Friday, August 30, 2013


Snow fence at sunset
It's been one of those weeks, you know? The weather hasn't been great this week and it's been pretty damp and cool out. The rubber boots are definitely out right now since there is mud everywhere. If I recall correctly, this should lead into freezing rain season and then I'm pretty sure we've seen the last of summer and the really warm days. :(

The week also started with us running out of water...just as I had gotten into a nice hot shower, so that was SUPER fun. (If by super fun you mean not at all, then it was definitely that.) Additionally, the neighbourhood kids are being extra mischievous these days and have discovered the fun of banging on our front door and running away. It's been driving Pepper bonkers, which in turn makes us not very happy either. Last night they got their hands on some bb guns and were shooting them at our back window - Jeff had to go out and suggest they go play elsewhere (though apparently they were trying to shoot the "birds"... what birds fly as low as our window, I don't know).

Thankfully, there's a planned power outage for half the hamlet - so our office isn't opening for a couple hours after our normal time (yay sleeping in!) and then it's the long weekend! Hopefully the weather cooperates and we'll be able to go out and enjoy some fresh air.

What are your plans for the weekend? Make the most of it - it's the last hurrah of the summer!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

I Spy with my Little Eye....

Sometimes, the random things in life are some of the best things you see. Those are the moments you're super glad you have your camera with you.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Road to Nowhere

It seems as though every community in Nunavut has a road to nowhere - basically where the last of the roads end before they stopped making more road. In Baker, our road to nowhere is about a 30 minute drive from the house, and it ends at the Bridge to Nowhere. Someone told me what the bridge was built for, but I honestly can't remember right now. It literally is a bridge that leads to...nowhere. The road ends on the side of it, so it's simply a bridge over a river that doesn't let you go anywhere.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Chillin' in the Kitchen: Quick Soft Pretzels

Do you ever get those cravings that just won't go away? I read somewhere once that a craving only lasts about 10 minutes. To this I say, HA!! Mine last...days? Weeks? Sometimes I'm eating what I am craving ... and I'm craving it at the same time. Mind blowing, I know.

I got hit with a craving for soft pretzels recently and they were all I could think about. There used to be a soft pretzel place in the mall I worked at in high school, and I'd eat it for lunch every time I worked. There's something so good about soft, fluffy bread covered in salt. I mean really now, how could you go wrong? It was a sad, sad day in my teenage life when the pretzel place closed. These days, if I see a soft pretzel place - you know I'll be running over there to order up a tasty treat.

It's hard to have cravings like these and then having to figure out how to make it while we're up here. Especially when every recipe I came across talked about waiting for the dough to rise, followed by a million steps that all sounded complicated and time-consuming. It was a weeknight and I was in the mood for a pretzel, STAT. I ain't gots no time to wait for yeast to activate and dough to rise! This was a pretzel emergency!

Then I found it. A recipe that promised Quick Soft Pretzels in the same amount of time it takes to bake a batch of cookies. A short list of ingredients that were already in my pantry and I was up and in my kitchen faster than lightning. Under an hour later, I was happily munching on soft, fluffy pretzels and life was perfect. Try these. Eat a million of them. Make more and then eat those too! They're that good!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"No Screen" Nights

We're trying a new thing at our house now that Jeff isn't working as much and we have more time to spend together. I was evaluating how our time is spent and I wasn't happy with how much time we sit in front of our laptops, iPad, cell phone and the TV. So we're implementing "No Screen" nights which basically means that between certain periods of time in an evening, all screens are turned off and we have to find other ways to entertain ourselves. It doesn't always have to be doing an activity together (say, if we both want to chill out and read for a bit), but when it is together, we're going to take turns on who chooses the activity. I thought it would be a fun way to re-connect and spend some quality time together, even if it just means we're sitting next to each other on the couches and reading.

Last night was our first night, and we stuck fairly well to the plan. I came home from work and we made dinner together, then we played with the dog for a while and gushed over how cute he is (that took a long time...he's really cute!). Afterwards, we dusted off our Scrabble board, turned on some music and had a rousing (and by rousing, I mean highly competitive) game of Scrabble. It's been a while since we played a board game and it was pretty fun. Something different than our usual routine of plopping in front of the TV or our computers every night.

So we're going to try this for a bit and see how it goes. How about you? Do you have rules about how much time you can spend in front of the screens? Any suggestions on different things we can try?


Monday, August 19, 2013

Random August Thoughts

I don't have any coherent thoughts for a post today, so I'm just going to write a list of random things that are currently on my mind.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Things that make you go hmmmm....

Working at the Northern has brought back long-forgotten memories of my days at Business Depot and Sporting Life. One of the aspects that has long been a thorn in my side is the issue of music. Studies have shown that the music that shoppers respond to best (and by respond, I of course mean buy more stuff) is elevator muzak - remakes of top 40 songs with all the words removed. Unfortunately, those same studies proved that after a month or so, employees were driven insane listening to it over and over.

The happy medium most stores choose is either a set play list of thirty to forty songs, or tune into a local radio station. The latter option is not ideal for Baker Lake, given that the local station mixes 80's gospel music with updates of goings-on in Inuktitut, the local language here. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's not conducive to shopping, for the most part. Here, we play one of four CDs, apparently made by one of the manager's wives, and it includes classic rock and top 40, and one or two gems from the 40's. Even with four CD's, the music becomes repetitious after a while, such that I can sing some of them from memory now.

One of them is Bob Seger's classic, "Night Moves". I really like when I hear it, because it reminds me of Dean. He in turn reminds me of his girlfriend. Both of them remind me of our good friends, Dave, Jen, Damien and Lynn, and the hilarity that ensued at their cottage several years running. I miss those moments, and it's one of the few times in any given day that I really miss being in Ontario, knowing all of the great times with friends and family that we're missing. Babies are turning into toddlers, toddlers into young children, and so on. When we come back in the fall, we have so much to catch up on, and so many people to re-connect with, it will be hard to find time to just enjoy the vacation. Don't worry - we will find a way.

Lily booked our flights today, and the realization that we are coming home in a few short weeks is starting to sink in. (It's a great feeling) Anyway, I think I might burn a 5th CD with my own mix. Bob Seger will be on there, along with Raffi, Apollo Four-Forty, maybe some Beach Boys and a song or two by everyone's favourite soft rock artist, Eminem.

Until September, then!


Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I was struggling to come up with an idea for today's blog post, but luckily for me, one just fell in my lap. I was sitting on the couch with Pepper when he started barking furiously at the ruckus outside our window; I thought it was another parade for one reason or another since I heard a lot of vehicles and sirens. Then I started to smell smoke and thought, "that's different." Still didn't think anything of it until Pepper's incessant barking made me realize that the noises weren't going anywhere, and they seemed to have stopped.

I looked out the front window and noticed that there was a lot of commotion across the street - the fire truck was there (hooked up to the water truck), the RCMP was there, and at least a dozen trucks, ATV's and people stopped at the end of the street. Side note: I never thought about it before, but I suppose a water truck is just as important here as a fire truck since they need access to the water. Things you don't really think about!

You can see in the picture the firefighters are standing on top of a green truck. There was a fire started in the front cab/under the hood of it, and they were standing on top of it trying to extinguish the flames. (That doesn't seem like the safest way to do it, does it?) Rumour has it a little boy started the fire and his mom came and took him away shortly before I snapped these pictures.

Jeff took Pepper out for a walk after work and got close to the truck to see the inside of it too - that little boy caused quite a bit of damage to that truck. Sure, it was meant for scrap/garbage, but there is a lot of stuff surrounding it that could have caught on fire if someone wasn't fast at calling the fire department. I hope he got into big trouble for this and learned a good lesson that playing with fire is dangerous!


What surprised me was how close people got just to watch it...I guess when there are no barriers up, people will want to get as close as they can. Anyway, that's our Tuesday night excitement for you. Never a dull moment here!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Getting Darker

It's starting to get darker at night these days, but it still hasn't gotten to the point where it's completely night out yet. The picture above was taken over the weekend at around 1:30am by our friend - he was hoping to catch part of the Perseid meteor shower, but Northern Lights peeking through is a good consolation prize. That's about as dark as the sky gets these days - a deep, rich blue with hints of stars shining through.

I'm a big fan of this season right now - there is plenty of sunshine and vitamin D to soak up, and it's dark enough to sleep at night without trouble. The only sad part is that it is a reminder that summer is quickly coming to an end and we're heading into the cooler months soon. I have to constantly remind myself to absorb every hill, every colour, ever flower I see. When the long winter sets in and everything is covered in white, you tend to forget that there are hills in the distance or that the land is full of vibrant colour i n the summer. Everything is white and blends into each other (which in itself is beautiful), but it's good to remember that it's not all white all the time.

Really though, with views like this - who can complain?


Friday, August 9, 2013

Chillin' in the Kitchen: Pickled Jalapenos

We *love* spicy food. When we first started dating, Jeff's idea of spicy was Frank's Red Hot and we laugh at that now since he barely gets a tingle when we use it these days. I grew up eating fairly spicy things, so after years of being together, Jeff's tolerance has naturally increased as to how much heat he can handle. It is not uncommon to go through our kitchen and find a variety of different hot sauces and other spicy things that we consume regularly.

I've always liked the idea of pickled peppers since I like the flavour combination of spicy and sour/sweet mixed together. Unfortunately, any pickled peppers that I tried in the past were overly sour, not at all spicy and generally quite soft and mushy. When I came across fresh jalapenos at the store, I got it in my head that I was going to make Pickled Jalapenos - so I did! Oh. My. Goodness. After making these at home, we are never going back to store-bought again. These are quick to make (not your "real" pickling with brine and sitting for long periods of time, etc.), crispy, the perfect combination of sweet/sour and have a whole lot of kick. It tastes like fire...a delicious, addictive, put-it-on-everything fire. I've made them a couple of times now, and a jar doesn't last long around here - but these will keep beautifully in your fridge if you can stay away from them long enough!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Baker Lake Cardboard Boat Race

Have you ever heard of a cardboard boat race? I had no idea events like these existed, but apparently it's a "thing" because I'm the only person who's never heard of it. I must live under a rock! Either way, I was able to witness my first one recently - and I have to say, it was highly entertaining!

The rules were pretty simple: your boat had to be 6 feet by 2 feet and made of nothing but cardboard and duct tape. Participants had to be wearing life jackets and could not be younger than 16. That's it! The design and the rest of it was up to your imagination. It was held at the "graveyard lake" which is a small-ish lake up past the snow fence. The first day they tried to hold it, it was too windy so they had to postpone it to another day. It was still pretty windy on actual race-day, but they still went ahead with it!

Graveyard Lake

Monday, August 5, 2013

Price Check: Household Goods

We've talked about the high cost of food here in Nunavut, but I've had people ask what the cost of other items, such as household goods and personal care items, cost. It's just as bad as the cost of food, unfortunately. Although it seems like grocery costs for some items are going down (milk for example, was $8.95 a year ago and is now $4.99 a gallon. That's cheaper than what I was paying in the south!), the cost of the other items are still very high. I am not sure if they are covered under the subsidy program, but that could be a part of the reason why the cost is still so high.

Forgive the not-great quality of the pictures, but I didn't want someone to catch me taking pictures and being asked to stop. I've heard that in some communities/stores, people have been banned from some stores for taking pictures and posting them online! I don't know if that would happen here, but as there aren't really many options to shop here, I'd rather not limit myself even more. So these were hastily taken when I found myself shopping one day and thought to bring my camera with me. (As always, click in the picture to make it bigger.)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Pepper's First Birthday

When we brought Pepper home, no one was really sure when his birthday was, other than the fact that it was in August. We decided to choose August 1 as his birthday since it seemed as good of a day as any! :)