#hygge pronounced Hu-Ga & Container Ponds

Hygge is a Norwegian concept. It is a choice to be aware, thankful and present in the good moments.  Hygge House defines it as "Hygge is being aware of a good moment whether it’s simple or special." You will often see it as a reference to candles, blankets and complex cooking to share with family. During the colder months we spend a lot of time indoors in the Northern climates. We find ways to fill the time. Some of us learn instruments (I am currently learning the Ukulele with the YouTube help of Cynthia Lynn) others downhill or nordic ski or write that novel they were too busy to write during the summer boating months. I find that I miss the plants and #ponds during the winter. But, not so much this year. 

I have been building and selling indoor container ponds this fall. I find the rituals around the #microponds have become things I look forward to every day. Brushing the waterfall, feeding my fish, misting moss & succulents and trimming the bamboo. These are things I do throughout the day when I am home or during the evening if I was out building a water feature that day. The simple of activity of tending to a living green ecosystem during the cold white days is incredibly soothing. Part of Hygge is often lighting candles and I find myself doing this and sitting under a cozy blanket listening to the water run over the rocks and watching my cat watch the fish (she still thinks she can get them without getting wet). 

Bringing #ritual into our daily lives is important and I think that Hygge is a guide to remember our rituals and our feelings when we interact with the living world around us. Bring Hygge into your home this winter however you can and this winter will pass filled with memories of serenity and family. 

Indoor #ponds are a great way to bring #ritual into your days

Indoor #ponds are a great way to bring #ritual into your days

Still Building Ponds? But it's cold out!

Yes, in fact, we are still building ponds. If it isn't too cold for the #koi it isn't too cold for us. We have been working full time on ponds throughout November and we are looking like we may still be building the first two weeks of December. 

Then what? Then we spend our winter months designing the projects already committed for the Spring/Summer season of 2017. We don't really have "down time." Those of us not as involved in design are pouring over the books and stats of the previous season and seeing how we can improve our services moving forward. What we build and create is alive and always changing and so are our clients. We have to adapt to every whim of the market and the weather! 

We are also busy creating products for our homegoods line Muddypaw. Creating interior decor and exterior decor for manufacture. Great design is our calling card no matter what we are busy creating! (although it must be said that I am hoping there is time to finish installing our guest bathroom this winter...:) This "paw" will be continuing her pond education this winter and learning more about shoreline restoration. I am also attending the online Blue Ocean Summit to connect with other people interested in water issues and water entrepreneurship. I am the researcher on this team and I can't wait to hit the books again!  

Although our tree isn't up yet this photo really puts me in the #Christmas mood

Although our tree isn't up yet this photo really puts me in the #Christmas mood

What is your passion?

Here at Waterpaw our passion is water features. Our crew loves them, we the owners love them, our customers love them. It's what we read about, talk about and do. How did we end up here? A few of us started in landscaping but kept wondering what the pond guy was up to. A few of us came from the auto industry. One of us has a BFA and another from direct sales and customer service. The fact is that although our backgrounds are diverse and colorful we all love water. We live on the lake coasts of Northwestern Michigan. Some of us on Lake Charlevoix, Walloon Lake or Lake Michigan. None of us are wealthy enough to have a private beach but we can see, smell and hear the lakes from our porches. 

I have a niece who lives in a metro area. I took her to a playground last month and she immediately gravitated to a dry drainage ditch and in her 7-year-old voice told me of "the beautiful water" that runs through there in the spring. She talked all about the bugs, frogs and birds that show up. We walked the entire length of that ditch turning over rocks to find small patches of water that might have life. She is passionate! As I spent more time with her I realized that she brought water into most of her favorite activities. She doesn't even know or understand what I do for a living but there she is pulled to my career and passion from a very young age. She has never even seen a garden pond. She doesn't live on or near a lake. The ocean is so far from her home it is a distant idea for her 7-year-old geography.

Many of our clients are my niece all grown up and still looking under dry rocks for something to play with. The water features we install for them re-ignite some of that childhood wonder they had put in a box and only occasionally open. After a few seasons, they are pond chemists, or koi experts or frog aficionados. The ponds become a part of their better selves. They develop a passion they had forgotten about or never knew they had. For some reason, they had Waterpaw put in a pond. They "just wanted it," many tell us with kind of a grin. We always smile back because we know. We know that they want it because it will open their world- the world away from cell phones, tv's, computers, work and worries. It's hard to focus on worry when you are intensely caring for a living thing. 

Passion is what we offer our clients. Call us today and give the #gift of #passion to yourself and your family this #Christmas. 

We are here on this earth to be #inspired and #passionate. 

We are here on this earth to be #inspired and #passionate. 

House Plants Clean the Air

Here in Northern Michigan, the houses are sealed tight again. The winter winds are blowing and the goal is to keep that heat inside! But, stale and smelly air begins to settle in after just a few days and we have months of this weather. Many of us turn to air purifiers and HEPA filters on our furnaces. Even though the scent is gone however the toxins in our recycled air linger and cause respiratory distress among other ailments. 

House plants can absorb much of the airborn toxins in your home during the Northern Michigan winter. Some plants are better than others at absorption. The indoor ponds Waterpaw designs and installs (DIY Kits also available)   take advantage of some of these toxin sinks. Plants like bamboo varieties, succulents and spiked grasses.

Here are a few links to toxin absorbing house plants.

Click Here  for an article by Freshome

 

 Click Here for an article by the Eartheasy Blog 

 

Indoor ponds are a great way to bring plants into your home. We build complete ecosystems for your home. no need to give up container water gardening during the winter. 

Indoor ponds are a great way to bring plants into your home. We build complete ecosystems for your home. no need to give up container water gardening during the winter. 

What does Zen have to do with Ponds?

Perhaps you have been to my website a time or two & have seen our catch phrase "It's Time for Zen." This might seem like an odd phrase for water feature designers and builders. However, we believe that what we do brings calm, joy and zen to our clients. 

We frequently install ponds and features for people living on Lake Michigan, Lake Charlevoix, Walloon Lake & Crooked Lake. Often, the reaction of people when they hear this is "why would anybody with whole lake want or need a pond?" Our answer is in the actions of our clients. As soon as that pond is full of water they are already playing with it: moving rocks, planting lilies, naming their fish, netting out leaves. This isn't simply an aesthetic addition to their view it is an interactive part of their everyday. 

Much like a zen sand garden the act of tending to a pond is about meditation and soothing behavior. Our service techs are some of the most chill people on the crew- they get to spend their work day in moving meditation near and in water. 

Often, we will witness some of the gruffest clients turn into the softest calmest people when they are at the edge of their pond. We look at the building of a pond for a person or family as an act of giving back. Our ponds light a part of the person who bought it. We believe that our designs make the world a better place, one frog and fish at a time. 

Designing zen for our clients in Northern Michigan all year! Check out our indoor ponds to keep your pond habit going. 

Designing zen for our clients in Northern Michigan all year! Check out our indoor ponds to keep your pond habit going.