Crossing the Finish Line

It is now the end of August which had 31 days in it to finish my Twenty-seven Things!  And I did it!  Last weekend I finished all but a few items on my list and they are all now on the crossed off list!  I finished #7 which was my non-fiction book and  #12 which was my creative photo project.  That project took me back to our trip to Yellowstone and I have pulled some of the shots I took and had them printed up as 8 x 10 and will frame them.    I was also able to make some time to get started on #15, my research for our D.C. trip and have a pretty good idea of some of the sights I want to see.  Morris has done most of the planning for this trip but I like to have an idea of some of the “go to” places for the cities we visit.

This month I embarked on monitoring my sleep (#18) for the entire month and learned alot about my sleep habits.  I definitely know that I function better on 8 hours of sleep which is good information and is a motivator to make getting enough sleep a priority.  I think we underestimate the value of sleep and short change ourselves in that area.  I know I have and I often fight to stay awake to watch a television show or work on the computer.   I used the jawbone wristband to monitor my sleep this month and it tracks the amount of deep sleep and light sleep each night and it was fairly accurate.   This study will have a lasting impact on how I view sleep from now on!

This month has been fun and the blog has really motivated me and helped keep me focused on the things I had on my list.  I have already put together my list for September and look forward to meeting those challenges.

I’ll end this month with a quote that I find true.

“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.”    William James

Keeping my committment and completing the tasks I set forth for August has been energizing and motivating and I cannot wait for next month’s list!

The Final Stretch

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” ` Franklin D. Roosevelt

I love to share quotes that speak to me and this one captures how I am feeling at the moment.  My purpose in creating this blog was (and is) to help me identify and focus on some of the things I really want to do.  As I cross off the items on my list of twenty-seven things,  I definitely feel the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.

With my busy work schedule, and the demands of my job, my home time is often a blur of  activity trying to fit in the things I need to do and getting ready for the work week ahead.  My twenty-seven things has really helped me slow down and choose things that are important to me and anchor these potential accomplishments in my mind.   And the beautiful thing for me is I am getting things done on my list plus much, much more! It is true in a sense, at least I have found it to be true in my experience, that the more I do, the more I do!  I count relaxing in the list of accomplishments too.  This is partly because knowing when to stop, or when to take a break is really important and I find myself having those internal conversations and listening to them as well.

This last week in August is the final stretch for my twenty-seven things and I am almost at the finish line.   Last Wednesday I crossed #26 off my list after a great dinner out with two girlfriends!  We tried a new restaurant and had a very enjoyable evening of good food and good conversation.

This weekend I finished #4 which has hung out there for most of the month.  It was not something I looked forward to but something I knew would feel great once it was done.  #4 was the deep cleaning task on my list and I did deep clean the master bathroom.  It is a big room with two vanities, mirrors above the vanities, as well as on the sliding doors to the closet.  The vanity counters are a catch-all for makeup, creams, sunblock, rollers, brushes, and they desperately needed to be cleaned off.  So that is now done.  It is clean but the drawers are not organized and that will be a project for September.

I’ve just about completed #7 which is to read a non-fiction book.   I have been reading Shelter for the Spirit by Victoria Moran which is about making a house a home and although most of the ideas are things I have thought of or read of before, it is a nice review and fits nicely into some of the things I have tried to accomplish this month.

September 27th is the date of the next “Unbook Club Book Club” gathering at my house.  The first gathering (and the last one) was in February and the plan was to meet every other month or so.  I  anticipated getting together in May, then July, then August.  However,  I didn’t set a date and that is the key really to getting it done.  The date is set which means I can put a check next to #9 on my list.  I’ve communicated the date to the Unbook Club Book Club Facebook Group and I’ll actually set up an “event” for everyone’s convenience.

Yesterday I had a massage so I can cross of #16.  It was so good I laughed out loud when the masseuse was working on my feet.  My feet are not ticklish and it actually hurt a little.   The masseuse was somewhat startled when I started laughing and I had to explain that I do that sometimes, laugh when the masseuse finds a sore spot.   Yes, a little crazy but definitely a spontaneous reaction.   The laughter felt great and in conjunction with the massage, the endorphins were flowing.  I’m so glad I added #16 to my August list because I’m afraid if I hadn’t added it, another month would have passed without my getting a much needed (and much deserved) massage.

The cats got some extra TLC this weekend with a brush out and their flea treatment which means I can cross of #27.  Ronin is my big old 14 lb. cat and he has long hair which gets matted on his underbelly.  All of Ronin’s mats are gone now and I know we both feel better.  Humphrey, the grey cat is really our grandcat as she was a kitten who attended college with our daughter!  She came to live with us in 2008 and really rules the roost, not only in our household, but in the neighborhood.

RoninHumphrey

Overall, the weekend was very busy.  In addition to some of my 27 things, I did all the usual things like laundry, shopping, fueling the car, cooking and some routine cleaning.  I also fertilized some of my potted plants and some of our shrubs.  There was some fun stuff thrown in there too.   I put a really nice gift package together for a friend from work who is retiring.  She likes to garden and so I put together some seed packets, garden gloves, a home-made sugar scrub, a windchime, and a hummingbird feeder.  It is in a really nice hat box which I think she will like.   Mor, my husband and I took in a movie today and saw the new Woody Allen film, Blue Jasmine which turned out to be one of the saddest movies I have ever seen.  Cate Blanchett was extraordinary in her role but the character she played was tragic.  I finished up this evening with a Chocolate Zucchini Bread that was a new recipe and was intended to use up the large zucchini my husband didn’t see until it became gigantic!  The bread was pretty good actually and I’ll take what is left to the office tomorrow.

I have until next Saturday to finish those few things that are left on my list.   Since we are going to Washington D.C. soon, I definitely need to research some of the city sites.   I’m in the final stretch and already thinking of what I want my Twenty-seven Things list to look like for September!!

Weekend End!

It is Sunday night and the end of the weekend which means it is the beginning of the work week for me!  I have enjoyed the weekend and relaxed while still getting some things on my list done!  I completed #6 – House Creative project which resulted in a succulent dish garden for our dining room table and I framed a watercolor print I picked up last year in Monterey!   I am half-way through #7, my non-fiction book for the month, and I picked up all of the supplies for #14, my craft day with friends Kathi and Deb (although I still need to set the date).   The craft plan is to make decorative coasters using tiles, decorative paper, and hodge podge!

The weekend was truly a relaxing one and I spent Saturday at the movies to see “The Millers” which was pretty funny!  After the movie, we stopped and had a nice lunch at the local brewery.  Although I have listed 27 Things I want to accomplish this month, I really believe that balance is important and I so enjoyed the time I spent with my husband yesterday.   Later in the day I made a batch of plum jam (the plums from my dads 50 year old plum trees).  The jam was amazingly good and for dessert I made pancakes and slathered each with a layer of plum jam!

So even with all that relaxation, the projects I completed this weekend brings me to 19 of my 27 things either started or completed!   Not too bad for a working girl!

Here are pictures of the #6a and #6b!

ImageImage

Halfway There!

I like measurement and accountability and because of that I keep checking my list of 27 things to see where I am and how many items I have completed.  As of today, I have completed (or in some cases, started) 16 of my 27 things … hence I am more than halfway there!  There are a couple of items on my list where my goal was strictly to get started…such as researching living trusts and working on my genealogy projects.  However, most of the items I have checked off have actually been completed and it feels great!

Tonight I completed #5 on my list which was listed as a home organization project.   I have a wine storage rack in my entry closet that holds about 44 bottles of wine.  The wine has been stored haphazardly and when I have needed to grab a bottle for an event, or take to someone’s house, I have had to pull out the bottles to see what it is and it can take 10 minutes to find what I want.   Tonight, in about 30 minutes I pulled out all 44 bottles, sorted them by type:  red, white, rose, sparkling, etc., and then reorganized them and prepared a listing so that there would be a record of what is in the storage rack!

Obviously not a hard project, nor a very time-consuming project.  However, it is something I have wanted to do for a long time and each time I have needed to pick a bottle of wine for something, I would think that it sure would be nice to know what wine we have and where it is!  So now it is done.  This is really the purpose of 27 things….to help me get some of these nagging things done and also to get some bigger, more creative projects done!  It is definitely working.  As I plan for this weekend, I look over my list and decide the remaining things that I want to complete to help me reach the number 27 by August 31st!

I’ll share more on Sunday when the weekend comes to a close … and maybe I’ll have a picture or two to share as well.

Weekend Warrior

It seems that the weekend is when I am able to spend the most time on my 27 things!  I must say that the list definitely gives me focus for my weekend time and this weekend I thoroughly enjoyed all I accomplished.  Last week I did finish #25 (Giving) by sending a gift package to my granddaugher Andrea and the three great grandchildren!  I mailed that off on Friday.  But most of my list was saved for this weekend.

On Saturday I completed #8 which was to finish a fiction book as I finished  “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Husseini.  This was an exceptional book and I would definitely recommend it.  I was sad to have it end which for me is the sign of a good book! I also completed #11 which was a new entree recipe.  I definitely picked a winner from Pinterest and it was so delicious it is now in the repertoire of dinner options – and it is good enough for company!  The recipe was simply a roast chicken but it used a very high heat (500 degrees for 25 min) and then back to 350 degrees for an hour.  The technique really worked well.  In addition to the roasting instructions it included a gravy recipe.  I have not been successful in making gravy so definitely wanted to try this.  Again, absolutely spectacular!  I’m glad I had #11 on my list this month as I found a really good standby roast chicken recipe.

On Sunday, I completed #2 (Garden Maintenance) with a good clean up of the front porch by sweeping away the spider webs and sprucing up my big jade plant.   I started #20 (Genealogy),  and  #22, and #23 (Planning) which are both works in progress and I’ll continue to fine tune those before the end of the month.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend.  I did so much more than what I have on my 27 Things list but it is good to have some focused goals and I enjoyed completing some and starting others.

Container Garden Deconstructed

Container Garden Deconstructed

The components for the container garden are 1) Pennisetum “Rubrum” a popular ornamental grass with clumps of cascading purple tipped foliage and long reddish pink feathery flowers-plumes produced in summer and fall; 2) Ipomedoea “Margarite” with luminous chartreuse green leaves, it is a twining climber or cascading border plant great for containers; 3) Calibrachoa Minifamous “electric purple” and “royal blue” with dark green well branched leaves ideal for containers with carpet of vivid purple and blue flowers; and 4) Solenostemom (coleus) with highly variegated leaves and a sharp contrast in leaf colors.

Moving Ahead on My August List!

I completed my August list and was able to identify 27 things I want to accomplish this month.  Some of the items are broad categories which gives me some flexibility.  As Sunday evening comes to a close, I can actually mark off several of the items on my August list of 27 things!  The first of course is the creation of the blog which was #1.  I also completed #3 my Garden Creative Project, #10 which was listed under cooking and was to try a new dessert recipe, #17 a facial, and I got a great start today on #19 Genealogy – Parents!    Here is a picture of my completed garden project which I think turned out really beautifully!

Garden Project August 2013

#10 resulted in a very tasty new Applesauce Cake recipe that I found on Pinterest.  I took some over to my parents house along with a pad and pen to talk with them about their growing up years so that I could get started on 19!   So I would say I’m off to a good start and feel that I can tackle the 27 things on my list for August!