Friday, February 26, 2010

The nordic center in purple

It was already a monotone picture - but I like purple better than grey. Its been an amazing day for Canada - more medals - I wonder... if we count every medal given out for hockey individually... if that pushes us up in the standings any. Still we may not "own the podium" (well technicall I imagine that the podium itself is physically the property of some Canadian entity.), but I think we've show some real mad skills
and franky... I'd die trying most of those sports non competitively... so wow! They did all that jumping, flipping and cross checking - and they came out walking on their own to feet.. that in itself is a feat in my eyes.

Yawn. I feel almost more tired this week. Too much sitting at a desk - I miss standing up, talking, walking and all the normal movement that my job requires and this is the most TV I've watched in years.. and there are still 2 hockey games to watch... I wonder how many people put on weight during the olympics because they are watching TV so much. Hopefully afterwards, we are more likely to be inspired to get off our keisters and do something active.

But in the short term - I better continue craming biology back into my brain... and head for bed.

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Thursday, February 25, 2010


What do you do with potatos that sprout prolifically before you have time to cook them? Plant them!! They are getting bigger and bigger and bigger everyday. :D
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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

We kicked Russia's butt. I expected a close game, but it seems my country-men remembered their patriotic duty.... play hockey better than anyone else.
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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Smitten by my mittens :D

The upside of my longer than planned stay in Rankin was that a lovely pair of sealskin mitts found me. They are soft and silky and wonderfully warm. I really really would like to get a parka made, but I haven't decided what kind I want and I have to do that before I order the material. Colourwise - I'm thinking red, or turquoise or navy and I think I want full front zipper, but beyond that... I'm really still thinking. I'm not even sure what weight of parka I want. A friend of mine from another community has a spring/fall parka that I really admired. Frankly, so far this winter I've been running about in my primaloft jacket between the shortness of my comute and the unusually mild (for the arctic) weather.

I had a quiet weekend. I've knit about 3 dishcloths - and I have a nice pile of dishes to test them out on. My foodmail came in - although thusfar I've only managed to make the cabbage roll cassarole and guacamole. I should make up a batch of Tabouli tonight to eat at lunch tomorrow. I have the couscous cooked, but the veggies need to be chopped up and the dressing made.

The rest of my excitement for the weekend was watching 10 episodes of Heroes and the Canada-US hockey game. The ending was sad, but I don't think it'll give me the heeby jeebies the way that Heroes did yesterday... I was creeped out enough to tuck my blankets carefully and I had to move a chair that was casting unusually creepy shadows (well, I put the chair back in its usual spot.)

I expect it to be a pretty quiet and low key week. I'm looking forward to working on a variety of professional improvement projects (including my thesis of doom) and recharging. After this week, school kicks back into high gear with Science Fair coming up (Local and Regional) and the 3rd term coming to an end. After that... it will frighteningly enough be April - leaving me wondering at how fast this year has literally whipped by.

I'll post pictures of the cheesecake once its baked. The northern lights were actually out as I was walking home, but its nippy out and they weren't nearly as bright even as the night last week that I go okay pictures on.

I'll keep an eye on the magnetometer graphs, but I expect that it won't be worth getting frostbite over tonight.


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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

If its cold, don't worry, you'll be warm if you are furry!

Here, one of my fellow teachers is modelling a Caribou Parka on Olympics day. The sunset was beautiful tonight. I should have grabbed my camera and gone out to shoot the thin crescent moon and the beautiful sky.... but some things were just meant to be remembered.

I'm kind of glad that I'm not one of the organizers of the Olympics right now - there seems so much stressful stuff between the weather and protesters and stuff. Still, I have to admit to being glad that Canada has earned not one, but 2 gold medals so far.

I managed to watch most of the pairs long program last night. I don't think I can leave home tonight. I'm baking bread, but maybe tomorrow.
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Monday, February 15, 2010

Aqsarniit - One final Aurora Pic

I decided not to go out - mostly because the spaceweather sites said that things had toned down and I'm feeling ready for sleep. But I wanted the picture at the top of the list to have northern lights..... Its nice seeing them again and there is cloud predicted (regular weatherwise) for tomorrow... so it might be a while before I see them again.
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Stained glass and broken glass

Adventures in having my own home. From the top... my newly knitt washcloth - knit during the opening ceremonies of the Olympic games.

My new "stain glassed" pattern rug to protect the floor from my desk chair while being more classy than a cardboard box.

Finally.. in memory of one of my ikea glasses that was tragically killed in an accident involving a cake dish of unremarkable heritages (aka - its not a pyrex dish and I"m shocked that it didn't break) I thought I'd post this picture. I don't even think I nudged the dish rack, but the cake pan slid off the top (probably a bad place to put it) and knocked the glass to the floor where it shattered. The only thing I can say for the cake pan (aside for the fact it didn't break) is that it hit me in the back of my leg and protected me from flying glass which was good because I didn't have the kitchen light on or any shoes. Fortuantely.. my kitchen has a window to the living room that I was able to escape through without getting glass slivers in my feet.
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No glove no scrub

I made myself wear rubber gloves to wash the dishes in an effort to help my poor dry hands heal. I shot this random photo yesterday because I wanted to note that I've now had more than 40,000 hits on this site since I added my hit counter.
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Photo from last post

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The Skies Celebrate Canada's First Gold Medal on Home Turf??

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:D brrrrr.... I'm still cold though... although I'm toying with the idea of going back out
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Okay... so they aren't perfect... but I think they are some of my best yet.
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Friday, February 12, 2010

Class Flag

We had a good time putting this together. Its probably the closest thing I've done to a patchwork quilt... one day.. when I have time to tackle another hobby.

I really hope it works out that I get to watch the opening ceremonies tonight. Oddly... my itch to paint is up too.

Life is a crazy place. I'm glad I'm crazy enough to enjoy it.
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Olympic Flags

I've really missed art on fridays from my days in Kash - too much fun!
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I managed to catch the surise this moring en route to work..... We are spoiled here in the north!
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Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Ever Elusive Aurora Borealis

I have had very little luck photographing the northern lights since I've come up here... I have a few excuses, like well its the deepest solar minimum of my lifetime and really there hasn't been that much activity. It probably also doesn't help that we are a bit north of the optimum viewing latitude. Its cold.... I'm not out and about at night that often or I don't have my camera, my tripod is heavy and my camera doesn't seem to be that great for shots in the dark. So, here is the best I have gotten this year... but I'll keep trying. Those of you in Iqaluit it looks like you guys have had scads. I'm jealous.

Those of you wondering about the sights I'm using to track the lights here are the links...

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Monday, February 08, 2010

Precursor to a Purse(-like object)

This is my insomnia insprired knitting. It should end up being a small handbag once I'm done, I'm not sure what I'll do to put it together.. I've never knitted a bag before... I'll keep you posted. I really like the way the colours worked out... Yeah for Noro!!

Other news... there are a record 71 sunspots on the sun... which for those not following the sun for the last year and a half has been blank as often as not and this replaces teh record of 51 spots that was new in the last few days. The far side of the sun also seems like its got spots too.... and there have been flares and so I'm still hoping to see a good display of the northern lights.

I made stew for supper (and tomorrow's breakfast, lunch and dinner and the next day and you get the idea.) I need to make up a salad. I have the requisite ingredients... but I've done a fair bit of chopping already today... so maybe tomorrow night. I also need to come up with something to do with a bunch of Potatoes.

I am also now in Possession of Robin Hobb's new book "Dragon Keeper", but I've put it out of site and out of mind. I'm hoping that my will lasts until the weekend at least, and preferably until PI week. I can sometimes put books down, but Robin Hobb isn't one of those kinds of authors and my sleep schedule has been bad enough this week.

So... watch for the northern lights... and be merry.
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Sunrise Silhouette

Apparently... 7:30 am is already too late to get a good sunrise shot. Here is the school this morning.... its looks a bit like some kind of monster with 1 one glowing eye and some pretty sharp teeth.
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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Fireweed Fluff

Well, obviously this photo was taken some months ago. It does match the sweater that I'm wearing - if that gives me an reason for picking it for today.

I've been keeping my eyes on my array of norther lights webpages. Tonight has potential and tomorrow has a bit more as aparently a CME (Coronol Mass Ejection) is headed our way and we are entering a recurrent coronal hole solar wind. The lights were out tonight, but not bright enough to even bother trying to photograph them. I did find this cool site though that actually shows the readings for Baker Lake hour by hour + a 6 hour forecast.

Otherwise, its been a useful day, even after having a tough time sleeping last night (due to unusually gurgly pipes and too much thinking). I shut my brain down with a bit of nocturnal knitting and I have a neat scarf started. Its a diagonal stripe pattern using two different colourways of Noro Kureyon - oooh... knitting nerd tonight. (I seem to be leaking lots of lingo between knitting and the northern lights). I'll post a picture in a day or two probably unless I get some outside shots before that. Its supposed to be fairly warm this week, so maybe I'll go far walk at some point and try and get some more pictures. I'm actually leaning towards making it into a handbag. I don't know that I have enough yarn to get a scarf the length I like out of it, but I think there might be enough for a bag.

My other creative project for the weekend was a cranberry cake with lemon icing that turned out delicious, if I do say so myself and while I'm congratulating myself - I think the more impressive feat is that I've only had 2 pieces today. Its wicked heated up with a scoop of vanillia frozen yogurt. I should go make stew, but at this point, I think I'll leave it for tomorrow in favour of wading through the last things on my to-do list.

I still haven't had a chance to play my new killer bunnies expansions yet, but I did finally get to breakin my Crokinole board after having it 7 months. I also tried out Fjords - a two player tile based strategy game. We only played one round, but I think its going to be a favourite.

So... thats all for now. I think this is hopefully the start of a more frequent blogging trend. I've kind of let it die the last few months. Its always hard when I'm not taking many outdoor pictures - because I always feel like I'm cheating when I pull out pics from months ago, but the day light is getting longer and longer and the sun seems definitely to be showing signs of life after a year and half of being nearly spotless.



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Saturday, February 06, 2010

Its a beautiful day in the arctic

I was shocked when I checked the weather and discovered that it was -32 C. It feels way warmer - although the fact that its calm surely helps. Its been both a lazy and productive Saturday so far. I'm making chicken/cabbage/carrot/corn/green onion soup (if I had chives to keep the "C" theme going I would have used them. I should commence some working out shortly as soon as I get a bit of soup into me and stop reading the news.

This is the hat that I finished on the ride home from Rankin. I'm not sure about the decrease in the top, but I do really like the garter stitch look. (The pattern for the hat was inspired by this pattern:

There should be northern lights tonight - well at least there is a 35% chance according to

My plans are to make a cranberry cake - I think. and work on some stuff for my bio and env. sci courses. I spent two hours reorganizing the back room... I'm sure I could spend a week and not have it perfect, but its a lot more to my liking. Okay... I guess I'm going to have to bounce off as the music says its time to get back into the groove. A week away from home has killed my momentum of getting fit, but I think I'll be back on track after this weekend. I'm going to try.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Stranded and Stranded

Here is my latest stranded colourwork knitting project completed while (ironically) I was stranded in Rankin Inlet. You'll note their great similarity to my last project. Why did I do it twice... well the first pair was a little to big. These ones are just right. The tree pattern was borrowed from the generous

I'm glad to be home in Baker Lake. I was even glad to go back to work. I, oddly enough, acutally really like my job and frankly its a lot less work to acutally do my job than try to write instructions for someone else to fill in in my place.

On the cool side, I did get in an awesome visit with some friends in Rankin playing Carcasonne, Settlers of Catan, Killer Bunnies, Ticket to Ride and a few games of Canasta (still the best card game in the world in my head). I think my Killer Bunnies expansions have made it up here too. I also got to meet Page Burt. This is exciting for anyone, as she happens to be a pretty cool person. But I'm not just anyone, I'm a plant field guide junkie - and she is the author of Barren Land Beauties - one of the few available field guides for Nunavut and one of the few people I know who understand my dream to one day own the Lichens of North America book.

I really need to take some time to update the links on my blog. Oh - and my blog is going to have to move URL's (again for those of you who remember me back when my url was Blogspot is discontinuing remote blog hosting, so I need to return to blogspot by March 26th, 2010 - obviously, I'll try to beat the deadline - to allow for the disaster that occured when I first moved away from blogspot (requiring me to manually tell it where to find my picture for 300 + posts - that was a joy). Wish me an easy move - and watch for updates. There is a silver lining - this should allow me to use some of Bloggers fancy new page tools - so it'll be easier to play with the format of my blog and add things like word clouds and change the banner without having to email files to my brother.

Back to cleaning, reading and exercising for me though...
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Monday, February 01, 2010

There is no place like home, no place like home, no place like home

The three shots above were taken from the plane as we left Baker Lake on Monday night (a week ago). It was a lovely flight and I was graced by the presence of northern lights. You really can't beat seeing the northern lights from a plane. I was also lucky to get a nice view of town, although, taking pictures through the window of a plane is always tricky. I like the way they look so twinkly. It was actually pretty windy (not compared to today, obviously) which I think is what makes the lights look the way they do.

I am dilligently coming up with new and exciting lessons on blizzards for my Gr. 12 science students - possibly to be taught in my absense if I'm unable to get back to Baker tomorrow before the school reopens. Currently, they are supposed to clear up by tomorrow, while the blizzard is expected to rage on here for another little while.

This is my first time experiencing travel difficulties due to weather or a 4 day blizzard for that matter. I guess the good news is that there is a utilidor in Rankin which means that water shouldn't be an issue here, which I'm sure it is back home.

I've done some good stash busting having knit a pair of mittens and a hat and I'm currently, row by row, working on a second hat, which will hopefully fit me. So far, I like the style, I'll post pictures soon.


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