Archive for March, 2008

Mrs. Grundy gets a new dog!

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Hey you will be happy to know … there is another Jack Russell terrier in town that sort of resembles Pete.

“She” is a small dog (just like Pete) and her name is Chloe.  Her bark sounds JUST like Pete!  (small dog with a BIG bark!)

Instead of black patches, Chloe has reddish brown markings (I said to match her owner!)

I think Chloe and Pete would like each other.

Note:  Mrs. Grundy unfortunately lost her two dogs this winter due to illness and old age (which was very sad ….)  BUT, a miracle came through when Chloe (who is a rescued dog from BC) was brought up by the Harrold family at Easter time.

By the way Madie and Jasper are still alive and kicking.  Madie has joined Jasper in the sport of barking at people walking, biking, etc. on the sidewalk in front.  (I still grumble at both of them when they do this!!)

Well, I am still hungry and still tired … so I best get myself off to bed.

Recipes from around the world …

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

I should have told you this when you first LEFT on your vacation … but I hope you have been keeping notes on good foods your are eating from around the world.

This way when you get home … we can plan for an “Around the World Cuisine” evening and try new and interesting meals.

I am hungry.

Good night.

from me ……… Ann the Good

Hey … here is an update ….

Sunday, March 30th, 2008

Tim and Joanne got a brand new beauuuuuuuuutifulllllllllll (and very pretty) barbeque.  We had curry burgers and pepper burgers with grilled vegetables for supper on Saturday night.

Tim and Jo have finally joined the big world in “Grillin Time”    🙂

News Canadian Travellers can Use IV – News for Luke edition

Wednesday, March 19th, 2008

I feel guilty about poor Luke’s plaintive plea for news in the previous post. I have not been keeping up with the blogging lately due to a once again insane schedule. But who cares about excuses right? You want news not justification, am I right? Right! Then let’s begin…

First of all, on the mail front, we received an avalanche of parcels from our favourtie world travellers, including three bundles of newspapers and a box containing objects packed in straw.  We were not sure what these objects are so we left them packed, assuming you were shipping stuff for yourselves back home. However, what was fascinating was the packaging itself. The box was mailed from India, and was wrapped in a light canvas that was sealed not with tape, but with sealing wax, a funny 19th-century touch the kids found highly amusing. Then there were the fragile stickers which read “Marble with Care”. We all scratched our heads trying to figure out that one. The internal packaging was also very idiosyncratic, wrapped as it was in shredded paper and twine. To our western eyes it was like a parcel out of the past. Funky packaging aside, though, all arrived in good shape.

We have some pretty wild fluctuations in weather lately, hitting a high of seven above a couple of weeks ago before plunging briefly back to 30 below. We are just a few degrees below zero right now and it is getting warmer. it seems like winter might actually end someday.

Oh, on the real news front, Ann the Good had a highway mishap in the government truck. I will leave it to her to post the details, but the important part is that she is perfectly fine – not much more than a seatbelt bruise and some aches and pains. She hit some black ice on her way out of town on business and the truck rolled, smashing the windshield and filling the truck with snow as it skidded through the ditch on its roof. She was picked up immediately and brought back to town. But again, let me stress: she is perfectly fine.

Easter is upon us here, so we will be doing our usual dinner thing at our house this coming Sunday, and will be joined by the Keizers, Chris DeWolf and Mikey and Helena. There was some thought given to inviting others but everyone agreed to keep it to the core group this time (minus a certain globetrotting clan, of course!). Anyway, we will all be at our place on Sunday by three o’clock our time, so if you want to skype my computer will be on.

I am taking my Cubs on a little field trip tonight to Sonny MacDonald’s house. Sonny is quite looking forward to having a bunch of curious little faces crowded into his workshop. I have no doubt the kids will love him, as he is such a charming and talkative character. I look forward to hearing what sort of questions they have for him. With the addition of Callista and Aurora I have 16 Cubs now. The pack grows…Aroooooooo!

Spring break just ended here. Jo and I had to work through most of it, so Ian went the Kearley’s place for three days while I took the last two days off and took care of Ian and the Kearley boys at my place. Let’s just say that three days of Ian does not in any way match two days with Mitchell and Josh. It’s like taking care of a koala bear for three days and then switching to a pair of rambunctious Tasmanian devils. Dan owes me, big time. 🙂

The Keizer family (minus Johnathan) went to Edmonton to shop for Michelle’s grad dress. The mission was successful, and a dress was purchased for what I am told is a reasonable $250. Any article of clothing of mine would need to have $200 in its pocket before it was worth that much, but then, I am not a 17-year-old girl. From what I am told, they have a different attitude toward clothing than 45-year-old males. Go figure. Johnathan decided to avoid grad dress shopping and spent a week in French Camp at the Arctic Winter Games in Yellowknife. He overcame that whole “I don’t actually speak French” thing quite well, and enjoyed his week.

That’s it for the boring little details of our lives that you might consider “news”. Everything else is business and usual. We still miss you guys, and my kids look forward to your arrival home to an almost embrassing degree (especially Ian). everytime we talk aobut doing something or going someplace, Ian asks “Will the Jameses be back then?” It’s like they’re suffering reverse homesickness. They’re “friendsick” or something.

Buyt let us once again look out into the wider world as well. When those bundles of newspapers arrived I realized just how much access to world news you guys have. The papers in these Asian and African countries are of extremely high quality. I love reading them. Anyway, on to our own dyfunctional media.

 The American economy is heading into a crapper perhaps not seen since the 1930s, and of course they are going to pull us down with them. Lovely, they turn their economy into a hollowed-out ponzi scheme and we suffer the consequences. Of course, all the former American billionaires are expecting a government bail out.

And that’s all I have time for right now. I hope all continues to go well for you folks. It was great to talk to you guys over the weekend. It’s always reassuring to hear your voices. Take care, and we’ll talk to you soon.

What news from home !!

Saturday, March 15th, 2008

Hi everybody. What”s happening at home? You could all post some more news even if it is the tiniest news that is happening. To the Keizer’s, you could submit stories called “The Adventure’s of Jasper and Matty” every know and then. On these blogs you can write funny stories about your dogs.

Brendan and Wendee got married

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

Saturday, March 8, 2008.  Wonderful wedding – a great time was had by all.  Pictures 1, 2 and 3 are, of course Brendan and Wendee.  Picture 4 – Bride and father.  Picture 5 – Steve, Vern and Ron.  Picture 6 – Alanna.  Picture 7 – Leah singing.  Picture 8 – Alymer and Cheryl’s grandchildren.

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Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

I know how interested everyone is to know what is new in Saskatchewan, so here goes:

The temp. is +3, short wearing weather….. finally!

That’s it



Thursday, March 6th, 2008

A few housekeeping notes regarding the blog. As you will no doubt have noticed, I changed the template of the blog to match the James’s travel blog. As this is the companion blog to their travel blog, I liked the common theme, with the colour to differentiate between them. If anyone prefers the old theme, we could fight it out amongst the registered users and the majority opinion can rule the day. Until I hear protests, this one will stay up. This is what happens when you give me any sort of power at all. I abuse it.

Also, I noticed two new user registrations to the blog: Marc and Wendy in Nova Scotia and Claire-Ann and Brian in Hay River. Now that you folks are registered we will expect updates from the Old Country and from beautiful downtown Hay Riviera. Rick’s handy how-to tabs at the top of the sidebar make blogging so easy a Fort Smither could do it!

News Canadian Travellers Can Use III – Job Loss Edition

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Hi gang – it was great to talk to you guys yesterday. I hope your trip to the Great Pyramid at Giza went well. Joanne and I happened to catch a special on Discovery Channel last night about pyramids, and this episode focused on the Great Pyramid, so we had sort of virtual tour with you guys. Can’t wait to read your account of your trip.

Back here at home, we are in the deep freeze again, with the temperatures hovering around -32. Depressing, but a fact of life given where we live. However, it is supposed to be up to 2 above this weekend, so we are finally in for some really nice weather.

March Break starts today so Ian is spending his days at the Kearlys this week. I will take some time off next week to hang out with the kids at home.

The big news on the home front is the job cuts that come with the GNWT budget reductions. They are pretty brutal so far. In Inuvik, they have lost 31 positions at various departments so even the Premier’s home town isn’t being spared. Needless to say, local people are unhappy.

Even the hometown of Northwest Territories Premier Floyd Roland is not immune to sweeping territorial job cuts, Inuvik Mayor Derek Lindsay said.

Lindsay said Inuvik is set to lose 31 government workers as part of 135 proposed job cuts, which are part of Roland’s plan to slash $135 million from the territorial budget over the next two years.

Most of the job losses would come from the Arctic Tern Young Offender Facility, which the government wants to close down. Such cuts could cost Inuvik up to $3 million a year, Lindsay said.

“That’s a horrendous economic impact on the town of Inuvik,” he said Monday. “Inuvik’s economy is very soft right now, and this was really a bad time to get hit with something like this.”

MLAs will get to debate the proposed budget cuts and job losses, as well as the closure of the Arctic Tern facility, when they debate the draft budget in June.

But before that, Lindsay said, he wants to see the territorial government consult with the town on the closure of the correctional centre.

One Inuvik-based government employee, who did not want to be named, said Roland — who was acclaimed to his fourth term as MLA for Inuvik Boot Lake in last year’s territorial election — has “sold us down the river” with his proposed cuts.

Other communities still haven’t heard, but Smith got our news last week, and it is fairly painful, but so far not on the scale Inuvik suffered. Here’s the scoop:

The big casualty was Justice, where they amalgamated the adminsitration of the Territorial Women’s Correctional Centre and River Ridge, resulting in 5.5 jobs being lost. I don’t know exactly who is losing their jobs, although I know Grant Paziak is one of them. Kind of tough given that he and Nikita have a new baby.

At the airport, Bill Hval and Freda Schumann are laid off, and the airport will be administrated from Yellowknife.

One position is gone from Public Works, and one from ENR. I don’t know who. ITI was spared any cuts locally.

The job losses look less severe for Smith right now, but that is because all schools in the NWT and the College have been spared in this round of cuts. We are on the block next year, so Smith will get more bad news then.

That’s all the news so far on the job cutback front for now.

In other Canadian news, in a shocking development, the PCs won a huge majority in the Alberta provincial election. Dazed Albertans welcomed the return of their corporate overlords as they participated in their four year parody of democracy. Everyone predicted that the PCs would lose seats under white bread leader Ed Stelmach, but he beat the predictions and won ten more seats than Ralph Klein did in his last election.

Speaking of elections, apparently there is an election going on in the banana republic to the south. John McCain clinched the Republican nomination last night, while Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton continue to slug it out. The Democratic primary is going to be long and brutal as both candidates are basically tied at this point.

And that is it for this edition of NCTCU. Get those Africa pictures up soon! I am sure I am not the only one waiting for them. Have fun and travel safe, folks.


Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

I have written up instructions for various components of the Blog. By reading through these short FAQ’s you can “interact” with the blog by posting a new entry for us to read, making a comment on someone else’s blog post. Just click on any of the links listed below, or look at the top of the Friends Blog for the permanent links.

GNWT Job Cuts

Saturday, March 1st, 2008

As sad and devastating as they are, I sure would appreciate hearing my favorite redneck’s presumably ecstatic commentary. Unfortunately NNSL charges for their online subscription and I don’t have the time to read frequently enough to quite justify that expense. If some of you could keep Cece’s columns from the last few weeks, and any other future mention of said job cuts by her, I’d REALLY appreciate it. Thanks!