Just Sayin’

My hydrangea is in bloom!

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“Wabbits”: a hoppin’ flick!

I’ve been playing around with Picasa again. Since I have loads of animal photos from the Hyggehus where we used to live, I’ve decided to make them into some little slide shows (Picasa calls them movies, but they’re really not).

There will be more of these in the future, so if you love animals like I do, then be sure to stop in when I post them.

Here’s the first “flick” featuring some cotton-tailed visitors to my yard. Hope you enjoy it!

Start me up! (With the Simple Woman’s Daybook)

Outside my window:  Builders coming and going in their dusty work-gear and boots, hoodies up against the cold, hands in their giant Mickey-Mouse work-gloves.  (I must remember to shut the bathroom door off of the family room downstairs.)

I am thinking: Still working on this – brain function is not at its best at the moment.

I am thankful for: A great home, hot water when I want it, a stocked fridge, good and loyal blog friends.

From the kitchen:  We cheated on the weekend and ordered take-out from the nearby “Tandoori Grill” in Fergus.  I am giving them a shout-out because, OMG! every mouthful was a delectable spice-experience.  I had to stop and expound on each taste delight as I ate.  We had a bottle of Wolf Blass Cabernet Sauvignon to accompany it and I am still raving about the experience!
On Sunday, I cooked some potato and cauliflower pieces to add to the leftover Aloo Gobhi and the garam masala, cardamom, tomato, turmeric, ginger sauces all blended in beautifully to increase the volume of the remaining dishes exponentially. Jalfrezi Chicken and Peas Pulao are highly recommended.

I am wearing:  Do you really want to know? Okay, from the bottom and working up: Green striped woolly socks, grey fleece pants with the bottoms tucked into the socks, an orange tank top, white long-sleeve t-shirt, my husband’s “Juventus” black t-shirt, a tweedy black and white, long sweater.

I am creating: My library and office in opposite corners of the downstairs family room.  I’m almost finished emptying the boxes.  Books are shelved, and stacked on the top and nearby tables.  These and my dish collection took up the most space and weight in the move.

I am planning: On receiving guests, so if you’re in the neighbourhood; come on over for a Danish lunch!
I am reading:  House warranties and appliance manuals – very dry!

I am hoping:  That this post jump-starts my creative juices once again.  I am also really hoping and praying that my Celtic wedding band shows up in an unexpected place.  So far, despite my looking everywhere I can think of, there is no sign of it.

I am hearing: The glorious sound of my furnace coming on and keeping the house warm.  The sizzle of food cooking on my favourite Canadian interview-program, “The Marilyn Denis Show“.

Around the house: Many, many pictures and paintings that have yet to find their home on the walls.  Kevin is leaning towards a cull, but my preference would be to find a space for every one of them, as I love them all!

One of my favourite things: My new Mennonite dining room table with matching leaf and four chairs, bench and side cabinet. 

I lived with a cherry-wood veneer table with 80s-style wrought-iron chairs for 12 years and this table is all I could ever wish for!  Another element to the “hygge” in this house, although we are no longer in the “Hyggehus”.

A few plans for the rest of the week:  Finding some bedroom furniture for my mother, and finishing unpacking her treasures.

Here is picture for a thought I am sharing…

(I must have missed the fact that there was an origin to this theme page, apart from Southwest Arkie’s blog. but I discovered this blog today when I went looking for the original image at the top. Now you can join in too!)

The Simple Woman’s Daybook

‘Til next time!

Kat

Now the countdown really begins.

We were up at the house yesterday, despite heavy rain all day Saturday and then a temperature plummet, followed by more of the dreaded white stuff, we drove north yesterday morning and it was actually a glorious day!  Although quite cold, the sun was shining and the trees along the way that dotted the landscape were pretty as a Christmas card.
The entrance to our neighbourhood is off a country road and when you turn in there are a couple of twists before you come out at the intersection with our street.  It is only as you approach this crossing that you can see our house in the distance.We were filled with tremendous anticipation, wondering what we might see this time —hoping the brickwork would be complete and to our delight it was!
The above photo was snapped by Kevin at the back of our house.  I don’t want to share a photo of the front until it is complete and I’m also keeping something else a surprise:  we have determined what the house will be called.  The Hyggehus is no more, but this house will have a name too.
We had thought of doing something with a few Gaelic words, but the Irish language doesn’t lend itself to easy pronunciation and the word for house is spelled, “teach” which would undoubtedly be misinterpreted even though it actually sounds like “chalk”.  So we are going with the Danish once again and we are very pleased with the choice.
I will reveal the name of the house when I show you a complete picture.
I beg your indulgence as I share this information and do hope that no one is bored with this (if you are, I understand), but this is perhaps the biggest event to occur in our lives in the 17 years that we’ve been married.  It is truly our dream home and we are so pleased also to be sharing it with my mother who is as excited as we are. Did I mention the four unsuspecting cats? They may be slightly less pleased at the outset. (Extra strong catnip is stockpiled for the transition.)
If you’ll notice in the above picture, I can be seen in the foreground on the left, picking my way over the ice and snow, like a teetering Sasquatch (or a toddler in a snowsuit).  I actually took a spill at the front of the house and the knees of my jeans were covered in snow.  Near-fifty-year old pins aren’t as flexible on precarious surfaces as the once were!
I won’t be as present online over the next 10 days.  There is much to do both physically and tactically.  I will try and post poems if I am struck with them ( I find I can’t shake the impetus, despite my preoccupations), but you probably won’t see me on your blogs.  I hope you won’t hold it against me.
Take care,
Kat

The last of the Hyggehus

The last thing to go – the sign that summed up our place on Dane Street – Hyggehus (cozy house) and that’s exactly what she was.  I refer to the house as a she because she felt like a matriarch in a way; coming home to her was like being embraced in your mother’s arms.  We served delicious dinners in the cozy dining room with candles and wine and fine music.  We watched foreign films on the H.D. t.v. in the gas-fired living room surrounded by cushions and cats and the company of friends and family.  Everyone who visited was welcomed and would remark on what a wonderful  house she was.
I’ve written about our house on a number of occasions and she was a tremendous source of inspiration for me, both inside and out.  I have written many poems about my backyard and the creatures that drop in daily and of course, I’ve been creatively motivated by the view behind the back fence, where St. Peter’s Lutheran Cemetery is located.  Some of my best work has been the result of just looking out the window!
I shall miss everything about the atmosphere and ambience of the Hyggehus – the cast-iron gas stove in the living room, the sliding doors out to the back porch, the arched living room and dining room doorways and even the old creaky hardwood.  I shall NOT miss the freezing cold temperatures of an old, drafty house, the little nooks and crannies that were impossible to clean, the next-door-neighbours yelling at each other every single day and their little poodle, whining and whinging all the time.  I won’t miss an icy toilet-seat in the middle of the night, or the old, unfinished basement with the dark and cold laundry-room.  Nope. Won’t miss those.
I shall miss my friends on the ground and in the trees – the finches, juncos, chickadees, chipping sparrows, bluejays, doves, crows, cardinals, robins, flickers, thrashers, oven birds, cat-birds – even the sharp-shinned hawk who killed one of my doves.  I shall miss them all.
More than that, I think I shall miss my commune with the squirrels – the feisty red squirrels with their mighty-mouse muscles and in-your-face attitudes; the black squirrels whom we nicknamed “The Jacksons” and the pudgy greys whom we christened, “The Wallendas” for their spectacular gymnastics on the old telephone wires running behind the house.  I named everybody, you know and I could tell them apart, and they knew me – my voice calling out “Peanuts!” on a very high note and my little clicks and tongue-clucks calling them out from behind the latticework on the porch or across the top of the fence and down from their safety-perches in the pines and cedars.  I will never forget them.

I was reminded by Kevin, that I forgot about our frequent cotton-tailed visitors and “Hoover” the chippy (one of a trio).
Of course, one of the saddest things we leave behind, is our memories of our beloved Blanche.  Blanche was such a part of the Hyggehus and we can’t look at the front window or the fireplace without imagining her sprawled out in her heat-seeking mode to bask and soak up the sun.

Tears have been shed. We sign the papers today. On to the next life-phase.

Kat

All Systems Go!


Photo borrowed from Flickr

It’s been a couple of busy weeks here at the Hyggehus. My husband had the week and a few days extra off to catch as many of the World Cup matches as possible (we’re still taping them every day even though he’s back at work). It was both our anniversary and my birthday, last week and the other thing we took care of was getting my book back on track.

I’m delighted to report that the new printer has just contacted me to say the proof of the new and improved edition of my book is already available for me to pick up. We only signed the contract last Tuesday, so I am well-impressed.

I will be picking up the proof tomorrow and hope to have a scan to show you all in a new post.

This means, if the proof is a good one, we will be going ahead with printing and I think I can safely say that the book will be available to order in a few weeks’ time. I will be keeping you up to date on that.

In the meantime, I did also get some press in the local paper and if you’re interested in reading it, here’s the link:

The Record

Stay tuned!

Kat

Kat’s Kleaning Kwerks

cleanupcrew 015

Are you sure you want to know my secrets? This photo is blurry because I’m such a whirlwind!

Okay. Lavinia over at the Birdbath blog has been hounding, er begging, er ‘portuning me to reveal if I have any little peccadilloes when it comes to my cleaning habits. We’re not talking personal hygiene ( I won’t get into that – too long and very little falls into the “need-to-know” category). No. We’re talking house hygiene, if you will. She wants to know if I have any weird little practices as I maintain my tidy Hyggehus. (This from someone who washes all bottles, cans and jugs as they come in the door – not just the tops either; she gives them a proper dunking!)

Are you sure you want to know? Well too bad if you don’t (go read Blasts From the Past instead), ‘cause here we go – more of the minutiae of life which for some reason we all seem to have a fascination (look at the Twitter phenomena, if you don’t believe me – by the way I’m “Poetikat47” if you’re looking for me over there).

(above) My cleaning arsenal

Anyhow, here are my oddball (my husband will back me up, I’m certain – wait ’til he sees that photo) habits:

I,

  • really don’t like anything left in the kitchen sink (actually, that’s an understatement; I hate it!)
  • keep dirty dishes in a grey square bucket on my stove until I wash them
  • always soak my burner pans in vinegar and dish soap and line the burners with foil-plates
  • use newspapers and vinegar to clean my windows
  • let the dishwasher fill up and only run it every other day
  • use a sponge with a crushed walnut fiber scrubber on one side (microwave for 2 mins. to kill bacteria)
  • love my soap-dispenser brush scrubber for pots and plates.
  • clean my can-opener every day with a toothbrush and dish liquid
  • don’t use anything toxic – only natural products in the Hyggehus – good for the environment and people too!
  • hate to clean my stainless-steel fridge door – it is so tough to get the marks off, but Nature Clean window cleaner does the trick
  • have to clean my toaster every week because we love our toast in this house. I always have at least 3 loaves of bread in the freezer or I panic!
  • use wood pellets in my cats’ litter boxes and then keep the sawdust to mop up spills (they are old cats and often have “accidents”
  • use deep boot trays as secondary litter boxes.
  • I got my vacuum cleaner from the neighbour across the street (he put it out for garbage day)
  • always wear a mask of bikini panties over my nose and mouth when I empty my Phantom vacuum cleaner.
  • collect all the fur I vacuum up to use at my spinning wheel and sell at the local market (*kidding*!)
  • Clean the bathtub with a crushed pumice block (a PC grocery product) and a scratchy sponge.
  • all my cds and dvds are either boxed or filed in albums with slots for each one; everything is alphabetized – even my books are in alpha order on the shelves.
  • I use dollar-store “magic” cleaning cloths and a cut-up pink fleecy hoodie for dusting and cleaning up spills.
  • I only buy select-a-size paper toweling
  • my house is currently a tip (as the Brits would say) because my sleep has been nightmarish of late
  • I live in hope that my husband will help me with the vacuuming and dusting this weekend – he braves it out without the panties!

I challenge Lyn at “Two Ghosts”, Willow at Willow Manor, Anita at Negative Space and Jen at Are You There God, It’s Me, Generation X to confess to your cleaning quirks. Anybody else (male or female) who feels like telling all, go right ahead.