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Friday, March 10, 2017

Working the lines...

  • Good morning.  This is us and we're finally back here to writing.  The last time we wrote was February 22, so 16 days ago, or just over two weeks.  We'll have to figure out again what happened during that period.  Thinking where do we start.  We're working with Evernote again, but I don't think we were using it that far long ago.  I know!  Facebook feed!  Hmm, before that, we just read the last entry in the blog.  It seems that we were waiting for Austin to come that weekend after canceling the prior weekend.  And, we were moving slowly through house tasks, and we were trying to handle that we were overeating.  Now on to Facebook.  Ok, we'd gotten outside - that was the last part of the last entry, because the picture of being outdoors is already on my blog entry from last time, and it was very nice out there.
  • The next event was that Austin was here!!!  This is what we wrote...

Austin, my grandson and us had the best time yesterday! He finished this week-end his 50 hours to get his driver's license. We decided to do something yesterday which was a little impulsive, but we drove to Davenport Iowa. The trip was about two hours and 15 minutes and about a hundred and thirty miles one way. He drove all the way there, around the area, and then most the way back. We made a lot of stops in towns, especially county seats where we could take a look at the government buildings amongst other things like Ronald Reagan's home in Dixon Illinois which were his interests. It was so much fun we even drove to DeKalb Northern Illinois University because he had been thinking of going there for school. He's a junior now. I picked up the last bit of the ride home because he was getting tired, but the conversation, the trip, the joy of being with him, and even the stop at Wise Guys pizza for lunch in Davenport ... it was all so great. Thank you so much Laura Bruschuk and Michael J Bruschuk for letting us have him over this weekend it is very very nice! Next will be meeting with his uncle Joe and Aunt Cari for brunch on the way home :) LOVE THIS KID!!!

  • We really did have a whirlwind trip.  I'm remembering it as one of the best things about 2017 so far.  Let's look for another opportunity - think we should call around Easter.  AHA  Call April 16th and ask to set-up another date!  AHA!  Done
  • We are learning a new system and the learning isn't complete yet.  We are mixing several ideas into Evernote, but that is the big project.  Ok, back to Facebook
  • I guess the Next big thing IS the EVERNOTE project AND That's about the time we learned about Simplify Days by Barbara - forget her last name.  Hmm, searched for it for a few seconds - would have to dig for it or remember where we saw it last.  But for now will go with Barbara - just don't want to confuse with that other great organizer Barbara Hemphill.  In general, Barbara has come up with her own system for organizing especially utilizing Evernote and GTD (Getting things Done) by David Allen.  Since then, we have found a few other organizers also using these two things, but Barbara maintains a special place (  The other organizers are Ruud Hein (, HeyMalc (, TSW - The Secret Weapon (, Thomas Honeyman - beyourself (, Jeff Kirvin - Medium (, and Youtube including Jim Scano (
  • Point being, there are a lot of people - or at least a couple good handfuls of people who've thought out a system for themselves and are sharing it with others.  It seems like they also share from each other.  So, then of course, we feel although we don't need to share EVERYTHING, we should at least read through everyone's material and pick the best stuff that works for us.  I know poor Dr. Marvin is going to gulp thinking - oh man she's overboard in systems thinking again, but we have to admit that if we were going to write about anything in our blog as we are doing now AND for posterity ... then let systems be it ... I'd have to say the words "learning" and "systems" go hand in hand in importance to us.  And, this is going to be a GLORIOUS one!
  • For the record as part of Barbara's (SD) system, we filled out a template - she's has LOTS of templates, but this one was for building a habit throughout any given month.  This is where we are at right now...

The Habit
Self-regulation - I would like to stay organize and be able to do what we have in mind of doing.  We want to do the things we traditionally avoid.  

The Motivation & Reason

It seems that we are good and defining our tasks, but we'd rather work on organizational level than actually doing the tasks.  We believe that if we concentrate, we can encourage people out to do the tasks that need to be done.  Maybe we'll have to add a "reward" like thanking EACH part that takes a part of what needs doing.  That would help on many levels of development

Start Date
March 8, 2017

Share With
Rich and Dr. Marvin and Lisa

  • Ok, ok - we're not going to spend a lot of time here yet, but read over the habit and we dare you to go ahead and say ... HOLY MOLY is that a habit she should complete!
  • Going back to Facebook first ... want to get through that list ... well this is the next thing that came up along with SD.  It is a page printed out, but by now we have the book Barbara sells with both sections "Focus" and "Capture."  It is supposed to last about 13 weeks, or one quarter.  It has 13 sheets for figuring the weekly focus, and I believe I heard stated that there are about 5 sheets x 13, so about 65 sheets of the capture.  It's in a nice looking paper notebook with a spiral binding.  As long as we're in this neck of the woods, I will also say at this point, we bought two desktop organizers with eight spaces each - 6 up and 2 down.  We have them sitting on either side of my computer screens and they are in back - to partially showing.  The new organizers were the first things to claim a space on the ore predominant leftside organizer.  I also received in this last two weeks another journal that is considered a "moleskin."  We've been adding to that gingerly and then with both of these "books," we've been capturing pictures and getting them to Evernote.  Both were specially designed with Evernote in mind.  The third space in the left organizer has my two kindles, and then the fourth space is another journalistic type book we've purchased lately called, "A Year of Daily Joy" by Jennifer Louden.  I believe there is one more journal.  Let me take a second to look to see if it easily pops up.  I think the last book is called, "Our life Organizer."  I don't know where it is, but it sounds right.  We caught it because there seems to be a folder open in Evernote for it YAY!  We're halfway there then to finding it.
  • No, I didn't find the other book, but I know it is out there.  In the process, we were looking at our bookshelves and found six books in total, we should place on our reading list.  They are:
    • David Allen - Getting Things Done
    • Jennifer Louden - Comfort Secrets for Busy Women
    • Deci & Ryan - Handbook of Self-Determination
    • Baumeister & Vohs - Handbook of Self-Regulation
    • Wehmeyer, Agran & Hughes - Teaching self-determination to students with disabilities
    • Schunk & Zimmerman - Self-regulated learning from teaching to self-reflective practice
    • Also Garvey - Each two weeks we get a copy of our own version of self-regulation in our emails
  • Wow - that's a heavy load of work, but it seems that we've been working and overwhelmed with this topic for at least the last 12 years.  I believe it was in 2005 when we first started our Master's work and we'd gotten blown away with it ... it is the single strongest thing that got me so overwhelmed that I couldn't think straight.  It came up more with the clients at St. Rose, but here we are still at it's infancy.  We again look at self-regulation not knowing how it is different than self-determination, but we know that it has something to do with "Doing what you intend to do."  And here we are with a new system developing and STILL working on the habit of being self-focused on what our practices are.  
  • Out of this area of discussion, but still focusing on notes left through FB, the next part of this last two weeks has been on getting x-rays and then the results of those x-rays on our back.  All they really say is:
    •   "There is rather severe loss of disk space with spurring and vacuum disk noted at L4/L5 and L5/S1 compatible with degenerative disk disease."
  • This has lead to a couple of things.  First, we got the results by bothering Dr. Dorman and though only getting his nurse, we were finally sent the written results showing the above.  We thought that fair because time between visits is 3 months.  He should have called himself, shame on him!  BUT, we did get the results and we did get an appointment with the center's pain management clinic.  They were actually able to show us the x-ray where we could see the damaged disks.  The doctor there gave us a couple temporary shots in our back - either side of the spine, and they told us that we should get a MRI ... We tried to get back to them - there was some confusion so we mentioned it to Dr. Dorman's staff, and we're going to check with that now to see where we are at.  There was something else going on with a "bogus" therapy center and both were supposed to be run past Dr. Dorman.  Hmm, away from desk - An Amy is supposed to call us back.  the time is now 11:25 am.  We'll see.  The pain doctor states, we'll probably get a couple more shots after the MRI ... she said about 20 minutes in the surgery area.  I guess it has to be set-up with pin point accuracy.  I dunno - will wait until we get the MRI.  It frustrates me that we haven't gotten the MRI results from previous at UIC.  Maybe we'll ask Amy to check into it further.  I think it would be very helpful to see the differences from one time period to the other.  And, then the last thing that happened in this area was that Dr. Dorman prescribed and the pain doctor agreed that we could be getting Tylenol 3 w/codeine twice a week on a monthly basis.  We're trying to adjust to that this week, and through the pain doctor, we got help figuring out how much of the arthritis/Tylenol we should be taking.  It's 4 pils per day by the way.  So, we are taking the 81 mg Bayer for our heart, then Alieve and the Tylenol 3 w/code in twice a day once at 7 am and the other at 7 pm, and then the arthritis/Tylenol 2 x a day 2 pills ... first during our 11:30 time and the other at our 3:30 pm time.  SO THERE that's the what of that what not.
  • The next part of our time was that we prepared and traveled to WI for our regular quilting group.  EVERYONE was there this time, though Emily got only a few hours to be sewing and such - such mostly being the talking we all do!  Socialization is a BIG part of this group.  I've wondered back and forth now over the progress of our project, but I think we're going to call it done - as to adding pieces to it.  We were able to get a couple pictures of it from the twins and looking at it realistically - it really does seem fine the way it is.  Hmm, maybe we should take it past Rich and see what he says.  That way we'll get our medicine and prepare for lunch too :)
  • Well, we'll have to collect the picture later ... we took just a small close-up of the picture so we could see the manner in which things overlap and are sewed down.  Rich understood our point of view as to having finished the stitching rather than go on and so we are calling it DONE!  WOOHOO!  We still have a bit of work to do.  We need to bind all the sides by folding them in several times and stitching them down, and then we are going to need make some kind of sleeve for it, so it can be hung up.  We went over it one more time with Rich and decided for sure, it is going to Julianna.  When we're done, we are going to bring it in to Dr. Marvin, so he can see it, but then we're going to turn around and hand it to Julianna.  I hope that she is there on that day, OR will ask Dr. Marvin to keep it for us, at least until the next time.  I think poor Juliana is going to fall on the ground hehehe.  And, then maybe we can get a picture of Dr. Marvin and Juliana together with the quilt.  I have gone back and forth many times to the picture with Dr. Marvin and his quilt.  It makes me feel just as good every time we look at it.  It's going to be really nice :)  I like the idea of it being narrower too in that I think she hasn't put up pictures in her dining room, so if she was so inclined, it could go over a sideboard or something.  I think we'd be dreaming to think it would go over a couch - and another Idea, of course, would be that it could go in a bedroom.  I just hope she has room to hang it somewhere.  She said before it was great enough to be in a contest or hang somewhere more professionally.  We're taking her at her word - hope she can like it a LOT.  It's going to be a long time before we died and could give her Dakota, but this is something very real between us.  Just love that woman!

  • I'm LOVING the way it's turned out - and for sure we'll do some more ... maybe though not take as long.  We still have a LOT of wave cut-out fabric.  Not sure what we'll do with it as to starting the same quilt over again or putting it in some other kind of order, or just saving the scraps to be filled in with something else later.  I for sure like the waves a LOT and will do something with them. 
  • @1:42 pm we're back again ... I'm not sure all of where we've been.  I do know that we've updated our reminders list ... previously, we had moved things from the "dumping place" to their own note, and then we added tags.  There is some redundancy between tags that say today with adding a date (for today). We'll have to check that out tomorrow to see how the items move from reminders to present "today."  We're thinking if it floats over, we should be more concerned with adding a date, but then when we pull up our "tags?"  Right now by date there are 6 notes - with 2 being for writing in blogs.  Now when we pull up tags for today?  There are 9 tags - lets now compare?
    • Continue to write in blog - both
    • get mail from outside - both
    • good morning, this is us - both
    • kitchen work - both
    • Look for days ---> moved to tomorrow as stated in calendar
    • Look to see ---> moved to Sunday as stated in calendar
    • maintain Google calendar -- moved to tomorrow as stated in calendar
    • sweep, mop and buff - both
    • Start with 1. Ground<--- calendar="" from="" li="" moved="" said="" tag="" this="" to="" today="" week="">
  • so maybe these are checks and balances, but should be worked through to be more consistent.  I think when a calendar date gets changed the tag has to to which might be a redundancy
  • Pswhoo - we're back.  It's now 5:18 pm.  Dakota was just fed.  We've been busy with this and that, but have no REAL idea on how we got from 1:42 pm to 5:19 pm.  I think some parts were going over things to make sure such and such was in order ... like we went through and finished all the 1 Ground - Next Actions/Calendar.  There are a total of 18 categories or notebooks in this stack and total hmm, let me get out our calculator.  Ok, 85 different notes within those 18 categories ... take that down to 16 categories ... 2 were not used - unwieldy.   Let's just say here for the record, Rich is making waffles.  Let's just keep that in mind as to my endurance hehe.  Anyway, we made sure ALLL the notes/next actions were in their place, and that they had calendar dates when necessary, and were properly tagged.  We also went through some reading of political things that that seemed pertinent to fill in that category.  We were really sure we wanted to get most things on our list done.  We also because of that - swept our floor, AND we worked on copying over old blog stuff from May 2016 to an e-book format.  
  • I feel really happy we managed that.  It seems it doesn't take too long and we've done three days in a row of doing at least one new e-book of anywhere from 60 to 100 pages - yes that includes pictures and sometimes it includes only a half month.  We also cleared up some of the work in our March folder.  We had added some items from the Simplify Days templates to the March "stuff."  Yes, we got that all registered under the March Table of context too.  I'm not sure how long the March dumping of ideas is going to last ... might continue as a dumping place, and for today, we went through that list and connected individual notes to things, but we're already finding it neater and more efficient to collect things to be done through the tags or through the notebooks.  Today is the first day that the old system is working - at least for Next Actions.  We still have to work through our reference lists, a couple lengthy ones we skipped today, and especially the "Altitude" part from David Allen's work - which includes the projects.  That's going to be a big deal when we go through the latest addition of templates from SD because Barbara included interviews (with our multiple parts), project overview, goals template, all the mindful planner kits, a fitness template, and some on calories and eating patterns.  Yup yup ... we're willing to amaze.  It would be very ideal to finish another portion tonight, but it would also be nice to hold hands with Rich or just color.  That's still on our list of things for today.  

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