green envy

In recent years, around May and June, when the green buds are out, I find myself eyeing for new suppliers.  I have a good supplier already but I feel she's getting expensive.  She said her stuff is the best quality all around so "you pay for what you get".  We did two meet ups last year and in our second meeting, I noticed that mixed in with all the good quality stuff are some passable ones.  I was not impress.

I've been trying to plant some on my own.  It's a bit tricky as I don't understand the pruning process. I try to gain as much knowledge about this stuff as I can from my aunt, who loves gardening.

Vietnamese people loves gardening.  It seems most, if not all, the nammers I know grow something.  And everything they grow seems to flourish without the use of chemicals.  They all have a green thumbs and a garden to prove it.  My family likes to garden too.  Whenever we go on walks or driving somewhere, we would be talking/criticizing/admiring/comparing ours and someone else's turf.  I've been trying to grow for years now but so far, it's very little yield.  It's been challenging for me but I'm going to keep working at it !  Can't get any worse :-)

*nammer:  a term our Vietnamese families and friends used when referring to a Vietnamese person who just came over from Vietnam or someone whose lifestyle is very much like those living in Vietnam.*

Wonderful C would sometime come along with me on my shenanigans.  We would to on the lookout for the special green leaves.  I can spot the leaves from miles away.  It's has a very distinctive shape.  I did find a few houses with the greens growing out of their fences.  I told C if we come back there at night we should be able to pick them without consulting the owner.  If it's not on their land it's public property !  "Stealing you mean ?" he looked at me with a disgusted look and asked me "Are you that desperate ?", "Yes", I said.  One of the house is next to an alley, a perfect place to do a drive by.

Though I thought of it and suggested it, reality is I don't have the heart to do it ! The Jesus in me wouldn't let me sleep peacefully with that.   The whole idea of this "scouting" is to find new seller.  People who wants to sell their "surplus".  "Why are you so cheap ? just pay the woman, get your fix and be done with it." C told me, signaling he no longer wants any part of this craziness.  Might as well, he's not the best person for it anyways.  He doesn't love it as much as me.  He doesn't understand.  And it's not that I'm cheap, this is purely based on principle.  I don't want the lady to take advantage of me.  I was her first buyer and I was the one who told her there are many like me out there and suggested she post on craigslist.  She received an overwhelming number of responses and then jacked up the price.  I didn't even mind the increased price, but when she start to give the best to her major clients and give the "decent" quality ones to me  ?  we're done.  I deserve better figs.

Fig isn't like apple where you can eat it whenever you want.  The good kinds are never sold in store.  I've tried many times and the flavor just don't measure up to the homegrown kind.  Good figs are no widely sold or widely available, which makes them limited, highly desired and sought after !  People who has fruitful trees with good figs already have frequent buyers who return to them every season.  There's only about 1 month out of the year, Aug-Sept. that we can enjoy them.  When the fruits on the tree ripen I'm in fig heaven.  I can't wait to devour those luscious green pearly fruits, filled with sweet honey like nectar oozing out of "eye" (the opening at the bottom of the fig).

It seems I'm always scouting out for figs.  Whether I'm in a car, on the train, or walking, my eyes are always drawn to them.  There are many fig trees in my neighborhood but they aren't big ones, they bear just figs for their owner.  I need to gain access to a fruitful tree and an owner who likes to share or at least out to make just a bit of mula !  Not preying on my obsession !

Today I spotted a house from the train with 2 huge fig trees in the back.  I did a quick assessment of the property since I have perfect aerial view from up there.  The house looked uncared for, with lots of junks on the ground, on the side of house and the front yard.  It's probably rented and there's a chance the tenant might not care so much about figs.  I made a note to visit them in August.

This summer marked my 5th year with my fig tree.  I'm very excited that it bears about 50 fruits this year !  I promised 1 to a co-worker so there's 49 left.  I would have to share a few with my mom and C and the kids so that leaves me with 41 figs :-)  That should last me for 4 days if I portion it right, and follow it !!!  I can inhale 10 figs in one sitting easily :-)  Just a few more months friends, just a few and I get to enjoy these amazing fruits.

Mother's day

C took the kids and I out to Van Dusen garden for a walk.  Little did we know, Van Dusen is kinda huge, it's not for a stroll or walk, more like a mini hike !  Everyone I checked was in runners and here I am on wedge.  Yeah...I feel a bit out of place !  I really thought it's a just a stroll around the garden to look at flowers.  I should have google it up first.  Luckily my Aldo wedge sandal was very comfortable.  I can even run in it.

Down the path into the garden, on the left, was this beautiful walk way.  I was mesmerized by the golden canopy of Laburnum dripping down.  It's quite breath taking.  

After Van Dusen we went to Granville Island for lunch and birds watching !  The busker out in the open outdoor sitting area was playing/singing lots of old tunes (90s) which I highly enjoyed :-)  I managed to hum along to a few songs.

After lunch we took the girls to the water park there.  The whole park isn't in full operational mode but they got a few water holes going !  Enough for the few kids there anyways.  Bee was cautious while Love went right in.  Our baby, the 2nd one, attacks everything head first, a free spirit she is; while my first born is cautious, takes time to warm up to things/ideas then enjoy herself.  Kids are so interesting, they are born with certain personality and attitudes about them.  You take what kid you're blessed with and love them and try your best in helping them to grown and flourish.  

In the evening C suggested we go to Guu for my Mother's day dinner !  I want to take my mom out for dinner too so I told my brother to take her and meet with us downtown.  Guu on Robson is the best one out of the 3 or 4 Guu branches around here.  It's my mom and kids' first time there so hearing the waitress yelling our orders to the kitchen freaked them out !  Bee asked "WHY are they yelling ???  so loud" and my mom "I'm going def!".  C and I've been here enough time that we're oblivious to the sound :-)  We just want to eat :D  After an hour, our bellies were full and our taste buds thanked us !  We tried many dishes and each was amazing.  Today was an excellent day.

Bee's "battle scar"

We all heard a loud thumb.  I glance over to see Bee and baby B playing.  She was either dodging or tripping over him because saw her went down and then sat next to the wall.  My other girlfriends were asking in the same time as me, concerned, Are you OK ???".  She didn't say anything.  Bee is shy like that, when there's too much attentions, commotions, looks, she just goes quiet.  I mouth to her "You OK ?".  She nodded.

I puzzled, if she's ok, what was that loud thumb ?  I asked out loud, "Did anyone fall ?"  Then I saw Bee ran across the room into C's arms.  My daughter is hurt.  She must have bump something. I walked over to them. About 3 steps away.

Then I heard C said, "is that blood?", I was like, she must have bit her lips.  C checked her mouth, we didn't see anything.  Then C moved his hand away from her face and I looked at her head and C hand and there was blood gushing out.  My heart sank and went into panic mode.  Her hair was drenched in blood. I was on top of my lung, "BLOOD !!! Oh my gosh blood, Collin take her to the hospital".  I don't remember how loud I was or if I was screaming, but my friends told me to calm.  Love ran to me in tears.  I must have scared her.  I was shaking and C already took off to the hospital (our friend's was a block away from the hospital).

I left a tearful Love with my girlfriends while Kim took me to the hospital.  I ran out of the house and have no idea of where I am.  I lost my sense direction.  Everything was a blur.  I kept walking. My head was whirling around about my baby,  She's loosing so much blood, did she faint on the way ?  Did she cry ?  Is she scared ?  She must.  Oh my sweet sweet baby.

Kim ran out after me, she was yelling at me, directing me where to go.  Cars were whizzing past us.  Stay on the sidewalk I reminded myself.  We can't afford anyone else getting hurt today.

Minutes that felt like hours and we were at the hospital.  I ran in looking for her.  We were running the whole time I think.  I have no recollection.  I saw C holding her head at the triage counter.  The nurse yelled at me, "You're her mom ?  Can you sign her in ?"  I came over.  She needed Bee's carecard and while I was looking into my wallet, for the first time I saw my shaking hands.  I couldn't steady it.

C was done and came over and handed the care card # to nurse.  We have to wait.  Why are we waiting ?  Her head is bleeding.  Do they not see ?  Bee just lay there on C's chest.  C told me, she asked "I am going to be dead?".  She seems OK, I'm a mess.

A nurse and a doctor came and took Bee into a room.  I went in but the smell of blood is making me nauseous.  Kim took me out and a nurse told me to wait in the waiting room because moms get all anxious and it's not good for everyone.  I keep on smelling blood then Kim told me, there's blood on your hand, go wash it.

My hand was covered in dried blood.  No wonder the smell is so strong.  My poor girl.  She's bleeding so much.  I cried and told myself to pucker up.  I need to be brave for her.  I went back to the waiting room and went to check on her.  They were still on the waiting bed.  Where's the doctor ?  I mean, she's bleeding here ?  Then what felt like hours, the doctor and the nurse came back with a tray.  She needed stitches.  Oh my Lord, she has to get stitches.  My baby.

I heard her cried for the first time tonight and my heart ache.  Like the kind you want to pull out of your chest so you can dull the pain.  Then it all stopped.  She stopped crying, 3 stiches and she's done.  They said we can bathe her right away (she's covered in blood).

She looks OK.  I hug her and we went to pick up Love (who's already asleep) and went home.  I gave her a sponge bath that day and we all went to sleep.  It's been a tough day.  

Next morning, Bee was up and I asked her if there's any pain and she said no.  She was her usual self, no pain, no discomfort.  She was running and screaming with her sister by noon.  She told me, "the doctor put more holes in my head (stitches), isn't it cool ?  it's awesome right ?" she pulled her hair apart to show me her scar.  She's really proud of it while I feel so bad that she got stitches !!!  I feel horrible. 

Bee told me later that she hit the corner of the wall because while dodging baby B, she tripped on a towel on the floor.  It's an accident.  I know it wasn't something I can prevent but it's all the same.  As a parent, I feel responsible anytime our child is hurt.  When I see her run I freak out inside !  I know I have to let her be a kid too, can't stop her from running or climbing on things !  I know she will get bumps and bruises but hopefully no more stitches.  

Here we are the morning after !  the little one is all happy and the hurt one is in a deep sleep !