Sunday, April 27, 2008

Spring Sprang

Internet photo of Tiger's Eye sumac foliage.
Spring has sprung and the grass is trying to rise except I am digging it all up in the front yard for those gardens I keep blathering about. Much money has been spent on those blathering gardens in the last week because Spring has,y'know, sprung and all.
New plants in 2008 for my yard include: a russian sage, 1 Honey Perfume rose, 3 rhododendrons of various sorts(2 are impemedium(?) and one like the one I have but pink), 2 buddeleia, 1 "Destined To See" day lily, 1 lady's mantle, 1 Tiger's Eyes Staghorn Sumac (very cool..Google it)to take the place of the dearly departed hydrangea standard in front of the bay window, 5 lupins(3 red, 1 blue, 1 yellow), 4 columbines, 3 veronica spiccata....and thats all I remember. I think thats far...mwahahahahahahahaha. I need lots more to fill in some and to get the perennials I need for a cottage style garden. Delphiniums, black eyed susans, a couple more lady's mantles, more liatris would be nice, some alliums, maybe more sedums.. Suggestions for drought tolerant cottage garden flowers are welcome.
I have gone through one cubic yard of compost so far and ordered 4 more to be delivered possibly tomorrow. Mulch wise, I have lots left out of the 2.5 cubic yard compressed bale (thats still FROZEN so I can only spread mulch in my path as it thaws). You'd think that with the weather we've had it would thaw faster but, no, its not. The daffs are bloooming, the tulips budding, the lilacs also forming buds and opening the first leaves, The honeysuckle hedge is likewise leafing. My eyes are still suffering the bedazzled affect of the sun and a couple of apres-garden mugs of sangria. (please to be forgiving the typos due to the aforementiopned bedazzlments).
Anyways, thats the current state of affairs chez nous. Much l;andscapings and taking advantage of the AMAZING weather.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

new beginnings

Its that time of year when the Sun is most welcomed and the snow has melted and life springs forth all around. WOOHOO winter is done with!!!
We will have lived here for 3 years come June. Our mark is somewhat made on our property but now....oooh...its totally gonna be noticed. We've started the long discussed front yard renovation, turning dead grubby grass and weeds to flower beds and pathway. Squeeee!!!!!
Yesterday I laid out our extension cord in lines that I thought suited the current and future configuration and then spray painted orange to show the layout. Following said lines with a spade, I cut into the turf and then pounded cedar shake pieces ( each shake is cut in two widthwise) into the cut and this will hold my path in place. When this part is done, we lay landscape fabric on the path and top with sheredded bark mulch. Everything NOT a path is a flower bed except for the 40 inch deep strip along the curb line. That will be better landscape fabric and pine nuggets. We ahve a lot of compost and mulch to buy. And plants and shrubs and maybe a tree or two. I still want a Redbud.
Bad news on the garden front: my lilac standard that got hit by the Tempo when it flipped is in worse shape than we thought. Two lower branch sections are coming away from the main trunk and splitting down the sides. This is NOT GOOD! I removed one part as best I could but need to saw away the other side thats come away...then how to dress the wound and save the rest of the tree?? This is why lollipop form standards suck... Very disheartening.
Everything is starting to bud out like crazy here even with snow still on some lawns (not mine HA). the lilac on the north side of the house is showing green in the buds...the purple leafed tree on the south side is even greener. Roses too are showing leaf buids and the soil is warming. Daffs are near blooming size ( already blooming at a neighbors). SPRING SPRING SPRING!!!!!!! Yaaaaaayyyy!

Heh heh

Sunday, April 20, 2008

April 20ths...The Aftermath...

My eldest baby turned 11 on Friday and had a sleepover with two school chums last night. We did pizza from Pizza Surprise, cake and ice cream, went to the movies to see Nim's Island (L'ile De Nim in French) where they also played arcade games and had childrens combos (popcorn, Starbursts, and slush or pop). Then we all came home...I was wiped!!! The kids weren't though. They piled into Ben's room for more playing of games and Gameboys. Eventually they fell asleep.
I got up at the ungodly hour of 8:30 to make pancakes, slice up watermelon, and be sociable. Ugh...
Now one of the friends is staying until 1 pm...... Did I really say I wanted my problem child to have friends???? Just kidding. These guys have been no problem at all and they seem to be enjoying the visit. I am hoping for more play dates between the 3 so Ben can work on his social skils and sense of humour more. He NEEDS more social interaction with friends outside of school. This was just the ticket.

So to sum up...we all survived although Ben will be getting a stern talking to for being rude to Daddy last night. Maybe Daddy shouldn't hold a grudge and let it go? Hmmmm......
On the knityting front I have managed to frak up the lovely Belle- Maman socks but it may have been tiredness and distraction... Stupid mistakes...

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


I know you must be SO sick of my whining about sleepiness etc. You should walk away now because this post discusses it.
I have always needed alot of sleep. I can pin point when it became noticeable (grade 9) and I started napping. Since then I have been a big sleeper.
One would think that its a pretty benign thing "Oh you are just tired...sleep more/earlier/better..." but when you need to sleep about 14-16 hours out of twenty four it means things don't get done. It means your husband catches you sleeping on the couch rather than doing housework. It means your house always looks like shit because you are sleeping all the time rather than running a vacuum cleaner or loading a dishwasher. It means knitting projects are neglected, that you are too tired to walk to school with your kids, that going grocery shopping is just too much of a chore. And coffee only helps a little bit.
So yesterday I was at the pharmacy looking at vitamins and tonics. Blood work last Fall showed no abnormalities but what IS normal? Maybe I am deficient for ME but not the general populace? Who knows. All I know is that as I sit here with my coffee I am wanting to crawl back into bed or at least onto the sofa and zzzzzzz away this glorious sunny morning.
I chose a product that stated it helped with :fatigue, stress, and energy. that sounds like me! I checked with the pharmacist about it and my medication. Should be ok. It must be taken in the morning at breakfast time rather than later or it will interfere with nighttime sleep. B vitamins, Iron, and herbal extracts in glass ampoules to be mixed into juice once daily. I used the first ampoule this morning and you know that cartoon where Bugs Bunny takes some sort of potions and grimaces and makes noises and has fits? It was only a little bit like that. It coulda been the juice (Peach clementine is not high on my "like" list but we ran outta orange juice (see comment about grocery shopping)). There are 19 more ampoules and at the end of the course of "treatment" we shall see how I am doing. This will be my Spring tonic along with trying to get outside in the sunshine and fresh air more.
On a sunshine and fresh air front: My crocuses are blooming. My only regret is that I planted little ones rather than a larger variety. But they are still so pretty!!! It seems that as soon as a garden patch clears of snow there are bulbs already up! I was looking out around the magnolia and saw green it the chiondoxia??? Did I plant other bulbs there and don't remember? I've seen daff leaves as well as tulip as well. To me this is amazing since two weeks ago these were all still under snow and ice, like part of my yard still is. All week its meant to be sunny and warming possibly reaching 20 degrees on Friday. :oD
On a Spanish note: HM has reserved the Moorish Cottage in Gaucin for 9 nights. The villa its part of is actually right IN the town...I thought is was outside town in the countryside. Plans are advancing.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Going going...but not yet gone

The white walls of Gaucin, Spain.

I called my muy fantastico sister Jessie this morning. She had a great stay in the DR and got some colour. Relaxed in the sunshine. Feels refreshed. This is excellent. And you know why.
YES I was going to hit her up to come babysit for us AGAIN like she did last spring when we had that business conference in Hawaii. Also I reminded her of our standing arrangement for spring 2009 for another business conference...
She said YES!!!!!!! I love her so! If not for her I would never get to go anywhere! She's my go to gal and boy do we appreciate her like nobody's business. Mucho presents for her when we get back thats for sure.
Now that we have a guardian for the kids we can make travel arrangements. She insists we should go for two weeks. GASP!!! We're all "no no a week will be good..." but she remembers what happened with Hawaii and how I didn't want to come home after only a week. LOL So I told the H-man what she says and he will crunch the numbers and see if we can squeeze in some extra days. It all has to do with money and vacation days, right? Plus he has a business trip in early October.
All I can say is at this moment in time, life is very very good.

PS: we hit a mondo huge sale at Athlete's World yesterday and I got two new pair of flip flops (Uggs(suede), and Keds(canvas)). Yay! The guys all got new fancy sneakers at 50% off the last price. Hello! ASICs for 18$!!? Woohoo baby!
So see? Shoes and Spain....its ALL good.....

Friday, April 11, 2008

I am in love with my hair serum

I went shopping last week and came home with this hair product and am SMITTEM with it. I never want to be without it ever again. BioSilk Cure. Its the bomb. I have naturally wavy hair bordering on curly. With curly comes frizz. When I let my hair air dry I get frizz as soon as I dry comb it. Big ol' bushy head. This stuff means I have shiny shiny hair with no frizz!!! I used it on my hair wet and blew dry...awesome shiny smooth hair. I used it on my wet hair and let it dry naturally. Shiny waves without frizz. I used it AFTER styling with my flat iron as a finishing for some definition at the ends. Lovely. Its now my go to hair product serum and I love it.
I bought it at a beauty supply/perfumerie in the mall here in Terrebonne but my hairdresser also has carried it. It might be cheaper at a store. A wee bottle cost about 13 bucks BUT you only use a teensy a dime sized amount for my hair but if you have looooong hair you'd go up to a nickel. Work it through the wet hair and comb it through. Style as usual with whatever you usually use because this is not a mousse or gel. You won't be sorry.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Dollarama Micro Fiber cleaning cloths

They, in a word, ROCK.
That is all.

Quiet week

Its been very peaceful here. So peaceful that HM has returned home early from work twice and caught me napping on the couch while the kids are at school. This is what happens if I stay up in the morning after the kids go to school (PS: he only caught me twice because one morning I DID crash out on the sofa. HA)
I was out last evening with the Laval Knits group and it was my best night yet...there were four of us! Great chat with Audrey and Sandra, and Tara showed off some of her booty from the trip to Japan. Very cool.
Knitting is poking along here. I am midway through the BSJ and so far so good. I only needed the video once and that was for about 5 minutes on a part of the pattern that confused me. Other than this no knitting has taken place this week. Too much napping... and laundry doing...and dead sow bug vacuuming (I sprayed the baseboards and now they come out to die).
I have NO IDEA why I feel absolutely exhausted all the time even after coffee. So sleepy even now.
I was surprised with a proposition from HM this past week. Originally he proposed a different location but I think we have settled on a trip to SPAIN this September, sans enfants! This will all depend on whether my sister can come babysit for a week (oy...will she be up for it now that she knows what its like here??!) and I can't ask her because she is away on her own trip right now.
This also means I will be unpopular because I won't be able to travel west for my nephews wedding in August. Uh Oh...
I had my granola with yogurt this morning and it was YUMMY.
This is all my news for this week.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Muesli or Granola?

What do you call it? I usually call it Muesli but I don't know why....sounds more nutritious? What IS the difference anyways? Well, apparently, muesli is often untoasted and unsweetened whereas granola usually has sugar added in some form and has been toasted in the oven.
So I guess I have made granola but I am still calling it muesli. So there.

What you need: cookie sheets with sides, non stick spray, big bowl, pot, big spoon, measuring cup and spoons, ingredients, stove and oven.
Spray the sheets and preheat the oven at 325 F.

Ingredients are based on your preference. I don't like raisins so I didn't use them. In the past I have dried my own sliced strawberries and used that (OMFrakking Gs is was soo goood!). Use those juices (concentrate will give stronger flavour),dried fruits, seeds,grains, and nuts YOU like best. These are what I used:

Large rolled oats (NOT quick oats)(5 cups)
sunflower seeds (raw)(2/3 cup)
Craisins (1 cup)
coconut (unsweetened)(1/4 cup)
chopped dried Apricots (1/2 cup)
pecans (100 gram package, chopped or broken up)
almonds ( 100 gram package, sliced)
flax seed ( 1/2 cup)
wheat germ ( 1/2 cup)
olive oil ( 2 Tbsp)
orange juice ( 1/2 cup or so)
maple syrup ( 2/3 cup)
honey (1/4 cup)
brownsugar (1/4 cup packed)
salt (1/2tsp)
cinnamon (1 Tbsp)
PS: this is fun to make with kids but I didn't. Mine were at school.
In your pot put your liquid ingredients and sugar. Place on the stove and heat to a simmer stirring occassionally.
While thats heating, measure out and mix up your dry stuffs (except the salt and cinnamon)in your big bowl. I just eyeballed my measurements and I approxiamated them for you.
When your liquids are hot and at a simmer, stir in your salt and cinnamon.
Pour the liquids over your dry ingredients, stirring and tossing to coat and distribute evenly. You can use your hands when its cooled enough and kids would LOVE this.
Spread the whole mixture on your two sheets and bake on the lower position in your oven for 15 minutes. Stir and rotate the sheets and bake another 15 minutes. Its gonna smell like cookies in your house!
Remove from oven, let cool, store in an airtight container.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Thursday and Friday Busy-nesses...

Actually lets back up and start with Wednesday, Knit night. The mighty V showed up with bags of swag. Oh joy free yarn! Also she is now a travelling companion as we quest to return the ring to the fires of M....wait a second..wrong quest. RHEINBECK BABY!!! Is there any more noble quest than a (wild and) wooly girls weekend? Huh? Huh? And I have word that my last seat and bedspace is filled by the lovely Ginette. If anything changes in these arrangements over the next 6 months it will be posted here.
Yesterday the boys claimed illness in the morning so I sent them back to bed and took my own advice...they woke me looking for TV priviledges etc and then at 10 or so Dana called and plans were made for the Afternoon. The boys went to school (big fakes) and Dana and I went to see a matinee showing of The Other Boleyn Girl. The costumes were stunning, the performances adequate, adherence to the novel loose but it was still an enjoyable afternoon. then we came home to find a neighborhood apartment building ablaze and its on my boys to and from school route so I was a tad panicky about where they were. Eventually both were accounted for. We came home to find that HM had gotten home, had one child unaccounted for (I had him) and was out searching. It truly was a comedy of errors.
Dana and I decided that we deserved a knit night since she wasn't going to Effiloche tonight and we went to Ariadne. I got the PERFECT yarn for the oak leaves in my Squirrel Nutkin sweater idea. Jo Sharp Silk Road Tweed in Wintergrass. This sweater is going to rock. Cestari worsted in natural light grey for the main colour, Ultra Alpaca squirrels and acorns, and Jo Sharp leaves (theres silk and cashmere in them there leaves). I hope I can make it all work. Right now I am hung up on shoulder type...set in sleeves? Raglan? Saddle shoulder? I am leaning toward set in. Thats how it keeps looking in my head I changes somewhat as I envision and plan. While I wait for the plan to gel in my head I have casted on a pair of baby sockses. I see why my mom always loved knitting baby things. They are small, cute and FAST.
OH, and Baby Cullen can expect a wee pressie in the mail next week (I hope) since I visited the postal desk today.
I digressed didn't I? At Ariadne we had a nice time visiting and fondling yarns as well as scoring some more freebie stash bustings. My girly christmas knitting stash is pretty stocked with raw materials now.... woohoo!
Today there was no school. I slept in again, the boys and I rented videos, I casted on those baby socks I mentioned and was to the post office outlet. HM was home early (for him) and we will be watching Sweeney Todd tonight... Very exciting after a week of not seeing much of one another thanks to his early meetings and after work outings with clients.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Rheinbeck Video
Its a quick peek at what went on at NYS+W 2007.

He am SO bootiful!

< He's my latest grand...nephew this time. I am great aunt to 3 glorious girlies as well. Is he nor scrumptious? Can you see the red of his baby hair? Oh my...such a hunky little mansy. His bootees are done and soaking in scentless SOAK...and oops they have been in there a long time now!! LOL Will go dry them so I can mail them Thursday ( My friend Janet wants to see them tomorrow night).
I wish i was home (NS)so that I could go snorgle Cullen in person. Bonking my nose trying to snorgle through the monitor is getting painful...not to mention embarrassing!