Tag Archives: Neil Young

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

My Bucket List…

Several of my blogging friends have recently posted their “Bucket List,” which is essentially a list of things you’d like to do before you die.  I’ve never written mine down, and it changes sometimes…here’s what it is today:

1. Go to Tuscany, Italy.  See the art/architecture, drink the wine, and eat the food!

Tuscan Countryside...

2. See the following musicians live: Elton John, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and Simon and Garfunkel.  I finally got to see Neil Young in concert last year – it was amazing!

JT...Still Sexy at 62...

3. Finish my collection of “Lucile” books by Owen Meredith (Lord Bulwer Lytton).  Between 1860 and 1938, it came out in some 2000 different bindings – I have about 45.

This one's nice...I don't have it...yet...

4. Work in the bookstore full-time without having to have a “real job” to eat.

Our fireplace at the bookstore...

5. Buy the house we live in and fill it with books and antiques (after the kids are gone, of course!).

"Our" House...

6. Write a book and have it published, probably something historical.  I edited a book for a friend a few years ago – I didn’t get the see the final proof, and they spelled my last name wrong in the front of the book (Matherson instead of “Matheson”)!

7. Take a summer off and do nothing but read, write, cook, garden, and listen to music.

Relaxing last fall in Grand Manan...

8. Visit Saskatchewan and Manitoba, the only two provinces I haven’t been to yet.

A canola field out west...

9. Learn to make edible piecrust.

My piecrust never looks like this...

10. Go to Germany and see where my ancestors came from (I’m about 3/4 German and the rest is English).  Dad’s family came to the States in the 1750’s, and Mom’s German ancestors came about a century later.  Here are my German family names: Shoots (originally Schutz, we think), Braun, Schmidt, and Auer.

My Mamma, Marie (Auer) Taylor...

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Filed under dreams, food, music, self-discovery, travel