Monday, March 30, 2009

The Frozen Ocean

This photo is part of the still leaving Repulse and heading home set. I don't think it is too far from town as we are still relatively low to the ground. I like the way that this picture shows the ridges of ice around the land. I love the contrast between the "smooth" ice and the bumpy rocky land. Can you tell I'm a window person on a plane? Don't need the isle.. I have no plans to cram myself into a scuzzy air bathroom unless the need is dire. Staring out the window (especially if it is clean and not over the wing) is my favourite part.

Well, the crowning awesomeness for today was the arrival of my knitpicks order. Their colours are awesome. I have one named tidepool heather.. its teal and turquoise... It reminds me more of mountain lakes than tide pools... but it is wondering what it'll be when its all knit up. Now I need a little project, something that I can pick up and forget for a few weeks as the sis of doom is looming.

Sigh... well... here it is.. my island of calm.. I'm going to enjoy it and not complain too much.. I'd better get some odds and sods done before heading to sleep.
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The Stars have Spoken

Its Monday, and I worked all weekend, so I have no excuse for this bubbly-enthusiastic calm feeling I have except that I feel like I've swept the deck clear (at least partially) of extra burdens and I've made some decisions that I'm happy with.

Here is the talk from the stars (aka my ever freaky horoscope)

"A vague sense of oppression is beginning to lift. You can shed even more of your burden if you now make a few timely choices. You don't owe anything to anyone now." (The Star)

I read this after I decided that I felt that way and made the decisions... so go figure. One of my decisions is to eventually adopt a Malamute into my family and before you freak out mom - eventually could mean 10 years and it will most certainly be 12 to 24 months and it may never happen - but its left me with something to research for a few months and really you can't beat puppy pictures.

Why a malamute? They are smart, beautiful, poised, independent, clean, expressive, friendly dogs. I know a charming one named Kaylee and I miss her a bunch. She's good for sitting on cold feet, listening patiently to your problems and although it takes for ever to walk around the neighbourhood - she at least has personality to make up for it as she checks out every shrub, tree, bush, dead animal and squirrel.

Anywho... I was just feeling so cheery and amused by my horoscope that I had to write and share... and now I have to learn more about caribou.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Up, Up and Away...

I got a nice shot out the window...
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On the Arctic Circle

Here is the arch sitting on the arctic circle (66 Degrees North). This was taken shortly before we left. As you can see the wind was whipping up the snow and we were lucky to be able to leave. As it was, the plane was late and I think we were all relieved to sit down when the plane got there. After that it was pretty much smooth sailing.... It was a great visit and it was good to see the place that left me with such good memories of the north that I was drawn back here so many years later.
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Saturday, March 28, 2009

The End of the Road

When I did my placement in Repulse Bay, I stayed out here at the far end of town. It must be even more breathtaking in the summer and fall, with the houses perched on the hills near the bay looking out over town and distant rocky ridges. I recalled often seeing arctic hare while I was there - but no Ukaliq this day.
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Drifting Into the Future

The wind is a powerful force in shaping the winter landscape of the arctic. It can be savage and howling one day to be gentle the next. It carves drifts with intricate patterns and ridges and gravity defying overhangs. I've been learning a lot about weather the last few weeks. The impact of topography on weather is baffling and here is the exciting fact of the day.... Baker Lake owing to its location and topography holds the record for Blizzard days in the North. An amazing 20.1 days per year where blizzard conditions are occurring. Now I have long lost track of the number of blizzard days this year.. but I'm tempted to suggest that Arviat and Rankin may be out blizzarding us this year and we have a lot less snow than Repulse Bay.

The last 3 weeks of my life have been both busy and rewarding. I'm one of those people who actually sometimes does better when I'm busy, but only for a period of time. I'm glad to finally have had a done day. I finally unpacked from my trip last weekend this morning and I've had a very low key relaxing day where the most exciting thing I've done is make 13 meals of soup (cabbage/broccoli/tomato is the flavour of the week). I'm heading to the Northern and then work for probably the rest of the evening in hopes of freeing up some time tomorrow to enjoy the beautiful weather... although I plan on taking a fairly long route to work... get in some exercise and enjoy the sunshine. But I thought I'd better post here quickly, before my readers started to wonder if I had abandoned this blog entirely. I haven't even been on other people's blogs, not even my brothers. I'm embarrassed to say that the last time I was there was Jan 20 or so..... and that there are a tonne of adorable pictures that have cropped up since there of my adorable and growing nephews. I'm looking forward to spending some time with them this summer....

We are 3/4 through our year and I'm surprised how quickly time has gone. My plans are a little bit up in the air for the summer, but they were never the type of plans that require a lot of preplanning. I want to do some camping. I'd really like to make it out west to see my brother's family in Alberta and the rockies and visit the many folk I know in AB and BC and then it would be nice to make it to New Brunswick and Thunder Bay and Ottawa. I don't know how much time I'm going to have and my garden will need a few weeks of work and there are a few spots in my backyard I am overdue for visiting. I haven't camped in Algqonquin in a couple of summers and I'd really like to do a backpacking trip... but I also want to spend some time here when I'm not working to enjoy this part of the world..... ah well... one day at a time and I guess I'll just keep dreaming about all the things I could do if there were more hours in the day and days in the year.
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I like my steak very rare

This guy didn't have eyes for anything but his supper. I didn't see any dogs hooked up to a sled while I was in Repulse, but I know that when I was there last I saw quite a few dog drawn qamutiq (Kamatik).
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

As the crow flies

I am aware that this is a Raven. I should probably write more, but I was dying to post this one up and I don't have time to write more than this sentence...
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Nothing Repulsive about Naujaat

I had the opportunity to travel to Naujaat for the regional science fair. Its been almost exactly 9 years since I did my student teaching here and there have been lots of changes (new Co-op and a renovated Northern, new Hamlet building and a lot more trucks), but the school is very much the same and the people are still among the friendliest that I've ever met and far from being repulsive, the town is extremely photogenic.
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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fish HaT. cRaZy, SwImMy FiSh HaT!

I know that I've been neglecting my blog horribly. I haven't forgotten it.. I've just been well busy with the rest of my life... and will likely continue to be sporadic for at least the next two weeks... after that.. my life might get more normal or the weather warm enough to make outdoor photography more pleasant.

Our Science Fair was a sucess and there were a lot of great projects. The kids were great, the judges were great and my coworkers were great.... and now we are off to the regionals in a week (part of why I'm going to be busy). So, wish us luck.

As for the hat... I'm in love.. it was a bit tedious to knit.. its all stockingette stitch... but I got to try some new skills.. Short row shaping, picking up stitches in the middle of the fabric, sewing seams and adding eyes. Its a comfy, stretchy hat. The pattern is available online at I think I'm going to do one in Cascade 220 - the colours lend themselves more to crazy fish hats... I want something that screams tropical.

Anywho... I'm still in running full tilt mode and I'd better not lose too much momentum... I just have more things to do that hours in the day. I was actually vaguely bitter about losing an hour to daylight savings time... I wanted that hour... it wasn't fair of them to take it awy and much as I liked having the extra hour back in the fall.
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Friday, March 06, 2009

Surface Tension

Ah... the properties of water are so cool. We are playing with bouyancy today - well, assuming that the wind dies in time for us to have school this afternoon.

I should have some pent up blogging in me, but this morning I can't think of single thing to write about. Not one poem or one thought.

I got up the usual time this morning and did a nice bit of yoga, so perhaps I've relaxed the thoughts out of me and thus.... (beware of upcoming pun).... I don't have any surface tension to speak about.

So, I'm going go be useful and maybe get some new pictures this weekend. Although, it is supposed to be bitterly cold, so I don't know if I'll get out. I'll just have to wait and see.


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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Idle Hands Make More Socks

If you take all those minutes you spend waiting, whether it is travelling on a plane, waiting at the airport, standing in line, breaks, pauses, downtime, waiting for the bathroom and even between the calling of numbers during bingo, and knit - you too can have a sock and a bit in less than a week. (I'm in the early stages of the cuff on the second sock). At some point in my life, I might have worried that folk would think me odd to pull out my knitting in odd places, but honestly, most people have reacted positively and its definately started more conversations with strangers than I can count on my fingers. My hope though, is that it inspires other people to knit. I think it is one of the most relaxing and rewarding hobbies that I've ever picked up. (Merci Gabriel) and despite people's protests that they aren't coordinated enough or patient enough to knit - well, I'm living proof that neither quality is needed. One only needs to try and decipher my hand-writing to know that my fine motor skills are insufficient for writing personal letters, let alone being a brain surgeon and while I have patience of a sort - I'm not sure its what they mean when they talk about knitting. I may be patient with people - but honestly.. its actually my impatience that leads me to knitting. I simply hate being idle. I hate waiting and I even find it hard to sit through a whole TV show sometimes. But when I'm knitting - I can do all of these tasks without any trouble and I can still be social and aware of my surroundings at the same time (difficult when deeply engrossed in a book) and the best part is that you end up with things at the end of it!

This seems to be the year of the sock for me. In the last 12 months I've knit 2 pairs of of "fair-isle"ish type socks and this is my 5th pair of kroys socks. Last year I knit a lot more hats (only 1 this year) and scarves (only 3 this year). I do have a sweater to tackle. However, I do need to knit one more two-handed fair-isle project before I take on the sweater - or maybe two. I really want to get my technique perfect before I take it on. I also am still hoping to make a dead fish hat and maybe a pair of Omingmack slippers. There are a few scarf patterns that would make nice quick knits and I really want to try some felting. I'd also like to make something with cables (??socks) and some regular hats (also maybe with a bit of cable work).... ah.. and I don't really have that much time to knit - so I'm thinking that the sweater will be pushed to next fall and in the interim I'll finish off the socks I'm working on and probably work on a scarf and/or toque and then maybe a pair of trillium mittens to match the socks I just knit.

The down side to these wonderful trillium socks (in which my feet are currently happily snuggled) is that they seem to contribute to the intensity and frequency at which I get shocked. Yesterday night I was lucky not to break a glass, when I padded down to refill my water before bed, figuring that I didn't need any light until I hit the kitchen. I reached out to the kitchen switch and zap!!!!! Well, I dropped the glass and some how it must of hit one of the boxes waiting for the garbage before rolling across the floor - because it didn't break. It was a nice, visible arc of electricity. Since moving to the north, I've gained the habit of always grounding myself before touching my computer (metal desk frame is perfect) - but sometimes the light switches still get me. However, since I finished my socks, the shock factor is much worse.

On a completely random note, I stumbled across something disturbing in the news.... Apparently, the conservatives are hard at work, coming up with personal attack ads to rebrand Michael Ignatieff as a foreigner, American and a flip-flopper (their words not mine). One conservative was quoted as saying that they were concerned that it was too late and that they might have missed their chance to shape the view of the public firmly against Michael Ignatieff. Granted that politicians are expected to work towards getting elected - shouldn't the conservatives put their energy into developing policies that will make people want to vote for them because they are competant and heck, just put their energy into keeping our ship afloat in stormy waters..... Branding.... that is something corporations do to make people buy their product regardless of whether a product of equivalent quality and/or value exists. I, for one, don't care what party you are from - if you are the Prime Minister - your job is to run the country, not count the number of times the leader of the opposition used the word we, when referring to Americans. Frankly, personal attack ads are a form of bullying, so perhaps the Prime Minister and his party might want to consider the kind of values they are modelling for the youth of this country.
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Two Socks and a Carving

My Trillium Socks are finally done!!! and they are warm and cozy and fit better than I'd hoped. I'm going to do one more two-handed fair-isle style pair of sock (or mitts) before I tackle my Kilim Sweater. As you can see my technique is much better than the last pair, but I still have to work on the tension with my right hand and the stranding was tight in a few places which is also unfortunate.

The Drum Dancer is a carving that I picked up while I was down in Arviat. I think he agrees that the socks rock.
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