Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Where the wild things grow...

Our first camp spot on our trip was to Apgar Campground. It is really a beautiful place, with a very well laid out campground containing sites that are very spacious. Once we set up camp, we hopped on our bikes and went for a little ride along the many bike paths that ended up taking us to West Glacier entrance. There's a little village there, as there is right at Apgar itself, and it was nice to look around there. 

On the way back to camp, we spotted some people who had stopped riding and were picking some berries from the brush. Instantly a light bulb clicked in Thor's head and he pulled off the path to discover the plethora of huckleberries that were ripe and ready to be eaten. He told me a story about how his family always used to go to Hungry Horse Dam (which is just minutes from West Glacier entrance), every year at this time to specifically go huckleberry picking. They would spend days just gathering fruit, and he recalled this with a great deal of warmth and delight. It's wonderful to have family memories of things like that. Here's a photo of what huckleberries look like when they're ripe. They have a very distinct flavor and are a little bit tart, but a nice berry, for sure.

Just when I thought we were ready to go, Thor would spot a bunch more berries to be munched on. Watching him pull the fruit off the bush and listening to the wonderful noises he made as he happily satisfied his hunger for them was really cool. I couldn't stop grinning. You have to bend way down for these delicious berries. I suspect your back would ache before too long if you bent at the back and not at the knees. Thor's was ok though.

Since I was already down at ground level, I thought I'd see what the belly of this mushroom looked like, as well. I got the focus a bit wrong, I wanted the underside of the top, but instead I got the stem and some moss. Still, it makes for an interesting photo.

After the day of exploring and berry picking, we had some supper, took a dip in the icy temps of Lake MacDonald and enjoyed the evening. This photo was taken our second night there, just before we went for a nice bike ride for a little ways along the bottom of the Going To The Sun Road. We'd have gone farther, but a Ranger said we needed lights on the bikes and made us go home. That's ok though, my legs were getting tired. A distance cycler, I guess I am not. Or maybe it's going to be time for me to get a lighter bike soon. The lake was really cool that night, the clouds looked neat and there was campfire smoke wafting over the lake from the other side at the adjacent campground. It looked really neat.

Of course, the best part of it is having someone to share it with who finds it all as amazing as you do.

Jules :O)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day trippin' to Waterton

Thor and I went to Waterton International Peace Park while we were together for our vacation. It was really cool because it was the first time in our history that we got to cross the border together! The Border Patrol Guards were entertaining, too. They both questioned us about how we came to be and after we explained, we received an exuberant "Well good for you! I hope it works out!" type of thing. That made us both smile. 

While in Waterton, we took in the Prince of Wales Hotel, which is lovely, but I enjoyed the views from the cliff it's on better than the hotel itself. We also went and wandered the shops of the Waterton town site, had a picnic lunch in a little waterfront park, checked out the campground, and then went to Red Rock Canyon. 

Here are some photos from the trip to Waterton. Enjoy! 

This is the view as you stand by the Prince of Wales Hotel and look down over the edge of the cliff.  The water was so crystal clear, as it usually is in the mountains, and everything was so bright and vivid in color. A great day to snap pics.

Here you can see the town site of Waterton from up above at the hotel as well as a boat tour in progress.

Despite the stormy sky that was looming when we first arrived at Waterton, the lake was pretty calm. Calm enough for this single kayaker to be out enjoying the day. The clouds parted and the sun filled the sky. It was a great day to go there, because back at camp, the Park Ranger said it was fixing to be the perfect storm and that we should hunker down and the we'd all celebrate it after we survived it when it was all over. She's quite the exaggerator!

Now this.. this is a giant heart shaped boulder that rests eternally at Red Rock Canyon. I totally loved it, though I sort of wish that branch wasn't in my photo. The brilliance of the red in the rock that lines the canyon is very striking, when you're not distracted by the tourists who somehow feel they can just help themselves and walk all around it, despite the warnings to stay where it's safe. When I went there years ago, they didn't let people walk down into the canyon, so you could get better photos without people in them.

This pic is sort of blown out on the left side, but it still shows the redness of the canyon walls and the clarity of the water.

Well, I think these 5 are good for tonight. Waterton is a nice place to visit, perfect for a day trip type of thing, though I don't recommend camping within the town site's campground. It totally turned me off.

Be well!
Jules :O)

Thursday, July 26, 2012


Have you ever noticed that the Alberta Rose hosts pedals that are shaped like a heart? Thanan brought one home yesterday and wanted to put it in a cup with water. This morning all the pedals were floating around, they'd separated themselves from the main part and stem. I was about to dump them out and then I caught sight of them. 5 floating hearts. 

So when you look at these photos, what do you see, think, feel? 

Jules :O)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Glacier National Park Vacation

This is what I've been up to the past couple of weeks, with Thor. We camped for 9 days in Glacier National Park. This is a mountain at Two Medicine Campground. Two Medicine Campground was the nicest campground that I've ever stayed at and we loved it so much there, we made it home base for most of our time and took day trips from there. 

Here's Aster Falls. We went on a hike one day and happened upon this at a few different points while heading up the mountain. It was refreshing and beautiful.

I will post more photos and start posting more often again but for now I'm sorting through all my hundreds of pictures and memories and in the process of figuring out what memories to write about.

It was a totally lovely vacation with my Sweetheart.

Jules :O)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I sent it away... and I'm really excited! I hope I don't just get laughed at. It could be a really exciting new year if I don't! :)  I've written another stand alone one since being inspired to send it away. It's quite cute too and teaches concepts like rhyming, counting and telling time.

It's been hot here. I totally feel like I'm baking from the inside out. Words to describe me in this heat are as follows: sticky, over heated, emotional, sizzling, wet. If any of that sounds exciting to you, you don't understand just how hot it is on this continent right now. I don't understand how people who live in this sort of heat all the time aren't dead.

I am really happy that So You Think You Can Dance has started again. The dancers this year are really incredible. This is not a joke show, it's serious athleticism in a passionate, creative art form. I love it. Plus, there's a dancer that's related to Crocodile Dundee in it... that's got to be a good thing, right?

My favorite toenail polish is this perfect shade of pink that my soul brother suggested I buy when he was here once.

If you think you're going to see me in this weather without my hair tied back in my tiny little somewhat pathetic ponytail (which I think looks cute) you're insane. I wish I was bald right now and having hair touching my neck is sooo difficult. don't even get me started on my sticky bangs. Get off my forehead already and float in the breeze. Oh right. There needs to be a breeze for that.

I just ate an apple 4 hours ago and I'm really craving another one. I think I'll have to go ahead and eat one. Or maybe just a fulfilling ice cold glass of water would be better. After a cold shower. Ahhhh, perfect.

Jules :Ohawtstuff..

Sunday, July 08, 2012

A piece of me you might not have known

Well.. if you know me well, you would know that I have written about a dozen little children's books that I've mostly kept to myself. Some form a series written about a toddler's milestones in growing up, and the other is a stand alone book based on a little boy's admiration of his mom (we write what we know, right?).   :)

Anyway, they've been sitting in storage for a while now and I haven't known what to do with them. I once had a blog friend, when I first started blogging, who was a children's book author and when I asked him how to publish my stories he basically said "good luck with that, breaking into the children's book scene is extremely hard because everyone thinks they can write them." So I became a bit doubtful that mine were good enough. I never did anything about them. He and I didn't stay in contact much beyond that because I realized I didn't need people instilling doubt into my brain.

Last night I decided to research it a little bit and came across a Canadian publishing company that was taking submissions. So I followed their very strict criteria and I have gotten together my package, ready for mailing, for the stand alone book. I'm not sure what my goal is here. I don't know if I want to become a world famous author, or just share my cute little stories with whomever will read them on a smaller scale. I think it would be really cool to say I am a published author, though, and maybe it will open up some new doors for me along my lifetime.

So after I mail this away, sometime this week, it will be 4 months until I hear anything. That's how long it takes for them to get around to reviewing new submissions. Wish me good luck for November!

Jules :O)

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Splish Splash

Here's two fun and splashy, random photos for you to help you to think cool thoughts in this heat wave we're having (though it's hotter in the States currently than it is here.. but only by a few degrees).

I took this photo of someone's child whom I don't know ages ago at Ft. Normandeau Park here, where I didn't even realize there was access to the river directly. But low and behold, there is. And this little boy was having a blast in it! 

Stay Cooooool, Peeps.  This is the back of Thanan as he tries to swish water between his legs at a wading pool we went to a couple of weeks ago. Give a child water to play in and it doesn't matter if it's a pool or a puddle, they're happy chappy's. 

Jules :Oahhhh)

Thursday, July 05, 2012

A serious question.. or maybe not... or maybe...

So, I was in the tub tonight wondering about armpit hair.

It seems to me that a woman's armpit hair grows at an exponential rate, and would presumably grow on and on for an indeterminate amount of length, based on how fast it grows once it's been shaven.

So that got me thinking... most men never shaves their armpits, and their armpit hair seems to reach an end length and never gets longer. Considering the rate at which a woman's armpit hair grows, and how it just seems to never stop growing, if a woman stopped shaving, or never started shaving, would her hair grow to the point where you could braid it and start wrapping it around her body to keep her warm in the winter? Would it be like the hair on a person's head? I mean, it just never seems to stop growing. Ever.

I pose that question, but then I wonder why a man's pit hair stops after reaching a certain length and doesn't get to that braid-able length? Would a woman's pit hair do the same thing?

The most important thing to state here is that I am not willing to test this theory out. Yet I am almost desperate to know the answer.

Do any women out there want to inform me if they haven't shaved in a few years, how lengthy their pit hair has gotten?

That then poses a whole nuther question... is it socially acceptable for a western woman to not shave her armpits, ever? Can she let it get to "man-length" and still be thought of as attractive? I say western woman because I know different cultures feel differently about hair than we do up and over here.

Such a curious mind I have.

Jules :O?

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

those moments

You know, life continues to throw those moments that make a person speechless at me. Thor was up here for Canada Day weekend and it was marvelous. Of course, I always treasure the moments he and I get to spend together, but lately I've been really desiring more of a whole family connection. So when he was here and he went walking with Thanan and I found them together examining things that live in the pond, it was one of those moments that I've come to live for. 

Having a really positive, father figure for Thanan here makes a huge difference in life for us. Things seem smoother, more enjoyable, more satisfying... more connected and complete. I value these moments immensely. Watching Thor step in and care for Thanan as if he was his own, with true deep emotional regard, brings me near to tears in the best possible way. I love him even more when I see the interactions they have together or when I recognize the genuine concern he expresses for Thanan.

There is a downside. Eventually Thor has to go home and it's not just me who is sad that he's gone. More often than not it's just me feeling sorry for myself that I have to be without him and I can deal with that after a few hours. I've come to realize that as much as I love and cherish the family times, it makes it even more difficult to part ways and return to normal life. This past time was terribly hard to let him go, but I always put on a brave face. Or at least I try. He left Tuesday morning, it's currently Wednesday night and I still want to cry. It could be because with Thanan having taken part in the family time, I am set back in recovering every time he naively mentions Thor. Today it was "You know mom.. I think Thor would make a good step-dad. Are you going to get married?" Another moment where words wouldn't come out and tears wanted to surface. All I could muster up in a response was a squeaky "I hope so, someday..." followed by an immediate subject change so that I wouldn't burst into tears in the mall.

It's no secret that I pray that some day we'll get to be together on a full time permanent basis. I try really hard not to be selfish and not to want more before the time is right. It's hard though.

Well anyway, it was a fantastic weekend. Happy Belated Canada Day and Happy Independence Day.

Jules :O<