Today I found . . .

Today, while doing yard work, I noticed a hole 6-9" deep and about 12" from the foundation in front of my house. It is not important to this story what caused the hole. After some poking and investigation I found a 4" deep layer of paint scrapings under that 6-9" layer of dirt. Weird. I have owned the house since 89. At that time (and still) it had steel siding that was installed in 72. I doubt the siding installer scraped the paint prior to adding the siding. I would guess that someone scraped, painted, found that wasn’t much fun and when it was ready for another paint job had the siding added. Checking wiki I found that lead paint was banned in the US in 1977. So all those scraping must be lead paint. Out of curiosity I dug a few more holes around the house and found the same thick layer of scrapings.
Since I have a well I am going to ask my Dr. about a lead test.

So, what did you find today?

I found that when people say “It’s not important to this story what caused the hole,” I immediately want to know what caused the hole.


I wouldn’t be too worried as it is the dust (or licking or eating) that causes the greatest harm. That said, I would leave them right where they are and fill in the hole.

Not today, but last night when my son and I were cleaning out a utility closet I found a clip that holds the step ladder halves together when it’s folded up. I have been missing it for years (there was still one on the ladder, but two work better, obviously, and the asymmetry offended my sensibilities). What was funny is that I immediately recognized this small brown piece of plastic and ran with it to the garage and installed it in its rightful place. I slept well last night, finally.

While cleaning my great grandfather’s basement (house built in 1802) I noticed a little divot in the floor- I poked at it and it sounded hollow. Upon further investigation I discovered there was a secret trap door which, when opened, revealed a narrow tunnel that extended beyond the range of my flashlight. I ventured into the tunnel, and after a few hundred yards or so there was an old shovel sticking out of a small mound of dirt. Curious, I used the shovel to dig away the mound, until I heard a ‘thud’. I pointed my flashlight down in the hole and saw an ancient looking wooden chest. I opened the chest, and, heart beating, as I took out the glorious contents (not relevant to this story), I noticed how narrow the tunnel really was, and that contrary to what I had believed,I found that I did not in fact suffer from claustrophobia.

Last Spring my basement flooded up to mid thigh (I am 5’6"). Had a sump pump installed with the outlet on the front of the house due to the convenient storm drain at the end of the driveway. The installer advised me to disconnect the hose for the Winter and I did. However, at the end of this Winter, the basement flooded before I could reach the outlet and reattach the hose. (We had a HUGE amount of snow this year.) So the run off from the outlet eroded the deep hole.
Boring, right?

Yeah, can you keep on subject here… we’re talking about an eroded hole with paint scrapings in it. No need to clutter it with an ancient chest in a tunnel under a trap door kind of stuff. Sorry, back to the paint scrapings… what color were they?

Color? I need to know what finish they were? Matte? Semi Gloss? Wait, I bet it was eggshell. Was there sand in it, tell me they put sand in it. Drool.

Amazing how such a thing can bring so much peace. But I know the feeling of identifying a random article, and knowing where it belongs and how long it’s been missing. You have made the universe just a little more complete.

**Today I found . . . **

On my way home from work and saw a pile of trash sitting at the end of the drive way. I focused in on a back pack with airline tags attached. Snapped that sucker up and brought it home.

It’s a Euro Trail, clean, must be some where between 40L-50L capacity. It has a small tear in one of the side pockets. The straps and back support appears to be functional. I’ll load it up this weekend and see how it feels.

Yeah for me.

Brown on one side and dark aqua on the reverse. FWIW the garage was never sided. It has dark brown doors; the front and sides are gold (matching the siding on the house) but the back is painted the dark aqua color.

Not me but my wife.

She was coming out of the gym today and when she got in the car she looked up at the sign on the building in front of her. There was a dark blue piece of material blowing in the wind hanging from the sign. She got out to check it out because she thought it looked familiar, sure enough it was my daughters sash from her brownie uniform, she lost back before Christmas. My wife figured someone must have found it after the snow melted and stuck it up there in the last few days. Odd eh?

Years and years ago in the winter I was walking along the sidewalk downtown and a bracelet I was wearing became unhooked and fell off my wrist. I noticed this eventually and retraced my footsteps to no avail. It was gone. So - many years pass, and I found myself downtown on that same street, and walking along, what do I see? Yeah, a bracelet. Not the one I lost, the color of the stones was different, but it was the exact same style as the one that slipped off my wrist so long ago.

Nothing of note today, but the OP reminded me of an interesting one from a few years back.

We were renting a condo, and there was a small area in front where you could tell there used to be a garden. I decided to do some planting, so I started by digging up the soil and turning it. I didn’t dig too far when I hit metal. I dug around the obstruction and pulled it out – and found another one underneath.

When all was said and done, I eventually unearthed four old, rusted out, leaky paint cans filled with used motor oil. Actually, I shouldn’t say “filled” since half the oil was now in the dirt. Fricking EPA nightmare, that garden was.

go east

Check for bedbugs. Someone may have been traveling, picked up an infestation and instead of trying to debug their pack they could have just tossed it.

My story of what was lost but now is found - I had lost a full face glass window swim mask at a beach and the following year I found it half buried in a sand bar during low tide. The rubber was in decent shape and the glass was intact but well on it’s way to becoming opaque.

Last week I was digging through boxes of old miniatures and found bunches that I’d forgotten about, including several Grenadier brand minis from the “Fighting Men” series. While I was online researching the ones that I’d posted pictures of, I found that many of the minis that I’d thought were Grenadier were made by Ral Partha, including the “3-Stage” character series. I also found that although Grenadier closed down years ago, many of their molds were bought out by Mirliton SG who are producing a lot of the old minis.

Heh. Hal’s story reminds me.

A couple of summers ago, we put in a patio - retaining walls, pavers, the whole schmear. The beginning required a lot of excavation. One weekend, we *thought *we’d knock out a ton of it in a weekend. Then we noticed this big void under the temporary stairs near the house. So we thought we’d just dig it out. After all, we’ll be putting a lot of weight on top, don’t want it to collapse.

By Saturday night we finally reached the bottom of the staircase - turns out the void was caused by the previous owner. He’d bricked up the old door that used to lead into the basement, then had sort of filled in the staircase down to it by piling boards and large rocks and half-assing filling it in with dirt.

By Sunday night, we’d succeeded in knocking off the top step and filling in the entire staircase, properly, from the ground up. Shovel in a ton of dirt, grab the 8x8 tamper, and pound it all down. Lather, rinse, repeat.

When we finally knocked off, it looked like we hadn’t done any of the excavation we’d planned at all. But we were dog tired. And the only treasure we found was a glass vial filled with a nasty looking liquid and a beat up ceramic frog. (He’s now patron saint of the patio.)

That weekend I found that my home’s previous owner was a dick.

For reasons that aren’t important to the story, I own a human skull. It has three removable teeth. Shortly after I acquired it, I noticed that one of the teeth was missing. I searched all over the place, in a radius of maybe ten feet of everywhere I had the skull, but no luck. That tooth was done good and missing.

That was almost four years ago.

So last weekend I was giving my apart the kind of cleaning that it’s never had before. I threw out 6 or 7 large trash bags of stuff I sort of wanted to keep, but couldn’t justify keeping. I was down on my hands and knees dusting behind furniture. I was behind one particular table, and I saw a little white thing in the dust. It was the tooth! How it escaped the vacuum cleaner for all those years is beyond me, and I have no idea how it got all the way on the other side of the room. But no matter, my skull no longer looked like a hillbilly!

I also found maybe 3-4 dollars in change, and a button to a shirt that I figured I’d probably never wear again.

Before you do that, I’d figure out how much remediation will cost in a worst-case scenario, and THEN decide if you want to waive any sort of plausible deniability when it comes to lead paint.

In extremely related news, I woke up this morning to find out my new neighbor hired a crew to scrape the paint off their house on the side facing me, complete with “LEAD PAINT - POISON - DO NOT EAT OR SMOKE” signs, cordoning tape, and plastic sheeting.