Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Let It Snow!

Just a little post today. It started to snow during the night and is continuing throughout the day and let's not forget the winds gusting to 70kms.  My work decided to close it's doors this afternoon so instead of staying home where it's nice and cozy I decided to grab the dogs and off we went for a little drive around our little village to take some pics. 
"This is BS!"

"Closing my eyes in hopes that I will be somewhere warm when I open them."

But Officer I didn't see a stop sign

I guess the bird feeders need to be taken in for the winter

View from the truck on our way to the bay

The Canadian Coast Guard is out there...somewhere

Not much freezing yet

Docked for the winter
Talk soon!

Sunday, September 21, 2014


This past week I celebrated a couple of milestones.  On the 16th I celebrated my 4th year anniversary of living in the Canadian High Arctic.   The life experiences so far have out weighed the dark and bitterly cold winters.  I have eaten caribou, muskox, Arctic char straight from the ocean, narwhal blubber than an elder gave to me & polar bear. I still have a few more to try, ptarmigan & seal just to name a couple.  I would of never guessed that I would be living up here but I followed my heart and after living apart for 10 years I decided to join Craig in this life adventure of ours. 
My job gives me opportunities that I don't think that I would have experienced, met the Prime Minister and his wife, fly on a float plane every year to our remote fishing camps, meet people from all over the world who sail through the Northwest Passage, supply Arctic char to the members of the Canadian Coast Guard, become great friends with employees from Department of Fishers and Oceans. Best of all I get to work with local Inuit people who have taught me the some of their traditions and we have shared many laughs and stories.  I think they are just as interested in the south as I am of the north. 
I have also met some good friends up here, without them I am not sure if I would of survived this long.  We share dinners, get togethers and many, many laughs.  Without laughter I truly think one could go crazy, but I guess that is any where you are. 
Temperatures are starting to drop below 0 which means that small ponds are starting to freeze and we have experienced snow but nothing has really stayed.  Since the sun is now setting we are getting some great sunsets, below are some freezing and sunset pics.
Some windy conditions have covered some shoreline plants with ice

Only snow/ice is found along any water

Come cool ice forming on the rocks

Sunset with ice forming

The Martin Bergman arrived back to Cambridge Bay on Friday after being out at sea helping to look for the Franklin lost ships.  Here is an article regarding the Franklin ships: http://www.thestar.com/news/insight/2014/09/13/canadas_moon_shot.html
Very busy bay on Friday

The Martin Bergman coming home
Every year we have the Canadian Coast Guards coming to do crew changes and to pick up more supplies.  On Friday there were 3 coast guards here and  Craig and I headed to the airport to see them in action.  
The Old Stone Church was the first church built in Cambridge Bay, NU by Fathers Lemer, Steinman and Menez. It was built in 1954 and the first mass was September 12, 1954 with 9 parishioners  present. It was constructed from local material using seal oil and sand as mortar, and was used for services until the 1960s. In 2006 it was deliberately set on fire and destroyed the roof of this historical site. "This past summer, the Cambridge Bay Coast Guard auxiliary was able to carry out $100,000 worth of renovations, paid for in part by donations from the Catholic Arctic Diocese, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association and local businesses." Here are the before and after pics, construction is still not completed.

We were surprised to see these juvenile Arctic swans still here as most of the birds have flown south already. They didn't seem bothered by me being there and continued to find some food under these icy cold waters - that is ice forming behind them.

Bottoms up!
The other milestone this week is that I turned 50 and as my friend Sandy always said, 50 & Fabulous.  I have yet to experience a birthday that I didn't like, I guess to me birthdays are like badges that I have earned.  So far I love being 50, I'm like two 25 year olds all bundled into one 50 & Fabulous woman. So how does one celebrate being 50 when you are living in the Arctic?  Well, our friends threw a surprise birthday party for me last weekend with Bernie and I hosting. I had no idea and I was saying to Craig that we need to invite people over to celebrate. It was a great kick off to being 50.

The night before my birthday Craig stayed up to make these peanut butter truffles

They put together this poster of events from 1964

Craig printed some old pics and they were on display

One of the coolest snacks - fish shaped appie - how appropriate was that!

The cake - loved it!
Talk soon!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

For the Love of a Spotty Little Dog

As some of you are aware last month Molly has a round of blood work done when the vets were up here.  She had been off her food with bouts of vomiting and diarrhea.  Blood work came back as pretty much normal only her ALT was mildly elevated but her refusing to eat, vomiting and diarrhea was still an issue.  After speaking with her vet, Craig and I decided that she needed to head down to Winnipeg for x-rays and an ultrasound.  A couple of days later my Princess Warrior and I headed south and had an appointment on the 2nd.  After more testing the ultra sound revealed a enlarged and nasty looking pancreas and a couple of days later she was in surgery. She was hooked up to IV and stayed at the hospital from morning until they closed, I got to take her home for the nights.  It was an exploratory surgery and the vet took biopsies of her pancreas and small intestine.  The next day she was not feeling well and just didn't seem right, after an exam it was decided that she had to go under the knife again.  The sub-q layer started to come apart and one of the biopsy sites was leaking a bit.  Yeah, you could say it was a bit stressful.
The histopathology came in yesterday and the diagnosis is: "Histologically normal pancreas and small intestine, but I stress that this result does not rule out pancreatitis."  It was a lot for this 12 year old girl but being the warrior that she is, pulled through and today is doing much better.  We would do anything for this spotty little dog as we would for any of our pets as they are our family.  We arrived back on Wednesday safe and sound and everyday Molly is getting better.
Here she is the day we arrived in Winnipeg - soaking up some sun

Day 1 in the hospital

This was taken in the community garden the day before we left Manitoba

Miss Molly today
We stayed at our friends place, Sandy and Keith, and they looked after us very well.  I needed a bit of a break from the hospital so one day Sandy and I headed over to the Zoo.  I can't remember the last time I visited the zoo in Winnipeg so it was a much needed visit.  We went through the new Arctic exhibit and to tell you the truth it was very strange to see some of the residents in amongst trees.  It is a world class exhibit with plenty of room for all of the animals.  I probably had the most fun at the butterfly gardens.  So much colour not only in the flowers but also the butterflies. 
Monarch butterfly

I call this one Green on Green

Pretty in pink

I fell in love with these colours 
So much colour

This flower had to be at least 12 inches in diameter

Double bees on this sunflower at the community gardens

This beauty came for a visit at Sandy & Keith's