In the home where I was raised, we had a gorgeous fireplace with a raised hearth, located on a feature wall. It was well used and even when my Mom didn’t have two cents and we were eating beans on toast for dinner, yet again, she always had money for presto logs for the fire.
Under the grate where the logs would sit was a small heavy piece of metal which you could remove. The remnant ashes were then scraped through the hole to never be thought of again. The base of the chimney was essentially a two story empty brick box which held the ashes of over twenty-two years of my Mother’s fires, against the side of the house.
It was a brilliant invention, which I was reminded of at 5:50 am yesterday morning, when I was hiking up the driveway in the dark to get the bucket to clean out the ashes from the stove.
Another great idea in the houses where we grew up in Vancouver was ironing board cupboards built into a wall of the kitchen. It probably went out of fashion with the invention of permanent press clothes, but I remember standing at that board, every morning before work, ironing my blouse de jour, with one hand, while I held my toast in the other.
My girlfriend actually had a safe behind the TV in her parents’ den. Not sure what I would do with a safe or an ironing board cupboard here but I sure could use an ash trap door.
One idea we did steal from the house E’s Dad built here, is a hot water tap outside on the deck. Meant as a possibility for an outdoor shower, we now use it regularly to rinse the dogs before they come in the house. On a cold winter morning it seems cruel to suggest we hose them off with cold water.
A few people on the island have a cupboard next to the fireplace, with an inside and outside access, to stack the wood through the wall. Also a really brilliant idea. It wouldn’t work in this house but a great idea none the less.
Another girlfriend’s very cool parents had a hot tub outside their bedroom window. There was a tv at the window on a swivel. They went out to watch the news every night from the hot tub. Well, they said they were watching the news…..
We had an absolutely perfect day today. The weather was gorgeous. E took down an arbutus tree yesterday so today was a day of rest for his back. His main job was to put some silicone around the living room windows to further hinder the winter winds from coming into the house.
The last time the dogs went to the groomers it was close to $200.00. With our very infrequent trips to town and their need for very frequent grooming, it was time to take matters into our own hands. After thirty five years of cocker spaniel parenting, I finally bought a pair of professional dog clippers. Today, again, I tried something new.
It went very well and, with much consultation and advice from their breeder, the two dogs are both ninety percent clipped. A little bit more work for a few days this week should get their toes done and the rest of them tidied. I consider the whole exercise a great success.
How could it not be a good day when we were thinking about ideas of, and times spent, with E’s Dad and my Mom.
Happy Hallowe’een, wearing the Afghanistani hijab I borrowed from my Moms friend Maryfrank, twenty one
year old me