Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Trivia note: This will be our third Christmas since moving north, but our first winter solstice in Baker. (And our first Christmas up here too.)
Back to the pictures thing.... the photo on the way to work is a black background with white specks all over it. (It was dark and snowing and the flash just picked up the white flakes.)
The pic at morning break is a total white out. Ditto for the one at lunch. By afternoon break, it's a bit darker shade of white.
On the way home, if I had've tried another picture, it'd be a copy of the first one.
Hopefully, one day this week it won't be snowing and I'll be able to sneak out and snap some decent pictures.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
In Baker? Ha! Funny! Everyone knows that we don't actually *have* a bank here in Baker!
No, Squire and I are just bundled up to go for a quick walk around the block. I'd like to report that by the time we got home, she'd dislodged all 4 boots, making me pick them up and carry them home (it was too cold on the fingers to try to get them back on!).
I guess that's what I get for making her wear boots when none of the other dogs' moms make them wear boots!
Friday, December 16, 2011
One of our friends couldn't even get into their office on Friday... getting an 'extra' day off! You can just barely see the top of the door frame behind that monster snow drift.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
We're glad it's not our job to shovel the snow out in front of the Library distribution centre....
Squire *is* glad that the snow drift allowed 'he' to rescue her frisbee from the garage roof! BTW, I'm not allowed to play with the frisbee in front of the house anymore.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
One of our friends have been here, there, and just about everywhere. (She won't admit to having a physical map tucked away with thumbtacks in each country she's been too, but I'm fairly certain she does!) Whether physical or just mental, we committed to heading somewhere that'd give her another country on the 'been there, done that' side. The other two girls would be experiencing their first trip to anywhere in the Caribbean.
Oddly enough, four different schedules caused us all to converge on Toronto at the beginning of October. Travel out of the north is tres expensive, so it's awesome when you can combine business and medical and family visits with sun, sand, and surf!
We surfed the internet, trolled trip advisor, and decided Now Jade in the Mayan Riviera in Mexico was the place for us! We'd get some sun, some much needed and well deserved rest and relaxation, and make some great memories with our Northern buds.
Please note: That isn't even a promo shot from the resort's website, I actually took this picture! We were extremely impressed that the resort looked even better in person that it did on the internet.
Monday, October 24, 2011
How about some kids playing ice hockey on a frozen pond in behind 'Mt. Baker Lake'.
If I get ambitious over the next few days, I just might traipse all the way out there and snap a couple of pictures.
And while I'm feeling ambitious... I think I promised my parental units that I'd post some of the Mexico pictures, so I'll do that soon too. I promise.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
We leave Baker tomorrow to go on vacation with our Northern besties. (Look out Mexico! Here we come and nothing will ever be the same!) So this will be the first year we haven't seen snow in September.
I would imagine when we return after spending some time in Ontario over Thanksgiving with family, there will be some frosty white stuff on the ground.
Monday, September 26, 2011
$7.50 flat rate shipping is not as good as Lulu, The Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic who ship for free (and free returns!). But on par with Ricki's and Cleo, and slightly cheaper than Sears.
And! I heart Reitman's jeans!
So, sorry, gotta go do some shopping! Don't tell 'he'!
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Generally, the airport is the gateway into or out of town. It's our lifeline to supplies. Hell, it's where we pick up our booze!
It doesn't matter whether I'm at home or the office, when I look out the window, my eye is drawn out across the water to the airport.
The plane crash in Resolute last month that made headlines across major news stations down south was even more keenly felt here. You have to remember that the communities up here are incredibly close knit. Everyone knows everyone, and so many people are related to one another.
That there were any survivors at all is unbelievable. That the military was in Resolute planning on simulating the response to a plane crash was fortunate. That such a crash happened at all is kinda scary.
I had to tune in to watch the interview with one of the survivors. The recap can be seen/read here.
The poise and overall attitude Nicole Williamson has towards this tragedy is inspiring. I can't imagine I'd walk away from an event like that with my head on that straight.
While we await the results of the investigation into the crash, one thing is certain. If you live in the north, you'll be flying eventually. Considering the number of planes that I seeing flying past my window on a daily basis, and in spite of this tragedy, I'll still feel pretty safe the next time I hop on a plane.
Friday, September 16, 2011
We're walking down the road towards two little boys. (Squire LOVES kids... but little boys are her favourite!) They're probably about 3.5 and 2 years old respectively.
Anyway, as we get closer, the younger one starts to cry...
... the older one solemnly explains to me that 'the baby is afraid of your dog.'
Sometimes, kids are too cute.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Last weekend, I upgraded from Dora cakes to wedding cakes. The wedding party didn't deliver the silk flowers, so I wasn't able to see it complete, but it was looking pretty good for as far as I got. I even had some help from an apprentice baker - but 'he' wants to remain anonymous.
I figured, since the longest day of the year, really is a LONG day up here, that I should get out and snap a quick picture for everyone back home who experiences a short longest day of the year. Squire and I were out for a walk at about 11pm, when the sun was just starting to set over the snow fence. Even once the sun goes down, it doesn't get dark - which can make sleeping difficult for a few months!
Friday, June 3, 2011
So, I guess mother nature forgot to check her calendar.... We got easily a few inches of snow over night (using that term loosely since we don't experience darkness in Baker right now...). And it snowed almost literally all day! Those big gorgeous fluffly flakes that belong on the front of Christmas cards. Then the wind decided it should pick up and blow all this fluffy snow around. It's gusting up to 70 km/h out there right now, and visibility sucks. Although it's not particularly cold, it isn't particularly nice out there right now, either.
But, jealous that the weather was the talk of the office, a herd of caribou decided it should stir things up. It wandered down the wide open tundra across the road from our office. I was sitting and enjoying a tea in the coffee room, when someone yelled down the hall that there was a herd out there.
Someone call 'he' quick!
By the time he made it to the office, the herd was migrating back out of town, but still visible, especially with binoculars. A few of us kabloonas decided we needed a closer encounter, so after stopping at home for the camera, we took off up the dump road.
We ran into these four stragglers before we hit the dump, but they weren't very friendly. Or photogenic for that matter! This shot was taken well back, and prompted an outcry for a telephoto lens!
At least 'he' was there for the action!
Following along the lines of Mantracker and Stormchasers, we decided to see if we can find the rest of the herd, and catch them... on film, of course!
We ended up heading out Meadowbank road, scanning the tundra for anything that moved. The only thing we found was a gigantic flock of Snow Geese... which apparently make for an awesome meal. Unfortunately, the only thing we brought back were these pictures.
Friday, May 27, 2011
My friend outdid herself on the cake! It was amazing.... and very tasty too. And someone even brought ice cream! Sheer decadence at $20 for two litres!!
The highlight of the night was a surprise for everyone; a recital from Mr. He of a poem he wrote for the occasion! I'm not gonna lie: I was a teary mess! But not the only one. What a great memento of a great night!
The Perfect Girl I Wed
A List of my Wife's Faults, Except She Doesn't Really Give Me Much to Work with Here...
Why is Krista naughty?
Cuz she never learns at all.
She walks two feet and trips on air
and manages to fall.
She truly thinks it never rains;
the sun, it always shines,
And fixes any problem saying,
"It'll all be fine!"
And speaking of her temper, well,
I hardly think it's fair
To make me all forgetful with her
Smiles that make me stare.
And worst of all... her lies.
You think that "Thirty Years" is true?
I know damn well she hasn't grown
a day past twenty-two.
So even though this birthday's hers,
the best gift goes to Ted;
Another year to bitch about...
the Perfect Girl I wed.
We gathered at the office and made our way down to the ice, where a convoy of hondas (quads) and machines (snowmobiles) along with several kamotiks awaited us. Our destination was the point on the east side of town.
We spent the entire day out on the ice, 'jigging' for fish with a traditional ice fishing rod. We were able to try some frozen caribou meat, and later, a pretty tasty caribou stew. Bannock was fresh made on a Coleman stove out on the ice too.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
This past weekend we challenged our friends and their families to a kickball game in the snow. (Kickball is like baseball, but you kick a soccer ball instead of swing a bat at a baseball.) We had about 10 players and 5 fans, so not a bad turn out. We were able to walk up the snow dunes over the fence behind home plate. The trip from home to first was downhill through soft snow and caused more than a couple falls. Going from third to home, you had to run through knee deep snow. We couldn't have asked for better weather, and we all lasted two innings. For those keeping score the Baker Lake Rockettes beat Baker Lake Kablamo 12 -4. Both 'he' and 'she' were on team Kablamo.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
While preparing our friend's birthday feast, I had to whip together a Dora cake, requested by friends of friends. Word is getting around! This is my first multi-lingual cake; the syllabics mean 'little one'.
And the last one... sorry Dad, don't disown me... was a request for a neighbour's birthday. And I have to give all the credit to 'he' who came up with the design. I think this is my favourite cake design so far... although people are already trying to come up an idea to top it. This week? Grave digger, the monster truck. I'll let you know how it goes!
Monday, March 7, 2011
After dropping the husband off at his office, I'm marching up the hill to the office. It's almost balmy outside, very little wind and a warm -29 (Hey! It's March and we've had two months of -40 and lower... we'll take what we can get!).
A couple of co-workers fly past me on their machine.... Sucks that they get to zoom up the hill and I'm stuck trudging through the snowdrifts... but it's a balmy -29, so I can't complain. They shout out to me 'tuktu" (which means caribou) and point over on the tundra. I'm thinking to myself, looks more wolfish to me, but I'm not wearing my glasses, so I'm not going to argue.
The "caribou" starts to wander about a bit, and my coworker yells "Oh my god, it's got a tail.... it's a WOLF!!" The smokers start to edge their way towards the front door. The wolf is hanging out about 200 feet off the road.
Now I know I'm in trouble. Not from the wolf - he isn't being threatening at all, but from my husband. It's a sore point that he hasn't even seen a caribou yet, while I nearly hit one with a truck, and now a wolf...? This isn't going to go over well.
Even though we find it easy to manage without a cell on a daily basis, luckily my co-workers are more technologically civilized, and let me borrow their cell. Maybe I can get 'he' up here to see the wolf before it takes off? But no, the direct line to his office isn't working.
More co-workers are arriving, wondering what we're all looking at. The wolf's still sitting out on the tundra, wondering what we're all looking at.
Since the wolf is cooperating and hasn't run off, maybe I have time to run inside and call from my office? No, my brave Annie Oakley wannabe co-worker has hopped back on her machine. She's planning on herding the wolf away from town - and if she gets the chance, she'll run it down. We've managed to call the bylaw officer (who has carte blance to shoot any threatening wildlife or stray dogs on sight) and the wildlife officer. Quite the convoy of vehicles are heading down the road. It's time to run inside, break the news to 'he', and get a good vantage point to watch the action.
I was right. I'm in trouble. 'He' doesn't even want to hear the story; it isn't fair. I'm going to have to figure out how to make this up to him....
The offices over on the tundra side of the office belong to the HR department. Hopefully they'll be as excited to see a wolf as I am, because I'm barging right in! At first, I'm pretty sure they think I've lost it, but catch the excitement as we watch Annie Oakley run that wolf right out of town!
I heard later in the day that either a dog or an entire sled dog team, depending on who was telling the story, fell victim to the wolf. The dog teams are often kept out of town, apparently in an effort to keep them as working dogs instead of pets. Unfortunately, they'd have no way to get away from predators. The locals mentioned that the caribou are quite far from town (about a two hour snowmobile ride up the Thelon) whereas last year, a heard spent a good part of the winter between town and Meadowbank. The 'local' wolves are hungry; they're brave enough to come to town even on a nice day.
So I'm lucky enough to have seen a wolf in the wild, and lucky enough that he wasn't hungry enough to come after me. But I'm unlucky that I didn't have a camera, and that now my husband is mad. Oh well, it was definitely the most exciting commute I've had ever!
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Sad that is until we realized the uber shopping potential! In Baker, we have very few opportunities to shop (in person, that is. I think we're, by necessity, all professional online shoppers.) and anyone who knows our friend, knows he has fantabulous taste and some of the neatest stuff.
So I stocked up on baking supplies, chai tea (wooohoooo!), and some servingwares. My favouritest item though is my milk frother... combined with the chai tea, I see plenty of chai lattes in my future!
We also purchased his chest freezer in an effort to stock up on foodmail essentials before foodmail goes the way of the dodo bird and we're forced to pay $15 for a 4L jug of milk! April 1st is the expiry date on the foodmail program. I know several people who relied on the foodmail program to be able to afford wholesome food, so hopefully some of the grass roots movements are sucessful in resurrecting some sort of the program. If not, Baker Lake is expecting the long-awaited new Co-Op store to open sometime this spring, and with any luck, it'll provide some tough competition to the Northern Stores and drive the prices down to a more reasonable level.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Roll off bed, stumble around blindly searching for yesterday's dirty clothes. Cats heard alarm and are now yowling noisily on other side of door. Socks? Check. Pants? Check. Yowl, yowl yowl...Throw heavy things at door. Wear clothes. Leave room and check house temperature...says its 21C, feels like 18. Bleh. Change to 22. For wife.
7:05 AM : Call dogs. We're borrowing an extra dog for a few weeks, if you don't know. Open front door. Eight inches of snow on porch this morning, and its still snowing and a bit blustery. Bleh. Snow is too frozen and heavy to sweep with a broom today. Instruct dogs that they need to do their business with calmness, dignity and restraint while I try to clean out some of the snow; quietly pray they don't cause havoc whilst unattended.
7:06 AM : Yell at dogs for causing havoc.
7:15 AM : Door frame is more or less cleared up. Stairway was a deathtrap and water services were blocked...cleaned that up a tiny bit, but I'm horribly lazy and still coughing from a cold. Also bored. Go inside. Give treats to dogs for being bad. Make sure wife awake. Start breakfast and tea.
7:20 AM : Eating oatmeal this morning, and watching news. I watch CBC in the mornings. Today its stuff about Libya mostly, and New Zealand. Still no frontpage news about Baker Lake; not entirely shocked. Relax watching TV for a while, drinking decaf tea.
7:45 AM : Now more or less awake. Shower. Take it easy on the water since water delivery can sometimes be sketchy during snowstorms/blizzards. Don't shave since its not a Monday and I'm usually too lazy to shave more than once a week.
7:55 AM : Dry up and wear clothes. Wife has kindly picked out stuff that doesn't horribly clash for me this morning (since when do brown and blue clash? They both even start with the same letter...) and left it on the bed. Awwww.
8:15 AM : Gear up to go outside. Its a mild snowstorm outside still (blizzard watches for the last couple of days but no real blizzard materialized).
8:20 AM : Work starts in 10 minutes. It takes me well under a minute to walk to work, and the wife needs around 5-8 minutes to walk up the hill, depending on weather and the route she takes. We have a vehicle today, parked at my office two doors down, and she'll be using that.
Outer door from house doesn't close properly due to snow and ice accumulation. Sigh. We'll probably chip out the ice at lunch.
8:22 AM : Vehicle miraculously unburied by snow. Door to IT office on the other hand half-blocked but I'm able to climb in fairly easily. Watch from safety of doorway while wife stands in snowstorm and clears ice from windshield wipers. Get bored; go inside.
8:25 AM : Call Arctic Fuel (local company) for snow removal at IT office and our house since our utilities are still mostly blocked.
8:26 AM : Working away. I'm all alone in my "office" which is actually a house we've converted to that use since there's not enough room up at the main office.
9:30 AM : Look out window; looks like they're already clearing out some snow nearby. Huzzah!
10:30 AM : I think I can hear them shovelling out the doorway. Good. The last two times I climbed out over the snow I managed to crack my head on the door frame. Not today! *Fingers crossed*
12:02 PM : Good work morning; its quiet and lonely here sometimes but fewer distractions can be nice. I wait a couple minutes to give wife a few minutes to walk home, hoping to intercept her on the way. Make sure my worklog is up to date and saved. Gear up to go outside.
Yay, doorway is definitely cleared out. No headaches for me.
12:03 PM : Forgot wife had a vehicle today; she has already gotten home and released the hounds. Dog A sees me, sits nicely so I'll approach. Dog B charges me.
12:04 PM : Wife is clearing out some remaining snow. Utilities were cleared out while we were at work, but the stairway is still near suicide. I get the ice chipper and help.
12:08 PM : Bored of clearing snow. Dogs are biting each other and finding and eating rabbit poo. Dog B ran to neighbour's house to bark at the poor guy trying to shovel out his own snow. Bleh.
12:09 PM : Wife remembered to chisel ice out of doorframe on the way in. Door manages to latch again. For now.
12:10 PM : Give dogs treats for being bad. Make lunch. Mmm. Breakfast for lunch usually. One fried egg and some toast. Mmmm. Watch more news, natter with wife about finances, work drama, dinner plans.
12:15 PM : Wife is doing bills and transfering money to the savings accounts. Yay! Saving money = good. I continue to watch TV. More news, although I can't get CBC at the moment. Probably need to tweak the alignment of the dish again.
Brief interruption to go clean cat litter box before Dog B tries to eat it again.
12:50 PM : Gear up and go outside again. Wife left car running most of lunch. This is actually pretty normal up here. I try not to think about the waste.
12:55 PM : Work work work. Trying to release an interesting project, but need a bit more testing and some sign-offs. Work on upcoming priority projects while I wait for sign-offs.
4:00 PM : 4 already? The days seem to be like normal length to me now, so its still bright and sunny outside. No more tip-offs about the end of day coming just because its dark outside.
Decide to write a blog today. Maybe an amusing timeline of a typical day's events? Jot down some notes. Google the term self-referential allusion. Chuckle at my own wit. Get back to work.
4:40 PM : Wife calls to confirm dinner plans: Guesthouse burgers! Guesthouse is a sort of restaurant. Sortof. Decent burgers. If you know Mr. Burger in the 'Shwa, kinda like those, but without the thick-cut fries. We're getting takeout so we don't leave the dogs home too long.
5:00 PM : Gear up to go outside. Not waiting an extra 2 minutes this time since wife has vehicle and I actually remember it. Will try to release hounds before she has to.
5:02 PM : Home at last. Wife not here yet. What a commute! The traffic today was brutal, blah blah blah. Chuckle at my own wit.
Let dogs out. Briefly consider instructing them to conduct themselves with calmness, dignity, etc, but they've already left. Sigh and follow dogs.
5:05 PM : Dogs are chasing each other around in the back field. Occassionally they'll stop and eat rabbit poop (which to be fair looks almost identical to dog kibble. Can't comment on the taste).
5:10 PM : Bored of watching dogs run around and eat rabbit stuff. Go inside. Hungry.
5:11 PM : Give the dogs treats for being bad. Look for something to have for dinner. Yowl yowl yowl. Oh right, forgot to feed the cats at lunch. I need to feed them smaller meals now, three or four times a day instead of just two, while I keep an eye on them, because each have their own kind of food and they each prefer the other's. Yowl yowl yowl. What do you think I'm doing? I have both of your bowls on the table AND my hand in the food bag.
5:12 PM : Remember that wife is picking up dinner. Decide to find out if we get tonight's Leafs game. Usually don't. Usually just as well.
5:13 PM : Leafs game blacked out. Bleh. Why'd we move here again? Cats switched bowls when I wasn't looking. Mutter. Confiscate catfood.
5:15 PM : Wife is home with food. Huzzah! Smells like happiness.
5:25 PM : Ate too fast. Watch some TV. Mostly Poker on the sports channels. Dunno how we got into this, but now it seems terribly interesting. I can't believe he folded pocket kings!
5:50 PM : Back in Toronto, this is about the time I'd usually leave work.
6:00 PM : Wife remembers we need the extension cord to plug in the vehicle. Its back at my office, so we'll need to go all the way back there and get it. Oh no!
6:10 PM : We're back from my office. Man, what a commute, etc etc. Vehicle is plugged in and should now hopefully start gracefully in the morning.
Settle into a typical night of favourite TV shows, favourite computer games, playing with the animals.
7:00 PM : Wife calls neice on her birthday. Happy birthday, Leigha! After a moderately long interchange it becomes apparent that she has a Dora on her cake.
7:50 PM : Back in Toronto, this is about the time we'd usually get home from work. Instead, I'm slaughtering the French and Austrians in Napoleon: Total War. Take that, frenchies.
9:00 PM : We're in the middle of an epic 24 marathon, so we decide to watch another episode tonight. Its season four. I bet this is the episode where Jack Bauer flaunts the rules and is completely right about his gut instincts.
10:15 PM : Let dogs out into back field. Instruct them to cause havoc; nobody's out here anyway. Eventually take them back inside.
10:30 PM : Bedtime. Read for a while, then zzzzzzz.
Monday, February 7, 2011
And you know it's *really* bad, when you have to follow the hydro poles.
But, the new measure for *really* *really* bad is when you are following the hydro lines to find your way home, and you loose them once or twice!!
Yikes! I had a few panic moments, hoping I wasn't wandering off into the wild white tundra!
Time to hibernate with the dogs until this blizzard passes, supposedly tomorrow. Until then, Season 3 of 24, here we come!!
Sunday, February 6, 2011
So Harley's taken up residence on Squire's bed (not that she uses it that often, since she prefers to sleep at the foot of our bed.) If he isn't to be found on the bed, you'll find him lounging in the 'house' (aka crate). Harley's stay is short-term, as he heads home tonite.
Chester, on the other hand, is a bit of a going concern. He's just over a year old, and is a furry bundle of energy. He would like it if the cats were more inclined to play with him and hasn't gotten the clue from all the hissing and swipes of claws across the nose that he just isn't welcome as far as they're concerned. While he's content being relegated to the house (especially while unsupervised) he prefers to cuddle with us, on the couch or our bed or even on our pillow. Chester is staying a bit longer, almost til the end of the month, as his dad heads to Mexico for some sun and sand.
With all the chaos inside, Page has focused her attentions outside. One lunch hour was spent eyeing up 'dinner' sitting on the hydro lines outside the window. Little does she know that the ravens up here probably weigh at least twice what she does; I've seen them routinely take caribou meat from the dogs that live outside up here.
Squire is handling all the upheaval really well. It helps that Harley is so laid-back and chill and she really only has to deal with Chester wanting to play and cuddle with her. It's been fun to watch all the animal antics, but it'll be nice when things quiet down and we get back to our normal routine.
Monday, January 31, 2011
On top of baby cakes, we created an amazing brunch with our friends this weekend. We all brought something, and ate like kings. The Arden Park had nothing on us. We had:
- Breakfast skillet, featuring eggs, bacon, and hashbrowns baked to a yummy-goodness.
- Chocolate Chip Pancakes, smothered in bananas and strawberries and walnuts, with a butter-maple syrup sauce.
- Blueberry Crumble topped with cinammon granola with yogurt on the side.
- Breakfast sausages.
- French french baguettes.
- Fresh oranges and nectarines.
- Homemade strawberry and raspberry pop tarts.
- Choice of orange or cranberry juice, and coffee or tea.