Our morning of jamming and bread making. This is what happens when the Smokers find a sale of Strawberries for $1/lb.
Last Sunday we hosted a pasta and pie night with a few friends from Regent. It was a good deal. Basically, we invited them over to make the food for us! I did not get any pictures of the actual eating. We were busy.
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First jam of the year! Mmm, strawberries. (I’m also way behind in my pictures. This is from a month ago.)
This Easter weekend, Anna, Siobhan’s sister, came to visit from Calgary. We made pizza and walked to the beach, as you can see above. The sisters also went window shopping on Granville Island and in Gastown, while in the evenings we played games and watched a movie or show. Sio and I also celebrated Easter Sunday at the Sidell’s, along with a bunch of other Regent folk, for brunch and an Easter Egg hunt, while Anna visited friends and their new baby. You’ll have to imagine those parts of the weekend.
Hope everyone else’s Easter weekend was as enjoyable as ours.
Christians, of course, cannot escape the reality of evil in the world, even if they wanted to. As people who are also subject to the suffering and sin that characterize a fallen order, we cannot alway slook away or live in denial of evil. We are called to discipleship in the middle of this suffering world, not somewhere on the edges where we might feel safe. And since art inevitably reflects this fallen ordre, even—or we should say, especially—good art will include elements that are ugly, painful, or erotic. These are part of the truth about reality that is the raw material of artistic production. Indeed, I believe we can go farther. It is sometimes in an encounter with the darkest art that we are challenged to rethink some of our glib conclusions. It may be when we see the human situation at its most hopeless that we can see more clearly how hope is constructed (or lost).
Garden update: Our tomatoes are happily sprouted and transplanted to a garden box. We’re keeping the box inside until the weather gets a little warmer, but once spring gives the go ahead we’re all ready to mount the box on the fire escape railing. As you can see, our pepper plant is vigorously producing fruit as well.
Meanwhile, the parsley is just beginning to poke its sleepy head out, although there’s still no sign of the chives, cilantro and oregano. Probably for the best. We wouldn’t have the room if they all started at once!
I’m on second reading break right now, and we took advantage of this coinciding with some days off Siobhan got due to a slow week at work by going to see my parents on Vancouver Island. There wasn’t much to photograph as it was a very relaxing trip (i.e., lots of photos of us reading, eating, chatting and playing Ticket to Ride), but we did venture out once, braving the tumultuous spring weather on a nice walk down the Cable Bay Trail to Dodd Narrows.
Today was very exciting. We got started on our garden. I went to a local gardening store near UBC and picked up some little seed starters and a second box to mount to our fire escape rail outside. Once home, I immediately went about planting our tomato, oregano, parsley, chives and cilantro. Will we have enough room for all of these in two garden boxes outdoors? Probably not. But I’m just excited for something to grow. I kept checking on the starters within a half hour after planting, just in case we got some weird mutant strain of tomato that started sprouting within 30 minutes. No such luck. Oh well, now we have something to look forward to. I other news, our pepper plant is finally growing peppers again, and Siobhan has been busy making a double batch of granola. Yum!
This past weekend we were invited to Loren and Mary-Ruth Wilkinson’s place on Hunterston Farm on Galiano Island, along with the rest of my CTC tutorial group. We were all amazed at how the Wilkinsons live, providing ample food and relaxed hospitality. It seemed that just about anything that came from a can/jar (tomatoes, jams, yogurt, green beans) or the freezer (shrimp) was grown or caught from right where they lived. We drooled over their kitchen and pantries. Also, just about every wall, in most rooms, was a bookshelf packed with well used books. These photos capture more of the outdoor beauty of Galiano, but I mean it when I say that what we experienced indoors inspired us even more.
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My sister keeps a pretty fantastic blog, and her last post was about lists for spring. Being her younger brother I was influenced, naturally, and began pestering Siobhan about what lists we could make for the spring. I like lists. I rarely accomplish everything on them, but they are fun to make. Brainstorming is inspiring.
Here’s what I’ve thought of so far:
1. Build a garden box for our fire escape. We already have one, but there’s room for a second.
2. Plant seeds in said garden boxes.
3. Get my bike fixed up. An important step for becoming a full-fledged Vancouverite, but I’d also enjoy something that got me outside and exercising.
4. Find some good berry picking spots. I know salmon/thimble/huckleberry season is a ways away, and blackberry season even further…spring and summer can’t get here soon enough.
5. Plan canning projects. This is more Siobhan’s item, but she has my enthusiastic support.
I think that’s fairly doable for now. Most of it centres around food, something not at all surprising to my family, I’m sure. Starting a garden has long been something both of us have wanted for a while now, and we finally have a (tiny) bit of space. So wish us luck in our growing and foraging, pray we don’t kill anything, and that we’ll soon have fruits to share with family and friends!
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