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When I was growing up, our family would visit my grandparents’ lake cabin in the summertime. Man, was that house a treasure trove of 1950s collectibles, although at the time (70s-80s), who knew? Even more, who cared? I don’t think the nostalgia for the 1950s had yet begun to bubble up. Read the rest of this entry »


I’m in South Dakota for the family Christmas, which involves about 45 people all crowded into my parents’ log cabin for the sole purpose of eating Swedish meatballs.  Oh, ok, I suppose there are other reasons why they all come over, but every family has its traditional food, and ours is the Swedish meatballs.  I wonder, though: what are other families’ traditional Christmas foods?


… just so I don’t cry!

I called the carpenter to tell him that our closing date was Tuesday, and the money would come through on Thursday so he could go buy supplies. Left him a message.

Two hours ago I get a return call.  Oh, he forgot to tell me that he accepted a full-time job somewhere in a neighboring town, so, uh, he wasn’t sure, uh, what to tell me. Read the rest of this entry »


Last Monday, I got a call from my contractor that said he could start as soon as we could give him a check for materials so Menards could deliver sometime this week. One problem: we’re waiting on the bank. Actually, we were waiting on one final estimate. In fact, we waited for that estimate all week! Finally I just wrote down a number that was at least twice as much as the job would actually cost (shower install) and gave the numbers to the bank. Now, we wait.

Oh, it’s going to be a good day when that money comes through. I’m going to be ordering that cracked ice chrome table faster than a wino hits the jug. Read the rest of this entry »


When we first moved into this house, the plan was easy: fix it all up in 6 months and transform it into a house we love.

And eight years later, here we are! Just beginning the major improvements to this place.

Oh, there have been other things, of course. The basement was tiled so we no longer had any more water problems, the roof was reshingled, the bedroom was recarpeted to remove the PINK carpet that plagued this home, and numerous other minor details. Now we’re ready for the big stuff, and I’m kind of scared. Read the rest of this entry »


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