Category Archives: Haliburton Highlands

Operation Surprise Gooble-Gooble!

As you know travelling in the Arctic is never 100%…weather happens, mechincal delays happen…sometimes you just don’t land when you want to land.  Friday was one of those moments. The weather in Kuujjuaq  turned from fall to winter overnight!  There was tons of snow and delays for lots of the Nunavik Community flights.  My flight to Iqaluit went as scheduled, however we couldn’t land in Iqaluit–it was too windy, so we headed back to Kuujjuaq.


After some phone calls and finding out the next available flight from Kuujjuaq to Iqaluit would happen on Wednesday (as the Monday flight was full)…I headed south to Montreal from Kuujjuaq.

Then I started my super surprise for my family.  Once I collected my bags I headed upstairs to Air Canada and spoke with a really nice and friendly lady. (seriously, I was surprised…but there are some GREAT people that work on the ticket booking counter!) I was able to get a one-way  flight into Toronto on the last plane.  I then texted my brother, John and asked if he and Kat could pick me up from the airport…which he did!  It was so awesome to see them.


(SIde note: this display greeted me at the Toronto of my biggest beefs with that airport is that you have to pay a loonie or toonie to get a cart and I never have change and always have too many bags… but apparently CIBC is paying for them right now. Bonus!)

Then on Saturday morning, I got up and phone mum from John and Kat’s… I *might* have stretched the truth…and said that I had just gotten home from Iqaluit and I was tired and needed a nap.  I asked her how to make pumpkin pies, we talked about our dinner plans over the weekend…and I hung up.  Then John, Kat and I (plus Gus) headed into the car for the hour drive over to mum’s.  On the way Kat called mum and asked if she had any lunch…she said no, so we picked up subs for all of us.  Then the surprise happened….John and Kat headed into mum’s… (I stayed in the hallway of the apartment).  As they were putting out the subs Kat said something like… “that’s weird there’s 4 subs?” John said something like… “Maybe there’s someone else joining us?”…and Kat walked to the door and said…”let’s just check the hallway..” and IN I WALKED.  My mum was thrilled and shocked…and didn’t have a heart attack.


We had a fabulous afternoon talking and driving around Lindsay… then had a little dinner together before John and Kat (and Gus) headed home.  (They were going to Kat’s family dinner the next day…)

On Sunday we got up and headed up to Haliburton.  We stopped in at a good friend of my mum’s…it was so nice to visit Lynn for a short, quick visit! Then we went to my great Aunt Anna’s for a visit.  Dinner at Jamie and Dana’s was scheduled for 5pm… we got to Aunt Anna’s at 4:15… she lives just next door to my brother’s house.  Mum left at 4:30pm to head to put on a casserole she made for the Thanksgiving dinner…and I stayed to visit with Aunt Anna a bit longer.  (I hadn’t visited with her since last Fall when she came to visit my mum after her surgery.) It was lovely to catch up.  I walked over (with a chair because Jamie had already borrowed one from Aunt Anna for dinner)…at 5pm to join dinner!  Let’s just say Dana and Jamie and the boys…were very surprised to see me.  Unfortunately I didn’t get any awesome photos from dinner.  Except for these two taken with my fuzzy dying iPhone 3!

nephew 1

Samuel and Benjamin are getting so big!  Benjamin read the funniest story book…and Samuel played a really funny bean game with us…. all about planting and trading different kids of bean crops… (sorry dont’ remember the name).  But it was a fun game to play after dinner!  It was so great to see everyone… thanks Jamie and Dana for hosting Thanksgiving dinner…the turkey and all the fixings were wonderful!

The last surprise was a visit to Haliburton Lake… and to my Gramma and Bart’s cottage. It was so much fun to see Gramma and Bart.  We got caught up and even brought out old family photo books….to see some shots from the mid to late 80s.  Lots of great fun remembered. Thanksgiving007

Before I left I had to do a ‘selfie’ a tradition I started in February. This one is another for the memory books. Thanksgiving008It was a whirl-wind weekend…and too fast I was sitting on a train heading back to Ottawa to catch a flight back north the next day.

I’m going to leave you with my all-time favourite photos taken the fall of 2010…by my friend Ryan Bealer!

sneaking up on Turkeys 101

Operation Surprise Gooble-Gooble was complete for once I was thankful for a weather delay…and not being able to arrive to a planned destination!  I learned once I got back to Nunavut…that there was bad weather in Pang all weekend…and people didn’t arrive home until Monday!!! So this plan worked perfectly.  All in all it was a great thanksgiving surprise…I have so much to be thankful for….hope you all had a great day!

Weekend Fun…

This past weekend I had a chance to have a break from taking care of my mum 24-7!  My sis-in-law came up to Lindsay to spend the weekend with my mum.  Thanks so much Kat for giving me a break!  I went on a bit of a road trip north to Dorset, Ontario. It was roughly a 2 1/2hour car ride…with a quick stop in Minden at the liquor store.

(PS. for this first photo…I wasn’t driving or even in a car was parked off on the left hand side of the photo…I was just standing on the road to get the photo!)

Weekend Fun Weekend Fun Weekend Fun

My cousins decided to celebrate their 45th and 50th birthdays this year to have a HUGE party at Camp Dorset (complete with a pig roast!) Being the awesome people they are…they turned the party into a fundraiser for Camp Dorset.  This camp is run by the Lions Club…it’s an awesome facility that has everything a camp should have…lake front, walking trails, and even a pool! The best part about this camp? well it has a full dialysis clinic so that people that require dialysis can go have a ‘camp’ experience with their families…while still getting their medical treatments.  I stayed for the two nights in an ‘efficiency’ unit basically a small bachelor with a full kitchenette… so cozy and comfy, complete with board games!

Friday night…there was a fun game of bingo..and lots of prizes to be won! I won a really cool snowman nightlight! My cousin called the numbers…in one of the games we were working on getting an X…so that meant he didn’t need to call any “N’s”.  The first time he picked up the N he looked at it…and said “38” into the microphone!  He didn’t call the N… He did an awesome job, for a first time bingo caller!


The next night was the night of the pig roast, music and fundraiser…let’s get to the food…it was an amazing spread!  Everyone that came brought either a salad or dessert or side…

mmmmm food!!! mmmm my plate of food!

The fundraiser was set up into a few different things. (I really didn’t take photos of all the awesome displays…oops!) But let me tell you about a few of the fundraising things… There was a “guess how many Jelly Beans in the jar”.  A new fundraising idea to me was where a deck of cards was face down glued to a board.  There was ONE card face up.  People for $2 could sign their name on the back of a playing card that was face down.  After all the cards were “bought” the winner was the one that signed the back of the card that matched the face up card.  Such a cool idea!  There was a silent auction for lots of wonderful donated items.  There was also a ‘raffle’ draw for some items…where you buy a ticket and put it in the bag, and then one is pulled to be the winner!  There was a 50-50 draw.  The big prizes were in the door prizes… 1 for $20 or 3 for $50.  There was a cooler that plugs into your car/truck, a Tassimo Machine, and an iPad!

The first thing I won in the evening was a $50 gift certificate for The Keg (a really nice steak restaurant here in Canada). I “thought” I won it since I had a ticket ending 5-8-1…but me being a person that switches numbers around…the winning ticket was actually 5-1-8… So that was kind of embarrassing going up to claim a prize only to be told…you didn’t have the right ticket.  So I went to the back of the room, and continued to check all the tickets I had…and it ended up that I also had the ticket ending 5-1-8 too so I won it!

The draws went on… and I didn’t win anything.  Then they started to draw for the Big Prizes…since the tickets were for all three prizes they made the decision if you won, your ticket would go back in the draw to have a ‘chance’ at winning one of the other prizes. The had all the tickets in an awesome drum that rolled and could be ‘shaken’ up…(that’s the bonus of doing a fundraiser at a camp run by the Lions because these things were there!  The first draw was for the plug in cooler.  Then they drew for the Tassimo Machine…and I won!  I made my cousins double check my numbers before I ran up… (didn’t want to embarrass myself.) I was pretty excited…I don’t drink coffee, but then again I won something so it was pretty cool!  I had just gotten back to the back of the room…when they drew for the iPad…. and then my cousin with a smile on her face said…my numbers again!  YES, that’s right… my ticket was pulled yet again!  So I went back up to the front… so stoked..because I really wanted the iPad.  I made the immediate decision to give back the Tassimo to be re-drawn…it just seemed like the right thing to do!

I WON!!! :)

I’m pretty happy with the iPad…still trying to figure out what apps to download!  (Let me know of any great ones that are your favourites…and I’ll check them out!)

The rest of the night was filled with amazing live music.  This was a mother, daughter, son-in-law team (I think that was what the relationships were)…but they were awesome!  Had so much fun listening to the live music…and talking with my cousins.

live music...

It was a great weekend. Thanks to my cousins that invited me…it was an awesome party! I came back to Lindsay refreshed and ready to take care of my mum again…which was the point of my weekend away.  It made me so happy to be close enough to family to be able to attend events like this…that’s one thing that’s a bit of downer when you live at the Arctic Circle…you are so far away from family.  So during this time I’m embracing the time and the moments I do have while I’m in the south!

Family Time…

After my last post about cutting my hair I was excited about my plan of spending time with family on the beach at my Gramma’s Cottage.

The cottage is a special place to me…it’s hard to put into words what a few cottages sitting beside each other on land and a bit of sand surrounded my water really mean to me. It’s more than the place, it’s the people that come to spend time here that is what’s so special.  It seems to be the place that for a few weeks every summer extended family from my grandpa’s side of the family gather. Where there’s swimming, playing on the sand, relaxing reading books and catching up on our lives and what has happened the past year.  When I think about my heart home…this is it!  A place where I spent my summers with my brothers and grandparents embraced in the heart of my family.  Spending the days going to swimming lessons, water skiing and tubing…

To put it simply it’s my home-away-from-home… a place that refreshes me and makes me who I am.  It reminds me that I’m connected to a larger family who I love dearly and they love me.

My mum and I headed up to the lake…on the last Saturday in July to head for a swim.

One of my mum’s first cousins was teaching his son how to water ski.  That brought back many memories of me probably close to the same age doing the same from this beach…except it was my Great Aunt Marg and her son Hugh that taught me in their orange boat.

The last Sunday of July every year my Gramma’s family gathers at the cottage.  It’s a reunion that has happened for years…there’s a book that you get to sign your ‘attendance’ my gramma is the keeper of the book.  The book has my signature from my early printing days… Its a tradition that has been carried over from generation to generation…I hope one that will continue forever!

It was a perfect day with the sun shining… of course we started off with a swim or chatting on the beach!

I might just have a bit of tattoo envy… I love my cousin’s tatt, and the special meaning behind it!  I so need to get my ink.

It was neat to see my nephews playing on the beach… the next generation building sandcastles and playing in the sand. I couldn’t believe how much they have grown since Christmas.  To think that they will both be in school this September! 

Even the 4 legged guests at the reunion enjoyed the beach… though not sure why they decided to get wet and then roll their faces into the sand! lol

 One of the best things about the reunion is the spread of amazing food that magically appears on my gramma’s table.  

I made sushi this year…some just veg and some with Arctic Char.  But the food choices were all so yummy…

After filling your plate it was all about finding a spot to sit and let the eating begin!

There were so many amazing desserts…. my cousin made these ‘eggs and bacon’ chocolates…she makes them for her bed and breakfast.  They were SO YUMMY!!!

After dinner there was more visiting until it was time to head home!

My gramma and her 1st cousin…

These two photos were ‘unexpected’ and discovered them when I downloaded my photos off of my camera.  I was playing a game with my nephews…a catching sort of game.  I think one of my cousins must have picked up my camera to catch it!  I’m thankful they did.  🙂

It was a perfect day.  So many great conversations…my holiday was going to plan relaxing time with family at the cottage. Then on Monday morning I was reminded that plans are great, but sometimes they just don’t happen.  And in those moments, when you see your perfect ‘plan’ unravelling in front of your eyes…you have to grab on and go with it… no use fighting it!

My mum finally got a place to live in the same city she works.  For the last 2 years she’s been boarding with family friends…Monday to Thursday.. and then weekending it in Haliburton. It has been a good situation for my mum, but lately she’s wanted to be more settled in the city she works.  So on Monday she confirmed she got the place, Wednesday we drove to Lindsay to pick up keys and Friday the movers came!

This was amazing news for my mum… but just meant that the last 8 days of my vacation wasn’t able to go as planned….it involved: boxes, packing, cleaning, unpacking, trips to the dump, trips to the give-a-away store…a bunch of work.

I must admit…I was a bit of stressed out nelly some of that week.  I did manage a quick trip up to the lake to have a swim and chill out with some cousins… (there was an amazing chess game happening on the beach!)

But all in all I was thankful I was with my mum to help her out- I would have felt horrible if I was up north and not able to help her out.  That’s what family does…when you need help, it is offered no questions asked!  I recognize that not everyone can be so free with their time to help out on such short notice.  But that’s ok because I know that these people do other things to help out my mum at different times of the year when they are available! It all works out in the end.  I was just thankful that I was on holidays and had free days in order to help out my mum.

We got all the packing done with a little help from my aunt and my mum’s cousin. They showed up at the right time to help pack up the kitchen, just when I thought we wouldn’t get it all done… then it was done by Thursday Evening.  And on Friday morning the truck arrived.

We used Lindsay-Peterborough Movers & Storage… they are such a professional amazing company.  If you are moving in this area, I recommend using this company.  I’ve used a few different companies during my moves in the past 3 years, and they were the best!

The driver and two young guys (Brock and Nic) came to help take my mum’s stuff from Haliburton to Lindsay.  (I feel bad but forgot the driver’s name!) This team worked so well… and made the move go so smoothly.  Their chatter and jokes made the time fly by, thank you! Here’s the truck all packed and ready to head to Lindsay.

The rest of Friday and Saturday was spent cleaning and unpacking my mum.  My little Bro and sis-in-law were able to come help… which was great! It was nice to spend a bit more time with them… even though were in a stifling hot apartment, unpacking and cleaning…rather than sitting on the beach at the cottage! By the end of Saturday we had made my mum’s apartment into a HOME!

Then my vacation plans got back onto track… my mum were able to spend Sunday night, Monday and Tuesday together in Ottawa.  Yes, there was some shopping… but there was also good food, and relaxing too!!!  The best part was time just with my mum…I hope you enjoy your new home!!

Quick Update via Photos!

It’s hard to believe a week has gone by since leaving Pang. It’s been such a full week full of events some planned and some unexpected.  Here is the crazy list: attending my 2nd cousin’s wedding, going to my childhood church with family, going to see a play in Haliburton, driving to Toronto & back, a photo shoot & meeting my friend’s newest addition to their family and attending my Great-Uncle’s funeral.  It honestly my vacation hasn’t been that much of a rest so far…it’s been a lot of ‘early’ mornings…hopefully after my trip to BC for work I’ll get more rest!

Now to back-track a little bit…

I did get out of Pang late last Thursday evening…and then flew on to Ottawa and then Toronto on Friday!  Here’s some shots from my flights… all taken with my iPhone!  Cumberland Sound taken about 10pm look at all that ice!  Top right photo is my meal on Canadian North going to Ottawa, and then my snack on my Porter flight.  I was able to jump on the 6pm flight, instead of the 7pm one…that was a bonus!

I was greeted in Toronto by some familiar sights… I didn’t get to Salad King until Tuesday…but it was worth the wait!!! mmmmmm Pad Thai–with 5 chilis!!!

After getting my car keys…I started on the first of many ‘car-trips’ in the last week!  I followed John and Kat up to Haliburton Friday night.  First we stop was to get some dinner…mmmm ‘drive-thru’! Saturday morning I headed to the grocery store, and was a bit overwhelmed at the choices and prices…

Saturday afternoon…I headed to my 2nd cousin’s wedding.  It was at the top of the ski hill that I learned to ski on, and then had seasons passes for years…. it was my first time at the top, without snow! Most of the guests had a ‘short’ ride up on the chair lift… some got to take the back ‘trail’ up in a huge truck! Here’s Jamie and Dana & the boys… coming up!

It was a PERFECT afternoon and weather for a wedding!   Such a gorgeous bride!!! 🙂

Then there was some time for a few ‘family’ shots… For the last 7 years I’ve tried to take a family photo every year…(I think there was one year I’ve missed during that time)… but it’s been a pretty neat tradition.  The only person missing in this photo is Gus (John & Kat’s dog)! This year I asked a cousin (who has a photography business).. to snap a few photos for me! Thanks so much Krystal… I LOVE the end result!

Loving these new shots!!!!!! (I’m still in shock of how much my nephews have grown in 6months…they are HUGE!)

More snaps of family…. I love the shot of my mum and my uncles!

What else have I been up to since coming south?? Well I’ve had my first ‘official’ cone from Kawartha Dairy… (this was a small peanut butter & chocolate…mmm mmm good!)

On Sunday afternoon my mum & I went to one of first plays at the Haliburton Highlands Summer Festival… (I missed the first one Friday night!) It was called Within Reach.

This performance created by the Highlands Summer Festival, directed by Scot Denton, is a poignant and sometimes hilarious look at the history of education for young women. This collective work by young performers of Haliburton County, a rare and thoughtful combination of dance, theatre and music, explores the journey for women as they look for an education “equal to that of their brothers” and celebrates where they are today.  {source}

It was FABULOUS! I can’t wait to head to the next play, later this summer!


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