Five Things Friday Vol. 72

Five Things Friday: just five things I’m thinking about or things that made my week, or things that I otherwise feel like sharing.

Starting this week, I switched my in-office day from Wednesdays to Thursdays in an effort for more in-person engagement at the workplace. While most of the people I work with directly (on projects) are not in my office and our collaboration has to continue to be through Teams, I do hope to get some more interaction with my supervisor and other people in my research group out of the switch. I am still fully embracing the WFH lifestyle (and will stay 80% remote if at all possible), but it’s nice to see people once a week.

*    *    * 

I appreciate everybody’s feedback on the Feedly situation. Three weeks ago it looked like Feedly had fixed itself, only to go completely disconnected afterwards. I had no updates from my blog in 19 days, although I’ve posted!

If you know me, I cannot let this rest, so I spent more time online researching what the issue could be (as other feed readers have no problem pulling my RSS feed) and have now employed the help of a Feedly Platform Engineer who had kindly responded to my plea for help on Reddit. He’s been so kind as to get in touch with my hosting provider support directly to figure this out once and for all. Keep your fingers crossed that this will result in a solution.

*    *    * 

We’re coming off a really intensive heat wave. We had four days in the triple digits (up to 106F/42C) this week and it was a little brutal, especially since we didn’t get much relief at night. The temperature stayed above 72F/22C for like three days. While it will still be quite warm this weekend, the Delta Breeze has set in and is bringing some relief to the Sacramento Valley.

*    *    * 

In a recent onset of a homemaking frenzy, not only did I make another batch (4 jars) of apricot jam last weekend, but I also pickled cucumbers, and I am in the process of saving vegetable scraps to make my own veggie broth.

I found pickling cucumbers and fresh apricots at the International Market last week (strangely, these items are harder to find at our regular supermarkets). While I was there, I thought I’d give myself a break from weekly baking and also picked up a loaf of European bread. I used to get that every once in a while and remembered it to be quite good. Sadly, it was very disappointing (in taste) this time and also didn’t last half as long as my sourdough bread, so needless to say I’ll be baking again this weekend. In all honesty, this would be only half the fun if I had to do this out of necessity (our situation is not that dire yet), but it does feel good to snub the prices at the grocery store and produce something homemade that is cheaper and possibly better (because you know what’s in it!). Which things do you make completely from scratch?

*    *    * 

ICYMI: Our kitchen floor is done. I am really thrilled I don’t have to give you any updates on this drawn-out process anymore. When I was scrolling through the photos on my phone (looking for something completely unrelated), I found a picture of the broken tiles from back in 2020. That’s how long ago it was that we first brought it up with the landlords. Anyways, it’s done and we’ve been enjoying the new smooth floors (still exclaiming “We have new floors!” every time we step into the kitchen and don’t wobble on the broken tiles). It does almost feel like a new kitchen.

What’s been going on in your world this week?

  1. Wow, so many amazing things. I am a weirdo that hated, HATED working from home during the pandemic. That’s because teaching adolescents through a screen is the worst idea ever IMO. I was thinking “I got into teaching because it’s fun to work with people. Yet here we are (pandemic).” I think if the nature of my work were different that WFH would have been amazing. But teaching- NO.

    Jams and pickles. My family would can a lot back home in Russia. Tomatoes, peppers, pickles. Beets. Jams were of any variety of berries from our garden. What a wonderful job you did! Must have felt great!
    Tiles- congratulations!!! What a weight off your shoulders! I dislike any open loops, loose ends, rocks in a shoe, however you want to call those annoying things that keep dragging on. Enjoy your kitchen!
    On our end this past week… a few struggles with being an immigrant (albeit 20 plus years) and not having family to help with the kids, same for my husband (his family lives far too).

  2. Those pickles look so good – I am not “homemade handy” at all like this. My mom can sew, do all sorts of handwork (knitting, crocheting, quilting, painting), and makes so many pickled items (beets, pickles of various types, jam)…and I buy everything like that. I wonder if when I have a bit more time I’ll have an interest in learning some of these skills? I kinda doubt it, but I do want all her recipes just in case!

    I’m so glad the tile saga has come to a happy conclusion. I know the relief of having a renovation done and it really does provide such a mental boost! We recently had our daughter’s room painted for the first time since moving into our home almost 6 years ago (and I have no idea how long before we moved in it had been last painted, but I suspect years). I still just walk into her room to marvel at how nice and light everything feels. I almost feel giddy in that space. I so relate to Daria’s classification of things like: “open loops, loose ends, rocks in a shoe.”
    I had a huge slew of your posts show up this morning in Feedly. It has been working in Old Reader all along since I added you into that feed. I hope this means it’s fixed for good! Yet another “pebble in your shoe.”

  3. I make most things from scratch, but I do usually buy just regular bread. If I bake bread it’s for a special occasion. I am planning to make jam very soon, which I haven’t done for months, what with the move and all. Today I’m going to make a plum cake and some banana muffins. I love making salad dressings from scratch, that’s really fun for me. I like being able to control the flavours.

  4. I have made some quick pickles before, but they must be eaten pretty quickly. What’s the shelf life of your pickles?

    We used to save all our vegetable scraps in the freezer to make vegetable/chicken stock, but when we got a Costco membership, we realized we could stock really cheap there and never went back to homemade. But making stock is SO easy and I’m not sure why more people don’t do it!

  5. I actually prefer to work in the office after slow transition back to office. so I can separate work mind vs. life mind. I now go in 4 times a week if there’s no other things that require me at home. I go in 9-10am and leave 4pm so I can spend more time with the family. with 6 hrs of focus work time, it’s more than enough to do work, interact with colleagues, and for team meetings. it’s not as taxing as I’m commuting 10 min walking, I know others still prefer WFH due to the commute.
    glad you are fixing the Feedly issue.

    1. I can see with two young kids, separating work and home life is easier if you can go to the office. I’d probably feel the same if I had kids, but since I do not, working from home has given me a lot of flexibility!

  6. Your blog wasn’t connecting at all for Feedly for a bit of time, so I removed you completely (and then forgot to check in on your blog the old-fashioned way, lol, so sorry for the slew of comments!) But I just re-added you and I’ll keep my fingers crossed things start working well again. What an ordeal, friend!

    I’m glad we aren’t forced to work in the office anymore, but I do wish I could have some in-office days here and there. It’s just a great way to collaborate!

    1. Ugh, I am so sorry about the whole Feedly issue… I know it has caused so much disruption (and has seriously impacted my engagement with other bloggers, which makes me really sad… so I am still pursuing a solution because it’s ridiculous that Feedly can’t pull my RSS feed if other readers can.)

  7. Ah here are the pickles. I have found a load of recipes for canning in an old recipe book from the 50’s that I inherited from my grandma. It even has. her adaptions written in it. Maybe next year I will give that a go.I am not feeling it this year.

    I am sorry you are still struggling with the Feedly issue. And I am amazed you are so persistent to find the error. I would have just given up.

    Hope the switch of your office day is working. out.It is the first to go to the office and then no one is actually there. What is the point going? I have that sometimes in my freelance jobs. People say I should come to the office and then they are on vacation, meetings all day or sick. And I sit there by my lone self. Costing me money. Thank you for nothing.

    1. Oh, canning recipes from your grandma! Those are a treasure. I hope you do find the time and mindset to give those a try sometime, but I understand if NOW is not that time.

      I feel you on the “office presence”… I’ve been going to the office for over a year now and so many days I was the only person there. What’s the point of coming in when nobody else is? I do hope that will change now.

  8. Oh my goodness, I was wondering where you were! I am working backwards (newest to oldest) so forgive me if I am saying something that you already touched on in a prior post… Pickles! I love pickling and used to do it a lot — pickles, pickled jalapenos, pickled eggs, pickled onions etc.! That is one of my favorite things to do and it is so easy! I also make my own stock but usually when I see whole chicken at a good price. Then I just make the chicken, take the meat off, and use the bones/skin/cartilage to make stock with my veggie nubs. I used to do it about once a month, but lately I have been a lazy chef and have been eating a lot of beans and rice…

    Quick question and sorry if I missed something, but I swear you guys bought a house? Are you renting now?

    1. Ugh, I am sorry, the Feedly issue has still not been resolved… but I am here… posting! ;)

      I know you were away from blogging for a little while, so you were right that we bought a house (in 2015), but probably missed that we sold again in 2018 and have been renting again since then.

  9. I can definitely see how being in the office at least once a week would help you feel connected to your coworkers. I hope the day switch goes well!

    And the Feedly thing sounds SO frustrating. I hope your new contact helps find you some solutions.

    When it comes to making things from scratch, I usually only make easy things like salad dressings and pizza sauce. But I like to make from-scratch bread once in awhile!

    1. I do hope to get the Feedly issue figured out… I know it has caused so much disruption (and has seriously impacted my engagement with other bloggers, which makes me really sad… so I am still pursuing a solution because it’s ridiculous that Feedly can’t pull my RSS feed if other readers can.)

  10. I miss having more flexibility around the days I work from home… now there is a pretty hard line about being in 3 days/week. It’s something that is tracked on our HR profile so it’s clearly top of mind for senior leadership. My boss doesn’t care, but I know if our numbers are bad, instead of addressing those who aren’t coming in enough, they will change the rule for everyone and I don’t want to go in more than 3 times/week! This week I have to stay home on Thur/Fri because Paul’s summer program ends on Wednesday and I had an appt to stay home for today so I won’t hit 3 days. But I will have 2 4-day weeks in Sept when my new hire comes to Mpls for training. It’s kind of silly to be worrying about this! I wish they’d treat us as adults and focus on the work that’s being done? I have come to enjoy my 3 days in the office but I also really enjoy my 2 days at home.

    Yay for more canning! Way to go, San!

    1. That’s too bad that they’re so strict about the office policy at your job and I understand that you want to follow the rule so that you all can at least keep the two days at home. I agree though: I feel like, as long as the work gets done, why supervise the employees more than necessary?

  11. How have Thursday in office days been? I switched mine from Tues to Wed for the same reason :) I am there to see people!
    Any update on Feedly? It’s still weird on my end.

  12. AUGH, Feedly. Sorry to be commenting so late. I cannot figure out what their issue is- and hope the Reddit guy can help! Fingers crossed!
    I did not realize the tile saga had lasted THREE YEARS. Good grief.
    And, I’m wondering, too – you do “real” pickling, right? Not quick? It always looks difficult (Sterilizing, sealing, etc. etc.) but you seem to do it so easily! I really admire that – skills I do not have, for sure.

Comments are closed.