Tag Archive | blog

Blog Post: Projects and Productivity (Telecommute Month 5??!)

It might be weird, but I love the days at work where I have a project that really takes up the whole day and all of my brainspace.  I love when I can dive in and really focus and, what’s more, feel productive.

Copyediting the Journal is almost like that.

At my last job, sometimes I would get an assignment of Build A Spreadsheet/Workbook That Does (something really we should have independent software for).  That, that was pretty damn awesome.

In between, well. Continue reading

Blog Post: The Cottage

It was always just The Cottage to me, the way Lake Ontario was The Lake.  Sometimes I have to remember people down in Ithaca don’t have the same context.

My aunt and uncle – my mother’s older sister & her husband – are selling their cottage on Lake Ontario. (3)

It got flooded badly in 2018 – standing water for months 🙁 (1) and it got very moldy, and they are not young (my aunt must be, let’s see, 50+2020[year]-1+7… 76, and I think my uncle is within a year of that) and not in phenomenal shape.  I understand why they are selling it. 

On the other hand, I am mourning.

This is the last family childhood memory place still in the family – Grandma’s House, my great-grandfather’s house (other side of the family) are both gone.  All that remains is my parents’ place.

So I wrote them up a thing on Facebook, and I thought I would share it here, too.

This was part of my childhood.  I think it’s okay if I’m crying a little.


I’ve been thinking about this for days. There are so many memories for me associated with the cottage – it’s more like a feeling, a set of emotions, than a memory.

For me, thinking about the cottage says “summer” and “family” in one breath. It brings to mind sand castles and sailing and German Potato Salad; it brings to mind Andrea at the kitchen window saying “Service!” and bridal showers and baby showers…
Grandpa at the kitchen table, telling us things he still remembered, even then, about his earlier life.

I remember when there was still a little cottage between [house of last-name], and [cousin and cousin] and I played make-believe in its doorway/on its porch. I remember, vaguely, the renovation, the new wall, how it looked before the garage.

Summer picnics, of course, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day. It never seems right, not being at the cottage, Uncle [Uncle] manning the grill. Bacon and cheese on triscuits and asparagus wrapped in bread.
I love that the cottage was part of Uncle [Uncle]’s family history, that it became part of our family history. It will always be a part of the geography of my childhood, one of the few places in my life that were not my home that felt, nevertheless, like home.

July: a Rambling blog post

Hello, folks.

Somehow, it’s July.

If you read my site, you won’t be surprised that June was a bit of a slog for me (as I posted uh. Almost nothing. *cough*  Sorry about that; I’m working on getting back to getting stuff posted both here and on Patreon).

Some of this – well, no, that was July.  July has been a slog because my *@#(@& prescriber didn’t call in my ADHD-meds script, after, at last count, THREE calls from the pharmacy.

You know, the one thing I’m on that has serious withdrawal issues?

*grumble* Continue reading

Work From Home Day ????, Sometime in Month 3

Well, it’s June, friends.

At some point I stopped doing daily work-from-home blogs because, well, one, everything seemed mundane, so I was running out of things to talk about and two, it seemed – hey these are the same things.  *Laughs*  Two is supposed to be “working from home stopped seeming weird.”  Which is pretty much the same as one.

I am desperately in need of a haircut, I have been learning how to cut my husband’s hair, and I find myself wanting a pedicure, even though I’ve only gotten a fancy someone-else-does-it pedicure twice in my life. (It’s because it’s sandal season, and also because someone like washing and massaging your feet feels amazing, guys, try it.  Girls and folks of every gender, too.)

And that’s about it. Some days I desperately want my office back (yesterday), some days I can’t imagine going back. At least once every other day I think about the plusses or the minuses, so I suppose it’s not entirely mundane to me.

(Some nights I stay up cashing in my bad luck
Some nights I call it a draw
Some nights I wish that my lips could build a castle…)

You know: Pros of working from home – short commute, take naps when I need them, take a half day of work when I’m feeling sick without having to fuss with driving or with breathing on other people.  Cons of working from home – constant distractions, no privacy, can’t really cope with bad things without an audience, no privacy, constant distractions, did I mention no privacy?

Also, I used to write on my commute to work and sometimes from as well.

(Pro of working from home – I can sit on the porch and work.  Now that is nice, I mean, when it’s not raining.  Another pro is working-from-couch, which it occurs to me that I could do from work, if the lounge wasn’t taken.)

Con of working from home, on the other hand, well, sometimes I just want to talk to other people.  I find myself chatting up folks in the grocery store.

How are you handling all that? I know our neighbor (the one whose husband is named after our cat) said she’s back at work now but she’s one of the few, even at her job – what about you folks?  I live in NYS; the university where I work has a branch in NYC – it’s unlikely I’m going to be back in the office before September at this rate. At least, I’ve picked out a porch umbrella and I’m thinking about some things like, what’s the summerweight version of my nice flannel pajama pants?  Also like “how do I get T to figure out how to cut my hair short again?” after that only-a-scorcher-in-comparison-but-still-unpleasantly-warm few days we had last week.

Is this a good thing, working from home? Is it maddening? Did you buy a new office chair?  One former friend tells me that his work offered a home-office-putting-together stipend, which sounds amazing. Where’s everyone at?

And if you’re back at work-in-person (or never left), what’s that like?


Work from Home Blog, Week 7: Integromat

It is the last day of week 7 of working from home… 

I’m both like “wow, only 7?” and “… woah.  Seven weeks.”

It doesn’t feel like it’s that long but it feels like it’s been forever at the same time – how about you?

The thing it, it mostly feels like I need a haircut and to talk to people who aren’t my lovely husband (and my cats) (because you know they talk back, and if they’re not that good of conversationalists, well, some of my coworkers aren’t, either 😉 

So!  After Kunama let me know my crossposter had… ONCE AGAIN… broken, I am trying Integromat. This is like IFTTT; it’s a way to integrate a whole bunch of different sytems. I’d already set it up to post to Tumblr (Jetpack is the functional wordpress plug in for that and it eats space and is a lot more than I really need, so I finally got rid of it so my page would actually load), so I had the backend set up – 

(It pulls from the rss, so yes, it’s just about the same as https://lynthornealder-feed.dreamwidth.org/

, which Kelkyag set up some time ago.  And if you’re reading from the rss feed, sorry for the 9,000 test posts – I can’t delete those; it’s not my account 😉

– but of course, part of the reason I went with this is because there are no up to date Dreamwidth/Livejournal crossposters, and no, IFTTT and Integromat don’t have a DW/LJ module either.

BUT Continue reading

Work From Home Blog: Day 25

(i’m the sort of person that uses all my sick days, most of them for actual sickness…)

So the problem with getting sick currently is that everyone, including yourself, goes “ack is this The Sick?”

I don’t think this is The Sick.

But I definitely came down with something somewhere between Tuesday and Thursday, and by Thursday I felt shitty enough to email in sick and crawl back into bed.

And then get up for a couple hours and go back to bed.

And again.

and again. Continue reading

Work From Home Blog: Day 21

Oli would like you to know that I need to rearrange my desk.

I mean, he’s not wrong, but if you could see the way he tries to get settled in the morning – So he jumps up on the middle right of the desk, behind the Laptop “Stand” (Carcassone on top of a book on top of a board game I have a writing credit one), to the pile of things I have to deal with – some book tape, some paperwork, and what looks like the sealer for big mylar bags, then behind the monitor “stand” (Complete Works of Shakespeare and then a stack of cookbooks through – I don’t normally look back here – muslin?, a 3×5″ spiral notebook, a half-burned candle stack from when my mother was getting a lot of teacher gifts…

…Mom taught 4thish grade for several years, from after I left home ’till she retired, so probably about 4 years ago, and I never actually knew teacher gifts were a thing growing up, but Mom certainly had a lot every time I went home for Christmas.  T. likes the Ferrerro Rochers and I like the containers they come in, but there’s also the scented candles, the mugs, the hot cocoa mixes….

…I kinda like this one, it smells like cinnamon.

Okay, so over the cinnamon candle and the cute corner punch – oh, that’s where that went! – and now he’s to the far back left corner, so he wends his way through two pen cases and a take-out soup container of pens, two books and right now a piece of 2×4 and a box of screws, and then he’s got to deal with my bullet journal, whatever pens I haven’t put away, my keys and cell phone (both of which I sometimes need to get into work programs), and of course, breakfast. Continue reading

Work From Home Blog: Day 20


Today starts the 4th week of my work-from-home adventure, and tomorrow is my birthday (Happy birthday to my cousin C today, who is a day and a year older than me and is at home with 8-year-old triplets and a child a year or two younger… here’s hoping she’s kept her sanity!). 

(Shh, I know what it says on all my profiles.  That’s … a thing. )

That means Thursday is T’s birthday, and that makes Wednesday the holiday we usually celebrate as Our Birthday.  I often take off either My Birthday or Our Birthday off of work, but I’m sort of wondering what the point is this time. 

I mean, maybe I can find out if one of my favorite Thai places is still open  & doing take-out, that’d be nice. I haven’t had Thai in a while…. Maybe I’ll make myself a cake. 😀 😀

And then make T a cake 2 days later…

Yesterday, I met Mom & Dad halfway at a park at the top of Seneca Lake & we had a rather chilly picnic and a nice walk.  Mom made veganized German Potato Salad (It was really quite good) and the sweet rolls I love and never make because Extra Steps. 

We were a nice Social Distance away from the fishermen fishing up and down the river.  ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seneca_River_(New_York) )

There were also people walking their dogs, people biking, and people doing something that looked like parasailing maybe? Paraskiing?

Ah!  A google tells me it was probably kitesurfing!  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kiteboarding

For a windy, grey day before the park even opened, when all the bathrooms and playgrounds were closed, it was a rather busy day at the beach – and everyone kept their distance. 

We’re not going to have picnic weather again this week or next, it looks like, but maybe we can come up with something.

Anyone else marking holidays or landmarks while in lockdown?  How’re you improvising?

Work From Home Blog: Day 19

Today, in lieu of a work blog post, I’m going to present a couple scenes or snippets from my morning dream, which was weird.

Class was in a huge room -a cathedral? Possibly a former cathedral. It had that feeling.  The professor was unkind, short with anyone.

And as if the words had been presented on a script, I found myself cutting in.  “Professor, if you think that we are idiots, the reasonable thing to do would be to explain things to us when we ask questions. If you continue to berate us, we won’t ask questions, and thus we’ll stay ignorant.”

The professor ignored me completely.

I fled up to the choir loft. Here things become a little obscure, because I believe three things happened at once, but my dreams do like to overlap scenes.

Angels came crashing in from the highest window, from the skylight, and landed in the choir loft.  Other people examined them, finding they were covered in lash marks, dead, fear on their faces.

What could make the angels fear? people murmured.

The man-who-was-courting-dream-me brought me a bag of chocolate and told me he thought I was crazy, but it was all right.

In another place, an Emperor forced a prisoner to tell him who he’d been.

In the Cathedral, the Emperor walked down the stairs and declared himself returned.  He declared the man-who-was-courting-me to be his heir, because such was needed now, in this time of chaos.

The Emperor was back, he declared, and there would be Changes.

I watched the man I loved – by this point I was no longer me, outside of that person, but we’ll stick with “I” for the moment – walk out to greet the crowd, a smaller crowd at a rural church.  He’d been adorned, wearing the golden headpiece and torque of a pharaoh, although his lovely curly hair was still visible.

(Was the scene where a ninja-warrior girl broke in and stole some clothes from a statue, the golden headcloth and the complicated torque and some clattering head-beads, was that part of the dream, or was that in something I watched?)

“He’s not all that good looking,” murmured Missandei in my ear, but I disagreed.  He was perfect – but the Emperor had stolen him from me to make him a god.

I was watching as the now-High-King-and-Savior (the man who had courted me) took off the headpiece.  “Is this what you did to them?” he asks the Emperor, in private. “When you came the last time? Did you trick them into making them think you were a god?”

“I did what was necessary,” the Emperor told him.  “And so will you.”

The overarching story appeared to be one of someone who ruled over a huge empire but rarely made a showing, who used trickery a la Wizard of Oz and special effects when he needed to, especially on backwards worlds.

And then, of course, I woke up.

Work From Home Blog: Day 18

I miss small talk.

I didn’t realize this until Monday, Tuesday, when people were walking, running, jogging by and I would be far more chatty than I normally am with strangers-walking. And then picking up pizza last night (we have finally run out of things that Must Be Cooked in our fridge), and I wanted to talk talk talk.

Not about anything important. Not to form any meaningful connection.  Just to chat.  Just to have intercourse with another human being that was in no way Important, or tricky, or anything. Just Chatting.

(Husband is not great at Chatting.  Even social media these days is fraught with traps, although cat pictures are safe everywhere (which is good; Oli has taken to camping out on my desk and sometimes directly in front of my laptop camera) and my realization yesterday that I could make masks and skirts that met was met with lots of favorites… but little interaction, even at the small talk level.

I want to chat with people about how their day was and what they had for dinner, you know?  What their cats are doing even when I don’t care, so I can talk about what my cat is doing (sleeping on the back of the chair next to me, like she does every morning; Theo is stalking the house looking for something and Oli is probably looking for more food.).  Or you know, what our plans are for the weekend (Same thing we do every night, Pinky.) or the yard chores we can do now that the snow is hopefully gone.

We need to repair our garden beds. I suppose at some point we’ll actually have to GO to Lowes, since they do not deliver peat moss, even when you’re having a fridge and a lawn roller delivered.

Oh, and then of course we’re going to roll our lawn (roll your own… ♪♫) and we bought lawn timbers (we had to measure our lawn to buy a fridge!).

And firewood.

And more firewood.

Last night was moving firewood to clear a spot to put the car in the Spare Driveway (so our house has 2 driveways – one in front of the garage, and then, 50-100 feet away, one in front of the house.  The garage one is currently, and often, filled with firewood.) so the ‘fridge could be delivered.

So!  What are you up to?

What are you doing this coming weekend?

How’re your yards, if you have them?  How’re your cats?

How are you doing with socialization and interaction?

Did anyone else scroll through two weeks of XKCD comics to find the CORRECT coronavirus comic?1

…OH that’s part of why I keep listening to podcasts.