Lots of Adventures; Seventeen Weeks In

Dental Adventure

I had a dental cleaning scheduled for Monday afternoon and I was a bit nervous, due to the thought of having someone’s hands in my open mouth but you know what, all my nerves evaporated when the hygienist came into the room in full hazmat gear. Mask, face shield, hair covered, medical gown over all her clothes, and gloves.

Apparently there are “Marches To Unmask” going on around the country, and I keep reminding myself that it is very bad karma, very bad karma indeed, to wish ill on the participants, especially to wish a deadly Covid outbreak that would occur as a result of those marches. Bad karma, and therefore I am NOT wishing it to happen.

It is also wrong and bad karma to I hope a giant anvil drops from the sky and squashes every single marcher. However, if my dental hygienist can cheerfully don a hazmat suit every time she cleans someone’s teeth, certainly we can all put on a mask to get groceries.

I’m really leaning into the pretty mask thing; it’s taking all of my willpower not to order a different mask for every day of the week. There are so many cute ones to choose from! Lean in! Make it work! Match it with your outfit! They really bring out your eyes.

Costco Adventure

Speaking of groceries, the exciting news in my life is that there are no longer lineups to get into Costco. In fact, last week I went to Costco and Superstore and a) almost everyone was masked, particularly in Costco where they give you masks at the door if you do not have your own (super cute and outfit-matching one), b) there were no shortages of anything that I could see or was shopping for, and c) I am finally getting back joy in grocery shopping. It no longer feels like a grim and possibly deadly task; it feels like the happy, food-obtaining job that I have long enjoyed.

Friend Adventures

We saw our dear friends, who are more like chosen family (HI GUYS) this week for the first time since February, and it felt joyful and wonderful and almost normal. Well, except I wasn’t able to hug them; god, I miss hugging. The book I just finished reading talks about the importance of touch to our physical and mental health, and there was some study done about the optimal number of hugs a day; my family is getting the brunt of my unspent hugs. HUG MEEEEEE.

I also saw my dear friend Lyn (HI LYN) for the first time in a long while, and she is NOT a hugger, so I am sure she’s getting joy out of not being physically affectionately attacked by me.

Actual Mountain Adventure

I went on a beautiful hike with my very good friend Janet (HI JANET); we went to Lake Louise and hiked the Plain of the Six Glaciers, along with a little detour up to Lake Agnes, for a total of about sixteen kilometres and lots of elevation. It was an adventure; there had been a snowslide across the path and we had to go over it, discovering after the fact that it was completely hollowed out underneath. Oops. At the Glacier Lookout, there is an outhouse, and when I was using it I heard a great loud noise and felt a lot of wind. This was the culprit:

If you’ve ever wondered how they empty outhouses in remote mountain locations, wonder no more!

If you don’t strike a yoga pose when you are hiking in the mountains, are you even a yoga teacher?

Lake Louise is usually chock full of tourists at any given time, but the cold drizzly morning, and our early start, meant I actually was able to get a people-free photo.

The top of that mountain, the Big Beehive, is where my husband proposed to me, lo these many years ago. Aww! Shmoopy.

Pandemic Reading Adventure

You guys, the library is open, not just for curbside hold pickups, but actually open! I think I need an intervention:

I read a real variety of books this week, variety being the spice of life, etc.

Suzanne (HI SUZANNE) recommended this as a fun, light read, and it really was. Fun fact: the wardrobe budget for Clueless was only $200,000 – think of all the costumes! – and so they thrifted or made all the clothing in the show. Another fun fact: the actor who holds Cher up by gunpoint was essentially called an hour before to get the job. The original actor was being a dick about getting to the set for the call time so they fired him and just started phoning random actors they knew to play the part that afternoon. Remember my last post and all the talk about luck and timing?

This is the last of the Lives of the Saints trilogy; you may recall that I LOVED Lives of the Saints, but the second book I actively loathed. Why would I even bother reading the third, you may ask? Well. It’s a trilogy. I kind of had to. You get me. Anyway, it was not as good as the first but much better than the second, and because it’s Nino Ricci there is a gross, disturbing, and frankly disgusting plot line. However, I’m still glad I read it. I had to finish the trilogy, don’t judge.

My lovely friend Twyla (HI TWYLA) recommended this to me; with this type of book, I take what I need and leave the rest. I mean, I’m not going to stop using shampoo, drinking coffee, wearing a bra, or vaccinating. I’m highly unlikely to start smudging with sage or burning salts. But here’s the thing: I am a big fan of modern medicine, I love modern medicine, but I also am a huge proponent of complementary and preventative medicine; I truly believe in mind-body connections and that negative thoughts and the inability to forgive and let go can be toxic. If we have learned nothing else from Star Wars, it’s that anger and hatred lead to death. Well, everything leads to death, probability of death equals 1, we are all on a journey to savasana, but it would be nice if that journey was as long and as healthy as possible. Anyway, what I really liked about this book was the theme of self-love and self-care, and to practice loving-kindness towards yourself first, and also to others. What we send out in the world is an echo, and it comes back to you. It’s all about karma!

On that note, I am sending you all thoughts of loving-kindness, I hope you have a week full of wonderful adventures and much joy. xo


  1. I don’t get the people who are so against mask wearing. Big ass babies who don’t like to be told what to do….*sigh*
    I love your mountain adventure; it’s so pretty. The landscape reminded me of New Zealand. The outhouse? Is that like a porta-potty? I do hope you got out before it was moved for dumping.
    I’m also a hugger and I feel totally neglected through all of this because the variety of my huggers is limited.

    • nicoleboyhouse says

      Yes, an outhouse is sort of like a porta-potty, but more wilderness-y? And I did get out 🙂
      The huggers are not okay!!! We need our hugs.

  2. I am so jealous of your mountain hike. Gorgeous! I must remind myself that your winters are worse than mine, so I will admire from afar.

    I am also happy to be able to go inside the library- even though at the moment I have a few books to work on. I am currently reading Brick Lane, thanks for recommending. Then the Silent Patient for my August book club.

    People are so bazaar about masks and other intelligent precautions. I am tired of hearing it referred to as a fake disease. What? People!

    I am not sure I ever find joy in grocery shopping . . . maybe when I am done. But it has become less stressful, which is nice.

    OMG did that helicopter try to empty the outhouse with you in it?

    • nicoleboyhouse says

      No, I was out of the outhouse by that time 🙂 I’m glad you like the books! Our winters are extremely long and cold so I have to enjoy the mild weather when I can!

  3. bibliomama2 says

    I can’t believe you can hike at Lake Louise – SO beautiful, although having a helicopter land to empty the outhouse while you’re using it sounds like a few nightmares I’ve had. I’m finding more or less the same thing about grocery shopping – normally I always feel so grateful that I can buy food for my family, and now I feel grateful when I see people wearing masks. It’s actually ‘mandatory’ here now (I’m not sure how well that’s being enforced). I love Eleanor and Park and I’m interested in the book called “Lean Out” (which seems more my style than “Lean In”, if that’s the reference), and I do get you about the trilogy – it’s why I finished Margaret Atwood’s Maddaddam trilogy even though the last book sucked for me pretty much from page one.

    • nicoleboyhouse says

      That’s totally the reference! I will report back. You are the one who recommended Eleanor and Park! I knew it! We Calgarians are really lucky to have the mountains in our backyard, that’s for sure. It makes up for our crap weather.

  4. I TOTALLY get you on finishing the series. My son “aged out” of Harry Potter right before the last book came out – I was gobsmacked that he didn’t finish the series! I’m still questioning whether or not he was switched at birth.

    • nicoleboyhouse says

      Right? I had to finish! My son is like that too, he’s reading a book he hates but it’s last in the series so…

  5. I also need a book intervention. I am glad you were happy at the dentist, me too! Except the assistant polished my teeth and was just brutal.

    “If we have learned nothing else from Star Wars…” huge guffaws from me, great line.

    Lastly, O is thrilled no one will ever randomly hug him again, but I am ready for some: how to hug during a pandemic….


  6. Nicole I love your posts & kind of identify with you as I raised 3 boys (now 28, 30, 31). I also have a girl who is 38 — that’s the way to raise boys, with a built in extra mama:). I was in your beautiful city this past weekend visiting my two youngest who have lived their for 6 & 7 years. They moved from Ontario to get a trade. Youngest loves being close to the mountains so sad to say I can’t see him moving back. The 30 year old misses family so I think we’ll see him back here. When they each moved away I gave them strict orders NOT to fall in love, especially with a western girl. They hung in but both succumbed in 2019 – and both beautiful young ladies have family in BC (arghhh!).

    We had a hike to Johnston Canyon planned for Saturday. It was only 2.5 km so their was a second short hike planned. However it turned out we had to walk 6.5 km each way to the entrance of Johnston Canyon. This is a strategy to keep the crowds down. It was wonderful! We are all good walkers/hikers so it only took an hour and the trail itself was quite empty. We were wise to arrive just after 9 a.m. as there were many cyclists and walkers heading in as we walked out.

    We brought sunshine with us but many it was a lot colder than it’s been in Ontario this summer@

    I also love your book recommendations! We seem to have fairly similar reading taste.

  7. Marches to unmask…my, that sounds like something that would happen down here. (Well, not precisely in my neck of the woods, but you know what I mean).

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