Chip, Chip, Chipping Away

by Katy on April 20, 2012 · 13 comments

I currently have a to-do list in hand that would make Martha Stewart curl up in a fetal position and whimper in a sing-song voice. And as much as I’m trying to whittle down the list, it seems like I keep doing half of every task. For example:

  • I need to pull together a formal outfit for my son to take with him to Japan, I was able to find him a pair of dress slacks at the consignment shop, but they didn’t have any dress shirts. (It turns out I had store credit, so the pants were free and I got $5 back!)
  • I’m supposed to put together small photo albums to show our Japanese host families. I e-mailed photos to Walgreens to be developed, but their tiny photo albums were really flimsy looking.
  • I bought what I though were enough host family gifts, but I just learned that there are six family members in my host family.

Are you starting to notice a theme here? I’m moving towards getting through my to-do list, yet am unable to cross anything off yet.

Super frustrating.

However . . . I remembered that we had a single dress shirt tucked in the back of the closet, and decided to just empty out and re-use the tiny photo albums from my older son’s last trip to Japan.

I still need to buy a few host family gifts, but I know that even though I leave in three short days, I’ll be able to pull it all together in the end.

If you need me, you’ll find me at home, chip, chip, chipping away at my to-do list.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

EcoCatLady April 20, 2012 at 10:53 am

Ahhhh yes… but the new items always seem to get added much faster than the old ones get crossed off. I’ve heard people say they wouldn’t want to stop working full time because they would get bored. I still can’t figure out what they’re talking about!


Kelli April 20, 2012 at 11:32 am

I find that I work best under pressure…it helps me to really prioritize what HAS to be done….and everything usually falls into place. Have a wonderful trip. Looking forward to seeing the pictures!


Liz April 20, 2012 at 11:41 am

Agree with Kelli 100%. And please don’t forget the pictures!


fiwa April 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm

You probably won’t have time to read your comments right now, but I’ll put it out there anyway. You can do this! You are wonder woman, and you will get it all done! Have a fantastic time – I can’t wait to see pictures and hear about it all when you get back.


Katy April 20, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Oh honey. I am far from being Wonder Woman. 🙂



That Other Jean April 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Katy, you are an inspiration! I would be running around in circles like a headless chicken for at least some of the hours you’re methodically chipping away at that list. Have a wonderful time!


Katie April 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Me too. It helps to know that there are other folks out there trying to make a dent in their to-do lists.


Carolyn April 20, 2012 at 2:59 pm

Try some nice chocolates for the host families. Consumable and not terribly expensive.


Bebe April 20, 2012 at 4:03 pm

We were a host family this past summer for a Japanese girl (my 16yo daughter is in her second year of Japanese as a sophomore). We had a lot of fun with a whole (all-girl) gaggle of Japanese high school students this past summer. Our girl brought: a t-shirt from her town for myself, my husband and my daughter. Some funny toy character key fobs for 2 younger brothers and an older sister. Several snack food items, some individually wrapped. A handmade (by our student) hand-held fan. Just an example of what *they* thought was cool to give.


AnnW April 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm

Remember Martha didn’t even whimper or squeak when she got sent to the Big House for something she really didn’t do. Other people in big positions on Wall Street have done far worse. Now is the time to spend some money and relieve the stress. When my daughter went to Japan, one of the Japanese men that sponsors kids here had her take soft shell crabs. They stopped in Queens on the way to the airport. Japanese people are the trendiest in the world. Something about Portlandia, or something with “a bird on it” or something about the Hunger Games might be interesting. Don’t drive yourself crazy. Buy something to take.


Scribe April 21, 2012 at 7:53 am

When my younger son went to Korea last year he took lots of pins about Oregon and Portland and gave them as tokens of appreciation as the Korean people were so nice to him. He said they always seemed to wear pins from different places on their coats/vests.

My Japanese friend said Harley Davidson T-shirts are always a bit hit with teenage boys. I always pick them up for her if I find them at GW or thrift stores.

Have a wonderful trip!


Katy April 21, 2012 at 8:19 am

Thanks for the ideas. I’m mostly bringing consumables, and will probably do a post about it tomorrow.



Linda in Indiana April 21, 2012 at 10:36 am

Have a wonderful trip! I know it will all come together for you. If anyone can make it happen in a classy way, it is you!!! I admire all you accomplish and do it frugally and respectful of the earth’s resources.
But will miss your blogging while you are gone. Can’t wait to hear about your trip and see the awesome pictures. Enjoy! Savor!


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