Island Soul City Dreams

I love New York, but my heart has a Caribbean beat. It pulsates to the traditions of my people. Attuned to the rhythms of this City, I stay West Indian to the bone. I reflect. I analyze. I speak my mind. ~ I Keep it Irie ~

Sometimes A Girl Gotta Use Her Hands

I have always been a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) type of girl. Perhaps, it’s my adventurous spirit or the fact that I just love a challenge. I remember visiting the woodwork room at secondary school during my junior years and beholding the most magnificent sculptures created by the senior boys. Marveling at their works of art, I often asked a few of them to teach me. But they refused, saying that a little girl like me would be better off taking a home economics class. I had already completed the mandatory year of home economics. And with a mother who was boss in the kitchen from whom I was already learning, I thought it silly to invest any time over the school’s stoves.

I wanted to get my hands on a piece of wood. The very thought excited me. I imagined holding it and going to work till it took shape in my hands. You know, something big. Memorable. Like a bird. I mean, after all, what’s wrong with a girl learning how to take a piece of wood and turn it into something useful? I took the woodwork class and learned everything from sawing and using the lathe to sanding and varnishing. As ambitious as I had been, I didn’t create anything as elaborate as a bird, but I succeeded in making the most awesome napkin holder. Today, more than 20 years later it remains in use at my mom’s house.

There’s a distinct pleasure in being able to create something unique, especially when it can be beneficial to others. Add to that “made with love” and guaranteed gratifying results and we have a most marketable product.  I have applied this formula for most of my life, whether in the woodwork room or the kitchen. And while I’m satisfied to allow others to enjoy the fruits of my labor, like any other girl, I relish being treated.

Still, I have learnt not to be solely dependent on anyone to get anything done, so being a DIY girl has definitely proven handy. Take for example recently when I was going through a dry spell. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time – during the winter. Now, who wants to be experiencing that during the coldest season of the year? At such times, it’s both a blessing and a curse to spend as much time alone as I do.  I did what any sensible DIY girl raised in the Caribbean would do in my position.

With an abundance of stores in my Brooklyn neighborhood from which to choose, I went out and bought myself the solution. On returning home, I almost exploded with anticipation of the thrill I was about to give myself. Over the next day-and-a-half, I refused to go outdoors as I got busy doing what I considered natural. At some point I was concerned that my neighbors might want to know what was going on and come knocking. Thankfully, they didn’t. By the time I was finished, the scent was all over the house and the outcome was all over my hands. But I was happy with the job I had done.

Being a DIY girl, I had used my hands to make a lovely bottle of coconut oil. . .  Now what did you think I was talking about? After all, who wants to have dry ashy skin during winter? And why buy lotion when I can get three coconuts for three bucks and make some of the best, most useful and longest lasting natural oil around! Watch the attached video of me making the coconut oil and see how I cured my dry spell.;-)

~ I Keep it Irie ~

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19 thoughts on “Sometimes A Girl Gotta Use Her Hands

  1. double entendre on said:

    “I wanted to get my hands on a piece of wood. The very thought excited me. I imagined holding it and going to work till it took shape in my hands. You know, something big. Memorable.” Wow.

  2. Kool on said:

    Making coconut oil and your memories of wood-making have never sounded so. er.. “interesting”. (laughing) Seriously, do you sell samples of the oils you make? What about soaps? If so, id like to purchase a few.

    • Heeey Mr. Kool,
      Thanks as always for reading and your relentless support. Unfortunately, I don’t make soaps or sell samples of the oil, but I’d be happy to make you a bottle next batch.:-)

  3. Jason on said:

    I am really in shock…I LOVE THIS!!!!

  4. sony on said:

    Naughty , naughty, but I love it. As I was reading I was saying this can’t be my little Maquita, lol. It kept my interest to the end. I must admit though, you burst my bubble. lol An excellent piece of writing A+

    • Hahaha! Of course, this is your little Maquita – angelic moi!:-)
      Thanks for reading, Sony and for your wonderful feedback. You got me here all blushing! Bless.:-)

  5. Adrian Elcock on said:

    Cheeky! Excellent writing skills! Love it!!!

  6. Sonja on said:

    I just learned something new and pure and wonderful!

  7. IM GONNA DO THIS THANKS

  8. CC on said:

    Well I knew you were talented but this I wasn’t ready for. Really good but knowing you I knew it was not going to be as predictable as it was leading its reader to believe! lol! You have mad skills writing and otherwise…hold on to your wood –en spoon hon. When are you gonna show us your mom’s sweet bread?! CC

    • [:-) Thanks C! I really appreciate the Irie vibes – as always. You know, I’m really long overdue to post a recipe of my mom’s sweetbread! Perhaps, I’ll bake some in the upcoming weeks and make a vid. Thanks for the suggestion and I’m really happy that you got a chance to check out my blog! Thanks again.:-)

  9. Joy on said:

    Nice

  10. Wanda on said:

    Great story interesting and intriguing read as usual. I like how the story line goes from naughty to nice. I love ” what’s wrong with a girl learning how to take a piece of wood and turn it into something useful?”. Cool video also!

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