A Winter Work Day

There is no heat or hot anything in our house yet. Last winter, our work was hard labor, hefting literally tons of debris. Cold weather is a bonus when you're slinging 50lb. bags around. Now that the project has hit a more "refined" phase (LOL), the cold weather is something to contend with.

It was freezing in Newburgh last weekend, the first truly cold one of the year. Don't ask me why, but this was a surprise to us. We hadn't tailored our projects to fit the weather. Malcolm was up on the roof repairing the skylight and I was out on the front porch whittling away at ancient spindles. By 3pm, we were numb and miserable.

As it happened, we needed more work lights in the space now that the days are shorter and darker. You can buy construction lights, but they're expensive and why buy what you can make? We had the supplies to make them, so we set up shop in the car, and roasted ourselves back to life with the heater. The aim was a string of lights with bulbs that were 9 feet apart, like big Christmas lights.

We cut about twenty lengths of Romex, each about nine feet long. We stripped both ends of each piece, then connected two ends together with a "pigtail", aka a light socket, in between. Tangled up in Romex in the front seat of the hot car, we clipped, twisted and taped. We drank coffee and listened to music. It was simple work and satisfying. The only pitfall would be to lose track of the ends and close a circle; to make a "circle of lights" that had no plug. That would be ridiculous. We had a good laugh about how silly that would be.

When it was time to test the finished product, we hopped out of the cocoon and dragged the jumbled mass into the house. The stiff, coiled Romex was like a live snake that would not lie down. It was crazy but it would not resolve itself. Where was the end? Where was the other end? "Grab this part, pull that out, scoot over a bit...no, wait, there it is. No..." indeed, we had made not one, but TWO "circles of lights" without plugs. Not our most productive day, but it warm and fun.

Getting started: 

Supplies... 

Supplies... 

I had to have a lesson first. It's so simple once you learn it. Amazing! You can make light out of almost anything....

I had to have a lesson first. It's so simple once you learn it. Amazing! You can make light out of almost anything....

Making progress  

Making progress  

Attaching a "pigtail"  🐷

Attaching a "pigtail"  🐷

These are ready for the "cages"  to get snapped on

These are ready for the "cages"  to get snapped on

Sparky Factory

Sparky Factory