The Challenge of DIY

I enjoy seeing the DIY Challenges that come up in the blogosphere.

Create a holiday centerpiece, do a 5 minute project, up-cycle a piece of furniture, remodel the bathroom in a weekend.   All proposed and supremely executed by others......not me.

Not that I am not a DIY gal.  I knit, sew, spin and embroider.  I make my own curtains, paint furniture and try to design thoughtful and useful spaces in my home. I kind of deal in the world of creating.

But honestly, I do Slow DIY.  Nothing is whipped up overnight.  Everything I do .... goes slowly.  It may look like I get a lot done in a day .... and I try to complete a project a day.  But those projects may have been started 6 weeks ago.

And so goes my kitchen.

I have learned that any kitchen remodel can take the most sane person over the edge.

And trust me ..... sane and Miss Eff have never been used in the same sentence.  Except now .... wink. wink.  But Slow DIY gives you a thoughtful perspective of the joys and struggles that happens when you remodel.

When I was six or so, my parents took a typical 1915 bungalow style and essentially, blew it up.

They moved every door in the house except the front door.  The staircases moved.... the bathrooms were moved and a 15x30 addition was put on the house.  All the existing plaster was removed and re-plastered.

The kitchen became the family room.  The family became the kitchen with the help of another addition.  The dining room became a bedroom.  And the living room became the hallway and a bank of closets.  The old staircase became a bathroom downstairs and closets upstairs.

And my parents lived in it .... with 3 kids under the age of 6 ..... while all the work was being done.  I remember the project taking almost a year .... but I was 6..... and time drags on forever when you are 6.

Dad did a lot .... but we had electricians, plumbers, carpenters and bricklayers there on a daily basis.  I remember Mom commenting about having no more plaster dust, just floating around.

It was an adventure.

And for me, it would be a training school for the future projects I would take on.

Like the our kitchen remodel.

Now ... unlike my parents ... Honey and I are insane enough (translation!) to do it ALL ourselves.   At the AARP age.  (translation ...we don't move as fast as we used to!)

And we are living in it ... and cooking in it.  There are cookbooks and dishes stacked in the living room and in the bedrooms.  The laundry room has become an extension of the shop.  Essential cookware is organized on a card table.  And lighting is provided by an old floor lamp.

For the moment ..... I still have a sink.  But later this week, the cabinets will be totally gone and we will work on the walls behind them.

Containers hold pieces of brass light fixtures that I am trying to restore to their past gleaming glory.  Paint trays wait to hold the primer that will go on the wall. Buckets of drywall compound sit on the counter.  Drop clothes hang over the top of the antique hutch until it can be pushed back into place .................. after the floor goes in.

It is not a pretty picture.

Progress is slow ..... but like the tortoise, it keeps moving forward.  Slowly and deliberately, everything is getting done and done well.

I've discovered I am not an HGTV gal that says I can do this project in 3 notes.  (Whoops!!!!!  Wrong show!!!)

But time allows you perspective to make those perfect decisions and re-think some you already made.

The cabinets will be arriving in a week or so.  We have a lot of work to do in that time frame .... or not.

We are not punching a clock .... or running an airline.  It is my kitchen ... and as long as I have a slow cooker and an indoor grill ..... it is perfect.

Oh ... and my coffee pot.

Please don't take away my coffee pot.


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