Choosing to see the extraordinary of "ordinary"

Category Archives: Our Bungalow

I love having people in my life with whom I can share exciting news.  Mostly it’s to My Man that I send texts IN ALL CAPS TO CONVEY MY EXCITEMENT!!!  The guys is wonderful to encourage and share in the joy.

But sometimes, sometimes you need an old, like minded friend to text because you know that friend will REPLY IN ALL CAPS!!!!

So, when I texted Carrie the picture of our grungy, old wood floor in the kitchen that has been buried under six layers of other flooring for over 100 years, I said, “HELLO, is that not the most authentic, worn wood floor look ever?!?!”  She replied, “I LOVE that!  You can’t get that awesome of a finish if you paid thousands.”

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And I knew right then and there, that even though I might be crazy for wanting to keep bunged up floors just the way they are, at least I have my crazy, longtime friend on my side.

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I do happy dances when a three day weekend is approaching.  Literally.  I go up to the front of our office to my co-worker friend and do a happy dance.  Three day weekends are the life…

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HA!  Three day weekends in my life are remodel boot camp.  So I says to My Man Friday night, “I think I’ll tear down the lath and plaster wall tomorrow when you’re at work.”  Never say those words to your man.  Never.  You will regret it.

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But, I am mostly glad that I did it, for that meant less work to get through on Monday (our third day of the weekend).  Thankfully, The Man was there on Monday too.

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We were tired.  Dead beat, doggone, bone tired.  But our kitchen demolition is coming!  We now…

~Have holes in the wall that you can see to the outside.

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~Are re-heating food in the microwave located in the family room

~Getting food from the frig in the dining room.

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~Cooking on and in an electric skillet, electric burner and toaster oven wherever we can find a spot cleared – sometimes in the “kitchen,” sometimes in the laundry room, sometimes in the dining room

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~Getting dishes and food from the laundry room

~Doing our dishes and anything that requires water in the bathroom

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And guess what!  We love it all.

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Soooo, it’s been awhile since we’ve finished this room.  There were a couple months of finishing up trim type projects, several months of decorating (and making the decorations), a month or so of, “Eh, family room?  I’m tired of the family room,” two months of holidays and such, and then a couple months of, “Heeeeeeyyyyyy, big family room!  Let’s store our new kitchen cabinets in that big ol’ space!”  Those have been the months since the completion of our family room project.  We are still in the throes of, “Heeeeeeyyyyyy, big family room!  Let’s store our new kitchen cabinets in that big ol’ space!”  But I finally decided just to take pictures of half of the room at a time and then drag those big cabinets to the other half.  Oh, the joys of living in a perpetual house project.  I love it.  I really do.

Anyway, without further ado, here is our several-month-old-new family room…

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All the befores.  Really, it doesn’t seem like the room should have taken long.  What you see is really just paint and the addition of walls going down to the basement.  However, what you can’t see is the re-taping and spackling of almost all the sheet rock and ceiling, the addition of insulation in the ceiling (there was none), the addition of duct work and ceiling vents (there were none) and various and sundry other hidden tasks.

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And now all the afters…

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I want this room to be all about games and having people over and relaxing.  So far, it’s been a success!

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I love that much of the stuff I or someone in my family made!  Tracey recovered the gray chair; Caleb made the entertainment table; I made the coffee table and shelves.

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Some of Caleb’s artwork is finally out of the drawers and on the walls

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This is also our “travel room” where mementos and pictures from our adventures can rest.

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And lest you think that it looks neat and clean presently, here is what the half of the room looked like when I was photographing the other side.

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They are kitchen cabinets waiting to go in our next project…the KITCHEN!!!

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Haha.  So, I couldn’t resist the corny play on words.  We went to Ikea in Kansas City a couple weekends ago because we are…STARTING THE KITCHEN RENO!!!!!  I’ve researched and searched and hunted and planned and schemed for hours upon hours, literally.  We finally decided on the Ikea cabinets, and, being our crazy DIY selves, we will be making modifications to them.

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I had a map of the store, a list of the cabinets (and various other goodies I wanted to buy) and a schedule for what was going to happen when.  For, when you go to a three story, mega home store, you MUST have a plan.

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We got the cabinets and the goodies and had supper in Ikea’s restaurant (their famous meatballs are uh-mayzing), and we headed home.

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The cabinets are now sitting in the laundry room in their boxes just waiting for their newly re-done kitchen home.


Yippity skippity doo dah day!!!  It’s been a year since our last house update.  A YEAR.  We’ve been working on projects, but they’ve just seemed to take forever.  At least, in my “let’s get it done yesterday” opinion.  (I really need to quit getting all a flutter about such stuff.)

Anyway, in the midst of renovating the family room, I had the urge to re-do the front porch.  It wasn’t really that bad, but afterwards, well, it makes me smile every time I come home, and I’m so glad we did it.  AND, it was a relatively quick project!  A nice change from the drawn out ones.

So, here it is!

A little before and after:

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A little more “before”:

Cleaning up the front and putting in flowers…

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Tearing off the vinyl ceiling to find the beautiful blue bead board and tearing off the ugly tin to find perfectly wonderful wood pillars.  Seriously, WHY do people cover things like this up with cheap stuff from Lowes?!

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And this is what happens when a weed eater picks up a rock and flings it into your glass door.  Good thing I didn’t want it anyway.  So much for selling it on Craigslist though.

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The “before I start painting” pictures.

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I can paint, but trying to figure out angles makes me start to twitch.  I tried doing it alone and wound up NOWHERE.  Aaaaaand, that’s why My Man is so wonderful.  His mind works that way, and he had the diagonals laid out in no time.

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I was planning on putting up a railing all the way around.  Caleb didn’t like the idea though because it would block off access.  And thinking back to gatherings we’ve had where everyone likes to sit on the edge, I finally came to the conclusion that he was right.  (Don’t think my idea went down without a fight though.  But some ideas eventually need to go down.  And smart men need to win once in a while.)

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And the “after” pictures.  I do so love sitting out there (the one or two times I’ve managed to do it).

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With all the renovating and decorating and stuff, my number one goal is to make our home inviting to family and friends.  A pretty house is pretty empty by itself.  I want our home to be welcoming and a place of refuge.

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