On using things up, and Halloween, plus continued training to be an election judge

I've got about eight blog posts that I haven't gotten written . . . running behind, while running all day.

Here's what the toothpaste and the hand cream look like this week . . . almost time to get new tubes . . . our days look similar, by the time we hit 11 p.m. or midnight:


And that's about what I feel like right now, too. Squeezed out.

There's dealing with the computer stuff (this week, both the ongoing layout software problems and some challenges with the publishing-company-specific financial software); and then, part of a new print run arrived in cartons so damaged I had to order replacement boxes and am repacking the whole shipment . . . and I have to do the job NOW in order to document any potential claim that might be filed with the carrier (there's a general post about damaged books in the publishing business that's working in my head); plus the details of scrambling to earn a living, because the delayed release of the book that's been stuck in software limbo dammed up the cash flow, which was adequate but not abundant in the first place. And my daughter has had two mid-terms and a presentation and one or two papers to write, which have complicated matters in the household. (Oh, yes, and the sebaceous cyst on the older dog's hip ruptured about ten days ago and we've been treating it three times daily, hoping to avoid surgery.)


Fortunately, I have lots of work of the income-producing kind to be done, in addition to keeping the publishing company alive. I spent two days this week doing preliminary work for one freelance job, and devoted sections of time every day to coaching another client through book-contract negotiations (yes, there's also an intellectual property lawyer in the mix . . . my job is to translate the contract terms into English, so the writer knows what he's signing). Oh, and reviewed and started negotiation on a contract for another job that I'll be doing (the company's never had anyone ask for changes to its extremely vague contract, so my relatively minor changes have been kicked upstairs to legal for review). And, of course, I've been working on the Major Writing Project, for which I do have a negotiated contract (it's in the wrong paragraph, though: it's not income-producing right now). Then I have a deadline on a freelance article (including photos) on Monday. It's half written, and I think it's going well. I just need the time and energy to keep doing everything that needs to be done. And figuring out how to keep the cash flow moving. With freelance work, much of what is done now gets paid for several months down the road.

In the middle of this, there was the fantastic concert by the Soweto Gospel Choir on Wednesday night that we won tickets to! I needed the break.

And the county elections office called up and asked if I'd have time (ha) to train as a provisional ballot judge, to supplement my training as a regular ballot judge, which happened on Tuesday night, so I did that yesterday afternoon. I've been assigned to a location that's conveniently located about two
miles (3.2 km) from my house. I'm very grateful not to have been assigned to a vote center that's an hour from home! I'll be one of two people handling provisional ballots all day at that site. I have a feeling that parts of this election may hinge on provisional ballots, so I'll be glad to experience how they're handled in this county.

As we say around here when we're feeling overwhelmed, "Never a dull moment."

Nanowrimo starts today—the annual one-month stint in which people write whole novels, egging each other on. It's great fun, and definitely crazy. I've participated (and "won") the past three years, but I think I'll be sitting this one out. If "sitting" is what you can call what I'm doing.

I can't even focus on knitting, although I've been swatching (forgot the yarn-overs on one side of the second repeat of the pattern), knitting baby caps (that's going okay), and trying to get started on a simple top in handspun linen. The linen's been hanging around for a long time and I finally got an idea of what I might do with it. I'm doing okay with the baby caps. On everything else, I just feel scattered and like I'd better get up and do something else, even when I'm exhausted and it would be best just to sit and knit for a while.

But it was Halloween yesterday. I love Halloween, even when I don't have much time to put together a costume. My daughter needed to figure out an alternative that would fit with the dress code of the job she was working. She succeeded, and we were both amused by the cat walking the dogs.


You can't see her ears very well in that photo, in part because their color matched her hair so nicely. Here's a better look at them, along with a close-up of the REAL county animal license:


I had ears, too, which I wore to the election office. Mine were black-and-burgundy (they did not match my hair), and although we had another pet license that I could have worn I never had time to find a ribbon to tie it on with. Maybe next Halloween I'll get that part done.


2 thoughts on “On using things up, and Halloween, plus continued training to be an election judge”

  1. Clever but simple costume – the dogs seem quite happy about it. Those boxes sure took a beating – hope everything was still in them! We received just the box one time. The (fairly expensive) piece of metal it started out with had fallen out somewhere enroute, and the shipper had to replace it.

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