IKEA, A Place Where Pregnant Ladies Lift Heavy Things

bunch a billy


Kevin left today.  It was sad to see him go.  The kids had a great time riding bikes around the farm and getting twirled around and around and around and around.  “Again!Again!”  Minty and Lucy fighting for his attention.  Otto explaining in detail his accomplishments with Lego Star Wars.  Next time we see him we’ll have one more Curtis and some warm weather.

relaxed kevin

The airport drop-off is about an hour and thirty minutes away from our place, but more importantly, it’s right next to Ikea.  I have a love-hate relationship with Ikea.  The first and last time I stepped foot in one was almost twelve years ago when Brent and I bought our first house.  We moved all of our valuable possessions (read shit left over from university) to quickly discover that we had a big house with nowhere to sit.  One long trip through the Ikea maze of consumerism and we were out with a fairly good set up of Snörks and Björks for only a couple thousand dollars.  It took me twelve years to recover from my Ikea trip which presents similar symptoms to that of a Disney induced concussion.


In that twelve years as our incomes grew, we could afford furniture in the same genre that was better built and classically designed.  I’m a big fan of solidly built furniture with wood and / or steel.  Each Ikea piece was slowly replaced.  Then we downsized.  Then we moved to France thinking we’d be all small-European-like, but low and behold we — for reasons we’re still surprising ourselves with – buy a big-arse farmhouse with a lot of land.  As Brent describes it, “the house eats furniture.”  We put all of our furniture, the same furniture that people gave us shit about bringing (oh look at aaaaall that stuff, you have soooo much stuff … ug hello!!?!?! Five and a demi people, people!! Geeeeeez) … it is all here in this house, still so much space and  we have nowhere to put the things.  Thankfully, we have plenty of places to sit.  Houses such as these don’t do built-ins.  No closets.  No shelving.  No Kitchen.  And so, where does one go with a small budget to get the house in order?  A big one, right next to the airport.  Off to Ikea I go with a nest of other pregnant ladies.  I didn’t notice this before, but Ikea is a pregnant lady’s crack habit.  We’re all there satisfying that urge to get things organized quick quick quick!  We help each other lift extremely awkward and heavy objects we’re not supposed to budge onto our cart.  We kindly dodge each other as we manage our large bellies pushing and pulling two chariots one for boxes and the other for little bits and pieces.  After much thinking on this Ikea dealio as well as pounding the floor trying to do and re-do a few f$&cking drawers (do not assemble Ikea with three small children in the house), I’ve found a place for Ikea.  They give good storage.  Shelves.  Benches.  Bathroom and Kitchen furnishings.  Quick to assemble.  No mistakes.  But stay clear of drawers.  It’s not worth it.  Today was bookshelves, which should unpack at least thirty or so book boxes getting us closer to that moved-in feel.  We  have that squatter look at the moment.


Hot and Heavy

Mr. Green

Brent and Kevin went to collect a pile of furniture and things from a guy who is selling the contents of his gîte business (that’s a small house or room to rent for vacationers).  There were some amazingly gorgeous things, but mainly we were after the well-made wood burning stove he had for sale.  This baby is heavy.  Watching Kevin and Brent move it into the house was video worthy, but I resisted in case things got sad should they drop and break our new, expensive stove.  The thing weighs 200 kg (that’s 440 pounds for the American audience!).  This was no trivial task.  Thankfully, we had Michael’s little wheelie-do-dad that he uses to move his piano.  This little device, however, was no help getting the green beast up to two little steps into the house.  But, they did it.  Mr. Green now lives on its wheels until we install it which it will sit for years and years keeping us warm.

It looks easy, but

On the wheelie-do-dad

break again

An unexpected perk of pick-up was when the nice seller handed Kevin the keys to his big worker van to let us use to move the stuff providing a huge shout-out to Kevin’s inner boy.  This type of grin only surfaces in times of large power tools, monster machines digging deep holes and big vehicles.

big worker van


Project Warm

farmer brent

We’ve been in our house for a couple of weeks.  Our warm days are diminishing along with the warm rock walls of the house.  Kevin is visiting from Seattle with “mousse expansive” blocking every drafty leak he can find.  A small lizard came peaking through underneath a door yesterday, so there are still a few to do.  It’s amazing what blocking a little air gap will do.  You can feel the difference almost instantly.  The aesthetic is interesting to say the least, but gosh darn it, we’ll be warm which is important.

smeggs herding kevin

Brent has done enough research on wood burning stoves that I feel a blog post coming soon.  Tomorrow, I think we’re laying down some cash for one (maybe two) wood burners that will push “project warm” one step further.  We’re racing against cold nights and new baby being born very, VERY soon.  Newborns have a tough time regulating temperature; we don’t want it to be drafty and cold for the wee one.  The plan is to get the house livable for the winter so we can get started setting up the farm.  As it is, we are waiting for the farmer who is renting the land to wrap up his work, move some cattle, hay and silage so we can start the fencing and water plan.

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Lucy’s birthday is in a few days.  She’ll be a sassy eight year old.  As I try very hard not to have a baby early, we’ll pull something together to celebrate her special day.  She has had so many big parties in the past, I think it might be nice to keep it small this year.  I suspect she’ll disagree.

We’ve Moved


Long post short, we’ve moved.  It’s been nonstop fun and finally I’ve managed to grab my computer to put some pictures up.  It’s late and Brent and I are teetering on sick so here’s the pictorial version.

dropping a load meet the pups

We took a trailer and truck load out earlier in the day before we moved the kids.

zee houseIt threatened to rain but blew over.

kids the cat

The kids were snuggled in for their long drive to the farm and we even managed to find a spot for bug. See if you can find him in the above photo.  Hint: he’s circled in red.  After a few quick stops and a potty squat for Lucy, we made it to the farm. The kids fell asleep immediately while we unloaded the stuff.

mint asleep doop asleep otto asleep

Tosca settled in quickly.  I know it’s hard to see but in the below photo, there is a dog camouflaged on Tosca colored tile.

tosca colored tile

Our first morning at the farm was stunning.  Otto hopped on his bike and rode around with a huge smile on his face.  Minty followed along and Lucy played in the barns.  I’ve lost Minty at least three times either in the house or on the farm.  We’re learning.  Little Mint likes to wander.

the first morning