Friday, November 5, 2010


We got so much stuff done Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday that I am frankly still playing catch-up with reporting on it here at Tetanus Burger. So, in addition to getting the south end of the cellar cleaned up on Monday, on Tuesday after the iron and metal run we went back in and starting going after the bench along the west wall too. We got a good start to sorting all the stuff there, and actually got down in large part to the bare counter top, which, holy moly, I was then actually able to wash. Like with soap. Though looking at the pictures I can see that we've still got more to do, especially in those shelves/cabinets which are missing the doors.

The before and after:

It's odd, though. When I look in the pictures I can see how much more there is still to do; but when I'm down in the cellar, down in the reality of it, it looks so much better than it was. I'd think it would be the other way around for some reason.

At any rate, even if there is still more to do (and there is, boy howdy, there is), getting that bench cleared is important for another reason: it actually makes the place functional. We now have a clear, well-lit space to sort things, like, say, tools, which are being put aside for later sorting. For example, we're throwing away the obviously broken or hopelessly rusty and useless tools of course. But there are still useful ones, too. So for now we are setting them aside (well except for all those damned hand saws; those were just an abomination unto the eyes of the Gods) so that later we can look at the forty or fifty screwdrivers and pick out a set or two, because I can see having, say, a decent set in the house, and another in the garage/woodshop.

So: functionality is also a very worthy goal.

On Wednesday we did another iron run, but we were kind of tired of it all and so were planning on taking a break from it; but stuff came up. Namely, the furnace decided to not work Monday night, as in, when I turned the thermostat up—nothing. Now I figured it probably wasn't anything major, since the fool thing is only four years old; but the next day my mother actually took the initiative and called the furnace guy, who walked her through resetting it, after which it has been working just fine. I don't know if kicking up all that dust in the cellar had anything to do with it, like, say, clogging something up, or if it's all just a coincidence. Anyhow, the furnace guy is supposed to come over to 'service' the thing to make sure it's okay.

But he also wanted to get to the tank.

The tank is in the downstairs breezeway. Remember this?

There is an oil tank in that space, believe it or not, though it is completely hidden in the picture by the stuff in front of it. So all that had to move, even though we, really, were kind of done with the cleaning stuff thing for that day.

But there wasn't anything for it. The thing, though, was that what appears to be a table over there on the right is actually an old Bolens tractor, which actually still works and may prove useful for pushing dirt around, since one of the other things my father hoarded was piles of rocks and even, get this, piles of sand the town had cleaned off the roads. So there is a bit of landscaping and smoothing that it might come in handy for, though we are not, at present, at that stage of things. Anyway, the thing that looks like a table is the old Bolens with stuff piled on top of it, and with a hunk of plywood thrown over it so that more junk could be put on that. Here's a better look at it:

Can you see the top edge of the oil tank lurking there behind all the junk? Not really? Don't worry if you can't.

But of course first the Bolens had to have a place to go. So, while there was as always quite a bit of the usual sorting of various grades of trash, there was also some additional shuffling that had to be done. For example, to move the Bolens the old Honda motorcycle had to find a new home, since it was in the way; but to do that meant Tara had to first clean out a corner full of junk, which she did quite nicely, and which involved some of the ever-cathartic smashy-smashing of crappy old cabinets. Here's the corner before and after, with the motorcycle moved into it:

And the corner the Bolens was going into had to be rearranged a bit, too (though I didn't get a picture of that).

So we sorted and rearranged (and in the process filled up some more bins with iron for another iron run), and eventually got down to the Bolens itself.

Now the problem with that was that one of the tires was blown out. Not just flat, but wouldn't hold air. And the thing was damned heavy, let me tell you. But we got it moved (again, when Tara decides something is going to happen or an immovable object will move, seriously, the Universe hups-to, yes ma'am) and finally got it over where it needed to go. Here's the before again, with the after following:

Oy. That was a lot of work. So, when we were kind of toying with the idea of doing another iron run today (Friday), we both just kind of looked at each other and said, Nah.


Sid said...

Mrs. M kept piles of rocks, too. What the?!

This may be a female hoarder thing, but did your family have lots of clothes hangers and baskets? We've found that in our treasures, and seem to notice it on the hoarding shows.

Thalia said...

Well rocks have been known to spontaneously generate from the ground around here, but that's because it's New England. Also I can always use them since I have plans for more fieldstone walls. The sand, though?

We had lots and lots of coat hangers here, but still always had to scrounge to find one, since they were all taken up with my father's shirts, which were packed unbelievable tightly in any closet that would hold them (his own closet, the front hall closet which was supposed to hold everyone's winter coats, my mother's dressing room). I don't know about baskets. We never seemed to have enough laundry baskets; as for regular baskets (of a decorative sort) my father wasn't interested in them. They weren't sturdy enough to hold car parts, probably.

Anonymous said...

I can sort of relate to the tool bench. My dad passed away a year ago and my brother has been sorting through the garage when he has time. Dad, though not a hoarder, had quite a collection of tools amassed over the course of 50 or so years. There must be 40 box knives and 30 or so rolls of packing tape.

Sid said...

Thalia, I have a reader who would like to contact you.

Would you mind sharing your contact info with me? My email is available in my Blogger profile (now).