Sunday, April 27, 2014

Preparing to Say Good-Bye

How does one prepare to say good-bye to someone that you know does not have long on this earth?  I have gone through this with my dad and my chocolate Labrador, Calla and now I have to prepare myself to do it all again with Hannah.  There is no script and each is different whether they are two-legged or four-legged they are still part of our family and so very hard to say good-bye.
I am not a very religious person, more spiritually I guess one could say about me and I do believe that their spirit will live on in your heart and soul until you take your last breath.  I think about the people and pets that I have lost in the past and try to remember how I prepared myself but it's all a blur. I have never had to deal with anyone, person or dog,  with a brain tumour and at first I wasn't sure how to handle Hannah. 
I have a friend who send me an article on Anticipatory Grief.  I have never heard of this before but it hit close to home.  Anticipatory grief is when you know there is going to be a loss but it hasn't occurred yet.  The impact on your life is endless and unfortunately the closure to this grief is death.  I find myself at times so overcome with sadness that it wears me down.  Anticipatory grief is normal but what you go through while dealing with it is not. 
The hardest thing so far is coming to the realization that there is no cure for Hannah and making that oh so difficult call to her vet.  It was a decision that both Craig and I came to as we do not want her to suffer or be in pain, it's the last gift we can give her.   I guess the deciding factor for me was when she started loosing her balance and falling into furniture or falling down our two stairs, I would hate for her to injure herself badly.  Some days we have to physically help her up from a fall.  Her seizures are more frequent and we cannot increase her medications as she is at the high end dose.  She sometimes hides in dark places and has seizures when being touched which is so difficult on us as we want to love her up. I truly do not think it's a great life for a dog. 
Hannah has been a great dog these past 13 years and I have done whatever I needed to do for her to make her life wonderful.  I will not have any regrets just extreme sadness when we have to let her go on May 26th.  We will have four weeks left with her and we will enjoy every second we have together.  She will take her final plane ride in May and I am hoping that we can get her out to enjoy some warm spring weather in Manitoba when we arrive there. 
I leave you a few of my favorite pics of our Hannah Banana.
Talk Soon!
My beautiful girl

Always loved diving off of Nana & Papa's dock

Best sleeping position

Basking in the warm sun after a swim

Blitz is amazing with her - as you can see she is leaning on him
and he is standing there 'holding' her up.

My first and possibly my only selfie of us together

Tundra Shenanigans

Tuesday of last week my friend and band member of Scary Bear Soundtrack, Gloria put the word out that she needed someone to take some pictures of her and Christine on the ice as she had lost a bet.  Scary Bear Soundtrack is in a music competition on CBC, and I was more than willing to take pictures for them. The temps were not bad but the wind chill was in the -25'c range and when you are on the Arctic ice taking pictures it seems much colder than that.  We were quick at taking some shots and even quicker when they stripped their outer clothes to reveal the bikinis they were wearing...this is where the 'I lost a bet' came into play.
This is the picture Gloria took of me on the ladder doing a test shot with Craig
Craig flipped around and this is the shot from the ladder
This is also from the ladder but only a couple of steps up.
Nunatsiaq News is doing an article featuring Scary Bear Soundtrack and my picture of them was used.  Here's what the initial heading was:
"Cambridge Bay synth-pop duo Gloria Guns and Christine Aye, aka Scary Bear Soundtrack, were selected this week as Nunavut's top act in this year's CBC Searchlight competition, which highlights musical talent from across the country. The duo now moves on to compete with groups from across the country. Read more about Scary Bear Soundtrack later at (PHOTO BY DENISE LEBLEU IMAGES)"
All three of us were a little cold after laying on the ice for a bit

Here's proof that these women are true to their word and
can keep a bet.
Yesterday afternoon I took Miss Molly and Blitz out for a run, weather was descent and they had fun for over an hour.  We also visited the resting place of Chill, the foster pup that I looked after last November and who lost his battle.  It was strange as Blitz went to the site and sniffed around for quite a while and I actually had to pull him away.  I know that dog's noses are amazing but I had no idea that Blitz could smell the tiny frozen body under all of that rock.
Beautiful resting place on top of a hill with
a lake and surrounded by the tundra

Molly & Blitz (that's Artic willow peaking out of the snow)

Over shot the ball

Both couldn't break fast enough to get the ball

Blitz found an old nest under the snow

Look out!

He sure had fun!

Miss Molly chasing Blitz, at just about 12 years old
she can still run like the wind

Not sure what caught her eye but she didn't move for a few minutes

I was walking back to the truck and Blitz sat and gazed out on the vast tundra -
I always want to know what they are thinking

One last pose before we got into the truck
The weather was a bit warmer this past week and tomorrow it is supposed to be +1'c - yes folks that is a plus sign in front of the one.  Our sunrise is about 4:00am and it sets at 10:00pm but it really doesn't get that dark any longer and there is only a month left before the official 24 hour daylight begins.  To us it's our spring when this happens and the snow and ice start to melt fast as the sun shines on them without a break.  The one thing I have never seen up here is the large roof shaped icicles that were on our garage this year.  I guess they form when there is such a different degree of temperatures and when it's warm the ice starts to fall but then freezes on the spot. 
How cool is this?!
Talk soon!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Busy Little Bee

Between work and doing some photo shoots I sure needed these 4 days off to get caught up and to have a couple of days of chillin'.  The first week of this month we had Canadian Food Inspection Agency in doing their annual fish audit and the next two weeks we had our annual financial audit.  I am not too involved with the CFIA stuff but I sure am with the financial stuff.  Looks like the financial audit went fine and we will know more once we receive the final reports and by mid-May it should all be over when our board approves it.
There are some residents here that own some very amazing kamiks (boots) and I put the invite out to meet me on the ice one evening so that I could photograph them.  Well I could of picked a better day, the sun was shining but that Arctic wind cut through us like a sharp knife.  There were only 6 that showed up, but I couldn't blame the rest as it was cold.  Once the weather warms up I would like more people as these kamiks are amazing, before I leave here I will own one or two pairs as they are the warmest thing you can wear. 
So many different styles and all so beautiful

It's all in the details

This is how you stay warm against the wind

Mother and daughter team, Marg & Cat

A close up view of their kamiks on the ice
Being married to a man who loves the stars and planets I fell into his spell and stayed up until 3 in the morning on the 14th or should I say the 15th to watch and try to photograph the lunar eclipse.  We tested everything indoors as this was the first time that I used the attachment for his telescope.  Around 10pm we tested it outside and then by 2am I was out with Craig looking at the eclipse.  Problem is that I thought he had the telescope in focus, I didn't realize that before I came out he was star gazing at the other planets.  Needless to say my lunar pictures are all crap but on the brighter side of things we will have another opportunity in October.

Craig and Blitz checking out the moon

Some moon shots with the Nikon and telescope

This was taken with a 500mm lens but it was windy
and my tripod was not stable
Last week we brought all of the dogs out on the ice for some pictures but Hannah and Miss Molly didn't last guessed it the wind was brutal again.  Blitz on the other hand had a ball out there and ran and ran and ran.  I wish I could describe the colour of the ice to you and that day there was some water on top due to the melt and the reflection was like a mirror.
Only picture I got with all three of them before the ladies headed back

Blitz wanting to run

I got him to lay down with me for a couple of pics

Since we have no trees for you to see how windy it was
 I can use Blitz's ear instead

Blitz and myself on the ice - kind of looks like the sky

We then headed behind Craig's work to watch the sun set
but Miss Molly was on bunny patrol instead

Beautiful sunset
Played with my micro lens this past week as the Northern had some flowers in and there was some melting of the frost on our windows.  It's nice to smell and have flowers in the house at this time of year and I have not seen pink hyacinth before. 

Our bedroom window always has a bit of frost on it as it is beside the water intake pipe and sometimes the water gets on the window and freezes.

The next couple of pictures are from the south side of the house where the frost was melting on our windows, you can actually see where the frost was.

I had been asked if I could do some basketball photos so a date was set for the 12 of this month.  I did 38 kids that day with at least 2 jersey changes as they play on different teams.  I took over 1000 photos as I did portraits, full body and team pictures for everyone with their different jerseys on.  I also had some time to do some fun shots with the kids.  All in all I think they are happy with the pictures and I still have to do 12 kids when they return from their Easter break.  I still get a bit nervous photographing people but once I got the first few done I was more comfortable.  Below are some of the fun shots and team pics that I did.

She had the coolest basketball shoes

Ahh to be young again

Sisters that made Team Nunavut for the Arctic Games



She also made Team Nunavut


Not sure how these players can hold the ball this way

The guys that made Team Nunavut

Fun was had

Some team pictures

 Yesterday we brought Miss Molly and Blitz for a walk on the ice.  Miss Molly fell and between the boots she was wearing, bad hips and the ice she couldn't get her grip to pull herself back up.  Craig went to her rescue and after that she was done so Craig brought her back to the truck to warm up.  In the meantime I made myself an ice ball as I wanted to place it on the blue ice and photograph it.  So Blitz stayed by my side while I did some shooting with the wind howling again.

Craig took this picture of Blitz watching me while I took a picture

Here is the end result of the ice ball - it was really cloudy here yesterday and I am
not really happy with the colour so I kept it and will wait for a nicer, sunnier day

Blitz being so good waiting for the snow machine and komatik to go by
Talk soon!