We are discovering new things all the time. When Darwin was cutting grass on Saturday, the neighbor came over to say hello, and we found out our property extends about 40 feet farther to the right than we thought it did (past the fence). Which means we own a whole row of enormous old crepe myrtles.
That same day we went under the house. I'd been longing for a peek under there, and I finally braved my fear of spiders and other mysterious creatures. I wore gardening gloves and long pants/sleeves, so I wouldn't have to touch anything! Fortunately, once we were past the cobwebby doorway, the crawlspace was actually quite clean and critter-free.
There were two main focuses of this excursion - to take a look at the flooring under the master bathroom and to determine what is making the floor slant in the guest bedroom. We were pleased to discover more insulation than we expected and an explanation of why certain rooms are colder than others - no insulation. Duh.
Under the master bathroom, we discovered the original plumbing. This bathroom and the guest bedroom were added on many, many years ago, and it apparently was configured this same way. There was a hole cut in the floorboards from where the toilet pipe once was, and we could see a metal grid - the backing on tiles?
But the question remains - is this the back of the original tiles or the back of the '70s ceramic tiles? Darwin is less than optimistic about the subject of the bathroom floor, but considering how much higher this floor is than the surrounding floors, I'm inclined to believe there may actually be a layer of older tile under there. Hmmm ... could we look in the air conditioning vent and see? Why didn't I think of that before?
As for the slanty guestroom, we have a possible culprit. The foundation of the house was originally brick pillars, which have since been filled in around the exterior with more brick. In the center of the guestroom floor is a brick pillar that looks a bit unstable ... looks like it has even been stabilized at some point with boards. I looked at the room from above again this morning, and it looks like the room slants from the hall down to the center and then levels out again. So this brick pillar in the middle seems a likely suspect.
But if we fixed this brick pillar and brought the left half of the room back up to level, wouldn't it make the right half (which looks level now) appear slanted down? Maybe the thing was built slanted in the first place. I am no builder, and Darwin surprised me by being less sure of what to do than I thought he would be. He is so handy that I generally assume he can do anything around the house. But it looks like we'll have to call in a professional for this one.
After Darwin went back to cutting grass, I explored under the front porch, where I had seen some interesting stuff
. The stuff turned out to be a few stacks of metal roofing tiles, two old glass jugs (moonshine? hee hee) and - wonder of wonders! - a cast iron fireplace cover! It's a bit rusty and dirty but beautiful! We think it probably belongs in the living room, which is adjacent to the dining room with the matching fireplace cover.
This is a great development because it will look better but also because our cat Henry decided last week to use the ashes in the fireplace as a makeshift litterbox. Not cool.
Darwin is going to ask his brother's brother-in-law to sandblast it for us. Then I guess we'll repaint it black. Woo-hoo! I love discoveries!
But that's not all ... at 5:21 on Sunday morning, we were awakened by the sound of rattling doors in the house and the cats barreling down the hall in fright. Darwin says he felt the bed moving and saw the light fixture swinging. I suggested it might be a ghost (since I had seen a mysterious shadow of a man behind me outside that afternoon), but we called my parents - who are always awake that early - and found out they saw their china cabinet shaking a bit. Also, the dog next door was barking, so I figured it was something that happened to more than just us.
It turned out to be an earthquake, right here in Alabama ... 9 miles north of Eutaw, to be exact! We had never been in an earthquake before. This one was small - none of my precariously placed Fiestaware or dolls fell down - but it was quite a way to wake up!
Labels: bathroom, mysteries