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Monday, April 07, 2014

A Lightbulb Moment!




I started this blog originally
to hopefully inspire people
to live frugally.

Then it sorta got off onto the Camino,
which is ok.
But occasionally, I like to come back to 
my original purpose.

Sometimes solutions to problems
are right in front of our eyes.
We just aren't looking.

My son and I recently purchased a house
that was built in the 1940's.
That said, there are funny little problems that pop up
that sometimes stump us.

One such issue was the lighting upstairs.
You walk through a door from the living room downstairs,
and you're facing the coat closet and a flight of stairs
going up to my bedroom and studio. 
There is a light fixture in the ceiling above
and a light switch on the wall.

You walk up the stairs and at the top
is another fixture over your head.

You walk into the tiny bathroom,
and there is another light fixture, 
with a wall switch.

The problem is
you can't just turn on one light.
You have to flip a switch at either the top of the stairs 
or the bottom of the stairs,
and all three lights turn on.

I had a contractor look at it
to see if he could do some rewiring.
But it was going to cost an arm and a leg.
So for the past few months,
when I need to use the toilet in the night,
I would have to turn on the light at the top of the stairs
then go into the bathroom and turn THAT light on.
Or I could leave the lights on all night.

That felt awfully wasteful.

So, today I was pondering this problem
and I happened to look UP at the fixture 
at the top of the stairs.
And I saw something I remember from my childhood.
A screw-in light fixture with a pull chain!


It has been there the entire time.
I just didn't notice it.

I went to the local hardware store and for $3.50
I bought another one.
And now,
I have fixed my problem!

Now, there is a pull-chain at the bottom of the stairs,
at the top of the stairs, 
and all the lights can be turned off and on separately.


That's the kind of solution I like!

So there you have it.
The solution is often
just a wink away.

Getting ready for the Camino is a lot like this.
Open your eyes.
You may not have to buy a single thing!
Everything you need is probably right there
in your house!
Living for 6 weeks
with nothing but what's in the sack on your back
is a great lesson in minimalism
and teaches us to be frugal
as well as grateful.

So look around!

Like I always say…

Love,
Annie

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