things I stole: 'Do a Dozen' (folding laundry)

talley_sue_nycJune 10, 2008

Looking at that 2000 link on the "Posts from before Oct '04" link, I see that I flat-out ripped off an idea from a former member here, --sage.

She wrote, on a thread about folding laundry & putting away:

"Here's another laundry tip--

Sometimes I procrastinate & let the clean laundry pile up in the basket. So now I tell myself I will fold 12 items & put them away. Just do 12. But then next thing you know I will do 5 more, then 10 more, & so on. Before you know it, the laundry is folded & put away."

So, that's what I started to do, and I call it "Do a Dozen," and I recommend it all the time, and I have forgotten to credit it! In fact, I think I even eventually lost that vague sense that I'd been given that idea from someone else.

So, to anybody else whose great idea I have ripped off, thank you, and I'm sorry! LOL!

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Well, Your Honour, I plead *guilty* to the crime of being a receiver of stolen ideas. Do I get reduced sentence if I plead ignorance of the fact that the ideas were "fenced goods"?
Talley Sue, you are hereby condemned to hard labour.. you are to "Do TWO Dozen" today. LOL

    Bookmark   June 10, 2008 at 9:53PM
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That's OK, Talley. You live and learn. Seems to me everything had to come from somewhere, even ideas.

My husband is a writer. When our kids were in school worrying about plagiarism (and I was working in a HS library charged with rooting out plagiarism amongst the students) Dad always said, "You read and you write. You have to get your information from somewhere. Just be sure you credit your source." That's what you just did, albeit a little late.

I was always giving the benefit of the doubt to the students...Here's my thinking: You incorporated -sage's idea into your own thinking, making it your own. Did you actually use -sage's exact sentences when you made your suggestions? Probably not. I think you're an editor, so you'd be well aware of plagiarism issues.

As self-appointed appeals judge on this thread, I hereby reduce your sentence to loads already folded. It's a good idea!


    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 9:52AM
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Thanks, guys! (and hey, I'm the one who named it, right?)

And I always say when people retell jokes, "you get credit for having recognized it as funny, and for the delivery you gave it."

I call it "my famous pumpkin bread," but it was somebody else's recipe first. I *have* tweaked it (double the cinnamon, half again the nutmeg; put a cinnamon-sugar crust on top using maple syrup & butter), which is an important part of the appeal. And I mix it differently (not sure how much that changes it).

Actually, this would be a good opportunity for us all to pass on the great ideas we *have* "stolen" from someone else.

Think of them as "tried and true." And ourselves as an integral part of their validation. They work for us; that only ADDS TO their inherent value.

What great organizing idea have you snagged to be your own? Have you tweaked it?

I snagged from somewhere the "leave no evidence" idea--that when you're done making a sandwich, or wrapping presents, or whatever, you erase all traces of what you were doing, so someone coming into the room 5 minutes later won't say, "Aha, Watson, someone has been wrapping presents. See the telltale signs of the tape dispenser, scissors, and tissue paper?"

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 10:38AM
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I think it is perfectly acceptable to take a great idea and hone it until it is "truly your own." But it never is truly your own. You stand on the shoulders of giants. And someday, another person will take your idea and improve it.

I think that framing the concept with a clever saying makes it easier to impart to others.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 12:47PM
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What great organizing idea have you snagged to be your own? Have you tweaked it?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 5:59PM
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Sorry, but all I can focus on right now is the pumpkin bread. May I please have your version of the recipe?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 9:10PM
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I am a writer, and I know perfectly well that when I read or study or interview or watch a play or movie or just listen to somebody interesting at a cocktail party, or to my friends around the dinner table, I am likely to absorb and then recycle ideas. What made me quit worrying about that was the realization that it was arrogant to think that everything out of my mouth, or pen, had to be (or could be) entirely original. You make things your own when you understand them, interpret them, and relate them in your own words, with the filter of your own experience, illuminated by the light of your own truth.
Everyone who participates in this forum gives ideas as gifts. We honor those gifts when we receive them. That's not the same as stealing, don't you think?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2008 at 10:18PM
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So I guess you are holding the recipe hostage until I come up with something. ;) Here goes:

This seems so elementary to me that I doubt that I stole it, but it escapes everyone in my husband's family: put like things together and mark what's in the box.

For example, in my office closet, there is a shoe box with a yellow sticky on the end with the word TAPE. That's because when we moved out of our last house, I went around and collected all the tape dispensers - scotch tape, box tape, duct tape, masking tape. We must have had 20 rolls of tape that had somehow accumulated. I have a similar one called BATTERIES, and another called PENS and PENCILS. This is the kind of stuff that normally fills up junk drawers, yet isn't there when you need it.

I am currently helping my 81 year old MIL with a massive basement clean-out project. There is just no rhyme or reason for where or why she places things in her house. Her clothing is in the basement while her upstairs bureaus are filled with Christmas ornaments. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

So, now, about that pumpkin recipe???

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 8:01AM
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Perhaps the way I motivate myself has led to a unique way of viewing the organization process. Here goes:

I try to see more than one benefit from an activity on my to-do list.

For example, I'm trying to exercise more, so I get out there and actually do that yard work. And I don't complain about how hard it is, or how much I sweat, because it counts as aerobic exercise if I do it briskly enough. So I get the yard picked up AND I get the exercise that will help me loose weight and help me to sleep better that night. Wait! That's THREE benefits! Four, if you count keeping my heart healthy and living longer. So do you see what I mean?

Here's another example: If I do my chores on time without whining, then I can leave the house and go to the local stitching group. So I get to have fun sewing, get to enjoy a finished quilt some day, AND I get to go chat with the other ladies, and see what they're working on. Maybe learn something new. All because I got the chores done. I'm starting to see how it all fits together.

So ... I need a catchy phrase to explain it ... how about "count the many ways your chores bless you"?

This way of viewing things also helps me realize which activities are avoidance tactics ... like spending too much time on the computer, or looking through just one more catalog, when I really just ought to pitch it into the recycle bin. But some computer time is good. It can be fun and inspiring to chat with others online. So I'm finding a balance. I'm learning to see the difference between true fun and miserable procrastination.

I wouldn't mind trying your pumpkin bread recipe myself...

Big grin! :-)

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 8:51AM
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Mary, To add another benefit to your yard work activity--I don't like yard work-or exercise--but I love reading. I attach my cd player (could be iPod) to my waistband and listen to audio books. Before I know it, I have been distracted enough to accomplish two hours of yard work.

As for a tweaked idea: I have taken labeling to the refrigerator and freezer. I label the shelves on the door (syrups, hot, savory, condiments) and freezer baskets in the freezer (chicken, beef, pork, seafood).

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 9:19AM
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I want to label my fridge! I have threatened to do so w/ my Ptouch, and my DH said that if I did, he'd peel 'em off!

Pumpkin bread--let's see if I can remember it.

Makes 3 loaves, 350 degrees for an hour
Butter pans, line bottoms w/ foil or parchment, butter again, and dust pans w/ flour.

2 sticks butter
3 cups sugar (sometimes I use 2.5 cups)
(cream together)
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
(add and mix well)

1 lb. pumpkin
(add and mix well)

3 1/3 cups flour
X?? baking soda (I'm gonna have to look, I don't remember; 1 tablespoon, I think)
2 tsp cinnamon
1.5 tsp nutmeg
(combine together, then mix into the pumpkin mixture)

2/3 cup water (I think 2/3 cup; the water is the "secret ingredient")
(mix in slowly)

Bake. While it's baking:

1/3 stick butter
2 - 3 tablespoons maple syrup
(set in a ramekin next to the oven vent, so that the butter melts)

1/4 cup (or so) sugar
3 tsp (or so) cinnamon
(mix in a ramekin, adjusting proportion of cinnamon to have a reasonable cinnamon-sugar look)

When you take loaves out of oven, brush butter/syrup mixture over half of one, and IMMEDIATELY sprinkle sugar over the wet syrup so the sugar gets wet and "holds" the sugar in place. Repeat w/ all surfaces of the loaves. You can do a second coat if you like, but i've given up.

Let cool 10 minutes or so, then take out of pans (some sugar will fall off the top, so work over the sink or something).

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 10:50AM
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"Count Your Many Blessings"?

(your post about that made me think of a tent-revival song we sang in my church choir once, w/ that as a lyric)

I like that thought--I'm going to steal it!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 10:55AM
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Three loaves! Yikes. Hey, graywings, make the loaves and send one to me, prettyplease. I love pumpkin muffins with chocolate chips. Yummy.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 11:40AM
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no, no, no chocolate in the pumpkin bread! I forbid you to tweak my recipe that way! And if you do, you *may not* tell anybody you got it from me, you DO have to steal it, without attribution!

One nice thing about this recipe is, it DOES make 3 loaves. So you can make two to take (one to serve, and one for the pantry) and still have one for home. I'll get the two measurements I'm iffy about and post them.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 12:32PM
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Well...nobody asked about this so I hesitate to mention it... but what I like about a recipe that makes three loaves of pumpkin bread is slicing it, freezing the the slices, and sandwiching two of those with orange sherbet. (I get it in the ''box'' so I can slice it into the right size.) It's a wonderful summertime frozen treat. I'm making pumpkin bread this week just to make these; my sherbet has been holding in the freezer until I finally get around to it. Lately I've been trying to figure out what else I can freeze!

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 12:44PM
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OK, orange sherbet maybe.

That's actually sort of intriguing. Maybe I'll steal that combo idea from you--but tweak it by servng it like birthday cake w/ ice cream.

And interesting about freezing before sandwiching. Do you eat it like a sandwich, or w/ a fork?

Note that my pumpkin bread is very soft. My mom's is stiffer (I liked it w/ peanut butter spread on it), so it might be better w/ ice-cream sandwiches.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 5:16PM
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Harumph! Chocolate chips are wonderful in pumpkin muffins, with brown sugar streusel on top, but my recipe doesn't call for maple syrup. Otherwise, it's just about the same as yours but for 2 dozen muffins. I was reluctant to try them, too, but they've become a family favorite. Maybe I'll try maple syrup next time.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 6:31PM
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Would ya mind sharing the muffin version? Are these standard sized muffins? I'll hafta get myself a second muffin tin! Being that it's so hot, I'd rather make muffins than loaves of pumpkin bread. And I have some pumkin in the freezer, that I grew and pureed myself.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 7:05PM
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Hoho HO!! Look what I just found in the Wayback Machine Archives. Further evidence in the case of the Great Ideas Theft.

[add a challenge/accountability feature?
Posted by Talley Sue-NYC () on Fri, Jun 23, 00 at 11:52
I visited one of those other sites, and found something I really like. But I don�t want to start hanging out there; I like it here at That Home Site! So, I figured, let�s just steal the idea!
The basic principle is that if we state our goals and check up on one another, we�ll be more motivated to actually achieve some organization in our homes. I have 2 ideas for an approach; tell me what you think about them]

Hmmmmmm... now what do you reckon, you the jurors, and the appeals judge? Do we hand out sentence of continued community service, in the form of daily compulsory postings by Talley Sue, on any topic of our choosing, or do we simply demand another YUMMY recipe from her!

Psssssssssst. Talley Sue? (whispering out the corner of my mouth) Any other good ideas you've found on the Ideas Blackmarket? I'll glady take the lot.
(Sorry, I couldn't resist that. It gave me a much needed giggle, Talley Sue. I needed it just to wear off the calories I gained simply from *reading* your pumkin cake recipe.) LOL

    Bookmark   June 12, 2008 at 7:22PM
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Albert Einstein said the secret to creativity was knowing how to hide your sources.


I rip off ideas every where I can. Those ideas are tweaked, modified, and morphed into workable creations for our lives.

Really, ripping off an idea is a high form of flattery.

One of my favorite organizing tips is to make 'centers.' In the kitchen, have a baking center with all you supplies and tools within easy reach. In the bathroom, have a basket for all your mani/pedi supplies. Easy to pull out, easy to put up. In the office....well, you can see how this works. Gather the things you use for a set of tasks and make a home for them together. I don't remember where I first read or heard this, but it has made my life better for over tweny years.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 8:48AM
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I've had this hand-written recipe for 15 years. The woman who gave it to me said she remembered her mom making them while she was growing up. She thought her mom sometimes used pecans instead of almonds, but I've never tried it. Logical combination, though. I tweaked it with the streusal topping.


Heat oven to 350º

3/4 C sliced or slivered unblanched almonds (1/2 Cup for the muffins, 1/4 Cup for Streusal)...I prefer slivered

1 2/3 C Flour
1 C granulated sugar
1 heaping tsp cinnamon
Scant 1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
1 C plain pumpkin
1/2 C (1 stick) butter, melted
1 C chocolate chips


Here's the hard part. I don't have any amounts. I mix things together until they look right and are dry and crumbly enough. You'll get it right.

Cold Butter
Dark Brown Sugar
Dash of salt, a little cinnamon

1) Toast almonds on baking sheet for 5 minutes, until slightly browned. Be careful not to brown. Cool

2) Grease standard muffin tins or use liners

3) Mix dry ingredients together in large mixing bowl

4) In another small bowl, break eggs, add pumpkin and melted butter. Whisk until well blended

5) Stir in chips and almonds

6) Pour wet mixture over dry mixture; fold in with spatula until just moistened

7) Scoop into muffin tins. Sprinkle with streusal

8) Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until puffed and springy to touch. Cool on racks (or eat warm)

They're also great as mini-muffins - just the right size to pop in your mouth. At Thanksgiving I also make Sparkling Cranberry Muffins - excellent seasonal pairing for brunch or when we have our second go-round in the evening, after the main dinner. Dinner HAS to have buttermilk biscuits!


    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 10:26AM
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OMG, Lilydilly, I'm a career criminal! A recidivist (no, wait, you can only be a recidivist AFTER you've tried to reform). A habitual thief. A--dare I say it?--KLEPTO!

I was thinking of that stolen idea, when I was looking at the Wayback Machine archives.

The idea was, a monthly challenge. We'd pick one and start a single thread--July Junk Drawers--and everyone for whom that *was* a problem would tackle it. We'd brainstorm ideas (the people who already had organized junk drawers would give us their secrets), troubleshoot problems, and cheer each other on.

It was fun for awhile (until it ended up that few people were taking on that specific challenge were instead writing their own challenges, and then it got sort of diluted and turned into a different thing--tweaked)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:17AM
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Recipes! That should be her punishment! She admits she hasn't even TRIED to reform. Tsk, tsk. We've got to try and break her. Let's keep her in the kitchen, where any harm she might cause with her thieving ways will at least be delicious.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:55AM
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Talley Sue, we eat them both ways. Like an ice cream sandwich, and on a plate with a fork. I'll just bet you'd like it!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 8:43PM
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OK, here are those pumpkin-bread ingredients again.
3 cups sugar
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
4 large eggs
1 can (1 lb.) pumpkin, or 2 cups
3 1/3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
2/3 cup water

I wonder what it would taste like if you grated a little orange zest into the pumpkin bread....or put orange juice in the glaze?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:04PM
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Thank you all for the useful tips, reagardless of their origin!

Originality is the fine art of remembering what you hear but forgetting where you heard it. - Laurence J. Peter

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 1:43PM
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"or put orange juice in the glaze"...or rum instead of water?

Thanks for the recipe.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2008 at 4:08PM
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I've posted on the gardening side of GW for years before I discovered the Home Site. Gardeners are famous for "stealing" or should I say "borrowing" each others ideas! That's why we post them or frequent gardening magazines.

A few winters ago I was visiting historic Vizcaya in Miami Beach and loved the way they had pots of red pointsettas on each side of a long outdoor staircase. I repeated the look the following summer on my more modest outdoor steps to my house (not pointsettas, of course!) At another venue I saw a massive red flower garden with a corner of the same plants in bright purple. Now when I plant my hanging sacks I plant all red and leave the bottom two slots for bright purple. Same effect and I can't take my eyes off of it.

As for organizing, haven't we all ripped off the same ideas that are presented on HGTV and every magazine article and website regarding mail stations, zones in the kitchen, segregating the linen closet, putting out the toss, donate, throw boxes for cleaning clothes closets, etc. etc. Sometimes it just comes down to Just Do It!

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 9:21PM
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Actually, don't gardeners steal cuttings from one another's gardens? Isn't there a superstition that a plant you are *given* won't thrive, whereas if you'd snitched it, it would?

Just Do It--gee, that sounds familiar....

    Bookmark   June 17, 2008 at 10:08PM
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I'm not very organized, so I can't steal or tweak any ideas there.... I can't wait to try the pumpkin bread..especially with the orange sherbet...
But I am a reasonably good musician, and where would we be without hearing some great piece of music and then recreating it for our own use?!!
I regularly hear medleys that send me scurrying for pencil and paper to write down what song goes into what song...I can write the segues myself...and presto, there is a new anthem!! Stealing...nah....imitating...yeah, that's it!! :^)
Then there are pictures of textile items that I need for my home....if I can see it, I can convince my ancient machine to sew it up (I show it pictures and feed it special oil :^)...see there, the machine did it all by itself :^)

    Bookmark   June 18, 2008 at 1:30PM
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