Tag Archives: getting stuff done

Super Spies

These are the last of the last. A few of them were sun ripened. Most of them were underdone and pulled off the plant either before heavy rains or before I finally yanked the plants out of the ground. I’m enjoying them while I can.

A few weeks ago I noticed what looked like drywall dust on the floor under one of the electrical outlets at the office.

Naturally, I assumed we’d been bugged.

I dug around to find a screwdriver so I could look inside. Colleague saw me going about this and asked what I was doing.

When I explained he said, “Move. I know what bugs look like. I’ve seen them on T.V.”

Under our careful examination, it appeared to be a regular electrical outlet. So either the bug or other secret hidden item was well disguised, or there’s nothing weird going on in our office.

Wednesday starts NaBlo which I don’t think is even a thing anymore. Way back in 2006 when all the kids were blogging someone started National Blog Posting Month and then eventually handed it off to another organization that has since rebranded and so I think it’s purely independent study at this point.

Almost every year since I’ve manage to post every day in November and even though I’m perpetually frazzled within an inch of my life *and* can barely post something halfway coherent once a week *and* I’m working on another book that I plan to write 36K words in the same time period, I’m going to give it a shot.

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Happy New Year

We made it to 2017. Hooray.

I made some ambitious writing goals so you can expect much more of the half-assed content you’ve grown accustomed to. (Or would that be much less?) I keep finding notes for posts stashed everywhere — on Mac stickies, in Evernote, on my phone, on regular paper. I don’t know why I fail between that step and pasting it in right here.

I’ve had a good winter break. I always wish it were a little longer but I’m well-rested and more or less on top of my list. Less, actually. Perhaps one of my 2017 goals will be to let more things slide. Don’t tell Bob.

This time of year I clean off my bookshelves. The idea is to take books away to make room for the new books. I give the old books away or sell them back. Very rarely, I will throw a book away. A number of years ago I read a book that was beautifully written, wonderful characters and the worst story. This poor lady was a good, decent person trying to do something and everyone was against her and in the end she had nothing and was run out of town.

WHY EVEN WRITE THAT BOOK?

One less copy exists now. You’re welcome.

In the process of going through my shelves I always come across books that I forgot I had or that I still want to read. I found one such book and opened it and the purchase receipt from 2004 fell out. I still think I’m going to read it.

Keep your feet warm.

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The Tomato Report

Now that the PACNW has been transformed into a new blistering hot paradise, you’d think I would finally have an amazing tomato crop.

But no. I do not. Although that’s mostly my fault since I had illnesses and then back troubles and then had the project of August. Gardening slipped to a super low priority.

The plant above was purchased at the grocery store. It may not be clear but it is only about 18 inches high. It hasn’t grown even a tiny bit. I planted them right when we had that 10 day streak of 90+ temperatures and my plants freaked out.

I bet that single tomato is all I get.

The above is the second plant I got at the grocery store. This one produced a surprise red tomato that I happily picked and then noticed it was completely rotten on the bottom. I thought the grocery store ones were bred so that any doofus with some dirt in her yard could successfully grow tomatoes.

I am either mistaken or worse than a doofus.

This is a volunteer. Sprouted up of its own free will. It has produced two so far and you can see two more on there.

Colleague is going to Hawaii tomorrow. He said he was yanking his plants and composting everything. I said, bring me what you have.

That is 11 pounds of tomatoes. He was going to compost 11 pounds of tomatoes.

I showed those to a lady in the elevator on the way home and she was jealous. I was afraid she might knock me down and steal them for herself.

Tomato processing this weekend.

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The Miracle of Professional Landscaping

You know this funny hedge thing that I do every year and show before and after? Well since I so royally tweaked my shoulder working on the hedge last spring, I decided maybe it was time to pay someone to work on the hedge. I’m talking about the big hedge, photos below. But I also asked if they could do this little hedge.

Look how amazing it looks. I was all impressed and raving and the landscaper was like, aw shucks. We have lots of practice.

This is what it looked like last time I did it. I told him how terrible it looked when I do it and how I can’t reach the top and he said they used a ladder so they could make the top look right. He and his crew are my new heroes. I wished I had baked some cookies to give them.

Here’s the side. When the landscaper looked at it he went: WOW.

Here’s a close up of how out of control it was.

He suggested we whack it back more regularly. Like maybe annually. He told me if we do it more regularly they can make it look better.

And after: amazing!

This is what I look out at from my window. I have so much more light now. There is still some major growth on the neighbor’s side of the fence.

And here’s the backyard. Before. I considered asking them to take out that giant yellow thing. But I don’t want to deal right now. Maybe next year.

And after. Beautiful.

He seemed apologetic about how much he had to charge us. I thought it was completely reasonable. And there was a crew so it didn’t take too long. My yard has never looked better on this side.

***

We had a big wind storm and my compost bin blew over so I ran out to take a photo. The wind tore my glasses off. I looked around but it was blowing so hard the wind was groaning. I realized I could turn into one of those sad public service announcement stories about how not to wander around outside in a major wind storm so I went back inside.

The next day I found a piece of someone’s roof in our backyard and all the leaves were gone but no glasses. I’ll probably find them this summer. Or maybe my neighbor will.

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Behind on Everything In the World

I started a Montreal post. For reals. But I haven’t gotten very far. I really need to do a Flickr photostream. I want my travel post(s) to be perfect for my three loyal readers so I end up doing nothing. I’m also going on another trip which I haven’t explained yet. Maybe you’ll hear about it when I’m on it.

Meanwhile, I will tell you about the pants of shame and the creepy guy at the office.

I have a pair of pants that need the hem to be fixed. It’s not a huge job but I just can’t make myself do it. I hung the pants up in the living room so I would look at them every time I walked around the house. I put them on the couch with the sewing kit right there. I put it as the number one, only thing you need to accomplish all day thing during a very lazy weekend.

I just can’t get around to fixing the hem on those pants. Pay someone else to do it? Not a bad idea except I know how to do this and it’s not a big job and would be more trouble to find someone to do it. I went on a fixing spree a couple of weekends ago, screwdrivers flying, duct tape everywhere. I can’t make myself do the pants.

Maybe I should just eat a bunch of sandwiches so they don’t fit anymore. Also a great plan except then none of my pants would fit and I would need to buy more pants which is more trouble. No conclusion here. I’ll report if I ever fix the pants.

The other story is, remember this? (Long story about getting a copier for the office in case you don’t feel like clicking {oops, typo’d that as ‘licking’ that would be weird}). That guy came by the office today and it was the most awkward creepy encounter. It was so weird I sent a message to colleague that said if I get murdered at the office, make sure the police check this guy. Maybe I’m being punked – it was like he wanted to reassure me that it was okay that we didn’t use his company and when I expressed annoyance that he never came through with anything for us he was all put off. I can’t adequately convey how weird it was.

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Garden Situation

Bob bought some stuff to put on the lawn to make it healthier and help with the weeds.

Wow. We call it Godzilla grass. It grows very fast, very green and very thick. He could mow it three times a week if he was so inclined. He is considering that maybe we don’t want a lawn that grows like this.

But I think the weather has helped. Lots of rain followed by lots of sun followed by lots of rain followed by lots of sun. The grass has no choice.

Future apples. The apple tree is a partner in the Godzilla theme if Godzilla meant a huge quantity rather than one huge fire-breathing out-of-control thing.

Berries are also looking very promising. The berry patch is a mess however so I need to get out there and do some work. I’ve also got sunflower volunteers everywhere and I really need to yank yank. I love them but they tend to takeover.

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10,000 Meals

Just to clarify, this is the result of Photoshop exercises. Not out in my yard right now.

I’ve become lazy about bringing my lunch to work. Who wouldn’t with a million food carts within walking distance?

Colleague is going to be out of town so I had this great idea to challenge myself to bring my lunch every day this week. And it’s not a terrible idea but it takes some planning.

The most obvious idea is to bring leftovers. Except I leave the house at 6:30a and sometimes don’t get home until almost 6pm. I don’t have a lot of cooking time on the weekdays so my weekend cooking is concentrating on making leftovers for more dinners. Also, my husband brings his lunch so I make leftovers with a view to that. He is also a big eater.

So now I’ve spent the entire weekend cooking tons of things that would make leftovers or make things where the leftovers could be made into things to bring to lunch. And now I’m cranky and tired of cooking and more tired of washing dishes and understanding why I’d rather pay good money for Korean tacos or Pho.

But I’m still going to try to bring my lunch every day this week. But the following week, probably not.

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Don’t Fear the Alligator Farm

Did you ever have this thing happen where you look at your watch and realize you have a little extra time so you decide, “Hey, I’m going to run and drop off my dry cleaning.”

But on the way over you run into this giant construction project and you have to wait for an earth-mover and finally you get going again and you decide to try this other way that will probably be easier. Except then you get behind a school bus that stops every 25 feet to drop off some more kids. Then you finally get to the dry cleaners but the two short term parking spots out front are taken so you have to drive around the block to find a spot. Then you have to dig around in the bottom of your purse for some change.

Then you finally get into the dry cleaners and Sister Beatrice Mabel Elizabeth is there, dropping off 30 wimples and she needs a separate receipt for each of the sisters. And by now you’re all lathered up because, what the hell? You were just running out to do one simple errand.

But then the opposite of this is when you get a letter from the IRS and for some reason the IRS thinks you owe 10 years of back taxes on an alligator farm in Gainesville, Florida when in real life you owe no taxes, you own no farm, no alligators and you’ve never been to Gainesville, Florida. You spend several days losing sleep and unable to keep food down while googling “Help, IRS.” You ask the question on reddit and then spend hours going through screen after screen of responses that are some iteration of: you’re screwed. You finally start collecting everything you think of that might prove your case and ask around about tax lawyers.

But then, just for kicks you phone the IRS on the off chance there is a painless way to solve this and after three minutes on hold, the person you talk to says, “Clerical error. Your account is fine. Have a nice day.” Then you wonder why you didn’t just do that first.

I had not one but TWO alligator farms today. Everything worked out fine.

Moral of the story: if you find yourself in an alligator farm situation, don’t be afraid to try the easiest thing first. And be super polite.

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The Saturdays

This is from the reserves match earlier this week. We sat in the club seats. There was rain, hail, cold feet and a pretty sky. You can kind of see the hail in this next one:

Last week was another busy and tiring one. Apparently at my advanced age I can’t do everything all the time.

Yesterday I had some downtime. Last night I slept like a champion. And today I am trying to do everything again.

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Still Doing It Wrong After All These Years

Guess where we were today?

The bean store. (The bean store is not doing it wrong.)

I can’t wait to see the look on Bob’s face (my Bob, not the Red Mill one) when he sees this giant bag of flour I bought.

As it is, I buy 10 lbs. at a time and I go through it pretty quick. I was thinking of working through some of my bread baking recipes this winter. I bet I’ll use it.

I also stocked up on a wide variety of legumes and other stuff. And I had a latte. I don’t drink coffee so right now I feel like my head is about to pop off.

Last week I did two shopping errands, each about 15 minutes, and already I hate Christmas shopping.

At one place the clerk was so worthless it was like it was her purpose to make sure I didn’t buy anything. I stomped out of the store empty-handed but now I still need to find a present.

We have a relatively new motion detector light out front. One of the bulbs burned out and I decided to deal with it right away instead of putting it off for the next three years.

I went to the good hardware store (remind me to write a post about hardware stores someday) and was directed to this item. She told me: You can’t touch the bulb with your fingers because the oil ruins the bulb.

Okay.

Of course the detector is installed up on a wall outside. So I needed a step ladder and I needed to lean at an awkward angle and I couldn’t see what I was doing and I had to cram my tiny girl hand into this little metal cylinder where the lightbulb lives. And you can’t touch the lightbulb so you have it wrapped in a little napkin.

Why would you even invent a system like this? There seriously is no better way to make a motion detector? It took me about a half hour and I said oodles of bad words and stomped in and out of the house trying to figure out what the problem was.

I even looked for online advice thinking there must be something I’m missing. One guy’s advice? “Turn the bulb into the socket in a clockwise direction.”

Wow, thanks Einstein. The world is so lucky to have you.

I finally got it all reassembled and tested it. Then I jogged up and down the driveway in a victory dance, like Rocky.

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