Thursday, January 31, 2013

Nearly 2 Weeks

I've been putting off this update. I don't really have any pictures to share, or great adventure stories to tell. Just the every day little adventures a couple goes through as they learn how to live together on their own. They're important, but they're hardly news worthy. Like deciding whether we prefer sponges or cloths (or maybe a mixture of both?) in the kitchen, and what foods are ok from no-name, and which have to be name brand products (I bought no name peanut butter, apparently this is a serious transgression, but it's ok, I'll use it up in cookies).
We still aren't in our new apartment. We were supposed to be in Monday, but Sunday night when the land lord and his wife went to give the place a final clean, they walked in and found an inch of water on the floor. Apparently, from what I understand, the water had been connected in to the unit from the municipal source, but the valve still closed to the apartment. Now, I'm unclear whether the back pressure popped that valve?  Or maybe they turned on the valve to the unit, and realized later when they came back that something hadn't been hooked up yet? Either way, we ended up with a lot of water damage. The edges of every piece of laminate flooring (which fooled me, I thought it was hardwood. Very good stuff.) was curling up, the baseboards had to be replaced, etc. But they were lucky, they got the flooring off fast, and cranked the heat and dried the place out and didn't have to replace any of the plywood subfloor. None of our stuff was damaged, because we packed everything in plastic bins. Now I am really glad we didn't use cardboard. Initially he was just going to replace the hallways and bedroom with the left overs he had for now, and re finish the rest of the rooms as he could get supplies in, but then he decided he'd use a cheaper product that he could get here in town, so he could do it all at once. I have to say I like that decision. Then we won't be having to shuffle our belongings around and live around construction. When we move in, it'll be done. Whew. Yesterday the flooring went down, today they're replacing the baseboards and trim, and doing the touch ups to any nicks in the walls, and Tomorrow we should be able to move in.
The pressure is off a bit though. Our buddy Cody is gone out of town for a couple of weeks, and left us the keys to his place, so we're not racking up hotel bills any more. That was a big weight off of our mind.
Our furniture and appliances are being delivered from the brick today. They were supposed to deliver them Saturday, and I'm not quite sure what happened there, but I'm kind of glad they weren't there when things got wet.
In the mean time, I'm knitting up a storm, we're playing darts, eating good food, watching tv and just generally passing the time. Andrew is working today at the moose factory base. I have a growing list of potential clients queueing up, but no where to treat them yet! Hopefully by Monday I'll have my clinic space set up and functional.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stalking the Aurora Borealis

As you know, for me one of the big draws to move up here was the opportunity to see the Aurora Borealis, or northern lights. So, I've been doing some reading about when, and where to best see them. Popular opinion around town says that the best place to view the lights is out by the airport. Certainly the stunning picture on the brochure for the base was taken there. Ok, now how about when.
Near as I can figure it, scientists measure the earths electromagnetic energy in Kp. It's possible to get Kp values between 0 and 9. When the Kp is higher, you're more likely to see the lights, when it's only a 1, it can only be seen right near the pole, and when it's a zero, there is no auroral activity at that time. Each area has a kp threshold, that needs to be met or exceeded to see the lights in that area. For example, Moosonee, with a latitude of 51 degrees, has a Kp threshold of 3. So any time the Kp value is 3-9, we could theoretically see the lights here.
Last night the Kp value was a 4 between midnight and 1 a.m., and the weather network said it would be a clear night here in town. So I told Andrew, who grinned at my enthusiasm, and we watched a few tv programs to kill the time til around 12. Then we warmed up the truck, bundled up and headed to the airport.
It turns out the weather network was mistaken. It was not a very clear night. We could see the moon and some of the stars straight up in the sky, but the whole northern sky was blanketed in cloud. The aurora was probably happening alright, but it was happening behind those clouds. Bugger. But we still had a nice little night out together. We drove out to the island, and Andrew gave me the grand tour on that side, showing me the base he'll work out of, and the hospital. You know, what a paramedic considers the important landmarks. We also saw the ecolodge, which apparently has a great restaurant, and the store complex over there that contains the Northern grocery store, post office, a few health offices and apparently a nice little cafe. I'm getting a little less apprehensive about crossing the ice every time we go over. My belly still flutters a little on the big bumps though.
So, no aurora last night, but we had a fun time anyways exploring our surroundings and just spending time together. We'll catch you next time, Aurora.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cookies are Contagious

Today, one of the medics over on the island baked cookies and posted about it on facebook, and I couldn't get it out of my head all day. I eventually broke down this evening and baked a batch of peanut butter cookies myself. Afterall, cookies are contagious. And now, dear readers, I've infected you!!! Mwahahaha, don't try to resist, just go bake your cookies now.
P.s. this is the recipe from the back of the kraft peanut butter jar.


Well, it's friday, and today at around 2:30 we will have been here in Moosonee for a week. It's kinda hard to believe it's only been a week. So much has happened that it feels much longer!
We are still having truck problems but we're starting to get a handle on them. We bought a magnetic heater that's meant to warm up the oil pan, but really can be stuck to pretty much anything under the hood. Right now we've got it stuck to the mounts that hold the battery. Near as we can tell with our rudimentary mechanical knowledge, the block heater failed, and while the rest of the engine was still warm enough to have gotten going, the battery didn't like that too much. It drained away dead. And probably cracked a cell. Once we managed to warm the battery up enough, and with a boost we got it going on Wednesday, but we had the magnetic heater turned off and by yesterday morning it had gotten too cold again and wouldn't start. There's some crusty crap on the top of the battery too, so we know it needs to be replaced, but the new one won't make it to town until next Wednesday. In the mean time yesterday we warmed it back up and got a boost from yet another buddy (we owe people a round of beers big time!) and she started up again. Sweet. We pretty much left it running most of the day for fear of not being able to start it again. We did as many of the things we need a truck for as we could think of. We went by the apartment and dropped off what was still in the truck. We went by the train yard and brought all our bins of stuff over to the apartment in three trips. We even picked up some groceries, so we can cook a little more here in the kitchen at the hotel. Last night we had soup and grilled cheese, it's not fancy, but it was filling.
I'm starting to get really excited about the apartment! Things are coming together, they need to hook up the overflow drain in the bathtub, turn the water on to the unit, finish up the kitchen counters, grout the tiles in the kitchen and entrance and finish painting the trim, then it's just a matter of cleaning up and packing up and letting us get in. They're not quite sure how much of it they'll get done today, but they've okayed us to have our new furniture and appliances delivered tomorrow, and we may be able to take possession tomorrow night or some time sunday. Cool! I can't wait to start setting it all up. Especially the kitchen. It's handy having something of a kitchen here in the hotel, but with one pot, one pan, and no bakeware except for a burnt crusty cookie sheet, and terrible dull knives, I'll be happy to unpack all my new kitchen gadgets!
This morning, after leaving the magnetic heater on the battery housing all night, the truck did start up. It was a little rough and it took a couple tries, but we got her going. It's about all we can ask for right now. If we can just baby her and keep her running until Wednesday, we should be in the clear. Moral of the story: the truck might be built for Canadian winters, but Toronto winters are very very different from Moosonee winters. And batteries hate cold weather.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The First Week

Don’t fear dear readers, we’re still here, we just haven’t had Internet connectivity for the past few days. So, let me catch you up. 
Saturday night we went out to a party on the island, and wow was that a nerve wracking drive. My first time crossing the river and it was pitch black. Rolling along in our little black truck, heavy with all our stuff still. It’s bad enough driving along on the smooth parts, you can almost forget that the blackness under the ice is water, not asphalt. But then you go over a hump formed by pressure buckling the ice upwards. In your head, you’re already thinking “this is surely a weak spot in the ice” and of course, you’re going over it. So you bounce. You can’t help it, you’re only going 20 km/h, but you’re going over a bump. And as you feel the shocks coiling and uncoiling under the weight of us, our truck and our stuff, I kept imagining the bone deep burning chill of icy water, and trying to picture how to get out of the truck, with the shock of the cold, and the pressure of the water pressing in on us. Suddenly my seatbelt was feeling oppressive. Maybe I’m being a drama queen, but I was pretty scared. I know that the ice under us was two feet thick. I know they drive ambulances over the exact same ice we were driving over, and I know that further out in the actual bay, the ice road is open and they’re driving giant transport trucks up the ice, but I was scared, and my belly was in knots. 
Things got much better when we got to the party.  We met a bunch of people Andrew works with, and a lot of other people as well. There were nurses, doctors, cops, a massage therapist, personal trainers and a myriad of other people from the community. Andrew and I kicked our host’s butts in a game of couples darts. I haven’t played darts since we left the trailer, so it felt good to know I still had the goods! By around 1 am though, I was fading fast. I’m not exactly a party animal, or a night owl. So my sweetheart went out and warmed the truck up for me, and we came back across the ice. The drive back was much the same as the drive there, but with a few adult beverages in me, and a successful trip under my belt, I felt more brave. 
At this point I should take a side note to tell you that the polar bear lodge has a curfew. That’s right, the doors to the building lock at 11pm. However, we were told that if we talked to them ahead of time, we could arrange to be let in later. So before we left we tried to track down the proprietors. Or anybody who works at the hotel. We started looking at 10 am, and FINALLY found somebody just before we left. We were told that messages would be left with everyone who works there to leave the back door unlocked for us to come in by. And if somebody missed the memo and locked us out, his daughter’s room was the first window to the right of the door, and we were to knock on her window, to get the door opened up. So feeling like we had a plan and a fail safe, we went off to the island. 
So now it’s nearly 2 am, and we’ve returned to the hotel. We try the front door, and of course it’s locked, so we walk around to the back door, which is supposed to be open. They forgot to mention Fang. I don’t actually know the dog’s name, but Fang, Ripper, and Spike all came to mind. He’s a massive, intact, male german shepherd, and as we turned the corner of the building he had his rope stretched taut, and was barking, snarling, and lunging right up to the edge of the walkway. Not to worry, he can’t reach us, so on we walk, despite his protests. We continue down the path, between the building and the carcass of a vehicle that’s been stripped for parts. Fang swerves around the backside of said vehicle, and can now reach the path. Now, I’m not easily spooked by dogs, I went to greece and spent the better part of a week making friends with strays, and training them. I’ve worked with “red level” dogs at the animal shelter without batting an eye. But with a few drinks in me, with my adrenaline already up from the ice crossing, I wasn’t so confident with Fang crossing my path. And, I know that dogs kept chained up get frustrated, and aggressive. But Andrew went first, and Fang just backed out of his way and kept barking, so I went next. When he moved towards me though, I chickened out and bailed off the path towards the hotel. I plunged through a snowbank that came up to my thigh, and the ice crust on the top left me with a bruise just above my knee. Ouch.
 But Fang backed off and we made it to the back door. It was locked. Great. We shimmy past Fang again, go back to the front of the hotel, hop a waist high fence, plunge into another snow drift (this one softer at least) and drudge our way up to the window to knock on it, and alert the tenant that we’d like to be let in. We knock and knock on the window, until I get brave enough to press my face to the crack between the curtains. The lights and tv are on in the room, but nobody’s there. By now we’ve made a significant amount of noise, maybe she’s come out and opened the door. No such luck. So we keep on pounding, knocking, flashing the headlights on our truck, and even honking the horn. We go back around to try the back door again, come back to the front, and still we’re not getting in. Either nobody’s home, they’re ignoring us, or they sleep like the dead. It’s been about 20 minutes now, and we’re making far fetched plans to drive to the ambulance base, pull our cots and pillows out of the back of the truck and crash at Andrew’s work for the night. We’re livid, and tired, and really hoping that they won’t make us pay for a night we can’t even get to our room. In a fit of pure frustration, Andrew goes back to the front door and gives it a big hard yank. It flies open easily. The inner door opens too. Did someone come and unlock it while we were in the back yard? Was it unlocked the whole time and just iced shut? But that wasn’t the plan! You said the back door would be open! Frustrated and exhausted, we went up to bed. 
Sunday, we learned that space had opened up at the hotel where Andrew stayed when he was up here for orientation. For less money per night we would upgrade from a single bedroom and bathroom, to a suite that includes a living room with couches and kitchen that will let us save money and not have to keep eating out, as well as a bedroom and bathroom. Plus, the door to our room is the door to the outside. We can come and go as we like at any hour. By 11 am Sunday, we’d checked out of the Polar Bear Lodge, and into The Regular Stop. No hard feelings, this just makes a lot more sense for us. However, the internet doesn’t seem to be working in our room here. What a trade off. 
Our bedroom at "the regular stop"
The kitchen

Monday we were hoping to drop off all of the stuff from the back of our truck at our new place, and maybe start bringing over some of our totes. I was so excited to see our new home! However, our plans fell through. We couldn’t get the truck started! We should have plugged in the block heater, but it had been ok so far, so we didn’t think about it. We walked over to our new apartment though, to tell the landlord we wouldn’t be moving stuff in, and I got my first glimpse of the place. I think Andrew got the impression that I was disappointed with the place, but I wasn’t. I think it’s got a great layout, and I can’t wait to move in, but it’s no where near that point. There’s sawdust, and plastic and boards and hardwood floor scraps everywhere. The cabinets were all heaped in the kitchen, none of them installed. None of the fixtures have been installed in the bathroom, or even brought into the apartment at all yet. By this point I’m doubting that it’ll be ready by the end of the week, let alone Wednesday when they led us to believe we’d be able to move in. Great. So much for just finishing the finishes. What have they been doing the whole time? So we came back to the hotel and checked on the truck. Still frozen solid. We settled in to an evening of playing rummy and watching tv.
Tuesday morning we checked on the truck again. Still frozen. But we figured out why: the receptacle we’d plugged it into is dead. So we chose a new, live plug. Left it alone for a few hours. Still won’t start. So we start thinking maybe the battery is dead. Andrew calls one of his buddies who comes over and gives us a boost. Still nothing, but while Matt was here with his truck anyways, we used it to bring some of the stuff from our truck and put it in the apartment. At least I know that some of our stuff that we were worried about is warm and safe. But the truck still wouldn’t start. I also started coming down with another cold. What is it with this season, I’ve been getting sick like crazy! But I hadn’t slept very well Sunday or Monday night, and with me that always makes a big difference. At least I rescued our pillows while we were rooting around in the back of our truck and tuesday night, after several more games of rummy, I slept much better.
That brings us to today. So far we’ve determined that the block heater in our truck is fried, and that we’ll have to find a way to get it to the garage to get it replaced. Except that we can’t get it started without having it replaced. Kind of a chicken-or-egg loop we’ve gotten ourselves into, so we thought we’d try something different. We’ve got a space heater running on the ground under the front end of the truck, to see if we can generate enough heat that way to get the bugger to turn over. What a McGuyver job! But hopefully it’ll work. In and amongst that, I’ve knit a pair of fingerless mitts for each of us, using a pattern I made up. I even worked my first ever cables on the back of Andrew’s pair. Nifty huh? Now I’m working on a neck warmer for myself. I’m not quite sure if I’ve made it big enough, but I’ll find out soon. 

So, there have been a few disappointments, but it can only go up from here right? Believe it or not, I’m still happy to be here.  

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Welcome to Moosonee

Yesterday we got off the train around 2:30. We gathered up our stuff, and hiked over to the hotel. It was a bit of a walk, but it wasn't so bad. I could feel that it was windy and cold on my legs and the bit of my face that wasn't covered by my hat or scarf, but my body and feet were toasty warm in my new parka and boots. Next on the list: Snow pants. The train tracks are on the north end of town, and we walked past the hardware store, schools, lcbo, police station, post office, grocery store complex, restaurant and hotels. Our hotel looks out over the moose river, which forms the southern edge of town.  We carried our luggage from the north end of town all the way to the south end. And it took us about 10 minutes. Wow. The town does sprawl a little further east to west, but this place really is a small town.
Once we settled into the Polar Bear Lodge and dropped our stuff off, Andrew went back to the train yard for our truck, and then took me for a tour of our new town, starting with driving past our new home. It looks like the picture Andrew took the last time he was here. It'll be really cool on monday when we get to see the inside of it. Then we drove past everything from the garbage dump and electricity station on the far east end of town, to the airport on the west end. We picked up our keys for our P.O. box and emptied it of it's accumulated junk mail. Then we went to the grocery store to cruise around and get an idea of the prices. Some things are crazy, like a can of ground coffee for 23$, and milk for almost 9$, and frozen pizzas for 13$ each, but other things aren't too bad. Generally the less processed something is, the closer it is to the prices back home, but weight also seems to come into play, such as with the milk and the flour, which is also pricy. Then we went to the Sky Ranch for dinner. It's owned by the same family of newfies who owns the Regular Stop (another hotel in town), and their son, who cooks at the restaurant, also tends bar at the local watering hole.
I've met a few of Andrew's co-workers, and learned that there are girl guides in town. There's a lady spearheading a spark and a brownie unit with a cluster of volunteers, but none of the older branches yet. I'm not looking to take on the responsibility of a new unit right away, but maybe I wouldn't mind helping out, especially once I'm a bit more settled.
I think I'm gonna like it here.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Train Ride

This is a picture of the scenery outside the window of our train. I took it within the first few minutes of the trip, but with a few variations, it was much the same the whole way up.
We checked out of our hotel room by around 8:30 this morning, and by 9 we were settling into our seats and chug-a-lug-ing along, Cochrane fading behind us.
I've always gotten carsick (or bussick, trainsick, or airsick) if I try to read, play a game, draw etc. inside of a moving vehicle. So that means I spend most trips staring out the window, napping or listening to music. I'm ok with this. And in this case, there was lots to see. I noticed that the further north we went, the fewer deciduous trees there were. And even the conifers are different. Unlike the typical, triangular, christmas tree shape we often see down here, these trees are really tall, really skinny, and have little in the way of branches or foliage until you get to the almost comical plume on the top of a skinny neck of trunk. Paired with the olive green colour, it gives the impression of passing through a forest of asparagus. I tried to capture a few of those trees in my sketch book:
 They're really skinny. And rather than snapping and falling over like any decent tree, they seem to... wilt. They simply bend and droop over very much like limp veggies.
Besides the foliage, whenever I'm staring out the window on a long trip I'm always hoping to catch a glimpse of the wildlife. The closest I got this time was a single crow. That's ok though. I still knew the critters were out there. The snow told me their story. I knew who had been by: birds, foxes, coyotes, rabbits, moose and bears. Sometimes I even knew what they'd been up to. Piles of logs along the verge of the forest that were cris-crossed with predator's paw prints were clearly a winter hide out for small furred mammals, and a grocery store for larger ones. And anybody who's ever kept a wood burning fire knows how much mice love wood piles. Snow is a very good story teller, you just have to learn to listen with your eyes.
I was surprised by how inhabited the rail line seemed to be. Not that there were towns or streets of houses, but every so often the trees would open up and there would be a single home, or small cluster of buildings, often with rough painted, plywood walls, and looking in rough repair. The only way into or out of where they live is by the train. And it doesn't stop at each place each time. My guess is the people call ahead if they want to get on the train, and let them know they'd like to stop before they get underway? I can't imagine living with that level of isolation. It must be a lonely existence.
Years ago a fella who lived in one such place at the mile 26 marker passed away. His house caught fire, and he succumbed to the smoke making multiple trips back into the house to bring out litters of puppies from the over 200 stray dogs he was caring for. The Moosonee puppy rescue along with several other rescue groups came in to rescue any of the dogs that they could catch, but several had grown too feral and fearful and darted into the bush and had to be left behind. We saw evidence of that today. Near mile 26 there were the telltale goofy, meandering footprints that only dogs leave behind. Their wild cousins are all about economy of movement, but dogs are like pups gambolling about. It was neat, but also sad, to see that confirmation of something I'd read about. But, Jean Luc died in May of 2010, so if the dogs are still there, they must have found a way to adapt and survive. Kudos to their adaptability.
After about 6 hours the train pulled in to Moosonee, and there the real fun began... But more on that later.  For now, dinner.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Checking in from Cochrane

I'm sitting in our hotel room, and we have wifi here so I thought I'd check in. The drive was long enough to leave my butt numb twice over, but that was to be expected. By driving through the night last night we missed even the fun of getting to look at the beautiful landscape. There were some nice stars out though once the clouds cleared up. We were driving through snowy blowy conditions up to huntsville, but it was pretty clear after that. We pulled into Cochrane at 7 am. Exhausted. Napped until around noon, then dropped off our freight, the rental trailer, and the truck and spent the afternoon watching Gordon Ramsey tear people apart on the tv in our hotel room. We had dinner downstairs, and are now back in our room, checking in with people and updating and charging our devices. Soon we'll go to bed, and first thing in the morning we'll board the train. It's all coming together!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I'm packing my computer up now, not sure if I'll have internet access again for a few days, so don't miss me too hard! Starting to get really excited for the journey we're about to embark on.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


After packing overzealously last week, it was like a mini christmas finding my semi packed camp bag today. Important things like a deck of playing cards, allergy meds, hand cream and a spare belly button ring that I have the good sense to pack for a 2 day weekend, somehow I forgot to leave out for myself for a long car/train trip and up to two weeks without access to our stuff. Funny how I missed all four of those things. Also, the only hat and pair of mitts I haven't packed yet was found in my camp bag. Hallelujah. I guess I've got kit lists to pack for camp, but nobody ever gives you a kit list for life!
Besides, when I started packing I thought we'd be in Moosonee already, and that our stuff would be there too. What better way to call down chaos that to start thinking you've got everything under control. 
Today is our last full day here. Tomorrow we leave for the north.

Sunday, January 13, 2013


Andrew and I are hosting a dinner for the first time as a married couple, and we're not even in our own place yet! His friends from where he used to work are coming over for dinner to wish us well and hang out one last time before we leave. I love entertaining, I love cooking for a group, and I can't wait to get into the big roomy kitchen in our brand new apartment and play hostess with all the nifty new kitchen gadgets I've picked up or we received as wedding gifts. It's gonna be a lot of fun. I can see a euchre night at our house becoming a regular thing.
In the mean time, tonight's meal consists of a roast beef on a bed of kale, covered in montreal steak spice, and surrounded by potatoes, onions mushrooms, more kale and more steak spice. Yum. We also made up a salsa dip with tortilla chips, and a garden salad with mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes and red peppers. One of our guests is gluten intolerant, or "glutarded" as she likes to call it, but that doesn't even phase me any more. I've spent a lot of time cooking for glutards. Dessert is the trickier part, can't have any cakes or pastries, brownies, pie crusts... not without going to the pricy gluten free versions that taste like cardboard anyways, but we'll have cut up fruit with a berry-infused whipped cream based dip, and that'll have to do for tonight. I think it'll go over well.
Now we're in the hurry-up-and-wait phase... We've got all the prep work done, all that's left is to pop the roast in the oven in a few minutes. Our guests aren't expected for at least another hour though. Maybe I'll watch an episode of Dexter in the mean time. It's my latest netflix addiction.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Merry Christmas/Wedding/New Years

Well, I've had a very very busy month. Every time I sat down to type, I got overwhelmed with how much I had to tell, and put it off to a later date, which of course means I only have more to tell! But I've got some time today, so let's see what I can come up with.

Our wedding was beautiful. Magical. It was everything we wanted it to be and more. I felt like a princess, and he looked so handsome.... I know he hates the whole idea of a suit, but damn does he ever look good in one! We had our small ceremony at my parents house, and then all our friends and more distant relations dropped by in the afternoon to wish us well, and shower us very generously with gifts. We knew it would be a last minute kind of thing, and we figured people might not be able to get or afford a gift for us with it being christmas time, and we were ok with that. It was getting to see and celebrate with the people we loved that mattered most to us. We were blown away by the showering of gifts we received, it was more than we dared to expect, and if you're reading this, any of my darling friends, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
We danced to a song we love, held our parents while they wept, drank champagne and fed each other slivers of cake without mashing them into each others faces (this took restraint, believe me). When the halls were emptied out we got a lift to a local hotel where my parents had booked us a king suite for the night. We soaked together in a giant jaccuzzi tub with more champagne while we talked about our future, and basked in the glowing feeling of love we have for one another. Punctuated by moments of pure "wow..." as the reality of what we'd just done, what we'd just become slowly sank in. It'll still take a while. And longer still for me to get used to my new last name. I am now Sam Sheehan. Bye bye, Murray.

New years eve we spent with friends of mine down in scarborough, eating good food and ultimately doing a massage exchange as we watched the last sands of 2012 run out of the hour glass. It was a good time.

We've been shopping, and making use of our wedding gifts. We've ordered furniture and appliances for our new place, being delivered through the brick outlet in Moosonee (who knew?), and purchased warm stuff for the cold weather. New down filled MEC brand parkas should keep us both warm and snug, and we both got new winter boots too.

Besides that, it's all been a flurry of packing, getting in last minute visits with people, figuring out the logistics of moving a household to what might as well be the middle of nowhere, and dealing with setbacks with as much grace as we can muster. Our apartment won't be ready for another week (the trade off that comes with being the first tenants in a new build, you have to rely on the contractors), our truck might not have space to follow us on the train until the 23rd, misinformed shipping quotes from fedex... little things like that... but it couldn't ALL go perfectly, right?

Currently, the plan is leaving here on Wednesday, spending two nights in Cochrane, and getting to Moosonee on the Friday. Plans however, remain flexible.