Saturday, October 31, 2009

Like it was yesterday.

100_3323                        October 31st, 2008 a very tentative and slightly nervous woman walked off a First Air flight onto the snowy tundra not knowing what the next two years would hold.



That’s me!! I was that tentative and slight apprehensive woman and today marks my one year anniversary in the GWN (Great white north).  I like to think the North hasn’t changed me, but I know that it has.  I’m not the same nervous apprehensive woman I once was.  I hate to say I’m more abrupt and abrasive but I do border on both of them, however, on the other end of the spectrum I’m more open and friendly towards people I hardly know and that is a huge change as I use to be very sceptical about new people; judging the book by the cover.

I also find myself thinking about things that I normally wouldn’t be thinking about if I was living down south.

1.  Water truck…In a happy good world the water truck would arrive like clockwork 3x per week.  The world we live in is not always happy and good.

2.  Sewage truck…will it arrive today; and must remember to flush the toilet in case they suck my tank dry.

3.  Wednesday = Fresh produce day; the best time to go is when school is in session and preferably when it isn’t the hamlets or the co-ops payday.

4.  Starting Christmas shopping in October because you never know how long you’ll wait for your shipment to arrive.

5.  How I can put on enough layers to keep out the –4o weather and still manage to get some outside activity.

6.  How long until my next IPA (Vacation)

I like to think I’m older and wiser and I’ve grown in leaps and bounds in the last year, but really I think all I’ve learned is that I can dust my woodworking everyday and there is still hair that collects immediately after.   Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about living in Kugaaruk.  I wouldn’t change a thing about the last year, well okay I would…but that can be saved for another time and place.  I couldn’t ask for a better hamlet to be living in for our two year posting.  We have beautiful landscaping and post office that runs consistent and clear open water with a fresh smell of salt that permeates the skin on a cool summer day. 

I’m  not going  to rush the next year, although I know without doing so that I will be.  I’m a Southern girl at heart and while I love living here and all that it entails I’m looking forward to being back in civilization where I can get my Starbucks with my Chapters with a side order of Futureshop without making do with perked coffee and the internet.


Losing the sun = October 30th, 2009 @ 2:00pm

Bring on the long stretched out winter, I think I may even enjoy this one.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

To inject or not to inject.

Unless you live in a hole you would have heard about the newest news frenzy and the subject of my blog today.  H1N1.  The virus was/is highly contagious and infectious.  Therefore the need for a vaccine was pushed through the conveyor belt and is now approved for public inoculations. 

I have never been one to receive a FLU shot.  I can’t even recall getting a FLU shot as a child.  I did receive all the required inoculations as a child; Measles, Meningitis, your required baby & young child needles, and to this day I have no clue what they were for.  I have worked in the “Medical” field for the past 5 years and had direct contact with both the young & the old.  I will admit I did contact the FLU on the odd occasion, but I never said “I wish I got this years FLU shot”.

I’m on the fence about this upcoming injection.  I like to think I have a fairly healthy immune system. However, the fact that I live in a isolated community is slightly concerning.  Although, I’m a neurotic hand sanitizer and washer  and I admit I’m  a   compulsive Lysol cleaner.  Should I be concerned about the mutation of this virus, and we all know that it will mutate especially when everyone Tom,Dick & Harriet will be injected with the vaccine. 

Will this become as common as the FLU shot; and if that is the case, do I really need to protect myself when I can build up a natural immunity. 

What do you think?  To inject or not to inject?


I read an article today on the website, and this section caught my eye, does this mean that  we are going to be human guinea pigs.  Canadian trials began this week

Worldwide trials of the vaccine began in September. Canadian vaccine trials started this week.A German trial involving 130 adults looked at the new vaccine itself. Several other trials involving more than 45 million people looked at various components of the vaccine, including the adjuvant.The Canadian clinical trials will look at 2,000 people at 30 sites across the country. The main goal is to determine which dosage of the vaccine, with or without the adjuvant, will provide the best immunity to the general public. Groups being tested include seniors, aboriginal people and those with compromised immune systems.The Canadian trials are useful for several reasons, said Dr. Ben Lasko, clinical director of Manna Research in Toronto."We can make changes on the fly, because we're going to have our data coming back to us fairly quickly," Lasko said. "Secondly, H1N1, I think, is going to be around. We expect that perhaps next year there will be some mutations of the virus and we can adjust the dosage next year for its use."The Canadian data will be valuable as immunization campaigns roll out, public health officials say. In about six weeks, the data will help inform regulators here whether some people may have to come back for a second shot to develop immunity.”

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Autumn has returned to Prince Edward Island.


These two adorable little kidlets are none other than my niece & nephew.  There are moments like these I wish I was able to fly back and forth from Kugaaruk to home on a moments notice.


Spooky Scarecrow Dawson Baby    Brooke & Pumpkins   

Feeding Time                                                      Beautiful Brooke

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends & family. 

There is something relaxing about the smell of turkey roasting in my oven, the smell is inviting me to curl up on the couch with a good book and a glass of wine, unfortunately we live in a dry community, therefore a glass of red cranberry juice with a splash of Sprite will have to do. 

I’ve decided to follow in the footsteps of other bloggers from around the world and of course my fellow Nunavut Bloggers and post a couple of things I’m truly thankful for: (No specific order)

1.  My family:  Both my immediate family and extended family. I love you all.

2. My friends:  While we don’t see each other near enough for my liking. I think about you everyday.

3.  My health:  For all my friends and family as well as myself.  You should never take your health for granted. 

4.  Good food:  Coffee, Chocolate, Pumpkin Pie *YUM* the three things that get me through the cold Kugaaruk winter.  (Warm pumpkin pie with whip cream & caramel mocha-lattes)

5.  My Huskies:  They keep me sane on the cold winter days and they always know when I need some cuddling and comfort.   They are my everything. 

Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.  ~Aesop


History:  (For all my American friends)

The history of Thanksgiving in Canada goes back to an explorer, Martin Frobisher, who had been trying to find a northern passage to the Pacific Ocean. Frobisher's Thanksgiving was not for harvest but homecoming. He had safely returned from a search for the Northwest Passage, avoiding the later fate of Henry Hudson and Sir John Franklin. In the year 1578, he held a formal ceremony, in what is now the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, to give thanks for surviving the long journey. The feast was one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations by Europeans in North America. Frobisher was later knighted and had an inlet of the Atlantic Ocean in northern Canada named after him — Frobisher Bay.

At the same time, French settlers, having crossed the ocean and arrived in Canada with explorer Samuel de Champlain, in 1604 onwards also held huge feasts of thanks. They even formed 'The Order of Good Cheer' and gladly shared their food with their First Nations neighbours.

After the Seven Years' War ended in 1763 handing over of New France to the British, the citizens of Halifax held a special day of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving days were observed beginning in 1799 but did not occur every year. After the American Revolution, American refugees who remained loyal to Great Britain moved from the newly independent United States and came to Canada. They brought the customs and practices of the American Thanksgiving to Canada. The first Thanksgiving Day after Canadian Confederation was observed as a civic holiday on April 5, 1872 to celebrate the recovery of the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) from a serious illness.

Starting in 1879 Thanksgiving Day was observed every year, but the date was proclaimed annually and changed year to year. The theme of the Thanksgiving holiday also changed each year to reflect an important event to be thankful for. In its early years it was for an abundant harvest and occasionally for a special anniversary.

After World War I, both Armistice Day and Thanksgiving were celebrated on the Monday of the week in which November 11 occurred. Ten years later, in 1931, the two days became separate holidays, and Armistice Day was renamed Remembrance Day.

On January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed:
A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed … to be observed on the 2nd Monday in October.”


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Online Shopping Review

(This is one persons opinions of the below mentioned stores)

Bath and Body Works – When I learned that they shipped to Canada I was floored to say the least.  I fell in love with this store while shopping in the states two years ago.  Their anti-bacterial pump soap has been gracing my bathroom/kitchen since then.

Negative:    Shipping costs changes with your purchases.  The more you purchase the most you pay for shipping costs.  For example:  $35.00 in product (Christmas soap for bathroom, candle and a free plug in) cost me approximately $14.95 for shipping.  The costs for shipping is very reasonable for Northern standards, I just wish they would set a standard straight up fee for shipping, even it if was a bit on the high side.

Positive:  They offer more than the store does on their website.  You can find clothes, socks and dog/cat products.  As I mentioned before I’m a lover and purchaser of their anti-bacterial line of soaps and their shampoos.  They don’t test their finished products on Animal and the smell of their products is quite true to the actual name of the product.  (Items:  Candles, soaps, shampoo & conditions, herbal, lotions, socks, trinkets, and some clothes (they run a tad small so check out the sizing chart)

Rating:  3 1/3 stars out of 5

Best Buy  -- I have yet to purchase anything from this store, and I usually use it as a tool when shopping at Futureshop to determine which site has the better price.  Up until now, Futureshop has always had what I needed.  However, I did notice that Best Buy Canada & Futureshop must use the same warehouse company considering when Futureshop did not have something in stock at the warehouse neither did Best Buy. … Coincidence, probably  not. They are also offering the free shipping promotion after you spend $39.00 *before taxes*


Cabelas *American*  -- While shopping in Minnesota we were told by our friends to check out this store, not just for their products but for their displays of animals around their store.  They did not disappoint.  We spent hours in this store just looking at the displays and then we noticed the sales and “gear” they had to offer.  This online store has the same products that you would find in the store.

Negative:  This is an American site, and therefore you have to convert all the prices of the products to Canadian funds.  

Positive:   They have an excellent selection of Under Armour, The North Face, Columbia and Cabelas name brand items.  They are all reasonably priced even with the conversion.  I purchase off this site quite frequently and have found shipping to be quite organized and arrives within the allotted time the cost for shipping is approximately $14.95 I believe that is a standard fee as I have been never charged anything less or more. Products arrive approximately 14-20 days from the shipping date.  (Items:  Hunting & fishing gear, brand-name clothing, camping gear and accessories, and a great Bargain Cave) 

Rating:  3 3/4 stars out of 5

Cabelas *Canadian* – I can honestly say since S.I.R was bought out from Cabelas I have not shopped off their website.  They are still in “building” mode and don’t have the products I am looking for.  I would make the assumption that shipping would be direct from Toronto so it would shave off some of the wait time that you would normally have if you shopped from the American version however I can’t say that for sure.                

Chapters -  I spent a lot of my afternoons frequently visiting this store back home, however the lure of Starbucks was a huge plus.  However when you read as much as I do, you need to take advantage of this store from the online perspective.

Negative:  On the odd occasion they don’t have the products that you are looking for, and if you purchase a toy (large) or select board games you don’t qualify for the free shipping.  I also wish their packaging was better – there are times I receive my books and I wonder how they didn’t fall out of the satchel type envelope they arrive in.

Positive:  Free shipping when you spend over $39.00 (before taxes).  Shipping has been good to me, I receive my orders in approximately 14 days from the shipping date.  Usually the date they quote me on the shipping receipt  is a day or two later than when I actually receive the package. 

Rating:  4   1/4 stars out of 5

Costco – Well we all love Costco however I find walking around the huge warehouse store a little frightening since I never know what I’m going to walk out with and now I find that same feeling returns when I click on the website.

Negative:  I wish you would be able to purchase food items on Costco, outside the gift baskets and the odd treats you find around holidays. 

Positive:  Free shipping on (most) products.  I have yet to find a product that I needed that was not free shipping, however with that said I have never needed a big item.  However, I know of people that have ordered large items with no shipping costs.  The shipping estimates and arrivals are very accurate and the boxes are well packed and secure.  (Items change on occasion, however you can find pretty much what you are looking for, and if you don’t find it, check back frequently)

Rating:  4 1/2 stars out of 5

Futureshop – I am an avid music and movie watcher/listener so I have this site bookmarked as well as keep a record of the upcoming movies/music I want to purchase.  I use this site more now than I ever did..the reason why is below.

Negative:  I have found lately that when you want to purchase an item that has just arrived in stores you are unable to purchase it without a wait due to the product being not available in the warehouse.  I had to wait approximately 2 weeks for a new box-set to arrive at the warehouse prior to it being sent out.

Positive:   Free shipping over $39.00.  I don’t know how long this promotion is going on for, or if this is something that will be long term like Chapters.  However, approximately a month or so ago I saw the “Free Shipping” ad and I have been taking advantage of it ever since.  I complained above regarding stock, however due to the fact that I waited two extra weeks for my product – my products ordered were shipped to me via expedient mail verses regular mail at no additional cost.  (Items, DVDs, BluRays, Music, small kitchen appliances)

Rating:  (Before F/S – 2 1/2 stars out of 5)  (After F/S – 4 1/3 stars out of 5)

Lush Canada – Love, Love, Love this store.  I found this store while walking through the Toronto Airport however I didn’t purchase any products until moving up North.

Negative:   The products (Bath melts & bombs) can be a bit on the expensive side if you don’t break them up into halves prior to using them in your tub and/or shower.

Positive:   The warehouse for Lush is based out of Vancouver, therefore most if not all of my orders have arrived within 7 business days.  The items are not tested on animals and are all-natural and vegan based products.  The selection is very vast and the products smell heavenly. (Just ask, and I’ll tell you a few of my favourites).  The products arrive well sealed and packed.  However they will discourage some items in the summer due to their ability to melt.  I have not had a problem ordering these types of items especially living where I live.  Shipping fees are very reasonable and I have not paid over $12.95 for an order.  I placed orders approximately twice a month.  (Items:  Bath bombs, Shampoo & conditioner, Toner tabs, Bath Melts, Bubble bars, massage bars etc)

Rating:  5 stars out of 5.  (Yes I truly LOVE this store)

Rocky Mountain  - I have personally not used this store for shopping, however my husband has.  They have an excellent clearance section that we frequent every now and again.  Since I did not personally order from this site, I’m not aware of the shipping protocols.  I will say that we managed to order a pair of Columbia & Under Armour sandals for under $40.00 – Shipping included last spring.

Roots -  I did not visit this store a lot while living in civilization.  However, shopping for men clothing online is quite hard, so I have found myself shopping at this site frequently especially around Christmas time.

Negative:  They have a limited amount of products. Their website does not have near amount of the clothes that you would find in their store.

Positive:  They offer $5.00 shipping as random promotions especially around Christmas time.  They also ship your purchases in recycled paper and offer you the “Green” aspect of shopping both in their clothes and wrappings.  (Items:  Men's & Women's clothing, accessories, baby gear)

Rating:  3 1/2 stars out of 5

The Body Shop – I have not personally shopped from this website, although I do find myself searching around it from time to time.  

Negative:  The Canadian site shopping section is very hard to find, you have to search the website to find the little “store” icon.  I have heard in passing that when you purchase an item you have to wait to see the shipping receipt to verify that you got the item “on sale” – I’m not sure how I feel about that.  I personally like to see the sale items listed before I charge it to my credit card.

Victoria Secret *American*   -  One of the best “Women” stores out there.  I can still remember walking into the store in Minnesota thinking this isn’t like LaSenza back home.

Negatives:  This is an American store, so of course you are going to have to do the dollar conversions to Canadian dollars.  Their shirts and comfy clothes run a size large, and from what I hear – as I have yet to purchase – Jeans and pants run a bit on the smaller size.  (Someone correct me if I’m wrong please)

Positive:  The catalogues that you receive for purchasing off their site almost always offer you some kind of discount which offsets the amount of shipping and handling that you pay to have the product shipped to you.   I have not had any problems with the shipping department however I usually receive my products somewhere in the 3 week mark.  They have a great selection of clothes and they have some great clearance items. (Items: Everything from sexy to comfy with the option to purchase clothes, shoes, accessories and purses!)

Rating:  4 3/4 stars out of 5 – The online drugstore. 

Negative:   ….. …… ……

Positive:  Free Shipping! and everything you need at your fingertips without having to sealift 20lbs of deodorant. Their shipping always has the personal touch and they seem to genuinely care for their customers.  I have personally spoke their customer service rep on numerous occasions just so they can verify that I got the correct items.  I also love the personal touch of the “Thank you for ordering with us” written on the order in pen after it has been filled.

Rating:  5 stars out of 5

Whole Sale Sports & Winnipeg Outfitters  -These two stores I have not ordered from however I have placed them on my list with the hope that I will be ordering from them soon.  When I do so, I will add my thoughts about the store and their shipping procedures.  I don’t frequent their site to know much more about them than that – however I have personally walked into their stores in Winnipeg and enjoy them in that respect.

Monday, October 5, 2009




IMG_5723   IMG_5724IMG_5725   





Brotherly & Sisterly Love:




The Top Ten Reasons

Many people today are celebrating one of the best birthdays around.  The Birthday of Alexander Keith – the maker and founder of ALEXANDER KEITHS BEER [Those who like it, like it a lot!]

However, Today is the day I married my best friend, I know that may sound corny to some, however that is the truth.  My husband is my best friend.  We do almost everything together and not just because we are “duty” bound by a gold or titanium band on our fingers.  We do have our moments when we get on each other nerves and we would like nothing better than a 5 minute window of solitude but who doesn’t from time to time.  But at the end of the day we curl up in our bed with our two fur-kids and we realize how lucky we are to have each other.  (Yes I know I’m lucky, even when you don’t put the tooth-paste back in the toothpaste holder or leave your dirty sock lint on my freshly vacuumed floors… )

Anyways, when it came time to figure out a gift to celebrate our 2nd wedding anniversary I was stumped and had to think long and hard.  What type of gift to you give someone to show them that you appreciate and love them unconditionally…. ….

When searching online, the traditional gift giving option is “Cotton” while the more modern aspect would be “China”.  If you really truly know Hughie you realizes that “china” would be a lost cause as he doesn’t speak Chinese or washes dishes.  So I guess that means I went for the “Cotton” traditional gift. I thought about it, I mean a man always needs new clothes and especially warm ones where we live, however my Husband is far from traditional especially ones that span thousands of years; don’t get me wrong he has his “traditions”…like HNIC on Saturday nights and drinking his morning coffee just to name a few…but some traditions like “Cotton” needs to be broken.  So I went for a more sensible gift… NHL2010 for the PS3 (Now you are wondering, OH MY GOD you just gave away his surprise…lol, he 1.  Does read my blog because he lives with me 24/7 and 2…He is at work drinking his morning coffee reading and doing his email [Yet another Hughie tradition]. . . . Now if Canada Post would only get their ass in gear and get it here then I could give it to him… …

So with that said

The Top Ten Reasons Why I Love My Husband.

(No specific Order)

10.   We both think “Vertical Limit” & “Cabin Fever” stole precious moments from our lives that we will never get back. 

9       He taught me all about hockey, CFL & curling..sports that I now love and curse along with him.

8       He puts up with my constant travel banter “Do you have your passport…drivers licence…boarding pass..”

7     He doesn’t complain or rolls his eyes when I go all googly eyed over Vin Diesel and Chris Daughtry.  *Love my bald men*

6     He will kiss me goodbye in the morning, even with my BAD morning breath.

5    He always holds my hand so tight and never lets it go when walking in a strange place and when he does let go I know I’m safe and protected.

4   He is almost always right and even when I think I’m right.. I’m usually wrong …and he will listen to me fight my cause regardless of how winded and drawn out that fight may be.

3  He loves all animals big and small and will fight against those who hurt them.  (While living in Manitoba, we walked home - 30 minutes away; while driving his truck at idle, a 13 year old husky who wondered away from his home just to make sure he got home safely) 

2   He is very sensitive and has the biggest heart of anyone I know and with that said he also has a wicked sense of humour that has yet to get us into trouble…

I could say something really corny here  like “You complete Me” or “You had me at hello” something that we’ve all heard a thousand time but I’m willing to keep it simple.…

1.   The top ten reason why I love my husband, is because he loves me. 

Honourable Mentions:   We listen to the same music, enjoy the same taste in movies, we cheer for the same sports team and curse the ones we don’t, we drink oodles of beer together on vacations and hold each other up after we do..except when we forget our hotel key and you leave me in a hall way to take druken pictures of myself ….. yikes!….we can walk around Chapters for hours and not buy a thing, we can walk around Futureshop for hours and buy LOTS… … …

Happy 2nd Wedding Anniversary Hughie!