For the last month or so I’ve been doing that thing you do when an odd smell suddenly appears in one of the rooms of your house. You know what I’m talking about… it involves sniffing things that any rational person would keep a fair distance away from their nose. In the case of my mudroom, this included work boots (smelled like feet), baseboard heaters (no smell), a two-hundred pound chalkboard (smelled like chalk), and the cat (did not take kindly to being smelled).
While it had a slightly “Hey something might be burning around here” odor, there was no smoke, heat, or identifiable source that made me overly concerned. Plus I had escaping donkeys and a fence to install, so the Random Smell in the Mudroom project took a back seat to other, more pressing things around the farm.
Then, last week, the light bulb in the mudroom fixture finally burnt out.
I bought a new fixture for this room from Restoration Hardware a few months ago, and there’s really nothing that motivates a person to finally install a new light fixture than repeatedly stepping on nails with bare feet in the dark because the old light won’t turn on.
Yes, I totally understand that for some people, that would simply be motivation to sweep the floor and/or change the lightbulb, but let’s be honest about who you’re dealing with here…
So, instead of sweeping the floor, I took down the old light fixture, which actually turned out to be a really good idea because of this…
Yeah. Hope you weren’t just eating lunch.
In a somewhat related story, last week as I was crossing the street– at a designated crosswalk, while the WALK light was flashing– I almost got run over by a nun driving a Buick. As far as I can tell, that’s pretty much as close as you can get to being smited by God unless you’re actually struck by lighting.
And then, this. A plague of insects.
I’m just saying… someone out there might have it in for me.
Or maybe this is a sign that I should clean out any light fixtures more regularly so that the little bug carcases don’t pile up in them enough to touch the light bulb and start a fire.
I’ve just found that being a one-woman show means you have to get creative about testing the height of light fixtures before you cut the cord, since there’s no one to hold it for you while you stand back to check it out.
If you’ve never installed a light fixture before, it’s pretty easy in theory. (Here’s some info on the tools you need so you don’t shock the shit out of yourself, and here’s an article I wrote for Bobvila.com a few years ago on simple wiring.)
In a 150 year old house, things tend to get more complicated, but this fixture actually went in fairly easily, all considered.
Stripping the wires on that goddamned pink floor?
Doing some advanced yoga positions of the top of a ladder so that I can use my knee to hold the fixture in place while wiring it?
Yeah, normally you connect similarly colored wires, but in this house all the wires are the same color. Yay DIYers.
And right about the time I was all, “Wow, that was the easiest light installation I’ve done in this house,” this happened…
So then the light fixture came down again and I had to patch the ceiling. In the meantime, I decided to switch out these beauties…
And since I was switching them out anyway, I decided I should put a programmable timer in for the flood lights. Which meant I had to go to the hardware store. And while I was at the hardware store, I decided I needed to buy one of these…
Because I think it will be the perfect way to heat my shop this winter. Now I just have to figure out how to get the beast out of the back of my truck.
And in my excitement over the new wood stove, I managed to get the wrong electrical switches, which means I only had one brief shining moment of this…
And then the room was plunged into total darkness again until I manage to go back to the hardware store (which will be sometime between now and a trip to the ER for stitches in my foot when I step on that damn nail again.)
Such is the DIY life.