Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Some blogs to check out!
My "middle" sister Lindsey has joined the blogosphere. She has two blogs - Red Letters which is a more contemplative blog, and Little Hearth which she started today about homemaking. I'm sure she'd love it if you'd stop by and visit!

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Thursday, January 24, 2008
Uber Pregnant
So big. So tired. So ready for this baby to be born.

I am really looking forward to carrying this baby around on the outside of me instead of the inside. It will be nice to roll over in bed without it taking at least 3 separate motions. I won't be missing the acid reflux either. I realize the tiredness is likely to continue for quite sometime but it will be a different kind of tired. Weird how being a different version of tired can be refreshing.

Don't get me wrong, I love babies. I love the end result of being pregnant. However, I am not one of those women who loves the state of pregnancy. I quite enjoying being able to move about freely and lift heavy things and pick things up off the floor without the danger of not being able to make it up on my own afterward.

Just under 4 weeks until baby is due and I can't wait! There is still a lot to be done before he or she arrives but I won't be complaining if baby's arrival interupts my housecleaning plans. :)

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Six Unimportant Things Meme
I've been tagged for this meme by Rain over at Rain's Musings.

The rules for this meme are: (1) Link to the person that tagged you. (2) Post the rules on your blog. (3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. (4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. (5) Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

OK so here we go:

1) I am full of useful/useless information. I am chock full of tidbits of information "just in case". I am an expert on nothing! :)

2) I hate wearing socks but I also hate having cold feet. Sometimes I can't avoid the socks and sometimes I tough out the cold so that my feet can be free!

3) I have a near phobia of raw chicken juices in my kitchen. I am ridiculously attentive whenever there is raw poultry in my house. Just ask my husband, it drives him nuts. I follow along behind him disinfecting whenever he comes back from hunting grouse.

4) I had a thing for cows when I was a kid. My dad finally told me I could have one if I could carry it home myself in my backpack. Being about 10 years old my backpack wasn't so large and neither was I. It was definitely a safe gamble for him. Although, Dad sometimes thought we should have one in the backyard because we went through so much milk...

5) I like to have all the dirty dishes on the left side of the kitchen so that the right side of the kitchen stays clean. I also wash dishes from the left.
Example: If it's a double sink I wash in the left sink, rinse in the right sink, and set the dishes to dry on the counter beside the right hand sink.

6) I love home improvement shows and am quite happy whenever I get tools of my own. I have my own hand saw, miter box, level, measuring tape, staple gun, and Dremel! I don't use them much but I like having them around. On my wish list - a hammer of my own.

I tag Emma at Charming the Birds From the Trees, Lauren Christine at with humility, thankfulness, and rejoicing, Lindsey (who happens to be one of my sisters!) at Red Letters, Trina at All That Is Good, Manda at Tree Fall, and Hannah at Cultivating Home.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Some decluttering tips
I like the show "Neat" on hgtv with Helen Buttegig. Helen is a professional organizer and is great at helping people find systems that work for them, not just imposing her own organizing style on them.

Here is what I'm thinking about today as I try to unpack more boxes into our little house (650 sq ft total!!!):

3 Questions to Help Make Purging Decisions
1) Have I used it recently?
2) Is there a specific use for it?
3) Would my life suffer if I didn't have it?

If the answer is no, let it go!
~From the Neat website.

I particularly like #3. There are so many things that I don't need, never use, and if I didn't come across them every now and then I wouldn't even know I had them.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

love is the greatest refreshment in life.

- pablo picasso

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Mystery solved!
Today our plumbing was acting up again. Now we think we know why. Dwayne remembered an incident from this summer when he was driving the loader near the vertical access pipe for the septic tank. He saw the vertical pipe move when he drove past it. His theory is that the underground drain pipe was popped out of proper alignment with the tank when the septic tank shifted due to the weight of the loader. Right now the pipe narrows where it butts up against the tank underground instead of keeping it's 4 inch diameter.

Once the ground thaws Dwayne plans to dig a hole over the affected area, cut the pipe, fit a longer length in, and secure it with a connector. Then the outflow pipe from the house will stick into the tank instead of just butting up against it. Until spring we'll probably have to do a weekly pipe check to avoid the problem. We also noticed the problem occurred after we accidentally bought 3-ply toilet paper instead of 2-ply.

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Dwayne of All Trades
This morning I woke up to the smell of French toast. Dwayne likes to make breakfast on the weekend. :)
(Not only does the man cook, he can bake, take care of babies, and fix or build just about anything and everything!)

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A sick little guy
Today we found out that the grandson of friends of ours has been hospitalized as there is great concern that he has some kind of lymphatic cancer. His mother took him into emergency a night or two ago because he had a lump starting to swell on his neck. The doctor took one look at it and had him flown to the next major center to see specialists. Apparently the little guy had been to the doctor a couple of times over the past 6 months or so for related reasons but he was given antibiotics as the doctors must have assumed he had swollen glands due to an infection. Please keep this little one in your prayers, he is only 2. I can't imagine what it must be like for his parents. It must make one's heart feel sick and sore.

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Friday, January 18, 2008
So clear and bright!
Tonight the sky is so clear and the moon is so bright that the outdoors is actually brighter than the darkened indoors. I can actually see my way around the house by the moonlight shining in through the windows. The evergreen trees, which usually appear so black at night, are glowing as they reflect the moonlight off of their snowy boughs. If it were about 10 or 15 degrees warmer, it would be a perfect night for a late night stroll but tonight I am content to enjoy the scenery from inside our cozy little log house.

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Getting ready for baby
I am starting to make some progress on the baby preparation front. I washed and dried a bunch of neutral coloured/themed baby clothes and blankets yesterday at my mom and dad's. Today I will fold them and store them in large Ziploc bags so they are ready to go if we have to go to Yellowknife to have the baby. If not, at least I know they are freshly washed and handy here at home.

I located the baby bed amidst the piles of boxes upstairs and found the infant car seat accessories, like head/hip supporters. I will be shopping around for a new car seat today as well. We've decided to buy a bigger one that Hendrik will use and that can convert into a booster seat for when he's older. Riley will move into his car seat, which we will change back to rear facing for now, and the new baby will take over the one Riley has been using. Hopefully the new car seat will be here in a week or so.

Next, we'll have to get the van sorted out and cleaned out a bit. It's been doubling as a wood hauling truck lately (it's an Astro van) so we can put the benches back in it. Our little Geo is not going to be big enough for 3 car seats and 2 adults.

I should pick up some newborn diapers for now as well. We have cloth diapers for all the kids but until we get our hot water heater functioning we're using disposables.

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posted at 11:39 AM  
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Plumbing adventures
Our current hot water heater:


We had a problem with the plumbing outflow pipe to our septic tank this week. There was a block somewhere in the line but we couldn't see it or find it. Dwayne took the pipes apart under the house and we had special heaters going to try to thaw any ice that might have been in the tank or the pipes. Still no progress. We thought it was fixed a couple of times only to pour some water down the drain and have it sit there again for an hour or two. After 2 days of frustration the problem is finally fixed.

Yesterday, Dwayne bought a couple of lengths of re-bar from the hardware store, welded some sort of connector on them, and then brought them home and fed them through the pipe. We had tried using a plumbing snake but it was too flexible and Dwayne figured it was bending back on itself. He could feel a block but couldn't tell what it was. After a few good shoves the block pushed through and voila! we had drainage again.

Today I am dealing with the aftermath. Despite being at Mom and Dad's for most of yesterday I have a huge mountain of dishes to tackle. We had company on Saturday night and when I went to do those dishes on Sunday we discovered our problem. So after 3 days, we have no cutlery, bowls, or pots clean. Fun. Still no hot water yet either so I'll have to heat the water for the dishes by pots and kettles on the wood stove. You have no idea how much time having hot running water saves you until you live without it for a while!

Off I go...wish me luck!

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posted at 10:52 AM  
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Weird winter
We are having a bit of a strange winter. Yesterday it went up to -5C and by tonight it is supposed to be -32C. This does not take into account wind chill. Currently, it's -27C but the wind chill added in it feels like -40C. Brrr. The past couple of weeks it has been cold during the week and then warmed up 10 to 15 degrees on the weekend. Those warmer days are nice but then the colder days feel that much colder again after you've gotten used to warmer weather. February isn't even here yet so I'm certain we're only seeing the beginning of the colder temperatures. I'm all for hibernation right about now.

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Monday, January 14, 2008
Unwanted visitor
Last night I was hanging up wet laundry on our drying rack when I felt a tickle on the inside of my flannel pyjama pants. I thought it was probably a thread so I light scratched the pant leg and figured that would shift the thread for the time being. A second or two later I felt ANOTHER tickle. This time it had moved down from my hip to my calf. I now began to suspect this wasn't a thread. Ugh. I shook the fabric of my pants hard and lifted the cuff at the ankle and out popped some sort of wood beetle. Gross. I managed not to scream (the baby was already asleep), uttered a few sounds of disgust, and looked around for something to squish the beetle with but there was nothing appropriate in arms' reach so the little creep escaped into a crack in the floorboards.

My 2 year old thought this whole escapade was entertaining and for the rest of the time before bed he kept saying, "I have a beetle in my pants. It's yucky. Take off my pants." Thankfully, it didn't bite and it wasn't THAT big but I don't welcome insects of any size inside my clothing. Ew.

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posted at 10:31 AM  
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Saturday, January 12, 2008
For the grandmas out there....
The picture of Hendrik and I was taken last night just before bed and the picture of Riley is one Hilary took at her place on Boxing Day.


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Friday, January 11, 2008
Accounting?
On a whim I had a look at my Blogger profile just to see what everyone else is seeing. I was a little bit surprised. Under "Industry" it said "Accounting". Hmmn. Not even close. It must have just defaulted to the Industry at the top of the selection list. Anyway, I am no longer a part of the accounting industry!

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Thursday, January 10, 2008
"How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."
-Annie Dillard

Hat tip: Simple Lovely

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008
After Photos
Here are some pictures I took today from Monday's challenge. My camera's battery is low and there are a few things to put away still on the other side of the room so more pictures will be coming later. I have 2 little helpers in the after pictures. :)

The bins beside (and under!) the crib have some of my fabric stash in them. I didn't realize how much I had until I put it all in one place! I better do some sewing before I aquire anymore.


Riley's crib, part of our bed, and Hendrik squinting for the camera. :)


Riley's crib, our bed, Hendrik's big boy bed.

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Monday, January 07, 2008
Making Your Home a Haven - January 7
Crystal is hosting another "Making Your Home a Haven" segment.

Today's challenge is creating a morning routine. Life here is starting to take more of a routine form now that we are getting settled so I have a hope of trying this out this time.

1) Get up earlier to spend time with Dwayne before he leaves for work.
2) Read for 15 minutes to half an hour.
3) Breakfast for the kids and I.
4) Dishes right after breakfast so we can avoid the mountain at the end of the day.
5) "Baby Can Read" for the kids, blogging/internet/email time for me.

Our special project for today is to tackle our loft area. It serves as a bedroom for all of us and also as storage space. I will be limited in what I can do as I'm not supposed to be lifting much weight but I'm sure we can make visible progress one box of clothing at a time. :)

Here are the before pictures. WARNING: Not for the faint of heart or extremely organized among you!

From right to left around the loft:






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posted at 10:33 AM  
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A side effect of not having hot water....
We have an interesting problem around here today. It is the second time it has happened in the past week or so. Our septic tank has frozen over. Because we only have cold running water right now there is not enough heat in the septic tank to keep the bacteria active and the liquid from freezing over. It isn't frozen solid thankfully but there is a small skim of ice over the whole surface. This means that we can't use much water inside because it doesn't drain well with the holding tank being frozen over. Fun, fun.

After work today Dwayne is going to the hardware store to get a special kind of heat tape (used in cold climates to wrap around pipes to keep them from freezing usually) to drop into the septic tank to thaw things out. Our hot water heater should be here today along with the vent kit so hopefully we can get that installed soon and then we won't have this problem anymore. :)

In any case, no dishes for me today - later this evening perhaps. Maybe the kids and I will spend some time upstairs in the loft getting clothes organized instead. We need to do it and seeing as we can't do much else we might as well take advantage of the opportunity presented to us.

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Sunday, January 06, 2008
Can you say relaxed?

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posted at 11:18 PM  
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Finally enjoying home
I am loving our new home! Even though we still don't have running hot water and we still have a few air leaks to seal up and even though we have boxes everywhere it still feels more like home than our old apartment ever did. I don't know what it was about that apartment. We were grateful to have a place to live that allowed Dwayne to have a shop and allowed us very affordable rent but no matter how hard I tried to make it ours it never felt like it was.

There is only so much you can do in a rental and I didn't care for ours to begin with. It was very old and no matter what you did you could never quite get it to look clean even if you had just scrubbed all the walls and the floors. There was lots of room and lots of windows but the windows all started at chest height which made it impossible for the kids to see out of them without being lifted up or them climbing up on something. There were a lot of safety issues in that apartment too.

It is so nice to live in a place that we were able to tailor to us and to things that we like. The new place has much less floor space (to be remedied in the next house!), lots of windows, and lots of warmth. I asked Dwayne to make all of the windows in the living room low enough for little tots to look out of without having to stand on anything.

It has been so nice to observe Hendrik watching things out the window, pointing out trees and the neighbourhood dogs and the ever expanding collection of old vehicles in the yard. He also LOVES going to bed in our new house. We had been fighting with him on bedtime in our apartment for a month or two before we moved.

Riley wakes up every morning smiling and clapping as she opens her eyes and sees out the windows that run around the top of our loft bedroom.

Dwayne actually likes getting up for work despite the extra chores of bringing in firewood, loading the wood stoves and putting gas in the generator, etc and having to be up about an hour earlier. He likes to sit in his chair drinking coffee by candle light.

I am actually enjoying doing dishes. The kitchen isn't large but it is functional and I finally have sink that I can fit larger pots and pans in without a fight!

There are still a lot of organizational quirks to figure out. We will have to add more storage in the kitchen and figure out how to configure our sleeping loft better but despite all the work and disorder that we are facing now we couldn't be happier. :)

posted at 4:46 PM  
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Thursday, January 03, 2008
One of my Christmas presents
This arrived for me in the mail a couple of days ago. I love it! Fun and comfy. Perfect timing too because I am starting to get tired of wearing the same clothes over and over again. I'm at that stage where there are few things that fit!


Image from discobelly.


Did I mention that I am loving Etsy?

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posted at 11:10 PM  
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Wednesday, January 02, 2008
Bloggy block
Lately I haven't felt much like blogging or taking pictures or doing much of anything than what absolutely needs to be done. Between the sad and tragic events of the past week, being very pregnant, our family getting over assorted colds/bugs, Christmas, and moving into a new house, I think I am in recovery mode. I am hoping to return to posting regularly very soon but am sort of enjoying the time off.

There is so much that needs to be done around the house. We are still living out of boxes in the bedroom so I would like to get that organized soon so that it is easier to locate everyone's clothing and to move around in the loft!

Thankfully, we've had a reprieve in the weather this week and what was supposed to be a fairly cold week has turned into a rather pleasant one with temperatures forcasted between -10C and -16C, quite balmy for this time of year. You can tell that winter has really set in when you think that -16C is a warm day...

I'm off to read a little from "Home Comforts" by Cheryl Mendelson before I go to bed. I have a rumbly in my tumbly too which will like require a snack of some kind. Goodnight, see you soon!

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year!

Our evening started out with a ham dinner at Christen & Andrew's (my youngest sister and her husband). We all went our separate ways for a few hours and then gathered at our place for the rest of the evening with the addition of our friend David (he's really family). We relaxed by the fire and chatted. Riley fell asleep early on and Hendrik fought sleep with every ounce of his little being.

At midnight we toasted and talked of New Year's Eves past. David intoduced us to "Tim Tams", a yummy chocolate Australian treat complete with directions on how to do a "Tim Tam Slam". We had ours with hot chocolate, excellent if you are a chocolate lover!

We contemplated watching a movie but by about 2 a.m. we decided that we were all too tired to make it through and entire movie and everyone dispersed by about 2:30.

It was a very relaxing, enjoyable evening but I must say that I can't handle the late nights the way I used to! To top it off, both kids had one of the most restless nights for either of them to date so there were a lot sleep interuptions. I felt a little groggy all day today but it was worth it for the time spent with family and friends. :)

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About Me



Name: Jenny
I blog lately at www.chickadeemanor.com
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