Tues. May 12: StayTheFHome Day 48 — Tech Woes

Tuesday, May 12, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde

If this Saturn Retrograde continues the way it’s started, I’m done. There’s no way I can do this every day for months.

The tablet isn’t working properly – and I’ve only had it a month. Neither Staples, from whom I bought it, nor does the manufacturer. It MIGHT be a Comcast issue, since suddenly, the only device that’s connected to the Internet is my laptop, and neither the tablet nor the phone will connect anymore. Comcast, of course, couldn’t care less. When I try to troubleshoot, I get a message saying they will only answer my question if I upgrade my plan.

As usual, Comcast is out to screw their customers. I have lost tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of income/assignments because Comcast refuses to give customers like me the promised service, and I have to go far afield for basic connectivity, because Comcast is my only choice here.

I lost half my workday trying to get things sorted out. And it’s not anywhere NEAR sorted out.

Then, I’m setting up a Square Store for a client. Only the video tutorial has very little to do with how the store is actually setting up the store, and the specs for photographs look grotesque, so I had to figure out a different way to edit them.

Not a good technology day for me. I suspect that my phone is about to give out, too.

On top of that, a delivery that was supposed to arrive on Friday is – well, no one really knows. According to UPS, it went to Shrewsbury by accident, and is still there.

Considering that the weekend was pretty darn good, yesterday was an unpleasant shock.

The cat tree arrived on Friday and is, well, much bigger than I expected. I expected the height, but not the breadth. Once it was built (which took two hours), we had to rearrange the furniture in the living room to accommodate it. The cats are sort of curious, but not making it their favorite spot yet, which I expected, but has deeply disappointed my mother.

I got the printer set up on Saturday – it’s amazing. Truly amazing. The laptop arrived, too, which I didn’t expect, on Friday, and I got that set up. It works well, although I have to learn my way around it. I miss having a Macbook. But this laptop is sleek, and I’m sort of figuring it out.

I went to pick up a curbside delivery on Saturday (for which I tipped 20%) and the employee who answered the phone when I let them know I was there gave me a hard time about it being a curbside pickup. When I placed the order THE NIGHT BEFORE, that was the only option. But I got a lecture about how now they’re open and I should just come in if I’m wearing a mask. No.  I was given curbside pickup as an option, and that’s what I chose. This is the same employee who scolded me for coming into the store before the Stay at Home was issued. I’m trying to follow protocols AND support a local business, and they give me grief. Meanwhile, the asshats running around without masks spewing on people get to go anywhere they want and behave anyway they want, and no one challenges them. I know the owner of the store, it’s one of the reasons I wanted to spend my money there and not somewhere else. She’d never condone that behavior. At the same time, I know employees are under a lot of pressure, and don’t want to get anyone in trouble. Fortunately, the guy who actually brought out my delivery was delightful. I hope he’s the one who got the tip.

I scanned the article from THE WRITER magazine and sent if off to the people who contributed quotes, and they are all very excited. It’s a good article; I’m glad I had the chance to write it, I’m glad I did a good job on it. Especially since that was the week I was in and out of the hospital before my emergency surgery.

Speaking of surgeries, on Saturday I got a completely tone-deaf and inappropriate letter from my health care provider berating me for not having the surgery that THEY cancelled due to the pandemic. I am so going off on them. As a writer who creates this type of material, if I EVER had written something so callous, unresearched, and tone deaf, I would have been, deservedly, fired.

I had good writing days all weekend. I’m juggling projects, some of them are percolating along nicely, and I’m in the planning stages for others. Now that I have the new laptop, I think I can get back to some that were languishing, more due to a lack of hardware than anything else. My Llewellyn editor is sending me a contract in June to write for the 2022 almanacs.

I’m doing some reading for a couple of upcoming essays/articles and planning a Great Big Project that’s a little on the overwhelming side, but, I think, necessary. Parked my domain, now have to look at how to build it.

Cleaned up the Fearless Ink website a bit. Added the extensions for the 99-cent sale for PLAYING THE ANGLES,SAVASANA AT SEA, andTRACKING MEDUSA to the websites, and also to the Facebook pages. I need to schedule some posts for promotion.

So, until yesterday, I felt pretty optimistic about getting back on track work-wise, especially remotely. Now, Comcast is literally going to put my life in danger because they can’t be bothered to provide promised service.

Comcast isn’t the only one to blame. Our Town Mis-Management is bound and determined to get us all killed by opening up to tourists for Memorial Day. We will have 250,000 deaths by July 4th weekend in this country with the way they’re planning to open. Wearing a mask doesn’t mean you can go back and do everything like you did before. That’s not how this works. I mean, for Mother’s Day, my neighbors had the extended family all over, convinced that because they were all shivering outside in the wind – unmasked – they were fine. Again, that’s now how it works, people.

We need UBI NOW and until we have a vaccine. We need a WPA-style program, that’s more technology-based, in order to put people to work and get the economy back up and running. We need to change the way work is viewed and done.

I’m seriously fed up.

It was goo cold to plant, although I made biscuits for Mother’s Day breakfast, got her a cheesecake, and roasted a chicken.

I am tired. I have no idea what today will bring. Hopefully not more technology frustrations. At least I had a decent, if not brilliant, first writing session of the day.

Peace, friends.

Mon. May 11, 2020: Intent for the Week — Dedication

image courtesy of ImaArtist via pixabay.com

Monday, May 11, 2020
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cool

We have Pluto Retrograde, which is about revealing what’s hidden, which includes the hidden parts of ourselves. We have Saturn Retrograde, which is about life lessons. We’re all in a harsh life lesson period. Since my Saturn Retrograde coincides with my second Saturn Return – ouch?

Venus goes retrograde on Wednesday and Jupiter goes retrograde on Thursday, so we’re in for a rocky few months.

At the same time, I want to dedicate these retrogrades to sorting through past choices and making positive changes, in ways I haven’t really done during the previous retrogrades. Instead of regrets, I want to say, “Well, at least I tried. Now it’s time to try something new.” I think this is a stronger choice than beating myself up for what didn’t work. I wouldn’t pound on someone else for making a choice that didn’t work – the celebration is trying something and learning from it. So I need to stop beating up on myself.

I also want to dedicate this week to work. My fiction, the client work, and pitching for new work. There’s a post over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site about adaptability, and I’m going to incorporate the adaptability as part of my dedication.

I want to dedicate time to the garden (weather permitting) and even more time to my expanding yoga and meditation practice.

I want to dedicate less time to dealing with other peoples’ stupidity, especially when it puts my life and the lives of family members in danger.

What is your intent for the week?

Published in: on May 11, 2020 at 6:39 am  Comments Off on Mon. May 11, 2020: Intent for the Week — Dedication  
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Fri. May 8, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 44 — To Rest or Not To Rest

Friday, May 8, 2020
Last day of Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

Yesterday was less stressful than anticipated, but more stressful than I wanted. It’s inappropriate for me to discuss details at this time, so I have to be vague. Especially in light of this week’s intention to be fair.

But I came home and drank a martini on the deck!

Tessa came out with me and was happy. Charlotte chased Tessa when we came in, so we haven’t fixed all of Charlotte’s behavioral issues yet.

The new Brother color laser printer arrived. It’s the size of a dorm fridge, and I am thoroughly intimidated. I’m sure it will take me most of today to set up. I expected it to be half the size. But it’s going to be amazing once it’s up and running.

All the commotion upset Charlotte, especially taking away the old, non-working printer, on which her bed had rested. But there’s room for it next to the new printer, and she seems to have settled down this morning.

Willa took it all in stride.

Woke up too early. Good first writing session.

I have to go to the grocery store today. It could wait a few days, but the weather will be bad, and I’d rather stand outside in the sun than the snow. Yup, we might have snow this weekend. I am rolling my eyes.

I’ll set up the printer, write some product descriptions for a client, maybe get the article scanned and copies sent out to contributors.

I want to work on fiction this weekend, figure out the shape of the Susanna Centlivre play, and clean out some boxes from the basement. I’m worried that my protag in a piece is observing more than participating, and I need to get a better balance in the next draft. For now, I’m letting her do what she’s doing, especially since she’s recovering from a serious car accident during the course of the novel. But I don’t want her to be the camera for the story. She has to carry a series.

If there’s any good weather, I’ll do yardwork and maybe some planting on Sunday, which is the next planting day.

We have three major retrogrades moving in next week, and I’m not looking forward to them.

Have a great weekend.

Published in: on May 8, 2020 at 6:09 am  Comments Off on Fri. May 8, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 44 — To Rest or Not To Rest  

Thurs. May 7, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 43 — Battles Begin

Thursday, May 7, 2020
Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cold

There’s a new post over on the garden journal, Gratitude and Growth. I actually have something to say this week.

Today we go back into battle with clients who don’t believe it’s work when it’s done remotely. I’m replacing them as fast as I can, but everybody’s hurting and it’s not easy. Step by step, and I have to make the necessary decisions to save my life in a very real sense, and then deal with the consequences.

So yesterday was scattered and stressful and frustrating. Today will be worse.

But I am working on the plans for an exciting, albeit complex art project that’s relevant to what we’re all going through. If I can pull it off, there will be more information soon. If not, it will merely be an idea that fades away.

Musing and percolating and wondering and following false trails took up a good portion of yesterday. Along with client work and submitting some of my books to a library promotion.

Remote chat was good, as it always is. I feel lucky to have these people in my life,

It’s been nearly three weeks since I ordered stamps, and still no sign of them. They were quick enough to put through the payment. It better be a positive sign that people are buying stamps to try to save the Post Office. But I need stamps,

According to tracking, UPS had stuff on the truck for me yesterday. I waited far past normal delivery times, and hoped the driver headed home. It was raining and miserable. I didn’t want the packages to sit out in the rain all night. Or be stolen, since one contained some of the office upgrade.

But, eventually, I had to go to bed.

Yup, when I got up at 5, there were the rain-soaked packages. At least they were in plastic and had too much packaging. Nothing was ruined. Yay for me, but I feel bad for the driver. It must have been REALLY late when he dropped them off.

Today, the new printer is set to arrive.

Slowly, slowly, we’re getting everything up to speed for optimum remote efficiency.

Worked on a couple of article ideas. Hope to have them fleshed out and ready to go by tomorrow.

Decent, though not brilliant, first writing session of the day.

Dreading the upcoming battles. I just have to trust that I’ll come out the better for them in the long run. But the short run is still worrisome.

Off I go.

Published in: on May 7, 2020 at 5:57 am  Comments (2)  

Wed. May 6, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 43: New Channels to Focus Grief and Rage

Wednesday, May 6, 2020
First Day of Full Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It’s going to rain again in a few hours, but for the moment, there is some sun, and I am going to enjoy it.

Have I mentioned that the peepers are singing? I love going to sleep listening to them. Brings back happy childhood memories of my grandmother’s sleeping porch over in Foxboro.

Yesterday, I had a good writing session, then did some client work. Got out a couple of LOIs. Research on a few places in which I was initially interested — the results lessened my interest.

Got outside and cleaned some of the branch debris away in preparation for mowing. The guy who handled it last year is willing to come back, and we can do it safely for both of us, so all good.

Vacuumed the house top to toe — the regular 90-minute vacuum, not the fussy longer one. Enough cat hair to build another cat. I never thought I would miss the yearly steam cleaning, but I do. Mopped the floors, cleaned the bathrooms. Typical weekly housecleaning. Somehow, it’s easier with the sun out.

Spent some time out on the deck, reading for what I think may evolve into an article. I need to let it percolate for a bit. I’m playing with some other article ideas, but they’re still in germination stages.

The potted lilac on the deck is starting to bloom, and there’s actually stuff happening for tomorrow’s garden journal entry, which is good.

Staples sent the first part of my order. A pair of flash drives in a box big enough to hold a year’s worth of files. Ridiculous. “Oh, it’s so it doesn’t get lost.” Be more careful and waste fewer resources.

Cooked the warm green bean and potato salad from the Belgian cookbook, and it was amazing. Can’t wait to try more recipes.

Someone on Twitter mentioned something that got me thinking. It’s bad enough that our government commits mass murder so billionaires can continue to line their pockets, and that they are spinning that 3000 deaths days A DAY come June is acceptable.

But this individual — and I’m sorry I didn’t note the name — pointed out that there’s no organized mourning. The WH flags aren’t flying at half-mast. No surprise there. The Gibbering Sociopath claps and laughs and dances with glee at the deaths he’s caused. It makes him feel powerful.

But there’s no collective mourning for the massive loss of life. That both causes more pain and distances us from the grief.

I decided that I will make a memorial quilt. I will create a block for each friend and family member who dies. I have a sinking sensation it will wind up being multiple quilts.

But it is something I can do and share and ritualize.

I’m also playing with some ideas for creating space for shared grief, but they are too fragile as idea shoots to share right now.

Writing and client work today. Preparing for a stressful day tomorrow.


Published in: on May 6, 2020 at 6:21 am  Comments Off on Wed. May 6, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 43: New Channels to Focus Grief and Rage  

Tues. May 5, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 42–The Search for Equilibrium

Tuesday, May 5, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and pleasant

I was burned out all weekend. Instead of focusing on productivity, I tried to get back a sense of purpose.

I did some writing, although less than I would have liked. But then, it’s usually less than I would have liked.

Celebrated Beltane on Friday, which was nice, in spite of the weather. The stimulus payments arrived. I was surprised. Did not think we’d ever see them. Can pay off the utility bills that have been looming, and keep insurance payments up to date.

But we still need UBI until there’s a vaccine.

Ordered a cat tree from Chewy. Need to keep the cats from getting bored. Tessa is starting to take back the whole house again, which is a good thing, but the other two will need time to adjust.

Had to gear up and venture out on Saturday. Got gas. $1.73. A truck full of Trump supporters not wearing masks at another pump jeered at me for being masked. I ignored them.

Went to Lambert’s for produce. Staff all masked and very nice. Table full of good old boys huddled in the corner, making fun of everyone. Management should have asked them to leave. No mask, no service. Harass customers? Get lost.

I won’t be going back any time soon, because they won’t ban the morons.

They didn’t have everything I needed, so I went to Star Market. Controlled entrance, one way aisles, everyone masked and considerate. Ended up buying more than I intended, but now we’re restocked.

Drove by the beaches on the way home. Totally packed, no precautions. These people are idiots.

Home, washed everything, did complete decontamination protocol, and there was the morning gone. Did some other laundry, too.

Read ROMANCING MISS BRONTE, which I enjoyed.

Switched out the heavy winter curtains for the lace panels. Makes everything much lighter. Washed the curtains and put them away.

Did some internet research on a few people and found some surprises. How’s that for being vague? But I needed that information for some upcoming decisions.

Made orange and chocolate chip muffins for Sunday breakfast. Used orange juice instead of milk, honey instead of sugar, and a mix of white and wheat flours. Pretty good, but will add some vanilla next time.

Bit the bullet and put in the order for the new laptop and printer. I need them in order to work, especially remotely.

Made more facemasks, switched out some seasonal fabrics on tables and chairs, spent some time out on the deck. Re-read Thomas Mallon’s A BOOK OF ONE’S OWN, about diaries. It’s a frequent re-read.

Spent too much time being frustrated with Microsoft Word.

Did a vegetable stew of eggplant, broccoli, peppers, corn, tomatoes, carrots in mushroom sauce over rice. Pretty good.

Yesterday was mostly client work. Found a mistake in an email blast after it went out and had to send a correction. Felt like an idiot. Apologized to the client, who was fine about it all.

Had trouble focusing on creative work and proposals.

Spent some time out on the deck. Tessa remembered, and snuck downstairs past the other cats to join me. It was pretty funny. Got the rest of the big pots out, and prepped some for tomorrow’s planting.

Started re-reading LEAVING A TRACE, again about diaries.

Placed an order with Target, vacuum cleaner bags, etc., to be delivered. At the risk of sounding self-righteous, the only purchases I’ve made from Amazon through this have been e-books to support fellow authors. Not that Target is as good as a small, local business, but none of the hardware stores carry the bags for this vacuum. So my choices were Target and Amazon. Walmart is NEVER a possibility for me.

Three of the research books I ordered arrived, and a Belgian cookbook with fantastic recipes.

Up early this morning, good first writing session of the day. This particular book is taking shape nicely. I have the basic idea and points I want to hit, but have not outlined. 117 pages longhand since I started on February 8th. Theatre is the book’s backdrop, and I get to celebrate my love for the craft in it.

Trying to work out a few things and not just wallow in a cycle of rage. If the weather holds, maybe I can get some yard work done, too. And get some damn LOIs out. I also have to do things like vacuum and mop floors.

Chop wood, carry water. Carry on as best we can.


Published in: on May 5, 2020 at 6:29 am  Comments Off on Tues. May 5, 2020: StayTheFHome Day 42–The Search for Equilibrium  

Mon. May 4, 2020: Intent for the Week — Fairness

image courtesy of Alexas_Fotos via pixabay.com

Monday, May 4, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

I’ve started posting on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions site again. It’s a little different than just the lists and accountability. It will have suggestions, musings, and tools for the shifting reality.

I also realized I can’t post far ahead (schedule to post), because things change so fast.

This week, I want to work on fairness.

I am being unfair in a couple of situations in my life right now. It has more to do with my own frustrations than with these other individuals. It is not fair to them. This week, I am going to work n coming up with solutions, starting actions (because not all of these can be easily solved), and working not to lash out unfairly.

Instead of being stuck and wallowing in my negative self-programming, I will start the steps to change it.

Not easy, but necessary.

Have a great week, friends. Namaste.

Published in: on May 4, 2020 at 5:06 am  Comments Off on Mon. May 4, 2020: Intent for the Week — Fairness  

Fri. May 1: StayTheFHome Day 38–Fighting Burnout

Friday, May 1, 2020
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Pouring with rain and cold

Good first writing session of the day yesterday.

Geared up and went to the grocery store. People are back to shopping in groups, even though they’re asked not to. It also means it takes longer to get into the store. If you’re a group of four, the next three people in line have to wait even longer. And stop blocking shelves while you gossip. Talk in your close groups outside, away from the rest of us.

At least everybody was masked.

Home, disinfectant protocols, exhausted.

Client conference, which went better than I expected. Turned around a quick piece for them.

Invoiced a project and was instantly paid. There’s the cash for my new printer.

Feeling burned out and frustrated. I’m tired of people whining about boredom and telling me how much I SHOULD be accomplishing. I’ve worked flat out since this started, plus life-in-constant-danger stress. They can all fuck right off.

I’m ready to become a professional recluse.

On a positive note, I watched the National Theatre production of FRANKENSTEIN, with Benedict Cumberbatch as the creature and Jonny Lee Miller as the doctor. It reminded me of the power of truly great theatre. The opening was especially beautiful and disturbing.

I’m going to watch again today, when they switch roles.

Decent first writing session today, some other work, and Beltane ritual, in spite of the weather.

I was more patient and positive at the top of the week, with it unraveling yesterday. I will take the weekend to regain equilibrium.

Peace, friends.

Published in: on May 1, 2020 at 6:15 am  Comments (3)