We ripped out the kitchen ceiling, exposing a vaulted ceiling with rough cut rafters. Next we tackled the living room walls. First went the paneling, followed by the ceiling with fake wood beams, and finally the lath. The squirrel that lived in the beams was most displeased with the noise and the dust and decided to move out. It’s quite possible he has moved back in the meantime, but I haven’t seen any evidence of him.
After we cleared the bedrooms of everything but a wood stove, an antique iron bed frame, and a dresser, we set up camp upstairs with cots, blow up mattress pads, and sleeping bags we could leave behind. Once I figured out a semi-permanent solution to keep the mosquitoes out, it was really quite comfy up there. And relatively clean.
To collect all the debris, we had a thirty or forty ton dumpster delivered, I can’t remember the size but it was huge, which we filled up at an alarming speed. We made great big campfires with the wood we cannot reuse, everything else went in the dumpster.
It wasn’t all work and no play, much to Lola’s relief. We finally stopped at the Hanka Homestead, an outdoor museum depicting life of Finnish immigrants in the Upper Peninsula one hundred years ago. We used to drive by it every time we came up from Milwaukee, and it has been on my to-do list forever. It is a very well maintained homestead with several barns and a spring house, looked after by volunteers, and I highly recommend a visit if you’re in the neighborhood. Bring bug spray!