What I Do
What I do…… What don’t I do probably is the better question….
I have so many loves and passions, and the journey so far has taken me to many different things. Organically leading from one thing to another. Some have been really successful some meh not so much…But I love the getting up and moving forward, the building the challenge.
I can talk..oh boy can I talk, sometimes I tire myself out. So why not do it for a living… I do speak on a variety of topics here in BC but also have been across Canada and the Upper United States. I have been the keynote speaker at a few events larger, but the majority small. Facilitating and finding solutions has been part of my life for the past several years on the non profit front and I found that I love that role.
I have been on CTV, Joy TV and Global. I have been on CBC Radio North and Vancouver. I enjoy doing TV and have a lot of fun with it. We have over the years been asked to develop a show so we have taped two pilots neither of which were picked up, I thought they would be big in at least Korea…. I am currently working on a U-tube show title unknown yet. A friend who is as busy as me is partnering up behind the scenes. A second U-tube show is in talks as well, putting a real spin on Christian Conversation. Who knows where any of this goes, but I sure have fun trying.
I have been a contributor for several local publication, to include the BC council for families, BC federation of foster parents association, adoptive families of British Columbia, “What’s On Mission” and entrepreneur mom now. I am a regular in the Johnson Pork Calendar, Mr. October..hubba hubba.
I enjoy writing although I am not very good at it. I like to write as I speak, plain and simple. Lovingly I refer to it as Russellnease. Writing it is easy but understanding it takes a solid person with a trained eye…
I have finished or started 23 cook books all with singular titles Soups, Salads etc.… its along story why only ones small one has been published to date. We actually have had several people interested in them over the years. Infact we had a publisher sign with us, then it fell through. I swear to God that the cook book process is cursed for us. We have lots several editors over the years, one even to death. At least 4 USB sticks have been lost, tossed or stolen over the years.
The series is call Mr Mom’s Worlds Books for Cooks……A take off of the original one from our first company called Babushka’s Café and Haberdashery…Books for Cooks. Only 1000 were printed for our customers to be able to buy. Who knows maybe there are mores still out there than the 5 that I currently have.
I am a caterer by trade,many people have called me a chef, which I guess is true although I tend to think of a chef as a classically trained person, spending years training abroad and going to prestigious schools all over the world. Ok so that certainly is not me nor 75% of the worlds chefs. I enjoy cooking and creating. I enjoy when people love what you have cooked for them. I have been very blessed to have built a great clientele over the years, that has allowed us to travel all over.
I was trained by the best, all of my grandmothers but my Mom is an amazing cook as well. I am a basic cook, with so many kids I have focused on plain and simple. I have owned several restaurants/cafes over the years. Our food has always been down home cooking, featuring our Ukrainian foods.
In our first café here in BC we started with our Ukrainian products to include 23 different flavors of perogies. For twenty years we took our Ukrainian products to many markets across British Columbia. In the early years we had our own line of jams, baking and coffees as well. Grandma made her own fudge.
Our Baking was a big hit at the market with some unique products, one being the “Shano” pie which my then eight year old son invented. Apple, Blueberry and Cherry pie all separated in the same pie, and of course the “Mom Berry” similar to a bumbleberry. Our butter tarts (my late aunts recipe) were shipped to California. At Christmas our shortbreads could not be kept on the shelves.
We participated in many food shows over the years where we showed, sampled and sold our products. I have been on stage as a presenter, have MC’d shows and we have sponsored cooking stages.
I am also the dad of ten.. I call us a FAB Family (that is short for fabulous). When I played on the other team I had two amazing kids with my ex-wife, now 30 and 28. I have now been married (partnered until this past March) to my husband for 28 years, together we have adopted five wonderful children and we continue to foster three cuties.
Our relationship has been amazing…oh don’t let me kid you its been a lot of work. Lots of challenges along the way. We have worked most of the kinks out…. We both have similar upbringings, smaller community, same work ethics. He certainly is my rock, can not imagine life with out him… ok yes I can but only for a short time.
Travel is something that we have done since meeting. Our first joint trip to Puerto Vallarta, was so eventful, I wish I was blogging back then. Looking back it seems hilarious. Darrell almost losing his foot now seems funny? Ok I guess you had to be there. We have been to almost all 50 states (are there more now?) and to Europe. Our bucket list is full so who know where to next.
As I start the next phase of my life I realized I am changing things up. I am g\oing to do more things just for me or my family. The catering world in which we lived for so many years and so good for us, we have started to shut down. We have kept our “D” Listers as I lovingly call them, the ones that have grown with us over the years and continued to support us as we grew. Now the jobs although larger in nature and usually away, are getting fewer and that is ok too.
As we head towards retirement (or so thinks Darrell), we are able to give back to a variety of charities. We usually donate our time and food and they will auction our services off or in-fact pay the ticket amount. 100 percent of the proceeds go back to the charity.
We teach our kids that we as a family are extremely blessed and that we have a duty to give back. I have learned one thing and that is that people really want to help they just don’t know how to. I would love to say that this is all I do but I don’t think so its just all I can think of right now… I am sure we will add to this list real soon..
A key note speaker at IFCO (International Foster Care Organization), I continue to speak across Canada and Upper United States on a variety of topics, although mainly smaller events he is open to larger audiences as well.
I continue to cater many of the same clients that have risen successfully in their own companies or lives and have been loyal to Mr Mom for the past twenty years. Now only taking a few catering jobs per year for those loyal customers it takes me to places like New York, Chicago, Toronto, Halifax, Hawaii and many other wonderful locations.
Food, Fun, Family, Facilitation & Fur…not necessarily in that order where I will continue and regularly talk about all that goes on in the life of Mr Mom, my humorous stories about my husband, family and travels to the serious topics of my work and passions to the getting old part of my life, and what that means for an old queen like myself.