Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas To The Elders

I am finding myself missing Iqaluit a bit this Christmas. I especially miss some of the Christmas activities that I would help organize at work, with my favourite being the Elder's Christmas Party we would throw. Even though I worked (and managed for a time) the Unikkaarvik Visitor Centre, part of our mandate was to serve the local community. Every year we apply for a cultural program grant from one of the government departments and we would organize a year long program - one part focused towards the youth of the community, the other focused towards the elders. But, not just any elders, we focused our program specifically towards the elders who were residing in the constant care facility. Unfortunately these elders do not get to socialize all that often simply because of their state of health and their immobility - especially during the winter months. Although elders are reveered in Inuit Society, sadly it is quite often that once entering this facility, some elders are forgotten....

So every Christmas, we would take a huge chunk of our funding and spend it on our elders. We would buy each elder at the facility Christmas gifts, mixing well needed stuff with fun stuff. We would have food brought in by a local catering company and we would spend the afternoon with them - usually Christmas Eve. It has to be one of the most heart touching experiences I have ever had, especially at Christmas. To see the look of pure joy on the elders faces as they opened their gifts, shared their meal, and shared their stories (even in a different language) is something that I will never forget and will always look back on fondly whenever I think of Christmas in Iqaluit.

Quote of the Day:
"Christmas gift suggestions: To you enemy - forgiveness. To an opponent - tolerance. To a friend - your heart. To a customer - service. To all - charity. To every child - a good example. To yourself - respect." Oren Arnold

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Countdown Begins

I have four more days left at work (after today) and I must admit, I'm really looking forward to the time off. Even though I know that it's going to hurt our bank account, I'm quite excited about the opportunity to stay at home with the little guy for the winter. We have some 'work' ahead of us, like potty training and bottle weaning - Lord give me the strength to get through that one because taking his bottle away is going to be a lot like cutting his right arm off. He LOVES his "ba" and absolutely refuses to drink milk out of anything else. But, I also know that we're going to have some fun times this winter too. With any luck, I'll be able to enjoy sleeping past 6 am....

And, what do you know, exactly ten more days until Christmas. I can't wait to see how the little guy is going to react Christmas morning. It's going to be so much fun this year. He's at a perfect age to really find all the presents and such exciting. It's the first Christmas for us in our house here and I can't wait to smell the turkey cooking. Of course, I'm going to be the one cooking it and all the trimmings because my parents want to spend the morning at our house watching the little guy enjoy all the goodies that Santa will leave him. Yes, I think it's going to be a wonderful day...

Quote of the Day:
"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How Bad Is It Going To Get?

The price of gas has gone down again today - good in a way but terrible in another. With our economy relying so heavily on the price of oil, I can't help but wonder how bad it's actually going to get. Mines in the province are laying employees off left, right and centre and it appears to be an issue everywhere, not just here. Even more bleak are the predictions that it's all going to get worst before it starts to get better.....God, how depressing and stressful. I just want to crawl under a rock and stay there.

There have been a good many days in the last year where I have really regretted leaving Iqaluit, and sometimes when I've sat down and really thought about it, the pros and cons of the move have pretty well evened out. Yet, in the last couple of days the regret has grown into a feeling so compounding that it almost hurts to breath. I can't help but think that if we had remained in Iqaluit, the current economic crisis wouldn't seem to effect us as much as it will here. Neither of us had jobs in Iqaluit that would have been subject to lay-offs like here...But I guess there's really no point in thinking about what we should have done. No one can predict the future and no one really knew that any of this crap was going to happen, right? I know that we will get by for the next year or so, we really won't have a choice in the matter. I imagine that right now, we are in a better situation than a lot of other people who are also getting lay-offs right before Christmas. I just can't help but wish things looked a little more hopeful than they do....

Quote of the Day:
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Santa Claus is Coming...

Christmas Eve is exactly two weeks from today and it feels like I still have so much to do. No matter how hard I try, it just feels like I can't get organized this year. I still have to get gifts for my parents, stocking stuffers for the little guy, little gifts for the hubby's brother's kids.....the list just goes on and on. Time is definitely not on my side this year at all. The hubby was also supposed to pick out a new coat this year but hasn't, leaving me wondering what to do about him as well. Urrgghhh!!

Since this is the first Christmas in our house in Newfoundland, we also needed new outdoor lights which are still sitting in their boxes. We bought them on Saturday when we were in Corner Brook and Hubby hoped to get them up before he went back to work on Tuesday; that didn't happen on Sunday because we had to go visit his parents, and the wind was blowing too hard on Monday and Tuesday. So the lights will not go up until Dec. 22 when Hubby comes home again. Oh well....

Our local Santa Claus parade is scheduled to go ahead this Saturday. I can only wonder if this year's will be as pitiful as last year. To be quite honest, last year's was so pitiful that I can't imagine why they would even go through the effort to put one on this year. I think that there may have been 5 poorly decorated floats in the whole parade last year and that includes Santa Claus. It's a shame too because I can remember when the Santa Claus parade was a really big event around here and just about every organization and business had a float in it. To quote the Mummer's Song, "Times have gone modern, that must be the cause. Christmas is not like it was."

It's funny how true that line has become in the last ten or so years. I can remember when homes were always full of visitors during Christmas. A night did not go by when you didn't have a three or four families dropping by for a visit or when you didn't visit other families. Just about every night you'd get a few Mummers (or janees, as we call them here) knocking on your door. Tables were constantly full of treats that were kept out around the clock and the Christmas "cheer" flowed quite freely. It's sad how times have changed when you really sit down and think about it.

Quote of the Day:
"I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all year." Charles Dickens

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

From Working Mom to Stay At Home Mommy...

In T minus 10 days.

I'm not sure if my luck has just turned for the better or the worst on this one. My impending departure from work is not one of choice and, according to my boss, is just a temporary one - until sometime in March when business picks back up again. Right now, my feelings are sort of on the fence about my lay-off. The logical side of me knows that a pay cheque is much better than an unemployment cheque. I don't work because I want to, I work because I have to. However, the emotional side of me (the mommy side) is really looking forward to a couple of months or so off work to spend with the little guy. It's an opportunity to have some major bonding time with him because, even though he's with his Nan during the day while I'm at work, I don't feel like I get nearly enough time with him.

Quote of the Day:
"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today." Stacia Tauscher

Friday, December 5, 2008


The Weekend:
Let's hear a big hooray for the weekend because if this week had been much longer, I would have truly lost my mind. Unfortunately there isn't any relaxation in my future for tomorrow. The hubby and I are heading to Corner Brook on a shopping expedition. I'm referring to it as an expedition because I'm sure that the crowds are going to be so horrible that we'll have to fight our way down store aisles much similar to the way one would fight his/her way through a jungle.

The Weather:
Holy Christ, we do not have any snow - not one bit! In fact, the rain was pouring down earlier. Here I am, getting ready to decorate for Christmas inside the house and out and nothing in the great outdoors is even resembling Christmas.

The Current Political Turmoil:
I usually don't comment on politics and have never taken a real interest in it. I have no desire to get into a heated argument with someone who is, let's refer to it as, extremely passionate about the subject. So with my fingers crossed that I'm not opening a huge can of worms, I will say this to those fellow Canadians appalled by the actions of our Members of Parliament:

If (and I say IF) a coalition government is formed - which I am neither for or against at this point in time - your vote is not being ignored. When you casted your vote in October, did you vote for the Conservative Party because you wanted Stephen Harper as our Prime Minister? Or, did you vote for [insert candidate name] because of the grounds on which they were running? We did not cast a vote specifically for Stephen Harper as our PM - in fact, that option wasn't even on our ballots. We voted for and elected our MPs. As it so happens, the majority of Canadians did not vote for a Conservative Government - the Liberals, NDP, Bloc, etc. actually received more seats combined than the Conservatives. Thus, giving the Conservatives a minority government. Now, if the Conservatives cannot show the rest of Parliament that they are capable of effectively running our government, the majority of seat holders should be well within their right to form a coalition. Remember, these members were also elected because some Canadian voters felt that they were the best choice. So you see, this is part of the democratic process.

That said, I do think that both leading parties would be much better off finding new leaders. The Conservatives need to realize that Stephen Harper is an ass who can't really see beyond himself and the Liberals have a bit of a pansy/idiot in their mists.

Really though, I can't help but wish that we could somehow convince the US to trade Obama for Harper.

Quote of the Day:
"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself." Lois McMaster Bujold

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Words of Wisdom

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Brag or Rag?

The hubby has the week off and I must admit, I am insanely jealous right now. A whole week to spend time at home with the little guy and catch up on any projects that have been put on the back burner - nice! Monday was great, I came home from work to a pretty tidy house, laundry washed, supper cooking....what a man! And, to completely surpass my expectations, he even painted the dining room for me.

Yesterday; completely different story all together. I came home from work to a sink full of dirty dishes, the little guy's leftover breakfast still on the table, the living room resembling a war zone of toys, and the load of laundry that went in the washer that morning was still in the washer. Oh and supper, well that was sitting on the counter, not long out of the freezer and still completely frozen. Why? Apparently yesterday was a "lazy day" and he didn't feel up to taking on any of those normal household challenges.

Gee, I wonder what I will find when I get home from work today...

Quote of the Day:
"Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots." Hoosier Farmer

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Weather or Not

Just when I was starting to enjoy the snow covered landscape, it up and rains. Yesterday was beautiful; sun shining (intermittently), slight bit of a chilly frost in the air, cool and crisp...and then last night it all came to an abrupt end. It must have been the earth flipping on its axis during the night that suddenly tossed my little outport on the northwest coast down to the Avalon near St. John's because, well let's face it, this crappy weather belongs out there. Where else in Newfoundland can you experience snow for two days and then rain the next?

The wind is certainly blowing a gail here today and apparently it did last night as well. I say apparently because I personally did not hear it, I am merely relying on the accounts of others who cannot sleep through rough weather. Fortunately for me, the weather has to be pretty bad before I can't sleep. Chalk it up to spending my whole life living on the coast of an island, I guess. I grew up with the wind constantly in my face and it was no different during those years I spent in Iqaluit. There it seemed that the wind would change direction just to spite me - in my face during my walk to work in the morning but still guaranteed to be in my face when I walked home in the evening.

Quote of the Day:
"The greatest lesson in life is to know that even fools are sometimes right." Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Colour My World

After living in my house for 9 months, I have pretty well had it up the wazzu with the pale butter yellow that is everywhere. The previous owner obviously loved the colour because the whole house was pretty well covered with it - front entrance, hall, living room, dining room, kitchen....even the master bedroom and bath. Only three rooms in the house was not coated in the same colour; the two other bedrooms, one of which was painted pink (??) and the other one was painted a very pale sage which, coincidentally is the same colour in the main bathroom. Did the woman not have any sense of adventure?

Now I'll admit that it has taken some time for me in choosing my new colours. Neither me or the hubby particularly enjoy painting so I want colours that will last for a while, not something I'll be sick of in six months time. Since moving in we have managed to paint two rooms in the house. The pink room is now painted a cool Labrador Blue for the little guy and the living room is now a calming colour called Garden Path.

Now that we are determined to actually get some more painting done next week, I got my ass in gear and choose the rest of the colours this morning. The entrance and hallway will be painted Old Montreal, the dining room will get a yummy coat of Tiramisu, the kitchen will be transformed with a colour called Cherokee Brick. I have also picked a colour called Hot Chocolate for our bedroom but that's not on the tackle list for next week so I won't worry about that yet.

Quote of the Day:
"Start everyday with a smile and get it over with." W.C. Fields

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

Over the last three days, we've gotten snow, snow and more snow....and I kinda like it, so far. What I don't like about snow though is that I have to leave my house a couple minutes earlier every morning to sweep the snow off the truck - apparently I had totally forgotten about that last week when I wished for the stuff. Thankfully though, I don't have to shovel in the mornings. It will take a whole lot of snow to keep me and my 4X4 truck from getting out of the driveway. I know the hubby is anxious to get some skidooing in this winter as well. And, with the way the economy is treating the mining industry in Newfoundland these days, it looks as though he may get plenty of time to do just that. Unfortunately it appears he's getting a temporary lay-off in the next couple of weeks - just in time for Christmas, too.

Quote of the Day:
"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not; a sense of humor to console him for what he is." Sir Frances Bacon

Friday, November 21, 2008

Childhood Cartoons

As I was sitting down last evening watching My Friends Tigger and Pooh on Playhouse Disney with the little guy, I noticed about how much better the graphics are in cartoons these days then when I was growing up. Strange, I know. High definition television is not usually at the top of my conversation list but trust me, there's an amazing difference between this show and the Winnie the Pooh shows we all grew up with. So I got to thinking about what cartoons from my childhood would be really wicked if available in HDTV and here's my list:

1. He-Man & The Masters of the Universe
2. Of course, I can't mention He-Man without bringing up his sister, She-Ra, The Princess of Power
3. The Smurfs
4. Disney's Gummi Bears
5. I'm not sure how many of you will remember this one; BraveStarr
6. Jem and the Holograms
7. Rainbow Brite

I could probably think of others, but these are just a few of those Saturday morning cartoons that I can remember fondly. What were some of your favorites?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Whatever Comes to Mind

All day yesterday I kept thinking that it was Wednesday - I have no idea why. So naturally, today feels like Thursday and I'm very disappointed that tomorrow actually isn't Friday.

Work has completely sucked the last few days...well, depending on how you look at it. As I have mentioned before, this is by far not my dream job and when it's slow here, like now, I hate it even more. I want a job where I'm kept busy the whole day so that the time passes by quickly. Instead I have spent the last two days confined in my office reading a book. (No, my coworkers are not aware that I'm in here reading a book. I can hear them coming and therefore can make it appear that I am really busy when they peer in.) Other than being bored out of my mind, I do really enjoy getting paid while I read.

I got a whole bunch of stuff that I ordered from Sears yesterday; some Christmas gifts for the hubby and the little guy, and my new window treatments for the living room and dining room. I managed get the dining room ones put up last night despite the little guy climbing up on the chair with me or trying to "help" in his own way (I'll leave the living room window for when the hubby is home.) I must admit that I am quite please with how it looks. The window looked unfinished with the previous curtains but now looks complete and cozy.

I desperately need to cook something for supper tonight. The little guy and I have just had quick meals for the last two nights and I really cannot eat something from a can again tonight. Besides, I need leftovers for tomorrow's lunch because I don't think my stomach can handle another sandwich this week. So chicken breasts it is. I haven't quite decided what I'm going to do with them; probably just bake them in the oven with some sort of sauce, steam some veggies and cook some egg noodles to go along with it. Works for me, it's easy and little guy approved.

Quote of the Day:
"Lots of people will want to ride in the limo with you, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down." Oprah Winfrey

Monday, November 17, 2008

Caught Speeding

I ended up going to Corner Brook again on Saturday; this time with my mother. She needed a new Christmas tree and they were on sale at Zeller's Saturday and Sunday only. Since I hadn't actually planned on going, it was supposed to be a quick trip up just to get the tree. Yeah, right! My bright and early morning started off very well until 9:30 am when I got pulled over and received my very first speeding ticket. Oh Joy! Just what I needed! Luckily the RCMP officer was in a forgiving mood and did not charge me for the actual speed I was going (124 km/h just in case you were wondering.) I could have easily gotten a $250 fine and 3 points against my license but instead got a $55 fine and no points - Thank God! Am I surprised that I got a speeding ticket? No, not really. I'm actually surprised that I haven't gotten caught before now. Unless I'm in a community, I tend to speed - not recklessly, but I do drive faster then the speed limit allows. Unfortunately I'm going to have to be extremely careful now and that's going to be really, really hard.

Quote of the day:
"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself." Unknown

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Life of Its Own

The weirdest thing has been happening in my house over the last few months; some nights when we go to bed some of my son's toys come to life all on their own. Yes, I'm serious and no, I'm not losing my mind! Let me explain....

Like most children, the little guy has a lot of toys that are battery powered. The cool thing about some of these toys is that if left undisturbed after a long period of time it automatically goes into a power-saver mode much like a laptop. The toy has to be touched or moved somehow to power back up again. The weird thing about this is that some of these toys end up powering up in the middle of the night when everyone is in bed and no one is touching the toy. It all started with a toy garbage truck that someone gave the little guy last year for Christmas. When moved, the truck says, "Mmmm, garbage," or, "Phew, that stinks," but if left undisturbed, it does nothing at all. However, a couple of times a week, hours after we went to bed this thing would just start spouting off it's phrases when, obviously, no one was playing with it....freaky, right? It got so bad that I had no choice but take the batteries out of it.

This week the trouble starts all over again with one of my son's toy laptops. Wednesday night I'm in bed, the little guy is sleeping soundly next to me, all is quiet and suddenly the laptop goes off. "Select an activity." Needless to say, I got a little fright at first but then I realized what it was. So I got up and removed the batteries from that toy. Then this morning while both my son and I are in my room getting ready to leave, the other toy laptop (which was in the living room) goes off.

WTF is going on with these toys? It's really starting to freak me out. I mean, I'm not saying that I believe in ghosts or anything. Really, I can't say for sure. I've experienced unexplained happenings in my grandmother's house but there's a history there. My house doesn't really have a history, it's only 3 years old. So there's got to be a logical explanation for this, right? Well, what is it? Because I sure as hell can't think of a way to explain it.

Quote of the Day:
"From what we get, we can make a living. What we give, however, makes a life." Arthur Ashe

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Up For A Challenge, Anyone?

Here's a challenge that could prove to be quite interesting....and fun, to say the least. However, I'll be naughty enough to go one step further and issue the challenge not only to married couples but to those couples who are shacked up and living in sin as well. Enjoy....

Random Thoughts

Not a whole lot new happening in my small world these days. The hubby and I tried to get a start on our Christmas shopping over the weekend but weren't very successful. Even though I love to shop, I can't stand having to fight my way down store aisles and stand in check-out lines for what seems like eternity, which is exactly what it was like trying to shop on Saturday. It pains me to know that the shopping conditions are only going to get worst from here on which makes me wonder, "Why do I wait until this late in the game to get those gifts bought?" To top it off, I seem to be suffering from some sort of gift buyer's block. I have no idea what to get anyone on my list. I ended up ordering a couple of gifts from Sears for the little guy and the hubby. Now I just have to work up enough courage to head back to the shopping centres again in a couple of weeks.

Am I the only one who felt as though there were two Mondays in this week? I thoroughly enjoyed having Tuesday off. It would have been a most relaxing day if it wasn't for all the laundry that needed to be done, but yesterday I felt as though I was in some warped version of the movie Groundhog Day....which I might add, was one of the stupidest movies I can ever remember seeing.

According to Townie Bastard, there is a radio station somewhere in Detroit playing Christmas music 24/7- WTF?? Holy Christ people, don't you think that's a little extreme? I'll admit that come December 1st I'm more than ready to start decorating for Christmas but I think this might be taking the whole Christmas theme just a little too far; it is after all, only the middle of November. Have they even celebrated Thanksgiving in the States yet?

The price of gas dropped again today - Yippee! It was getting to the point where it was getting too expensive to go anywhere in our truck. I was amazed last week when I gassed up and got a little over half of a tank for $40 so I'm anxious to see what the same amount of money will get me today. I wonder how long this pricing euphoria will last?

So here goes...and I know I'm going to get crap for this one...but, I'd like to see it hurry up and snow already! The pretty leaves are gone making the trees look bare, the majority of the grass is an awful colour brown, it's damp and chilly - it's time for snow. I feel as though my whole seasonal clock is completely thrown off. I'm used to it being a lot colder, a lot more snow at this point, and a whole lot darker later in the mornings and earlier in the evenings. All I could think this morning on my way to work was how dingy everything looks this time of year. We need snow to brighten it all up. As anyone who has ever lived in Iqaluit will agree, during the summer Iqaluit is more like a dusty, dirty gravel pit of a town but in the winter, it's absolutely breathtaking. Cold, but beautiful. Now I want to see that winter wonderland here...but with trees, obviously.

Quote of the Day:
"Don't go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, November 7, 2008

In The News

It seems as though every time I have read the news on CBC this week, I have come across one or two stories each day concerning a small child being beaten and/or killed by someone close to them, be it a parent, foster-parent or whatever. What in the name of our Lord above is this world coming to?? How does a person who does this live with themselves? Reading this stories disturbs me to no end (so much that I don't have the stomach to link them to this post). My heart aches for the innocent children and all the suffering they have/had endured. The cruelty of these situations make me sick to my stomach and I can only pray to God that I will never encounter these abusers for I really don't think that I would be able (nor would I want) to control my actions. In fact, I wholehearted feel that our government should not be housing these poor excuses for human beings, providing them with three square meals a day, a warm and dry place to lay their heads. If anything, they should be treated with the same respect and compassion that they bestowed on their victim.

It is time for people to wake up! Children are a gift, not a right. They are precious and should be treated as so. They are not your property to do with as you please; it is your responsibility to provide a loving and safe environment so that your child may grow healthy, well adjusted adult - someone who reaches their full potential. There are many people in this world who cannot have children, who spend years on adoption waiting lists, who spend thousands of dollars in fertility treatments, who would give anything to receive the unconditional love of a child - it is time for everyone to thank the heavens above for the precious gifts you have been given.

My child is the pure light of mine and my husband's life. I cannot imagine life without him. Our little guy is our greatest accomplishment and it is our privilege to raise him into the person that he is meant to be. And, tonight I will hug him a little tighter to my heart and say a silent pray for all those little ones who have not been that fortunate, who have had their lives so cruelly taken away. May God watch over their little souls.

Quote of the Day:
" Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born, I loved you. Before you were here for an hour, I would die for you. This is the miracle of life." Maureen Hawkins

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's A Love/Hate Thing

I hate my job! No - make that I REALLY HATE my job! (I'm very serious.)
I love my family but I hate that they get on my nerves.
I hate the fact that the little guy does not sleep in his own bed....but, I love snuggling with him in our bed.
I love Newfoundland but (at the moment) I hate living here. Don't ask!
I hate spider, bugs and other creepy, crawly things that sometimes find their way into my house.
I hate spending money but I love to shop.
I love decorating for Christmas but I hate having to take it all down.
I love it when my house is clean but I hate having to clean it.
I love the thought of changing the paint colours in my house but I hate painting.
I love chocolate (especially the expensive stuff) but hate the fact that I love chocolate.
I love laughing until my stomach hurts and I can't breath, and I hate the fact that's it has been a long time since that has happened.

Quote of the Day:
"A true friend is someone who thinks you are a good friend even though you are slightly cracked." Bernard Meltzer

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Recipe Review

Last night I made the following recipe:

3 Cheese Penne with Broccoli

3 tbsp oil
3 cup broccoli florets
fresh garlic
2 1/2 cups penne
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups marinara sauce
1/3 cup of parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste

Set oven at 400F. Grease baking dish. Saute broccoli and garlic in oil for a few minutes, set aside. Mix sauce, 1 cup of mozzarella, 3/4 cup of ricotta and 3 tbsp of parmesan. Add in cooked penne and broccoli. Toss and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to baking dish, spread with remaining ricotta, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese melts.

So, my thoughts on this recipe? Well for starters, as I mentioned yesterday I had to substitute cottage cheese for the ricotta. It was pretty close but I did find that the cottage cheese still contained more whey than ricotta does and slightly watered down the sauce. I found that, once baked, the broccoli took on a bitter taste that my son and I did not appreciate. (I definitely prefer my broccoli raw or slightly steamed.) Luckily though, I had also added a small onion and some cremini mushrooms to the saute pan which, in my opinion, really improved the dish. If I was to actually make this again, I would omit the broccoli altogether and just use the mushrooms. I also found that the cheeses were a little on the bland side. The addition of provolone or a smoked mozzarella would have been a much better choice. That said, I think that it's reasonable to conclude that I will not find those cheeses in Deer Lake and will have to wait until I head to Corner Brook again.

So, to wrap up my review, I don't think that I would ever make this dish by the recipe again. I found the final result to be very disappointing.

Quote of the day:
"When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste." Laiko Bahrs

Monday, November 3, 2008


It's Monday, absolutely the worst day of the week. I definitely did not want to get up this morning. The bed was too nice and cozy, and I was all snuggled up with the little guy...

Iqaluit had its first official snow day last Thursday, October 30. The whole town was shut down. Made me quite envious. I loved those blizzard days - I miss those blizzard days!

I found what sounds like a really great recipe for 3 cheese penne with broccoli. It calls for ricotta cheese and what do you know? I could not get any ricotta cheese at either of the grocery stores I shop at. What self-respecting grocery store doesn't carry ricotta cheese?! Anyway, I ended up buying lasagna style cottage cheese instead so hopefully there won't be much of a difference.

There are only 8 weeks left until Christmas which utterly sucks! I haven't done one bit of Christmas shopping yet. I tell myself every year that I'm going to start early, like in July, but never do. I could really use a kick in the ass.

Work is sort of painfully slow here today. Time is just dragging. I still have an hour and a half before I can head home for the day and I'm desperate to find something that makes me look like I'm extremely busy.

Quote of the Day:
"The fact that no one understands you doesn't make you an artist." Unknown

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Hump Day Observations

It's Wednesday, in case you didn't know, which (thankfully) means that the week is half over. There isn't a whole lot going on here at work...or at home, really. The hubby is away until Friday so it's just me and the little guy. We tend to keep to the same routine when it's just the two of us. I pick him up just after work, we go home, have our baths, have supper, play/read/watch a bit of television and go to bed. Nothing out of the ordinary, right? Well some of you may beg to differ since 'bedtime' for both of us is 8 o'clock. Yes, I go to bed at 8:00 pm. Keep in mind that I have to get up every morning at 5:40 am and never with a full nights sleep. Besides, once the little guy heads off to dreamland, my day has pretty well wrapped itself up and I really don't see a point in staying up, aimlessly watching television. The way I figure it, it doesn't matter what time you go to bed as long as you're sleepy. Then again, Nan always told me I was born tired. It wasn't until after I had a baby that I ever thought it could be true.

I have no idea what the little guy and I will have for supper tonight. It's been a few weeks since I made the trek for groceries so there's not a variety of choices at the house. Oh, we have lots of meats and stuff that require effort and planning but we're definitely low on convenience foods. I'm terrible at meal planning anyway. Though I'm a pretty good cook, I just don't have the patience it takes to sit down and plan what we're going to eat for the next week or two. Too bad Sandi Richard from Fixing Dinner wasn't in the area because I could really use her help.

I've still got to go and buy Halloween treats before Friday. I know, I about putting things off. Actually I had hoped to make a trip to the bigger centre last weekend and pick stuff up then but that didn't happen. So now I'm stuck having to buy things around here and not only will I have to pay a bit more for it, there won't be as good of selection either. The consolation is that I probably won't see many kids. There aren't any kids close to where I live and after mentioning it to my neighbour, found out that they only get about 8 or 9 trick-or-treaters. So at least I won't have to spend a fortune on treats. I had the cutest little lion costume come up from the States for the little guy to wear. He doesn't actually do too much trick-or-treating because he's just too young for it but I do take him to a few family members houses just to humor the grandparents and such.

Anyway, that's about it for me so I'll just leave you with the quote of the day:
"I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed but fine up against a wall." Eleanor Roosevelt

Monday, October 27, 2008

Sleep Deprived, Stressed, and it's a Miserable Monday

I hate Mondays! It's just never a good day for me. I woke up this morning feeling like crap and still very tired from a night with barely any sleep. The little guy didn't sleep well at all last night and I can certainly feel it this morning. To add to my problems, the other office assistant here is off today, leaving me to deal with all the work that's rolling through this place. My mind is so foggy this morning that I've already cut someone off on the phone - the boss' daughter of all people! All smart-like, I went to put her on hold and hit the release button instead. A wonderful start to the morning, don't you think?

To add to my despair, for the first time in ages, the little guy cried for me this morning when I dropped him off. I sort of thought something was off when he wouldn't wave bye to me, and then before I knew it, he was coming after me with his ball cap to go, and all the while his little bottom lip was quivering....then came the hugs and tears. Nothing like completely breaking my heart before work. It's days like this that I feel totally guilty about having to work. I wish there was some way for me to stay at home or at least work from home but, alas I am not that fortunate.

Oh well, here's hoping that the week can only get better from here.

Quote of the Day:
"A woman is like a teabag - only in hot water do you realize how strong she is." Nancy Reagan

Friday, October 24, 2008

Weekend Anticipation

My favorite part of the week is fast approaching; that part being 4 pm Friday when I can walk out the door of this forsaken place that I call my job and not look back until 8 am Monday. Unfortunately the weekend passes entirely too quickly and Monday morning will be here again before I know it. In conclusion, I hate my job and am desperately seeking a new one.

Our weekends are pretty uneventful. We never really do anything exciting or go anywhere. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot to do in this small town. We'll settle in front of the television after supper, read the little one his favourite books for the thousandth time, send him off to dreamland and then veg out ourselves. Oh, the hubby will probably enjoy a cold beer or two because it is Friday and all but that's about it. Not very exciting at all. Saturdays are usually passed running a few errands and tidying up the house. We'll probably end up spending a few hours visiting the hubby's parents who live in a little outport about 30 minutes away and I won't get into how much fun that will be. Let's just say that I don't overly enjoy visiting my in-laws; they are not my favourite people and I am not one of theirs. We simply put up with one another for the sake of peace and harmony. Sundays are usually spent doing nothing at all. Oh we'll go to my parents house for jigg's dinner and that's about it. The rest of the afternoon will be spent at home, playing with the little one and playfully tormenting each other, relaxing and you just can't beat that.

Quote of the Day:
"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." John Lennon (1940-1980)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wanted: Personal Chef/Housekeeper

Must have experience dealing with picky eaters and must be creative in the kitchen. Must be willing to constantly clean up after busy toddler and messy husband. Must be willing to work for free.....

Note: This is not a live-in position.

Yeah, like that's ever going to happen. I hate housework! I hate planning meals! But, until I actually win the lottery I guess I'm stuck with it.

Quote of the Day:
"My second favourite household chore is ironing. My first being hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint." Erma Bombeck

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

All About Me

I can be extremely sarcastic.

I am too logical. I over think things and worry way too much.

I don't smoke - ANYTHING! I don't drink, though there are times when I really think that I should start.

I'm anti-social, apparently.

I have patience but am impatient.

I am addicted to shopping and spend way too much money.

I drive way too fast - hey, what's the point of having a fast vehicle if you're not going to use it?

I love to cook but hate trying to figure out what to cook.

I love my husband more than I ever thought I could. I love being a mother more than I thought I would. My son is my greatest accomplishment. He is the light of our lives.

I am grateful for what I have.

Wanted: Time Machine

Purpose: To go back in time and kick oneself in the ass for all stupid decisions ever made.

Obviously this is not a good day...or week for that matter. Enough said!

Quote of the Day:
"Parties who want milk should not seat themselves on a stool in the middle of the field in hope that the cow will back up to them." Elbert Hubbard.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mad Money

So, I'm looking for a way to make a bit of extra mad money. I need something that's home-based because there's no point in putting the effort into making extra money if I have to dish it out on a babysitter for the little one. It also needs to be something that will work in a small community. I am already a Mary Kay representative but I really don't see that actually doing all that well around here. There are already two MK reps here that I know of and most of the people I know feel that the products are just too expensive. I've thought about PartyLite, Princess House Crystal, Home Interiors & Gift, and Pampered Chef but again, I'm not quite sure how well it would go over in a place like this. Anyway, I'm short on really good ideas so let me know if you guys have any suggestions.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Iqaluit, Nunavut VS. Small Town, Newfoundland


Iqaluit - There really are only 3 types of weather in Iqaluit; DAMN Cold, Not so Cold and Getting Cold...seriously though it's safe to say that you really don't get to enjoy all four seasons. Winter is too long and (for the most part) too cold. Spring/summer is way too brief to even be considered two separate seasons. Autumn arrives much too early and gracefully reminds you (like a slap in the face) that winter is fast approaching....again. That said, I really feel that I have to point out how beautiful everything looks in winter. There's just something about the way the sun shines in late afternoon on the frozen tundra....made even more prettier if it's so cold that there are ice crystals in the air.

Small Town, NL - Here we do have four seasons of reasonable length keeping in mind that you may experience weather from all four seasons in one day. Winter is bearable. Spring is wet and unpredictable. Summer is warm and sunny (well this summer was anyway), and autumn is long enough to enjoy all the colours and gently eases you back into the snowy season.


Iqaluit - One word sums it up - EXPENSIVE. For example, 1 package of Charmin bathroom tissue (8 double rolls per package) costs ....wait for it....$12.99. Trust me, after paying this price for 7 years you end up with a whole new appreciation for toilet paper. However, after the initial shock wears off you pretty well tend not to even look at the prices. Hey, if you want it or need it, you buy it so there's no sense in stressing out over something you can't control. On the plus side though (and this always seems to surprise people) we did have fairly good selections at both groceries stores which were both only a 5 minute drive from our house.

Small Town, NL - Though the cost of everything is somewhat cheaper, the whole price value seems to even out with Iqaluit's once you factor in your gas cost. Why? Because, unfortunately, the nearest place to get a decent selection of groceries is a one hour drive away....which is totally inconvenient and completely sucks! To add insult to injury, the selection at the grocery stores in that bigger centre is not as good as the store in Iqaluit. So if I want to shop from a really good selection of groceries, I have to drive another 20 minutes on top of the hour to get a Superstore. Which suddenly throws any chance I had of saving money out the window because the Superstore has such a good selection that I buy much more than I actually need.


Iqaluit - After seven years, we were pretty well known and had lots of friends. We were members of the Elk's Lodge which was at the centre of our social life - all of our friends hung out there. It was definitely a good place to go, quietly have a drink (or two...or three, you get the point), shoot a game of pool, play darts, chat, whatever. Everyone knows everyone, they all socialize together - great times. Even after our little guy was born, I still looked forward to my Saturday afternoons at the Elk's. As a members only establishment, children are permitted inside on Saturday afternoons from 12 to 5 giving me the opportunity to catch up with friends, and giving the little guy the opportunity to be fussed over by everyone there. Some may feel that there was something wrong with bringing my child to a drinking establishment but I don't drink so no problem.

Small Town, NL - Here, my social life is very simple - I don't have one! There are very few couples here our age and the ones that are here are very hesitant to have new acquaintances enter their little circles. Neither my husband or I are major party people and I don't drink so we don't really fit in with the crowd around here. So our socializing here mainly consists of visiting my parents or his parents, but mostly the three of us just staying home. I MISS THE ELK'S!


Iqaluit - It's hard to be so far away from your family but you get used to it. If you're like me, you may even start to enjoy it. I didn't realize it at the time but being off all on your own can actually be a positive thing. You don't ever have family dropping by unexpectedly, your mother doesn't always have her nose in your business because she's so far away, she doesn't even know what your doing. There are days when I really miss those times. However, it gets hard to be away from family when you have children because suddenly you realize that it is just you and it's kind of lonely.

Small Town, NL - Here, my family is too close to me sometimes. My mother can look out her window and see if we're home. When we're not, she questions where we were, how long were we gone, who'd we see....and so on. Not to mention that she may call four or five times a day and it's starting to drive me crazy. On the plus side though, they are there to look after our little fellow whenever we need them and he loves having his Nan and Pop around him so much.


Iqaluit - Even though the cost of living is higher, employment opportunities are pretty good and salaries are much better which means more money to save, to spend, to do whatever with.

Small Town, NL - crappy employment opportunities, crappy salaries but a slight lower cost of living. Even still though, we are still learning to be much more frugal with our money.


Iqaluit - Yes there are a few restaurants though most are so expensive you tend to only go there on special occasions (or when someone else is paying). As for take-outs, there is The Snack which is open 24/7 and delivers. For the most part, the food isn't bad and the prices were fairly reasonable. My usual was the clubhouse platter which I thoroughly enjoyed. Some would say it's not as good as you can get around here but to be honest, I haven't found one here that I like as much and there are many nights when I crave The Snack's.

Small Town, NL - Local chicken & chips take-out. Not available 24/7, late at night (or right now, not available at all!) But serves fresh, slightly breaded, pressure cooked, deep fried chicken and home cut french fries. Add dressing and gravy (or hamburger meat and gravy, if that's you pleasure) for a real artery clogging treat. Enough said!

So I can't be quite sure who won this round. In some ways, Iqaluit is kind of leading which leave me to only one conclusion - I'm having one of those days when I miss it so I think I'll quietly leave you all to go bang my head against the wall.

Quote of the Day:
"Always do sober what you said you would do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." - Ernest Hemingway

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Just like Nan used to make

You know what I really want right now? Some cinnamon buns just the way Nan used to make them. There was nothing really special about the way she made them; bread dough, margarine, sugar and cinnamon but they were always better than any others. It was the same with her bread - no one made bread as good as Nan. I can remember times when we would get yelled at for sneaking a fresh bun of warm bread, how she would get mad and take the homemade jam away from us, so just for spite we would eat the warm bun without it. Come to think of it, there are a lot of things that no one can make like Nan did. Like baked fish, I'm not a lover of cod fish but I tell you, no one can stuff and bake a cod like Nan could. It was delicious! Or turkey neck soup, Mom's soup has never compared.

It wasn't only her cooking, Nan always seemed to do things for my brother and I in a way that Mom and Dad never could. She always gave us a drink of juice to wash down any horrible tasting medicine or mashed up a pill (Tylenol or whatever) with sugar and milk to make it go down easier. To this day, I still can't swallow a pill whole without gagging. Yes, Nan babied us like you wouldn't believe but we loved it and I wish she was around to do the same with my little one.

I try my best to keep some of her traditions alive; there was so much that she taught me. I bottle down mustard pickles and beets every fall - not only because I simply like them, but because the smell of making mustard pickles and pickled beets reminds me of her. I try and make bread when I have the time except it's not like hers. There are so many things that I wished I had taken the time to learn from how to knit vamps and double/finger mitts, how to make black current jam just way she did....the little things she did that we took for granted.

It will be six years since she passed away on October 18 and it's hard to believe that so much time has passed. Often times I don't let myself think about it, mostly because it hurts too much I guess. She was my other mother after all. When all is said and done though, I know that she lived a hard yet satisfactory life, she was greatly loved, and that she is at peace somewhere in the heaven above.

However, if there is truly a life after death....Nan, can you give me that recipe for baked cod?

Quote of the day:
"Many people will walk in and out of your life but only true friends will leave footprints on your heart." - Unknown

Monday, October 6, 2008

Little Angel

A former co-worker of my husband had a son pass away over the weekend. The little guy was diagnosed last December with a very rare and aggressive brain tumor; he was 15 months old at the time. He underwent surgery and a month of chemotherapy only to find out that the tumor had returned. He underwent surgery once again. Unfortunately the tumor affected every aspect of his young life and he lost his sight shortly after the first surgery. In May of this year, the family once again received the terrible news that David's tumor had returned but this time had attached itself to his spine leaving them with very few options. An MRI at the end July showed that David's tumor had only grown 1 cm in three months giving them hope that David would benefit from more chemotherapy; they agreed. However just before starting chemo in August, David suddenly started sleeping much more than normal and stopped talking and responding to others. A trip back to the hospital and another MRI showed that the tumor had exploded into different directions and there wasn't anymore that could be done for the little one. His body would continue to shut down bit by bit until he eventually left this world and it wouldn't be long.

Sadly, David left this world on Saturday, October 4, 2008 at 1:50 pm, at the tender age of 2, lying peacefully in his mommy's arms. It breaks my heart to no end to know what pain and suffering this little child went through in the last ten months, and the pain and suffering of what his family has gone through. I can only imagine the helplessness they have felt, watching their son go through this and not being able to prevent it. As a parent, I can feel the pain they are in at this time. They brought this precious being into this world and they were there when he left it.

I pray that this young family will have the strength to move on in life with the spirit of their little one watching over his mommy, daddy and older brother, for I really don't think that I would have the strength to face this sorrow. I hope that they can hold strong to their faith in God because again, I really don't believe that I would be able to hold strong to mine in this situation. I believe that children are precious blessings from God but I cannot help but question why God would put that precious child on this earth only to painfully rip him away. I cannot understand why there is supposed to be some comfort in the saying that "He is in God's arms now" because I am sure that she would rather he be in hers.

I know that there are no words that can offer any comfort to Chris, Sandra and Philip Freda at this time but they are in our thoughts and prayers. May David rest in peace in his beloved Zia Rosie's arms.

Quote of the Day:
"Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal." - From a Tombstone in Ireland

Friday, October 3, 2008

Reality Bites

Can you remember when you were a teenager? You know, those years when you couldn't wait until you finished school and set off into the sunset all on your own. The dreams you had, the freedom you craved......the bills you didn't need to pay....wait, hold on a minute here...bills, what?! Where did it all go wrong? Life wasn't supposed to be like this. I'm supposed to be carefree, loving life, living on the edge - I mean, come off it, this is the stuff that Aerosmith hits where made of. I'm not that old that I can't remember what it was like to be a teenager, right? Sure, in 8 days, I'll be thirty (God, it even pains me to type that) but that doesn't mean I still can't be cool and carefree, does it?

Okay, so I'll admit that all of my older cousins were right when they told me to enjoy my high school years because it would be among the best years of my life and they were, but does that mean there aren't any good times to come? There are days it certainly seems that way. The woes that I had as a teenage don't compare to the ones I have now. Sometimes I wish I could have stayed that carefree teenage; no mortgage to pay, no car payment to make, no household bills to worry about. This is when reality really bites me in the ass.

As I sit here writing this though, a picture of my adorable son stares back at me on my desk and you know what? His cute little smile and that mischievous glint in his eye make me realize that being an adult does have its perks after all. So even though reality does bite sometimes, I don't think it will leave a scar (or perhaps I am just too thick skinned to notice.)

Quote of the Day:
"If you spend all of your time looking back at yesterday, you are destined to trip over tomorrow." - Thomas Maher

Thursday, October 2, 2008

This and That

I am completely uninspired today. It seems as though I have come down with writer's block which is completely shameful since this blog is so new. I'm going to blame it on lack of sleep because, Lord knows, I haven't been getting very much in the last week. Why? Well, it could be a combination of things; for one, my husband is away at a mine for most of the week, add a 21 month old who likes to hog the bed and still doesn't sleep through the night to the mix, and we have a good recipe for involuntary insomnia. Yes, I know that my little one should be sleeping in his own bed now and I will truly be ecstatic when he manages to sleep the whole night through but...well, I'm selfish. I find that when he is in his own room, I am still alert to his every movement or need thus making it impossible for me to relax enough to sleep. At least with him beside me I get some sleep.

I'm amazed how warm it has been the last few days - wet and rainy but warm. We did have a cold spurt about two weeks ago but it certainly didn't last. I know I should be enjoying it but I'm not. I didn't enjoy all the hot weather we had over the summer either. I'm so used to Nunavut temperatures that I find I'm longing for cool and crisp instead of warm and humid. I do love the sights of the those leaves changing colour though. Autumn colours are always so pretty.

In other (and more) important news, I am happy to announce that I am now a proud auntie to a beautiful baby girl named Madison. My brother and his girlfriend welcomed their little bundle of joy into the world on Sunday, September 28. It's hard to believe that my baby brother now has a baby of his own. I wish them all the best and I'm positive that they will be wonderful parents. Since they are in Fort MacMoney, Alberta it will be awhile before I get my hands on the little squirt but I anxiously await until January when they make the trek home for a visit.

Quote of the Day:
"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort." - Herm Albright (1876 - 1944)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Smell of Wood Smoke

I love the fall of the year; I'm not really sure why but I do. I love the sight of the leaves changing colour, the love the crispness in the air, and I absolutely love the smell of wood smoke coming out of nearly everyone's chimney (the charm of outport Newfoundland living.) One of my favourite times of the day is when I'm leaving my house early in the morning, the sun is just above the horizon, there's a slight bit of frost on the ground, the air is crisp and clean, and then you get a sniff of wood smoke mingled with the smell of salt water across the breeze and it's.....calming....and it feels like home.

Quote of the Day:
"Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, be it ever so humble, there's no place like home." J.H. Payne

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

One Year And Counting

So it's officially been one year since we made the move back home and I still find myself re-adjusting to life in outport Newfoundland. There are days when, if I could, I'd kick myself in the ass for even considering a move back to the community which I was raised. What the hell were we thinking is a question that runs through my mind rampantly. Days when I miss Iqaluit like crazy (those are the days I think I should slap myself until the feeling goes away.) Then there are the days when I really enjoy my new life smack dab in centre of a national park, the abundance of scenery, the smell of the salt water and the fact that everyone knows my name. However, most days I find that I am somewhere in the middle - a slight longing for the life we had in Iqaluit but reasonably settled into our new life here.

Quote of the Day:
"The nice part of living in a small town is that when I don't know what I'm doing, someone else does." - Unknown