“Do you care about dimmer switches?” I found that an odd question so I simply stared at Mancandy. He stared back. Eventually, he got around to explaining that he meant the dimmer switch associated with the chandelier in the front entryway of our home.
“No.” I continued to stare.
“Good.” And he walked away. I was okay with that if a bit puzzled (but too lazy to go demand answers). I heard the door to the garage opening and closing multiple times and the dogs’ nails on the floor as she accompanied him. I continued pouring my coffee and mixing in the creamer. He began a conversation with Bella about electricity. I don’t know enough about electricity to try and transcribe that conversation, but my dog is now ready for an entry level job as an electrician.
Realizing he’s getting into his project mode, I start planning outside projects, clean the kitchen (leaving the wash by hand stuff in the sink because I never ever wash it by hand. Ever. It rolls around from one side of the sink to the other picking up gross little bits. The two coffee to-go mugs have been in there for weeks.), and wander out to the front of the house. There are tools thrown around the hallway and the front plates of the light switches lay on the floor in generally the same area as the corresponding switch. Little bits of plaster litter the hallway and some sort of dust has been tracked in and stomped all around.
This kinda stuff was all over the front. Along with a meter of some sort with cords everywhere. That cord you see is to the vacuum. That was not in any way used during this project or after it’s cleanup. In fact, today I have to vacuum up the debris you see above as well as the stuff I didn’t get pictures of. But I’m not bitter.
When I moved in it took me a few months to convince Mancandy I was right about moving things around. The man is allergic to change. He also automatically assumes the worst (when I mentioned I thought a green paint would be pretty in the powder room downstairs he immediately assumed I meant lime green and threw a hissy fit. Frankly, lime would be better than the god-awful wallpaper in there now, but I digress.) so telling him I thought the furniture would make more sense swapped gave him the crazy eye. I dropped it. Sort of (just occasionally hinted that I may still be right). Eventually, he gave up and helped me move stuff around. He had to begrudgingly acknowledge that I was, indeed, correct. His life is hard with me around.
I now love the front room of the house. There’s still work to do, I have a passionate hate affair going with the border:
I also hate that fan (I’m seriously sitting here alternating between glaring at the border in real life and glaring at the picture of the border. I hate it so flipping much.). But, again, I digress. The area that was mostly storage and random junk between the first room and the kitchen (it’s an open floorplan so there’s very little to make it a separate room) is now an office (it still has too much junk…but small steps). I love the tall bookshelves with their eclectic mix of our styles. The sectional that took up this entire room is now in the back sunroom where it fits and the smaller couches are up front where they look homey. We’ve got some stuff up on the walls now and I’m working on getting things coordinated and organized. I may just get it done before we’re 80.
The area that was mostly storage and random junk between the first room and the kitchen (it’s an open floorplan so there’s very little to make it a separate room) is now an office (it still has too much junk…but small steps). I love the tall bookshelves with their eclectic mix of our styles. The sectional that took up this entire room is now in the back sunroom where it fits and the smaller couches are up front where they look homey. We’ve got some stuff up on the walls now and I’m working on getting things coordinated and organized. I may just get it done before we’re 80.
The sectional that took up this entire room is now in the back sunroom where it fits and the smaller couches are up front where they look homey. We’ve got some stuff up on the walls now and I’m working on getting things coordinated and organized. I may just get it done before we’re 80.
All that to say, I am beginning to love the front of the house and spend the vast majority of my down time on the couch I brought from AZ reading or writing or procrastinating. There’s lovely light, it’s quiet, and even my dear sweet technology addicted boyfriend comes in here now to sit and read or talk. I sat in my spot, with my coffee and book, and prepared to enjoy a story I know well and still enjoy (Patricia Briggs is one of my faves).
“AH! Biscuit! Mother humper! This makes no SENSE! The white is grounded, the black is running somewhere, where the…SUGAR that hurts!” He is in rare form. He isn’t even stopping to draw in breath, he’s just in tirade mode. The words come pouring out. The amusing part is he’s still in Dad mode and is trading most of the curse words out for non-scandalous phrasing.
He stomps through my lovely (sans border and fan), peaceful room to pull a book out of one of the bookshelves. Of course he has a book dedicated to electrical wiring in a home. Don’t we all? Next, a notepad and a pen appear. The entire time he’s in movement he’s talking to himself. “This makes zero sense, these people boned this whole thing. How do you even mess a circuit up?! What the heck else did they mess up?!”
I watch him draw diagrams, consult with his textbook, and ramble to himself. When I ask if I can help I am ignored, so I shrug and try to go back to my book. I can see him in my periphery and I notice him hop back as he makes a gack sound.
“Are you ok?”
“YES! I’M FINE! BUT THIS MAKES NO EVER LOVING SENSE!” He yells this without looking up. He is shaking his fingers in between doing whatever it is he’s doing.
“Oh. Okay. Did you get shocked or were you just surprised?” I’m not entirely sure what exactly would be shocking in the wall, but I don’t want him to think I’m accusing him of doing a bad job. I’m not. It’s just a loud job.
“Just a little zip. Where the fudge does this red wire loop to? Why did they do everything so stupid? This house is going to burn down! This idiot had no clue what he was doing! There’s a white that actually goes nowhere! And these two must be crossed! Right? No, that makes no sense. What. The. Fudge.” I realize my input is not needed (or wanted), so I stay quiet.
He goes back and forth between his diagrams and the book and the switches for hours. He stands in the middle of the hallway arguing with himself. He goes out into the garage to get tools (or plead with the electricity deity) and fusses about the ineptitude of whoever put in the wiring in the first place the entire time. He talks to the dog about loops, circuits, and colors. He yells at cats for wanting out and having to move his stuff. He stomps and quasi-curses and rants.
Realizing he’s not going to be quiet and the project isn’t going to finish up anytime soon, I wander back to the kitchen to start supper. I have no interest in trying to get his opinion so I survey my kingdoms offerings and decide on something easy to make with reheating potential (that’s misleading….everything I make is easy because I’m lazy).
Steak rolls are easy and I have green bean casserole I can reheat. Perfect. I have everything I need and once the rolls are actually put together there’s very little work left. Perched on a low bench I am able to read and keep an eye on my pan of mushroom/onion topping.
“I can pause this whenever” he announces as he storms into the room. My “ok” falls on deaf ears as he’s already leaving and has continued his monolog. I glare at his back and feel marginally better.
When the rolls were crisped up and the sides/toppings were as ready as I could get them, I called to him to come on for dinner. He didn’t bother to stop talking to himself to answer me. I had the table set and everything on it when he swept in. Our dinner conversation went as follows:
Him: “I just do not understand how someone who does this for a living could completely bone it up this way! The wires are color coded for a reason. And the whole wire that goes nowhere?! What in the world!? You know that light switch up front that we couldn’t figure out? Yeah, there’s a reason it doesn’t do anything. It’s not hooked up to a single blessed thing! The wire just loops back on itself! And I’m pretty sure the red and black are twisted or switched or something in the wall!! How insanely stupid is that! Wait. Wait wait wait. Wait a minute. If they ARE switched then that would explain…would it? It might. I dunno. Hold on.”
Mad scribbling on the notepad he’d brought to the table with him whilst shoveling food into his face. There were multiple diagrams people. Multiple. Diagrams.
Still him: “No, no that would just be insanity. There’s absolutely no reason for that. But if that isn’t the case why the hell does the breaker blow every effing time I touch the wires together? It shouldn’t be flipping anything! The light should just come on! Who the hell designed this!?”
More Him: “Well they can just rot. I think I might have an idea. This was pretty good. The meat was bland, not bad mind you, just bland. Just so you know.”
Me: Another blink.
And he scrambled to collect his notepad and pen, he was muttering to himself in a vein congruous with the “conversation” we’d just had
While considering how best to tell him he could damn well get his ass up and get the salt if he was so inclined AND that the mushrooms and onions were seasoned and were supposed to go on top of the steak rolls so I didn’t want to over season but his jerkface self had put them by themselves and scooped them like a side dish and ruined the whole effect, I cleared the table, put the leftovers up, and got the dishwasher going (coffee to-go mugs were still sitting in their own filth in the sink…I’m not touching them).
As I walked into the hallway I saw him leap back again and let out a “gack”. He shook his fingers and glared at the wiring. Noticing me walking past him he grabbed his voltmeter and asked me to hold one of the attached wires against a particular wire coming out of the wall so he could hold the other attached wire against another wire on a different wall. I silently complied. The voltmeter itself was sitting on a stool between the two walls. We were just short. As he launched into the much anticipated fake cursing tirade I just picked the meter up and handed it to him so the slack gave us the room we needed. His tirade flowed smoothly into new agitation at the readings he was receiving from his gadget. I handed him my wire and let the dog out.
Coming back in I gathered up my book and my dog and got ready to climb the stairs for reading in bed away from the temptation to voice my annoyance. He jumped and gacked again. I paused.
“Are you okay?” I begrudgingly asked.
“Yes, I am just fine!” He responds with heat. “If they….GACK…JUMPING JEHOSHAPHAT!” He was quiet for an entire 4 seconds.
“That can’t be good for your heart.” I felt obliged to warn him.
“It’s okay. I only feel it up to my elbow.” Trying my best not to grin I turned to continue up the stairs. As long as they don’t actually die or have any serious injuries it’s okay to feel joy in little zips, right?