Category Archives: TNO

Monday, Tuesday


Jack and I went walking at Fly’n B park, the plums are not ready yet and there are no crabapples. I guess I will have to actually buy some apples to make cinnamon apple jelly.

Tuesday I finished another Perry Mason (those books are addicting) and Jack and I went to walk up the steps at the Cabrini shrine. It’s a very peaceful place.

Grace made a halloween orca dressed as a ghost.

I made taco and ba’corn and James, Jack and I went to TNO. We walked around the park and then relocated to Vines for some wine and dessert.

Monet, St. John’s, ice skating, finals, b-day pics, random stuff


I dropped Jack at daycare, we put Marley in puppy jail at home and we headed down to the Art museum for the Monet exhibit. I was surprised at how close we could get to the art, you could stand 6 inches or so away from them. Of course, the art looked better from far away, the strokes and dots blended better. It was a long exhibit, two floors worth, plus a short film (that we just missed, they only had one showing.) Grace was surprised at how many Monet paintings there are that we’ve never seen. Bridge over the lily pond, yes, famous. Paintings of the sea, rocks, fog, boats, ships, never seen them. Grace said the exhibit made her heart happy and inspired her to go back and do some watercolor paintings. Hannah thought the exhibit was long and boring, I thought it was well done and other than needed a few more places to sit, it was great.

We wandered around the Light exhibit for a bit, then headed home. I dropped the girls off, went to a HS group meeting, picked up Jack and then took Jack and Marley for a walk. They weren’t walking in the same direction so I put Jack’s leash on Marley and then they had to go in the same direction.

Tuesday was St. John’s music at noon and ice skating. They changed the ice skates to an in-line skate version with straps and little padding – so they aren’t comfortable. Still, Grace skated for about an hour while Bethany and Hannah sat in Corner Bakery chatting and writing.

Since Jack had been at daycare for another day I plopped him (and Marley) in the bath at Petsmart. Neither one thought that was fun.

Wednesday was finals and youth group. Thursday Grace finished up her finals and Hannah went to Chuck E Cheese’s for her History final. After she was done we had pizza and played some games.

I ran some errands back at the house, then grabbed Bethany to have a mini-birthday photo shoot (since we didn’t do it on her actual birthday) and take her out for a drink. Later James and I went to TNO (and we weren’t the only ones there.)

Friday was HS skate, Marley got picked up, I took Jack for a walk, he ate some snow, then it was back home for a bit. Hannah had a super fast orthodontic appointment, I made stuffed bell peppers for dinner and we watched some TV before bed.

RiNo, Friday



Yayoi Kusama 1929-

“A polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots become movement … Polka dots are a way to infinity.”

Raised in Matsumoto, Kusama trained at the Kyoto School of Arts and Crafts in a traditional Japanese painting style called nihonga. Kusama was inspired, however, by American Abstract impressionism. She moved to New York City in 1958 and was a part of the New York avant-garde scene throughout the 1960s, especially in the pop-art movement.

Yayoi Kusama was a leader in the avant-garde movement soon after moving to the U.S. in her twenties and is said to have influenced artists such as Andy Warhol. She is also part of the minimalist and feminist art movements. Kusama is known for her red polka-dot art, a thought-provoking yet whimsical theme she has turned single-handedly into her own signature genre. She is known for her installation art, and she has turned everything from entire rooms to living tree trunks into red polka-dot canvasses. In 2008, one of her works sold at a Christies New York auction for $5.1 million a record for a living female artist at that time. Once you’ve seen her art, you really cannot forget it. Kusama is candid about her struggle with mental illness and lives in Japan at the Seiwa Hospital in Tokyo from where she commutes to her studio to produce art.

After school we headed to RiNo for lunch at Denver central market. After eating we walked to Visible’s interactive art/ad piece called Phonetopia.

It was like going inside of your phone from sliding the door to unlock the entrance to sliding into a pit of DM’s, pushing notifications out of the way and climbing over and under ropes to avoid notifications. In the game room Hannah won 3 things in the claw machine, we had tea and water in the airplane lounge and grabbed some free stuff (water bottle, pins, glass cleaner, pop socket) at the end. It was fun, free and I do like Visible’s logo (a smiley face.)

This is a pop-up ad, so it goes away on the 24th. We walked around to look at some of the graffiti and that was my Harriet hike for the day.

Back at home I took Jack out for a quick walk, then met James at Adelitas’s for dinner. It was tamale Thursday – $2 tamales. It was a TNO, but no one showed up – more tamales for me.



(Elizabeth Cochran) Nellie Bly 1864-1922

As a young girl Elizabeth often was called “Pinky” because she so frequently wore that color. As she became a teenager she wanted to portray herself as more sophisticated, and so dropped the nickname and changed her surname to “Cochrane”. She attended boarding school for one term, but after her father’s death in 1870 or 1871, was forced to drop out due to lack of funds. In 1880, Cochrane’s mother moved her family to Pittsburgh. A newspaper column entitled “What Girls Are Good For” in the Pittsburgh Dispatch that reported that girls were principally for birthing children and keeping house prompted Elizabeth to write a response under the pseudonym “Lonely Orphan Girl”. The editor, George Madden, was impressed with her passion and ran an advertisement asking the author to identify herself. When Cochrane introduced herself to the editor, he offered her the opportunity to write a piece for the newspaper, again under the pseudonym “Lonely Orphan Girl”. Her first article for the Dispatch, entitled “The Girl Puzzle”, was about how divorce affected women. In it, she argued for reform of divorce laws. Madden was impressed again and offered her a full-time job and the pen name ‘Nellie Bly.’ Bly wrote eloquently about labor laws, women’s rights, and political corruption in Mexico.

Later, while working for The New York World, Bly had herself committed to a mental institution for 10 days to investigate the conditions. Her shocking report on the facility’s rotten food, vermin infestation, and horrific abuse of inmates led to public outcry and helped reform the care of the mentally ill.

In 1889, Bly had the newspaper send her on a race around the world inspired by Jules Verne’s Around the World in Eighty Days. With a tiny travel bag and one dress, Bly made her way by ship, train, horse, and rickshaw from England to Italy, Egypt to Singapore (where she bought a monkey). When she arrived home on January 25, 1890, Bly set the record for circumnavigating the world in 72 days. She later married and became an inventor, registering several patents under her name.

After school I dropped Hannah and Malia off at Target and Grace, Jack and I went to HS skate. Grace got a good 1.5 hours of skating in and I read my book (and Jack slept.)

When we got home I took Jack on our Harriet hike by the Platte river. Day 15 of Harriet hikes. I’ve walked 27.5 miles in 15 days. Since 11/1 I’ve had no soda/coffee/caffeine. Besides some almond milk in my cereal, water is my only drink. I’ve lost 7 lbs. All I intended to do was walk 30 min a day, that challenge was a good kick in the butt! (Of course the knee shots are helping too.)

After James got home we left for Englewood Grand to see Sam at her going away party. She’s moving to Alabama to live on a cotton farm near the coast with her flower shop owning boyfriend. It sounds like a great adventure.

Days are flying


Tuesday I ran some errands, got the kids to take a picture (I should have turned the flash on.) Bethany was leaving today to go back to Grand Junction and I realized that I missed the opportunity to get a family pic with everyone (since James was at work already), so I just did the best I could.

I took Grace and Hannah to see the new Spiderman movie – it was pretty good, I think they made a good call casting Spiderman. Stuff is starting to show up for school, but don’t worry – we have plenty of Summer left. I can’t believe how early in August (last week) the public school kids went back to school, way too early. My Cuba book came in, yes it took me since last October to finish it. Part of that was Shutterfly’s fault. My pics were all on Google photos and for months the upload feature in SF from GP was not working, then when it did I still had to arrange the photos, add text, choose backgrounds and stickers. So, it just took a while. I do love Grace’s picture on the front – it’s pretty much screams Cuba.

Wednesday I took James to work, we stopped and had affogato before heading to NREL.

It was a gorgeous morning, so Jack and I stopped at Red Rocks on the way home.

This is my Boop eating a flower.

I dropped Jack at daycare (and finally got his picture from last weeks camp) and headed to the doc.

I had a chiropractor appointment (thought I’d try it as I wait on the neurology appointment.) He didn’t actually crack my neck, just moved it around, stretched it and used the activator – doesn’t feel any different, my face is still numb, still have dizziness, hand tingling, vision stuff, so….I ran some errands then came home for lunch. The girls and I had a co-op, game day, at Enchanted Grounds.

I didn’t know that they let you demo the games they sell there, so after 2 rounds of Tsuro I checked out the House of Danger (based on the Choose your own adventure book.) It was awesome!

I bought it and another game. We played House of Danger for 2 hours at the store and another hour at home. The only problem is that it’s just like the book, so you have to keep the cards in order because sometimes you have to go back to a card to choose another option. It was TNO night (a night early because we leave for GJ tomorrow), but no one showed up. After I ate I met James at Adelitas for a drink and dessert. Jack was in play mode when we got home (because when the girls watch him they let him sleep instead of keeping him awake.) It took him about 20 minutes to calm down and go to sleep, but once he’s out – he’s out.

Last week


Jack got shots on Monday, he was a brave boy and it didn’t seem to hurt him as much as they did last year (maybe because he’s bigger.) Bethany and Grace got in from CA and Jack went nuts, running back and forth, slipping around curves, standing still for a second, then screeching off again – you’d think the girls had been gone for a month!

Tuesday I went to a library event on Chinese calligraphy, I learned a few words and made a quick brush painting. The lady teaching us had her own stamps and came by to stamp our best work.

I wasn’t home for long before heading off again to TNO. It was at Adelita’s (taco Tuesday) and we were on the patio. James came and we had a good catch up conversation with the Dolence’s.

Wednesday was park day at Washington park. They got a new playground and it’s very nice.

Someone did show up, but we never saw them, so Grace made chalk art, Jack chased squirrels and Hannah walked around. I had to go back to my doc for another mammo, ended up that everything is fine.

Thursday Jack had a grooming appointment at Petsmart. I thought they were only taking off an inch, but he looks like baby Jack (but he is soooo soft.)

The girls had to go get shots and then I dropped them at the library to make bath bombs and lip balm.

Friday was Creativity club at the Parker library, no one showed, but Grace made some digital art and Hannah and I played Trivial Pursuit.

We had lunch at the house, then went to Golden for henna. I walked along the creek with Ann and then we sat and chatted for a while waiting on the girls.

Saturday Bethany came with us for coffee.

Later, James and I went to Globeville for the Orthodox food fair.

We had some drinks, a Russian crepe thing with meat in it and baklava. It had gotten a lot smaller than the last time we went. We lucked out on the weather, it was cloudy with a nice breeze. We took Jack by Petsmart for ice cream, then back home

Sunday we went to church, the message was on Jehoshaphat – How we handle admonishment and adversity will determine our influence and impact. Without good judgement we will find ourselves in places or relationships that are ultimately harmful to us. God is waiting to help, just let Him know that you don’t know what to do next and He’ll step in.

2 Chronicles 20:12…We don’t know what to do; we’re looking to you.

I finished reading The Leper Spy –

Started and finished this book the other day. It is a pedestrian book (like his others), but it’s wildly different. This book deals with the capturing of the Philippines, the angst of war, the liberation and freedom of the people there and how one small Filipina woman helped the US against the Japanese. There is a lot of lost history, obviously there are many individuals who were spies, resistance fighters and just average American soldiers who went above and beyond, but we don’t know everyone’s story – the story of Josefina Guerrero however was widely known in the US, but seems lost to time. I warn you though, you will have to stop reading at points to gather your emotions, the horrors of war are not glossed over (and yes, Americans also did horrible things during the war, but this book is specific to the Philippines, the Battle of Manilla, the Bataan death march, and so on.)

Joey (as she was known) had something special that allowed her to get close to the enemy and report back – leprosy. Her faith was very important to her and rather than sit in apathy at her disease, she risked everything to help free her country. She was small, but defiant, little but hugely brave in the face of danger, she was caring, bandaging wounded, closing the eyes of the dead, scrubbing the leper colony clean. She was adamant – she called on others to provide for her leper colony facilities and they came through. Hardships like leaving the country, coming to the US, getting treatment, divorcing her husband, leaving behind her daughter, just made her stronger. This woman lived so much and buried so much that when she died, no one knew about her heroism during the war. Great read to learn a little snippet of history about WWII.

M was coming over to spend the night, so we left everyone at home (except for Jack) and went to City Park Jazz. We got an awesome parking spot, the clouds rolled in so we weren’t burning up and the music was neat. Listen here or here.

Hike, dandelions, dog park, water sampling, LAPOMPE, TNO, HS skate


My boop in the dandelions.

Hiking at Corwina park.

Wednesday James took off to GJ to help Bethany move all of her stuff out of the dorm and back home. We went to the Platte to sample, then took Jack to a different spot to see if he’d get in the water if his ball was in it – yep.

We got sandwiches and bobas at Ba Le, ate at the park and went home. Hannah got to youth group early so Grace, Jack and I could go see LAPOMPE. While the concert was going on, David said between song, ‘I thought I saw our band mascot, out there, there’s Jack’ and I held him up for everyone to see (so glad I gave him a bath.)

We had a good time, then picked up Hannah and stayed up late watching TV.

Thursday we did school, just Grace now, Hannah was done yesterday. I took Jack to the dog park to wear him out.

Bethany and James got home within a few minutes of each other. The girls went to dinner and James and I went to TNO with Stacy. We had good food and a good time chatting.

Friday was the last HS skate for the year. They were selling the passes for the summer, but I don’t think we’d even go once – so I didn’t buy any. Hannah is going to youth camp with church, Grace is going to a camp for another church, Hannah is hoping to get into a youth police academy camp, Grace and Bethany are going on a road trip to VidCon, we have co-ops, hikes, library programs, park days, etc. My summer is filling up fast.


The week


Monday morning I had a long appointment at the cardiologist, EKG, Echo and face to face and it was all good. The meds are at the right dose, my heart is around 50% (it was 30% and 50-75% is normal, no one uses 100% – so why don’t they make 75% the top? Who knows.) Anyway, the doc said she’ll check me out again in 6 months and maybe knock off some of the meds. This really shows that it must have been a virus that infected the heart, besides the fact that everything else came out negative, the meds would not have worked this fast if it was something else. So, good news. Grace had her last work day at CC, it was nice for her just working 2 hours every Monday. I think they start back in August, and hopefully they’ll keep her in mind. Hannah went to ballet/dance and James and I sat outside at Solid Grounds.

The weather was perfect and not too windy so I was able to finish my art. I might redo the words, but everything else is done.

This is Jack ‘hiding.’

Tuesday I took Jack to the dog park, but he was not feeling well. He did end up chasing a ball that a guy was throwing, but he didn’t chase any other dogs. I think he had a tummy bug from daycare (or maybe from drinking the water at Rifle falls.)

I was trying to wear him out so I could go to TNO and the girls wouldn’t have too much trouble watching him. TNO was a day late because tacos – at Adelita’s. I was so glad that Stacy showed up (and James.) We had a good time and good tacos. James and I headed over to Phil’s for a drink because they were donating profits to an organization that helps out senior and low income homeowners. So, by drinking – we were helping! (And we’re going to be actually helping when the event happens later.)

There was a gun threat in the area on Tuesday and schools were closed on Wednesday which made our Fox theater field trip get canceled. So, we went to Cafe 180 for lunch.


Thursday we went to Creativity club and 2 other families showed up, so it was nice to chat.

Jack found a nice spot in the sun.

Friday was gorgeous, I had planned a marshmallow roast park day, 3 other families showed up and we got to see the baby owls. I only got good pics of Floof, Flight was on the ground (he believed he could fly…)

Grace’s art.


Snow bomb cyclone, snow day, dog park


Well, my field trip was cancelled, everything in Colorado was closed (or at least it seemed like it.) The wind was blowing like a Cat 1 hurricane, the snow was blowing, but we only got about 5 inches and not really any drifts here. More South and East though…..I’ve lived here 13 years and I25 has never been shut down South, but it was Wednesday and Thursday as they had to rescue stranded drivers and move all of the cars before the plows could get underway. It was a mess. We just stayed home the whole day, did school, let Jack out to play, read some books, watched TV and chilled. Day 13 – binge watch Blue Bloods because…snow.

Day 14 – It’s Pi day, bake a pie, eat a pie, calculate Pi. I wore my Pi shirt and made an apple pie Pi.

Jack broke his new ball.

I took him to the dog park for a bit.

Some of the wind damage in the area.

This is a tired Jack, who likes to sleep.

Day 15 – knit something for someone.

Friday morning we did school, got smoothies, went roller skating and I took Jack to his normal dog park.

Then he was dirty, so I gave him a bath.

I got some TV dinners for the girls and met James at WF for TNO. I had some spicy Indian food and a really good creme brulee. We had a nightcap at Phil’s before heading home. Bethany came home for Spring Break, hers not ours.

Owls, TNO, Weekend


The owls are back at the park. Can’t wait to see the babies.

I went to TNO on Friday (Pho) and had one friend meet me there who is neither a homeschooler nor a Mom, but we had fun. Hannah made me some friends to take with me, just in case no one showed up, sad, but there it is.

Jack got some pics at Red rocks.

Saturday we drove to the Springs to check out Pub Dog, an indoor and outdoor restaurant where you can have your dog with you. They served their food in dog bowls which I thought was cute.

Then we went by the Ice Cream Lab, I had a French toast taco, probably should have shared it.

Jack was out on the way home.

And playful at home.

Sunday we had brunch at Pappadeux and then took Jack by the dog park.

He wanted to go to Zoey’s, but they were closed.

I cleaned up some more, kind of Marie Kondo style, purging and finding homes for things that aren’t used all of the time or just don’t spark joy. I listened to a podcast of 2 women who read a self-help book and then live it for 2 weeks, they were not a fan of week 2 living the Kondo life. I agree, it’s stupid to put everything away, I use pots and pans 2-3 times a day, I don’t want to have to drag them out every single time I use them. But, things like blenders and espresso machines that don’t get used every day – those can reside in a cabinet.

What I’m up to this week – NIA, school, driving practice, Grace at work, Hannah at dance/ballet, hanging at Solid Grounds, teen poe-tea, LAPOMPE at Union station, park day, youth group, wood art co-op, creativity club (Parker), Arvada Winterfest (maybe), church

Dinners this week – baked potato bar, tacos, pot roast, chicken and eggplant parmesan, chicken and sweet potato buddha bowl, grilled cheese and soup.

Buddha Bowl

3 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups quinoa
1 large sweet potato, diced
1 large red onion, diced
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
kosher salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons smooth almond butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 cups baby spinach
1 avocado – peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Bring chicken broth and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and broth is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
Spread sweet potato and red onion onto a baking sheet. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over mixture and season with salt and pepper; toss to coat.
Bake in the preheated oven until sweet potatoes are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook and stir 2 cloves garlic and ginger until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 6 minutes per side. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces.
Whisk 1 garlic clove, lime juice, almond butter, soy sauce, and honey together in a bowl. Whisk 1 tablespoon olive oil and sesame oil into mixture until dressing is smooth.
Divide quinoa among bowls; top with chicken, sweet potato mixture, spinach, and avocado. Sprinkle cilantro and sesame seeds over the top and drizzle dressing over each bowl.

Our week so far


Monday we went to Solid Grounds for Creativity club. No one else showed up, but we spent some time chilling and making art.

Then it was off to Cafe 180 for lunch.

Since we had Jack at puppy daycare we went to Walmart to shop for clothes and stuff. We picked him up, went home, got dinner started, then James and I went out to educators night at the DMNS. It was very light on the tables this time, but we did get to see the new Cuba exhibit, eat, drink and get 2 tickets to come back to see the Davinci exhibit. We left there and went to Union Lodge to have a nightcap.

Tuesday Grace took her History, Ag and Science finals, she didn’t have to take the English final because she already had an A, sometimes the teachers do stuff like that. We took Jack to the dog park and he was being such a toot. The other dogs were chasing him, but when they stopped he went over and was harassing a much bigger dog, jumping in his face, barking, biting his feet, trying to get the dog to chase him. So, we left, if Jack weighed as much as that dog he would be seen as aggressive, but since he’s little people think it’s cute – but he was being a bully, so his play time was cut short. I started dinner and then left for TNO. It was a nice surprise to see 4 other moms there, good to chat and laugh with them.

Today Hannah and I went to NIA, she asked about 30 minutes into it ‘How much longer is it?’ But, she made it all the way through. I didn’t do the floor part at the end, it was hard to get up last time, so I just sat in a chair. It was fun, but worked up a sweat. Grace finished her math final and did 1 more thing in digital art, just one thing left to do in there tomorrow. Hannah didn’t have finals, so she’s just started back with semester 2 (Grace starts semester 2 next week.) I have a meet and greet type event with some new homeschoolers this afternoon, then I’m picking up a friend and driving Grace and him to the Teen science cafe in Boulder. What I really want is to take a nap, but I don’t think that is going to happen.