Thursday, December 18, 2008

Merry Christmas To The Elders

I am finding myself missing Iqaluit a bit this Christmas. I especially miss some of the Christmas activities that I would help organize at work, with my favourite being the Elder's Christmas Party we would throw. Even though I worked (and managed for a time) the Unikkaarvik Visitor Centre, part of our mandate was to serve the local community. Every year we apply for a cultural program grant from one of the government departments and we would organize a year long program - one part focused towards the youth of the community, the other focused towards the elders. But, not just any elders, we focused our program specifically towards the elders who were residing in the constant care facility. Unfortunately these elders do not get to socialize all that often simply because of their state of health and their immobility - especially during the winter months. Although elders are reveered in Inuit Society, sadly it is quite often that once entering this facility, some elders are forgotten....

So every Christmas, we would take a huge chunk of our funding and spend it on our elders. We would buy each elder at the facility Christmas gifts, mixing well needed stuff with fun stuff. We would have food brought in by a local catering company and we would spend the afternoon with them - usually Christmas Eve. It has to be one of the most heart touching experiences I have ever had, especially at Christmas. To see the look of pure joy on the elders faces as they opened their gifts, shared their meal, and shared their stories (even in a different language) is something that I will never forget and will always look back on fondly whenever I think of Christmas in Iqaluit.

Quote of the Day:
"Christmas gift suggestions: To you enemy - forgiveness. To an opponent - tolerance. To a friend - your heart. To a customer - service. To all - charity. To every child - a good example. To yourself - respect." Oren Arnold

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Countdown Begins

I have four more days left at work (after today) and I must admit, I'm really looking forward to the time off. Even though I know that it's going to hurt our bank account, I'm quite excited about the opportunity to stay at home with the little guy for the winter. We have some 'work' ahead of us, like potty training and bottle weaning - Lord give me the strength to get through that one because taking his bottle away is going to be a lot like cutting his right arm off. He LOVES his "ba" and absolutely refuses to drink milk out of anything else. But, I also know that we're going to have some fun times this winter too. With any luck, I'll be able to enjoy sleeping past 6 am....

And, what do you know, exactly ten more days until Christmas. I can't wait to see how the little guy is going to react Christmas morning. It's going to be so much fun this year. He's at a perfect age to really find all the presents and such exciting. It's the first Christmas for us in our house here and I can't wait to smell the turkey cooking. Of course, I'm going to be the one cooking it and all the trimmings because my parents want to spend the morning at our house watching the little guy enjoy all the goodies that Santa will leave him. Yes, I think it's going to be a wonderful day...

Quote of the Day:
"Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, December 11, 2008

How Bad Is It Going To Get?

The price of gas has gone down again today - good in a way but terrible in another. With our economy relying so heavily on the price of oil, I can't help but wonder how bad it's actually going to get. Mines in the province are laying employees off left, right and centre and it appears to be an issue everywhere, not just here. Even more bleak are the predictions that it's all going to get worst before it starts to get better.....God, how depressing and stressful. I just want to crawl under a rock and stay there.

There have been a good many days in the last year where I have really regretted leaving Iqaluit, and sometimes when I've sat down and really thought about it, the pros and cons of the move have pretty well evened out. Yet, in the last couple of days the regret has grown into a feeling so compounding that it almost hurts to breath. I can't help but think that if we had remained in Iqaluit, the current economic crisis wouldn't seem to effect us as much as it will here. Neither of us had jobs in Iqaluit that would have been subject to lay-offs like here...But I guess there's really no point in thinking about what we should have done. No one can predict the future and no one really knew that any of this crap was going to happen, right? I know that we will get by for the next year or so, we really won't have a choice in the matter. I imagine that right now, we are in a better situation than a lot of other people who are also getting lay-offs right before Christmas. I just can't help but wish things looked a little more hopeful than they do....

Quote of the Day:
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Santa Claus is Coming...

Christmas Eve is exactly two weeks from today and it feels like I still have so much to do. No matter how hard I try, it just feels like I can't get organized this year. I still have to get gifts for my parents, stocking stuffers for the little guy, little gifts for the hubby's brother's kids.....the list just goes on and on. Time is definitely not on my side this year at all. The hubby was also supposed to pick out a new coat this year but hasn't, leaving me wondering what to do about him as well. Urrgghhh!!

Since this is the first Christmas in our house in Newfoundland, we also needed new outdoor lights which are still sitting in their boxes. We bought them on Saturday when we were in Corner Brook and Hubby hoped to get them up before he went back to work on Tuesday; that didn't happen on Sunday because we had to go visit his parents, and the wind was blowing too hard on Monday and Tuesday. So the lights will not go up until Dec. 22 when Hubby comes home again. Oh well....

Our local Santa Claus parade is scheduled to go ahead this Saturday. I can only wonder if this year's will be as pitiful as last year. To be quite honest, last year's was so pitiful that I can't imagine why they would even go through the effort to put one on this year. I think that there may have been 5 poorly decorated floats in the whole parade last year and that includes Santa Claus. It's a shame too because I can remember when the Santa Claus parade was a really big event around here and just about every organization and business had a float in it. To quote the Mummer's Song, "Times have gone modern, that must be the cause. Christmas is not like it was."

It's funny how true that line has become in the last ten or so years. I can remember when homes were always full of visitors during Christmas. A night did not go by when you didn't have a three or four families dropping by for a visit or when you didn't visit other families. Just about every night you'd get a few Mummers (or janees, as we call them here) knocking on your door. Tables were constantly full of treats that were kept out around the clock and the Christmas "cheer" flowed quite freely. It's sad how times have changed when you really sit down and think about it.

Quote of the Day:
"I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all year." Charles Dickens

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

From Working Mom to Stay At Home Mommy...

In T minus 10 days.

I'm not sure if my luck has just turned for the better or the worst on this one. My impending departure from work is not one of choice and, according to my boss, is just a temporary one - until sometime in March when business picks back up again. Right now, my feelings are sort of on the fence about my lay-off. The logical side of me knows that a pay cheque is much better than an unemployment cheque. I don't work because I want to, I work because I have to. However, the emotional side of me (the mommy side) is really looking forward to a couple of months or so off work to spend with the little guy. It's an opportunity to have some major bonding time with him because, even though he's with his Nan during the day while I'm at work, I don't feel like I get nearly enough time with him.

Quote of the Day:
"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today." Stacia Tauscher

Friday, December 5, 2008


The Weekend:
Let's hear a big hooray for the weekend because if this week had been much longer, I would have truly lost my mind. Unfortunately there isn't any relaxation in my future for tomorrow. The hubby and I are heading to Corner Brook on a shopping expedition. I'm referring to it as an expedition because I'm sure that the crowds are going to be so horrible that we'll have to fight our way down store aisles much similar to the way one would fight his/her way through a jungle.

The Weather:
Holy Christ, we do not have any snow - not one bit! In fact, the rain was pouring down earlier. Here I am, getting ready to decorate for Christmas inside the house and out and nothing in the great outdoors is even resembling Christmas.

The Current Political Turmoil:
I usually don't comment on politics and have never taken a real interest in it. I have no desire to get into a heated argument with someone who is, let's refer to it as, extremely passionate about the subject. So with my fingers crossed that I'm not opening a huge can of worms, I will say this to those fellow Canadians appalled by the actions of our Members of Parliament:

If (and I say IF) a coalition government is formed - which I am neither for or against at this point in time - your vote is not being ignored. When you casted your vote in October, did you vote for the Conservative Party because you wanted Stephen Harper as our Prime Minister? Or, did you vote for [insert candidate name] because of the grounds on which they were running? We did not cast a vote specifically for Stephen Harper as our PM - in fact, that option wasn't even on our ballots. We voted for and elected our MPs. As it so happens, the majority of Canadians did not vote for a Conservative Government - the Liberals, NDP, Bloc, etc. actually received more seats combined than the Conservatives. Thus, giving the Conservatives a minority government. Now, if the Conservatives cannot show the rest of Parliament that they are capable of effectively running our government, the majority of seat holders should be well within their right to form a coalition. Remember, these members were also elected because some Canadian voters felt that they were the best choice. So you see, this is part of the democratic process.

That said, I do think that both leading parties would be much better off finding new leaders. The Conservatives need to realize that Stephen Harper is an ass who can't really see beyond himself and the Liberals have a bit of a pansy/idiot in their mists.

Really though, I can't help but wish that we could somehow convince the US to trade Obama for Harper.

Quote of the Day:
"Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself." Lois McMaster Bujold

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Words of Wisdom

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Brag or Rag?

The hubby has the week off and I must admit, I am insanely jealous right now. A whole week to spend time at home with the little guy and catch up on any projects that have been put on the back burner - nice! Monday was great, I came home from work to a pretty tidy house, laundry washed, supper cooking....what a man! And, to completely surpass my expectations, he even painted the dining room for me.

Yesterday; completely different story all together. I came home from work to a sink full of dirty dishes, the little guy's leftover breakfast still on the table, the living room resembling a war zone of toys, and the load of laundry that went in the washer that morning was still in the washer. Oh and supper, well that was sitting on the counter, not long out of the freezer and still completely frozen. Why? Apparently yesterday was a "lazy day" and he didn't feel up to taking on any of those normal household challenges.

Gee, I wonder what I will find when I get home from work today...

Quote of the Day:
"Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots." Hoosier Farmer