Farmgirl School

"It is no bad thing to celebrate a simple life." -Tolkien

Are all homesteaders and farmers list makers?  I tried to break my addiction to list making; making lists of lists, and following lists as if my life depended on it.  Turns out if I don’t have lists, I get exactly nothing done and walk around aimlessly and a bit agitated wondering where to start.


I am by no means a Type A personality, I am not anywhere near organized, and my house is clean but not perfect.  There is always something to do on this small farm and something to do as a housewife and small business owner.  I cannot trust myself to know what to do at any given time.  I get way too overwhelmed and start planning a trip to Bermuda when I suddenly realize that there were cookies in the oven an hour ago and the chickens need to be fed.  I need lists.

The moment I write on a calendar, my daytimer, a slip of paper what is to be done it is suddenly ingrained in my mind as something I must do.  I am suddenly apt and efficient.  I get everything done.  The key, I learned after so many years, is not to put too much on the list each day.  Two pages of items will only lead me to feeling sorry for myself and adding even more things to my list the following day. A vicious cycle.  The list should include leisure as well as work.  Or I will simply forget to practice the violin, do yoga, or read my library book…and sometimes to eat lunch.

This is the time of year that I must get any and all organizing, cleaning, painting, and redecorating done for before I know it Spring will be upon us and we will find ourselves in the whirl wind that is summer filled with pre-dawn awakenings, milkings, farmer’s markets, farming, and running about like crazed individuals.  Which we will be until December.

So lists are even more important now to me because I need to get things done.

My list this week is simple.

Monday- 2 loads of laundry, tape off bathroom for painting, draw and paint logo

Tuesday- 2 more loads of laundry, paint ceilings, visit Grandma with Emily and Maryjane

Wednesday- bring in clothes from clothes line and put away, paint girls’ bathroom, yoga, violin, make Papa dessert, edit textbook

Thursday- paint bee hive so that it is bright and cheery and looks like an apartment building, babysit Maryjane so Emily can get things done, call to see if I have jury duty

Friday- dust, clean bathrooms, sweep, mop, spray protectant over Pumpkin Hollow Farm sign and bee hive.

I have lists of what to write about this week.  I have a menu plan written.  I have a list for Doug, of course.

In the evenings, the list stops.  Pour a glass of wine, watch American Idol, play scrabble, or simply read by oil lamp.  The sweetness of the off season overtakes me and we are relaxed and comfortable in our little farmhouse.  Soon, babies will be born, seeds will arrive, and the sunlight will return.  In the meantime, I have a list to attend to…

6 thoughts on “The Crazed List Maker

  1. debweeks says:

    I made lists for years and then stopped making lists. Most days I walk around aimlessly and get little accomplished. I’ve started making lists again. It’s a way of staying focused instead of letting myself get side-tracked. So maybe we farm-types do better with lists.

    1. Farmgirl says:

      We all chose a life that is not typical and requires lists to keep up!

  2. Bill says:

    I can so relate to this. I have a to-do list next to the computer (64 items on it right now) as well as a “Key Dates” calendar and list of deadlines on the computer, a “Goat Tasks” calendar, a personal calendar, a “Farm Wish List” a “Garden Information” list and more. I’m a list freak but I’d be lost without them.

    And you’re right–some of these things have to get done before Spring or they’re going to have to wait till next Winter!

    1. Farmgirl says:

      I do appreciate my lists. It goes with the life I chose. Instead of 1.find coffee, 2. go to office, 3. pick up kids, 4. figure out dinner, 5. go to bed….I like my insane lists that keep this farm running!

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