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…so that was what the band was named after!

The past two weeks we’ve been wiring the electricity, which has been rather slow going, since we had to learn everything as we went. Here Sebastienne deserves a lot of credit (as her proud wife, I feel I can brag of my “wifey”) for being such an excellent autodidact, who can learn anything by researching and reading. From not knowing the first thing about electricity a couple of weeks back—she now talks (and works) like a pro. Well, almost. Close enough for us to able to wire the house ourselves!

We do like to do as much as possible ourselves. When we first thought of “building” a house a year and a half ago, we thought we would buy a ready-made one from Tumbleweed, or hire a constructor…then we thought we would buy a kit, or at least the frame… Soon we wanted to draw our own blueprints, and thought we might as well build it, too. At least we would hire someone to do the electricity and plumbing, we thought…but now we can’t help ourselves. Or, actually, that’s just what we can.

It’s amazing, really, how much you can do if you read instructions carefully (everything has instructions, even the smallest outlet part!), work slowly, think twice (or ten times), and work with appropriate tools. We like to figure things out ourselves, it becomes a game, a puzzle. It was fun to imagine ourselves drinking tea on the sofa (oh, we need a light there, a plug for the computer there), or reading in bed, hanging out in the kitchen, etc., so as to decide exactly where to have all outlets and light switches. There are standard heights for everything (48” from the top of the light switches to the floor, 18” for the outlets), and as much as possible we tried to stick with the norm, since it has come to feel intuitive.

We have only done the regular AC wiring, so far, but we’ll wire the DC next week for the propane heater, kitchen vent, and toilet vent—all RV or boat models, which require DC. We’ll borrow Paul (who knows a lot about this, as well a lot of other things) and his generator to check it all out, since we won’t get any actual power until we buy the solar kit.

Back home in town, we flip the switches with new awareness and appreciation – there’s a whole world hidden in the walls and behind those outlets.

figuring out the circuits

figuring out the circuits

tools...

tools…

drilling holes for the wires

drilling holes for the wires

...with a paddle bit

…with a paddle bit

nail plates to protect the wire

nail plates to protect the wire

attaching the outlet boxes

attaching the outlet boxes

a whole lot of wire (from local Southwire)

a whole lot of wire (from local Southwire)

wire through the holes with nail plates

wire through the holes with nail plates

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attaching the ceiling fan box

attaching the ceiling fan box

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light box over kitchen sink

light box over kitchen sink

more stuff to figure out

more stuff to figure out

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stripping the wire

stripping the wire

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bending the ground wire

bending the ground wire

...and attaching it

…and attaching it

more stuff to measure

more stuff to measure

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first outlet

first outlet

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tada!

tada!

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first light switch!

first light switch!

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bathroom wall light

bathroom wall light

bedroom lights and outlets

bedroom lights and outlets