Paul & Julie
We recently joined a community garden that is about 2 miles from our apartment.  First of all, may I say that I know absolutely nothing about gardening except that I have killed several herb plants on our patio. However, this spring I have had this strong desire to learn.  I   went to a party they were throwing at the Cedar Cottage Community Garden because I was looking for a gardening mentor, you know, someone I could follow around the garden, teach me how to plant, when to water, etc.  When I got to the garden I found that they had just built at least 10 new raised beds and they were available for those who wanted to join the community, come to work parties (where everyone comes out to weed stuff, plant stuff, shovel compost, etc. - I'm so technical).  So, I ended up getting a gardening plot!  The great thing about being in a community garden is the "community" - I have met people in the garden who grew up on farms & have been gardening for years & some others who are just starting like me.  Everyone has been very helpful & willing to answer questions.  I figure that gardening is a great experiment, so you are always learning & I've heard things may never grow quite the same from year to year.  It has been a fun adventure so far and a great activity for Paul & I to do together.  We have planted tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, strawberries, lettuce, carrots, basil, thyme, & nasturtiums.  So, maybe we were a little overzealous for our first planting, but once you start putting stuff in there it is hard to stop.  

Notice the baby green pepper on the tall plant behind me!  
Paul & Julie

We had a great weekend.  Saturday was a full day, especially for Paul (who had to work at s-bucks after a long day of grilling...).  There are a few community gardens in the area.  One is called, MOBY (My Own Back Yard), they decided to reclaim a lot across from their garden, that I think was known for drugs, trash dumping, etc... & turn it into a playground.  They also decided to dedicate it to a local neighborhood police officer who was killed in the line of duty some years ago.  They have been planning & fundraising for this for quite a while.  Paul & I went to a fundraiser a few weeks ago at a local restaurant, where we ran into Michelle, who works with the Business Improvement Association in the area (we met her during a community clean-up that some Harding students helped us with during spring break).   She asked us if our church could grill hot dogs for the volunteers building the playground.  So...we called around to find a grill to borrow & went to the playground build which was this past Saturday.  There were over 175 volunteers from the community!!  Paul is now a Master hot dog griller (he can even do veggie dogs), after grilling like 200 hot dogs.  It was so cool to be a part of.  They had a dedication that afternoon & tons of police officers were there to honor, Sgt Larry Young.  They also encouraged the community to take ownership in the playground area to keep it clean.   

Meanwhile, our good friends, Aaron & Amy were helping with a community clean-up day sponsored by the local community policing centre.  They led a group of people through the neighborhood to pick up trash & keep it clean.  Afterwards, they joined us at the playground, where Amy helped with landscaping and was on the local news.   She is famous now.  We all had a great time meeting new people & being a part of this wonderful opportunity to improve our community.

Paul & Julie has been a long time!  A lot has happened since I last blogged (a year & some months ago).  I thought it was about time for an update.  The short story...Paul & I moved to Vancouver, BC (That is in Canada for those who are geographically challenged, I'm not pointing any fingers, I didn't know where it was either until we were talking about moving here!)  It is just above Washington state, where we had been living for 2 years.  We were so sad to say goodbye to our friends there.  We had actually not planned on being there for 2 years, but God in all His wonderful goodness allowed us more time for training & growing up in him.  So, we received our Canadian permanent residency (that is a whole other story) in September of 2008 & that set the ball rolling for our move.  We moved up in January (I just love driving & unloading moving trucks when there are threats of snow & ice) to the Commercial Drive neighborhood in East Vancouver.  It is a quirky, trendy, grungy, hippy, diverse neighborhood that is always full of surprises.  I'm working part-time as a speech therapist at a stroke recovery centre (notice the Canadian spelling : ).  Paul is working part-time at a starbucks within walking distance from our place.  We are a part of starting a new church in the neighborhood called, The Vine. Check out - we just put it up so it is a work in progress.   We meet in homes, share a meal together, & study the Bible together.  It is quite an adventure.  Here are some neighborhood shots.

Paul & I at the Chinese New Year Parade earlier this year

The park across the street from our apartment.  There are always people hanging out here, playing music, etc...

The view of Commercial Drive from our roof, looking North.  You can see a ski run on the mountains!