Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Clearing out the graveyard

Over the last year, little random things have happened here and there that have often made me stop and wonder about the history of our little house and all of it's past tenants. I always wonder why anyone would paint over an entire window (in the pantry), or put drywall and siding over several others (2 in the living room alone). I wonder who's idea it was to paint a bunch of potentially gorgeous natural wood molding glossy white, saturate a beautiful built-in hutch in even more white, and cover a brick fireplace in - you guessed it - white. I'm curious about how other owners had furniture laid out and what kinds of decor they had. But the thing that sparks the most imagination is a little area we will probably never use, and that I avoid at all costs due to it's scary track record. If you've read this blog you've heard about it before...

The crawlspace.

Or, as I like to sometimes refer to it - The graveyard.

Now I'm going to let my readers that I can count on one hand in on a little secret. It's a secret that we haven't done a very good job of keeping, and one that Dan's parents seem to love bringing up to watch me squirm. Ready? Here goes...

We found a bone in the crawlspace. A knee of some sorts, to be more precise. Want to see a picture? I thought so.

Our poor friend Dusty was the lucky guy that found this wonderful piece of "history" complete with hair still on the bone and everything, while in the crawl space doing some electrical work for us before we even moved in. I've resisted blogging about it simply because I think it is DISGUSTING, but seeing as Dan loves to show it to people when they come over and I plan to utilize it somehow in our Halloween party decorating, I figured it's about time I post it here. Unfortunately we have no idea what (or better, who) the knee belongs to, but thankfully Vince was able to confirm that the structure of it shows it is clearly NOT human, thankyouverymuch.

There's more to the story of the graveyard, though. Let's not forget about the cat that died in the crawlspace, and the other small animals and rodents who's rotted skulls we have found in there. Really.

All of this being said, it was clear that it was about time we do something about the crawlspace so it could stop being a death trap for all the little furry creatures in the neighborhood. We did talk about having the space professionally done after Garfield died in there, but $2,000 is just not the kind of money I want to spend on a space in the house that isn't even livable. So, we decided to tackle it ourselves! Bring on the long weekend and Dan's desire to be productive, we asked Mr. Lawler to come over and help and next thing you know we're all crawling around in there and stapling up insulation to warm up the front porch a bit... and believe it or not, I quite enjoyed myself helping.

Thankfully, I had 50 apples to do something with so I managed to get out of the first leg of the project by working on an apple pie. By the time I climbed in to help, the guys had removed 3 huge garbage bags of debris from the space, plus this, which we plan to keep around -

Pretty cool, huh? Yet another little piece of the house that makes me wonder about the people that lived here years ago. Was this something from an old owner's business? Just a piece that someone saw and bought because they liked it? Does it have any significance? Either way, we think it's neat and I plan to google the heck out of it the next time I'm bored at work.

After Dan closed up all the little holes of access to the outside world with cinder blocks and put down a plastic vapor barrier tarp I was happy to climb in and help with the insulation, and I'm glad I did! It turns out our house is a little older than we thought, which I learned when Dan pointed out walls covered in old newspapers, yellowed and dirty, but still readable! I got a kick out of looking at the headlines from the early 1920's and found myself wishing I could go shopping with the prices listed in the ads. Wishful thinking!

Look! The Cubs used to be good... in 1920.

A look at fashion advertising...

Clothes for $1!!

Boxers for 19 cents!!

Apparently malted products were all the rage...

And an article about the price of pigs "jumping" 10-15 CENTS, which I found amusing just because of all the swine flu news these days -

While all of this is fun and games, I do want to acknowledge the actual work that was done in the crawlspace in between my picture taking. Besides family pictures from holidays, I do believe this is Mr. Lawler's first (awfully happy!) appearance on the blog!

And here's Dan stapling up the last row of the insulation -

Stay tuned... I'll be filling the blog with apple recipes galore later this week!


Anonymous said...


I am honored to appear on the blog for the first time. Your storytelling skills keep getting better. I'm thinking the house has lots more stories. Keep it going...

Mr. Lawler

Susan said...

Wow! What neat finds!

And how exciting to really be digging into your house and getting making it perfect :O)

Your costume idea sounds so fun! I hope you post a picture so that I can see it.

P.S. You apple cream cheese thingy is calling my name... And I have everything but the apples right now. Which really isn't that hard to take care of... YUM.

Barbara McAuley/Bond said...

OMG 906 was my grandpas house where my dad and his 3 sisters lived with their parents. I was the first McAuley grandchild, and remember back to the mid 1930's. Grandma died before I was born and Grandpa died when I was about 15. Many a time I scraped my elbows on the stucco in the narrow breezeway from the front of the house to the backyard. I used to sleep on the front porch when I stayed overnight at Grandpas. Gee I could go on and on with stories. I have to see your pix of the kitchen as I remember it being very small, and do you still have the pantry??
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