Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Comings and Goings

I just found a wonderful collection of healthier Baked Goods - thanks to my Mom - as well as some good healthy living/eating resources for different ages and such. Here is the link:

I'm excited to try them out.

There is not much going on... I'm teaching subjects that I like... weather, mapping, the nervous system and fluids. A good mix of practical and technical.

But, not much to say today at all - save that my coffee is good, my mood is good and its still bitterly cold, but the coldness really hasn't affected me given my short walk to work and limited need to go anywhere else unless I want to. I guess the only thing I'm hurting for is fresh photos. I apparently missed a nice little spike in auroral activity last night. The next perdicted unsettled spaceweather is due Feb 1/2 2010 - I'll hopefully be in the big I, usually a better place for watching the northern lights than Baker (we are too far north) - so here's hoping.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011


If you are a straggling voter, dying to vote in the Nunies - there is still time - apparently there was a bit of confusion - and the polls remain open until 5 pm today. I would like to take all of you who have voted for me and sent me encouraging words. I enjoy sharing this small fragment of my life and its nice to know that people enjoy it.

As for day, its the first day in a while that I've accidently played the alarm clock game. I think the problem is that it is set too loud and now that the alarm clock has moved closer to my head - the loudness is having me react by immediately shutting it off before my brain has processed what it means. Tomorrow, I'll turn the volume down to something that is less alarming so I'll actually manage to wake up a bit more since I won't be diving to shut it down.
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ever Cold

I wish I had a picture that captured the eerie fog hanging in the bitterly cold air - this is as close as I can get, although you can just barely make out the exhaust hanging in the air near the trucks and ski-doos or the general fog in the distance. Since this time, its warmed up to a balmy -34C, however, the wind has picked up until nearly 30 km/h and so the resulting windchill is still near -50 C. Personally, I'll take cold and calm over chilly (if that is how you'd describe -34 C) and windy. We did see the northern lights, but by the time I was back near my camera they had faded. I'm still hoping to get a picture soon.

For those who don't follow my blog regularly, I've been honoured with a nomination with 4 other blogs - for Best Nunavut Blog 2010. The voting ends tomorrow afternoon, so anyone wishing to cast a vote for this blog or any of the 4 other blogs nominated for Best Nunavut Blog 2010, 5 blogs nominated for Best New Blog in Nunavut 2010 or 2 blogs running for Best Post 2010 - please go ASAP to The House and Other Arctic Musings and cast your vote.

I'd like to congratulate a wonderful and amazing friend on the healthy birth of her daughter. I'm having one of those days when I wish the North was closer to the South, so that I could go visit and meet the new interloper, but I'll have to wait until the summer. In the meantime, my brothers should continue to supply me with pictures of their wonderful and charming children.

In cooking news, I made Spinach Salad for the first time ever based on a recipe from "Icebergs & Belugas" by Helen Webber & Marie Woolsey. They are connected with a series of fly in lodges on Hudson's Bay north of Churchill, Manitoba. I love them because not only do the have the kind of wonderful recipes that you'd only get to eat at a first class bed and breakfast type place, but they, being fly in places, don't tend to use impossible to get ingredients. Seeing how my ability to aquire ingredients is limited by food mail and what is available in the northern - where there is a much better selection of french fries and frozen pizza then there is squash - it is nice to have a cookbook that doesn't require you to have saffron or fresh starfruit. The recipe: Spinach, Apple & Peacan Salad was modified to accomodate available items to: Spinach, Apple, Strawberry, Red Onion and Almond Salad with a Honey Dijon dressing - made of olive oil (6tbsp), Honey (2 tbsp), Dijon Mustard (2 tbsp), Lemon Juice (2.5 tbsp) and a bit of pepper - basically a doubling of their dressing recipe with a little extra lemon juice. This is the fourth book - Cranberries and Canada Geese, Blueberries and Polar Bears and and Black Currents and Caribou are the other three main books that they've put out and I've yet to make anything from any of them that went wrong. Their website can be found here. I wish I'd taken a picture of it before we ate it as I'm really hurting for photos right now.

I hopefully will have some more new pictures soon. Until the next time..... :D have a good rest of your Sunday

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Superior Views

Sigh.... beautiful view of Lake Superior on a stormy day. This roadtrip is still one of the best trips I've ever done - everyone should tour the shores of Lake Superior in the fall - truly magnificent countryside and while I often refer to the trip as my "superior alone" tour - based on a neat t-shirt slogan with a single white pine shaped by the wind that I purchased as Superior Provincial Park - I wasn't really alone. I had my trusty travelling companion to haul camping gear, food and me. I guess I should thank her for putting up with my singing and sipping lightly on gasoline - making the whole thing quite affordable.

Today, we've managed to tidy up the appartment and organize a few more corners and make the furniture slightly more conducive to having more than one person in the room. It looks a lot nicer - I got a few more pictures up. Its still cold, but it really hasn't been that bad - since its been mostly calm. I'm hoping to try that trick with throwing boiling water into the air and having it turn to snow. I think I might have a few new pictures to pull out, so I won't have to dig into the archieves for photo part of the blog.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Don't Forget to Cast Your Vote for the Nunies - Voting ends Monday

Friday, cold Friday..... and yes I'm typing to the chug and gurgle of my coffee maker as it prepares a wonderful caffinated dark brown beverage... so obviously, I'm not quite entirely awake yet.

If you haven't voted for BEST BLOG, BEST NEW BLOG or BEST POST in the Nunies (Nunavut Blog Awards) - please visit The House and Other Arctic Musings - as Clare has been awesome enough to host the awards again this year. Especially awesome since if his blog was in the running, I don't think I'd be able to vote for my own blog against him - so fortunately for the rest of us he has pulled himself out of contention. Voting ends Monday. You have to scroll down a little now to find the poll, but there is a great post about Raven's that is well worth the read on your way to the polling station.

In my state of not-quite-awakeness while scrolling through facebook status updates, I've wondered if it would make a good science fair project to see if you could support the hypothesis that Canadians are unusually obsessed by the weather, compared to nonn-Canadians. Of course, I am living in Nunavut and presently the temperature in Baker Lake has reached -43 C and may sink as low as -48 C (without the windchill) tonight. So, I can't really be surprised that everyone's update is that its cold outside. Lucky for us, the wind hasn't been too strong - its been dead calm at times even, and while I haven't spent much time out side and I'm certainly dressing warmer than normal - it hasn't been too bad. Its easier to take than -30 C with a 50 km/h wind - the wind has a habit of getting at you, even huddled deep in a tunnel style hood.

Ah.... (cringe) the sounds of the coffee maker have been replaced with the sounds of the sewage truck making the pipes bang - it also makes the pictures on that wall jump around - I fully expect to find one on the floor one day. I guess I'd better get back to finishing the morning routine

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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Seasonal Lows

The temperature is plummetting from not too bad to frigging cold by anyone's standards - supposedly the mercury should shrink down to a shocking -45 C, and thats before adding wind chill to it. The winds are expected to be strongish - meaning Wind Chills could reach -65 C - brrr. Lets just say I'm going to keep the full Parka out and not wander too far for the next few days. Its days like this I'm very glad for my seal fur mitts.

I got some of those pieces of bad news maybe that could be taken as good news if you really tried to see it that way things today. Perhaps its trying to not feel sad about it that is giving me a headache, but I suspect the headache has more to do with the changing weather. I guess sometimes things in life are randomly unfair and the only thing you can do is make the best of it and be glad that it wasn't much worse - which it could have been.

I'm sending out some good vibes to a couple of good friends expecting important packages in the next few days. I'm wishing I wasn't so far away though. Its hard to celebrate from here.

Not so much chance for the northern lights, but I'm kind of hoping for none because I'm not so keen to go outside and play with my camera at -45 C. Still, I might go take a quick look. The weather is supposed to stay cold into the weekend which hopefully means getting lots of work done for the next few weeks. We just got the Nordic version of Ticket to Ride (a board game) - so I'm looking forward to giving it a try and learning some Scandinavian geography... its going to be more fun even than shopping at Ikea!!

And on that note, my headache says its time to stop writing stuff and maybe lie down....
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vote for your Favourite Blogs in the 2010 Nunies (Nunavut Blog Awards)

The nomination phase is done and now its time for you to check out the fantastic blogs that have been nominated for BEST BLOG and BEST NEW BLOG as well as vote for your favourite post. You can cast your votes at The House and Other Arctic Musings.


The Blog Bog of the Tundra

Townie Bastard

The M of Cape Dorset

Babies and Bulldogs

The Arctic Post


A Slice of Deep Fried Awesome

M&T In Nunavut

52 words for snow

The Spirited Educators

Daily Muise

Again: VOTES can be cast at: The House and Other Arctic Musings

This is usually the time of year that I get to finding new Nunavut Blogs to add to the ones I read and there are a lot of good ones out there. Enjoy! (Voting must be completed before Jan. 25th, 2010.)

Thanks Clare for organizing this again and for promoting the Nunavut Blogosphere :D

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Places for Sitting and Thinking

I have always felt incredibly lucky to be born in a country that was teeming with beautiful places - from coast to coast to coast.

Certain places leave their mark on you - places that so touch you with their beauty and majesty that you wished to capture them and keep them in your heart for ever... The song from the musical Oliver goes "Who will buy this wonderful morning? Such a sky, you never did see. Who will tie it up with a ribbon and put it in a box for me?" tells the story of such a moment in time, to be captured and treasured and preserved somehow. I was trying to explain this idea the other day - the idea of those moments and views that can't be forgotten (especially with the aid of a photograph) and the first places I thought of was the cottage with my grandparents. While the view perhaps was not the most stunning, the memories associated with those places will last a life time of going in a variety of beat up motor boats, fishing with worms and catching (once) an 18 inch sucker, going swimming in cold water early in the morning with my Grandma with here hideously amusing bathing caps decked out in bright flowers and her dramatic training coming out, or reading with my mom and of course the years of amusing birthday cakes for my brother. The second place that came to mind was my trip through Lake Superior Park in 2007 - (see Superior Alone Tour in the side bar for pictures on this blog). I think of all the things I've done in my life that trip was probably one of the neatest. It was one of those points in your life when you can see yourself growing emotionally and certainly I spent more time perched on rocks overlooking the bronze and green forests of Lake Superior Park just thinking and again in the golden and green forests of larch, birch, aspen and spruce to the north. Certainly the lookouts from the Awausee Trail stick with me, alone with some from Orphan Lake, and a misty sunrise on a flooded trail in the north end of the park. Finding arctic plants near Jackfish, seeing Rainbow Falls and Agausabon Falls for the first time, watching the sunrise from the bluffs behind the Sleeping Giant or being drenched by sheets of rain on a quest to try some of the famous Sven and Oli's Pizza in Minnesota. Doe Lake has lots of places I used to spend my half days (our weekly afternoon off) - painting on Lookout rock or Big Rock, the Bridge over Dundas Creek (my name for the nameless waterway - not sure what its real name is) or near the birch tree on the beach. Then of course there are all the places in the mountains - the first time I visited an arctic meadow I was up the Grouse Grind near Vancouver (we took the Gondola) But Sunshine Meadows was more charming and I've always loved Mount Edith Cavall. I think the two lakes we visited in the Healy Pass this summer were stand out beautiful as was Chester Lake. I love sitting in places where I can hear water and see vistas. I have lots of warm memories of days exploring the Tundra near Baker Lake - three stand out - an evening hike beyond the graveyard my first year hear where I took some of my favourite photographs. The day I hiked to the top of Blueberry hill and the day that a friend and I took an ATV out to the geographic center of Canada and watched Arctics Hares from up close.

Places can be so breath-taking that its hard to choose a favourite - I'm not sure I've even been there yet. My goal this summer is to make sure I add to the beautiful views I've seen - since life is too short to get too busy to take a few moments to appreciate the view.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Footsteps in the Snow

Its Monday morning again and I'm thankful for warm coffee and foodmail. I'm hoping my luck will turn and I'll get a chance to photograph the Northern Lights later this week - preferably without freezing, but I'm doubting that is a reasonable hope. Its set to be all typical winter temperatures here - a good bit warmer than last weeks temperatures in Ross River, Yukon, but cold enough to warrent the wearing of my beastly ancient Parka. Already the days are noticably longer - yesterday I took the garbage out (more because I wanted to check if the Northern Lights were out) and was surprised that it was fully light and not even 9 am yet. On the up side, it was definitely time to get the garbage out anyways.

My goal for the next little while is somehow get some more exercise crammed into my life even if its as lame as doing the odd extra lap up and down the stairs or random poses of yoga. Sadly, walking outside is going to be limited until spring starts this way. Its hard to find time for things that are important sometimes, especially when work is one of those types of things that is never really done. I've hardly found time to pick up the knitting needles this winter - which is a shame because Knit Picks just came out with this incredible Chroma (sort of wanna be Noro) Yarn - but I like the colours better than Noro and I'm banned from buying yarn for unspecified uses - i.e. for all ye knitting folks out there... no stashing... although I am seriously out of Fairytale wool of the andes and I think running a bit low on Arctic Pool Heather - so its tempting.

Running out of time has now occured, so I'd better ski-daddle
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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Nominations for the Nunies close Monday at 5pm (Jan 17)

If you want to read more about the Nunies - see the post below - I just wanted it in the title to get the word out since I've been disconnected from the blogosphere for a few weeks now and nearly missed the nominations myself.

As for the photo, I like the way it captures the calm and serenity that is northern winters on the Tundra - or maybe I'm just a sucker for sunsets, silhouettes, and crooked power lines. After about 3 days of "not-quite-blizzard" weather, I'm hoping that my food mail will arrive. I've been trying to track it using a flight tracking website with mixed, but hopeful results... I think my food is due in around 6-7 pm tonight - I guess I'll see if that was the right guess.

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Cyril Sneer Creates Lake in his own Image: Evergreen Forest Post

Okay.... I have now seen the real life location of the Evergreen forest (proven by the location of a Cyril Sneer shaped lake) --- for anyone still confused - think back to one of the best children's cartoons ever - The Raccoons - and maybe if you are old enough it'll make sense to you - otherwise consider yourself lucky to be too young - although really, your childhood was lacking - although I have still stumbled across reruns on TV in the last few years.

I apologize for my continued lack of posts. I can provide the usual litany of excuses - largely that its been a busy 2 weeks finishing up the end of the term and in spite of breath-taking auroras in Norway, I've managed to miss seeing anything camera worthy here - largely due to continuous cloudiness for the past week or so when everywhere else they were amazing.

In other news, The Nunies - our regional blog awards are now on and nominations end tomorrow(Monday, January 17th) - For full details please check out The House and Other Musings or Nunavut Blogs.

I'll quote the bare bones important stuff here:
I have lots of great blogs listed in the side bar for anyone looking to make some nominations or just see what is happening about the north.  I apologize for taking so long to post this information - please spread the news.  The Nunies are lots of fun and this is just the nomination phase - the voting phase comes next.

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Saturday, January 08, 2011

Too cute not to post

Ah... cute little person having an exciting Christmas morning....... one of my 4 favourite kids in the world.... Hopefully I'll get to see the other two this summer.
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No promises that qammutik is spelled right, in fact I'm nearly certain that it is spelled wrong... if there is a correct spelling because I've seen it spelt a few different ways.... its nice and warm in Baker and a beautiful night for a hike on the lake.
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New Horizon

There is a new building on the Baker Lake Horizon - already the new Co-op is taking shape.

I should post an apology for falling right off the blogging horizon, but travelling and a bit too much excitment (including a fun, but surprise stranding in Rankin Inlet where I was forced to watch movies and play board games instead of working). I am back and while it might be spotty for a few more days, hopefully I'll be back to a more regular posting schedule. I'm hoping for Northern Lights tonight... so maybe I'll have something good. In the short terms, I have some nice sunsets pics and some cool shots of rivers and lakes from the plane and a few stories to tell perhaps when time allows. There is definitely a busy couple of weeks ahead.
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