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Setting up kitchen…

Yesterday was Janelle and Stefan’s first day of preschool, with Daddy! Daria and I scheduled some “special time” together so we went to Fisherman’s wharf (1.5km away) and took a deep inhale of ocean fresh air, by special request of Joanna. Then we bought some local brie cheese (amazing!) and Babybel for the kids and headed back home. The “unpackers” arrived at 11am, so then it was time for Daria to play on her own… she ended up pitching in by cleaning sliding glass door windows and organizing spices, among other things! WOW!

Originally we declined the “unpackers”, but Art our delivery truck driver convinced us… basically it was like having a friend in my kitchen helping open boxes and unwrap items for close to 3 hours. since I don’t have friends here (yet!), it was a great convenience! Here is the photo after the “unpacker” left beside the photo of what we had for lunch (warm food tasted AMAZING!) and then the “finished” photo (at least when I called it quits).

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As you can probably see it was not a hard kitchen to organize, and I am left feeling truly blessed that “functional kitchen” at the top of my dreamline for this house, has come to fruition! After the kitchen tackle, it was time to head to the ocean. Kurt took us (in a round about way) to his “secret” beach that he found off Cherry Point Road (maybe 7min drive from here). Here is Daria’s face seeing the ocean for the first time, and then the vista she was looking at, Stefan’s first steps on the ocean floor, and our first little crab friend:

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We also tackled planting the raspberry canes yesterday, or rather Kurt did, by pulling up a piece of our lawn… we are ready to make our lawn into food!! Kurt is so happy with the ocean, he could just burst (take a look!!). Daria was overflowing with joy saying things like “we should just bring supper here one night… let’s watch the tide come in… they have RIVERS here! let’s see if we can cross! C’mon, let’s go to the little green island…”

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My favorite moment yesterday was witnessing Daria’s exploration of seashells. She found 2 tiny ones linked together and said “Mom this seashell is going to be special for my whole life” (she has since put it in a see through box on her shelf, delicately wrapped in tissue paper). She then had a larger one, much the same and held them out saying “Mom these two seashells are like you and me”. Melt my heart my daughter, I sure enjoyed our “special time” today!

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Settling in…

This is the movers backing up our street on Saturday at 3pm… amazing feat, what a skill! Behind the truck is ALR, and to the left and right is a nice flat street which at either end has a bike path. The right path is quite short and connects with a new development (like Middleton) and to the left the path is at least a 10 min walk through nice forest and comes out on Cowichan Bay Road. There is a rancher down there built in 2006 for sale that we have in our “dreamline” for our parents to move in… then they’d be 1/2 km walk away. Imagine!

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We have left the interior of our house much like it was when the movers left. Haven’t unpacked much, decided to continue living out of suitcases and nibbling on the bits we have in our fridge. I did make it to the grocery store so we got to eat baby potatoes and bok choy yesterday… from “The Country Grocer” – nice looking store but the food much like regular chain stores. I am looking forward to the Farmers Market which starts this coming Sunday only 1.5 km from our house, up by the intersection to Highway 1. YAH! There is greenway that runs along the right side of our backyard (in behind Daria in this photo):

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Before I left I was given a bag of stinging nettle from Leanne. Fresh greens! Only I’d never eaten them before and was a little unsure. Well it turns out the first neighbor I talked to, Darlene, spontaneously mentioned she’d be heading out collecting some herself. So from her I got the tip, just blanch and eat! Much like spinach. Turned out it was the case!! Trust is. Here is our first dinner at our table: scrambled eggs with nettles and chives from our garden, cheese from the cheese shop by the wharf (Hilary’s) all on top of a croissant left from our road trip.

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As I mentioned we’ve been doing lots of time in our yard vs. any unpacking just yet. Although my husband did stay up until past 11:00 last night (late when you get up at 5am too!) and start on kitchen unpacking. He’s the first to tire of eating bits and bobs; my tummy still being a bit “off”, I haven’t been in my usual kitchen frenzy. Here is our family getting busy in the garden:

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The neighbors behind us (under the archway) are from South Africa, been there a year… they are renting, but we figure the previous 2 owners must have been tight as there is a nice gate in the fence under the archway, leading right to their garden. He is an amateur gardener like us, just planted his first food last year. He said lettuce did well, but not his carrots… will be fun to see them tinker in their garden this year (they have a small girl, maybe 2-some, Carla). Now to give you an idea what the inside of our house looks like, here are some shots:

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I like the last one in particular, our reading corner under the skylight. Lovely couch gifted from our friend Christina!! Thank you!! It is our front door, but there is no path from the front door to the driveway or street, so we blocked it off for now. That is where Daria has been doing her reading while I’ve been blogging here… Kurt and Janelle and Stefan are already out transplanting the raspberry canes we brought down with us!! They need some soil!! Wish them luck.

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Eating and running…

Our family has relocated to Cowichan Bay, Vancouver Island… we have been here 36 hours now! The last night in our home on 31st Street, Vernon, I was plagued with the worse belly ache in years – awake all night. So I was too sick to be sentimental about the parting… this is me trying to look after the kids in the alley the next morning while Kurt got our necessities out of the house before the movers arrived:

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As it turned out we made the trip in 1 day, and thus hope the perennials, raspberry canes, and small tree we brought with us will transplant just fine! I did think about food a lot during the transition… in fact, my parents took our small freezer of goodies in their truck to their place in Delta, where we picked it up (towing their gifted utility trailer! WOW!), just so we could bring along some perishables! The phenomenal movers we got through Kurt’s work don’t transport perishables… and I didn’t see them eat ANYTHING for the three 6+ hour days of physical labor they gave us… how did they do that???

Anyways here’s “Bedtime Snack” on our last evening in our old house… I used to present any variety of things but that made for 6 “meals” a day (3 meals, 3 snacks) so instead while “flying solo” (Kurt working in Nanaimo since March 2nd) I simplified to just fruit. Highly recommended!

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Stefan was already fast asleep. See our espresso maker (red box) – we like our coffee! Last to be packed!

On road trips we pack any variety of granola bars, muffins, cookies, chips, nuts, and other items that travel well. My middle girl is a veggie and fruit lover, so to keep her blood sugar running well i packed a whole cucumber, bananas, oranges, a watermelon… well once on the ferry those were gone, so she dove into home-stewed plums (thanks for the recipe Kristy!) that I had actually had packed for Stefan – here she is finishing off the jar on the sundeck:

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My sore belly made my travel days pretty simple (white bread, bananas, plain noodles on arrival at our new house), but I did have some frozen REBAR pea soup which I served up with noodles for dinner on our new floor. Here we are eating toast for “bedtime snack”…yes I made an exception from fruit on moving day as I thought Janelle’s tummy would explode from all the roughage she ate en route.

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The next day (yesterday) after the movers left our place at 3pm (solid unpacking for 3 guys since 10am… a surprising amount of “STUFF” went by!), we elected to be true West coasters and get outside since it was clear and warm (yah!). Kurt mowed the back lawn and the girls and I and Stefan got our hands dirty in the garden… photos of that tomorrow!! So far we are loving the easy access from our new rancher to our fenced back yard and garden beds in the side yard. We ate fresh chives from the garden already!! I was munching various things as I gardened to see if there was some mint, sunchokes, or anything else edible planted… no luck! But we think we might have an apple tree!