Working Wednesday, April 2, 2024

Bob told me to stop thinking and just write, but I ignored him and went to sleep and dreamed a solution to a scene I was having problems with and then when I woke up, I thought about it some more and told him what I thought, and now we’re doing four Rocky Start books instead of three, which means more work for me.

Moral: Stop thinking.

What did you work on this week?

116 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, April 2, 2024

  1. Wow- really?? My day just got brighter!!

    Still working on an upgrade of the case management system and in the waiting game for IT to fix bugs.

  2. I added a sign to my wall this week that says “Make it Simple”.

    Now I just have to figure out how.

  3. I got my tax information together, instead of crafting, so yay me. But that did mean that I didn’t start any shiny new projects, even though I really wanted to. Delayed gratification is going to be coming my way!!

    I did work on my two other projects – a knitted scarf, where I’ve moved to the second skein, and my ancient crochet blanket (probably started 3-4 years ago). It is very close to completion – it only needs me to do the border and finishing. I won’t work on it while I’m on vacation, so who knows when I’ll get it actually done. Meanwhile, thinking seriously of starting a new one as my plane project. Flight attendants are always interested to see people crafting on planes.

  4. I’m working on Year End at work, tax returns on the side, and Spring Cleaning my house one item at a time (I washed a window and its gross track); should be done by Christmas at this rate.

  5. Work has been making me anxious in the past week so I’m going to focus on the play aspect of my life. Last night we had a bunch of friends over for a Dune Part I watching party, and tonight we’re going out with the same group to see Dune Part II in the theatre – IMAX screen, popcorn, sour patch kids – all mandatory.

    1. I’m sorry that work is making you anxious. You usually seem so unflappable and upbeat. Best wishes for a speedy resolution and good for you for taking care of yourself.

  6. I am working on my wet basement 🫠
    This is the first time we have a basement and I am so confused. Every “professional says something different about the issues”.
    I understand tropics and the problems there are usually roof problems. So it feels like upside down world 🙃.
    Yesterday we had a tornado watch and when I came up from my wet basement
    the sky looked and sounded like the eye of a hurricane, so I went back down for a while longer. It’s weird.

    1. I am in Pa and wet basements are just a way of life here. Most of us don’t bother to finish them and have drains in the floors. Best of luck with yours!

      1. Thank you Lupe, that makes it feel less daunting. I don’t like the carpet down there anyway ☺️.

        1. My neighborhood list serve discusses wet basements at great length, for cause. The best advice seems to be to start with grading the land outside your house so the water flows away from it .
          Before you do anything in the basement you might want to talk to a landscaper.

          1. Thank you Debbie. Yes, I read about grading the earth away from the house. I have been non stop reading all the articles and youtubes. I think I might call my favorite Sam Elliot look alike landscaper!

        2. Oh, and we run a dehumidifier in between storms, especially during the summer when the wood sweats and molds in the upstairs rooms. Ugh.

          At least I can water the plants with it.

        3. The only time we have not had a wet basement was when we lived in the Columbia Basin and only had about 12 inches of precipitation a year. We have discovered with our current house, which is stucco, that if the exterior is painted every 4 to 5 years, it fills in the hairline cracks, which are a chief cause of water running down the inside of the walls and coming through into the basement. The second thing we discovered was that when the house was build almost 100 years ago they were not good at flashing the windows. Once we had the windows reflashed or replaced a lot of the leakage stopped. We still have the problem with moisture coming in through the cracks in the stucco. Whoever thought stucco was a good building material for the Pacific Northwest.

          Oh, and we tiled our entire ground floor since we figured that the occasional leak would re-occur no matter how well we dealt with the problem. I have tried to convince my husband that the concrete wall the water still comes down should be covered in limestone tile so that it looks good and we won’t get the discolored streaks that the paint gets. It would be spendy but what is money to us poets.

    2. It depends on where the water is coming from. If it is a finished basement and the issue is humidity, then the answer is a dehumidifier. If, like me, you have a stone foundation that the water seeps through (even when covered with concrete), the answer is a concrete floor, a sump pump for the big rains, and not to put anything on the floor that can get damaged.

      1. Thank you Deborah. I am clueless as to what is under the concrete floor in the basement, but we do have a dehumidifier which works well normally. But with the heavy rain I am getting a small puddle in the lowest point.
        We have a sump pump in the garage, but “thing two” told me this morning that we would need a second sump pump in the other corner. $$$.
        !

        1. I have three sump pumps in my basement. A relative by marriage owned a house with five for awhile!!! They do help, unless there is a deluge.

          1. Thank you Jan. It’s good to know multiple sump pumps is a “thing “.
            Wow 5 sump pumps! They cost around 3-5 k each here.

          2. We have four. I’m not convinced we needed four. We also had cracks in our foundation that needed to be sealed.
            But we definitely needed at least one as we can hear it all the time on wet days.

          3. Oof! 3-5K is awfully pricey! Does that include breaking the concrete, running a drainage ditch, the sump pump and it’s installation?

      2. Thank you Deborah. I am clueless as to what is under the concrete floor in the basement, it is finished in the sense that the concrete blocks are painted and there is a no pile carpet, but we do have a dehumidifier which works well normally. But with the heavy rains I am getting a small puddle in the lowest point.
        We have a sump pump in the garage, but “thing two” told me this morning that we would need a second sump pump in the other corner of the basement $$$.
        !

    3. Drive around behind big box stores to see if they have any wooden pallets stacked out there, and take some home to pile things on in your basement to keep them out of the wet.

      1. That’s a good idea Jan.
        I put multiple moving discs under the bookcases and chairs for now. They may not be high enough.

    4. Wow to all of this!
      How are basements built in the US? And walls?
      I guess over the pond in Europe (big generalization) we have less humid air, less storms and a tradition of basement building.
      Which doesn’t mean humid or wet basements don’t happen, but it’s not the norm/ often due to errors during construction or pipe failure or flooding.
      Wet walls would make me panic.
      Yes, I’m spoilt.

      1. That’s what I was thinking, Dodo – though basements/cellars are less common here. The only one I’ve had was an old coal hole, which had a grille by the front door step for the coal to be delivered straight down into it. It only extended under the hall and had steps down to it from what was probably the kitchen originally. There was some damp, since the grille was open to the air, but I limewashed the walls and took care what I kept there – just a few things, as far away from the grille as possible.

        1. They are a basic staple here, houses without are rare. It’s extra storage for every flat in the big buildings.
          In some rather old houses zhey feel creeoy and I wouldn’t want to store anything there since it smells old, but not wet.
          The town used to be criss crossed by small rivers so toen developpers needed to handle the water from early on (say Middle Ages).
          Modern city architecs needed to as well when building the underground.
          I admire how in London they managed to build the tube sooo long ago (mid 19th century?).
          Basements snd cellars are common:
          The main city hall (Rathaus) houses a huge restaurant (Ratskeller) – it’s like a large labyrinth.

          Fun fact:
          The ground throughout the old centre has been elevated over the centuries – the ground floor of the houses from the late middle ages seem like basements now, the windows coming up to knee height.
          City architecture is thorouhgly fascinating.

  7. I have a small one man show coming up at a local restaurant in May and I have been a bit paralyzed when it comes to making new work and prepping for it. But I have a plan now and I have been working just a little bit towards it each night this week. So I feel better, even though I am still going to be rushing at the end and I HATE that. Still, progress.

  8. I’m still trying to catch up on housework and the chores that didn’t get done while I was knee-deep in revisions. Still waiting on word for some submissions, so I’m getting things done while I have a window with nothing much on my plate–a window that might last, or might not. Trying to chase down an appointment at the sleep lab, which never answers their phone and doesn’t return messages. Very frustrating.

    After my shower, I’m going to go out into the rain and gloom to run errands (I wouldn’t bother, but I have a stack of new books waiting for me at the library in town, which motivates me enough to also go to the grocery store. Priorities, am I right?) before it turns into snow and gloom. Sigh. Spring in upstate NY.

    Good job making more work for yourself, Jenny!

  9. I decided I was ready for a dog, again, and began searching sites. I went to the local SPCA and it was like sharks circling in the ocean at the small dogs room. A dog I liked was adopted as I arrived there. I made applications at several private shelters/agencies, with long questionnaires and other requirements, and high fees. One of those sent me an email stating it would take time as “We are completely ran by volunteers.” Uh-huh.

    I found a darling little black Pomeranian on Rehome, and applied for her. We have a Meet and Greet scheduled on Sunday! The family who owns her has two children under two years of age, and both parents work 10 hour days. They want the dog to go to a home where the owner has time for the dog. I’m retired. I have nothing but time!

    I dug through the dog stuff I saved, and washed the toys, little coats, and bedding, and piled up other equipment in preparation. I think my cat who is afraid of the 60 pound lab I dog-sit for my son will get along with this 5 1/2 pound little wonder just fine. I hope so. The cat weighs 6 pounds. The best thing is there is no fee! One eleven-year-old Chihuahua was $250 to adopt! Mix puppies are $300 to over $500! This generous dog mom just wants her to go to a good home.

    1. Jan, our granddog Juno is a six month old Pomeranian, who is just darling too. He was here for 10 days. Very friendly, well mannered and pretty smart. Still in the chewing stage and knows the No word quite well. If we took a really long walk, he needs a little rest, the little legs get tired. At the farmers market he was very well mannered. Good luck.

      1. Thanks, Carol. This dog is four years old, so I hope past the chewing stage. Her “mom” claims she will walk a long ways. But, even if she doesn’t, she’s small enough for me to carry home.

    2. I hope you get the dog and that she and your cat get used to each other quickly. That would be a really big happy!

          1. I wish I knew how. I’m not on Instagram. I’m not sure how else to do it on this site.

          2. I’m not sure there is a way beside on instagram using the tag #workingwednesdaypix or #arghink

    3. That’s exciting! So happy for you. Poms are one of my favorite breeds. So much personality, they don’t really know that they are a small animal.

      1. Thanks. That’s good to know. The only Pom I knew, at all, belonged to a bed-bound hospice patient, and that dog ran wild. There was a caregiver for the patient who let the dog out when she thought of it, but otherwise the dog was mostly ignored. It was sad.

  10. This week has been all about a friend’s visit: cleaning the house, supporting her as best I could through her ongoing house-buying trauma, and then re-centring myself. I don’t usually give my opinion, but we went to see a house on an isolated ex-council estate, two miles from the nearest village, and when she wanted to go for it I told her I was worried she’d be isolated there, as well as totally dependent on her car. She’s got lots of hard lines she won’t cross – number and size of rooms, particular locations, etc. – and of course house prices just keep going up, putting what she wants almost out of reach. Plus she’s got to move out of the house she’s been renting with her son in six weeks.

    My priority this week is to try and finish dismantling my old compost heap and make the new flowerbed, in between the many threatened showers. Plus do another big batch of seed sowing.

  11. There were NO jobs to apply for this week. NONE. Anywhere. Now, admittedly last week’s job hunt was on Thursday and there’s been a holiday on Friday or Monday depending on the organization, but still. Jobs were listed, but nothing I was going to apply for because they are all money jobs. I also haven’t gotten any job interview calls this week and I was used to getting 1, 2, 3 a week. I had four last week and this week is one. I appreciate the break, but now I’m nervous. (Also, no word on the reassignment job still.) So, not working on that so much.
    I am taking a 3 hour exam tomorrow to apply with public transport. I told my therapist this and she said she didn’t have to do that much work for her license. I told her you have to be absolutely perfect as a clerical worker these days. I should dredge through some Excel videos today, whee.

    I have about 28 lines and no personality in the show I am in. My personality is yarn, no joke, because I get to yarn during the show. Otherwise I’d pass out, so yay there.
    I did finish a Hell Shawl I was making for a friend on commission–the yarn didn’t really match the size of the needles/gauge and that made it a pain in the loosely knit ass to make–so that’s done. So I guess I am not working on much beyond crocheting a giant skirt, here, and plotting new projects. I got my balls of yarn wound, so yay on that.

    I have job counseling starting on Friday. Does anyone have any suggestions for jobs a clerical worker/former writer can do that don’t involve customer service/front counter work/phones, or math? Because seriously, all I ever hear is “grant writing!” and “technical writing!” and with the rise of AI, I think any kind of writing job is not feasible. I just want to hide in a corner typing for money/doing data entry for the next two decades without getting myself in trouble for my wrong personality and be able to afford life. That’s it. That’s my entire career goal and it seems impossible now.

    1. I’ve been in the same field since 1989 so am sadly uninformed about new keyboard-heavy work that might be out there, and afraid that many might require some kind of certification. Medical transcription and medical billing pop on a quick search.

      My field is patent filing support and it’s ALL keyboarding. Most of us have a college education, some of us have paralegal certificates (not a requirement in most firms for workers at this level). Tolerance for hard deadlines and ability to manage upward (attorneys need to be managed in the sense of support staff thinking ahead and doing what will be needed, ideally before the attorney asks for it) a must. Diligent calendering and obsessive proofreading also a must. It’s not client-facing and, in my experience, mostly “here’s the job, go do it” (i.e. not closely supervised) but the management style varies from firm to firm. Almost zero telephone work. A LOT of writing – emails, drafts, and more emails.

      I truly hope something resolves for you soon on the job front. All those interviews are a good sign!

  12. Today there are two “non regular work” projects on the docket: I am formally getting back on the rolls volunteering at the wildlife refuge where I so enjoyed working (health issues and then travel caused a break in service) and I have begun the work of digitizing mountains of old family correspondence. I expect this latter project will take ages: organizing and then transcribing some of it (because of “antique handwriting” to quote my niece) will be a fascinating project. Already I’m learning so much about the family I never knew. At this point, I’m not sure the next generation is going to care deeply (😁) but I’m going to make it available to them just in case at some point in the future they decide it’s interesting.

  13. Had a riding and writing day on Monday. Yes I groomed and rode a horse after many, many years. Bought myself a helmet too. I plan on more riding. Finished the short story I have been working on after lunch. Cleaned house, laundry and washed floors. Today will go from room to room making a list of things which need to be painted, etc. it will be a refresh year. Plus more things leaving the house forever. All my sister’s things must go this month. I need my family room back. And must help build raised garden beds. Sow seeds.

  14. Had a rainy & windy weekend, thus stayed inside to do non-gardening things on my list. Returned first round of edits for the next release. Added an epilogue chapter and did a read-thru polish on the recent novelette, having found a submission call for which it is suited.

    Also drafted my federal & state tax returns, will attempt to file online this coming weekend.

    Now I must re-price a book for upcoming promotion and then go back to 2nd-round edits before signing on for Day Job.

  15. I have been working on getting a smart meter from my energy company for YEARS! They kept sending me things saying sign on and get one, and I signed on. Then they would send a repeat email saying sign on – and I would. Round and round. Then I phoned to complain and they passed me round and cut me off! So eventually I went onto a site called Resolver (in UK) and it allowed me to put in a complaint and registered it. Then the energy company closed the complaint by saying I was not eligible.

    A Customer Service chap finally took up arms for me – and kept re-opening the case every time they closed it without resolving it. Then the requests for photos of my gas and electricity meters started arriving. I sent at least 4 different ones of the gas meter and they kept asking for more. Turned out they were looking for a sticker that told them the previous meter reading prior to the meter I was photographing. When I asked when this meter had been installed they told me and I told them “Well that is when the flat was built, so what you have been asking me to photograph does not exist”.

    So eventually, after a long fight (which I would not have started had they not been badgering me to get one) I got a smart meter fitted today. Yay me! Also got £30 credit added to my account for all the hassle. Waiting until I see the next bill (due any day) to check it all out and finally say that this is resolved. Will be glad to draw under this hassle. Engineer today wore FFP2 mask I handed him and was kindness itself.

    Other than that getting my life in order before my operation in less than two weeks. Freezer stocked with home made meals, hotel in Fife booked the night before (‘cos I m to be admitted at 7 am). Still not sure what I am packing yet but have time to do that – and give the flat a good clean and get the laundry up to date. Plus actually do my work (though I am self-isolating and WFH so I do not get any ailment that would prevent the op).

    1. Good for you, Christine, for being so organized. I hope the operation goes well and you have a swift recovery.

    2. That is some really annoying and not very customer-friendly service you’ve got there. Sheesh. Good for you for persisting! They never knew they started a fight with an Argher. 🙂
      OP approaching, seems like you’re well prepared. Don’t forget to also stock up on books!

      1. Thank you Beth. Thank you Shess.

        I have built up a collection of books and magazines, yarn projects etc. Stopped putting things on order from the library as I may not be able to collect. Sure I will forget something – but accepting of all that. As long as the op is successful I am prepared to deal with everything else.

  16. I finished piecing a baby-quilt top and basted it with backing and batting for quilting (and basted another similar top too), and then my fridge died, so I’ve been working on replacing it and getting rid of the dead one. New one arrives on Friday.

    Fortunately, I have a tiny fridge and there wasn’t much in it. I only had to toss a few bottles of salad dressing that were probably past their expiry date anyway. The stuff that really needs to be kept cold is in a cooler filled with ice made in my chest freezer (so convenient to have that separate from the fridge).

  17. Still working on trimming my WIP. I’m down to 125k words from a high of 163k, if I remember correctly. Lots more to go, and I have tons of story threads that need attention. But I have some momentum now, at least.

    We camped over the weekend and are talking once again about getting a teardrop trailer. I don’t mind sleeping in a tent at all, but getting in and out is a booger (this is partially due to our tent’s design, though). I’ve heard we don’t get any younger…

  18. Jennie – More books – great news for us! Thanks for that. This Wednesday for the first time in a very long time I am Not Working very much at all. Feels great!

  19. I’m between jobs at the moment, hoping to get a new contract for the fall. It’s not so bad since I receive OAS and QPP (government pensions), and only need work to make ends meet. I’m fortunate that I can do my work online (whether teaching or editing).

    I am so impressed by the people (mostly women) here who discuss knowledgeably of foundations and sump pumps and landscaping. It’s inspiring.

    We’re facing snow later today but next week I’ll be busy cleaning up after a winter’s debris of fallen branches and dog poop. Then, it’ll be garden prep. Such a short growing season here in the mountains of southern Quebec. I can’t wait to get started.

    Looking forward to more books, Jenny!

  20. Bah! Wrote a long comment and in the course of trying to copy and back it up in case of posting problems, I managed to wipe out the whole thing. (I hadn’t expected it to run long, so had not followed my own advice and drafted it in a notes app.) Well, it wasn’t that interesting, so I’ll not recreate it. But I’m glad to learn that there is even more Rocky Start reading coming.

  21. Being forced to help my husband with taxes. I tried to just hand him my shoebox full of receipts and slink out of the room but that was a no go.

    Yay on a 4th Rocky Start book!

  22. Bank statements, there’s been an explosion of them since oh, 2014. So, over the past couple of weeks I’ve been slowly culling the paperwork. I’ll grab about ten of them and go through them, shred them and toss. I don’t remember how many years you are supposed to hang on to them, I think seven. But even that sounds excessive. Anyway, that’s what I have been working on.

  23. Dog adoption sounds much more fun than dealing with wet, basements or taxes. I’ve been working on my taxes and several other peoples taxes. I’m gonna go back to doing that in a minute. I also did a yoga class today for the first time since the car crash, I could do most of it. Things I need to do:
    I’m doing LA festival of books and they want all the stuff like your name and happy answers and all your social media. I have to read a or write or see a 45 minute thing for something I’m filming tomorrow. On Saturday I’m doing celebrity family feud yay. I don’t think I have to prepare for anything for that. I signed all the paperwork yesterday, I know I’m behind behind on some other stuff but I don’t even remember what it is at this point. The best news of all is a fourth rocky start book you do great, Great dreams!
    Please thank your dreams for me

  24. One thing I did not mention even in my evaporated comment was that I had tried JaneB’s suggestion of jiggling a partial loaf after I had cut it up and wrapped it but before freezing it. That seemed to work pretty well for the slices I have so far extracted. If it continues good, I’ll shift to that instead of inserting separators. (Store sliced bread doesn’t adhere as tightly, possibly because it has smoother surfaces.)

  25. We are all grown ups here.

    Soooo, I had an interesting (read: embarrassing, uncomfortable, unprofessional, mildly traumatizing) encounter at work yesterday with my manager and her daughter and a co-worker (all while they were unintentionally blocking the exit to the till area so I couldn’t run away screaming). I know I’ve told you my manager is a bit of a wingnut who apparently doesn’t now the meaning of Not Safe For Work. Welp, yesterday she topped herself by coming in and telling us all about her sexual frustration with her new on-again-off-again boyfriend and how if he doesn’t perform his boyfriendly duties pretty soon she will be dumping him for a new selection from the sex toy store. Except it was much more graphic and cruder than that with pictures of the desired appliance.

    Did I mention that she never checked to see if there were any customers in the store (there was one) nor did she modulate her voice so that the temporary pharmacist we have wasn’t subjected to a totally inappropriate conversation and what could probably be considered a type of sexual harrassment.

    We are not her girlfriends, we are her employees. If I didn’t think it would cost me my job, which I really like, I’d be having a conversation with HR.

    Now I believe that people should own their sexuality and that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a sexual person, either solo or with a partner, but it’s not a topic of conversation for the workplace. Co-worker was not as horrified by the conversation as I was, but she’s about 20 years younger than me.

    Then her daughter showed us her new tattoo (and mostly took off her shirt but did keep it clamped down over her breasts) and said that she told the tattoo artist that it felt like he was running a vibrator up and down her shoulder, just more stingy and poky. She’s 14. Never once in the 11 hours that my tattoo took did I think it felt like a sex toy. That poor guy must have felt so gross after that comment.

    I think that having an open, honest relationship with her mom and being able to have frank conversations about sex are probably going to keep her from sleeping with the wrong boy just because she’s horny but she’s 14.

    Also, who the fuck tattoos a 14 year old, with or without parental permission?

    And before I went to the store yesterday, I thought the low-light of my work day was going to be doing a file about a man with progressive dementia who refused to shower, had rats in his home because he left food out, and didn’t wash his underwear but just blow dried it, but, wow, I was so wrong.

    Yup, I’m a petty bitch who wants everyone to share in her horror.

    On the upside, tomorrow is Paul’s birthday and we are going to a movie on Friday. I’ll make him an angel food cake and his favourite supper, which I hate so he gets all to himself.

    1. BIG CRINGES, here!! That woman is way over the top! No boundaries, at all. Was she raised by wolves? Can you contact HR anonymously? She should not be a manager, or anywhere near the public.

      Just blow dried his underwear? Seriously? Ick!! Did you take a really long shower after you got home?

    2. Yeah that tattoo artist wasn’t reputable, the proper ones won’t work on you if you are under age, drunk, intoxicated or if you will really really regret what you are asking. 14 years old sigh, she isn’t old enough to even pick a good tattoo.

      Also either fake a phone call you have to take somewhere else or shoulder barge past desperately to the ladies, both are acceptable methods to escape.

      Your manager doesn’t think, in this digital age, if some stranger video your manager and put her on social media and complains. The pharmacy will freak out from the publicly inappropriate behaviour of their staff.

  26. Hurrah for more Jenny-Bob books!
    Very slowly working on plushie-project. Right now it’s mostly theoretical stuff, but hope to slowly be moving over to practical soon. I stumbled over a really exciting thingy just before Easter that I will tell you more about once I’ve done more research on the subject, but it made me excited for all of this all over again. Even Sven got excited about it, which is awesome. Support helps.
    I really wish I could think less. My brain’s all over the place what with the medical business, and also recent realizations about (Possibly???) non-trustworthy person mentioned a while ago and about whom I can’t speak with closest in-real-life people, which stresses me out. Me second-guessing it all despite a lot of proof is also exhausting. I’m SO tired of my brain. Doesn’t help that my nightmare disorder is at peak awful, making sleeping a challenge and energy-levels low, which in turn makes anxiety peak as well. Ugh. Ugh. Argh!
    We’d booked a trip to Canada for the 22nd of this month and were gonna spend 2.5 weeks there and also celebrate my birthday there with Canada-mom and Joey, but since medical stuff might happen this month and I’m not feeling well physically, we unfortunately had to make the decision to cancel. I think it was the right decision, but it still stinks. Oh well, at least we’ll be home for the kitts’ birthday on May 3rd. Gotta find something really nice for them. <3

  27. Oh! I forgot, I also have a question:
    Wintertime especially, I hang laundry to dry inside rather than in the yard (because rain etc). I find however that it doesn’t dry fast enough, and so the clothes end up stinking like old dishcloths. I don’t know why it happens, it’s not like I hang things on top of each other, and other people dry their stuff inside so why isn’t everyone smelling like that? It’s not all clothes either, guess it’s depending on how thick the fabric is…?
    Does anyone here have a solution for this? I try to dry pants/jeans/sweaters etc on the radiators if possible, but I don’t have enough of them to dry entire batches. Not all clothes are tumble-dryable. I’ve been thinking about a heated laundry-hanger-thingy (words escape me), but they seem expensive.
    And, is it worth it to try and get that smell out of the clothes that have already caught it, or is it better to get rid of it and buy new? I seem to remember it’s hard to get rid of once it’s in the fabric…
    All advice is very very much appreciated!

    1. No, don’t throw your clothes away just cause they have a mouldy smell. There are lots of ways to get rid of it, I think the easiest is just wash them again, as long as they are not delicate, if you add white vinegar or baking soda (check amount) to the washer, when that mixes with hot water, it should get rid of the smell. Anyway maybe the clothes are too wet to begin with, add an extra spin cycle when you wash them to reduce moisture. Sometimes there is too much water in your air, so the clothes don’t dry quickly, airflow (open windows) helps or a dehumidifier. I think what you are describing is a heated clothes airer, but I do not know how effective they are. I will link an article I found below that might be helpful https://www.theguardian.com/money/2022/dec/12/how-to-dry-clothes-indoors-and-save-money-on-laundry

      1. I second Kay about making sure you spin the washing well. I have an old-fashioned wooden clothes rack inherited from my mother, which hangs above the stairs, so it’s quite an airy space. I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how well my washing dries, even though it’s not the warmest part of the house.

      2. If you find supports to put next to the radiator on each side, you might be able to erect a normal foldable clothes drying frame on top of it. That way you can get more items in reach of the heated air above the radiator, and everything will dry quicker.

        Here is a link to a picture of one from Wikipedia (it calls it a ‘clothes horse’ but it’s basically a wooden rack):

        https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/84/Clotheshorse.jpg/220px-Clotheshorse.jpg

      3. Thank you lots! I didn’t even think about an extra spin-cycle. I can’t change the settings on my machine myself (stupid touch-buttons and NO SPEECH, argh! It’s 2024 and washing machines are more inaccessible for blind people than ever before), but I know there’s a spin-cycle setting I can get to with the wheel that cycles through the different presets, so I can always flip to that once it’s done washing. Great idea, thanks! Will also look into the smell-fixes. I think I’ve done it with vinegar before. Definitely so worth looking into.

    2. I do not have access to outside space to dry clothes (live in a flat 2 floors up from the street). Also do not have a tumble dryer. I have always dried my clothes on those clothes horse frames in the kitchen overnight with the window slightly open. It does mean getting up first thing and closing the kitchen window before the heating comes one but it gets the job done. My laundry is usually dry within 24 hours and I have no problems with odour or mold (either on the laundry or in my flat) – hope this helps.

      1. It does! I’ve been concerned about having window open because indeed the heater? And, the only place I can hang stuff is in the livingroom and that’s also where we spend a lot of time, so I was also worried it’d just be too cold. Might look into a dehumidifier as option if open window can’t be a thing, but the input/advice is very much appreciated!

    3. I’m wondering if it’s not something in your machine that is making the clothes smell. I’m guessing that you have a front-loading machine? Most of the European models I’ve seen are so I’m going with that. How often do you clean the rubber seal around the door? I’m not trying to imply that you are a dirty person, it’s something that not a lot of people think of and it was something that a lot of people over here in North America complained of when they first became popular here. People were finding mould growing because there was water getting trapped in the fold of the seal.

      You may have to clean with rubbing alcohol or something but please first check your owner’s manual. I hope this doesn’t come across as rude or abelist because that is very very much not my intent but you might want to have someone with better vision pop their head inside the actual machine and look around with a strong light to see if there’s something in the machine causing your problem. Please do not take this as a slight and I apologize if it sounds that way.

      I am very much a spoiled North American and totally in love with my tumble dryer, especially in the winter. I do have a clothes line for summer use.

  28. I think the heated thing is a towel heater?? I think having radiators instead of forced-air heating is your problem. Do you have a dryer in your home? Maybe don’t wash the things you can’t tumble dry on wet days. Wait for a good time to hang them out?

    1. I imagine it’s too cold and damp in the winter months for Shass to hang her washing outside. You need a sunny site that catches the breezes, and even then it’s a long shot in winter. (My shady garden means I have to dry things indoors from November to March, at least.)

      1. Yeah, our yard is admittedly sunny when it’s sunny, but it’s in a corner out of the wind, so even on sunny days, drying clothes outside takes time. Since washing also takes time (3+ hours on ECO-setting), there’s barely enough time in the summer to dry things outside, rest of the year it just takes too long. Of course one could then first hang it outside for as long as possible and then take it down and hang it up again inside (my clothes-horse (?) doesn’t fit through the backyard door), but it seems like a real hazzle. Happy for everybody’s input though! Must be a lot of people out there without possibilities to hang laundry to dry outside.

        1. That eco setting sounds extraordinarily slow! On my machine, it means a shorter wash rather than a longer one. And I do quite often wash at 40C rather than 30C, since reading that you do need a higher temperature to kill any bugs – I probably switched in the pandemic. I use two programs almost all the time, one for cottons and the other for delicates. I can vary the temperature separately, and also choose ‘wash plus’ for a longer wash if things are really dirty. But my machine’s twenty years old; I daresay modern ones aren’t as user-friendly.

    2. I’ve never been to the Netherlands, but in Germany in my experience radiators were the usual heating method, and I think that’s widely true in Europe. So I think it likely that the people Shass runs into who have no moldy-clothes smell also use radiators. So I have no advice on the general problem.

      I did have a recurrent problem in summer with a few heavy T-shirts that I deliberately wore while wet, as a cooling method. I only wore them around home, so after they got musty I machine washed them as normal, and wore them when dry as normal (after it cooled off outside). It took several washings for the smell to fade away completely, but it eventually did. As Kay suggests, there are undoubtedly laundry additions that would have speeded up the process.

      1. Worst kind of smell, that musty, moldy, stale smell. Luckily I seem to remember that the vinegar-trick really works. I just didn’t see the pont if hanging the clothes to dry again afterwards would revert them back to bad smell. Now that people have come with great ideas, I’ll give it a go.
        Radiators are great if you have enough of them, but mine are 1. too close to the floor for some clothes to hang properly and 2. not nearly many enough to take care of an entire washload. So, I try to save them for the thick fabrics that really seem to need a speedier way of drying.

        1. Does the washing machine itself smell? We get that problem and every six months or so run an empty cycle with vinegar, bicarb and super-hot water (topped up from just-boiled kettles) – all this gunk floats out from bits of the machine you just can’t reach.

          Re drying, it shouldn’t matter if the air is cold as long as its dry, it just takes a bit longer. I also find drying racks too small for bigger items but I have cupboard doors that open – I use a long piece of wood dowling across the top of the cupboard doors and hang towels, sheets, long skirts etc over that. Can also be used to hand coathangers for shirts etc to reduce ironing.

      2. Common situation here:
        We use 2 clothes horse (fold out thingies), some have folding racks to go over the bath tub, some can be installed at hhe wall mounted radiators.
        We were lucky in our former flat that we had enough space to put the mobile racks up. Good for radiator dry air. In summer, it got hot enough lately that washing dried VERY quick (attic space converted into a loft in the 90s).
        But the neighbours below had a similarly situation to Shass’s: it took time and in one flat you still had a residue of a former heavy smoker in the air and dried clothes after 10+ years of smoking free renters.
        Niw after the move we’ve got a basement room for drying. In winter it took forever to get the stuff dry. Plus side: they got incredibly soft, too.
        Now in spring, it’s still rather cold downstairs, but the air is significabtly drier.
        We’ve got a washing-dryer machine and I never used it as much for laundry before for anything else than towels. We will bring up hhe clothes racks to use in the garden – hopefully soon. So far, the weather is too unreliable and wet.
        My parents do it the same way, obly their basrment laundry room is much warmer snd drier and less creepy. The house is also less old (late 70s vs 50s, huge difference).

  29. I completed and filed our taxes for Feds, state, and city.

    I’ve started my self-eval which is due next Monday. I also got the article I wrote back from the editor and need to proof it before it gets sent off. Also, for work, I’ll be testing an application to see if it meets the minimum viable product needed to support tracking commitments. And will be working on planning a move of the special collections material from the basement to 3E at the library.

    I also did a lot of baking for Easter and made deviled egg chicks.

    I finished a pet bed today too that will be in an auction. The pillow is too large, but we’re going with it. https://www.instagram.com/p/C5UVaH5JlQh/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link&igsh=MzRlODBiNWFlZA==

  30. I finally ordered all my new appliances, hardware, and furniture. Now I get to go and sit in my new-looking-but-cold condo while everything shows up for the next two days. (I timed it so everything would show up together, so I didn’t have to sit there all week!)

    My condo was soaked by a broken ice maker last November, so I’ve been out since December 1st. It looks like I’ll be able to move back in in about two weeks. I took the opportunity to do a big-time upgrade (and wall changes, about which I am NOT telling the HOA until I move out in 10 years!) Friends coming over Saturday to help assemble the new furniture. Construction people coming in next week to finish everything up. Then the shippers have to bring all my boxes and other furniture back. But the end is in sight!

  31. Still riding my bike – we celebrated being halfway through Texas with mojitos. Longest ride I’ve ever done was on Sunday – 119 miles on not-great roads. It was 95
    degrees with a headwind. But I did it!

    Now we’re in hill country, which is fun, and today we had a tailwind, which is more fun.

    Uploaded tax documents and worked on a proposal using veeeery slow WiFi when I arrived this afternoon – yesterday we had no cell service and the WiFi didn’t work where we were staying.

    1. That’s really impressive. My longest ride was 55 miles across rolling country into a headwind and driving rain. (Meant to be summer.) After that I planned my cycling holidays so I wouldn’t have to do more than 30 miles in a day, just in case of even worse weather.

      1. We’ve decided that there must be some formula that involves coefficients for road surface, temperature, precipitation, wind, etc.

        55 miles with a headwind and driving rain definitely feels like more than 55 miles!

  32. Four books, yay! And the first one is coming soon, double yay!!

    Just plugging along with the great book sort and walking the dog between rain showers.

  33. Oy! So many posts already. Maybe I shouldn’t have slept most of the day.

    Wet Basement. That was Home Moanership XVI on my blog. I have two sumps, with one new sump pump. I have two running dehumidifiers. They don’t run continuously, but it isn’t summer yet. They will, then. The central air handling unit leaks condensate, which I collect in a large clear plastic box and empty by hand all summer.

    Four books! I look forward to the series. I’d rather look forward to Stealing Nadine or Arresting Alice or whatever. You know, the derivatives of Faking It and Maybe This Time.

    Wet clothes. We have a washer and dryer, but I’ve been known to hang a damp towel above a dehumidifier. Works really well.

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