Sunday, May 27, 2012

Weekly Score

As this is the summer of "done", I promised myself that I would be accountable weekly for my performance. So, here we go...

1) Cleaned the entire downstairs -- cabinets, drawers, and closets. Still organizing..... have you been to the Container Store. Holy moley! They are making my life pure heaven! My favorite, so far, has been the adjustable plate holders. They are making my pan drawers perfectly neat! Next favorite, Ikea. They have these neat little semi-circle doodads that have some crazy Swedish name that I can't even spell that works great for standing all my flat pans and cooling racks. Of course, if I were clever, I could have made these, but Just Not My Cuppa Tea. And, these were cheap enough that I don't feel one bit guilty.

2) Started cleaning the upstairs. This means that my studio is finally to where I can get in! New soap drawing rack (the Annex!) has improved the hodgepodge of things in the studio for the soap.

3) Cleaning the studio means that I got into my sewing. Count, please: two table cloths finished, one duvet cover nearly done (I have to finish the 300 miles of side seams -- it is a queen size, but all the flat lace is on. Yes, pictures coming.) Sorted all the "nearly done" projects -- sachets that need hand finishing are stacked up; baby sweaters longing for buttons sitting patiently for their last bit; tiny hats with a little yarn to work in are all next to my chair. Sewing day for that this week. I did finish four scarves (just needed a little more work) and a few hats. Why do I stop when I am five rows from done??

4) Made stawberry and cherry jams for market. Okay. These weren't undone, but they demanded Immediate Attention because they Were Ready. Total: 16 jars....

5) Cleaned the front porch and side porch. Put everything in its place. Finally. Still need to move the new stanchion to the milking parlor. The girls are getting a metal one. At last!

6) Cleaned and moved the diddles. We have 50 baby chicks right now. They had to be sorted out and divided. Some will be dinner in 12 more weeks. The others will be new layers.

7) Sorted textbooks; sold a bunch; gave some away. Thank goodness!

8) Threw away three trash bags of paper. Where does this stuff come from anyhow??

9) Defrosted the egg refrigerator. It's that old, yes.

10) Sorted and organized market and craft show ideas. Some people are much more clever than I, but I sure love to "borrrow" their ideas!

11) Worked the Farmer's Market and one craft show. My little business is building and I am so pleased!

And that about does it. Some was "undone," and some "needed done." I guess it is a win-win, eh?

Friday, May 25, 2012

How's it going??

Which is the Gargoyle??

Well, the downstairs is cleaned, even to handwashing the floors, and all the cabinets are cleared. Started the upstairs this week and I am ashamed of all the books I have that haven't been read. Glory! What is that about anyhow??

Been watching one "Hoarders" episode every morning to get myself motivated. I now understand many things about my MIL that I didn't before.... and about myself.

Took a gal pal trip to Florida last week where we toured the EPCOT flower show! I left knowing three things: Cheese (I had the cheese trio at the UK Pub) is the world's most perfect food; if I had 500 men and an unlimited budget I could have remarkable gardens; and, England is going to see me this summer, if I can find a way. I really want to see the Lake District.

The Fairy Garden at EPCOT. Do you see all the little fairies??

The Airman was born in Florida on the day EPCOT opened. I like to think the two were birthed at the same time! However, I had never been there before. Disney, yes, about 30 times in one summer, such is the curse of living 30 minutes away and having a large extended family. Never Care To Go Again. But, the EPCOT Flower Show was worth the trip. It was lovely. This year's theme was "Butterflies" and there were butterfly gardens, hatching, butterflies, and butterfly shows. So fun! We had a blast for two old biddies and enjoyed every minute. The best part (besides the cheese) was watching the little folks when they saw their favorite Disney character. There is such joy in childhood's innocence!

Wookie just drank my tea, so I think it is time to get up, find another glass and then head out to work my work for the day!

What are you up to?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


 There's nothing so fatiguing as an uncompleted task. --- William James

First, I feel the love! Thanks for the comments and notes! I have missed you all terribly. And, while I still have a few grades to run (read: 140 assignments), I need a break and have decided to write a little note.

One of my passions is collecting homemaking guides from various centuries. I have them from Mrs. Jefferson's guide to managing Monticello to the "Side Tracked Home Execs" Pam and Peggy. I just love 'em all. There is so much to learn from them about women, men, children, values, goals, gender roles, and social norms. They are just mah-vo-lous... So, my night-night book as been Daryl Hoole's The Art of Homemaking. While the time in which it was written comes through in some of her topics, "Moms should do the light work while Daddy does the hard", there have been some valuable ideas in the book. (Okay, so I fell off the bed laughing over what Mom and Dads should do... "Really?" I snorted. And started to call the Mister in, but he was snoring in the Man Chair, so I let it ride...)


One whole chapter is on the power of finishing. Yeppers. Finishing. Anything. Baking a cake. Cleaning a stove. Writing a letter. Grading papers, wait, that was me...

All of which got me to thinking about how easy peasy it is to get sidetracked. Seriously sidetracked in my case... I love to start. Anything... A gallon of ice cream. A new shawl. A book. A diet... But I am pretty stinky at finishing most things... unless I just so love it that we go steady until we are finished.... like the ice cream...

This is my first whole summer home in more than five years and I am only taking on three literature classes for the summer. (I love them...much more fun and I don't cry at night after grading essays all day....) . What, I thought, would it be like to spend my summer finishing projects? The rules for myself are easy.

1. I must finish what I have the materials to do first. This means everything must already be here so I don't have to go shopping for it. I know myself well enough to know that if I enter the hardware store I am a lost soul. I love love love the hardware store and always leave with a carload, a light wallet, and a big smile on my face. Did I mention that I grew up working in my father's hardware store? I think it is genetic...

2. Each project must be documentable. I must be able to see the progress. This will eliminate planning for a future project. Handyman magazine comes every month and it gets me in a lot of trouble... so no planning for the summer.

3. Each project must be something I can finish alone, mostly. After all, this is my goal and no one else's. I have no right to draft unwilling souls into my cunning plan.There are a few things that will require the Mister, but most are things I can do alone with Ruby the tractor, Belle the chain saw, or my tool chest. Yes, I have my own. With a lock.

4. I have to record each project when it is finished here. This means that I am accountable and that you can cheer or jeer as you wish. Or, maybe you will want to join in??

5. Projects cannot interfer with the daily operation of the farm. I still must weed, plant, make soap, weave, and all the other things I have to do on the table for the farm to earn some income.

6. Should I live to, er I meant to write, finish all the aforesaid projects where the materials are present and accounted for, I am to start those that require purchases. These must be prioritized and then completed following the above criteria.

7. Knitting, weaving, and spinning count in unfinished projects. So does cross stitch.. and sewing... and books... but only at night when I cannot work elsewhere outside. (This rule gives me heartburn and I am thinking of negotiating with myself. I'll let you know if I can compromise...)

And that is it. Finish it. See if it makes me feel lighter mentally by the end of the summer. Wanna join me?

Now, I have to go FINISH my grading. It has a deadline... sigh....