Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pondering the roots of our ceiling

I daydream a lot about the perfect Crafstman style bungalow. Ours is a representation of it, but of course, not my dream. Those who know me know I suffer from that horrendous "the grass is always greener ..." disease. Our bungalow is wonderful, but couldn't it be slightly bigger? Couldn't it have a dining room with a built-in buffet? Couldn't it have a staircase in the front of the house with bookshelves built underneath? Couldn't it have more windows? Blah blah blah ...

In my musings I look for ways to improve our bungalow and bring it up-to-speed with its roots and style. I try to forget about the painted wallpaper walls because they really are OK for now. Instead, I want to look for future projects for Mike and me, the kind that have their own line item in a budget (i.e., "Ceiling").

Look at this image from a Mission style bungalow, circa 1920. I found it from this site:

Ignore the beatiful light fixture hanging over the dining table. We have no space for that. But notice the ceiling's beams. I love them and think we can do something similar in our living/dining room. The plaster is quite old and cracked, so it needs to be redone at some point anyway. And I would be more than happy to get rid of the horrendous ceiling fan currently taking up residence there.

Check out this modern version of a similar ceiling as well as its light fixtures:

I'm convinced something like this, but on a much smaller scale, can be accomplished in our living/dining room. But we need to get the additional kitchen cabinets hung and the basement room framed out before thinking about a ceiling and it's ceiling fan that are not giving us any problems right now.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

What's in a name?

Mike and I will welcome this little lady to our family in about a month. We have some ideas for her moniker, but we're wondering what you might suggest. We think she is adventurous, but we need to get to know her a little bit better before bestowing a name upon her. Any ideas?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The one where Mike takes a tumble

The one alarming home owner expense I just hadn't anticipated was for a ladder. How six feet of aluminum could cost $75 totally blew my mind (sadly, I'm over such sticker shock now). And so it was I was grateful when my parents offered me one when they visited ... the weekend after we moved.

Rule N0. 187: Don't accept hand-me-down ladders.

I decided to get domestic Friday and clean the windows. A few required the ladder. Toward the end of the day -- and I believe it was getting windy -- I carefully placed the ladder in a barren flower bed atop some soft mulch. It was the fourth time I'd done it that afternoon so, no, it's not like I didn't know what I was doing.

The ladder was set up so it was parallel with the house. As I climbed it, the house was to my right. I reached across the ladder and to my right to reach a corner and noticed the weak side you're not supposed to climb was basically dying. The left leg was digging into the mulch. The right side was slipping. The ladder was falling away from the house. As the ladder tipped, I quite clearly understood I was in trouble.

I was six feet in the air and our house is on a small hillside. I decided to leap and flap my arms and run in place. The last thing I really remember is my cell phone chiming to tell me I had a new text message. Then I was on the ground.

A few things to note here. The ladder is destroyed. The bracket you see is bent at a bad angle. The bracket you can't see is broken. The thin left leg is mangled. Second, that ladder is pretty damn far from the side of the house and the flower bed I was planted in, so I'm not exaggerating the tumble/leap here. Lastly, my wife actually photographed this.

What's missing from that photo is the scattering of my cell phone, sunglasses and the bottle of Windex, all of which were about 10 feet away in different directions. It was like when Brendan Gleeson jumps from the tower in "In Bruges."

Also gone? About 45 seconds from my memory. I was dazed. My sunglasses were knocked off my face and I obviously bumped my head somewhere along the way. When I snapped out of it, I remembered having heard my ankle pop when I landed. Then I realized my ankle was really, really hurting. Then I remembered the only other time I heard something pop was when I tore meniscus and broke my fibula two years ago. Scared, I expected to see my ankle in some weird contortion. Yet there was no bone poking through my sock and no holy-crap-look-at-that break. I was actually able to move it, though not without pain. I got myself inside and feebly called for help. We then laughed.

I'm happy to report I'm only limping. Friends of mine in medicine figure I probably just strained some tendons and ligaments. Nothing serious. Just a minor ache and some lumps, swelling and ugly scrapes on my knees. I figure I'll be fine when softball starts next Monday. Either that or this episode will be my excuse when I pop weakly to left field.

You shoulda seen the other guy!

A little bit at a time makes us happy

A few weekends ago I got a wild hair (for you, Sam) and painted some of the gawdawful paneling on the 2nd floor. I started small and completed the little hallway area first. The paint's color is "Lyrical Yellow." Mike and I liked it because it was a creamy color with just a hint of yellow to brighten up the spot. We may use it in the TV room upstairs as well and use a complementing sand-ish color for the stairwell you see in the background of this picture.

We still aren't sure if we're going to paint the ceiling. I have a nice print of Goebel's Mountaineer Field to frame and hang on the wall. We would like to put a small console table in this space, too. When all the paneling is painted it is going to be such a big difference up there. The space already seems brighter, cheerier and bigger with this little bit painted.

Of course it is pink!

I have been watching a tulip in our front flower bed for a while in anticipation of it blooming. I was excited to come home today (after dad's 60th [!!!] birthday in Clay) to find it had bloomed. And it is hot pink! It is the perfect complement to the pink flamingos on the porch. I really wish we had more of them. Now if only someone would come along and remove the brown leaves from the flower bed.

A little bit of the Outer Banks

Adirondack chairs remind me of the Outer Banks, relaxation and a tense-free afternoon of reading a good book or magazine.

My dad likes to toy with woodworking and started making these chairs a long time ago. He spent a Sunday afternoon making these two for Mike and me. They are very comfortable and I'm sure the neighborhood porches envy them. We will paint them white to match the porch next year. I hear dad is taking orders ...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Small additions

Apologies for not blogging for a month. So much is going on with the little yellow bungalow! We have to figure out how to have nice flower beds and hanging plants. We need to acquire a lawnmower (that's in the works). And we started painting the awful, awful paneling.

The table below sat in my parents' house for at least the last 20-25 years. When I was a wee one, my dad refinished it/built it and I can remember telling him it was my table. He agreed. Now it sits in our house. It makes me happy every time I look at it. (Notice the seasonal pair of bunnies sitting on it ... so exciting to decorate for the holidays!)

This new artwork was acquired through the Mon Arts Center. A local stained glass artist (his name has slipped my memory, I will have to upate with it later) created it and was so perfect for our living room we had to have it. I won it!

More updates to come. Hopefully it will not be another month. And I look forward to blogging about our upcoming small addition to the bungalow -- it has four legs!
Happy Easter!