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Posts Tagged ‘Winnipeg’

Food plays a very important part in our everyday lives. It is our fuel and gives us sustenance so we can live. I would venture to say that from the beginning of time (however you feel that started) all living creatures knew instinctively that eating was integral to their survival. Over time, the reasons we eat have grown exponentially: boredom, stress, socially, cravings, gluttony … really any excuse can be given for eating. In my lifetime I have met very few people who follow the school of thought, “Eat to live, not live to eat”and He-Who is certainly not one of them.

Very early in our relationship I discovered the importance of food to He-Who. Perhaps I should have clued in with the endless stories of all the food that he missed from his native Winnipeg. Yes, I became well versed in how “Winnipeg is the Center Of The Universe” when it comes to food (among other things). When friends or family mentioned they would be coming to Ontario for a visit they were quickly provided with a list including rye bread, cabbage rolls, perogies, corned beef, etc. and where to get them. It didn’t matter if the travellers were his friends or family. If he overheard someone talking in a restaurant he would introduce himself and produce the list, asking if you thought they might bring some of this back with them. Believe me, over the years, all manner of unsuspecting folks have become He-Who’s food-mules.

Once, when his Mother came for a visit the giant suitcase containing the food went missing. We had made it all the way back to Niagara Falls from the Toronto airport. He was on the phone in minutes tracking down the bag and making arrangements for its rescue. It was not a happy visit until he was reunited with the misplaced food.

When I first met Patrick, one of his best friends from Winnipeg, we picked him up at the airport, confirmed his food baggage was accounted for and headed to one of He-Who’s favourite pizzerias. All the way there Patrick was educated on the fact that this pizza was “almost” as good as the pizza he used to eat in Winnipeg. We ordered our food and chatted.  He-Who excused himself for a minute and before he returned our food arrived. As I chatted with Patrick I took a nibble from He-Who’s plate. I like to share so that I can try different things. Patrick’s eyes almost popped out of his head as he tried to stop me. “What are you doing? Don’t do that! If you want this relationship to go anywhere for the love of God do not touch that man’s food!” I was amused by what I thought was Patrick’s over-reaction. When He-Who returned to the table I told him what had happened. He was not amused and pretty much told me to eat my own. Of course, Patrick had to tell the story of the time he tried to take a piece of pizza from him and it almost ended in a war. It seems He-Who ordered the pizza he wanted and then offered to buy Patrick one for himself. Patrick said he would just have a piece of his. He-Who adamantly said, “No you won’t. I will buy you your own”.  Patrick in his naivety declined his own pizza and did attempt to procure a piece from He-Who. A few stitches, a tetanus shot and several years later, Patrick timidly shows me the scar from He-Who defending his pizza with a fork.

FORK

Over the years most members of my family have gotten use to He-Whos peculiarities about food. In fact, they cater to him. If we are invited for a meal I can guarantee you it will be something He-Who likes and they have probably accosted some old Ukrainian Babushka for it. When they visit they come bearing rye bread and bagels for him. One sister even brought corned beef! They spoil him. When it comes to food he always gets his way. Until recently.

Bread

My sister Pat recently retired and because of this we have had the good fortune to spend more time with her. She brought with her a partial loaf of bread she thought I would like. That’s right. I said it was for me. Somehow over the past 17 or so years she had missed the extreme nature of He-Who’s love of food. The bread was delicious. I enjoyed it. He-Who loved it. When we enquired as to where she got it she didn’t know. My sister Lu had given it to her. Lu came to visit and brought another loaf  “for He-Who”.  We found out it was Miche Rye from Panera Bread.

Panera Bread Oakville

The most convenient Panera Bread to us is in Oakville, about 100k away. We pass it on our way to Niagara Falls on a regular basis. Our next trip to Niagara included a stop at Panera Bread. Pat was with us and we were dropping her in Niagara for a visit. She planned to pick up a loaf of bread to take with her. I planned to pick up two loaves and freeze one. We were all happy campers as we approached Oakville.  Most of you have been in a Panera Bread. As you enter, the wonderful aromas make your mouth water. We stood in line staring at all the yummy stuff on the shelves. Pat and I noticed at the same moment that there was only one loaf of Miche Rye left. We raced each other to the cashiers. I reached mine first and asked, “Is that your last loaf or is there more in the back?” My cashier said, “I will check” and disappeared. Pat reached the cashier second and stated, “I will take that loaf, please.” By the time my cashier came back to give me the bad news that there were no more, my sister had already paid for the last loaf. I was stunned. I was speechless. I had to make myself look at He-Who. There was an expression I have never seen on his face. He very quietly left the building and went outside. I watched him. Words were exchanged between Pat and myself. In her defence she was clueless when it came to He-Who and his food.   I went into the restroom to avoid having to go outside. Pat, thinking she was doing the right thing asked the cashier to split the loaf. Poor Pat. She just didn’t get it. There were more words exchanged as we got into the car. He-Who was silent. Pat was now outraged that there was such a fuss over a loaf of bread and asked, “If you had gotten it would you have split the loaf?” Without missing a beat I responded, “No”. He-Who reached over and patted my hand. The car was silent the rest of the way to Niagara Falls. I would like to say that was the end of it but sadly there was still some bread throwing to come.

Miche Rye Bread

After dropping Pat off we decided to continue to Niagara Falls, New York and visit the Panera Bread there. They had one loaf left. I bought it. You may be scratching your head right now when you realize that we actually entered into another country to get this darn bread, but as soon as it was in the car the atmosphere changed. All was right with the world. Well, He-Who’s world, anyway.

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My Pig Shoes

Back in October 2008 I finally took a trip I had been trying to avoid since I met He-Who. I went to his birthplace. Yes, folks, I went to Winnipeg, aka: The Centre Of The Universe.
As it turned out I had a wonderful time. I met some lovely people who all treated me like royalty and made me feel right at home. Friendships were formed that will always be with me. The strongest bond was with one new friend in particular: Sammy.
Sammy was great fun. A little messy. A little noisy. But quite amusing. I had never met anyone quite like Sammy. It’s quite possible it was because I have always lived in the city and Sammy … well, Sammy was a pig. I don’t mean Sammy was a slob. Sammy was a real honest to goodness pig. Like in the book “The Three Little Pigs”. Except Sammy wasn’t little. She wasn’t one of those miniature potbelly pigs that celebrities make popular. She was a real, full size pig. A pig’s pig so to speak.

I fell in love with Sammy the first time I saw her. She was just that kind of pig. Her family was quite amused at my insisting that I be able to go out to the pen and feed her while I was there.

Truth be told … I hadn’t packed for slopping pigs. My clothes could be washed but my shoes were an issue. By the time I reached Sammy at each feeding my shoes would be caked in stuff I don’t want to think about and often became stuck firmly enough that I walked out of them. It became my mission to find the perfect pig shoes to sport while spending time with Sammy. It took me days to find them but I knew them the instant I saw them. I was so proud the first time I put them on to go feed Sammy and I couldn’t understand why everyone looked shocked. I could hear them laughing all the way to the pig’s digs. I didn’t care. That meant I could spend more time with my swine friend.

There was just something about Sammy that made you want to spend time with her. Personally, I think Sammy was a natural Shaman, a healer. When I met Sammy she was about 2 ½ years old. She had come to live with her human mom, Susie, in early spring of 2006. She was just a few weeks old and weighed only 10 lbs. Susie has a great love of animals, especially pigs. While recuperating from an injury, Susie was pretty much housebound and was becoming quite depressed. One day, her husband, Craig, just after arriving home, asked her to retrieve something he had forgotten in the truck. Susie wasn’t impressed but begrudgingly went out to the truck, opened the door and found a tiny piglet wrapped in a carpet. Susie’s story…

Instantly I was excited but full of wonder as to what I was going to do with her. I then grabbed her and ran into the house, happier than I could have imagined. I had Craig go out and build her a house and a fence. From that moment on you couldn’t keep me in the house. Craig, at this point, thought he would eventually be making bacon and chops! Boy was he wrong. He thought I’d get over the thrill of the pig. After about a week I had picked her name. You see, in high school, I had acquaintances that knew my name, but for some strange reason called me Sam. So Sammy it was. I would buy jarred baby food and cook oatmeal twice a day, mixing fruits and veggies for her. She would get so excited! It was fun to feed her good stuff. People around me commented on how ridiculous I was being for spoiling her, but I didn’t care. I found it funny when I’d get the odd inquiry about her favorite foods. Not long after, Craig began buying cheeseburgers from McDonalds for Sammy and soon it was ice cream. A neighbour would bring black forest cake right from the bakery for Sammy. I had started a spoiling trend. I had naps with her in my lap out in her pen, sat with her through storms and did whatever I could to give back to her what she was giving me. She gave me reason to start my day and look forward to the next one. Over the years Sammy became a special part of many peoples lives. People would pop in just to see her, whether to give her a treat or just to pet her. She was so playful she would run and push toys around. She would roll over for a belly rub anytime! She had this hilarious wiggle when she got super excited. I called it her “dance”. I’m smiling just picturing it! My dogs at the time, Harley and Rocky, would stay by her pen at night and were always pleased to clean her snout after her meals. They loved her. As Craig continued to expand the farm, Sam would check things out with the other animals! She had a few more buddies, too. She and one of the horses would kiss over the fence and walk along beside each other. It was adorable! She was ready to babysit waterfowl and shared her mud bath with them when they were too young to head out to the pond. And I would often see this cat sitting on Sammy’s back. She was just all around a genuine, healing angel!

When it was time to leave my newfound friend, my hosts suggested that I leave my “pig shoes” behind and promised they would be there the next time I visited. When I came home, He-Who heard all about my adventures with Sammy and all about my pig shoes. The following August (2009) we were able to return to Winnipeg together. I couldn’t wait for He-Who to meet Sammy and was pretty excited to see her again. As soon as I got in the door and introductions were made, I asked if I could go out and see Sammy. Surprisingly I was told my pig shoes were right where I had left them. He-Who followed me out to the garage and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw me retrieve my pig shoes and proudly model them for him.

“But … they’re WHITE!” he said, shaking his head. “I thought they would be some kind of boot or something. NOT white sneakers.” I grinned and said, “They work for me” and dragged him out to meet Sammy. It was wonderful to see Sammy again and I know she knew who I was and was appropriately impressed that I came back to see her.

Sammy was about 600 lbs. when she passed away from pneumonia in March of this year. She is dearly missed by Susie and all those whose lives she touched. Suzie tells me the farmyard has not been the same without her. She was truly loved and led an amazing life in the little menagerie.

I still have my pig shoes and think of my friend Sammy every time I look at them.

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Maui is one of my favourite places in the world.  I have had the good fortune to visit there twice.  A recent post from my good friend Lauren on Facebook reminded me of my least favourite event on my last visit there.  It is pretty hard to find something bad about Maui. As far as tropical paradises go it has to be at the top of the list.  It has sun and sand and beautiful crystal clear water as far as the eye can see. 

There are rainbows and double rainbows every day, although for some reason I never did get a great picture of one.

You can take the “Road Trip” of a lifetime and survive The Road To Hana.

Aside from the breathtaking views and the death defying twists and turns you can have a swim at one of my favourite spots, The Black Beach.

You can watch whales, sunsets and whales and sunsets.

You can go sailing on a catamaran as long as you have your sea legs.

And if you happen to be there on St. Patricks Day celebrating someone’s birthday you can attend the absolute best St. Patrick’s Day Party … ever!

Now, I have to tell you I enjoyed all those adventures and more.  The thing is I am a water girl. I love the water. I love the beach. I was born and raised in the Niagara Peninsula, surrounded by water. I had Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, The Niagara River, Niagara Falls, Sherkston Beaches and Crystal Beach as my playground growing up.  So if there is a beach I’m there! This particular trip we stayed right on one of the beaches. It was pretty mild, not as sandy as I would like for swimming but the views were spectacular. He Who Shall Remain Nameless for his own protection is not a water person. He grew up in Winnipeg, often called Winterpeg (especially by me) one of the coldest places in Canada. He had a ball walking around in the water up to his ankles on “our” beach.

He is quite content to sit on the beach and watch me frolic in the water. I say frolic because, although I love the water, I am not a strong swimmer. I can swim. I’m just not very good at it.  This has never hampered my spirits when jumping into “the deep end”.  I heard about this beach called “Big Beach” on Maui  that I had not seen on my previous visit.  Once I knew about it I had to go.  It was gorgeous! It was definitely “big”. This lovely sandy beach is almost 2/3 of a mile long and over 100 yards wide and  the official name is Makena Beach.  As we walked to the water we saw postings, warning signs if you will, with statements like this: “Cautions: Monitor ocean conditions closely. Strong currents and surf possible. Obey all postings and warnings.” There were a lot of people there and it was easy to see why it was considered “The” beach to go to.  I have no clue how I missed it on my first trip.  My little beach bunny  set himself up on perch where he could watch me and wave.  I was in my glory.

Is that not a beautiful thing to behold? I was having a great time. Not straying more than a yard from shore in what seemed extremely shallow water.  It was even shallow enough for my fellow!  I waved at him. He waved back. I laughed. I smiled. I got hit from behind!

I went face first, pushed right into the sandy floor. It definitely knocked the wind out of me. As I tried to right myself the undertow grabbed my feet and pulled them out from under me dragging me into the water. I couldn’t breath. I fought to surface, gasping for air. My fella smiled and waved. Another wave hit me pushing from behind, I had only made it to my knees and under I went again. My legs were like anchors holding me down in the undertow. I got my face up again and saw my fella, smiling and waving. I couldn’t understand how he couldn’t see I was in trouble! What was he thinking?! I heard a child’s voice right in front of me,  screaming at me, “Lady, stand up! Stand up!”.  What a great idea… but my legs are gone and I am being pushed down again.  I gave up trying to stand up. I dug my hands in the sandy bottom and hung on so I wouldn’t be dragged further out again. Then little by little I crawled the few feet with my hands dug in for dear life until my face surfaced and as I sputtered and gasped I could see my wonderful fella smiling and waving. I felt strong hands grab me on either side as they dragged me further out of the water to safety. Of course as soon as two young, handsome, strong bucks approach me then my fella knows something is wrong and perhaps he should see what is up.  As my rescuers were attending to me they looked up at this man grinning sheepishly wondering what he wanted. I followed their gaze and saw him standing there. I said, “That’s OK, he’s my husband”.  They looked at him like he was from outer space. The grinning waving man.Of course, as soon as I was able I tore a strip off him up one side and down the other.

Me: What’s wrong with you?

Him: I thought you were just having fun!

Me: Having fun?! I was drowning! What’s wrong with you?

Him: You looked like you were having a great time just splashing around playing in the water.

Me: What’s wrong with you? I was drowning?

I’m pretty sure I was screaming at some octave that would do damage to a dogs hearing.  This all came flashing back at me when I read my friend’s post Drowning Doesn’t Look Like Drowning

I have never been afraid of water in my life but I confess I was terrified that day. In fact I was terrified the next day. My biggest fear was that I would leave Maui with that terror of the water still hanging on to me.  Ah, but my Knight in Shining Armour  (not the guys on the beach – He Who Should Remain Nameless for his own protection) arranged for us to go to another beach before we left.  We went by boat to the island of Lanai where there was a beautiful, pristine, quiet, calm beach.  He also arranged for a water coach (for lack of a better word) who spent a great deal of time with me getting me back in the water and comfortable enough to have some fun. Of course my fella ventured in up to his knees and kept waving and hollering for me to come back in closer to shore. He watched me like a hawk. He was determined to not miss it if I was going to drown again.

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He-Who arrived home at 2:00 am Sunday morning, which I like to call “very late Saturday night”. He flew down to Florida last week for some R & R and to join a buddy on the drive back to Ontario. Unfortunately for them they had some car problems and ended up abandoning their vehicle  in Chattanooga Tennessee, renting a car and then completing their journey. There had been several phone calls marking their progress (in vivid detail) while still trying to continue the drive in the vehicle eventually left behind. As I listened, I was reminded of an adventureous road trip my sister Pat and I had years ago.

This is not a tale of some wild “bucket list” adventure, but of a simple road trip gone wrong, long before we were all tethered together via cell phone, computers and GPS.  Pat was moving from Barrie, Ontario to Calgary, Alberta. Her husband and a lot of their belongings were already there and she was driving their car and the remainder of their belongings to finish the move.  We started in Niagara Falls (where I lived at the time) on a beautiful, late August morning and after a couple of time-consuming side trips (Toronto) we arrived in Barrie at the storage unit holding her worldly goods. Our first challenge was staring us in the face. How do we get enough stuff that would fill a half-ton truck to fit into an already overloaded 1985 Mercury Lynx- something like this one.

For awhile it looked like I would be getting bungie corded to the roof along with various pieces of furniture. Instead, I promised not to complain as I was folded into the tiny space left in the front seat. I quickly lost  all feeling my lower extremities.  As we passed through Sudbury (home of the big Nickel) I had my eye on the gas gauge praying for a pit stop. Unfortunately for my legs and bladder, Pat went on to Whitefish (don’t ask I have no idea). When we got back on the road it started to rain. A lot. The tapedeck (yes, I said tapedeck) got a serious case of the munchies and started eating our tapes which meant we might be forced to sing to amuse ourselves.  My attempts at resurrecting the tape deck proved to be temporary fixes at best and dash damaging at worst. As we passed through Sault Ste Marie around 9:00 pm, the car stalled out in 4th gear. We started it up again and pressed on through vast areas of nothing to the next sign of civilization. Around 10:30 we were witness to a spectacular display of Northern Lights.  After many hills and many more “Moose Crossings” we arrived in Wawa (home of the giant goose). It was 1:00 am.

Just like Texas…Canadians like “big” stuff.

We got on the road again, still in the pouring rain, only to have the car misbehave in White River (birth place of “Winnie” of The Pooh). Fortunately, they had a “24 hour mechanic on duty”. Unfortunately, he had gone to lunch and would be back in an hour. I ask you, does that not make him a 23 hour mechanic?  Upon his return he diagnosed our car to be terminal and said there was nothing he could do.  We decided to take our chances for now (famous last words). Somehow we survived “Hell on Highway 17″. All we had to do was follow the trail of mufflers on the road. We were told we would hit “a little construction”. I consider actual mine-sized holes quite a bit of construction! We reached Thunder Bay and the car simply could go no further. We literally rolled down a hill into a hotel parking lot. Needless to say, beverages were needed this night!

After waking up and finding I had been eaten alive by bedbugs, a plan was formulated.   The first thing we did was move to a new hotel for the 18 – 20 hour wait while my brother-in-law drove in from Calgary. A trip to the mall helped kill some time but not quite as much time as it took for me to get out of the cab upon our return.  The door in the back  was broken and somehow triggered the locking system. I was trapped in the back seat for quite a while. After calming down, we went for dinner, where I found a hair in my soup and I was served a hoagie without the steak. I gave up and went back to my room to put ointment on my bites.

Pat’s husband finally arrived to rescue us, a half-hour after the rental place for towing things closed, so we spent another night in Thunder Bay. Now remember that part about no GPS or google maps? We got lost trying to find the U-Haul place!  Wonder of wonders we finally made it out of Ontario and into “Friendly” Manitoba, my brother-in-law towing the car with his pickup. Only two more provinces to go. Sixty miles east of Winnipeg, smoke started billowing from the truck. The transmission was pooched. One of our delightful RCMPs came to our rescue and arranged for a tow truck. He was laughing the whole time as he watched the tow truck towing the pickup truck towing the car to the nearest service station. Hadishville, Manitoba (at the time) consisted of the Parkview Inn (four rooms)/Restaurant/Bar and a service station and we were stuck there until the parts could come from Winnipeg to fix the truck – Monday morning. We  had the run of the place for the weekend. The restaurant was closed on Sunday so the owners lent us their vehicle for the day to drive into Winnipeg (home of the author of Winnie The Pooh). By Monday morning we were clearing tables, doing dishes and peeling potatoes to keep ourselves amused. We were back on the road by 5:30 pm with me driving. An hour later there was a big clumping noise. We pulled onto the shoulder but found no problem. After another hour on the road people were waving at us as they passed, mouthing something. I finally made out the word “smoke” and stopped again. It appeared to be the muffler. Back on the road. As the sky darkened and the sun sank, we realized the headlights weren’t working. Off we went again to a service station to replace a fuse. The lights went off again before we left the parking lot. It appeared to be a short. When we reached Brandon (hometown of Amanda Stott, Pat’s hubby did a “MacGyver” with a paper clip. Voila, we had lights … until they started to flicker. Then the fuse board flashed! We were staying put for the night. Did I mention the freak snow storm that had enveloped us? As it turned out, they closed the highway because visibility was so bad, with or without headlights.

The next morning we rose with the sun. The rest of the trip had to be made in daylight. We made it through Saskatchewan without incident and limped into Calgary, white-knuckled and holding our breath. The “Road Trip from Hell” had ended. I was quite content walking around Calgary for days until boarding a plane for my return journey.

The Road Trip From Hell – 3,555 km

I love my sister and missed her a lot. I was really happy when years later she came back to Ontario.  And even happier she didn’t ask me to join her on the road trip back.

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Getting to know Sammi(I have had many requests from people to read the speech I gave on Winnipeg last winter. As I am venturing back to Winnipeg in a few weeks I thought I would kill two birds with one stone and rework the speech and post it as a blog. I hope you enjoy it.)

How many of you have ever been to Winnipeg? Or as I like to call it Winterpeg!  Was it by choice?  Would you go back?  Just so you know when I first wrote this, the temperature in Winnipeg was -29C (-20F), and they had 4 ½ feet of snow in their yards.
My husband, who shall remain nameless for his own protection, happens to be from Winnipeg, born and raised, Winnipigean.

I have spent the last 12 years, every single day of it, finding out why Winnipeg is the “Centre of the Universe”.
First and foremost you must realize that for my husband his world revolves around food. Now I am not talking about gourmet French cuisine here. I am talking about plain ordinary home cooking, the way my “Auntie” made it or my “Mom” made it. My nameless husband is a French fry and hamburger, pizza and meatloaf kind of guy.
When friends or family come to visit from Winnipeg he e-mails them a list
-rye bread from Cubs Bakery… because he has not found a decent loaf of rye bread since he has been in Ontario
-cabbage rolls from Auntie Edna’s
-and don’t forget the perogies from Alisha’s
His absolute favourite restaurant in Winnipeg is a chain of greasy spoons called Salisbury House where he can get the “world famous” NIPS …not really sure why they are called that…they are really just hamburgers. This chain is owned by none other than Burton Cummings.

Which brings me to the fact that anyone and everyone, who is anyone, is from Winnipeg. Did you know that Burton Cummings is from Winnipeg? Did you know that Randy Backman is from Winnipeg? Both of these men we know from the rock band “The Guess Who”.  I have many times heard the story of the little scrawny boy with the sax (that would be Burton Cummings) wandering the halls of the “Y” playing a few tunes.  Another alumni of my husband’s alma mater was David Steinberg renowned comedian, director and producer.  Doug Henning, Monty Hall and Chantal Kreviazuk.   Mimi Kuzyk, Neil Young and Peter NyguardLynn Johnston, Izzy Asper and even the father of our Medicare Tommy Douglas are all from Winnipeg.  By the way Tommy Douglas also happens to be the Grandfather of Keiffer Sutherland. There are few times I can see or hear anyone without hearing that little voice (my husband’s) telling me they are from Winnipeg.

Of course, serendipity always tends to play with me. I can admire a one of a kind scarf and the shopkeeper will tell me it was handmade in Winnipeg.  I will bring home a new centerpiece for the table and before proudly setting it in its place of honour, turn it over to read the story of how it was made in Winnipeg.  Some of you may remember that I was in search of my family heritage at one point in my life…no one, especially me, could have been more surprised to find that my birth father hailed from Winnipeg.
In my 12 years of hearing how Winnipeg is the Centre of the Universe I have always managed to dodge the Winnipeg “bullet”. I was too busy… or backed up… or just couldn’t get away right now, whenever the nameless one returned to his homeland. This year I found myself without one excuse not to go, I was “in transition” so I had the time.  Tickets were available with airmiles, Cousin Ray who often stayed with us on his business trips to Ontario treated us to hotel accommodations and loaned us a vehicle.  So the last week in August for his birthday we were off to Winnipeg…the trip was mapped out by way of his favourite restaurants and anyone who wanted to see him had to meet us for a scheduled meal.  We literally ate our way through Winnipeg and I came home 7 pounds heavier.

Shortly upon our return I received a phone call from my oldest sister on my father’s side.  A family reunion had been planned because some relatives were returning home from California and it would be a wonderful opportunity for me to meet, be met and bond with my absent family.  My sister bought the plane tickets.  Accommodations arrangements had already been made. Again, I had no excuses… so I was off to Winnipeg for Thanksgiving week. Did I mention the unknown heritage of mine was Ukrainian?  Those people know how to cook …and eat. I was on antibiotics at the time that were to be taken on an empty stomach.  Three days in I clambered up the stairs and said “people, stop feeding me, I have to take these on an empty stomach and my stomach hasn’t been empty since I got here”.

There is a reason the people of Winnipeg all have “Friendly Manitoba” on their license plates.  Truth be told I met some of the most wonderful people who made me feel truly welcome and like I belonged… and they were actually related to me!  While I was there I introduced several of them to facebook and we are all “friends” now and keep in touch on a regular basis.  One of my favourite friends I met while in Winnipeg is Sammi and although Sammi is not related to me in any way we definitely bonded.  We were a great source of amusement to everyone as I gleefully hauled out leftovers and Sammi would trundle over to greet me as they looked on and watched the “city kid” feeding their pig.

Recently, in my job search, most of my solid leads seem to be coming out of …you guessed it, Winnipeg.  So, I’m off to Winnipeg for some job interviews shortly. (I will again be interviewing while in Winnipeg this upcoming trip.)

The reality is that Winnipeg may very well become the centre of my universe!

-30-

NOTE: My husband is not alone in his obsession for food from his homeland. I recently stumbled across preparations for the Manitoba Homecoming 2010 and much to my amusement and his enjoyment, found that many of the activities centre around the food establishments on his list

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