Saturday, November 17, 2007

Making a List, Checking It Twice

I am a compulsive list maker. If I have a To-Do list and I complete a task that needed to be done but wasn't on the To-Do list, I will add the completed task. And then check it off with seven careful check marks that march across the letters, nearly obscuring them. (If it's a really long task, then 14 check marks are acceptable. Perhaps I should have started this post by just stating that I'm compulsive.)

I don't just have generic To-Do lists, I have specialised list systems for grocery shopping, for running errands, for packing for trips. One day, I plan to devote an entire post just to my grocery list. (It's a brilliant design, if I do say so myself.)

With my trip to the States fast approaching, I have created all sorts of lists: a general To-Do List, a room-by-room cleaning To-Do list, and a work To-Do List. I also have three seperate packing list. It's only natural that my checked bags and my carry-on bags have seperate lists. Because I have to spend the night before my flight at the Shannon airport hotel, I've also created a list of things that need to be packed in an easily accessible manner (pajamas, my traveling outfit, and sugar-free Red Bull).

These lists are all on seperate yellow post-its, which are tucked inside my training notebook. But the best list of all is the one that's on an actual page in the notebook. I've been compiling this list for months. It's my shopping list of things to bring back from the States.

When we lived in Chicago and Peter would come home to Ireland, he would leave with his bags bursting with Irish junk food. Cadbury Snack Bars, Rancheros, ChipSticks, Hula Hoops, Skips, Fox Classic Bars, Cadbury drinking chocolate, Mars bars. He'd also bring back some packets of shepherd's pie seasonings and some packets of white sauce and pepper gravy.

I mentioned to Peter yesterday that I thought it was funny that his shopping list was all processed, packaged items whereas my list is laden with baking ingredients. I've been driven to distraction by the fact that I have a Kitchen Aid mixer once again, but I can't find all the ingredients I need.

So, here is my best list of all, the one I am most looking forward to covering in sets of check marks:

Chocolate chips (esp. Ghiradelli)
Butterscotch chips
Low-fat condensed milk
Corn syrup
Canned pumpkin
Corn meal
Cream of tartar
Sweet Baby Ray's Barbecue sauce
Ice scrapers for the cars
Kongs for Toby (lots and lots and lots of Kongs)


At 17 November 2007 at 20:00, Blogger Kaycie said...

I LOVE Cadbury drinking chocolate. I brought some home with me from London, and I order it regularly along with proper English breakfast tea.

I don't what I'd miss from here if I were in Europe. I would bet butterscotch chips would make the list. We love those in oatmeal cookies. Yummy.

I hope your trip home is all that you hope and more.

At 17 November 2007 at 20:20, Blogger laurie said...

toby is hard on those kongs, isn't he!! i should give you the two i bought for riley and boscoe. they coudln't be less interested.

i brought home a big metal can of steel cut oatmeal from ireland, only to find that they sell it in the Rainbow food store a mile from my house.

At 19 November 2007 at 09:49, Blogger Fence said...

Is it a coincidence that you blog about to-do lists and at the same time Metafilter comes up with a list of the webby things that can help.

I don't use to-do lists, apart from at work, and even then sparingly.

At 20 November 2007 at 04:20, Blogger -Ann said...

Kaycie - The drinking chocolate is pretty delicious alright. Thanks for the good wishes on my trip. I'm sure it'll be grand. :)

Laurie - It's not that he destroys them - it's more that he loses them down the ditch at the back of the garden. Then it's tricky to get them out because of brambles and stinging nettles and barbed wire. Also, Harry the lab strolls through and walks off with the occassional Kong (which his owner usually returns by chucking over the wall at the front of the garden on his way to work). I'm sure your steelcut oats were much more delicious than the ones a mile from your house. Even if they were the exact same thing.

Fence - I had no idea that such applications existed. Although I'm sort of wedded to my system and my post-it notes. :) I don't think to-do lists help me remember things any better (I always forget at least one thing, even when it's plainly written in front of me.) I just like the feeling of accomplishment that comes with checking things off.


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