Category Archives: Personal Blog

Dreaming Of the Canadian Rockies

Before the border closed Jacob and I loved driving up to Canmore, AB. From there we would drive around Banff and up to Lake Louise. As we started getting into dark sky photography we started making plans to head up to Jasper for the Dark Sky Preserve. Our next trip, whenever the border reopens, will be an adventure to remember.

When we went up to Canmore, AB for Thanksgiving 2019 we spent a total of 3 days there. Each day was spent filled with adventure and splendor. We should note that it is helpful to rent or buy a CHAdeMO adapter for the Tesla if you are driving between the United States and the Canadian Rockies.

There are few things as relaxing as cozying up by a fire, or exploring the magic wonderlands of ice and snow, hiking around during the heat of summer, or the magic of the changing carnelian deciduous leaves and emerald evergreens of autumn. We currently live in Montana, but it truly does not hold a candle to what lies a little farther north in the Rocky Mountains.

Hiking around in the snow, even in subzero alpine climates, is a lot of fun. The powder is like glittering diamond dust you can play in for hours. We could have made diamondesque snow castles with the right molds. Someone else did! We stumbled upon this beauty near the Cosmic Ray Station.

Speaking of the Sulphur Mountain Cosmic Ray Station that was an excellent hike and adventure. You can take the gondola up and down, or you can hike up and take the gondola down for free! They sometimes are running special events and policies are changing all the time, so be sure to check their website before you go.

We ate lunch in the Northern Lights Alpine Kitchen – this was a wonderful choice and worked out very well for us. We have ALL THE FOOD ALLERGIES and celiac disease, so we recognize that eating out is never an easy task. They were extremely accommodating. We would definitely go back.

On the observation deck at the top of the gondola there was some amazing outdoor art. I loved this mirror bear.

Even Jacob couldn’t resist getting a picture with such a cool art piece!

Next, we drove up to Lake Louise for brunch at the Fairmont and Ice Skating! Brunch at the Fairmont’s tea room does not require reservations, but it’s a good idea to get there early. One of the great things about driving a Tesla is that because we were eating at the hotel and ice skating, we got to charge for free in the garage there.

While there, I went ice skating on an actual lake for the first time! The ice skate rental was not expensive compared to similar skate rentals in the United States (this surprised me). Jacob is not a big fan of ice skating and instead chose to operate the camera. I’m the one in the red scarf.

One of the strangest aspects of ice skating on a real lake is that you can hear the ice cracking underneath of you. It’s a deep sound that no one else seemed to respond to. I could feel the vibrations through my whole body, but at the same time it did not feel concerning. This is my new favorite form of ice skating.

I had so much fun ice skating. I’ve seen pictures of this lake during the summer months, but we did not make it up here when we came up for our first Anniversary. We were very sad when we could not fulfill the tradition again this year. Every time we go, we find more things we want to go back to do.

Beyond the scenery, one place we try to make an effort to plan to go to is always The Sensory & Wit Bar. Our memory card fried itself (I was so mad. You can ask Jacob…) so we lost all of the pictures of our dinner, but the food and drinks there are very similar to eating at Alinea with a reduction in unnecessary (but fun) theatrics.

Update! I found one picture that survived!

The Sensory & Wit Bar really does focus on what it says: the sensory experience, wit, and wisdom of dining. One of my favorite parts of the experience was how your meal is a journey through a story. The kitchen’s story while we were there was “The Huntsman”. Plus, at their prices, their food is more accessible than Alinea, but I put their 7-course tasting menu with wine pairing on the same level when it comes to the food quality and creating a remarkable experience that is hard to compare. No wonder it has made so many Best New Canadian Restaurant lists.

The Sensory is where I finally got to try Orange Wine. Orange is my favorite color. I love all things orange and this gem of a wine hits with the joys of Okanogan autumn twinkling with candlelight. I wanted to buy a bottle, but the wine pairing is plenty generous. This may be my favorite wine in existence and it is a travesty that it is so hard to find.

If you plan to go: We usually make our reservations for a party of 2 at least one week in advance and we provide our full allergy list for the multi-course menus. The chef is phenomenally talented when given sufficient time to prepare. All of their ingredients are sourced consciously and carefully, so if you have a party larger than 2 with food allergies and you’d like to do the tasting menu, I’d recommend requesting your reservation more than one week in advance.

As with all drives back home, we relished the route back to Montana which takes us back through Radium Hot Springs – a lovely town we hope to visit on its own some day.

We also take the long drive down through Fernie and everywhere we can hit up electric car chargers. It’s a brilliant thing being able to drive all the way from Montana to Canmore, up to Lake Louise, then back down again in an electric car in subzero weather. I look forward to the day when we can do it again, next time including Jasper.


Thank you so much for reading! If you enjoyed this post please take a moment to leave a comment, like, or share it. If you have any questions about traveling to Banff, Canmore, or Lake Louise, particularly getting around with an electric vehicle, please feel free to ask away in the comments! Jacob and I are happy to answer any questions 🙂

If you would like to use any of our photos from this post:

  • For unpaid projects, simply credit us by linking back to this website.
  • For paid projects please send me an e-mail and we can exchange a fair use contract with more details.

Lo Is Domestic AF: I Foraged Rose Hips In The Woods

While adventuring along the Skalkaho Road (Route 38) Rose Hip season is in full swing. That means, it’s time to harvest and process all these beautiful end of summer/beginning of autumn fruits. For further reading, I’m going to refer readers over to this article on processing Rose Hips on The Spruce.

Rose hips were one of my grandmother’s favorite foods. My grandmother was the daughter of a feminist, progressive “woman’s doctor” in the Deep South (Alabama). She told me a story once about how the blood and other body fluids from miscarriages and complicated births were used to feed/fertilize her family’s rose bushes while they were cleaning the surgical delivery suite in the family’s basement. Traditionally, especially in the South, human blood and animal blood was used as fertilizer for roses. You can find instructions on using blood meal to fertilize your rose bushes here.

I could go into great detail about the religious and spiritual significance around the use of blood to fertilize rose bushes that would then be used to grow and harvest the eventual resulting rose hips from the flowers. There is something truly beautiful about this cycle of life and connectedness between the earth and this particular food, especially as we enter a season where “the veil thins.”

A word of advice: if you collect wild rose hips soak them in water overnight unless you like extra protein. Use a slotted spoon to lift them from the water. You’ll see the grubbies at the bottom of the container. Pour this out, or strain them out.

I’ll add another update with preparations of rose hips including tea, jam, and cordial soon. I need to go back out and collect more rose hips before I can write about these preparation processes, specifically the cordial.

What seasonal foraging foods do you like hunting for in autumn? Are there any family favorites? Any traditions?

Thank you for reading!

My Mother (Flower Child) – A Poem

On the last day of September, I take a moment to celebrate another year with my amazing mother. I remember this with a song that always reminds me of her birthday, “Try To Remember” by The Sandpipers.

Many years ago I wrote a poem about my mother. Nothing can truly capture how incredible of a human being she is and the life experiences she survived. From those, she carried lessons forward that I still gain from every day.

From being a woman fighting for the Equal Rights Amendment since she was a teenager, starting her career in COBOL and FORTRAN, teaching me the definition of resilience, instilling in me a love of life and learning, and being an amazing human at every turn – she has had a huge impact on the world around her by being herself.

Happy Birthday, Mom!


My Mother

My mother was a commune girl
She waved her olive branch high
She painted pictures of the things
We’ll never see in our little lives

My mother was a loving dove
She nurtured all who found her
She took the world into her arms
With the magic she could conjure

My mother was a flower child
She bathed in fields of daisies
And though she looks so young
Her age says she’s in her sixties


Thank you for taking the time to read this poem and dedication today! If you enjoyed it, please take a moment to like or leave a comment.

Landscaping The Yard: An Update

I mentioned that one of my current projects is landscaping the yard. And the yard started out looking *rough* for our 1/10 acre lot around this detached townhouse. It started out pretty plain – a weed barrier with mulch overtop.

Our first mission had been building this retaining wall this past summer for stormwater and snowmelt management.

Then I put in two front garden patches. I have my little garden faeries. I spell that with the “ae” because they’re *special* and little gargoyle things. I bet they come alive at night and are Daddy Longlegs ranchers. I’ll take a video sometime about the unusually large population of Daddy Longlegs living in my garden beds around these little statues. I have no issues with other bugs though!

By the front door I have my little freeze thaw resistant flower pot and my rodeo rider.

For today’s interlude, here are some flower pictures. The flowers are flourishing now that they’re in the ground.

In the back yard against the garage wall I plan to plant this radiant honeysuckle.

I love the color orange. It is my favorite color and finding an orange Chrysanthemum made me very happy.

I’m honored that Glowing Goddess Skin (not a promotional link) featured one of my Chrysanthemum photos from the garden.

The next flowers I plan to add are taken mostly from here. I love dark colored flowers and by having them mixed in with brightly colored ones, I believe this creates a nice balance.

I would also like to add Hydrangeas and Peonies as the finishing touches next spring once the sod has been placed and we have a sense of how the honeysuckle is filling in along the garage wall.

What are your favorite flowers? What do you value most in landscaping?

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this brief update on the garden. I hope you are making the most of your time at home and the beautiful autumn weather. Be sure to like, comment, and/or share if you would like to see more updates on our garden and landscaping. Stay happy and healthy!

Thank you for reading ❤