Category Archives: science

TDO, St. John’s, soda shop, walk, SpongeBob musical, Jack turns 2, balloon science, weekend


Teacher’s Day Out was embossed card making at the library. I made 3 cards and it was fun, Jack and I got an ice cream afterward.

Tuesday was Central City opera at St. John’s. They sang a bunch of songs from operas that we had never heard, so that was nice. Grace doodled an octopus while they sang. We did SAME cafe’ for lunch then went to Sherry’s Soda Shoppe to check them out on their grand opening. They have the best chocolate malt!

I took Jack on a walk and some flowers were popping up.

Wednesday Grace, Jack and I went to the Audubon trail to hike.

Thursday Jack went to daycare while Grace and I went to see SpongeBob the musical. It was so good, it was funny, cute, toe-tapping, amazing, had a good message, the singing and music were incredible and we were so lucky to get to see it because a few days later all venues shut down due to the Covid-19 virus scare.

Thursday was also Jack’s 2nd birthday. He got a cactus toy (which he destroyed in a few hours), a take out box with 2 dumplings (which he destroyed in a day) and a tree with 3 squirrels in it (we’re down to 2 squirrels.) He had a birthday cookie and got lots of loving.

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Friday was my balloon science co-op. We had fun learning about: Pressure diffusion – thumb tack bed of nails, Air pressure – straw balloon racer, Air pressure/vacuum – balloon water fountain, Air pressure/friction – hovercraft CD’s, Polymers – skewer through a balloon, Static electricity – positive and negative charges to pick up tissue paper, Centripetal force – penny spinning, Chemical reactions/gas – balloon inflator baking soda, vinegar, Chemical reaction/dissolving -, Orange peel pop, limonene hydrocarbon, rubber hydrocarbon, non polar so they dissolve each other. 

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Friday was also the 9th anniversary of Grace being in the hospital. I’m a bit worried about this whole virus thing, it makes me feel a bit better that most young people are not getting it, or at least not having symptoms. Her lungs are better, but it doesn’t take much to push them into freak out mode.

Saturday I cleaned the bathrooms, vaccummed, cleaned the kitchen, basement and did laundry. James and I went to crazy lady’s coffee for affogato, then to the library to get books.

Most libraries are closed, ours is still open. It was Englewood Grand’s 4th anniversary, so we hopped over there with Bethany (she’s in for Spring break and due to the virus, Mesa is going on-line, so her break got extended.)

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It was also 3/14, so I made a Pi pie.

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Sunday church was on-line because all meeting spaces that could hold 50 or more people were told to close. Denver also closed all restaurants and bars (eat-in.) The grocery store is empty and instead of a meal plan then shopping I went to the store without a plan and just grabbed what I could and made a plan in my head.

LAPOMPE decided to throw a FB cereal and jazz party – it was great. I hope they keep doing it on Sundays. You can find it here.

After lunch we took Jack for a walk and to the dog park. Lots of people were out, it was a nice sunny day and well, if you can’t go anywhere at least you can go outside.

Grace spent some time working on a drawing, then a digital version.

I wanted to go to Starbucks, but the indoor seating was closed. Sunset.

The week – lazy school (Spring break is next week), Kindness Krewe, St.Patty’s day, braces, antique store browsing, park day, hike, weekend hiking I guess.

Dinners this week starting tomorrow – Lost Cajun, hamburgers with roasted potatoes, meatball masala with tumeric rice, corned beef and cabbage, tacos and cilantro rice, blackened chicken with turnips and parsnips, shrimp scampi over spaghetti, sausage with elote corn.

Elote Street Corn off the Cob

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 ears of corn, shucked and kernels removed (about 3-4 cups depending on how large your corn is)
2 tablespoons mayo
3 ounces cotija cheese, freshly grated or crumbled
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 green onion stalk, finely chopped
Handful of freshly of chopped parsley or cilantro
Salt and pepper, to taste

In a cast iron skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat then add the corn kernels. Spread in an even layer and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until exterior is charred/browned, stirring frequently. Be careful of the popping action of the heated kernels!
Once charred/browned, place into a large bowl then mix in mayo, cotija, paprika, green onion, parsley, salt, and pepper.
Mix to combine then divide evenly and serve!


A whole week


Tuesday we went to the Newman center to see Cirque Fabric Flip, it was great. I don’t know how I’ve missed out on the fact that the Newman center has school matinee shows for $5pp, but it’s on my radar now! The show had acrobats, jugglers, live music, it was funny and had a great story.

Wednesday it snowed a nice snow, Hannah got her top braces on, I got some snowflake pictures and the girls went to youth group.

I put this PSA on my FB page because when I turn red, gasp or wince everyone asks if I’m ok. If you see me turning red, it’s just a new side effect. If you hear me gasp or see me wince, that is my heart or lung or kidney or knees hurting. Advice from my cardiologist and hematologist- don’t go running to the ER for every pain, wait it out. Which isn’t the best advice because I did wait out what turned out to be my first PE, then went in and there were 2. Also, if you see Jack and not me, ask him to find mommy because when we are out he’s attached to me, so if he’s alone I’m lying in a ditch somewhere.


Chemistry dull experiment.

Friday fun – Jack at the dog park. You know who wins in a race to a ball? Jack.

Grace is good for another year and her hours earned her a free state park pass and a set of bamboo utensils.

The rescheduled Valentines dance was a hit, Hannah and Grace got to sing and dance to Summer Loving, Grace made some new friends that like anime and art, Hannah danced, they were super hyped when it was over.

Saturday they went to lunch with a mentor and James, Jack and I went to the Petite Mardi Gras parade.

We went walking by the Platte before heading home.

In the evening the girls watched Jack and James and I went to Golden Moon Speakeasy for a jazz date night. We went by Jack in the Box afterward for tiny tacos and jalapeno poppers.

Sunday Hannah worked at the church coffee shop, we made tacos for lunch, we watched Father Brown, Hannah asked to go to the antique shop, Grace finished her first try at a stuffed fish and worked at church and dinner was yummy.

To do this week – school, knee doc, Fat Tuesday, EG Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Cinderella musical, youth group, Water sampling, Tea and book swap co-op, Grand Junction trip, random walking around.

Dinners this week (starting tomorrow night) – sweet potato lasagna (make your lasagna, just sub thinly sliced sweet potatoes for the noodles, same cooking time), chicken and shrimp jambalaya over dirty rice, chicken pesto with garlic couscous and broccoli, ratatouille, Grand Junction two nights, thai basil shrimp over linguine.


2 eggplants
6 roma tomatoes
2 yellow squashes
2 zucchinis

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, from 8-10 leaves

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, from 8-10 leaves
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons Chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
4 tablespoons olive oil

Preheat the oven for 375˚F..

Slice the eggplant, tomatoes, squash, and zucchini into approximately ¹⁄₁₆-inch rounds, then set aside.
Make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch oven-safe pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the onion, garlic, and bell peppers until soft, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add the crushed tomatoes. Stir until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Remove from heat, then add the basil. Stir once more, then smooth the surface of the sauce with a spatula.

Arrange the sliced veggies in alternating patterns on top of the sauce from the outer edge to the middle of the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Make the herb seasoning: In a small bowl, mix together the basil, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Spoon the herb seasoning over the vegetables.

Cover the pan with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover, then bake for another 20 minutes, until the vegetables are softened. Serve while hot.



Hannah has been getting out early and doing a 30 minute walk/jog since the 1st and going on a Harriet hike with me and she went to the gym the other night! I think the Harriet hike challenge was a good kick in the butt. I have more famous women than there are days in November, so I might end up saving some of them.

Fanny Cochrane Smith 1834-1905

Australia’s Advocate For Aboriginal Language Preservation.
Born on December 1834 in Flinders Island in Tasmania, Fanny Cochrane Smith was best known as an Aboriginal linguist. She devoted her life to preserving as much of Aboriginal heritage as she could. From 1899 to 1903, now in her late 60s, she used wax cylinders to record Tasmanian Aboriginal songs and speech, which to this day are the only original recordings in existence. Five cylinders were cut, however by 1949 only four remained as “A fifth cylinder, on which was recorded the translation of the songs, was broken some time ago”. Fanny Cochrane Smith dedicated her final years to preserving her heritage, her culture, and her history. You can hear a clip of one of the recordings here –…/music/fanny-cochrane-smith-songs/clip1/

Today was the Zoo co-op. We broke into groups and went around the zoo looking at animals and writing notes about them.

Then we gathered back as a big group and learned about Linnaeus’ classification system and we used this site ( to find out the correct classification after we spent some time trying to classify them ourselves. We learned that a hippo is more related to a mountain goat and gerenuk than to a rhino!

We finished up and went to see some more animals before heading home. I counted the 2.4 miles walked as our Harriet hike.

Hike, Sampling, Volunteering, Jazz, Mall school, Ballet!


After school we went on a hike. We were supposed to be somewhere else, but we ended up a bit lost. But, we rolled with it.

September water sampling.

Grace got some good news.

Hannah had her first volunteer day at GraceFull cafe, she washed dishes for 3 hours.

It was jazz night for me and James, a standing date night on the first Tuesday of the month. I think Phil keeps jazz night around just for us (because we are usually the only ones there.)

Wednesday Hannah did her school while Grace was working at church. We had lunch at the mall, Jack slept, we did some school and the girls walked around.

This mall is little (compared to Park Meadows), but I really like the chill vibe from the food court seating area. I remember when the mall was getting a facelift and I was worried about how it would turn out – but they did a really good job.

James and I went to Dang while the girls were at youth group. It’s Littleman ice cream, but it’s soft serve. We’d never been in that area of town before (Oneida park) and it’s really a cool spot. The store was done up very 60’s inside with 8 flavors of creamy soft serve, tons of toppings and games in the courtyard. There was a happening restaurant we took note of and a coffee shop that we’ve never been to before, so it was a nice outing.

Thursday we went to the Ellie Caulkins opera house to stand by for Don Quixote ballet seats. It was ‘sold out’, but as someone who coordinates field trips I know that you will NEVER have 100% of the people who said they are coming (paid or free) show up. I was right. It was full, but from our nosebleed spots we counted over 100 empty seats (and those are the ones we could see.)

We went to Union station for lunch and got to see the MOA”s Fall decorations.


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.

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.

Fun Friday


We did an exothermic experiment, but we need to go get some more peroxide.

Hannah helped me make the dandelion jelly. It was time consuming plucking all the petals from the flowers, washing them, steeping them, adding the sugar and pectin and then boiling for what seemed like forever. But, in the end, dandelion jelly that tastes like honey.

I made lemon bread too.

Zoe is heading downhill fast. She’s blind in both eyes now, and when she walks her right leg is totally sticking out and sliding and now her left leg is wobbly. She also can’t get in and out of the litter box and only eats/drinks if we put it in front of her face.

Cell cookies


I went to NIA class and had a good time. We’re almost done with the Dragon routine and we’re moving into a routine that has a lot of Indian music in it (think Bollywood.) When I got home we did some school, then went to the park (alone again.) Hannah practiced her ukulele and Grace drew and we read one chapter of the Helen Keller bio. When we got home it was time to make cell cookies. We do this every few years because who couldn’t use a refresher on parts of a cell that you can eat?

Hannah wanted to try Wed night youth group, so I took her and stayed for the women’s group. They just started on a book about fervent prayer last week, so I didn’t miss much. Our talk was about how the enemy distracts us and how we need to focus our prayers to provide stability in the world. It also hooked back into the sermon from Sunday, if the world says you are (fill in the blank) what does God say about it. Hannah had a good time and wants to go back, so we will.

Flowers, school and gardens


Grace had a science lab to do today –

Oil Spill Lab

Materials needed:
Large glass measuring cup (2 cups or bigger)
Blue food coloring
Vegetable oil (any type of cooking oil)
Liquid dish detergent

Fill the cup two-thirds of the way with water. Add a few drops of blue food coloring to make your “ocean.” Pour 1/3 cup of oil into the ocean.

Answer the following questions:
What happens to the oil when you first pour it in?
Why does this happen?
What kinds of animals would be most affected by an oil spill at the beginning? Why?
Use a spoon to stir the oil for 30 seconds.

Answer the following questions:
What natural action stirs the real ocean?
What happened to the oil?
Even if you can’t see it, is all the oil still in your ocean?
Which animals in the ocean become affected after wave and current action causes some of the oil to settle to the bottom, or be absorbed into the water?

Add a splash of dish detergent to the mixture and stir.

Answer the following questions:
What happened to the oil? Is it all still in the ocean?
Sometimes cleanup efforts involve dumping a soap mixture over a spill area. Why is this done?
What might be a negative effect of dumping the soap?

School was math (scatter plots, random number generators and using math to find out the fish population in a pond – score one for real world application!), science (lab and habitat test), history (the roaring 20’s), vocabulary, literature (Gulliver’s Travels) and spelling. No one wanted to go to Hudson with me, so I had a nice picture walk by myself.

I literally took 20 pictures of this bird to get the one below – he kept moving, I didn’t have my monopod with me and the camera kept moving focus.

When they were on the feeder it was swaying in the wind and they were moving, it was hard to get good shots.

These flowers are really tiny.



Today was Bethany’s first official day at the hospital, she had to be there at 7:30 and I think she was excited because I didn’t have to wake her up – she was up early getting ready. After dropping her off I went back to the house and cleaned up the garage a bit (it’s trash day), took two bikes to Goodwill and had a coffee at Panera before NIA class. Once I was done there I picked up Bethany (for the first 4 weeks she is only working 2 hours instead of 4) and went home to get some school started. Hannah and Grace were awake and had done what was on the list that I left (thank goodness.) Hannah did some math, vocabulary, spelling, history and reading. I told her that I had a book on Napoleon upstairs, she said, ‘Of course you do…’ Yep, I am ahead of the game. Grace worked on a math written assignment, poem and history. Bethany turned in her science write up about the experiment (which you can see here.) and read the next thing in history, science and English. We had a quick lunch, then had to run by Payless to get Hannah some new ballet shoes before dance. Still on the to-do list – go by store and bank, finish up school with Bethany, go to mall tonight for dinner and to walk.

The rest of the week – school, NIA, art co-op, drum circle, Devil’s head hike, park day, TNO, Platte hike, teen mystery night at the library, and something for the weekend.