Sunday, July 30, 2017

List-less equals Lost

After decades of trying, I know, the think system is not a viable method for me for getting anything going, but making a list, that works wonders.  Somehow writing down "laundry," helps laundry get done.  Somehow writing down "upstairs patrol," helps me climb the stairs.  I cannot explain it except to say, if I don't write down vacuum, there's a more than 90 percent chance the vacuum and I will not cross paths.  

Even writing down things like exercise or write, things which I affirmatively need to or want to do, increases the prospect of those things happening.  Not always, but more than I would care to admit.  Otherwise, the day can just sort of get away from me and at the end of it, I can't honestly say what happened.  But if I write the thing down, it gets done, and I remember.  

So I started testing the system, to see if putting down more ambitious things like, de-clutter desk or get through paper work with this list and what do you know, it does. If it worked with putting things down which are self serving, like house cleaning, or de-cluttering or exercise, work on the list, what would happen if I put something else down, like get a column published a year.  Well, I did an analysis, and I've had 27 pieces thus far run in on-line papers.  That's 27 out of 30 weeks, having a column.  

I put read to children, and gave each of the youngest four a slot.  Somehow I found time and it happened on that day. I put say a rosary.  It happened.  I put practice the piano. The same 24 hours that I normally find overwhelming, somehow got everything going if only I wrote the list.  It even worked when I misplaced my calender and had to write it in a spiral notebook, but what never worked, was ever NOT writing it down.

The only one for which it didn't work, was exercise.  My guess is, it wasn't specific enough.  My will to sloth apparently is slightly stronger than my will to obedience to the list.   So I threw down the gauntlet.  I wrote, walk four miles, knowing I normally sluff through three.  It helped. I did three and a half.  

My kids have grown wise to the system too, and they'll put down get ice cream or go to the library, and when they're on the list, you know what, it happens.  I'm hoping they internalize sooner than I did (it took four decades), the power of the list over listlessness, and make their own.  In which case, I'm going to add to theirs...make your bed, read a book, give mom foot rub.  

I'll keep you posted.  

Thursday, July 27, 2017


In the past two weeks, I've dealt with insurance, dentists, lawyers and wills, bills, inspectors, SAT forms, college application materials, accounting, grown up kids dating, job applications/interviews, car issues, health and fitness demands, and new kids taking on adolescence.  In short, I've adulted and, I've come to the conclusion.

I don't want to. At least, I'd like a break.

A few years ago, there was a book, "All I Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten," but what I'd tell the guy is, everyone forgot after they moved on to first grade.  What we really need in high school and college is the "How to Be an Adult or Just Act Like One," course.

Now I know what you're thinking, she's had ten kids, how can this be? It's not the case I don't know how to be an adult, it's just...right now, I'm tired of being one.   Aparently the kids picked up on me being an easy mark and ordered pizza for dinner.  They even got wings and cheese sticks.  One of them brought me a banned diet coke.  I didn't eat the pizza, but the little rebellion worked.  I felt much more myself.

Apparently my childish spirit is locked up in the carbonation inside an aluminum can like a genii.

Extra! Extra! I haven't forgotten how to write...

I have a piece over at the Register today.   Also, it's Small Success Thursday over Facebook.  I'm trying to get back to actually writing on the blog, somehow I thought summer would give more time, not less.  

As I told my husband, we aren't seizing the day, we're throttling summer.  Hopefully the dog days of summer will allow for more of the sticky side of the season.  

Friday, July 21, 2017


In case you were wondering, when the bee stings, thinking of your favorite things doesn't really help. The bee sting got me thinking about the movie, "The Sound of Music." Something bothered me.

In Favorite things, they mention Schnitzel with noodles, meaning this:  
Now I like pasta and sausage and vegetables as much as anyone, but they live in Austria.  They live where people who know, make the good stuff, like this:  

So how does chocolate not make the list?  

I'm guessing since the song "Favorite Things," is pre-restoration of Captain Von Trapp's love of life, they'd not been exposed to such frivolities and tastiness, not even in the pursuit of tradition. However, in the musical, Lisle is old enough to remember her father singing and her mother, Chocolate probably was in the house before Liesl turned eleven, (when Captain Von Trapp's wife, their mother died).   

In writing this piece, I discovered an article, Movie vs. Reality.  They loved music before Maria showed up.  The Captain doted on his children from the get go.  They also had three more children who are all still living.  So now I know the truth...and while it did distract, it didn't help my bee sting either.  

Ice, benadryl and distraction, they helped.  I suspect if there'd been Austrian chocolate in the house, it would have helped too.  Much better than just thinking about it. I can't imagine how unpleasant it would be if I'd been bit by a dog.  So I'm stocking up on good stuff that isn't Schnitzel, just in case.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Free Post

So recently, all my posts have been links to places other than here.  I admit, the humor component of this blog has also suffered as a consequence.   It's not that my funny bone is broken, or that I don't have time to write.  It's that when you try to write for a living, sometimes you forget to play with the words for fun.  You stare at the page and think, what can I say that's interesting today?  Eventually, that sort of functional thinking destroys creativity.  

Fortunately, ten children also come in handy for preventing such single-mindedness.

Yesterday, I encouraged my kids to change the sheets on their beds.  My thirteen year old thought himself clever, quoting Bill Gates to me. Apparently, the billionare once said he would always "hire a lazy person to do a difficult job" at Microsoft.  Why?  "Becasue a lazy person will find an easy way to do it."

I pointed out two problems with his quote.  Stripping and remaking the bed wasn't a difficult job, ergo it would take more energy to figure out a different way to do it than to do it, and this was me, not Bill Gates he was speaking to.  I also told him, "I've yet to be impressed with someone who was lazy." and handed him the sheets.

He grumbled up the stairs, "When I'm a billionare, you'll understand."  To which I responded, "So will you."

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!