I know it doesn't look like much progress, but we did spend the entire day yesterday (until 9 pm) working on this - AFTER a 15 minute 'Awesome Abs' workout, followed by an hour-long BodyFlow (Tai Chi, Pilates and yoga) in the morning! Wow. A lot of physical labour for one day! Thank goodness we started going to the gym in March - if I didn't have two months of thrice-a-week workouts under my belt, I'd be more than just a little achy today.
With the start of the cross pieces up, you can get a sense of how the finished pergolas will look. And a sense, in this image, of what we don't want to be looking at - the ugly chain link fence, the side of our neighbours' house, and the ugly pile of plastic that's been sitting there for a year and a half already (their only daughter is about 9 months old. It'll be a while yet.)
The 'hard' work is done on the pergolas; now it's repetitive drilling and placement of the remaining beams and cross-pieces. My husband's going to work on it tonight while I'm teaching - can't wait to see how far he gets!
Oh, and there's still the shed... another project for this spring. The makings are sitting in our garage.
We are still debating the vines to go up the block retaining wall and chain link fence. I've done a lot of research into vines and haven't come to any solid conclusions. I'd love something that keeps its leaves all winter, but euonymus in the vine variety is hard to come by around here. It has to be something hardy in zone 5b and preferably something not poisonous, not thorny, not a big bee attraction, and not top-heavy (a la wisteria, silver lace vine, etc). The standard Boston Ivy and Virginia Creeper aren't ideal in my mind. Too bare in winter (though they are showy in the fall). I'm not sure what we'll end up with.
You can also see, on the right, our teeny-tiny compact Stella cherry tree! (Those two green blobs sprouting out of the middle of the lawn!) We finally planted it. It's small for now but will grow to 15-20' in width and height, and bear up to 50 lbs of cherries a year - it'll take a while to get to that point but MAN, that's going to be AWESOME! The big benefit of this variety of cherry tree, besides the compact size, is that it's self-pollinating.
Other than that, not much is up. I've been sewing another bunny, but managed to jam my machine while working on the last bit of its dress. This is my new Husqvarna, that I got for Christmas. Argh! I'm the bane of sewing machines. Meanwhile, I've got an itch to do another baby quilt - just for fun. Got to get that machine working!
Oh, and if you're in the mood for some crafty/sewing giveaways, check out Sew, Mama, Sew for an enormous list of giveaways all over the blogosphere that are running now until the 20th. Fabric, handcrafted items, patterns, all sorts of goodies.
BTW, on the weekend we had friends over and made Toasted Panzanella - a big hit. This is one of our absolute favourite summer recipes. It's easy, good for making ahead, great for picnics or pot lucks, unusual but doesn't have 'weird' ingredients that will make picky eaters turn their noses up. It's the kind of dish that you can't stop eating, it's just that good. Highly recommended!