A Brady Bunch Home

Yes, this is a blog about making a home. Sorta.

We do write a lot of posts about fixing up our house.

This (sorta) Old Life:  House exterior

We like to repurpose, renew, revise, and redo all kinds of things in our home.

thissortaoldlife salvaged door coffee table

But really, it’s not about the house, or the things we put in it.

It’s about making a life—the biggest DIY project there is.

Ours isn’t the kind of picture-book life we imagined back in our 20s. Our story isn’t a once-upon-a-time, first-comes-love-then-comes-marriage, they-all-lived-happily-ever-after fairy tale.

This (sorta) Old Life:  Cane and Rita on bridge

First there was friendship, and so far there’s no marriage, but there’s lots of love and most days there are at least moments of happy.

Ours is the tale of the real, messy, challenging, stops-our-breath-in-our-throats-beautiful life that we’re patching together from the remains of our earlier, broken ones.


Staring down middle age amidst the remains of our earlier dreams, we did what we now like to do with all kinds of old stuff that looks too worn out and busted up to be any good:

We transformed our lives into something beautiful, functional, and useful.

This (sorta) Old LIfe: Dark master bath renovation sink

For both of us, home projects and story have been the way through. First, we mostly learned from others. Now, we share our own, too. The more we live and read and listen and do, the more we want to hear and tell the stories that we know can save…well, everything.

We’re living our story for us, but we’re writing it for you.

Want or need a do-over?

Interested in living an intentional life?

Wondering how to craft a home?

We’re writing for you.

Our job isn’t to tell you how to do things–because there is no one right way to do them.

We just tell the story of how we’re doing them, knowing you’re smart enough to take what’s useful and leave the rest.

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In case you’re wondering just who it is you’re following…

A northwest native who grew up in Seattle, Rita‘s a lifelong over-achiever and recovering perfectionist.

She’s got 15-year-old boy-girl twins, two adult stepchildren, and two dogs. (She likes pairs and balance.)

She’s always been a writer, but she’s also always had a day job. For 20 years she taught middle school and high school English, and now she’s an instructional coach for other teachers.

She’s pretty good at Scrabble, she’s an insecure cook, and her favorite childhood TV show was The Brady Bunch. Maybe that’s why she’s a big believer in second (and third) chances. And why she’s long thought that her life would be much easier if she had an Alice living in a room off the kitchen.



A product of Opelousas, Louisiana, Cane is a painter/photographer/high school teacher/web designer/jui jitsu black belt, and mostly laid-back guy.

He’s got a 12-year old daughter, a cool yellow scooter, and a short attention span. Instead of fighting his yearning to continually learn new things (and thus master none), he’s embraced it.

He teaches digital media to the kind of quirky, creative, passion-following high-school kids he once was—as well as anyone else who lands in his classroom.

His favorite show is Car Talk, his head sweats when he eats hot peppers, and he once returned a pair of Doc Marten’s 6 times until they gave him a pair he was satisfied with. He’s generally easy to please, but he likes things the way he likes them.


 This (sorta) Old Life: kids

 We’ve got three kids between us, each with a different schedule. Sometimes we’re here with one, sometimes two, and sometimes all three. Creating a home that works for everyone is demanding and tricky, but we’re learning as we go and working it out.