Today was one of those days that test your fortitude as a homesteader.  To me, part of being a homesteader is being self relient.  Self-reliance means building skills that allow you to handle at least basic plumbing, electrical and construction needs on your own.  Well today was one of the days that I was excited to put to work my limited electrical skills.  I learned years ago out of neccessity how to install minor appliances, lighting etc.  You know, the ceiling fans, dishwasher, Range hoods, light fixtures etc.

Today's goal was to install our new range hood that arrived yesterday.  When I told Ronnie I was going to install the range hood first thing this morning he said "Maybe you should wait until I can be here to help you or at least call 911 if things go wrong".  I told him that I have installed more range hoods in my life that he has probably even seen.  Yeah, I was full of myself and that is not a good thing before starting a project! 

I got everything together that I would need before I started. I made sure I have everything that I needed before I started or so I thought.  I made sure and turned off all the electric by cutting the main breaker to the house.  Now I had considered unscrewing the range hood before cutting the electric just so I could use the elecric drill/screwdriver but decided I didn't like the idea of the live wiring being the only thing holding the range hood when I went to cut the electric.  Anyway I have a cordless screwdriver so who need electric.  I couldn't find the newere cordless screwdriver, which should have been my first hint to not do the project today.  All was not lost though becuase I have an older cordless screwdriver that I made sure was charged before I started. 

On to the project.  The electric is off and I start to unscrew the first of only 4 screws that need to be removed.  Midway through the first screw being out the cordelss screwdriver just died.  Yep, the fully charged not used until now, cordless screwdriver had other plans than working at that moment.  It's okay, I tell myself, Mom has a cordless screwdriver.  I will just call her on the cell phone and ask if I can borrow it.  Mom says to come on and get the cordless screwdriver.  I jump in the car, drive down the road, get the drill and return within a matter of minutes. 

Now we are rolling.........I start with the same screw that I had gotten partially out before my screwdriver died on me.  The screw comes out.  Yes!  Now we are really rockin' and rollin'.  On to the next screw and sure enough halfway to getting the dang screw out the borrowed screwdriver dies on my.  Oh it will turn when there is no contact with the screw but when it is forced to try to work out the screw it refuses and just dies.  Wow!  This could only happen to me.  No electric and two dead cordless screwdrivers.  Now I am desparate because the range hood is hanging down on one side now.  I do the only thing I can think of and go get a manual screwdriver.  While I prop the range hood on a stick that I had handy I go to the tool box and find the phillips screwdriver.  Admitidly I am not doing this happily and think I may have invented so new words that have not been previously listed as a curse word but probably should be now.

At this point I am feeling as if this dang range hood is challenging me!  Oh no you don't......nothing challenges Christine.  I will win this battle of the wills.  I get back to work and feeling like a true pioneer I get those last 2.5 screws out, with nothing but my bare hands and a manual screwdriver.  I hold the hood up with one hand while I disconnect the wiring and finally remove the ugly old range hood while I convince myself that Ronnie would only have been in the way and it was probably for the best that I did it by myself regardless of what I have to do to get it done.  If you say it enough times you begin to believe yourself.

Moving on....The range hood fits perfectly into the area under the cabinets just as the old one did.  I am thinking this is going to be a cinch!  Then I prop up one end of the hood with my stick that is not quite tall enough to get the vent all the way up there but it kept it up high enough to allow me to pull the wiring through, connect the wiring and try to pioneer screw those screws in on one side.  I figure if I can just get one in there that will free my head up to move a little more freely.  Well I should have know it wouldn't be so easy.  While the range hood fit perfectly into the area alloted for it the new screw holes did not line up with the old holes from the old screws removed.  This meant I was going to have to really put some umphf into getting these screws in.

Well wouldn't ya know....the new and old screw won't work because the area it hood now attaches into the cabinet to is much deeper than where the previous screws had gone.  Colorful words......colorful words....newly created colorful words....Find something to replace head to prop up hood vent to find longer screws.  Finally, I find longer screw, remove the sheet pan I was using to prop the hood and put my head back in it's place.  Thank goodnes the stick on the other side is still doing it's job and hasn't fallen with all the action going on on my side.  I don't even know how long it took to get those screws in the pioneer way but I do know my hands were seriously cramped upon completion.  Those 2 inch screws seemed like two feet screws by the time I finally got the last one in there. 

Then I stood back and...........aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh...........isn't it beautiful.  It is a wonderful thing to be self-sufficient.