The other day, we spent the day cleaning out the attic. We are on the hunt for the source of that elusive musty smell that permeates the whole house. Bud was thinking that it could be the stuff up in the attic that the previous owners left behind. We’ve determined that it’s definitely not mold underneath the house. The dirt is like a dry powder underneath there. Bud removed a rotten board from the floor today, and I not only saw it, but sniffed it, and the smell is not coming from there.
I have been itching to get up in the attic and just see what’s up there, and to get it cleaned out to make way for other things. It was hot that day. I opened the little window that was up there, but it didn’t help much. I handed stuff down through the hole in the floor to Bud and he took it outside. We took out the old pantry shelves that served as steps to get up there, so we had to use a ladder to access it. That still hasn’t deterred Grace from going up there to explore, sometimes in the middle of the night. She hops on the dresser that is close to it and jumps the rest of the way.
Grace is almost as nosy as Eula (my most nosy hen) and so of course she had to come ‘help’ me when I was cleaning out the attic.
There were old suitcases, several metal cots with springs (I kept one of them), old lamps, books, some old 70’s clothes, old receipts for feed and animals purchased and auctioned…and lots of trash. We even found a dead mouse that had probably been there since the 70’s.
Everything up there was very interesting, and a little sad. It was like getting a peek into someone’s life, with bits and pieces of memories, discarded and gathering dust. I hated to get rid of it, but had to keep telling myself that we have so much of our own stuff that still has to be moved ‘in’, and not a lot of storage space to hide it all. We had to take much of it to the recycling center.
I called the Soap Lady to see if she wanted to come down to look through it, and she and her son came shortly thereafter and sifted through it. She took a picture, some books and a foot stool. I kept a metal cot and some books.
It took two trips to the Recycling Center at $16.13 per load to get rid of it all, but it was quite a feeling of accomplishment when it was all said and done.
If things work out as we would like, this will eventually be turned into a loft bedroom, with a bathroom down at the far end, beyond that wall. We had the plumber run the plumbing up there for the future bathroom. There is still ‘stuff’ in the sides of the attic. Those boards covering it will be removed, and possibly the ceiling boards to the rafters. We’re not sure yet exactly how we are going to do things.
Bud has built a closet in the bedroom. It separates the bedroom from what use to be the second and third bedroom. The walk-in pantry will be on the other side. I have been working on sanding the inside of the closet so that Bud can put shelves in. Bud has been working on the other side, which is the pantry. The pantry, too, will have to have the old wood sanded to get all of the old wallpaper off the old wood (after I’ve pulled millions of nails out first.)
Bud used rough cut cedar planks for the closet and pantry walls. There will eventually be a counter in there, so Bud put the outlets in the wall…so I could keep my electric grain mill, bread machine and other appliances in there to use them, instead of having to transport them to the kitchen each time I want to use them.
We still have a long way to go before it’s finished.
You can see the wallpaper on the old walls and ceiling. There is currently no place to put all of the other stuff…chicken feed, old boards, fan, bucket, hardware cloth, etc. The counter still needs to be put in, and there will be lighting above it and shelves above that. The area underneath the counter will be storage for food grade buckets and larger things. There will be wooden built-in bins underneath the window for potatoes, onions, or other veggies that can be stored without refrigeration. There will also be shelves on the opposite wall that you can’t see in the picture above.
The way it has worked out, we always have multiple projects going at one time. Often, some unforeseen thing will come up that needs to be done or taken care of. Some work can’t be done until other work is done first (like sanding the walls before the shelves are put in, for example.)
We are also taking it easy. We still sit out on the porch in the mornings to have coffee, and we have been visiting with neighbors, some, or helping out here and there, or doing laundry at the laundromat, or… (fill in the blank.) We also went to the Elk Festival last weekend.
We bought the place knowing it would take a while before everything was finished. As long as we keep that in mind, we’re okay. 🙂