Category Archives: Random, Rants & Reflections


Spring has sprung!  The weather has been gorgeous here in Pang…the sun has been shinning and the temps between -15C  (-20C with windchill).  The days are getting longer too… the sun is rising around 5:45am these days and setting at 7:10pm!

This is a post that has many random thoughts from my head…from this past week. Right now I have another 6 blog posts in draft format in my blog dashboard.  I need to finish them…and hopefully will soon. But for tonight here’s my random thoughts!

Seal Skin Mittens 2 1

This has been on my mind all week a report was released and shares what all of us living in the north know, but many southerns in Canada don’t. Like: “76 per cent of Inuit preschoolers skip meals, while 60 per cent have gone a day without eating.” and “The report says the average cost of groceries for a family of four in Nunavut is $19,760 per year while almost half of Inuit adults earn less than $20,000 annually.” Here’s a link to another article about the issue.  It’s a complex situation with no real clear-cut answers. All the “southern” food has to be flown in, or brought up in the summer on big barges…that makes the food prices extremely high!  This weekend I bought a bag of 8 oranges for $15.95.  I’m not sure what the answer should be…but something needs to change.


The other thing that was happening this week in Nunavut was “#sealfies”…now what is a “sealfie” you might ask? Well it all started with Ellen’s selfie from the Oscars that broke twitter, you see Samsung donated $1 for every retweet which was about 3million dollars to charties of Ellen’s choice.  One was a children’s hospital and the other was the American Human Society which has been very vocal about stopping the commercial seal hunt in Canada. (which normally refers to the commercial hunt not the traditional Inuit hunt)  Fellow Nunavut Bloggers over at Finding True North had a fabulous explanation about it on her blog… so go CHECK it OUT!


“@ellenshow my #sealfie not only a beautiful piece of art, but functional 4 Arctic Life. Eat. Wear, Hunt Seal”

Killaq Enuaraq-Strauss from Iqaluit had this brilliant response to Ellen. 

This week I joined a sewing group.  The Inuktitut Teacher at the high school about 2months ago opened up her classroom for a sewing group on Monday & Wednesday evenings and Saturday afternoons.  She’s donated her time to help others on projects. This Wednesday I went with my friend…and started cutting the pieces for my seal skin mittens and started sewing.  Then on Saturday afternoon I went back and got more direction about how to do the next step of ‘gathering’ for the sewing.  When I’m done I’ll post more photos and story of the progress…but for now here’s a quick shot of me cutting out the seal skin pieces.

Seal Skin Mittens 4

Photo credit: Cassandra Yantha

Seal Skin Mittens 2 4

I’ve also been working on my quilt top…finally joined the 4 blocks to make strips. Then today spent the time cutting and sewing together the rest of the ‘sashing’ strips I needed to join the sets of 4 blocks together.  Still have heaps of work to do…but it’s coming closer together to a nice quilting sandwich for lots of hand-quilting to begin.

Seal Skin Mittens 2 3

…so that’s what’s been happening in the last week in Pangnirtung.

Five Years- Time to Look Back!

Five years is such a long time…yet five years goes by in a flash!   It was five years ago I left from Toronto on one of my biggest adventures and headed north.  I had packed up my apartment putting most of it in storage…packed up some things to ship north and off to Pangnirtung I went.  It was for a 10month contract.  I was so excited…looking back I really didn’t know much about living in the Arctic.  I wasn’t a big ‘researcher’…I applied for a job, got an interview then accepted the position and flew north.  One of my good friends Emily was teaching that year in Qikiqtarjuaq…so at least I knew a tiny bit about what I had gotten myself into! Now 5 years later it’s easy for me to say that Nunavut has become my home.  I love the work that I do, and the community that I live in…don’t get me wrong, I miss being close to family but I do love my home I have made in Pang.

Iqaluit Airport from March 16, 2009...

Iqaluit Airport from March 16, 2009- My first time in Iqaluit, Nunavut!

Now I haven’t lived in Nunavut for 5 years straight…(I had an eighteen month stint in Winnipeg, Manitoba from January 2010 to July 2011).  But I can say that I haven’t lived in the same province as my family for 5 years.

I use to think I had a plan for everything in life…but lately I’ve realized that maybe the best things I’ve done or accomplished came out of little to no planning.  Often they just happened because I was in the right place at the right time and open to a new adventure.  I keep wondering should I make another 5 year plan? or just carry on like I’ve been doing? As I sit here in Iqaluit my brain starts to think….lots of questions and wonderings about what the next 5 years will bring…what adventures? what excitement? what joy? what challenges? what hardships? hmmmm looks like I might have some thinking to do in the next few weeks!

What about you…are you a goal setter? Do you make a life plan and follow it through? What’s your style?

Mystery Mittens

Today when I went to the post office I had a surprise a notice for a parcel waiting for me in my post office box.  As I stood in line waiting to collect it I thought about what it could be…. I haven’t done any online shopping, no one I knew was sending me a package so I was pretty excited with anticipation about what it could be. (Mail is a HUGE thing when you live in the Arctic… surprises–even LETTERS totally make a day so much brighter!)

The package was handed to me and had a sticker on it because it was “opened” but we both looked at it and decided it was probably because the envelop wasn’t quite closed.  Want to know what it was?

Mystery Mittens

It was a fantastic surprise… a nice pair of blue mittens from Canadian North.  I dont’ know why I got them…there was no note, or explanation in the envelop… just a pile of stamps and a Canadian North return address label! I was puzzled…

I ended up making a call to the 1-800 number for booking flights…to inquire why I was mailed a pair of mittens.  They put me on hold while they talked with their supervisor…seems that last fall there was a special promotion if you flew a return flight with Canadian North. My prize was a pair of mittens, no tv or free flight for me…just a wonderfully warm pair of mittens!  Thanks Canadian North…in the future a note about explaining why you were sending a random pair of mittens in the mail that would have been helpful!

Merry Christmas

Here is a few of photos from 2013 and my travels around Canada!  I was lucky to start off the year with a trip to New Brunswick, then in the summer travelled to the Yukon and Alaska!  Of course I was able to do quite a few trips around Pangnirtung exploring the beauty of my home.     Christmas card 2013This is one of my favourite Christmas Carols…and I LOVE how it is performed!  Take a look at this very cool rendition of ‘Angels We Have Heard on High”…

Sending you heaps of Holiday Cheer from Pang…. love, Sarah

Happy Birthday Kat!


HaPpY BiRtHdAy to YOU…

Happy Birthday dear KAT..

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday Kat

Hope you have a fabulous day.  So glad we got to go out for an ‘early’ sushi birthday dinner when I was in Toronto last month!

Sarah and Kat

Thanks for being such an awesome friend and sister.  Even if you have to put up with my annoying questions…and ramblings from way up north!  I’m so thankful you are part of my life.  Kat and I

May all your dreams to come true today when you blow out your candles…today and always!

luv ya, Sarah

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