Cap Guns and Cold-Blooded Murder

Our work on The Cottage continues. Just when I thought we had run out of discoveries to be made, our contractor Jay and a neighbor kid who is doing some work for us found some old newspapers, a porcelain doorknob, the remains of an old pocketwatch, two pennies (1912 and 1936) and the remains of a 1916 Big Bill cap gun.

Great treasure!

None of it is worth anything in dollars – but in terms of sentimentality or the love of history? It really is fascinating.

Take a look at this piece of a newspaper article for example…


And take a look at the old cap gun…


It might not look like much, but it is a dead ringer for this 1916 Big Bill cap gun…


Imagine the little boy who played with that. Running about the neighborhood, perhaps paired with a cowboy hat, vest and boots. The adventures he must have had!


Our contractor Jay, removed all of the front porch except one lone strip that we are using to access the front door. We have a mudjacking company coming on Wednesday to give us an estimate on mudjacking our front steps. The concrete steps are solid, without a single crack, so I would far prefer to level them instead of knocking them out or building over them.


As you can see, we have also removed the broken, sidewalk. The columns that currently hold up the attic will be broken down and the brick re-used to create a wide sidewalk leading up to the stairs and also then along the front edge of the new porch to the west side of the house.


What is that I spy? A lightbulb? TWO lightbulbs?! Slowly but surely, Dave is working on the electrical. First lights, then outlets. Exciting stuff!


So this is the back porch. It once was an unenclosed, but covered porch. They put in that weird divider, along with a door to make an impromptu closet. The outside siding is undoubtedly asbestos.


The windows are broken and their wood is rotting. And the inside walls are made of this atrocious looking fiberboard stuff.

Our GC, Jay, had the great idea of covering it with beadboard. This will provide a cute little space (once the beadboard, chair rail, and windows are replaced) for sitting with coffee. Eventually we will landscape the yard beyond and remove the jungle of weeds, making it a cute place to go down into. I would like to fence it off first, so that people don’t continue to trespass through this yard and the others.


The back bedroom is looking better. Well, sort of. It has light, and it’s relatively clean.

Okay, I’ll admit it. Rehab work offends my OCD sensibilities. I want to clean everything in sight. But no matter how much I clean, it still looks dirty!


However, it is GREAT to not see a bunch of plaster and wood anymore. That makes me all kinds of happy.

Life marches on.

I’m come to the realization that I will not finish edits on Book #6 anytime soon. Every spare moment is caught here, in this rehab. Not even the impending homes tour can manage to keep my attention. That long list of “to-do’s”? Out the window. As our dear friend Kent pointed out so astutely, our house is beautiful as is. Yes, it would be more beautiful if I were to finish that long list of “to-do’s.”

But as people file through, they will see so many things completed. And if they see things in the middle, begun but not finished, perhaps they will think, “Yes, they are human too. Life gets busy, and you don’t have time for everything.”

Now back to work I go.img_0087

p.s. Look at that huge stack of drywall. And that’s only half of it!


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