I’m no Norm Abram, but I have become surprisingly self-reliant in the home-maintenance area over the last several years. I remember when I bought my first house – a charming older home in a desirable area scattered with gigantic old trees – I (and several very gracious friends) repainted every square inch of that house. The first time I had to call a repairman, it was because my hot water tank was leaking. I called a plumber out on a Saturday and was charged $90 for him to simply adjust the drain hose which had come loose. Baaaaah! Time to learn how to do some stuff myself.
I’ve never been afraid of trying a new project – as long as I had someone to help me figure out what to do. Me? I’m the girl who sported bandaids on her blistered thumbs the day of her wedding because we had decided to tear up and replace the old deck at my house three weeks before our big day. We wanted to host a cookout for our families out there for the wedding weekend and the old deck was badly deteriorating. Yep, mere weeks before I slipped into my princess dress, I was wielding a crow-bar and making trips to the dump to unload loads of rotted deck lumber. At one point, I remember looking over at my then soon-to-be husband and despite my gross sweatiness and bruises, I smiled and said “you are one lucky man to be marrying a chick who would sacrifice all her fingernails for a new deck!”.
Fast-forward about 9 years and I’ve painted, repaired, installed, and removed all kinds of stuff in the last three houses we’ve owned. I’ve even tried my hand at PLUMBING (I made sure to have high-waisted pants on so I wouldn’t be flaunting any crack). But the one thing I have never attempted before is… messing with electricity. I’ve always been a little nervous about the potential hazards that would have (given that I’m a bit of a clutz)… until this weekend!
My brother and sister-in-law came for a visit and one of the projects I wanted to get done was to swap out my dining room light fixture. The guys were busy re-wiring all of our electronics to pull wires through the wall for our new big-screen, so I was fidgeting around for a while… glaring at the monstrosity that was dangling from the ceiling in the next room. Watching me, my angel of a sister-in-law suggested we (we, meaning her and I) could swap out the light fixtures with just some vocal cues from my brother (who was an electrician in a previous life). I spent a short while weighing the hazards and then figured – what the heck… sure! And you know what? It really was pretty easy (once my sister-in-law realized she had been reading the instructions in Spanish and switched to English – ha!). So… behold… the before and after photos.
I also had just finished painting that room… changing it from a scary terra cotta with yellow trim to this sharp khaki with white trim. Love it! And really… how bad-ass are my new dining room chairs?! I’m in love with them! I’m even willing to cook periodically now so we can use this gorgeous room! I do need to get some stuff up on the walls though… still trying to figure out what would work in there.