Monday, June 29, 2009

If It Is To Be, It Is Up To Me!

I told you that I have alot to recap so I'm about to get on with it... The first photo is of the ceiling fan in the three season porch (my favorite room :). Actually one of the bulbs is broken so the base is screwed in with no bulb to turn it out with. I just learned that I can cut a potato and force that onto the broken base and turn it out that way (otherwise I'll work it out with a pliers). I'll let you know which works.

"The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm." ~ Swedish Proverb ~

The second photo is of the type of ceiling fixture I put in two of the bedrooms and the hallway. These were already wired, so it was merely a matter of replacing the fixture. I had never done that before so I learned about ground wires, live wires, capping things off in the right combination, tugging on my wires ensuring a permanent connection and of course, I triple-checked to make sure I did things right.

The third picture is of the flexible track lights my brother helped me install in the kitchen above the sink. The former track lights are in the fourth picture (the large lights in a straight line). So that takes care of the lights I replaced. The fourth photo also shows the holes cut for the pendant lights to be installed over the new bar. Now we get to the thirteen can lights I cut holes in the living and dining room ceilings and fished the wiring between the holes. Photo five shows the circles I drew on the ceiling using the template included in the can light and the holes I cut (hopefully avoiding beams - luckily I hit only one). The electrician I hired had to do the actual installation and final wiring hooking it up to the electric, etc. I wouldn't try to do this myself on the sly because it can cause alot of problems down the line. Let's say there was an electrical fire and the insurance company double checked the permits that were pulled on the house and found that no permits were pulled for those lights that caused the fire. Then they wouldn't pay for the damages. So, you're better off doing it legally and cover your bases.

"Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do." ~ John Wooden ~

I'd say the worst part in installing the can lights is the blow-in cellulose insulation in the rafter area. You can't move without it falling all over you and everything else. VERY MESSY! Also, because the living and dining room ceilings are slightly vaulted running the fish-tape from hole to hole to pull the wire through was nearly impossible because the rafters were scissoring across each other. Honestly, by the end of successfully pulling all the wire, I felt a miracle had occurred. Now I know why electricians charge so much for that part of the job!

"Patience is a bitter plant that produces sweet fruit." ~ Charles Swindoll ~

The sixth picture is of the hole we cut in the ceiling to install the chandelier. Since chandeliers are heavier, we needed to support it extremely well. So, we installed a two by four fit between the rafters so that you could swing from it if you wanted. No need to fear on the support for that light. Of course, we have a bit of drywalling and plastering to do, but well worth the extra effort.

"Right action is the key to good living." ~ Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions ~

I don't expect that I'll be doing that any time again soon. But it's nice to have that in my repertoire of experience. I think I'll always be nervous about working around electric. If you've ever grabbed a live wire (I did as a kid when Dad was wiring an outlet - it's a cold grinding feeling) you'll never want to repeat it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Look For The Gift!

"Every new day begins with possibilities. It's up to us to fill it with the things that move us toward progress and peace." ~ Ronald Reagan ~

This is the view of the backyard from the deck in the morning. The house sits on a double-wide lot so it's quite large and open. It's the best backyard I've ever had as it is completely fenced in for the dog and my dog and I love it. I have never known him to stay outside for hours. He investigates all perimeters each day, then sits under the shade tree waiting for people (with dogs) to pass by on the walking path in the park behind the house. There is plenty of wildlife to check on every
morning with birds and bunnies living in the wild back there. You can hear the birds scolding him when he gets too close to their nest. Yes, it's idyllic and I can just imagine sitting on the steps having my morning coffee, absorbing the beauty of nature.

"Each day the world is born anew for him who takes it right
ly." ~ James Russell Lowell ~

"The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises." ~ Leo Buscaglia ~

Here is some gardening I did out in the front. The tree surround was already there but some of the stones were out of line because the roots of the tree grew too large beneath certain areas. It required removing sections of stone and trimming the root (sculpting it, so to speak) to permit the stones to lie flat. This season, that is about all I intend on accomplishing in the yard.

"True wisdom lies in gathering the precious things out of each day as it goes by." ~ E. S. Bouton ~

So, don't forget to look for the gift in each day! Because there is always.... and I mean ALWAYS a gift ... if you remember to look for it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In The Middle of Difficulty

As mentioned in a previous post, the first photo is of the two flats of fifty-five boxes of hardwood flooring that was delivered (dumped) in my driveway that I had to carry into the garage. Although it was challenging, one musters the strength to do what one has to do and feels good about it once done (although a little sore).

"Life only demands from you the strength you possess." ~ Dag Hammarskjold ~

The second photo is of the hardwood flooring in bedroom number two that I had to remove. It was perfectly good flooring, but it ran the wrong direction and it also was difficult to match. The photo below shows all the nails in each of the boards I removed. All the nails had to be ground off with the rotary grinder so that they could be stacked and ready to reinstall at my brother's duplex someday. 'Can't waste perfectly good flooring like that.

"Out of clutter, find Simplicity. From discord, find Harmony. In the middle of difficulty lies Opportunity." ~ Albert Einstein ~

If you've looked at my profile, my profession is in the fine and graphic arts so I am definitely stepping out of my comfort zone with this project. But I am enjoying stretching my boundaries, learning and doing new things and I've noticed a spring in my step going up the stairs. Is it hard? Very! But, I've learned that I can do it. And, that's a pretty good feeling....

Friday, June 19, 2009

Images of Probabilities

"The moment of enlightenment is when a person's dreams of possibilities become images of probabilities." ~ Vic Braden ~

As promised, these are the floor plans and design changes that I submitted to the city for the building permit. The first floor changes include all the overhead lights, chandelier and pendant lights I am installing and the location I managed to squeeze a half bath into (which required moving the entry closet to the left of the front door).

The second floor changes include radically enlarging the closets in bedrooms two and three. The original only bathroom in the house will now have a whirlpool tub. The former master bedroom closet will now become the master bathroom by breaking through a wall and incorporating part of the space in the three season porch for the shower and the master bedroom closet. All floors will be covered either in 3/4" prefinished oak hardwood or ceramic tile.

Another economical success was shopping at an appliance liquidation sale where I purchased a french door/bottom freezer refrigerator, five burner gas stove, microwave rangehood and dishwasher, all in stainless steel, delivered, for the price of a refrigerator in the regular marketplace. That scored some wiggle-room in my budget, which I was quite happy about.

"Every man is the architect of his own fortune." ~ Sallust ~

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Catching Up

I hate to admit that I traveled once again ... but what can I say? When the opportunity arises one must go with the flow. I went down to St. Petersburg, Florida, to visit two very good friends. I've seen each from time to time individually, but this is the first time in ten years we've all been in the same room together. Besides reminiscing, walking the beaches, making more memories, and eating out every meal, we went to the Dali Museum in Tampa. There's a music video I love that shows a drawing of a telephone with a lobster as the mouth and earpiece. I always wondered about that. I was
elated to know that it actually was a nod to Salvador Dali.

I've been working like crazy on the house. 'Had to get the building permit from the city inspectors office which took some time. I will try to scan the floorplan and the changes I am making to the house that I had to submit for approval. It's a little ambitious but, God willing, the house will be absolutely wonderful once complete.

"Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work." ~ Aristotle ~

I did find the prefinished wood flooring I was shopping for and at an unbelievable price ... two entire floors to be done for $3,000.00. That's unheard of! I once spent that much for a hallway (installed of course). This price is for material only and I will do the installation. I did pay for it in another way though .... when they delivered the flooring, they simply left two bundled flats of fifty-five boxes in the driveway and drove off. 'Couldn't leave it there, so I cut the bundles apart and carried each box of about seventy-five pounds into the garage. Once again a test to my physical endurance. Everyday life wins out against the trainers at the gym!

So much more to cover. I've been working sometimes until 9:00 at night. I've got a lot to catch up on but I remembered to take pictures so it should be fairly easy to recap! Later.... !