A Busy Busy Christmas Month

Ah December aka Christmas month…

Not like it’s a surprise or anything. Same time, some month, same amount of busy busy busy every year. I’m not complaining, it’s a happy busy. I love the Christmas season. Everything about it.

So many things going on this month I just haven’t been able to write about them. Tons of pictures, just haven’t gotten around to sharing them. They say a picture is worth a thousand words…hmm wonder what a video is worth? Well, I’m going to give it a shot.

As Christmas approaches, there have been so many fun events. We took a bunch of pictures and I planned on sharing A LOT of them. Times running out. If I don’t share them soon Christmas will have come and gone.

The Downtown Duncan Christmas Kick Off…

I remember our first December in the Cowichan Valley watching Christmas fireworks. Being from Montreal, I had never experienced anything quite like it. I mean we had sleigh rides, but fireworks, in the winter? The first year we stood right up close to the town hall. When I saw how close the fireworks were, I’ll admit I was a tad nervous. I had never been that close to them before. 10 years later and it still amazes me, though I do stand further back now.

A few years ago we discovered the Lighted Truck Parade in Victoria.  Again, it was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. Now we look forward to it every year. Here’s a video of this year’s full parade. The children in the background are, well I guess you’d say very excited!

Plan was to name each of the shop windows, but I’m running out of time.  Sorry I didn’t get around to it. I’ll try again next year. If you see your store window please give it a big shout out in the comments. The Downtown Duncan windows in all their Christmas splendour needed to be shared so here’s a video….

Please remember (Christmas shopping too)…Support Your Neighbours Your Friends Your Community…Buy Local! Pretty please :)

I Love Cowichan Facebook page



Christmas Decorating at BC Forest Discovery Museum

Building an Igloo at the BC Forest Discovery Centre
BC Forest Discovery Centre Logging Buildings
Duncan BC Forest Discovery Centre

The museum with over 5,000 pieces (from tiny tools, to great big chainsaws even working locomotives) is interesting and educational. There’s always something new to see and learn.  It was originally started with a private collection put together by founder Gerry Wellburn and his family.

The BC Forest Discovery Centre collects and preserves objects related to coastal forestry. It teaches people about what it is like and what it was like, living and working in forest communities of coastal British Columbia.

A walk through the woods is tranquil; nature abounds…BUT, for me I absolutely love the old logging camp buildings.

When I’m going through them, I feel like I’ve been transported back in time. Doesn’t matter how many times I walk around, it always feels magical to me.

Last week, the Duncan (Monk) team celebrated it’s second anniversary of decorating for the Christmas Express at the BC Forest Discovery Centre.

The sunshine was bright, but the wind was cold. Many red noses appeared (not just Rudolph’s).

Watch as the penguin’s home is built and they come to play.

I absolutely love the schoolhouse.  Whoever decorated it, great job!!!

Hard to show the lights during the day, but it will make for an amazing backdrop for the night time Christmas Express train rides.

Go team go….


For more pictures visit…

My Buy Local Market Adventure

One of my recent buy local adventures was a tad chilly, a bit rainy and a whole lot of fun.  I finally made it to the Downtown Duncan Farmer’s Market.

Which meant of course. the first thing I had to do was grab a coffee. Truth be told,  it’s the first thing I do regardless of the weather; ALWAYS.

Can’t remember if I had the Dragon’s Tooth blend, the Bulldog Bite or maybe it was the South Seas Serenade, but the coffee really hit the spot. I didn’t catch his name, but the conversation sure was lively.  The product motto is a pretty good indicator of his personality… “Beans so Fresh They Ought to be Slapped.”

Misty Ridge Organic Coffee Buy Local
Misty Ridge Organic Coffee

Great coffee, great conversation and some useful advice ” Warm your mug with hot water just prior to pouring your coffee into it and your coffee will stay hot longer”.

Raw Vegan Organic Dark Cacao
100% Handmade Raw Dark Cacao

While I was enjoying my coffee the stand right across from me caught my attention.

RAWkolates, hmm had no idea what it meant, but the display looked interesting and I was pretty sure I saw some samples.  I poked around for a minute or two while Vida (she introduced herself soon after) finished up with some customers.

Vida quite patiently (I say patiently because I asked a lot of questions) explained what RAWkolates are and that she makes them all by hand.

RAWkolates are handmade raw vegan fair trade organic dark cacao bars & squares. Her treats contain absolutely no refined sugar, no gluten, no dairy, no soy, no sulphites, no GMOs nor wax.

I was a bit hesitant when she offered me a sample, but I have to admit it was a really good. Just the right amount of sweet.  Vida is a Holistic Nutritionist &  Raw Food Chef who lives in  Nanaimo.  She is Island born and raised.  She grows her own food, creates in the kitchen and even builds her own furniture from recycled wood pallets.

RAWkolates are also available in Duncan at Chari-Teas

Just two vendors into my buy local Saturday adventure and it was pretty clear.  People who sell at the market are extremely passionate about what they do and they have some pretty interesting stories to share.

Ummm, that and judging by the number of questions I ask it’s going to take me way more than just one Saturday to get through the entire market.

Vegetable Appetizer Recipes

Rainy Day Flashback to a Sunny Ride Over the Malahat

Today we had a rainy day ride over the Malahat; polar opposite of our last trip to Victoria. Ok so it wasn’t quite six hours or July like the song says but it was a nice trip on a beautiful day.

Unlike today, not an enjoyable ride and what a muddy mess they’ve got going on up there. Kind of sad to see all the trees that are gone. Not sure what is being done but it sure looks like a massive (or multiple) project.

Anyway, just thought I’d share a flashback video to the sunny ride over the Malahat…



The Orange Pumpkin Sea

Two things occurred to me recently.  I realized something that I particularly love about fall are pumpkin patches.

I remember the first time (and the times after that) looking down from behind the tractor at tiny, big, huge round and not so round orange balls in wonder.  Until I went on my daughter’s field trip, I guess I didn’t know they grew that way.  I probably never gave it much thought.

My husband and I were driving the other day and there they were.  Fields; row after row, a sea of orange. lt never ceases to amaze me.  It never gets old.

Speaking of old brings me to the second thing…my babies are all grown up. This is the first year that neither of my girls went on a school trip to pick their own pumpkin(s).  It’s also been a while since we went schlepping through the mud at McNab’s Corn Maze.

* Black Kitten on a Pumpkin from AllPosters

Did you know….

Pumpkin is a word with a fascinating history. The original Greek word for this vegetable actually means mellow, or sun-ripened, as most pumpkins grow into full maturity with plenty of sunshine. The original Greek word was modified by the French into pompion, and sub­sequently became “punkin”; ultimately it reached its final form as “pumpkin.”

In England, the word “pumpkin” is sometimes used to mean a large squash. The English marrow, or vege­table marrow, however, is not a pumpkin, but a long, narrow squash.

As if all of this were not confusing enough, the Algon­quin word “squash” actually means green or un­ripe. Contrast this meaning with the Greek word for pumpkin—mellow, or sun-ripened.

All this talk about pumpkins makes me think about yummy Pumpkin Cream Pie (click for the recipe).


Cowichan is My Home

First I Love Cowichan blog entry; short n’ sweet.

This is what you will find here:

Pictures, news, events, thoughts, fun stuff, people, art, places, stories….everything and anything Cowichan.


The Big Move to the Cowichan ValleyIt all starts with 5 adults, 6 kids, 1 dog and 1 hamster arriving on Vancouver Island with a final destination of Duncan BC in August 2004.

Duncan is the heart of the Cowichan Valley. It’s pretty much the mid point between Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island BC. We’re known as the city of totems. There is always something to do, and almost always an event or two happening around town.

One of my favorite places to visit it is the Cowichan Valley Museum You can literally feel the history when you walk in. The museum itself is like Duncan, not too big, not too small just right.