Tag Archives: miniatures

Chimney Sweeps, CDs, Cinnamon Buns, and Curios…

On Monday night, I got a call from the company I’d called about cleaning the chimney last week…was very pleased because I’d expected to be waiting a lot longer than three days to get an appointment!  Here’s the history:  The first year we moved into the house (Nov. 29, 2008), we had a guy come and clean the chimney…he came just after Christmas (about a month after I called him…he was “backed up”).  I called the same guy in September of 2009.  He was still “backed up,” and also having some sort of surgery soon.  He said he’d put me “on the list.”  He never showed up!  I took him off my list this year…I called another guy (I’m a big believer in “getting a guy” to do things we can’t do, despite my dad offering to do it…I love him, but he doesn’t know anything about chimney cleaning!).  Even though he was listed in the Yellow Pages under “chimney cleaning” the guy told me he’d given it up: “too much liability” and “people don’t want to pay enough.”  He suggested the third company I called last Friday.  The man I talked to on Monday told me they would be in my area on Tuesday afternoon, so I stayed home from the bookstore to let him in.  It was a nice bonus…the house to myself for most of the day…yay!  I would use the time to listen to my music, make cinnamon buns, and play on the computer.

I got up on Tuesday morning, and got Jim and the kids out the door before having a shower…I debated getting dressed, but thought I should have clothes on for the chimney guys (as opposed to pyjamas)!  I skipped makeup, though, and never touched my hair again after brushing it when I got out of the shower.

I put on the first CD while I made myself tea and Toad in the Hole (with a bagel) for breakfast: Richard Shindell‘s Courier.  Wonderful!

I ate my breakfast, started the dishwasher, and started making the cinnamon bun dough:

Dough after mixing, before first rise...

An hour later, it looked like this:

Dough after first rise...

I punched it down, and covered it to rise again.  I put Meg Hutchinson‘s The Living Side on.  Her favourite of mine is Come Up Full.  I played on my computer some more.  Here’s the dough after the second rise:

Dough after second rise...

In the meantime, the guys arrived to clean the chimney…I put the baby gate up in the family room to keep Jake from terrorizing them.  On his way down the basement stairs, I mentioned to the head guy that the stovepipe might need to be replaced.  “You didn’t tell me that last night,” he muttered.  “I don’t have parts with me!”  He took his vacuum cleaner down to do the cleaning.  I took my dough in the dining room, and rolled it out, spread it with butter, sprinkled it with brown sugar and cinnamon, and then rolled it up.  Then I sliced the roll for the cinnamon buns:

Cinnamon buns before third rise...

While they rose, I ate lunch and listened to Rose CousinsThe Send Off…here’s what the buns looked like before I put them in the oven:

Cinnamon buns after third rise - ready to go in the oven...

The chimney guys finished their work within an hour…poor Jake spent the time running from one end of the house to the other, not sure which direction to bark at: Were the bad guys outside, in the basement, or by the back door?  I wrote them a check for $96 and change…the head guy told me they had used foil tape to patch the stovepipe (the same thing the other guy had done two years ago…foil tape must be chimney guys’ duct tape!).  After the workers left, I put the cinnamon buns in the oven…keeping with the “cinnamon” theme, I played a tribute album to Neil Young called Cinnamon Girl.   About 35 minutes later, the buns were ready to take out.  Hope came home from school, and we’d eaten three of them before I realized I’d forgotten to take a picture of the finished product…Hope took this one:

Finished cinnamon buns...yummy!

One of the hard parts about being a working mom is that I rarely get time with my kids “one-on-one.”  I took advantage of the hour-and-a-half Hope and I had to ourselves before Jim and Anna would be home for supper.  I took the opportunity to show Hope the dollhouse furniture my mom and her sisters used to play with in the late 1940’s…I had loved it as a child, and she had never seen it.  Hope is the only one of my kids who was really into dolls!  She had a great time arranging the furniture and tiny dolls:

The Bedroom (twin beds, of course!)

 

The Kitchen...

 

The Bathroom...please avert your eyes while the baby finishes up...

 

The Living Room, complete with piano and hi-fi...

While Hope played with the dollhouse stuff, I put on a pork roast and rice for supper.  By the time Jim and Anna got home, we had picked everything up…

It was a good day at home…

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Filed under cooking, family, food, memories, music

Jane’s Homework Assignment…A Room of My Own…

Today, my friend Jane over at PlaneJaner’s Journey gave us a homework assignment (http://planejaner.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/a-room-all-your-own-really-its-only-for-you-now-comes-the-hard-part/)… I’ll wait here while you read about it…

(twiddling thumbs…doodling…staring around the room…wishing Anna would turn off Family Channel…)

Okay…here’s my dream room:

The #1 rule in my room is that no one under the age of, say, 25, will be admitted unless there is a copious amount of blood involved – no pets allowed either.  No one but me will be able to eat or drink anything in my room.

I'll need a sign like this...

I don’t know what colour my room would be…I’m really not interested in or good at decorating stuff.  However, it would be furnished with Victorian antique furniture (including the rocker I inherited from my mom, a comfy armchair, and perhaps a settee of some kind), so the paint would have to coordinate with that.  There would be an crocheted afghan that I made to wrap around me if I get chilly (any side tables would have doilies, also made by me).  There would be a desk with a computer (desktop – I hate laptops).  The desk would be fully-equipped with all needed equipment: pens, pencils, paper, scissors, stapler, ruler, glue, etc.  It would be completely off-limits to any child who can’t find school supplies somewhere else in the house.  There would be a stereo/radio (tuned to CBC) with all my albums (vinyl), cassettes, and CDs. There would be no TV in my room.  The room would be soundproof, both to keep outside noise out, and not to have children complaining about my music.

Something like this would be amazing, but alas, my windows aren't that big!

I would have shelves about 4 feet high on every wall which would be filled with books (including my collection of antique “Lucile”‘s), miniatures, my mom’s bell collection, her collection of wooden boxes, and other family heirlooms.  There would be an antique rug on the floor, and the walls would be full of Mom’s photographs and art, and some of my own acquisitions.  In one corner, there would be shelves constructed to hold my collection of Victoria Magazines (nearly complete, back to 1988 or so).

There would be a special cupboard filled with my personal snacks…the ones that I have to hide now to make sure I actually get some of them: multigrain tortilla chips, cashews, chocolate cherries, honey roasted peanuts, Smoky Bacon Ruffles, and red licorice (this may need to be LOCKED!).  A small fridge will be necessary for iced tea, lemonade, and spinach dip (for the tortilla chips).  I will also need an electric kettle for tea, and my own big mug.

I like this Blue Willow pattern mug...

I would use my room to read, write, listen to my music, crochet, or decoupage (another hobby of mine that I never get to do).

This is the kind of decoupage I do...

Now to answer the rest of Jane’s questions:

Do I deserve it?  Absofrigginlutely!  I’ve been a mother for almost a quarter of a century…I deserve some time to myself and a kid-free place to do that!

Could I accept a gift of a room for myself without guilt or worry?  YES!  I’d only be worried about keeping kids out of it! 

Could I give myself my own room?  YES…all I need is for one kid to move out!

Is this a “woman” thing?  I don’t think so…Jim often talks about having a room of his own too!

Now about Jane needing therapy…I don’t think I’m qualified to comment on that…

Thanks, Jane…now I’ve got something else to add to my “Bucket List” https://writerwoman61.wordpress.com/2010/06/02/my-bucket-list/ …this one is actually do-able!

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Filed under books, family, music, self-discovery