I checked on the kitties this morning, of course, as part of my a.m. routine.
Of all the possible nests they could have chosen, they went back to their original nesting box, now shoved under the platform bed frame. The frame itself has something under it, so it’s not directly on the concrete, and there are several boxes with soft, comfy things to lie on, on top of it. But noooo… They go for this crowded space, instead! Even Beep Beep squeezes her way into it!
I was pleased to find that the fan did its job. There is only a tiny bit of wet in the very corner left.
Also, we have our first trees blooming! The plum trees. This variety of plums are very small and more pit than flesh, so not particularly good to eat, but if we get a lot of them this year, we can use them to make some sort of condiment, or even a wine, if we wanted to go that route. We shall see.
It’s turning out to be a lovely day to get some work done outside, though already very hot. As I write this, 23C/73F, with a “real feel” of 25C/77F. We’re supposed to hit 27C/80F, and feeling like 30C/86F for a high this afternoon, with a potential thunderstorm this evening. The forecasts are constantly changing, though, so it’s hard to say. Either way, I’ll be heading outside as soon as I can, to continue working on the sunflower plantings before it gets too hot out there!
One of the orange babies still has its eyes closed. The other had one eye open, one eye… almost open. 😀
They have also reached that stage where they do the little hissing and trying to spit thing. 🙂 Beep Beep, however, was more than comfortable with my handling them.
As I head into the basement, there is typically a whole bunch of cats coming over, very curious to see what’s down there. Today, I let Two Face down. Since we will eventually be moving the litter boxes and food and water bowls to the basement, I figured it would be good to start introducing them. Two Face is the most recent yard cat to come into the house, so I figured she would be the one Beep Beep is the most likely to remember. Plus, Beep Beep is her mom.
They did snuffle each other a bit, but mostly, Two Face just wandered around, sniffing at things. She completely ignored the babies, even though she snuffled around their little cave under the chair, and gave Beep Beep an astonished stare down when she discovered her under there. 😀
I brought Two Face back up with me when I was done, and I think she was happy with that. It’s still too new and strange down there! Next time, I think I’ll bring Susan down. She is another one of Beep Beep’s babies, and likely still familiar.
It would be good if we can leave this basement door open in the summer. Last year, we were able to use grid wall to block off the old basement door and leave it open, to help cool the house down. It works better to have both basement doors open and, this year, we can do that. We’ll still need to block off the entry to the old basement from cats, but I think this time, we’ll be able to make another mesh “door” to fit, rather than rigging up the grid wall again.
It’ll be a couple of months before we need to do that, though, so plenty of time to build something to fit.
The girls and I made a push to finish tonight and, as I write this, we now have two very pregnant cats in the new “maternity ward”.
Before we hauled out all the stuff waiting by the stairs, my daughters and I went rifling through a shed and the barn to see what we could find to use as doors.
First, we went into the shed, where I knew there were some doors that might work. We decided against them, but found some decent wood in a corner. We found a couple more pieces in the barn.
With the trellis wire left over from covering the counter opening to the unfinished bar, we figured we could build a mesh door to size.
I also started to bring some of my tools down. I’m so excited to be able to do that!!!
While in the barn, we found these.
They are actually plastic windows. They were wide enough to fit over the opening into the unfinished bar – there’s space at the top, but the cats won’t be able to get up there.
They almost fit over the opening to the old basement, but that wider part on the bottom couldn’t be covered.
My thought had been to build the wire mesh door for the bar opening, which would have allowed us to make a hinged door (except we didn’t have any hinges handy). With using one of these windows instead, hinges couldn’t be attached, anyhow.
So I found some cup holder hooks and Bungee cords. The idea was to have a pair of Bungee cords holding the window pane in place. That didn’t work out exactly as planned, as we only had one Bungee cord that was the right size.
We made do. You’ll see how in the next photo. 😀
After bringing the stuff to make doors down, the girls and I hauled out what needed to be gotten rid of. We now have an awful mess outside our main door, but cleaning that up will have to wait until the weather improves. Plus, finished the basement was the priority.
The girls started working on building the frame for the wall opening while I started cleaned the window panes, then started cleaning up the area by the stairs.
When it was time to screw the frame together, the girls couldn’t find any usable screws in any of the buckets and miscellaneous containers we kept. There were just nails.
So we ended up using the deck screws I’d taken out from the barn doors, after our vandal had boarded them up.
I’m still giggling about the irony of that.
Once the frame was screwed together, the mesh was stapled into place in two overlapping pieces. There was a possibility of a cat getting through at the overlap, though. My daughter managed to find a couple of shorter screws and we put a cross piece on the mesh side of the frame at the overlap. The overlapping parts of the mesh were then stapled to the cross piece. This closed the potential gap, strengthened the frame, and it can even serve as a “handle” on one side.
Here is how they look now.
The frame ended up working better in the old basement side of the wall. It’s braced on one side by a table, and a Bungee cord attached to one of the cup hooks is keeping the other side in place. To get through, we can unhook the cord, then slide the door to one side.
As for the window-door, until I can find another cord the same length as the red one, we’ve got a longer one diagonally, just to keep the window pane from potentially flipping over. The extra window pane is now stored in the old bar. Who knows. It might come in handy for something else.
The fun part is, we’re already using the basement as a workshop!
I’m so excited! 😀
One of my daughters took over cleaning while I found and brought more tools down, then helped finish the frame. She even mopped the rest of the floor.
I can’t even think of when this floor was ever mopped, other than parts of it at times like when my brother found the water damage shortly before we moved in and had to scrub away mold and bleach the floor and walls in the corner.
Here is how it looks now at that end.
We have set up cat beds under chairs and the old phonograph. A flattened box is there to act as a rug, and we brought in the litter box that was in the sun room, since the outside cats don’t need to use it anymore.
And here’s the rest of it!
We set up food and water bowls at the far end, nearer the stairs.
When I went into the sun room to get the litter box, Beep Beep was in there, curled up on the swing bench. That was encouraging, since we would be getting her soon. Then Big Jim came out.
He had blood all over one side of his head!
It looked like it was coming from an ear, an injury that was most definitely not there this morning. The poor thing! The blood was dry, so whatever happened, it was no longer bleeding, at least, and it didn’t seem to be bothering him. He sure wanted pets, though!
After setting up the litter pan, food and water, one of my daughters and I went outside with some cat treats. I scattered some both inside the sun room, where Beep Beep and Big Jim still were, and in the outside food bowls.
Creamsicle and Potato Beetle were quick to come for treats, and I was very pleased to see Butterscotch waddling her way over, too. We let them eat for a bit, then tried to get the mamas in.
Beep Beep was more cooperative. She jumped out of my arms as soon as I got inside, but I’d managed to open the door to the basement, first, and that’s where she made her escape to – exactly where I wanted her to be.
Butterscotch was much less cooperative.
My daughter was eventually able to pick her up, and I was manning the doors so she could get Butterscotch inside, and into the basement, at almost the same time.
Butterscotch did NOT want to go down the stairs!
It took some persuading and gentle wrangling by my daughter to get her down enough stairs that I could close the door. Then she went back to the top step, essentially trapping my daughter in the basement.
Beep Beep, meanwhile, had already settled herself in front of the chalk board at the other end of the basement.
My daughter spend the next while trying to coax Butterscotch down the stairs. When she did get to the bottom, she immediately hid in a shelf under the stairs. My daughter brought one of the cat beds, placed inside a crate to make a “nest”, and put it beside where Butterscotch was hiding. This way, we hope she’ll find the nice, soft bed and a more enclosed area she will feel safer in.
And hopefully have her kittens in.
We will now have to add going downstairs to our cat care routine. It should be interesting to see how much of a challenge it will be to keep the mamas downstairs, and the other cats upstairs. Eventually, I want to have the litter boxes for all the cats downstairs, which will mean having the door to the new part basement open all the time. That’s not going to happen while the mamas are down there, for a while.
I hope they feel comfortable and safe down there, soon!
Okay, not completely done, because there are still weird things all over the place, but that can be taken care of slowly over time, even after we’ve set up for cats. So, done enough!
I decided to make use of the remaining shelves of the plastic shelving units I got for the old part basement, with its too low ceiling.
For where I wanted to put them, I had to make an even bigger mess.
It kinda looks like the room exploded. But, it had to be done!
Here is the final result for the shelves and counters against the old basement wall.
The plastic shelf on the yellow counter will help brace the rigid insulation that’s blocking the old window. There is a heat duct on the other side. It doesn’t even reach into the window, but just has an opening facing it, but there’s enough air pressure to push against the sheet of insulation. I’ve pokes holes in it to let more air through, but having the shelf against it will ensure it can’t be pushed off.
The counter top of the yellow shelf is sagging, and I needed to get the back legs of the plastic shelf as far back as I could, so I ended up laying some boards I salvaged from around the basement, leveled with pieces of floor tiles (those old floor tiles are coming in incredibly handy!)
In the process of working in this area, I checked out the cupboard under the other shelf. I’d only looked at the other half while working here before, and wanted to see if there were more things we needed to haul out.
I found three more motors.
Why are there so many motors??? Counting the ones already moved to the barn, we’ve found more than a dozen motors, scattered about!
At this point, I think we’re just going to leave them in the basement for now, instead of hauling them up the stairs and to the barn. It’s not like the cats can really do anything to them, and they can be hauled out later in the year.
That was just one area that I didn’t expect to have to go so far into. I also cleared out the area were we’d put the van’s original door. There was a whole bunch of stuff behind the old radio, and a sheet of plywood leaning against the old basement wall with more stuff behind it, that was definitely not cat friendly.
Here you can see the part of the old basement wall that had been underground when the concrete was poured. Unfortunately, it makes for a very uneven wall, which in turn makes for gaps we’re going to have to find some way to fill.
After moving out the stuff behind the plywood, I shoved the plywood back, pushing it further behind the lilac shelf, to block off the gap behind it. There is still a gap at the top we’ll have to figure out how to cover. The old radio, meanwhile, is now right up against the plywood, I put some cardboard on it to protect the top, and tiles under the base. The car door is back, and I’ve shoved the twin sized bed frame I’d been using for some time after my husband had to start using a hospital bed.
In the process of doing all this, I found stuff, of course.
Yes!!!! I found some plumb line!
It’s not the one I remember helping my dad use, but I’m happy to have found any at all. It will be quite useful in the future, I’m sure. I made sure to tuck it into a spot that was in the open, so I can find it easily in the future.
This next find was a surprise.
I haven’t seen this since I was … probably a pre-teen! I forget which of my brother’s made it. I think it was a school project. It’s modeled on a plaster cast version still sitting in the old kitchen.
It’s a keeper!
I also moved stuff into the unfinished bar area.
It’s got a bunch of fragile things that need to be protected from the cats, substances in various bottles, jugs and cans that the cats need to be protected from, and some of the stuff we found that we want to restore at some point. All we have to do now is rig up a door to keep the cats out.
Not a lot changed in this corner; I cleaned that shelf, but don’t really have anything to put in it, now that we’ve cleared the junk out. The chairs had been stored against the wall closer to the stairs, and I moved them here to open up the space there, and so they can be used. Some things, like the remaining piece of rigid insulation, will be moved out of there, as we do the last few things before letting the cats in.
More chairs were moved around that table, and the remaining shelf from the old basement got moved in to where I’d found another sheet of plywood. There are still gaps, because of the uneven wall, that need to be filled by the opening between the basements. We now need to also rig up a door of some kind between the old and new basements.
With the very odd shape of the opening, this is not going to be easy.
After this, we have to start hauling stuff out for either barn or junk piles. Once that’s out, the area just needs a quick clean up, and a filling of old mouse holes in the shelves under the stairs, and the root cellar. Then I can take our Christmas decorations out of the root cellar and move them back into this area.
We are so close to being done! But I am so dreading hauling the stuff out. Some of it is very heavy, and others just difficult and potentially dangerous to carry up the stairs. The girls and I will have to assembly line it.
But not quite yet. They’ve been working hard cleaning on the main floor, and we all need a break right now!
The girls did a wonderful job in the basement, while I was baking bread! They got the big stuff moved back to the now-bleached and dry corner, the wire mesh over the counter to the unfinished bar, and a lot more cleaning, sweeping, scrubbing and vacuuming of cobwebs. 😀
Here are the before and after shots.
The wire mesh is up, and the more fragile items, and things potentially harmful to cats, are starting to be put into here. Eventually, a door of some sort will be rigged up, so the cat’s won’t be able to get in.
The pieces of Styrofoam at that long shelf were taken out of the windows. They were put in for the winter, before we moved here. They are cut to fit so snugly – and so much stuff was in the way – that we hadn’t been able to get them out before. Now, when the insulation around the outside of the house it moved away until next winter, there will be natural light in the basement.
Also, my daughters are hilarious.
Also, I guess I don’t have to ask what they found while cleaning.
I don’t want to know what the “mystery meat” or “soup” was. 😀
The table, shelves and cabinet are now all cleaned up and usable again.
They also started to haul stuff outside, including all the garbage bags.
A trip to the dump soon is definitely in order!!
Since I was down there anyhow, I checked out an old radio/record player that’s against another wall.
Except the record player part is gutted.
What about the radio? I was curious, so I stuck my phone around the back and took a blind shot.
Huh. Amazing. It hasn’t been completely gutted!
I have no idea what this is supposed to look like, but I’m sure there are parts and pieces missing.
For now, we have no plans to move this thing anywhere. I admit, for me, it’s more because I don’t want to deal with all the stuff shoved behind it.
My daughter and I got a whole bunch of progress done in the basement. Unfortunately, we’re at that stage were, in order to work on new areas, we have to shove things into areas we’d already done a lot of clearing. Which means that, other than the area we worked on, the rest of the basement now looks like something exploded! 😀
The unfinished bar area is now dry, but we sprayed areas with an anti-mold agent, just to be on the safe side. So nothing has been put into there yet. I was also able to stop at the hardware store after dropping my other daughter off at work, and was able to get a roll of 1/4 inch wire mesh that we will use to block off the counter opening of the bar area. That will be put in before we do anything else in there.
Meanwhile, we emptied the back wall and opposite corner.
This is what it looked like, not long ago.
Right now, the entire middle area is almost completely blocked off with stuff we’ve set aside, including the long shelf against the wall.
We also moved the old, gutted phonograph and ancient radio, which are quite water damaged.
They are in such terrible shape!
The phonograph cabinet is at least still fairly solid, We might be able to just remove the veneer that’s peeling off and be able to restore it. The old radio… I have no idea. I’m pretty sure it’s gutted, too.
This damage would have happened shortly before we moved here, when my older brother discovered flooding in the basement from a rain barrel at the corner that was left to overflow for months of rain. The corner had even started to mold, and he’d had to move things away from the walls so he could scrub and bleach the area.
While emptying that shelf against the wall, tucked away in a corner at the very bottom, I found this.
I had hoped this was the missing filter my brother had installed the last time there were problems with the septic system. It hadn’t worked, so he took it off and set it aside, but it disappeared. It turns out to not be the one my brother had bought, but very similar. So… we’re still missing a filter that likely grew legs and walked away, along with so many other things over the years. 😦
Another thing we found was a “hidden in plain sight” sort of thing. These were sitting on top of the old phonograph.
Nothing special about these – until we flipped them over.
I’m guessing my sister drew these plans. I think she still freelances plans and blueprints for people, but these days, she uses a computer. 😀 I think these might be the original plans for the shelves that now divide the living and dining rooms! The end result wasn’t quite so fancy (I love the addition of a little rotary dial telephone), but I can see how what we have now could have developed from these plans.
Once the corner was emptied, swept and cobwebs vacuumed away, my daughter worked on scrubbing and bleaching, while I worked on emptying a pair of shelves in the middle of the basement. Our boxes and bins of Christmas decorations have been temporarily moved to the root cellar, just to make space. The pile of stuff that needs to be hauled out, either to the barn, junk pile or dump, has grown quite a lot.
Once I emptied the shelves (including taking out 2 cases of paint cans that have never been opened, but are so old, the boxes are disintegrating), I worked on a tool chest that’s basically just a big box with a front panel that swings down, clearing off the stuff accumulated at the top. I’m not going to try and go through it’s contents, but I did check out the cabinet it was resting on.
Where I found it full of various liquids, gels, greases and… mystery liquid. I’ve been putting all the small containers in a small bin I found, only to find it was nowhere near large enough.
Some of these have been barely used. I would guess they were things my late brother had made use of, which would mean they have been sitting in that cabinet for 10 years for, at the very least, 10 years.
It’s a shame to have to throw out the braided rug that’s visible in the back. I remember helping my mother make rugs like this, using strips of cloth made from old clothes and other fabric items that were to worn out for their intended use. Unfortunately, the two braided rugs I have now found in the basements had been down there so long, they got moist, and look like they started to mold.
Here is what the basement corner looks like now, before and after washing.
It’s really kind of hard to see the difference between washed and unwashed walls, but it’s there! You can still see where the mold my brother scrubbed away has stained the corner. 😦
While cleaning up, we found another outlet, on the outside of the bar counter. An outlet that we could plug in the big blower fan! So that is now set up facing the corner to help dry it.
I have to remind myself that the rest of the basement looks far worse than it really is! Once these areas are dry and we can start moving things back into their more permanent places, it will get cleaned up and organized rather quickly. The hard part is going to be hauling out all the stuff that needs to be gotten ride of, one way or another.
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!
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…
Normally, Sunday is our day of rest. No unnecessary work is done.
Unfortunately, cleaning the basement has crossed over into the “necessary work” category. Part of the challenge is finding a time to do it when the girls and I are all physically up to it. We need to get it safe enough to use as a cat maternity ward, and we may already be too late for Butterscotch. I haven’t seen her all day today.
We got a huge amount of progress done, and there is still much to do. We’re not even doing much sorting. Though there were some things that very obviously needed to go straight to the junk pile, most went to be stored in the barn. Including…
… lots of motors. In the photo is 5 of the 6 small motors we cleared out. There are more, larger motors that still need to be moved. I will be trying to keep them all together in the barn. I have no idea what their state or status is, but my brother might now.
Of course, we also found all sorts of interesting things. Including this blast from the past for me!
Yeah. That’s a “throwing star”. One of my boyfriends in high school made it for me in shop class. It used to be nice and shiny, and boy could that thing sink keep into a wooden door!
We also found a panel of chain mail. I don’t know if it’s a front or back panel, but it was clearly meant for a very small person. I have no idea who in my family would have gotten themselves some chain mail!
Manual hair clippers! This was a cool and unexpected find! They were well protected in their box, thankfully. The massive towing chain and hook it’s leaning on is another unexpected find. 😀
A light bulb for a type of light I don’t think I’ve seen anywhere, yet.
(Thanks, 53Old, for your comments about this. This is a Made in Canada, 3AU6 vacuum pentode tube, most likely from one of the many TVs we acquired when my parents bought some property many years ago. There was an old shed that had at least a dozen old TVs in there, some of which had their solid wood cabinets converted into shelves we are using now.)
We also found some stuff I was really excited about. They are going to be quite useful!
A couple of modern planers, and a clamp. A bit of clean up, and I hope to get good use out of these.
I was more excited to find this.
A small vice with a table clamp. We have a larger vice in the shed we keep our lawn mowers in that I’ve already found useful, but it’s the type that gets affixed permanently to a surface. I was already thinking of seeing if I could find a smaller one with a clamp at one of the local hardware stores, and now I don’t have to!
We found lots of other things, too, that I didn’t get pictures of.
Here is how the basement looked, after we hauled some stuff out and called it a day.
All the rubber boots still in the shelves will need to be thrown out. They’re so old, they’re brittle.
Hmmm… Three table legs got taken to the barn. I wonder if that round table top is the table they belonged to?
At one point, the floor in the foreground was full of stuff that got hauled out. The shopping cart is full of old wood, picture frames and frame glass that needs to be removed with care. The cardboard box partially visible on the bottom right has broken glass in it.
The sheet of pink rigid insulation was brought down for something you’ll see in another photo. Some of this stuff will stay, while others will be hauled to the barn. The broom is leaning in my mother’s old sewing machine. That’s a keeper, for sure!
Quite a lot got cleaned out of the “bar”. Still lots more to get rid of. It’s still cleaner than it has been, in decades! We’ll need to get into it with a vacuum cleaner and crevice tool, to get rid of the very old mouse droppings and bits of broken glass.
There are still a few bottles to move out, but most of them have already been set aside into the old basement.
Eventually, we will go through these. The ones we want to keep, including for future bottle bricks, will be thoroughly cleaned. Unfortunately, a few of the old wine bottles we dug up still have liquid in them. *shudder* The rest will go to the landfill for recycling. There are a few bottles we found that might actually be collector items, too.
The rigid insulation is now covering an opening (formerly a window, I think) into the old basement. The main focus for here was to 1) make sure that opening stays covered and 2) there is no gap any future exploring kittens can fall into in the back.
The bottom cupboards of this shelf has lots of old paint cans in it. From the smell when I looked inside, there is at least one that is leaking.
The shelf itself is in pretty terrible shape, and I’d love to replace it some day.
The other old shelf is in slightly better shape. At some point, I want to set up that drill press in an easily accessible location, and test it out.
Hopefully, we didn’t overdo it today, and will be able to continue tomorrow. Once we have it safe, and access to the old basement is blocked to cats, we’ll be able to set up a cozy area for kitties. I’m just hoping that, if Butterscotch has already had a litter, we can find them and bring them inside. It’s way too early for kittens, and their chances of survival are not that good right now. 😦
Lots of work to do before we get to that point, though!
My goal for today was to start getting things out of the basement and into the barn or junk pile, as appropriate. My daughters were doing a whole bunch of baking, but we were able to coordinate a time when we could work together on that.
I didn’t get as much done in the basement as I wanted, but there was still a lot of progress.
The first thing to do was shovel a path to the barn and get one of the doors clear enough to open.
There were a couple of problems. The first was that, having worked my way to the barn door, my hip suddenly did it’s thing. From one step to the next, I became unable to put any weight on my right leg, due to pain and instability.
I was, however, able to work on my left leg, so as long as I could just pivot around, I could finish clearing the barn door, moving my right leg around just enough to try and work out whatever was causing the pain in my hip joint. By the time I did, my hip was back to normal, and I could deal with the second problem.
There was a ridge of ice right at the door. The doors sag in the middle, and it was just high enough to prevent the door from opening. The plastic snow shovel couldn’t clear it away, but a steel shovel could chip away enough for the door to finally open.
These doors are feeling very fragile.
Once inside, I had to figure out where I could clear out a space to put things.
My goodness, what a terrible picture. My hands must have been shaking like crazy, after the shoveling! Normally, I take multiple photos, just in case, but not today. Ah, well.
So I’m in the middle of the barn at this point. The old cattle stalls in the front half were all full of things, but further back were some that might be workable. Of course, the hall in the middle needed to be cleared, too.
There was also the lean to on the side of the barn, which has more space, but…
When a metal roof was put on the barn (right on top of the rotting original roof), the lean to was skipped. As you can see, there is a lot of water in there. Water from the melting snow is dripping straight through a number of areas.
There was a stall that I could at least partially clear. In the process, I found…
… old trusses that are rotting where they touch the concrete. (That’s my gloved finger messing with the photo, there. LOL)
Those metal screens in the back are interesting, though. I might find a use for them.
This grabber was hanging at one end. This is not something I remember from when I was growing up here. I have no idea where it came from. Looking at the size of the handle, this is meant for two people to use. One of these days, I’d love to restore it.
After clearing some space, I also cleared away some stuff that was in the gutter in front of the old stall. Some pieces of wood had managed to fall under the lid of the cistern, so I opened it up to get them out.
I didn’t bother getting the rest of the junk out. I do wonder why these are hear. They couldn’t have fallen in with the lid in place.
This, btw, is a urine drain. When the cows did their business, most went into the gutters, and the urine would flow into the pair of cisterns on either side of the hallway. Once they were full, we just emptied them with a bucket.
This is how things looks after clearing things out.
I could now get through the hall to access the space I’d cleared.
There is a whole lot of stuff all over the barn. Including lots and lots of windows.
Like this one, which looks like something we might be able to use in a future cordwood practice building. After the outhouse, which will have strategically placed bottle bricks instead of windows, we’re thinking of making a garden shed, which will have windows.
With that in mind, I went looking at some of the other stuff lying about.
I rather like this steel, exterior door. If it’s not too water damaged, I think it would be fantastic for our outdoor bathroom. There aren’t keys, of course, so the deadbolt and probably the door knob would need to be replace. Likely the hinges as well. It looks like there’s only half hinges on there right now. 😀
There are also these huge pieces of window glass. Too big for any project we’re thinking of now, but perhaps usable for something else.
I also checked out a shed near the barn. I’ve actually been poking about a few places, as the snow melts enough for me to be able to access them, looking for the drawknife I know I saw, some time ago. I can’t remember where, though! So far, I have not been able to find it. 😦 I was hoping to get it sharpened for use as we debark wood for the cordwood building.
The shed has more windows, including one that looks like it would work well in the deep walls of a cordwood building.
Why are there so many windows all over the place? Many of them are quite old, made before the more energy efficient double and triple pane windows were invented.
It may not look like much, but this aluminum double sink is still quite sturdy. I am thinking of cleaning it up and bringing it into the old basement, to go under the set of taps where the washing machine used to be.
Ah, there’s the table saw! I was hoping it wasn’t one of the things that grew legs and walked away while this place was empty.
Which makes me think it might now be in working order.
If it is, I’m going to be very happy! It will come in very handy for future projects.
I kinda sorta found a second one.
I spotted a blade in between the stacks of flooring. It seems to be a table saw, without it’s table!
Speaking of tables…
There’s a round table top, minus its legs (which might be lying about somewhere else, for all I know), next to yet another stack of windows.
I wonder if that big blower on the counter works? It looks like a larger version of what we have in the old basement.
They’re hard to see, but there are stacks of glass blocks under the counter. I was seeing some at the salvage yard website I found, and at salvage prices, blocks of this size were selling for $8 each. There’s probably about 30 or 40 of them under there.
At one end of the shed are more doors. That wooden door with the big glass window is probably an exterior door. The lock on it would be for a skeleton key. They certainly don’t make doors like this anymore – with reason!
Then there’s a sections of a fence, that was clearly cut apart with a saw. And more windows. Because there are windows, everywhere!
Hopefully, we’ll be able to find most of the materials we need to build our first cordwood practice building in all of this!
Then there was this thing.
I have no clue what this thing is. If anyone knows, please leave a note in the comments, because I would love to find out!
I also found these.
Just… tucked away, under a shelf.
I really don’t think these go back to when my dad worked in a shoe factory. They are newer than that.
So many things… so few explanations! 😀
With the space cleared in the barn, it was time to get stuff out of the basement.
Which… didn’t go as well as I had hoped. My hip did its thing again, part way through, and we ended up stopping sooner than I’d hoped.
That shopping cart has been coming in very handy, including as an impromptu walker!
We did get a decent amount out, though.
At this point, we just needed to get the stuff out of the house, so my daughter put the stuff in organized piles. Glass and regular garbage in one area, the water damaged shelf, riddled with nails, for burning, hazardous materials, including mystery liquids, and stuff to go to the barn for storage, or the junk pile.
Once my hip was working again, the girls went back to baking and I got the bigger wheel barrow and started hauling things away.
I also grabbed a cane from our collection to keep handy, just in case! 😀
Then, since I was hauling things into the barn anyhow, I cleared a few things from the garage, too.
It’s still a disaster, but I was able to clear out more batteries, paint cans, and some jugs and 5 gallon pails of mystery liquid.
I discovered that this wheelbarrow can handle only 2 batteries at a time. Those things are heavy!!
Gosh, there is a lot of junk to sift through in there. 😦 Somehow, we have to separate out the junk from the stuff worth keeping. I see some sort of little compressor under there.
After many trips back and forth to the barn (I had my phone in my pocket, and walked far enough to hatch 3 Pokemon Go eggs! That would make it at least 2 kms of walking, probably more), this is the result.
I’ve got the hazmat mystery liquids and paint in one area, a total of 11 car, truck and possibly tractor batteries (there are at least two more in the side of the garage where we keep the lawn mower, and probably more in the basement) and a couple of old sump pumps. My brother tells me that at least one of them works, as it was used as an emergency pump at some point. There are others that will make their way in here, too. I’m hoping to get the old door from the van into the barn as well, and there are quite a lot of other things that I’d like to get out, including what appears to be a collection of motors. If we run out of space here, there is another section that can be cleared out for more.
Then, at some point, we’ll take all the old paint cans and mystery liquids to the landfill for proper disposal, and the batteries will be taken to a scrap yard to be sold for their lead, along with the bags of aluminum.
By the time all this was done, it was almost evening. There were still loaves of bread rising, with some in the oven, so no one had been able to start supper.
My husband was a sweetheart and ordered pizza! I didn’t mind the trip into town to pick it up. Since I’ll be going into town again tomorrow, to pick up prescription refills, it gave me the opportunity to park the van in front of the house. That way, I won’t have to walk through the lake of melt water to get to the garage!