Monday, September 19, 2011

We're Back in the 21st Century!

Since the end of July, we've had no power in the back half of our house. It's felt like a lot longer than that. For about a month we didn't use our downstairs bathroom, until R decided to run an extension cord to a lamp that's sitting on a pile of boxes. We had to use flashlights to get up the backstairs at night. There's a long exterior-use extension cord running from the Guest Bedroom through my Office and into the Twilight Room to power either R's computer or the air conditioner. Vacuuming was not easy. You had to duck walking down the stairs (well, duck even more than you had to before) so you wouldn't hit your head on the wires coming out of the ceiling (don't worry.. it's not like they were live or anything). Summer '11 was a crazy one for us and if we were home for an entire weekend, R's time was taken up by things that were a little bit more pressing, such as cutting the grass (pretty much an all day job) or building the coop or preparing and then cleaning up after the hurricane.

But... we have a goal now. R's birthday is smack dab in the middle of October and we always have a family party (his family lives in a different state and we try to do as many things as we can down here so both families can be together because as uncharacteristic as this is, they actually like each other). My mom brought up a good point when I mentioned the party to her. "You can't have everyone (mostly extended family, aunts, uncles, cousins) over here with it looking exactly the same way it did in January for your birthday party!" *sigh* Once again, mom's right. While it's not like we've sat around doing nothing for the past 8 months, the things we've done wouldn't really be noticeable to "normal" people. "Oh, you added another coat of paint in here? Looks the same to me!" "You updated this outlet? Woww....." "Is that a new chimney cap I see? Impressive!" "A garden? A chicken coop? Is that all you've done this year?" (Sense the sarcasm?) The main thing people will notice is that the Kitchen basically looks exactly the same. Yeah, I've unpacked more boxes, organized the cabinets, painted the fireplace, did patching/etc on the walls. But the overall picture is exactly the same. I can't have that!! So the point of this story is... by the end of October, that Kitchen needs to be done. Done as in floor: installed. Walls: painted. Trim: installed and painted. Fireplace: painted and decorated. New light fixtures: installed. With that huge room done it'll make a huge difference! Plus it'll be a nice room to sit in and eat/talk with our relatives, as opposed to a half finished, dirty room.
The old light switch at the bottom of the stairs. It was only 34 cents! Look at that scary wiring!
The first step was to get all of the drywall up, taped and sanded. However, a couple months ago R took down some of the drywall under the window (while I was crying "now we're going backwards! :'( ). He had good reason. When I was in the Kitchen cooking, every once in awhile I'd hear crackling sounds. We traced the sounds back to the outlets under the windows. This scared the pyrophobiac (is this a word?) in me. R immediately turned off that breaker and a month later took down the drywall and tried to fix it. Long story short, he wasn't able to easily fix it. And then the Crazy Summer happened and it got put off until this weekend. I asked him to put up the drywall around the posts near the windows and he said that he would do that when he put the drywall back under the windows. So he fixed the outlets first. He had thoroughly researched it and knew exactly what to do this time. Piece of cake. Finished in about 2 hours. Then he was on an electrical roll. He moved on to the hall light (the point of this post. Finally). This wasn't as easy...
I'll admit, I wasn't there while he was fixing it, so I'm not 100% sure of exactly what he did or in what order. (Pyrophobia, remember?) All I know is that apparently what is in our walls is a mess. He cleaned it up where he could, adding new wire where he could. I flipped breakers when he told me to. He had blown-in insulation fall all over him when the plaster ceiling broke a little while he was drilling through it. He installed two (well, three really because he replaced the one in our bedroom while he was up there) new light switches and two new temporary light fixtures. This hall/staircase isn't at the top of our to-do list, it's maybe 4th after the Kitchen. But it will be re-done in the near future. And when that time comes, new nicer light fixtures will be installed. For now, it's just nice to finally have light fixtures in the steep, scary staircase we the most. And it's a little easier to sleep at night knowing that the wiring is a little safer. Someday... in the far future... we'll replace all of the wiring. But that's a huge job that we couldn't do ourselves, which means it'll have to wait :)

No comments:

Post a Comment