The Kitchen Renovation.
Betty VS the Brick Wall

Renovating a kitchen is hard work. It’s hard mentally and physically. Like eating hotdog flavoured ice cream.

This has been going on for months now and I finally decided to sub-contract out some of my demolition. To my (nearly) 80 year old mother.

Best decision I ever made.

Brick wall Betty


Ripping out drywall with my nearly 80 year old mother, BETTY!

After I sent measurements of my kitchen to my kitchen designer Carol Reed, she mentioned that the wall between my kitchen and my dining room seemed to be an old exterior wall, based on how thick it was. I, being the kind of person I am, HAD to know. So at about 1 o’clock in the morning when I was feeling especially exuberant I attached a holesaw to my drill and started working at it. About 3.4 seconds later I was through the drywall and peeking into it with a flashlight.

BRICK. I saw BRICK. It was pretty much the best Peep Show I’ve ever been to. Only sexier. Because brick walls, the lingerie of the design world, are sexy. Rip that clothing off and reveal the lingerie!

The drywall was coming down to expose the sexy brick wall for all to see. In a few days I’ll show you the results of that ripping, tugging and peeping.

Brick porn. Hotter than a pot full of steaming hotdog water.


  1. Hope says:

    There’s child labour and then there is….granny labour!
    Like I told my mom 80 is the new 60!

  2. Nan Tee says:

    Karen, I love your mom. Betty rocks. So *that’s* where you get your rock-ness from.

  3. Kat says:

    That was too funny!!! Hope your new floor survived that mini demo!

  4. ruth says:


  5. Pati Gulat says:

    Karen, that was awesome ! My mom is 77 and just like that ! Ain’t it great ? Lol !

  6. Cathy says:

    Karen, Karen, Karen — I cannot believe you didn’t cover your gorgeous new floor BEFORE SledgehammerSally went to it! I can send some handy-dandy floor coverings if needed.

    “Can you edit this?”……best line since The Dowager Countess of Grantham queried: “what’s a week-end?”

  7. Vanessa M. says:

    Ya’ll so crazy…..and I love it.

  8. Reg says:

    Go Betty!
    Some of us seniors may be a little slow with the techie stuff, but a hammer and pry bar….piece of cake.

  9. Robyn says:

    What a great Monday morning hoot!

    gotta love Betty!!

  10. Mary Werner says:

    Can you edit this? Just wondering. BEST LINES EVER. I laughed out loud. We need more Betty for breakfast.

  11. jainegayer says:

    Betty is so cool! “Can you edit this?” I was laughing so hard I had coffee dripping out of my nose.
    Thank you Karen, for sharing your mom.
    PS- Will betty be on board for more of the great kitchen renovation?

  12. Susan M. says:

    I might have wet myself a wee bit when “Mom” asked about the editing… for sure I snorted coffee. Absolutely the Best.Post.EVER.!
    Anxious for the reveal!

  13. NikiDee says:

    I was grinning from ear to ear as I watched Betty rip into that wall. I was thinking I want to be her when I grow up. Then…. I laughed so loud I bet my neighbor (a half mile away) could hear me…. Betty’s camera technique was priceless!! What a marvelous lady!! Can’t wait to see more (kitchen AND Betty).

  14. Emily says:

    Great video. I love older homes.. so much charm and suprises! Its not a weigh bearing wall…. is it? Are you taking it down or just exposing the brick?

  15. Maryanne says:

    Love Betty’s flip flops, polished nails and cute hairdo. We must work in style!
    I have a Betty but her name is Camille and she is 87.
    Years from now you will be Betty
    and I will be Camille… God willing!

  16. marilyn says:

    oh betty!! so friggin cute..and funny! love the little taps she gives the wall..she is a trooper and wow on her 79 looks AMAZING!!

  17. Debbie says:

    She is not old. She is not frail. She is awesome! I want to be Betty when I am nearly eighty. She is an inspiration and you are very fortunate. I love reading your posts in the morning. They start my day off right.

    A fun look that you could pull off for Betty – stylish goggles for over her glasses, designer work gloves and hand-decorated steel-toe boots for those heavy demolition projects. It is worth protecting every inch of her!
    Love the editing comment and so glad you included her video artistry!

  18. Suzanne @ Le Farm says:

    Your mom has mojo!
    (Ask her if she’d join me for Thanksgiving. I’m demolishing my concrete steps.)

  19. Is Betty for hire? Or better yet, for sale outright? If my Mum were living she would be almost 89… probably tearing out gyprock and videotaping upside-down!

    Betty, you are one hot chick!

  20. Erika says:

    This is so funny, I had to watch it twice.

    2 years ago my mom told me, very prouldly: “now I also learned how to skate!”
    It turned out she meant “how to skype”…

  21. Julie says:

    LOVED this post – this reminds me when my husband came home from work and said – ok this is it! This afternoon the kitchen wall is coming down NOW. So 5 mins later before anything could be covered – both kids had safety glasses and large hammers and they proceeded to hammer at the Dry wall that divides the kitchen from the living room – what a sight. It was down in 2 hours and carted out to the Garden!
    I took pictures – it was fun. Id been asking for that wall to come down for at least 2 years!
    How long it took to get the floor up and the new Kitchen installed is another story!

  22. I think your mom is as playful as you are…or is that you are as playful as your mom is? You come by it righteously anyway! I’m excited to see the finished result too….wendy

  23. Judith says:

    Woohoo! Go Betty and Upside-down Karen!!

  24. Izzy says:

    Reminds me of my Mum – 88 and can’t stop ‘doing stuff’. Her next ‘project’ is reorganizing my basement! There’s no stopping her!

  25. Tigersmom says:

    Love. It. So much to love, too.

    Is Betty available for hire? I’m thinking I could use her for a few projects around the house and to liven up a few upcoming family functions, as well. I would really love to have the two of you, but I’m not sure I can afford you both. Although the mother daughter interaction you have is priceless.

    The music choice is spot-on, as always. Demo in your sassy red jeans because there’s no reason to not look cute during demo. And my favorite, “Can you edit this?” Hah!

    Congratulations on your brick discovery and on the gain of a good inch of square footage by removing it. Sometimes that extra inch makes all the difference.

    • Karen says:

      That’s hilarious that you picked up on that, because I was truly excited about the extra 2 inches, LOL! As most women are. ~ karen!

      • Tigersmom says:

        There’s your proof that I have done a renovation and had sex once or twice.

        Also, I thought I was imagining this for years, but I wasn’t. If you are ever dealing with a man regarding an important measurement in inches, ALWAYS use a measuring tape. The poor unfortunate creatures really do have a skewed perception as to the actual size of an inch.

  26. Beckie says:

    GO BETTY!!!

  27. beth says:

    I come from the same kind of stock… you are so lucky! Thats was a great wake up video! More please cant wait to see the next phase!

  28. Sue Ann says:

    I have projects, would Betty like to spend the winter in beautiful South Carolina, USA??? :)

  29. Susan Preston says:

    Betty trumps the fella!

  30. Marti says:

    Lovely! Sorta surprised that there’s no swearing going on. Did you edit that out?

    Your mother has a lovely figure and style for her age. You’ve got that to look forward to… hahahaha!

    Thanks! There’s got to be a web award out there for you somewhere….

  31. Barbara R says:

    I can just envision a regular feature, let’s say “Blogging with Betty” where we now get caught up on a regular basis on what your mom is up to….lovely woman! Love her manicure! Just what one needs when they are doing demolition work! Cute! Don’t forget to wear air masks Ladies!

  32. Rhonda Topor says:

    It takes alot for me to laugh outloud but you always manage to do it. Thanks :))))

  33. Susan Dulley says:

    Wow, been there, done that, but not with my MOM! Just wondering why you do not have a dust blocking sheet of plastic or fabric over the door leading to the dining room…Wow, the dust will be in every crevice, crack and cushion….Hang a dust blocker…Save yourself a lot of additional work….Anyway, listen to me telling you, the DIY Diva how to do something….Just saying…Continue on…

  34. Suzan says:

    Love your mom! “Just wondering” slayed me!

  35. anna says:

    Hahahaha…Your mom rocks! Not hard to see where you came from :-)

  36. Amanda says:

    Betty rocks! Love her hot pink nails!

  37. Barbie says:

    LOL! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!!! I LOVE you Mom!!!

  38. Elizabeth says:

    Best blog post EVER… and I love the 1 a.m. explorations…. sounds like my house!

    • Phyllis Kraemer says:

      1 a.m. … to 911…”Um…I just committed “break & enter” into the store next door!……True story…took down a dry wall covered door…for extra storage…in my own store….at 1 in the morning…Surprise!! I completely understand your curiosity!!

    • cheryl seals says:

      WOW I so agree w Elizabeth this was a hoot ! And the part about can u edit this, your mom is a hoot ! And I love 1 am projects, like the one i did when we first moved into this house, I went upstairs w a glass of wine in hand (oh who am I kidding it was the whole bottle) an decided the fuggly uggly 1950’s wall paper in a room that was an extra kitchen HAD to go ! I got lucky it was put on lovely birch wood(not paneling) the whole upstairs is…So back to lucky the first piece i pulled on a corner an the glue was so dried out that it came off in whole sheets YEY ! I was done in a matter of two hrs, so only thing left was to wash the walls down that ended up being another day it took longer to clean up the mess an the wine was gone …hehe By the way just why do people cover up brick it is so appealing to the eye an comes from nature…

  39. Susan says:

    Betty rocks! I want to be Betty when I’m 80 years old! Heck, I want to be Betty now…and I’m 44. Way to go girlfriend!

  40. Stephanie Hobson says:

    Can you edit this?

    Best. Line. Ever.

  41. An szabo says:

    I would love to be like her when I am 80.

  42. Edith says:

    Oh that is so funny. Old people and technology!
    A few months ago my 79 year old mother in law pulled me aside from other family members and asked in a hushed tone, ” what the heck is a web site?”

    Congrats on your discovery, that’s so cool!

  43. Erika says:

    Well, the little red light WAS flashing! So adorable!

  44. Anna says:

    So jealous! And tempted to drill a hole into every wall in my house until I find brick…which is very unlikely since my house was built in boring old 2002.

    Kudos to Betty on her artsy filming skills! Totally reminded me of my own mom who can barely turn on the computer and touches every screen in public (touch-screen or not), because “that’s how you do it at the casino”. She also is always telling people about her “website”, which I have to remind her is just the background on her desktop.

  45. Louise says:

    She doesn’t look frail to me! (Nor close to 80!) And yes, I can see that she’s where you get your, uh . . . moxie from.

    I love the second part, where she asks if you can edit the film (while she’s filming you upside down!).

  46. Jennifer Fryar says:

    Love it! Too funny!

  47. Shel says:

    LOL! And LOVE the Dick Dale!

  48. Debbie R says:

    Crack me up! hahahahaha

  49. marli says:

    best part: can you edit this? “yes, why?” oh, just wondering….


    I snorted, thanks!

    smiles, marli

  50. Shauna says:

    Jeez a person can get dizzy watching that. I didn’t know which way to hold my phone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Seed Starting Calculator

  • About Karen