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Sunday, Feb. 14, 2016: Light at the end of the tunnel

Vancouver Cohousing is looking a lot more like a finished project than a construction zone. Look, grass in the front and no more fence. Taryn took these photos on Friday when she had a walk through of the common house with Colin and Ian. “I have to say,” Colin commented, “the common house is stunning, and the view from the dining room onto the patio and gardens is far beyond my expectations.”

We passed the first of our final City inspections on Friday and the second is Monday afternoon at 3. We’re sending our team of professionals all our support for a positive result.

We’re pinning our hopes on moving in by the end of the month. I found a lovely couple to sublet my place in Kerrisdale from March 1. It’s only for three months. Maybe I’ll know by then whether I’ll want to stay in cohousing or move back.

L69-021416-VCCH-diningLooking out from the common house dining room into the courtyard.

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Part of the container gardens and children’s outdoor play area.

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The children’s play area inside the common house.

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The centrepiece of the common house kitchen – the fabulous gas range.

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Falling in love with a chant

Valentine’s was not rewarding romantically; coffee dates on Saturday and today were not mutual matches. But I did fall in love with today’s Flavor of Gratefulness chant by Rabbi Shefa Gold in my daily practice, which is still going strong, by the way. The melody is infectious. I find myself belting it out to reach the heavens, and singing it ever so tenderly to my heart. I look forward to leading it at the next Chanting & Chocolate on Sunday, Feb. 28.

I sent Valentine’s e-cards to a close family member and to my first wife, Betsy, in New York. I was also in touch by email today with my second wife, Shoko, on a non-Valentine’s matter. I posted this cheeky Ikea Valentine to my good friend Ingela in Sweden.

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This evening I was remembering my last girlfriend, C., when I prepared a dinner we used to enjoy – triangle pasta stuffed with sweet butternut squash, from Trader Joe’s. While I ate, I listened to an episode of “The Why Factor” on the BBC World Service about the science of pleasure. People learn to love the foods they enjoy. In my part of the world, not so many people eat really spicy chili peppers, while in Thailand, for example, most people love them; but their domesticated animals – dogs and cats – don’t like the peppers at all.

C. couldn’t stand the taste of cilantro; for her it was like soap. Scientists have identified most cilantro haters as people with a shared group of olfactory-receptor genes that pick up on the smell of aldehyde chemicals. The chemicals are found in both soap and cilantro.