kls_eloise (kls_eloise) wrote,

My life underground - day 6

I’ve reached a point in this process where I have lost forward momentum out of sheer bafflement. Last night I went down into my pit, looked around, and literally had no idea what to do. I could move things from spot A to spot B, but that feels like rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Yes, I could do that for the purposes of the chimney work, but that’s not really the point. I do need to clear space for the workmen, but the over-arching goal is to use that necessity to jump start the real purpose of cleaning and organizing the basement so that it is a usable space for storage, woodworking, brewing, and anything else deemed appropriate.

What finally struck me is that *my* portion of the job is probably 80% done. It really is time for Bob to get involved, and after Charlotte went to bed he came down and dove into the brewing corner. It’s really bad. It’s one of the areas that when we moved in, we slapped up the shelves, threw the stuff on them, and moved on to more immediate projects. It was never organized to begin with, so it went to hell very, very quickly and very, very thoroughly.

We started by getting some stuff out of the way in order to make room to stand. Just getting all of the empty bottles out of the way was a good first step. I wonder if the crawl space might be a good place to store cases of empties? If I cleared the area just to the left of the opening, that would be reasonably convenient and they’re fairly impervious to anything that could happen to them under there. This is an interesting idea that I need to explore. That’s about all we got done last night, and while it doesn’t sound like much it made a fairly large impact. Unfortunately, there are still cases and cases of bottles on the floor. They’re full. This is the stuff that we bottled fast to clear out carboys a few years back, and they were never shelved because they still haven’t been labeled, and the only thing worse than a mystery bottle is a case of mystery bottles. Bob is going to work on labeling a case or two every day. As that happens, we can stow them on the wine rack, the cases can be filled with empties, and more floor space will appear. As we dig our way into the main area, that will hopefully allow us to get the carboys that are currently in the middle of the floor onto the shelves.

Unfortunately, we’re in the middle of that “it has to get worse before it can get better” phase. By exploding the brewing corner, we’re destroying all the area I’ve been clearing all week. It’s necessary, but it’s frustrating. Regardless, I’m excited about getting this all pulled together. Hopefully we can get far enough into the problem corners to take full advantage of Wednesday’s bulk pickup, because after that we’re back to regular trash. I’m feeling okay about it for the moment.

Another special moment was when I realized that I had turned the dehumidifier on for the season last weekend and asked Bob how many times he had needed to empty it. The answer was that he hadn’t. That didn’t seem right, given the relative feeling of damp and slight eau de must. We checked, and there wasn’t much water in the bin, which just didn’t seem right. It has also been freezing up a lot lately – although part of that is that Bob insists on running it in the winter even though it doesn’t work below 65 degrees. It occurred to me that the filter probably needed cleaning. It’s got a filter, right? I went and found the owner’s manual in the file, and it not only showed us how to remove the filter, it told us that it should be cleaned weekly. I’m not sure we’ve EVER cleaned it. It was frozen in place, so there wasn’t anything we could do except turn it off and wait for it to defrost. Bob pulled the filter this morning. His quote on the situation: “Eeeeeewwwwwww.” Perhaps it will work better now.

I pulled together the stuff that I’m bringing to barony meeting to give away, and got it all neatly into various containers. I pulled together the three bags of fabric, trim, and paper to give to day care for crafts, and Bob is going to drop those off this afternoon. I started a new box for the Salvation Army. That’s progress, isn't it?

Tomorrow is a problematic day. Bob has a job fair in the morning, which means that I can’t go down to the basement until he gets home. If all goes well, that could take a while. So when he leaves for that, I’m going to pack Charlotte into the car and head for Ikea. I can’t solve all of my problems with Ikea shelving, but I can solve many of them that way. I’m planning a surgical strike, and then back to the house. What I might do is work in the garage until Bob gets home. There are boxes out there that I always meant to get sorted to donate, and I’ve just never gotten around to it. There is a Sauder cabinet that can be donated once I put it back together and that is one more thing out of the house. Charlotte can come out and play in the driveway while I work in the garage bay, and that should make both of us happy. Then when she goes down for a nap, I can dive into the basement. It seems a shame to hide in the basement on as nice a day as it is supposed to be, but you have to do what you have to do. Then when Bob gets home he can get back into the brewing mess. At least on a bright, sunny day I can open the Bilco door and let in the light. Maybe I’ll bring the big fan downstairs to move some new air in. It’s a thought.

Sunday we’re going to my parents’ house. Mom has been digging up hostas for me, and they want to see Charlotte. That’s nice, but it means that the day is a loss. On the bright side, I can take a picture of my dad’s coffee can holder, and work on replicating it.

Tonight I’m just going to try to help sort things some more. Maybe I’ll work on moving all of the honey over to by the workbench – get all of that in one place. Or maybe I’ll see what I have to do in the crawlspace to make room for the bottles. One or the other.

This is all worth it – right?

Tags: basement, house

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