The Quest for a Whole House Continues

Yeah, it’s not happening any time soon. But, there are more stories to tell and progress to report!

I forgot to tell you the story about the mice, so that will be the first story. Not the mice that rained into the bedroom. No, the mouse that fell while giving birth. Here are the events:

  1. Drew and I (before the ceiling incident) were going to pull up the linoleum floor in the bedroom. He sought out the old shop vac we hadn’t used yet from the shed and was carrying it up. Once he reached the top of the stairs, it fell open and out came a mouse. That was in the process of pushing a little life out of her vagina. I wish I had a picture. I came up and she was trying to carry one infant mouse into the bedroom while the other was coming out of her.
  2. She made it behind a pile of bedding, but lost one. We got two boxes. One for the mother and one for the babies, depending on how we caught them. The one she couldn’t bring along, blind little tyke, I scooped up first. It was so fragile feeling.
  3. We cornered the mother and got her in a box and her other baby with the first one. She was terrified. I don’t blame her.

    Newborn Mice from shop vac
    Two mouse babies, dramatically brought into this world.
  4. The nest the mother had built in the shop vac, we put in a plastic bin and drilled holes in the top. We put some food. Then we put in the mamma and the babies.
  5. She didn’t eat them.
  6. After a few days, she made a hole to seek out a new shelter (so I imagine).
  7. Then, she got her family and left.


The second story revolves around a chimney we found. We’d wanted to put in a high efficiency wood stove or a fireplace to warm our house over winter. This is pretty difficult without a chimney, but damn it, there looked like there had been chimneys judging from the chimneys coming out of the roof. It just didn’t seem like a thing to build for show.

In some of the rooms, there were these strange rectangular protrusions from the wall. Seemed likely to be hiding a chimney, right?

Right indeed.

From left to right: Audrey (Drew’s mom) and Drew about to do some damage to that wall.The chimney fully revealed (after cleaning up a crap ton of soot, rags that were shoved in there, and evidence of the yellow pages from 1976 mixed with plaster). Amazingly, we can see right up to the sky from inside the holes.


Lastly, but certainly not least, the update on the bedroom. It’s amazing, it’s dirty, it’s a work in progress. We’ve taken down almost all the ceiling and Drew and I (and some help from Drew’s sister!) have been working away and breaking down and bagging up broken boards, insulation, plaster, glass, and other misc things that fell from the ceiling.

Top then left to right: A few of the bags filled with the filth of our ceiling. View of the rafters (and evidence from an apparent fire) and into the ceiling, sporting a chimney passed the bedroom. First and last photo are an explanation of what a “clean” looks like at the end of the day. Not bad really.

The results of such madness are, of course, fights using diatomaceous earth (we are trying to kill the mosquitoes using it) between siblings covered in construction filth:

 Images taken on my phone.

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