My Life with a DIYer

My man has a few specialties that have been and/or are likely to be documented in this blog. Cryptic wiring ranks among them.

Weird ScienceThe other day, my boy asked politely for a movie and I set about it only to find that my man had left the computer connected to the big screen. Now, I know how to get the TV to switch from the computer to the Blueray player and did so expertly and efficiently. It’s not exactly rocket science, but it is most definitely weird science.

But here’s the thing… What I really do is look around, get my hands in there and follow cords to see where they’re connected. Then I reconnect them where it makes sense to do so. My man will expound about the obvious ease of his wiring, but it’s intimidating nonetheless. And if he isn’t cryptic from top to bottom in every project he takes on, from wiring to masonry to figuring out the international manufacturing industry, then I just don’t know who he is.

When we first bought our house in 1999, I was on my way out the door one morning. In the excitement of being a new homeowner, my man had enthusiastically taken on the persona of in-house electrician. (Google had not yet been invented, but the library had all kinds of books on wiring.) I had a hand on the door knob and my lips ready for a meet-you-back-here-at-the-end-of-the-day kiss when there was a literal 8-inch arc of electricity from a switch plate beside my head to the plyers in my man’s hand. Yowza.

I went to work with my fingers crossed. Happily, my man wasn’t well-done when I returned home, the house was still standing, and all the lights worked.

About a year later, I inquired about a mysterious switch in the kitchen that didn’t seem to be connected to anything. Its strategic location was begging for a toaster and a coffee maker. My man rose to the challenge and proudly called me into the dark kitchen for a demonstration.

He flipped the light switch.

And nothing happened. Then I heard a click in the darkness as he pressed down the toaster button. The circuit was complete and we were bathed in the light from the ceiling fixture. For thirty seconds. Until the toast was done.

I asked, but, no, we couldn’t keep it that way because it was a fire hazard. Fair enough.

Despite appearances, that guy knows what he’s doing.

Life with a self-taught DIYer is part Zen, part Fonzie and part hold-your-breath. It almost always works and so far nothing has exploded, so I figure it’s a good system. I find it helps to mutter.



  1. LisaK said,

    May 19, 2011 at 11:29 am

    Oh Karen this had me literally LOL – roaring in fact – and fondly remembering the excitement of seeing the “progress” of some of your man’s renos. Like the bathroom….

    • simplcity said,

      May 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks, Lisa. It’s never boring around here. This summer’s project will be dealing with the extra door we found in the kitchen, or what I like to call ‘the hole in the side of my house.’

  2. Liz said,

    May 20, 2011 at 8:05 am

    It is always entertaining to see what is going on “over the fence”! We hear some pretty funny noises from over there too!

    We are looking forward to watching “the hole in the side of your house” adventure this summer.


    • simplcity said,

      May 20, 2011 at 3:19 pm

      I have a feeling it may be a repeat of the “tub incident”.

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