It started when I first got married. The children started to arrive. In a, hopefully, not fruitless attempt to raise solid citizens (they are teenagers and the jury is still out) I quit work to stay home. This created an obvious need for economization. My ex-husband specialized in working on the road and helping other guys fix their toilets, so I was on my own.
Eventually my experiments in mastering every skill known to the “do-it-yourself” junkie became a life choice. I have fixed toilets, faucets, drains, holes in the wall and laid sub floor. I made every Halloween costume the kids have ever worn, change my own tires and do all my own painting. I sew if you count liquid stitch, and cook from scratch. I can’t call a contractor anymore. The last one was a window guy. He did not appreciate what I considered my apprenticeship. He never said a word, but it’s apparent my name made their list, as I had to resort to an alias last time I needed a contractor.
I will try anything to be clever, ingenious and frugal. The 50-year-old windows that the contractor wanted to haul away became collage frames. Also, I discovered I could move an entire dresser down the stairs by leveraging it on my back and sliding down on my backside. This not only did the job, but also inspired my then 4-year old to call me Super Mommy. Contact paper can serve as a new counter top in lieu of new laminate. You can’t really sit much of anything on it, but it does look better. I am not the first person to appreciate the duct tape phenomena and the kids never knew that the bubbles came from dish soap. Did you know that if you are willing to don a respirator and goggles you could make your own carpet cleaner for pennies? The leftover kitchen paint looks good on the picnic table and the 40-year-old can opener I bought for a quarter at a yard sale has served me faithfully for 4 years now.
My current husband (this one is a keeper) recently suggested my ingenuity might be bordering on the “obsessive”. This from a guy who is “reducing his carbon footprint” by setting a New World’s Record for Most Consecutive Uses of the Same Paper Plate. Well, I disagree. I am a super-genius and I have proof. I just saved us seventy-five bucks by repairing a broken paddle bracket on the 15-year-old overhead fan in the kitchen. Admittedly, it took 2 weeks and 4 experiments with tape, rubber bands, super glue and epoxy. I fixed it AND found out what a fan failure can do to a cat.