Oh Happy Day

This picture was taken in February 2002. It was a Happy Day for me. I had two huge poorly maintained evergreen trees in the front yard of the house I had purchased the previous year. It was one of the only things I did not like about the house. Those trees were close to the front window, blocked light and prevented grass from growing. My realtor had told me that it would cost about $2,000.00 to have the trees removed. I saved that amount but had not made the calls to get estimates.

Enter my cousin. She came for a visit In February 2002. I was still working at the time – as an accountant for a CPA firm and it was Tax Season. My cousin came to give me a break at home by preparing my meals and running errands for me. I asked her if she would mind making calls to get estimates on removing those ugly trees.

That day I got a frantic call from my cousin telling me that a tree removal company was in the neighborhood and would remove the trees for $400.00. WHAT? $400.00????? Well, it seems that they had no more jobs to fill their day and if they could let the trees fall on the neighbors yard, it would be an easy job. “Do they have insurance?” I asked.

Everything worked out. The trees (two big ones and one small scrawny one) were removed and the stumps were also removed. The neighbor lady was not home and never knew that the trees fell on her front yard as it was snowing and all the imprints were filled in by fresh snow. My cousin had a digital camera and took pictures during the whole process, E-mailing them to me at my office.

Since I saved almost $1,600.00, I was able to purchase a much needed new computer. That was 2002. It is now 2007 and I need new gutters, downspouts and windows – and I would love a new computer. Maybe I’ll invite my cousin for a visit…………..

Getting things done

There are so many things on my mental “To Do” list that when I have plenty of time to work on this list, I get paralyzed with indecision and end up doing Sudoku puzzles or surfing the Internet. I should clean the bathroom, but I’d rather stitch, yet that quilt needs binding, and I haven’t finished the ironing. Yet I probably should pay the bills first, or perhaps start a load of laundry. And the kitchen floor needs scrubbing, but the quilt retreat is coming up and I need to prepare for that. My head starts to spin, I pick up a Sudoku puzzle, and nothing gets done while I look for where the 9 goes in the last grid.

Today I thought about my problem and decided to take a new approach. Instead of having to decide what to do on my long list, I made out little slips of paper for each list item and put them in a big bowl. After mixing them all up, I closed my eyes and reached in to pick out my first item. Then I set my timer for one hour and began on the assigned task. When the timer dinged, I put away the project and reached for another slip of paper, set the timer again for one hour, and began my new task.

It worked!!!!! I finished four projects and got an hour’s worth of work done on four others, plus I took an hour out for lunch and dinner, reading my book as I ate which meant I also had almost two hours of reading time. What a productive day. I feel great.

Of course a lot of things did not get done – but they might not have gotten done anyway. Maybe I will pick them out of the bowl tomorrow. Maybe not. So if my kitchen floor does not get scrubbed until next week, well, it’s just the luck of the draw.