Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Hey Southerner, does my blog make you feel cold?

I'm not going to lie, if I were down South enjoying the beauty and sweater weather of fall, I probably wouldn't want to read this blog often... it would make me feel cold and really, who likes feeling cold?

I never owned a own home before moving North. I wouldn't know the first thing about my furnace needing fuel refills, or how to replace a furnace filter and if you leave me a thermostat with no manual... it becomes obsolete, useless to me. So until now, I got by just screwing around with the buttons. It would get cold so I would push a few things and somehow the house would (usually) warm up. For the past week our furnace has been shutting off in the middle of the night and we have been waking up freezing. After many days of Katie flipping the breaker off and on again... which seemed to have been working, I realized no silly thermostat games were going to save us.

Dramatic? Maybe... but I doubt you know what it feels like to wake up to a blizzard pelting your house so hard that the glasses in the kitchen cupboards are shaking. The wind is so cold and so strong as it hits the windows that if you close your eyes, you could easily imagine that you are in the storm rather than sheltered in the house. Embarrassingly enough, I am not kidding when I say that the wind at night in Ulukhaktok freaking scares me.  

Long story short, I was on hold with tech support so long that I actually managed to fix my thermostat woes before the man on the other line managed to figure out which model we have on the wall. Proud. 

With the wind and the snow come days off for the municipal truck drivers... I think... but honestly I'm not sure what they do. All I know for sure is that when the wind is too high, the water truck cannot deliver water. 
This means a few things: 
a) my showers are getting shorter, and believe me when I say, if the furnace isn't working, you don't want to get out of the hot shower... ever
b) laundry is pilinggggg up 
c) the dishes are also piling up
d) this one is perhaps the most horrific. The daycare and preschool are closed 
e) due to point d, I cannot work as I am home with the tots

As you can see, my income is directly effected by mother nature, my sanity is also directly effected, as is the cleanly state of this house...
Just kidding, this house is never to be classified as 'cleanly' or any other similar descriptive adjective. If it has been, its a lie. We have toddlers. If you come over and it is remotely clean... we faked it.

The following picture is the lovely view from by bedroom window. The top half is a picture taken in September while sea lift was here. The bottom half is what it looks like now. Looks fun right? If you look the wind in the face, you cannot breathe and you get frost bite. 
I am past the point of ready to book a tropical vacation. I'm pretty sure the fireplace is tired of having a front row view of my ass.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Skidoos and Fresh Snow

Well, we're frozen now. The water lake is frozen, (where we get our drinking water) the rivers are frozen and all three Bays are well on their way to being solid. Yesterday I took my second slip and fall, my entire left butt cheek and thigh are red and scraped up. And though snow brings falls and wet boots and a soggy front porch, it also brings the beginning of a beautiful time in the Arctic. That time just before the sun disappears and just after summer has passed. It's a time where the sun shines brilliantly, with a closeness that seems to light the settlement on fire with golds and pinks. Yet at the same time, the moon, bright as it is at night, sits peacefully, untouchable just above the town. We have had three breathtakingly picturesque days in a row. Yesterday the snow fell in soft clumps. When you look into the sky, you feel as though you are living within the confines of a perfect painting, where the only sight you need to see for the rest of your living days is the tunnel of light shining down on you through a break in the pink clouds, illuminating the miles of slowly falling flakes above. My world is filled with pale blues, soft pinks, all shades of gold and the fresh, innocent white that has fallen all around us. It is hard to feel anything but peace during this time.

Though, it is the calm before the storm.

Perhaps the most exciting bonus that comes from the fresh snow is that we can now begin to enjoy our new snowmobile.

The new machine
I hope this makes my dad want to visit... haha

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Early Christmas Prep

So Christmas is coming... perhaps that isn't on the minds of all you Southerners quite yet, but I have been planning since the middle of September. I already have a few things wrapped. There are reasons why I start so early...

a) This town is covered in snow. I sing 'it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas,' on a daily basis. It looked more like Christmas here after our first August snow than it does December 25th in Southern Ontario.

b) If you live in a community that is 'fly-in only,' you know 1) you will most likely have to be ordering in Christmas gifts and 2) there is no guarantee that they will arrive in a timely manner. You cannot afford to procrastinate for Christmas in the Arctic.

Even though I have started this process on time, I am feeling so annoyed. No one has free shipping anymore. My only options are and but costco generally sells oversized items (play kitchens, doll houses and so on) and I am in the mind set of, 'no more big things that we can't afford to take South when we finally move back'.

I bought all of my kiddies Christmas books from amazon. This year we are doing a book advent calendar, where I will wrap 24 books and put a date on them, to be opened one per night until Santa crosses the river and drops off gifts.

My thought right now is, how do Santa's reindeer survive travels through the North without being shot for tuktu stew?

Back to the annoyances... there are no boots for me to buy for Brody in this town. His feet are way too fat to fit into anything under a size 6 (He's 15 months old) and his seal skin kamiks are too small now. There is nothing made and nothing in the stores.

Today's frustration is that there is no corn meal in town and I just really want to make corn bread muffins.

I guess both will have to wait until December when my mom arrives for Christmas! It will be her second Christmas with me in the North, her first Christmas in the NWT and her first Christmas spent with her favorite (and only) grandson. I used all of my aeroplan miles and two handfuls of hundies to make it happen but that's what daughters are for. Right?