Bungalow Remodel Part 1

It's beginning. Only three months to go, but we are starting to get moving on the remodel.

These days, we sleep in the bedroom. Two reasons.

1. Our SertaPerfect doesn't really work with my pregnant hips.
2. We are about to knock out most of a wall.

So we sleep on this air mattress in our living room:

It's a bit awkward explaining to every guest why we have a bed in our living room, but I like having TV access when I wake up in the middle of the night with pregosomnia, and my sweet hubs sleeps in there with me, ever the devoted husband.

When we first bought the house, we both had mixed feelings.  We were proud that we were homeowners, especially at an age when we were the first among our friends. It is a 1920 Sears Craftsman bungalow, a style of home I have always been in love with.

...but to look at the thing, which we purchased for $33,500 in 1999, we wondered if we'd made the right choice. It needed so much work. It was so rough; when I look back on this photo, I can hardly believe how much work we've done since then. The first week we lived here, we layed in bed (on the floor) talking about our fears and hopes for the house.

It no longer sits crooked like that, by the way. Justin and his dad, my handymen, climbed under the house and re-piered it. Now, if you've ever re-piered a home or been around when one was being re-piered, you know that the whole house groans and grumbles and it can be pretty unnerving. I had visions of my husband being crushed under the weight of the entire house, which I only survived by blasting loud Ben Folds Five to sing along with, thus tuning out the nagging anxiety that I could be widowed in a moment's time.

Fortunately, the guys survived. They even found some random cool stuff under the house, like three old electric fans from the 1930s or 40s. Old like this...

My favorite thing about the house is the large porch with its columns. I have spent countless hours sitting, gazing, breathing everything in. It's a perfect spot for writing if the weather cooperates. In fact, I have written this porch into a few stories.

One year, my Kate and I planted a row of giant sunflowers along the front fence. Up, up, up they came, until at last they were about 12 feet tall, their massive plate-sized flowers hanging from the weight. It was stunning to see, even if they provided a bee hazard of biblical proportions (for a while, our postal worker even refused to leave our mail in the box). I wish I had some photos, but those were the days before digital cameras and cell phones were so easily obtainable.

Looking in from Leslie's yard. Our yard has such terrific potential that I hope to plant quite a bit--flower, herb, and food--this spring before Lucy comes. Wouldn't it be lovely to dine on fresh squash while seated on the lovely front porch, enjoying our butterfly garden?

Right now, we are owned by this board. It tells us that in the next few weeks we are going to

*finish the kitchen 
*install a ceiling (we once took a hatchet to the ceiling in Lucy's room--very cathartic but led to a weird squirrel infestation)
*build a storage bench in the nursery
*paint her room and floor
*knock out part of the wall between our bedrooms and install a door
*build a bigger closet in our bedroom
*de- and reconstruct storage in the basement

That's just for starters. I am so regretting putting off taking a woodworking class and I am too nervous about starting a new activity with power tools while pregnant.

I am proud to say our kitchen is starting to look mighty swell. The baby won't be living in the kitchen, but she won't be living in her bedroom either, at first.

I will be posting pics of our work as we go and links to our inspiration online.

Wish us luck, friends.

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