Tuesday, January 29, 2008

For Mark and James

Yup I did bring it with me. Still unnamed, maybe keeping it simple is best. I thought the beach towel was a funny idea, since we live only footsteps from the beach, even though it's frozen over! Hey guys, the magnet's on the 'fridge. In case of an emergency I'll know who to call!
I swear Mark your skinny twin lives here...it's weird I tell ya, however he lacks your particular charm! That's not a dig at your fine physique either! James you're still an original. Miss you guys!
p.s. hey guys, we had one truck come in to exchange frozen meds. hmm i thought to myself, wonder how many Toronto EMS already had frozen stuff....it was like old times for sure!

Sunday, January 27, 2008


As you can see I took some time today to pretty up the blog. I hope you enjoy the new bling. I have added a couple of blog links, the weathernetwork, a plant of the day and the National Geographic photo of the day.

can't be that cold

This is for my daughter, to see Caesar in his new home. He keeps his feet moving, that way they don't get sooo cold. Again these were taken in front of my apartment. At the bottom of the hill on the shores is the graveyard. The rough ice created in it's moments of rising and splashing. I always think that it looks like meringue on top of a pie.

Last night Alan and I went to his friends for an evening of movies and company. It was a nice crowd, I find most people here friendly, always offering a handshake and smile. It ain't Toronto (torano preferred pronunciation) for sure.

AH Stats Can found me, apparently they process the housing and not the person, since I am new to this place, they will follow my employment over the next couple of years. Crazy job they have, after working here they are off to Arctic Bay! I don't even know how far north you have to be to get Arctic in you name! The interview went very well. After working for ever and paying into the tax base since I was merely a baby, I got my reward yesterday. Yes, Stats Can drove me to my destination. Thank you tax payers...hey I guess I mean; thank me!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

dancing walrus

This is a pair of walrus which we purchased. They represent a fine skill in carving and creativity. The larger one now has a home with my sister. Wally arrived in good shape in the care of Canada Post. The smaller one is carved in one piece, both have tusks made from caribou antler. The art here ranges from stunningly beautiful carvings, graphics; water colours, stitch work on felts and the women even create small doll sized amautis ( a style of coat which accommodates a child in the hood). I have seen whisker earings, tiny mitts for keychains, the variety is endless. It is difficult to decide where and when to spend the money. I hope to acquire a pair of kamiik (boots) fashioned from sealskin and caribou (sorry Leslie) The work on every pair is unique and well crafted.

road hockey it's tradition

After taking this picture, one evening I came across a group of kids playing road hockey with the aid of a bright light. Ya gotta love it. It hasn't been warmer than -30, but hockey lives here!

for my brother

As you can see all building are elevated off the ground even the shed. Many have skirting around for a more pleasing look. Some are built on the hill, with long pilings and a smaller elevation on the ground level. The result is the larger buildings are quite high resulting in the long staircases.


These pics are taken in the hospital waiting room. Yesterday the nurses posted a sign; "This is a non violent workplace".

the guest

Yeah It thumped on landing. Never heard a thumpy bird before!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

my life in a few boxes!

Definitely find those stairs a challenge at least 5 times a day(dog). Thankfully I didn't have to drag couch and bed up the stairs, there were three young backs for that job. This doesn't actually look to bad compared to the shuffling of goods while arranging precious junk! Now if only I can find the screws for my table legs and the feet for the couch!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

moving or is it re - moving?

Since my move to my view-tastic one bedroom, I have found out that the Utilidor is actually similar to a sewage system, thank goodness. I'm on the utilidor, no tanks, no thanks.
Yesterday my stuff arrived. Pics to follow. Poor dog can only go forwards or backwards, no room for turning around! I continue unpacking and was dismayed to find several damaged items in the first few cartons I opened. Most notably the glass on several framed pictures was shattered.

On a brighter note, we did not miss the dance class Monday, thankfully it was the Merengue again, so at least I stood a small chance of comprehension! Still no rhythm, but that's asking for a miracle!

Raven landed on the railing with a THUMP. Honest, I could hear it land inside the apartment!
With luck the internet qizmo arrives today and I can update the pictures and continue the momentum on this site. Until then...stay warm!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

dancing under the lights

I forgot to mention, that after the dance last night, myself and another were walking together and looked up to marvel at the lights. He had never ever seen them, didn't know what they were! We laid in a snow bank for the best view! Straight up! And watched the magic.

Monday, January 14, 2008

home sweet home

teeeny tiny, no dishwasher, where will i put microwave?

what's all the excitement about?

The address is Longview for the beautiful long view of the bay! I was so excited that I took it even though it is tiny and I'm not sure what I'll do with all my stuff. As it goes here, my furniture is sitting in Ottawa, and there isn't a stick of furniture to sit on. Of course the GN (govt Nunavut) will rent me furniture, include moving it in and out. To appreciate the view, click on pic to make larger. Caesar and I will struggle to prepare a meal together as that's what he likes to do. Of course my stunning view includes a steep long set of stairs! Well worth the climb!

In other news; Alan and I went to social dance club! Ballroom! Meringue! Good gracious, I am a total spaz, however the instructors were great and the male partners outnumbered the female ones, so I didn't frustrate one guy too much!

happy monday

This pic first, it shows what a big hurry I was in to meet my ride. Off to see my newly assigned housing! One might think crocs in the arctic not a good idea but I didn't even notice til I was already outside waiting.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

dog day!

Hooray Caesar dog arrived. He is in fine form, clearly tired and one weirdly broken toenail. But he's here! First steps off the plane, he doesn't know which of his four very cold paws he should lift off the snow! He'll work something out.

In other news I finally relented and purchased goggles. Clear ones not available, so I'll be sporting the yellow ski goggles. This is the fix for the permafrost on my glasses when I walk.
Scarf up over my nose, hood down over my forehead, now goggles to ensure a frost free walk. This is practically the official uniform of the north!

Friday, January 11, 2008

windows on the arctic

I find the views breathtaking. Shades of white monochrome. These also were taken from the hospital window. I have enrolled in Inuktitut Basic oral classes! This is going to be tough, but if I can manage a few polite exchanges I will be pleased!
The logo for the Qikiqtaani General Hospital. This image appears in a stairwell.

the night life

It was to be girls night out, wing night! Wings a sports bar great idea. I met Allison at the Storehouse and found it to be a great sports bar; big screen t.v. (hockey showing), pool tables, dart boards, bar and choice of tables! Allison was seated at the bar when I arrived, so I ordered a beer and wings. We chatted while the food was prepared. Whoa, I can see her breath! No kidding. This is a first, we were indoors! Apparently too near the back door which I swear only closed long enough to be re opened. No miniskirts, pretty shoes here. I donned the parka, guzzled the beer and finally I said " my feet are numb". It was a short night. Next time we hijack the seating at the fireplace!

Alan and I took in the movie last night; "Golden Compass" then home for stew! yeah.

It took a week but I did remember my camera and the memory card today.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Stew at last!

I didn't leave dumB in Ontario! By that I mean on the day that I arrived I found a leaf off my plant on the floor. Naturally I picked it up an placed it in water. Today I checked to see if it was rooting. Plastic. No roots. Garbage. Worse yet there was a witness to all of this.

Today I make stew...yaaa. New beef all in the pot stewing away. The downer is tonight some of the girls from work are going for wings, so stew will serve as lunch tomorrow.

The wind died down and I actually walked without hood or mitts! Yeah baby. Still -30something but with the windchill a milder -41 it was okay. Really. Also I have just accepted the fact that my face and mouth will be numb. (That makes the chap stick the most valuable item in my pocket)!

Tonight is nice and clear and without the wind, I hope to take in the show in the sky. Last time I could barely tolerate the wind long enough to glance up to see the night sky dancing in green.

Alan and I went out to look at carvings last night. It's a shame that so many talented carvers are reduced to selling their craft for the cost of the materials. Galleries in the south add on one or two zeros and nets the big bucks. Last night a beautiful dancing walrus. How could I resist? Well, I didn't. But I justify by saying my sister will have a beautiful new piece at home.

Oooo when I returned to my hotel room there was a surprise; a new coffee maker! The other one didn't have a pot that fit, so it was boiled water through the filter. This will make things much smoother in the morning.

Pictures soon. I keep forgetting my camera at home. There are some beautiful views from the hospital which I will be posting.

Monday, January 7, 2008

it must be monday

This evening was to be very rewarding I got some errands completed after work. I got some grocerys. Mostly I was very excited that tonights meal would be a stew! I carefully chose some beef, potatoes, carrots and an onion, nice loaf of bread too. As I braved the -52 windchill on
the short walk home, I had only the aroma of onion and beef on my mind.

Once I start to prepare the beef, slowly and quite frankly I unwilling realized it was rancid. Sure it was green on the inner cuts, sure it stank. But honestly...my stew!
Now I'm pouting. I did buy bacon to sweeten the stew and could throw together an evil bacony yummy dinner, but for now I pout.

(It doesnt'matter any more but add in a couple of oranges and an apple sized turnip and the bag cost me $46.00.) I would pay double that for my stew! Hmmmph

Sunday, January 6, 2008

raising education

This is one of Iqlauit's schools. I lucked out with the lighting as the diamond architectecture is beautifuly highlighted. If you look closely you will see that it is raised and rests on a steel frame. The floors are heated. I was disappointed to learn the unique church has burned down. I didn't have time to see it on my first visit. It's a good thing I didn't spend too much time looking for it!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

ahhh the food and other things

This is what $16. got me today. As I am reminded the cost is not the kicker, having the option to even buy it is. Today most of the dairy cooler was
I have a flyer from the Snack open 24hrs;
14" sub = $15.45
A quarter chicken dark = $14.95 +$2 for white
A club sandwich is $18.00
Add delivery $6.00

OOOOOH I almost forgot, I hear there is a sushi place
not far from my hotel. God only knows how much that will be
but I will indulge once in a while.

A couple of shots of the Ravens. Yes I capitalize them as they deserve it. To compare, I saw a small dog or fox running around today. These birds are double it's size. I don't know how large their wingspan is but they are an imposing site. They gather in the sunny "warm" places to rest and you will often see them flying after dark. Dark here starts around 3pm. As evening approaches they pair up and snuggle together for the night ahead. This past summer Cindy and I saw and heard the southern raven, those look like big crows and I referred to their song as a cuckoburro...whatever that is. These would put them to shame. I understand they are smart and have heard how they team up to torment and distract a dog in order to steal it's food. Their beaks can penetrate a garbage can lid. Perhaps I can find a book of native folklore about the Raven as it is a popular story icon.

Taken around 10am, it seemed much brighter than the pic appears. Hopefully I have captured the endless wind and moving snow. I found it kinda funny that right behind me there was a bunch of guys just hanging out, chatting like it was a summer day. People never complain about the conditions. Everyone I've encountered remarks "it's a beautiful day" or "nice night eh?". How refreshing, it is Canada afterall!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Well I tried.....

The parka that I invested in was the perfect choice. Although too long outside and the cold seeps through parka, mitts, boots. What is too long? Probably 30 minutes. Only a video would show the snow sweeping and swirling in an endless dance. Time to put on the kettle. Pictures taken around 3:30pm.

Warm welcome Arctic style

Today work and the government offices closed early due to inclement weather. Us folks from southern Canada (you know who you are!) throw the word blizzard around recklessly. It gives us a great sense of drama to describe the blizzard we navigated to get the milk or kids. Now I know. Shame on me.
This is a blizzard
The wind is relentless. Temperatures already at -32, add the wind blowing down at 40km/h and gusting at 60km/h to yield a windchill of -52 or -60C and what you get is a blizzard.

Miraculously the ravens are singing (yes that racket is a song), they co operate and share each others space to survive. One day my blog will be all about Ravens, they fascinate me.

Even as I sit in my warm room, with all the amenities of home I marvel that there exists a culture which prospered here!

I tried to take pics and had a great system, wherein my fingers were only exposed for the shortest possible time to press the shutter. Didn't work. Too cold. One pic. Sorry. It's even blurry. Damn.

I don't know when things will re open, the email was vague stating "until further notice". hmm.
Should the wind slow tomorrow I hope to run my errands with camera and lots of batteries. Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

the working girl -Qikiqtaani Hospital

Since I've started work, I haven't had time to take any new pics.
Work is good, a nice crew I look forward to the year ahead.

The best food in town is without a doubt the hospital cafeteria! For $12 you can feast on unlimited salad bar, entree (today tasty lasagna), soup, coffee or tea! Since it is too much for me to eat at one sitting I will be investing in containers to provide me with supper too!

Tonight I decided I would walk home from work, problem ; do I take the high road or the low road? Of course I chose the high road, twenty minutes later I am lost. The fantasy that I die on the side of the road surrounded by people runs through my mind. However, asking the occasional passer by gets me to the desired destination. For my friends in the south, thirty minutes walking around at -36C (posted windchill - 51C) is not for the faint of heart. But this does not dampen my determination to walk when possible. Once my cheeks had warmed up at the store I continued on homeward. Whew!

Street names here are treated with some kind of casual inconvenience....even the long timers don't know the street names, they rely on the numbering system. For example the housing is developed in rows of sequential numbers.....2700s or 40s etc. This will be a cinch to pick up! There are roads referred to as the road to nowhere and the second road to nowhere!

Tomorrow is Friday and the short week will draw to a close. I will sleep like the dead! Hope to get to the bank, the movies and the market on Saturday. Mom would be proud of my pink cheeks!

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Things you just don't see in the south:

1. The foyer fills with steam when the outer door opens.

2. Frost on eyelashes.

3. Where sky meets horizon and both look the same.

4. Most cars in parking lot idling, locked and vacant.

5. Seven dollar tin of salmon.

6. Ungrafittii-ed artwork.

7. Ravens the size of geese.

8. Eyeglasses don't get steamy outside, they get frosted.

I expect my fascination with the northern "normals" will continue and will add to the list to keep my southerly friends informed.