Monday, 22 December 2008

Weekly recap

These are the mukluks I got for Christmas from D. So beautiful...but...

This is what ice fog does to the trees.

This is ice fog. We had over a week of it last January. It was -44C the day I took this picture. This is 2nd Ave in Whitehorse. The library is out of the photo on the left, at the streetlights. I was outside for literally 5 minutes.

I had a pretty good "no spend" week, considering it's so close to Christmas. It helped that I made food that lasted for dinners & lunches. That saved me a lot.

Having said that, however, I have bought two lunches this week. I worked at the liquor store yesterday for some overtime and have two more shifts. It wasn't quite what I was expecting, mostly a lot of walking around and making sure everything looked nice and full, stocking shelves and tidying. But it should net me about $500 after taxes for 3 days work, and that will pay off my Visa and I'll have a little extra to put on my LOC & student loan. It's pretty exhausting, as I don't get much time off over the holidays, but like Gail says - do what you need to do to get out of debt. I don't have much, but it's still hanging over my head and I want to get rid of it next year.

I had an excellent day on Friday because I got my exam results back. I was aiming for a Level 4 essay (demonstrates adequate competency) and ended up with a Level 5 (demonstrates fluent competency)! I am really excited, particularly as I was concerned because I left an hour early! I was relieved, to say the least. This means I should be able to register for the English class that I want in January, but will have to talk to the college to confirm.

My lunch yesterday cost me $17.20 (incl. $2 tip). One of the women I supervise was also working at the liquor store and we went for lunch together. It was really good - the only Vietnamese restaurant in town.

My other spend on lunch was today and was almost the same price! I paid $17.64 for an excellent hamburger and fries. Three of us went for lunch as we don't open until 1pm on Sundays over Christmas. It was a nice suggestion to go and spend some time together. I hadn't tried the restaurant we went to, but I will definitely be going back. It was really good. Probably one of the best hamburgers I've ever had. I don't eat a lot of hamburgers, but I always try them when I go out to a restaurant.

I also spent $50 on a gift certificate for my friend's daughter. I'm spending Christmas Eve with them, so wanted to give the kids something. I need to buy a gift certificate for her oldest son and a little something for my friend and I'm DONE! I'm looking forward to dinner with them. Cats and dogs and'll be fun!

And my present from D...I'm thrilled with the boots, I really am. They're beautiful. It's just that I've always been really anti-fur (it's an truly awful way for an animal to die), so I'm having a really hard time with this. D has a trap-line. He hunts. He's First Nation. This is part of his heritage. It doesn't make him stop and think and wonder and shudder. City Girl here, on the other hand, has never understood the need for the use of fur. Has, until this point, found it quite repellent. But I didn't live in the North. I never experienced below -20 before, or windchills, or ice fog, or days of extreme cold out hunting on the land.

So I'm having a very difficult time reconciling my hypocrisy in accepting this gift. And I feel so ungrateful and unappreciative of the work and the thought that went into these beautiful boots. They are hand made and hand beaded. They are beautiful and they are WARM. They fit like a glove. And I think I need to wear them and love them because they came from someone I care about...right?


Arual said...

Those boots are beautiful. I love them. Was the animal hunted just to make the boots or was there other needs as well? I think if the meat is eaten then it's a shame to waste the hide.

BnJJ said...

What kind of fur is it?

I am anti fur, no doubt about that and I don't really like the idea of hunting but I see a really big differece in hunting an animal (though I believe trapping to be one of the most inhumane ways to do it) for its meat and then using its hide for additional purposes than killing a mountain lion for example simply to hang it on your wall for show. Hunting for those up north is not simply for sport and I'm guessing that the animal whose hide when into your boots was eaten and in that scenario I don't have as much trouble with it. Now if he were to have given you a pair of boots lined with mink or fox or something that wasn't eaten, I'd have a vastly different opinion.

I've lived in northern Alberta and have survived -35 winters every year without ever having to resort to wearing fur so it is not like it is a necessity.

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-the boots are a wonderful gift, do please wear them!! Excellent news on the exam results, very well done indeed!

Northern Living Allowance said...

@ Arual & BnJJ: I think the fur is lynx or coyote. This is part of my agony about accepting them - not sure if those animals are really edible...It's so, so beautiful and soft and warm. And BnJJ, I too am against trophy hunting. It's repellent, but I have no problem with sustenance hunting and what comes from a 1-tonne moose.

I am going to wear the boots and I am going to love them. I am taking them into town today to find out what I can get to protect them (as much as I can) against the salt, sand, dirt...

@SharonRose - thank you! You always say the nicest things :)

Arual said...

All meat is edible. I learned that from the outdoor adventure guy on discovery. And all meat tastes like Chicken apparently. :)
Take good care of those lovely boots. They are nicer than mine and I am jealous.

Northern Living Allowance said...

I have found out that the fur on my boots is (most likely) rabbit. While I do love the bunnies, I am relieved to know that most likely there was rabbit stew had and not just hide!

I just bought some stuff that will keep my lovely boots in tip top shape through the winter.

Although, all meat? Chicken? Hmmm...Ha ha! Thanks, Arual! :)

BnJJ said...

Glad you were able to come to terms with how you were feeling. Wear them in good health.

I thought they might be rabbit and I am sure the rabbit was eaten as well. I just hate to think that the poor little thing was trapped.

Had they been lynx or coyote there would be no way I, personally, would have been able to wear them.

Sure, all meat is edible. In theory.

Anonymous said...

i too am opposed to fur (in the same way i oppose eating meat), which isn't to say that all fur and meat is bad. my opposition comes from the industrial practice of it, in which we treat animals like commodities instead of like living creatures. from what i understand, the boots came from someone who would respect and honor the animal that was killed. if that is the case, i would have no problems with the boots, particularly as they are useful.

there is a lot more that ties in here. you can do without fur in the bitter cold, but that is what we have adapted to. synthetics are an option, but i find them just as distasteful, from an environmental perspective.

you said the fur is from rabbit, which is easier to swallow than if it came from a big predator. i wonder if it would be inappropriate for you to mention that you appreciate that they are rabbit fur? i'm not sure of the status of your relationship, but my friends know me for the blunt opinionated person that i am. :)

this post struck a cord with me as i will be wrestling with a similar issue this time next year. the place i am moving to is bitterly cold, and fur is traditional.

Canadian Saver said...

Congratulations on your test score!

And I think the boots are very beautiful! They must be very warm too... good idea to get some special stuff on them to protect against salt/snow.