Sunday, August 31, 2008


Being in Berkeley means that we will have buns of steel by the end of our time here. It is so hilly that even though we are basically at sea level, both Martin and I likened our experience here to being in Banff or Aspen where we blamed our exhaustion on the altitude. We figure now that we really just were not used to climbing hills.
Because we don't have a fenced yard it means that Bohdi goes for walks a couple of times a day. This is a wonderful place to take little strolls. There is a wee ravine about a block from our place with a little creek running in it. The streets tend to follow the geography which is really refreshing. I realize how little of our natural geography we enjoy in Vancouver - with all the streams paved over and all...
Another benefit of walking Bodhi is seeing all the amazing flora around here. Who knew that jade trees could possibly be weed-like! There are gardens around here with MASSIVE succulents and unusual black flowers and cacti with fruit on them. I will photograph them soon.
Walking also allows you to take part in the Berkeley tradition of free-cycling. Even on my second day here I partook of it! I figure that I freecycled so much of my own house in Vancouver that I really aught to get as much as i can on this "network"! So far I have acquired

note cards
salt and pepper in grinders
a playground style ball for the kids
an original copy/box of the game of Clue with only the miniature knife missing!
2 wire baskets now holding my linnens and shoes
a present for Panos!! (an unopened package of dog biscuit cutters and recipes!)
a purple vase
literature (!)

Climbed a rather substantial tree in our courtyard today and climbed down again! Organised his friends here to play diggers with him and they started making a worksite...

Ami is still waiting for his package from Uncle Panos. He predicts that our big boxes will arrive the day after his package does... we shall see.

Chattering away all the time --loves the baby (and all its accoutrements) that are on loan from Frances.
I think she is getting molars. I have thought this before but she is wakeful in the night (it is really cute though because she just talks and talks and talks to me... i wish i could let you know what about specifically...)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

First Blog Post ever

I wanted to start my recounting of our time in Berkeley from the beginning but the days are going by so fast and the experiences we are having are so numerous that I think I will just start with today and hope that one day I will have time to write about the first week in its entirety.

Today, August 30 2008
Starts out a bit cooler than it has been this past week. A bit of fog on the mountain to the east of us and overcast. Afternoon saw bright sunshine and warmth again.

Garage sales today – mostly not fruitful but we got a kitchen table and 4 chairs from Ikea for 20$ and … we didn’t have to go to Ikea! Our GPS takes us all over Berkeley to the sales listed on craiglist and the Berkeley Parents Network (an amazing online resource for parenting and just general living!) in the area.

Lunch of omelet and green beans from the freezer– kitchen not yet full of food for meals since we have been eating in the refectory all this week.

Grocery shopping trip with Heather my neighbour here at the CDSP family housing. She has 2 kids as well (ages 8, Simon and 10, Frances) and is in Martin’s class. I see her a lot because Ami and Mimi love her kids and A and M love to go over to Heather’s house to play with all their stuff and climb on the loft-bed etc etc.
Heather (our neighbour) gifts us real cutlery from her trip to Ikea last night
No more plastic cutlery!!! Now if I could just have some real knifes to cook with! Heather and I go to one of her favourite stores Trader Joe’s. It has lots of really nice looking food, cheeses, dairy items, snacks and hard liquor at the grocery store! Bottles of wine for $1.99 or less if you buy a case! Reminds me of Famous Foods somehow- if only Famous Foods would carry alcohol!
Then the GPS takes us on a beautifully scenic route along the bay to...
Monterey Market-akin to Donald’s Market only much much more! Cross between a farmers’ market and a bulk store and a neighbourhood market – wow. We didn’t even see the bulk section until we were at the till. Next time… We asked when the best/least busy time to shop was and they recommended Wednesday –which is great for us! Heather and I are planning on carpooling for shopping trips in the future too. I bought Heritage variety tomatoes- enormous and miniature, plums from the 7 or so possible locally grown organic varieties, California strawberries which taste so much better than any California strawberries I’ve ever had in BC, beets in 2 colours, and our favourite breakfast cereal- Mesa Sunrise!

Martin and Miriam pick lemons from the tree in the neighbour’s yard – SO fragrant and JUICY!! I put half a lemon in the salad for dinner! Yum
Dinner of purple and yellow beets, humus, greek salad, naan bread and corn tortillas with strawberries for dessert. YUM! We drink Riesling from Australia acquired on my Safeway shopping expedition the other night.

Evening Bears game at Cal – screaming crowds, airplanes flying overhead, fireworks, traffic mayhem. Stadium is about 1km from our home.

The kids activities, quotes and cutes

“Ah-Ami” (repeated all day long) I think it is from me saying Our Ami. She devotedly follows him around wanting to spend lots of time with him.
Licking her whole finger when reading a book in order to turn a page. She loves books “buhs”
“Noss” (nosh) while dragging me to the nearest chair…
Enjoying the kids’ culture of our family housing– getting more and more into varied creative play (not just diggers and ferryboats!)
Is sure that his package sent from Panos of a new red digger with a red low-bed will arrive any moment. He is looking out for delivery trucks on the street at all times. We get notifications every time a truck goes by…
Last night at the pizza parlour when drinking water “ I am drinking poison, but it isn’t poisonous”. Today after being out all afternoon-

Martin-“We have to wash our hands because the outside world is full of germs”
Ami- “and the night is full of dreams”