Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

Little Taste of Summer

This past Saturday was the most amazing day here in Pang. Not only did we have our first playdate planned with some new friends but it turned out to be a beautiful summery day. We spent the morning outside with the kids playing in the sand which Oliver loved. He finally got a chance to use his dump truck that he got for his birthday in December.

The kids played well together and I think everyone had a good time. We came back here for lunch and then everyone went home for naps. And since the nice day continued, once O woke up we took Tank out for a run around the water treatment plant which is our favorite place to bring him. There's no traffic up there and the view is spectacular.

Then came the let down. After a 20 degree day on Saturday we woke to a grey, windy and cold day on Sunday. I was really hoping for another day to get out and enjoy summer. I only have 2 weeks and 2 days till I go south for real summer and I'm sure I'll then be complaining about the heat so I guess I won't start complaining now.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Warning: This post is way off topic to my usual Mommy Musings.

As you all know the G20 is going on in Toronto right now and I watched some of the protest coverage yesterday while O was napping. I can't say how angry it makes me to watch those idiots smash in windows, throw rocks and bricks and burn police cars. If you ever had any interest in catching mine, or anyone else's attention for your cause you lost that chance after the first rock was thrown. I'm personally not a fan of the protesting as a way of getting your point across anyway since most of the time you end up with a few extremists who ruin it for everyone. The legitimate groups get thrown in with the thugs and they all lost their ability to do good. But that's just my opinion.

BUT. The outrage that I feel this today isn't technically because of the damage caused. It's the fact that I hear that neither the City of Toronto, the province of Ontario or the federal government are going to help the shop owners who have lost windows and potentially merchandise in all this (The news this morning reported little to no looting going on however so hopefully it's just windows in most cases) And on a grander scale, I'm angry that these governments have chosen to even host this event in the downtown area of Toronto. Having spent over a billion dollars on security and having employed 30,000 (I think was the number) of officers on the streets to police the protesters, they obviously anticipated trouble. Should there not have been a fund put aside for the shop owners who where inevitably going to lose in this deal? Should they have to foot the bill for repairs along with the loss of revenue they are having to endure because they are too afraid to open or they are in the restricted zone so there wouldn't be anybody shopping anyway? 

The waste of money for this event is staggering. I think that billion dollars would have been better spent on the maternal health initiative or meeting the debt reduction goals our government is so anxious to put into motion. Why not have the meetings on an army base as some have suggested? My thought was that Toronto must have a warehouse in the middle of nowhere where they could be contained and easily surrounded for safety. Or what about teleconference. Hell, Skype is free people! and no security required! Ok that's a bit extreme but so is what they've chosen to do.

I'm not sure how eloquent or together my writing is here but I think I get my point out. I sincerely hope today is a much better day than yesterday and the yahoo's decide to stay home but I honestly don't hold out hope for that. Only time will tell.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming. Mommy post to follow.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Good News, Bad News

Well, it's finally happened... Someone is now shipping diapers up to Nunavut. For all you parents out in the land of ice and snow, this is fantastic news! Costco has added Huggies and Kirkland diapers to their online catalogue and true to Costco's fantastic-ness, yes the shipping is free. 

Now, before you all go doing the dance of joy and hurt yourself, please note the bad news in this situation. From what I can see, the diapers themselves have quite a mark up so it's not the deal it seems on first glance. Their Kirkland brand size 4's come in boxes of 186 and cost $59.99. The same box, if you buy it in the store is $41.99. The Huggies brand box of 200 also goes for $59.99 yet in the store it goes for $44.99. So it seems that the hike in cost is helping cover the shipping.

Just for comparison, this week on Foodmail I ordered a box of Pampers size 4's (126 diapers in a box) and it cost 34.99. Nick tells me you can assume Foodmail shipping is about 30% on top of the original cost on average so you can say that would be just over $10.  So, the box cost a little more than $45. Considering you get 60 or 80 extra diapers with what Costco offers, it's actually cheaper to buy from them. (I'm hoping my math is right on that, if not blame Nick. I'm math challenged) With Foodmail ending it's program next April and the fact that my local Northern Store charges $71 for that same box of Pampers... I say Yay for Costco. This is good news!!!

Having said all that, I order my diapers on sealift for the most part. However it's very difficult to guess how many diapers a newborn will go through, how fast they will grow out of different sizes and how much longer will Oliver need diapers? My brain hurt for days after figuring all that out for this years order. If I did well, I won't have to worry about where to get the best deal on diapers. If I didn't this news is very important. Only time till tell.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's a good thing we love you dog....

Problem: Tank is allergic to gluten. It makes his paws and ears an itchy mess of yeasty gooey-ness that cause him alot of discomfort. It's horrible for him when it flares up, it's horrible for us watching it, and it's even worse having to listen to him lick his paws loudly in the middle of the night for relief.

Bigger Problem: The dog food we've had him on since we got him all of a sudden changed their formula and it now contains oatmeal (aka: gluten). We noticed the new bag design but figured it was a cosmetic change and never thought to check the ingredients. The bag also had no mention of any changes to the formula so this was the last thing we thought was causing his latest bout of itching. Unfortunately, we have 6-25lb bags of the offending food here in the house because we way over bought on sealift last year

Biggest Problem: Decide on a new food that didn't include gluten and get it here without breaking the bank. Waiting for this years sealift would be the cheapest way but then you have a yeasty, itchy dog for months. Since that's really mean, we decided to get ISHOP4U to send us some asap no matter what we had to pay.

In the end: We bought 2-30lb bags of Orijen dog food which is the food we decided to go with. (Company out of Calgary that has rave reviews from people I know who use it) The food is expensive but most quality food is, it's about the same price as the old stuff so no big deal. The kicker- it cost us $300 dollars to have it sent from Ottawa by Canadian North. Three hundred dollars, just for the shipping!!! We expected it to be expensive but to see it on your credit card statement still takes your breath away.

Moral of the Story: It's amazing to have a pet up here but wow, sometimes they cost you a fortune. Luckily Tank loves his new food to the point that he bounces when he sees Nick going for the bag. It's only been a day so we haven't seen improvement in his itching yet but hopefully he'll have relief soon.

One more thing: if you use Royal Canine food, they have apparently been bought out by another company and has changed the formulas for many of their foods. From what I read, gluten allergy or not, you don't want your dog eating grains so you may want to check your labels.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

To My Dad

Happy 100th Anniversary Father's Day!

I learned yesterday that Father's Day originated 100 years ago and was started in Spokane Washington by a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd. Having been raised by her father after her mother died, she wanted him to know how special he was to her for having made all the parental sacrifices. To her, he was a courageous, selfless and loving man. 
I'm sure most of us feel the same way about our fathers. At least I hope so. (Historical information is from this site if you want to read more)

This week the television was bombarded with stories about fathers. For some reason, I was brought to tears every single time. There is just something touching about hearing a story about a great father. It's the way it should be, true, but it's not always the case. The one newscast that really caught me was one where they where doing 'man on the street' interviews asking the question, "What is the best thing your father has ever done for you?"  That really got me thinking. How would I answer that question? There is a huge list of things that my father has done for me over the years but there is really only one answer... he chose me.

The man who raised me is not the man with whom I share genetics. William Kelly came into my life when I was just a baby when he met my mom at their mutual place of employment. They married when I was 3, he legally adopted me and is the only father I've ever known. I have never once felt that I wasn't as important to him as my brother and sister who are biologically his. He's tried to teach me the rights and the wrongs of life, he's loved me anyway when I didn't take his advice and had to learn the hard way on my own. He taught me to ride a bike and was there to chase away 'the eyes' from my bedroom. He bailed me out financially when I needed it, said no when he had to, stayed up late with me discussing all the worlds problems and has walked me down the aisle on my wedding day. He has been everything a father should be and more and I feel so lucky to have him. He is more than just my father, he's my Dad and not everyone earns the right to that title.

So today I dedicate this post to all the men out there who have chosen to be amazing fathers to children who couldn't be more 'theirs' if they had created them. And to all the men who deserve to be called Daddy, this day is for you.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Repeat, but still beautiful

Yet another shot of the fiord. But this time the ice is gone and the beautiful blue water makes this amazing view even better.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bumps and Bruises

Well, if Oliver wasn't 'all boy' before, he's now been initiated into the club. He's got his first scraped knee! And he took it like a real man. I didn't even know he hurt himself till I got his pants off to change his diaper after our outing. I'm sure there are many more in our future and I hope he handles them all this well.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

3 years ago....

Today is Nick and my third wedding anniversary. I am a lucky woman to be married to such a funny, patient and loving guy. His always logical brain can drive me crazy but it also keeps me from going off my rocker when my emotional side gets the best of me. He's my perfect match and I look forward to many more years of happiness. Wuboo!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Is The Honeymoon Over?

I really hate complainers. Things can't be that bad, do something about it or just shut up already. I think I need to take my own advice because I'm becoming one of those hated people. I can see it happening like I'm watching myself from outside my body.... Do I need a reality check? Do I just need to suck it up? Is my honeymoon with the north over?

As you know I've had a few complaints of late with the state of health care in Nunavut. I also have complaints I haven't talked about involving Nick's work, the airlines, the mail system, our housing....Yesterday, I went to get my drivers license switched to show our Pang address instead of the Dorset address and was told it could be up to a year to get the new one. In the meantime they were going to keep the old card in exchange for a printer receipt that doesn't have a license number or anything official to show that it's more than something I kept from my last trip to Walmart. Since I'll be heading down south in a few weeks and will be renting a car and driving on highways, I didn't think giving up my real license was a good idea. So I cancelled the request and will probably just keep the Dorset address for the duration of our life in the territory.

So yet again, I'm complaining about how inefficient things are up here. Yet again I'm whining about things I thought I accepted as part of choosing to live here. I have secretly (and not so secretly) chastised people in the last couple of years for these types of complaints knowing these types of things are just part of the northern lifestyle. So why has my attitude changed?

 Is it possible that how I feel is a normal progression? Kind of like the 5 stages of grief, is there an attitude curve of sorts for northern living. First you find the differences shocking but you quickly move on to feeling the inefficiencies add to the charm of the slower pace of your new life. Next, your ability to not freak out becomes kind of a badge of honor that you show off to newcomers who are still feeling things out. Then you move on to the stage that I'm in where you're just at the end of your tolerance level and are just annoyed with everything. Finally you come to the bliss of a long time resident where it's just normal to you to have to give blood 2 or 3 times for the same test because it never made it to Iqaluit for evaluation. It doesn't bother you, it just IS.

There are so many things that I love about living here and am thankful for the opportunities that the slower pace allows but sometimes my anger just gets the better of me. I'm going to make a better effort to stay positive and try and remember the good when the bad rears it's ugly head. I still have at least two years to live here and I don't want it to be a mental hardship. By nature I'm a positive person, up for anything and easy going. I don't want her to be lost in this chronic complainer that has emerged. I strive to find that last stage in order to maintain my sanity.

Friday, June 11, 2010

New to our community

I wanted to formally welcome Nate and Robin to the great white north. You'll find them in Igloolik and in blog world at There is a House Here. I 'met' Nate when he contacted me a while back about living in the north with a dog. I of course shared all my worldly knowledge and hope that it helped them at least a little. They obviously took one thing to heart which was bringing with you is a great idea. They have a beautiful Australian Sheppard puppy (or at least that's what he looks like to me, correct me if I'm wrong) named Rolo. He's just too adorable.

Once again welcome to Nunavut, and to the Nunavut blogging community. They're a great bunch, I'm sure you'll fit right in.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tagged by Kara

I was so excited to read Kara's Blog yesterday and see that I was one of the people she tagged in an interview blog meme. (yeah, I didn't know what meme meant either. Basically answer questions and pass it on. Click here if you want to more info) I love stuff like this. Gives you insight on people you thought you knew, and then you get to investigate a little about yourself as you try and answer your questions honestly. So here goes:

1. Where would you like to live once you retire?
Why Hawaii of course!! Actually, I'll say for now back in the Maritimes. No matter where we live through our lives, that will always be home to me because my family is there. Having said that, I guess it'll all depend on where my kids are at the time. I'm not the type who needs to live down the street from my kids (at least not yet) but I do want to be close enough to see them semi-regularly. Especially when they make me a grandmother. And I want a house in Hawaii...

2. What causes you to worry the most?
I stress about the teen age years, which is crazy since Oliver is only 17 months old. I think about all the things that kids can get into. You hear about sex parties, teenage pregnancies, STD's, shoplifting, bullying, online stalking by pedophiles...need I go on? While I know I won't be able to shelter them from everything, I hope I raise them in a way that they are well enough equipped to deal with some of the more difficult things they'll be facing. When it comes to the sex issues, I'm glad I won't have girls. When it comes to bullying I hope they aren't bullied but more than that, I hope they don't become bullies themselves.

3. What was your favorite toy as a child?
Play dough!! I was always playing bakery and making pizzas out of it.

4. Do you make decisions quickly and easily or do you fret over them for long periods of time?
Are those the only two choices?  How about the option for getting others to make your decisions for you? I guess that's an exaggeration but I do have a very hard time making decisions. I like to get lots of opinions before I decide anything. I wouldn't say I 'fret' but I do tend to second guess my reasons for going one way or another on an issue. As horrible as it sounds, I really kind of like it when the decision ends up being made for me.

5. What hobby would you pursue if money wasn't an issue?
If I actually had any talent I would say singing professionally. Belting out a good song in my car is one of my favorite hobbies but I can't sing to save my life. I think I would love the rush of being on stage every night, feeding off the energy of my screaming fans. However in my fantasy I can also hold down a completely normal family life without paparazzi or loss of privacy.

So thanks Kara for including me. And as the rule goes, I now pass it on. I'm tagging Jen, Lindsay, Sarah, Clare and Carly. Here are your questions.

1. What is your dream vacation if money was no object?
2. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
3. If you could visit a time in history, when would it be and why?
4. What is your favorite thing about the place you live?
5. What do you think would be the worst job in the word?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Poppin' It Old School

Like most kids Oliver loves anything he can push or pull around. He didn't really have any toys that fit the bill so I decided to take a walk down the toy aisle at the northern the other day. The catch was to find something that he'd love that didn't break the bank. I'm not sure if 50% is considered a successful shopping trip but I did find something. 

What we got was a old fashioned Fisher-Price Corn Popper. Retail price: $42.99!!

I almost died. Of course there wasn't a price on the shelf but I figured it couldn't be that bad. When the cashier told me I was so close to saying forget it but I knew that he would love it and he really hasn't had anything new in so long. I also calculated that if I decided to get my mom to send me one, the long shape would mean Canada Post would charge a fortune so I bit the bullet and gave her my credit card.

When I got home I checked Toys R' Us just to see what it would have cost down south and sure enough, $16.99. But, I was happy to see that had I decided to buy from them the shipping would have been $39.95 so all tolled I would have paid $59.79. So I got a deal! Sort of?? I really wish Toys R' Us didn't charge so much for shipping because there are so many other toys I'd love Oliver to have. Then again, maybe it's a good thing cause he probably doesn't need them all anyway. If anyone knows of a good toy site that doesn't charge an arm and a leg for shipping (other than Costco) I'd love to know about it.

The end of the story is that Oliver loved his toy and hasn't stopped playing with it since. I find it funny that such a simple toy could still be so perfect after all these years. It's been around since 1957 so I guess Fisher-Price knows what they're talking about. I recommend it to anyone who has a one year old.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


As I've mentioned before I'm in the process of stocking our freezer with meals for Nick to heat and serve while Oliver and I are down south. Today we made a couple of meat pies to add to the mix. Once I trimmed the excess crust of the first one I let Oliver play with the dough and by watching me he knew right away what to do. O really seems to like standing by while I cook, I'm hoping that he'll end up being a much more adventurous cook than his father is. I only wish I had more counter space, as you can see he's rolling on the stove so he only gets to be up close like this when I'm not using the burners.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Thanks Laura

Between the blog and Facebook, most of you have heard the complaints about my recent northern health care experiences. A friend in Nova Scotia who has read my woes sent me an article she found in the Globe and Mail called Inuit mothers fight lonely battle for their children’s health. I found it very interesting and I thank Laura for sending it to me.

The article focuses on one young woman from Arviat who is in Winnipeg for her 'boarding out' or as we call it here, confinement period before giving birth. I refrain from commenting publicly about the politics the article discusses because my blog isn't about that. I do however think that no matter what side you fall on politically, the statistics mentioned are shocking and shouldn't be ignored.

It's worth a read if for no other reason than to enlighten you on a subject that most people are clueless about.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Out for a walk

It was a relatively warm day today so Oliver and I headed out for a walk. If you look close, in this picture you can see 'Welcome to Pangnirtung' written in white on the side of the mountain. I saw it one day from my kitchen window and thought at the time someone had gone up there that day and wrote it in snowballs cause I swear it hadn't been there the day before. Turns out it had been there all along but the snow had finally melted off it. Anyway, the blue building under it is the high school.


I took that shot from the end of the pier, wharf, dock, breakwater.... whatever you want to call the long piece of land built in the middle of the harbour here. From the same spot I took this one of the town as well. As you can see, we've finally got some open water! A sure sign that summer is coming.

This shot is really cropped but you can see that people have still left their snow machines and komotiks on the ice. Not sure why they haven't rescued them yet but you see this every year and it's unusual for them to end up in the drink so I'm sure there is a plan.

On the way back there was a plane coming in. The runway goes right though the middle of town and right beside the main road. So yes, it is as close as it looks to that truck.

Amazing what you find once the snow melts. This rusted out snow machine was in front of the library. And from the looks of things it's been there for years.

Our final stop was in front of the visitors center where Oliver likes to run around on the deck. The view is beautiful so it's a nice place to relax.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Moving northern style

There are many things you see in the north that are surprising and impressive. Many of them make you realise how different things would be if we had some of the southern luxuries... like roads. I'd love it if you would check out Lindsey's latest post over at No Invitation Required. Being that we get the privilege of having the government move us when we go, I had never really thought about the difficulties that people who don't have that cushy service might go through. Check it out, it'll make you appreciate being able to rent a U-Haul or borrow a buddy's truck to get to your new place.

Thanks for sharing Lindsey.