A guy walks into a restaurant...

No, it isn't the beginning of a hilarious joke but it is the beginning of us, Ron & Jenn aka Casa Causpanic.

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It is a very ordinary, extraordinary life about which we journal.

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Our Future Home -The Before's

Ok, I have been promising you pictures, so lets start with the "before"

In case you are new to the blog, Ronnie and I are renovating a building my father built as his photography studio back in '79 or '80.  My brother, Leo, and his wife, Pam, later converted it into a bakery.  So now, all the work done to it to make it a bakery is being undone.  It has been vacant for  few years, now.  Time is hard on a vacant building. 

This is a picture from one end of what was the reception area for the studio and the place where all the goodies were when it was a bakery.  I can still remember how wonderful it smelled as a bakery!

Changes planned for this area are to make the wall you are seeing our office area.  Keep in mind these changes will all be done over time.  Right now we are only making the changes necessary to get in it.

This is the view from the other end...

We have already torn out the wall on the right.  Ronnie also took up some of the commercial tile but that was a pain in the "como-se-llamas" (known in English as the what-cha-ma-call-it").  Time will tell what will happen with the floor.  Right now, I am happy with a concrete/commercial tile floor.  My mantra these days is..."just enough to get in it"!

This is the hallway that leads to what was the studio camera room/bakery work area.  The first doorway on the left was to the office and the second one was to the studio darkroom/bakery mop room.  The first two doors on the right hand side were studio dressing rooms for outfit changes and mostly storage for the bakery.  At the end of the hall is a little wet bar on the left and the small restroom on the right.

The office:

That paneling was tha' bomb when dad had the studio built, as was the faux suede wall.  I loved hanging out in this room as a kid.  The wall on the left in this picture is the same wall as on the right in the other picture that has been TORN down!  I did it.  Me.  Yep, little ol' me.  Ok, ok...I may have had a little help from my hubby, but not much!  So, this will be a part of the living area.  We will see what transpires.

Dad was not one to skimp on anything.  He didn't have many clothes, but he was always dapper.  He knew what he wanted and he got it.  I was only like 15 back then, so I didn't have any say in his floor plan, but I think one dressing room would have sufficed, but he wanted two...hence, he got two - a dressing room for men AND a dressing room for women.  Again, storage for the bakery.

The bathroom is little, it is just a lavatory and commode.  This is where our biggest challenge arises. 

We want to make the most use of the drains that are already there, plus we don't want to spend a lot of money in plumbing.   This is going to be our forever home, so we want it to function in all the ways we want/need it to function.  It is only a little over 1,000 sq. ft. so we want to make the most of the space we have at the lowest cost possible.  We are trying.  I think we have come up with a plan that will make the most use of the space thanks to Leo's input.  Once you think like a carpenter, you always think like a carpenter.  The dressing rooms, restroom and hallway will go through the most change.  It has been a lot of work, but I think we will be happy in the end.

On the other side of this little bar and the mop room (which, I didnt figure you really wanted to see a pic of a mop sink) you will find the kitchen...someday. 

This little bar area is currently being transformed into....well, I think I will let it be a surprise. :)  I hope you will keep checking back and see the progress and final pics!!

As we near the end of our tour of our future abode you are seeing what will be the dining room...

...and the bedroom...

I must say, there are a lot of feelings involved with this process, too.  I think about my dad...just a union carpenter without a high school diploma trying to make a way for his family, raising three kids (one with medical problems...yep, me) and trying to fulfill his dream of becoming a photographer.  Then there is my brother Chris - he followed in my father's footsteps to become a photographer.  He spent many hours at that studio, and us with him.  I came home from school to this studio and he and I would drive down the road to get a soda and Spree candy.  Not only that, but I also think of my brother and sister-in-law and all hours and hours of work they put into the place to make it a bakery and all the hours and energy they put into that bakery, just for us to go in and undo it all.  Sometimes, life's twists and turns make me sad.  They always make me grateful for life, where we have been and where I come from and excited about where it will take us next.   

Sometimes it seems impossible.  Really, it does.  But, we just keep pickin' up our hammers and keep moving.  We fight occasionally, we laugh some and we love a lot.    It won't be perfect from the get-go, it will definitely be a work in progress for a while, but we will be home.  That is what life is really all about, isn't it?

Till tomorrow!  Thanks for catching up with us!  We love it! 

To Keep or Not to Keep

Saturday in Snapshots