The answer to that question in short — the circus, the yard, the bathroom, the garage, the kitchen and the couch. We’ll get to the explanation in a minute — but first a huge THANKS goes out to everyone who missed my posts. In the last few weeks, I’ve received some very nice comments and emails from you guys and even phone calls and text messages from friends and family wondering if I was okay — simply because I hadn’t posted on this blog. Guys — it is really nice to be missed, to know this little space that I’ve carved out for myself on the internet is somewhere other people like to visit too. Where I can share the joy of each exciting thrift store find, each project completed, the ideas kicking around in my brain, and of course — Leo’s insights into it all.

Now let’s explore some of the many reasons why there have been no new blog entries here for the last month:


With the fall season in Wisconsin drawing to a close, that mile long list of chores to do before the white stuff starts falling has put the pressure on. Here are a few of the seasonal chores I’m trying to get through at the moment and their status:

  • Put the garden to bed
  • Take down the screened porch and put away furniture
  • Rake leaves
  • Clean gutters
  • Trim tree branches away from the house
  • Put down grass seed

In addition to the normal fall chores, over the summer our neighbors decided to remove all the leafy privacy screen from the ground up to about 7 feet on one side of our property — then replace it with a canoe. I’m not sure why they chose a canoe, but our once private back yard now feels very exposed on one side. I tried to plant some shrubs to help block the view, but alas, it will be years before they are tall enough and I need about 40 more for the rest of the fence line.

Wanting my privacy back by next summer, I decided to apply for a fence permit with the city and hire someone to construct a 6 ft. wood privacy fence along this 40 foot span of yard. A few days after applying/paying for the permit, I received an email from the city with a list of neighborhood bylaws from 1954. One of the laws stated that no 6 ft fences would be allowed in our section of the city without written consent from 60% of the homes in the subdivision. Many of our close neighbors have 6ft. wood privacy fences surrounding part or all of their property — did they really contact all 140+ homes in our area to get permission? Yikes. Now I’m struggling with what to do next — give up on the fence? Try to get permission from enough neighbors? Try to figure out how to hold some sort of survey/petition/vote to do away with this law all together?


Meanwhile, the never ending master bathroom remodel drags on. I’ve been slaving over the vanity build for weeks now. With temperatures dropping below acceptable levels for staining/sealing the vanity the kitchen table has become project central. Don’t worry, Leo isn’t passed out from fumes. I’ve been applying the stinky stain out in the garage and letting it dry as long as necessary, then moving indoors to topcoat with my low VOC, water based clear coat.


My house looks like a disaster area — thanks for pointing that out Leo — and the bathroom marathon project is starting to take its toll.


There is a pink toilet in my den, that has been there for months. Luckily it is scheduled to be installed tomorrow! The bathroom is really starting to come together now, and I’m hoping to have it done before Thanksgiving, so I can show it off to visiting family, and of course the blog world. Fingers crossed.


Oh, and as for the circus… Over Halloween weekend, took my annual trip to Cleveland to visit my best gal pal — a friend I’ve had since the age of 3. We try to see each other twice a year — each making the trip once a year see the other. This visit was a blast as usual, and included my first circus experience. My friend and her husband are also in the process of house hunting, and you know I enjoyed touring five open houses during my short stay.

After a summer and fall spent constructing a bathroom, fighting back the overgrown yard, all of the regular work involved in keeping up a house, visiting and visits from family and friends, and blogging full time over at Retro Renovation, I decided that instead of suffering a complete and massive burn out by pushing myself to post my usual twice per week here on top of everything else, I would allow myself a pass. Relaxing time to hit the couch for some movie/cuddle time with my adorable husband Jim, go to bed early and finally finish reading that novel I’ve been working on. I decided to just let myself have the time usually spend blogging here to recharge my batteries.

I can’t promise normal posting frequency here until after the bathroom is done — and with the upcoming holidays, posting twice a week as usual for the rest of the year doesn’t look like it will be happening. Still — I have no intention of stopping this blog all together. It just seems that the older one gets, the more there is to cram into every day. Throw a massive project on top of that and sometimes a girl just needs to let a few things slide for a while, slow down, and enjoy life.

Thanks to everyone who stops by for understanding my sudden absence — and for missing me. It really means so much that you look forward to the small snippets of my life that are shared here.

Stay tuned!


27 thoughts on “WHERE HAVE I BEEN?

  1. I checked your blog yesterday, just to see if I’d missed anything…and here you are today! Take as much time as you need…but be sure to post about your final bathroom reno story! Happy Holidays to you and yours!

  2. You might try growing ivy over the existing fence if it’s yours or several trellises in strategic locations while the tree fill in.

    • I’d need a lot of ivy for that…and am also wondering if that is a dog friendly plant (poisonous or not?) Not that Leo usually eats much from the back yard, besides grass — but still…always like to be safe!

  3. Glad you are ok and spending some time for yourself! What are those crazy neighbors thinking?! I think polling all those people or your fence would be very hard and not a definite result. Have u looked into putting in some more mature taller trees? A piece or plywood? Lol. I can’t wait to see the completed bathroom and you can be done “seeing pink” πŸ™‚ looking forward to your next post whenever it is!

    • hahahaa…I do have a piece of plywood sitting around… but honestly, I’d rather not look at that either. I’m sure I’ll come up with something…what that will be is still to be determined. πŸ™‚

  4. Hard to believe about the fence. Perhaps a 6 foot fence set within your yard, maybe at the patio to block the view. Could it be set 6 foot away from the line and be legal? Is it a fence only when it is on the property line?

  5. That’s a pain about the fence. Maybe you can re-visit the issue next spring, after some of your other projects are finished and you have a teensy bit more time on your hands. But, of course, then it will be gardening time again, and other spring projects will pop up. There never does seem to be a good time for unpleasant jobs such as figuring out how to unravel red tape.

  6. Anybody re-doing their own bathroom would be busy, so perfectly understandable that you haven’t had time to post…btw, it is looking amazing and you are so talented. Ugh, on losing your backyard privacy…I hate when that happens. There are so many people that are intent on slashing anything green and growing! I wish I didn’t have the eyesore behind us of the neighbors “crap pile”. We have a cinderblock wall but it only goes up 5 ft and his junk is stacked up in piles…they even had a dog that climbed up it and jumped into our yard! Hate that our houses here are very close together…can see & hear right into everybody’s windows!

    • Thanks Tammy! Yes, it is a bummer to loose privacy…I think my neighbors were just trying to “clean up” the yard and don’t realize that I don’t enjoy looking at their canoe and other junk instead of the weeds and shrubs that used to be there. I’m sure they meant it as an improvement, but unfortunately, it didn’t feel like one for me…

  7. Hi Kate, I noticed your absence from RR and figured you were making the final push to complete the bathroom make over. Fall is a busy time. Check with your local extension agency for recommendations on fast growing trees and shrubs for privacy along the property line.

  8. Good to know that you’re doing okay. I too missed your posts.
    Is a woven willow/twig/reed fence an option? Technically temporary (you just unroll the number of sections you need) but provides privacy. If you can’t find the height you want, you can always attach it higher up onto your chain link fence and let snow/plants fill in the bottom foot or so.

    • I have looked into something similar to that — a bamboo type fence that you can unroll and attach to chain link. I may use that for a portion of the fence line if I can’t get a permit for a wood fence.

  9. Pingback: RETRO RANCH REVAMP RESOLUTIONS 2014 | Retroranchrevamp's Blog

  10. Pingback: THE STORY OF OUR NEW FENCE | Retroranchrevamp's Blog

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