Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Begun Is Half Done

My life in appalachia begun is half done

Sometimes I give myself pep talks. Do you ever do that?

The last few weeks have been unusually busy for the Blind Pig family. Oh I’m not complaining it’s all good, but is has been tough to keep our full plate from spilling over the side.

If I’m feeling overwhelmed I find myself repeating phrases Granny and Pap say about work.

  • Begun is half done
  • If you do it right the first time you won’t have to do it a second time
  • If you can’t do it right then don’t do it all
  • This too will pass
  • You’ll feel so good once this is behind you
  • You’ll sleep so good tonight once you get this finished

By far my favorite saying is the first one-begun is half done. For me dreading a chore is usually worse than actually doing the chore. Like planting 2 long rows of potatoes and starting 200+ tomato seedlings at the end of a work day when you’re not feeling particularly peachy. But as always Pap and Granny’s voices in my head were right. Once the chores were finished I felt so good knowing they were completed and marked off our list.

A few other work related sayings:

  • A stitch in time saves nine
  • As you sow so shall you reap
  • If at first you don’t succeed try try again
  • Make hay while the sun shines

If you’ve got any work related sayings to add please leave a comment!


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.

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  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    March 23, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Strike while the iron is hot!

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    April 5, 2014 at 10:36 pm

    Hi Tipper! It’s been such a long while I didn’t recognize the twins all grown up and beautiful in their gorgeous prom gowns! Are they graduating soon?! Wishing them happiness and success, Tipper!
    This time last year, after my mother’s passing, time stood still, literally, for what seemed forever. As with everything, although I know she’s with me always, it’s back to, my, time is flying!
    And those sayings already mentioned are so relevant and true. One of my faves is, “Sometimes in life you’ve got to stay still to move forward.” Now, if I can only heed my own advice.
    Hope you and your family are having a wonderful weekend, Tipper! How I miss sitting on your porch and listening to the wonderful Appalachian stories. With a little more time on my hands, I hope to make more visits. :))

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 5, 2014 at 6:50 pm

    When in doubt, no nothing!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 5, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Love them all, heard them all.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    April 5, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I’ve heard those same saying from my
    parents many times. I just dread getting
    started cause looking at the beginning
    it’s such a chore. I love it tho, and
    I find my wanting to make the garden
    smaller each year…Ken

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    April 5, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Life is busy around here too. I have a lot to do but seems like no time to get it all done. Daddy use to say, come on boys, we’re burning daylight! To get myself started I’ll say well, it’s not going to get done by it’s self.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2014 at 9:44 am

    I really like your work related sayings, Tipper. Being brought up in a family of hard workers makes me a believer in getting things done. Each day must have a certain amount of accomplishment.
    My favorite is to make hay while the sun shines. How many times does the warm sun remind to wash the car, mow the lawn, and hoe the tomatoes? After you get older it is best to remember to not bite off more than you can chew. Otherwise , you might just catch yourself “half done.”
    After my brain washed childhood, my older, wiser Mom had to remind, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”

  • Reply
    Joe Penland
    April 5, 2014 at 9:43 am

    As I read each of the expressions, I can hear my Father saying them.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2014 at 9:18 am

    If at first you don’t succeed, try reading the instructions.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I always tell myself that once I finish a task, I will feel better and not have to dwell on the fact that it needs to be finished. Reliving the stress is a good thing. Having a check off list is a good thing, that is, if you know where that list is at all times. Many of the sayings you used toward the end of your post were ones I have often used during my lifetime.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2014 at 8:23 am

    I grew up being told the following two quotes:
    “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” (Which was by Benjamin Franklin I later found out) and “A job worth doing, is worth doing well.”

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    April 5, 2014 at 8:22 am

    “Procrastination is the bane of production.” -EDJ. This quotation just “popped into my head when I read your title for today, “Begun is half done.” Diligence was strongly taught in my farm family. We had chores; and we had work to be done. And to get at it, get it done, and do it well was expected and required. How glad I was, once out on my own, that I was taught to get at a task, persist in getting it done, and do it well. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.” All these stick together; further more, they work–(are reliable, true, proven maxims)–and help us get our work done! A beautiful Saturday for work! But we need to remember, too, that “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!”

  • Reply
    Herbal Oma
    April 5, 2014 at 7:50 am

    I have heard the phrases you talked about today and they are bringing back to mind pleasant memories of people and activities gone by. How fitting Lost Nation is today. When ever I have a tedious chore music is my solution. The joy and energy pulls me right through the boredom. Burnt Toast & Cracklings fits that bill. What a great way to start my Saturday morning.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2014 at 7:43 am

    Everyone of those work sayings is printed on my soul!!
    My son came up with another variation which he keeps posted for his students and which I painted on a rock (“solid foundation”) which I had displayed on my desk for my students:
    “Do it First, Do it Right, Do it Best”
    – meaning – take care of important things first, take the time to give them your full attention and do them right, always do it to the very best of your ability.

  • Reply
    April 5, 2014 at 7:31 am

    Yea I got two , “”The more you do,, the more you see that needs done””..
    Our Elderly Neighbor said that to me one day..I’d been working in the yard all day and she came over to talk, she ask how we were doing and I told her fine,, but I didn’t think I’d ever get done and that is what she said.. Read this one in a Christian book.. “In light of Eternity what does it matter”.. that one is deep if you study it…My wife’s Aunt says now that she wished she had let the baseboards get a little dusty and spent more time with her Son, because now he’s gone and got a life of his own…

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 5, 2014 at 7:28 am

    To know how to begin is to know how to finish. That is the one I use most on myself. The longest journey begins with the first step, is another saying I use to get myself going. I don’t know why I’m so hard to motivate but sometimes I am.
    I tell myself to just do one thing toward my goal and I do. It all works, up to a point. Sometimes I get a bunch of half finished jobs laying around the house. Then like magic, one day something shifts in my psyche and I finish everything at once.
    I guess it is just human nature!

  • Reply
    Ed Myers
    April 5, 2014 at 7:15 am

    Take pride in the work you do, not that you could have done.

  • Reply
    Roy Pipes
    April 5, 2014 at 7:13 am

    Daddy used to say when a decision needed to be made, “Let’s Sleep on it.”

  • Reply
    Stephen Ammons
    April 5, 2014 at 4:37 am

    Tipper. One of my favorite saying is, If at first you don’t succeed get a bigger hammer.

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