Tea Time with Annie Kate Rotating Header Image

The “Nibbled to Death by Ducks” List

All year long, we’ve been busy.  Now that the kids are finished formal learning, the garden is finally planted, and there are, temporarily, no weeds, it’s time for me to catch up on all the little jobs.  You know, the ones that are important but can be postponed if necessary.  Well, I’ve been postponing them.  And now I have a long, long list.

None of these are huge jobs.  All together, however, they are rather overwhelming.  In fact, my husband says a list like this is like being nibbled to death by ducks.

Life without schoolwork seemed a bit aimless and formless at first—I even forgot to blog!—but here’s the list…and I’m pleased at how much already has been finished.

  1. Buy clothing for the kids.  Monday morning I took two of them for a huge shopping spree and bought shorts, decent t-shirts, dressy sandals, a bathing suit, and much more.  Miss 13 found a pretty dress she’s been dreaming of for years which only needed a scarf to make it modest.  One more trip like that, and this job’s finished!
  2. Consult the physiotherapist about the next stage of getting my strength back after a long illness. (Yes, I did that Monday morning, too!) Now we’re working on stabilizing the joints so I can play badminton and climb without hurting my shoulders and knees. And, of course, I need to do the exercises.
  3. Take the dogs to the vet.  The dogs need their heartworm medication (I almost forgot this year!), and one needs a rabies shot. First I’m going to call around for decent prices.  With three dogs this can get expensive!  It turns out that now the dogs need expensive blood tests before they can get the heartworm medication.  Hmmm!  Another decision.
  4. Plan the next school year, but only for four children since Miss 18 will be attending university. 
  5. Prepare a diploma for Miss 13’s grade 8 graduation.  Buy a frame.
  6. Update the phone list; I’m always wasting time looking numbers up in the phone book.
  7. Make a lap desk.  I’ve started reviewing the July Molly’s Digest, and it tells how to do it.
  8. Replant the kale and Brussels sprouts seeds that did not come up.
  9. Transplant the broccoli to the proper spacing.
  10. Copy out all the physiotherapist exercises onto one sheet so they’re easier to remember.   
  11. Order school books for next year.   
  12. Solve our apricot tree problem.  Our apricot trees have brown spot, a fungal disease.  We need to figure out how to treat it.  One nursery told us what to do, but apparently copper sulphate is not licenced for apricots in Canada, and there’s no other (natural) option available.  I need to return that.  We don’t want to (and aren’t allowed to) use farm fungicides….  Perhaps I’ll try garlic spray as a fungicide; it can’t hurt and since there’s no other option.  But Mr 16 told me about a horseradish spray…and my husband said we weren’t going to be using crackpot remedies.  So that’s that.  We’ll just remove the diseased fruit.
  13. Something, either bugs or chipmunks, is eating our broccoli plants.  I need to mix up some of our home-made bug spray and add cayenne pepper for the chipmunks.  Unfortunately, the cayenne clogged our little spray bottle, so Miss 13 painted the mixture onto the leaves with a paintbrush.  Tomorrow we’ll buy another spray bottle.
  14. Finish recording Mr. 16’s marks.
  15. Record Miss 13’s history marks, which are for a highschool course.
  16. Delete dark, blurry, and ugly photos.
  17. Buy a new bottle of allergy medication, just in case, since the old bottle expired.  I need to check expiry dates of all the other medications we have.
  18. Buy clothing for myself.  That could be a bit of a challenge; shopping is not my favorite activity, nor is tossing old clothing that the family no longer approves of.  Sigh!
  19. Gather all the information for updating our will.
  20. Inventory our home for insurance purposes.  That will require lots of photos, and ideally a written inventory of each of our thousands of books.  For now I’ll just photograph the spines; half-good enough is better than nothing.  But first I’ll call the insurance company for advice.
  21. Clean out my email inboxes; Life Hacker should have some tips about that. One account finished, one more to go.
  22. Help Miss 8 with her closet.  It’s a perpetual mess.  I think we need to pass some clothing on.
  23. Help Miss 13 with her room. It’s perpetually half-cleaned up.   
  24. Clear the perpetual piles from my desk.  I’ll need to organize it and rework my files so that the desk will be clear.  (It’s not only the kids who are organizationally challenged!)
  25. Drop the vacuum cleaner off to be fixed. (My dear husband did that.)
  26. Back up my computer files.  (My husband did that, too!)
  27. Plan and pack for for camping, gluten-free. 
  28. Sign the Little Misses up for the summer library program.
  29. Eat spinach before it bolts.
  30. Give the van a thorough dusting and vacuuming.
  31. Organize the pantry and the freezers.
  32. Set up new master shopping lists; I haven’t updated mine for many years.
  33. Decide on simple recipes and perhaps even a menu plan.  I’ve never done a menu plan before, but it would be great to streamline the cooking.
  34. Weed around the fruit and nut trees. Some finished, more to do.
  35. Start a translation project I foolishly said ‘yes’ to.  First read the book. 
  36. Complete some more reviews…but that’s relaxation, not work.  
  37. Organize some of the behind-the-scenes blog work.


I know the summer will go more smoothly if I finish this catch-up list as soon as possible!

According to my children, it’s a good thing that I’ve got a lot to do.  That leaves me no time to spiral into ‘negative thoughts’ about them (a.k.a. ‘worries’), and I have neither the time nor energy to micromanage them.  Apparently that’s important…as long as there’s still time for chatting, reading aloud, swimming, badminton, looking at bugs, discussing clothing, admiring completed projects, choosing names for characters, helping with crocheting, and playing bedtime organ music.

 So, how do homeschool moms spend their summers?  Once we get ourselves into a groove, I think most of us spend large chunks of time catching up and planning ahead, as well as daily times having fun with the family and taking breaks.  How about you?


  1. Stacy says:

    You have quite a to-do list to keep you busy! I would be overwhelmed if I made a list that long!

    1. Annie Kate says:

      LOL I’m more overwhelmed if it all stays in my head and I not only have to do it all, but also remember it all. 🙂

      Right now I’m working on emptying my email inbox. I’ve gotten rid of more than 2000 so far! Yes, that’s how bad it was. I just love the sweep delete function in hotmail! And next time I won’t wait more than a year to do this!

      Next I’ve got my gmail account to clear up as well, and it doesn’t have a sweep function. Sigh.

      Annie Kate

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *