Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in The Bay

Christmas in Cambridge Bay is really no different than being in Manitoba.  Christmas Eve we decided to go to church.  We have never been to the Catholic Church here, from the outside it looks like any other building in town but once you walk in it turned out to be a quaint little church.  There are Inuit influences in the church, the curtains are hung by fishing spears or Kakivak, the nativity scene was in an igloo, there is a seal skin hanging on the wall with a cross shaved in it.  Also against a wall is this amazing stained glass window from the previous church's window.  Our friend Vicki is in charge of the service and she does an amazing job making everyone feel welcome.  There were about 2 dozen parishioners in the church that evening and it filled the church and we knew mostly everyone there.  A perfect evening with some residents made for a perfect Christmas Eve.

After church we drove around town and took some pictures of the Christmas lights here in town.  You would be surprised how many houses decorate not only the inside but also the outside of their homes.

We came home, got ready for bed as Santa was coming that night.  Craig was up early Christmas day and I about an hour later.  We did our calls to wish our 'southern' family Merry Christmas before opening our gifts.  We didn't decorate our home this year, we just seemed rush from coming home less than a week before the big day.  Christmas Day was relaxing and absolutely no stress.  We headed over to Jim and Sheila's home around 3:30pm for a traditional dinner and stuffed was a good word for everyone after we ate.  Santa left a present at our home for the Epps and Conroys, a poker table top so we had to break it in after we ate.  We usually play for $20.00 each (I know big spenders) but last night we played for fun and Sheila was the first one out and I not long after her, in the end Jim won the big prize.  Well he would of won the big prize if there was one.  It was a great day spent with some good friends here in Cambridge Bay.

Today both Craig and I headed to work, I only worked half a day while Craig has to work a full day.  The plant is closed this week but I needed to go in and play catch-up for a fresh start for 2012. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and we will talk in 2012.

Talk soon!

The alter at the Catholic Church

Stain glass window from the old church
 Seal skin shaved into a cross
 One of many houses in CamBay decorated for the holidays, check out the igloo with lights on it
Another beautiful decorated house
Jim - turkey guru
Christmas table
Our hosts Sheila and Jim
Marg looking cute as ever
Playing on the poker table that Santa gave everyone
Our Christmas present from The Medwids
Molly really enjoys the blanket from her cousins Emma & Kristen.  I don't have the heart to tell her it's not hers.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Shock to the System

On Sunday we spent a great afternoon with my brothers, sis-in-law Laura and our friend Michelle, we just hung out in our hotel room and got caught up.  After everyone left we ordered some much needed Vietnamese food, thanks for the tip Mike the soup was amazing!  Since moving up here I have seen my siblings more than ever and I love it.  The following day was a shop til you drop day in Edmonton.  First stop was of course Ikea where we purchases a few items for the house.  One day we will shop for more larger items and ship up here as Ikea does not deliver to the high Arctic.  We got most of our shopping done except I couldn't find a pair of hikers that I liked and a new winter coat, might have to do some on line shopping.  That evening Craig took the two action packers to First Air Cargo in Edmonton to have them ship up here instead of us lugging them around.  He also brought the kennels to storage at the airport to save us time in the morning putting them together.

I was awake at 3am on Tuesday and Craig was an hour behind, I hate those nights where you have to get up early to catch a flight but wake up too early and then can't get back to sleep.  We were at Edmonton International Airport around 6am as we need about 2 hours to check in with all three dogs, our flight was 8:10am.  CTV News was there and we were filmed for that evening's news, kinda cool.  Everything went smoothly for us while checking in the dogs, I always have this fear that they will leave one behind. 

It was a bit of a shock, OK a big shock when we landed in CamBay as Edmonton was +6'c the day we left and our little village was a cool -45'c and a lot of snow on the ground.  I don't think I am used to the cold yet, it may be a couple more days until my body adjusts.  Cambridge Bay has experienced 6 blizzards so far this year and the large snow banks in town are proof. 

Both of us returned to work, Craig the day we arrived back and I the following day.  I had a foot high pile of mail to go through and it will take me a few days before things get back to normal at work.  The plant is closed all of next week but I will be heading in for some catch up.  I am hoping to get my office painted during this time also - I will be the only one at work so it will be quiet for me to get everything completed before the new year.

Christmas is this weekend and Craig will be working a full day on Christmas Eve and we are planning to head to mass at 8:00pm.  Christmas day will be spent with our friends Jim, Sheila and Marg (not sure if anyone else is attending) and I am so happy that Christmas falls on a Sunday this year as Craig doesn't have to work.

My wish to every one of my blog followers is that you all have a safe & wonderful holiday and that you spend it with the ones you love.  For us we will be thinking about our family and friends in the south and wish that we could be with everyone both here and back home.  For the ones we can not be with during this holiday season we will keep you close to our hearts.

Talk soon! 

Mike, Michelle and Craig hanging out

 Craig, Laura and Bob
 I love the skies this time of the year - this one was taken just after 12 o'clock noon
 This boat is staying in the bay over winter
Lots of large snow banks around town after 6 blizzards - picture taken around noon
Another one that is as tall as the houses
 Our home looking very chilly
 Craig and Molly watching the Winnipeg Jets and Montreal Canadiens play - both dressed for the occasion

 My three new plants I brought up with me, spathiphyllum, money tree and our little Christmas tree

 The first time I seen this at the local Northern Store I couldn't stop laughing - once you stop laughing check out the price
Look very closely you might be able to spot Santa at the Northern Store

Saving the best until last...Molly's new ear muffs we purchased for her when we were in Manitoba

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Final Leg

We left Lac du Bonnet sad as our stay with Craig’s parents just didn’t seem long enough, heck Mom and I didn't get to play Scrabble the old fashion way.  I love this area with its large rocks, trees and water; you don’t realize how much you miss things until they are gone.  Yeah we have large rocks and water in Cambridge Bay but I guess when the trees are missing out of the picture everything looks different.  The drive to Winnipeg was a bit hairy as there were plenty of icy roads but we made it. 

We arrived in Winnipeg early Wednesday morning as we had a lot of shopping to do and this was one of our only days.  Unfortunately we did not get everything done so hopefully we will finish our “want list” tomorrow or next week in Edmonton. We stopped by The Forks to see my friend Jean, it was great to have coffee with her and to catch up.  I met Jean during my days at the animal shelter where her and her son Dillon volunteered and we remained friends.

Our first day in Carman was a laundry day and that evening Mom cooked a turkey for us for dinner.  She had all of the trimmings and to top it off she made her homemade stuffing, she makes the best stuffing on this earth.  That evening we all played a few rounds of Rummy before calling it a night.

Friday, my long time friend Angie came over for a visit, we supplied the coffee and she brought the donuts.  Angie is a friend whom I have known for over 30 years, we went to school together in Carman and remained friends after all these years.  Every time I see her it's like coming home, nothing has changed between us.  In the afternoon we headed over to Winkler with Mom for a bit of shopping and lunch.  That evening she went to her weekly Bingo night with the ladies while Craig and I packed.

We headed out of Carman yesterday morning by 7:30am and arrived here in Edmonton about 8pm.  After ordering room service we headed to bed.  Today my brother Bob and his wife Laura are driving up from Airdrie and my other brother Mike and our friend Michelle will be meeting us for the day.  Not sure what we are doing, it will just be good to see everyone again.

Everything seemed rushed this trip and we wished we could of seen a couple more friends one last time before we headed out; you know who you are.   I cherish our family and friends and hold each and every one of you close to my heart.  I think that is how I survive each day, knowing that even though I don’t see some of my friends daily,  I know that they will always be there. 

Talk soon!

The LeBleu Homestead in Lac du Bonnet

Blitz and Molly trying to stay still for a picture
How cute is she?
 Where's Blitz?
Coca-Cola Falls near the in-laws
 The view across the falls
My friend Jean and I
The Forks
Canadian Museum for Human Rights under construction.
 The Johnston Terminal at The Forks
 The skating rink at The Forks
 Do you think Molly and Blitz were happy to see Hannah?
My long time friend Angie and I
 Molly and Hannah found their place in the hotel in Edmonton
And Blitz found his...

Monday, December 12, 2011

We Arrived Safe and Sound

Well after a few days of delays we finally made it out of Cambridge Bay and landed in Edmonton late on Thursday night.  After some organizing of the rental vehicle, kennels, luggage and dogs we were exhausted and headed to bed as we had an early rise the following day.  I was feeling a bit under the weather and was glad to rest my head that night.  I come down with some kind of stomach flu that lasted the following day so Craig ended up driving the full 14 hours from Edmonton to Winnipeg.  We arrived in Carman about 11:30 that night and visited with my mom for about an hour before all of us called it a night.  We were all very happy to see Granny.

We still kept our plans to head into the city, a day late mind you, to meet up with some of our friends for Chinese food.  Unfortunately Judy, Mark, Mike, Donna and Les couldn't make it.  Before dinner Craig and Keith headed out to purchase Craig's Christmas present from Mrs. Clause,  a new guitar.  Meanwhile Sandy and I went to a jewelry store for my present from Santa, some bling for my ears. After dinner we ended up at Sandy and Keith's home for some holiday cheer.  We spent the night there and in the morning went out for breakfast.  From there we picked up the Shorthairs at the kennel, did a quick shop then headed over to Les' home for a quick visit before heading over to Craig's sister's for dinner.  We had a nice visit with everyone and Craig got to see Reece play some hockey.  We arrived in Lac du Bonnet that evening for a few days of relaxing before we head over to my mom's.  Tonight John and Bonnie, the neighbours, come over for dinner, drinks and wonderful conversations.  It was really nice to see them again.

We are in Winnipeg tomorrow for our re-scheduled appointments due to our delay of arrival in Manitoba.  So tomorrow it's dentist for us and vet appointment for Molly, re-checking her ticker and then do a bit of shopping before our much needed haircuts then back for one final stay with Craig's parents. 

My next entry will likely be from Edmonton where I am hoping to see both of my brothers and sis-in-law and maybe even Michelle.  Very sad that our neice Kristen can not make it but we understand a girl has to work.

Talk soon!

 Sunset somewhere in Saskatchewan
Another view of it while driving

Dinner with some of our Manitoba friends

My ear bling

One happy camper

Keith and Craig playing us a tune
Lexie laying in front of the 'fireplace'
Molly and Blitz laying in front of the real thing

Reece, Spencer and Papa watching a Christmas movie

Todd showing off his season tickets for the Winnipeg Jets

Blitz enjoying a morning run in Lac du Bonnet

Dinner with the neighbours, from left to right: Craig, Mom, John, Bonnie and Dad
Dad fixing the angel on top of the tree with John and Craig's help

Mom fixing the decorations after the angel fixing