The flat sea ice is optimum for taking the dog out running on. The problem is getting him down there. On the way we have to go through the icey hell bit (choppy ice where sea meets land) and past the sled dogs on the ice and still keep his mind on the prize. The sled dogs are tied up on the ice, they all stand up and get excited when we pass, but don't have the social manners for Tallinn to just drop in for a quick smell. He might get hurt. I have to keep him moving. Once out on the flat ice, we can cruise along at moderate doggy chasing speeds and not worry about anything distracting him or harming him. Chasing us on the snowmobile works him pretty hard, an alternative to him walking me, he likes to pull. I disagree with anyone who says Malamutes couldn't cut it as sled dogs. However Tallinn being a sled dog might not jive, just because I think we raised somewhat of a paw massage, doggy treat eating fluff ball that enjoys watching television. But regardless he still needs his fluffy Malamute body worked.
Tallinn : "Ahhhh duhhhh TALLINN want outside mommmy"
Jen : "Dude, I just let you in" Tallinn "OUTSIDE, OUTSIDE, WOOF WOOF WOOF!"
Jen : "Don't you want to spend some time with your monkies?"Tallinn: Runs to the door, back to the couch, to the door, back to the couch. "OUTSIDE? OUTSIDE? OUTSIDE? HUH? NOW? HOW ABOUT NOW? RIGHT NOW?"
Jen: "Go over and ask your daddy." Tallinn: "OUTSIDE, OUTSIDE, AHH HAI OUTSIDE, OUTSIDE? YUP YUP YUP TALLINN WANTS OUTSIDE!"
I went outside to find Tallinn hunching over his arm, and I thought nothing of it until I tried to get him to come inside and he started screaming. The screaming would cease as soon as he stopped moving and then if he tried to move again the yawoling would start again. Some how his chain had frayed and tangled itself in his winter coat, right around the armpit region.
It took me soothing him and Nathan shaving (yes it was that tangled) to finally free the poor pup. And he wanted right back outside again.
I'm sunny, no wait I am a blizzard, no wait I am a beautiful clear day, no wait I am angry 100km/hr winds!
When I was little I used to lay awake in fear thinking about how maybe my house could burn down or how maybe a tornado could strike. Last night I lay awake in bed unable to sleep because the roof was creaking so loudly I feared the roof might blow clear off. I thought to myself about how just that morning it was a beautiful blue sky with warm sunshine and then it all changed in a matter of hours. How schizophrenic of the weather to be so.
My name is Jennifer, J-E-N-N-I-F-E-R. I have been eating Mini Eggs for years now, I started back when I was 18. I usually eat a handful at a time, usually around easter time. It starts with a couple in the morning just before breakfast and then I generally pop a few more handfuls periodically through out the day. My husband says I should stop, but then I just question his Cadbury cream egg problem.My sister In-law and I were joking about needing an intervention this easter. She says she has the same problem I have with mini eggs only with ju-jubes. I think my rehab should involve a treadmill of some kind.
Someone else was interested in my mini eggs, I told him that chocolate was "no-good" for puppies and offered him my chocolate breath instead.HAPPY EASTER Y'ALL! AND don't forget to check out the new challenge up at Nunavut Nonsense
No work and all play make Jen and Nathan stay in pajamas all day. Nathan bought the second x-box Star Wars Lego game and was nice enough to spend the day playing it with me. He is usually into those hardcore first person shooting games, and that's just a little too attention demanding for me. I tend to stick with fluffy fun games that I can quit at any time and join reality again. I caught someone using my Mac, and looky there on the table beside him sits lonely Mr.PC! I know you secretly marvel in the beauty and magnificence of that, that is MAC! I am it. A kitty needs a warm place to sleep. I guess we watch enough T.V to keep the receiver at an acceptable kitty temperature.
It's been really freaking cold these past few days. While I have been hearing tales of winter warm up from other parts of the territory we have been getting some mighty angry cold winds. I came home from work yesterday and got myself a real' nice ice cream headache. Turns out you don't need the ice cream to get one, just a huge blast of really really cold wind. It's amazing that my new filter cuts me some slack shooting through windows. It's always warmer on the other side of the glass. I am a photographer yes, but a wimpy one sometimes. If I can make it happen through a window, who am I to judge. The polarizer will get rid of glare by just twisting it.
These photos are sunrise at 7:20am. We are getting about 12 hours of light a day now and it's heavenly. In this shot you can see 'nipple' mountain and I am sure you can see why it's called that.
What exactly is cuteness? Is it when your dog crams his entire face into an empty Ice Cream container to lick the last remaining globs of ice cream, pushing so hard that he is forced to close his left eye, to only see when he comes up for air the ice cream is all over his face and on his eye lashes. Or is it when your one angry cat (Norman) puts aside his issues with the canine species so he can then lick the ice cream off of your rather large Malamute's face.
Today cute was seeing my friends darling girl go to the store in her Amauti. An Amauti for you of those in the south is an amazing parka that mother can carry her baby in. The baby sits in a pouch in the back of the coat and can look out when mommy's hood is down. Today the baby was a cabbage patch girl named Julie (to my Julie, you would love hearing Ainsley say Julie, it's the cutest ever) and the mommy of course was Ms. Ainsley.
Ms. Ainsley was of course a very responsible mommy, pricing out the different diaper selections for her Julie. Everyone at the store fawned over Ainsley and Julie today. This is simply the definition of cuteness.
This morning was fun without water. I needed to go to work and I wasn't going to do it without brushing my teeth and washing my face. The last time I made an order to Well.ca I bought some wet wipes for situations like this. I can't stand using the toilet and not being able to wash my hands. Turns out the wipes were pretty good on my face and in a sense good for a waterless freshen up. The next issue was brushing the ol' pearly whites because at this point they were fuzzy slippers and there was no way I was going to even talk to anyone without a good clean. We were out of our water back up so the next best thing was a bottle of Pellegrino from the sealift room. It was definately an interesting experiance because Pellegrino is a carbonated water that bubbled up in my mouth. I don't think I will do that again if I can avoid, plus I totally wasted an entire bottle of my precious Pellegrino. That's not something you would normally find in this small community, so I hoard it.
Then the sewer truck came. Fantastic.
The water truck finally came as I was leaving the house. It's just good times here in the north. Hey I love camping so it's been a ball of fun.
Hi, I am a victim of my empty water tank. This is what could happen to you if your water tank runs out in the middle of you taking a shower. Just another northern joy. I guess I like the part where I don't have to do the dishes tonight. Lets all pray that the sewage truck doesn't come before the water truck, we all remember what happens then...
It's hard enough that you have to move your expensive delicate equipment around with big stubs called mitts, but taking photographs in sub zero temperatures is no joke. Last night I saw some ridiculous Northern Lights but I ran into a few problems that next time I want to be prepared for. One major issue in cold weather is your battery bitting the biscuit before it's time. I bought an extra battery (Henry's just had a GST free sale)... but I left it behind in the house, so I didn't have a replacement when my first battery kicked it. A small tip is to take your battery out and give it some lovin' in your mitten for a few minutes. You can generally convince it to take a few more shots before it finally goes.
The next problem I have is that my eye lashes have the worst problem of sticking together. When I go to shoot I always close my left eye and what do you know, I couldn't get it back open. I had permanent stink eye until I defrosted it with my hand. So blinking is out, I guess I could use goggles, but then it's hard to look through the lens. My friend who was also shooting didn't seem to have this problem, so maybe I just have overly active tear ducts. I like to call it being in touch with my feelings.
The other major problem is what to do with my hands. I have wrinkly old lady hands that have been burnt too many times from the cold. I have purchased a thin glove that is made by Under Armor and I use them underneath a larger mitten. The trick is to pull your hand out, press all the buttons you can and stuff it back in the other mitt before the burning starts. Clare has suggested using a silk glove as protection, but I haven't seen any. If anyone knows where to buy some, link it up in the comments section. The under armor definately cuts down the pain, but I am constantly looking for a better solution to save my hands.
Those are the biggest issues, I will leave out complaints of waddling like a penguin and mobility in your space suit, but there are plenty of other problems that coincide with arctic photography.
We're home. Finally home. No more travel plans to worry about for many more months. I am totally exhausted, and fairly certain that unpacking will take weeks.
Getting back home to the North usually entails many obstacles, I bet most of us northerners have a fun story to tell about getting stuck somewhere. Throughout our traveling south career we have had no problems getting from A to B, but it was only a matter of time before we gained our own traveling in the north story.
It started with freezing rain in Ottawa and trying to get through rush hour traffic on the 417. We needed to have both Nathan's parents and my brother drive us to the airport because we had 5 suit cases, 3 carry ons, 1 gun case, 1 Malamute and cage and one very unimpressed kitteh. Even though Nathan's parents had 20 inch icicles hanging off of their car, we made it to the airport in one piece and on time. Just as we made it onto the plane and started relaxing the flight attended came up to us and told us their was someone on board with a severe cat allergy and could we please let them put the kitteh up with the pilot? Ok sure, but she meows solid while in transport, so as long as the pilots don't mind. No? Ok.....
"Good Morning, this is your captain and thank you for choosing first air, as you can see we are stuck in a line up and....MEOW... will probably be delayed... MEOW... about an hour... MEOW... so we can be de-iced... MEOW.... thank you for your patience."
Can you believe we were sitting on the runway for hours waiting to be de-iced... in a city that should be used to super amounts of snow and ice, I mean come on! Oh and the whole plane could hear the cat meowing over the load speaker... that wasn't embarrassing...
I guess after a while the pilot decided to let the cats head out of the soft create, so that he could pet her head in an attempt to calm her down. Then at this point they were also letting her walk around up there and then the flight attendants where taking pictures of her "flying" the plane. They came back to show me the photos and I even asked them to send me the photo and if I ever get it I will post it up. Only in the North.
Then we landed in Iqaluit and saw our flight home was canceled! That freaked me out because now I have to not only worry about all of our luggage but the dog and cat. Where am I going to get litter for the night? What a massive pain.
Here is where my northern stranded story transforms into a Northern hospitality story. Usually in the North you see people you know in the airport...this happens every time! We ended up seeing someone we met back in our community, who lives in Iqaluit. He gave us a ride and a place to stay for the night. Then he took us on a tour of Iqaluit because I had said that I had never really seen the place. It was the nicest thing anyone could have ever done for us, and he just said "hey, it's the north!". I am so happy to be back in the north and back home.
I encourage all of us to take this example and pass it forward. Help keep our beautiful white north the most friendly place to live.
I have been saying this for days, we are home tomorrow and I can't wait. It's been great visiting the south, but honestly it looses a bit of sparkle each time we come down. Have I become a northern snob? Yes, yes I have.
Bless the north and their regular toilets that flush when you flush them. Not like those fancy potties in the south that are the automatic kind...you know the ones that flush while your in the middle of doing business. I am thankful that in the north you are only a short walk away, not like in the south, where you might take a bus, as I did, you know the one where everyone has an odor. A bouquet of body odor, cough candies, day old cologne and a few other more colourful melodies I won't mention. In the north my new Uggs won't get soaked like the they do here in the south with it's varying cold temperatures. In the north I won't be tempted by those glorious golden arches and maybe I will loose a few pounds. Yes, bless the north. I'm coming home.
There are only 2 humans in my immediate family, one of them being me, but I still can't wait for us to all be together again. Presently there are 5 of us, growing one more since this trip out. Two monkeys...uh I mean humans, 2 cats and a dog.
We started out with just Tallinn and it was as if he was an only child. I still think he resents when we added a cat to the list, but it's also entertaining for him to have something to chase...uh I mean play with. Then came Norman our first cat and now we are coming home with our second cat Maui, who we are hoping will be something for Norman to chase....uh I mean play with.
Currently Tallinn has been staying with his Nana and Papa and will be returning to us tomorrow. I can't wait. I feel like a freak because I am missing him so much, along with Norman who is back in Nunavut. I usually get some comments each time I add a new mammal to the list. Even from my parents, however they are less surprised with each consecutive animal. And we aren't stopping yet either, but this time I think we will go for one in the human variety...balance the odds a little.
I just can't imaging living without our animals, when I was growing up we only ever had one. I always felt like I was missing something. My sister in law and I always joke that someday we will have a big plot of land and a million dogs, cats, children and possibly a goat. But for now I have been restricted to one dog because of the traveling we do while living in Nunavut. Someday I will have multiple dogs...possibly more then two?
Shelagh once asked how it was owning a cat and living in Nunavut, she has two. Personally I don't know what it would be like without the pets....lonely? You can get anything you want or need litter, food, treats online or sealift (obviously there is no Petsmart up here). Pets and Nunavut are a good idea. I am one happy lady in my Nunazoo, but then again I might just be a freak.
I moved to Nunavut 3 years ago with my husband and Alaskan Malamute. Here we started raising our first daughter Ezri and shortly before we left, became pregnant with our second.
As every journey has an end, we found ourselves back south again, dreaming of returning north one day. Please read about my adventures and continue to feel free to send me e-mails.