Today is for Unbounded Domesticity.

I spent the week either working or seeking work. Seeking work in the sense of sending proposals to people who expressed an interest in my services, and in the sense of completing the lengthy sign-up and testing process at oDesk. In all, I had 10 hours of actual billable work, which is not enough, and spent the remaining time in seeking work. It was a short week because of the holiday, and I knocked off early on Friday, too, but still, I spent twice as long doing site analyses and proposals as working for actual money.

This is why my current rate of pay is, and has to be, higher than my old rate of pay when I just went to work and got a paycheck. But I need 20 billable hours a week. Seriously. #1 daughter told me to quit hoping my current clients (including my Big Client, for whom I’ve been saving space on the calendar) will come up with that amount of work on a regular basis, and she’s right. But I am thinking that oDesk might be more cost-effective than courting individual clients.

I did my first oDesk job in two hours, when the client had estimated 10, so even though I charge four times as much as the average provider, I was still a bargain. I haven’t heard back from him since I sent my stuff in (he might also have knocked off early for Friday afternoon), but if he’s happy with my work, that will be continuing. There were lots of new jobs today, too, including a fulltime job. I may go on over there and apply for things. If I can achieve 20 hours every week, then I can relax, and I’ll still have 20 other work hours in which to court new clients or improve my XHTML or whatever. 9

In fact, my weeks sometimes have 50 hours of work and then all of a sudden I have 10. I’d like to even it out. Maybe that isn’t realistic. I have been looking up to Client #2 and his ability to put things out on the calendar, but that may be an illusion. After all, my website still isn’t live.

But today will really have to be a domestic day. The Holiday Grand Plan started this week, and I’ve done none of it. This is a good online plan for preparing for the holidays. If you just do what they say, you will be ready for all the holidays from Hallowe’en to New Years without feeling stressed or financially overwhelmed, and the house will look good when the guests arrive, too.

This is Porch Week, and I have only one day — today — to get that porch clean. This is also List Week, and I haven’t done any of that, either. I’m thinking about making scarves for everyone on my list. I’m surprised that I’m thinking this, because I’m not that much of a scarf maker. I don’t think I’ve made any scarves since the DNA scarves four years ago. However, I am currently making myself one, and really looking forward to wearing it. Also, I was in a conversation recently with a woman who had organized a silent auction at which the plain ordinary knitted scarves were the surprise bestseller, with people fainting in the aisles when they couldn’t get one.

I made that part up. But there was an implication of that level of enthusiasm.

9 This is a plain stockinette scarf with a moss stitch border, in Touch Me. I may go today and see if they have one more skein of this stuff, because otherwise it will be a very short scarf.

#2 daughter suggested that a very short scarf can look quite smart with a scarf pin holding it together, and she could be right.

These pictures were taken on my porch, and I confess that, along with trying to give you an idea of the nice texture of this thing, which requires more photographic skill than I possess, I was also trying to avoid showing the current state of my porch.

However, since it is Porch Week and I will be cleaning it up today, I decided to go ahead and show you the Before Picture. Brace yourself.

9 Actually, a lot of my house looks like this right now.

Between having lots of work most weeks and having house guests most weekends, I haven’t done much housework at all. I think it is possible that my house smells of Dogs. And I know for sure that most rooms of the house are messy. I say “most,” but that is just in case there is some room I’ve forgotten about. I could probably say that the whole house is messy.

The HGP involves thoroughly cleaning all the rooms of the house in order, with this week being for the porch and tomorrow starting off Living Room Week, but I don’t think that all the rooms can wait for their appointed weeks, so I plan to do quite a bit of housework today. I also plan to sit down with my collection of Christmas books and craft books and make those lists. This will be fun, and a good reward for having done the housework.

9 This is what I knitted last night.

#1 son has a headband like this, though in a different color, and a friend of his admired it. He asked me to make one for her for her birthday, which is coming up in a few days here.

He professes not to know what color her eyes are, but he vaguely recalls that she has brown hair. He thinks. So I think that this blue will look nice on her.

I don’t completely believe that he has never looked at this girl, but he is a Man of Mystery, and carefully avoids allowing us to know anything about any girls he may or may not find interesting. On the other hand, #2 daughter doesn’t agree with the handy website that assured me that my memory for faces is no worse than average. She suggests that people with normal levels of memory for faces don’t take those online tests, and that said tests are perhaps not norm-referenced. So maybe #1 son really does like this girl enough to want to give her a handmade birthday gift, but still has never noticed her eye color. I know that I find young girls largely indistinguishable myself.

If you wanted to make one of these, you need only to cast on 10 stitches and work a long strip of 2×2 ribbing. How long? It depends on your recipient’s head size, of course, but I made it as long as the 100th episode of Monk, and that seems about right.