Tag Archives: getting stuff done

No Carb Left Behind

Earlier this month I wanted to do 12 Days of Christmas with the Rentz girls but I could only find 3 photos. I just picked up another giant bag of photos on this trip so next year, watch out. I love this one because of the lederhosen and also the delighted expression on both our faces. We always had a really cool swing set in the backyard when we were little.

This morning I tried on my test pants. You know the pants you use to test how far gone you are? If you can zip them, you’re still okay.

I could zip them. Whew.

I think what saved me is the 10 lbs. of Fisherman’s Friend I’ve eaten in the last 2 months for the never-ending cough. They keep me from coughing and I can’t say they kill my appetite but they don’t do it any favors. It also helped that no one ever got around to making cookies.

Christmas was all good. California was great. I’ve enjoyed my time off. I accomplished about a third of the things on my list which is pretty good.

I even did the thing that’s been on my xmas vacation list for about 5 years that I always put off. I cleaned out my pantry. I took everything out and scrubbed down all the shelves and tossed all the outdated stuff. It’s always funny to find something that says Best By 2005 and you can’t imagine it’s been there that long.

Here’s a question: why do baking mixes come in goofy quantities? The instructions for making will call for 2 1/2 cups of mix but the package will have 3 1/2 cups of mix? What do you do with the extra mix? Yeah, duh, you could buy another mix but I’m not falling into their trap. I’m going to combine all our leftover mixes and make date muffin-cornbread-12 grain pancake something.

Bob and his new friend Shyboy having a Christmas nap.

I also finally tried that recipe for Ocean Rolls that I’ve been sitting on since summer. As usual I biffed it up a bit. I guess I need my recipes a little more hand-holdy than that one. After it was too late I found a site where someone had posted feedback and said that it was too much flour. My dough was pretty dry.

Then I couldn’t understand the instructions for shaping them so I wung it. When I opened the oven door to check progress, they’d all come unrolled and it looked like Medusa’s nightstand if she takes her snakes off when she showers.

They tasted terrific so I will definitely try again.

Tonight I’m having my favorite New Year’s Eve — the one where I stay home and reheat leftovers then go to bed by 9pm. I woke up at 5 this morning so I might go to bed earlier.

Happy New Year.

Posted in baking disasters, doing it wrong, pamily | Tagged , | 1 Comment


I’m in the process of updating my webcrap. I couldn’t finish today (long rant omitted) and I had to go back to my old theme or whatever b/c then new one does that thing where I’m supposed to click on every single post to open it up and find out what the hell it says. (I’m trying to find some stuff in the archives for my holiday wrap up). I can’t wait until I’m in charge of everything because things will be a lot less stupid.

Also, I think every youngster who designed one of the many tutorials and wizards I had to do today should have to sit next to me while I do it. They would be designed a lot better.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Three Tidbits

This was one of the first promising looking early pumpkins that then withered without explanation.

A couple of weeks ago a guy called the office. I answer the phone with the name of the business. He said, “Yeah? I had a missed call from this number.”

Me: Okay.

What is he expecting me to do with this information? I don’t know who he is. Sure, it’s only a 2 person office, but it doesn’t really feel like my problem to solve.

Him: (on the verge of dying of annoyance) What is this again?

I repeat the name of the business.

Him: (Derisive snort) Well?

I asked if he had business with us. Co-worker overheard me and called, “I dialed a wrong number earlier.” I tell greatly inconvenienced lunkhead this.

Him: (Another derisive snort and then hang up.)

I’ve already have the answer but do people really do that? If I see a missed call from a number I don’t recognize it would never occur to me to call it. If someone wants me, they’ll try again. I wish we’d kept his number because I would call it from a different phone every day and hang up.

One dinky Cinderella pumpkin. Barely worth the trouble to process it.

We got a notice from our bank inviting us to refinance. They’re getting itchy because our house is almost paid for. The profit margin on us is dwindling. They used to do this to me in person, too, but I asked them to put a note on my account not to try to sell me stuff when I go in. They still do sometimes.

This one was funny because it has a graph with what our payments would be if we refinance for 30 and 15 years and then how much we’d save on interest. Those boxes were blank with an asterisk that said, we wouldn’t actually save any money on interest.

Nice try!

This is the new variety Baby Pam, which doesn’t seem to want to turn orange. I’m so sad about my pumpkin crop. A friend brought me some Cinderella pumpkins he grew from seeds I gave him. I’m going to pick them up after lunch.

This past weekend I had the time so I put the garden (mostly) to bed.

One reason I was putting it off is the birds have been loving the sunflowers. Every morning on the weekends I would see all kinds of activity out there. We had several days of cold rain and the sunflowers looked like refugees from a Tim Burton movie.

The cucumbers which have sent out all kinds of vines and nothing else finally started producing about 2 weeks ago. I’ve eaten two and put 4 in the fridge. Gee, thanks for nothing. I took out two of the tomatoes and optimistically left two in in case they want to keep going.

I dug up everything else and I now have about two pounds of beets in the fridge. We’re going to have something beety this weekend.

Posted in garden | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

No Fiber Diet

Without giving all the gory details, I will mention that my sweetheart has to do a little medical procedure and has been on a restricted diet. For two days he couldn’t have anything with fiber and since he loves meat, sauce, white rice and noodles, this was only a minimal hardship. I baked a loaf of regular old sandwich bread from Cooks Illustrated. Look how pretty it turned out. Tasted good, too.

Today he has to fast. I’ve known this man for 12 years and I’ve NEVER seen him go 24 hours without solid food. Pray for us. He was already grouchy this morning. He went to a movie about Joe Strummer and hopefully he has a movie to watch when he comes home. Or I think he was going to stop by his office and clear a few things off his desk. Keep him occupied until bed time.

Today was supposed to be my lazy day and I seem to be chasing my tail. I’m going to have to re-read that thing about big rocks first and then figure out what my big rocks are.

If it’s not raining I’m going to go do a bit of raking. You rarely want to wish for rain in this part of the world but since I have a hard time sitting around in the house when it’s nice outside, I’ve been kind of hoping it would get started.

I’m going to put on my work clothes and see if I can get it to start.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged , | Comments Off on No Fiber Diet

Industrious Woman

Good Freaking God, what happened to today?

I was up early and super industrious. Working on all these loose ends that I’ve been procrastinating on forever. I did a bunch of online things that necessitated my opening at least 6 new user accounts with usernames and passwords — I only have about 10 trillion of those right now. Yay, isn’t the Internet making life easier? And how about having to click a half million times to buy my 6 items? Yeah, only a teeny bit easier than actually going to the store. (If the store was close by and had a competent person standing there just waiting to help me.)

I was doing all this stuff and suddenly it was 4:30pm so ran to the kitchen to make peach pie (which turned out godhead, by the way. I used Cook’s Illustrated, except I didn’t like the spices or the sugar ratio, so I read the Betty Crocker recipe, except I didn’t want the flour in the filling. I used less brown sugar and more white sugar plus 2 t. lemon and 1 t. lemon zest and 1/4 t. cinnamon and tapioca for my thickener. I’ve never made a peach pie before but this is going in the rotation. I guess I’d better write down what I did while I’m thinking about it.) (I mean write it on a recipe card. I’m never going to remember to look here for my peach pie tips.)

After the pie I made this baked chicken recipe which was easy but had lots of steps including “browning” it on the stove top in a pan which means “get oil splattered everywhere” so I figured while I was there I’d just disembowel the entire stove top and clean it all.

And after that was done I had to get started on the watering. What a fantastic day. I never turned on the air. I just had the windows open and the breeze felt great. Watering still needed to be done. I’ve modified my watering routine to do intensive watering every other day rather than half-assed watering every day. But intensive watering takes forever so while I was out there I did yard work and by the time I finished it was almost 9pm. Then I had to eat my chicken and pie.

I’m completely filthy and smell like a stinky hippy but it’s too late to bathe now. (I’m sure 90% of you are appalled. Yes, I’m fastidious but I will go to bed stinky and dirty with barely a second thought.) I’m also sort of wound up. Sitting here at the computer typing is not helping.

Point being: I still don’t have your train pictures – I did start working on them this morning. And I don’t have my Charlie and the Chocolate Factory story or any of the other stuff I have jotted on scraps of paper that are scattered all over this room. Maybe later this week.

Meanwhile. I’d just like to point out that something I didn’t do this weekend is go to the Willamette Writers conference. I think I’ve attended at least part of it every year but one for the last 4 or 5. Wow, and I’m not feeling totally humilated or like I wasted my money. Coincidence? I think not.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged , , , | Comments Off on Industrious Woman

Leave No Task Unfinished

I have spent the entire weekend working on all the little things sitting around here that I haven’t had a chance to get to and have been driving me crazy. (I have a low threshold for the unfinished task.) (This is not a hard and fast rule, there are always exceptions.)

Main thing: I cleaned the bathroom. I love a clean bathroom. I did some gardening. I went through all the financial stuff. Transfered money around. Paid the property taxes. Finished the fed and state tax forms and got Bob’s signature and that’s stuff’s ready to go. I went through all the stuff that needed to be read and filed or recycled. I would go on but I just realized that no one on the planet cares about this stuff.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged | Comments Off on Leave No Task Unfinished

What I Live For

Earlier this week I found all this great stuff about this book called Getting Things Done (Here is the author’s website.) I think there’s a software tie-in which is why all these internet geeks so excited about the system and improving their own personal productivity. And who wouldn’t be? This book must be great.

I checked it out and found some site (sorry, can’t find the link now, probably could if I was working the system) with a basic summary the principles of the book and basically what he’s telling you to do is make lists, stay organized, toss worthless stuff, file stuff to do later and keep your “to do now” stuff in a pile. Only he uses different words: you “capture” the stuff you need to do and put it in “buckets.”

I don’t know what I was expecting, maybe a magic wand, because my whole life is about making lists and being organized but the things don’t get done unless you actually do them. That’s the part someone should write a book about. (I’m being a smart ass in case there are dimwits reading this who don’t know the difference.)

If I learned anything it was that I should be writing books about being organized. I didn’t know this was salable information. I thought it was common sense.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged | Comments Off on What I Live For

Real Coffee

I know. I have about a million updates for you. I have photos, too. I just don’t feel like sitting here for more than 10 minutes at the moment.

I had my big night out last night. We went to see Particle. I stayed up until 12:30am. I didn’t get drunk or stay until the end, because I’m not that zany, but still, WAY past my bedtime and I stood at the front and shook my bootie with all the youngster hippies and loaded people and a wannabe Timberlake. It rocked.

I got to bed after 1am and then we were up and out the door before 9am to do our Thanksgiving food shopping. We went to Freddies, Costco AND Albertsons. (It wasn’t the plan to go three places, it just worked out that way.) Then we went to a greasy spoon and got breakfast and I drank real coffee. I’ve come completely unhinged.

In the midst of all this I’ve done about 5 loads of laundry and yardwork and food preparation and cleanup and, um, watched 4 episodes of Buffy.

Oh, I’m also watching season 2 of 24 and Jack Bauer’s daughter is a big fat idiot. Because, you know, if I was lost in the wilds and some strange forest dwelling man offered to let me stay in his cabin, I would surely emerge after my shower in a skimpy, tight white tank top with the world’s sheerest excuse for a bra.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged | Comments Off on Real Coffee

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This

I think I say this every week at this time but I just can’t seem to get my act together. I always optimistically spread my various projects out all over the floor the thought being that it will remind me to get it done and I can enjoy a feeling of accomplishment as I finish it and put it away. Instead I have crap everywhere which on the weekend I stack into an intimidating pile to be ignored until it is spread out on the floor for the following week. The current method is not working.

Meanwhile, I happened to look at LeRoy’s webpage that I made for him so long ago and it desperately needs updating. The work site (which I’m not even going to link) needs to be actually built. I have got to get my act together.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged | Comments Off on Stop Me If You’ve Heard This

Randomly Unfried

I think this is my record since I started this — two weeks and no blog. It was one of those weeks where all kinds of things went wrong at more or less the same time. I’ve had a small leak in the window in my room (the one that those rocket scientists at Home Despot installed for me) on and off ever since it was installed but it was minor and stopped right away so I never felt any urgency about dealing with it. Of course this week it’s raining like crazy and I woke up and the window was leaking and I put a towel on the window sill and I could wring it out a half hour later. So now I’m concerned and I tried to fix it myself and found something in the shop that said you could use it to seal things and I found something called a caulking gun but after wrestling with it for 15 minutes the stuff game out in giant non-spreadable gobs and I had to give up. St. Alan of Alan and Crystal was kind enough to come over at 9am to get on a ladder in the rain and look at it and came up with a temporary fix.

I got home that night and there had been a power surge and the VCR was fried. That didn’t stop me from plugging in the VCR and trying again every half hour, just in case it randomly became unfried. I was taping TAKEN which I thought I would watch after I finished my class but with no VCR I was screwed. I don’t know what we’re going to do — we had the same VCR for over 10 years and now seem to go through one a year. I just dropped a big pile of cash on a new vacuum and it’s the holidays so I’m not in the mood to buy another VCR at the moment.

I turned in my final project for my class on Saturday Dec 14. I didn’t think I could get it done since I only had 48 pages on Dec 7 and the minimum would be around 90 but I was extremely motivated and managed to get to 86. It’s not pretty but it has a beginning, a middle and an end and it’s just a first draft so I’m happy. But meanwhile I basically abandoned the rest of my life while I was working on it so I have a lot to do right now. I spent yesterday being a total slacker — read my book: Leslie Marmon Silko, Garden in the Dunes and went to see Harry Potter. I caught up on about 1/2 of the emails I had lounging around collecting electronic dust in my email box. I still have plenty of other projects sitting around here that need attention.

Posted in doing it wrong | Tagged | Comments Off on Randomly Unfried