There have been lots and lots of piles that look just like this. This is the result of lots of plaster that is 160+ years old, full of horse hair and weighing a ton. Removing the plaster was actually kind of fun. The progress when doing this is tangible. You start a wall that has some chipped plaster, you start removing in a methodical process popping lathe and then peeling away the plaster that is no longer attached to the wall. I put it in a trash can right away, but my husband preferred the- throw everything in a big pile and sort it out later- method. This is the difference between us, showing blatantly. I prefer to take life and sort it out and put the plaster in one pile and the lathe in another, keeping things orderly so as to reduce the clean up. He would rather just get it off the wall as fast as possible, and let the chips fall where they may, causing a clean up that is arduous and difficult. Yes, we definitely have that difference in viewing many areas of our lives. But, I think that may be the very difference between most men and women anyways, so nothing overly unexpected about that, right?
There have been many a trash can filled to capacity just like this one. The ones I was putting the plaster in didn’t make it to half full before you just can’t lift them without the two-wheeled dolly’s assistance. I won’t tell you how I figured out that little lesson…let’s just suffice it to say, that plaster was handled more than once and now it needs to make its way to many, many contractor trash bags. I am eternally thankful that we don’t use plaster on walls anymore. The clean up is nasty, especially when you do something like I made the mistake of doing in my eagerness to get the place ship-shape and ready to start running the electrical as soon as we got the permits. I got the kitchen completely cleaned out, everything gone, it looked great, except for the thick layer of plaster dust on everything. I took the shop vac and vacuumed all the walls, the ceiling and windows. I was anxious to get to the dust on the floor that we were traipsing all over the house. So, I started to vacuum the plentiful crap that had fallen down the walls since the home’s birth in 1837. A lot of mouse…um, dirt, yes, we’ll call it dirt…sucked up the tube. Oh, happy day! Everyone who knows me understands that the ONE and almost only thing I can’t stand is rodents of any kind in my house and most especially my KITCHEN. So, it was with some deep satisfaction that I sucked that up the hose. Then I started on the floor, happily making tracks in the dust as it disappeared up the hose. I started at the wall and was working my way back through the room, when I began to notice an inordinate amount of white in the air. I turned around to the entire living room almost invisible in the white plaster dust cloud being blown right back out the vacuum and all over EVERYTHING. Oh. My. Goodness!!! I shut it down and took it apart to discover that the filter had fallen off, and so there was nothing collecting that dust. In one end and happily right back out the other, creating a snowy world. I wanted to cry.
But, in the end, this is the room we are now left with for the kitchen. Looking pretty good, right? We’re trying to decide if we are going to add another layer of flooring to it so that we can level it out, it is pretty rocking and rolling on that floor, plus then it will bring it up to the level of the fireplace hearth, making walking on that less dangerous. So very excited to get busy putting this back together.
We are excited to get this place put back together with our stamp on it, making it our home. We had a friend stop by last weekend, she had not seen the house before then. Now, granted, it was 1/2 torn apart on that day, and a mess was everywhere. Her voice said to us “oh, it’s so cute!” and words like “it’s gonna be great when you’re done”, but her eyes very clearly stated “you guys are freakin’ crazy” and “no way would I ever bite off so much just for a house”. But, see, we’re the kind of people who are never afraid of hard work or the “crazy” project. It’s not the first time we’ve been mired in this type of situation, but it is the first time that we have been so excited about the possibilities of this being our long-term home. And since we know this is basically the only opportunity we had available to us to stay in this affluent town where our kids have spent most of their lives and want to stay, we’re willing to do the hard thing most people don’t want to do. For our boys, but also for our financial peace of mind. So, crazy…perhaps. Short sighted…nope.
And lastly for your viewing pleasure and because he makes me smile many times a day, here’s a gratuitous picture of our farm dog, Brady.