Finally Back Home on the Coast

Our ten year layover in the Okanagan is finally behind us!!!!

I for one, could not be happier!  Except for missing our backyard that was great for wildlife watching, huge covered deck (not that it rained much there), and of course, my favourite cafes where I spent many, many hours coding, studying, and sipping mocha’s.

While the summer here was pretty dry, it sure has rained a lot since we got home!  After living in a dust bowl for so many years, I am happy to finally be back to complaining about being wet and cold <3

Truth be told, I have always enjoyed the rain.  Rain is very cleansing.  Rain makes the trees and plants grow.  Rain also makes me feet soggy sometimes which helps remind me of how grateful I am to have a place to go home to dry out, and warm up.

As I’m sure you can imagine, when you move away for 10 years, things are a little bit different upon your return.  Not that I’ve been back and into Vancouver much but it seems like a whole new city.  Most of my favourite foods stops disappeared years ago during the buildup to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics, and a lot of my old neighbourhoods I can’t even recognize anymore thanks to gentrification.

I guess the plus is that we are now out in Langley where it’s a bit quieter, and I have a whole new city to explore, rather then re-acquainting myself with Vancouver.  Part of me is disappointed that we can’t afford to be living in East Vancouver again, but at the same time, so happy we ended up in Walnut Grove out in Langley.  I am in love with Fort Langley which is about a 5-10 minute drive away <3

The transit system has also grown massively since we moved away.  There’s now three different skytrain lines and I am sure many more bus routes.  Having grown up in a community where there was no transit service (there is now), I really appreciated that I could get just about anywhere in the GVRD by transit (including from the ferry – I grew up on Vancouver Island) and at most, I would have to walk 5 to 10 blocks to get to my destination. 

When you live in a city as uptight as Kelownafornia, it’s “no shit” that the rich and famous would never ditch driving themselves in their vehicles to be with the common folk on transit.  So of course, the transit system sucked because besides the 97 main route thru Kelowna, it was not heavily utilized, and surely the best way to increase ridership, is to reduce services, right??

The transit system was so shitty when we first moved there.  It would have taken 2.5 hours to commute to UBCO from Westside Road – which now has the Westside “Exchange” 1km up the road cutting the commute down to just a half hour.  I ended up driving my spouse and son to school/daycare rather than a mother with baby getting up and leaving by 5am to catch the bus all the way into Westbank (a half hour the opposite direction), to catch the bus to downtown Kelowna, to then catch the bus to UBCO.  Not the first thing that had us commenting on how crappily laid out the city was.  Needless to say our excitement about a bus stop out the front of our mobile park was cut short when we realized it only ran 3 times in the morning and 3 times at night.

And now… we are back… on the wet coast, where people are a lot friendlier, the produce is more expensive, and we can avoid parallel and paying for parking by taking transit around the city with our Compass cards.

Now I need to figure out what to do with my career.  The joys of having a blank canvas in front of you.

Getting back to blogging and photography are certainly a couple of good options!

We Started Container Gardening!

Over the past few years, I have been reading more about homesteading and container gardening.

We have lived in our place for the past 8 years, never laying down veggie roots because we knew our stay in Kelowna wasn’t permanent.  Eight years later, I gathered up a bunch of empty containers laying around the house and started container gardening in our backyard.

Veggie Garden with celery, broccoli, beans, beets and a marigold.

I had seen the posts online about people getting a good harvest growing potatoes out of a few interesting items including tires.  The problem with that was unearthing the tires would have meant losing dirt into the gravel below where we started our garden.  Instead we planted the tomatoes with peppers in the tires against the fence.

Veggie Garden with tomatoes, peppers, beans and marigolds.

And the potatoes went into a different bin, half full with dirt, which has since been filled with dirt as the potato plants have grown larger.  I have been utterly amazed at the growth coming from the potato container!

Veggie garden with potatoes, beets and marigolds.

You can see the depth of dirt in the tub that we’ve planted the beets, carrots and a couple marigolds (for pest control).  The celery is from the roots off celery from the store.  One was soaked in water, the other went right from the cutting board, deep-sixed into the empty kitty litter container.

I have started to see some flower buds coming on the tomatoes and beans!  I honestly had no expectations of anything working so I am amazed that the only thing that hasn’t come up, was the spinach and wish there was a lot more than the 10-12 carrots that have come up.  They so far seem to have been the most susceptible to the weather.  The nice thing about the container that has the beets and carrots, is that I can put the lid on them but unfortunately, a bad rainstorm in May beat the crap out of the carrots.

Any one else been doing container gardening?  What has or hasn’t worked for you?  I have also seen some of the other people in our neighbourhood doing the same.

Grow food, not lawns!

Enough is Enough – or when will it ever be?

Going through the cycles I have throughout my lifetime of trying to improve myself, I sit and wonder at times at what point enough will finally be enough.

I know the effect consuming dairy, sugar and wheat has on my body.  I know how much better I feel when I cut out “the big three” and watch the scale as pounds seem to melt off of my body with no effort other than these dietary restrictions.

While I shake my head as I watch my wife dealing with her obsession of eggnog every Winter when she drinks liters of it and pays for it dearly, I myself keep eating wheat and dairy, sometimes both together in large amounts, knowing my body is going to scream at me later and almost every time, it does.

Now, before you just scroll down to comments and start blasting your “science” about “correlation” and “causation” and all that crap about the “gluten wheat dairy myth”, unless you are offering to rub my belly and a soft roll of TP, I don’t need science claiming that there is no evidence to support the fact that, after I consume wheat/and or dairy, that I am nine times out of ten, doubled over in excruciating pain because there scientifically is no “correlation of my causation” to my now dying a slow painful death from the inside out.

So one has to wonder, if you know this is the case Jake, why oh why do you keep putting this crap into your body?  When will you ever learn??