Everything seems to take me about three times longer than it ought to.
Pulled down the light fixture in the hallway--which took some doing, because I don't think it's been pulled down since that hallway was first painted in 1965--and chipped away the rest of the failed paint, then painted with latex primer. Did the same for the other spot.
Done with the primer, I went to work on the spackle. Sanding first; but while sanding I found about a half dozen other places that needed patching, so I patched them. Then went to work on taking down pictures in the family room and spackling their nail holes.
I had intended to at least paint the ceiling in the family room today, but A) didn't know what kind of paint to get, exactly, and B) other things got in the way, as we'll see.
It took me a couple of hours to finish sanding the old spackling in the hallway, add new spackle to places that needed it, prime, and do the work in the family room. Then I went downstairs to get some packing materials, because I was going to finish packing up the shelves in the family room and move them out of the way.
There I was, about to tape up a U-haul box, when I noticed that one edge was wet.
Damn it, I'd just been downstairs barefoot and had not detected any dampness whatsoever! WTF?
Went down again and checked, walking all over and finding nothing wrong. But something made me check the SW corner, where I would not normally walk, and SQUISH.
Fearing the worst, I moved north--but it got dryer as I moved north, so it wasn't a leaking water heater. Said a brief prayer of thanks and returned to the SW corner.
Looked at the ductwork, encased in paneling since 1982, and saw fresh moisture on it.
Said some bad words.
Opened the hatch to the crawlspace, saw no evidence of leaks. Ran water in the bathtub, still no leaks. Not a leaking pipe, then.
Went back downstairs, fearing that it might be some issue with the foundation on the south side of the house. I didn't know why that would be, but I always jump to "worst case" because anxiety disorder; but that didn't jibe with water dripping from ductwork hanging four feet from the wall--there was simply no way for water to get there that way. Finally I decided that since the frigging paneling has long since been ruined, by similar leaks, I might as well pull it down and see for myself where the hell the water is coming from. It looked like the source of the water was the bathroom, upstairs, but at the foot of the tub--the side away from the faucet--not the head of it, where all the plumbing is.
Tore the panel out and had a gander. Nothing obvious, so I went upstairs and--remembering something Mrs. Fungus had said--ran the shower for a few minutes. Water went down the side of the tub, onto the floor; when there was a moderate puddle there I shut it off and went downstairs.
Sure enough: drip drip drip, right onto the basement floor since there was now no paneling to spread it around.
On the plus side, it should be a relatively easy fix. We recently replaced our shower curtain, and apparently we bought one that was too short, which is why when we shower the bathroom floor is getting soaked. Should be a matter of buying a new shower curtain, a longer one, that will contain the shower water.
Theoretically. Know what I'm also going to do? Duct tape the frigging edge of the shower curtain to the tile so there's no gap. And when we replace that tub surround we're going to make damned sure we get something that will contain the damned shower water better than this stupid shower curtain does. (When I lived in Cedar Rapids, my tub had doors. Maybe do something like that.)
Anyway, for the time being I have a bucket down there, just in case; and instead of spending my evening packing stuff in boxes I'm going to be in teh basement, sucking water out of the carpet with the wet/dry vacuum. Such a stimulating life I lead.
...but I'm glad--even ecstatic--that it's not something more serious.