a final goodbye

In two days, the new owners will take possession of the #naturalurbanhome

They will move in, change things around, add their own style and signature and smell to the place, and make it their home. 

As I sit here in the COLD waiting area at my kid's dance studio writing this, I am surprised by how NOT upset I am about this. (Seriously someone needs to turn up the damn thermostat in this place!!)

I went to the house today to do one final walk through every room, one final peak in every drawer and cupboard, and one final exhale in this beautiful house that was our home for the past five years. 

It felt good to be there by myself this morning for this farewell. I wanted to leave the house today and take all of its memories with me, the good ones as well as the not-so-good ones, and hand over the new owners a clean slate and a space free of any negative emotions. 

I do still love this house. I loved who we became as a family in this house. This house of concrete and glass was our literal foundation when our world was falling apart around us and was always a soft landing place to which we could return. It housed our bodies and our souls, and we learned to love deeper and stronger within its walls. 

I love the beautiful pine ceiling in the living area so damn much, and I'll miss my apple martini countertops. My cold feet will miss the in-floor heating the most. (#HintHINT: Someone **ME** needs a really good pair of slippers for Christmas this year!)

I hope the new owners will treat the place well and add to its uniqueness. 

I hope whatever energy and spirit and footprint we have left in the house continues to give its inhabitants strength and love and nothing but good juju. 

Goodbye to you my #naturalurbanhome. 



And thank you. 




bathed in blue light

The Lights

We are getting new street lamps in our neighbourhood. This is a good thing. We are in an older hood, the old lamp posts were starting to get all rusty and nasty looking and in an effort to be a greener city, the new lamps have LED lights in them and are much more effective at actually lighting up the streets. I saw the workers on our street this morning digging up more holes with an auger, but I didn't think much of it, because 90% of the lamp bases have already been installed on our block. And then I came home and saw what they had done and now I am rather pissed off!

This is the configuration of the three (yes, 3!) VERY BRIGHT new street lamps that will now be surrounding our house.  Number 1 is the replacement for the existing lamp post and #2 and #3 are new. Our house and property is literally going to be bathed in a swath of blue-ish, somewhat creepy LED light from about 5:30 PM to 7:30 AM from now until late, late spring.


The Lights


We've made some calls and left messages and I've sent a few tweets to my city councillor, but I am not sure if it is going to change anything, since the crew poured the cement for the bases while we were having dinner tonight. And I hate to be a complainer, but to be honest, we are paying for these particular lights (our neighbourhood voted to get the upgraded fancy light posts), and since we didn't get any kind of notice from the city about the placement of these two new lights, I feel like an explanation or some consideration of what we would like is in order.

I am probably overreacting. Maybe. I mean, it's just street lamps right?. And who doesn't want to have their street well lit at night. Right. Or... maybe this is a big deal. That sure does seem like a lot of lights for one corner. When does light pollution outweigh the green LED initiative to save money and energy? Because with this amount of lamps going in around our property, I will be able to sit in my backyard in the dead of night and comfortably read a book!

And now I am starting to sound like the crazy neighbour lady getting all bent out of shape over lights. OY!

OK, I'll just have to focus less on the lights and more on the re-landscaping that we are planning for next spring. I am not sure if I have mentioned it, but our yard is going to be EPIC!

I have even more than halfway convinced The Consort that I need a cool shed/writing studio thingy. I was thinking something along these lines...


This little baby house should take my focus away from all that eerie blue light, right?



Day 6 of NaBloPoMo.

One post a day, every day in November.

Please keep reading and sharing and/or commenting. It helps. 


A different kind of home birth

I haven't written a post about our Natural Urban Home in over a year. Which corresponds to the approximate amount of time it has taken me to get it to the point where I feel as if our home is almost, practically, kind of, mostly 'done'. One of the DIY projects that I have been asked about the most is our home's living wall. Having a wall of plants, a "green" wall in our green home was something that my husband REALLY wanted from day one of planning our dream home. I was leery of this given the fact that I have two thumbs that are about 4 shades darker than the colour of a moonless night and little to no gardening experience to brag about. Yet, the benefits of having a lot of plants are well known for improving indoor air quality and having a beautiful green wall to look at during our long winter months here in Alberta was in and of itself VERY appealing to me and so the project got underway.

It started with a frame for the wall. We wanted it to look like a piece of living art and so I had our amazing contractor/cabinet maker build and install a 6 foot by 4 foot wooden panel of rift-cut oak for the wall behind our sofa. The wood matches the rest of our custom cabinetry in the house.


We then attached our "containers" to the wood panel. B did all the research and figured that the easiest way for us to get the desired look we wanted and the simplest system to install and care for would be Woolly Pockets. I'll let the following video do all the explaining of how brilliant they are and how exactly they work.


Then it was time to shop for plants. I went to The Enjoy Centre for some inspiration (they have a gorgeous 20 foot tall living wall) and some advice from the experts. I then went home with a car full of lush beautiful plants. I will admit that there was some learning to be done with regards to how much soil to use (more than you think) and how big your plants should be when you first plant them. I thought 4 inch plants would be fine and figured they would eventually grow and fill up the space just fine. I was wrong. Bigger is better, and if you want your living wall to look nice and lush from the get go, as I did, then I suggest going with 6-8 inch or bigger plants.

LW-The Plants

There was some more trial and error as I experimented with placement of the plants and decided whether or not to make one of the pockets my herb garden, something I ended up kiboshing at the last minute. It took me a good two to three weeks to get it all just right and I had to make at least two more trips to the greenhouse for more soil, more plants and more advice!


I am still working on the wall and as with anything that is living and breathing, I am sure it will continue to grow and change as it matures, as some plants do better than others in our environment and as I get better at knowing which plants works best together and endeavour to green up my thumbs some more.

For now though, here is my baby! (And yes, I say MY baby, because for all his desire to have this feature in our house, my husband did diddly-squat to help install and maintain it. He has now been assigned the weekly task of 'feeding' the baby!)

The Living Wall

Yes, that's right, I {home} birthed a Living Wall in our Natural Urban Home.

What did you do today?



This post is part of the #SummerBlogChallenge. Please check out some of the other daily contributions from the following writers: LiamZitaMagzPeterChristineAprilCliffHethr, and Karen. And for goodness sake, give them some comment-y and sharing love, it takes a lot to write for 30 days straight!