I just remembered a thing I meant to mention. Before Oz was born, I bought a bunch of these tiny LED lights for a project, but we had a bunch left over.
Each one is a little bigger than a large vitamin, so I threw a handful in my labor bag. They ended up being so useful that a bunch of nurses asked what they were. Our hospital had clear plastic cups for water, so we put a few in each cup to act as lanterns, but you could just set them out too.
They were the perfect soft glow for checking the baby’s breathing, getting up to nurse without waking dad, using an unfamiliar bathroom without turning on the glaring hospital lights. Plus, they just made the room calmer.
Anyway, if you’re having a baby, consider packing a few. They were so nice.
Crossing the street, an Asian lady with short hair, wearing white cotton gloves. Her coat nips at the waist in a ’50s silhouette, and her matching black hat with a small feather dates from the same era.
She nods at a school crossing guard in an outsize reflective yellow vest. The guard is black with a deluge of blonde braids, and a hygienic mask covers her nose and mouth. She beckons an old man as he approaches to cross.
The man is white with a poorly tended gray beard. He is skinny, his leather blazer like a tarp thrown over his skeleton. On his head is a promotional sombrero from a national Mexican restaurant chain. In his hands, a second sombrero. He rushes across the street with purpose — sombrero delivery guy, sombrero delivery in progress.
“Look at this,” says Brad. “America.”
Want to see what I bought at the flea? Loot!
We had to sell the old cabin (ugh. oof.). But! We finally found a new weekend place so we have a place to escape from the one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco. So now we need furniture. This is for all our craft stuff.
We got this guy so Brad would have a place to put his fancy Panama Hat we bought in a junk shop in Australia.
But Ozzy has claimed him. Head is his new favorite friend, and he’s made of super lightweight balsa so Head will be pretty banged up in short order.
I even got him this little bead thingie for $8, but it proved a temporary distraction from the charms of Giant Wooden Head.
These were a crazy score. We got FIVE of these big ‘ol mirrors for no dollars. The new place has crazy high ceilings, so we needed something that would have a big impact on the wall.
We got this leather chair, sheepskin rug, and fake sheepskin pillow from my favorite lady at the flea. She’s always there with her son in a stall toward the back of the market, and she has killer taste.
Vintage cutting board needs love, and love it shall receive. The shape is so good.
Dansk is my favorite brand of pots, these are some of the remakes, but they were cheap and red! So I scooped them, even though I prefer the ones with the crazy handles.
This is a drafting table that we lowered so Ozzy and Hank could use it as an easel.
Weird Emu potholder.
This is side view of a wooden recipe box.
Tiny cowboy boots! $10!
Also, I was getting a sunburn, so chair lady sold me a hat for cheap. Thanks, chair lady! Ozzy likes to wear hats while he plays, so everyone was pleased.
Good scores right? Ah. I love you, Alameda Flea.
My perfect daily schedule would be a glass of wine every night and an otherwise open calendar. But I’m pretty into my kids, and my husband, and my work, and my health too — and all of that requires some day-to-day maintenance.
I’m terrible at it.
One of my goals for this year was to get better at life maintenance by sticking to a routine 80 percent of the time. I’m already a list maker, but I finally figured out that I feel a greater sense of accomplishment, and am more willing to do repetitive tasks, if I break my lists up into categories. Otherwise my tasks never end, and neither does my work day.
For the last few months, I’ve tried dozens of habit and to-do apps, and hoooo-eee! Most of them are ugly and frustrating. Here are a handful I’ve found that are pretty and functional, and how I’m using them.
I start my day with my most crucial health habits, because those are the most likely to fall by the wayside. Streaks tracks how many days in a row you’ve done something, and how often you do it. It only lets you have six goals, and once you’ve checked all of them off for the day, the icons turn gold. So satisfying.
I’m ramping back up with work, so MinimaList is where I keep internal projects I want to check in with every day. It lets you schedule repeat tasks, and set a timer that blocks you from phone distractions while you’re working on one.
Teuxdeux is my priority list for non-habit tasks, stuff I need to finish in the next few days. I try to limit myself to five tasks here and work through them before I add more. I’ve been using Teux Deux for years, it’s a super simple, pretty to do list. I find it’s really flexible and can be hacked for whatever type of list I want to keep there.
BALANCED and PRODUCTIVE
I’ve mentioned Balanced before. This is where I put life-maintenance and repetitive tasks for personal goals, like learning French. You choose your icon and color, how often you’d like to complete a task, and list as many tasks as you like. It also tracks how often you complete things.
Productive looks and works exactly like Balanced, it’s pretty much a clone, but it lets me keep a second list that’s more oriented toward my life after work. This is where I put tasks that help me maintain relationships, like playing games with the boys, or making plans with friends, and reminders to do some of the things that make me happy, like reading or doing something on my Life List.
Things is a to do list based on the Getting Things Done methodology, which is a great organization system for all the ideas and work you want to record. You can use it on your phone or desktop, and it has all the list making functionality I’ve ever needed. It offers an Inbox for collecting tasks before you organize them, lists for Today, Next, Scheduled, and Someday, plus a Projects list that allows for sub-tasks that step you toward project completion.
I mostly love Things for the projects feature, but this app is where I do my thinking and planning, and how I save ideas for later. I don’t necessarily interact with it every day anymore.
If you use and love an app I didn’t mention, please let me know. I’m always tweaking, and I find that using a fresh app can keep me motivated to do things I was procrastinating over before.
Post to Mighty Girl. Check.