Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas!!

Have a wonderful holiday my lovely blog followers!
I am one of those people who believes that Jesus is "the reason for the season" so Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, but most of all, Merry Christmas.
Hold your family close. Rest. Reflect. Begin 2011 on a positive note and thank you for following this little blog of mine! :)

Here's me reflecting on the crazy, eventful, unforgettable and forgettable year that was 2010.
(A paradox if there ever was one!) xo

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Have I mentioned before that I love to read? That's a slight understatement. I am absolutely obsessed with books. If something catches my interest, the first thing I'll do is buy a book on the subject. So, since it's been a long time since I reviewed a book on my blog, and since my most recent read was "Open" by Andre Agassi, I figured it was time to promote an absolutely outstanding book. If you are a fan of tennis you will not be disappointed by this incredible point-by-point view of the sport. But even if you are not, it is such a blatantly honest chronicle of Agassi's lifelong search for identity, something that so many of us can relate to, that I believe anyone can enjoy this autobiography.

Tied to my love of books is my love of learning about new things - people, places, philosophies, histories, and, most recently, Svenskt Tenn! A recent item in my etsy shop, caused me to research a bit about where it came from. Little did I know that I'd soon be learning about Swedish interior design. As it turns out, Svenskt Tenn is an interior design shop located in Stockholm, Sweden. It was founded in 1924 by Estrid Ericson, an art teacher from Hjo who invested a small inheritance she received into the company. Together with the established pewter artist Nils Fougstedt, the company began to offer modern pewter objects at reasonable prices. Today, the shop features furniture and other objects by some of the most skilled Swedish designers and craftsmen. And here's my own little, unique Svenskt Tenn item:

Monday, December 6, 2010

After high school I studied theatre. I have acted in and directed dozens and dozens of plays. But the one form of theatrical performance that always scared me was improv. Standing on stage in front of an audience with nothing but yourself and your wit was a terrifying concept. Well, never one to let a fear get the best of me, I joined am improv troupe - The Crosseyed Rascals. Our Xmas show took place on Saturday night and it was a blast.

Sure, not everything was perfect. For example in one scene I found myself trapped under a tiger named Simba with no clue where the scene was going. Thankfully my partners Brad and Mitch baled me out of that one! But overall, the show was a huge success. The audience laughed the night away and the icing on the fruitcake was that I conquered a fear. So let me encourage you to do something that scares you. Even if you end up under a large jungle cat, chances are someone will show up to save your sorry ass!

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Generally, I have no trouble falling asleep. I love sleep. It is my favourite thing in the world to do. But lately I've been having a bit of trouble landing in dream world. I'm not sure I think, and ponder, and end up here, at my blog, and I write a few things down thinking maybe someone out there will read this...perhaps they're battling with their own insomnia...and I end up posting a few pictures of some new items in my etsy shop that I'm really excited about. So if you're here and you can't sleep, check it out and thanks for looking. Now I'm off to bed.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

View through the screen door.
One of a few reasons why I wish I was somewhere other than Manitoba right now.
O Snow. How I wish I could delight in you. But you only partner with cold. So I can't.
On another note, please stop by my etsy shop for great vintage xmas gifts! I'm offering free shipping!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Well, after many, many months my Etsy shop is now open again!!
I'm pretty excited to get back into the vintage business. :)
Still searching for direction, but might as well have some fun while I'm at it right? xo
Please stay tuned...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Well hello my lovely blog followers! It's been awhile.
Did you miss me??
I am still in Winnipeg, MB, Canada. The Republic of Georgia did not pan out, so now I'm here searching for direction, unsure of from where it will come.
But I just wanted to let you know that I'm back and will be using this blog on my quest for a new life plan. And, right now, I'm wondering if it will be found at the local Starbucks, since I seem to be spending all my time here.
Talk at you soon peeps.
Take care.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Down South

Hello blog followers and friends!
I'm taking a bit of a break from the blog as I let the rest of my summer play out in Winnipeg, MB.
But I will definitely be updating it as soon as I make a decision about where to go come September.
Right now the Republic of Georgia appears to be winning out, but one never knows where life will take them. (especially me!!)
If you want to keep in contact please feel free to email me anytime at:
Take care, Mahsi Cho (that's "Thank you very much" in Slavey) for following and Happy Summer!!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

One More Goodbye

Tomorrow I leave Fort Good Hope to head back to Winnipeg for the rest of the summer. I haven't really made a big deal in my blog about leaving the North, because for the longest time I thought I would be returning in September for another placement with Frontiers Foundation.
Funny how life never seems to quite work out how you think it will...
I've been offered a job teaching English in the Republic of I must decide if I will do that come September. Yes, the Republic of Georgia. It borders Russia, but is also close to the western Asian influences of Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Talk about going from one extreme to the other.
But for now my attention is focused on saying goodbye to Fort Good Hope...something that is going to be very hard to do.

Friday, July 16, 2010


The Assembly closed today. It was here and gone so quickly!
Also, more importantly, Charlie Tobac's funeral was today. Fort Good Hope truly has lost one of its best. I think that, besides a way for family and friends to say goodbye, funerals are a way to remind those of us who are still on this earth to cherish every minute. It's sad that it often takes a funeral to do this though. Life can be over in the blink of an eye. And like Laura (Charlie's wife) said at his funeral today, "I wasn't ready for him to go." Are you ready? Am I ready? Am I ready to leave this world? Am I ready if anyone in my family were to suddenly pass away? These are the things I think about at funerals...but I don't want to think about them only at cliche as it sounds, I do want to live each day as if it were my last. This is not something I have always done, but it's something I want to strive each day to do.
Here is a picture I took this afternoon as I was walking to the church for the funeral. It's of the older part of town.

Cherish every moment and tell those people who you love that you love them!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Yesterday I participated in a workshop presented by humourist, wellness worker and healer, Don Burnstick. I also attended his Comedy Show in the evening. Apparently (according to his website) he is "one of Canada's best comedians" and I had never even heard of him! I believe it to be a true claim though. His show gently and sometimes not-so-gently mocks White people, Native people, the differences between White people and Native really was hilarious, and I'm glad I got to see him live and participate in his workshop.
Don Burnstick
 I look like such a DWEEB in this photo, but I figured my mom would like to see it so that's why I'm posting it, but only a small size hahaha. Yeesh. Such a Dweeb...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Having fun in the Field
During the day, the Dene Nation delegates hold meetings and presentations, conducting official business. I haven't managed to make it to any morning sessions yet, but I plan to! The evening, though, is when the fun and games happen. Yesterday in the town field there was a "feeding of the fire" ceremony. Then I took part in a sharing circle presented by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. I've mentioned it in a previous blog it! And then, I witnessed for the first time, the famous Dene Hand Games! I've never seen anything like it. The energy, passion and vigor that these guys put into playing was awesome. I'm still not sure of all the rules or what the point is lol. But watching it is like watching a show. Exciting and very entertaining.
Feeding the Fire ceremony
Men playing the Dene Hand Games
Hand Games
And just for information sake, these pictures were taken at about midnight. This is what night time looks like in the North!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Dene Drummers
Yesterday evening the Dene Nation Assembly kicked off with a late yet lively Opening Ceremonies in the town field. I have been hearing about the Assembly non-stop since I arrived in Good Hope, so it was very exciting to finally see it come to fruition. It was to a somber backdrop though. Two days ago a loved and respected member of the Fort Good Hope community, Charlie Tobac, passed away very suddenly. Charlie was a truly kind and generous soul. He was so dedicated to the traditional Aboriginal way of life, yet so willing to share his knowledge with outsiders. He is, in fact, one of the people who met my parents in Winnipeg during the Residential School Convention. He will be so, so missed.
Fittingly, the Ceremonies began with the Dene Drummers taking the stage and playing a prayer song for Charlie. Then there were some very amazing drum dances, of which I took part!! And a fun jig, twist and jive competition, of which I didn't take part. lol.
 Angus during the prayer song (I think this is one of my favourite pictures)
Drum Dance!!
In honour of Charlie I'm re-posting this picture. He's 2nd from the right between his wife, Laura, and my Dad. He will be missed.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

His birthday was yesterday, but I didn't have time to blog so today's post is in honour of him.
Arthur was one of the first people I met in FGH. At first I was kind of scared of him cuz he was very mellow and having a "not too cheery" day. ;) Little did I know that I was soon to become friends with a most trustworthy, loyal, intelligent and generous soul, who also has the BEST sense of humour. "Stop saying 'nice one' Arthur!!!" lol
In my quest to reach out, make more friends and become a better friend myself, Arthur has taught me a LOT!
Thanks so much Fur-Fur!! I will miss you soooo much! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It begins on July 12 and runs till the 16th - the 40th Annual Dene Nation Assembly, and this year it's happening in Fort Good Hope. Everyone is very busy getting ready for it, and I'm helping out where I can. :) The Dene Nation is the people group that most Aboriginals in the Northwest Territories belong to, and delegates are coming from all over the North. It should be very exciting.

And in other news...I forgot to share another recent "Only in the North" story. While I was waiting for my plane from Fort Good Hope to Inuvik (delayed 2 hours!) I got to talking with Douglas who works at the tiny Fort Good Hope airport. I told him where I was going and he quickly exclaimed, "My sister lives in Inuvik. I'll give her a call and ask her to pick you up at the airport and drive you into town." Needless to say, Douglas's sister Keltie met me a couple hours later in Inuvik. She was sooo nice and did indeed drive me the 10 kms from the airport to town. Thanks Douglas and Keltie. Everyone knows someone somewhere who can do such-and-such for you up here! :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Back in Good Hope :)

So the rest of my time in Inuvik was awesome! Whenever I travel, inevitably, I'll end up meeting and having great conversations and/or adventures with strangers who quickly become friends. Crystal is one such person. I met her in a shop in Inuvik. We instantly got along and she invited me to hang out with her on Canada Day. We had a BLAST!! I adore those perfect spontaneous moments that will never be repeated yet stay with you forever.

And now I'm back in Good Hope...with only two weeks to go till I head back down south for the rest of the summer!! I don't want to think about that tho, cuz I want to blissfully avoid, at least for two more weeks, the decisions that will have to be made when I return "home". Plus, I don't really want to leave Good Hope...and I can honestly say that I've never said that about anywhere before!! Maybe my decisions won't be as tough to make as I fear...
Here's one more shot from Inuvik. They have the most Northern community greenhouse in the world! I went and toured it. Awesome.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Sidewalks, traffic lights, more than two stores, restaurants, ordering from a menu, a haircut!, vanilla lattes, Pizza Hut, mmmm Inuvik. :)

The weather's been a bit cool and cloudy, but that did not deter me from enjoying my new HAIRCUT!!! Hooray! Thank you Stephanie from 'Northern Hilites' salon!! :)

The famous Igloo Church

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fort Good Hope, from the River
Yesterday I went on a four hour boat ride to Norman Wells with Angus!! It was very long, but so very beautiful to travel down the Mackenzie on such a clear, sunny day. And speaking of sun, I remembered to put sunscreen on my face, except for my forehead! LOL! I'm so glad I have bangs, cuz my forehead got sooo burned, it looks ridiculous.
Here's couple shots from the journey:
 The Ramparts, near Good Hope
At the dump in Norman you see him??

There he is!!
Our Captain...Angus!!
And speaking of Angus...a couple posts ago I mentioned that he was in Winnipeg last week for a Residential Schools Convention, and that he met my parents!!! Well here's a photo from their meeting. Yay!! With them are Charlie and Laura, two other Good Hopers who were in Winnipeg for the convention.
Angus, Bonnie (Mom), Pat (Dad), Charlie & Laura
Sooo awesome to connect Good Hope with Winnipeg! :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bon Voyage Anouk!

Wow! How can a friendship form so fast and a couple months fly so quickly?? Anouk, who I've mentioned in some previous blog posts, is the other recreation assistant that I've been working with up here. As her term was from Sept/09 to today! June 23/10, this morning she began her long journey back to Belgium, her home country.

Throughout these past couple months, Anouk became so much more than merely my co-worker. She was the person who met me at the airport when I arrived in Good Hope, and she guided me through the first weeks of this crazy journey. For that I will forever be in her debt. She was my roommate, and was often at the receiving end of some venting when I needed a sounding board. She helped me learn how to do a job that had no job description and how to be confident in a place where one is an obvious outsider! Not only did she teach me a lot about composting and cooking, but she taught me so much about how to be a friend. Aside from a best friend in grade 6, I never really formed close friendships over the years. There are a variety of reasons for this - I move around a lot, I tend to lean on the introverted side, I don't trust people very easily - but it is something that I've often wanted to try and change. I still have a long way to go, but hanging around people like Anouk (and other "Herd" members - Arthur, Ida and Angie) I'm slowly learning what good, solid friendships look like.
Anouk doesn't like pictures of herself posted on the Internet. So, sadly, you don't get to see what she looks like here...but just picture a beautiful 19 year old Belgian with shoulder-length brown hair, non-stop energy, sparkling eyes, and a sunny smile. I'll miss you Anouk!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

What perfect weather for a cookout and some fun in the town field for National Aboriginal Day! Here are some beautiful Fort Good Hope faces enjoying the holiday...
(that's the Chief on the right)
Yours truly with my buddy Antoine
That famous Aboriginal past time, passed down through the generations, taught to the young and cherished by the entire community...balloon and egg racing. lol.