out to lunch

all photos taken here.

& the path back to my desk


hey teacher, leave the fruit alone

* warning this post may make you angry

i just got back from the community garden. it has become my nightly ritual, just after cohen goes to bed i go for a jaunt down the block to water the plot and see how everyone is doing. tonight, after some research on the subject, i was planting beets and parsnips, two crops that can be safely harvested well into fall. i love the garden, the smell, the feel, everything. tonight was especially magical as for only a moment the sky opened up and rain came barreling down providing all of the plants around me some much needed moisture while the sun shone down hard from the west, rainbows in the mist. so by now you may be wondering, why would this make me angry? then there is this next bit.

a family of three adults and two children, well dressed and seemingly professional, appear at the top of the park. they are walking with purpose straight towards the fence the contains the garden. i knew right away that they were headed for the raspberries from the plot connected to ours, their branches dangling into the park inviting others to eat from their heavy limbs. once the picking began the littlest girl asked if it was ok to be eating someone else's raspberries, to which the father replied that "if it is outside the fence it is fair game". to a point i agree with this statement, it is a community garden and if a branch is hanging out with ripe berries attached then a taste is ok. it was when they chose to come through the gate, past the sign that clearly stated that taking from the garden was stealing, and right up to where i was sewing my seeds that i began to object. i was stunned, so i looked at them directly and with disdain. the one man, not the father, whispered to the others that he didn't think they should be in here, that i was looking and it didn't seem right, to which the role model of a father replied "i don't give a shit who she is looking at, it is a community garden, it is fair game". really, fair to who? my blood boiled, my fists clenched and i began to feel dizzy. they took away the happy place and filled it with rage. i wanted to say something, i wanted to yell and hit, maybe even chase them out the gate with a pitchfork, but instead i did nothing, i just sat there and glared with judgement as they pillaged the fruit and then started in on the peas. i sat and i stared and i wished that this bullshit didn't happen. my glare was as good as saying something and it was clear that there would be no backing down, it was five against me.

i left shortly after, they were still there. i couldn't handle staying anymore. as i walked home i tried not to take it so personally, but this week has found me growing more and more attached to the plot. i understand more completely how much work goes into the upkeep, how much pride is placed on it's progress and on the products of the labour. it is impossible not to see it as disrespectful and ignorant. impossible not to take it personally.

two nights ago i met the woman who owned marita's plot last year, she told me quite matter of fact that she gave it up because she was sick of having everything in her garden stolen. she was tired of weeding and watering and nurturing row after row only to come and find the land barren. she was tired of having to cart home still green tomatoes that she would have to ripen on her windowsill if she ever hoped to eat them. then yesterday cohen and i bumped into a man who was complaining about his beans, all but those that are most unreachable had been taken. he had walked down to harvest some for him and his wife's dinner only to find the ripe ones depleted. he has had his plot six years, this year, he says, will be his last.

i don't know, is it worth it? if your enjoyment is in the process then i guess it is. still, i am not sure i need another reminder in my life about how selfish people can be, i am cynical enough already. as i am writing this though i am thinking about yesterday afternoon when cohen was "helping" me water the plot by grasping the end of the hose and run his hand wildly through the spray his hair and shirt soaked through to the bone, or the look on his face when he first figured out how to pick a raspberry off the low lying branches and quickly shove it in his mouth a long "mmmmmmm" seeping from his lips, and it doesn't seem so bad. what do you think, is it worth it?


t is for tomato ripe in my hand

this evening cohen and i were chatting with each other in the kitchen as i emptied the dishwasher when out of the corner of my eye i saw him perch on his toes and reach for something. i quickly turned, prepared to pull yet another do not put in mouth object out of his hand or his mouth or both, but to my surprise he was standing with a tomato in his hand. i have a few in a bowl right at his reach level on the windowsill ripening. i was curious what he would do with it so i let him be. i didn't have to wait long for the answer as in one fell swoop he charged towards his mouth with the fleshy red skin and chomped off an enormous bite, juice running down his chin onto his pajamas and covering the floor. well i'll be. so he doesn't like them when i cut them up and place them in front of him at dinner, but in his hand all at once making a mess they are great? so i sat and i watched as he devoured the whole thing, puddles littering the floor, seeds scattered from one end to the other. deciding he was finished he got up to leave only to learn a hard lesson about slippery when wet. not one to be knocked down he kept standing up only to slip back down. don't worry he wasn't getting hurt, instead he looked like he was doing some sort of comedy routine and as a result i couldn't stop laughing. eventually he was back into the bath, for the second time tonight,and i mopped the floor. i had been meaning to get to it anyway, i guess he was just giving me incentive.


tonight i finally got motivated enough to trek down to the community garden and dirty my hands. i have been thinking about it for weeks, but thinking isn't doing. turns out that in order to "do", i simply needed the promise of some good company and a cold beer. it was a lovely night for it, albeit a little warm for my liking (no i am not complaining, how dare i complain about heat after all that complaining about rain...i know). one huge garbage bag filled with weeds, a handful of raspberries and a couple of peas later we called it a night. the plot is halfway there, another night and it will be back in business. i don't know what it is but there is something immensely satisfying about pulling weeds and watching as the beauty of the plants buried beneath come to the surface.

oh, and before i forget, that which was lost has now been found, this time under the seat of my mom's car. hope had long since flown out the window, luckily it came back to find me in the end.


out to lunch








1:25 - looking back down


on a bicycle built for two

prior to cohen's birthday i had been giving some serious thought as to what we could get him for a gift. he didn't need any material goods as his toy and clothing count is through the roof from hand me downs alone, but what? for the longest time i couldn't come up with anything, and so we had all but resolved to skip his gift this year, it's not like he knows the difference anyway. that is until i thought of a bike carrier! of course i didn't have a bike so there were more parts to the equation, but i had an idea and so the search began. after a few weeks of looking and contemplating and feeling a little nervous about the responsibility, this week finally found me in possession of a new bike, a wee ride seat and a tiny little helmet for cohen's tiny little head, and so last night and tonight we went riding. tonight found us down on cornwall at one of my favourite quick eateries in town, planet veg. i am excited at all the doors this opens for us, with only 20 minutes between us and kits pool there may be a lot more evening swimming in our future, plus stanley park, the aquarium, you name it! may we never have to take a bus again, well except to killarney pool because that place is just too great to give up quite yet and too far to ride for wimpy me. needless to say, cohen was thrilled about the new adventure, especially about the bell i was clever enough to get at the co-op to keep him occupied! this summer just keeps getting better.

here are some more pictures. marko was playing with the camera to try and get some neat effects with motion.


with glowing hearts

this afternoon i found myself sympathizing with the sentiments put forth on lori's blog. most days it is hard not to think about what it would be like to have a house and a yard, a place to put a little pool shaped like a crab for cohen, or a patio set for us and our friends, a bbq and some grass. it isn't something that will ever happen for us, at least not to own, not here in vancouver. even renting the main floor of a house is starting to become out of our league. so in my head when i think about these things i think about a small town, and when i dream about a small town i dream about something many have told me doesn't exist. those who hail from small places are quick to remind those of us who idealize such a thing, that it isn't all it's cracked up to be. what about all the city things we would miss, they ask, things we take for granted now? mostly i pass their arguments off as rubbish, sure i would miss the big libraries, the aquaruim and ample parks, but wouldn't the quiet life be worth it? then i have a perfect weekend like this one and i remember what it means to live in a city, how great it can be. i contemplate all i would lose if i left, and suddenly city life doesn't seem so bad.

we had planned to partake in some free jazz at the park on sunday to celebrate canada day, but when we saw the weather forecast we thought it best to head to david lam park for the jazz on saturday instead, better safe than sorry. it was a glorious day, warm and sunny with just enough of a breeze to make it comfortable. we walked along the water to the park, stopping at cooper's park for some oceanfront swinging and then pushed on through to the bandstand. there were hundreds of people relaxing on the grass, children swaying to the beat, vendors selling donuts and hot dogs and other fair foods that filled the air with sweetness. we found our spot and sat listening to the drums and guitars, cohen laughing and dancing, waving hello to those who passed us on their travels. afterwards we took our time walking home, stopping in shops and on a sidewalk for some coffee before finally landing back at our place just in time for some dinner.

we expected rain on sunday and so had not planned for anything. much to our surprise when we all woke for the first time at 10 am (!) we saw that the sun was shining and the sky was an inviting shade of blue, so as we waited for our croissants to bake we contemplated what to do with our day. in the end we decided to fall back on our original weekend plan and headed out for some more canada day jazz in the park, this time at granville island. thinking ahead i brought cohen's bathing suit and a towel so that he could frolic in the water park for a bit. surprisingly, considering how hot it was outside, the water there was quite cold, cold enough to deter marko and i, but cohen is not easily scared when it comes to water and so we persevered. he thought it was so fantastic and frequently let out squeals of delight. afterwards we dried off and headed towards the smell of bbq. two perfectly cooked burgers, people watching and a cohen nap later, we headed towards the market for some fruit. as we got closer it became apparent that to enter the market together was to ask for trouble, it was just too busy, so as marko and cohen sat outside listening to a busker, i ventured in for a large stash of local strawberries, cherries and raspberries, and then got out as quick as i could! once again we walked home along the water and stopped for some more swinging, this time on the other side of the bay. we got home just in time to all crawl into bed and have a late afternoon nap together. what a great day!

today we thought we would stay close to home and relax, but after lounging away the morning the weather seemed just too nice to miss out on so we headed out to the coffee shop for a couple of cups to go and off to the park we went. we shoveled sand and slid down slides, swang on swings and rocked on wobbly dolphins, made some new friends, and then we headed back home. we were lazy and ordered pizza for dinner, and then in celebration of canada, we made a strawberry/raspberry shortcake with whipcream on top for dessert.

i go back to work tomorrow, but marko is staying home one more day to be with the pooper as grandma is in prince george visiting jonah. i wish i could stay home too, but knowing those two they will have plenty of fun without mom getting in the way, and sometimes that is important too.