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Cheezie goodness

Oh Cheezies…I love you

So, I emailed the Cheezie company a few weeks ago.

They responded with some very sad news:

Thank you for your e-mail regarding our product, Hawkins CHEEZIES®.
We were pleased to hear how much you enjoy our snacks.
Unfortunately, we do not ship or retail outside of Canada.
We are a family run business with only one plant to supply all of Canada.

But, fortunately, my good friends back home keep me in a steady supply of them (and maple syrup, Frank’s hot sauce and other delicious noms)!

Winter greetings from the Netherlands!!

Wow! It has snowed here so much! Like 15 cm or more!! It looks like home!!!!!

I made something for M’s return home from work.



Update: My snowman melted two days later. : (

We went to school, but it was cut short to half our normal time. Trains and buses were going to stop running, so they had to make sure everyone could catch their bus on time.

Here are some more photos of my exciting and snowy day!

Our street covered in snow.

Rudy in the snow.

Rudy in the snow.

So much snow!

So much snow!

Lots of people still on their bikes!

Lots of people still on their bikes!

My school. Only three people didn't show up for class.

My school. Only three people didn’t show up for class.

Lois is not liking the snow so much.

Lois is not liking the snow so much.

Rudy and Lois venturing out into the snow.

Rudy and Lois venturing out into the snow.


Rudy in the snow! He enjoyed being outside.

Rudy sitting in the unsnowy patch.

Rudy sitting in the unsnowy patch.

All of the laurel leaves are heavily burdened by the huge dump of snow all day.

All of the laurel leaves are heavily burdened by the huge dump of snow all day.

Herfst in Nederland

Every year around this time, in the Netherlands, all you see in the countryside are piles and piles of sugar beets. They are harvested and sent to processing plants to turn them into sugar. This harvesting time is known as de bietencampagne (the beet campaign). This lasts from September to the end of the year. In this period the sugar factories run 24 hours a day.

I love autumn here…the leaves change colours for months. Unlike back home where it is summer for three months, then three days of autumn, then five months of winter!!

More pretty leaves!

newborn shrew

Rudy got a hold of another shrew, but this time it was even itty bittier than the proper-sized ones. Its eyes weren’t even open yet! Luckily, I didn’t see any marks on it from Rudy the Killer Whale Cat. I cradled the little guy in the palm of my left hand, scooted the cats inside. Scoot.

Then, what I would imagine,  looked extremely comical —or strangely sad— was me embarking on Mission Find Momma. Every. single. little. squeaky. noise. was. her. I know what they sound like now,after having to save them from my cats so many times.  Mercy! Why don’t they just find somewhere else to live. Anyway, I careened haphazardly around the backyard —avoiding stinging nettles and the giant slugs that creep out at night (last thing I wanted to do was step on one) listening and watching…looking for momma shrew. It was getting dark. I brought the shrew inside with me and typed with one hand, searching the internets for an answer:  “found a baby shrew”, “take care of newborn shrew”, etc.

I knew, from previous shrew investigations, that they have the highest metabolism in the mammal world and they have to eat every 2-3 hours or they starve to death, so I had no idea what it was like for itty, bitty baby ones. But I read that they are totally dependent on the momma shrew. I knew they little guy’s chances were better outside if its’ mom found him, then inside with me…

So, I went to a hidey hole I have suspected of being a shrew den (?), laid a bunch of green and dried vegetation around it, put the baby shrew on it and lightly covered him with dried bamboo leaves. Then, I placed a big plastic pail upside down and made sure the hole, the baby and a getaway on a couple of sides were all secure and I topped the bucket with heavy rocks, so the jerk neighbour cat (who beats up our little Lois) couldn’t get the shrew.

I hope he is gone when I check him in the morning…down the hidey hole with its wee family.

Here he is and here is a video of him squirming around and being cute. (And this was my first ever youtube upload.)

Night night little guy. This is the little nature bed I made for the little shrew.

Big slugs carousing around at night.


UPDATE: Well, I didn’t expect much when I went to check on the little shrew, but he was still there: still breathing and moving. I scooped him up again and we sat in the sun for awhile. I gave him tiny amounts of water from a syringe. We just sat. He squirmed. His breathing was shortened and he wasn’t doing well. Tough little critter though, lasting the whole night. But he finally just faded. It broke my heart. I knew how it would end, but it still squeezed my soul. I buried him.


I can cook. I can cook well. I can make soups, salads, pizza, pasta, sandwiches, appetizers, fondue, sauces, dips and pretty much anything else. I sometimes need a recipe for inspiration, but rarely do I implicitly follow it. I add a bit of this, substitute that…I make it my own. I seldom fail at making tasty food. *pat on the back*

Baking ~apparently~ is another story. I know —I’ve been told—when baking: ‘Follow the recipe’. And I do. But I can not make cookies, cakes, pies or anything else dessert-y. For the second time since I’ve been here (almost a year) I’ve baked chocolate shortbread cookies. Well, I ~attempted~ to make them. First ones tasted ok, but were crumbly; today’s had perfect shortbread consistently, but taste like chalk. And not even chocolate-flavored chalk. What gives?!

I think I made carrot cake once that was tasty…oh,  and banana bread.

Maybe if I dip the cookies into some sugar they’ll be passable as a nice, sweet treat.

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