09 January 2013

Work is love made visible

There are exactly 200 screws in my kitchen cabinets.

I know this because I removed and replaced Every. Single. One. of them by hand last week.

Loyal readers may recall that I don't really do New Year's Resolutions. I figure that if you're going to do something, just do it. Right this moment. And then the next moment. And then the next.

But, I also know that sometimes we walk around with a big list of "shoulds" and "wannas" and "somedays" in our heads and it can be hard to find the "right" time to get started on them. And it can be even hard to follow through and actually finish them. So, I get why some people grab onto the new year as a good transitional time to start that new project or set that new goal.

Quite a few of my "somedays" are centered around home improvement. We bought this house when I was 3 months pregnant with The Professor. For those keeping count, he's 8 now. We knew the new Casa de Zen would need a lot of updating and TLC and we've put in quite a few DIY hours on projects like painting rooms, adding pool fencing, remodeling the guest bathroom, moving from a septic system to the city sewer (oh yeah, that one was fun), keeping up with pest control, and even knocking down a wall, to name a few.

But one of the more public areas of the house that hasn't gotten a lot of attention so far has been the kitchen.

A full remodel is pretty high on the list of things I'd do with a sudden financial windfall. As I don't have any rich aging relatives and I don't play the lottery, I don't see that happening anytime soon. So, since ripping it all out and starting from scratch isn't really an option, I've had a lot of "shoulds" in my head about that room for a lot of years now.

Last week, I decided it was time to turn one of those "shoulds" into a "did" ...



Okay, so, the "before" is actually kinda early in the "during" and the "after" is really more like "not-quite-done-yet". but, you get the idea.

No, it's not the "new" kitchen I fantasize about. But, I think it's quite an improvement for a few dollars' worth of paint and supplies, about a week of my "spare" time, and a little (okay, it felt like a lot of) elbow grease. (And, looking at that before picture a little closer, at least one glass of wine. Apparently.)

I'm genuinely pleased with the results aesthetically and financially. Physically, I'm still recovering. ;)

But you know what the best part is? It's looking at my kitchen and thinking, "I did that. Me. With my own hands. All by my onsies." Kinda makes me want to thump my chest or maybe roar just a tiny bit.

There are a lot of ups and downs of home ownership. But, I gotta say, the completion of a home improvement project is a pretty damn satisfying up.

So, what kind of DIY projects are on YOUR to-do list for 2013?


P.S. - Because it really wouldn't be a OneZenMom home improvement project without at least one moment like this:

"Work is love made visible." - Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet


Oh, did I mention I also painted my front door recently?


07 January 2013

The most powerful drug

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” ~ Rudyard Kipling

I've been keeping an annual reading log on my blog since 2008. While I haven't been doing much else in the way of blogging lately, that's one thing I'd like to keep. So, more for me than anything else, the 68 books I read in 2012 ...

Good Reads: 2012