Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Garden photos

I haven't had much time for my garden this year, but like all gardens it grows anyway.
This may be my favorite clematis (Niobe). It looks like velvet, and it really stands out amongst the cotoneaster.

The Rose Campion came back in full force, and I was surprised by the height it grew, which is why the tango lily is hidden amongst it. I may move it in the fall and bring all of the lilies forward.

I was also surprised (pleasantly) by the trumpet lily that I don't remember buying or being given so I'm not sure where it came from, but I love it.

It may be slightly neglected this year, but the garden is full of surprises for me.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Run Vegan Run

Finally I was able to run more than 10 k today! I had a few dates, some fresh blueberries (I love summer!) and I was out the door. It didn't all go smoothly though.  Less than 1 k into my run my bra strap came undone. Hmmm...what to do? The only way I could fix it would be to take off my bra. That's complicated when you're out for a run. I looked for a place to step into the woods, but then I saw a woman coming along the path that I had passed a few minutes earlier. She was on a power walk. I stopped her and asked if she could fix my bra. An odd thing to ask a stranger, but there you go. She fixed the strap, I thanked her and wished her to have great day, and then was on my way.

Two minutes later my left hamstring twinged, kind of like a little pop. I stretched and tried to massage the pain away, but was having little luck. Walking was hurting it. Hmmm....what to do?  I tried shuffling along to see how far I could go, but it only took a few steps before I had to stop from the pain. I did some more stretching and massaging. I felt like crying! After all of this recovery time for my achilles and now this! I shuffled along some more, walked, shuffled, and then slowly began to do a slow jog using my yoga breathing to "breathe into the pain." I also focused on relaxing my legs and hips as much as possible because it's so easy to tense up when you're feeling pain. Once I crested the hill I knew I'd be able to keep going a little further, and decided to keep going as long as my body could stand it. Well...10 k later I felt pretty good.

I think it was the uphill that irritated the hamstring. I've been doing so much running on flat terrain to help my achilles recover that my legs just aren't use to having to climb.

During the last kilometer I felt really great endurance-wise, but my hamstring started to tighten up again. I couldn't wait to get home and stretch.

Now I can rest it for the remainder of the day, and tomorrow we'll see how it goes.

(I also tried out my new Camelbak water bottle, and I love it! It took a little getting use to, but now I really appreciate being able to drink from any angle, which is nice while running because I don't have to tilt the bottle to get liquid. It's the small things...)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday's question

Why is it that when I'm doing the things I love, the time just flies by?

You guessed correctly if you guessed that it's Friday afternoon and I'm at work.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

my community

I managed to find a copy of David Byrne's The Bicycle Diaries at my local library, and I'm glad I found it (I picked it up thanks to Barbara's review at The Bookworm Collective. You can read her review there find out what the book is about).

Ten pages into it, and it already has me thinking about my daily commute and how my method of transportation affects how I view my community. I don't know if this is the scope of the book, but it got me thinking.

I don't own a car, and I don't really want to own one either (db does have the company car on the weekends, so we do use all methods of transporation).  Mostly I take transit (bus & skytrain), I use my bike to run errands on my day off, or if I just feel like taking a bike ride, and I walk -- alot. What have I learned about my community and how it functions based on my daily walks? No surprise, but we are a car culture.

We live in a suburb of Vancouver. It's a thriving little city with lots going on. What I see as the hub of our town is a little pocket of shops, mostly independent businesses, that sit between, and is connected by two main commuter roads. It's a pedestrian friendly area, but also has lots of room for parking. You could get everything you need in this little area, and I suppose that was part of the attraction for the adjacent condo owners; everything is within walking distance.

Across the main road from this little hub, is the theatre where they hold screenings and events, the library, and the recreation centre. The inlet trail borders this area, and has paved and unpaved trails that run along the water. If you walk, bike, or run in one direction, it takes you to a nice picnic and beach area. If you do the same in the other direction it takes you to a larger park where concerts are held, a boat lauch is available, and there's even a small public pool, and a dog park. If you know your way around you can also connect to many of the trails that run up the mountainside.

Kitty-corner to the "hub" area is a new development that has been filled with more condos, and little shops in a pedestrian friendly area. It is attempting to mimic the original, older main hub; however, it doesn't have the independent businesses, but rather is a series of chain stores (Starbucks, Cobs Bread, Booster Juice) and has a feeling of something a little bit fake in its attempt to be quaint. I see this entire neighbourhood as being set up for after hours and weekend outdoor play.

If you don't live in either of these hubs you need a car. Walking is for the weekend only, or if you take the dog out. Some streets don't even have sidewalks. I live a fifteen minute walk up the hill from the hub, so while it is possible to walk to this area and get everything I need, it is a bit inconvenient as well because the hill is quite a hike. It's fairly steep so walking home with a load of groceries is not really what I want do. We save grocery shopping for the weekend, and we have our organic produce delivery that comes once a week. However, I do walk this hill almost daily to get home from work since the buses that do run up the hill are few and far between.

The road that runs up the hill is four lanes. It is a 50 km zone, but as you can probably guess no one does 50 km, it's usually closer to 70 or more if they're going downhill (db & I actually call this stretch of road "speed city raceway").  There are no houses along it, just trees, and pathways that lead to suburban pockets of homes. Whenever I cross paths with someone walking up or down, we always exchange a hello or a good morning. Once you hit the hub though, the greetings stop.

Off this main artery are lots of little side streets, most of which are tree-lined dead ends. The houses are close, but the yards are still large enough for good sized gardens, and backyards often face a greenbelt. Where I live is one of these streets. The homes are large (we rent of course) with wide driveways and double car garages. Even with the two car garages, many people park on the street because they have more than one or two cars (or there are renters who have cars, but no access to a garage. There's actually a little dispute going on about who can park where on the street. One of the neighbours gives out his own tickets if you park in front of his house (i'm not kidding). 

So my community is a commuting one. The cars file down in the morning and file home at night (have you seen Edward Scissorhands? It's like that). It is truly suburban in that respect. The community is set up to move these cars to and from work as efficiently as possible. Bikes? There are few bike lanes, so you're really you're on your own for commuting. Afterall, biking is a weekend activity reserved for the trails.

Monday, July 05, 2010

trip to Bowen Island & Mt Gardner

We got lucky. We had good weather, and decided that we would drive to the ferry and go to Bowen Island to do our planned hike up Mt Gardner.  You can walk on the ferry since the hike is walking distance from the ferry, and there are a couple of smaller trails to take to get you to the beginning of the Mt. Gardner hike.

Lots of slugs along the way. Each one seemed bigger than the one before. We started to think that maybe they got larger the higher we hiked!
The first view on the way up that looks back down to where we arrived.
Foxgloves were abundant. Why do I have such a hard time growing them?
This was an unusual and cool looking part of the trail. This was along the "handloggers trail." There are several options to approach Mt. Gardner. We took several linking trails to wind our way up rather than taking a more direct (and perhaps less interesting) route.
Looks like some Angel wings...I think. Edible, but we didn't collect any as there were too few to really bother.

Second view: I think this is looking at Keets island.
New growth amongst the old growth.
We went to the North Summit where the views are. There are also radio towers and 2 helicopter landing pads. I think this is why the N. Summit has the views that the S. Summit doesn't.

View from the top. This looks down towards the Sunshine Coast. The clouds were covering the distant mountains, and at times some low cloud passed closely by. It was beautiful. We sat on the wooden slatted chopper landing pad and had lunch.

Playing with the sepia setting on the camera on the way down the mountain. 

After our long 6 hour plus hike, we reached our destination...

The Tuscany

The food was amazing as usual. It was a perfect way to end our day.
 Warm citrus olives with a bruschetta salad & grilled portabellos.

Ah, the pizza with grilled veg. They have a wood burning oven to cook their pizza. There's nothing like a pizza cooked in a wood burning oven.

Back to the mainland. What a beautiful day!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

It's not only Canada Day, but it's also the store's first year anniversary so I'm at work today for the celebration. It's quiet now though since it's the end of the day so I thought I'd get a quick post done. What did everyone else do for Canada Day?

I've missed my blog. I've missed posting photos of meals we've made, which doesn't mean that I haven't stopped taking photos, I just haven't posted any. 

As usual my life seems incredibly busy. I know we all have busy lives, but with the world cup (not related to the cup in the photo) going on, my life seems even busier now (I just can't miss a game).

Anywho...to the cup in the above photo. db got me this blender cup for my birthday. I was so excited by it, it was a bit ridiculous really. Who gets excited over a blender cup? Apparently, I do. Exciting life, I know. 

The base of my blender screws onto the cup and I can blend up my Vega smoothie then put the cup's lid on and I'm ready to go. It's pretty fabulous. I did a test run this morning, and was thrilled with not having to clean the blender (or I should say, leave it in the sink filled with water until one of us gets home from work to clean it).

Now onto other things...

It's been nice to have a couple of soccer free days so I can get other things done like laundry, and a little gardening (very little -- I planted a few new plants in the front yard when I came home from my run on Tuesday. I just couldn't leave them in their nursery pots any longer). The weather has been a bit crappy. db and I haven't used the patio at all this month so I haven't felt the need to add to my pots out there. It still looks okay, but not the way I'd like it to look. 


Since I had to work on Wednesday (my birthday), we've decided to celebrate on Friday with a trip to Bowen just as we did last year. However, this year we plan to hike Mt Gardner (please, co-operate weather) and then go to dinner at the Tuscan restaurant where we went last year as well. My family won't be here, but I'll be thinking of them and planning our upcoming vacation to N.B. I can't wait!