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....



  1. Finish Something???? Why?? It gets so tedious and boring...Lol.. Can you tell I have a problem with it? I have gotten better in the last few years.. Hopefully I will continue to improve.. As far as joining you.. well I better not tax myself to I would definitely Renegotiate #7 A hot afternoon with a porch swing in the shade with a glass of sweet tea.just has BOOK time wrote all over it..

  2. Hi Matty! So nice to hear that you are going to have the summer off! Yahoo! You have sure had a lot on your plate recently, especially with the Japan trip. I always admire your energy and determination. You may feel like you leave a lot unfinished, but my goodness, you accomplish so much. I think that you have a very vibrant and creative imagination. You remind me a lot of my father. He used to have a hard time finishing things too because his mind was always focused on the future and the next big, great thing. While it made things challenging sometimes, I wouldn't have changed him for the world. It was a gift. Have a great week ahead! With love, Delisa :)

  3. I have way too many things I want to start over the summer, let alone finish. We have 28 more days of school...but who's counting! I have at least 3 rugs I want to make, finish a pair of socks, learn to make soap, learn to dye roving and yarn without felting it, make jam, grow a veggie garden, can veggies, paint the doors of my house which have mellowed from an antique red to purple, plant a perennial garden.....I guess I'm right there with you!

  4. Dear Matty,

    Hear, hear, from another "real good at starting projects" lady! :) Your goals sound very reasonable, and I know what you mean about hardware stores (I buy tools for my husband, so I can use them).



    p.s. Good luck with those assignments!

  5. Oh, my... this is not what I need to read when Christopher's wedding is a little over two weeks away.

    Although, come to think of it, when it is done then a lot of my current work load will be FINISHED! Hallelujah!

    Glad to "see" you back. :)

  6. Ah, spoken like a true teacher!
    I would drive myself nuts if I tried it....that's why I don't make lists.
    I end up getting all sorts of things done that weren't on the list but were in need of being done that I didn't remember to write down so while I feel good for a minute at all I would have crossed of my list had I written them down, I then feel bad because nothing got crossed of the list.
    Such a vicious thing to do to such a nice person like myself, so I just live in the moment.

    And periodically I actually finish a project :)

    The socks are still an enigma.....

  7. Hi Matty! I was just thinking about you tonight and thought I would pop over and say hi! I hope you had a good week. It was a fairly busy one for me. We had a couple of major rainstorms blow through, but it really freshened everything up. One afternoon Barkley dog and I went out to sit in the new screen porch, that was put on the front of the house. We were watching the rain, it was so peaceful and lovely...until the wind suddenly picked up with a fury and blew in a gust of cold rain that hit us both, soaking us like a car wash! I don't know who jumped higher him or me! :) I have sure been enjoying those magazines you sent me! There are so many great patterns. That was so sweet of you. Have a great weekend ahead! Delisa :)

  8. Hi Matty! I hope you are having a good week! I had a busy day yesterday but this afternoon is kind of quiet and I thought I would stop in and say hello to my blogging friends. The storms finally stopped, it so good to see the blue sky and sunshine again. Everything is still a little soggy. Barkley loves it when the ground is fresh from the rain. He digs one hole after another. It is hard to scold him when he looks up with his snout all covered in dirt and his eyes shining! :) I hope you have a wonderful afternoon ahead! With Love, Delisa :)


Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!