Wednesday, July 28, 2010

B-B-B-Body Language

I've always been fascinated by people. One of my favorite past times has always been "people watching". I enjoy watching a crowd of people and I usually get a really good giggle out of seeing how interactions are made. I also love sitting somewhere, like in a Starbucks or something, and glancing around me to the more intimately seated people as well, guessing whether they're on a first date and whether that will lead to a second or third date or not based on how they're interacting.

So naturally, when I found this article online from Cosmopolitan magazine, I was instantly enthralled by it. It's been bookmarked and is definitely one of my favorite sites to revisit. I'm sure I read it like a bible, once a week! Did you know that experts say that verbal utterances make up only a mere 7% of our communication? Tone makes up 20% (that in itself is interesting, watch HOW you say what you're saying if you want to get the right message across because tone means more than what you're saying sometimes)... and a whopping 73% of all of our communication comes from body language. If you think about this, it makes sense.. we don't talk all the time. There are always silent times. It's important to know how to decode those times to see what your partner is really telling you.

This particular decoder is fantastic, and it's about the most complete list of signals that I've been able to find online. So whether you're newly single and looking for love, just began a romantic relationship, have been married for years, or are wondering if things are on the rocks, take a gander at this article and be able to know, rather than second guessing it all.

The next time you go out on a date, take a little notepad with you and when your partner's not looking, jot down all of their movements, then take your list home and find out exactly what you need to know... Is s/he into me or not? AND, what does that tell me about his/her prsonality?

Let's face it, dating nowadays is difficult and you can't go by the set rules from even 10 years ago. People are much more reclusive and preoccupied in this day and age, and we all could use some help in determining if that person is our Mr. or Mrs. Right. But, while technology might make the rules of dating different and slightly unpredictable, one thing remains consistent through the ages, and that's Body Language.

Finally, here's the article. When you're reading it, take note, there are about a dozen slides under each tab. I just don't want you to miss the volume of this article.

Jules :Oj

Get on with it then!

Cancer
June 22 - July 22
Someone may challenge your mental capabilities today, Cancer. Your natural tendency might be to take the information, mull it over for a while, and come back with your decision or opinion at some later date. The truth of the matter is that things are moving quickly and decisions must be made quickly and efficiently. Stay on your toes and have confidence in your mental processes.
.............................................................................

Holy shit. Really?? Come on people.. do you really want to challenge me? Well, there are less than 8 hours left in my day. Hit me with your best shot!! Fire away!! LOL

Jules ;OP

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 8 Saying Goodbye

Well, as it always is when you part dear friends, it was really difficult to leave and to say goodbye this day. While I was getting ready and finishing packing, I was treated to a car wash and wax! Nobody's ever taken the time or cared to wax my car for me before. I was totally impressed. I received a lesson on how to wax my car, as I'd never done it before. But now I know I need to do this a couple of times a year to protect Specsy.

I wasn't ready to leave the mountains, so on the way home, I went through a different border patrol and wound up heading to Waterton Glacier International Peace Park. I never knew the whole name of it till this day, I always just called it Waterton. This was a nice drive, still integrated in the mountainous terrain. I thought I would just refresh my memory of it, as it had been many years since I'd been there. Unfortunately, Red Rock Canyon, where I really wanted to go, was closed to public traffic and it was too late to get the last shuttle, but I still had a good little look around.

When I arrived through the Waterton Parks official gates I came up on this totally original sign. Usually I don't take photos of signs, but I couldn't resist this one. And it left me quite paranoid while I was driving around. I didn't want to kill a lizard...
The flatlands here were totally covered in wildflowers, every color and kind imaginable. It was full bloom season and it was totally amazing. Giant fields of rainbow. I was a bit of a driving hazard actually, because they kept catching my eye and then I'd suddenly pull over to get out and take photos. This one is a good example of what my eye saw.. so take it and multiply it by a gazillion.
I stumbled upon this river. I'm not sure what it's called, but it was totally photo worthy. Every time I got out of my car I was attacked by mosquitos, but this was worthwhile getting out for. It smelled so fresh and lookes so beautiful as the sun hit the one side and shade enveloped the other. It was so pretty, serene.
And just there where I stopped for the river, there was this amazing bunch of daisies. They were awesome!! I'd be remiss if I didn't stop to take photos of them, and even moreso if I didn't post my favorite type of flowers on here! I love daisies, in all varieties, there's just something special about them.
As I drove away from the river, I had to stop and take a photo of this awesome ridgeline. It fascinated me. I couldn't help but wonder what it would be like hiking up on that mountain... boy, was I spoiled in Glacier National Park.
I was late getting home because of this little 2 hour excursion, but you know... with a sunset like this it was so so worth it! I was exhausted when I got home, but man... well, this sunset speaks for itself. I think it was possibly the most beautiful one I've ever seen (this photo is hardly doctored, honestly).
So, my friends, this was the end of my vacation. I managed to get lost near Calgary on my way home, I took one wrong turn that added about 10 minutes to my drive, but it put me in Calgary as the fireworks for the Calgary Stampede went off, so I got to watch them as I drove Deerfoot Trail. If I'd have not made the wrong turn, I wouldn't have seen them, or not as well or for as long. So sometimes mistakes turn out not to be mistakes at all. I'd say this was a perfect vacation. I miss it, and all the people I met along the way. I hope to see them again sometime soon.
Jules :Oj

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Day 7, Appreciations.

So, my last full day on my vacation... I was feeling a bit upset because I knew it was all coming to en end. I tried to hide my emotions though. I had such a great great time and in such a beautiful location, with such great company. Anyway.. this day we decided to go hike around on Big Island. It was a very beautiful day, albeit a bit windy. The water was gorgeous, but too wavey to take the skiff.

So we plunked the canoe inside of the big boat, which can cut through any sort of water, and took off to a bay on the island that was guaranteed to be calm waters. The plan was to drop anchor in the big boat and once we knew it was stable and stationary, we'd canoe to shore and do the hike.

The waters were definitely calm in the bay. It was soothing and so so relaxing. We hung out on the big boat for a while and then jumped into the canoe and went ashore.

I was greeted to this wonderful island by some wonderful types of flora that I'd never seen before. I still don't know what this flower is, but it was beautiful. I wasn't fortunate enough to see the state flower in bloom though. Just the remnants of it left behind, post bloom season.

We hadn't been hiking long when we came across this group of Bighorn Sheep. There were 16 of them. I got several nice photos, but I like this one of one of the younger ones. We stood and watched them for a while and then continued up the steep slope to the top.


Here's the view from the top of the section of the island we went hiking at. It took my breath away again... I could finally see the hugeness of this lake I was staying at. Picture this and then imagine turning around 360 degrees and seeing lake all around you for miles and miles. I really was in awe, and felt so honored to be taken to this special place.

If you looked closely at the above photo, you'd have noticed the sailboat. I thought I'd zoom in on it, and capture it floating in the millions of diamonds in the water. Sooo pretty.

After we hiked and lingered around the top for a while, we made our way back down and canoed back to the big boat. We went for an icy cold swim, that I'm sure froze my nipples off, and then had some bevvy's and food and hung out before deciding to pull anchor and head back to the cabins as the sun set. There were 3 deer that decided to come for a drink of water along the shoreline just as we were leaving.

When we got back to shore, we ate a late supper and then hurried off to a Pow Wow that was going on in a tiny town just 5 minutes drive from the cabins. It was midnight, and when we got there they were all still in full dress, competing with their traditional tribal dancing for the best dancer status and award. We moved each time a new competition would start so that we were right beside the drums and singing. It completely enveloped every cell in your body. It was so energetic, loud, bold, colorful, scented, spiritual... really beautiful and it was hard to stay still. I wanted to move and dance too... but I didn't really want to draw attention to myself, so I just tapped the rhythm with my toes or hands. It really was an amazing experience. We stayed only for about an hour and a bit, as the dancing all came to an end. Here's one of the male dancer's outfits. Imagine this multiplied by about 100, maybe even more if you include onlooker's outfits. And all different colors and feathers, etc. Such an amazing culture. I just wish I had known more about what the songs and dancer's movements meant. I'm sure it's fascinating story.
Yes, this day was all about feeling spiritual.. connections. It was a perfect day.
Jules :O)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Break

I do have more to post about my holiday... but with my sister in the hospital again, and this time needing surgery, I am going to pause for a day or two on this journalling. It's always ME neediing medical attention or surgeries or whatever.. not my sis. So i'm stressed out over it all, and worried for her.

Besides... the next day of holiday was a bit of an emotional day for me.. and then the last day, well.. that was emotional too. So I'll take a little break and then post the last 2 days in a couple of days.

Don't go away... see you soon.

Love Jules

Friday, July 23, 2010

Incredible Day 6 of Vacation

Okay, so this was my favorite day of my vacation so it's going to be a long post. Stick with it, there's lots of good photos. I'll try to keep the journalling down to a minimum. This day we went to Glacier National Park (and now you all know where I was on my vacay) so that we could take the long and winding road up to Logan Pass and go hiking there. We had to get up early to leave (I was happily awakened at something gross like 6am to get ready to go, LOL) so that we could get there in time to get a parking spot. Thor had been there before and was wise to the fact that there's limited parking, which is an obvious necessity if you're planning to spend the whole day hiking. So once we got a spot, I was greeted with this breathtaking view. That mountain would be the one we'd be hiking up shortly, up to Logan Pass. Just 2 weeks prior, there was still 10 feet of snow on the mountain we were going up, but when we hiked it, there was only about 4 or 5 feet.
So up we go. I didn't have boots on, just running shoes. This was a bit of a mistake, actually. But I didn't slip around too much. The hike up took about an hour to do, it was an uphill climb all the way, with some tiny sections of levelled out ground near the top. It was also trudging through snow all the way. There were some sections of the trail that were literally less than a foot wide to get your footing, and if you slipped...


... if you slipped you'd fall all the way down this veeeery steep mountain side! It really was a bit of a rush, making sure you stepped securely so that you didn't fall. On the way back down, however, we met up with a happy chappy called Kerry Lee from Taiwan who's dad gave us the idea to more or less shoe-ski down. So I threw caution to the wind and flew back down to the bottom. I was soaked though, after that.


This next photo was taken from the top where we sat on the edge of a little cliff and had a snack and drank some water. OMG, what a glorious view. You'll have to enlarge the photo to see the lake in the middle of the photo. It was still mostly frozen over, but it was a really beautiful blue. There were mountain goats all over the place the whole time we were in GNPark. Actually, we saw lots of wildlife.
I saw loads of beautiful mountain wildflowers as well. Thor thought this might be a mountain lily. It was really pretty, and in great abundance wherever the snow had managed to melt.

After we made our way back down to the start of this hike, we sat and had lunch. I dried out my shoes and borrowed a pair of socks, as we were only stopping long enough to eat, dry out a bit and then go to the other mountain for the rest of the afternoon. This beautiful bighorn was roaming around the parking lot and was chased down right in front of us.

There were just tons of these little critters, little ground squirrels. This one shared some of my grapes. I know you're not supposed to feed the wildlife, but I couldn't resist.
After lunch, we went for a totally unique hiking experience along the cliffy edge of another mountain on a trail called Highline Trail. It was incredible!!! You turn a major corner and then all of a sudden it's rock cliff and you have to make sure your footing's good again or you'll get blown off the mountain! And it's a steeeeep drop just to the left. You can sort of see the trail on this photo.
The trail changed from rocky to foresty along the way, and we had to walk through a couple of ice cold and stunning waterfalls in order to keep going. The mountain goats blessed our hike several spots along the way. This one quizzically looked at me, as we tried to decide who would make the first move at passing by one another.
We arrived at a cliffy overlook spot where we decided after 2.5 more hours of hiking that we should probably stop and turn around to go back. Another energy bar and some water later, with some time to just sit and soak in the incredibly amazing views, smells and sounds, we decided to head back so we'd be off the mountain before dark.
This photo is courtesy of Thor. I sort of jogged ahead for a minute and he graciously took this photo of me on the edge!! If you blow it up you can see me a bit better. But I love this photo because it really shows how small and insignificant a body is on the side of these massive beauties!
This happy fellow was waiting near the exit/entrance of the trail.. just basking in the sun and posing pretty for all of us crazies who walked past. He was part of a family, the mommy and baby were just slightly lower than him on a different rock. I think he looks totally 100% content and it comes close to expressing for me how I felt while I was in this gorgeous environment.

That pretty much sums up the best day ever. Surprisingly, after hiking literally all day (it was about 7.5 hours of hiking) I wasn't sore and I still had energy left. Well, I did until we got back to the cabin and then I could barely stay awake for the campfire! LOL Totally amazing day!!
Jules :OD

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Waterworld Day 5 Vacay

This day we totally just chilled out and went with the flow. I slept in quite late and after I got up with my totally nutty spikey morning hair and got all of that and the rest of myself in order, we had brunch and then decided to take the big boat out for a detailed tour of the lower portion of the lake. The morning was still and the water was glassy and breathtaking. Just at the start of our ride we came across these people on the water, one on a longboard and 3 in kayaks (I think?).

There are a few islands in the lake. I'd love to name them, but that would totally give away where I was (as if you haven't figured it out already), LOL, so I'll just improvise for this post. Out on the boat in the morning, the water was the most amazing green ever. It looked like ocean water, actually. It was shades of green where the water was shallow and then brilliant blue where the water became deep. I gleefully sat in my designated chair snapping photos... constantly trying to capture in pixel, the color of the water (and keep a level horizon as the boat glided through the water).


We went around Big Island and had a peek in all the bays along the way, I was told stories of Thor when he was growing up there. I just soaked it all in. Here were some sailboats that had dropped anchor in one of the bays.

After we finished going around Big Island, we drove around Knotts Island and saw a bunch of the "campers" getting ready to take sailing lessons.

Just at the tip of Knotts Island, we spotted a big beautiful bald eagle. The water was a bit less settled by now, and I was in full zoom, so this was the best photo I managed to get of it. I saw 3 the whole time I was in the States. There's something fulfilling about seeing the National Symbol of the country you're visiting. In Canada, we say that it's good luck to see a bald eagle. I guess this was my lucky trip.

I loved trolling along in the big boat. Even though it was a boat that had great power and could have gone totally fast, we mostly went slow and looked through the binocs or visited. It was really very satisfying. I have always said that I love being around the water, but i'm seldom in the water. This vacation was exactly what I needed to touch base with this part of Mother Nature, there was water in me, on me and all around me every day. We really took it easy for the rest of this day because we knew the next day would be a long and somewhat gruelling day, because we were heading off to do some major hiking. So the rest of this day was full of just visiting and relaxing with good company and great food, and of course, a fire in the evening down by the lakefront just before bed.
Jules :Oj

Mulligan

I need a mulligan for today.

Seems like things are just not going well, nothing's going smoothly, everything is a hassle.


Life shouldn't be a series of this many crappy things all in such a short amount of time.


I'm over reacting because I have PMS right now, I realize this.


But did the glass have to break and give me a glass sliver to top it all off??




Whatever. More Vacation photos coming later.

Jules :O(

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Exciting Day 4!

Well, this day was off the hook! It was a thrill for me. In the morning, Thor had to work, but when he was done he prepared the Hobie Cat for a second sail. The weather and wind has to be just exactly right in order to go and not be in danger, and everything looked favorable. Well, we got out and there was puff after puff and we were screaming along the water. Waaaay faster than we were going the first time we went out. I opted NOT to attempt to steer or turn or anything this time, as I was genuinely afraid of us capsizing. There were times when I had to hang on tight as the boat lifted up here and there, and I definitely couldn't be slack and just lay there and enjoy the sail. I had to be in just the right spots. I got quite wet as the boat slid through the waves and washed over the trampoline. Brrr!! But I have to say... such an adrenalin rush!
After sailing, I was vibrating with excitement, so I thought today would be a great day to go try shooting a gun. Okay, you have to understand, I'd never even held a gun.. and only ever saw a real gun behind a case at Canadian Tire! LOL So being where I was, and having spent time with an ex-gunsmith who was so excited to show me several guns from his collection, I knew I couldn't leave this vacation without learning how to shoot a gun. So Thor and I drove to this super secluded spot past Camp Tuffit. Little did I know I really would have to "tough it" up this SUPER bumpy road for an hour, and an hour on the way back too. We bounced all over the place, I thought I'd either fly out the window or have an orgasm on the next big bump. LOL

Anyway.. holding the rifles was cool, having the bullets in my pocket was neat... actually shooting was INCREDIBLE! So Thor showed me how to do a proper 3 point stance, which I kept slipping out of and couldn't hold position properly but made it work anyway, and made sure I had my ear plugs in, and coached me how to aim, look through the scope and pull the trigger. First I shot a 22. It had no kickback at all, and I'm sure it was the perfect rifle to shoot for my first gun. But then, he showed me how to shoot his 308. When he demonstrated it, I saw the power, it had lots of kickback. And then it was my turn. I was scared shitless. I was sooo nervous, cuz I didn't want to hurt my shoulder, even though Mr. Guns made sure I had a shooters jacket to wear and keep my shoulder padded. So I took deep breaths, aimed, exhaled and reset myself all up again about 50 times I'm sure and then finally, I pulled the trigger. It knocked me back, for sure, but I loved how it felt!

This pic is me with the 22. I shot the 308 6 times and hit the target 3 times (one right near the bullseye!). I was scared each time I shot it, but it was the biggest rush EVER! It was ridiculously cool. I howled after I was all done (I put little J's where mine hit).

Then I took the 22 back and shot a can of coke that Thor put on the ground to aim at. YAY me!! I kept the can and one of the 308 shells.
We got back to the cabins, had supper and then got cleaned up and went to a town on the other end of the lake and took in a play called "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels". It had me laughing and cheering so much. I'd seen the movie of it back in the 90's when it came out so I couldn't remember the whole plot. It was a really great time, set in a town that reminded me of Banff, Canada. Quaint and sweet.. traditional mountain town.


Jules :Owow!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Day 3 of the Vacay

The weather wasn't the best for Day 3, for most of the day it was too windy for sailing, and a bit on the cold side. In the evening it calmed down substantially though. We decided to take off from the lake and go to a city that was about an hour and a half away. I, being the city girl that I am, had to stop at a local Starbucks and get my favorite iced drink... "I'll have a Grande Caramel Frappuccino, please". It tasted sooo good, but I think it upset my tummy. I wasn't feeling well for the rest of the day. The two main things we did in the city were visiting the local University campus and stopping in to visit with Thor's family.

The campus was really cool, a mix between old and new. Because of it being summer time there wasn't a whole lot of activity, and the department that would have been of the most interest was under construction, receiving some renovations for the ductwork. Still, I liked the tour. We stopped in the Bookstore and I bought a pair of flip flops with the campus sports team written on them. Here's a photo of the campus.. you could hike up the mountain to the M and look down on the city, but we were running late on time, so we didn't do that.


And if you know me, you know my love affair with rocks, so I couldn't resist taking this photo too...

We ate supper at a restaurant that was literally built over top of a creek of crystal clear water, lined with trees. I gave it an A+ just strictly for that atmosphere. The company was outstanding too. Thinking back, there were some things that were said and done that really gave me the giggles and still do. LOL


On the way home, there was this incredible sunset. It seemed like all the days I was there, the skies were magnificent! We pulled over to take photos along the way.

When we got back to the cabins we went for a calm serene sundown canoe ride along the shore to see if we couls spot this bear that was supposed to be wandering around. We didn't see it. We got back to the cabins, sat around a fire and visited some more. It was a great way to end the day.


Jules :O)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sailing in the States, Day 2 of Vacation

Day two was energetic, exciting and then laid back. I slept in almost every day except for this one and one other morning. This morning, I put on my running shoes and mp3 player and took off down the road for a jog. I was only gone half an hour or so, but it was hot and I was hot... and every so often I'd have this little voice in my head saying "watch out for the bear!" or "don't tresspass or you'll end up getting shot!". I probably would have jogged longer, because I was so enjoying the concept of jogging around a giant lake, but my friend (whom I'll call Thor from now on) was worried I'd been eaten and came looking for me. LOL

After breakfast, and after lots of studying the lake and wind patterns, Thor said it would be a good day for my first sailing lesson. So he went and got the Hobie Cat ready for us to go out on. I forgot to take a photo of the whole boat as it was ready for us to go out on (I was too excited to just get out and learn), so I'm just going to throw this one on. There will be one later in the week of the whole sailboat, instead of this small part of it. Still a cool photo though.. and it shows the color of it.


Knowing I was going to be sailing, I should probably have looked at some links like this one before I went to the lake. Thankfully, Thor is an experienced sailor and great teacher and we didn't capsize. Sailing is unlike any other form of being on the water. The Hobie Cat glides through the water like a knife through butter. It's smooth, fast.. almost has a silky quality to it. The water splashes up into you and your every sense is energized. You feel more like you're part of the water than when you're on any other kind of boat. When it comes time to do a turn, there's lots to remember to do in the right order, but I did make two turns (with help). It was a real thrill. I totally loved sailing.

This was the major event of the day. The rest of our time was spent relaxing around the cabins. We visited with the neighbours for a while and had some quality laughs about the beef on Mr. Talky's ranch being well hung, said goodbye as some of them had to leave, and then after that, we cast the fishing rod off the dock until supper was ready.


Thor had to remind me how to cast the line. We didn't catch anything, but it was fun holding a fishing rod. It's been YEARS since I've fished. The water was so clear that you could see all these little premature fish trying to bite the hook as I reeled it in. It was fun to tease them. This is what the lake looked like just after I was finished fishing.

After the sun went down we enjoyed a nice big roaring fire down by the water front, visited and had some coolers and beer until quite late. Ahhhhh... so good. So relaxing. Well, relaxing except for the bats that were flying over head once the sun was down completely, trying to catch their share of the bugs. They left us alone though, and that was nothing like the bats in this one zoo I went to once.

That's the end of Day 2. See you again soon for some more journalling!

Sailor Jules :OD