Friday, December 31, 2010

Finally Knitting A Sweater

This year, I am making a commitment to knit something of value.  Not that dishcloths are not useful, I just don't think I am making use of my full knitting potential.  I recently purchased a copy of Genevieve Miller's Vampire Knits.  I has some very nice modern projects I can't wait to get started on, particularly the 'Love Bites-For Him' sweater.
I was happy that Knitpicks still had that particular yarn still available. It is Wool of the Andes in Coal colour.  This sweater is simple and I think I will really enjoy knitting it.  I hope my husband likes it!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rescued Pup

My very kind neighbour was leaving work yesterday and noticed something moving in the snowbank.  Lo and behold it was a puppy, no more than two months old, covered in snow looking weak and exhausted.  He picked up the puppy and put it in his truck, then went in the store to purchase food and treat for the poor little fella (which turns out is a female).  One of the managers wanted to see the pup so he brought it in to let it sniff around while he shopped.  This sickly little puppy was weaving around she was so weak.  He brought her home, fed her and gave her water.   She was dirty and skinny, but a good bath and lots of food seems to have perked her up.  When she was let out to pee in the morning she wasn't too anxious to go out the door, for fear she would not be let back in.    Today she was playful and happy, jumping and playing like any puppy would.  When he let her out to pee again she paused at the door, worried he would not let her back in the house.  She stood outside with one paw still  in the doorway so we couldn't shut the door on her. We are not allowed animals in this apartment complex, but he is really hoping he can keep her.
I don't know how people can neglect their animal that badly.  Even though people here like having their dogs, many of the locals leave them tied outside no matter what the weather.  Someone in town lost all their pups a few weeks ago because they froze to death outside.  There is no animal shelter here, if the dog is picked up by the bylaw officer, I hear they are left in a cage on the tundra and are no better off.  This makes me heartsick for these neglected dogs. 

There is a couple in town that spend their own money getting wood to build and donate little houses for dogs that they see tied outside out in the open. Please, if you are reading this and you have pets, spay or neuter them so there are less unwanted animals roaming around.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Lazy Daisy No More

When I met my husband, I was a very svelt 123lbs.  All muscle, I might add.  My husband was a lanky 185lbs.  Fast forward 14 years and I am now pushing 160lbs.  Mark has also added a couple dozen pounds to his frame.  He is much more athletic than me though, so the weight looks good on him.  I can't blame my weight gain on my daughter, I returned to my pre-pregnancy weight of 135lbs two weeks after she was born.  I just can't seem to stop focusing on the joy of eating these last few years.  I have some hard work ahead of me but, thanks to my new (to me) manual treadmill, I am hoping to change all that.  I think the parts of my body that bother me the most are my roly-poly arms.  For someone that used to be so thin, I never had very slim arms to begin with.  I never had to dress to camouflage them either, but now I choose my wardrobe carefully.  If I can't control my eating, I will control my level of activity.  I managed a full three minutes of fast paced walking on this slightly inclined treadmill, and had to take a break.  A long road ahead.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Belief Still Intact

I am happy and very relieved that my daughter's belief in Santa is still intact.  A few days ago I thought I had let the cat out of the bag (check my previous post).  After mentioning Santa and looking for cues that she is wise to the folklore, I'm confidant she still believes.  Phew!!  Glad she will still enjoy that part of Christmas a little longer.  I think I was six when I found out about Santa.  I don't remember being crushed by the revelation.  We still got presents, so all was well!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Spilling The Beans About Santa

I may have inadvertantly spilled the beans about Santa today.  I was in my own little world, talking to my brother on the phone and discussing who was playing Santa at his church brunch.  I told him we had a young employee play Santa at the Northern and that you can even see the elastic holding up his beard.  I wasn't paying attention to the fact that my five year old daughter was just a few feet away watching tv.  I had just brought her to see Santa at the store last week.  I'm hoping she wasn't paying attention to my conversation, being engrossed in an episode of Fairly Odd Parents.  She hasn't questioned my about it but she may also just be keeping it to herself.  I feel SO bad.  I really hope she didn't hear me.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside

It's about 6:25pm and I just checked the weather network.  The temperature outside is -51C with the windchill. Ouch!  I had to walk home from work and I was glad to finally get here.  Unfortunately, my lettuce froze on the way.  It's only a 15 minute walk tops, and I have a full length down coat, but my legs were still feeling the pinch of this crazy cold weather.  Time for a hot bath.   

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Teaching My Daughter French

When my daughter was born, I spoke to her in French.  For the first two years of her life, every word she spoke was French.  The problem was, my husband does not speak any French, only English. When I noticed my daughter was falling behind in her language development, I figured it was because we were trying to teach her both languages at once.  I began to speak to her in English and also brought her to speech therapy.  She made good progress, but in the three years that have passed I haven't been conversing in French with her.  Last year, when we moved to Iqaluit, we were fortunate in that there was a French language daycare and school.  The teachers are from Quebec and so had taught Sarah to speak French with perfect pronunciation.

We have since moved to Baker Lake and Sarah is attending an English/Inuktitut school.  Sarah is facing the same difficulties the Inuit children are in preserving their native language.  I must admit, even though I went to French school my whole life, it is easier to just speak English. We are surrounded by the English language on TV, radio and in newspapers.  My husbands family is English and all of our friends are English speaking.  Keeping up my French language has been a challenge. The more I make the effort to speak it though, the more comfortable I am in expressing myself.  If I have difficulty finding the right word, I look it up in my English/French dictionary.  It will be a challenge to go back to thinking in French. 

My next step is to find some interesting French books to read.  I found the Janet Evanovich books for sale, translated into French.  I checked it out online, and it's a slangy French that will be fun to read.  I think I will put that on my Christmas list!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lovely Morning Colours

On my walk to work this morning, I remembered to bring my camera.  This beautiful photo was shot at about 8:40 this morning.  There was just a sliver of a moon and one bright star out.   Nothing else to report!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A New Beginning

These last few years I have been thinking a lot about 'what would my life be like if...'  One of those 'ifs' was university.  How different would my life be now if I had gone to university instead of college.  My goals and interests now are very different  than they were when I was 19.  At that age I would have entered university to become an archaeologist.  Being that I was too shy to leave home, I instead went to college to become a secretary.  My shyness and lack of self confidence even then did not allow me to pursue the field.  Instead, I worked in a call centre.  When it closed its doors, I took a job in a factory.  During this time, I met my husband who was in college taking an electronics course.  It was the 1990's and the field was booming.  I signed up with a little encouragement from him and graduated. I was an electronics engineering technician.  I worked as a technician for a wonderful company for three years, then the market tanked.  Nortel sold our facility to another company.  Withing two years we were closed and I was out of work.  Luckily, I found another job as a technician in my home town.  I worked there for five years always afraid of lay-offs, with good reason.  Such is the nature of the manufacturing world. After being off work  for five months due to an illness, I was laid off. That company is still struggling but is managing to stay open.  I would never work in contract manufacturing again.  I have overcome my shyness and enjoy working with the public very much.  And so, I've decided it is time to go back to school.  I will be taking my courses part-time and online, working towards a Bachelor of Social Work, so I can still hold down a full-time job and pay the bills.  I am happy I won't be retiring and still saying to myself  "I wish I would have..."

On a lighter note, I took some pretty pictures outside today and here they are.  It's a beautiful clear day and I'm hoping tonight we can see the Northern Lights.  We'll see!

Monday, November 22, 2010


I have just spent the last couple of hours deleting over 2000 emails.  I have signed up to so many newsletters, get jokes forwarded to me, confirmation letters from eBay,, Chapters, etc. I've had this email address for several years now and every so often I'll sit down and delete a pile of emails, yet I still have so many that I 'save' to read later.  Of course I either never get around to it, or neglect to delete it once it's read.  I'm down to about 300 emails now, I'll get around to sorting through those another time.  I am such a procrastinator.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

At Last

I finally got my tank filled at 4pm.  I think they finally broke down after 8 or 9 calls.  Now the task of cleaning three days worth of dishes.  Better pour myself a tall glass of wine.  I've been saving it all day just for this, lol!!!

Day 3, Still No Water

I am STILL out of water.  It's been three days and I am still waiting for the water truck to come.  Every dish in the house is dirty and I've resorted to melting snow in a roasting pan to flush the toilet and wash my hands.  At first we had no water because the sewage tank was full.  The truck finally came after a few calls and so we had the water running for half a day until we actually ran out of water.   What a pain in the butt.  I know they are backed up because of the blizzard, but I NEED to clean my house! 

Friday, November 19, 2010

No Water

I've been out of water since yesterday.  Not because there is no water in the tank, but because the pump is broken.  Great.  I hope it's not a part they have to order.  In the meantime, I scooped a pile of snow into my roasting pan and let it melt so I can wash my hands.  I really need a coffee too (sigh).

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Weather Update

I took another picture of the view out my window this afternoon.  It's a little brighter outside and visibility has improved some, but it's gotten colder.  At 2pm, it is   -25C , and -44C with the windchill.  Wind gusts up to 80km/h.   The water and sewer trucks are not running.  The city is shut down for the day.  Hope it clears up enough tomorrow to open the daycare and the store.

Blizzard in Baker Lake

These last two days have been blustery, to say the least.  There's been a blizzard the likes of which I have never seen.  The wind gusts were at 100km/h last I checked yesterday before bed.  This morning it seems to have 'calmed down' some, the wind gusts are at 78km/h and the temperature is at -40C with the windchill.  Brrrr.  They even closed the Northern store at least until noon. The daycare and schools are closed too.  Oh well, I'll get some housework done this morning.  Here are some pictures I took this morning. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Back To Crafting

I have to admit, the original purpose of this blog has seriously gone to the wayside.  I haven't been using my free time very efficiently.  Mostly tv watching, obsessively monitoring Facebook and doing housework.  I need to snap out of 'getting-through-each-day' mode and get back to creating. 

I love to see what's new (to me) in the world of arts and crafts so I've been looking around on Etsy and came across some super fun crochet projects that got me excited about learning this craft.

Check out this link

Of course this project is way out of my league but it serves to inspire me to get started creating something fabulous.  So maybe I'll start here .

I thought this was so adorable, and something I could use for my coffee at work.  I am always using the cardboard coffee sleeves so as not to burn my fingers.  This little reusable cozy will do the trick!  I think my coworkers will get a kick out of this too!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Wow, Amazing Steak

I bought this 1 1/2 inch tenderloin steak from Rick the butcher at the Northern.  Sadly, we are losing his services to the store in Cambridge Bay.  We'll miss you Rick!

My Daughter The Extrovert

My daughter loves to get her picture taken and is not shy when it comes to drawing attention to herself.  Here are some pics we took while out shopping today.  She is with my husband doing the 'Ta-Da!' pose.  The other looks like a move from a tap dance routine.

Can 'O' Chicken

We were shopping at the Northern today and came across this can of chicken on a Christmas display.  Thought I would share this with you since I have never seen this before. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Around Town

Here are some of the landmarks around Baker Lake.  The pictures are not very bright, they were taken at 8:45am a couple of days ago.
This is the Northern store.  This is where you shop for clothes, groceries, electronics etc. The  post office is also in the Northern as well as a KFC and PizzaHut.  This is where people come to cash their cheques since there is no bank in town.

The Jessie Oonark Centre.  They sell locally made arts and crafts including jewelry, wallhangings and stone sculptures.

The Catholic church

This building houses the town's pool.  It is only open during the summer.

 The community centre, sorry it's a little dark.  There is a hockey rink in here (I'll post more pictures later) as well as an indoor playgym like you would find at McDonald's only twice as big.  The kids come to play here every day after school.  Each age group has a time slot.

They are building the new Co-op store here.

The rear view of the new highschool

The Iglu hotel

On my walk to work, a view of the main road.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The 'Dirt' on Baker Lake

I was pleasantly surprised when I first move to Baker Lake with the colour of the dirt roads. I would describe them as being a nice Salmon Pink. Not quite PEI, but pretty nonetheless. Here are some pictures I took before the snow fell, in the beginning of October.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

On To Baker Lake

After a hiatus of many months, I am finally able to blog again. Due to a coffee spill (my husband's, not mine!) I was no longer able to use my laptop, many of the keys just didn't work. I tried cleaning it and made some headway, but was still missing my letters T,Y,G,H, the backspace and tab. I tried cutting and pasting updates on Facebook for awhile but that is way too much work to post updates on my blog. Anyway, I was finally able to afford a new laptop, so here I am.

In October, my husband and I moved our family to Baker Lake, Nunavut. I have to say I am enjoying my job very much here. I do miss Iqaluit though, it was much more of a happening spot.

My daughter has gone from an all-French school to an English-Inuktituk school. There are no bars here as it is a dry town. Not much opportunity to socialize in an adult only setting. Lots of opportunity to meet other moms though when I pick up my daughter from school, or go to the indoor play gym at the community centre.

This passed weekend, I took my daughter out for Halloween. It was cold, but not too bad. Up here the kids either wear their costume over their winter gear, or trick or treat with a mask or makeup. Sarah had a long princess gown peaking out the bottom of her coat and a princess crown over her hat. Didn't take long for people to run out of candy, some kids were shuttled around by their parents on skidoos or 4 wheelers. We were travelling behind the mob, so many of the houses were tapped out by the time we got there! No worries though, Sarah had fun and still managed to get quite a bit of candy. She has enough to last her a few weeks at least!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Acquiring a pet in Iqaluit

Now that we have settled in here and we know we will be staying a while, I decided to get my daughter a pet.  Originally I thought I would get a fish, like a betta or a goldfish.  There are no pet stores in Iqaluit, so it's quite expensive just to have them shipped up here and they are not guaranteed to get here alive.  When I was in Arctic Ventures one day, I noticed they sold hamster food.  I figured, where there is hamster food, there must be hamsters.  I made up a few signs with tear-away phone number tabs saying I was looking for a hamster.  Only a few days later, we got a call.  A family was ready to part with their pet and were happy to find a new home for it.  My daughter is just tickled.  She loves to watch it, carry it around in the caddy, and watch it run in its ball.  She also likes to feed it broccoli and carrots.  All in all, a good diversion.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Miss Trees

One of the things I really enjoyed in the South was our family nature walks. We didn't go often, but I loved taking our weekend drives along the outskirts of town and stopping in here and there for a stroll amongst the flora and fauna.  I happened upon a website yesterday, . It has many posters of trees and nature in general as well as art prints, movie posters, photography, travel posters, and many others.  The 'Tree' category is even broken down into all the different types of trees.   Needless to say, I will be plastering my walls with posters and prints of maple trees and all the other things I miss about home. 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

We make our own fun in the North

Before I moved here, I have to say I was not an outdoorsy person.  Definitely stayed indoors during the winter, and the summer for that matter.  Since we've been here though, I've come to embrace the weather and snow. Almost every day, I pull my daughter home on her sled.  It's gotten so much use, there is a hole in one end of the sled from all the wear and tear.  I have to say, I got my $25 worth. 
Today, my coworker told me she saw some kids sliding down a hill on garbage bags.   Not only is it a cheap thrill , apparently you slide down the hill at break neck spead.  When I discussed this with a friend of mine, she told me when she was a girl, they would slide down the hill on seal skins!  Apparently you could make it down the hill lightning fast.  Oh, the good old days!  These days, I view wearing seal skin as a luxury.  But back then I suppose seal skin was so abundant, you could spare some to let your kids play with.  I actually saw a child with what looked like wolf fur pants last month.  I would love a pair of those, they looked so warm!  Definitely an item you wouldn't find anywhere else but the North!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


This morning I brought my daughter to the hospital emergency.  What I thought was just a pimple turned out to be a staph infection.  In case you have never heard of a staph infection, here is the explanation I got from

Staph infections are usually caused by the S. Aureus (shortened for Staphylococcus Aureus ) bacteria. This bacteria is usually found in the nose or on the skin of a person. They are usually harmless and only cause relatively minor skin infections. However if the bacterium does enter the bloodstream it can spread into the urinary tract, lungs and heart of a person ultimately resulting in a very deadly situation. The illnesses caused by the S. Aureus bacteria can range from minor skin infections such as pimples, boils, and cellulitis to much more serious and life threatening illnesses such as pneumonia, meningitis, septicema, osteomyelitis, and endocarditis.

Scary stuff.  The doctor had to drain the pimple (which was actually pea sized) and gave me a cream to apply four times a day. If the cream does not work within two days, she will take oral antibiotics.  If two days later, it still does not look better, it's onto IV antibiotics.   My poor daughter was brave 'till the end when it was so painful she screamed.  I felt so bad for her.  Her eye is now pretty swollen, halfway shut.

I wish I could stay home with her for the next few days.  Hopefully it will look better by Tuesday and we won't have to use any other antibiotics.

Sunday, February 14, 2010


I've realized that my blog is not one of those 'niche' blogs that appeals to a specific group of people.  It started out being about crafts, but has morphed more into an online diary about parenting with the occasional peppering of craft projects and general ramblings.  I hope that doesn't annoy my readers,  I enjoy all kinds of crafts and am still writing about that, but my mind has been all about family and kids lately.  Any thoughts on that? 

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Innocent Musings of a Four Year Old

Last night, I read to my daughter the story of The Gingerbread Man.  She loves this story, and has been asking for it these last couple of nights.  After the story, I told her I would lie down with her for a while until she fell asleep.  She is normally a very active child from morning to night, so she will stay up 'till 9:30 if I don't keep her company for a while.  Anyway, I closed my eyes and relaxed but she was being way too quiet.  She would normally at this point be asking for water, another story, another kiss and a hug, a different pj etc., so I opened my eyes and looked over at her.  She was staring off, deep in thought.  I asked her what she was thinking about.  She said she was wondering why the gingerbread man was able to run faster than everybody else, and how was the fox able to eat the gingerbread man, and how does the gingerbread man run anyway?  Isn't he a cookie?

I wish she would stay four years old forever.  I love being her number one, I love that she is so honest when I ask her a question, I love that she needs me.  She is so funny and happy and loving and generous.  Pure of heart.  Those words come to mind when I think of my daughter.  I wish I could have ten more just like her.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My Creative Care Package

Thank you so much to Jen of Jenzart for sending me a creative care package. I was so excited when I received it in the mail this week!  When I mentioned on Facebook one day that I wish I had brought my craft supplies with me, she generously offered to send me this creative care package which consists of pretty and interesting papers, sheet music, sparkly stuff, buttons and lots lots more!  I made my first ATC in months. Felt good, I really needed that!  I only took a picture of a fraction of the items that were in the box but here is a sample of what Jen sent me.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

On acquiring a simple bottle of rum!

"Here's to alcohol: the cause of, and answer to, all of life's problems." - Homer Simpson

I've discovered how difficult it is to get a bottle of rum here.  Must be why the bootleggers make such great business.

First, you have to get a permit for each bottle you want to order, every time you order alcohol. The permit office is only open 9-noon and 1:30 to 4:00, so unless you're unemployed,or your boss is ok with you taking time off work to go buy booze (not likely) you're out of luck. You have to arrange for shipping yourself, and they don't tell you where to call to order it in the first place. Apparently, that information is classifed. It's a freaking secret society.

I can understand why they make it so difficult, to discourage people from drinking in the first place. However, I really think there should be a place you can go to purchase a permit that is like a licence (good for a year) order your booze, and arrange to have it shipped all at the same time.  

Sunday, January 24, 2010

On Loneliness

“We're born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we're not alone.” - Orson Wells

I think the excitement and newness of living here has worn off, and the reality of being away from family and friends is setting in.  I'm in between that stage of 'getting to know this new city' and 'having a circle of friends'.  Although I'm here with my husband and four year old daughter, I feel the need to connect with others. 

My world seems very small right now.  I go to work, come home, do chores and scan facebook, then wait for the next work day to come.  I'm ready for the next step, which is having a social life!  I'm too broke to join any clubs or go out to the bars.  I am wondering how to go about organizing a group of some sort to get together with every week and do.....  I really don't care what.  Have coffee, do crafts, chat, whatever.  I feel like a desperate, friendless social reject at this point.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

So, it's been a while

So much has happened in the last year, where do I start. Big move for us a few months ago. We packed up and moved to Nunavut! We love it up here, even with the crazy cold weather. Today was no exception, temperature with the windchill was -52C . That's about -62 Farenheit. You know its cold when the locals are complaining about the weather!

When we moved here, we decided not to buy a car. Gas is expensive, about $1.35/litre or $5/ gallon. We don't live too far from work, and if we need to take a taxi, rides are only $6 per person, and kids ride free. I usually take a taxi to bring Sarah to daycare in the morning. Then I either walk or cab it to work, depending on the weather. So a couple of days ago, I'm walking back from the daycare with Sarah in the sled. It's a 30 min walk, it's -44C with the wind, I forgot to wear my snowpants so I'm freezing and the wind is stinging my legs. Hurrying as best I can to get back home before I turn into a popsicle. Sarah starts mumbling some complaints, I can barely hear her over the wind and traffic. mommy......Mommy...MOMMMYYYY!! I finally stop and ask her 'What's wrong?' and she says ...KNOCK KNOCK!

Glad to know she is toasty warm in her Canada Goose parka and snowpants with Baffin boots. I, on the other hand, am still wearing the short jacket I wore in Ontario and am feeling the wrath of winter. My biggest mistake wasn't only forgetting my snowpants when I left for work in the morning, but wearing the tightest jeans I own. Lesson learned, I will be toting my winter gear with me everywhere I go from now on! We do live just below the arctic circle after all.