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Hot Water Heater Blues

We took possession of our new place on November 10th.  November 15th we handed over the keys to our old place.  November 21st our hot water heater spews water on the floor.  Yep.

So, we kinda figured, after trying our first bath here, that we’d need to be looking at replacing the hot water system here.  If your heater can’t produce enough hot water to get the tub to your five year old’s belly button?  It’s a good sign it’s not working well.  But yeah…  todays epic adventure (complete with cat stranded on top of the washing machine terrified and mewing loud enough for the whole neighbourhood to hear as the water crept closer, and in the end trapping her in the laundry room) kinda synched things.

This is not fun.  We need to find an eco-friendly professional who understands the need to balance a desire to be as green as possible with a practical need to stick to a budget.  Someone who can help us figure out the best system for our family, which may well include multiple options working together to create a system friendly to both our Earth and our pocketbook.  I’m not looking forward to having to find said professional in a hurry.  This is definitely the kind of search I’d like to take my time with…  but I suppose that’s the way it goes.

Here, something fun.  Go make food in jars:  ‘Cause mason jars make everything look cuter and taste better.  🙂

Chihuahua with a Mustache

Today there was a book fair at the girl’s school.  She and I spent a great deal of time checking out all the titles on the tables.  Very honestly, there wasn’t much there that was even worth a second glance.  It was highly disappointing.  I knew we had to find something though.  The fair helps support the school, and a portion of the proceeds goes towards getting new books for their classrooms.  That, and the kid knew she was allowed to get a book.

Back and forth between the chapter book tables.  One mundane sounding description after another.  Then we wandered back to where we started – with the picture books.  We don’t read that many of them any more.  We read for a half hour (sometimes more) a day, but that’s almost all devoted to novels.  That’s when I saw it!

It was hidden beneath scores of boring paperback children’s stories…  a hard cover, only one letter of the title peeking out – but I recognized the font instantly.  “Lily-Ann!  What’s this???”  I slide the book out just a titch, so that two letters are now revealed.


I’m sure her animated shout could be heard throughout the main floor of the school.

Yep.  We found a copy of Skippyjon Jones; Class Action.

We love Skippyjon.  We read a lot about him at  I remember the first time she saw the cover of the original Skippyjon Jones, she said “Momma, that cat looks like a Chihuahua.”  This sticks with me because I poo poohed her, assuming it was just the illustrators style… but very quickly found out I was wrong.  And yes, I made sure to apologize for it.

We’re Chihuahua nuts around here (as I’m sure you’ve guessed).  So these absolutely adorable books, with their smart stories, and rich characters?  We ❤ them in a big way.

So yay!  The kid now has her very own Skippyjon Jones book…  and we popped the CD in to listen to it being read while we drove to get her Daddy from work (it was interesting to hear someone else’s take on the characters voices and the songs – her mom voice and my mom voice are VASTLY different, and curiously enough we were pretty dead on for every other character and the songs).  We’ve now heard it six times.  And it’s no less charming on it’s sixth than on it’s first, though I’m not sure her Daddy would agree.  LMAO

Anyway…  instead of sharing a book cover as I often do when I’m writing about a book we enjoy, I’m going to share a picture the girl did up yesterday.  She took a photo (using the iPad) of Deedee, and then proceeded to edit it.  So here’s Deedee, or as the girlie put it – giggling hysterically:  “She’s a Chihuahua with a Mustache!”

A Chihuahua with a mustache

Wordless Wursday?

Yeah, yeah…  I know it’s supposed to be “Wordless Wednesday”, but it’s Thursday…  and I’m tired.  So let’s say, just for this once, that Thursday is Wursday.  And this, my good readers, is Wordless Wursday.

Here’s a picture of my daughter as a cat:

A photograph of the Lily-Kitty or Litty.

Pond no more, hooray for a living room floor!

When we first moved into this house, eight and a half years ago now, we had very different needs in a home.  We purchased for two reasons:  One, it was cheaper than renting.  Two, with all of our pets it just made sense to own.

The first thing my husband did was to rebuild the bathroom (seriously, the one that was here when we moved in was SCARY).  He put in a soaker tub and a shower.  We put down new flooring.  I painted, built a vanity.  We made it work for us.

The second thing I did was to build up the floor in the living room by several inches and sink a 250 gallon pond into it.  Damon then helped me put down flooring on the subfloor I put in.  I painted and my mom and I made curtains.

At the time, it made sense for us to have that pond in what would have been a living room.  We had, after all, purchased the house so our pets would have a place to live.  But, nearly a decade later, our needs are vastly different.  Most of the turtles have passed on (from old age or heartbreak when their oldest dearest turtle-friend died), there’s only one left now.  Tetsuo, Sesami, and Tama Chan are all waiting at the rainbow bridge, and Tsunami doesn’t need an entire pond to herself.  But you know who does need that space?  Our four year old daughter.

So on Monday my husband pulled up all the tiles.  On Tuesday he pulled out the subflooring I put down.  On Wednesday we bought more 2x6s and plywood.  On Thursday and Friday he built a new subfloor.  Today he put down new tiles.  There are still a few to go down… but we’re mostly there.

I do a lot of our home improvement stuff, simply because I’m the one who wants it done.  So it felt really nice to have him doing this for our daughter and me.  I don’t think he cared much either way, so I know he did it for us.

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Feeling Peaceful

I’m laying in bed next to my daughter, listening to the quiet of the house.  Besides the breathing (the girlie and the dogs), and the muffled click of my fingers on the keys, the house is silent.  That simply doesn’t happen very often.

The animals are all still.  My husband is out (fetching a movie and slurpees).  And I get the simple joy of solitude – without actually being alone.

Moments like these were once taken for granted.  Back in my twenties, when it was just DH, the dogs (and other sundry animals) and I.  These days though…  when the full of energy, high need, super creative, way too smart for her own good, kid is tearing around?  Yep.  These silent, calm, relaxed, pensive moments are few and far between.

In a house this small, with this many lives within it’s walls, you truly hear someone at almost every hour of every day.  Whether it’s the cat padding around the stairwell, or Thora (the Lurcher) running in her sleep, Zenora (our congo african grey) telling tales, or the turtle splashing into her pond…  even when the house is mostly still, there is still life to be heard.

And just like that my moment of calm surrender is broken.  Liz (the Miniature American Eskimo) started yipping.  I’m wondering if she may be coming into heat…  she’s being extra annoying.  😉

Happy Easter everyone!  Hope you too are able to find a quiet calm moment to just be present, somewhere, today.

Scraptastic Saturdays – “Sew Storm”

A new scrapbooking achievement for me to share.  🙂

I finished my first kit that will be available, not as a freebie, but for sale.  Sure, it’s not available anywhere YET.  But it will be.  I promise.  Just keep watching the blog, details will follow.


I’m super excited about this one.  It took almost three weeks to create.  It involved several stock photography shoots, lots of extraction work in photoshop, on top of the regular work that’s involved in designing.  It contains EIGHTEEN (18) completely original elements that are unique to this kit, and 45 total elements.  So add that to the 18 papers, and you’ve got a big versatile kit.  Can’t wait to hear what you think!

Another trip to the zoo…

I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not…  but we spend a lot of time at the zoo.  LOL  We love animals, and there is so much to be learned through up close encounters.  And that includes encounters with domestic species too.

Here is the wee girlie giving a big hug to the Zoo’s resident cat.  She followed us around pretty much everywhere today…  from the children’s zoo to the discovery center to the barn and back again.  Guess she just needed some loving.  🙂

hugs for the Saskatoon Zoo's resident cat

a little love goes a long way

Cat in the way!

We were at my parents place (and yes, you are seeing her in a PLAY outfit made from the bits and pieces left after making her pretty dress) and Lily-Ann was playing Wii Music.  Dancing around.  It was really cute.  Just had to share my “Darn Cat!” moment.  LOL  As the cat walked across my field of vision just as I snapped the camera.  😉

mini, the cat, walking across my field of vision


Tiki on the Fridge… again.

Boy…  doesn’t this look familiar.  LOL  Darn cat LOVES being on top of the fridge, and lays there almost exactly the same way EVERY time.  Silly beastie.

cat up on the top of the fridge again

Cat on a not-hot not-tin roof.

Cat in the Dark

Late last night, so late that it was actually morning, I woke up thirsty.  Needing a drink I quietly crept towards the kitchen, hoping not to wake my sleeping family.  Once in the kitchen I discovered I wasn’t the only one up.  Tiki was laying on top of the fridge, giving me a look that only a cat can give.  One of disdain at the unbelievable stupidity of the whole human race.  😉  So what do I do?  I grab my camera.

kitty cat in the dark, on the fridge

Red Light District... for cats?

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