Monday, January 3, 2022

Annual Obligatory Update

Back in December I attended a Banquet for the first time in over a year and was reminded that this blog still exists. . . and more importantly, that other people exist and it's time to expand my world, armed with 3 shots of COVID-19 vaccine, and vague memories of how to function in society. 

Now we're off and running into a new year, and new coronavirus variants, with no lockdowns, no available same day (or even next day) testing, and my several orders of genuine or counterfeit KN95 masks (in black by request of family.) Immediate goal is to stay healthy until our postponed Italian Bagna Cauda celebration mid-January. 

Should be easier for me, since once again it is likely tax season will be off to a slow start pending IRS delays. However, since the kids refuse to explore my suggestion that they sneak off somewhere in the school to eat lunch in isolation, the possibility is strong that the virus will follow them home, especially the younger who is still ineligible for a booster vaccine. 

I have a few times a year that I get on an organizational and efficiency kick. Usually in May, after I've recovered from tax season, and September, a throwback to back-to-school habits, and then in January, with all the New Year Resolution energy. 

However, this year, my September organization went particularly well, as I started using a project management app to keep track of all my personal AND work goals and tasks (unbelievably, there are ELEVEN projects I'm actively pursuing in my life, in my apparent effort to cram several lifetimes into the one I've got.) 

Due to eleven categories of balls to drop, I'm trying to use more tools to improve my efficiency, including my early Christmas gift, a smart watch. The initial goal was to just be able to unobtrusively read text messages from my kids while working with clients, but it is also a fitness watch. I started using it early to test because I've gotten burned before by delaying use of a new purchase, and then finding out too late that I'm dissatisfied. However, I'm very satisfied that my smart watch is also a fitness watch, which really helps me to stay on top of my Health and Fitness project. 

My point with all of this is that, I've come into the New Year without my customary lull of not following through on my great September plans. Well, almost--once again all the fall gardening tasks that I listed in my Gardening project remain incomplete, thanks to getting very sick with "not covid, just a cold and subsequent ear and sinus infection" that knocked me out during the peak fall clean-up weeks in October. I did absolutely nothing, even when I put out the outdoor Christmas decorations. Finally, the day after Christmas, I put all the flower pots, with dead plants that I had intended to baby through the winter, into the garage, and checked everything as complete from my fall gardening list. (Project management app tracks tasks as complete or incomplete. There is no category for not complete, too late now, never gonna do it, stop nagging me already.) 

Anyway, I've started off the New Year and my first writers chat night, by writing this post, my time is up, see ya next year, most likely. (Blogging is not one of my eleven projects, although writing is.)

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Running "Me" like a business.

Not sure this is a new years resolution, or just a rant, but I'm increasingly curious about what it would look like if I began responding in kind to every obnoxious business practice that plagues us in modern times. A few examples: 

Let's start with the ubiquitous "Terms and Conditions." I think it's high time I develop some terms and conditions for anyone who would like my business. I would include provisions about per-minute charges for wasting my time on hold, and a mandatory inconvenience charge if I need to pursue a refund because the product is defective or unsatisfactory. 

Another annoying time waster is the retail companies who are constantly hitting you up to donate a little extra something-something every time you make a POS purchase. Time for me to set up my own non-profit organization, the "Helping My Kids Buy Stuff Foundation." When CVS asks me if I'd like to donate to whatever random fund, I will whip out my little envelope and brochure, and ask the manager, if I can count on CVS for a corporate donation to HMKBSF. A worthy cause! 

Shall we move to the lovely Multi Level Marketing companies? I love how these companies enlist the services of my friends and neighbors to use every sneaky approach to ply their wares. I'll be setting up a Paetron account so next time I get invited to "Sally's Super Purse Pals," I can quickly reply and invite Sally to join, "Maria's Pithy Insults Club." Sick burns for a small monthly fee OR custom ordered insults to fit any jerk or occasion. 

Anyway, that's my business plan for monetizing my life. More to come, I'm sure! 

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

End of Summer

 I don't have time to write here about everything we did over the summer, so I'm not even going to try. My objective today is figuring out if my A-Z Priorities and Procrastination list is going to work for me. So far today, I've walked dog (with son), scheduled my tax classes for Oct and Nov (this took too long just to set up), some laundry progress, watering plants, soc. media. and made lunch. I am now holed up in a dark room (due to apparently irritating my eye by gardening for hours yesterday after eye appt. dialation. (I planted radishes, carrots, kale, rocket and peas for hopeful fall harvest--although i know it is a little late.) 

Anyway, my objective now is to focus on 1 hour of writing. (and maybe a little extra). 

Here's the issue, with these daily priorities--I'm trying to make sure I do the things I love and need to do, and not let my time get frittered away on unimportant stuff. So I'm trying to block out some writing time every day, but not let everything else slide. However, this is at odds with my preferential way of working, which is to work in projects or blocks, and spend a whole day or two focused on one thing. However, the burnout in between and the somewhat random focus on these projects is leaving a whole lot on the back burner. Also, I should not have abandoned to-do lists, 

The U-verse internet has just dropped again. This continues to be a problem and when my online classes, and kids online classes have started, we need to have a reliable connection. 

The other issue with priorities and lists is that they can sometimes get in the way of spontaneity and joy, and, you know, just plain old wasting time. They are also getting in the way of my writing, because I have this fear that if I start writing, I will either A. waste time staring at screen and not get much done, or B. enjoy myself, find a productive groove, and then spend too much time, get behind on other things, and not write again for a week. 

Both these are just excuses. Time to get to work writing. I can always make a to-do list in one hour from now. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

May be almost over

Well, I missed writing here the whole month of May, and I'm not going to reprise everything I did the past 24 or so days. I'll just focus on what I did today, and maybe touch on a few other topics if they come up.

The main accomplishment of today was more gardening. I pulled off most of the plastic covers, and planted a few more sections of the square foot garden. Replanted all the peas, because only two or three plants came up. I've draped some plastic over them now, hope it keeps the birds out, or whatever has been disappearing my pea seeds. Ooh, need to do the same with the beans I planted today, right now. Okay, that's done, and hopefully they haven't yet been robbed by a bird.

Today's sowing was beans, more carrots and radishes, some more lettuce and green onion, and dill. Tried to transplant a couple of turnips into spots that got robbed. They wilted quickly, so not sure if they will take. I still need to complete all the "construction" including deeper boxes for potatoes, poles and fencing for green beans, cucumbers and zucchini and some type of angle ramp for the zucchini to climb towards the upright. Need to string up the pea climbers too.

Watered a bunch of stuff including the annuals, red white and blue flowers I planted in the expanded flower garden area. Flowers look good right now with creeping phlox in full bloom, and irises and peonies (which I split) starting to bud. Looks like dianthus is coming up again, but there are still gaps and holes (literally) in the garden. Lots of same plants I've been splitting, and missing all the things that didn't survive the weather or the animal. Columbine--gone. Yarrow--gone.  Shasta Daisies--gone, Black-eyed Susan, gone before it even started. Irish moss--made it for a while, and then weather took it. The damn woodchuck eats all this stuff. I've surrounded the annuals with two layers of fencing right now, which means of course, they they don't look as nice as they should.

It was blazing hot today, so I probably worked slower than I could have. Back inside, I showered and then cleaned the shower as the mildew went crazy in the heat and while we were gone to the cottage for the weekend.

I do need to make myself an actual to-do list now, for the new few days, and so, goodnight.