Thursday, January 31, 2013

Date Walnut Breakfast Cake

It’s not really my week to make a cake but I’m the only one around so here goes! We’re still low on eggs and I’ve discovered we’re about out of baking powder, as well, so I was looking for ideas that used little or none of each. Also, I wanted to make more of a coffee cake instead of dessert cake beings the guys need something for breakfast.
As mentioned in my Watkins Economy Spice Cake post, we’ve got a ton (ok, that’s a wee bit of an exaggeration) of chopped dates in the freezer. So I was thrilled when I found the Date Walnut Bread recipe in Fresh Fruit Quick Breads by Joyce Middleton. I changed it up some, of course (including the name), but what else is new?


·         1½ c chopped pitted dates
·         ½ c white sugar (recipe called for 1½ cups but I didn’t figure we needed the extra sweet in a breakfast bread full of chopped dates!)
·         1 teaspoon salt
·         2 tablespoons butter (I didn’t measure – just guesstimated)
·         1½ c boiling water
·         1 egg, lightly beaten
·         2¾ c all-purpose flour
·         1 t baking soda
·         1 t cream of tartar (have plenty of this – we use if for poison oak – true story – it works!)
·         1½ t vanilla extract
·         ½ c chopped walnuts (optional – recipe called for a full cup but I’m conserving walnuts, too)


1.       Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
2.       Put the dates, sugar, salt and butter into a bowl. Pour in the boiling water and stir. Set aside until cool and then stir in the egg and vanilla.
3.       Stir the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Pour in the wet ingredients and stir together until thoroughly combined. Mix in the walnuts. (Note: The batter was pretty darn thick.)
4.       Pour batter into greased pan and bake for 60-70 minutes.
5.       Cool for 10 minutes and remove from the pan.

Our Cake-a-Week rating

Do you suppose all my cake-a-week recipes are going to rate about the same? This one came in at 7.5, which is darn close to the rating for the first two. Hmm. Well, only having two raters this time may have skewed the results - one gave it a 9 and the other only 6. Now that I think about it, that's basically been the spread between these two guys each time.

I declined to rate this one because I'm not a morning cake person and didn't want to further skew the results. I did try a bite and tend to lean more toward the 6 rating. Don't get me wrong - it's good. But it's not dessert, especially beings I cut the sugar to one-third. It IS a great alternative to pastry-type breakfast fare, however, and very easy to make.

If you'd like a variety of quick bread recipes, I recommend Joyce Middleton's Fresh Fruit Quick Breads. I know there are several more recipes I'm going to try!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Why I HATE Snow...

Need I say more?

For those who missed the back story, here it is buried

And please don't ask why it's still sitting there all sad looking. That sunshine is deceptive. I still can't get it out and probably won't be able to for another week, maybe two.

Am I Creating a Bigger Mess with Project DO?

I’ve been ‘DOing’ for about a month now and have to ask – am I just creating a bigger mess? Strictly from a DO standpoint, am I better off than I was four weeks ago? First, let's see what I did this past week.

Project DO Progress - Week 4

Downloaded Real Player so I can keep videos straight. The problem being that I didn’t even have any videos when I started the month – and now I have dozens! Due to limited bandwidth, it’s only been recently that we can watch videos online, but to do so I have to get up really early (that’s another story). So to watch all these great videos at my convenience, I’m downloading. Hmm. How does this help me declutter my hard drive?
On the organizing side, however, I’ve created playlists and changed clip info so that I can sort and store the videos and easily find whatever I want whenever I want it. I guess I’m doing great on O but not so well on D…
Online Quilting Class
Join me for Leah Day's free motion class!
On the other hand, you know how we’re supposed to learn new things to keep our minds active? Well, I’m excelling on that front! I’m telling you, watching a demo to learn some things is so much better than just reading a description. Through my new love, Craftsy, my brain is awhirr! I’m finally getting some proficiency with free motion quilting (many thanks to Leah Day for the great demos) and even signed up for a free Online Food Craft Class, Perfect Pizza at Home. Who knew that would ever happen? (affiliate links, fyi)
I’ve also discovered YouTube. Am I late to the party, or what?

Unsubscribed to 22 email newsletters, which really cut down on the amount of email I receive each day. I also set my message rules to delete known spam from server. If your email program allows you to do this, BE CAREFUL! You may miss important emails and never know it. I found this out the hard way several months ago when I kept expecting a file by email and it never showed up. I contacted the sender and she resent…again…and again…and again…
Finally, I turned off my message rules and guess what? Yep, it came through just fine. I examined the sender and subject lines and never did figure out the problem. There was nothing in either of those or the content that should have triggered the deletion. But it happened – true story – so be forewarned.
After this problem, why did I turn my delete from server back on? Because when I get several dozen spam emails with the same sender info, I get annoyed. Also, there are some subjects I just don’t want in my inbox. Period. So when I see a trend, I just quickly add the offending word(s) to my delete rule and am done with it.

As usual, I got distracted and dropped the ball on some Project DO tasks. For instance, although I’ve been adding my new Kindle for PC content to Calibre regularly and immediately categorizing by location and DRM status, I haven’t kept up on tags. So now I have quite a few ebooks that are not categorized by subject. Oops. Beings I’m up to 468 Kindle ebooks (at the end of week one, I had 261 - how is this decluttering?), it’s kind of important to be able to search by subject, don’t you think?
I did manage to make good progress on updating some of my computer files, which was actually my first Project DO focus. For instance, all my computer files for a couple of blogs now match the post/page titles. I also moved all my blog/site folders to a main folder rather than having them buried deeper on my hard drive. And I’ve started creating subfolders to better organize the content on each blog/site. Am I done? Not by a long shot. And if I keep adding instead of taking away, well…it could be never ending.

But am I better off?

Now, back to the original question: Am I creating a bigger mess with Project DO? I don’t think so. I would have discovered online video learning anyway but now I’m keeping it all organized as I go. No more going back and playing catch-up like I’m doing with the rest of my computer files.  So yes, I am better off!
What will I DO in February? I haven’t decided yet. I’ll continue with the good habits developed in January but may start focusing on another area and come back to my computer files later in the year. That’s the beauty of Project DO – I make the rules!
So...what are you DOing in February?

Friday, January 25, 2013

January Christmas Prep Report

It's been a month since Christmas - have I done anything to get ready for the next one? I'm happy to say that I have. Exactly what I've done is a little harder to pinpoint. I'm still snowed in so haven't seen anything I ordered online. I could go back through my email and look at the order confirmations but that seems a waste of time beings I really need the stuff here so that I can sort and store it. You see, when I say Christmas prep, I'm also talking birthdays and any other gift-giving occasion during the year, as well.

So, from memory, here's my January report:
  • made personalized throw pillow covers for 4 early-year birthdays
  • ordered super cute crocheted hats for the 2 newest DGDs
  • ordered a bunch of stocking stuffer type games (like probably a dozen)
  • ordered several sets of kitchen towels

Personalized throw pillow covers

I tested a quilt pattern a while back and didn't realize I wasn't going to be happy with the color combo until I had all 16 blocks done - oops. I've been trying to figure out what to do with them and finally settled on personalized throw pillow covers for kidlet birthdays during the year. Won't need all 16 but it's nice to have extras. So I finished four and they're ready to go in the mail, plus I have another two quilted and ready to sew together. I plan to quilt them all now and then do the embroidery and finish them up as each birthday approaches.

Crocheted hats

Yes, I crochet...and I have lots of yarn...and I've even made a lot of hats. So why did I order some? Because they were just too darn cute AND on sale, of course! I'm talking less than $7 each and that included the shipping.

Stocking stuffer type games

The Best of Charades, LIFE Adventures card game, Disney Princess dominoes, etc, etc, etc - at under $3 each, how could I resist? With 11 grands, these will be great filler gifts to round out the holidays!

Kitchen towels

Seems everywhere I go, the kitchen towels are pretty ratty. So I decided that women on my list would receive new ones for their birthday. At $2-$5 for a set of two or three, how could I go wrong? And they'll be easy and relatively cheap to ship for the ones that need to be mailed.

Well, that's it for now!

What have you already done to prepare for Christmas 2013?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Watkins Economy Spice Cake

After my Eggless Chocolate Cake post, I got the following recipe by email (thanks, Marjie!) that doesn’t call for eggs, butter or milk! I did a little research and found out it’s also called a Depression cake because (are you ready for this?) it dates back to the Depression. But it’s actually even older than that! One site said it dates back to the Civil War.
So what’s in the eggless, butterless, milkless cake? Well, nothing unusual and you probably have everything you need to make it right now. If  not, go ahead and make substitutions – I did!
Ingredients (all the spices are supposed to be Watkins products, of course):
·         1 c brown sugar
·         1 c water
·         1 c raisins (or more)
·         c lard
·         ¼ t nutmeg
·         1 t cinnamon
·         t cloves
·         ¼ t ginger
·         ¼ t allspice
·         ½ t salt
·         1½ t baking powder
·         1½ c flour
·         1½ t vanilla

1.     Boil sugar, water, raisins and lard together about 3 minutes, until sugar is dissolved. Put aside until cold.
2.    Sift dry ingredients and add to above mixture (I just stirred them up good with a fork).
3.    Add vanilla.
4.    Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees worked for me) in a small square tin (I used a greased 7x9 inch).

A couple of substitutions

Beings we have a bunch of chopped dates and no raisins at the moment, I used them instead, and I also used Crisco instead of lard. Otherwise, I pretty much followed the recipe. Well, I didn’t actually measure the shortening but I’m sure I was close! I also didn’t actually set aside the liquid until it was cold (or even cool, for that matter), but it wasn’t still hot…

But is it any good?

I think this cake is delicious and gave it an 8.5! But thanks to getting just 6 from two raters (what’s wrong with them, anyway?), it only comes in at a 7. It’s incredibly moist and tastes like gingerbread cookies. To top it off, it’s EASY to make and requires just simple ingredients. So go make yourself one, ok?
And be sure to check out the other recipe links on the Cake-a-Week page.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Do YOU Qualify as Head of Household?

If you qualify, Head of Household is a much better income tax filing status than Single or Married Filing Separately. Why? Because you get a higher standard deduction ($2,750 higher for 2012) and may even qualify for credits not available to folks in the other two categories. Be careful, however – filing as Head of Household when you don’t meet the qualifications is fraud and you don’t want to go there!

I wrote more about this in Can You Claim Head of Household? over at Penny Thots, so go check it out!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Cleaning Up My Online Real Estate

For Project DO this past week, I did a major cleanup of my online real estate. For this blog and two others, I went through every post and checked every link. Finding and fixing broken links was only part of the game plan, however. I also revised many posts and deleted several, too. The deleted posts were mostly sponsored posts (which I don’t do anymore) from back in 2010. Many posts needed revision due to obsolete links and content – those mentioning and linking to my Suite 101 or eHow articles which no longer exist, for instance.
Going forward, I plan to be so much more careful about linking. While including links to relevant content on other sites and blogs is a great idea, my big cleanup has shown me that doing so may not pan out so well. So from now on, unless a site looks completely rock solid to me, I’ll likely not link to it – I really don’t want to deal with all the broken links again due to whole websites or specific content vanishing from cyberspace.

And I'm cleaning up my hard drive, too!

A related area I tackled is my filing system for posts – boy, have I ever created a mess! From here on out, I’m filing all posts by subcategory within each blog or site folder rather than having all posts jumbled up in one folder per blog or site. For instance, all my Project DO posts will be in the Project DO folder, which is filed under this blog. Now, why didn’t I think of this before? Well, partly because way back when I started blogging, I didn’t think far enough ahead to consider what it would be like when I had hundreds of posts.
I also plan to rename all my post documents to match the actual post title. Huh? Why on earth would they not be that way already? Well, because I often come up with a different title when publishing and just didn’t think to go back and change the doc names to match. And not only am I going to update all my doc names slowly over time, but I’m going to be meticulous about further organizing future post docs by adding an identifier when appropriate. For instance, my doc for this post will have W3 as the beginning of the doc name so that I can easily find a specific week’s post on my hard drive if I want. And beings all the Project DO posts will be in the Project DO folder, they’ll all also be in order.
And last but not least, I’m now separating out drafts and ideas from published posts, which I’ll move to a designated ‘published’ folder when they go live. And I’m including a blog identifier in the folder names so I can easily differentiate between blogs. This way, I avoid having subfolders with the same name inside multiple files – after all, I’d hate to have too many folders all named ‘published’ scattered across my hard drive.

Project DO Progress – Week 3

·         Ran a link checker on all blogs and sites (no broken links on 4 sites – yippee!)
·         Found/fixed broken links on 3 blogs (well, maybe not all fixed but I know about them and am working on it!)
·         Deleted obsolete posts (35 from 2010 and 3 from 2009)
·         Developed a way better filing system for my posts

In addition to all of the above, I got a decent start on reorganizing the rest of my computer files, too. But that’s another post!

Do you have online real estate and/or computer files in need of a major cleanup? If so, set aside 10 or 15 minutes each day and tackle one task at a time. And before you know it, you’ll be done!

Friday, January 18, 2013

First Memorial Quilt Pattern Published!

First memorial quilt pattern from
Well, I'm excited - after several days of fine-tuning, my first memorial quilt pattern is ready to publish! How cool is that? It's been a long time coming, that's for sure. But thanks to technological advances and the evolution of the Internet, my dream is finally a reality.

A little backstory...

During 6+ years of creating custom memorial quilts from clothing, I've also given guidance to others whenever asked. I have a wealth of experience and am happy to share.

Several years ago, I even submitted a book proposal to one of the quilt/craft specific publishers based on creating keepsakes from clothing. It was turned down, however, due to the very reason it was written. Apparently, a book that encourages people NOT to buy fabric isn't very appealing from a marketing standpoint.

So I decided to self-publish but the time wasn't right. Figuring out the marketing and distribution were the major obstacles but all that has changed!

Now, self-publishing is easy!

I have several publishing goals for 2013 and it's so nice to have already accomplished one! For now, my patterns will be available on Craftsy. And when I get a full book written, I will gleefully publish it through CreateSpace.

Pattern specifics

The Loving Arms Wrap Quilt requires basic sewing skills and just 10 shirts for the quilt top. Then you need backing, batting and binding to finish your quilt.

While the cover quilts are each 56x70 inches, I've also included cutting adjustments to make both a larger and a smaller size. In addition to the detailed instructions, the 15-page pattern also includes extra tips and notes, color examples, and a to-scale quilt layout grid.

If you or someone you know would like to create a memorial quilt, please send them my way. Just go to the pattern page on Craftsy or check out my Custom Memorial Quilts website for info and ideas.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Project DO - Continuing to Organize with Calibre

Over the past week, I uploaded all the Kindle books from my Cruz Reader. Then in the Kindle-specific library, also created a couple of custom columns and tweaked the tags for even better organization.
Custom columns
·         DRM – it’s more convenient to read on the Calibre viewer so now I know which books I can and can’t
·         Location – so I always know whether the book in on my Cruz or Kindle for PC (or both)
I removed all preset tags and created my own so that I can easily find books based on a categorizing system that makes sense to me. For the most part, I don’t want too many tags – just broad categories. If (when?) this system quits working for me, I can add more tags for subcategories.

Now, copying the books from my Cruz Reader to Calibre was easy but it doesn’t appear to be so simple going the other direction. But this is a non-issue as I probably won’t ever anyway. The reason for Calibre is to know what I have and where it is. And if a book is DRM free, I can read it with my Calibre viewer, if I choose. Otherwise, I’ll just open Kindle for PC or fire up my Cruz.

Project DO Progress – Week 2

After uploading the Kindle books on my Cruz Reader, moving over most of the rest of the ebooks hidden on my hard drive, and combining the quilt/sew/craft ebooks and digital patterns and magazines libraries, my second week Project DO organizing totals are:
·         437 Kindle ebooks (yeah, I admit it – I downloaded a few more, too)
·         229 other ebooks
·         396 quilt/sew/craft ebooks and digital patterns/magazines
·         154 hardcopy quilting/sewing/craft books
·         39 other hardcopy books
As you can see, I’ve made great progress on my digital file organization but not so much on hardcopy books.  But that’s ok – while it’s great to have the hardcopy books so beautifully organized on Calibre, they were actually an afterthought. My goal was to get my digital book and pattern files organized and I’m nearly done with that!

Shiny Object Syndrome Strikes Again!

Well, I have to fess up – I could have easily been done with everything I need on Calibre and finished up with this phase of Project DO but I allowed myself to get distracted. But I got distracted doing other Project DO tasks, so it’s ok, right? Of course it is! And Calibre will need ongoing maintenance to keep it current. After all, if it’s not current, what good is it? So, the fact is, Calibre will never actually be done.
So what else did I DO? I got a good start on cleaning up my blogs (full report next week) and finally went through and organized most of the scattered notes and patterns-in-progress in my sewing room. So see? I haven’t been slacking!

So...what Project DO tasks did you accomplish this past week?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Eggless Chocolate Cake

Well, it’s my turn to make the cake this week and we’re low on eggs. Yes, we have eggs. In fact, we have a few dozen because the guys snow-shoed some in a couple of days ago. (They didn’t realize they’d be on foot when they bought the eggs but that’s another story.) Before that, we were down to just five. Beings I don’t know how much longer we’re going to have all this beautiful snow making it hard for us to get supplies in, I decided to make an eggless cake. So here goes…
Not pretty but oh so delicious! Our rating - 7.5 out of 10.
·         1½ c flour
·         3 T cocoa
·         1 c sugar
·         1 t baking soda
·         ½ t salt
·         1 c water
·         ¼ c oil
·         1 t vanilla
·         1 T apple cider vinegar (plain will work, as well)
1.       Mix the dry ingredients together until completely combined.
2.       Mix the wet ingredients together and then stir into the dry ingredients until smooth.
3.       Pour batter into a greased and floured 8” square baking pan.
4.       Bake 35 minutes at 350 degrees.

Ok, can we have cake without frosting? I don’t think so – at least not today. Not wanting to make buttercream icing and noticing the multiple jars of marshmallow creme in the pantry, I decided to experiment a little bit. Here’s what I came up with:
Chocolate Marshmallow Creme Frosting
·         1 jar marshmallow creme (7 oz)
·         2 T butter, softened
·         2 t cocoa
·         ¼ c powdered sugar
1.       Mix the ingredients until smooth (try not to burn up your mixer!).
2.       Pour over center of cake and spread toward the edges so it can flow over the sides.
Warning! This frosting is extremely sticky – yummy but sticky. I wouldn’t recommend using it on cupcakes or if you have small children and don’t want it all over the place.


Oh! And check out the Cake-a-Week page for links to the rest of this year's recipes.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

2 Critical Components for Christmas Prep 2013

If you'd like to join me in prepping for Christmas throughout the coming year, the two most important things that you need right now are:
  1. a way to track the 4 Ws (who, what, where and when)
  2. a dedicated storage spot for your gifts
Let's take these one at at time, shall we?

Gift Tracking

Simple gift-tracking list.
To keep track of the 4 Ws and avoid duplicating your great ideas (how embarrassing), you need a way to track gifts that actually works for you. Over the years, I've tried many ways to track gifts but have settled on paper and pen. Yes, I tried a spreadsheet on my computer, one of those glitzy online gift-tracking sites, a cutesy little notebook, etc. But what actually works for me is a printout of a simple table with appropriate columns across the top and my gift recipients clustered by family down the left side. Now in my seventh year, I can say conclusively that this is the method for me!

If you'd like to try this basic way to track your gifts and you'd also like to track birthdays and Mother's/Father's Day like I do, I'd be happy to share my table with you if I could figure out how to upload it here. Beings I can't, I included an example. But you can easily create your own in your word processing program or by hand on a blank sheet of paper. I write in the year at the top and I like to start with Christmas beings it's the biggie, so my current list is actually 2012-13. If it works better for you to just stick with the calendar year, that's fine, too. Since not all of the columns apply to all recipients, I simply draw an X in the boxes that don't apply. Now, how simple is that?

Gift Storage

The other thing you need is a dedicated place to store your gifts. If you don't have enough space in one location, figure out a couple of spots but try to limit yourself or you may lose some gifts (experience talking here!). And if you buy gifts ahead for specific people, make a note where you stashed them right on your gift list. If you're in the habit of buying gifts and deciding on the recipient later, make doubly sure that you know where all your gifts are hidden! It is so easy to forget...

So, what are you doing to prepare ahead of time for Christmas?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Project DO Progress - I LOVE Calibre!

Calibre screenshot - isn't it cool?
Now that I’ve used this oh-so-cool ebook database management system for nearly a week, I have to say that I’m in love - Calibre has truly changed my life! After my initial failure and reinstall, I’ve been proceeding cautiously and performing small-scale tests instead of racing ahead all willy-nilly. And it’s worked – I haven’t had a single catastrophe!
As I said in a previous post, my first Project DO area of focus is my computer files. With over a thousand PDF documents on my hard drive, I was never able to find anything I wanted IF I even remembered a specific file was there. For the most part, all the ebooks and digital patterns I’ve downloaded over the past several years were lost to me.  And it’s not because I didn’t try – on several occasions, I tried to implement an organizational structure but nothing worked for long.
With Calibre, knowing what I have and finding it is no longer a problem. And I figured out the program doesn’t know or care if what I add is an ebook. It’s a database, after all – all it wants is data. So I made some separate libraries for my hardcopy books, as well. How clever is that? Of course, I can’t read the hardcopy books on Calibre but I can browse through them cover by cover and decide which one I want without taking them all off the shelves.  (And I can also make a note right in the database if I loan them out and to whom.)
Project DO Progress - Week 1
Well, without boring everyone by further singing Calibre’s praises (I’ve already alienated all my peeps here at home), I’ll get right to my progress. During this first week of Project DO, I have successfully organized:
·         261 Kindle ebooks
·         211 other ebooks
·         206 quilt/sew/craft ebooks and digital patterns (lots more to do)
·         48 digital magazines
·         147 hardcopy quilting/sewing/craft books
·         29 other hardcopy books (I’m just getting started)
Rather than having everything in one library, I figured it would be best to have the books separated by type (digital vs. hardcopy) and broad category (quilt/sew/craft vs. all else) so I made several libraries. So far, this has worked splendidly – I couldn’t be more thrilled! If I change my mind, however, it’s easy-peasy to copy or move them to another library.
Although I’ve made great progress, I still have much to do so it’s a good thing I’m closer to the beginning of the month than to the end. Although I’ve got most of my hardcopy quilt/sew/craft books entered, I’ve barely scratched the surface on all other types of hardcopy books. My Kindle for PC book list is up to date and I think I’ve got most of my other ebooks found and moved to Calibre, but I’m probably only halfway through the digital quilt/sew/craft books and patterns. And now that I have Calibre, there’s no reason not to download more! This could be never ending…

Friday, January 4, 2013

Calibre - Project DO Secret Weapon

I found out about Calibre (pronounced caliber, btw) just before the New Year. Beings I’ve been particularly frustrated with the ebook mess I’ve created on my Kindle for PC, Cruz Reader and hard drive, Calibre sounded like a godsend. Designed specifically to manage your ebook library regardless of format type, I figured I’d be able to have every ebook in one place, all organized and searchable. Well, hold on a minute – not so fast! You know how things often don’t work out exactly as you'd planned?

So… what went wrong?

I might look and sound like I know what I’m doing computer-wise much of the time but the truth is I often know just enough to get me into really big trouble! And my initial experience with Calibre was no exception.  After downloading Calibre, there I was, enthusiastically moving forward without a clear understanding of…well…anything. This led me to creating a bigger mess rather than cleaning one up, I might add.
So what did I do first? I moved my WHOLE Kindle for PC library onto Calibre. It sounded like a good idea at the time but trust me, it was not! Most likely my method was at fault but there’s no way I can relate how I got to the point of completely eliminating Calibre from my computer but that’s what I ultimately did that first day. (Ok – truth time – it was actually my techie BIL that saved me from myself after several hours of me messing around where I had no business!)

Calibre - back in business

After much thought, I realized that Calibre might still be the answer to my ebook organization problems. I just need to be smart about how I try to use it and what I put in my Calibre Library. Most importantly, I need to become familiar with how it functions before I dump in several hundred books. So, I re-downloaded it and am starting over WITHOUT including any Kindle for PC ebooks. At this point, I’m simply going to use it as a Project DO secret weapon to declutter and organize the countless ebooks littering my hard drive.
If you’d like to give Calibre a try, you can download it from the Calibre site. If you don’t have the Quick Start Guide after it’s all installed on your computer (I did the first time, then I didn’t the second time – still don’t know why) you can download that from the Denver Public Schools website.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Project DO Introduction

Welcome 2013! It’s a brand new year and you’ve got a clean slate on which to write your future. What do you want to accomplish in the coming 12 months?
One of my goals is to declutter and get more organized. But wait – don’t I say this every year? Yep, most years over the past couple of decades, anyway. But this year I got all cutesy. You know how some folks name their cars? (Been there, done that, btw.) Well, I named my goal.
Introducing… (drumroll, please)
Project DO
In case you need an explanation of my cleverness, the D stands for declutter and the O stands for organize – Declutter and Organize – Project DO. See? Isn’t that cute? And catchy and memorable, too. At least I hope so because otherwise I’ll probably forget about it altogether in a few weeks.
My plan is to identify an area each month and then focus on a specific subarea each week. (We’ll see how that goes!) My first area of focus is My Documents on my PC. It’s a mess! I usually have to search for files despite (or maybe because of?) having created folders and subfolders and subfolders and… Well, you can see the problem.
So this first week of Project DO I’m going to focus on my hundreds of PDF format ebooks that are scattered all about in 4-5 main folders and dozens (if not hundreds) of subfolders. And how am I going to conquer this beast? Well, I have a secret weapon. (Ok, so maybe it’s not really a “secret” but beings I just found out about it and I’m not telling you yet, I guess that’s secret enough, right?)
Will I finish this monumental task in one week? NO. Will I finish by the end of the month? Maybe not. But beings Project DO is my baby, I can make up the rules as I go along. And if I need to roll a focus into a second month, or maybe leave it partly done and come back to it later, that’s ok! I’m after progress here, not perfection. If I go for perfection, I’ll likely overwhelm myself into paralysis – not a good state for getting anything done.
Care to join me?
If you’d like to join me, please feel free. Just leave a comment here or on the Project DO page and I’ll include a link to your blog. We can DO this!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Welcome 2013!

May the coming year be
peaceful, productive and prosperous!