By Mary Lynn Bruny

Wow. Now we can see light at the end of this pandemic tunnel, that in mere months when the majority of us are vaccinated it will be like the golden days of yore. (I am choosing not to think about the highly infectious strains ambling about the world. Denial: my favorite state to live.) Soon we’ll all be released from our COVID confinements. Like wound up dogs taken off short leashes we’re going to be escaping like bats out of hell. Yay!

With this end in sight I have a new found enthusiasm to finish up home projects, some of which I began when we initially quarantined. You know, the projects we bought materials for in 2020 and earnestly intended to do, but then we got sidetracked and instead binge watched series like Bridgerton. (No one can blame us here. That one was hard to take the old eyeballs off of.) There are all types of gratifying small projects to do during this final stretch.

Really great are the “fidgety hands projects.” These are the ones you can do while watching absorbing series, so a real win-win. Some people like knitting and crocheting while others, oddly, like to iron. I get it: It’s nice to take wrinkly clothing and turn them into crisp, neat items, items we’ll soon be able to actually wear. (So exciting!) I have taken to mending things I’ve ignored for years. There’s something highly satisfying about jamming a needle through fabric, pulling the thread taunt and making tight little knots. (Wouldn’t want to analyze that one too closely in therapy.)

Then there are the “one minute (or so) fix its.” These are also quite fulfilling as they take little time, yet you can dramatically cross them off your To Do list and brag to your partner. Examples are changing the refrigerator light bulb that’s been out for more than a year (making it like searching in a cave for the orange juice) or gluing that thingamajig (that’s been in the junk drawer forever) back onto the doohickey. All that took was buying some new strong glue as of course the old stuff you have now feels like a rock from the Paleolithic period.

Completing these types of little projects are especially smart to do if you’re considering selling your home come spring: You know, jump on the crazy “people are paying way more than asking price” bandwagon. Lord knows if you have been thinking of selling now is the time. Just make sure you have your moving boxes at the ready.

Finally there are the “real projects” which take time, materials, tools, skills and actual brainpower. It’s the latter than I usually lack, so I am a very serious “measure twice, cut once” kind of person. Actually, I’m more of a “measure twice, forgot that I measured, and measure two more times” kind of person.

I’m starting a project (or so I keep telling myself) sewing a dozen window shades, basically rectangles – which is about where my skills max out. I just have to iron fabric, and cut and sew straight lines. It’s all mind-numbingly simple work that an ambitious raccoon could probably do. (Those amazing paws of theirs: a constant source of wonder.)

At a realistic production rate of a few shades per week but also taking into account general laziness, lack of follow-through and new addictive streaming series, I should probably be done when hell freezes over — which I’m hoping is after the pandemic ends. But as the last year has taught us, you never know.

By Mary Lynn Bruny. Mary Lynn writes about local real estate and home-related topics. Contact her at To read previous The Lighter Side articles, go to