Monday, November 10, 2014

How many hours does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

This is joke without a punchline. The answer is simply "several."

 Our story begins with a light bulb in need of changing. 
It is inconveniently located at the peak of the barn roof, 
which of course means that a ladder and a truck bed have to get involved,

neither of which proved very useful in reaching the light fixture.
But with one foot atop the gate rail and the other on the ladder and 
my arms sufficiently wrapped around the roof trusses, I was able to unscrew the teeny tiny screws
holding the fixture together and reach the bulb without putting my life in jeopardy.

 The good thing about these light bulbs is that they're very bright and last a very long time.
The bad thing is that they're hard to snap into place when reaching above your head 
and standing on your tippy toes. And don't even get me started about the teeny tiny screws...

 ...because you know I had to drop one, then climb down from my perch and spend 
a very long time looking for it, then climb back up and start all over again.
But, hey, at least I found it.

 I know what you're thinking, so I'll say it for you. She's got a screw loose.

Anyway, so the lightbulb is changed, the fixture is back together, and I climb down again
to flip the switch and admire my work.

 Bummer. Apparently the replacement bulb, which I had borrowed from 
an unused fixture in the garage, was no good, or I had seated it incorrectly.
So I got to start all over again. 
Are we having fun yet?
This time, I tested the bulb I would be borrowing before I installed it,
then I made sure it worked in the barn fixture before screwing the cover back on.

And then I stood back and admired my work.
Let there be light.


  1. Nothing is ever easy chez moi either when it comes to repairs. Glad you didn't fall. Who ya gonna call? Looks like you need a 40 foot ladder.
    BA SP

  2. There were a lot of lol's and omg's while I read this. Glad it's done cause I would have been afraid of heights and no help. Another one of those" get it Carson, get it Carson" ( tennis ) :-)

  3. Oh.
    Personally, I would think about wall-mounted fixtures for future use.

  4. Since you do have the occasional need for a taller ladder, that might be something you put on Santa's list?

    Now for an easy helpful gadget for those dropped metal screws: Pocket Telescoping Magnetic Pickup Tool (that's the description on Lowe's site).
    They also have pricier ones with lights.

    It's also handy for finding dropped sewing needles and pins .... the same tool is marketed at needlework shops in different packaging (here's a link with a better picture.

    Now --> did you call ANYONE and tell them what you were up to ?? before climbing the ladder for the first time?

    M in NC
    (duct tape and electrician's tape are my friend)

  5. Carson : the word verfication thingy is still asking me to mis-spell warped words :)

    1. I think Blogger/Google might have changed something on their end last week. I used to get hundreds of spam comments every day, now I don't get any, so I think the word verification thing may only show up if you check "anonymous" when you leave a comment.

      Is anyone else having to prove themselves with word verification?

    2. An American in Tokyo11/11/14, 5:44 PM

      I have to prove myself, but it's a photo with numbers on it. I like it better than those warped words that I could never read or "spell" correctly! Ha ha!

  6. Next time you build a barn, don't put the light fixtures way up there.

  7. You are one tough lil lady !!!!!

  8. You remind me that I really need to replace the bulb in the kitchen light, 12 feet off the ground. No trucks in the kitchen, so I'll have to depend on an extra tall stepladder.

  9. When I bought the little house in NKY, the porch light fixtures were pretty but ancient and impossible to change bulbs in without complete disassembling. Perhaps the very first project I completed there was replacing those suckers. In a rental home I lived in for five years t here was a light fixture that was very heavy, suspended from the ceiling, and could only be opened by holding all the weight at the bottom and dealing with a half dozen screws at the top to slip the casing off the bulb area. Who designs this stuff? What on earth are they thinking?

    I agree that light fixture in the tippy top should be bypassed in the future for something that ensures easier maintenance.

    No captcha prompts for me with comments. But, I use gmail.

  10. Oh no, I was thinking, what an amazing and resourceful woman . . . and she even took a very cute picture while balancing on the top of the ladder. Becky

  11. I love how you even took a selfie, way up there.

  12. P.S. I didn't have to prove that I'm a human.

  13. OMG. Please purchase a telescoping ladder today!

  14. Oh yes, I know that sense of stopping to admire my work only to find the fix doesn't work and I have to start over again. And the dropped teeny tiny screws. If we can put people on the moon, surely we can invent more user-friendly light fixtures? :)

  15. You are certainly resourceful and courageous. That said, did you call a friend ahead of time to let someone know what you were up to? I can just hear your mom in my head, too At least you took a selfie. Seeing your smiling face hopefully made Mom feel better about this. (Can you tell I'm a mom?) This brought back memories of the ladder on the board on the dining room table episode with the smoke detector.

  16. Bravo! Great 'high wire' antics! Hey - every time I see your barn pictures I go into a spin of 'barn envy'! You sure set everything up so well there. Did you live on a farm before you headed off to 7MSN? Was the set up there when you bought it? Which ever it was - it sure looks like a great system!

  17. Good lord. Okay...Janet made me laugh. So true.

  18. That looked very difficult and challenging. Glad you got that job done safely. Same thing here, but not quite so much height involved. Restoration Hardware porch lights on the teeny tiny porch. Screws are minute, and like you, easily fall out of the hands as you are holding up the glass cover, perched on top step of ladder. The pocket telescoping magnet thingy sounds terrific! p.s. word verification happening still, even if not commenting as anonymous.

  19. wow, you definitely are a handy-woman. but why on earth is this light so high, couldn't it be placed further down?

  20. An American in Tokyo11/10/14, 5:12 PM

    Yay! Let there be light!
    I hope that bulb lasts a long, long time. ;)

  21. I don't think that Wallenda guy has anything on you LC. You are a dare devil, handy person and all round good egg. Congrats on once again defeating the unlikely with a panache.

  22. Carson, you keep giving me heart attacks with your maintenance! Please stay safe! Frankly, I can't stand heights!
    Cheryl Ann (with the feral kitties)

  23. The Yankee Engineer-Short Person in me has a couple suggestions. First, next time you are up there, ditch those screws and use metal binder clips from an office supply store to clamp the lid to the housing. There seems to be an ample lip around the housing fit for clamping. Second, whenever possible, hang high items with a rope going through one or more hooks or eye hooks, with the end of the rope lashed to the side of the building, sailor style, so you can simply lower the item to your level and raise it up when finished with both feet on the ground. You're probably doing some of this already. It frightens me every time you do the ladder-in-truck thing with no one else around to spot you.