My life is very polarizing, as I live two very different lives depending on my work. I can be at home with my man, Ryan, every day or I can be 500 kilometres away, getting to talk to him a few times a week on the phone. I can be gone for weeks to months at a time and it can be very trying. That all being said, I enjoy both parts of my life for different reasons. My life at home is comfortable and I get to be with my friends and family, but my work life keeps me fit and funds my life at home.
A Day in the Life of an Ironworker:
Assuming I am working day shift, I wake up at 4:15 am and head to the washroom which I share with one neighbour or the entire floor of rooms depending on the camp (that’s up to 56 people who use the same communal bathrooms). Do my morning routine, like brush my teeth and wash my face then go back and get dressed in my work wear. This consists of black Carhartt pants and a few layers of shirts and hoodies.
I head to the kitchens, which can be anywhere from a hundred meters away to nearly a kilometre. I don’t eat breakfast in the kitchens, so I just pack my lunch, grab a coffee and brass out of camp. Depending on the job I either get into a company truck or onto a site school bus and head to my lunchroom.
Once in the lunchroom I have my peanut butter and jelly sandwich and hang out with the crew. Once shift starts our supervision comes in for our daily safety meeting and to give us our jobs for the day. At this time we get our gas monitors (H2S is the biggest issue) and if required we put locks onto various boxes to stop the equipment from being energized while we are working on it. I usually work as a rigger, so my partner and I head over to the crane and sign on all the crane paperwork as well as write out our safety paperwork for the day. At this point we distribute radios and establish our lift plans with the whole crew and operator.
Once all the discussion is over and the connectors are on their way to their work area, we start inspecting the rigging and set up for our first couple lifts. Once everyone is ready, we start sending what ever material or steel needed. Often throughout the day we will do lifts for other trades and companies to get their material to elevation as well.
We also organize the rigging, set up materials with zoom-booms, and prepare materials before they get sent up. Often on maintenance jobs we go a lot of grinding to prep pieces for welders who have to weld on pieces while they are still hooked up to the crane.
Often times we won’t need the crane all day so we’ll wind up doing a variety of other things, like breaking bolts, installing new bolts, torquing, getting materials and fabricating pieces. Often we also jump crane to crane or have to break down and set up cranes in different locations during the day.
When the day is over we head to the lunchrooms, give back our gas monitors and locks as well as signing our end of day paperwork. We then jump into the truck/bus and head back to camp. I eat my dinner in the kitchen, take a shower and try to sleep because 4:15 comes very quickly when working 12 hour shifts.
A Day in the Life of Me at Home:
I wake up at an undefined time and check the job tape to see if there is a job I can go on. If there is a job available I call in and by noon I know if I’ve gotten the job or not. I often do my make up videos early in the morning so that I get to enjoy my art of the day longer. At that point I start editing my video and once a week during this time I am uploading the podcast that my man and his friend do because while I’m editing I don’t need Internet connection and uploading a whole podcast to Youtube takes a while.
Generally once I’m done editing I go make my lunch, which is almost always chicken and rice soup with 12 soda crackers with crushed red pepper and dill weed added. I eat it right out of the pot while I read and if a book has really caught me, I won’t leave the table until my back hurts too much to keep reading there.
Once I have cleaned my pot and spoon I check for jobs I could do in other industries away from construction (I would really like to work in my home city, because I really miss my family and my man when I’m out of town for weeks or months at a time). Once I am completely out of hope because it seems all jobs require degrees and diplomas that I don’t have. Apparently a college diploma in graphic design and photography and a journeyman ticket does not make me “hireable”. That doesn’t stop me from trying again and again. I believe that one day I will be able to have dinner with my partner every night, it’s just not what I get right now.
Once Ryan’s home we start on dinner, which these days is often Korean spicy pork or chicken noodles because they are delicious and you can make them in less than twenty minutes. The ingredients are very simple and it allows you to not use any MSG products and still get to enjoy delicious ramen noodles. I know not everyone reacts badly to MSG but I do, so I avoid it as well as I can.
In the summer, after dinner we would often go for a walk or play football, but since it’s winter, going for a walk is cold and football would be in a foot of snow.
We often watch Netflix or Disney plus shows that he is going to talk about in the weekly podcast or anime that we just want to enjoy together. After the show I generally move back into the office and start writing for this blog. Eventually Ryan collects me when he’s done reading for the evening, as we snuggle up until he falls asleep. At which point I sneak back to the office to keep researching and writing.
During my research time I often wind up putting a lot of time into researching things I don’t use for the blog, but I do enjoy learning for the sake of simply expanding my knowledge. I would really recommend throwing on SciShow while doing things around the house because you get to learn interesting things while being productive.
Once my lids grow too heavy to keep going I head to bed, and I am blessed to be able to fall asleep beside the man I love.
I love hearing from you guys so please let me know your favourite part of your day in the comments! An email address is not required to comment, please just share your thoughts!
This blog has been up and running for just over a year and I feel like it’s time to get deeper. I think it’s interesting to do this kind of thing and read it years later to see how things have changed.
Are you a morning or night person? As I am a shift worker, I am what ever I need to be at the time! While working away from home, I am the definition of a morning person, because waking up early means not having to interact with other people before work. At home I am a night owl, in fact I have to stay committed to my bed time to make sure I don’t put myself in a “night shift” sleep schedule, as it’s what I naturally shift too.
Are you afraid of the dark? I wouldn’t say I am afraid of the dark at all. I see pretty well in low light and dark areas. (I have light sensitive eyes, so darkness is more comfortable.)
Are you an extrovert or introvert? If you were to ask this to my man, he would tell you that I am very extroverted, as I enjoy interacting with strangers, but in my own mind I would put myself more as an introvert, simply because human interactions physically exhaust me and it takes a lot of inner strength to go out into the world.
Are you double jointed? Oddly enough, most of my toes are double jointed. It creeps people out as it isn’t a commonly seen thing, so I try to avoid showing people unless they specifically ask about being double jointed.
Are you left or right handed? I am right handed. In my family it seems to be a toss up on which hand will be dominant as we have a pretty even mix, and even some ambidextrous relatives as well!
Are you more of a tidy person or a messy one? I am a tidy person, but when stress gets high I can fall into a “dirty nest” mode. If I am stressed and spending most of my time at my desk, my desk is bound to have old coffee cups and pens everywhere. My nests don’t last long, as I get annoyed with myself for leaving a mess. But you would be hard pressed to find a dish in my sink for more than an hour.
Are you on time or always late? Neither. I tend to be a half hour early to everything, which generally works out well for me, as I often get in and out of appointments before my actual appointment time hits. I would recommend always arriving a little early, as often other people cancel or are late and you get in early.
Are you ticklish? Unfortunately yes. It has been my downfall any times.
Can you curl your tongue? Yes I can.
Can you ice skate? I am Canadian, I’m pretty sure I was born with skates on. I don’t play hockey, instead my mother (a once very proficient figure skater) taught me to skate on figure skates and I never made the switch over to casual or hockey skates, even though I’ve been told a million times that they are more comfortable.
Can you wiggle your ears? Yes, something I didn’t realize some people couldn’t do until I reached adulthood.
Coffee or tea? Both, why would I chose between two vastly different but equally lovely beverages?
Cookies, cake or donuts? Always cookies. Donuts are great and all, but they get your fingers dirty, and cake cannot be eaten while walking down the hallway without a plate.
Did you ever participate in a talent show? Yes, the true talent show did not go well for me. Granted, if my friend and I had actually practiced it might have gone better for us.
Did you go to prom? In Canada we don’t do the “proms” but we do a high school graduation ceremony and dance, and that I did attend. It was the day after my 18th birthday (the legal drinking age in my province) so a lot of people bought me “my first legal drink” even though I kept telling them I was holding a drink. Safe to say my mother drove home a drunk daughter who giggled the whole way.
Did you like school? I enjoyed some parts of school, mainly the education portion. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the drama and angst parts, which might be why I enjoyed post secondary more than high school.
Do you believe in ghosts? It’s hard to say if I believe in them. As a child I had interactions with ghosts, but as an adult I haven’t been in those situations again, so it could have been an active imagination, or maybe I blatantly ignore them now? In summary, I’m not sure.
Do you bite your nails? Yes, but only when they break, because I don’t have the ability to wait till I get home to file a broken nail and the feeling kills me inside.
Do you consider yourself a good cook? I think I’m a better cook today than I was a few years ago, and I certainly take more time to prepare my foods than I used to. I think I’m a good home cook, but I don’t think I could rival any individual who has worked in a commercial kitchen.
Do you enjoy dancing? I love dancing, even though I’ve gotten hurt countless times due to dance mishaps. To this day I throw in my headphones and dance in the hallways of my home when no one is home.
Do you enjoy DIY or crafts? I love DIY and crafts. I got into making my own soap that better suits my angry skin years ago, and if you were to walk through my house you would find a lot of re-used objects and “art” pieces made of what ever I had available at the time.
Do you forgive easily? It’s something I need to work on. I forgive small things quickly, but it can take a year or so to heal a hard burn.
Do you have a nickname? I have had many nicknames over the years, mostly in construction. My favourite was “Deevs” which was given to me by a man I worked with for the better part of last year. In general, people just call me Eva, as it is the shortened version of my first name that I introduce myself by.
Do you have any allergies? I have a fish allergy, which may be why I enjoy the concept of sushi so much. You could say it’s my food fantasy.
Do you have any phobias? I don’t believe I have any phobias, unless there is a phobia for absolute silence, which now that I think about it, there probably is. If you know what it’s called, let me know.
Do you have any piercings or tattoos? I have a double pierced ear, a single pierced ear and six tattoos.
Do you have children? I do not.
Do you have pets? No, unfortunately my partner is allergic to most pets, and I work out of town a lot, so it just isn’t a good fit for us.
Do you have siblings? I have two brothers. They are tall, and I look like a dwarf beside them.
Do you prefer dogs or cats? As a pet for myself, I prefer a cat, but I love all pets.
Do you prefer Mac or PC? I have been a Mac user for well over a decade and I can’t imagine switching back. The only thing I miss is the gaming capability of my old PC.
Do you prefer the beach or the mountains? I love the combination of the two. At the bottom of most mountains there are lakes or rivers which is the best to dive into after sweating your way up and down a mountain.
Do you prefer to a have bath or shower? Well that depends on if I need to wash my hair, which is miles easier to do in the shower, but it lacks the long term relaxation of reading a book in the tub.
Do you sing in the shower? Only if it’s a duet. It’s much more fun to sing with my partner, as neither of us can carry a tune well.
Do you smoke? I quit smoking last year, but I do still vape. No more coughing every morning and no more stressfully lighting a cigarette while driving.
Do you speak any different languages? I speak English and French, though I have been trying to work on my Italian, with little success.
Do you still have your wisdom teeth? I have two left.
Do you still watch cartoons? Does anime count as a cartoon? Kidding. Yes I still watch the occasional cartoon.
Do you/have you played any sports? I played volleyball for years, tennis through high school, and I did try to play soccer, but didn’t actually every try out for the team. I did dance for most of my life, even though it kept causing many injuries for me.
Does your name have a special meaning? My name caries family ties, but it does mean “First Light”. I always thought there was an eerie beauty to that.
Have you ever been hospitalized? Not in the long term, but I have had my share of sitting in emergency rooms.
Have you ever been on a diet? I don’t know if I would say I’ve gone on diets. I just try to live by the 90%. 90% of what I eat should be healthy and I try to keep my portions fairly small to avoid over eating.
Have you ever been to a concert? Many concerts. Not many big names, as concert tickets are expensive. I always loved seeing the Arrogant Worms, a comedy band.
Have you ever gone camping? Yes! My family has been camping at the same spot for over 65 years, and it’s a trip I have always loved. Aside from that, my father and I used to search for new camping spots every summer and we’d go on adventures together, hiking through the hoodoos, playing in the lakes and going to every mini golf course we came across.
Have you ever met any celebrities? I met a local celebrity Josh Clausen many times over my life. Actually when I was a teenager I ran into him while I was trying to pay for parking downtown but didn’t have any change, so I went to find somewhere to make change and I came back to a note from him, wishing me a good night with a gift card and my parking paid. Super nice guy.
Have you ever skipped class? Many many times. It never came back to bite me and my grades were high so it didn’t seem to have mattered.
Have you ever won something? I have won a lot of hats and mugs and hoodies from companies and my union over the years.
Have you had braces? No, I was lucky to be born with straight teeth. I did want them in grade school because everyone else seemed to have them. When I transferred schools in grade 5, everyone asked if I had just gotten my braces off because my teeth are incredibly straight on their own on the top.
How are you feeling right now? Bloated and crampy. I think I’m dehydrated but my water bottle is in the other room and I don’t have the motivation to go get it right now.
How tall are you? I am 5’7″. I call it the perfect height because I can wear ridiculously tall shoes without being taller than my partner but I am not so short naturally that I can’t reach my shelves.
If money were no object what would you get for your next birthday? A house… I would want a house.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? I would love to live in British Columbia, but I since I haven’t visited a lot of the world, I think I would have to do a lot more traveling before answering this question.
Were you ever a scout or a brownie? No I was never part of these organizations.
What city were you born in? Edmonton. A city I moved back to when I became an adult and have lived in for the majority of the last five years.
What did you last eat? A kinder chocolate because Ryan had it unshelled for me and I couldn’t say no.
What did you want to be when you were younger? I wanted to be a graphic designer. In fact I wanted it so much that I went to college for it, and then realized how badly paid designers are and got a trade ticket instead.
What do you do on a typical Friday night? About once a month we host a party, where we game and catch up, but on the Fridays when we don’t host, we generally binge watch some anime and play Pokemon.
What is one food you refuse to eat? I refuse to eat mushrooms. I may one day try them if I am starving to death, but likely not short of that.
What is one item on your bucket list? Attending a Broadway show. Wicked is coming to town this year .. but tickets are around 300.00$ for mediocre seats, so I think this goal will be achieved somewhere further down the line.
What is one item you can’t live without? My phone. How else would I call in for jobs and find information I don’t already have?
What is your shoe size? I wear a ladies 9 or a mens 6 1/2 D. The funny thing is that I hadn’t bought a pair in shoes in so long that when the lady at the store asked my size in womens I couldn’t remember, but since I buy new work boots fairly regularly I could remember my mens size. I also found out that day that all unisex shoes from Doc Martens are in mens sizing.
What movie have you watched repeatedly? As a kid I watched The Lion King 2 about a hundred times. My friend and I also watched House Bunny every day for about half a year for some unknown reason.
What phone do you have (Apple or Android)? Apple! All my tech is Apple and has been for about a decade. This causes conflict with my Android loving partner, but when ever we are working on his podcast, thumbnails, graphic design or audio editing we do it on my Mac, so I feel like this house will eventually transform into a 100% Apple house.
What should you be doing right now? Sleeping. But I am a night owl, and when my man is sleeping I get a lot more done, so it works pretty well.
What’s one goal you would like to accomplish this year? I would like to read 20 new books this year. I am notoriously bad for re-reading the same ten books for years at a time without picking up a new story. To me a well known tale is the literature equivalent of comfort food. I did read one new book so far and I ordered the rest of the series off of a thrift book site (thank goodness those exist) so I am on a good start.
What’s one of your pet peeves? Trash sitting on surfaces. I really can’t handle garbage of recyclables sitting around. I have garbage cans in every room of my house for this very reason, as there is no excuse not to throw out trash when you barely have to move to do it.
What’s the last song you’ve listened to? I’m Not Alright by Loud Luxury. It has this wonderfully cheery sound for such a sad song.
What’s the most expensive item of clothing that you own? I don’t own a lot of higher end clothing. My graduation dress was under 200.00$ and I think that’s the most expensive clothing I have. Shoes on the other hand, I have some beautiful Jeffrey Campbells and Steve Maddens that reach as high as 400.00$ a pair. I don’t feel so bad buying more expensive shoes as they last decades if they see the cobbler every once and a while.
What’s the thing you can’t leave the house without? My keys! How else would I lock my door? I’m kidding. I can’t leave the house without my phone, vape and wallet.
What’s your best physical feature? I would call it a two way tie between my eyes and my nose. I have blue eyes and a rounded, up turned nose and I think both are aesthetically pleasing.
What’s your Chinese sign? I believe I am the Rat. The most wholesome and admirable sign… It really doesn’t feel like a compliment.
What’s your current obsession? Playing the 3DS Pokemon games. At the moment I’m halfway through Alpha Sapphire. Have to say, I was grinding too much early in the game and gyms are one hit fights.
What’s your dream car? A fully refurbished 67 firebird. I would like it to be bright cherry red (yes I know it isn’t one of the original colour options for the car) with the original black leather seats and no alteration to the radio area. I would like to run all extra wiring for phone interfacing to the glove box, and I would hide Bose speakers to augment the audio as the car runs too loudly for the original speakers to really come through over the sound of the engine. I would make some alterations to the rear suspension and replace the drum breaks with disks. The only problem is that I live in Canada, where that car can only be enjoyed in the short summer months.
What’s your favourite book? I absolutely love the Eragon series (The Inheritance Cycle). I have re-read the books so many times that the binding and glue is giving away.
What’s your favourite animal? The snow leopard. I have always found them to be an elegant and beauty creature, which I recently found out share a flexible hyoid with other large cats, but unlike other large cats, it cannot roar, but can purr.
What’s your favourite colour? I do love to wear black, but aquamarine blue is my favourite colour to observe.
What’s your favourite dessert? Cheesecake! Years ago we created our own cheesecake recipe that makes it a lot lighter by replacing half the cream cheese with yogurt and it feels like a breakfast cheesecake. It’s so light and fruity that it’s almost impossible to stop yourself from gulping it down.
What’s your favourite drink? Cosmopolitan. For many years I was a rum and coke kind of person, but lately I’ve been loving having a cosmo. Heavy on the cranberry.
What’s your favourite food? Anything with horseradish. Don’t ask me why but this condiment is my favourite food. A common snack I throw together is babybell cheese and horseradish on a stonewheat cracker. It’s the yummiest little flavour sandwich.
What’s your favourite foreign food? Gyozas. We often have fried gyozas at home, but anytime we eat out I search the menu for those delicious dumplings.
What’s your favourite gadget? Probably my Fitbit as it tells me how lazy I am at home and how ridiculously active I am at work. I remember checking it halfway through my day to see I’d already walked 28,000 steps and 104 flights of stairs.
What’s your favourite hobby? Writing or journalling. Both bring me peace and make my anxiety calm down. I’ve loved writing since I was a kid, back when I wrote cryptic poetry that upon review should be burned. I have attempted to write multiple novels but all have been left as unfinished projects. Trying to write a book has given me a great respect for authors, because it’s not nearly as easy as it would seem.
What’s your favourite movie? The Kings Speech. I found it to be such a beautiful story, and the relationships seemed very genuine. I realize it isn’t considered an “exciting” film, but the physical acting and dialogue keeps you so invested in the characters and their development that when the credits show, you are disappointed there wasn’t more film to enjoy.
What’s your favourite restaurant? A restaurant in Edmonton, AB called &27. They have a lovely ambiance and will let you order a ridiculous anti pasta plate. We chose the meats we wanted and they paired the most lovely cheeses, jellies and mustards. A little pricier than your burger joint, but worth it.
What’s your favourite sandwich? An Italian sub. Mortadella, rosemary ham, marinated artichokes, red pepper dip and provolone cheese on a crunchy baguette.
What’s your favourite season? Fall. No sunburns, no sweating, no soggy ground conditions, but lovely working weather.
What’s your favourite series? I do love Avatar the Last Airbender, but I also deeply enjoy The Good Place. So I will call it a tie.
What’s your favourite snack? It is mentioned above.
What’s your favourite sport to watch? I don’t particularly enjoy watching sports, so none.
What’s your favourite thing to have for breakfast? Either a mango protein gelato, or a fruit parfait.
What’s your full name? I rather Eva Blakeman.
What’s your longest relationship so far? I honestly couldn’t tell you, as I don’t remember very well, but I would assume around two years.
What’s your lucky number? Seven, it seems like the most probable number to come up in a mental draw.
What’s your star sign? Taurus, which apparently makes me stubborn and hardheaded.
What was your favourite birthday? I would say my last birthday. Even though I was at work for my birthday up in camp, when I came home I was spoiled with love and it was an emotionally wonderful time for me.
Which city did you grow up in? I moved around a lot, so I didn’t really grow up in one city, especially considering most placed I lived were in the country on farms or acreages.
Which city do you live in now? Edmonton, AB. The oddest combination of beautiful art and terribly ugly architecture.
Who do you miss right now? My man Ryan. He’s in the other room sleeping, and I wish I could have spent more time with him today.
Who is your celebrity crush? If you tubers count as celebrities, it would be Jenna Marbles. She seems like a genuine person who loves her pets more than the world. Pet lovers tend to be nice people.
Who’s your favourite fictional character? Eragon from the Inheritance Cycle. His character development is lovely and the way he builds relationships feels very real even though his universe is one of fantasy where dragons and elves roam the earth too.
That is 100 things you didn’t know about me. This took an incredibly long time to write but it was nice to write it all out. I look forward to next year when we will do another get to know me post.