Monday, May 27, 2013

Duck duck goose

As I update this blog it is Sunday the 26th and I am sitting on the couch looking out at the harbour. Now to update the past week which has moved by pretty quickly. In fact the previous five weeks
Kugluktuk from the air
moved along at such a pace as to make it feel like three or four days which has been the case with all my contracts. I couldn't believe it was time to leave. Not just approx. 5900 km away but also worlds apart. The arial photo on the right is a tad bit greener than the scenery out of the turboprop on Friday afternoon as I left. 
Starting out
Ross goose
Referring back to last week and Nunavut, we did in fact get to go on our expedition 'out on the land' on Wednesday evening. The weather was cloudy with snow flurries from Sunday to Tuesday but on Wednesday the sun shone gloriously so my roommate was quick on the phone to Frank, our Inuk guide, about what time we should meet him. We hustled home from work, grabbed a quick supper and made our way down to the shore for 6 pm. Frank and his wife Margaret met us with the skidoo and qamatik complete with caribou rugs in the bottom for us to sit on. It was a 'mild' evening so not too uncomfortable for being towed - meaning very easy to get a wind/sunburn.
Duck feet
We made our way across the ice of the Coronation Gulf, past lots of cabins and up the frozen Rae river as we checked out the area where the locals hunt waterfowl. They call them 'ducks' but southern Canada knows them as geese, such as Canada and Ross geese. They had been out walking around on the snow covered ice during the sunny day drying their feathers apparently. The 'ducks' rose up in clouds as we made our way over the hills of the point. There were sandhill cranes returning (they are HUGE) as well as swans. We also were raced
Cabin under construction
by a ptarmigan. Lots of feathered fowl to view along the way and the hunters had been successful over the past few days. The tundra is starting to show as the snow melts and with the full days of sun it won't be long before the spring melt begins rapidly. We moved on to check out the cabin which Frank's daughter and husband are building overlooking the ocean - seen here on the right. That reclaimed lumber from the Northern Store reno works up pretty good eh? We made our way to Second Point where Frank and Margaret set up the double walled insulated tent they're going to camp in as they both have a week off. She from the Northern Store and he from Hackett
Tent with caribou hides
Lake (a mining camp he's been at for 26 yrs) where 
Roselyne, Frank & Margaret
 he works 4 weeks in and two weeks out. The tent was set up quickly and the caribou hides stowed inside, then we enjoyed our snack of bannock and slices of Klic (haven't had that for years) and dried caribou meat. The tenting spot is sort of on the main trail where traffic moves further out on the land and another couple usually tents there with them. It's a good spot for caribou hunting, fishing and duck hunting. Frank told us the racks on the ground would be assembled and were for meat drying. When he gets a caribou, Margaret prepares and hangs the strips and they're dry in a couple of days. We had a chat with Frank about the politics of land claims and Nunavut self government as he's been involved for years. Time to head out on the sea ice to check out the seals. Clearly this was my
Seal hole - see the air bubbles?
Pyramids? Nope sea ice
roommate's request (as she'd only seen seals in zoos) not that of a fisherman's wife who can look out her front window and see them daily. Because of the 24 hours of sunlight the seals bask on the ice at any hour of the day. But contrary to Roselyne's assumption - seals do not wait for you to drive up to them on the skidoo with a cart attached and a total of four humans to take their picture. This was a disappointment to her and Frank was clearly puzzled by this confusion and other examples of her city girl naiveté exhibited by statements such as "this is my first skidoo ride". We
Frank and Margaret
noticed the fog settling in over the sea ice and made a quick run back to Kugluktuk past some pretty striking scenery such as the shot here below.
Cliffs outside Kugluktuk
We were back at the shore about 10:30 pm and then Frank proposes that since he doesn't want to leave his sled with gas and other equipment on it at the shore that we should tow his qamatik home for him as he'll travel on the patches of snow still piled on the sides of the gravel streets. Roselyne protests there's no trailer hitch but Frank assures he that he can arrange something and I explain he'll tie it to the bumper. "Not the first time I've towed something" I calm her and we carefully deliver the sled to Frank's yard. Nice to get outside the community and see the land to really feel as if you've experienced the area. 

Thursday passed in a blur as I was on call, holding STI clinic and trying to wrap up all the last minute program tasks. I did my best to do laundry, throw out perishables, gift food to my roommate, do laundry and pack, but I had a busy night on call with seizures, lacerations and angioedema requiring treatment. No that wasn't one patient that was three different calls which ensured I got less than four hours sleep. Since the clinic was going to be short for a week and my flight wasn't until 3:30 pm I agreed to work the morning (we really aren't required to on travel days but can choose). This turned in to a staff meeting with the Regional Manager, final wrap up of the program, hand over to the SHP and then a rush to finish up at the apartment. I dash back and pick up one of the front desk staff who drives the vehicle back from the airport. 
Yellowknife in the spring

A brief wait and grateful that the plane doesn't fly over as it did Wednesday and we're boarding. An uneventful (except for excruciating sinus pain on landing) flight from Kugluktuk to Yellowknife and I thought I had misunderstood the pilot (or that he was joking - although that's not usually their habit) when he said "and the temperature in Yellowknife is 23 degrees c". But he wasn't joking - it was positively tropical. As I waited for my flight to Edmonton I strolled outside to see that not only was the ice almost gone, there were folks in t-shirts riding motorcycles in the warm air. The space seemed filled with trees and all sorts of vegetation. By the time we flew almost two hours south to Edmonton it was chilly at 8 c and raining. The flight had several Canadian North crew members dead heading back to Edmonton and you know you've been travelling north quite frequently when you recognize employees in civilian clothes. 

Had a nice sleepover at the hotel with the electrician daughter and caught up on the news. She is doing well, contemplating investing in real estate for herself and the grandkitties are just fine. We were up early and off to do some shopping before the flight and I bought a great pair of dressy shoes. Paid more than I usually would but.....I'm making good money, will wear them on southern vacations and more importantly to the graduation this week plus a woman of my age who is semi-retired can pay whatever she likes for shoes and not think about it. Easier to say goodbye at airport security when you know you'll be saying hello in another week. 

A rather straight forward flight from Edmonton to Toronto where I sat next to a computer tech whose wife works at Battlefords Union Hospital where the soon to be RN daughter is headed - another of those small world experiences. A brief stop with only time to grab something to eat at Pearson (I'm getting to know the various eating options there) and they're calling the flight. However, the announcement is a warning that landing in Halifax will be subject to weather as there is thick fog and the chance of landing is only fair. We will try to land but if unable will return to Toronto. Arrrgghh. I phone the shore captain to advise him of this turn of events as he's readying himself to head to the airport. We decide he'll call the city daughter and crash there if he has to wait for me to arrive the next day. One of the few times I wish I lived in the city. A successful but rather abrupt landing in Halifax and all my excitement about being met at the airport evaporated as I wandered looking for my ride, picked up my bag and finally sat exhausted and ticked off after half an hour of waiting. This is what happens when the person who will be late for his own funeral insists on being the one to big you up from the airport and leaves late, then encounters the fog I told him about on the call from Pearson. "It's not foggy here" he had said to which I replied "I'm not landing there, I'm landing hopefully in Halifax". So should I have been surprised? The three hour drive home was surprisingly clear and not surprisingly quiet. 

A chance to greet the critters and crawl into bed, over tired and time zone change unsettled it took a while to get to sleep. Today was spent getting unpacked/repacked, visiting with the dog walker, checking up on the buddy who got herself admitted to hospital and studying for RNs with the nursing student daughter. We decide that I'd do okay if I had to write the CNRNE with her next month. 

Tomorrow is errands and on Tuesday we're off to graduation!  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Home in three, two, one......

Into the home stretch now of the contract as I'm looking forward to the last week and since I'll be leaving on Friday of a holiday week a very compacted one. I am eating my way out of Kugluktuk and so have baked chocolate chip and oatmeal cookies, banana bread and have a carrot pie to put together. On Saturday night my roommate and I hosted a turkey dinner (turkey, potatoes, gravy, squash, broccoli and cauliflower and made from scratch butterscotch pie for dessert ) for us plus two other displaced Nova Scotia CHNs and had a great evening of socializing. The guests were impressed with our culinary skills as one brought a McCain pie to contribute and the other admitted to not having turned the oven on when living in this apartment. 

Friday of the long weekend saw a mass exodus of people from the hamlet. The rush hour at about 8 p.m. leaving was equal to any southern one. Lots of folks heading 'out on the land' to their cabins on the islands. Tis the season for ice fishing, caribou hunting and just enjoying family times. 
Ice road you say

Form a line
Out on the land
As my roommate struggled with documents to satisfy the audit of the professional association. "Never offer more than is asked by a bureaucracy, much like testifying in court" I told her - she is much too forthcoming. Now she is dealing with a personal development plan audit. Bureaucrats practicing self justification, nothing more. While she was muttering at the computer I decided to call the life partner with Face Time. He missed the call but returned it and I was shocked to find that he was not wearing a shirt. "Oh a naked man" I tell my roommate who rushes over to see. He has a learning curve with the etiquette of video chatting apparently. And here I thought it would be all about the technology. 

I woke up yesterday morning with a scratchy throat (not surprising with the number of pharyngitis cases I've Rx lately) which got worse as the day went on. I was back and forth to pick up freight, to the health centre to unload it and various minor c/os. After the last callback at 6 p.m. I crashed on the sofa oblivious to my roommate making turkey soup, doing the dishes and going to bed. I awoke at 11:30 p.m. and was just getting myself gathered together, checking the on call phone to see if I'd slept through a call when it rang. The social worker was calling from the RCMP station and had a 10 yr. old whose mother was drunk and had thrown a lighter at him causing a black eye. Cute little guy I'd seen the week before, kind of shook up, very close call but no eye damage. I had a little sniff after they left. Drove past a child of perhaps three years of age playing outside a nearby house at one a.m. no one else in sight. When I got home and realized that I had PeeWee Herman hair I was pleased the social worker was so laid back and the poor child was distracted. Almost ready to get in to bed and the phone again -
Kugluktuk at 3 a.m.
this time someone who earns air miles (you know a frequent flyer)  - but those are the ones who come back to bite you so .... back for another round. Broad daylight after 3 a.m. (could be 3 p.m by the light) and hordes of young people roaming the street, apparently the older folks all went out to cabins for the long weekend and left them home. Most of them sitting on the steps of the COOP or standing in the middle of the road. It looks rather deserted in the photo on the left but they travel in waves. Finally to bed at 4 a.m.
Drying fish and caribou
This morning a switch around of the vehicles after dropping my roommie off to do a homecare visit. Some local delicacies drying on the way.  On the railing of the steps are some arctic char drying and on top of the bureau, just behind the skidoo is some dried caribou meat.

We (being my roommate and me) were supposed to have an expedition 'out on the land' this weekend. To this end I switched my call shift with a coworker, we picked up the gas and oil for the skidoo, had a coworker drive the oil products up to the guide as requested and packed some snacks. All to no avail as the weather shut in and there was a white out with swirls of snow. Not much of a photo op if you can't see. Hopefully there will be a chance Tuesday or Wednesday evening after work. If not, my roomie has another week to fit it in and perhaps a coworker will take her up on it. Not sure I was up to such an expedition today anyway but surely understood when weather changes your social plans, after 34 years in a fishing family. My roommate was not so understanding having been married to a teacher/principal. At any rate I am much improved this evening.

I have the last minute program issues at work to try to catch up. When you're responsible for the STI program you can't say wrap it up as it is the gift which keeps on giving, at least in the north. I sat in on a telehealth Friday afternoon about the syphillis outbreak in Nunavut (40 cases in the past 10 months) and learned that the overall national average of 33 cases of gonorrhoea per 100, 000 pop. is about 1800 per 100, 000 in Nunavut. Sigh. 

I was thrilled to find out that although I'm only going to be home for a week and some of the time will be taken up with the graduation that I will be able to take in the Town Wide Yard Sale! Not to mention that we'll plan to have friends over for crustaceans to celebrate the shore captain's birthday and our anniversary both of which I will miss being in the northern climes. So, it's just three more days until the big bird ride for moi. Woohoo! Oops, the phone and I'm on second call - possible medevac - will wait and see what the word is. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Those stairs look like Mt Kilimanjaro

It's been a busy week and I'm ending it by being on call, so taking a few moments to update you all. I'm first on call and have enough sense not to use the Q word, however it's nice to have a night where you claim the stand by for simply standing by. The later in the contract it gets, the more appealing that concept is. A week from today I'll be catching a flight out to take in the graduation - my how quickly the time flies in the north. We were expecting a replacement nurse in today but the Canadian North flight she was on flew over Kugluktuk (because of fog) and turned back to Yellowknife. The nurse leaving was on First Air and managed to make it as far as Edmonton at least. Ahh the joys of northern travel. 

Sik sik
Sitting pretty
Had an interesting patient visit when a lady arrived telling me that her eye was sore as she'd splashed wolf blood and water in it when washing a fresh pelt. Apparently there are strong oils in wolf and wolverine pelts. Now I know my Nova Scotia marine injuries and the local hunting infections but I'm still learning here. You can never go wrong with antibiotic eye drops. And speaking of wolverine pelts....someone came to the door, serious to make a sale and the roommie scored a wolverine pelt and two necklaces/two pair of earrings carved from bone for 60 bucks! We've been seeing more animals about now that the weather is moderating. Saw my first Arctic marmot or ground squirrel, they're called sik siks for the noise they make and are the size of a gopher, for the western readers. There are suddenly puppies all
Musk ox hides
over Kugluktuk - this one thought if he looked pretty that we'd take him home when we were out on our walk. We also saw lots of hides drying and one of the prenatals working on a frozen caribou, removing the hide with her ulu. She said she'd been working with hides since she was 11 years old. Lots of caribou being brought into the community and shared with the elders. The animals are shedding this time of year so the hides aren't used for making clothing, the ones from the fall hunting are better quality for sewing. One of the front desk staff told us her husband got a 12 foot polar bear and they've been preparing the hide to send out to Ottawa for sale. 

How tall are these boots?
New use for a sled - water ski
Apparently a spring blizzard dropped 90cm of snow on Rankin Inlet recently and folks are 'snowed in' to their apartments. Here there have just been some fluffy white flakes swirling in the air, giving me an excuse to drink hot chocolate. Lots of skidoos navigating over the snow covered hills and 4wheelers making their way down the muddy streets with sleds and bicycles respectively for the younger set. Hard to describe Nunavut in a few words as I discovered when chatting to my brother this evening - I had enlisted his expertise in a rental property scavenger hunt for the soon to be RN daughter. 

Subsidy rates
Koak, nam nam etc
There's the issue of Nutrition North which is attempting to improve the diet of northern peoples, making nutritious foods available such as lean meats, fruits, veggies and dairy. And this is important as the fresh, heavy food flown in on daily flights is expensive. Every community has a different subsidy. Here is the link to explain the program which has replaced food mail:

The nutritional issues of eating junk food also known as nam nam (pronounced locally as num nums) leads to rotten teeth, anemia and generally poor health. When country food - caribou, seal, fish, polar or grizzly bear, and even walrus are eaten the nutritional status is better. 
The tree 

We also went in search of 'the' tree in Kugluktuk as someone had told us there was one here because it's the banana belt of Nunavut. And here it is on the right. Can't imagine how it would survive in the winter temperatures but it apparently has for some time. I often make the comment that 'for a place without trees we kill a lot of them' in reference to the paper pushed here. Guess I'll have to change my slogan. A patient today told me that the temperatures reach the 30s and stay there for days in the summer. The insects come in July but after 26c they stop moving - too hot for the bugs he says. 

I've almost been afraid to make contact at home as there have been various veterinary contacts over the past month which the nursing student has been handling. First Stanley had a UTI, then all the cats needed worm medicine due to the hunter on the harness bringing helminths in and of course being prescribed by weight that meant Gary had 8 pills. There was (by what I was advised) a lot of frothing, biting, growling and fighting with restraint required especially for Stanley and Gary. It sounded like some injuries were inflicted but the immunization status of the medication administrator is up to date so now worries. I personally think the talk of raptor gloves is a bit excessive, but then I am also relieved to not have to be the med nurse. My only question was when the repeat dose was due - before I get home? Whew! Then the past few days I've been getting updates on the senior dog who has apparently had balance problems. A small stroke, a brain tumour, an inner ear problem? Prednisone is always the veterinary answer to what ails. This dog is terrible in the vehicle and put on her usual horrendous behaviour during the transport, is still begging for food, and not in any pain so hopefully will be in good spirits when I make it home. 

My 'program' at the health centre is the STI program and all I can say is that it's good I have a background in tracing family history.  I've been enjoying the drama of calling in all four contacts of one positive at the same time and watching them squirm in the waiting room. Having strongly worded chats with young people and watching their reactions is my entertainment this week. Oh, and the scabies outbreak continues at rocket speed. Mixing those two together is just wrong. Sigh. 

The arrangements for my next contract are underway, I'll only have a week at home to take in the baby daughters's graduation but that was the plan - to come home briefly for the big day and back quickly so as to have the summer off.  I'll be going back to Taloyoak which I'm looking forward to seeing in June as I'm sure it's quite different than January. Had a chat with the former room mate from my time there and we (my former co-worker who will again be joining me as well) will have a chat to catch up while we're all north. The co-worker is beginning her ascent of Kilimanjaro in the morning after having finished a pilgrimage called El Camino in Europe. She said there was a 50% success rate of making the summit due to altitude sickness etc. I'm managing stairs here in the apartment I told her. Time to call it in and put the call phone on my night table. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Appreciated? You Bet!

In what has become a weekend habit, I shall update you on all that is current in Kugluktuk. Spring has come to the hamlet with a temperature of 1+ c today, snow and ice is melting with muddy roads emerging. A weather report later.

First a photo essay about this last week which was Nurses Week:

From Rannva in Iqaluit
Students with sign
Appreciate your Nurse
Children, elder, staff
Nurse with amauti 
Staff eating bannock - yum
Bannock for break
I must boast that this is the most 'appreciation' I can remember receiving. We have had treats daily - bannock, pies, cookies, pizza sent over on a flight from the manager, signs, each of us got an expensive sealskin purse from the Chief Nursing Officer and all sorts of local treats. I learned this past week as well that num nums (and yes that is what they are called in the store on the sign hanging in the aisle - I can provide photographic evidence if requested) are the local vernacular for candy, pop, chips - you know, junk food - an unfortunately popular item in the north.

As we were doing preschool assessments last week for the children who will be going to Kindergarten in August (school ends in May and begins again early in August due to the amount of sunlight and everyone moving out on the land when spring comes) some of them were quite entertaining.  One of the answers in the developmental questionnaire is to name what is in the lake ex. water (well here it's only for a few months of the year so some of them struggled with the answer or said ice) and this little fellow says very animatedly "crocodiles, big ones and lots of them". He was very definite about this so I told him I was glad I was leaving before the ice did. One of the mothers when questioned about school readiness told my co-worker "he dropped out of preschool". Now that's a new one for me. Can't see that guy having any problems in the future being as he's the parent eh?

This pleasant afternoon is in complete opposition to the noon hour I spent dealing with the victim of an assault who was hit multiple times with a hammer. This caused a laceration to the side of the head requiring four sutures and a large hematoma on the crown with a smaller laceration which needed gluing and several large lumps which needed bags of snow (softer and more readily available than ice) for swelling. Hammers in the wrong hands are a dangerous tool.

Carving tools apparently in the right hands are a great idea. I told one of the elders who came to see me that I'd like to have an igloo carving with the roof which lifts off and a little diorama inside - they're particular to Kugluktuk and he arrived a few days later with this for me. And although it doesn't seem likely that huskies were taken into the iglu (I shall have to ask about that one) it's pretty neat. And I always enjoy it when the signature of the artist is someone I've known. We've done really well on our local crafts this week in this apartment as my roommate and I were just leaving to go pick up char 
we'd arranged for from one her clients (seen here on the right before we ate part of it and froze the rest) when a guy came to the door selling a wolverine pelt and some jewelry for a ridiculously low price - not sure how hot the collar is but it didn't matter at that point she was having it! 

Word also came to us on Friday while we were at work that The Northern Store was having trouble with a section of it's coolers and everything on one wall was 50% off. By the time we stopped by at noon hour the $20 turkeys were gone but there were still lots of buys to be had - the butter was $3.00 which is certainly cheaper than home. I indulged in whipping cream and cheese for the same reason. The cashier hadn't had a break since she arrived that morning she said as the carts were full. "Good for families though" she said. We found (after a co-worker tipped us off) Hickory Farms gift packs for $1.99 at the COOP and my roommie got great spring boots for $25.

Spring yet?
Almost midnight sun
As spring can have changeable weather in the Maritimes, Nunavut apparently is the same. We have had melting road weather as well as several nights when we found the vehicle looking like this on the right. It was warm today and the roads (at least the main ones) are completely bare and filled with potholes. More 4wheelers than skidoos out now and the skidoos are forced to the edge of the streets where there is still snow to run on. Many folks have headed out to their cabins out on the land for the weekend.
Chain saw butcher

Dog food
In a Facebook chat today with someone who used to live/work in Nunavut, we were discussing an attempt to recruit a nursing colleague from back home to the northern life. Her suggestion of a name for us was the Sisters of Mercy of the Beachfront Charity. I love it! I'm not sure the recruitee will handle it well though as she was grossed out by the pics I posted of dog food, seen here. And my apologies for the poor quality of Freddie Krueger but I hurried from the vehicle without waiting for my camera to adjust to the cold temperature. Good thing I didn't post the photo of the yard where two caribou were being cut up. They are apparently only a few kilometres outside of the hamlet now as they migrate north. One of the patients this week told me that the ducks had made it back as far as Yellowknife already and they are already shooting geese. 

Since tomorrow is Mother's Day and my roommate was bemoaning the fact that several of her children had not made contact, I told her I could make up for that. I promised to burn toast, spill tea on it and take it upstairs to her in bed and she'd feel positively nostalgic. She declined my offer. So I think I will bake instead. A rare treat to have a weekend off and no call - this is one of the benefits of a larger health centre - more to share the call roster although not as good for the pocketbook. I've been crocheting a bit and did a dishcloth and a scrubber for my roommate - pretty simple but she's not crafty and is easily impressed. 

So although it's still bright daylight at midnight and lots of young kids out on the streets with their bicycles or walking with their family, it really is time to sign off. We're heading quickly towards the 24 hour day which will begin the week after I leave. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Photo ops galore

Well in what has become a weekly ritual I have began updating the blog late on Sunday evening. After a full week and weekend, I am needing to go back to work to get a rest. Lots of photos to post so I'll explain as I go along.  

Qamatik, sled, skidoos
Skidoos, Big Boggan and trophies 
Except for days where I'm on call, my roomie and I have been taking daily walks to various areas of the hamlet. Today for example we discovered that wind turbines are coming to Kugluktuk with one at least partially installed and another waiting as you can see above. These are located between the air strip and the hamlet. We've also discovered various modes of transportation out and around Kugluktuk with the season set to change there is a combination of skidoos (machines) 4wheelers (Hondas) bicycles, qamatiks (sleds) and of course trucks. We have had snow a couple of times the past week and then mild temperatures where the snow on the streets just disappears over night making the skidoos head over to the trails of snow. 
Kamiks drying

Bikes and sleds - spring
Inukshuk of snow
Snow again?
11pm can you believe it?
 So with the snow one day and warmer temps the next it's hard to know what means of transportation to use. As I type this it is after midnight and very light. Lots of skidoos going by the apartment and folks walking down the street - we live on Kugluktuk Drive which is one of the main streets. On my way back from a call at 11 pm. I was enjoying this gorgeous sunset, seen above. The lack of light in the winter months isn't as much of a change as the lots of light in the warmer months. Although I remember some of the Labrador long days and nights it isn't as far north and thus less dramatic as Nunavut.

Work was really steady this week, lots of routine stuff such as well baby immunizations, blood collections, planning for the preschool assessments and (joy of joys) I was assigned (since I'm in office # 4) the STI (yes that stands for sexually transmitted diseases) program. It's a rather active portfolio here. I'm including some pics of the health centre - pretty standard for Nunavut - for your viewing pleasure.
Waiting room

Trauma room

Scales and peds exam table
Xray / lab combo
Office # 4 - come on in
 I even volunteered to do call for the Nurse in Charge on Saturday night so she could attend the wedding reception of the staff member who was married and didn't end up being busy on call because of all the festivities so all in all it was a good weekend. Except for the fighting with the oven in this danged apartment - I have the top rack up as if to broil and it still cooks on the bottom not the top. Arrghh. I did manage blueberry scones, corn bread, and peanut butter cookies even with the struggle. I'm posting some pics of the ice road adventure that my roomie and I engaged in and then some photos of the local traditional wedding. The bride was up until 5 a.m. sewing those new kamiks for the groom for the ceremony.

Roselyne in the home care SUV
On Saturday morning we packed some snacks and headed out on the 13 km ice road from Kugluktuk across to the islands in the Coronation Gulf of the Arctic Ocean.
One of the islands
Gravel pit on the island

Two lanes in places
Kugluktuk on the return
At no time do you think that you're driving over water really and the ice is so thick anyway that it's a moot point.
So after the drive we managed to get ourselves warmed up and then gussied up for the wedding. Up here that included putting on clean jeans and shirt with my polar bear earrings. Lots of folks wearing their finest as well as the jeans set like us. We made our way over to the Anglican church where the Justice of the Peace (who looked like Johnny Fever of WKRP) officiated at the ceremony. 

Maid of Honour

Wedding Party

Inuit kiss

Weddings in any culture are  beautiful and this traditionally Inuit one was lovely. Catherine was radiant and the groom was very pleased and calm. Apparently they were both widowed and knew each other for years. Wonderful to see them so happy and excited and also lucky for us to be able to attend.  On the way home as we drove by the Northern Store we noticed the CHR (Community Health Representative) watching something and realized there were birds on the ground - ptarmigan! Out for a stroll apparently. 

So, off to pack up the peanut butter cookies for work. And speaking of this I received an email from the CRNNS (College of Registered Nurses of NS) saying that NS registration is going up $100 next year. Think it's time to make my status non-practicing in the place of my birth. On the positive side of the ledger though, I was pleased to see that Revenue Canada had deposited the income tax refund which my son-in-law's father had obtained for me. Yeehaw! Later.