Monday, May 30, 2011


Way back in March I planted some strawberry seeds in an attempt to prolong the strawberry season.  We are surrounded by fields of them here and I am always really sad when the season is over.  I bought seeds of the everbearing variety Florian F1 and sowed them.

 A few weeks later they sprouted and I could already taste them.

This is what they look like now.  No, I did not accidentally post an old picture.  For some reason they did not make it and I am back to square one.  It really shouldn't matter because now I have these (incidentally they are doing great and I will post about them again soon) from Marie, but it is a matter of pride for me now.  Florian wants to play hard, I can do that.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Peonies, Lavender and Roses

Today I thought I would share some pictures of the flowers that are blooming in my garden at the moment.

Peonies are among my favorite flowers. What is not to love?  I dug up these from my Grandmother's garden last year before the house was sold.  I am amazed that they are flowering at all because they usually don't take well to being moved and take a few years to really perform again.  Apparently somebody forgot to tell them.

Lavender is another favorite.   This particular variety is Munstead and great to use for edging as it is low growing.  I have seen lots of bumbles bees so far, but not nearly as many bees and that worries me.  Have you noticed a decrease in the bee population in your part of the world?

David Austin "Eglantyne"

David Austin "Alnwick Rose"

"Leonardo da Vinci"

"Eden Rose 85" is my favorite rose for many reasons.  The shape, color and scent are all lovely and it makes a beautiful cutting flower.  The main reason is that this particular rose grew in my grandmother's garden.  She had it for many years and so I grew one from a cutting I took from it.  Last year it was still in a pot and this spring I planted it in the ground.

Friday, May 27, 2011

More of Less

Or should I say "More of Late"?  Not too long after I committed to organizing our storage shed and hit the "Publish Post" I seriously regretted it.  That moment came after I went back in to take stock of stare at the mess.  Honestly, I spent the rest of the week avoiding the project.  Seemed like a good week to clean the windows to me.  However, yesterday blogger guilt got the better of me and I got started.

Like I said, I got started.  In my eyes the space has a long way to go.    There is still a lot of stuff in there that we really don't need:  a folding wheelbarrow (no idea why I thought we needed it), planters from our apartment that we haven't used since, a bent up pitchfork etc.   You might have noticed it already, but in case you haven't I forgot to put Sam's bike and Kettcar back in before I took the pictures.  I didn't realize it until I got back inside and downloaded the pictures.  Thought it looked to good to be true.

Unfortunately we still have this stuff.

Have I mentioned before that Hot Wheels toys are ugly and that at times I don't care for my brother?  Consider it said.

We need to re-work how/where the garden tools are hung and the placement of some of the miscellaneous stuff on the shelves.  One day I plan on getting matching storage containers. Maybe I will do an accent wall. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011


Whenever Sam gets invited to a girl's birthday party I am always excited.  Not only do I get to buy a gift for a girl (not a Bakugan or Beyblade in sight), but I get to wrap it as well.  The other side of the toy store is another world for me.  The only things I recognize from my days are Barbie and Playmobil and even they look different. In the store my son mumbled something about Littlest Pet Shop and went right.  I was left in a sea of pink and a text message from the girl's mother of what she might like.

After much pondering I found something that I thought I might have played with and called it a day.  The fun for me is to wrap the gift.  I first discovered pom-poms at so'isses and have made a few since. It ended up a little big for the box, but it was all pink and that is all that matters.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

More of Less

Should I just ignore that today is Thursday and this should have been posted on Tuesday?  I think that may be the best tactic.

Over the weekend  I tried to find a package seeds in our storage shed.

I think that you may realize my dilemma.  In case you don't, it is a !!?$*@#! mess.  I don't have any after photos yet because I haven't actually started on the project.  At least not physically,  but I have spent many horrified minutes starting at it.   This task will have to be tackled in stages.  Stage one to follow next week.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

In the Garden

During the last few weeks I have spent quite a bit of time in the garden.  Partly because the weather has  had been unseasonably warm and we have had no rain, but mostly because I will procrastinate any task to get spend time in it. 

Last week I stopped by my favorite nursery (you know,  just to have a look) and came back with this little box of plants:  two hosta "Gold Edger", two white creeping thyme and a pachysandra.  Hosta are among my favorite plants and I always find it hard to resist when I see a new variety.

Since I have been spending so much of my time in the garden,  I am planning to post about it more.  It is not big, especially by American standard, but I can spend hours in it.  Might have something to do with me constantly re-arranging my plantings or may be I do that to spend more time in it. :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Seven Things About Me

Several weeks ago Tesca gave me a Stylish Blogger Award. A really lovely gesture and I am way late in writing this post.  She authors the charming Wohnwasbi and was a fellow student in the Blogging Your Way E-course I took earlier this year.   In her blog she shares lovely DIY tutorials, decorating tips and things that inspire her.  Please do drop by when you have a chance.

Part of the award is to give it to others in a chain letter like fashion. As I have never been much of a fan those letters (or e-mails) I will pass on that.  The other part is to share 7 things about me and I thought this would definitely be fun.  So here goes:
  1. I write with my left hand, but I throw with my right. 
  2. About 4 years ago I learned to Scuba Dive and it has been a passion ever since.  
  3. I met my husband in High School and if you would have told either of us back then that we would get married we would hit the floor laughing.
  4. I was a Vegetarian for 9 years.  Not really sure why I jumped off the "bandwagon", but maybe one day I will jump back on again.
  5. I can see my parents house from my front yard
  6. I love NYC!  I lived there for almost 10 years and it was one the best experiences I have had in my life.
  7. My greatest accomplishment is my son.  I look at him in awe every single day and can't believe how lucky I am to have him.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    More of Less

    As promised last week, for this week's edition of More of Less a look at the new cabinet  in our master bathroom.  Took us two years to realize it, but it was worth the wait.   Thinking back I don't believe that I would have ever come up with this design back when we planning everything else for the house.  My mind was so full of other stuff and I definitely think that it is a good idea to live in a house a while before finishing everything.

    The cabinet and shelves above are veneered in Walnut to match unit that holds the sink.  The square door that you see is for the laundry chute that goes to the utility room.  In all of the excitement of the having the cabinet installed I totally forgot to take a before picture.  It was basically just a little corner with a badly installed ugly metal door.

    The new cabinet only has a fraction of the storage capabilities of our old cabinet, but like I said last week we really didn't need that much in the bathroom anyway.  Another plus point for the small cabinet (depth) is that I can actually see what I have in there with one glance.  No, more fishing at the back of the cabinet with one arm for this chick.

    The best part of the cabinet is the storage for the magazines and the toilet paper.  The stacks of magazines always bugged me and who wants to find that there is no toilet paper when, ehhh, it is too late.  I took a few measurements of the magazines that we frequent and of a roll of toilet paper and the bottom part of the unit was planned.  The rest of the unit is the magic of our carpenter

    Wednesday, May 4, 2011

    A Gift

    A few weeks ago I received a package in the mail from Marie.  I have been following her very lovely blog, 66 Square Feet,  for about a year.  It's about gardening on her terrace and roof, travel and living well. She also writes on food and cooking here  and is the kibble sponsor for the Cat.

    In several of her posts she'd written about her Fern strawberries (an everbearing variety) and I started searching for them with no luck.  I mentioned it to her in one of her posts and she offered to send me some of her offspring.  It was such a lovely gesture and I more than eagerly accepted.  So, she packed them up and they arrived here a few days later.

    I am really amazed how well they took to their transatlantic flight.  I just soaked them in water for a few hours, clipped the yellow leaves, planted them in organic soil and kept them out of direct sun for the first few days.  The current planters are temporary and I haven't decided yet if they are going in the ground or in a new planter.  They produce runners and I am already fighting the raspberries.  I can't even begin to tell you how anxiously I am awaiting the first blossoms and the fruit that will follow.  I will keep you up to date on their progress.

    Thanks again Marie.

    Tuesday, May 3, 2011

    More of Less

    I may not have called it More of Less Mondays or Monday's More of Less, but the plan was to have  More of Less post every Monday.  Turns out that just doesn't work for my schedule .  So, I am moving them to Tuesday (for now).  

    Two weeks ago our carpenter delivered and installed a custom (mini) cabinet for our bathroom.  Which meant I needed to clear out the "temporary" cabinet we had been using for the past two years.

    I will never cease to be amazed on how much stuff can be crammed into a cabinet.  There was lots of stuff and most of it we really did not need: duplicates, half empty bottles of products that did not live up to the marketing promise, expired products and so on.

    You can see it was not really pretty on the outside and worse inside.  As always, when something new is brought in it brings about changes (work) in another part of the house.

    I decided to move the cabinet into our utility room to store cleaning supplies.  They use to be in containers on the floor.  For some reason I forgot to take before pictures.  My guess is that it was probably something deep within me that did not want to share what it looked like.

    In the next few months I plan on adding a print and more importantly hiding those cables. I would love to do something like this, but we have a lot of mechanical equipment (for solar water heating and rain cistern, meters, etc.) in this room so I think that keeping this side as simple as possible it the best way to go.  It will never be pretty, but anything should be an improvement.  Maybe I will even begin to like doing laundry, not likely though.

    As you can see I have a seemingly lifetime supply of cleaning rags.  First off, my husband bought a lot of them from a bulk supplier on e-bay and then I am sucker from trying new stuff.  Doesn't really fit the More of Less theme, but I am still in the process of getting there.

    Next week I will show you our new cabinet in the bathroom.  Yes, this is a cliffhanger ending.  :)