I'm a blogger slacker

Sunday, June 29, 2008
Oppsie ... I've been slacking off on my blogging duties while on vacation (hehe) ... let's see... where to begin....

Well shortly after arriving back in Freddy Beach, I wound up being abducted (or Kennie-napped) for a evening of fun at Mexi's followed by a rowdy night at DJ's for late night "tea". It twas fun and dearly needed after the 16 hour bus trip. Earlier this week I took a little shopping trip to Bangor with the girls and gave my MC a rather good work-out. On the bright side, I think I have almost everything that I need for my return to the North. Tons of fleece gear and some entertainment for those dark cold winter days. I get back in Freddy, and I am whisked away again (like 30 minutes later) to another Mexi's / "tea" night as a group of us were having an ELP staff reunion of sorts..... lots of tea and chatting going on ........ and today I went up to the mall to the theater to see Wall-E (hehe! I so want my own Wall-E!!!).

And that is where we are in Kennie's southern vacation.

Oh the weather here has been quite schizophrenic too. All it's been doing for this last week is rain, rain and more rain - despite what the weather network states. Do not believe the weather network ... it's all lies!!! It's warmer in the North than it is in NB today.... go figure eh?

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.9)

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.8)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.7)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.6)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Oh, how I miss the cooler weather of the North

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.5)

Saturday, June 21, 2008

10 months was well worth the wait

Thursday, June 19, 2008
I could hardly contain my excitement this morning when we stopped - TIM HORTON'S !!!!!!

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.4)

On the Road Again

June 18 8:35 PM

I’m sitting here on the bus headed towards Montreal (we just stopped off in Turcotte??? to drop some passengers off) and we are heading back towards the highway now, about 30 min outside of Montreal.

The trip thus far has been pretty uneventful. It’s been nice just sitting back watching the trees go by. The weather has been very good for traveling - no rain! As it poored down on Ottawa just as we were heading to the bus station to drop me off.

Once I get to Montreal, I’ll have about a 30 min “layover” before I board the bust to get to Riviere-du-Loup ... and then another transfer to the bus that is heading towards Fredericton at 4:00 am (lucky eh?).

I’ve been taking video footage of the trip so far, so once I get back to NB and find my camera cables, y’all will be getting a little video of my trip home from Ottawa.


Made it Montreal in one piece ... it was touch and go for a while when an idiot driver decided to pull out of a street side parking space RIGHT in front of us. The Montreal bus station is even more complicated than the one in Ottawa. At least in Ottawa all of the arrival and departure gates are all in a straight line. Montreal? No. In Montreal fashion it has to be complicated. Now, if my bus tickets had on them what gate I was supposed to go to I would have had no problems. But no. No gate numbers on the tickets. So we have to crowed around a TV screen to try to figure out what gate we go to pretty much based off of destimation and departure time. I found my gate ... and surprisingly we are a packed bus headed towards Riviere-du-Loup and by the sounds of it, there is only a handful of us getting off the bus there to transfer to the one headed towards Fredericton, while this bus continues on towards Moncton. Crazy eh?

Well it is dark outside now, so I won't be able to get really good footage of the trip home, but with any luck I might be able to see some UFO's lurking around in the dark.

Another six hours on a bus ... then another transfer

June 19, 3:40 AM

We have just arrived in Riviere-du-Loup .... have I managed to get any sleep while on the bus? About an hour of it ... the rest of the time I have just been staring out the wind listening to tunes. Sleep seems to elude me right now - and no, it is not because of the caffeine in my system, my last cup of java was at noon yesterday - so that is not the reason. I blame it on not being able to find a comfortable position in this seat. We are soon off and headed towards NB with many little stops along the way ... should be an interesting morning - only another 6 (5 if we consider the time change when we hit the Quebec-New Brunswick border).

5:29 / 6:29 AM

Well looks like we've crossed the border between Quebec and New Brunswick ... and the only reason I know that this happened is because all of the road signs are now bilingual. Great how you can tell you are home :-)

6:45 AM

We are here in Edmonton (Edmonstun??) right now for a quick stop ...... and of course a coffee break! Timmy's!!!!!! It has been a long 10 months without my morning Timmy's fix. Yes, I do have coffee in the North (of the Starbucks variety), but there is just something about having that morning coffee in the brown cup, especially if it is combined with a Boston Cream :-).

7:45 AM

Driving along the highway .... green trees all around and the occasional deer and Mountie. Oh it is nice to be "home". Now all I have to do is hope that my iPod will last the last three hours of this trip - don't got much for battery power left ... and I've already drained my nano .. looks like draining the rest of my MPB battery might be next.

8:00 AM

Here we are in Perth-Andover for a breakfast stop ... hmmm.... more coffee and a Klondike Bar - breakfast of champions I tell you! 8:40 AM we hit the road again!

9:45 AM

Alright! an RCMP welcoming committee! Don't know what exactly happened on the road, but traffic is backed up and there are Mounties all over the place ... hope they aren't doing a search of vehicles right now

10:10 AM

Ohhh.... we have made it to downtown Freddy Beach! Off to bed I soon head! Yeah!!

I'm off again ... this time by bus

Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Well, I've been down south for almost a week now ... and I am just beginning to feel "normal" - the malls don't amaze me anymore, the produce section at the grocery store is normal, and I actually can sleep in the dark - I know, strange but true, I got quite used to sleeping in the light.

Tonight I am heading back to good ol Freddy Beach by bus - 14 hours on a bus ... should be pretty interesting, especially since I have two transfers to make to make it all the way home. With any luck I won't get on the wrong bus, and my luggage won't get onto the wrong bus either .... although, I can't remember if I have to claim my luggage at each stop or if they automatically move it for me ... hmmm... guess we will find out when I get to the bus station eh?

Southern Update 3: Museum of Civilization

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Today's trip out took me to the Museum of Civilization (one of the many places I wanted to hit before heading back to the Maritimes .. so that means, I'll have to hit the National Gallery of Canada on my way back to Nunavut, as I leave for NB tomorrow night)..... Read More

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.3)

Southern Update 2

Sunday, June 15, 2008
Today was a pretty lazy ass day .... slept in late, drank coffee, lounged around, read a book and sat outside listening to the rain and thunder roll through Ottawa - how I missed the sound of rain and thunder! It's strange what you miss hearing living way up North. And did it ever rain and thunder - all afternoon! It was great! (well to me it was at least).

Tomorrow, should the roads be dry and not a lot of rain in the forecast, I'm going to be heading out for the morning / afternoon on a bike, just touring around .... and chances are I will get lost in the process .... so I"ll be sure to have a 20$ on me for a taxi should I need a rescue.

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.2)

Southern Update 1

Saturday, June 14, 2008
Here I am, in the south .... it's been a couple of days since I left Arctic Bay (and how do I ever miss the much cooler climate of the North!).

Thursday, as we were driving to my relatives (with whom I am crashing with for the duration of my stay in Ottawa), we stopped off at the grocery store to pick up some grub for the night ... well, I was completely in shock in the store. Anyone living in the North knows what some of our selection is like .... how much it costs ... and in general, what our grocery stores look like. Let's just say, I was walking around there with my eyes practically poping out of my head. The produce section was bigger than our Northern back in Arctic Bay .... read more

Images of Arctic Bay and Surrounding Area (pt.1)

Friday, June 13, 2008

Tales from the Arctic .... over the Arctic pt.2

Thursday, June 12, 2008
Success! We landed in Iqaluit .... and we are also going to be departing Iqaluit on time for Ottawa! Whoop-whoop! Arriving in Iqaluit, I ran into many people from Arctic Bay who were on their way back up North, as well as many other southern teachers and RCMP members who were heading either out to other communities or down south for the summer - we all had a good quick chat, and then realized that we better hurry our butts into the security check line as it was getting pretty long (with two packed flights heading to Ottawa .... and the massive amount of electronic gear I had on my back, I knew that it was going to take a while).

And as usual ... my little hard drive managed to get me extra screened at the checkpoint. "Mam, what exactly is this?" (security guy pointing to a screen). "That is a hard drive". "Ok, mam, we are going to have to swab test your bag" (security guy taking my bag over to the swabbing area). "Ok" (me rolling my eyes .. sigh). Well, as usual, I made it through the check point with flying colors.

We all made it through, and were all just hanging out in the waiting area for our boarding call ... well, what can I say, the flight to Ottawa basically turned into a great big party in the air - the plane was full of teachers, RCMP, military and a couple of researchers. We just ran around, swapping stories all throughout the flight. I don't think the poor flight attendants really knew what to do with us.

Shortly before 5:00pm, we landed in Ottawa - and boy was it warm (at least compared to what I am used to) ... and long story made rather short, I am now here staying with my relatives for a while and I plan to do the tourist bit while I am here (figure why not! It's my summer vacation!)... and of course, we are going to be doing the oh so important task tomorrow of taking Kennie shopping for some "summer" appropriate clothes - I guess well worn jeans, hoodies and Birks don't exactly cut it down south for summer gear ;-).

So to everyone that is wondering where I am, no worries, I am safe and sound in Ottawa .... and will eventually be making the trek back to NB.

Hope everyone has a great summer break!

Tales from in Arctic ... over the Arctic pt.1

Thoughts, meanderings and rambles while in the air ....

Well everyone, I made it out of Nanisivik this morning. It didn’t look too hopeful around 6:30 as the sky was grey, King George could not been seen and there was this ominous fog drifting in over the sound across the bay. I was pretty bummed out. So I waited .. and waited ... and waited until 7:30 before I called to the airport to find out if my flight was still on schedule. And did I ever hear the best words of the week coming out of Tim’s mouth “Why yes dear, the flight to Iqaluit is still on - are you excited now?” Excited doesn’t begin to describe it. I was ecstatic! Vacation time here I come!

Off I went dancing around the house, pulling together the last couple of items that i needed to stuff into my pack before heading out ... not at all thinking that I should probably give my drive to the airport a call to let him know that the flight was still on.... luckily, one of us does have a brain in the morning and he called shortly after to inquire about my flight status.

The ride to the airport was uneventful, for what a 30km drive to Nanisivik can be - although, we did make it there in record time - got to love it when the driver will drive faster than 40km/hr on the twisty roads. Felt like a roller coaster ride at times (just added to the complete and total excitement that I was already experiencing) - many thanks for the ride to the airport too! I owe you!!!

We get to the airport, and I am pretty sure that he did this right on purpose, as he knew I was wearing my Birks (like I was going to be wearing sneakers down to Ottawa where it is +30 right now - ha! I arrived in Arctic Bay wearing Birks, I leave Arctic Bay wearing Birks), and parked right in a freaking snow bank. So there I am, staring down at the snow covered ground going “Oh &@#! - you did this on purpose!”. All I get is a good laugh out of him, as I see my bag being lugged into the airport.

So, here I now am, 1. 5 hours into a three hour flight, sitting back, listening to tunes, and going to be going back to my nap soon .... my seat mate and I are both "leaning" on each other to keep up from falling over while napping - we are quite the sight!

Here’s hoping that my flight from Iqaluit to Ottawa goes smoothly.


If you are reading this ....

Well if you are reading this, it can means only one thing - we made it out! and Mother Nature didn't throw a curve ball at us, and First Air didn't have a mechanical issue with the plane! So, chances are I am somewhere's flying above Nunavut right now at an unknown point between Nanisivik and Iqaluit.

One Last Look @ Arctic Bay

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Bay is still pretty frozen up here, but it is slowly melting, as you can see large visible areas of water on the ice ... and by the time I return in August, most if not all of the ice should be melted.

Schizophrenic Weather

The weather forecast here has been changing constantly ... and not that it can really be trusted either way up here ... considering that our weather station down by the new airstrip isn't exactly working correctly right now ... so our forecasts are being heavily relied on by satellite imagery....

... at least the snow is holding out until Friday! How's the weather down in Cape Dorset Jen?? Still snowing ;-) ?

Mother Nature is Cooperating So Far

Tuesday, June 10, 2008
After last nights weather scare - it was quite miserable up here in Arctic Bay, blowing snow / rain and a thick layer of fog / low lying clouds that hid the bay from our sight - the sun came out, cleared and the first wave of teachers made it out of Nanisivik without a problem ... on their way southbound for the summer. No word yet on how they fared getting out of Iqaluit ... but by the looks of the weather, they should have had no problems.

Now, all I have to do is hope that Mother Nature continues to be a good sport, and keeps the nice weather up here in AB, Nanisivik and Iqaluit through Thursday .... don't play games with me Momma Nature ... you know that I am flying out on Thursday .. and behave for the other teachers leaving after me too!

The end and the beginning

Sunday, June 8, 2008
Just as one adventure ends ... another one is about to begin ...

Being up here in the North, you take many things for granted - water, power, weather, food, entertainment, transportation and the sheer isolation of living in the North.

I've been pretty lucky here this year, only had a couple of tough days without water, the occasional power outage and the weather has been pretty decent. Food wise, i had a sea lift (that I grew very tired of around March), and I always had DVD's arriving up here from down south. Transportation ... well everything is within walking distance (except for the airport) and there was always some one out on their Honda or skidoo that would stop and offer me a lift up the hill. And, most surprisingly, the isolation of living way up North didn't bother me as much as I thought it would, and it wasn't as bad as what others who have done a Northern stint before said it was.

So, just as I am fully getting used to living in the North, and slowing down, yes everyone, I have slowed down, I am heading back south for a nice vacation, and going back to the world of the fast and the mind-boggling. Any suggestions on how not to be too overwhelmed?? other than running away to the woods with a tent for the summer?

But .... things are winding down here in Arctic Bay and at school, with tomorrow being the last day for teachers. We've had a busy last couple of weeks and these last two days have been filled with administrative work (curriculum checks, updating student files, organizing classroom assignments, cleaning, cleaning, and more cleaning). My rooms are pretty much done, just a couple of simple things that need to be finished up.

And at the home front, things are winding up with some crazy packing and storing of belongings going on. I have just realized that my mother was right, I did pack a lot of stuff (although, I think another word was used for stuff) :-) . But, it's all good. It's all fitting into boxes and bags. Most of my clothing has either been given away or thrown out as it just is so worn out and ratty that there was no hope for it at all.

Most of my sea lift from last year is also gone, except for the mountain of macaroni and pasta sauce ... one can only eat so much pasta in a year ... but at least I know I have enough of my order left over to get me through the first three weeks before the next sea lift arrives here in Arctic Bay.

I've started a list of things that I need for next year up here - mostly simple things (Swiffer, as a broom just doesn't cut it up here, batteries, tin foil, juice / water jugs ... pretty basic stuff). Other than that, it's more jeans, t-shits, fleece sweaters, socks and under-roos - the standard Northern gear).

This will probably be my last regular, unscheduled post for a while (at least until I get to Ottawa). And for anyone who wants to keep up with my adventures down South for the summer, head on over to North-Down-South, my southern summer blog.

Have a great summer everyone!

Come again CBC?

Thursday, June 5, 2008
So, I'm sitting here watching the news .... and I think CBC has finally LOST their mind. How can they not RENEW the license for the Hockey Night in Canada theme song! Everyone (in Canada) knows the tune! It's our second National anthem!

Taking the Hockey Night in Canada theme song away would be like stripping The Great White North (Kanadian Korner) of their signature "coo-roo-coo-coo-coo-coo-coo-coo" theme song.

.... or taking Bruce Frisko away from Live at 5!

Everyone, and I mean everyone is up in arms about this.

CBC Hockey Night in Canada – Brought to you by the Letters that Spell “Huge Dolts

Alberta premier outraged over CBC's decision to drop Hockey Night theme

Last Play for Hockey Night in Canada Song?

CBC fumbles negotiations on Hockey Night theme

Hockey - Day the (theme) music died

Losing theme akin to losing friend: experts

The death of a theme that was part of our cultural conversation

Although, it seems now, that CBC is maybe trying to dig themselves out of a PR nightmare ... stating that a deal is still possible for Hockey Night Song.

Hockey Night in Canada just won't be the same without it's widely known song that makes it uniquely Canadian.


For Tina

Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Detroit Red Wings Win The Cup!!!!!

"We Are the Champions my Friend .. duh-da-duh-da-da-da, "

It was a great game Tina! I hope you managed to at least catch some of it!

Hike Up King George V Mountain

Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Today, as part of year end activities, myself, Monty, Darcy and Nick took grades 7-12 for a hike up King George V Mountain today.

The hike was fairly uneventful, as many of us took our time climbing the mountain; although, some brave youngin's ran up the steep hills to get to the top.

I had never been up King George when there was no snow (last time I was there was when we went skidooing).

The view from up the mountain was spectacular.

In all it was a great trip out for the students, and for us teachers - where else do you get paid to hike a mountain?

Helping the Earth get a Little Greener

Monday, June 2, 2008
Today at school, as part of our end of year activities, this morning we had a huge garbage clean up bonanza on the school grounds, along the main road and along the shore line.

The students did a fantastic job - collecting and filling over 70 HUGE garbage bags full of garbage that has been unveiled from the meting snow.

Way to go!

In the afternoon we had a BBQ with hot dogs and juice picnic hosted by the Hamlet for the students and community members and a movie that we projected onto the wall using the LCD projector in the gym for the students once the picnic was finished.

For Tina

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Ohhh Yeah!

Red Wings are gonna take

the Penguins Down!!!!