Monday, August 26, 2013

Saskatoon Berry Barn

To finish off the long weekend and our 'family reunion' a flock of Kehrigs descended on one of our favourite prairie spots - The Saskatoon Berry Barn.

Aside from being a very attractive spot along the river it offers fantastic Ukrainian food and a stellar waffle bar with fresh berry toppings. A great spot to celebrate exactly 50 years since my parents wedding. A few pictures below.

This is Christina's favorite new dress. Mom ended up hemming the top on it right before leaving the house. However, it wasn't without a small misstep.Mom ended up getting distracted by the multitude of children running about and hemmed the sleaves across from each other. I was scared that Chrissy was going to lose her mind, but she took it all in stride and 5 minutes later Mom fixed it and no one was the wiser...til now I guess. Sorry for ratting you out Mom. 

Bonus Picture - My neice Jade has quite long hair. To keep it from getting knotted her mom braids it into 3 pigtails. I have never seen that number of pigtails before and was fascinated by the process and the end product. This is Jade getting her hair done before heading out for lunch.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

50 Years of Family

On the August long weekend myself and all of my siblings headed to Saskatoon to celebrate a family milestone. On August 5th 1963 my parents Mary and Francis were married at Nobleville church. In appreciation of that event 50 years prior we gathered to celebrate.

My sister Monica, has already written a fantastic blog post recapping the weekend. Her photography and language skills dwarf my own and I highly recommenced you go and read it before reading the rest of my post.

Have you read it yet? I can wait.....

Alright! Pretty great huh?

Consider this a brother to the sister post where I will share some of my pictures (plus Geoff's pictures), and offer my own brief comments.

Being that all of the 'nuclear family' were present, my sisters Monica and Stephanie thought it would be a good time to formally welcome my betrothed (Christina) into the family with a Kehrig wedding shower. (Another great Monica blog post). While Chrissy was getting all of the attention I thought it would be a good time to spend some time with my brothers. With a very limited plan we headed out in a couple of cars to Humboldt Lake and Lawrence's cabin.

Geoff, Paul, and myself packed into Randy's car and headed out taking a short-cut down a gravel road. As is the case with shortcuts in Saskatchewan we soon ran into an obstacle.

A little back-tracking and a liquor board store stop later we ended up at Humboldt lake. 

The lounging and BS'ing began.

After way too many beers and way too much sun the inevitable one-upmanships and challenges started to go around. My closest brother in age and athletic hero as a child, Geoff, put it out there that he could beat me in a sprint. Egged on by Paul (and booze) we decided that there was only one way to settle it. The race was on.

The spectator judges measured out a 100 metres for us and signaled the race to begin. We both got off to strong starts with Geoff jumping out a bit ahead. Over the next couple of strides, with no shoes on to weigh me down, I found my next gear and passed him. I was ahead for quite awhile before I noticed that I couldn't feel his presence at all. Surely, the old man wasn't that slow! As I breezed past the finish line I looked back to see Geoff brushing himself off not far from the point where I passed him. Apparently while trying to find his next gear he hit a low spot in the grass and did a headfirst role into unkempt field. 

With a few scrapes and bruises to his knee, head and ego he recognized that I was the sprint champ. 

Not long after the race we headed back to Saskatoon and Stephanie's place to catch the end of Christina's shower and receive some surprise gifts.

Old Vienna hats courtesy of Paul
I received a very special, and fitting to the date, wedding gift from my family - custom made cuff links designed with my fathers distinctive signature.

Photo courtesy of Chris Parry - Bespoke Jewelry
I played it cool at the time, but really this is easily the best gift I have ever received. I can't wait to wear them on the big day and will cherish them for all time.

While everyone was assembled we got together to take some pictures. I was pretty boozy and Geoff was a little scraped up but we managed to get one or two decent pictures.

Sunday started low key for Chrissy and I consisting of a little Saskatoon sight seeing before heading back to visit with the rest of the family.

We really like the painted rocks visible along the shore from the Broadway Bridge. Very cool idea.

Back at Mom's the trampoline was the cause of much of the days excitement as the grand-kids bounced for hours on end. 

I eventually found my way inside the bouncing madhouse with the kids where my considerable weight sent them double bounced in all directions.

It didn't take much to wear me out and after about my 3rd shower of the day it was time to eat and toast Mom for all she has done and provided for us over the years.

Mom's gift was a clay replica of the Church where her and my father were married. It was constructed by Toula's House of Clay who I can't recommenced highly enough.  Photo's on Monica's blog site - which you already know as you went and read it first. Good Job!

Wrapping up the day was a trip to Dad at his marker and resting place. Mom prepared some speaking notes and we conducted our own tribute to the man who in partnership with Mom made it all possible.

It was a fitting way to end the day, together with family in a beautiful and serene location.

I can't say enough about how blessed I am to have the family that I do: The fine example and loving home provided by my parents, the camaraderie of my siblings, the acceptance with open arms to the family extended to Christina, I recognize all of this and I am truly fortunate.

Thank you to all of you.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Working for the Weekend

Christina and I either separately or collectively have been out of town for the majority of the weekends this summer. While we enjoy being out of town we sometimes just like being 'homebodies'. Or at least my version of a homebody. Highlights of this past weekend include:

I took the Friday off from work, but it wasn't a day off - oh no. I had many chores to do including grocery shopping, laundry, a trip to the bottle depot, yardwork, and a couple of fun items, like tending the garden and making supper.

As I had some extra time and was gifted fresh mint from a co-worker I attempted to cook a leg of lamb for the first time.

The meat turned out better than I expected and Chrissy's modified mint sauce was a great compliment to the lamb, potatoes and parsnips.  That with garden fresh beans and carrots made it seem like a fall harvest meal as opposed to an early summer supper - but whatever, I enjoyed it.

With distended stomachs we decided to test out our new outdoor fire pot for the first time ever. Of course, we had to test the fire pit to it's absolute maximum.

Saturday morning started off slow before heading out to the City Market Downtown where we shopped for deals.

After picking up some kohlrabi from Kuhlmann's we found an interesting glass birdbath which will serve an un-yet decided purpose at the wedding. Heading back to the car we stopped at the Mercer Collective Makers Market to check out the craft sellers. I can't say we were all that impressed with the wares for sale - but we were impressed by the ingenuity and salesmanship of a young gent who convinced Christina and I try to try our hand at origami.

I ended up doing almost none of the folding on my ninja throwing star. Sometimes you just need to get the pro's (even pre-teen ones) to do the work for you. And yes, I am wearing a Green Lantern ring. I am practising wearing a ring before the wedding and it lets everyone know that I am both awesome and taken.

As everything recently has seemed to be wedding related I don't why this weekend would be any different. An amazingly efficient and time saving meeting with Maxine at our reception location, St. Johns Cultural Centre, left us wondering why anybody would go anywhere else and what to do with all of our newly found time.  We decided to drive North ending up in St. Albert.

Once again we were back at a Farmers market

Like always I was looking for snowball turnips - and it was a good day.

Just look at that beauty in my right hand. It's the size of a toddlers head. 

Not knowing what to do next we continued on driving North.  While passing through Bon Accord we learned it was Harvest Days. How could we not stop?

The sports grounds and hockey rink were the main draw with a ball tournament, carnival style games and yet another market. This one was quite educational. Did you know that it is best to store your wine vertically in evening wear that supports enormous breasts - particularly camouflage? 

After seeing the 'wine wear' I was feeling especially virile and eager to show off to Chrissy.  I absolutely destroyed the bell on top of the strong man competition. 

Not to be outdone Christina took her turn and fared alright. I think she 'threw it' so I could keep my masculinity.

Turning the corner around the rink we came upon a petting zoo and immediately pushed aside many small children to get our chance to play with the animals.

Koko 'B' Ware
Still unsure what to do Chrissy and I headed toward home. As we passed by Gibbons we were overcome with thirst and decided to stop at Goose Hummock Golf Course for a beverage. The course looked great, but was mysteriously empty. More room on the patio for us.

Sunday, a day of rest, was a lot more low key.  Lots of gardening and reading through the morning and early afternoon before heading out to Fort In View Golf Course for 18 holes.

Pro Form

So that was the nice quiet weekend at home. I could use a few more...