The DIY Slippery Slope

When our daughter was a toddler, a friend of ours, a former kindergarten teacher, gave to us a bunch of books.  Thank you, again, Janice.

Among the books, the one that became one of our favorites was, “If You Give a Moose a Muffin,” by Laura Joffe Numeroff.  Sixteen additional books in the series, began with, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.”  But the Moose/Muffin one remains our stalwart favorite.

Having read the Moose book a million times and simultaneously having embarked on one frustrating DIY project after another, on a budget, I wrote the ditty which follows in the Joffe, Moose/Muffin tumbling, compounding style of the slippery slope.  I take no credit for the style, but the experience was mine.

Rather than pulling my hair out in exasperation, and because bumps and ridges cover the entire real estate of my scalp, I felt sure I couldn’t pull off the bald look, so I wrote.  Have you heard of journaling to communicate with yourself about, and unearth, what’s happening in the depths of your psyche?  Perhaps this technique prevents baldness.  I don’t know, but it’s a theory.

Speaking of frustrating, how many of you, new to the homebody-corps have done some, maybe a lot of, redecorating or remodeling, DIY-style, in the 2020 weeks of quarantine?  Some call it sheltering in place.  Most of us, I dare say, have worked a bit on our shelters, or our place, whatever you call your abode.  Whether our work could be called home improvement, I can’t say.  I’m not here to judge.

Here goes, If You Get a New Vacuum Cleaner:

If you get a new vacuum cleaner,

You’ll need new floor coverings to go with it.

If you get new floor coverings,

You’ll need new furniture to compliment the floors.

If you get new furniture,

You’ll need to paint the walls.


If you paint the walls,

You’ll need new window treatments to go with it.

If you get new window treatments,

You’ll have to have new windows.

If you get new windows,

You’ll need a new heating and cooling system to finish the upgrade.


If you get a new heating and cooling system,

You’ll need to switch to a gas stove-top.

If you get that new stove-top you’ve always wanted,

You’ll need an electric wall oven to go with it.

If you get a new wall oven,

You’ll need a new subzero refrigerator to finish the trio.


If you get a new refrigerator,

You’ll need new plumbing to go with it.

If you get new plumbing,

You’ll need to move the laundry room.

If you move the laundry room,

You’ll need to remodel the entire kitchen.


If you remodel the kitchen,

You’ll need a new bathroom to go with it, if you’re a woman, that is.

Kitchens and bathrooms.  Kitchens and bathrooms.

If you get a new bathroom,

You’ll need a soaking tub with jets, bidet, and towel warmer to go with it.


After you’ve relaxed your overworked remodeling muscles in the jetted soaking tub, you’ll notice you need a new sun-room to go with it.

If you get a sun-room,

You’ll need a new roof to cover it.

If you get a new roof,

You’ll need a new porch to go with it because you’ve always wanted a porch.


If you get a new porch,

You’ll need a new garage to go with it.

If you get a new garage,

You’ll need a new lawn shed to clear out the mess and keep the garage tidy.

If you get a new lawn shed,

You’ll need a greenhouse with a rainwater recycling unit, attached to it.


If you get that greenhouse,

You’ll need the driveway regraded and repaved to go with it.

If you get the driveway regraded and repaved,

You’ll need a new car to go with it.

If you get a new car,

Drive away from that old house as fast as you can!

And take your new vacuum cleaner with you, to clean the car.


Once you’ve entered the slippery slope of DIY redecorating and/or remodeling, nothing is found to be as simple as the theory.  Always, at first thought, it seems like it will be a straightforward process.  Then, reality sets in and all of a sudden, you’re a whole mile and a half past simple. And, all plans of frugality – thus the whole concept of DIY – fly out the window, that you just installed last week.


By the way, I know a good Realtor if you just want to sell that old house.

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