Saturday, May 15, 2010


Wow! Between me, my husband and our very nice and helpful friend, we got eight posts up and the framework for the pergolas! Still lots more work to be done, but it's coming along.

Friday, May 14, 2010

It's gonna be pergolic

Which is kinda like bucolic, only with more pergola.

At least, that's the big plan. The patio that was creating chaos at our house last week is finished, the new sod is settling in (thank goodness for all that lovely rain we had), and we're about to get serious about making the pergolas that have been in our heads for the last year and a half or so into reality. This afternoon we're going to attempt to get the posts up - it should be interesting as they're about 12' high.

Meanwhile, our back/side yard has gone from this:
to this:
All along the back of the new patio will be garden (as well as at the sides, eventually) - we'd like to plant some vines along the existing retaining wall to give us and our neighbours some privacy - and those holes will be where the posts for the pergolas go. The pipe sticking up in the middle is for the electrical that my husband's going to run from the house. It's kind of hard to tell, but the big stones at the right form a retaining wall that is about 3' high.

The cherry tree will go in at the top of the hill (to the right of the wall), and I think we've agreed on a Freemanii maple for the left side of the yard. Not really my preference, but it was definitely my husband's turn to pick a tree.

Have I mentioned that my husband built a new garden bed for raspberries as well? It matches
the ones he built last spring. It's sitting empty for now, but once we get a truckload of dirt in for all these new gardens, I'm planting. Can't wait.

Some of my must-haves for the new garden beds:
Cimicfuga simplex 'Brunette' or 'Black Negligee' (pretty, tall, unusual and amazingly scented)
white bleeding heart (or Dutchman's bloomers :) )
white climbing roses - maybe on the pergola posts? up the deck posts, or on the fence? not sure.
Siberian bugloss (beautiful foliage, little pink to blue flowers)
Heuchera (love them all)
tall ornamental grasses (mainly to block the view of the dog's 'area')
Artemisia 'silver mound'
Cerastium Tomentosum (Snow in Summer)
Japanese Kerria (a shrub with pretty yellow flowers)

... and about a million more. I may add to this list just to keep track for myself! As you can probably tell, I have a penchant for white, silver and purple. I'll probably throw some more chives in - they're pretty, work with my purple craving, and yummy too. (The kerria will be from a slip my mum's planted for me - I'll have to find the perfect spot where it will accent and not clash :) )

That's what's up at our house these days. What are your garden/yard plans for the summer? Any gorgeous plants you are lusting after that I should know about?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

a little share...

Hi! I got these for my birthday! Lovely!And, I made these today:
Sorry for the crappy photo; I was lazy and just used the webcam.

Low fat vegan black bean brownies from Happy Herbivore! Yum! You know I can't just follow a recipe - I substituted 3/4 cup of cane sugar for the agave nectar(since I don't have any), and added a heaping tablespoon of honey and the same of ground flax and flour, and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. I think they could be just a little sweeter and more chocolatey, so next time I'd add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips. And no, you can't taste the beans at all.

This is definitely a delicious treat. They're not cakey like regular brownies, but rather rich and dense - a texture more like fudge, but with a brownie flavour. I'm not 100% sold on the cinnamon-chocolate combination (one I've been on the fence about for many years), but I do like these a lot! As in, I just ate two! Well, they're low fat - so I can eat twice as many, right? :)

Coconut Peanut Butter Winner!

Ooh, lucky number 39 gets a jar of delicious Tropical Traditions Organic Coconut Peanut Butter!
Who's the lucky winner?Congratulations! I'm about to email you. As usual, if I don't hear back within 48 hours, I'll draw another winner.

If you didn't win but can't resist the sound of this yumminess, do check out the Tropical Traditions website - they've got a rather astounding range of delicious organic products. When you place your first order, please select “Referred by a friend” and in the box that says “How did you hear of us?” enter my sponsor ID number 5687267.

By telling Tropical Traditions that I referred you, you will receive a free copy of the book Virgin Coconut Oil: How it has changed people’s lives and how it can change yours! by Brian and Marianita Shilhavy! This book is filled with testimonies and research showing how healthy coconut oil is, and it also includes over 85 recipes showing how one can incorporate coconut into their diet.

Thank you for the birthday wishes yesterday! And don't forget to enter to win a $75 gift certificate to It's a really sweet prize - they've got lots of awesome casual and fitness wear. I'm loving the yoga pants they sent me!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dear 33,

We've been together for a year now and I feel like things just aren't really working out like I'd hoped. I know you tried hard, but there were just too many downs and not enough ups in our rollercoaster of a relationship.

I will try to remember the good times - our awesome trip out to the west coast of Canada, and our weekend jaunt down to Washington; you even came along for the anniversary trip my husband and I took to Mexico. But really, he's my travel partner and - sorry to be so harsh - I don't need you. I've been trying to think of what you've given me, and I realized that it's not really much of a haul: three new grey hairs, a little pot belly that is proving very difficult to get rid of, and a much more jaded outlook on life. Thanks a lot.

You disappointed me in too many ways - you know what I'm talking about. You were all full of promises and hope, but you let me down too hard. It was very cruel now that I think about it.

And don't think I haven't noticed your attention wandering to that fresh young thing who's winding down her relationship with 32.

I hate to have to tell you this way, but we're through. In fact, I've just met 34, and we have some big plans.

I may want you back one day (27, if you're reading this, call me), but for now I am ready to move on.