Flashback: Thanksgiving Weekend

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Chloe with part of a sand dollar

For Thanksgiving weekend, we decided to get away to one of my favourite places on earth besides Disney World –  TOFINO!!  We haven’t gotten away as a family in a long time and honestly, we were living in the moment  and splurged on our accomodations.  The Long Beach Lodge was truly amazing and we enjoyed staying in the cabin that was pretty much nicer than our house!

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The beautiful cabin in the woods

The two things the kids enjoyed the most about our get away was the cabin with the hot tub and ofcourse playing on the beautiful beaches that line the West Coast!

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Hot tubbing in the rainforest! Life is good...

We enjoyed the warmth of the hot tub contrasted to the dampness of the rainforest.  Big B later joined us for an evening of hot tubbing under the stars! 

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Little C loves playing in the sand

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Beautiful Cox Beach

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The girls running from the encrouching waves

The girls loved running out into the water as it was drawing back and then madly run back to the shoreline as the waves rolled in.  Sometimes the water would come back so quickly that they’d get soaking wet!  Good thing they wore boots.

I loved the main Lodge for it had a beautiful grand room where we had breakfast the following morning.  Everything was freshly made, freshly squeezed – they even made their own granola and yogurt which rates high in my books!

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Yummy breakfast at the lodge

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A very cool native mask

We had many things to be thankful for that weekend!

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Planting: Part 2

The most memorable thing about this Remembrance Day, aside from the many soldiers who lost their lives for our country, was the constant change in the weather.  It was sunny, it was rainy, it was cloudy – over and over all day.  I guess that’s living on the West Coast.  I was particularly tuned into the weather because we had many things planned for the outdoors on this day:  finding clay concretions, going to Farm Hands and planting our garlic before the first frost!   The farming and planting happened – clay concretions will have to wait for another day – little C had to pee and it was raining 😦

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PORCELAIN - Russian Hardneck variety - our garlic bulbs

I truly have a bee in my bonnet when it comes to buying garlic in the grocery store.   It seems harder and harder to find garlic grown from anywhere in Canada let alone local.   Where is it coming from ?  China ofcourse.  I managed to find some local garlic from a farm in late August  and I’m afraid I only have a few months supply left.  So I am growing my own garlic.  I think it’s in my blood to do this.  I have vivid memories of my grandfather growing garlic and holding it up to show us like a prized fish!  Too funny.

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Big C planting bulbs in compost/soil mixture

I had time in the afternoon to prime the garden area while the kids were at the farm.  Ah quiet time without the kids – need I say more?  By the time we got home it was already dusk at 4:20 pm which I think is crazy.  Who really benefits from that time change anyway?  Chloe was pretty keen to get those garlic bulbs in the ground!  We saved one to put in a pot for indoor growth.  Yet another “thing” whose growth we’ll be monitoring over the next few weeks

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Chloe planting garlic

I made a couple of finds earlier in the day in the garden…

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The last purple cabbage to be harvested

Now I’ll have to make purple cabbage soup or who knows maybe even purple cabbage rolls.

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A cute family of mushrooms

This is the best time of year to find mushrooms on the coast.  For the life of me, I cannot identify the above although I’ve only looked in our Guide to Western Mushrooms.  They’re probably the most common type of mushroom out here that they didn’t even bother to include it in our book!  I think it’s the Lactarius deliciosus.  The kids are always on the look out for the fairy ring mushroom.  Wish us luck

Planting: Part I

Today, Little C and I purchased an Amaryllis bulb from the grocery store.  I thought it would be neat to grow one and see if it blooms by Christmas time.  Little C was pretty keen to participate in its preparation but it was certainly an exercise in patience…

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Amaryllis kit contains bulb, coir disk and planter

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Setting up the coir disk

The first step was to add 4 cups of warm water into the planter and then insert the coir disk.  This essentially soaks up all of the water and voila you have soil.  The only problem was it took 1/2 hour for it to do so.   Little C did pretty good waiting and I think it’s good for this “instant generation” to learn the concept of delayed gratification!

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Little C trying to make the disc soak up water faster!

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Baseline for our bulb

Once the disc soaked up the water, we planted the bulb in the ever so boring container.  I think we’ll have to decorate it with a Christmas theme.  I imagine the girls and I will enjoy monitoring its progress over the weeks.

Last but certainly not least, Little C wanted to draw a picture similar to one she did in kindergarten for Remembrance Day.  Apparetntly the red bird with grey wings is a peace dove and there are hearts and poppies. 

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Remembrance Day picture

Looks like there may be sunshine in the forecast for tomorrow afternoon.  Hopefully the girls and I will go outside for some outdoor planting.  Stay tuned!

Caitlin’s Spotlight

Caitlin insisted I take photos of her showing her latest creations.  Plus I think she’s been feeling that Chloe has been in the spotlight a little more because of  her birthday.  Caitlin can sure be nutty when it comes to her poses.

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OK then...

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Caitlin's impression of Niagara Falls

And finally a very cool mask that Caitlin made at her kindercare program

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C's colourful mask

Happy Birthday Chloe!

We celebrated Chloe’s 8th birthday last week.  I remember the day that Chloe was born very clearly.  She was such a sweet baby!  And not much has changed.  I love that Chloe is growing up to be such an easygoing and caring person.  She is extremely creative and loves to draw and do crafts.   Here are some photos of Chloe on her special day…

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Happy Birthday Chloe!

Chloe got a Liv doll which has all kinds of neat wigs and hair things.  Thanks to everyone for all of the beautiful pressies!

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Chloe with her new dragonfly earrings

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Goofy Chloe

Happy Birthday Chloe

Crazy Chocolate Cake

For Chloe’s birthday this year, we baked our tried and true Vegan chocolate cake recipe.  My mom found this recipe for me one year and I believe it was from the Hamilton Spectator (local newspaper). 

Here is the recipe.  It’s very simple and basically comes out the same everytime:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4  cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoon canola oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1 tablespoon plain distilled vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Mix the flours, cocoa, baking soda, sugar and salt together in a large bowl to make a large mound.  With the back of a tablespoon, make 3 hollows in the mound.  Pour the oil into one, vinegar into another and vanilla into the third.  Pour the cold water over all.  Mix well with a spoon until the flour cannot be seen and the mix is almost smooth (do not overbeat).  Pour the mixture into a 9×9 greased square pan (or muffin tins).  The cake is done when a toothpic k inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Cool the cake on a rack for about 10 minutes.

Caitlin and I had a great time baking Chloe’s birthday while she was at school.  Here’s a peak…

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Caitlin mixing the flours

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Caitlin making wells for the liquids to go in

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Caitlin went on the counter to make mixing easier

We ended up making two batches of the batter as I decided to make a double layer cake.  I had to enusre that the cakes were nice and cool before I removed them from the pans otherwise they really stick.  Funny enough, I fogot to take a photo of the end product.  Well we put white vanilla icing on it and garnished it with gummy bears!  It was yummy

Happy Halloween 2009!!

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Flower Power!

I’m excited to have my new photos downloaded and ready to post.  I’m also realizing that this whole blogging thing takes up a lot of time and I have to accept that I can only update my blog on the weekends.  There’s just way too much on the go right now.

As for Halloween, the girls and I had a blast.  The evening was clear and relatively mild for going out and collecting treats.  I did notice that there were very few children out this year compared to previous years.  I guess everyone was downtown celebrating the passing of the Olympic torch through our town.  The irony of it all is that the torch literally passed through our neighbourhood and my kids were so focused on Halloween that it didn’t even phase them.  Chloe loves the Olympics.

Anyway so for Halloween this year, Chloe evolved into a Hippie/Flower Child and Caitlin was a witch. 

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Scary Witch!

The day after Halloween, we drove out to the country to view the pumpkins through Shady Mile that are USUALLY on display along the road.  I was saddened to see that very few people had dropped their pumpkins off.  Perhaps all the recent development in this area, including the cutting down of a lot of trees that line this road, has detered people from continuing this tradition.

There were a few pumpkins out on display…

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Sunny Pumpkins

And a couple more…

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The Line Up

Overall I would have to say that Chloe and Caitlin truly enjoyed Halloween this year!

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Bye for now!!