Tuesday, October 9, 2007

86 Years of Ash

Children make you inefficient and ineffective. That's the only way that I can explain how much my parents accomplished this weekend compared to what Ms. Huis and I accomplish in a weekend. Ma and pa visited this weekend, driving up on Friday and leaving on Monday. All day Saturday and Sunday were spent doing various projects at the House of 42 Doors.

The plan was to have ma paint Pumpkin's ceiling, woodwork and room. Pa and I would get the lawnmower (a found treasure) working, clean out the basement and plaster the shower. Ms. Huis was on kid wrangling duty.

It was a good weekend. Kids were wrangled, lawnmowers ran, showers were plastered and basements cleaned. Pumpkin's room didn't turn out quite as intended though (more on that later).

Some numbers from the weekend.

1 - the number of found mousetraps (yay!) and also the number of lost mousetraps (boo!)
3 - number of garage stalls full of the previous owner's stuff found in the attic and basement.
4 - number of inches of dried mud and dirt still at the bottom of the cistern (future project)
10 - number of gallons of dirt swept out of the basement
25 - percent off of paint at the local Sherwin Williams (yay for lucky coincidences!)
26 - Current mouse count
50 gallons - number of gallons of ashes dumped out from the fireplace

Has anyone ever come across the amount of ash that wood creates when it burns? Because I'd love to know how many cords of wood it takes to generate 50 gallons of ash. And the ash dump still isn't as clean as I'd like, but that was all I could comfortably reach. I may have been the first one to clean out the ash dump in 86 years.

Where does 10 gallons of dirt come from in a cement, hollow block basement? I could see if it were a dirt floor basement, but a fully contained, sealed basement? Where does that come from?

Yesterday was mouse free, but it's not really a fair comment as I only had two traps of the five set. I set all five last night. If they are empty today, I know I'm finally making progress.

As Ms. Huis stated in an earlier post, we are running into problems with calcimine paint. Calcimine is a paint that consists of chalk, water and gluing agents. As the gluing agents age and lose their strength, nothing painted over calcimine will stick.

When ma went to paint over the existing latex paint in Pumpkin's room, she noticed a small peeling corner. Thinking she'd just flake off a little bit of loose paint, she fell victim to the same sort of madness that seized me with Penguin's room. Next thing she knew, she had a whole wall of paint peeled off of Pumpkin's room.

Sunday was meant to be a painting day, but instead turned into a paint removal day. The current state is that now both of the girls' rooms are stripped down to calcimine. Penguin's room turned out to be a pleasant Mediterranean blue and Pumpkin's is a dark forest green. They both need to be washed down to the plaster, patched, primed and painted. Ugh.

Ma has been doing a lot of research on calcimine since she found out that we were dealing with it and has come up with some interesting ways of possibly dealing with it, everything from tape to wheat wallpaper paste. Once we've tested them all out, I'll do a post with our results so that some other poor bugger doesn't have to suffer through everything that we did.

Father in law (fil) and mother in law (mil) will be visiting this weekend. They saw the house at it's worst, just a few days before we took possession of it, so I'm hoping for some wow factor in all the work that's been done so far. I just won't show them the three car garage full of junk.


ShoNuff said...

10 gallons of dirt in the basement??? Wow, it must never have been swept.

DiploWhat said...

I beleive it depends on the kind of wood as to what the wood to ash ratio is.
I would just say "a lot". =)

Anonymous said...

ok that's fine, i just added up tons of new emo backgrounds for my blog