Hi y'all.

Welcome to my blog. I write about everything here - successes, failures and stumbles in healing my heart, my home, my health and a sailboat.

Oh The Messes You'll Make


I'm making messes as I go to those places I'll go. Dr. Seuss knew I would. "The bang up and hang ups can happen to you," he wrote in "Oh The Places You'll Go."

Well banged up and hanged up I have been. But I'm finding my way and climbing my mountain - or one of them.

This week I have been battling my brain (Brendan has been out of town since Aug. 9 and I have been sad - I miss him. Jess is out of town too, and other friends are busy busy. :( And I'm pondering my place in this world); my inability to run (started P.T. for the strained calf and should be able to run and play hockey in a couple of weeks); and getting some things done - ya know all your basic daily-life first-world ups and downs.

What have I gotten done? Well, first I visited my sunfish and made a plan to put her in the water tomorrow.

Here she is, almost a year later still in Capt. David's garage (thank you David!) I think she needs a name.
As my friend Karl (who lives across the street from David) mocked me for not having found the time to get back to this boat or my wooden sailboat sitting in a parking lot, I caulked a few spots on my sunfish. I just wrote that like I caulk everyday - I watched four YouTube videos before I did this - ha. I drank the beer Karl brought me and we decided since I wasn't trying to make her pretty yet, possibly ever,  I should probably just put her in the water and learn how to sail her - if she floats.

So I have a plan, Saturday after I get off work from the marina, Karl and I are going to take her to a little beach nearby (this is not something I can do myself - I don't think she'll fit in Minke the Mini Cooper) and I'm going to start here - https://www.sunfishclass.org/documents/learn_2_sail_in_3_days.pdf

I suspect Karl will sit on the sand and laugh at me. That's ok, I'm sure I'm going to laugh at me too. Then the plan is to take the boat to my parents' house and see if she will fit on the jet ski lift. It's much lighter than a jet ski - I think it can work.

Stay tuned ...

Second accomplishment this week: I tackled another electrical project. This time I didn't have to be talked through it on the phone, though there was some text consultations.

The light in the main bath stopped working months ago - it flickers and produces about 1/16 of the light it is supposed to. At first, I stopped using that bathroom - the one with the good shower - in the dark and then I put a table lamp in there so I can still shower in the mornings.

Two nights ago, I decided it was time to see if the switch wiring was the problem - though now that I really think about it, I'm not sure why it would be. But this also would further my goal to change out all white outlets and switches to black with nickel covers.

Up to this point, I had only changed out two switches that were dimmers when they were supposed to be switches and J had already tackled the hard part of those. This time, I was going to change the receptacle too (you know, the outlets) and change it to a GFCI receptacle so it will switch off if water gets near it.

It started like this after I turned the power off:

Sometimes it felt like I might as well be reading this upside down

I studied the existing switch and receptacle and how they were attached vs the wiring book and the new switch and receptacle.  I text my question to Karl: only one of these has a ground wire- is that ok? Um, no. I was going to need a pigtail ground wire for one of these. I remembered I had done something similar in the downstairs bathroom, I took a new dimmer switch that had wires (why don't they all come with wires attached?!) and I clipped off the green ground wire and tied it to the bare copper wire (the ground) to then attached it to my new switch.

The old mess

Stolen wire


Ok, with wires attached and double checked with the wiring book, it was time to test my handywork. I put the switch and the receptacle back in the wall and attached the screws and went downstairs to flip the breaker. But first, I thought, perhaps I should take the fire extinguisher upstairs - since I'm alone doing this. I grabbed the extinguisher from beside the stove and took it upstairs while reading the instructions. And then I laughed.

Yep, that's the store tag that keeps you from trying out the merchandise first. 
I cut off the tag and went downstairs and flipped the breaker. Success! Well kind of. The switch and the outlet had power and worked but it didn't solve my flickering light problem - the bulbs are built into the light so they can't be replaced. I'll have to replace the light. Grrrr. But that will have to be another story. As Scarlett said "Tomorrow is another day."

Next was the bigger battle - positioning these guys so I could put on the cover. It doesn't sound difficult but I fought this for an hour before giving up, ordering dinner then tackling my cable box, Comcast and the remote for another hour ( I clearly like torture).
Here I am contorted in the sink trying to attach this cover. 

I spent an hour in this sink.

I returned to the bathroom outlet battle yesterday after visiting my friend Oscar for coffee. He told me to use a flat head screwdriver to move things around under the cover until they fit. Brilliant! Took me like five minutes! Yay Oscar!

This is the light that goes on, when the outlet switches off! 

Yes, so I have still have to use the table lamp. Don't judge me. 

                                                                                                                                                                And this is how I felt:

Like I had moved mountains. As Dr. Seuss said I would.

And Jeri, I still have the copy you gave me many years ago. Thank you, my dearest friend.

Check out "Oh The Places You'll Go" on audiobook and YouTube - John Lithgow narrates - I mean how fantastic is that? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGNdWNnFSxE

Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Women and Pineapples