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And these days, there’s a lot of doors closing loudly, and being opened, and being closed again, loudly. All of it seems to be loud.

Here we have our new, nicely draft-proof doors.

Let me tell you a little something about them:

  • They don’t swing open on their own in the night with a strong breeze.
  • They don’t let in icy drafts from all edges.
  • The handles turn the way they should.
  • The keys turn in the deadlocks the way they should.
  • They open with THE SAME KEY!

Oooooh, and look! A doorbell!

Ooooooh and look! An outside light!

Ah, yes, you’ll notice that the wood edge has not yet been covered. It will, never fear. And the wood will survive just fine until next month. Also, the cement edge below the door frame was skillfully built up by Rupert.

The old decrepit light had been home to a robin family. I’m sad to say they’ve been evicted. They left their mark on the wall above the light, though (peer closer, you can see it, yes you can). The nest came down, and in it — until the nest got bumped and dropped from where I was saving it to take a picture — was a perfect little blue egg which hadn’t hatched. Here’s the post-catastrophe nest-and-egg reconstruction:

There are also doors on all the rooms upstairs. In hindsight, door handles (as opposed to knobs) were perhaps not the most baby-friendly choice. Twinkle Toes has mastered the art of stretching to reach the handle, pulling the door open, getting her body to the other side of the open door (this move is key, for some reason), stepping back, and pushing the door shut with a loud bang. Then she usually turns and looks at me with a mix of wonder and self-satisfaction.

Little birdie, you won’t be flying away any time soon. You can’t reach the deadbolt yet. 🙂


Casa Cat Creek is at the edge of a village, in the 50 km/hr zone of what is otherwise an 80 km/hr county road. Despite the signs, despite the warning of increased fines, drivers still go through town doing 70-100 km/hr. We worry about the dogs or kids getting hit by a car and we have to deal with people who see our long side property as  a municipal park, treat it as a dumping ground, park on the grass. We rarely using our long side lot because it feels so open. What a shame! It’s a beautiful lot with trees, space for more gardens or a gazebo or badminton net… but we don’t use it.

Rupert has been suggesting since we bought the house that we should put up a cedar hedge the whole way along the property — and I’ve resisted because I don’t like cedar hedges. Most, anyway. It seems so many cedars end up neglected, sparse, ratty looking or cut too short with gaping holes in them. Yuck! But after 3 years of picking up the garbage that gets blown onto our lawn by people who dump coffee cups, chip bags, cigarette packs, and so on on the road, I acquiesced.

Rupert is very much a motivated Start-a-Project kind of man, so within a couple of weeks of deciding what we were going to do, we have this:

and this:

Luckily, the weather was just perfect for the work. The temperature hovered around 19 degrees and it rained on and off all day. Sun and warmer temperatures are predicted for tomorrow and the rest of the week, so I’ll be rigging up a watering system to keep the cedars cozy. Incidentally, I’ll be watering with the outdoor hose — the water from those taps is not softened, which is great considering how poorly cedars deal with salt!

While Rupert dug and planted, Young Jedi and Twinkle Toes did this:


Unfortunately, we still have all this to dig and plant!

Ah, but it will be nice to have a wall of green to provide a little privacy and a little more safety. My hope is that the dogs will be less inclined to wander out to the road, since the only exit point will be our driveway. Once the trees fill in, that is. For now one of the dogs is very happily passing between the trees and exploring the lovely bone meal smells.

The next load of trees is slated to arrive in two weeks. We’ll have out work cut out for us, that’s for sure (haha!) since we also have a birthday boy to celebrate, a load of topsoil and 20 cords of wood being delivered. Getting it delivered is the easy part. Stacking it in the wood shed, well, that takes a good week or more of work.

It feels like we skipped summer and went straight on into fall — except for all the lovely green buds and bright tulips, of course!

This week we’ve gone down to temperatures of around 5 degrees, and it has been wet! Flooding isn’t a concern in our area, but Cat Creek is definitely high and running fast. Last night, as the temperature hovered near zero, I gave in and started up the wood stove. All those windows that were open? Not so much anymore, but I’ve kept the propane heat off.

Our heating system is propane-fuelled hot water. In our province, electricity is insanely expensive, and our house is quite large and leaky, so when we were deciding on a heating system, after evaluating all kinds of options, we finally settled for propane. It’s not cheap, either, but we felt it offered more advantages, a nicer heat, and believe it to be less expensive than electric heat would be. We plan to hook our BBQ up to it when we eventually upgrade, and Rupert can have a line run into the garage for a little spot heater or propane stove. Versatile!

However, to keep our heating costs down, we have two work-horse Regency wood stoves. We have one in the basement and one on the main floor, and we use them to get the room temperature up from 17 degrees (maintained by the hot water system) to comfortable. Wood heat is lovely, it does not rely on electricity to work so it can be a life saver during power outages. It offers a surface for boiling water or warming soup, if necessary, and is a renewable, sustainable, local resource. Stacking wood is a great way to get a little bit of exercise every couple of days; I reduce my dryer use by hanging clothes to dry on a rack near the basement stove; and a pot of water on top of the stove helps to keep the air at a comfortable humidity.

During the fall and winter the wood stove is our main gathering place, and as the ground floor is open concept, it gives a lovely glow to the whole room that we can see from wherever we’re sitting. The wood fire warms our hands and toes, but also our souls, and lends itself nicely to long chats or staring into the flames and daydreaming.

So today, on this grey cold spring day, I’ve got a couple of logs burning in the stove, and feeling a little less dreary because of it. Those tulips poking up help, too. 😛

How do you warm your house? How do you warm your soul? What choices have you made to reduce your heating costs or to make more environmentally-conscious choices?

My Etsy Shop

A little bird told me…

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