Pat Hill, DIY Home Remodeler – Biographies – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

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Pat Hill, DIY Home Remodeler

Name: Pat Hill

Occupation: Retired Registered Nurse

Place of Residence: Rural area in Western Arkansas near Oklahoma border

Background and Personal History: Pat is a retired nurse. She has spent nearly 50 years in the medical profession: 25 years in hospitals doing everything from Director of Nursing to intensive care and emergency departments. The next 25 years were in Public Health and School Nursing.

But Pat’s early years were spent on a farm, where her family members were commercial chicken growers. She spent years hand-feeding 22,000 chickens and learning from her mother how to garden and preserve food. Nothing in Pat’s childhood home was wasted during those years and she learned to appreciate all the love and care her mother took in gardening and feeding her family.

Now Pat thinks she may have inherited some of the waste-not attitude from her mother. She loves gardening and growing food and flowers are activities she spends a lot of time doing. Among her favorite food preservation techniques are making jelly from her own grapes, plums, peppers, blueberries and apples. In 2015, she planted new trees in her orchard in hopes of having some new flavors: cherry, fig, persimmon, and new blueberries. Last year, she made more than 100 jars of jelly! (Of course, she doesn’t eat them all herself.)

Pat loves building and remodeling. Her husband and she did most of the work adding a bedroom and bath addition to their home before taking on a project to remodel their kitchen. She built her own cabinets and tiled the floor. She’s since done several floors with tile and vinyl interlock, tiled bathroom walls and floors and installed shower doors. Her fall 2014 project was to build an outdoor oven, grill, and bar-be-que. She loves the results.

Every project at Pat’s home is a DIY project. She’ll occasionally call in a plumber, electrician, or professional builder, but mostly her husband and she do the work. She loves the challenge and (usually) the results.

Current Projects: Pat is planting her garden. She’s added another small patch for cucumbers, watermelons, cantaloupe and squash. She’s hoping to make more pickles this year and is also in the process of adding lights to my back porch. The lights are made from old chicken feeders. She has sanded them and spray painted with bright fiesta colors. Read how to do this project for yourself here.

Other Fun Facts: Pat has 6 grandchildren which she adores. She has taught 4 of them to swim in her pool along with several of the nephews and cousins. (Although she can’t swim all that well, she seems to be a good teacher.) Her youngest is 5 and a little stubborn about getting in the water, so she might have her hands full with him.