Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mushroom search: part three

Photobucket This is my "I found one!" face when Ian and I are out mushroom hunting. Who am I kidding, that's actually my go-to photo face. I get a lot of grief from my photographer (Ian) for pulling it out 95 per cent of the time, but for some reason, it just feels more natural than a forced smile. I guess, the surprised look is just my style. I mean, wouldn't you be stoked and surprised if you saw mushrooms that look like these?

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PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket And what if you looked up and this is what you saw? Wouldn't you be surprised in the best way possible by the beauty of Jasper's aspen trees? I know I was.

PhotobucketAnd what if you saw a cute boy dressed like a bit of a doofus, taking photos with his left hand, while using his right hand to hold a flash, wouldn't you be surprised and oh!-so-impressed?

PhotobucketHave you been on any photo adventures lately?

Friday, September 28, 2012

At this time last year: September


If you're new around these parts, "at this time last year" is a looking back series I do once a month. I started it in April after I found myself continuously wondering about my past. And then, after the first go-round, I decided that this just had to be a regular Gypsy in Jasper feature. There are just so many photos and adventures that I never did share here on the blog. Plus, it feels good to look back and see all that I've done.

According to my iPhoto history and my memory, at this time last year, I was packing up my life and selling all of my belongings, so I could make the move from Yellowknife to Jasper.

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I was on a mushroom hunting adventure with Ian, where we discovered tons of puff ball mushrooms that we poked and prodded so they'd puke out their spores.

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Seeing this photo is enough to solidify my plans to grow out my hair. Holy man do I miss it!

I was helping my pal Robyn celebrate her last days as a unmarried lady. (I tell ya, that girl took advantage of every last second, and then made all of her friends swoon when her fiance showed up at the bar to dance with her at the end of the night.)

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I was packing up my desk at work, getting it ready for the next reporter to join the ranks at the Yellowknifer. (I still miss my man wall. I had hilarious photos of most of the male staff, including Ian, displayed right above my workspace. Those were the days!)

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I was saying farewell to my friends and colleagues and getting ready to embark on a brand new adventure with Ian.

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So that's what I was doing last year. What were you up to?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ladies of the Mountains: my favourite hike

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Today the mountain mavens are meant to talk about our favourite hikes. But, I'm finding it too gosh darn hard to just pick one. I know that's what everyone else is going to do, but for me, it really just depends.

I mean, if I want to see the town and the mountains from above without having to drive too far out of town, I go up behind Pyramid Lake:

Photobucket If I want to see lots of gorgeous turquoise water and at times feel like I'm in an enchanted forest, I go to the Valley of the Five Lakes:

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If I want to see and photograph mushrooms or watch the leaves change colours before my eyes, I go to Cottonwood Slough:

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And if I want to go somewhere close to home, that requires no driving and provides me with plenty of options and routes, I go up on the bench:

Photobucket Anyway, you get the idea. Jasper is full of trails. In fact, there are 250 kilometres of multi-use trails in the park. So, basically, there are always new places to go and things to see. I guess, if I had to pick a favourite trail, I'd say it's the trail I haven't yet hiked. What I mean is, every time I hike a new trail, it becomes my favourite. There is always something new and beautiful to discover and it's always so much fun to be somewhere I haven't yet been.

What's your favourite hike? And what makes it your fave?

Before you run away and forget about the outdoors, be sure to check out what hikes the other Ladies of the Mountains chose:

Gentri of Gentri Lee
Lena of Musings
Michelle of On The Adventure
Meagan of The Egg Out West
Kelley of A Crooked Trail

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Nature's accessories

Photobucket While my dad was visiting, we went on a number of outdoor excursions. And, like anyone with an imagination, Ian and I, of course, always found some way to accessorize with nature's gifts. Whether it was moustache or a monocle, we had it covered.

Photobucket And, of course, when I saw a head-sized hole in a crumbling old tree, that's exactly where my head ended up. I mean, if you saw this stump, wouldn't you want to stick your head in it to take a photo of your best Jack Nicholson in The Shining face?

Photobucket Scary, right? Ian wasn't quite satisfied with it. He felt I could look a little more insane. But, I reserve my craziest of craziest faces for real life situations when I REALLY want to scare someone. You can't just go around wasting those faces on photos. If you do, you'll end up reducing the overall scariness of the face, which would just ruin the desired effect when I really want it. We definitely don't want that, now do we, folks? And, on top of everything else, I didn't want to scare my dad. That would have just been SO rude after he traveled all the way out here to see me. Anyway, moral of the story, although I look slightly maniacal in the above photo, I could do better. *Consider yourself warned!*

Photobucket So, anyway, nature is rad. Scary faces are fun. Moustaches are funny. And elk vertebrae make the perfect monocles. You learn something new everyday.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thankful Tuesdays: playing tourist

Photobucket I love playing tourist in my own town. There is just so much to see in Jasper. There are lakes and mountains galore. If you drive 30 minutes or less in any direction, you end up at another gorgeous spot. It's truly amazing. So, this week, I'm thankful to have had my dad visiting over the weekend. It had been about 40 years since he was last here, so it was fun to see the town through his eyes and to play tourists together.

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Aside from exploring, it was also nice to just hang out and chat. We hadn't seen each other IRL in a year and a half, since his 75th surprise birthday in Vancouver, so there was a lot of catching up to do. And, plenty or reminiscing to do, as well. Daddy-o had plenty of old stories to share about his first time through Jasper. He had just arrived in Canada by boat (in 1956) from Holland and was taking the train across the country from Halifax to Vancouver, where he would be living. He made a short stop here, but there was snow and fog covering all of the beautiful mountains. I love hearing my dad's experiences as a fresh-off-the-boat immigrant. He had so many adventures, and, since he came here with only high school level English, many slip ups. The tales are endless and almost always humourous.

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What are you thankful for this week? Did you have any visitors? Or did you act like a tourist in your own town?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Everlasting ink

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Did you think I was referring to tattoos? If yes, you don't know me at all. *ick!* If no, then you get a gold star! You see, today, I'm over on Shayla's blog, Northern Exposure, talking about the ink that spews from the end of my brand new Seven Year Pen. I know that may not sound super-duper exciting, but I assure you, it is. So, why don't you head over there to find out what's so dang amazing about my special new pen.

See you there!

P.S. Thanks to Lisa from Not Ladylike for a) being my pen pal and b) for sending me my dreamy new pen.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Garden goodness

Photobucket Although our garden is totally overrun with weeds (whoops!), to my surprise, there are still some carrots growing. And, there are plenty more where these came from, so I'm looking forward to eating fresh ones straight out of the ground for a few more weeks to come. They are so delicious by themselves or with a tiny bit of ranch dressing. Delish! I was thinking about making a carrot cake, but I feel like that would be a waste. I think fresh from the garden carrots are to be enjoyed whole and raw. Maybe I'll hit the grocery store for some mediocre carrots to use in a cake instead.

Photobucket So, anyway, on this lovely Sunday, here's to being a horrible gardener who still gets scrumptious food out of the deal. Yay for being rewarded for laziness.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. My dad is in Jasper for a visit, so I've been showing him the town and doing all kinds of touristy things for the past few days. It's been awesome having him here and playing tour guide. I'll tell you more about our adventures later this week. Until then, be sure to eat your vegetables!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Fungus finding: part two

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I can't believe I'm only now just showing you part two! At this point, I've already been on a third and fourth mushroom hunting adventure. They're everywhere and they're just so darn cool. I'm not quite as happy with my photos this time around, though. By the time we got out in the wilderness, the sun was already going down, so my photos lack the depth they would've had with a little more light. Oh well. It was still fun to be outside, creeping around looking for the perfect mushroom to capture.

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I just love that they're all so different. Their colours, shapes and surroundings. You can't take the same photo twice.

How are the mushrooms looking in your area? Have you seen any?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

What to Wear: on a bike ride

Photobucket Heyyyy ladies! It's what to wear time again. Yup. That's right. The time when I, and nine other lovely bloggers, tell you what we would wear for a specific occasion. This week, it's for a bike ride. I know a lot of my gorgeous lady friends will be posting photos of themselves in dresses, making biking look super chic, but that's just not how I roll. The idea of being in a dress while biking reminds me of the time I came home from church, jumped on my bike and promptly ruined my Sunday best by getting it caught in my spokes. Whoopsies. I'm pretty sure there were tears involved. Side note: I was probably eight, so that makes it totally OK that I cried.

Moral of the story: I'm not a fancy dress while biking kind of girl. Instead, I go with what's comfortable and practical. In this case that means a cozy t-shirt, jeans and a scarf to jazz it up a bit.

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For this photoshoot, Ian and I actually went for a bike ride down the street. When we arrived at this stump, Ian pulled over and told me to take a seat, which I did because I'm a very accommodating and appreciative model. What I learned: it doesn't always pay off to be accommodating and appreciative. See below for evidence.

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Aside from the stump, which has left my jeans covered in sap, we also found an amazing steamroller. I've never seen one in a lime green before. So... I totally fell in love with this guy when I saw it. He's got to be the most beautiful piece of heavy equipment I've ever seen.

So, of course, I got on him and pretended to go for a test drive. I'm pretty sure he didn't mind.

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Well, that's it for me today. Next time we'll be back with what to wear to a pumpkin patch. Be sure to check in Oct. 4 for that one. And, if you're interested in joining in on this little style adventure, throw me an email. We're always happy to have new bloggers come on board. Speaking of which, there are a few new ones on the list this week, so be sure to check them out along with all the oldies who have been around for awhile.

Amanda: Salvaged Strawberry
Lisa: lala faux bois

Happy biking everyone!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Shooting fish in a barrel


Oh man! If you watched that without laugh crying, you are cold and humourless. I swear, when Ian watched it, the whole apartment complex could hear him laughing and when I watched it, I was so busy wiping the tears away, I couldn't even see the guy's face anymore. "Why am I shooting some fish in a barrel? Where do I get a barrel? This is 2011 now. Barrels are from, I don't know, 18-something. And why am I having a gun to shoot the fish? If I can catch all of those fishes and put them in a barrel, I already have the fish before I put in the barrel, I don't need to shoot them."

Pure gold. I hope I just brightened your Wednesday! If you have some more spare time on your hands, there's a lot more where that came from. Here's another of my favourites:


Bahahaha. "Jennifer poops at parties? She poops at parties and people know this? I poop at parties. I poop at parties, but people don't know. I close the door."

OK. Just one more. *I could seriously watch this guy forever!*


Hahaha. So good. I think I have almost watched all of his videos. I just can't stop myself. I turned on his channel and let it go for over an hour!! Like, for serious, he is my new hero. If I could meet him in real life, I would force him to be my new bestie. Then, I'd just take him everywhere I go, so he could entertain me with his commentary. I can't even imagine how great it would be to be in awkward social situations with this guy.

What YouTube videos have you giggling these days? Is there anything I must see?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thankful Tuesdays: youthful hangovers


To be completely honest, this week I'm thankful that hangovers only last a day. Yikes! I say those words with thanks, but also with the knowledge that in my youth, a hangover only lasted a morning, and to overcome it, all I needed was some water, Tylenol and a greasy breakfast. Lately, that's just not the case. In fact, it seems the morning after headache and tummy ache has now turned into a full day of misery. I must admit, I'm beginning to worry that as the years tick by, these awful, grumbly times will turn into days and then weeks of feeling like butts.

I imagine my life will go something like this: It's Saturday night. I drink. It's Sunday, I feel awful. It's Monday, I still feel awful. It's Tuesday, the awful persists. This will carry on until it's Saturday again. I'll feel better. I'll drink. And then Sunday will roll around and I'll feel awful. Monday, still awful. Well, you get the idea. If this is in fact how things go when you're old, I fear, I'll have to quit drinking. I just can't sustain a life where I feel like butts all day, everyday. I kind of like it when I don't notice my insides or my brain. It's nice when there's nothing pounding or gurgling. Also nice, being able to eat without instantly wanting to throw up.

So, I guess what I'm saying is, here's to youthful hangovers.

What are you thankful for this week?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Cool crafts for cool temperatures

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Gah! Doesn't that image just make you want to pull out your craft supplies? I hope so, because that's totally what it does for me. I saw it and it got me thinking about all the amazing things I want to create this winter when the temperatures plummet and I no longer want to spend my days outside.

Curious as to what I'm going to make? Then, head over to Horses of Ares and find out. I'm filling in for Adriana today, while she focuses on her school work.

See you crafty ladies over there.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

My thoughts on feet

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Can we just talk about how disgusting feet are for one short minute? I'll start and you can fill in the blanks later. Sound good? Yeah? OK. Perfect. So, here's a confession for you, I have a complete, undying hatred and disgust for the revolting things that flop around at the end of our legs. I don't know where my loathing came from, but it's been around awhile.

I will admit, though, my foot phobia is slowly lessening with age. I mean, if I'm wearing sandals or flats, I don't bring socks to my friends' houses anymore. For a long time, that was a thing. I'd have a pair of colourful socks in my purse, just in case I'd have to take my shoes off somewhere. I couldn't even deal with the thought of people looking at my feet. And don't even get me started on touching them. Well, you've gone and done it now. It's on my mind, so I'm just going to have to deal with that little issue right here and now.

OK. Here's the deal. If you meet me IRL, do not, I repeat, DO NOT touch my feet. I will seriously throw the biggest tantrum you have ever seen from a nearly 26-year-old woman. I swear to you, shit gets crazy. There will be limbs flying willy nilly, hitting you where you'd rather not be hit. Obscenities will be screamed and will then quickly be replaced with the silent treatment once the touching has ceased.

Moral of the story, my feet are totally off limits. They are for me and only me to touch and, let me tell you, that doesn't happen all that often. They get washed once a day. They are put into shoes or socks and shoes and then they are ignored for the rest of the day. They are like the stinky, moldy food at the back of your fridge that you pretend doesn't exist because you fear washing out the Tupperware container. If I could, I'd throw my feet in the trash, like I would that Tupperware, but I can't. You see, I kind of need them and they're sort of attached to my body. So, I find the best way to deal with my foot hatred is to just deal with and look at them as little as possible. Oh! And I also buy cute socks and shoes to disguise them with. That way I can look down at them and resist the urge to vomit.

So, how about you? Are you into feet? Or do you have any weird phobias the Internet should know about?

Friday, September 14, 2012

25 days

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It just dawned on me that in less than a month, 25 days to be exact, I'll be 26. That means I have exactly 25 days to do everything I ever wanted to do before the 20-something teeter-totter fell to side that's closer to 30. I know 26 is still young, but, somehow, it just seems SO much older than 25. In fact, 25 was a good middle ground for me. I was out of the stage where people looked at me like a 20-something-year-old brat, but I was still young enough that no one was asking when I'm going to get married or have babies. (The answer to both: NEVER! Along with a little, mind your own damn business.)

Yikes, 26. How did you creep up on me like this? You're one stealthy year. Since there's no stopping time, I guess all I can do is make the best of my last 25 days as a spry 25-year-old... while of course also making all of my 26+ friends feel like they're ancient. Sorry about that, ladies!

Anyway, on to happier, younger thoughts. Here are the 25 things I want to accomplish in the next 25 days. (I know these are definitely things I can still do when I'm 26, but having a goal never hurt anybody, so stop raining on my parade and just go along with my fun little game, OK!?)

1. Buy a box of Smarties and eat the red ones last.
2. Have a solo dance party to Material Girl.
3. Watch Heathers and Pump Up the Volume just to fawn over. young Christian Slader.
4. Have a board game night.
5. Paint lawn gnomes.
6. Write a journal entry each day, even if it's just a list of random thoughts.
7. Go on more mushroom hunting adventures before they're all gone.
8. Visit the hot springs before they close.
9. Take my dad up the Tramway.
10. Send my mom a gift.
11. Skype with my brother and my nephews.
12. Make my sister a friendship bracelet.
13. Eat an ice cream cone before it gets too cold to enjoy one.
14. Photograph the fall colours.
15. Go for a drive with no destination in mind.
16. Roast smokies over a bonfire.
17. Go for a picnic.
18. Hit the last farmers' market of the season.
19. Make pineapple zucchini bread.
20. Get a haircut.
21. Go mini golfing.
22. Dance to the music of a live band.
23. Make a list of DIY projects to do this winter.
24. Do something spontaneous.
25. Have a movie night on the couch with popcorn, candy, cozy PJs, and lots of blankies.

26. Have the best birthday EVER!

Do you ever think about what you want to accomplish by a certain age? Or do you set silly little goals for yourself, like eating Smarties?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Ladies of the Mountains

Drum roll, please! No. Stop. That was pathetic. Try that again, and make it louder and more enthusiastic. Take inspiration from the guy in the marching band whose hat strap goes under his nose. Perfect! You got it.

Thanks, friends. That's just the kind of introduction I needed for the unveiling of the latest and greatest series you'll be finding here on Gypsy in Jasper. It's called Ladies of the Mountains. Sounds magical, right? Well, that's because it is.

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You see, every two weeks, I'll be here on the ol' blog posting about mountain related things and at the same time five other magnificent mountain mavens will be doing the same on their blogs. Who might these explorers be, you ask? Well, of course, they are Gentri of Gentri Lee, Lena of Musings, Michelle of On The Adventure, Meagan of The Egg Out West, and last, but definitely not least, Kelly of A Crooked Trail. Quite the lineup, eh? Aren't you excited to see what we have in store for all of you?!

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For our first Ladies of the Mountains post, we present to you, outdoor wear. In my case, an outfit I wore on a little mushroom hunting adventure last weekend. If you've been paying attention, you saw some of the those photos yesterday. If not, here's the link. You'll wanna check them out. (Demanding, aren't I?!)

Photobucket My standard outfit when I'm out in the wilderness is my little shoulder backpack, my camera, my hikers, a pair of old well-worn jeans and a cozy sweater. Often I'll also throw on a hat to protect myself from pesky ticks and the like. In this case, I risked it and came out alive. Phew!

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These hikers are gold! I found them at a flea market in Yellowknife a couple years ago for $2.75. They are definitely a kick back to the 80s or early 90s, but they were already broken-in to perfectly fit my feet. I remember taking a second to hum and haw over buying them, which now has me shaking my head. They have been in heavy rotation ever since I brought them home. I don't know what I would have done without them! I honestly dread the day they start to fall apart and I have to go on the hunt for another pair.

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This alpaca sweater is another thrift find. I got it here in Jasper at the local church sale that happens a couple times a week. I love wearing it for outdoor adventures because it's cute, warm and super soft. That's a triple win in my books. I'm sad to say that it's already almost too cold for it here in the mountains. I went for a hike on Tuesday night and had a frozen nose and fingers by the end. It's almost time to pull out the toques and scarves in these here parts!!

Well friends, that's all from me today. I hope you enjoyed my first Ladies of the Mountains post. We'll have our next one up Sept. 27. On that day, we'll put fashion aside and talk about our favourite hikes.

See you next time! Don't forget to check out what the other LOTM ladies wore on their outdoor adventure!