Projects that just had to get Done

You know how when a project or two is haunting you and it drives you crazy until you can get it complete?

This was how it was for both of us at Our Little House this past weekend.

Dale has been waiting since spring for the perfect weekend to stain the Party Deck. We had an unusually cool and wet spring followed by an ungodly hot summer. We had perfect weather this past weekend and time is running out before it gets cold again.

I had been waiting for time, mostly, to organize my office once again. I wrote previously about finding the perfect little mailbox to put on The Belle Writer’s Studio, so mail wouldn’t be overflowing on the table at the house.

Inside of Belle Writer's Studio Photo courtesy of Mother Earth News by Kevin Pieper

Since we’ve been so busy this summer, the mailbox didn’t get sanded and painted, or hung, so mail was everywhere, strewn between the table in Our Little House to piled up on every available surface, waiting for filing, in the studio.

It had gotten so out of hand, I couldn’t even keep my writing assignments straight, much less what needed to be done or paid and when.

So, on this beautifully perfect day we had on Sunday, Dale worked outside on the deck and I reluctantly gave up my Kindle and lounge chair to go inside and get some organization back so I could star the week and new month off on the right foot.

I got everything on the surface organized and will work on my business accounting and organizing the filing cabinets on the next rainy, cold day, of which I’m sure there will be many soon.

I posted this quote to Living Large’s Facebook page yesterday: “Your house is only home when you feel you have jurisdiction over the space.” ~ Joan Kron.

It’s really true. I love my studio, but I didn’t feel I had jurisdiction over the space and it felt chaotic and made me anxious.

When I walked in on Monday morning, the atmosphere was once again calming and settling, allowing me to feel much more productive.

That is good enough reason to give up a perfect day outside.

The bonus yesterday was that Dale discovered a new appetizer, bacon wrapped jalapenos, which are so simple, you wouldn’t think them to be that awesome:

6 jalapenos

Cream cheese

6 slices of bacon (we used honey maple bacon, but pepper bacon would be good too)

Split the jalapenos and remove the seeds. Stuff with cream cheese. Wrap a piece of bacon around each, using toothpicks to hold the bacon in place. Place in oven (or in the grill as we did) on about 350 degrees for approximately 30-45 minutes, or until bacon is done and slightly crispy.


What did you accomplish this weekend? How do you handle projects that drive you crazy until you can get them done?


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25 Responses

  1. Merr says:

    There is nothing quite like a clean and cleared out work space, but best when done with intention, not just toss, toss, toss!

  2. Sheryl says:

    I walk into my (very messy) office and feel immediately anxious and drained of energy yet can’t seem to figure out a time/way to get it together! I know I’ll feel so much better once I do. I envy you right now…

  3. Frugal Kiwi says:

    I’ve got several anxiety-causing tasks on my To Do list to accomplish this weekend. Ugh. I’ve got that twitch in my eyelid I only get when I’m overly stressed. Must cross things off list!

  4. Those stuffed jalapenos do sound good. So now that you’re done organizing your house, would you like to drop by mine? I try to be a minimalist, but I must admit, the piles still stack up sometimes.

  5. So many projects NOT getting done around here, but at least Tom is pretty much done chopping firewood for winter. Just in time too … we’ll likely get snow tomorrow.

  6. I got my office organized this past weekend too. I always feel so much calmer when I do that.

  7. Heather L. says:

    Your office is gorgeous. So glad you’ve got it under your control.

    Mine is now overrun with papers and travel brochures and I need to carve out time to clear the clutter.

    Unless, of course, you want to come over and do it for me.

    • Kerri says:

      Ha, ha, Heather. As long as it took me to finally get to mine, I would hate to see how long it would take for me to carve out time for yours too! 🙂 Sorry, you’re on your own there. Thanks for the compliment on my studio. Best place I’ve ever worked.

  8. Alexandra says:

    I run a B&B and generally have little time and energy to clean my office, because I clean everything else all the time and use the office to store stuff, ie. I deposit piles of papers, etc. on a regular basis. I am looking forward to being able to sort through it all this winter.

  9. Though we’ve now lived in our new house for an entire year (plenty of time to have everything organized and boxes unpacked) I still have areas that have never been completely organized and put in order. The one that nags at me most, is a downstairs walk-in closet/storage room that I’m embarrassed to say, still has a few boxes from our move sitting unpacked. It’s closet space like I’ve never had before, but isn’t really doing me much good in its present state.

    I had intended to dig into it over the weekend, but an unexpected grass fire sucked up all our time and energy, so my new goal is to have every box unpacked and article of clothing either hung up, folded and in a drawer, or back into a box to go to the local community center, by end of week! It’s hard to stay inside and work on such mundane tasks when weather is so beautiful and my horse calls to me to go for a ride- hope this gorgeous Indian summer lasts long enough to get my chores done and still have time to answer that call from my horse!

    • Kerri says:

      Oh, I wish these things wouldn’t call to us when the weather is so nice! Good luck and getting that all done. Glad your house was spared from the fire. 🙂

  10. Laura says:

    We’re having a week like this! The pull of ‘work or play’. My husband is on ‘leave’ with the military.. So much to catch up on. Balance is a necessity. So, I wrote a list .. and we have a goal of 1-2 things per day. Funny how those 5 minute tasks can mentally bog you down. I walked downstairs today, saw the new curtain rod (that I had been waiting on for SIX months).. brought an instant smile to my face, that I was no longer looking at my drapes hung by nails. 😉

    • Kerri says:

      Sometimes it’s those small things that make us happiest! Thank your husband for us for his service and thanks to you and your family for your sacrifice. I would say putting a few things on the to-do list and then enjoying that time is a good call!

  11. Olivia says:

    I was clearing out clutter as well. Being a minimalist I don’t allow clutter to build up but DH does……so, periodically, I have to go through jars in the frig, newspapers, bits of soap – whatever – that he can’t bring himself to throw out. Drives me c-r-a-z-y as I have no problem getting rid of anything but it’s a balancing act. If I ask him if he wants to keep something, the answer is generally “Yes”, primarily because he can’t decide whether or not to keep it. Usually I just get rid of things that I know he will never use again. His mother was a major hoarder and I fear he has some of that tendency. I am the exact opposite **sigh**. Clutter anywhere scrambles my brain!

    • Kerri says:

      I know, Olivia, same problem here. At least you are polar opposites, which gives balance, I suppose. Dale’s mother threw out everything, even going through his dressers throwing out things he felt important to him. Now, he doesn’t throw out a thing. He has sacks of clothing he will NEVER wear again. My mother wasn’t a hoarder, but she had lots and lots of stuff and if I don’t watch myself, I find myself with her same tendencies. Here, however, it does force us to eliminate. It may take me some time on things with sentimental value, but eventually, I do let go.

  12. Rick says:

    I did something very similar recently, but I also added a chunk of shrimp to the cream cheese in each jalapno. I left a few seeds to get a little heat.

    • Kerri says:

      That sounds awesome, Rick. Thanks for the tip. We’re definitely going to make these again. Next time with the shrimp!

  13. Cal Olson says:

    My friend, this quote really opened my eyes this morning! Although the excess has fallen away from my body in these 18 post-surgical months, the clutter at home keeps me confined. Thanks for renewing my resolve to make my surroundings correspond with my new body and health!

    • Kerri says:

      Congratulations, Cal, on your new body and health! That is great news. I’m glad the quote hit home for you. I personally cannot feel calm and ordered whenever things around me are a mess. I hope you reach your organizational goals too!