Tuesday, June 30, 2009


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it is such a gorgeous day. perfect for cruisin' the hood on a three speed. would i remember how? i haven't been on a bike since 1996 when i lived in japan. i had a bike very much like the top picture and it was bright yellow with a black basket on the front. maybe things have changed and people in japan now ride fancier bikes and actually use helmets but when i was there everyone rode a babachalinka (granny bike). people rarely locked their bikes with more than a flimsy skeleton key bar lock. the sidewalks were very wide on major thoroughfares with one side being designated for cyclists. and unlike the folks around these parts (vancouver), cyclists actually used their bells when coming up behind someone. we live on a bike route and it makes me crazy to see people without helmets, not using their bells, with their ipods blaring, and sometimes even talking on their cell phones. kids these days! i should talk - my sister would sit on my rat trap and we'd cruise along the edge of the rice paddies while drinking cans of plum wine sodas we'd gotten at the vending machine.
while i love love love anything alexander girard i don't know if an almost 40-year old needs such a girly bike. it's just asking to get stolen. i would also need to have a baby seat put on the front for my babyman. the asama euro 3 ladies bike is now added to my birthday list - i like that it's canadian made and available locally at cambie cycles. just in case the husband is reading...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

lost in my library

wow - that was a satisfying book. i've loved orangette for some time and can't wait til Molly is back to blogging. her book was on my wish list but i couldn't wait until my birthday. and apparently i couldn't wait to start baking. the book was finished at 6 pm and there was a french yogurt lemon cake on my counter by 8 pm. i made italian grotto eggs to eat while i waited for the cake to bake. all of it was delicious. what a loving rememberance of her father and such a romantic love story. check it out. i feel some serious cooking coming on - lots of salads from our garden.

after a totally chaotic final week at school we headed up to whistler for some family time. lots of food, napping, and playing. it was very gratifying to watch cable tv and discover that we are not missing a thing. the same cooking show episodes from two years ago were playing over and over. (cancelling our cable tv was one of the best decisions we've made for our family). but most of the time i read. and read. and read. too engrossed in stories to blog but someone else's stories are always so much more compelling.

i whipped through seven of the little house series, then the sharper your knife, the less you cry, and a homemade life in the last week. i was one of those kids who wore out the flashlight batteries by reading under the covers every night. one of the nicest parts of being a grown up is that i can read all night if i want. nothing can distract me from a good book and it's a bit of a family joke. my parents are both voracious readers. dad favours the tom clancy/ian fleming/spies/fast cars genre but my mom reads almost everything with exception of murder mysteries and science fiction. there are vague memories of arguments about the amount of time the other spent reading and therefore avoiding housework or lawnmowing.

our current house is packed with books and although they are somewhat organized it is getting a bit overwhelming. once in a while i purge a few books and invariably they end up back on the shelves before i can deliver them to the charity book drop. truth be told, a dangerously high stack serves as my bedtime reading library - a bit dangerous in the event of an earthquake. but imagine the obituary: death by reading. buried in books.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

the sun is here

the last two weeks of school are busy for all parents but when one of you is a teacher it gives new meaning to the word hectic. i feel like a single parent and i know the kids miss having their dad tuck them in. it all makes the summers off so much more appreciated. and i can't complain about the weather. a big change from the dreary june vancouver experienced last year.here's some sunny inspiration.

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Thursday, June 4, 2009


the garden is really coming along. every morning the kids and i do a check to see how big the plants have grown while we were sleeping. the only thing that hasn't germinated is some rosemary. i can't wait until we can eat some radishes or make a salad. the herb pots are looking great and the flowers are well on their way to providing us with some camoflage for the hideous fence. grow garden, grow!
there are already bigger plans for next year (hopefully at our very own house). i was very inspired by lynne at sugar city journal. see this link for the how-to and further inspiration. my neighbors have followed a similar plan and it is looking fantastic. sunset magazine is also a great source for small scale garden plans. vancouver city hall may even put in a vegetable garden with the produce going to the food bank. our new mayor is a pretty cool guy - handsome too!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


this time last year i was getting ready for my first trip to LA. cousin kimi got the brilliant idea for us to attend dwell on design. we attended the conference/lectures for two days and then there were two days of house tours. santa monica was amazing and while it was a busy trip, it was the most relaxed trip i have ever taken. we were so inspired by the gorgeous modern homes and the lectures on pre-fab, green houses. we both desperately want a modern place of our own so we are searching for the perfect reno project to divide into two homes.
and we've been buying lottery tickets... vancouver is still pricey despite the global economic downturn.

this shot is of a great front entrance we happened across. it reminds me of the urban homes in i saw in japan. many of the houses have fences right to the edge of the sidewalk and have interior courtyards. the climate allows people to make good use of their yards as an extension of their living space.

kimi arranged to have us stay at her friend's place in santa monica and at another friend's gorgeous bachelor home in the hollywood hills. we did spend a night at a hotel and wandered down the santa monica pier for mexican food and margaritas. it was the least we could do for ourselves after a hard day of walking through beautiful homes...

if things go according to plan, this time next year my family will be in one half of a duplex and kimi's family will be in the other... i'll be ass deep in home renovation projects but it is just so much more satisfying when it is your own home and not some landlord's investment property.