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Tuesday, 26 August 2014


On our way to see Aline, heavy storm clouds started piling up.

When we arrived, Meg, the border collie, greeted us enthusiastically and slipped into the house with us, but, being well-trained to know her place, remained in the porch.

            Aline was on the phone to Nicholas who had asked his mom to call as soon as we arrived because he didn’t want to miss our visit.

            From the fridge, Aline triumphantly produced cold bottles of beer.  “There’ll always be a beer for you,” she assured me.  “George used to say, ‘My sister’s coming.  There’s gotta be beer in the fridge’.”

            Beer, a platter of cheese and pepperoni . . . man!

            Also, on the table were a fruit platter and Nanaimo squares!  Aline apologized for the squares, saying, “The bottom layer is too dry.”  She had asked for Graham wafers but received Graham wafer crumbs.  “It’s so much better to crush the wafers yourself,” she sighed.  She was right about the bottom layer but the top layers of custard and chocolate more than made up for it!  I had more than piece J 

            I asked Nick if he had a picture of his girlfriend so he showed us one on his I-phone.  (Very pretty.)

            Bryan, with only a little Irish exaggeration, likes to describe this as a very Canadian moment because Nick also showed us a picture of his tractor.  It was actually a few minutes later when Nick’s farm had become the major topic.  Nick is really enjoying farming.

            It was a great visit, and we got back safely to Russell in spite of slashing rain and great flashes of lightning.   


Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Daniela, Serge, & Andrew

 Daniela welcomed us to Calgary with Brazilian Cake! 

 (It's very nice,  like a dense flan.)  She also gave us a tour of the new home which Serge is remodeling. She showed us the ‘before’ pictures and they were UGLY, but, in just 6 months what Serge has accomplished is amazing!

(I wish you could see some pictures of all this, but, sadly, I left my tablet behind in Calgary L  The upside, however, is that we’ll return home now via Calgary and get to see Daniela, Serge, and Andre again.)

Andrew entertained us by hauling one toy after another out of the garage and racing full tilt with them into a tree.  He fuelled up by raiding Daniela’s potted strawberries that were just beginning to turn red, but he didn’t stop there.  He popped in green ones, too, declaring, “Yum!”

“Yum!” I echoed as Serge grilled thick, juicy steaks and Daniela laid out a feast of perogies with mushroom sauce, yellow beans, and Greek salad.
We were sent off with treasures from Ukraine:  chocolate bars for each of us and a gorgeous little embroidered shirt for Kepler.

Serge, Daniela, and Andrew just visited Ukraine earlier this year.  They enjoyed their trip immensely even though there was an air of tension in Kiev.  “People just aren’t smiling like they used to,” Daniela said.    

From Golden

Diana got a nice new haircut for the trip!

Stopped in Hope at McDonald’s.  Why do towering green mountains look better once I have my hands wrapped around a coffee?

Hot and sunny but hazy in Kamloops.

Diana and I spent a lot of time going through old newspaper clippings that I never got around to filing into my binders.  I have lots of binders organized by recipe ingredient.  That way, if I have sour cream, for instance, left over from one recipe, I can quickly find another recipe to use it up.

Did you know that basil plants repel mosquitoes?  Another of my clippings gave me a recipe for non-toxic Mosquito Repellent that’s safe for using with children.  J

The haze got really bad when we reached Golden.  Besides the forest fires near Kelowna, there’s smoke drifting down from the Northwest Territories.

The Island Restaurant in Golden is nicely located beside a rushing milky-green river and offers an interesting Mexican Madness menu, but, sadly, the food was disappointing.

Next time, maybe, a patio table at the Greek Restaurant?  

And if you’re ever traveling on a tight budget, Mary’s Motel in Golden is okay.  The beds are clean – none of those little biters I’ve met in nicer looking rooms. 

P. S.  On our way home, we stopped again at Golden and went to the Greek Restaurant.  It was okay.  

Next time, the Bistro in town!

Monday, 18 August 2014


Monday August 18
Surrey – Golden, BC    7.75 hrs   (690 KM)

Tuesday August 19
Golden – Calgary, AB    3 hrs  ( 265 KM)
Lunch with Serge , Daniela, & Andrew  

Calgary – Swift Current, SK    6 hrs   (515 KM)

Wednesday August 20
Swift Current – Estevan, SK    4.5 hrs   (405 KM)
Lunch with Helen at Tower Café 1124 4th St

Estevan – Russell, MB   4.25 hrs  (320 KM)

 Visit Aline

Thursday August 21
Russell / Shoal Lake

Visit Donald & Karen

Maybe Visit Inglis Elevator Museum    

Friday August 22
Russell – Saskatoon, SK   4.75 hrs  (435 KM)

Supper at Gary & Morgan's  

Saturday August 23
Saskatoon – Hinton, AB   9 hrs   (800 KM)

Sunday August 24
Hinton – Surrey, BC   9.75 hrs   (850 KM)

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Visitors from Ontario

 It’s shocking how years can go by without one's seeing some relatives.  So, naturally, we were so pleased when Bryan’s niece decided to come out to the coast for a holiday. 
Bryan made a pizza to serve them as soon as they arrived.

  Angela and Cristian

 Naturally, there was a lot of reminiscing about family.  Angela made us laugh with her stories about her grandmother who I always remember as such a lady.

Can you imagine Kay cursing under her breath while trying to fix a leaky faucet?

Angela also remembers Kay frequently setting things on fire in the kitchen.  Heating buns in a paper bag was a tricky operation for Kay even though she would conscientiously dampen the outside of the bag.  In addition, well-done chicken and beef made regular appearances on Kay’s table.
However, Angela noted Kay’s more elegant efforts.  A red jellied salad containing canned fruit cocktail was often served along with the aforementioned chicken or beef.
 As an appetizer, Kay would  set half a canned pear on a leaf of Iceberg Lettuce, cover it with Miracle Whip and a sprinkling of paprika.  (This actually sounded very like one of my favourite Cordon Bleu recipes!
Kay`s desserts included Davy Crockett balls, raspberry pies, and, of course, that Chocolate Cake which, I insist, is the best ever!  For recipe, see

Kay with baby Angela

Thanks so much for the lovely visit!


P.S.  Angela sent me the following recipe:
 : "As promised... Grama Foran’s Davey Crockett Balls December 2000 2 cups icing sugar 4 tbsp butter 1 tsp vanilla ½ cup peanut butter ½ cup chopped nuts ½ cup (or more!) red/green cherries Mix together, roll into small bite sized balls. Melt 4 squares of unsweetened chocolate with 1/8 bar of paraffin wax. Dips balls into chocolate mixture, allow to dry on tin foil."

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

SEATTLE with a little guy, 16 months old

                                                There are lots of Fun Things  . . . 

. . . to HEAR at the outdoor Sculpture Park . . .

and SEE . . .

 . . . and  DO  

Then down to the WaterFront . . .

. . . and there are yummy things to EAT . . .

Even if you have to eat in shifts because Kepler wants to run about instead.  

 And,on a HOT day, when the pool shuts down at your hotel, there's an ENORMOUS fountain park where you can get totally soaked in a SECOND.

Very Cool, SEATTLE!

Monday, 11 August 2014

30 years ago . . . MARY STADNYK

Aug 11, 1982 
I am very sick with the flu since Sat.  I hope I get over it by Sat to go to the wedding.

I bought you twin sizes sheets.  I may send them if I get to it.  Diana told me that you may go to the wedding so I thought I will give them to you.  I bought 2 sets as they were one for such price and 2 were little more.

I been doing raspberry fruit lately.  I have 14 quarts and Dad said he will pick more on Lornie’s as ours froze last winter.  They were winter killed as there was no snow on them but Lornie has lots and Mervin Presniak gave a gallon of strawberries so I did them and I still got Saskatoon from last year.  I will pick the beans today, there is not much of them but I will have enough. 

We had frost yesterday, the cucumbers got touched, there is no cucumber as yet, they got touched with frost in the spring too.   My cabbage is small and geese been at it too.  I have a lot of beets so will have to do borsch next week and do some beet pickles.  Dad wants them, I don’t like beet pickles.

That freezer jam is good on ice cream too.  Jelly I never made as we are not for jellies.

Diana told me that the baby was sick.  When you were small the doctor told me to give vitamins as soon as you start getting colds and it did help.
I won’t have my hair done for the wedding as the hairdresser going away to a funeral that day.  So I will wash it and it will be all right as it’s short yet.

Matt is going to town this afternoon so I will get him to mail the letters.

Tracey is going to the wedding with us.  

George is going with all his family.  

Dad says we may not go to Nestor’s this fall as the geese are too much trouble.  But I am still hoping.  We sure not going to keep no more geese, like the ducks gave me too much trouble last year so this year the geese.  I don’t want nothing any more but Dad says we will get few chickens yet. 

I will close for now, may write more next time. 

We all loved Mom’s jars of raspberry preserves.  I’m talking about canned fruit --- not jam.   I’ve never made raspberry preserves, but I think this is Mom's recipe:

4 cups raspberries
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups water

Boil for 20 minutes.  Fill one sterilized quart sealer.  Seal and store.


Here are Mom’s recipes for Raspberry and Strawberry Jam:

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Nicole's Day!

Memories of one Saturday, August 10:

This morning we went to McDonald’s for breakfast because Nicole loves ‘Donald’s’.  Daddy gave the girls harmonicas and I gave them school bags as they love to play school.
In the afternoon, we went to Kinsmen Park for the rides.
In the evening, I made Pizza Pork Chops and special macaroni and we had chocolate cake (Grandma Foran's recipe, of course).  

It was a lovely day.

P.S.  Nicole, who still loves pasta, wanted help twirling spaghetti just days before her 2nd birthday.  “Wiggle, wiggle,” she said, holding her fork up.


Nicole’s art at the age of 2

When Nicole and Kepler were visiting this summer, we went to the Price Smart store in Richmond because it has a fantastic fish department where we once selected a fish from a tank. 

This time, Nicole chose a couple of live crabs.  It was the first time we ever cooked crabs but they were WONDERFUL!  Nicole said she considered this her birthday dinner with us. 


Happy, Happy Birthday to my daughter!

  Grandma Kay Foran's Chocolate Cake recipe:  it's still 

  the best:


Grease and flour 9x9 pan.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Into large mixing bowl put:

1 ¾ cups flour
½ cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
3 tbsp cocoa
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp baking powder
Stir all dry ingredients  to blend.

Now add:
1 cup cold water
½ cup salad oil
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg

Use hand mixer to combine all ingredients .  Turn into pan.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Spread with Vanilla Butter Icing.

*I love to serve cake hot out of the oven.  Just ice the pieces individually before serving. 

Ice the remainder of the cake when it cools.

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Kepler’s first Dim Sum

We chose The Jade because of its reputation for "acclaimed dim sum".

We had some good dishes like the steamed ribs, but, overall, this was not the best Dim Sum ever.  I didn't like the recommended pan-fried lamb dumplings, but Nicole and I thought the mushroom dumplings were delicious.   

Shrimp rolls with Hundred Year Old Duck Eggs (I ate most of these.)

Durian Dessert Buns:  NEVER, NEVER order these!  They are mushy and smell like an overripe mixture of bananas and onions L

Diana bravely ate a whole bun!