The Chick Cave


The Chick Cave
By Joanie Buettgen
Copyright 2011

Now is the time for all of us women to stop stressing out about 2011. I’ve never attempted a New Year’s resolution list and I never will. The so called experts in the field of organization tell women we must de-clutter our homes. And all our junk must go. This stuff that we’ve all accumulated over the years has turned us into hoarders. Some of our homes are busting out at the seams. Our drawers and closets all need to be cleared out before a bull dozer knocks at our door.

So, now that the holiday decorations have been put away this is the perfect time to tackle our cluttered rooms one at a time.
I decided to attempt the first floor office/dining room first. Most people have a dining room table with four chairs. I don’t. The room consisted of a large computer desk with many drawers to stash stuff, many cubby holes that hold stuff, and a large surface to lay out stuff. I constantly would tell myself that one day I would organize this mess. My hope would be that this eye sore would be transformed into a wonderland.

I felt the procrastination bug hit after I received a beautiful roll top desk for Christmas. My husband Mark and daughter Rene’ asked me to decide between my constant hints for Uggs (winter boots) or a writing desk. The idea of a desk intrigued me and the snow boots I desired were just plain ugly.

I always dreamed of having my own space. John Gray, Ph.D. talks about a man cave in his book, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. I knew one day that I needed my own cave.

Years ago, I had purchased a large Tiffany lamp. As the years went by I accumulated many other items that caught my eye. For instance, after mom passed away we cleared out her apartment. I left that day with a beautiful antique table that had two drop leaves and a cute little pull out drawer. These pieces never seemed to fit in any space. So now both the lamp and table have a purpose in my new room.

When mom was still alive she noticed I was admiring an antique of hers. “Do you like that? It’s an old ink well?”

“Yes, I do. It looks really cool!” I picked it up and marveled at its simplicity and function.

“Go ahead…it’s yours,” Mom said with a smile on her face.

Well this ink well needed a new place to call home, so now it sits on my new writing desk.

When I worked at the Carver County News, I always admired an old ladder back chair. I asked the editor at the time if I could take it home. He said yes. For years it was a dirt collector. Now, I have a place for the chair and it goes well with my new desk.
If you’re ever in need of a writing surface, a writing desk will inspire you. One day I was admiring my desk and its many features including the cute little cubby holes, quaint vertical slots for my reading glasses, a place for red writing pens, and leather writing journals.

Now, I’m looking for a book case to compliment my collection of favorite writers’ and publications which include: E.B. White “Elements of Style”, Writers Digest, Midwest Living, Writers’ Journal, and my worn dictionary and thesaurus.

This room of mine is not large. I’ve collected many precious items such a small wooden table, which is just the right size for a cup of coffee, a reading book, tablet and pen. I keep in my cave a wonderful gold candle which was given to me by a newspaper reporter. It’s also important to surround yourself with pictures of girlfriends, sisters, and new friendships formed. The accessories in my room continue to inspire me. I’ve also transferred an old wing back chair and an ottoman to my new hot spot.

I can remember when I was six years old spending hours at my mothers’ writing desk. This heirloom now sits proudly in my new dining room for all to enjoy.

Twenty-four years ago my cave was my son’s nursery. And now it’s transformed into a cozy cavern. This retreat is off limits to everyone. This is a spot where I can get away from life and relax. Jake, my dog, came up New Year’s Eve, sniffed around and looked at me with his big brown eyes, turned in circles and plopped down on my feet and promptly fell asleep. Some things never change.

Published:, Minnesota Moments Magazine,, Carver County Historical Society, Kansas City BBQ Society, Carver County News, National Barn Alliance, and Ridgeview Medical Center newsletter.
Social Networking: Blog:,, http://www.linkedin/com/in/joaniebuettgen.


4 responses »

  1. Your room sounds so beautiful and cozy. Will you post pictures? Your description of collecting the items that inhabit your room carried me from scene to scene.

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