Time To Reassess and Regroup

Well, folks, the year is halfway over! I’ve really slacked off lately in getting things done. First, my day off for my birthday kind of turned into a week of being lazy. Then I started my 60-day keto challenge group and focused on that for a while, and then there was Independence Day and that excuse for a long weekend.

And now here we are. The year is halfway over, and my progress on my “to do” list for 2019 is nowhere near where I had hoped it would be.

The good news is that I’ve gotten quite a bit done on the studio and half bathroom so far this year. At the beginning of the year when I wrote my “to do” list, the studio looked like this…

And now it looks like this…

I just realized I don’t have any recent wide angle views showing the finished floor, painted walls, and wallpapered front wall. I’ll have to remedy that soon!

But that’s quite a few items crossed off of the list.

That’s progress, but there’s so much left on my list to finish in this room!

  • Install door casings and baseboards
  • Caulk, prime and paint all trim
  • Prime and paint the doors
  • Build cabinets in the “office” area of the room
  • Build cabinets and a long desk in the “projects” area of the room
  • Build a huge rolling work table
  • Install lighting
  • Organize and accessorize to finish

And at the beginning of the year, the half bathroom and back entry area looked like this…

And now those look like this…

installing casings on back entry doors

Again, that’s a few items crossed off the list…

So that leaves…

  • Finishing the casings and trim, including caulking, priming and paintingall the flooring
  • Install window casings, door casings, baseboards and other trim
  • Installing ceiling lights in the bathroom and storage closet
  • Installing the toilet
  • Finishing the tile border and wainscoting on lower walls of the bathroom
  • Painting the two pocket doors
  • Installing the new door handle
  • Making some artwork for the entryway and bathroom walls

So that’s just the studio area. I have certainly made progress, but there’s so much left to do!

And the studio wasn’t the only room/area I wanted to work on this year. I had all kinds of projects I wanted to do outside, like building window boxes, and finishing the stone around the front porch. While the stuff has been cleared off of the front porch by now, the stone skirting still looks like this…

I’d really love to get the front of my house looking more finished before the end of the year. It has come such a long way from where it started…

…but it still looks very unfinished in its current state. And my lack of a proper lawn and landscaping is getting old. I’d love some grass and pretty plants!

And I also had plans for the music room, living room, and kitchen that I haven’t even given a second thought to since writing my initial “to do” list for the year.

I really, really want the studio finished, but at the same time, I found myself really running out of steam and motivation these last few weeks. I think it’s the singular focus that’s getting me down and worn out, so I might need to do some non-studio-related projects every now and then just to keep me going.

But starting today, I’m ready to take on the second half of the year with renewed vision and enthusiasm. Let’s see what I can accomplish in six months!



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  1. I’d finish anything that is started like the porch bricks, bathroom – trim, tile and whatever. Don’t start anything new until loose edges are secure. It will be wonderful and encouraging to see finished projects before moving to something else. Your exterior looks so good without landscaping – I’ll bet your neighbors love what you’ve done.

    1. I think that is a good suggestion . It will make you feel good to know that you have projects completed. And when that is finished start new projects.

    2. Tackle the easy ones first so they can get a big check mark and thereby providing inspiration to continue!

  2. I think you have done a huge amount of work and much better than a professional would do it. Resting up for future work is as important as anything else. It means you will enjoy the work and do a good job. So unless you have to have it done because you are moving out, I would say don’t strain yourself. Happy remodeling.

    1. Excellent point, and I hope Kristi agrees. I recently read something that resonated with me – that fallow periods are as much a part of the work cycle as productive periods. IOW, don’t beat yourself up for needing a break, either physical or mental. The break will rejuvenate you.

  3. Last May we had our guest bath remodeled. The guy built columns and painted them bright white, but one particular board he used still leaks a little bit of yellow through. THAT was on my To Do List for for LAST year. It’s still there, all yellowy. You have no idea how much I enjoy watching you turn your duckling into an actual swan.

  4. I think that is a good suggestion . It will make you feel good to know that you have projects completed. And when that is finished start new projects.

  5. You have accomplished A LOT in the past six months! Don’t forget that you built your own furniture and made your own countertops and tiles, laid hardwood flooring AND stained it, created and installed your own wallpaper…just to name a few of your beautiful and innovative creations. Those things take more time than ordering a particular piece online or stopping by the store to pick it up or paying someone to install it. Plus, EVERYTHING looks AMAZING!

    YOU have awesome ideas and perseverance to bring those ideas to fruition then, encourage your readers to think outside the box to make these creations ourselves.
    YOU have given me motivation and the desire to own tools I once thought only my husband should handle. Kristi, you have given me a desire to repurpose, reuse and rebuild. Because of YOU I believe I can do or build anything! I can’t wait to see what your next six months reveals.

    Thank you for being such a wonderful inspiration!

  6. I agree with tying up loose ends, even if they interfere with your forward movement on other items. For me, it’s the same mindset as trying to cook in a dirty kitchen. No bueno, but that’s just me.

    I am blown away by the amount of progress you’ve made, basically working single-handed. You and your husband are an incredible team. Kudos to you both!

  7. I say work on something that makes you happy! It can be hard to keep slogging along when it seems like something will never be finished. Are there any items you can hire out? Some of the stuff like the door casings maybe that are sorta old hat by now. And it’s too hot now for the outdoors. Do something decorative. Make the art work. You have all the time in the world to complete things. You are too hard on yourself.

  8. I know how it is to have an unfinished to-do list that you’re not accomplishing as fast as you’d intended. I just want to say congratulations on all you’ve done though! It’s impressive!

  9. I love these accountability posts – they seem to help you clarify your focus, and to me they inspire as I see what you’ve accomplished and excite as you list out your future plans. Love following along!

  10. Maybe you would feel better if you finished what little you have left to do in each room until you have all the mostly done projects, including the stone work on the front. Then after that, finish or continue to work on the biggest project, just get all the little ones out of the way. Maybe you would feel more accomplished by finishing those that just have a few more things to do. Like finish the bathroom first, then move on to the closet and then all the trim work in the studio and then the front porch area. Having so many plates in the air is discouraging.

  11. Kristi perhaps you’ve mentioned this and I have missed but how do you organize doing all of this for yourself? I mean ALL inclusive… the main project and sub tasks, the self care and Keto, cues to yourself if you’re off track, getting your head around it all. I can throw all in a project like my recent fireplace Brick-Anew project, etc but then I slide on healthy eating or other self care like my morning smoothie, even water or a walk/exercise. Do you use a phone app? Any tools? What keeps your mojo on track for ALL of it? Thanks… you have had a spectacular 2019. KUDOS to you

  12. As for your lawn and beds – collect a soil sample sometime before fall. Fall is the best time to plant shrubs and trees and apply lime to your lawn. It is the best money I spend every year on my yard. Plus, the soil sample tells you exactly what to add and when to add it.
    https://txmg.org/taylor/bigcountrygardening/soil-sample-testing/. You might even want to sign up for the master gardener class – you learn all sorts of horticultural knowledge. I can’t wait to see what you do!

    1. Sounds like prudent advice. We did a lot of landscaping 25 years ago, more along the way. Now taking out trees that weren’t truly appropriate, others with fungus because a touch too humid here, some grew differently then anticipated so a long term pruning challenge. Homework is a great idea. I will be going with more truly native plants then before. Removal is hard work or expensive. Can’t help when weather is odd but a good plan always helps.

      1. Kristi, it’s great to see how you’ve progressed!

        All the gardening advice above is great. You might want to look up the local university extension service for other tips.

        It’s a great idea to grow natives. They’re suited for your area, so they’re low maintenance. Plus they’re pretty and provide food for local pollinators!

        Here is a nursery in Waco that sells some and others.


        Plus if you are not into mowing, you might want to replace some of your lawn with ground cover, or low-mow seed mix lawn.

        That’s my plan as I am not a fan of mowing every week. I’d rather garden!

  13. You have moved Mountains this year! Do not be discouraged, be encouraged! You can do this and I think your break was good for you.

  14. It’s “summertime, summertime, sum, sum, summertime…!” Give yourself a vacation! You have accomplished in six months what it would take some professionals far longer! Maybe you need to focus on your health and diet for awhile and take a break from carpentry. Then, when you’re ready and while it’s so hot outside, work on the inside, and save the outside for cooler weather in the fall. Take the jobs in blocks, i.e., do all trim carpentry, then fill, then sand, then paint. Reward yourself with fun art projects, and before you know it, voila! you’ll have your studio more or less finished (is it ever really completely finished, lol?) Just a few suggestions from the peanut gallery!

  15. You have done an outstanding job this year! You have been so focused on the whole picture, that you maybe forgot to take “small bites”. 😋 I think probably, this time off/away/whatever, is fully needed for the body and mind to rejuvenate. You are doing amazing!!

  16. Everything on your “to do list” is soooooo do-able! You can whip these things out in no time at all. Just put your mind to it and get ‘er done! Let’s start kicking some @ss Super Kristie!!!!! Just do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Kristi, you have accomplished an amazing amount of work. Keep in mind that the “average kitchen remodel” takes THREE months…and that’s with a slew of workers!

  18. I think the front of your house is BEAUTIFUL. Be proud of it. Maybe have your front yard (grass/sow) completed and a little landscaping will give you some delight and enjoyment.

    I need to do some projects outside my house – yet I get pleasure driving up to it (I live at the end of a cal de sac) my beautiful green lawn (it is the one thing NOT on my to do list. I have three flower beds in the front of the house: 1) is my bulb bed with some roses; 2) is my hostas and herb bed; and 3) is my annual bed. I also have flower pots. Living at the end of a cal de sac means that everyone sees my house and what needs to be done on the outside (wish it looked like yours). I hate to weed in the Oklahoma heat (I do it after 10 pm or before 6 am on weekends). I even weed in the rain (light) that is how much I dislike the heat. The heat takes all the energy out of me – so I do have someone mowed my lawn (1/3 of an acre). Every fall and spring I do a “to do list” and will work about 40 hours in my garden/lawn. I am one of those persons that try to schedule projects to do around the seasons.

    I have to force myself to complete projects that I start or 3 to 6 months from now I am back working on the project I didn’t finished (because I didn’t think it would be so hard to do). I am proud when I finish that project (but it takes me to long to complete).

  19. I have followed you long enough to know that you use these to do lists as more of a general guide, rather than a “these are my immediate points of focus” list. And, that you’ll probably start a number of new projects before you complete the 2019 list! And, that you won’t complete all of the items on the 2019 list until sometime in 2021! But, between now and 2021 you will do amazing things that none of us had even thought of! HAHAHA! That’s because you’re renovating an entire house and yard, adding on new spaces, and doing it all by yourself! All of that is to say keep doing things your way! Rest when you need to and work on what you want when you want. You’ll eventually get it all done, even if it feels out of order to the rest of us. 🙂

  20. You are just one person. Your list is for more people. Your doing fantastic. I make a to do list. ThenI pick what I feel like. Some days it’s fun stuff. Then when it’s nice out side I do those things. When the day is too hot or rainy. I pick something inside. If I get hung up I pick something I really don’t want to do and then as a reward I get to pick a fun thing

  21. When I look at the projects you have to do and knowing that you sometimes need to take a break from them and do something else, I think finishing the front porch stone facing and then decorating the front porch may give you the most bang for the your psychic buck. It may also give your brain some time and space to come up with a solution for your work table and for your carport conversion. The decorating can include doing something creative and beautiful such as turning the old bedstead into a porch swing or bench. The immediate reward would be a lovely place for you and Matt to enjoy a cool drink, enjoy some fresh air, and watch the world go by at the end of the day.

    P.S. The wheelchair accessible plank walkways in the arboretum near me have an inch(ish) high wood border along them to keep the wheelchairs from rolling off. It you drilled half (or less) round holes along the bottom for drainage, this might make your porch safer.

  22. I have a new appreciation for the projects you do. We have a carpenter friend building 2 small bedrooms in our otherwise finished basement. There are just so many details a person like myself doesn’t realize until thrust into the middle of a small job – let alone something the size of your home! Just being on top of the supply runs – and the decisions! They take up so much metal space. The painting, which I am taking on myself seems never ending – and that’s me painting normal walls, normal trim, normal doors – nothing like the elaborate wall designs you take on. I have always been in awe of your talents – but now even more so! Take a break – recharge your batteries – go have some fun…you have more than earned it!

  23. So many great suggestions here! Kristi, it’s okay to have down time. To-Do Lists generally don’t have a line drawn for do or die! The biggest most noticeable change, in my opinion, would be to finish the rock on the porch foundation. Then build yourself a happy window box and plant some color into it! Smile everytime you see it DONE and they seem to be the smaller of the projects, too!

  24. Kristi, didn’t you do a few things that weren’t on your todo list. Like the table and the painted floor in the entryway. Don’t they count!

  25. I think it’s okay if you need to take a break from the studio and work on something else for a while. I totally get that. You’ve done without it for a long time, there’s no panic to get it done.

  26. Kristi, have you ever heard of ‘burnout’? I’m starting to worry that this will happen to you. Please take a break and do something that really appeals to you…even if it isn’t on your to-do list. This break you are taking is NOT being lazy! Burnout for me meant that I could no longer do what I used to love doing…it went from fun to a chore that made me cry just thinking about it. Take a deep breath, look at things more realistically (you have done a ton of work!) and smile. Do what you love and love what you do…it will all get done. God bless.

  27. I had to repair some sheetrock in my laundry room about 6 months ago (keep in mind that it needed repair for about 2-1/2 year prior to that). I did the repair, taped, mud, sand, mud, sand, mud………….and that’s what is still looks like. It just needs to be sanded one more time and painted. But nope. I’ve looked at it for 6 months.

    It takes some of us longer than others. I’m totally okay with that.

  28. Hi Kristi! All of your projects this year have been amazing! My suggestion is this. Schedule in 3 day weekends OFF in whatever interval you feel is appropriate. (I schedule once a month in the summer months and every 6 to 8 weeks during the other seasons). Schedule in whatever vacations or Holidays you observe. Doing this does 2 things for me. It pressures me to finish things that need to be done before vacation and I don’t feel guilty about my time off. It’s on my schedule! It’s one more thing to cross off as done. Everybody needs some time off, even when you are not traditionally employed.

  29. Hi Kristi! My first post on your blog…..I have to tell you, checking in on your progress has been amazing! It inspires me to get off my duff and get to my to do list-paint the bathroom, make curtains etc. I am always pumped after looking at what all you’ve accomplished. You are by no means a slacker! Your house is fantastic! GREAT work!!