Les Cochran Blog

Fiction Author



Building a Mountain Home

In a previous blog I shared information about my wild ride from Florida to the mountains of western North Carolina. When we decided to build our home here I thought the wild rides were over.  Little did I know that we were in for an extended eight months of “wild rides.”

Our new venture started out like a Sunday drive in the mountains.  The ride was smooth, silky; the views were spectacular.  We loved the elevations and develped our plans.  After meeting with the builder and signing the contact— it seemed as though everything was on the up and up.

Buy More Charmin?

Then we met with the bankers.  They were as friendly as could be and ready to complete the deal.  Except, they didn’t get the memo about our “paperless society.”  They must buy more Charmin than anyone.  We were wiped out after signing the same forms multiple times. 

Googling My Assignments

With our contract and cash in hand, the next phase began by dividing up responsibilities.  Having been through the building process several times before, we knew each other’s strengths.  Lin is an excellent designer, having demonstrated her skill on countless projects.  Being an old farm boy, I know sizes, proportions, angles, and have good problem solving skills. 

Getting deep into our project, we paused once again to divvy up our chores.  It was easy—Lin took the lead in the selection of bathroom fixtures, tile, appliances, rugs, furniture, and all of the other essentials.   I was assigned the task of searching online for lighting fixtures.  

“Fine,” I said to myself, knowing I’d never ordered anything online except a book on Amazon.  I struggled where I’d start till Lin gave me an ingenious suggestion—look for contemporary lighting. 

I don’t know why I couldn’t figure that out. 

So I Googled the listing.  Oh my, the options were endless.  Each day I pursued another site—Overstock, Wayfair, Homeclick, Hayneedle, 1Stoplighting, and more.  It wasn’t long before I got the knack and started printing out pictures and specs.  I was all over the board—like a shotgun—kitchen lights, hallway lights, ceiling fixtures, pendants.  I asked Lin, “Where do I start?”

“Front entrance pendants,” she said, precisely, “We need three of them.”  Knowing there was no way I’d pick the right one, I’d decided to select ten fixtures and let her decide from there.  If she didn’t like any of them I’d pick ten more.  I knew sooner or later I’d find one that fit “our” tastes. 

 After twenty some proposals, I found a twenty-four inch pendant that was well beyond our budget.  For the heck of it I made a copy and laid it in front of her.

“That’s it,” she acclaimed.

I smiled and said, “I don’t think so,” then I read her the price, $1,244.

“No way, Jose,” she blurted.

Persistence Got Me There

I went back to my laptop.  Searching the next four days for something comparable—nothing came close.  Unwilling to give up, I went back to the $1,244 site again and again.  I put the item in my cart, left it there all night, took it out and tried another approach; the results were the same, $1,244.

On the fifth day I gave up and started searching Homeclick for another item.  Within minutes, a miracle occurred—the $1,244 item appeared at $388.88 as well as an additional 15% off for the New Year’s Sale. 

I sat flabbergasted for a moment then picked up my laptop (afraid to touch anything) and raced into Lin’s office, shouting, “Look, look at this price … don’t touch anything.”

Her smile and then thumbs up said it all.

Long story short, I bought three of these pendants for a total of $991. 

As you might expect, I was off shopping for more light fixtures for the rest of the house — that ride just got wilder — I even bought a light fixture I nick-named “blimp!”

 So as you can see I’ve been spending a lot of time with my laptop.  Unfortunately it hasn’t been writing fiction, but it has been a wild ride on a learning curve for me.  My new adventures will be coming to a close before long and I’ll be back to spending time on my laptop with Det. Clark Phillips and the Detroit Thorn Birds as they confront the Detroit Mafia.  The surprises I encountered  Googling light fixtures have  sparked some ideas for wild rides in the stories I’m creating.  Hang in there with me.

SAX CLUB   https://www.amazon.com/Sax-Club-Thorn-Detroit-Confront/dp/163498322X 

 “Cheers to Readers Everywhere!”  Please share my blogs with your reader friends.


  1. I too have just been through this “choosing” fixtures etc etc.etc!

    It is exhausting not to mention this brand new pain in my back from sitting non stop for hours in front of the laptop. It is quickly becoming my enemy!
    Good luck to both of you in this new venture and get back into the writing swing before you write up a catalogue on “how to chose a light fixture”!

  2. Enjoyed reading about your adventures. It will all be worth it, of course

    In one of your favorite places–the Greek isles. Probably not easy to build a new house here either.

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