Clean up progress, and that’s kinda horrifying

The girls and I were able to get quite a lot of progress in the new part basement yesterday, and I was able to get into a particular area of concern today.

Here is our progress from yesterday.

The biggest progress isn’t even visible. We were able to get all the cans of paint and other… stuff… out from some cupboards. Some of them were leaking. I got another 2 wheelbarrow loads of cans of paint, stains, and mystery tines to the barn.

We found another 6 motors of varying sizes and condition to move to the barn. There’s an unopened back of grout compound that will need to be thrown away. Moisture got to it, and it’s a brick now. We found a snowmobile suit shoved into a garbage can. Now that I think about it, judging from the size, it may have belonged to my late brother. If it did, it may have been there for more than 10 years! These things are rather expensive, and it seems a shame to throw it away, but I just don’t see how it could be safe to use after being in the basement for even just a couple of years. Dust, mold mildew… still, we just hung it up on the wall for now.

Stuff that’s going to the barn are being set by the stairs for now, as well as a growing collection of garbage bags, with stuff for the junk pile or burn barrel in the shopping cart, and broken/damaged glass in a box, so we can haul it all out at once. That is always a challenge, since we need one person to lug stuff up the stairs, one person at the doors to grab stuff and stick it outside, and one person with a spray bottle on cat duty! LOL I look forward to not having to worry about keeping the cats out of this basement anymore!

Of course, we found all sorts of things in the process of cleaning, including…

…a collection of hammers, among other tools. I also moved the hand saw collection to the other basement, to join the ax collection. 😀

Today, I focused on the “bar” my late brother had started to build when he was still in his teens, but never finished. It had been mostly cleared out yesterday, but there were still a few things to take out so I could clean the area.

Some cow bells. Because, of course. Another shoe form.

A very old racking cane and siphon hose. We’d earlier found a box with wine making chemicals and supplies, all of which had to be thrown out.

I have no idea why there are so many wine making supplies around here. My parents didn’t use them, and the only members of my family that make their own wine, do it in their own homes.

An old, beat up suitcase full of light fixtures and electrical bits and pieces. Because where else would you put what is likely broken, unusable bits and pieces?

This next case makes me quite sad.

What the labels don’t tell you is that this is a portable screen printing kit.

On the right is where ink would be spread. The roller would be loaded with in there, then rolled over the screen on the other side, which would have the design on it.

Under the screen is the surface that would hold the paper being printed.

You can see how torn the screen it – and the tape that was put around it.

This thing was in pristine condition when we acquired it. It was one of many things that were left behind in the old house my parents got – I believe for the cost of moving it – and moved into the yard, where it is now being used for storage. I made the mistake of taking this case, and a box full of wrapped up printing blocks, to the Industrial Arts teacher in high school. He is the one that put the tape around the screen, and “cleaned” it with whatever solvents they had in the class (there was an old style block printer that we used to make “business cards” as a class assignment). As for the printing blocks, they were covered in grease that he cleaned up, then wrapped them in paper. Well, it turned out that grease was protecting the surface of those blocks, and they have since degraded horribly. I doubt they can be restored. I doubt this screen print kit can be restored fully, either. 😦

Another item I had to clear out turned out to be a surprise. I knew it was there, but…

… what I didn’t expect that 1) it hadn’t been cleaned since it was last used and 2) that it would still be full.

That’s right. When I tried to move it, I found it unexpectedly heavy. Then it started to slosh.


I don’t know how many years this has been sitting here.

I’m really hoping the liquid is just water or something, to serve as weight to keep is steady, because that’s just a hole on the bottom. It doesn’t lead to a basin or reservoir.

At least it is still sealed shut. There’s no smell or leakage.

We’ve found some pretty icky stuff since we moved in and started cleaning up. The worst so far had been old cat poop in a corner of what was my mother’s bedroom, and cat litter on the floor under a dresser. My dad hadn’t had a cat indoors for years before he went into the nursing home. The girls had also found a mouse skeleton behind a shelf upstairs. I think a used, dirty portable toilet filled with liquid now joins the list of most horrifying things we’ve found in the house since moving in.


There were many other things found as well, including glass lamp shades – one still in the box it was bought in – more paint cans and various other odd bits and pieces.

This is what the bar looked like, after I emptied it.

Yes, I was wearing a mask and gloves!

This was the main area of concern.

There is water damage. The wall the plywood is covering is the wall to the old part basement, so this would be from when it had flooded in the past, soaking through to this side. This is also one of the few areas where we found mouse feces.

Which meant extra care needed to be taken to clean up this area. Brushing and sweeping, vacuuming and finally a cleaning with bleach.

Here is how it looked when I stopped.

I now have a fan set up to dry it.

We have a moldicide spray that we’ll use on that plywood wall, too.

Once it’s all dry, we’ll use this to store things we want to protect from the cats, but don’t want to store in the old part basement. We’ll be making a “door” across the front, and I hope to pick up some wire mesh tomorrow, that we can use to cover the counter area to keep the cats out.

If all goes well, we will finish this tomorrow, set up some “nesting boxes” and a litter box, then bring in Butterscotch and Beep Beep.

I saw Butterscotch while I was doing my rounds this morning. She even allowed me to pick her up and carry her over the muddy areas. She is still pregnant, so we might be able to get this done in time, after all!

Just a little bit closer to being done!

The Re-Farmer

addendum: The girls and I talked about the portable toilet, and the two things behind the lid; one of which is an opening, the other looks like it can be squeezed down on. We thought it might actually be a flusher, so I went down to check the status of the floor, and stopped to read the label on that portable toilet. Sure enough, this is a flushing toilet top. It’s missing a part; there is supposed to be a chamber under it.

Which would actually have come in handy when our septic backed up. More comfortable than a honey pot!

If only it had been cleaned and emptied after its last use…


4 thoughts on “Clean up progress, and that’s kinda horrifying

    • Doesn’t it, though? It even *feels* so much better! The basements were places we dreaded going into – and not just because my knees and stairs don’t get along. They’re starting to become usable spaces that we actually want to go into, now!

      Liked by 1 person

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