Our Retro Bungalow

Our Retro Bungalow
The journal of the making of an old house into a lovely new home.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Lickety Split Post

It's been a very busy day,
it's late
and I'm still feeling crummy.
I'm giving this post exactly
10 minutes

Turns out, 
wiring is a lot like framing...
seems like it NEVER ends.
But it's done now
and we figure we've got
over a mile of various electrical wire
running through this little bungalow.

This awesome guy is Jef - Electrician Extraordinaire.
He and Dean work together at GE and Jef actually took 
half a day off to come help out!
We probably owe him like 50 or so 
Apollo Burger cheeseburger combos.
We are so grateful for his help.
Gary, another coworker and longtime friend, also 
came and helped out for several hours after work one evening.
I made the mistake of asking him if I could take his picture.
I shoulda just taken it because
he shut me down (in the nicest way possible) saying something about 
not wanting to take any
razzing from Peter at work about showing up on our blog.
Tell ya what...
we've got some really wonderful friends
and we're very grateful.
As of tonight,
electrical is DONE!

Gas lines are also 
There was some rearranging needed on those.

We had part of the drive way poured...
It turned out GREAT.
Craig Robinson and his crew are about the best flat-work guys around.

We framed out the fireplaces...

The window for our master shower FINALLY came in
and we installed it right away.

we had our first 4-way inspection.
Inspector Mike said it's rare to do an initial 4-way 
and have to put so few items on the call-out list.
That made us feel pretty good, but there was 
still quite a list of things that needed correcting.
As you can see, all but one have been checked off.
It's been crazy-busy around here.

And things are stressful because we've got three contractors lined up 
in the next two week that have to follow in quick succession 
and we are SCRAMBLING to get 
everything done that needs to be done 
before those crews start.

One last thing -
lest you drive by and notice this...
our meter base on the FRONT of our beautiful bungalow...
do not think for a second that we wanted it there.
It has seriously disappointed me that the power company insisted 
that this was the only acceptable location.

That's all.
And, yes, that was more like almost 20 minutes.

Thanks for stoppin' by.
Good night and God Bless.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Beehive Buzz - Queen's Release

A quick update on the Queen -
When I approached the hive this morning, my heart sank.
I saw not even the slightest hint of activity.
It's been cold and I instantly thought my hive had suffered,
but when I removed the top feeder,
I was relieved and delighted to see plenty of activity.
I hadn't checked on things since removing the plug from our queen's
chamber and replacing it with the mini marshmallow;
partly because we've been busy, but also because
I don't want to be too much of an interruption to the new, establishing colony
by constantly getting in their business.
Good news....
the queen's chamber was empty!

This is such an exciting experience!

Oh, and have I showed you my new outfit yet?

 I had a stowaway come into the trailer with me this morning...

I'm confident she'll find her way back to the hive.
Bees are really smart like that.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Peek Inside the Bungalow Beehive

As if we don't have enough going on,
Mr & Me 
are officially beginning beekeepers!
This is something that, for the past several years, I've thought I'd like to try.
So, here we are building a house while he works full time and I finish up school
and we throw one more project into the mix.
Just keeping things interesting around here.
Cowboy, Cupcake and I picked up our 
Italian honey bees on Saturday afternoon.
I installed them into their new home up near the top of our property 
on Sunday evening while Dean, Cowboy & Cupcake, 
Natalie & Jay , and Aubrey watched from a distance.
It was very exciting.
When I made preparations for the queen's release from her 
"chamber" and into the hive last night, I'd taken my iPhone with me 
to get a few photos. 
That didn't work out so well even though I had the camera open 
before putting my gloves on.
I went back up this morning to see how things were going
and took my Rebel with me.
The queen's subjects, it appears, are still working on her release; 
it seems so, anyway, because her chamber was surrounded with workers
as if they are still feeding her. 
I will check again tonight.

Here are a few photos...

There ya go...
now you've been introduced to 
The Bungalow Bees. 

I'll get back to regular posts about progress on the 
house before long.

Thanks for stoppin' by.

Sunday, April 13, 2014


Hello from Retro Bungalow!
Yeah, it's been a while.
And I'm scratching my head trying to recall
everything that's happened since I last logged in here.
After briefly  quizzing Dean, I just decided that I'd 
focus on the bigger things that have been accomplished.

About the changes alluded to in today's title...
Getting the window for our master shower has been nothing short of frustrating.
The opening, as I sit here, is STILL covered with OSB.
I have had a positive experience working with our window guy, Shawn,
but so help me, if we don't get SOMETHING in the way of a window to
fill that hole THIS WEEK...
he's gonna be OFF our Christmas card list, is all I'm sayin'.
(like we even send Christmas cards anymore)
Anyway, turns out getting a hopper window larger than 36 inches in length 
isn't even possible anymore, so we opted  for (changed to) an awning window, which isn't 
a typical configuration and takes a bit longer to get than a slider or single hung.
I called Shawn again this past week, and I can't be positive, 
but I think he feigned cell phone interference.
Last I heard him say was, "Sheri? Are you there? Mayday, mayday!"
I know where you work AND I know where you live, buddy!

We had three different companies come out and give us bids on a central vac system
We had central vac in our PV house and I guess it was one of those things 
we just figured into the budget because we had it in our last home,
 but when we really started talking about it, we decided 
we don't want one again. 
The only thing I really appreciated about our system at 
Casa di Mossi was that I never used a broom; the floor 
attachment did a better job. 
the battles with that LONG and supposedly "kink-free" hose
are legendary.
So, we'll probably just purchase a Dyson for downstairs and a simple stick vacuum for up.
And we feel really good about that.

I went into the designing of our kitchen wanting an apron-front farm sink.
A few weeks ago I began questioning that.
After giving it some serious consideration,
(I know, I know! It's a kitchen sink, for crying out loud!)
I dropped in to see Jenny at Great Western Supply and 
asked her to change my order.
"But I'm getting you a GREAT deal on this sink!", she said.
"And the sink you've decided to go with instead, isn't much cheaper."
I told her it wasn't about saving a little cash, but an entirely different principle:
the principle of avoiding fads.
I've spent HOURS on my Houzz.com account.
(Dean says I have a "houzz porn" problem)
I also subscribe to several "classic house & home blogs".
Apron front farm sinks are cool, that's for sure,
but I'm not looking for 'cool'; 
I'm shooting for 

The master shower drain.
Stick with me here.
I told Mr Mossi that I didn't want a standard drain in our shower -
I would rather have a linear drain.
Here's an example of a linear drain...
So, what does he do?
Like the wonderful husband who rarely tells me 'no' that he is,
he goes online, finds the specs and the 'how-to' for linear drains,
gets everything plumbed to perfection and then tells me it's time to
go order the drain.
So, I do.
And when Jenny prints out a sales slip for me, I look at it, look back at Jenny and say,
"Is this correct?!"
I returned home with a $30 option in hand.
But there's a wee little problem...
like, not enough room in the configuration of drain pipe between the
joists just under the master shower to change all that without a ton of effort.
It wouldn't have worked out that way if he'd been planning on installing a regular floor drain.
 I'm probably going to have to bite the bullet on this one and
fork out over ten times more than I'd like for a silly shower drain.
I sure wish I'd have had the 'fad' epiphany for this
pricey little detail as I did the kitchen sink.

Another minor detail change:
Dean suggested we just not have a doorbell.
Probably because I'd ordered a really awesome door knocker
from Pottery Barn a couple of weeks ago.
"Okay", I told him.
But, I changed my mind.
So, he said, "How about a wireless, then?"
I went to Century Lighting to purchase a wireless doorbell and
the sales gal said that could be a mistake.
Apparently a lot of people have problems with their wireless doorbells ringing
when the ringer of the bell is actually on someone else's porch
pushing a neighbor's wireless doorbell.
I chose a regular wired doorbell with a simple 'ding-dong' chime,
but did not like the white plastic button that came with it.
I chose an option on their button display and that same sales gal said,
"Oh, you don't want that button! It's so old fashioned and funky.
Besides, it's so outdated that it's been discontinued and I don't know
WHY it's STILL on our display.
I've been asking the guys to take it down for a long time."
And I replied,
"Would you please go and ask them to take it down for me right now?
 I'd like to buy it."
"Huh? You sure about that?", she questioned.
"Yep. I'm positive."
Less than five bucks.
I'd call that my 'deal of the day'.
Still doesn't make up for the sting of that darn shower drain, though.

The LAST change (for now, anyway):
We eliminated an entire foot off the depth of our kitchen.
I felt like we were 'kitchen heavy'
and that our narrow, eight foot long island would
end up looking like a runway.
Because all the electrical boxes were already installed, we were
concerned about that being a design problem with lighting, but it looks as if
everything is gonna work out just fine.

I've rambled long enough about trivial things.
Let's move on to the bigger details.

Most of the wiring is done...
except for the 38 circuits that need to be lead to the breaker box.
It has been a HUGE job getting this little bungalow wired.
We are grateful to our son-in-law, Jay, who came a couple of times and
helped out with this daunting task.
I really wish I had a picture of Jay in action, but I've been a slacker with
the picture taking as of late. I'm sure he'll be back to help some more and I'll try
to do better with photo journaling aspect of this project.

Our fireplaces have been installed!
This is the basement fireplace.
I can hardly wait to order the handmade accent tiles for the front of it.
That's a ways away.

This is our front room fireplace, upstairs.
Which reminds me to tell you that our stone mason will begin
his work on April 30th.
I hope, anyway.

We also have our concrete guy coming in the next week (hopefully)
to pour this portion of our driveway that Dean's got formed up
and I've shoveled and shoveled gravel for.
And the gravel shoveling is not done.

one more ch ch change!

We vacated the garage...

and moved our little trailer home behind the bungalow.
This could NOT have been done without Tannon.
It had to be pulled out at an awkward angle because of where
our ginormous storage container sits.
It was tricky and by the skin of it's teeth...
(1/8 of an inch, to be exact)
it was extricated from the single bay unscathed.
Being parked in the garage through the winter was a good thing, but
we love the natural light coming in again through the skylights and having a
much better view through our little trailer windows.

That's about all for now.

Life is good.

Good night and God Bless.