Curiosity killed the cat.

And satisfaction brought it back.

In the old homestead on the Mountain Farmlet, there was a wall that had a funny bulge.  The bulge was very firm and would not budge.  However, just to the left side there was an odd caving spot that was very movable.

One day while there alone my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to investigate…

It was like peeling an onion. 

Off came the chair rail, then the paneling.  Underneath of the paneling there was scrap wood, foam board, cardboard, chip board, seven layers of ancient wall paper, and some cotton fabric that had been soaked in mastic and applied to a rather large void.  On one side of the void were large 12 and 14 inch planks, and on the other side was tongue and groove wood siding.  The top of the fabric nearest to the ceiling had been opened at some point in the past, and so…

I removed it to reveal this!

What-was-insideIf you do not recognize it, then I will tell you.  It is the northwest corner of the log cabin that was built in 1840.  The odd cut length of the log’s ends are why the wall bulged in this spot.

I was so surprised to find that there was no mold or mildew under all that old paper.  But now what to do about this uneven wall?

It was suggested to me by the Octogenarian’s daughter-in-law that I might put a viewing window here.  I think she may be right.  It will require us to do a bit more revealing,  some brushing and vacuuming, and the hole will have to be framed out and some plexiglass installed as well, but I think it will be fun to leave a portion of the original home open to view.  Don’t you agree?

In other news  we must report that we are at a standstill as to what we can do to the house to repair it.  We have to wait for the foundation man and the plumber to work their magic first.  Then we can call in the electrician to fix the wiring.  It is going to take some time.

So yesterday, with intentions to work in the yard, we arrived with shovels and rakes, work gloves and boots, only to succumb to a mild summer day and a blue sky with big white clouds.

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We walked in our woods, then sat on the bench on the front porch to eat our lunch.  We observed a Carolina Wren building a nest in the newspaper slot under our mailbox and watched the butterflies and bumble bees sipping nectar.

Later we walked by the pond

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Buddy found a *rat snake near the ravine, and Bob finally got to go exploring!  He makes me smile every time he says:

“It still hasn’t sunk in that this is really ours.” Or, “This is such a beautiful place, I wonder if it is for sale?” 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh yes, and something is missing in this picture.  Do you remember what it was?

NOTES on Rat Snakes:

Rat snakes (aka: chicken snakes) are really maligned!  I went looking for a picture of one for you to see and everywhere I turned there were rants about them.  You know, they will eat your chickens eggs if they can get into your coop, but hey!  Secure your coop!!!  There is a reason they are also called RAT snakes,  and they can be very helpful in rodent control if you keep animals and feed.

I am not above touching one of these farmyard visitors… when, and if, the need arises!  LOOK HERE

Besides, the last time I saw a “chicken snake” on the farmlet, well, the rooster and my 15 hens were chasing it off the premises!  😉

Visitor--Black Rat Snake

Visitor–Black Rat Snake (Photo credit: cotinis)

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26 thoughts on “Curiosity killed the cat.

  1. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography) says:

    I think it’s a great idea leaving part of the original homestead open to view. Your mountain farmlet has an interesting history and worth sharing.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Vicki, I never know what my friends will find interesting. I’m glad you are enjoying the bits of history, because I sure enjoy sharing them! 😀

  2. Littlesundog says:

    Oh, rat snakes! Yes, we have them here… in fact they are the most commonly seen snake on our property. They can get large, and I’ve seen them in trees, so they’re climbers to boot! The smaller ones are cute, but when they get big, I respect them enough to RUN when I see one!

    You are always so positive Lynda… something I love about you! If that had been me investigating that bulge in the wall, I think I would have become overwhelmed at what was underneath, wishing I hadn’t been so curious! I know whatever you come up with, it will be clever and WOWing to the rest of us.

    • Lynda says:

      I tend to imagine that they will only bite if you mess with them. That said, I don’t mess with them unless it is absolutely necessary! I have seen my cats and the chickens chase and or/kill them.

      OOOOH, trust me, Lori, I did this damage almost three weeks ago. It took me a long moment to catch my breath and have a good think… and then a new friend to helped me to understand what to do with it after I had dissected it. Her suggestion sounded fun, solved my problem, and just happened to sound like one heck of a good idea! 😉

      Clever and wowing? Possibly, I will give it my best effort. Highly unusual? Indubitably! 😀

  3. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Something missing… Um, pretty sure that would be the pickup?
    LOVE your bit (and attitude; ) on the Rat Snake!!
    About that original log wall though… Call me a nut, if you will, but, if the logs are in that good of shape, I might just be tempted to go whole-hog and take those layers away altogether (or maybe preserve a portion of them in their own little “memory box/window frame”; ) ’cause, “back in the day”, most people didn’t apply siding because they NEEDED to (as in, some of my relatives), but because they were sick of what they had and just wanted a change. So, do yah think I’m off my rocker, or what? (And you wouldn’t have to worry about covering up “the bump” any more either; )

    • Lynda says:

      Deb,

      On something missing: NOPE! Guess again. 😉

      On the original log wall: That is exactly what I said I was going to do.

      Yes, I’ve read that quite often the old cabins were “updated” and “modernized” in the 1920s and later. In this case, it was added onto, updated, added onto again, and then added onto one more time!

      Bob makes jokes about it being like the Winchester Mansion…

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Tom. This dragonfly was all over the place and hard to catch!

      HA, waiting for any repairman can be a long one. However, in this case none of them will start until it dries out under the house. It will be the middle of this month, or more before they are willing to start, and I certainly can’t blame them.

  4. Playamart - Zeebra Designs says:

    i did the same in the basement of our old home in natchez mississippi.. there were these ’rounded’ areas, and yes curiosity got me as well. i found nothing interesting.. go figure!!!!

    the dragonfly image is really nice! i’m so glad that you’re enjoying exploring your new home! z

    • Lynda says:

      Glad I’m not the only one who goes digging for buried secrets in the walls… LOL!

      Thank you, Lisa, it was a difficult catch. They are really skittish!

  5. Margaret says:

    I’m for finding as much of the original house as possible but then I would love to have a log house. I can’t blame you for just enjoying the day. We have had so much rain it is hard to get outside things done. “Our” rat snake lives under the house. I do not go under the house. On the plus side, we didn’t have any mice in the house last winter.

    • Lynda says:

      Margaret, yes, we would like to do that too! We hope that on the other “newer” side of the house we will find more of the tongue and groove wood used for the walls.

      I know what you mean about that rain. We haven’t been able to mow here in awhile, and the lawn is beginning to run to the wild side.

      As for the rat snake, well I’m with you, better to use a natural rodenticide than to use poisons any day! Did you know that some of the newer poisons have no treatment for reversing the affects? Did you also know that any animal that eats a poisoned rodent will also be killed by it? So far, I have only read of one dog that has survived this poisoning. Scary stuff!

  6. Margaret says:

    makes me like the snake a little. although when I saw it slithering under the house like wasn’t the word!

  7. shoreacres says:

    Well, I just spent over an hour looking for a photo I took – and had for a while! – but it seems I may have deleted it. Either that, or its only on a flashdrive somewhere, and I’m tire of looking.

    What it was, was a photo of a piece of wall in the old City Hotel in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, that has been opened up and framed out precisely so that the bousillage (moss and mud) construction of the building can be seen. It’s traditional Cajun construction, and just marvelous. (It’s also my favorite bed and breakfast in Breaux Bridge and where I stay when I’m there. It’s a little funky, not quite so spiffed up as others in town, but I like it.)

    I did find this example of some bousillage that’s been made available for view. Love the guy’s screen name – turducken!

    • Lynda says:

      Oh, I hate it when I know I have it and I can’t find it! Sorry. Thank you for sharing the photo link to the Cajun construction method. It would be similar to the construction of adobe using mud and straw/grass, yes? I look forward to completing my own window into the wall. 🙂

  8. LB says:

    I can’t wait to see you end up creating a window in the wall and into history. Fabulous idea!! and by the way, that dragonfly photo is stunning!

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, LB! As for the window into the past, well I can hardly wait myself! At the moment we are working on getting the bathroom floor up so we can repair/replace the damaged areas. This is such an undertaking! But this too shall pass…

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