Mindful Manual Labor


This past Labor Day weekend marked the 11th weekend that my husband and I have been working on remodeling our kitchen. We’re not done yet, but we’ve come a long way and it’s looking great!

We started this big project on Memorial Day weekend and have been working on it, solely on Saturdays and Sundays, ever since. With the exception of a couple of weekends we spent visiting with family, one weekend where Mike and our son Jaden went to Portland, to see Flight of the Conchords, and one weekend we went camping with our sangha, we’ve spent every weekend, since late May, in our construction clothes, wielding a variety of tools, ordering food for delivery, and working long hours – and when we weren’t at home working, we were at the Home Depot: researching materials, buying materials, wandering the aisles looking for materials, and riding on the metal carts to load our materials (OK, well, that was just me).

Oh, and FYI: if you happen to have a super bright orange shirt that you’re thinking of wearing for your home remodel project, think twice before wearing it into the Home Depot. Turns out Home-Depot-orange is not the best choice to wear into Home Depot, unless you want others to think you work there and want to field all of their questions :)


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Up-heaved and OK


A few days ago, on Thursday, we set to work preparing for the long-awaited remodeling of our kitchen. This past weekend was slated as demolition time – and that’s just what we did! We spent the last two days making a HUGE mess and then cleaning it up and hauling it to the landfill for a fond farewell.

As a bit of background, my husband and I have gone small room by small room, of our humble 550-square-foot house, completely tearing down each one to its fir studs since purchasing it in 2004. The kitchen has been the hardest to figure out, given the complexities involved (including an old brick chimney embedded in the cabinets and the fact that our kitchen is also our utility room, which houses our water heater and electrical box), which resulted in our having been stalled on just how to approach it for the last few years. But, alas, the time has come and we finally have a plan!

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