Organizing the Good Life


I encourage people to follow their dreams and to live a simple life.  A busy life, but on their own terms.  We aren’t quitting our jobs to sit around and watch television!  We do a lot of things to make ends meet and have a little change left over to play.  We farm, we make medicines (though the bulk of the retail aspect I sold), we teach, we write.  We take care of animals, start seedlings, answer emails, promote our farm, and kiss baby lambs.  It’s rough work, I tell you.  But we could easily get overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done.

The office supply section at the store is adorable and fun to look at but those bulletin boards and mini-dry erase boards will fill up what I have to do in the next two hours, let alone the week!  And they are quite pricey.


I have done a few posts about black board paint.  If you want to learn how to create it, click here.  Here is yet another idea for the blackboard wall (or door, or table, or whatever).

A large section of the kitchen or office, or living room for that matter, wall can be taped off, four layers of black board paint added, let dry for four days, and tada, a charming country organizer has just been made, at a fraction of the price, may I add.


You could add milking schedules, what the kids need to take to school, countdown to quitting your job, grocery list, to do list, honey do list, menu plan, anything you need to keep organized this week!

We might be really busy, but we are doing what we want, and having a grand time of it.  My uncle passed away yesterday and he led an interesting and fun life, always teasing, always had a glint of mischief in his eye.  May we live our lives to the fullest.  I love this saying below.  It encourages me to live, play, rest, and work hard…and indulge a bit.  Life is short!


The Crazed List Maker

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…

Grandma’s Sewing Room-Part 2(the makeover)

Alright folks, this makeover isn’t going to win any awards or find its way into the pages of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.  However, it is a realistic approach that we can all take.  Using what we have.  Admitting that the $20,000 craft room addition may not happen since the goats eat so much.  Not to mention the kids.  But, I had a perfectly usable space.  Though not pretty, unpaintable, and dark, it could certainly stand in for a sewing room.  It came completely equipped with shelving and space.  Good enough!




I purchased three rugs to cover the cold floor.  I also bought a space heater that looks like a charming fireplace to warm the room since it is ten degrees cooler downstairs.  Shyanne’s room is the other side of the basement (like thirty feet away).  As soon as she moved home last week, she promptly stole the fireplace and put it on her side.  Who can blame her?


I unpacked box after box of material and organized them by prominent color.  I placed soap making supplies, the iron, half finished projects of Grandma’s on the top shelf.


I organized the yarn side by side so that we can see what colors we have before going out to buy more.  Cubbies of rick rack, ribbon, and lace allow me to see what I can use for projects.


My paintings have a place to stand.  I haven’t completed a single painting this year in all the hubbub of starting a farm so I do hope to spend some time down here painting this winter.  I have so many ideas!

The sewing machine is ready to run.  Ample table space.  Lamps.  Inspiration.  Project ideas.  Christmas presents to be made.

santa hat

Now that I am a Grandma, it is nice to have a full sewing room.  I have memories to craft.