The Task Tamer


Teri 09/16/2013 Comments

True story: I was sitting at my dining room table trying to decide what to write today and I remembered I have a list of blog ideas in a notebook that was upstairs. So I got up to get it. Then I remembered I had clothes hanging up on the line downstairs that needed to go upstairs so I figured I would grab those and take them up. As I came up the basement stairs my phone was ringing and I recognized my parents ring tone so I answered it. I had a quick conversation with my dad and went to head back upstairs when my phone rang again. This time it was a family friend and I had a longer conversation with him. Time to go upstairs again, but first I needed to refresh my coffee which made me realize the breakfast dishes needed to be washed so I did that and got my coffee. I sat back down at the computer and started to read some blogs I have bookmarked to get some ideas. Oh right! I was going to get my notebook upstairs. So I grabbed the full laundry basket and headed up. I put the laundry away, made the bed and straightened up the bathroom. Time for another cup of coffee! Back downstairs, new cup of coffee and I sat down at the computer. Good Heavens! I still don’t have my notebook! That’s when I knew this was too funny and unfortunately, too typical, not to write about. I am absolutely amazed at how often I set out to do something or get something from another room and get distracted so quickly that the original task doesn’t get done. Bill Cosby did a hilarious skit about how he is convinced our brains end up in our rear ends because the only way to remember why you go to another room is to go back to the first room and sit down. The moment you sit it comes back to you! There are days when I feel I get an entire workout just going up and down the stairs multiple times to accomplish one task! Just once I would like to get ready to go somewhere and get out of the house in one trip with everything I need. My husband has a list of things he reminds of before I leave to go anywhere. It goes like this: “Do you have your phone? Your keys? Your purse? Do you need to bring anything special?” I can get a little short with him and he thinks it is because I don’t like to be nagged but in reality it is because I am mad at myself for forgetting so many basic things that I need reminders each time I leave the house. I can’t tell you how many times I have gotten somewhere and realized I don’t have my phone! 


to do


In my business people often assume I am an extremely organized person with a perfectly organized house and a completely organized schedule. Not true. I use many tools to try to keep myself on top of things. I write down to-do lists daily. I carry a notebook around to jot down ideas, recommendations, reminders, etc., (refer back to my notebook adventures above). I try to have one notebook going at a time so my thoughts don’t get too scattered (literally) and I cross things off and rip out pages as things get accomplished. I had a conversation with someone recently and he said he liked to write things down on legal pads. The problem he runs into is he now has a stack of pads full of his notes and he never gets back to them. I suggested he focus on one page at a time and not start a new page until everything on the first is accomplished or delegated or dealt with appropriately. I also use my phone to keep myself on track. I have an iPhone and the first thing I check in the morning is the notification center to see what is on my calendar for the day. I have had some awful occurrences when I have forgotten to input an event on my calendar and blown off a friend or appointment. The memory of how bad I felt when that happened gives me an extra incentive to get things entered. I find that most people have great intentions when it comes to getting organized or accomplishing various tasks only to get sidetracked, like I did this morning, or other things come up that need to be taken care of first. I think it is best to prioritize your list and focus on one thing at a time. Whether it is clearing out a closet or shopping for back to school or writing a blog, you have to concentrate on each task individually, finish it and move onto the next. Multitasking leads to many half finished efforts and a longer to-do list tomorrow!


One of the hardest things I have found about being vegetarian is finding sandwich ideas. When my husband is going golfing he will often take a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as a quick snack, but I like a little more variety and nutrition when I am cooking at home. I am always on the lookout for new ideas. This recipe comes from Rachael Ray and is absolutely delicious! Well worth the effort!


Veg-out Sammies

Rachael Ray


1 cup raw (skin-on) almonds

1/2 cup quinoa (red quinoa looks nice but any will work)

2 tablespoons EVOO

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 small clove garlic, peeled

Salt and pepper

1 red onion, finely chopped

4 ounces white mushrooms, chopped

1 can  (16 oz.) pinto beans, drained well (do not rinse)

1/3 cup crispy brown rice cereal

1/4 cup hulled sunflower seeds

2 tablespoons ketchup

8 slices favorite sandwich bread

Favorite sandwich toppings (tomato, avocado, sprouts, etc.)


Soak the almonds in 1 cup water for 1 hour at room temperature.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the quinoa and 1 cup water to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to very low and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Let cool in the pan uncovered, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a large bowl.

Drain the almonds, reserving the soaking liquid. Using a food processor, grind the almonds with 1 tbsp. EVOO, the lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste. With the machine on, pour in 3/4 cup of the reserved soaking liquid and process until smooth; season to taste.

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tbsp. EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, reduce the heat to medium and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir the onion-mushroom mixture into the quinoa. Add the beans and mash the mixture with your hands until most of the beans are broken down. Stir in the cereal, sunflower seeds and ketchup; season with salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into four 4-inch patties.

Cook in a skillet with some olive oil, flipping once or bake in oven at 350, 10 minutes per side or until nicely browned. They can also be grilled on a well oiled grill. Grill the burgers, carefully turning once, until crusted on both sides, about 5 minutes.

Spread the almond mixture on the bread and top with a burger and whatever other toppings you want! 


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