Yesterday afternoon I spent some time getting ready for trick-or-treaters. I actually took the candy out of the bags and poured all of it into a container (what can I say? I was feeling fancy.), and around 5 o’clock I checked our front stoop to make sure that there were no shoes or garden implements or Nerf swords to get in our visitors’ way. I decided that it would probably be a good idea to turn on the outside lights, especially since little kids sometimes trick-or-treat earlier in the evening, so I stepped back inside, flipped all the switches, and immediately noticed that nothing happened with the lights on either side of our front door. Not even a flicker.

I walked back outside and checked to see if the bulbs were blown, and when I realized they weren’t, I figured I might need to tighten them. We’ve had ish-ahs with our front lights for the last year or so, and we’ve known that we were going to replace them at some point. But since I have apparently turned into a person who is going to sit back and wait for something to BLOW SLAP UP before looking for a replacement, I’ve just been biding my time. I figured that the lights were fine – and since they’re original to the house, I felt a little sentimental and nostalgic about them.

Which, let’s face it, IS WEIRD.

Anyway, I tried to tighten one of the bulbs, but nothing happened, so I moved to the second bulb, and when I tried to tighten it, I heard a loud “POP” behind the light fixture. I thought maybe the bulb had blown, so I walked inside to grab another from the laundry room.

But then I noticed that our foyer looked a little dark.

And the driveway lights weren’t on anymore.

And the lights in the half bath and laundry room weren’t working.

And OH, NO.

Since I like to think that I am very handy (even though I can break just about anything in a fraction of a second, as evidenced by the fact that, well, LIGHTS NOT WORKING), I walked down to the basement and flipped a few switches on the electrical panel. When I couldn’t seem to find a solution to the fact that we were without power on the front side of our house, I quickly implemented plan B, which was to sit down on the couch and catch up on Twitter while I waited for my husband to get home.

Clearly I am very resourceful.

D walked in the door about five minutes later, and he had barely put down his bag before I launched into the issue at hand: “Hey-all-the-lights-in-the-front-of-the-house-blew-out-and-I-can’t-fix-them-even-though-I-went-in-the-basement-and-flipped-some-things-but-I-don’t-know-what-to-do-did-I-mention-that-I-can’t-fix-them?”

“Hi,” he replied. “How are you? Did you have a good day?”

See? That’s how he does me. I try to have a perfectly good freak out about a home improvement something-or-other, and he has the nerve to be calm.

So he walked back outside, took a look at the lights, and quickly uttered seven words I was not expecting to hear: “Um, this light bulb is on fire.”

I present you with Exhibit A.

Well he was not kidding.

And also?


All I can guess is that our house was built in 1973, and almost 40 years later, it is tired.

Come to think of it, I know exactly how the house feels. I can relate to it on many, many levels.

Anyway, D couldn’t get the lights to come back on, either, so now we’re now adding an electrician to our list of BFFs. Hopefully he’ll get along beautifully with our plumber, our AC guy, and the guy installing our cooktop. I’m thinking of inviting all of them to our Thanksgiving dinner. I hear the cooktop guy makes a mean squash casserole.

I have to say, though, that there have been a couple of things that have made me laugh in the midst of all the house craziness. Here is one of them:

He was George Washington for Halloween. CRACKED ME UP. Plus, I’m grateful that I took this picture mere minutes before the lights went BOOM. It’s a lovely memento of a simpler time when we were unaware of complications with our wiring.

And then, this morning, it was like Ye Olden Days when I was putting Velcro rollers in my hair.

Caroline Ingalls would be so proud, don’t you think?

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • email


  1. I giggled aloud when I read your comment about Caroline Ingalls. Mom and I have a running joke that whenever one of us does something especially creative, thrifty, old-fashioned or from scratch the other one says, “Ma Ingalls would be proud.” She would be proud of your resourcefulness for sure : )

  2. Ha! If it makes you feel any better, half of the plugs in my house are wired backwards and none of them are grounded, so I am about to be BFF with an electrician too. I’ll be lucky if I don’t have to involve a plumber before it’s all over with too…this being a homeowner business is NOT for the faint of heart!

  3. What a streak of luck…at least you had the big bowl of candy to keep you company!

    If you need an electrician my dad is a master electrician and would be happy to come out. He has been in the business for 30 years! I like to call him mr-fix-it :)

  4. Jeannette says:

    inviting them all over for Thanksgiving dinner! What a hoot!
    Just pretend that you are a part of hurricane Sandy without all that flooding.
    I hope your son likes homemade goods for Christmas.

  5. OH MY STARS! Sorry you’re dealing with all this. .. on the bright side (HAHAHA) A looked very cute!

  6. Well, not to enhance the freak-out-ness, but all the lights went out on one side of my house once. I went and flipped the breakers (it was a very old house) and started a fire in the wiring under the house.
    The fire department came, but fortunately, the flames burned through the floor and popped a waterbed which put the fire out.
    Be careful with that stuff.

  7. Oh, no! But you sure tell a funny story.

  8. Ok, first of all, this post cracked me up. And how much do I love that your sweet boy dressed up as George Washington?
    BUT… when you wrote that your house was built in 1973 and it was nearly 40 years old, a part of me gasped. My birthday is Sunday and I am turning 40 and no it’s not a surprise and yes, I do realize I was born in 1972, but oh my word, at the shock of reading that. yikes.

  9. I loved that your husband ruined your perfectly good freak out by being calm. It sounded like a good reason to freak out to me. I hope you have a great feast with all of your people.

  10. There is a seriously good reason that this is one of my favorite blogs. You are so funny, and I can hear you talking when I read your posts. (I don’t think I’ve actually ever heard your voice, but I have one in my head for when I read your blog.)
    I managed to break our garage door the other night, and my husband was none too thrilled about that, but he handled it as he handles everything…took it in stride. And there is nothing like helping your husband in the garage for breaking the tension. I mean, there is also the potential for Great Distress, but in this case it worked out well. :)
    I hope things stop blowing up on your property. I think you’re right…enough already!

  11. First, I LOVE that he chose George Washington! And he’s SO cute! Did you get a new puppy? Looks like a cocker spaniel I used to have.
    If it makes you feel any better that lightbulb thing…that stuff happens to me all the time. Except I’s probably zap myself too :)

  12. I feel your pain. We also are in need of an electrician because an entire panel of switches stopped working…about two months ago. Unfortunately, we can’t get anyone to call us back or show up for appointments! What is the deal with contractors et al. not calling you back? We have this problem with tree service, pest control, AC, handyman, and now electricians. Dude, I want to PAY YOU MONEY, all I ask is that you show up.

  13. anotherlisa says:

    ok, the burning question that immediately hit me…
    did all the kids out trick-or-treating bypass your darkened door? i would be upset if i missed our sweet neighbors, who weren’t as stylish as GW, but did their best.

  14. I think A was foreshadowing your olden times adventure by dressing as George Washington! How appropriate! And I loved your “candle” for doing your hair. You could call it camping! You are roughing it in my humble opinion!

  15. Way to hang in there like a champ and keep on keeping on….even in old fashioned style:) That Halloween costume is ADORABLE!!!!

  16. I was just thinking that George Washington probably felt right at home without electricity. Did you give him a quill pen and make him do laundry on a washboard? That’s what I would have done. My 6 year old was dressed as an angel, and we lost her halo mere moments before going out to Trick or Treat. (Still don’t know where it went.) Don’t think the irony of that was lost on me.

  17. I promise, we have experienced very similar house issues and ours is a babe at only 10 years old, apparently it’s trying to grow up too fast because we have replaced an A/C unit, fridge, stove, washer, dishwasher, garage door, and had termites all in the last 18 months. Good times.
    Oh, and our 16th anniversary trip to Italy turned out to be a new roof and gutters after a couple of hail storms. SO romantic!

  18. Clearly, you ARE very resourceful. I mean, Ma Ingalls would never have thought of hanging with the Twitter. And I would have just whimpered and then spun into a panic spiral that started with lights out and ended with us homeless and living in a complex of boxes, begging for scraps of food and Diet Coke.

  19. Bummer that you have to make friends with a new species of repair experts!! But I sure am glad you caught it before there was a bigger fire. Whew!

  20. I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with all of the house issues-but you gave me the best laugh I’ve had in a while:)

  21. Elizabeth says:

    hoo ha !! I love it when I can more than relate to it ! thank you ! <3

  22. Oh, I know what you mean about having so many crazy things happen with your house. We had a lot of crazy things happen at the house we just moved out of (bees created a hive right outside our front door, ant trail on the ceiling from the front door to the kitchen, tile falling from the fireplace, etc.) We kept joking that the house hated us. And the feeling grew to be mutual.

  23. Note to self: Must remember to read these posts AT HOME. Giggling way too much for comfort while at work.
    Seriously, sorry that you are experiencing crazy home-ownership isshues (God bless you!), but very glad that said home is still standing and you did not have to be visited by the friendly fire department type people.
    (Busy forwarding link to home computer…..)

  24. There are few things more distressing than when lights go out in your home. One of my college roommates and I currently rent an apartment, which means that we have the maintenance number on speed dial. We blow fuses on a regular basis, and by regular basis I mean at least three times a month. What can I say? A lot of blow drying and laundry doing and tv watching and music listening happens here, apparently all simultaneously! Anyway the maintenance men have become annoyed with us and our fuse blowing as of late, and last week they finally wrote down instructions for us on how to fix the fuses. Teach a man to fish, as they told us!