A Quick Tour

I figured the best way to kick this off is with a quick home tour. So this is what our house looked like when we moved in (minus the basement, as I didn’t take any pics on the first day and after that it was all boxes for weeks).

Click on any image to go to a larger version for better stalking.


The front of our house! We have a lot of work to do to get those bushes under control, no?


The entryway/living room (note its carpeted).


The living room, entryway and hallway (all carpeted).


The living room/dining room (wallpapered and carpeted).


A fun panorama of the kitchen from the family room.


And a panorama of the kitchen from the dining room.


The family room–carpeted and paneled with cedar slats.


Master bedroom had green carpet…


Second bedroom had blue (not that Dale could not slow down ripping carpets out so I could get proper “before” pics!


The third bedroom (will be a guest bedroom but will not feature rust-colored carpets).


We never got pics of the downstairs after we moved in and before the boxes descended. My bad. This is what it looked like when the previous owners lived there.


This picture of the garage is also from before we moved in–that’s Dale and our realtor.


Another quick pic of our garage.


And the backyard!


I have approximately 500 things to share since we moved into our new house at the end of September. Of course, I forgot to take pics of half of the things we’ve done and the rest are blurry.

But seriously! Watch this space as we have a LOT to talk about.

New Blog

So we bought a house! Wheee! And that means we no longer live in Oak Park! Booooo. And super sadness. But we decided to start a new blog dedicated to our new house and our new life in our new house. Lots of new!

Check us out at www.remodernranch.com! And feel free to peruse our old life to your heart’s content, of course.


And we’ve also moved all of our old posts to the new blog.

Goodbye, Sidney.

Today we had to say goodbye to our dear feline friend, Sidney. He was a dearly, deeply loved part of our family for nearly 14 years—a third of our lives!

Sleek kitty

Sidney was an unusual cat. He was lavish with his affections, insatiably curious and (often) downright naughty and incorrigible!

Merry Christmas

We were laughing today, thinking about all of his many “accomplishments” in his short, sweet life. This is what we tallied off the tops of our heads:

  • Learned to jump onto and “ride” the big, tacky wicker chair we used to have all the way to the ground. He would leap up and dive into it, essentially creating a thrill ride in the house.
  • Broke at least two dozen dishes and serving pieces from jumping on the counter and knocking them off.
  • Had a great love of carbs and bread. This love led him to learn to open cupboards.
  • Loved human food and would eat nearly anything he could get his mouth around—celery, ¼ of a pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes—you name it.
  • Learned to open cupboards (so expertly that we had to install child safety locks on all of them in our first apartment).
  • Commandeered a wicker laundry basket as his bed. We would eventually line it with sheepskin but it started out with a simple blanket folded up.
  • Learned to open drawers—exhausted by the task he would generally sleep in them once he opened them. He figured out how to go up from the back of dressers and push out drawers; one morning I came into the bathroom to find all the drawers open. He had opened the cupboard to get to the drawers.
  • Jumped out of a second story window. Twice. Also? Learned to open windows when Dale lived in Chase’s house in Michigan.
  • Liked water. Sometimes he crawled right into the shower with Dale. This also made training him impossible. He was deaf so you couldn’t yell at him and he loved water so you couldn’t spritz him.
  • Would drink from any unattended cup, even if it belonged to company.
  • Discovered the bathroom sink fit him perfectly as a bed.
  • He could skillfully maneuver my head off my pillow to claim it as his own without ever waking me up.

Sidney was incredibly sweet and maintained an incredible disposition his entire life despite having had quite a few health challenges. As a kitten he got an ear infection that left him deaf. He battled severe gastrointestinal issues and often suffered stomach distress (exacerbated by the fact that he’d eat anything off the floor, off the counters, etc.). His knees were bad in recent years and while medicine helped it didn’t reverse the issue. And, finally, he had a fast-growing tumor and cancer. He was a tough little guy with a sweet, strong spirit.

Bela watching over Sidney this morning

If you ever met Sidney you know how special he was and you know how much we
loved him. Below is a sampling of some of our favorite photos of him. Feel free to click on any one of them to go to a bigger version of the photo.

I ran my first 5K

I posted about this on Facebook but I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to archive it here! So I thought I’d add it…

I ran two 5Ks this fall. The Makin’ Tracks 5K and the FLW Festival of Races 5K.

Running a 5K is on my list of  things to do before I turn 40–and it’s done! Yes. Twice! I only have pictures from the first one, however. Dale was happy to meet up with me at a few points.

This is me coming in at the finish line. It was a pretty great experience. I liked the Makin’ Tracks run more than the FLW run for a variety of reasons, not to mention the genuine enthusiasm of the crowd.

Race day winnings!