Thursday, July 21, 2011

Day 143 - exploring

I've been doing a piss-poor job of keeping this blog updated, and I have no excuses really.  I've been out exploring and fishing and have taken a ton of photos to share with you all. 

I recently started a new cardio program called TurboFire, it's pretty intense and it's knocking me on my keester, but I need to beat this low energy phase that has got me in a choke hold the past few months.

So hopefully I will get back on here and post some photos and update you on our whereabouts and shenanigans soon enough. But the weather is nice and the days are long, so don't hold it against me if it takes me another month to keep you in the loop:) 

Bye for now,


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day 112 - summer has arrived

Partly cloudy, high of +7, light winds. My day off. Wishing I could teleport to parc lafontaine for the afternoon with a 6 pack of PBR, bag full of snacks, a book, a blanket, maybe even some good company.

Although the weather is what I expected it to be, I am craving a a sunny, sticky 30 degree day, stuck under a tree, or rolling around in grass, or even poolside. Oh to dream. 

I shall spend tomorrow sleeping in with the cat, cleaning the house, possibly some baking, (while rocking out to austra) and a mid afternoon stroll. I've started a book on real estate investing - I may just reserve that for bedtime reading.

that's about it, just checking in with the few who follow (I know I've been slacking - sorry). I'm making a concious effort to post more often, even if its not so "Pond" related. This gives you more time to check out that austra video I linked to :)


Thursday, May 19, 2011

could you go to the store and get me an ice cream sandwich preeze?

like one of those oreo cookie ones, or the resees pb cup variety - oh my.

The Arctic Girl's Shopping Sanctuary

As much as I like to keep my spending dollars local, the selection can be scarce, and getting mail is like Christmas.  If I could order kitty litter online and avoid the co-op (basically $40 for gravel in bag) I would. Thank goodness for sealift. 
Now Canada Post is completely locked out, holding 3 of my packages hostage; and several of my co-workers paychecks, I shall digress now before I get myself into trouble. In lieu of making my daily trip to check in on the post mistress,  I've created a handy, make shift shopping guide for you to enjoy. I'll try to keep it updated as I try new stores along the way, but as you can tell my blog has been getting the shaft lately (not my fault, I'm reading a riveting book on real estate investing).  so here we go: - awesome

These guys get alot of my money. I've placed 13 orders with them in the 14 or so weeks we have been here. The selection is pretty decent and expedited shipping is free! This is a huge deal. I get most orders within 5-7 business days (when Canada post is not in strike mode). You get hand written thank you's and smiley faces with your invoice ,and the customer service is always great (says a lot coming from the queen of CS). -  thumbs way up

I've placed one order with Amazon when we first arrived to Pond. It was for 4 books, and it was placed on a weekend. Amazon had my order out the door on a Sunday and it arrived on Thursday. Free shipping if you $25 or more order from amazon - other suppliers count but the shipping is reasonable.

I placed another order on Amazon but from an independent seller - that one took a bit longer but the price was reasonable (about 6 bucks) - thumbs down

5 week delivery, poor poor customer service (after several calls, speaking with several people, the manager I spoke with talked over me, raised his voice when I had objections and then hung up on me).  unaceptable. I did hear from someone on the executive team so if you have issues with there CS - I have the hook up. He gave me a partial refund, but the experience was too rotten, I won't be ordering from them again. - thumbs up

Don't let the name fool you, also sells items for cats, dogs, birds, ferrets and fish.  I stumbled upon these guys on ebay while shopping for kitty supplies. The shipping is based by how much your order cost, shipping starts $16 for fedex (who uses first air from dorval, not canada post for deliveries)
They recently had free shipping on orders over $150, so I gave them another try. You won't find this from who wanted to charge me an additional 90 to ship a litterbox and cat fountain (from ontario). Horseloverz only charged me 25 (from Pennsylvania).   Customer service was great to work with, they went out of their way to make sure my order got here, even though they did not have a physical address to give to fed ex. It arrived within 2 weeks. Some cons are an order processing fee and they do charge duty up front rather than leaving it up to customs.

Gap - Thumbs Up

You can also shop at sister sites Old Navy and Banana Republic with one check out and free shipping on a $50 order. Returns are free as well! My order came in less than 2 weeks, the invoice came with a prepaid return label. I just packed up the clothes that I wasn't smitten with & within 2 weeks I had a refund. decent!

I took advantage of a flat rate shipping promo of $12.99. I was able to get a few items that are hard to find on Canadian sites and are unavailable in the north like Buf-Puf Body Sponges, Dryel and StayPut Elastics.  DHL ships to Ottawa and passes the package on to Canadian North. -
Free shipping over $120, items ship through the borderfree service from the US. Tracking is available and the customer service has always been good. My order arrived in less than 10 days.  If your reading this from the north or plan on moving here, you have to check this out.   PLUS they always give you a choice of at least 3 free samples (guys and girls) and there are tones of promos and codes for extra goodies!

Tiger  - meah

M placed and order and had a hard time with getting info from customer service, the order kept getting held for "address verification discrepancies". I think it took a week to get the order out the door but it got here.

Ordered a PSP for M and it got here in about a week - free shipping too!

There are a few other sites I have read or heard about that I will add below, but am not sure how dated the info is so if you have any input please leave a comment :)

Friday, April 29, 2011

about Pond

Now that we are getting settled, it's time to tell you a little about our pretty little hamlet:

The Inuktitut name for Pond Inlet is Mittimatalik -  translating to the place where Mitima is buried.

The community is designated as a Hamlet -  the largest of 4 in the  Qikiqtaaluk Region of Nunavut on Baffin Island, just above the 72nd parallel, (Santa stops by for tea sometimes)

As of the 2006 census the population was over 1,300, I would guess it is closer to 1,500 now.

There are 2 main stores, Northern and Co-Op, a small convenience store, 2 hotels, an elementary and a junior/senior high school, some government offices.

It's very pretty, and the community is very welcoming. You can admire the mountains and late nite sunsets, and watch the planes land and take off. You can see dog teams playing and waiting for their supper, and huge ice burgs stuck in the frozen ocean. You can even take a Skidoo ride to the flow edge or visit the ice caves.

If your lucky you may see some of the local wildlife: Caribou, Ringed Seal, Narwhals or Polar Bears. 
The ravens are enormous and eye the cat through the window as a snack regularly.

The main mode of transportation is skidoo or Honda's (ATV's). The only way in or out is by plane. Most of our general merchandise and food is flown in from Montreal, about 3 times a week.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 45 - patiently waiting

For spring weather, none to be found in Pond yet. It's a sunny, calm -28, and surprisingly quite tolerable. One gust of wind and I would be eating those words. I don't expect to see anything above 0 until June. By then I should be able to bust out the fishing rod (and maybe a tan??).

Life has been calm and uneventful these past weeks, and even though we are only 6 weeks in to life in the north, I am hoping to have more to offer for people looking to relocate to the north. It took me so long to even begin to find any info on what it would be like to live in the arctic, and blogs were the only means to find decent information.  I spent months reading and following and making lists, with out them I would have been ill prepared.

I guess we really haven't come across much excitement as of yet.  I eagerly await mail, most recently a pilates mat and some dvd's, phone calls from home, or taking a walk (usually ended by loss of feeling in one or more appendages).  In our short time here I am starting to appreciate the slower pace of life more & more, what it has done for my health and my sanity :) My daily frustrations are at a minimum and 'waiting' for stuff is common place.  working a 12 hour day sitting behind a desk was exhausting, and although the days can be tiring, I have never been so free of stress and anxiety in as long as I can remember. It's refreshing.  speaking of ... Tuesday provided mild excitement and stress relief, office space styles:
welcome to the Pond dump
Matt did the most damage
but we were not leaving until I had a few goes at it.

Someone returned a defective tv. There was a dent in the box so we figure the screen was damaged in shipping.  We plugged it in and no go, so we had to write the sucker off.  The manager said we would need to destroy it and take it to the dump so people wouldn't try to take it home.  We gladly obliged and pounded the piss out of it.  I wish I could do that more often.

The rest of my evening consists of housewifery, supper, laundry, and a long hot soak.  The life.

Til next time,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Whats new pussycat?

I told myself that I wouldn't get behind on blogging, but its not my fault I swear :P
After passing our cap last month we were booted to dial up. This is when A goes on internet hiatus.

This may or may not have trickled over to the last 13 days or so, 4-6 of which our little hamlet has had intermittent internet access because they decided to move the dish without warning - I don't even want to get into the bad timing and havoc, maybe in another post

The Nutrition North Canada program launched on April 1st (replacing the food mail program). There has been some mixed feelings to say the least or the actual savings vs the food mail program. I haven't been hear long enough to see the rise and fall of prices since the program was first announced last spring but, I'm not sure that the commentors are taking into consideration the mother of 4 on assistance who doesn't have the luxury of extra food in the cupboard to wait around for food mail or extra cash to stock up on sea lift. You also have to factor not only the cost of flying all of your groceries into your community, but the cost of staff and shrinkage from damaged goods, bad produce and theft. And please don't complain that bacon and ice cream did not get cheaper, these do not fall under the category of nutritious. I digress.

Lots of new faces in the store as a few people left. Head office decided create an 'office supervisor' position, it would be nice to see someone from Pond get the job. I did mention the position to one of our office staff as I thought she would be a good fit. She spoke with our manager and Winnipeg is making the final call, so she will need to dust off her resume. My fingers are crossed for her.
M finally found a hairdresser - thank goodness because his split ends could poke your eye out.

We both found some pretty sweet bikes, I was expecting to open a box of something archaic looking for $300, but I jumped on an took a little ride around the warehouse and fell in love.  Sadly, it's been a long while since I have found excitement in a new purchase. And with all the online ordering I've been doing rarely does the opportunity arise.  I can't wait to take that baby out for a spin though the hills of pond, camera bag in tow, snapping pictures of the sites. Fishing and camping trips, drunk nights on the patio. le sigh, hurry up summer!

An 11 year old and her friend stopped to talk to me as I was socking some baby stuff. As one of the girls showed me her new glasses with excitement, the next, buts in with just as must excitement,  announcing that she was pregnant. She very clear that she was 11 years old, and she was pregnant. Now I've had people tell me that girls usually start having babies here at 14, and my gut tells me that she was just trying to get a reaction, by for a moment I thought, my god, this poor child is excited.

Your heart breaks a little. How do you respond to something like that? I responded by ignoring it and talking to the other young girl about her glasses. In the south, reactions would be quite different.  When I see and hear things that shock and amaze, I always stop and remind myself that I am far, far away from home, and much farther from knowing about the culture and ways of the people here.

So that's are my catch up rambles for now. Provided the internet behaves, I'll post new photos and update you soon!