Tag Archives: getting stuff done


These are blown out tulips from spring. They’re still pretty even when they’re almost done.

Why is it so hard to get rid of stuff?

I’m not a pack rat and I love to get rid of things yet I can’t seem to declutter like I want to.

We did a little project cleaning out the linens that were stashed all over the house and when we were done it was like a half-drawer of stuff to get rid of.

And later we went through a few things in the garage and it was the same thing, like a grocery bag.

We did get rid of some ancient camping gear so a cubby hole in the basement that no one would ever look at is now almost empty.

I look around at my stuff and try to honestly evaluate whether I’m ever going to look at it or use it again and most of the time I’m convinced that I will.

Or else the thing was a gift and I feel bad getting rid of it.

Ugh, but also I feel smushed by having so much stuff. I’m going to keep chipping away at it.

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Easiest Thing First

I mis-titled the video but too lazy to figure out how to fix it. Only one raccoon on the bucket. Two others playing in the background. Address any complaints to the manager.

This is another scheduled post. The second half of July is crazy busy and I have so much raccoon and bucket content that can’t go to waste.

I have this thing I do at work when I have to file (I hate filing!) where I file the biggest documents and packets first so I quickly get the pile down. Except then I have 20 single pieces of paper that I have to figure out where to put.

I’ve been doing this with books lately and reading the skinniest books first. Look how many books I read! Except also I am having some attention span issues so I’ve been picking quick books that are easy to follow. I’ve got a ton of books on deck that I’m dying to get into but I need an extended chunk of time that I can dig in. Thirty minutes here and there on the bus doesn’t cut it.

This kind-of leads into my lists of things to do at work.

At the end of the week or the end of the day, I will make a list of the first things I need to start with when I get back in the office.

Inevitably, I will not look at the list. I always meet deadlines and make sure I’m on top of things but it cracks me up how consistently I ignore my own good intentions.

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Take Care of Just One Thing

There’s this clip from Malcom in the Middle where Hank arrives home to find a light bulb that’s out — so he goes to get a new bulb and the shelf is broken. So he goes to get a tool to fix the shelf and there’s something wrong with the drawer and every step where he tries to fix the problem there’s a new problem.

There’s a version of this that happens when the office is really busy. It also happened recently with the yard.

We had a string of hot days and I need to get my watering routine started.

When we got our fruit trees I learned about watering them with a bucket and I adapted that to other garden areas that didn’t seem happy with my “sprinkle water around for 15 minutes every fews days” method of watering.

I helpfully made arrows to point to the holes and somehow one of the arrows is not pointing at one of the holes. Too lazy to fix.

First, the sprinkler attachment had become fused to the hose so when I wanted to change to the sweeper I was stuck. We needed a new hose and new sprinkler.

Then when I went to get my bucket, it had cracked and as I inspected it a piece broke out. We needed another bucket.

I found an old bucket to take over slow water duty but I needed to drill the holes.

The drill was completely dead and needed to be recharged.

While charging, I ended up dropping everything to go to the hardware store. I bought an expensive hose but damn, it’s light and doesn’t get twisted up so I might replace all our hoses.

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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.


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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