Updating a ranch home

26 Dec

We had some of those concerns, too, but in the end we decided that the things that work way outnumber those that don’t.We actually like the separation of main living area from family room.Our front yard isn’t particularly large, but it feels spacious because there’s a nice distance between our house and the neighbors on either side: We like our neighborhood so much better than many of the new neighborhoods we see, with houses all crammed together on postage-stamp lots, nothing much more than paint color to distinguish one from the other. But we see so much potential here, especially for people like us.Our neighborhood has an organic, grown-over-time quality that we just don’t see in new developments. (Meaning, people with more energy than money, who like a good project and want to make a place their own.) Take a look at this home, which was on the market for less than a week before a “sale pending” sticker appeared on the realtor’s sign: This is a project house, for sure–but when we look at it we don’t so much see the dated color scheme and too-cute window boxes and boxy shape as we see that sweet bay window and space for kids and the trees framing three sides of the house.Imagine it: chewy farro, earthy lentils, tangy tomatoes, cool, crisp cucumbers, sweet roasted corn piled high, sprinkled with crushed almonds or sunflower seeds, jazzed with a half of an buttery-smooth avocado because FOR THE LOVE, all covered in a blanket of straight up cool, creamy, herb-loaded, and in this case, fiery-mouth-spicy ranch dressing. When cucumbers, snap peas, tomatoes, and corn are in the bowl, these strong veggie champs can hold their own even with a whole big splash of dressing poured over the top.None of this weaky-wilty greens business – in this salad, I MEAN BOWL, I like my veggies strong. For the jalapeño pepper, I took out about half of the ribs and seeds to control the heat a little bit.

While a city neighborhood full of mid-century ranches and small, independent businesses would be cool and all, it wouldn’t get us the things we’re really yearning for. (And because if more people who like what we like join us, the community will change in ways we’d like.) No, there isn’t the kind of hipster cool we see in Portland: But there’s still a kind of cool.

We’re thinking the rage for mid-century modern has just about run its course, and something else will have to take its place. While we loved the idea of a small, vintage house in a great neighborhood full of old trees and great restaurants and independent bookstores and one-of-a-kind shops, we knew that just wouldn’t work for the lives we’re really living.

If it’s hard for you to imagine the big 70s split-level having the same kind of appeal, we get that. We’ve got two adults and a revolving door of three getting-bigger kids (with other parents who live about 60 miles apart from each other).

Names are almost not even worth discussing since Rainbow Veggie Bowls is absolutely the cutest name for a bowl of vegetables ever, but just in case the Rainbow Veggie Bowls brings to mind things like unicorns and My Little Ponies and you’re one of those, like, sensible people who doesn’t like to think about rainbow things, alternative names for this nutrient-packed beautiful food bomb could include Earth bowls, Garden Harvest bowls, Vegetarian Happy Lunch bowls, Ranch Lovers’ bowls, Full for Days bowls, Get Yoself a Healthy Glow bowls. Now let’s think of all the vibrant foods in the world that we could dunk and drizzle and soak in creamy, tangy, spicy jalapeño ranch. I really wish those tomatoes came from my garden but I am a failure of a young adult and, even worse, FOOD BLOGGER, who STILL does not have a garden. Some things are just not meant to be, and growing things is just not in my nature.

The basil plant that I bought at the farmer’s market earlier this summer?