Pulling the right strings

What would we do these days without Father Google to teach us how to manage life’s challenges?

I’m very proud of my husband for all the updates he’s been doing around our new house. As stated in previous columns I’ve not been his best cheerleader. I would’ve called the handyman many lights ago. But he’s taken on the challenges presented and as of this writing has changed out all the lights, replaced all the indoor faucets, installed a new kitchen sink, and added a garbage disposal.

He researches the heck out of everything he attempts. What would we do these days without Father Google to teach us how to manage life’s challenges? I have learned to be patient as I understand that he needs to be assured of the method before attempting the task. He’s a far better person than I, because I usually jump in blind (except when putting IKEA furniture together) and my handy attempts of years past always ended with a dozen, gnarly holes in the walls.

Another aspect I’m proud of is that if, after researching, tinkering, and going back to the drawing board several times, he can’t figure it out, he’ll call it. Of late he’s been struggling with the last two fan/light combos. They are both run by remote control, which in my opinion is a stupid idea. Who can ever find remotes when we need them? There is a wall switch that turns the whole motor on and off, so why didn’t they just install a switch that controlled everything or a fan controlled by a string? It’s not like our ceilings are so tall that we’d need a twenty foot string. Besides, from the mounting bar that hangs from the ceiling, my husband can easily reach the whole fan with a small ladder.

These last two units to be changed out are exactly the same, but one remote doesn’t work. That means the one remote works both fans. So if you’re in the den with the light on and the fan off, and someone is in the bedroom and turns the light off and the fan on, the same will happen in the den. The desired environment for both rooms is reached by making several trips up and down the hall engaging and/or disengaging switches.

We’ve been around and around on how to solve the problem. My hubby has tried to find the same remotes on ebay, but from the looks of them they are original to the house and are from the 70s. Sure, you can buy the exact same model remote, but it’s around $200 because they are now antiquated. New remotes aren’t compatible.

He climbed up to investigate the situation, but when the whole unit almost fell on my daughter, who was sitting on the couch, because the entirety of the machine was held up only by the decorative plate on the ceiling, we bought another one at Home Depot. However, it really didn’t have the right look, then we discovered it was much too small. My brilliant idea was to convert the internal fan mechanism to pull strings. My husband even thought it was worth a try. He started with the one in the den since it was already on the floor.

He researched, he poked, he prodded, he scratched his head. Then he determined only an electrical engineer could figure it out and he ordered two fan/lights, with string controls, in the correct size and color from the Home Depot website. That’s what I would have done in the first place, but it’s better he came around to it himself otherwise he would’ve always wondered. I can’t complain, I’m not even capable of standing on a ladder. At least he knows the right strings to pull.

Gretchen Leigh is a stay-at-home mom who lives in a neighborhood near you. You can read more of her writing on her website livingwithgleigh.com. To see her columns come to life, follow her on Facebook at “Living with Gleigh by Gretchen Leigh. Her column is always available at maplevalleyreporter.com under the Life section.