Working Wednesday, May 1, 2024

How the hell did it get to be May? Never mind. This week I’m doing a final pass on Rocky Start, working on Very Nice Funerals, finishing my taxes, trying to get my printers to work, and oh yeah, trying to get the office/living room into some kind of shape. Argh.

What did you work on this week?

Okay, before you say it’s still a mess, I know, but I got the computer desk and the couch switched around and ran the vacuum and hauled a bunch of trash away, so PROGRESS. And I am writing a book here, y’know.

Yeah, it’s still a mess.

103 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, May 1, 2024

  1. I definitely feel you! This past weekend, as i was procrastinating about pruning the azaleas, the rods and shelves in my closet pulled away from the wall. The cats and I heard a low rumble, and when I found it I was horrified. Then I emptied that part of the closet and was twice as horrified looking at all my crap now strewn about my house. I told myself that I should Marie Kondo the crap out of my piles and only put back what I can wear. So far, I think Ive put two pairs of shoes in the “to donate” pile. I’ve got a very long way to go! It would definitely be easier to just rehang everything when DH is finished his repairs.

    So, not much crafting. Here’s a picture of Teddy.

  2. We’re madly painting the new house, which involves driving two and a half hours there, and two and a half hours back. And my shoulders are killing me, because painting ceilings is the worst.
    I’m also trying to juggle finding the balance between work and some semblance of a social life and not letting the house descend into a pit of cobwebs and grot. And making sure the boyos are fed and get to school on time.
    Some days I’m closer to achieving that balance than others.

  3. It’s a lovely big room so it will be a fab office/living space once it’s sorted. And no rush. Two years after our kitchen and living room reno, I still haven’t unpacked all the boxes or put the books back on the shelves. It’s getting so desperate that I’ve asked my husband to take a week of annual leave to help me sort it out.

    1. If you have money and you can’t hack it, I think there are professional organisers you can hire. I know it’s very TV, but it’s been two years, so maybe worth it for you

      1. But you have to ask a lot of questions before you hire one. The woman we hired to help downsize when my parents moved wanted to keep all the hardcover books and get rid of all the paperbacks, regardless of content. The women who did the actual packing were wonderful, but their boss was too busy to actually ask my parents about what their priorities were.

      2. I would love to do that. I’ve been unwell for most of the time so I’m relying on my husband, and he’s not one of the world’s housekeepers. I’m feeling well enough now though to project manage and would be able to direct an organiser.

  4. April went SO FAST. And May is always like a lightening strike for me. Still, this week has felt productive. I took my entry for a group show to the little museum some distance away on Sunday, and did my volunteer hours there.

    Yesterday was my half day and I reconnected with a friend unused to work with and then hung my small one person show at a local restaurant for the month. After I do the open house there on Friday I should be finished with my timed obligations for a while and that feels good. I even got out into the garden for some clean up yesterday, so I feel less behind there, although that is always fleeting.

      1. Thank you! I was in the stage the night before last of hating all of it. It comes and goes.

        1. I get that way when catering. After a while you are so tired of working with or looking at an item that you can’t imagine why you thought anyone would like it.

          1. Yes! This exactly. And also why I never wear any of my own jewelry or hang my own work in my house…

          1. Thank you!

            When I was doing my volunteer shift I was helping accept pieces for the group show and there was SO MUCH GOOD WORK! Which is great to see, but hit my imposter syndrome buttons.

      1. Thank you! It is one of the few ‘fancy’ restaurants in town, a fabulous refurbished Victorian.

    1. My fav is the blue piece —a little like the moon behind clouds. Really lovely

      1. Thank you! It’s hard to see from that far back, but there are teeny tiny geese flying against the moon.

      2. Yes that is mine too.. To me they appear ‘moody’ which I really enjoy because it pulls me in to explore the details. So much talent Lupe & very definitely no cause for impostering thoughts.

      1. I thought so too! They were created as a pair in my mind. I also did a sunrise and sunset set. I like working in mismatched series.

  5. 3/5 companies are uploaded to the accountants. The last two should be quick to finish, 🤞.

    My BIL just sent me three years of tax returns to do for him.

    I’d love to paint my house. Or at least dust it.

    1. That sounds a very odd tax system: in the UK you have to do a tax return every year if you’re self-employed.

      1. In the US you almost always have to file a yearly return wherever your income comes from. However, for one reason or another some people don’t, and as I understand it, if you’ve paid enough tax up front, through withholding or estimated tax payments, the penalty for a late return is minor or (I think) can be nonexistent. You may well get a refund when all is settled. (Not a lawyer!)

        1. You can get one extension without a cause so long as you pay the tax and you can get more , I think, if there is a reason like missing paperwork

          1. I’m still not a lawyer, but I read this to say that if you don’t owe money, the “minimum penalty” for late filing is zero. I don’t know what would make it more than the minimum. (Me, I’ve always filed by the extension date.) A coworker who failed to file for several years because the accounting for his side business sort of overwhelmed him, in the end got through with little or no penalty because enough tax payment had been withheld from his salary.


  6. Writing a lot and preparing for a new release, which makes me happy this week. I kind of do it with tunnel vision, so that I can ignore some things that need doing. So far, that’s working for me.

    1. Tunnel vision aka Total focus… which is great for productivity as multi tasking is known to be less efficient and bad for you in certain circumstances

  7. Moved office, so had to sift through piles of old junk and stationary before the move. Lucky we shifted to laptop as we don’t have an IT guy

  8. Progress not perfection and form does follow function. If it works for you, then it’s right.

    I asked for a garage sort out/clean out for my Christmas present last year. Best present ever.

  9. We’ve hired regular cleaners for the first time ever and I decluttered our bathroom before they came yesterday. I feel so awkward about having other people clean our house, but I’m incredibly allergic to dust now, and the other people who live here (i .e. my spouse and kids) apparently can’t see it or something…

    1. We did it when we had kids. We were both working and I just felt that time with my kids was more important . And I do feel that so long as you are respectful of their work—it’s a job and not demeaning.

      When foster daughter who grew up homeless lived with us as a young adult and left her room a mess I told our cleaner not to clean and had a hard talk with foster daughter about how our cleaner was not there to pick up after her and she had to treat her respectfully. It was an interesting moment for a kid who had grown up being invisible and disrespected …

  10. Still at the conference in Phoenix. Delivering our company’s presentation today: blah blah SUCCESSES blah blah AWESOME blah blah BUY US blah blah…

        1. I would really like to see that RuPaul suit! And the shoes that go with it, of course!

          1. Wow!!! That is gorgeous! I like the background, too. You get to go to some really nice places.

    1. Thank you all! The presentation went super well and I got some great feedback so…phew. No one mentioned the suit (male audience) but I know that was the real winning element. And it’s over so I can relax now.

  11. I’m trying to juggle getting the garden in and the yardwork done, work on the new Llewellyn book (ha!), promote the upcoming oracle deck, go to endless medical appointments, and oh yes, chase Lilibet the cat around the house at 11pm to try and retrieve the mouse she caught. (Cat one, mouse zero. Mama sleep, minus 1.)

    The inside of my head looks like your office…

  12. There’s a floor. That is progress.

    I am still planting the garden and catching up from my enforced two weeks of no yard work at the height of spring. People, try to schedule cataract surgery when you have no urgent messy tasks. (But don’t argue with your boss and your surgeon. Just get it done.)

  13. The universe is trying to thwart me this week. Rain the night before I was going to mow. Dog acting fussy because of thunder. But she did use the pee pad in the night!!! Woohoo. Prescription fluoride toothpaste only available in an icky flavor. Possible replacement toothpaste won’t come out of the tube! Shoe repair guy planning to retire after only 49+ years of doing the work. The nerve! 😜 The road that leads to all my favorite places is closed for utility work. And on and on.

    We got plenty of rain, which was needed. No tornados mowed us down. The sun is shining.

    1. I haven’t been on prescription toothpaste very long, but the brand the pharmacy gave me for a refill definitely does not taste as good as did the first kind. Fortunately, I just like it less rather than disliking it.

      Is it possible that your “possible replacement toothpaste” has a seal on the neck that has to be punctured? I haven’t seen that with toothpaste, but I had prescription ointment with that. (I’m presuming this replacement toothpaste is also Rx. Otherwise, just dried out or something? )

      1. I don’t think that is the problem. It may be that it is dried out. The expiration date is well into next year, too. I’m going to return it and get some non-prescription Stannous Fluoride toothpaste off the shelf. It will be cheaper, and stannous is better. A lot of the prescription toothpastes are Sodium Fluoride.

        1. I haven’t researched any of this, but the advantage of prescription toothpaste is supposed to be the higher concentration of fluoride than in the OTC stuff. That said, I don’t think the advantage in cavity prevention is huge. (Not a dentist!)

          1. You are right on both counts. I use it to forestall any more bone loss. The OTC fluoride is about half of the prescription amount.

          2. I get a paint-on fluoride treatment after cleanings at the dentist. That way you only experience the bad taste once for a few hours. And it seems to be helping.

        2. Have you discussed fluoride rinse with your dentist? It is available in both prescription and non-prescription strengths and would be less likely to turn to crud on the shelf. Or at least if it did dry up, you could se the difference before purchase.

    2. It is so hard to find people who won’t retire before I die! My dentist (who is at least ten years younger than I am and probably more) just retired this fall for the second time! The first time was when her doctor told her she’d need a hip replacement if she kept dentisting. I went to her own dentist, who was an alumnus of my college and definitely graduated more than ten years after I did. About a year before he retired, she re-opened her practice (after having a hip replacement anyway) and I went back to her. This time her retirement is permanent because her husband has retired, and I’m going to a dentist who I know for certain is at least twenty years younger than I am! Wish me luck.

    3. I switched from fluoride toothpaste to h-Na and have been happy with the results. Less sensitivity in my teeth and less problems with the skin on my lips and mouth.

    4. Yay on the pee pad! That makes life much simpler. I’ve never had a small dong (yet) so it was never an option, but it much be a game changer.
      Losing a shoe/leather repair person is such a drag, they are so hard to find now. My sympathies.

  14. I’m feeling tired today, between a current heat wave, a fairly brief shopping trip yesterday, and earlier efforts to straighten up.  (I did make up my sleep deficit, at least.)  The heat wave influences both my menu plan and my preferred level of exertion.  Not wanting to use the oven, I brined and then froze a family pack of chicken breasts rather than breading and baking them as usual.  I’ll either thaw and bake them when cooler weather returns or cook them in smaller batches on the stove or in the slow cooker.  I have enough frozen cooked chicken to hold me for a while.  I really do have to straighten up the kitchen (again!) today, but I’m going to try for sit-down chores otherwise.

    Anything medical gets me more agitated than it should. I spent time on the phone both Friday and Monday trying to clarify contradictory instructions from doctor and from the handout about test prep for tomorrow.  Finally settled.  

    I bought some Wasa crispbread per Debbie’s suggestion; in fact I  bought a couple of different kinds to try.  It was all half-hidden on a bottom shelf where I likely would have missed it if not searching for it.  (Less hidden for a shorter person, probably.)

    I’ve been working on the next book club book, a reread for me, but a book worth rereading.  (Details in a week or two.)  Similarly, I’m nearing the end of a Great Courses CD. 

    I realized that with the voting deadline approaching,  I had also better familiarize myself with club books nominated for this round of voting for selections.  (I had already read some but not all.)  Of those I’ve sampled so far, one book looks worth reading whether it’s selected or not.  Another has me mulling on my attitude toward portrayals of violent death in fiction, which seems to vary a lot and in no logical fashion.  Wholesale depicted death in fiction about wars or apocalypses does not seem to bother me as much as does multiple retail deaths of undeserving victims in mystery fiction (or, as here, hybrid sf mystery fiction).  Retail deaths of victims who in some sense have it coming, even if public order justly requires that the murderer be caught, are okay for me, as usually is ONE undeserving victim to kick off the mystery. 

    I probably won’t manage a normal posting for GBTh tomorrow, since I anticipate being tied up for much of the day.

        1. Very good wishes for the medical stuff! May you be as lucky as I have been or better. My 70th is getting closer all the time, and I only had one well treated health glitch in all those years…(OK, two if you count mononucleosis when I was twenty.) Taf

  15. The work on your office reminded me that I had a home-related bit this week, too, when the folks over at ApartmentGuide asked me to be part of an article on home libraries. Naturally, as a book lover I was happy to ante in:)

    Posted a pic of just one section of the shelves in my writing atelier (aka office) on my blog to go along with the article. Big fan of home shows and such so was fun to be a part of the piece even in a small way.

    This week, I also got out a new Short-Read prologue for the first book in my mystery series. Really fun to write but more interestingly, I always find writing smaller stories really teaches me something more about my characters. Not sure why, but this always surprises me even though it happens every time, lol.

    Happy to be in May and looking forward to a brand new month.

    1. Your book shelves are so beautiful and aesthetic, my room looks like a book hoarder’s paradise or second hand book shop corner

      1. Thanks, Kay. So sweet. I have several built-ins around the house – some with glass doors, some without. And all different sizes. Some of my thinner ones in other rooms are mostly filled with books like a book shop, too!

      2. Kay,
        My bookshelves are as you have described your place, but I loved getting the visual of Katy L’s place. Taf

    2. I wrote a prequel to my weird secret project with an ACE protagonist, because I needed to know more about them, and it was supposed to just be their backstory, how they became who they are in the first book in the series (with a bit of a quest/mystery plot), just a simple short story, maybe 5-6K, tops, and it’s now closing in on 30K. Sigh. On the plus side, not only did it help me understand the protagonist better, but I also figured out who the Moriarty was for the series (which consists of urban-fantasy-setting mysteries). So I definitely found it useful. Although now I’ve written (most of) the first draft of not just one, but two books that I’m not entirely sure are marketable. Which, of course, is why this year (and perhaps every year from now on) is “Fuck it, I’m writing this for me” year.

  16. Working Wednesday. Okay, then. My May Farm Report auto-posted to my blog. I’ll have to edit it a bit later. The Harvests are blinking red to remind me to feed me, Seymour! I need the reminder. Without that, I’d forget to add plant food and kill everything. I need to harvest my poblano peppers and a pair of jalapeños so I can stuff them with cream cheese and wrap them in bacon. That will make a late lunch. I have a bunch of cherry tomatoes but they’re all still green. I need to harvest all my green onions and lay down a fresh crop. The salad greens are begging to be cut. Life goes on.

    1. peppers, cream cheese, and bacon stirred up inna bowl. I was too lazy to individually wrap the pepper halves, so I laid out the poblanos, jalapeños, red and yellow sweet peppers, all stuffed with cream cheese, and laid the bacon on top. Used the air fry/bacon setting (twice) and put the entire mess in a bowl to cut up and “blend.”

      It tastes a lot better than it looks.

    2. Your hydroponic gardens remind you to feed them? That would be a great thing. (I can’t remember, was it a week ago, two weeks ago…)

      1. Specifically, the AeroGarden Harvests. I have four. They have a controller built in to the base. The controller turns the grow-lights on and off per a timer, run the water pump to circulate and oxygenate the water, detect low water level and flash an alarm light, and flash a red “add plant food” light every two weeks. My other gardens don’t have those features, so I feed them when the Harvests say to.

        AeroGarden makes 5 different models of Harvests. Each has six seed pod positions. Then they have a similar number of “Bounty” models, all of them WiFi capable and with 9 pods.

  17. When I bought my house, the former owners had made a slightly raised garden bed on the side of the deck. Several years later, the wood siding it has warped and the nails can’t hold them together. Todays’s job is removing the wood pieces and replacing them with brick edging instead. My ex husband took me to Lowe’s yesterday to pick out the pieces (he has a truck for hauling which came in handy) and today I am working on it. Of course, nature being what it is, the ground is muddy, roots are in the way, and I am having to do a little digging to get the brick edging pieces in level. I am sure it will look okay when it ‘s done, but I don’t think my fingernails will come clean for at least a week!

  18. I’ve mostly been gardening, but not the fun stuff – hope to get to that this week. I bought 11 bags of topsoil to replace the coal slag I removed, but found I had to bury more cat shit before doing anything – which means I need to build yet more cat defences. Wish I knew where it’s getting in. The friend who came to stay begged for a gardening job, so I asked her to get the dandelions out of the lawn with the long weeder I’d just bought. Discovered she’d removed lumps of soil and grass too, so my tiny lawn is a disaster area. I need to weed out the rest of them and fill the holes with sand. Thinking I won’t let anyone help me again! (Though it is a tricky job, so perhaps I’m being unfair.)

    I’m feeling oppressed by everything I need to get done, and really behind. Hope I can turn that around soon.

    1. Have you ever seen “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”? One of the characters keeps repeating, “Everything will work out in the end and if it does not work out, that means it is not yet the end.”

  19. Not doing a whole lot this week because I don’t really have to job hunt much. Got fingerprinted and am waiting on that. I just got off the phone with someone who’s going to help me apply for federal jobs–a little late but hey, let’s go for it. Working on yarn, basically.

  20. Unpacking. My son and friends got about half of it done, then the weekend was over. So I am trying to empty out another fifty boxes and find space for things. It all came out of here, dammit, it should all fit back in! (I was flooded out last Thanksgiving, and just moved back into reconstructed-but-improved condo last weekend.) This 71-year-old hates unpacking! But I’m persevering. My goal is to finish up by the end of this coming weekend. We’ll see.

  21. Culling more books in the three bookcases beside my comfy navy leather chair. It’s my reading nook / ironing spot when ironing. More books for the friends of the library. It’s coming together. I have black frog bookends, couple of square block bird paintings, an Inuit sculpture of two children playing, brass vase and antique figurine which I put on different shelves. The frogs are in front of books because they make me smile. Well, all the stuff makes me smile.

    Conversation with my eldest granddaughter yesterday made me very happy on a Tuesday. Driving back from diving, she was reading. Asked her what she was reading; Anne of Green Gables. I have never read it. G said she would give it to me when she was finished. And so it begins trading books with my G.

  22. Before I forget, the other day I discovered I’ve come within two degrees of Jennifer Crusie, so to speak. Somebody here posted an old link to a old office cleanup entry, wherein Jenny also mentioned having had lunch with writer Laura Resnick. I had fleetingly met Laura in her mid-teens. Her father, writer Mike Resnick, hosted the meetings of a local science-fiction club, to which I belonged in my fairly brief stay in Cincinnati between grad school and real job. Laura was not a member, but was around sometimes.

  23. I put hours of yardkeeping in over the weekend, with good results. Wrote a review for QRI. Other than that, it’s been most ‘still getting over the rhinovirus’ and Day Job. Which I just got back from the Actual Office and now need to sign in again. Argh.

    1. Day job . I wrote comments for a federal register notice we didn’t submit, comments for a census bureau meeting we did submit and lots of recommendations for members of that committee to consider making. And I’m working on more comments for another federal register notice due Tuesday.
      Also a lot of work for the divorce of DHs friend with the disabled kid.
      I did not garden because we had a trip to NY and if we planted the annuals they wouldn’t get watered during a heat spell. So this weekend I will plant many many annuals.

  24. I spent a lot of time this week shovelling chicken poop. My vegetable beds have been topped up and I reserved a large garbage bin’s worth to add to my garlic bed in the fall. Worked on the flower farm today and the spring flowers were stunning. Killed a lot of grubs which is highly satisfying. I set myself a goal of walking 10k steps 5 days this week and I’ve done 3 so far.

  25. I’ve been getting a LOT of final-draft work done on the third Bourbon B&B mystery (so it can be done and submitted before the second book comes out on June 4), and was well ahead of schedule, but then I hit a wall this week. I thought it was just Phinishing Phobia, but it dawned on me today that it’s not fear, but because the ending is terrible and needs to be completely rewritten. (Seriously, not just the fear pretending to have a legit reason for avoidance.) It’ll be the same whodunnit and why, but the unmasking needs to be different, and I don’t know how (yet). So after three days of fighting it, I’m going to NOT work for a few days and then come back to it fresh.

    Meanwhile, even while I was mostly doing writing, I’ve been making good progress on my niece’s graduation quilt, and I can make even more progress while I’m taking time off from the manuscript that needs a new ending.

  26. I spent yesterday cleaning after coming home from a week’s travel. Not as bad as after previous trips, so I think the cats like this sitter better than the last. Iceland is beautiful but almost 80 hours of transit time in eight days is too much. I’m glad I went (it was for a friend’s 40th birthday and it’s an amazing place) but it was objectively insane. Back to the job today. Sigh.

  27. Jenny two questions about getting organized. 1) do you have enough storage areas to put things ? It can be hard to organize when you don’t have things to organize into. 2) I understand why an organizer won’t work for you but would a body doubler ? Someone who helps you decide what piece you are doing that day and then keeps you on task?

    I know for me things go to hell when I have too much stuff for places to put them. Once I either throw stuff out or increase storage it gets much easier. For me storage often needs to be visible —open shelves or see through bins. And I know some folks in Argh either use friends as body doublers or are body doublers for them.

    1. Purchased many clear bins in different sizes and shapes. A couple of clear ones with lids have clothes I can’t bear to part with. I will wear the pieces again. Stored under the bed. Long low height bins hold all the Gd’s Barbie stuff, Wellie dolls etc. Under their beds in their own room in our house. The closet and dresser has Grammy’s stuff. 💁🏻‍♀️ The office too. Saves time when searching.

  28. I’m doing admin work this morning, getting the books ready to go to the accountant, updating insurance information for the company Paul contracts to, figuring out how to started with a new electricity/natural gas provider since our old company is no longer operating in our area.

    I’m also looking out the window at at least 5 inches of snow and doing a happy dance. It’s not as good as 5″ of rain, but it will help. We have a few nice days in the forecast but not crazy hot and then rain. A wet May would be perfect. We have already had fires, a couple of them very large, so moisture is very welcome.

    I’m also trying to get in touch with Costco to see if the TV my sister and I are buying for our parents is in stock at the store Paul wants to go to on Friday but so far, no luck getting anyone to answer the phone. Not surprising but still annoying.

    I almost got into big trouble with my transcription job this week because I missed a deadline I knew nothing about. Turns out some IT guy took it upon himself to disconnect my internal email address (which we are not supposed to use) from my external one and I was not getting the notifications. I think it’s fixed now.

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