March 06, 2010

Revealing Renos

Today Hus and I worked on tearing out more of our kitchen/living room, in anticipation of various contractors coming over the next few weeks.  We had to tear out a few cabinets for the electrician to do some work on Tuesday, but will still will have a functioning kitchen until next week when it all has to come out for the drywaller and the floor installer.  I hope that friends will have pity on us for the next month, otherwise we'll be eating out a lot!

Doing renos reveals a lot about your house and the people who formerly lived there, and the time in which it was built.  When we pulled out one of the bottom cabinets, we found a whole stash of ephemera that had slid between the countertop and the wall.  This is better, I think, than finding a whole stash of knives in a ceiling, as one of my sister did when she was doing one of her renovations years ago. 
 Come to think of it, at the last house we owned, Hus and I found a whole bunch of pornography when we pulled up purple shag carpeting in one room.  Seems to go together, doesn't it?  Note: there was no porno in the stuff we found today!

The first interesting item was a 'Master Charge' bill from the year in which our house was built - 1979.

On the reverse, the Interest listed was 18%, so people were getting fleeced in 1979 from credit cards too.  So no feeling nostalgia.  The nostalgia kicked in when looking at the third item on this list - this person filled up their vehicle at Chevron for only $12!!  And, only three item?  Our monthly credit card bill is usually three pages! (full disclosure: we pay it off in full every month; we do most of our purchasing on the credit card to earn aeroplan points). 

In chronological order, the next thing was a UI (when it was known as Unemployment Insurance!) statement from 1983.
I was surprised to see that the amount this person received was $302 for two weeks.  I wasn't so surprised to see a UI claim for 1983.  This was a time of recession, restraint and unemployment in the province of BC.  It was also a time of high interest rates. The interest rate in Canada in 1983 was around 10%.  If this poor sod had bought our house in 1981, they would have had a mortgage of around 20%!  Maybe they needed that $302.  And the keypunch holes are very quaint!

There were also two sets of McDonald's calendar stickers from 1986.
And finally, lots of recipes from two different hands.  One is for Trifle. 

I won't be making this one for the simple fact that Jello appears as the first ingredient.  I occasionally like Jello, but don't think that it should be part of anything else.  Especially not trifle.  I also like that the recipe writer had to include brackets next to 'sherry' noting that it was (booze).  Not to be mistaken for the neighbour, Sherry.

The other hand lost 5 recipe cards down this gap in the countertop.  I wonder if she ever had to make something for a potluck and searched in vain for her recipe for 'Drumstick Canapes."  Maybe it was good that she could never find it, since no drumsticks actually appear in this recipe; rather it is for wings.  In the modern parlance, we would call these "Chicken Wings."  But in the 1980s, it was all about show and flash and big hair; you could imagine 'drumstick canapes' or Dynasty or Dallas, rather than the modest 'chicken wing.'  
I might keep the recipe for Lemon Sponge Pudding that she got from Gladys.

Can't wait to see what we'll discover when we rip out the rest of the cabinets. I'm hoping not water damage or anything like that!


Mick said...

Wow! We found pictures and a little box of record needles when we re did the bedroom dated 1956!

Midcenturymadam said...

A wad of one hundred dollar bills would be nice.

Jill said...

Lemon Sponge Pudding never goes out of fashion!

We've done many renos and never find anyhting very exciting, the odd old coin and once a children's book from the early 1900's.
Have fun during your reno, keep your sense of humour intact, you may need it!

Reduce, Reuse and Rummage said...

Thanks for the comments and assurances! Perhaps a wad of $1000 bills would be good, considering our reno is snowballing the way I hear so many others do!

acorn hollow said...

Thanks so much for following my blog!! I bought a house in 1980 and had a very high interest rate. I believe around 18% We opted for the adjustable morgage they were new at that time. In 2 years our payment when down 300.00 which was alot then. I think that was the only good time to have one of those morgages.