Ptarmis, Sleds & Magic

After 10 months of living in the north, I finally saw my first ptarmigans.


Ptarmigans (silent P) are snowy white in the winter and brownish in the summer, with feathers extending down over their feet which makes them look fuzzy and adorable. They’re like little chickens (or big pigeons) and about as smart as rocks. Janet Pacey, a local artist, used ptarmigans as her muse for Ptarmi the Ptarmigan, a stuffed toy wearing a scarf, who also happens to grace our Christmas tree:

Ptarmi Ptree! (See what I did there?)

Speaking of Christmas, our shopping was all done, presents were wrapped, and parcels shipped home, all by December 5. The north is notorious for its slow mail service, so you really have to be on the ball and send things early. I don’t have Chris’s present yet, but amazingly, he has mine already wrapped and under the tree. Talk about suspense!! I’ve held it and shaken it and it sits there taunting me. 13 days until I can open it! Plus, I got my stocking from my secret Santa (my sister Andrea), as well as a Christmas package from my Mom. The tree is full of presents, 99% of them for me! I’m 25 but I still get ridiculously giddy when there are gifts around, whether I’m giving or receiving. I can’t wait!

If I could, I’d get Chris a new snowmobile since he’s had to do way more than his share of sled maintenance this year. My Bravo is great when it’s running, but it seems to have frequent little problems that drive Chris crazy. In fact he’s outside right now in blowing snow adjusting the steering on the Bravo, which means taking the engine out (which means I have to help, grooaann). Even worse, he crashed his Arctic Cat into a rock a few weeks ago. He and his work crew all sled to work together, so I met them one night to join the ride home. It was really windy all day, and when Chris went off the path into some fresh snow – as we all do, all the time – he drove straight into a snow-covered rock and went flying over the windshield of the sled. He was fine, but the sled requires some major repairs. (the left A-arm suspension got smashed up, if anyone cares for that much detail.) He’s ordered parts which should arrive this week or next, so in the meantime, it’s sitting in the parking lot propped up waiting to be fixed. Erick said it well: “Poor one-legged cat.”

Chris does have a lot of spare parts for our sleds. He’s found a lot at the dump, some of which he brings home, cleans up, and puts on eBay if we don’t need them. He’s sold several parts this way and it’s a great way to make money from what someone else considered garbage. The other day a guy from Montreal bought a Bravo exhaust, which is big and awkward. We got it all bubble wrapped for shipping, then decided to wrap it in Christmas paper as a surprise for him when he opens it. Hopefully he has our sense of humour…

All the way from the north pole! Well, close enough.

Saturday was Chris’s company Christmas party, which was pretty amazing. It was at the Explorer hotel, which means it’s my one time a year to get dressed up. We got appetizers, dinner and desert, and there was a magician there that they brought up from Calgary who was amazing. He did mind reading too, and even levitated a table, which I helped with! You can see the video on our YouTube channel, as well as the video of the ptarmigans, here!

Us! Lookin' fancy.

The end.

P.S. Please comment! I love hearing from you guys. I get more messages from strangers asking about life in the north than I ever thought I would! :)