Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry, Merry, Happy, Happy

Christmas 2010! A very lovely time of year full of amazing moments.

This year we got a big television. I was very torn as the 36" television works fine. It's the 500 lbs tube television that I've had for 18 years.

Our bungalow isn't very large so to add a 50" t.v. seemed a bit much but we enjoy our movies and fireplace in the same room.

As we contemplated how we'd house the new t.v since the custom-made entertainment center wouldn't fit the flat screen, I thought instead of settling for a style I didn't like or spending a mint for one that sort of fit the bill, we'd look for an antique cabinet. In the meantime I asked an artist friend of mine if he might be able to re-purpose our old entertainment center. We knew that it could take years to re-purpose the entertainment center so we needed something that would work for years if need be. We found this Art Deco Cocktail Cabinet for $80.00. That beat the $500 mediocre entertainment center we looked at. In addition these inexpesive Curio cabinets we got to contain some of our keepsakes matched the wood tones of the Cocktail cabinet. We had to put in a new shelf and a new backing on the cabinet and it worked out perfectly.

Friday, October 22, 2010

October 2010

It's been nearly a year since posting here! Oh my goodness, how time flies. So since my last post we've stayed pretty still. Uncertain about our future plans kept me from doing anything to the house. I've been very still.

Thoughts of leaving Rockford and the bungalow crossed my mind....until now. I'm firmly planting both butt cheeks on the seat and diggin' in. I was uncommitted to Rockford and life here. I have been torn about choosing to leave Chicago since we left Chicago. Our friends there, our life there, our connections there in comparison to Rockford made life here a little lonely and most definitely uncertain.

With both cheeks on the seat and a commitment to make it work and get in it we'll see what happens next. It is an experiment to determine if Rockford is a stay or go. I'm giving it a year. I do love our bungalow. I have loved it since the day I bought it. My concerns have become the neighborhood, the community at large and the lack of involvement here. And also thoughts of a bigger house and a two-car garage and a quiet street have conflicted with the original plan of a second place in Chicago proper to have the best of both worlds.

It dawned on me that I could make a difference. Since I am here I might as well give it my all. The last straw broke while in Portland, Oregon. I heard about a protest that was occurring in Rockford and I suddenly became so angry and discouraged about the politics of the second largest city in Illinois. I started to seriously question why we were staying. There are other bungalows in the world. There are other places to live. I was in paradise while in Portland. The bungalows are beautiful, the city is cool, hip, liberal, bike friendly, environment friendly, coffee superior and within an hour drive of a mountain. Every person I met there was friendly. They were beyond your average friendly. I was rather surprised by the seeming affordability and no sales tax. It's cheaper than Chicago, I was told. I found 3 antiques I had to have there. I never do that! I never buy stuff without great contemplation and consideration. In Portland I found things I had to have. They are happy in the house. I was only there for an extended weekend so perhaps it was just a magical sort of journey. Perhaps on a subsequent visit it wouldn't be the same.

The point is, though, and I do have one, I live in Rockford now. I've been here nearly 2 years and I've had one butt cheek off the seat the entire time. I'm ready to give the Forest City my full attention and see what happens next. If in a year I want to move to Portland then we'll cross that bridge in a year. Until than it is Project Rockford, but that's another blog for another day.

As for the house, Kimball was here and we're planning our next project - the basement! It is an appropriate topic near Halloween. It's kinda creepy down there. It is grey and spidery (despite efforts to keep the spiders outside they are prolific little devils) and it's not user friendly. It occurred to me that I've been using the excuse of keeping the house in its original integrity as a reason not to change anything to make it user-friendly for us. Ask me how many time Ive used the workbench that I so admire. NEVER! It's too tall for me. A tall man must have built it.

Kimball said imagine this space totally empty and think about how you'd like to use it. OHHHHHH! The ideas starting flowing and we could really change the basement to make it a media room, a work out room, storage room, walk-in closet, offices, spare bedroom, a second bathroom - the possibilities are unlimited!

So now begins a new chapter. We'll see what happens next....