Tuesday, March 31, 2009

They're here!!!!

Click to enlarge

Three weeks ahead of last year....the Icebergs are here!!


There's a lot more sea ice out there today. It's really packed in and it looks like one solid mass of ice. That makes for a huge white carpet effect. Then when you add in the the cloudy (or is it foggy?) skies and the whiteness of the iceberg ...it makes it difficult to see them very well...but I was able to get a few pictures (although I realize not that clear or good).

Oh well....stay tuned...I'm sure I'll add more in during the coming days!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sea Ice!! Woohoo!!

What a difference a day makes.

This pic was taken yesterday. If you look way off on the horizon, you can see the sea ice...but most of the ocean is open water.

Click pics to enlarge them.

Same shot taken today....the sea ice has moved in. It was *amazing* to see the ice chunks crashing around, colliding into each other and smashing up against the rocks. I know it looks like snow covered ice...but it's not...it's ice chunks/pieces and they're all packed in together so it looks like a frozen over lake. The noise all this crashing makes is unbelievable!

We heard on the news tonight the ice extends about 200 miles off our shores.

Sooo...with all this sea ice....can the icebergs be far behind????

(We also heard on the news...there are a lot more icebergs 'out there' this year than there were last year....and last year was a bumper crop. We just have to hope they make their way by here.)

Stay tuned....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Jake turns 11

At home, opening presents

Pyjama pants from Brittney,

At the restaurant,

Getting ready to be sung to...

by a moose!!! He actually sang too...moved his head and the whole bit!

Back home for cake

Wow...11 already...time sure flies. His actual birthday isn't until Thursday, but we had our family celebration on Saturday. He chose Klondike Jakes for his restaurant. We went there for lunch, then Tyler, Brittney, Larry and of course the birthday boy, went bowling. Mom was there for moral support lol. After bowling was finished we came home for some chocolate cake.

Happy Birthday, Jake!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Decision Made....


As many of you know, we took a (huge to us) risk a couple of years ago. After vacationing here in Newfoundland and Labrador for a few summers, followed by two extended stays (two months each year), we fell in love with "The Rock" (The Rock is a nickname of sorts for Newfoundland as the whole island province is really...well....one big rock).

That's when the risk came into play. We are not risk takers at the best of times....but after discussing it to death for three years, we decided to take the plunge. After all, we weren't getting any younger and who knew what the future would hold. We didn't want to look back on our life and regret not trying. So Larry took an unpaid leave of absence from his job in Toronto, we sold our house, packed up everyone and everything and moved to 'The Rock'.

Larry had no job to come to (but did manage to get one in 11 days of arriving here. It wasn't in his field...but an income nonetheless).

We had no family or any real connections here.

We just really, really liked it. It's practically impossible to translate into words why we liked it so much.....it's something that must be experienced to really understand what we are talking about. Those who are "come from aways" (the Newfoundland term for people who are not from Newfoundland but 'come from away') will understand.

Here's an attempt at a list (in no particular order) of some of the reasons why we like it here

** The beauty of the province...the ocean with it's majestic icebergs, graceful whales and all other things it has to offer)
** The magnitude of the rocks.
** The clean, clear, fresh air.
** The warmth of the people.
** The weather and yes...you've read that right...we mostly like the weather here in our part of NL. I used to get rather frightened of all the Tornado watches and warnings as well as severe weather warnings that were issued (with increasing frequency) for the area of Ontario where we used to live.
** The pace of life.
** The wide open spaces.
** The uncomplicated lifestyle.
** No teacher bashing
** And....I have to mention Danny (story here). He is our premier and honestly....I've never known a politician like him....I'm *still* amazed that he does not collect a salary...he donates it all to charity! He stands up for his province and for his people. Some may not agree with his tactics...but I have to give him credit...he stands up for Newfoundland and Labrador.

The list goes on......

Now, we didn't just land here in Newfoundland and Labrador and take off running. We've had some growing pains for sure. Lots of things are done differently here....and I know some Newfoundlanders get a kick out of our "mainlander" ways. Oh well...we need to know things so we ask questions...that's the only way we'll learn, right? After the laughter dies down, we always get an answer though and then we know. (Like my missing iceberg....I couldn't understand how it could just go missing....it seemed to fall off of the radar screen. How can an iceberg just go missing....so I asked our Newfoundlander friend. He laughed and laughed...."I just laugh at ya" he said....before telling me "the wind probably changed direction and he went on...way out into the ocean, out of radar." Oh ya....it's a BIG ocean with no boundaries....I keep forgetting that...The next shore east is Ireland! Yes...it's a big ocean. I'm used of little lakes --- 23-feet-deep-at-it's-deepest-spot lakes, with boundaries. Even Lake Ontario (one of the Great Lakes) has boundaries....and nothing as big as an iceberg could just float away and disappear.)

We find the things that took a long time to do in Ontario, are done quickly here and without excruciating effort (like when we bought our house...closing date was less than two weeks from when our offer was accepted). The flip side is true as well though....the things that were done quickly in Ontario, take longer here. It has taken some adjusting to get used of these changes.

We get a lot of questions and shocked looks from Newfoundlanders on why we would choose to move here...especially when neither of us are from here or have relatives here. It's nothing to hear, "Let me get this straight....you chose to move from Ontario to Newfoundland????"

After awhile, we decided we'd just quit telling people we were from Ontario. That worked well......until we started to talk. "Where are you from?" we'd get asked. "Pouch Cove" we'd say. Then they'd say, "No...where are you really from? That's no Pouch Cove accent you've got there."

Larry's leave of absence from his job in Toronto is now up. The time is now..the decision had to be made....he either had to go back to his job or resign his position.

This decision did not come easy to us....many things to consider. But....after much thought, discussions, research etc....we've decided to stay here! Larry is taking early retirement from Toronto and will continue on with tutoring and substitute teaching (a full-time job would be best).

Soooo.....we're looking forward to this next chapter of our life.

Who knows what that will entail.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Welcome to Spring!

This is the view out of our front window on the first day of Spring. Notice how all the snow (all but one little patch) has gone.


This is the same view out of our front window on the second day of Spring. Our friend showed up with his blade equipped quad and cleaned out our driveway.

Jake helping to shovel snow off of the front sidewalk. Yes....there is a sidewalk underneath there.


Somebody please inform the weatherman that it is now Spring!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Tragedy, Caring and Compassion, Newfoundland Style

It's been a very difficult week for our province of Newfoundland and Labrador. I think most know of the helicopter which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing 17 of the 18 on board. The helicopter was en route to the off shore oil rigs, where it was to deliver workers. (Here is a link)

I cannot even begin to describe the way Newfoundlanders look out for one another on a regular daily basis....but when something of this magnitude happens....that care and compassion is really beyond words. It's something that must be experienced or witnessed in order to be fully understood.

There was a memorial service at the Basilica in St. John's tonight. There were over 1300 people in attendance....standing room only. Ministers from all faiths took part in the service and worked together in a style of service with practices that were not familiar to them. They made it look, however, like they did it regularly....and they did it all for the support of families who lost loved ones.

The word "prayer" has been used publicly this week...many, many times. It's been refreshing to see the usual political correctness of our modern society has not been alive during all this.

The spring session of provincial parliament was to begin tomorrow, but they've decided to delay this due to the events of this week. Again, refreshing to see people are more important than anything else.

Newfoundlanders are caring and compassionate...but at the same time very strong. This is certainly not the first tragedy of the sea. They pull together, support one another but somehow continue to carry on. I have no doubt this time will be the same.

In the meantime....my heart goes out to the families and friends who have lost loved ones.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Checking in

It's been awhile since I've posted here. As we push through these last few days of winter, we've been fighting these nasty bugs going around.

I'm almost afraid to say this for fear of jinxing us...but...so far we've managed to avoid that nasty stomach bug making it's rounds. We have more than made up for that fact though, with more than our share of the flu and/or cold. Jake is the latest to have it. He and I missed church today....his throat was starting to hurt and I was trying to recover from my day yesterday. Honestly.....having CFS is a real learning experience for me. A friend invited us over yesterday for the afternoon. I thought that won't be too difficult...it will be great to get out. So... Brittney, Jake and I went....Larry dropped us off. We were there for only a little while. We did nothing more than sit, talk and sip decaf coffee.....but this morning I felt like I'd been through the war. Honestly.....my whole body hurt so much, it felt like I'd been working for three days straight....yep....this is a real learning curve for me.

Tyler and Brittney went to a sleepover with the youth group from our church on Saturday night. We had promised Jake we'd take him out for breakfast before going to church. I wasn't sure how I was going to get myself up and around to go....but we'd promised Jake and I didn't want to let him down. When he said his throat was really sore, he had a bad headache and didn't think he could go out for breakfast.....I no longer needed to worry about letting him down. And ....*he* was worried about letting me down.

So....Larry went off by himself to church and to pick up our sleep-deprived teenagers. Sleep deprived they were too....Brittney got to sleep around 1:30....which isn't too bad, but Tyler.....he stayed up and awake the whole night....no sleep whatsoever..oh my....silly teenagers.

Jake and I stayed home and looked after each other. We lit a fire in the wood stove, grabbed a blanket...and cuddled on the couch. What could be better than that?