Today I am Busy …

… getting my hands dirty.


Dirty Girl


Today I am fixing my dryer.  Again.  Last time our dryer conked out it was a matter of replacing a fuse.  THIS time a belt is broken.  It’s been broken for a week or so but I only got time to finally take it apart to see what the problem was last night.  The dryer was coming on and we could hear the motor running, but it wasn’t spinning.

No party in the drum.

It was just sitting there.  Still.  Like a monk.  Nothing like the whirling, drum of fun it normally is.  Because of this I figured it was probably the belt that turns the drum that was broken. I  mean that would be the logical assessment to make.  But once I got the dryer apart I found it was a different belt that was mangled.  I don’t even know what that belt is called, but luckily the parts store could decipher my stammering description of where the belt was and what it looked like.

I’m going to pick the mystery belt up today and by the end of the day our dryer should be running circles around our jeans and tee shirts again.  And p’jamas.  The fella seems to think I have an inordinate number of  p’jamas.  And I suppose I do, but I’m always on the hunt for the perfect pair.

He claims to know what the perfect pair is.  Apparently the perfect pair of p’jamas for me are made of lace and feathers.

I’m leaning more towards plain white men’s p’jamas with navy piping.  Or navy pjamas with white piping.

But I’m getting off track here.  The point is my dryer broke and I’m gonna fix it and I’m pretty proud.  Whenever people ask me why I do things like fix my dryer myself, make my own yogourt, or grow my own vegetables the immediate reaction is to say because I’m cheap.  But that’s not really it.  If I were to really look into my DIWhy, I’d say  the reason I do things myself is because it makes me feel good.


I’m not sure what I’d say I’m most boastful about but it’s probably installing  my own central vac.  It wasn’t the biggest job I’ve done, but it I’m impressed with myself every day for it.  And that was 10 years ago that I installed it.   At a rate of feeling proud of myself for it, once a day for the past 10 years, that means in the past decade that central vac has made me feel good 3650 times.  And that’s a low estimate.

So.  That’s why I do things for myself.

And you?  What have you done to impress yourself lately?   Or what have you done that you’re most proud of?  Giving birth is not allowed as an answer because although it is possible, for the most part you don’t hire someone else to give birth.

Lemme know.  Now if you’ll excuse me I have a dryer that wants to tumble for me.

Have a good weekend!

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  1. Sarah Jackson says:

    I replaced the water pump on my washing machine when I was 6 months pregnant. It was a Saturday and husband in the field (USArmy). I replaced the belt on the washer several times – daughter thought washer could do all her clothes at once. Replaced the dryer belt and fuse. Fixed the water well by scraping fried ants off the contacts, I turned off the power 1st. Installed light & ceiling fans. Helped put a roof on a house. Painted a lot, even canvasses. Put up electric & regular fences. My favorite – fixed my windshield wiper blade assembly with a Christmas tree hanger while I wa 8 months pregnant. Okay I have 5 children & 18 grandchildren.

    • Karen says:

      I’m not sure how you had time for all that sex when you were fixing everything in the house, lol! Good job. ~ karen

  2. mommynearest says:

    Before I knew of this blog, and you, I built a chicken coop, all by myself just by looking at a picture on a webpage. Then my oldest daughter ran across your webpage and chicken coop build, and I was elated! I felt like I found a soul sister, and I wish we were neighbors. No one gets my need to fix things, or build things. I know you do!!

  3. laura says:

    How about a post on how you installed your central vac? I am thinking about tackling that myself pretty soon.

    I have fixed my oven, microwave and refrigerator! I also want to be proud of doing some plumbing – it’s next on the list.

    • Karen says:

      Laura – I’ve thought about doing the post on central vac, but it’s pretty hard what with having installed it already. My set up was particularly easy. Put the central vac in the basement and was able to run the lines straight up through the 1st and second floor closets, with the outlets just outside of each closet. Perfect. One straight shot up. ~ karen

  4. Dawn says:

    Ooo. I love being able to do things myself. My top two proudest things to date are:
    -Plumbing in my new bathroom suite (I did that about seven years ago, but I’m still really proud of it :D)
    -Repairing the clutch on my husbands motorbike (which decide to die 70 miles from home on the day we were heading of to tour Germany – we got on a ferry to France 24 hours after the one we were supposed to get. I was so proud of myself I nearly burst something :D )

  5. Jack says:

    This morning I managed to bend down far enough to cut my own toenails………a very proud moment!!!!!!!!!

  6. Aleesa says:

    Of all the projects I’ve done myself and with my own fella (since producing offspring is disqualified), I’m most proud that I overcame my fear of all things electrical. In our 18 years together, we have constructed…many things. But I balked when it came to wiring. I/he/we replaced three decrepit ceiling fans and two ugly-as-hell light fixtures. Our latest installation was a ceiling fan with a 40 lb (18 kilo) motor that I had to balance on my head while he made sure the connectors were properly twisted. That’s right. I did it wrong, and he had to fix it. (We are still married, and still alive to tell the tale, hallelujah!)

  7. Linda says:

    Wow! I was shocked when I made a list of everything I’ve taught myself. Cooking,sewing(clothes,curtains,stuffed animals,pillow covers,penny rug),knitting,crochet,counted cross stitch,embroidery,ironing,doing the laundry,cleaning,driving,raising children,gardening,canning tomatoes,pickles,peaches,grape jelly,doing all manner of crafts,photography,refinishing/painting furniture. Since becoming single again I’ve added: painting walls,doors,stairs,ceilings,repairing holes in walls,wallpaper,installed ceiling fixtures,fix toilets,replaced various fawcets,install curtain rods,bought a compound mitre saw and cut and installed trim and then sold the saw and made back most of the money,tiled a kitchen backsplash, installed floor tiles, rewired lamps, made lampshades,caulked windows and around bathtubs,added extra insulation (not the itchy pink stuff!),bought and sold 3 homes (made money each time..yay!)so I had to learn to deal with bankers and lawyers and real estate agents on my own. I do my own yard work summer and winter (I live in the Ontario snowbelt..ugh). I also work full time, sheesh, no wonder I’m so freakin tired!
    I’m proud of everything I do! :-)I wonder how many men do as much as women in a day?

    • Karen says:

      Linda – None of them do. None of them do as much as we do. And any smart man will agree. ~ karen

    • Barb says:

      Absolutely Awesome! I too do almost all of those things, and I can add farm work with tractors and horses and splitting firewood and soon I will be able to add using a chainsaw! Once I get the proper protective equipment, that is… since my husband left, I have found out just how truly independent I am, and I am so proud of myself for landing so squarely on my feet. I just love the look on people’s faces when I tell them some of the things I do that most women would rely on a man to do, or call in a “professional”.
      Here’s to strong, independent women! WE ROCK.

  8. karenagain says:

    One evening about ten years ago I was at my neighbour’s drinking all her wine. She was complaining that her dishwasher wasn’t working. I told her to start it up and we’d see if we could fix it. When it got to the whirly around water part, that didn’t happen. I layed down on her kitchen floor, reached underneath and spun something. Then it started working. I don’t know what I did or why I did it. I know NOTHING about any appliances. I had never even owned a dishwasher.

  9. Raymonde says:

    I really had to think about this one! I think I’ve always needed to make stuff, It’s like an addiction, I just cannot sit still without something to do! When I see a prison scene on TV, I always wonder how I would be able to survive without, at the very least, some yarn and knitting needles! Yep, so you probably guessed that I knit, but I also crochet, embroider, sew, can, cook, make my own house paints from dry pigments and either lime, dry milk or flour, make my own cleaning products, build stuff, bake bread, etc… The only thing I haven’t attempted is repairing my car… It doesn’t interest me, I don’t know why…
    What I’m most proud of, is that I gutted and restored my 353 year old house to its former glory (it’s been 8 years and it’s almost done!), using historically accurate methods, products (that I had to make myself) and colours, while hiding all the necessary modern amenities. It’s my dream home and I get to enjoy it every day!!!

  10. Karen says:

    I want more info on installing this home vac system. Did u do upstairs and down and how hard was it to do???????

  11. Pati Gulat says:

    Two of the things I’m most proud of are my end table I made from an electric wooden spool and the entertainment center I made from an OLD TV cabinet I pilfered ! They are BOTH gorgeous and my husband,eho complained about the fact he didn’t want the old TV IN our new house, has changed his tune about my projects. THAT is my BIGGEST accomplishment…getting him to hush !! LOLOLOL !

  12. Pam says:

    I cook,sew,garden,can freeze,raise chickens, DIY because I too, am cheap.My biggest DIY was siding my house (hate painting) It took me 6 years doing a side or section at at time,but it looks great, made the heat bill go down and NO PAINTING ANYMORE! I just love your web site.All of us women DIYers, all we can do is try,if we can’t do it, THEN call the repair person.

  13. Spokangela says:

    I make my 4 kids’ lunches and home cooked meals every day. And I work full time! It takes time and effort but I am proud knowing that they eat nutritious meals. It probably also helps that I consider cooking my hobby, so I am happy to try out new recipes and slave away in the kitchen. I also garden & preserve.
    Thank you Karen for the inspiration to fix things myself! I tend to want to let my hubs fix things for me, but the end result is always “not what I would have done” so I have learned to just do it myself. A lot less arguments that way, plus I am so happy when I manage to fix something and it works! Victory!

  14. Scouty says:

    It is nice to be in great company, so many like minded DIYers – Karen brings out the best in us.
    My most proudest is a deck, I designed it, order the material, built it and it turned out level too! I love to putter.

  15. Lin N says:

    I like to problem solve stuff, try it myself and fix things because the accomplishment makes me feel proud and good. My biggest accomplishment to date has been designing and being co-contractor of my new home. Never thought I would do something like this at age 60. I’d do it again because it was a really good experience. One of the last projects was clearing out the workroom and putting down the new floor. I love your blog. You make me laff and sometimes I even learn stuff! LoL

  16. Kristin says:

    I built a pizza oven all by myself, I made camembert and rebluchon cheeses, I fixed my Kitchen Aid stand mixer, I made a pair of earrings shaped like a chef’s knife and a whisk, I canned all the tomatoes that I grew and now use them to make pizza sauce for the pizzas I make in my oven, I have five chickens that I love, I cook really well, I always make all the Halloween costumes, I managed to get my African violet to bloom, and most recently:

    I’ve torn out the shabby wooden pre-fab deck and built a brick patio all by myself. And I’m currently building river rock pilasters to surround the pergola legs (I didn’t build the pergola; we hired a handyman for that.) So it’s a big, beautiful brick patio, with river rock pilasters and two pergolas. Next up: I will build a little decorative pond, complete with water lilies and goldfish.

    I am happy when I have a project. I think the key to happiness is to have something to do now, and something to look forward to.

    P.S. Just now a property assessor was here and commented on the pilasters, “I see your husband is building them himself–how ambitious!” and I said, “Actually….”

  17. Debbie says:

    My husband was in Italy with a friend (that’s another story, I’m in California) and the water line burst from our water tank to the softener. I actually fixed it. Got soaking, dripping wet from when it was shooting 30′ in the air but it was working at the end of the day. Nothing like that. Great question and impressive comments.

  18. karol says:

    Considering the amount of pain-in-the-ass people I am surrounded by because of fate, and by fate, I mean I either married or birthed them, my biggest accomplishment that makes me proud is getting up every morning and not killing a single one of them.

    • karenagain says:

      Yes, this is a huge accomplishment. I second this and also add the people that conceived me and the nagging, spoiled, demanding, impatient animals that insist on residing with me.

  19. Heather B. says:

    Oh and I’m in the process of making my very own brooch bouquet for my up coming wedding 12-12-12. I have also made many a quilts by hand next one I will use a machine because I just got one. But cooking or baking ..yuck! I try and try and fail almost every time. Luckily my FH is great in the kitchen!

  20. Heather B. says:

    I DIY a lot of things. Mainly because it sounds fun (in the beginning) I have screened in a patio, helped build a cabin at Little Hawk Lake (it was a 3 “man” job) and fixed my car. I always tend to fix my car. As of last week I have changed 3 starters, changed 1 alternator,installed 1 set of brakes, completed an entire tune up, about a million (may be over exaggerating) oil changes and oil filters, 15 flat tires, 7 batteries, 8 headlights, 1 clutch, 1 timing belt, fixed 1 air conditioner, installed 1 radio. <— that is all I can remember but I'm sure there is more and this has been over the years on multiple cars. I was not taught by my father how to fix cars. I learned how from repair manuals, Internet, and mainly by asking questions to people that have the knowledge. I always feel that the labor charges at auto repair shops was too high an figured I could do it if they can (except for that transmission and radiator).

    I am proud to have my male and female friends come to me for car advice :-)

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