Saturday, April 30, 2011

Joyeuses Pâques

Since before I was born, my dad's side of the family has been celebrating Good Friday with a big picnic. Growing up I never missed one - the first one I missed was the year I moved out here. And of course the subsequent ones, but I've kept the tradition going Vancouver style.

And I'm clearly quite pleased about it.

Hi there

Bocce break

Minnie & Me

We headed to a park just a few blocks away, gorged on chicken legs, hummus and chocolate and played a bunch of bocce ball (ooh, nice alliteration). Minnie Pearl ran herself ragged with other dogs in the park and could barely walk the next day. All in all, a wonderful day.

Red cabbage, turmeric and beets.

Another tradition we had at home was our Easter egg tree, decorated with eggs that were blown out and dyed. I made a few when I first got out here, but they have since disappeared, probably broken in a move. So I made some new ones this year and decided to go the natural route.

The ones above were dyed using pickled beet juice, turmeric and red cabbage. I also did some with blueberries, which were a slightly darker, more indigo blue.

Blown out eggs means fritatta for lunch

Egg tree

Red cabbage egg

Blowing out 8 eggs could mean a lot of waste - but not if you use it to make a fritatta! I added some tissue paper blossoms to spiff up my branches, and I just could NOT get over the colour that the red cabbage eggs came out. So beautiful! And not at all purple! Nature is great.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Film Friday - School day

School day by girl and tonic
School day, a photo by girl and tonic on Flickr.

I've worked every day this week, and 3 of those days were at the same school, which I'll be back at for one more day on Monday.
I've spent my time there bouncing from class to class and have managed to meet almost every student in the process.

Part of the reason I love teaching is that I really do love the school environment - especially elementary schools. They smell good, are usually big old buildings and people are happy.

And so a picture from my own elementary days. I'm guessing this is near the beginning of the year (check out my sweet tanned legs).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Amazing eggs

Amazing eggs by girl and tonic
Amazing eggs, a photo by girl and tonic on Flickr.

With Easter fast approaching I'm picking up supplies to do some egg dyeing.
I'll post my results, but in the meantime you can marvel over these beauties by Inna Forostyuk.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Film Friday - summer

Summer time, Holga by girl and tonic
Summer time, Holga, a photo by girl and tonic on Flickr.

The summer of 2010 is one I am sure to never repeat in spirit. I didn't work at all, I went to the beach as much as I could, swam as often as possible and became good friends with amazing people. In short - I was damn lucky.

This was taken after a night of karaoke while Mary was visiting. Thomas unfortunately moved away but Devon is someone I'm lucky to call a friend, and someone I'm going to miss like crazy when I leave.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Film Friday - early family

Family by girl and tonic
Family, a photo by girl and tonic on Flickr.

My parents with me and Phoebe, our Newfoundland in their first apartment in Hamilton.

I guess having their first child wasn't enough of a challenge, so they decided to also get a puppy at the same time. After my 3 months of puppy experience, I can only conclude that they were insane.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

My little bit of earth

For the last few years, as soon as the weather starts to get warmer and the days get longer I get so excited to start planting.
Growing up, our garden at home was always quite well tended by my mum and dad. Not one of those really neat and tidy gardens, more English country garden in style, and always with a small vegetable patch for beans, tomatoes and basil.
Most summers we took a family trip to the nursery, and my sisters and I were allowed to pick out a few flowers each to plant in our own window boxes that hung from the playhouse in the backyard.

I guess once I had my first, real place of my own out here, in order to make it a home I figured it needed some plants to take care of.
I'm not known to have the greenest of thumbs...the handful of houseplants I've had through the years generally don't fair too well. Even my attempts at container gardening out here the last two summers haven't rewarded me with much - heat waves, trips back home and a general naivete can be thanked for that.

But this year is different! With more space and (most importantly) sun than I've had yet I wanted to really make a go of it. And so I present to you, my little bit of earth*:

The view from my kitchen window.

This is actually a "no dig" garden, instructions for which you can find here. The main reason I went with this type of garden is probably the reason most people do - sheer laziness. Also, I realized when sticking in the fence that there are what seem to be flagstones under a lot of the grass and so digging all that up would have sucked.

My (somewhat ambitious) vegetable plan is to grow cherry tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, arugula, bush beans. I'll also have a pretty good selection of herbs: basil, chives, dill, sage, lovage and sorrel. And inspired by Generation A by Douglas Coupland and the Stuff You Should Know podcast about honeybees disappearing I'm including a patch of bee friendly flowers: corn poppies (also edible!), echinacea, mountain phlox and sunflowers.

Garden 2011
Orginization! And dollar store gloves.

R-L: Cucumbers, tomatoes, basil, sage and lovage.

I've already started a bunch of things inside, and have planted a few outside. While I don't have to worry about frost like I would were I in Ontario, I do have to think about the rain and not drowning my poor little plants.

I'm feeling pretty good about it all this year. I've done a lot of reading and have been studying those seed packets like nobody's business. Here's hoping for a bountiful season!

*If you can tell me the origin of that phrase, I'll bake you cookies! Seriously.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Photo(s) of the day(s) - end of.

Lunch at Granville Island - a potato, spinach, dill, red onion and caper foccacia fresh from the oven at Terra Breads. Not pictured: the Earl Grey and black currant macaron I inhaled minutes before.

Nacho party! While talking to my friend Matty a couple weeks back he mentioned a long-standing tradition of watching Disney movies and eating "cachos" (cold nachos; torilla chips with salsa and grated cheese). Obviously this sounded amazing so on Friday night I had some pals over, we made 3 different types of nachos, drank sangria and watched Sleeping Beauty and The Little Mermaid. It was glorious.

Pillow fight flashmob at the VAG (heh). I ended up checking it out solo and was a little too shy to join in.

I've been trying my best to not become someone who talks obsessively about my dog. I'm having some luck, but it's hard when she's this ridiculous! Sunday was grey and rainy. I made roast chicken and a pineapple upside down cake, read Wuthering Heights and snuggled with this gal.

March Break is over, but I've yet to get back to work (sigh). The weather has been revolting - cold and rain rain rain. I thought of carrying on with my photos, but really all I've been doing is reading (btw, Wuthering Heights is awesome - go figure! :P) and pottering around. I was thinking perhaps I'll try to do another photo project in May. We'll see!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Film Friday - family

Me and mum by girl and tonic
Me and mum, a photo by girl and tonic on Flickr.

Still haven't been to a scanner, so it's the poor man's scanner today. And you know what, it doesn't look so bad.

Judging by my hair colour and length, I'm about 12 here.

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