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{ Category Archives } House

“I think Crabtown would look lovely in the autumn…” (Another furniture construction project)

For the first time in six years, we decided to put up the Christmas Village, one of my favorite decorations of the holiday season, but something I’ve had to keep squirreled away while the children were too young to be trusted around it.  But when we started contemplating putting up the village a couple weeks […]

Project Book Shelf

During my recharge week (May 21-25), I had lots of academic work to do, but I also wanted to do something that activated a different part of my mind.  At the same time, one of my big tasks was to clean my office, something I try to do two or three times each year, usually […]

I’m home, for reals!

In response to Clancy’s musings about checking in, I posted: For some reason, when I was young, my mother instilled in me that you shouldn’t put your home address on your luggage tags, because some person working in the baggage department could see that you’re traveling and burgle your home while you’re away. So she […]

Highlights from Snowpocalypse 2011

Roughly five hours of shoveling over three or four days. Did not lose power. Did venture out for dinner Wednesday evening to the Duck Fat Tavern, pretty much the only place open Wednesday night.  Yummy Duckfat fries. Confirmed that Finn does not like playing in the snow.  The one venture outside with him had him […]

On Snitching

We live in an urban neighborhood, close enough to Chicago to ride the El (instead of the commuter trains).  It’s a great place to live but, like all dense spaces, crime is a bigger problem than in the country.  In the four years we’ve lived in our house, we’ve had one crime happen to us […]


Lots of Halloween fun this year.  Here’s a rundown: 17 Oct – Boo at the Zoo.  We’ve attended this Halloween zoo event every year since we had kids.  It was fun this year, but there wasn’t much in the way of surprises. 28 Oct – Avery had a Halloween party at her school. 29 Oct […]

Census fails to save money or the planet

So we got a notice from the US Census yesterday, a letter mailed in an envelope telling us that next week we’d be getting a census form and that it would be great if we’d fill it out. It could have been a postcard or, perchance, nothing and I still would have gotten the census […]

Adventures in Cabinetry

So we spent three days over the weekend hanging cabinets in my sister-in-law’s condo.  Whew!  A couple highlights: I learned how to unhook garbage disposals. We discovered that there were no reliable lines — the floor had an uneven tile, the corners were not 90-degree angles, the walls bowed in and out because the builders […]


A little work around the house

The four projects I did as part of the “get stuff done cuz I have some free days” bonanza: Installed new lights in all three upstairs rooms. I bought a new light for my office about 2 years ago, and Jenny bought lights for the guest room and the “reading nook” a couple months ago.  […]


Harvest time

So we’ve been eating cherry tomatoes for a few weeks from the robust plants along the south side of our yard.  The last couple weeks, I’ve harvested 30 or so each week.  Today was the first time the big tomato plants were ready to harvest.  Here’s today’s crop.  I suspect I’ll bring this many in […]

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Weekend Warrior-ing

The Fourth of July usually affords an extra day off, and thus my in-laws usually find time to come down to visit. Phil and I busted some medium-serious butt to get projects done. Here’s what we accomplished: Most importantly, I noticed during one trip to the scrap wood pile in the cellar (the area under […]

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A few bullets in lieu of something thoughtful

The first week of online classes always feels anti-climactic.  Isn’t summer supposed to be about non-teaching projects?  But then the paychecks start arriving and I log back into Moodle with a smile. Summer nerd project: file server and jukebox built in the shell of the old tv I found in the alley a while ago.  […]

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Everywhere you look…

So this year brings a number of changes, the most significant in my family life being that my sister-in-law Carrie and her husband Chris have come to stay with us for a while. Chris just finished his training as a youth minister and has taken a job here in the Chicagoland area, so we invited […]

Weekend bullets

We had a couple gatherings over the weekend, one small event for Avery’s third birthday on Saturday, and one larger one, our “open house” event for Chicagoland friends. The first was fun, and the second was fun wrapped in chaos. We’ve done a number of home improvement projects over the last year, including adding a […]

Awesome moments in parenting

Nearly-three-year-olds are fascinating. Avery is hilarious and temperamental, cute and so energetic she seems likely to explode; she oscillates between these states with alarming rapidity. But we can’t get over how many amazingly cute moments we see daily. Here are a few from the past few weeks: Avery spots a flattened raisins box in the […]