Tag Archives: Ten-Minute Task

Ten-Minute Tasking

 

Part of #2 son's messy bedroom

Part of #2 son's messy bedroom

The venerable Lazy Moms, aka Amanda and Leslie, have dubbed Tuesday as Ten-Minute Task day, and it makes a lot of sense. Chopping big chores into little jobs that can be done in 10 minutes makes the process less intimidating. Very important for someone like me who needs to get so much done but has severe stay-at-home-mom ADD.

Those of you who have it know exactly what I’m talking about: You start out working on one task, say, unloading the dishwasher. Right in the middle of putting the dishes away, you think about the grocery list and remember that you need to buy Lean Pockets (#1’s fave is pepperoni). You stop almost mid-plate and dash over to your grocery list (which for me is on my iPhone) and write or type in what you need. You stand there for a minute or so and write or type in any other items that come to mind. Then you walk into your office to check your e-mail, blogs, and the news. After 15 minutes or so, you walk back into the kitchen and are totally surprised to see that the dishwasher door is open and half unloaded. Or is it half loaded? Then you have to figure out if the dishes are dirty or clean and finish the job.

After all that confusion, you really need a nap!

Fortunately for me, I know the dishwasher is filled with dirty dishes, etc., right now, so I don’t have to deal with it. Hopefully, I can stay on task, because I have a couple TMTs slated for today. The first is to whip up a résumé in my desktop-publishing software for the #1 son, so he can apply for a part-time and/or summer job at the public library. As is typical of me, I’ve had this on my get ’er done list for several weeks. Sigh! But today it will get done!

7182-closetThe second TMT will take a boatload of 10-minute increments to eventually complete: Dealing with the mess in the #2 son’s bedroom. It seems like every time we tame the clutter . . . even going so far as to take everything out of the room except the furniture . . . things creep back in as if drawn to its blue-walled confines. Much of the stuff is sporting equipment, everything from discs to golf clubs to lacrosse sticks to baseball bats. The #2 son almost could open up his own sporting goods store!

And yet amid all the clutter and chaos is one shining star of hope: the closet. Look at it in the photo above; it seems neat! But don’t let it fool you. It only looks that way, because #2 doesn’t wear any of the clothes hanging there. The ones he likes are in dresser drawers (not shown).

#2 son is due to get a new double bed. But we need to empty out his room in order to fit it in. That emptying process begins today . . . for at least 10 minutes!

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It’s a Sign

 

web-167-sanwiches

I made someone very sad awhile back . . . and I didn’t even know him.

I had gotten out of my car and was about to mosey on over to Chipotle, the greatest place on earth to eat, when I noticed that a crew was putting the finishing touches on an awning over Jimmy John’s sandwich shop next door. What I saw written on the awning stopped me in my tracks: “Gourmet Sanwiches.”

Suppressing a chuckle, I walked over to the guy supervising the two awning installers and said, “Did you misspell it on purpose?”

“What?” he asked.

“The word ‘sanwiches,'” I replied. “It should have a ‘d’ in it.”

You should have seen the look on his face. Titanic sadness visibly washed over him.

I continued on to Chipotle. After I finished eating the most-delicious food on earth (a veggie bowl of rice, black beans, peppers and onions, pico de gallo, corn relish, guacamole [the best part!], and lettuce), I walked to my car, got in, and stared through the raindrops at Jimmy John’s. This was what I saw:

web-168-jj-sign-gone

 

Yep, the awning was gone, and the installers were packing up to leave. I don’t think I made their day at all!

A few days later, all was right with Jimmy John’s and the awning:

cpd-final-jj-signAt least it’s finally correct. Unlike this sign at our local Nestle’s Toll House Café:

web-sandwitchSigh! Guess I need to stop in and make someone else’s day.

Ten-Minute Task

box_pse6_150x150It’s day 3 in the Search for the Photoshop Elements 3.0 Install Disc saga. I worked hard for 10 minutes during my TMT yesterday to no avail. Apparently, that disc grew legs and walked away from the clutter like so many other things have done over the years. So I explored my options and decided the best course of action was to order PSE 6 from Amazon.com. It should arrive tomorrow, and then the #1 son and I will have to figure it out; I know there are a lot of changes from version 3.0. There are manuals for $30 (yep, even on Amazon.com!) available, but I plan to check out Half-Price Books and see what they have. I don’t want to spend almost half the price of the software for a manual. Fortunately, there’s always lots of good information and tutorials online.

Get ’er dones

Today is that every-other-week very-important Kitchen Wednesday . . . the cleaning crew comes tomorrow, so I want to do as much in the kitchen as possible in terms of going through the mail and papers and shredding. Tonight is another track meet for the #2 son, who again will be running the 100 and 200 meters as well as triple jumping. Hopefully, he’ll be able to triple jump earlier, enabling me to get better photos. There won’t be a fence around the field event area, so I’m looking forward to roaming with my camera!

Middle-School Potty Time

1165-boys-br

I’m blogging today from an unfamiliar post . . . sitting on a hard-backed chair with a clear view of the boys’ and girls’ bathrooms at #2 son’s middle school with no wifi signal. Today starts the infamous TAKS testing time in Texas for students in grades 3-11 (grade 12 for those who didn’t pass as juniors). Kids have to pass in certain grades to move on to the next grade; #2 has to pass all four of his TAKS tests this spring—reading (today), math, science, and social studies—to graduate. #1 also has to pass all the grade 11 TAKS tests (called Exit tests) in order to graduate in 2010. (Cue the weeping!)

Most parents, students, teachers, and administrators hate the TAKS. It puts pressure on all of them, and at times it forces teachers to teach to the test instead of for knowledge and advancement. There’s been talk about eliminating the TAKS, but right now all it is is talk.

Personally, I’m not a fan of the TAKS. It stressed out both sons in elementary school, making #2 actually cry in third grade when he was afraid he was going to fail. I don’t see why the education Powers That Be can’t just use the standardized Iowa tests that everyone has taken practically since schooling first began and the district assessment curriculum exams to judge whether or not our kids are learning what they need to know. But last I looked, no one was asking my opinion.

Meanwhile, I’m at my potty post this morning, making sure that no more than one child enters the bathroom at a time. I’m all alone here at the end of the eighth-grade wing; usually there are two of us patrolling, but we only got the word yesterday that we were needed today. Looks like a lot of parents already had made plans or listening to kids go to the bathroom didn’t float their boat.

Random observation

These eighth-graders use the hand dryer A LOT! They can be in the bathroom for several minutes drying their hands. Think they’re stalling?

 

"TBBT"

“Big Bang” a big bust

As regular readers know, we love CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory.” However, last night’s show clearly pushed the limits of the 7 p.m. bogus “family hour,” almost making us turn it off. It used to be that there was a clear demarcation in TV shows’ content: Before 9 p.m., pretty much G- and PG-rated; after 9 p.m., just about anything goes. But now shows that are on early are crossing that G/PG line with regularity (we had to turn off “How I Met Your Mother,” which was on after “TBBT”; #2 son had warned us that the show would get too racy for us).

We hope that the producers and writers of “TBBT” will consider its 7 p.m. audience and not be so visual and verbal with its sexual references. Otherwise, it’s time to move the show to 9 p.m.

TMT PSE

pseTime to turn off the caps lock! After a somewhat sloppy search during which I envisioned the upraised eyebrows and disapproving look of my neighbor JJ, the organizational wiz, I failed to find that pesky Photoshop Elements install disc. I’m going to give it the good, old Ten-Minute Task try today and then consider my options:

• Go back in time with Time Machine on the boys’ iMac and figure out how to restore PSE (probably not as easy as it might sound).

• Figure it’s time to upgrade from 3.0 and just buy the newest Mac version.

• Install my copy of Photoshop CS3; not a great option, though, because it’s not as easy to use. #1 son is whining that he wants PSE, not CS3.

After 10 minutes today, I should have my answer!

Tasty Tuesday, Omni- and Vegan-Style

icebowl09

The Ice Bowl

The ironically named (for Houston) Ice Bowl Saturday was warmer than the evening’s scouts shooting gig, although a front passing through did dip the temps 10 degrees (from 71 to 61) along with a short shower. The Mister and the boys played in this 18-hole disc golf tournament that benefitted the Houston Food Bank, one of my favorite causes. I tagged along to click some pix and take some video for the blog.

183-2-wbeanie#2 son is the best player among the three (disc golf is his passion), so he, of course, posted the best score, followed by his Pops. But #1 son in only his second tournament did really well and only whined when he wanted the drink that he had left in the car. I went to get it, and, of course, missed #2 son’s drive that landed a few feet from the basket on the first hole, which eventually won him his first-ever CTP (closest to the pin) prize of a natty Ice Bowl knit beanie (he loves those).

I only took a few pix before the rain came. But I got some pretty good video with the Flip Mino. I really like this little camcorder; it’s so handy and easy to carry. I haven’t tried making a movie using the Flip’s software yet because I’m used to iMovie, but it looks pretty straightforward. The music, by the way, is part of iMovie. It’s easy to use and handy but almost impossible to tweak by a couple seconds, which is why it sounds a little short. One of these days I’d like #1 son to teach me how to compose in GarageBand, so I can be more exact with the music. That’s a way-in-the-future get ’er done!

Tasty Tuesday

flavor-magicIn our quest for healthier eating while watching “The Biggest Loser” (an hour tonight and tomorrow, for a change, because of the presidential address), I’m going to try something new for the guys: Flavor Magic Portion Control Sheets. Basically, they are easy seasoning sheets that marinate meat and fish in one simple step. I’ve never gotten the hang of seasoning food, so I’m taking the easy way out. I’m going to use the dijon honey mustard sheets with boneless, skinless chicken breasts tonight and will have my human taste testers report back.

Meanwhile, I’m going to try a new vegan recipe: Red pepper and spinach hashed browns that I saw on Jenn’s Hello Veggie blog. As you may recall, this is where I found the marinara squash recipe; I’m hoping that this attempt will turn out better.

cropped-mori-nu-silken-tofuEven though I’m not much of an experimenter when it comes to cooking (which usually is an experiment for me anyway), I have a box of Mori-Nu Extra Firm Silken Tofu that needs to be used this week that I might add to the recipe. Or I just might wait until Wednesday or Thursday to use it. Wow, two new recipes for me in one week?!? Did anyone else feel the earth shift on its axis?!?

Get ’er dones

I’m still working on the scout photos, of course. Those are top priority today. I also need to call Applecare to see why GarageBand 09 won’t play most of #1 son’s GB 08 songs. If I have a chance, I might Ten-Minute Task a certain family room chair that still isn’t done.

TMT? Need TNT!

family room clutter chair5111-post-tmt 

Here are the before and after photos from yesterday’s Ten-Minute Task (TMT) . . . almost hard to tell which one is which! Ten minutes isn’t a very long time, and I even went past that time when I forgot that the awful, loud, incessant beeping I was hearing was, indeed, the microwave’s timer. Thank you, #2 son, for gently pointing out that it was, indeed, the infernal timer beeping for everyone on the block and in outer space to hear (oh, and thanks for also pointing out that I was trying to lock your brother’s car with my car’s key after school; I appreciate that you didn’t laugh too loudly).

It’s fairly obvious that the family room clutter chair needs many TMT sessions, but at least I’ve made a start. Here’s hoping that the next 10 minutes I spend clearing its field is more fruitful. Looks like Lazy Mom Amanda did a better job than I did!

5115-211-kw5116-photojojo

Kitchen Wednesday

Hump Day means I’ll be spending at least a half-hour in the kitchen, going through the mail, shredding, and tackling a task. I’m going to prospect for gold in the clutter stacker (pictured on the left), a too-convenient place to put paperwork and various sundry items that I don’t feel like dealing with at that moment. I’m sure I’ll excavate some relics among the few treasures. I’m also going to figure out the product on the right. It contains a Cable Photo Holder that I ordered from Photojojo. This is supposed to be an easy way to display photos on the wall; I’ll let you know what I think once I have it up in my office. It has eight magnets for displaying photos, memos, and cards that attach to the thin steel cable.

survivor-tocantins

Surviving While Lost

Today and tomorrow might be the greatest two nights in the history of television: “Lost” is tonight, and “Survivor” begins its new season tomorrow night. We are huge “Survivor” fans, having watched every episode (this is the 18th season). We truly enjoy seeing the different personalities in this reality show disguised as a social experiment. We rate the challenges, try to pick who will be voted out each week, and try to say the Jeff Probstisms at the same time he says them (as in, “Wanna know what you’re playing for?” “Immunity is back up for grabs.” “I’ll tally the votes.” “The tribe has spoken.”). Gosh, I’m getting goosebumps in anticipation! We’re sure “Survivor: Tocantins—The Brazilian Highlands” won’t disappoint.

subway_logo_largeLast night we disagreed with some of the “American Idol” picks, of course; seems like the show just has to choose some obvious looneys to ensure the show has enough drama. Maybe they’ll be booted tonight! As for “The Biggest Loser,” I have only one question: Did Subway pay for the entire episode?!? That had to be the biggest product-placement ploy yet! Well, at least my third husband, trainer Bob Harper, looked gorgeous during the entire show; made it all worthwhile! It’s nice that this season’s “TBL” features contestants who are much nicer than last season’s. It was a veritable lovefest last night when big Blaine was voted off (which he asked everyone to do). I’m sure at some point it might become cutthroat ($250,000 will do that to people), but I don’t think there will be any of the animosity of last season.

Pain in the neck

homedics-shiatsuBefore I could type today, I spent 15 minutes in therapy with our HoMedics Shiatsu pillow. The Mister had bought this over the holidays, because we all seem to have neck pain. Mine is brought about by two things: Working at the computer and stress. This time, I think the culprit  was stress. I felt that familiar stab of pain the other day in Walmart . . . when I walked past Jackson Hewitt’s tax preparation booth. I could swear I heard someone whispering, “Finish looking through those receipts for Romeo!”