All posts in the Books category

Do You Like ‘Em Poached?

Published May 7, 2014 by inanortherntown

In attempting to regain my sense of humour and get back into the blogging groove, for the month of May, I’m going to be blogging about the vast topic “Things That Amuse Me”….

Today’s amusement comes courtesy of my ride to work – a veritable chariot complete with wifi!

My private limo

My private limo

We moved here in January 2013 and in March, I secured a new job. There were a lot of “pluses” to accepting the posting: it was a good career move, it seemed like it would be interesting and varied and it was close to home and my daughter’s school.

It turned out to be a nightmare.

It could always be worse

My department was one of “good ideas” and no resources. After I was hired, the “good ideas” started landing on my desk and I was so! very! enthusiastic! about them. Then they began pouring onto my desk and I casually mentioned that in addition to the good ideas, I actually had a job description and duties to complete. *shrugs*

By the end of December, I was considering developing a gambling addiction for the faint hope that I might win the lottery and be able to quit.

In February, I did win the lottery…….I was asked how I felt about being poached by another company. I responded that I felt very positive about the possibility and with that and 10 days notice – I left.

I now work 30kms north of town in a very industrial setting. It’s like no other workplace I’ve every experienced; it’s high security, I have to swipe in/out of everywhere I go, there are ENORMOUS machines and huge buildings that house very important instruments. I’d totally take a picture but I’m worried that it’s forbidden and my ID badge will be taken away and I’ll never be able to leave the work site 😉 I’ll see if I can get a picture of something when I’m safely outside the security zone.

ANYWAY, back to amusing things: I’m chauffeured to and from work each day!

A large bus with big comfy seats, electronic plug-ins and wi-fi shuttles me to and from work; it is pretty much door to door service. The bus seats approximately 80 people but there are only SIX people on my bus route. It’s like a slice of heaven. No one speaks, in fact it was part of the employee orientation – “Bus Etiquette – your bus mate has had a long day, just like you. Please be respectful and refrain from engaging in conversation“. All this free time!!! I read, I play Star Mania (thanks sharechair), I stare out the window, and sometimes I do nothing. It’s like a mini-vacation every day!!

Oh, the job? It’s great 🙂


Out Of This World!

Published May 6, 2014 by inanortherntown

Tonight, all three of us went out to a lecture given by COMMANDER CHRIS HADFIELD.

A real life astronaut all the way up here in our northern town! I was pretty excited, I had the date of ticket sales circled on my calendar for months, it’s a good thing, because they sold out at the speed of light.

His one hour lecture covered a lot of ground:

Pursuing your dreams
Preparing for failure, the NASA way
Why astronauts wear diapers during take-off
Living on the International Space Station
What time is it in space (answer: Greenwich Mean Time)
The importance of Social Media when sharing our human stories

Canada prepared for 2 years prior to his launch ensuring that we could receive the videos, tweets, and pictures he sent from the I.S.S. He took 45,000 pictures while on the I.S.S., recorded educational and amusing videos (how to wring a wet washcloth, how to clean your teeth in space)

I think my favourite tweet ever is this one:
Hadfield Tweet

He is so proud to be a Canadian, proud of our country and our way of life. He spoke about how Canada is a world leader in space robotics and of all the achievements that have happened in science and medicine following the success of the –Canadarm.

Space achievements proudly listed on the back of our new $5 bill.

Space achievements proudly listed on the back of our new $5 bill.

Following a very inspiring talk with a few pointed digs at the movie Gravity, he picked up his guitar and sang a snippet of the song, I.S.S., he co-wrote with the Barenaked Ladies and recorded for Canadian aged school children.

Definitely a highlight of my life 🙂

Currently reading: An Astronaut’s Guide To Life On Earth by Commander Chris Hadfield

Canada Reads 2013

Published February 14, 2013 by inanortherntown

I made a momentous decision that this was the year to join in the CBC’s annual “Battle of the Books“. In a new twist, they picked the books by region which is a genius idea.

From British Columbia and Yukon: Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese

From Prairies and North: The Age of Hope by David Bergen

From Ontario: Away by Jane Urquhart

From Quebec: Two Solitudes by Hugh MacLennan

From Atlantic Provinces: February by Lisa Moore

I can’t wait to get started.

The local “WinterFest” starts February 14th to the 24th and I am going to make every effort to attend/observe as many activities as I can and report back. The Opening Ceremony theme is Fire & Ice featuring fireworks choreographed to music by the international award-winning Fireworks Spectacular, ice-skating, fire dancers, bonfires, and ice-dancing demos.

This is all happening on a FROZEN RIVER.

I know I’ll lose all Canadian credibility but I’m going to say it anyway – it boggles my mind that a place can get so cold that a river will freeze and a festival, that includes FIRE DANCERS, can safely take place. Maybe I’ve watched too many cartoons because, to me, this has all of the makings of a Wile E. Coyote disaster.


I’ve got my toque, scarf, thermal unmentionables, wool socks, layers upon layers of clothing, fleece vest, and my heavy winter jacket and snow pants ready to head out into the COLD to celebrate winter. Hopefully we are celebrating the departure of winter 😉

How To Find Your Life’s Path

Published February 5, 2013 by inanortherntown

As I am in the process of actively looking , starting to look um….thinking about starting to look for a new job, I find myself at a unique time in my life where I have the luxury to assess my past achievements, review my current goals and plan for my future happiness.

Dream Image

I was recently sent a 4-step tutorial on how to find your life’s path – I decided today was the day to begin the journey. Join me on my voyage of self-discovery:

1. Be Still
I’m on the couch, I’m very still

2. Know Your Truth
This couch is very comfy

3. Understand Your Deepest Desires
A book would be perfect right now

4. Trust Your Future to Unfold Perfectly

couch and book

This was a very rewarding exercise – I hope to incorporate this as a regular practice in my life. I only wish I had started sooner.

Spice It UP

Published February 4, 2013 by inanortherntown

It’s snowing AGAIN and if I was feeling poetic I would say that it looks like dream world inside a magical snowglobe and if I was feeling optimistic I would say that snow is an equalizer and your lawn looks just as great as your neighbours; I am feeling neither. It’s sparkling fields of endless white. Beautiful but it’s wreaking havoc with our dinner time. All that white everywhere, I feel the need to cook the spiciest the most colourful food that can be politely squeezed onto a plate. However, my daughter was born with tastebuds in her fingertips and they have gone into overdrive – she just needs to wave her genetically modified fingertips in the general vicinity of her plate to know that she will ABSOLUTELY hate what has been set before her.

Tonight though was a red letter day – the meal was an absolute success. Everyone loved it – it was a new recipe that I found an hour before dinner. Salsafied Chicken and Rice – for a burrito fiesta meal. Instead of using instant rice, I used brown; I used homemade stock; I added a pinch of this spice and that spice; I removed the cheese……you get the picture: I cooked with reckless abandon and now I must pay the price. I made a meal that received 100% approval and I’ll never be able to replicate again.

My life is so tough and Baaj has zero sympathy.

Baaj is bored

Currently reading: Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin, feel free to point and laugh at me.

Wrap It Up Friday

Published February 1, 2013 by inanortherntown

Cultivating my attitude of gratitude for a great day.

In order of importance:

1. Our hot water tank died abruptly last night – thankfully we were able to find a plumber who made house calls so in less than 12 hours we were back up fully civilized.

2. Bayswater Tea mails out tea orders. I phoned this morning and my Divine Temptation tea was mailed out this afternoon! Huzzah!

3. I was sure the bubonic plague was circulating amongst the elementary school set; it seems I can remove the facemask as it is just a very nasty cold.

4. The afternoon was spent playing checkers and drinking tea.

Currently reading: The Trail of the Spellmans – Document #5 by Lisa Lutz. This is my favourite type of book – it’s amusingly absurd and incredibly well written. Highly recommended!

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!

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