Burying Treasure

Ever since I was a small child I wanted to find a treasure map that led to riches beyond my wildest imagination (and trust me, I had a WILD imagination).  Most people think that the hard part is finding the treasure, but what I have found in my many years of experience is that the real challenge is finding the map.


As a youngster I determined that the film “Goonies” was the quintessential treasure hunting instructional video. Of course, if there is going to be a map lying around somewhere it must be hidden within an antique.

Channeling my inner goonie, I would gently dissect picture frames to see what might be hidden behind the artwork.  I’d sift through books that were covered in dust, and examine all antique furniture for that secret drawer that would lead me on my adventure.

In my many years as a treasure-map hunter, one thing I’ve had to do is expand on my definition of “treasure.”   It’s very simple as a child.  Treasures are made up of gold and jewels.  As an adult, however, I prefer to be more nuanced in my thinking.  Take for instance when I was demolishing the In Law unit.  In the post Extra! Extra!” I found newspaper articles that transported me back to the 1970’s.  Not only could I picture myself uncomfortably wearing polyester in the summertime heat, but I could also picture the former homeowner/DIY enthusiast  standing in the exact same spot as me, 40 years ago, insulating the In Law unit ceiling with old newspapers and dehydrated rats.  While my usual definition of ‘treasure’ may not include dehydrated zombie rats, I would certainly think of those newspaper clippings as being hidden gems that brought an unexpected value to the demolition process.

In the spirit of paying it forward, along with the desire to have a little fun, I decided to leave a treasure of my own hidden in the walls of the In Law unit.

Now all it comes down to is assembly.

Step 1:  Identify the Treasure Receptacle

While the receptacle of choice for pirates would be the wooden chest, in the film ‘Romancing the Stone,” a ceramic bunny statue hid the palm-sized emerald within its fragile walls.  In my case, I decided to utilize what was around me.  I asked myself, “what empty receptacles do I have an abundance of lying around the house?”  That’s right, wine bottles!


Of course, it’s not just any empty wine bottle. Since I am, after all, the type of wine connoisseur who bases her purchase of wine primarily on how cute the label is on the outside of the bottle, I selected the wine called “Freakshow.”  With circus performers playfully frolicking around the bottle, this one was a winner from the start!

Step 2:  Identify the treasure

Now that we have a receptacle, we need to stuff it full of treasure.  Now, realistically, a full bottle of wine might be a great treasure to find, but the risk of breakage and the inevitable lingering wine oder that follows prompted me to empty the bottle prior to its use.

As you might imagine, the opening to a wine bottle is quite small.  You might be able to fill it with diamonds, but let’s be honest.  If I had a bottle full of diamonds I’d most likely be out shopping rather than blogging.  Therefore, I will stuff it with something I have a tremendous amount of.  That’s right, I’m going to stuff it with words.

Here’s my treasure:


I wrote a two page letter that talks about who I am, who my partner is, and how we got this house.  It talks about the DIY process and what’s happening in the world right now.  I close with some of my hopes for the future and a nice photograph of my family.  Ideally, this treasure won’t be found for many years, making my brief but comprehensive commentary on today’s world that much more interesting.  With that said, even if this treasure is discovered in 30 or 40 years, I hope someone can find as much joy hearing about the world in 2013 as I found while reading about 1970’s fashion.

Step 3:  Treasure Assembly

Now, while I did my best to empty that bottle of wine, I didn’t quite get every drop out of it.  I don’t want to put my letter into the bottle and risk it being ruined, so I have utilized modern technology to assist me in the assembly process.  The Ziplock bag.


Okay, so bandits could probably make it through a ziplock bag, but at least it will be weather & wine proof.  From here I simply pop in the cork and I have a message in a bottle.


Step 4:  Identify A Location To Hide This Treasure

Now I’m nearly ready to begin spray foaming the walls of the In Law unit.  I figured that if I pour spray foam over the bottle it will be locked in place like a time capsule.  The spray foam will keep it protected from impact (or earthquake) as well as water.


While you can all look forward to my next post about spray foaming, for now here’s a teaser picture:


Step 5:  Dream Of The Discovery!

Can you picture it!?

It’s the year 2150.  The new owners of the house have decided that they need someplace to park their hover bike.  Rather than putting it on the roof like everyone else, they decide to build a hover bike garage under the deck.


While opening up the walls, the first thing they notice is how well everything is built.  After a brief moment of reminiscing on how they “built things to last back then” they come across a bottle covered in spray foam.

“Oh silly people of the 21st century, didn’t you know spray foam was just a fad.”

As they continue their construction and foam removal they notice something unusual.

“Oh Wow, it’s a bottle!  Bottles haven’t been used in a hundred years.  Not since geneticists discovered how to engineer humans with gills that filter water out of the atmosphere”

Upon further investigation the homeowner notices that the bottle says “Freakshow!”  Fearing that his home use to be owned by a circus, a serial killer or a wine-o, he pops open the cork and discovers the most amazing treasure.  A letter written by an old-timer WAY back in the olden days when cars had four wheels and cell phones still needed physical interaction to activate.

The knowledge gleaned from this letter would surely enlighten the people of modern-day!   If nothing else, it could be sold on ebay for $1000 (which is the equivalent of $2 in 2013 money).

After touring Earth and the interstellar outposts on a speaking tour about his discovery, the homeowner decides that he too will leave a treasure hidden in his newly constructed hover bike garage.  And with that decision the treasures continue to flood our home for many years to come.


  1. Shelly Coburn said:

    Very cool!

  2. rikki ward said:

    great idea Bethers! so curious to know who and when your treasure will be discovered! xo, rikki

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Meg said:

    Loving the creative angles of the reno! Well done and written

  4. Sandra said:

    Aw. I love this idea!!!!

  5. I love your writting! Do you have other blogs? Just discovered yours through AT!

    • b said:

      Thanks Rita! This is my only blog. I haven’t updated it recently but I intend to get back to it now that I have some new projects brewing.

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