There Will Be a Light

May 26, 2009 - 6:00pm -- swingbug

“Why do the people at the paint store always look at us like we’re nuts?”

“Total lack of vision, I think.”


Shawn and I are crossing the parking lot of the hardware store armed with four cans of paint and a spur of the moment home improvement idea.  The day before he had been at Ikea with Luke and gave me a call. 

“Remember how we talked about replacing those fluorescent tubes in the kitchen?”


“I think I found something.”

“Send me a picture.”

The fluorescent tubes in question are set into the ceiling in the kitchen.  They buzz and blink and slowly suck your soul out of your eye sockets.  I’m not a fan.  Plus half of them aren’t working because the ballasts are bad and need replacing.  And get this.  The lights themselves are 4 foot long tubes of the office space variety set into recesses in the ceiling.  They are, in theory, hidden by hard, brittle plastic sheets flush with the wooden frame and the rest of the ceiling.  Except the plastic sheets suffer from manic depression and have one by one decided to end it all and plummet to the deadly mexican ceramic tile floor, generally in the middle of the night, scaring the crap out of me and covering the floor with shards of sharp plastic.

So... exposed, noisy, mostly not-working, soul-sucking fluorescent tubes.  Yum.

Of course, in order to replace them, we’d have to pull out the hefty metal frames for the fluorescents, dispose of the tubes, and then find some sort of fixture that wouldn’t look stupid in this funky recess in the ceiling which has never been painted and is really just exposed dry wall.  (I should have snapped a “before” picture.  Sorry.  Slipped my mind.  Bad blogger.)

So Saturday Shawn came home with lights

“We’re going to have to paint.”

“Mmmm.  And caulk.”

“How do you feel about color?”

“I like color.”

At 11:30 am on Sunday we went to the hardware store, spent ten minutes looking at paint chips and handed a stack to the lady at the counter.  She gave us back four cans and a dubious expression.  We went home at got back to work.

Say what you want about the weather around here in the summer, but it sure helps paint dry fast.  A caulking gun, some rollers, a drill bit or two, and by 11:30 pm, we threw the switch.

So what do you think?  Are we nuts?  I think it’s brilliant.  For the record, I don’t overly care about outside diagnoses, but I’ll note your objections in my log.

Sunday night, Shawn and I stand looking at our glittering kitchen ceiling in the otherwise dark and quiet house, sharing a beer.  The tools are put away.  We’re still spattered with paint.  I’m nursing a big ass cut on the bottom of my foot from a literal run-in with one of the old fluorescent light fixtures that had to get that last word in on the way out the door.

We’re messy.  But the kitchen looks great.

“I like the way we fix stuff.”

“Mmm.  Me too.”

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