September 27, 2010

fifty minutes

That is how long it takes for water to boil on my stove.  Seriously.  I put a dozen eggs in a 3quart copper bottomed pot at nine this morning and walked away.  I started checking in around 9:30 and besides some tiny bubbles there was no magic in that pan.  Thank goodness I had nothin' doin' this morning because these hard boiled eggs are not gonna be quick.

When I talk to folks I get a lot of questions about what I do during the day and so I thought I'd share.  I have a good bit of free time at the moment because my workload is pretty light, but the way that I minimize my workload is by organizing myself and playing beat the clock.

Above is my weekly chore chart.  Sorry for the strange formatting, it is a word document & it didn't convert smoothly to picture format in the five minutes I allowed myself to fiddle with it.  When I first started organizing myself at home, I used a daily list & pair of weekly charts that I found at Life as Mom.  Using an experienced housewife's plan to start really helped me understand what all I need to do and might forget about and what I might think is really important but really is just spinning my wheels.

After a month of using Fishmamma's charts I was ready to develop my own.  I combined daily lists and weekly lists into one document.  I also put a place for any notes I needed as well as a place to write the times I completed my tasks.  This really helps me streamline my activities and be more efficient.  I know that if I am taking more time than I should, then I need to make changes.  I modified an office tasks list template available free from MS Office Online and am happy with the result.  I can make changes as needed, for example, laundry is getting shifted from Monday to Friday {and a half load on Tuesdays} because I can't really let my weekly workout clothes & we were having an issue with enough clean business clothes on Monday morning.

My overall goal is to be done the essential stuff by noon and to be working on easy to pause projects by 4pm.  When Phil comes home it's time for us to relax, so my workday ends when he walks in the door.  It is important that I not be running laundry or doing something that I just can't drop.  Sometimes that means I stay busy until about 8, but most days we're done by 6 and on really fun days we're both off by 4 and just enjoy our evenings.

In more exciting news Saturday was Smithsonian Magazine's Annual Museum Day.   Museums all across the country waived entrance fees and so we decided to take advantage of this freebie and went to the Duke Homestead and Tobacco Museum in Durham.

There were no participating museums in Orange County & we had some things to get done in the morning so didn't plan on going very far afield.  My Dad chuckled when he heard my choice.  My mom thought it sounded great.  The history of American Tobacco and the Duke family is one of clever marketing and innovative mechanical engineering.  I would, however, not recommend taking a former smoker to a tobacco museum.  That is not such a clever idea.  Memorabilia, vintage advertising and informative videos about production innovations are not only cute nostalgic as a piece of American history, but tend towards cravings and a recollection of personal history.

Duke Homestead & Tobacco Museum opened in 1974.  This explains my fondness for the museum that was state-of-the-art when I was born in the Bull City thirty years ago.  While the parking lot was woefully empty, there were a handful of visitors around in time for the informational tour.  I suppose there isn't much desire to divert state funds for updating such a politically-incorrect part of North Carolina history.  Almost nothing has changed in the museum since I last visited, though they have acquired a few new pieces of equipment for display.  I find the crop's legacy interesting from a historical standpoint considering the impact of the Duke and Reynolds families on North Carolina farming, manufacturing, energy, medicine and education.

We had a nice little stroll around the museum and grounds.  I kept making Phil sniff the drying tobacco leaves.  There is nothing quite like the smell of bright leaf tobacco.  I suppose I really am a Durham girl at heart.

Then we imbibed in a tasty beverage under the trees.  Philip was a little flustered that Greg Fishel's forecast of 80 degree weather was not quite accurate.  I had managed to convince myself that it was in fact ten degrees cooler than it had been earlier in the week.  On our way back to Chapel Hill we passed a bank and the digital thermometer read 95, which set me up for some teasing.

We had planned on stopping off at Meadowmont and doing a trail run, but instead we came home and waited until dusk and then headed out for a two mile fun run.  I forgot the map and so it turned into a two mile confused wandering.   And that was our Saturday.  I suppose I should go check on those eggs now.  Surely they have boiled through.

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