Category Archives: ardie

you are NEVER going to believe this. but it’s true.

i’m about to tell you a story. and it’s unbelievable. so unbelievable you may not believe me. but i promise it’s true. i can’t make this stuff up…

i was working from home yesterday morning sitting in the front room office area (i don’t think this blog has ever seen pictures of that room. oops! anyways – no time for that now…) back to me working and sitting. we have a squeaky front gate, so anytime anyone opens the squeaky gate to come through it, our security alarm goes off. aka oscar half-awakes and stumbles around barking way too ferociously for his submissive-pansy-personality (often at the wrong door). and i mean that in a nice way.

i look out the window and this random man in his late 20’s is walking up to our door. dressed a little ‘hood-ish – definitely not a salesman. perhaps a little rough around the edges – definitely not a religious solicitor. mildly confused/flustered – definitely not a neighbor….who is coming to my door!?

first things first, i sneak to the back bedroom to put on pants and a bra. yes i lounge around in a t-shirt and underwear. then i peek out the window and he’s still standing there. he hasn’t knocked or anything and he looks more confused then ever. what the heck!? so i go to open the door…

me “hi…”

him “you’re new here.”

me “kinda, we moved in a few months ago.”

him “but my grandma lives here.”

me “you mean ardie?!”

him “yea…”

me “um, she died last summer.”

him “she did? no one told me.”

me “yea we bought the house from her daughter last winter.”

him “which one? deborah or susanna?”

me “deborah.”

him “oh – does my auntie still live in the ‘hood?”

me “i don’t know….. sorry…”

him – he’s already walking out the front gate.

me – standing in the door with my jaw on the porch thinking what the heck just happened!?!

WEIRD! and SAD! i just told ardie’s grandson his grandma died…. A YEAR AGO!!!!??? what am i to make of this!?!?! part of me finds it comical, but part of me is really sad. adrie!? what was going on with your family that your grandson didn’t know you died? i really need her to come to me in a dream or something and answer a few questions i have….i just can’t stand all this mystery!

and in the meantime i’m just becoming more and more fascinated with ardie and her life here. it might be quickly turning into a sick obsession. someone stop me now! or fuel the obsession…either one.

on a less thrilling note but also somewhat amusing…

a few minutes later the “alarm” went off. this time it was just the mailman.  i couldn’t help but laugh when while oscar was barking ferociously he was yelling in the most tantalizing voice “shut up dog, whatcha gonna do? huh?? watcha gonna do!? you can’t get me!”

hahahahahaha! i should stay home during the day more often….


“i’ll mess him up!”

there are a lot of things i love about our park hill ‘hood but what i’m loving most these days is the neighbors…

the other day – some sales person came by the house and tried to sell mr. hutch on an ADT security system. since we don’t live in the burbs or anything  resembling pleasantville, we gave the whole having a security system thing a thought…after a few chats with our neighbors, i’m pretty sure bungalowhutch is all set on the homeland security front.

the other day our neighbor vic says to mr. hutch a few seconds after literally hopping over the six foot fence that separates us. “a few nights ago i had to get pulled off a guy for beating his a$$ in the alley. i found him trying to steal from one of the neighbors so i took him down. probably would have killed him if someone hadn’t pulled me off!” he then took mr. hutch for a walk in the ‘hood and introduced him to the fellow bodyguards. including thumper. yes – that is a name. i can’t tell you why his name is thump-her. it’s inappropriate. instead let’s talk about how comforting it is to know vic can hop the fence in .05 seconds.

then meet calvin. calvin is a few doors down on the other end. he just wanted to let us know colorfully that if anyone ever messes with our stuff, our yard, our house, even tries to mess with us to let him know – because he’ll track them down and mess them up. he also wanted us to know that if it weren’t for his child support he’d be on livin’ on the beach. i guess that makes us thankful for his child support!?

then we met the houstons. they live across the alley. i hope they adopt me as their grandchild ’cause they seem like they’d be great grandparents. anyways – mr. houston wanted to let me know he always has his eyes and ears on the block and that if he ever, ever sees anything suspicious or strange – well he just calls the cops. (i have a feeling the cops will be called on me at least once due to my strangeness.) he wanted to emphasize that he takes great pride in looking out for his neighbors and that that was what the block was all about – taking care of and looking out for one another. it was the polite, rated-G version, of vic and calvin’s message.

all these guys have lived on the block  for fifty some years…(vic and calvin both still living in their childhood homes sans parents). they grew up here, raised families here. and tho much of PH is changing as us young yuppie folk move in a renovate homes, we’re enjoying the history and pride that remains on our block.

and as a bonus, for now, we can let ADT know we won’t be needing those services after all…

and no. this one refuses to help with the security detail. something about not being able to see very well...

one step closer to becoming like ardie

i was a gardening slave this weekend! and i’m pleased to announce that our backyard is significantly less white trash as a result. no more mounds of trash, bright pink bathtubs and overgrown flowerbeds lingering around. unfortunately the green ardie port and sad tin shed will keep us in touch with our WT side a little longer. oh well.

back to the gardening. like most things with bungalowhutch – i have no idea what i’m doing when it comes to gardening. this was evidenced by debating long and hard about what was a weed and what was a plant.  i also don’t have any proper tools. i used to but thanks to finding our gardening box in the basement with some weed killer chemical having leaked over the last 9 months destroying everything in the box – i don’t anymore.  the sad tin shed came to the rescue when i found a broken mini shovel and a teeny tiny rake that probably has a real garden tool name that i don’t know.

needless to say it was a rough start. but i gardened people. i gardened for like 15 hours to be exact. clearly i’m feeling proud about my one step to closer to becoming more like ardie.  who, by the way, our neighbors informed us used to work all day and then come home and garden til 10 at night. yikes!

here’s a few things i learned while gardening for close to 15 hours…

1. there is a reason people don’t garden in flip flops.

2. you should wear sunscreen unless you want the perfect outline of a tank top on your back.

3. bugs are gross and everywhere and worms are just as fat and juicy as i remember them as a kid.

4. it is hard to tell the difference between weeds and plants – but we already talked about that one didn’t we?

5. gardening is a workout. and i am very sore from said workout.

6. gardening is kinda lonely so it helps to talk on speaker phone.

7. iphones overheat in the sun and shut down with mean messages about overheating.

8. rose thorns are very sharp and dangerous.

9. dogs are useless when it comes to gardening.

10. mulch makes everything look 100 times better.

so maybe i didn’t learn a ton, but it’s a start. i’m one step closer to becoming a real, live gardener. and tho my track record says everything will be dead in about six weeks, i’m realllly hoping that just due to the fact that ardie gardened this yard for 50+ years prior to my taking over, means that the plants have been well trained not to die.

 we have big plans for this yard someday that don’t include most of what you see. so until the days of a real garage and less concrete come about i’m hoping this mini makeover will do.

i’ll leave you with some visuals for your monday pleasure. fyi – the after pics we’re taken this morning after a random hailstorm. that’s why the roses seem a bit traumatized.

this is where it started.


ardie would roll over in her grave if she saw these pics.

clearing out this alone took about 3 hours - i left what i thought might be real plants? do you think they are weeds?

end of day 1

does this like hours and hours of work to anyone? i swear it was...

no thanks to this one who could hardly be bothered to lift his head for the photo.

treasure i found buried in the weeds. i shall call him lambie.

supplies to liven things up.

the finished product! you can't even see ardie's love for concrete anymore thanks to the magic of mulch.

better? i'm thinking the plant falling over should have been in the weed category.

still jungle-esque but hopefully a less scary jungle. and look! no more junk yard in the ardie port!!

bye bye tub, and old pipes, and nasty wet carpet and ugly nasty wood. p.s. - don't ask where it went.

we can eat outside again!

and lounge around without having to avoid eye contact with the yard.

someone just woke up from sleeping while others were slaving.

i spy lambie!

please don't die pretty flowers

thanks for the roses ardie!

dear ardie

dear ardie –

can i have your green thumb? mine is brown. and i’m pretty sure you don’t need yours anymore.

you have left us with such a beautiful garden all around the house. it’s the talk of the block. and i’m feeling a lot of pressure because i really don’t know what to do with it. i think you’ve been mad at us for not watering it and asked god to make it rain the last week…i’ll try to get better at that so that you don’t make it rain all the time.

did you not know we would be garden illiterate. mr. hutch asked what kind of flowers those were (in the picture). i was only kinda sure when i said tulips. (don’t tell my grandma – ’cause i’m dutch and should know that!) then this weekend i had to ask my mom the difference between plants that were alive and plants that were dead. i couldn’t tell.

it’s bad ardie. and i’m very scared that i’m going to kill your plants. especially because i consider us friends. our neighbor told us all about your friends across the street – minie, archie (who has passed) and davie and how you guys used to be best buds. i know my name doesn’t end in “ie” but it could if i spelled it like the cheese.

sometimes our front door pops open randomly – and i know it’s you. mr. hutch thinks i’m crazy, but i don’t care. we can still be friends. assuming i don’t kill your garden.

sincerely –

the girl with the brown hair and brown thumb living in your house.

p.s. – sorry about what i did to the fireplace.

pps – betty didn’t send you an easter card. i think she’s mad…

ardie’s garden on the side of our house – you should see the backyard….

a very important update

we went to home depot and subsequently have done quite a bit of stripping and mounting* in the last 48 hrs. tho this is miraculous at this point in the renovation game, we’ll have to get to that juiciness later because i have a VERY important update that trumps all.

first, if you are new to bungalowhutch, have a bad memory, or love me and want to make it seem like lots of people read my blog,

click and read here before continuing.



shame on you for not clicking and reading. anyways…

ardie got a birthday card from betty!!!!!!

it went a little something like this…

“may many special joys

blossom all around you.

and through the year ahead,

may happiness surround you!”



some observations.


how can betty not know ardie has passed at this point? i’m beginning to think ardie is still alive and just forgot to forward her mail…. or that i cannot relate to betty’s generation in the slightest. with cell phones, facebook, and twitter, how can you not know your friend is no longer living!?

then i feel sad. the christmas card had a long, albeit depressing, personal note. nada in the birthday card. just a generic hallmark greeting and a measly, “love, betty.”

i can’t help but wonder – does the lack of personalization imply a passive aggressive message to ardie for not reciprocating the correspondence?

“what ardie? you too good to send me a christmas card!? can’t remember my birthday!? don’t care that ronda left bill without paying any bills!?”

but really. all this makes me think about me. i wish i had friendships like betty & ardie. someone who would send me a birthday card even after my expiration date.  if it weren’t for facebook, my generation wouldn’t even know what or when a birthday was.

so – how long do i let this go on? no, not my moral qualms about the lack of personalization in our generation…how long do i let the one-way correspondence between betty and ardie go on?

do i crush betty and fill her in on the fact that ardie has gone from bungalowhutch to bunglowheaven – while simultaneously redeeming ardie’s good name so betty realizes it’s not that ardie didn’t want to send her a christmas/birthday card, rather she was simply not around to do so?



do i pretend to be ardie and start corresponding with betty?!?!?!

i feel like this is a no brain-er, but leave a comment – and the best advice wins a free stay at bungalowhutch.

oh and in other very unimportant updates – i like to play this game (no, not paralyzed) where i suggest to mr. hutch that we wash the sheets late on a sunday night, hoping we fall asleep before the dryer buzzes because i secretly hate sheets and LOVE life with out them. sometimes this strategy results in many glorious nights before either one of us is motivated to make the bed despite the fact that mr. hutch LOVES sheets. other days, mr. hutch dumps the clean sheets on my head a mere ONE day after the buzzer and reminds me of a silly promise supposedly i made, having something to do with me making the bed.

i’m bummed today was the latter.

(food for thought: why the heck does anyone read this blog? i’m writing about a dead person’s mail and my loathing for sheets.)


*doors and light fixtures.

progress & priorities

i don’t even know where to begin. we made so much progress on our house this past weekend and i think our priorities really showed their true colors.

i’ll try to sum things up in some weekend statistics, some pictures, and a little tale for your listening reading pleasure…

friday thru sunday stats:

combined hours mr. hutch & i spent working at the house this weekend: 93

number of friends that showed up: 9

trips to home depot: 11

meals that consisted of fast food: every single one….so that makes 9 (i think i should probably leave the nutritional stats out of this list)

amount of showers taken: 0

gallons of paint used: 8

staples removed from the floor: 2,348,745,23o,430,458

marital fights: 1.5

beers consumed: can’t say in case my grandma reads my blog.

and now for the picture portion of this recap:

a little QT with the cabinet guru (more on him later) on saturday morning. mr.hutch would like for you to know that he was sweating while holding this up. “take a picture of me holding this thing up! it’s really heavy!”
refueling after the sweating
starting to look like a kitchen! fancy that.

a little window framing and painting - damn that sliver of pink you see on the left. it's all that remains from the original PINK bathroom.


beginning the work on transforming the antique dresser into a bathroom vanity. mr. hutch’s pants were also mad at the pink sliver and decided to rip.


just in case you were hoping for a close up. mmmm...

so excited about how this little project is turning out and check out the painted beadboard on the walls. sexy.

end of the day saturday. can you tell what's wrong with this picture??*

apparently our construction dog worked hard too.

appliances showed up to party. one day i'll tell you about how we fit a 36 inch fridge thru a 32 inch door. until then - anyone know how to hook these up?

we worked really hard...

sunday the bathroom became completely functional. best. day. ever. i'm now not only in love with the electrician, but also the plumber.

the first shower head this house has EVER seen. i hope ardie is smiling down from heaven at the sight of this.

end of sunday. after all the tack board and staples came up. it's about 1:00a in this picture and these floors are ready to be refinished.

ok – so now for the tale.

(*the tale explains what is wrong with that picture in case you couldn’t figure it out.)

here’s the reason we we’re pulling staples out at 1a and why there is still a sliver of pink in the bathroom. because the tv was our someone’s priority on both saturday and sunday. first on saturday with the guy installing it, needing to track down the right cables,  blah blah blah. and then on sunday when we had to install the wall mount and hook it up there. and then worst of all when mr. hutch went to re-hook it up in the kitchen it didn’t work. sound the alarms because the time he decided to de-hook and then re-hook  happened to be in the 4th quarter of the pats game and someone (it wasn’t me) was freaking out. and then those football players lost (and thanks to making sure we got that tv hooked up we had to see it with our own eyes) which of course hurled someone into a deep dark depression (again not me) and then he ripped out all of our new cabinets the productivity level really dropped as far as work went.

so the moral of this tale is. make sure your priority is getting the tv set up before anything else (sink, toilet, appliances – even before finishing the tile to get rid of the pink in the bathroom**) so that the stuff that absolutely must get done by monday morning (pulling up the staples people) doesn’t get started til 1op and you get to work on it til 1a.

*this might have something to do with the marital fight stat you saw above.

there you have it. a weekend recap. can’t wait to post some pics of our refinished floors!

christmas card for ardie, gone felony?

is it a felony to open up other people’s mail? what if they are no longer alive? i ask because ardie (our home’s previous owner who passed away last summer) got a christmas card in the mail.

i opened it! i couldn’t help myself. i have self-control issues. it was from betty.

muahahahha. what's worse? the creepy picture i took of myself with the card? or my total lack of self-control....

should i try and justify my actions? or just tell you what it said….

here’s what it said:

“i wanted to let you know that chris has a new address.  dewey & ronda’s son lives with him. ronda said she wanted a divorce and left without paying any bills for a year a half. what a mess. merry christmas. love betty.”

most. depressing. christmas. card. ever. even the dog on the front of it looks depressed….

poor dewey who has obviously been screwed over by ronda!! poor betty who has been so wrapped up in dewey and ronda’s mess she didn’t even know ardie has been taken home by the lord!! poor ardie who has people move into her house that open her mail!! poor me who  is probably going to get charged with a felony for opening ardie’s mail has lost any sense of ethical/legal/moral responsibility when it comes to other people’s mail….

whatever happened to the past-time of writing self-indulgent my world is full of butterflies and rainbows christmas letters?? i’m so glad i intercepted it and ardie never got it! or that she passed away before receiving the most depressing christmas card ever.

oh and just to redeem myself. that same day we also got a christmas card that was delivered to the wrong address. i didn’t open that one. i put it back in the mail….i’m not saying, i’m just saying.

and about bungalowhutch – it’s been neglected by me all week.  i’m over the whole re-doing a house thing.

hehe. just kidding.  i’ve just been having too much fun at christmas parties. i probably shouldn’t have  pushed for buying a house that needed a lot of work with  mr. hutch having to be the faithful one doing it all! big oops.

i plan to redeem myself this weekend so look forward to major progress updates!!

in the meantime. LOVE YOU mr. hutch. you know if i use capital letters i mean it.