Our Retro Bungalow

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

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Why We Love Fruitland Drive


And here are a few of them.

*click on the Fruitland Drive labels link at the very bottom and 
you can see our other "Why We Love Fruitland Drive" posts.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


It was inevitable.
Got my first bees sting this morning.
They say it's good for a keeper to get stung a few times each season.
earlier this week I posted the following Instagram:

Sweet, golden deliciousness.
I did a necessary micro-harvest so I could install the queen excluder and the honey super this afternoon.
Our Bungalow Bees are busy and thriving!
This photo looks like there is quite a substantial amount of honeycomb in this bowl.
Do not be deceived - it really wasn't a whole lot.
I transferred the honeycomb to my medium-size cooking sieve, set the 
sieve atop a medium-size pot and let it sit for two days. I turned the comb over in the 
sieve every once in a while to re-position it, allowing the honey to run from all the chambers.
To my absolute surprise and delight,
we ended up harvesting very nearly
of fresh, raw, organic honey!

And it is perfectly delicious!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Pressing Forward

I guess not every post needs a title.
Sometimes it's hard to come up with one.
But I was thinking about one of my favorite hymns
during Sacrament Meeting today
and how it applies in my life not just spiritually, 
but temporally as well considering our circumstances.
That, I suppose, is where the title for today's post comes from.

Here, in a brief photo-summary, is what happened at 
Our Retro Bungalow
this past week.

Bubba finished up all our stonework.

We are SO pleased.

Also NOT pictured in these last two photos is the huge mound of dirt that'd
been sitting in our front yard next to the driveway on the south end.

That mound is gone because
Bubba rented us his skid-steer for a screamin' deal

and Dean spent all day Thursday playing working on getting all that
dirt distributed to various low spots around the house foundation.
I helped too, but didn't have quite as much fun because I was
on good, old fashion shovel duty...
And even though I wore socks and work boots,
my ankles and feet looked like this when I took them off.
Even rubbed the polish off my nails!

Not only did we get that big dirt mound moved and distributed,
Dean broke up most of what was left of the old patio  and loaded it into
our old pickup truck with the skid-steer.
We drove it to
Recycled Earth,
pulled on our work gloves and unloaded it ourselves.
We were amazed at how much weight we had in our 1/2 ton truck.
Our weight upon entry...
and our weight when we left...
4,140 pounds!

Dean was also able to pull some stumps and a few shrubs out that
I wanted gone.
I loaded the carcasses onto the lawn tractor, hauled 'em up top
 and added them to our burn pit.
I'm so happy to have those uprooted.
The backyard landscaping looks a lot less cluttered now.

Other than that,
the door and window trim in the basement is all assembled and installed.
I'll finish getting them filled, sanded, caulked and primed this week.
Oh, and Dean lost a good sized chunk of finger on the router.
It's a pretty nasty, ugly wound.
But he still has all 10 digits!
That's somethin', anyway.

There's more.
There's always more,
but those are the bigger accomplishments for last week.
And if you're interested,
this is what was happening 
here at
Our Retro Bungalwo
 this time last year.
Thanks, as always, for stoppin' by.
Good Night and God Bless.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Beginning Finish and Getting Stoned

I thought it might be kind of fun to look back at where
we were one year ago , so
if you want to see how far we've come.
This was the demolition of the old house.
We worked hard in the July heat and went to bed every night exhausted, 
but not before we took cool showers to wash away 
all the dirt, grime, old insulation, and sweat.
We cringe when we think about how 
that was.
And hard.
We marvel at ourselves for having torn down a house together

Earlier today I told Dean that I feel like I 
need to condense my blog posts.
He just smirked and said brevity doesn't come easily to me.
He's right.
I usually go around the block a few times
before getting to the point of anything.
So, how 'bout we just get to the point of this post...

Here's the rundown of what's been up:

Remember these stairs...
that were replaced with temporary treads and risers?

We got the permanent treads, risers and skirting put in...
and Dean has suggested more than once that we replicate the 
yellow, green and red stairs from the original house.
The thing is, I don't think he's teasing.
Sorry, dear, it ain't happenin'.

Dean built stairs and a porch for the door into the house from the garage...
but they're not quite finished yet.

The insulation company showed up on July 3rd without any notice...
to blow insulation into our attic...
Their timing was bad because I was trying to get the basement primed
and I ended up constantly picking bits of insulation out of the wet, rolled on primer,
which made me grumble, grumble, grumble.

Speaking of primer...
I've been agonizing over what color paint to choose for our walls.
Neither of these four samples made the cut.
I think I've got it narrowed down to 
Benjamin Moore's "Greenmount Silk"
Pratt & Lambert's "Mission"
Seriously, there are more important issues to agonized over, I know.

We got all the upstairs doors hung, but I don't have a photo.

I finally decided on trim for the interior doors.
I've got a box-full of trim samples and a catalog from the door shop
at Wheelwright, but I just didn't find what I wanted.
When I came home with the truck bed full of materials to piece together
custom headers instead of lengths of ready made header material
I thought Dean was just gonna walk off into the sunset.
I defended my choice by reminding him that we aren't building an
"off the shelf" house.
He really was okay with building them from scratch, 
he just wasn't expecting it.
We built a 'prototype' header for the little door in the utility room
that goes to the storage under the stairs...
 It'll be modified a little for upstairs because the ceilings are taller,
 but this is what we came up with.
The windows will be trimmed in the same fashion.
He got the basement windows boxed in 
(we didn't have them sheetrocked)
and I've been going around with the nail set, setting nails that 
didn't sink all the way, spackling nail holes, sanding, etc.

But what's REALLY fantastic is...
our stone mason is almost done!
We chose natural stone over cast stone and we love it!
Bubba, our mason, is such a nice man and a very hard worker.
I've enjoyed getting to know him.
He should be done by Monday or Tuesday,
so I'll post more pictures next week.
But here's one more before I close...

So, was that condensed enough?

Thanks for stopping by.
We do appreciate all your encouragement;
it helps cuz we do get tired and we even get 
a little discourage every once in a while.

Good night and God bless.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Out of Balance and An Anniversary

I won't be reporting on the last two weeks progress today.
There has been progress, to be sure, but I'll catch up on all that next week.
This week...
well, this week I'll tell you all about how last week marked the 
one year anniversary
of us living in our trailer.
Yep, it's true.
Here's something funny -
on June 27th of 2013, I posted the following Facebook status...

I feel just a wee bit like a pioneer woman may have felt trying to decide what I can and cannot live without for the next 6 months or so. It's time for us to move into our travel trailer and take this old house down!

Well, here we are 12 months + one week later
still living in our trailer.
Let me tell you a little bit about that for the sake of celebrating commemorating 
that unexpected trip around the sun in our RV.

First of all...
it's been okay, fine, alright-
really, it has been.
All our friends, neighbors and fellow ward members expressed their concern for us
throughout the bitter-cold winter months, but we honest-to-goodness, really did stay warm.
But not without problems.
We went 10 days without running water because our pipes froze solid.
We were thankful we kept a storage of water in the basement and that our basement,
at least, was above freezing.
Before we went to bed, Dean would set 3 of those 2 liter bottles on our little electric radiator
and by morning they'd be nice and hot and that's how he bathed for a week and a half.
I drove to JoTan's to take my morning showers.
I heated water in a pot on our little gas stove top so I could wash dishes or wash my face before bed.
Working together in the single-digit temperatures (and sometimes wind),
Dean and I wrapped every single water line going in and out of the trailer
in a double layer of pipe insulation, constructed a box of rigid insulation under the trailer to
enclose the tanks and bought a space heater that we set inside that box and kept turned on at all times.
As I said, it took 10 days for us to thaw out, but after that we stayed unfrozen for the rest of the winter.
And I thought trying to decide what we could live without for 6 months made us feel like pioneers!

The only other frustration during the winter months was the mud.
Despite everything around being seemingly frozen, we somehow always managed
to have mud on the trailer floor.
That drove me nuts.
Oh, there was one other winter time woe -
Because we would turn the furnace down at night and back up first thing in the morning,
we always had condensation on the walls and windows...
and in our tiny closets which resulted in mildew on our clothes.
As soon as I discovered this, I laundered everything, took Dean's suit and blazer to the dry cleaners and then took them over to JoTan's and kept them in the closet in one of their spare rooms.
On Sunday mornings I'd have to go over to their house to get something to wear to church.
Kind of a pain.
We also noticed that the 'head board' had started accumulating mildew,
so when I made our bed in the morning I pulled the mattress down, off the end of the bed a ways to create a gap at the head so the darn 'head board' wouldn't get so damp.
I folded the bedding back over the top of the foot of the bed and
tucked it in so it wouldn't hang on the floor.

This worked pretty well, but we eventually just removed the 'headboard' and threw it away.
We haven't missed it a bit.

But let me tell you somethin'...
I loved warming my pajamas on the little space heater we used to supplement the trailer furnace...
aaawwww yeah, it felt good to put on toasty-warm pj's!

And there was this...
short little drawer.
It took a half dozen times of me pulling it out too far and spilling its
contents on the floor before I finally learned to be more careful.
Half the time I just laughed at myself.
The other times I may or may not have said #&@%.

I developed a friendship with the service guy at

cuz when you live in your RV you have to go get your propane tanks refilled frequently.
About the 4th or 5th time I showed up with three 5 gallon tanks, he asked me in his thick,
Spanish accent why I was a 'frequent filler'.
So, I told him the story.
He thought it was pretty cool.
People say that, but I wonder if they're really thinking,
"Those people are crazy."
He's been so good to me.
When he sees me drive up in the truck, he comes right out to pull our empty tanks, fill 'em up while making small talk (unless it's raining and I stay in the cab), and loads them back in the bed.
He's always friendly and smiling. I admire and appreciate that in a person.

And then there are the tanks.
Every day the 'gray tank' needs pumping.
It's not a difficult job; it's actually very easy, but if the task happens to slip my mind,
then the dishwater and bath water will back up in the tub.

There's the other tank as well, which is just as easy to pump, but its unpleasant nature does not merit attention. 
And I never have to think about it or deal with it because I'm married to my hero.
And that's all I have to say about that.

Based on the list I've made, I could go on for a long time about the adventures we've had over the last year.
Let's just abbreviate  all this by posting that list, shall we?

*Tending the grand kids has been interesting and forced me to get creative.
*We've celebrated all the holidays and family birthdays at our children's homes, which has been very nice.
*We've told Ally "scootchie" about a million times because
when she's in the trailer with us she's always 'in the middle of the road'.
*And we've said 'excuse me' to each other about a million times as well, because we're
constantly stepping around each other getting in or out of the little bathroom.
*Our 'bathroom' sink is teeny-tiny, so whether brushing our teeth or washin' up,
there's always water on what little counter surface there is that needs mopping up.
*Showers are hot, but short - like 4 minutes, max.
*The 'pantry' is narrow and deep. It's hard to keep it tidy and organized
and I always have to use a flashlight to find anything in there.
*We've been doing our laundry at JoTan's the whole time -
3 to 4 loads twice a week...going back and forth and back and forth to their house.
We are very grateful to them.

I'm sure there are more gory details I could share, but that's all I can come up with for now.
And I'm sure it's enough.

People have made some interesting comments about our chosen situation.
Most of those comments have become predictable.
It usually has to do with whether or not our marriage can survive.
They obviously don't know us very well.
Our daughter (in-law) asked me if we'd had any contention at all.
I told her the honest truth about that...
'No, contention has never been much a  problem for us.'
We are healthy and happy.
We committed to this together.
We've done better than just fine;
we done well.
And we still love each other like crazy.
After all...
that's what we are -

**About the 'Out of Balance' portion of this post alluded to in the title...
that'll have to wait.
I'll get to it later, because it's late.
Time to get to bed and head into another week of
progress on the Bungalwo and livin' in a trailer.

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