Renovation Reflections

Carol A. Hand

Step outside your comfort zone
Face uncertainties yet again
You’ll never know unless you try things
you’ve never done before
modest though your efforts may be
in the larger scheme of life
you’ve done your homework
and thought through all the steps
a hundred times and more
now’s the time to act



Please excuse me for belated responses to comments and visits to your blogs. These days, I am literally stretching to address long needed practical tasks. Some things I can do myself with the right tools – a higher light-weight ladder that fits into tiny spaces, caulk, spackle, a power drill, a Japanese handsaw, and paint. In the process, though, I have to live with messes again.

When I moved into my small fixer-upper house seven years ago, I had two days to clean up incredible messes before all of my stuff arrived. In that time I had to scrub, remove rotting, moldy rugs, and paint the floors and walls while I could. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much those days, nor during the cold winter months that followed. Boxes and furniture were solidly stacked to the ceiling in the little living/dining room downstairs. It took me many months to finish as best I could. Then, there was outside work to do.

I haven’t been eager to take on what still needs to be fixed. So I have simply lived with it. Until now.

You may guess that I’m a rather small woman, so I really do need to stretch. I can’t afford to pay “handymen” to do the things I can do myself. So here I am, balancing on a ladder and in life. When I’m not working on scraping and painting, or spending time with my lovely daughter and grandchildren, I’m trying to keep up with the class I co-teach.

At the moment, I’m thinly stretched. Please know that I value your friendship, thoughtful comments, and the important work you all do. I will visit and respond to comments when I can. In the meantime, I want to thank everyone who has been engaging with each other in dialogue about the issue of garbage, my recent post. Chi miigwetch for your understanding and patience.

45 thoughts on “Renovation Reflections

  1. Oh how I understand this, Carol! And you have no need to apologize to anyone.

    With my health issues, I struggle with just taking care of this small apartment. I cannot imagine trying to take on a home at this late date.

    Take your time, and don’t injure yourself! And ask that daughter and granddaughter for help on those things you cannot do! I am sure they are more than willing to lend a helping hand, and probably already have.

    I have no family left, so I am blessed to have a few close friends and their offspring to help me. A few years back, I was still clinging to my false sense of “I can get this done, I don’t need help!” But after a few months of horrendous joint pain and sleepless nights, I gave in and asked for help.

    I guess it’s just that time of life?

    Getting old sucks!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for your always thoughtful comments, Dave. I was blessed by a friend’s help to take down a heavy wall cabinet, but I am making progress on patching and painting. Actually, working on inside tasks has given me a sense of doing something valuable since it has been way too cold to work outside. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful words Carol!! Thanks!!! This is so true!
    Now you stretch yourself and take it easy, one step at the time and just do not push yourself too hard!!! House work never ends pamper yourself from time to time!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Carol, I see this is both the literal and metaphorical meaning of the word here! We all understand that you’re crazy busy trying to sort everything, it’s a joy to come across your posts such as this one! Please, take it a bit easy in between. I’ll be stepping outside my comfort zone soon as I’ve been asked to speak as an author to budding writers at a school – to say I’m terrified and sick to my stomach is an understatement but at the same time so excited and perhaps I can inspire even one person to continue writing! Any advice!? Good luck with all your work and be careful, Carol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments, Annika. It is terrifying to speak to groups or classes. It still is for me after decades. The best advice – know your topic, try to know a little about your audience beforehand, breathe, and remember why you’re there. It’s for others, you have a purpose. You’re not there to be an expert, but to open up possibilities and inspire others to think critically and learn from mistakes like you did. And perhaps, to entertain, by bringing them into the magical worlds you have created. I look forward to hearing about your experience. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Carol, thank you so much for your wise words! I’m printing this out…and will try to remember to breathe. I have found out it is to a group of creative writers in the after school club – which means they’re all there willingly and with interest – a huge plus! I’ll let you know how it went – a tentative date has been set for my visit to coincide with World Book Day on 1st March. Just as long as I don’t have to dress up – I can come as stressed harried writer!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I do send my best wishes, Annika. I forgot the most important advice – be yourself and know that despite being oh so human like the rest of us, you are amazing and have precious gifts to share nonetheless. And, have fun. You will meet new people and learn so much in the process. 🙂

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