Homestead Day 62 Wednesday 11/22/2017
Today was another day beautiful day. The air was full of humidity and it magnified the mountains across Kachemack Bay so that they appeared even larger and a lot closer than they really are. Skipped breakfast again unless you count 8 cups of coffee as breakfast. Read some of the usual bad news from around the world while consuming ‘breakfast’ and then got on with the work.
The first order of business was to close the inside wall of the old cabin, It makes up one side of the hallway and leaks cold air like crazy. I caulked every location that even appeared that it might leak and the floor to ceiling gap where the cabin and the house were joined. You could see daylight through that crack. I installed to sheets of wafer board and then sheet rocked over that. That was the end of that pneumonia hole. It’s fate was sealed.
Having finished the hallway I turned my attention to the downstairs bath. While it is sealed up and not leaking cold air into the house, it needs the same treatment as the hallway. The first project was to removed the remains of the old sheetrock that was under the edge of the tiled tub surround. And do it without knocking down all of the tile, of course. Several attempts later, I hit upon the idea of putting one of my worn out sawzall blades into my RYOBI saw. Worked like a champ. Got all of the sheetrock out of slot deep enough to get the wafer board slightly behind the tile. The tub and the tiled surround are truly ugly and the tub plumbing leaked and the floor under it needs to come out. The rigid joint between the tub and the drain pipe broke due to the settling of the house. All will be replaced in the Spring, if we don’t fall through the floor beforehand. Back to the wafer board. I had a piece leftover from earlier project and it almost fit perfectly. It was the right length and width. All I need to do was cut a notch where the support beam for the upstairs comes through the bath and use the holes to cut out for the vanity plumbing. Just as I finished screwing it to the studs I heard “Daa-a-ad”.
Summer had discovered that the kitchen sink was leaking underneath to the connection to the sink from the drain pipes. Yep. Both of them. I had, apparently, tightened every thing but them to the max. The root cause of the leak was that the sink drain line had frozen. That line had so much drop in it I didn’t expect that is would or could freeze. Summer headed off to town to get a pipe heating tape at 3:30. She was hurrying as she wanted to shower, dry her hair and get ready for dinner and drinks with some new friends. It was still almost an hour before she returned.
While Summer drove cautiously fast, I moved the wire shelving she had assembled earlier to the newly warm hallway. This led to clearing canned goods and whatever off all the flat surfaces in the kitchen. The Steele Family has always had and is a carrier for a terrible disease. It’s commonly called FSD which stands for Flat Surface Disease. The symptoms are every flat surface in the house is covered in some manner with paper, books, magazines, small cardboard boxes and detritus from all manner of places. This manifests itself as being too lazy, too busy or not knowing where to put the whatsit and then just placing it on the nearest flat surface until you have time or can figure out where it belongs. Over time the flat surface accumulates so much stuff that it begins to fall off. This is when you rake most of it into a trash bag and throw it away or burn it. There is some sorting of the pile, but we aren’t hoarders. We pay all of our bills online so there is rarely a piece of paper important enough to miss it, if it gets burnt in the stove.
Summer returns. I get dressed for crawling under the house. I round up the duct tape, the insulation, the flashlight, the heat tape, an extension cord and crawl under the house. Thirty minutes and some very cold hands later, I crawled out with the deed done. Now all we have to do is wait for the pipe to thaw and the sink to drain before attempting to wash dishes.
Summer left at about six and I sat down to read the news. I didn’t get through my usual 10-12 news sites this morning so I was feeling seriously uninformed. About 8:00, I made myself a three egg omelet with onions, some cheese and red pepper flakes. I sautéed the onions in butter and when they were translucent I poured the egg into the piled on the cheese and sprinkled the red pepper on the egg. It folded properly for a change is it was a nice easy dinner. Nice easy clean up too, I ate it out of the pan.