Thursday, September 14, 2006

This Just In...or Out

Our second daughter was born a week ago (8 September). We dub her Marley Ella. All went well with the birthing process, on both ends, even though one party attests to 'soreness' (understated). Marley was born at 11:12 am, 7 lbs 14 oz, 19.5 inches. We are so happy; we are so tired...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Mini-Tour (part III)

And now we conclude with the tour with the emphasis on the service portions of our humble house.

the Kitchen

Here you see it's fairly sizable for a small house; definately amenable to adding a food-prep island w/ breakfast bar. Behind me in this photo is an enormous coat & hat rack suitable for a Boston pub and a hide-away ironing board. The kitchen was redone at sometime and looks to be ready for another re-doing. But it functions and will probabally be placed on the will-call list as far as renovations go. Behind that whatchamacallit is the dining room's built-in. I fantasize about completing the countertop here and making a pass-through to that buffet...with a counter-balanced drop-down door to preserve the mirror there (see image in previous entry). The rest of the kitchen currently houses the laundry and 'nook'. We plan for it, possibly, to house the stairs the the proposed floor below. But dig that crazy pull-down 50's(?) lamp. Keep!


It was my birthday this past weekend. 6² to be precise. Roxana & Michaela made me a birthday cake. Here she is giving me a kind of hug where she snuggles up. It was a fabulous day. Also in the news, R is about to recieve the first treatment to induce birth for Marley today. This is where things speed up exponentially.

The Bath-sans-bath

Seems someone thought a shower stall was better than a tub. Eh, too much like a public washroom. This is clearly a newer construction/alteration, one which we would like to reverse. So, we will need to look for either an old tub (preferably not a claw-foot cast iron), or a modern acrylic one. However, having not had an acrylic tub, we fear they may scratch or buildup gunk too easily. So much to learn here. Our hope is to build a beadboard wood casing around it. We should be able to add nearly a foot in width by moving the 'shower' wall which ajoins an overly deep closet on the other side. The rest of the bathroom is managable for the time being, but will need a serious quasi-superficial makeover when funds and time when the girls graduate from college.

the Garage

And finally we have the 2-car garage, on the back of the lot off the alley. It looks to be untouched since first errected. It will need lots of love to keep it errect. We intend to use it as a woodshop in one half and a swingin' lounge in the other...or maybe just park the car there. We can also park another car out with the 'elements' beside it when/if we pave it over.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Mini-Tour (part II)

Having toured the Private Quarters of the house in yesterday's post, I shall now move on to the Hospitality Sector. [note: this entry will be ammended soon with more photos and stuff, so horses be held...]

The Living Room

The picture window is a beautiful sight to behold...if it wasn't for that 60's apartment complex across the street... grumble. Still, modern flat glass panes were just dawning on development at the time so I imagine this was a luxurious inclusion. If you look closely, between the trees, you can see the ruddy hills of Mare Island and imagine General Vallejo's marooned white mare running free and haunting the locals. If you look closer still, you may be able to see some water. The hillside we spy is in the 'top' of the painting. We hope to be able to lift the house ~8', wherein we would have a better view over the apartment-o-rama before us. I'm still puzzled how this was built in an historic neighborhood.

Well, along with the view, we also get a fireplace. This is not something we had counted on. For those of you NOT living in California, this may not seem like an issue worth mention, especially because it is rather bruto. But fireplaces have always been optional here and included for sentimental reasons rather than functional ones. This is why the so-called hearth is on an exterior wall, and not centrally located in the house. It is flanked by two shuttered double-hung windows, benches and a smart 2'-3" high wainscotting around the room. Note: pink trim

the Dining Room

We will have a room deserving of it's own soundtrack, aptly performed by the the Dining Rooms. Über-cool, but not-so pretty in pink, this room will look ever sweet in rich wood. We are loving the wood trims and panelling. No ogees nor curves there; just straight geometry. The floor will also lose the tobbacco-soaked mauve carpet, and that fan... feh! The back of the built-in bookcase you see deserves a heavy post (as does the opposite one out of frame). And I'm dreaming of a box-beamed ceiling. Unlike the ones you see at Lowes.

I find it rather funny that in all our years of renting, we've never had a dining room before. Thus, no dining table. I suppose this is ideal, as we will have the chance (some day) to acquire a dining table fit to our dining room's ambiance. The funny part is that this room will probabally be table-less for some time because the table we use currently was a lab table in it's previous life and not quite appropriate for the staging we envision here. Although a mortar & pestal and a number of colbalt blue glass jars all marked 'poison' might look kinda hip here. hmmm.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Mini Tour (part I)

Well, as we have yet to draft out the as-built plans (cursory measurements have been taken) and schematic designs, I thought I might take you on a little web tour of our soon-to-be (O! how I tire of that prefix) house in it's 'given' state; this is as-in, before we get our hands on it. You've seen the street front in previous posts, so I shall commence with what's beyond the front door.

the Foyer

Note the classic Arts & Craft door. Note the crank door chime. Note the paint that I will have to scrape/strip off. The foyer leads into the first bedroom, as you see here and the living room on on the left. Sadly, this is the only room where the door and wall trim is NOT painted over with pink latex. This miniscule space is currently at the crux of many decisions to be made, however. One of which involves the bedroom ahead.

Because this room originally had no closet, one was carved out of the foyer and claimed one of the two matching sidelights (as seen from the porch). Now frankly, we're not one of those fond of having the contents of our closets viewable from a front porch window, but neither are we keen on offsetting the balance of this "first impression" entryway by clouding the windows or eliminating one.

Bedroom #1

So, for option 1a, we may demo the closet and return the space to the foyer. The bedroom would then either get a more standardized closet on the opposite water wall (where the bathroom adjoins) or be delegated to use as an office/den. If we keep it as a bedroom by relocating the closet (option 1b), it would reduce the room to about 10x10. Not terribly lush, but adequate for a little one (daughter) least for a while. We might then see about the possibilities of cantilevering a bump-out ~2' similar to the dining room currently, restoring the size of this room.

Btw, the floor of this room is painted, and we can only hope it is in as good a condition as the floor in the 'Master Bedroom'. So therefore a heavy prescription of stripping/scraping/sanding is in order. Also note: pink trim.

'Master Bedroom'

Okay, does an excess of one linear foot make a master bedroom? How about 6+ windows? Or how about building a different master bedroom altogether on the floor below...when we get a floor below. Either way, this is a rather pleasant room to behold, lots of morning light and a potential cross-breeze/gale. This room seems to need merely a refinishing, and perhaps a reworking of the closet. Said closet is rather small but much is taken by an overly deep hall closet. We could easily claim another 2 feet here yeilding a 6' wide bedroom closet and a built-in hall linen cabinet. It's also quite deep at 2'-10"!!?! And what's with the closet window again? Is this normal? Also note: no pink's white this time.