Our Retro Bungalow

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

Friday, October 31, 2014

More Reasons We Love Fruitland Drive - BIG Things

Max and Marianne Barker's BIG pumpkins, to be exact.

They are absolutely GORGEOUS!
I like Marianne too...
she's the kind of gal I could chat with for a long, long while.
I have really enjoyed my visits with her.

Also ...
frequently getting caught behind BIG farm equipment,
like this wheel rake, just-uh putterin' on down the road.

No, seriously...
I truly do like to be slowed down by these wonderful contraptions.

***I totally filched this photo from my sisterfriend, Tami, but I'm claiming half ownership because we were in my Mini, I was driving and I complied with her request to turn and pursue this rig up Fish Farm Road***

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Light in the Tunnel Getting Brighter!

We have every intention of baking our
2014 Thanksgiving turkey
in our brand-spanking-new
duel-fuel range
that has been sitting out in the garage for the last few weeks.
But it'll be a lot like sliding into home base on our hips and
touching home plate with the tips of our toenails.
Foreman Dean has us scheduled down to the hour on the tasks
that must be done in order for that to happen.
For example: 12 allotted hours for laying and grouting
the tile in the master bath.
And there's absolutely no time for recess.
We can and we will do this.
I can smell that bird cookin' already!
Here are a few highlights of what we've been up to 
and a few pics of our cozy basement home.

An amusing side note before I get started...
we have been so happy and feel like we are living like
normal folks now since we moved into the basement.
We've joked with our friends and neighbors that we 
went from living in the Telestial kingdom and, despite moving down
("down" as in from our trailer parked on the backyard grade to the basement),
 we feel like we moved up to the Terrestrial kingdom.
Moving upstairs to the main level will definitely be a Celestial move.
Oh, if only attaining the highest kingdom were that easy to achieve...
you know...
as easy as tearing down a house by hand and
then building it again with our own hands.
Yeah. If only.

So, here we go with those few things.

On General Conference Saturday
Dean spent the entire day cutting, routing and grouping all the pieces
for the custom door and window headers.
There are four components for each.
There were 39 sets to be made.
39 x 4 = 156 pieces
As he cut, I sanded all the cut and routed edges.
I was still sanding when he left for Priesthood session.
We had all those groups of header components laid out on the driveway
and I'd mentioned to him earlier that I wanted to get a photo of all of them
 (it was an impressive sight, taking up most of the driveway),
so please just leave them there til I stopped to get that photo.
Well, I found myself sanding on into the dark and was so tired
that I never did take that photo.
I knew he was tired too and didn't want him to have to deal with
hauling them all inside when he got home, so went ahead and did it myself.
MAN, was I beat after that.
But his pleasant surprise and gratitude upon arriving home to find it was
all taken care of made it worth the effort.
Assembling and putting up all those headers took a while.
Spakling, sanding, spakling, sanding, caulking, brushing, wiping
and final inspection before priming and painting...
well, that took much longer.
But prime and paint, we did...

Unlike when we painted all the trim in the basement by hand,
we used an airless sprayer for upstairs.
It's an awesome way to go.
And let me just say that the folks at
Weber Paint, Glass & Flooring
have been FANTASTIC to work with.
They've been SO GOOD to us.
It might sound silly to say, but
I love 'em.

Dean had never prepped a shower floor and walls for tile before,
but he meticulously planned and executed that job and
did it like a pro in our master bathroom.
He's awesome like that -
always has been.

All I did was admire his work and slap on two coats of
Dragon Skin, which is an extra moisture barrier.

He also got the metal roofing material up on the gable brows
over the front porch and garage pop-out.

He'd never done that before either, but it turned out great too.

let me take you inside our little basement habitat.
I don't have photos of our awesome bathroom yet,
but I'll try to remember for the next post.
This post needs to end so I can move on to other things this evening.

This is a fun detail...
I chose EMTEK's Winchester knobs in medium bronze
on a simple rectangular plate for our basement door hardware.
I adore them!

And check this out...
I nailed the first picture hook into our lovely, virgin walls
to hang this framed 8 x 8 print of the original stairs
at the bottom of the new stairs.
Perfect tribute, if you ask me.
Gotta love it.

Welcome to our utility/storage/second laundry room.
Golly it's been a sweet deal to have our machines hooked up
again after 15 months without them.
And the freezer too!

Here's the other end of that room...
Oh, did I mention that Aubrey and Ryan
have moved "back home"?
Honestly, we love having them here.
It's good to have Ry around up until he and Abigail are married in December
and we are finally seeing more of our girl, Aubrey, too;
"more", being the key word here.
She's a full time student in a demanding program at the University
where she also teaches a lab in the cadaver lab.
She also works 42 hrs on/42 hrs off
in the lab at Ogden Regional Hospital.
So, having her live here, we actually do get to see her,
but usually when she's dragging herself in and on her way
to the shower and/or bed.

And finally, the piece de resistance...

our Bungalow basement kitchenette!
We've got everything but a dishwasher and range.
Dean ordered a hotplate that we're using for cooking and
we've got the microwave and crockpot too.
I've gone out to the trailer a few times and fired up its oven
to bake if I need to.
I chose a simple, shaker design in natural walnut for our cabinets.
The counter tops are "steel gray" granite.
The sink is a small, but very deep, single basin stainless steel.
For the floors I chose natural slate.
We are so pleased with how it all turned out.

That's all folks...
time to clean up after our Sunday pot roast with home grown potatoes supper
and then spend some quality time withe a book or two.

Thanks, as always, for stoppin' by.
Good night and God bless.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Warmth and Vintage Charm

I've got photos for a good, long blog post all about
 our cozy bungalow basement, but I can't seem to 
get to that the last couple of weeks.
We've been BUSY with all the ticky, ticky finish work
details on the main level.
It is SO time consuming.
Throw in preparing my Relief Society lesson
(or rather, stressing because I hadn't prepared as thoroughly as I usually do) 
and every other thing we have going on from day to day, 
so when Sunday afternoon rolled around 
I pretty much went into shutdown mode.
Can't blog or do much else in shutdown mode.
Right now I should be slappin' another coat of Dragon Skin 
on the master shower and masking windows so we can 
get the paint sprayed on the window trim upstairs,
I wanted to share a little something with you real quick-like.
It's VERY awesome.
Do you recall how we removed part of the original 
basement slab to replace the 60 year old rough plumbing?
Before we re poured those sections of basement floor,
we installed radiant floor heat.
Those sections of heated slab ended up being the floors in 
the south-west bedroom and the bathroom.
The "great room" in the basement is heated with an awesome 
Napoleon  gas fireplace we had installed.
Code does not require the utility room/basement laundry/storage room
to have any type of heating.
The north-east bedroom, however, took some creativity
to figure our how we were going to heat it.
Remember that we don't have a traditional furnace with ducting.
We'd considered ducting heat through a common wall into that bedroom
from the gas fireplace, but couldn't quite make it work.
There were a couple of other options we discussed, but
I came up with an idea and presented it to Dean,
who thought it was pretty great.
Here it is...
Acquire an antique radiator and hook it up to our boiler system.
So, we did just that.
Well, it hasn't been hooked up to the boiler system yet;
that's gonna take some engineering by Mr, himself when 
he has a chance to get to it.
I just picked this beauty up at the shop where they 
sand blasted and powder coated her and may I just say that
she looks radiant!

We got her from a pre-statehood building 
(Utah became a state in 1896) 
on 5th East and 24th Street in Ogden
that has been undergoing some renovations for a veterans housing project.
She came with, oh, maybe a dozen coats of various paints that
had been applied over many decades.
But, my goodness, she's GORGEOUS now.
Gotta git ta work now on that second coat of Dragon Skin
and masking those windows.
Hopefully we'll see you back here again Sunday afternoon.
Thanks for stoppin' by.

Dean had a photo of the building we got the radiator from.
He emailed it earlier and I just found it.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Blast From the Bungalow's Past

A couple of weeks ago Scott Randall, the man whose father
built the original Retro Bungalow back in 1955,
emailed some old photos to us.
They're pretty cool and we've enjoyed viewing them over and over again.
So, appropriately, I'm posting them here on 
The Bungalow's blog.

This photograph was apparently taken shortly after the house was completed 
as there is no landscaping or driveway.
Other than the growth of trees, shrubs, retaining wall out front and lawn,
the house looked EXACTLY like this, right down to the original power lines,
 when we bought it in late 2012!
Percy Randall passed away about 10 years after the home was completed.
His wife, Ada, put it up for sale shortly thereafter because, if I remember correctly, 
Scott was leaving to serve a mission for the church 
and the property was just too much for her to handle alone.
Don and MaryBeth Chadwick purchased the home and
 changed or updated very little in the 45 years they lived here.
That, my friends, is why we call it
"Our Retro Bungalow".
The first time we walked into and through this little place
it was like being in a time capsule.

This photo was taken looking east, from the pastures across Fruitland Drive.
Look closely and you can see Our Retro Bungalow in the background between
Percy and Scott who are standing in the bed of the truck.

In the foreground is the milking barn that has since been torn down. 
On the other side of the barn, to the north, you can see reddish-brown roof 
and south end-gable of the original farmhouse where Scott was born.
Our wonderful neighbors, Bill and Sharon Brechbill, have lived there 
for about the last 16 or 17 years now.
Our Retro Bungalow was built next door, to the north, of the original farmhouse.
Beautiful Ben Lomond mountain hasn't changed a bit.

This is the view from the top of what is now the Brechbill's property.

This is across Fruitland Drive and slightly south of us.
That white barn still stands - barely. 
It is no longer painted white, but is weathered, antiquated, bare wood and 
owned by Ray Ward. 
Ray grows a pumpkin crop next to it every year.
The original barn hoist is still attached at the top of the south gable.
Also of note, the cow corral  is where Doug and Laura Hunt's home is now.

This photo of the original home shows landscaping, so it's been
an established home for some time at this point.
It's obviously a Spring snow because there are blossoms on that young tree.

This photograph testifies of the stories we've heard about
the Randall's and how they went all out with Christmas decor every year.
People from the surrounding area back in the day 
would drive by just to see their Christmas display.

He didn't say so, but I'm assuming this is Scott. 
He is Ada and Percy's youngest child.
Is that a pigeon on his shoulder?

Out of all the photos that Scott sent to us,
this is one of my very favorite.
Ada and Percy Randall.

I know I'm going to regret making this such a hasty post,
but I've really been wanting to get it done since we got these photos.
I'll come back in a day or two, look it over and groan with disappointment
because of its shoddiness,
but there is so much to be working on right now...
the upstairs finish work is calling.

Thanks, as always, for stopping by.
Hopefully I'll get to posting pictures on Sunday
afternoon or evening of our mostly finished basement!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Sooner Than Later

This is the view from our front porch.
It's one of the things that makes Fruitland Drive so lovely.
A few weeks ago our neighbor, 
whom I am also blessed to call my friend, 
asked me if I'd seen what was going on
in Ray Ward's pastures the previous Saturday.
No, I hadn't. 
We'd been otherwise distracted with working inside Retro Bungalow.
Laura reported that she and Doug had seen Ray's daughter, who is a realtor,
traipsing around in those pastures, pointing and talking with 
a small group of folks.
Even though, when we bought this property, Dean and I discussed 
the inevitability of that lovely pasture across the road  
someday being developed into lots for new houses, my heart sank.
Being optimistic, we'd hoped it would be, oh.... 
at least a decade or so before that happened.
Don't think so.
I saw the same scene that Laura and Doug previously
 witnessed taking place again on Friday the 26th of September.
And my heart sank once again.
But there's always, always a positive side to everything.
Dean and I firmly believe in that.
So, here's that upside...
(two, actually)
the economy in Utah is strong. What a blessing!
When Percy Randall built here, the Randall Family owned all the land east 
to the mountain behind us and west to the old cannery.
So, what do ya do about your septic system 
when you're building a new house in 1955 and you own 
all the property as far as the eye can see?
Well, Silly, you bury it across the road in your pasture, of course.
The slope is perfect!
Getting back to that 'silver lining'...
new development in those lovely pastures means
we'll have the opportunity to hook up to sewer,
which will cost us about the same, 
but we won't have to figure out where or how to  
to put in a new septic system,
cuz, ya know...
the one we currently have is 
59 years old.
As far as septic systems go...
that's pretty danged old.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Yielding to Reality

We moved into the basement five nights ago.
It's been wonderful to sleep in our king size bed again, 
not to mention sleeping in an actual room in an actual house.
And the bathroom?
I spent a good part of the day yesterday
clearing out and cleaning the trailer.
It took longer than I had expected, 
which was a bit frustrating because 
there are so many other things I need to be working on.
But, we really want to get that thing buttoned up
for the approaching winter months.
As I was giving that ridiculously small  bathroom
its final scrub-down of the year,
I felt an unexpected, but familiar sensation coming over me:
My first experience with panic attacks was in the Spring 1986.
It would take too much time to go into details, 
but it wasn't until nearly ten years later that I realized 
what I'd been dealing with.
Once I leaned about panic and anxiety attacks,
I knew, or simply decided, that I could and would take control
and not let those episodes consume or debilitate me as they previously had.
I did not want to be and was determined not to be
dependent on any type of medication
if I could help it.
Since then, there's only been one time, back in March of 2010
when Dean bought me a puppy for an early birthday gift,
(yes, my sweet Allymo)
that I wasn't quite able to muster the will to bridle the affects.
That, too, is a whole other blog post for another time.
as I scrubbed and rinsed the shower walls
and recognized the approaching panic,
I asked myself, "Why?".
That is the first step in controlling the episodes.
It didn't take much evaluation, right then and there, to come to the
realization that living in our trailer was harder
than I'd allowed it to be and that reality
seemed to suddenly close in on me.
Kind of like willing myself to control panic attacks,
I'd willed myself to be okay with living in our 23.5 ft travel trailer for
Don't get me wrong...
It wasn't 15 months of complete awfulness;
it was just a very long time.
I'm glad that's all behind us now.
And, honestly...
I'm grateful for that little trailer and the experience it's given us.
It allowed us to be right here, literally just steps away
from getting a tremendous amount of work done,
then coming in to wash up, have a hot meal,
quickly get back to work, then conveniently shower away
the dirt and grime, and sleep off the resulting exhaustion
on a pillow-top mattress, all the while
being a constant presence here at
Our Retro Bungalow.
I'm proud of  Mr & Me
because, together, we can do hard things -
really hard things.
And let me say just once more...
 I'm happy we're done with that part of this incredible experience -
really happy.