Thursday, September 22, 2005

Ich sage - Es gibt Licht!

Our kitchen is a dark place. There is one fluorescent light in there and to add a little more, the hubby put up some small under the cupboard lights when we moved in. Well since we are getting new kitchens in October my neighbor informed me that lights would not be included. So all this brand new stuff and this creepy, old, dank light.

Last week my neighbor changed her light out and her kitchen looks nice and bright. I am at the point where I know better than to hold my breath if I think the Landlord will change the light for me. So I hit Praktiker (Lowe's) on Tuesday and bought a new light. As much as I have 'gone native' I still laugh at some of the designs the German's like for light fixtures (or clothes and especially shoes). My neighbor is pretty cool. She and I go to karate together and I've borrowed SSG H's drill a few times to put up all those bathroom fixtures and art work.

What was pretty cool was last night they showed up with a drill in hand and a memory stick - looking for fair trade. They needed to download some software for their telephone stuff and SSG H was going to put the light up. Now, I wanted to do it myself because well I wanted to learn how. I didn't mind that he volunteered and I helped. I had spent part of the morning yesterday looking up the European colour coding system for domestic wiring. In the states (Thank you Daddy!), the live wire is normally black or red, the neutral is white and the ground is green. Here in Europe, brown is live, blue is neutral and the green w/yellow stripe is the ground.

That evening, I had laid out all my stuff and had the fixture off by the time they arrived. After letting them in, I handed Ms. C the directions and asked her where the hell do I attach the ground wire? (No Frickin' pictures in the instructions). I read all the instructions to her in English that I translated earlier but couldn't figure out where the ground went. Well guess what? The ground isn't called the ground - it's the damn safety lead!

Anyways because the fixture was 95% plastic, it didn't need the ground to be connected anywhere. I was running back and forth between the PC and the kitchen helping out with things. I walk into the kitchen just as SSG H opens the hardware bag - it exploded spraying hardware all over the place. I called him by his full first name and promptly told him he was fired. As we are picking up the parts SSG H is placing in on the lip of the counter right near the sink. I nearly peed my pants! I grabbed a little bowl and dumped the hardware in there. He told me he would have never thought of that - ugh my Daddy taught me that long before I was old enough to even drive - my Dad rocks folks!!

Anyways, the light is in and it looks pretty good. The only thing I don't like so much is the height of the kitchen and the angle of the lights this creates. When you cook you have to be careful to not stand directly in front of your food or it's not as bright. It doesn't block all the light but it is not nearly as bright as when you weren't eclipsing the light.

My next home improvement quest - replace the dining and family room lights sans my neighbor. Maybe I should become a construction worker? Or at least join the village people as an excuse for buying a tool belt.

4 comments:

Cole said...

You go girl! Your Dad does rock, but not just cuz you can wire a new light! Hope all is well...smile twice for me!

The Girl said...

My Daddy rocks, too :) My husband is amazed at these "brilliant ideas" that come flowing from my mouth during home improvement projects. They are all words of wisdom that I picked up from my Daddy.

CaliValleyGirl said...

Everytime I read one of your home improvement posts I get all inspired...but I think I will give up the ghost...next time I need work done, I will just call you. I don't know crap about wires or wiring....

Anonymous said...

Es WERDE Licht...