Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008


To be honest, my 101 goals hasn't occupied much of my thoughts lately, but getting things in order around here has, so some of my efforts have coincided with the list anyhow. Lately it's been so hot and I'm 5 months pregnant, so things have been taking me a lot longer than usual :P. Yesterday, I listened to 5 episodes of This American Life while cleaning the kitchen and I really can't see where those 5 hours went because there definitely wasn't 5 hours worth of work there. I was taking care of my toddler during that time, but the kitchen still isn't done. The floor still needs to be swept and mopped, I still have some food items that I need to find homes for, and the kitchen table still needs a new tablecloth. There is a big stack of papers and another stack of other items that don't belong in the kitchen - I have gone through them, but they still need to be taken to their places. Then, the kitchen will be mostly done. I still need to clean out the fridge and freezer and food cupboards, but I will probably do that later when more of the rest of the house is done and I'm going through the downstairs pantry as well.

Anyhow, here is a rundown of what I've done recently (i.e. since the last post) and what I'm working on:

Amigurumi for daughter (June 21, 2008) *
This one has a star, because while technically completed, I didn't really complete it in the scope that I hoped for. I made my daughter Roxycraft's Gabu in teal Caron Simply Soft yarn. It was a good beginner project and a good pattern and she loves it, but I really want to do something more involved, and now that I have some more crochet confidence (it was my first time really crocheting other than simple freeform and edgings), I'd like to tackle something with parts that assemble and probably use more than one color.

Backup hard drives to external drive (July 7, 2008)
Yep, I finally have a backup of my three largish hard drives on a 1TB WD My Book World Edition. My husband got me a 1TB Maxtor OneTouch drive for my birthday that I was going to back this up to for a faster, portable solution (the other is network-attatched storage that we can both access) for organizing files or working with multiple files, but my toddler daughter killed it by pulling on the adapter cord, causing it to crash to the ground, so I guess I'm done for the time being. The ~$250 loss did get me thinking about starting to budget again, so that is a silver lining and we have been doing pretty good so far - we're trying to save 10% of income and we've done about 5.5% during the last 15 days. My husband also saves 4% to his 401k with 100% matching, so I guess technically we are saving over 10%, but I'd like to do 10% after 401k and save for a down payment for a built-within-the-last-50 years (preferably within the last 25ish) home, since our current house is older than that, and therefore, a pain in the butt to maintain. Maybe I will make one of my replacement goals be a savings goal beyond the $10 for every goal completed to help me make sure I am consistently spending less than we bring in.

Family blog entry 1x a month (1/34)
So, I did this once. Woot! The family blog is mostly photos of my daughter for in-laws and grandparents, so not much personal info or anything. It's just a task to get out of the way, not something I'm really passionate about or proud of, so as long as I average 1 post a month, I'm okay if I don't do it like clockwork.

Photoshop and print 100 digital photos (15/100)
I got 50 free print credits from Snapfish that expire on the 18th of this month and managed to Photoshop 15 prints to get printed. I originally wanted to Photoshop 50, but I'm not sure that it will happen by the deadline, so I may do another 10 and get double prints. I'll still be 25% done even if I take the slacker route.

Blog #2 entry 1x month (1/34)
Yep, another blog entry done, another goal that I'm not exactly keeping up with 100%, but no big deal as long as it averages out in the end.

Read 10 books I already own (3/10)
I joined PaperbackSwap and BookMooch before I started the 101 goals, and to be honest, I can't remember which books I got before I started and which after. I guess I'll look it up; I have read a few books since my last post. I probably ought to list some of the books I've read to declutter, but it's such a pain going to the post office to send them.

Clean out and clean the van
I did clean out all of the stuff in the van, but now more stuff has accumulated from a weekend away and life in general. Mostly I need to get all the stuff out of it and take care of the spilled dish detergent in the back and vacuum in general.

Donate 101 things to charity thrift store (June 26, 2008)
Didn't sell more than $30 worth of stuff at the yard sale, but many more than 101 things promptly were taken to the charity thrift store afterwards. Perhaps I should re-do this as an alternate goal since I still can stand to get rid of things.

Pay down extra $1000 on mortgage - $10 for each task completed, to be paid the following month (50/1000)
Right on schedule. I'm hoping to do a couple more things before I make the mortgage payment this month (due on the 15th).

Organize my clothes
Organize daughter's clothes
Organize craft room

All things I've begun but not completed. My clothes are still a disaster - my bedroom never gets top billing on the priority list :(. My daughter's clothes are mostly done, but I do have a large bin of clean laundry that I'd like to put away, and some of her things are still in a suitcase in the van from the weekend away; this one won't be hard to complete. I'd like to properly store all of her too-small clothes, but I'd really like to go through all of them and do stain removal and pack them in pillowcases in a Rubbermaid with cedar balls, but this should probably be a new task in itself. The craft room had a lot going for it, then it became the laundry stash room when we had guests over, so the underlying work is not undone, but it will have to wait until the laundry is taken care of to be completed.

Organize all papers
I've weeded out all the paper piles upstairs, now I need to take them downstairs and file them, along with the paper piles downstairs.

Organize storage room
Organize toiletries & medicines & get rid of expired items
Organize toys
Organize computer area

I started in on the storage room, but there is still at least 95% to do. I'm probably at least 50% done with the toiletries - I threw away a bunch of obvious candidates. Toys are mostly done, but I still need to go through two bins that I've had since before my daughter was born and I haven't found a time when she isn't around (napping or with her dad) to go through them - they're all new to her, but most are out of her age range, so I really need some time away from her to do this, and there are plenty of other things that need to be done during these rare occasions. I don't know when I'll get to it. My husband has been working insane amounts of time since March and it's really put a strain on things. I also probably should go through them again to reduce the overall volume - they all have homes now, but they are busting at the seams. And - surprise! - my daughter regularly disperses them all over the house, so it's not even noticeable that they do all have places to go. The computer area won't be at all difficult - I do need to go through the big ancient desk, but it's not a top priority right now since it is all hidden away. Mostly, it has become piled high with anything that I want to keep out of my daughter's reach - once I put all of those things away it will appear organized, anyhow. Now that my husband and I both have laptops, I will probably take our two towers and Frankenstein them into one having the best parts, but I will need one of the hard drives I backed up since the only remaining one is only 20 GB and eight years old, so I will probably have to wait until I have some sort of media to back up at least 160 GB on (I'm not burning 40 DVDs again). RIP, dear Maxtor :'(.

Organize cabinets -
china hutch, sideboard, small sideboard, and clean off their tops.
About 95% done. I just need to clean off the tops of the china hutch and small sideboard and go through a couple of drawers of the large sideboard.

Organize and clean carport
Also about 95% done. I have a small collection of boxes that needs going through. I should get this done soon considering I am having a backyard party in a week and a half. Of course, the other half of the carport is getting progressively tool-strewn and oil-stained, but that has nothing to do with me other than the faint glimmer of a hope that someday I will actually be able to park a car that runs and that I regularly drive under there. Unfortunately, my husband just acquired a rusty half-truck trailer, a dirt bike, and a 2 ton shop crane, so my hopes are dying quickly. Current carport occupant - 80s era Suburban acquired only days after we sold the other junker SUV for a pittance. What I wouldn't give for less sweltering in a sauna and snow/ice removal and no items damaged from sun, extreme heat, and snow blowing into the car as the doors are open. We've lived in places with carports for three years now. Guess how often I actually have parked in the carport?

Get to a point where all laundry is done and put away, including hand-wash items
Mostly done, but not put away. I expect by the time I put it away and do all the hand-wash items and stain treatments, there will be another mound of laundry to do, but at least I am making progress.

Mend husband's suit pants (1/3)
Done, and didn't take long, but since my husband has only worn the repaired pair once, I doubt the others will surpass very many other goals in urgency.

According to my countdown clock of doom, I should have about 7.5 goals done now, but considering how many I'm more than 50% done with, I feel pretty good. Next post, I will try to get pictures of completed creations. I really need to finish the sweater for my daughter before she outgrows it - it's not hard knitting, I just haven't had a chance to sit down and start on the next piece. I think I'm near the tipping point on being able to maintain general home cleanliness/organization, but it sure is hard with the world's most active toddler as my charge 100% of my waking hours. I feel like I'm taking two steps forward and averaging two steps back :P.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

What I'm Up To

Well, I've been silent, but I'm still chugging along. Today I weeded out my books and got rid of quite a few - quite a few more are in the "to read and then get rid of" pile, so my bookshelf is looking much more orderly and less explody. I also cleaned up all my daughter's toys upstairs and just have downstairs as far as that goes and I went through some cupboards and got rid of more stuff. I need to count the things I'm giving to charity, but I'll probably just do that right before I donate a load. Mostly lately I've been doing organizing goals which makes sense since the others will be a lot easier to do in an orderly environment :D. Have had a few days in the last weeks where I've not been feeling well, but overall I can see progress. I also had my first craft fair booth with my sister last Friday, and while not very profitable, it was fun and kind of goes hand in hand with some of my secret creative goals. I guess they're not too secret, maybe just amateur. Anyhow, I am excited to finally get some of this organizing done so I can tackle my big list of projects to do - I'm certain that I will enjoy most of that quite a bit. With organizing, I like the results, but not the process so much and the creative goals are fun in the doing so it will be a nice change. Anyhow, I'm about out of battery, so I'd better publish this!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Needlepunch Bunny & Reading Progress

I finished the needlepunch bunny a few days ago. I will edit this post with a photo once I take one. Anyhow, the actual completion didn't take more than an hour, but it's been a WIP for over a year and one thing I really need to do is finish up some projects before I begin any new ones. Also, I haven't been feeling well the last few days so I've been working on handwork projects. It's kind of been nice to get a running start on my list by going for the low-hanging fruit, but soon I need to start getting to my cleaning and organizing goals.

I read to my daughter again for more than 20 minutes yesterday and plan on doing it again today. Right now, her attention span doesn't last much more than that, but I do feel a lot better about being a good mother just with this one goal that I hope to make a habit. I'd really like to shoot for every day, but I didn't want to set myself up for failure by missing a day when we are out of town or something.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Socks & One Book

Here are the socks I finished. They were about 75% done before starting the challenge; they've been on the needles since December.

Also, I read Thicker Than Blood by Penelope Farmer and read to my daughter today.
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101 in 1001 Challenge

I am doing the 101 in 1001 challenge as outlined at I'm going to have my own revolving list where I can add new challenges to replace completed items so I can keep the list relevant to my life, but I do hope to complete all original goals before my end date. Bolded items are complete whereas italics denote items in progress. I began my 1001 days yesterday on May 16, 2008 which puts my 1001st and last day on February 10, 2011, giving me an average of about 10 days per task. The original 101 items will be listed in black and additions to the list will be blue. Here is my list, organized by category:

Completed (19/101)
Completed (0/3)

Creative endeavors
  • Finish knitting husband's socks (May 16, 2008)
  • Finish knitting daughter's sweater (February 8, 2009)
  • Knit brother mittens
  • Knit brother scarf
  • Sew daughter a dress
  • Sew daughter an I Spy bag
  • Finish shadowbox for daughter's room
  • Finish sewing Halloween cat pillow
  • Finish sewing Halloween pumpkin pillow
  • Finish sewing dragon for sister
  • Knit an afghan for Mom & Dad
  • Sew another pillowcase for brother
  • Knit guitar strap for brother
  • Machine knit blanket for daughter (Needs crochet edging and maybe a complete re-do)
  • Sew pillowcase for husband
  • Finish embroidering floral pillowcase
  • Embroider second pillowcase of the set
  • Dollhouse for daughter
  • Finish needlepunch bunny (May 17, 2008)
  • Quilt for baby boy due in December
  • Knit hat for baby boy due in December (November 18, 2008)
  • Knit fingerless gloves for sister (November 13, 2008)
  • T-Shirt quilt for husband
  • Knit socks for me with yarn already purchased
  • Learn to play one song on my erhu
  • Figure out tabs for a particular song on my guitar
  • Learn another particular song on guitar
  • Write and record an original song
  • Re-do entrelac scarf
  • Knit socks for Mom (September 11, 2008)
  • Make booties for baby boy due in December (February 28, 2008)
  • Knit hat for daughter (October 29, 2008)
  • Amigurumi for daughter (June 21, 2008) *
  • Make a Flash game or movie
  • Host a craft night
  • Secret goal #1 - to be revealed when complete
  • Secret goal #2
  • Secret goal #3
  • Secret goal #4
  • Secret goal #5
  • Finish sewing bookmark
Archival goals
  • Audiojournal 10 times and archive (0/10)
  • Family blog entry 1x a month (3/34)
  • Scrapbook 10 pages (0/10)
  • Photoshop and print 100 digital photos (17/100)
  • Backup hard drives to external drive (July 7, 2008)
  • Create master list
  • Digitize camcorder tapes
  • Create family history DVD
  • Create an address book
  • Get some of husband's grandma's southern recipes
  • Blog #2 entry 1x month (2/34)
  • Blog #3 entry 1x month (0/34)
  • Create family photos album for daughter
  • Digitize graduation video
  • Track down wedding video and archive
  • Finish typing up Mom's recipes from cookbook
  • Practice music for 1/2 hour every day for one month (0/31)
  • Make a will
Mental enhancement/enjoyment
  • Learn 10 new Chinesepod lessons perfectly (0/10)
  • Read a classic novel
  • Watch 10 movies I haven't seen on AFI's list or other list (0/10)
  • Read 10 books I already own (5/10 dades, th, cl, crypto, ttw)
  • Read ______
  • Get Rosetta Stone Mandarin Level 1 and complete
  • Go to _______ (August 2008)
  • Watch Alfred Hitchcock movies I haven't seen yet
  • Listen to all EscapePod episodes (11/5/2008)
  • Make something from Cook's Illustrated vidcast
  • Get my 5 a day for two weeks straight (0/14)
  • Go to the dentist (Nov 3, 2008)
  • Go to the eye doctor
  • Secret Health goal
  • Walk 500 miles on treadmill (4.6/500)
  • Get third hepatitis shot
People I Know
  • Send brother music CD
  • Send brother belated birthday package (October 13, 2008)
  • Send MIL photo CD
  • Secret family & friends goal
  • Read to daughter at least 20 minutes a day at least 5 days a week for five weeks (I hope to continue this during the whole challenge)
Domestic Bliss
  • Paint the bathroom and hallway
  • Clean out and clean the van
  • Try to get rid of spot on old quilt
  • Get wedding ring polished and inspected
  • No eating out for one month (0/31)
  • One week of complete meal planning (0/7)
  • Donate 101 things to charity thrift store (June 26, 2008)
  • Pay down extra $1000 on mortgage - $10 for each task completed, to be paid the following month (190/1000)
  • Organize all papers
  • Organize my clothes
  • Organize daughter's clothes (September 8, 2008)
  • Organize craft room
  • Weed out books (June 16, 2008)
  • Organize pantry
  • Organize storage room
  • Organize toiletries & medicines & get rid of expired items (September 8, 2008)
  • Organize toys
  • Organize computer area
  • Organize under stair closet
  • Organize cabinets - china hutch, sideboard, small sideboard, and clean off their tops. (October 25, 2008)
  • Organize and clean carport
  • Organize music - put loose sheets in clear sleeves in binder
  • Get to a point where all laundry is done and put away, including hand-wash items
  • Mend husband's suit pants (1/3)
I shall try to write a new post when I complete items.