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Rebecca & Dale

This is our blog.


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.


Sneak Peak

For a sneak peak at Dale’s recent photo shoot check out the company’s blog. They took a few behind-the-scenes shots.

I’m not sure what I can share but odds are good that the photos Dale took will end up in a national hot rod magazine. We’ll keep you posted.

In the mean time, we’re school, work, school, work, smidge of facebook, and a whole lot of school book. More soon!


Remembering Grandma Cutcher

We got news today that Dale’s Grandma Cutcher passed away. We’ll be heading to Michigan for her funeral this week. Thanks so much for thinking of us.


Protestors against Russia in Chicago

I’ve seen all sorts of protests around Chicago–and in other places I’ve lived–but this was the first one I’ve seen relating to Russian aggression. These protesters were hanging out smack dab in downtown Chicago protesting Russia’s invasion of Georgia.

It wasn’t a huge crowd but it was bigger than the Oak Park war protests–and that’s saying something as Oak Parkers are not fans of war!

Anyway, I found it fascinating that this crowd was so concerned about what’s happening in Russia–but from the sounds of the accents I’d say there were many Russian immigrants who happened to have strong feelings about their home country’s behavior. I thought it was interested and snapped a couple of photos.

Just a half block away this new statue stands where the moose statue once stood (the moose has been moved back). Dale was very unhappy with the new statue but I kind of like it. And, weirdly, the word “czar” came to mind–perhaps because we’d just walked away from the Russian protesters? Eh, who knows. Just thought I’d share. UPDATE: The statue is King Lear (of course!) and he is quite the fierce and angry king! I should have guessed, what with all those Shakespeare classes I took.

We spotted these exciting things on our way to the air show–which I will post about in the very near future!


New Job!

Big news! I accepted a job offer and put in notice at my current company! I start working in the loop and taking the train June 2! Wish me luck.

I’ll be writing and editing for construction and architecture magazine…sound familiar? Yeah, it’s my old job. But at a different company in a sweet location–in the heart of downtown Chicago!


Mom's Memorial Service Information

Some folks have asked so I thought I should give an update to all about the memorial service:

My mom’s memorial service will be in Flint, Michigan, on Sunday.

There will be a visitation from 3-4 p.m. at Plumb-Smith Funeral Home, followed by a short memorial service. My mom was cremated. I will have a photo album and some pictures there so people can remember has when she was healthy and happy.

Plumb-Smith Funeral Home
1208 North Ballenger Highway
Flint, MI 48504
(810) 238-7657

There will be a late lunch at the Burton Eagles club; my aunts and Dale’s mom (and her sister) are making dishes to pass.

Burton Eagles
3317 E Bristol Rd.
Burton, MI
(810) 742-1020

Thanks for being such good friends to us.


Rebecca & Dale

We’ve put some pictures of mom and family online if anyone is interested: Gallery!


New Bikes!

We got new bikes! Very exciting! The photo above is my new Trek.

And this is Dale’s new Le Mond!

We love them! Dale was a smarty-pants that got us a great deal. He did some work for a Trek shop on Michigan Ave. and took a store credit and an employee discount. So it was almost a barter deal that landed us some sweet new toys.

Dale also got a new pair of shoes that he loved so much he had to take a pretty picture of them!


Mom Is Sick; Think Happy Thoughts

My (Rebecca’s) mom is in the hospital down in Memphis. We’re considering heading down there, just waiting on word from my stepdad. Please send any positive vibes/prayers/well wishes her way.



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