Day Trip To Jasper, Alberta

Is January not the LONGEST.MONTH.EVER?

I mean, this isn’t a bad thing. Not really when you think of the alternative. January could be OVER for me any second and then won’t I be the one wishing for another day?!

It seems I grow impatient with what is as I dream of what I WANT. February, March, April, May and June. *Note to self: plan more fun things for the longest month of the year.

I shouldn’t be bitching because the Hubs and I went to Jasper on Saturday. It’s just a few hour drive from home and it was really nice to get out of the city for a bit.

The drive was pretty and uneventful. We saw one deer and countless ravens.

We drove down the Icefields Parkway for a bit:

And these signs made me laugh. Mountains? What Mountains?! We were completely socked in and then it started to snow, sideways.

We drove up the ski hill- Marmot Basin– and were annoyed by the way people park up there. People?! You so crazy! I was seriously getting anxiety just driving through the lots. Cars parked behind cars with seemingly no regard for others, cars parked in the roadway, on snowbanks, in the driveway…it was insane. And don’t even get my man, the “parking police” started! I thought he was going to have a stroke with all the anarchy. So, just be forewarned.

Driving down from Marmot Basin

I spent a few minutes in the rock shop -Jasper Rock and Jade– where I spent half my allowance on rocks πŸ™‚

Rose Quartz, Tiger Eye, Carnelian and a bag of rocks for Ms. Sassafras.

Lunch time! ( My second favourite time of the day!)

Jasper Brewing Company makes a mean Mule:

Pomegranate Mule

Hubs and I both had their Fried Chicken Sandwich with Fries. It’s “
buttermilk marinated chicken, slaw, hot pepper relish, pickles, sriracha mayo, sesame bun ” Sounds good, right?

It was sadly underwhelming. Now don’t get me wrong, it was put together well and the ingredients were a quality product, for sure. There were chunks of white AND dark meat in the sandwich, which I was impressed by. It was clearly made with care. Its just that it lacked flavour!

The chicken, both the flesh and the batter could have used some salt and pepper or something. The hot peppers weren’t even mildly spicy and the slaw and pickles didn’t really taste of anything but “sweet”. I was sad because thought and attention went into the thing, it just didn’t taste like anything but sweet, bready meat. The fries were good! Hot, crispy and salty. And our service was excellent. My drink had me craving more and it was a fun place. Young crowd. -We were counting the “old people” We were two of six, out of a huge room, ha ha- We’d go again. I’d just try something else.

The wind picked up and it was time to go home. Was the snow we’d met on the parkway coming into town? We didn’t stick around long enough to find out! It was a gorgeous day. Sunny and WARM! +4 degrees Celsius! Much nicer than the -13C that awaited us in the city, that’s for sure.

We stopped at a beautifully maintained outhouse at the edge of the park where I was almost blown away:

And with one last lingering glance at the beauty around us, it was back to the cold, safe and sound!

Jasper, in January was still a hoppin’ place but there were a lot of things that were closed for the season. So just check before you go. It’s still worth the trip. We saw a lot of animals, sheep and elk, although my park book tells me WOLVES are often seen on the valley floor too. I’d yet to see one but soon … soon! I’m sure of it!

Family Dinner, Bullies and Pie.

For the first time in a long ass time, the Hubs and I had everyone over for dinner. Just because. As of late our family has been fractured. Disconnected. 

First there was ( and is ) my son’s drug addiction. Then there was The Great Marriage/Mental Health Fiasco of ’16. We’ve been struggling! Grasping at what was. Hurting with what is. Longing for what could be. 

But fear not! A shift has occurred, as shifts do and somehow – I’m unable to pinpoint it all exactly – our family is coming back together, once again.

Dinner went well! There was food- mac n cheese, roasted sausages, mixed vegetables- there were laughs-lots of good natured “roasting” lots of chasing the kids around, lots of jokes and silliness, there were grandkids..

and there was pie!

When I was making said pie, I was triggered by a memory of a former life. 

My very first job after having my son was in this crappy little bakery, tucked away in the back corner of a garden shop. I was a clerk. I sold treats, sliced bread, made sandwiches, washed dishes and sometimes got to bake cookies.

It would have been an alright job had it not been for one of my co-workers. A spoiled, rich asshole and son of the owners. A man prone to temper tantrums. Legit, tantrums. The kind a toddler would have.

So I’m working away up front, his mother is in the office and Dickhead is in the back doing baker things. I’ve got customers in the shop and we’re all distracted from our calm by the sound of metal clanging and things flying around , followed by the slamming of a door. What the…??? I know what’s going on but the customers don’t so they very quickly finish up and take their leave, visibly disturbed by the commotion. I don’t even remember what I said to them…probably nothing. I have no idea WHAT the problem was this time but from past experience, but I’m sure we’ll ALL hear about later.

Dickhead comes back in after a while – Shawn! His name was Shawn!- Anyway, Dickhead comes back in and the mystery of why is solved. I hear him talking to his mum about how his egg whites wont build because apparently I didn’t wash the bowl properly- grease in your meringue bowl impedes lift-  and how I’m an idiot and this and that and on and on. He’s totally raging and trashing me, saying the vilest of things. 

This is all said out loud with no regard for privacy. I can hear every word. Mommy is trying to calm him down and placate him and he eventually chills and tries to make it all again, saying nothing to me. Nobody says anything to me! Which makes the whole thing even more awkward. 

I carry on with my job, tense as fuck, not knowing what I should do in any direction. I’m not the only one who does dishes in that place! Do I say something? What should I do? Ahhhh! I hate this! I have to walk past Dickhead much later and he is still simmering with rage. So much so that, as I pass him he spits out at me ” You stupid fucking cunt!”

Whaaaaaat?! 

Now, present day Lael would have stopped whatever she was doing, gathered up her belongings and walked out the front door, never to be seen again. No question.

Past Lael wasn’t as wise. Or as brave. What did I do? I ignored him. Which I guess is a defense in itself. But then I kept on working there until I eventually quit because Dickhead started sexually harassing me.

OY!

The thing of it is, I didn’t tell anyone about that first incident. Why? I felt ashamed. Like his asshole behavior was a reflection of me. Maybe I really did do a shitty job of washing the bowl…I was paralyzed with fear and doubt and …the ickiness that comes from being around adults who have temper tantrums and treat people like garbage. Of course, even if it was my fault, is a poorly washed bowl ANY justification for being so aggressive and awful to another human? Nope! Of course not! I wish I had said something to someone, I know now I would have gained wisdom and clarity. But live and learn!

Silence is NOT golden. Silence is isolating. I’m grateful for the lesson.

I’d love to go back in time to redo THAT experience. In a way now, every time I speak up, stand up and take myself out of a toxic situations, I am! 

All this from pie πŸ™‚ 

Which was delicious! I found the recipe online, here. 

Have you ever been in a situation like that? Have you ever thought back and wondered WHY you put up with something so obviously toxic? What did you learn in hindsight?



Pickle Pizza

Have you seen that video floating around social media these days about pickle pizza?

It seems interest falls into two categories: Ew gross! Or, I’m interested…

I was most definitely curious about such a thing so I set out to reproduce my own version!

Here’s the original video:

Yum! Pickle Pizza The Original.

And here’s my end result:

What’s the verdict? It was good! Not nearly as weird as one would think. I found it to be a nice mix of salty,briney,creamy and crisp. The herbs de Provence added depth and just a hint of La Dee Da. Ha ha.

Check it out!

Pickle Pizza

Serves 1

1 clove garlic,minced

1 tsp olive oil plus more to taste for drizzling on top

1/8 tsp herbs de Provence

Scant half cup pickles, thinly sliced

1 flat bread-lavesh is what I used.

10 thin slices mozzarella

Salt and pepper to taste

Dill to taste

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400C

Mix garlic oil and herbs de Provence together. Smear on lavesh. Layer cheese on,filling in huge empty spaces with torn up bits.

Top with pickles.

Season with salt,pepper and dill.

Bake for 10 mins or so til golden bubbly and done! Broil for quicker results.
Drizzle with a little bit more olive oil and enjoy!

Let me know what you think!