Working Wednesday, May 29, 2024

So it’s 4:30 AM and I am trying to figure out details as I rewrite the second act of Very Nice Funerals. Bob is asleep because I’m talking about acts and he doesn’t do acts. And also because it’s 4AM and he keeps these weird hours like getting up at dawn. And also because he’s in TN and I can’t wake him up to get answers. There’s a reason we haven’t been in the same place in fifteen years. So I’m stuck sending him stuff like the below. Plotting. I am not good at it. Especially at 4AM. But by damn, I am working.

What did you work on this week?

71 thoughts on “Working Wednesday, May 29, 2024

  1. I finally finished reading THE GRAND TOUR. If it had been available as an audiobook, I’d have finished a lot sooner. I still love the story, but something about the format allows/forces me to set it aside to do something else. [N.B.: Perusing my Audible library, there it was/is.]

    Speaking of Audible, I relistened to 1636: THE VIENNESE WALTZ
    By Eric Flint, Gorg Huff, Paula Goodlett. It’s one of many favorites from the Ring of Fire Universe.

    I am still reading VARIATION ON A THEME, but it’s still publishing sereally. Did I mention GW thinks Book V will run 110 chapters? I wish Simon Illyan was one of his editors.

    More “Reels and Short Videos.”

    Finally, I may have signed up for Disney+ and gotten lost in the Marvel Universe.

  2. Oops. I just posted my Good Book Thursday pre-prepared post. Today’s post:

    Looking back over several Wokking* Wednesday (and a Sunday or two) posts I took note of Unfinished Plans. For instance, I didn’t get around to making that Chili Stroganoff, and now the beef is a little too grey to trust. The white boards are mounted in my garden room but neither marked as intended nor updated as planned. That plan left off at Rev D, which was to procrastinate**. Obviously, that project needs more planning. Perhaps when I reach Rev G*** I’ll give it my blessing.
    Then there are the plans never before mentioned but nevertheless unfinished. The central heat and air unit has what I ass-u-me is a pump on the side for removal of condensation in the air conditioning mode. It drips a lot onto the basement floor. I was using a plastic tote to collect condensation but then I had A Better Idea. I bought a dolly on which to roll the tote to the basement door, so I could pump the condensate into the sump. To collect the condensate, I arranged one of those gutter drain collectors. That arrangement leaks a lot. I’m not done Rube Goldberging it. Smarter would be to have a technician repair the leaks. I’m not that smart, I guess.
    Patrick M observed some time ago that with my capsaicin consumption, I probably burned out my taste buds. I draw attention to my August 2022 blog post. which is about the inactive Webcomic, Too Much Information. The Main Character, Ace NoLastName, likes hot stuff and his taste buds are unaffected. My taste buds are likewise unaffected. (The blog post also mentions eggs Benedict, which I have very recently experienced for the first and possibly last time. Also, while I have grown super hot peppers, I no longer do so. Jalapeños are the hottest peppers I grow, and any pepper afficionado will tell you that they are mild, fairly low on the scale of hot peppers.
    * Wokking because I discuss cooking a lot. Not necessarily with a wok, though.
    **When it comes to Crastination, I am far more pro than anti.
    ***Rev G or Reverand Gary of the Church of Universal Life. Bless his (my) heart.

    1. At least as I recall, my thought was not so much that capsaicin would have burnt out Gary J’s taste buds but that it would cover up the taste of anything else, and especially anything as mild as the taste of mushrooms.  In HS band, when rehearsing for joint performances, we were repeatedly warned that if we played as loud as normal we would drown out the chorus.  Sometimes hot sauce is used with disliked food explicitly to cover up other flavors.

      1. Nice analogy, but I find it not to be the case. If I were to eat the peppers raw from the bush, it might work that way, but as an ingredient, they just add another flavor (and heat!) to whatever I’m eating. I admit that the taste and heat of bits of jalapeño “drowns out” bits of poblano in the same bite.

    2. Perhaps your aversion to eggs Benedict is a result of ready-made Hollandaise sauce. 😉

      1. True. real Hollandaise sauce is a gift from the gods. (Although the batch I made to put on my asparagus last week split, which it does about 1/5 times I make it. I ate it anyway.)

      2. I use Béarnaise instead of Hollandaise sauce–thus it’s always a taste-surprise when I order Eggs Benedict at a restaurant.

    3. I think the Hollandaise sauce is too rich for many people (including me). It is better to save high calorie indulgences for food you enjoy, and with luck, the indulgence will be rich enough in flavor to inspire automatic portion control. Taf

      1. That is almost working with the strawberry ice cream I made last night with whole cream.

  3. I have been working on gardening, specifically preparing the raised beds with the intention of building a digging-dog and pooping-cat deterrent-fence before adding soil, but a sore knee on the weekend and now work-work and rain is making that difficult, so now I’m working on keeping everything alive in their little pots until I can transplant and maybe I should put things in bigger pots for now so they live for a couple more weeks because I’m camping this weekend (with a bunch of teenagers) and have a CrossFit competition next weekend, so am also working on that.

    I truly can’t disrespect the rain though because it’s the opposite of forest fires, and everything is so green for once!

    1. This season is my first time using a raised planter (think “stand up gardening” height). I’m hoping it will withstand all of the wild life / pets and result in a tasty crop of salad ingredients.

  4. Working on getting DD a UK accountant who can handle both her UK and US taxes. And bits of the day job —much less than I should have been doing but hey, I’m in London.

    And working with DH on how to hand over care of his friend with dementia now that his legal affairs have been mostly sorted or handed over to professionals. He has two family members who are apparently willing to step up (no small matter) but so far haven’t done much. But one of them is visiting him in a month so…

    The biggest issue is whether friend should stay in London where he is managing well for now and has a social life but no one to monitor his dementia and step in when needed, or move to live near sister where she can manage his needs but everything would be new and he would have no social life (his dementia is far enough that it’s hard to see him making new friends—or getting a girlfriend which he wants and thinks he is more likely to get here —but we don’t think he will get anywhere unless the person is a gold digger using him.)

    1. Dealing with someone with dementia is so hard. With my mom, we tried to keep her in familiar surroundings where she had friends as long as possible, but eventually it was unsafe. The loss of friends when she finally moved was offset by her being in a safer environment and frankly, it wasn’t long before she wasn’t sure who was who and basically turned the people around her into whatever friend she was thinking of.

      1. Familiar surroundings and friends while he is aware of them is good while it works, (the love I had who had early onset Alzheimers adored seeing friends and familiar territory for the 6-9 months it lasted). How fast things went downhill after that was heartbreaking! Brutal disease… Taf

      2. If he had family in the country who could check on him regularly this would be a no brainer. The only family willing to help live in Texas …

  5. Heading back to Toronto today from Kelowna, BC. Have been visiting my friend whose wife died last month. He’s doing as well as can be expected.

      1. He’s been a good friend to me. The sad part is seeing him utterly lost as to what to do in his life now. He’s been a caretaker for her for five years and now doesn’t even really know what he wants. It will take some time.

        1. That is so hard, especially with the structure of his world changing so abruptly.

        2. It might help to have him visit some of the folks in places that keep them safe. The place my sweetie was in had visitors come in to play piano, sing, dance, help people create art, and loved ones could come in for lunch with 24 (or more) hours notice. Taf

          1. So far he is in complete denial tbat he will get worse. He thinks he will get better with medicine (he won’t).
            Getting him to move to live independently near his sister would be a big lift; getting him to move into any kind of assisted living at this point (when his doctor says he is still legally competent) would be impossible

  6. I overdid it in the garden on my extra day off on Monday and the backs of my legs were punishingly sore yesterday, compounded by a busy day on my feet back at the day job. I was rushing to get as much done before the rain recommenced as possible, but I don’t remember getting that sore in previous years. Probably the teepee I made out of a metal shepard’s hook and twine staked into the ground for my squashes. I had a hard time yanking the hook out of it’s previous place.

    Anyway, the garden feels a little better ordered and I used the rest of the day of storms to do a heavy purge of my closet. I finally vanquished some doom piles that have been sitting since the fall. I need to do more, but I feel better.

    And I started a little painting this morning. I am doing a little outdoor arts fest next Sunday, weather permitting and haven’t really been preparing for it. I will try to catch up this weekend. And I got a piece into a local college gallery, with the opening this Sunday. They sent me a show catalog and I really wish I had done a better job framing the piece they accepted. Everything else in there is so glossy and polished looking… Oh well. I will dress up and go eat little cubes of cheese on toothpicks and feel fancy.

    1. Welcome to the joys of aging. Gradually things get you, that didn’t, before..

      1. It’s not nearly as fancy as it sounds. The metal shepherds hook is in the middle and then I tied a bunch of twine to sticks in the ground in a circle, all connected to the hook. The idea is that all the vines will grow up the twine and make the ‘fabric’ of the structure and then the fruit will hang down on the inside, keeping it away from mud and bugs and rabbits. We shall see. I desperately want to grow pumpkins, but it never seems to work.

  7. We have four dry days! I got the grass mowed yesterday. Today I plan to paint the front porch rails. I am a messy painter, so that will take some preparation to prevent a lot of spots on the steps and stoop.

    The double graduation party went well, and the Prairie Village hosts did a great job of preparing shaded seating on the lawn, and a nice buffet for the refreshments. The family from Phoenix got home safely. It was a nice visit, and my youngest grandson fell in love with Kali. They play-fight, and she is so careful to gently take his fingers in her teeth. He was being gentle with her, too. My son looked at my truck and gave suggestions. My granddaughter was wearing the most comfortable linen pants that wash and dry well, so I went to her favorite clothing store and found some for myself. Since the two graduates were at home and the two Phoenix kids were here, we took photos of the four grandchildren. Who knows when they will all be together again, with the eldest going to a job in Colorado, soon, and the next going to college in Northern Arizona? I ordered prints to frame.

      1. Every day she does something new, and it keeps me on my toes. She is a sweet little person. Thanks, Tammy.

  8. I stayed up late last night, putting the finishing touches on the baby blanket I had crocheted the last month. It’s all done but weaving in the few ends (I love big balls of yarn that give me fewer ends to weave.) But I neglected to take a photo before I left this morning, so it’s not included in my photos.
    I did include a picture of Teddy outside looking at my gardenia. I’ve got four bushes, the original (in this picture) and three smaller ones. Two of those have been prolifically blooming the past weeks, so right now all of those are brown with age. The third one was looking a little peaked over the winter, so we’ve dosed him up with some fertilizer to see if he’ll come back.

    This past weekend, I went on a quilting retreat. My goal was to create 100 signature blocks. I’m planning on having the musicians at my church sign them and then create a quilt to be presented to our choir director upon his retirement at the end of the summer. I did achieve that goal of 100 blocks, and also worked on a quilt with images of airplanes. It’s almost done and I’m sure will be ready for gifting to my great-nephew on his 4th birthday. As he is the son of two naval aviators, I figured it would be appropriate.

    When I got home from quilt camp, I spent a little more time with the great closet clean out, opening a box to explore the contents. It turned out to be a box of letters from friends over the years – the newest were nearly 20 years old. I had to stop and read all of them, remembering the people who wrote them, several of whom are no longer with us. I kept most of them, knowing that when I die, someone will come through and pitch them all into the trash. Memories . . .. all alone in the darkness . . ..

    1. Teddy is pretty! I’m so jealous of you and those gardenias! They have such a lovely scent.

  9. Day job… Also am trying to write my way into a plot with characters I love and basic premise I adore. I have too many plot holes and no idea what’s going on once I clear up their past. It might be a novella?

    And I have 3 plants I bought a few weeks ago that still aren’t in the ground because I’m forgetting on where to put them. I might get a big pot and a big bag of dirt.

  10. I did a ton of yardkeeping, ran a few pesky errands, returned edits for the short story to be launched June 15, wrote a chapter of the novel-in-progress, and came up with a good way to keep a particular project out of both said novel-in-progress *and* another one that’s on the back burner. I’ve had a tendency to put all the projects on the page because main characters of X, Y, or Z book are creatives who always have multiple things on the go and like working together … but it’s a bit too easy to write about the projects instead of the people!

    Also cleaned hundreds of emails out of my gmail accounts. Wasn’t even close to running out of free memory, but once something’s outlived its usefulness, I like to get rid of it.

  11. Made a pretty-yummy low-histamine, gluten-free lasagna. I went back to the bell pepper nomato sauce. Did some weeding and took the green waste out to the curb yesterday (an adventure, since I was in a boiler suit, boots, and mask to keep my pollen and grass exposure down and my glasses fell off no less than four times due to the mask + sweat).

    Trying to finish a draft of the YA novel by the end of the month so I can spend June working on getting my books up on platforms other than Amazon. And I also need to dig into the report/comments from my beta reader on the other WIP if I’m going to get it out in September or October…

  12. Trying to catch up on All the Things after being in California for a week. Behind on the garden, writing, promo for the upcoming books, housecleaning, and dozens of other tasks. Oy. And since I had a visit from Elisabeth Alba, the illustrator who works on the oracle and tarot decks with me, and we have a new oracle deck out, we did a bunch of limited edition double-signed decks with goodies and put them up on our Etsy shops. Which is great, except now I’m spending a lot of time prepping and mailing said decks, instead of getting other things done. Still, there are worse problems to have,

    Jenny, I forgot to ask you if you wanted to put up the deck here, since it’s by an Argh author, but not an actual book. (Okay, I wrote the guidebook inside, but you see what I mean.)

      1. Okay, but you’re going to get slammed, because I’m also reissuing the 2nd Baba Yaga novel next month, then I have another Llewellyn book out in July. (This year is crazy. Next year I’m going to have one book in January then nothing. Go figure.)

    1. I just bought that a while ago, when it first appeared on the Llewellyn site! Dang! I like it.

  13. I am marking my last batch of exams for the year… This is not the fun part of my job… Help!

  14. I had a pretty boring workweek in comparison with some mentioned here. I deliberately allowed myself to loaf on Sunday and Monday,  in view of the holiday.  I did finish up reading a book in time for discussion tomorrow, and made progress on the June book-club book.  I owe people letters (email), but by the weekend had run out of desire to write anything longer than a website comment.  From today forward, the rest of the week (and month) has no scheduled events, but multiple medical and dental appointments are on the calendar for June.

    Today’s Wordle was a knotty one for me and I feared I would blow my streak again, but I got it in 5 guesses.

    On Memorial Day, I did not completely forget the war dead.  As far as I am aware, the only person killed in combat that I ever knew personally was my patrol leader from Boy Scouts, who later dropped out of seminary and joined the Marines, and died in Vietnam.

    A week ago from Saturday, I returned library stuff but came home to find one audiobook still sitting on the table, not having made it into the tote bag.  This was particularly disconcerting since I had already requested that title again.  (The library system had 6 copies or so, and mine was the only one taken out, so I felt justified in my plan to return it and take another copy out ASAP.)  But it was not disconcerting enough to make a special trip, so the next week I returned my overdue copy and took out the other one.  It takes me a while to get through audiobooks, since I only listen when doing certain chores, and I had not started on this one as soon as I first borrowed it, since I was still working on a different book.

    I have one more installment planned for here today, time permitting.

    1. My medical appointments keep sprouting more. I am sitting here waiting for one now. They are already filling up my days off in June, and this one may generate another. Keeping well is a full time job.

    2. It took me six tries to get the Wordle today. Grrrrrr. But I got Connections and Keyword with no mistakes and got to Amazing on Spelling Bee, so I felt better. Then I hit On the Record and got a big fat zero. This is good at keeping my ego under control.

  15. I haven’t done my Wordle yet today. I’m in a Wordle group with some of my fellow Jury duty cast members. It’s nice. We also do connections and strands and it’s lovely to be in touch with them on a daily basis. I’m working on physical therapy and learning to walk. As in that I’m reading, talking to friends I know I’m getting better and I know this is gonna work which is good because if you’re gonna do something like break your hip it’s gonna hurt a lot to learn to walk again and you have to get through it. I plan to be home by Saturday. My son is coming in from Michigan on Thursday and I want one last physical therapy session here on Friday . Jennie, I am so glad that you’re getting through the plotting points. I know how hard that is thank God for your smart and logical brain and thank God for Bob.

    1. Good luck with the PT (physical therapy), everyone I know who has needed it did better when they kept to the plan and schedule. My first belly dance teacher had to be careful for the first six months, then moderately careful for the following six months, and is doing great now (3 years after). I have not danced since before Covid, and she stopped a while ago, but we both benefitted from all the muscle dancing gave us. Since I have put on more weight in the last few years, I am thinking it is time to dance around in the living room! Taf

  16. One week into my holiday I had finally finished my overdue to-do-list and was able to really start my far too short holiday.
    The weather is awful: sometimes we get a bit of sun which is chased off by rain and thunderstorms. Yuk.
    So I’m working on getting my sleep cycle to a better state.
    Which is a very difficult feat with sooo many good books in my tbr pile.
    But Good Book Thursday is tomorrow, so I can’t speak about those yet.

    Went to get photos printed at our local dm (drugstore? it’s a bit like Boots in the UK) and for the first time tried their sticker printer. Had some nice placeholder stickers printed for my reading journal: I love it when the authors put up their placeholders for MCs of books on pinterest though I’m a bit confused by Pinterest (need text to my pictures).

  17. I have been reading about hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Which I don’t have because I don’t have several of the major criteria. But. So much is so familiar, including relations with similar. so I made a list, of symptoms, painfully (it looks so bad all pulled together like that). Today I told a medical professional that I realised hEDS is not me but I would like advice what to do about the list of symptoms that I am struggling under. She checked the major criteria, which indeed I don’t have, then, without a glance at the list moved on to tell me I have arthritis in my knees (I know!) and that I should buy a brace. “Just find one online that works for you” is not helpful. plus heat, cold, painkillers. Oh, and weight loss.
    I am bitter

    moving right along(Muppets)
    did you know that cheese subscription is a thing? he-who-does-not-need-to-watch-his-weight loves but seldom buys unknown cheese. For his birthday I found a company that will deliver 5 different semi local(UK and Europe) every two months, with tasting notes and suggestions what to drink with.
    I love delighting people.

    1. Be glad you don’t have it. The daughter of our friend with dementia has it and needed two spinal surgeries to prevent being paralyzed and is now pretty limited in mobility and uses a wheel chair.

    2. I have something like mild-ish EDS and have found physical therapy and strength training very helpful. I do meet a lot of the criteria and have other conditions that frequently cluster with it, but not any of the genetic markers for it, interestingly. Whatever it is, I have it to my kids, too…

  18. I’m still struggling with the end of the third Bourbon B&B Mystery, but I’ve made progress and can see an end in sight, and it WILL be done by June 1st, I swear! Draft should be done tomorrow, synopsis editing and draft cover copy on Friday/Saturday.

    And these are the quiltlets that were probably the final straw that led to my waking up on Saturday with a repetitive stress type of strain to BOTH of my wrists (along with excessive phone scrolling and intensive cane usage that stressed my left wrist, so it’s recovering more slowly than the right wrist). If you go to the next pic in the account, you get a cat-with-quiltlets pic.

    On the plus side, the experience of not being able to use my cane for several days gave me an idea for a Helen Binney novella that’s an homage to Rear Window. But I’ve got to finish the current WIP first! And bind the rest of the little quilts (I finished fewer than half before I was unable to do any more because of the wrist strains).

  19. Beyond the normal chores, my major accomplishment of the week was a good cleaning of the metal mesh grease filters on my range hood.  For some reason I had lost satisfaction with good-enough methods and was determined to get absolutely all the visible gunk off of them.  Actually, these days I more heavily use the burners on the left side, to the point that for while I forgot that there was a separate filter for the right side.  So I actually did most of my experimentation on the left one.  After escalating through more moderate methods, what finally worked was nearly coating the filter with dishwasher detergent, pouring boiling water over it, and then adding half a cup of baking soda. That worked, with only a little scrubbing from a gentle brush.  (Softest one I could find was an old and replaced shower back brush.) Having finally realized there were two filters, I went right to the last method for the other one, which was less gunky, but far from clean.  I think it was mostly with drift from the left-side burners, since I never fry on the right side.

    I used the stove’s broiler pan to soak the filters, since it was about the only thing I had (other than tying up a dishpan) that was long enough to hold the filters and deep enough to hold water.  I haven’t used it for broiling in years, but I do sometimes use it as a baking pan.  I noticed how well the soaking had also cleared cooking stains off the pan, at least as far as the water reached.

    I had hoped to get significant deskwork time in today, but given my impending after-lunch brain freeze, I likely won’t accomplish much.  I did pay the one urgent bill.  Perhaps I can do some filing, at least.

    1. Autocorrect strikes again! I kept manually changing dishwasher detergent to dishwashing detergent (Dawn in this case), but somehow it reverted.

    2. You remind me it is probably time to run my filters through the dishwasher. (One of the great pleasures of having a dishwasher is things like that.)

      1. I’d used the dishwasher on the filters in the past, but possibly not often enough. It was doing “good-enough” filter cleaning but not getting everything. I’d also used it for the broiler pan without getting the cooking stain off. (Although on the rare occasions when I’ve used the self-cleaning oven feature, that also worked on the broiler pan.)

    3. That urge to clean is compulsive when it strikes. I noticed yesterday some horrible gunk that had obviously been building up in the bathroom sink for a while – I only noticed because the sink stopped draining, but now I can’t unsee it. I have been pouring all sorts of things down the drain (bicarb, vinegar, boiling water, various assorted commercial cleaning products) plus physically dislodging it with a thin stick, and have about halved it but it seems determined to hang on and its horrible!

      1. I’ve found a new cure for compulsive cleaning: once I’m home for the day/night, the contacts come out so I can’t see anything. It seems to be working pretty well!

  20. I completely reworked the garden bed along the south side of the fence; there is a black walnut tree a few feet from the fence on the neighbor’s side so I had to find plants that wouldn‘t be affected by the juglone from the tree. I also redid the garden bed alongside the deck. Both look much better. Now I need to put mulch on the remaining beds and the backyard will be all set. The next project is to clean and paint the deck and railings, a job I do not look forward to. I didn’t do it last summer so it really needs to be done this year.

  21. I pretty much took the day off. I did water the plants that needed it. And I always walk Pixie.

  22. Yesterday was “stay inside with the doors closed” day, since the landscapers for the development were out cutting down the weeds on the hillside behind the houses on my side of the street (the weeds were, no exaggeration, over 5-feet tall). It was a bit breezy, so all of the debris they were cutting blew everywhere. Once the work was all done I mowed the lawn and trimmed the various flowering plants that were past their prime. My roses have been blooming like crazy this year, including the climbing roses which seem to be attempting a takeover of the house.

    The puppy (well, at 2-years I guess technically she is no longer a puppy) enjoyed the fact that I had the hose out. She had a great time chasing and biting at the water–getting totally soaked (and soaking me) in the process.

    1. Puppies of all ages playing with hose water are a blast to watch. I used to know a sweet Rotweiller that loved me to let her chase and bite the water. When I first met her, she fit in my hands, when she was full grown she outweighed me, but was still sure she was a lap pup! Talk about arms full of doggie, you could barely see bits of me behind her…In the full heat of summer getting drenched playing with an overgrown pup was cool Taf

  23. I’ve been doing a lot of work on my computer and my back is not at all happy about sitting so much!

    I remember reading this wonderful review by an author who uses a walking desk but I can’t find it now – I don’t suppose this rings any bells for anyone?

    1. Kj charles on her blog wrote that these days she writes on a tread mill. Even ruined one tread mill already. Also back pain caused by sedentiary work before.

    2. I think KJ Charles said she writes on a treadmill or a “moving desk” because of back pain.

    3. Thank-you Dodo and Christina – found the reference – love Argh! And I just read the book she was writing when she blogged about it 🙂

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