Metatalktail Hour: Making-Love May 28, 2022 3:09 AM   Subscribe

Inspired by this wonderful knitter and her fine froggy friend, for today's Metatalktail Hour I'd like to ask everybody what they are making. Needlework, woodwork, music, cooking, gardening, writing, refinishing, building, painting, sketching, repairing, cooking, programming for fun? Tell us about it!

Or just tell us what else is happening with you, what's on your mind (besides politics, please!).

(TikTok link found via buriticá on Twitter)
posted by taz (staff) to MetaFilter-Related at 3:09 AM (88 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I'm making cat accessibility aids (stairs to the couch, a ramp to the bed) for our recently-adooted senior cats Baby (14 years old) and Smokey (20 years old).
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 5:30 AM on May 28 [20 favorites]


Thank you for taking in senior kitties!!! That makes my heart so happy.
posted by obfuscation at 6:09 AM on May 28 [5 favorites]


we’ve got some gardening happening, tomato is flowering and the strawberries are showing up!

i’m also heavily considering getting into tiny ergonomic keyboards, many of which seem to be only available in kits.
posted by bxvr at 6:22 AM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Bread. Specifically, the 100% whole wheat sourdough recipe from Mark Bittman's and Kerri Conan's book, Bittman Bread: No-Knead Whole Grain Baking for Every Day, and variants thereof. It's a great bread and the clearest bread cookbook I have seen, and I recommend both highly.
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 6:23 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


I'm making hard cider, which I've never done before and so haven't known what to expect. The jug is sitting in this dark closet where we keep the jigsaw puzzles and board games, and when I opened the closet yesterday I was shocked to see tiny bubbles, billions of them, slowly rising through the apple juice to form foam on top. I was so excited I made everyone come see. Look! Fermentation! I'm not sure why I didn't realize it would be that visible, but it was a happy surprise. Now I just gotta wait four hundred years or something to be able to bottle it.
posted by mittens at 6:41 AM on May 28 [10 favorites]


I'm pitching in on a general Beautification push in my community garden - my idea was to round up all the un-claimed containers, dump out the ones that got overrun with weeds and re-stage the ones that are planted with something more "official", and then make a container herb tea garden out of some of the empties.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:58 AM on May 28 [6 favorites]


I made some tools.
posted by bondcliff at 7:50 AM on May 28 [21 favorites]


I made a delicious Mediterranean Chickpea Salad yesterday to take to a dinner with friends.
posted by bookmammal at 8:05 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


Got dozen eggs from this week CSA and I’m making keto brownies right now.
posted by SunPower at 8:20 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


I made time with my partner, 16 years of it to be exact, oh my! Somewhat flummoxed to be in this, still!, and excited for the future.
In other news, I finally figured out part of the theme for my May Card Swap cards, so I made clouds. I felt quite god-like, some clouds are more obviously cloud-y than others, but none of them look like puffy blue turds, so hurray!

SunPower, I read that as klepto brownies and was intrigued :D brownies that steal themselves? Would eat.
posted by winesong at 8:41 AM on May 28 [5 favorites]


I've got two sourdough loaves proofing in baskets while the oven preheats, so I guess I'm making that.
posted by fedward at 8:50 AM on May 28 [4 favorites]


We've lived in our house for 23 years, but have never gardened before. Our beloved CSA has stopped CSAing, yet the need for summer Caprese salads must be met somehow, so we've planted tomatoes and basil in a few containers. We have far too many critters around to plant them in the ground, so we'll see how this works out. The basil's been going strong for almost a month now, and our tomato plants are starting to blossom.
posted by mollweide at 8:54 AM on May 28 [4 favorites]


I made a new birdfeeder using a chandelier that my neighbor was throwing out. I removed all of the wiring and bulbs - tipped upside down, the shades/cups aren't watertight so they're fine for birdseed. I put it out yesterday and so far it's only been visited by a few sparrows. It'll get noticed eventually.

I also made a feeder out of an old colander and some macrame cord, but I don't have a picture of that yet.

Oh! And last week I made a batch of dandelion jelly. The flavor reminds me of a mild honey...it's good, but probably not worth the amount of work I put into gathering all of the dandelions and removing the greens (not to mention the actual jelly-making part). It's pretty, but I wonder how different it tastes from a blank-slate jelly that had just sugar, water, and pectin.
posted by Gray Duck at 9:25 AM on May 28 [10 favorites]


I’m hand quilting a queen size quilt that I pieced and basted at least 20 years ago and has been sitting ever since. To be fair, I did get busy with parenting, moving, knitting, and a new career (owning a yarn shop). But my wife dug it out and I’m determined to finish. Hand quilting is a lot more boring than knitting, but I’m a lot more used to boring and repetitive handwork than I used to be, so here’s hoping!
posted by rikschell at 9:26 AM on May 28 [10 favorites]


I’m crocheting a Grogu (otherwise known as Baby Yoda) for a friend who’s a big fan of The Mandalorian.
posted by holborne at 9:29 AM on May 28 [7 favorites]


I made a song. (Facebook video. First time playing an original song in public.) In other news, I solved today's (Saturday) NYT crossword in 7:34, a Saturday personal record.
posted by Daily Alice at 9:38 AM on May 28 [8 favorites]


Damn. My wife and I do the crossword together (372 day streak) and our best Saturday time is 11:44.
posted by fedward at 9:56 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


The hand quilting above inspired me-I used to quilt, before kids number two and three came along-and I’m feeling like I should get back into it. My job and my life never seem to have finished products-canning and quilting scratch that itch in a beautiful way.

Today the main thing I’ll be creating, however, is strategies to keep our concussed 12 year old with a badly broken nose off of video games and relatively comfortable. Have a new ask posted-if you have tips please share.
posted by purenitrous at 10:02 AM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I have been making lots of really amazing salads recently, with homemade dressings. so good!

we've been putting in a tiny garden. the basil is doing very well and I look forward to lotsa caprese salad this summer.

I keep forgetting to take pics of my current art project. maybe this will inspire me to remember. its a chalk pastel/pastel pencils on a black gesso'd square of cardboard depicting a "planet" inspired by a found object of a beautiful rust stain on a cardboard box (hole saws under a leaky window)
posted by supermedusa at 10:18 AM on May 28 [3 favorites]


For the last six months on my home rotation I've been building a teardrop trailer. A project 25 years in the planning.
posted by Mitheral at 10:21 AM on May 28 [6 favorites]




I'm making a puppy into a fine young dog who, if all goes according to plan, will be a well-adjusted, loving companion who is easy to live with and well-behaved in public. Right now she's an 8 month old work in progress who does a lovely calm down-stay at the post office while I get my mail and is learning heeling like a genius but also suddenly hates nail clipping for no reason and has been chomping on one of my peonies.
posted by Redstart at 11:03 AM on May 28 [13 favorites]


I'm making an escape room style game where players take on the role of mechanics, trying to fix a cartoon car (You are: Car Tuners). Currently sub-task is making the lever that controls the (notional) extendo-legs sturdy enough that it doesn't break off if you pull on it kind of hard. Next up: coming up with some kind of minigame that uses an old-timey starter crank (I already built and wired up the crank), but also somehow gets two people involved.
posted by aubilenon at 11:08 AM on May 28 [2 favorites]


I’m on minute 18 of the Saturday crossword and I’m maybe halfway done, so respect for those finishing times! Although I was just telling my partner this morning that it’s only in the last few years I can do them at all. I used to stop at Thursday and now I look forward to Friday/Saturday.

Edited to add: That’s gorgeous bread!
posted by fruitslinger at 11:24 AM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Just started knitting a blanket for the baby my sister’s expecting in a few months. I generally stay away from pink or blue for baby stuff (his older brother’s blanket is green) but she requested a really pretty variegated blue, and it’s coming out really nice so far.
posted by jameaterblues at 12:08 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


I read that as klepto brownies

Brownies so good they steal your heart away!
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:20 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


I have come in on a garden break to eat and wash my hands after a small cut on one of my fingers (just a nick, really, but I thought I ought to tend to it since I've been hands-deep in dirt and compost and snail ooge). It was just the chair of the garden and me today; we dumped marble chips along one wall where some rats might be getting in, and made a slight adjustment to the position of my wind chime I donated (the chime was a 2020 lockdown project, something I made out of the beads from a broken necklace and a crapload of old spare keys). Then she started dismantling a "kids garden box" which has never been used, while I went on Container Patrol; I now have 2 boxes and 7 pots to play with, and I've ordered some lemon verbena for one of them and will just kind of go hogwild at the nursery tomorrow buying up a other herbs for some of the other pots. The boxes are the perfect size to perch on top of the big water meter thing that's in the front and looks ugly; I'll get something flowering for that, maybe petunias.

I also found some trellises that were going unused and moved them to prop up the branch of the rosebush that was toppling over into someone else's plot. They actually showed up about 20 minutes later to check on things and were very pleased.

And I also learned that the huge tree at the entrance to our garden is a plum tree, and yes it is fruit-bearing and yes some of the members have been making jam with it. I will now be doing the same (as well as doing plums in eau-de-vie).

And the little tomato plants in my own plot aren't flowering yet, but they're a little bigger than they were....the basil seedling I put there in the beginning of May got eaten up pretty quick, so I pulled that and replaced it with a jalapeno plant. We'll see what happens there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:33 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


I'm building a miniature New York City apartment with a weird layout, having been inspired by pandemic videos of New York City apartments with weird layouts (and which, despite being life-size, are arguably still miniature).
posted by thomas j wise at 12:35 PM on May 28 [7 favorites]


I'm about to make some soda bread farls. Earlier I restored a 1937 typewriter to working order, but that only involved putting a new ribbon in it.
posted by misteraitch at 1:18 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


I wrote a short poem inspired by the combination of two recent activities: Reading The Year of Magical Thinking with my book club and doing our own little Global Big Day (a 24-hour birding session) with my husband about a week after the fact, because the Big Day itself wasn't convenient for us. Here it is:


Before

Right before seeing the bird
You see no bird. The brush is empty,
tiresome.

Before the notice,
no mail. No train
before the first bare thickening
builds rolls speakers blown aroar the entire soundscape the entirety -

There are no heralds.
You eat dinner or do your task
It's not before
yet.
posted by daisyace at 1:28 PM on May 28 [15 favorites]


It was just the chair of the garden and me today

English is so amusing
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:52 PM on May 28


(mostly what I make is jokes)
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:52 PM on May 28


I made brown rice.
And I can't favorite Bondcliff's comment hard enough.
posted by The Ardship of Cambry at 2:30 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


You know those cheap folding tables you use for yard sales and convention displays and whatnot? I had one that had gotten ruined in the rain, so we took the legs off and painted them and then made a new solid wood top and gave it many coats of spar polyurethane and now we have a really nice outdoor dining table that folds away for storage.
posted by HotToddy at 2:59 PM on May 28 [8 favorites]


daisyace - I love your poem!

Empress and Greg_Ace - My brain did the same thing. Empress, I thought you were talking about a chair you can sit on, right up until you said "she," and then I thought some more.

I made a few small updates to my KFOG Forever website (a fan site for an absolutely wonderful San Francisco radio station that went dark in 2019; KFOG Forever at MeFi Projects) which feels like a pretty small accomplishment in some ways (just two articles posted) but it did mean adding a little info about one of the best-loved DJs on the station, M. Dung, and that felt good, and it also involved some improvements to the site architecture and a better sense of the process for adding info, so that will help me add more stuff more often, I hope.

I have more than half a dozen hobby websites, and I regret how hard it is to find time to keep any of them updated - much less all of them.

I have also been writing little haikus before bed most nights. It's nice to write a few syllables about irises and pillbugs and hummingbirds.
posted by kristi at 3:47 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


I'm working on using 5-HTP to make seratonin, which I will the use to make brighter days.
posted by Gorgik at 5:08 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


Kids' garden box removed! We couldn't dismantle it; it was the kind of carpentry job where people don't really know what they're doing so they use about 87 different kinds of screws and nails and fasteners, and we were missing a bit for a pivotal kind of screw for it. So we dug out all the dirt instead, and tipped the box up onto its side for dis-assembly on another day. Then I had way more fun than I should have using the hose to power-wash the walkway where the bed had been while the head of the garden used all the random broken bricks and concrete chunks we'd found in there to build a stone wall leading into the garden proper.

I also washed out all the pots and made a preliminary plan of attack for the nursery tomorrow.

I am absolutely FILTHY. Even my feet are dirty and I don't know how because I was wearing shoes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:14 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


(Oh, and apparently there are also grapes and figs growing randomly in the garden!)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:15 PM on May 28 [1 favorite]


the head of the garden

dear lord I can't help myself
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:37 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


(as a very much non-gardener with an inherent brown thumb, I really do enjoy EmpressCallipygos' comments, along with everyone else's; my brain is just insistently pinging around while I'm enjoying them)
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:40 PM on May 28


My husband is growing tomatoes in our garden. We bought the young plants today from my daughter’s school librarian, who is a lovely human and also happens to produce THE best tomato babies on this earth.

Mostly today I unmade things, specifically, messes: we had a yard sale, and we made a bunch of junk go away; then I mowed the lawn; then I emptied the Towering Sink of Shame. I am sweaty and dirty and sunburned and sore.
posted by eirias at 6:27 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


Back in February, I decided to participate in February Album Writing Month since it had been years since I'd written a song, and was never particularly good at it.

Found out I really liked songwriting. Met a collaborator and friend, and have been making music with her ever since.

Can't imagine life without at least a few tunes simmering at any given time.
posted by transitional procedures at 6:31 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


I made a really yummy salad for dinner of lettuce, Trader Joe’s skipjack tuna in oil, hard boiled eggs (from our chickens), and tomato chunks. It was so good.
Tomorrow I’m making David Leibovitz’ Tarte sablee au chocolate (from his latest newsletter).
It’s rainy and chilly here in the Pacific Northwets.
posted by dbmcd at 7:04 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


This week I am making downed branches and sticks leave my yard. It's so hot now that it's exhausting to work outside even at dawn. I've been sitting in my wheelchair picking up the sticks with a grabber and then breaking them down to fit in the rolly compost bin.

Rolling the bin out to the street is quite a feat of balance excerbated by having to haul off a broken leaf blower that someone abandoned on my lawn.

My brother in law used to do my mowing and yardwork but he's no longer able so I have been determined to do it myself. We had a big windstorm this week so I had to pick up sticks before I mow next week. I just keep telling myself it's good exercise.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 9:05 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


i seem to have inadvertently trained a (or some) local squirrel(s) to believe that any time i pay attention to a particular part of the ground or an individual plant in pot or plot that, with enough digging & tearing & gnawing, a sunflower seed can be found there. this is sometimes true, so i guess some sort of skinnerian conditioning?

longstory short, i am building a casus belli and murderous grudge against one (or a generation of) local squirrel(s) to whose depredations i attribute the loss of every sunflower planted/sprouted/seedlinging except four, one promising pumpkin (and the balance of sown seeds), my best stalk of (probably not enough -- only about half germinated) corn, all the beans (two of which, so far, have survived replanting) and all the squash (some of which may survive replanting) and several little pine tree seedlings in a pot, oh, and a baby little rosebush just freed from the ungainly arm i've left unpruned on the progenitor plant for years and had pinned down for the past year. most things that are not themselves toothsome to the beast are just dropped there next to the hole they were pulled out of, and sometimes can be replanted before being baked dry. the corn? not pulled out by the roots, but gnawed off at ground level and dropped right there: malicious, personal. so i've been anthropomorphizing this squirrel and feeling kind of bad about actually wanting to kill it (or its entire generation -- not sure how pervasive this knowledge that there might be sunflower seeds under everything i plant is among the squirrels). while learning that my municipality bans the discharge of an airgun, and evaluating the practicality of poisoning it with chocolate (reader, it seemed to me that every search result was written by an algorithm or run through machine translation; though there appeared to be general agreement as to the LD50 for theobromine in that genus, it did not seem as promising as the buddy's anecdote about squirrels disappearing after grandpa used to say he was giving them chocolate-chip cookies made it seem) or maybe-salmonella-laced peanut butter (which, in consideration of the birds, i think probably ecologically undesirably and maybe not the most direct way to kill a squirrel), i've been putting mesh tops on the fences around my garden plots to more thoroughly exclude climbing pests. i think the rabbits and deer (who, i know from past experience, may be responsible for eating the few seedlings that had survived long enough to be planted in obscure corners of the yard rather than the squirrel) already have been satisfactorily excluded by the extant fencing. this has involved some whittling of withes to pin sections of netting together and hold edges down, which is a word i somehow found myself knowing as i whittled and have enjoyed saying when i rant at, say, visiting relatives about the squirrel.

[oh, sorry, a humble nudibranch -- i'm just about out of fallen sticks and could still use a few more for my withing and staking.]

question for the room: would deer eat a little pine tree seedling? have inexplicably found such seedlings (about lawnmower-blade high) pulled up by the roots and dropped from the large pot where i transplant them after discovering them in the lawn. just recently, one (of three in the pot) entirely disappeared while another was pulled up with swinging rootball and dropped outside the pot. it is better for my animus to attribute it to the casual browsing of deer than the pointless personal malice of that damn squirrel. but the latter better reinforces current mania.

anyway, the beets are probably about done, second sowing of radishes is coming along, the first potato plant flowers, kale and mustard making leaves, some bean sprouts stretch toward seedlingness, the pepper seedlings survived hardening and transition to garden, a couple summer squash survive, half of the corn germinated and grows at various rates, some little tomato seedlings proliferate. oh and some gorgeous japanese painted ferns split last year from progenitor clump, and some plucky unidentified fern found growing in a clay-packed brick hole, have survived transplantation to new locales. oh: some strawberry stragglers remaining from a patch lost to negligence & lawn replanted to grassless beds among the raspberries; and the ever-pitiable blueberry bush lost some limbs to cicada damage and might not make it (not that it ever did much more than be pretty, which... has been enough).

it is possible that i am channeling rage from other domains (there are a fair amount of smoldering background anger and a number of other aggravating stressors of varying severity and gravity) onto that squirrel. certainly has taken some of the heat off the rabbits i usually revile. besides, they were being cute playing rabbit grabass the other day. (over at mom's garden, rabbits built a little nest _inside_ the garden bed fence).

little lurk and i rode our bikes in the city today, though we found our way to no nearby bike trails. i have played not enough music with not enough care or grace. and, as always, reading with interest.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:20 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


I've been writing. Short science fiction. A bit of fantasy. Was just informed that my first pro sale will be published in September.
posted by signal at 10:42 PM on May 28 [12 favorites]


I stayed up late last night, slept late to find out what happened in my complex and stressful dream, and then drank a lot of coffee too late in the day. Therefore it’s 11:30 PM and I’m baking mini-quiches with broccoli and potatoes and chevre, and very nutmeg-y strawberry rhubarb tarts. Tomorrow I’m finishing planting the garden whether it’s raining or not, damn it, and getting all these tomato and hot pepper plants out of my furnace closet and the cucumber starts I traded a neighbor a lilac shoot for out of my car. The guy next door is trying to make a two-unit ADU in his backyard and keeps being hampered by the rain, so we’ve dolefully waved to each other in our raincoats across the fence that’s so precisely on the property line that we can’t guess who has to fix it if it breaks. My cat is pissed that she can’t sleep on top of me because I’m pacing around the kitchen staring at the oven. It smells great in here, but I’ll need to be re-socialized when the work week starts again.
posted by centrifugal at 11:35 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


[oh, sorry, a humble nudibranch -- i'm just about out of fallen sticks and could still use a few more for my withing and staking.] posted by 20 year lurk

Too bad we live so far apart. Anyone in Austin is welcome to my sticks and I have s bunch of dead dry bamboo that anyone can have free! Cut 'n' carry.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 12:16 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


After finally figuring out the preventative med combination that stopped my chronic migraines I am cooking lots of veggie heavy dinners again, and I am thrilled about this. I can also make plans I’m pretty sure I won’t end up cancelling so I’ve caught up with lots of friends and had a nice break in England where I wasn’t ill the whole time!
posted by ellieBOA at 1:29 AM on May 29 [4 favorites]


I have 230 mostly-started and in-progress little... uh, projects? here.
posted by bendy at 1:30 AM on May 29 [2 favorites]


I recently returned from a trip to Malaysia and came home with an ice tea recipe I am working on replicating here in Denmark. I also got a chance to re-remember the taste of "Heaven & Earth" jasmine green tea (only made for Malaysia and Singapore markets) so I am determined to make the homemade versions of both of these the official summer drinks of 2022 in our house - also exciting because in about a week we should be getting a balcony installed in our apt and will be able to enjoy these drinks "outside". So a lot of drink mix proportioning and cold-brewing of various teas going on.

I have also gotten interested in cheese steak sandwiches (yes, I work from home why do you ask?) and as Copenhagen does not have any of these available I am attempting to make my own starting with the amoroso hoagie rolls, which I have learned are the "correct" type (according to various, quite vocal opinions on the internet)
posted by alchemist at 2:07 AM on May 29 [2 favorites]


May the 29th. So, since 1660 it's Oak Apple Day in this part of rural Worcestershire (where some of us ignore the killjoy Victorian's abolition of it in 1859). I'm observing this, going to an event shortly, and am wearing my oak leaf sprig - but I'm ignoring the forthcoming week of faux-celebration for the current monarch (there is tacky plastic bunting and flags seemingly everywhere at the moment).

Just finished writing: My 500th front page post, timed for today as it's my 10th anniversary of joining MetaFilter. It's a music FPP so certainly not to everyone's taste, but there's a few other people on this site who like the same group so hopefully they'll find their way there. The 'Broken Drum' link (a Boards of Canada remix of the Beck song) is my soundtrack to this summer.

Currently writing: I visited the cremation plot of my father for the first time yesterday, in what is becoming a drawn-out project to work out the secrets and lies (a lot of both) of my family. That was a strange experience, but that's for the personal diary.

Occasionally writing: Some texts around Orchard Folklore, which may or may not become embedded within an old-school text adventure at some point in the distant future (multiple years away).

Also writing: I try and send off cards and postcards to better/best friends, sometimes others, each summer. Especially people who have birthdays in the winter or spring, as it means that they don't get much positive handwritten ephemera apart from then and Christmas.

Research writing: I submitted several abstracts to Open Access journals and other publications over the winter and spring gone and, surprisingly, most were accepted. These are on relatively (to me) fun topics within my wider work domain, so now there's a series of deadlines across the calendar.

Those last four things invoke a state of busy-ness through the remainder of 2022 (Christmas Day is 30 weeks from today), and probably well into 2023. It seems a good time to ramp down my online use, especially as my eyesight can't do as much screen time as it used to. That, and less pleasant aspects of my persona and recent life keep bleeding into online life and I really need to step back, deal with, and cut that out. Hence a movement from Internet-and-keyboard to as much paper-and-pen as possible for a while.

Anyway; it's June in a few days time, and midsummer in less than a month. Wishing all MeFites a pleasant and chilled summer (northern hemisphere) / winter (southern hemisphere).
posted by Wordshore at 3:25 AM on May 29 [10 favorites]


Ever since I moved in to this flat, thirty-two years ago, the bathroom door has never shut. It sort of jammed almost-shut in its frame. Occasionally I thought about doing something, but all the solutions I could think of involved taking the door off its hinges. It wasn't until last Friday that I managed to reverse-engineer exactly why the door wouldn't shut.

Recently there's been a lot of problems with the flat. It was put together over thirty years ago, in a hurry on a minimal budget by people who didn't really know what they were doing. I've been meaning to address the problems for a very long time, but when I'm about to do one thing, another more pressing issue raises itself above the parapet so I have to swing at that instead. For example, I'd geared myself up to repainting the corridor between the rooms (as a low-stakes way of learning how to do that), when the shower stopped working and the fact that the hot water in the bathroom had an airlock somewhere became a pressing issue.*

A plumber came to fit a new shower. The old one had been fitted thusly: The shower was attached to the plasterboard, and then it was tiled round. I don't know why this is, but it is. It is a very bad way of doing things, as the gap the old shower left was different from the shape of the new shower, and installation would involve a lot of bodging. During the process it was discovered that the plasterboard had become wet and was soft, but the plumber was keen to try to attach the new shower anyway. The upshot was that the new shower was attached, but not functional, and I'd spent the price of a second-hand Made In Mexico Stratocaster (which is sort of how I value things) for the information that I needed to replace the wall the shower was attached to.

I mentioned this to Viv, my power tool and practicality guru, and she said, "Oh, that's easy, I've just done the living room", so we have a plan. She came round to recce the issue and I mentioned the door in passing, and she squinted up at the top of it and said, "Oh, that's really doable", and came back on Friday with her tool box. We tried the sander on the top, and realised it was working but very slowly, and that it probably wasn't going to be good for us to inhale quite that much door (although the door wasn't labelled "Do not inhale"), so she got out the Japanese saw, which took most of it off and the sander took the rest off. I did most of that, which was very cathartic. Then we moved on to the box - I've looked it up and it seems that this is what the receiving part in the door frame is called - and it transpired that it wasn't only seven or so millimetres too low but also offset laterally by about five millimetres. It was only the fact that the door never got anywhere near to closing that this was never discovered before. There was chiselling. There was Dremelling. There was wood filler and also No More Nails glue. Eventually it worked.

The story of the door, thinking about this, must have run somewhat like this:

We suspect the box was put in the wrong place, enormously so. Which meant that when the door was attached so it closed, the two bits didn't meet up. So the bright idea they came up with was to lift up the door on its hinges by possibly as much as fifteen millimetres and then saw off the top. However, this didn't really work, either, the door never closed so they just gave up and never found out that it wouldn't have worked anyway.

The whole flat's like that in large and small ways. The hot tap in the bath is on the right (should always be on the left); in the bathroom sink it's on the left, but labelled cold.

But after thirty-two years, the bathroom door closes properly, which is nice. I just have to remember to do it.

Now I have to work out how to get the shower off the wall and the pipes out of the way without incurring the cost of another Stratocaster doing it.

* I don't really need any more airlock advice, thank you. I've found when I explain that I've tried every airlock solution up to and including attaching a wet vac to the offending taps I generally get told to attach a pipe between the hot and cold taps and turn them both on. Which I've done many times, and doesn't, in this case, work. It's probably something quite expensive under the floorboards.
posted by Grangousier at 4:17 AM on May 29 [4 favorites]


I finished stitching this pattern as a gift for a coworker. I'm amazed that I still have the skill to cover up my mistakes, not one kitty was done correctly.

Next is Melusine if I can gather the courage to use the linen I purchased for the project (it would be my first time on a count higher than 18). Otherwise I'll start a Stranger Things pattern for boy theBRKP.

I'm almost done with my first coding class, a course on Python offered through my employer. My coworkers have been unbelievably supportive. One of them pointed out that I was not just learning a language, I was learning a brand new skill and that it was OK that I was finding it hard. Just keep trying. Another sent me a link to a bunch of cheat sheets that will be very useful.

And catch up on sleep. Boy theBRKP had his first really serious migraine last night and I spent last night on the floor of his room, keeping an eye on him. I'll be scheduling a checkup after the holiday (he is due anyway and needs one to play school sports in the fall).
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 6:34 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


The roommate heads out on Sundays and that's usually when I do the housecleaning, because it can be a noisy job and the poor guy has no door in his spot downstairs. This week things will probably include some spelunking in the fridge to see what's there that needs using. Sundays are when I also do a little batch cooking and grocery shopping for the week ahead; this week the focus is going to be on doing something that would also tame the backlog of beans I've got from various Rancho Gordo shipments.

I've already got a small bowl of black beans soaking on the kitchen counter, and I may also get a couple other beans going today. The black beans will probably all go into a classic black bean salad with corn and red pepper.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:51 AM on May 29


alchemist - do not be intimidated by the very partisan stuff on the internet about cheesesteak sandwiches! Even in their home region you will find disagreement on the proper ingredients to make them. I come from cheesesteak land and am not that fond of Amoroso's rolls. Since I no longer live where you can easily find the ingredients, I have found that though it is considered heresy you can substitute a hunk of long French baguette bread or a similar shaped crusty Italian bread for the rolls. I also actually prefer using provolone cheese rather than some of the other cheeses people use. A lightly toasted crusty bread, the cooked meat, some melted provolone cheese, and some cooked sliced onions, salt and freshly ground black pepper - this is all you really need (you don't even need the onions if you don't like them.)
posted by gudrun at 10:13 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]


What timing. I just a few minutes ago finished this French Country Rooster cross-stitch. I have another kit with me that I could start, but I'm not sure my eyes are up to it at the moment.
posted by cardioid at 11:18 AM on May 29 [2 favorites]


I just made four dozen cookies and then I made some of them disappear.

The gardening is happening here as well. I'm having fun making my private garden beautiful and functional after many years working on the front gardens and neglecting the backyard. So far I have two new beds full of herbs and veggies and I've cleaned up the perennial woodland beds.

Last year I hooked up a waterfall into a half barrel and had marginal aquatic plants and bog plants growing in pots around the barrel. This year it's been turning into a whole new container garden featuring an old wheelbarrow repurposed as the largest planter. I went to my favorite local nursery yesterday and got swamp milkweed, baptisia, asparagus fern and two varieties of papyrus as well as some other pretty things. Now it's feeling like a real oasis right outside our back door. I also got a "raspberry shortcake" thornless raspberry bush and some lemongrass and made a new planter out of burlap for it.

Today I tied back the fig tree branches and helped the concord grape vine find the ropes it needs to climb so it won't get lost in the dahlias in the next bed once they pop up and take over. Tomorrow is a boatload of watering in the morning and then some zinnia thinning. I should be training the blackberry jungle but I'm hoping somehow they'll figure it out on their own.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 1:36 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


Crossword followup: my wife and I worked sequentially yesterday because we had conflicting schedules, and that particular Saturday puzzle did not readily crack open and reveal its mysteries. We finished in 26:37, and now I'm even more impressed with that 7:34 time, Daily Alice. Today's, though, was a new Sunday best at 15:03.
posted by fedward at 1:40 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


I made a used headlight, that did not fit on my '80 folding bike, fit on my folding bike. The previous headlight was busted, the 'new' one looks very similar and works fine.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:41 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


.....all I did was put plants into pots, why am I so tired?....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:43 PM on May 29 [4 favorites]


My time today was 18:56. I'm definitely not usually a speed solver.
posted by Daily Alice at 3:46 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


Did just a little bit of work today in my garden, plus I've been appreciating a beautiful day and evening by doing some porch sitting and catching up with neighbors. Also, I've put aside my 2 cross stitch SALs for a couple weeks to work on a piece requested by my oldest daughter.
posted by Scout405 at 4:51 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


Did a lot of work at my parents’ house today—it’s going on the market in a few weeks.
I am so out of shape. I feel like I was hit by a truck.
posted by bookmammal at 5:26 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


I'm both humbled and inspired by those late week crossword solve times. I can usually work through Friday and Saturdays if I try, but it takes me a while, and I often don't have time on those days to do so. Maybe if I commit to them for a while I can my times down to the point where I do!
posted by mollweide at 5:42 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


Generally (and seemingly interminably) I'm about 80% of the way through a whole-house renovation. Took a break from that yesterday and tackled the sticky brake caliper on our 'Sunday car'. All the usual struggles of working on a 60-year-old car eventuated in finding that the brake hose is blocked solid. Got a new hose made up this morning (because of course nobody stocks anything for a car this old) and fitted it. I am pleased to report that a test drive confirms the brakes are now working correctly, although the car may be a bit shocked at being driven on a weekday!
posted by dg at 8:56 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


I want to make clear that my wife and I do the crossword together and there's no way either of us would finish in the same time alone. I'm always impressed by anybody with a solo time that equals or betters what the two of us do as a team.

And having been at it for a while now I can safely say that times definitely improve if you keep at it. I found a screenshot of our stats from a year ago, and since then we've lowered our best and average times by about 25% for six out of seven days of the week (shakes tiny fist at Friday).
posted by fedward at 11:16 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


About a year ago I bought a copy of PICO-8 on a whim and I've been tinkering with it since. I mostly tinker and have yet to actually write something which even remotely approaches a game. In November/December I thought, "well maybe I should figure out how to write music for this thing." Music has never really been my thing, I never really "got" it, y'know?

Anyway, I found some videos which got me started writing chord progressions and basic melodies in a DAW and I started playing around with it. And continued playing around with it. And CONTINUED playing around with it some more. Turns out, much to my shock and amazement, I really like writing music. So I've been thoroughly obsessed with that, diving into music theory YouTube, etc. And on occasion I even re-write some stuff in the PICO-8 tracker just for the heck of it. (I make no claims as to quality...)

A couple weeks ago I needed a break from writing music so I went back to tinkering with code. And I wrote a thing for writing music. Obviously. It's extremely limited at the moment but it's been fun to do.
posted by Mister_Sleight_of_Hand at 3:41 AM on May 30 [1 favorite]


After a nearly twenty year hiatus, I'm getting back into film photography in a way that just wasn't possible when I was a poor college student. I've got my grandfather's old Canon kit from the '60s, a medium-format Ricohmatic TLR that I picked up at a swap meet for a song while I was in school, and recently added a Crown Graphic large format press camera to the mix. I always wanted to get in to large format photography but the costs were just too daunting; they're still pretty daunting, but at least having a digital camera on the side means the chances of a bad shot go way down since you can sort of preview what you're doing with digital. I also revived the old flashgun that came with it and tested it out with some flash bulbs I bought on eBay, which was... not quite a success. More investigation is needed.

I spent my first time in a darkroom in ages. I still mostly remember how to do that stuff, which was nice. I don't have any good way of sharing completed images yet, so I need to get a scanner of some sort.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:22 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


Without too much squee...in two weeks my person and I will hit a year together, and we're spending a lot on a vacation (fingers crossed) later in the summer, so I am making him a cross stitch that is a BUNCH of work but will hopefully be worth it.

Also, I don't cook that much for myself but when we are together we cook up a storm and recently did Turkish kofte on the big flat sword-like skewers and it was DELICIOUS; our Turkish friends who inspired it seemed impressed...? LOL.
posted by wellred at 6:18 AM on May 30 [4 favorites]


I have a knitted blanket that I started for my brother when he moved to Arizona TWO YEARS ago that I need to pick back up. He's moving to OK this summer, and it would be a good time to finish it. My brain works better when I'm knitting, and yet, it's so easy to put down and fidget with the electronics.
posted by joycehealy at 7:17 AM on May 30 [2 favorites]


I'm not entirely sure the project will come out perfectly -- and that's okay! -- but my current more-than-full-time endeavor is simultaneously tending the emotional and practical needs of my best friend's/foster family as we deal with an extremely imminent cancer death within as soon as the next few hours all while doing the same in a completely different way for a completely different part of the family.

Back home, 600 miles away, my brother in law (also dying of metastatic cancer with the same major complications of GBS from the immunotherapy) has even greater organizational support needs. The situation is complex enough that it warrants intensive involvement and micromanagement. There's a Trello and at least weekly stand-up videoconferencing just to wrangle the constant stream of ad-hoc events, spontaneous unhelpful actions, information quality issues, and drama. Doing something helps us cope.

Tomorrow will be the first time I've missed my spouse's birthday in 30 years.

All the same, the thing I'm making is connection, cohesion, healing, and love. It's a pretty cool project.
posted by majick at 8:13 AM on May 30 [5 favorites]


Making mulch and/or rabbit snacks. Oh ok, technically a small backyard garden but realistically maybe a few tomatoes and a bit of thyme will survive to harvest ;-)
posted by sammyo at 10:57 AM on May 30 [3 favorites]


The Big Project, swapping bodies on my '65 beetle. Everything stripped out of the old, bolts loosened, now both are at my mechanic's shop. Should be getting it back in a week or two, the better body mated to my old pan and rebuilt engine. Then I'll put everything back on, including the doors; connect up the wires to the lights, and I'll have a legally driveable bug once more.

Meanwhile, currently assembling a Flexispot height-adjustable desk for my wife.
posted by Rash at 2:47 PM on May 30 [5 favorites]


I got some blank ceramic tiles with cork backing, and now I’m finally getting around to turning some of my million old photographs into coasters. I’ve only got two to the mostly-done point so far, but I notice my photo trimming with the exacto getting better even just from the first to the second, so I’ll take it. It’s also a fun excuse to reach out to some of the people in said photos to say hello.

If anyone has a good suggestions for audiobooks to listen to as I continue to work on this project I would appreciate it!
posted by ActionPopulated at 2:59 PM on May 30


I'm working on some extremely long projects right now and thus don't have much in the way of pictures:

(a) Temperature cross stitch. The photos are for winter. I had to take out all of April and redo it because I got slightly off in the stitching, so that's going longer than I thought. Still fun/crazy, though. I note that March goes from 50-80 degree temperatures--thanks, global warning!

(b) Replicating Mirabel's outfit from Encanto (link goes to a sewn cosplay dress someone else made), but in yarn. I plan to knit the blouse (done but unphotographed, as I am still making the details to sew on 'em) and skirt (STILL GOING...FOREVER) and then crochet all the details and sew them on. This is going to take me forever, I admit, as I started in January.

I don't know if this is going to be a Halloween costume or not. That's a reasonable question to ask, anyway. Unfortunately I am white so that may not be doable as one, socially speaking. I was planning on making the outfit regardless of whether or not I, dunno, got a wig for it. A friend of mine who's a PoC said, "I'm fine with it as long as you don't dye your skin," and I was all "hell no, absolutely would not on the skin dyeing," but...I dunno if others would grant that same grace. Maybe I'll just wear it and otherwise look like me with my current red dye job. I love the character, though, and sometimes I get a bug up my butt to replicate a costume but in yarn.

After that, I want to start making some garments a la Kate Sharma's outfits in Bridgerton, probably a Spencer jacket/waistcoat, possibly knit an empire dress.
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:17 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


ActionPopulated, listen to Mythos by Stephen Frye if you haven't already.

I'm reading a crockpot (not instapot) book given to me as a lovely surprise and I am trying to decide which recipe to make. I usually make the weekly mealeftover in my crockpot, so this will be a welcome change, because the book is aimed at the British audience.

I am currently spending all of my free time in my yard-en. The grass patch is small enough to mow in 15 minutes. The flower beds are large enough to weed for 15 days. But if I go out for a quick 5 minute garden task I am back inside absolutely wiped out after 5 hours.

This constitutes my therapy. It is where I truly feel unencumbered and at home.
posted by mightshould at 3:22 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


I've been making tempeh, sauerkraut, raw milk kefir, and single-Lactobacillus-strain yogurt, for building-my-microbiome-back-up reasons.

Tempeh is fermented by a mold (related to common bread mold) that makes the soybeans taste breadlike and when I defrost my tempeh in the microwave it smells like delicious like cornbread. Sauerkraut when made with L. sakei -friendly vegetables (garlic, leek, cayenne, ginger) has L. sakei (good for sinus infections) in abundance starting around week 3. I'm fermenting dairy and coconut milk in separate jars with L. reuteri (inhibits C. albicans, C. difficile, S. aureus), L. plantarum (good for IBS), L. crispatus (essential for vaginal health), and a few others, one per jar so I can assess their effects.

My spouse announced a few months ago that he thinks he's less "stinky" thanks to eating all these fermented foods, LOL. He's reduced showering to once a week, without any stinkiness problems that I can tell. Even aside from that, fermentation feels like doing magic. Yay good bacteria!
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:48 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


technically still Memorial Day except for a post so I'll remember the 388th The American Museum in Britian had this page on my uncle. born on the south side of chicago, 5'3 German American you had to be pretty tough. so a little War Story, he was shot down on his fourth mission and during interrogation."... Serial number: 367-44536".
"Yes, yes, of course. but you are from chicago, right?" again, I gave name rank and serial number. by now, his English accent was beginning to bug me. I thought the son of a bitch was a traitor. he continued to maintain a friendly manner and gave me the so-called Red Cross form.
"now, if you feel this out, he said we can notify the Red Cross that you are safe and they, intern, will notify your mother in chicago."
at p o w lectures in England we were briefed the Germans would try this ploy. the form was phony. the questions is included highly classified information like group and squadron numbers, bomb load, target, altitude, radios, armenents, etc.
"I can't feel that out."I said.
"well, just sign at the bottom and will send it to the Red Cross"
I can't do that, either.
well, okay he said if you don't want your mother don't know you're alive, that's up to you.
a few seconds of lapse. he shuffled some papers. he tried the friendly approach.
well, if you are from chicago, maybe you are a gangster? a Luft gangster. he chuckled. perhaps you know Mr Capone?
leaning back in his chair, seemed quite pleased with himself. I decided to test his sense of humor.
I don't know al, personally, I said but I know his brother ralph. he lives a couple of blocks south of me on Paxton avenue. and one of his henchmen, Jake greasy thumb Guzik, lives three blocks away on Luella. Jake's daughter and I went to the same high School."
posted by clavdivs at 9:36 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


I repaired a wall clock I've had lying around, that broke when its hook fell off the wall. $16 bought a new plastic mechanism and ten minutes with tools put it back in. Should have done this months ago, I have been *looking* by reflex at the space on the wall and annoying myself not being able to tell the time.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 12:16 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


I am working with a friend to get another friend's old car running for the first time in probably 30 years. This involved finding and fitting an appropriate original engine and all of its accessories, as well as all new wiring, hydraulics, etc. It's a lot of work and frankly I'll be happy to see its backside go down the driveway as it's made my shop building rather cramped and is preventing me from working on my own projects. But it's a nice thing to do for a very good friend, so ultimately worth a bit of inconvenience. We're probably 2/3rds of the way there.
posted by maxwelton at 1:38 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


Have received flowering seeds from mefites before and now got a plant cutting. I’m planting them now.Loving it!!can’t wait to see the flowers bloom and I’ll be thinking of every Mefite who made that happen.
posted by SunPower at 7:48 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


I set up my turntable which was packed away in a move many years ago. I am in the process of listening to one album (at least) a day. My plan is to go through my entire collection. This will take about two years assuming 300 a year.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:34 AM on May 31 [2 favorites]


that squirrel^ got got.

ok, a squirrel got got. not sure it is the one complained of, or if the complaints are of only one.

it did not get got by me. i'm guessing a juvenile raptor. possibly just a bus and scavenging crows.

ask and ye shall receive, i guess.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:11 AM on May 31 [1 favorite]


Been working on finishing up a quilt top that in hindsight may of been a bit overly ambitious so once it is done I will switch to a smaller project to get some practice layering, quilting, and binding a smaller piece before I take this one back up.
posted by Captain_Science at 9:11 AM on June 1 [1 favorite]


I'm extracting plant essences of many kinds, triple process (alcohol, warm water, hot water, days for each step) then reducing and combining them to make "anti-aging" skin lotions. It's nice because it smells like cooking all the time w/ mushrooms, etc. Just trying to push back on my own mortality, but also potentially a niche product. Just had a Dr.s appointment and she said, "wow, you look younger!". It was very interesting how five cucumbers extracted at room temperature in a cup of vegetable glycerin can fill a 2,000 sq ft room with intense cucumber smell for weeks.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:46 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


I think I'm starting to get back into knitting more again. And it took a silly thing to kick it off -

So, I also belong to a Meetup group that does monthly photo walks in the city. The guy who started it is a sweet and gregarious fellow, and it's been a wonderfully welcoming group - in fact, if any photo-loving Mefite is going to be visiting NYC on the 4th weekend of any month coming up, you may wanna consider coming along, the leader would love to see you and I'll likely be there as well. Well - throughout the winter and into the spring the leader wore the same bright yellow beanie, and it got to be such a "thing" that the last meetup I went to, one of our group laughingly confessed when she showed up that she'd initially had a hard time finding us in the crowd until she looked one way and saw "oh, there's that yellow beanie, that must be them!" And there was much joking about how we should all wear yellow hats from now on.

Well, I'm not a hat person - I'm a kerchief person. And I've been meaning to build my kerchief collection. So I splurged on a sampler pack of some very nice cotton/linen yarn, one ball each of about eight colors, and used some of the yellow to make my own kerchief - which I will wear the next time I head out with the gang.

But the real surprise is how quickly that knit up. I started it early one Saturday morning - I'm in the habit of a little coffee-in-bed habit while I listen to the radio, and decided to knit while listening. And only two hours later...I was done.

Well, huh.

I rounded up some of the random dishcloth cotton that was kicking around, and the next morning I started another knitting project - something to use up one of the half-used balls of dishcloth cotton that I have cluttering my stash. And two hours later that half-used ball was now a completed dishcloth.

I have now moved all of the dishcloth cotton and the remainder of the cotton/linen blends to live at my bedside, where I have since been chipping away at them all - turning them into dishcloths and kerchiefs, and soon I'll be also adding "mesh shopping bags" to the rotation to use up the batches of "I have two balls of this yarn instead of just one" stash.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:22 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


Lately I’ve redone the simulated demo for the asocial networking site I need, remade my homepage, told my doctor and my therapist that I need them to have a conversation before I start in on a disability filing, and finally have minimized most of the guilt over having had to put a cat to sleep.
posted by bixfrankonis at 11:13 AM on June 4


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