101 in 1001 in 2011

My 101 things in 1001 days ended without fanfare in May of this year. I did not complete my list but I did not expect to once Boo arrived in 2009. I originally began this project in 2008 after hearing several podcasters referred to it. The project was outlined at http://dayzeroproject.com/ and I spent a great deal of time working on my list. I had thought to post my list here but after a bit of introspection, decided that my list was for personal use and not public consumption. During the 1001 days I chronicled many of the completed things that seemed appropriate to share.

I had thought to evaluate my list and determine why I didn’t complete the ones I avoided but that seems futile at this point. I am not sure that I will make a list like this again. I divided my tasks into 10 main categories and If I were to do this again, I would consult the uncompleted list and begin to tweak from that list, slashing the wildly unrealistic. Instead, I switched to one theme a year. I’m undecided at this point whether this works for me either.

Debra 2011

Hello, my name is Debra and I am a procrastinator.

I can procrastinate anything, it’s always been a talent of mine. I figure out when the last possible moment for actual completion is and start work then. I usually have a small meltdown where I think I didn’t give myself enough time, I can’t get it done, but then I buckle down and do it thinking all the while that I won’t wait this long next time. I can even procrastinate sleep. I also make lists for myself of things I want to do, prime example is 101 things in 1001 days.

If you’re new to my blog, the concept of 101 in 1001 was to make a list of things I wanted to accomplish and allow myself time to complete the goals. In 1001 days there is the possibility of finishing things that might seem overwhelming if crammed into one year. Somewhere in the middle of all that I lost sight of the prize and started saying I’ll work on that tomorrow or next month when I thought about the list. I’m almost 6 months to the end of my first 1001 days and I haven’t accomplished even half of my list. I have done some pretty cool things that weren’t on the list though.

That list isn’t the only thing I’ve procrastinated. I bought a second domain a month ago to start a podcast I’ve wanted to start a year and a half ago. I start craft projects and don’t finish, I clean part of a room and move on to something else. I procrastinate everything but breathing. I am in serious trouble with this goal if I don’t have at least one episode out by January 1st.

This post is brought to you through the inspiration of Jasmin of the knitmoregirls podcast. Over the last several years I’ve enjoyed hearing stories that begin with Jasmin 2010 is all about finishing stuff or Jasmin 2009 was all about living for the experience. Every time I heard her say those things I thought to myself, I wish I were like that, dedicated to a theme for the year. The last episode I listened to contained a challenge to find a theme for 2011, not a resolution, but a theme.

Debra 2011 is all about doing it today, and not waiting for tomorrow.


101 in 1001 2010 Update

My 101 things to do in 1001 days is rounding the home stretch. May 2, 2011 is day 1001 and I need to report that I have not finished my list nor will I. I’m still undecided about whether I will start a new 101 in 1001 list in May 2011. I’m thinking about taking off a month or two in order to compose a new, more realistic list. I’d like to try again knowing what I know now. I know I can better guess at what I’m likely to accomplish. Some of the goals were unrealistic, some I was too lazy to complete but mostly I had the most wonderful little boy in world and I allowed myself to be sidetracked from a list to pour myself into him. I think I made the wiser choice. I purposefully added some easy ones so that I could check them off quickly knowing that the rest would take effort. Here are my thoughts on most, but not all, of the categories as well as what I’ve accomplished thus far.

I wish I had put knit a sweater on the list, I’m doing that, I wasn’t sure if I would want to do that. I finally taught myself to crochet, I didn’t put that on the list, but I did challenge myself to crochet something knowing that in order to do that I had to teach myself.

  • Stamp cards to use for special occasions: have 20 in reserve I joined a card swap so have blown this one out of the water. Five times a year I make 10 cards and swap them.
  • Knit 300 dishcloths/washcloths, patterns of varying choice (9 per month) (9/2010 completed 4/300 crocheted 10-12 scrubbies) I won’t finish this, but I’ve made progress
  • Complete one crochet project (summer 2010)

I don’t seem to have time to complete these as they involve others. I am helping with literacy, just not adults and not as a volunteer.

My TV viewing habits declined sharply in fall of 2010 because NBC stopped broadcasting in our area again. We made the decision to just shut it off except for DVDs and Netflix movies. I do watch L&O occasionally, but more often than not I find myself only watching 5 or 10 minutes then shutting it off. We’ve watched an hour and a half of PBS Masterpiece Theatre for three weeks. We watched Jeopardy for the first time in months, I decided to see if NBC came back, it did. We’ve committed to only watching weeknights from 7-8 for Wheel and Jeopardy and perhaps a PBS show here and there.

  • Decrease regular television viewing by 25% (fall 2010)
  • Ration television to 10 hours per week for at least two consecutive weeks (fall 2010)
  • Hall closet-find & implement workable organization: accomplished when one towel can be removed and the rest don’t fall out and when the bottom area is only extras /li>


  • Join a knitting group-I did, actually I joined a knitting group and a spinning group, though I’d like to find one closer that suits me a bit better

WordPress 3 changed my blogging desires, now with the versatility of child themes I have less desire to make a theme myself, though I am working on graphics to substitute in to an exiting theme that is designed to be tweaked like this.

Living Local & Green/Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
The yearly garden and seed collection failed. This summer I was so sleep deprived that I couldn’t keep myself together, let alone worry about a garden. I let my husband play in the garden. We had a small garden and I think he kept some of the seeds, but I can’t count it as I didn’t do much. As our freezer contains lots of meet and veggies from the garden, it’s not practical to put a month of meals in it. Boo and I are going to start cooking more with the purpose of storing extras, but I’ll have a difficult time finding space for too much.

Who’s got time to read WoT? The 12th book part one came out and I haven’t even finished 10 or started 11. Some day I’ll read them and make my own little encyclopedia of characters, places, events, holidays, and all. Since I’m starting a podcast, the Librivox recordings are on hold because I’m dedicating my time to planning. The classics are coming along, but I’m probably not going to reach that goal either.

2011 organizational system

Last October I purchased a blank leather wrapped journal to turn into a custom calendar system for myself. I was so excited that I wanted to date it for Nov. 2009 and use it immediately. Since I had a current calendar at the time, I forced myself to date it for Jan. 2010 but started carrying it immediately to schedule things for the new year. I made a two-page spread for each week, a section for tasks, a section for projects and a section for random notes. I hated it. I am pretty sure it was the journal I chose. While the journal was attractive, it was bulky and heavy. I could tell instantly when I took it out of my bag or put it in because of the dramatic weight difference and it didn’t fit into my purse at all so I didn’t carry it unless I had my bag. I used it faithfully for a few months because I wanted to love it. I found myself only using the calendar part. I think I have used a total of 3 page fronts in the tasks/projects/notes sections. I tried to like it, I spent so much time drawing lines and number the pages and dating everything. It was so unhelpful that in October of this year I purchased a new pocket calendar that is so light I can’t tell if it’s in my purse/bag without looking.

I’m sure you know the kind, it’s a paper calendar with a staple or two in the center. It has a nice plastic outer wrapper that the covers slip into to protect it. I love it, well, not love it, but I’m using it and like it. It has silly inspirational quotes every month, though I’d prefer weekly ones. I started using it immediately. It’s a 16 month calendar, so October was already there just begging to be written on. I can’t cram 5 appts. into each day, but it’s working because it leaves the house with me. I’m using the post-it sticky flag to mark the current month so I can just flip to it. I use the covers to carry a few of my personal business cards in case I need to give someone my contact info. Each month has a two-page spread, the boxes for each day are less than an inch but I can write small. At the same time I purchased a wall calendar for 2011. I haven’t purchased one in years, I usually receive one as a gift at some point or am allowed to pick from a stack someone is giving away. I love to pick the ones with animal pictures for the months. The calendar I picked for 2010 had a problem. I couldn’t read the numbers on the calendar from across the room as the print was too light. The 2009 calendar didn’t have that problem. I tried using a sharpie to darken the numbers but that only frustrated me because it looked messy and sometimes the numbers still weren’t dark enough. Next year I have a rather plain calendar. It’s larger than the others I’ve had, at last 6 inches longer and the two pages are all calendar. I can write multiple things for each day when I need to and perhaps interesting sayings when I don’t. I can see it across the room and think it will be a good thing for me. The secret is the calendar’s intended purpose,I bought one that is marketed as an organizational calendar. I can write my stuff, Boo’s stuff and husband’s stuff as well as family stuff on it. Yes, there will be multiple times to write stuff because I also put family, Boo’s and my stuff on the one I carry but it’s worth it if it doesn’t aggravate me and I get where I need to be when I need to be.

The last organizational tool I added to my arsenal was a calendar plugin for Thunderbird. I tried multiple online calendar plugins with the blog, but 2010 has not been a stellar year for me blogging as I’ve been busy chasing a little boy. If I don’t look at the blog, I miss events or miss counting down and preparing for them. I can’t cram everything I’d like to do on to any paper calendar and lists were getting lost. I really only want to write the repetitive task once and let it carry itself along until an end date arrives. So I finally looked to the intarwebs (giggle) for a solution. While I detest MS Outlook, one of the nice tools is the calendar system. I’ve never used it in a company where everyone uses it but I love that I can schedule a meeting and it automatically sends invites to everyone or I can just make them accept it if I have the right privileges to do so. I have no need to do that, but I have my computer on every day. While I don’t spend all day at it, I hear the beeps and check in once every couple of hours or so. I love being notified as soon as I start my day of the tasks I need to accomplish or the appts scheduled for the day.

Check back in a year to see how it’s working for me. I can tell you that for the last month this new system of small paper calendar and huge Thunderbird calendar been wonderful.

101 things in 1001 days

A long while ago, I found a site that challenged readers to make a list of 101 things to accomplish in 1001 days, if you search for posts here with the 101 in 1001 tags or use your favorite search engine, you’ll find it. I jumped on board and am almost half way through my 1001 days. I have made some progress, which is exciting and had to remove some things from the list that are no longer relevant or impossible to complete at this point. While I am fairly certain that I will be fortunate to complete 60 or more of the 101 things, I have learned how to make a more feasible list in May of 2011 if I choose to try this again.

12. Purchase or make a drop spindle (9/2008 made 2), spin at least 6 oz. of pre-dyed fiber & knit into socks
18. Finish R2D2 hat, write instructions (11/2008)
21. Frog Homespun blanket and reuse yarn to make hoodie (2009)
22. Stamp cards to use for special occasions: have 20 in reserve – 10/20 (11/2009)
26. Calculate yards or number of projects in stash, get to work (this is in constant progress which would be finished if I would stop adding to the list and stash)

1. Play guitar on worship team (requires learning to play guitar) no longer on the worship team, need new task

2. Lose enough weight to fall into healthy BMI and keep it off (I do have an exact number for a goal weight) (in process)
4. Kayak at least 15 times each year as often as possible

1. Read/listen to 15 Classics (1 every other month) – in progress
2. Re-read Wheel of Time, creating personal encyclopedia to track characters/plots – 5.5 of 11 reread
3. Read 10 biographies from individuals who dedicated their lives to societal change (1 every 3 months) – in progress
4. Join a book club: IRL or virtual (2/2009)
5. Write a review for each book read as a result of this 101 in 1001 list – in progress

13. Basement organize boxes into smallest floor area possible, maximize work area: accomplished when there is room to host video game night with friends or craft session (summer/fall 2009)
15. Sort teaching boxes, condense by at least one box (summer/fall 2009)

1. Rediscover natural hair color, no dyes until 100% natural again (fall 2009)
2. Go to the beach at least once a year: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
3. Commit 9 random acts of kindness without receiving/accepting/admitting credit (in process 2 out of 9)


Note to self:

While at the time multiple copies of the same files didn’t bother me much and seemed like a good idea the time, I have reconsidered my stance on the subject. I must come up with a better backup/file transfer plan for various computers in my possession. Having four copies of an mp3 file is not really cool, well, if it were just one file it would be, but it’s not just one file there are probably at least 1500 duplicate files on the hard drive. Every now and again I sit down and hunt for multiple files, decide which to keep and delete the rest. I’m so far behind. On the brighter side my 750GB drive will be much less full when I am finished, some time in 2030.

I blog this random tidbit because it is part of my 101 things to accomplish in 1001 days. I’m not doing so great on that list. I’ve accomplished a few things, like the basement, that was huge. The basement is clean, well, cleaner and way more organized.


A website or two

Page by Page Books – a site similar to Project Gutenberg

I’m currently reading a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.” I saw the movie, now I’m reading the story. I think I like the story better.

Catalog and track your cookbooks and recipes with Cookbooker. It’s in beta right now, I’m not sure that I’ll use it as much as I thought I would. It has some of the cookbooks I have but not all and I haven’t investigated enough to see where to put in new books.


Book Club & Tigerheart

by Peter David
You’ll have to write your own reading/discussion guide for this one.

a review
Rarely do I have to read a fiction book with a dictionary and I found it rather refreshing to expand my vocabulary while I read a reimagining of Peter Pan. Many of the potential new vocabulary words are explain either through context or by the narrator. I love the names of two of the pirates, “Caveat” and “Roomer,” they live up to their names. The only place Peter Pan is mentioned is in reviews on the covers of the book. After that we follow the story of “The Boy,” Gwenny, Paul Darling and a host of “Anyplace characters” The author wrote Tigerheart from the narrator’s point of view, but the narrator recorded the story in the first person. The narrator will occasionally become sidetracked explaining why something is the way it is or why he doesn’t know something he doesn’t know. I found myself giggling through the book often. I’m not sure this is a children’s book, but it could be read to a child with creative editing done by an adult. What I enjoyed most wasn’t the story line, who won the battle, what happened to the characters. I enjoyed trying to guess how the characters and plot twists related to the original story. Did this story occur before Wendy, John and Michael flew with Peter? Was “The Boy” Peter? Was Gwenny (Gwendolyn) Wendy? How does Paul relate to the Wendy, John and Michael?

I would like to read the Peter Pan stories and then Tigerheart again to compare the writing style and characters. To read the original Peter Pan and Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, please visit Project Gutenberg.

a summary
While villains and heroes come and go, one thing remains, there must be heroes and villains. Tigerheart is a story from “Anyplace” where in there are pirates and non-pirates, heroes and villains. Which are which are for you to decide. Paul Darling’s sister Bonnie disappeared, she didn’t want to be a baby, turned into a bird and flew away. This tale follows Paul’s adventure to and from “Anyplace” on the quest to bring a baby girl back to his mother to make her happy again.


The Book Thief

by markus zusak
reading guide

a review/a summary
It’s not often I struggle to write about a book. What to say without giving too much away? A familiar topic fictionalized in an unique manner, “The Book Thief” will keep you turning the pages. The main character, Liesel, becomes a thief of books among other things. The narrator leads the reader through Nazi Germany in the late 1930s and early 1940s while following a child, her family, neighborhood and government. While technically a young adult book, I would highly recommend it for a wider audience including plain-old adults.


Book Club & The Help

by Kathryn Stockett
reading guide

a review
As the title indicates, this is a book I read for book club. I wouldn’t have read it otherwise. I find it hard to believe that a white author can write an account of life for African-American housekeepers/maids in the south in the 1960s. Penguin books had a podcast episode with the author about why she felt she could write this book. I listened to part of it and was so bored I turned it off before finishing it. The stories from the housekeepers/maids in the book were interesting enough to hold my interest.

a summary
A fictional account of the life of African-American housekeepers/maids set in the 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi. The book is written by a white woman and is told from the point of view of a white woman just out of college and two housekeepers/maids. The white woman, Skeeter, wants to be a journalist and decides to interview at least 12 woman who spent their lives taking care of other people’s children and house. The story is full of racial tension as all of the women sneak behind the backs of their employers, friends, family, neighbors and high-society. The story was creative enough to hold my interest, but I have no idea as to the accuracy of such an account, fictional though it is.