Monday, August 27, 2012

Family Treasures

As a result of Arthur's parents' move into a condo in Winnipeg, some of the family treasures were given new homes.

We were delighted to be put in charge of taking care of the Samovar shown above. The story goes that family members fled from Russia with it. It's really heavy so the whole idea of fleeing with something like that needs some more discussion with Mom and Dad.

Our goal is to get it into shape so that we can actually use it. In order to do that, we had to figure out how to use one. This is what we’ve learned so far. The big reservoir holds hot water that is heated by live coal or burning pine cones in the middle chamber. A very strong concentrated tea is brewed on top of the samovar. When you want some tea, the hostess pours a bit of concentrate into your cup and then adds hot water from the samovar. Through our research into samovars we have learned that they were often taken on picnics or used outdoors. This is what we plan to do. (When it is being heated with coal, the samovar will be outside. We live in a wooden house and pay a lot for insurance as it is!)

Interestingly, Arthur writes from Iraq: "This is samovar country. There are all kinds of double tea pots everywhere. Each morning we get served our tea in two pourings, the concentrate and then water. My colleagues are making jokes about my enthusiasm for samovars. I'll try to restrain myself from bringing one home."

When we got this brass one from Mom and Dad, the outside was quite tarnished and the inside was scaly and it didn't look like you’d want to drink water that came out of it. However, after about 5 hours of heavy rubbing and polishing from two of us along with a day-long soak I think it is almost ready to go..

We also go this cupboard. It used to sit in the basement at the bottom of the stairs. Arthur cleaned up the outside and painted the inside and now it sits in our dining room proudly showing off his grandmother's china which we inherited quite a few years ago.

Outtatown Bake Sale

Conrad and three friends who are going on Outtatown were in our kitchen baking for a fundraising Bake Sale that they had at our church.

From our kitchen, they made:
  • 1 Texas Sheet Cake
  • 1 Batch of Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 2 Apple Rhubarb Pies
  • 1 Mango Platz
  • 1 Peach Platz
  • 2 Nectarine Pies
  • 10 Apple-Rhubarb Perishkys
  • A Partridge in a Pear Tree (Just kidding!)

    • Conrad has inherited some of his father's famous pie baking skills because the end results were really good!
    Here are two of the Outtatowners were joined by a good friend (middle) who helped them do some baking one evening.

Friday, August 17, 2012

And he's off!

Arthur left for Iraq this morning bright and early.
We had a small going away party the night before at our house.

You can follow his adventures at

Thursday, August 16, 2012

We went out for a fancy supper tonight to celebrate a few events. The primary purpose was to celebrate Erik's birthday but we also marked Arthur's birthday and the fact that on Friday, Arthur is leaving for Iraq and then we won't be together as a family until Conrad gets back from Africa.
It was Erik's idea to dress up.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Can you guess who just turned twenty?

And can you guess who had a baby 20 years ago today?
Latest Craft Project
In May I realized that I had a skirt that was boring and drab -- even to the point of being ugly. My options were to either get rid of it or do something about it. So I decided to get creative and make two kinds of fringes and add some decorative tape.
Above: Before

Below: After

Arthur's Blog of Iraq

If you are interested in following Arthur's adventures in Iraq, click the link and see what he's up to there.

Monday, August 06, 2012

On the Move

Are you wondering why we are so behind on posting events?

Arthur's parents sold their house and yard in early June. They had eight weeks to find a new place and get organized to move! After living on that yard for a lifetime and in that house for over 40 years this seemed like an overwhelming task! We spent the following weekends, holidays, banked days and evenings packing, sorting, painting and helping in any way that we could.

In the end, we realize that we didn't take many pictures of the move. From the old place, we've got two photos: The boys disassembling the stereo and me trying on a bridesmaid dress Mom wore to her sister's wedding in 1966.

Mom and Dad got the keys for the condo on July 16.

So that day we gathered at the new place for KFC supper. It also was Everett's 3rd birthday so we celebrated that on the floor of the dining room with cupcakes.

It was a marathon 2 months but we achieved the goal and on July 27th they moved into a lovely, large, newly painted and freshly cleaned condo that fulfilled all of Mom's criteria (2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, ensuite laundry, a view of trees, and indoor parking).


Now all we/they need to do is unpack and get settled! But we can take our time doing that.