Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Light in the Attic

The past  2 weeks have been quite busy for our house.

 We finally had a roofer come and inspect our leaking roof above the mudroom.  He gave me 2 options.  He could tear off the shingles by the flashing and redo it (quite expensive), or he could caulk the flashing and the few damaged shingles (quite inexpensive).  We went with the cheaper option and will see how it goes.  We recently had a downpour, and the roof no longer leaked!  Yea!

We've been meaning to have a plumber come and take a look at our bathtubs.  The upstairs bathtub has drained slowly since we moved in, and the downstairs one only recently started to drain slowly as well.  We wanted to make sure we had 2 fully functional bathtubs when the demolition starts upstairs, so we finally stopped procrastinating and called someone.  He came out and cleared the pipes, and they both drain beautifully now!  Excellent!

Kitchen Sink Mishap:
Last week, while Jim was doing the dishes, I headed into the basement to take some clothes out of the dryer. I heard a strange noise coming from the other side of the basement and went to investigate.  What did I find?  Only that the water from the kitchen sink was leaking through the floor boards into the basement below!  Oh no!  I told Jim to stop what he was doing and come take a look.  Apparently, the pipes below our sink near the trap had somehow become detached from one another, and most (if not all the water) from the sink was actually draining through the floor boards and not down the drain.  Yikes!  Fortunately, Jim was able to fix this himself.  We used my hairdryer to dry out the floorboards so they wouldn't rot.  We don't really know when the pipes became disconnected or why, but it couldn't have been for too long.

Up in the Attic:
Jim has finally gotten me up into the attic.  We are currently in the process of bagging up the blown-in insulation up there so that we don't have it shower down on us when we break down the ceilings in the nursery and guest room.  Our plan is to tear out all the plaster walls and ceilings in those 2 rooms and install drywall and modern insulation in the walls and attic.  We have spent all of our free time this weekend up there,  and we are not even 1/2 done yet.  The insulation up there is at least a foot thick.  The attic is very dark even in the middle of the day, so we take work lights up there on extension cords.  We have also cut a hole in the nursery ceiling so that we can drop down the bagged insulation as we go.  The insulation is constantly floating in the air up there when disturbed, so Jim and I both wear PPE, including respirators.  We also each wear knee pads since we must move around via the rafters.  The floor of the attic is just the plaster and lath of the ceiling of the rooms below, so it wouldn't hold our weight.  There also isn't really room to fully stand up straight, so we are constantly hunched over when we are up there.  This sounds like fun doesn't it?  I know you'd love to join us!  Both Jim and I will benefit from doing some Wii Yoga tonight. :)
The attic hasn't been a total drag though.  Every once in a while, we come across some forgotten object buried in the insulation. It is kind of like a treasure hunt.  Unfortunately, no gold bars yet!  lol.
I've taken some pics of the objects we discovered so that you can see them too...

Choir Book
I can't find a copyright date in this book, but it can't be very old.  The home's previous owner's name is stamped inside with his old college address.

Pocket Knife
I don't think this knife is very old either.  One side is engraved with "Japan", and the other side with "Stainless Handmade".

1935 Buffalo Nickel

Not sure if this is a good find or not.  It is nowhere near mint condition, but it is still pretty cool.  Any of you readers know anything about buffalo nickels?  :)

Old Photograph
I found this to be the most interesting discovery so far.  I'm trying to figure out if it was taken in this house.  The only places I can think of would either be in the library or Jim's office.  Both rooms are covered in wood paneling now, but maybe I'll find that patterned wallpaper beneath it...

Here is a close-up. 
I also want to try to figure out who these people are!  I'm not sure if this is Columbus and his family or not.  I guess I'll have to wait until spring when the historical society is up and running again.  :(  In the meantime, I'd like to frame it and display it somewhere in the house.  It isn't a very large picture.  It is 6x7in and that includes  the black matting.  There are no marks or writing on the back, and I don't want to pry the picture off.  I love the dad's mustache and the little boy's tie!

Speaking of discoveries.  I had discovered something the other day.  Our silver maple in the front of the house has a hole going right through one of its main trunks!  It looks like there used to be 2 branches on either side of the tree that had been removed sometime ago and have now rotted through to each other.
Our Holey Tree
 From this view, the rotten part looks like a heart.  I'm not sure whether to call this picture, "Shot Through the Heart and You're to Blame" or "You Put a Hole in My Heart".  ^_^*

Here is a picture of the whole tree.
As you can see, it is kind of a sad looking tree.  It's growth seems to have been stunted as well.  My dad likes to call it the buzzard tree.

This is also the tree that we hang our bird feeder from so we can watch them from our kitchen window.  Jim managed to take these pics with the new digital camera he got from his parents for his birthday.
Chickadees Feeding

Well, that is all for now.  I'll keep you updated on our progress and our attic treasures.  Jim says he is going to  write a post soon, but we'll see if that actually happens or not.  ;)


  1. That picture is a cool find. If I had to guess the period it would be between 1910-1920 judging by the clothes and hair styles. It is probably the previous owners of your home. If not it would be realatives. Back in that time period people did not keep or posess family photos of friends like we do today. If people ever did it was very rare and a bit unusual. It is a good idea that you are bagging the insulation before you pull the celing. I finally learned my lesson when I did my pantry. It was well worth it because it is less messy and you can easily spot the spiders if any are present.

  2. Thanks for the input about the photo! I have to wait until spring to research it with the local historical society. (They are in the middle of moving locations right now so everything is boxed up and in storage.) :/
    We'll be back up in the attic again this weekend bagging up more insulation. I'm hoping we'll find more treasures. :)