August 25, 2010

June 17, 2010

Exit Pang, Enter Qik...

Well, I've officially left Pangnirtung and, though I may have some teaching assignments there in the future, my home right now is the small hamlet of Qikiqtarjuaq, just north of the Arctic Circle. As a result, I can't stay at 'pang-bound'...instead, I'm putting together a whole new look. By the time I head north again, I will have a better site designed to keep you updated on my adventures - because 'adventures' is the only word you can use to describe anything in my life these days!

June 12, 2010

Time to look for dog poo...

And so the previous post was a midnight picture...this one is taken at noon. Not much of a change, I know.

Today I woke up and all I could think of was 'camping'. I had left the window open to air out all that nasty dog smell (which didn't entirely work BTW) and when I woke up, the dogs and I were wrapped like a chihuahua fajita with a cold nose.

Now that I have my coffee in hand, things are starting to look up. I still have to find some rogue spot of 'dog sickness' somewhere, but I'll keep my nose in my coffee cup until I start the search. I was so close to getting out of this housing unit without any serious dog emergencies!

Lesson: Be really careful with your garbage...I don't even know the extent of what was in there let alone what the two of them consumed. Now, if you can believe it, this is actually the cleaned up *censored* version of my place. Nasty.

More later...boxes await...

It still smells like vomit...

I just made it home, and this picture is one I snapped of Duval. It's not a masterpiece and I'm using a crappy camera, but I thought it would be nice to document what it looks like at midnight. It's actually brighter this picture makes out.

So this time next week I'll be in Qikiqtarjuaq. It's becoming more real now...I literally spent the last 12 hours at school doing work. Evaluations. Reports. Cleaning. Organizing. Blah, blah, the list goes on. But it's done now. I locked up the school at 11:39 and started the trek home.

Walking home tonight I realized that it was the first time I was actually out that late since I moved here 10 months ago. In Ottawa I was out until 2 am at least once a week, but here I don't think I've roamed around later than 7 pm (unless I had my skidoo). That certainly is an eye-opener to what my life is!

I unlocked my door tonight and was greeted not by just the dogs, but one of the most vile smells I've encountered in more than three decades. Nasty. You see, last night I had been cleaning out my fridge and cupboards of stuff that had expired; to fill up the bag, I added a bunch of the dogs' used pee pads (yes, they're house trained). Unfortunately, I forgot to take it out this morning. And there must've been something that smelled good. The butter wrapper was licked clean and there were rancid rice-filled grape leaves all over the kitchen. There was a soggy ginger snap halfway down the step and a big pile of vomit at the bottom. Nasty. Who knows what else they ate! Perhaps I'll find out later when it works its way out one end or the other.

I have someone from the housing office coming to inspect the place on Monday, and I have finally decided that it's not worth the stress of cleaning it out on my own. I'm just going to hire someone. I know that, for some, this is the height of laziness. I don't care. I refuse to feel guilty for starting my vacation and packing boxes is frustrating enough!

I'm working up to a sealift for this year; I couldn't face trying to buy everything in the north again. Using the company I'll actually be able to get the goods delivered by mid-August! Now that's impressive (and so is the price tag).

Hmmm...I would like to go to Greece.

Well, I guess that'll be it for today.

June 09, 2010

Today's post... post today can be found here...

June 08, 2010

Yes, I'm procrastinating...

So I'm watching Hell's Kitchen...bizarre. It's like a loose tooth. It hurts when you push the root back against the gum, but for some reason you do it anyway. Chef Ramsay just railed a contestant for the quality of her poached egg. I guess if you want to walk you have to learn to crawl, but he's so nasty about it! And you know what? With that British accent, we let him. I call it the 'Simon Cowell Effect'. There you go.

Now that the snow is gone, The Beast is just a huge chunk of metal parked out by my garbage box. Good news, though. One of my students in on the Co-op's executive board and, last night, she stepped up. When I got the thing, I had so many problems. Pull cords, plugs, starters, sprockets...all of this and trying to figure out how to operate the thing. I was unsure of the terrain and too nervous to adventure up and down the mountains. Basically, for the entire dark season I stuck to the roads and scraped my skis to shit (not just the runners). Because of the crappy service I received last November, I'm going to get all the parts I need restrictions! Saa-weet! That will be one last thing to focus on for the sealift.

Ok, I got lost on a tangent. The reason I started to mention The Beast in the first place was because, without it, I have to walk. That - along with the 24 hour sunshine - gives me so much time to check out the scenery. Pangnirtung Fjord. Mt. Duval. Those are two sites I see every day, and I will really miss them. In one week I'll be sousing out the sights of Qikiqtarjuaq.

Didn't I tell you this week's posts would wax poetic?

June 06, 2010

A few last looks...

The school year has officially ended here in Pang...well, classes have. I don't actually have much to do after that; I've kept up-to-date on my marking and supply-ordering, so most of what I have left is packing and prepping for the move. Fortunately, my job is going to take care of most of that stuff, but I'll still have to wrap the dishes and find a way to transport some pretty crazy dogs and artwork. The fantastic news is that I've convinced my employer to move 'The Beast' with no cost to me.

Yesterday a group of us went out to enjoy the weather for the day; it was sunny, warm, and a BBQ is just what the doctor ordered. I wasn't sure how the whole thing was going to turn out but, with a 'celebration budget' from the college, the group of us thought...why not?

This whole year has been such an interesting amalgam of 'firsts'. No matter how you look at it, you can never truly walk into a situation with an absolutely objective palate. I admit to having a few myself. For some reason, yesterday had me thinking about quite a few of them. Take, for example, the scenery. How many of you in the south think the word 'tundra' and imagine a flat, snowy desert. Be honest now. Isn't that what our high school geography teachers taught us? Now check out this...
This would be on the way up the mountain.

Walking through the town is always interesting. No one in Nova Scotia can dock a boat in quite the same way, nor can clothes be found stretched in a comparable fashion.

I suppose the next week or so of posts is going to be rather sentimental...the last vestiges of a year in a new community. I've lived in quite a few places and have gone through several waves of culture shock in my life and, despite the brushes with truly negative experiences, I would have to say that Pangnirtung was a great place to live for 10 months. For more than that? I guess I'll never know. last look down on the hamlet of Pang spliced by the tiny airstrip, the crushed ice of the shore, the cuticle of the breakwater, and the background of the Cumberland Sound.

June 02, 2010

From Pang to Qik...

Up until this point, it hasn't really registered in my immediate consciousness that I'll be leaving Pangnirtung soon. There always seemed to be more classes to teach, more papers to mark, and just...more. Not so true anymore. I have exactly 2 more weeks here before my snowmobile, my chihuahuas, and my was too many books move to Qikiqtarjuaq. Qikiqtarjuaq, a small community north of Pang, is where I've been transferred. It seems weird to be leaving, but I'm looking forward to a new adventure.

First negative part about moving? I don't know anyone who can split a sealift order with me. I'm not really sure how much I will need, but I'm sure it'd be more cost effective to share a shipment. I'll need bunches of dog food, flour, and skidoo parts - all very expensive in the north - but, other than that, Canada Post can take care of.

Anyway, the time has come to log out...I have no creativity tonight.

Mt Duval...again.

Now that my parents have left and my qiniq subscription has been renewed, I have no more reason to stay away from this blog. You see, both of my parents had blogs to tend to when they were here and, when they weren't keeping in touch with the outside world, we were out doing things. This meant that I was able to go ages without logging in. Oops!

Ok, ok...I guess the last journey out was, again, to the tip of Mount Duval. As long-term readers might remember, I made it to the peak last August; it was the first time I was really able to appreciate the beauty of this place. I think I had been in Pang for about 4 or 5 days, and the panarama from up there was literally breathtaking. Up there, with the solitary road snaking hundreds of feet below, was definitely a new experiece...I've never really lived around mountains before.

Now, although the journey 10 months ago was excruciatingly steep (we missed the fact that there was a more gradual ascent in the back), this year there were other challenges to face. I was convinced that it would be easier now that I knew about the alternate path...I was sorely disappointed. Instead of the 4 hours it took last August, it took us 7 hours to complete the trip; thank god for PB and J sandwiches! This (on the right) is what most of the climb looked like...if you look really carefully at that picture, you can see me and the tiny figure of my dad farther along. Huge chunks of rocks everywhere. When this wasn't the view, then this was the view...
Isn't this an amazing view of Cumberland Sound and Pangnirtung from above? Beautiful. Although I'll be in Qikiqtarjuaq at this time next year, I think this is a picture that will stay with me. Pang has such a distinctive look (for me, at least), that it will be forever in my mind. Check it out...have you ever seen such a small chunk of land spliced with a teeny tiny airstrip which takes nerves of steel to land on? Seriously? There's nothing like the flight into Pang.

Anyway, back to the hike. Heading to the summit was so discouraging at times! We would be heading along a promising path until, all of a sudden, we were cut off with swathes of waist-deep snow. This led to a fair amount of doubling back and trying to find an alternate route. My parents were hell-bent on making it to the top, though, so I kept going with my mouth shut when my muscles started their husky mountain yodeling. It was always "just one more ridge". For anyone who's tried to climb it - which excludes a surprising number of locals - this frustrating characteristic is realized very soon. Just when you think you're almost at the top you reach a point which introduces a whole new stack of rocks to climb.

We did make it though...

Mom and dad got some awesome yoga pose pictures but, unfortunately, my camera died on the ridge below; I still have to scam the ones I like from my dad's new digital wonder.

Once we reached the top and drank some fantastic crystal clear water we scooped up from a stream, we had to face the daunting descent. Let me tell you: I was not looking forward to so much back tracking and circling. My feet and ankles hurt, my body was so tired, and all I could think of was the ton of homework I had to complete for the following day. So we took a few shortcuts. Yes, that's a picture of me sliding head-first down a patch of snow on a garbage bag. Now, the first time I tried this, it was great...with a smooth swoosh I was at the bottom. Somehow, though, the snow was different here and all I could do is pull myself along with my arms. I was laughing so hard I thought I wouldn't be able to make it past the first few meters.

That's Mount Duval on a beautiful Victoria Day weekend...I can't wait to see what Qik has to offer in the way of hiking opportunities!

May 19, 2010

The lament of a lonely Cat...

I spoke too soon...I started out my last post with an observation that, perhaps, I should've kept secret from The Powers That Be; I simply stated that I hadn't been subject to a whole lot of  'precipitation' walking to and from work. Sorry fellow Pangnirtung residents - I think I was responsible for the morning of wet and nasty snow we received yesterday. Although it had disappeared by lunch, the nature of beast left me soaked by the time I got to school. I miss being able to take The Beast over the ice and the faint smell of gas in my hair any snowmobile leaves . Strange, I know.

Actually, pictures show it best:

...about 3 weeks ago...

...about 2 weeks ago...

I suppose this means my Cat is retired for the season. Right now all I have to do is get someone to look at it and help me prep it for storage as well as compile a list of things which may come in handy in Qik next year. I definitely need new skis, a few extra sets of carbides, another belt (just in case), and a replacement for a piece of the starter system. I don't know the particular name of it, but I know what it does and what the problem is. The nasty rattling I've been hearing for the past few months - the one which sounds like a rock caught up underneath somehow, is actually caused by this mechanism. Anyway, I need a list of things to buy in the south and throw on my sealift order...the deadline to which, I might add, is dangerously close.

Well, I suppose that's it for my 'lunch-time entry'. Back to work for me! Perhaps I'll update you on my Bingo prowess next time instead of boring you with, like the title says, the 'lament of a lonely Cat'.

May 17, 2010

Derby drama...

Walking home from school today it occured to me how few times I've had to travel around in the snow or rain. Why? I'm not really sure. Could it be that everything gets dumped during school hours? At night? I just don't know. As far as I can remember it appeared, then the sun. I didn't notice the change until it had happened. Selective memory; I really believe I only notice the extremes up here.

So this is a pic of Pang from uptown. It looks so different without the snow! I don't remember what it looked like in the fall.

Anyway, this is the first foray into the events during my internet AWOL session. The Fishing Derby. Ah, what a rush. There was originally a question about whether I should go. I really wanted my parents to get the chance to ice fish, but I knew the melt was full-on. I didn't really trust 'The Beast' to keep us safe...nasty skis, fried carbides, and a mysterious scraping sound along the left side of the hood. Eeek!

I think I probably would've given up if I hadn't thought it would be the last of the snow and ice. I bought some carbides made to fit gawd knows what kind of machine and a jerry can full of gas. I got a neighbour to drill some holes into the bottoms of my skis to patch everything together. This pic shows the full thing through the screen of one of my windows...and I think this flip is where the scratches on the back end of my Cat got started.

The day of the derby started out bright and early with the packing of emergency kits and lunch bags. We had gotten our licenses the week before and were set on the legal front (as much as can be expected). The night before, my mom was on Skype with her brother in Kelowna, learning how to tie the perfect knot so by the time we were ready to go, our lures were firmly attached to my two trusty wooden spoons (more on that later).

To get onto the ice here in Pang, you have to get through a forest of ice shards about a baseball field long. This is pretty standard from what I can tell; Pangnirtung Fjord has tides which roar second only to the Bay of Fundy. Incredible. This is a picture of my mom and me on the crushed shore. This is what I needed to get my snowmobile through, over, and under. Ho. Lee. Crap!

Because of the temperature, the surface slush was incredibly deep and, at times, simply puddled water. About three minutes after our journey began we had to give 'er over a patch about 2 meters wide and a half a meter deep. I didn't think I'd be able to make it through. Without that speed. in fact, I knew I wouldn't. Three minutes in, and I was already soaked. The water smashed over the windshield and into my parents on the back the side splash more fully.

Yes, my parents. There were three adults piled on The Beast that day for a trek two hours out and two hours back. Yeeowch! Back end suspension? Check.

So we made it out without flipping. I was so impressed with myself! Balancing the weight over the ice chunks and rocks is something that took time to learn, but I was a master. I suppose it would've been kind of funny to watch. To counteract the tipping, I had to literally stand and lean 90 degrees in the other direction. Seriously!

So, after passing several abandoned snowmobiles and qamatiks wedged into the ice, we finally got to the lake and came over the crest of the hill; the panorama was amazing. Not only was the scene completely out of a postcard, but what seemed like the entire hamlet was out there! I wish my camera had a setting which could capture it all.

Now comes the wooden spoon. Jigging for fish. I never really spent too much time thinking about jigging paraphernalia. Truth be told...jigging paraphernalia in Nova Scotia means shoes and a fiddle! All you need to fish at a derby is a wooden spoon, fishing line, and a lure. Tie it all together, and this is what you awesome meal the next day.

Although I am skilled in certain endeavors - I am particularly talented in sleeping - I have learned that fishing is beyond me. Boo. Kneeling on the ice over a hole, wooden spoon in hand, and waiting. Not waiting for a stove bell to ring, but waiting for a jerk on the line. My dad mentioned fishing in Haida Gwaii which consists of boating out through the rubble of  rocks, hooking up rods, then cracking a beer. A thermos of coffee on Baffin Island is the same somehow; it's the drink that fits the environment.

Well, I wasn't a successful fisherwoman, but my license is good for another year. My dad, on the other hand, 'rocked the casbah'. Although he didn't win the derby (and the accompanying $7,000), we got to take home a great char to chow down on. Caught, cleaned, and cooked up near the Arctic Circle!

Oh yes, of course, you need a pic of the fish. Ta da!!

...and mom's infamous 'Bog Boots'...

May 15, 2010

The eagle has landed...

You know what's difficult? When you have a blog, you write and write, and you ask for comments...and no one says anything. The ultimate frustration? Stopping. When you stop, only then do you figure out your readership. It's kind of a shame.

Anyway, I guess that means I'll be starting up again; Pang Bound has returned to the blogosphere!

Now how do I catch up? My parents have been here for almost a month, 'The Beast' (my snowmobile) has had its turn of harrowing excursions, the local fishing derby kicked butt, I'm a kickass radio-Bingo player, loonie-toonie bread machines rock, math modules make me want to vomit, my pups are lovin' the walks they get in the warm weather. Oh...and I'll be leaving Pang in about a month. I'll be 'Qikiqtarjuaq Bound' this time next year! Yup, more polar bears, fewer people, and new adventures to write about.

I'll be back to elaborate sometime soon...

April 09, 2010

One Nation Under Dog...

The book I'm reading right now is called One Nation Under Dog: Adventures in the New World of Prozac-Popping Puppies, Dog-Park Politics, and Organic Pet Food. It starts with the author promising to his wife that they wouldn't become those people after adopting their St.Bernard. Those people who buy the Kong chews when a dog would prefer something a whole lot cheaper. Travelling en masse (leaving the family pet is no longer an option). Spending money on pet health insurance when we don't have a dental plan ourselves. Anyway, you get the drift...

April 08, 2010

I want pictures!

Grrr...I have some great stories to tell. Well, things that I feel like writing about anyway. Unfortunately, I think my monthly gigs are almost up (that's what I get for downloading all those audiobooks); it looks as though I'll have to call to get some more internet usage, then write my stories. I have pictures that they just won't do without. Tomorrow night, I suppose.


April 04, 2010

Happy Easter!

These days it gets bright around 4:30 in the morning; I know this because I've been staying up way too late and sleeping away most of the day. And, if you can believe it, this is not not the worst habit I have! Fortunately, the curtains I have keep out the sun,

April 03, 2010

New stuff...

So, I'm back! Yes, it's true...your wayward Pangnirtung blogger has been AWOL for, truthfully, no good reason. It's the strangest thing; though recordable things have happened, I haven't actually added anything here for 2 weels. Part of the reason for this is, I think, because I've been on a less 'rigid' schedule than regular.

March 16, 2010


Woohoo! Internet's back up! Yes, it's true, what's a blogger to do without it? Today I got my modem fixed in just enough time for my snowmobile to go on the fritz again. Perhaps it's too much to ask for both at the same time.

March 15, 2010

Qiniq and Cracker Jacks...

I read an email today from a guy who said something along the lines of : what does a blogger do when his/her internet is down? That isn't a preface to a 'lightbulb-type''s an honest question. What do we do indeed?

March 09, 2010

The northern kitchen...

A few weeks ago I entered that hallowed place...the online ordering section of the Chapters website. I couldn't help myself. After keeping to a relatively strict diet of W Network weekend tv shows, I decided that I wanted to try out some of the cookbooks that were so often reviewed. So here it is...

'The Joy of Cooking' (75th Anniversary Edition) and Jamie Oliver's 'Cook With Jamie'. Now, although it's not a very original idea, I'm going to head into the realm of foodie blogs anyway. No, I don't expect any type of movie to develop from the key-tapping here (a la 'Julie and Julia'), but I think it'll be a nice way to keep things recorded. Not only that,'s a northern foodie blog with a southern book. Can you imagine how many substitutions I'm going to have to make? That will be my challenge.

Check it all out at:

Hope to hear from you there!

To see a dog die...

I saw a dog die yesterday and there was absolutely nothing I could do about least I don't think I could have.

He had already been hit by a car and caught up in the treads of a skidoo by the time he hobbled over to me. Although there was no blood, you could pretty much guess what was going on inside; serious internal bleeding I imagine. He was a puppy - no bigger than my chihuahua - and he just flopped down...a cute little bundle of white fur with caramel-coloured ear tips. Of all the things to start my week, why did it have to be that? I like animals, but I'm sure the death of a cat would never have the same effect on me as the death of a dog. They have been my companions for years and, though I'm no Cesar Millan, I don't think my life would be the same without them.

I've mentioned dogs in the north they are usually viewed as a nuisance. They get this rap because there are always puppies popping up in whatever shelter the bitch can find. Although this poor thing never had a chance, I don't think it was due to neglect in this case. I think he had wandered away from his mom and littermates somehow and gotten lost. Poor thing. I wish I knew where he came from. I wish I knew whether the other puppies are doing ok.

Last night I went through all my pictures and found the ones of my chihuahuas when they were puppies; both could fit in the palms of my hands. Then I tortured myself by imagining them - at that age - mangled under some sort of vehicle. Then I gave them both a squeeze and curled up in a pile. Then we all fell asleep.

February 25, 2010


This is Gryphon. Watching me. As I try to figure out this new blog format. I'm still not sure what I think. Any suggestiongs?

Doggy woes...

This is Rocky...the Pang version of a cairn terrier. He's pretty cute, but he's an unneutered male who is gawd-knows how old. Though he has lots of grey hair, I don't think he's that old.

Crazy wiry hair with a thick undercoat...I have no idea how I'm going to clean him up. Right now he's waiting for his flight out of here and needed a place to crash. I guess my place is known throughout the community as the 'small dog' place. Fair enough.

Rocky seems to be incorporating well enough into the pack and, with a bit more time, I think he'll be happy. Fortunately, because of his coat, he can go out for walks...that helps with his mental state. Scarlett and Gryphon have been bouncing off the walls all winter; I can't wait to take them out again!

Boo. I just got a phonecall from a friend who 'lost' her dog today. Someone came to her workplace, accused her of napping it off their doorstep, then physically assaulted her. Ok, so she doesn't have a black eye, but seriously! How can you call it a cherished family pet if you haven't noticed FOR TWO WEEKS that it was roaming the streets with no collar and foraging for garbage! Also, this woman hadn't even seen the dog. She had just heard that my friend has started taking care of one!

It's a rough world for a dog in the north. And really not fair.

February 24, 2010

Online puchases...useful and not so useful...

One of my co-workers is moving this weekend and watching her getting ready has put me in the mind a few things. Well, that and the fact that my mother made her first purchase on eBay brother, of course, stressing the fact that it's easy to get carried away with online purchases. Sometimes, though, it's a commen behaviour in certain areas (the north, for example).

Like I mentioned, one of my co-workers is moving and having one of those epic house sales that everyone in the community waits for. I have the feeling when it's my turn it'll be rather informal - I have a history, after all, of just giving everything in my apartment to any charity that picks up before leaving the country. Not so true with her. Weeks ago she had everything inventoried and ready to go...right down to the 143 cans of tuna in her sealift room. Crazy, right? I'm a sucker, though, and have ended up with quite a few things. I only got 10 cans of tuna (for the dogs), but there were many other things I had delivered. I managed to avoid the big flatscreen tv, but couldn't resist the dvd player.

Anyway, the reason I mention all these superfluous purchases in because I'm finding that I have definitely started to view online buys in a different light. Sometimes you need certain things, but it's still a habit I have to learn how to rein in. Before coming here (Pangnirtung), I read as many websites as possible about online ordering. Without further ado, I'm going to relay what I have learned.

First off, check out Jen of Nunavut's blog. It was posted ages ago, but it's still an awesome place to start. Personally, I haven't bought big ticket items because I'm not yet sure how long I'll be here; Jen, on the other hand, spent a few years here and knows it ins-and-outs of big purchase.

Me? Small things that add up. I have found the best place to order stuff is from family and friends but, barring that option, a few things caught my eye:

Moving here at the end of August, I didn't yet need a heavy coat and boots. Instead, I opted to buy them online.

This is where I got my Canada Goose jacket. Any of you who have looked into buying one knows that you pay more than pennies. I searched and searched for the right style (I was determined to get the Kensington model), and it took me quite awhile to find one. As soon as I did, I put in my order. And waited. And waited. I did not receive any confirmation email even though I could see the payment on my credit card. About two weeks later, an unmarked package arrived - a really small one. There was my jacket. I think it was great that there was no record (on the outside) of what was being delivered, but not getting a confirmation email was really uncool.

The Tannery

I ordered some 'Joan of Arctic' Sorels here and, although I think they would have arrived (I got several follow-up emails), the didn't have the style and size that I wanted. I couldn't believe how difficult it is to get that style in 'hawk'! Eventually I went for the Baffins...

These guys were awesome. Great customer service on the 1-800 number with very knowledgeable people. They were able to guide me into choosing the right model I needed for this climate and, thinking about it now, the Baffin boots I got are definitely a better choice for what I want to do up here.

What more can I say? They have wonderful stuff, and you'll never regret buying a few pairs of 'wigwam wool socks' (product # 5001-651). They're soft and perfect for living here in the winter. The snowpants I bought here were fantastic as well (Magma: product #5013-297). They are soft, amazingly thin...and soooo warm. Don't forget to buy the long underwear (Capilene 4: product #5010-867); they're awesome.

NB: I'm allegic to most wool, but the socks don't bother me at all. I have no idea why.

Free delivery on any order over over $150 (or something like that); it's not difficult to spend that much, but certainly worth it. Quick delivery. Easy return policy (I've replaced sizes). Good help on the 1-800 number. The problem? Everything that MEC produces seems to be made for tall skinny people. How many actually fit that body type? Be careful with sizing.


When in Pang, I occasionally have 'pangs' missing my southern clothes - especially shoes. Heels, I miss my heels. Ok, ok...I miss my skirts and tank tops, but my heels and spikey boots I miss regularly. So I have ordered shoes. I can, after all, wear them at school. And it just makes me feel better to have them. Not the best reason, I know, but it's true. Very consumer based.

Awesome awesome. Although it's based out of New York, delivery was quick and painless.

Great company. And I would say this even if the owner wasn't a friend of mine. Hi Jesse!


You can't live here and not know about this. Free shipping anywhere in Canada and, if they make any sort of mistake, you get a replacement, hand-written card, and extra products. That's only happened once, though. They are fantastic and have really quick turn-around time.

Awesome! Cooking with Jaime, The Joy of Cooking, and Cesar Milan's latest book are awesome finds.


This website was a pain-in-the-butt at first because I kept being booted to the American site. I tried .ca, but for some reason it didn't work. When I finally made the purchase, I was quite relieved...if it wasn't something essential, I probably would have given up (I needed puppy pads, not chewy toys and treats). For those of you who regularly use puppy pads, you know the panic that sets in when you're running low; I need them because my two chihuahuas just can't go outside in this weather. I use about 2-3/day and only had enough for a week left when I made my order. The new stuff arrived before I ran out.


Really quick delivery and the email updates were great.


I guess that's about it for today. I'm going to go and try not to spend anymore money. Good luck to you!

Pizza Pizza

Generally, I like to cook...there's something really cathartic about mixing ingredients and have something appears from nothing. However, sometimes it's really nice just to have take-out. Something that is delivered. To the door. In Ottawa, one of my favorites was Greek on Wheels. Soooo good. Of course, the generic 'Canadian' Chinese food and pizza made an appearance, but pretty much anything Greek is ok in my books. what happens when you want a greek pizza? Black olives, red onions, feta - those are the basics. That last ingredient is essential and near impossible to get most of the time. Recently, though, the Northern got a big order in for the 'super-low' price of $13 / container. I don't care. I love it. Tonight I made my favorite pizza: olives, red onion, feta, mozzarella, green pepper, and broccoli. I know it sounds weird, but it's amazing. My local Pizza Pizza delivery place even started to recognize the order!

Oh, and something I learned? I finally found a replacement for the cornmeal that I always put on my pizza pans when I cook. For some reason you can't get it here, but if you use Italian herb Shake'n'Bake, it works out really well - crispy thin-crust.

...and another thing? In a dry community the yeast needed for breads is kept under lock and key along with the vanilla extract. It's a good thing I asked where it was! I had already planned making a few pizzas for different people and several loaves of bread. I think they recorded my name at the Northern, but I don't think I bought enough to get a home-brew business up and running. Pizza and bread! I just want pizza and bread!

Well I'm going to go back for seconds.

February 20, 2010

Leftover tasties...

Scarlett, my heroine; she knows everything's good down to the last drop. And, like me, she has the growing belly to prove it.

Wow, that pic really accentuates the fact that I need to get her nails clipped!

Kitty close calls, kites, and a few little pup pics...

It came to my attention last night that, whenever there's a huge lull in my blogging frequency, it's because I'm focusing on negative ('un-bloggable') things. It's kind of stupid really...having unbloggable things going on doesn't mean that there's nothing bloggable.

Yesterday was my first true almost 'Bruce Willis worthy' stunt on my snowmobile. No, I didn't do some fancy flipping up and down the mountains; I didn't jump over deep chasms in the ice; I didn't spiral into pinpoint stops on the corners of precipices. My poor little Kitty slammed into a boulder, ceased to move, and threw me about 3 meters. Not so bad all-in-all. It was as if it were occuring in slow motion...basically hoping there were no other rocks to smash into. Fortunately, but for a bad case of snow burn on one cheek, I came out unscathed.

Trying to get that B-och out was another story. The reverse worked, but the snow was so deep and powdery it just slipped back. I found out that I'm strong enough to pick up and move the back end, but the front end is a tad too much. I'll have to work up those muscles...raaawwrr!! Since the tread was firmly pushed up and jammed on a rock, I basically had to hike home and try to figure out a way to get it back to my place. It didn't take long. Within the hour someone came and knocked on my door and asked whether it was my machine and whether I wanted him to get it out. Yes, everyone knows the crazy southern single girl who can't seem to keep a hold of the one thing that so many would love to have. Ah,'s out in front of my place right now - no damage done. I have to say, though, my body has taken a beating. I can still feel the ache on my left side despite the 2 extra strength ibuprofen!

So today, when I was laying around with my painkillers, this is what I saw through my front window. Since I'm in the government residential end of town, the buildings you see are pretty much the same as mine. First they got the tent up with some sort of air-blowing device and then they used it to keep a heated bubble around. It looked like a lot of fun, but I don't think anyone was about to get off the ground for very long (not windy enough).

Not bad, eh?

You see? There are lots of bloggable things to write about in times of unbloggable depressions. Sure there are things that get me down, but when you're this close to the Arctic Circle, the temperature is a mere -6 degrees celcius, how could you not resist running out with these cuties? It's fun enough to just wrap my pups up in a bunch of clothes, put some paw protector on their little toes, and let them have some fun out of the house. The wee one is Gryphon...Scarlett's the pup with her nose in the snow.

So that's it for now. My blog entry on an unbloggable day...

February 14, 2010

Mangoes and asparagus...

Well, anyone in the north knows that, if you see relatively fresh fruit and vegetables, you should buy them. I did. Mango sorbet and awesome cream of asparagus and cheese soup filled me up tonight. 'Nuf said.

February 13, 2010

Pre-northern blogs and a shot of the 80s

Before getting my official job offer to move to Pang and start this year of craziness, I was very much like my readers who email me with questions about life in the north. I spent so much time reading everything I could about life in the north - all-the-while praying that my resume would eventually get me the interview I needed - that I began going through withdrawl symptoms if I didn't check them out a few times a day. It was at this time I decided that blogs were kinda cool. I mean, years earlier I had tried, but it never really got off the ground.

Waiting around in Ottawa last August, I decided to start constructing my own page. This is when I first met (online) my friendly neighbourhood bloggers in Iqaluit, Jordan and Steph...they were preparing to move north at the same time and, for awhile, I even thought we'd be on the same flight (it turned out that they jumped on the plane the day after I took off). I didn't want to jinx my job possibilities (yes, I'm superstitious) or let people know what I was up to until everything was finalized, so I started a 'non-northern' blog.

Anyway, all that leads up to this next part...

I woke up this morning, brewed a cup of coffee, grabbed a cookie, flipped on the tv, and fired up my little netbook - my regular Saturday morning ritual. Nothing on the usual channels (up too early today), so I ended up watching one of those 'Top 10' shows. This one was on MTV...'Top 10 80s Videos'. Anyone around at the time must remember Samantha Fox and her after-school video least my Canadian readers. She was classic! The 80s were the golden era of videos - in today's world, they rarely hold such a prestigious place in the hearts of music lovers.

...all of this to to say my morning MTV shot reminded me of this post on my old blog. Check it out.

Oh, is it cheating to recycle a blog post? I don't mind receiving a 'regifted' item, so I don't think it's such a bad thing.

February 12, 2010

Olympic news and a Welcome to the Sun...

Ok, there are a few things I wanted to mention here, but I'll keep it down to two (since one of them has lots of pics).

First off, the Olympics. As I write, it's quite possible the answer to this ponderance is available...I'm really not interested enough to pay attention to tv times. The question? Who is going to be the final carrier to light the cauldron. I have seen many people weighing in on the matter - Wayne Gretsky, Terry Fox's mother, a holographic representation of Terry Fox (what's that about?), Rick Hanson...etc. Famous athletes. Fair enough...they've worked incredibly hard to reach the heights that they did in their in their professions; these are the faces that represent Canada to the world. But what about the faces who don't usually make it as far as the tv screen?

This is what I think: the torch-bearer for the Olympics hosted in Canada should be someone that represents the normal person. I was never really into sports growing up, but I think it would be great to have the coach who makes it to the rink for 6 am practise, the face who works as a spotter to a kid on a balance beam, the face standing by with a whistle and encouragement, etc. to represent the rest of us who aren't part of the physical elite. Am I really alone in this opinion? When Wayne Gretsky sold out and started putting his face in truck commercials, I think he gave up his right to speak for amateur athletes.

Holy crap! The news just came and announced that a luger (athlete on the luge) flew over the side and died when practising for the upcoming events...speeding down the track at 85 m/hr.'s heartbreaking! Could you continue with the competition knowing that someone died there on the day the Olympics opened? I think I would just be sick.

Well, I wasn't expecting such a shock halfway through my blog. It's kind of pushed me off the carbides I need replaced on my snowmobile, I'm having difficulty staying on track. I suppose that's ok, though; it is, after all, just a blog.

Alright, done with the Olympics and ready to party it up, 'Pangnirtung style'. Today the schools in town organized a 'Welcome to the Sun' celebration across the ice, and most of the community came out 'to play'. Everyone headed out on their snowmobiles in a caravan-type formation - some pulling kaamutiks, others just packed with passengers.

The drive out was amazing and, honestly, there was one point that just completely gave me flashbacks to 'The Fellowship of the Ring'. Do you remember the scene when the bunch of them were heading through the mountain...snow everywhere...Gandalf the Grey disappears? Well, there was one point where the ice on both sides of the track had smashed up and collapsed during the freezing process leaving just a pitted, cracked, and winding ice path which was elevated about a meter and wide enough only for my skis (and maybe a small kaamutik). One-way traffic all the way.

Along the way, we passed this little team hanging out on the ice. Pang sled dogs have the reputation of being super lazy. In fact, there is some sort Inuktitut expression / local saying that explains it. They only run when they trips'n'all.

When I finally made it to the camp, this is what I found...

Then, more people started to arrive. This picture is the son of one of my students...his parka and kaamiks were so cute!

So then it was time to relax. Have any of you ever hung out in an igloo? It's so quiet and peaceful! I just wanted to stay in there with a hot coffee...there was an exploded can of frozen coke in there, but it just wasn't the same.

And then there was the whole issue of sliding out...

So, I don't know how many of you have read my blog for awhile, but for those you who have, you might remember my entry on Lasaloosie (you can check it out here). These next two pics are of him prepping some tea outside of his igloo...check out the meat speared on the harpoon outside the entrance...and check out that super-warm wolf parka. I've never seen one like it.

So there we were, all gathered and in awe of the sun. We had headed out, south of Pang...down the fjord to the mouth of Cumberland Sound. We were on a ridge which, when you're in the hamlet, blocks the sun. It was 3 o'clock and still bright! At this time of year it's usually twilight at 3!


Although there were a few igloos already, some of the guys set about cutting up snow blocks to make a few more. The kids, of course, headed for the edge of the peak to slide down to the sea ice. It looked like a lot of fun but, you know, I just wasn't up for the hike back up the hill.

So, nope, I didn't go sliding down the hill; this was more my cup of tea...

The guys putting together the igloos were pretty impressive. Check these two out! The snow was so really did feel like plaster-type bricks. Each time they had a block in place, they would take out a machete and shave the edges to make a perfect fit. The cracks between the bricks are left there on purpose to fill in with snow later (added insulation).
They start their training young!

So that was it...that was my day. Not so bad...I guess it was worth the mild frostbite on my cheeks and the tingling in my toes and fingers.

And this final pic? It beats my class graduation picture - no contest.