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Tag Archives: time management

Another Cup of Coffee Anyone?

 

This past week has been crazy busy at work. We’ve tried to get cars serviced and detailed for the car lot.

 I have drunk massive amounts of coffee this week just trying to stay on top of things. The above picture is a photo of a Caribou Coffee shop in St. Cloud, Minnesota I took and then used Photoshop to add the effect and the frame around the photo.

There are so many things I would like to with my free time but there just doesn’t seem to be any outside of work except for a few minutes in the morning before work or a few minutes before bed.

I’ve looked forward to spring this year so I could finally get outside and enjoy some warmer weather but tonight we are forecast to have one to three inches of snow once again and the ice is still on the lake. This is the latest the ice has gone off the lake since we moved here in 1992.

If I sound negative, I apologize,  it’s just exhaustion speaking but there are so many good things happening around me. My grandson is growing everyday and jabbering about everything in sight. My oldest son has lived at home for the past year saving for a down-payment for a home. Last week he made an offer on a home that was accepted and we are excited for this next phase in his life.

Our second son has been busy with the home he bought last year and we are gearing up to help him wire & insulate his garage so he can turn it into a workshop for his gunsmith sideline job. When he’s not working his day job or or as a gunsmith, he is working as a pitcrew member for a race team that will begin their touring season soon on weekends.

Our daughters are nearing the end of another year of college in the next two weeks so they are busy with final projects, papers and preparing for finals the first week of May. It is hard to believe that our oldest daughter only has one more year left in her special education degree and our youngest is already halfway through her early childhood education degree.

I hope to get some flying time in this next week as I celebrate my one year anniversary of earning my private pilot’s certificate. Hopefully the weather will cooperate 🙂

UPDATED! THE VIEW OUT MY WINDOW THIS BEAUTIFUL SATURDAY MORNING

Can you believe this? April 16, 2011 and snow. The photo looks dark because it is dark and overcast this morning. We didn’t get 3 inches but we got an inch.

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In A Fog

This morning my mind is literally and figuratively in a fog. 

I stepped outside this morning in my plaid flannel nightshirt and black snow boots to capture this photo. We are socked in with heavy fog this morning. In the background of this picture is a snow-covered lake that you can usually make out the shorelines even with snow on the lake but not so this morning.

As I was walking down to the lake to take a few pictures I heard sounds of birds singing which amazed me because before I went outside I had watched my bird feeder this morning for birds to come and none had before I went out and none since I came back in. The other prevalent sound was the dripping of water. I could hear it falling from the trees and roof of our home.  As I walked through the snow it had a crunching sound and not the almost silent sound of walking through fresh snow.

The figuratively nature of my mind’s fog this morning is in preparing for an upcoming trip. I don’t know if you are like me when you plan for a trip, you start adding things to your to-do list that have needed to be done for years and somehow you think you will finally do them just because you plan to leaving town. My husband looked at me like I was crazy when I said that we needed to load up and deliver the crib that we had borrowed from his brother and wife almost a year and a half ago. It has only been sitting against the wall in our bedroom for the past month. 

Do I have a fear that I will not return from this trip so everything I have ever borrowed must be returned to its proper owner?  Certainly not, but why not use the reason for leaving town to get some of those things accomplished. I’ve concluded that if I only had less stuff it would be easier to leave more often.  Too much of my day is caring for all the things we have accumulated. I have downsized a lot in the past year but there is so much more that can go but I want to do it in a responsible way.

I don’t want to fill the landfill with useful items so I need to find places to donate. I need to assess just how many pots and pans I really need.  Afterall I only have four burners on the top of my stove and my oven can only hold so many baking dishes at one time. Clothes are a problem around my home. I am not a clothes hound by any means but because of the different seasons we need to have a variety of clothes for the different seasons and all the winter clothes take up more space.  I was thinking that if we didn’t live where there was a winter how much less storage I would need.

Time to emerge from the fog and head to work in the fog with renewed energy to carry out great things today or at least a few important things on my list knowing that some time off awaits me soon. 🙂

 
18 Comments

Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Life Happens, Nature, Photography, Vacations

 

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Have You Ever Wondered…

This morning as I waited and watched for the birds to come to the bird feeder I wondered.  I wondered why they came at 8:30 this morning and not before and why they came so much earlier yesterday.  How did they know to come and feed?  What is their natural rhythm?

In our business my husband often wonder what makes people come and go at certain times.  Our business is open the same hours of everyday except for Saturdays.  A lot of it is due to personal schedules.  For example families where both husband and wife work are more likely to come after regular business hours or on Saturdays when both are available. 

Retired people can come anytime of the day but usually come first thing in the morning.  Retired people who need their oil changed still want to bring it in on Saturday mornings when they have the rest of the week available.  I suppose out of habit.  Changing oil I think was a Saturday chore around our home growing up but Dad changed it at home.

The behavior that gets me thinking is what changed from yesterday to today to have three different parties interested in a car that has been on the lot since June.  We didn’t change the price recently.  It doesn’t have a big red ribbon on it to draw attention to its existence.  I don’t know of any news stories that would impact its sale but yet today it is in high demand.  Everyone wants it. 

The other behavior that happens at work a lot is the transport arrives to drop off cars.  The transport draws people like flies to honey.  They want what nobody has looked at or claimed.  It doesn’t matter how dirty it is coming off the truck, they want it.  A bit of the Cabbage Patch doll syndrome, that car might be the only one like it available, and they better get theirs before it is too late.

I know that sunshine motivates me, but what motivates other people beyond sunshine and schedules?

 
21 Comments

Posted by on January 28, 2011 in Life Happens, Reflections

 

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Blogging: Where Seduction Meets Obsession

It started innocently enough a little more than a year ago.  While I was learning to fly I began reading flying blogs, anything that someone wrote about their learning to fly experiences.  I started off with reading author, pilot and flight instructor Greg Brown’s blog, The Flying Carpet.  He guided me through learning to fly with his posts on flying.  He connected me with other older pilots who I could relate to in my learning to fly experiences.  Up to that time I had heard about blogging but didn’t really know what it was.

For months I continued to read Greg’s blog and student pilot blogs.  I found myself searching for more life experiences from other student pilots and spending more and more time on-line.  I can’t seem to pin point the exact moment I decided to start a blog but sometime not long before my first post on January 8, 2010 I happened on to the WordPress.com site and it talked about how easy it was to start a blog. 

I’m not that tech savvy so I took it slow and played with the blog idea and themes.  I choose the name FlyingGma for two reasons: both are because of defining moments in my life.  The first part was my pursuit of learning to fly at age 48 and the second part was for my new role as grandma in August of 2009.  I really didn’t know where I was going with the blog when I started other than to learn something new.

I started to read other blogs on WordPress.com by way of  “Freshly Pressed”.  The seduction began when I started seeing the featured blogs on the front page of WordPress.com.  Seeing my blog featured on Freshly Pressed became my goal.

 I read many of the Freshly Pressed blogs to see what they were doing that made them unique and ultimately chosen for the Freshly Pressed feature.  I started subscribing to various blogs that I found interesting on Freshly Pressed.  Up until this point no one had ever commented on anything I had written except for two dear friends that I shared the fact that I have a blog.

Just as Satan seduced Eve with an apple the statistics seduced me.  WordPress definitely knows what they are doing when they say they have stats to obsess over.  It’s true.  When my blog started to be read regularly by others and they left a comment those numbers became more important.  I began to check the stats more than once each day.  I definitely liked to see the numbers improve or special comments left about what I had written.

Next I read a blog about someone who worried about the subscriber that they had lost and wondered why.  I didn’t realize up to this point that I could subscribe to a blog or have subscribers.  I was still learning about WordPress and blogging.  I began subscribing to other blogs that I enjoyed reading and adding links from my blog to their blogs.  The statistics just kept getting better.  Somehow in my mind I equated better statistics with better writing, which was far from the truth.  My writing has improved by practicing daily but it still has a long way to go.

I have observed bloggers remove posts from their sites because no one commented on their post or perhaps didn’t even visit a blog on a day.  At first it bothered me that what I wrote wasn’t read or people didn’t visit my blog because of the topic I chose to write about that day.  Then I thought just maybe the reason they didn’t read could have been they have a life outside of blogging and were spending time doing something else that day.  Maybe they were doing something special with their family, which would be a better thing than reading my blog.  Good for them! 

I haven’t blogged for almost a week thinking about the seduction/obsession that blogging has become in my life.  What was I giving up in the amount of time I spent preparing my blog and photos?  Time with my husband, family and other things that I enjoy like reading, quilting, baking and of course sleep. 

There will be more balance in my life from here on out.  I will continue to blog but probably not as often.  Time is a commodity, which means there is not an endless supply of it. Using time wisely is my new obsession not wanting to squander even a minute of the precious gift it is.

 

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What Each Day Has to Offer…How Does Your Week Flow?

Sunday evenings are always a time of reflection and planning for me.  I look to the past few days for signs of accomplishment, things that I had looked to in anticipation of the weekend.  Last evening I was thinking of the days of the week in general and how some days seem better than others and other days seem not so great.    I realized that I have expectations and opinions of each day.  Each day has a personality of its own.

  • Sunday– I find Sundays restful, time when I give myself permission to relax, read and retire.  It’s the one day of the week when I don’t feel like I have to be “on duty”.  As a mother of four kids when they were young this was difficult to do.  My kids are grown now and demands on my time from them are  not as great.  It’s okay to read a book all day long if I wish, take a walk or even a nap. 

 

  • Monday– I have energy and a to do list like no other day of the week.  I bound into work ready to get things done.  The only problem with this is that there are so many others out there like me.  My phone rings the most often on Mondays and I have the most interruptions on that day in part because I have been out of the office since noon on Saturday and things happen over the weekend that need to be dealt with on Monday.  I spend part of the day setting up schedules with customers for work to be done the rest of the week.

 

  • Tuesday-This is the day of the week that I tend to get the most accomplished at work in my office.  My energy level is high, the phones are a little less busy and everyone at work has settled into what will be the rhythm of work for the week.  If we have a lot to get done everyone is working at a little faster pace, if not as much needs to be done a steady, a not so frenzied rhythm takes over.

 

  • Wednesday-This is a day I look forward to each week.  Some call it “Hump Day”  when you have reached the middle of your work week and the end of the work week is in sight .  The anticipation of the weekend starts to kick in.  My reason for liking Wednesdays is different.  For some it may seem a bit quirky but I like Wednesday because it is trash day.  The garbage man comes to our home and business each Wednesday.  For me it is a physical and mental unloading of “stuff” day.  I try to cross a few things off my to do list each Wednesday.  If there is something out there that I have procrastinated on I try to attack it.  I may not get it completely done but I try to make some progress each week.

 

  • Thursday-A day for  physical work for me.  My mental energies are less by this time each week and I move out of the office to more physical work.  The kind of work that has me up and on my feet.  Thursdays tend to be my day of Thanksgiving while I work.  I love that when I am doing more physical things I have thinking time available which allows me time to give thanks for the good and the bad in my life.  It’s hard to be thankful when you are in difficult circumstances but I find that is a time I can truly shine in my abilities.  Just ask my husband.  If I am upset, that is when some serious cleaning gets done at home. 

 

  • Friday– A day to pull my week together.  I try to wrap it up in a neat little package with nothing hanging out of my box of work for the week.  It is not always possible but I try to finish something if I can and not take on something new.  I love to start new things and get them 90% done and move on to something else.  Fridays are my 10% days, not that I am giving only 10% of my time and efforts to work but trying to complete some of those 10% items.  This is an opportunity to start my next week with less hanging over my head. 

 

  • Saturday – I love the anticipation of Saturdays.  Most people have them off from work.  I work most Saturdays at least until noon but I anticipate them just the same for the things I will be able to do outside of my regular work week.  I’m a project person.  I usually have at least one or two home improvement projects I’m working on .  I love Saturdays that allow me to see some forward momentum on my projects.  I love Saturdays for the change of scenery from work to home.  I truly appreciate my home more on Saturdays than any other day of the week.

When I think about how work flows for other people at work I noticed that they have their individual preferences for their schedule.  My husband rarely schedules warranty work for Monday unless no other day will work.  He usually schedules it for Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.  Our detail person rarely starts cleanup on a new car on Friday.  She has her own rhythm and pattern for her work.  The service department usually doesn’t schedule big jobs for Saturday.  This is in part to a reduced staff but still they don’t want to leave Saturday with a big  job partially done waiting for them on Monday morning.

Knowing and recognizing  rhythm of work can make our workplace and home a better more efficient place if I try to work with the flow instead of against.

 
26 Comments

Posted by on January 17, 2011 in Business Matters, Reflections

 

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Why Blog?…Time vs. Benefits

This morning as I was reading a blog by JoDee Luna http://jodeeluna.wordpress.com ; her words caught my attention and made an emotional connection as well. 

She said, “Have you ever felt like your life ambitions extend beyond your expiration date?   Full days leave little time for working towards those projects you want to finish.”

Blogging: Time vs. Benefit

What is motivating me to continue blogging?   Finding the words and pictures for the blog each day takes time.  When I started blogging in January it was just a challenge for me to see if I could actually set up a site and teach myself how to upload text and pictures to the site.  I’m not that computer savvy.  When I graduated from college we were still using electric typewriters for our papers.  We added carbon paper if we needed a second copy. 

I didn’t have any preconceived ideas of grandeur of a widely read blog. I just wanted to try something new to challenge myself.  I really didn’t understand how blogging worked or an idea of what I would write about, but I started.  This morning I left for work without posting on my blog because I was thinking about the amount of time vs. the benefits of blogging and were the scales tipped in a direction I could live with given my limited amount of discretionary time.

Benefits of Blogging

1.  Learning Something New

As I said earlier, learning something new was my original goal for blogging.  I have always said, “Any day that you learn something new is a good day!”  Sometimes you have to learn it the hard way but you still learn it.  I have been able to apply some of the things I have learned in WordPress in other areas at work. 

2.  Capturing a Moment of Time

When my husband and I were talking about blogging last week he said he would have loved to read what his parents, grandparents or other relatives had to say about living in their place in time.  I hadn’t thought about my descendants reading what I have written some day in the future.  I haven’t even shared with my four children or any other relatives besides my husband that I have a blog. 

3.  Seeing Glimpses of Other People in Their Worlds

Someday I hope to travel more extensively than I am able to now.  Until then, I can learn about other places in the world by reading other blogs.  Each person blogging brings a part of themselves and their worlds to share with those of us who take the time to read.  I especially love reading blogs like Sunshine in London http://sunshineinlondon.wordpress.com/ She is from South Africa and now lives in London.  She blogs about places that she finds interesting while living in London.  I can’t wait to travel to London someday and visit some of the places she has highlighted in her blog.  It’s like having my own personal travel agent telling me about what to see in London.

4.  Writing Styles

One of the most important benefits for me has been the ability to read so many writing styles.  I love reading Herding Cats in Hammond for her unique writing style.  My favorite post in the past year has been her post titled, ” I’ll Take Drooling for $750, Alex…November 9, 2010 by writerwoman61.”  It is a post about having dental surgery done on her daughter but written  in a very unique way in the format of the Jeopardy TV show.

Another blog I enjoy reading for his style and sense of humor is http://TEStazyk.com.  He writes from New Zealand so I get the opportunity to learn about another part of the world while reading his blog.  Thomas, through his blog has introduced me to a new and expanded vocabulary.  I love the creative banter of his regular readers while commenting on his latest post.  It’s a fun place to visit!

5.  Improving My Writing Skills

This would have been the last benefit that I would have written for blogging 11 months ago when I started.  I never thought of and still don’t think of myself as a writer.  The more posts I read and write I find myself wanting to do a better job in my writing.  After reading posts from another of my favorite blogs, Joe Clarks’ Blog, http://joeclarksblog.wordpress.com/, I find myself looking up things like passive voices.  A year ago I would never had looked up that topic.  Joe inspires me to learn new things both in aviation and writing through his passionate writing on many topics.

6.      Renewing Old Passions  

Photography and quilting are two passions that I have had in the past.  I never thought that starting a blog would re-ignite those passions.  The process of writing the blog and incorporating photos have me seeing everything through the lens of a camera.  Back in my early college days  I was interested in photography but I was discouraged because of its cost.  Now with the new digital cameras there are so many more things that you can try and only pay to have the pictures that you truly love.

Quilting is something that I have been passionate about for nearly 25 years and there are so many sites that give hints to make the process easier.  The ideas for quilts, tools, and hints are endless and have me exploring for the next best project.

Blogging has taken a place of priority in my discretionary time but I think the benefits are well worth the time spent.

 

 
11 Comments

Posted by on November 18, 2010 in Quilting, Wordpress Blogging, Writing skills

 

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Money in My Pocket and Time on My Hands

My husband and I are avid DIYers.  We will tackle just about any home improvement project once and then decide if it will ever be done by us again.  This past spring when we were purchasing ceiling tile for our family room were we finishing we ran across some  material to keep the leaves out of your gutter called Clean Sweep Leaf Protection gutter guard.  It looked like it would do the job for us and best of all it was on sale for about 40% off so we purchased it.  This is something we are very good at, the purchasing part.  The follow through on the other hand, not so much.

Yesterday afternoon after work I decided that I should get something done around home since it is fall and winter is not far behind.  I happened to look up and see this:

I’m pretty sure after looking at the gutters and finding a plant growing in it that I didn’t get my spring job done of cleaning out the gutters.  I usually do it in the spring and then late fall so we don’t have issues with clogged gutters in the spring. 

I decided that I had better take the time to clean out the gutters as long as I had the time and it was a beautiful day to be outside.  Then I remembered the Clean Sweep Leaf Protection gutter guards we purchased and decided to check out how to install them.  First thing on the instructions is clean the gutters, so I did since it needed to be done whether or not I got the guards installed.  It took me about an hour. 

I used a car brush on the end of my garden hose, a 3M Scotch Brite pad, and my kitchen spatula to clean out the gutter.  I’m shameless about promoting 3M products since my Dad was an engineer there until he retired.  Besides I like their products.  You need to watch out for sharp screws and edges inside the gutters when you are cleaning them out.  I found a few sharp edges the hard way.

Next I got the sections of  Clean Sweep Leaf Protection gutter guard and started installing them from one end of the gutter to the other.  They have a rubber gasket on the back edge and a flange on the front end that locks onto your existing gutter.  They are very easy to install.  They friction fit into place.  Very nice!

You need to overlap the ends by a half inch and there are tabs for this.  When you come to a corner you overlap as well but you must make a miter cut for fitting them into and around the corners.  You will need to use a tin snips for cutting the aluminum. 

Once you have all the pieces in place you pre-drill the joining ends in two locations, one in front and one near the back of the tabs and then using sheet metal screws you join the ends together.

I found the best way to do this was by pre-drilling the two holes with my cordless drill and using a screwdriver to hold up the bottom piece in place until I had the holes drilled.  I had trouble with the bottom piece moving without using the screwdriver for some tension.  Then I switched out the drill bit for a nut driver the size of my sheet metal screws and still using the screwdriver to hold up the bottom piece I installed the screws.

 I worked from one end of the gutter to the other end working around the corners and installing two screws on the mitered joints of the corners as well.

I love the finished project.  What I love even more is that from this point in time and forward I no longer have gutters to clean out spring and fall.  That  means an extra two hours a year to do something else.  The entire project from start to finish took me 3 1/2 hours. 

If I consider the life expectancy of a non-smoking white female to be 80.8 years (I got this figure off the internet, of course)  that means I have gained 60 hours to do with whatever I choose provided I live for the next 30 years.  If you calculate the money part of the equation at my current rate of pay of $14.50/hour that is $870.00 I saved by completing this project.  

Whether I did the job myself each year or had to pay someone else to do it,  I am both time and money ahead having completed this project.

More time and money = more flying  🙂

 
4 Comments

Posted by on September 19, 2010 in Home Improvement Projects

 

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