Monthly Archives: June 2012

Eat Your Vegetables

Yesterday I picked up my first CSA box. CSA, for those who don’t know, stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It works like this: I pay a set amount to a local farmer, usually one lump sum in the spring. In return, he provides me with weekly boxes of produce for the duration of the growing season. I get whichever veggies are ripe — peas and lettuce this week and probably melons and potatoes in September. My farmer, Jorge Carmona, owns 20 acres in Eastern Pennsylvania. He’s a really nice guy. Continue reading

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Tutorial: How to Rewire a Lamp

Note: This is a very basic tutorial that worked for these lamps. The exact steps can vary depending on the type of lamp you have and the type of socket you’re using.

1. Buy your supplies. You can do this at a big box store, your local hardware store, or you can order supplies online. You’ll need a cord kit (or you can order wire and put your own plug on the end), a socket (I ordered one with a push through switch), and some parts to assemble the lamp. Typically the socket will screw onto a hollow piece of threaded pipe called a nipple. And you’ll need a washer and nut to hold the nipple in place and keep everything snug. If you’re using a shade with a spider attachment, you’ll need a harp. There’s a great cartoon of most of these parts here. Many of the parts — the nipple, washer, nut, and harp, for example — you should be able to salvage when you take your lamp apart. But replace anything that’s rusty or corroded.

Lamp cords come in SPT-1 or SPT-2. The designation has to do with the thickness of the insulation on the wire. For these small table lamps, I ordered SPT-1, which has thinner insulation. For this big hanging lamp, I ordered SPT-2.

2. Unplug the lamp. Very important. Continue reading

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Lamps, Blinds, and Beaches

A couple of weekends ago, I spotted a pair of green ceramic lamps at a yard sale. Such a lovely green. Such a lovely shape. So so perfect for my green, green dining room. “How much for the lamps?” I asked. The woman wanted $60, I offered $30. To my surprise, she accepted. (Reason #45 to hit yard sales late in the afternoon).

The lamps weren’t a steal. Both needed to be rewired, and they were shadeless. But I assumed I could rewire the lamps myself and save some money. Besides, I loved them. What’s $30 bucks when you’re in love? Continue reading

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