Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cape Breton Visit So Far

We are alive!

The trip so far has been so great, even the flights out were better than expected. We had great connections on our flights to get out here with it only taking three planes and 13 hours of travel. The kids were amazing on the planes. Just a few tears here and there mainly on take-off for the baby and the seat belt with Hunter. The flight attendants blew my mind away with how helpful they were- and this was AirCanada folks!!! The desk staff in Toronto airport though was horrible- Matt is pretty sure someone had pissed in their cheerios that morning.

The grandparents were there at the Sydney airport to greet us... no not us actually... the boys! They didn't give two hoots about Matt and me. They have been spoiling the kids rotten since then. Hunter latched onto his grandparents with no problem and is calling them Pop and Nan. He drags them everywhere to play and we have become chopped liver. I went to the door to go outside to play with Hunter and I was met with, "No Mom. No Out. POP OUT!" So we are getting some rest in for a change.

The weather has been a bit warm for our liking, but it seems to be changing and cooling off thanks to some rain. Next week I think we are going to head to what they call "country" out here and what I call "the never ending reaches of the town." Matt and I own 10 acres and his folks the adjoining 5 acres out in the "country." Matt's folks have put a little cabin up on their part and we are just claiming ownership of it. It is beautiful out there and I am looking forward to putting my feet up, reading a book and doing a whole lot of nothing. For people out here the just under a drive to the country is soooo farrrr!! Crazy-ass east coasters.

Oh- and Hunter is in heaven. The train crosses the street just a couple of houses down from his Nan and Pops. Mainly just trains hauling coal to the power plant. You can hear the bells going off and then my kid squealing with glee as he runs to the door to see the train. So cute! We do this about 7 times a day.

So all is good out here!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Here we are now going to the East Side....

Well East Coast anyways. Tomorrow we are driving into Whitehorse and then bright and early Monday morning we start our cross country flight. We will be spending the next three weeks in Cape Breton visiting my in-laws (hmmm... maybe out-laws??).

It is going to be one heck of a long day for us and the kids. We leave Whitehorse at 7am and arrive in Sydney, NS at 8pm our time, midnight their time. I am happy we are able to do it all in one day though. One the way home we have a stop over in Calgary where we hope to catch up with some friends and family.

The East Coast grandparents are just giddy with excitement. They have not seen Hunter in a year and a half and have yet to meet Cavan. I am sure the kids are going to be spoiled rotten during our trip. I am excited to put my feet up while the grandparents chase the kids. Here's hoping we can get a date night in without the kids while we are there.

We have our house sitter all arranged, the place is pretty clean, outdoor toys are packed away and our bags are nearly packed. I am sure I will be blogging while on vacation and of course I will keep the pictures coming.

And sorry Tina, no stop over in Saskatoon! :(

Friday, September 18, 2009

How am I doing?

Okay, here is the "me" update. I don't really want to share, but I think it will help me.

We are leaving on vacation to see Matthew's family on Sunday, and of course I am stressed out. I always stress before trips. I am a house person... no, not a hermit at all, but I love being home and having a regular schedule. Take me out of my schedule and I am a mess. So even thinking about it makes me emotional.

And of course me being emotional leads to me eating. Arrggg. I have been eating like a mad-woman for the last couple of weeks. Usually it isn't even crap food... but I just need to eat. Of course it doesn't help having a wee-little parasite attached to me all the freakin' time sucking out my energy! My goodness little Cavan is boobing a lot and I think that does contribute to my hunger.

I know our vacation will be wonderful and I will love it, but I have to admit I am already looking forward to getting home, into my own house and schedule and continuing to work on my health.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Starting Year Seven

Matthew and I are heading into year 7 of living north of 60. We got married, took a quick honeymoon back to Cape Breton to see his family (not sure if you would call that a honeymoon though), and headed north to Hay River in the Northwest Territories. We will always remember that place for the amazing friends we made there- and the beer/wing nights at the pub.

Just under two years later I got itchy feet and I dragged Matt further north to Kugluktuk, Nunavut. That amazing place we will remember for the friendliest easygoing locals, sewing classes with elders, skidooing/quadding on the tundra, caribou hunting, our first home, and our first kid.

After realizing we were mentally exhausted nearly three years later, we made the move to the Yukon. Ahhh.... The Easy North welcomed us with open arms, a road and trees.

Life in the north is for us, and Faro will be our home for a good while.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Six years ago I convinced this poor sod to marry me...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I miss barge season!

Right now if we were still living in the arctic I would be giddy with anticipation! Barge season (or sealifts for you easterners) has arrived.

Reading through my favorite blogs from across Nunavut is bringing back so many memories. Barge season is better than Christmas. All the goodies you picked out months ago arrive at your doorstep, miraculously it seems, after traveling thousands of kilometers. It was oh so hard to decide what to have as a treat first as you broke into the food supplies that you hope will last the winter.

Along with the food, we always had other goodies arrive. Our first barge season it was our two quads. Other years it was anything from tools to fabric. The house would be a disaster for days as you found home for all the supplies. Nothing like finding room for toilet paper and paper towel to last a year!

Now that we are in the Yukon, this is my second fall with no barge. I miss it, although having a road that I can drive on year round into Whitehorse is pretty darn spiffy. That four hour drive I am sure makes me the envy of many Nunavumuit.

Many people in Faro head into town every couple of weeks for groceries, but after living in the arctic I have no problem only heading in once every two months or so. I am a super shopper now! And I am so pretty creative when the shelves are getting bare.

Enjoy your full pantries everyone and don't drink all of your pop by Halloween!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Birthday Greetings

This of course was the best part of my day! At the end Hunter is telling the baby to stay away from his toes.

Boooo Weather!!

The weather is hampering my birthday wishes! Drizzle and then winds for today... so my wish list of a quadding day, picnic, and berry picking looks like it is going to be reduced to just berry picking and we will take the truck. It is no fun quadding home in the rain with kids!!

My wonderful husband wanted to cook me breakfast today, but was dismayed when the store had no bacon (one of only a few things he knows how to cook). How dare they!! heheheh So instead he offered me gourmet cheerios. I asked what that was and he said it was cheerios in chocolate milk!! I politely refused! But he did help the kids to make me a wonderful card for me and he let me sleep in an extra hour.

So my other birthday wishes included not having to cook my own supper (thank goodness we have a little restaurant here in town) and to do some kid-free sewing. I am sure I will get to have those today even with the poor weather! :)

And on a neat note, my birthday falls on 09/09/09 today!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Start of a New Decade.

Tomorrow I turn the big THREE-OH-fark-where-did-the-last-ten-years-go-so-quickly-aren't-I-still-18???

It's not that I have a problem with getting older, but more that I am going to miss my twenties. What an amazing ten years I have had. I am a list-making-goal-setter and in the last decade I have accomplished everything on that list I wanted and more. I am pretty proud of my accomplishments and in honour of the big 30 and the last decade I am going to list some of them in no real order:
  • completed two degrees (Bachelors of Science in Wildlife, Bachelor of Education specializing in high school science).
  • found an amazing guy and somehow convinced him to marry me and put up with all of my crap.
  • lived and traveled in all three territories. This was a total dream, but a husband willing to follow me north made it possible.
  • got a great start in my career in adult education. It is on hold now, but I am sure I will get back to it once the kids are older.
  • worked my butt off to help pay off most of our debt. We are able to live very comfortably off of one income so I can stay at home with the boys.
  • had two beautiful boys that make my heart want to burst with joy even when they are pouring birdseed or pop on my laptop or yakking/pooing all over me.
  • learned to love myself .
  • have all the toys I dreamed of (camper and quads especially).
  • have kept two kitties alive longer than any other pet I have owned.
  • learned to appreciate my sewing machine even after swearing I would never take it up.
  • made the most amazing friends who have become a spectacular web of support for me when life is tough.
  • became an auntie to two beautiful boys.
  • became a sister-in-law to a woman I admire.
  • shot my first moose and caribou.
  • learned to appreciate my parents and in-laws even when they drive me bat-shit crazy.
  • stashed away a good chunk for retirement that will continue to grow.
  • learned that family time is what makes me happy and family time in the bush on quads makes me jump for joy!
So I am not too sure how my thirties will be able to top that. What should I put on my goal to-do list for my thirties??

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Help Send Clare to Antarctica!!

So if you are a northern blogger you must know Clare... The Godfather of Nunavut Bloggers! He has been blogging out of Arctic Bay for over four years discussing topics of his previous job (Mountie), his current job (father, husband and B&B owner), his passions (birding, the north, photography, icebergs, and more).

Clare needs our help! He desperately wants to win a contest to send him to Antarctica and I cannot think of a more deserving fellow.

Click here to go and vote for him. It is a few steps, so please be patient with it and follow through.

You can also read more about it here on his blog.

And I challenge all northern bloggers to use your blog for good instead of evil today and help get Clare the votes he needs and deserves.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Out on the South Canol

Since Matt has been out in the bush hunting a lot, I figured it was time for me to get away from the house too! So we packed up the camper and kids and headed down one of our favorite roads in the Yukon- The South Canol. This time we stayed at Lapie Lake. There is a small unmaintained campground there and we were the only folks camping the entire time. We had a wonderful few days out there just playing with the kids and enjoying the beautiful fall weather.

Life is tough- breakfast of bacon and pancakes!

Hunter has completely mastered getting in and out of the camper:

Dad and his boys:

Oh good god this was so good! It was fresh caribou tenderloin wrapped in bacon, basted with garlic olive oil and cooked over the fire- you should all be drooling and jealous because it was amazing. In the tin foil was the carrots, peppers and potatoes. What a supper!

He really enjoyed the meal!

Lapie Lakes:

Dump truck in the lake! Hunter kept sending it out to sea and I would have to wade in and rescue it:

Walking the paths around our campsite:

If you look really close you will see a little chipmunk in the willows! Hunter was standing there talking to it. Adorable!

Imitating Daddy chopping wood:

Our campsite! Someone had built quite the contraption so they could tarp in the picnic table. The weather was so amazing we didn't have to worry about that at all.

The Whiskey Jacks had a wonderful time hanging around a toddler. Poor Hunter cried about a stolen pancake for hours!

Our boys:

So happy to be out camping!

Me and Cavan (and my amazing camping hair!):

Me and my boys:

Nothing like camping with kids....

We returned home on Thursday and then on Friday we heard the news about a two year old that was missing on the North Canol Road. The little boy had wondered away from his campsite. Well this hit me like a rock as I assumed the worst. The weather had been cold, nearly freezing at night where we were, and this is real wilderness we are in. Thankfully the boy was found alive after just over 24 hours later! Seems he had wondered away with a dog that belonged to some other campers in the area. He and the dog were found together. Absolutely amazing. But it really shook me up. We were in a similar area with a similar aged child.... if we turned our backs for a second... It is just too hard to even think about.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Butchering the Caribou

Today my friend and I butchered up the caribou that had been hanging in my garage for the last week. It was her husband who shot it last week while out hunting with Matt. It only took us a few hours to have it all cut, wrapped and in the freezer. The little caribou gave us both four small roasts, twelve packages of steaks and eighteen packages of hamburger. Not bad at all! And I was able to test out my new 1 horse power meat grinder and oh baby is it ever amazing. As fast as you can stuff the caribou in it, it was grinding it.

Happy butchers:

Mmmmmm!!! Caribou!

After cutting up the caribou, I went upstairs and baked three dozen buns and cooked up some sausages. The two guys are heading out again for this long weekend, so I thought they would like some good food to eat while they are out in the bush. They had better not return unless they get a tasty moose!