I was hoping to post a few new drawings this week, but I've been busy trying to be a handywoman around my house, with mixed results. When I was growing up in the midwest, my parents did everything themselves, from fixing our car to putting a new roof on the house. I only remember a repairman coming to our home once during my childhood, when our washing machine broke down and my father couldn't fix it. My late husband didn't especially enjoy major repairs. He loved to tinker, though, and could work magic with duct tape and a few shims. Me, I was good at holding the flashlight. I spent quite a bit of time holding the flashlight for my father, and I could reach something with my skinny fingers that he couldn't get. But that was the limit of both my aptitude and interest.

I decided to change all that once I became a widow. So I picked a project: remove the ugly, partially working ceiling fan/light in our dining room and install a shiny track light from IKEA. Easy, no? I think you can already see where I'm headed.

First, I removed the fan, and instead of black, white, and green wires there was a mass of tan, red, black, white wiring. I pulled out all my trusty home repair books and the voltage detector and still couldn't figure out what the hell was what. So, roadblock #1, and I called an electrician to take a look. I still wanted to do the installation myself, so I just had him check over the junction box, make sure it was ok, and tell me which wires to use. 5 days and $90 later, I had my answer and was ready to drill holes in the ceiling to mount the track. Except the cordless drill stopped working. We spent a whole day trying to get the battery to charge with no luck. Roadblock #2. Spent another day shopping-- first at the battery store, where the young salesmen gawped and then snickered (just a little, but I saw it) at my ancient 15-year-old battery. No replacement available. Then it was over to Home Depot to buy a new cordless drill ($39.97). This DIY bit is starting to sound expensive.

So, next step (still) is to drill the ceiling holes and mount the track (using toggle bolts, I have used those before). But at least one of the toggles is refusing to open properly in the ceiling so we're still not done. Roadblock #3. I bought new toggle bolts. Last night there were 3 of us (me and my 2 very smart teenagers) standing on our dining room table trying to figure it out. But I am determined to finish this thing. This weekend there will be light. Just not so much art. Wish me luck.

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