DIY diva
DIY diva

Snapshot of my Life: February 2012

DIY diva

For a few months I’ve been putting together the story of building the Memorial House, which means spending a lot of time in the archives of DIYdiva, and one of the things I’ve learned– well, aside from that there should be a special version of spell check for people who write articles after midnight–is that it’s hard to remember exactly who I was when I had some of these ideas. Was a feeling strong and capable when I basically lost my shit trying to block up the old basement windows? Did I have 10,000 project ideas running through my head that I put aside to take pictures of my donkeys?

I definitely changed along the way, but even though I documented the process, I don’t have a clear picture of the differences between who I was then and who I am now, or even what crazy ideas I had that didn’t make it out of my head.

Since DIY Life is really about the journey of change, I’ve decided to keep a record of sorts. Who I am, right now. What I believe, based on what I’m learning. And most importantly, who I want to be in the future. So here are my stats:

February 2012

Actual age: 368 months

Age I feel: For most of my life I’ve felt about 10 years older than my actual age, but I think I’ve almost reached a state of equilibrium. Depending on the day (and let’s be honest, whether or not I’ve taken my glucosamine– which totally helps with joint pain, by the way) I feel somewhere between 26 and 40.

How I look: Better than I have since high school, actually. Eating small meals resulted in dropping some extra pounds I didn’t even know I was carrying, but the real change has come from living in a “finished” house. Yes, it’s a rental, but it doesn’t contain copious amounts of sawdust and I actually have been showering regularly instead of tiling things at all hours of the night. It’s actually really nice to feel human again.

Marital status: Single. Several months ago I went through the “single and panicked about it” phase, because even though I’ve never had plans to get married or have children, it’s still a little eye-opening to, after almost five years, find yourself completely without the support of another human being. I actually started lifting weights because it occurred to me I’m no longer going to have any help with the heavy lifting or opening of pickle jars. However, I’ve moved completely into the single-and-loving-it-plus-I’ll-just-buy-a-tractor-for-heavy-lifting phase of living alone, and I’m actually really enjoying myself. And I’m pretty sure I can find a way to open those stubborn pickle jars with my drill.

Short term goals: Buy property, get into an exercise schedule (of no more than 20 minutes a day, let’s not go crazy here), build some furniture, finish moving the last of my stuff out of Memorial, establish a writing schedule that includes actual daylight hours, take more pictures.

Long term goals: Build the Hillside Cottage. Continue to do things I love. Make changes. Also, have chickens and bees– because here’s a change that happened over the last two years: I’m totally a farm-girl now.

What’s worked recently: Switching to small meals is one change that I’ve made in my life that has stuck and actually made things much easier for me (a key of getting changes to stick, I think). It’s still a shock to me that I cook and eat vegetables every single day… and like it. I actually think the whole reason it worked was because my goal wasn’t to eat vegetables every day. It wasn’t even to eat healthier every day. It was to find more time in my life by better structuring my eating, and once I did that everything else followed.

Things I’m trying: For a long time my New Years resolution was to give up something. Once I gave up eating french fries for an entire year. Another time I gave up new things every month. A lot of this stems from the fact that I believe discipline is like a muscle– you have to use it, and when you do it gets stronger. I’ve been a little lax on this principle in the last couple of years, but I brought it back with a vengeance this year by doing intermittent fasting, which is basically restricting all calories for 24-hours once every week. Something I’ll fill you in on once it’s become a more normal part of my routine. (See this link for the article that inspired me.)

I also invested in one of those fun little Nike+ gadgets that track your running to your iPhone, specifically because it let’s you play virtual “tag” against your friends. Turns out I hate running, but I love winning, and that seems to balance itself out. We’ll see if it becomes a real part of my routine.

Another thing on the list of stuff I’m attempting is sleeping 8+ hours a night. I know, right? When will I update this website? I’m not sure, but I’m going for anti-zombie (at least until construction on Hillside Cottage starts) just so I know what it feels like.

I haven’t yet reached the point where I’m making rules about how often I wash the dishes, but I’m thinking about it…

Thoughts on Life: Right now, I’m loving it. The truth is, I’m in my element when I’m doing things by myself. Yes, it’s hard, but there’s also a huge weight off my shoulders when it comes to worrying about how someone else feels about everything.


DIY diva


  • faye

    I have been following your blog for a while now. As a single mom in our first home (a fixer-upper) your tips and methods have been a godsend. Good luck on the changes in your life. Change is never easy but generally for the better – even when it occurs because of something shitty happening.

    I look forward to learning more both about rehabing my home and my life


    • kitliz

      Thanks Nedra! I have so much respect for you tackling a fixer-upper and being a single mother… both very difficult jobs. It’s wonderful to hear that things I share may help a little!

  • Sarah @ The Ugly Duckling House

    Great post! Really enjoyed this one. I keep trying to make baby steps toward getting in front of the camera again. And I love the idea of fasting. Full support.

    • kitliz

      It’s so hard not to be super critical of yourself in front of the camera (or it is for me, at least) but I’m trying to learn to have fun with it! Also, instagram filters help!

  • Your Mom, Tenley Draheim

    You have always been my inspiration. I know it is supposed to be the other way around, but it’s not.
    It was a delight, a privilege, and a joy to teach you about the world. When you were a little toddler, you soaked in everything. Then you would repeat things back to me, as if you were the teacher. You learned quickly and you always knew what you wanted. You were your own person…always.
    Sometimes parents have silly ideas about what they want their children to become. But, our children need to be free to unfold from within. They come pre-designed to some extent. And there is so much joy when a parent knows and respects this truth about life.
    God is the designer. Parents are the stewards, the caretakers, the teachers, and the supporters.
    I am so glad that God gave me the gift of you. I love you the way you are, and I love who you are becoming. You are an adventure, a best friend, and a teacher.
    I love you higher than I can count. I love you in the morning and in the afternoon. I love you in the evening underneath the moon.
    I hope I live to be 100 (or more) so I can keep seeing all the things that you do. And I am so glad that you care about helping other people.

  • Rachel

    Hey there. I’m a home renovation blogger in Ann Arbor. I found your blog through another blogger, Sarah at reneweduponadream. Great to see there’s another 20-something who loves to use power tools! Is there a way to subscribe by email? I don’t use a feed reader. I’m doing a powert ool link party on Wed., you should stop by.

  • Ryan

    You’re the coolest person I’ve never met. I really like what you have to say. Very witty. I was trying to follow the link to the intermittent fasting. It took me to mens health? Do you read mens health? That’s awesome. You’re a tom-boy for real. Anyway, I’m into horticulture for a hobby and you see it in nature. When a plant is having trouble, you restrict it to water for a couple of days. It’s got to be a great preventative thing for your health. I’ll be interested to see how it works for you.

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    I definitely changed along the way, but even though I documented the process, I don’t have a clear picture of the differences between who I was then and who I am now.

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