Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Singing in the Rain

Well, I'm getting down to the wire... I did go puddle jumping and I'm hoping the sore throat I have is temporary and doesn't turn an innocent bit of puddle jumping into strep throat because I don't have time to be sick in the next month, never mind the next week. That said, there really are not too many activities that make you feel as alive as getting rained on... so, as long as I don't end up sick - it was worth it.

Its starting to set in that not only am I moving to a remote place, I'm about to go from temperature I normally associate with midsummer to temperatures I normally associate with early fall - well maybe a touch warmer - but anything much below 20 C and I'm wearing at least a long sleeved t-shirt - maybe even a sweater. So I guess I should enjoy my last few days of wearing shorts and sandals because come September - temperatures above 10 C are going to become rare and that is jacket and hat territory - and well, its winter by October.

I can relate to this a bit. When I did my education year - I did each of my placements in a different location and I was living in Thunder Bay to begin with - so in November I moved south for my first placement near here and went from early winter to late fall then back to full winter when I got to Thunder Bay. In March, the day I left for my last placement, in Nunavut, I was wearing jeans and a t-shirt and feeling uncomfortable warm carting an armload of boxes to be mailed home from the post office - the next day well - it was Parkas and seeing my first parking lot full of Skidoos in Rankin. I think the toughest was when we headed back south in early May and it was 30 C in Winnepeg and the bunch of us were all standing there in the airport dying with our parkas over our arms in our winter boots (and probably looking foolish too.) So, according to the weather network, the day before I leave the temperature is supposed to be between 11 C (low) and 23 C (high) which isn't all that different from this week here - but that is fairly unusual I gather since the average max temp for this time of year is only 16 C and the average min temp is a chilly 5 C. Note to self... move mittens and hat into carry on bag.

Packing has been an adventure - It looks like it should work out okay, but I've been given a few different versions of what I can actually get on calm air. It sounds to me that your total weight includes your carry-on luggage (but not your camera, purse, or coat or reasonable reading material.) If anyone has recent experience about whether the 70 lbs limit applies to 2 pieces of checked luggage + carry on bag or if the 70 lbs is just the checked luggage and there is another 20 lbs allowed for the carry on - I'd love to know. But, I am going to give them a call anyways.

The photograph was taken on the Credit River near Cataract late last fall.... well on the up side I won't have to wait too long before ski season starts...or worry about if the snow is going to melt or if it is going to rain in January. I think it won't. Now... panicky thought... did I pack my glide wax...where would it be if I didn't - does anyone carry glide wax in August? Sigh. There still isn't anyone with the boots I want in stock either. Ah well, I'm sure I'll have a few more of these moments in the next few days. Its kind of scary moving somewhere where even if you were willing to put out obscene amounts of money - there are simply things that are not available to buy and I suspect that glide wax is probably on the list...
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Late Arrivals

This African Violet plant was a gift from a close friend some years ago and I have photos of it flowering early last June - but this year it didn't flower until today (almost August) - so about 2 months later. Its in the same location, its getting about the same water - so why it is later this year I'll never know. Perhaps I should give it some food. Still... its as delightful as ever and possibly in need of a new home. Although I'm considering trying to bring it with me when I move - I just have to come up with way of doing it without killing the plant or getting dirt all over my stuff.

In other moving news, my roomate and I are trying to sort out how to get our excess luggage up north. This is proving to be much more complicated than anticipated - so while we are frustrated, we are also glad that we discovered the problem early enough to deal with it - now if only all of the agents would give us the same information and figure out how to ship our stuff efficiently withough needing to store it - then life would be good. Alternatively.. I'm not sure that it wouldn't be cheaper to drive it to Winnipeg than it would be to ship it... or even Ottawa... hopefully this will work out. I'm going to mostly pack my bags today - so I can have an idea about the weight and size of stuff before starting into talks with the air cargo folk. On the other hand, if I think of the number of times I've moved somewhere with only a dufflebag a backsack and a guitar.... then I can probably relax and figure that I'll survive regardless.
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary School

I thought it was time for a non-gardening post. I've been throwing them up because they are fast and don't keep me from my thesis for more than a few moments. I'm giving myself about 5 minutes to get this one done - so I take no responsibility for my spelling or writing skills - this is a rapid fire news dump, not an essay.

Pictured above is my new workplace in Baker Lake - Jonah Amitnaaq Secondary School. Obviously, I haven't been up there, but I was graciously given permission by Curtis of the Northern Sights Blog to borrow his until I could take some of my own. There is even a floor plan online. I think the hardest thing is that I have so much to do, but I'm dying just to get ready and go. Anyone who has suggestions for good teaching resources for northern teachers - I'm all ears.

Not that there hasn't been a lot of tasks to do all ready. I've been tracking down all the paperwork I need to get sent in order to apply for my Nunavut teaching license. I've been trying to compile some lists of things to move. Moving up north is a pretty big deal - and you really have one shot to get it right - since once you are there it is extremely costly to replace the things you forgot - if you can even get your hands on them. I somehow survived in Kashechewan with 7 hangers. The biggest thing I forgot when I moved there was a telephone (I did manage to remember my answering machine). Fortunately, another teacher lent me one until my mom could mail me one. I do have to procure quite a few items, to replace the stuff I sold when I moved back from New Brunswick - so that will be fun or crazy or something. I think the next big job is to set up a staging area for moving and then starting the pile and the list. I think I have 3 weeks. But to add to the complication, I need to leave out the survival essentials to take with me on the plane because my belongings could get delayed for a few weeks after my arrival.

My other big job for June was to complete my sealift order. I know a bit about them from other folk - but I didn't get a chance to put an order in when I was in Kashewean because I didn't start until a few weeks into the school year. Thus, food was expensive and kind of limited in variety. But I did mail myself a lot of the basics. Unfortunately, sending stuff to myself via Canada Post is quite a bit more expensive than my boxes would have costed to ship to Kashechewan - so I'm glad that I've had a chance to make a sealift order. I'm sure I've made mistakes - that I'll wish that I didn't order 12 900g bags of brown rice or a case of nutella I'll also probably kick myself for forgetting stuff too. Luckily, I was able to do my order with the person I'll be sharing my appartment with - so that in a lot of cases we could split cases of stuff which will improve the variety for everyone. I'm set to put the order in by Wednesday, which gives us a few days to think about what we've put in and change our minds a few times. I did a fair bit of research into the process and finally went with the northern store. I'm not sure they are the cheapest (but I think they are pretty good) and I don't think they have the best variety and there was no way to get around having to buy stuff in whole sale quantities - however, they had their catalouge on the internet and were able to give me an exact price for both the item and the shipping (which is good since we are going in on the order together and have to sort out that sort of thing) and the shipping price gets my food from their shelf to Baker Lake without me having to make any arrangements. I figure the northern coop has been doing this a long time - and as an inexperienced sealift orderer - I figured that it was the safest bet. So... I'll maybe post up how good my grocery shopping went next summer - and let you know what my errors were.

So - now all I have to do is finish up writing my thesis and then finish editting it and then defend it while doing moving prep and a bit of unit planning and then maybe I can sleep on the plane.

So, last but not least because I have a bunch of little things.. here are a mass of updates.

1. David Usher has a new single out "Kill the Lights" - his album "Wake up and Say Goodbye" is due out on Sept. 9th, 2008 :D
2. In gardening news: the Lupins are getting their second wind, the petals are starting to unfurl on the daisies, and one echinacaea flower has started to grow. I have a few different types - its seems to be the largest - so it could be the magnus or it could be the alba - as the petals appear white so far. The first daylily (a yellow one) has also flowered.
3. In knitting news, there are only 7 inches left to knit on my shawl - which means I've knit an inch in the last 1.5 months - and most of that at my Gramma's last night. Once I'm up north I'm going to start my Philospher's Wool Sweater and probably a pair of trillium socks that match my new shawl. Until then I hope to finish up the shawl - and start my second crayon jaquard sock. I knit the first one entirely during my breaks working at the greenhouse. I miss the greenhouse - I can't even see a window from my desk.
4. Gas is at $1.34/L - so its a good thing that I've driven my car less than 2 km in the last week. I'm hoping to make a morning bike ride part of my routine - somehow.
5. My hair is finally long enough to tie back!
6. I have a strap and camera case for my new Camera and some generous donations to my camera fund (thanks folks for the awesome birthday gifts everyone), I'm not allowed to get the camera, until after my thesis is written and everything else I need is done - but hopefully by the time I get on that plane I'll have my equipment in order to take some awesome pictures to post here. Of course, I'll probably have to cut down the size and resoluation for the sake of my internet connection, but I'm pretty excited. Amusingly, I'm exactly double the age I was when I got my first real camera. My family tricked me by giving me a stuffed squirrel for my birthday (which I do still have and like muchly) and then surprised me with the camera at my grandparents. I still have the camera, but a spring in the shutter assembly gave out while I was at camp - so it has been retired. I'm sure I'll let you know when I get my first pictures with it.

Anywho, I've exceeded my 5 minutes - and I have a lot to do if I want to sleep in the next 2 weeks.... so this is it for posts with more than pictures of my garden - probably for at least that long - all though some times I get the itch to write when I cut my sleep back.....

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