What is it with lists?

When I have a lot of things to do or that I want to do, I need to write a list to keep on track. While I am rather a technophile and have access to leaving lists on e-mail, websites, blogs and my handy dandy smartphone, I much prefer to have a daily to-do list on a piece of paper. There is something viscerally satisfying about crossing something off my list that an electronic check box simply cannot provide. I have even been known to write down things on my list that I have already done, but failed to put on the list at the beginning of the day, just so I can cross them off. I guess I like to demonstrate that I have indeed accomplished something with my time and energies. That physical evidence as a result of time spent is part of what I find rewarding about knitting. Perhaps it's my way of making some sort of visible dent in the world, even if it is just a list of things to do.

Yet, there is something about cleaning jobs and lists that makes them somehow incompatible. Invariably when I have a lot of cleaning to do, I don't do as much of it when I write it down on a list. Somehow the act of writing the cleaning tasks down makes them seem more like work and less appealing. I will, in fact, do even nastier cleaning tasks to avoid whatever is on the list. Today I cleaned the inside of my car's windshield and the dash/console. On my way from the garage back into the house, I washed the window in the garage/kitchen door, the door itself and the door frame. Then I moved on to the back door and it's windows and frame. Next was the pantry door, the coat closet and then, for a reason that is still not clear to me, the baseboards on the right side of the hallway. I really need to go back and do the baseboards again with a toothbrush since the accumulated dust and dirt were pretty resistant to a cloth and cleaner.

So, what was on my cleaning list for today? Vacuuming the house, cleaning the bathrooms (which really is mostly dusting in the guest bathroom) and sweeping/mopping the kitchen floor. And I'd rather detail the baseboards. No, I haven't put "clean the baseboards and doors" on my list. Yet.

Audiobooks of the week
I spent most of the week listening and re-listening to a couple of HP Lovecraft stories at work. I kept finding myself tuning out occasionally and missing bits so I ended up going back and re-listening. At the moment I'm listening to Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card and learning the origins of the character Bean.

Tonight's Dinner
I will make an artichoke and root vegetable gratin from The Vegan Planet with a big leafy green salad and some toast. This is one of the two dishes I bought the ingredients for about two weeks ago, but never got around to cooking. Well, it's time to get the cooking done before the veggies go bad. Shallots are expensive, you know. The other dish is a saute of winter squash and adzuki beans. The beans soaked overnight and now just need to be cooked. I'll use the cooking water from parboiling the gratin veggies to cook the beans to add a bit of added flavor.


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