Archive | September 2013

September and the first days of school

It’s the month of September and most students have headed back to school. It is an exciting time whether the students are 5 year olds entering Kindergarten or 17 year olds beginning their first year of university or college.


There were no preschool or Kindergarten classes when I was young. I spent my early childhood learning time with my mom and dad at home.  My mom was my first teacher.  She taught me to print my name and she read with me every day.  I recall helping mom around the house by sometimes sorting the laundry with her, setting the table, tearing lettuce for dinner and even helping her plant the garden.  And one time, on a day off from his work, I recall going out to the backyard and building a swing with my dad.  It was really a board with two holes drilled in it and just a rope over a branch of the Maple tree.  But I had made it with my dad and it was the best swing that I had ever had!


My earliest recollections about beginning school revolve around Ginger (aka Gingersnap).  I only knew her by her nickname.  She told me that when she was born, her parents thought her face looked like a round plump gingersnap cookie.  She was my next door neighbour and my best friend!  We played together nearly everyday.

Our favourite playtime activity was playing house, setting up our kitchens and making mud pies out in our backyards.

Have you ever made mud pies?  It’s really quite easy.  All you need is some dirt and water.  We collected old tuna fish and soup cans because these made great cake pans for our pies.  We mixed and stirred, adding more water, and then baked them up just right.  Mmm, so delicious!  Of course we only pretended to eat them.

Once school started,  we continued playing together after class and our mud pies became even more elaborate.  You see, we both had discovered that there were lots of other kids in our community.  Two students in particular in our Grade One class became very special to us.  Their names were Gary and Garry and we had decided that we would marry them!  We had very elaborate weddings – old lace curtains for veils and dandelions for bouquets.  We made two and three layer wedding cakes with colourful leaf and pine cone decorations!  And Gingersnap and I promised each mother that we would never, ever, …tell the boys!

It’s been over 50 years since those first days of school.  Now living several provinces apart, Gingersnap and I still get together once in a while.  The last time we met up was just a few months ago.  We went to a restaurant and without missing a beat, we both asked the waitress if she served mud pies.  Of course they didn’t … but it was worth a try!

Here are a few of my pictures from those first days of school.  If you look closely, maybe you can still smell the waxy crayons?  Can you feel the mucilage on your fingers?  Maybe you have a desire to eat something made of chocolate…..maybe even a  Mud pie !



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Summer time !

Festivals, barbecues, camping, weddings, travelling…all Summer time activities!

It’s  been a busy but beautiful, sunshine filled Summer.

In fact, so busy that I haven’t posted for over a month. I apologize to my followers. I appreciate you and hope that you have had a busy yet relaxing Summer as well and will continue to check out my blog and see what’s new.

0The CNUF 2013 was a great success and those of you who made it out to the festival in Dauphin, Manitoba were so fortunate. The weather was perfect, the entertainment was phenomenal and the hospitality of the people from Dauphin was as usual… fantastic. There’s just something about the music, the dancing and the food at the festival that brings out the best in everyone, Ukrainian or not!

It has also been a great Summer for weddings!

Congratulations to all newly married couples out there!  So nice to see so many couples believing in “’til death do us part”.

There seems to be an increasing number of  couples today wondering what’s so special about marriage. Some do not see the need.

It may sound old-fashioned (because I am) but the purpose of marriage is to “mutually complete one another and to experience companionship”.  I quote this because I heard it many years ago in our “married life class” that we took prior to being married in our church.

I think it ‘s important to be reminded that marriage was the first institution God created. Marriage was not intended to be given up on whenever it gets tough. There needs to be unconditional love and interdependence in a marriage.  When children are involved, this becomes even more important.  The longer that my husband and I are married, the more I understand about love and commitment. We commit ourselves to one another unconditionally every day.

And with weddings, also comes wedding traditions. So many of you are wanting Ukrainian wedding breads, Korovai.  They are so beautiful and of course you want to keep them as long as possible.

I have had several requests for ways to preserve the Korovai that many of you  newly weds had at your wedding. Please see the page that I posted for preserving your wedding bread under the heading Korovai !

Enjoy the last bits that Summer has to offer in the next few weeks!

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