2014: Big Plan, Big Chalkboard

I’m sure this is difficult to imagine, but there is a lot of, like, random shit rattling around in my head. For example, I know the proper spacing for fasteners on a piece of roof sheathing, where all the warp zones are located in the original Super Mario Bros. game, the technical terms for over 100 different configurations of concrete block, and more obscure Star Trek references than any given person should know. These are the pieces of obviously important information that have taken up permanent residence in my brain, leaving little room for things like, oh, all of the shit I need to get done this year.

Which is why I had to build a very, very large chalkboard.


For the last six weeks I’ve been slowly putting together my plan for 2014. One might argue that I should have done this before actual 2014 hit, but listen, I’m lucky if I’m only running six weeks behind at this point and, as my grandpa says, it is what it is.

The important thing is that I have a plan. Ish. Kind of a plan. Kind of a really big effing list that stares me right in the face whenever I walk into my house.

The bigass chalkboard consists of a few different parts.

1.) My usual “Five Projects” list


2.) My “To Plant” List


On the surface this seems like just a list of things I want to plant this year. Which… it is. But I also have a lot of thoughts surrounding the planting of these things, and having them listed out helps me remember that. For example, I know if I want to do peas I’m going to have to build another vertical bed in the garden, or to plant to berry bushes I’m going to need to have the garden fence up. And I’m also hoping it will help when it comes time to start seedlings indoors, etc.

3.) The seasonal list


This is the big one. While I haven’t separated things out into weeks or months, I did list them in somewhat chronological order, so things at the top of the lists should happen in the early part of the season, and things at the bottom in the later part of the season.

I’m trying to be very realistic with what I’ll be able to get done this year, especially with the farming and ever-increasing number of animals to take care of. (There may or may not be more chickens in my immediate future… just saying.)

Here’s how I broke down my projects for this year:


  • Finish-residing and paint garage
  • Install garden fence
  • Run electric to barn(s)
  • Build chicken run


  • Finish master bed/bath
  • Finish kitchen (floor, at least) => woodburner for next winter
  • Fix up workshop
  • Build pergola off of garage


  • Finish stairwell
  • Finish entry floors
  • Make front porch awesome
  • Re-do laundry room

Not-a-chances (but someday)

  • Tear up driveway, fix plumbing to barn
  • Reside addition
  • Rebuild back porch
  • Add on to patio (outdoor fireplace)
  • Build greenhouse in garden
  • Water collection off barn

There are also some maintenance items on the list (like spraying the driveways for weeds, etc.) but one of the big ones is that I’m planning to have my first real “open house” at the farm in early fall. In the two years I’ve been here, I haven’t formally invited my friends and family up to the house, because it’s been in a fairly constant state of disarray.

This year I’d like to throw the “big party” and if I’m lucky enough with my planting and harvesting it will be a kind of “Farm to Fork” party, where much of what we eat will come straight from the land here (or nearby.) That alone will create a lot of projects (building half a dozen picnic tables, anyone?) and be a huge motivation for getting things done.

All in all, I’m looking forward to 2014, all of the projects, all of the work that will get done, and–when it’s over– the napping.


14 Responses

  1. ^ I get a kick out of your mom’s comment. My mom has been trying to hand off our piano to me for a long time! Too many projects going on, though.
    I’m super intrigued by your ‘Superhero Doors’…. can’t wait to see!

  2. A piano would look awesome in that large foyer of yours…did you list the non negotiables in order of importance?

  3. Good to get it all out of your head where you can see it clearly. It’s beautiful!

    What happened to the links to previous posts at the bottom of the pages?

    I see no way to navigate older posts in order.

    1. They got lost in the update and I’m still working on getting some of those buggy things figured out. Definitely on the list to add back in!

  4. Our friend just built a big chicken wire fence around all her vegie garden (im talking 5-6 feet tall) and then hund bird netting over the top to keep out all the beasties. We don’t have wild deer roaming in the towns in Otago New Zealand, but she had a flock of chicken, geese, there were peacocks in the neigbourhood that came to visit,plus her big pig,the dog and wild birds. Worked a treat.

  5. Love the list! Mine is 50 sheets of paper taped to the dining room wall for kitchen plan purposes; kitchen reno starts when our heat can be turned off to knock down walls & reroute heat and electricity.
    This garden list looks like mine, except for the hops, and that sounds like a great idea! I like to add a new crop every year to my established garden.
    I have a respectful question, Kit. I know that you have to work on everything at once and getting something big like a bath or kitchen done to the house will be really satisfying, but after the terrible winter we are having, why isn’t getting the barn plumbing problems fixed much higher on the list so the winter water lugging can stop? Winter is hard enough. Surely your family or neighbors knows someone who can dig your driveway for a good price? Just thinking of the physical and mental energy you’d have left if you weren’t hauling water. Is the water project really hideously expensive? Again, respectfully asking. (Bath is looking good!) Thanks, Kit.

  6. Not sure I’d have the stick-to-it nature to maintain both my gardening journal and a blackboard, but it sure does look great. About the fanciest thing I have in my working shed in a couple old framed prints of the Mount Vernon garden layouts… a perfect lesson on how not to plant;) Thanks for the great post!
    WT Abernathy
    The DIY Dad at

Comments are closed.

I'm not interested in a mediocre life. I'm here to kick ass or die.

(formerly DIYdiva.net)