dampscribbler: (Default)
I was going to update about this monthly, but I haven't mentioned it since May. Let's see how things are going, shall we?

Green items are actively in progress, blue items are semi-in-progress, strikethrough items are complete. 


1. Read a book a month (6/33) -- I need to update my books read thread, too
2. Keep a project list
3. Carry and use reuseable grocery bags (18(?)/286)
4. Plan my 42nd birthday party
5. Buy used first for at least three months
6. Write a will
7. Create a beautiful border space between our driveway and the neighbor's. (*)
8. Create and tend a potager with M. (*)
9. Update the filing
10. Take voice lessons
11. Get behavioral therapy (Worth a separate update of its own, this hasn't been an easy task)
12. Draw, paint, or color at least once a week (0/143)
13. Stop swearing in front of M.
14. Exercise (gym, yoga) 2-4 times/week
15. Plan sabbatical (*)
16. Reduce internet time to <2 hrs/day
17. Submit at least 5 things for publication (0/5)
18. Purge clutter from walk-in closet
19. Schedule installation of new countertops
20. Purge clutter from my office. (*)
21. Pay off the car (will be done in October!)
22. Save for E's new car
23. Maximize IRA annual contributions (1/4)
24. Create M's education investments
25. Organize papers for M's current investments
26. Back up computer files, then maintain backups weekly
27. Identify 3 writing contests to enter in 2008, then enter them
28. Write year-end (2007) newsletter to send to family and friends (abandoned)
29. Mail newsletter with New Year cards to family and friends (abandoned)
30. Contact local elementary school re: pre-K for M  completed -- they don't offer Pre-K
31. Contact other schools re: pre-K for M
32. WW2, 2008 -- write and publish neighborhood newsletter (moved to WW20 or 21)
33. Paint exterior trim of house
34. Consider putting in climbing plants in front porch area
35. Identify several educational goals (a language? certain skills?) and work toward them
36. Write every day -- a page, a paragraph, a sentence at least
37. Identify 43 things that make me happy. Keep the list with me all the time.
38. Identify 43 things I am good at.
39. Identify 43 things I want to be good at or to know more about
40. Write for publication about my first year of motherhood.
41. Create and maintain a goals calendar
42. Create a standard grocery shopping list
43. Create 28 days worth of dinner and 14 days worth of lunch menus to simplify planning
44. Create a reasonable (monthly) grocery budget and stick to it (0/33)
45. Build retaining wall behind yard
46. Repair/replace/remove the back fence
47. Organize kitchen pantry
48. Get outside and walk every day it's possible (20/1001)
49. Re-do powder room (sometime in 2010)
50. Before then -- save up for powder room re-do
51. Research all-season tires for Outback
52. Purchase new all-season tires for Outback
53. Get new cellular blind for M's room
54. " " for master bedroom
55. Redecorate guest room
56. Get water filter installed under kitchen sink
57. Install my special towel bar in Master bath (& toilet paper holder, too)
58. Keep adding to this list til I get to 101
59. Read at least 20 pages/day (~160/1001) [I've completely lost count of the days, but I'm doing well]
60. Get garage organized and cleaned up
61. Get shelves and/or table and/or file holder for organizing stuff downstairs.
62. Get estimate for installing ceiling fans
63. Get ceiling fans
64. Paint Maggie's bathroom (added 09/01/08)

dampscribbler: (books)
I'm proud to announce that as of last night I've already achieved my goal of two books read this month, thanks in large part to [profile] blackholly, who wrote the diminutive books which make up The Spiderwick Chronicles, of which I read the first one in two (yeah, I'm that slow) nights.  It's delightful to finally come across a kid's book that is illustrated.  Maybe I'm just reading the wrong age group of kids' books, but I expect that the reason I'm not seeing more illustrated literature these days is economic -- artists (in this case, Tony DiTerlizzi) have to be paid, and authors have to be paid, and no one really wants to pay significantly more for a book just because it has illustrations.  So, you either get picture books or you get text, but it seems rare anymore to get a book like, say, "The Headless Cupid," or "The Westing Game," which surprises the reader with a lovely illustration every ten or twenty pages.  Which may be why The Spiderwick Chronicles are broken into five books, each about 100 pages long, but containing lots of great illustrations.  In this first installment, the Grace children -- Jared, Simon, and Mallory -- move with their mother into a weird old family house after their parents' divorce.  At first the house just looks weird, but of course that's not enough to make a fun story, so soon the house sounds weird, and then weird things start happening, and soon you've got a rollicking fun book for and about kids. 

The other book I finished this month, which I started last month or maybe in May, is The Hearts of Horses, by Molly Gloss.  It's hard to compare Molly's writing to anyone else's.  When I first read a book by her, it was The Jump-Off Creek, and what soon struck me about it was the slow, patient pace at which it progressed, which matched the situation and disposition of the main character perfectly.  The Hearts of Horses, which takes place in the winter of 1917-1918, also progresses patiently, which again suits the main character, Martha Lessen, a young woman with a romantic notion of cowboys who plans to make her way through the West breaking horses and cowboying.  (Sorry about the comma splicing there. Yikes.)  Martha spends a winter breaking a "circle" of horses in fictional Elwha County, Oregon, helped in her endeavor by the fact that most able-bodied men have gone "over there" to fight in Europe, leaving farmers and ranchers in need of help wherever they can find it.  Martha isn't a fan of the "ride 'em crazy 'til they break" method of gentling a horse.  Here's the first paragraph of the book:

In those days, even before the war had swept all the young men from the ranches, there were girls who came through the country breaking horses.  They traveled from ranch to ranch with two or three horses they had picked up in trade for work they'd done.  Of course most outfits had fifty or sixty horses back then, so there was plenty of work, and when the war came on, no men to get it done.  Those girls could break horses as well as any man but they had their own ways of doing it, not such a bucking Wild West show.  They went about it so quiet and deliberate, children would get tired of watching and go off to do something else.  They were usually all alone, those girls, but it wasn't like in the moving pictures or the gunslinger novels, the female always in peril.  If they were in peril it wasn't from outlaws or crooked sheriffs, it was from the usual things that can happen with ranch work -- breaking bones, freezing your fingers off -- the kinds of things that can happen if you're a man or a woman. 
And this is exactly what a reader of The Hearts of Horses gets -- plenty of the kind of peril that an average rancher could expect early in the last century, and plenty of quiet and deliberate.  I fully enjoyed The Hearts of Horses, and in honor of Buy a Friend a Book Week, I would be delighted to send a copy to one reader in the U.S. or Canada who comments here by noon Pacific Time tomorrow, Wed., July 9, 2008.  I'll randomly select a winner in the afternoon and post the winner's ljname, or name, for non-ljers.

And now for my 15-minute a day writing challenge honesty check-in: (ugh)
 - July 3 -- none
 - July 4 -- none
 - July 5 -- none
 - July 6 -- none
(I obviously need to find a way to squeeze in the writing while my family is home.) 
 - July 7 -- I wrote for over an hour, hand written, about 12 pages, I have no idea how many words, probably about 1500.) 
 - July 8 -- I'll count this entry, although I do plan to do some more writing later in the day.  Looks like 917 words, so far.  And it took a lot longer than 15 minutes.  ;-)

(Edit: I cut my sucky first three paragraphs from this post, so it's way less than 917 words now.  I know you'll get over it.)
dampscribbler: (writing)
It's been a while since I updated by 101 Things list (not to mention added some stuff to it to actually make 101 Things.)  Let's see where I'm at.


Green items are actively in progress, blue items are semi-in-progress, strikethrough items are complete. 


1. Read a book a month (3/33) -- (Read 2 in January, 2 in Feb., 2 in March, none in April.)
2. Keep a project list
3. Carry and use reuseable grocery bags (2/286)
4. Plan my 42nd birthday party
5. Buy used first for at least three months
6. Write a will
7. Create a beautiful border space between our driveway and the neighbor's. (*)
8. Create and tend a potager with M. (*)
9. Update the filing
10. Take voice lessons
11. Get behavioral therapy
12. Draw, paint, or color at least once a week (0/143)
13. Stop swearing in front of M.
14. Exercise (gym, yoga) 2-4 times/week
15. Plan sabbatical (*)
16. Reduce internet time to <2 hrs/day
17. Submit at least 5 things for publication (0/5)
18. Purge clutter from walk-in closet
19. Schedule installation of new countertops
20. Purge clutter from my office. (*)
21. Pay off the car
22. Save for E's new car
23. Maximize IRA annual contributions (1/4)
24. Create M's education investments
25. Organize papers for M's current investments
26. Back up computer files, then maintain backups weekly
27. Identify 3 writing contests to enter in 2008, then enter them
28. Write year-end (2007) newsletter to send to family and friends (abandoned)
29. Mail newsletter with New Year cards to family and friends (abandoned)
30. Contact local elementary school re: pre-K for M  completed -- they don't offer Pre-K
31. Contact other schools re: pre-K for M
32. WW2, 2008 -- write and publish neighborhood newsletter (moved to WW20 or 21)
33. Paint exterior trim of house
34. Consider putting in climbing plants in front porch area
35. Identify several educational goals (a language? certain skills?) and work toward them
36. Write every day -- a page, a paragraph, a sentence at least
37. Identify 43 things that make me happy. Keep the list with me all the time.
38. Identify 43 things I am good at.
39. Identify 43 things I want to be good at or to know more about
40. Write for publication about my first year of motherhood.
41. Create and maintain a goals calendar
42. Create a standard grocery shopping list
43. Create 28 days worth of dinner and 14 days worth of lunch menus to simplify planning
44. Create a reasonable (monthly) grocery budget and stick to it (0/33)
45. Build retaining wall behind yard
46. Repair/replace/remove the back fence
47. Organize kitchen pantry
48. Get outside and walk every day it's possible (3/1001)
49. Re-do powder room (sometime in 2010)
50. Before then -- save up for powder room re-do
51. Research all-season tires for Outback
52. Purchase new all-season tires for Outback
53. Get new cellular blind for M's room
54. " " for master bedroom
55. Redecorate guest room
56. Get water filter installed under kitchen sink
57. Install my special towel bar in Master bath (& toilet paper holder, too)
58. Keep adding to this list til I get to 101
59. Read at least 20 pages/day (25/1001)
60. Get garage organized and cleaned up
61. Get shelves and/or table and/or file holder for organizing stuff downstairs.
62. Get estimate for installing ceiling fans
63. Get ceiling fans

Hooray!

Feb. 28th, 2008 08:03 pm
dampscribbler: (Default)
Mini 101 Things update:

1. Read a book a month (2/33)

Last night I read "Odd and the Frost Giants" by Neil Gaiman.  Details to follow.  Now I need to write three book reviews for 2008. 
dampscribbler: (Default)
Green items are actively in progress, blue items are semi-in-progress, strikethrough items are complete. 


1. Read a book a month (1/33) -- (Read two complete books in January, but none yet in Feb.)
2. Keep a project list
3. Carry and use reuseable grocery bags (0/286)
4. Plan my 42nd birthday party
5. Buy used first for at least three months
6. Write a will
7. Create a beautiful border space between our driveway and the neighbor's. (*)
8. Create and tend a potager with M. (*)
9. Update the filing
10. Take voice lessons
11. Get behavioral therapy
12. Draw, paint, or color at least once a week (0/143)
13. Stop swearing in front of M.
14. Exercise (gym, yoga) 2-4 times/week
15. Plan sabbatical (*)
16. Reduce internet time to <2 hrs/day
17. Submit at least 5 things for publication (0/5)
18. Purge clutter from walk-in closet
19. Schedule installation of new countertops
20. Purge clutter from my office. (*)
21. Pay off the car
22. Save for E's new car
23. Maximize IRA annual contributions (1/4)
24. Create M's education investments
25. Organize papers for M's current investments
26. Back up computer files, then maintain backups weekly
27. Identify 3 writing contests to enter in 2008, then enter them
28. Write year-end (2007) newsletter to send to family and friends
29. Mail newsletter with New Year cards to family and friends
30. Contact local elementary school re: pre-K for M  completed -- they don't offer Pre-K
31. Contact other schools re: pre-K for M
32. WW2, 2008 -- write and publish neighborhood newsletter
33. Paint exterior trim of house
34. Consider putting in climbing plants in front porch area
35. Identify several educational goals (a language? certain skills?) and work toward them
36. Write every day -- a page, a paragraph, a sentence at least
37. Identify 43 things that make me happy. Keep the list with me all the time.
38. Identify 43 things I am good at.
39. Identify 43 things I want to be good at or to know more about
40. Write for publication about my first year of motherhood.
41. Create and maintain a goals calendar
42. Create a standard grocery shopping list
43. Create 28 days worth of dinner and 14 days worth of lunch menus to simplify planning
44. Create a reasonable (monthly) grocery budget and stick to it (0/33)
45. Build retaining wall behind yard
46. Repair/replace/remove the back fence
47. Organize kitchen pantry
48. Get outside and walk every day it's possible (3/1001)
49. Re-do powder room (sometime in 2010)
50. Before then -- save up for powder room re-do
51. Research all-season tires for Outback
52. Purchase new all-season tires for Outback
53. Get new cellular blind for M's room
54. " " for master bedroom
55. Redecorate guest room
56. Get water filter installed under kitchen sink
57. Install my special towel bar in Master bath (& toilet paper holder, too)
58. Keep adding to this list til I get to 101
59. Read at least 20 pages/day (12/1001)
dampscribbler: (Default)
1. Read a book a month (0/33)
2. Keep a project list
3. Carry and use reuseable grocery bags (0/286)
4. Plan my 42nd birthday party
5. Buy used first for at least three months
6. Write a will
7. Create a beautiful border space between our driveway and the neighbor's. (*)
8. Create and tend a potager with M. (*)
9. Update the filing
10. Take voice lessons
11. Get behavioral therapy
12. Draw, paint, or color at least once a week (0/143)
13. Stop swearing in front of M.
14. Exercise (gym, yoga) 2-4 times/week
15. Plan sabbatical (*)
16. Reduce internet time to <2 hrs/day
17. Submit at least 5 things for publication (0/5)
18. Purge clutter from walk-in closet
19. Schedule installation of new countertops
20. Purge clutter from my office. (*)
21. Pay off the car
22. Save for E's new car
23. Maximize IRA contributions
24. Create M's education investments
25. Organize papers for M's current investments
26. Back up computer files, then maintain backups weekly
27. Identify 3 writing contests to enter in 2008, then enter them
28. Write year-end (2007) newsletter to send to family and friends
29. Mail newsletter with New Year cards to family and friends
30. Contact local elementary school re: pre-K for M
31. Contact other schools re: pre-K for M
32. WW2, 2008 -- write and publish neighborhood newsletter
33. Paint exterior trim of house
34. Consider putting in climibing plants in front porch area
35. Identify several educational goals (a language? certain skills?) and work toward them
36. Write every day -- a page, a paragraph, a sentence at least
37. Identify 43 things that make me happy. Keep the list with me all the time.
38. Identify 43 things I am good at.
39. Identify 43 things I want to be good at or to know more about
40. Write for publication about my first year of motherhood.
41. Create and maintain a goals calendar
42. Create a standard grocery shopping list
43. Create 28 days worth of dinner and 14 days worth of lunch menus to simplify planning
44. Create a reasonable (monthly) grocery budget and stick to it (0/33)
45. Build retaining wall behind yard
46. Repair/replace/remove the back fence
47. Organize kitchen pantry
48. Get outside and walk every day it's possible (3/1001)
49. Re-do powder room (sometime in 2010)
50. Before then -- save up for powder room re-do
51. Research all-season tires for Outback
52. Purchase new all-season tires for Outback
53. Get new cellular blind for M's room
54. " " for master bedroom
55. Redecorate guest room
56. Get water filter installed under kitchen sink
57. Install towel bar in Master bath (& toilet paper holder, too)
58. Keep adding to this list til I get to 101
59. Read at least 20 pages/day (5/1001)

101 Things

Dec. 30th, 2007 08:21 pm
dampscribbler: (Default)
I'll be trying to do 101 Things in 1001 days. There's a livejournal community for this, but they all plan to start Jan. 1, and I have no intention of starting anything except the coffeepot on Jan. 1. I'll start Jan. 2, and keep to my own schedule, I think.

Also, I may not even have 101 things on the list by 01/02. Here's what I've got so far. I'll be adding to this an re-organizing it over the next couple of days.

1. Read a book a month (0/33)
2. Keep a project list
3. Carry and use reuseable grocery bags (0/286)
4. Plan my 42nd birthday party
5. Buy used first for at least three months
6. Write a will
7. Create a beautiful border space between our driveway and the neighbor's. (*)
8. Create and tend a potager with M. (*)
9. Update the filing
10. Take voice lessons
11. Get behavioral therapy
12. Draw, paint, or color at least once a week (0/143)
13. Stop swearing in front of M.
14. Exercise (gym, yoga) 2-4 times/week
15. Plan sabbatical (*)
16. Reduce internet time to <2 hrs/day
17. Submit at least 5 things for publication (0/5)
18. Purge clutter from walk-in closet
19. Schedule installation of new countertops
20. Purge clutter from my office. (*)
21. Pay off the car
22. Save for E's new car
23. Maximize IRA contributions
24. Create M's education investments
25. Organize papers for M's current investments
26. Back up computer files, then maintain backups weekly
27. Identify 3 writing contests to enter in 2008, then enter them
28. Write year-end (2007) newsletter to send to family and friends
29. Mail newsletter with New Year cards to family and friends
30. Contact local elementary school re: pre-K for M
31. Contact other schools re: pre-K for M
32. WW2, 2008 -- write and publish neighborhood newsletter
33. Paint exterior trim of house
34. Consider putting in climibing plants in front porch area
35. Identify several educational goals (a language? certain skills?) and work toward them
36. Write every day -- a page, a paragraph, a sentence at least
37. Identify 43 things that make me happy. Keep the list with me all the time.
38. Identify 43 things I am good at.
39. Identify 43 things I want to be good at or to know more about
40. Write for publication about my first year of motherhood.
41. Create and maintain a goals calendar
42. Create a standard grocery shopping list
43. Create 28 days worth of dinner and 14 days worth of lunch menus to simplify planning
44. Create a reasonable (monthly) grocery budget and stick to it (0/33)
45. Build retaining wall behind yard
46. Repair/replace/remove the back fence
47. Organize kitchen pantry
48. Get outside and walk every day it's possible (0/1001)
49. Re-do powder room (sometime in 2010)
50. Before then -- save up for powder room re-do
51. Research all-season tires for Outback
52. Purchase new all-season tires for Outback
53. Get new cellular blind for M's room
54. " " for master bedroom
55. Redecorate guest room
56. Get water filter installed under kitchen sink
57. Install towel bar in Master bath (& toilet paper holder, too)
58. Keep adding to this list til I get to 101
59. Read at least 20 pages/day (0/1001)

Project dates: Jan. 2, 2008 - Sept. 29, 2010


(*) These items may be expanded in an upcoming revision of this list.

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