Tuesday, May 17, 2011

So much sunlight!

Sorry everyone, it has been a while since I have had the time or energy to post.

I thought I would talk about the amount and intensity of the light up here. We are into light all the time now. It is very bright until I go to bed and moderately bright most of the night. It is really nice to feel the warmth, but I find it hard to unwind and sleep well. Also it is really having an effect on the students. They are much more tired and lethargic because they stay up very late playing. Oh well, we're in the final countdown to summer break. Woohoo!!!! We have been here since August and I am really ready for a break. I am looking forward to some very simple things. Like no snow/rain boots and extreme outerwear, liquor and grocery stores, the mall (even though I have never been much of a shopper), eating somewhere that I didn't have to plan a week in advance for groceries, preparing and cleaning up and finally grass and trees. Mmmmmm, it's gonna be good.

The sad news about it getting warm is that our roads have turned back to gravel, sand and rock strips that make travel around town very hard on snowmobiles. I wish the street cleaning crews were not quite so fastidious about there jobs and had left some snow on the roads considering the majority of town travels via snowmobile. Oh well, the exercise probably isn't such a bad thing. I just hate getting up early and coming home later.

We now also have a front hall very full of outdoor clothes because the weather fluctuates so much. It can be truly cold if the wind picks up, to the point that I changed the other day from my windstopper fleece and down vest into my fur lined, down parka. My neck was so very cold without that fur! Plus we now need rain gear. I am not looking forward to the oncoming heaps of mud, especially with dogs and a toddler. Yuck.

Some sad news, one of my neighbors had her snowmobile stolen. It was locked up in front of her unit and they managed to cut the lock, damage the ignition and go joy riding. Bastards! They returned it, but it was damaged. At this point, I don't think the culprits have been charged, but it's only a matter of time in a town this small. To the individual who had it stolen: I am very sorry for the loss and damage to your property. I know for when we have been robbed (Halifax and here) it's the feeling of violation also. That someone has tread upon your safe and secure world. Sometimes people really suck.

Lily is doing well and loving the daily walks that they are doing at school these days. She is so cute wandering around town with her school buddies. It was sad today because I had to get her before the walk began and she was unable to go. But I told her that tomorrow we would walk to and from school and she thought that was a great "big idea" as she refers to it.

At my school, we have wrapped up some of our courses (social studies, science for my class) and I am teaching 1 credit courses, one of which is a music course. It's been fun brushing up on the mechanics of teaching beginner guitar to the kids. They are just getting into it, but some of them seem really keen on learning.

Oh, and lastly, I have had numerous email conversations with people thinking of moving to the Arctic and looking for advice or information which has been really neat. We got so much help when we moved up from local bloggers that was one of the reasons we opted to start this blog. Well, cool news is that two different families are in various stage of move to Cape Dorset. One of which may be moving into our building this next month. I think this is pretty cool. Technology certainly takes the guesswork out of these sorts of things these days. Although some may argue it takes some of the adventure out of moves and experiences too. However, I think just being here and experiencing this place is a true adventure.

Thanks for stopping by, drop us a line!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

The end of the blizzards

I realized that in all the hula-ba-loo I never actually wrote that Rick and Maureen got out safely.  On Monday May 9th the skies were finally bright blue and the plane got out just fine.  We also got to see the RCMP plane landing just before their flight.  They had a long stop-over in Iqaluit but then carried on to Edmonton and got there about 10pm.  They spent some time with Maureen's sister and then drove home.  By Friday they were safe and sound back home and according to Lily busy getting their house ready for her!  Lily is happy to be back at school.  She was home most of the time her Mama and Papa were here and was missing her friends.  On Monday she asked to go to school in the afternoon to get to see her buddies again.  I think the distraction was good for her.  So now at the end of the week we have all been at school and are getting back into the rhythm of life.  But now we realize just how close the end of the year is and we are getting VERY excited about heading out of town.  The end is near...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


They are home!!  So here is the story.  We got home from work and as we were getting ready for dinner I asked Richard what he had done with the two bears.  He said nothing.  It took a minute to figure out because maybe we had just moved things.  But no, we had done nothing.  Then we realized that when we got home there had been snow on the floor and the front window was wide open. We figure that someone came in through the window because there was such a big snow drift.  We also think that our arrival home startled him (or them) and he took off.  He may even have left as Richard came into the house.  So once we realized they were gone we looked to see if anything else was gone.  It doesn't look like anything else had been touched.  We started calling everybody we could think of to let them know what had happened after we called the RCMP.  We gave them a description of the two bears as quite likely they would be resold tonight.  Hopefully we had cut off some selling routes.  In the mean time we were trying to feed Lily dinner and a carver came to the door.  It was someone I quite like and so told him what had happened so he could be looking too.  After our makeshift dinner Richard went outside to get rid of the ramp to our window and I went to put Lily to bed.  While he was outside another carver came by.  It was another carver we like who we have bought from before so Richard told him the story.  This time however...a lead.  This carver had seen our bears in a truck belonging one of the specialists who is working on the broken pipeline.  Richard gave him a call but only managed to talk to his co-worker.  This man confirmed that they probably did have our carvings.  After a bit of a wait Richard called back and talked to the man who had bought the carvings.  He was more than willing to have Richard come down and take a look.  So off went Richard with money ready to buy our carvings back.  This was about 9pm.
Just before 10pm Richard came back in and told me this story…
He went down to the hotel and met with the man.  He did indeed have our bears.  He was very sorry for what had happened.  He had paid $100 for them and Richard offered to buy them back.  He said not to worry about it! Amazing!  There are still kind, decent, generous people in the world!!!  The bear’s feet have been sanded and new names carved in.  However you can still see Richard’s name on his bear and part of the original name on the other.  Richard then went over to the police station to let them know.  And there in a cell was the thief.  Apparently he had walked into the station to sell some inukshuks and when the police asked him, he confessed.  So Richard just added to the case.  They say he will have a court date soon.
The little jerk will be released tonight but will hopefully (and had better) steer clear of us.  It is just so frustrating because we know this kid.  He is only about 15 years old.  Everyone knows him as ‘the thief’.  Before we knew who he was he had been to our house selling carvings and when he told us he was starving we gave him food.  I don’t even have words yet for how we are feeling!
But there you have it.  Situation resolved!  And thank you to all those who were willing to help us, and all those who truly did help.
Good night all and close your windows!!

Richard's Art defaced!  On the foot that is bottom left in this picture you can still make out most of Richard's original name carving.  Its hard to see in the picture but at the very left you may be able to see the R. On the bottom right foot you can see the kid's alteration to the carving.


We have a lead......


Our house was broken into this afternoon!  Have you seen these carvings?  The white bear and the green bear have been taken.  If you see them please let us know or call the police.  The green one is most important as it is the one that Richard carved!  Thanks, Margot

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Hotel California

Our house is now being called the Hotel California.  I posted this on facebook and actually had three suggestions when we were only thinking of one.  So you decide:
1) because of  "the cool wind in my hair"
2) "this could be Heaven or this could be Hell"
3) "you can check in any time you like, but you can never leave"
Just for the record it is not Hell.
So here's to hoping that everything goes well on Monday and the folks actually make it onto the plane.  So far the weather looks like it is cooperating.  I'll let you know.

Mother's Day

Mother's Day in Cape Dorset. Happy Mother's Day to all those mothers out there!!  So far the day is great with getting to sleep in and a water delivery.  The biggest news is that Rick and Maureen are still here.  On Friday they tried to leave yet again.  We tried to call a cab but as often happens no one even answered.  So Plan B we loaded everything into the Qamatiq.  By everything I also mean Lily and Myself.  She loves riding in the sled and laughed the whole way.  This time we made it all the way to the airport and were checked in and everything.  Waiting for the plane to arrive we heard it fly overhead.  The wind and snow were picking up and it circled to try again.  We saw it fly right over the airport and then fly away.  The anouncement came that it was returning to Iqaluit.  So everyone is here until Monday.  On the up side we now get to spend Mother's Day with another mother!  The weather looks good for Monday but we will just have to wait and see what happens...

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


A quick update...the flight this morning has been cancelled and so as Lily says "Mama and Papa are 'taying"!  We had school cancelled this morning but are still waiting to hear about this afternoon.  Apparently the forcast looks pretty dismal for the next week so who knows what is going to happen!  Environment Canada uses a 'flake' rating system so here is what it looks like:  Today a 3 flaker, Thursday a 4 flaker, Friday a 4 flaker, Saturday a 3 flaker, Sunday a 4 flaker, Monday a 3 flaker and Tuesday is another 3 flaker.  3 is officially a snowstorm and 4 flakes is a blizzard.  We are telling Mama and Papa to enjoy our hospitality because they might be here for a while!

Blizzard, blizzard, blizzard…

We are entering another day of blizzard!  It is truly crazy up here right now!  Rick and Maureen have been trying to fly out since Monday.  They are still here.  The weather had been pretty good until…a giant storm moved in.  School has also been cancelled so we are all at home.  We have been having a great visit and it is wonderful to have them here however it is getting hard to constantly be saying goodbye.  Every day we just have to check on the weather and see if a plane is going to land.  The storm is fierce blowing many feet of snow around in front of our house.  But it stops completely from time to time.  Yesterday just before lunch the storm let up.  A plane came, landed and took off, and we were told that school was back in session for the afternoon.  Then literally 10 minutes later the storm is back and we get another phone call cancelling school.  Crazy.  Rick and Maureen can’t leave but we don’t have to go to work either, so we get to continue our visit.  Yeah for snow days!!  The problem now is that we need confirmation the plane isn’t flying before we know if they are staying another day.  No one is at the airport yet but we shall see soon enough.  I am pretty darn certain that they will not be getting on a plane today!
As a side note we were asked what the temperature is doing as the blizzard is here.  I have to say it has been pretty nice.  Yes the wind is cold but the temperature has not been much below -15 and has gotten up to -3. 
Now that we have convinced Lily to wear her goggles again it is actually possible to play outside for chunks of time.


Children and bedtime

Sunday night, 10:30, and the phone rings.  “Hello” the voice says, “is Lily there?”  My brain says “What!?!”  It turns out it is one of the students from my school and yes she actually wanted to talk to Lily.  I was so taken off guard but I managed to tell her Lily had long been in bed and to ask her to please not call me at home any more.  I was worried this might be the start of something but we have gotten no further calls since then.  So all is okay.  Except, I am still wondering why there are children up and about so late into the night!!