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New Paint

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She is sporting new paint.


And here is before

Solar comes to Bivens House

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We have been very busy this past year. A new metal roof has been installed that will greatly reduce heat load in the house. We also installed 30 solar panels over the garage area of the roof. Yes we know, solar panels isn’t keeping with our 50’s theme but you know, it’s solar, it is the original atomic energy.

We will be posting more information about the solar system but here are the highlights. The 30 panels generate a maximum of 6,400 watts. That is enough electricity to power the house throughout the entire year including a/c season in the summer. The total cost of the solar system was about $24,000 and with tax credits and rebates, the payback is 9.1 years and an expected lifespan of 25 years.

We don’t have any batteries, instead, we use the grid to store our energy. We feed excess energy into the grid during the day spinning the meter backward. Then take back in the evening time. The idea is to net out so we use as much as we send. Out total electricity bill $5.59 a month which is the cost of the meter.

You don’t have to go crazy to live in 50’s style

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We had to laugh when we saw the headline.

Switzerland’s ‘Dementiaville’ designed to mirror the past
Plan to build 1950s-style village for Alzheimer’s sufferers divides geriatric-care experts

The $20 million is not without some controversary

The scheme’s promoters said there will be no closed doors and residents will be free to move about. To reinforce an atmosphere of normality, the caregivers will dress as gardeners, hairdressers and shop assistants. The only catch is that Wiedlisbach’s inhabitants will not be allowed to leave the village.

You don’t have to go all the way to Switzerland, just come visit us.


Introducing Touch Tone Dialing

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State of the art technology from the 1963 Seattle World’s Fair.

Here at the Bivens House, we still have rotary dial for you to enjoy.

New Neighbors

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The neighborhood has been all a buzz about the new neighbors. The surprise is we have three new neighbors, the hawks have moved in.

With all the bunnies around, it was inevitable the hawks would show up. They are simply stunning to watch them fly and hunt.

Heywood-Wakefield Bed

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Folks have been asking us about our new Heywood-Wakefield Scupltura Bed. Well the good news, we got the bed. Unfortunately it got damaged in shipping.

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When we tried to assemble it, 30 of 36 dowels were missing. Then we learned the dowel holes were not drilled correctly at the factory. We are working with the company to see what we can do to get this all resolved. Of course it is a mess because we are in Michigan, the bed is in New Mexico, the company is in Florida, but the company that actually made the bed is in Massachusetts.

See the slide show below.

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Saving a classic light fixture

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This light fixture was in the kitchen. We replaced it with the three globe fixture from the basement.

Sadly while working on the light, the posts broke. The pop metal had become so brittle you could pick at it with a finger nail. I was able to locate some reproduction posts and rewire the light.

It will be installed at the bottom of the basement stairs.

Work, Work, Work, Work

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Not everything going on at Bivens House is done by us. It takes a talented group of people to keep this great house going. Mr. Perez has been working on the yard for some 10 years with Mrs. Bivens.  We are thrilled that he stayed on after we purchased the house.

Mr. Perez and his crew began work removing the juniper bushes from the back yard today. I didn’t even know there were rocks under the bushes. It will take a couple of weeks before they are all gone. Here is what they looked like before.

Maggie is already scouring rose catalogs and keeps asking for dimensions.

Dreaming about summer in 1959

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Playing on our vintage Talk A Radio this morning was Sleep Walk by Santo and Johnny from 1959. Enjoy.

Fall at Bivens House

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Fall means planting and we have been busy. Four new trees have been planted including an Autumn Ash, Bradford Pear, Cottonwood, and Leprechaun Ash.

We ripped out all but one of the bushes in front and have planted Texas Sage, Cotoneaster and Lavendar. Three new brooms of different varieties have been planted along the drive. We also started a yucca garden on the hill on the Southeast corner. Here is what the front looked like before.

The sprinkler controller has been updated and expanded as we prepare for a new drip irrigation system.

Next will be the removal of the juniper bushes in the backyard. While a favorite of visitors because of the scuplted look, the juniper pollen has become too much for Steve so they have to go.

In their place, Maggie is already planning another one of her famous rose gardens. Look for it to start taking shape this spring.