Monday, February 22, 2010

The Harry Potter Cupboard

We're big Harry Potter fans 'round here; we were a bit late to the party but once we joined in, we never left. So when we first saw this house and its cupboard under the stairs, our first thought was "we have a Harry Potter Cupboard". Everyone in the house from the youngest to the oldest calls that little closet by that name.

When we wandered the house, peeking into eaves and closets to figure out how we'd store the belongings of 5 people, the previous owner peeked in with us and gave us details of each place - whether it had been repaired in any way or simply left in the state they'd found it in 11 years earlier. The Harry Potter Cupboard was in its original state - plaster had begun to fall off the walls and ceiling and the flooring lay a good two inches lower then the floor of the dining room - it was the original sub floor. There were two home made shelving units being used by the P.O. to store cleaning supplies and tools; she told us that those were the original kitchen shelving - bending over to look closely at them, we noticed that a can opener remained attached to the bottom of one of the units. I've since brought those units out, one into the mudroom to store shoes and baskets (to collect the change, the keys, the receipts and other miscellaneous items we seem to hoard each week) and one into my office where I use one for storing my genealogy work (the can opener remains there for all to see~).

But, other than that, the Harry Potter Cupboard remains in much the same condition as the day we moved in....less a whole lot of plaster which tends to fall down with little notice. But, that's about to change since that cupboard is project number one on our list this year. Last year, as I painted the stair risers on a cold windy day, I noticed that I felt a draft - I grabbed some caulk and did the best I could to hold us 'till we got around to that little room. The stairs are in the middle of the house so we'd never really thought that it could be contributing too much to the drafts we experienced and that we systematically attacked during our first years here.

This year showed us the error of our thinking and let us know that the little room might have been something we should have tackled way back when we first moved in....since January 1st, we've experienced a very, very cold winter by Florida standards - and the winds we live with brought with them a wind chill that made it seem so much colder. During that 11 days of below freezing temps - and while we had no heat for 4 of those days, I realized the extent of that room's affect on the inside temps. Walking past the closed door one morning, I literally heard the wind and felt a large draft coming from that room....I immediately grabbed a blanket and draped the door allowing a huge puddle of fabric to lay against it on the inside - I placed a door stop on the outside to keep the door from shifting open and like that it stayed for close to two weeks. And its been like that a few days since......

This weekend, we emptied out the cupboard and spread its contents around - items now temporarily reside in the unused downstairs shower, on the dining room table and along every available open space in that room.....the project is on!

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