Southern Mom Loves: My Most Empowering DIY Moment

My Most Empowering DIY Moment

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I have had a lot of DIY moments, as I'm generally the Mrs. Fix-it in our house. But there was one moment when I did something waaaay out of my comfort zone, and I did it well. I was so proud of myself, I took a picture and posted it to Facebook (which I never do), with the caption "I DID THIS!"

My most empowering DIY moment was when I installed a gas log set all on my lonesome.

I should start by saying that my comfort zone does not include anything that uses gas or gasoline. I am kinda clumsy sometimes and the thought of accidentally blowing myself up keeps me from treading into these areas of DIY...or lawnmowing, which is the excuse I give my husband. ;)

We bought the house in 2009. It was an historic home built in 1910 as the first Country Club in the area, and it still has 6 sets of the original screened double-doors going out to the wraparound porch. We were in love as soon as we saw it. It needed a TON of updating, but we were willing to live in a work-in-progress.

There are 3 fireplaces, one of which is gas, but the gas set that was installed when we moved in was like nothing I had even seen before: it was a crusty old brass burner filled with lava rocks that resembled pieces of coal. The Gas & Power guy wouldn't even touch it. He said to "turn the key, light a match, and run". So if we wanted to use this fireplace, the old set had to be replaced. (It used to be one of those Victorian-era coal burners. I found the ornate metal facings, grill, and cover in the basement. I love finding stuff like that!)

This is the only photo I could find of the old set: A big, rusty, brass
basket full of fake coal pieces, maybe from the 60's?

Luckily, we didn't have to convert anything. I had a wee bit of help over the phone from my brother, as I had no idea how to turn off the gas, and he walked me through shutting it off at the meter. I unboxed the new set, read all the directions, and off I went!

It wasn't terribly complicated in itself, and I had no problem assembling the new set; The problem was muscling the old one out and the new one in, all in a tiny, enclosed, concrete space with a big pipe wrench! By the time I was finished, my knuckles were bloody, but I couldn't care less. I lit the new set and it worked! There was no explosion! I did it!!!

I was so proud, I felt like a caveman watching the fire I just made!

Stepping out of my comfort zone made me feel like I could tackle any project. I'm not talking lawnmowing honey, let's not get crazy, but maybe some light electrical?

What was your most empowering DIY moment?

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