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March 12, 2001: Lights! Colors! Help!

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Covington Cream. Painted Lady. Peppertree. Lakeside. White Shadow. Swiss Coffee.

There are whole folder of names like these, beside inch-square chips of color, grouped carefully on a white background. One whole folder of colors was marked 'historic', meant specifically for those of us who are partial to the Victorian era.

I am not good at matching colors (For this very reason, the house interior will be all one shade of white. White Shadow, to be exact, although the Swiss Coffee intrigued me, simply because of the name). But the paint chips gave me a glimmer (albeit a faint one) of how these things might go together. These are the colors you see on carefully preserved homes hundreds of years old. Each name calls to mind a different image. Painted Lady will be the hue of the fishscale on our gables. I like that image - our house will be a bit feisty as a result...but then, with stone dragons on the front walkway, how could it be otherwise?

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Some time, when you're bored, wander through your house and count every single light. Closet lights. Hall lights. All of them - and don't forget the ones in the garage, and the ones outside. Porch lights? Toss them in too.

Now. Just for fun and giggles, take that list and go to a home store, and pretend you're going to replace them. All of them - all at once.

Home Base is going out of business, so for the first time, our contractor sent us to go do the purchasing instead of simply handing him a list of model numbers and having him do it. We did a walkthrough of the house and were handed a rather lengthy list, which we were to take so that we could purchase every single one of them. By ourselves.

Some of them were easy. One hall or closet light is just like the other, so all we had to do was grab a whole stack of the same fixture and pile it into the cart. The rest weren't quite so simple though. Which fan to get - four blades or five? Wood or painted? Antique brass or shiny? What type of ceiling light - flush or semi-flush? We walked in circles in the display aisles until my neck ached and my eyes started to cross. Will it be as bright in the house as it is in the store? How hard is it going to be to clean? What type of bulb does it use?

There are now two cart-loads of lights sitting in a pile in our garage - a very expensive pile, I should add. We still have yet to buy bulbs for them all too (wince), and worse yet, we're still not done. Even though we threw up our hands and gave up and begged our contractor (wonderful man that he is) to get the can lights for us, we've still two more to buy, plus a few fans.

Here I was, worried about kitchen appliances. I should know better, really I should....

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