Mac n’ Cheese Manor: Let’s Play a Game . . .

Carl and I played a neat game this past weekend and I thought it would be fun to share it with all of you!  The game has no rules and there are only two parts.  Part One is called: What is that smell?  And Part Two is called: And where is it coming from?

We decided to play while in the middle of puttying the floors upstairs.  I came down to get something (I honestly have no recollection what it was now.)  and I smelled the most horrendous smell in our downstairs hallway.  My first thought was natural gas which completely freaked me out as my sweet Sunshine was sleeping in the next room.  But when I had Carl come down to give it a whiff, he said he’d smelled it faintly earlier and thought it was wet towels we’d forgotten to wash once we got our washing machine hooked up.

I informed him that the bag of wet towels we brought from the apartment was the first load of wash I had done when we got our washing machine hooked up and his brow crinkled in concern.  If not the towels and not natural gas, what could it be?  We noted it was much stronger at one end of the hall than the other and put part one of the game on hold to focus all of our attention on part two.  After sniffing and wandering for about five minutes, we pinpointed the strongest odor in the master bedroom (which is currently filled to the brim with boxes of our things.

It was at this moment, we both paused, looked at one another, and gave voice to our deepest fear: what if a squirrel died either in the walls or in one of our boxes of things?  The smell was certainly rank enough and that would explain why it had progressively gotten worse on a hot day . . .

Continuing on with our search, I noted how close we were to the half bath off the master bedroom and on a whim went inside.  I won’t say the smell got worse so much as it changed in an odd way that made me curious.  So I went to the toilet, which we have never used, lifted the lid . . .

And there it was.  The bowl was coated in blackish-green slime and there was no water.  The septic had backed up!!!!!! EW. EW. EW. EW!  As luck would have it, I had recently received a recommendation from our good friend Bri on a fantastic bleach/lysol toilet bowl cleaner.  I literally ran to retrieve it from the bathroom we have been using and liberally applied it.  Even though it says you don’t have to scrub, we scrubbed, we let it sit, and then, with a touch of fear in our hearts, we flushed.

It all went down leaving a sparkling clean, white bowl free from wretched odors!  And so ended our game, may we never have to play it again as long as we live.  : )

Even as I type, the guy who is putting in a whole new septic system (the sellers are putting it in because the old one was not up to code) is outside, hard at work!  And not a moment too soon.  : )
Septic

 

 

Mac n’ Cheese Manor: Rodent Remnants Be Gone!

Hello friends!

It’s been a wild week in the life and times of Mac n’ Cheese Manor and it’s not quite over yet.  First, I must give credit where credit is due to my best friend since the fourth grade and her amazing husband.  Not only did they trek across the country to visit us for a week (and folks, they had warmer options for a getaway), but they helped us empty the second half of our storage unit into the manor!  Which leaves us with only our apartment to clean up and clear out.  I doubt anyone dreams of emptying storage units on their vacation, but we are eternally grateful because they easily saved us two days in this process with all their help!

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Now, we must finish handling our rodent infestation problem so we can fully move into our crazy, old house.  To be clear, there are no “current residents” that we can discern of the rodent variety.  It appears that they came and went some time ago.  That said, rodent feces is bad news and can make people very sick so we are handling this thoroughly and with care by bleaching the $%&* out of all the floors, closets, and shelving and then painting over the sub flooring with Kilz.

Things to know about Kilz: if you read the reviews of this product online you will cry laugh, it likely gets it’s name from the fact that it smells like it’s killing you slowly (which is why Carl will wear a respirator mask, gloves, and safety goggles and Miss Baby is not allowed in the house until it is not only cured but painted over with an acrylic primer to seal in the stench), it seals off odors, stains, smells, and whatever is on/in the old floor that you don’t want to touch ever.  It’s cool stuff!

Yesterday, we finished bleaching, pulled up all the carpet, and busted up/removed the old tack strip.  Today, the dream is to finish moving in, get the Kilz and acryilic primer/sealer down, and clean the apartment top to bottom.  We are loading up the trailer together, then dividing to conquer our remaining tasks (and to keep my Sunshine away from all the bad smells!).  We have taken before photos, but decided not to post any until we have the afters to post with them.  So in lieu of complete pictures of the progress made so far,  here are a couple teasers.  (*Note: No babies were exposed to dangerous bleach vapors, old carpet dust particles, or any other harmful substances in the making of this blog post.)

Happy Sunday, I hope everyone is having a great weekend!  : )

 

 

 

 

 

Mac n’ Cheese Manor: The Barn

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Last weekend, we had some time to chat with one of our neighbors (two of our neighbors grew up in the house).  She told us about how many happy hours her father and brother spent in the barn working on projects.  Apparently, they were wood workers who loved fixing things up and general handiwork.  Prior to their living here, this barn and the small outbuilding attached were used for a dairy farm.  The milk was kept in the outbuilding where the milkman would come and pick it up to make his deliveries.  There was a different barn here in the 1800’s, but it was blown down by The Great New England Hurricane in 1938, after which, this  one was built.

The barn is huge.  And while the bottom level is a tidy shop with little to clean or organize, the top is a fantastic disaster.  I say fantastic because it is a veritable treasure trove of old, random china, wooden crates, vintage furniture, mirrors, a trunk, suitcases, piles of unused lumber, a stack of handmade shutters, screen doors, and so much more.  I say disaster because it is almost completely covered in guano and mouse poop, filled with mouse nests, and under a thick layer of dust.  Needless to say, before we can put any hay up there, we have quite a bit of cleaning to do!

Here are a couple photos of the upper level to give you an idea what we’re dealing with:

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Yikes!

We are ordering respirator masks this week and hopefully getting started with some clean up shortly after they arrive.  Obviously, one of our biggest challenges is that we can only work on it one person at a time since our wee one is not allowed anywhere near this particular project until it is 100% complete!  That said, I am excited to get to it and hope to do at least as much salvaging as trashing.  I’m starting a sub-section to the Mac n’ Cheese Manor blog series which I call, “We Found it in the Barn.” where I will feature our favorite discoveries.

That’s all for now!  We are still in progress on quotes for the electrical in the house as well as a lengthy list of what we want/need to do and when we want/need to do it.  So, as I suspect I’ll be writing for years to come, stay tuned for the next installment of Mac n’ Cheese Manor! Coming soon . . .    : )