Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy first day of Winter!

and...it is downpouring rain!

I'm very disappointed in the weather as of late. You would think, that after living in the GWN for two years I would be pleased with the mild wet weather. Don't get me wrong I'm glad that I'm not wearing three layers of clothes but I would love to be wearing at least one 'extra' thermal layer. I've been hoping, fingers crossed,that we would have at least a white Christmas. However when I started my car this morning my temp gage registered a balmy 4 degrees...no snow today!

I'm as ready as I can be with regards to Christmas - our tree is lined with decorations and presents adorn the floor beneath it. The dogs walk by the tree daily and give each present a little sniff, much to their chagrin their presents are not wrapped this year, but waiting for their stockings to be be hung by the fireplace.

I meant for this to be a longer Christmas related post - however work is beckoning for my return so I must go.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Once again you find me sitting at my desk at work drinking a XL-Christmas Cup of Tim Horton's. December has snuck up on me this year, I've known it has been coming for quite sometime although for some reason while I was rolling over in bed this morning to slap my alarm clock I caught a glimpse of the letters D.E.C on my Blackberry...and that seemed to freak me out a little. This time last year, while I was dealing with the bitter cold, I had at least a couple feet of white snow on the ground. Everything looked fresh and clean. I love the Autumn and the leaves but now I'm just ready for that powder to fall from the Sky to give December that magical feeling. I have so much shopping to do over the next couple of weeks I don't know where to begin. My nieces and nephews shopping is finished and that is all that I have completed. Thankfully I know what I'm getting everybody else, it is just a matter of driving to either New Minas or Halifax to purchase those thought-up purchases.

One thing has been bothering me lately and that is how often that I've been blogging - trying to find the time to sit down and type out how my life is doing is quite hard considering that all my family and friends are so close; and I update my life frequently on facebook or pick up the phone. I'm contemplating closing down this chapter of my life albeit keeping this blog around so I can read about my life in the north, and anyone else that may happen to find it. I'm not 100% sold on the idea of ending a three year portion of my life but I rather hate blogs that lay dormant for months with only the odd little post here and there about nothing particular (Just like this post is turning out to be). That is one big question I dwell on...Southern life isn't as exciting as moving to the unknown North.
People know how to live in the South.

Christmas Countdown
====================
24-days!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Some Northern habits never go away.

As I'm sitting here at work, surrounded by piles of paperwork that needs to be completed I'm compelled to start Christmas shopping online for items for my adorable nieces and nephews. I find myself drawn to online shopping although I have an over abundance of shopping malls only a 75 minute drive away, Halifax. Yet, I can't help but buy online where I don't have to drive that distance and put mileage on my Caliber. Now, I really don't have to start online shopping now, as most items would arrive in a few days to my doorstep but I just can't get out of that Northern way of thinking when it comes to shipping times. Although, my luck would have it; I have found what I'm looking for, for all four kidlets. We did purchase them some outfits while were in the States but Uncle & Aunt just can't give clothes for Christmas; that would just be wrong!
I can't believe that I have been living in the south for almost 4-months. Sometimes it still seems like it is all a dream, that I should be packing my action packers for the long trek up North; however I know that is not the case. The last 4-months have been a whirlwind, so much to do and buy. Thankfully, the spending spree is pretty much dwindled over the last month, and now we are just purchasing what we need vs what we want...
I'm looking forward to Christmas this year, where I can place a tree in my front window and start a fire in my fireplace, for the last two years I have been watching faithfully the fireplace channel on Bell; this year no more..(Although I probably will, as it is addicting).
Well, I should get back to work; my piles are growing larger by the minute!

58 days til Christmas folks!

Monday, October 11, 2010

To give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends & family; and may they all have a fantastic,healthy and memorable year.

I’m thankful for so much, I can’t list them all – but if I know you either personally or just as a acquaintance, thank you for being a part of my life.   I hope you all enjoyed the time you spent together with your friends and family.

Turkey Time!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Organized Procrastinating

Have you noticed lately, that the more time you have the less you get done. As I sit here with my XL-Coffee from Tim Horton's I can't help but notice that I haven't wrote a post in weeks. I wish I could say it was from being extremely busy, but alas I have not been. My life is starting to roll up nicely into a tight little routine. So you would think that I could find time to write at least a little...but nope.
So with all that said, Fall is upon us - the leaves are falling and changing the most gorgeous brick red and deep yellow. There is a crispness in the air that makes you want to curl up in the livingroom under a fleece blanket and start a roaring fire (Which I may just do tonight, but in my basement not the fireplace). I love this time of year, comfy sweaters and knee high boots. Sometime in the next couple of weeks I will pack away my summer clothes and take stock of the clothes I have for the rest of Fall and prepare for the upcoming winter season. Hughie and I just got back from a huge shopping spree to help prepare us for the Winter season; you'd think that after living in the North for two years that we would have all the winter-gear that we would need, however that is not the case. When you got dressed for the "GWN" winter blast you prepared by layers after layers of clothes. That got topped off by a heavy parka, sorels and wooley socks. However the East-Coast winters are so much different than the last two years in the North and the 2.5 years prior to that in Manitoba. For those who don't know, East-Coast winters are known for there damp/cold/slushy/rainy weather = -20/25 at the coldest, which means my -40 Sorels and The North Face parka is just a bit over-kill for the winters down here. Although I'm sure I'll get at least a could couple wears out of them as I play in the snow with my fur-kids and take them for snow-walks around the block.
So yes, as I was saying we just arrived back this morning (at 5:30am) from a trip to Boston/Freeport. I of course, spent way to much money but the deals and savings far outweighed any remorse that I may feel. My best purchases was a pair of UGGS in Boston, where they don't have sale taxes and my purchases at The North Face in Freeport; where I purchased a Vest (700 down-filled), a Hoodie, a pair of pants, a new toque and a sweater for $137.99 - that same vest I saw at Cabella's in Portland for $129.99.... Crazy! I also........started Christmas Shopping!! GASP!. I couldn't pass up the deals and purchased an outfit for each of the kidlets, now all I have to do is add a toy and a book to each of them and they are finished....and it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, maybe I'm better organized than I give myself credit for.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Solaris

I’m covered in grime and dirt, sweating from my brow and my hair is a mess and I couldn’t be happier.  There is something to be said about a fresh cut lawn.  I always get a sense of pride when I look out my front window and see the grooves of my lawnmower in the short grass.

                              image

That is our new Lawnmower; we had it for quite sometime but I have not gave it the attention it needs.  

It is a Solaris SP21HB.  I love it! Not because it is self-propelled and we own almost a acre of grass but because it is battery operated and doesn’t run on gas.   Now some may find this is a huge mess especially when you have to charge it every time you want to use it but I find it very environmentally sound.  You can even purchase, if you’d like, solar panels to attach to the machine so it continues to be charged while cutting the grass.

The Solaris has three different blade levels depending on how short or long you’d like to cut your grass.  I however like the lowest setting, however with that said the battery doesn’t stay charged near as long but I have no problems taking two days to cut my lawn – you should stop to take a water break after cutting half an acre anyways.

The Solaris is VERY easy to operate, it is as easy as pushing a button and holding onto a lever in order to operate the mower and turning off is just as simple; just release the level and pull out the little green grip from inside the battery area…plug in your charging pack and you are good to go…until the next time you want to cut.

I give the Solaris a 4.35/5.00 – I’d give it full points but the beeping gives me a slight headache when it is idle while you are stopping to pick up twigs or acorns.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Miss it?

Since returning from the GWN, I’ve been asked the same question over and over again. 

Do you miss it? 

I usually just nod, and say I feel “bittersweet” about the move south.  Basically, just so people will move on from that dreaded question.

What I would love to say is NO!! I don’t miss the North but  I miss aspects of my life up there; the simple way of life;  Not having to worry about bills or car payments…or putting on makeup, wearing comfy clothes 24/7, everyone waving at each other…..

Although the more I think about that question I realize the one thing that I found since I moved back South and didn’t realize was missing when I lived in the North was ME.   Only now as I sit here I only truly realize that for the last two years living in the North, I was missing ME.  I’m a very independent person, that is one of the things I love about Hughie and I. We are individually independent and co-independent all at the same time.  Up north, I was dependent on Hughie.  While there was a good many reasons why that was a good thing, but the one dark- thing was that I lost my independence.  I didn’t have a “out” a place where I could go willingly and freely to spend some “me” time.  I was stuck in the land of ice and snow.  I only realize now how much that was eating away at my soul.  I was not the person that people know me to be.

With all that said, when and if I get asked that question again; which, I know will happen – I can honestly say No I don’t miss my life in the North because I found Me again when I moved South 

Don’t misunderstand me, I enjoyed living in the GWL, I have stories and pictures that will last a life time, and god willing when and if I have children/grandchildren I want to sit them down and tell them about the two years I lived in the North amongst the Inuit.  If I could go back in time I would do it all over again.  Although if two years down the road the opportunity presented itself again, I’m positive  I wouldn’t be so willing to jump at the chance at another adventure North.

So there you have it, Do I miss the north…. No… I honestly don’t miss the North, however I do miss certain aspects of my simpler life, just not enough to do it again.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tidbits

I feel like I haven’t posted in forever, I find it hard to find a few minute or two to sit down and fill you all in on my life amongst the trees.  Things have been going very well for Hughie and I, so well that I would hate to mention about all the good things just in case karma comes back around and kicks us in the ass… So for that reason I’ll rant on about random life happenings:

Work:  Work for Hughie and I for the most part is fantastic, I’m enjoying my job and the people I work with; and who would thought the amount of “interesting” people you’d run into during a shift at a medical clinic.  Hughie has the same thoughts as I do, unfortunately or fortunately he deals with them in a whole different way that I do.  The only negative is our lack of time together, things are much better than they were when in Selkirk, but it is hard to get anything done when we are working opposite shifts.  Lucky for Mr. Fidler, I’m a pro at cutting the grass, painting and cooking – so all he has to do is to keep his man-cave organized and clean. 

Life:  Hughie and I spent his birthday hanging out with the whales.  We drove the 75 minute drive to a 5-minute crossing ferry, then drove another 25 minutes to yet another 5-minute crossing ferry to arrive on Brier Island – a cute little Island were everyone knows everyone but at the same time caters to non-locals.  While we were hanging out in a frigid arctic, Hughie’s mom sent us a book  “things to do in NS”.  One of those things was a Whale Watching tour (Brier Island Whale Watching Tour).  We studied the area and ask questions to our friends that have been there before, and the more we heard about it, the more we wanted to go!  So go we did this past weekend.  Hughie celebrated his 32 birthday out on the Bay of Fundy and the Ocean amongst sea creatures 100x the size of our little zodiac.  It couldn’t have been a better day.

Cameron –aka Car:  I finally got my car officially registered for the NS roads – for the last month I was driving with a temporary license plate.  While we were unpacking all our worldly-goods from storage we came upon my old Sunfire license plate (2007). I thought how funny and nostalgic it would be to see if they can put Keileigh’s plate on Cameron….they had NO problem with it, and it also saved me $$$ that I would have paid for a new plate! Crazy and comforting at the same time.

Chakotay & Sekaya:  LOVE NS.  They relax for hours outside in the shade rolling around on the grass.  Playing with each other and shed like they are going to be bald tomorrow.  This has been the longest shedding ever.  I think they shedded their arctic coat months ago, and now are shedding the hair they would have shedded if they didn’t have a arctic-coat.  Sigh!  So much hair, I’m constantly walking around with a swiffer.  But I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I love my fur-beasts.

There ya have it, not a lot of information but enough to keep you going.

A few other notables.

1. Love my clothes line.

2. Love my dishwasher

3.  Not a fan of recycling, something to be said about sending your garbage to Kugaaruk’s dump.

4.  Love the sun, heat and humidity – I’m no longer a pasty white – I’m actually almost a light almond!!! Which is a huge stepping stone for me.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Relaxation

I have found a new kind of relaxation – one where I can sit back with my feet up on my deck and just listen to the sound of nothing floating around my back yard.  I hear no Hondas’ or sleds’, no kids yelling and crying, no one asking “Do they bite”…..it is peace and quite at its best.  The area we live in does have their fair share of kids – although I have yet to see them, every now and again I can hear a splash and giggling coming from a house kitty-cornered to us in the back and that is all.  I sat outside yesterday afternoon for almost 2 hours, and besides getting a slightly redish burn, I didn’t hear a peep.  Now when I say I didn’t hear a peep I don’t mean I didn’t hear the odd bird flying by or Greenwood’s Air Force base doing their formations – but to me that adds to the charm of my back yard. 

Our home is finally coming all together.  We finally received our Fridge & Stove from Futureshop and we determined that we will never purchase big ticket appliances from them again.  Our bedroom is finally organized, minus one big box of clothes and a slightly disorganized closet (but that is mostly my better-half’s mess….lol).  The living-room set we ordered has arrived, and we will pick it up on Tuesday and our guest room is all set up and just awaiting visitors.  [Just call ahead so I can take the dog’s blanket off the bed and remake the bed with the “good” linen].  The only two rooms that look like a tornado has hit them is the basement aka Hughie’s Man-Cave and Hughie’s office.  The only reason being is that we are wanting to paint them prior to organizing the items in there.  Although the more I think about it, it may be beneficial to organize the office and throw drop sheets over the items verse the way the room is looking now.  It shouldn’t take much to paint the upstairs office, but the basement is going to be a bit of a chore.  Should be fun either way; I enjoy painting. 

I look forward to the near future where my house is all in order, so I can sit back and take a breather from reorganizing and cleaning and get ready for a trip to the States, Christmas and best of all the huge BBQ party we are going to throw.

Feet

IMG_0964

Cameron

There are times when I forget all about justification processes and wants vs need.  In this case ..I both wanted and needed my latest purchase.  Last Thursday, July 22nd, 2010; Hughie picked me up from work, and weirdly we turned left out of my workplace instead of the required right to drive home.  After a few minutes, and when I finally saw the Dodge dealership looming in the distance I finally knew where he was taking me.

I have been looking for a vehicle for the last 6-8 weeks, dealing with a Dodge dealership out of town and after weeks of not getting what I wanted I was starting to get frustrated to say the least.  I could only say so many times that “No I don’t want a Journey or a Honda Civic, I want a Dodge Caliber”. So as we pulled into the dealership  I saw a beauty… a black 2009 Dodge Caliber.  After looking up close, and with Mr. Fidler looking over my shoulder, we deemed the black Caliber a misfire (there was over 50,000 KM on her and there was no cruise control) then I looked closer to the Dealership’s main office and there he was – a Sunburst Orange Caliber glistening in the ….well dang there was no sun, but to me he was glistening in the sun.  Walking up to him, I thought there is no way I can afford a 2010 Caliber – and as I looked closer I was realizing that I may have to go back to the Black Caliber that I just said was a “misfire”.  This orange Caliber has everything….and I mean everything, even a nice little button to turn my volume up and down and the channels on my steering wheel and a IPOD jack!  After Hughie nodding his head in approval, he said “Take him for a drive” .  Needless to say after 2 minutes in this car I was ready to jump off the nearest cliff for this vehicle.  So I did the march into the office, where I realized HOLY CRAP I could afford this, and it was only going to be $70.00 a month more than what my OLD Sunfire was costing me when I financed Keely….I jumped on that deal faster than…..[well my analogies suck today so I got nothing]..so I just jumped on the deal.  So after all the financial fun was all figured out, and I signed the paperwork – Cameron the Caliber came home with me on Monday Evening.  He is sitting pretty at 295Km just waiting for a nice long drive….Bay of Fundy here we come!

cameron

Monday, July 19, 2010

First Day

I felt like a kid walking into grade one all over again.  Walking slowly but full of purpose, yet at the same time anxious and a little bit nervous.

Today was my first day at work – my first day back to work in 2 years.  I woke up super early this morning, yet at the same time I was rushing to beat the clock to get out of the house on time.  I haven’t found my morning stride.  For the last two years, I woke up – made Hughie coffee and then spent the morning cleaning, organizing, reading blogs and Facebook.  Now, this morning I found myself running around trying to put my retainer in my nose (for my nose ring), get the dogs outside and then…inside, Sekaya in her kennel and Hughie out of the shower so we could take off for work.  By the time I got to work I was already exhausted. 

I know once I get into my routine things will be tickity-boo but until then I may just have to wake up at 5am!  (I don’t work until 9:00am)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Oracle

             

(The Trash Heap, a wise being (referred to as an "oracle"), serves as the garbage dump of the Gorgs. She and her heckling heralds live near the Gorg's garden, and she gives the Fraggles guidance and advice, which the Fraggles regard with reverence, although they do not worship her.) – Wikipedia.org

                       IMG_0862

Yes this is exactly what you think it is – a pile of garbage, or what I kiddingly named “Oracle” and it grew by leaps and bounds as we emptied box after box of items that I haven’t seen in 2 years.  Our long-term storage stuff arrived on Tuesday, a great set of guys who brought along his significant other (wife, girlfriend…I didn’t really ask) and there 4 month Great Pyrenees, who was the size of Sekaya.  Such an adorable little pup.    There was approximately 50 boxes, a half munched on couch, a peed on Papasan chair and about a dozen odd little items that I honestly thought I had threw out many many moons ago.    We did realize that we both read A-LOT!  I believe we must of kept Chapters in business during our stay in Manitoba consider the amount of boxes that were labelled “Books!”

However, I’m now sitting at my dining room table (very carefully I may add  - our tool box is enroute from Kugaaruk) looking around at my ever changing house.  We now have more stuff in it than we did when we moved in.    We also finally got an answer from Future shop with regards to our appliance order:  RANT ALERT!

So on June 30th Future Shop comes out with this crazy 36hour or 15hour I can’t really remember Canada Day Sale, and one of the sales that caught our eyes was the 15% off all Appliances – now we love Futureshop because of their product service plan and all the great service they gave us over the years.  So we jumped on that sale like you jump on grapes during  St. Martins Day Celebrations.  However, weird as it may seem we didn’t receive a “Congrats you have purchased….” email like you usually do.  However, we did not worry as we thought it was normal because they were big ticket items.  Days went by, and we could see the Order Number on our History page – but it wasn’t pulling up our order.  After spending a week calling Futureshop (3 different occasions) receiving the same “We will take your email address and get back to you with an answer”..Hughie snapped – giving the lady his ‘Bad-dog’ voice…..FINALLY after 8 days of waiting for an answer they decided to honour the price that we were suppose to get….  We then decided to ask for a little pain and suffering discount – I mean we are without our fridge and stove, and considering they are now delivering it within a week – I’d be cooking up a storm right about now , if the order wasn’t lost in limbo..so their idea of  pain and suffering is …….offering us $20.00 dollars off the total price… I was shocked to say the least…… But we filled out a form, and received the same “Give us your email…….”So we are not holding our breath – all we ask for is free shipping…I don’t think that is so much to ask for…. But regardless, our Fridge and Stove will be arriving Thursday!

So, with that above rant said and over with I can continue – we now have a guest bedroom that is all outfitted with the required “guest” bedroom materials – although Chakotay & Sekaya have called that room as their own.  Don’ t worry though, the bed is nicely protected from their hair and paws…and the floors are hardwood so Swiffers take care of the fur quickly.

I can’t believe we’ve been living in Nova Scotia for almost two-weeks so much has happened in that time my head is still swimming.  I’m very much looking forward to working in Middleton in the near future.  I did have another job lined up in a town ~35 minutes away but after driving that highway more than once over the last two weeks I’m very happy to be car pooling with Mr. Fidler for the time being. 

Final Talley of Garbage bags:   5 with about 10 bags of Recycling…a big half munched on Couch, a peed stained papasan chair with the added bonus of chewed up wicker, a old television stand and a couple of half broken items that don’t need a claim…. all and all, not as bad as I thought it would be.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Difference between the South vs North

 

1.  I don’t know my neighbours or my neighbours kids.

2.  Smiling at random kids may have me arrested.

3.  I don’t know where everything is located in my grocery store.

4.  Shopping in my Pj’s while drinking coffee may have me committed.

5.  Too many have alcohol that shouldn’t, instead of just a few.

6. I have to pluck my eyebrows, wax face, shave legs, apply makeup, shower and wash my hair on a daily basis.

7.  Summertime darkness.

8.  HST.

9.  Recycling (Although we love to contribute to a healthier sustainable environment).

10. Humidity. (For the sake of the argument, I love the humidity, although I know not everyone agrees with me.)

The Difference between North vs South

 

1.  I have only seen one Sewage Truck, and it was driving down the highway.

2.  We have two Tim Horton’s within a 5 minute drive from one another.

3.  When people say they drive a “Honda” they drive a Honda.

4.  Fresh produce all the time!.

5.  Cold Beer (Only makes sense if you lived in a Dry-Community)

6.  Wearing seatbelts

7.  No officially designated “Animal Carcass” pile at the dump.

8. Not one white wall in my house. 

9. My water comes from the ground, not a container under my house.

10. I wore short-shorts & a tank-top while shopping in July.

From the GWN to the GGP (Great Green Province)

I can’t believe it has been well over a week since we left the Great White North.  It really doesn’t seem all that long, but if I actually sat down and put everything in perspective over the last week I only wonder how I’m standing. 

The dogs managed the trip – not much squawking or screaming – but on a huge 737 you really don’t hear all that much anyways.  The red-eye flight from Edmonton to Nova Scotia was clutch.  Although considering how tired they were when we arrived in Halifax, I hardly think they slept all that much.  Apparently their seat-buddy down in the cargo hold was a CAT.  I’m sure Chakotay was thinking more along the lines of “this was his airline snack”.

I have to admit we lucked out with the purchasing of our house, by this I mean we had a great team of Lawyers and Realtors – I highly recommend, if you are moving to the Greenwood Area to speak with David Proudfoot & Paul Mann (Lawyer and Realtor respectively) – they held our hand (figuratively speaking of course) the whole way through.  David took the time to outline and made us understand the legal aspects of our mortgage while Paul was a god sent! He helped us more than he ever will realize. 

With that said, we are now living in our house! I’m falling more in love with it every day.  There is still lots to be purchased and organized but I love the feel of knowing that “this is mine”.  I promise I will post pictures as soon as I can, we are still waiting for some valuable items.  [There is a rant with regards to shopping via online with Futureshop for Appliances, but I’ll save that for another post].  Nova Scotia is just as beautiful as I remember – lush trees and grass as far as the eye can see.  I have yet to see a pile of snow or a dog tied up on the outskirts of town with no one around for miles (although I’m sure it does happen). 

I look forward to visiting every nook and cranny of my Province, but for now I’m off to bed – Long term storage is arriving tomorrow.  Anyone like to guess how many bags of garbage that will be.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Packers become Movers

I’m exhausted, drug out and rung through the ringer, and all I did yesterday was run 5K and watch packers = pack my house.  I didn’t lift a finger or offer up any lifting help – I just sat down and offered them coffee and cookies every couple of hours. (Well once an hour for three hours).  I love to move, to purge, to clean and reorganize but I find the Pack/Load day to be the worse.  Not that I mind people packing up my worldly goods – I just rather do it myself (and get the insurance coverage..).  I find it hard to justify that we had two men fly up from Edmonton, stay over night in our Inns North (I’m hoping they shared a room) and then fly back this afternoon with all our goods on the plane.  It would have been so much easier to allow me to pack up my stuff over the last couple of days and have it placed on the plane.  Although, with that said I’m sure I’d be complaining about packing myself vs allowing someone to come in to pack for me.  C’est La Vie…

So after all the curling brooms and 4-bags of dog food are packed we end up with 35 boxes, approximately 15 boxes less than what we arrived with.  Like I said, I love to purge.

One big negative to all this, my house doesn’t feel like my home anymore – so I’m definitely ready to head to NS now!  4-days until we head home…5 days until I can grab a Grande Non-Fat Latte!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Trials Tribulations and ____

As I sit here covered in dog-hair (Yoga pants love dog fur )I can’t help but feel a excitement burning in the pit of my stomach. I’m finally happy with the amount of clothes and accessories I have semi-organized in my two pieces of luggage.  The movers arrive on the plane tomorrow and will spend at least an hour or two packing up my house.  If I had to guess I would assume there would be at least 25-30 boxes full of household effects that will be making its way down from Kugaaruk to Nova Scotia.   I use to feel apprehension with random strangers coming into my house touching my “stuffs” but not anymore, I guess it comes with the territory – once you get through your first Government move all the rest are just formality – something you accept and love, as you don’ t have to do it yourself.  My favorite part of moving is the purging that I can get away with – I’ve thrown out so much stuff this weekend I have filled my garbage bin and still have 5 garbage bags sitting in my cold-porch.  I’m sure over the next 24/48 hours I will fill a couple more bags of stuff that no one wants..or at least never asked for.

At this point, I don’t think there is anything left to do with regards to our official move South.  We have all our move organized as well as our airplane tickets – we leave on Saturday!  (I did a quick overview of our route in my last blog).  Our house possession will take place a week from Tuesday, all we have left to do at this point is the final walkthrough and to pay for our down payment…Then we will have the KEYS!  There is lots to organize with the actual house, we have started an Excel file which is basically 3 lists in one, trying to figure out what we need ASAP, not ASAP, what is in our household affects that have been in storage for the last 18 months.  I look forward to having a big yards ale to get rid of all the “University” style furniture we have gathered over the years.

I have a busy week forthcoming, although once our household goods are packed and gone there isn’t much for me to do but do a major clean of the house.  I’m not sure how much I’ll be blogging in the near future.  We have Eastlink coming by our place on the 7th – so hopefully I won’t be away from the Internet for too long.   I’m also changing the name of my blog..to Trials Tribulations and ____________.  I need a new word that starts with the letter “T”.  If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Long Walk Home.

I promised myself I was not going to do the official countdown anywhere, either on my blog or on Facebook but I’m biting at the rope that is holding me in Kugaaruk.  Everyday is stretching into the next compounding the amount of paperwork that needs to be completed in order for us to be free.  It doesn’t help that I’ve been having a fascination with any song that has the word HOME in the title – and  last night while watching the NHL Award (Congrats Sedin!) one of my old favorite bands, who I saw by  complete accident when they opened for Bon Jovi in Toronto 6 or 7 years ago (I know I’m getting old when I don’t remember official dates) – Goo Goo Dolls; and they just released a new song..HOME, CD is to be released the end of August.   

I guess I’m not helping matters as I’ve been downloading all songs (that fit my genre of music) that have the word HOME in the title.

Carry Me Home - AC/DC             

Home – Goo Goo Dolls

Home – Daughtry

Mama I’m coming Home – Ozzy

Home Sweet Home – Motley Crue

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

He calls Home – Candlebox

Home Tonight – Aerosmith

Long walk Home – Bruce Springsteen

Welcome Home – Metallica

Who says you can’t Home – Bon Jovi

**You really don’t realize how many songs have the word Home in the title until you start looking, but with that said…..

I haven’t blogged in over a week, with so much going on in my life I find it hard to sit down and put my thoughts in order.  Should I be sad or happy…should I be happy or sad – it is a double edge sword.  For so long I wanted out of this town, and I was almost willing to jump on the closest dogsled and mush my way out of town – but now that the time is rolling to a close I’m wondering why I wanted to leave so badly.  It is funny how a stretch of nice weather combined with a relatively _uiet town makes you forget about all the shit you’ve dealt with in the past.  The winters are long and harsh on the head.  They can mess with your head – and no one is really to blame but yourself.  Thank god we are moving in the Summer.

We are almost ready to book our plane tickets – we were very happy to see a direct flight from Edmonton to Halifax, although it is the red-eye, we should be able to get some sleep enroute to Halifax.  It will be much easier on the dogs too – we leave Yellowknife at ~7:30; have a hour and a half layover in Edmonton and then onward and upward to Halifax where we would arrive in the wee-hours as the sun is rising at 6:30am.   We haven’t booked it yet but it automatically lowers our stress.  Our dogs are our fur-kids, we treat them as they were two legged vs four legged, well almost …they still have to eat out of a bowl on the floor.  Sekaya doesn’t so much mind flying as she was kennel trained from day one, but Chakotay as he is getting older he is getting “set in his ways” and he prefers to have all four paws firmly planted on the ground.  {I’m not sure he forgives Hughie for lifting him up last night to weight him….and low and behold, he has lost 5lbs! prior to moving up he weighted ~60lbs, he is now ~55lbs!}

He seems happy about the weight-loss

                IMG_0238

We celebrated Aboriginal Day this past Monday as well as Summer Solstice – I’m not a Pagan but I just feel a shiver of joy course through my soul on Summer Solstice.   

Aboriginal Day - National Aboriginal Day is a day recognizing and celebrating the cultures and contributions of the First Nations, Inuit and MĂ©tis peoples.

We celebrated by the guys getting dressed up in their finest and serving Hot Dogs/Juice/Cookies to the town and chatting with all the parents/kids that came along for lunch.  It was a great time, but WOW the amount of people that turned out this year compared to last year was fantastic.  It was nice to see the community come together. 

*I’ll post some pictures soon, either on here or on Facebook.

I look forward to a few more blogs over the next couple of days – I’m hoping to get outside for some photo-walking over the next couple of days, I just keep waiting for the “perfect” day…

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Spring 2010

For those who are living south of Nunavut, I’m sure you are all shocked to find out that YES we still have snow on our ground, and on occasion we do get the odd flurry in June.  However, to us Great White Northerners this is as much Spring as we will get– with Summer looming just around the corner.  However, with that said the amount of snow still lingering around – I will not be surprised if there is still snow on the ground as we leave in July. 

 

IMG_9995

(June 8th, 2010 – approximately 4:00pm)

 IMG_9996

(June 8th, 2010 – approximately 4:01pm)

IMG_0020

(Taken at 12:19am June 12th, 2010)

Things have been definitely warming up, when I can go for a walk with just my cap on my head and my gloves stored in my pockets not my hands – I realize that Spring is definitely here to stay.  I look forward to warmer weather over the next couple of weeks – but I rather not have to deal with all the Mud – thankfully though, we have laminate floors throughout the house (minus the bedrooms, but those each have doors that can be shut). When I venture out this afternoon for a walk to the office to jump on the Elliptical – I will take photos to show how much difference a week of sun-like weather can do to really kill the snow piles up here. 

I can’t wait for Summer weather, where I can sit on my deck with a grape popsicle in each hand (for the dogs of course) and bask in the warmth. [18-more days]

**Addendum – the better-half (or other-half) took the camera with him when he came home for Lunch; so there will be no “can you see the difference” photo’s taken today.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I’ve been Meme’d!

 

I usually don’t do these things when asked – but considering Lindsay is within a snowball-throwing distance from my house, I better do as she asks of me. 

1. Favorite age you have been so far?

I wish I could say that there was specific age that I keep in my memory recall so I can pull out random images when I need a little uplifting in my life, however, there is not.  However, if I could turn back the hands of time I would love to be jetted back to a random age in the 20 bracket.  I loved that inner-psyche battle of misguided youth vs young adult.


2. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?

I would love to be fluent in Gaelic.  I’m a huge Scottish-folklore history buff so to be able to speak the language of Morrigan, Dagda and CĂșchulainn would be a great privilege.  I’m hoping that now that I will be living in Nova Scotia that the opportunity may unveil itself and I’ll be able to take classes.


3. If you could have something right now, anything, what would it be?

A Grande Non-fat Latte from Starbucks and/or the same thing from Caribou Coffee.  There are just some mornings my perked Tim Horton’s just doesnt’ cut it. 


4. What is one aisle you always have to walk down when you go to Wal-Mart?

It has been so long since I’ve been in a Wal-Mart for pure enjoyment.  Usually they are a hustle/bustle in and out – got to catch my plane in 45 minutes kind of visits.  Although, now that I think about it the one aisle I always walk down would be the candle aisle – I hardly, if ever, purchase candles from Wal-Mart but there is just something that draws me to that aisle. 


5. What is one thing your spouse/partner does that drives you crazy (don’t worry, we won’t tell:)?

There are a million little things that bother me, and he is quite aware of them, so I know he does them pretty much on purpose now just to see if he gets my goat.  Although the two major things (I know you only asked for one) is…

1.  Leaves the cover off the toothpaste 2.  Fidler-Time

---------------

There ya have it, 5 answers that I’m sure I’ve mentioned a time or two or complained about in random blogs – but now I have just saved you some past-blog entry reading.  I’m not going to continue this Meme – as I’ve only had one cup of coffee today and I can’t really think of 5 more questions to ask.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Home Owner

It is hard to believe that in just under a week the snow has went from high and mighty to low and slushy; but with that said, I find it also hard to believe that in only a week I went from a home renter to a home/truck owner. (Although my husband would say that he is the official owner of HIS truck, I just get visiting rights..and I’m okay with that logic too)

We left last Sunday for the long trek to Nova Scotia – one that was made longer by the fact that we ran into some mechanical issues with our Air Canada flight leaving Yellowknife.  We were pretty organized this vacation making sure we had plenty of time between layovers but a malfunctioning gas regulator on the plane had us scrambling just to get to Edmonton.  I was very impressed with the Stewardess and the pilot for keeping us informed.  The only negative aspect of the whole situation was that we were required to remain sitting on the plane for well over an hour without air conditioning.  Normally that wouldn’t been an issue – it is Yellowknife, but the temperature was a sunny warm 23 degrees!  After meeting up with Security three different times.. (The third time they were just making it “look good”..) we made it to Edmonton.  Since it was mechanical Air Canada took care of our food vouchers (Mmmm party platter with way to many calories to even count) and our Hotel (Nisku Inn).  So with all that trouble behind us; we left Edmonton early the next morning (Tuesday June 1st and made our way to NS)

We arrived in NS – I was nearly in tears with happiness; there is just something about the deep salt air combined with lush green trees and grass. We grabbed our rental and off we went driving off into a Monsoon.  After a long wet trip (with a few hydroplaning incidents – I’m so glad that Hughie loves to drive) we made it to the Best Western Aurora.  (Not a bad little place).  With nothing left to do when we arrived we took a tour of the area as well as stopping long enough to hit up the local NSLC.  I toasted with a bottle of Boones (I couldn’t believe they still made it…and it is still delish!) and Hughie was very happy to see Keith’s light – he basically did his version of the “Dance of Joy”.

We only had a few must haves with our houses that we were looking at: 1.  2-bathrooms; after getting the stomach flu (or food poisoning we are not sure) together back in January – 1 bathroom just isn’t enough. 2. 3-bedrooms – a must for all our friends that will be visiting us. 3. A completed basement – for Hughie’s Man-Cave. 4.  Privacy.

The next couple of days are a blur, we saw 12 different houses on Wednesday and while some of the houses were a complete shock others were not so.  I find it hard to look past all the fluff – thankfully Hughie is just the opposite so I’m thinking we complimented each other well during the day of house hunting.  After much discussion (over DQ…yes another healthy lunch..mmm Calories).  We cut our list of 12 houses down to two.  We looked over my notes that I had took during our initial walk through and decided to take another run through our 2nd choice house (Our first house that we were really excited to see fell flat…quickly).  After our 2nd walk through we were sold!  Now we just had to finalize all the paperwork….and holy crap there was enough of it.  Luckily they all seemed to take pity on the property virgins..and we got walked through it all nice and slowly. 

The only one of the four must-haves that we faulted on with our future home was the privacy – we have a few neighbours and were are in a subdivision (a older generation).  The final decision factor was the resale value.  If we were planning on staying in the area for the rest of our life, then I could actually see us purchasing somewhere out in the country…but for now this will be the perfect little starter home for Hughie and I.

IMG_9869

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The house is officially ours – the SOLD sign should be gracing the sign sometime this afternoon/ tomorrow.  I can’t wait until July 6th – when I can walk into my house and get to work decorating.

I would never recommend purchasing a house and a truck within a 72-hour period but it can be done with a little bit of luck and not giving into the growing frustration and hunger.  I’m hoping that the next time we have to purchase a house, we have a least a full week to play with.

Oh, would you believe when we were flying back up to Kugaaruk after our exciting/stressful week we ran into Electrical mechanical failure on yet another Air Canada flight coming out of Toronto – luckily we didn’t have to spend the night, yet again, in Edmonton…. …..

Now that we are back I can relax and catch up with the laundry, because I know there is still so much more that needs to be done.

 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Lack of ranting and raving.

There seems  so much left to do and accomplish and when you put it in perspective of  our remaining Northern time; we really don’t have all that much.  I only realized yesterday while I was reading Newbies-in-Nunavut's Blog (Everyone give a big ‘hello’ to one of Nunavut’s newest bloggers, Lori – who will be taking over my little niche here in Kugaaruk).  She has her countdown listed at ~38 days, which means considering that she wrote her blog yesterday and we are only staying a day or two after they arrive – it only gives us ~40 days to get everything packed, bought and organized….Why am I not freaking out!  I was laying in bed last night,  going over our t0-do list and it is extensive.  The last time I had a list this large was my Northern-shopping list.  Somehow I’ve developed some kind of weird mechanical-calming affect over this huge task ahead of us.  I like to be prepared and organized, and while we are to a point – I should be pulling out my hair, ranting and raving about purchasing a house, truck, furniture, appliances and….well everything else; but I’m not.

Oh well, maybe I should stop ranting and raving over something I’m not ranting and raving about.

May 2-4 weekend has come and gone; and while the rest of Canada seemingly spent the last three days basking in sun and the water from nearby pools and beaches – I was bundled up against the chill that has been prominent in our air lately.  This weather almost reminds me of early winter in the East – damp and cold. ( I guess I better not complain to loud then)

I have officially finished packing for our HHT – it is easy to pack for warmth and sunshine when you have neither here in Kug.         Should be a whirlwind couple of days – lucky for us, pending on our decision – one of the hotels (lol pretty much the only hotel) in the area we are staying at has a Tim Horton’s directly across the street….  I somewhat doubt they have the Coldstone Creamery attached yet; but for now Coffee that I don’t make myself is all I need.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

One year older

Today I turn a year older, and as I look at the clock I’ve been officially 32 for almost 2-hours.  Do I feel older..look older… ‘No’ on both accounts.   Last year, I felt the need to hide for the day – this year not so much.  I was scared to see/hear what last year held for me – and actually a few bad things did happen that warranted the “bad feelings”.  This year, there are so many changes happened that I’m not sure what I feel at this moment, but at this second I’m feeling hopeful for the unknown. 

Happy 32nd Birthday to ME! 

Friday, May 21, 2010

Trials Tribulations and TREES?

My so-called peaceful life in the North has been rocked into submission.  We are vamping up our Southern mentality hoping to kick start it into gear.  There is so much to do between now and July 3rd *give or take a day*.  The HHT is all but planned; just waiting on the most important aspect – the relief member to even out the odds here in Kugaaruk.  We spoke to our Relocation guys and have everything set in line with them – the best thing is that they do most of the work for us; they have a list of required Realtors, Home Inspectors (MIKE HOLMES PLEASE!) and Lawyers – so not knowing any of them ( luckily we are moving to a very “small” town – where everyone knows everyone and everyone’s business), we will pick the few that other Members have used before in the past.   I love small town chatter (or call it gossip).  Speaking of which, we are very thankful to have let Hughie’s parents know about our impending move prior to letting the cat out of the bag to the rest of the world.  Hughie’s mom ran into two random (old family connections) friends at a conference in Antigonish – who mentioned off handed that they had heard through the grape-line that Hughie' was heading to Bridgetown to work…That could have been an interesting conversation.  So now all we do is wait – wait for the final word to go on our HHT..and then buy a house…Wow, holy crap – I’ m going to be a home owner…Scary concept – I figure if my brother (who is 7 years younger than I) can purchase a house at the snap of his fingers and make a crazy awesome financial decision, that I can too!  Not sure it will be so finger-snapping though. 

On a totally related topic, I still make my bed in Kugaaruk (which, is still not made) so it wouldn’t be a northern blog if I didn’t bring up the fact that spring has arrived.  To the local observer just passing by the town or looking at the photo’s I post you may think I’m a bit crazy – but when the snow starts to melt to the point of falling through where you didn’t fall through a week ago; and the snow melting and forming ice in the evening..you know Spring has arrived – there even is mud in some places. 

A bit of proof: 

Yes, that is both the oil-truck & front end loader stuck in the soft wet snow; a month or even three weeks ago you could walk on top of it like it was pavement.  Needless to say this picture has a happy story, both were removed safely.

IMG_9556

I don’t know how much I will blog over the coming weeks – things are going to be moving quite fast once we get the okay to head out on our HHT – but I have decided to keep a blog going even when I move to the land of apple cider and pie, it helps to voice my concerns and it is a easy way for my friends and family from across Canada to keep up with my day to day rambling.  Maybe my new blog will be called “Trials Tribulations and TREES”

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Home


"Well I'm going home,
Back to the place where I belong,
And where your love has always been enough for me.
I'm not running from.
No, I think you got me all wrong.
I don't regret this life I chose for me.
But these places and these faces are getting old,

So I'm going home.
Well I'm going home.

  Excerpt from “Home” by Daughtry

IMG_2741

nsmap

It is OFFICIAL – Hughie and I are moving back to the land of the “Bluenose” and we can’t be more excited about it.  We are moving to Bridgetown/Middleton Nova Scotia also known as Annapolis Valley. (See arrow on Map) I am looking forward to sitting out on my deck (yes my new house has to have a deck ) and drinking my morning coffee and finishing off my day with a glass of white as I watch the sunset on my newest chapter.  We are hoping to purchase a house on a lake or possibly the Bay of Fundy.  We have lots to chose from, as it seems to be a buyers market right now.

There is still lots to do before we are ready to leave; although with our replacement coming in July we best place a fire under our butts. 

I’m sure once I get settled in my new life that I will have time reflect on my last 18 months and realize it wasn’t so bad – don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate the north – I have some very fond and not so fond memories, I’m just hoping that once I get back down south I’ll be able to recall only the good and let the bad memories float down the Bay of Fundy on a raft.

However, the only thought I have right now is what country will I buy my first bottle of wine from (I’m thinking a Chardonnay from Australia).

*Anyone that wants to attend a Kitchen party, at any time just give me a shout – the beer will be cold and East Coast Music loud.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The bullet has been bit.

I can’t believe how quiet things have been over the last couple of weeks.  I don’t know what I was expecting, but after being away for a month you almost forget what your life is truly like living in the North, all you know is that you want to get back to your little niche in the North and relax after dealing with the hassle and bustle of your vacation alter ego.   I have been slowly organizing my life, as I said in my last blog – I can’t believe the stuff I’ve accumulated over the last 18 months – while some of it is worthy of keeping, most is sellable.  We are still waiting on “official” word with regards to our impending transfer out of the north so I’m keeping rather mum on that whole topic. 

One thing that I forgot from last year is how fast we are turning into the land of the 24-hour sun.  The sun sets now at approximately 9pm and rises at 2am.  I’m hoping that the clouds stay away long enough so I can get outside tonight and capture the rise of the big orange sphere rising over our mountains. 

Mothers day is upon us, as is the commercials for greeting cards and flowers.  I’m lucky enough to have my Mom as my best friend; and know plenty other Moms that have the same relationship with their daughters.  For all of them and all the Mom’s out there “Happy Mother’s Day

I finally bit the bullet and purchased myself and my hubby new pots-n-pans.  We have been using the same pots since 1999 – during the time we spent in Fredericton.  I happen to think these pots are fantastic; I’m not sure if I should use them or just place them on the mantel for display.  I’ve ordered them from Paderno and got a fantastic deal:  They were regular 799.99 on sale for 279.99 – and since the Frying pans were on sale as well, I had to order one– regular $99.99 on for $24.99.  Paderno has some crazy deals, but you just have to keep your eye out every so often to catch them.  I saved approximately $595.00.

pots

http://www.paderno.com

lol I also purchased a Colander – aka Strainer – the last one I purchased was a plastic white one from the dollar store back in 1999.  Yikes! – Paderno also has one big sale (correct me if I’m wrong) per year; last year it was in November where all their products on there website are on-sale.  I did some Christmas shopping last year during that time; and I believe I only paid $10.00 for shipping.  (They determine the shipping costs on the weight).  For my purchase I just made I paid under $50.00 for shipping, which isn’t bad considering what I ordered.    I’m not sure if they ship up North, as I ship all my products to my family back east – eventually, if need be, they will make there way up North via Canada Post at a cheaper rate than Purolator. 

I don’t know how I will ever assimilate back into the land of shopping in malls; when I can easily sit on my computer in my jammies with my coffee sitting behind me and shop with ease and relaxation.  I don’t have to worry about someone stealing my size or bumping into my coffee – all I worry about is whether or not Sekaya will try to steal my coffee when I’m off in search of the hubby’s visa number.  I do look forward to shopping at stores where shipping fees are astronomical.  My favorite store LUSH has crushed me lately making me order my products expedite therefore paying a arm and a leg for shipping fees.  Thankfully and hopefully wherever I move will either have a store within driving/walking/jogging distance or at least cheap shipping via Canada post again. 

I’ll take my leave now, but I wanted to pass along my favorite Mother’s quote. 

Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children. ~William Makepeace Thackeray

Monday, April 26, 2010

Windows are cracked….open

Things have been relatively slow here, which explains the lack of updates lately.  I have been spending quite a bit of my time organizing my life (aka house) and walking the dogs.  The sun is too beautiful to stay indoors for long.  As my facebook status says today, I have opened my windows.  The snow has finally melted off my windows and now they are free and clear.  The air smells so fresh and crisp (Sewage truck doesn’t come around this end of town until tomorrow) and I can almost see my house shake off the winter blues that it has been holding on to.

On a completely different topic, It is funny how you almost forget you are in the North until odd little things happens to you:

1.  I walk both Chakotay & Sekaya separately for my benefit and for their own – it gives them some time apart and I don’ t have to look like I have rubber arms being pulled in two directions.  There is a little girl who lives just down the street to me, who has taken to Chakotay (no surprise) and Sekaya (very surprising) however, that isn’t the odd little thing.  She was playing with Sekaya (throwing her snow – but not getting too close) and she stopped looked me up and down a couple of times and then said “Where are your boots” – now I was wearing my North Face hikers – I was about to answer her, when I noticed for the first time she was NOT wearing mittens.

2.  I was outside yesterday morning with Chakotay, while he was doing his morning constitutional I had a local lady come up to me and ask if I saw her missing dog.  When I inquired when her dog went missing she said “I didn’t notice”….  So did her dog go missing two weeks ago or two minutes ago, needless to say I didn’t see her dog.  I wonder if she “didn’t notice” when her dog returned… or if he did?

On another note, it is Hockey Playoffs – which means in my household hockey is on the television 7 days a week no matter which team is playing.  However, with our team being the Vancouver Canucks we have been glued to the television for the last 12 days.  Last night was nerve wracking to say the least but the Canucks were victorious – once again jumping all over the Kings in the 3rd period.  The Kings played a heck of a game, and we will definitely see them in the Playoffs next season, Drew Doughty isn’t going anywhere.

Sekaya my little puppy is no longer a little puppy, she turned 3 on Friday.  I didn’t do an official post about her birthday because in all honesty it only seems like yesterday I posted about her 2nd birthday.  Although with owning two huskies comes BLOWING..hair blowing that is.  Yellowknife has exacerbated the hair blowing – last year it didn’t start until the end of May.  I have been dodging hair tumbleweeds all weekend as they filter down the hall.  So I guess I am back to vacuuming twice daily to keep up with the hair.  I look forward to the future where I will have a huge fenced in back yard,where they can shed to their hearts content.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This n That Vacation Photos

  IMG_8770

Caribou Coffee, Mall of America - Minnesota

Caribou Coffee - Minnesota

Team Jackets - Timmins

IMG_8927

Mine shaft – Timmins

 IMG_9217

Dressed up as “Bluenosers” – Timmins

New nose ring – Winnipeg, Manitoba

IMG_8504

Chubbs – Markham, Ontario

Return to sender

I’m trying to wrap my head around the fact that I’m sitting in my kitchen writing a blog – 30 days flew by.  I know this sounds weird, but it feels good to be home.   Living out of your suitcase for 30 days, even when you place your clothes into an available closet or dresser, is not fun after the initial excitement wears off. 

This vacation was fantastic, although, we did lose a couple days due to flying, whether it was the flight from St. Lucia where we were stuck in the Toronto airport for 7 hours (3-hours of that was us carting around our luggage..blah!) and then sitting in the Edmonton airport yesterday for 6 hours.  However, I will admit those hours did fly by with the help of alcohol and Starbucks/Second Cup coffee.  I also broke my “sleeping in a airport virginity”.  I dozed a time or two in airports, but yesterday after only 1.5 hour of sleep the night before I crashed on a bench for 90 minutes and snoozed quite comfortably. 

I won’t bother with an official play-by-play of this vacation but I will give a few highlighted points for those who read this blog and not the updates I place on Facebook.  (No particular order)

- Hair foils, waxing, manicure & pedicure.  I have fallen in love with the Oasis Mineral Spa in Winnipeg as well as Cedar Springs Spa in Timmins, Ontario.

- Seeing the Manitoba Moose as well as the Minnesota Wild lose…brutal luck but the beer was cold and crisp.

- Palomino Club in Winnipeg…what a spot.

-Sourpuss (Raspberry & Green Apple)

-Manitoba winning the Championship, and knowing the only team they lost to in round-robin was NWT/NU! (Sorry Gary)

-Hospitality Suite with the added bonus of $2.00 drinks.

-Quarry Physiotherapy; Gimli, Manitoba

-Meeting the most charismatic cat, Chubbs.

-Ikea with Andrew & Laura.

-Mall of America – Nordstrom's, Victoria Secret, Yankee Candle.

-Wearing boots that are NOT Sorels

-Toronto Eaton Centre

-Winnipeg Polo Park

-The North Face store in Minnesota

-Bubbles replica

-I know I did the official blog post but..LADERA, ST. Lucia.

-Caribou Coffee, Starbucks, Second Cup & Tim Horton's.

-Seeing my dogs for the first time after vacation.

I can go on and on about this vacation, it was just that good – but then if I did that I should have just wrote a “play by play”.  I’m glad to be home even with all the vacation laundry that has to be completed.  They are calling for some nice “seasonal” weather over the next couple of days, so I’m looking forward to hanging outside with my pups taking in the fresh crisp arctic air.  Our time is coming to a close and I want to take advantage of every nice day that I can.  (No we don’t know where we are going…lol).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ladera, St. Lucia

I find myself sitting in the Sheraton lobby drinking a Sleeman’s Honey Brown waiting patiently for our next flight to Timmins, Ontario.  Our vacation is half over, yet we still have 8 days ahead of us that will be filled with curling and hospitality suites.   I’m looking forward to unpacking my luggage and having some non-wrinkled clothes.  I am still in awe at how well this vacation is going – I know that may jinx us, but I’m willing to take that chance. I am however, starting to miss my fur-kids – it always seems to be about this time, when I have a moment to sit back and reflect on the last 20 days.  We have been purchasing them little “treats” along the way so their homecoming will be as exciting for them as it is for us.

**Addendum:  I’m currently sitting in Timmins Ontario watching Mtl vs Tor on HNIC, during our last night of CPCA curling.  I started this post a week ago, I feel the need to complete the Ladera post prior to finalizing the rest of vacation.

Enough with the jibber jabber, I know you are all wondering how my big week-long all inclusive vacation to Ladera was.  The easiest and best way to  organize my thoughts is to rate all the major points on a scale from 1-10 (10 being FANTASTIC and 1 being CRAPTASTIC)

Travel -  Ladera is a 45 minute drive from the airport [twisty & turns, so if you are prone to nausea from car-sickness take a gravol] – if you choose a package with Ladera most will cover the taxi fare – if not expect to pay approximately 80 (USD).  Our taxi driver was fantastic and stopped along the way to allow us to take pictures of the Pitons from afar as well as other notable items.  (I’ll post a few pictures once we arrive back in Kugaaruk).   The taxi driver, Edmund who drove us back to the airport was equally as attentive and we had a great chat about deep-sea fishing and fish.  (8.5/10)

Check In – Hughie was so out to lunch in awe over Ladera and the beauty of our resort that I handled the check in – that and he did/does enough paperwork while he is working so he didn’t need the added “stress” of more paperwork.  They offered us cool facecloth spritzed with rose water & fruit punch (without the rum – the added rum part came later and it was DELICIOUS). 

IMG_7209

Resort -  As you will see from the photo’s the resort maintains an open feeling with all rooms having a open wall to the outdoors *as you see in the photo below #1.  We were complimentary updated to a two-bedroom villa.  (We had booked a one bedroom villa)

IMG_7310 IMG_7311 

Every room has there own plunge pool* as you see in the photo below .  The pool was so warm at nights that it seemed like a giant bathtub; we even had to to turn off our waterfall on occasion just so the water would cool down slightly.  I spent many hours in our pool; nothing is more refreshing that coming in from the beach and jumping into your own pool

Overall the staff went out of their way to help us, they were always asking if we needed anything, and that included keeping our fridge full of Piton beer and diet-cokes; and had no problems keeping the “lovely ladies” in my hands – I fell in love with coconut milk!

IMG_7432

 

The best thing, was when we woke up in the morning we awoke to this. (Picture - Gros Piton)IMG_7298

This is what we went to sleep to every night.(Picture - Petit Piton)IMG_8372

We didn’t take advantage of a lot of “off-resort” festivities or tours; we were quite happy staring at our Pitons and drink refreshing beverages; however, we did manage to take a “Sunset Tour” and “Dolphin & Whale watching tour”.  The sunset tour was fantastic, the beers were cold and the Skipper was quite knowledgeable about his Island.  Unfortunately the Dolphin tour didn’t leave me with the same kind of euphoria.  We did not see one Dolphin or whale, just flying fish. 

Some photo’s from the Sunset Tour:

IMG_7729 IMG_7816

I could spend hours posting pictures of our resort, Ladera and St. Lucia..but I’m due at the hospitality suite soon.  I promise to update more frequently and tell all about the CPCA-Timmins when I get back to Kugaaruk.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dear Agony..just let go of me.

Time is ticking down; the bags are packed the I-pod is charged and updated with all new travel tunes and cds.  The only hindrance that can surface is the weather; and believe me, I’ve been watching the Government weather site like I was watching a Reese Peanut Butter Cup (reminder:  No PB for 40 days.)  In the last three days they’ve changed the weather 3 different times; cloudy, sunny w/cloudy periods and now SNOW.  I wish I could explain how much I need out of this town, not just for my southern transformation which is to start on Tuesday, but for my Mental sanity – I feel myself slipping lately.   I need a Starbucks to level out the chemical imbalance.  I wish I could blame my lack of mental stability on SAD, but the sun has been beautiful the last couple of weeks and I’ve been enjoying it’s rays while walking the pups in the afternoon.   I just think I’m so close I can almost roll up my first rim and I don’t want to wait an extra day.

So this is my final, “Going on Vacation” post – if I don’t get out of this hamlet on Sunday you just may hear the worlds largest curse word resonate through the hills and rocks.   I’m hoping my next update will be from somewhere “warm” with a hot steaming cup of Starbucks sitting next to me, or better yet…a BEER

I’m not sure how I’m going to do anything for the rest of the weekend, my fingers and toes are all crossed…

*Title “Dear Agony” is currently playing on my IPOD – performed by Breaking Benjamin

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Hangover

I find myself flipping through the channels; 212, 400,406,407 over and over again – never settling on any one show or program.  I can’t remember what I watched or what I did prior to the 2010 Olympics.  For the last 17 days I watched CTV, TSN & Sportsnet religiously all hours of the day; and even found myself catching the replays of the events I missed during the day.  I even miss BRIAN….[Williams].  I think all the patriotism that I was growing and expanding inside me has started to deplete and breakdown into a bitter aftertaste.  I’m starting to get tired of hearing “Believe” and seeing, still, the Olympic commercials.. I wonder if Advil will help the Olympic Hangover.

Thankfully, tomorrow will be a day of curling up on the couch wearing my comfy clothes watching the TSN ticker and Sportsnet's coverage on the NHL Trade Deadline 2010.  I’m hoping the Canucks are active, yet not to active.  With Willie Mitchell possibly being out for the season and Bieska still a couple weeks away from playing we can use some  increase coverage until they are ready and 100% healthy.  If I had to guess, I would say Hodgson, Schneider, Demitra are going to be up on the trade block, but that is all just speculation.

This weekend also brings the first couple days of the Halifax 2010 Brier.  “Its a shore thing…”…that always makes for some good curling and amusing ‘statements’ from my husband – who has played against most of them at some point in his curling career; and if hasn’t played against them he  knows of them. 

Although after the Brier and the NHL Trade Deadline is over, I’m going to be lost for those final few days until we are FREE…well free for 30 days.  The vacation is 100% booked and planned – just need to compose a list of all our emergency numbers for the Kennel in Yellowknife and to leave here…just in case.  Hughie finally ordered his curling shoes (and they are beautiful…lol yes curling shoes can be beautiful) as well as a new broom and bag.  So now are just waiting; 12 more days until we are in Yellowknife rolling up the rim!  I’ve started in on the weather network, I’ve said it numerous times that I’m addicted to checking the  weather – well now I’m well into the 14 day advance window for Yellowknife, Edmonton & Winnipeg – so needless to say I’ve been driving myself crazy looking at the long range forecast – I should know and realize that after living up here that there is no controlling the weather…lol I suppose whatever I need to do in order to pass the time…

At least my dogs know how to pass the time until they are off for a month of relaxation and visiting amongst otherdogs at the kennel.

IMG_6892

*Above* Sekaya with her Entourage (Pluto, Bolt & Baby – if those three dogs are not in the kennel with her she will go “looking” for them)

*Below* Snoozing in the sun-beam

             

*Below*  Chakotay snoozing; apparently Sekaya felt the need to share her toys with Chakotay; but only as long as he is sleeping.

IMG_6908

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hotels-✓Car Rental-✓Flights-✓Packing✓

Vacation is almost upon us; 17 days are remaining in our countdown and we have everything officially booked and confirmed.  We are just filling in the odd gaps with friends from afar and family outings.  I can’t wait to be sitting under Connie’s hairdryers and enjoying the heavy feeling of a head full of foils.

As the title says, I’m even packed – or about 98% – we have some items coming from Nova Scotia as well as a couple of items from the states that I purchased to wear while on vacation.  I find it fairly amusing that I’m packing swimsuits and shorts/tank tops when tonight we are suppose to dip down to –60 (with wind-chill).  So for that very reason I have two bags; one for St. Lucia and one for the chilly State of Minnesota and Toronto/Winnipeg.   I’m in love with my new duffle-roll luggage from Eddie Bauer; the color makes me smile (Rustic Orange) and it will hold all my summer gear (I have more summer gear than winter gear; how is that possible) and I have a second duffle Eddie Bauer bag for my winter-garb.  I think that someday I will have to grow up and purchase real luggage; but until then I will enjoy my new rolling duffel.

                                         

                                              GO CANADA GO!

I’m thankful for the Olympics and all CTV’s coverage to help pass my time during the day and evening. I’m very proud of all our accomplishments during these winter games and I wear my Red-Mittens & Red Olympic T-shirt with honour and pride.  Sure there has been some controversy with regards to some of the events and the security but even that isn’t enough to snuff the Olympic Flame, or to stop some crazy Canuck from coloring his body and face red & white.  However; the best thing I love about these Olympics is….. there is no CHANT!!! (NO Eh, Oh Canada GO!!)…I didn’t realize that the Olympics are sanctioned by COKE not Pepsi…so therefore there are no signs that depict the “New chant” or not that I’ve seen….or heard!   I look forward to this evening; when I will cheer loudly for my Luongo and the Canadian Hockey Team when they take the ice against Russia.  If I recall my history we are going on ~50 years since the last time we won against them in any shape or form (someone correct me if I’m wrong please)

We have finally got 100% go ahead on Police curling in Timmins this year; and I look forward to walking into the ice shed, grabbing a beer and cheering on my husband.  He is at his best when he is on the ice; so confident and calming – I could only imagine how relaxed he would be here if there was a curling club…

I’m still running 4/5 times per week and thankfully have been hitting all my milestones that I’ve been setting for myself.  This week my goal is to run between 30-35km and I’m half way to 30km and after tonight I’ll be over the 21/22km mark.  I enjoy pushing myself to my limits and then going one step further.  I’m hoping in two weeks I’ll be running between 40-45km a week; but if I don’t get to that I won’t be too bummed as initially my goal was to hit 35km; last week I ran 33km – so I’m only 2km from my initial goal.  There is nothing better than jumping off the elliptical dripping in sweat and feeling the rush of adrenaline.  It is that rush that keeps me going; nothing like perking up the endorphins in your blood to keep you smiling.  Believe me, I need to keep smiling!

“Go Canada…Luongo Go”!!

 

 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Vanoc 2010

 

After spending numerous hours over the last 6 months wanting and wishing for a pair of RED-mitts they finally arrived.  Quickly too I may add – I only ordered them last Thursday night!

Go Canada Go!

*Don’t mind the flimsy gym hair..or the fact I haven’t had it cut or foiled in almost 6 months.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

FurKids Part II

It isn’t often the weather warms up enough to get outside and snap some photo’s especially bare handed – but today, if you look past the wind-chill, was only minus 14 (-14).  So I bundled up, first took them for a long walk to tire them out some, and then I let them loose in their kennel for some photo-tastic fun.  They truly do love each other but when they are outside there is only fun & fighting…take a look:

  IMG_6743 IMG_6745 IMG_6746   IMG_6750  IMG_6767

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Nature at its finest.

It is official, or as official it can get when dealing with the weather, we have our vacation approved.  I’ve been pacing the floors waiting to blog and Facebook the good news to all my friends & family.  Although I believe in Karma and I didn’t want to push my luck and speak out of turn too soon.  31 days until we fly out of Kugaaruk onward and upward to civilization and fresh hot perked Starbucks Grande Non-Fat Latte with a sprinkling of Twin sugar and cinnamon…oh god, I can almost taste it!

The highlight of our trip, is that Hughie and I  have decided on a Caribbean All-Inclusive trip; after spending months and months as well as gigs of our upload/download speed we decided on St. Lucia as our Island.  The biggest selling feature of St. Lucia is how it seems “out of the way” and it doesn’t seem to draw the “youngsters” like Jamaica or Mexico or Dominican Republic.  [We looked at all three of those places and found some awesome resorts; for example:  Montego Bay Sandals Jamaica – was our first choice until we heard and saw via youtube that planes are taking off pretty much on top of your head…they are that close].

The resort we decided on is called Ladera – it is situated on the side of a mountain with direct views of the Pitons. (Grande & Petit).  Their website had this to say, and says it much better than I ever would be able to

“Taking full advantage of its natural surroundings, Ladera offers a unique design in guest accommodations. The 9 villas and 23 suites all have an "open wall" - the west side of each unit is left open to expose the breathtaking view, and the orientation of the buildings maintains complete privacy. The villas and suites are constructed of tropical hardwoods, stone and tile, furnished with 19th century French furniture or replicas, wicker and accessories crafted by local artisans. All units are decorated with local artwork and feature magnificent views of the Pitons and Caribbean Sea.”

suite-p-gros-piton

This is one of the rooms located on the Resort, I will take plenty of pictures of our room when we arrive, I just wanted to give you a taste of what the rooms are like with their open wall concept. 

http://www.ladera.com/

I’m looking forward to five-star Camping; and drinking little fruity drinks, and the best thing was that we got a promotional deal and a seat sale with West Jet so we managed to snag this for a reasonable discounted price! 

Of course, it wouldn’t be a true Hughie & Tammy vacation if we didn’t hit up a hockey game.  We are heading to Minnesota to catch the Wild verses the Blackhawks near the end of the month.  We have our favorite hotel booked, within stumbling distance to the Xcel Centre.  We wanted to do a Vancouver Canucks game but the price of the tickets were crazy, pretty much due to the fact that the game we wanted to go to was pretty much their first game back to GM Place since they left almost two weeks ago for their big long road trip due to the Olympics.

Although we are not going to be able to get back East for this vacation we are still going to visit Toronto to catch up with Andrew & Laura; it wouldn’t be a vacation if we saw no family. We look forward to catching up with them and having a couple days of downtime before we head off to Timmins for Police Curling for 10 days.

There you go our month broken down as simply as I can.  There will be not as many flights as our last vacation, but just enough so we don’t start getting antsy in one location.  We are spending our first week in Winnipeg with myself hanging out at a Physiotherapy clinic, Spa and Hair/waxing locations.  There is nothing better than taking a week of downtime to bring yourself back up to snuff in the world.

Now I can take a deep breath and relax for the next 31 days!