To get to this stage, I have had to clear three different layers of wall covering over nearly all the room. First was the painted wood panelling, then came the original drywall with its multiple layers of wallpaper, and finally there was the tarpaper and blown insulation.
The tarpaper was held in place with strips of wood nailed to the rafters, providing a surface for the blown insulation to rest on. I suppose the paper would have been likely to tear out if it had just been stapled in place, but this seems like a very labor-intensive way to have installed it. For me, it just meant more nails to pull. (Though this pales in comparison to the sheetrock which was nailed every thee inches along the entire perimeter of each sheet.)
I filled three contractor bags with old insulation and tarpaper and lowered them out the upper window to the side yard using a hook and some rope. If I set the hook just right, I could pop it loose when the bag reached the ground and recoil the rope up with me to send down another bag. I saw at least one passing driver slow to gawk at the sight of me leaning out a second floor window while shaking, tugging and cursing a bright yellow rope. It was quite a show.
Tucked in with the newspaper-based insulation, I found the remains of a bird’s nest near a vent box in the roof. The nest material was tall grass and I found a large striped feather as well, neither of which appear to be from recent activity. I’m no ornithologist, so perhaps you, Dear Reader, can tell me what kind of bird this feather belongs to.