This makes me as happy as anything we’ve done around here. Seriously, it makes me as happy as getting the gas stove and you know that’s saying a lot.
For the most part, Vince has always taken Rita out for her last bathroom trip but we got Oscar in February and he’s my dog so I have responsibility for taking him out . . kinda like letting your 6 year old get a dog! You want a dog? He’s going to be YOUR responsibility! Rain, shine, snow, sleet, sunshine and darkness. I’ve mentioned before how Oscar loves to chase bugs and going out with a flashlight, we attracted bugs from far and near. Oscar loved it and thought it was play time and I had to tell him to go pee 40 or more times before he would stop chasing bugs that came to the light and go do his business.
When I went out the back door at dark, this is what I saw . . pitch black. I had the flashlight to keep from stepping on Oscar, then I’d shine it ahead when we got onto the grass and the “go to the bathroom” saga began.
Now, I open the door and this is what I see:
There’s enough light that I can see where we’re going, I can see what Oscar is doing and the corner lights shine out in four directions; the center light shines out and illuminates pretty much the entire back area behind the house. I am so happy to have this.
Walking back to the house, this is what I see. We have a lot of stuff out of Vince’s shop and out of the garage because the electricians did some work in there too. We’ll eventually get everything put back where it goes, get the furniture set up and it will look decent back there.
We have these lights on both outside corners so they shine forward and to the side. There’s a bigger light in the center that has a security camera. See the box almost under the black light? Keep reading.
We wanted the dark side of the blades showing but the electricians never asked and this is how they put it up so . . this is how it will stay.
Here’s a funny story, though it wasn’t so funny when it was happening. Communicating is so hard when people truly don’t speak the same language. I had said to Vince: “I want to be able to hang decorative seasonal lights from the front and both sides (not the back by the house) of the roof. I want electric outlets on all four corners near the top.”
That’s all I said because I really don’t think in terms of how to make all this work . . I just know what I wanted to accomplish. Vince had already told me they were going to run the metal conduit for the lines and they would run around the inside near the edge. I thought to myself . . that’s perfect. I can use those “S” hooks, hang them over the conduit and hang my lights that way. They’ll be easy to take down and easy to put up new ones for the next season.
In Texas, we never had enough electrical outlets. When we bought the house, there were two outside outlets, both on the front porch. None on the back porch and none on the side of the house. We ended up having more outlets installed up high and that was so nice because if I wanted to use the Instant Pot or something on the porch, I’d pull the metal table over near the post, put the Instant Pot on the table, climb up on my little step stool and plug it in so the cord wasn’t a trip hazard. I really liked having these outlets up but not so far up that I really had to climb high to reach them. I could reach them from the second step of my kitchen step stool. So having those outlets on the corners near the top was great.
The electricians were out working and they were getting close to being finished with what they were going to do on Monday. Vince called me out to look at it all and there was conduit on the front and the right side, and on the back side by the house (where I’m not going to hang lights) but no conduit on the left side where I am going to hang lights. I kinda looked at Vince and he said “What’s wrong?” I said “I need a pipe on that side, the same distance from the bottom of the board as the others.” Oh, my goodness . . you would have thought I’d asked them to rebuild the house! Then one of the electricians said “That’s ok! We had planned on putting conduit on all four sides and realized we didn’t need to so we’ll just put it up there but won’t run any wire through it.
Solved that problem. There’s the fourth side . . conduit with no wire running through it. Some day, someone is going to pull all that down and wonder why there’s pipe with nothing in it.
Then Vince said “See all four of the outlets you wanted up top?” I said “Yes! Exactly what I wanted. Where will the switch be for those?” SWITCH? Vince is looking at the electricians. They’re looking at me. I said “Am I supposed to climb up on the ladder at dusk, plug in three sets of lights, climb back up before I go to bed and unplug them all?” We talked about putting them on a timer. I really wanted a switch inside the garage! We can do that! They put all four of the top outlets on one switch that’s inside the garage so now, I can flip a switch and do what I need to do.
Vince said “Since those are all Judy outlets, let’s add some outlets lower on the corners that can be Vince outlets!” So, that happened too.
Later Vince said “You didn’t tell me you wanted a switch for those outlets!” I know I didn’t because I don’t think in those terms. I tried to explain to him . . If I said to you . . I’d like a new light in the laundry room near the sink . . would I also have to ask for a switch to turn it on? I also told him . . if you tell me you want potatoes for dinner, I don’t stick a bowl of raw potatoes in front of you because you didn’t tell me you wanted fried potatoes, baked potatoes, or mashed potatoes! I either ask you how you want them cooked or I make that decision and present you with edible potatoes.
I feel like if I say “I want a light here” and Vince says “ok”, that means at some point there will be a light with either a pull chain or a switch . . a working light, not just a light attached to the ceiling. Oh, you didn’t tell me you wanted a working light.
I should have been more specific but I can’t imagine that Vince and two electricians would think around Christmas, when there’s snow and ice out there, I’m going to be climbing up on a ladder and going around to three posts to plug in and unplug lights every evening.
Anyway, it’s all done. Everyone is happy, especially me who hated going out in the dark with a flashlight every single night!
Paula Nordt says
That is too, too funny! Oh, my goodness! But glad you have functional lights now. We have lights on the barn and back of house that go on at night or with motion. Any where else Zeus wants to go at night, we wear headlamps. Still chuckling about the switches!
RuthW in MD says
Somehow, I didn’t pick up on “decorative seasonal lights” as “Christmas lights” until my second read through of this post. “Christmas lights” might have been the correct language for the electricians and Vince. The last two days my husband and I have learned that we need to be more careful and communicate better. Much like you and Vince….
I said “decorative seasonal lights” because I’ll have something up all year. I’ve already ordered and received Halloween lights. I’ll try to find Fall colored lights or something that goes with fall. In the spring, I’ll hopefully find flowers or other pastel lights, maybe Easter lights, then Independence Day lights. I’d love to find Mardi Gras lights but the Halloween lights may have to do.
Seems to me . . but what do I know . . that simply saying “I want lights up there should have indicated I would need a switch.
Deb E says
I laughed while reading your post tonight! The way I avoid this sort of issue (and I’ve had hundreds of ‘issues’ with my hubby in the over 48 years of marriage) is to simply say: I want it done THIS WAY so that as we get older… I can turn on the light without a ladder, or if there is noise out this side of the house I can turn on the light from the inside IN SAFETY in case its someone trying to break in. He’s now thinking this way himself!
The way I look at it, there are things he knows how to do well and things I know how to do well. He doesn’t have to tell me “I’d like chicken for dinner. I’d like it cooked all the through with the appropriate seasonings”. So, when I say “I want . . this or that and it’s something that falls under his expertise, it should happen without me having to give specifics. Like I said, I don’t think Vince would be thrilled if he asked for chicken for dinner and I put a frozen chicken breast on his plate; or if he asked for eggs for breakfast and I put two raw eggs still in the shell on his plate. When he asks for something, I think it through, if I have questions I ask him (how would you like your eggs cooked?) and, without being demanding, I expect the same thing.
There are crazy ideas I come up with and he looks at me like I’m from Mars and I know I ask for a lot but either ask questions so you know what I’m talking about or . . just say no!