Tag Archives: domesticity

A Package From My Oma

A couple weeks ago, my Oma called me to let me know she was going to send me a package of some special baking ingredients to make some delicious cookies. I made these cookies with her quite a few years back, but have not since then because they require some odd ingredients that are difficult to find. I was very excited she thought of me to send me the items.

Earlier this week, I got a call from a lady at a company called Flaman just south of Edmonton saying she had a package for me there, because apparently the address was wrong. We figured out the J in my postal code was replaced by a G (easily misunderstood for each other while giving my address over the phone). This lady was so great, she looked up my Oma’s phone number and called her to get my number so she could get my real address. If you need any kind of farming equipment, they seem like a good company to deal with…at least their administrative staff are.

I eventually got the package delivered to my door. Because my Oma cannot send a box that isn’t completely full, I also received a mug and some of my favourite sweets…Cow Candy! The ingredients that were the purpose of the package are Baking Ammonia and Peppermint Oil (not extract).

The recipe that called for these things is Peppermint Cookies (linked to my Oma’s recipe on Mennonite Girls Can Cook, where my aunt is a contributer; the page explains the use of the ammonia and oil). They were a favourite Christmas cookie of mine growing up, and I am excited to make them for myself now! I’ll probably make them next week sometime.

Do you have any favourite family recipes or recipes that require different ingredients?

The Laundry Room

I’m a mother. I do a lot of laundry. Probably about 7 loads a week. I think about laundry rooms a lot.

In the past 5 years, I have had a few different set ups for laundry:

Mom and Dad’s: The laundry room I grew up with. Totally comfortable with it. The washer and dryer aren’t side by side, but rather across from each other. A simple twist of the body and you are able to get the wet stuff into the dryer. Also, there was a laundry sink to put random things and get them off the floor or do some pre-rinsing when necessary.

Victoria Rental #1: This house was a 100-year old suited Victorian, and all three suites had shared laundry in the basement, down some dingy outdoor steps. My apartment was on the top floor, so I had to go down my stairs, out the front door, around the back of the house, and down the back steps into the laundry room. Not ideal in wet weather, or when I go down 5 minutes before the washer is actually done. The nice thing about this set up though, was that the dryer was to the right of the washer. Dryer hinges seem to be only on the right side, so when the washer is on the left, the door opens away from the washer. Makes it easy for transport between the two.
I am glad I no longer have to go outdoors to do laundry now that I do it three times a week, rather than once every week and a half.

Victoria Rental #2: In this suburban home, we rented a basement suit that had laundry hookups on the inside, but the owner decided to build a lean-to on the outside to house the washer and dryer so it can be shared with the upstairs. This wasn’t so much of a big deal since the door was directly beside our front door so I barely needed to step outside. However the dryer was on the left so the two unit doors opened towards each other requiring a little more work to get things in and out. Also, this washer was front loading which was not fun for taking little baby things and diapers out of. So much bending over! And the dryer made a loud banging sound which was not so great since the lean-to had a window into Calvin’s room. Not ideal for nap time.

Edmonton Rental: Now this set up is a little strange. We rent the top floor of a bungalow. The laundry is downstairs in the basement in an unfinished corner. No big deal, right? Except for the fact that I have to walk through the entire basement suite (where there are other renters) . That means that somebody down there needs to be home in order for me to do laundry. It actually hasn’t turned out to be that bad. They are easy going and somebody is almost always there. But once again, the dryer is on the left. Does this bother anybody else, or am I the only one?! The nice thing about the washer, though, is that it is a top loader. So much easier! When we first moved here, the washer was super old, and you had to manually turn the water taps to change the load temperature. But then it broke down so we got a new one! Very thankful for that. This laundry room also has a laundry sink, but the washer drains into it, so you can’t really do anything in it. Once I found that my sock had come out through the hose and plugged the sink! Now I know where the missing socks are going to!

So in all my experiences, I have come up with a list of what my ideal laundry room would include:
– Side by side washer and dryer with the doors opening away from eachother (I do not have any experience with stacked laundry…anybody?)
– In my own suite!  Oh, the freedom of being able to do laundry whenever I wanted!
– in a finished room; unfinished rooms feel dirty and I don’t want to do laundry in a dirty room
– top loading washer
– a usable sink
– a folding area/place to put baskets
– a place to hang dry diapers and other items

Here are a couple of photos of good laundry room ideas (thank you, Pinterest):

(click the photo for source)

(click the photo for source)

So those are my thoughts on laundry rooms. What kind of set up works for you and preferences?



Prepared to Host

When we learned we were moving to Edmonton, my mom and sister right away decided they would try to come out to visit shortly after. I was excited for that. However their days off didn’t line up and it looked like they wouldn’t be able to come. But then my sister ended up with a different day off, and a couple days ago told me they could come! It probably worked out because I prayed they would still be able to visit. :)

So today they are hitting the highway and will arrive this evening. I have the guest room all prepared, and I am excited to spend a couple days with them!

Using What I’ve Been Given

Kitchens are always the most interesting part of a house, I think. Especially in rentals. A renter can’t easily change a kitchen around to suit their needs like they can in a bathroom or bedroom by simply adding shelves or a dresser. In every house I have rented in, the kitchen has had the most things that make me go “I would change this if I owned this place”.

In this house, what I was given for a pantry was a simple 5-shelf bookshelf. When we were unpacking the kitchen boxes, we threw all the food items onto/around it. All the cupboard space was taken up with dishes, so I had just the bookshelf to work with. You can see that absolutely nothing has been organized. The Pam is neighbours with the Corn Flakes and the peanut butter is next to the Worcestershire sauce. Yum.

It took me longer than necessary to organize, but I like taking my time when tidying because I enjoy it and I don’t want it to ever end! But here is is after. One of the best kitchen inventions I have ever seen is those shelf hangy things (found at Home Outfitters) because who likes empty space above their items on a shelf? Not me! Everything needs to fit perfectly.

And that’s my pantry!

Pretty soon the rest of my house will be tidy enough to do a full house tour. Stay tuned!

Do you have any favourite pantry organizing tips?