Monday, November 30, 2009

No Home computer sucks, but family here

Ok, I had a post all written but now it won't copy over. I will get that sorted out and post something soon.

Big news, the family all here and I am much happier showing them the snow. Sad news, no home computer for another month, but only a month and the posts will become more regular.

talk to you soon.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

light, I seek the light

Well, I will open with one little song from my childhood days...

Red and yellow and pink and green,

purple and orange and blue,

you can sing a rainbow, a rainbow, sing a rainbow too.

Ok, that is in honour of my wonderful bruise I got last week! You should see all the colours I see, it is quite spectacular. I have informed my Mom that she really does need to find those ice grippers or I will be buying us each a pair from Mountain Equipment Coop here right away. And before I leave that topic, I now know why everyone doesn't get full arm-bands...that flesh on the underside of your arm is really sensitive. So Mom, you will be happy to know that I will not be getting a full arm band, but a partial is still possible :P~~ (for those who don't know me I currently have 4 tattoos with plans for numbers four and five)

Alright, this weeks topic has to be the fact that I am heading into winter up here. Everything has been going well, but it seems weird that it is October and I have officially hauled out the down jacket (due to the wind chill). The other fact that I have noticed is that it is dark when I get up in the am and is just getting light when I come to work at 8:30. Going home at 5:00 the light is fading fast. It is really weird, it feels like December on the Prairies! I am a little worried that this lack of light is going to affect me. But on the other hand I am so excited to experience a northern winter that I am just not sure how I am supposed to feel. Ah well, I guess I will just take things in stride like I have the rest of this move.

This week we had most of the office go to Yellowknife to attend a board meeting and the office seemed really quiet. But then again, how quiet can it be when they are doing construction? But I have to admit the rest have been pretty patient, they broke ground almost a year ago on the expansion and are really hoping that things get done soon so we can begin to occupy our personal offices soon. most of us are sharing office space and it can get pretty noisy with just us, never mind the construction.

I really should say I will try to write on the weekend instead of Fridays. But I will endeavor to write as often as I can ;) This weekend with Halloween and my belongings having arrived I threw a little party on Friday and it was totally fun! I will say that as a prairie girl I had way too much food (should have told people not to eat much) but whatever I will eat the leftovers.

Overall there were lots of people there, lots of conversations and lots of new friendships made. That is the goal of a party right? It was fun, and I was so glad of a dishwasher as I just popped everything in when people left around 12:30 and by the am I was done. I had a few pots to do but that didn't take long.

Saturday I did up the dishes and got dressed up for the kiddies :) I had about 25 kids come to the door in a variety of was about -30 with the windchill so that was about right. After that I went over to Doris and Monique's for a fantastic dinner Michelle cooked up. We had roasted caribou that had been marinated for a couple days in this yummy concoction with gin and stuffed caribou heart. We also had caribou liver, I must say it was milder than beef liver! I don't think much of the caribou goes to waste with Michelle around ;) she is an awesome cook and we enjoy having her test recipes for us.

Sunday turned out to be a real recovery day. I didn't drink much this weekend, but lost some sleep and I am paying for that today even with the time change :) Ah well, it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed it all. I also have officially unpacked the last box and we are moved in!! Ya hoo.

That being said a friend of mine from Ontario (Chad) brought up an interesting point. In my earlier posts I talk about how happy I am to be away from stores and being free of belongings but as soon as my stuff came I was ecstatic. Huh, who knew, I am still pretty tied to my stuff. we have started a little banter about that and he is taking a cool class in culture and society where they are doing a consumer community and culture fetishism. apparently "we neglect the social ties that compose our identities and replace them with belongings, hence the lonely individualism of our society. This is a theory that succeeded Marxism, but is still based on it". I hope I got all of that right Chad :)

It totally sounds cool and has got him to thinking about his ties to his belongings. And now with this knowledge, me thinking about mine...what made me so happy to see my stuff? My current thought on the matter is that I have missed the things in there that help me express who I am. I missed my collection of china tea cups, my fancy plates, my items that make a house feel like a home. Now why do I need these things...I don't know, but I know I do. Some items I unpacked are items that have memories (from my grandma who passed away, one jug has been in every home I have lived in). Some are liked because of beauty, my one of a kind blue plates from a glass factory in Montreal. Why do these things make me comfortable in my nest? Why is it that I need things from the past to be connected to my nest? My chinese sign is the sign of the rabbit who likes to create a comfortable home, is who I am made up partly from the way the stars alighned? Is this a learned behaviour? So many questions and not a lot of easy answers.

My current theory is that I think we need a sense of where we came from to be able to move forward. I believe that a mistake is only made when we don't learn a lesson when something appears to go wrong. We can't regret something that has happened because it made us who we are. So with that said, what has compelled me to feel at home with these "thing" now more than before...I don't know. Maybe I need to see these things to remember the lessons? I don't know, maybe we all need to sit and think on the topic. I will post more thoughts on this (and other interesting facts from Chad) he always has cool stuff he is learning or reading as he goes back to school for another degree.

I hope this finds everyone well and is a little food for thought this week as you contemplate your own home and ties to things rather than people. I know I will....



Sunday, October 25, 2009

Big News!!!

Hello everyone,

Ok, yes it has been awhile since I last wrote, but I have a really good stuff is here!!! You heard me, I have belongings, I have food..I have stuff. I never have been so happy to see this random mix of my belongings in my life!

I have enough food here now to keep me and the family warm during any storm that the north can throw at us. And, I have enough toilet paper to keep us going for quite some time, maybe until the barge arrives next year. Yup, toilet paper is worth its weight in gold up here. How is that possible you ask? Your right I said the same thing, then it was described to me, it is not only weight that causes things to cost so much (remember my $50 flour), but it is also the SIZE. Ah, ok, now I get it...just another example of size really does matter :P~~ LOL

And so I have been unpacking boxes over the last week like a fiend and trying to decide where stuff should go. Yes, I know where it makes sense, but where exactly is that? Sometimes it is harder to find the "Perfect" location. One that makes sense and one where you can find the item again. How many times have I put something away in a safe location only to find that the location was so safe that even i can't find it again! I hate not being able to find stuff.

Most items have made it up here OK, I have had a few fatalities though. Only flesh wounds, but some damage none the less. I am about to start working on the moving guys to see what can be done to repair or fix the items. Hopefully it won't be as painful as the rest of the move has been.

While I have been unpacking, some of my new Watkins products have came up and I have been using the stuff everywhere. Ok, I am throwing in a name drop because I am selling the product now, but I have to admit, it does work and some of the grime it is cutting through has been around for awhile. The people before me cleaned the house as best they could, but the dude before was a bit of a slob so it should be all clean soon. It smells good in here and I didn't have to use a lot of elbow grease so I am sold.

Last weekend one of my friends went out hunting to get one more caribou and got that plus two more. I don't know how much coverage happened down south, but someone was hunting caribou using too low a caliber rifle and only wounding the critters and not killing them. Not something you want to hear. Well, my friend took two extra caribou to feed to friends (yah hoo caribou for me) and then spread the rest around. Local authorities are looking into the matter, but it is hard to say if they will find who did it.

Anyway, one of the gang found this great recipe for heart and we had this fantastic stuffed caribou heart and it was totally awesome. Michelle found the recipe at Recipe Zaar and a couple of other yummy looking ones to try like maple BBQ caribou ribs and a roast that is marinaded in gin. Hello Michelle and when are you cooking either dish so I can come and visit. People she is a totally awesome cook with venison.

This last weekend I went to another friends house and met a whole bunch of people at a potluck supper. It was nice to eat a little turkey, gravy, butter chicken, rice and whatever else was there. We had quite the spread happening and the dessert I made was a real hit. It is always nice to have people enjoy your cooking.

On the way home through I bailed on the ice pretty good. I was wandering along this one corner that I know is icy but was trying to penguin waddle over the worst of it when both feet went out from under me and down I went. It probably looked pretty funny, but I fell on my metal baking sheet. I am not sure who is hurt worst, but I have to admit we are both worse for the wear. The edge of the pan (where you carry it by) is bent and the underside of my arm has some really pretty colours. Some of which would make a fantastic shirt, but a little sore. I rattled my teeth together when I fell so I think I will be happy to go to Yorkton at Christmas and get a massage and see my chiropractor.

Things have been awesome to watch on the bay. People are skidooing across and kite skating. Yup kite skating, it is skating with a big kite. Apparently the dude is quite good at it and he was going quite fast so it looked like fun. The locals are starting to watch for seals (I would so like to see one) and my friend has started skijoring with her dogs. it is like dog sledding only you are on skis...the dogs in front and you ski for your life to keep up while they pull you. It can be fun, but my friend described a bail and I would say they are something to watch!!

Well, my family has set the day and we are all doing our work to get ready. My Mom getting the last of the stuff for here (light bulbs are tough to find) and I am cleaning and unpacking. They will be up in late November and I am going to make a trip out to meet them and bring them back. I am getting so excited and my son is trying to wheel and deal for a grader. Little muchkin wants a toy grader and he said when he comes north that is when he should get it....turkey.

Next week I am going to be having a candle party/housewarming and I am looking forward to having people over here now that I am organized and have some stuff to serve people on. I get to be a hostess, that will be nice as I will be able to pay a few people back as I have been going to other people's houses for the last two months.

Ok, it is getting late and I am ready for bed after my cleaning and tomorrow I will hit either my Mom's room or mine and get that done so that I am ready to have guests. I do have to admit I do have to do something with the boxes outside soon as I have just been unpacking and throwing them out. It is looking rough out there :P~~

Ok everyone, take care and don't work too hard this week. I am going to do a little hard work to finish up the house so I can play with my son once he gets here. I miss him so much and I hope I never have to spend this much time apart from him again. I cry every time I talk to him, but sometimes you have to sacrifice right?

I will talk to everyone again soon.


Monday, October 12, 2009

the week the smell stopped!

Hi everyone, Ok I am a little late with my Friday post, but it has been a week of adventure and a long weekend to boot.

Last weekend I went out hunting with Doris, Monique and Michelle, and all we managed to find was a couple of herds of Muskox. Doris and I went off to get some of the pictures I posted last week and it was totally awesome. When we came back we ate some muskox burgers (i will have to get some of those). they taste fantastic on the BBQ and when I come south I will be bringing some of the local food for everyone to try out.

The big news this week was that I had a huge problem with my sewer! A big problem in the fact that the smell would not stop no matter what I did. It all started Wednesday night...I thought the truck had been to pump out the tank so I did my usual flushing of the toilets to stop the smell. Well, I was totally wrong. Through the night I began to dream about sewer gas...eventually I woke up to the horror of sewer gas in my room. The gas was coming from the toilet just off the master bedroom. Well, I moved rooms and finally got back to sleep. It was totally rude, and as it was pointed out to me, I created it all. What a wonderful thought. Well, the house was landlady tried to get the guys into fix it Thursday, but to no avail. I actually had a "moment" Thursday night as I got ready to go over to her house for the night. I have to admit I threw a pity party with my Mom. I was crying on the phone after talking to my son, having the house smell like a sewer, no stuff, no family, having to leave the house and coming up to a long weekend. I started to break a little. I knew it was probably lack of sleep and lack of oxygen, but it was still kinda depressing that this just wasn't working.

Well, the plumber came through on Friday and it turns out I have had a cracked toilet this whole time! Yup, it was a cracked toilet, which is what my friends plumber dude figured it house no longer smells like a sewer!! It is fixed before my family gets here and life is good again. I am laughing over the issue again, but it was just too much the other day.

This weekend I celebrated the long weekend by starting at the elks for a few drinks with the girls. i didn't have too many, but enough that I felt it tin the morning. I am not as young as I used to be any more :P On Saturday Monique, Doris and I headed out again, but Doris wasn't feeling well so we brought her back and Monique and I hung out and watched a movie. I had a great conversation with my Dad and then it was bedtime again.

Sunday I decided not to go out with the girls but hang out at home. They ended up getting 3 caribou and so we had a northern Thanksgiving with Caribou which they supplied and I supplied some homemade bread and some lovely fruit crisp. The recipe turned out great (first time I ever used it from Canadian Living website) and some bread. It turned out very good and my Watkins cinnamon tasted great.

So this week I also decided to start a home business and that is selling Watkins up here. I will be setting up a website and both Mom and I are going to work at it in our spare time. I am looking forward to it and we are going to do some crafts and baking to fill the time. I was told today that as long as you can keep yourself busy during the dark period time will pass faster. I am also going to do some recycling crafts to sell and see what happens. Some of my photos I plan to sell and just see what takes off and what people like.

I am so enjoying being done at the end of a day and not having to worry about meeting deadlines by doing overtime. I can explore my crafty side again, although it would be very nice to have the rest of my stuff :P Oh yes, my stuff should be waiting for a plane at the Edmonton Airport and coming up any day now. I still hope it comes sooner than later.

What else happened this last week, I got Internet at home. Work is getting busier, I want to run a home business and so it was time. I have also figured out that all my photos need to be resized to be able to fit quickly on facebook. Some day I will figure out more of those bugs.

Today I went for a walk with Sophia and her 3 dogs...they are so fun and Bill the puppy is too cute. I have said I would see if he and my son will get along, but we shall have to see if they want to keep him first. I am seriously considering getting a cat for us to have up here but the SPCA doesn't have a lot of those critters "in stock" so we shall have to see what is there when my family comes up.

Well, that about sums up my week so far. It has been fun and issues are still getting sorted out. I love the north and feel so comfortable here. Everyone is so nice and their stories are fun. Oh yah, I have found a partylite rep (candles, pretty smelling candles) and on the 30th I will have a party and begin the whole thing up here for real. We will include it as a bit of a house warming and I am enjoying re-organizing the house right now to make it work for us. Not sure the desk will stay where I have it now, but I would like it to be in the living room. Ah well, it gives me something to do to pass the time in the evening while I wait for my stuff.

i hope everyone has a great week and I will write again on Friday. It is a 4 day week this week and it will fly by. We have enough snow for snowmobiling here now and quading is coming to an end. temps are around -10 Celsius.

Take care and I will post more photos soon.


Monday, October 5, 2009

Couldn't wait to post these :)

Hi everyone, I couldn't wait until Friday to post these. They are all out of order, but I haven't figured out how to reorganize once I get them in here....time will fix all of that. Have fun with the photos :)

Doris and I got these Muskox fairly close.

Michelle and I chill'n in the Arctic Sun

Muskox - this dude is hanging out by himself. He is actually pretty big, it is hard to tell by the photo, but he is a healthy male speciman.

Muskox herd we saw and just had to take photos of, Doris and I went flying across the tundra on a quad to get images. I will post more as I get them resized.

Another of our big friend....isn't he cute? A friend of his tasted really good last night as a burger

Thursday, October 1, 2009

my life is...predictable

This is a picure of the coast guard ship 2 weeks ago in the bay. We had calm water.

This is the view out my living room window last Friday when it began to snow fairly hard. Right now it has melted a bit, but the snow is here to stay.

Wow, It is October 2nd and I can hardly believe I have been here in Cambridge Bay for over a month. Life really does pass quickly as you get older...yes Mom, you were right.

The last newsletter had me still wondering when my stuff was going to leave Saskatoon and how food mail works. Well folks, this week I have the answers...and they aren't as bad as I thought.

So, my precious possessions...they finally left Saskatoon September 28th and have begun the journey to join me in my new home. I never thought I would ever be able to write those words!! We have worked out a deal with the movers (part of the reason things were still ongoing) and I will only be held accountable for 1/3 of the money. Actually my employers are saying that they are going to help me cover the cost. I am very honoured by that offer and am glad that the moving company took some responsibility for things. I know that everything was a chain reaction, but someone had to start the ball rolling. I know enough griping already, and I can party that things are on the way up.

Now I hear that as long as my stuff in Edmonton (which was its next stop) life will be good. My stuff was to be taken from the warehouse to Edmonton where they are going to pack it onto flats, wrap it and get it ready for the flight. I am still not sure how they are going to take 500 lbs to prep my stuff for a flight, but I guess time will tell. And believe me when I say I am going to be some pissed if my stuff comes in under 3000 lbs at the airport. I have had some discussions here and I think we will be saying some words to people if that happens after all of this. It took a lot of work to get 3000 lbs off the load, my family did it, but without proof that the total weight was 7000 lbs to begin with I remain sceptical. There will be a lot of weighing of things when it finally gets here.

On that note, it could be today or three months before I see my stuff. There is no firm date on how long it will take to get things here. Once it is with the airlines, it depends on room on the flight as to when things will get here. I guess I want my stuff to stay in Edmonton and not come to Yellowknife and hang out there. Once on in Edmonton it will stay on until it gets here. If it gets taken to Yellowknife it could hang out there forever before it gets here. LOL, I wanted to downsize in my life, but a few movies would be really nice. I think once things get here (whatever it is) I am going to feel like a princess with all of my clothes, even if they aren't ball gowns :P~~~

Food mail, well, that is like getting presents at Christmas. You get these boxes that you pick up at the airport and then you open them up and see what you got sent...and what you didn't. There is no guarantee that you will get everything that you asked for. Like I didn't get any Rice Drink, blue cheese, and there was something else but I don't remember, it was that important. I did get coffee though so life turned out OK. I LOVE the Great Canadian Coffee from Extra Foods/Superstore. It is like the cheapest coffee you can get, but it tastes so good in the morning. I love that sometimes the best things in life can be the cheapest.

My fresh food items came individually wrapped and it was like picked up an item, tried to guess what it was and then opened it up to see if you were right. LOL I can't wait to play that game with my son when he gets here. It is going to be too much fun!

I began to make my own bread this last two weeks and have been having fun doing it. I finally broke down and bought a 10 kg bag of unbleached flour worth $50 at the local co-op. Yup all you farmers out there, we pay 50 bucks for flour. I had to cough a little, but what else am I going to do? I don't know when my stuff will be here and I want to do some of my own baking so, ya gotta do what ya gotta do ;)

Last Saturday there were rainbows in the sky everywhere I looked. The ice crystals in the atmosphere were reflecting the sun and it was spectacular. I have finally found software to help me downsize my images and look forward to fixing up some images this weekend to post on Facebook so everyone can see what I see. But in the mean time here are a couple of examples of what I see around me.

Life itself is quiet right now and predictable. That I can handle right now, this 6 months has been enough of an upheaval to settle my need for excitement. I still like the adventure, but a little more control is better. This simpler life also means that there is a lot less consumerism going on. I do shop on line, but it not like there is a mall around the corner will tonnes of opportunities to get impulse items. I kinda like this.
Well folks I will sign off for today and I hope this leaves everyone with a smile on their face and looking forward to the weekend. Talk to you all next week.


Second newsletter

Hi again, this is the second newsletter I sent out Sept 18th and it is a little more organized, just like my life. After this posting I will have everyone up to date and can start.

Happy reading


Good day everyone,

I thought it was time to send everyone an update on how things are going up here in the great north. It is still an adventure and it is a wonderful adventure that can test anyone’s survival skills. Today it is raining, a pretty solid rain to say the least, and is about 6. I had to laugh this morning. I walked from home and there was no real wind, as I came up the hill to work and went to cross the road the wind hit me at about 20 km/hr. It was a bit of a shocker. Overall the weather is "fall" for up here...Overcast, windy and wet. I guess this goes on now until is snows.

Ok, so where was I with my last newsletter, oh yes, I was just waiting to have my sewage tank hooked up. I have had the tank hooked up and a little trouble with sewer gas (this was one time I was worried about lighting a match. The smell was getting really rough and open flames didn’t sound safe and my fire extinguisher is from 1990…remember children, safety first). Turns out that when you have any sewer work done you need to fill the water pipes of your house to create a water barrier. Boy, that was a stinky lesson to learn. Actually one of the ladies at work mentioned that if she knows that the sewage guys are coming she fills the tub and sinks with water before work and then when she comes home she runs some water to make sure things are ok and then pulls the plugs and flushes the toilets. She is one smart lady.

The latest adventure that we have to talk about is how I am starting to run low on water. Yup, my new challenge has been to conserve water until we can get things set up to get a regular water drop-off. You see, when they dug out the sewer tank they broke the ladder and a bunch of piles of dirt and a hole. I have been able to see the wonderful glacial moraine around here…LOL what you expect me to not look at a soil profile that was dug for me? So we shall see if I do laundry this weekend. It isn’t like I create a lot by myself, but the last of my underwear is still in Saskatoon.

Water update, I checked my tank on Wednesday when I got home and I have water…I can do laundry, I can have a bath rather than just a shower, do the dishes and clean the house. Yup I have to clean the house even though I have very little right now to clean. Humm, think I will work on cleaning the house after the bath. LOL.

Oh yeah, and the latest on the saga of my possessions. Well, my parents and uncle went in this past Monday and went through and took out 3,000 lbs. They were asked to take out an additional 500 lbs, but they drew the line. I am not sure what would have been left if we did that. I think the only things that would have been moved up would have been my son's toys and a couple of pieces of clothes each! My heavens for an allotment of 4,000 lbs I am not sure what I get to have. Good thing this place comes with furniture otherwise we would be sleeping on the floor under our winter jackets. Ok, that may be a bit melodramatic but it kinda feels like I am slowly being stripped naked! I knew I had to learn to downsize in my life and live simpler, but my heavens I need books, movies and a few more changes of underwear :P~~ Ah and the best part is until I pay $1100 my stuff gets to stay in storage for awhile longer…AHHHHH. I will get life organized soon. Thank heavens for family that are able to help you when you are down too. Yah to Dad, Mom and Uncle!!

Other than that, I have spent all the last couple weeks in my house and enjoying it. The view is such a treat to watch. The bay is always changing and you can look and see fog one minute and look again and things have cleared off. I have taken walks along the bay and taken pictures of the waves last Friday. The wind was gusting up to 80 km/hr and the bay looked like the greek god of the sea Neptune was upset. The waves had washed up some seaweed and I had fun looking at that. Yes, I know “geek”, but I wear that title with pride and can’t wait for Cam to be here to look some more at “stuff”. yes, geek geek geek!!!...LOL

I have also agreed to join the local daycare board that my son will be attending. The current manager of the day care is a wonderful lady that has really turned the place around. He will be learning the local language, about drum dances and throat singing!! There is a program there so he can start to learn to read and some kids that have been through is go to kindergarden already reading! The little one is really going to have fun with everything and everyone there. The people here really love their children and I can’t wait to be a part of that.

I have also talked to a speech pathologist in Yellowknife and if I can time things right in November we can have him assessed and set up in their program and on the list for Cambridge Bay. They are also looking at doing some teleconferencing and I said I would be willing to try it to see how he do es. I think as long as he gets along with the individual in person then things have a potential to work out and the worst that will happen is that it doesn’t work so that isn’t too much to lose. He will just make faces at the camera or wonder what he is talking to. Oh yeah, we have the word “why” in our vocabulary now so life is going to get fun. I know that Grandma hears it a lot. I can’t wait to hear it. Please remind me of this moment when I get frustrated for hearing why enough times to make me scream ; )

Well, I have a little challenge yet with the photos as my new cameras take some nice images that have really big files. So as soon as I figure out how to resize my images I will be putting them on my facebook page and sending others of you who don’t have accounts.

Life is simpler here and I love the fact I get a lunch hour and am done at 5. I have time to make supper at night and enjoy a little TV, go for a walk, write e-mails or play with photos. It is nice to be able to have a life outside of work. I am going to be able to spend time with my son and Mom and actually have an opportunity to have the family life I have always wanted. I want to watch my son grow up and be a part of that process rather than the one that is just passing through. I think about his birth (his birthday was on Wednesday, turned 4) and he is the best thing that has happened in my life. They say children are our hearts, they are right. I see my heart everytime I look at my son. He is my heart and he will be my greatest gift to the world. He has brought people together in my family, I only wonder what he will do with others as he grows. I think Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young said it best when they sang "teach your children well and feed them on your dreams the ones they fix". Ok, so I missed a few of the lyrics but you get the idea.

Have a great couple of weeks everyone and things are beginning to level out here. They may not be normal, but at least they are becoming predictable and that is close enough for me. So, in my next e-mail I will tell you the adventure of food mail as that is my next challenge to undertake here in the great white north :)

my first newsletter

The following is a newsletter that I first sent out to friends and family when I first got up here September 7th. I wanted to include this one (and the second one) because I want everyone to be part of the fun. Hope you enjoy reading this. Please note before you begin, I was a bit sporadic and my thought patterns are all over the place. This is a good representation of the life I had been leading to this point :P~~

Happy reading


Hi Everyone, I am here, alive and staying warm. The north has been an adventure right from the moment that I received notification that I got this job. It all started with the movers losing the request for my move and I won't tell you until the end how things have progressed. I am alive and as someone told me, I was going to forget something and I was going to be OK.

The flight up was fairly uneventful, except I am overweight on my move and have been trying to reduce 3,000 lbs from my load (this much has been quoted as costing me 15,000 to get it to Cambridge bay). I could only get about 1,500 lbs with out looking at the load and my parents are going to be going in to get some more off on Sept 14th. Then my stuff will be able to leave Saskatoon and begin its journey up. Yup, my stuff hasn't started coming up yet and could take approximately 8 weeks to get here!

This has only been the beginning. Some of my co-workers from the office met me at the airport, which was totally cool, and helped me get settled into the swing of things. My first day in the office was a blur, I spent Sat doing laundry and packing and left for Baker Lake. I took the advice of my co-worker and took extra luggage so I could go shopping on the way home in Yellowknife and pick up some cheaper veggies. The trip in Baker Lake was awesome. We were taken on a tour of the gold mine there and the tank farm they are building by their dock. The most amazing thing about the site visit was realizing that everything right down to a bolt and nut were brought up by a barge!! This site is huge (think Fort McMurray) and it was all brought on a barge.

I would have had pictures of this trip, but my camera decided to pack it in :( I was sad and once I hit Yellowknife again I replaced the camera pretty quick. Oh yes, and before I forget, the winds in Baker Lake were gusting up to 80 km/hr. You could be blown off your feet, and we almost were. On the way back from the mine site, we got to see a grizzly bear and her cub. She was a good size and a blonde to boot ;) She had made a caribou kill next to the road and was startled by a grader when it came around the corner. Of course I don't have any pictures, but that is OK as well.

I also got to see a number of tundra caribou running and lots of little brown birds flying so fast I couldn't identify them. I will fix that problem soon. Now as I have mentioned earlier there was a Baker Lake and there they saw waves on the lake unlike anything they have seen before. Here in Cambridge Bay they had the same kind of day and it poured rain. This rain made the sewage tank at the house I am renting that had recently been replaced to float to the surface. When I returned to Cambridge Bay I spent the first night in my house and on Friday the returned at lunch to find that they were working on the problem and had taken the tank out. It made for a long lunch, but I thought the problem would be fixed fairly quickly. I was mistaken, this is the north! Luckily I had help and now find myself in a hotel room hoping that they find staff to fix my house soon. I can only stay in the hotel until Tuesday morning, but the landlady said I can stay with her if they still haven't fixed the sewage tank by then. it is totally funny actually and par for the course during this move. At least this inconvenience has meant that I have a phone and internet during my move.

I guess I forgot to tell you that my phone will be hooked up sometime next week (they say Wednesday) as they had removed the hardware required for a phone from the house earlier this year. They need to come into my house to put that back together before I can get a phone. Yup, the north is an adventure and I never realized that when I went to Lake Louise that my experiences there would come in handy again in my life. But, life has its way of preparing you for what is to be in front of you.

The community meeting in Baker Lake was most interesting. I sat in the corner watching for the most part, and was able to observe the people there (as well as around Cambridge Bay). So far what I see is a people that are in transition. The are adjusting from their nomadic life to a modern white way of life. The conditions are not unlivable, but the children do go hungry and their diet isn't balanced. The cost of food is impressive, but if you eat healthy and shop carefully it can be livable. For example, a bag of chips is about $5 and pop about $3. But, I can buy a can of vegetable soup for 1.19 and veggies are fairly reasonable... 2lb bag baby carrots $4. Bread can be pricey...$3. Now to get flour, a 5 lb bag is $16 and 1 lb sugar $6. So, I have seen a 10 lb bag of flour is $45!! That's what I said $45, I have got to get all of my flour up here in this load coming up. The groceries are staying on the load and we will sacrifice some other stuff to be brought up when Mom and Son come up. The terrain and surrounding area have their own beauty. There are no trees but there is still a lot of colour. There are willows and woody vegetation, but they come up to your ankle! I plan on going out and seeing what I can find today and I will post pictures on a facebook account and send some out soon. Life is not boring up here and you can find things to do as long as you are willing to look. There was a dance in town on Saturday night and poker at someones house every night of the week. I think that is enough for this update and I hope this finds everyone enjoying the heat down south. The only reason you have it is because I left to come up here...LOL. The temperatures range between 2 and 16 right now. Take care and I will send out another update as soon as I get a little more settled. Good bye for now.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This is just the beginning

Hi Everyone,

I am Kelli and I am now in the Great White North of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada after relocating from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. I had a friend encourage me to create a blog of my adventure newsletter I have been sending out for the last month to a few of my friends. So far there are only two newsletters...I can't believe I have been here for a month already...and so I am going to take his suggestion and begin this blog. This one may be a bit long, but as he suggested I should include a little background to bring everyone up to speed. So, I will try to keep this short, but at least set the scene before I leave you.

Well, the story opens with me becoming like many other Canadians, I lost my job due to the economy. Ahh, the day sucked, but I held onto the thought that everything happens for a reason and there is a reason for everything. So, I began my self-preservation and keeping a roof over the head of my son and my son's nanny, my Mom. (believe me when I say thank heavens for Mom's, they are the greatest creation in the world!). And the world does work out for the best as you will find as you read on.

I looked for work for 5 months putting out 55 resumes and received about 5 interviews. In the mean time I kept busy working part-time for a wonderful group of people at a pharmacy across the street from where I lived to try and tried to look on the bright side of life. I was stressed, but I just clung to the thought that everything would be ok in the end. I also leaned on a lot of shoulders during that time and talked to people that gave me some fantastic advice. Well, that 5th interview was with the company that I currently work for and I found myself moving to the Great White North. I was OK with everything because I felt that this was my dream job in a dream location. (Honestly, I even said that in my interview! Ask them, I really did!)

I have had opportunities to work in the north during the summers of my consulting career (8 years total) and fell in love with what I saw. Mind you what I saw was a lot of short trees because I had never been north of the treeline/arctic circle. But, I felt that this was my chance to live in the great white north. My son is young enough that he hasn't started school yet or he hasn't gotten highly involved in activities so it would be a life-building experience for him and me. I want my son to have the things that I didn't have (every parent's dream right?). I also wanted to experience a place that not many others get to see or experience in their lifetime for a variety of reasons. Never mind Hollywood, for this girl the north is where dreams come true :)

So, I accepted the job and had two weeks to pack and get ready to move to my new home. I undertook the preparations like a fiend and bought $2,000 of groceries that would have been shipped up on a barge. Yup, I said barge. The place I live in is supplied primarily by barge in the summer and think, pioneer times when it comes to food and fuel. I missed putting purchases on the barge so needed to put it in with my belongings to be moved. The company is paying to move 4,000 lbs (1,800 kg) and I didn't need to bring any furniture because the places you rent are primarily furnished.

Rent is $2,500/mo and it includes power, water, sewage, fuel, and garbage. And now I need to tell my readers that in the north due to permafrost and bedrock, everything is trucked to (or from) your house at least twice a week. Yup, it is time to put on sweaters to stay warm so that the heating fuel lasts, water conservation (when it's yellow let it mellow, you know the rest) and all of that good stuff. You can call to have them bring more when you need it, but my goal right now is to have more than I need with what I got.

Oh yes, and the house is up on stilts so as to leave the permafrost where it is. Thawing the permafrost is not a good idea as the water filled silt would just slide on into the bay and make a giant mess. This does make for an interesting time during windstorms. My first windstorm I was a little uncomfortable that the house shook when the wind blew. I don't know about you, but I get excited when the ground shakes/the house shakes...I think earthquake or tornado just like a good prairie girl. I have since learned that this is normal!! I am not is Kansas anymore Toto :P~~

The house is about a 5 minute walk from the office (a nice saunter in the am and pm) and close enough that when the winter winds blow I can make it fast! The house looks out at the bay and is south facing so we will be able to enjoy the sun when it is here. I guess I should mention that Cambridge Bay has 8 weeks in the winter that have NO SUN. Yes folks, NO SUN for 8 weeks...little apprehensive about that, but that is part of the stuff that sounded exciting about living in the north. On the up side I get 8 weeks of sunshine in the summer so life does balance itself out :P~~

Right now I have a roof over my head, the clothes on my back and food to eat. In further postings you will begin to understand how important those three things are. As a good author I do need to leave you wanting more right? LOL

My goal is to post something every Friday so that everyone can come on this adventure with me. If it is from your armchair as you sit in the heat of the sunshine in your corner of the world, so be it. I will happily bring you along to see the world that I see here. It is amazing and you have no idea what you are in for. I only had an idea and it has surpassed that, in many good ways.

I hope to see you all back next week for the next posting on my adventures in the north. And indulge me for a moment when I thank all of my family and friends for all of the support that they gave me over the last 6 months. They are a group of wonderful people that deserve part of (if not the majority) of the credit for what I am doing. I will bring them up individually in future blogs and I hope you learn how great they are.

Take care and enjoy the sunshine I don't have right now. (primarily cloudy, the water is freezing over, and we had snow on Monday)