Category Archives: writing

Overwhelmed Gadfly

Basically, I took about a week off. I had so many things to do, endlessly that I just got completely overwhelmed. When I took a day off to go to a party, I just didn’t start again the next day — last Monday.

Being lazy and unproductive hasn’t helped getting anything done, but it has lowered my stress.

Anyway, the result is that I still have an overwhelming “to do” list.

  1.  Deal with food, both home grown and from the CSA.
  2. Clean/cull the house.
  3. The construction is on-going because we’ve had so much rain. The two week job has become a 4 week job. Hopefully, it will be finished this week, oh, wait, there’s a holiday — next week, sigh.
  4. Yard work.
  5. Writing.
  6. House Decorating.

None of these are single item, do it in an hour jobs. They are on-going, long-term, intensive and have many pieces.

drowning

Food:

  1. Summer squash (from the CSA) is currently in the dehydrator. Finished. A new batch started.
  2. The latest batch of rhubarb is chopped on the cutting board. I need to figure out what I’m going to do with it. Froze it.
  3. I have the rest of last week’s food from the CSA to deal with. Need to figure a rough menu for between now and Wednesday and deal with the rest. Thursday we get more. No menu, but in process of using up and/or deciding to store the excess.
  4. One way I deal with food is to freeze it. I need to make a new inventory. What I have is completely out of date. In process.

Clean/Cull the House:

  1. I’d love to take a chunk o’ stuff out of the house, put it on the lawn and go through it. I may, if I have time today. But having time is strictly deciding that I’m going to do this rather than something else.
  2. I still have about 3 or 4 batches of laundry to do. I may break down and go to the laundromat in town to get them done, maybe. There are many places I could find enough “stuff” to make this worth doing: the living room, the kitchen, the attic, our bedroom, the office.
  3. Keep working on the “dump” areas: my office and the attic. My idea with this is that if I get these cleared out then I can move some of the excess stuff from the other rooms there. Especially the attic, as that’s what it’s for — right? [Started working to clear out one of the two sheds. The sheds are the outdoor “attics” and they need to be culled and cleaned as well.]

Construction:

  1. Most of this isn’t on me, but they’ve unearthed a lot of rocks and I want to use them elsewhere in the garden. They’ve also covered over a lot of bulbs and they need to be moved to the bulb bed before they’re all dead. In process.
  2. Finally, the big equipment moving across the space did in my stepping stones and the wildflowers I was trying to cultivate as ground cover. This area when they finish will need to be relandscaped.

Yard work:

  1. I need to weed the veggie garden plot. I’m not growing much this year, but it doesn’t do to let the weeds get a firm hold on the space, ‘eh?
  2. Finish distributing the old compost.
  3. Add the new L to the compost heap and organize the leaf pile.
  4. Make up the tutorial for and redo the kindling stand for next winter.

Writing:

  1. Finish the memoir (again).
  2. Write the new novel, at least a draft.
  3. Finish the article for your friend.

House Decorating:

  1. Get the shower curtain liner done.
  2. Get the bookcase boxes painted, if they’re going to be.
  3. Paint the stairs and baseboards in the living room.
  4. Repaint the bathroom.
  5. Move things in the hearth area as per the new design.
  6. etc.

First commentary added 7/4/2017. Includes all 4 food items, cleaning one of the sheds (partial), and moving some of the rocks.

A new favorite word

It seems I’m living like this, these days.

See here: Definition of zugzwang

atomic-bomb-test

Amazing! Much more concise than “between a rock and a hard place.”

I love adding to my vocabulary when it’s pertinent to what’s going on in my life!

J

Dear Pollsters:

  1. Yes I am registered to vote.
  2. Nothing you say, no matter how you load your wording, is likely to change my vote. (I’m a writer/editor, I play with words for effect too!)
  3. I will NOT watch the debate tonight. Why? I don’t have a TV.
  4. You do not know what 2 minutes is, or 4, for that matter. You really ought to buy a stopwatch, or use that function in your cell phone.
  5. I will vote, if I have to do it from my death bed.

 

I Wish…

  • I had heart-warming stories to tell about my family, or
  • Warm, funny, ironic stories about the holidays, or
  • Charming things I’d made, for sale, or just owned.

I don’t have any of that, well maybe the last one. I have some wonderful things I’ve bought.

I don’t know how to do emotions in words. It has just occurred to me that the reason I’m afraid, yes afraid, of writing the middle of any story now is the “rising action,” that is, the emotional start of the tension that makes the plot and thereby a story.

I know all too well how to express my own, but my life has also taught me that I don’t do emotion from the same perspective others do. I read Nora Roberts or other romance authors and frequently my reaction to the complications which heap upon the hero is to think  –“Run!” And, of course the characters don’t. Partly because if they do, there will be no story. But partly because that isn’t really an option people, most people, entertain and also partly because “regular” people just don’t get overwhelmed as quickly as I do.

More, also, there’s the thing about if I put *my* emotions in it? My default/brainwashed brain says: “No one will read it!”

Goodie. Another wall to break down — just what I wanted!

😛

 

 

Chore Status 9/19

to do list 1

Living Room:

  • Spackle wall board prep is complete, at least for everything but the hall, which we are NOT doing right now.
  • Primer, 2nd coat: (as needed)
  • Caulk/chinking: Remaining: Clean up
  • Trim pieces cut, painted, installed between beams
  • Final Paint: entire room (street, oak, kitchen, bookcase wall, hall walls (closet, bath, pantry), stair wall, entry, stair interior wall, and stair rail.
  • Cull/clean: get fabric to Jeannie’s for reupholstery. Window replacement on north side (trim removal done).
  • (long term) Replace window interior trim and mod hall door trim to match front door (and get rid of those F’n ledges!!!). Replace baseboards for same reason. Sand and redo floor. Move kitchen door?

In broad terms what remains in the living room prepainting effort:  clean up full primer on front wall.

We need to finish the clean up and primering. THEN we paint! I thought it was 2 coats of primer the manufacturer recommended. It’s two coats of paint!

Blue stickies on the door (meaning job has been completed): 20 21

Measure furniture. Make a floor plan so you move the furniture and books ONE more time, not more than that!

Hall: Replace smoke detector (future).

Kitchen: (Cull/clean) Get the 2nd Hoosier into the kitchen.  Dismantle the f’n 30 square foot counter and redo it to something saner!!! (long term) Pull the windows, put in the new wall and windows. Finish the sink window trim.

Laundry: (Cull/clean)  (longterm) Get the switch thing set up so you don’t have to pull the dryer out anymore!

Bathroom: (Cull/Clean) corners, window,  clear out.

Bedroom: (Cull/Clean) get couch downstairs. When reupholstered chair returns, put it here, not living room.

Attic: Get the remaining  base cabinet in there (or elsewhere) and the cabinet which came from the storage [cabinet  in attic 9/22]. Get the bookcases from office 1 into the attic.[1 base cabinet used in kitchen 8/20] Get doors on the cabinet. Decide what from attic to sell: wrought iron tables, wallpaper lamp, other hanging lamps, plate rack, etc.

Office 1: . Get the counter cleaned. Remove everything from the bookcases on the north wall and get the cases moved into the attic.  Bring in the new dresser currently in the wood shed.

Office 2: Clear off the blue desk. Sell/cull items awaiting that. (long term) Move the office function downstairs.

Dining Room:  Take down candlabra, sell. Paint china cabinet and relocate the 2 Hoosiers.

Storage: Remove the 2nd Hoosier for the kitchen.Get at least 5 boxes out and deal with the stuff in them. Move to 10 x 20 unit.

Garden: Continue, finish and keep up the weeding, so that the weeds don’t take over the yard and next year’s vegetable garden is a disaster accordingly! 9/11 was last time this was noted, but I’ve worked on it sporatically since.

Get the windows done. SR door panel 27.5 x 64,

Get the online and computer files cleaned out. (Drafts here = 44 9/11 “Tally” page information (tab, this blog) moved to history 9/17.

Rugs: Almost nothing done.

Writing:

  • Memoir retype effort: 57.9% 61.4% 62.5% complete (I’m amused that I seem to do this in 3% chunks. I’m not counting or anything, it’s just that the sections are short, and it’s difficult emotionally, especially the first 3rd, so I’ve been doing it until I felt like quitting, then I let myself stop.)
  • 3 stories into novel:  Worked a little on one of the stories, call it 07% now 9/9, 9/20
  • kitchen book: nothing new as of 9/5
  • possible future editing jobs: nothing new

More

More?

More culling and clearing out. Removed things which haven’t sold from the antique booth. Completely rearranged the booth. Took some of the culled items to two thrift shops as donations. Took others to the 2nd shop to try and sell there. Removed the doll bed from the 2nd shop (it was a display piece for my stuff).

Bought items at thrift shops — mostly china and glass.

More work on the living room. I fixed a few holes in the previously caulked logs and caulked the north wall to the baseboard. Also started caulking over the street-side window. Assuming that the window area is done today, that pretty much, except for touch up, should finish the caulking.

More work on the memoir. Just before I went to bed last night, I typed two more pages. Not a huge amount, but progress on the day.

So, I can say I made definite progress on all fronts yesterday!

I acquired, or was given: a retail basket display and a rug frame.

I Hate Smug

My problem with a lot of self-help blogs, house-decorating blogs, in fact many blogs these days, especially those written by most women is that there’s this cutesy “style” which is smug, deprecating, and I find obnoxious.

Sure, fine. It’s the way you and your friends write. As if  — I couldn’t figure that out? But I’m of another generation. If you were going to lecture people about how to do something in my time, you had to actually be an expert, not just moderately more accomplished than I am without any training or attempting to do what you’re talking about.

One of the people who reads this blog has worked in the financial sector for a long time, another has been a cataloging librarian for a long time. If either of them want to tell me something about their field, I try and shut up and listen. But because you can write an entertaining piece about cataloging/sorting things or money/financial matters, even if I read it, unless you have credentials or I know you in real life, I’m not likely to pay much attention.

I like entertaining reading. Honestly! I admire your skill. However, even if I try and make your “1 simple thing to make your home better” which involves 5 essential oils (none of which I own), a diaper (ditto), and a patio table big enough to seat 4 (ditto) and Gawd only knows what else, I will want to pitch something at the screen if I read about your perfect rehab of your “flat” in NYC you pay $100/month for, because you know how to shop, etc. ad nauseum (Look it up if you don’t know what that means!).

Every reader is certainly due entertaining writing. It IS possible to do that and not be smug. And I, for one, will be heartily glad when that notion occurs to the bulk of the blog writers! I read the stuff anyway, usually because I want the info. But walk away grinding my teeth.

If I’m smug — please call me on it! I hate smug.

J