Kayaking, hiking, poe-tea


Monday after school was done we went kayaking. I can tell that if I want to do some kayaking at all I am going to have to get another kayak or go early in the morning.

We still haven’t gracefully learned how to get in or out of the kayak, so it’s a good thing the water isn’t freezing.

Tuesday I took James to work, so Jack and I stopped at Matthew Winters park for a quick morning hike.

After some school we had Hawaiian themed poe-tea. First of all, the Hawaiian language was banned in schools in Hawaii starting in 1893, before then ‘mele’ and hula were used to pass on history, chants, poems and stories. So, you can write down a mele, but it’s spoken or sung or done to hula.
We listened to the TED talk from the first Hawaiian poet laureate here –

We listened to a mele about a grandmother here .

We listened to a mountain mele about a sacred mountain (I like this verse – We go forward in the evening/Vanished in the light of day/We are caressed by the rain of Lilinoe/The pathway to Mauna Kea.

I put on some Hawaiian music and we had some treats and tea – sand dollar cookies, pineapple coconut puff pastries, fruit kabobs, fruit salad, Hawaiian rolls and SPAM. I have to say, I have never had SPAM before, but it was pretty good fried with a little pineapple and on a bun.

Then we took a short hike at Elk Meadows park.

Then back home for a bit before taking Hannah to another Police explorer meeting, but no one was there. Hopefully they are meeting next Tuesday, I am finding the Police explorer units to be disorganized and not helpful at communication.

Creativity club, some labs/extra things, weekend


No one showed up for CC, it was just the girls, me and 1 friend that we brought.

Grace did a paper chromatography lab that had pretty results (for the most part.)

Jack got a new baby that he promptly tore up, but had fun doing it.

Hannah did a hands-on lab with Oreo’s for moon phases. In her lesson the sun was facing one way, but for the test it was moved and that threw her off, so this just reinforced moving the moon around if you moved where the sun was.

Over the weekend we painted Hannah’s room, it needed it.

I had to keep Jack busy while they painted so he wouldn’t run in and get paw prints everywhere.

Sunday was exhausting. Church, painting, brunch, work, cleaning up, memorial service for our neighbor, TNO and BED. I had thought I was out of tears because there was a song at church that just touched me because it told about how a person was dancing with Jesus and I know that’s Becki. But, tears flowed at the memorial service too, which is fine. I know she’s in a better place, so I’m not sad that she’s gone because of that, but I am sad for her kids who lost a Mom way too early.

Mall school and hike


We did school at the mall, I meant to go in the entrance by the food court, but we hardly ever go to this mall, so we ended up on front of Panera.

This is Jack anytime we are out somewhere  Рhe just goes to sleep.

It was fine, but next time food court (mainly because they have comfier seating there.) We ate lunch, then drove up to St. Mary’s glacier for a hike. It’s not a long hike, just a mile, but it’s steep and let’s be real – that is not a trail, just a bunch of rocks that fell down the mountain and someone called it a trail.

It took longer than it did the last time we went up, but to be fair, that was years ago and I didn’t have CHF then. The views are nice when you go up.

Finally made it to the lake and glacier (that’s the thing with the snow on it.)

I’m glad we had time to digest our food before hiking up, hiking that tough on a full stomach is no fun. It was nice and cool up there too and windy, so we didn’t get too hot hiking up. It was tricky coming back down because Jack just wanted to run and pull me, but I held him back and used my hiking pole to guide along the rocks. I don’t think we’ll be doing this hike again for a while.


The week so far


I posted this picture on Sunday, but I spoke too soon.

At the end of day 7 that ball was toast.

So, we start over.

Monday Hannah did her Earth science experiment about density, mass and volume. Basically she watched and took measurements as her ice filled rock tube fell apart.

It was Monday HS skate, which normally we would not be able to attend, but since we don’t have dance this semester we went. At first there was hardly anyone there, maybe 7 kids skating. Eventually it went up to about 23, still that is low.

Tuesday we put Jack in daycare, did school, then went downtown to the Ralph S. Carr Judicial center for a tour.

There were no cases going on in the courtrooms, but that just meant that our guide was able to talk and explain the purpose of the courts, tell us interesting things about the details in the room and note some historic people that practiced close to there (this is a pretty new building) such as Ruth Ginsberg who prosecuted a case not far from the building.

Since it’s a newer building, it has a green roof per the green roof initiative. It also has a lot of public art, since 1% of a buildings budget needs to be for art. We went up to the 4th floor, then down to the law library. The windows in the library are stained glass and each one has a historic document or type of law engraved in it (First Sumerian laws, Hammurabi’s code, Magna Carta, etc.) Also, some of the art has amendments lightly written over the picture.

The most interesting part of the tour is the learning center, a space that has interactive games and learning tools for introducing ideas about law and concepts of the same.

When we picked Jack up he had already tried to escape once – if I’m late picking him up he tries to sneak out under a big dog, sometimes he makes it, sometimes not.

Hannah and I went to an Explorer post meeting, but they just voted to change their meeting days to Wednesdays and Hannah isn’t keen on the idea of giving up every other Wednesday. So, we’re trying to find another post (looks like Parker will be our best bet.)

Wednesday was 9/11, we started the day with library school. I’m a woman of my word, they wanted a quiet space (away from Jack) to do school outside of the house once a week, they got it.

After lunch we grabbed trash bags, gloves and Jack and headed to Montbello for a Kindness Krewe day of service on 9/11. Sometimes on 9/11 we attend ceremonies, sometimes we climb stairs, sometimes we do service. I asked a friend if she knew of a place that needed cleaning, she quickly said, ‘Montbello Central park’. So, that’s why I chose that park. There were 4 other families, we grabbed bags and took off in different directions. I usually take an after picture with how many bags of trash we collected, but everyone threw away their bags before I could – but we had about 5 kitchen trash bags full and multiple small grocery bags full of trash.

When we were done we went by the Arsenal to see the bison, they just happened to be walking across the road as we drove up.

Then it was home to make dinner and off to youth group for Hannah.



Friday we did school, then Hannah and I went to the gem and mineral show. Grace stayed home to charge up for her Bob Ross library event.

We dropped Grace off at the Rob Boss (the library couldn’t afford to pay for the rights to the Bob Ross painting thing, so they just called it Rob Boss) paint along. They ended up painting whatever they wanted, lots of happy little accidents. She talked to everyone there and had a great time. We picked up James and headed to Copper mountain. I didn’t look at the map very well. I knew there had been a mud slide because of a hail storm earlier in the day, but I thought 6 was closed off.

No, I-70 was closed AT 6. So it took us 2 hours to go 8 miles. We finally got to our condo at 11:30pm. We stayed up for a bit, walked around the town center with Jack and went to bed late.

Saturday morning.

We left and drove back toward Frisco, but Jack hadn’t gotten his morning nap, so we went to hike to the troll in Breckenridge to give him time to sleep.

We went back to Frisco for the Fall fest and to walk around the town. The first store had 5 store dogs for Jack to meet.

Creepy doll in another shop.

Since we had such a late night, we went back to the condo to nap, which was nice. Then we went outside to the hot tub. We were letting Jack just wander around, but it’s a good thing that we tied him up because a second later he saw a chipmunk and went crazy.

We had a giant pizza for dinner, watched some random cartoons and then went to bed early so we could wake up and get going about 6am.

It’s only 1 hour 22 minutes from the condo to home, with no traffic, and there is no traffic at 6am. We had time to stop for coffee, then got home, unloaded the car, started laundry and I got Hannah to the coffee shop right on time. She made $14 in tips and we started a new series on Ephesians. We got the news yesterday that our neighbor of 14 years (B’s Mom) had passed away at home. She had breast cancer years ago and was declared cancer free, but they missed a few cells and those cells went up into her brain and created a inoperable tumor. She was given 6 months to live and she made it just past a year. She might have gone longer, but last week she stopped taking her meds, planned her funeral, watched as her daughter ‘graduated’ in her backyard (the teachers from the school came over and did the ceremony, she will actually graduate in Dec) and spent the last week at home. It is sad, but of all the people that I have had pass away I know for a fact that she’s free of pain and sitting at Jesus’ side. I’m glad that she had extra time to get her affairs in order, go on a cruise, have that time with her kids and be lucid enough to decide that hanging on wasn’t helping anyone. I didn’t ask, because it’s her decision, what made her stop the meds. Her tumor was not going away or getting better, it was getting worse, she went from walking her dog around the block to using a cane to using a walker in a matter of weeks. B is going on a 6 month mission trip in January, maybe she didn’t want to leave while B was gone. Maybe the side effects were too much, maybe just living was too much. It’s never easy, but her kids had time to prepare for that day.

When we got home from church Hannah made a cake for her friend M (who was coming over later.) James went to work to catch up on stuff, Grace drove to get M and then drove them to Aspen Grove after cake. We were going to take Jack to the dog park, but it started raining, so he just napped at home. Later we took the girls to the mall, Grace worked at church, we had dinner and then split up for the night (M was sleeping over.) James and I started watching the new Gaffigan special, so funny, I needed that. In other news –

Things to do this week – check on field trips and $, school, HS skate, Law and Justice center field trip, Police explorer post meeting, Kindness Krewe 9/11 day of service (trash pickup), youth group, hike or kayaking, Creativity club, painting Hannah’s room, church/coffee shop working, last Sunday that Pappadeaux’s will have Sunday brunch (because all good things must come to an end…apparently.)

Dinners this week (first 2 didn’t get made last week, so I moved them to this week) – shrimp gumbo, sweet and sour chicken, sloppy Joe’s and corn on the cob, onion and mushroom smothered steak with asparagus, ginger peach chicken with peach almond salad, taco pie, make your own pizza night.

Taco pie

1 8oz package of crescent rolls
1 lb ground beef
taco seasoning
8 oz shredded cheese (I like Mex style, but you can use whatever)
1 14oz bag tortilla chips, crushed
mix ins (tomato, onion, jalapeno, black beans, etc.)
toppings (sour cream, avocado, picante, etc.)

Preheat oven to 350. Lay crescent dough flat on the bottom of a pie pan and bake according to package directions.
Meanwhile, brown the ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the taco seasoning and stir together well. When dough is done, remove from oven and place meat mixture on top, then layer with mix ins and cheese, and then top off with the crushed nacho chips. Return to oven and bake for 10 min or until cheese is melted. Top with sour cream/avocado etc – serve warm.



After school I dropped Hannah at her friend’s house, Grace stayed home to paint and Jack and I went to Teacher’s Day Out. No one showed up, so it was just the two of us walking around RiNo looking at the new CRUSH wall murals. This is only a few of the new murals, I will be going back with the girls to check out the rest.

Grace made Hannah a new sign for her door.

Grace worked on a crime scene sketch for Forensics class too.


School, jazz, hike


Hannah had to do a potato topographical map for Earth science, it was kind of cute. The water is red instead of blue because they included red dye and she didn’t want to use our blue dye.

I took Jack on a photo/sniff walk on the canal.

Wild plums are mostly ripe, we need to go pick some to make some jam.

The girls watched Jack while James and I went to EG for jazz. Phil made me an excellent Kookaburra (root beer, absinthe, root beer liqueur.)

Wednesday we went to the library to do school, we’re planning on making that a weekly occurrence.

In the afternoon we went to the Audubon area for a hike.

Our A/C froze up last night, so it was a hot night sleeping (I think we got it down to low 80’s with the windows open, but the breeze was blowing the wrong way.) Stupid adult things one has to do, fixing A/C’s.

I finished this book – I think the most interesting thing about Audrey Hepburn’s story is not that she survived the Winter Hunger, it’s not her involvement in the Dutch resistance at age 15, it’s not her courageous escape from the back of a German van that was driving around picking up women, it’s not her iron will to dance and to work hard at something she wanted so passionately – I think the most interesting thing is her reaction to reading Anne Frank’s diary. They were soul sisters, Dutch, born¬†a few months apart, loved to dance, lived 60 miles apart and were captive during the war. There were details in Anne’s diary that were images of Audrey’s family – 5 men shot by the Nazi’s, one of those men was Audrey’s Uncle. Audrey turned down playing Anne Frank on film because she could not relive the horror and she felt that Anne’s life was almost like that of a sister and she couldn’t play that role and honor her; it was just too close to her own war experience. Very good biography of Audrey Kathleen van Heemstra Ruston.