Rainy Day Writing

Writing, Reading, Inspirations and Aspirations

A New Years Toast to the True Grit of DIY Dreamers

So the holidays are over…

Somehow we managed not to have any drywall dust flying around during Christmas dinner, just a little grit from the sanded grout we applied to the newly tiled kitchen wall. SOMEONE managed to get grout in the kitchen sponge so that the plates made little scratchy sounds on the island counter top as we ate, the one we had buffed out last Spring because it was scratched…the irony!

Kitchen tile and paint selection

We did fit the tiling project in between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and we postponed the mud room project until after the New Year so it was nice to have a clean house and even some guests over during the holidays. But I can feel the next project breathing down my neck as I write. It’s promising to be a bear.

We have a lot of wet here, and five acres worth of mud. So we need this mudroom. But we’ve got to replace glued down wood flooring with tile, bust out drywall, reconfigure plumbing and possibly electrical, install new drywall, paint, cabinets, fixtures and backsplash tile, and build a dedicated space for wet jackets and shoes.

Piece of cake…NOT. But after forty years of projects, we’ve got real DIY chops. We can handle it.

Of course I say “we” a lot but truth be told the old man does most of the heavy lifting.

I’m the designer. Kind of like the wedding planner. I’m there to plan, to direct, and to place flowers in vases.

And to spend his money.

I am, of course, exaggerating. I’ve been known to install insulation, drywall and tile. I’ve painted more rooms than I can count and have the blown out right shoulder to show for it.

And I do a lot of clean up. I keep the sponges organized.

One DIY skill I excel at is making suggestions. The old man knows this and generally ignores me, which is something he excels at. This tends to make me pouty, like that wedding planner when you ignore her suggestion to purchase several hundred books of personalized matches for all your non-smoking, mostly vegan wedding guests.

But every now and then I make a suggestion that he actually agrees to. I can’t think of any examples right now because it happens so rarely, but when he does implement something I suggested, especially if he was scratching his head trying to figure out what to do, you know I have to strut around like a rooster and say things like “See, I DO have some good ideas now and then. I DO help you figure things out sometimes.”

Which he ignores. So much so that he forgets that the person who figured out how to make that transition in the siding where the contractor screwed up the foundation tie-in look intentional and not like a mistake, was me.

The Old Man Killing it with the DIY.

So I think I know how that wedding planner feels the day of the wedding, when everyone is complementing the bride on what a beautiful wedding she pulled off.

She just stands in the shadows, glittery wedding clipboard in hand, smiling demurely as she downs her fifth cocktail and third piece of cake.

But does she give up? Does she quit planning weddings and start driving for LYFT? Of course not. She keeps going. She keeps planning, directing, and making inane suggestions on ways to spend money her clients don’t have.

So I’m not gonna quit planning, puttering and making suggestions just because I’ve been largely ignored for the last forty years. Somehow, my projects have taken shape and come to life. Maybe it’s all the drawings I’ve made, all the heaps of fixtures, cans of paint, carloads of cabinets and piles of tiles I’ve picked out over the years, or the hundreds of suggestions I’ve dangled out in front of the old man to get him to buy into my vision.

Something worked.

Because we do have the lightest, brightest, loveliest little home now. It reflects who we are and the way that we live, and that, is reason enough to go on.

So, onward into the New Year, into the next plan, the next project, the next brain numbing conundrum that gets your critical thinking faculties moving in over drive. This DIY stuff is not for the faint of heart.

So here’s a toast to all the DIY’ers out there, who design and draw, demolish and re-build, who make things work and make it their own and make it fabulous!

The world is a better place because of you!

Copywright 2020 by Ilona Elliott



  1. My wife is a interior designer and I am totally aware she gets the details of colour and function more than I do. Maybe you missed your calling as a designer 😀. All the best to your hubby who is takes on these projects! Bravo to him also.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I dreamed of being an interior designer, so maybe you are right. How fun that your wife works in that field! And yes, Dave, my husband is an excellent handy man. Could not have done it without his hard work and skill, that is for certain.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love your way of writing. Its brilliant And, you have snow! Lucky, lucky you

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well Thank You Beach fairy. But we don’t have snow at the moment. That was from last year. We have a deluge of rain this week. I wish we could send some down under. It doesn’t seem fair to have so much here and so little there where it’s so needed.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Darts and Letters

    It really does look lovely in there! The limited pictures you’ve shared from the homestead over time it has seemed to me that you have great taste and clearly with your combined talents, you and your husband are top-of-the-line DIYs. Maybe you could teach a class at the local community center or library about how to tackle some of these things and still retain your sanity?

    It has been so long since I was on WordPress, it has been another one of my not-entirely-by-choice sabbaticals from WordPress, but it’s me…… Jason! Ilona, will you please do me the favor of subscribing back to me? Several months ago I scrapped my old domain and the Tyrannosaurus Fir name, wiped the slate clean but it included all my subscriptions. Just wanted to begin anew, sort of. Kept the archive and it’s still the same confusing writing. Hope this finds you well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello there! Glad to hear from you my Seattle friend! I am not on the blog much these days. I am even finding it hard to keep up with my reader account so I didn’t notice you were AWOL. I will subscribe to your blog and hope to see more of your “eclectic” writings and photos coming out of it in the future. Hope you and your family are well and remain so over the duration Jason. xo


  4. krc

    Gorgeous kitchen!

    So great you have a live-in handyman

    I have to hire

    Liked by 1 person

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