Five Steps for Surviving Summer Projects

Posted on May 31st, 2011 by Tonia 3 Comments

It’s the tail-end of May! Spring is just flying by! For all practical purposes, it’s summer already! We have a few old apple and plum trees around the property, and this week when the sun came out after several days of thunderstorms, they all started blooming at once. Their decedent scent is hanging in the damp, foggy air. It’s heavenly and intoxicating.

Mike and I have been toiling hard to clear an area for the 11 trees we brought home from the Winter Greenhouse. There was an overgrown area next to our garage that gets good sun, and we decided it was the perfect spot. It has been a really hard project, and, as you can see, it’s not finished yet. I’m so tired of raking and shoveling and hauling brush, but the vision of a pretty grassy knoll full of beautiful little blossoming trees propels me forward.

There are many other visions and projects for the homestead on the horizon, waiting their turn. Everywhere we look around here, there seems to be something to fix, improve or make.

The hard truth is that there are simply not enough summer months to accomplish all the ideas we have in our heads. We’ll probably have the place exactly as we want it by the time we’re ready to croak. This is a pretty frustrating realization, especially after spending the whole winter cooped up inside together, dreaming about all the “fun” improvements we were going to make around the place come summer. Turns out that stuff is much easier to imagine than to do, and there is a lot of sweat, sore muscles and blisters in between.

It was nice to get away for the weekend and to be out in the woods with friends and family. We laughed a lot, we told stories, we played highly-competitive-bocce, we ate remarkably good food, we snuggled cozily in sleeping bags and read, we hiked, we tickled the babies and tried to keep them from eating dirt, we roasted marshmallows, we stared unblinking into the hot fire for hours. Our priorities got a reset. Our arms got a rest. Our minds got distracted.

And when we got home, we looked around at the apple blossoms, the vivid green grass, the perennials, the gardens, and we walked into our cozy house and felt a wave of love for the place. We’re excited to get back to work with new perspective and refreshed attitudes.

No big deal. We’re not afraid of hard work! We’re like the hardest workers we know {bahaha}! We’re new at this homesteading thing and we need to grant ourselves a little patience and not let the To-Do List call all the shots. One thing at a time, with breaks in between. We won’t get everything done this summer. But we will get a lot done. We will enjoy the work because we love our home and feel immensely thankful for it, and all our efforts makes it feel even more like home because our fingerprints are all over it.

Survive Summer Projects in Five Easy Steps:

1. Listen to NPR on the radio while working {the time passes more quickly and you get smarter.}

2. Take rests in the hammock, preferably with a cold glass of lemonade nearby.

3. Allow yourself to buy a cute new tank-top that will show off your new arm muscles {this one’s for me. Mike’s not really into tank-tops.}

4. Recognize when a break is needed from all-things-homestead and go do something completely unrelated…likeĀ  canoeing, dancing, or playing music together.

5. Remember to stop and smell the apple blossoms.

Also this week: A black bear visited our backyard, the salad greens we planted outside started to peak up through the dirt, the Poppies look like they’re ready to bloom any day now, the town’s Farmer’s Market started up for the summer, and the wild leek season came and went in our neck of the woods {we made delicious potato and egg scrambles with them.}


  1. Cathy Schroeder says:

    Tonia, I was complaining about our house not being finished either and your wise Poppy told me that it’s good our house isn’t finished because when you finish your house then you’ll die! So keep on working and enjoying the work and your home! See, we all don’t have finished houses yet! (you, me and your parents!) XXXOO

  2. Mike says:

    Those are words of wisdom.
    “When you finish your house then you’ll die.”
    Maybe we should slow down our projects…. :)

  3. Tonia says:

    Yikes!!!! Yes. Poppy is wise. :)

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