I keep a document on my computer that I call “key dates.” It is a list by date of the things that need doing on the farm.  It’s like a master “to do” list.

This is the list of tasks for the entire month of January:

Soil test gardens, prune fruit trees, burn asparagus garden, prune grapevines. 

In a couple hours, at the most, everything on that list can be done.

By comparison, there are 24 items on February’s list–some being all day jobs–and that’s a short list compared to what’s in store in the months that follow it.

The lazy days of winter are coming to a close.

Meanwhile I’m coming down the homestretch on my book manuscript–the homestretch of the first stretch at least. Trying to turn a 165 page academic thesis with over 400 footnotes into something a general audience might actually be interested in reading has been no easy task. A lot of work went into that research and shedding the footnotes and geekiness has been intellectually painful. But I’m close to being ready to hand it over for final editing.

Having read it a few hundred times by now, I’m ready to move on.

Joanna posted this quote from Winston Churchill on her blog recently, “Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”

I’m about ready to fling him out.

Just in time for spring and to-do lists as long as my arm.