Rubber Boots

Being a Maritime girl I’ve become accustom to accessorizing my outfits with rubber boots.  I have stylish patterned boots with horses and flowers, then my high rise HUNTER purple pair, and my NEW EPIC lace up yellow HUNTER boots.  I have been known to plan an outfit around my rubber boots. :0)

Rubber boots might be a necessity in the Maritimes but I never dreamed they would also be a necessity in the Arctic.  I officially retired my UGG Boots and Mukluks the other day when my regular 10 minute walk to school turned into 20 minutes because the regular snow covered road has turned into pot hole central with gray muddy puddle, after gray muddy puddle, after gray muddy puddle.  I was tired of walking around the mud puddles and decided it was time I walked through them.

Ironically that day one of my Grade 4’s forgot to cut off the price tag on her new rubber boots so I asked which of the two stores in town had rubber boots.  I never thought the day would come when I bought purple cow print rubber boots for the Co-Op in Hall Beach.

Let’s just say if my walk is prolonged it is because I am having fun stomping through the gray muddy puddles.

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Update: Donation Request- Prom Attire

I truly feel so lucky to have such generous friends and family who have shown me so such support in my endevor to make the prom at Arnaqjuaq School the most magical prom ever.  I received my first box of 8 donated dresses on Friday and I am so excited to receive all the other donated dresses that have been mailed and are venturing up to the Arctic. 

I will announce the total amount of donated prom attire next week, as well as obviously post pictures, but I just couldn’t hold back my excitment and appreciation.  With that said, all I have left to say is….

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Donation Request – Prom Attire

ATTENTION please read the following!!

Do you remember your prom?!?!  I sure do and I can remember how excited I was to go shopping for the perfect dress, and how special I felt when I wore it.  The graduates here in Hall Beach, Nunavut do not have the opportunity to go dress shopping looking for the perfect dress.  I am reaching out to my friends on Facebook, as well to you loyal blog readers to help me make the graduates of Arnaqjuaq School have the most special prom ever!

If you have a prom dress, cocktail dress, tie, dress shirt or pants hanging in your closet that you have neglected and would be willing to donate to a graduate, you would help make their prom a momentous night. 

Items need to be mailed to Hall Beach ASAP because prom will be on June 6th.  I know this request is last moment, but I just took on the responsibility of planning the whole prom because it was almost canceled today due to lack of organization.  I was not going to stand by and let that happen, so I would appreciate your help.  Contact me by email (cojonsie@gmail.com) or using the comment box and I will provide you with the mailing address. 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post, and my deepest appreciations goes out to you all who will help me make this prom as special for these graduates as possible!

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 Spring has officially arrived, and I am about to tell you why!

During our evening walk with Bubba (roommate’s husky) out to the dump I experienced a sighting that really signifies that spring is here and summer break is just around the corner (3 weeks on my calendar).   As we were walking I look up into the sky and approaching us are birds flying is a V formation migrating back from down south.  Hall Beach wasn’t their final destination because they flew right over us and were heading further North, but it was spectacular.

I’ve been a little stressed lately with a big decision of what to do next year…do I return to Hall Beach or embark on a new adventure. This sighting symbolizes Spring has finally arrived, but I’m also going to believe that the sighting of the V formation is a sign that I need to continue to be ‘happy-go-lucky’ about life and stop stressing! To just follow my gut instinct and everything happens for reason.  :0)

 

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Flew a HELICOPTER over the Arctic Tundra from Baffin Island back to Hall Beach yesturday :0) 

Details and more pictures from my adventure will be posted this week! 

 

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Beauty of a sunset in Hall Beach, Nunavut @ 10:20pm on April 26th, 2012!

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Jail Guard

I am always up for a new experience/adventure and when I was told guarding the jail and making extra $$ on weekends was an option I was game.  So, a month ago I filled out all the paper work, signed away my life, and joined the list of on-call jail guards.

 I received my first call this morning at 3:00am.  I have gotten into the habit of packing my ‘entertainment’ bag, as well as a lunch bag of teas, coffee, and snacks on Friday nights before I go to sleep.  Obviously the night that I ACTUALLY get called I didn’t go to sleep till 1:30am because I went to the dance at the Hall, as well as only half-ass packed both of my bags.  Needless to say, I was running around like a chicken with their head cut off at 3:00am this morning.  Thankfully I just live across the street from the Police Station, so I just skipped over with my two bags ready for my new adventure as jail guard. 

Unfortunately I cannot go into detail about my guarding adventures…but let’s just say I have no regrets putting my name on that on-call guard list.  This experience is pretty sick, minus the ravens outside the station that are kind of annoying me with their outrageous cawing. 

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Easter Hall Beach Style

Any Holiday you spend away from your family and friends is hard…even a simple holiday like Easter.  Luckily, I have made some really good friends here in Hall Beach, as well as had my Grade 4’s that made me a little less homesick during Easter. 

Grade 4’s Egg Dyeing Extravaganza;

My long Easter weekend began with me tackling the high risk job of dying eggs with my Grade 4’s.  I was almost dumb enough to try and get all technical and have each student blow the yolk out of their egg.  That is how I always did it growing up, and knew of no other way, until I was educated by one of my co-workers/friends.  They told me I could just boil the eggs and the students can dye them, and when they are done decorating they can eat them after if they please.  BRILLIANT time saver and healthy snack.

The Grade 4’s and I ventured over to the Co-Op to purchase 32 eggs.  We used our fundraised money from our popcorn sale, which gives a perfect example of why we fundraise, so we have money to buy supplies to do fun activities, such as dye 32 Easter eggs. 

I’ve never dyed eggs with 14 students before so I was just flying by the seat of my pants.  The only issues I was trying to avoid were; dyeing skin, and dying cloths.  Unfortunately I was fell victim to some dye on my top, however I consider it a memento for my first egg dyeing experience with my Grade 4’s.

As a class we decided on four colors.  I decided the max amount of colors we would have would be four, because I felt six colors might get a little WILD, and anyone who knows me understands it had to be in sets of twos.  The colors we decided on were blue, green, purple, and reddish pink.  I know, SHOCKER there was no yellow. 

After the eggs were done boiling and had cooled off, I got the Grade 4’s to make designs on their 2 eggs using crayons.  When they were done adding their creative touch to their 2 eggs, they placed their eggs back into the egg carton. We made a large circle on the floor and I placed the four dishes of colors along with the egg cartons in the center.  One at a time each student placed each of their eggs into their choice of color, and we all watched in excitement to see the end result of their design.  The wax from the crayon really popped in contrast with the dye.  I was so pleased with how their eggs turned out, as I know they also were because only a few decided to crush the shell and eat the boiled egg. The rest took them home to show their parents, grandparents, aunt and uncles, whome ever they live with.

   

Easter Skype Session;

I felt extremely lucky to receive not ONE but TWO Easter packages from my parents.  Receiving them a week before Easter led to a little anticipation to open the suckers because the deal was I had to wait till Easter Sunday and open them on Skype.  I would like to take a moment to rave how amazing Skype and FaceTime are for individuals like myself, who are away from their family and friends.  It allows you to feel a little less distance between you. 

Skyping with my parents always leads to a conversation that gets side tracked a million times, and we usually go over our allocated time frame, and this Easter Skype session was no different.  I had to let my parents go so I could go chill and take pictures in the Igloo with my friends….that is a sentence I never foresaw myself saying. 

Once I returned we got down to the good part of opening my packages.  The Easter Bunny was VERY good to me this year, especially hooking me up with the HILLARIOUS movie HOP.  If you have not seen this movie yet, I am judging you!

  My Skype sessions with my parents are also always special because I get to see my dog Maggie.  She can hear me however the lack of my physical presence confuses her.  I was able to capture some adorable pictures of her though by taking a picture of my screen.  Oh how technology makes us all feel a little closer to one another.

 

Easter Dinner;

It is nice to have a nice group of friends you can get together with on special occasions like Birthdays or Holidays.   The husband and wife in the circle of friends here hosted the Easter dinner at their place.  She and myself have Newfoundland roots so she went to all the effort to cook a Jig’s dinner to cure our Newfoundland souls.  For those of you who have not had the pleasure of indulging in a Jig’s dinner, the meal typically consists of a combination of salt beef, boiled potatoes, carrots, cabbage, turnip, bread pudding, cooked turkey, and gravy.  My favorite part about Jig’s dinner is making what we call hash the next morning with all the leftover potatoes, carrots, cabbage, and turnip then frying it up with eggs and bologna.

I attempted to make a contribution to Easter dinner by baking this cheesecake I found in one of my healthy eating magazine.  It was suppose to symbolize a nacho platter, with pie pieces to represent nachos, and candy and jam on top to represent the veggie toppings and salsa.  I was chirped by one individual in particular, however he shall remain nameless…LOL!  It tasted yum, and looked fun, so no complaints by me. 

It was great to enjoy some AWESOME food, and GREAT conversations with friends.  We all dressed in our Easter Sunday best, and dined in style.  It was an amazing way to end my Easter weekend. 

   

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Seal Skin… Designing and Sewing

 

       

I have designed, made, and sold jewelry for a couple years now.  It is one of my true passions, however since arriving in Hall Beach I have held off from designing because supplies are limited.   So, I was extremely excited when local women as well as students of mine started wearing seal skin flower clips in their hair.  I was excited about this new style because I felt it could be my prospective addition to my jewelry line ‘Heart on Your Sleeve’. 

I did some research by asking locals where I can buy seal skin, and what size I would need, as well how to tell good quality seal skin from bad quality.  I was told ring seal skin was the best kind to use for making mitts, or hair accessories, or jewelry, so I ordered 3 medium size pelts; natural ring seal, purple ring seal, and white ring seal.  I was so pleased with the quality of seal skin that I received, and was pleased when locals agreed with me, because for all I know I could have received the shittiest pelts.  I’m not an expert in seal skin, but I feel like I am becoming one. 

I decided that for my first designing and sewing project I would make a flower bando out of my natural ring seal pelt.  Follow my step-by-step exemplar below, and see how a few pieces of seal skin turned into a beautiful flower bando;

Step One; Choose your seal pelt you will be using.

Step Two; Make a makeshift thimble for yourself if you do not have a metal one.  WARNING, you have to REALLY push the needle through the thick seal skin, so you need a thimble.

  

Step Three; Draw your pattern on the tanned side of the seal skin.  You can use a pen, or a pencil.  Then cut the pieces out. WARNING, the seal skin will shed a bunch of fur so cut it over a garbage can.

 

Step Four; Sew the pieces together using floss.  I used Crest Glide.  Seal skin is very thick, so normal thread doesn’t work. 

Step Five; When pieces are all sewn together start sewing the beads on around the trim.

   

Step Six; Sew the finished flower onto a stretchy headband using floss.  Try it on and take a picture.  :0)

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Recieved these two beautiful hand-made bracelets yesturday. One has my English name (Courtney) and the second has my Inuk name  (Kuatni – ᑯᐊᑦᓂ).  Inuk names are given to you by people in the community once they get to know you, and your personality. You can’t just give yourself an Inuk name, which makes it special I think. My students gave me mine back in October….Kuatni – ᑯᐊᑦᓂ.   I love that my students gave me mine!  :0)

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