Archive | December 2016

Still Stitching !

Since some of you have been wondering how the Wedding Rushnyk embroidery is coming along, I decided to do just a quick little post.

As you are aware, I am learning along the way.  It’s been a long time since I learned how to embroider and cross stitch is even harder for me.  But here it is so far.  I have completed the centre vase area, one bird and one rose.
unnamed-2I stopped stitching about two weeks ago to prepare for Christmas.  I have done a lot of baking and of course a lot of eating.  I guess it’s all a part of the season.  The Christmas dinners and get-togethers have been wonderful, but it’s time for me to get back to the cross-stitch.  I will keep you posted.

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“Manitoba at Christmas”

Greetings to all this Christmas!

I would like to share some exciting news with all of you.

Recently I was contacted by email by Wayne Chan.  This “unknown to me” person asked if I would be interested in contributing a recipe of mine to an anthology that he was putting together.  At first, I was thrilled and thought “Wow, that’s nice.  Someone had checked out my blog and was interested in adding it to his own book?”   I was feeling quite honoured.

Then I became leery.  Who was this person? Was he a legitimate writer?  Was I going to have to send him money and then get scammed?  Ha, I know…sounds silly doesn’t it?  Maybe it’s a generational thing!

Anyway, after finding out that Wayne Chan really was a writer residing in Winnipeg (my apologies to you, Wayne), I decided to trust him and gave him permission to not only reprint my Ukrainian Christmas Eve Holubtsi recipe but also to include one of my earlier Christmas posts “Oh Christmas Tree“.  Check out pages 141 and 179.

In case you are wondering, I preferred to stay fairly anonymous for this anthology and on this blog.  I use a pen name and only my family and close friends know the “real” me.  I am probably way too paranoid, but that’s just me.

I now have no doubts that this request was legitimate because I received my printed copy of “Manitoba at Christmas – Holiday Memories in the Keystone Province”  edited by Wayne Chan,  in the mail.  I am truly honoured.

As I peruse the book I see that he has gathered nearly 400 years of holiday stories and memories of how Christmas was celebrated by Manitobans, past and present.  The book is presently for sale and is available from Wayne Chan and is also being sold at McNally Robinson Booksellers (1120 Grant Avenue, Winnipeg, MB Canada R3M 2A6;   Toll Free 1-800-561-1833).

So, if you are still looking for a unique gift….please consider Manitoba At Christmas!

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‘Twas the morning of garbage day…

‘Twas the morning of garbage day

and outside our street,

I woke to a noise

My dreams now complete!


I sprang out of  bed;

My brain now a-humming.

My Man lifted his head

I yelled…

“The trucks they are coming!”


But wait, I forgot….no Christmas gifts did I buy.

So I threw on some clothes,

I needed to try.


I drove like a bat,

I had no time to spare;

I knew that the trucks

Would soon be right there.


To Walmart I drove

Searched the aisles for a treat;

Something delicious

That these great guys would eat.


When into my cul-de-sac the guys did appear;

I ran out of my house

with nothing to fear.


They smiled when they saw me

and gave me a hug,

“Your kindness really counts”

As the cans they did lug.


So be kind to your garbage guys

and clean up your yard;

It’s not a labour of love

But they work very hard!




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When it snows, it snows…

photo-10We have had a blast of snow in British Columbia this past week.  In our community, temperatures plunged down to minus 10 Celsius, causing us to shiver and look for our Winter sweaters, boots, mittens and scarves.  Snow fell for several days and stayed on the ground.  Some communities had between 10 to 20 centimetres.  Although not that cold compared to many other parts of Canada and the world, it’s unusual for us out here on the West Coast.

If you had to go outside, you didn’t like this weather one little bit.  Many of the roads were slick and slippery. The sidewalks were blanketed and in some cases, impassable for pedestrians as they slogged their way through knee-deep piles.


Frozen pond – fish swimming under the ice

Some of us however loved the snowfall.  I am not afraid to admit that I love snow.  It is winter in Canada after all and snow is a part of winter.  I guess it’s also a part of me.

As you are aware, I grew up on the prairies.  Winter came roaring in every year and we accepted it.  We dressed for it.  We played outside in it for hours.  As I wrote in earlier blog posts, we created “mountains” to ski down and spent hours tobogganing and playing soccer on the frozen fields.  As children we would challenge each other to see who could catch the most snowflakes on our mittens and count their points before they all melted way.  Our “Frosty the Snowmen” people would be built to last until the Spring thaw.


Aw, such a sad sight

There’s just something magical about watching snowflakes fall and fill the crisp air.  They swirl around, reach out to each other before they join and land softly on the ground.  If you have witnessed these big fluffy snowflakes falling out of the sky on a crisp winter day, then you will understand what I am saying.  It’s peaceful.  You will see beyond the cold.  You will see the beauty of glistening snow on the trees, grass and even rooftops of houses.  The sun may peek out from behind the storm clouds and these snowflakes will sparkle and shine right before your eyes.

Some areas of Canada will still be digging out for a while yet.  But alas, that is not for us out here on the West Coast.  Today we are back to our seasonal temperatures.   Warmer temperatures and rainfall have melted most of our lovely snow.  It would be nice if it had stayed long enough for us to have had a white Christmas.


Not much snow left!

I wonder what the forecast is for this coming Christmas weekend?  It’s only a few days away.  Maybe,  just maybe…….

Thank you for continuing to follow me on my blog.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

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The Banquet

Luke 14:16-24

Luke 14:16-24

I was in church on Sunday and listened intently to the Reading according to Luke (14:16-24).  I listened and sat quietly until I caught my mind wandering back to a time when I was quite little and attending Summer Catechism.

Before I tell you what nearly happened, let me familiarize you with this reading.  I’ve summed it here.  I apologize for the poor paraphrasing.

Jesus told this parable about a man who was giving a great feast and he sent his servant to invite his guests.  Unfortunately they all had other things to do and made excuses of why they could not come. One said he had bought a field; another had purchased a pair of oxen; and yet another had gotten married. When the servant told the master these excuses, the master was angry and told his servant to invite everyone that he could find who was poor, hungry and destitute.

It is a great parable and obviously one that made an impact on me when I was very young.  But it wasn’t just the words that I remembered – it was the song that the Catechism teachers (the Sisters of our parish) had taught us.  It goes a little like this…and I’m sure you will pick up the tune quite quickly.

“I can not come.

I cannot come to the banquet, don’t bother me now.

I have married a wife, I have bought me a cow.

I have fields and commitments that cost a pretty sum.

Pray hold me excused I cannot come.”

In church however, as I said earlier, my mind wandered and I actually caught myself smiling and was very close to humming and singing the song.

You see I recall not only learning this song and singing it, but I also remember hearing how the “older” boys (the 13 and 14 year olds) sang it.  They switched the words around to say “I have bought me a wife, I have married a cow”.  Yes, I can just see the eye rolls.  Hilarious for a bunch of immature kids!  However, not so for an adult sitting in a pew in church last Sunday morning.

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