A guide to home improvement

Iím not always a patient person. Itís not that I donít want to be, itís just that sometimes I get fed-up waiting and waiting for what seems like an infinite amount of time to get things done.

When my husband, my son and I moved into our new house, I was in a hurry to get to work. (We moved into a house that has been in my family for years, and while I love it, the quarters are somewhat cramped.) Almost immediately, I began drawing up floor plans for the addition we plan to build, and deciding what rooms I wanted to overhaul first. I wanted to change the kitchen and re-do the bathroom and tear down half the interior walls and move them so the rooms would be different sizes.

Unfortunately, many of my plans have been voted down by my father, my husband and my brothers-in-law who will be helping to get the project completed. After hearing yet again that my plans were impossible, inconceivable and slightly hair-brained, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

After examining all aspects of the house, I decided the kitchen was the logical place to begin working. My husband disagreed, saying that first he needed to fix the leaky roof, level out the basement, replace the water heater and repair the water pipes so it doesnít look like the Mississippi is running through our house every time someone takes a shower. (Men just donít get it.)

I listened carefully to his argument, which made a great deal of sense, as I pulled the doors from the cabinets and began working on the kitchen anyway. After a couple hours of work, the difference was notable. The house looked like it had exploded. The doors had been detached from the cabinets, their contents removed and laying on any available surface in the house. Paint was splattered from the garage to the bedroom. Only two pieces of the tile back-splash I chose for the kitchen had been put up and the baby had woken up, so the possibility of getting more work done was slim.

Since things already looked horribly bleak, I decided to take a quick trip into town and pick up dinner, since there was no chance of cooking in the abyss that my kitchen had become. I took my time, stopping at the hardware store to pick up new knobs for the cabinets and a couple decorative touches to be added at a later time.

After a couple of hours, I returned home to find a newly painted kitchen. The cabinets had been reassembled, their contents had been replaced, all of my tiles had been placed and my husband looked extremely tired.

So you see, the moral of this story is if your home improvement project is not going quite as well as you had planned, take a couple hours off. You never know what youíll come back to.

Next project: re-siding the house.

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