Read for 15

Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Today we participated in the Read for 15 challenge as part of Nunavut's Literacy Week (September 29, 2008 - October 3, 2008). For 15 minutes we all got together in the gym with family and community members to read and promote literacy.

Wacky Science

For the last week and continuing until the end of the week students here have been treated to hands on science experiments through Elephant Thoughts who sent us up a facilitator who traveled all the way up here to the high arctic with all sorts of fun and educational science activities for k-12.

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Northern DYI

This evening I have spent much of my time drying out my door knob (as it has water in it and it is freezing and basically freezing me inside my house - I really cannot get out - ask Darcy).

Between giving it a dose of lock deicer when I got home from work (courtesy of Darcy) and drying it out for five minute rounds every hour or so (as I want to pull out as much moisture in it as possible), I think I might have the problem temporarily solved. We will see how long it takes before I am frozen in (or out of) my apartment again.

Defrosting the doorknob

Creative use of Tuck tape and Ziplock sandwich bag to create a "weather barrier"

Just another day in the wacky world of the North :-)

Only in the North can you be frozen in your house

Monday, September 29, 2008
Let the games continue! Over the weekend we got some snow (a good amount about 6 inches) and of course, much of it was blowing and had to land right on/in my doorknob on my outside door.

Big deal most of us say. Well .... I am now frozen in my house. My doorknob keeps freezing up and won't turn. I had to call over to Darcy for a rescue earlier tonight and he pretty much had to body slam himself into the door.

And I know that it's freezing, as once we did get it open and the door warmed up, the doorknob worked just fine. Looks like another call to housing tomorrow to get a new knob on my door (to which I will then be weather proofing so no more snow gets into it - at all.

Hallelujah! We have heat!

Sunday, September 28, 2008
After our oil tank flushed, taken apart, lines flushed completely out and a lot of banging under the house our heat has been restored! Apparently there was water in the lines that was causing all of the havoc as it was freezing up. But now, they have been cleared and we have oil flowing to our furnace and the heat is pumping away. Yippee!

The Hat

As we all know how cold it can get up here in the North (at least those of us who live up here know what I am talking about :-) ) going outside can be a tad painful. No matter how many layers you stick on your head, your ears always freeze up turning red and then burning for hours later (I know, I could just pull the hood of my parka up, but then my glasses fog up and I can't see where I am going).

A couple of weeks ago I figured well, I like my ears. I want to keep my ears. So, I begun my search for an earflap hat. There were none here in town :-( and none to be found anywheres else either. Bummer. Right?

Since I already knit most of my hats (nice ribbed watch hats) I figured well, I might as well take a crack at knitting an earflap hat. It was an experiment - had no idea what I was doing. Luckily there were a couple of free patterns online (here and here and here) that I adapted and I did eventually wind up with my earflap hat. It's not quite perfect, as there are a couple of adjustments that I still need to do when I begin knitting the next one (once my wool arrives), but for a first time earflap hat knitter, I didn't do too shabby.

And for anyone who is looking for an online store to order wool from (cause we all know how much of a pain it can be finding it up North) there are two places that I found that have reasonable shipping charges and they ship to the North! (which is a biggie!).

Yarn Forward - a knitting / crochet supply store out of Ontario (really good selection of wools in a variety of colors) who was originally a mail-order online knitting retailer that has branched out into two retail stores as well.

Wool Trends - a great store out of Newfoundland that has a variety of wools.

Mary Maxim Canada - a nice online store for all your knitting and craft needs. Has really good shipping rates.

Herrschners Canada - another good online store for all of your knitting and craft needs.

Is there some sort of conspiracy that I'm not aware of?

Yet again this weekend I am without heat. I (er we as this is also affecting my neighbors Darcy and Monty) have been without heat since about 8:00 am Saturday morning. The maintenance guys were out there until 2:30 am last night trying to get it to work - at least that is when the banging ended and I wasn't about to complain about it as they are trying to get us our heat back. And they have been back at it this morning as I can hear occasional banging coming out from the furnace room. With any luck we will have heat restored today.

And things could be worse - as we could also be out of water (which has happened a couple of times this year so far, but they have been minor outages with us getting water again a couple of hours later) or we could have no power (which has also happened this year due to a scheduled outage so not the end of the world). As long as we always have two out the the three essentials I will be happy.

So that leaves me here, sitting in my nippy unit (that is now about 13 degrees inside) wearing a hat, thermal long-johns, flannel pj pants and a warm fleece sweater wondering if I will have heat by the end of today ... as a nice warm showing Monday morning would be nice. There has been one good thing about this "lack of heat". My MBP isn't getting quite as warm as it usually goes (as in let's burn my lap) while it's processing photos in Aperture. So, I guess there is an upside to this lack of heat.

I can breathe!

Thursday, September 25, 2008
Ahh ... it's like Christmas again today - I got mail! And just not any mail either. My new humidifier arrived from today!!! (and I love these guys! And they have free shipping now in Canada!!!) I am soooo happy!! My old humidifier (the one I moved up North with) gave out a couple of weeks ago. I suppose one would if it's running pretty much running 16 hours a day, 7 days a week for a year. So it's been pretty dry up here while waiting for my new one to arrive. I didn't go quite as high tech as Darcy's humidifier (as I'm pretty sure his could control a NASA space shuttle).

I wonder which would be warmer right now

Saturday, September 20, 2008

the inside of an igloo or my apartment. Sometime during the night we "lost" our heat. Now, whether it's because we are out of furnace fuel (which we doubt as we can see the tracks of the fuel truck by our oil tanks) or if some how our furnace got turned off in the furnace/water tank room sometime yesterday is up for grabs. All I know is that it's a nippy 10 degrees in my apartment, and I am wearing socks. Yes, socks.

Update: We got our heat restored around 6:30pm ... it was a chilly 18 hours without heat ... my unit is now nice and roasty like Jamaica :-)

It's Friday!

Friday, September 19, 2008
Well.... it's Friday .... and I really have anything to post about. This week school as been typical school, the weather has been somewhat cooperative and pleasant and I have gotten nothing good in the mail all week (other than my Mac Life magazine that arrived today).

The iceberg that was nice and close to us earlier this week has drifted back out to the far reaches of the bay - but we can still see it. Sunrises this week have been pretty neat this week with some nice pink skies (but I am never awake enough to take a good picture) .... and the moon is out and shining tonight.

Oh yes ... and I am out of water again; even though the water truck was here yesterday. We (myself and my next door neighbors) have a feeling that we were not delivered a full tank of water as we only got two loads of laundry and one shower each out of it. Usually we get at least three loads of laundry and two showers each. Sigh. Hopefully water will come tomorrow.

And in other news, Nunavut passed it's Education Act today.

More Ice Cube Floating in the Bay

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The first one was taken this afternoon down on the breakwater while walking home from school. The second was taken about 20 minutes ago from down the street. It's already begun to drift back out towards the mouth of the bay.

Drifting Ice Cubes

This morning, I woke up to an empty bay. I was bummed out as I was hoping that the iceberg from last night would have ventured in closer to town. Little did I know that the berg was hiding out behind the RCMP house, out of my view. It was a great little surprise to see it so far in the bay (close to town) as we (Darcy and I) were walking down to school this morning.

Look What the Current Dragged In

Monday, September 15, 2008
This little guy (well - not so little) as been floating back and forth between the mouth of the bay leading out to Admiralty Inlet and Adams Sound for the last couple of weeks being pushed back and forth by the currents. At least I think it's the one that has been floating back and forth between Admiralty Inlet and Adams Sound ... if not, it's a new one that has arrived in from Admiralty Inlet

I didn't have the best conditions outside while nabbing these pics - it was bitterly cold and windy - and st00pid me didn't bother grabbing a hat or pair of mittens as I didn't have much time to try to nab these before there wasn't enough light anymore.

Hopefully, the iceberg will still be there tomorrow and I can get a good shot of it during the day. Or even better, the currents bring it in closer to town :-) I can wish ... right?

I think winter has finally arrived

This morning I woke up to snow. Yes snow. Again. This time though, I think it's going to be sticking around. For good. The air just seems to have this winter feel to it now ... and it's also staying below zero too. Only time will tell if this is really the beginning of winter.

First Bridge Picnic

Sunday, September 14, 2008
This afternoon we (the community) all gathered at the first bridge for a little "welcome to Arctic Bay picnic. Great food (seal, char, potatoes, salad.....) , great music, great company. A fine time was had by all on this sunny yet cool Sunday afternoon.

Rest of the pics from the picnic can be found here

New Mittens!

Friday, September 12, 2008

How I love new warm mittens for the winter! And the wonderful locals that make them too! (as there is no way that I would be able to). They are warm, and super soft, and are just large enough that I can fit a thin pair of stretchy gloves underneath for those recess duty days where I might need "fingers".

I think my mom would be proud ... or amazed

Thursday, September 11, 2008
... that I haven't given myself food poisoning yet.

Being up here in the North has meant a drastic change in - well - everything. Especially what I cook. Gone are the days of the frozen pre-cooked meal. Don't get me wrong, they still exist up here ... I just can't afford them.

So there is a lot of "home" cooking going on here in my place lately - particularly of the "breads" type. I've mastered the biscuit baking (which is a good thing, as I love having a good whole-wheat-honey biscuit with peanut butter in the morning) .. and am trying to figure out the actual break making (well... bun making). So far .. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around it all. Yeah, I could use my bread maker ... that would be the easy way, but do you realize how much it costs to run the thing? I sure didn't. And with power costs the way they are up here, I'm trying to minimize it.

My task for the weekend? Trying to make homemade buns ... and if they don't work out ... well.. the ravens will definitely be getting a feast.

Off to Victor Bay!

Sunday, September 7, 2008
Finally! The sun has decided to come out from behind the clouds this weekend which let me go for my much awaited for hike out to Victor Bay. It was a good hike out on Sunday - just a little over 2.5 km out of town (so 5km in total ... if I actually followed the road instead of going cross-tundra at times like I did). The weather was great! The sun was beaming down on me (I am attempting to soak in as much sun as I can before it goes away for the season) and the temperature was just warm enough that I was able to get out with only a thick hoodie and my watch cap.

Rest of the hike pictures here.

Let the Fun-Times Begin!

Friday, September 5, 2008
Late yesterday our second sea-lift arrived here in Arctic Bay. The Sea-lift that EVERYONE was waiting for as it contains not only The Northern's order, but also the government orders (school stuff - w00t!) and construction materials for both housing units and the new community center. And of course, when the sea-lift comes, it's basically a circus here with everyone running all over the place and helping out. All in all, it was a nice quiet day at school.

That brings us to tonight, where as in our usual Friday night fashion, we all gather up together at someone's house just to chill out and relax after a busy week at school. Tonight, it's game night .... specifically GTA IV night ... it's quite amusing playing and watching the game - especially since it seems to take three of us to play the game: one person with the controller, another person watching the map/radar on the game and the third person with the manual trying to figure out the buttons.

Not too sure what I'll be doing tomorrow yet. If the weather is nice, I might hike on out to Victor Bay ... but if it's been like is has been all week, I"ll be just sitting back playing video games.

Flight of the Hamsters

Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Oh how I love the Internet and the Intertubes - they provide me with soooo much entertainment.... like ""Flight of the Hamsters"

highly entertaining .... and a great way to kill a couple of hours if you are not careful.

Online Whiteboard

... although intended to help people collaborate over great distances online .... I find it's a great site to just "goof-off" at

This is all I got for Today

The sun finally decided to come out from behind the clouds tonight just before my walk home .... here it is reflecting off of King George V Mountain as the fog creeps between the valley and the mountain.

I really got nothing to report on tonight ... work was great today - nice and easy going ... kids were ... well ... kids ... and I didn't have any mail :-( .

Welcome back to work Southies!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Well ... nothing really much to report on up here today ... things at school went about the way I figured they would today, so it was pretty quiet.

BUT - a big welcome back to school for all of my southern teacher friends who all started work today! [well, at least with kids in their class] Hope y'all have a good year!

And just to get your year started off on the right foot (haha):