Friday, October 20, 2017


Best way to entertain a baby? Give her whatever you're doing. Like harvesting carrots!
Video here:

First hotel stay

Loves the carpet. Almost makes me wish we had carpet at home!
Starting at screens IS gross.
Black and white legging day!
Free robes and wall to wall carpet for MJ to roll on.
Lunch at Stella's. Is lunch an activity? Because that's all we did in Winnipeg, other than hang out at the hotel. Oh, and go to the exchange district for 20 minutes, when we came back two tow truck drivers were waiting for it to become 3:30 so they could tow our car...  4 minutes to spare.
I hate Winnipeg.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Baby veggie love

When I give Myrah a toy, she quickly loses interest, but when I give her vegetables, she's entertained for much longer!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Indomitable Spirit

My Mom is from a large Ukrainian family of 8 kids, and all the women have such strong personalities that they have been jokingly nicknamed "the Barracudas" for some time.  They are masters of their households, amazing cooks, and organized down to the littlest detail.  They won't take shit from anyone and have high expectations for everyone they encounter, especially their own husbands and family members.  There's one right way to do everything, and they know it, and aren't afraid to tell you (or each other) when you stray!

I believe the nickname came about when some of my many male cousins were courting their now-wives.  Family gatherings are always an overwhelming experience of too many people, too much food, and too many opinions.  The barracudas make sure every little detail is looked after, from whose turn it is to host, to who is bringing what and who is expected to clean up.  The poor women dating my cousins sure got a lesson in how to do everything the "right" way, lest she risk being judged as a poor wife for eternity!

June 7, 2014
My Aunt Nancy is the oldest sister and so definitely took the lead in setting and teaching the standard to which all barracudas must adhere. She is a fantastic cook, making everything from scratch and also doing tons of preserving for herself and her family.  She ran a successful greenhouse for a number of years, and also grew a large market garden of vegetables, which inspired my Mom to get into that business, and now I am too: So, I can actually credit my career choice to Aunty Nancy-- But, I also know Aunty Nancy would have scoffed at calling market gardening a "career", and would have encouraged me to do something less laborious where I could have an easier life.  I'm proud to be following in her footsteps a bit, as she was always a role model for me.  I even worked in her greenhouse a few times and learned how to do everything right from the master!  They call me baby barracuda.

I can't attempt to enumerate the ways in which Aunty Nancy touched people's lives, because I know they are great and many.  For me, she was a woman I looked up to, who embodied so many characteristics that I value today.  She was a business owner, a wife, a mother, a cook, a farmer, a historian, and a great Aunt who never once missed sending me a card on my birthday and came all the way to Nova Scotia to attend my wedding in 2014.  She made the trek to Brandon in June, despite her declining health, to attend my baby shower and meet the newest member of the family.  She entrusted me with the family photo albums, which she went through and meticulously labelled and she even published family tree books for everyone in the family based on her extensive research into the family history.  I'm certain that years from now, that legacy will continue on.

We joke about the women in this family being barracudas, but the truth is the greatest thing about the barracudas is that they push those they care about to do better.  It just isn't acceptable for me to ignore my heritage and not learn how to cook Ukrainian food the traditional way like my Aunt Nancy and my own Mother Stephanie.  So I am proud to say I have those skills and can pass them on to my daughter.  And that's what really counts, isn't it?  What is knowledge, but a continual passing on from generation to generation.  Aunty Nancy certainly did her duty and more in that department, and generations to come will benefit from the wisdom she has imparted on all of us, and her spirit will live on through her ancestors.

Yesterday I learned a new word: Indomitable.  I looked it up, and sure enough it might as well of had her photo beside it:
Aunty Nancy had an indomitable spirit, one that will not be conquered by her passing.  We will miss her, but we will forever benefit from the things she has taught us, the high standards she held for us, and the ways in which she encouraged us to do better.

Goodbye, Aunty Nancy, I will miss you and think of you every time I make perogies, and I look forward to passing your legacy on to my own daughter.