Category Archives: library



Woot! It’s my birthday month! Yes, I like to celebrate all month long. Today – making a Hygge space in my bedroom for reading and relaxing. This really, really old (it was my Mamaw’s) rocking chair was sitting in the den, but never sat on. It just sat there holding pillows and blankets. So I added a pillow ot the sea (it has metal springs in it, not very comfy) and wrapped it in a red blanket (both for added comfort and also to hold in the weird straw like stuffing that falls out occasionally.) It sits next to the bookcase, so no need for a table to hold books. Note that a cute dog is not included with your own space…

Jack’s squirrel came by for round two of ‘catch me’. Jack lost, again.

The girls took Jack for a long walk while I was at the library learning about calligraphy (and getting to play around with special points, handles, nibs and ink.)

Fika, River Watch, Teen cafe’, board games


Tuesday after school the girls walked to Starbucks and I went to Fika to have some adult time. No one showed up though. It made me very sad, I think people think they are saying, ‘I don’t have time’ but really what they are saying is, ‘It’s not my priority to spend time with you.’ So, I had my coffee and read some of my book, then headed home to oversee Hannah making dinner. It was spinach ravioli (frozen) with red and white sauces, garlic bread toast and a spinach/beet/goat cheese salad with fig sauce.

It was really good.

Wednesday morning was cold, but Grace, Jack and I got out to sample.

As close to upstream as I could get (I didn’t bring waders.)

The water was 2 C.

Right bank.


Left bank.

Some cool ice.

A kingfisher.

I was so cold all day, even when curled up with Jack.

I took Grace and a friend to the Teen science cafe, the speaker was a botanist and Grace came away super excited. She said the botanist was very passionate about her job, plants, trees, and learning about them. They came away with some pressed plants that they picked out from her stash.

Thursday we had a board game co-op at a game shop. We brought Denver Scene (which is like Monopoly) so the game lasted us over 2 hours, even then we weren’t really done. Some of the cards you draw are funny.

Tomorrow is the start of my birthday month and I’m excited to have some cool things to share with people.

Week in review


Last week –

Monday Hannah and I went to NIA, we did school, Grace worked and I took Hannah to dance. Grace and I sat at Solid Grounds and made some art. Joel was busy making a gun, painting it, filing it, going to get parts, going to the gun range, etc. That took up a lot of his leave time.

Tuesday was Poe-tea and we actually had 2 other kids show up. When they heard March was sushi and Japanese themed food, they were like – I’m there! Yes, we bribe with food and it works.

The poet was e. e. cummings and we found out some interesting things about him. Cummings was a pacifist who (before being drafted) worked in France on an ambulance line – he and a friend used to send letters home trying to outwit the French censors. He wrote a poem a day from age 8-22, a feat for sure. He favored dynamic use of language over grammar and punctuation and saw poems as visual objects on a page, not just words. We listened to this poem, read by the author, which was interesting. It was slower than I would have thought and (the parentheses) make it hard to figure out where to pause or stop or start. I wondered if he was hiding things like he did in his letters back home during the war, take out the parenthese and find his deepest secret, but read only the parenthese and it’s like an echo. Our poetry to write was shape poems.

[i carry your heart with me(i carry it in]
By e. e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Our poem to make for the day was shape poems, I didn’t get a picture of the other kids stuff, but it was good.

Wednesday was park day, no one showed up, so we walked Jack around and let him play with some other dogs for a bit.

Jack was tired.

Thursday was my wood art co-op. It was just using sharpies to draw on some wood pieces from Home Depot, they turned out really well. I added magnets to some of them so they could hang on the fridge.

Friday we went to the Parker library for Creativity club. Joel joined us and drew for a bit before heading to the post office and to hang with a friend.

It started snowing in the evening and it really stacked up. We had about 7 inches or so, enough to make Jack able to walk around and lick the snow without having to put his head down. We ended the night with Joel cleaning his guns and packing up and watching an old Sherlock Holmes.

Saturday we got out early to the airport to drop Joel, the roads were very clear for having some much snow the previous night. There were 68 car crashes on Friday evening, we saw a few left over cars this morning, but when it snows if you can wait for the plows – it makes a big difference.

Once the girls woke up and were ready we headed downtown to the Ice climbing fest. Jack loved the slingshot balls, every time someone missed and a ball bounced back he was running like crazy to get it. We also did an ice maze, tree throwing, arm wrestling and looked in the tiny house and at the climbers. They weren’t climbing the ice while we were there, just the plywood and cubes, trying to get a fast time. It would have been interesting to see the vertical ice climb, but my toes were frozen – so we didn’t stay any longer.

Sunday we went to church, went to see Ralph Breaks the Internet (cute movie), put together Grace’s vanity and went to Olive Garden for dinner.

My week – NIA, school, hanging at Solid Grounds, ballet/dance, jazz guitar date night, TDO (Fika in Parker), river samples, youth group, Teen science cafe (botanist), board game co-op, TDO (calligraphy at Smiley library), missions banquet at church, weekend….Leadville ski-joring? Dairy block Mardi Gras parade? so many good options…

Dinners this week -Olive Garden, make your own pizza, ravioli with goat cheese/beet salad, crockpot chicken and dumplings, braciole over egg noodles, church missions banquet, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches with corn on cob, grilling stuff. For some reason we have a very Italian menu this week….

Beef Braciole

(Note you can stuff it with whatever you want, so I’m ditching the prosciutto and adding spinach, pine nuts and golden raisins)
6 thin slices boneless top round (about 2 pounds)
12 cloves garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, plus more for garnish
1 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese, plus more for serving if desired
2 tablespoons seasoned dry breadcrumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 thin slices prosciutto
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups dry red wine
2 cup beef broth
1 can (28-ounce) crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
2 heaping tablespoons all-purpose flour

Cut top round slices in half widthwise so that you have 12 equal pieces. Place beef between two pieces of plastic wrap. Gently pound to 1/4 to 1/8-inch thickness.

Mince 4 cloves of garlic; slice the remaining 8 cloves.
Combine minced garlic, parsley, cheese, breadcrumbs, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Place a prosciutto slice over the filling then sprinkle filling evenly over all beef slices.

Roll the beef into a cylinder, tucking in the sides to hold in the filling as you roll. Secure with toothpicks.

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Place the beef rolls, seam side down in the pot and brown seam side first to seal it. Cook, turning the meat occasionally until each roll is nicely browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate.

Add the wine and the sliced garlic. Bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add beef broth, tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Place beef rolls back in the pot and bring back to a simmer.

Cover and cook on low heat, turning occasionally until beef is tender and easily pierced with a fork, about 1 1/2 hours. Alternately, cook covered in a 325-degree oven for 1 1/2-2 hours or in a slow cooker for 3-4 hours on high.

To thicken (if needed) place pot back on the stove if cooked in the oven. Remove some of the hot cooking liquid to a bowl. Add the flour and stir until smooth to create a slurry. Slowly add it to the hot cooking liquid, bring to a slow simmer and cook until thickened.


Errands and skating


Jack and I ran some errands and I took him to Fairmount cemetery. I had never been before, there are a lot of historic Denver names buried there and lots of sculptures and burial art.

We decided to go to regular skate on Friday. Grace tried in-lines and did great, I ate a pickle and it turned my tongue green.

Then it was cheese trivia, cheese sampling and learning about cheese at a library teen event. Jack and I walked around and warmed up by the fire.

Lapompe, driving, string art, photo walk, party


Grace started driving again this week, so we went out every day and drove here and there. On Friday she got on the freeway and made a giant loop back to the house for 54 min of drive time. She’s doing really well, there were a few jerks who drove like jerks (we have a ‘new driver’ magnet on the back of the van – people know she’s new.)

Tuesday James and I had a date night at Nocturne jazz supper club with Lapompe playing. The food was really salty (that’s probably because I haven’t had much salt in stuff lately), but it was good. The music, well it’s gypsy jazz with Lapompe, so it was awesome.

Jack is ready for Christmas photos.

He got to go to the dog park and play with the wolves, we haven’t been in a while, so he was happy.

Being spooky.

Thursday we went to a library program and did string art, Hannah stayed home to Jack sit and we pick up a friend to go with us. I did a heart and Grace did a narwhal.

Jack loves to sleep in a hammock made from a blanket and your legs.

But, at 12 pounds, he’s kind of heavy.

Friday I took Jack with me on a photo/sniff walk. I took pics, he sniffed.

Hannah had a Christmas party at church and made these awesome cookies, they also played games, ate snacks and watched The Grinch.

Money museum and candy sushi


My co-op today was to the Money museum. We only had 4 families and our tour guide was not very engaging, but the WWI exhibit was cool and the making of a coin from blank to pressed was neat.

The edge roller.

The press, these items are miniature, in the old days they were much bigger.

We went through money in time and saw the evolution from huge pieces of stone to smaller coins.

The Greek coins were in really good shape.

Roman coins and coins from other parts of the world.

A real coin and counterfeit one.

Hobo nickels.

A huge collection of coins that have varying degrees of rareness. Some of the coins in the collection are 1 of 2-3 coins.

The WWI exhibit.

Trench art coins.

Messed up money.

We raced from the museum back to the library for candy sushi.

Dinner was good.






Joel and crew landed in Kosovo.

Jack got 3 new balls since he broke his green one.

They are all green and two of them are put up until he breaks this one. Saturday we went to the dog park, took Jack for a bath, had a nap and James and I went for our bad art date night from the library.

I thought we were going to make one piece, but there were different challenges.

The first challenge was to make some bad art, but 10 minutes into it we were told to move 2 chairs to the left and work on that person’s art.

I was so upset, my Squidward!

Now I know how the kids at my musical art co-op felt, I’ll never do that again. The second challenge was to make art while holding the colors (or whatever you were using) like a kid would hold them.

It’s hard to make bad art….The third challenge was to make a bad piece of art in the style of an artist you pick. I did Picasso’s Old Guitarist and James did Warhol’s Soup Cans.

I think my art was pretty bad, but it got 4 votes and the winning art got 6 votes, so it wasn’t bad enough. We went to Acorn for dinner and stopped by Phil’s for a nightcap.

Sunday it snowed and Jack was super happy.

From church today, leaving a legacy – Stuff won’t be here forever, but faith remains. Generosity doesn’t have to be linked to money, but being generous is a sacrifice, you can be generous with your time, your money, your stuff, your words, etc. The world sees what you give, but God sees what you kept, leave your hands and hearts open so the Spirit can make great things happen. Just like the widow’s mite, it’s not how much you give, but why you give. And like the gift of perfume that was poured onto Jesus, sometimes people won’t understand your generosity. And like the churches in Macedonia that gave out of their extreme poverty to help Paul travel, generosity leads to pure joy.

Goings on this week – more blood to the doc, school, kidsitting, worship dance, puppy daycare, Money museum co-op, teen candy sushi at the library, river sampling, watching The Meg (I don’t want to, but I promised), youth group, DAM Rembrandt co-op, TNO, docs putting in stent for the splenic artery aneurysm, friend’s birthday, resting, Petsmart Fall treats, resting, resting, resting.

Dinners this week – eggplant and zucchini lasagna, pomegranate glazed salmon with cucumber tzatziki and heirloom rice, harak usba’o, TNO (so the girls are having leftovers or pizza), chicken curry salad, grilling stuff, ma’corona bil lahmeh with sweet potatoes.

Harak usba’o

6-8 servings

4 C lentils
olive oil
6 onions sliced into rings
3 pitas cut into squares
6 garlic cloves crushed
3 1/2 oz tamarind pulp
2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
1 tsp salt
box of small pasta
juice of 2 lemons
5 C chopped cilantro
seeds of 1 pomegranate

Place lentils in pan with water to covers them and bring to a boil. Boil for 45 min until tender, add more water if needed.
Preheat oven to 400F
Heat oil in pan and cook onions for about 10 min, stirring to caramelize them. Toast the pita bread in the oven for 10-12 min, checking until golden. Add half the caramelized onions and half the garlic to the lentils along with the tamarind and pomegranate molasses and mix to combine. Cook pasta according to directions, combine with lentils. Stir in 2 Tbsp of lemon juice to taste, stir in 3/4 of the cilantro. Mix the remaining garlic with rest of cilantro. Ladle dish and top with bread, cilantro, pomegranate seeds and remaining onions. Drizzle with olive oil.

Ma’carona bil lameh

4-6 servings

1 lb macaroni
2 1/2C Greek yogurt
juice of 1 lemon
1 green chili finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1/3 C olive oil
1 lb ground turkey
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 C toasted pine nuts

Bring large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions. In a bowl combine the yogurt with the lemon juice, chili, garlic, dash salt and place in fridge. In a pan heat the olive oil and saute the turkey with pepper, cinnamon and dash salt for 12-15 min until browned. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain and place in bowl. Mix yogurt mixture into pasta and place turkey on top. Scatter pine nuts and chopped parsley on top to serve.