Category Archives: Holidays

Family Renion – are we related?

After Roxie dropped me off at home I had 3 hours to recuperate before I was back on the road again for a three hour ride out to the Farm and a family reunion in Shoal Lake, MB. I spent some time swapping stories with my mom and Kelsey before I curled up in the back seat and fell asleep for most of the ride – I really needed the rest, unless I wanted to alienate the majority of my family with my grouchiness. After we arrived, we couldn’t find any family members at the farm, so we headed to the Ponderosa (the name of my parents retirement property) and played one game of Ticket to Ride and promptly crashed.
Reunion Collage
It was great sleeping at the Ponderosa. I got a bed on the second story of the wood shop. There are 3 big windows on the west and east sides that let a nice cool breeze through at night and the only light was from the stars. The only downside was that as soon as the sun rose I woke up, but I usually managed to find a corner where I could hide my face and squeeze in another hour of sleep. The fresh country air did wonders and I feel rejuvenated after a weekend of sleeping out there.

Saturday we headed to Shoal Lake to meet my relatives – some I haven’t seen for years and others I never knew existed. The reunion was for all the descendants of my great-great-grandparents (the Yanicks) who came to Canada in the late 1800’s. There was 150 people there, a lot of them I’ve never met before. I got to know a few of them, but unfortunately most of the organized events didn’t force me to socialize and I’m not outgoing enough to seek out new people, especially when there were plenty of relatives I did know and wanted to catch up with. So most of the weekend was spent with Team Green (my great-grandmother’s offspring) whom I see every Christmas.

The highlights of the weekend were the pickup softball game (Team Green vs random relatives); sneaky water balloon attacks on unsuspecting Yanicks; crazy Ukrainian dancing – the bruising butterfly and Baba’s impoved line dance (WHOOO!); ensuring some unsuspecting relative won the Backstreet Boys CD in the silent auction; farmer hats for all; pickup floor hockey; and the best, best food I’ve eaten in months. So much dilled food, cream sauces, onions in everything, buckets of “Nuts and Bullets”, borscht, hollopchy, and real church-basement perogies. It it wasn’t for the oppressive heat, pickup sports games, an the morning runs I went on, I’m sure I would have gained 10 lbs.

After spending some time with relatives, I quickly realize where I get my competitive and mischievous streaks from. I was also surprised to notice that most of my relatives had darker tans than me – we must be descendent from some dark skinned Ukrainians.

Christmas Pictures

As promised, here are some pictures from Christmas 2004 at the farm. Warning: Big pictures (400 – 900 K)

Gingerbread House (Baba and Alexander) – Kelsey also helped. Good job team!
Presents Everywhere (Trevor on couch) – I guess no one was naughty this year
Immunity Necklace (Mom) – Mom will not be voted off the island tonight
7′ Long Blanket (Mom & Dad) – Nice candy necklace
I’d Rather Be Sleeping (Kelsey) – Not everyone enjoys waking up early to open presents
Can I Go Back To Sleep Now? (Kelsey) Blame Wiener for the early morning
Bonfire Under Construction (Aunt Sheryl, Derek, Uncle Uke, Me) – Building a Ukrainian fuel cell
Ceremonial Lighting of the Bonfire (Trevor) – Notice the spent fireworks stuffed in there
Fire and Ice – Not enough snow to put out this puppy
A Rip-Roaring Blaze – Not as big as last year, but still impressive

So, how did you spend your boxing day? I spent it hauling dead trees from the bush and making a big-ass blaze.

Christmas Review

Got back from Christmas at the farm on Monday. As always, it was a blast.

The highlights:

  • Oneupmanship in MS Pinball. Uncle Rodney was a machine. No one could touch his score.
  • Christmas Eve dinner – more food than you could shake a stick at, and enough beans and cabbage to make

    sitting around the fireplace dangerous.

  • Baba Luhowey wondering who the new girl was (sorry Derek, but you need a haircut).
  • Our Coulson-sized bonfire – a blaze that could be seen for miles (pictures to be added later when Kelsey gets back from her snowboarding trip).
  • Uncle Uke’s fireworks show – including the African Lions and the Statue of Liberty stunt.
  • A short, but lively broomball game on the lake at the Ponderosa.
  • Getting schooled in Hola (a card game) by my 98 year-old great-grandmother – she hasn’t lost any of her

    wits.

More of my Christmas review

Christmas Stuff

I thought I’d write a quick post about my general Christmas experiences in Winnipeg so far.

The trip home was fairly uneventful. Although Hugh Chipman (Arrrrrr!) was sitting beside me on the ride to the airport. And then our plane was delayed 30 minute while they located the pilot. I thought that was amusing.

I arrived in Winnipeg Friday night and have been freezing my butt of ever since. Today was the first day I didn’t wear long underwear all day. Although the weather here is really wacky – temperatures around 0 Celsius one day than near 0 Kelvin the next. It was -1 today, but tomorrow has a high of -22 (yes, “HIGH of -22”! meaning it will be colder than that most of the day).

The Christmas shopping is well underway. I braved the mall on Saturday and bought a few presents. I need to finish it all off before Thursday when we’re heading out to my grandma’s farm for Christmas. The farm is always a blast. Lots of relatives, great food (mmm kutya and perogies), and the annual Christmas bonfire (see picture) and broomball game. Not to mention numerous crokanole tournaments.

As soon as Kelsey (little sister) gets home from her fake bake session I have to head out to drop off that Fed Ex package, pick-up my mom her hair appointment, and pick-up Roxie from work. Roxie and I are making a ginger bread house tonight. We’ll see how that turns out. Maybe I’ll post a picture (I’m starting to like this live journal thing) – don’t worry I’m sure the posts will start to spread out soon.

Take it easy all. And if I haven’t talked to you individually, have a great Christmas, happy Hanukkah, and a fabulous New Year.