Thursday, December 31, 2009

one ball, one dog, one raven

I decided to get "outside" balls for Kamik. She has the concept of returning the ball while we play indoors. This didn't translate to outside. She stayed a safe distance away and played by herself.

It didn't take long for Raven to show up, he perched low on the fence, hunkered down making a variety of clucks, clicks and pacoos. Raven carefully watched the dog and the ball. Notorious for eating snowmobile seats, bicycle seats and anything not covered by a tarp; I figured it wanted to eat the ball.

Kamik made every friendly effort to engage Raven, she carefully placed the ball on the snow bank, at his feet, looked up at the bird, nudged the ball, to no avail. She ran across the parking lot with it, dropped it and facing the raven she waited. Nope. More interesting clucks and pacoos. No playing. Finally we (read I) gave up on raven and we returned up the stairs. Naturally the fastest route to the top is to fly, which Raven did and met us at the top of the landing, firmly settled on the rail.

As I turned to get my key I was surprised to see many ravens were circling overhead. Must have thought lunch was being served. Sorry tulugak, perhaps another time.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Monday, December 14, 2009

the raven....again

I don't have the creepy imagination of Poe, but am fascinated by our northern bird. Raven is very cagey.
At lunch today I searched the rooftops and wires for tulugak. He wasn't there, nowhere to be seen. So I tossed out the meat patty and waited. Not long; count thirty and swoosh, on the fly out of nowhere he grabs the patty. In close and noisy pursuit six others followed! Where were they?
How did they know? That patty didn't sit there two whole minutes!

Today my coworker told me about a dog that barks and runs his chain to scold the ravens on the rooftop. Sounds normal enough, squirrels would delight in scolding Caesar if he treed one of them.
But much smarter than a humble black squirrel, Raven turns his tail to the dog and ...and....yes poops on the dogs back!

The bird pictured here made noises I hadn't heard from a raven;he clucked a noise which sounded like two pieces of wood. uhuh wood. Then he said "doink".

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Winter Fur

Now with the shortening days and lengthening nights, there is little opportunity to get good pic, especially if you value your fingers. Before walking the dog, and wanting to take advantage of the low winds and the waning sunlight I went in search of a nice image.

Kamiik are slippery boots, having a bearded seal skin or a ujjuk sole and being a klutz to begin with, I didn't venture far down the hill and spent time on hands and knees with camera. Thankfully my fingers, knees and camera did manage to co operate to get a couple of frosty pictures.

Kamik the dog (so named because when she was tiny she looked like she was wearing kamiik) waited patiently for me to return. The new harness does work well in stopping her from taking me sliding across the road, but she's a jumper! No help there from the harness.

The wait finally over; it's time for walkies.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


To my long suffering readers, I apologize for my absence. A medical emergency took me to Ottawa at the end of October. I return nearly one month later with numerous bruised injection sites which make me look like a junkie, but it was for a good cause, I guess.
Although I have worked in hospitals my entire life, this was my first real hospital admission I have come to these conclusions; the food isn't very good (one eats it to avoid death), the bed and pillow are plastic which makes you sweat (eew), hospital pants are hard to come by and you can't really poke the snoring roommate.

Should I decide to shop, I was quickly reminded of the Christmas fervor that was exploding and could barely tolerate more than an hour in the mall. Never much of a mall person, or a shopper and with the added discomfort of recent surgery the experience was exhausting. Plus a girl can transport only so much stuff right?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
When I left Iqaluit, there was little snow remaining from the Sept. snow storm, upon my return it is full winter complete with Iqaluit winds and stunning white vistas. How I missed my beautiful view. Rain and fog was the climate in Ottawa, dreary, bone chilling dampness.

On first look it's apparent that Kamik is now very fluffy which makes her look quite stocky and sturdy. Tail a-wagging, she greeted me with her standard excitement. I brought home a new type of harness which is supposed to limit or stop this endless bounding around at the end of the leash. She is very good off leash but would prefer her on leash to walk the roads over the winter. Once I'm back on my pins we'll give 'er a try.

getting some puppy love............

Before moving on there is a small update; October 2009 my disgusting carpeting was replaced. The workers re floored the entire apt and repaired the sub flooring too. Am pleased with the workmanship and the expedience once the job started. Next project; build the new bed!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

coming out left handed

Well it's not a true coming out per se; since it is apparent to those who see me work will recognize that I'm a lefty. The coming out is more a coming of age. It is changing the modifications made over a lifetime to "fit in" with the right handed world. From check marks to shoe laces to right only doors. Why don't they unlock the other door? Watches, binders, notebooks, knives, number pad, and my pet peeve....wallets. I no longer use a wallet, instead dumping cards, cash and coins into purse pocket or jacket pocket.

It came up at the lunch table that some of us are left handed (by the way I have noticed a large number of the paramedics are left handed). When the discussion turned to wallets, one person suggested; "is it so hard to turn the wallet around?" UH yes but it is more than just turning it around its not dumping your cards and change all over the checkout. It is snapping/zipping it closed in a non akward manner. Much more.

In a previous job another leftie and I got to talking about working with righties...we're always crashing into them. Then I recalled my sister who is right handed used to shoo me and my daughter and dog if he was in the room out of the kitchen. You see daughter and pup had adapted to my leftie ways and this created chaos when a single rightie came into the space.

Being Left in the kitchen; a spatula, corkscrew, can opener (yeah yeah get electric). The option to arrange cupboards and appliances so the workflow suits my natural tendencies.

Oooh boy a left handed vacuum cleaner...oh my no more getting the hose kinked, the cord tangling, easy access to the tools. But I digress.

For a time I left oriented my work space. Working in a group of 10, being the only leftie I thought they could adapt once in a while. hmmph! What changes did I make; staple on top right corner--yup, of course marginal notes on left of page, pen holders, telephone, mouse settings all modified to make the workspace easier, more comfortable. Sigh it was fine.

Even bought my nephew a lefthanded journal scribbler book. In journaling I start the book at the back and work frontwards. A watch with the dials relocated, a camera with a left sided shutter and a bread knife with a left handed serration would rock my world.

Imagine a world where my mug is facing the left way?
If I could have one left handed wish it would be to custom build a way!


Monday, September 28, 2009

this 'n that and back

Montreal- primary school. I think the first kid is portrayed in a chair wearing a dunce cap!

A secret entrance way. Old Montreal

Upon returning home from a much needed visit south, snow had blanketed the rocks, the berries were done. All things as they should be. I listened to the men across from me in the plane, one a man who grew up in the north; Inuit, the other accented and en route to Igloolik from California. The visitor had a brand new Snow Goose winter parka; the rest of us northerners- light jackets, me; a fleece zip up. The northerner was patiently answering all the questions the visitor had. I smiled. One clearly proud of his home the other curious and excited for his upcoming adventure.

South was loud, hot and my skin broke out. Even the nights were warm. I have never enjoyed the hot steamy days of summer and delight in the northern expression of the season.

Glass honouring WWII Army, Navy, Air force volunteer forces.

Even though I have lived in large cities, the crowded streets exhausted me. We discovered ways around to avoid the busy thoroughfares. Then one morning the wind was gusting and it reminded me of home, I turned my face windward and reveled in the breeze. It felt good, it felt familiar.

It was almost novelty to go outside without a jacket, to see bird houses hanging in trees, TREES, and even the weeds overgrowing gardens were like seeing old friends.

Back home.....drama unfolds as I was visiting with my daughter and doling out her shopping requests we heard a dog screaming. When I looked out it was our little Kamik. One leg up and crying. Children were scrambling up the stairs. This made me angry as Alan had also said that someone has been throwing rocks at her recently. I brought her inside for a rest.

Kamik likes to be outdoors, doesn't like to be inside for the nights. The nights are mild and she lays upon the snow or takes refuge from the rain in her house. She thinks the children are playing when they throw rocks at her. She didn't think they would kick her.
There were lots of things I didn't do while out but of the things we did; mostly we laughed. My friend and I sharing our secrets, catching up of course and together we rediscovered Montreal.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

just when you don't have a camera

Today while walking the dogs; include 3 puppies, Kamik and Kai, we saw a shifting rainbow.
It arched into the dark rain clouds, and out the far side. As we watched it continuously change we noticed the end of the rainbow.
It came down the side of a hill to a house. The hillside was rainbow lit, most predominately yellow and pink, then amazingly it moved forward to the road and the road was rainbow lit.
The far side gave us a second rainbow they shifted in brightness before disappearing.

Now we know where the rainbows begin.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

'tis the season

The red plumage of the ground plants is a sure sign of autumn. The leaves start turning in late July, but I remain in denial until the tempertures convince me that it is true.
It was a fine Saturday afternoon to go see if the hills are ready to give up their fruit. Yup they are, and so the three of us went a picking. Kamik was a good puppy not running off with strangers (as she has done) instead she caught on quickly to berry picking. In using good sense she didn't raid the basket but stole the berries out from the patch. Happily she nibbled the berries while we picked. Frequently we sent her to find her own patch of berries to enjoy. She has yet to figure out how to drop them into the basket.

Katie and Kamik picking berries.

The hills offer a beautiful view and an opportunity to race.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

the real big boys came to town



Kamik playing catch-up

The small capital was inundated with a military presence. Is this the future the PMO has in mind for the beautiful arctic?

I still get a thrill watching the F18s roar overhead but best of all is watching them leave the tarmac and in a heartbeat are so far into the sky it seems to defy logic.

From my seaside balcony we had a great view of the airshow on this cloudy day. This time they departed for quite a long while, I wondered if they flew to Arctic Bay and back in the 40 or so minutes they were gone. At top speed they cross the Atlantic in about 3 hrs, can make the trip from Quebec to Newfoundland in well under an hour.

(The images are a little blurry due to the extreme zoom used to capture the vehicles.)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

oooh the big Kahuna arrived

So it is that the arctic is such a hot spot currently we get more official visits than anyone would imagine.
The big blue cheese arrived in a black jet with an entourage of security guys, aides and ministers. The local cops kept up perimeter blockades.
Let it be said; no body here much noticed or seemed to care. What's the big deal? Reminds me of American rap star or Kelly Clarkson and their entourage. With his plastic face and never changing hair (why doesn't he show up when the wind is blowin' a gale?)
PM Harper has been here before and can no longer be considered a 'newbie' to the north. So how is it he insults everyone with the misspelling of the capital city? DOH!
With the recent hoopla created by the nationally circulated photo of two children sleeping in front of the grocery store this summer, the PM instead focuses on military issues, arctic sovereignty (for mineral rights?). All for naught if the future generations are not prepared for the quickly changing times in their world.
So with military and all the little big guns in the area for the week, I wonder who does it serve?
We pay a flat rate subsidized for gasoline, it is shipped in.
The city is ripe for corrupt, non transparent government and business practices. Nepotism is so common it is understood that is the way of things.
But at least the PM will ensure through military presence that the real issues can be ignored. Basically a showman using the oldest trick in the world...distraction, slight of hand and diversion. Politics is magic.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

big sky

While out on our daily constitutional, Kamik and I headed down to the graveyard. Oddly it does not have the same sense of most burial sites. I don't find it peaceful, or creepy, or anything weird.
This day the clouds seemed to go on forever and when Environment Canada says we have a 48km visibility, one has to believe it on days like this.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009 it happens

I didn't have to worry about the key deficient laptop for long. One day just any ordinary day, my laptop refused me. No power no how. *sigh* PC is dead. No blogging, no facebooking, nothin!

All is well as a replacement arrived rather quickly in the mail. Next on the agenda is rescuing the hard drive so as to recover my pics and tunes. Really I'm sure I don't know how much stuff is locked away until the transfer of goodies is complete.

taking the lead

Kamik is a clever, friendly little dog chasing after new friends, mostly the two legged ones. On the flip side, she returns to me at lightening speed when I call her back lest she trails after an unsuspecting person to locations unknown.

Often I take her to the river, a good, only-puppy entertains herself chasing the waves and tossing pebbles around. While I got busy fishing away the afternoon, she was chasing the waves, she got careless -- KER-splash. Since it wasn't a fish splashing at the end of my line it must have been the pup. Sure enough there she is; soaking wet, little paws trying to climb back onto the rock. She had tumbled into the Sylvie Grinnell river! I had visions of her bobbing downstream into the bay but she clambered back up, gave a shake and found a stone to amuse herself with.
One thing I've learned about dogs; they know how to get on with things and don't linger over the "what ifs".

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

dogs just don't embrace technology like we do....


I don't even know any Lilliputians who could re-affix the salvageable keys.

Friday, July 10, 2009

flowers for Lisa

1. Mt. Avens
2. Diapensia
3. don't know, if you do, tell me!
4. Lapland Rosebay
5. Mt. Avens over Moss Campion

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

you know it's summer when

Long sunny days, summer solstice, ships and tundra blossoms. Summer in the far north presents it's own beauty, nature capitalizing on the long days in such a short season. This is my second summer here, yet I am amazed that no sooner is the snow (mostly) gone the plants are forging up from the thin soils and bogs.
Nuthin says summer like the first freighter into the bay.

Tiny summer blossoms.New puppies!

Riverside meltdowns!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Flag Etiquette

Yup there are rules to flying our flag. Today I have taken the rules from the Govt website. Some seem pretty common sense but here goes!
(should it be noted that the stick is at the bottom ahem...)

1. The National Flag of Canada should not be used as table/seat cover, as a masking for boxes or as a barrier on a dais or platform.- curtains in college dorms?
2. While it is not technically incorrect to use the National Flag of Canada to cover a statue, monument or plaque for an unveiling ceremony, it is not common practice to do so and should be discouraged.
3. Nothing should be pinned to or sewn on the National Flag of Canada.
4. The National Flag of Canada should not be signed or marked in any way (A border could be attached to the outside edge of the Flag on which it would be acceptable to have signatures leaving the Flag itself untouched). er am sure I've seen some signed flags, oh dear!

Who goes first?

Order of Precedence
  1. The National Flag of Canada
  2. The flags of other sovereign nations in alphabetical order (if applicable)-ah that's how they decide eh?
  3. The flags of the provinces of Canada (in the order in which they joined Confederation)-sure, poor Newfoundland/Labrador!
  4. The flags of the territories of Canada (in the order in which they joined Confederation)-uhoh for Nunavut too...dead last!
  5. The flags of municipalities/cities
  6. Banners of organizations
  7. Historical Flags
Since it's been so long since gr 8 history here's a refresher on the confederation dates.

  1. National Flag of Canada
  2. Ontario (1867)
  3. Quebec (1867)
  4. Nova Scotia (1867)
  5. New Brunswick (1867)
  6. Manitoba (1870)
  7. British Columbia (1871)
  8. Prince Edward Island (1873)
  9. Saskatchewan (1905)
  10. Alberta (1905)
  11. Newfoundland (1949)
  12. Northwest Territories (1870)
  13. Yukon (1898)
  14. Nunavut (1999)
There are rules of etiquette for every possible use of the flag; on a car, a boat, projected from a building, draped over a casket, how to fold it, and how to dispose of tattered flags. There are guidelines on the mast, and the red colour dye number is also defined! (The painting colours are Federal Identity Program red No. 509-211 and white: 513-201)


Sunday, June 28, 2009

cold beer and buttons

As the river broke free of the winter ice, I could hardly contain my excitement. If you have ears you know I went fishin'! An excellent way to tire an energetic puppy. She spent her time chasing pebbles and bits of moss or tackling the small winter stalks of grasses. She managed to steal my sub sandwich from the backpack and with steely determination refused to unclench her small mouth. Man she was tough...but she didn't growl. Eventually we (me and two friends) won, she got to pick up the pieces that had fallen to the rocks and so we shared.

Pictured below are Kim and Keith fishing the bend of the river, you can see the large pieces of ice which still flow toward the bay.
Is there any other way to chill a beer? Icy meltwater makes the perfect place for a beer to nestle in the rocks...Tres Canadian eh?
Within the past couple of weeks the hills have come to life with the desperate, hurried growth of plants, lichens and flowers. They are so tiny and perfect and hardy. One must admire the quick growth and maturity of plants in this hostile climate.
Soon mosquitoes will be hovering like black clouds. Fortunately they enjoy a very short season; a couple of weeks to a month and they don't seem to bite as much as you'd think, but hover like black flies. They are gigantic though!

In other news Jaime introduced herself to me, this was a pleasant surprise there are plenty of northern bloggers but I rarely get the opportunity to meet'n'greet any of them. Hi Jaime!

Jaw'n'paws aka Kamik has ruined two keys on my laptop but its the letter "a" that is proving the most challenging as my fingers feel lost without it. I thought I could stick it on in a temporary fashion however it is so mutilated that it won't sit atop the spongy bit left behind.
Next blog expect missing "a" perhaps it will read like a riddle.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

very exciting day!

The artwork of Kenojuak Ashevak.

Kenojuak Ashevak opened her exhibit in Iqaluit today, I was very excited to have the opportunity to meet her. She is a tiny bit of a woman with a bigger than life talent. The owl above is probably her most recognizable work. She often portrays birds; owl(oopik), goose (kanguk), and raven (tulugak). Her simple portrayal of tulugak (middle) captures his confidence and proud attitude.

Wee blossoms dot the landscape, sharing the sun with the snow and ice.
I was fascinated by the way these large pieces of ice crystallized and fall away like the hair of a mythical goddess.

We did toss our lines into the raging river but to no avail. The ice below the fast moving current continually snagged our lures and most certainly kept the fish out of reach!