Posts Tagged ‘lists’


March 23, 2020

We’ve been under a shelter-in-place order for a week now. Although it shouldn’t have been a surprise, given the rapid spread of coronavirus in my area, it was. Not so much of a surprise that I was caught without supplies on hand, but a surprise in the way I reacted to it. My immediate response wasn’t anger, or panic, or a descent into the long, dark tea-time of the soul (thanks, Douglas Adams!). I had this unshakable feeling that I was forgetting something important. After days of fretting, I finally realized that this first week of restricted movement coincided with my busiest week of the month. I usually spend this week checking my to-do lists, and bring-with-me-to-the-meeting lists, and remember-to-ask-this lists. A week with nothing on the schedule should have brought rest and relaxation; instead, it brought anxiety.

“Self,” I said, “this can be used in character development. How would your protagonist react at a gut-level if she was stranded while on vacation? Could your villain manage to stay calm if all the coffee shops were closed?”

Now that I have identified my anxiety, I’m working through it by – you guessed it – creating more lists. I will write down the questions this experience has presented, and see if I can’t use them to give my characters more depth. What will you do with the surprises that life brings you?

Luck and wisdom!

What to Name My UFOs

January 9, 2019

I have a support group for my 2019 challenge to finish projects. They came to the meeting with tidy lists of unfinished objects (UFOs). I came with a vision of stacks. Now I am trying to catch up by creating my own list, but what do you call something like this?

This is a stack on my ironing board that I believe I will turn into the Progressive Party star project. I suppose I could name it “star project” and hope for the best.

This is a little trickier. Most of the elements in this box are meant for a crazy quilt, but there are a few things that snuck in when I wasn’t looking. Okay, I tossed them in the box when I was too lazy to put them where they belonged. Still, how to name the collection? I might call it “project in box” as I believe it is the only one in a box in my sewing room.

This is the hardest one. Most of the fabrics come from a row-by-row project. They didn’t play well with the other fabrics, but I think they are destined to live together in another quilt. However, I suspect there are a few surprises in the pile. I see some magazines, and I don’t recall saving other patterns for the row-by-row project. This one can’t be called “project on floor” because there are too many stacks on the floor. I’m not even sure I could number them based on the compactness of the pile.

And this is why I challenged myself to finish half of the projects I could reach, not name.

Luck and wisdom!

Notebooks and Deadlines and Lists, Oh My

November 27, 2013

My pumpkin pie is baking as I write. The good news is I won’t have to hide it from the family, because we’re celebrating Thanksgiving today. My son works tomorrow, and my daughter is house-sitting for traveling friends, so today is our day.


Tomorrow is list day.


Every year, I leap feet-first into a major panic at Thanksgiving. Did I remember to buy the stuffing (I forgot one year)? Do I have enough wrapping paper for the presents that have to be mailed in the next week (and can I find it)? Have I overbooked myself once again with things that sounded like so much fun when I said yes in August (and do I dare turn the calendar page to look)? Can my aging brain cells keep all the things I need to remember in a safe place?


I’ll never know the answer to that last question because this year I decided to use a safety net.


My brain for the next six weeks

My brain for the next six weeks


My notebook collection includes one that is festive enough to find easily. I jammed it and the pen in my pocket as I was heading out yesterday, determined to write down all the stray thoughts, stocking stuffer ideas, and notes to self about projects I agreed to do. I filled two pages in three hours.


“Self,” I said, “you’ll probably need another pocket notebook. It should be sturdy, bright enough to be seen under the stacks on your desk, and cheap.” Then I remembered one of my many abandoned projects.


My back-up brain for the next six weeks

My back-up brain for the next six weeks


I bought some shiny red card stock months ago to make . . . well, I can’t remember what I was going to make. I cut it in half, then folded it, then gave it the pocket test. It’s slightly bigger than the notebook I’m using now, but it will work.


Finding paper to put inside was a snap. I have lots of stationary left from the days when I sent newsletters via the post office rather than the internet.


Who's old enough to remember this?

Who’s old enough to remember this?


Since this notebook only has to last until Christmas, New Year’s at the most, I decided to bind it with quilting thread.


Not time seeping through a crack in the universe - just thread and a flash

Not time seeping through a crack in the universe – just thread and a flash


The tiny knot on the inside doesn’t interfere with folding or writing at all.


Hurrah for the quilters' knot!

Hurrah for the quilters’ knot!


I am inordinately proud of myself for finishing this project. It is useful, pretty, and made from supplies I already have. Best of all, it might even calm my jangled nerves when my holiday panic hits, knowing I can find my notes.


My pie is done. Happy Thanksgiving!