Busy Saturday!

The weekend used to be a time to relax, unwind, and have fun. At least it was when I was a kid. Now that I am supposedly a ‘grown up,’ and especially now that I’m back at work, the weekend has morphed into this terrible two-day period during which I scramble to get as many chores done as possible before its time to go back to work again. It’s almost midnight, and I just sat down for what feels like the first time today…

I woke up the first time this morning at around 6:30 am. The demons (a.k.a. 5 month old kittens) were doing their usual 6:30 am routine which entails chasing each other through the house at breakneck speeds, running over anything that gets in their path. This does not amuse me as much on the weekend as it might during the week, especially when I am trying to sleep, and they repeatedly run over me as if I am a speed bump. They wound up locked out of the bedroom until 8:30 or so, when I finally got out of bed.

It took me awhile to get it together and get out of the house, but once I was out, I was off and running. I went to Lowe’s first and bought primer, a dropcloth and other painting supplies, and a rug pad for my living room rug. Next, it was off to my mother’s house to pick Megan up. After that, we went to the bank to deposit the $6.40 child support check I got a couple of weeks ago. Walmart was next, for cat litter, kitten chow, and toothpaste. Then, it was off to Home Depot, so I could pick up some paint tray liners and a few of those little disposable paint trays you use for doing trim work – Lowe’s had not had the kind that I wanted. While we were in Home Depot, we cruised through the lighting department, and on impulse purchased a new light fixture for the kitchen wall above the sink.

We came home to drop off all of our loot, and ended up staying for awhile. I started vacuuming the living room, which led to other things…I decided that the stereo speakers (which are about 4 feet tall!) were too big (yes, my mother has BEEN telling me that for awhile now) and were really functioning mainly as a springboard for the demons to jump up on top of the entertainment armoire, so I detached them and moved them across the room. At some point I will buy smaller speakers to replace them, but that is a project for another day. Once the speakers were gone, I was reminded that the cable outlet cover (that had been behind one of the speakers, and of course, out of sight is out of mind!) needed to be re-screwed into the wall with wall anchors, because the screws had pulled out of the drywall. I took care of that task. I moved the entertainment armoire away from the wall to vacuum behind it, and then spent a little time tucking in the multitude of wires so that they weren’t everywhere. The television had once again become unplugged by my angelic little furballs. Once again, I got out my tools, and put two screws into the back of the entertainment center so that I could mount the power strip to it and plug the tv in. Previously, the tv was plugged directly into the wall, because for some reason it came with a freakishly short power cord, and would not reach the power strip where it sat on the floor. Hopefully now, the kitties won’t be able to unplug it.

While I had the vacuum out, I de-furred the purple chair that Dinah (Demon #1) likes to sleep on, then got out a sheet and covered it. Both kittens promptly crawled under the sheet and curled up in the chair.

After dinner, I couldn’t get the thought of my new kitchen light out of my head, and I decided to try my hand at installing it. I found the right breaker and turned it off, and with much delight, removed the ugly old fixture from the wall.

I don’t know what the former owners were thinking when they put up this thing, but every time I have looked at it, it has made me want to vomit. First of all, it’s wannabe brass. Second, there is no kind of cover to it, though with those two curvy pieces, I suspect that maybe there was at some time. When I moved in, it was just as it is here, but with 4 bare ONE HUNDRED WATT BULBS in it. When it was on, I am pretty sure that you could see it from space…or at least from Montana. Maybe the former owners liked to work on their tans while they did the dishes.

Once I removed Mr. Ugly from the wall, I read over the installation instructions for the new fixture. That’s when I realized that something was missing. There was no outlet box (or juncture box, or whatever you call it!) to which I could attach the new light. There were only the electrical wires coming from a hole in the wall. Not being one who can stand to stop an unfinished project once its started (Mom, are you sure we’re related???), I made my second trip to Lowe’s for the day.

$2.28 later, we were back home, box in hand. I found the midpoint of the wall, marked where I wanted to add the box, and began to cut out the drywall. 3/4 of the hole was cut out when I realized that there was a stud verrrry close to where I wanted to stick this box into the wall. The stud’s location wasn’t really the problem, but the fact that the electrical wiring was stapled to the stud, very close to the drywall and aiming towards the drywall, was. The box wasn’t going to go into the wall with that wire there. If I moved the box over and away from the stud, though, my light fixture wouldn’t be centered on the wall.

I got out my trusty pliers, and worked the staple out of the stud. The outlet box went into the wall, and eventually I managed to mount the light fixture without severing any arteries. When it came time to test out my handiwork, however, I realized that I didn’t have any lightbulbs to put in it. I scrounged up a 60 watt bulb from somewhere to test the light, because there was no way I was going back out again tonight…and it actually worked! I didn’t even smell any smoke, blow any fuses, or burn the house down. I think when I get bulbs tomorrow, though, I am going lower than the recommended 60 watts, though. Just the one bulb seemed awfully bright – 3 of them in my face when I’m doing the dishes might affect my vision. The overhead light in the kitchen is already bright enough. This new fixture is mainly for ambiance and visual interest.

Please excuse the crazy paint colors, though. I was trying to find the right one for that wall, and evidentally, my kitchen wants to be purple. I have 2 different shades of green, and for some weird reason, when you put them on that one particular wall, they look completely different than on any of the other walls. The purple, however, looks the same.

I think the plan is to paint the kitchen the purple color, paint the cabinets a light color like a cream or really light sand color, replace the cream formica countertops with something darker brown, and eventually do stainless appliances. I’m still not 100% sure about the appliances though.

Once the light was up, I cleaned up the kitchen, and then stumbled in here to write this blog. Tomorrow should be another fun-filled day, too. I ordered a desk and two loveseats from Ikea, and they are being delivered sometime tomorrow and will then need to be put together. Also, Sunday is usually my day to go grocery shopping and to prepare our dinners for the week. Oh yeah, and laundry. And..and…and…sheesh. I’m going to bed! G’nite!

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