IKEA (I received an anonymous request (from my husband) to ease up on the salty language so I’m just going to have to trust you to understand what I mean here)


This is me and another Kristin, way back in the dark ages, on the opening day of the Ikea store in Minneapolis.  We were all Kristins that day.  We were all Swedes. To say that I was excited would be like………ok, it’s actually stupid to insert some lame, hyperbolic metaphor here when you just need to look at my dumb face.  I was EXCITED.  ALL CAPS.  So excited that I was plucked from the masses, as we waited for the doors to open, and asked to share my best dance moves for a chance to win a $100 gift certificate.  ONE HUNDRED IKEA DOLLARS!  That’s like three Poäng chairs!  Ten Lack side Tables!  You could probably get a whole Ikea vignette for $100 and take it home in your purse!  I wanted that gift certificate and I knew I’d have to go big, I’d have to give it everything I had,  like Napolean Dynamite during student council election season,  if I truly wanted a shot at that Ikea fortune.

I did, as they say, bring it.

And while I was bringing it, I whipped my head around just a little too much……and I lost all grasp of my place in the universe, losing my balance, falling forward, reaching my arms out to the spectators like “SOMEBODY PLEASE CATCH ME!  THIS IS NOT A JOKE!”

It was not the highlight of my dance career.

Then a 90-year-old Swedish lady got up on stage and waved her hands in the air like she just didn’t care and she took the prize in a landslide.  Bitch. Continue reading →

Delivery Drama and GD F*%^ing Ikea


When we buy this cabin, we know that it is remote in the same way that we know the preamble to the Constitution;  I can sing that we-the-people song all day long but I don’t really what the hell I’m talking about.  Of course, we’d driven there – once.  But we’d driven a lot of other places that day so we only knew it as a place that was on the way to someplace else.   And because we were following Janie Our Real-Tor in her Ford F150 pickup, hauling ass like a northern Minnesota Ricky Bobby, we weren’t even navigating.  Just following.  It was like driving an arcade game where you just respond to the things directly in front of you  –  like explosions, meteors, assassins  –  and steer the wheel so that you don’t die.  We don’t actually know where we are going or what’s up ahead because we are just trying to keep up with Ricky Bobby Our Real-Tor.

And now I know why it’s necessary to haul ass in the north woods;  if you don’t go fast, you’ll never get anywhere.

Plus, it was still winter so there was a “this isn’t what it’s normally like” quality to the surroundings   –  although since it was April and still the middle of winter I would argue that WINTER is what it is normally like.  I just wasn’t paying attention and translating this information into a delivery scenario.  The driveway was still hip deep in snow and the trees on either side were leafless so there was no way to visualize how the simple addition of leaves would turn the snowy driveway into a narrow tunnel.  I was so focused on pulling each foot out of the snow and finding a nice crusty spot to put it down again where I wouldn’t fall through and get buried alive like that made-for-tv-movie starring John Ritter and the girl who played Bess on the Mary Tyler Moore Show (I could’ve just made that up but it sounds really familiar to me) that I didn’t even notice that the driveway was really fucking long.  And steep.  And definitely not passable by a delivery truck. Continue reading →

That’s Impossible


There are lots of differences between Mike and me.  He is tall.  I am not.  He is quiet.  I am not.  I have a disco ball hanging in the bathroom.  He pretends that there isn’t a disco ball hanging in the bathroom.

But one of the biggest differences between us can be summed up in a single phrase:  “That’s impossible.”

It’s one of Mike’s favorites and he throws it out whenever I want something.  And I hate it.

I don’t like this phrase,  “that’s impossible.”  I think it’s lazy.  Anyone who’s ever been to a brainstorming session knows how “that’s impossible” crushes the flow of creativity.  But he wields it like a giant sword, lopping off the heads of creative thinkers.  It drives me crazy!

I’m sure he would have said “That’s impossible!” when I picked and pulled and twisted, trying to remove the hard plastic security case from my new Phil Collins/No Jacket Required cassette.  I saw it in the checkout aisle at Target and I needed it now!  I needed to listen to it in the car on the way home.  But I couldn’t get that damn case off.  And my mom kept saying just wait until you get home, what are you doing?  you’re going to break it!  But I knew there had to be a way to get that thing off because everybody was listening to Phil Collins/No Jacket Required!  In the end, I cracked the cover and I had blood running down my arm but I had Phil Collins in the tape deck.  Su sussudio, goddammit.

When things get really stressful, he starts whipping out “that’s impossible” at completely inappropriate times; like when things are entirely possible.

Me:  “What should we have for dinner?”  

Mike:  “That’s impossible.” Continue reading →

BEFORE: The Kitchen Edition.


I’m going to let you look at this pretty picture before I show you the actual BEFORE pix.  Because it bothers me that someone would visit this blog and be greeted by a bathtub full of bat poo.  I want my blog to look pretty……not shitty.

But in this episode, we will focus on the kitchen only because that is where this renovation begins.  We’ve already discussed the unidentified living thing that took up residence under the sink that woke up when I opened the cabinet door.  And how I closed that door and ran away so I could go to my happy place.  We’ve already discussed the drawer front that came off in my hand when I went to open the drawer for the first time.  Here’s the scene of that crime: Continue reading →

The Awakening……in which I spend my first night at the cabin and feel the need to make a list.


I do my first overnight at the cabin when Mike is out of town.  I do this on purpose.

Every visit prior to this has been about some form of trash out or clean up and, at the end of the day, when we can’t take it any more, we make a hasty retreat to a clean hotel room at the local casino (ch ching!).  Because, remember, we trashed the beds during trash out and no effing way am I sleeping on that floor.  That’s where the wild animals have their parties in the middle of the night.

During these trash out / clean up days, the cabin is not fun.    It’s not the relaxing sanctuary we envisioned when we handed over Liam’s college money for the keys.  It’s a lot of work and a fair amount of discovery, much of it in the “oh shit” category.  And it threatens to rub the shine off our new baby.

I want to replace some of the shine for Mike while he’s gone.  I want to make it quasi-habitable with places to eat and sleep and sit down, so that next time he comes here, he can relax just the teeniest bit and maybe have a little bit of fun while we work toward making her completely ours.

And If I can do this successfully, maybe the memories of trash out/clean up/oh shit discoveries will begin to fade……which means that we have not made a horrible mistake.

Ironically, as I work to make the cabin comfortable, my awareness of my discomfort builds.  Continue reading →