Good Riddance! ....I Think...

Well, if I hadn’t already used the title previously, last night would have been another good candidate for “point of no return.”  Since we’re at a slight stand-still in the basement (weather is part of that, though not ALL of it), Hubs suggested tearing out the drywall in the garage as a way to fill up the dumpster that technically should have been returned today.  The other option he suggested was to just rip off the band-aid and get started in the den.  We agreed on the den, as the garage isn’t really a big deal to either of us at this point – it was merely a suggestion to get lots of heavy drywall into the dumpster quickly, while the den is actually really Getting Started!  Yay!!!  And “Oh, God, what are we getting ourselves into?”  And “Here we go again.” Good riddance to this moldy, rodent-soiled, problem-filled drywall and brand-new-but-already-trashed carpet!  I think…

Now, Hubs and I have an interesting relationship when it comes to the shuffling-stuff-around dance.  He announces an area to be worked on WEEKS in advance.  I nod understandingly and enthusiastically and I am well aware of exactly what needs to be done, but I get choked up because… well, when everything that’s in there either BELONGS in there, or plain doesn’t have a place it DOES belong….where am I supposed to put it?!  So I procrastinate, and silently wait for his help and guidance.  Meanwhile, he’s silently tapping his toes waiting for me to move all MY household junk out of HIS new workspace.  And, in the past (in Charleston), it used to come to a head the day that he’s ready to work in that new space and it’s still full of household stuff – he basically starts throwing all the stuff out of that space into a chaotic mess (if I WANTED it organized, I would have gotten it out already, right?) and I’m reduced to tears of helplessness because I just didn’t know where to start or where to put it all – I hate moving things over and over and over, just shoving them off again and again – nor do I ever open my mouth and TELL Hubs that I’m overwhelmed with it or ask for his help!

Last night started off similarly, but without any anger or frustration (at least that he expressed) on Hub’s part (we have had lots of long talks and he understands the above paragraph without my having to say it now – he just sees that nothing’s moved and KNOWS it’s not because I don’t WANT it moved, I just probably didn’t know where to start).  He sweetly helped me carry out the big heavy stuff – a couch, Lil C’s desk, two TVs and a TV stand, and then sat down and watched TV with Lil C for a bit, waiting for me to finish with all the smaller stuff.  Luckily, the den didn’t really have a whole lot of ANYthing in it – I’ve known for quite some time that we’d be starting there, so I haven’t been filling it up with anything permanent – just temporary consumables, mostly.  But as he wandered away and I was left carting smaller things to the attic, I couldn’t help but let a few tears fall.  “Here we go again,” I thought to myself.  “This is the beginning of NOTHING in our home having a place of its own anymore.”  Then I’d blow my nose and stiffen up and tell myself that at least I have Hubs’ word that he’s going to try to not RUIN everything we own – just displace it – and I’d feel a little better.  Then I’d go back and pick up something else that required thought on where to best store it temporarily and my mental circus would start all over again.

But eventually, it all got cleared out, and Hubs cheerfully got to work while I went back to fixing dinner.  And, as usual, I didn’t snap a picture until he’d been working for about five minutes, enough to get it this far:
Here’s as close to a “before” as we’ll ever get!
And we found a few surprises along the way – shall we call it I Can’t Make This Crap Up: Round Three?
Hubs tried to pull off just the trim from this door.  Notice how half the casing came, too? Grrrr.
Deer Tag – I have no words. Hubs found this in the radiant heat baseboards.
More mold – thank God we’re doing this!!!
It’s hard to see, but there are actually TWO dead wires here, plus that crazy ….crossbrace?..., and a strange metal plate (far right) that we’re not sure what purpose it served.  Oh, and we can’t leave out the fact that this is indeed a HOT copper pipe that feeds the kitchen’s radiant floorboards – it’s been totally exposed since we moved into the house.  Carolyn learned early on that it was hot. She didn’t touch it all summer, LOL!  And I didn’t bother getting a picture of the totally loose outlet box that was living within this wall, too.
I actually kinda like the pattern of this wall paper.  Hey Mom, do the colors look familiar???
Obviously the paper was turned over – I flipped it for the picture… interesting, nonetheless.
And, slowly, bit by bit, the drywall came out.  Because it ties into the story later in the evening, I’ll take this opportunity to tell you that several spots in the ceiling came down with abundant amounts of acorns, candy wrappers, chewed-up insulation-turned-rodent-bedding, and rodent poop on them.  And, of course, one must stand nearly directly underneath the ceiling drywall in order to remove it.  So he basically got crapped on.  Without warning.  Repeatedly.  Oh, the glories of DIY home repair…..
All the dark spots are air flow.  Yay.
And I had to take this shot this morning:

Because the power decided to go out in our ENTIRE TOWN last night around 9:33 - and didn’t flicker right back on. (I woke up a few minutes before 4am and it was finally back on.)  Anyway, around 9pm, Hubs decided that all the drywall was out, so he would start in on the fireplace, as “quitting time” around our house is closer to 10pm.  Now, we WERE planning to keep all that brick as-is and enclose it in drywall above and slate below, but since, um, there is actually drywall behind AND above it, and some of the bricks are cracked anyway, Hubs thought it’d be easier to take down the bricks above the mantle and get ALL the drywall out.  With all the mold and other surprises we’ve found already, I wasn’t about to disagree.  Hubs had gotten about two rows of bricks out when the power went out.  I stopped shuttling debris to the dumpster and held the light instead.  (I’ll publicly use the excuse that our brand-new DeWalt flashlight is so poorly balanced that it won’t stand on its own – and it won’t – but Hubs and I both know it’s because I’m still terrified of the dark.)  So he decided to pass the time by telling me about this movie he’d just watched at work a couple nights ago – Splice– in all its sci-fi/horror glory.  Thanks, Hun.  

He continued working until closer to 10:30, since we weren’t going to get to watch any TV anyway.  Karma took her revenge on him for telling me ghost stories – he got a 2.5 minute shower in before the water pressure gave out (we have a well).  He still had soap in his hair, poor guy.  At least I was able to recover enough water from the basement valves for him to rinse off!

And so, at last, we crashed into our cold bed in our dark bedroom, plugged in our cell phones in hopes that they would magically start charging in the middle of the night, and passed out.  (And yes, we both showered this morning!)

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