This week has been one of shopping….not of buying, but shopping. In remote locations there are very few vendors who will ship for free due to the exorbitant cost, uncertainty of arrival and likelihood of damage, a handful who will ship with a minimum purchase of $50 or $100, many vendors who won't ship at all to certain postal codes, and others who will, but pass on the entire cost to the buyer. This limits the options and means that my roommate and I spent hours putting together a Walmart online order - this because Walmart will ship here with a $100/order cost no matter how much is purchased. We started out with an area rug for the living room and added in various (heavy) groceries and equipment for the apartment. Oh and yarn, lots of yarn. As the order was reviewed before hitting send it became apparent that we would not be able to have the mat shipped. WHAT? The majority of the order (minus one ball of yarn) would be shipped, but not the mat which was the only reason for making the order. Delete. Arrgh take that Walmart. We started over the next day with Bed Bath & Beyond (free shipping for $99+) and I am thrilled to report that it is winging its way to us as I type. I was not as successful with my Black Friday shopping experience. The job share partner was ordering from Old Navy - 50% off, 5x aeroplan points and free shipping to this remote locale for over $50 of purchases. I shopped, checked, chose and finally got to $50.91 and was ready to hit purchase when….my shopping cart changed back to the original prices. It finally dawned on me that it was 5 minutes after midnight in whatever time zone I was ordering….just like Cinderella and the pumpkin. Didn't need the clothes really, but that's an evening of my life I won't get back again.
Speaking of using our evenings wisely…we have been crocheting and watching recorded series (the kindness of the travel partner of a year ago to the UK adventure - has it really been a year already?). We have recovered from the intensity of watching Anzac Girls and completed season two of A Place to Call Home (set in post WWII Australia) now are just awaiting season three - being shipped by our supplier aka pirater to the roommate's abode where she will pick it up in two weeks when home for a brief visit. We watched a series called The Crimson Field (about WWI nurses) and loved the statement of the matron who expressed concern that the young nurses were socializing with the soldiers as in "won't be long before someone gets a belly full of arms and legs" Love it! Going to use this in the sexual health class at the school which I've been asked to do. Last evening we watched Testament of Youth which was an amazing movie - a biography written by Vera Brittain during WWI. Christmas decorations for the apartment are being created and will be augmented by our Moncton Dollar Store purchases - perhaps a small artificial tree (one that fits in a suitcase) even though we're north of the tree line….
Had a call from a family member of an elder asking if we'd come and make a house call "she's sick" and when my partner began the usual nurse line of questioning as to cough, fever, pain etc. she was advised that the patient in question was "outside". It was a nippy -38c with the wind chill, dark and blowing snow so the nursing instructions included that a house call would be made INSIDE. We continued on with the flu shot campaign, various interventions with medical travel, consults etc.
The definition of the day was SHENANIGATOR which is defined as someone who instigates shenanigans - my roommate and myself are vying for the honour. And speaking of shenanigators, let me tell you about an incident on one of the flights out of here last week. There was an incident where a small dog escaped from its crate (obviously was terrified - I would be) and began running around the noisy interior of the Beechcraft 1900 showing his teeth and attempting to bite people. One of the passengers (who incidentally works for Hunters and Trappers so was likely qualified) captured the poor canine, the copilot climbed out of his seat in the cockpit and came back to secure the cage with bungee cord. That's the kind of inflight entertainment that Aklak Air offers for your emotional enjoyment. My nerves.
The most exciting situation here with us this week has been that we noted an increasing swampy, sewer smell in the health centre and apartment and sluggish toilet flushing. It seems the sewage truck needed mechanical repair and so was off the road. We received a call from the Hamlet office telling us that we were on 'water restrictions' as we weren't going to be pumped out until Thursday. The roommate made an executive decision as she was down to the last pair of unmentionables and said "too bad, laundry is being done". There were no apparent consequences.
Phone chat with the teacher daughter as I made taco soup, fried Cherokee bread and brownie pudding cake for supper. Working her way through the semester with her grade primary class, the usual domestic routine and finishing up the current course in her MEd program are keeping her fully occupied.
Had a FaceTime chat with the shore captain on our usual Sunday afternoon date. Busy weekend on the SW shore of NS as the lobster season begins tomorrow am. First time in a few years that it's begun as scheduled on the last Monday of November, having been postponed for weather almost a week last year. The long hours working in the cold, high stakes and intense emotions make for short but sound sleeps for at least the next month. A phone chat with the man child to wish him well, be careful, catch lots of crustaceans etc. He thinks they will likely 'stay out' meaning that they will set the traps, have some supper (one of his crew is a good cook) and hopefully a nap, then when the clock strikes midnight they will begin to haul the pots, reset and haul them again as long as the weather allows - likely until Wednesday. The boy captain is nervous and excited. Tis the season. I told him not to let his father drive over his cell phone (inside joke as this happened a few years back) and he assured me that he wouldn't let it happen. My heart will be home this week. But I am glad that I am not witness to the multiple trips out of bed to look out the window at the weather tonight.
Am anxiously awaiting news that a buddy has completely aced her Continuing Care Assistant exam after two very intense years of study as she opted to do this out of the classroom. She reported that many students walked out of the classroom instead of writing and nothing looked familiar on the paper. Nothing will shake my faith in her - I am sure she rocked it.
And speaking of work health related - a good blog post:
The excitement of the weekend was a call (they happen very infrequently here) from someone in off a hunting trip out on the land about 40 km northeast of the hamlet. it's been really windy and cold (had to apply duct tape to the seams of the windows) so I was surprised to learn the contracted hunters had harvested six caribou of their 33 community quota. I was also surprised to learn that the laceration of the finger which I glued back together (saving lives one at a time - no you will not loose your finger) was sustained opening a can of sliced fruit. And no, in answer to the lacerated's question….I don't consider that a Workers Compensation injury!
Have registered for an online course from Future Learn (the internet is better remotely than in NS) so am doing a short course called Web Science from University of Southampton with 6300 other global students. Talk about large classes!
Just spent a few moments with my roommate watching the gorgeous light show the high arctic is offering us tonight - the aurora borealis are in rare form shimmering and dancing in greens and blues. We are so fortunate! Except for the fact that it's happened again….Monday in the morning. Enjoy the week.