Bob & Ellen's Excellent Adventure

Black Sheep Tower House

But Not Quite

September 18, 2020 The last 2 days have been rather noisy considering the rural dirt road surroundings; thus far the neighbors have been very patient. Randy spent a day and a half jackhammering the ledge at the bottom of the hole, to increase the depth by as much as 7 inches at one end, so the tank would fit. Now we know why the slope of the pipe is so shallow, and the stone wall was built, and all that. There is a lot of ledge around here. Of course there was also the associated scraping, digging and scooping of sand, rock and dirt. It was an unrelenting, brain-rattling process, but by early afternoon on Friday, it was ready (thank goodness).

Meanwhile, Bob was working (trying to concentrate) and I was being industrious. We have no problem running the water, just disposing of it. Have I mentioned that oddly, this house had many, many garden hoses laying about, but no outdoor spigot? We had one installed and we have been steadily cleaning the grime off of assorted things around the place. For example, I had to clean the small stepladder before using it for painting, it was literally sticky with some unknown residue. Krud Kutter to the rescue. Tony turned me onto this stuff and I can’t imagine cleaning without it now, it really is magical. One bucket was so disgusting that one of the workers was ready to throw it in the dumpster, did I mention we now have a really big dumpster by the side of the garage? Bob loves pitching things in there, it makes such a satisfying clang. So, the commercial-sized Rubbermaid mop bucket had an inch or two of vile black sticky stuff in the bottom and was otherwise filthy all over. With close to 3,000 sf of concrete floor on the first level, a mop bucket was going to be handy. I was ready to buy a new one until I looked up the price and realized that maybe this was a task where Krud Kutter could live up to its name. And so it did, with a hose and brush on the concrete apron outside the garage. Look at it! Too bad I didn’t have a “before” picture.

You might wonder why there is a Port a Potty photo included here, and that would be a good question. I shared that the hole was ready for the tank today, but sadly the tank would not be going in the hole. The soonest they could come back to install the tank was MONDAY. A whole weekend more of this…. argh, words fail me. Bob L ordered the delivery, in part probably because I looked like I was going to have a meltdown and also there was a whole crew of workers coming on Monday to do the roof….

With some introspection, and retrospection, perhaps we are not always using our time wisely, with all our smallish cleaning tasks. Bob has been working away at organizing, collating and cleaning up the many small items left about the place. He has almost completely cleared out the attic above the lab, including the weird wood chip bin (a leftover project from the previous owner). Between us, we have begun making a small dent in what needs to be done, which is satisfying because we think of this as OUR project, not just a place we bought where everything would be done for us by others. And in so doing, we are discovering and learning a lot about the history of the house, and all its idiosyncrasies. The last time Tony and Michelle visited they immediately noticed the progress, so even though we often feel OBE (overwhelmed by events) things are definitely improving, slowly but surely.

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