Bob & Ellen's Excellent Adventure

Black Sheep Tower House

Baby Steps

June 2, 2021 Just keep on keepin’ on… lots of small bits of progress happening. (Who can resist pictures of lilacs in spring? So you get another one!) Did I mention my cherry writing table adventure? There is a local tri-town facebook group for selling random items, and I found these cherry writing desks in Durham… cheap. They were being used in a small office, but since everyone was working virtually, the owner was selling off the furniture and giving up the office. He told me he got them from a Portsmouth antique dealer who claimed they came from the historic Wentworth-by-the-Sea resort on Newcastle Island, when they tore down a good portion and renovated the rest in the 1990’s. Who knows, but it is plausible… I once stayed there with my parents in the 70’s and the rooms all had fabulous furniture including writing desks with stationary, pens and so on in the drawers, so very “of an age”. In any case, it took me 3 trips, but I scooped up 3 of them at $20 a piece. A bargain, and even though they are a little scuffed up, they really will be useful (I am writing at one right now!) Thank you to my neighbors Peter and Than for helping to carry them upstairs – although I was proud that I got them in and out of the SUV by myself ūüôā

Meanwhile, I had noticed a strange odor in the old laboratory/”Frankenstein room”… kind of like sewer gas (will it EVER end??)… So, behind this wall, which is now missing most of its gauges or whatever… is a step down cubby with more inexplicable “stuff” behind the wall…. more to follow….

I initially thought the sink trap was the culprit (there was a soapstone lab sink here at one point), but the sniff test proved negative. From the basement level I tried to deduce where and what the pipes were in the general area. Aha, a “P trap”, which I only vaguely understood until the mysteries were revealed on the internet. Now, where did it go?

There was undoubtedly a reason why these water lines needed to empty into this drain pipe but it is beyond me. I don’t even know where they are coming from! However, I do know that the sewer gas smell is coming from this pipe, so I wrapped it up tight in some tape (probably should have put some water down there first but, oh well, it would just evaporate). Problem solved. Who knew?

Outside, I worked a bit on the rock wall, which needed some filling in, if my plantings were not going to wash away. I “harvested” some large rocks from various piles around the property (as big as I could lift) and some smaller fillers to shore up the wall. I think it came out ok!

Sydney has been having trouble with stairs, so we’d been taking her out the front door, which is clearly easier than two sets of stairs and a landing up and down from the apartment! There was a sketchy kind of step over the threshold, but I wanted to make it better for Syd, so me and my trusty shovel re-set and enhanced the entrance, adding a half step. It made a big difference! She is such a good girl!

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