Light Up My Life

In Terry’s absence, Colin and I can still manage a few tasks by ourselves. One of the simplest – and most fun – is interior lighting. The kitchen now boasts wall sconces, flush-mount ceiling fixtures, and a gorgeous chandelier centered over where the dining table will go. Without a table under it, the chandelier appears to hang dangerously low. I think there’s an optical illusion going on here, exacerbated by the high ceiling and my own height, because the drop is actually pretty standard. We can always raise it later.

One wall sconce, four flush-mounts, and a chandelier.

One wall sconce, four flush-mounts, and a chandelier.

Today we added closet lights and bathroom fans. The closet lights provide near-instant gratification because it only takes about 15 minutes to install one. It’s a fluorescent bulb system similar to the industrial lights in the Barn, but it’s less than half the length (2 or 3 feet long depending on the closet size) and comes pre-wired. And we stubbed out electrical cables in each closet before closing up the walls. So today I just popped a plastic Romex connector in the back of the fixture, threaded the electrical cable through, screwed the fixture in place above the closet door, connected like wires with the provided wire nuts, and snapped on the cover followed by the bulb. Then I hit the switch and Let There Be Light.

Photographed with the light off so you can see the fixture. It works, trust me.

Photographed with the light off so you can see the fixture. It works, trust me.

Together Colin and I did 7 or 8 closet lights this way. Colin took care of the upstairs bathroom fans, which required slightly more fussing and electrical know-how.

Terry did find a few hours this week to give us his expertise, and he spent most of it prepping and trimming the exterior. South side of the house is complete: Terry finished all the siding, J-channels, soffit, and aluminum fascia. I helped him screw in two “boxes” on the east gable end. Access was a challenge in the southeast corner, so he set up his two longest ladders, fully extended, on each side of the corner. Then we took turns supporting the box’s weight and operating the screw gun.

Two gable-end boxes installed on a bluebird winter day.

Two gable-end boxes installed on a bluebird winter day.

The three of us all pray for below-freezing temperatures and heaps of snow during this unpredictable month. (Tuesday/Wednesday looks promising!) But if the weather is ever unkind for skiing, at least we can finish the siding.

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