Friday, February 28, 2014

Travel Woes

We are finally home after quite the adventure trying to get back! Final tally: 2 days of vacation, 6 days of trying to travel. The math seems wrong there, doesn't it??

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Guest Blogging!

Recently, our friend Sarah asked us to write a guest post over on her blog and we happily obliged. The beauty of blogging in the north is that the community of bloggers is fairly small so we start to get to "know" each other, even though we live so far apart. You may remember Sarah from when she blogged for us in the fall. It is fascinating to see how other people are experiencing similar things, yet are in completely different communities.

For our post today, I am going to direct you to Sarah's blog to read what we wrote! Also, if you are looking for another Nunavut blog to read about life in the north, I highly recommend checking out Sarah's blog about her life in Pang!


P.S. We are always looking for guest bloggers to share stories on our blog. If you are currently or have lived in the north, or have an interest in writing about the north - please contact us and we will be happy to feature your post!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Still Vacationing...

Our mini-vacation has been extended (un)fortunately...we were supposed to have left on Saturday, but after a few delays we were finally told our flight was cancelled and we had to re-book. The kicker is that the flights for Sunday and Monday were fully booked, so the earliest we can leave is Tuesday. And since it is weather-related as to why the flight was cancelled, we are on the hook for our own costs of staying. Like I told Jeff, I would have been fine if we had planned to stay longer, or if we had been told earlier our flight wasn't going anywhere...but the hassle of having to scramble and pay for 3 extra days of hotel and car, plus having to unpack our carefully packed groceries and waste a whole day in the airport, made me mad. Had I known we were going to be away this long, I'd have booked us all the way home to Ontario for the week!

As it stands, we are making the most of our extended vacation after settling in and making sure Pepper was ok for a few more days. We went to see the Lego movie in 3D on Saturday, and yesterday we spent a few hours lounging in the book store with some hot beverages. Life isn't so bad (just really expensive, lol). Our hotel room has a kitchen in it, and I have started to dip into the supplies we bought to bring back...not quite what I was expecting to do, but it's cost-effective and saves us from going out 3x a day.

It's actually a pretty good thing we aren't flying today since Baker is under a blizzard warning and we probably would have been stuck along the way. (At least that is what I keep telling myself.)


Friday, February 21, 2014

A Weekend Away...

It's hard to plan a surprise getaway when you live in Nunavut. There are many more logistics than booking a b&b and packing an overnight bag into the trunk of your car. I managed to pull it off (though a day late) and spent some of our Aeroplan points to whisk us away to the paradise that is Winnipeg. Side note: I am terribly saddened that Winnipeg is considered to be exciting, and have vowed to expand our horizons as much as possible. 

It was a plan that needed many people helping, and a lot of finagling but I confirmed the tickets on Wednesday at 2pm and we were on a plane by 4pm. In 30 minutes we were able to pack, find a Pepper-sitter, book a hotel and grab something from the post office. The rest, as they say, is history.

I surprised my husband with the news and we were off! So far, it has been a relaxing trip in the sense that we didn't have a plan, or things that needed to be done...we are simply here to reconnect and spend some time together in the "big city." Highlights so far have included scoring some amazing deals: our car rental ($10/day and unlimited kms?!), our hotel (hooray for government rates!), our food (dinner the first night with...plenty of adult beverages came to $30 after tax and tip, and our 2 huge hot breakfasts came to $9 after taxes!!). We then spent a long time walking around the shops, cheering with a crowd of strangers in the middle of the mall while we watched the Canadian women's hockey team win their Olympic gold medal, driving about town, and generally regaining a sense of normalcy again.

It's been a while since we have gone south and we needed the change of scenery and a bit of warmth (only -14 here!). Tomorrow we will hit some more shops, maybe go to the spa and get a haircut, and then have a nice dinner before we head back on Saturday morning. It's not a long trip, but it is just what we needed. We are as excited to be here as though this were a honeymoon!

I feel so rejuvenated! :)


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

You Know You Live In The North When...

I found a funny list in the teacher's break room at the school, so I've decided to re-post it here. Believe me, it's all true.

You Know You Live In The North When...

  1. You instinctively walk like a penguin for ten months of the year.
  2. You think nothing of drilling through 13 feet of ice and sitting there all day hoping that dinner will swim by.
  3. Your suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of your forehead.
  4. You have had lengthy conversations with people who dialed you as a wrong number.
  5. You measure distance in number of flights it takes to get there.
  6. You can drive a snowmobile through four feet of snow in a raging blizzard and not flinch.
  7. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a parka.
  8. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes on your dirt road are filled with snow.
  9. Going "down South" means Winnipeg.
  10. Your four seasons are 'almost winter', 'winter', 'still winter', and 'mosquito.'
  11. You find -20C on the warm side.
  12. Your 1st of July picnic was moved indoors because of a blizzard.  

Just another reminder not to complain to us about how cold it is. We are unsympathetic. :-)


Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy 2nd Anniversary (tomorrow)!

Tomorrow is our second wedding anniversary and I can't believe how quickly time has flown by. It seems like just yesterday Jeff and I started dating (and subsequently spending every waking moment together). Our whirlwind romance and the years since then have been the most adventurous, fun and loving years that I have lived. I cannot wait to see what the rest of our lives brings us - because we have started off on such a high note, it's hard to imagine it getting even better. :)

To reminisce, I thought I would share some videos of our special day. Hope you enjoy!

This first one was taken a few months after we got engaged. We played it at our wedding reception as a pre-introduction of the wedding party and had such a fun day filming it. You'd never guess that a 4 minute video would take nearly 6 hours to film...but there you go. Actually, the day started bright and early with hair and make up for my wedding trials - and then we went down to the lake to take engagement photos, and then we ended the day with our stag and doe late into the night. Phew! What a day!!

Our wedding day was magical in every sense of the word. The day started with a light dusting of snow which made it perfect for pictures, but as the day went on the sun shone in full force and we had a warm and beautiful day for the ceremony. The only stress that I felt was when the limo picking us girls up was late because the boys drank all the champagne on the way to the church and the limo driver stopped to pick up a bottle for us (#firstworldproblems I know). The rest of the day went off without a hitch and we even threw in a surprise lion dance for our guests after an elaborate dinner and prior to the late night buffet of a poutine bar, hot dogs, pizza and all the sweets in the world. It's my wedding - of course there will be tons of food! :) We were fortunate to have had our families travel from across the globe to join us, and this 5 minute video is a tiny glimpse of how perfect our day was.

I loved re-living our wonderful day and I hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane too!


Friday, February 14, 2014

Be My Valentine

Not Pepper. Tho I'm sure Lily would buy this shirt for him if she could.
Dun dun duh! Today is a very special day for Lily and I, and I'm sure all of you know why.

It's four days before our wedding anniversary!

What did you think I meant?

OK, it's also Valentine's Day, a day when men everywhere buy their special loved one a card, some candy, and maybe a teddy bear, and figure that to be good enough to last another year.

Trust me, fellas - that is a big mistake. It's only good for about two, maybe three months, tops. :-p

Truthfully, every man should treat Valentine's Day like just another opportunity to demonstrate to his wife or girlfriend how much he cherishes her, like every other day, minus the chocolates, roses, and movie tickets.

Flowers and chocolates are out - the former because of the cost of shipping, and the latter, because I'm trying to become smaller so I'm not bringing temptation into the house. I bought Lily a cute Yorkie stuffed toy for Lily for Christmas, but Pepper has claimed it as his own and has eaten its nose, so stuffed animals are also out.

As such, this year, I'm going to do something a little different, provided Amazon gets me my package here on time. I'll do a reveal in one of the posts following today, but my wife is a present-snooper, so my lips are sealed until after I've given it to her. Hopefully it will be on par with the exacting standards of gift-giving my wife and I have set for each other. If not, I'll have a few days to find something at the Northern store that will make up for it. (unlikely)

To the rest of you, please make sure your loved ones know how much you mean to them, and they to you. Have a great day!


P.S. For everyone in Baker, remember to look on the bright side - Valentine's Day means only 4 more months of winter!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


With our pictures from our last post showing the blizzard, some people asked if we could show what the view looks like on a clear day - just for some perspective.

Of course we can do that! One side shows the blizzard picture from the last post next to what the view looks like on a normal day. You can see why I said it was one of the whitest blizzards I've been through! :)

The big building in the back is the Baker Lake power plant

Don't mind the dirty window smudges on the clear picture!

Imagine how much worse it would be if we had more snow!


Monday, February 10, 2014

When it Rains, it Pours...

Actually, the correct saying should be that when it blows, it blows...because we had a doozy of a week last week with blizzards hitting us every other day. Our week was a little disruptive with half of Monday, Wednesday AND Friday off due to weather. (I would be lying if I didn't say that the schoolkid in me came out and loved our snow days.) We have all been complaining that there has been hardly any snow this year because it's been bitterly cold since October; -50 or below has been normal for months now...and I have to tell you, it's getting might tiring. This time last year, snow drifts were well above 10 feet high - this year, there are barely any drifts in town. You know you're living in the north when it's actually too cold to snow!

We did have a warm day or two last week (warm being -18 or so) and it snowed a bit. That seemed to have been enough for one of the whitest blizzards I've ever seen, a couple of days later. When we first came to Nunavut, we were told that we could be subject to blizzards so white that you couldn't see out the window, let alone across the street. Sometimes they could be so bad you couldn't see your hand in front of your face if you were to hold out your arm. We hadn't really experienced that, so we were somewhat skeptical...

Well, when you have a tiny bit of fresh, soft snow and winds of 90+ km/h, you'd be surprised at what you can see. Here are a couple of pictures...and keep in mind that it's not because I have a bad camera, it really is that white from the snow!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Chillin' in the Kitchen: Super Soft & Chewy Oatmeal Cookies (No Butter)

I was speaking with a friend recently and the topic of oatmeal cookies came up...and that got me really, really craving some. I also have an obscene amount of oats on hand (we eat a lot of oaty things, what can I say) so I welcome any excuse to dig into our stockpile.

One of the things I dislike about baking is the use of butter - mainly because there is never any butter in our house because I always forget to buy it, or I'm too lazy to soften butter in advance of baking when I want instant gratification and don't have the patience to wait. If it's a one-bowl, one-utensil recipe, it earns even more points. I am proof you can be lazy and still make delicious food!

My favourite kind of Oatmeal Cookies are ones that are soft and chewy - I don't particularly care for the super flat ones that are crispy. These cookies used coconut oil since that's what I typically have on hand, but you could use olive oil or canola oil - or even try doing half oil/half unsweetened applesauce. The nice thing about coconut oil is that it makes the house smell super coconutty but you don't really get a coconut taste.

You can do so much to this simple starter recipe but I like it with raisins the best. Chocolate chips/chunks, nuts or other dried fruits would go really well too. Whatever you do, try not to eat all of them in one sitting (unless you have a lot of really cold milk on hand...then, you should definitely eat them all.) :)

Oatmeal Cookies
makes ~28 cookies

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A New Day

Things have been difficult here the past while for us. A few different things have been causing us a bit of stress and some days, it's really, really hard to be far away from home.

But when things are a little down, we just need to have faith that things will get better and become clearer when the time is right. It helps that our view most days is so beautiful. Can't help but think positive when your day starts off so wonderfully.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Creativity Abounds!

One of the most inspiring things that I have witnessed here in Baker Lake is the amount of creativity that lives here. Even when traveling throughout the territory, you would be hard-pressed to not notice the beautiful arts, crafts, clothing and more that are created here. In Iqaluit, it is common to be sitting down for dinner and local artists approach your table with prints or carvings for sale.

Baker doesn't have restaurants per se, so people here tend to use Facebook to sell their wares unless there is a community event. Just before Christmas, there was a community craft sale where people came out with all sorts of homemade items that we oooh'd and aaah'd over. I ended up buying a knitted hat, but many of my colleagues walked away with ivory jewelery, knitted wares, traditional prints and more.

There is something to be said about not only supporting your community, but supporting the artist who worked so hard to make the items they so proudly showcased.