Monday, September 29, 2014

I Make Lists

I have been making lists for weeks. At the farm I jotted down things which needed to be  in the earlier loads of household goods hauled to the 'other house.'
Now the farmhouse has become the 'other place'--and I make lists of cupboards there to be emptied, items to be searched out and put in the van. 
Mostly I make 'to do' lists of things to be accomplished here in the faint hope of creating order.
Today's list went something like this:

Paint front door
Seal the small walnut shelf that I sanded more than a month ago
Finish emptying the boxes ranged along the dining area wall
Re-pot the rosemarys which are suddenly looking poorly

The day wound down without any of the tasks accomplished.
Jim put up the house numbers that we bought on Friday.
Yesterday he spray-painted the mailbox--a task I planned to do.
Sometimes I feel mildly chastised when he does a job which I've decided to tackle.
Admittedly he is probably better with spray paint than I am.

We inherited a mailbox in a crumbling stonework 'tower'--doubtless quite upscale when the house was built in 1969.
The mortar has come out of the base in spots leaving blocks of stone dislodged.
Weeds grow in the planters flanking the 'tower'--sad and unkempt.
I have felt unreasonably annoyed that the name of the original owner of the property was still visible beneath a faded and scabby scrim of paint.
[We have found that the people from whom we bought the house were apparently not blessed with maintenance skills!]
Jim's paint [Massey Ferguson grey] covered the scrawling letters, and he resettled the little flag in its slot and gave it a shot of red paint.
It was left for me merely to apply the stick-on numbers this morning, tuck a birthday card and the utility payments into the box and raise the flag.
I went online to order new address labels; when I attempted to open my email to check had the order been confirmed, I found that access even to web mail was blocked.

A tangle of goldenrod near the east boundary of our acre.

The email glitch has been annoying me for some time.
I tackled the issue with grim determination, following various suggested 'fixes' without success.
After about 3 hours of fussing I was able to access a security code by opening an alternate email on my laptop.
I changed the password, entered it on the sign-in form and almost literally held my breath while the great wizard of cyberspace mulled over my credentials, then suddenly mail was loading--86 messages which had accumulated over the past week.
I scarcely dare state that the problem is 'cured' for fear of jinxing the whole show.

Jim has been burning out two huge locust stumps in the back yard.
He jabs at them, gathers brush and paper debris around the base of each and  sets them 
alight each day.
While monitoring his smudge he decided to harvest carrots, sort apples, and set up the juicer which we haven't used in months.
He demanded various containers to hold juice--a request which had me opening cupboards, poking into cartons, feeling the dismay of misplaced items which has haunted recent days.         

Coneflower staging a late bud.

With the email seemingly sorted I decided it might be wise to balance the checking account --after a fashion. Nellie, bored with his indoor existence, hopped onto the table, prodded helpfully at the keys of the calculator, batted petals from the roses in the vase beside me.

Hawkeye Belle transplanted from an offshoot in May.

Teasel and Mima, spending the warm afternoon in bed.

Somehow the day had dwindled away in small frustrations, several tasks started and almost immediately abandoned for something else.
I prepared a chicken for roasting, decided that the cover to the roasting pan had not made it here.
I pawed through cartons for jars of herbs and spices, seasoned the chicken, tucked some of our garden carrots alongside, made a cover of aluminum foil.
I carried in cartons of books, bins of fabric, oddments, that I had sorted yesterday at the farm and 
loaded into the van.

This is one view of my 'study'--disheartening--overwhelming.

 I announced that I was headed to town to purchase a bag of potting soil--still hoping to resuscitate the small rosemary plants.
Jim suggested that I try the farm supply store a few miles away--not a place we have often shopped.
[I drove there--my first outing as driver since the cataract removal last Wednesday.]
I bought a sack of soil mix, but realized there was no time to start the potting project before supper.

I washed dishes, put away food, took out scraps to tip at the edge of the soybean field for the feral cats. The soybean field adjoins our acre to the east.
We are in near drought conditions again, the grass of the back yard crisp underfoot.
Jim set up his sprinklers again today to water what we have of a fall garden.

A sickle moon hung in the sky.
To the west, toward the neighboring dairy farm, the sky was pink-streaked.

A day ended with none of the tasks ticked off my list.
I long for a bit of settled space!
'Tomorrow--and tomorrow--and tomorrow ?'


  1. It's frustrating when your list just gets longer! I have a mental list of "fings to do"!! and the only things which normally get written down are the items on the shopping list - when I start on the "spare" jar or packet of something, or have actually run out - accompanied by two ** then. Quite often I get to town and the shopping list is still on the table.

    I dare say it will all be ship-shape in the fullness of time but I know it is frustrating to live in a muddle (you should see my hallway right now, two days after the Fleamarket!)

    We have had the driest September on record, so I am not surprised you have near-drought conditions. I take it you are on mains water at the new house. We have our own spring, but it is on the map so a reliable one . . .

    I hope that things soon start to settle down properly and you can get into a routine againb - oh, and that you manage to revive your Rosemary.

    1. Like most residences here we are on county water--metered. There is a well on this property which we use for watering the garden and a water purifying system for drinking water.
      Quite often my shopping list doesn't make it to the store with me, but the act of writing things down helps to fix them [most of them] in my mind.
      Tidiness is not my forte but the jumble of the present weeks is way over the top!

  2. I 'sometimes' makes lists.

    Hang in there dear Sharon. Pretty soon all this moving business will be behind you and you will be relaxed in your new home.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

    1. Rainey; I do appreciate your encouragement. I seem to be needing frequent reminders that all will eventually be sorted.

  3. I'm better off if I don't make lists, they just make me feel guilty. I think you're amazing with the amount of things you get done.

    1. Janet; In jotting a 'to do' list I suppose I know that it won't all be done within a certain time frame--I think the list makes me FEEL that I am being efficient.

  4. I make lists too! One every day. I absolutely love that Cone flower. x

    1. Em; When I feel over-whelmed with tasks that need done I tend to dither. Making a list has a calming effect even if the expectations are not realistic.
      I don't know if the Coneflower can blossom before frost but it is delightful at this stage.

  5. ["We have found that the people from whom we bought the house were apparently not blessed with maintenance skills!]"

    I just love that statement, I sense a weary heart;) adventures are often exhausting but they do bring a challenge and hopefully a happy outcome.