Archive for June, 2007

My Darling Mom

My momDonna Elaine

November 10, 1950 – June 26, 2007

To live in hearts we leave behind
Is not to die.

~Thomas Campbell,
“Hallowed Ground”

My darling mom passed away in the early morning hours of Tuesday from breast cancer. I was able to be with her and I am so thankful for the opportunity of this past month. I feel as if I’ve been given a miracle to have spent these days with her.

I remind each and everyone of you to take good care and to perform monthly breast exams. Your families love and need you.

A little prevention is a lot of cure.

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Northwest Territories 60th ParallelAt the visitor information centre just beyond this sign they sell “Bug Gear” to help visitors ward off the incessant black flies and mosquitoes.Upon fingering a white suit vented with a very fine mesh (”tight and white” is the way to go to avoid bites), I was heartily regaled with impressive stories of the black fly’s tenacity in exsanguination.

I watched the storyteller with a critical eye, keen for embellishment, but could find none in her countenance. She was deadly serious when she said we each needed one of these if we were venturing out onto the tundra or heading into the backwoods. Obviously she felt it her duty to warn us ahead of time.


I thought everyone was exaggerating when they said the bugs were bad. That they were doing that thing where residents take an odd sense of pride in bragging about how bad they’ve got it in an attempt to awe the tourists with their bravery.

Apparently not.

Apparently I’ve moved myself and my delicately skinned babies to Black Fly Utopia where the insects shall feast upon us like…well, let’s just say they won’t have the opportunity.

Let’s just let it be known that I’m a good mother and that I’ll be shelling out the big bucks for the suits and that you can well imagine the Pater Family trooping around Yellowknife and vicinity running their errands much like a wayward HazMat team.

BuffaloThat is if we’re not trampled by the buffalo first.

Oh yeah, that’s right.



In the ditch.

On the road.

In the car with you if they like.

All the way from Fort Providence north to Yellowknife – 236 km of big, brown road hazard with attitude.

And let it be known that they don’t move for the vehicles…the vehicles move for them.

I’m told they don’t come into town, but that the caribou do…which I’m looking forward to. It’ll be winter by then and the HazMat suits will have been stowed and exchanged for the snowsuits, so that we can lay on the rocks in our backyard and watch the aurora borealis.

LOL. I don’t know if my skin will ever see sun again. I’m hoping so!

I can’t tell you yet if all of our goods have arrived safe and sound, because we don’t move into our house until Friday. Fingers crossed that all is well, though and that the buffalo haven’t messed with the moving truck!

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Catch up

FoyerWow. Where does one start? I guess with what caused my lengthy absence in the first place, the renovations…which are now DONE!

Can you see me grinning? All our hard work paid off and the first people through made us an offer and (fingers crossed) the conditions will be removed in a few days and then we’ll be off to Yellowknife to look for our new home (more crossed fingers).Now even though things are calm here on the house front, I’ll still be absent from the blogosphere as I’m away visiting my mom. She’s in palliative care now and so the little ladies and I are pretty much sticking like glue these days. We’re getting in lots of visiting and chatting and hugs and whatnot, so things are as well as can be expected.My new kitchenIn the meantime, I’ll drop in as I pop home for visits with BH (taking a page from Toni’s book in which she refers to hers as “beloved husband”) and know that I’m thinking of you all and missing you.

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