Friday, October 12, 2012

New Ideas

I love being organized.  I feel if I am organized I can be more efficient and better prepared to do whatever tasks I need to.  Recently two people have really helped me get better organized.  My youngest daughter, Stephanie, set me up with a new budget spreadsheet.  I think I like it better and just need to finish filling in the information for it.  Then I’ll copy it into my current spreadsheet and use it.  I have to keep the old one though as it has historical info I might need.

Tia, one of my new faculty members, gave me an idea on how to use a spreadsheet to track progress on projects.  She told me how she lists the projects on the left and the tasks in the columns.  I loved the idea.  I could see where I could use this to stay on top of the tasks I needed to get done and just keeping track of where I was with all the projects. 

Then today she tells me that for the bigger parts of the projects she has separate sheets for the details of the tasks.  Now I know this is beginning to sound geeky and maybe a bit compulsive (woman after my own heart).  As I looked at one of the tasks there are at least 25 tasks that go into it.  On my main sheet I just call it Formatting.  Then I linked it to the sheet where I talk about all the formatting tasks. 

Back to what Stephanie gave me, she incorporated conditional formatting in there.  I’m just using it to highlight the cell when I put my little x in it.  However, it gives a wonderful visual cue that look this is where I’m at. 

My new spreadsheet isn’t quite done.  I have tasks on my list that I’m not sure what it will entail because a few of the tasks I’ve not done before.  As I move through the process, I’ll continue to develop this spreadsheet.  I can also see this new spreadsheet having other purposes like in my genealogy, projects around the house, and even in developing the writing aspect of my writing projects – especially ones that include research. 

Perhaps I’ve taken my geeky compulsion of to do list a bit far with this latest development but I don’t think so.  I think it will just help me be better organized and maybe use fewer post its to keep track of everything.  To the two women who helped me out – thank you!  I’m thrilled to have the new tools that you shared with me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Bombed a Quiz

In manuscript editing today, I took a quiz and totally screwed it up.  I went through the 11 sentences and did my edits.  I was confident and felt good about it.  Then the professor started giving hints and I thought – oh – I must have that wrong.  I know better than to go back and second guess myself but I did it anyway.  By the time I was done I had made 7 mistakes on a 20 point quiz.  Not good…. Not good at all.

I’m frustrated with this class.  When I speak up in class, other students roll their eyes at me.  I ask questions or make comments and the instructor always disagrees with me.  I’m torn between just shutting up and being a non-participant and trying to drive home my points. 

Most likely, I’m going to buckle down in order to know the material better.  I’ll do research to determine whether I agree with the rules.  I doubt I’ll argue my point in class but I will in my own mind disagree with the instructor. 

I guess I just have to find my own way through this material.  I have all these books on grammar and punctuation so I just need to make things clearer in my head.  Ultimately, I’m not doing it to get a good grade in this class.  I’m doing it to be a better editor for myself and my clients.  I need to keep that in mind as I’m working on the material from the class.

Monday, October 8, 2012


Yesterday Vicki and I were particularly productive.  She got the kitchen and dining room floors cleaned.  She cleaned up in those two rooms and the two bathrooms.  She even cleaned up a bit in the living room which was sort of her thing because she crafted on Saturday and had stuff sprawled out. 

In addition to all of Vicki’s productiveness in cleaning, she and I cooked a lot of stuff.  She made two types of pudding and blackberry crisp and chicken carbonara.  I made meatloaf and turkey meatballs.  On Saturday, Vicki made two pans of lasagna.  We put in the freezer eight containers of meatloaf, six bags of turkey meatballs, and a dozen containers of carbonara.  We also shared food with a friend who came and picked up. 

Vicki and I also made two containers of shampoo for her.  Vicki put my lotion back on the stove to melt to see if she could get the turmeric to mix in better.  It did a bit but still settled to the bottom.  We will have to try oil.

In addition to the cooking, I got an eleven page paper edited and a three page paper for school written.  I also did some reading for school though I didn’t finish that.  In the evening I made two gifts.  It was a busy and productive day. 

At the end of the day, I gave Vicki a back, arm, and leg rub because she was wore out and sore from all the work.  I used the lotion she made and gave her a thorough rub down – her skin should be in lovely shape now.  I’m pretty sure she is still sore though.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


People ask me how do I manage to stay ahead of my schedule.  I usually answer very confidently it is a matter of scheduling.  Generally, I figure out what I need to get done, schedule it, and then do it. 

Lately, I’ve not been as good at this.  I’ve been getting distracted by things not on my schedule.  This is sometimes good and sometimes not so good.  Here it is Sunday and I should have all my homework done.  I don’t.  I have several pages to read yet.  I likely won’t get to them.  This means the reading flows into my school week.  It is difficult for me to do homework during the week as I’m usually freaking exhausted after working and school.  If I don’t get the reading done then it will be next weekend.  This is of course a cascading problem because next weekend I have all this other reading to do. 

My distraction this week is editing.  I got a wonderful story from a friend and edited it.  He says he has 22 chapters and by the time I was done reading the prologue I just wanted the rest of it.  I also have been working on editing my own book.  I’m nearing the end of the first rounds of edits and am annoyed I was too tired to do more last night at midnight. 

My office is still a mess.  I don’t care so long as I can edit.  I am not any more organized than I was prior to the semester starting.  Mostly, I don’t care so long as I can edit. 

I may be a bit obsessed with editing right now.  It may be time to give myself a good kick in the bum and get back on schedule.  Or I may just need to finish the edits on the first manuscript in my series.  Ironically I’m dreaming about the story again.  It is stuck in my head and I just want to work on it and move forward – everything else be damned. 

Back at the Grindstone

With nine days off, you would think I got a lot accomplished.  I did when it comes to spending time with my girls but off my to-do list?  No...