Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Who knew?

Did you know I had some long-dormant skills as an electrician? Me neither! But, it turns out that I do. When I was in Connecticut in May for my Grandma Carlson's funeral I helped to pack up some of her stuff and was able to pick out some things that I would like to have. She had this great light fixture in her kitchen that hadn't come with her townhouse, so it was coming down. My mom thought I should have it and it was pretty cool, it so went in a box marked "SHANA" and was stored in my uncles barn until recently. When my dad brought some of her stuff from Connecticut earlier this month a few of my boxes arrived. In one of them was my grandma's light fixture.

It's pretty busy around here, so the light has been sitting in the box in our dining room for a few weeks. The other day I decided I wanted that big box out of my living room and the light up in my kitchen.

I have never installed a light fixture!

About 11 years ago I helped, minimally, as Kirb installed a light/ceiling fan in our upstairs bedroom, but my part was really minimal. Like hold-the-thing-up-so-he-could-tighten-screws minimal.

Anyway, I thought I'd give it a shot. The worst that could happen was that I wouldn't be able to do it, right? {Ok, maybe that wasn't the worst thing that could have happened . . . you'll find out more on that later on}. I took down the old light . . . not too hard! and set off to put up the "new" one. Granted, holding it up while twisting those little wires together and putting on that yellow cap-type thing over the twisted wires was a little challenging {I only have 2 hand remember, and we have pretty tall ceilings, so even on a chair it was a stretch . . . literally} . . . and I am perfectly well aware that I should have shut off the entire breaker to the kitchen, but it was so much easier to just flip the light switch to off that that is what I did. What can I say? I take after my dad that way. And, it turned out just fine it the end. {so see, it could have been worse. I could have been electricuted or something. But, I wasn't!} I got the wires all twisted together and the fixture securely screwed in to the ceiling and put in the light bulbs to test it out. Bulbs in. Switch on. And . . . let there be light! It worked! Yay for me.

It's not 100% completed. I need some shorter screws so that the plate thingy will be flush with the ceiling. Then I'll have to touch up the ceiling a little {or not!} since the plate thingy for the old light was bigger than this one. Also, we have to decided on the right height for it to hang it:: not too high so the light is way up there, but not to low that when my brother comes over he'll bump his head! Then we have to take out the extra links in the chain to adjust for the height. And then we'll be done. But for now that big box is out of my dining room and my kitchen is basked in a different type of light and has a little more "elegant" look to it.

So what do you think? Do you like it? Are you impressed? Do you think I'm a crazy, risk-taking maniac? Isn't it pretty?

Now I have some dreams of actually having an overhead light in our bedroom and putting the old kitchen light in there. I don't, however, think I'll tackle drilling a hole in the ceiling and pulling wires over there from in the wall and installing a light where there never has been one before. That I'll leave to someone with a little more skill . . . and the sense to turn off the breaker!

For now, though, my basement toilet won't flush . . . I'd much rather play electrician than plumber! Oh well, duty calls.


  1. Shana -- It's so pretty! I can't believe how beautiful your kitchen is. It's almost too pretty to mess up. I would be so inspired to do the dishes if our kitchen looked like that!

    And I'm glad you didn't get fried from the electrical work. :)

  2. Always love a chandy in the kitchen! Impressed that you installed it yourself!
    pk @ Room Remix


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