Our house is an old house. We’re talking about built in 1907 old, older than any of my grandparents old. It is full of character, full of pretty moldings, and when we bought it it wasn’t so full of insulation.
Brr. It was cold in there. Some of you who live in much more sensible climes may not be so concerned about the insulative properties of your homes. Living in Winnipeg with a poorly insulated house makes for a chilly winter as well as pretty high heating bills.
Anyway, there was one January morning that first winter (before we got the insulation done), where Mister had already left for work, and I was having some trouble inspiring myself to get out of bed. My morning classes beckoned, but it was so cold out of the blankets. One of those mornings where there wasn’t yet a time impetus, so staying in that half asleep haze is an option.
And then I heard footsteps.
As I said, Mister had left for work for the day. Trooper the Wonder Puppy hadn’t joined the family yet. I thought I was alone in the house. And there were footsteps. Someone was there.
Was there a stranger in our house? How did they get in? We don’t live in a neighborhood that is terrible, but it certainly isn’t known to be the best one around. An intruder!
Making decisions informed by all of the scary movies I’ve ever watched, I grabbed my cellphone from the bedside table and hid under the blankets. Being relatively small, laid out flat and very still, the terrible intruders couldn’t find me… right?
I turned my phone to silent (in film the soon to be hostage is too often found because their phone rings). And I sent Mr a text message: There is someone in the house. This way, whoever was in my house wouldn’t hear me talking.
Mister immediately phones me. Luckily I had turned my ringer off, right? Mister obviously hadn’t studied up on his scary films. His calling to help would be what made the boogeyman find me.
He must have figured my line of thinking, because he then sent me a text back.
Me: I heard their footsteps.
Him: Do they know that you are there?
That’s when the real wave of fear kicked in, the potential gravity of the situation. Someone was in our house, and though I was hiding, it wouldn’t be very hard for them to find me. What was I going to do?
My limited knowledge of scary films didn’t help. I’m a scaredy cat, I don’t watch too many of them. I was hiding. The potential kidnapper wasn’t going to hear me talking on the phone. But what comes next?
And that’s when I heard the giggle.
A far away sounding giggle.
It was followed by a child’s voice, and more footsteps.
I got out of bed and looked out of the window. It was the neighbor’s kids playing in the yard.
The thing about winter is that it is cold. Another this is that sound travels further in cold air. Cold air is denser air, and denser air provides better transmission. Houses with almost no insulation in the walls do not create much of a sound barrier either. It sounded like the footsteps were in the house, when really they were in the neighbor’s yard, being made my the neighbor’s kids.
Luckily, I got to phone Mister and tell him that everything was fine. No home intrusion, no burgling of Dana. Needless to say, we were happy that it was only a scare. It inspired Mister to tell me what to do if someone broke into the house and he wasn’t home.
Looking back I find it pretty hilarious how quickly my panicked mind went to the movies. And how silly the solutions gleaned from film had been. Luckily there was no real danger, and if a time occurs when there is I will be better prepared.
Curried Squash Soup
(recipe adapted from Jyl Chegwin)
1 butternut squash (or other squash of choice)
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 Tbsp curry powder
3 Cups chicken broth
1 Cup coconut milk
1 Cup water
- Cut the squash in half and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and pulp.
- Cut the onion in half.
- Place the squash halves, onion halves and garlic cloves in a roasting dish. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Roast the vegetables in a 375° F oven until the squash is fork tender (~1 hour).
- Let the contents of the pan cool enough to handle. Scoop the squash from it’s skin with a spoon, peel the onion, and squish the garlic out of it’s skin.
- Add the chicken broth, ginger, and curry powder and then either use a blender or an immersion blender to make the soup nice and smooth.
- Put everything in a pot over medium heat, and stir in the coconut milk and water. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes for the flavors to marry.
- Soups on!
Who wouldn’t want a bowl of this tasty goodness? It’s sweet from the squash, creamy from the coconut milk, and a little spicy from the curry. If you have vegetarian friends coming over, all you need to do is swap out the chicken broth for vegetable.
Mister, who still claims he doesn’t like things with curry in, liked this soup too! He says: This is the best thing I’ve ever had with curry in it.
This time last year: Cream Puffs
And the year before: Mister’s Woodgrain Birthday Cake