Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Island Living

When you think of island living don't you think of sun, sandy beaches, hot temperatures, palm trees?  Not me, I think of sun, snow 8 months of the year, no trees and cold.  Now that's my kind of island living! haha Maybe one day I will live on an island like my friend Petra who lives 1/2 the year on the island of Aruba.  Think she will switch islands with me?

You know the old saying, "You learn something new everyday"?  Well living on this island I have learnt a couple of things.  Number one do not anything for granted...like electricity for instance.  Our electricity comes from generators which is fueled by diesel, God I hope they never run out.  For the past couple of weekends the power has been turned off from 4am to anywhere from 7 - 8am as the power company needed to do maintenance.  I now know why they are called blackouts,  it is not only dark but extremely dark and quiet.  It is very different than the blackouts down south.

Number two is food. Nutrition North has arrived here in Cambridge Bay.  What is Nutrition North you ask?

"The Government of Canada is committed to providing Northerners with healthy food choices at affordable prices. On May 21, 2010, it was announced that a new program called Nutrition North Canada would replace the Food Mail Program effective April 1, 2011. The objective of the new program is to make nutritious, perishable foods accessible to Canadians living in isolated northern communities." 

It's a good concept and we will see what happens.  The problem is the fresh fruit and veggies that we get at the Northern Store or the Co-op aren't so fresh and very expensive.  I love getting food mail, it's like Christmas when it comes in, and the smell of fresh fruits and veggies are well....amazing.  

I had to order dog food in as we did not bring enough with us when we moved here to last us for a full year or around here we call it barge time.  So I ordered 7 - 30lb bags from the Yellowknife Animal Hospital and the freight was just over $200.00  First Air was less expensive than Canadian North or Canada Post, both were going to charge me over $600.00...my God the food wasn't even that much.

Speaking of barge time, I was informed by our friend Sheila to start getting our barge order ready.  HELP!  Does anyone down south know exactly how much toilet paper your family uses in a year?  I have started a list but the quantities are a blank.  The barges bring in everything and anything:  vehicles, furniture, paint, lumber, fuel for the town for the year, household items, etc etc.  Getting/being organized is an understatement.

Medical care?  Anything seriously wrong with you, you are on that jet and out of here to either Yellowknife or Edmonton.  Yes I am still waiting on the results back from the x-rays of my hand/wrist .  Still a bit swollen and sore but not as bad.  As for our dogs, I wish there was a jet for them or 911-fly-a-vet up here.  Molly had been a bad little princess last week and again this week, eating things that she shouldn't.  Today she actually opened up a cupboard and ate cookies, cheese crackers, caramel chips and tart shells.  Last week it was 13 blueberry muffins.  So at lunch today Craig and I switched the can food to the bottom cupboard and my baking supplies to the top.  She has never opened up a cupboard in the past, today was the first time and it better be the last...she is lucky I love her so much.  I would like to send out a big thank you  to Dr. Jillian Preston, Dr. Brad Safiniuk, Mela, Jen Mac and the girls at the front desk at Birchwood Animal Hospital in Winnipeg for looking after my girl from a distance and for calming me down when I panicked. 

I have also learnt how to do on-line shopping.  Yeah yeah get in the 21st century Denise.  Did you know that you can buy just about anything on-line?  Who knew?! haha A couple of my favorite sites are Costco and Well.ca as they both delivery up here at no charge, actually anywhere in Canada.  Shhhhh don't tell them how much it actually costs to get things up here.  Well.ca is an amazing site for anything from pasta to bread to toiletries to household cleaning items.  If you go on the site just type in something vague on the search....like cereal and voila pages of all kinds of cereal will pop up.  We purchased a Keurig from Costco among other items, well the other items came in last week and still no sign of the Keurig.  So I called Costco and they are shipping up another one..watch we will get two in the mail. 

It has been very foggy here since Sunday.  Sunday we took a short drive with the dogs to West Arm to run them on the ice.  It was a bit foggy when we left and we could still see the town but when we left an hour later the town had disappeared in the fog.  Temperatures have been great, hovering around the mid teens, still in the minus but not -50'c. Today was just cloudy and I am hoping the sun will come out on Thursday as forecasted.

Craig was suppose to leave yesterday for Kugluktuk, formerly Coppermine, but due to the foggy weather he was delayed a day. We talked tonight and he arrived safely and will return on Friday.  His job will take him to various towns in the Kitikmeot region of Nunavut.  There is a joke here that First Air will fly in anything, the pilots are fearless but Canadian North will not land if the weather is even hinting at getting bad.  First Air landed yesterday but Canadian just did a fly by....I think Craig waved at the pilots. haha

I am still working at Kitikmeot Foods helping out in the office as our friend Monique still hasn't arrived back home.  I am having good support from her, Stephane and the company and they assure me that the audit will go fine next week...we'll see.  I think I may stay on and help in the plant when they start processing the musk ox.  Because the plant is government inspected we must wait until an inspector from CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency) comes in on April 11th to start processing the meat.  There are very strict guidelines to uphold at the plant and by the sounds of it they are inspected all of the time. 

Just a few pictures tonight of the dogs playing on the ice at West Arm and of Blitz.

Talk soon!  (I promise Sheila and Dad)

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