Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's Always Something

A hat tip to Gilda Radner for today's title.

If you see Steve and he has a little time on his hands, a "creative mess" can't be too far away. Yesterday I mentioned a few "minor repairs." I think I was blocking aot so minor repair, which is in process today.

The trailer we're in is a 1967 model. Yes, 1967. It was derelict when we first saw it--the land was being sold just as land; the trailer on it wasn't even mentioned. For years, to the dismay of our neighbors, it had been used by squatters, and when we first opened the door to look at it, when we bought in 2004, we felt like we were entering a time capsule. Whoever had lived here last left in a hurry. All of their belongings were here, as well as old stuff from the original owners, who hadn't been in here in years. Old bowling and fishing trophies, a collection of caps hung on a wall, and piles and piles of old newspapers. The electricity had never even been turned off.
At some point in the trailer's history, a stick-built addition had been put on one side, so it's more than just a trailer. We actually have more guest sleeping space here than we do at home.

We bought the place "as is," stipulating only that the former owners clear out the junk.

Whenever it rained, we noticed there was a leak at the place where the trailer and the addition joined. We put up with it for a couple of seasons; then Steve got the idea of putting an extra large tarp on the roof as a cheap way to close the leaks. (The place is going to be demolished within a couple of years to make room for a proper house, so we never really contemplate major repairs.) Putting the tarp on the roof, of course, required walking on the roof. We gave thought to the possible fragility of it, but once Steve finished the tarp job without actually falling through, we figured the roof was still fairly strong.

The ceilings in the trailer are pressed cardboard. Make that forty-year-old pressed cardboard. When we entered Thursday, we noticed that the ceiling over the kitchen was distended, as if it were pregnant. There were spots on furniture where you could see water had been, and the distensions in the ceiling were damp and discolored. In short, the joint between trailer and addition was dry as a bone, but a major part of the ceiling was grossly water-damaged. Uh-oh. It appears even though Steve didn't actually fall through the roof, the weight of his steps made enough hairline cracks up there to let water in.

So today, we took down the ceiling in the kitchen. The place is currently a mess, and I have the time to sit here and tell you about it, because Steve had to take a break from the ceiling job to go to the pier and deal with the boat's moorings while it's warm enough outside.

We discovered under the pressed cardboard is a layer of plastic, and that has little holes in it which were letting the water through. Beneath the plastic is wet insulation. The quick and dirty fix we're doing is to put up another layer of plastic, and then cover that with cheap white sheets. We just bought the sheets at WalMart. When Steve's done outside we'll put up the sheets, move things back where they belong, and get on with life. Without looking up too much.

Fun, fun, fun!


Anonymous said...

I decided to make your potato salad recipe a day ahead so it really combines well for Sunday dinner tomorrow. We also found a pineapple recipe for the ham. But the dressing I just tasted is WONDERFUL. I just poured it over the hot potats and put it in the fridge to cool for four hours. Thanks. That was fun.

Ralph said...

It'll be perfect with the ham. Great idea--I always have it with fried chicken. Never think about ham, for some reason.

I'm getting hungry!