We had our first patio dinner party last weekend. Our guests were the Lyons family. We were able to enjoy our first crop of greens for a salad. Also on the menu: chicken wings, potato salad, garlic toast and ice cream! Here is Miss J enjoying her second helping of dessert:

Just before the sugar rush sets in and we bolt off to the playground:

We made our annual trip to Southlands (where the rich horsey Vancouverites reside which happens to be the closest place to buy hay) and got ourselves some hay and steer manure.

You may be wondering if we acquired some farm animals… maybe a goat or some chickens?! That would be exciting and we would love to house a neighbourhood cow. But, nope. The hay is to line our vegetable patch pathways. Step one: put down newspaper to suppress the weeds.

Then the hay… Stella tested it out and approves.

Planting is complete! This year the garden is bigger than ever and we enjoyed the company of a few planting helpers. First up, our lovely neighbours upstairs (aka our landlords) planting the red onions.

The Aussies are partaking in this year’s produce extravaganza so they stopped by to seed some spinach, multi-coloured beets and greens.

Some helpers preferred chasing cats and eating raisins over gardening.

The cats win the prize for most time spent the garden while planting operations ensued. They contributed by chattering at the crows, chasing away Mr.Magoo and “fertilizing” the potato patch. Here they are doing what they do best:

You may have noticed a lack of garden related posts of late. That’s because the weather has mostly been of the “Spring Showers” variety. The May long weekend is quickly approaching. That’s when we¬†traditionally plant the farm. So far the forecast looks quite promising so stay tuned…

In the meantime I bring you J contructing reeds for her English horn. For those who don’t know, an English horn is basically an oboe on steroids. It is not to be confused with the French horn, a member of the brass family. I was ignorant of this fact before I married an oboe player.

Building your own double reeds involves cane (ordered from a far away land), several days, a whole suite of tools, lots of testing (which sounds like a dying goose) and quite a bit of cursing and sighing. Learning how to make really good reeds apparently takes years of practice.

Some expired old reeds from J’s collection:

Our good friends in Saskatoon are expecting their baby in a couple weeks so another friend, T is putting together a care package from all their Vancouver friends. This is my contribution:

The Cascading Colours Baby Blanket for Baby Savage Brownlee

It only took a week to knit because of these huge needles and super bulky weight yarn!

Second week of meal planning for J!

– Monday: Pan seared tilapia, rice with onions and roasted green beans & mushrooms

– Tuesday: Leftover fish and rice with salad

– Wednesday: Haw.kers Delight Malaysian (aka the cheapest place to eat dinner in Vancouver – $7.19 for two people!)

РThursday: Brown basmati rice with marinated tofu and veggies

– Friday: Dinner with Grannie and Dad at an unmentionable burger joint in North Van.

Since I realized menu posts without photos are boring, here’s Sunday’s breakfast:

Roasted rosemary potatoes, toasted croissant from Le Mar.che St. George (cafe 1 block from our house), egg, avocado, tomato, onion and parmesan cheese.

The Aussies* are back and they brought us chocolate** bilbies*** for Easter****!!!

* The Aussies = our lovely friends who live a few blocks away. Technically they are Canadian-Australians or Australian Canadians.

** Australian chocolate is better than North American, I don’t know why but you really can taste a difference.

*** Bilbies are a small, nocturnal, omnivourous Australian animal.

**** Apparently at Australian Easter you get chocolate bilbies not chocolate bunnies since rabbits aren’t native and have wreaked havoc on the ecosystems of the outback. Bad bunnies! (well bad humans for bringing them there in the first place)