A Taste of the Unexpected and James Wong’s Growing for Flavour.

          Where are you, Clancy? I would look for local experts if I were you. There are things that tolerate some shade, though they may be less productive/less sweet. My best bet would be alpine strawberries, as long as they get a few hours sun a day in summer. Cooking and crab apples. Morello cherries. Pears apparently. Maybe damsons?

          1. Living in Edinburgh, and close to the Water of Leith river and the Forth so not warm but plenty of water. Our specific garden is very shady most of the year. The front gets almost no direct sun even in summer. Currently it’s covered in gravel. And when you say “sun” does it count when it’s through a layer of cloud? Sort of kidding 🙂

            It’s also small plots, front and back. Probably not really big enough for trees. I have seen, here, pear and fig trees trained and pruned flat to walls that could maybe work on the sunniest wall. We probably have to replace the wall first.

            Thank you for the book suggestions, I’ll look for them

          2. Might be helpful when reading gardening books, etc, to know the RHS definitions for sun/shade:
            Full sun: > 6 hours of direct sun at midsummer
            Light, partial or semi-shade: 3–6 hours of direct sun at midsummer.
            Moderate shade: 2–3 hours of direct sun at midsummer. If this is intense midday sun, the site might be upgraded to partial shade.
            Deep or heavy shade: Less than two hours of direct sun at midsummer.

            And I’d visit some local gardens – isn’t there a botanic garden in Edinburgh? The plant finder on the RHS website allows you to filter for shade, aspect, soil, etc – and also their AGM plants, which should be the easiest to grow. Your garden sounds sheltered, and the nearby water is probably making it a little less cold, in fact.

            Have fun!

          3. PS. Worth searching the National Garden Scene website for town gardens in Edinburgh: there are bound to be some that open occasionally for charity, and it’s a great opportunity to get ideas and pick gardeners’ brains.

          4. there is a botanic garden, one of our temp places when we first got here was two blocks away, lovely.
            There a great many private gardens that open for charity here, some quite small. Edinburgh also has a fair few park size fenced green spaces that are occasionally open to the public.

            If you live in the neighbourhood and pay a yearly subscription, you get a key to the gate. I’d never encountered this before but it seems comon here. They tend to be beautifully kept.

        2. Funnily enough, I remember an episode of Midsomer Murders where DCI Barbaby’s wife made medlar jam from rotted medlars. I don’t think Barnaby was that excited about the taste.

  2. have I ever mentioned on here how much I’ve always wanted (I think) to live in a tiny house with almost no stuff? Though apparently I’d need a huge shed for craft or garden stuff. I can’t reasonably ask someone 6’7″ to live in a tiny house even if he didn’t really like to own stuff.

    Today I’ll be working on putting stuff away. Made harder by not having enough furniture to put stuff away in. Which, if I had it, would be stuff that needed a place. It will be fine.

    1. I am also fascinated by tiny houses (and micro-studios, &c). I have watched so many youtube tiny house home tours! My problem is the books. Well, not a problem, but a sticking point. I try with the e-books, but absolutely prefer hard copies. So I would also need a shed (or second tiny house) for them.

        1. In the small suburb where I grew up, in my youngest years the public library consisted of one set of shelves in what was otherwise the high-school library, but then, through my pre-university years, was housed in what had been a smallish private home. It finally was able to graduate to a purpose-built larger building about the time that I entered graduate school and my parents moved away. One’s own book house would be a different animal, of course.

          1. My mother’s high school (small southern town, class of 1939) had a library, that was kept in a closet. Everyone in town shared books that they had bought with anyone who wanted to read them, so it wasn’t quite as dire as it sounds.

    2. I watch those tiny house shows and would love to see a follow-up show. Say 3 or 4 years down the road to see how the couple is coping living in such tight quarters. LOL!

      1. haven’t seen a couple, but I remember a woman who was thinking of moving out, the complaint I remember best was that she didn’t have enough room for clothing. That would be hard in a place with four seasons. Heavy coats and boots take up so much room. But she was more unhappy about lack of variety, especially when going out evenings. So not like my life.

      2. This somehow reminds me of what I over heard in the doctor’s office today: someone was talking of a music teacher they know who teaches out of her home, “a small house, only 2100 square feet”, which in my view is a large house. I grew up in 1200 sf, and I live in 1500 sf now. The size of houses has been getting bigger for some time now. Is that why the attraction of tiny houses has boomed?

        1. I never know what is really included in square footage. Basements ? Finished basements ? Stair cases ? Garages ? I have no idea what size my first apartment was or my first house or the one we built.

    3. My uncle was a set builder and taught it a a local college before he retired. He also built his own house and was commissioned to build a gypsy caravan tiny house for someone. It was absolutely gorgeous. I would love to rent it out for a long weekend or sell charms and tell fortunes out of it but I would never want to live there, even by myself. I’m a loner with too many hobbies and I am really protective of my space. Having a big house with one and a half baths is essential to the survival of my marriage.

      1. My Mother always said that in her age range a second bathroom wasn’t a luxury, it was a necessity. I would second that at any age if you have athletes in the house.

    1. Whilst I stopped reading Mills and Boon in about 2008, I have so many wonderful memories of reading your books, so thank you.

  3. Today is going to be busy for me. I have a new trainee at work. She seems nice, just young. I’m sure that she will do fine.

    It’s my half day, since I am working the weekend. When I get home I have a zoom meeting with Etsy about something I am not allowed to talk about. Then, I volunteered to start a social media page for the nonprofit where my aunt teaches, so I am going to meet with their director and have a conversation about what goals they want to meet, what tone they want to set, etc. And after that I have an appointment to drop a painting off at a local gallery for a group show. I am so in demand this week! Still, it will feel good to get all of this done.

    1. Why do I feel a profound sense of déjà vu? How many new trainees have you had? Is there an endless supply??

      1. It feels like it. And they are almost all in their 20s. Makes me feel old. Lots of turnover in customer service.

        1. My new rule is that if I have to report on a project to a client named Liam, Sage or Xander – I’m going to retire immediately.

          1. I decided long ago I would retire when a student will come to me saying, you taught my mum/dad.

      1. I have actually been pretty lucky with my younglings. They have been smart and responsible people for the most part. They just have the eccentricities of youth. The world looks different to them. What is important is different. And if I have to listen to one more conversation about Disney characters I will punch something. I abandoned Disney pretty young. I certainly wouldn’t want to get married there or have that music in my wedding, for example.

        Mostly we just don’t have things in common to talk about, which makes the hours in the confined space of the teller line very boring. Which is why I spend so much time here, commenting, some days. Makes me feel less alone in the universe.

        1. Yeah the Disney thing is WEIRD. My nephew’s girlfriend who came with us to Florida last year, and who is 24 years old, said that her lifelong dream had come true because she got to go to Disneyworld. She actually cried.

  4. Mostly i did chores. Some laundry, some recycling, some farming. I have a crop of cherry tomatoes ripening, harvested a few jalapeños for the dotter and some green onions for me.

    Some cooking. Most of the cooking was weigh-it-out-and-broil-it. Some was like today’s breakfast. I took a slice of garlic Texas Toast, smeared on some tomato sauce, added a thin slice of Black Forest ham and three pepperoni slices and a sprinkle of chopped onion, then topped it with mozzarella cheese and tried out the “pizza” setting on the toaster oven. It. Was. MAHVELOUS! But I forgot the bacon bits.

    I’m expecting a delivery from Wally World around 6 tonight. I’ve learned that if I select “2 to 6 pm” I’ll be at the late side of that range. In addition to the usuals I have added pizza crust and Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (to wrap stuff in).

      1. It was! Depending on the pizza crust I ordered, I’m going to make more pizza. Texas toast pizza worked out to under 240 calories without bacon, but no room for anything else. The next one will include bacon and sweet peppers and more of everything else, so it needs more surface area. I foresee compromises.

  5. In real work I am not very motivated but know I have to keep getting stuff done or it is all going to pile up, so I am doing stuff and then distracting myself for a while until I do more stuff.

    Writingwise I have amazed myself with a no excuses 2 week writing streak. Sometimes I am surprised how motivated I am to sit and write, given how much it takes for me to persuade myself to do my actual paying job! For example, yesterday after a busy evening, with a few family catch up calls, followed by a decent swim session, I still actually sat down at 11pm and wrote for 20 mins, even though I’d given myself the option of skipping it.

    Admittedly, I usually only write for between 20 and 40 mins each evening. If I tried to commit to doing more I would probably do less…

  6. My sympathies on having broken technology! I managed to smash the screen in my iPhone while attempting to take pictures of the eclipse through a welding helmet. I did get some interesting shots, we only had about 60% coverage here in Manitoba Canada. I was happy to be able to share the helmet with hubby and neighbours, but very sad I broke my phone that I can’t afford to replace.

    On the paying work side, I had an interview yesterday for a crop adjuster job. It’s a good position that I think would suit me – make my own hours, take on as many jobs as I can handle, so fingers crossed.

    It’s been a frustrating year on that front. I have applied for so many jobs I’m qualified for and either have a great interview only to be told they are hiring internally or the job has been delayed or cancelled. Substitute teaching days have been few and far between, and a contract job I got paid a whopping $280 for 3 weeks of effort. Lord help us all when AI takes over all the jobs! Oh well, onward and upward, better times ahead.

    1. I may be behind in technology, but it at least used to be possible to repair phone screens a lot more cheaply than a new phone. There used to be booth for that at the local mall, before covid. I’m not positive about current tech.

        1. Thanks, Patrick, I looked into it but since my phone is now so old it won’t update I’m investigating a replacement instead. Hopefully I will get some work soon so I can buy a replacement.

    2. phone screens, the glass part, can be replaced, if that’s all that broke.
      It’s not even that hard, just fiddly. You can buy a screen, including tools, from eBay for a tenth what it might cost to pay someone to do it for you. Look at several different YouTube videos for iPhone, esp your model if you can. If you go for it, one thing none of the videos I watched mentioned: it is worth doing in a very warm room. Say, the kitchen while baking. Or anywhere without aircon in Sydney’s summer 🙂 The fiddly part is heating enough to soften the glue, not hot enough to damage. A warm room gives a bigger window to work in.
      I’ve broken … several screens, it was totally worth it to me to learn how to do it myself.

      best of luck in the job front. The world would be so improved if everyone could be paid to do things that suit them.

      1. Thanks Clancy! I looked into the replacement screen and instead ordered a screen guard that will keep things together until I can get a new phone. This one is no longer supported (just found out on last update) so I’m shopping around for a newer version.

    1. Kat, I am right there with you. Surely someone on this site would be willing to write it…?

    2. I seem to recall Patricia Briggs had a Mercy Thompson book with a dragon zombie in it??? Must go look…

  7. I was going to attend a Procter & Gamble Alumni Reunion last night – somewhat reluctantly since I wasn’t looking forward to the endless round of “you look fantastic’s” but I’d promised a friend to be her date, plus I don’t have any good shoes up here at the cottage; yes this is a real consideration, and it’s an hour and a half drive from the cottage…but then a miracle occurred! I was saved by a severe thunderstorm complete with sheet lightening, high winds and hail. My friend let me off the hook from driving in that weather and I made a biryani instead and cuddled up on the couch watching Staged which makes me laugh out loud.

      1. I really need to get smart and keep a pair of Shoes To Die For, in case of emergencies.

  8. I’m still trying to get my workmen to work (they’ve been stalled out by bad weather and illness, but were finally here yesterday making progress…of course, it is supposed to rain for the rest of the week).

    Also trying to get myself to work, with limited success.

  9. I have been in Texas, visiting family and virwing the eclipse. There were high clouds that drifted in and out, but things cleared for totality. Here’s the best picture.

    I did start a new crochet project fir the trip. The start was fun, but I’m already bored and want to do something else. I have a suspicion i will be sewing this weekend when i get home.

  10. I chopped most of the Rain Garden flower stalks down and put them in bins , but today I need to cut them off and stuff the tops in the bins. They limit Yard Waste to four feet long, and the stalks are at least six feet, or more. It’s chilly, so I’m waiting for it to warm up.

    I am figuring out Kali, and she is starting to trust me, more. Two nights ago, she woke up in her crate at 1:30 and basically whined the rest of the morning, except for a few hours, after I put a fluffy bed her owner had brought into the crate. That day, I took a nap, and she kept dancing around the bed, so I lifted her up. She went to the bottom of the bed and lay down and did not even peep until I woke up. Last night, she started whining at 11pm, so I put her on the bed, and ended up getting nearly 9 hours of sleep. Yay!

    There is detente between her and the older grey tabby. The younger black cat is still terrified and upset. I’m working on that.

    Picture a tiny Collie-type dog that is 1 1/2 feet tall, has a white patch on her chest, and the two back feet are also white. She has a long snout, much like a fox, and bright eyes. She trots along as if she was on springs. She has straight fur that hangs six inches off the ground, and her long tail curls over her back when she is happy and feels safe. She doesn’t have the double coat that most Pomeranians have, hence the Collie look, and not the walking Tribble look. Sorry I cannot get a photo to load. She’s smart, and cute, and a sweetheart. She is also a Houdini dog. I bought three different collars and halters before I found the ones she couldn’t slip out of. She enjoys going for a walk.

    1. I LOVE the description so, so much – thank you thank you for writing it! I’m sure you’ll be best friends in no time. Can’t believe I missed your post about getting her! Then again, I’ve had killer-headaches since Wednesday last week, so I haven’t really been keeping up. 🙁
      Can’t wait to hear more about any developments! So happy you got a furry little one to hang out with. <3

      1. Thanks, Shass. She seems to think I need supervision all the time. Plus, she’a a great watchdog. The neighbors can’t make a move without her letting me know. I have a glass storm door, and she loves looking out every morning. Of, course, that is also the cats’ favorite spot, since the sun hits that rug in the morning.

    2. Kali sounds great. I know she’s a pom but your description made me remember a miniature collie I had for years. I lived that dog. Her name was Rocky and my grandmother kept calling my husband (#1 Lee) Rocky. I laugh again remembering.

    3. I hope you enjoy her, they are fantastic little dogs. My aunt was one of the foremost Pom breeders in Canada in the 70s and 80s so I grew up with them. They may look delicate but they are surprisingly tough (both mentally and physically). If you remember that they are part of the Spitz group of breeds (akitas, malamutes, keeshonds, shiba inus et cetera) and keep her active and mentally engaged she should be a great friend.

      1. So far, she is a bit shy and scared. I end up carrying her on our walks much of the time, because she balks. I hope she gets over that, soon. She is highly intelligent, and I think she likes getting me to do what she wants.

          1. Jan has explained she can’t find a way to post them and has asked for advice that doesn’t involve getting an Instagram account. Tech advice would help.

        1. That would very likely be a ‘yes’ to ‘I think she likes getting me to do what she wants’ 😊. They can be very persistent in training their humans. More so than many people who are trying to train their dogs.

  11. The good news is that I finished this month’s book club novel a little ahead of schedule (mostly thanks to earlier having read the last chapter to see where things were going). I even finished up some other fiction to report on here tomorrow. 

    The bad news is that I did that instead of working on chores.  It’s not that none of those are getting done, just not enough.  I meant to work on chores yesterday nearly full time,  but then other hobby-related things came up, and afterwards, with urgent matters resolved there, I was no longer in a chore mood.

    Over the week I did manage to fit Easter leftovers and breadstuffs in danger of molding into the freezer compartment.  I made a deliberately small batch of ham and bean soup to use up the ham bone, and managed to finish off the soup within its refrigerator-storage life to avoid more freezing.  Next soup will probably be turkey-based from frozen leftovers, but we’re in a heatwave at the moment, so soup does not feel appealing just now.  Menu-planning to be done later, though I had cold cereal for breakfast for the first time in a while.

    A lot of the frozen bread is now used up too. A medical appointment that I thought was next week turns out to be on Friday (I just misremembered) and I think I can hold off on grocery shopping until I’m in the vicinity anyway for that.

    I did do some research while reading Acton/Doyle, so that may be “work” in a broad sense.  It seems to be possible even now, and certainly was when the first novel appeared before Brexit, for an Irish citizen to get a job straight off with a British police force, no visa or previous residency period involved.  Evidently, per the Internet, this happens in Northern Ireland all the time, and is rarer but not unknown in Britain itself.  It is also possible to have compiled a decent record at an Irish secondary school without having taken a foreign language, mostly thanks, I think, to the requirement that all schoolchildren study Irish, which is spoken natively only in small areas of Ireland.  (Doyle does not have even a smattering of French.)  Irish grammar is ferocious for a native Anglophone,  and I would think is much more difficult a subject than French or German, but is useless beyond Ireland and a few foreign universities and such.

    1. There’s a reciprocal arrangement between Ireland and the UK, as I believe there is between Australia and New Zealand, so people have always been able to move feely between the two countries, to live and work. At least, it was like that when I was growing up, and I’ve never heard of it changing.

      1. I thought the police might have extra requirements. A big-city police department near me, per a site I just checked, requires US citizenship (not just a green card) and a valid driver’s license. (Doyle is licensed, but is very uncomfortable driving.) The local requirements also include written and physical exams, psychological tests, background investigation, etc., all of which evidently have counterparts for the Metropolitan Police. Acton does say that Doyle’s background investigation was especially thorough given her Irish citizenship.

        1. I remember an English law summer course I took years ago where one of the professors explained there were 3 types of people in UK law: British, irish and aliens.
          So I am an alien.

  12. The day job is fine. I do medical billing, so the change healthcare hack did some crazy things to our company, but it’s mostly smooth now.

    My next book came out! It’s a f/f paranormal romance and third in a series. Sales are… About like my sales usually are, but I like writing, not so much marketing.

    I’m proofreading a book I wrote a few years ago so I can self publish that one, too.

    Trying to get my teenager to school on time has become increasingly hard. That’s only part of the work I can’t figure out how to do with my kids!

      1. Hi Marian, if you right-click on Phyllis’ underlined name above, you’ll link to her website! Select ‘open in new tab’ if you want to come back to Argh after. 🙂

      2. If you’re asking me, sure. We encourage reading here. Not that you people need any encouragement to open a book.

  13. I’m trying to weed for only five minutes a day, since the pollens are making me miserable. At this rate, I may finish the front yard by fall, but possibly not. My hamstrings are still feeling it!

    Revisions are going well and I’m hoping to send the WIP to my first beta reader tonight or tomorrow—can’t wait! It’s down to a mere 116k words now. Much more in line with my goal, although I’d like to get rid of another 10-15k. I’m sure my beta reader, who puts out a lot more books than me, will have good ideas on what to cut.

    1. I discovered in 2020 that mask also filters out pollen. If I’m trying to do yard work, though, it gets too hot fairly quickly, but I’m definitely less miserable anyway

      1. I was really diligent about wearing masks outside most of the time last year, but I’m having trouble resigning myself to it this year… Not for much longer, though. My pollen reactions are currently exceeding my 3x/day Allegra regimen by a large margin.

  14. Thus week is warm and sunny so I’m trying to get outside and walk as much as possible (with dog and solo). It’s too early to do any real gardening so I’m working on my planting plan for a native plant garden in my backyard. It’s a three-year plan and this year, I’m focusing on the section that’s shaded. This means fewer plants choices which will hopefully help my decision-making process sone can actually plant this year.

  15. Yes, please to no dragon zombies!

    Got a ton of housework done this morning. Moved fast. (Rare for me these days.)
    Going to the grocery store to get ingredients to make a beef and cheese pie for an injured friend. Going get my business taxes filed today if it’s the last thing I do. May get a bit of normal work work done around the edges.

  16. I’m working on being patient about the….stressful things. It’s hard. A lot of capslock-writing happens. Have also been mostly doing nothing over the last week because killer-headaches. Bleh.
    Making very slow progress on the plushie-project. I was looking for good patterns to try and scale up (upscale? Whatever! Make bigger) etc, but hard to choose a pattern when you can’t see how the finished plushie looks. So I dragged my sib into it and result was me getting a lot of laughs out of their descriptions. We’ve also possibly found some free patterns to try first/instead, which would save me a lot of money. Have no problem with paying for patterns if I know I can/will use them, but since there are still many questionmarks about this to erase first, a free pattern might be a good place to start. So next step is to size it up to larger and get it printed on huge sheet of paper. Baby steps.
    Got an email today for the gastroparesis-scan test whatever thingy appointment. Nuclear pancake will be eaten on May 7th. Nothing but good times ahead!

    1. P.s. I’m not much for zombies, but I LOVE dragons, so… dragon zombies…… yeah. Maybe. 🙂

    2. Nuclear Pancake sounds like something from science fiction. Will you glow in the dark for a while? I’m glad you’re finally getting this test!

        1. Yes. It could very well have taken several more months. So we’re cautiously hopeful! Also got the follow-up appointment planned today for May 23rd, to talk about the results of the test.

      1. Haha, I don’t know. But if you see the sky light up to the east on May7th, you know it’s me. 🙂
        Nuclear pancake sounds very sci-fi indeed. I think it’s a bit unsettling. Isn’t it always radioactive stuff that makes mutants in sci-fi/horror/etc? Maybe I’ll become a ninja turtle! Or a fly-monster! Okay my imagination is running amock here…!

        1. Well, it sounds easier to swallow than the big capsules they made my Mom swallow before this kind of test in the old days.

  17. Yesterday I washed windows in the kitchen and dining room inside only. It seems that when I do outside windows it rains shortly after. Then I took down the winter curtains in the dining room and replaced them with spring/summer ones. I went outside about 2 to pooper scoop the yard but the sea breeze had started up and it was too cold. And that is what I did this morning – pooper scooping. It’s the little accomplishments.

  18. When I woke up on Saturday I had no motivation for anything, so I put on my weed-whacking clothes and went outside. A little over three hours later, the entire front garden was respectably groomed. I then got cleaned up and spent the afternoon reading through two things that are pending publication and one that’s pending submission, minor tweaks there.

    On Sunday I did promo stuff, made updates on the blog, ran a few errands, could not get into the groove of writing anything new.

    Have been going back and forth with publisher over my Regency M/M/M novella, which is coming out in parallel with Regency titles by two other JMS regulars, and which poses quite a problem for cover art. If there is good stock Regency artwork including humans, or even houses, we haven’t found it, put it that way.

    I’ve been noticing increased anxiety lately, and among things to be anxious about is *vacation.* Crazy, right? But I have to plan another remote-work sojourn (possibly two) across the country, and have to schedule that with parents, sister, DH et al, have to see if DH can or wants to come along, have to then see if there is any way to actually take a week OFF which looks increasingly unlikely, which means some banked time with our timeshare will probably be lost, and meanwhile I have to bank our 2024 week, and I hate making phone calls, and … yeah. Cross country travel is an expensive pain in the ass which leaves me with much less flexibility (in all areas) for actual vacation. Even though remote work doesn’t consume my banked paid time off. Argh.

    1. chacha1 I lost so many PTO hours over the years by having more banked than my company would roll over in a year. Then during covid they paid all you had instead of rolling. Since then, I take them. Sometimes a day at a time.

      1. I’m good at taking my PTO but after a little too long doing a day here and a day there, I really want a solid week off a couple times a year! We had a week in February but it doesn’t look like we’ll manage another full week in 2024. 🙁

  19. I am working on cataract surgery. I had my left eye done yesterday and today am perfectly comfortable in spite of having to sleep in an eye patch which meant waking up a lot. My ophthalmologist visit was good, and I’m trying to be patient and not wonder constantly how long after the second eye is done will I be healed enough to Get a New Prescription! So I can finally see well! I can already tell with one eye that things have been getting very yellow over the past two years.

    The bad part is not being able to work in the garden (“No water, no dust, no dirt”) for two weeks in the middle of April. Argh!

    1. I have a feeling I had to wait about six weeks; at least three, anyway. And my eyes did change in the weeks after the operations – not hugely, but enough that I could see it. Glad it’s going well! And I bet you don’t have to wait months for the second eye, as I did. I think that’s changed under the NHS, too – my allotment neighbour says it’s just a couple of weeks now.

      1. The second eye is being done a week from the first, so I have overlapping eyedrop charts. (They seem to mostly put stuff in the eye along with the lens, but I think my multiple allergies had them not wanting to put anything in that they couldn’t get out In Case of Emergency.)

    2. I had to wait six weeks after both operations had been completed before they would prescribe glasses.

      1. The first eye is already so amazingly sharp after three days! I am thrilled. They gave me a near-sighted lens, because that’s what I’m used to.

        I found out that my (66 year old) coworker who drove me there hasn’t seen an eye doctor in years. Because he was doing me a favor I refrained from scolding him, but we both work in a vet clinic! He knows glaucoma is a thing!!! Stupid humans!

  20. I now have an official diagnosis of ADHD and my life finally makes sense. And it does explain why I have a tendency to overshare and talk /write too much…

    So I’m endeavoring to be briefer. Is that a word? Doesn’t matter, I’m using it.

    We had almost 200,000 extra people in Vermont this week for the eclipse. I work for the State police so that really did impact us. Our Interstate was at a standstill – that NEVER happens here. That plus my coworker being on Vacation made this a very busy week, and I’m tired. It’s only Wednesday for Pete’s sake.

    1. I got a diagnosis about a dozen years ago and my life still doesn’t make sense. All 3 of our kids have it. Our conversations are exhausting.

  21. I watched the eclipse on Monday. I thought it was amazing. My house was in the 100 percent. I was at work which was 99.

  22. Work is just work and fairly calm this week … At home, I’m going through our closets. We don’t have much space (live in under 800 square feet) or stuff (that space limitation helps) but somehow everything still manages to land on the floors of the closets, especially clothing. I made a deal with myself that if I cleaned up the clothes closet I could get rid of everything I don’t like and replace it with stuff I do like and will actually wear. Novel idea, wearing more than six T-shirts over and over again!

  23. It turned overcast here for the eclipse, but I did manage to see some of it when the clouds moved a bit and let the sun show through. For work stuff, I was almost out of lip balm so I made another batch. I put more calendula flowers in olive oil be ready for the next time I need to make the lip balm. Calendula has healing properties in case anyone is wondering. Aside from that, I made an appt to see my friendly physical therapist, who squeezes me in whenever I need it, and discovered the tingling, numbness I was feeling in my right arm is directly related to the fall when I broke my arm. It’s feeling much better since she started treating me.

  24. Got home from the Public Library Association conference Saturday afternoon (of course, one day before Columbus, OH had totality, which Denver, CO, did not). 10 p.m. Saturday, power went out due to high winds. I didn’t get power back until 6 p.m. on Sunday – better than many in CO, though: 155,000 households out, nearly 55,000 out from 3 p.m. Saturday until late on Tuesday. Xcel is such an awful company (no surprise there, though).

    I won tickets to see The Black Crowes on Monday, to the delight of my boyfriend, but as I arrived at the venue, my supervisor texted me to let me know that her stepdad was being moved to hospice care, and she needed me to do phone interviews for our desperately-needed substitute librarian position on Tuesday and Wednesday. Except Wednesday, I was supposed to report for jury duty…a frantic email to the county resulted in an emergency postponement. Which meant that then I could spend two hours on the phone with multiple applicants who think that they want to work in the public library because they love books and it must be such a nice, quiet environment. I’m not sure any of them have been in a public library in recent memory.

    Final fun of the day, the two new copiers installed today require an admin login for anyone to use them – in a public library. Where the public needs to use them. Sigh, again.

    But now I can go home and read the books that came in on hold for me while I was away – yes, I love books too. It’s why I work at a library! (Some of why, at least…)

    1. I should clarify. Not all of the candidates were clueless. Several were obviously truly interested in the public library as an institution, not just an ideal, and specifically in the ways we connect people, provide community, and support vulnerable and underserved populations. I will be able to forward multiple candidates to my supervisor.

      But the other ones…no, not so much. Libraries are far more than books, we don’t shush people anymore, and you’re going to have to help a lot of people who are loud, sometimes unwashed, often traumatized, and occasionally really unpleasant. (The most unpleasant ones are usually not the ones who are unwashed, but the entitled people who don’t want to share “their” library with people “like that”). The library is not the place for you if you want to sit and read all day at work!

      1. I have seen 8 overdoses, we’ve had 3 police raids, 3 assaults on coworkers. I’ve been called every variation on bitch, been threatened numerous times. And I still come to work. We sometimes have a police officer working. But we also have a produce giveaway by the free store today. Library work is not for the meek at this branch.

        1. So true! We’re somewhat insulated, as a standalone suburban library rather than a central urban branch, but fewer incidents does not mean no incidents. Fortunately, our community adores us – there’s been a public library in this city for 126 years – and we are not facing the kinds of vitriolic censorship attacks or coordinated efforts to cut funding that many other libraries face.

          It’s work that I can’t imagine not doing, even though it’s work that looks nothing like the pleasant fantasy so many people seem to have of it!

  25. Still going through books. I think I’ll be donating about 40% of my ‘collection’. There are still too many I don’t want to give up but this is a good start. The best thing is that I took 2 of the larger boxes to the library. They are out of the house.

    It was cloudy for the eclipse here. I guess some people did get to see a bit of it as the clouds briefly cleared. I didn’t have any glasses and there weren’t any shadows to watch so I pretty much gave it a miss. Sigh.

    Today I went to the board of elections meeting. During public comments, one of the county MAGAs suggested the board members take polygraph tests before and after the elections to promote public confidence in the elections. Double sigh. And Jesus wept.

  26. Jobs applied for this week: 5, a potential 6th to come.
    Interviews this week: 1
    Interviews booked this week: 1
    Fairly pointless job fair attended this week: 1 (no jobs out of it)
    Depressing meeting about how I’ll probably never get hired again at my current organization: 1.
    TENTATIVE JOB OFFER OFFERED OVER THE PHONE but still haven’t gotten any electronic follow-up about it: 1. Unfortunately it was the ah, least preferred of the jobs I applied for (at a prison, in person, pay cut), but I am going to have to go with it if that’s my only out out of here and they can hire me before more hiring freezes start up. Clearly they were desperate to hire me because they’d had some hiring stall and I must have been who was left to get, because this was the one where the interview lasted 15 minutes and they asked if I’d been disciplined.

    My mind is still boggling.
    I’m hoping I can get hired elsewhere before this, but who knows. Everywhere is slow and hiring freezes will probably kill everything.

  27. Managed to knock three things off my ToDo list: taxes, new (faster) internet, and my shingles vaccine (first of the two shots). I was motivated to finally get moving on the vaccine when two separate coworkers came down with shingles in the last few weeks. Sounds miserable and definitely something to avoid. Fortunately I’ve had no reaction to the shot—only a very sore arm.

    1. I knocked (personal property) taxes off my list. My last shot was a pneumonia shot last month. It always seemed to me that old people (me) with heart problems (also me) just seemed to die of pneumonia. It’s a complication of the other conditions.

      A late follow-up on my cooking and shopping would mention the ever-popular “Pigs In A Blanket” using Johnsonville Jalapeño Cheddar Sausages and Pillsbury Crescent Roll wraps. Wraps come 8 to a cylinder and sausages 6 to a pack. I had some boneless country ribs, so I used the two leftover wraps to attempt a mini-Well Beefington. It ended on the warm/raw side – I should have cooked the beef before wrapping it, I guess.

      That’s how my Wednesday ended. Thursday started with a blanketed pig (two down, four to go) which was as delightful as the first, and much, much better than the beef fiasco.

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