First off it’s very important that you  know I had a really good post planned for you today.  An excellent post.  Kind of life changing really, both for you and for me and the woman I accosted in the health food store.  More on that later.

But I do not have that post for you today.  I am truly sorry.

Instead, I have a picture of my blinds.  My cell shades.





Here’s what happened. I was on the phone to Betty, walking through the house pulling down all the shades to keep my house cooler . I did this just prior to starting work on today’s post. Which is now not today’s post.

I don’t mind pulling down these shades in the day because light still gets through them so I don’t feel like I’m in a tomb when I do pull them down.

I grabbed this particular shade, on this particular window, on this particular day and the entire thing fell apart in my hands. I immediately hung up the phone with my mother and stood, stunned.

I’d been blindsided.

Holy shit. Now what? These blinds are discontinued, they cost a fortune and they all match. I love these blinds.

I probably stood, staring at the rumpled mess of blind in my hand for about 39 seconds before I lept into action.

I was gonna fix this blind.

If you wanna know the truth I was kind of excited about it. There’s some bizarro gene inside of me that gets all fired up when something breaks and needs to be fixed. It’s especially satisfying when I have absolutely NO idea how to actually fix it.

In Psychiatric textbooks, this condition is scientifically referred to as “mental”. I … am mental.

So I went about completely disassembling this blind and another matching blind to find out how the whole thing was supposed to go back together. The pully had broken and the strings that cause the blind to go up and down had come apart.

Upon first glance putting it back together seemed easy. Just take this apart, twirl this over here, bring it back, turn it upside down, pass it back through that other twirly thing, attach it to the piece of fishing line, double it up … wait. No. Don’t double it up. Crap. I was supposed to pull this first and tighten this. And that thing there is upside down now. There. I’ve got it. No I don’t.

This went on for several hours and there is nothing, NOTHING that could have dragged me away from this project until it was finished. I did have to stop for some electrolytes and a valium, but then I was right back at it.

I fixed my blind.

I didn’t write a post.

You will have your post tomorrow.  Barring some kind of malfunction with my milk jug.

Tomorrow’s post?  How to make yogourt from scratch.




  1. Barbara Boyle says:

    Came across your article on fixing your blind on Pinterest. I cracked up. I just love your writing style, well, maybe not the expletive…lol…hope to see more of your blogs again!

  2. Sarah P says:

    I love your blog – I can’t help but feel connected. Those are my suitcases – originally from Christies Antique show – you bought them from garage sale – they look better at your house than they ever did at mine. LOL

    • Karen says:

      Really? I can’t really remember where I got them. I’ve had them for years. But I have spent a LOT of time at garage sales. ~ karen

  3. Shannon says:

    Well, now I’m inspired (by both your post and the comments) to go find something broken in my house and fix it!

  4. Evalyn says:

    And thereby hangs a tale. (And the name of this blog.) Of course you are mental, that’s why we all love this blog so much.

  5. Cathy G says:

    Me too!!!! I probably have 4-5 sets of blinds that I have “fixed”. Not because they were expensive or discontinued, but because I am cheap, ahem, I mean thrifty.

    Give me a roll of duct tape and a fistful of zippy ties and I think I can fix anything!!!

  6. karenagain says:

    When I bought this house 2+ years ago I bought Hunter Douglas from “The Blind Lady” in town. I spent about 8 thousand dollars. I live in a small one level house. At the time I didn’t care I just wanted privacy. I wanted white wood blinds, hunny wanted the darkest brown. I got a light/medium brown and hunny still thinks it was one he picked…and he brags how he got his way for once. Now I just hate these blinds and wish I had cheese cloth type gauze drapes covering my windows.

  7. Tammi D says:

    I love it! My 9′ patio umbrella that I got for 1/2 price broke last year. The string for the pulley (inside the tube) broke! I just knew I could fix it! Three hours later, it worked! My husband was impressed! The pulleys were tricky, but not as bad as the eight loose metal rods in the top that almost got lost when I took it apart!

  8. Jennifer says:

    One of my blinds broke. It wasn’t exactly something nice or discontinued (It was one of those ugly slat blinds) But I did manage to fix it! It had sort of fallen apart- almost like one of the strings snapped

  9. Get it, girl! You should be proud!

  10. Rachel says:

    I am proud of you for fighting through the insanity and coming out on top! I am a big advocate for fixing things. You are inspiring!! I’m stoked for the yogurt.

  11. BGrigg says:

    Seems like there was a post about fixing blinds?

  12. Debbie says:

    Not sure if it was nature or nuture. My Father was a fix it genius. He also was not blessed with sons. So, as the oldest daughter it was up to me. He gave me the confidence that nails were not as important as helping him build a stone wall etc. There have been many fix its in my life since then. This blind incident reminds me of a time I was puppy sitting for my Son’s toy poodle. My husband didn’t like this dog. It was my grand puppy and I said yes to sitting. The dog was delivered right before I was heading out to the store. I came home to the bottom of the blinds chewed up and torn off. Lucky the matching blind has some extra slats that I took off in a crazy freaked out do it before he comes home mode. (I seem to work more efficiently that way) He came home and never knew the difference. I still have horrible nails……………..

  13. AnnW says:

    Kudos to you, BRAVA! (note the feminine form) When you write the yogurt post, can you include a part about making Greek yogurt? Also, how about a migraine post? Then we can all tell you what has worked for us. Mine are just about gone. I only seem to get the optical migraines now. We Want To Help You. Please. Ann

    • Karen says:

      LOL. Thanks Ann. I take a medication for them, but it only works 80% of the time. Also, I don’t like taking medication for some reason. I have probably around 7-10 days of migraines a month. Gross. As for the yogurt … I have already written the post (I write a few days in advance) and it just happens to be about how to make Greek Yogurt. ~ karen

  14. Shauna says:

    I wasn’t really expecting a post today based on your migraine FB post. The fact that you did all this with a migraine (or one approaching) is mind boggling.

  15. Anna says:

    I “fixed” mine with a bulldog clip – no one sees it, and I’m the only one who knows it’s there!

  16. Leona says:

    In case of epic FAIl at blind fix, note to self: Those slatted blinds? Especially the aluminum ones make EXCELLENT garden tags. They cut easily, usually have little holes in one end so you can actually loosely attach it to the plant (Tomatoe or such) of just park in front of that pesky green thing growing where you thought you put seeds until you can figure out if it’s a weed or not.

    I so love to fix them but if I can’t fix them… I’ll fix’em!

  17. Barbie says:

    Karen, so funny! and SO glad you got the blind fixed! Relax a while now k?

  18. Cheryl in Wisconsin says:

    I have expensive cell shades in my two living room windows – one that I open every day and the other (that faces the neighbor’s window) that I don’t. When the highly used one fainted into my arms the other day I swapped them out. Do I get any points for that? It did involve getting on a ladder….

  19. Karol says:

    No need to explain that “mental” gene, we all get it because we’re all – your followers – mental too, in some form or fashion. Mine is finding something I like (a piece of jewelry, a crafty thingy, etc) then feeling compelled to make it myself, and THEN making about 10,000 of them because the first one turned out cute. It’s a Close-Encounters-of-the-Mental-Kind thing.

  20. Jen says:

    FWIW, most fabric shops or craft shops will have the cording to fix your blinds, in a variety of widths and super cheap. Makes the repair much simpler.

    • Karen says:

      Jen – That wasn’t actually the difficult part, it was the fact that the cell shades have a complicated pulley system that the cords go winging around in all directions. Bleh. However, the cord is probably good for people whose slat blinds have broken due to ripped cords. ~ karen!

  21. Cynthia says:

    I totally recognize this behavior. My boyfriend is affected by the same condition. I euphemistically refer to it as Farm Boy. I, on the other hand, do not suffer from Farm Girl, so in his infinite wisdom the boyfriend diagnosed me as afflicted with Citdiot.

    My Farm Boy wouldn’t have given up until he had the blind fixed either. In fact, he is proud of you for putting a perfectly good one at risk by taking it apart just so you could examine the guts. Nicely done!

  22. Nicole2 says:

    Sometimes in life, it’s more important to fix a blind than to make yogurt from scratch. It just is. Particularly because yogurt is cheap and not discontinued and your blind isn’t. It’s all about priorities here folks. Tell Karen we’re okay to wait another day for the yogurt recipe. We’re okay.

  23. Janey says:

    Fantastic! I, too, appear to have that particular gene. It’s come in handy since my other half and I ‘rescued’ a poorly maintained home this past winter. That’s actually how I found your blog, in my search for ‘how to fix stuff’. Thanks for all the tips and all the laughs along the way!

  24. Erica says:


  25. Shannon says:

    I laughed heartily at your post today (as always!). I leaned over to my partner and asked if he was interested in reading your post but got a blank look. So I reminded him “you know, Karen…the Canadian’s post…you know…the funny one…” A few more seconds go by then suddenly a lightbulb went off in his head and he said, “Oh, fella’s wife! “Yes, sweetie, fella’s wife’s blog.” So, in our house, you are now “Fella’s Wife.” My side hurts from laughing so hard…the irony.

  26. Shae says:

    Lol, oh my thanks for the laugh we all have days like that. Glad you fixed your blind, I will be awaiting the homemade yougart :) You may or may not know how much yougart three teens can eat!

  27. DzynByJules says:

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do share how you fixed it! I have two (expensive) broken cellular shades that were in the new home we bought. I’ve taken them down until I can figure out a way to fix them, but sure would be nice to know how without reinventing the wheel and needing electrolyte replacement therapy… never tried valium though…hmmmmm! Thanks Karen! Jules

    • Karen says:

      Jules – I could never in a million years describe how to fix them. I honestly took them apart and starting winding and unwinding and … uch. What I CAN tell you, is if it’s something in the assembly, all you have to do is take down a blind that’s the exact same size and working perfectly and compare how the guts of that one look. Then replicate it on the broken blind. ~ karen

  28. Andrea Claire says:

    OMG! I have been making yoghurt for a month now from scratch!! Can’t wait to read what I’m doing wrong!


  29. I nearly had a headache reading this post, cos you got my share of that fixing gene as well as your own! I hate it when things break here, cos nobody has the fixing gene; nearest one is my brother who lives in UK. Every time he visits, he gets a list of stuff to fix, and bless him, he fixes all of it. All i have to do is buy the Guinness!

  30. Carol-Anne says:

    Same thing happened to me. The strings on my Ikea roman shades started to disintegrate and break. As mine were also discontinued, I sat down with a ball of string and a glass of wine and got to work. And hour later; good as new!

  31. Gayla T says:

    I’m hoping you took pics for the tutorial and just didn’t have time to post them. I figure anything that goes goosie at your house will at mine sooner or later. You might have noticed that I have a lot of head knowledge about doing stuff but none about actually fixing anything. I took a bad fall off a ladder while wall papering in 1982 and was never allowed on a ladder again. Never even changed a light bulb because I had men who lived with me and wanted me well so I could cook, clean and do laundry. They thought that was a fair trade for changing a light bulb. No, this is not another chapter about my miss spent youth. I had a husband and two sons. Just before the ladder incident I had been the only volunteer to paint up to the peak of the roof on a two story home. After them doing all the chores I already mentioned, my feet never again left the ground. Even how all I have to do is mention that I need to borrow a ladder. So, I love a good tutorial on fixing things that can be done from the ground.

    • Karen says:

      Gayla T – I’m afraid there are certain situations I get myself into where I’m in “crazy person” zone. In these situations there are no tutorials, even though the whole time I’m thinking “I should probably be taking pictures to turn this into a tutorial”. But I’m barely human during these times so I probably wouldn’t be able to recognize a camera anyway. Yesterday was another one of these times. My fridge broke for the 7th time in 4 years. I’ve spent the past 24 hours trying to fix it. Thawed the coils, replaced the fan, and now I’ve just woken up and replaced the thermostat on it. (I happened to have one for just such an occassion) My hair looks like a cartoon, I haven’t had a coffee and I hate sninkelpusses. Wait. No. NONOONO. I don’t hate sinkelpusses. I don’t even know what a sninklepuss is. SEE? Clearly not able to do any sort of photo tutorials when I’m like this. ~ karen

  32. Molly says:

    I HAVE to fix an aluminium slat blind that has some slats being bent and badly scratched since my tomcat Moritz (R.I.P.) tried to get out of the window right through the pulled down blind.

    I have to remove these broken slats and to refill the gaps with good ones.

    When I look at the blind trying to figure out how to do it, it seems not too difficult. But it will lay flat when I’ll try to fix it and I’m worried that I’ll tangle all the strings and pulls. So for now I prefer to be blind to the messy blind ;-)

  33. Julianna says:

    I am continually amazed when people *don’t* try to fix stuff. I am nearly 38 years old, and I am just now realizing that not everyone has this gene. I’ll try to fix anything. I have fixed my $60 computer desk at least three times, and it’s 15 years old. Bordering on pathetic, really…

  34. nancy says:

    what I meant was you are NOT kidding

  35. nancy says:

    wow, you are kidding expensive, a friend priced 3 that drop down from the top and go up from the bottom and they wanted almost $800. For THREE blinds!! You saved yourself about $266.66 US dollars.
    I have a bit of that mental illness, it’s a pain the in the neck, but oh so rewarding.

  36. Bedalia says:

    I also fixed one of my blinds – but it wasn’t discontinued or expensive or even attractive. In fact, it is a standard slat blind that’s probably 20 or more years old, it came with the house, and it’s UGLY!

    But I FIXED the damn thing. HA!

  37. sara says:

    the blind in my sons room broke, too…also discontinued! i havent touched it in like 3 months, it hangs there with one side way low…i told everyone to keep their distance, that at least the window is still covered. now you have me wondering if i could dismantle and tie something back together and have it be new again. since i seem to maybe be missing the mental gene…any chance you’ll be visiting chicago anytime soon?

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