Akamina Ridge

I completed Akamina Ridge on Sunday, September 18, 2022. It was not a hike I’d intended to attempt in this lifetime but it was one of James’ bucket-list hikes so when I saw that ideal weather forecast, I made sure we’d be heading up to Akamina Ridge. I am very glad that I did Akamina Ridge. It turned out to be the best hike I have ever done.

The Akamina Ridge hike did not turn out as I had expected. There were others heading up to hike the ridge at the same time as us, so I told them that I’d get to the top and wait for them there so they could go ahead of us since we’d be slower than them. One man said “don’t worry, we can always leap frog you.” I definitely wanted to avoid a “leap frog” situation on a narrow ridge. I have done Crypt Lake trail in the past and that cable part (especially) is insane when people are heading in both directions at once “leap frogging” each other. I hadn’t done Akamina Ridge before and was concerned it would be like Crypt in parts. Akimina, like Crypt, is one of the Triple Crown hikes.

I take every hike very slowly. Elevations are tough for me so slow is the only way to go. I stop often to look at plants along the way and I get up to the tops of mountains just like everyone else does.

There is nothing “extreme” about the way I hike. I am not an “extreme” person so I tend to avoid scrambles up mountain cliffs and the like. I would characterize that first part of the Akamina Ridge hike up to the ridge over-looking Wall and Forum Lake as a “scramble”. It cannot really be called a trail at that point. It’s tough to see anything like a trail between those rocks and it is too steep for switchbacks.

You can hear my voice shaking with fear as I sang my song, Our International Peace Park (which I sang while taking a break on a rock just off the “trail” on that scary part while I was waiting for those who were catching up with me to pass me). Not only was my voice shaking, but my legs were shaking while I sang my song, Akamina, which I sang once I reached the flat(ish) part of the top of that rise. That climb up to the ridge was the scariest thing I’ve hiked. I recorded my performances and attached them below with the other videos that I recorded while on the Akamina Ridge hike.

I had got word, through the grapevine of hikers along the “trail”, between my two songs, that James had decided to bail. I passed the message back down to him, through the grapevine, that I was going to finish the hike along the ridge. I knew I wouldn’t be able to go back down the way I’d come up without falling. Moving forward fearlessly was the only option for me at that point.

The most frightening part of the Akamina Ridge hike is that short climb up those rocks to get up onto the ridge. Unless you have hiked up there before, you cannot know whether or not more of the same (or worse) awaits you along the trail, yet you know that you cannot go back the same direction that you came on. That is a scary feeling. Singing my song, Akamina, helped me regain my courage.

I could see that the trail went up to the top of the mountain ahead of me and I knew that the trail went around the ridge surrounding Wall Lake so when I heard a woman say that she felt like she was going in the wrong direction because she thought Akamina was flat at the top, I became concerned for their safety. The trail looked much like the one that heads up from the Goat Lake side of Avion Ridge where James had been certain was the wrong way to go and wouldn’t follow me up. He was instead frantically looking for a trail down the slope (and I was concerned that he might find a goat trail to follow).

I pointed out where I could see the trail going down from the ridge on the other side. James had our map but one woman in the group of four had a map on her phone (besides, one of the four in her group was “the goat” and I felt pretty sure he would keep his mother safe). When they stopped for a break, I continued the trail on my own.

I really enjoyed doing the hike along the top of Akamina Ridge on my own. I didn’t have anyone to worry about up there (besides myself). There was barely a breeze and I found it relaxing to walk along the tops of mountains, for the most part.

Eventually, once I had completed all of the more unpleasant parts of the hike (down a fairly steep scree slope along a knife edge, for example), a lovely young couple from Calgary caught up with me and then passed me. We talked up there for quite awhile. They were very nice people.

At the end of the Akamina Ridge hike, the thing I’d enjoyed most about the hike turned out to be the people I’d met along the way. The first two people I’d met on the way up to the ridge were mother and son. The mother said that her son was a gazelle and he corrected her, referring to himself as “a goat”.

He said that he’d already done Crypt Lake trail fifteen times and he was only twelve years old! He was awesome. What I found most awesome about him was how much he loved and cared for his mother. I watched as he told her where to place her feet while climbing up the first (scary) part up to the ridge.

The “goat” stayed right with his mother as she struggled up the rocks. What twelve year old cares for their parents so well as that? He was an awesome person who had been raised to be awesome by an awesome mother.

One woman in their group, the one who’d been leading, told me that I was awesome when I left them to continue on my own. I told her that she and all of us were awesome and I meant it. I was glad to see that they all made it down the other side of the ridge to safety.

Perhaps that woman thought I was awesome because I was heading off on my own. I hadn’t asked her why she’d thought I was awesome. When I met a group coming up to the ridge from the other end (near Wall Lake), a woman in their group told me that I was courageous. I asked her why she thought that and she replied “because you went up on your own.” I explained that I hadn’t but my husband had turned around at the beginning of the hike up to the ridge. I did enjoy getting two very nice compliments in one day.

I liked knowing that there were other people on the Akamina Ridge while I was there but I honestly preferred the moments that I had to myself up there. It was so peaceful.

When I met up with James, I was telling him about how the group I had been near at the beginning of the ridge was questioning where to go. I knew it was a moment like the one James and I had had on Avion Ridge. When James had reached a point where the trail went up a slope, when he’d expected the trail to be heading down into a different direction, he was sure it was not the right path. I couldn’t see any other path there and started climbing it but he refused to follow.

James had done ample research and talked to other people who’d just hiked Avion. If someone tells you that a trail like Avion or Akamina is flat on the top, they might mean that the trail no longer requires a scramble or free climbing up chest high rocks on an insanely steep slope.

Don’t start to panic and question what you can see with your eyes. You do not want to panic up there and you certainly don’t want that kind of energy building within the group. If you start to question where you’re going, take a break, look at flowers or the view, and calmly enjoy the moment. Try singing a song or make a joke to get everyone in your group happy and relaxed again. Keep the energy positive up there.

Also, there is a park sign that indicates that those who hike the ridge should have a compass with them. I can’t see how a compass could help you up there but you must keep a solid sense of where you are. Keep reminding yourself of where Forum and Wall Lake are. They look different from above.

Stop and look around often and remind yourself of where you are. The views are worth seeing so keep your eyes open and consciously see the sights. The photographs you take will likely not do the trail justice. Consciously take some time to live the trail so that it lives in your memory for a lifetime so that you can relive the adventure many times over once you have completed the trail.

Mountain Air

Windy days aren’t easy

on day-today terrain

but you can get blown away

with elevation gain.

Twenty K’s? – just breezy;

but forty K’s? – a pain.

When the wind speed’s sixty K’s

then hiking is insane.

Don’t think raging weather

won’t wax; winds may not wane.

Morning wind is sure to stay

unless you get some rain.

Swing and sway together,

can make your day a strain.

Weather’s what you must obey

in alpine and montane.



I reviewed the TV mini-series Genius a few weeks ago. James was interested in watching it himself so I kept it back from the library for him. James has a lot more to say about Genius than I had so I have devoted a post to the subject of physics and Albert Einstein (containing videos that I recorded featuring James’ discussions on the subject).

I know very little about physics and Albert Einstein. Before I met James I would have said that ,although I knew little about the subject, I knew all I wanted to. James makes the subject interesting.

I have included what I have written of my poem Skunk-flu, which I started this morning. It is long but I don’t feel like it is complete yet. I don’t yet know what more to include in the piece but seeing as I always post my first drafts of my poems on this blog site, I don’t see how it really matters.

I’d intended to write a poem about James (or the subject of genius) to include with this post. This subject popped into my mind instead. I’ll separate the stanzas with videos where James spoke a lot about things I know nothing or little about (genius stuff).


Our Bird-flu’s now a skunk-flu, too.

So what should all we humans do

to slow the spread of this disease?

Keep doing everything we please?

Kill nature off while we consume

and watch and wait until our doom?

How could we not be worry free?

Aren’t things the way they’re meant to be?

We do exactly as we’re told –

consume, work, breed… grow ill or old

then “choose” to die with dignity

to free our “free” society

to feel care-free in nightmares where

the cruel and greedy take the share

of “lesser” creatures (aren’t they all?).

The “large” stay free to crush the “small”

without accountability;

without responsibility…

on freeways to a doomsday play

where “lesser” creatures fall away

(including all the “lesser” men)

and once they all are gone, what then?

The “large” men fall to small disease?

Their fevers rise? They cough and wheeze?

The most minute survives? Why die

when we could now identify

the source of all this death we deal

to “lesser” creatures? Still, we feel

earth’s wealth is inexhaustible

for “skunks” to take so they feel full.


James and I hiked Carthew-Alderson on September 24, 2022. I have put the attached videos in order so it’s like you are hiking with me as you read the post.

I have attached many videos of my songs that I sung to nature along my hike and sights I got to see. I also included a poem that I wrote, Triple Crown, below.

Triple Crown

Waterton National Park’s Triple Crown:

Carthew Alderson hike, Akimina, and Crypt.

Get to these trail heads by shuttles from town,

just like I did this fall, when my muscles were ripped.

I had been hiking since spring to prepare,

so these Triple Crown hikes that I did were a breeze.

I hiked on days that were calmer up there,

so my hikes were completed with comfort and ease.

Triple Crown status might all just be hype –

just a marketing ploy for the shuttle to ride –

aiming to crown each adventurist type

and those less “extreme” hikers who charter a guide.

Each of these Triple Crown journeys was fun

and I’ll always remember them now that they’re done.

I recently spoke with the woman who delivers my mail. She loves hiking in Waterton. James asked her which hike she preferred most. She told him that her favorite hike is Carthew-Alderson.

Carthew-Alderson is the most diverse trail in Waterton. There are many types of scenery and plants found along the Carthew-Alderson trail. I can see why my mail lady prefers this trail to all others in Waterton.

It wasn’t the warmest day when we hiked Carthew-Alderson this past September. It was also fairly windy. Had it been any windier, we would not have done the trail that day. As it turned out, it wasn’t too cool once we got hiking and the wind wasn’t too annoying.

Scree scenery is pretty boring to see (unless you are looking down from it). I didn’t enjoy hiking the first part (up past the scree) very much. The trail became more beautiful once we made the corner and started heading down to the Carthew Lakes.

Carthew Lakes aren’t very big, but they are scenic. They may be the most attractive lakes in Waterton Lakes National Park. Are they worth the climb? Many think so. Seeing these lakes was certainly worth the climb for me.

I don’t think James is eager to do the hike again. I am. I want to go back to see the Gentians in full bloom. Any flower lover would hike to see these blue treasures in their glory.

There is always wildlife to be found along the Waterton trails. Carthew-Alderson did not disappoint me on the wildlife count. Seeing wildlife on a mountain hike helps you feel less alone sometimes (as long as the wildlife you see isn’t a bear or cougar).

Many of the camping areas in Waterton and near Akimina have burnt so they would not be great to camp at (even though they are open in the summer). There is no tree coverage so they aren’t as scenic and they’re hot. The campsites at Alderson Lake is treed and beautiful. It is the most beautiful and private camping area I’ve seen in Waterton.

If you come from away, it would be great to start one’s Waterton Triple Crown adventure with Akimina Ridge, camp at that nearby burnt out site, then hike over to Cameron Lake in the morning (or when you recover). Then one could hike down to Alderson campsite along the Carthew-Alderson trail, and then stay there to fish and recover.

If you are attempting the Triple Crown, remember to take pictures of yourself up top as proof that you’ve completed the hikes. That is, if you want to pick up your free t-shirt in town. I still haven’t bothered to get my t-shirt. I don’t really need a t-shirt.

I also don’t need the bragging rights for having completed the Triple Crown. Having experienced these hikes is reward enough.

Singing for Confidence

When James decided to teach me how to write poetry, I was excited about beginning the learning process but I really didn’t know what to expect. I suppose I may have had hopes of becoming a poet or song writer. Perhaps I just looked forward to having my mind occupied. I never expected that writing poetry would help improve the confidence I have in myself.

When I started on this poetry-writing adventure in 2020, I could only write when I was alone in the house in the very early morning Between 4:30 AM and 6:30 AM, there isn’t even the noise of traffic outside to distract a person living downtown. I am most well-rested and able to focus at that time of the day. Now I write poetry while watching TV in the background – even really loud TV, such as Foster’s (see the review below for more details).

It has been an incredible journey for me. I have so much more confidence in myself now. Writing has improved my writing skills, for one thing. The fact that I sing many of my poems has helped so that I am less afraid to speak. I still have to read my songs on index cards to be able to sing them but I’m alright with that. One day I know I won’t need to hide behind the cards.

I remember James insisting that I keep singing when I made a mistake when I started singing my sonnet songs in spring of 2022. I couldn’t do it then. It was impossible for me to move forward and carry on once I had made a mistake without starting over completely.

James had done some drama in University so he probably developed the skill to “go on with the show” then. I have never had drama skills. I was a choirgirl but there’s strength in numbers (or a kind of invisibility?) with choir performances.

The first time I had to do a presentation alone in front of a class in college, I started speaking, then started crying and ran out of the classroom. I was so embarrassed. I hadn’t expected to be frightened. I had been in the debate club in grade eight, but had read off index cards, then. Had I become more timid as a young adult than I had been as an adolescent? Perhaps. In any case, that unsuccessful presentation didn’t help matters.

I studied agriculture in University when I was in my thirties. I made sure that I read from prepared notes when doing presentations. I knew it would cost me marks but I also knew it was necessary. A very kind remote sensing instructor tried to encourage me not to read from my notes. I think he was hoping that I might be interested in continuing my studies in the GIS field once I’d completed my bachelors (there aren’t too many women in computer sciences sorts of courses or physics-related courses I suppose so perhaps he’d hoped I could go on to teach and be a sort of role model or something).

That remote sensing instructor was great (I wish I’d had him for my previous remote sensing class). I had quite a few great instructors at the University of Lethbridge. No matter what that instructor thought about me, there was no way I could have went on to continue my education and later teach anything back then. Without my notes, I would have ended up running out of the classroom crying. I doubt any class would let their instructors get away with that.

Perhaps I hide my fear better than I think I do. I get light-headed in public because I am often so frightened that I often hold my breath. I have to concentrate on remembering to breathe. Anyhow, I don’t know how this problem began with me but I can finally see overcoming it in the near future. It feels great to see the future confident me singing my songs on the horizon.

It didn’t take more than a few months of singing sonnet songs every few days in the summer of 2022 and I could just “go on with the show” no matter what mistakes I made. You may listen to some of my performances where I made mistakes and see the performances as weak. I don’t see them that way at all. It has taken a lot of work so that I am now able to make a mistake and feel OK about it.

I see how important it is to be able to make a mistake and just carry on. There is no benefit to being held back by the mistakes we make. We must carry on.

I had a serious problem for decades and others who knew me could see it but I could not. I remember my French grandma speaking French to me a few years ago. She wanted me to speak with her finally gave up trying to coax French from me and said “You can’t speak French because you are afraid of making a mistake.” She was absolutely right. I was not only afraid, though. My fear was paralyzing. I was so afraid that it felt like my brain was turning itself off even when I was just trying to listen to her speak.

I had taken a French course at University (my instructor was excellent and didn’t push me to speak much, although the instructors are supposed to do so in University). I knew that I wouldn’t be able to continue learning French from instructors at University (or from any instructor who has been trained in that same style of learning) since I would be forced to speak. I had done well in the French course (A minus?) but gave up there.

Perhaps my French instructor could see that I did well until I had to speak. When I made just one mistake, I couldn’t do anything right. My brain turned off with the fear.

I think a lot of passive people are this way. Aggressive people convince themselves that they are smarter because they know how to turn our brains off by scaring us. We are not stupid. We are terrified.

The education style that helps aggressive children grow up to be aggressive, successful adults ensures that passive children grow up to be unsuccessful in academia and the work world. The education system that is in place turns passive children into society’s working poor. The system needs to change. I think I need to help it change.

If you are wondering why I have filled this post with movie review videos rather than my song videos (even though I have mentioned how important the singing has been for me), it is because this is what I have been doing while writing roughly fifty bird poems. I watched TV (free DVDs that I borrowed from the library) while writing, and writing, and writing. Sometimes the TV distracted me enough so that I looked up for long enough to have a bit of a break from writing. It rarely did, though.

Did my DVD reviews suffer? I think I gave those DVDs all the attention they deserved. I don’t know if anyone will give the bird poems that I wrote anymore attention than I gave to these DVDs. I don’t know that it matters to me if they do.

I still listen to other people sing their songs but I sing my own songs now. Will those I’ve always listened to be willing to listen as well as sing? I look forward to finding out (but they won’t silence me either way).

The Waterton Triple Crown Keto-cleanse

The Triple Crown consists of three day hikes: Akimina Ridge, Carthew-Alderson, and Crypt Lake. They are excellent hikes. I have not included pictures from the Triple Crown hikes in this post. You will find them in my posts featuring Akimina Ridge, Carthew-Alderson, and Crypt Lake. I designed this post as a way to plan for completing the Triple Crown hikes.

Over the past decade or so, there has been a lot of renewed interest in ketogenic diets. A lot of people love eating fat and want to also have the body of a movie star. You can be slim and eat plenty of fat. I will write more about the ketogenic diet and my Waterton Triple Crown Keto-cleanse at the end of this blog post.

If you are attempting to complete the Triple Crown hikes in Waterton Lakes National Park, it is a good idea to plan ahead. If you live near Waterton, you can check the weather and go for one of the hikes whenever you feel up for it. If you are from away and want to knock the hikes all off your list within a week long vacation in Waterton, planning ahead will help you make the most of your trip (and help you be more successful in completing your planned hikes).

The Triple Crown hikes are not easy hikes but each one is a day hike. It is possible to do each of the Triple Crown hikes without using a shuttle (but few do). It is well worth the price to take the boat shuttle to Crypt Landing. Unless you have two vehicles, it is well worth it to take a shuttle up to start either Akimina (if you are from away) or Cameron Lake (if you are local).

The reason I suggested Akimina as a drop off point for those from away is that it makes sense to camp at the camp site near Akimina after having completed the Akimina Ridge hike. It is also a great idea to remember to purchase a BC fishing license before heading up. When you come down from Akimina Ridge, you’ll go right past a beautiful lake. The fishing is excellent (so I hear).

After having camped overnight, it isn’t far to walk up to Cameron Lake from there (so you only need one shuttle ride up, not two). You start the Carthew-Alderson hike on the left side of Cameron Lake. On your way down Carthew-Alderson, you will come across one of the best campsites in Waterton Lakes National Park.

If you are local, you probably won’t be camping in between each day hike. Therefore, you will be able to drive yourself to the Akimina parking lot (so you won’t take that shuttle). If you are local, you probably will use the shuttle to Cameron Lake, though (unless you are hiking as a part of a group with two vehicles). Most people park their vehicle in the townsite and take the shuttle up to Cameron Lake to do Carthew-Alderson.

If you are doing the Triple Crown hikes during a week-long Waterton stay, you will likely do Crypt Lake last and leave Waterton after having completed the hike. This is a sensible way to schedule your Triple Crown hikes because you will find yourself back in Waterton townsite after having completed Carthew-Alderson and the boat shuttle to Crypt landing is located in Waterton townsite.

If you still haven’t had enough Waterton hiking after having completed the Triple Crown, there are many other excellent trails to hike in Waterton Lakes National Park. You should drive to Red Rock Canyon before you leave Waterton, even if you plan on leaving right away. The beauty of Red Rock Canyon might make you decide to stay longer.

Following this post, I will be posting three blog posts in succession which offer detailed write-ups with many videos taken during each of the three Triple Crown hikes that I completed in 2022. I haven’t bothered to become “honored” for having completed the Triple Crown officially yet. I have heard that you sign up in Pearls Café and then get a t-shirt for having done so. My Triple Crown posts are all the “honor” I really need, I guess.

The Waterton Triple Crown Keto-cleanse

When a human body is adapting to a ketogenic diet, it burns through a significant amount of the body’s muscle before it starts burning fat. In order to maintain a (healthy) high metabolism, a body needs muscle. How can you make sure that you start your ketogenic diet off the right way (by making sure you still have healthy muscle stores)? Exercise.

You were probably attracted to the ketogenic diet because you didn’t want to exercise. Exercise doesn’t sound fun. It sounds tough. The thought of exercising hurts. Completing the Waterton Triple Crown hikes sounds like fun, though, right? It is.

Starting any diet is tough for the first three days. After polluting your body with so many toxins (including excitotoxins, like sugar), your body has become addicted to things that are not good for your system. Exercise will help your body break through this addiction phase relatively comfortably.

My husband, James had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. His oncologist convinced him to take prescription opiates. James was reluctant to take the opiates because he didn’t want to become addicted to them. His oncologist convinced him that it was irrational to be concerned about addiction when he was dying anyhow.

James managed to pull himself back from a terminal state and was on opiates. He was not supposed to quit taking the opiates cold-turkey but we were on a multi-day hiking trip through Jasper and Banff one fall and James couldn’t find his pills. He didn’t have any withdrawal symptoms thanks to the endorphins (and healthy mountain air) he had running through him while he hiked each day. If James was able to kick prescription opiates by hiking, surely you can kick your caffeine and sugar addictions while completing my Waterton Triple Crown Keto-cleanse.

Another issue associated with diet failures is the availability of junk “food” in the city. When you are on a winding path on the tops of the mountains in Waterton Lakes National Park, you will not have any junk “food” temptations anywhere near you.

If you have packed along fishing gear (and your BC fishing license), you will enjoy a fish dinner after your Akimina Ridge hike. If you have packed along baggies of pea, hemp, or 0 cholesterol New Zealand whey protein powder, that’s what you will be consuming on your hike. You will not have access to junk “food” while hiking (nor will you miss it). For the first time in years, you (instead of your addictions) will be in complete control of what you eat.

Make sure you have planned your portions well before you leave. Your pack doesn’t have to be heavy. Protein powder weighs little (and I doubt any Bear would want to fight you for it). You will not need to pack fat in your pack (you will be losing that baggage from your own body as you hike). Just focus on packing the protein that your body will need to build and repair your muscles while you’re hiking.

How much will this diet-plan cost you? You will have to buy your own protein powder and / or fishing gear. You will have to pay travel costs to Waterton Lakes National Park and gate admission fees. These costs are not high if you happen to be living in Southern Alberta. If you are residing in New Zealand, you might want to find some great mountain trails within New Zealand (unless you’ve always wanted to see Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada).

I have provided a lot of helpful information on my site (which you can access free of charge) and there’s a lot of information about ketogenic diets on-line and at your local public library. Take the time to do thorough research before you set out on a hike or a diet. You need to take charge of your health.

Once you have completed the Waterton Triple Crown Keto-cleanse, your system will be ketogenic by the end of it. It will not stay ketogenic if you stuff a bunch of junk food into it once you finish your hiking trip. Don’t go to a restaurant (unless you really want to pick up your free triple crown t-shirt from the one in Waterton). Have meal portions prepared for yourself when you get back home. You worked hard to become ketogenic so don’t blow it for a bag of chips and a soda pop. You feel great now. Don’t blow it.

Love your body. Show all of the living cells in Universe You that you love them by feeding them healthy food. If you do so, Universe You will love you, too!

Start the Triple Crown Keto-cleanse now! How?

  1. If you have excess fat on your body, stop eating fat and eat more vegetables (especially leafy greens) and berries. Many Catholics and people of other religions are settling into a fast around this time of year (before Easter). If they can sacrifice some things that they love for a while, so can you. Your tastes may change within a few days so that you actually enjoy eating quinoa and kale. Don’t aim to go ketogenic now. Just give up eating sugar (unless it is in the form of whole fruit); Aspartame; MSG; dietary fat; and caffeine.
  2. Start planning your fun hikes for the summer (see the Parks Canada websites for the best trail information).
  3. Start taking short urban hikes every day that the weather permits.
  4. Focus on learning something new to keep your mind focused (on something other than fatty food). I’m not saying that you should enroll in classes. Learn something independently (like how to write sonnets).
  5. After a couple months of almost daily urban hikes (increasing in difficulty and length), start taking your hikes in the mountains (that you researched earlier). Build up gradually.
  6. By the time you are in shape enough to do the Triple Crown Keto-cleanse challenge, you will be quite healthy. In fact, you may not be eating very much fat at all. You may have swapped all of the less healthy fat sources (like bacon) for more healthy sources (like salmon) or you may have become vegan. You may have found that you have become very healthy without having become ketogenic. Surprise! It’s not ketosis that is the healthy part of the healthiest ketogenic diets, it’s exercise and healthy greens, proteins, and berries.
  7. So, do you follow through with the Triple Crown Keto-cleanse now that you’ve cleansed your mind of brainwashing about the benefits of ketogenic diets? You will probably be so healthy by August or September (when you plan on doing the triple crown hikes) that your body will whether a ketogenic week just fine. Once you have achieved the health gained by regular exercise and a healthy diet consisting largely of healthy greens, it is pretty tough to blow it completely in a week. After a few months of Canadian winter, however…

Links to each of my Triple Crown posts

Useful Triple Crown Links



Sunny Window Wishes

Today is March 7, 2023, which is a full moon day. What’s a fun thing to do on the March full moon? Start your tomato seedlings indoors and make a wish (for a rewarding tomato crop, or something else).

Having a sunny windowsill full of seedlings is like having a little piece of the summer-to-come in the house with you. With each little bit that the seedlings grow each day, you feel that much closer to summer.

Watching the seedlings first thing each morning is a great way to start these late winter days. And, if you live in or near Lethbridge, there has never been a better time to start your own vegetable garden. The price of produce is high (and growing) and the Lethbridge Public Library is offering free garden seeds right now.

My grandmother always started her tomato seeds on the day of the full moon in March. I typically start mine earlier. Either way, it is always fun to hold the seeds in your hand and think about the beautiful garden to come before you plant your seeds. It’s like your making a wish for their health and your own. It’s nice to have such happy thoughts this time of year.

You may have noticed that I have started my basil already. It is good to start basil with the tomatoes (although not in the same flats) and it is good to plant them together in the garden in May. They are companion plants. If you don’t care for basil or tomatoes, there are other free seeds available at the Lethbridge Public Library. Now is a good time to start Brussels Sprouts, for example (and the library has Brussels Sprouts). The library seed packets don’t have growing instructions (or pictures on them) but that information can be found quickly and easily on-line (you can even use a library computer to access the information while you are picking up your seeds).

Even if you have only a drive way or a balcony to work with, you could set up a temporary garden in a few peat bales (see how on my gardening page). A peat bale generally costs about $10 or so. It’s cheap. If you pick out one with untorn plastic, the plastic itself serves as a pot. It works very well.

Platform carts work great to set each bale on, but as I learned one year, vagrants like to make off with them (so you might want to chain yours up if you use them). The platform cart will make it easier for you to move the bale off the driveway in the fall when you want to stop parking on the street and start parking in the driveway again.

Below, I have included a poem that I wrote called “I’m catching up on my Vegetables.” It is a Silas Story (if you have visited my blog before, you may have noticed that I’ve been writing many Silas Stories this winter. Silas was a dear friend of mine for many years. Writing my Silas Stories down has helped me remember so many good times that I enjoyed with Silas. I hope you like my poem. I recorded myself singing it recently (the video-link to that performance can be found on my picnic page).

“I’m catching up on my Vegetables.”

Maybe a month passed before Sigh had known

I’d been pretty much all “vegetarian grown.”

Although I was embarrassed, Sigh thought it was great.

Silas hoped I would teach him, and I couldn’t wait –

what had made me an outcast, then made me unique –

vegetarianism was no longer weak

and it wasn’t a sign I was “different” or poor

so I wasn’t embarrassed to eat anymore.

Each time someone asked Sigh why he’d changed what he ate,

he’d say “I’m catching up on my vegetables, mate.”

He was always so friendly – he made it a joke

so no carnivores took an offense when he spoke.

Many hear “vegetarian” like an attack

on their personal freedom but Sigh had the knack

to make everyone think that their choices were fine.

While I influenced Sigh’s he had influenced mine

when we broke bread together with dinner’s we shared.

Sigh caught up on his vegetables since Silas cared

about animals, me, his own body, and you.

Maybe you should catch up on your vegetables, too!

The Silas Stories: part 12

I have included video-links to the performances of my songs: The Biology Collectors: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghoul; Sigh’s Geyser; and Captive-bred Jellyfish. You will find them below. I typed up my poem, Silas got Younger, and included it below.

Silas got Younger

Silas got younger the older I got

so I soon felt so old, even though I was not.

Sigh played videogames and then slept in ‘til noon

and when Sigh picked a program, it was a cartoon.

Silas never grew up, he grew younger with age,

and the fact I was aging just filled him with rage.

Well, perhaps it was due to the drugs Sigh was on

but he made me his mom, then I wanted him gone.

Happy Bunny World

Wouldn’t it be nice if all of the gentle bunnies could live together and free from hawks and lynx? Apparently research has shown that kind and gentle love makes the recipient healthier. So, gentle rabbits should surround themselves with other gentle rabbits.

The Rabbit Effect by Kelli Harding is a book worth reading while you patiently wait for your rabbit prince or princess. If you are finding it tough to show kindness towards other humans, try showing kindness to kind animal species. Chickadees are easy to love.

I uploaded these videos to YouTube years ago and didn’t get around to finishing this post. I am glad to get a chance to post this one now. I show how to make vegan hot dogs (my own recipe – that is totally unlike anyone else’s) in a video below. I’m pretty proud of having come up with this recipe. I hope you’ll enjoy trying it on your own family.

The Silas Stories: part 11

I have included the video-links to my performances of my songs, Chocolate for Mikey; Grape juice for Jabberwock; Sigh’s shed Skin; Truck-cooler Snake Eggs; and Exotic Animal Collections. You will find them below. I also typed up my poem, Paper Boats, and included it below (with videos separating the stanzas). Remember that spring is just around the corner!

Paper Boats

The gutters flow like rivers in the spring

in April in Grande Prairie in the rain.

It’s cold in April there but there’s one thing

that one can do to welcome spring again

while winter’s death’s turned wet before life grows.

There’s always one idea one can float

to gloomy children that each parent knows –

spring’s just the time to float a paper boat.

You’ll fold them up (the folding’s the best part

because you’re dreaming of the race to come).

It’s cold out but your boat will warm your heart.

Although your fingers ache and toes are numb,

you’ll splash about outdoors and have some fun –

excited long before each race begins.

Who cares who’s first once every race is done?

With paper boat fun, everybody wins!

The Silas Stories: part 10

I have included video-links to my performances of my songs, Leave the Pacu at the Pet store, Electric Eel, Playing Chicken…Too Far?, Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches, and Having a gas on my ass!

Since I have been feeding the birds by hand while singing these Silas stories, I have typed up a bird-feeding hiking poem that I wrote recently. You will find it attached below.

My Shy Nuthatch

I set out some birdseed while out on a hike

since a Nuthatch is shy but I know he would like

all the seed from my hand if he just wasn’t shy.

I am glad that the bird is a shy little guy –

all that shyness might keep that bird safe (if not fed) –

since a Nuthatch is better off hungry than dead.

I wrote My Shy Nuthatch when thinking about a conversation I had with a woman who was concerned that nasty people would kill the chickadees since they are now so tame due to hand-feeding. I can tell a few of the chickadees apart but, honestly, I wouldn’t notice if some were to fall to predation from cruel people.

I leave food in a specific spot for the Nuthatches (since they won’t come to my hand). I’m O.K with them not coming to my hand. The chickadees seem to prefer the hand-feeding (and I like that, too).

All birds are safe with me. I love them all so much.