Archive for the 'Lists' Category

We’ll Need a Bigger Garage

Posted by laura on May 26 2010 | Fun, Lists

Our resident car designer has been hard at work, turning out pages of plans. The drawing above is a bit of a departure, what with the sun and the colors he chose. He was happy with it because he drew the lines with his left hand and watercolored with his right hand, but overall, it was a bit gushy for him. His drawings tend to be more like this:

More of a working diagram. So as we sat down to dinner a couple of nights ago, Hot Wheels had great news for Honey.

HW: Daddy said he’d give us an iPad, an iPhone and all the electronics we have! All we have to do is build him a car.

Tom: But it has to work.

HW: And go underwater.

Honey: Sweet!

HW: [after a pause] But Daddy, I’m going to need you to buy some things for me so I can make it.

Tom: No problem. Just give me a shopping list.

HW: Ok.

Me: Wait – what’s on the shopping list?

HW: Well, I’m gonna need jet rockets, a huge yellow button – a whole bunch of stuff.

Don’t hold your breath. At least until we get to the underwater testing phase. Then, I’d advise holding it – jet rockets are categorically unreliable when wet.

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Having an Epiphany

Posted by laura on Jan 05 2009 | Lists, Uncategorized

Happy New Year, everybody! Here are some of our resolutions.


1. Learn how to ice skate 

2. Have $100 in my bank account by the end of the year

Hot Wheels:

1. Play lego

2. There was no 2 – he really didn’t get the concept


1. There was no 1 – he couldn’t commit  


1. Spanish (just because it’s been on the list for years doesn’t mean it can’t happen, you know)

2. Lose my fear of turning in ballet class (or just gain the ability to turn)

3. Process transient data (ok I threw that one in just for Dad)

4. Make more art

I actually have an ongoing resolutions list in my head with about five hundred and thirty seven things on it, but I’ve learned with resolutions you really must narrow it down to just a couple finalists to completely ignore throughout the year.

In all my years of making resolutions, I’ve probably only followed through on about three of them, but those few successes give me an unrealistic optimism every single January. Resolutions are fabulous: as barometers of our interests and priorities, as plumb lines of our belief in our ability to change. Or maybe it’s just that I love making lists. Either way, they sure help me get over the end of the holidays and see the new year with fresh eyes.

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Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On

Posted by laura on Aug 25 2008 | Lists

Northern California might not be recognized as the birthplace of rock and roll, but around here people think about it quite a bit, particularly the closer they get to the San Andreas Fault. We’re strongly encouraged to have earthquake/emergency kits in our homes, cars and offices. Heck I practically have one on my bike. 

Fortunately there are great resources available for people looking to get their act together – one of my favorites is For a list-loving organizational geek like me, this site is heaven! Bold icons! Concrete plans! Checklists!! 

Every summer I haul out all our kits and refresh them, and in the winter I replace a few things like dry goods that don’t last as long. It’s handy that I’m crazy about lists (just like Mum) because I would be utterly lost without them (unlike Mum). I have a whole document that tells me what should be in all the kits and what needs to be replaced when. This year I made it prettier because I’m frankly much more apt to use the list if I like looking at it. It’s just a Word doc, but it itemizes the supplies needed for our household emergency supplies as well as our Earthquake kit and Auto kit. And it has checklists. And pretty colors.


So the past few weeks have been filled with canned-goods shopping. Woo hoo! The good news is that over the years I wised up enough to make sure that the food in the kits was actually food that we eat regularly. There are even some treats in there that we don’t eat regularly but love – just because my inclination is that if things are bad enough for you to need to eat your earthquake kit food, they’re bad enough for you to need some serious candy. Just a guess.

It actually took me a few rounds to realize that if we never opened a can of carrots or peas for regular use, they really didn’t belong in the kit. And let’s not even get into the year that someone in our house thought it would be a swell idea to just bulk purchase a six pack of green beans and some terrifying jarred wieners for the kit! That certain somebody very cleverly wienered his way out of a thankless job.

In our garage, we keep our earthquake kit pieces all together under a strong workbench. The main parts are the cooler which contains – shockingly – the food, and a large duffel bag which holds all of our go-bags. (The idea behind a go-bag is that each family member has a bag containing a change of clothes, emergency information, a small snack, water, flashlight, etc.) We keep our camping gear right there as well. Tent, sleeping bags, camping box (which is filled with all the plates, cups, pans, and so on).


It is occasionally dispiriting to put so much effort into a product I hope never to use. On the other hand, there is a bit of relief just knowing that if we were to have a big disaster, at least we’d have a few extra supplies to help tide us over.

Plus, every summer I get to eat the emergency candy. 

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