Saturday, February 28, 2015

Renovation Diary: Operation Sunlight


 I hope you are enjoying your weekend. 
I wanted to give you a little update on the ranchburger. In just a few weeks, the foyer and living room have been remodeled. The foyer's walls were bumped out. Arched openings were built at each end of the large room. To keep the budget in check, stock French doors were ordered--two doors were turned into "windows."

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Foodie Friday and Everything Else Link Party -- February 27th


Welcome to the Foodie Friday and Everything Else Party.
You are invited to share recipes, DIY projects, time saving tips, crafts, tablescapes, and everything else (including your link parties, give-aways, reviews, and/or sponsored posts).

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Renovation Diary: Part 2 of Adding Curb Appeal to a 70s Split-Level

I'm still recovering from Friday's mishap, so instead of our weekly house tour, I'm just updating an earlier post about the ranchburger's front elevation. 
Last week, I posted eleven possible front elevations for the ranch (above). My goals for the house were to increase curb appeal, balance the similar, yet mismatched, wings, and reduce the long, "train-like" appearance of the middle section. Also, I hoped to add a traditional mood . . . but with a twist. If I had to define this twist in one sentence, it would be "Something's Gotta Give" (my all-time favorite imaginary abode) Meets a "Rambling Farm House." 

Friday, February 20, 2015

The Old Gal Is Slipping

This morning, I looked out the window and saw the hay truck skid up the icy farm road. The donkeys heard the noise and made a beeline for the driver. He got out of the truck, nudging through the animals, and opened the gate. My breath caught a little as he returned to the truck and drove forward. Would the animals follow him to the barn or sprint through the gate, into the frozen yard? The truck rumbled ahead. And the donkeys trotted onto the  driveway, a place too slick for man or beast.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Foodie Friday and Everything Else


Welcome to the February 20th Foodie Friday and Everything Else Link Party. I'd like to thank everyone who left me a comment last Monday. I appreciated your warm, comforting notes more than I can say. I wanted you to know that your kindness lifted my heart. Since then the farm had quite a bit of ice damage, and we're bracing for more bad weather. I hope everyone is safe, dry, and warm.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Once Upon a Yorkie

This is the most difficult post I've ever written. I can't seem to find the right words, so I am taking a convoluted route, picking my way around the heart of darkness.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Imaginary Test Kitchens for Food Bloggers

Industrial Kitchen by Portland Architects & Building Designers Emerick Architects

If you've ever blogged about food, then you know what goes on behind-the-scenes: planning, shopping, cooking, styling, photography, and cleaning epic messes. And, because food photography hinges on natural light, you are also watching the weather.  This Sunday, let's pretend we have won the lottery, and we're going to build a blogging/test kitchen.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Split Personality: Adding Curb Appeal to a 70s Split Level

Before we bought the ranchburger, it had languished on the market. 

 I guess people weren't drawn to a squatty, 70s era home: 8 foot ceilings and a low pitched roof. Buyers flocked to the hottest subdivision in town, a golfing community that was tucked into a majestic hillside. But I saw potential in the old split-level. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Foodie Friday and Everything Else Party


Welcome to the Valentine's Day edition of the Foodie Friday and Everything Else party. Thanks so much for coming today. I hope you have a heart-shaped weekend, filled with chocolate and flowers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Ranch Renovation Diary -- Redefining Interior Space

Welcome to a mid-week update on the Ranchburger Renovation.
Way back in the early 70s, when the ranch was built, it didn't have a foyer. A dedicated entrance space was carved out in the 1990s, and it was remodeled again in the mid-2000s. Last summer, when I looked at the house, I thought the foyer had lots of potential, but I decided to take my time and come up with a solid plan. Months went by. Then, just two weeks ago, I figured out what to do: remove the smallish foyer walls and create a gallery-type entrance, with three French doors.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Ranchburger's Dining room

While the renovation is moving along in the rest of the house, I'm working on the ranchburger's dining room. The previous owner used it as an office. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Tour a Laguna Beach Cottage

Backlit by a wash of blue, the beach cottage looks as if it strayed from a fairy tale, one that begins in Laguna Beach, California. Red geraniums bloom in the window boxes, and a Dutch door stands ajar, beckoning us to step inside. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Stone Yard Adventures


For someone who has chosen counter-tops for five kitchens, I know very little about stone. I wouldn't dare offer tips or a "how-to" guide. But I can share my adventures. In the past, my choices were governed by price, durability, and emotion--in that order. Last week, the time arrived for me to select stone for the ranchburger's kitchen. I knew what I wanted, and I just hoped the right quartzite would be waiting for me at the stone yard.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Foodie Friday and Everything Else Party

Welcome to the Foodie Friday and Everything Else party!
Earlier this week, I baked my grandmother's easy citrus thyme loaf cake and gave an update on the kitchen renovation. Today, I visited two stone yards. It was windy and cold, but the "yards" were indoors.

By the Sea

My kitchen project is moving along rapidly, and it's time to brave the February cold and walk through stone yards, looking for slabs. But in my mind, I will be walking by the sea.
Won't you take a little mid-winter break with me? First, we will travel to the place where the sky and sea meet in one wash of blue: Big Sur.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Easy Citrus-Thyme Loaf Cake

Momentous events in the Deep South are always accompanied by food.

My grandmother made desserts for all kinds of occasions, but she was fond of loaf cakes because they were tidy and compact, travelling well to christenings, bake sales, and funerals. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Tour a House in the Woods

This Sunday, we're touring a charming house in the woods.

It was designed by Michael Abraham Architecture, an amazingly talented Midwestern firm that's noted for melding a house with its setting. The firm also combines creative genius with superior standards. When it comes to a new build, or the renovation of an historic property, Abraham is the "house whisperer."