All posts for the month January, 2013

Driving Me Insane

Published January 31, 2013 by inanortherntown

I used to think that I had the smartest car in the world. Harken back to a time when I lived in a temperate rain forest and frolicked in green parks filled with gigantic evergreen trees – an almost mythical place filled with bountiful coffee shops, delicious sushi bars and cheap pedicure salons. Sob.

I digress.

Anyway, back when I drove the golden streets of the magical kingdom, two or three times a year an extreme weather warning was issued for the temperatures would dip dangerously low to zero degrees, my smart and brave car would gently notify me that I might encounter “Possible Icy Roads”. “What a miracle of modern technology” I would say to myself, “a vehicle that really cares about my family’s wellbeing.”

Now that I have been banished to the frozen tundra, I know better. This car is pure evil and will take every opportunity to mock me mercilessly.

The first time I drove here and a “Possible Icy Roads” warning was issued – I snorted ironically. “Possible Icy Roads”? Really? What gave it away? The sheets of pure ice masquerading as roads? The fact that I am reading articles like “Walk Like A Penguin“?

Still the car continued on its daily quest to shake my sanity. When I started the car, the warning would appear; then it started appearing when I would try to turn left – the warning would appear AND the back end of the car would decide to go in another direction. Now it just randomly appears: driving, attempting to turn left, waiting at traffic lights, and recently when I’ve been sitting on the couch, I can feel the car taunting me from the garage.

Icy Roads

“Possible Icy Roads” – bring it. It’s going to take more than that to unhinge me.


Top 10 Ways To Tell Your Life Has Experienced A Slight Traumatic Transformation

Published January 30, 2013 by inanortherntown

1. You read this article “Walk Like A Penguin” for serious tips and your first thought ISN’T “Wow, the writers at The Onion are getting funnier.”
Walk On Ice

2. Your pep talk to your daughter: “Yes, I know it’s cold and dark but you love going to school PLUS the days are getting lighter and spring is coming and pretty soon you won’t need to dress like a snowman. We are going to love living here.” is made null and void by promptly bursting into tears at your husband’s announcement it’s -32 and the temperature is expected to continue to drop.

3. It’s perfectly acceptable to compare your dry irritated skin with strangers in the drugstore. “Do you have dry, itchy, irritated skin AND it’s bleeding?” For the record, 4 out of 5 strangers recommend Lubriderm Intense Skin Repair for your northern winter skin needs.

4. You are pleased to observe you can cancel your facial microdermabrasion appointment as the bitter wind has peeled all the skin off your face. Winning!

5. You can watch saucy videos in public with absolutely no shame (totally SFW).

6. “Your blue feet perfectly match your beautiful eyes” is a compliment you’ll cherish for days.

7. You are amused to observe that it’s so cold the gangsters have pulled up their pants.

8. You have legitimate reasons for spending hours on Etsy looking for a super cute toque and scarf.

9. Staying inside for days on end & shuffling around the house like a recluse? Simply character development for the book you’ve always wanted to write – no need to worry.

10. You continue to invent new and exciting breakfast recipes that will support the Canadian Wheat Board. Patriotism at its finest!


I Love Working From Home

Published January 28, 2013 by inanortherntown

The coffee is always perfect and the fridge is filled with my favourite things.

The snow has been falling pretty steadily over the past few days and some of the snow drifts in our back yard are waist high. The temperature is expected to drop to -39 by tomorrow.

My husband has done nothing but look through the kitchen window and just stare…

If the weather gets much worse, I may have to let him in.

snow drifts

Sunny Sunday

Published January 27, 2013 by inanortherntown

It was another gorgeous day here today. Stepping outside, I remarked that it didn’t seem that cold. Only -10 I was informed. Another sign that slowly but surely I’m losing my mind acclimatizing.

We went for a walk this afternoon and snapped some beautiful pictures of the area and the sunset. Here’s my contribution:


I might or might not have been reading The Twitter during church this morning – but aren’t you glad I was – I guarantee this will be the nicest thing you’ve read all day. True love, sigh: The bride, 97, is keeping her name.

Here’s to a great week!

All Decked Out

Published January 26, 2013 by inanortherntown

I’ve started receiving garden catalogues in my mailbox. Spring must be just around the corner, yes? Surely the mad men of advertising wouldn’t mess with my sanity?

It was decided that today was the day to shovel the deck – we’ve received about 10 inches of snow over the past week – which really added to the already huge amount just sitting there. I was going to document the hard work in progress. Instead I made some coffee and just watched.


Behold! The Deck:

All of the promotional videos for “life is better here” – are filmed with lush green lawns and people outside without their parkas. I almost can’t believe that this snow will be gone before next winter!

Huh, just had a thought – maybe those videos aren’t filmed here at all? Maybe it’s all a ruse? Surely the mad men of advertising wouldn’t mess with my sanity?

Walk On

Published January 25, 2013 by inanortherntown


Well today took a turn sideways.  The junior member of the family woke up with an unmistakeable need to be seen by a family physician. Nothing too worrisome but we had to find a walk-in clinic.

I located the address of a walk-in clinic and then our adventure started. It turns out it wasn’t a “walk-in” clinic per se but the second floor of a mall with about 12 medical clinics all in a row. We arrived at the door of the first clinic and was greeted by a strident note instructing us to “REMOVE YOUR DIRTY BOOTS“.   Entering the clinic in my stocking feet, I asked if the sickie could be seen only to be told that I could book an appointment for February 5th. Apparently, in this area – walk-in means walk-in and see if there has been a recent cancellation in the schedule of a physician who is taking new patients and is amenable to the idea of fitting another patient onto the list. In other words, take your filthy boots & your nasty germs and get out.

I walked the entire floor in my stocking feet holding my boots; it was mildly disconcerting.  We ended up in Emerg. 

The Canadian healthcare system is just as cumbersome here as anywhere.

Currently Reading: “Drop Dead Healthy” by A. J. Jacobs.  Pretty ironic to be reading it in the Emerg Department. There is a very touching anecdote about Mr. Jacobs’ grandfather and Barack Obama Sr.  I have loved this author ever since reading “The Year of Living Biblically” which hysterically documents his journey to enlightenment.

All told, the day is ending nicely – we are all cozied up together and cheering on the Canucks. Let’s go!

It’s (not) All Downhill

Published January 23, 2013 by inanortherntown

A follow-up from yesterday’s post regarding the skiing trip being cancelled – no one from the Northern-Town family was *going* skiing.  The permission slip had to be back to school before we were officially registered in January.

The 10 year old truant-wannbe thought she had hit the jackpot.  There was a full day of activities planned that involved staying in PJs and reading; perhaps baking.  Definitely eating the results of someone’s kitchen efforts.

The phrase that greeted me at the after-school pick-up? “You know it doesn’t seem that cold.  I hope they reschedule the ski trip.” Upon further questioning, it wasn’t because she might be able to go – no, it was to try and fulfill the dream that had been so cruelly crushed.

Did you know that 2nd term of Grade 5 is the official start of recorder lessons? Neither did I.  The recorder is an instrument of torture and the song “Hot Cross Buns” lodges itself into the base of your skull and explodes out of your eyeballs.

Music practice came to an abrupt end and a cooking session commenced. We made the world’s easiest one dish chocolate cake and it’s baking in the oven now.  It would be a peaceful evening however NHL hockey is back and I swear that announcer’s voice is an instrument of torture….

Good night!

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