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Work From Home Blog: Day 9

 Yesterday, for breakfast, we had steel cut oats with applesauce, cooked on the wood stove slowly. 

When I asked T what he wanted for breakfast today, he answered “pancakes.”

Our eating patterns are, ah, suddenly All Weekend All the Time. 

(though pancakes are only a possibility ’cause I don’t have a meeting this morning; they take too much stove time otherwise.)

Since i started working from home, we’ve had lots of days of my standard Breakfast Oatmeal (Rolled oats and Bob’s Red Mill 7 grain), a couple days of steel cut oats, some eggs on toast… 

what I think of as Weekend Breakfasts, big and filling before we (sometimes) go out and Do Things. 

(At work, breakfast is small, generally cheerios or yogurt, and then lunch is often from the dining hall across the street which, being the hotellie dining hall, has really good food.)

(I do miss those tacos, even though T’s cooking is amazing.)

Our whole eating pattern has changed with this work-from-home, and I wonder if I’ll miss big breakfasts when the world goes back to normal. 

How are your eating patterns changing, if at all?  Are you keeping to your same routines, as suggested, and how do you manage that?

(And then I lost 10 minutes looking up “Keep to your Routine” memes, oops.)

Work From Home Blog: Day 7

One thing I didn’t think I’d say but found myself saying yesterday was “there’s less distractions from the screen at home.”

When you take it apart, it’s kind of true. In the office, I could get up and take a walk around the building with my co-worker, no matter what the weather. That’s a five minute walk (It’s a big building).  People would stop in and want to talk (I miss the Lecturer in Recent Runes and my favorite facilities guy, who calls Nice Co-Worker and me Sisters of Mercy). Or I would get up and talk. 

Okay, I can get up and talk to Husband, but I can also, you know, Discord him and I’m trying to get him in the mindset that I am At Work between 7:30 and 4:20. 

And then, of course, most of my socialization, most of my entertainment, my writing, and now even my meetings are all on screens. 

This is actually more screen time than I used to have in the office, which is a little funny and a little migraine-inducing. 

So I’ve decided that I’m going to try to get up once an hour and do something, even if it’s just walking to the other end of the house and back twice.  I’ve got the exercise bike; I did five minutes on that in the middle of the day (Yesterday was cold and drippy. Today I could actually take a walk outside, if weather.com isn’t lying to me.)

I did okay with that yesterday, in part aided by the Dr’s appointment I thought I had (turned out it’s APRIL 24th. I Swear they gave me the wrong date….)

(Our grocery store was pretty empty; also, it still has no TP. )

How’re you guys doing with screen time?  What do you do to get away from the computer when you’re working from home?

(Or, if you’re not working from home, how are you keeping busy?)

I’m thinking of taking up yoga, but ssshhhh, don’t tell my mother. 

Work From Home Blog: Day 6

 Day Six of my work from home, and I’m contemplating the advantages and disadvantages in re. sick time and being sick. 

For instance, the Friday before I started this, I worked from home because I had a cold and I wanted to nap at lunch but I felt good enough to work.  

Today, I was up a portion of the night with a pounding migraine and I’m not sure how well I can think – but I can show up to a meeting, then go nap until the next meeting, and so on, and since my life is like 3/4 meetings and Zoom trainings since this whole thing started, that’s like a half day. 

Is this a plus? Is it a negative?

I mean, it lets me husband my sick days.  It lets me save them for, say, I can barely move, which I’ve had. But on the other hand, it means that I’m less likely to take as much sick time and recovery time as I might need, when I could just log on for a couple hours. 

Right now, it’s “just a migraine”, so I’m going to try to show up to meetings.  But I know that when I feel like this, I can’t do critical thinking very well at all; it’s like the migraine is literally sitting on the thinking parts. Also, I think my focus is even worse than normal.

Okay, I’m trying to write a thoughtful post about whether or not being able to take partial sick days mid-day is a good thing or not while explaining that I can’t think while I have a migraine.  Does the amusement of this hit anyone else?

Right, so, if you’re working from home, what’s your personal sick day policy? What’s your office’s? How does it differ from when you’re working from work?

I.e. obviously, there’s not going to be a “please don’t come in and breathe on everyone” when you’re already at your workplace by being home, right?


Work From Home Blog: Day 5

 Day 5 of working from home: I almost miss my work workstation. 

I am, I believe, doing a lot better than many of my co-workers, because I already had a home office. I’ve doing the All Day Writing there the last couple Christmas breaks, so I know I can sit there for long stretches, and it’s an actual desk and then a “docking station” where I plug my laptop into a proper keyboard and monitor (I always use a proper mouse).  

I also have a standing desk set-up next to it which I’ve been trying to use for about a half hour to an hour a day, or until my feet really complain. 

My real problem is posture. In part because I like to use my laptop as a laptop a lot normally, I get comfortable looking down at my monitor, which yes, I know is awful. But it makes getting my chair-and-monitor set up so that I don’t make a crink in my neck by the end of the day… tricky.  I might need another textbook under my monitor, and I already have about 8″ of textbook. (My laptop sits on two board games and a dictionary.)

I’ll probably get it set up and comfortable by the time they declare we can all go back to our offices – although maybe if I dragged the Tempurpedic chair I use in the other room in here I might be more comfy…

People discuss work from home ‘offices’ as the dining room table (we don’t have one of those) or the bedroom and, while I have worked from bus and a couple times from car, I can’t imagine doing that full time.  I wonder how much of my willingness to and comfort with work-from-home is due to having a solid office? (Even if it lacks a back wall.)

(It’s a three-walled space backing on the living room, it’s not like I’ve, you know, knocked out an exterior wall!)

If you’re working from home – and it sounds like most of the world is at this point – how’s your home-office set up?

(are you remembering to stretch?)


CHIVES! (A blog post)

One of the first things I planted here – at House Thorn – were chives.

I got them off a freecycle or plantcycle (same idea), back in the days when those lists were doing well here in Ithaca.

(The concept of either is that you post “I have this thing I don’t need anymore” or “I have this thing I need, does anyone have it?”  I’ve used it to get: a scythe, cat litter buckets (Our cat litter comes in sort of cartons and I wanted to try cat litter bucket planters), air mattresses, a broken breadmaker… We’ve gotten rid of a safe, a burn barrel, a turtle sandbox…)

I also went and got the earliest-blooming crocuses that were available.

Of course, since we moved into the house in mid-September, we discovered the next Spring that the people who had owned the house before us had been of a similar mind – there are spring blooming bulbs all over this place, so it’s a riot of color from the first thaw through the end of day-lily season.


I hate March, I’m afraid.  Really dislike the month. (T was explaining why to a friend and he summarized it as “the color.”)  It’s grey and muddy! And it’s a tease; you want to plant but you can’t.

The last freeze date in our area is mid-May, just for reference.

But CHIVES.  Chives are food.  They are fresh and they really taste good only fresh. And when the snow is just starting to melt, when it’s just thinking about melting, then you have chives.

This little bit of green pops up in your garden (I have an “invasives” bed I’ve mentioned before, where I let various chives and mints duke it out. I tried oregano once and I ended up with hybridized mint-regano.) and it’s like All Is Not Lost.  Things Will Grow Again. Here, have some Food.

It’s amazing. Alliums are a gift and we should cherish them forever.


Want more?


Other Chive Posts:

Gardening! March 23, 2012

Life in the Country, Tuesday edition (Actually Monday edition, just really late). March 21, 2012

On Chives  April 9, 2014

Spring! Chives – May 16, 2013

Work From Home Blog: Day 4

Yesterday, Day Three of my Telecommuting Journey…

The power went out. 

The internet also went out. 

(We have two UPSs.  The router & cable modem are plugged into one of them. I have about an hour, hour and a half of time working if I turn my laptop to dimmest, etc…. IF the internet isn’t also out.)

It was just after my late lunch, and I really wanted a nap, so I walked out to the middle of the road, got enough signal for gmail and Discord, emailed my boss a telegram (Power out, internet out, will contact when back) and pinged my friends on Discord.

Then I took a nap. 

I mean, my entire job is online. I’d have had maybe… 20 minutes of cleaning my office if I was at work. 

I did some writing when I woke up, called NYSEG just in case nobody else had (1290 people affected, we imagine it will be about 5 p.m. when we get it fixed), played some Minecraft (obv. not the shared server), ordered pizza (from the end of the block), picked UP that pizza, and played Tiles & Tales once I got the tablet with games charged up.

The power came back on at about 9. 

In ordinary circumstances, I might have gone to a local library or cafe to work but… nothing’s open. 

Do you have plans for work if the power/internet go out?


Work From Home Blog: Day 3

I’m going to try to make a trend of this, doing it before work in the morning.


Day three of Telecommuting: My co-workers are starting to suspect I’m actually another cat.

Honestly, I think Oli may be worried and Merit thinks I’m just sick again, and Theo just ignores everyone during the day.

But I was going to talk about supervision. 

For me, this is pretty much exactly the same as being at work – because my boss is always remote (well, a few times a year he visits the office, but with the border to Canada closed, it’s going to be a while). For most of the admins, there won’t be a lot of difference, because the professor that supervises them is either usually just in their office or not even that.

I mean, except the one extrovert in the office.  I imagine she’s going to go mad.

(we did Meyers-Briggs at Admin Excellence Training summer of ’18.  She was like “OH this explains so much” when everyone else at the table came back Introvert.)

But with all that, I still found myself checking the calendar to see if my boss was “at a conference” (he’s got at least two that are tele-conferences now.) yesterday.

As far as I can tell, no.  

But Oli did his best to fill in boss’s virtual absence anyway by sitting on my desk and staring at me.  Good kitty. I feel well supervised. 

How about you?  How do your supervisors feel the need to fill in that gap?


Work From Home Blog: Day2

I’m still sitting in the armchair doing Pre-Morning Things again, so this is Before Day 2. 


Today I’m thinking about meetings.

 When I’m in a meeting at person, I have to do at least moderate performative attention-paying (ditto for training).  I have to look at the person and pretend I’m making eye contact and try not to look too distracted. 

I mean, I generally doodle maps, as anyone who has seen me post “in a meeting” maps can tell, or if I’m too close to the presenter, I just doodle generally, but there has to be some looking at them. And, in general, I have to TRY not to look too bored. 

When I’m working from home, I get to do something to distract the bouncy half of my brain while the other half listens.  Performative attention-paying is “make sure I formulate an interesting question and ask it at least once” which I try to do in meetings/training anyway.  When it’s interesting meeting/training I can engage pretty well and I don’t get talked over or interrupted in chat the same way.

(grumble grumble grumble)

And when it’s three stultifying hours of meetings I am in to show willing… well, let’s just say there’s been a lot of progress on my Minecraft railroads and stations.

That’s a long way of saying meetings are nicer by Zoom when you are an introvert with ADHD. 

(And life is easier in general once I learned those were things about myself that were both true and acceptable, or at least, that *I* could accept them and the rest of the world could be faked around easily enough.)

The Dilbert will continue until morale improves. 

What’s your favorite or least favorite thing about telecommute meetings?


Work From Home Blog: Day 1

Technically BEFORE Day one; I’m still sitting in the armchair doing Pre-Morning Things.


 Day One of Telecommuting (long-term, rather than, say, when I worked from home Friday because my co-worker made me sick again) 


Last night I found myself regarding the closet, wondering what I was going to wear to work. 

Then I realized: my pjs. 

(I always find this a funny way to put this, since what I wear to bed is a pair of armwarmers and that in the winter). 

My bum-around the house flannel pants and favorite cami, in this case (I need to do laundry), the green flannels with the tear in the upper leg from where I sit cross-legged and the faded camo cami (It was on clearance!) that sort of matches. 

Working from home is a little weird 😉

Sure, some Zoom meetings I’m still going to have to put on a cardigan and brush my hair for, but for the most part, as long as you contribute, people don’t ask questions about why you don’t have the camera on. 

Especially when the school is so focused on a) getting all the professors ready to teach their classes via Zoom (zoom is like skype, only… not?) in a few weeks and b) working on getting people less equipped to telecommute and less urgent about it than I am.

(I needed someone to tell me it was okay and someone to set up Remote Desktop in case I needed it). 

Personally, I’ve never been one of the people who needs specific clothes for a productivity ritual.  Tea, yes. Not clothes. 

What about you? If you’re starting a work from home, how are you handling the clothing issue?