Sunday, September 30, 2007

I'm so proud I cried

Meet Gerry. I met Gerry about a year ago through back home. I was a frequent user of this site, and gave away many things. I always prided myself that I would not give away anything that I wouldn't want to receive in return. I first met Gerry when I offered a queen sized comforter that mom was giving away. He was quick to reply that he wanted it and showed up the next day to get it. After that, I gave him a winter jacket that we had laying around. He joked that he told hjs wife that he now had another woman who not only kept in warm in bed but kept him warm all day long. Long story short, he ended up getting a fair amount of stuff from me when I moved and was purging the house, and also bought my Grand Am. Gerry and his wife were a bit down on their luck when it came to vehicles, as theirs died and they did not have the financial means to repair it.

He sent me a beautiful email when we moved up here, telling me how much happier they both were now that they had a reliable vehicle again. They are a very social couple, and love to go to dances and take long drives. He told me how much the car means to them, as they were able to recapture a part of their social lives they were desperately missing. He also told me that he had been unemployed up to the point of getting the car, and has now found himself a good job that he enjoys.

I received an email from him a few weeks ago telling me that he did a commerical and an ad for responsible gambling, and I asked him to let me know when it would be aired so I could watch for it as we have satellite TV and I have the stations from back home. I received another email from him tonight with the link, and the ad campaign is due to start running tomorrow. When I watched the ad I bawled. I feel like I have known him for years, even though the only time I have ever really spent with him is when we went for a test drive the day he bought the car. He let me in on a little secret that day also. In all his emails, he signed it, "Take care, Gerry" so one would assume that was his name. He told me that Gerry was in fact his wife, and his name was Merle! He said that he really didn't have a reason to correct me up to that point so he didn't! I laughed! It still makes me smile, because to me he will always be Gerry. When I watched the ad, the very last sentence he says made me bawl. When you see him and his wife together, it's very obvious how much they are in love. If I had to guess, I would say they've been married as long as my parents, if not longer. His wife just had a medical scare that thank god turned out to be just that, a scare and nothing else. But it could have been a lot worse, and I know the past month for them has been very stressful. When you see the ad, you'll see what I mean. You can see the ad here.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Looking for parental advice

I have a problem that I have never had to deal with before that I really am at my wit's end. Joey is a climber. A really, really sneaky quiet climber. And he's really fast. He has been climbing up and down off the couch for the past couple of weeks, which I'm fine with as we have taught him how to get down safely (he slides down on his belly). Well, it has now progressed to kitchen chairs. Yep, the freakin' chairs! I walked out to the kitchen the other day and he was sitting on a chair, taking stuff from the table! When I went out this morning he was STANDING on the chair backwards trying to reach stuff on the stove. He moves the chairs out and then climbs on it. How the hell do I break him of this??? I'm now watching him every second again. I was able to give him a little bit of freedom in the kitchen because he likes to play with his trucks in there (it's vinyl floor and the livingroom is carpet). But now I can't trust him in the kitchen at all. Just this morning I caught him with one foot up trying to climb on the coffee table! Colby was never a climber so this is a whole new world for me. Short of bungee cording the chairs to the table (which I have considered), does anyone have any suggestions?

As of Monday morning, our Northern Store will have the youngest employee. I'm going to try taking Joey to work with me in the mornings. I have a playpen and I'm going to set it up in the back where I am and see if he'll stay. For the times I need to bring stuff to the floor, I can just strap him in the cart. And, there's enough people around (Rob, David and Connie) that if there is something that comes up that I need to leave him for a few minutes, I'm sure someone will take him!

Thursday Night

I don't think I'll ever stop being amazed by this. These were taken from our front step.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Life at the Northern

Well, this is the start of my on going commentary on what work is like way up North. First I would like to say that staffing is a BIG issue. I have seen the same girl walkout and not come back and then get re-hired a month later. It's very hard in this town where it seems that noone wants to work at all. The few that do want to work do not want to work consistently. Which means they work hard for about 2 weeks and then they spiral downwards. Another thing that they do hear is show up late, VERY late. This has taken a lot of getting used to. It doesn't get to me like it did before but it still bothers me. Last night the girl covering the night shift at the gas bar, which is 3 hours long, called to say that she would be 30-45mins late at 4:50. At 6:15 she was still not there. I went over so that the day shift guy could go home, trying to keep this guy happy as he is one of our ONLY reliable people we have. She showed up around 6:45 and said she was sorry but offered no explanation.

That brings me to my next topic. The excuses I have heard so far since moving to the north for not coming into work or arriving late. 10. Im too Tired, I was out all last night

9. I'm still Hung over

8. My auntie is sick

7. She wont be in, she is eating

6. I have a Runny nose

5. I just need the day off

4. My car wont start (they lived 3 streets away)

3. "She's still sleeping", "well, can you wake her"? "no"

2. I don't have a phone

1. My Tonsels hurt

So, my feelings I have when I have an employee who is late, I'm pissed! I don't say anything, I just try to call. When they show up I am relieved that they showed up at all and go on about my day. The requirements for working at the northern store as a cashier or stocker are....

-They must be alive

-They must be over 16

-and they must be....well, alive..I think that is it.. There may be more, I'll let you know.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Looking out my kitchen window

The view from my kitchen window yesterday. Notice all the water underneath the wheels of the truck? All this heavy equipment combined with all the rain we had and the new dirt they brought in for the diesel tank equals A LOT of mud!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Dog anyone?

These are the dogs that have been around my house for the last week. When we first moved here, the hardest thing I had to get used to is the amount of dogs that run free. I have only seen 1 cat since I moved here, and that is a housecat . I must admit, it's nice to walk outside and not worry about stepping in cat poo or hear a cat fight at night. Even though dogs run free here, I have never seen dog poop anywhere, and very seldom do you hear them bark. The dogs are beautiful and for the most part quite friendly. It's when I see dogs as beautiful as this guy I waver a bit in my opinion of "No, I don't want a dog". I could literally go outside, start feeding this guy and he'd be ours. The downside? What do we do when we go home? These dogs will not come inside at all, even in the dead of winter. I would have a hard time knowing my dog is outside in the middle of a snowstorm at -50. Connie and David have a husky, who looks exactly like "Demon" in 8 below. I haven't had a chance to photograph him yet, but I plan to. I took the above picture from my livingroom window this morning.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

When all else fails, hit it with a hammer

Yep, this is Rob starting the truck. See below for the story.

The elders in this community are tough as nails. This lady walked from the Seniors home to the Northern, and it was BITTER cold. We were all in winter jackets. All the elderly women dress like this, in skirts. She is wearing tights, but her jacket is not zipped. I see this woman everyday walking, and she always smiles at us.

I only yesterday found the graveyard. It's tucked away behind the community. It's unlike anything I have ever seen before. One day this week Joey and I are going to go walk around it. There are no headstones, only wooden crosses.

There is a God and he works at the Co-Op. They FINALLY carry Sunrise bologna! Colby will only eat Sunrise bologna, and so far we have been receiving it in care packages from Gramma and Nanny. I was surfing the internet one day last week and found a company in Ontario that ships Newfoundland products, one of them being Sunrise Bologna. I emailed them to see if they ship up here and to find out their prices. They advised me that they send their products via Canada Post, so it wouldn't be any different than the care packages we get now. She also mentioned that the Co-Op in Yellowknife carried this product, and provided me with their number. We have checked in the Co-Op a couple times previous and were only able to find Maple Leaf bologna (yes, there is a BIG difference in taste). I called the Co-Op, and yep, they sell it! My understanding is that this is something relatively new for them, as I had to buy the whole bologna at a price of 28.00, which is about 6-7.00 more expensive than back home. But, when you factor in the price to mail it up here, it's still cheaper and fresher! The woman at the cash register commented on the bologna, as she is a newfoundlander (as are most people in Yellowknife). She was all excited because she had never seen it there either! So we spent the morning cutting it and now it's in the freezer. I also bought Mt. Scio Savory, Fraser Farm Meatballs, and of course, Pineapple Crush!
Colby hates the drive to Yellowknife. We found the only way to make it more enjoyable for all of us is to give him a camera! Wonder where he gets that from?! Colby cam pictures to come soon! Do I really need to comment on this one?

This is the best thing ever. Yes, I brought my camera to the bathroom with me, but I had to! This seat is in the bathroom of the Yellowknife Canadian Tire, the best and cleanest bathroom I have found in Yellowknife! I will make a special trip to Canadian Tire if we have to pee just for these bathrooms!

So, I went to Yellowknife with Joey on Friday to get the exhaust put on the truck, finally. There's not much selection in Yellowknife for vehicle repair, especially if you drive a foreign vehicle. There are only 2 dealerships in town, so if you don't drive a Chevy or a Ford, you're going to Canadian Tire for your repairs. There is one other spot called Auto Tec that deals with foreigns, but as you can imagine being the only other one in town and having a small shop they are very busy. Joey and I dropped the truck off to Canadian Tire Friday morning at 9:30 and went for a walk. We walked over to a hair salon where I got my hair cut for the first time since I moved here. I have always worn my hair in long layers so I can go months between haircuts, as long as I trim my bangs. When I get my hair trimmed, all my natural curl comes back. She ended up putting crap in my hair to keep the curls in and I walked out looking like Shirley Temple. We killed some more time in Wal-Mart, and then headed back to Canadian Tire around 12. I was livid when I walked back in the parking lot to find the truck in the same spot, with no exhaust on it. They told me it should be done by lunchtime, as they knew I would be walking around with the baby and I live an hour outside town. When I went to the service desk, they asked me "So, how do you start your truck?" WHAT?? I first thought "Oh shit, I didn't leave the keys" but I did. He asked me if there was an anti-theft on the truck because it wouldn't start. WTF?! We went out to the truck, he hooked up a battery to it just in case mine was dead (which it wasn't), and then we came to the conclusion that the starter was going. He went back in the shop, brought out a long crowbar, and after a couple hits on the starter it turned right on. Luckily it happened there in the parking lot, BUT 2 hours were now wasted and they were about to go on lunch. I walked over to the Co-Op again to pick up the stuff we needed, and walked back again. It was almost 5 by the time I left Canadian Tire, with a new exhaust but the same starter. They tried it a bunch of times and it worked right away so we left it, because I was tired and poor Joey was at the end of his rope. We ended up going back into Yellowknife yesterday because Rob wanted to "get out of Dodge". The starter is still acting up, and it's literally hit and miss. We now keep a long metal bar and a hammer underneath the front seat, and we joke that it's the "automatic starter". I laughed the first time I saw Rob do this, hearing my dad's voice saying "When all else fails, hit it with a hammer". :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Pictures and stuff

This child is just too smart! I had to move his toybox because of this!

Just playing around with the camera this morning

I thought for sure it was going to topple over!

Here comes the tank! This is the view we had from our kitchen window for 2 days as the tank was parked right in front of our house.

After waiting for 2 days for a crane that never came, they finally took the tank off the flatbed like this. Today they are hooking it up so I expect it should be up and running by the beginning of next week!

The Norhern hired a new person last night to help with changing out the summer and winter stuff. ME! I originally planned on subbing at the school as an Education Assistant with special needs kids, but due to an issue at the daycare that I don't want to get into here that won't be happening. I had planned when we moved here for me not to work until we ended up with our own store, but like every other job in the North the money was beyond crazy, in a good way. EA substitutes, like regular class substitutes, do not need any educational backround at all, just a grade 12. And the schools here are desperate for them. Classroom subs are paid 200.00 a day AFTER TAX, and EA subs are paid 150.00 a day, AFTER TAX. So you can see why one would be very tempted to work. It would have been in the school that Colby is in, but without daycare I can't do it. I was feeling very guilty about it anyways because the Northern right now is desperate for employees, and although they obviously can't match the money, I can work there when Rob is home in the evenings. I don't plan on working every night, just 3 nights a week. There is so much stuff right now that has to go out (winter hats, gloves etc) but there's just not enough hours in the day for it all to get done with the few staff they have. They lost a lot of staff when school started, with people either subbing like I was going to do, or going back to school. People are paid to go to school here as an encentive to go back, and they are paid more then when they worked. Crazy! The other benefit of this is that when we end up in our own store I will already have knowledge on how this stuff works, as I have never worked retail. Last night Connie had to show me how to use a price sticker gun!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I'm in heaven!


I wonder if they would be warm enough for up here????? I'm going to ask Santa for them! HINT HINT ROB!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The week in review

We have both come to the conclusion that Rob makes much better bread than I do. He makes quite the mess while making it, which is quite fun for me to watch!
Hmm, what's in here?

This is what I have had to do with our cupboards. Joey has figured out how to take off the child locks, and loves to climb in the cupboards. When he proudly brought out a bottle of Mr. Clean, I had to take matters in my own hands and brought out the cable ties! The only downfall is when I need to get in the cupboard I have to cut them!

This is where the new diesel tank is going. My understanding is the tank should be here tomorrow!

This is a puddle outside our house yesterday morning. It's frozen!

This is now the normal for Colby. He can't seem to function without a remote in his hand. Must be a guy thing! He's getting so big! This is him yesterday. It is so cold here now that he is wearing his winter jacket full time.

This confirms that Joey is related to his Uncle B. He seems to be wondering how he can take the vacuum apart to see how it works, which is what BJ spent most of his childhood doing with any battery operated toys he had!

It must be something in the air or the purified water we drink. These kids are growing like weeds!

Happy Birthday Kellie

Happy Birthday to my beautiful cousin. Although you can be quite the shit distruber sometimes, we love you very much! *grin*

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A little help please

This is directed at my new "northern" friends. Rob and I are shopping for winter gear and are looking for some suggestions. What does everyone wear? Where did you buy / order it from? I have a MEC snowsuit for Joey and a Columbia Jacket and snow pants for Colby, so they are set. Now it's just us. And looking at a few blogs where it has already snowed up here, and the average temperature right now in NWT is about 4 degrees, we are going to need some winter gear soon!

Friday, September 14, 2007

He's at it again!

I guess he's found his new snack. I should send this to Kelloggs!

Colby's first playdate

This is Hannah, a daughter of one of the teachers I know. She spent the afternoon here with us yesterday. I'm sure it won't be the last!