Thursday, June 25, 2009


My vacation starts Saturday. The family arrives Sunday and after that I probably won't be blogging so much (even less than I am now) because I expect we'll be too busy.

So I'll see you after my vacation.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A few quick notes on the week so far.

Just 3 more days of work before my vacation starts! My mom, brother and his girlfriend arrive on Sunday and will be here until the 9th of July so it's going to be a fun and busy vacation.

db and I decided to use our place as our home base and then just do day trips from here. There is so much to see and do within a short driving distance. We've mapped out some plans and just need to go over everything again before they arrive. I guess I should also google map destinations and read about anything else that might be in the area that we should see.

Vacation aside, I also have my run on Sunday with the 7 a.m. start. Wow that's early and it's a long drive from home so I'm anticipating a 4 am rise-and-shine (I think the birds are just starting to wake up at that time). I really hope to finish in a decent time, but I won't think about that too much.

Tonight, I'm just trying to get out for my run. My legs are tired even though I worked in the office all day. It's just tougher to go out and run after work, but I know I'll feel fine once I get going.


My cousins were just here on the weekend. When I was 16 or 17 I spent the summer with my aunt and uncle in Vermont looking after my 3 cousins who were 10, 8 and 4 (I believe those ages are correct). It was an incredible summer for me. I loved being there. My aunt and uncle were so kind to me. Even though I may not have been the best at child care I did enjoy looking after them. They were bad and did fight a lot, but if anything it has only made me fonder of them because we went through it together.

At the time I was...let's say...a bit of a troubled teen, so this trip to Vermont was a learning experience that was good for me. I wish I'd been a little less of a troubled teen, but I can't change that now.

Anywho...two of my cousins were here this weekend. R, the youngest, is about to leave for New Zealand to do research for her Phd, while N. lives in Nelson and, as I've mentioned before, is a coffee roaster there. We arranged to have dinner Sunday night, but since they were leaving for Kelowna the next day we also arranged for them to stay over.

It was so nice to see them and see what incredible adults they've become. What I found most remarkable was how close they are as siblings. All that fighting when they were little and it didn't affect their relationships as adults. It made me miss my brother and sister and how much fun we have together. I miss how we can just pick up where we left off and feel completely at ease with one another. So to see my cousins having such a positive relationship really made me happy.

We had a nice dinner. db and I had prepped most of the food earlier in the day so we had more visiting time. db made bruschetta with mushrooms, pinenuts and tomatoes. I made my creamy pesto pasta with green beans and potatoes. We had a salad mix that I had picked up at the market that morning and for dessert I made a mixed berry crisp with fresh local strawberries, blueberries and some cherries I found in the freezer that my stepdad, pw, had given us at least a year ago. I also had some leftover rhubarb and strawberry compote to serve with it and made the cashew whipped cream that is absolutely divine. What a meal.

N had brought his dog Pitou so the cats were kept in the bedroom since Pitou hasn't had much exposure to cats and he looked a little too eager to chase (and perhaps nip a little) when he looked through the window at our kitties. Both of the cats' tails puffed up. Prima was curious, but Gigi wanted nothing to do with Pitou. The bedroom was a good place for them to relax while Pitou stayed over.

At 4 am I discovered that Gigi is an early riser and has stuff to do; therefore, she needs to get out of the bedroom now. I didn't want to wake everyone and put Pitou out in the backyard so I just lay awake and tried to stop Gigi from tearing at the door. She'd give up just long enough for me to drift off and then she'd start up again. At 6:30 I got up and we got Pitou up and moved him out. Sorry Pitou, but I had to let Gigi out of the room as she was going squirrly. Poor little Gi. was nice to see R & N. Hopefully db and I will make it to Nelson sometime soon for a visit.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Star Trek as The A-Team

I saw this on Wandering Coyote's blog and I just had to share it here since I know my family will appreciate this.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Run Vegan Run

15 k tomorrow. Am I up for it? I'll find out tomorrow.

I've changed my long run days to Fridays since I tend to be off work on Fridays and I'd really like to sleep in one of these Sundays, although that never seems to happen. db has started running again so I want to run with him on those Sunday mornings and it is so peaceful early in the morning. Last Sunday we saw a deer just up the hill. That's not going to happen at the same time on a weekday.

So this will be my last long run before the race. I hope we have good weather and a great turn out. We haven't had rain since the 26th of May so I'm a little worried that when it turns back to rain it will really rain. I've run in the rain a few times, but at an event it's never been an issue. It rained a little in Tofino during my marathon there, but nothing to worry about, and by the end of the run it was sunny and hot.

I'm also excited about the new course. I love running a new course. Surprise hills are always fun (sarcasm). As always I'd like to drive the route before running it, but that may not be possible since I don't have a car. We'll have a car that weekend because the family arrives (mom, gp & c-loo), but I don't imagine I'll have time to drive the route since I'll be getting house and home ready for their arrival.

This will also be my last run in a certain...ahem...age group (35-39) and that's all I'm going to say about that.

For now, I'll just focus on tomorrow's run. I'll get up early and get out the door at a reasonable time so I can just take my time and enjoy the run.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

recent photos

Pink geranium.db with foxglove.

Sunday we went for a short hike in the woods behind our place. We wanted to find the trail down to the water.
There are foxgloves growing everywhere.

There's a little bridge along one path that overlooks a dry creek. I love the leafy tree amongst all the spruce and cedar.
Looking down at the dry creek.
Eventually we ended up in a clearing of sorts. There was very little ground cover and the slope was quite dry from the weeks of sunshine we've had. It was beautiful to look at the tree trunks all around us with the canopy so far above.
The observant db spotted this robin's egg on the forest floor. The photo (of course) doesn't bring out the bright blue as it should.

Eventually we did make it down to the mainroad and crossed the street to a lower road and walked along to the inlet park. We overshot our destination, but found a more direct and steeper trail on the way home.

Back at the garden...

Everything is filling in nicely. The beans are coming up and the lettuce. I've staked the roses that were already in the beds and we've put some tomatoes in pots on the level up above (fingers crossed).
One clematis has bloomed. This one is called Niobe.
One yellow rose has bloomed so far.

Of course a picture of Gigi is the best way to end a series of photos.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

To bike or not to bike. I'm balancing my running with my biking and I'm finding it tricky. I'm training for the half on June 28th, but the weather has been so incredibly beautiful I just want to be on my bike. If I bike too much, I get fatigued and can't always run as well as I'd like to.

I love biking to work. There's a freedom in getting on my bike and being out in the open enjoying the fresh (as fresh as it can be) air.

So this morning...I will...I'm still trying to decide.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sometimes life just gets too busy and I never seem to catch up. Even though I'm sitting here and taking time to blog, meaning that I must have spare time on my hands, I really am overwhelmed with the every day.

First, I want to talk about my Great Aunt Viki. She passed away this past week and I am so sorry for the family. She was such a great woman who was always so kind and welcoming. Whenever I visited with she and my Great Uncle Hanf, I was always reminded of how wonderful it is to be part of this large family we have spread across the country...or actually... across the continent.

One of my favorite traits of Viki's was how she would often say how nice it was to see me. We'd be having dinner or sitting in her living room having drinks and she'd just say how wonderful it was to see me, speaking exactly what I was feeling. Her smile was lovely and warm. Her face showed the signs of someone who smiled and laughed a lot. She loved her family, immediate and extended, and loved nothing more than to be with that family.

I saw her not too long ago when her illness had progressed so that she wasn't always aware of what was going on around her. This was heartbreaking to see, but she still wanted to be with us all and she still greeted me with her broad smile and a warm hug and kiss to the cheek.


So this news about my Great Aunt has been hovering around me since I found out from my sister on Friday and it put into motion the arrangements to fly my mom out from Quebec so she can be here for the funeral.

Friday morning was spent on the phone with my sister and aeroplan working through the process of purchasing a ticket by using my miles to bring the price down as far as possible. It wasn't going well. I was having trouble getting through to aeorplan and was learning to navigate the process when I got completely fed up. I called my sister and told her I needed to go for my run before it got to hot (we also had a heat wave here this past week).

I finally got out the door for my run about an hour and a half later than expected. My mind was focused on just getting it over with (13 k to go). However, running doesn't work that way. The body reminds you of the niggling aches and pains you've collected or are working through, so you can't just get a run over with. It doesn't take long for the mind to wander elsewhere. After only about 3 k into the run, my thoughts turned to Viki and I got the opportunity to go over all of my memories I had of her. I got to grieve a little, which is what I really needed to do because I hadn't given myself a chance to do that yet. This changed the whole feeling of my run that then became about every step and enjoying each moment I had.

By the end of the run it was very hot out, and I was more than happy to be finished with a nice walk up the long hill towards home.

I finalized the ticket for my mom and carried on with my day.

Since then I've been working. We had inventory today-- it's once a year--so I was at work all day long. Tomorrow I'm back at work and Tuesday and Wednesday.

My mom arrives Wednesday evening.

Thursday is the funeral. Thursday is the day we can all come together to remember Viki. I know it's an odd thing to say about a funeral, but I'm looking forward to it so I can have the chance to say good-bye in a more formal way. I want to say good-bye without the everyday of my life getting in the way. Thursday will be about Viki and I can't think of a better way to spend my day.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Progressive Portland” a model for smart growth with many lessons for Vancouver

Progressive Portland” a model for smart growth with many lessons for Vancouver

A co-worker brought this article to my attention last fall and I came across the newspaper clipping after the move. I find Portland to be inspiring.
Has it really been so long since I wrote on my blog? We must be having some pretty spectacular weather and I've been busy finishing up the details of our new place, including the garden details.

Here's our patio. I've set clematis against the poles and there's also one against the fence in this picture. The one on the fence probably won't bloom this year since that type of clematis needs to bloom on last year's growth and I had to cut last year's growth so I could bring the plant with me. Oh well, next year.

We've set up our rolling composter against the fence. We'll use it until the new bins arrive at the end of June. We're getting green waste bins when the city changes over to automated garbage pick-up. The bins will have special clips on them to keep the bears out. After that I suppose we'll use the compost just enough to keep some going for the garden. Looking at this picture I feel I could double the pots. I may have to go up the pole and hang some more plants.

We refurbished the raised beds and filled them with the garden I brought with me. There are 3 roses that were already there so I just pruned and staked them. Two of them have buds so we'll see what they produce. It's a pretty shady yard so I'm not sure how well these roses can do.

The other rhodos are at the end of their blooming, but there are two along the fence that are in full bloom now and the colour is very striking.
Here's our little patio.

Because Sunday was so beautiful, I thought it would be nice to go to the beach. We were heading into the city to see a movie at the Doxa film festival anyway so I thought we may as well head to the water.

We parked at Spanish banks and walked along the path. There's a nice view of the city from the beach. I like the downtown from here.
It's hard to see but there were scads of sailboats on the water. There were almost as many boats on the water as there were people on the beach. I also noticed that people were quite far out and seemed not to be only up to their waists in water. I guess that's why the boats are so far out.

Finally, this one is for my brother, a Chicago fan. Who knew the Blackhawks were retro? The only thing missing from the photo is the sound of db laughing.